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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Dwell on Design
My Modern Met
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Looking for the next hot spot? Follow the artists. So goes the adage at least that artists are quick to inhabit soon-to-boom neighborhoods. If you look at the world's best art districts and artist colonies, you'll notice a simple trend: once the artists move in to under-utilized places, the cafes, galleries and luxury boutiques are sure to follow.
Manhattan’s Chelsea district (pictured with the iconic High Line park above) was once a mash-up of rowhouses and tenement housing until high rents in SoHo forced the New York art world to head north.
For decades, the Marais district of Paris had long been an aristocratic (but sleepy) stronghold of the city. Now home to the Picasso Museum and the Renzo Piano designed Pompidou Center (pictured below), le Marais is an art destination that currently houses many high-end contemporary galleries in its meandering back roads.
In Santa Monica, California Bergamot Station is an abandoned rail yard turned art gallery complex:
In the early 2000s, Bergamot Station gave way to Chung King Road in Los Angeles’ historic Chinatown (pictured below), as well as the industrial intersection of La Cienega and Washington in Culver City as the go-to West coast art neighborhoods.
Across the pond in the real China, 798 Art Zone in Beijing has grown into a vibrant art complex over the past 20 years. Housed in a Bauhaus-inspired factory from the 1950s (pictured below), the art complex grew out of a movement of avant garde artists looking for a place that would draw little scrutiny from the government.
Common to most of these revitalized areas is the industrial design aesthetic: raw, repurposed spaces and warehouse-style hanging pendant lights (as in the above picture).
Lastly, there are art communities that nearly avoid the map altogether. Black Mountain, North Carolina was home to the American (and European ex-pat) avant garde in the first half of the 20th century.
Santa Fe (part-time home to legendary New Mexico artist Georgia O’Keefe) houses a healthy scene of contemporary museums, art galleries and artists. And Marfa, Texas, is a high-desert mecca for practicing contemporary artists. It’s home to works by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Claes Oldenburg, as well as the pop-up Prada store (well, sort of) pictured at the top of this post.
Images: Maison Gray, Art Observed, Britannica, Dave's Travel Corner, LA Design Festival, Shanghai Focus
Cool + Collected is our regular Friday post covering modern lifestyle topics from around the globe. You'll find everything from design icon biographies to modern art, photography and architectural surprises. And of course modern design!
+If you want to see a "Before & After" that will change your life then head over to Bri Emery's blog. Her and Emily Henderson partnered up to transform her living room and dining room.
+It's officially Spring which means we can all start biking more often... Good for our health and the envinronment, right?! Well, Refinery29 found a company with the most stylish bikes for riding around the city.
+If you're looking for colorful kids toys that also add some style to your modern decor (while they're splashed out all over the floor), then Brinca Dada is for you.
+Blogger Joanna Goddard from A Cup of Jo featured the 500 sq ft S.F. home of fellow blogger Jordan Ferney. You've never seen tiny done this well before, trust us!
+If you're into cool books, then check out Buckminster Fuller: Poet of Geometry and help Cole Gerst finish this book through KickStarter. It's a full color book about the life and work of designer, author and inventor Buckminster Fuller.
Image: Design Love Fest
Recently I've had a lot of inquires from my blog readers and clients asking for suggestions on contemporary lighting for kids room. Whether it be a nursery or kids room. Honestly, kids rooms are some of my favorite to design because you can definitely have fun with the concept, especially the lighting.
It doesn't always have to be a normal chandelier or ceiling light. There are tons of fun options out there these days. The sky is the limit in the lighting department. That's why I've pulled together a few different options for you’re to “get the look” today – they range from floor lamps, to sconces, to ceiling lights.
Jonathan Adler Left Giraffe Robert Abbey Wall Sconce
This is a fun option if you are doing an animal themed room.
Pacey Silver Plated Arc Floor Lamp
If you’re going for a more modern look, I love the idea of a floor lamp.
White Flower Possini Euro Design Pendant Chandelier
I’ve been in love with this nursery for a long time, but this white alternative would be a great budget friendly option.
Hope these tips help!
Images: Dwellers Without Decorators, Décor Dots, Turquoise, Me Oh My Mama
Benches aren’t just for the park, anymore. In fact, benches are an ideal, functional decor accessory for the home or office. Any piece that offers both style and purpose to a space is worth investing in.
I’ve long been a collector of chairs, picking them up here and there when I’ve needed them or have had no place for them at all. There is just something enticing to me about a piece of furniture that offers someone a place to rest. Lately, I’ve expanded my seating search to include the modern bench. While we might not linger on a bench as we would in a chair, they are still a place to rest weary feet, share a meal or help hold our most important things needed for our daily comings and goings.
One of my favorite places, which is a bit obvious, to place a bench is in an entrance at either the front or back of the home. In these entryways above benches are best to offer a quick seat of stability for taking off or putting on outer garments, such as boots and coats. They also offer a place to catch our bags and belongings or hide our baskets filled with gloves and hats, as we come in after a long day.
Another usual place that benches can be found is at the table. I think mixing chairs and a bench at the dining table is always interesting and never gets old. And if you have children than the idea of bench seating can be a brilliant one.
I have a few benches in my home and find myself moving them around for different purposes at different times. But these days, I’m loving benches for beauty. I love plopping them in space that needs some sprucing up, like maybe filling in that empty space at the foot of your bed. They add beauty on their own, yes, but I also love styling them with a variety of beautiful things. Covering a bench with pillows to add texture, pattern and depth is a favorite.
And another great idea is to use a bench as a place to display some of your favorite things. You can gather a grouping of books, candles, or set a large vase of beautiful branches on it, just off to the side.
The possibilities of decorating with benches are endless and the functionality just can’t be beat.
Top to Bottom: Viceroy White Faux Leather Bench, Zuo Heywood Modern Double Natural Wood 60-Inch-W Bench, Zuo Novel Modern 46 1/2-Inch-W Double Indoor Bench, Crawford Brown Faux Crocodile Leather Bench
Image: suvi sur le vif / The Marion House Book / Martyn Thompson Studio / Sacramento Street / Cecil Ieslykke
I get a little intimidated when I walk into a house and find the most beautiful curated gallery wall. Instead of straight clean rows they're all perfectly mixed up, but without looking messy, and somehow it all works well together. Since then, I've had a few "Ah Ha!" moments about curating the perfect gallery wall and I'd love to share these few tips with you.
It doesn't have to be a perfect puzzle. I think this is what intimidated me the most, fitting all the pieces together perfectly while they were all different sizes. Then I realized after looking at a lot of images online, like the one above, that they don't have to fit perfectly. The edges don't have to line up, in fact it looks better when they don't! It does help to balance out sizes and colors throughout the wall space, but location and perfectly fitting pieces together shouldn't be your main goal.
Find a variety of objects. Images, paintings, and drawings mix perfectly to create a great gallery wall. The more diverse the objects, the better.
In the image above you can tell it's well thought out, but still personal and meaningful by using a variety of mediums. There are old photos, pressed flowers, trinkets, handmades and sentimental items all together. It makes for such an interesting wall to look at and less like every pieces was purchased in the IKEA art department.
Include color, but not too much color. I thought the image above was a good example of this. There's color but the main scheme is brown, white and throw in some burnt reds. Drawings are great for gallery walls because they're simple, usually black and white and don't overwhelm the other items. Too much simplicity can be boring though. Find a few pops of color amidst mutated tones and you can't go wrong!
I hope these tips helped. Good luck with your gallery walls!
Images: Luv Decor, Lonny, Left My Heart in Paris
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