modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Minka Aire Light WaveCeiling Fan - 52" White
“Your ceiling fan should feel seamless and act as a quiet contribution to your overall design!”
- B. Powers, Interior Designer
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Image from Architect Magazine
Honda (yes, the car company) recently made the plans for its experimental smart home available for free. Such open sourcing is de rigueur in software development circles, but in architecture?
Michael Koenig, a project engineer for the company, explains: "We're not in the business of building houses. Honda wants to be involved in this future, and there are certainly some products where it might make sense for us to participate in. It'll be on the energy management side of it, for sure."
By actively monitoring and optimizing energy consumption, the Honda home located in Northern California is expected to generate a surplus of 2.6 megawatt hours per year. Such research into energy efficient may make, at least tangentially, sense for a car company. But the smart home of the future will actually extend far beyond energy management. It will be about each of us individually. About streamlining the way we live.
Take a table lamp with night light for example. Now imagine it communicating with your alarm, switching to the night light in the early evening and fading the lamp back on as the sun rises.
Or consider your front yard. We carry an awesome selection of modern outdoor lights online, but imagine if your outdoor lighting system could sense your proximity and brighten the yard minutes before you arrived home to "secure the property" and guarantee you safe passage from the car to the door.
These are the real promises of a smart home, in which your calendars, GPS, and machine-learned habits are all understood and catered to. Pipe dreams for the future? maybe, but with Honda's open-sourcing just the latest bold move in the smart home arena, I think we will soon see those dreams turn into reality.
Images: Architect Magazine
Image from Fast Co. Design
You've undoubtedly been seeing hanging light bulbs everywhere lately. You've seen them as art (as in the Madison Park installation pictured above).
They were at the Oscars...
Image from LATF USA
At your local artisan coffee roaster...
Image from Intelligentsia
And even in a recent GMC commercial...
Image from iSpot
The look is minimalist, utilitarian and endlessly customizable. But before you hire an electrician to build a custom cluster of light bulbs, we've got a few designs that you'll want to see.
These exciting new additions to our selection of swag lamps plug directly into a single ceiling junction box, making them a simple way to replicate the popular design trend at home.
From soft white bulbs...
Europa Bronze 8 Light Swag Chandelier
To vintage-inspired Edison bulbs...
Europa 8 Light Adjustable Bronze Swag Chandelier
Simply install them like any ceiling light, and "swag" (drape) them to your heart's content.
Images: Fast Co. Design, LATF USA, Intelligentsia, iSpot
Are you planning to travel anytime soon? If Mexico is on your list of places to visit, then you must stop in Mexico City for the architecture, design, nightlife... and food!
Romita Comedor Restaurant in Mexico City, located in the heart of Colonia Roma, should be one of your foodie stops, and not just for the fabulous cuisine, but for the cool interior design
The building, protected by the INBA (Instituta Nacional de Bellas Artes), dates back to early 1900s, with a style inspired by grand railway stations.
We love the large windows, high ceilings, vintage style dining furniture and checkered flooring. Romita Comedor is known for authentic Mexican cuisine, great cocktails and live entertainment by well-known DJs. We imagine that the black ceiling fans and cool pendant lighting help the parties go on into the early morning hours...
One of our favorite aspects of the design is the collection of hanging plants throughout the restaurant. The large windows make this beautiful greenery possible.
How to get this dining style in your own home? Here's a start....
1. Emerson Loft Ceiling Fan - 60" Barbeque Black
2. Rio Brass with White Shade Robert Abbey Pendant Light
3. Jamie Young Campaign Silver 30-Inch-H Folding Dining Table
4. Sparrow Modern Brown Wood Set of 2 Dining Chairs
5. Langdon Wood and Bronze Metal 42-Inch-H Barstool
Images: Cool Hunting
Over here in California, we're in a drought. So, to ease our pain, we decided to read about homes that have an abundance of foliage.
This green home was designed by architects Samyn and Partners for a family to use as both their home and workplace. It's located near Brussels and was completed in 2007.
I only wish I could see the interior of the home styled with modern furniture and unique modern lighting, but I suppose I can use my imagination...
At street level, the home features an entry hall, a family room and a kitchen. The living-room and the stairway are in the extension to the building. The second floor includes the master bedroom with its bathroom, as well as five children’s rooms and small bathrooms.
The vegetalised facade is composed of exotic plants chosen by the botanical artist Patrick Blanc.
I must give credit to one of our ESL contributors for the title of this post... Justina Blakeney has a very cool series on her Instagram account called 'Face the Foliage' where she creates art with foliage.
Images: Samyn and Partners
Image from Indulgy
Wedding season is here, and as much as we all love to celebrate with friends and family, many of us find it hard to seek out the perfect wedding gift at the right price. We're here to help!
Here are ten beautiful gifts, all under $100!
1. What's better than gifting the newlyweds with a fun way to start the day together?! This graphic mug set is a perfect start to their new life and their every day.
2. Give them the opportunity to save their important day in this distinctive mother of pearl frame.
3. They have to have something to put in their new mugs... This bold, black tea kettle is the perfect addition to their kitchen.
4. As newlyweds, they'll want to entertain and celebrate even after the wedding. Gift them this modern wine rack to hold their wine.
5. To pair with their red wines, they'll hopefully be making lots of caserole, so why not give them this modern white casserole serverware?!
6. The newlyweds need more than just things for the kitchen and entertaining, so why not provide them with stylish decor for their home? This contemporary wall clock is perfect.
7. This crystal candle holder is sure to dress up any party they host, or just dinner for two.
8. This modern cake stand isn't just for garden parties, they're also great for display.
9. What would their new holidays together be without cooking the perfect turkey in this nonstick roaster.
10. This large shiny bowl is perfect for holding fruit on a daily basis or chips for entertaining.
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