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  • Cool + Collected 1.23


     Modern Dining Room

    Cool + Collected is our regular Friday post covering modern lifestyle topics from around the globe. You'll find everything from design icon biographies to modern art, photography and architectural surprises. And of course modern design!

    +If you want to see a "Before & After" that will change your life then head over to Bri Emery's blog. Her and Emily Henderson partnered up to transform her living room and dining room.

    +It's officially Spring which means we can all start biking more often... Good for our health and the envinronment, right?! Well, Refinery29 found a company with the most stylish bikes for riding around the city.

    +If you're looking for colorful kids toys that also add some style to your modern decor (while they're splashed out all over the floor), then Brinca Dada is for you.

    +Blogger Joanna Goddard from A Cup of Jo featured the 500 sq ft S.F. home of fellow blogger Jordan Ferney. You've never seen tiny done this well before, trust us!

    +If you're into cool books, then check out Buckminster Fuller: Poet of Geometry and help Cole Gerst finish this book through KickStarter. It's a full color book about the life and work of designer, author and inventor Buckminster Fuller.

    Image: Design Love Fest

  • Modern Design Style: Mixing Dining Chairs


    Modern Design Style

    When it comes to designing a dining room and achieving the modern look, the possibilities are endless. It can seem like a daunting task, especially when designing around kids. But it can actually become a super fun project with a beautiful end result.

    A major detail for any dining room is the dining chairs. Whatever chairs you choose have a tendency to become a major focal point. No pressure or anything! To create a playful yet sophisticated dining space, consider mixing different chairs around the table. As long as you keep with a specific color palette, you can mix just about any look. Above we find five completely different chairs around a simple wood table. Because one chair is in the same wood family as the table, three other chairs are white and only one is a bright color, this look totally works. It doesn't feel too eclectic.

    Modern Dining Room

    The chairs used in this dining space (above) are the same design, just in different wood tones. It’s enough difference to make an impact without taking this eclectic look too far. It's a very serene space.

    Color Accents

    This look has to be my very favorite! The idea of using the same chairs except for at the ends of the table is design perfection. The pop of color that they’ve used in the end chairs brings out the colors in the plants and art columns. This is a more sophisticated design for a traditional dining space.

    Eclectic Dining Room

    If you are all about just having a little fun in your space, this look (above) is for you! If you have a collection of different dining chairs, try placing them together and just see what happens. It might be decor heaven and it might not quite work. The beauty of mixing chairs is to keep staging chairs next to each other to see what works and what doesn't. The collection of chairs in this image are all in the modern family so they work well together. Just have fun with your design and don’t take yourself too seriously.

    These chairs are great options.

    White Plastic Wood Chair

    Lime Green Bay Chair

    Wishbone Chairs

    Gunmetal Chair

    White Zuo Chair

    Images: Livet Hemma, 79 Ideas, Camille Styles, Seventy Tree.

  • Mid-Century Modern Homes


    Mid Century Modern Homes

    Design makes everything better. At least that's the thinking that informs why so much of the modern world appears to be "designed." In architecture and home decorating, mid-century modern homes offered an egalitarian opportunity to apply design thinking to the masses.

    In the 1940s-50s, a handful of architects converged on the (then) affordable Southern California landscape to create cutting-edge tract home designs. Easy to build and cheap enough reproduce on a large scale, these concept homes represented a whole-hearted belief that modern design could revolutionize the way suburban families live. Open floor plans dominated the thinking of the day, sweeping floor lamps were all the rage, and modern pendant lights replaced the chandelier as the overhead lighting fixture du jour: 

    Mid Century Modern Living Room

    Chief among these inventive suburban tracts were Joseph Eichler's Balboa Highlands in Granada Hills. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Bazett House (which Eichler rented for a time), these homes were designed to allow in extra light and air through centrally located atria:

    Joseph Eichler House Atrium

    Architect Cliff May is one of the prominent designers of the long and low-slung ranch houses, a uniquely American style that fuses Modernist principles with the post-war ideal of living out West. The Californian homes of his Lakewood Rancho Estates exemplify the dream of high design at affordable prices, as you can see in this original sales brochure:

    Cliff May Rancho House Brochure

    Interiors of the Californian are tight, yet the high ceilings maintain a sense of openness, especially when accompanied by minimalist modern furniture:

    Interior Cliff May Californian

    Around the same time period, achitect Gregory Ain designed colonies of homes with his Mar Vista tract in Los Angeles and Park Planned homes in Altadena (pictured below). 

