Speculative Paintings of a Graffiti-Covered Earth by Josh Keyes

"Descent" (2016), acrylic on panel, 8"x10"

“Descent” (2016), acrylic on panel, 8″x10″

Josh Keyes‘ newest series features subjects both manmade and natural, their common element being several layers of graffiti that cover a space shuttle, a melting iceberg, and even a whale’s tail. For the last ten years these marks had remained in the background of Keyes’ paintings, adding detail to the supporting elements of the environment rather than being integrated into the subjects of his work.

For Keyes, the decision to place graffiti writing in the foreground questions our relationship to the natural world, and what impact we are undeniably leaving on our planet. The iceberg for instance, is marked with the words, “I’ll melt with you.” This blood red message could be the voice of both the iceberg and the tagger, a warning that we will all be melting if we continue to desecrate the Earth.

“Are there things and places that graffiti should not be?” asked Keyes to Colossal. “Who is to say what surface is to be kept graffiti clean? My personal concern is that this will be a reality some day and speaks to a larger issue of our relationship with the natural world. The satellite and space graffiti hints that even if we colonize other worlds, what mark will we leave? No matter where we go there is evidence of our presence.”

Keyes’ will exhibit his paintings later this year with Thinkspace Gallery in LA. You can see more of his works on his Instagram and website.

"Tin Can" (2016), acrylic on panel, 24"x48", all images via Josh Keyes

“Tin Can” (2016), acrylic on panel, 24″x48″, all images via Josh Keyes

"Tin Can" (2016), acrylic on panel, 24"x48"

“Tin Can” (2016), acrylic on panel, 24″x48″

"I'll Melt With You" (2016), acrylic on panel, 12"x18"

“I’ll Melt With You” (2016), acrylic on panel, 12″x18″

"Frontier 2" (2016), acrylic on panel, 12"x16"

“Frontier 2″ (2016), acrylic on panel, 12″x16”

"Frontier" (2015), acrylic on panel, 19"x24"

“Frontier” (2015), acrylic on panel, 19″x24″


International Fair of Contemporary Art – Paratissima Skopje

Open Call for the International Fair of Contemporary Art – Paratissima Skopje
Deadline: Monday, 10 April 2017

Paratissima Skopje

Paratissima Skopje is an international contemporary art fair open to literally all forms of art and creativity! If you are a visual artist, performer, designer, architect, photographer, fashion designer, filmmaker, musician…or practice any other form of art making, Paratissima Skopje invites you to show and share your work with new audiences.

Everyone from everywhere can participate at Paratissima Skopje and showcase their work.

With this open call we welcome all artists and creative workers and encourage them to experiment, transform and trespass the conventional boundaries in expressing themselves and their work.

The event will take place from 15-17 June, 2017 at the Youth Cultural Center in Skopje.

The call is open until Monday, April 10 2017.

You can access additional information about the event at the following links and e-mail contact:

Official website: http://ift.tt/1Gqug9g
Facebook: http://ift.tt/2k075PH
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs7WQZ3rixqabQZ9A_B3L7w
Instagram: http://ift.tt/2iBoAcL

E-mail: contact@paratissimaskopje.mk




Inside Zeno van den Broek’s raw immersive AV architectures

Strap on headphones, and the sixteen minutes of Shift Symm is a brain-tickling assault. Even just within the stereo field, raw textures rumble and dance until you feel the sound’s structures inside your head.

I was attracted to Zeno van den Broek’s work partly because that sense of patterning in sound and visual formed a work I thought deserved special integrity as a release. This is to me an encouraging sign that there are new frontiers for archaic, exposed AV minimalism in the post raster-noton age.

Shift Symm therefore saw a digital release alongside a limited edition audiovisual art release on Sedition. (More on that process soon.) In addition to Zeno’s own videos, you can catch this beautiful creation by artist Daan Kars, first premiered by data transmission:

In Los Angeles, we were a digital partner of The Billboard Creative (TBC), a project that found new homes for digital art both on the Web and (true to California culture) on roadside billboards. That was featured on The Creators Project:

A Drive-Thru Art Show Appears on Billboards in LA

And in bringing Zeno’s work out on Establishment, I hoped here on CDM we’d also get a bit closer to the artist and process, as a microcosm of what’s happening in a larger scene. So here, the Dutch-born, Copenhagen-based artist talks to us about how he works. I think in the same way the sound makes my ears buzz and the visuals my pupils vibrate, you may find some resonance in his approach to process and material.


Let’s start with sound. There’s a genuine rawness and purity of tone to this record. How did you assemble that? Was there some thought to sort of make this extremely immersive for headphones, for larger sound systems?

All sounds of Shift Symm are based on sine waves and white noise. During the development of my previous album Divergence, I created a method of physical manipulation of those two ingredients. I recorded the pure sound sources onto cassette tapes, after which I manipulated and destroyed the tape in various ways — like using sanding paper, heating the cassettes. or letting them soak in Coke for a few weeks.

I managed to record some sound of the abused tapes and create instruments out of those recordings in Ableton. The results had such a nice balance between distortion and roughness, while maintaining the character of the sines and noise sources, that I decided to use them again for Shift Symm, but this time in combination with direct pure sine waves and noise from the oscillators.

One of the principles which I worked with on Shift Symm is shifting the wavelengths of sine waves relative to each other to create interference. This interference happens in the space in which you listen to the album, which gives the immersive listening experience and creates a strong relation to your surroundings.

Did the formal conception for the visuals relate to how you imagined the sound?

Yes, for both the visuals and the sound, I used one single concept, which gave me a coherent set of compositional tools for the whole work and creates a strong relationship between the two. The concept is based on creation by shifting. By displacing very simple elements like lines and grids in the visuals, and pulses and wavelengths of sine waves in the music, I looked for unexpected and in a way uncontrollable events and results.

This was inspired by the idea of Slavoj Zizek on the ‘breach of symmetry’ which he describes in his book Event. It’s the notion that a system which is in an equilibrium, in which all energy and movement is in symmetry, can be brought into a trajectory of unpredictable events by shifting elements within the system until the symmetry is breached. This breach leads to a process of change, which eventually results in a new entropy. By working with a strong concept like this, I try to on one hand connect the different aspects of the work, and on the other hand, to pull myself out of my comfort zone to explore new fields of work. In this way I make sure that all visuals and all sounds on all levels are connected – both on the large scale of the three movements of the triptych, as well as on the micro-scale of a certain phrase of sounds or movement of lines within those parts.


How did the relationship with the visuals come about in the creative process? At what stage did you work on each?

For Shift Symm, I tried to take the relation between the sound and visual aspects to the next level by creating a purely digital audiovisual and media-specific work and to take a step away from a physical release, which always focuses on either the visual or the auditive. By releasing it on the platform of Sedition, I hope to have found a more equal realization of the intermedia.

