musicians and artists as houses

A clever Italian artist, Frederico Babina, personifies musicians and artists through modern house archetypes. We promise to make you smile while looking at his Archimusic and Archist.

If you’re considering a micro-modern, then inject a little whimsy. Throw in new colors or shapes, even in artwork. Here are six of our favorite Babinas.

Archimusic: Modern houses reflecting musicians

Aah, jazz melodies can be heard from John Coltrane's saxophone here. This instrument shaped building is a sweet homage, with several stories for inhabitants. (Archimusic)

Aah, jazz melodies can be heard from John Coltrane’s saxophone here. This instrument shaped building is a sweet homage, with several stories for inhabitants. (Archimusic)

Alt-rocker Radiohead breaks rules, famously releasing a digital album and asking for money. Their stacked container house is wild, though a few containers might work. (Archimusic)

Alt-rocker Radiohead breaks rules, famously releasing a digital album and asking for money. Their stacked container house is wild, though a few containers might work. (Archimusic)

See anyone familiar? These four tiny houses represent the heads of the fab four Beatles, in their younger days. The rest of their bodies merge below them. (Archimusic)

See anyone familiar? These four tiny houses represent the heads of the fab four Beatles, in their younger days. The rest of their bodies merge below them. (Archimusic)

Archist: Modern houses reflecting artists

Isn't this Piet Mondrian perfect? He loved those colored squares and boxes, which don't represent anything. We are ready to build this amazing tiny house! (Archist)

Isn’t this Piet Mondrian perfect? He loved those colored squares and boxes, which don’t represent anything. We are ready to build this amazing tiny house! (Archist)

Joan Miro used signature shapes in his surrealist art, honored here. This playful home must have the right paint and window treatments. Anyone like brightly colored glass? (Archist)

Joan Miro used signature shapes in his surrealist art, honored here. This playful home must have the right paint and window treatments. Anyone like brightly colored glass? (Archist)

Salvador Dali's flowing shapes do translate into a surreal tiny house. Is it a spaceship or dino fossil? There's a full floor and large loft inside this sui-generis place. (Archist)

Salvador Dali’s flowing shapes do translate into a surreal tiny house. Is it a spaceship or dino fossil? There’s a full floor and large loft inside this sui-generis place. (Archist)

book shelfies reveal saving styles

Shelfies are rather popular these days, as people share images of their own collections. Book shelfies reveal particular interests as well as three saving styles:

  1. Major savers – store as many books as possible.
  2. Artful displayers – arrange books so they belong and look nice.
  3. Downsizers – donate or give away, and keep a precious few.

Let’s see how these shelfies look, from massive libraries to a couple books within reach. Of course, the style choice depends on available square footage and how many books matter to you.

Major savers

Journalist Peter Jukes says he has two book walls in his home and admits to literary overload. (Peter Jukes, Twitter)

Journalist Peter Jukes says he has two book walls in his home and admits to literary overload. (Peter Jukes, Twitter)

Writers Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman store a lot books in their bedroom, some even double-deep. (Remodelista)

Writers Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman store a lot books in their bedroom, some even double-deep. (Remodelista)

Artful displayers

Architect and author Sarah Susanka places built-ins where they won't overwhelm the space. (Yahoo gallery)

Architect and author Sarah Susanka places built-ins where they won’t overwhelm the space. (Yahoo gallery)

These built-in bookshelves use space well, surrounding a window. Do people really organize books by color? (HGTV)

These built-in bookshelves use space well, surrounding a window. Do people really organize books by color? (HGTV)

Downsizers

A few pieces of wood serve as nice bookshelves in a smaller home. Yes, people organize books by color. (Fever London)

A few pieces of wood serve as nice bookshelves in a smaller home. Yes, people organize books by color. (Fever London)

Even in a 240 sq. ft. tiny house, it's possible to create bookshelves on two or more interior walls. (The Tiny Project)

Even in a 240 sq. ft. tiny house, it’s possible to create bookshelves on two or more interior walls. (The Tiny Project)

 

let there be led light

LED lights are artistic forms as well as energy-savers. As you plan or replace lighting in a smaller house, these lights are an excellent choice. Why not add decorative punches as well?

We scoured the interwebs to find very different LED treatments. Here are five we bet you have never seen before, which create mood lighting especially for a great room.

This special LED light is run through a white double braided nylon rope, the type used on boats. (Luke Lamp)

This special LED light is run through a white double braided nylon rope, the type used on boats. (Luke Lamp)

Designer Rebecca Asquith created this lampshade which rolls back into itself and mimics the Nautilus shell. (Design Tree)

Designer Rebecca Asquith created this lampshade which rolls back into itself and mimics the Nautilus shell. (Design Tree)

David Hakaraia honors Maori heritage with this Mahuika wood and porcelain light symbolizing fire. (Hakaraia Designs)

David Hakaraia honors Maori heritage with this Mahuika wood and porcelain light symbolizing fire. (Hakaraia Designs)

From New Zealand, Pil pendants are made from native beech and artisan blown glass. (Design Tree)

From New Zealand, Pil pendants are made from native beech and artisan blown glass. (Design Tree)

With a cone of beechwood and felt strips, this French light gets easily adjusted with felt rings. (Metylos)

With a cone of beechwood and felt strips, this French light gets easily adjusted with felt rings. (Metylos)

not so serious decor for living

In small and tiny houses, you focus on making spaces more efficient and keeping clutter away. Yet why not have a few items that bring you great joy while living in a smaller place?

It’s time to take a breather and not take this smaller-living and downsizing so seriously. En route to finding “the right” lighting, storage and entertainment, we discovered and proudly present three whimsical items.

