Thursday, June 12, 2014


Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Marco Khalil and Caroline West bought the bus in 2012 after returning from an Oregon buying trip with their VW bus. Marco was disappointed that he could not fit a large vintage railroad sign within, so they decided to hunt for a larger vehicle. A quick search on Craigslist Vancouver turned up a vintage school bus for a bargain price. Because they wanted the bus to be a multipurpose truck, pop-up shop venue for their company Eight Inch Rule and an open-plan mobile cabin, they removed nearly everything in the bus – the seats, stanchions, heaters. They first recovered the floor in an utilitarian vinyl tile. Then they added a timber daybed and a cubby unit comprised of vintage wood crates – both of which are easily removable when the bus needs to fulfill its cargo-carrying role as a truck. The full renovation took ten days. Now the bus, which they call Riley, serves as the backyard cabin on their property. Marco and Caroline regularly use the bus as a mobile cabin and, whenever they can, they book their favorite seaside site at a local RV park that provides everything they need – a firepit, BBQ, coastal beach walks and a modern bath facility. This summer they plan to take the bus a little further afield to the American San Juan Islands for a little summer retreat. 
Photography: Caroline West
Image above: “Our 1979 GMC / BlueBird school bus, 36 passenger shortbus version. We named it Riley, as in ‘The Life of Riley,’ which pretty well sums up the contented quality of life aboard.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “A wide angle view of the interior and a view of our favourite seaside campsite.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek

See more of the school bus after the jump!

Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “The handmade cushions were made by Caroline using graphic vintage cereal sacking as appliqué. The handmade canvas window blinds feature magnets to secure them to the bus’s steel shell.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “Vintage American boys’ adventure story books set in a Libby’s roast beef packing crate with a metal fire engine toy.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “Wood toggles and canvas are components of the handmade cushions by Caroline using vintage boat signaling flags as appliqués.
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “A 1950s cautionary street sign was a San Francisco vintage shop find. An industrial design classic by American Seating Co., the streamlined school chair dates back to the 1940s. The window blind was made from a portion of an Adelaide, Australia tram destination blind from the 1930s. A real ‘barn find,’ these were discovered in a hayloft in the Australian countryside and purchased for a trifle.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “Caroline’s handmade cushions are made with vintage grain sacking.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “A vintage school house chemistry lab stool used as a side table.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “A simplified globe by Denoyer-Geppert, c.1950s is favoured for its two-tone palate
– a numerical transit bus number identifier sits in the background.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “We have a vintage collection of mugs from the Boy Scouts of America (1970s); they have vibrant graphics and are virtually indestructible at the campsite.”

Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “An old canvas yacht club pennant acts as our ‘house flag’ as well as a handy window prop.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “I built the timber daybed with convertibility in mind; quick release for complete removal or left in place without upholstery as a product display deck when Riley is in pop-up shop mode. The vintage suitcases tuck neatly beneath for stowage of our camping kitchenalia.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: “The antique shipping trunk in an unusual cube format sports a construct of leather, cane, canvas and brass, all with a wonderful patina and makers mark from Croydon, London. The C. M. initials are original and a happy coincidence. Placed alongside the settee, it acts as end table and blanket box. The vintage lamp has been wired into the bus’s 12 volt power system.”
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: The original bi-fold door actuator.
Design Sponge Sneak Peek
Image above: The magnetically secured window blinds made by Caroline have labels made by the same company that made her school uniform labels when she was a schoolgirl.
Design Sponge Sneak Peek