By applying the concepts and movements to the different senses at the same time, I tried to find the strongest interrelation between them. It was fascinating to discover the different results of the same methodology in image and sound and to express this tension. After creating this audiovisual foundation, I fed the images into a system I designed which manipulates them in relation to the music, looking for a feedback loop between the senses. This manipulation ranges from x/y shifting of layers to distortion of the image.

For me, this synergy between the senses is the deepest and most realistic way of expressing various concepts and notions, because in our sensory system the senses are very strongly linked, and they give us the possibility to fully experience the space we inhabit. By working with multi- or inter- media, I hope to come closer to this core of sensory involvement.

I really like that, as you talked about your tools, you do have a really direct and visual approach to how your produce. It’s not code; it’s not abstraction – there’s some immediacy to it. Is there some sense of drawing visuals directly?

I think this relates to my background in architecture, in which naturally drawing plays a big role, and in a way drawings are still the foundation of my work. Only now they are not a medium to realize something else or a representation, but the drawings are the work itself.

In Shift Symm, the drawing started out with creating basic elements in vector-based CAD programs, after which they were animated in dialogue with the music composition. The next step was to layer this foundation of drawings with generated visuals, which have a more cause-effect kind of relationship with the sound. I believe there is a lot of tension in this combination of visuals which have been composed and have a longer span of movement with visuals that are triggered by events in the music: the friction between the visual layers gives unexpected results and beauty, something which often lacks in a one-to-one mapping of sound and image.

What’s your background; how did you enter this field?

In the summer of 2008, I graduated as an architect from the Technical University of Delft [The Netherlands], followed by a period in which I worked in an architecture firm. During my studies and work, I always played guitar in bands and founded my solo-project “Machinist.” This project gave me the freedom to develop a more abstract musical language and to discover the relationship between architecture and music.

After a while, I found out this way of approaching spatiality through art and music suited me much better than working with bricks, steel, and glass. The temporal aspect of working with sound and the ability to create work founded on philosophy like I studied at the university fascinated me immensely. It led to the decision to fully focus on my art and music and to continue my work with spatiality through the means I’m currently working with.

Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to have had various opportunities and commissions to create work in amazing places and to work with inspiring people who push me beyond my boundaries. Last year, for example, I received a commission from Gaudeamus to compose a piece for organ, vocal ensemble, and electronics in collaboration with Gagi Petrovic. This project, named Ob-literate, was somewhat similar in approach as Shift Symm; it investigated the different intermedia in relation to and based on strong concepts. While I work in various forms of expression, I think this recurring method of working combined with my love for minimalistic esthetics results in a coherency in my work.

I do really hope with Establishment that over time, we find a way to help people build a deeper relationship to certain records, as that’s something that matters in the records I love. What do you think our role could be in making that happen? What’s the responsibility of a label in helping that connection happen?

The key element of Establishment in my opinion is the focus on digital and streaming releases, which raises interesting questions on the relationship between your audience and non-physical art. In this field of intermedia releases and digital art, the old carriers of media (such as CDs and DVDs) are not sufficient anymore. Whereas some of these releases are meant for and could be displayed in museums or galleries, there are very little platforms that release this kind of art for ‘home display’. I’m very happy with the collaboration between Sedition and Establishment on my release, which takes a step in this direction and which is crucial to create a platform that can support the further development of this kind of art.

Speaking of giving records quality listens, what is an album or two lately that made you really stop everything else you were doing and get lost?

Two albums I’ve been fascinated by lately are Lunch Music by Yannis Kyriakides and The Neurobiology Of Moral Decision Making by Mark Fell & Gábor Lázár. Both albums are uncompromising and do not always pleasure the listener but they continue to trigger and activate my mind. The album (and live performance) by Kyriakides is based on the book by William S. Burroughs from 1959 and revolves around a polyphony of voices which can be found in Burroughs his work. Kyriakides composed a beautiful synergy between live electronics, percussion and voices performed by the excellent Dutch ensembles Silbersee and Slagwerk Den Haag.

The Neurobiology Of Moral Decision Making triggers me in its bare bones and intensely minimalistic approach in which the two distinct worlds of Lázár and Fell touch and complement each other. I’ve been following Mark Fell for a longer time while Lázár caught me by surprise during a performance at the Berghain during the CTM Festival in 2015. The collaboration between these two is a beautiful example of how working together can maintain a strong character without resulting in compromises.

You’re doing a lot of live performance. How will you adapt the work to a live set?

For me, it’s vital to perform live, because that enables me to fully explore and manipulate the relation between sound, image, and architecture. I work with white noise and sine waves, which are opposites in the way we experience them in a space. Pulses of white noise can be easily located and can relate strongly to reflections of the space while sine waves are very hard to locate and can achieve a strong connection to the architecture by use of standing waves and interference.

When I perform live, I manipulate various parameters of these elements, such as the intervals between the pulses or the frequency of waves, thereby responding to the reaction I get from the space. I see the architecture of the venue as a collaborator with whom I have to create a dialogue to reach the highest levels of intensity.

During these performances, I use my visuals as a graphic score — responding to the movements and events that occur while at the same time these visuals are being manipulated by the sounds I create, which are being influenced by the space I am performing in. With this process, I aim to diffuse the boundaries between the senses, for myself as well as for the audience. For the live execution of Shift Symm I’ve created a performance which merges the three tracks with new material that is based on the same building blocks as the three compositions. Since this foundation is quite minimalistic, it’s possible to create big gestures with minimal interventions: a small alteration of an interval for example has huge results in the system of shifting.

Sedition has given people a different way of connecting to the visuals. But will you also bring this to a gallery context? What would that look like?

There’s a lot of talk lately in getting away from screen culture and so on. But I wonder, in the case of music listening, could the privacy of VR and screens actually help people to focus — to have a personal experience away from the social world?

Personally, I’m not that attracted to VR, partly because I have a problem with experiencing 3D movies and VR content: I get extremely car sick within no time! Perhaps this is due to my heightened sensitivity towards spatiality; I don’t know. But to answer your question: I think there’s a huge chance for galleries and museums to move into the area of offering a high-quality experience of digital art in a social context without losing a focused experience of the art. I think people are moving away from the digitalized social connections and are focusing more on real-life connections. This also plays a big role in the growth of festivals which are often more about the social gathering than about the music and art that are presented.

Perhaps there’s a division going on between a hub-like function of museums and galleries that can combine the presentation of digital art with a social aspect and the VR experience which offers a capsulated private viewing without any social connection. I do think it’s important to be aware of the situation your work is being presented in and that media-specific work will become more and more relevant.

Still from Daan Kars' official video.

Still from Daan Kars’ official video.

What sorts of connections as far as other artists are important to you at the moment? What’s inspiring you?

Since my work is strongly based on concepts, I try to find inspiration in a broad context of the concept I’m focusing on, such as various related art and philosophy. I do have a habit to look for inspiration in places that are not directly in the same method of expression which I’m working in to keep a fresh and personal path from concept to creation. So if I work on a piece of music composition I tend to research visual arts and philosophy, not music itself.

