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  • Review: Architectural Digest Home Design Show 2012

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    Architectural home design

    Architectural Digest held their annual Home Design Show in New York at Pier 94 and it was bigger than ever. The event featured 400 exhibitors, many of them manufacturers and distributors of luxury products. There was a special section “Made," which featured handcrafted accessories and furniture by a talented group of artists and designers. At the event, there were also design seminars presented by The New York Times featuring speakers from the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

    Glass wall decor

    From the"Made" section, one of the featured artists was Kanik Chung who displayed some of her unique glass plates with glass bubbles (above). These would make cool wall art decor if done in a cluster. More modern home decor artists made big statements, such as Heather Kocsis who showcased her city scape artwork and Vicki Da Silva who displayed some of her interiors light photography (below).

    Modern photography

    There were furniture designers such as Peter Buley who uses only recycled materials for his designs, like this sliding-door credenza (below). His modern furniture almost doubles as artwork.

    Recycled materials furniture

    Not listed in any of the directories was Art for Kids, a company who manufacturers furniture and accessories for kid's rooms and nurseries. This company had an extremely fun and colorful display of art that undoubtedly helped children get excited about design.

    No matter what your age or industry background, the A.D. Home Design Show each year is all about inspiration. By showcasing unique and beautiful work from designers an artists, hopefully everyone walks away with an idea and bit of creativity.

    For more information on this event or the featured artists, designers and manufactures please visit A.D. Home Design Show.

    Images: A.D. Home Design Show, Markets of New York

  • Kitchen Lighting Takes Center Stage

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    charcoal dark veneer kitchen cabinets, mirrored island french herringbone floors

    Lighting is a key element in kitchen design, not just for it's functional element, but the aesthetic element as well. The lighting you choose for your kitchen can truly transform your space and take you from Mid-Century Modern to Hollywood Glam with one simple fixture. While the cabinetry style remains very similar take a look how the lighting in these modern kitchens completely changes the style and makes a really bold statement. A Mid-Century modern chandelier mixes so beautifully with charcoal veneer cabinetry, a chromed island, and herringbone floor. It adds playful character to an elegant kitchen.  

    MID-CENTURY MODERN

    Jonathan Adler Chandelier

    Jonathon Adler Meurice Collection 30 Light Chandelier

    Raw Wood Walnut Island table marble countertop dark charcoal cabinetry

    The charcoal veneer cabinetry, marble island, and natural wood island table work perfectly with an industrial modern pendant. The nice clean lines and gorgeous silhouette of the pendant lights compliment the rough edges of the table while the bronze finish contrasts so nicely with the marble top yet blends so nicely with the cabinetry and the flooring. This is the perfect look to warm up any industrial modern loft! 

    MODERN INDUSTRIAL

         Black Mini Pendant Light                 Black Pendant Light

    Piquito 11" High Black Mini Pendant

    Bronx 7-1/2" Wide Black Pendant

    Dark Charcoal Veneer Kitchen Cabinets with Glam Pendant Lighting

    These sleek clean lines are gorgeous on their own, but adding that glamorous chandelier is like putting on the perfect necklace or pair of earrings. It adds an element of sophistication and femininity without taking away from the strong modern details that make this kitchen so beautiful.  

    GLAM

    Robert Abbey Chandelier

    Robert Abbey Bling Collection Chandelier

    Charcoal Dark Oak Kitchen Concrete Floor Exposed Brick Wall Organic Lighting

    The organic shape of the chandelier really softens up the space. It's a great contrast to the hard elements of the concrete floor and brick wall and really adds movement and depth to an otherwise stark kitchen.  

    ORGANIC

    Possini Pendant Light

    Possini White Cloud 15" Wide Pendant

    Charcoal Veneer Kitchen White Caesarstone Island Minimal Pendant Lighting

    For the minimalist at heart, one option is no decorative lighting and the other is a light as sleek and clean as its environment. These long tube like pendants stand their ground over this island without creating too much drama. The clean lines mimic the lines of the cabinetry and remain absolutely stunning in their simplicity.

    MINIMALIST

    Sleek Chrome Mini Pendant

    Silver 24" High Chrome Mini Pendant

    Images: Pia Ulin, Fine Ting Og Sjokolade, TamizoWhat Wilson WantsTamizo

  • Lighting for a More Livable City

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    Vancouver Skyline at Night

    Exactly what makes a city "livable" and what can you do to help your own?

    Annual surveys, such as those conducted by The Economist, Mercer and Monocle, look at a range of criteria from infrastructure to environment, culture to climate, to determine the most liveable cities in the world. Each year, the perennial front-runners - cities like Melbourne, Helsinki, Honolulu, and Vancouver (pictured above) eagerly await the results, while other vibrant yet perennially congested places such as Los Angeles and Houston seek ways to slice, dice and spin their lower livabilty metrics.

