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  • Design Matters: Recounting Dwell on Design 2013

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    Dwell on Design 2013

    After a weekend full of exhibition booths, parties and presentations from the 2013 Dwell on Design event at the Los Angeles Convention Center, it's clear that we're entering a golden era for design. Recent advances in consumer technology, couple with materials and production innovation of the last century, have transformed design from a consumptive to an active process. In fact, anyone who has ever opened a computer and manipulated a font has engaged in an act of design. And in that respect, as people look increasingly to solve more problems than they make through innovative and creative thinking, there's one thing that's clear: design matters.

    With that in mind, here are a few takeaways from the 2013 Dwell on Design event:

    1. Design is Democratic

    2013 Dwell on Design

    During his Friday presentation of product design, Donald Strum, principal of product design for Michael Graves Design Group, said it best: "Design is democratic." He went on to illustrate that principles of good design--functionality, sustainability, durability, beauty--are being applied at the retail level across the country. Exhibitors and presenters throughout the event seemed to embody these fundamental principles.

    2. Design is Interactive 

    Homeless Shelter Kits

    Artist Tanya Aguiniga, in conjunction with the United Way, PATH and Dwell, offered show-goers the chance to help assemble homeless shelter move-in kits (containing tables, chairs, textiles and art) on the spot (pictured above). Meanwhile, the fair's first-ever Pinterest showcase featured ten winning mood board creations. We're at an unprecedented moment in history in which more people than ever have both the tools and the time to create.

    3. Design is Colorful

    Colorful Chairs and Murals

    Bold color is the name of the game. A live mural painting project and handfuls of colored chairs seemingly everywhere were among the many dramatic pops of color throughout the event.

    4. Design is Reclaimed

    Living Home Showhouse 2013

    From the reclaimed wood siding on the Living Home showhouse to the recycled plastic modern chairs from Emeco, design has clearly moved from "sustainable" as an abstraction to sustainable as action. At Dwell on Design, there was a stronger focus than ever on how design could have a net zero impact on resources, from waste to energy consumption. 

    What's most exciting about the 2013 Dwell on Design event is that this overarching concept of design morality--using design to increase social well being while reducing environmental impact--is clearly being embraced across the board by the design community.

    Lastly, on our way out, we caught up with Koncept Lighting to get a sneak peek of their next innovation in LED lighting, a yet-to-be-named wood and metal task light that's beautifully elegant in and should be available in late 2013. We snapped a few photos, but we're keeping those to ourselves until they hit the store shelves.

    Images: Euro Style Lighting, Los Angeles Times

  • Dwell on Design: Eastside Home Tours

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    Modern Architecture

    We've been busy with the Dwell on Design events over this past week. As Brent mentioned in his Friday post, we attended the Westside Home Tours and this past weekend we attended the Eastside Home Tours.

    This home (above) was located in La Canada and you wouldn't even know you were in Los Angeles. Beautiful neighborhood with a family feel, and no shortage of good design!

    Modern Loft

    One of the more interesting homes on the tour were the townhome lofts in Atwater. If you thought a family couldn't live in a loft, you'd be wrong. With a child proof gate at each of the three stairways, the different levels were designed with style and function in mind.

    Most importantly, two design-savvy parents should never give up their loft living dream!

    Mid Century Modern

    The Hollywood sign isn't the only great view in Los Angeles, they're all over. This home (above) was located up a windy road in Glendale. The "H" shaped architecture looked over the city and we can only imagine the view improving at nighttime.

    If you missed the home tours this year, they have them every year along with the main Dwell on Design even that extends the entire weekend at the Convention Center in Downtown Los Angeles so don't miss it next year!

    Tomorrow we'll recap the main event so stay tuned!

    Images: Dwell

  • Dwell on Design: Westside Home Tours

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    Dwell House Venice

    Dwell on Design, America's largest design event, is back in Southern California at the Los Angeles Convention Center beginning today. However, a series of events and tours has been taking place over the past week; we were fortunate to attend  the Westside home tours last weekend to see five exceptional modern homes and an unequivocal highlight was the Dwell Home Venice.

