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  • From Carton to Modern Pendant Light


    Moder pendant light

    Designer Ed Chew managed to create a modern pendant light out of drink cartons that would have otherwise ended up in landfills. We found this fun DIY project on Yanko Design, where Chew documents the different stages of how he took it from discarded drink packet to modern light fixture.

    Pendant light DIY

    Since modern pendant lights are one of my favorite accessories, I just had to share this awesome idea. Chew achieved this Epcot-like ball by unfolding the packets and then refolding them into hexagonal and pentagonal sections that are then pieced together to form a geodesic sphere.

    Modern paper pendant

    This makes you wonder what other modern home decor accessories or light fixtures can we make out of something that we might otherwise just throw away....

    Modern lighting designer

    Since we love everything related to modern design, it's no doubt this Eco-friendly DIY pendant made us take a double look!  MC49VRXP6HEC

    Images: Yanko Design

  • The Art of Contemporary Lighting


    Doug Wheeler lighting design

    Walk into any major contemporary art museum and you'll find that cross-pollination has long existed between art and furniture design, but the question arises: has contemporary lighting design seen that same infusion of creative energy? Creatives like Isamu Noguchi or Frank Gehry are recognizable international brands, artists who have branched into creating product designs for mass (albeit high end) consumption. But contemporary artists working specifically with light have not had such crossover luck.

    Nonetheless, the inspiration these artists have had on modern lighting design can't be underestimated. 

    Light and Space artists such as James Wheeler (pictured above), Eric Orr and James Turrell have been exploring the effects of light, space and perception since the 1960s. These artists have been groundbreaking in their use of media and their reductive end results have found footing in contemporary design practice.

    James Turrell installation

    Turrell's Meeting installation (above) has been on view at MOMA's PS1 gallery in New York since 1986. Turrell's technique is rather simple despite the dramatic effect it produces.

    By simply installing under cabinet lighting strategically, anyone can give their walls the "floating" appearance of Turrell's artwork. This floating look has become a predominant idiom in contemporary hospitality lighting design, as seen in this check-in desk at Hong Kong's Luxury East Hotel, designed by CL3 Architects.

    Hospitality lighting design

    Artist Dan Flavin is among some of the most influential artists of the last three decades. His use of raw fluorescent tubes and his emphasis on stark geometries has made it's impact on public spaces as well. Note the motor court entry at the bottom left of the Hotel Wilshire image below. 

    Dan Flavin Artwork

     Hotel Wilshire Los Angeles

    Recent works of art have a smaller scale, sculptural quality to them. Los Angeles artist David B. Jang created Correlation Cycles in 2010 as a sprawling fixture of circular fluorescent tubes.

    Contemporary light art

    A similar circular sculptural effect can be seen in this modern chandelier below by Possini Euro Design.

    Modern chandelier

    Possini White Cloud 15" Wide Pendant Chandelier

    Artist Lita Albuquerque's works not with light but rather its absence. Her Stellar Axis project,  was a 2006 site-specific piece that traced the stars of the nighttime sky onto the ground at the south pole. This was during the evening-less summer months when the midnight sun prevents any starlight from being seen.

    Stellar Axis by Lita Albuquerque

    Albuquerque's piece included 99 blue orbs that appeared as the negative image of stars on a white snow background. To apply this look to your home, the hand-crafted sphere-style fixture (below, right) light would do the trick.

    Study of contemporary lighting 

    Pictured on right: Besa Sphere Series 13 1/4" High Opal Matte Glass Accent Lamp

    As technologies evolve, artists will inevitably source these changing technologies as media, just as designers will inevitably continue looking to these artists for inspiration. Most of us may never transform an entire room completely into an art installation, but luckily there are plenty of sculptural contemporary chandeliers available to give the home an artistic look.  

    Images: MCASD, MOMA PS1, Luxe DB, Artcat, Vibrant Travel Solutions, Art-merge, Stellar Axis

  • La Maison Champs Elysees: Modern Hotel Design


    Le Maison Champs Elysees, Curiosity Case Suite

    I am constantly researching modern hotel design all around the world, so a trip that ends in La Maison Champs Elysees, is a trip that ends well! This was a complete surprise! I tend to travel with no expectations as to be able to view things with an open and pure mind. The beauty of this hotel would've easily exceeded any expectation I could've possibly had for it! The hotel commissioned fashion-house Maison Martin Margiela's to redesign the suites, restaurant, smoking room, bar and reception area. I don't think their could've possibly have been a better match! The  intention was to offer ''a surprising, poetic experience which does not become exhausted with a single visit to the hotel: a liberating experience, a journey within a journey, which exists nowhere else.'' And this they did. Take a look at one of the most gorgeous interiors I've ever stepped foot in!