    Obviously, building a new subway system or converting 400 acres of prime downtown real estate into public parkland is out of the question for most of us, but there is one low-cost, high-impact area in which anyone can enhance their surroundings: lighting.

    A 2009 design guide by the City of Los Angeles' Urban Design Studio recommends that new and old urban developments "develop a system or family of lighting with layers that contribute to the night-time experience, including facade uplighting, sign and display window illumination, landscape, and streetscape lighting...of a character and scale that relates to the pedestrian and highlights special landscape features."

    Urban lighting design

    Any photographer will tell you that a beautiful picture begins with good light and clearly the same is true for cities. Done well, modern outdoor lighting can enhance a business or residence by adding depth and vitality to your surroundings.

    Modern outdoor light

    Matte Silver Outdoor LED Up and Down Wall Light

    Classically inspired lighting fixtures can restore a sense of provenance to historic properties, exposing long-forgotten architectural details, and even evoking the contemporary interiors within.

    Biscuit Lofts, downtown Los Angeles

    Outdoor lighting and Mission Style Outdoor Light

    Mission Hills Textured Black Outdoor Wall Light

    Enhancing sidewalk appeal is one thing. However, by increasing pedestrian visibility and reducing crime, well-executed outdoor lighting is critical for the positive effect it has on the most important livability index of them all: safety.

    Images: National Geographic, Design Intelligence, House Design Decorating, LA Condo Domain

  • Design Icon: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

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    S. R. Crown Hall, 1956

    This week we celebrate the birthday of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, "father of modern architecture." In observance of his brilliance, let's take a look at his most notable accomplishments.

    Crown Hall (above), located in Chicago, was completed in 1956 during Mies's tenure as director of Illionois Institute of Technology's Department of Architecture. This design features industrial simplicity with exposed steel frame construction.

    Famous modern architecture

    Farnsworth House is a one-room weekend retreat built in Plano, Illinois. It is brilliantly designed to be one with the landscape. The glass panels and white painted steel construction are so simple and elegant, it's the perfect design aesthetic for a weekend home.

    Famous modern architecture

    The Barcelona Pavilion was completed in 1929 for the International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. Seamlessly merging structure with water, Mies selected marble, red onyx and travertine to create this stunning structure. Such extravagant materials contrasts this beautifully simple structure.

    In addition to Mies's profound accomplishments in architecture, he also designed modern furniture and his furniture is just as well known. For example, the Barcelona chair and ottoman (below). This noteworthy pair, inspired by ancient campaign and folding chairs, is made of steel with a chrome finish and leather upholstery. Like the Barcelona Pavilion, it was also designed for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. Mies designed much more sleek furniture which has been inspiring furniture design ever since, such as stylish ergonomic office chairs.

    Modern lounge chair and ottoman

    Tuesday would have been Mies's 126th birthday.

    Images: Wikipedia, Paul J. White

  • Acrylic Elements in Interior Design

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    Hotel Lobby Glass Roof Hardwood Floors

    My love for acrylic in interior design started with a stay at the Hudson Hotel in New York a few years ago and it has stayed with me ever since. I think acrylic is the perfect contrast against natural materials. It adds life and light without being too heavy or dominating. It's a perfect element of the unexpected whether it be clear or colored. It mixes perfectly with modern interiors and contrasts beautifully with traditional. Here are some amazing interiors to prove it!

    Concrete Porcelain Tile Floors Wood Table with Acrylic Chairs

    The clear acrylic chairs work well with the natural elements of this kitchen and breakfast room. By being visually unobtrusive they make the space feel larger and the modern lighting make a statement.

    Slab wood dining table acrylic chairs slat wood on fireplace with red laquer surroung

    The fireplace is the main focus of this space and the acrylic chairs do a great job of complimenting that. I love how the fireplace can be seen through the chair at the end of the table. Mixing transparent orange chairs and clear chairs is also a nice touch in this modern organic space.

    Modern Living Room shades of gray with acrylic sofa table and silver lamps with black shades

    This table let's the chrome lighting make the statement and let's the floors shine through. It really brings light into this rich setting.  

    Smoky Gray Acrylic armchairs on stone floor leading outside to patio

    The sleek and smoky outdoor dining chairs are perfect in this slightly rustic setting that opens up to the exterior.

    Black Acrylic Chair on Gray hardwood floors and white walls

    This black acrylic chair can stand all on it's own. It is the perfect accent in any space.  

     

    Images: Hudson Hotel, DecorPad, Arkimom, Design Indulgences

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