modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Possini Euro Design ZuriChrome Mini Pendant
"I love the sleek and soothing feelof this pendant."
- Trina McNeilly, La La Lovely
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My Modern Met
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Picture lights are a great way to showcase your artwork and framed photos. You can also hang them on built-in bookcases to highlight your collection of tomes and favorite accessories.
An important thing to know is how to select the right size picture light for what you are choosing to highlight.
Here are 3 simple steps to finding the right light for you:
Wall mounted picture lights provide a clean and classic look and are mounted on the wall above your artwork and you can choose between a plug-in design or a hard-wired fixture.
Plug-in picture lights will typically have the cord hanging down the wall. You can conceal the cords behind shelving or furniture.
The hard-wired option has no visible cords or wires and is installed directly into a junction box and is controlled by a switch (with dimmers, please!)
This type, as the name suggests, mounts directly on the frame itself and is ideal for artwork that has a wide or large ornate frame.
Like wall-mounted picture lights, there are plug-in and hard-wired options available.
Battery powered picture lights are perfect for a clean and streamlined look, and, because there are no wires, they can be installed pretty much anywhere.
Tip: Even the most efficient models need to have their batteries replaced from time to time, so if you plan on using the light a lot, you should opt for a plug-in or hard-wired design.
Track lighting is usually mounted on a ceiling, but certain designs can also be hung on a wall.
This type of lighting is hard-wired and needs to be installed in a ceiling or wall junction box.
Track lighting is composed of a long bar with multiple lights that can be adjusted and aimed as needed; they are ideal for illuminating a large wall or gallery-style area.
As we mentioned above, plug-in picture lights mount to the wall and typically require brackets or mounting hardware, which is typically included with the fixture. Once mounted, the light plugs into a standard three-prong electrical outlet.
Plug-in picture lights are very easy to install, and come in both halogen and LED designs, as well as your traditional incandescent.
After you've selected the size and features of a picture light, you need to consider the types of bulbs available for the fixture. There are a wide range of bulb types available, including energy-efficient LEDs.
LED picture lights are some of the most energy-efficient lights you can buy. Remember to choose a bulb with a high CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 80+ are best, as they do not alter the color appearance of artwork.
The new LED bulbs don't only come in the bright blue-tinged light of the past, there are warm LEDs available too, which resemble the light given off by incandescent bulbs.
Remember to shop for LEDs based on lumens (light output), not the amount of watts/energy used.
Incandescent picture lighting provides a warm, overall glow, but don't have the lifespan of other options, like LED or halogen bulbs.
Picture lights with halogen bulbs provide a bright, white light that is good for illuminating a broad range of colors.
There are a lot of options for picture lights out there and now that you know how to calculate the proper size for a picture light and what features and bulb-types are available, you are all set to highlight your beautiful artwork and bookshelves!
Having kids doesn't mean having to throw in the towel and become a soccer mom. The modern family homes featured above set out to break the stereotype of family living. I personally love the idea of living in a modern home with a handful of kids running around. Growing up in a stylish enviroment exposes children to fashion, design, architecture, and other creative arts.
Designing the main areas in a modern home can can sometimes be easier than decorating kid's rooms and spaces. When designing a modern nursery or kid's room there is a balance between modern furnishings and a kid-friendly, functional design.
Need a few directional ideas for designing your modern nursery or kid's room?
The light fixtures you select for the kid's space can make a big impact on the overall design. Below are a few modern table lamps for the kid's room or nursery. The lamps are modern and fun and will easily transition into a more grown up space as the child ages.
Lite Source Kito Blue Table Lamp (left), Chrome Stack Set of Two Table Lamps (right)
* Post Update 10/24/12: Our Chrome Stack Table Lamps has been discontinued.
Possini White Flower Acrylic Shade Table Lamp (left), Jonathan Adler Carlyle Slide Table Lamp (right)
* Post Update 10/24/12: Our Jonathan Adler Carlyle Table Lmap has been discontinued.
Images: emmas designblogg, Family Living, Apartment Therapy, Apartment Therapy
Be unpredictable with your kitchen design.
Sure, we've seen art in the bathroom, dining room and every other room that's more predictable like the entryway, but we don't often use art in the kitchen... The kitchen is typically void of extra design elements like art and sculpture because it's such a functional space.
Well, you can have style AND function... Here's some cool ideas. Starting with this cool kitchen above. The art is subtle, but pops agains that wood finish beautifully. The white pendant lighting is also a great pop of style.
Shelving in a modern kitchen.
Shelving in the kitchen can be for more than just plates, pots and pans.
The modern kitchen above keeps all the function behind cabinet doors and saves the open shelving for books and art. I love it. Modern swivel bar stools would be a great option in an open kitchen plan like this one.
Sculpture art in the kitchen.
Don't limit yourself to books and canvas art, try some modern sculpture in the kitchen as well.
As long as it doesn't interrupt the function of your kitchen by taking too much space, it can be a great design element!
Images from Remodelista, Inside Out, Dust Jacket
Simple bathroom design with iron wall sconces.
When it comes to interior design, it doesn't take a lot to make a big statement. Here's some simple, yet perfect designs for your bathroom.
White walls paired with white marble and bronze details might be my favorite trio. This bathroom balances all three perfectly. You can always mix up the bronze with a darker finish too. Try stylish bronze wall mirrors with modern iron wall sconces...
Patterned floor in a modern bathroom.
Never underestimate the power of pattern! This bathroom design features simple, yet chic style and then the floors take it to the next level...
Bathroom style with pendant lighting.
You don't have to use sconces just because it's a bathroom, try small pendant lighting on either side of the vanity for a cool look.
Images from Kate Monteith, My Domaine, Simply Grove
In this day and age of open-plan living, the modern kitchen is even more of a hub of family activity.
In many cases the modern kitchen island has taken the place of the breakfast table and the large-scaled islands have enough room to allow you to cook and have your kids do their homework at the island at the same time. Once homework time is over, the kids can clear off the island to make room for dinner.
The larger modern kitchen islands aren't just for kiddie activities. Let's be honest here... everyone wants to be in the kitchen, even when you entertain. The extra room gives guests the opportunity to sit and enjoy a drink while the host prepares food, or chip in and help.
Some kitchens go beyond a simple ledge or projection to create a seating area at the kitchen island. The kitchen above created a table-like extension in the same marble as the countertops for a sleek, streamlined look. The space under the counter is the perfect place to stow several kitchen barstools.
You can never have too much storage, and a kitchen island is a great place for storage, both open and closed.
We love the look of a few modern pendant lights hung above an island -- not only are they pretty to look at, they provide task lighting while you're working, and, if they're on dimmers, can be turned up or down depending on your immediate needs.
Seating at a modern kitchen island doesn't have to be limited to bar height. The island in the kitchen above has an extension built in at table height, which is the perfect opportunity to get those great dining chairs you've had your eye on.
The modern kitchen island is multi-functional -- it's a cook space, homework center, dining area, storage area and guest magnet, so pull up a barstool (or chair)!
Image Sources: HGTV; homedit; My Domaine; House to Home UK; homedit
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