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  • Palm Springs Modernism Week: Postcard from Hotel Lautner

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    Hotel Lautner at Palm Springs Modernism Week

    Palm Springs Modernism Week takes the SoCal desert by storm every February. To take a break from this snow-bird's roster of design events, tours and exhibitions (as well as endless unsanctioned parties and pop-ups), consider losing yourself just outside of town in the desert sun at the Hotel Lautner.

    Swimming Pools Palm Springs

    Formerly the iconic Desert Hot Springs Motel, this famed John Lautner property was recently purchased and renovated by Los Angeles based interior designer Tracy Beckmann of Tracy Beckman Design and furniture designer Ryan Trowbridge of Brown + Trowbridge. Although  Beckmann has been making a name for herself for her slick, glammed-up commercial and hospitality spaces, Hotel Lautner is more of an exercise in Modernist provenance, showcasing the designer's love for Mid-Century design.

    Desert Hot Springs Hotel

    This is Madmen gone wild West. Interiors are true to the period with the "Bachelor Pad" room (pictured below) sporty a smoky, low-slung vibe.

    Mid-century Bachelor Pad

     Each room comes with a kitchenette, perfect for mixing a twilight martini. Period ceramics and art dot each of the rooms. We like how ceramic and painted table lamps throughout give each space an authentic vintage feel too. 

    mid century arts

    Taken all together, this beautiful retreat is hard to leave. Comfortable rooms, a wading pool, BBQ pits, and the experience (if for a day) of living in a Lautner? You can count us in again next February. In the meantime, we'll be re-creating the place at home.

    Modern Ceiling Light

    Doughnut Cross Brass Robert Abbey Ceiling Light

    Modern Chairs

    Wire Chrome Modern Zuo Bar Chairs

    Modern Console

    Arteriors Home Trenton Lacquered Wood Console

    Modern Table

    Zuo Whitby Glass and Chrome Dining Table

    Modern Floor Lamp

    Trac Tree Brushed Steel Adjustable Task Floor Lamp

    Palm Springs Modernism Week continues until February 24, 2013. We hope to see you there!

    Images: Hotel Lautner

  • Styling with Modern Pillows

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    Modern Living Room

    We all know that when decorating a room, the cheapest way to change the look is through accessories. You can add color, texture and even pattern by adding a few modern pillows. Pillows can instantly make a sofa feel warmer, add color to a chair and create a pretty haven in a bedroom. And being one of the least expensive elements in a room, you will spend way less than replacing a piece of furniture.

    The modern sofa (above) would have looked a little lonely without those awesome patterned pillows.

    Colorful Design

    I love how the designer of this room (above) picked up the color palette from the rug and added that palette to the pillows on this sofa. It looks playful and fun yet still feels sophisticated. The mix of patterns also creates an extra cool look.

    Industrial Modern Living Room

    This leather sofa (above) is already a fantastic piece without any help. These two pillows add a little bit of dimension and depth to this cozy, masculine room. They also helped maintain the monochromatic palette, which creates a very mature space.

    Modern Bedroom

    If you're tired of your bedding, switch out your shams and add a few new throw pillows. You’ll feel like you got a new bed set! When deciding on how many pillows you should display on a bed, don’t go overboard. Display a few pillows that add that “wow” factor.

    Here are a few pillows that would add greatness to any room.

    Abstract Accent Pillow

    Infinity Black Multilines 18" Square Down Throw Pillow

    Accent Pillow

    Surya 18" Square Cumin Yellow Throw Pillow

    Striped Accent Pillow

    Shock 20" Square Blue and Beige Stripe Throw Pillow

    Colorful Accent Pillow

    Mirabelle Sky Blue Burst Set of 2 Safavieh Accent Pillows

    Gray Accent Pillow

    Infinity Metallic Silver Links 18" Square Down Throw Pillow

    Images: Alvhem, Bloesem, La Maison d’ Anna G, Bliss.

  • Stylish Design in a Kids Space

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    Kids Space

    Decorating for a kids doesn't mean you have to throw style out the door. I find that adding a few stylish anchor pieces, that work for any age, is the best way to achieve stylish design in a kids space. 

    And for me, the best place to start is with lighting. Light fixtures always set the tenor for the room. After all, the pendant light is usually in the center, or the focal point, of the room. 

    Stylish Design

    Don't be afraid to think outside of the box. I have been known to use modern lighting, suited for a minimalist-minded grown up, in a nursery that was otherwise quite whimsical. I have also gone the route of using a fancy, unexpected and very shimmery chandelier in the playroom.

    Kids Room

    The great part about decorating for little ones is that you can mix things up and take creativity a bit further than you might in other rooms of your home.

    Another added bonus is that when you use lighting (or any decor piece) that suites your grown up taste, it can easily be moved into another room of the house or simply "grow" with your child into the next stage or room style.

    Modern Pendant Lighting

    1. Eurofase Bronx Black Pendant Light 2. Possini Euro Design White Flower 3. Dandelion Shade Possini 4. Tech Top Charcoal Gray Drum Shade Suspension Ceiling Light

    While I think there are endless options, these four fixtures are a favorite and would work well for both little ones and grown ups alike.

    Images: Le Shop, Family Living, La Dolce Vita

  • Cool + Collected 1.20

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    Modern Art

    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!

    +For those of you celebrating Valentines Day all weekend long, Refinery 29 has a fun + romantic playlist. Enjoy! And can we add, what cool artwork too, right?! (above)

    +We spotted this really cool house on Dezeen that appears to be one with the hillside in Spain. Wow!

    +If you like reading and you agree the cover of the book does in fact matter, then you'll love this project. Several well-known books were re-designed with simple, graphic styles. Sort of makes you want to read some of them over again...

    +Do you follow digital design mag Rue like we do? Then you'll love a new daily feature they've added to their brand. Now, we won't have to wait between issues for great content from the Rue team.

    +We're always keep our eye out for cool street art. Check out Michael Owen's Baltimore Love Project featuring designs of four hands spelling out the word love. They're large scale, bold and eye catching.

    Image: Dezeen

  • Romantic Restaurant Design: A Brief History of Canalis

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    romantic restaurant design

    In the history of romantic restaurants, perhaps no place stands out in the minds of Modern lovers more than Seattle's Canlis. In 1950, Peter Canlis hired architect Roland Terry to realize his vision of building "the world’s most beautiful restaurant." These historic photos tell the love story. 

    canalis architectural elevations

    Canalis Exterior Seattle

    The result was an eclectic mix of modern motifs that, despite a fair share of redesigns over the years, was recently named a Top 100 Romantic Restaurant by the reservations website OpenTable.com. We love how you can use nail head trim chairs to instantly make dinner in a public space feel like a private admission to someone's personal library.

    Canalis Banquet Hall

    Much of the restaurant's charm was in the sweeping candelabra and one-of-a-kind lighting fixtures. The romantic touch, it seems, has a simple formula: find a modern chandelier and put a candelabra bulb on it.

    modern candelabra chandeliers

    You could call it quirky, funky, left-of-center, but Canalis in its earliest days was a reminder that modern design, at its best, isn't about imitation--it's about being true to one's self.

    Having said that, here's how we imagine imitating Canalis at home:

    Modern Chandelier

    Possini Corinthian Bronze Twist Multi Chandelier

    Modern Sconce

    Uttermost Kane Polished Nickel Wall Sconce

    Modern Dining Chair

    Set of 2 Wishbone Y Natural Wood Side Chairs  

    We'd like to thank the University of Washington Libraries, from whom these fabulous historic photos were borrowed.

    Images: University of Washington Libraries

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