MINIMALISM for the wrist lifestyle April 24, 2019 01:00 – The Nation

PEBBLES are not symmetric, square or round so why, Danish brand Bulbul asked, should a watch called Pebble be? The timepiece, best described as rounded and slightly asymmetrical, recently made its debut in Bangkok, along with other models from the stylish and minimalist brand.

Founded in 2013 by Jacob Juul, Bulbul draws on KiBiSi for the design of its funky but functional watches. Considered as one of Scandinavia’s most influential design teams, KiBiSi is led by Bjarke Ingels, Lars Larsen and Jens Martin Skibsted and works across a wide range of disciplines, creating everything from furniture and household objects, to bicycles and aircraft, and signature designs to new functional and aesthetic hybrids. 

Available at the multi-brand M Market on The Emporium’s ground floor and at, Bulbul gets it name from a passerine songbird and offers meticulously designed and creatively crafted watches with movements made from genuine 14K Swiss gold and premium316GL stainless steel and boasts crystal sapphire dials plus straps made of German stainless steel and Italian leather. Water resistance is up to 3 atm and each watch comes with a two-year warranty. 

Defining an international hybrid of heritage and openness with precise Swiss movement, the watches are made to last. 

“Pebble is the first watch in the timepiece world to break the traditional rules with its asymmetrical dial that means all four corners have different angles and radiance. Indeed, the watch is complicated to produce even though it looks very simple. It is rare to see a new shape in the watch world. Normally the watch shape is driven by geometry; round or square. We spent two years developing this innovation and we are super happy that it became an instant hit as an item worth owning and is still very popular,” notes Juul. 

“Bulbul is now five years old. It goes against the grain of the classic watch industry, which is quite conservative and very technical. Danish design is different. It is more playful and very minimalist, and has a long life cycle in the design. I always hoped that the two worlds could meet. So I contacted KiBiSi, the stars of the Danish architectural world. I told them to try and design a watch that they would like to wear. They are the optimal target group – people from the creative industry. They came up with the first design that became the Pebble watch.” 

A golden version of Pebble comes with a traditional material surface in a matte finish, with traditional brown leather and an all white dial and hands – a hybrid of contemporary clean expression and heritage – while the all steel version is an elegant fusion of classic steel mesh and contemporary design.

In 2015, KiBiSi designed the round and refined Facette watch for the Bulbul collection. Facette, a subtle design in precision engineering, incorporates distinct design details while paying homage to an iconic watch shape. The markers float almost unnoticeably on the underside of the sapphire crystal. The Italian leather strap connects exactly in the middle of the steel casing, creating an unusually stylish fit. Inside Facette lies a Swiss-made, 14 Karat gold-plated Ronda movement, with up to 10 years of battery life. 

Adding to Bulbul collection, KiBiSi then designed the classic Oblong, a rectangle with a slight curve, which comes in eight styles matched with leather and metal straps creating a subtly flamboyant contrast to the sharp, minimal aesthetic. 

Juul says, “Our watch is a lesson in ultra-simplicity. It is what a watch looks like when you remove everything. So simple, it is beautiful in itself. When it is nothing, it is something. Our watches are for people who love an elegant, cool design that is clean and minimalist yet of high quality, going beyond the rules of seasonal fashion that only a Nordic design can offer. The Pebble reflects the philosophy behind Bulbul – the desire to do things a little differently, just enough to be interesting.” 


I try to get my wife to clean up her messes. Does that make me controlling? – Washington Post

Ben Claassen III (For Express)

Don’t miss the next live chat: Dr. Andrea Bonior, a licensed clinical psychologist who has been helping readers with Baggage Check since 2005, hosts a weekly live chat at on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. She discusses her recent columns and answers any questions you may have about relationships, work, family, mental health and more. Join or read Dr. Andrea’s latest live chat here.

Q. You’ve written a lot about controlling behavior and I wonder how neatnik-vs.-slob issues fit in. I am minimalist-ish and like things organized, which my wife has known since we met. I work mainly from home and need an environment that keeps me mentally clear (and I do most of the cleaning). When my wife comes home, it’s a tornado. I am trying so hard to help her build habits of putting her stuff away when she comes home, because it will save us both so much time, and that is the type of home I want to live in. She has started to resent this and has even labeled me “controlling” because I tell her how much I need to have an uncluttered environment and how I need her help.

