Blog

Everything is Awesome (especially Legos)

Mar 18, 2014 by Hiromi Ogawa

I read a recent article in the New York Times magazine about the meta-marketing of Legos (among other brands), and it made me dizzy thinking about how much we are happily digesting the self-effacing, yet unapologetic strategies of big businesses.  It troubled me, especially as parent, since we try so hard to make informed decisions on our children's behalf. Lego seems like an educational toy, yet it's just as ruthless in the way it tries to infiltrate our lives. 

Bday lego 1

But there is no denying that Legos are a brilliant invention.  And the steady recovery and success of the Lego brand is quite remarkable.  As a business, there is something awe-inspiring about that.  And then I also read the article in Sunset Magazine about a blind father taking her daughter to Legoland and sharing the tactile experience, and I try to comfort myself in Lego's geniune intentions to create a unique experience and learning environment for children and adults alike.

Bday lego 2

Whether the Lego empire is "Lord Business" itself, I'm happy with what Lego has brought to our household.  We are often huddled around a mound of Legos, happily tackling a kit or a random inspiration.  Nico's 7th birthday party consisted of such a pile in the living room (thanks to a visit to Bricks and Minifigs, where they sell loose Legos by the bag), with him and his best friends making whatever their hearts desired.  And the creations they made (completely on their own with no adult help) were complex and breathtaking.  And that's pretty awesome.

 

 

Topics: Inspiration, Life

Recessed Shower Niche

Mar 14, 2014 by Hiromi Ogawa

North Berkeley shower niche

Finishes are being installed at our North Berkeley project, and the linear recessed shower niche is looking quite nice.  The field tiles are glass subways, while the glass mosaic accent tiles are on one wall, spilling into the back side of the niche.  Both tiles are by Hakatai.

Old Pocket Doors

Mar 12, 2014 by Hiromi Ogawa

NPA pocket door detail

 

How beautiful are these?  The contractor completed demolition on our project in North Palo Alto, and exposed the original pocket door hardware in between 100-year old framing. 

We knew the pocket doors were there and planned on removing them, but after talking with the owners, the unanimous decision was to salvage the doors and mount them with their original hardware on the wall, barn door style.  It's an art installation of sorts, honoring a relic of the house's past. 

NPA pocket door

The rawness of the space is so exciting, so full of potential.  We have big, wonderful plans for this house - more to come!

Love: Vertical Grain Douglas Fir

Feb 14, 2014 by Hiromi Ogawa

VGDF newel post

It seems a little strange to post about a love for wood on a day when we declare love for other humans, but maybe it's appropriate, given what we do every day.  At a job site in Berkeley, the carpenters are currently constucting a newel post out of douglas fir, and the grain was just gorgeous, my heart started beating a little faster when I saw this piece. 

I hope someone (or something!) is setting your heart a flutter today.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Berkeley Project gets Houzz Tour

Jan 23, 2014 by Hiromi Ogawa

Photo of view from Master Suite

The Marin Avenue Residence was featured in an article called "Houzz Tour: Finding the Flow in Berkeley".  We enjoyed answering some detailed questions about the project's unique qualities, as well as our design process.  The article covers a lot of ground, and we appreciate the detailed tour of one of our favorite projects.  We loved working with the owners and continue our collaboration through their business, Bay Reach Homes.

Topics: Press, Projects

Pages