This can reach from a novel by Don Delillo to the architecture of Peter Zumthor or paintings by Callum Innes. Creating Shift Symm, for example, I looked into the work of Carl Andre, how he arranges his beautiful basic building blocks of wooden, copper and graphite blocks. His poems were a big inspiration in the fascinating displacement and grouping of words on paper via the means of a typewriter.

Thanks, Zeno. Check out the music on all major streaming and download services, or get it from our Bandcamp store.


If you’re in Europe, you’ve some chances of catching Zeno live. He plays Rotterdam’s sound//vision 2017, as part of the prestigious International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). He’s at Rewire in Den Haag next month.

Follow Establishment on Facebook for more music and art.

The post Inside Zeno van den Broek’s raw immersive AV architectures appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.


Mozilla reveals new branding following open design process

The new Mozilla logo and suggest colourways

The new Mozilla logo and suggested colourways

In June 2015, Mozilla announced its intention to rebrand with help from London design consultancy johnsonbanks. It also announced that it would be doing so out in the open, inviting discussion and critique from the global Mozilla community along the way.

In the seven months since, Mozilla has documented each stage of the process online – from identifying possible themes for the branding to exploring possible design routes – sharing updates via its open design blog. It has also considered feedback from Mozilla users and a global network of volunteers, coders and developers.

Today – after seven months, thousands of emails, hundreds of meetings and three rounds of research – the company has finally revealed its new logo, along with a proposed colour palette, language architecture and approach to imagery. Mozilla is now inviting feedback on the branding and says it will continue to share updates as final guidelines are developed.

Mozilla’s new logo

The Mozilla logo is based on one of seven options put forward last year. The design reflects the brand’s connection to the world wide web, with a colon and two forward slashes replacing the ‘i’ and two ‘l’s in Mozilla.

Peter Bil’ak of Dutch type foundry Typotheque has created a bespoke font, Zilla, for the wordmark and accompanying copy. The font is reminiscent of Courier – the default font used for coding – and was selected for its “journalistic feel”, reflecting Mozilla’s internet advocacy work. It is open-source and will be available to download for free.

Mozilla creative director Tim Murray says the company chose to work with Typotheque because of the foundry’s expertise in “localisation” and creating fonts in various languages. As Murray points out, the design bucks the current trend for sans serif fonts in favour of something rooted in the visual language of the internet.

Mozilla's new logo, created using bespoke font Zilla

Mozilla’s new logo, created using bespoke font Zilla

The black box surrounding Mozilla’s logo is described as “a key building block of the design” and references the way type is highlighted in toolbars and web programmes. A suggested colour palette draws on accent colours used by Firefox and other browsers and colours will change according to the context in which the logo is used. “As we develop our style guide, we’ll define the colour pairings, intensities, and guidelines,” explains Murray.

Names and phrases will appear underneath or to the right of the logo

Names and statements will appear underneath or to the right of the logo

Creating consistency

Statements explaining Mozilla’s role and purpose – such as the phrase “We stand for the internet” – will appear underneath or to the right of the logo. Programme and event names will also appear in this format to ensure consistency across communications produced by Mozilla’s various teams.

“It will now be easier to know that something is ‘from’ Mozilla and understand how our global initiatives connect and reinforce one another,” says Murray. “The system enables Mozilla volunteer communities across the globe to create their own identity by selecting colour[s] and choosing imagery unique to them. Meanwhile, the core blocks of our system, bounding boxes and typography, will provide the consistency.”

Beyond the wordmark, there will be no one image or icon used to represent Mozilla – instead, the company intends to use a changing set of visuals to reflect the diversity of the web and Mozilla’s activities.

Murray proposes inviting artists, designers and technologists to contribute to “an imagery collective” – providing stills, GIFs and animations that could then be curated by Mozilla and coded “to flow into mozilla.org and other digital experiences”. Static applications of the branding will feature multiple and overlaid images, resembling a still from a digital animation.

Suggested imagery for Mozilla communications

A suggested approach to using imagery

A clearer voice

The end result aims to better communicate Mozilla’s role and purpose. Mozilla’s Firefox browser has hundreds of millions of users around the world but its internet advocacy work and educational initiatives are less well-known. In the past, the company has struggled to differentiate itself from its most famous product and reflect the wealth of projects it is involved in.

The new branding is still a work in progress, but the proposed elements give Mozilla a much stronger and clearer voice. The wordmark, colours and Courier-inspired font – along with the idea to create a constantly evolving bank of visual assets – certainly feel more befitting of a web-based company with open-source technology at its heart.

Reflecting on the process, Michael Johnson of johnsonbanks told CR that in many ways, it has been the same as any other rebrand. The project began with a research stage followed by initial concepts, then more detailed ideas and the development of a final route.

“What of course has been the new and unknown variable has been the public airing of each stage – so on top of the feedback of 20 people client-side, we also had the views of another 2,000 or so Mozillians as well.”

The box surrounding text is a key element of the new identity

The box surrounding text is a key element of the new identity

“Brutal” feedback

Receiving instant feedback has been “brutal” at times, says Johnson – “We have had to become even more thick-skinned about what we do. But usually, we were able to regroup, and go again,” he explains.

“Paradoxically, by airing designs so early we could carry out a kind of informal, live ‘IP’ check because people would quickly post ideas that were too similar – this was initially tough to deal with, but better than going further with a route only for it to fall down later during trademark checks (always embarrassing for all parties).”

Mozilla’s new identity is not a crowdsourced design. Mozilla and johnsonbanks have invited feedback throughout the process but they have maintained a clear vision for the project, developing a clear strategy for the brand and a series of well-considered design options for people to critique. Johnson says the team has resisted listening to “every single comment” and instead, has balanced listening to feedback with the need to produce a coherent design.


Suggested imagery using Mozilla’s new colour palette and logo

Design by committee

“I think what concerned us all about this idea was that this level of group decision making would lead to design-by-committee, to the nth degree. Now, had we listened to every single comment and actioned every suggestion, it would be the proverbial dog’s dinner of a solution. But with some single-minded curation from Mozilla, and a determination from us not to let this slide out of ‘good’ and into ‘good enough’, I think we’ve got to something pretty robust,” he says.

Of course, it’s not an approach that would work for everyone. Global corporations with complex management structures are unlikely to follow suit but the process has allowed Mozilla to engage with its global community and actively involve them in the rebrand.

“I think in Mozilla’s case, with a very engaged online community, it’s been a great way to engage and involve,” says Johnson. “When this launches it should not come as a surprise, no-one in [Mozilla’s] close community will be able to say ‘you didn’t ask me’.

“Would it work for a highly protective, autocratic, top-down style organisation? No. But it’s now not unusual for dozens, sometimes hundreds of staff to be involved in rebrands, so the principle of opening up even further isn’t such a bad idea. Whilst I have a few scars from the last 10 months, the wounds aren’t deep – they’ll heal over!” he says.

