sometimes less isn't more

one of my architectural icons is mies van der rohe, whom you most likely know from his design of the  barcelona chair and pavilion. he is also famous for saying "less is more," an adage applicable to anything from  fashion accessories to makeup. despite his legendary status in the design world, i have to admit that i don't always think this is true.
a rendering of a barcelona chair i did in my first year of grad school...

last week i crossed over the james into manchester, a richmond borough with an industrial history and some really cool buildings. i went in search of some fluted columns from caravati's, an architectural salvage warehouse which i had shockingly never been to before. it was AWESOME. good thing i went after getting some other work done because i was there for nearly 2 hrs just soaking it all in, afraid i would miss something. amidst the smell and dust of old wood porches and mantels and mouldings, i had a revelation. as i turned a corner and saw the seemingly infinite collection of salvaged porch pedestals, it struck me how different my perception of these dirty weathered pedestals was just as a result of the sheer number and arrangement of them. this is where i had my moment:

there is something striking about the juxtaposition of simple forms here-the lines of the pedestals and circular tubes- that literally stopped me in my tracks. the late afternoon sun pouring through the windows didn't hurt either. and this got me thinking how much punch you can get from something as simple as an old wooden pedestal just by putting  a whole freaking bunch of them together. here are more visuals from caravati's that i'm talking about:
rusty air registers with cool graphic patterns

sun streaming through a narrow path of storm doors

wrought iron fence posts

so then i started thinking about the different things we collect in our lives, valuable or not, and the different reasons we have for holding onto them. (blame it on the psychology degree i have...) when i was in fifth or sixth grade my grandmother began giving me little antique boxes- wood, ceramic, hand-painted, simple- all very different from the next, because she explained it was nice to start a collection that you can watch grow over time. i used to always re-arrange them on a shelf in my room, trying to put my favorite in the front and center. sadly, i haven't seen my little boxes since my parents moved to richmond during my freshman year of college, but i'll find them one of these days. in the mean time, you can see how many designers and celebs have their own collections that are personally meaningful or just plain enviable. sometimes more really is more. 

mini round silver frames for family pics, kate and jack spade via the selby

unknown antler collection

no need for a sign at this bicycle shop in germany

simple clipboard art is graphic cool

who knew there are so many variations on the bowtie

artistic hat storage

khloe kardashian's louboutin collection

matchbooks, phoebe howard

art gallery, nate berkus

model ships, phoebe howard

so, what have you been collecting? and besides khloe's closet, what do you want to start?


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