Nature Meets Mod – Organic Inspired Design

Back in May, an innovative team at Nervous System design studio in Somerville, Massachusetts showcased a new product at ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in New York City. The team, led by Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg seeks inspiration from natural phenomena in the world around us, and creates projects that mold art, technology, and science into one. They take unusual, yet naturally beautiful geometries and integrate them into user-friendly computer programs that ultimately create wonderful jewelry and housewares. This technique is exactly what Nervous System uses to design products like their new Radiolaria Table.

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The team created an app that allows people to become part of the fun and the life of the item that will eventually be theirs. The user gets to design the table, and ultimately have the joy of knowing that they took part in the creation of a functional piece of artwork. What a way to give your space so much more personality and character! The user also determines which holes get the plexiglass, how tall the table is to be, and what finish is to be applied. Once the table is designed, the team uses a CNC machine to carve the table out of sustainable Baltic birch plywood!

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But wait! The fun doesn’t stop there. The studio is also releasing designs for a new 16-piece pendant and sconce lighting family…and they are seriously cool. Be sure to check out more of their affordable and sustainable products at: http://n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com/shop/

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DIY vs. Contractor: Who will finish my project list?

Let’s face it; everyone with a home has a home-improvement wish list. Whether it’s to fix what’s broken, finish what’s already been started or create their dream home.
With enough time, energy and know-how most people can do their own home improvements.
If you are in the DIY camp, you should read “Doing it Yourself” for some great tips. If that’s not your idea of fun you’ll need to hire out the work. You have two choices:
Hire Subcontractors

Subcontractors provide specialized skills and generally provide one service such as electrical
work, plumbing, painting, framing or tiling. You can hire subcontractors directly and
coordinate the details of your home improvement yourself.
Ready to Remodel…Now What?
Pros
• You save money if you have home-improvement knowledge
• You control the pace of the job to your timeline
• You control who is in your home
• You control the details of the project

Cons
• You need to be familiar with the logical flow of the job so you don’t contract work out of order
• You need to get bids from and schedule each subcontractor
Individually

• You manage multiple contractors throughout the project
• It’s time-consuming
Hire a General Contractor

A general contractor, or GC, is a person you hire to oversee the entire job and manage
the subcontractors.
Pros
• You benefit from their industry expertise, contacts and discounts
• You save money in the long run if your knowledge base is low
• You write checks to one person
• You have one point of contact throughout the job
Cons
• It can be expensive
• It can be difficult to find someone you trust
• The project is out of your hands
• The bid process takes longer
• Communication is critical since you only have one point of contact
No matter which route you take, you should ask friends and neighbors for recommendations,
get several quotes, interview all of them, call references, verify insurance coverage and view
their work if possible. There are multiple sources of information online about how to hire a
contractor.
You may still fight with your spouse in the driveway over paint choices, deadlines and money,
but at least you won’t have to do the work yourself.