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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Design Is Black + White

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    modern eclectic living room

    Of course we all know, nothing in life is black and white, clear and simple, but sometimes it looks really good when you're talking about interiors! The bold, stark contrast provides a modern element and leaves room for more casual furnishings, like seen above. That sofa is a little worn, arguably vintage, as well as the table, but the color palette of the space screams modern.

    But, no matter the style, whether a room is modern, traditional, black and white, or colorful, any decor benefits from the use of mixed materials. The iron chair, leather sofa and rustic wood table make a perfect trio. These Zuo accent chairs below are a great way to get this look. Their leaf inspired pattern gives them an organic aesthetic.

    Whitworth Chrome Accent Chair

    Art is a great way to bring in color, but it's also a cool way to bring in the bold! This black and white art collage leaning against the wall creates a laid back environment that is highly stylish.

    black and white art

    This kitchen is on trend with its clean white walls, industrial lighting and dark, black cabinets.

    black and white kitchen

    Want to get this simple, yet chic look? Here's an idea for getting modern industrial pendant lighting for your own home.

    LBL Isla Mini Pendant

    modern white living room

    While designing using the modern black and white combo, this living room also brings in a natural element by using lots of wood finishes. There is a lot of furniture in this space, but it's grouped efficiently and doesn't look cluttered. The use of multiple small accent tables instead of a coffee table is a popular trend right now. It provides versatility and a more eclectic look.

    Don't be scared to go bold, there's lots of ways to use this cool color palette!

    Images: Japan Trash blog, Pretty Peach Peonies, SkonahemSolid Blog

  • Donald Judd: Minimalism's Square Roots

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    donald judd artwork

    You've probably seen the artwork. Clean, stainless steel boxes, stacked one atop the other, lined across the floor or cantilevered from the museum wall. The first time you saw them you asked what they meant. The second time you asked why? The third time you probably just smiled and accepted it.

    That's a common reaction to the work of American artist Donald Judd (1928-1994).

    donald judd sfmoma

    Not everyone gets him. Not everyone loves him. Yet his contribution to international Minimalism is second to none.

    Judd aspired to create work devoid of compositional hirearchy. More simply put, he created art in which no one single thing catches your eye. It's strikingly egalitarian, and while his artwork has clearly influenced modern art, the principles of his work can also be felt in buildings, desk lamps and furniture designs. Notice the simply stacked squares of this lamp:

    modern steel desk lamps

    Amarillo Silver Accent Table Lamp

    It is this beautiful, understated quality of line that defines Judd's work, and it creeps up time and again, whether in his ink-on-paper prints or his site specific installations.   

    Donald Judd artwork on paper

    public art donald judd

    What Judd's art lacks in color or pizzazz is made up for in elegant simplicity. It's this conceptual basis that informs much of today's most celebrated products, from the iPhone to modern furniture designs like these glass nesting tables.

    glass nesting tables

    Silhouette Set of 3 Glass and Chrome Nesting Accent Tables

    And this is the true beauty of Minimalism - the ability for an object or image to convey more by saying less. What holds true for artwork also holds true for a piece of modern furniture or contemporary architecture.

    Donald Judd didn't just master this concept as an artist. He helped define it through his life's work. 

    Images: The Gorgeous Daily, June Joon JaxxPrinted Editions, Waymarking

  • It's a Floating Lake House

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    modern lake house 

    Many memories are made vacationing at a lake in the summertime, and often times they are too good to ever stop experiencing. Becca and Doug Worpie feel this exact way about the rugged coast of Georgian Bay where they've made a trip to every year of their life. The environment is rough and unpredictable, but "this place is my heaven" says Becca.

    So, building a summer home here was their dream, but not as simple as one may expect. When they ventured out and stumbled upon the U-shaped island with a three acre piece of rock in Pointe au Baril, they also found two decrepit cottages and a boat house. They knew there was a lot of work ahead, but they also knew there was something extremely special about it.  

    modern boat dock

    This wasn't the type of  job you could hand your contractor sketches for, they had to get much more creative than that. So the couple called upon architects Michael Meredith and his partner Hilary Sample of MOS, a young interdisciplinary practice (then) based in Toronto to take on this project. They proposed a series of buildings that formed a "necklace" around the island; the main cottage and a series of smaller cabins that could house all the overnight guests that wanted to invite in the summertime With multiple cabins, modern outdoor path lighting would be great to help navigate from cabin to cabin at nighttime.

    modern sliding glass doors

    When building the final structure they wanted to build not just something on the water, but in the water. So they designed a two story building supported by massive pontoons that was fabricated off site and floated back into place. A modest boathouse now sits inside the cove and has become the family's main summer headquarters. The boat slip and sauna are down below, while upstairs there are two bedrooms, an office, gallery, and of course incredible views.

