7 Tips On How To Avoid Eye Strain

posted by on 2015.08.13, under Everything Else

Eye strain is one of the most common ailments that Americans do not believe that they are in danger

of developing. However, with the sheer amount of time we spend in front of our computers and

smartphones each day, eye strain is an inevitability.

When you can no longer tolerate the strain you are placing on your eyes each day and you begin to

suffer from extreme pain while at home, these tips will help you to reduce the strain on your eyes.

1. Heed The Warning Signs

If you are beginning to feel persistent pain in your eyes, even while resting at home, this is typically a

sign that they are experiencing a strain. Even pain in the shoulders and neck can be seen as a warning

that eye strain is starting to build up, so be sure to listen to these signs.

2. Reduce Your Eyes’ Workload

Do you really need to bring your smartphone with you every time you use the restroom? Does your

computer monitor’s brightness setting truly have to be turned all the way up? Take a look at your

lifestyle and make some subtle changes to reduce the workload that your eyes are taking on each day.

3. Keep A Distance Between Your Eyes and Screens

There is no need to sit on top of your laptop or have your smartphone two inches from your face at all

times. This increases the amount of work your eyes have to do on a daily basis. Pay attention to the

ergonomics of how you interact with screens and do your best to keep a safe distance. It helps to have

a proper chair, which can be bought at a budget price thanks to a 10% off coupon or other promos.

4. Use Larger Fonts

The smaller your fonts, the more strain you are placing on your eyes. While some may tease and mock

you for using larger fonts when it is time to read or have a lengthy interaction with a screen, using

smaller fonts decreases the strain on your eyeballs.

5. Don’t Forget To Blink!

This one may seem obvious, but spending too much time in front of screens can actually make a

person forget to blink on a regular basis. Be sure to blink, before your eyeballs begin to dry out and the

strain is increased.

6. Keep Lights Dim

If you are using a screen, it is best to keep the other lights in the room at a dim level. When multiple

lights are competing for your attention, this causes added strain for your eyes, so reduce the amount

of dueling lights in each room.

7. Take Breaks

Adhere to the 20/20 rule of gazing at screens. For every 20 minutes you are spending peering into a

computer, television or smartphone, take at least 20 seconds to stare at a different object that is at

least 20 feet away.




posted by on 2015.04.20, under Art

This weekend we attended the AIPAD 2015 show at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC. We love all the art shows in New York, but this one strictly focuses on photography – both contemporary and classic, and we couldn’t get enough.

Sandy Skoglund’s trashy photos, like this Reflection in a Mobile, glorifies the Mobile Home and makes us want a wall-to-wall pink bathroom just like this one

Sandy Skoglund

Sandy Skoglund, Reflection in a Mobile Home


Get the look with this ombre pink shower curtain from Amazon.

This was the only Miles Aldridge photo spotted at the show, but its glorious colors and juicy texture were so satisfying that any more would be overkill.

Miles Aldridge, 3-D 2010


Get your fix with this Rizzoli book of his work. With 250+ pages of pop-off-the-page neon fashion photographs, your eyes will be recovering for days.


Flip Schulke’s “Ali In The Water” was one of our favorite photos at the show…

Flip Schulke, Ali in the Water

Flip Schulke, Ali in the Water


…and to our surprise, we found a poster version available on Amazon.

We spotted a healthy amount of old and new imagery produced by dying photographic processes, like tintypes, polaroids, and daguerrotypes…



Tom Bianchi, polaroid from Fire Island

Tom Bianchi, polaroid from Fire Island


"Trick" gelatin silver photograph, unknown photographer, early 1900s

“Trick” gelatin silver photograph, unknown photographer, early 1900s

Several of these are so rare and delicate that they can be priced in the tens of thousands, but you can get your fix with these gorgeous books instead…


posted by on 2015.04.02, under Shopping Guide, Store Profiles

One needn’t spend very long on the Kaufmann Mercantile site to see that they’re serious about their product assortment. Everything is high quality, aesthetically pleasing and has a story—one that typically involves handcrafting or generational know-how. No made in China here.