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Above: Sweden 1958
I’ll be the first to admit that, when it comes to any kind of sport, I pretty much know next to nothing. I know that most of them involve running and balls and cute little spandex outfits, but that’s about it. Still, as little as I know about the intricacies of baseball, basketball, hockey, football (American), and football (European), I love me some sports culture. Baseball hats, basketball shoes, vintage trophies, varsity sweatshirts, Cracker Jacks? I am SO DOWN (seriously, though, any excuse to accessorize—I’m there). 
This year I saw the first of my friends put up their World Cup ticket and tagged a million people on it, talk about being subtle ! Followed by a whole bunch of my Brazilian friends going ga ga over their favourite venues . Followed by friends from other Latin American countries trying to connect with those travelling to Brazil. JEALOUS MUCH ! I hate Facebook for many such reasons. 
This year, the twentieth FIFA World Cup is taking place in Brazil and, as such, all of my significantly more sports-savvy friends are all abuzz with it. Never one to miss out on such a huge cultural event, I’m appreciating the occasion in my own way—through World Cup posters! Since its establishment in 1930, each FIFA World Cup has had its own poster and advertising campaign—and most of them are pretty dern awesome, fabulous examples of modern graphic design. I’ve chosen a few of my favorites, so come join me for this fun trip down World Cup memory lane! 


Above: Italy, 1934
Above: Uruguay, 1930
Above: France, 1938
Above: Brazil, 1950
Above: Chile, 1962
Above: Mexico, 1970
Above: Germany, 1974
Above: Argentina, 1978
Above: Spain, 1982
Above: South Africa, 2010

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


For two years, Hanni Liliedahl and Jesse Silacci worked on a floor-to-ceiling renovation of their Monterey, California home, the downstairs commercial space (formerly a bar) as well as the building’s exterior – all while living in the space. So it’s no wonder that when it came time to make decor decisions, they sought peace and quiet. That meant utilizing organic elements and working with a stripped-down color palette, allowing the different materials, textures and tones to take front stage. Their commute is just a staircase away – downstairs to their boutique Lilify, which opened in 2012 and is an extension of the love of clean lines and organic elegance that they live with at home. They also operate a boutique floral design studio out of the shop along with micro-roaster Bright Coffee – building a coffee shop in your own home. I’m not sure that it gets any smarter than that.
Photography by Eileen Roche and Jesse Silacci.
Image above: “We found this midcentury table at a thrift store and we decided to mix and match the chairs – two metal and two wood. When we seat more people, the table has two leaves, which we couldn’t live without.”
Image above: “Our favorite part of our desk setup is the cognac leather, super worn chair that we scored at Architectural Salvage in Santa Barbara.”

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Image above: “Convincing Jesse to paint the fireplace black took over a week and Hanni created an inspiration board of black fireplaces to close the debate. We both love it!”
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Image above: “To get this cactus from an estate sale in Carmel to our home, Hanni bribed Jesse, his father and a dear friend with a home cooked dinner in exchange for careful transport and hauling it up our front steps. The ordeal took over four hours, as we drove 15 miles an hour for the entire way home.”
Image above: “This is our collection of crude string instruments. The furthest to the left was handmade in the village in Guyana where we served in the Peace Corps. The kangaroo skin and trunk belonged to Hanni’s Mom when she lived in Australia in her early 20s.”
Image above: “Jesse designed these floating record shelves and then our good friend Mike Zimmerer of Zimm Metalworks built them. Jesse also built the stereo cabinet.”
Image above: “Opening up this wall and installing a bar was one of the smartest decisions we made during our renovation. When guests are over, everyone can be a part of what is happening in the kitchen.”
Image above: “We salvaged the upper doors from the original cabinetry. We scraped many layers of paint off of them.”
Image above: “To be able to showcase our kitchen treasures, we didn’t install upper cabinets in half of the kitchen. Jesse built these reclaimed wood corner shelves.”
Image above: “We set our table with a variety of vintage serving pieces and just adore Brooklyn ceramic artist Suzanne Sullivan’s work.”
Image above: “The wood block print is by Alaskan artist Eric Bealer that we purchased on a trip to Hanni’s hometown of Juneau.”
Image above: “We fell in love with this old wind chart.”
Image above: “We didn’t want our bathroom to feel cluttered, so we opted for a pedestal sink with corner shelves.”
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Image above: “Chairs from Overstock and redwood table built by Jesse. The table was the site of the most recent great party – an impromptu salad potluck to celebrate Hanni’s birthday. A lovely group of friends had cocktails inside and then moved to dine outside, hanging out at this table.”
Image above: “This is the entrance to Lilify and Bright Coffee, located below our home!”
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