     modern bridge

    The bridges branches off from the second story and connects the main house to the other cabins.

    modern graphic artwork  

    Although the exterior of the house is clad in untreated cedar allowing it to weather naturally, the interior is a very modern and clean.  The floors and ceiling are treated with Douglas Fir to give you a very warm and cozy feeling in the space.  Modern wishbone chairs surround the mid-century dining table. The art is bold and colorful, creating a very playful vibe in the space.  

    modern kitchenette

    The modern kitchen is neutral in tone, but the clean modern lines really make a statement. You can tell each and every detail was planned out.

    wood ceiling

    The stunning view is picture perfect.  You could sit and stare or go outside and play, either one would be quite pleasurable.  

    Adding modern benches to any space with a view allows you to take it all in at every angle.   

    Zuo Heywood Single Natural Bench  

    stone fireplace

    The fireplace facade is clad with local granite and allows the bold colors of the artwork to just bounce right off of it. The playful edge comes through once again and reminds you that this place is for having fun with family and friends.   


    modern wood bathtub

    The iroko wood modern bathtub is the perfect element for connecting the interior with nature. Custom designed concrete tiles create texture and contrast to the natural wood elements of the space. After a long day of fun in the sun, i couldn't think of a better way to relax than soaking in the tub and thinking back about all the childhood memories and all the new ones created each day.  

    Whether you're at your own lake house of not, I truly hope you all are enjoying your summer and creating many memories that are sure to last a lifetime. 

    Images: Dwell

  • Modern DIY: Driftwood + Airplant Wall Accessory

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    driftwood wall art

    Whether you have kids at home looking for summer projects or you just love DIY's, we found a great idea for you! This driftwood, airplant wall art is modern, easy to make, and very cool.

    driftwood and airplants

    All you need is a great piece of driftwood, a few airplants, hammer, sawtooth hangers, and nails. Make sure there are at least a couple flat surfaces on your piece of driftwood so it can hang it from the wall.

    While you're cleaning your piece of driftwood, soak and clean your airplants then set aside and let them dry.

    airplants

    Find two flat spots (depending how long your driftwood is) and use small nails to secure the sawtooth hangers. Place a couple larger nails in the wall and hang your driftwood. Since it naturally has curves, you don't have to worry about it looking perfectly straight.

    Once you hang it, you can carefully place your airplants anywhere you like, making sure to balance them out along the entire piece of driftwood. 

    driftwood

    The best part about this modern DIY accessory is that it could also be a beautiful memory, depending on where and how you found your driftwood... Like, a romantic stroll on the beach or play day on the beach with the kids!

    Watch the tutorial video at Craftzine. And if you don't know where to source air plants, here's a fun Etsy shop.

    Images (and idea): Craftzine

  • Audrey Hepburn's Little Black Dress: From Outfit to Room

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     little black dress

    Audrey Hepburn's little black Givenchy dress that was worn in the opening of Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of the most iconic clothing items in history. It has become such an integral part of every woman's wardrobe, such that you probably can't name any woman that doesn't own a little black dress. The perfect choice of accessories can turn this dress into an elegant evening gown, but the design of the dress is all about simple form.

    How do you bring these features into your home? It can be as simple as adding a beautiful chandelier. The chandelier (below) has a very simple form but the sweeping strands of delicate chains drape to create a look that resembles the strands of pearls adorning Audrey Hepburn's neck.

     black chandelier

    Sweeping Chain 6-Light Black Chandelier

    The gentle curves and shiny black marble of the accent table (below) would add elegance to any room. The simplicity of form and polished nickel details combine to create a striking side table that becomes timeless in any setting.

     black marble side table

    Arteriors Home Aries Polished Nickel & Marble Table

    These pearls trace the form of the Hepburn's dress with perfection. A simple silhouette shows off her wonderful shoulders and defines her curves.

     open back dress

    This stylish, bold dining chair (below) is delicate yet sturdy. It does a great job of showing off curves, much like the Givenchy dress. Modern dining chairs fit into any setting from the outdoors to in, upgrading even the side of a bed when used as a nightstand.  

     black dining chair

    Set of 4 Zuo Anime Black Dining

    Adding a decorative wall mirror into your space can add a touch of sophistication, much like a pearl or diamond necklace can add to a classic dress. The perfect finishing touches can transform your space from casual to elegant in an instant.

     silver wall mirror

    Silver Ice 34" High Wall Mirror

    Let's all try to recreate a little bit of Audrey Hepburn's style and that little black dress in our homes! It's a simple elegance that will be loved for years!

    Images: IMDB

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