Ornament is Crime. If, upon reading those words you think to yourself 'Yes! Yes it is!' then this new book about modern architecture from Phaidon is for you. What makes the modern masterpieces so seductive has as much to do with what isn't there to tempt you as what is, and the diehard fans of this beloved design philosophy get it. In naming the book, authors Matt Gibberd and Albert Hill have taken inspiration from Adolf Loos's condemnation of the highly ornamental designs the early 20th century to pay homage to the unembellished design of the past and present, and to illustrate the influence that Modernism continues to exert upon contemporary architects, and therefore, our world. This picture book is lush with photos of every great modern building around the globe that you would want bound between two hard covers including many hidden residential gems, and all are in black and white (divided into chapters introduced by boldly coloured cover pages). Sure, the landscape that the modernist home sits within is a vital element of the project and with that usually comes the contextual green foliage and unencumbered blue skies. But Ornament is Crime is about celebrating the rigid integrity of these structures, and the monochrome presentation keeps our focus on those linear forms, their perfect geometry emphasised by highlights and shadow. After flipping through a few pages, narrated with thought-provoking quotes from revered architects and cultural figures, you'll likely find that you no longer notice the lack of colour. Each photo feels vibrant and exciting, like their quietly evocative modernist subjects that resonate so deeply in the hearts and minds of those who appreciate that when it comes to design, less always gives more.
Ornament is Crime: Modernist Architecture is published by Phaidon and is available in hardback, £29.95 and features 300 colour and black & white illustrations, 224 pages.
Matt Gibberd is a founding director of The Modern House property agency. Formerly a senior editor at The World of Interiors magazine, he has written widely on architecture, art, and design.
Albert Hill is a founding director of The Modern House property agency. Albert was the design editor at Wallpaper* under founding editor Tyler Brûlé, and has written and broadcast widely.
Just like people, animals can suffer from mental and emotional disorders such as anxiety. In fact, many dogs exhibit signs of anxiety in a variety of ways. Some may be anxious around new people, while others might get nervous when they have to go for a car ride. Regardless of what is causing your cute pet’s anxiety, though, there are ways that you can help him feel better and more at ease.
Here are some tips to calm your furry friend:
Consider a cannabis supplement
Yes it's true. There are a few high-quality cannabis supplements on the market today specifically for use in dogs. Made with all-natural hemp, these products are designed to deliver healing CBD to canines who suffer from a wide range of physical and emotional problems, including anxiety. So, if you find yourself saying, “my dog is nervous around other dogs” or “my dog is afraid of fireworks in July,” you may want to consider investing in a natural supplement that will help him feel more confident and calm.
Releasing pheromones into your dog’s environment might also be an effective way to reduce his anxiety. Look for Dog Appeasing Pheromone, also known as DAP. This will mimic the hormone that is released naturally by mother dogs while they are lactating and the pheromone is able to calm
puppies while boosting their bond with their mother. It may work for your adult dog, too.
Put the Thundershirt on your dog
A popular product on the pet care market is the Thundershirt. It is designed to wrap around your dog’s torso to provide a bit of pressure that feels like a hug. This product might help your dog’s nervous system to calm down, thereby reducing his anxiety level. While some dog owners find that this product works very well, others don’t have as much luck with it, so its success will depend on your dog.
Play some calming music
When you are feeling anxious, do you find that listening to some calming music helps you? Well, the same might hold true for your pooch as well. If you know that you are going to be away from home for a while, such as while you are at work, you can leave some soothing music playing at a low volume at home for your dog to enjoy. And you could even invest in albums specifically recorded for use with anxious dogs. This could help reduce his travel anxiety or his separation anxiety.
Massage Your Pet
Being close to your dog and gently massaging him could also be a good way to reduce his anxiety. Try the TTouch massage, which involves slow, long, and circular strokes that can soothe your pet’s nerves. When your dog has anxiety, it could also make you feel anxious because you feel helpless, so this may be therapeutic for the both of you.
By trying any of the strategies above, you may finally be able to help your dog calm down and relax, whether his anxiety occurs at home, out at the dog park, or during travel.
