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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Modern Bedrooms: Small Spaces with Big Style

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    Small Modern Bedroom

    When we moved in to our current home, the first detail we noticed was that our modern bedroom was quite a bit smaller than our previous home. It wasn't a huge deal because we had already downsized our belongings. But I still wanted the space to look spacious and bright. To do this in any space, all you need to do is keep with a bright white scheme.

    This calls for a pretty white on the walls. The great thing about white paint is that you can pair it with any color that you’d like. When painting with color, it binds you to that specific color scheme. The bedroom above started with white walls and then added a fun yellow stripe down the wall and into the floors.

    Small Bedroom

    Another detail to remember when working with a small bedroom space is white bedding makes everything better. Well, maybe not literally but it sure makes for a sophisticated yet playful bedroom. One of my favorite things about hotels is the pretty crisp white bedding that you crawl into every night. You can have that same feel in your own space. I also like the way hotels are using hanging pendant lights in their bedroom designs. The room above is a great example of both elements.

    Modern Bedroom

    A modern color scheme that is timeless is the classic black and white duo. It can be left alone or can be added onto with other colors. Again, the white makes everything seem more open and the black just adds some drama to a stark space. This bedroom shown above is a perfect example of black and white done right. Another way to achieve this look is by adding contemporary black lighting fixtures to an all white room.

    Modern Bedding

    Images: French By Design, Mas-Fashion, Nordic Design, Lonny

  • Small Home + Modern Architecture

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    Modern Architecture

    A client wanted peace, freedom, and nature so Sven Matt Architects made that happen with this small modern home in Austria. The budget was tight, but that didn't mean there was a compromise on function or aesthetic. It just means smarter design and that's exactly what Sven Matt was able to do.

    Modern Kitchen

    There was a focus on the essentials... The large living space, two small bedrooms and entrance are organised around a central core containing the bathroom and technical installations. The thick walls house the kitchen and living room storage which creates a completely built-in look.

    Modern Living Room

    The living room has an open floor plan with minimal furniture and a view like no other. The concrete floors, wood-clad walls and ceilings provide a peaceful yet cozy feeling.

    Modern Window Wall

    The repetition of materials throughout the space make it appear larger and very zen like. Using modern chairs in the same tone as the walls allows the form of the pieces to stand out and integrates perfectly with the architecture.

    Modern Chair

    Set of 2 Wishbone Y Natural Wood Side Chairs 

    Modern Bedroom

    Built-in furniture becomes part of the modern architecture and helps to not waste an inch of space. In this room, you could also opt for modern wall lamps instead of table lamps so the nightstand becomes more available.

     Modern Wall Lamp

    House of Troy Generation Black LED Swing Arm Wall Lamp

    Modern Desk

    The built-in modern desk is very streamlined, providing the resident with a very generous work surface. We all know that a generous modern desk and open space are the keys to productivity!

    And aren't we all trying to be more productive in this new year?!

    Images: Sven Matt

  • Cool + Collected 1.14

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    Modern Museum

    +You've got to see this museum shaped like a tub. It's actually attached to the older building next to it and the contrast is amazing (the interior is even cooler)! 

    +For those of you starting the new year off with healthy intentions, Refinery 29 provides a great list of the best L.A. juice bars.

    +Have you seen The Hobbit yet? Well, chances are you don't like it as much as Maddie Chambers who built a hobbit dollhouse!

    +If you're in the mood for some great photography and you can't make it to NY for the Ann Hamilton 'The Event of a Thread', then head over to Whimsey + Spice, where Jenna Park shares her photos of the art installation.

    +In other news, there's a giant rubber ducky drifting through Syndney's Darling Harbour.

    Image: LA Times

  • Post-Holiday Accessories for Your Home

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    Neutral Design

    With the holiday season coming to a close it’s time to take the Christmas cards and heaps of greenery down. Are you looking around your home at the blank spaces where the Christmas tree once stood or the greenery once laid? . . . Well, it’s time to get your home looking refreshed with new modern accessories that will make your home feel spruced up. Although it might feel a little toned down from all of those holiday decorations, I think staying with a neutral color scheme is important because it makes for an easy transition now. In the Spring you’ll want to layer on the bright bold colors.

    Here are a few of my favorite accessories that will have your home feeling jazzed up for the rest of the Winter.

