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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Cool + Collected 1.9

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    Modern Architecture

    +Want to win tickets to Palm Springs Modernism Week? Just follow them on Instagram and take lots of modern pictures... Details on their blog.

    +This year at the White House, the holiday theme is all about "Joy to All," featuring 54 trees and patriotic wreaths paying tribute to our Armed Forces and their families. Want a tour by the First Pup? Well, Curbed has it for you.

    +The Perot Museum of Nature and Science opens tomorrow in Dallas, Texas. You have to see the architecture, designed by Morphosis over on Archinect!

    +Want to see how an old water tower was turned into an incredibly cool modern home? Well, head over to My Modern Met for the scoop.

    +This year, if you aren't buying furniture or lighting (wink, wink) as gifts, then head over to Etsy and give business to artisans while you gift the ones you love with something special.

    Image: Modernism Week Instagram 

  • Lego Architecture: Building Blocks for Grownups

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    Lego Architecture Dwell Contest

    LEGO building blocks have inspired generations of young builders. In recent years, they've also become an object of affection for grown adults looking to indulge their childhood dreams of becoming an architect.

    In 2008, LEGO introduced the LEGO Architecture Series, a series of building block sets that replicate some of the world's most iconic structures. Included are a number of modern residences that would be of particular interest to fans of modern design. 

    There's Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House:

    Lego Van Der Rohe HouseThere's Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater:

    LEGO Frank Lloyd Wright Set

    And there's even Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye:

    Le Corbusier and LEGO

    The LEGO design fad has definitely taken hold. Earlier this year in fact, Dwell Magazine and LEGO joined forces to stage a contest in which participants were asked to create a Mid-century Modern home using the blocks (pictured at the top of this post and below).

    Dwell Lego Contest

    Put any of these sets together, literally, and you've got the best in mid-century houses. Unfortunately these models aren't large enough to fit our favorite lighting fixtures and furniture. For a real home, we recommend modern black leather chairs, Danish wood tables or credenzas, and any of our favorite arc designer floor lamps.

    For a fraction of the cost of real construction, it's fun to fantasize for a moment about building one of the world's most recognizable modernist residences.

    Images: Dwell, LEGOLocal Planet

  • Modern Office Design by Make Creative

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    Modern Office Design

    Make Creative does modern office design and they do it well! When Make Creative was called to create a generous and innovative workspace for a collaborative team, they hit the nail on the head through the transformation of this industrial warehouse. The design of Unit B4 office spaces in Sydney, Australia was named Best Workplace under 1000sqm at the Interior Design Excellence Awards.

    Modern Conferece Room

    The design was based on the the idea of interconnected elements within the open space. This allows the interior to become a series sculptural features woven together which fill the open space with multiple blocks and voids.  

    The unique use of modern lighting in this space makes a huge statement. The larger pendant lights over the communal table are encased in a sculptural wood frame which not only defines the space but does an amazing job of filling the void. While the black wall sconces look as if they are crawling off the wall in the little red niche. Modern wall sconces are always a great way to add a sculptural element to your space.

    Modern Wall Light

    Holtkoetter Bernie Turbo Bronze LED Swing Arm Wall Lamp

    Modern Loft Office

    A good client truly is a blessing and when Made Creative was asked what the best part was about this project they replied, "We were lucky enough to have been given a lot of trust and freedom with this project… good clients ready to take a risk on an unexpected solution."  When a client is open to taking risks talent shines through! Even if it's something as simple as using pops of red on the modern barstools or hanging lights in an unusual way these small details really help make a space special.  

    Modern Kitchen

    The simple pendant lighting floats through the space to create glistening bursts of lights. Clusters of modern mini pendant lights hanging at different levels creates an organic feel and is a bit unexpected.  

    Mini Glass Pendant

    Clear Glass with Chrome Mini Halogen Pendant

    Modern Office Loft

    Such a functional and practical solution for a creative office environment that I'm sure many of you would love to work in! I know we would!  

    Images: Yellowtrace

  • Design Style Mix: Modern Vintage

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    Design Style

    Whether your style is modern, traditional, country or you just don't know, it's ok. The fun part about design is mixing and matching different elements and styles. Take this Danish home for example...

    Style Mix

    The living room and dining room feature a clean, modern palette of black and white. However, the untreated floors, twigs, sheepskin and antlers give the space a comfortable lived-in feel. Balancing modern furniture with vintage accessories is always a fun combination.

    Modern Dining Chair

    Alex Black Leatherette Dining Chairs

    Modern Vintage

    This modern vintage home does a great job following through with its design. From the reading corner to the bedroom, the color palette and comfortable aesthetic remains consistent. We're noticing a lot of desk lamps used in areas of the home other than the office, like the bedroom (above).

    Modern Pouf

    Arteriors Home Priscilla Pouf

    When you're perusing magazines or blogs for inspiration, remember to take ideas from all types of styles and then combine them to make one of your own. In the end, this will add the most character to your home.

    Images: Guardian

  • Paper Art: From Sheet to Sculpture

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    Paper Art

    Paper art. It can be so much more than ink or graphite drawings on flat white sheets. Folded, constructed or crumpled (or even lacquered as in David Jang's paper towel floor installation pictured above), paper becomes a sculptural goldmine. 

    Eva Black's "Folded" installation is a sculpture consisting of approximately 3,500 folded paper pyramids that, when combined, looks like an origami quilt.

    Paper Art Installation

    The entire piece is constructed from found, gifted and collected paper Black culled from old art projects, paper bags, bookstores and more. 

    Origami Paper Art

    A scaled down, terrarium sized piece, reminiscent of Black's work, is this fun sculpture by Mark from the London based Present and Correct. 

    Contemporary Paper Art

    For a less geometric and more organic paper art, check out this installation of more than 100 paper sculptures by artist Peter Gentenaar. Floating throughout the church of Saint Riquier, close to Abbeyville, Somme, Northern France, the sculptures are floral in form and jelly-like in their weightlessness.

    Modern Paper Art Installation

    My favorite paper artist ever (and a personal friend) is Olga Lah, who I first discovered while sitting on a jury for the Los Angeles Art Association. She installed this amazing and adaptable piece in the entryway of the 2012 Palm Springs Art Fair which took place last February during the city's vaunted Modernism Week.

    Contempoary Paper Sculptures

    Most fine art is archival, it will stand the test of time. Paper often contains acid, which breaks the material and its colors down over time. While some of the art above is archival, not all of it (especially in the case of Eva Black's found paper) will hold up over time. Lighting plays a big role in the display and preservation of art. Halogen track lighting is preferred by many galleries, as it provides a full spectrum of white light, is low in harmful UV rays, and is adjustable so you can fine tune the lighting of your art work. For sculptural pieces, you may want to try recessed lighting overhead.

    Last are some sculptural works nearly impervious to fading. Check out these complex, monochromatic origami-ish paper pieces by artist Matt Shlian. 

    Origami Art

    Folded Paper Art

    Paper as sculptural fine art is only the beginning. Origami is increasingly being explored, in everything from space flight to nano-technologies, as a means to pack more stuff into less space. And for most design junkies, packing cool, beautiful forms into small spaces is what we're all about.

    Images: David JangEva Black Design, Design for Mankind, Gentenaar-Torley, Olga Lah, Matt Shlian 

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