    Gregory Ain Park Planned

    In keeping with the aesthetic of the day, ceiling level skylights allowed sunlight to filter in. In both the original brochure photo above and in the present day photo below, using modern lamps and decor is the de facto way to fill the space.

    Gregory Ain

    Many designs informed by the classic ceiling lights you see in period photographs of these homes are still available today. Here are some of the popular designs we can help you with.

    modern pendant light

    Tech Lighting Pele White Glass LED Mini Pendant

    saucer shaped pendant lightPossini Euro Cocoon Matte White Pendant Light

    modern kitchen pendant light

    Three-Tier Shade Downlite Pendant Light

    Affordable design and the dream of high design at a populist price point motivated mid-century developers in much the same way that it fuels advocates of prefab and small space living today. Luckily, design is ultimately about problem solving. And if the same holds true today as it did for architects then, there is always a way to design the affordable dream home.

    Images: Los Angeles Magazine, Eller the Seller, Pasadena Star News, Rancho Style, Culture Spectator, Park Planned Homes,

  • From Outfit to Interior: Design Statement Circa 1970


    Design Statement

    Spring is here and Ms. 70s Statement is ready to take full advantage of all it has to offer! She's starting off with this strapless wide leg jumpsuit from Three Dots and going from there.

    Retro Modern Decor

    This Turquoise Glass Stupa Vase is vibrant and distinct, just like our lady. The color is said to have healing powers and provide a serene, healing aura – perfect for holding the few blooms she treats herself to each week.

    Ms. 70s Statement knows that turquoise and dark brown are a pretty color combo, so she perches her vase on this  Magnussen Allure Hazelnut and Glass End Table. The curvy base and glass top are a whimsical touch to her living room.

    Modern Decor

    A colorful Ikat Cyan and Coral Decorative Pillow or two gives her bed a bold pop of color, while the Modern Allegra Crystal Ball Possini Euro Arc Floor Lamp sets the mood with a dimmer switch from a nearby corner. Ms. 70s Statement loves the crystal and wire ball shades and the illustrious illumination.

    Modern TV Console

    This  Simon White Modern TV Stand is the perfect perch for her television and other media. The two drawers provide space to store Ms. 70s Statement's favorite movies and remotes, while the high-gloss finish gives it that extra something she looks for in pieces for her home.

    Image: Bloomingdales

  • Frank Gehry: Bringing the Art To Architecture


    Modern Architecture

    Frank Gehry is onto something again as he tries to bring a major museum into the City of Santa Monica. His proposed project is a mixed use structure with a 125-room hotel, condos, a museum, shopping, restaurants and of course parking. Santa Monica could use a little bit of excitement and who better to bring it than the Santa Monica native Frank Gehry? I can just see the modern furniture and stylish modern lighting filling the spaces and the streets lined with modern architecture and sculptures.  

    Architectural Model

    One of the amazing things that Frank Gehry does is mix architecture, art and culture into one. His projects are a destination waiting to be explored. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (above) is the largest museum in a series of cultural institutions planned as part of the Saadiyat Island Cultural District. It will serve the world as a destination for the advancement of knowledge and the understanding of culture through the arts.

    Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

    The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (above) is scheduled for completion in 2017 and it will no doubt be a pleasure for the now 84 old Frank Gehry to see such a remarkable project completed.

    Frank Gehry Architecture

    Gehry has designed more than fifty commercial buildings and residences throughout the world, including the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Disney Concert Hall (above), the Los Angeles Children’s Museum, the California Aerospace Museum and the Yale Psychiatric Institute just to name a few.

    He also renovated the famous Hollywood Bowl by adding fiberglass spheres which hang from the bowl’s shell to upgrade the sound of the acoustics.

     Modern Lighting

    And did you know he has also designed a series of modern pendant lighting called "Cloud" (above). The name evokes the poetic nature of these creations, which should convey the feeling of freedom and eccentricity.

    Who doesn't want to add a feeling of freedom and eccentricity into their home? One of the best ways to do that is through modern lighting, whether it be a ceiling light or a pendant!  Take a look at some of our suggestions below.

    Close to Ceiling Light

    Planetarium Chrome Ivory Fabric Possini Euro Ceiling Light

    Modern Aluminum Pendant Light

    Aluminum Lotus 16 1/2 Inch Possini Euro Design Pendant

    Modern White Pendant Light

    White Billowing Cloud Possini Euro Pendant Chandelier

    Now we can all bring a little bit of Frank Gehry into our homes or office.

    Images: Curbed LA,  A As Architecture, DilznackaModern Design

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