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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Create a Fun House With Modern Design

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    Modern Design

    When you have kids you quickly realize that as much as you’d like to contain toys to one designated area it usually becomes a losing battle. Kids love to bring toys with them from to room. And, if your kids are anything like mine, they like to be wherever you are. 
     
    There is no need to fight it. The best thing to do is to just surrender and start making your house fun. Fun doesn’t mean turning your home into a giant playroom, it simply means using your imagination and adding interest.  It can actually translate to less toys (objects) and more creative style and design.

    I absolutely adore the idea of using something that is already in your home (or needed in your home) and making into something magical. The hidden doorway in the bookcase above is brilliant. What kid wouldn’t want a secret passage way in their home? And what adult wouldn’t want one for that matter?

    Modern Living Room

    Truthfully, this concept is all about keeping your style and grown up taste and simply adding in a few fun elements throughout. It can be as simple as adding a swing to your living room or using a play table as your coffee table.  Although there is a swing and kids table in this living room there is nothing about this room that lacks style or is void of good design. It has a playful, modern and eclectic feel about it.

    Modern Kids Room

    And, in area’s that are already designated for kids, why not go all out and build something like an indoor playhouse or castle, for that matter? This play castle works really well because it has great shape and is white which blends in with the rest of the room. It’s likely that the clean white modern style of this play area is carried throughout the home. Finding an element such as color or furniture style to carry throughout the home brings continuity.

    Modern Architecture

    Of course, if you have the ability (and room) to go all out than why not just go for it? I think this slide from upstairs to the downstairs is beyond cool.  The stainless steel against the white walls brings a modern element to the space and the slide almost carries the look of a giant art piece.

    Adding fun elements to your home is . . . fun. It’s a chance for kids to be involved and take interest in design and a second chance for grown ups to use their imaginations.

    Images: The House Home, Milk, Aprill Aprill, Martilaiste

  • From Outfit to Interior: Sleek + Understated

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    Outfit to Interior

    Modern Kitchen

    There's nothing more attractive than someone who is comfortable in their own skin and their own space, it's just a fact. This jumpsuit from Piper Gore screams sleek and understated and it makes sense that our Ms. would surround herself with things that have a similar feel. Dark tones with a few pops of vibrant color and natural materials is a confident palette that doesn't have to try very hard to impress.

    Modern Pendant

    Ms. Sleek & Understated wants to add a little bit of light over her incredible concrete countertop. A few of these Caps Collection Mini Pendents add a contemporary look that doesn't distract, yet also brightens up the workspace.

    A set of Zuo Marius Bar Stools add another pop of bright red to an island or bar top, while the metal stays true to the natural materials in the space she's created.

    Modern Chairs

    To keep the dining table interesting, Ms. Sleek & Understated has opted to use these Black Vinyl with Chrome Chairs for seating. Their comfortable shape makes long after dinner conversations a regular activity! They're also a breeze to clean if someone happens to make a mess.

    Brushed Aluminum Helix Collection Pendent adds a shimmer of light above the table, and adds a new texture to the mix of metals.

    Modern Floor Lamp

    Ms. Sleek & Understated wants to carry this effortless look throughout her home, especially in the living room. She's opted for the Providence Modern Chrome with Black Tufted Zuo Sofa to add some style and personality to the space. So welcoming that it just begs for someone to curl up and read a book or watch a movie!

    For a touch of easy elegance she's added the Arterior Homes Violetta Brass and Black Iron Floor Lamp. The vintage black finish on the shade and brass finished base is perfect for this easy to live in space!

    Images: Pipergore, Casa Vogue

  • Lessons from the World's Greatest Lobbies

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    world's greatest lobbies

    Let's face it...the mere act of walking through a grand space makes us feel, well, grand. A night at the opera, a wait in the airport or train station, an overnight stay in a hotel--in each of the world's greatest lobbies, we experience a connection to something bigger than ourselves. 

    There's just something to big-ticket public spaces that thrills and inspires. And there's a lesson to be learned too.

    saarinen jfk terminal

    Within even the grandest lobby, there is an undeniable intentionality to the usage of space. Whether it's the Calatrava-designed Liege train station at the top of this post, or the Saarinen-designed TWA terminal in New York, floorplans are laid out to effect the logical movement of people. Spaces are sub-divided creatively to address a variety of tasks: encouraging relaxation, facilitating administration, inducing awe. Lighting is designed (and often adjusted throughout the day) to increase safety and add atmosphere.