The company intends to work with artists, coders and developers to create a constantly evolving bank of imagery

The company intends to work with artists, coders and developers to create a constantly evolving bank of imagery

“The tech community is much more conservative than we expected”

There’s no way of knowing how the rebrand might have turned out without involvement from Mozilla’s community – but Johnson admits that initial feedback perhaps steered the company away from doing anything “too radical”.

“There were a lot of indignant early comments that some looked ‘too interesting’ or would ‘work better for an art gallery’. We discovered as the project progressed, that the tech community is much more conservative than we expected. I guess we would have found that out anyway though.

“I do think, however, that once the final route of travel was chosen, we could take the idea and give it a strong design ‘push’ that has given Mozilla a really strong verbal and visual toolkit. The ‘://’ is still there, it resonates with their Internet history, yet now they have a completely new way to communicate. Perhaps it was only the highly iterative nature of the project that got us to this endpoint? It’s hard to know,” says Johnson.

Overlaid images resemble stills from digital animations or films

Overlaid images resemble stills from digital animations or films

The project has been a learning experience for both Mozilla and johnsonbanks. If he were to do it again, Johnson says: “I think we’d work harder on finding a way to share the various stages in a more immersive way. Much of the commentary on the Mozilla Open Design blog tended to be about the logos alone, and many people seemed unwilling to look at complete schemes and judge them one against another. I think we would also have spent more time with Mozilla top brass to get closer to their vision of the organisation, so a little more research, perhaps, which might have helped with the denouement.”

“But these are details – we’ve managed to get through the world’s first genuinely open rebrand with a solution that works pretty well, contains a very nice ‘idea’ and makes Mozilla’s views and mission clear to all. And the core project team is still speaking to one another. I’m seeing that as a result…”

Read more about each stage of the project on Mozilla’s open design blog.

The post Mozilla reveals new branding following open design process appeared first on Creative Review.


KOII Foldable Deckchair by Sascha Akkermann

KOII Foldable Deckchair offers you a portable lounger with ergonomically curved shape. The man behind this design is Sascha Akkermann, he is a master carpenter and designer, bringing you a piece of furniture made from high quality laminated wood in birch, covered with PVC-truck tarpaulin. It means that this deckchair is not only unique but also resistant against environment influences. There are comfortable cushions you can use to invite anyone to stay and relax for a while.

This lounger can be set up in just few steps and be taken down pretty fast when you don’t need it. The mat can be built up with two tensioning ropes and beech balls at the end, simply roll it together when not used.

Designer : Sascha Akkermann

KOII Foldable Deckchair by Sascha Akkermann

KOII Foldable Deckchair by Sascha Akkermann

KOII Foldable Deckchair by Sascha Akkermann

KOII Foldable Deckchair by Sascha Akkermann

KOII Foldable Deckchair by Sascha Akkermann

KOII Foldable Deckchair by Sascha Akkermann

KOII Foldable Deckchair by Sascha Akkermann is originally posted on Tuvie – Modern Industrial Design


Hackers Help: Switch RANARP shade onto ARÖD floor lamp stand?

I love the ARÖD floor lamp especially the way the stand is angled, but am not so keen on the shade that comes with it.

IKEA AROD floor lamp

Does anyone have any ideas / experience with changing the shade for a RANARP shade?

IKEA RANARP pendant lamp

I know there is a RANARP floor lamp, but don’t like the stand it comes with.



Gill, this post may give you an idea of the parts of the RANARP clamp lamp. ~ Jules

The post Hackers Help: Switch RANARP shade onto ARÖD floor lamp stand? appeared first on IKEA Hackers.


32 Beautiful Indoor House Plants That Are Also Easy To Maintain

Even those without a green thumb can appreciate the beauty of houseplants – and if you’re one of those people, this post is for you! We’ve compiled information on 32 low-maintenance plants ranging from tiny succulents all the way to small trees, something for every skill level. This touch of the outdoors is a great way to boost mood, add color to your interior, and build up gardening skill. Many people even enjoy keeping houseplants to purify the air, but it’s important to consider some important caveats to that NASA study everyone keeps mentioning about – with that in mind, this list focuses on attractive aesthetics and easy maintenance only. Enjoy the search!

Buy It: $167   

Chinese Money Plant: Pilea peperomioides, commonly known as the Chinese money plant, has such a distinctive look with its round coin-like leaves and straight stems – they look gorgeous in short pots like the one pictured. These hardy plants grow quickly with a once-a-week watering (depending on the temperature in your home) and will happily thrive in bright spaces but don’t require direct sunlight. There is no information available about whether these plants are toxic to pets, so always exercise caution if your pets are known to nibble.

Buy It: $15   

Silver Dollar Plant: If you’re looking for drought-tolerant plants, succulents like the Xerosicyos danguyi are fantastic, but it helps to get a container with good drainage like these ceramic and bamboo planters. Xerosicyos are actually a climbing succulent so be prepared to leave a little headroom wherever you display them! A space with direct sunlight is best.

Buy It: $15   

Jade Plant: Jade plants (Crassula ovata) are an especially interesting succulent due to its unique bush-like structure that makes it suitable to trim as a bonsai. And under the right conditions, you might even see pink flower blossoms! These plants might develop red or yellowish tint with too much sunlight, but they require very little water in the summertime and even less in winter.

Buy It: $11   

Oxalis: Oxalis triangularis, or false shamrock, is a houseplant native to Brazil, known for its bold and vibrant coloration that can range from violet to crimson. The included link is for the bulbs only but should sprout within a week and may even bloom into lavender flowers within 10 weeks. These look great in a light colored pot. Oxalis requires multiple hours of direct sunlight each day so they’re perfect for a sunny spot in the garden too! Unfortunately, these plants are toxic to pets and humans when eaten in quantity.

Buy It: $14   

ZZ Plant: Zamioculcas zamiifolia grow tall and substantial to make a brilliant impression in any room. They’re easy to care for, preferring bright indirect light and small amounts of plant food. Although rumors once indicated that this common houseplant might be poisonous, recent studies lean on the side of non-toxicity. Still, it’s better to exercise caution around pets.

Buy It: $7   

String Of Pearls: What a unique houseplant! Guests are sure to comment on the grace of your beautiful Senecio rowleyanus as its delicate tendrils of round beads overflow its planter. These are great for hanging or draping over a pedestal (out of reach of pets – these are toxic!), preferably in a location just out of the reach of direct sunlight. Plant in loose cactus soil and be careful to avoid overwatering for best results.

Buy It: $33   

Tillandsia: Succulents from the Tillandsia family are some of the easiest to care for – outside of an occasional misting, they’ll take all the water they need right from the humidity in the air. Another benefit is the lack of root system, making it easy to create fascinating arrangements like the cool sea urchin shell planters above. Pictured are Tillandsia oaxacana, one of the most common and easy to care for species of Tillandsia.