    Dwell House Venice Model

    A collection of follies and breezeways, the Dwell Home Venice (designed by architect Michael Sylvester) blurs the lines between indoor/outdoor. This design maximizes the temperate Southern California coastal climate and allows for some stunning sight-lines, such as the below from the master bedroom:

    Dwell House Master Bedroom

    The inside/outside design transforms pine needles (an otherwise nuisance) into a naturally carpeted courtyard just outside the kitchen/dining room module.

    Dwell House Kitchen

    The entire structure is clad in ebony stained cedar siding. Leaving the planks out for 8 weeks ensures they are acclimatized to the Venice air and won't shrink or swell once installed.

    Rooms were staged during the tours, but one guesses that the final layout will be different once the residents move in sometime later this summer. Which allows us to consider some indoor-friendly outdoor furniture and distinctive contemporary lighting that might work well with such a beautiful space.

    Let's start with two new LED pendant lights which Laguna Beach-based Cerno are debuting at the Dwell on Design event:

    Cerno LED Pendant Lights

    Left to Right: Cerno Laurus and Mica Pendant Lights

    Add something for whiling the lazy weekend afternoons away. The dark weave of this corner chair will look great against the home's cedar siding; UV protection and weatherproofing ensures it'll stay that way come rain or shine.

    Modern Outdoor Furniture

    Zuo Cartagena Aluminum Modern Outdoor Corner Chair

    The Dwell on Design show runs June 21-23, 2013; more home tours are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. Expect crowds if you go, but planned to be happily wowed by an impressive array of panels and innovative design exhibitions.   

    Images: Dwell

  • Color Crush: Red

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    Modern Living Room

    I am a true believer in using pops of red in a room. I think every room needs some red! A little goes a long way, which makes your job of adding some pops of red a little easier! Just the right amount of red can be so cheery and fresh. Also! A huge bonus about the color red. It’s used in most holidays! Christmas, Valentine’s, the fourth of July, so not only is it a fun color to add to a room, it’s also useful!

    This room is a great example of how pops of red can make a room more fun and cheery. I love that this one seems like the perfect living room for kids. Doesn’t that couch look super comfortable? Notice that there isn’t a lot of other colors or décor in the room. The red is kind of all you need! So do yourself and your space a favor and get some red in your life.

    Moder Table Lamp


    Kite White and Red Ikat Fabric Decorative Throw Pillow, Zuo Marius Modern Red Steel Set of 2 Counter Chairs, Modern White Art Shade Poppy Red Ovo Table Lamp

    I love this table lamp. It's modern without being too modern. The shape and color are perfect! And the white shade is a great neutralizer. These stools are amazing. I have seen them in silver but I am really loving them in red! They are perfect for adding an industrial touch to the room. And I love how little space they take up! The pillow is a fun pattern with a great bunch of accent colors all in the red family. So basically it’s awesome.

    Image: Central Interior Design

  • Layering Patterns With Modern Lighting to Create a Lively Home

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    Modern Lighting

    There is something to be said about the combination of stylish wallpaper and modern lighting. This pairing is often the very thing to take a space from ordinary to extraordinary. It’s easy to see how mixing really great lighting and a pretty pattern is appealing and welcoming to all members of a home. 

    Clearly, there are many different ways to implement this look. I love the approach of not taking the wallpaper from floor to ceiling (shown above), but leaving some open space which, in turn, makes room for the light fixture to stand out and shine. And, choosing a modern fixture in a traditional silhouette is such a great idea.

    Modern Kids Room

    If your wallpaper is bold in either color or pattern, than opt for a simple pendant light. This way, the light doesn’t have to compete with the pattern. Instead, it pops out and compliments the wall like a beautiful accessory.

    Mix Patterns

    Have you ever thought about being so bold as to mix pattern upon pattern? Somehow all of the mismatched wallpaper and textiles seem to match just right. A patterned drum shade pendant blends right in with layers of pattern found all over a room. I love this bohemian space that, instead of looking busy, somehow manages to evoke a relaxed look.

    Modern Task Lighting

    Wallpaper (and pattern) doesn’t always have to be busy or overwhelming. It can be simple, monochromatic, interesting and not overpowering. If this is the look you like than why not consider a brightly colored lamp for a pop of color or added interest?

    If you aren’t sure where to start when decorating or updating a room than I suggest starting with pattern and great lighting. It will liven things up in an instant, adding a creative style that both parent and child will equally adore.

    Images : The Boo and The Boy, Design Sponge, Ikea Family Live, Ikea Family Live

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