Glass houses…you know what they say…

3 06 2010

….but who would throw a stone at these “glass houses”?  Brilliant and I mean that literally!  Glass is such a fascinating material and one that I find endlessly appealing.  The intersection of light and colored glass has such an ethereal feel to it.  I say “feels” because glowing or crystalline glass evokes a real sense of  awe in me; to the point of almost making me feel giddy.  I don’t understand it but all those medieval cathedral builders were definitely on to it.

Glass has an odd mix of properties when you think about it;  fragile and strong, beautiful and dangerous, as common as sand into something as rare as a Chihuly.

I especially love these architectural examples of using recycled glass bottles – inspirational reuse!

AVEC Restaurant in Chicago

This green wine bottle wall is in AVEC Restaurant in Chicago.  I’ll drink to that!  My vino castoffs are gonna get new life!

And this one……unopened beer bottles found in the basement of an old brewery are now partition walls at Johnsen Schmaling Architects.  Stunning! (and i’m thinking maybe this idea was originally fueled by some of that liquid amber inspiration)

Unopened beer bottle partitions

I adore this shower as seen in Unusual Life along with some other really quirky glass architecture pieces (i’ve told you how much i like quirky haven’t i?)

Bottle ends shower

So go forth, drink up and create!!!





Map of the world

21 04 2010

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing” Oscar Wilde

Oscar is allowed his opinion but I am still fascinated by world maps.  Really big and very detailed colorful maps.  I’ve been trying to figure out a way to use maps in the décor of my home just so I can see them every day.  Definitely a no on the map wallpaper, NOT a wallpaper fan, and those tacky knick knacky accessory pieces that the home stores carry don’t cut it either.  I’m talking about the real deal, those really big pull down maps that we had in school.  Remember those?

So here’s what I’ve come up with….yes it’s a little out there….all the more reason to try it.  Ooops, I need to back up just a bit.  Two parallel but unrelated trains of thought have been occupying some of my brain space lately.  One is the maps thing and the other is my search for window treatments for my newly remodeled home.  Do you know what a whole house of window treatments cost?  Ouch.  The result of that pinch in my wallet will be functional window coverings but I’m thinking I’d like to pump up the personality a bit.

Ok, so here’s where those two trains of thought jump tracks and run into each other.  What if those old maps could be turned into window shades?  No seriously.  They are made for rolling up and down, the material is really sturdy and they come in small to huge sizes.  My windows are high efficiency so I don’t really need added insulation in the window coverings.  I’m all about inventive repurposing and I think they would look so interesting.  Maybe not every window in the house…I’m quirky not weird.

I’ve located some really great used map specimens online.  One of my favorite places for web shopping is Seattle’s Second Use website. They stock used and reclaimed building materials and fixtures.  They have an awesome website that allows you to shop right online, just like P’Barn and C’Barrel!  While I love our local ReStore and Rebuilding Center they don’t have fabulous websites like Second Use does.  They also support Habitat for Humanity with their proceeds, good all the way around.

So what do you think of my idea?  Don’t worry you won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t like it.  Not the first time I’ve done something in my house just a little left of normal and had others say “uuuhhh?”  However those are usually the things that I end up loving the most.  Except for those times when a concept totally doesn’t work and then I just pretend it didn’t happen.  A strategy I find most convenient.

Now I just need to “map” out how to make the idea work.  Pun totally intended!