Having a dedicated study space is important, or so they used to say. Now we're told that if we change up our study environments, to create richer associations with the information we're processing and therefore decrease 'forgetting', then we'll perform better on exams. That's all fine, but most of us need the discipline and structure of a specific space that will prompt us to drop everything else that's going on and focus on getting that data embedded into our brains. Studies suggest that if your study space shares similar features with your exam room this will help your recall, and this doesn't mean it has to be an exact replica. In fact, if there is just one noticeable feature from your exam room present in your study space, such as the type of wall clock, or even wearing the same shoes, this can significantly increase your recall during test time. Once you've sorted those cues for yourself, you can use the following tips to make your study space one that you will want to commit to.
Choose an area where you feel comfortable
The best place to study is one that you will want to go to. It may already exist, such as a spot near a window with a lovely view and natural light, or you can create a tempting spot out of a simple nook or empty corner. If you can fit a chair and a study surface, it can work. And then there's the reality of the sitting for long periods of time. You may want to invest in an ergonomic chair if your current option is hard wood that makes you numb after half an hour! Comfort is essential so you can settle into work quickly, but be careful not to make it too cozy or you risk falling asleep! Anything you add to the space should enable the task at hand.
For daytime study, natural light creates a warm and inviting atmosphere and can be uplifting and motivating, while the flourescent lights in libraries are harsh for some and can cause eye strain and headaches. If the sun makes the room hot, study at a different time of day when it's indirect. Keep air flowing as a stuffy environment will make you drowsy, so open a window or have a fan close and be sure to turn it on before you become overheated, you want to keep your mind sharp. When it's dark outside and you're dependent upon interior lighting, you may need a desk lamp to illuminate your books or papers to prevent eye strain. If it's a screen you're reading from, set the brightness so that it's adequate but not super bright as too much illumination can be as tiring for your eyes as low light. Look for apps that create a warm glow as opposed to a cool one as most find its soothing to the eyes.
Create Study Rules
If you have enrolled in an online MEAD program, chances are that you are working or busy with other activities and you need to maximise your concentration time. Tell any roommates or family that you are studying and can't be disturbed and follow your own rules to show them you're serious. Leave your phone outside of this space and if you're using a computer, social media is off-limits! Be sure to disable any alerts that may distract you. Take breaks at regular intervals to stretch and give your eyes and brain a rest, but avoid distractions.
Houseplants improve air quality which helps the brain stay alert, and their presence increases feelings of wellbeing, especially if they're green, lush and healthy, Choose low-maintenance plants that thrive indoors and don't need a lot of water.
The main thing to remember about your study space is that it's a special spot just for you, and if you commit to making the most out of it, it will pay it all back to you!
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much of a clean freak you are, there will always be another job left to do! Mostly, it’s the jobs that seem the smallest that can make the biggest difference, especially when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your tiles. I’ve teamed up with the guys at Tile Monkey to provide you with a handy guide on how to properly care for your tiles without spending a fortune. I'm getting to work on this myself, our bathroom reno is needing some TLC to make sure it continues to look brand new. Despite having an in-shower extractor and a dehumidifier, it's a constant battle to keep away the mould and all of those other unwelcome visitors to the bathroom. Where there's water, heat and tile, there's a need for a good plan!
First of all you’re going to need a few things. We’ve created a checklist to make sure you don’t miss any of them:
WARNING! Before you start, it’s really important to double check that the cleaner you have chosen is pH neutral, What this basically means is that it is not a scouring powder, bleach or an abrasive chemical. Why? Because if any of these products are placed upon your tiles then they can damage
the finish – it’s really not worth the risk. Your tile cleaner should come with clear instructions on how to prepare, so make sure you follow these. It’s also important to check that the cleaner you have is suitable for the type of tile you are looking to work on.
The Big Clean:
1. Take the duster and run it over all of your tiles, it’s crucial that you remove dust from your tiles in order to stop more dirt being rubbed in when you come to cleaning and sealing the area.
