Jens Lekman

Thursday, November 04, 2010 | | 2 comments »

I finally saw Gertie's directorial debut, Whip It. The movie is predictable, but makes up for it's lack of originality with loads of charm, ass kicking roller derby chicks, an all-girl food fight, and a great soundtrack. I particularly loved this dreamy song by Swedish troubadour Jens Lekman that played during Ellen Page's "losing her virginity in the pool" scene. The humorous/romantic lyrics are sexually ambiguous, involve avocado, blood, and a trip to the E.R. I hear a good dollop of Morrissey, a hearty scoop of Jonathan Richman, a few tablespoons of Billy Bragg, and a soupçon of Damien Dempsey in Mr. Lekmans winsome warbling. He recorded this song in 2007 and doesn't seem to have done anything since then, so Jens, get cracking.

Download "Arms Around Me" or check out Jens' "Presents" page for a slew of other free mp3's.

Let's hear it for the soy

Wednesday, November 03, 2010 | , | 0 comments »

New hand-poured, 32 oz. clean scented soy candles will be making their debut at the opening of the Rural Modernist holiday pop-up store event later this month. Each one is decoupaged by moi with assorted ephemera that I've been collecting for a zillion years to make each one truly one-of-a-kind and way cooler than some vanilla scented monstrosity from Yankee Candle at the mall. Each one comes with a Rural Modernist matchbox, too.

I also have a selection of votives that have random words, science, and math graphics on them. These are from a series of little flash cards from the 40's I found in a barn sale in Woodstock. Just sorting through the hundreds of cards makes me feel smarter. Each of these are packaged individually and are ideal for stocking stuffing.

NOTE: Since there's no actual foot traffic in Stone Ridge and the studio has exploded with saw dust, Frisket Film, masking tape, and spray paint fumes, I've decided to forego opening on weekends and will re-open later this month as a holiday pop-up store. There will be a proper launch party for the studio and the debut of the new paintings, candles, soaps, ceramics, boxed Handsome Devil Press holiday cards just in time for your seasonal shopping needs. 

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Rural Modernist Studio
3780 Main Street (rear cottage)
Stone Ridge, NY 12484

I started doing these paintings a few months ago and something was missing: COLOR. That's no longer a problem since I received my shipment of professional graffiti artist quality spray paints from in L.A. I've been having a blast making these new paintings and I think they compliment the organic shapes of my ceramics nicely. The title of the collection wasn't planned, but as I started doing more of them a theme developed. As I cut out each shape, a little voice in my head kept saying "wishbones and kidneys, wishbones and kidneys..." I'm sure it was the spray paint fumes. 

Peeling off the masking tape to reveal the color underneath is my favorite part. 
I love the combination of orange, chocolate, and cyan.
I might keep this one for myself.
NOTE: Since there's no actual foot traffic in Stone Ridge and the studio has exploded with saw dust, Frisket Film, masking tape, and spray paint fumes, I've decided to forego opening on weekends and will re-open later this month as a holiday pop-up store. There will be a proper launch party for the studio and the debut of the new paintings, and you can do some holiday gift shopping while you're at it. We will have boxed Handsome Devil Press holiday cards, new scented candles, handmade soaps, outsider art, and more. 

Join our page on Facebarf and follow us on Twatter so you don't miss out!

Rural Modernist Studio
3780 Main Street (rear cottage)
Stone Ridge, NY 12484

Hello Rural Modernistas.  I know it's been some time since I offered my two cents on design and home decor.  If you hadn't heard, I picked up and moved far, far away - to San Francisco.  You know the place....gays, hippies, gays, fashion backwards people, gays, Golden Gate Bridge, gays, etc.

I thought I would check in and drop a few tips and treats to hold you over, as well as a few things I am obsessed with.

