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  • The Modern Lifestyle: California Hipster Neighborhoods

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    North Park, San Diego

    Hipster neighborhoods are those trendy communities boasting the most lauded food trucks and farmers markets, a multicultural blend of residents with eclectic professions, and a booming arts scene.

    Hey, California residents, don't you want to know if you live in one? Or, maybe you're planning a move? Don't worry if you don't live in California, the whole country is full of them! 

    Uptown, Oakland

    North Park, San Diego (top image) is home to Craftsman cottages,cafes and diners. The North Park Theater and the Ray Street Arts District are hubs of creativity for the community.

    Uptown, Oakland (above) made the cut due to its rapid growth in the "cool" category. New restaurants, bars and coffee shops have been opening weekly, with the best farmers markets in the country.

    Mission District, San Francisco

    The Mission District in San Francisco (above) is populated with amazing diversity and has the largest concentration of street art and building murals in the city.

    Silver Lake, Los Angeles

    The Silver Lake community in Los Angeles (above) is made up of a wide range of creatives including graphic designers, actors, artists, etc. But, Silver Lake is also home to some of the most cutting-edge Modernist architecture in North America.

    If you're wondering about other parts of the country, you can read the full article on Forbes.

    Images: Forbes

  • 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

  • Design Loves Art: Gallery Openings

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    Design Loves Art - Gallery Openings

    The name says it all: Design Loves Art. Gallery openings and art walks may be the hot thing to do these days, but at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood,California they have an extra special appeal. Started in 2009 under the directorship of NYC-based curator Helen Varola, the PDC's Design Loves Art program operates with a simple yet brilliant plan: offer art dealers and curators space to show at a sizable discount. 

    Created to a leverage a spate of recession-induced vacancies at the mammoth design center into a locus for L.A.'s vibrant contemporary art scene, Design Loves Art has transformed into a fine art resource for the design community by day and a must-see art walk during the monthly evening openings. 

    Art Walks in Los Angeles

    Since its inception, Design Loves Art has hosted established dealers and young upstarts. Unlike the sexy renovated industrial spaces you'd find in art districts like NYC's Chelsea or Culver City in L.A., the galleries at the PDC are muted by comparison--humble, simple showroom spaces with low ceilings, carpeted or linoleum floors and glass window facades...

    West Hollywood Art Walk

    ...but as I found a few nights ago when I stopped by to catch the gallery openings, its not the physical space but the presentation that counts. Many of the PDC galleries had a more staged atmosphere than one often finds at commercial galleries, by using spotlights and up lights to add a dramatic flair to the work.

    Design Loves Art

    Modernist Steel Sculpture

    Sculpture benefited magnificently from this staged presentation. From Bertil Petersson's minimalist steel ribbon sculptures at Here Is Elsewhere (above), to Flora Kao's breathtaking homage to her grandfather's passing at the brilliantly curated Art-merge (pictured below), installation work was very much the highlight of the night. With both of these artists, the shadows their work threw on the galleries walls was as beautiful as the work itself. Also at Art-merge was Zelda Zinn whose work is pictured at the top of this post).

    Contemporary Art Installation

    Leaving the PDC, I caught the perforated stainless steel post lights outside of the PDC and thought back to some of the sconces Euro Style Lighting offers, because that's just what we do everywhere we go (not really).

     Pacific Design Center Blue Building

    Contemporary Wall Sconces

    George Kovacs Perforated Steel 17" High Wall Sconce (left)Sail Perforated Aluminum 7 3/4" High ADA Outdoor Wall Light (right)

    I won't go so far as to say that perforation always equals perfection, but the polk-a-dot patterns that these sconces throw on nearby surfaces are artwork unto themselves.

    Images: Art-merge

  • Modern Architecture an Architect Would Live In

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    Modern Architecture

    It's always interesting to see how different creatives design their own lives. For example, how fashion stylists dress or which art an artist hangs on their own wall. But, how amazing is it to see the homes that iconic architects designed for themselves?!

    The Eames Home "Case Study House No. 8" (above) became the home and workplace of Charles Eames and his partner and wife Ray.

    Frank Gehry Home

    The Frank Gehry Home in Santa Monica, CA (above) was constructed in 1978. The Gehry Residence may appear a bit tired today, but it remains one of Gehry’s more popular projects

    Casa das Canoas

    Located in Brazil, the home above is "Casa Das Canoas" by Oscar Niemeyer. Originally built in 1953, this modern home remains a major participant in progressive design to this day.

    If we could sneak in and furnish the living room of any of these three homes, this is what we imagine:

    Modern Home Decor

    Possini Euro White Marble Base Arc Floor Lamp, Howard Miller Easton Wall Clock, Zuo Heywood Triple Natural Wood Bench, Zuo Fortress Collection Black Leather Sofa, Zuo Haxby Walnut and Glass Modern Coffee TableIkat Print Orange Throw Pillow, Small Glacier Glass White VaseSmoke Velvet Square Pillow, Laine Wood and Faux Leather Dining Chairs

    If you could design your own home, what would it look like? We'd love to help with your modern furniture and lighting!

    Images: Design Crave, Sunrise Musics

  • Wood Art Panels - Decorating The Modern Way

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    Wood Panels

    Infused veneer is an amazing new collection of art wood panels from companies like B+ N Industries. There are hundreds of innovative and unique graphics that are infused on a variety of wood species, such as maple, cherry, and walnut. Each panel is 48" x 96" and is great for creating dramatic walls in restaurant or retail design, but can also be an amazing accent in your own home.

    The "Shanghai" wood art above look amazing when mixed with bold red chairs and accessories. Try mixing this panel with a red chandelier and add drama into any space!

    Modern Red Chandelier

    ASTI RED GLASS 31 3/4-INCH-W CHANDELIER LIGHT

    Americana Wood Art Panel

    A classic "American flag" panels would work so well in many applications. Can't you just see these cladding the wall of  your nearby Levi's store. Mix these panels with industrial lighting and you've got the feel of an old General Store.  

    Industrial Metal Table Lamp

    INDUSTRIAL CAGE EDISON BULB RUST METAL TABLE LAMP

    Graffiti Art Wood Panels

    We know that graffiti artist in you has always wanted to write on the walls, but we also know most of us don't have the skills that these artists do. If you want to add that modern urban edge into your space these graphic graffiti panels are the perfect way to do so. Mix the panels with modern black pendant lighting and the space is sure to be a show stopper.

    Modern Black Pendant

    POSSINI EURO PLANET CHROME AND BLACK PENDANT CHANDELIER

    Vintage Frames

    The Antique Silhouette Collection in Old Frames is set off with a classic mid-century modern chaise and leather travel duffel in the image above. If you want to add a bit more glitz and glam into the space incorporate an elegant pendant light. The mixture of vintage and glam is a timeless look that could be perfect in a new intimate lounge.  

    Glam Pendant Light

    ARTCRAFT CLAREMONT BLACK 23" WIDE OVAL NICKEL CHANDELIER

    I'm really looking forward to seeing more and more applications of the wood art panels. Do you want to really get your creative adrenaline flowing? Check out the entire collection of architectural panels right here!

    Images: B + N Industries

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