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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Tips for Creating Your Modern Outdoor Space

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    Modern Outdoor Space

    It's that time of year again! Get ready to spend more time in your modern outdoor space, both day and night. There's just a few things you need to consider as you prepare your outdoor space.

    FUNCTION

    The first thing you should do before selecting outdoor lighting, purchasing outdoor furniture or laying down any stones is figure out how you want your outdoor space to function. Will you be entertaining? Do you want to eat out there during the day or night? Maybe you just want to lounge on sunny days?

    Modern Outdoor Dining Space

    STYLE

    Keep in mind the style of both your home's architecture as well as the interior design. Selecting furniture and lighting that will compliment your home's style is important for the overall flow of the design.

    Modern Outdoor Seating

    PLANT LIFE

    It's important to include some plant life in your home, but it's especially important to include it in your outdoor living space! Greenery can be used as a barrier as well. In the case of this home below, close quarters required them to come up with a design plan to ensure privacy. They chose tall, narrow trees and it was a brilliant move.

    Modern Outdoor Living Room

    We hope you have fun designing your modern outdoor space and even more fun spending time there!

    Images: Dwell, Salmon Bay Woodworks, Tom Hurt, Incorporated NY

  • Get the Look: Modern Kitchen Island Barstools

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    Modern Kitchen Design

    Your kitchen always ends up being the gathering place in a home – whether you’re hosting a party or just hanging out with the family. Because of this, it’s time for everyone to spice up your modern kitchen island with some chic barstools. Some people go for comfort; for others, they only care about looks.

    Then you have to think about the design of your modern barstools... It doesn’t matter what style your home is – industrial, mid-century modern, traditional or minimalist – there is something for everyone’s kitchen island.

    Industrial Barstool

    Zuo Marius Red Bar Chair

    Your kitchen will look all spruced up for a small price. Think of the modern barstool as kitchen jewelry. Today, I’ve pulled together three different looks for you, each one I love for a different reason.

    I’m partial to the industrial look (above). This bright version is the perfect pop of color to bring into your kitchen.

    Black Barstool

    Orson Black Leatherette Metal Modern Bar Stools

    This Orson bar stool has a back. If you treat the counter as a place for chatting while cooking, a high-back stool will be more comfortable.

    Transparent Barstool

    Anime Modern Transparent Acrylic Stackable Zuo Bar Stool

    If you want your barstools to kind of disappear from a distance, acrylic is definitely the way to go.

    I hope this helped and you find your ideal barstool!

    Images: Project DécorStyle at Home, Nordic Design, Casa Sugar

  • High/Low Design: Ghost Chair Trend

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    Ghost Chair Trend

    One could dub the ghost chair as a 'trend,' but I think with its versatility and clean design, ghost chairs are more deserving of the title 'classic.' They mix well with a number of different design aesthetics, especially since their transparent nature lends itself well to pairings with heavier furnishings.

    Small Spaces

    The only problem? Ghost chairs can be notoriously expensive. Luckily, ESL has you covered and currently offers ghost chairs at a fraction of the price of other major retailers. Take a look -- can you spot the differences between this high/low?

    Ghost Chair Match Up

    Images: Lonny, Feb/Mar 2010, Lonny, Oct/Nov 2009

  • Modern Living Room Design Using Purple

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    Modern Living Room Design

    I am a huge advocate for adding color to a modern living room. Monochromatic rooms can be ultra cool but there is something so lively about color. Especially when added to a clean crisp neutral space. One color that tends to be overlooked is purple. It’s a hard hue to mix other colors with and can sometimes feel too bold. Lately I’ve been seeing this royal color appear in some fantastic spaces. The key is to add splashes of purple. Too much can look too... well, purpley.

    Above we see a modern space with a great art wall and bench seating. In the midst of other bold colors, the purple rug looks cool and youthful.

    Modern Living Room

    This sofa is adorned with pretty purple pillows to add just a touch of this color. We also see a purple amethyst piece on the coffee table that works effortlessly with the pillows. Cream and purple are a dynamic duo! Decorative pillows are a great way to add color to a room.

    Painted Wall

    If you want to go a little more permanent with the color purple, try painting a half wall in a soft version of the hue. This room is full of neutral pieces so the purple is allowed to pop. A great color combo is lavender and green, as you can see (above).

    Minimal Living Room

    If you are really unsure about using this color and worried that you might get weary of it too soon, take a clue from this room and try it out with one single pale purple pillow. It might be all of the purple that you need or want.

    Images: Desire To Inspire, Design* Sponge, Residence Magazine, April and May.

  • Landscape + Art = Modern Design Inspiration

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    Modern Design Inspiration

    When we think of landscape design, we usually consider the interplay of foliage, hardscape features and outdoor lighting. A water feature may play into the mix too, but rarely do we consider art work or finding any type of usable modern design inspiration.

    LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division), a non-profit founded in 2009 challenges the notion of how we use and program public and outdoor spaces by curating temporary installations and performances of contemporary art work. From an astrological mapping in the Southern California desert to a car horn symphony orchestrated across Los Angeles, LAND's happenings force us to look at our interaction with space in different and often inspiring new ways.

    Miami Art Installation Adler Guerrier

    Perhaps most interesting among these exhibitions is the island (pictured throughout this post), a short-term, site-specific installation that plays with the fantasies and realities of being marooned on a desert island. For this single day exhibition held in conjunction with Art Basel Miami 2010, guests were boated to an island and induced to trek through sand, tropical plants and the water itself to discover artwork.

    Open Container Hanna Liden

    While the artwork was arranged like detritus drifted upon a shore, the effect was stunning. The relationship between the natural and the artificial was brought into dramatic relief.

    Bozidar Brazda Mess Age

    Participating artists included: Bozidar Brazda, Stefan Brüggemann, Scott Campbell, Brody Condon, Naomi Fisher, Michael Genovese, Luis Gispert, Adler Guerrier, Terence Koh, Kate Levant and Michael E. Smith, Hanna Liden, Justin Lowe, Kori Newkirk, Jack Pierson, Marina Rosenfeld, David Benjamin Sherry, and Rona Yefman. The exhibition was curated by Shamim M. Momin, Director/Curator, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) and Aaron Bondaroff/Al Moran, Creative Directors, OHWOW.

    Stefan Bruggemann Installation Art

    Myakka Art Naomi Fisher

    Despite its highly conceptual approach, there are a number of design take-aways from the exhibition. What is our relationship with the outdoors? How do we design outdoor spaces in which the manufactured complements the organic rather than fighting with it? How can we develop our open and public land in a way that is sustainable and even regenerative

    These are the questions landscape architects and homeowners alike are asking, and with a growing interest in such mechanisms as energy efficient LED lighting, solar powered fountains, recycled materials and climate tolerant gardening, the land of the future promises to be a bright one indeed. 

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