Euro Style Home

modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Avant-Garde Art in the Home

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    Polka dot installation art

    For most of us, art plays a central role in our homes. It speaks to our interests, our ideals, and in a very visceral way, to the core of who we are. And yet, as much as we might love a Jeff Koons balloon dog or a Damien Hirst stuffed shark at the museum, how many of us are game for bringing the truly avant-garde into our homes?

    For serious art collectors, art rules the home. Some see their homes overrun by their collections. Others build homes specifically with their art collections in mind. Some will actually see their homes become the art itself, as in the image above, in which artist Yayoi Kusama transformed a home in Australia with polka dot stickers...to the children's delight of course.

    The Sapphire Gallery in Los Angeles was designed as a home addition by XTEN Architecture to house the owner's art collection. Mixed in with the artwork is a tasteful blend of furniture and contemporary lighting fixtures.

    Contemporary art in the home

    Contemporary art galleries benefit from clutter-free interiors when they show new work. Real life doesn't always allow for that, however. When their son outgrew his childhood toys, Manhattan Beach collectors Homeira and Arnold Goldstein commissioned artist Simon Ouwerkerk to build a sculpture out of them to be hung from the ceiling. You'll notice that recessed lighting is used discreetly throughout the home to showcase the rest of their extensive art collection.

    Toy sculptures

    Maybe you want to commission the artist for your clutter too? Here's a detail shot of Ouwerkerk's work recently at Garboushian Gallery in Beverly Hills.

    Toy art installation

    New York gallery owner Paige West's Tribeca home is a stunning testament to her profession. Contemporary art pieces, fresh colors and interesting wall treatments combine well to make a pretty good case for living with the art she sells.

    Art in the home

    We may not all have the means to erect temples to house our contemporary art collections (nor the means to amass a substantial art collection), but I'd like to think it's possible to look beyond purely decorative art and instead collect and display the art you really love - no matter how avant-garde it is - in even the most traditional interiors. As long as you love the piece, you'll want to live with it, right? So the saying goes anyway.

    Images: Freshness Mag, FreshomeLos Angeles Times, Garboushian GalleryThe Cool Hunter

  • The Future of the Kitchen Island

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    Automatic Wood Kitchen Island Top

    Next week I will be off to Milan for EuroCucina 2012 and will be drooling over all of the latest and greatest in the kitchen world. I keep asking myself what's next? What am I expecting? What do I want to see? Besides the new finishes and door styles I'm really looking forward to the technology and sculptural elements of the kitchen. I have a feeling I will see a lot of this happening in the kitchen island. The kitchen island in many open plan kitchens is an entire workstation in itself that needs to be beautiful in aesthetic and function like a machine.   

    Automatic Wood Kitchen Island Top and Exposed Bulb Pendant Lights

    This sliding top by Minimal is a perfect solution for the functional and modern island. This wood slab top slides forward to reveal an induction cooktop and a Corian counter with integrated sink. As it slides out it creates the perfect seating/workstation combination, but when it closes it's a beautiful linear block concealing all the functional aspects of the modern kitchen. The kitchen above is a great example of how island pendant lighting can take the center stage in a minimal space. I'm really looking forward to seeing a lot more mechanical devices integrated into island tops in 2012.

    T-Shaped Kitchen Island with floating cabinets

    This stainless steel workstation by Toyo Kitchen stands on its own quite nicely. The sculptural and functional elements unite in such a way that create a very powerful and elegant presence. All the plumbing and electrical is hidden with the central stainless steel column which allows the cabinetry to float through the space. The INO Leone line is a work of art. I'm looking forward to seeing some beautiful sculptural elements in the kitchen.

    Samsung Galaxy Tablet integrated into sleek black countertop

    Modern Kitchen Island and Samsung Galaxy Tablet integrated into sleek black countertop

    This futuristic kitchen from Toncelli takes user experience to an entirely different level. This sleek countertop features a sliding cutting board and built in Samsung Galaxy Tablet for this technologically advanced world. I'm looking forward to seeing some really smart kitchens.

    Modern Kitchen with Table cooking areas composte

    Modern Kitchen with 4 workstations: compost/harvest, preparing, cooking, and eating

    The Rehilete Kitchen designed by Agent for Mabe appliances explores the kitchen in an entirely new way. It's based on the understanding of using the kitchen as a cycle. Agent’s concept contains 4 stations (or “wings”), which are intended to have dedicated functions, as part of the kitchen cycle: compost/harvest, preparing, cooking, and eating. It allows the architect to envision the space in an entirely new way by truly designing from the inside out and beyond the use of walls. The wood dining table and white dining chairs truly soften up the composition to create a soft contrast and functional surface against the stainless steel and Corian tops. Who doesn't want a kitchen with everything at their fingertips? I'm looking forward to seeing some very thoughtful kitchens in 2012!

    I can't wait to share all the treasures from Milan with you in the next couple weeks!  

