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  • Home Decor to Match Our Summer Playlist

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    Rush Midnight Decor

    Crossover between creative fields is inevitable. Music influences film, which influences fashion, which influences home design and decor. It's not always obvious and it's not always literal, but as we move forward culturally, we carry creative influences into every corner of our little worlds.  

    Looking at what's breaking this summer in music, we've noticed that the vibe is a throwback to vintage mod and new wave...and we can't help but wonder how that will cross over into contemporary design.

    First, let's start with our summer playlist: 

    Rush Midnight (pictured above):

    If a lovechild between Billy Ocean and Haircut 100 was actually possible, dance-inducing pleasure popsters Rush Midnight would be it. Enough said. Too much said, really. 

    Savages:

    Savages Silence Yourself

    Bratty and brash, Savages wrap the post-punk energy of Patti Smith into a well-coiffed, contemporary package.    

    Deer Hunter: 

    Deerhunter Monomania

    Washy and atmospheric indie rockers Deerhunter have always been good for summer lazing and listening, yet their most recent and raucous record, Monomania, is a much more assertive soundtrack, perfect for a lively and well-lived summer season.

    Haim:

    Haim Don't Save MeThree sisters from the Valley in Los Angeles, the women in Haim were born and bred to be the pop stars they are. Their hit "Don't Save Me" is a throaty John Waite-esque anthem chronicling the heart's desire for co-dependence and the independent spirit's need to rebel against it.

    The National: 

    National Trouble Will Find Me

    Everything cools down at some time or another (even hot summer days) and The National have been providing that soundtrack for years. Poetic, measured, a touch dark and, as always, hum-along-able.

    Now let's look at a handful of like-minded designs:

    Music Inspired Decor

    Clockwise from upper left: Tech Lighting Silver Glaze Aqua Glass Satin Nickel Pendant, Tech Lighting Fire Satin Nickel Cobalt Glass Mini Pendant, Possini Euro Darby Red Glass Pendant Light, Set of 2 Wishbone Y Natural Wood Side Chairs, Howard Elliott Z Mirrored Accent Table

    Colored glass pendants are easy to match the vibe of your summer playlist. Mirrored accent tables and furniture definitely capture the mod mood. But is there really a correlation between music and design? Does one influence the other, or are they both just players in a greater cultural trajectory? We're not sure, but one thing's for certain: 2013 promise to be yet another good looking and listening summer.

    Images: Sterogum, Juno, Kick Kick SnarePaste

  • Barbara Bestor Shakes Up the Design at Pitfire Pizza

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    Bright Red Steel Brick Oven and Yellow Powder Coated Barstools

    Barbara Bestor has always been one of my favorite Los Angeles Architects and she proves herself to me once again. If someone was going to successfully transform this old concrete-box Shakey's Pizza surrounded by an asphalt parking lot into a fun and modern hangout, who else would it be? Well, Bestor Architecture did just that for Pitfire Pizza in this Culver City location. The space was completely stripped down to it's bones to reveal the industrial elements of the space and fully opened it up to the exterior. The results... an incredible light filled space with artisan elements as delicious as the pizza and elements of pop as playful as the price!

    Red Brick Oven Pizza Douglas Fir Tables Exposed Beams

    Bestor was inspired by Lina Bo Bardi as she created this bright red steel brick oven. This bold statement truly defines what the space is all about. The marine plywood walls and douglas fir tables keep with the natural aesthetic of the brand while the bold accent colors of the powder coated barstools (designed by the firm) really show it's all in the details. Bright yellow furniture and lighting accents pop throughout the space. 

    Vintage Chairs Douglas Fir Table Concrete Bench with plywood Back pendant lights with exposed bulbs

    The Douglas Fir Table and espresso finish vintage modern dining chairs stand out as the silver vinyl cushion disappears into the concrete bench. The exposed bulb lighting fixtures hang simply throughout the space to create a nice elegant glow.