As the holidays loom on the horizon, I thought it would be a great time to plant the design seeds for the upcoming season.  Let's start with Thanksgiving.  I think the ultimate tablescape for this holiday is the well-curated but totally mismatched place settings.  Picture a crisp linen tablecloth with different, but similar place settings, splashes of color in various settings, and different shapes and sizes used in the same amounts across the table.  Here's how: 
  • First, start with a solid color tablecloth, and gather solid (tone on tone is fine) color dinner plates.  These do not necessarily need to match in style, but they should match in color and size.  I prefer an all-white dinner plate as a base.  
  • On top of those, place your favorite collected salad plates (from eBay, from yard sales or from my favorite, Fishs Eddy (great place to start your collection).  They don't have to match anything but the tablecloth or dinner plate color, and should not match each other.  The commonality is the size.  
  • Do this again with a smaller bread plate.  Take inspiration from your collections and your taste; if you are into 50s retro, add some jadeite or maybe a few pieces of of Fiestaware.  If you're more of a modernist, go for some graphic pieces or geometric shapes.  The idea is to personalize it, yet vary it a bit.  
  • From the plates, you now have a color palette defined, and use that to choose napkins.  As most napkins are the same size, you only need to choose colors and prints.  This is a great place for a brighter color pulled from one of the plates or even a stripe that corresponds.  Cohesively, the napkins should tell the color story, and you will know how many different ones to use.  The idea is to look simple, not overly chaotic.  
  • Top the setting off with glassware (flatware should be matching) - one water glass and one wine glass.  If your palette can handle colored glass, sprinkle a few around the table.  Ideally, you will make one of the glasses cohesive throughout, and the other can be variations of the same.  Perhaps go for the French look of simple tumblers for wine and vary your water glasses.  
I love this look... it screams "Thanksgiving" to me.

Before your turkey carcass has cooled, it's time to look forward to Christmas,  As you may have sensed by now, I respect tradition, but don't necessarily adhere to it.  To that end, there will likely be no bright red and emerald green and gold flocked Christmas tree.  And retail seems to agree!  I think the color palette that is of-the-moment for this season is going to be purple, teal, kiwi and fuchsia.

I am obsessed with this book at the moment.  The Joy Of Home by Naomi Cleaver.  If you own one home design book, make it this one.  Step by step, room by room, it guides you through learning how to design a space according to your own taste.  From making a working budget to sketching the room, you will have all the tools you need.  Check it out here,

As the weather cools, what is more thrilling than hiberating on a sofa wrapped in a cozy and warm throw?  For me, it is ALLLLL about MIssoni throws right now.  MIssoni's prints are often loud and invasive but there is so much more to this chic Italian house.  Their throws run the gamut from simple to overdone, and I love the range.  They are a great kick for most modern decor, and look as good folded up on the ottoman as they do wrapped around you.  Check out the range and get to cuddling!

I have also recently worked with a few great brands and stores that I think I should share with you:
  • For nursery and children's rooms, I love Duc Duc.  Bold, modern and graphic.
  • Try Spoonflower if you think you have what it takes to design your own fabric.  Get crafty and they will print it up for you! 
  • My very favorite fabric line, Of The Young And The Restless, cannot be recommended enough.  Check out the bold prints and colors.  You DO have a room that needs this.
Lastly, and not really design related, I need to leave you all with a few gifts.  While I have been taking time to immerse myself in my new city and my new pursuits, I still want to reach out to my old kinfolk as often as possible and keep in touch.  One thing that my friends know I love is music.  I love to discover it and share it whenever I can.  So, I have been making downloadable playlists that I send around to my little network every few weeks, and I thought it was time to share some of my recent favorites with you all.  Each playlist contains new music discoveries, rare gems you forgot about. one hit wonders from years past, and a few WTF was that??? moments.  A true eclectic collection that is very me.  I think you may find yourselves in some of these as well.  Here are a few, in order from most recent backwards.  I name them all after me, and hey even have artwork!!!

Joe Armenia from Campagna Home weighs in on his latest design obsessions, tips, and finds on a semi-regular basis for The Rural Modernist. I couldn't be happier since it means less work for me.

Tom's barn sale

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | | 1 comments »

Let's meet some of Rural Modernist's neighbors here in sleepy Stone Ridge, NY, shall we? This is Tom. He runs my favorite barn sale right down the street from the studio. It's tucked away right behind the Stone Ridge post office and it's packed to the rafters will well-edited, well-priced, unusual finds. I swear half of my house has come out of this barn. He doesn't have a website, but he generally throws the barn doors open on most Saturdays (when the weather cooperates) and occasional Sundays, too. Next time you stop by the studio, take a stroll down the brand spanking new bluestone sidewalks (that's big news in these parts) and check out his wares. Well, whatever happens to be left over after I've been there.