Olive oil lamp that throws good light

All you need to have on hand is the olive oil. Long-burning glass jars, wicks and nickel elements may be ordered through Lehman’s store, which sells “simple products for a simple life.” Their largest lamp and starter package costs $34.90 before shipping fees.

Shelf escape to win admirers

Book-Escape Wall Shelves are hand-welded and made from epoxy coated steel. They fit small spaces, measuring 3.8"D x 12"W x 25.5" H. (Dot & Bo)

Book-Escape Wall Shelves are hand-welded and made from epoxy coated steel. They fit small spaces, measuring 3.8″D x 12″W x 25.5″ H. (Dot & Bo)

This kind of city fire escape definitely adds shelf character, and is somewhat useful too. In these days of “shelfie” snapshots, it struck us as the perfect way to display and share your treasures with others. The shelves cost $99.99 from Dot & Bo’s online store.

Efficient three-player chess table

This round chess game comes with three sets of plastic, felt-bottomed chessmen. Its board measures 1/8" thick and folds out to a 19" diameter. (Think Geek)

This round chess game comes with three sets of plastic, felt-bottomed chessmen. Its board measures 1/8″ thick and folds out to a 19″ diameter. (Think Geek)

Chess becomes more challenging with three players! Traditional rules still apply though supplied instructions help guide the black, grey and white chessmen in battle. We like how the board can be stored easily and folded out for play. It costs $49.99 from Think Geek’s online site.

aaah, comfy chair for your home

Every small home needs a special decor element. We suggest the Prop Chair, a deconstructed, non-upholstered piece that’s sleek and yet comfortable.

This Benjamin Hubert design comes from “research into human behaviors and how users perceive comfort.” The chair is made from solid Ash, aero-ply for the curved back, a textile called Innofa, and polyurethane foam. Take a peek!

Lush Innofa fabric, from the Netherlands, makes this chair feel soft and sweet. (Benjamin Hubert)

Lush Innofa fabric, from the Netherlands, makes this chair feel soft and sweet. (Benjamin Hubert)

The Prop chair, in blue, has an exposed and curved seat structure in clear view. (Benjamin Hubert)

The Prop chair, in blue, has an exposed and curved seat structure in clear view. (Benjamin Hubert)

Here's the chair with green fabric, nestled in its solid Ash timber framework. (Benjamin Hubert)

Here’s the chair with green fabric, nestled in its solid Ash timber framework. (Benjamin Hubert)

Unzipped fabric reveals the foam, as well as the chair's overall simplicity. (Benjamin Hubert)

Unzipped fabric reveals the foam, as well as the chair’s overall simplicity. (Benjamin Hubert)

More info: Tiny House Joy simply admires the Prop chair from afar. Check out Benjamin Hubert or its distributor Moroso.

try on english arts & crafts style

William Morris (1834-1896) is best known as the father of the English Arts & Crafts movement. He was an iconoclast, who designed for Queen Victoria and created a full range of decor still used today.

Along the way, Morris became a patron saint for anyone wanting to simplify and beautify their surroundings.

William Morris introduced his Golden Rule, to keep what’s useful or beautiful, during a lecture at the Birmingham (UK) Society of Arts and School of Design.

Morris evolved as a poet, artist, craftsman, designer, social reformer and printer over his lifetime. His designs were inspired by medieval books and nature, and a stable of artists and artisans helped him expand offerings.

We look at English Arts & Crafts decor and call it useful and beautiful, as focal points in smaller houses. Take a quick tour below, to see if you like it.

Silk velvet textile brocaded with gilt thread. It was woven and block-printed in 1884. (William Morris Gallery)

Silk velvet textile brocaded with gilt thread. It was woven and block-printed in 1884. (William Morris Gallery)

Hand-knotted textile made from woolen pile on cotton warp, sometime in the 1880s. (William Morris Gallery)

Hand-knotted textile made from woolen pile on cotton warp, sometime in the 1880s. (William Morris Gallery)

Hand-drawn then painted wallpaper, from 1886. It features two distinct design layers. (William Morris Gallery)

Hand-drawn then painted wallpaper, from 1886. It features two distinct design layers. (William Morris Gallery)

Tulip and trellis design from the 1870s. It's a hand-painted, overglaze ceramic piece. (William Morris Gallery)

Tulip and trellis design from the 1870s. It’s a hand-painted, overglaze ceramic piece. (William Morris Gallery)

shining light from pendants

Consider pendant lighting in a tiny or smaller home, as a way to add artistic flourishes and to keep fixtures proportionate to your space.

Since there are so many kinds of pendants, we decided to hunt down more unusual specimens for your enjoyment. Take some time and discover all kinds of possibilities, to make your place unique.

White-painted branches were attached wall to wall, with many pendants hung for impact and light. (Buitenwijkjes)

White-painted branches were attached wall to wall, with many pendants hung for impact and light. (Buitenwijkjes)

Crafters from Chimbarongo, Chile created lamp pendants from recycled plastic bottles and natural wicker. (PET Lamp)

Crafters from Chimbarongo, Chile created lamp pendants from recycled plastic bottles and natural wicker. (PET Lamp)

A favorite way to store food or small items, mason jars also become terrific pendant lighting. (Etsy, BootsNGus)

A favorite way to store food or small items, mason jars also become terrific pendant lighting. (Etsy, BootsNGus)

These pendants show off Baby Plumen bulbs, which are sculptural low energy bulbs meant to be seen. (Plumen)

These pendants show off Baby Plumen bulbs, which are sculptural low energy bulbs meant to be seen. (Plumen)