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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Modern Manhattan Beach Residence Opens Up and Let's Nature In

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    Modern Architectural Computer Rendering

    When building a modern home in Manhattan Beach, Michael Lee Architects are the ones to make your vision a reality. They did just that for the Kim Family as they maximized the square footage on this small corner lot and captured views from every angle imaginable! This 4-story home opens up on every level to let the fresh air and the light penetrate through creating a treehouse-like effect. The windows on the top level pocket into the walls on all sides which allows the home to be completely open to the ocean air while the glass railing makes you to feel like you're floating out into the ocean.

    Modern Living Room Design and Modern Entertainment Unit

    Fireplace Design with Floating Caesarstone Base and Walnut Cabinets

    See Materials, a West Hollywood showrom and interior design firm, designed the interior and provided all the finish materials for this amazing residence. The fireplace wall is a main feature on the upper level and See Materials was sure to address the feature wall like it was a work of art. The floating Caesarstone base suspends across the room and acts as a platform for the remaining elements on this wall. The walnut components storage from Pianca hides all of the entertainment components in a clean and elegant manner. The tall white laquer units frame the television while keeping the lines sleek and clean without compromising on storage. I'd love to relax in this simple and elegant space where the fireplace and the stars sparkle together!

    Gray and White Scavolini Kitchen Bubble Lamp and Saarinen Table

    This gorgeous "Mood" Kitchen, from Scavolini, in a gunmetal gray matte laquer combined with the white glossy laquer flows into this open plan with ease. Furniture-like in its aesthetic and chef-like in it's function, the kitchen becomes a primary feature of the house. Sharing an upper level with the living room, this is by far the most used room of the house. The porcelain tiles look and feel like concrete, but the radiant heating provides the warmth, coziness, and practicality this home needs. The Kim's love Mid-Century furniture so this Saarinen table, chairs and the bubble lamp are the perfect pieces to soften up these clean modern lines. The Kim's debated on whether or not to add bold color in this room through the use of chairs. If they had gone this route these S Chairs in red could've been a great addition!  

     Modern Walnut Bathroom Vanity, Modern Porcelain Tile, Italian Bathroom Vanity

    Countertop with Integrated Sink Walnut Pocket Doors Exposed Beams Modern Bathroom Vanity

    When these beautiful sliding walnut doors open, the ocean view awaits. You can sit and soak in this undermount tub and look at the stars reflecting off the water! Porcelain tiles resembling a vein-cut marble, a solid color Italian porcelain floor, and the natural walnut combine perfectly to create a spa-like feel in this open master bathroom. You can't go wrong with the clean lines and soft edges of these modern Italian bathroom vanities.

    Floating Stairs with Wooden Treads and Steel Runner

    Float down these stairs...

    Porcelain Stacked Stone Mosaic Tile, Pianca Wall Mounted Unit Pivot Door Concrete Floor

    ...and let this natural stone lead you from the indoors, out. Layers of natural walnut, concrete, stone, and laquer combine throughout this interior to make this modern coastal living masterpiece feel warm and organic.  

    Hope you've had a great tour of the Kim's Modern Manhattan Beach Residence. A vacation awaits as you step outside this door. This is coastal living at its best!   

    Images: Manufactur

  • Coastal Cool: Create Your Modern Beach Home

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    Contemporary coastal elements and modern beach home

    If you have ever longed for the coastal aesthetic in your home because of its casual sensibility and natural energy, but you were afraid that your modern heart may get hurt, you should know that you can have both and create a modern beach home. No matter what decor style you may want or even a combination of more than one, there are certain steps you need to follow and guidelines to work with. Once you have a simple understanding of these, you can achieve any look you want for you home, even coastal-chic.

    Notice in the "mood" board above, not only are the furniture and accessory items important, but there is also a color theme. The color palette is pastel: blue, pink, mint, yellow and gray. Whether you are redesigning your home or creating your look from scratch, your first step should be colors. From your color concept you can begin to select furniture and accessories.

    Contemporary coastal furniture

    Start with the larger pieces of the room and work around them, so try to select the sofa and main seating area first. Coastal furniture is typically fresh, oversized and comfortable. The fabrics are usually simple, seen mostly in pale colors, all-white or stripes. Slip covers are also a big trend in coastal design. Typically, modern furniture is not oversized and is usually not comfy. When combining styles like modern and coastal, all you need to do is strike a balance between the two. Make sure the structure of the furniture is modern so try to shop for a comfortable sofa, but one that has straighter lines in the arms, back and feet.

    Coastal chic wall decor and window treatment

    Now, onto windows and accessories. When selecting your window treatment, make sure to keep it light and easy. The last thing you want is heavy drapery covering up a spectacular seaside view. Also notice the wall accessory in the image above. This beautiful mirror is fresh, modern and even resembles the sun. It's perfect for maintaining a style goal without making this home too thematic. Selecting both colors and natural materials that mimic the environment will help you create your beach home.