It’s unclear what has changed over time — your standards, her resentment or her clutter habits — but in any case, communication and understanding are at issue here. It may seem like overkill to have a few sessions with a marriage therapist for this, but once resentment and “controlling” accusations enter the equation, it needs to be taken seriously. The path forward involves finding a middle ground that has the least sacrifice for the biggest positive effect in terms of both partners’ comfort and happiness. It may involve an agreed-upon two-minute ritual once she walks in the door, a nightly joint cleanup or one room of the house being embargoed from clutter — whatever it is, you need help generating solutions together rather than accusations.

Will she ever feel any better?

Q. I don’t know how to help my teenage daughter, who, while not depressed in the classic sense, constantly worries about her health. She has had several “scares” (in her own mind, at least) where she is certain she has a serious illness, and when my husband and I tried to be supportive by getting her fullychecked out, that only made her anxiety worse (and the tests checked out fine). Her peers are starting to call her a hypochondriac, so she has stopped talking to them about her feelings, which I think is making her feel worse because her peers were her reality check and now she keeps everything bottled up until she unleashes on us. I know she probably needs help but I almost feel that will make her anxiety even worse.

Yes, it may feel like her anxiety gets a little worse initially. (For some, it is more comfortable to blame a physical diagnosis than reckon with how debilitating anxiety itself can be.) But help helps, eventually. There’s no advantage in waiting. At the very least, she could use some better coping mechanisms and anxiety-reduction techniques. Or this could be full-fledged illness anxiety disorder that needs more intensive treatment. Or it could be anything in between. Help her understand that she deserves to feel better, and that there are solid tools for managing anxiety that will have noticeable effects on her mental and physical well-being. Your best bet? A cognitive behavioral specialist who works with mindfulness and physical symptomology.

Send your questions for Baggage Check to Dr. Andrea Bonior at She may answer them in an upcoming column in Express or in a live chat on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. at

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Embrace Your Inner Minimalist in Long Island’s East Lake House – The Manual

In the Northeast, the coastal vacation home has long had a distinct style defined by the country’s most prominent families (think the Kennedy Compound in Cape Cod). Cedar shingle clad mansions, sprawling out along expansive grounds, carefully positioned to frame stunning ocean views are all typical of the style. Inside, these homes are decked out in coastal decor with bright whites balanced by navy blues and accented with wicker and driftwood to create an upscale, shabby-chic look. That look, however, has become a dated style indicative of behind-the-times stuffiness. Robert Young Architects designed a new summertime retreat to be a minimalist escape that feels at one with its natural surroundings while acting as a model for a new wave of coastal vacation homes. The result is East Lake House.

Comprised of two structures, East Lake House at first may seem out of place in Montauk, New York, but the coastal touches are all still there. Rather than a sprawling summer home, the simple gabled form of the buildings speaks to the classic barn shape found scattered throughout the Northeast. This basic form is visually pleasing without detracting from the beauty of the home’s surroundings. Cedar shingles have been swapped out for untreated cedar planks which patina over time and eventually take on a driftwood-like look. Exterior hardware is bronze, reminiscent of the high-end finishes typically found on yachts and steamships and the buildings are capped by raw zinc panels, designed to age along with the cedar planks.

A unique property, East Lake House sits on two lots that were combined into one, allowing the main house to be situated away from the guest house (which also acts as the garage and boathouse). In between the two buildings, there is a plunge pool and a covered patio situated to take in views of Lake Montauk (which is really a small bay connected to the Atlantic).

Stepping inside, East Lake House is a showpiece for modern, minimalist style. Gone are the classic coastal navy blues, replaced by trendy black accents set against bright white walls and ceilings. Refreshingly simple, the interior of both houses features vaulted ceilings clad in white painted wood planks supported by white wood trusses. The white wood planks continue down the walls. Flooring is a combination of tile and European white oak, the light hues complimenting the bright white walls and ceilings. The black steel support structure and black frames of the windows and doors add a contemporary look to the rooms.