Buy It: $25   

Donkey Tail Plant: Sedum morganianum is a wonderfully unique flowering succulent that lends itself to unique planters like the ones featured above. These plants enjoy bright direct light but not extreme heat, and require regular watering in warm weather but too much watering can hurt it during its dormant winter stage. Are you curious to learn more about growing and caring for succulents like these? Succulents Simplified is a book that covers 100 low-maintenance varieties, including the donkey tail plant.

Buy It: From $5   

Bunny Ear Cactus: Iconic for their flat branching shape and deceptively fuzzy-looking but irritating barbs, Opuntia microdasys looks beautiful but deserves caution during handling despite being non-toxic to humans and pets. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance cactus to enhance a desert-themed interior, it’s hard to go wrong with this one. Give these plants plenty of sunlight and water when dry – they’re hard to get wrong. Consider pairing with a stone, sand-colored, or rustic planter.

Buy It: $14   

Aloe Vera: Besides being a popular ingredient in skincare products, Aloe plants are also extremely easy for even the most novice green thumb to keep alive. Plant these hardy ornamentals in cactus soil and place in a bright area for best results. They also make great gifts for friends who have trouble with other plants! They look great in just about any type of container and within any type of interior. They’re just that flexible.

Buy It: $3   

Pothos Plant: Epipremnum aureum is an overwhelmingly popular houseplant for good reason. Supposedly, its other nickname of “devil’s ivy” comes from its hardiness and the perception that it is nearly impossible to kill. The vines can grow almost impossibly long, making them a great choice for suspension from tall ceilings. Consider this plant if you need something for low or indirect light conditions. Water when dry. Unfortunately, this houseplant is toxic to cats and dogs when ingested.

Buy It: $3   

Heartleaf Philodendron: Here’s another houseplant beloved for its true hardiness. Philodendron hederaceum works well as a hanging plant or you can add a trellis and enjoy its potential as a climber. Avoid full sun and keep soil very lightly moistened to see it thrive. Once your plant starts getting unwieldy, you can propagate cuttings to give as gifts to friends. It is unknown whether this plant is toxic to pets so use caution when choosing a location for its planter.

Buy It: $26   

Chinese Water Bamboo: Dracaena sanderiana grow without the need for soil – simply place in water like a cut flower would be. You can even add your favorite river rocks or decorative shells to match your decor! The bundled arrangement pictured above ensures they grow strong and tall. Just make sure to replace the water every few weeks but avoid treated tap water if possible. Or, you can transfer to a well-draining potting soil mix for a more traditional houseplant experience. This species is moderately toxic to pets when eaten.

Buy It: $9   

Dragon Tree: When it comes to tree-like houseplants, it’s hard to find low-maintenance options, but Dracaena marginata is the exception to the rule. You can often wait until the soil is dry to water it, so it’s great for offices and far-off corners of the house that might not get much attention from caregivers. Bright indirect light and constant temperature will help this plant grow its strongest. Be prepared with several sizes of planters to accommodate its fast-growing root system. The leaves of these small trees are toxic to pets.

Buy It: $26  

Peace Lily: Sometimes flowering plants prove the most challenging to keep healthy, but certain lilies in the Spathiphyllum genus (the peace lily family) are on the more easygoing side. Peace lilies are forgiving plants but seem to do best in indirect sunlight with access to shade. Wait to water the plant until you notice a bit of drooping in the leaves for best results. These plants need reliable drainage. Like many lilies, they are toxic to dogs and cats. Consider planting in a simple pot to let the beautiful flowers take center stage.

Buy It: $28   

Swiss Cheese Plant: The scientific name Monstera deliciosa refers, in part, to the edible pineapple-like fruit this rainforest plant can provide – just make sure to read about how to ripen the fruits properly to avoid irritation upon consuming. These stunning large-leafed plants make a great statement piece and add warm, tropical appeal to any interior. Be aware that all parts of the plant are poisonous to humans and pets, but humans can consume properly ripened fruit without worry.

Buy It: $5   

Prayer Plant: Just look at that amazing color! Maranta leuconeura plants are certainly a work of art. The red veins make them an effective accent for interiors that need a little color. The leaves actually raise and contract based on the day-night cycle, quite interesting to watch as the day progresses. This folding effect is how it gained the common name of “prayer plant”. Like many low-maintenance plants, these simply need indirect light and even moisture.

Buy It: $33   

Fiddle Leaf Fig: Ficus lyrata, or the Fiddle Leaf Fig, is a hardy tree that can grow up to 50 feet tall in its native tropical rainforest environment, but makes a lovely indoor tree for home decorating purposes. Be prepared to upgrade the size of the planter if you want your Ficus to grow nice and tall, which they are happy to do! This plant does best in bright indirect light and water once the top of the soil is dry and the leaves soften. Unfortunately, they are toxic to pets and humans when ingested so plan your environment carefully.

Buy It: $33   

Fiddle Leaf Fig: Ficus lyrata, or the Fiddle Leaf Fig, is a hardy tree that can grow up to 50 feet tall in its native tropical rainforest environment, but makes a lovely indoor tree for home decorating purposes. Be prepared to upgrade the size of the planter if you want your Ficus to grow nice and tall, which they are happy to do! This plant does best in bright indirect light and water once the top of the soil is dry and the leaves soften. Unfortunately, they are toxic to pets and humans when ingested so plan your environment carefully.

Buy It: $29   

Rubber Plant: Rubber plants love bright indirect sunlight, moist soil, and high humidity. The waxy leaves really catch the light for a beautiful presentation. These trees – also known by their proper name of Ficus elastica – tend to grow quite tall unless pruned so they’re a great candidate for beautiful spacious planters. Like many in the Ficus family, parts of the tree are poisonous to pets and small children so plant with care.

Buy It: $15   

Calathea Orbifolia: Smooth streaks of white stand out against the vivid green leaves of the Calathea orbifolia, like a living painting. These plants are a little tricky to care for compared to some of the others on the list, but the key is to stay calm and make adjustments slowly. Moist soil, good drainage, and low but reliable lighting conditions are a great place to start.

Buy It: $8   

Giant White Bird Of Paradise: Now this is a statement piece! Strelitzia nicolai, or the giant white bird of paradise, grows up to 20 feet tall in ideal conditions and certainly tall enough to make an impression in any interior or atrium. While many plants are sensitive to full sun, this plant welcomes it. Keep the soil moist and remember to fertilize monthly to get the best results. Many plants in the Strelitziaceae family are toxic to pets so home this one with caution.

Buy It: $14   

Elephant Ears Plant: Colocasia gigantean is another big-leafed plant for interiors that need a big dose of the outdoors. In some countries, including Japan and parts of Vietnam, the stalk is a popular ingredient in meals after careful preparation. Unfortunately, they are toxic if ingested by dogs and cats and can sometimes cause harm to humans without proper preparation. They are a little tricky to grow indoors but very worthwhile, requiring indirect sunlight and very high humidity.

