You Won’t Believe How Much This Baby Furniture Costs

Monday, October 31st, 2011

After a new baby arrives on the scene, some parents feel the urge to spend exorbitant amounts of money on furniture for the nursery; after all, who doesn’t want their baby to have the best? However, the drive to provide the most magnificent trappings can sometimes cross the line into wanton excess. Only the parents themselves can decide how much is too much to spend, but it’s safe to say that these ten baby furnishings set the bar quite high:

The Majestic Carriage Crib from PoshTots ($19,995)

This made-to-order crib comes complete with an attached changing table with storage beneath. The crib portion is round and comes with its own specially-made round mattress. Parents wishing to order this for their daughter will want to order as soon as the ultrasound is definitive, as it takes 10 to 12 weeks to arrive. There is also some assembly required.

The French Panel Crib ($4,140)

For those well-to-do parents who are expecting a boy, this crib seems like a bargain compared to the Majestic Carriage. This crib is made of alder and birch and takes a standard-size crib mattress. While the mattress is not included, couples are urged not to simply crumple up $100 bills as a bedding substitute; parents of means can simply purchase a mohair organic crib mattress of the same style for a mere $450. The little prince of the household will feel right at home in this cherry-finished, French Empire-inspired creation.

A Bohemian Mosaic Armoire ($5,270)

Should parents be concerned that they won’t have enough room for all of their baby’s clothing and blankets, this detailed armoire offers up three deep drawers. Two doors at the top open to reveal space for hanging clothes. This piece is made with hand-painted pieces of broken China, so each one is guaranteed to be unique. There’s even free ground shipping! By comparison, a gorgeous walnut piece from the 18th century was sold at Christie’s for a mere $3,177 and was considered one of the most expensive armoires in the world… But that piece, however gorgeous it may be, just doesn’t quite approach the whimsy of this Bohemian creation.

A Parker Converse Rocking Chair (Up to $32,000)

What nursery is complete without a rocking chair? Artisan Parker Converse II was listed in Forbes magazine in 2004 for consistently producing a “named, numbered, and signed work of very comfortable art.” Should an affluent parent want to rock their baby to sleep, a gorgeous hand-carved creation would look right at home in the nursery. The artist even takes the user’s height and weight into account while crafting his one-of-a-kind chairs, so parents may just want to buy two so they each may have their own!

The Magic Garden Cradle ($2,580)

While cribs are great, a mom who is nursing may not want to rush to the nursery at every cry. So, many parents decide to use a cradle in their bedroom until the baby is a little older. For those who want the very best in cradles, this garden-themed creation comes with the mattress included but some assembly required. The wait for the item is only 2 to 4 weeks, making it perfect for last-minute shoppers.

Pirate’s Cove Book Case ($2,999)

What better way to encourage a love of learning than to buy a book case? Well, when the book case’s cost is equivalent to two or three mortgage payments, some parents might have to look elsewhere. However, for those with plenty of funds and a leaning towards the nautical theme, a Pirate’s Cove book case may be just the right fit. Want to outfit the whole room in the same theme? Everything from a pirate booty chest to a matching ceiling fan can be had from the same manufacturer. The prices are more reasonable for other pieces in the set. In the world of luxury book cases, however, the Pirate’s Cove option is a steal; Chilean designer Sebastian Errazuriz once had a large tree-shaped book shelf sell for $75,000 at New York’s Cristina Grajales Gallery!

The Black Beauty Supperman High Chair ($2,125)

While a standard high chair can be had for under $100, this black one was designed by Ineke Hans, a Dutch designer of note. The entire chair is made of recycled plastic and is billed as wind, salt, acid, water, and UV-resistant. Apparently, this thing should be able to withstand just about anything the elements can throw at it.

The Chelsea Dresser in Antique Silver ($1,912)

The astonishing cost of this dresser is compounded by the fact that every other piece in the collection is equally fussy, overdone, and shockingly expensive. While it may seem huge and out of place in a normal room, this piece will look right at home in a mansion-sized nursery. Whether the parents decide to buy the entire set or just the dresser, their wealth will not go unnoticed.

The Agnès & Agnès Design Toy Box ($2,600)

While some parents will simply buy a plastic 55-gallon tote from WalMart and call it a toy box, children of the affluent can have this dual-use toy box instead. It can serve as an art desk and includes many drawers, cubicles, and hiding spaces.

