Art & Home Decor

Coolaroo: Not Your Grandparent’s Patio Umbrella

Life under a Coolaroo is cool in more ways than one

Sometimes exterior design calls for subtlety. Sometimes boldness is required. For those latter occasions there are the Coolaroo Shade Sails.

Coolaroo shade sails are not your grandparent’s patio umbrella. They look bolder than that, brightly colored in square and triangle shapes. It’s remarkable how one lone shade sail can lend an outdoor space a contemporary touch. String up a group of shade sails — like in the photo, below — and you can transform a space into something you’d expect to find at a modern art museum.

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Creative Decor For Muting Noisy Neighbors

Imagine the typical prospective home buyer or renter. They learn about a property of interest to them, either online or through an agent, and then go in person to check it out. And then they decide against it. What’s the most likely reason why?

According to a new survey from mortgage broker, the most commonly cited answer is: noisy neighbors.

Of course, if you aren’t looking for a new place then you might already feel stuck in a stentorian living situation. But you needn’t resort to moving, undertaking a major soundproofing renovation or adopting passive aggressive tactics to find some peace and quiet. A few simple home decor changes can help promote silence by absorbing sound. Here’s a look at five of those:

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Cool Gifts for Architecture Lovers

You don’t need to be an architect to love cool architecture. Urban planning and building design is an interdisciplinary passion, attracting the likes of art enthusiasts, engineers, history buffs, designers and travelers. Chances are that at least one person on your gift shopping is among those.

With that in mind, here’s our roundup of seven inexpensive—and one not-so-much—gifts for architecture enthusiasts. For this review we specifically excluded architecture magazines and books (of which there are a huge and excellent variety to choose from). We also nixed items used by working architects in their craft, like drafting tables or home design software.

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Cool Art Made From Used Toys

Art made from used toys needn’t be visual. Conceptual music group Beatrix*JAR uses old Speak & Spells to create their sound.

The world is awash in broken and discarded toys. But not all of them need end up in landfills. Several designers have found ways to upcycle old toys into cool works of art. Four of our favorites:

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Fern and Moss Wall Art

The fern and moss don't need to be watered. But keeping this artwork out of a house cat's paw reach is highly suggested.

It’s common practice for people to decorate the walls of their homes with pieces of art. And it’s common for people to decorate the interior of their homes with plants. But doing both of those with the exact same item—now that’s unusual.

And that’s exactly what you can do with Fern and Moss Wall Art.

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Psychology of Color Infographic

Most of us are not consciously aware of the large extent to which color affects our moods. Green creates a feeling of tranquility. Blue makes you feel productive. Yellow infuses you with energy—and makes babies cry.

The Psychology of Color, a cool infographic produced by NowSourcing, is all about color and its effect on our psyche.

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THE Art Museum Book
spot cool stuff DESIGN

If you could curate the ultimate art museum with an unlimited budget what works of art would you choose to display?

A team of over 100 editors, art historians and archeologists spent more than a decade tackling that very question. The result of their collective research is displayed in an epic volume titled, appropriately, The Art Museum.

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Google Earth Carpets

Humans, being wing-less creatures, are used to seeing our world from ground level. Even in the jet age, we are surprised when we view the planet from overhead.

Munich-based designer David Hanauer sought to take advantage of that element of surprised when he created his World Wide carpets. The floor pieces all use graphics taken from directly from Google Earth.

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