modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Dart Modern Bronze 21-Inch-WPendant Light
“If you don’t include at least one geometric design in your home, shame on you!”
- P. Daniels, Photo Stylist
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Exactly what makes a city "livable" and what can you do to help your own?
Annual surveys, such as those conducted by The Economist, Mercer and Monocle, look at a range of criteria from infrastructure to environment, culture to climate, to determine the most liveable cities in the world. Each year, the perennial front-runners - cities like Melbourne, Helsinki, Honolulu, and Vancouver (pictured above) eagerly await the results, while other vibrant yet perennially congested places such as Los Angeles and Houston seek ways to slice, dice and spin their lower livabilty metrics.
Obviously, building a new subway system or converting 400 acres of prime downtown real estate into public parkland is out of the question for most of us, but there is one low-cost, high-impact area in which anyone can enhance their surroundings: lighting.
A 2009 design guide by the City of Los Angeles' Urban Design Studio recommends that new and old urban developments "develop a system or family of lighting with layers that contribute to the night-time experience, including facade uplighting, sign and display window illumination, landscape, and streetscape lighting...of a character and scale that relates to the pedestrian and highlights special landscape features."
Any photographer will tell you that a beautiful picture begins with good light and clearly the same is true for cities. Done well, modern outdoor lighting can enhance a business or residence by adding depth and vitality to your surroundings.
Matte Silver Outdoor LED Up and Down Wall Light
Classically inspired lighting fixtures can restore a sense of provenance to historic properties, exposing long-forgotten architectural details, and even evoking the contemporary interiors within.
Mission Hills Textured Black Outdoor Wall Light
Enhancing sidewalk appeal is one thing. However, by increasing pedestrian visibility and reducing crime, well-executed outdoor lighting is critical for the positive effect it has on the most important livability index of them all: safety.
Images: National Geographic, Design Intelligence, House Design Decorating, LA Condo Domain
(Products (left to right): Vivid Green Stripes Giclee Pendant Chandelier, George Kovacs Apple Green Glass Pendant Light, Lite Source Kito Green Table Lamp, Zuo Tickle Green Adjustable Height Bar or Counter Stool, Zuo Set of 4 Trafico Side Green Chair, Zuo Lider Plus Green Office Chair, Set of Two Green S Chairs, Set of 6 Zuo Marzipan Green Chairs)
Even though St. Patrick's Day is not a bank holiday in the United States (sure wish it was), I still like to get in the spirit and sport green in my home. Green apple is such a fun color for St. Patrick's Day, Spring, or just about any time of the year. Its bright color commands attention in any space and mixes well with neutrals such as gray. Want to bring a little Miami flair into your home, the green apple decor can add just the right amount of style.
Green apple hues are great as a accent or if you want to go bold try using the color in a big way! The bright green chairs would look fantastic around a white outdoor table to spice up your outdoor design. I love the pendant lights over a kitchen island. The green desk chair is also a really fun accent for a home office or bring it to work and be unique. What is your favorite green apple furnishing or light fixture?
Images: Coastal Living, Honestly...WTF, Desire to Inspire
Summer is here! We are firm believers that your home is just as important as your closet when it comes to appropriate styling for the seasons. It's easy to add Summer style to your home, indoors and out, with just a few small changes.
Add a fun pop of color to your outdoor furniture. Outdoor seating can be really fun with all the different selections nowadays.
Zuo Repulse Steel Outdoor Lime Green Bay Chair
There's no brighter way to add a little Summer style to your décor than with the color yellow! The kitchen is a perfect place to start with this fun hue.
Access Sydney Amber Yellow Art Glass Cylinder Mini Pendant
One of the smallest changes you can make is with accessories. Decorative pillows are a perfect way to add color and patterns to any space. For the summer, try some pillows with reds and pinks, the color of sunset!
Aviva Stanoff Boho Peacock Red Down Throw Pillow, Kite White and Red Ikat Fabric Decorative Throw Pillow, Infinity Fire Red Modern Square Down Throw Pillow
Nothing says Summer like the clean, crisp color white. It's fresh and welcoming. The best part is, it's year-round too. Whether you go big and paint the walls white or just switch out some chairs, you'll be able to enjoy it all the way through next Summer.
Zuo Modern White 33-Inch-H Set of 2 S-Chairs
Just like your wardrobe, small changes can mean big rewards when it comes to home décor. Have fun this Summer and give your home a mini-makeover!
When in the doldrums of summer Ms. Cool & Pulled Together doesn't want to worry about mussy fabrics and fussy accessories. Nonononono. She wants cool, calm, and collected pieces that don't require a lot of muss and fuss but that give the illusion of being pristine.
When metal and glass meet they can feel cool in summer and warm in winter, especially when surrounding textiles are swapped out. Our Ms. loves this Floating Bubble Possini Euro Round Ceiling Fixture for just that reason, and it makes a bold statement without feeling weighed down.
The slim profile of this Modern Dark Bronze Tenda Pharmacy Sonneman Floor Lamp is both classic and contemporary with an adjustable height feature. A pretty piece for rainy summer afternoon or chilly winter nights.
Ms. Cool & Pulled Together prefers the clean lines of modern pieces, like this Candelaria Robert Abbey Modern Chandelier. It gives her dining table the perfect halo of light for dinner parties!
When it comes to making her space feel airier it's time to pull out some visual tricks. Number one on the list is a great mirror, like the Sunrays Antique Silver Metal Round Wall Mirror with its openwork sunray spokes and silver antique finish.
Ms. Cool & Pulled together loves the softness of the Satin Brass with Transparent Shade Sconce. The metal's finish paired with the shade make a light that's just right for the vanity.
The industrial feel of the Edison Bronze with Glass 3-Light Console Lamp takes the feminine edge off of any space, and definitely adds an element of interest.
Images: Topshop, Patric Johansson
Summer is now in full swing - can you believe it's already mid-July? A few weeks ago I shared outdoor lighting I loved and I have to tell you, I still have the outdoors on my mind. Maybe it's due to the blue skies and warm weather we've been having here in the Bay Area.
With that being said, I've been lounging outdoors more than ever - enjoying time with friends over cocktails, getting a little vitamin D or taking a little time out to read a book. It has been a real treat doing all of these lovely things outdoors. But it wouldn't be the same without fabulous seating.
Gazelle Indoor/Outdoor Taupe Rattan Lounge Chair
I've gathered my favorite chairs for your outdoor space - these can fit on a deck, porch or beautiful garden.
White 32 1/2-Inch-H Indoor/Outdoor Set of 4 Stacking Chairs
Riviera Stone Cushion 34 1/2-Inch-H Outdoor Arm Chair
I hope one of these looks has inspired you to design your outdoor space and get outside.
Images: Lark & Linen, Elle Decoration UK, Apartment Therapy, Dust Jacket
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