No architect, interior designer, or project manager was needed or used.
A creative "best friend" service for when you need a little design help or a second opinion.
I've MC'd a baby shower pub quiz, consulted on the most practical shapes to make a donkey piñata, tracked down vintage crates by walking the streets, rewired countless numbers of lamps and things that shouldn't be lamps, networked a house, recycled every rag, rack, and piece of rubbish I could find, and many more ridiculous (but awesome) things.I like solving problems. If you've got one, send me an email!.
Sometimes it’s the little things that need redesign. Not every child-related object needs to be tacky and saturated with uncomplimentary colors. These sticker charts were made specifically for my set of friends and can be printed over and over again. Suits a 13 x 18 cm frame. Download all here.
This basement level guest room needed to be converted to a toddler’s room, while still letting in enough light come into the rest of the house without exposing it. Custom glass doors were designed so that the room continued to have two walls of sunlight. The view from the street through the facades window is the room with a glaring reflection.
A custom shutter system was also put in place to block out the street level noise and light.
One of the things I had been thinking about the last couple of months is how to create more privacy for our guest bedroom whose windows are located on the street level. Even though I frosted the top halves so people outside couldn’t see in without getting on their hands and knees, any guest that came to stay would still feel overlooked since the bottom halves of the windows are still exposed.
At some point, I had this half-joking idea of making a desk out of Legos, but since then I have seriously considered using Lego as a building material for a privacy wall. This mosiac, plastic wall with the exact measurements of the exposed glass could sit on the window ledge quite easily and be removed by just simply picking it up. If we didn’t like the way it looked, we could always change it, and if we decided it just didn’t work, we could take it apart and at least have buckets and buckets of Legos to play with. It seemed like a win-win situation!
And it was… until the first wall fell. The Legos, although meticulously stacked together four wide for extra support, were actually still malleable and as the months wore on, the top started to lean inward until finally, one day, while sitting at the dinner table, Zach and I watched the bricks slowly fall to the ground and break into a million sadness pieces.
The cleaner vacuumed around the carnage for several months while I tried to think up solutions to make the wall more structurally sound. I decided on recreating the wall with supports to keep the top from leaning and so far that’s worked. It’s not perfect, but in the greater scheme of things, we never had to put one hole in the walls, it looks awesome from the outside and people always stop to stare it. Plus it’s nice that the neighbors can’t see me getting the laundry out of the dryer in my underwear anymore.
Just because I’m best friends with the small screen doesn’t mean I don’t like to mingle with the big one from time to time. I had the pleasure to help friends and founders, Yasuo Kishibe and Dirk Zschunke, view and write summaries of the Japanese films presented at their festival which plays annually in both Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
All you really need to know about making this or other kinds of lamps is what color wire is live and which one isn’t. This can differ from country to country.
Probably not the first one to think of it in a desperation of carpal tunnel.
- Completely adjustable both vertically and horizontally
- Collapses in convenient and discreet buckets
- Adjust to the height of any chair
- Create your own look in your own time
*Might be a little hard to clean. I guess you could always put new bricks to cover up the crumbs.
Every week I find myself buying a replacement part for something the Dutch don’t feel necessary to put installation instructions on. You can search the box and the backside of the packaging all you like, butif you weren’t born with the know how then you are really shit out of luck. I even tried to find some instructions on Google, but because the Netherlands still uses “archaic” technologies (meaning cheap, affordable, and simple), I often only found overly-complicated tutorials for specialty hobbyists. I just wanted to fix the light on Zach’s bicycle before the politie arrested him on the Kloveniersburgwal since they’ve been handing out tickets every night this week!
- Bicycle Dynamo – Bought at Hema for about €5, this piece of equipment generates electricity by rolling against either the front OR back wheel tire.
- Headlight – Bought at Hema, this lamp happen to come with wire already attached
- Socket Wrench
- A wrench or nose pliers
- Allen wrenches (only if you want to take your bicycle apart to thread the wire through the frame)
Note: Our Dutch bikes come with stands for the dynamo and the headlight pre-installed. Check to see if your bike has each stand and where they are positioned before making your purchases. Buy extra accessories like wire or electrical tape if needed.
Common sense is the name of the game on this project. It’s actually extremely easy to install this system, it’s all about keeping the area free from wires and being careful to mount everything in the correct position.
Your dynamo will in one way or another have a mechanism in it that makes it possible for it to be in two positions: 1) Away from the wheel, and 2) Touching the wheel. Before you mount the dynamo, push it into the “touching the wheel” position (the more inward position). Then, place the dynamo on the stand so that the rotating part of the dynamo physically touches the rubber part wheel (this is easier with a second person holding the dynamo in position). Screw it in gently, and test how close the dynamo is riding on the tire. If it’s not making too horrible of a sound, then screw it tight. When you push the dynamo into it “out” position, it should no longer touch the wheel and therefore, your light (which will be installed second) will not turn on.
There a ton of different kinds of lights out there, but here in Amsterdam, we tend to go with the product least likely to look shiny and pretty to a crack addict. You can either feed the wire of the light through the frame of your bike (which means taking apart your bicycle), or just carefully wind it down the outside of the frame and secure it with twisty ties. I recommend the latter if you are parking your bike outside as the elements and people tend to destroy the exposed wire, meaning you have to rethread the entire system every single time it breaks.
Connect the wire to the dynamo by having the raw part of it make contact with metal part of the dynamo. Most of the time, there will be a sliphole you can put it in and then tape shut. Use electrical tape if possible. Twisty tie, and you are done.
And there you have it. Eventually I’ll be fixing the rear light whose wire is threaded through the frame as well as the bell. But for now, just the one bicycle light working is enough to dodge a traffic ticket.
Dam Fine Tours which takes you on a walk through some of Amsterdam’s most famous and “colorful” neighborhoods. Bring your friends, not your family.