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  • Part II: Nest Studio's Design Projects

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    Modern living room design

    Modern dining room with red chairs

    Yesterday, I introduced you to Jessica Davis, the designer behind Nest Studio. We showed you her new modern hardware line, which is a must-see! If you missed yesterday's post, you can read Part I of this interview: Nest Studio: Where Design & Products Merge. Today, we get to chat a little more with Jessica and see some of her amazing interior design projects.

    The images above are from a residential project that Jessica did in Marina del Rey, California. I'm loving the modern dining chairs that add a punch of color to the space. Here's what she had to say about it.

    Jessica: This is a home I did for a client in Marina del Rey who was not afraid to let me use bold colors. I  had so much fun adding personal touches, like the photography over the sofa. It was rewarding to create something that truly reflected the owners.

    Modern baby nursery

    Modern baby nursery

    As I mentioned in Part I of this interview, Jessica is also a new mom. Here's what she had to say about designing her son's nursery. I love the map Jessica used for an artistic backdrop to her modern crib.

    Jessica: My latest personal project was my son Bryan's room. I guess it helped to have a deadline (delivery date!) to get it all done by. Bryan's room is fun and playful. I tried to design a space that would grow with him, using a lot of fun vintage, Etsy, and IKEA finds to keep it all in budget.

    In addition to her residential and personal design projects, Jessica is a designer at Wilson Associates, a top international hospitality design firm. Here are some of her very cool projects that she has designed with her Wilson team.

    Modern hotel lobby

    Modern hotel bar

    Jessica: These images (above) are the Lobby and Bar areas from the MGM Grand at Foxwoods that I worked on for three years while I was in the (Wilson) New York office. It was challenging to take a concept that was really high design and then pare it down to fit in the budget. But we did it and the results turned out nicely.

    Modern hotel lobby

    Modern hotel guestroom

    Jessica: These two images (above) are the Lobby and Typical Guestroom of the Crowne Plaza Times Square that I worked on prior to leaving the New York office (Jessica now works at Wilson, Los Angeles). It was a really challenging renovation project with a tight budget. The hotel lobby was so dated and we managed to really freshen it up.

    While discussing these projects, Jessica and I also talked about the difficult task of selecting lighting for a project and how she's goes about it.

    Cori:  For each project, at what stage do you select lighting?

    Jessica: Lighting is integral and I always start selecting it as soon as I begin the design process, along with the other furniture items and finishes. Just like any other piece of furniture, lighting is both functional and decorative. It's an important element in developing how the space is perceived.

    Modern chandelier

    Robert Abbey Candelaria Chandelier

    Jessica: This Robert Abbey chandelier is a great modern retro alternative to a traditional chandelier, but still has a lot of sparkle. I need to find a place to use this!

     Bronze Swing Arm Light

    Holtkoetter Bernie Turbo Series Bronze Swing-Arm Wall Lamp

    Jessica: I’m kind of obsessed with swing arm sconces right now. They free up space on a nightstand and work great for reading in bed.

    As if she didn't have enough to do as a designer and a mom, Jessica is also a blogger. Here's what she has to say about her popular site.

    Cori:  Can you tell us a little about your blog, The Eagle's Nest?

    Jessica: My blog is a journal of sorts, documenting my ideas on everything design related - interiors, fashion, landscape, and of course the trials and tribulations of renovating our 70 year old house.

    Cori: What do you see in the future for Nest Studio?

    Jessica: In addition to developing my e-commerce site, I’m working on more Nest Studio hardware pieces with a mix of fun materials and hoping to do a line of metal tables and other small furniture pieces. I’m also looking to develop a plumbing line to complement my hardware. So be on the lookout for those in the coming months.

    Thanks Jessica! We'll be on the lookout for exciting products from Nest Studio and more cool design projects from you...

    Images: The Boo & The Boy, The Eagle's Nest, Wilson Associates

  • 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

  • Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Green Apple Lights and Decor

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    Green Home Decor and Green Light Fixtures

    (Products (left to right): Vivid Green Stripes Giclee Pendant Chandelier, George Kovacs Apple Green Glass Pendant Light, Lite Source Kito Green Table Lamp, Zuo Tickle Green Adjustable Height Bar or Counter Stool, Zuo Set of 4 Trafico Side Green Chair, Zuo Lider Plus Green Office Chair, Set of Two Green S Chairs, Set of 6 Zuo Marzipan Green Chairs)

    Even though St. Patrick's Day is not a bank holiday in the United States (sure wish it was), I still like to get in the spirit and sport green in my home. Green apple is such a fun color for St. Patrick's Day, Spring, or just about any time of the year. Its bright color commands attention in any space and mixes well with neutrals such as gray. Want to bring a little Miami flair into your home, the green apple decor can add just the right amount of style.