    Contemporary coastal accessories

    This buffet is whitewashed and antiqued, but notice the lines of the furniture are what keep it modern. The soft gray tone works perfectly with the wood paneling throughout this house. Keep you accessories fresh, like the white vase and delicate light fixture. Similar to most modern homes, minimal and open will help you achieve the coastal look you want.

    Contemporary coastal accessories and window treatments

    This bedroom is simple and comfortable with modern furniture selections as well as typical beachy accessories. Stripe is a popular beach home pattern so try to incorporate it either in the furniture or area rugs. The window covering is just enough to block out some of the light so you can sleep, but not too much so you forget where you are. Lastly, the pale blue walls and fluffy white bedding resemble the ocean.

    Contemporary coastal colors

    This room does a great job of tying it all together. Modern, yet comfortable furniture featured in pastel colors set against natural wood tones. The accessories and window treatments are light and simple. This space is perfect for lounging and taking in the seaside views.

    Don't be afraid to try a combination of styles in your home, there are never any set rules keeping you from enjoying more than one at a time. So follow your modern heart to the beach and create your own personal oasis.

    Images: House Beautiful

  • Modern Sustainable Living in Echo Park by Sunia Homes

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    Sustainable home in Echo Park

    This gorgeous work of art stiuated in Echo Park is a modern model house built by Sunia Homes, a new company focused on building sustainable and affordable residencies in California. The architectural design, building materials and the furnishings create a sophisticated yet relaxed environment. What makes Sunia homes even more special is that they allow their clients to live a more sustainable lifestyle without needing a large budget to do so. Besides their good looks, each Sunia home includes solar panels, grey and rainwater harvesting systems, a wood pellet stove, a garden to grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs, and bamboo flooring.

    Sustainable kitchen design in Echo Park

    The simple materials like concrete flooring, natural woods and stainless steel keep the costs and the modern decor to a minimum, allowing for more open and useful space. In this kitchen/living room area, the contemporary light fixtures and ceiling fan accent the space beautifully without dominating. The fan also helps maintain that simpler lifestyle by cooling the home with natural air.

    Open shelving in kitchen

    Simple furnishings, open shelving and natural wood finishes allow the food to take center stage in this kitchen. As mentioned above, a garden to grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs is provided with each home promoting an organic lifestyle.

    Piping clothing racks

    Some of the decor, whether designed with the enviroment in mind or not, has a very cool and simple aesthetic. This piping used for hanging clothes is a hot trend right now and can be seen a lot and used with shelving units. There's even DIY's out there using this style of piping as inspiration. 

    Free floating bench

    The dark framing around the windows is of course functional in this sustainable home, but also the contrast looks great. This contrast paired with minimal yet colorful accents help this modern style decor come together perfectly.

    Smart architecture not only frames the landscape perfectly, but will benefit the homeowners as well as everyone living around them. Hopefully more home builders will begin moving in this direction. Sunia Homes is proving that sustainable living doesn't have to break the bank and it can look really hot!

    Images: Apartment Therapy

  • Villa Armanzi In Phuket, Thailand Is Living In Harmony

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    Villa Amanzi Aerial View Modern Architecture Cliffside

    Villa Amanzi in Phuket, Thailand, takes the term "bringing the outdoors in" to an entirely different level!  This home, nestled in a ravine with a dramatic slab of rock on the northern edge, overlooking the Andaman Sea on the South is at one with nature. This exciting challenge for Original Vision Architecture turned into a masterpiece. The villas layers of levels and cantilevered structures slightly resemble the work of Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water. 

     Modern Architecture Cantilevered Pool Indoor Ourdoor Living

    The view and the rock define every element of this house. They dominate the environment and their presence is sure to be noticed and respected throughout.

    Villa Amanzi

    Modern Architecture Infinity Pool Glass Balcony 

     Outdoor design and modern home in Thailand

    Modern beach house and Phuket, Thailand

    Fresh air flows through this open living plan with sliding pocket doors at the front and back of the house and modern ceiling fans throughout. The furniture is low with clean lines mimicking the architecture of the house. The modern side tables are a perfect element that can be used as seating or tables both indoors and out.

    Modern beach house and outdoor living  

    The strength of nature is evident, as if the rock came rolling down and penetrated through the home. It's a perfect example of living in harmony with nature. 

    Modern house in Thailand and Infinity Pool

    Don't mind if I do go have a swim in this salt water pool cantilevering out over the sea. This is a coastal living dream that one day I would love to see.  

    Images: ArchDaily

  • Urban Design: Look at Des Moines, Iowa Grow

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    Des Moines is the Capital of Iowa by Garrett Cornelison

    Urban design is a key to making places that are successful both socially and economically, good to live in, and attractive to visit. Urban design is essential in creating community identity. It is effective planning in the widest sense, and it can help to deliver better public services. It also helps to achieve value for money in new developments, and to make good use of scarce resources. I recently took a trip back to my hometown Des Moines, Iowa, and I must tell you I was truly impressed and inspired by what is happening there. When I left Des Moines in 2004 there really wasn't much, but I could see it's potential. I would take photos of the buildings and superimpose photos over the top to create my dream interior design boutique. I would change the facades, the windows, the colors, the landscapes. I had a dream and I had a vision, but I would get discouraged though during my interior design critiques at college. I would be docked points because "my designs didn't fit in Des Moines;" I wanted the amenities of a big city. I wanted live/work lofts. I wanted more cultural events. I wanted a sense of community. I wanted to modernize the city. I saw it's beauty and it's potential. But rather than waiting for it to happen or do anything about it, I went out and found what I wanted in Venice, California. Why didn't I stay and find a way for my voice to be heard and my vision to be created? I don't know. Would I enjoy being part of the Des Moines community now? Yes.

