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  • Open Shelving In The Kitchen

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    Open shelving in the kitchen

    One very hot trend right now is open shelving, but it's a little more than a trend I believe... This design method is great for saving space and adding many more platforms (literally) for home decor options. This clean modern kitchen (above) uses the open shelving for accents and the opportunity to bring in other materals, such as those gorgeous wood bowls. Having the combination of cabinets and open shelving is also a good idea so you can keep the less attractive items behind closed doors. But don't hide your ceramics just because they don't match, sometimes those make the best accessories!

    Kitchen with open shelving and dark walls

    You can't deny that the dark wall in this kitchen is perfect for accentuating the open metal shelves and everything on them. The stainless steel material was a great choice to keep the storage sleek and not too heavy.

    Large artwork in kitchen

    This modern kitchen does a great job of mixing materials. Spanish tile, warm woods and sleek stainless steel work together to create an eclectically modern kitchen with super cool open shelving. What a beautiful idea to open up the bottom cabinests and create shelving while keeping the walls free for art!

    Yellow kitchen

    You can add color with the shelves in addition to the accessories you place on them. The clean white tile and floors really make the love for yellow pop in this kitchen. Modern barstools are a nice addition for keeping this space functional. To see more yellow in the kitchen, be sure to read Annie's post - It is Always Sunny in a Yellow Kitchen.

    If you decide to implement these ideas in your space, notice how in each image only the more attractive accessories are displayed on the shelves and the rest are tucked away behind closed cabinets. Scales and colors are also important, but often times a difficult balance. Once you find the perfect combination, you'll see how open shelving can be a great way to maximize your space and look very cool doing it.

    Images: Live, Apartment Therapy, Revel, House & Home

  • It's Always Sunny in a Yellow Kitchen

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    Yellow Kitchen with white brick accents

    I've been waiting about 7 years to design my first yellow kitchen and the time has finally come! There's something about a yellow kitchen that just makes me smile! The past few years we've been seeing a lot of grays, black, and rustic woods which creates a very solemn and sedated feeling. Don't get me wrong I absolutely love it. But as the times change I'm really starting to feel like the use of yellow is a nice touch in creating happiness, optimism and confidence which is definitely the vibe for the future. I love the mix of bright yellow with neutral modern furniture.

    Yellow Laquer Kitchen Island and Countertops with black tall wall of cabinets concrete floors

    The deep cheddar yellow glossy laquer cabinets and countertops flood this room with energy. It's like a sunbeam shooting through the room. Black cabinets, concrete floors, a dark communal dining table, and wishbone chairs hold their ground, but definitely aren't trying to compete.

    White Walls and White Hardwood Floors with Bright Yellow Base Cabinets and Contertop

    The yellow and white contrast is a beautiful effect. The white upper cabinets disappear into the walls which blends into the white hardwood floors, so the yellow can stand on it's own and truly own the room. Again, the yellow countertop on the yellow lacquer cabinetry is great for creating a unified base unit and a very solid visual element. The black modern dining chair is a great accent in this bright setting.  

    Gray Island, White Base Cabinets, Citron Yellow Upper Cabinets with concrete Floors

    A more muted Citron yellow is a perfect mix with a light gray and wire barstool. Although it stands out, the overall palette still feels quite serene. It's more of a subtle glow on a partly sunny day.   

    White Modern Kitchen with Yellow Countertops and Backsplash.

    The yellow countertop and backsplash is a strong move. I love this bold statement and think that if you're a "yellow person" this would truly capture your spirit. It's something unexpected that brings happiness into your home. A home is a true reflection of your soul, so don't be afraid to go bold! 

    Images: Digs DigsEmmas Design Blog, Designer PadAlinskie

  • Review: Architectural Digest Home Design Show 2012

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    Architectural home design

    Architectural Digest held their annual Home Design Show in New York at Pier 94 and it was bigger than ever. The event featured 400 exhibitors, many of them manufacturers and distributors of luxury products. There was a special section “Made," which featured handcrafted accessories and furniture by a talented group of artists and designers. At the event, there were also design seminars presented by The New York Times featuring speakers from the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

    Glass wall decor

    From the"Made" section, one of the featured artists was Kanik Chung who displayed some of her unique glass plates with glass bubbles (above). These would make cool wall art decor if done in a cluster. More modern home decor artists made big statements, such as Heather Kocsis who showcased her city scape artwork and Vicki Da Silva who displayed some of her interiors light photography (below).

    Modern photography

    There were furniture designers such as Peter Buley who uses only recycled materials for his designs, like this sliding-door credenza (below). His modern furniture almost doubles as artwork.

    Recycled materials furniture

    Not listed in any of the directories was Art for Kids, a company who manufacturers furniture and accessories for kid's rooms and nurseries. This company had an extremely fun and colorful display of art that undoubtedly helped children get excited about design.

    No matter what your age or industry background, the A.D. Home Design Show each year is all about inspiration. By showcasing unique and beautiful work from designers an artists, hopefully everyone walks away with an idea and bit of creativity.

