modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Regina-Andrew Arc21" Metal Wall Sconce
“Love the polished finish on this light. The swing-arm style is perfect for the bedside.”
- T. Jackson, Interior Designer
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Dwell on Design
My Modern Met
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The London based artist Shantell Martin, who is known for her stream-of-consciousness drawings, decided to create some modern wall art in her own Brooklyn bedroom and ended up make a big statement. Although she didn't set out to cover the entire room, she ended up covering the walls, ceilings, and furniture with her oh-so-cool freestyle line drawings. When her friends invited Ms. Martin into their home they knew she was going to be drawing on her walls and there would be nothing they could do. So they made just one request, "Don't touch the hallway."
You will see the words "Who Are You" and "Who Am I" repeat a lot throughout her modern wall art displays.
“When invited to talk at conferences and festivals about digital drawing or creativity, I like to start with showing a photograph of my younger self with my brother and sisters. In the photograph I’m about nine years old with a little Afro, brown skin and Michael Jackson shorts standing next to my very blond and blue-eyed brother and four sisters, this is the beginning my story.” -Shantell Martin
The stories even continue onto the door knob. So far, Ms. Martin has used about 25 pens and I think it's safe to assume she's a pretty good customer over at Blick Art Supplies!
One of her own drawings is framed and layered over the rest of her wall art. Martin says this is "to give it space to breathe."
Uncommon objects on common grounds, that's where a layer of gesso can take you. Bottles found on the street or out-and-about are covered in gesso to make them uniform and then used as a canvas for Martin to create her art.
Compact spaces with small modern desks are not normally what you would find in an artist's studio, but Martin works hard in her small office. She is in the process of planning a one-woman show later this year. With her work at such places as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the megaclubs of Tokyo and Russia, and on the enormous screens at Shibuya and Harajuku crossings in Tokyo, you can only imagine how incredible this upcoming show will be!
The furniture in her quaint little bedroom doesn't interfere with the black and white line drawings covering the walls of her room. Like in this space, bright red accents make a perfect splash of color! Simple open shelving displays the painted bottles and found objects while bold, black and white striped bedding creates a the grounding element.
These toys sitting on the floor are just waiting to be gessoed.
You can see Shantell Martin's work in a variety of places. She collaborated with 3 x 1 to create custom jeans on site in their denim atelier.
I'm excited to see more innovative work from this amazing artist... I would love to see a line of wallpaper or fabrics from her! Crossing my fingers!
Images: Shantell Martin
Wishing you all a Happy 4th of July! Whatever it is you choose to do just remember to have fun, relax, and be safe!
Spending time with family and friends in the backyard is always one of my favorite ways to spend Independence Day and this outdoor cabana seems perfect for it!
Za Bor Architects developed this project for a popular TV show called, Dachniy Otvet, meaning The Village Talks. Unfortunately the TV show was not filmed at my home... I will have to find an equally cool backyard to celebrate Independence Day.
The concept behind this reality show intrigues me and this architecture definitely brings new meaning to outdoor cabana. The show invites designers and architects to re-design parts of a home for selected home-owners that agreed to participate in the show. These home-owners wanted somewhere to spend more quality time outdoors. The white tinted wood creates fourteen planes that are attached together, forming this nautical shape. The result is an outdoor structure, perfect for BBQ'ing.
Red lighting fixtures, or any color for that matter, bring so much dynamic energy into any dining area while modern white dining chairs keep the space very clean, allowing nature and colorful accents to stand out.
The second part to the structure houses the outdoor kitchen. The char-grill is made of brick and steel and is sure to cook up a killer BBQ!
BBQ until the sun goes down, then turn on the modern outdoor lighting. This sculpture is sure to turn into a artistic light installation after sundown...
The architect’s concept for the construction is "transparency and openness which inspires a contact between man and nature".
Hope you get to spend some time outside today... Happy Independence Day from the ESL team!
Images: Do You Love Where You Live
All last week we provided you with our team's recaps and experiences at the Dwell on Design event. We wrapped it all up yesterday with Annie's post about the Sander Architect's Green House. Today, I'd like to start back at the beginning and talk about what I discovered on my way to the event...
I had to pick up a friend at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and then head over to the convention center not too far away for the Dwell on Design event. Since L.A. traffic is always unpredictable, I arrived about thirty minutes early and was wondering where I would wait. I drove maybe 100 yards past Union Station and found a large, modern looking structure with the word "bakery" on it. Perfect.
