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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.

The orange fiberglass cube from CB2 in yesterday’s Designing with Orange post got me thinking about what’s important when I look to shop masculine design online and why that item stood out to me. I like the cube because it’s both decorative and functional–multifunctional, really, since it can be a table or stool then flipped over to become a cooler, a planter, or open storage. Plus, it’s got some style–which is an area the folks behind CB2 know something about, being part of the Crate&Barrel family. So I this morning I thought I’d take a quick look at the CB2 site, just to see what I might find that filled the bill on style and practicality, and right on the home page I found this handsome devil:

Find out my tips on how to shop masculine design online & whay CB2's Radial Chandelier is just my kind of piece | japanesetrash.com

Called the Radial Chandelier, he’s got plenty of charm and is just the kind of thing I look for when I shop masculine design. With a powdercoated iron body and those exposed wires and socket caps, this a piece that would look great for years to come. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really expect to see something this aligned with my personal taste as the first thing on their site, so I was intrigued and decided to click through to see the rest of what CB2 had to show for their new collection.

NOTE: This is normally the place when I’m reading a post like this on someone else’s site that I begin to think, “Oh, CB2 is paying him for this post.” Not the case here–this is not a sponsored post, and–though based on what I’ve found today I certainly would not mind one–I have no relationship, financial or otherwise, with CB2 or Crate&Barrel. Hopefully, the motivation behind this post is about to be made clear.

And, when I clicked through to see more, here’s one of the things I found:

The impluse to shop masculine design at CB2 seems like a no-brainer with images & pieces like this | japanesetrash.com

Well now. There you go. Just look at the rich color and terrific elements in that wall–the wood detail and the industrial lighting. Check out the rug and those tables. This is my flavor, no question. And, right then, when I saw this image, I knew I wanted to post about how I wiykd approach the shop masculine design experience at CB2. It also occurred to me that I don’t think–other than shameless plugs for my own Japanese Trash shop and some random, half-hearted links to products in posts now and then–that I’ve ever written a post focusing on what to look for when you shop masculine design. Why not start now with CB2?

Let’s take a look at the two pieces from the above image that I really like:

Shop Masculine Design: Tables & Rug

Find out what I look for when I shop masculine design & my thoughts on these two items from the new collection at CB2 | japanesetrash.com

These have some hallmarks of masculine design that are the kinds of things I always look for — the tables incorporate shapes that might have been popular 50 or 60 years ago and they have the gunmetal tones I like so much, while the rug is graphic, full of texture, and is in my favorite color palette. There of plenty more items I found on the site that I may do a follow up post about when I have time to go into more detail about why I might choose them. And, at the same time, there’s lots that don’t flip my switch.

I will post more of my thoughts when I shop masculine design, if that’s something you guys are interested in–leave a comment and let me know!


Edited to add: I’ve wondered for some time if the social login requirement for comments that I added a little over a year ago (to combat the tremendous amount of comment spam I was getting) has deterred comments on posts, so, since I’m asking for feedback on this one I thought I’d turn it off to see if that helps increase actual comments. Thought that any of you who’ve avoided commenting because of the whole social login thing should know that you no longer have to jump through those hoops, so let me know if more posts on what to look for when you shop masculine design would be something you want to see!

Designing with orange has been a habit of mine long before there was a Pantone color of the year called Tangerine Tango or before there was a book and Netflix show called Orange is the New Black. My office has had orange as its primary accent color for years (decades?) and orange decor is sprinkled throughout Japanese Trash. In fact, if you take a closer look at the cool industrial Australian apartment building by Neometro that was featured in yesterday’s Leftovers post, you’ll see a couple of interior shots that include a bold orange sliding door:

This bold orange sliding door looks great in its contemporary setting | japanesetrash.com

This is a terrific way to add orange to your interior design and it’s a pretty simple–but smart–idea: just find an otherwise unnoticed element (like a door) and paint it orange. In this contemporary space, choosing the door is a little stroke of brilliance.

What’s that? There are no contemporary sliding doors in your more traditional home? No worries–orange paint can go practically anywhere and liven things up. Choose a wall and give it a coat or two of orange paint. And if you’re concerned that the color might “liven things up” a bit too much, just take a look at this elegant bar cart space where orange fits in just fine:

Orange can be elegant in the right space | japanesetrash.com

Now that you’re getting the feel of how designing with orange doesn’t mean being overwhelmed by color, you might be interested in unleashing your newfound affection via a fun–and very stylish–orange refrigerator from Italian manufacturer, Smeg:

Why not an orange fridge? Especially when it's as awesome as this one from Smeg. | japanesetrash.com

Remember to think orange for outdoor decor as well. This orange fiberglass cube from CB2 is the perfect cooler; plus it gets bonus points for also being a great table when you flip it over:

This orange fiberglass cube from CB2 is the perfect cooler; plus it gets bonus points for also being a great table when you flip it over. | japanesetrash.com

Now how do you feel about designing with orange? Ready to give it a go? Be sure to let me know if you take the plunge and what kinds of great ideas you come up with!

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Images from the past week that didn’t make it into posts.

This week’s leftovers include this cool industrial apartment building in Australia:

This week's leftovers include this cool industrial apartment building in Australia. | japanesetrash.com

Via desire to inspire.


A frosty feeling using marble and blue:

More leftovers: a frosty feeling using marble and blue | japanesetrash.com

Via sfgirlbybay.


Contemporary elements bordering the wilds of nature:

Monday Leftovers: Contemporary elements bordering the wilds of nature | japanesetrash.com

Via DustJacket.


A serene collection of gunmetal grays:

A serene collection of gunmetal grays on this week's leftovers | japanesetrash.com

Via Bolig Magazine.


And a mysterious monolithic entryway in a stark and contemporary garden:

This week's Leftovers culminate in a mysterious monolithic entryway in a stark and contemporary garden | japanesetrash.com

Via heaton.

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