When Granny met Goth

On the legendary weekly markets, London´s Portobello Road features a buzz of crafty makers and exciting ideas. Something that caught my eye in particular (when I browsed the stalls there this August) was the upcycled ceramics by Melody Rosemeare and brand Melody Rose. Melody reinvents and repurposes the old floral ceramics by adding crisp, and a bit scary, black-and-white anatomic portraiture to them. The result is a beautiful contrast, like: Granny, meet Goth! The ceramics of Melody Rose honors tradition, yet still kicks it in the butt at the same time. I guess it´s that inherent tension that makes these assisettes the epitome of British attitude and British style.

Read more about Melody Rose ceramics om the website www.melodyrose.co.uk or by clicking on the business card below!

D.I.Y Octopus Chandelier

Saw this easily hacked idea in a store, I call it the octopus chandelier.  The retail price of this statement piece was about $2500/₤1600. I am thinking you could make it yourself for about 10% of that. As you can see there´s a total of 16 lamps connected to a central ring. As this type of lamp often have a peg end (to plug into that heavy base) it does not seem that complicated to simply dock them the ring rather than the typical heavy base you get when you buy the lamp individually.

The evident, and cheap, raw material for the hack is found at IKEA. If you have more time for the sourcing process, I´m thinking it would be cool to mix a collection of vintage lamps.

IKEA´s TERTIAL (£8.99) is the obvious choice (available in matt silver finish):

IKEA FORSÅ (£13.99) would work too, and is available in black, chrome, dark red and dark blue:

What you need next is something like that ring to stick all of your lamps into. Personally, I am thinking one could use a old hub cap or a wooden wheel. Those things are generally easy to come by. Just take focus on finding something circular (or any shape for that matter..).

As the chandelier will be rather heavy, make sure to have a good chain and solid hooks in the chandelier as well as in the ceiling to keep it in place.

So, now I leave the hacking up to you guys. Some rewiring might be necessary (leave this to a pro!) as you don´t want all 16 electrical cords hanging to the ceiling. However, a solution to avoid the need for that could be the kind of solution often used for chandelier – the chain cover. A great maker guide for this is found on blog inmyownstyle.com:

Good luck in making you own fabulous octopus chandelier!

D.I.Y PatchWork Art

I saw this idea for a some DIY patchwork art at a interiors store in Stockholm. Besides great colors, what stood out is the illusion of depth.

The patches are simply colored paper cut-outs. A layered effect is acheived by differentiating the space between the patches and the back board by mounting some of the patches on pieces of cardboard so they ”pop out” from the grid. This is one great and easy DIY project – see the instructions below!

What you need to make this yourself:

  • A deep frame (like for example IKEA Ribba, £9,99)
  • Coloured or/and textured paper cut-outs (a thick quality gives the best result)
  • Small pieces of cardboard to use for making some of the patches pop-out (harder, cellular cardboard is a great option)
  • Glue stick (the glue should be of a dry quality)

I figure this is the way to do it!

  1. Take the back board of the frame, place it on the floor and start shuffling your cut-outs around.
  2. When you got a patchwork pattern you like, start working the glue stick to fix the patches, don´t forget to mount some of them on the cardboard pieces to get the great pop-out effect.
  3. When the patchwork is all finished and dry – simply put the back board back in the frame and clasp the thing shut.
  4. Hang up your patchwork art work! If you happen to have spotlights, this adds some extra dimension to the piece in creating the interplay between highlights and shadow that make it all so interesting.

What´s so great about this idea is that its so easily scalable – I am thinking you could make a striking statement by tightly arranging a grid of 9-12 frames on a wall. This could be the thing you´re living room has been waiting for!

Good luck with your patchwork artwork!



Bin There – Done that?

I saw these fabulous waste baskets at the NDD Space in NYC. The modern day plastic standard is hacked by traditional rattan, the result is a product in which both components get to shine in the respective qualities. The baskets are by Areaware, a design venture which for me stick out from the crowd. They combine crafts, theory and philosophy in a great, poetic way, always reaching out for that magic feeling of meaning:

We believe that appreciation for beauty is central to what it means to be alive and want to embody this principle in even the simplest things.

Areaware specializes in a creating everyday objects that are both functional and unusual, and have a network of over 20 über-talented designers in their stable.

Our goals are to create thoughtful products that inspire an emotional response and to explore design languages as a means of creating new syncretic forms. We like to think we have a good sense of humor and that our objects are poetic. We wish to create a forum for young and local talent and together, we hope to become a strong voice for American design.


Mind the gap

I saw this cool and understandable room divider solution at the restaurant of the Ships & Trades Inn of Chatham (England) this summer. The room divider, resting on a steel frame with a net of overlapping wooden slabs, creates a great effect. It divides the large space and creates a private ambiance for the table. A very steel frame sets the vault and the overall shape of the room divider made of overlapping wooden slabs of three sorts: Plain, Black Stained, and one with a rough bark finish.

The gaps between the slabs filters the light in a nice way, and makes the restaurant intimate and inviting.

