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Friday Five with Nolen Niu
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You might be hearing a lot of Nolen Niu’s name lately with the launch of Spike TV’s new furniture design competition series, “Framework,” where he’s a judge alongside Hard Goods’ Brandon Gore and rapper Common. If that hasn’t rung any bells then you’ve definitely heard his name in the design world, where he founded Nolen Niu, Inc., a renowned custom furniture design and fabrication firm, in 2005. Since the company’s incarnation, they’ve been featured in Dwell, Interior Design, the New York Times, Maxim, and Esquire, to name a few. Let’s take a look to see what keeps this busy designer going and fully charged, in this week’s Friday Five.

Photo by Jonah Jahns

Photo by Jonah Jahns

1. Iced Americano
It doesn’t really matter where I get my Iced Americano; as long as it’s some espresso over ice, I’m happy. I usually have it around noon since I typically don’t eat lunch. Lunch tends to make me sleepy and lazy afterwards.

2. Artisan Cheeses and Charcuterie Board
There’s nothing more satisfying than enjoying a board full of Artisan cheeses, cured meats with terrines and a solid red wine. What really brings it home for me are the fruits, jams, or honey paired with the cheese. Just thinking about it makes me want to have some right now!

Photo by Andrew Mace

Photo by Andrew Mace

3. New York City
It’s the home that I’ve never lived in. I’ve seen it in movies hundreds of times, and visit it every opportunity I can get. New York City has the most amazing energy and realness that I truly value and appreciate. Every time I go, it’s like my reset button has been hit and I’m energized both mentally and creatively. Someday I hope to make New York City my permanent place of residence; sooner than later.

F5-Nolen_Niu-4-ferruccio_lamborghini

4. Ferruccio Lamborghini
The man that is solely responsible for my endless and utter obsession of one day owning one of these magnificent pieces of machinery. From my childhood poster of the Lamborghini Countach taped to my bedroom wall to the most recent Aventador cruising down Sunset Boulevard; it’s the elusive supercar that keeps me dreaming of driving behind the wheel. Thanks Ferruccio. Really, Thanks.

Photo courtesy AP Photo/LM Otero

Photo courtesy AP Photo/LM Otero

5. Money
I know this is going to sound super strange but I’m not afraid to admit it. I love money. I love the smell of it, the textured surface, and the way it feels in my hand; especially when it’s super flat and crisp like a brand new, pristine sheet of white paper. Every time the U.S. Treasury issues a newly designed bill, that’s all I want to have and carry. In the end, it is what makes this world go around.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.