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  • Modern Home Gardens: Urban Homesteading

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    Modern Home Gardens

    If you had to live off the land, could you? What if you had to do it with only a balcony or a tiny plot of land in the middle of the city?

    There’s a growing movement of “urban homesteaders” who are doing just that. With only 1/12 acre of land, Los Angeles residents Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (pictured below) are among a handful of people leading the way, and they're doing so with wry humor and a cool, metropolitan sense of style.

    Urban Homestead Authors

    Coyne and Knutzen penned The Urban Homestead, a book that covers everything domestic, from composting to cooking. Urbanites themselves, they’re the first to acknowledge that homesteading is a matter of trial and error (as you'll see on their blog) and a matter of degrees. Not everyone has the time or will to maintain a chicken coop, yet (as we found firsthand) it can be surprisingly easy to keep the raw ingredients for clean, green household cleaners on hand.

    Urban homesteading is about living in the city in an environmentally sensitive way at the domestic level. Whether it be simple addition of drought tolerant herbs to your garden (as in the Laura Cooper home pictured at the top of this post) or urban based farming initiatives such as community gardens (LA's Manaznita Street Garden pictured below) are about consuming less while growing more.

    Community Farms

    As this approach to city living grows in popularity, modern lighting retailers like Euro Style Lighting are doing what they can to expand their product bases to include designs that complement the lifestyle. Solar landscape lighting is an energy neutral way to keep the garden lit after dark. Energy efficient and longer lasting than incandescent bulbs, LED outdoor lighting can help reduce both electricity costs and landfill waste. And dark sky compliant lighting leads the to less light polluted skies in the urban environment. 

     Copper Solar Lantern Landscape Light

     Kichler Dark Sky Nickel Outdoor Wall Sconce

     Hinkley Piza Angle Bronze LED Landscape Light

    Small space living. A penchant for artisan produced food and goods. A belief that small scale changes can contribute toward a cleaner city and a sustainable future. These are the tenets of the urban homesteading ethos, and while it may sound like something straight out of an episode of Portlandia, you don't hear anyone making jokes when a fresh loaf of home-baked bread or a batch of home-brewed beer lands on the table, courtesy of the urban homesteader. 

    Images: Dwell, Root SimpleLos Angeles Times

  • From Outfit to Interior: Bright + Exotic

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    Interior Design

    Modern Living Room

    Simple lines and bright colors can be so underrated! Ms. Bright & Exotic aims to change that by taking advantage of both in her space.

    Steel Droplet Blue Accent Lamps with crisp white drum shades come in a set of two, offering a calm and refreshed feel to whatever room you place them in. Our Ms. uses them as a pair on either side of the bed, but they can just as easily be split up.

    Modern Table Lamp

    The distinctive pattern on the back of this Jennifer Wooden Modern Lounge Chair makes Ms. Bright & Exotic feel like she's lounging in the Caribbean. The extra wide seat is perfect for enjoying lazy cocktails or a book that she just can't put down.

    Modern Pendant


    The Brushed Nickel Exotic Peacock Giclee Pendant is our lady's favorite way to add a pop of color to her kitchen – it features every color of the rainbow! The exotic peacock-inspired pattern looks different as the light changes.Modern Wall Mirror

    Nothing like a big mirror to play up a room, and the SIlver Teardrop Round Wall Mirror does just that. The antique silver finish frame makes this piece feel like it has its share of stories to tell, while the beveled teardrop shapes give it a stylish look.

    Modern Bath Light

    Ms. Bright & Exotic loves a good hot bath after a tough day, the Possini Euro Frosted Glass Polished Nickel Bath Fixture casts a cool and alluring light to help her relax. Two layers of frosted water glass create an almost-at-the-beach vibe which is just what she's after.

    Image: Shopbop

  • How To Add Vintage Style To Your Modern Home Design

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    Modern Home Design

    There is nothing like modern home design. It’s clean, creative and fresh. If you are a minimalist by nature, than you are probably drawn to modern design. One thing that I’ve noticed about some modern decor is that it can tend to feel too cold.

