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  • Memorial and Landscape Design: Remembering Dan Kiley


    landscape design dan kiley

    Image from the Cultural Landscape Foundation

    Despite its unofficial status as the kick-off to summer, Memorial Day claims a much more somber reason as its origin: it is the day in which we honor those who have given their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces. 

    To mark the day, we look at deceased landscape architect Dan Kiley, whose recently-closed exhibition at the National Building Museum chronicled the designer's work on some of the nation's most high-profile public spaces.

    lincoln center plaza

    Image from the Lincoln Center

    A modernist at heart, Kiley 's minimalist landscaping was durable enough to handle public use while remaining delicate enough to honor appropriately the space at hand. From the Saarinen designed Air Force Academy (pictured at the top of this post) to the Lincoln Center (above), he frames natural elements within simple, easy-to-read geometries. 

    gateway arch gardens

    Image from the Cultural Landscape Foundation

    We've talked about how contemporary water fountains can add a sense of cool and calm to your yard. The stillness of Kiley's reflecting pool at the Jefferson Expansion Memorial in St. Louis (above) takes it to another level.

    Likewise, we've spoken about how modern landscape lighting lets your enjoy your garden after dark. Kiley utilizes it to the clinical degree expected of public spaces:

    fountain place texas

    Image from the Cultural Landscape Foundation

    So as you head outside this Memorial Day - be it to a public park or a back yard barbecue - enjoy the relative calm of a well-designed outdoor space. And while you're there, take a moment to remember those who have fallen in defense of your homeland. 

    Images: Cultural Landscape Foundation, Lincoln Center 

  • NYCxDesign: Design Event Review


    Design Event Rug

    Detail of Stephanie Goto's Language Rug via Dwell Magazine

    NYCxDesign, New York City's citywide design week, just wrapped up and it reinforced one well-established truism: this is a city that lives for cutting edge design.


    Image from ICFF exhibitor Moving Mountains

    Centered around the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) and surrounded by smaller design events Wanted Design and Sight Unseen, NYCxDesign is a loose blanket that covers 12 days of breakout events, talks, exhibitions and parties across the city.

    Of particular interest to us was an LED light installation by Blackbody at the entrance tunnel of Wanted Design:

    LED Lighting Installation

    Lighting installation by Blackbody via Wanted Design

    Also on view at Wanted were innovative bathroom lighting ideas by Axor:


    Lighting by Axor via Wanted Design

    The 2014 installment of NYCxDesign certainly confirmed that contemporary lighting and design is as bold and brash as ever. Stark geometries are all the rage, handcrafted furniture is trending, and designers are doing amazing things with modern mini pendant lights.

    And while much of what was on view throughout NYCxDesign was in the conceptual and cost-prohibitive phase, it doesn't stop us from highlighting some like-minded pendants that are readily available today:

    Modern Pendant Lights

    Caycee Red 14-Inch-Wide Modern PendantPossini Euro Double Glass Swag ChandelierGray Knife Pleat Shade Chandelier

    By simply mixing, matching and clustering pendants like these, you can make them look as contemporary and high-concept as you want at home.

    Images: Dwell Instagram, Moving Mountains, Wanted Design

  • Stylish White Decor + Floor Lamps


    White Decor

    Image from Stylizmo 

    I’m having a love affair with a color I’ve long ignored... White. Clean, crisp, bright white creating a stylish decor aesthetic. While some of you may shutter at the idea of white for reasons such as keeping white looking white, to a coldness the color can sometimes bring, I urge you to reconsider.  

    Maybe not on your walls, or your sofa, but how about a stylish white floor lamp?!

    Modern Decor

    Image from Stylizmo

    From modern to traditional, the amount of white floor lamps you can currently find is endless. Try an oversized white floor lamp at the end of your sofa or next to your office desk. What about a sleek modern floor lamp next to your favorite reading nook? And if you have a nursery I guarantee it’s just begging for the addition of a bright and bold white floor lamp.

    White Floor Lamps

    I’ve rounded up my favorites below, and I promise you’ll be seeing a new white floor lamp gracing my loft very soon!

    1. Jonathan Adler’s White and Nickel floor lamp is just begging for a Palm Springs mid century design to call home. 

    2. Jamie Young’s White & Raffia floor lamp is perfect for the traditionalist in all of us. Try this in a more formal living or sitting room. 

    3. The Drum Shade Floor Lamp is one of the most versatile lamps, place this just about anywhere.

    4. Now this Arteriors Home Floor Lamp is a showstopper that will stay with you for years to come. 

    5. The Weegee Linen Floor Lamp is an easy way to add a pop of modern. 

    Images: Stylizmo Blog

  • 5 Favorite Drum Shades


    Drum Shades

    With a variety of lighting options to choose from, it can be hard to decide on one style. From crystal chandeliers, to rod iron, brass and chrome, drum shades, pendants, sconces, table lamps, and floor lamps, there are literally thousands of fixtures to aid you in brightening up your home.

    Drum shades are both casual and elegant, easily one of my favorite options.

    With clean lines and simple aesthetic, a drum shade will allow you light your dining room, entry, bedroom, or living room in style, while not going over-the-top.

    Breakfast Nook Design

    Gray is one of the hottest colors to decorate with, so these gray drum shades are on-trend and will pull together other soft gray elements in your space.

    The white drum shade with the chrome chain detailing would be the perfect fit for a casual, cool loft.

    The black drum shade would be well-suited over an industrial table, set in a modern dining room.

    Place the small white and chrome drum shade pendant in a contemporary bathroom, kitchen island, or hang two over a small breakfast nook.

    Lamps Shades

    Modern Gray Textured Silk Drum Shade Pendant ChandelierCream with Brushed Steel 21-Inch-H Mini Pendant LightWhite and Chrome Finish Swag Style Plug-In ChandelierElk Couture Polished Chrome with Black Pendant LightContemporary Smoke Lattice 20-Inch-W Pendant Light

    Images: Evars + Anderson, Homedit

  • Floor Lamps + Functional Style


    Functional Style

    It might seem like a strange thing to be excited about, but I really love floor lamps! A great floor lamp can be functional and fashionable at the same time, which is a huge win in my book.

    That being said, floor lamps can get kind of a negative reputation for smaller spaces. Taking up precious floor space being the main problem most people have with them. But if used correctly and placed in the right spot, a floor lamp can add so much to a room without taking up too much of that oh so valuable floor space.

    Take this living room above for example. It’s not a large living room, but the floor lamp adds so much to it! It’s placed just behind the plants to add a sculptural look and the base of the lamp takes up so little space.

    Here's a couple ideas for where to place a floor lamp:

    1. Place a tall floor lamp just behind a reading chair or sofa, so that it hangs over the seating area perfectly. It takes up space that is usually otherwise unused and it’s useful having some light above you!

    2. Place your floor lamp between two other pieces, like a chair and a tv stand for example. That small space would most likely remain empty and more often than not, looks so much better when utilized by a fantastic floor lamp!

    Floor Lamps

    I'm loving these three options for a cool modern floor lamp:

    The cage floor lamp is a great one if you are like me and love the industrial chic look. Even if nothing else in the space is industrial, the lamp would still look amazing.

    The white faceted floor lamp has got to be my favorite. Just look at it! The facets are so pretty and unique. You could even switch out the lamp shade to add a splash of color if you want.

    And of course the silver floor lamp. This is a great one that will fit in with most style aesthetics and pretty much any color combination.

    So feel free to switch things up in your space, the lamp will still look great!

    Image: Home My Design

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