Archive for May, 2012

Gimme shelter: Preparing for the Big One

Everyone should have a respectful fear of natural or man-made catastrophes. Today you can choose from the Mayan prediction that the world will end on December 21, 2012 to the everyday fear that a nut will set loose a home-made bomb in the supermarket. In October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, people in my neighborhood built home bomb shelters or called in special contractors to handle the work. Some of us began building them anew after 911.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another. While there’s no hard data on how well pre-fab or high-end shelters handle radiation, chemical or germ attacks in America, there are plenty of innovations if you’re moved to take action.

Get away from it all

Photo by Hardened Structures

Photo by Hardened Structures

When only military grade will do, consider the Genesis Series by Hardened Structures. The basic unit can be expanded to suit any size family or neighborhood group. Genesis is 100 percent waterproof and fully protected against high altitude and regular electromagnetic pulses, and the nuclear, biological and chemical air filtration system is top-grade. No, it doesn’t come with vinyl siding!

Do it yourself shelters

Photo by Good Inc.

Photo by Good Inc.

If you’re interested in surviving the apocalypse and are good with tools, find a wide range of considerations at Backwoods Home Magazine. You can read about ventilation, sanitation, food and water storage, medical issues and furnishings from writer-engineer Jeffrey Yago.

You’re not alone

Photo by Home Designing

Photo by Home Designing

After the dust settles, it’s good to know you won’t be the only ones to climb up, blinking at the sun. Families, people of varying spiritual persuasions, survivalists and cultists already have their underground condos built. Many are in Utah and Montana, but there are Europeans, too, who have their shelters.  Check out the décor and details at Good.

Mr. Noah, call your office

Photo by Lifeboat

Photo by Lifeboat

Ark I is a green, self-sustaining space station proposed to house escapees from a global catastrophe. You can read all about it at The Lifeboat Foundation.  The non-profit group claims the Ark will include humans as well as native plants and animals from Earth and will feature artificial gravity. Resources will come from asteroids and the moon if dependence on a poisoned Earth is impossible.

Make mine a double:

Photo by Wardomatic

Photo by Wardomatic

Cool chairs and gummy bears

German architect and designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is credited with saying, “A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier.” I suppose that’s why there’s no end of chairs – perhaps surpassing all other furniture – that architects eventually draw and create solely for exhibitions. Some of the wildest inventions end up in museums or interior design showrooms. I love audacious furniture, but there’s nothing like a screwball chair that’s both wicked on the eye and easy on your sitting muscles.

Rockin’ the kitty

Photo by Paul Kweton

Photo by Paul Kweton

Houston architect Paul Kweton created the first rocking chair that’s the cat’s friend, rather than tail-trimmer. It’s looks industrial because it is: the pre-molded slats are screwed together.

I want the red ones!

Photo by Chair Blog

Photo by Chair Blog

Speaking of rockers, Boym Partners created this gummy bear rocker for an exhibit.  You know someone got to keep it!  It looks like it has excellent lumbar support, not to mention five fruity colors.

Cloud furniture

Photo by Ergonomic Office Furniture

Photo by Ergonomic Office Furniture

Your room need an instant facelift? Richard Hutton designed this nickel-plated, cast-aluminum chair that looks like a glass bubble. (Perhaps this is more of a looker, since I cannot vouch for its comfort.)

Logging zzzzzs

Photo by AK47

Photo by AK47

The Flex Chair is an elastic contour that conforms to the shape the owner creates by stuffing it with books, wood, blankets, and what-have-yous.

On squid row

Photo by I Wish I Had This

Photo by I Wish I Had This

The Octopus Chair by Spanish artist Máximo Riera is the first in his series of creature comforts that will include whales, beetles, lions and rhinos. There currently is NO room in my home for this chair, nor would it fit neatly into any of my basic remodeling ideas.

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)

    Ben

  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.