2. Using your cloth, wet the area of tiles that you are working on with the cleaning solution. We would strongly advise working on one wall/area at a time, that way you can keep track on how long the solution has been on and which areas you have covered. Again, it is important to read the instructions on the tile cleaner to see how long the solution should be left on the tiles. Leave the solution for the recommended time which should loosen any grime or dirt.
3. Get the marigolds on, it’s time to scrub! Using the nylon brush (or toothbrush, depending on the size of area) work in small circles when scrubbing the tiles, this motion should mean that you’re able to see the results almost instantly. If a stain isn’t coming out straight away then be patient, it could just take a little more work.
*TOP TIP – If you have a really stubborn stain that doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere, spray some white vinegar on it, leave it a while and try again – this should shift it!
4. Once you’ve scrubbed all of your tiles with the solution, rinse them off using clean warm water and dry thoroughly using a clean towel.
5. Finally, seal your tiles and grouting to make sure that your hard work gets locked in, as well as preventing moisture from re-entering the grout and
discouraging any further build-up of mould.
So there you go, just follow these five simple and your tiles will look brand new every time you clean them! Please do remember to check all cleaning products before using them on your tiles; you can never be too careful.
The Red Thread: Nordic Design, a new book published by Phaidon, is a beautifully presented survey of the Nordic region's hugely influential and enduring contribution to design, a uniquely elegant combination of function, simplicity and natural materials. 'The Red Thread', or as the Swedes say, den röda tråden, refers to the essence that links the experiences, styles and heritages of the many peoples of Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. And in literal fashion, one is cleverly sewn into the grey cloth cover and binding of the book for a richer tactile experience. The first time I visited the Swedish capital of Stockholm, I was most looking forward to seeing first-hand in the city streets how their design philosophy, which really is a philosophy for living in that it encompasses all aspects of life, is reflected in the architecture, public spaces, art, fashion, food, lifestyle, systems and attitudes. Even their public mailboxes - minimalist, side by side in cornflower blue and yellow - will make you stop to appreciate the consideration that went into making such a utilitarian vessel an uplifting presence on the street. If you haven't witnessed this remarkable approach for yourself, the pages of The Red Thread will take you on a comprehensive Nordic tour in which you can explore just how optimistic, meaningfully connected and harmonious daily life can be.
The Red Thread has adeptly deconstructed this globe-spanning phenomenon into three distinct areas: Design to Improve Spaces; Design to Improve Life; and Design to Improve Relations. Each section is gloriously dense with colour photographic examples of Nordic objects - some very famous, some lesser known surprises, making it a must-have collector's title. I dare you not to feel a surge of overwhelming inspiration as you browse its pages; The Red Thread is pure joy for design fans or anyone who loves life.
The Red Thread, published by Phaidon is now available in hardback, 288 pages including 250 pages of illustrations.
Swan chair, Arne Jacobsen, Fritz Hansen, 1958
Print collection, Josef Frank, Svenskt Tend, 2015
Sideboard with Tray Unit, Finn Juhl, Bovirke, 1955 / Currently manufactured by Onecollection
Chanterelle vase, Tapio Wirkkala, Iittala, 1946
Butter mould, 1834
Corky Carafe and glasses, Andreas Engesvik, Muuto, 2011
When it comes to renovating your home, it’s natural to think about things such as new furniture or perhaps giving the living room a new lick of paint; a lot of people forget to consider how long their current flooring has been installed, let alone whether it could do with a bit of a facelift. Your floors play a massive role around the home; it’s fair to say that they are the very foundation of a house - so why do we so often overlook them when it comes to renovating?
