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    Category: Designer Homes

    $450,000 Homes in California – The New York Times - April 14, 2020 by admin

    Palm Desert | $449,000A midcentury-modern ranch house with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, on a 0.2-acre lot

    Just over two hours east of Los Angeles, Palm Desert is a city in the Coachella Valley popular with fans of midcentury-modern aesthetics. In addition to its plentiful midcentury homes, the area (along with nearby Palm Springs) is home to a number of antiques stores specializing in 1950s and 1960s furnishings.

    This home, built in 1957, was remodeled in 2015. To retain a midcentury look and feel, the sellers worked with Moderne Builders, whose president and principal designer, Avian Rogers, specializes in midcentury renovations. The house comes furnished in a period-appropriate style.

    The Shops on El Paseo, an outdoor dining and shopping area, is a five-minute drive from the property, and downtown Palm Springs is about half an hour away.

    Size: 1,152 square feet

    Price per square foot: $390

    Indoors: Like many desert houses of the mid-20th century, this home has a glass-walled entrance shielded from the street by a privacy wall in this case, one rendered in lime-green and white stucco.

    The main living area is open plan. To the left of the entrance is the kitchen, with teak cabinets and Caesarstone counters.

    A block wall runs along the right side of the house, topped with triangular windows that let light into the dining space. Floors in this room, and throughout the house, are concrete.

    The living room is open to the kitchen and dining area, with sliding-glass doors that open to the patio for an indoor-outdoor feel.

    A hallway leads from the living room to the two bedrooms and bathrooms. Nearest to the living spaces is a guest room, with access to a side patio, and a guest bathroom with a walk-in shower tiled in shades of blue.

    At the end of the hallway is the master suite, which also has access to the outdoor spaces. The en suite bathroom is tiled in bright green and orange.

    Outdoor space: The living room opens to a covered patio, large enough to hold a dining table and chairs. Surrounding the oval-shaped pool and hot tub is concrete paving with plenty of room for lounge chairs. To the left of the pool, the sellers installed an artificial grass bocce court. The attached garage holds two cars.

    Taxes: $5,747 (estimated)

    Contact: Laurie Ridgeway, HomeSmart Professionals, 760-272-6142;

    Tulare is a small city in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley, roughly 200 miles from San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles, making it a transport hub for the agriculture-based economy of central California. In February, the city plays host to the World Ag Expo, one of the worlds largest agricultural expositions. The area is also near Californias national parks: Sequoia National Park is an hours drive, while Yosemite is about three hours away.

    Tulare has its own small downtown, complete with a historical museum, while the larger shopping and dining districts of Visalia are a 20-minute drive away.

    Size: 2,548 square feet

    Price per square foot: $176

    Indoors: This house is on a cul-de-sac, with a wide driveway that leads to the front door. Built in the 1950s, the home originally had a flat roof, but the facade and roofline were reimagined by a previous owner.

    The front door opens to a tiled foyer. To the right is the kitchen, which has custom cabinets and stainless steel appliances, and is open to the dining room.

    To the left of the dining room is a formal living room, brightened by a wall of windows, with glass doors that open to the swimming pool. The seller, a designer, chose the custom light fixtures and the stone fireplace that runs the length of one wall.

    The windows continue around the corner to a family room with exposed beams and a built-in entertainment center.

    The family room and the kitchen connect to a hallway that runs along the right side of the house. At one end is a guest bedroom with a window overlooking the pool and space for a queen-size bed. Toward the front of the house are two additional bedrooms; one has an en suite bathroom, while the other has access to a hallway bathroom with a combination tub and shower. Along the hallway are a built-in desk and laundry facilities.

    The master suite is to the immediate left of the front door. It has clerestory windows and a private entrance to the side yard; the en suite bathroom has a double vanity and a marble walk-in shower.

    Outdoor space: The formal living room opens to a covered outdoor patio equipped with a ceiling fan. Concrete paving surrounds the swimming pool, and a grass yard extends along the side of the house. A two-car garage is attached.

    Surrounded by similar early-20th-century-era bungalows in the citys South Side Historic District, this home is within easy walking distance of commercial districts and outdoor space. The state capitol building is about 15 minutes away on foot, while Southside Park, with its man-made lake and regular farmers markets, is a five-minute walk. A number of museums and cultural landmarks, including the Crocker Art Museum, the Leland Stanford Mansion and the Old Sacramento Waterfront District, are a 20-minute walk or a five-minute drive.

    Size: 924 square feet

    Price per square foot: $486

    Indoors: A red picket fence shields the front yard from the sidewalk. A wooden stoop, also accented in red, leads to the front door, which opens directly into a living area, with a sitting room on one side and a dining space on the other.

    Directly off the sitting area is one of the homes three bedrooms, which can also be entered through a rear hallway.

    The dining area is partially open to the kitchen, which has granite countertops and gets plenty of natural light, thanks to a large window facing a garden on the side of the house.

    Beyond the kitchen is a hallway connecting the bedrooms and the bathroom. At the far end are two bedrooms, equal in size, set across from each other. One has a side-facing window, while the other has one side-facing window and another window that looks out to the backyard. Each has its own closet.

    The bathroom was refreshed by the sellers, who added a new vanity and a light fixture, but retained was the original claw-foot tub.

    The third bedroom, next to the bathroom, is currently used as a home office. It has a door to the deck and backyard, as well as a closet concealed by shutter-style doors.

    The basement has a small laundry area and unfinished space the sellers have used as an art studio.

    Outdoor space: The backyard has a sizable deck with a built-in barbecue and space for outdoor furniture. A path lined with decorative rocks and bamboo leads to space on the side of the house that could be used as a dog run.

    Taxes: $5,208 (estimated)

    Contact: Christina Ellermeyer, Coldwell Banker, 916-548-2053;

    For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.

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    $450,000 Homes in California - The New York Times

    A Designer Whose Home Is as Fanciful as Her Plaster Creations – The New York Times - April 14, 2020 by admin

    For the Italian-born, London-based artist and designer Viola Lanari, creativity is often fueled by a hunt for solutions. When she moved into her two-bedroom apartment on the top floor of a handsome Victorian terrace house in Earls Court in 2011, she discovered two unappealing brushed-metal table lamps that had been wired into the fitted alcove cabinets of her living room by a previous owner. Rather than reaching for a screwdriver, she set about reinventing them with a cache of plaster strips left over from an art project shed completed during her time at the London College of Communication. Inspired first by the Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacomettis 1930s Tte de Femme lamps, shaped like semi-abstracted female figures, and later by the idea of a fragile flower, she began layering the nondescript bases with the soft, water-soaked gauze. The resulting sculptures are nave and enchanting: One depicts a womans face, its features smoothed and barely discernible, like those of a timeworn marble sculpture; the other evokes a bloom with delicately layered petals, their alabaster white surface mottled by the marks of the artists hand.