    Exposed Ceiling Bold window graphics douglas fir tables vintage chairs

    The space now fully opens to the landscaped patio. The natural light floods the space and the interior lighting only needs to be turned on in the evening.  

    Open Kitchen Plan Red Steel Brick Oven Pizza Exposed Ceiling and Powder Coated Bar Stools

    The open interior plan provides a very easy-going atmosphere suitable for family and large groups.  

    Bright Yellow "Yes" Graphics Bright Red Brick Graphic

    The exterior has been stripped down and she has created a play on the existing concrete block. "A bold graphic move sets the atmosphere and allows you to be fairly minimalist with the rest of it," she says. 

    Bold Graphic Extra large Brick Pattern Modern Architecture

    I'm definitely going to say "YES" next time I drive by! 

    Images: Bestor Architecture

  • FASTViNIC Goes Green in Barcelona

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    Turquoise Window with red graphics

    After Milan I took a little trip over to Barcelona and although I only had a few days to wander through these amazing streets, my experience was incredible. The food was great, the people were so nice, the architecture was stunning, and the level of design was far above par. As I was wandering home on my last day there after visits to many gorgeous museums, the boqueria, and my favorite the Gothic Quarter, I stumbled upon this little gem of a restaurant. It was the bold red graphics and the turquoise window frame that made me peek in. FASTViNIC is a food haven in Barcelona with an interior as mouth-watering as the food!  

    Modern restaurant Design and Barcelona

    The restaurant is 100% organic in style and selection of materials, down to the organic utensils. Alfons Tost took this idea of creating an extremely functional design that is comfortable and organic and is sure to make everyone feel welcome and implemented it to the max. Fastvínic uses the finest local produce and wines and this is evidence to their strong commitment to sustainable development. Environmental sustainability is fundamental to Fastvínic.This unshakable principle is based on three pillars: the choice of food, the selection of wines, and the design and functioning of the premises.

    Modern restaurant design and modern shelving

    The french linen pillows so cleverly suspended from the natural wood shelving above was one of the first things to catch my attention as I looked inside. However, the focal point of this design is the "perimetrical dexion racking," which as shown in this design is very flexibile in its usage. It works perfect for the seating, shelving, and as racks for the plants and pots, shelves and wine rack. The simple curves on the modern white dining charis are a very nice contrast to solid linear forms.

    Minimalist restaurant design in Barcelona

    Modern Restaurant and Barcelona

    The simple white metal pendant lighting is a perfect contrast to the wood cladding and turquoise walls. The repetition of the white pendant lighting balances and softens the white frames throughout the restaurant. It's a perfect combination!

    Modern Restaurant Design

    Go in, get cozy, and experience some fine dining while enjoying the beautiful surroundings! Good design has a huge impact!

    Images: Yatzer

  • Concrete Living In An Urban World

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    Concrete home art photo

    Using concrete in your home will not only add aesthetic interest, but will also slash heating and cooling costs plus help preserve the environment. Concrete homes are durable, cost effective and super stylish.

    This concrete living room above balances both colors and materials well. The concrete provides a clean slate for the modern furniture and stylish home decor accessories, allowing this framed art to really pop. The sofa, area rug and pillow poufs add beautiful soft textures to this hard surfaced interior.

    Modern concrete home

    In the same way that concrete allows the interior decor to stand out, it also helps the surrounding landscape seem even brighter and more bountiful. While allowing the environment to be noticed, it is simultaneously helping to preserve it by allowing a more efficient lifestyle.

    Concrete home with colorful furnishings

    The design of this eclectically modern living room uses the surrounding concrete materials to its advantage, highlighting all of the gorgeous texture and color. The soft eggplant upholstery and jewel tone area rug stand out beautifully against the soft gray floor and walls. Handsome brass floor lamps, like the one seen above, provide another smart contrast while the lamp shade and coffee table add a pop of white.