See it for yourself: Ship & Trades Inn, Maritime Way, Chatham Maritime (c:a 1,5Hrs from Central London)

Barricade Hack No 2

This hack, was seen in Spanish Harlem and featured by Miss Heather on the great NewYorkShitty Blog. Seems the N.Y.P.D barricade set is quite the versatile hack material. The super cool ingenuity of hack, in which support from a fence is part of the design, was the idea of the gentleman to the right in the picture.

Barricade Hack No 1

This N.Y.P.D blue barricade table was seen at a restaurant on 1st Avenue. I am thinking many of you out there would like to make your own…However, this hack seems a bit tricky to come by, I´m guessing the many police officers patroling the streets of Manhattan wouldn´t be ok with you taking their stuff home with you…So best not try this at home folks!

The raw material to this hack can be seen in the streets of Manhattan.

Logs of Love from Doha Chebib

Doha Chebib is the designer behind these glorious Log Bowls which she designed for CABIN, a design exhibition by Canadian creative studio Motherbrand that explored Canadian symbols and myths. Chebib is part of the fab Loyal Loot Collective, alongside Carmen Douville, Dara Huminski and Anna Thomas. The collective is Canada based (Edmonton, Alberta) and met while studying at Alberta University. Each group member has a different practical approach. The vision however, is unisonal: ”to create objects that will endure and be loved”. 

From Left to Right: Anna Thomas, Doha Chebib, Carmen Douville and Dara Huminski.

The Log Bowls are log cut-offs, in varying heights and a 2-10 inch diameter. The cut-offs have been hollowed out and then gotten a high gloss acrylic paint inside cover in a great range of warm hues. The outer lining of bark has been kept intact, creating a eye-popping contrast effect. You can snap up a bowl of your own via The DesignGiftShop.com.

Visit The Loyal Loot Collective online: www.loyalloot.com

Photos courtesy of www.loyalloot.com

Saviours of Souls and Scrap

Housing Works is a lifesaving thrift store concept which I love. Donated and sold stuff pays for essential medical care for thousands of homeless and low income New Yorkers affected by HIV and AIDS.

Housing Works are excellent communicators, both visually and conceptually, both in-store and online. They engage by making purpose and vision clear to all. They are practical, and help givers grasp the big effect of their small individual effort (quote from the Housing Works website):

A pair of designer shoes that sells for $40 in one of our stores provides ten days worth of hot meals for a homeless HIV+ mother and her child. An armchair that raises $400 pays for two weeks of supportive housing for a client who badly needs a stable home.

Housing Works offer free furniture pick-ups and in-store donation drop offs at their locations. The concept combines multiple benefits in a great positive spiral: 1.) Givers get rid of unwanted stuff (and feels good about donating them) 2.) Proceeds save lives and supports people burdened by a HIV/AIDS infection and also by various other problems such as addiction and unemployment and 3.) Hackers get a great place to source stuff which can be repurposed and recharged and that has a great inherent social energy.

Housing Works is a true source of inspiration, in more ways than one. They currently have about 10 Manhattan locations (my photos above are from the store at 157, East 23rd Street). If you´re keen on donating or volunteering, check out the details on HousingWorks.org. If you simply want to source great stuff and save lives at the same time, check out the locations by clicking on the link below:

Click here for a map of all Housing Works Manhattan Locations



Shipwreck Chic

I stumbled across The great War Craft Line by Uhuru at the NDD Space on Manhattans East 3rd Street in May of this year. Immediately, I was struck by the genius of team at Uhuru, which have built the line from reclaimed teak from the upper deck of the decommisioned USS North Carolina, a battle ship that was built in a shipyard in Brooklyn in 1930 and which came to serve during WW2. The War Craft line features 4 distinct pieces, which descriptions I quote from the Uhuru Website:

War Craft Coffee Table Wearing Dazzle

”The War Craft Coffee Table wears an interpretation of Dazzle camouflage that was used on battleships to confuse enemy ships. Through high contrast and disrupted lines, Uhuru graphically breaks up the pattern for a functional coffee table. The levels represent the decks of the battleship, with framework inspired by nautical forms. The top is layered paint on aluminum, and the base consists of solid wood legs”

Image above from www.arthitectural.com

The BB-55 Rocker

”The sturdy shape of the BB-55 Rocker, named after the North Carolina class of battleship, takes cues from naval design. The forms of the base and seat mimic the curves of the hull and the taper of the bridge tower. The teak base of this low, modern rocker transitions into a steel frame above. Cotton webbing, weaved in a random pattern, forms the seat and backrest. With colors inspired by the original ship, the fractal pattern also references Measure 32 camouflage, which was used on the ship to avoid detection when travelling through open water.”

The 16/45 End Tables

”The 16/45 End Tables vary in size, each referencing the colossal diameter and caliber of the bullets that were onboard the USS North Carolina. The tapered shape of the table supports took subtle cues from the battleship itself. The lightness of the base is a direct contrast to the solid bullets. Crafted out of either teak or cold-rolled steel, the tables support black glass and are available in three heights.”

The last piece in the line is the Mark 8 Room Divider which features the life-sife negative silouette of the gigantic bullets that were fired from the ship.  The divider can be seen in middle of the last photo in this post.