    It was just for fun, says Lanari, 32, when I visit her home in early March. She gestures to the two pieces, which now flank the simple white-painted wood fireplace in her living room. I remember thinking, Its not bad for a first attempt. But I never imagined anything would come of it. When she showed the lamps to friends and design editors, though, they soon commissioned her to make similar creations for their own homes and professional projects. Now, these sculptures which, depending on the hour, cast dramatic shadows across the wooden floorboards and plum, emerald and tawny brown walls of her apartment are the foundation of her practice. Each morning, Lanari makes the 20-minute trip across the city in her 1980s Volkswagen Polo to her studio in Clapham, South London, a diminutive, 345-square-foot stone-floored Victorian outbuilding part of a larger warehouse complex now occupied by artists work spaces whose weathered yellow-brick facade is obscured by a profusion of climbing ivy. Here, she strives to keep pace with the demand for her growing collection of plaster lighting and furniture, which she makes for both private clients and collaborators, including the interior decorator Beata Heuman, the antique and design gallery 8 Holland Street and the luxury bathroom specialists Balineum.

    Apart from that original pair of spontaneously executed lamps, few objects in Lanaris charmingly ad hoc, ever-changing home are anchored in place. I rarely hang things, she says, referring to the unframed found canvases of daffodils, roses and pastoral scenes that lean precariously against walls, door frames and even the back of the living rooms dusty blue sofa, itself a chaotic patchwork of leopard-print, floral-patterned and embroidered cushions and throws. Nothing is fixed, she says, which allows me to swap things around easily and play. Its an interior thats never going to be finished. Indeed, Lanaris home is a living scrapbook of materials and inspirations. On every surface are assemblages of objects and ephemera that she has collected on her travels and on weekly pilgrimages to Portobello Market, from a wicker Kenyan tea set that now rests on a round end table of her own design by the fireplace to the beaded turn-of-the-20th-century macram samples she won at an auction and now displays over the backs of two Victorian nursing chairs. Such habitual sourcing is a throwback to her previous job as a stylist and assistant shoot producer for decorating magazines and provides a rich stream of ideas for her plaster art.

    I like looking at objects and materials and thinking about their possibilities, she says. Its research you note the proportion of things, the color, the texture, and it all gradually builds up in your mind. One disc-shaped mirror she picked up at a flea market has found its way into her latest work; it forms the bold centerpiece of a thick, textured rectangular console, built from a chicken-wire base covered with discarded scraps of fabric many of them donated by her friend, the textile designer Kirsten Hecktermann dipped into hard plaster and carefully molded and carved to create a raw, unfinished texture. Its like a collage, she says of the piece, which currently sits in her living room and is offset by a dark brown hand-painted devor velvet Japanese wall hanging discovered at a Swiss brocante by her mother. Next fall, this creation, along with a series of other new works Lanari is producing, is scheduled to go on display in a solo exhibition at the Lant Street design showroom in South London. Shes also developing new objects, including a floor lamp and a mirror frame, to add to her white-plaster collection of lighting, consoles and side tables for the British design company Porta Romana.

    These projects are encouraging Lanari to experiment with new ways of working: Shes exploring the illuminating effects of adding metal oxides and stained glass to plaster, and plans to create some terra-cotta sculptures (she recently inherited a kiln from a neighboring studio). Yet five years after her first endeavors with plaster, the powdery, malleable material still captivates her more than any other. Its so full of soul, she says. It can be shiny, like Venetian plaster, or rough; its supple but strong, fragile but sturdy. Its so generous in its uses. And so, for now at least, she will continue to fill her studio, and her home, with the luminous, unmistakably handcrafted forms that only plaster could produce, layer by gloopy layer.

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    A Designer Whose Home Is as Fanciful as Her Plaster Creations - The New York Times

    ‘We have nothing to hide’ — Why Dutch people don’t mind you peering into their homes – CNN - April 14, 2020 by admin

    (CNN) For many visitors to the Netherlands, one of the great discoveries when wandering through the streets of Amsterdam or other towns and cities is that you can often take a look inside people's homes when it gets dark.

    That's because many Dutch people never close their curtains or blinds. Often, people don't even have curtains or blinds.

    At a time when coronavirus restrictions are confining people all over the world to their homes -- with only a window for contact to the outside world -- this national quirk seems even more intriguing.

    The Dutch themselves don't think it unusual. It's so interwoven in their culture that researchers have struggled to figure out exactly why people in the Netherlands care so little about their privacy.

    Those who look for an explanation for this rather curious exhibitionism quickly get caught up in major sociological tangles.

    Is it an "I've-got-nothing-to-hide" or a "look-what-I've-got" mentality? Or both?

    The most popular explanation stems from the Protestant religious tradition of Calvinism, which insists that honest citizens have nothing to hide.

    Closing the curtains could indicate otherwise. And by letting people have a look inside, you let them know: Look, I'm a decent person!

    A desire to show off possessions could also be an explanation.

    As standards of living have risen over time, materials and interiors have become more luxurious and opulent. And even now people like to show off their custom-made open kitchens, designer couches or latest-model flat-screen TVs.

    Some city guides explain the openness as a way that business was done in the old days. People would leave curtains open to show off a room full of the finest of furniture, decorations and art as a way of proving to merchants that they were trustworthy.

    Others say it's a tradition that only really dates back to the 1950s, and has already begun to change.

    Open culture

    Windows help foster the open culture for which the Dutch are known.

    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Anthropologists Hilje van der Horst and Jantine Messing researched the phenomenon in 2006 and observed that people in tight-knit neighborhoods were more likely to leave their curtain open -- and more likely to decorate their windows with statues, vases, and (fake) flowers.

    Another reason, of course, is the desire of residents to watch the world go by. It's fair to say that Dutch people typically like to look outside and see the lights, the hustle and bustle of the streets, and people walking by.

    The interaction between inside and outside helps foster the open culture for which the Dutch are well known.

    As a Dutch citizen, I grew up in houses without curtains.

    And when I moved out, I didn't use them for the first 10 years. I have them now because I have a bigger home and they bother me less.

    My mother, Astrid (interviewed below) still has no curtains, which is common in De Jordaan, the now gentrified working-class district of Amsterdam that I grew up in and where she still lives.

    Here, five Dutch residents with no curtains tell CNN Travel about why they still like to peek and be peeked at through their unadorned windows.

    Astrid Brokke, 68, lives on the first floor

    Astrid Brokke: Curtains are too bourgeois.

    Katja Brokke

    When I moved to live here in 1987 I tried curtains, but I found them smothering and removed them. My street is quite narrow, but until 10 years ago I had no neighbors opposite. Only a garage in a low-rise building and a company building in the distance. So there was no need. Besides, I don't like them.

    Ten years ago they started to build apartments just across the street and I had to get used to close neighbors, about 10 meters from window to window. Soon it became clear that my closest neighbors had roller blinds which they shut down day and night, so the need for me to get something in front of my windows wasn't very urgent.

    Why I don't like curtains, I'm not sure. I never had them apart from for a short time in the '80s. Maybe I don't like the bourgeois side of it. Maybe because I'm too lazy to do anything about it, but I don't care on the other hand.

