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  • Modern Porcelain Tiles: A Perfect Combination of Innovation and Tradition

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    Modern Porcelain Tiles

    Many amazing things are happening in the world of architectural materials and more specifically modern porcelain tiles. The Pinocchi Collection from 14OraItaliana has the look and feel of plywood, but the durability and sustainability of a porcelain tile! Since plywood has become a more popular material in architecture and commercial design (as seen in my last post)  this is a very cool addition to the collection.

    You can use this material in unexpected places like on shower walls and because of it's texture it's the perfect material to use poolside! It allows you to think outside the (plywood) box in a huge way!

    Architectural Materials

    The decorative Tartan pattern (above) is layered on top of the wood pattern to create a very tailored effect. This adds a playful, but refined edge and is the perfect combination of innovation and tradition. The Tartan is a perfect backdrop for any modern sofa with its clean lines. And I could easily see this in a adorable cafe with modern tables and modern dining chairs.

    Modern Dining Chairs

    ZUO ANIME WHITE DINING CHAIRS

    Marine Plywood Flooring

    This collection must be called Pinocchi because you would swear they are lying to you. There is no way that a porcelain tile could look this real, but believe us, it's really fake! The Pino Collection (above) works great as an outdoor flooring and pairs perfectly with modern outdoor furniture.

    Modern Porcelain Tile Walls

    Bold, modern home decor really pops against the natural color of the plywood tiles. The texture of the wood tile contrasts beautifully with smooth lacquer finish and organic elements above.

    Be on the lookout for some really innovative designs in architectural tiles and materials. The largest tile show in the world, Cersaie just ended a couple weeks ago and we are extremely excited to see all the wonderful materials about to be introduced into our world!

    Images: 14OraItaliana

  • The Devil's in the Hotel Design Details

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    Hotel Design

    When staying at a hotel, sometimes it's the little things that count. Let's take a look at some worldly examples of great hotel design that doesn't overlook the details.  

    Ever since it's opening, I've been drawn to the windows in the public spaces of the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona (above). There's a playful voyeuristic quality to these ultra chic peep-spots.

    Colorful Architecture

    The fun facade at the Inntel Hotel in Amsterdam (above) is postmodern meets traditional Dutch meets Rubik's cube. 

    Hotel Accessories

    The pencils at the Andaz Hotel in London are made from recycled CD jewel cases (above). I'm guessing they now offer iPod docks in the rooms. The key to great hotel design is not just in the architectural details, but also the accessories that would normally seem unimportant, like a pencil.

    Adaptive Re-use Hotel Design

    The Waterhouse along Shanghai's Sound Bund (above) keeps the crumbling concrete walls of this former Japanese military bunker intact. It's a very real respite from the otherwise hyperreal development in the city that surrounds it. Raw materials and designer desk lamps can give an organic feel to any space.

    Contemporary White ChandelierArtcraft Baby Swan White Chandelier

    The Treehouse Hotel (below) sits just 35 miles south of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. Suspended from trees and featuring mirrored sides, it's virtually invisible from the ground.

    Tree House Hotel Design

    Not all the rooms feature a mirror facade though, and inside there's a feast of minimalist decor (below). Loungy, white seating is a fun way to keep a place minimal and modern.

    Modern Rural Hotel Rooms

    Contemporary White Floor Lamp

    Sonneman Tetra Gloss White Floor Lamp

    Designers and graphic designers have to love the Pantone Hotel in Brussels (below), an homage to the color specialists in seven distinct hues.

    Pantone Hotel

    And sometimes it's the smallest thing that counts: a drink on the top floor at the end of the day. For fans of the Sofia Coppola film Lost in Translation, the New York Bar at the Park Hyatt Tokyo (below) is the perfect place to re-create your own Bill Murray Suntory whiskey moment. 

    New York Hotel Tokyo

    With a view looking across Tokyo and some of the best cocktails in the world, it's worth every yen. And trust me, you'll spend quite a few.

    With so many options, hopefully you're booking a trip and heading to see one of these extremely cool hotel designs.

    Images: Contemporist, Design You Trust, Concierge, Open Buildings, CN Traveler, That's Like Whoa!Ozon3, Nansiepants

  • Nest Studio: Where Design & Products Merge

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    Modern hardware by Nest Studio

    Allow me to introduce you to the new modern hardware line by Nest Studio. The sleek materials used for this line include nickel, brass and lucite. The designer behind this super chic product is Jessica Davis, an Interior Designer by trade, but she is also a blogger, product designer and mother. I had the opportunity to sit down with Jessica and talk about everything from her new line, to being a mom and where she gets her inspiration.

    Cori:  When and how did you fall in love with design?

    Jessica:  I’ve always been a design geek. When I was a kid I would make my parents buy those home design plan magazines and I would study all the plans in great detail. In middle school, when we lived in Dallas, I did a series of backyard landscape design plans and actually sent them in to Southern Living in the hopes they would give us a backyard makeover.  No dice, but the editor was kind enough to write me back and encourage me to go to design school.

    Cori:  What is your design background… school, first design jobs, etc.

    Jessica:  I majored in Art History in college but I focused my studies and wrote my thesis on architectural history and specifically contemporary urban planning and residential design. From there I went on to work for Bob Vila’s Home Again on the production side. I was exposed to so many great products and construction methods while working at BVTV. After that I decided I wanted to be on the design end and went back to school at the New England School of Art & Design for my Masters in Interior Design. Since then I’ve worked for Wilson Associates in Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles designing hospitality projects around the globe.

    Modern hardware pulls and Nest Studio

    Cori:  What triggered the desire to start your own product line?

