modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Regina-Andrew Arc21" Metal Wall Sconce
“Love the polished finish on this light. The swing-arm style is perfect for the bedside.”
- T. Jackson, Interior Designer
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My Modern Met
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We talk a lot here about Mid-century Modern, posting a lot of cool images on our Facebook page too. But what does it take to achieve this look? What are the elements, besides super cool architecture? Let's dive in...
To give you the simple definition, Mid-Century Modern is just that...mid-century. It describes the period from 1933 to 1965 and the developments in architectural, interior, product and graphic design that took place during that time. Today, we enjoy pieces from that time, some authentic while others are inspired-by pieces.
1. Arteriors Macay Pendant, 2. Zuo Terracotta Leatherette Sofa, 3. Mesh Dining Chair, 4. Wilco Dining Table, 5. Basque Steel Arc Floor Lamp, 6. Zuo Heywood Bench
Function was important in mid-century designs, with an emphasis placed specifically on targeting the needs of the average American family. Each of these pieces above function perfectly without being bulky and using unnecessary space. They're currently the most widely used pieces when designing a modern home, demonstrating that classics persevere. You can design an entire home using Mid-Century Modern furniture and accessories or you can just sprinkle them in as modern accents.
This living room (above) is furnished in authentic Mid-Century Modern style, right down to the Barcelona chair and wood floors. Architectural materials add character and can go a long way toward creating your design aesthetic.
The relative of the Barcelona chair is the bench (above). This space nails Mid-Century Modern style on the head, while also maintaining a good mix of materials.
Pairing modern items together, but mixing materials (above) is important and helps your home look collected rather than staged. A cute cat helps too.
Designing your home or apartment with your own modern style is fun, but knowing a little about the history of modern design is even more fun!
Image: House Plans, Houzz, SF Girl by Bay
Audrey Hepburn's little black Givenchy dress that was worn in the opening of Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of the most iconic clothing items in history. It has become such an integral part of every woman's wardrobe, such that you probably can't name any woman that doesn't own a little black dress. The perfect choice of accessories can turn this dress into an elegant evening gown, but the design of the dress is all about simple form.
How do you bring these features into your home? It can be as simple as adding a beautiful chandelier. The chandelier (below) has a very simple form but the sweeping strands of delicate chains drape to create a look that resembles the strands of pearls adorning Audrey Hepburn's neck.
Sweeping Chain 6-Light Black Chandelier
The gentle curves and shiny black marble of the accent table (below) would add elegance to any room. The simplicity of form and polished nickel details combine to create a striking side table that becomes timeless in any setting.
Arteriors Home Aries Polished Nickel & Marble Table
These pearls trace the form of the Hepburn's dress with perfection. A simple silhouette shows off her wonderful shoulders and defines her curves.
This stylish, bold dining chair (below) is delicate yet sturdy. It does a great job of showing off curves, much like the Givenchy dress. Modern dining chairs fit into any setting from the outdoors to in, upgrading even the side of a bed when used as a nightstand.
Set of 4 Zuo Anime Black Dining
Adding a decorative wall mirror into your space can add a touch of sophistication, much like a pearl or diamond necklace can add to a classic dress. The perfect finishing touches can transform your space from casual to elegant in an instant.
Silver Ice 34" High Wall Mirror
Let's all try to recreate a little bit of Audrey Hepburn's style and that little black dress in our homes! It's a simple elegance that will be loved for years!
Whether you have kids at home looking for summer projects or you just love DIY's, we found a great idea for you! This driftwood, airplant wall art is modern, easy to make, and very cool.
All you need is a great piece of driftwood, a few airplants, hammer, sawtooth hangers, and nails. Make sure there are at least a couple flat surfaces on your piece of driftwood so it can hang it from the wall.
While you're cleaning your piece of driftwood, soak and clean your airplants then set aside and let them dry.
Find two flat spots (depending how long your driftwood is) and use small nails to secure the sawtooth hangers. Place a couple larger nails in the wall and hang your driftwood. Since it naturally has curves, you don't have to worry about it looking perfectly straight.
Once you hang it, you can carefully place your airplants anywhere you like, making sure to balance them out along the entire piece of driftwood.
The best part about this modern DIY accessory is that it could also be a beautiful memory, depending on where and how you found your driftwood... Like, a romantic stroll on the beach or play day on the beach with the kids!
