Currently viewing the category: "Sweet Stuff"

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. |

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. |

Of course there would need to be an outdoor space:

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

Can’t forget the bedroom and en suite:

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

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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". |

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. |

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. |

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.

Turns out due to my Japanese Trash shop that I’ve been selected as a featured tastemaker — and turns out I’m happy about that. So to celebrate, I’ve added three nifty new items to the store and wanted to be sure you know all about them. Drum roll please… here they are:

The O-Type Chair:

I've added this handsome chair to my shop in celebration of being selected as a featured tastemaker. |

This handsome fella has seen action even before becoming your best chair. His seat and back are made from retired, double-jacketed fire hose. Pair that with the sleek lines of his steel and aluminum frame and you’ve got yourself a life-long companion. Order HERE.

Wood Table Lamp:

I've added this awesome lamp my shop in celebration of being selected as a featured tastemaker. |

This sturdy lamp is made from an off cut of Western Red Cedar previously destined for the landfill. The wood is carefully milled, shaped, sanded, and then finally finished with a natural protective oil. Each is wired with a custom fabric covered cord — choose between sky blue or cool grey — that has an on/off switch built in. Order HERE.

Abstract Print:

I've added this amazing abstract art print my shop in celebration of being selected as a featured tastemaker. |

This archival print of an original painting by Illinois-based artist Jaime Derringer will make a bold statement in your space. It’s printed on 8.5″ x 11″ high-quality fine art paper with archival inks, so you know it’ll last a life time. Order HERE.

Oh, and just in case the good people at have moved on to feature other tastemakers by the time you go browse the Japanese Trash shop, here’s a grab I did of their spotlight:

I'm happy to have been selected as a featured tastemaker. |

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I recently opened the Japanese Trash shop on because I wanted to have a place where I could offer up quality items that fall into my masculine design aesthetic for those of you who are interested in bringing a bit of Japanese Trash into your own homes. From time to time I will feature one of the shop’s sources–or, as calls them, makers–so you can get a closer look at what’s on offer at the shop. Today’s maker is Dana Brandwein Oates, of Sharon, Connecticut.

Dana creates a full line of home wares, but it’s the pieces that exemplify her ethos of elevating our everyday lives with “little luxuries” that have captured my attention. Here are three that I feature in my shop:

Bear Crossing Pinch Bowls:


Here’s a unique two-piece set featuring a bear walking across two diminutive porcelain bowls just perfect for setting out salts on the dinner table or for holding your spare change on your nightstand. Each piece is hand cut, stamped and formed then glazed with a very neutral grey and white matte finish. Order HERE.

Mineral Cup:


This masculine hand thrown porcelain cup is hand painted with a highly reflective deep green metallic glaze The glaze drips into the cup over the rim to create unique subtle patterns. Use this to hold the little stuff you need at hand on your desk – or for a hot cup of joe or a cocktail. Fired to over 2200 degrees makes this strong enough for everyday. No two are alike. 3″ x 3″ Order HERE.

Burl Curve B&B:


A terrific side plate, dessert plate, bath tray, desk plate… you get the idea–this guy is very versatile. Wood grain is rolled onto thin slabs of porcelain, then each piece is hand cut and formed and glazed in this gun metal color called Mussel. No two are alike. Approximate size: 4″ x 8″ Order HERE.

I hope you see something you like–and want to order! See more from Dana Brandwein Oates and all of my hand-selected makers on the Japanese Trash shop at

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