Not only did I have the best powder-sugar almond crousant, but I made an incredible discovery. Homeboy Industries is a non-profit organization, founded by a Jesuit priest Father Greg Boyle, which helps former gang members and recently incarcerated youth rebuild their future and their life. It is the largest gang intervention program in the country.
It provides programs designed to meet multiple needs, such as counseling, tattoo removal and education. There are also four businesses that serve as job-training sites, such as the bakery where I stopped in that morning. The first thing I noticed when I walked in, besides the fact that it was packed, was the energy level... It was so positive and it was everywhere.
Through various charities and profits earned from the bakery and cafe (which just sold their first products to the Ralphs grocer chain), Father Greg Boyle provide and his organization are able to provide second chance opportunities, most importantly hope for change.
For more information you can visit their website.
Images: DB, KCET, Homeboy Industries
As you know, here at ESL we are modern design enthusiasts, which is usually what we like to talk about. However, today we're going to acknowledge someone who enjoys going back in time to truly understand today's favorite modern elements. JF Chen is a curator of antiques with showroom locations in Los Angeles. Chen is not shy to say, his general collecting parameters include an unrelenting addiction to mid-century modern Danish. His collections are endless and his knowledge of what defines a classic is not to be rivaled.
He greets architects, designers, celebrities and design aficionados daily, helping them find what they're looking for, but making sure to stay out of designing their projects. He explains in an interview " I don't know how to sell, but I sure know how to buy".
Chen has recently published a book, "Collecting Eames" (above) surveying the iconic modern designs of Charles and Ray Eames. Upon debut of the book, he also held an exhibit at his showroom. I am, of course, very sad I did not know about this sooner.
The Eames chair he decided to use on the cover of his book is one of most rare Eames chairs in existence. Recently sold for low six figures, it was a prototype high-back armchair designed by the Eameses and Eero Saarinen in 1940-1941 for the Museum of Modern Art Organic Design Competition.
This business is a family affair, Chen seen here (above) with his wife and two daughters. Like in any industry, the more you love what you do, the better you are at it. However, with Chen the saying might also be the more you love Eames, the more you collect.
It's important to develop your own aesthetic and favorite products, whether they are modern or a combination of different styles. But sometimes it's also fun to know where those designs came from and truly understand their form and function.
To learn about another Eames lover, be sure to check out this video with Ice Cube.
Images: 1stt Dibs, Exl Deal, Architecture Digest
When we speak of design, we often refer to architecture, furniture and graphics, but rarely do we talk about letters. "Typeface" is a typography term that refers to the visual characteristics of a set of letters and numbers, and no typeface is more universally used, imitated, loved and loathed than Helvetica. A Google image search of the word Helvetica speaks volumes of its iconic place in 20th century communication design. What is is that makes this typeface so ubiquitous?
Developed in 1957 by Swiss designer Max Miedinger, Helvetica is the Modernist's dream - a sans serif typeface that eschews ornamentation for clean, crisp function. And it can be found absolutely everywhere.
On the New York City subway:
In the mark of some of the world's largest corporations:
And all over the place in graphic designer tributes such as this one (clearly inspired by the Russian artist Kasmir Malevich):
It arouses a range of emotions among designers. Some love it. Some don't:
Some imitate it. It's younger cousin Arial (developed in 1982), has been packaged with Microsoft operating systems since 1992 and is one of the most widely used computer fonts today.
I'll admit, the more I look at Helvetica, the more I start to notice that the same rules that dictate good typography apply to good design as well. You don't have to go far to see it, we have some on our website. Check out some of these fixtures below. There's the variable shaped bowl of Helvetica's "d" and "b" that reminds me of this Lite Source Kito Green Table Lamp:
And there are the straight, flattened finials at the top of both the Helvetica letter "t" and this Possini Euro Design Triple Column Wood Table Lamp:
I'm not suggesting that one influenced the other, but it is fun to note how the formal rules that govern typeface design are very much at play in the larger design world. The Modernist design principles that informed the creation of Helvetica are as ubiquitous as the the typeface itself.
Love it, hate it, use it, or don't. Whatever your reaction to Helvetica, one thing is certain: it's everywhere.
Images: AM Design Perspectives, Thirteen, Thomas J. Quinn, DeviantArt, Roberto Blake, Whitezine, Penny Finder,
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