Thursday, April 16, 2009

Design Dictates De-Clutter

Architects Lisa Mahar and her husband Morris Adjmi found when renovating their West Village apartment that the design of a space can help reduce the clutter. Genius! Using a pair-it-down philosophy, they moved forward with a restrained palette, minimal storage, repeated materials and hints of bright color. Lisa and her family take inventory of their possessions regularly, donating toys and clothes they are no longer using and keeping only choice pieces. The result was a neutral mix of calm and clean surfaces and open spaces. I, for one, must say that I would love to liquidate about 40% of the junk in my house. I am getting so much inspiration from this idea! Photographs by Matthew Hranek.

The family's apartment has an enormous amount of natural light due in part to two stories of custom designed steel windows. I always need the house a bit cleaner on a sunny day, don't you? Inspiration tip #1!

In addition to being a wife, mom and architect, Lisa Mahar also owns Kid O, a New York City children's store. Lisa designed the space with wide aisles to accomodate strollers and the custom shelf heights are stocked with age appropriate toys. Though I don't have any children of my own, I have noticed a major shift in some of the toys my friends who do have children have been buying and I like it. It seems like flashy, cheaply made crap is not as engaging to children as we once thought and they are opting for more sustainably made and simply designed toys that pay homage to what our parents probably played with. It's nice to see that happening.

Piero Lissoni is a favorite designer of the couple and they appreciate the craftmenship and proportions his pieces posses. His lacquered cabinet above inspired the look of the storage throughout the entire house to keep a simplistic and cohesive aesthetic.

The living room is paneled in Lulu DK fabric Paradiso by Hinson & Company. Furniture and accessories are minimal leaving the focus on the brightly colored wall.

The kitchen overlooking the garden is comprised of a material palette used throughout the house as well; limstone, white lacquer and wood. The table serves as a desk and play area in in addition to it's regular dining duties.

Hmm, not so much on the Frank Gehry cardboard chair. Don't get me started, don't even get me started. I do however like the above the bed rotating photo gallery which Mahar made by duct tapping some Pottery Barn frames together. She changes the photos a few times a year.

Such a good idea, right? I wonder if she keeps the photos she replaces or if she "edits" them too?

Son Emmett has a Noguchi side table and storage bins under his IKEA bed for toys. He also has a photo gallery like the one in his parent's bedroom but his photos display his interests of turcks and globes. Mahar controls the chaos by editing his toy collection monthly.

Ideally, children's shelves containing toys should not be out of their reach for safety reasons, so much of Emmett's collection of books and toys are on the floor or located in low storage.

1 comment:

Laura [What I Like] said...

I'm totally obsessed with that wall of windows. ah, house envy...