I’m solving the eternal questions—how can I make my cubical look cool? What jewelry is both “town” and “country”? Where can I buy cool flea market finds?—as always, with a quick click of a link.
A Design Dilemma, Cubed.
We spend on average 1,456 hours a week at work. Okay, so I don’t have the exact statistic in front of me, but no one can argue that it’s not a lot of time: the same amount of time—if not more—than we spend at home. And while I’ll waste endless hours trying to make my home a sanctuary (don’t get me started on those three months I devoted to getting the perfect chartreuse bedspread …), I’m less inspired when it comes to my workspace.
For one, it’s got some seriously bad Feng Shui. Those overhead florescent lights, that beige cubical wall, the gray flame-retardant carpet—the folks on Top Design would have voted me off on the pilot episode. Then there’s the fact that while you want the space to be chic, it still has to be professional. It’s not really the place to display my vintage lunchbox collection (sorry, Fat Albert Thermos.) So you can imagine how excited I was to find See Jane Work. Pink striped inboxes! Hummingbird adorned mouse pads! Faux veneer folders! It has everything you need to overhaul your office space and take it from beige-waiting-room blah to colorful-taking-care-of-business décor. Now I just have to stop my coworkers from taking my color block Post-its …
Nature vs. Nurture.
My idea of camping is watching my fiancé pitch a tent and then spending seven hours eating marshmallows from a bag as I read a paperback novel. It’s not radically different from my usual Sunday morning routine, where I eat kettle chips from a bag as I read the weekend paper. This simply proves the point: you can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl. I do love nature. It’s, um, lovely. But if I gaze at a landscape for a long time, I start to get bored and wonder what’s on cable.
I feel the same way about fashion. Sometimes a necklace with a leaf charm just looks like a leaf on a string. It’s, um, lovely, but where’s the twist? That’s why I love the new flora and folium jewelry collection for Prismera. Sculptural branch pendants and ivy leaf earrings are silhouetted in stainless steel, giving it a mix of delicate nature with urban edge. Best of all, 10 percent of their sales go to Keep America Beautiful, an organization that works on reducing litter and waste, so we can all enjoy many more years of marshmallow eating in the woods.
To Market, to Market.
I’ve often wished that I were an avid flea market shopper. I’d wake up on a Saturday, straw basket in hand, and go to the market to find old porcelain lamps and cool vintage typographic signs. “Bonjour!” I’d say to the vendor. (In this fantasy, I also speak French.) “Bonjour!” he’d say back, and we’d proceed to agree on a fair price and I’d take my treasure back home. This is where I wake up. I don’t really have time to dig through the city’s junk shops, and when I need a whimsical gift, I end up going to some chain store where things are usually reproductions and mass-produced. But then I found the quaint online store Three Potato Four. With their little owl figurines, zoo animal illustrated trays, or vintage bus signs, you could almost overdose on whimsy! It’s as if they combed through the flea markets for me, and rounded up the best buys an easy “add to cart” click away. Now if only they could teach me French, I’d be set.
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