    Until a year ago I had neighbors next to me who were real Jordanesen [original residents from the the Jordaan]. They lived on the ground floor and liked showing everybody their knick-knacks, porcelain figurines and cozy lights. Especially during the holidays their house was filled with colorful fairy lights and other Christmas decorations. Even guides with groups of tourists stopped by to have a look.

    A lot of the original inhabitants of De Jordaan like to showcase their interior. Sadly most of them have passed away or were forced to move because of the rental and house prices going through the roof.

    Since there's been an increase of outsiders -- mostly expats -- more and more curtains close. Also young people tend to want to have more privacy. Unfortunately the openness disappears; the lights in the streets coming from the living rooms, the social control that comes with it and the gezelligheid [a Dutch concept meaning conviviality, coziness or fun]. It's getting darker every year.

    Jan Willem van Hofwegen, 41, lives on the third floor

    Jan Willem van Hofwegen: Curtains are too stuffy.

    Michel Schnater

    For the past five years I'm living in this house, on the third floor -- so pretty high -- and I always thought people couldn't look into my living room which is in the front part facing the street and the apartments opposite. From across the street it's too far away and from the street it's too high. I thought.

    Then I was buying groceries across the street and my partner turned on the lights. I looked up and realized people passing by could see everything happening.

    I wasn't aware of this, but it will not make me use any blinds or curtains. I never have, primarily because of aesthetic reasons. I don't like blinds and they are not practical since my windows open inward. Curtains I find a bit stuffy and they don't match my modern interior.

    Jan Willem van Hofwegen

    Besides the aesthetics and stuffiness I like to see the outside lights when it's dark. I don't mind neighbors looking into my living room. It's quite a distance and I've never seen anyone with binoculars lurking outside my house, so I don't care.

    I think a lot of Dutch people don't use curtains because we like the light and we don't have anything to hide.

    When I was a kid I delivered the mail as a side job and during my shifts I could follow popular TV shows by riding my bike from house to house. I like peeking in people's homes at night, especially the canal houses in Amsterdam with their beautiful ceilings, paintings and closets. I'm not staring or anything, just peeking inside while walking by.

    Marianna Beets, 51 lives on the ground floor

    Marianna Beets: Most of the time people smile and wave back.

    Puk Beets

    I have lived here for over 25 years, but it's only for the last 13 years I've not had anything to cover my windows.

    Thirteen years ago I demolished my old house and built the one I live in now. Buying curtains was on my to-do list, like hundreds of other things, and apparently the curtain part wasn't that urgent since I still have uncovered windows in the living room.

    The room is located directly on a street and canal in Edam, a touristy fishing village next to Volendam, where I'm originally from.

    There are always people walking by. Sometimes they stop and stare. When I wave they get shy, promptly aware of what they were doing, but most of the time they smile and wave back. I don't mind.

    I like watching tourists and the interaction. I think otherwise I might feel secluded and this way I am always in contact with the outside world. It's an extension of my house. It's gezellig.

    Marianna Beets

    I understand why people peek inside, I enjoy it too. Other people's interiors inspire me and the best time to do so is at night when it's dark and the lights are on.

    When I was living in Amsterdam I had neighbors who were not aware of the possibility they could be seen because they lived on the fifth floor, but I saw things that did not belong to my eyes!

    I have no problem walking through the house in only my sleeping shirt and undies. Only on Sunday morning, during the Sunday Mass in the church across the canal, I make sure I'm more covered.

    In the end I do want curtains, for sure. It's on my list again now I have more time due to corona. Why? Because I want to have a choice. To close them, or keep them open.

    Natasja Wielandt, 34, lives on the second floor

    Natasja Wielandt: I don't want to block that view with any curtain or blinds.

    Fay van den Bos

    In December 2016 I moved from the city center of Amsterdam to IJburg, a relatively new suburban area with lots of space and nature around.

    My house is located next to a big lake called IJmeer so the views from the front of the house are spectacular. One side of my house borders several walking paths and the other side a courtyard and some apartment complexes, but not close by.

    I have a panoramic view on the water and a city beach and I don't want to block that view with any curtain or blinds. Day or night.

    The view during sunsets are amazing and I get very happy waking up and walking into the living room with my coffee and looking outside. It creates a feeling of calmness and freedom and with the city life continuing outside it gives that city feeling I need.

    I can't imagine living somewhere secluded on a meadow. I like the wideness and the water in particular. The view is a very pivotal part of the reason I'm living here.

    To create some privacy I placed my couch in a way I can relax and lay down without people noticing.

    At my grandparents' house the curtains were always open too. I think they didn't mind people looking inside. Their generation was more open and more social anyway. Everybody was always welcome.

    I myself only look at people's houses when I see something I like or that inspires me, like a beautiful furnished room or a beautiful garden. I have no need to watch people eating or sitting on the couch watching television.

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    'We have nothing to hide' -- Why Dutch people don't mind you peering into their homes - CNN

    How this Indiana designer used her own home to nab clients – Business of Home - April 14, 2020 by admin

    The 50 States Project is a yearlong series of candid conversations with interior designers we admire, state by state. Today, were chatting with Tiffany Skilling, who founded her Indianapolis-based firm in 2015 and gained early clients by leading tours of her own home on the local neighborhood associations house walk. In addition to sharing the renovation of her house and home office, she talks about seeing the potential in old homes, the in-person design activity she misses most during quarantine, and why she doesnt want her firm to grow much bigger.

    Tell me a little bit about the design scene in Indianapolisthe types of clients and size of the projects youre working on.The firm started out with just me five years ago. I did small projects, one room at a timeId do a kitchen, or a living rooms furnishings, and a half-bath or a master bath. Now, it's evolved. We really like to focus on whole houses, and specifically in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood and the surrounding area in midtown Indianapolis. And we like to focus on renovating historic homes.

    How did you focus in on that niche specifically?Ive always loved historic homes. Im originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan. My husband and I lived in Cold Spring, New York, for a while before moving back to the Midwest. We lived in Grand Rapids for a year in an old farmhouseit was the first house [built] in that area, and then all these larger, beautiful historic homes popped up over time. We got our first taste of old houses there, and then four and a half years ago we moved to the Meridian-Kessler area of Indianapolis and bought a fixer-upper. Its been a labor of love, this house. But moving into this area brought me my clients. I was lucky enough to be on the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood association home tour right after we finished the house, so several thousand people went through it, and my businessI wouldnt say it exploded, but I really started to gain interest.

    So, on the house tour, were you also saying, Im a designer and you can hire me to do this?Yes. You had an option to be at the home during the tour, and I was so proud of it that I wanted to be one of the docents. I hung out there, answered questions and shamelessly handed out my business card. If you want something, you gotta make it happen.

    Since then, its all been word of mouth, and Ive had amazing opportunity after amazing opportunityand wonderful clients who believe in us, who Im now on second and third projects with. At this point, we really are focusing on whole houses, which is super fun. I mean, its kind of crazy right now. Some of our houses have been halted; some are still under construction.

