Monthly Archives: March 2014

A Handmade Headboard

When we first bought our home, I worked at a furniture company. The perks of that job are obvious–gorgeous, handcrafted sofas and beds and lamps, all right in front of me for the purchasing. We picked out a few favorite pieces, including a contemporary, upholstered headboard in the softest shade of grey linen. Then came moving day, and the sharp, uncompromising angles of our Cape Cod staircase. The headboard didn’t, wouldn’t fit, even though the movers twisted themselves in acrobatic positions trying, and back it went, to a sad little warehouse far away.

For the past eight months, we’ve been living without a headboard, which is alright. Here’s the requisite before photo (forgive the wrinkles):photo of headboard design But we read before bed and, more often than I like, stay up watching Netflix when we should be asleep. An upholstered headboard seemed like a nice cushion to have. So while I was away one weekend, Dan drew up some plans. He bought the lumber. We picked out fabric. And, a day of sanding, building, nailing, and lord-knows-what-other-tasks later, we had this:

building your own headboarddetail shot of making your own headboard

I’ll be honest, before I saw the bed come together, I was a little skeptical. We are new homeowners. We’re not builders. But apparently, Dan is a builder–and a good one at that. You learn new things about each other every day. And now, nighttime reading/movie watching is so much more pleasant. Maybe we’ll brave a coffee table next. There have even been whispers in our household about an upholstered chair for my office.

Loose on Earth: The Process

My dear friend Kathleen is one of the most imaginative, hardworking, and generous people I know—not to mention, an incredible writer of all genres. I was so fortunate to work on her website these past few months. She wanted an author’s site that could showcase her writing and describe her current book project—a full-length work about the Wandering Albatrosses of the South Arctic. (She’s traveling there next year with a team of scientists!) When we began to brainstorm about the design, we were exactly on the same page.

photos that inspired Kathleen Blackburn's website, designed by Thao Thai
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

First, we created a shared pinboard. We were both drawn to cool shades of blue and green, vintage influences, and a lot of white space. I wanted her website to feel expansive, yet contained, like a beautiful little book you want to keep re-reading.

homepage designed by Thao Thai for writer Kathleen Blackburn

The designs reflect her aesthetic, but put her words front-and-center. For that, we needed some typography that has elegance and history.

simple yet elegant about page designed by Thao Thai for Kathleen Blackburn

Each page has a slightly different layout, creating movement for the eye. Vintage woodcuts help provide context, as well as a dash of antiquated romance.

It’s a simple website, but we think it does the job! To see it in action, visit Kathleen’s website.