    If you like modern design but you like feeling homey and warm, you probably are trying to figure out how to create a space that you love. One suggestion is adding vintage elements to give a room some character and warmth. Above we see a vintage armoire piece placed in a modern living room. It totally works and gives off such a cool vibe. Also the of the color of the piece fits perfectly with the sofa and pillows.

    Modern Dining Room

    In this dining space, we see several vintage elements. The brass light fixture fits nicely with the modern table and chairs. Also, you see that there is a mix of new modern chairs with vintage modern chairs.

    Vintage Style

    Here is another vintage cabinet. This teal piece looks fantastic paired with gray fabric, which is always a more modern option. And it also looks great with the modern desk lamp. Pieces like this tell wonderful stories in a space. And if you are decorating a modern room, only use one to two pieces like this so that you don’t create a flea market look.

    Home Office

    In this small office, the owners have paired an aged, vintage desk with a modern office chair. It totally works and creates the best of both worlds! Adding a modern desk lamp is also a great accent for a vintage desk.

    One last advice for mixing vintage with modern is try and find a vintage piece that is totally out of the box. When placing it in a minimalist space, it will completely wow your guests!

    Images: Megan Mortin, Husligheter, Hello Future House, Apartment Therapy

  • Modern Italian Design Meets LED: AlessiLux

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    Modern LED Table Lamps by Alessi It feels like we've been secret admirers of Alessi forever. This maker of high-quality, museum-quality home decor continually re-defines the vanguard of modern Italian design. So when word came in that we would be carrying a selection of LED lighting designs from Alessi, you can imagine we were beside ourselves. 

    Modern Table Lamp

    Produced in collaboration with Foreverlamp, a leading innovator in LED lighting technology, these Alessi table lamps and LED light bulbs showcase the company's cutting edge approach to both the aesthetic and technical side of design. 

    Modern LED Light


    These Alessi UFO Portable LED Table Lights are a fun, high-style look for kids. And yes, they do wobble but they don't fall down.

    LED Table LightsAs if their designs weren't cool enough, Alessi is committed to charitable work, both in Italy and abroad. They have worked in partnership with other companies on projects in seven countries and have raised money to help give a better future to children all over the world.

    To learn a little more about Alessi and their designs, check out this video.

    Images: Allesi

  • Organized Design: Tips For Styling Your Bookshelves

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    Organized Design

    Bookshelves can be a great feature in any room. They’re an opportunity to showcase your interests and personality through books, art and curated items from traveling. There are times you can also run the risk of having storage units look cluttered and they end up being a catch-all.

    Some may think it’s a little daunting to style items or objects in plain sight. However, you’ll be amazed how easily you can turn your own bookshelf into a fabulous focal point by following four simple steps.

    Color Coded Bookshlevs

    1. Books: Mix it up – instead of going vertical, stack books horizontally. It will create a graphic feel and alternating stacks between vertical and horizontal can create a more relaxed look.

    2. Incorporating Art: Having framed artwork adds another element to your bookcase. They can be propped up on shelves or can be leaned to create a layered effect.

    3. Vary Scale and Height: Rather than simply lining items up on a bookshelf, try to create small groupings that combine similar items in different sizes, colors and textures.

    4. Creating Vignettes: When you're looking at your bookshelf try to create little moments with items – a bowl of treasures or necklaces, a grouping of vases, layering art, stacking books with a few items on top. Imagine if someone was taking a photo of that little grouping and if it would look good.

    Modern Bookshelves

    Axess 5-Shelf Pure White Bookcase, Saul Modern Grey Shelving Unit,

    Reid White Shelving Unit or Media Stand, Zuo Mission Bay 6-Level Distressed Natural Shelf

    I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite bookshelves for you to place in any room so that you can create your very own beautiful bookshelf. If you’re looking for a place for extra storage – a bookshelf does the trick, but in a stylish way.

    Happy decorating!

    Images: Live Creating Yourself, Etsy

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