    The kitchen Skilling designed for her own homeAshlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative

    What are you working on right now?Whole-house wise, we have a refresh thats underwaywe went in and changed the exterior, including paint colors, windows, lighting, and then new wood floors, paint, trim and lighting inside, and we redid their master bath. Thats almost done. And then we have another house, a large Tudor that weve completely transformed. We changed the entire floor plan but kept all of the beautiful elements. And then were transforming a large Greek Revival home too, and it also has an addition. Those are our big projects, and then we have all kinds of little ones going on in between.

    How many projects are you typically working on at one time?Large-scale, I would say three to five. Smaller-scale, probably 10 to 15. And then we have our repeat clients who will say, Hey, I need a lighting update, or I need some new art, or I need a new sofa. We always have them coming back, so we have to have room for them too.

    What does your team look like now?Well, right this minute, its a little different because were all in the shelter-in-place atmosphere. But in general, Kelly Colby is our director of operations; she handles billing clients and doing all of our QuickBooks along with assisting me with design. And then Donna Porter is our design coordinator. She just joined usshe was actually a client of ours, and we just finished their whole house in January, but she started working with us in September because she loved the process so much and I was like, Ooh! We need you! She works for us about 15 hours a week, keeping the office in shape by making sure that samples go in and out properly and that our crazy library of samples is always in order.

    Your own sample librarian!She is. Shes amazing. And shes kind of my mom too. She always takes care of me. She makes sure that the printer has ink and orders us new business cards, that kind of stuff. And then we work the Ashlee Kindred on our photography and social media.

    Skilling's living room, which helped her net early clientsAshlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative

    Youre all working out of an office in your home, right?So, this house that we bought, were the third owners. It was a Lutheran parsonage, and then this other family bought it and owned it for 40 years. It hadnt been touched besides a 1960s renovation to the kitchen. It was a three-bedroom house with a bunch of small, compartmentalized rooms, but a huge dining room because it was a place for the clergy to meet. Only the main floor was finished, but the attic was huge. It had 9-foot ceilings, and the floor joists supported a second floor. We knew that before we bought the house.

    We did a renovation in two phases: First, we did the main floor. At the time, one of the bedrooms that was off the kitchen and made that into our laundry room and also my office. But we knew that there was always going to be a phase two for the attic, which we finished a year and a half ago. We added three bedrooms and two baths upstairs, which completely transformed how this house worked. Our old master bedroom became my office. I was like, Oh, my gosh, I have my own space now. Because for the first couple of years, my office was in the laundry room but I really worked at our kitchen island. I had crap there all day, every day, and it drove everyone crazy.

    Did you have a team at that point, or did you have your own dedicated space by the time you had a team?Kelly and I worked together at my kitchen island for a year and a half. She just went along with it, and it was great. She and I laugh about it nowwhen the major construction was going on upstairs, adding plumbing lines and electrical to this empty shell of a space, it was so loud we couldnt even hear anything. So its funny to look back and remember that. Now were bursting at the seams in this office!

    The first-floor home office where Skilling and her team workAshlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative

    Where do you typically shop?We have a lot of direct relationships with reps, so I dont go to the design center [in Indianapolis] a lot. There are times that we do get there, and theyre a fantastic resource. But I find that for where we are located, how we work, and the efficiencies for our business, having reps come right to us when there are new products, its sometimes more efficient to work [with them] directly.

    For fabrics and wallcoverings, I love Thibaut, Schumacher, Phillip Jeffries and Quadrille. I love Stark for carpet, and we also work with a local company called Blakeleys that carries a lot of different carpet brands. I like DuChateau for hardwood flooring; for tile, I have a special place in my heart for Rookwood Tiletheyre an amazing, small, historic tile company. Theyve been around since the late 1800s and are a women-owned company, and 80 percent of their employees are women too. They also do really beautiful ceramics. We also work with The Tile Shop, Louisville Tile and another local tile company called Architectural Brick & Tile. And for lighting, we tend to use Visual Comfort in most of our projects, as well as Currey & Company, Urban Electric Co., and Arteriors. Whoever is really easy to work with, theyre the ones who are kind of our tried-and-true.

    You studied textile and apparel design and then worked as a fashion designer and clothing production manager. How did you get your start in design, and what was your journey to launching your own firm?I had stopped working [as a stylist] at Anthropologie and took a little time off. I had our second child and really just didnt know what I wanted to do anymore. We were renovating a house in Carmel, Indiana. I knew I really loved interior design, and I could take the skill sets I had through fashion design and the different industries Ive been in and create a business. The big step was right before we moved [from Carmel] to this home in the Meridian-Kessler area. I just took the leap [in 2015], and people started hiring me.

    With the shelter-in-place order, how much work is on hold for you right now, and how are you approaching that pause?For the first couple weeks, some projects were still going pretty heavy. I was finalizing whole-house lighting plans in two different homes and a couple other large-scale deliverables that I needed to give to some contractors who are still moving forward. Construction in Indiana is still essential, for the most part, so those projects kept me busy for the first couple of weeks. Last week was slower, but in a good waymy kids were technically on spring break. Then this week has kind of been like, What do I do next?

    Last Friday, I had a potential client contact me through Instagram, saying that they have a new build that they wanted to talk to me about, so now I have a call with them tomorrow. Thats starting in the fall. Then I have two other future new-builds happening. One is slated to start in the fall, so were working on exterior renderings right now. People are still thinking about the future, so things are still going on. And then I have another new client that we just signed that wants to do two furnishing projects and she is OK with doing them virtually. So we had a FaceTime call last week, and then she uploaded photos and video of the two rooms she wants to work on, and did a little walkthrough for me, and shes providing me with measurements, and were moving forward.

    So its a little slower, and there are some things that are on pauselike a couple of stair-runners that we havent installed because the clients dont want people in their houses. Our amazing workroom that does all of our custom draperies is on pause right now. But you know what? Its fine. You know? We are where we are right now. We also canceled a couple of photo shoots. Im kind of sad that we cant show our work on those right now, but were just trying to do our part.

    Skilling's officeAshlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative

    The home's master bedroomAshlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative

    Left: Skilling's office Ashlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative | Right: The home's master bedroom Ashlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative

    Before the coronavirus, what was the biggest challenge you were looking at in the business, and how were you thinking about opportunities to grow?Last year, our goal was to rebrand. We revised the website and did a new logo. This year, its really about refinement and trying to do all of our processes better, be more efficient. But growth-wise, I dont necessarily want [the firm] to get bigger. I know that thats crazy.

    No, I think thats really interesting.The workload we have is a lot for our small company. My biggest challenge is that sometimes Ive taken on too much and not known when to say no. But in the end, the only people hurt by it are me and my family because Im working too much. This year is about knowing when to say no and knowing when to work smarter, not harder.

    How do you start to do that? I feel like thats something thats so much easier to recognize in hindsight.For me, its after so many times of doing it and then realizing, Oh, why did I take that? Ive done it so many times now, that its just [making myself] pause for a second and really think, Is this a project that will bring me growth and positivity?