Buy It: $19   

Snake Plant: What most people know as the snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, but officially known as Sansevieria Laurentii, is an exceptionally hardy and distinctive plant with high-contrast banding that is impossible to ignore. These plants grow rather tall and make a great statement piece for low tables. However, they are toxic to pets. Snake plants are tolerant of low light and irregular watering, considered nearly indestructible by many.

Buy It: From $12   

Hawaiian Umbrella Tree Bonsai: Bonsai enthusiasts will love this versatile and attractive tree, officially known as Schefflera arboricola. Even better, they stand up wonderfully to a variety of lighting conditions and watering routines. Let your umbrella tree grow naturally or trim it into a distinctive shape. Let it grow tall, or restrict to a small pot as a desk decoration. Members of the Schefflera genus are toxic to pets.

Buy It: $30   

Grafted Ficus Bonsai: Are you looking for a small desk plant sure to spark conversation? Ficus microcarpa “Ginseng” definitely has a very distinctive look to it. These plants are extremely forgiving, easily tolerating conditions ranging from low to bright light (but not direct sunlight) and can live through irregular watering for the most part. They are toxic to pets, but are a wonderful addition to any office environment.

Buy It: $10   

Ivy (Hedera): Ivy looks wonderful in a variety of planter types, from pedestals to hanging planters and even large concrete bowls and other decorative pieces. It’s hard to go wrong when dressing up a plant that has such spectacularly colorful leaves! Many types of ivy are poisonous to pets so consult a veterinarian before introducing this plant to a household alongside cats and dogs that like to nibble.

Buy It: $20   

Boston Fern: Nephrolepis exaltata is a topical fern that just bursts with energy and volume. These Boston ferns prefer damp high-nutrient soil and bright filtered light. They look spectacular as a hanging plant, on a pedestal, or even on an ordinary side table. It’s hard to go wrong with a fern as gorgeous and hardy as this one.

Buy It: $4   

Lemon Button Fern: Native to Australia, Asia, and Hawaii, the Nephrolepis cordifolia fern is a close relative of the Nephrolepis exaltata outlined above and shares many of the same maintenance requirements. Like many ferns, it poses no danger to pets. These are easy to grow and make great gifts – get creative with a decorative planter to make an even bigger impression.

Buy It: $4   

Asparagus Fern: Feathery fern-like tendrils make the Asparagus setaceus look lighter than a cloud. They’re a popular indoor plant due to their low-maintenance needs (preferring bright indirect light and watering when dry), but the dried fronds are popular in flower arrangements as well. Do you love the planter? You can purchase it by following this link. The berries and foliage are not safe for consumption by pets or humans.

Buy It: $5   

Frosty Fern: Selaginella kraussiana is a spikemoss native to the Azores and parts of east Africa. Plant owners that tend to over-water will be glad to know this thirst plant can tolerate constant moisture. Consider adding this to a terrarium or a small fairy garden!

Buy It: $26   

Anthurium: This cultivar of anthurium is especially popular for its persistent, constant blooms and eye-catching waxy red flowers. Guests won’t believe it’s real! Avoid direct sunlight and allow the soil to dry slightly between each watering. All members of the anthurium family are toxic to house pets, so keep them somewhere safe.

This beautiful plants deserve attractive planters to top them off – if you need ideas, maybe you’ll find something you like from our huge list of unique pots and planters you can buy right now.

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In the Water


An immigrant in the water is a story or a lesson, but an immigrant on land is our responsibility–they might become our neighbor

“And I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”
–Epilogue, Moby Dick, Herman Melville

THE pax romana of my personal life saw unprecedented peace and stability last summer during the mercifully constant coverage of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The opening ceremony was full of bombast and bad politics, but I still cried when the first ever Refugee Olympic Team walked in, waving tiny white flags and dressed like a college a cappella team. The stadium erupted into a standing ovation.

The network ran segments on the athletes. Yusra Mardini, now an 18-year-old swimmer, fled the Syrian civil war on a small boat headed to the island of Lesbos off the coast of Greece. The boat was overcrowded and, on its way there, began to sink. Mardini and her sister, two among four people on the boat who knew how to swim, jumped into the water and helped push the boat for three hours until they reached the shore. The boat carried 20 people. Mardini, the daughter of a former swim instructor, had always been a talented swimmer, but had not trained for two years because of the war. She was ecstatic to be at the Olympics and gave serious interviews. “It was quite hard to think that you are a swimmer, and you are going end up dying in the water,” she said of her decision to jump into the water to push the boat to shore. This is, of course, a hero’s natural fear; no valiant swordsman wants to imagine being hoisted with his own petard. But those are also the worries of an expert, a master. The official website for the Rio Olympics ran a story on Mardini and her “41st place finish that felt like gold.” Inherent in the article’s title was the erasure of Mardini’s ambitions as an athlete, supplanting them with those assumed of a refugee: surviving somewhere away from dust and death. Athletes are not generally known to feel that anything but gold is gold and, indeed, Mardini is training for the next Olympics.

If there is something mythical in the telling of this particular story, it is because in narrating the journeys of migrants, the form of the epic is hard to shake. Epics tell the story of nationalization. The classic backdrop is an Ancient Greece that has just formed or is about to fall, and the stories often follow a single theme, fate, or argument with a god through generations and genealogies. Epic heroes are born mere mortals and become heroes only when they are tested. These stories break down their impulse to fight: why, how, for how long. These are the same fundamental questions that migrant narratives seek to answer.

THE American immigration narrative is, in some hands, an epic: a story about people who force their indigeneity onto a land that tries to expel them. With few exceptions, it is always a story about water and dry land, the wet and the dry. Imagery of early European immigrants arriving in New York is split into two camps: one involves a boat on the Hudson, and the other, processing at Ellis Island. The stories about immigrant names misspelled, the invasive examinations, the literacy tests, are the first examples of immigration that American schoolchildren encounter in textbooks. These interactions all occurred on land, but the huddling masses yearning to breathe free huddled and yearned on boats in the water. This parallel imagery holds true today: An immigrant in the water is a story or a lesson, but an immigrant on land is our responsibility–they might become our neighbor.

In 2016, the image most associated with immigration in the United States was that of a brown man. The American anti-immigrant pejorative “wetback,” translated from the Spanish “mojado,” loses some of the latter’s material meaning, because English forces a choice between noun and adjective. A crude translation from the Spanish makes no distinction between noun and adjective: it simply means wet. The 2005 song “Mojado,” a collaboration between Guatemalan singer-songwriter Ricardo Arjona and the Mexican folk band Intocable, became a popular radio anthem during the May Day immigrant marches of 2006 and is equal parts symbolic and literal: “The wetback feels like drying off / the wetback’s wet from all the tears flowing from his nostalgia.”

