Gorgeous Vintage Postcards of Incredible Architecture Around the World

The postcard has quite the storied history. The first known picture postcard was sent from Vienna as a souvenir, but images of the sparkling new Eiffel Tower in 1889 gave impetus to the postcard, leading to the little convenient cards’ golden age at the turn of the century. The tourist images of time past serve as glossy memories we cherish today. To help you over the hump, we’ve rounded up some of the best architectural nostalgia. From 3 1/2 x 5″ renditions of Oscar Niemeyer’s glorious graphic structures to obscure designs in Casablanca and Tijuana, click through to check out vintage shots of the most incredible retro architecture in the world. … Read More

  • 1

10 Smart, Skinny Buildings Squeezed into Teeny Tiny Spaces

Tokyo-based design firm, Atelier Bow-Wow coined the term “pet architecture” to describe buildings squeezed in to left over urban spaces. Why the cute conclusion? Principals Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Momoyo Kajima, explain: “Pets, companion animals of the people, are usually small, humorous and charming. We find what we call ‘pet architecture,’ architecture having pet like characteristics, existing in the most unexpected places within the Tokyo city limits.”

From a handful of Bow-Wow’s stunning, smart designs to buildings so thin they look like a sheet of paper, click through to check out some of the most incredible buildings built for the teeny, tiny slivers of leftover land in our increasingly dense urban areas. … Read More

  • 0

Who Wore It Best: The (Almost) Roaring Twenties Fashion of 'Downton Abbey' Season 3

Here we are, three episodes into our favorite Edwardian-no-more soap opera, and we’re barreling headfirst down the radical Roaring Twenties rabbit hole. Dubbed les années folles — aka the crazy years — by the French, the headstrong decade, among other things, gave women the right to vote. It also — fittingly — gave women shorter skirts and the bias cut in sensually simple, revolutionary crêpe de chine, gabardine, and satin. The famous French couturiers, Jeanne Lanvin and Madeleine Vionnet, became almost single-handedly responsible for the mass shedding of corsets and the modern female figure.

Historically on point, this season’s lead costume designer, Caroline McCall, cites the two fashion houses: Mary owns a Vionnet dress and McCall took inspiration from Lanvin’s back catalog for her wedding dress. That being said, some of the characters are still decidedly stuck in the past. In anticipation of this week’s episode, we thought we’d go all Joan Rivers and rank our beloved upstairs uppities by how they’re taking to the dawn of a new era in fashion. Click through to see who we think is wearing it best. … Read More

  • 2

Incredible Designs Made from Plants, Pollen, and Other Unusual Natural Materials

Wolfgang Laib’s Pollen from Hazelnut — a fascinating installation made out of the tiny particles that he’s been collecting from the natural environment around his home and studio in a small village in Southern Germany since the mid-90s — opens today in MoMA’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium. Why pollen? Well, Laib has stated that “pollen is the potential beginning of the life of the plant. It is as simple, as beautiful, and as complex as this. And of course it has so many meanings. I think everybody who lives knows that pollen is important.”

Because we couldn’t be more intrigued by the idea of making things out of plants and pollen, we thought we’d take a look to see if any everyday objects might exist in this vein. From furniture made out of freeze-dried flowers to a stool embedded with mushroom spores click through to check out some surprisingly awesome designs made out of really unusual natural materials. … Read More

  • 0

10 Bizarre Lost Tourist Attractions We Wish Were Still Around

We always want to make the most of a hallowed day off, and so out comes the offbeat travel guide we got at an office white elephant party, and then — inevitably — the New York Times Travel section. Be it a colorful festival of birds in a Minnesota bog or battling nature-deficit disorder in a more hands-on way by attending a work song workshop and then putting the results to practice in the fields of a historic plantation, we crave unusual adventures. In honor of rip-roaring excursions, we’ve rounded up some of the most intriguing but bizarre tourist attractions of a bygone roadside era. From alligator farms and ostrich racetracks to meteorite museums, click through to check out lost roadside attractions we’d love to visit. … Read More

  • 0

‘Downton Abbey’ in Real Life: A Visual Tour of Grand English Great Houses

From grand bedrooms and lustworthy libraries suspended in time to a gorgeous great house complete with a walled garden and roaming peacocks, we’ve compiled a selection of images to help you imagine life in the sumptuous turn-of-the-century England of Downton Abbey. Before things changed… Read More

  • 1

Vintage Photos of Bizarre World’s Fair Architecture

A few weeks ago we took a look at some of the most bizarre buildings we’ve ever seen: the strange Soviet architecture that emerged during a fascinating era of extreme artistic inquiry fueled — as so many are — by social revolution. Now that we’re officially obsessed with far-out retro-future design, we literally fell off of our chair when we came across the progressive pavilions built for two World Expos that we would have loved to attend. From a building that looks like a giant blue Jell-O mold to a larger-than-life paper forest, click through to take a quick virtual tour of some of the most incredible structures we’ve ever seen. … Read More

  • 1

Extraordinary Multifunctional Furniture for Small Spaces

Brad Pitt, our favorite celebrity design enthusiast, has explained, “I’m drawn to furniture design as complete architecture on a minor scale.” Nothing illustrates his point more than the marvelous multifunctional designs that are quickly becoming mainstays on in today’s economically aware, space-saving obsessed design circuit. From an all-in-one bicycle ironing board ladder clothes rack shelf to a table cum bookshelf made out of books, click through to check out some of the most innovative, versatile furniture on the planet. … Read More

  • 0

Vintage Photographs of Swanky Nightclub Interiors from the Rat Pack Era

Gangster Squad, a star-studded noir crime drama set in 1940s Los Angeles, opens in theaters today. The film is based on the true story of an undercover “Magnificent Seven“-style crew assembled by the LAPD to hunt down and kill celebrity mob king Mickey Cohen, who’s played by Sean Penn. A confidant of Bugsy Siegel, and a friend to everyone from Frank Sinatra to Richard Nixon, Cohen was a fixture on a then swanky Sunset Strip scene, home to now infamous nightclubs like Slapsy Maxie’s and Ciro’s that drew the likes of Ava Gardner, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, and Marilyn Monroe. From the world-famous Coconut Grove night club in the since demolished Ambassador Hotel to Tony Duquette’s Latin American-themed interiors for The Mocambo featuring glass cages holding live cockatoos, pigeons, and parrots, click through to check out the haunts of the rich and the infamous in a time when gangsters ran our cities. … Read More

  • 0

A Photo Tour of Famous New Yorkers’ Living Rooms

There’s nothing we love more than virtual voyeuristic visits with fellow fabulous New Yorkers. The original real-life interiors photographer Dominique Nabokov (long before The Selby and Backyard Bill started snapping pics of stylish spaces) started documenting the inside lives of others as understood by their living rooms some 20 years ago. Her visits with celebrated artists, writers, designers, intellectuals, and the occasional celebrity was compiled into a humble, but fascinating, survey titled New York Living Rooms. … Read More

  • 3