    Sometimes you look at a project and youre like, Nope, red flag. Its not going to be a good fit. Not because its not a great project, its just not a project for my firm. Ive taken thinking about those things to heartreflecting on previous jobs and knowing if something would be good or not. And Kelly, who works with me, is an amazing voice of reason too. Shes like, Tiffany, are you sure thats one you want to do? She makes me think a little deeper sometimes instead of just saying yes all the time. And its hard to say noit really is! But we do it a lot now.

    Is it about saying no to projects, or is it about adjusting timelines until youre available for those projects?If clients are willing to wait for us, then we absolutely will put them on schedule when we think that we can fit that project in. Like, if its a kitchenkitchens arent crazy anymore for us, so usually those will be two months out, depending on our schedule. But we have really overcommitted in the last couple of years, [to the point] that I found myself constantly gasping for air because I just said yes all the time. I feel like we have just come out of that in the last couple of months, and now that I am on the other side of itthere was a great project [recently], a new build that was right down the street from me, so easy to do. But they wanted to meet right away and to make these selections immediately. They had this timeline that I could not, with my current capacity of clients, there was no way that I could make it work unless I bent over backwards, so I had to say no! It was not fun.

    The home's denAshlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative

    Saying no to things means less revenue. How do you balance the health of the firm versus the revenue side of the decision?It could mean more revenue, but then were not supporting our current clients and working to their full capacity, so then I might not be billing the hours that I really should be for them. So I feel like it kind of evens out. Now if I wanted to grow more and hire another designer, we could take more, but then theres a whole other aspect to that too. Im trying to figure out where we really want to be in the scheme of things and right now, I like being [small] and not taking on too much anymore.

    I love that. Its so refreshing, because I feel like the external pressure is to always get bigger, to grow, to take on more. Yeah, and you know, I felt that.

    I would like to get bigger in terms of gaining more of a following on Instagram. But in regards to overwhelming ourselves with projects, I think if people want to work with us, I would hope that theyre willing to wait. And if not, then its not meant to be.

    How do you approach billing?Our design agreement says that we bill by the hour, in 15-minute increments for everything that we do for the project, and that we bill at the end of every month. Now, of course, if Im just doing a quick text to someone, I dont bill my clients for that. But anything from doing actual project work, making selections, renderings, space plansif were on a call, if someday we meet in person againwe bill for that time.

    Has there ever been pushback around that? I would say, one in 50 clients question it.

    How have you managed that? Thats amazing.Theres always going to be that one person who challenges you. But our clients really respect us and the work we do. I mean, they dont even flinch at what we're billing at the end of the month. Were very thorough in what we say that we do. I have my billable hours in front of me right now: For one client, a 15-minute FaceTime call. Another client, hardware schedule, 1 hour. Im really old-school, so I have a pen and a pad of paper and I write my billable hours as Im going through. I dont have any crazy program that I use, I just write them down as I go. I could be losing hours doing it that way, but I feel I've gotten really good at it, for the most part. Then I take a picture of my pad of paper and send it to Kelly, who enters it into Ivy.

    The open dining area offers views into the kitchenAshlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative

    A breakfast table in the kitchenAshlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative

    Left: The open dining area offers views into the kitchen Ashlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative | Right: A breakfast table in the kitchen Ashlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative

    Speaking of Ivy, what tech has been essential to make the firm run?We really like Ivy. It integrates really well with QuickBooks, so we use those two hand in hand. I probably dont use Ivy to its full capacityI still do my mood boards in Pages. I like doing them that way, its easy, it doesnt take too long. I do all of my space plans in AutoCAD. And I still do a lot of hand drafting. I did take a lot of classeswhile I do not have an interior design degree, I have taken a lot of classes at IUPUI. It was almost to get an associates, but then I decided to quit because I just couldnt handle it anymore. Going to school full-time, working full-time, and with the kids, it was too much! I was like, What am I doing?

    When did you do that?I did that the first couple of years of having my firm. It was insane. I do not recommend it.

    Thats a lot all at once. What made you want to start?The first drive for that was because I felt that I needed itbut I only felt that I needed it because I didnt believe in myself enough. My husband always told me, You do not need to do this. People do need to go to school, dont get me wrong, and I feel like in the end, it was invaluable. I learned so much. And I needed that for my story. I love that Steve Jobs quote, You can't connect the dots moving forward, only looking back. I know that I needed to do that. But I also knew there was a time when I needed to be done.

    What were the most useful elements of those courses?AutoCAD. I took several AutoCAD classes and a couple of Revit classes, though I dont use Revit because its a little more robust than what I really need. I took several classes on lighting design, a ton of space planning classes, some mechanical design, an introduction to building construction. It was enough for me to learn what I needed to understand about how the trades and construction work. I wouldnt say I have formal training, but weve done enough projects now that I think Im kind of there.

    Though the upstairs of the home was immense, the second story had never been built. Skilling had to add a staircase for access when she renovated.Ashlee Kindred, Ash and Co. Creative

    What shaped your aesthetic, and what are the influences that have informed the look and feel of what you do?I think the most beautiful designs are ones that have this rich layering to them. I am a very avid antiquer. Its killing me right now that I cant. I mean, I antique weekly. Im always going to junk shops and antique shops and finding treasuresthats what I call them. On any given day, theres a bunch of what my husband calls crap in my office. My mother-in-law and I started antiquing together years ago, and she taught me a lot too. She has a really great eye. Also, my background in the fashion industry [has influenced me]its a lot of things rolled up into one.

    When youre antiquing, are you buying with a client or a place for that piece in mind? Or are you buying because you know it's a good piece and youll find a place for it?Both! I have a running list right now of clients who want specific things. Actually, right before all of this happened, I found this beautiful wardrobe for a clientI had the dimensions with me in a Google doc of exactly what could fit in this space. We took away their foyer closet when we renovated their kitchen, so they still needed a place to put coats. I came upon this beautiful armoire, and it fit perfectly for them. I found several sets of antique corbels a couple months ago, and I only have one set left. They found homes in different projects, but when I bought them, I had no idea where they were going.

    Is there risk in that, or has that worked out well for you historically?To me theres no risk, because we are always using what I am sourcing in staging for photo shoots, and most of the time, whatever we stage, clients will buy some of it. So its always rotating. One client recently said, Hey, I need something for my dining table. So I was like, Lets go shopping with Tiffany, and I texted her all of these pictures of things that I had that would work. Then I walked down the street with this antique foot bath and dropped it off on her porch yesterday. And she sent me a picture of it this morning!

    Are you optimistic about what the next, two, three, five years hold? Where do you hope to be? I hope to continue working on these beautiful old homes, telling the story of these homes for our clients. I feel like its so special to be a part of, and you really develop these rich relationships with people, and I hope people continue to want to do that with us. I would love to start designing some furnishings, whether its tabletop, decorlike vases or objectsor I really love doing custom artwork. Now that were in this slow time, I have a bunch of custom artwork, some original pieces by me that Im going to upload to our e-commerce site. I hope maybe that evolves a little bit. I would love to design wallcoverings and maybe some textiles. Things like that. I would love to grow in that way. In regard to home design, I dont know if I want to be any bigger than we are.