Home improvements can be pricey, so it’s important that you work toward a budget and in order to do this you have to pick the right type of floor that fits into it. Different materials come with different price tags. Vinyl floors, for example, are considerably cheaper than wood floors, but that’s not to say you won't find any cheap solid wood flooring, it just means you need to look in the right places! One of the hottest trends at the moment is rustic wood flooring and a lot of this can be pretty cheap to get hold of, especially in places like reclamation yards where you can get a vast quantity of wood for a lot less. One of the easiest ways to stick to your budget is to know the precise measurements of the room that you are placing the flooring in, that way you can avoid wastage by over-ordering. Once the measurements are confirmed, you can start looking further into the materials that you’d like. If you do crave a real wood floor but aren’t too keen on the price-tag, then engineered wood is a fantastic alternative. It bears almost the same qualities as solid but is much cheaper and you really can't tell the difference between the two! Once you have chosen your flooring then you need to consider whether you will be fitting it yourself or if you will be hiring someone to do it for you. These things all mount towards the final cost so need to be taken into account.
Before the whole installation and choosing what type of flooring you want it’s important to assess where the floor is being placed and the kind of traffic that it will face. If the floor is being laid in a busier place such as the hallway or kitchen/living area, then it would probably be wise to consider a more durable material, simply because these will be the places where the floor may take the most wear and tear so a material that can handle the heat is important. However, if you're looking at replacing a bedroom floor then you can consider materials that might be a little lighter or softer such as vinyl or carpets because they won't be faced with such a heavy footfall.
Another thing to consider is if you have children or pets in your home? It’s surprising how much damage the two can actually cause considering how small they are. Currently the most family-friendly floors according to various interior designers are vinyl, laminate, hard wood and tiles.
It’s surprising how much your flooring can compliment the decor of your home if you pay enough attention to it. When you’re looking into flooring consider the colours in the room, for example dark wood flooring pairs really well with neutral colours and can really accent the earthy tones that run through the wood itself, make no mistake though; neutral does not mean boring! Lighter floors make great accomplices for bright furniture, if you’re into making a statement that is! Regardless of what look you’re hoping to create it all boils down to your personal choice, the same applies with the flooring and with so much available to choose from you will definitely be spoilt for choice!
Updating your interior style doesn't have to come with a high price tag. Just a few small but clever improvements can make your space feel renewed with very little impact to your pocketbook. Here are three ideas to get you on your way to maximising, adorning, or adding dimension to your space - or all three!
Add a mirror
It’s a tried and true interior decorator's trick to add wall mirrors to a small room to reflect light as well as the surrounding walls. The effect creates a visual illusion that makes the space feel brighter and much larger than it actually is, as the boundaries are no longer realistically defined. You can go frameless, or if you have a little bit of a budget to splash out, putting money into the frame is a great way to make a statement, whether your style is traditional, modern or eclectic.
Here's a twist: rather than adding, try removing pieces to freshen things up. Less can be more. If you've accumulated decorative items and your shelves and tables have become overrun with trinkets that aren't doing much more than collecting dust, edit your decor to the most significant pieces and let them stand out. If you can part with the rejects, sell them online or have a garage sale. If they still mean something to you, store them away and rotate in new pieces every couple of months to create your own mini collections to suit your current mood.
Give your '5th wall' a voice
A bare ceiling is an opportunity to give your space a unique look and feel. Adding a splash of overhead color creates a new dimension in the room. The colour you choose could be a tonal variation of your wall colour, or to create an effect that's bold, playful or dramatic, try a complementary shade to make the room pop. Want a look that screams modern? White walls with a black ceiling is super chic.
Take some quiet time for inspiration
Hanging out on the couch with a loved one on a regular basis is a great way to relax and reset, and that loved one might well be your beloved dog. Having that calming space away from your stresses will allow ideas to flow, and if you're conjuring up some good ones be sure to write them down. If you have settled in with your furry friend, you may want to take notice of their general health. Supplementation for dogs can be beneficial, just like it is with us in some cases. The Canna-Pet supplement has been used by dog owners for a few years now, often seeing improvement in health conditions that didn’t improve with traditional prescribed medicine.
The best interior decor ideas are the ones that speak to you and reflect your individual personality. Go for what you connect with, and is exciting and comforting to you. That's a nice combination to live with.
Our living rooms are where we spend a lot of time relaxing, and it's the place where first impressions are made when we receive guests, making it a priority for updated decor. A lack of cash doesn't need to stand between us and a room that is comfortable and beautiful if we take a clever and creative approach. Here are some inexpensive ways we can think about our living rooms to transform the look and feel with a few simple changes.
