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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Best of Brand Design

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    top brand logos

     

    Can you guess the brands above? In great brand design, form is always led by function, and in that regard, what's most impressive about these iconic logos is not that they are recognizable (and beautiful) but clearly tell you exactly what they're about. They are a call to action, telling you exactly how each can be utilized by the consumer. 

    Be an all star. Take a bite from the fruit of knowledge. Roll on four wheels. Read the clock hands.

    At last month's Dwell on Design event there was a lecture titled "The New Face of Affluence", the Dwell Insights Group discussed how younger luxury consumers weigh design heavily when determining their trust and loyalty in a brand. In short, good design = good brand. 

    dwell on design lecture

    This of course, got me thinking about some of the most popular designer furniture of the last century: Van Der Rohe's Barcelona chair, Saarinen's Tulip table, or even the Eames chairs illustrated above. Great design, it seems, creates something greater than a mere object or image. It creates iconography - a unique reflection of time and place. 

    Anyone who's read my posts before knows that I lean toward contemporary design and art, and yet I'm always drawn to the allure of classic Mid-century modern lighting and decor. The flower:

    flower pendant light

    Possini Euro Design White Flower Pendant Chandelier

    The floor routine:

    Chrome Boom Arc Floor Lamp with Linen Shade

    And a memorable work of art:

    josef albers paintings

    Josef Albers' Homage to a Square

    In branding work and in creative work, good design is what stands the test of time. It favors superb over superfluous. And at its very best, it needs no words to describe itself.

    On that note, the logos at the top of this post are, from left to right: Converse, Apple, Audi and Movado.

    Images: Converse, Apple, Audi, Movado, Dwell, Design Is History 

    ** Did you hear... We're on Twitter now! https://twitter.com/EuroStyleLight

  • The Modern Loft: Linda Bergroth's Light Filled Design

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    loft design

    The hot summer days always call for something light and refreshing. This modern loft features a light-filled design by Linda Bergroth and is just about as refreshing as you can get. Bold colors dance around the room like summer flowers in bloom while the white hardwood floors reflect the light that shines in these large gorgeous windows.

    modern blue kitchen

    The modern glossy blue lacquer kitchen is such a strong and bold contrast with all the white surroundings. Adding bold colors in a neutral space is the perfect way to add character to any room. The use of the wall mounted light fixture above the cook top is a very clever idea and a great alternative for under-counter lighting. You can get this look in your own kitchen by using this modern swing arm lamp.

     modern wall light

    Mondoluz Pelle Brushed Platinum LED Swing Arm Wall Lamp

    modern colorful artwork

    Bold colors and patterns bring so much fun energy into the space and still manage to maintain a sophisticated feel. Bright colored pillows are a great way to add personal style and energy into your modern loft. 

    blue bookshelf

    Blue, black, and white stay consistent in the small library and create a well balanced, interesting space that one would actually get excited about reading in! The patterned rug is...well...just so cool! Blue accents on the built-in shelving create a very powerful element that shows the level of detail considered in this modern loft. Simple, but decorative pendant lighting can be a defining element in the style of your home. The solid black pendant (above) makes a strong statement due to the contrast with the white, but is very simple in form.

     

     Kichler Olde Bronze Mini Pendant Light

    striped pillows

    Large, bold artwork above the bed is always a great alternative to a headboard. This colorful painting brings a very playful, positive energy into the bedroom and almost guarantees you'll wake up everyday with a smile!  The wall mounted bedside sconces are perfect reading lights and help with keeping the nightstands clear from clutter.

    geometric floor tiles

    The contemporary bathroom may be neutral in color, but its boldness is right on par. The gray, black, and white geometric patterned concrete floor tiles are a dynamic element and pair perfectly with the beveled edge white brick pattern tile. The vintage bathroom sconces and pendant lights bring an industrial vibe into this modern bathroom. Bathroom lighting can change the entire feel of your space so creating balance is key when deciding what direction you want to go.  

    modern sauna

    Oh look, and there's a modern sauna, as if we weren't sold on this loft already! This looks like the perfect place to relax after a hard day at work.  

    Hope you all are having a beautiful and refreshing summer! Make sure to take a little time for some rest and relaxation!

    Images: Linda Bergroth

  • Modern Chandelier Meets Art Installation

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    wood chandelier

    Today's modern chandelier often times double as an art installation. Is this good or bad? Well, how can art ever be bad? As long as you understand how to translate these designs to work in your own home, then you're able to enjoy them as the inspiration that they are.

    This innovative creation (above), designed by Elisa Strozyk, is made out of small triangles of wood. Where you would normally see wood used only as a flat surface in product design, this chandelier can be bent and shaped however you like, far from a flat surface.

    sculptureal lighting

    Innovative product design is similar to the fashion runway... Would you necessarily wear that? Similarly, would you ever put that in your home (above)? However, you can use the materials, colors and form as inspiration for selecting a modern chandelier. Also, the way it relates to the space can be a form of inspiration as well.

    wire frame chandelier

    One very simple way to achieve these lighting-meets-art look is to go with an over sized fixtures (above two images), but keep the materials simple. Proportions can definitely be played with to make a statement in any room.

    glass balls chandelier

    Another way to turn your modern lighting into art is to keep the furnishings and decor around it simple (above). Allow your modern chandelier, big or small to stand out.

    Here's a few fun ideas for unconventional chandeliers that will surely make a statement in your home.

