modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
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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The Art Story
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It's not always bad to be passive, especially when it comes to sustainable building. Passive Houses are starting to stack up worldwide and this means good things for widespread, dramatic impact on energy conservation.
You might be wondering what is a Passive House? Well, this level of sustainable building is a concept that represents today's highest energy standard with the promise of slashing the heating energy consumption of buildings by an amazing 90%!
"Passive" describes the system's underlying receptivity and retention capacity. A Passive House is a very well-insulated, a virtually air-tight building that is primarily heated by passive solar gain and by internal gains from people, electrical equipment, etc.
When architect couple Milena Karanesheva and Mischa Witzmann decided it was time for more space, they decided to give up city life and build a Passive House outside of the French capital. They settled on the small town of Bessancourt, about 17 miles northwest of Paris.
The bamboo that they decided to cover the house in, creates an avoidance of heat gain through shading and window orientation also helps to limit any cooling load, which is similarly minimized.
They incorporated double-flow ducts into the home’s interior, exposing them at various points. They distribute fresh air, keeping temperatures around 66 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 71 degrees in the summer, never going higher than 78. Perfect, right?
They kept the interiors simple and modern through contemporary seating and stylish, modern lighting.
It can't hurt to incorporate even some of the sustainable elements of a Passive House. Ironically, it would be a very determined and progressive step forward for any of us to take on....
Images: Dwell, Green Source
Interior design and branding are a beautiful combination that tell visual stories and create a mood. This Finnish, modern restaurant design, Sis Deli + Cafe does so with bold black and white interior design and packaging. Although this isn't a new restaurant, this sibling design team Muotohiomo, did such an amazing job that it stills seems as fresh today as it did when it opened in 2009.
These black gingham bags make a statement all on their own, but when mixed with the white subway tiles and the black and white menu board you've got a perfected balance!
The simplicity of the black counter grounds element into the space. Modern black barstools stand proudly in any interior. The design concept is a very simple look with special attention paid to every detail. Possibly, a modern black pendant light over the counter would have been a great accent and possibly the only thing missing. But then again, we love lighting!
What do you think? Light or No LIght?
Pinnacle Large Black Tech Lighting Mini Pendant Light
Even these black and white gingham cups are perfect. So perfect you wouldn't want to throw them away...
From the tile, to the packaging, to the tray, to the silverware you've got yourself a beautifully designed and branded restaurant that is sure to create a lasting impression. It's thoughtful, simple, and lasting.
And I think this says it just right, "The visual image is a kind of tripwire for the emotions." - Diane Ackerman
Images: Sis Deli + Cafe , Muotohiomo
Spain may be teetering on the edge of the debt disaster that plagues many of its Mediterranean neighbors, but that doesn't mean the country isn't unveiling a handful of the hottest modern hotel design around. Big name international designers are creating some of the most eye-catching, ultra modern hotels the world has ever seen, proving that the best talent in the world is heading to Spain these days for more than soccer.
The gregarious lobby of the Barcelo Raval in Barcelona (below) is so packed with wow moments that it's a morass of exclamation points - oversized lamp shades, button tufted built-ins, a melange of contemporary plastic seating, and a ceiling full of white decorative pylons. Modern plastic seating is always a great way to add whimsy to any space.
But step inside and a different story unfolds. Guestrooms are tastefully sparse and elegantly austere, in contrast to the public areas. All told, designers like Jaime Hayon, Marcel Wanders for Mooi, and Vitra have put their touch on the hotel.
Moving on to Puerta America Hotel in Madrid, an architectural abomination on the outside (so much so that I refuse to include a photograph). The vivid hotel is a who's who smorgasbord of international design talent. Twelve designers contributed to the hotel, one for each floor. It's luminous, voluminous, and strikingly beautiful. Worth mentioning first are David Chipperfield's corridors (pictured at the top of this post), low-light stunners that look like they came straight from the latest Dark Knight movie.
Also of note are the floors by Zaha Hadid (above) and Norman Foster (below). Riffing off their signature contemporary styles, both designers/architects use recessed fluorescent fixtures to soften the angles throughout and give the spaces a round, synthetic glow.
The Caro Hotel in Valencia (below) brings the outdoors in. Literally. Large stone wall remnants grace the dining halls, while gothic arches and Baroque molding detailing reveal the historical elements of the building. The Caro Hotel is an organic mix of old and new, in which filtered daylight softens public spaces and staged lighting warms intimate spaces. I'm particularly struck by how the extremely simplified forms of the seating integrates seemlessly with the organic and ornate surroundings.
Set of 2 Zuo Vertigo Black Leatherette Modern Dining Chairs
Zuo Vital White Leatherette Leisure Chair
Don't fret that summer is ending and you'll miss the boat on these hotels... Spain is open year round for visitors. And if a European tour isn't in your immediate plans, you can always consider redecorating your living room or bedroom and add a little edge to your daily life. Just make sure to include a bottle of Tempranillo and a nice wedge of Manchego and you've got yourself your very own Spanish retreat.
Images: Freshome, Elle UK, Home Dsgn, iintrepid
If you haven't noticed, metallics are hot, especially gold with all the Olympic hype. Whether it's fashion, design, or architecture we love gold ambition.
This stunning architecture is simple, but so classy with its gold finishing touches.
Ever wonder how to translate all the beautiful gold elements you see everywhere and implement them into your own home? Modern furniture, metallic lighting and accessories is one way to start. And this wall covering (above) is brilliant, subtle yet bold.
Here's some help...
1.Basie Table Lamp 2. Shell Chandelier 3. Sunburst Mirror 4. Gold Bangle Pendant 5. Rubianne Table Lamp 6. Gold Bamboo Accent Table 7. Gold Side Chair 8. Gold Ribbon Mirror
Images: Style Sight, Lintellectural Property, Luster
Mixing organic elements in your modern home decor is the perfect way to create a cozy space. Elements like natural wood tables or sculptural chairs work great with clean solid lines and add layers of interest. This contrasting of materials provides both depth and character to a room, making it feel like a more artful and curated space.
Arteriors Home Lakehurst Gessoed Wood Accent Table
The rustic hardwood floor and exposed ceiling beams create an environment that already has character in its soul. When modern furniture, industrial modern lamps, and accessories are layered over achitectural character, you create a very thoughtful space. The modern, but natural chaise lounge stands in the center of the space like an organic sculpture. Staple elements like these can make any space feel complete, especially with modern black sofas to ground the space.
Arteriors Home Kamaro Vintage Silver Tripod Table Lamp
Natural textures bring life to this neutral interior (above). The textured rugs and rattan pouf fill the space with a softness that the concrete and metal do not provide.
If your modern home decor is feeling a little too cold, warm it up with the use of natrual elements. It's this mixture of natural elements in modern interiors that creates a cozier, lived in feel.
Images: Douglas Friedman Photography, Yellowtrace, Archello
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