check out: Blu Dot

Minneapolis-based designer and maker of modern home furnishings


The design team at Blu Dot has been creating modern furniture since the late 1990s that is pared-down yet stylish, functional yet elegant.  I first stumbled upon Blu Dot at a store called Totem Design in New York shortly after Blu Dot launched, and bought the Chicago 3 Box bookcase in cherry (a wood I rarely buy).  I was drawn to the idea of a modern bookcase in a material that gets a richer patina over time, much like a family heirloom would.  I like juxtapositions like this.  The boxes appear to float on the steel rods, and it has been a beautiful and very useful part of our home office for 15 years now.  It never goes out of style and mixes with everything.  

According to Blu Dot, the "test is simple:  If our friends like our work and can afford our work - it works." This philosophy of good design never loses sight of how playful and fun modern furniture should be.

I adore the Swept Sofa , especially for a kids hangout room because the couch is comfortable, not very deep, easy to move, and made of a fantastic-to-clean material, a "contract grade leather alternative." The Hang 1 Capsule Mirror is another favorite. It is effortless, chic, and graceful, with a fabulous walnut peg. Perfect for a guest bathroom. 

check out: on my coffee table

The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy

Turn your instinct for making things neat and tidy inside out with The Art of Clean Up (Chronicle Books) by Usus Wehrli of the Swiss comedy duo, Ursus & Nadeschkin.  I’m always styling rooms on shoots, and flipping through this book was a phenomenal way for me to rethink the beauty of order and randomness. It’s also a good way to think about what’s called “negative space” – the parts of the image with nothing in it, which can be just as important. As a photographer, you have to keep mixing up how you see things to keep your work fresh.  In this New York Times article, Wehrli said, “Comedians take a neat situation and turn it into mess. And in my books I do the same thing, but it’s the other way around. I like to mess around with mess. A mess is only a mess because someone tells you it is.”  Don’t tell your kids that or they will never clean their rooms. Buy The Art of Clean Up here.