    Le Maison Champs Elysees, Curiosity Case Suite bed

    All rooms are white on white with the exception of the Curiosity Case Suite which is masculine and seductive with the dramatic use of blacks and charcoals. The mirrored side table reflecting the distressed charcoal gray linens and wood floors is just heaven! The feathered table lamp was so beautiful, I could have just stared in its wings for hours! The mirrored side table is a wonderful way to create a very alluring and illusory effect in any space.

    Modern cane chair

    The sculptural elements of these modern accent chairs created such a powerful statement. The natural wood and caning contrasted against the dark floors and walls appear to be glowing in the space.  

    Trompe L'Oeil on white walls
    The Gilded Lounge Suite takes trompe l'oeil to a new level. Margiela's sense of sophistication and playfulness really shines through in this suite. The wallpaper is actually made from black and white photographs taken of the Second Empire-style gilded salon located on the second floor. A modern application staying true to period. Remarkable.

    Colorful bookshelf

    Trompe l'oeil walls in office

    All-white bedroom

    The playfulness and simplicity of the white on white Lost Moulding Suite feels very romantic to me. It's soft and whimsical, but the orange table lamp shows that it has spark!

    White linen slipcover chairs

    All-white dining room

    Just sitting in the White Lounge you'll feel special. The simple pendant lights, the mirrored tables, the white chairs on white's just pure elegance. But when you throw in the stunning colors of the taxidermy parrot and flamingo you know you can relax a bit and have some fun in here! Simple pendant lighting and clean white furniture is always a great modern pair.

    Modern white hotel lobby

    What a fabulous stay and a pleasure to observe! I can't wait to see more commissioned interiors from Maison Martin Margiela! If you get a chance to visit Pairs, do peek your head inside this fabulously contemporary hotel!

    Images: Le Maison Champs Elysees

  • Nature In The Modern Bathroom


    Bathroom wall paper

    You don't have to situate your bathroom outside, as I discussed in my post The Modern Outdoor Bathroom, or even include interior landscaping, you could just incorporate nature into the materials used in your modern bathroom. This beautiful high-impact wall covering (above) dominates this space, in a good way. Large scale artwork, simple home decor accessories and clean lines are great methods in modern design.

    Unique bathroom fixtures

    If you don't want such large scale artwork dominating your space, there's no need to be so obvious with your love for the great outdoors. Notcie the fixtures in this space (above) which feature the beautiful wrapping effect of a lily flower, capturing just the right amount of the nature. Keeping the rest of the decor simple allows these unique fixtures to stand out. Try consolidating some of the more functional elements, such as combining mirrors with lighting, so that you can keep your space more open.

    Mosaic tile artwork

    Mosaic tiles are a beautiful way to add artistic elements to any contemporary bathroom. This tile work depicting a large scale birds of paradise tops the list. And the colors are mesmerizing.

    You can use simple materials such as wall covering or more complex applications like mosaic ,to add a little natural to your bathroom design without having to break down any walls or maintain any type of plant life. Simplicity is wonderful.

    Images: Architects For Life, Home Design House, Arxitektur

  • Bathrooms With a View


    Bathroom with stone walls

    We just love modern bathroom design and nature! We've been giving you lots of tips for either designing your shower outdoors or incorporating natural materials into your bathroom. There's lots of options, including getting a bathroom with a view!  It's time to bring the outdoors in and create your modern organic bathroom sanctuary in any location! Open plans allow room for furniture, perfect for including a lounge chair and being able to enjoy the view even when you're not in the tub.

    White bathroom with open shower

    This perfectly modern all-white bathroom introduces the green wall in such a breathtaking way. i29 Architects created a Plantwall that extends beyond the volumes of the bathroom and into the interior of the home. This creates the illusion of the bathroom being connected to the outdoors and open to the sky.  

    Modern bathroom with concrete walls

    Steve Hermann's long and narrow bathroom doesn't truly end at the glass wall! The entire exterior becomes part of this minimal bathroom design. The sleek modern bathroom vanity contrasts so elegantly against the raw concrete wall, as the mirror reflects the picture perfect exterior. In modern bathroom design, the use of modern bathroom vanity lighting allows for a seamless integration, maintaining the clean lines of modern design. 

    Modern bathroom with concrete floors

    If you can't be fully exposed to the exterior just one window will do! The open plan bathroom with exposed beams feels connected to the exterior through the open window. If your view isn't picture perfect, a little landscaping is all you need to do the trick! The natural wood bench also brings a bit of the exterior in and is a nice touch against the concrete floor and stark white bathroom fixtures.

    Modern bathroom with white fixtures

    There is no way you can block a picture perfect view from the top the Hollywood Hills. Just the thought of sitting in this elegant tub viewing the splendid lights of the city is overwhelming!

    Modern bathroom with teak wall and floors

    The application of wood in the bathroom is a great way to bring the outdoors in. The mixture of natural wood, marble, and the large window with views of the lush landscaping create a very natural and serene environment that keeps you at one with nature. 

    Image Source: Freshome, Design Milk, Steve Hermann Design,  Architectural Digest,  Yellowtrace

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