Uhuru states that they in the War Craft Line wanted to create a dialogue that respectfully honour souls lost in battle, yet at the same time captures the violence of modern day war craft.

Read more about the War Craft Line on the Uhuru website and find great article about it at ArtHitectural.com (link to article here).

Are You Reedy?

The team at Staple Design, owners of The Reed Space (and Reed Annex) on Lower East side Orchard Street (no 151) are doing a fab job. They keep it fresh by a steady stream of collaborations and happenings and have lately been teaming up with street art legend OBEY and been the organizers of a T-shirt design contest. From a ScrapHacker´s point of view, it is clear to see that there is loads of creativity cooking at the office…Reed Space is neverending interesting, cleverly mixing apparel, experiences and endless rows cool reads on the innovative, trademark shelving made out of kids´ chairs.

As I suspected the chairs were from IKEA I took a glance at the IKEA assortment and found that chairs KRITTER (available in multiple colors) and SVALA (birch) were similar, yet not identical to those at the Reed Annex.

The kids chair feature is an important visual marker for the Reed Space brand (which have also recently set up shop in Japan). The chair is in the logo and hence, in all visual communication (see it on the right hand side of the window foil below).

The Brilliant Freshness Mag had some photos to further prove the innovative powers of Staple Design. How genius isn´t the check-out counter made of glas slabs supported by cardboard tubes? Reed Space shows a lot of smart design ideas, showing there´s more to the design than that kids´ chair. Pallets and other modular shelving units makes the design utterly contemporary and the very essence of street smart.

Although the chair might not be from IKEA, some other pieces of store furniture are, such as the white IKEA PS storage cabinets as shown below. Summing up – Reed Space is a great store  – Go visit when you can!

Knits on speed

This stunning piece of eye candy was strategically parked outside of Swedish apparel brand Acne´s Greene Street store. For other great and wacko yarn hacks, check out the cool blog YarnBombing!

Trunk Funk

This hack was seen at a shopping mall in Stockholm. The design is straightforward, and super versatile. Just imagine a forest of funky tree trunk shelfs rising from floor to ceiling in your living room! Add a birdsong soundtrack to that to take the edge of your hectic urban days…If your not to keen on the forest idea – how about a couple of sideboards or nightstands made in the same style?

IKEA Hemnes Shoe Cabinet Hack – Tutorial

This hack consisted of making a new, seamless top board to 2 IKEA HEMNES Shoe Cabinets. It´s not the major, obvious hack – but it gives great creative opportunity for customization. The idea for the hack started as I wanted to buy an additional HEMNES Shoe Cabinet (I had already one). The design of the shoe cabinet is the perfect solution for my narrow hallway. One unit is 22cm deep, and 107cm long. Given that, two cabinets side by side would measure 2×107cm=214cm. Problem was the width of my wall was only 205cm…So, the cabinet solution needed some tweaking.

The solution with 2 IKEA HEMNES Shoe Cabinets was featured in last years IKEA Catalogue. You can see that the cabinets stand side by side, with the gap in the middle as a result of the prominent top boards. The gap in the middle is wasted space. And, given that I could get rid of the gap, I was approaching the match for my wall. Although the look in the picture below is nice and coherant, it is both functionally and an easthetically flawed due to  1.) wasted middle space and 2.) the ”seam” in the middle of the jointing top boards. I needed to address the first problem in order for the solution to practically work in my home. Finding a solution that would solve the second problem at the same time was a bonus!

Ok! Time to hack!

STEP 1: Start by removing original top boards of the HEMNES Shoe Cabinets.


STEP 2: Find a new top board of your choice. I simply took two wooden planks which I sanded and painted in high gloss light grey.

STEP 3: Although the original look changes with this hack, keep HEMNES nice proportions by keeping the outer overhang of the top board. This is achieved by simply making sure there is a top board overhang on the front and to each side of the double cabinet unit. As I did not really have the space required to do this, I had to clip one corner of the back top plank, to give it a snug fit over the door case.

STEP 4: When your new top board is finished you fasten it to the cabinet units. Some glue and small angle irons will do the trick.

THE RESULT: The result is a seamless look, where 2 cabinets become 1! The lean proportions are intact, thanks to the topboard overhang. The wasted middle space is used, and I have a really great storage solution in my narrow hallway!

The seamless HEMNES Shoe Cabinet hack can be extended to a neverending row of HEMNES shoe storage – now wouldn´t that be a dream come true? The top board customization allows for great experimentation, I am thinking that a new HEMNES top board of concrete, mosaic or a splash of shock yellow paint would lift the spirits and capacity of any hallway….

Best of luck to you all in creating your own customized, seamless HEMNES Storage!

Slab My Box Up

This elegant hack is from Albert & Jacks (bakery and a lunch restaurant) in Stockholm. A simple marble slab on top of a bunch of wooden boxes. To bad the the design doesn´t include the possibility to open the boxes!

Genius in a bottle

I saw this plastic-bottle chandelier in a window in Stockholm. Such a great hack! Check out the construction and DIY!



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