In the main house, the public space is an open-plan family room which includes an all-white kitchen, a live-edge dining table, and a spacious sitting area. The black brick fireplace offers a masculine focal point for the sitting area. To cap off the minimalist look, the sitting area includes a white sofa and mid-century modern revival furnishings. Sliding glass doors all around turn the space into an indoor-outdoor room.

Upstairs, the master suite is defined by a massive wooden structure that acts as a room divider between the bedroom and bathroom. This unique installation becomes the headboard for the bed and the ceiling for the closet and bathroom sinks. While it does not rise all the way up to the vaulted ceiling, it does create a unique visual divide that allows for privacy in the bedroom without making the space feel closed in.

Every detail of East Lake House speaks to the desire of the architects to get away from the coastal mansions of the past and create a new kind of beachside retreat. It is a reflection of the past, with its barn-like shape, while looking to the future with unique finishes, nature-inspired materials, and a minimalist style that allows nature to be the star of the show.

For an altogether different type of waterside retreat, check out Lochside House, located in Scotland’s West Highlands.

Editors’ Recommendations

This Minimalist Swimsuit Looks So Expensive, But It Only Costs $18 – InStyle

The apex of minimalist style is, arguably, the turtleneck. And it’s not just Elizabeth Holmes’ tribute to Steve Jobs we’re referring to. Countless fashion icons from Victoria Beckham to Celine Dion have adopted the sleek style as a staple in their ever-evolving wardrobes.

And so it makes sense that 2019’s most high-style swimsuit mirrors that same, well, high style. The high-neck swimsuit does justice to the modest silhouette with extra coverage that accentuates as it covers up. The length of fabric draws the eye up, elongating your torso, and the inward-cut openings will make you look like you have #MichelleObamaArms.

The right swimsuit can be hard to find, so we’re willing to spend money when necessary. Today, though, we’ve found the absolute unicorn of swimsuits: for just $18. This gorgeous maillot features a full coverage bottom and an extremely cute tie back that adds a kick of character.

RELATED: Heads Up: That Viral Amazon Swimsuit Is Now Available as a Bikini

Found at usually sells for $45, but for today only you can get it in Bluest Violet and Multi Stripe for $18 (60 percent off!), or in Blackjack and Rainbow for $40. What’s more, this elegant, minimalist suit is available in sizes XS to XXL — but if you want to shop it, you have to act fast because some colors are already selling out in size XS.

before it jumps back to full price at midnight tonight.

To buy: $18 (Originally $45);

Minimalism: Tattoos by Berlin-Based Artist Mono – Scene 360

Previously working in a private art gallery in Prague, Mono (David Kejr) moved on to focus on his art-making and managing/touring with music bands for four years where he traveled and opened his horizons about life.

His real start in tattooing only happened in 2013, when he inked his friends (i.e. exploring styles and techniques) and simply enjoying tattooing like any other creative outlet. With time his passion for this medium grew and that led him to serious, elaborate projects. His current technique is marked by dots or lines, highly abstract and minimalist concepts that depict his artistic expression, life philosophy and the city where he chooses to live in: Berlin.

Above: Mono creates an intense gradient effect on his client’s neck.

On client Scott’s shoulders, Mono explores “heavily dotted patterns on large areas of the skin.”

You are based in Berlin; does the city inspire your minimalist work?

That’s a good question. My visual language has always been minimalistic and Berlin certainly fits into that aesthetic—but rather than Berlin being source of inspiration or influence I think it’s a mutual inclusiveness that stands behind my visual expression.

Were you always a tattooer, or did you work in another field?

I come from arts background and used to work in private art gallery in Prague as assistant of director. I learned a lot about the business side of art and subsequently grew disillusioned and frustrated by that which resulted in me leaving and starting to travel and tour extensively. Up until recently for the past 6 years I was living kind of bi-modal life oscillating between creating art on one hand and touring with bands as freelance tour-manager on the other. I’m extremely thankful for that period of my life, it was inspiring intense and wild chapter of my life—I got to see most of the western world and meet some pretty interesting people. That period is over, however, and I’m now fully concentrated on my art.

The “Ignacio trapezius” tattoo represents change and development.

