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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Urban Style Living: Concrete Products

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    Concrete style wall covering

    Concrete is the trendy product for home building if you want that modern urban-style aesthetic. It's a very raw material that provides clean lines and an open canvas for any home decor and furniture you decide to pair it with. Would you be surprised to learn that this living room wall (above) is not concrete but a wall covering? This image below is another style in the same Tom Haga Concrete Collection.

    Concrete style wall covering

    If you do have the option of selecting the architectural materials for your home or condo during the building stages, this super modern bathroom is a great design idea. The typographical screening concept paired with the concrete is also a really cool idea.

    Coccrete bathroom

    These tiles from Daniel Ogassian are a great option whether you're designing from scratch or just re-designing a single room. They can help you add concrete in a big way or just a little corner.

    Concrete style tile

    This ottoman gives the appearance of concrete without the heaviness. It's constructed out of clay with a slate finish made to look like concrete... perfect near a side chair in an urban-style loft.

    Concrete style furnishing

    Slate Finish Round Clay Ottoman

    This floor lamp has a super fun and modern style, but also has a chic detail... the base is finished with a concrete paint to give it the effect without the extra weight.

    Concrete style lighting

    Rico Espinet Brushed Nickel Floor Lamp


    So, whether you're building your home from scratch and you have input on the architectural materials.... or you just want to add a little detail, there's lots of fun ways to incorporate concrete into your urban-style decor.

    Images: Tom Haga, Daniel Ogassian, Apartment Therapy

  • Review: Architectural Digest Home Design Show 2012

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    Architectural home design

    Architectural Digest held their annual Home Design Show in New York at Pier 94 and it was bigger than ever. The event featured 400 exhibitors, many of them manufacturers and distributors of luxury products. There was a special section “Made," which featured handcrafted accessories and furniture by a talented group of artists and designers. At the event, there were also design seminars presented by The New York Times featuring speakers from the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

    Glass wall decor

    From the"Made" section, one of the featured artists was Kanik Chung who displayed some of her unique glass plates with glass bubbles (above). These would make cool wall art decor if done in a cluster. More modern home decor artists made big statements, such as Heather Kocsis who showcased her city scape artwork and Vicki Da Silva who displayed some of her interiors light photography (below).

    Modern photography

    There were furniture designers such as Peter Buley who uses only recycled materials for his designs, like this sliding-door credenza (below). His modern furniture almost doubles as artwork.

    Recycled materials furniture

    Not listed in any of the directories was Art for Kids, a company who manufacturers furniture and accessories for kid's rooms and nurseries. This company had an extremely fun and colorful display of art that undoubtedly helped children get excited about design.

    No matter what your age or industry background, the A.D. Home Design Show each year is all about inspiration. By showcasing unique and beautiful work from designers an artists, hopefully everyone walks away with an idea and bit of creativity.

    For more information on this event or the featured artists, designers and manufactures please visit A.D. Home Design Show.

    Images: A.D. Home Design Show, Markets of New York

  • Design Icon: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

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    S. R. Crown Hall, 1956

    This week we celebrate the birthday of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, "father of modern architecture." In observance of his brilliance, let's take a look at his most notable accomplishments.

    Crown Hall (above), located in Chicago, was completed in 1956 during Mies's tenure as director of Illionois Institute of Technology's Department of Architecture. This design features industrial simplicity with exposed steel frame construction.

    Famous modern architecture

    Farnsworth House is a one-room weekend retreat built in Plano, Illinois. It is brilliantly designed to be one with the landscape. The glass panels and white painted steel construction are so simple and elegant, it's the perfect design aesthetic for a weekend home.

    Famous modern architecture

    The Barcelona Pavilion was completed in 1929 for the International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. Seamlessly merging structure with water, Mies selected marble, red onyx and travertine to create this stunning structure. Such extravagant materials contrasts this beautifully simple structure.