    To learn more about Tiffany Skilling, visit her website or find her on Instagram.

    Homepage photo: Tiffany Skilling | Chloe Lane Photography

    Originally posted here:
    How this Indiana designer used her own home to nab clients - Business of Home

    These Artists Used Clay to Build Their Dream Homes in Miniature – - April 14, 2020 by admin

    Toward the end of March, designer Eny Lee Parker posed a challenge on Instagram: Create your dream home in miniature using polymer clay.

    Parker is a ceramics artist known for her spherical furniture and jewelry designs, many of which are inspired by the natural world. She recorded her own room-making process on Instagram Stories in hopes of inspiring others to participate in the event, dubbed Clay Play.

    I started three weeks ago when New York City started to quarantine, Parker tells Eleanor Gibson of Dezeen. I knew that for me, I'd have to keep myself busy so my mind wouldn't focus on the bad news happening everywhere. You need a balance of being well-informed while finding positivity to stay sane and safe.

    Viewers can watch Parkers process via Instagram, from the textures she adds to a miniature chair and sofa to her development of a tiny version of a lamp seen in the videos background. The artists final design features a checkered rug, blue double doors and a wavy coffee table set in the center of the room.

    Semi-transparent sconces appear flanked by black polymer clay chain links that resemble the ceramic chains frequently seen in Parkers work; in real life, the motif adorns vases, dangles from earrings and dots entire curtains. A vase of tulips is the designers favorite part of the room, she says in her Instagram Story.

    I thought of ways to start a challenge that people could do while being home, Parker tells Dezeen. Polymer clay was my go-to since I focus on ceramics, and creating an ideal room seemed fitting since we are all in our homes.

    Parkers designs are based on natural shapes ranging from the beach to, most recently, individual brain cells. As the New York Times Lizzie Feidelson reported in March, the artists latest collection of 11 lamps was inspired by 20th-century Spanish scientist Santiago Ramn y Cajals pen-and-ink drawings, which she stumbled upon while exploring a secondhand book store.

    To share the fun and encourage participation in the Clay Play challenge, Parker sent materials to seven fans who didnt have them on hand. By the contest deadline of April 2, 46 artists, architects and designers had sent in submissions.

    Entries feature stained glass, elaborate fireplaces, multiple levels and sunsets in the background, among other creative touches. One finalist recreated a Pablo Picasso mural on their ideal rooms wall, while another used mirrors to create the illusion of an infinite space. The clay miniatures made use of furnishings from favorite designers, including several of Parkers own creations.

    Four days ago, the artist shared snapshots of the nine finalists on Instagram and put the final decision to a vote. The poll has since garnered more than 7,500 comments. Parker has yet to announce the contests winner and runner-up (who will receive a small Oo lamp and daisy sconce, respectively, as prizes), but in the meantime, those interested can scroll through the dozens of submissions to see where artists wish they were spending their stay-at-home periods.

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    Fashion Brands Bringing You the Best in Music and Culture on Social Media – - April 14, 2020 by admin

    Edward BerthelotGetty Images

    Fashion brands (at least the good ones) are informed by the zeitgeist. They cull the best from the worlds of cuisine, books, art, music, interiors, and beyond, and infuse that into their collections. They are magpies, creating distinctive neststheir boutiques and displays at retail outletsthat aim to captivate consumers and let them dream. But in the midst of an economic downturn as the result of the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced nonessential businesses to shutter, traffic at these spaces is nonexistent. So to provide the general public, who are quarantined in their homes, with their cultural fill, many are taking all these captured elements to their online platforms.

    Some of the biggest labels have enlisted their contacts from disparate industries to provide entertainment and education in the form of videos, interviews, performances, and active audience participation. Admittedly, Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services are at the top of our queues. But in between episodes of Tiger King and Little Fires Everywhere, were plugging into a podcast with a feminist painter, discovering the secret ingredient in a delectable recipe from a top chef, taking out our sketchbooks and re-creating beautiful images, and immersing ourselves in other enlightening programming that raises our spirits. And in these distressing times, everyone could use some of that.

    In March, the storied French label, under the direction of creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, instituted a podcast series dubbed Dior Talks. Here, host Katy Hessel interviews a series of feminist artists and curators, asking them about their lives, their work, and the journeys they took to become luminaries in the modern-day womens rights movement.

    Titled Prada Possible Conversations (a riff off Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, the Met's Spring 2012 Costume Institute exhibition), the luxury Italian brand will host a series of one-on-one discussions on its Instagram account. The first is between Pamela Golbin and Alexander Fury and about fashion in the time of crises, which will be go live on April 14 at 12 p.m.

    In a program called McQueen Creators, the English designer label is unearthing images from its archives and asking its Instagram audience to reimagine them using materials found at home.

    Spanning all its online platformsInstagram, YouTube, Weibo, Line, Kakao, Spotify, Apple Music, and its websitethe Italian label intends to showcase chefs, artists, writers, musicians, film directors, and designers in what it calls a laboratory of creativity.

    On April, the eponymous designer hosted a chat with model Halima Aden on her brands Instagram account.

    Under the helm of creative director Jonathan Anderson, the Spanish label has created Loewe en Casa, a digital initiative that highlights its collaborators and burgeoning creatives, including the finalist of its Loewe Foundation Craft Prize.

    The luxury footwear brand has partnered with the Mental Health Foundation on a project called Smile, which is essentially a coloring book made up of the eponymous designers favorite sketches.

    The French maison enlisted Belgian singer Angle to stream a live performance on its Instagram account, encouraging the masses to stay at home.

    Excerpt from:
    Fashion Brands Bringing You the Best in Music and Culture on Social Media -

    How to Win at Instagram Live | Intelligence, BoF Professional – The Business of Fashion - April 14, 2020 by admin

    NEW YORK, United States In the last few weeks, Brandon Maxwell has invited thousands of people into his home. The American designer known for his take on classic tailoring hosts a daily Instagram live stream from his Manhattan apartment where he doles out career advice and lets followers pick his brain, or tell him whats on their minds. One teenage girl introduced the designer to her grandmother.

    Maxwell used Instagram Live before the coronavirus pandemic, but his broadcasts, which he calls B Spoke, have become more frequent since most of his followers were confined to their homes. Theyve also become more important to Maxwell, who recognises how the pandemic has spread loneliness as much as the virus itself.

    I've always tried to use platforms to talk really honestly about where I'm at and what I'm feeling, in hopes that maybe somebody else sees that and we can start a dialogue, Maxwell said. It just helps you feel more connected in a world [where] you've become so very disconnected.