    The best thing about this? These same considerations can be applied to the home, no matter how small it is.

    contemporary studio apartment

    Do you eat, sleep and live in a single room? Create sub-spaces. Make sure the sofa or entertaining areas are easily accessible by guests. Keep a table and chairs close to the kitchen for an impromptu dinner party. For living room furniture, choose low-profile designs to "raise" the ceiling in small spaces.

    stackable kids chairs

    Baby Anime Stackable Kids Armchairs

    Does your bedroom double as an office? Use a swing arm wall light or adjustable floor lamp to shine light where and when you need it.

    modern chrome wall lamp

    Bernie Turbo Series Chrome Swing Arm Holtkoetter Wall Lamp

    Do you have Michelin star ambition but a small kitchen? Make it a castle by hanging pots and pans rather than stowing them. Choose open-face cabinets or shelving to cut down on the confined feel. Use colors that increase the illusion of space. White can open a room up and charcoal can recede into the background, 

    small space kitchen

    Yes, large hotels do have the large square footage to impress. But just because you might not have it too, doesn't mean you can't still flaunt it. At home, a little space planning can go a long way.

    Images: Beauty of DecayModern Art and Style, Home Design We Love, Digs Digs

  • Tomorrow's LED: A Lighting Revolution

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    Apple Think Different

    "Think Different."

    Hasn't that become the de facto war cry of the digital age, ushered in ever so presciently in the early 90s by Apple Computer? 

    Well, thinking differently isn't just for the the geek chic computer set anymore. A recent article in the New York Times suggests that the lighting industry is in the midst of a Silicon Valley-like LED lighting revolution: 

    “Up till now we only thought — do I have enough light to see, to clean my room, to cut a diamond?” said Ed Crawford, a senior vice president of Philips Lighting Americas. “Now it impacts what I do, how I feel, in emotional ways.”

    Virgin America Cabin Lighting

    As cost continues to drop and quality continues to rise, LEDs (and their ability to replicate a wide range of colors), are leading the charge. In fact, colored LED lighting is being used to do everything from settling the spirits of frazzled Virgin America airline travelers (pictured above) to managing jaundice in newborns. It is, in a sense, much more functional than meets the eye. At the consumer level, some LED ceiling lights even change colors to suit the mood.

    But lighting is getting smarter too. There are park lights that turn on only as joggers pass by, and street lights that can detect noxious gases. There are light bulbs that can be dimmed and color shifted, all through a mobile app. And soon, public lighting could be networked to monitor traffic or direct cars to vacant parking spots. 

    While the technology is still in R&D, consumers are already beginning to see benefits. Famed Italian designer Alessi recently released LED bulbs at a very eye-pleasing 2700K color temperature:

    led light bulb

    LED AlessiLux Silver Decorative Light Bulb

    And energy-efficient LEDs have made solar powered path lighting (and the added safety and security they provide) a viable consumer option for years:

    solar landscape lighting

    Pewter Solar Lantern Outdoor Landscape Light

    The question is: what's next? Instead of wall lights, we may see interactive lighting that covers entire walls. Instead of remembering to turn off the lights, our homes may do the remembering for us. Whatever comes next in modern lighting, you can trust we'll be chasing it down.   

    Images: All Things TechCatch Brand

  • Color Crush: White

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    White Living Room

    All of the white that is being incorporated into rooms in magazines and blogs is seriously addictive. It’s so fresh and clean and easy. I love the idea of a mostly white scale living room with little pops of color here and there. That is pretty much my dream living room at the moment!

    This living room is kind of perfect. It doesn’t have any kind of loud style and it’s not over the top decorated. It is just plain and simple white. It’s totally a space that you could work with and even redecorate when the time came without too much hassle. It could easily be made into an eclectic room with a combination of styles and patterns, or a more rustic or industrial space. I love a space that has the main essentials or foundation that you can easily build off of with the right pieces. This is that room!

    White Home Decor

    Pascal White ChairPossini Euro White Flower Pendant,

    Perkins White Lacquer Wood PedestalStreet Smart Accent Pillow

    This chair is pretty popular, which makes it fun. The legs are amazing! And the white seat would go great with pretty much any cushion or throw pillow. The light fixture is pretty rad. It’s both modern and organic somehow, which I absolutely love. It’s a statement fixture without being too over the top. The stool would be fantastic for additional seating or even putting by the front door for an easy place to take off shoes. And the pillow is the fun one. Even though there isn’t any color, the bold black and white makes it really pop which is awesome.

    Image: Residence Magazine

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