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The Nutshell Studies of Bento Boxes, Stalking Neighbors, End Tables

Another dreary Thursday morning in Times Home & Garden land, where headlines are speckled with words like "discontents," "chores," and "end." Featured photographer Corinne May Botz is no doubt immensely talented, but she's best known for a book entitled “The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.” Not exactly a cheery pick-me-up. In any event, there's some ray of light in an industrial designer who hopes to infuse talks about design with talks about gender and a guy who puts videos of his transgressing neighbors on YouTube. Now, that's the stuff. To the index and beyond!

· Most compelling headline: In NoHo, a Bento Box They Can Live In
· Runner-up: Neighborhood Mischief Caught on Tape
· Most baffling text block: See above.
· Best use of a French word: So he was nonplussed last year when he discovered that someone had been tossing plastic bags of dog excrement into the sculptured shrubs around a palm tree in his front yard.
· Most depressing decor descript: To be sure, there was a taxidermy squirrel on the chimney ledge, and a vintage dollhouse. Over the kitchen table hung some Halloween accouterments, including a paper accordion of cutout bats and a spider web, neither of which was a seasonal item...She held up a fake rock, bought in a giddy moment at a recent yard sale. “We try so hard not to bring stuff in,” she said weakly.
· New way to deal with a neighbor's impropriety: Mr. Miller also had some fun at the neighbor’s expense, posting a video on YouTube with a suitably silly soundtrack and narration. The video has had more than 4,000 views.
· Sagest gardening advice: At the end of the day, if you did nothing other than rake, you’d probably be O.K.
· Interesting fact about side tables: Tables that are between 18 and 20 inches high usually hit the sweet spot, he said—somewhere between the top of the arm and top of the seat cushion.
· Best 007 reference: Outfitting a house with a fleet of robot guards is no longer just for those with the wealth of Bond villains.
· Most adorable person on the planet: See photo above.
· Biggest Did-you-go-to-Wesleyan? moment: She is also part of the Femme Den, a kind of in-house collective focused on making sure that conversations about gender are always part of Smart Design’s process, as much as, say, sustainability and ergonomics.
· Wait, scratch that: "Exercise machines are used by both men and women—the instructional diagrams always show a man's body."
· Most egregious price point: $22 for patterned masking tape.
· Best lede: If you want a book to beat yourself over the head with while bewailing your shortcomings as a host...
· Runner up: Randy Twaddle began drawing electrical transformers—those metal boxes on telephone poles—more than a decade ago.