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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Las Vegas Architecture: Circa Now

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    modern hotel architecture

    We're in Vegas today for the Las Vegas Market and we hope to bring back lots of inspiration for you. In honor of our trip, we thought we would profile some modern Las Vegas architecture.

    We've all seen Vegas architecture develop from the days when The Flamengo was the new hot spot (at least in photos) to today's design eye candy. Case in point, the pool deck and cafe at the new City Center's Aria!

    modern outdoor patio

    We'll make sure to at least stop by and see this architecture up close. If it looks this cool in photographs, imagine...

    modern pool cabana

    The interiors of the cabanas are extremely private and appear to have full service attendance. Plenty of modern outdoor furniture is the key for comfortable Summertime lounging and ceiling fans never hurt.

    modern pool bar

    Hope you're all having a great Monday, even if you're not lounging by a super cool pool bar on stylish bar stools.

    Images: Moonward

  • Atlanta Retail Design: Make a Wish

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    Retail Design

    Shopping for shoes in Atlanta is an experience in and of itself, but the designers at Established Architecture have proven that retail design will make a huge impact on your experience. The redesign of Wish, a very hip Atlanta shoe boutique, has allowed the store to keep it's urban streetwear credibility while bringing in high-fashion labels. Monthly sales have increased 400% since launch. Design is an investment with a good return when it's done right.

     Modern Library

    From the outside you would never know the gorgeous experience that awaits you as step down the stairs into the basement... The white glowing resin boxes make a huge statement while drawing your eyes to the vibrant displays. The shoes are perched on top like works of art, making this destination a style-lovers emporium.  

     Innovative Shelving

    Undercabinet lighting is perfect for illuminating products, but also decor items in the home as well. Surrounding the lit shelving, walls are lined with books, perfectly placed and piled. Hopefully, hipster shoppers will make the connection between stye and well-read. It's a brilliant display concept, don't you think?!

     Plywood Walls

    The bright and cheery upstairs also demonstrates very innovative design. The surrounding raw plywood creates a calming feel, allowing the displays and clothing to really stand out. Clusters of mini-pendant lights are perfect for creating special lighting effects.

     Sculptural Hanging Display

    Custom hanging rods and shelves line the walls in a clever and sculptural way. They create visual interest, but are not so overpowering that they take away from the goods on display.

    A well planned and executed design is a huge part of the retail experience (and the shop's sales apparently). So if you happen to be in the planning stages, remember that investment in design can generate a huge return!

    Images: Established

  • Cool + Collected 1.2

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    Temporary Tattoo

    +Want to get a tattoo, but can't commit? Tattly offers temporary tattoos with style. These aren't your ordinary kids tattoos from years ago...

    +Richard Branson discusses the importance of design in branding over on Cool Hunting.

    +Not your typical Mexican getaway retreat.... We just couldn't get enough of this modern home in Jalisco, Mexico featured on Freshome. You just might be priting an image or two and posting them on your fridge as the dream home. We did.

    +If you love art, you'll love Art.sy, a start-up that just launched on Monday. According to The New York Times, "the site aims to do for visual art what Pandora did for music and Netflix for film: become a source of discovery, pleasure and education".

    +Hey New Yorkers, check out this Donut Map provided by All You Can Eat Press. It includes a history of doughnuts, and 35 favorite New York doughnut shops.

    Image: Tattly

  • LED Lighting: The Future Looks Bright

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    office and desk LED lighting

    Believe the hype: LED lighting can help you save money. When looked at holistically, factoring in the cost of electricity over the lifetime of the bulb, a house full of LED lights could actually save you hundreds of dollars. 

    Let's do the math.

    LED Is for the Long Term

    According to GreenBiz.com: "A conventional 60-watt bulb lasts about 1,000 hours, uses 60 watts of electricity and costs $180 to run for 25,000 hours. The LED equivalent lasts 25,000 hours (nearly three years if you left it on 24/7), uses 12.5 watts and costs $37.50 to run for 25,000 hours."  I've outlined the math below.

    energy savings incandescent vs LED

    The calculations above are based on the Philips Ambient 12 Watt LED Medium Base Light Bulb, a light bulb that fits into any medium base fixture, intended to replace incandescent bulb usage. However, there are also tons of designs available with the LEDs built right into the design.