     Modern Wall Mirror

    Jamie Young Leather Strap 19" High Round Wall Mirror

    Are you looking at that empty space on your wall and longing for something to fill it? I have lots of little spaces like that in my home (especially where my tree once stood). Contemporary mirrors are a great addition and this Jamie Young round mirror would work well in any space. The leather cowhide frame makes for a wonderful detail that sets this mirror apart from a normal silver frame.

    Modern Sculpture

    Round Silver Sunburst on Stand

    All right, you might think I’m a bit crazy – I promise I’m not. For those of you who don’t use your fireplaces or don’t have a working fireplace this is the item that will make your empty space look unique. I’ve used similar sunburst objects in client’s homes and they look fabulous.

    Modern Crystal Bowl

    Nambe Crystal 6" Wide Butterfly Bowl

    In my eyes crystal bowls can be used two ways – as art work and for serving. Which means this beautiful Nambe bowl could be used to store your Winter accessories on a mantel or coffee table.

    Modern Wine Holder

    Brighton Iron and Leather Wine Holder

    Do you have leftover wine lying around from hosting parties? A small wine rack next to your bar for those bottles of Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc will remind you to grab one as you walk out the door to a party or open a bottle after a long day at the office.

    Modern White Vase

    Braided And Lattice Design Matte White Small Diana Vase

    Last but not least, vases are one of my favorite accessories to decorate with – I use them empty or with a beautiful arrangement. This stunning ceramic with lattice texture would be perfect for a coffee table or console.

    Now that you’ve seen a few of my favorites, do you have any post holiday accessories you’re decorating with right now?

    Image: Desire to Inspire

  • New Year Resolutions for 2013

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    Libeskind Museum Tops New Years Resolution

    Every year, people around the globe start the year with a series of resolutions, and it's no different around here. The following are five things topping our 2013 to-do list: 

    1. See Someplace New

    Yosemite High Sierra Camp

    It seems like there’s a cultural or architectural treasure springing up in every city these days. Find one and visit it. Our short list of must-see items this year includes architect Daniel Libeskind’s wing at the Denver Art Museum, followed by a glass of wine at the High Sierra Camps in Yosemite National Park (both pictured above).

    2. Act Locally

    Artisan Lamill Coffee

    We’ve been obsessed with locally roasted coffee from Cafecito Organico and Intelligentsia, not to mention design-savvy LA Mill (pictured above). Nothing beats a fresh cup within walking distance. This year we’re going to walk more and discover the world right outside our doorstep. Architecture and design writer Alyssa Walker turned us onto the joy of walking with her blog Gelato Baby, and guess what we've noticed? There's no better way to see how others mix and match modern ceiling lights and crystal chandeliers (many of which I recognize from our website) in their homes than to peer into their front windows as we walk past. We also discovered that walking a dog makes us look less creepy as we do it.

    3. Stay Centered

    White Office Furniture

    White Leather Low Back Swivel Office Chair, Robert Abbey Havana Polished Nickel Task Desk Lamp

    It’s not always easy to stay calm in the chaos, but one thing we’ve discovered around here is that clean, organized work spaces are a great way to fake the peace until you make the peace. Essential to a calm work space are a functional (and beautiful) desk lamp and an office chair that promotes good posture. Above are two designs we’ve been ogling as of late.

    4. Dress to Impress

    Free & Easy Magazine

    Size matters…with clothing anyway. This year we’re looking for a clean tailored fit, and the Japan-based Free & Easy Magazine (which helped us find a perfect fitting boot this time last year) will be one of our top sources for cutting-edge-meets-classic personal style. Why walk out of the house (see resolution #2 above) looking anything but your best?

    5. Read More

    Coffee Table Book Covers

    Reading more is by and far a universal resolution. Well, if your time is limited in 2013, there are still some great coffee table reads out there. We’re looking at Michael Idov's Made In Russian: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design (Rizzoli) to fire up our aesthetic side, and John Long's fashionable tribute to early rock climbing, The Stone Masters (T. Adler Books), to fuel our adventurous spirit. 

    That's it for us. But we'd love to know: what tops your to-do list this year? 

    Images: Artnet, Yosemite, LAMILL, Dress Launderette, Architect Magazine, Patagonia

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