The term “wetback” originally referred to migrants who crossed the Rio Grande. It has always been a slur, first to describe migrants who would swim across the river in order to enter the United States, and later to refer to any undocumented immigrant. It’s a difficult cross to bear; not only is the river fast, but there are also material obstacles in the way. Crossers could get stuck on shopping carts or tires, or on water plants, like the hydrilla, an invasive species. Often, migrants take off their clothes and put any identification or money they have into plastic bags that they carry above their heads. If they drown, the water will destroy their features, or fish and turtles will eat away their faces and fingers, such that nobody could identify them–not the locals who see the bodies washed up on their shores, nor the authorities that have to respond to those calls. Not that there is money for that anyway. Bodies that wash up to shore do so on the coastlines of some of the country’s poorest towns. Migrants that die crossing the river are called “floaters” by people on the ground, a name ascribed within 24 to 48 hours after the drowning. It’s a taxonomic category of utter anonymity. Floaters are usually naked, which ostensibly makes the river easier to cross, but also dissuades authorities from conducting any investigation, because these bodies are identifiably migrant. Autopsies are not performed. Writing about the migrant dead that wash up on the small town shores generally focuses on the cost to local coroners, funeral homes, and cemeteries, the human-interest angle being the question of where the migrants will be buried. Stripped of the language of affect, it is fundamentally a question of local politics and real estate.

THE ocean will always be the last frontier; its place in our imagination has no rival. Although this is not quite true in reality–there are maritime limits and boundaries–we tend to regard the ocean as a place where man has no jurisdiction. It is easy to admire the immigrant who crosses angry waters to make it to this country. It is a way to admire both the ocean and ourselves, or, at least, our ability to recognize in the immigrant something we value in ourselves, something we claim belongs to the “human spirit.”

In 1995, the Clinton administration revised the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act to accommodate a new policy, which eventually came to be known as the “wet foot, dry foot policy.” If Cubans fleeing the island were found in the water somewhere between Cuba and Miami, they would be sent back. If they made it to Miami and literally stepped foot on sand, they could remain in the United States with legal recognition. Coast Guard employees, acting as de facto immigration officers, would come to intercept more than 80 percent of rafters. The interest in the rafts as objects was widespread, so much so that the Transit Home and Museum in Key West houses remarkably constructed rafts. They truly are a model of human ingenuity–rafts made from planks of wood, bed sheets, melted Styrofoam cups to form a catamaran, even a green 1950 flatbed Chevrolet made buoyant by 55-gallon drums and a propeller.

In 2000, Gabriel García Márquez wrote an essay about Elián González, the young Cuban boy found on a raft by two fishermen in the waters between Cuba and the United States. His mother had drowned, and the two countries became embroiled in a bitter standoff about his future. The media was obsessed with the boy. A story circulated about dolphins having rescued him. García Márquez observed that “an infallible formula for a positive reception in the United States is arriving in its territorial waters as a castaway.” Although García Márquez was famously close friends with Fidel Castro, his observation is more literary than political. Clinton’s policy made just the slightest sliver of sense, not because it implied that winning a battle against the sea meant someone had strong character and deserved to be our neighbor, but because winning that battle meant they were a strong fighter, a good navigator, a person with enviable fortitude–someone you’d want for war. Because darker-skinned people are often associated with the earth and the natural elements, it is not a stretch to accept that they might be sea-tamers, swimming against currents, walking across scalding hot deserts filled with sharp-tongued ophidians, or mountains even orologists would not climb. But once they arrive on dry land, they have reached the state. It is humans who make borders and enforce laws pertaining to them. On dry land, they are subjects. Or rather, you are subjects, some of you.

Images of migrants on boats are painfully easy to conjure because the European refugee crisis has been photographed extensively. Of these photographs, one of the most widely circulated is of the young Syrian boy Alan Kurdi lying facedown on a Turkish shore. His small lifeless body is, to borrow a term from the anthropologist Mary Douglas, matter out of place. He is too young to be dead. He is a baby. When he was still on the boat, he was packed into the vessel with too many people, swaths of brown skin weighing it down, speaking in Arabic, women and children, but men too; men like the man he should have grown into one day–maybe even an “unassimilable” man. Would a picture of that boat have made us cry too? The boat in the water is another man’s problem, just migrants doing what migrants do: trying their best to not die. Since 2014, ten people a day have died in the European waters. Cemeteries are reaching maximum capacity with unmarked graves.

The drowned bodies are full of water from the ocean.

The drama’s done, Ishmael said. Why then here does any one step forth? Because one did survive the wreck.


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This Year’s Must-Know Color Trends

Color is vital to design. Without it, design becomes drab and disappointing. Color spices up design and gives it life, personality and character.

So it’s no surprise that being a successful designer depends on your ability to understand color pairings, what colors complement each other…and also what colors are going to be hot in 2017.

Getting a sense of where this year’s color trends are going is an interesting process, to say the least. It depends on drawing on information from a multitude of industries like fashion, home décor, and automobiles. Even following current events in the news can provide a snapshot of where color trends are heading in 2017, believe it or not.

There’s nothing like being ahead of the game when it comes to choosing the right colors for your design projects. There’s nothing your clients will love better than being on the cutting edge of color trends this year when you create for them with these hot trends in mind. After all, design projects that showcase the year’s most trendy colors not only attract positive attention for your clients, but they also flatter your aptitude as a designer.

To get the hot scoop on where color trends are heading this year and how to get out in front of them, read on.

The Year of Neutral Colors

We all know the neutral colors on the color wheel: black, gray and white (sometimes beige and brown, too). What may surprise some, however, is the prediction that neutral colors are going to make a big impact in 2017. Their subdued tone may not make them people’s first guesses, but, then again, these times are anything but ordinary.

According to Home & Garden Television, folks are going gaga for neutral colors when it comes to bigger buys, such as furniture, vehicles and even your basic carpets. It seems that many of us just want to play it safe with color choices when we spend a lot of money on a material possession! Anything from rich gray to camel hues are in.

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The great strength of neutrals is their dual-use ability. You can use them standalone just as easily as you can use them to contrast with brighter colors. It’s this flexibility—and, by extension, safety—that’s making neutrals popular for 2017.

Interestingly, Pantone, the highly regarded creator of the Pantone Matching System, has also predicted that neutrals will factor into color trends for this year.

Pantone Weighs in With Its Color Palettes

A big influencer in color trends and, by extension, design is always going to be Pantone, so it makes sense to check in with them to see where they believe color is going to go in 2017.

According to Gifts and Decorative Accessories, Pantone has identified nine, distinct color groupings that they see as making a big splash this year.