    For more information on this event or the featured artists, designers and manufactures please visit A.D. Home Design Show.

    Images: A.D. Home Design Show, Markets of New York

  • Kitchen Lighting Takes Center Stage

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    charcoal dark veneer kitchen cabinets, mirrored island french herringbone floors

    Lighting is a key element in kitchen design, not just for it's functional element, but the aesthetic element as well. The lighting you choose for your kitchen can truly transform your space and take you from Mid-Century Modern to Hollywood Glam with one simple fixture. While the cabinetry style remains very similar take a look how the lighting in these modern kitchens completely changes the style and makes a really bold statement. A Mid-Century modern chandelier mixes so beautifully with charcoal veneer cabinetry, a chromed island, and herringbone floor. It adds playful character to an elegant kitchen.  

    MID-CENTURY MODERN

    Jonathan Adler Chandelier

    Jonathon Adler Meurice Collection 30 Light Chandelier

    Raw Wood Walnut Island table marble countertop dark charcoal cabinetry

    The charcoal veneer cabinetry, marble island, and natural wood island table work perfectly with an industrial modern pendant. The nice clean lines and gorgeous silhouette of the pendant lights compliment the rough edges of the table while the bronze finish contrasts so nicely with the marble top yet blends so nicely with the cabinetry and the flooring. This is the perfect look to warm up any industrial modern loft! 

    MODERN INDUSTRIAL

         Black Mini Pendant Light                 Black Pendant Light

    Piquito 11" High Black Mini Pendant

    Bronx 7-1/2" Wide Black Pendant

    Dark Charcoal Veneer Kitchen Cabinets with Glam Pendant Lighting

    These sleek clean lines are gorgeous on their own, but adding that glamorous chandelier is like putting on the perfect necklace or pair of earrings. It adds an element of sophistication and femininity without taking away from the strong modern details that make this kitchen so beautiful.  

    GLAM

    Robert Abbey Chandelier

    Robert Abbey Bling Collection Chandelier

    Charcoal Dark Oak Kitchen Concrete Floor Exposed Brick Wall Organic Lighting

    The organic shape of the chandelier really softens up the space. It's a great contrast to the hard elements of the concrete floor and brick wall and really adds movement and depth to an otherwise stark kitchen.  

    ORGANIC

    Possini Pendant Light

    Possini White Cloud 15" Wide Pendant

    Charcoal Veneer Kitchen White Caesarstone Island Minimal Pendant Lighting

    For the minimalist at heart, one option is no decorative lighting and the other is a light as sleek and clean as its environment. These long tube like pendants stand their ground over this island without creating too much drama. The clean lines mimic the lines of the cabinetry and remain absolutely stunning in their simplicity.

    MINIMALIST

    Sleek Chrome Mini Pendant

    Silver 24" High Chrome Mini Pendant

    Images: Pia Ulin, Fine Ting Og Sjokolade, TamizoWhat Wilson WantsTamizo

  • Lighting for a More Livable City

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    Vancouver Skyline at Night

    Exactly what makes a city "livable" and what can you do to help your own?

    Annual surveys, such as those conducted by The Economist, Mercer and Monocle, look at a range of criteria from infrastructure to environment, culture to climate, to determine the most liveable cities in the world. Each year, the perennial front-runners - cities like Melbourne, Helsinki, Honolulu, and Vancouver (pictured above) eagerly await the results, while other vibrant yet perennially congested places such as Los Angeles and Houston seek ways to slice, dice and spin their lower livabilty metrics.

    Obviously, building a new subway system or converting 400 acres of prime downtown real estate into public parkland is out of the question for most of us, but there is one low-cost, high-impact area in which anyone can enhance their surroundings: lighting.

    A 2009 design guide by the City of Los Angeles' Urban Design Studio recommends that new and old urban developments "develop a system or family of lighting with layers that contribute to the night-time experience, including facade uplighting, sign and display window illumination, landscape, and streetscape lighting...of a character and scale that relates to the pedestrian and highlights special landscape features."

    Urban lighting design

    Any photographer will tell you that a beautiful picture begins with good light and clearly the same is true for cities. Done well, modern outdoor lighting can enhance a business or residence by adding depth and vitality to your surroundings.

    Modern outdoor light

    Matte Silver Outdoor LED Up and Down Wall Light

    Classically inspired lighting fixtures can restore a sense of provenance to historic properties, exposing long-forgotten architectural details, and even evoking the contemporary interiors within.

    Biscuit Lofts, downtown Los Angeles

    Outdoor lighting and Mission Style Outdoor Light

    Mission Hills Textured Black Outdoor Wall Light

    Enhancing sidewalk appeal is one thing. However, by increasing pedestrian visibility and reducing crime, well-executed outdoor lighting is critical for the positive effect it has on the most important livability index of them all: safety.

    Images: National Geographic, Design Intelligence, House Design Decorating, LA Condo Domain

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