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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • The Modern Home: Dutch Style

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    Modern Home

    Dutch architects Bas ten Brinke and Carina Nilsson designed this modern home with edge, literally. We approve of this Nordic-style villa's clean lines and beautiful landscape, giving nod to Nordic customs and architecture traditions.

    Modern Hallway

    The entire home takes full advantage of the beautiful views with entire walls made up of windows. Not only is it great for taking in the pretty scenery, but the home feels very open and spacious. In the top photo you can see the ceiling even gets higher toward the main living room.

    Modern Living Room

    The contemporary interiors feature cool concrete floors and warm wood ceilings. Selecting just a few pieces of stylish seating and modern pendant lighting would help you achieve this look.

    Contemporary Decor

    Possini Euro Design Aluminum Lotus Pendant, Zuo Cobble White Swivel Chair, Possini Euro White Marble Base Arc Floor Lamp, Zuo Sabbatical Coffee Table

    Images: Trendir

  • Modern Decor and Italian Architecture Meet at Byblos Art Hotel

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    Modern Decor

    The Byblos Art Hotel in Verona, Italy is both a contemporary art museum as well as a 5-star hotel. Traditional Italian villa on the outside and over-the-top modern madness on the inside. Stepping inside is sure to be a wake-up for your senses. The hotel is filled with modern works from the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Anish Kapoor, Beatriz Millar, Damien Hirst, and Cindy Sherman. This contrast of modern art and 18th century architecture creates a jaw dropping statement that will have you mesmerized!

    18th Century Italian Architecture

    The 18th century building, Villa Amista, is the work of architect Ignazio Pellegrini while the inventive interiors were created by Allessandro Mendini. Let's take a look inside the minds of these magical designers.

    Yellow Modern Decor

    The presidential suite is a cheerful place, combining sculptural mid-century modern chairs in bold yellow that contrast with the white surroundings. Perfect for any modern space, transparent acrylic chairs glow like light sculptures when the sun hits them.  

    Modern Bedroom Decor

    How happy would you be to wake up in this room?! The vibrant colors and fabrics modernize the ornate furniture. Ultra modern floor lamps and table lamps can add even more fun to an already colorful space.  

    Modern Wall Art

    This room (above) is said to be like entering into the designer's imagination. Their mind feels organized and vibrant to me.  

    Modern Lighting

    The Junior Suite (above) is filled with furniture from Mendini, Ron Arad, and Philippe Starck. Colorful modern wall sconces make a statement in any modern space, even in a room as dramatic as this one!  

    Damien Hirst

    The Damien Hirst artwork (above): bold fabrics, and ornate furniture...what combinations!

    Beatriz Miller

    This work by Beatriz Miller (above) should have the art lover in you calling to make a reservation...

    Images: Design Milk, Haute Design

  • Modern Wall Art: Shantell Martin Draws On Everything

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    black and white decor

    The London based artist Shantell Martin, who is known for her stream-of-consciousness drawings, decided to create some modern wall art in her own Brooklyn bedroom and ended up make a big statement. Although she didn't set out to cover the entire room, she ended up covering the walls, ceilings, and furniture with her oh-so-cool freestyle line drawings. When her friends invited Ms. Martin into their home they knew she was going to be drawing on her walls and there would be nothing they could do. So they made just one request, "Don't touch the hallway."

    black and white illustrations

    You will see the words "Who Are You" and "Who Am I" repeat a lot throughout her modern wall art displays. 

    “When invited to talk at conferences and festivals about digital drawing or creativity, I like to start with showing a photograph of my younger self with my brother and sisters. In the photograph I’m about nine years old with a little Afro, brown skin and Michael Jackson shorts standing next to my very blond and blue-eyed brother and four sisters, this is the beginning my story.” -Shantell Martin

    illustrated walls

    The stories even continue onto the door knob. So far, Ms. Martin has used about 25 pens and I think it's safe to assume she's a pretty good customer over at Blick Art Supplies!

    shadow frame artwork

    One of her own drawings is framed and layered over the rest of her wall art. Martin says this is "to give it space to breathe."

    found objects

    Uncommon objects on common grounds, that's where a layer of gesso can take you. Bottles found on the street or out-and-about are covered in gesso to make them uniform and then used as a canvas for Martin to create her art.