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In no particular order, they are:

  • Daydreaming – Colors here bring about thoughts that are weightless and light; examples are Nile Green and Yellow Iris.
  • At Ease – This palette features neutral colors of both cool and warm persuasion mixed with muted tones for a sophisticated “graying.”
  • Native Instincts – Think along the lines of softer Earth tones, smoky orchid, and Carmine red.
  • Florabundant – Sumptuous floral hues like Red Dahlia, Pink Yarrow, Baton Rouge, and Chrysanthemum dominate this grouping.
  • Acquired Taste – Colors not normally put together characterize this palette with offerings like Brandied Melon, Mulberry, Pale Gold, and Orange Chiffon.
  • Forest Bathing – Shades of blue-green and green feature here, along with colors like Acid Lime and Grape Kiss.
  • Reminiscence – Nostalgia is invoked in this palette with offerings like Sepia Tint, Maritime Blue, Rattan, Bird’s Egg Green, and Martini Olive.
  • Raw Materials – Colors such as Zephyr Pink touch on the health and wellness-inspired theme of this palette.
  • Graphic Imprints – While black and white form the base of this grouping, vibrant colors like Opaline Green, Blazing Yellow, Orange Popsicle, Prism Pink, Dazzling Blue, and Fandango Pink round out the entire palette for an electrifying set.

Interestingly, Pantone’s predicting, too, that neutral colors will make an impact this year, which is why they’ve devoted the entire At Ease grouping to them. Beyond that, Pantone’s predictions seem to be touching on a myriad of moods and feelings with its palettes.

Daydreaming and Forest Bathing are both in touch with relaxation and taking it easy—the latter of which is named after a Japanese tradition/practice of walking in nature in order to relieve stress. Acquired Taste speaks to the appetite for the unconventional in the new year while Reminiscence takes folks down a nostalgic and, therefore, safe and secure path that puts them in touch with fond memories.

Of course, any mention to Pantone in a design context can’t omit its selection for Color of Year for 2017, which happens to be what they’re calling Greenery.

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Perhaps to raise awareness about environmentalism, perhaps to celebrate the beauty of the natural world all around us, Greenery is deemed “nature’s neutral” by Pantone and is meant to help give people some degree of reassurance in a social and political world of tumult.

Color Trends Based on Lifestyle Themes

Designers know all too well that color is actually a form of expression, based on moods, feelings and perceptions. This may help to explain why much-vaunted paint manufacturer, Behr, is basing its 2017 color predictions on lifestyle themes.

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The company says that color trends will revolve around these themes in 2017:

  • Comfortable
  • Composed
  • Confident

Let’s take the 3 Cs one by one.

The Comfortable palette features tranquil and soft colors, based on the idea that they can easily be spiced up by more vibrant accents of orange or yellow. Comfortable colors include, among others:

  • Life Is a Peach
  • Peek-a-Blue
  • Everything’s Rosy

The Composed palette is a different story. Depth and intensity rule here, making these colors a perfect choice for those designers craving excitement and vitality and providing an ideal background on which to combine and layer other colors. Colors in this palette include:

  • Polished Aqua
  • Artful Magenta
  • Laid Back Gray

The last palette is Confident, and it features colors that make and impact and are bold and unafraid. Think colors that can easily capture people’s attention and liven up canvases and spaces with their brightness. Confident colors include:

  • Lemon Burst
  • Jade Dragon
  • Midnight Show

Behr’s rationale is that colors allow people to express themselves and be who they really are. This helps to explain the company’s very specific and multi-faceted approach to defining color trends for the year.

Restlessness in Color Trends

For some, restlessness figures to be a big factor in determining what colors are hot in 2017. Factors like spirituality, nostalgia, self-expression and a state of cultural flux are all drivers of this color-trend movement, at least according to Sherwin-Williams’ 2017 colormix Color Forecast.

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This brand has identified four, distinct color palettes that will make an impact this year:

  • Noir – Based on the theme of nighttime, noir epitomizes colors like golden yellows, moody neutrals, and Nordic blues to create a palette that romanticizes melancholy and darker hues for a dramatic though soothing effect.
  • Holistic – Colors such as wild browns, blush rose, and even artic neutrals define this unique palette that’s based on radical transparency and sustainable design. When amassing experiences becomes more attractive than purchasing items, you get this holistic color palette.
  • Intrepid – Aptly named, this palette communicates ideals of self-interest and forming one’s own identify. Because of this fiery energy, expect to see colors like caviar, sierra redwood, kimono violet, and citronella dominate this color grouping.
  • Unbounded – Heavily inspired by the immigration upheaval in several parts of the world, unbounded represents the reality that communities and people are moving towards more interconnectedness than ever. As such, expect to find colors like mudslide, Adriatic sea, coral reef, sealskin and freshwater to epitomize this global consciousness.

What’s interesting about Sherwin-Williams’ color-trend predictions is their roots in a broader and more communal approach to understanding color and design. The themes that give birth to the various colors within each palette are based on universal concepts and realities like night, sustainability, self-interest, and mass migration.

A Cornucopia of Many Different Pieces

It’s safe to say that, after listening to the experts, 2017’s color trends are heading in a lot of different directions, not necessarily conflicting. The broader themes for 2017 are tied into the overall mood and circumstances happening on the world stage, which are beyond most everyone’s control.

In such times, it’s perhaps not shocking that many of the color predictions this year are heading into soothing territory that explores themes like lightness, relaxation, vibrancy and connecting (or maybe that’s reconnecting) with the self, which is the building block of every achievement.

Designers looking for inspiration from 2017’s color trends have plenty from which to pick! Whether it’s the strong showing of safe neutrals or the confidence of brighter and more vivacious colors, incorporating them into your projects goes a long way to demonstrating to your clients that you’re getting out in front of this year’s color trends.

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kitchen envy: rye london.

kitchen design via rye london. / sfgirlbybay

when it comes to kitchens rye london is pretty top notch. since i’m hoping to remove my low kitchen ceiling and expose the white beams beneath, just like this, i was obviously most inspired. rye london is an industrial daylight kitchen photography studio in East London created by Holly Wulff Petersen & Renée Kemps, with a focus on natural food, Nordic design, and minimalist lifestyle. It is a space in praise of sharing — a place where the hosts want to connect and inspire, to celebrate and appreciate, and to create and collaborate, with a focus on seasonal and fresh food, local makers and inspiring people, and on sustainable fashion and contemporary design.

white kitchen decor at rye london. / sfgirlbybay

rye london is all about long cozy candlelit dinners with friends — whether you’d like to work with them to design a campaign, tell the story of your company, have them develop, style, and photograph your ideas, host your event, or simply refresh your social media presence — rye london would love to connect with you. i’m actually headed to london in march, and hope i can pop in to see the space in person and maybe even collaborate in some unique way!

kitchen at rye london. / sfgirlbybaywhite walls and cabinets and lighting at rye london. / sfgirlbybaywhite kitchen design of rye london. / sfgirlbybaykitchen decor and design at rye london. / sfgirlbybaykitchen stove at rye london. / sfgirlbybaymodern kitchen decor at rye london. / sfgirlbybaymodern and minimalist white kitchen at rye london. / sfgirlbybaykitchen at rye london. / sfgirlbybaymodern white dining space at rye london. / sfgirlbybay

• photography courtesy of rye london and dwell.