    1. Fredrick Ramond Mondo Chandelier, 2. Maxim Chantilly Nickel Jewelry Chain Chandelier, 3. Possini Glass Orbs Pendant Chandelier, 4. Possini Corinthian Bronze Twist Chandelier, 5. Vienna Full Spectrum Chrome and Crystal Chandelier

    Don't limit your sources for inspiration, just because certain products won't fit in your home (or budget), doesn't mean you can't pull ideas from them. Designing is about solving problems so there's always a way to achieve the look you want!

    Images: Elisa Strozyk, Contemporist, Etsy

  • Modern Wall Art: Shantell Martin Draws On Everything

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    black and white decor

    The London based artist Shantell Martin, who is known for her stream-of-consciousness drawings, decided to create some modern wall art in her own Brooklyn bedroom and ended up make a big statement. Although she didn't set out to cover the entire room, she ended up covering the walls, ceilings, and furniture with her oh-so-cool freestyle line drawings. When her friends invited Ms. Martin into their home they knew she was going to be drawing on her walls and there would be nothing they could do. So they made just one request, "Don't touch the hallway."

    black and white illustrations

    You will see the words "Who Are You" and "Who Am I" repeat a lot throughout her modern wall art displays. 

    “When invited to talk at conferences and festivals about digital drawing or creativity, I like to start with showing a photograph of my younger self with my brother and sisters. In the photograph I’m about nine years old with a little Afro, brown skin and Michael Jackson shorts standing next to my very blond and blue-eyed brother and four sisters, this is the beginning my story.” -Shantell Martin

    illustrated walls

    The stories even continue onto the door knob. So far, Ms. Martin has used about 25 pens and I think it's safe to assume she's a pretty good customer over at Blick Art Supplies!

    shadow frame artwork

    One of her own drawings is framed and layered over the rest of her wall art. Martin says this is "to give it space to breathe."

    found objects

    Uncommon objects on common grounds, that's where a layer of gesso can take you. Bottles found on the street or out-and-about are covered in gesso to make them uniform and then used as a canvas for Martin to create her art.

    modern workspace

    Compact spaces with small modern desks are not normally what you would find in an artist's studio, but Martin works hard in her small office. She is in the process of planning a one-woman show later this year. With her work at such places as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the megaclubs of Tokyo and Russia, and on the enormous screens at Shibuya and Harajuku crossings in Tokyo, you can only imagine how incredible this upcoming show will be!

    red shelving

    The furniture in her quaint little bedroom doesn't interfere with the black and white line drawings covering the walls of her room. Like in this space, bright red accents make a perfect splash of color! Simple open shelving displays the painted bottles and found objects while bold, black and white striped bedding creates a the grounding element.  

    vintage toys

    These toys sitting on the floor are just waiting to be gessoed.

    custom denim

    You can see Shantell Martin's work in a variety of places. She collaborated with 3 x 1 to create custom jeans on site in their denim atelier.

     illustrated bottle

    I'm excited to see more innovative work from this amazing artist... I would love to see a line of wallpaper or fabrics from her! Crossing my fingers!

    Images: Shantell Martin

  • Julius Shulman: Modern Photographer

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    Julius Shulman Mirman Residence in Arcadia

    You've seen the style a thousand times...and chances are modern photographer Julius Shulman (1910-2009) had something to do with that.

    Following up on Cori's post Design in Style: Mid-Century Modern Roundup from yesterday, Mid-century Modernism is one of the most popular and recognizable design styles today (and one that we love!). One of the most common subsets of the style is California Modern, a style of residential architecture characterized by glass walls, oversized eaves and severe geometries, most commonly found in horizontal cities like Palm Springs and Los Angeles. These structures represent the quintessential post-war American Dream and for Mid-century Modern fans, the designers and architects of these homes are household names: Eames, Schindler, Neutra, Lautner, even Lloyd Wright.

    John Lautner Chemosphere Shulman photograph

    Shulman has photographed the most iconic Mid-century residences of the last seventy years, and his uncanny ability to give soul to these stark spaces brings up an interesting question: does a great subject make a great photograph, or vice versa?

    His images have immortalized the work of John Lautner (pictured above) and Richard Neutra (pictured below)...

    Neutra Chuey House by Julius Shulman

    ...bringing to light these striking edifices, not to mention the furniture within them. The impact of Mid-century thinking influences home decor design to this day. 

    mid century modern furniture designs

    Zuo Liftoff Black Dining Table, Holtkoetter Satin White and Satin Nickel Tripod Floor Lamp

    Not all of Shulman's photos included human subjects, but when they did, his models exuded the composed cool that came to define the Mid-century aesthetic.

    Shulman photograph of Pierre Koenig

    spencer house photo by julius shulman

    The California Modern lifestyle was, at least on the surface, one of extreme leisure, with cocktails and swimming pools featuring prominently. But it was also one that indicated a tectonic shift in perception, from Modernism as an abstruse European design philosophy to a populist aesthetic that could be mass produced and consumable. To buy modern floor lamps and furniture was suddenly as easy as picking up groceries. And with Mid-century Modern designs now available more than ever today, we are all the beneficiaries.

    We may never credit a single mid-century furniture or building design to Julius Shulman, but we might all want to thank him for turning the camera - and in the process, many of us - on to this revolutionary look.   

    Images: W5RAN, Peterson Live, Midcenturia, Pleasure PhotoTrndWntd

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