Currently viewing the category: "Starting Point"

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to post this terrific space styled with classic pieces from Design Within Reach, even if it does have more white than I typically prefer:

So much classic MCM goodness going on in this room from DWR. | japanesetrash.com/shop/

Thankfully, the key upholstered pieces in this room–the Theatre Sofa (which happens to be sale priced at the time of this post) and the Barcelona Chair and Ottoman–are all available in other color choices, so someone like me who prefers something other than white can select what suits his style.

Yes, this post also gives me the opportunity to provide a bit of focus on my new and growing online shop. I’m honored and, frankly, excited to be in partnership with Design Within Reach and able to bring you many of their iconic items. The idea is simple: if you find a DWR product and purchase it through Japanese Trash, I get a small commission which helps me keep the site going. I promise not to inundate you with promo posts like this; I want the shop to be an added bonus for both of us, not a burden on you or me. Most of the time you’ll get the same kinds of posts I always provide, some of which will have the same “shop this post” information at the bottom as this one has, which will let you find and purchase some of the items featured in that post. I’m currently working with both DWR and Amazon.com to bring you the kinds of products that fit my masculine design aesthetic–and I hope to be able to expand to include other great retailers. I’m also folding my Great.ly shop items into the Japanese Trash shop so you can continue to support their boutique makers. Happy shopping!

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Striking image of an iconic piece, the Eames Lounge Chair. | japanesetrash.com

I just saw the above image of an Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman and knew immediately I wanted to write a post about it. The chair, not the image–though the image is very striking.

The chair and ottoman are likewise striking. They are the kinds of pieces that, once you experience them–see them, touch them, sit on them, you want to be around more and more.

The Eames Lounge Chair has always seemed at home with sophisticated interiors. | japanesetrash.com

As a kid growing up in small town Texas, I always pictured fancy Manhattan apartments that probably looked something like the above; bold, moody artwork and Eames Lounge Chair included.

In my mind as a kid, I must have somehow put Charles and Ray Eames together as the Manhattan apartment designers for Lisa and Oliver Douglas before their move to Green Acres. | japanesetrash.com

And, because I know you’re thinking it and wondering, yes as a kid I did do things like picturing fancy Manhattan apartments. I must have somehow thought that Charles and Ray Eames designed Lisa and Oliver Douglas’s penthouse in New York before they relocated to Hooterville.

Today, the Eames Lounge Chair epitomizes California mid-century style. | japanesetrash.com

Today, the Eames Lounge Chair epitomizes laid-back, California mid-century style to me. No matter the setting or geography, these pieces are tried and true classics.


You may have noticed the new menu at the top of the page and the inclusion of some “shop this post” links at the bottom of some of my posts (like this one). I’ve decided to expand the scope of Japanese Trash to allow me to bring some of my favorite masculine design items, like the Eames Lounge Chair, to you via online retailers such as Design Within Reach and Amazon.com. I’m also folding the pieces from my Great.ly shop into the shop here at Japanese Trash, though they’ll still be sold via Great.ly and still benefit their respective makers. Of course, I also receive affiliate income from any sales on this site, which helps keep Japanese Trash going. Let me know if there are any questions and happy shopping!

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I think I’ve confessed on the blog in the past about my suppressed desire for small space living–a one room home that, in my mind at least, has only the essentials. And those essentials should be just about perfect, since they will be the only items on hand, right?

It’d probably have a main space with a work area and plenty of organization/storage, like this:

My fantasy small space would have a main area for living and work like this. | japanesetrash.com

The adjoining kitchen would need to be no-nonsense and able to double as the laundry room:

This no-nonsense kitchen would be perfect for my fantasy small space living scenario. | japanesetrash.com

Of course there would need to be an outdoor space:

A perfect secluded deck for my small space living plan. | japanesetrash.com

Can’t forget the bedroom and en suite:

Barbara Hill's Marfa masterpiece is the ultimate in small space living. | japanesetrash.com

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I think art is a very personal thing, and, since I’m attracted to alternative interior design styles, it only makes sense that I would also be drawn to alternative art. One of my favorite sources of inspiration for design and art is the fond childhood memories of the people who hire me; my own childhood was filled with fun weekends at the local movie house–a single screen affair, but with a balcony!–and with rushing home after school to catch the creature feature on TV with friends. So it follows that some of the alternative art I’m most enamored with is the grown-up version of the stuff of my childhood past-time: movie and TV posters from Mondo.

If you don’t know about Mondo, and you enjoy even one tiny bit of what I show off in this post, you owe it to yourself to check out their website and learn about the amazing things they do both online and in their Austin gallery. I’m posting just a small piece of what they do–and they work in more genres and media than I’m showing here as well.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some modern-day, grown-up posters from the Universal Studios monster movies of my youth:

Heart-stopping 1930s style from the original film plus tons of visual detail from the artist in this modern poster of "The Mummy". | japanesetrash.com

Adult me loves the heart-stopping 1930s style from the original film and appreciates the delightful visual details (notice the fez, forehead, and one of Boris Karloff’s eyes in the top of the hour glass?) from the artist in this modern poster of The Mummy. It’s fascinating to me that this film was released as a result of the craze for all things Egyptian, following the the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb 10 years earlier.

Another alternative art modern poster interpreting the early '30s creature feature, "The Invisible Man" - I loved these films as a kid. | japanesetrash.com

Another alternative art modern poster interpreting the early ’30s creature feature, “The Invisible Man” – I loved these films as a kid in the late ’60s when they were often to be found on afternoon TV and I love the new poster art created for them as a grown-up. The combination of graphics and color in this one is irresistible to me; punched up by visual content like the laboratory fittings in the background and the experiment notes about particle beams, etc, and I’m in full-on geek mode looking at this. An interesting tidbit: the artist used all of the same language as was included on the original promotional piece from Universal; “H.G.Wells’ Fantastic Sensation…” Terrific!

Just like his presence in the film, "The Wolf Man" appears to be everywhere at once in this alternative art poster. | japanesetrash.com

Just like his presence in the film, “The Wolf Man” appears to be everywhere at once in this alternative art poster–and his hunters seem every bit as devoured by the fog. Again, the artist’s detailing of something as minute as the hat one of the hunters is wearing evokes so much of the essence of this movie in my memory. Seems like all the guys in this flick wore hats…

Even if grown-up movie posters of childhood favorites aren’t your thing, I think you can see what I’m driving at–tapping into some of our favorite youthful memories as a wellspring of inspiration for our interior design and art selection is something all of us can do.

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