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  • Summer White: Home Decor Items For After Labor Day

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    summer white

    Who says you can't wear white after Labor Day? Well, we think you can. But we also think white home decor items, simple pendant lighting, and modern furniture are stylish year-round!

    white home decor items

    1. Artcraft On the Spot Pendant Light 2. Profuse 19" Round Wall Clock 3. Zuo Wilco White Dining Table 4. Small Glacier Glass White Vase 5. Zuo Carnival White Modular Sofa

    Simply put, rock your style no matter what the season!

    Image: Fashion Gone Rogue

  • Portable Beach House Design: Permanant Summer

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    beach house design

    Why not hold on to Summer as long as possible and just follow it?! This portable beach house design will let you do just that!

    window wall

    Designed by Crosson, Clarke, Carnachan Architects, this home was made to rest within the coastal erosion zone, where all buildings must be removable. So, the "hut" is designed on two thick wooden sleds for movement.

    modern living room

    The interiors, like the architecture, were kept simple. But no space should go without modern seating and simple home decor.

    ocean view

    What a view! And to think, you could actually turn this home for a different view if you really wanted...

    portable beach house design

    And away they go...

    Images: Arch Daily

  • Sustainable Building: Passive House Design

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    passive house

    It's not always bad to be passive, especially when it comes to sustainable building. Passive Houses are starting to stack up worldwide and this means good things for widespread, dramatic impact on energy conservation.

    You might be wondering what is a Passive House? Well, this level of sustainable building is a concept that represents today's highest energy standard with the promise of slashing the heating energy consumption of buildings by an amazing 90%!

     bamboo

    "Passive" describes the system's underlying receptivity and retention capacity. A Passive House is a very well-insulated, a virtually air-tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, etc.

    bamboo panelling

    When architect couple Milena Karanesheva and Mischa Witzmann decided it was time for more space, they decided to give up city life and build a Passive House outside of the French capital. They settled on the small town of Bessancourt, about 17 miles northwest of Paris.

    The bamboo that they decided to cover the house in, creates an avoidance of heat gain through shading and window orientation also helps to limit any cooling load, which is similarly minimized.

    modern ventilation system

    They incorporated double-flow ducts into the home’s interior, exposing them at various points. They distribute fresh air, keeping temperatures around 66 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 71 degrees in the summer, never going higher than 78. Perfect, right?

    modern great room

    They kept the interiors simple and modern through contemporary seating and stylish, modern lighting.

    It can't hurt to incorporate even some of the sustainable elements of a Passive House. Ironically, it would be a very determined and progressive step forward for any of us to take on....

    Images: Dwell, Green Source

  • Perfectly Branded Modern Restaurant Design: Sis Deli + Cafe

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    modern restaurant design

    Interior design and branding are a beautiful combination that tell visual stories and create a mood. This Finnish, modern restaurant design, Sis Deli + Cafe does so with bold black and white interior design and packaging. Although this isn't a new restaurant, this sibling design team Muotohiomo, did such an amazing job that it stills seems as fresh today as it did when it opened in 2009.  

    white subway tile

    These black gingham bags make a statement all on their own, but when mixed with the white subway tiles and the black and white menu board you've got a perfected balance!  

    modern black barstools

    The simplicity of the black counter grounds element into the space. Modern black barstools stand proudly in any interior. The design concept is a very simple look with special attention paid to every detail. Possibly, a modern black pendant light over the counter would have been a great accent and possibly the only thing missing. But then again, we love lighting!

    What do you think? Light or No LIght?

     black pendant light

    Pinnacle Large Black Tech Lighting Mini Pendant Light

    modern coffee cups

    Even these black and white gingham cups are perfect. So perfect you wouldn't want to throw them away... 

    modern retail display

    From the tile, to the packaging, to the tray, to the silverware you've got yourself a beautifully designed and branded restaurant that is sure to create a lasting impression. It's thoughtful, simple, and lasting.  

    And I think this says it just right, "The visual image is a kind of tripwire for the emotions." - Diane Ackerman

    Images: Sis Deli + Cafe Muotohiomo

  • Spanish Castles: Modern Hotel Design

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    modern hotel design in Spain

    Spain may be teetering on the edge of the debt disaster that plagues many of its Mediterranean neighbors, but that doesn't mean the country isn't unveiling a handful of the hottest modern hotel design around. Big name international designers are creating some of the most eye-catching, ultra modern hotels the world has ever seen, proving that the best talent in the world is heading to Spain these days for more than soccer. 

    The gregarious lobby of the Barcelo Raval in Barcelona (below) is so packed with wow moments that it's a morass of exclamation points - oversized lamp shades, button tufted built-ins, a melange of contemporary plastic seating, and a ceiling full of white decorative pylons. Modern plastic seating is always a great way to add whimsy to any space.

    barcelo raval barcelona contemporary hotel

    But step inside and a different story unfolds. Guestrooms are tastefully sparse and elegantly austere, in contrast to the public areas. All told, designers like Jaime Hayon, Marcel Wanders for Mooi, and Vitra have put their touch on the hotel.  

    guestroom at Barcelo Raval Barcelona

    Moving on to Puerta America Hotel in Madrid, an architectural abomination on the outside (so much so that I refuse to include a photograph). The vivid hotel is a who's who smorgasbord of international design talent. Twelve designers contributed to the hotel, one for each floor. It's luminous, voluminous, and strikingly beautiful. Worth mentioning first are David Chipperfield's corridors (pictured at the top of this post), low-light stunners that look like they came straight from the latest Dark Knight movie.

    zaha hadid designs Puerta America guestrooms

    Also of note are the floors by Zaha Hadid (above) and Norman Foster (below). Riffing off their signature contemporary styles, both designers/architects use recessed fluorescent fixtures to soften the angles throughout and give the spaces a round, synthetic glow.

    Norman Foster designed hotel floor

    The Caro Hotel in Valencia (below) brings the outdoors in. Literally. Large stone wall remnants grace the dining halls, while gothic arches and Baroque molding detailing reveal the historical elements of the building. The Caro Hotel is an organic mix of old and new, in which filtered daylight softens public spaces and staged lighting warms intimate spaces. I'm particularly struck by how the extremely simplified forms of the seating integrates seemlessly with the organic and ornate surroundings. 

    Caro Hotel dining room

    leather dining chairsSet of 2 Zuo Vertigo Black Leatherette Modern Dining Chairs

    hotel caro gothic modern hotel

    modern white leather chairZuo Vital White Leatherette Leisure Chair

    Don't fret that summer is ending and you'll miss the boat on these hotels... Spain is open year round for visitors. And if a European tour isn't in your immediate plans, you can always consider redecorating your living room or bedroom and add a little edge to your daily life. Just make sure to include a bottle of Tempranillo and a nice wedge of Manchego and you've got yourself your very own Spanish retreat.

    Images: Freshome, Elle UK, Home Dsgn, iintrepid

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