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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Never Forget 9/11

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    9/11

    Today, we feel a little more quiet while we remember September 11, 2001 and all the lives affected that day.

    Memorial Fountain

    Updated images of New York featuring beautiful new architecture demonstrate moving forward, but we will never forget....

    Images: JW Blackboard, About.com

  • Animal Inspiration in Modern Design

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    Animal Inspiration

    It’s no secret that kids love animals and that animals are a big part of the their lives. They either have a pet or most certainly dream of having owning one.  Kids often play games that involve animal inspiration and stuffed animals are likely overtaking their rooms (at least they are at my house). So, why not incorporate animal inspiration in modern design?

    Someone surely took a hold of this concept when they designed a school, located in Germany, in the shape of a cat. Take a look at these images from Inthralled. I have to admit, I am pretty smitten by this kitten. Can you imagine going to school in a cat? I think waking up for school would no longer be a problem. And, what if all of our neighborhood schools looked like an animal? One can imagine.

    School Design

    The design doesn’t stop on the outside but continues within. Using a modern and clean color like gray is a great base for displaying colorful art.

    Recess

    The big circular windows are perfect for letting in lots of light and the shape give a very modern feel. And remember, from the outside they are the cats eyes.

    And take a look around back. When the teacher calls “recess,” or the school bell rings, the kids can just slide right out the door.  Pretty awesome!

    Slide

    While this building is one of a kind, using animals in design can be done in a variety of ways. And a Noah’s Arc theme is far from what I’m talking about. Of course, you could design an entire room around animals for your child. That is always an option. 

    But, I recommend a more subtle and modern route by simply accessorizing with a few pieces such as art, decorative pillows, wallpaper or my personal favorite contemporary light fixtures.  When you add modern animal inspired pieces in the mix you don’t even have to limit yourself to a child’s room. A pillow here or a light fixture there adds just the right amount of fun. And, by adding a little animal into your home, your kids will think you’re the cat’s pajamas.

    Take a look at a few modern pieces you could easily incorporate into your home:

    Home Decor

    Octopus LED Blue Accent Lamp, Uno Charcoal Cotton Elephant Throw Pillow, Jonathan Adler Left Giraffe Wall Sconce, Phante Green 16 1/2-Inch-H Zuo Modern Kids Chair

    Images: Inthralld

  • How to Keep Your House Clean

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    Modern Clean House

    Ever looked at those freakishly austere photos of minimalist, modern homes that we post and been stumped about how to keep your house clean like that? There is a simple answer: Never. Stop. Tidying.

    Modern Bedroom

    This advice comes courtesy of a recent Apartment Therapy story and the strategy is simple: cleaning your home isn't an hours-long affair on the weekends. It's a constant ritual. And it can become as easy and effortless as breathing. 

    Modern Dining Room

    To do this, think of your home the way a server would think of a restaurant dining room. As you move from one room into the next, look for things to tidy. Shoes out of place? Move them. Finished with a dish? Wash it. 

    The trick of course, is making sure everything has its place in your home to begin with. Begin with an ample amount of modern shelving so you can keep table surfaces free of books and magazines:

    Modern Driftwood Bookshelf

    Morrissey Driftwood Bookshelf

    Add a console table with drawers. Placed at the entryway or behind the couch, these are perfect utility spaces to stash random items like keys and remotes. Slim in design, many modern desks can serve this purpose too.

    Modern Driftwood Console Table

    Frameo Driftwood Console Table

    And if you're serious about taking on the server analogy, keep a few stylish trays on hand. 

    Modern Yellow Wood Tray

    Monroe Yellow Wood Tray

    Sure, learning how to keep your house clean like this takes a change of habit. But having weekend days free of cleaning (not to mention having a clean home worthy of a mod mag photo shoot) is worth it, isn't it?

    Images: Est Magazine

  • Stylish Kitchen Storage Ideas

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    Kitchen Storage

    When it comes to designing stylish kitchen storage ideas there are so many different styles you can choose from that it can sometimes be overwhelming. One important design element to think about is if you want open shelving, cabinets or a mix of both.

    Open Shelving

    Open Shelving:
    Open up your kitchen and use every inch to your advantage. Open shelving in place of upper closed cabinets will make your kitchen look and feel lighter and airier. What’s great about open shelving is you can put your go-to items that you use on a daily basis on them. It makes those items more accessible.

    Kitchen Cabinets

    Cabinets (Closed & Glass):
    If your one of those people that wants to hide everything - the clutter or even your dishes, then the closed cabinet option is perfect for you. You’ll be able to have a kitchen that appears to be clean and tidy but in case you have a mess it’s easy to hide.
    As for glass front cabinets presentation really matters and neatness does count. Arrange your dishes in a way that looks beautiful – stack bowls, lean platters against the wall, and add in decorative elements. This will add a little character into your glass cabinets. Make sure you vary the texture and presentation.  Nothing is more dull than glass cabinets filled with only glassware.

    Industrial Shelving

    Industrial Shelving:
    Construct a pantry from a pair of metal storage units. This one is painted blue with individual metal bins taking the place of drawers; labels placed on the shelves help identify the bins' contents. White enamelware, a wire basket of potatoes, and an entire shelf of mineral water break up the geometric pattern of the bins.

    Hanging Pot Rack

    Hanging Pot Rack:
    A simple wrought-iron rack is perfect for oversized pots and pans and you can keep them within reach of the kitchen’s main workspace. By hanging these larger pots and pans from the ceiling you’ll free up cabinet space in a smaller kitchen.

    Display Rack

    Display Rack:
    In a small kitchen, both storage and design needs can be met at the same time with careful placement of various wall racks in the kitchen. This adds a little décor while saving on storage space.

    Still can’t decide which option you love the most? Start a Pinterest board for kitchens and start pinning kitchens. Then go back in a few weeks or a month to see what you pinned the most of. This will give you a better understanding of what you like.

    Image Sources: House BeautifulReal LivingJulie BlannerRemodelista, Emmas Blogg

  • Modern Home Design For a Cozy Corner

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    Modern Home Design

    One detail that can go unnoticed in modern home design is the cozy corner. Some people use these corners as reading corners or nooks. Some just use them as extra seating or a way to display that one favorite chair that needs a little more attention. I have a reading corner in my bedroom, using my favorite navy blue velvet chair. I actually do use it but even if I didn’t, I would still love having it displayed.

    There are a couple of components that go hand in hand with these corners. You need a stylish table that you can rest drinks and books on. A warm, fuzzy throw blanket doesn’t hurt and good lighting is needed if being used for reading. The image above has used all of those details fabulously well!

    Design Trend

    This butterfly chair (above) is perfectly placed in a minimalist bedroom. It’s a simple chair that is comfy for those nightly relax moments. They even have a dual purpose stool that can be used to place items on or to place your feet on.

    White Decor

    To crank up the comfy factor a bit, a chaise lounge is a great option. This is for the real loungers in the world! Chaise’s are also aesthetically pleasing and look posed when placed in a space. Dress it up a bit by adding pillows and throws.

    Swing Chair

    This is a super fun option for those with kids and large families. If this was my space, I’d be fighting over that acrylic hanging chair. And for kids, it might even get them to want to spend some quality time reading!

    Do you have a cozy nook in your space?

    Images: Desire To InspireDesire To Inspire, Stil Inspiration, Design Sponge

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