    Maxwell isnt alone in turning to Instagram Live to alleviate the tedium of quarantine. Fashion has embraced the platforms live-stream feature, producing videos that run the gamut from fully produced programmes to off-the-cuff chats. Revolve, a digital multi-brand retailer, partners with fitness influencers to stream daily at-home workouts (in just under two days, one saved livestream workout resulted in 247,000 views, significantly higher than other saved videos on the brands profile.)

    You're probably not thinking that much about going shopping right now.

    Chanel commissioned Belgian singer Angele to serenade viewers, while accessories brand Mulberry has taken to poetry readings and live performances. Amsterdam-based Scotch and Soda broadcasts its At Home with Scotch series every Friday, including live streams that explore yoga and artist studio tours. The designer Jeremy Scott popped up on Miley Cyrus stream to discuss recycled fashion. Rihanna hosted the Fenty Social Club with live DJ sets and performances (and an augmented reality DJ booth to accompany live stream.)

    Instagram introduced the option to post live streams that disappear after 24 hours in 2016, but the feature never achieved the runaway popularity of its disappearing Stories, which launched the same year. IGTV, an effort to build out the platforms long-form video capabilities and more directly compete with YouTube, got off to a slow start in 2018.

    Brands are leaning more heavily than usual on Instagram because thats where their customers are. Viewership of live streams is up 80 percent in the last month, according to Instagram. Plus, with stores closed and real-life gatherings outlawed in many countries, social media is practically the only marketing game in town.

    [Instagram] Live serves as a platform for you to best connect with your consumer in a human way right now, said Samantha Edwards, co-founder of digital strategy and marketing firm The Charles Agency.

    For designers like Maxwell, who is his brand, informal interactions with fans work best. The designer said his broadcasts have boosted engagement with his profile, which is the biggest driver of traffic to his brands e-commerce site. Marc Jacobs, who has long had a bright social media presence, is using the platform in a similar vein, speaking casually to longtime collaborators like those atLove magazine in a recent livestream.

    Larger brands are using Instagram Live as a replacement for the busy calendar of resort shows and summer music festivals that have been cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19.

    In mid-March, Loewe launched its Loewe en Casa digital series, featuring the brands Craft Prize artists (part of the Loewe Foundations annual competition awarding a cash prize to the winner). The artists host live streams on subjects ranging from metalwork and weaving to furniture design. On April 7, as part of the series, artist Koichi Lo took 68,000 viewers on a live studio tour, among the brands most-viewed videos on the platform.

    Levis, a regular sponsor of international music festivals and concert series, has hired musicians like Snoop Dogg and country music star Brett Young to play its 5:01 Live shows, a nod to the brands best-selling 501 jeans as well as the daily stream time. Levis said permanent posts about the live streams have double the engagement of normal posts.

    We don't need to push that too hard right now.

    Levis has dedicated $500,000 to the series, which came together in about a week, said Chief Marketing Officer Jen Sey.

    Measuring the impact of live streams is difficult. Viewers can share or like the videos, but because they disappear unless a brand saves them to their profile, third parties have trouble measuring their reach. Other issues, including the inability to tag the Live videos in the same way as a permanent feed post, inhibit the ability to track brand mentions, which help contribute to measurements of earned media value, an industry-standard metric determining overall impact. In any event, the goal is often to keep consumers engaged rather than to convince them to open their wallets.

    In this crisis, everyone is scared and we acknowledge that you're probably not thinking that much about going shopping right now, you're probably not really thinking of buying jeans, Sey said. We don't need to push that too hard right now.

    Livestreams work best as part of a wider marketing strategy, said Edwards. Unlike the main feed or Stories, followers can interact in real time with a brand. A product could be promoted directly on a brands main feed, while Stories can be used to demonstrate how it should be worn, and then a question-and-answer session can be streamed via Instagram Live.

    Its still too soon to determine whether any of the coronavirus-era content will boost a brands social media engagement and more importantly its sales but its worth experimenting with for the time being.

    This is the most perfect opportunity for brands to test a variation of different content formats, whether it's more down and dirty and gritty, or it's super premium and elevated and curated, said The Charles Agency Co-Founder Aaron Edwards.

    Were tracking the latest on the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the global fashion business. Visit ourlive blogfor everything you need to know.

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    How to Win at Instagram Live | Intelligence, BoF Professional - The Business of Fashion

    Animal Crossing players are re-creating their favourite designers and artists in the game – Time Out - April 14, 2020 by admin

    Shops and museums may be closedto stop the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus,but that doesnt mean you cant appreciate design from the comfort of your own home. Specifically, from your home in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

    New Horizons is the latest release in the Animal Crossing franchise for Nintendo Switch and the game comes with more than a few design tools for fans to express their creativity from redecorating their homes to designing their own clothes. Some creatives were quick to use these tools to incorporate the work of their favourite artists in the game.

    This gamer covered their floor and walls with Yayoi Kusamas signature polka dots and even adorned their home with an artwork of her famous pumpkin. As for the outfit, user @pericpotter created their own yukata, but printed it with the trademark motif of luxury fashion brand Fendi. This impressive ensemble is one of many snapshots shared on the niche yet innovative Animal Crossing Fashion ArchiveInstagram account managed by Kara Chung.Now, at the height of cherry blossom season, the page is full of adorable villagers dressed in high-brow streetwear with a backdrop of sakura in full bloom.

    This trendsetter paired a Noah cap with Converse All Stars and a Maison Kitsunpullover.

    This islander could easily belong on the streets of Omotesando with an outfit snagged from a Balenciaga fashion show.

    One gamer even went as far as making a Billie Eilish lookalike in a neon green get up and made a parody of the singers song titled Bass Guy.

    If youd rather prioritise your house interior than focus on your 'fits, Yayoi Kusama's polka dots are just the beginning when it comes to decking your walls in modern art. M Woods, a private art museum in Beijing, has released remarkable snapshots of its own virtual art galleries in Animal Crossing, complete with re-creations of exhibitions by artists such as Andy Warhol.

    Have an artist or designer you'd like to channel to add some flair to your virtual world? Now is as good a time as any to get those creative juices flowing.

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    Animal Crossing players are re-creating their favourite designers and artists in the game - Time Out

    12 Of The Most Clever Work-From-Home Spaces Created In Quarantine So Far – HuffPost - April 14, 2020 by admin

    As the coronavirus pandemic causes offices across North America to shut down, professionals who can work remotely have made the abrupt transition to doing their jobs from their homes.

    And theyre getting creative with making it work with or without their ergonomic chairs, second monitors and cubicles.

    Here are some of the most adaptive, creative home office arrangements HuffPost has seen.

    Quotes were condensed for clarity and length.

    1. Ironing boards become height-adjustable desks.

    Debbie Pedersen

    Without a desk at home and being fairly short in stature at 5 feet tall, my kitchen table is way too high to work at comfortably. My ironing board can be set quite low to suit my height, or to stand throughout the day. Debbie Pedersen, insurance worker based in Edmonton, Canada

    Jessica Chaloux Hill

    Ive been working at home since March 16. I stand at my work office and was missing that, so had to get creative. It has been wonderful to stand. Ive got big windows in front of me and can see outside (no windows at work). I have a bench close by for seating as necessary. Jessica Chaloux Hill, human resources professional based in Vermont

    2. A master bathroom becomes an office.

    Angela Small

    My job is to track incoming donations [for my food bank], which I am lucky enough to be able to do at home, but most of my co-workers are on the front lines and handing out food to people in our area who are in need.