    Modern concrete home with colorful door

    There's no reason the cool tones of steel, concrete and glass can't be warmed up on the exterior just like we've seen it done on the inside. This bright orange door adds both personality and warmth to this impressive modern home.

    Concrete walls with wood furniture

    One of the major benefits to concrete homes is the ability to furnish with lots of wood. In a typical hardwood-floor home, you might want to monitor how many furniture pieces or accessories are made out of wood, but not here. Go ahead and express your love for this natural material in all color tones and sizes.

    Whether you're a modernist at heart or you just enjoy clean design, concrete is a gorgeous material to use both inside and out.

    Image credit: Miss Design, Fresh Home, Analog Dialog, Trend Design Interior, Arent & Pyke   

  • Container Architecture: Popping Up in Your Neighborhood Soon

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    Container Architecture Retail Pop-Up Mall Boxpark

    So many goods are transported via container daily and these containers have shelf life just like everything else. After about 10 uses they can no longer be used and they end up piling up at ports all over. The use of shipping containers for construction is a brilliant idea. Although it is not the newest idea out there, innovative uses are popping up everyday and are taking the world by storm. Whether it be an entire shipping container mall with pop up retails shops, a restaurant opening up in Times Square, or hotel rooms inside a large warehouse. The simple construction allows these retail stores to pop up on almost any vacant urban lot for any amount of time. They are also continuing to be integrated into interiors of modern industrial spaces to reduce the construction costs, bring efficiency, and affordability to innovative green buildings. 

    Retail Pop-Up Mall and Boxpark

    Boxpark Shoreditch, said to be the world's first pop-up mall is constructed entirely out of recycled containers. 61 containers are combined to create a multi-level structure with spaces for both shopping and relaxing. This idea is wonderful for small businesses that cannot afford long leases and want to take an innovative approach into the market. Look for many more of these structures to be making an appearance in your neighborhood  in the very near future!

    Shipping Container Conference Room in Hotel Lobby.

    Shipping Container Conference Room

    25hours Hotel Hafencity in Hamburg, designed by Stephen Williams Associates, has used a shipping container in the lobby to enclose the conference center just off the main lobby. As you enter you feel like you're about to go on an adventure in a shipping warehouse beside the harbor in Hamburg. Everything from the plywood box desk, the industrial luggage trolleys, and industrial lighting make this destination a true adventure.

    Pop Up Restaurant Container Architecture Time Square Snackbox

    Pop-Up Restaurant Container Architecture

    Snackbox Pop-Up Restaurant

    Snack Box, designed by Aedifica, takes the food truck off its wheels and stations it in one the most iconic spots in the world. It is an entirely self-sufficient structure and after a long day in Times Square it can easily be closed up and moved on. The visual identity and branding allow the structure to have a bold presence in this saturated environment.   This is a true innovation for container architecture and usage in an urban setting.

    Shipping Container in Industrial Loft Space Guest Bedroom

    When this travel and art obsessed San Francisco couple bought the 3,200 square foot former Chinese laundry and tooth powder factory they knew that had to do something incredible with it. How do we create volumes and rooms in this space without breaking it up into individual spaces and blocking the natural light that shines through the unit? Shipping Containers....of course!

    Industrial Loft Space Guest Bedroom

    The original idea for the guest room in the middle of the space was a railroad car, but the shipping container quickly became the answer! Copper piping, industrial sconces, and teak accents evoke the utilitarian feel of the cargo. Everything about this space is perfect to me!  

    Reclamation Drive-Thru Starbucks Container Stores

    Even Starbucks has tapped into the container market. The Reclamation Drive-Thru container coffee shop is part of Starbucks new branding strategy to encourage green building, reduce operating costs, and continue to stay innovative in their approach to environmental design in retail. I like the direction that they are going.

    Images: Boxpark,  25hour Hotels, Design-Hotels, Arthitectural, Dwell, Business Insider

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