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  • Delicious by Design: The World's Best Restaurant Design

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    Best Restaurant Design

    For design lovers, presentation is nearly everything. So when looking at Restaurant magazine's 2012 list of the world's best restaurant design, it only makes sense to compare the plates with the restaurant in which they're served. 

    For three years in a row, Copenhagen's Noma tops the list (above). Who would expect anything other than restaurant design perfection from this Danish icon? Noma's cuisine (below) is a colorfully chic take on Nordic cuisine utilizing foraged flowers, fungi and sea vegetables, but the design is fundamentally Scandinavian in it's functionalism. In a fun nod to the past, faux pelts drape over the modern chairs of the dining room (above).

    Noma Restaurant Plates

    At the number two spot for the best restaurant design is El Celler de Can Roca, Barcelona, where the wine list reigns supreme as evidenced by the modern cellar design (below).

    Modern Wine Cellar Design

    At El Celler de Can Roca, landscape design and plate design have a funny way of mimicking one another (below).

    El Celler de Can Roca Design

    Modern Food Styling

    Ranked third in the world is another Spanish restaurant, Mugaritz. Housed in a rustic farmhouse. It flaunts some adventurous cuisine and design details, such as this towel station outside the restrooms (below).

    Contemporary Drop Lighting

    With a dark wooded ceiling, contemporary wall lamps cantilevered from the beams, and modern sculptures on the table, the dining room (below) is elegant yet restrained. Try one of these contemporary wall lamps to ge the look.

    Mugaritz Dining Room

    Dishes at Mugaritz show similar sculptural restraint, as with this plate of violet ice cream (below).

    Mugaritz Dessert

    Put the world's top three restaurants together and you've got some unforgettable flavors set amid some great design. 

    Mid-century Modern Design

    Set of 2 Laine Wood and Faux Leather Dining Chairs, Sonneman Contra Perno Satin Nickel Boom Arm Floor Lamp, Silver Ribbon Twist Sculpture On Stand

    Now we might not all be Michelin star chefs, but at least it's possible with the help of a few simple modern designs to re-create the look of the world's best restaurants at home.

    Images: Unravel TravelFine Dining Lovers, Fifth Floor Cooking, Travel TakeawayBarcelona.com, Pursuitist, el Pais, Wallpaper*

  • Modern Architecture: Light Catcher House in Japan

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    Modern Architecture

    This house in Japan, designed by Kazuhiko Kishimoto literally catches light. The home is built around a beautiful courtyard that provides natural light for the entire house, inside and out.

    Glass Walls

    Simple dining table and chairs keep the decor minimal and modern.

    Modern Kitchen

    The bar style of the kitchen seating allows for a beautiful view of the courtyard.

    Modern Kitchen Seating

    We're not sure about you, but we're wanting to add windows and natural wood to our home decor...

    Images: Design Milk

  • Cool + Collected 1.5

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    Superstorm Sandy

    +Our thoughts go out to all those affected by Superstorm Sandy. We were struck by this image of the subway system on Gothamist with the entire lower part of the island as well as parts of Queens and Brooklyn non-functional (This image was published Wednesday and may no longer be accurate) . L.A. Times Photography has a roundup of images and updates about this natural disaster.

    +Are you going to be in London next week?... Holly Becker from Decor8 will be hosting a launch party for her fabulous new book Decorate Workshop.

    +For some VERY cool photography of an underwater cave, head over to the Orda Cave website.

    +If you're considering painting your walls and trying to achieve the industrial-chic look, Will from Bright Bazaar has some great color tips.

    +For the Latin culture, November 2nd is Day of the Dead, a tradition that celebrates the life and the death of loved ones. Fox News Latino announed that a Los Angeles gallery opened yesterday in honor of this yearly tradition.

    Day of the Dead

     Day of the Dead Image: EBSQ

  • The Devil's in the Hotel Design Details

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    Hotel Design

    When staying at a hotel, sometimes it's the little things that count. Let's take a look at some worldly examples of great hotel design that doesn't overlook the details.  

    Ever since it's opening, I've been drawn to the windows in the public spaces of the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona (above). There's a playful voyeuristic quality to these ultra chic peep-spots.

    Colorful Architecture

    The fun facade at the Inntel Hotel in Amsterdam (above) is postmodern meets traditional Dutch meets Rubik's cube. 

    Hotel Accessories

    The pencils at the Andaz Hotel in London are made from recycled CD jewel cases (above). I'm guessing they now offer iPod docks in the rooms. The key to great hotel design is not just in the architectural details, but also the accessories that would normally seem unimportant, like a pencil.

    Adaptive Re-use Hotel Design

    The Waterhouse along Shanghai's Sound Bund (above) keeps the crumbling concrete walls of this former Japanese military bunker intact. It's a very real respite from the otherwise hyperreal development in the city that surrounds it. Raw materials and designer desk lamps can give an organic feel to any space.

    Contemporary White ChandelierArtcraft Baby Swan White Chandelier

    The Treehouse Hotel (below) sits just 35 miles south of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. Suspended from trees and featuring mirrored sides, it's virtually invisible from the ground.

    Tree House Hotel Design

    Not all the rooms feature a mirror facade though, and inside there's a feast of minimalist decor (below). Loungy, white seating is a fun way to keep a place minimal and modern.

    Modern Rural Hotel Rooms

    Contemporary White Floor Lamp

    Sonneman Tetra Gloss White Floor Lamp

    Designers and graphic designers have to love the Pantone Hotel in Brussels (below), an homage to the color specialists in seven distinct hues.

    Pantone Hotel

    And sometimes it's the smallest thing that counts: a drink on the top floor at the end of the day. For fans of the Sofia Coppola film Lost in Translation, the New York Bar at the Park Hyatt Tokyo (below) is the perfect place to re-create your own Bill Murray Suntory whiskey moment. 

    New York Hotel Tokyo

    With a view looking across Tokyo and some of the best cocktails in the world, it's worth every yen. And trust me, you'll spend quite a few.

    With so many options, hopefully you're booking a trip and heading to see one of these extremely cool hotel designs.

    Images: Contemporist, Design You Trust, Concierge, Open Buildings, CN Traveler, That's Like Whoa!Ozon3, Nansiepants

  • Gothic Architecture: Tim Burton Inspired Bridal Shoot

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    Gothic Architecture

    Happy Halloween! We don't usually post about weddings, but when there's cool Gothic architecture involved we do. It might not be in line with our typicaly modern architecture obsession, but we appreciate all great design. This bridal shoot is the stunning work of photographer Shelly Mantovani, inspired by the Tim Burton film ‘Dark shadows’. I'm sure there are many people out there getting married on today, and if you're not you can always dress up and pretend you are!

    Take a look at some gorgeous inspiration for a dark wedding or just some really cool Gothic architecture...

    Gothic Windows

    This red is purely radiant!  Pops of red in your wardrobe or home decor will always bring energy to your style!

    Pink Dress

    The use of pinks and soft pastels creates such a romantic energy in a dark way. Speaking of dark, the one thing this space is missing is some black pendants or chandeliers, right?!

    Gothic Archway

    Gargoyle

    Be safe this Halloween!

    Images: Zimbio

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