The Sarah Lamp with Bird Finial ($383)

This item may seem cheap compared to the other items on the list, but bear in mind that a decent lamp can be purchased for $30. Therefore, the excess of buying a lamp that costs $383 for a nursery where it may be broken by roughhousing children may seem initially insane. However, discerning parents can see that this lamp could easily be used by a tasteful daughter well into high school. That alone could make it an investment worth the price tag.

When buying furniture for a nursery, affluent parents may decide to splurge on some of these high-end pieces. Whether it’s celebrities, CEOs, or heads of state, the upscale baby furniture market will always be bustling as mothers strive to outdo one another in the nursery. Whether that is money well spent or a frivolous waste – well, I’ll leave that for you to decide.

10 Coolest Offices From Movies and Television

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

Hollywood offices are some of the most glamorous, high-tech, and fashionable rooms in the world. No, not the offices of actors, studio executives, or film directors – the offices of fictional characters in film and TV! Whether an eccentric billionaire, a high-powered businessman, or an evil genius, the following characters definitely set the bar high for working in style:

10. Iron Man – Tony Stark

 

Eccentric billionaire and high-tech superhero Tony Stark practically lives in his office – and why wouldn’t he? The space strikes a perfect balance between class and comfort. The warm colors and slight clutter make the office inviting, while the clean steel surfaces lend polish and modernity. Abstract art shares wall-space with old-fashioned airplane propellers, and the modern furnishings look as comfortable as they are fashionable. Tony Stark also has arguably the coolest computer of any character on the big screen; the interface is controlled entirely through holographic images that can be manipulated at a touch.

9. American Psycho – Patrick Bateman

 

Sleek, clean, classy, and cold: These are all words describing both Patrick Bateman and his choices of decor. His home is a display of modern opulence, and his office space is downright enviable. Large and well-lit by the massive windows, the space is made to seem even larger by the cool pale-blue walls. The walls are sparsely but tastefully decorated with framed art, and the office includes the barest essentials for work; it does, however, feature a posh white leather couch. None of Bateman’s personality is displayed in his workspace, but all things considered that’s probably a blessing.

8. Scrooged – Frank Cross

 

In true Hollywood fashion, Frank Cross’s office is at least three times as big as a real television executive’s office and substantially more posh. The large windows provide a panoramic view of the city skyline, complete with a telescope to enjoy the stars – or to spy on neighboring offices. The dark walls and light floors complement each other, making the space seem even more expansive than it already is. The office is amply furnished in sleek black leather, glass, and hardwood. Best of all, it includes a fully-stocked mini-bar!

7. Inspector Gadget – Dr. Claw

 

One of the most enigmatic supervillains to ever grace a Saturday morning cartoon, Dr. Claw is very secretive in his affairs. His office reflects that: small, cozy, cluttered, and with minimal decor. The room features wood paneling and a large hardwood desk; the warm colors enhance the close quarters, giving the whole office a rather claustrophobic appeal. Dr. Claw’s high-back office chair provides neck and shoulder support for his long days, and also sports the Malevolent Agency of Destruction (MAD) logo. What really makes Dr. Claw’s office enviable, however, is the quality of his electronics. Every flat surface of the office is host to an array of machines, every one of them keeping tabs on the behavior of his arch-nemesis Inspector Gadget. While the machines look a bit out of date now, when you realize that Dr. Claw was in his prime long before the era of the internet and cloud computing, he was definitely ahead of the technological curve!

6. The Simpsons – Mr. Burns

 

Mr. Burns’s office is designed to be impressive and intimidating: Huge, with a size amplified by the contrasting colors of the floor rug and the oversized desk and chair. The room is old-fashioned, from its huge green curtains to the taxidermy polar bear standing guard over the desk, but Mr. Burns has modernized his workspace with a wide variety of extra features, including – most notoriously – trap floors which can be triggered with the push of a button.

5. Batman – Bruce Wayne

 

As both a millionaire and a superhero, Bruce Wayne has two personas to keep up, and accordingly his office does double-duty. At turns classic and modern, his workspace sports a variety of high-tech electronics and classical furnishings set off by white marble floors. Wayne Enterprises is also an ideal location for social engagements and corporate galas. As an added bonus, the building has a unique skyline silhouette – ideal for catching cape-billowing winds!

