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  • Modern Design Elements For a Great Playroom

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    Modern Design

    Remember when a playroom was just a room filled with big, brightly colored plastic toys and lacking any modern design element? Certainly that is not the case these days. Today playrooms are nothing short of stylish and are rooms that fit seamlessly into beautifully decorated homes. 

    If you break down the design elements of a great playroom then I think it comes down to three things:  Function, Fun (quirk) and Style.

    Modern Storage

    This playroom (above) is a great example in that there is great storage (function) with quirky masks on display and ready for play (fun). It also has modern furniture, which lends style to the space.

    Modern Playroom

    To keep the room stylish and appealing to adults try using stylish rugs, contemporary light fixtures, modern seating and storage. The great thing about using these types of pieces is that they can easily be used in other rooms when your little ones out grow a playroom or if you just like to change things around. 

    And don’t assume that playrooms have to be banished to the basement or bonus room. I turned my dining room (below) into a playroom for the time being. When the time comes to give the room it’s original purpose back it’s an easy switch.

    Modern Dining Room

    So go ahead and use those grown up looking chairs and that modern light fixture that you’ve been admiring.  Just mix in some playful art, functional storage and your child’s favorite toys, and you’ll have a playroom that everyone can enjoy.

    images: Emily Henderson, Skona Hem, Elle Décor, La La Lovely

  • Color Combo: Modern Design With Pink + Gray

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    Modern Living Room

    I adore this modern design! The gray with the various shades of pinks and patterns is kind of fantastic. I especially love the mix of styles, very eclectic and chic!

    I love the mid-century style of this chair (below), and unlike a lot of mid-century furniture, it actually looks comfortable! A pink lamp would be perfect along side it. I think any one of these would look amazing in any given space with this chair. The shade of the pink lamps goes just perfectly with the gray chair and they are both solid colors so they are easy to dress up even more.

    Modern Table Lamps

    Annabelle Chair

    1. Rose Apothocary Table Lamp 2. Pink Robert Abbey Lamp 3. Roso Ovo Table Lamp

    The problem is, which to choose? The first lamp has a really interesting shape but is simple enough I think it would be just enough to add character to the room.

    The second lamp is right up my alley. The faceted look is so trendy and cool and I love it! But again, it is simple enough I think it would work really well with the chair and the room they would both go in.

    Now for option number three. This lamp is pretty and simple. I think it could look fantastic with some decorative bowls or vintage items around it. And the chair, you could dress it up with a throw or a pillow or two.

    The options are endless! But the real question is, which lamp goes best with your style?! All three lamps have a similar color and aesthetic, but the final decision lies with you...

    Room Image: Lonny

  • Outfit to Interior: Relaxed + Comfortable

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    Outfit to Interior

    Being both relaxed and comfortable are keys to wardrobe and interior styling! Finding pieces that make you feel like the best version of yourself are worth the time and effort, just ask Ms. Relaxed & Comfortable.

    Modern Wall Lighting

    Hallways, consoles and entries all benefit from a little extra lighting love. Ms. R&C loves the warm bronze and amber glass of the Murray Feiss Wall Sconce for warming up shadowy corners and nooks.
     
    The Nico Bronze Besa Wall Light with its stone gold foil glass lives happily in any reading corner or next to your bed. Our girl has one over each nightstand for when midnight snack cravings strike!

    Modern Entryway

    Warm woods can't help but be welcoming, just like the Daniel Dark Wood Console Table that sits in Ms. Relaxed & Comfortable's entryway. It's a great spot to corral mail, keys, and portable electronics as well as a place to set up a mini bar for entertaining guests. Versatility.

    The same thing holds true for faux bois, in this case the Dark Weegee Table Lamp. The brushed metal legs of this table lamp paired with the dark shade give this lamp a feeling of delicate substantiality that is verycozy indeed.

    Modern Dining Chair

    This set of Laine Wood and Faux Leather Dining Chairs are just asking for a late night chat around the table, fireplace blazing in the near distance. Ms. Relaxed & Cozy like to serve up her signature Hot Toddys while she and her best gals chat away and solve life's puzzles while curled up in these cozy seats.

  • Top Artist Colonies

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    Artist Colonies

    Looking for the next hot spot? Follow the artists. So goes the adage at least that artists are quick to inhabit soon-to-boom neighborhoods. If you look at the world's best art districts and artist colonies, you'll notice a simple trend: once the artists move in to under-utilized places, the cafes, galleries and luxury boutiques are sure to follow. 

    high line chelsea

    Manhattan’s Chelsea district (pictured with the iconic High Line park above) was once a mash-up of rowhouses and tenement housing until high rents in SoHo forced the New York art world to head north.

    For decades, the Marais district of Paris had long been an aristocratic (but sleepy) stronghold of the city. Now home to the Picasso Museum and the Renzo Piano designed Pompidou Center (pictured below), le Marais is an art destination that currently houses many high-end contemporary galleries in its meandering back roads. 

    pompidou center paris

    In Santa Monica, California Bergamot Station is an abandoned rail yard turned art gallery complex:

    bergamot station arts center

    In the early 2000s, Bergamot Station gave way to Chung King Road in Los Angeles’ historic Chinatown (pictured below), as well as the industrial intersection of La Cienega and Washington in Culver City as the go-to West coast art neighborhoods.

    chinatown los angeles galleries

    Across the pond in the real China, 798 Art Zone in Beijing has grown into a vibrant art complex over the past 20 years. Housed in a Bauhaus-inspired factory from the 1950s (pictured below), the art complex grew out of a movement of avant garde artists looking for a place that would draw little scrutiny from the government.

    798 Art Zone Beijing

    Common to most of these revitalized areas is the industrial design aesthetic: raw, repurposed spaces and warehouse-style hanging pendant lights (as in the above picture).

    Lastly, there are art communities that nearly avoid the map altogether. Black Mountain, North Carolina was home to the American (and European ex-pat) avant garde in the first half of the 20th century.

    Santa Fe (part-time home to legendary New Mexico artist Georgia O’Keefe) houses a healthy scene of contemporary museums, art galleries and artists. And Marfa, Texas, is a high-desert mecca for practicing contemporary artists. It’s home to works by Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Claes Oldenburg, as well as the pop-up Prada store (well, sort of) pictured at the top of this post.    

    Images: Maison Gray, Art Observed, Britannica, Dave's Travel Corner, LA Design Festival, Shanghai Focus

  • Cool + Collected 1.22

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    Cool + Collected is our regular Friday post covering modern lifestyle topics from around the globe. You'll find everything from design icon biographies to modern art, photography and architectural surprises. And of course modern design!

    +Now, this is cool architecture design, although only in concept stages still. It's an umbrella that is supposed to protect and regenerate the polar ice caps, helping to keep them cool!

    +Design*Sponge blog has a great series for women trying to start up or maintain small businesses called Biz Ladies. The discussions range from finances to branding, and even social media.

    +Whether you celebrate Easter or not, these metallic gold leaf eggs are super stylish and make for a fun weekend project with the kids. 

    +We love finding cool design all over the place... Check out this office design in Berlin. It's an old factory loft from the 1898, but you would never know looking at the modern interiors. Oh, but the architecture tells all.

    +For all of you lovely ESL Blog subscribers, you might be disappointed with the disolving of Google Reader. May we suggest using Feedly, which is a great alternative and will even transport all your feeds for you.

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