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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Modern Lighting Trends With Design For Mankind


    Erin Loechner

    We have invited Erin Loechner, from the super cool art/design blog Design for Mankind, to help us with modern lighting trends while staying on budget. Take it away Erin...

    Lighting can transform any space, but can all too often break the bank just as quickly. Lucky for you, I've rounded up 10 fantastic lighting finds - all under $100. Whether your dream makeover calls for industrial or baroque, I've got something for every budget-friendly style, plus tips on how to make the most of your new statement lighting. Enjoy!

    Industrial lighting can sometimes look cold and outdated, so cozy up these pieces with plenty of layered textiles and earthy elements. Try pairing industrial-inspired spotlights and uplights in a warm, white kitchen with subway tiles and raw wood countertops for a chic Scandinavian aesthetic. Or, give the tripod table lamp a spin in an office filled to the brim with books and magazines with a flokati rug underfoot. Whatever you decide, rest easy knowing your lighting is making a bold statement in the space!

    Lil Wonder Black Mini Spotlight ($84.99 Modern In Studio Adjustable Steel Tripod Table Lamp ($99.91) Lil Wonder Micro Mini Uplight ($84.99)

    Modern Lighting Trends

    Traditional lighting can be universally flattering in a variety of spaces. I recommend traditional chandeliers in a mission style dining room with tufted chairs for your next dinner party. Better yet? Add a bronze outdoor wall light to welcome your guests in style.

    White and Chrome Finish Swag Style Plug-In Chandelier ($99.99) John Timberland 13" Wide Seedy Glass Outdoor Wall Light ($79.99)

    For the gal who can't get enough jewels, glamour-inspired table lamps and sconces are the perfect addition to a modern living room. Want to complete the look? Add an animal print rug, modern sectional and sculptural artwork for the chicest entertaining space around. Or tone down the glamour by pairing my picks with more natural elements, such as a wooden coffee table or concrete-inspired console.

    Baroque Clear Acrylic Table Lamp ($99.99) Possini Euro Chrome Crystal Rainfall Modern Wall Sconce ($99.99) Mercury Glass 26 1/2 Inch - H Triple Gourd Table Lamp ($99.99)

    Want to freshen up any room of the home? Contemporary light fixtures work overtime in every space - from bedrooms to offices and everywhere between. Choose a chic table lamps to complement a modern bedside table or add sophistication to a drab desk. And I dare you to find an entryway that doesn't sing when paired with contemporary ceiling lights!

    Resin White Drum Shade Michelle Table Lamp ($90.81) Possini Euro Design White Flower 15 3/4" Wide Ceiling Light ($99.99)

    Happy lighting, friends!

    Thanks so much Erin for your great modern lighting trends!

  • Reclaimed Wood in Your Modern Home


    Reclaimed Wood

    Adding a touch of reclaimed wood to your modern interior is a great way to bring in texture and layers. There are many different applications to suite your space such as modern cabinets and storage solutions, wall and ceiling finishes, stair treads, kitchen cabinetry, and the list goes on. We happen to love this simple application of raw, wooden planks (above) that are great for a rustic modern coffee table or tv stand.  Wrapping the planks in a colored tie and painting the ends of each piece to match is a great detail on this DIY project.  

    Reclaimed Wood Barn Doors

    Reclaimed wood barn doors are the perfect backdrop to this rustic, modern kitchen. Not only is it a very practical solution for storage, but these layers of concrete, reclaimed wood, and ultra modern appliances add so much visual interest.

    Reclaimed Wood Wall Treatment

    In this modern home, the gray-toned reclaimed wood contrasts so beautifully with the clean white walls and modern pendant lighting.  It's a great application on this fireplace wall and creates a grand statement in this room with such high ceilings.

     Modern Pendant Light


    Whatever your needs or wants may be, there is always an application for reclaimed wood in your modern interior! It is sure to create such a warm cozy feeling during these cold Winter months...

    Images: Scandanavian Deko, The Style Files, The Salvage Collection

  • Cool + Collected 1.7


    Modern DIY Project

    +Hey modern parents, we found a really fun and useful DIY for your upcoming holiday time at home. Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day made alphabet pillows!

    +Speaking of the holidays and the looming Thanksgiving meal next week... For all you vegetarians (us included) who don't know what to do for this typically-meat-based dinner, Bonnie Christine from Going Home to Roost provides some delicious ideas for a vegetarian meal.

    +We have a very cool make-over to show you. This might be the longest hallway you've ever seen, but we guarantee you will be impressed with how Daniel Kanter from Manhattan Nest made it both stylish and functional. Note: This hallway is so long, there's a Part 1 and a Part 2 for this blog post.

    +Swing on over to Dezeen for a very cool installation. The International Centre for the Arts Jose in Guimarães, Portugal features a swing set where kids can of course play, but also where electricity is generated under the floor.

    +We're loving the modern Zodiac Prints Katie Armour shared on her blog The Neo Traditionalist.

  • Design Books: Arabesque


    Arabesque Design Books The Arab world has seen a spate of political revolutions over the past few years, but a recent series of two design books called Arabesque looks at a quieter revolution taking place in the Arab world: graphic design. This stunning collection of inspiration images features modern calligraphy, logos and illustration by artists from Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.

    In the book, urban and environmental design photos show Arabesque patterning at the street level:  Arab Environmental Design

    Arab illustration points to a vibrant mix of cultural heritage with modern production techniques:

    Modern Arab Illustrations

    Logos and typography highlight the Arab calligraphy tradition, albeit with a modern twist:

    Arab Calligraphy

    Arabesque does stop short of covering industrial or interior design. That doesn't stop us however from daydreaming of a few home decor elements that might look great surrounding this beautiful coffee book:

    Home Decor Accessories

    Tall Turquoise Glass Stupa Vase, Possini Glitz Crystal Chrome 8 1/2" High Pocket Wall Sconce, Helix Collection Rectangular End Table, Tangle 20" Square Red Throw Pillow, Set of 2 Zuo Modern Darwen Black 24" High Counter Stool

    A book this nice is just too good to keep locked up on the shelf. We suggest you design the perfect reading corner with a modern coffee table, a pretty arc floor lamp and start reading. Let's face it, almost nothing beats a warm beverage and a good read.  

    Images:  Gestalten

  • Modern Dining Room: Decorating For The Holidays


    Modern Dining Room

    It's that time of year again and if you're like us, you're thinking about the best way to create a modern dining room for this holiday season. Similar to the room above, we love the use of a modern dining table mixed with acrylic dining chairs to create a beautiful holiday table and still feel spacious. This sleek style allows for minimal decor to really stand out against the glistening backdrop.  

    Acrylic Dining Furniture

    Accessorizing with simple organic elements, such as gold leaf branches (above), helps soften the modern materials. Modern candle holders are also a wonderful touch.

    If you want to get the look above here are some perfect selections to help you achieve this look in your own home.

    Modern Dining Table

    Zuo Flag White Leatherette and Glass Dinign Table

    Acrylic Dining Chair

    Zuo Anime Transparent Dining Chairs

    Modern Chandelier

    Clear Crystal Chrome Luminous Chandelier

    Modern Placecard Holders

    Set of 8 Mini Glass Bubble Placecard Holders

    You can make your guests feel special by creating modern placecard holders (above) for each one.  

    Adding simple holiday elements to your modern decor will be a sure way to keep you festive this holiday season without compromising your modern aesthetic!  

    Images: Sketch 42

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