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LBL Batons Satin Nickel Suspension Pendant Light
“When lighting looks like art, you know you have a winner!”
- D. Shultz, Interior Designer
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The Art Story
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This week we celebrate the birthday of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, "father of modern architecture." In observance of his brilliance, let's take a look at his most notable accomplishments.
Crown Hall (above), located in Chicago, was completed in 1956 during Mies's tenure as director of Illionois Institute of Technology's Department of Architecture. This design features industrial simplicity with exposed steel frame construction.
Farnsworth House is a one-room weekend retreat built in Plano, Illinois. It is brilliantly designed to be one with the landscape. The glass panels and white painted steel construction are so simple and elegant, it's the perfect design aesthetic for a weekend home.
The Barcelona Pavilion was completed in 1929 for the International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. Seamlessly merging structure with water, Mies selected marble, red onyx and travertine to create this stunning structure. Such extravagant materials contrasts this beautifully simple structure.
In addition to Mies's profound accomplishments in architecture, he also designed modern furniture and his furniture is just as well known. For example, the Barcelona chair and ottoman (below). This noteworthy pair, inspired by ancient campaign and folding chairs, is made of steel with a chrome finish and leather upholstery. Like the Barcelona Pavilion, it was also designed for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. Mies designed much more sleek furniture which has been inspiring furniture design ever since, such as stylish ergonomic office chairs.
Tuesday would have been Mies's 126th birthday.
Images: Wikipedia, Paul J. White
My love for acrylic in interior design started with a stay at the Hudson Hotel in New York a few years ago and it has stayed with me ever since. I think acrylic is the perfect contrast against natural materials. It adds life and light without being too heavy or dominating. It's a perfect element of the unexpected whether it be clear or colored. It mixes perfectly with modern interiors and contrasts beautifully with traditional. Here are some amazing interiors to prove it!
The clear acrylic chairs work well with the natural elements of this kitchen and breakfast room. By being visually unobtrusive they make the space feel larger and the modern lighting make a statement.
The fireplace is the main focus of this space and the acrylic chairs do a great job of complimenting that. I love how the fireplace can be seen through the chair at the end of the table. Mixing transparent orange chairs and clear chairs is also a nice touch in this modern organic space.
This table let's the chrome lighting make the statement and let's the floors shine through. It really brings light into this rich setting.
The sleek and smoky outdoor dining chairs are perfect in this slightly rustic setting that opens up to the exterior.
This black acrylic chair can stand all on it's own. It is the perfect accent in any space.
Images: Hudson Hotel, DecorPad, Arkimom, Design Indulgences
Concrete is the trendy product for home building if you want that modern urban-style aesthetic. It's a very raw material that provides clean lines and an open canvas for any home decor and furniture you decide to pair it with. Would you be surprised to learn that this living room wall (above) is not concrete but a wall covering? This image below is another style in the same Tom Haga Concrete Collection.
If you do have the option of selecting the architectural materials for your home or condo during the building stages, this super modern bathroom is a great design idea. The typographical screening concept paired with the concrete is also a really cool idea.
These tiles from Daniel Ogassian are a great option whether you're designing from scratch or just re-designing a single room. They can help you add concrete in a big way or just a little corner.
This ottoman gives the appearance of concrete without the heaviness. It's constructed out of clay with a slate finish made to look like concrete... perfect near a side chair in an urban-style loft.
Slate Finish Round Clay Ottoman
This floor lamp has a super fun and modern style, but also has a chic detail... the base is finished with a concrete paint to give it the effect without the extra weight.
Rico Espinet Brushed Nickel Floor Lamp
So, whether you're building your home from scratch and you have input on the architectural materials.... or you just want to add a little detail, there's lots of fun ways to incorporate concrete into your urban-style decor.
Images: Tom Haga, Daniel Ogassian, Apartment Therapy
Products (from left to right): Artemis High Pure Red Ceiling Fan, Jonathan Adler Capri Red Accent Lamp, Sao Paulo Ribbed Metallic Red Round Wall Mirror, Lights Up! Woody Pickled Red Dupioni Silk Shade Floor Lamp, Set of 4 Zuo Juju Red Outdoor Dining Chairs
The allure of cranberry red can be coughed up to its association with excitement. Red is daring, bold, and just plain fun. My favorite use of red in interiors is when it is used as a stand alone color against a very neutral or white background (as shown in the bathroom picture below). Cranberry red also mixes well with other colors such as teals, violets, and light yellows. If you want to just dip your toe in the red color scheme, go for red light fixtures and home decor versus painting an entire wall.
The bright red ceiling fan would look awesome over a modern bed. The red table lamp adds a pop of color and excitement to living room decor. I would love to see the Sao Paulo metallic red mirror used over a side table in an entryway. I have major tripod floor lamp envy and would die to purchase the red floor lamp for my home office. Jazz up your outdoor dining experience with bright red dining chairs. Which cranberry red home accent are you craving?
Spring has sprung and for some of you so has your green thumb! For many urban planners, rooftop gardens are a high priority. Not only for their decorative impact, but for their environmental impact as well. Roof gardens can reduce the overall heat absorption of the builiding drastically which in turn could reduce smog and energy consumption. They are also beautiful places to relax and escape from the daily chaos. Like your own little oasis perched high above the city. Even if it's not the rooftop, many condos and apartments in urban settings are creating gorgeous backyard gardens so you don't feel like you're missing out on the green. Here's a few of my favorite rooftop and urban gardens.
This one is truly picture perfect and I can just hear the water running. The bamboo against the exposed brick wall keeps the urban element alive.
So lush and so green. The vertical green wall really wraps around you to seclude you and leaves the sky open for you. I would definitely be gazing at the stars as I lie on those soft cushions and feel the warmth of the outdoor firepit.
The vertical green wall layered with the large potted trees is a great play on scale. The low outdoor seating make this a perfect place to relax with your friends and family.
This is the garden for the one with the green thumb. The built-in planters do a great job of dividing this large rooftop into smaller, more intimate sections.
The wood benches built into the perimeter planters make these rooftops very cozy and the gardening very accessible. I can just imagine the aromas of the fresh herbs and flowers. I'm ready for the rooftop garden parties to begin!
Here's a few great pieces to start furnishing your urban garden with. The natural colors of this palette will really contrast nicely with the bold greens, bright flowers, and natural woods.
1. Outdoor Floor Lamp 2. Outdoor Daybed 3. Zuo Delight Outdoor Dining Chair 4. Slate Fiberclay Ottoman 5. Souzani Circles Outdoor Rug
Images: Home-Designing, Curbed, Urban Style Vibes, Better Homes and Gardens, Remodelista
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