4. Harry Potter – Dumbledore

 

Dumbledore’s office is everything a benevolent genius could need: warm, inviting, cluttered, and full of mysteries. The soft glow of candlelight illuminates the cozy space. The large wooden desk is filigreed and ageless, with rich colors accented in the dark walls and pale stone arches. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves lend functionality and a splash of color to the classic space, while the brass instruments add character.

3. Tropic Thunder – Les Grossman

 

“Over the top” describes nearly everything about Les Grossman, including his office. From the numerous pictures of himself to the wall-size fiber-optic emoticon backdrop behind his desk, Grossman’s office screams character. The dark walls offset the light illuminated from the numerous electronics, and the slatted wall divider allows light through while providing total privacy in his workspace.

2. Entourage – Ari Gold

 

Ari’s had a couple offices over the seven years Entourage was on TV, but the first at TMA was my favourite. Cream and rust complement each other beautifully in Ari Gold’s modern-looking, but cluttered office. The overstuffed couch and armchair provide a comfortable space to meet and share ideas, while the furnishings are all sleek and new. His messy desk and assorted gizmos add character to an otherwise anonymous workspace, and the view from the window is excellent — and made even better by the telescope (which Ari may have borrowed from Frank Cross himself). The mini guillotine is the perfect accessory for Ari’s personality. The second office at MGA, arguably much more updated and simple, lacks personality.

1. Mad Men – Don Draper

 

Don Draper’s office is simultaneously comforting and a little anonymous, the sort of workspace that photographs beautifully but could be wearisome to work in. The spacious room is made cozier by the dark wood-paneled walls and the dark carpet, while the wood furniture looks just old-fashioned enough to be timeless. The frosted glass walls give the room a sense of privacy without cutting it off entirely from light. The couch looks like a great place to curl up for a midday workplace nap, and with the privacy windows no one would ever catch you snoozing on the job.

Whether loaded with electronics, furnished with post-modern decor, or adorned with modern art, these offices from the big screen are all larger-than-life and incredibly posh. Each room reflects the character of the individual who works there, and also inspires awe and jealousy among viewers. Similar results can be achieved at home through the careful balancing of colors, the wise selection of texture in furnishings or walls, and the right decoration choices.

10 Ideas to Create the Scariest Haunted House

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

It’s that time of year again: Halloween has arrived and there is nothing more fun than turning your home into a factory for squeals, screams, and good ol’ terror. Thankfully, creating the scariest haunted house doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. All you need is a bit of creativity, dedication, and a desire to scare your friends, family, and neighbors!

1) Alter The Atmosphere:
One of the first steps to creating the scariest haunted house possible is to alter the atmosphere of your home. After all, it can’t be scary if your home still feels cozy and safe. Altering the atmosphere in your home is easy; one of the first and most effective ways to change it is to play around with the lighting. Simply replace the regular light bulbs in your home with black or dark purple ones. If you can add a strobe light on top of the darker lighting, even better! The strobe light will add a sense of confusion to your haunted house.

Another excellent way to make your guests feel like they are in a scary place is to add some spooky sound effects. CDs with spooky music and noises can be purchased quite cheaply, or even downloaded from the internet. All that’s left to do is place the sounds in the right places of your home and watch your guests squeal with terror. If you can’t find music that fits your needs, you can always make your own with customized sound effects.

Last, but not least, you can alter the atmosphere of your home by creating temporary wall paper to cover up your “safe” wallpaper. If you don’t feel like being especially creative, using simple, black sheeting is an option. It can also be helpful to cover up windows so that your haunted house remains dark and spooky.

2) Find Actors:
If you really want your haunted house to come to life, try enlisting the help of family and friends to play the scary monsters of your haunted masterpiece. Combining your “monsters” with your new scary atmosphere, your haunted house will scare everyone! Although you can purchase props, there is nothing scarier than real, live ghouls lurking about. However, if you don’t want your actors moving, try placing them near other stuffed props. When guests walk through your haunted house, they won’t be sure of which is real until it’s too late!

3) Props, Props, Props:
Now that you’ve set up the right atmosphere and have your “monsters” in place, you can add eerily realistic props to your haunted house. When deciding where to set up props, be sure to take into consideration the route that your guests will take and how the furniture in your home can help you out. For example, if you have a chaise lounge on the route that your guests will take, try converting it into an electric chair. Next, place a dummy in the chair; be sure that the dummy looks the part, with some burnt spots and wires running from his body. If you decided on a strobe light, place it in this area and watch your guests scream in terror! The key to placing the right props is to be creative; your home can easily be converted with a little creativity.