    I have two little boys, ages 5 and 7, who are home right now. My only quiet options were the unfinished basement or the bathroom! I went with the bathroom because it has the most natural light. I have been making phone calls from my closet so it doesnt sound like Im making calls from a bathroom! My husband is a truck driver who delivers eggs to grocery stores, so I have to share the bathroom with him when he gets home from work each day. Its a little crazy but Im so thankful to be working right now and were doing the best we can. Angela Small, gift processor at New Hope Ministries food bank in Pennsylvania

    3. Kitchens become all-in-one office spaces.

    Rachel Cresci

    My cooking/emptying-the-dishwasher/refilling-my-coffee-cup game has been on point. Rachel Cresci, high school science teacher based in Reno, Nevada

    Elizabeth Goecke

    I started at my little desk, then the dining table, then the dinette and they all were terribly uncomfortable for the length of time I needed to sit and work. I remembered our company presidents standing desk and thought Id give that a try. Elizabeth Goecke, billing analyst based in Tampa, Florida

    4. A dining table becomes an ergonomic office with the help of a wrist rest made from rice and socks.

    Angie Wilbur

    Most people were told to work from home, but I dont have a home office or anywhere to put one. I set this up on my dining room table in order to have a little more ergonomic setup so my neck and back pain and eye strain wouldnt be quite so bad. It seems to be helping! Angie Wilbur, supervisory supply systems analyst for the defense logistics agency Disposition Services based out of Battle Creek, Michigan

    5. Child-sized desks become adult-sized desks.

    Marie Moreau

    Marie Moreau

    I feel like I am working in the middle of a messy toy store, since Im sitting next to a huge pile of over 100 stuffed animals. Although it does have benefits, like when I am getting overwhelmed with poor speed due to remotely accessing my work computer, I have many tins of my daughters putty I can take my aggression out on. Marie Moreau, senior graphic designer for a memorialization company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Kacey S.

    My husband [who works as a sales manager] has been using our sons tool bench, [and] he has to ask him at night if he can use it for the next day. With two toddlers and an 8-month old, child-free tables are limited. Kacey S., associate director at Boston nonprofit

    6. A homemade fort becomes a workplace oasis from distractions.

    Kayla Morin-Riordan

    I used my nephews fort kit to cordon off my office so I cant get distracted when I see how messy the rest of the house is. Stole the cushions off the couch, grabbed a camp lantern and were good to go! Kayla Morin-Riordan, childrens librarian based in New Hampshire

    7. Parents get creative with managing their new young co-workers.

    Molly Lisenko

    The toddler mattress addition was just circumstance and rolling with the punches. My 2-year-old loves dragging that thing around the house; she fell asleep on my lap while I was working, the mattress was behind my chair so I laid her down on it to nap while I finished up my work day. I brought in the 6-foot folding table a week-and-a-half into simultaneously working from home and my school-aged childrens e-learning. I had been using a small sofa table as a writing desk and needed more space. Molly Lisenko, accounting clerk for a tire and wheel distributor based in South Bend, Indiana

    Catherine Dublin

    My husband is working out of our home office, so I had to set up an office in my sons nursery. I work for the City of Palmetto as an accountant in Palmetto, Florida. My work hours in the office are typically 9 to 5, but as you can imagine, working with a 9-month-old in the house feels like a 24-hour work schedule. Catherine Dublin, accountant based in Palmetto, Florida

    Saskia de Groot

    My husband and I both work in the hospitality industry, based in Miami, Florida. I have a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old that have been out of school since March 16. Once we were mandated to work from home, we outfitted our tiny guest room into a makeshift office.

    Kids and/or husband walking in while Im having video calls and constant interruptions of house life has been an adjustment. However, given the current environment, Im ever grateful that I still have a job, the ability to work from home and that Im healthy and that my family is healthy and happy. But once this is over, I will hop, skip and jump back to the office as I do miss the separation and being able to compartmentalize my life. Saskia de Groot, independent contractor for a hotel company

    A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus

    Continued here:
    12 Of The Most Clever Work-From-Home Spaces Created In Quarantine So Far - HuffPost

    Exclusive: Wexford product designer creating 3D printed PPE – - April 14, 2020 by admin

    While much-needed PPE is finally starting to make its way to Irish hospitals, there are still plenty of other healthcare workers lacking in protective equipment.

    Niall Whitty, a product designer from Gorey, County Wexford, has found himself out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and he's decided to use his time to try and fill this gap in his local community.

    The 24-year-old is using a 3D printer to create face shields and ear protectors.

    He spoke to about what inspired the project.

    "I won a 3D printer while I was in college and it had been sitting in the corner of my room gathering dust.

    "I'm in a group of product designers who have created a model for creating face masks.

    "There's around 100 of us in the country and after having three or four OK'd, I've stepped it up and I'm making them daily now."

    Niall explained that his interest has always been in products that can make a difference in people's lives.

    "Even going back to college, I never wanted to design things for the sake of it, I always wanted to make things that can help people.

    "For my final year project I designed a cutlery set for people suffering with MS.

    "For me the best thing about design is making things that can help people in areas that have been overlooked."

    While the design he's using is not HSE approved for hospitals yet, the face shields can help healthcare workers in nursing homes, vets and even GPs.

    "It takes me an hour and 25 minutes to make a face shield. It's about providing equipment for people in the interim while manufacturers try to keep up with demand.

    "The response has been great and we've had inquiries from GPs in smaller practices, dentists, vets and nursing homes.

    "All these people who don't yet have access to protective equipment.

    "At the moment we've got a back order.

    "We've delivered a couple of face masks to a local nursing home already."

    Niall's mother Margarita runs a children's clothes shop in Gorey called Jalanda and they used the shop's social media to spread the word about the project.

    The response has been so good that Niall is looking to step up his production of face shields, which will require two or three more 3D printers.

    To do this, he's set up a GoFundMePage and he's been "overwhelmed" at the support from the local community.

    He's making no profit from the work and all of the money donated will go towards creating as many face shields as possible as demand grows.

    At the moment, Niall is making "12 or 13 in a day at a push" but with extra printers he hopes to greatly increase his output.

    At the time of writing, Niall's GoFundMe has raised over 2,000.

    For Niall, it's all about doing his bit in the battle against the global pandemic.

    "A few people have said to me, 'it'll look great on your CV', but it's not about that at all for me really.

    "I used to do a bit of work as a magician and it wasn't the thrill of tricking people or anything I liked, it was just about putting a smile on somebody's face and bringing them a little bit of joy.

    "I've got the printer here, and with the two new ones I've ordered I'll be able to produce more soon, I just want to do my bit and help out as much as I can."

    You can donate to Niall's GoFundMe page here.

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