Watch the tutorial video at Craftzine. And if you don't know where to source air plants, here's a fun Etsy shop.
Images (and idea): Craftzine
Many memories are made vacationing at a lake in the summertime, and often times they are too good to ever stop experiencing. Becca and Doug Worpie feel this exact way about the rugged coast of Georgian Bay where they've made a trip to every year of their life. The environment is rough and unpredictable, but "this place is my heaven" says Becca.
So, building a summer home here was their dream, but not as simple as one may expect. When they ventured out and stumbled upon the U-shaped island with a three acre piece of rock in Pointe au Baril, they also found two decrepit cottages and a boat house. They knew there was a lot of work ahead, but they also knew there was something extremely special about it.
This wasn't the type of job you could hand your contractor sketches for, they had to get much more creative than that. So the couple called upon architects Michael Meredith and his partner Hilary Sample of MOS, a young interdisciplinary practice (then) based in Toronto to take on this project. They proposed a series of buildings that formed a "necklace" around the island; the main cottage and a series of smaller cabins that could house all the overnight guests that wanted to invite in the summertime With multiple cabins, modern outdoor path lighting would be great to help navigate from cabin to cabin at nighttime.
When building the final structure they wanted to build not just something on the water, but in the water. So they designed a two story building supported by massive pontoons that was fabricated off site and floated back into place. A modest boathouse now sits inside the cove and has become the family's main summer headquarters. The boat slip and sauna are down below, while upstairs there are two bedrooms, an office, gallery, and of course incredible views.
The bridges branches off from the second story and connects the main house to the other cabins.
Although the exterior of the house is clad in untreated cedar allowing it to weather naturally, the interior is a very modern and clean. The floors and ceiling are treated with Douglas Fir to give you a very warm and cozy feeling in the space. Modern wishbone chairs surround the mid-century dining table. The art is bold and colorful, creating a very playful vibe in the space.
The modern kitchen is neutral in tone, but the clean modern lines really make a statement. You can tell each and every detail was planned out.
The stunning view is picture perfect. You could sit and stare or go outside and play, either one would be quite pleasurable.
Adding modern benches to any space with a view allows you to take it all in at every angle.
Zuo Heywood Single Natural Bench
The fireplace facade is clad with local granite and allows the bold colors of the artwork to just bounce right off of it. The playful edge comes through once again and reminds you that this place is for having fun with family and friends.
The iroko wood modern bathtub is the perfect element for connecting the interior with nature. Custom designed concrete tiles create texture and contrast to the natural wood elements of the space. After a long day of fun in the sun, i couldn't think of a better way to relax than soaking in the tub and thinking back about all the childhood memories and all the new ones created each day.
Whether you're at your own lake house of not, I truly hope you all are enjoying your summer and creating many memories that are sure to last a lifetime.
You've probably seen the artwork. Clean, stainless steel boxes, stacked one atop the other, lined across the floor or cantilevered from the museum wall. The first time you saw them you asked what they meant. The second time you asked why? The third time you probably just smiled and accepted it.
That's a common reaction to the work of American artist Donald Judd (1928-1994).
Not everyone gets him. Not everyone loves him. Yet his contribution to international Minimalism is second to none.
Judd aspired to create work devoid of compositional hirearchy. More simply put, he created art in which no one single thing catches your eye. It's strikingly egalitarian, and while his artwork has clearly influenced modern art, the principles of his work can also be felt in buildings, desk lamps and furniture designs. Notice the simply stacked squares of this lamp:
Amarillo Silver Accent Table Lamp
It is this beautiful, understated quality of line that defines Judd's work, and it creeps up time and again, whether in his ink-on-paper prints or his site specific installations.
What Judd's art lacks in color or pizzazz is made up for in elegant simplicity. It's this conceptual basis that informs much of today's most celebrated products, from the iPhone to modern furniture designs like these glass nesting tables.
Silhouette Set of 3 Glass and Chrome Nesting Accent Tables
And this is the true beauty of Minimalism - the ability for an object or image to convey more by saying less. What holds true for artwork also holds true for a piece of modern furniture or contemporary architecture.
Donald Judd didn't just master this concept as an artist. He helped define it through his life's work.
Images: The Gorgeous Daily, June Joon Jaxx, Printed Editions, Waymarking
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