    In addition to Mies's profound accomplishments in architecture, he also designed modern furniture and his furniture is just as well known. For example, the Barcelona chair and ottoman (below). This noteworthy pair, inspired by ancient campaign and folding chairs, is made of steel with a chrome finish and leather upholstery. Like the Barcelona Pavilion, it was also designed for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. Mies designed much more sleek furniture which has been inspiring furniture design ever since, such as stylish ergonomic office chairs.

    Modern lounge chair and ottoman

    Tuesday would have been Mies's 126th birthday.

    Images: Wikipedia, Paul J. White

  • Acrylic Elements in Interior Design

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    Hotel Lobby Glass Roof Hardwood Floors

    My love for acrylic in interior design started with a stay at the Hudson Hotel in New York a few years ago and it has stayed with me ever since. I think acrylic is the perfect contrast against natural materials. It adds life and light without being too heavy or dominating. It's a perfect element of the unexpected whether it be clear or colored. It mixes perfectly with modern interiors and contrasts beautifully with traditional. Here are some amazing interiors to prove it!

    Concrete Porcelain Tile Floors Wood Table with Acrylic Chairs

    The clear acrylic chairs work well with the natural elements of this kitchen and breakfast room. By being visually unobtrusive they make the space feel larger and the modern lighting make a statement.

    Slab wood dining table acrylic chairs slat wood on fireplace with red laquer surroung

    The fireplace is the main focus of this space and the acrylic chairs do a great job of complimenting that. I love how the fireplace can be seen through the chair at the end of the table. Mixing transparent orange chairs and clear chairs is also a nice touch in this modern organic space.

    Modern Living Room shades of gray with acrylic sofa table and silver lamps with black shades

    This table let's the chrome lighting make the statement and let's the floors shine through. It really brings light into this rich setting.  

    Smoky Gray Acrylic armchairs on stone floor leading outside to patio

    The sleek and smoky outdoor dining chairs are perfect in this slightly rustic setting that opens up to the exterior.

    Black Acrylic Chair on Gray hardwood floors and white walls

    This black acrylic chair can stand all on it's own. It is the perfect accent in any space.  

     

    Images: Hudson Hotel, DecorPad, Arkimom, Design Indulgences

  • Open Shelving In The Kitchen

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    Open shelving in the kitchen

    One very hot trend right now is open shelving, but it's a little more than a trend I believe... This design method is great for saving space and adding many more platforms (literally) for home decor options. This clean modern kitchen (above) uses the open shelving for accents and the opportunity to bring in other materals, such as those gorgeous wood bowls. Having the combination of cabinets and open shelving is also a good idea so you can keep the less attractive items behind closed doors. But don't hide your ceramics just because they don't match, sometimes those make the best accessories!

    Kitchen with open shelving and dark walls

    You can't deny that the dark wall in this kitchen is perfect for accentuating the open metal shelves and everything on them. The stainless steel material was a great choice to keep the storage sleek and not too heavy.

    Large artwork in kitchen

    This modern kitchen does a great job of mixing materials. Spanish tile, warm woods and sleek stainless steel work together to create an eclectically modern kitchen with super cool open shelving. What a beautiful idea to open up the bottom cabinests and create shelving while keeping the walls free for art!

    Yellow kitchen

    You can add color with the shelves in addition to the accessories you place on them. The clean white tile and floors really make the love for yellow pop in this kitchen. Modern barstools are a nice addition for keeping this space functional. To see more yellow in the kitchen, be sure to read Annie's post - It is Always Sunny in a Yellow Kitchen.

    If you decide to implement these ideas in your space, notice how in each image only the more attractive accessories are displayed on the shelves and the rest are tucked away behind closed cabinets. Scales and colors are also important, but often times a difficult balance. Once you find the perfect combination, you'll see how open shelving can be a great way to maximize your space and look very cool doing it.

    Images: Live, Apartment Therapy, Revel, House & Home

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