Not only are the product summaries exceptionally thoughtful and informative, but the site’s Field Notes library is a treasure trove of succinct articles on everything from designer Arne Jacobsen to copper care to the history of salt. There’s even a fascinating look into the world of giant pumpkins! Yes, I’m a fan.

Here are some of my favorite KM items of the moment:

This collapsible cot is perfect for overnight guests. Line it with a few sheepskins, throw a sleeping bag over and voile—a cozy guest bed that can go anywhere you have an extra 28” x 77” worth of floor space.

Canvas & Aluminum Collapsible Cot

Canvas & Aluminum Collapsible Cot, $159


Made in Italy, this Green Giant of staplers would command serious respect at the office.

Metal Plier Office Stapler

Metal Plier Office Stapler, $34.90


These 3-piece nesting bowl sets are made right in Ohio. Their milky green shade is so much more alluring than clear glass or steel, as far as mixing bowls go.

Set of Hand-Pressed Glass Bowls (Jadeite)

Set of Hand-Pressed Glass Bowls (Jadeite), $64.90


Handcrafted in Japan, this crackle finish teapot is an amazing steal at just $34.95. A great gift idea for Mother’s Day or your next housewarming party invite.

Japanese Ceramic Crackle Glaze Teapot

Japanese Ceramic Crackle Glaze Teapot, $34.90


Wooden bath mats are an easy way to add spa charm to your bath—especially when made of fragrant cyprus wood like this one. Also made in Japan.

Japanese Cypress Wood Bath Mat

Japanese Cypress Wood Bath Mat, $29


Long before humorous tote bags were a thing, French net bags were the ultimate reusable market bag.  Keep simple tradition alive, in classic natural or sleek black.

French Cotton Net Bag (Black)

French Cotton Net Bag (Black), $10.95


posted by on 2014.03.26, under Get the Look

Lately, I have been drooling over Kelly Wearstler’s fabulous Malibu beach house, recently published in Elle Decor. I’m sure the weather is to blame, as I’ve fantasized abandoning the long, cold winter to spend a week in a place like this.

Kelly Wearstler's Malibu Living Room, from Elle Decor

Kelly Wearstler’s Malibu Living Room, from Elle Decor


I have always coveted Kelly Wearstler’s dramatic style. Melding influences spanning the 60s to the 80s, she mixes modern with vintage effortlessly. When you see a Kelly Wearstler room, you KNOW it’s a Kelly Wearstler room, even when she forgoes her signature use of bold color for neutral elements. Inspired by her latest project, I designed a living room that’s easily sourced and friendlier-priced.

wearstler moodboard


When working with a blank slate for a living room, I find that it’s easiest to choose a sofa first – the largest piece of furniture – and design around it. The popular Piazza velvet sofa from CB2 in the perfect neutral shade of greige (i.e., beige and gray) anchors the room. Its soft and wide shape, perfect for leisurely naps, creates the laid back Malibu vibe.

Cb2 piazza storm velvet sofa, $1399

Cb2 piazza storm velvet sofa, $1399


Leather butterfly chairs seem to be ubiquitous as of late. I love this original take on the look – the white leather with contrast stitching somehow nails the fancy-but-casual ideal.

White Leather Butterfly Chair, $229

White Leather Butterfly Chair, $229


Pretty much everything in the Nate Berkus line at Target works in this room, like these understated glam studded throw pillows.

Nate Berkus Decorative Pillow with Studs, $20

Nate Berkus Decorative Pillow with Studs, $20


Graphic black and white prints and sculptural gold pieces on the walls play off the neutral furnishings…

Nate Berkus Starburst Wall Decor - Gold

Nate Berkus Starburst Wall Decor – Gold, $28

Society6 Abstract Ink (Black on White), from $15

Society6 Abstract Ink (Black on White), from $15


For lighting, the effortless drama of this linen pendant lamp at CB2 is a no-brainer.