4) Surprise ‘Em with Hidden Props:
So, you’ve placed all of the props in plain view. That’s good and all, but the best way to create the scariest haunted house possible is to place props in places where guests won’t expect them. For example, create a situation where your guests need to walk into a room and open a door. When they do, have a “surprise prop” just inside of the room or on the back of the door. In fact, doors are excellent places for hanging scary dummies and skeletons. Other pieces of furniture can be great places to place random body parts; stuffed arms, legs, hands, and other appendages can be placed on nearly any type of furniture in your home. Another effective – and popular – prop is fake cobwebs, which give the creepy appearance of both decay and spider infestation.

5) Be Creative with Glow in the Dark Paint:
Picture this: the entire house is dark except for a pair of glowing, red eyes. What could possibly be scarier than that? Glow in the dark paint can be found at most craft stores and can really open up your decorating options. Find a few spare boxes, and cover them with the same black sheeting you used on the walls. Next, take your new glow in the dark paint and create terrifyingly creative props.

6) Touch and Smell:
One of the best ways to have a truly scary haunted house is to have the guests feel and smell the scariness. If you don’t mind stinking up your home for a little while, try letting some food sit out and rot. When it’s time for your haunted house to open, hide the food in a room and watch your guests crinkle up their noses in disgust. Also, try taking a pan and adding spaghetti noodles, jello, and ketchup. Gather up a group of guests and have them stick their hand in the pan; while they do so, explain that they are touching brains.

7) Magic Mirror:
If you have an LCD monitor, computer, and internet access, this is one great feature to add to your haunted house. There is free software available from Walt Disney Imagineering that allows you to have the “magic mirror” from Snow White installed on your computer and displayed on your LCD monitor. Using a microphone, you can actually talk to your guests through the screen. To make the LCD monitor blend in, try adding a picture frame to its borders.

8) Scary Food:
If you want to treat your guests when they come through the haunted house, make sure that the food is extra scary. For example, you can use food coloring to make grapes resemble eyeballs. Offer them to your guests and wait for the terror! You can also serve cantaloupe that looks like skulls.

9) Fake Blood:
Nothing creates a feeling of fear in people like blood. Try using ketchup or easily removable red paint and smear it in as many places as possible. As long as it’s easy to remove, you can even make bloody footprints throughout your home!

10) Safety:
Although you want your haunted house to be scary, you don’t want to sacrifice safety. Be sure that there are no walking hazards that your guests could potentially trip over. Additionally, although it needs to be dark, make sure it’s not so dark that your guests can’t see where they’re going. Also, it is considerate to let guests know if your haunted house may not be suitable for young children.

By following these 10 tips, a little time and preparation is all you need to turn your home into a house of terror! Happy haunting!

Canape Cactus by Maurizio Galante for Cerruti Baleri

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Known to push the limits with its designs, Maurizio Galante capitalized on his passion for surrealism and digitalized prints with the Canape Cactus modern sofa that was presented at the 2011 Milan Furniture Fair the by Cerruti Baleri.  With an ironic and very memorable photographic print upholstery denoting a one-of-a-kind disposition, the Canape Cactus sofa looks like a very real display of thorny cacti, only the seating arrangement is much more comfortable having a high density structural polyurethane foam filling and internal support steel structures.

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Remember Me by Tobias Juretzek for Casamania

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Into a design world where innovation and ingenuity are at times, not enough to draw attention and where “green living” and recycling often takes priority above all else, comes to life Remember Me designer dining chairs by Tobias Juretzek for Casamania, a leading Italian furniture manufacturer.

Embedded in the notion of longevity and continuity, Juretzek set out to prolong the life cycle of some very random, yet common clothing by using them as unique exterior identifiers of linearly constructed dining chairs, hence creating one-of-a-kind furniture elements with perhaps a few memories that were attached to each garment.  Items like jeans and t-shirts are reinvented as surfaces in a sporadic, multi-dimensional, quilt-like pattern by being soaked in resin and dried into the shape of a chair that can be mistaken for having a wooden or plastic structure.