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LBL Batons Satin Nickel Suspension Pendant Light
“When lighting looks like art, you know you have a winner!”
- D. Shultz, Interior Designer
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From the water temperature to the fruit in the bowl to the soothing modern light fixtures overhead, modern spa designs leave no stone unturned. Creating the perfect relaxing space requires an intuitive balance of color, texture and form.
Color theory dictates that blue is relaxing, while green is noted for its soothing and healing properties. Combine the two colors and you get aqua, or water, the inherent color and ingredient in the spa. The aqua hue looks stunning against the charcoal gray slate of Mandalay Bay’s Bathhouse in Las Vegas (pictured above) and it's of course a natural fit in the hot springs of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon spa (pictured below).
Other colors work well too. The Hirsch Bedner designed EDITION Hotel ESPA was widely acclaimed upon opening for its generous use of natural stone walls and its signature sculpted mica wall and ceiling lights, inspired by traditional Turkish bath designs. Close to ceiling lights offer much needed illumination without crowding airspace. Organic colors add a sense of warmth and comfort, while the form itself adds the implication of provenance to the space.
Light, like color plays a vital role in the design of a spa space. While mica lights add warmth to EDITION's bath area, the chandeliers in the foyer at the Long Beach Hotel in Mauritius (below) offer a lighthearted entre to the relaxation that lies beyond. Contemporary chandeliers can be found in a ton of styles to fit any atmosphere.
Lastly, simplicity of space is a key ingredient throughout successful spa designs, and the reason is simple: less visual clutter leads to less mental clutter. And less mental clutter leads to relaxation. Furniture is sparingly used. Palettes are surprisingly simple. These rules allow designers to create the illusion of space in even the tightest floorplans, such as the open Mizu Spa in San Francisco.
For design lovers, the attention to design details is what draws them in to a spa in the first place. The relaxing after after-effect is usually a much needed side effect. And for a lucky few, such as the owners of the Spa House in Cape Town (pictured above), the simple elegance of a spa can be a year round love-affair.
Images: Mandalay Bay, TravelPod, Brand Critique, Contemporist, Merdu, HomeDsgn
What better place to soak in contemporary California design than Venice? Architect Daniel Monti designed this house using a brilliant mix of materials. The skillfully perforated screens add depth and visual character to the façade of this Venice house, which Monti designed for his parents.
The 3,000 circles cut from the exterior screens creatively make up the interior staircase's decorative guardrail. Not a bad way to re-use material!
The exterior panels double as artwork for the interior of the home as well, casting a super cool light design and giving a unique method of privacy to the bathroom.
From the looks of this house, I think it's safe to say Monti has has some pretty cool parents.
For more images of some very beautiful architecture, you read the L.A. Times review.
Images: The Architect's Newspaper, L.A. Times
We just love modern bathroom design and nature! We've been giving you lots of tips for either designing your shower outdoors or incorporating natural materials into your bathroom. There's lots of options, including getting a bathroom with a view! It's time to bring the outdoors in and create your modern organic bathroom sanctuary in any location! Open plans allow room for furniture, perfect for including a lounge chair and being able to enjoy the view even when you're not in the tub.
This perfectly modern all-white bathroom introduces the green wall in such a breathtaking way. i29 Architects created a Plantwall that extends beyond the volumes of the bathroom and into the interior of the home. This creates the illusion of the bathroom being connected to the outdoors and open to the sky.
Steve Hermann's long and narrow bathroom doesn't truly end at the glass wall! The entire exterior becomes part of this minimal bathroom design. The sleek modern bathroom vanity contrasts so elegantly against the raw concrete wall, as the mirror reflects the picture perfect exterior. In modern bathroom design, the use of modern bathroom vanity lighting allows for a seamless integration, maintaining the clean lines of modern design.