Cb2 linen pendant lamp, $60

Cb2 linen pendant lamp, $60


These pseudo-nautical rope mirrors are reminiscent of a beach house by the water.

World Market Connor Rope Mirrors , from $30

World Market Connor Rope Mirrors , from $30


Matching side tables in a dark shade add symmetry and break up the lighter colors in the space.

Ennis Side Table, $140

Ennis Side Table, $140

Wearstler-ize it with sculptures in varying sizes.
Set of 2 Aragonite Obelisk Towers (Peru), $43

Set of 2 Aragonite Obelisk Towers (Peru), $43

A soft, oversized pouf in place of a hard top coffee table makes the room feel softer and more relaxed.
Safavieh Pin-Striped Large Beige Cotton Fabric Poof Ottoman, $185

Safavieh Pin-Striped Large Beige Cotton Fabric Poof Ottoman, $185

The typical Kelly Wearstler room has a graphic rug that ties it all together. There are plenty to choose from in Safavieh’s affordable line of plush rugs on Overstock. This gorgeous retro-classy square rug is a winner.

Safavieh Retro Grey/ Ivory Rug (6' Square), $135

Safavieh Retro Grey/ Ivory Rug (6′ Square), $135


If you love Kelly Wearstler like I do, this beachy living room captures her essence. Stay warm!



posted by on 2014.02.27, under Accessorizing, Art

Furnishing a space is always first priority, but choosing what artwork to display is equally important. Switching out your art is also one of the easiest ways to change the feel of a room. Sculpture takes that one step further, a bonus design element that adds another dimension to any space.

I must admit I thought I had enough with the taxidermy trend, but then I discovered the White Faux Taxidermy shop on Etsy. I could spend hours looking through their whimsical (and reasonably priced) designs. Unconventional animals in an endless array of colors make for the ultimate wall sculpture.

Hang this jackalope in white and gold over an entryway.

Gold Glitter Antlers

Jackalope with Gold Glitter Antlers, $65


Go nuts with this hot pink unicorn.

Magical Pink Unicorn Head

Magical Pink Unicorn Head, $100


Or go with the black resin faux bison head for a totally cool look.

Black Resin Buffalo/Bison Skull Head, $60

Black Resin Buffalo/Bison Skull Head, $60


Your lonely desk is begging for this pair of sleek black onyx obelisk sculptures. They remind me of the object in Led Zeppelin’s Presence, if you’re into that sorta thing.

Handcrafted Onyx 'Black Towers' Obelisk Sculptures

Handcrafted Onyx ‘Black Towers’ Obelisk Sculptures, $50


Some sculptures can also be hung from the ceiling, adding another layer to an often overlooked area. The Guggenheim museum shop carries a nice selection of mobiles, which remind me of Alexander Calder’s kinetic sculptures.

I’m partial to the Futura Mobile, designed by Ole Flenstead in 1970 to “resemble sick black planets in harmony with their smaller, orbiting red moons.”

Futura Mobile by Flensted

Futura Mobile by Flensted @ GuggenheimStore, $75


The kid at heart will love the LED Prey Model construction toy. With 16 buildable bug models in one kit, have a blast rebuilding your light up sculpture whenever you feel like it. This thing looks like fun for all ages, but displays like a piece of art suitable for grownups.

LED Prey Model Kit, $40

LED Prey Model Kit, $40


If you have a sculpture you’re especially proud of, maybe it deserves its own pedestal. I like this Reflection Pedestal from ZGallerie (they also happen to have a nice selection of sculptural pieces). Place it in an empty corner for instant pizazz and an interior design-y feel.

Reflection Pedestal, $130

Reflection Pedestal, $130


No matter your taste or style, there is a sculpture out there for you.  Get creative, don’t be afraid to get a little weird, and most of all, have fun!

(and send me a pic when you hang your new Tiffany blue moose head)…

originally posted on ibby.com


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