    Green apple hues are great as a accent or if you want to go bold try using the color in a big way! The bright green chairs would look fantastic around a white outdoor table to spice up your outdoor design. I love the pendant lights over a kitchen island. The green desk chair is also a really fun accent for a home office or bring it to work and be unique. What is your favorite green apple furnishing or light fixture?

    Green Accents and Green Interiors

    Images: Coastal Living, Honestly...WTF, Desire to Inspire

  • Hardwood Floors In the Kitchen

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    Taupe Laquer Kitchen with Walnut Floors

    Hardwood flooring in the kitchen is a timeless choice that allows your flooring to remain consistent throughout your house. The days of switching up flooring in each room is pretty much over. Hardwood floors have many benefits; one of the most important is that it is more comfortable under foot versus tile, more natural than vinyl, and more neutral than cork. Many modern kitchens are designed with an open plan and appear more furniture-like in aesthetic, so a seamless integration into the rest of the house is key. Often times people wonder about the durability of hardwood floors in the kitchen, but there is nothing to worry about here.  

    White Glass Kitchen with Stainless Steel and black countertop with raw wood island and white tufted door

    A natural oiled engineered floor like this Vernal White Oiled floor from DuChateau neutralizes the modern elements of the glass and stainless steel in this kitchen. It also does a great job of grounding the contrasting the raw wood island and a modern chrome chandelier and allows these eclectic elements to work together.

    White laquer kitchen with dark blue glass uppers  White countertop barstools and pendant lights.  Natural oiled wood flooring.

    Your basic white lacquer kitchen with contrasting upper cabinets is warmed up with natural oak flooring. White pendant lights and white barstools remain sculptural, but neutral in the space as it opens up to the lush landscaping of the exterior to provides you with a real organic feel in this modern space.

    Dark Oak Cabinetry with matte laquer cabinets with integrated sinks.  Natural oiled wood flooring

    The contrast of the dark wood and matte lacquer cabinetry, white countertops, and fine sawn white oak flooring is a gorgeous combination. The element of natural wood in kitchens and clean modern interiors is key to creating life and warmth.   

    Modern Walnut Kitchen Island mixed with white cabinetry with walnut details.  Rustic Oak Flooring in open floorplan kitchen and dining.

    I love this look here. A kitchen with clean modern lines, marble countertops, and simple door hardware mixed with rustic oak flooring which really sets the stage for the room. The choice of flooring is really a key element of design in any space. This room could have taken on many different looks, but this use of a rustic oak floor provides you with a contemporary yet rustic atmosphere that makes me feel as if you are in a beautiful wine country.  

    Images: See Materials, Yolksy, Tamizo, Architectural Digest

  • Get the Look: Modern Kitchen Pendant Lighting

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    Modern kitchen lighting and black pendants

    Designing your kitchen, like any room of the home, is fun because you're creating your own personal environment. However, the most fun element of the kitchen design is the lighting because it's like the jewelery to a great outfit. It's the beautiful accessory to this functional space. To keep the space modern, pendant lighting is the way to go.

    There's many different types of modern pendants that will help you achieve a great look for your stylish space. The kitchen above uses a really fun mix of materials to balance out the wood and brick, the bold black drum shade pendants make a great addition. Also, a bold stripe could look amazing in this space.

    Modern pendant lighting

    Mini Mullberry Black Tech Pendant Light

    Modern pendant lighting

    Bold Black Stripe Pendant Light

    This kitchen below is much different than the first one. Here, the lighting is understated but stylistically just as effective. The barely-there glass pendants give the kitchen a whimsical yet modern feel while keeping it open and fresh.

    Modern kitchen lighting and glass pendants

    Modern pendant lighting and Clear Satin Nickel Pendant

    LBL Isla Clear Satin Nickel Pendant

    Modern pendant lighting and Clear Glass PendantJaime Young St. Charles Clear Glass Pendant

    You also have the option of allowing your lighting to become a statement piece, making it more art than a light fixture. This type of pendant is always fun to shop for since your goal should be to find the one with the most personality.

    Modern kitchen lighting and white kitchen

    Modern pendant lighting and White Flower Pendant Light

    Possini Euro Design White Flower Pendant Light

    Modern pendant lighting and White Cloud Pendant Light

    Possini White Cloud Pendant Light

    Have fun selecting your kitchen lighting while keeping function, scale and style in mind. You're sure to create the look you want for your modern kitchen with any number of different pendant lighting styles out there.

    Images: Plastolux, Cococozy, SF Gate

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