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  • Design Matters: Recounting Dwell on Design 2013

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    Dwell on Design 2013

    After a weekend full of exhibition booths, parties and presentations from the 2013 Dwell on Design event at the Los Angeles Convention Center, it's clear that we're entering a golden era for design. Recent advances in consumer technology, couple with materials and production innovation of the last century, have transformed design from a consumptive to an active process. In fact, anyone who has ever opened a computer and manipulated a font has engaged in an act of design. And in that respect, as people look increasingly to solve more problems than they make through innovative and creative thinking, there's one thing that's clear: design matters.

    With that in mind, here are a few takeaways from the 2013 Dwell on Design event:

    1. Design is Democratic

    2013 Dwell on Design

    During his Friday presentation of product design, Donald Strum, principal of product design for Michael Graves Design Group, said it best: "Design is democratic." He went on to illustrate that principles of good design--functionality, sustainability, durability, beauty--are being applied at the retail level across the country. Exhibitors and presenters throughout the event seemed to embody these fundamental principles.

    2. Design is Interactive 

    Homeless Shelter Kits

    Artist Tanya Aguiniga, in conjunction with the United Way, PATH and Dwell, offered show-goers the chance to help assemble homeless shelter move-in kits (containing tables, chairs, textiles and art) on the spot (pictured above). Meanwhile, the fair's first-ever Pinterest showcase featured ten winning mood board creations. We're at an unprecedented moment in history in which more people than ever have both the tools and the time to create.

    3. Design is Colorful

    Colorful Chairs and Murals

    Bold color is the name of the game. A live mural painting project and handfuls of colored chairs seemingly everywhere were among the many dramatic pops of color throughout the event.

    4. Design is Reclaimed

    Living Home Showhouse 2013

    From the reclaimed wood siding on the Living Home showhouse to the recycled plastic modern chairs from Emeco, design has clearly moved from "sustainable" as an abstraction to sustainable as action. At Dwell on Design, there was a stronger focus than ever on how design could have a net zero impact on resources, from waste to energy consumption. 

    What's most exciting about the 2013 Dwell on Design event is that this overarching concept of design morality--using design to increase social well being while reducing environmental impact--is clearly being embraced across the board by the design community.

    Lastly, on our way out, we caught up with Koncept Lighting to get a sneak peek of their next innovation in LED lighting, a yet-to-be-named wood and metal task light that's beautifully elegant in and should be available in late 2013. We snapped a few photos, but we're keeping those to ourselves until they hit the store shelves.

    Images: Euro Style Lighting, Los Angeles Times

  • Get the Look: Stylish Outdoor Lighting

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    Stylish Outdoor Lighting

    With the arrival of Summer everyone is enjoying more days and nights outdoors. As the weather grows warmer, we’ll be spending the majority of our nights outdoors for casual dinners at home, cocktails parties on the deck or summertime soirees surrounded by friends and family.

    When designing outdoor spaces don’t forget the detail of outdoor lighting. This can extend your time into the evening hours. You wouldn’t want the party to end because you can’t see the person across the table from you.

    I’ve put together a round up of my favorites outdoor lanterns that can work in almost any home.

    Outdoor Lanterns

    1. Franklin Iron Works Iron 17-Inch-H Outdoor Hanging Light 2. Milo Brass 15 1/2-Inch-H Robert Abbey Outdoor Pendant 3. Casa Mirada 19 3/4-Inch-H Franklin Iron Works Outdoor Light 4. Milo Patina Nickel 20-Inch-H Robert Abbey Outdoor Wall Light 5. Hickory Point 17 3/4" High Hanging Outdoor LED Light 6. Oasis Bronze 20 1/2-inch-H Quoizel Hanging Outdoor Light

    Images: Domino Magazine, Brabourne FarmStyle Me Pretty, Stephanie Hogue

  • Design Spotlight: June 2013

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    Design Spotlight

    Design Spotlight is our regular monthly post covering modern design + 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!

    + We attended Dwell on Design last week, here's our recap of the awesome event. 

    + You've got to see this Photoshop prank at a bus stop. It's not mean, but rather extremely creative. Everyone comes away smiling. 

    + Cool designs and even cooler parenting via this shop on Etsy.

    + Here's some very cool photography that bends reality...  (Fun fact: same designers behind the cool bus stop prank!)

    + For all you avid travelers who love cool design, here's a map where you can scratch off where you've been. It's like a design challenge!

  • Decorating with Patterns in Your Modern Bedroom

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    Modern Bedroom

    One of my favorite spaces to decorate is the modern bedroom. It seems that the sky's the limit when decorating this space. It’s also a very important space to decorate because it’s where most of your time is spent. And though you may be sleeping for most of that time, you need to be sleeping in a comfortable, serene space.

    Bedroom Decor

    One trend that I’ve been seeing a lot lately is adding a little pattern to the bed, layered over white or neutral bedding. This look is great because you can play around with it and you’re not bound to the look. It’s easy to switch it up. Above we a cross blanket draped over simple white bedding.

    Light pastel hues are also a huge trend right now. It’s the perfect, soothing palette for the bedroom. Pair these colors with greys, whites and creams for a delicious palette! Accent pillows are a great way to add these colors.

    Eclectic Bedroom

    In this bedroom space (above), patterns have been layered over one another to create a whimsical, playful room. Everything about this room is fun, and it totally works!

    Wood Headboard

    Here is another layered approach. They’ve places a southwest inspired blanket on top of neutral gray bedding. The colors in the blanket allow the art piece to pop. And it all mixes so well with the wood tones.

    Happy sleeping!

    Images: Apartment TherapyGimmii, Mr Jason Grant, Ghostly Ferns

  • James Turrell: Light and Space Art

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    Light and Space Art

    As one of the defining members of the Light and Space movement that originated in Los Angeles in the 1960s, James Turrell is an American artist whose work plays with the relationship—the idioms, clichés, oppositions—of light within space.

    By using light projection, apertures in ceilings and walls, and even skywriting, Turrell creates work that has been hailed as profound, elemental and meditative.

    James Turrell Guggenheim

    With a bi-coastal retrospective taking place now, the veteran artist’s work couldn't be more current. At the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Turrell bathes Frank Lloyd Wright’s un-ending spiral rotunda in a variety of hues (pictured above).

    At LACMA, Turrell’s installations (pictured below) are more rectangular, saturating space in light to such a degree that the movement of museum visitors (rather than the artist's illuminated rooms) become the subject of the work.   

    Turrell LACMA Installation

    James Turrell LACMA

    Turrell has also done a series of residential commissions. The residential siting of these works gets up thinking about how use light artistically, not just functionally, in the home space. For this, we turn to the Tono floor lamp from Koncept: 

    LED multicolor lamp

    Koncept Tono Contemporary Floor Lamp

    The Tono caught our attention at the recent Dwell on Design show. The 48 1/2 inch high Tono uses adjustable LEDs, allowing it to cycle through a rainbow of colors or hold on a single color to match or establish the ambiance of any given room.

    For a more hands-on project, use under cabinet lights for something besides cabinets. Tuck an easy-to-install tape light kit behind bed headboards or book shelves to give the furniture the appearance of floating against the wall. These kits come with a remote control allowing you to adjust the colors as desired.

    Colored Tape Light

    Color 16.4-Foot LED Tape Light Kit with Remote Control

    Not everyone will have the time, budget or vision of James Turrell, but that shouldn't preclude you from using light to adjust ambiance of your space. And if the above options are too much for your taste, go with the time-tested mood-maker: simply outfit a candleholder with a scented candle, grab a book of matches, and light.

    Images: Architect Magazine, Artsy

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