ingenious architecture: aesop new york, by tacklebox…
Posted in interiors, stores January 31st, 2012 by pia

Do you remember some time ago now, I wrote about an architecture & design firm called tacklebox? It is an innovative company based in New York, founded by my friend & architect Jeremy Barbour. If you recall, he designed the saipua showroom in Brooklyn, NY, creating a fabulous space made from recycled silver barn wood (read my post and view the gorgeous photos of the space here).

Last year, Jeremy came out to Australia for a special secretive research mission for melbourne-based skin care range aesop, and over a lovely lunch in Paddington, here in Sydney, he revealed to me a little about what he was up to and what he wanted to create. I was captivated, and could not wait to see the project unfold and revealed to the public. A few months ago, the spaces in New York were opened: one in grand central station, another on Elizabeth St in the Nolita, and the other in Greenwich Village, University Place. Take a look…

Aesop Nolita, Elizabeth St, New York, photos by Gianluca Fellini.


Aesop Grand Central Kiosk, in Grand Central station, photos by Juliana Sohn.


Aesop University Place, Greenwich Village, photos by Juliana Sohn. (particularly loving the store’s sink which was salvaged from Bethlehem Steel’s 140-year-old plant in Pennsylvania).


The concept was to use the New York Times newsprint as a material within the foundations. The aesop Grand Central Kiosk for example, is constructed of 1,800 reclaimed newspapers from the New York Times. The aesop range sit on a tiered mass of stacked and bound newsprint while loosely hanging papers form a canopy above. For the Nolita store, 2800 New York Times newspapers were hand-torn into 400,000 strips which were then stacked to create “a soft, felt-like surface held within a continuous oak wrapper”.

“Just as oak is commonly used to store and age wine and spirits, so too will the newspaper age, turning a light tan, thus marking the passing of time. In this way, the history of Aesop North America will be recorded within the very walls of this first store.”

The newsprint, stacked and pressed, ready to be used.

As you know, I’ve been loving the use of recycled paper as a material lately, perhaps it has something to do with the onslaught of technology, and the growing, ill feeling of living within a paperless society. Preserving and maintaining the use of paper in our world seems imperative, and I love how imaginative people are toward its many uses these days.

Congratulations Jeremy on completing yet another stunning set of spaces using recycled material and furnishings – you’re an inspiration to us all, I can’t wait to see what you create next! And a big thank you for sharing your projects here in the (blog)house.

New York City: Shopping the Fleas…
Posted in guest quarters January 31st, 2012 by pia

All photographs and words in this guest post by Ashley & Aron Bruhn of Hither Thither

The shopping opportunities in New York are staggering! Many visitors crowd Fifth Avenue’s grand department stores, and SoHo is a must for any serious shopper, but there’s also a wealth of unique wares to be found at any one of the amazing markets being held around the city on any given weekend.

Look out for the New Amsterdam Market under the Brooklyn Bridge near South Street Seaport, the relatively new Hester street fair on the Lower East Side, and–perhaps the most well-known, and a personal favorite–the Brooklyn Flea. The highly catered market, full of new and vintage treasures, is held in some of the most stunning locales around the city.

The flea food vendors are as much a part of the market as anyone else–maybe even our favorite part–and there’s now a food-only market called Smorgasbord, held on Saturdays in Williamsburg, in full view of the Manhattan skyline.

Whether you’re angling for independent crafts or just in the mood for some good style-spotting while people-watching, we highly recommend taking in one of the unique markets around the city.

Ashley & Aron Bruhn, Hither & Thither

new york is everywhere…
Posted in new york January 30th, 2012 by pia

beautiful nyc photography by irene suchocki, available to purchase here.

Have you noticed? It’s the city on everyone’s lips, and it seems to be the place of longing in everyone’s hearts. I have so many friends who dream of living in NYC, and I have many friends living and working there, enjoying everything the city has to offer. It’s a pretty amazing place to be, so I thought I’d showcase it a little more here in the (blog)house. Over the next month I’ve invited two New Yorkers into the guest quarters to share with us ‘their New York’. Ashley & Aron Bruhn of Hither & Thither will be joining us weekly to take us on a personal tour of the city. They are already unpacking their bags, setting up home in the guest quarters as I type –  click here to read their introductory post (thank you for sharing your part of the world, Ashley & Aron!).

And coming up next, I have a lovely post about a friend who creates amazing spaces in New York using recycled components, this time he’s used one of my favourite materials: paper.

+Both images in this post by Irene Suchocki, see more of her incredible travel photography here.


Hither & Thither takes us on a personal tour of New York city…
Posted in guest quarters January 30th, 2012 by pia

All photographs and words in this guest post by Ashley & Aron Bruhn of Hither Thither

People often ask us what they should see or do in New York. There are so many iconic sights–it is hard to know where to begin–and so we usually leave destinations like Ellis Island or Times Square to the guidebooks. And we travel, for better or worse, we have a tendency to sacrifice some of those big-ticket items on the chance that we might inhabit a place as a local for a time: have a drink in a hip neighborhood, or shop at the local markets.

With those things in mind, here is a New York that might appeal as much to tourists as to locals. These are a few of the things we love best about the city; this is how we would visit the city we live in. Over the next month, I hope that we can see it together…

Ashley & Aron Bruhn, Hither & Thither

just when I thought sending holiday cards was a thing of the past…
Posted in christmas ideas, handmade, pia's photos January 20th, 2012 by pia

Here is a quick still life of a few of the gorgeous cards I received last month – some made by hand, others printed photographs and illustrations on beautiful card stock. Thank you lovely friends.

I hope everyone has had a peaceful, ‘time to reflect’ start to 2012. I’ve been nesting as you can imagine, and am happy to say our house now – finally – feels like home. It took a while but it’s ready – and I’m ready – to greet this new little person in our lives.

Happy holidays everyone! Here’s to 2012 being a year of hope, action, and positive change for all and each individual.


PS my friend Jenni rented out the movie “babies” for us yesterday, something she’s been telling me about for months but I hadn’t yet got around to finding. We watched it last night and it’s truly fabulous, I was especially drawn to the Namibian family, and french boy loved the mongolian nomadic way of life (impressed that they had a satellite dish and mobile phone). An inspiring film, I hope you take the time to watch it if you haven’t seen it already.