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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Net-Zero and Living Green


    Net-Zero Office Building

    Image from LPL Financial on

    With the recent unveiling of the nation's largest net-zero energy office building in San Diego, we figured now is a good time to answer the question: what is net-zero energy? And better yet, how can we take its principles into our own homes and workplaces?

    Net-zero energy simply means a building produces more electricity than it uses. The new San Diego home of LPL Financial is green in more ways than just that. Let's take a look:

    Net-Zero Energy BuildingImage from LPL Financial on

    Chief among the building's "green" elements are it's ability to reclaim waste water for use in landscaping and convert biofuel from nearby farms into enough electricity to power the building AND 750 homes.

    And here's where the fun starts. While most homes aren't $60 million new construction projects, we can still incorporate similar tricks to make our spaces more resource efficient: 

    • Replace older lighting with more efficient LEDs. Consider freshening your space with a LED desk lamp or modern style LED floor lamp.
    • Keep large appliances (like computers, TVs and stereos) on a power strip and turn the strip off when not in use. These appliances drain electricity even when off.
    • Capture rain water from gutter and/or gray water from sinks for use in irrigating your property.
    • Keep afternoon sun out during summer with blinds or curtains; reverse the process in winter.

    Going green isn't an all-or-none proposition, and small changes at home can have a big impact on both the environment and the wallet.

    Images: Eco Building Pulse

  • Contemporary Design With An Eclectic Twist


    Contemporary Design

    Whether you're designing a space indoors or out, you can create a contemporary and eclectic aesthetic with an organic feel using lots of plants, colors and textures.

    These images from Interiors Magazine illustrate the use of color and texture really well.

    Outdoor Space

    The best part of an eclectic space, just have fun with it. You can get away with a lot more when it comes to colors and styles.

    Here's a few ideas to get you started...

    Eclectic Furnishings

    1. Go bold, add some color to your furniture with a fun upholstered bench like the Chatham Velvet Purple Bench!

    2. Don't be surprised that the red wire pendant looks great next to the purple bench, those colors compliment each other quite well.

    3. Different shades of red are fun to play with as well, especially when they're not right next to each other, like this pendant light and Wood Round Accent Table.

    Pillows, pillows, pillows... They are the single most fun way to add texture, color and pattern. It's also a great way to bring a color palette together in any space!

          4. Mirabelle Safavieh Accent Pillows

          5. Modern Mandalas Accent Pillow

          6. Tangle Red Piping Decorative Throw Pillow

    Images: Interiors Magazine

  • Modern Design Tips For a Stylish Wall Gallery


    Design Tips

    Image from Elle Decor

    Whether it be adorning your stairwell or accenting your office, there’s nothing that adds quite an impact to a space like a well thought out gallery wall. It's also a great use of vertical space, which often gets ignored in home design.

    When creating a gallery wall there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind...

    Art Wall

    Image from Atlanta Homes Magazine

    First, your gallery should look more like a collection of items that you amassed over the years. To accomplish this add pictures and artwork of varying shape and size. And when framing you want the frames to be cohesive but not all the same color and material.

    White Shelving

    Image from Interior Decline

    Also, add decorative items that give the wall depth and dimension. For example, a mirror, ceramic animal head, woven basket, or a gorgeous wall sconce.

    For achieving a more masculine or industrial look, I love the Edison sconce and the Vetena sconce for a more classic feel.

    Eclectic Wall Gallery

    Image from Ark Pad

    Lastly, when creating the actual layout use blue painters tape to map it out on your wall. The tape can be removed without damaging your wall and you’ll be able to execute your well thought out plan.

    Images: Elle Decor, Atlanta Homes Magazine, Interior Decline, Ark Pad / Architectural Digest

  • Crystal Chandeliers in a Modern Space


    Modern Space

    Are you a modern home style fan, but still want to be glam? Don't worry, you can have your cake and eat it too! There's one thing that always looks great, no matter your home style, and that's contrast.

    The contrast of a clean, modern space with a sparkly crystal chandelier, is quite eye-catching. It looks amazing, as seen with this living room seen on Helt Enkelt.

    Crystal Chandeliers

    1. Possini Euro Crystal 10 1/4-Inch-W Swag Pendant Light 2.Vienna Full Spectrum Chrome and Crystal 29-Inch-H Chandelier 3. Black Nickel with Crystal Vienna Full Spectrum Chandelier

    There are plenty of modern style crystal chandeliers to choose from (i.e. #1 above), but don't be afraid to hang a traditional style fixture in your modern home, the results are stunning!

    Image: Helt Enkelt

  • Tips For Enjoying Good Weather With Outdoor Style


    Outdoor Style

    Image from Helen Green Design

    Good weather is nearly upon us, which means we get to spend more time on our outdoor style. Hooray! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to be out and about enjoying it all. Why not enjoy warmer weather all from a thoughtfully designed outdoor space?!

    Outdoor spaces tend to take a back seat to the design of interiors but in the warmer months, they could certainly be used more if only styled in the right way. Here’s how to do it.

    Outdoor Ideas

    1.    Create focal points. Create focal points with your outdoor spaces with planters and arches. These arches dramatically frame an otherwise boring hallway. Now, they make you feel like you’re in the Mediterranean.

    2.    Built-ins. Rather than bring in temporary furniture, make it a bit more permanent with built in furniture like this sofa placed in a nook. Painted in the color of the walls, it feels cohesive. I’d love to bring my laptop and work in the space!

    3.    Plan for people. Style a space based on the functions of what people will do. If you want to eat, set up a bistro table and chairs.

    4.    Model your outdoor space like a living room. Bring the same techniques of an interior to the outside. Set up a sofa with coffee table surrounded by chairs and don't forget the outdoor lighting!

    Outdoor Lighting Ideas

    5.    Style for small spaces. Even small spaces can serve a function. Adapt your function so that it is useable. Instead of placing a full table with chairs, adapt it to 2 lounging chairs with a small side table.

    6.    Fruit trees! Bring a pop of color into green spaces with a fruit tree, specifically a citrus tree. The pops of orange or lemon will add a touch of color and whimsy.

    7.    Single tree. Let the architecture of the space speak with a simple tree in a courtyard. The focus becomes the beautiful lines of the tree.

    8.    Lighting. Lighting is paramount at night. Whimsy it up with beautiful outdoor lighting.

    9.   Use wood boxes as planters to frame a bench, like the top image. So easy!

    What are your tips for an outdoor space?

    Images: Helen Green Design, Group 1:  Sarah Cain Design, House Beautiful, Mark D. Sikes, The Home Journal  Group 2: The Style Saloniste, Vecro Ave, JTJ Design, Entouriste

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