    Here are the TOP 8 things that have contributed to the urban growth in Des Moines, Iowa...

    1.  CONNECT

    Center Street Bridge

    Principal Riverwalk: This project was presented to Des Moines as a gift in 2004 in honor of Principal Financial Group’s 125th anniversary. This project connects the East and West side of Downtown via two new pedestrian bridges. The Meredith Trail connects downtown to Gray’s Lake as well as over 300 miles of trails throughout Iowa. This project was completed in 2011 and includes a landscaped promenade path connecting the riverfront amphitheater and plazas to the Brenton Skating Rink and summertime fountain.

    2. TRANSPORTATION

    Benefits of a Bicycle

    Downtown Des Moines Free Trolley D-Line

    B-Cycle:  When the weather is nice you can take advantage of the bicycle sharing system and get around with ease. There when you want it and gone when you don't. 

    D-Line Shuttle: This new, old-time trolley is the best way to get around downtown. And the best part...it's free! Expect a shuttle every 10 minutes and you'll be on your way to work, eat, and play!

    Public and community transportation is very crucial in finding the solution to our nation's economic, energy, and environmental challenges. These two things are a great start to this solution and Des Moines is not stopping there. Look for even more transit improvement in the upcoming years with the Walnut Street Transformation.

    3. DEVELOPMENT + HISTORIC RESTORATION

    Downtown Des Moines Historic Preservation

    Hatch Development East Village Square Downtown Des Moines 

    Strategic development in downtown Des Moines has provided the community with large economic growth.  Renovation of historic buildings has created new life, excitement, and expansion of these urban neighborhoods. Hatch Development Group has played a crucial role in the ever expanding growth and change. Since focusing on housing development, Senator Hatch has become a forceful proponent of blending historical rehabilitation with new construction to revitalize inner city neighborhoods. Prime retail, restaurant, and office space has been created through the restoration of the Historic Chamberlain Building (top image). While the East Village Square (bottom image) on the opposite side of downtown has provided the city with 115 mixed-income residences for modern living. There's so much happening everyday and you can follow all the latest in developments right here at Absolute DSM.

    4. ART

    Yoshitomo Ghost Sculpture Pappajohn Sculpture Park Des Moines

    PappaJohn Sculpture Park: This incredible Sculpture Garden, featuring 24 sculptures by 21 artists, has been given as a gift to Des Moines by art collectors John and Mary PappaJohn to beautify Des Moines’ Downtown. Each of the sculptures in this garden are works from world-renowned sculptors, “the best of the best." This donation is likely to put Iowa on the map for having one of the best sculpture gardens in the world! 

    5. CONNECTING LEADERS

    Thinc Iowa Convention Downtown Des Moines   

    Thinc Iowa: Last October this conference brought together the innovative entreprenuers of today and some key powerhouse players to inspire, collaborate, and generate during this 3-day conference. The goal is to motivate people to explore new ways of doing business, challenge them to think differently, and give them a place to network outside their normal circle. Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest and a native Iowan, was one of the top talents to share his story.

    The Des Moines Social Club: a non-profit organization, uses the arts as a catalyst to create unprecedented community engagement. Their vision is to build premier art institutions that foster social change and revitalize cities throughout the world.

    7. RETAIL DEVELOPMENT:

    Eden Iowa Retail Boutique

    Chamberlain Building Graphic Design Modern Pizza Shop Flour

    Many amazing bars, restaurants, and retail establishments have opened their doors in downtown in the past 8 years. The growth of the community is dependent upon this retail development. Young entrepreneurs have been able to follow their dreams and open business that are thriving and expanding. A city that once had a challenge keeping college grads in the state has developed into a place that cannot only keep them, but also get the ones that left to return and new ones to join.  

    8. DESIGN + BRANDING:

    87 Central Website Design Flour Pizza Shop

     87 Central Branding Photography and Design Proof Restaurant

    Design is everywhere and many people don't even realize the impact it has on them. But the ones that do know how to do it right. The talented team at 87 Central has played a huge role in the resurgence of the creative community in Des Moines. They've helped develop their clients' ideas into a visual medium that is attractive to many. They are really on the cutting edge of design and have helped many small business move forward, get noticed, and look beautiful through the use of graphics, logos, website, print, and photography. This plays a huge role in creating a desirable urban community that is on pace with the modern world.

    Images: IDIWAP, Principal Center Street Bridge, Des Moines Commuter, D-Line Trolley, Hatch Development, Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Thinc Iowa, Eden, Eight Seven Central

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