From the category archives:


Night Ride Home

by the Coconut Girl on August 18, 2013


Silent Design

by the Coconut Girl on August 8, 2013

Despite their superficial differences, open-plan architecture offices and napping babies share a key, defining characteristic: the ability to make grown-ups neurotic about noise. Granted, not every design firm and sleeping baby demand unperforated quiet. But many—I daresay most—do. I’ve been in architecture firms where receptionists nearly devour their receivers rather than let the phone ring [...]

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O Marks the Spot

by the Coconut Girl on April 1, 2013

“Kids do well when they can.” A friend said this to me when my children were toddlers, and it set me free. She’d been reading a book about behavioral challenges in children. In addition to some innate physiological predispositions, she learned that some children are especially challenged by certain foods, fatigue, and overstimulation. She was [...]


Recession Chic™

by the Coconut Girl on February 21, 2013

The cheapest home renovation I know of is totally free. Here’s how to do it: put things “out of place.” In my architecture practice, I call it Recession Chic™. It’s the design version of a Staycation. Start by lifting framed pictures off their hooks and moving them to different spots. Your eye will ka-boing like [...]



by the Coconut Girl on July 16, 2012

Move over, Vera Wang and Michael Kors. The new IT guy in fashion is Reslience. His work can be found in magazines and websites everywhere.  Just look for his logo: a wagging finger. Resilience’s marketing team plays on proven techniques for volume sales: convincing consumers that they’re not enough. Buy Resilience, so it goes, and [...]


Holding Dangerous

by the Coconut Girl on May 4, 2012

It’s good to get an injury now and then, just a little one to remember the sting of a scrape or the itch of a scab. I bandage my children’s knees, pull ticks from their necks, and extract splinters from their thumbs.  If the razor grazes my ankle every now and then, it reacquaints me [...]


A Tiny 9/11 Story

by the Coconut Girl on September 10, 2011

“And then there was one…”   This was my fear. Like so many people around the world, on September 11, 2001, I tore through my mental Rolodex wondering if those I knew in New York were safe.  Several college friends had studied at the business school and had good jobs in New York.  Did they [...]

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Fisher-Price Landscape Architecture – Blog

by the Coconut Girl on July 22, 2011

Fisher-Price Landscape Architects is pleased to announce its new partnership with Boo Radley Yard Maintenance. Mr. Radley brings to FPLA his extensive experience in peeling porch paint, rotten railings, and weedy front walks. His work, though recognizable in any season, builds to a compositional crescendo in late summer. He’s completed projects at every home in [...]


The New Yorker

by the Coconut Girl on April 12, 2011

Three weeks ago I submitted a cover proposal to The New Yorker magazine. It’s a project that’s spent most of the last ten years in my office “to-do” drawer. This winter I moved the cover to the front burner. It’s about 9/11, and I wanted to pitch it for the magazine’s September 12, 2011 issue. [...]


A Mudroom in 3 Easy Pieces

by the Coconut Girl on February 3, 2011

For the last two decades, mudrooms have been all the rage in residential design. For good reason. Imagine a single, orderly repository for all the coats, backpacks and shoes that can overtake a home. But what to do if a home’s entry offers only a puny coat closet? Deconstruct, that’s what. Not the closet, but [...]

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