    Images: Trendir,  MocolocoAgent

  • Hospitality Design Spotlight: The Saguaro Palm Springs

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    Modern hotel in Palm Springs

    Take one franchise hotel with an outdated design, add some colorful paint, a little branding and voila... a super cool weekend getaway destination! The Saguaro hotel, located in South Palm Springs on East Palm Canyon, just recently opened in February 2012. Saguaro means large cactus in Spanish and there is no question that the design of this hotel fully utilized the Latin love for color.

    Modern hotel guestroom

    The design of their typical guestroom uses just as much color as the exterior. The green apple furniture against a yellow wall is risky no doubt, but the right shades of each color makes for a fun outcome. Streamlined furniture and modern desk lamps are a nice contrast to the basket woven dinette set in the far corner. 

    Modern hotel patio furnture

    The restaurant design of Tinto is just as cool as the rest of the hotel, but rather than lots of color, they took a more natural approach. Featuring modern pendant lighting and lots of wooded furniture, this outdoor patio has a very easy and relaxing vibe, perfect for heading to the pool after a bite to eat.

    Modern hotel restaurant patio

    The transition to the interior of the restaurant maintains that modern yet natural aesthetic. This wine bar and restaurant is inspired by the culinary-renowned Basque region of Northern Spain and Southern France.

    Modern hotel wine bar and restaurant

    Whether you are from nearby Los Angeles or live farther way, this desert retreat, busting with color, is sure to leave you invigorated and full of energy, ready to face the daily grind.

    Images: The Saguaro

  • Stunning Modern Designs From Emerging Architects

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    Modern residential architecture

     Modern residential interior archtecture

    SsD Architecture / Braver House in Newton, Massachusetts

    Jinhee Park and John Hong of SsD Architecture develop their designs by exploring aspects of architecture, landscape, history, and social systems taking an interdisciplinary approach to design. One of their completed projects is Braver house in Newton, Massachusetts (above). Their goal with this project was to create a small, efficient residence that minimizes its actual footprint, while at the same time maximizing the perceived sense of interior space through smart design. In addition to the architecture, minimal furniture and home decor accessories help keep the interiors simple and open.

    Modern architecture design

    Arquitectura 911sc / Social Housing Project in Mexico City, Mexico

    Arquitectura 911sc / Performing Arts Center in Guadalajara, Mexico

    Jose Castillo and Saidee Springall from Arquitectura 911sc strive for a “dual commitment to an architecture that connects the physical with the social and architecture that is grounded and informed by the city.” Recently completed projects include a low-income housing development (above), bookstores, offices, and commercial spaces in Mexico City. Their social housing project is a successful case study to prove that urban, high density housing sells faster than traditional housing projects. The firm's Performing Arts Center in Guadalajara (second image above) is currently under construction. With this project, they hope to create an environment where the interiors interact with the exterior. 

    Jinhee Park, John Hong, Jose Castillo and Saidee Springall are four out of a handful of winners of the 2012 "Emerging Voices" award from The Architectural League.

    Modern residential architecture rendering

    Modern architecture section perspective images

    Yonatan Pressman and Courtney Benzon / Habitat for Humanity Student Project Winner

    Two very young architects who no doubt have big futures are Yonatan Pressman and Courtney Benzon, both graduate architecture students from Rice University. They designed an award winning house (above) that Habitat for Humanity selected to build. The house, set to be built in Spring of 2012 will use prefabricated roof trusses to speed and simplify construction. Yonatan Pressman comments on the inverting of the roof trusses, “It allowed us to give the house a distinct aesthetic presence and create dynamic spaces full of natural light.”

    Be sure to follow all of these emerging architects, both locally and abroad. It is so inspiring to witness their extraordinary creativity and dedication.

    Images: SsD Architecture, Arquitectura 911scInternational Business Times

  • The Allure of Cranberry Red: Hot Color in Architecture and Design

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    Cranberry Red Light Fixtures and Home Decor

    Products (from left to right): Artemis High Pure Red Ceiling Fan, Jonathan Adler Capri Red Accent Lamp, Sao Paulo Ribbed Metallic Red Round Wall Mirror, Lights Up! Woody Pickled Red Dupioni Silk Shade Floor Lamp, Set of 4 Zuo Juju Red Outdoor Dining Chairs

    The allure of cranberry red can be coughed up to its association with excitement. Red is daring, bold, and just plain fun. My favorite use of red in interiors is when it is used as a stand alone color against a very neutral or white background (as shown in the bathroom picture below). Cranberry red also mixes well with other colors such as teals, violets, and light yellows. If you want to just dip your toe in the red color scheme, go for red light fixtures and home decor versus painting an entire wall.

    The bright red ceiling fan would look awesome over a modern bed. The red table lamp adds a pop of color and excitement to living room decor. I would love to see the Sao Paulo metallic red mirror used over a side table in an entryway. I have major tripod floor lamp envy and would die to purchase the red floor lamp for my home office. Jazz up your outdoor dining experience with bright red dining chairs. Which cranberry red home accent are you craving?

    Red Bathtub and Minimalist Bathroom Design

    Image: housetohome

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