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Apologies up front for all the overly styled–or weirdly empty, catalog-y pictures you’re about to see. I’ve got sofa shopping on the brain–it’s time for us to get a new one and I’m looking everywhere online, including Four Hands Home, to see if I can find something that will do what we need (more on that later) and look like I want it to.

Some sofa shopping going on at my house; pardon the catalog photo. I do like this style, though. | japanesetrash.com

Here’s the deal. We use our sofa a LOT. We’re on it all the time, almost always with our dog(s) (plural in parenthesis because while we currently only have one, we normally have more than one dog at a time). We’re guys and we’re not small. So we have a lot of needs: we need space, we need durability, we need comfort. Oh, and our current sofa–a two-piece sectional; each piece is approximately the size of a twin bed (really)–has a wide, low, rigid back and arms (perfect for the dogs to jump up onto, so this is something we like) and huge, long overstuffed, loose back cushions (which we’re constantly fighting with because they quickly become dog beds and don’t retain their shape, which is something we hate).

So… the list of needs is:

  • spacious
  • durable
  • comfortable
  • sectional
  • low back and arms for jumping onto (for the dogs)
  • tight back & bench seat / no loose cushions (for the dads)

Seems like there should be one more thing. Oh yeah: it better look good, like this one from Restoration Hardware.

No matter where I look, I keep coming up with the same idea-this one. | japanesetrash.com

No matter where I look, one option seems to stand out. You’re seeing it in both of the images above, and I think it’s a good start but I’m not convinced this style will ultimately be the winner. See, the arms and back might be too high (we default to smaller dogs). Maybe the dog(s) can learn to stroll around to jump up.

Then, of course, there’s always the factor of price to consider. Maybe Roger + Chris will give me a deal on this:

A possible winner in my online sofa shopping search. Maybe in another fabric. Probably in another fabric. | japanesetrash.com

Maybe in another fabric. Probably in another fabric. I can kinda smell the cow dung from here.

After a hectic week including a lot of changes on the site, I’m looking to ease into the weekend with a post that helps create a sense of calm.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the longer form posts I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks–those are both a lot more work and a lot more rewarding for me personally; I hope you’re enjoying them (let me know, okay?). And a couple of functional changes on the site include the removal of social sharing buttons–with a bigger emphasis on Pinterest–and the return of comments without having to jump through the previous social login hoops. The sidebar is evolving, and while I’m playing around with various ad options will most likely continue to do so. I’m in the planning stages of adding on on-site store as well, so there’s plenty more work still to do around Casa Japanese Trash. Of course, mi casa es su casa, so please feel free to post your thoughts on all this in the comments area.

Thanks for letting me clear the decks mentally with that big bunch of words above. Now on to the calming stuff:

This glimpse of a resort in Mexico is helping me relax and ease into the weekend. | japanesetrash.com

This glimpse of a resort in Mexico from Gardinista’s post about the Hotel Escondido is helping me relax and ease into the weekend. I’m a huge fan of the color palette represented in the wall and surfboard–just terrific.

For getting out of your head and starting to unwind there's not much better than man's best friend--unless he happens to be in a luxurious space like this (which makes anything better). | japanesetrash.com

For getting out of your head and starting to unwind there’s not much better than man’s best friend–unless he happens to be in a luxurious space like this (which makes anything better). Next time I’m in NYC, I’ll have to stop into The Apartment–the amazing SoHo store where this was shot–and give him a treat.

This image will always help calm my mind and get me out of work mode for the weekend. Hope yours is a good one! | japanesetrash

All this talk of far-flung destinations like Mexico and SoHo is great, but since I’m staying close to home this weekend I’ll close this post with a sweet image from My 2nd Hand Life of a simple succulent–the kind of thing I should probably keep on my desk to help me relax when I’m ready to ease into the weekend.

Hope yours is a good one.

I have no problem with a black beach house exterior, especially when it's as awesome as this is. | japanesetrash.com

It’s a slow start for me this morning, friends, so take a look at this black beach house featured on Dwell while I grab some coffee and get my thoughts together. One thought I already have: I have no problem with a dark beach house exterior, especially when it’s as awesome as this is. The pops of color–green around the doorways and blue on the deck–make me smile. What do you think?

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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