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  • From the Home Office

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    home office empty

    Image from Mechanoid

    There you are: staring at a small blank space that you're about to convert into a home office.

    You think of every office space you've ever seen and you're faced with a conscious decision: do I make it look like an "office" or do I do something different? 

    modern office building

    Image from the Atlantic Cities

    First, let's look at the concept of the modern "office." In an interview with the Atlantic Cities, writer Nikil Saval explains that the cubicle was a 1960s invention designed to increase the autonomy of the worker. The original goal was to eliminate class distinction and hierarchies and instead promote a greater sense of community and cooperation. 

    By most accounts (the comic Dilbert being among the most vocal), the cubicle has missed its mark.  

    And here's where the home office comes in. Because it's inherently about being autonomous (it is your house after all), the home workspace becomes an unfettered place where a person can define exactly what they want and need. 

    Collaboration space? Go with wide open tables. Bright and functional modern light fixtures help to keep the energy up in the room.

    collaborative office decor

    Warm Bronze Industrial Pendant Light, Possini Euro Diamond Cage Black Pendant Light, Stockholm Solid Wood 78 3/4 Inch Wide Table

    Creative space? Go colorful and casual with a variety of lights and versatile seating.

    Creative Office Decor

    Brushed Steel Technocolors Teardrop Torchiere Lamp, Blue Woopsy Desk Lamp, Rhythm Kagiso Pattern Cotton Throw Pillow, Set of 2 Zuo Green Stackable Chairs

    Concentration space? Increase focus by keeping all your essential supplies and files at an arm's length. Use an LED desk lamp to shed light on the task at hand. 

    modern desk decor

    Koncept Gen 3 Equo Daylight LED Desk Lamp, Gilbert White Lacquer File Cabinet, Temara Line Gray Wood Flower Bowl

    The great thing about home office spaces is that space itself is no longer an issue, now that we do so much of our work digitally. Whether it's a converted closet or an entire dining room, working at home can be just as efficient and productive as anywhere. 

    Images: Mechanoid, the Atlantic 

  • First Impressions With a Modern Entryway

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    Modern Entryway

    The entry way in a home is one of my favorite areas to decorate because it's the first and last impression the house leaves on guests. If your entry is welcoming, well-lit and decorated nicely, chances are it will set a lovely, homey tone for your guests.

    There are many decorating ideas and options when it comes to a foyer.  A nice console table, a pretty chandelier giving off a lot of light in the front of your house, a pair of lamps for accent lighting, an occasional chair (or two!) and a mirror or a piece of art for above the console table always seems to do the trick.

    Home Furnishings

    Above, I've created two looks for an entry way, hopefully providing you with some inspiration. If you lean toward the rustic look, the first option with the weathered wood console, sunburst mirror and metallic lamp base might be the look for you.

    If you prefer a more contemporary, clean-lined look, the second option might suit you best. A narrow and sleek console table is accented with a pair of dark, gray lamps to contrast, and the look is finished off with a metallic round mirror.

    Which is your favorite look?

    Images: Milk & Honey Home, BHG

  • Sucker For Modern Light Fixtures

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    Modern Light Fixtures

    I am a huge sucker for lighting design and the way it can contribute to a stylish space. My husband thinks I have a problem, but I can’t get enough. My favorite style as of late has to be the modern light fixtures.

    Modern pendant chandeliers are sleek and stylish, with the ability to really bring the whole room together. I love that with a great modern light fixture, you can create a huge impact ... Take this room from Emily Henderson, for example. The whole space is amazing, sure. But what is the first thing your eye goes to? The light! It’s gorgeous, large, super cool and modern. The whole room was expertly decorated.

    You could totally create your own cool space with an awesome light fixture like this one!

    Modern Pendant Chandelier

    You'll want to pick a light fixture that shows off your individual personality, and for a light to scream me, it has to be modern and sculptural. You don’t want a boring light fixture in your home, do you?

    This White Flower Possini Euro Pendant is a very popular style that I am not even close to being tired of. The white makes it clean and modern and the interesting shape is so cool you just can’t go wrong with it.

    If you really want a fun modern light fixture, this Possini Chrome Ceiling Light is pretty great. The clear bulbs allow for a lot of light and the non-symmetrical shape is so awesome and totally modern.

    This Jonathan Adler Meurice Brass Chandelier just short of stopped my heart when I saw it. I love it! I would put this one in a part of my house where everyone who visits could see it and covet it. The brass finish is gorgeous and warm, but the shape is super modern and so cool.

    All three would look amazing in most spaces. Which is your favorite?

    Image: Emily Henderson

  • Net-Zero and Living Green

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    Net-Zero Office Building

    Image from LPL Financial on EcoBuildingPulse.com

    With the recent unveiling of the nation's largest net-zero energy office building in San Diego, we figured now is a good time to answer the question: what is net-zero energy? And better yet, how can we take its principles into our own homes and workplaces?

    Net-zero energy simply means a building produces more electricity than it uses. The new San Diego home of LPL Financial is green in more ways than just that. Let's take a look:

    Net-Zero Energy BuildingImage from LPL Financial on EcoBuildingPulse.com

    Chief among the building's "green" elements are it's ability to reclaim waste water for use in landscaping and convert biofuel from nearby farms into enough electricity to power the building AND 750 homes.

    And here's where the fun starts. While most homes aren't $60 million new construction projects, we can still incorporate similar tricks to make our spaces more resource efficient: 

    • Replace older lighting with more efficient LEDs. Consider freshening your space with a LED desk lamp or modern style LED floor lamp.
    • Keep large appliances (like computers, TVs and stereos) on a power strip and turn the strip off when not in use. These appliances drain electricity even when off.
    • Capture rain water from gutter and/or gray water from sinks for use in irrigating your property.
    • Keep afternoon sun out during summer with blinds or curtains; reverse the process in winter.

    Going green isn't an all-or-none proposition, and small changes at home can have a big impact on both the environment and the wallet.

    Images: Eco Building Pulse

  • Contemporary Design With An Eclectic Twist

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    Contemporary Design

    Whether you're designing a space indoors or out, you can create a contemporary and eclectic aesthetic with an organic feel using lots of plants, colors and textures.

    These images from Interiors Magazine illustrate the use of color and texture really well.

    Outdoor Space

    The best part of an eclectic space, just have fun with it. You can get away with a lot more when it comes to colors and styles.

    Here's a few ideas to get you started...

    Eclectic Furnishings

    1. Go bold, add some color to your furniture with a fun upholstered bench like the Chatham Velvet Purple Bench!

    2. Don't be surprised that the red wire pendant looks great next to the purple bench, those colors compliment each other quite well.

    3. Different shades of red are fun to play with as well, especially when they're not right next to each other, like this pendant light and Wood Round Accent Table.

    Pillows, pillows, pillows... They are the single most fun way to add texture, color and pattern. It's also a great way to bring a color palette together in any space!

          4. Mirabelle Safavieh Accent Pillows

          5. Modern Mandalas Accent Pillow

          6. Tangle Red Piping Decorative Throw Pillow

    Images: Interiors Magazine

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