    Save money by using LED lights in every room of the house:  

    The Entryway>

    The Dining Room>

    The Bathroom>

    The Office or Work Space>

    Discover a Warmer, Gentler LED

    You most likely have heard an incandescent bulb described as a "warm" light. This look or feel of the light is its color temperature. Lower color temperatures (in the range of 2700K to 3000K) appear yellow/white and, despite their lower color temperatures, are referred to as "warm" in color; higher color temperatures (5000K and higher) appear blue/white and, despite their higher color temperatures, are referred to as "cool."

    LED lighting has typically been associated with these harsher looking higher color temperatures. But that is changing. Increasingly, LEDs are reaching down into the warm 3000K range, resulting in color akin to incandescent bulbs and much more natural light than most fluorescent lights.

    LED on color temperature scale

    The environmental impact of LED lighting is difficult to compare directly against other options, but the circumstantial data is encouraging.

    • Requiring 1/5 to 1/10 the energy of an incandescent bulb, LEDs clearly reduce strain on power plants.
    • With a life span of decades, not months, LEDs reduce strain on landfills.  
    • Unlike the compact fluorescent light (CFL), the LED doesn't contain toxic mercury.  

    Natural looking. Cost effective. Environmentally friendly. LEDs are a slam dunk, right? Assuming you find a style you like, the answer is probably yes. In an interview blogger Cori Magee conducted last year with Edmund Ng and Kenneth Ng of Koncept Lighting, they discussed the role of aesthetics in designing for LEDs. "Both form and function are equally important," explained the Ng brothers. "New materials enable new designs. If we find a good material, we are able to create an exciting design around it."

    It's this type of commitment to design, technology and, ultimately, cost that leads us to believe the future looks bright for LEDs.   

    Images: Koncept, Kozai Modern, Toni Spilsbury

  • Curiosity Rover Lands On Mars

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    curiousity rover

    Did you hear... the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars! Of course you have, but still what an incredible performance by Nasa's JPL and everyone in the world that has been involved in the creation of the Curiosity Rover and this incredible feat. Is there life on Mars? When will we be able to travel to Mars? How will this event inspire the future?  We just might be able to answer some of these questions soon. We gain inspiration from nature and everything that surrounds us so there is no doubt in my mind that design, architecture, music, fashion, and film will be extremely inspired by this journey as well.

    modern architecture

    I'm already imagining the first houses inspired by this trip to Mars. Mars is a very peaceful place right now with only Curiosity wandering around, as far as we know! The bold white geometric concrete structure contrasting against the rough red rocky landscape is what comes to mind.  It's peaceful and elegant while the surroundings appear to be rough and a bit harsh.  

    modern kitchen

    I image the modern kitchen on Mars would be natural in its elements, but ultra modern in its technology and aesthetic. The concrete kitchen, Twenty Cemento from ModulNova is a great example of this. The concrete cabinet fronts are subtle, but the soft texture is something you just want to reach out and touch.

    Pairing sleek modern barstools with more organic materials like concrete and wood creates layers of materials that are perfectly balanced. Too much of anything is never a good thing, but a pop of chrome and white leather is like the icing on the cake.

     modern barstools

    Zuo Flick Chrome and White Bar Stool Set of 2

    modern bathroom

    Modern bathrooms don't always have to be so sleek and clean. This solid wood vanity stands strong against the naturally textured concrete wall, while the modern pendant light hangs gracefully from above. It's like the combination of the surface of Mars mixed with the sleek elements of the Curiosity Rover. 

    The mix of modern mini pendant lights with rough natural materials blend together in such a way that still allows each element to hold their ground, make a statement, and maintain the balance.

     modern pendant light

    Silver 24" High Satin Nickel Mini Pendant Light

    There are so many things this world needs, and although a Mar-traveling rover and a house on Mars may not be on the top of everyone's list (yet), it should be able to bring inspiration to each and every one of you. Just think of the possibilities! How has this event inspired you?

    Images: MashableFran Silvestre Arquitectos, ModulNova

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