Explain a little bit about each tattoo you’ve shared with us, here.

“Ignacio trapezius” [shown above] is an adaptation of one of my drawings. I like using a triangle as a symbol, signifying a variety of trinities it tears down our simplistic view of the world in dualistic terms. My use of gradient in this piece symbolises ever progressing change and development.

“Chris neck” [ref: cover photo] – This piece comes from series of tattoos in which I was exploring dark heavily dotted patterns, often stretching over vast areas of skin. I wanted to create something bold and expressive for my client who comes from body-mod background. The dotted pattern blends in with his hair and gives majestic look to his sharp appearance – while it might appear rather heavy on first impression in reality the tattoo fells very natural and essentially decorative.

The movement and legs of a dancer. Photo by Louis Fernandez.

“Liam’s legs” [above]—these tattoos are from series (of perhaps more organically looking works) through which I was exploring aesthetics of curves, lines and their dynamics. Liam is a dancer. An amazing one. When I saw his movements I knew instantly I wanted to express that kinetical energy. Dance is a beautiful form of art and I’m fascinated by it. You can’t capture it—the spirit of dance is in it’s flowing movement —if you freeze it, it’s not a dance anymore. Different energy and quality of lines in this work represents delightful dynamics of Liam’s dance … flowing, charmingly unpredictable, playful, sometimes tense and other times loose. Dance.

Photo of “Ina’s lipoma,” a tattoo to match and flow on her client’s body.

“Ina lipoma”–The initial impulse for my work, my designs comes from my model, her personality, body shape, energy … I like to be inspired by differences in individual bodies and to use existing aesthetics of body to highlight or emphasize some parts I find interesting or aesthetic. Neither me nor my client knew what we were going to tattoo that day, my ideas are not premeditated and the piece usually comes into being right on place. When I saw Ina’s perfectly shaped lipoma on the left side of her back I was inspired by that. What a beautiful bodily oddity! So I accompanied it with it’s new shadow twin and brought symmetry to Ina’s lovely figure.

Titled “Sophie’s circle” is about the ending and beginning of one’s life.

“Sophie’s circle”–I’d like to believe my visual language is simple and clear. When communicating ideas, I like to break them down to elemental level where shapes speak for themselves. This [circular] piece is highly symbolic. Everything comes together in circle, it’s a symbol of completion and perfection. By using gradient I wanted to further highlight transformation and thus perfect the assignment—completion of one’s life cycle and beginning of another.

A tattoo design symbolizing a pillar, i.e. “towering into heights, lost in clouds.”

“Uwe’s chest detail”–with the idea that the body is a temple housing spiritual self; I wanted to create some strong grounding design, an element that would support the majestic structure (that human body is). I thought of Gothic cathedrals, rib vault ceilings and arches that support them and found stark resemblance between them and human collar bones—slender and elegant yet powerful enough to support the crushing weight of our physical being.

“Florencia’s legs”—another tattoo produced spontaneously in studio.

Florencia has long slender legs. While I was navigating through landscapes of my creative mind and thinking of a design that would fit her figure, and had her half-naked pacing around my studio, I saw reflection of her legs in a large mirror that hangs in my studio and that has cracks in it. The reflection was scattered and I saw the long line of her legs interrupted by these violent yet beautiful cracks that caused the image to be deformed and shuffled. I got inspired by that, hence the interruption in one of the lines on back of her legs.

Mono’s more recent work, (on client Marcela), is inspired by nature. Photo by Louis Fernandez.

Your newest work has a more organic, dynamic flow. Tell us about your new direction and its connection with nature.

It’s true that my latest tattoo work feels more organic but shouldn’t be viewed as departure from my previous approach. I became incrementally caught up by things I was not interested in previously, but there is a line, path through which I arrived to where I am now and ultimately my individual projects have tendency to collide in some at least theoretical synthesis.

Nature is beautiful by itself and I’d say it’s often more difficult to resist the urge of portraying obvious beauty of nature than doing so. That said, I’m generally more interested in representation of abstract concepts coming from philosophy or social science. Psychology is definitely great source of inspiration as well and recently I became interested in employing transcendental mediation as a creative tool.

Photos © David Kejr / Mono