I’ve always looked up to certain interior designers as being among those whose work drew me to this world, and Thomas O’Brien is one of them. So when this set of images came across my desk — thanks to creative director Michael Reynolds — I had to post them. Shot some time ago in O’Brien’s New York apartment, this is the equivalent of a master class in his signature style: a layered, relaxed, collector’s aesthetic mixed with clean, classic American pieces. There’s not a space here that doesn’t feel just right to me.
Looking as American and classic as Clark Kent, Thomas O’Brien’s impact as a designer has extended from providing interiors to creating his own furniture, lighting, rugs and house wares lines, as well as authoring a pair of books on the subject. Let’s take a look at those shots of his apartment and drink up his unique and timeless style:
I recently opened the Japanese Trash shop on great.ly 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 great.ly 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:
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.
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.
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 great.ly.
Then again, maybe your father is the dude who lives in this stylish, contemporary home in Healdsburg, California. Comprised of three separate prefabricated units, organized to maximize passive cooling provided by naturally occurring breezes, the builder–Blu Homes–includes all customizations, plus finishes and fixtures, at no additional cost.
With the pace of innovation in the modular home industry driving quality improvements while decreasing the cost of ownership, it has become more and more attractive to consider going prefab. This place is situated on a few hundred acres in Oregon, and makes the perfect high-end weekend cabin.
Customization is industry standard, and there’s no arguing that today’s prefab homes come with a smaller ecological impact than traditional build on site homes. Plus, there’s no hampering your individual style since there are so many terrific options to choose from–like the sleek IT HOUSE, shown here.
And you thought prefab meant living in a trailer park…
It’s part of our daily routines–at least, for most of us: coming in the front door and needing a place to put our stuff. Keys, coats, bags, phones… all of the things you might not need again until the next time you go out. That’s where a smartly put together entry comes in handy; it’s just the right spot to deposit those items until you take off once more. The Iron Horse Hotel makes it easy for their guests–many of whom are motorcycle enthusiasts–by putting an entry like the one above in many of their loft-style rooms. A place to sit and take off and store outerwear that uses tile so it’s easily cleaned; the perfect solution.
Here’s a similar solution created from an existing entryway closet in a Brooklyn home. Simple but effective storage in an easy to clean space–with the addition of plenty of hooks for hanging extra jackets, dog leashes, and shopping bags. The adjacent cabinet could act as extra storage and make a great spot for keys, phone and wallet.
Let’s say your space is at a premium because you live on an island in central Stockholm, there’s still apt to be room enough for a wall hook and a small table or two, right? Just enough for some of your stuff.
And, if you’ve maxed out your available footprint for an entry but still need a bit more help managing things, there’s always the option of adding this modern, hand made rack with its built-in shelf. Now there’s no more excuse for not being able to find your keys; they’re waiting for you at the entry.