If you can't be fully exposed to the exterior just one window will do! The open plan bathroom with exposed beams feels connected to the exterior through the open window. If your view isn't picture perfect, a little landscaping is all you need to do the trick! The natural wood bench also brings a bit of the exterior in and is a nice touch against the concrete floor and stark white bathroom fixtures.
There is no way you can block a picture perfect view from the top the Hollywood Hills. Just the thought of sitting in this elegant tub viewing the splendid lights of the city is overwhelming!
The application of wood in the bathroom is a great way to bring the outdoors in. The mixture of natural wood, marble, and the large window with views of the lush landscaping create a very natural and serene environment that keeps you at one with nature.
Image Source: Freshome, Design Milk, Steve Hermann Design, Architectural Digest, Yellowtrace
You don't have to situate your bathroom outside, as I discussed in my post The Modern Outdoor Bathroom, or even include interior landscaping, you could just incorporate nature into the materials used in your modern bathroom. This beautiful high-impact wall covering (above) dominates this space, in a good way. Large scale artwork, simple home decor accessories and clean lines are great methods in modern design.
If you don't want such large scale artwork dominating your space, there's no need to be so obvious with your love for the great outdoors. Notcie the fixtures in this space (above) which feature the beautiful wrapping effect of a lily flower, capturing just the right amount of the nature. Keeping the rest of the decor simple allows these unique fixtures to stand out. Try consolidating some of the more functional elements, such as combining mirrors with lighting, so that you can keep your space more open.
Mosaic tiles are a beautiful way to add artistic elements to any contemporary bathroom. This tile work depicting a large scale birds of paradise tops the list. And the colors are mesmerizing.
You can use simple materials such as wall covering or more complex applications like mosaic ,to add a little natural to your bathroom design without having to break down any walls or maintain any type of plant life. Simplicity is wonderful.
Images: Architects For Life, Home Design House, Arxitektur
I am constantly researching modern hotel design all around the world, so a trip that ends in La Maison Champs Elysees, is a trip that ends well! This was a complete surprise! I tend to travel with no expectations as to be able to view things with an open and pure mind. The beauty of this hotel would've easily exceeded any expectation I could've possibly had for it! The hotel commissioned fashion-house Maison Martin Margiela's to redesign the suites, restaurant, smoking room, bar and reception area. I don't think their could've possibly have been a better match! The intention was to offer ''a surprising, poetic experience which does not become exhausted with a single visit to the hotel: a liberating experience, a journey within a journey, which exists nowhere else.'' And this they did. Take a look at one of the most gorgeous interiors I've ever stepped foot in!
All rooms are white on white with the exception of the Curiosity Case Suite which is masculine and seductive with the dramatic use of blacks and charcoals. The mirrored side table reflecting the distressed charcoal gray linens and wood floors is just heaven! The feathered table lamp was so beautiful, I could have just stared in its wings for hours! The mirrored side table is a wonderful way to create a very alluring and illusory effect in any space.
The sculptural elements of these modern accent chairs created such a powerful statement. The natural wood and caning contrasted against the dark floors and walls appear to be glowing in the space.
The Gilded Lounge Suite takes trompe l'oeil to a new level. Margiela's sense of sophistication and playfulness really shines through in this suite. The wallpaper is actually made from black and white photographs taken of the Second Empire-style gilded salon located on the second floor. A modern application staying true to period. Remarkable.
The playfulness and simplicity of the white on white Lost Moulding Suite feels very romantic to me. It's soft and whimsical, but the orange table lamp shows that it has spark!
Just sitting in the White Lounge you'll feel special. The simple pendant lights, the mirrored tables, the white chairs on white walls...it's just pure elegance. But when you throw in the stunning colors of the taxidermy parrot and flamingo you know you can relax a bit and have some fun in here! Simple pendant lighting and clean white furniture is always a great modern pair.
What a fabulous stay and a pleasure to observe! I can't wait to see more commissioned interiors from Maison Martin Margiela! If you get a chance to visit Pairs, do peek your head inside this fabulously contemporary hotel!
Images: Le Maison Champs Elysees
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