    Jessica:  I guess I was getting a little tired of working on projects that were far away and that never really materialized into my vision (one of the bi-products of the economic downturn and ending up doing so much work overseas).  I wanted something that was uniquely my own and that I would have complete control over. Also, I saw a need in the market. Bedding was my first foray into product design, but I realize now that it’s really hard to compete with the West Elms and Dwell Studios of the world. Soft goods are a little like fashion where trends can change at the drop of a hat. Hardware on the other hand is more permanent, possibly because it requires more investment to produce and more technical knowledge to create. I felt that there was a niche waiting to be tapped in the residential hardware world and I had the unique set of skills to be able to do it.

    Cori:  Where do you find your inspiration?

    Jessica:  Pretty much everywhere in the urban landscape. I guess I’m more of the kind of person who draws inspiration from looking at man-made things more so than nature. A clasp on a watch or a bag might inspire some piece of hardware or lighting. For example, one of my new pieces was inspired by the grab bars on subways, buses and the joinery you see on them.

    Robert Vega photography

    Cori: How do you balance interior design projects, product design, managing your blog and being a mom/wife?

    Jessica: Ha! Whenever people ask me this I have to laugh. I have a lot of plates spinning and sometimes I feel like they are all going to crash down around me. Things are definitely moving slower because there is a little one at home now. There are blog posts I wish I had time to write, hardware promotion I wish I had time to do, new products I wish I had time to sit down and sketch. I just try to fit it in where I can and not stress too much if it doesn't get done or if it isn't perfect.

    Stay tuned for Part II of this interview where we'll take a look at some of Jessica's interior design projects and she'll show us a couple of her favorite modern light fixtures.

    Thanks Jessica!

    Images: Inlight, Robert Vega

  • A Modern Coffeehouse and Gallery: Graffiti Cafe

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    modern retail design

    Have you been searching for the perfect modern coffeehouse to meet your clients at, have a quick business meeting, or just get some work done? Well if you're in Los Angeles, look no further, Graffiti Cafe is the perfect place!  The interior is a clean black and white palette with painted white floors and exposed vaulted beam ceilings that make the space feel incredibly open. It's a gorgeous crisp palette just waiting to be tagged by the local graffiti and street artists that fill the streets of the La Brea neighborhood.

    peace sign wall art

    The baristas are as friendly as ever and stand behind the all white counter lined with treats. This peace sign dictates quite an accurate description of this place. The glowing sign along with the incredible music creates a vibe that almost makes you feel as if you're floating like a cloud in the space. It's a real chill experience even when you're hyped on the delicious Intelligentsia coffee!

    modern black sofas

    There are many different types of seating in this modern coffeehouse to suit your mood and your company. The classic fireplace mixes with the modern elements to create a cozy setting. Using a modern black sofa that is extremely comfortable can really make one feel cozy in a space that may appear to be very sleek.

    modern fireplace design

    This area is great for lounging and chatting with friends while sipping coffee or eating one of their amazing Butter Nutter cookies!   

    modern black sofa

    Zuo Fortress Collection Black Leather Sofa

    all-white interior

    You can head upstairs to the laptop stations in the lofted area and look down onto the crowd or you can grab a comfy seat in one of the booths lining the perimeter of the open space below.

    white round tables

    The tables and chairs float in front of the booths to create small group seating that can easily be clustered together for larger groups. You won't feel cramped in this large open space by any means. The use of  modern black dining chairs and simple round white dining tables creates a bold, modern contrast in any space.  

    Zuo Spire Black Dining Chair

    Zuo Wilco White Dining Table

    communal seating

    The larger communal spaces are perfect for serious business! Long dining tables are linked together to create a communal area for interacting with larger groups or just new friends.

    graffiti artwork

    The graffiti installation in this rear nook subtly separates the corner from the open plan seating. Semi-circular booths create intimate, more private seating in this area.

    No matter what your agenda is, this modern coffeehouse is tailored to suite you. The coffee is definitely sublime and the music is so good you won't want to leave! Soups and sandwiches are coming soon and I'm sure so much more is up their sleeve!  Welcome to the neighborhood Graffiti Cafe!

    Images: Graffiti Cafe. The Delicious LIfe

  • Modern Art Installation: Umbrellas In The Sky

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    modern art installation

    So, we featured an image of this awesome art installation as one of our Facebook posts last week and we just couldn't let it go so we decided to blog about it too! A colorful and whimsical umbrella art installation floats above this promenade in Águeda, Portugal. It casts a shadow of geometric shapes on the ground below and fills the streets with a fairy tale like energy. This colorful public art installation is not only functional, but also brings uplifting energy into a quiet community during the lazy days of summer!  

    colorful umbrellas

    The sun shines through the umbrellas and they just light up in the sky! Bringing this type of vibrant energy into your own home is as simple as adding colorful modern ceiling lighting.  

     red pendant light

    All Red Giclee Glow 20" Wide Pendant Light

     Orange Pendant Light

    Peach Flower Small 15-3/4" Wide Pendant Light

    floating umbrella decor

    The juxtaposition of the bright colors and the natural elements of the historic buildings form such an interesting composition. The reflection of the colors in the glass windows creates a stained glass like effect.

    Colorful glass pendant lighting looks beautiful when installed with this type of juxtaposition. The combination of the colorful sleek glass, mixed with historic brick walls, creates depth in design and adds visual interest to a space.

    LBL Mason Steel Bue and Satin Nickel Pnedant Light

    Pop Collection Green Glass 15" Wide Pendant

    Photographers Patrícia Almeida and Diana Tavares were able to capture the amazing umbrella installation with photos that evoke so much emotion that you might just feel like you're about to float away on one of those colorful umbrellas. Hope your week has been as magical as this installation!

    Images: My Modern NetArchitizer

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