Lines We Love: PIAWALLÉN
Swedish designer Pia Wallén's bold, minimal designs have already become iconic classics. She is inspired by her native folk craft tradition and puts a contemporary spin on it through an interesting mix of materials and rendering them in a quiet, elegant minimalism. Her color palette, use of felt, and the Swiss flag-like graphics in all of their European, clean aesthetic conjure images of coziness at home enjoying a fika during a quiet winter snowfall.

Art Obsession: A Tribute to Rex Ray
I was very sad to learn that San Francisco-based contemporary artist Rex Ray (aka Michael Patterson) passed away today following a battle with cancer. You can read about his life and passing here and here.

He was a prolific graphic designer and collage artist who also designed hundreds of concert posters and provided graphic design for artists such as The Rolling Stones, Björk, U2, Radiohead, David Bowie, and Patti Smith. I'm a huge fan of his collages on wood with resin and enjoy having a couple of reproduction prints of them around us here at Ourhaus. I regret that we will not see more work from this celebrated contemporary.

If you're inspired to keep his work living on, you can learn "How to Make a Rex Ray" in this aptly named video starring Rex himself.

Rex Ray also collaborated with a number of companies to create products for the home. You can surround yourself with his work in many ways. This collaboration with Blik wall decals is really great, as it gives you the freedom to interpret and position the shapes as you wish:

For another way to bring Rex's work into the home, check out his collaboration with Nomad Rugs—I think his aesthetic translated beautifully to woven wool:

Rest in peace, good sir. We're happy to have known you in your work.

Let's Take This Outside
It is fall here in New England—my absolute favorite time of year. The chilly, clear air, all things pumpkin and apple, and our wedding anniversary... I can go on about what I love about this season. As we begin to turn our attention toward indoor projects in anticipation of the winter months, here is a recap of a summer project we completed this year.

When spring 2014 rolled around, our attention was on the exterior of our building, as it is EVERY year when the spring thaw reveals, yet again, how atrocious our landscaping—or lack thereof—is. We have an interesting property with its own landscape design challenges. We are in a city and our building is very industrial (it was converted from commercial to residential before we bought it). Which we love! But it is tough to find the right materials for our desired look that will also survive New England Winters.

We had removed a rotting, raised planter made of railroad ties with a dying tree in it (bottom left).

In Photoshop, I quickly dropped images and illustrations over the before photo. It's super handy in discussing your vision with potential landscape designers (who will really do this properly!) and your condo association mates.

So, here's the thing: landscaping and hardscaping are EXPENSIVE. But what we were able to refresh in the immediate timeframe was the door, the address area, and address numbers—a terrific and totally affordable first step. You don't have to go all or nothing on these projects. Unless the section you are working on connects to everything else, go ahead and make partial updates. They give your place and your mood a nice boost!


Dark Gray Paint:
"Deep River" (1582), Benjamin Moore Exterior

Yellow Paint:
"Sunshine" (2021-30), Benjamin Moore Exterior

Address Numbers:
Nickel-plated steel, $6 each. These, at Home Depot.

Cedar Board:
Boulter Plywood



Hopefully, the raised concrete planters, and new entry stairs with landing next Spring!

About Us

Christopher Scott and Jodi Vautrin are the husband and wife team behind Ourhaus, where they chronicle their adventures in home improvement, decorating and travel. After purchasing a unique loft space just a few miles north of Boston, they began photographing and writing about their projects and it blossomed into a creative outlet and platform.

When they’re not home improving, Jodi spends her days as a freelance creative director & designer with a focus on user interface and interactive design, and is an entrepreneur at heart. She serves on the board of AIGA Boston as Vice President of Emerging Ideas & Events.

In his professional life, Christopher is the Technology Director for a multi-service ad agency based in Harvard Square. In his private life, he enjoys tinkering in all its forms, whether it's rebuilding the Ourhaus home network (again), fooling himself into thinking he knows how to fix home appliances, or trying to unravel the mysteries of the guitar. He also flies planes, performs open heart surgery and sings at bar mitzvahs (though not all at the same time).

They share their “haus” with their adorable, highly food-motivated chocolate lab, Lucy.