Upcycle a piece of furniture
Take what’s old and make it look new again, or wildly different, with a DIY upgrade. Buy a can of spray paint and turn that powder-coated chair frame or shelving unit into shimmering rose gold, for example. Or head to a charity shop and purchase pieces of furniture that lots of character or the potential to be upcycled with a little TLC.
Freshen your cushions
Adding or changing your sofa and chair cushions is the easiest way to update the style of your living room. You can play with proportion by adding oversized in with your smaller cushions; mix shapes, textures and materials, or go monochrome if eclectic is your original look. Choose a new colour scheme that's a noticeable contrast from what you've been living with, or go with a graphic feature cushion to create a focal point. Add a matching throw to make the room feel more warm and welcoming and you won't even recognise the your living room the next time you walk into it.
Use the walls to tell a story
Make your walls stand out with memories and unique artwork. You can make a poster of a favourite design or a collection of your personal photos. Creating a custom, professional-looking poster is easy using an online poster making program, and it doesn't have to cost a lot to print. Frames can really alter the style of your space, so choose one that suits the artwork and the style you are looking to achieve. Bold black frames will give you a gallery look and can instantly make your tired room feel upscale and contemporary. If you can't afford professional framing, look for old artwork at flea markets that come with interesting frames.
Add a rug
Don't count out the floor when it comes to setting the tone for your living room; what you do with it can create as big an impact as your walls. If you have wood floors, consider adding a rug or changing an old one. The size and colour you choose can change the mood of the entire room. A blah, non-descript matt replaced by a jewel-toned or monochrome-striped rug can turn a dull space into a vibrant one. Or if your space feels quite busy, go with a refined winter white or saturated black to create a more serene base. You can go plush with thick pile or minimalist with Scandinavian woven recycled plastic rugs (they don't look plastic, I have one) that come in modern, graphic patterns and are easy to clean. If you love the rug you have or it was an investment that you're not willing to part with, a professional cleaning can bring it, and the room, back to life.
Grab a paint brush and freshen your walls. Pick colours that complement the tones you've used around your home and make you happy. You may want to use colours that brighten the space and make it feel open and inviting. Recruit friends or family to help out if you're a rookie and have fun with creating a whole new look and feel in your living room!
First, let me tell you that the Fashion & Freedom exhibition is, like the fashions it draws upon, now a thing of the past. I caught the last day of its showing at the Manchester Art Gallery last year, but as it is part of a broader, important five-year project, I thought it worthy of coverage after the fact. 14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting us all with the First World War. The programme began in 2014 and will run until 2018, timed to mark the centenary of the war, which engulfed Europe, Asia and Africa from 1914 to 1918.
Back to Fashion & Freedom. "Fashion is often dismissed as a frivolous thing, but it is interwoven into our social and political history," says Caroline Rush CBE, CEO British Fashion Council. This exhibition uses historical artefacts to illustrate the shift in the way women clothed themselves during the time of the First World War. Taking these ideas into the 21st century are new designs by renowned designers Holly Fulton, Roksanda, J JS Lee, Vivienne Westwood, Emilia Wickstead and Sadie Williams, and works by the next generation of fashion talent - all influenced by the new fashions and freedoms worn and won by women in 1914-18.
Fashion & Freedom also includes a series of specially commissioned films. These works, collaborations among visionary directors and designers, provide contemporary reflections upon the social and cultural changes brought about by the First World War and are reflective of how historical events continue to inspire cutting-edge creative production. My favourite is The Fall of the Corset, produced by SHOWstudio who chose Rei Nadal, a young Spanish filmmaker and artist who regularly explores themes of femininity, rights of passage and role-play within her work. There is no doubt that Guinevere van Seenus' agony was genuine as she was tightly corseted (as seen above) by several young men, and when she forcibly reclaims her freedom from her restrictive garment her obstinace is palpable. You can watch the films here
Photos: Denise Grayson