GILT Goodies on sale today

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | | 0 comments »

Y-3 World Cup Sneakers & More: Avant-garde designer Yohji Yamamoto has mated with Adidas and the offspring is pretty damn sexy.

Happy Socks: Never underestimate the power of a little flash of crazy sock pattern peeking out from under the cuff of your slacks.

Joseph Joseph: Nothing irritates me more than that damn gigantic colander that takes up too much space in my cupboard. This one folds. Genius.

Gilt Group Sign up today. It's invitation only, no gatecrashers allowed. Each sale runs for 36 hours with discounts of up to 70% off retail. 

Three Potato Four

Sunday, September 12, 2010 | | 0 comments »

I'm going to need a bigger house. I want it all.
My favorite online store now has a kick-ass (and humungous) bricks and mortar home in Philly. It's currently bursting at the seams with new finds, but they never stick around for long. Just looking at this picture is making me drool since I'm a sucker for old signage, weathered dimensional letters, well-used crates with cool graphics, and unusual industrial doodads and vintage ephemera. I just placed an order for some great old signs and coal miner's blueprints that are going to look great when I get them framed. Can't wait to peruse the goodies in person next time I'm in town.

376 Shurs Lane, Building A 
Philadelphia, PA 19128

Open Fridays and Saturdays from 12-7 pm and by appointment

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Takashi Murakami Exhibition at the Château de Versailles - I know purists would like to keep the site void of modern influences but the contrast is striking!  That said, Découvrez l’univers de l’artiste japonais Takashi Murakami à l’occasion d’une exposition exceptionnelle. Image via Ganymede2009.
I'm totally turned on by eclectic interiors and this one takes the cake. Surprisingly, Murakami's colorful, cartoony, animated rococo exuberance perfectly compliments the gilded, glittering, decadent rococo of the palace. Don't you think Marie Antoinette would look smashing with this sculpture perched ever so delicately upon her powdered wig? The exhibition runs from September 14 through December 12, 2010. I think a field trip is in order...

L'exposition Murakami VersaillesL'exposition Murakami VersaillesL'exposition Murakami Versailles

The sad news about Otho's passing (or rather the actor that played him, Glenn Shadix) got me thinking once again about one of my all time favorite design-driven films: Beetlejuice. It's a perfect time capsule that pays homage to (and mocks) 80's era post-modernism, wacky modern art, and interior design excess. We were supposed to laugh at the over the top demolition/redesign of that classic Victorian house with its lace curtains and period details, but I loved it.

Something tells me that deck isn't up to code. And I'm totally digging those trademark Tim Burton horizontal stripes at the base of the house.

My dream house.

"It's my art, and it's dangerous." Delia Deetz


If you liked this post, check out my analysis of Suspiria. If the storyline doesn't scare your manties off, the interiors will (in a good way).

Rural Modernist Studio
3780 Main Street (rear cottage)
Stone Ridge, NY 12484
Open weekends from 1-4 pm or by appointment

* "LIKE" us on Facebarf and follow us on Twatter, too.

Video of the Day

Sunday, September 05, 2010 | | 0 comments »

Yes, vintage Raquel Welch gyrating in Barbarella's hand-me-downs is hot, but it's the trippy, monolithic sculptures featured in background that are really making me tingle down there. They're the handiwork of Ruta de la Amistad who created the public sculpture project for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

I did a photo shoot at the house of all of the paintings mixed in with our eclectic art collection. They look great mixed and matched with different styles of art and adds a graphic pop to any modern decor. The painting above looks perfectly at home surrounded by our Alexander Girard wooden figures, Rural Modernist Ceramic vases filled with air plants, and our beloved Charley Harper bird serigraphs. You can check out the entire album of photos over at the Rural Modernist Studio page on Facebarf.
Align Left
The dueling hand-carved wood figures are by Sulton Rogers. I love the pimped-out pipe smoking bird man's snazzy white dress shoes.

Each painting is hand-stamped with the Rural Modernist logo.

Each painting is signed and dated on the back by Jason and has a pre-drilled hole for easy hanging.

Rural Modernist Studio
3780 Main Street (rear cottage)
Stone Ridge, NY 12484
Open weekends from 1-4 ish or by appointment

* "LIKE" us on Facebarf and follow us on Twatter, too.