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  • Modern Cabins - Small Space Summer Homes

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    Miniature Modern Cabins

    Vacation homes were once only for the rich, but modern cabins are packing big design into small footprints...and small price tags.

    As originally reported in the Los Angeles Times, students at the Woodbury University School of Architecture have proven that - with a simple storage shed, a $1,500 build-out budget, and some creative thinking - mini-cabins can achieve high design that's actually within reach. Land not included, of course.

    Under the guidance of professors Sonny Ward and Jeanine Centuori, the students were tasked with transforming 10' x 10' "over-the-counter" tool sheds into hospitable mini-cabins, affordable summer homes with light, insulation and sleeping space for two. For kicks (and added educational benefit), the professors added a wrinkle to the project: each of the three design teams were charged with incorporating a material - either wood, paper or plastic - throughout the design.

    Mini cabin interior designs

    Cabin interiors were kept understandably rustic, and with a 100 square foot footprint, space was utilized to the fullest.

    While these cabins were clearly more case study than residential solution, the project raised an interesting point. There are tons of ideas circulating for prefab vacation homes that are affordable, design savvy, and can handily withstand the rigor of part-time use.

    Check out this shipping container solution by Texas-based Poteet Architects, utilizing a durable steel shipping container as it's structure: 

    Shipping container architecture

    Clean and unobtrusive, use modern close to ceiling lights to open up the constrained feeling of a small space. 

    Affordable shipping container home

    Modern prefab homes have been a boom industry for a few years now, because they're relatively easy to deploy. This Sommerhaus Piu Prefab Vacation Home by German industrial designers Patrick Frey and Björn Götte is billed simply as "affordable." We might add stunning to that description.

    modern prefab homes

    The use of wall lights and small contemporary sconces keep limited airspace clean and clutter-free while stowing away neatly in the kitchen.

    Modern prefab vacation homes

    And for those who are looking for the turn-key approach, there's this contemporary loft design by Zenkaya:

    Prefab modern cabin

    Summer is just around the corner. When your wanderlust kicks in, consider surveying the landscape for a location that's amenable to housing modern cabins. Look for level ground and affordable property prices in areas within a days drive or train ride from home. Drop a design-savvy structure on top and you're ready to vacation in style. And should you ever need a house sitter, you know where to find us.

     Images: Los Angeles Times, Home Dsgn, the Coolist, Zenkaya

  • Poteet Architects: Collector's Loft

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    industrial loft

    Poteet Archtects, an award winning firm based in San Antonio, turned the top of this industrial building into a modern oasis. Jim Poteet opened the office with the hope that the firm could further the sustainable revitalization of downtown San Antonio. As you can see, they are best known for the sensitive adaptive reuse of existing buildings and rigorous approach to modern interior design.

    modern white living room

    The combination of smooth surfaces with the old, industrial materials left behind from the pre-existing structure give this interior depth and character. While the sleek contemporary furniture adds modern elegance. This floor lamp would be the perfect selection to get this look.

    Basque Steel and Brushed Nickel Arc Floor Lamp

    colorful modern furniture

    Among all the clean white surfaces, you will also find lots of fun color. Adding colorful furniture or home decor is a great way to add personality to a minimalist modern space.

    modern kitchen

    Check out this perfect pendant chandelier (below) for achieving the clean and elegant look of this modern kitchen. Between the artwork, lighting and playful accents, this kitchen design is perfectly balanced.

    Dolce Capiz Shell Pendant Chandelier

    modern dining furniture

    There's no arguing that this team of architects designed this space which sits atop an industrial building, into a stylish modern loft.

    Images: Poteet Archtects

  • Modern Outdoor Living: Experience The Relaxation

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     outdoor glass pavillion

    Long summer days and hot summer nights are finally upon us and now is the time to maximize your modern outdoor living experience in your own backyard. The Nevis Pool and Garden Pavilion (above) can be used year round, but when the doors open up on this glass structure, that's when you're using it to its maximum potential. However, it's intended to provide shelter from the harsh natural elements, so when the heat is too much you can still enjoy the beautiful garden, views of the pool, and the natural surroundings from within this modern backyard pavilion. 

     organic outdoor cabana

    The lush surroundings, modern pool, and organic outdoor structure create an environment that is so sculptural and serene. You can spend your days and your nights perched up above the pool like you're in a modern day treehouse. When the modern outdoor lighting is turned on just imagine the beauty of the glowing structure and pathway.

    modern outdoor playhouse

    An escape to your outdoor oasis is sometimes just what the day calls for. This Polyhedron Habitable designed by Manuel Villa is not only a retreat, but a sculptural masterpiece that easily integrates into nature through it's use of materials. The glass front opens up to the teak deck deck while the skylight opens up to let the stars shine in.  

    creative covered garden

    The owners of the Kodaira-Shi Residence in Tokyo weren't so blessed to have the beautiful private outdoor oasis surrounded by nature, but their team did an amazing job of creating one. Suppose Design Office created this primitive tent like structure attached to the residential structure to blur the confines between the indoors and outdoors. They were able to create a very private and unique area in a space located on street level that offered no privacy to the homeowners. Imagine the landscaped garden yet to be completed! The concrete floors and shaded open plan are natural cooling elements. And on a hot summer day, the use of contemporary ceiling fans would really get the breeze flowing in there.  

    If you're planning on building a cabana or outdoor structure to relax in this summer I challenge you think outside the box!

    Image Sources: ContemporistDecoration Channel, Manuel Villa Arquitecto, Yatzer

  • The Photographer Behind The Art

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    Photograph of girl with green eyes

    As your resource for modern design, including modern lighting, furniture and home decor we can't help but appreciate great photography as artwork. You should no doubt be able to recognize all of these photographs because they represent historic moments in time, some happy and some solemn. They have all graced the walls of many homes, but the artist behind them is often never seen. 

    Photograph of The Beatles in hotel room

    These portraits of photographers holding their groundbreaking photographs were shot by Tim Mantoani as part of a new book Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends. The book was created in an effort to prove that although photography is arguably a dying medium, when you see the best of the best, there is something really special to be acknowledged and respected.

    Photograph of Marilyn Monroe in white sheets

    In addition to seeing the face behind the photograph, what is also intriguing are the messages below each portrait. The photographers gave their notes on the photograph and how it impacted them. For example, in the image below the photographer behind that heart wrenching moment gives his thoughts on the day and his photograph that will live forever.

    Photograph of World Trade Center

    As these photographs continue to adorn the walls of all our homes, now this book is sure to land on many coffee tables as art in and of itself.

    Images: Juxtapoz Magazine

  • Modern Infinity Pools Take You Over the Edge

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    desert infinity pool

    Summer is finally here and I hope you are all having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! If you're not lucky enough to spend your time lounging in a fabulous modern infinity pool, let us help you imagine that you are. Whether you are spending your time in the desert (above)...

    In the city...

    Infinity Pool with city views

    In the mountains...

    modern infinity edge pool in mountains

    In the suburbs...

    backyard infinity pool

    Or in the Hollywood Hills...let your imagination take you there.

    Infinity Pool with baja

    And remember modern outdoor furniture and outdoor lighting can help you turn your exterior into a modern outdoor oasis even without the pool!

    Images: The Construction Zone, Wanken 1, Wanken 2,  Fubiz,  The Bowery Group

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