    modern workspace

    Compact spaces with small modern desks are not normally what you would find in an artist's studio, but Martin works hard in her small office. She is in the process of planning a one-woman show later this year. With her work at such places as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the megaclubs of Tokyo and Russia, and on the enormous screens at Shibuya and Harajuku crossings in Tokyo, you can only imagine how incredible this upcoming show will be!

    red shelving

    The furniture in her quaint little bedroom doesn't interfere with the black and white line drawings covering the walls of her room. Like in this space, bright red accents make a perfect splash of color! Simple open shelving displays the painted bottles and found objects while bold, black and white striped bedding creates a the grounding element.  

    vintage toys

    These toys sitting on the floor are just waiting to be gessoed.

    custom denim

    You can see Shantell Martin's work in a variety of places. She collaborated with 3 x 1 to create custom jeans on site in their denim atelier.

     illustrated bottle

    I'm excited to see more innovative work from this amazing artist... I would love to see a line of wallpaper or fabrics from her! Crossing my fingers!

    Images: Shantell Martin

  • Happy [Modern] 4th of July!

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     white pendant light

    Wishing you all a Happy 4th of July! Whatever it is you choose to do just remember to have fun, relax, and be safe!  

    Spending time with family and friends in the backyard is always one of my favorite ways to spend Independence Day and this outdoor cabana seems perfect for it!  

     geometric architecture

    Za Bor Architects developed this project for a popular TV show called, Dachniy Otvet, meaning The Village Talks. Unfortunately the TV show was not filmed at my home... I will have to find an equally cool backyard to celebrate Independence Day.   

     modern white dining table

    The concept behind this reality show intrigues me and this architecture definitely brings new meaning to outdoor cabana. The show invites designers and architects to re-design parts of a home for selected home-owners that agreed to participate in the show. These home-owners wanted somewhere to spend more quality time outdoors. The white tinted wood creates fourteen planes that are attached together, forming this nautical shape. The result is an outdoor structure, perfect for BBQ'ing.

    Red lighting fixtures, or any color for that matter, bring so much dynamic energy into any dining area while modern white dining chairs keep the space very clean, allowing nature and colorful accents to stand out.  

     outdoor kitchen

    The second part to the structure houses the outdoor kitchen. The char-grill is made of brick and steel and is sure to cook up a killer BBQ!  

     modern outdoor kitchen

    BBQ until the sun goes down, then turn on the modern outdoor lighting. This sculpture is sure to turn into a artistic light installation after sundown...

     architectural volumes

    The architect’s concept for the construction is "transparency and openness which inspires a contact between man and nature".

    Hope you get to spend some time outside today... Happy Independence Day from the ESL team!

    Images: Do You Love Where You Live

  • Homeboy Industries: Providing Second Chances

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    Homegirl Cafe

    All last week we provided you with our team's recaps and experiences at the Dwell on Design event. We wrapped it all up yesterday with Annie's post about the Sander Architect's Green House. Today, I'd like to start back at the beginning and talk about what I discovered on my way to the event...

    I had to pick up a friend at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and then head over to the convention center not too far away for the Dwell on Design event. Since L.A. traffic is always unpredictable, I arrived about thirty minutes early and was wondering where I would wait. I drove maybe 100 yards past Union Station and found a large, modern looking structure with the word "bakery" on it. Perfect.

    Mayer of Los Angeles

    Not only did I have the best powder-sugar almond crousant, but I made an incredible discovery. Homeboy Industries is a non-profit organization, founded by a Jesuit priest Father Greg Boyle, which helps former gang members and recently incarcerated youth rebuild their future and their life. It is the largest gang intervention program in the country.

    It provides programs designed to meet multiple needs, such as counseling, tattoo removal and education. There are also four businesses that serve as job-training sites, such as the bakery where I stopped in that morning. The first thing I noticed when I walked in, besides the fact that it was packed, was the energy level... It was so positive and it was everywhere.

    Father Greg Boyle

    Through various charities and profits earned from the bakery and cafe (which just sold their first products to the Ralphs grocer chain), Father Greg Boyle provide and his organization are able to provide second chance opportunities, most importantly hope for change.

    For more information you can visit their website

    Images: DB, KCET, Homeboy Industries

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