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LBL Batons Satin Nickel Suspension Pendant Light
“When lighting looks like art, you know you have a winner!”
- D. Shultz, Interior Designer
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The Art Story
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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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Just sitting in the White Lounge you'll feel special. The simple pendant lights, the mirrored tables, the white chairs on white walls...it'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.
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
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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.
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.
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.
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.
A similar circular sculptural effect can be seen in this modern chandelier below by Possini Euro Design.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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....
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
I was blown away by Alta Marea's modern bathroom luxury pieces with the introduction of the Must and Volo Green collections in Milan this year. I have been working with Alta Marea for many years and this not only far surpassed anything they had done in the past, but far surpassed anything I saw at the show this year! The materials, the details, the forms, the quality... it was all perfect in my eyes. The designers Perissinotto, Zanetti, and Dalto have definitely succeeded in creating "an emotion that has been transformed into lines and material."
The most stunning materials in the Must Collection were the oxidized metal mixed with the gorgeous gray hue and warm copper veining of the Boschetto marble.
The countertop sits just beneath the doors to create a sunken effect. The 45 degree angle on the door is a beautiful detail that creates perfectly matched corners.
Is this a piece of furniture or a vanity? Where is the sink in this composition?
Yet another stunning countertop detail! The rim of the sink sits flush with the door as the countertop rests just below. The use of vanity mirrors with integrated lighting create a beautiful even glow on the entire composition. Our Destiny Square Vanity Mirror is a great alternative to the one above.
And the details don't stop there! The interior, a beautiful orange, complements the marble and the matte lacquer with such bold confidence.
The Volo Green line is founded on the strong desire of helping the environment. The cabinetry and countertop is made of Paperstone, an innovative material made from 100% recycled paper. It's truly genius! The simple mirrors paired with up and down wall sconces, similar to our Holtkoetter Sconce, are the perfect complement to this minimal composition.
A solid material, soft to the touch, that is fabricated like stone! As designer Paolo Zanetti says: “I have finally been able to do a radical, extreme project that makes no compromises, where modernity is at the service of nature. Nature doesn’t say thanks: it rejoices.”
Images: Alta Marea, Annie May Design
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