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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • The Cutting-Edge Staircase


    White modern staircase

    The most beautiful thing about design is turning something purely functional into something artistic, like the cutting-edge staircase. The challenge of course is maintaining the functionality and brilliant architects make a hobby out of this task.

    The modern staircase is something so fascinating and unique, like this organic design (above). It features natural-finish wood steps and no rise, resulting in a see-through look that is both fresh and open.

    Reclaimed wood stairs

    This staircase (above) is not only architecturally beautiful, but the use of reclaimed wood creates an industrial-chic statement piece. The use of wood as an architectural material or even as home decor is always a wonderful way to bring nature indoors.

    Stainless steel stairs

    The floating stair is so elegant, especially when designed in stainless steel. Selecting the right finish, whether it's architectural materials, modern lighting or furniture is so important.

    These are just three beautiful staircase designs. If you have the time and especially if you are currently designing your home, take a look around, research local architects.... You are sure to be inspired by how they merge function and design.

    Images: Eestairs, Trendir, Marvel Building

  • Shades of Gray in a Modern Bathroom


    modern square bathtub

    Shades of Gray seems to be the "it" phrase right now among many woman of the world. Although they aren't talking about modern bathrooms, there just might be some similarities. There's something seductive and intimate about raw shades of gray in these bathroom designs. Some warm, some cool, some a bit wild, and some a little rocky. Combined, they create something fueled with an energy that's bound to intrigue you.

    The open-plan modern bathroom (above) uses porcelain wood floor tiles to make the space feel more like a living space, without the maintenance hassle. The frame-less glass shower in the center of the room is like a display case, unobtrusive to the beautiful materials around it. Lastly, the rhinos are a dynamic element, reminding you to appreciate the expansive bounty that surrounds us. "Surround yourself in cool comfort as the rhino does with his mud bath rituals. Again, let the rich abundance and stability of the mother (earth) enfold you and reassure you."

    organic stone walls in modern bathroom

    A sculptural masterpiece was created inside this 250 square meter apartment in Milan. Tiziana Serretta, a gallery owner who has dedicated her life to the arts, wanted to design something that was based on the principle of mobility and weightlessness. Such a dichotomy here, a cave-like design that looks so massive and solidbut has been made with such innovative materials that are nearly weightless.

    The smooth, solid white corian bathtub and sinks ground the space. These round, white elements appear to glow just like modern bath lighting as the skylight shines down from above.

    modern freestanding round bathtub

    Shades of gray (above) combine to create so much depth and interest in these custom made walls which are constructed from a mixture of chalk covered in resin, cement powder, chromatic pigments and non-hazardous plastics.  

    Concrete Walls indoors

    The strong contrast between rough concrete volumes and smooth white walls (above) add visual interest to this open-plan bathroom with a gorgeous sunken tub. Beautiful in it's simplicity and playful through its use of textures. Glass brings elegance into this sleek, organic design. 

    Combining chrome and glass accents with organic elements in a modern bathroom is a great way to establish the style of the space.

    Image Sources: Cara Valente Studio, Yatzer: The Futuristic Cave House, Yatzer: The Lik Houser

  • Contemporary Organization: String Furniture


    Gray shelving system

    Every modern space needs uniformity and one of the simplest ways to achieve contemporary organization is with stylish shelving. String Furniture offers lots of styles, perfect for any aesthetic. Their "string" system is minimal and open, ideal for adding decor to your walls without creating clutter.

    This sleek gray system (above) would be perfect for a loft with concrete floors. You could choose to keep the decor simple and neutral or give the space a color pop with some colorful accents or artwork.

    Walnut shelving

    This clean white system (above) with natural walnut shelves and doors is perfect for maintaining an open and fresh design. Natural wood furniture and rich metallic accents are perfect for white spaces.

    White shelving system

    Your home isn't the only place to execute cool organization skills. An office or studio can always using shelving so why not make it look good? When it comes to wall units, experimenting with uplights is always a fun idea and great way to highlight your decor.

    Dark modern walls

    There's no need to feel like you have to keep your walls bare and your furniture minimal in order to create a truly modern interior. However, organization is an important factor. Keeping your displays uniform and methodical is important. There's lots of great products out there to help you achieve your ideal modern space.

    Images: String Furniture

  • Modern Design at NYC's Wanted Design


    Contemporary commercial LED lighting

    Designers, architects, interior designers, craftsmen, editors, manufacturers and more converged in New York last weekend (May 18-21) for Wanted Design at the historic Terminal Store in Chelsea. Focused on the exchange of ideas rather than products, the event found people engaged in lively practice and discussion throughout the weekend: students designed modern lighting fixtures, editors and designers engaged in a robust conversation series, and workshops and exhibitions focused on the creative and clever usage of materials new and old.

    A highlight was Lightfalls (pictured above), a lighting installation between collaborators 3M Architectural Markets and designer Todd Bracher. The exhibition describes itself as a "high-end lighting installation that capitalizes on the laws of physics to distribute light from a single LED source over a dramatically, large space." 

    The complex symmetry of the Lightfalls installation is indicative of a trend in lighting fixtures toward eye-catching geometries, as in this pendant light (below) from the Possini Euro Collection.

    modern pendant chandelier

    Possini Euro Planet Chrome and Black Pendant Chandelier

    Lighting was clearly high on the agenda at this year's event. The Design Students Challenge found students from six design schools (three from France and three from the United States) creating designer lighting fixtures under the constraints of using one material per design, one conceptual tool (computer software), and one fabrication tool (a laser cutting machine). Core 77 magazine, the media sponsor for the contest, posted photos of the contest on their website. 

    Contemporary Design Student Lighting

    While most of the completed student designs landed squarely within established contemporary idioms, they were cleverly constructed and aesthetically refined. It was also clear as one looked over the results: contemporary chandeliers always make an excellent focal point for the room.

    Manhattan Neon, who maintains a studio in the same building as Wanted Design, continued the trend toward lighting by providing three neon workshops during the event. It was great to see a throwback medium like neon used in a contemporary environment.  

    modern neon lighting

    There were furniture design studios, vendors, technology providers, even a boutique bicycle designer on hand. All told, the event brought in approximately 50 exhibitors and sponsors and, while there was a commercial focus to some of the exhibition booths, this was very much a place to meet, exchange and create. This playful, collaborative environment bodes well for the event's future success, and I look forward to seeing even better things to come next year.

    Images: WantedDesign 

  • Modern Infinity Pools Take You Over the Edge


    desert infinity pool

    Summer is finally here and I hope you are all having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! If you're not lucky enough to spend your time lounging in a fabulous modern infinity pool, let us help you imagine that you are. Whether you are spending your time in the desert (above)...

    In the city...

    Infinity Pool with city views

    In the mountains...

    modern infinity edge pool in mountains

    In the suburbs...

    backyard infinity pool

    Or in the Hollywood Hills...let your imagination take you there.

    Infinity Pool with baja

    And remember modern outdoor furniture and outdoor lighting can help you turn your exterior into a modern outdoor oasis even without the pool!

    Images: The Construction Zone, Wanken 1, Wanken 2,  Fubiz,  The Bowery Group

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