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  • Hardwood Floors In the Kitchen

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    Taupe Laquer Kitchen with Walnut Floors

    Hardwood flooring in the kitchen is a timeless choice that allows your flooring to remain consistent throughout your house. The days of switching up flooring in each room is pretty much over. Hardwood floors have many benefits; one of the most important is that it is more comfortable under foot versus tile, more natural than vinyl, and more neutral than cork. Many modern kitchens are designed with an open plan and appear more furniture-like in aesthetic, so a seamless integration into the rest of the house is key. Often times people wonder about the durability of hardwood floors in the kitchen, but there is nothing to worry about here.  

    White Glass Kitchen with Stainless Steel and black countertop with raw wood island and white tufted door

    A natural oiled engineered floor like this Vernal White Oiled floor from DuChateau neutralizes the modern elements of the glass and stainless steel in this kitchen. It also does a great job of grounding the contrasting the raw wood island and a modern chrome chandelier and allows these eclectic elements to work together.

    White laquer kitchen with dark blue glass uppers  White countertop barstools and pendant lights.  Natural oiled wood flooring.

    Your basic white lacquer kitchen with contrasting upper cabinets is warmed up with natural oak flooring. White pendant lights and white barstools remain sculptural, but neutral in the space as it opens up to the lush landscaping of the exterior to provides you with a real organic feel in this modern space.

    Dark Oak Cabinetry with matte laquer cabinets with integrated sinks.  Natural oiled wood flooring

    The contrast of the dark wood and matte lacquer cabinetry, white countertops, and fine sawn white oak flooring is a gorgeous combination. The element of natural wood in kitchens and clean modern interiors is key to creating life and warmth.   

    Modern Walnut Kitchen Island mixed with white cabinetry with walnut details.  Rustic Oak Flooring in open floorplan kitchen and dining.

    I love this look here. A kitchen with clean modern lines, marble countertops, and simple door hardware mixed with rustic oak flooring which really sets the stage for the room. The choice of flooring is really a key element of design in any space. This room could have taken on many different looks, but this use of a rustic oak floor provides you with a contemporary yet rustic atmosphere that makes me feel as if you are in a beautiful wine country.  

    Images: See Materials, Yolksy, Tamizo, Architectural Digest

  • Get the Look: Modern Kitchen Pendant Lighting

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    Modern kitchen lighting and black pendants

    Designing your kitchen, like any room of the home, is fun because you're creating your own personal environment. However, the most fun element of the kitchen design is the lighting because it's like the jewelery to a great outfit. It's the beautiful accessory to this functional space. To keep the space modern, pendant lighting is the way to go.

    There's many different types of modern pendants that will help you achieve a great look for your stylish space. The kitchen above uses a really fun mix of materials to balance out the wood and brick, the bold black drum shade pendants make a great addition. Also, a bold stripe could look amazing in this space.

    Modern pendant lighting

    Mini Mullberry Black Tech Pendant Light

    Modern pendant lighting

    Bold Black Stripe Pendant Light

    This kitchen below is much different than the first one. Here, the lighting is understated but stylistically just as effective. The barely-there glass pendants give the kitchen a whimsical yet modern feel while keeping it open and fresh.

    Modern kitchen lighting and glass pendants

    Modern pendant lighting and Clear Satin Nickel Pendant

    LBL Isla Clear Satin Nickel Pendant

    Modern pendant lighting and Clear Glass PendantJaime Young St. Charles Clear Glass Pendant

    You also have the option of allowing your lighting to become a statement piece, making it more art than a light fixture. This type of pendant is always fun to shop for since your goal should be to find the one with the most personality.

    Modern kitchen lighting and white kitchen

    Modern pendant lighting and White Flower Pendant Light

    Possini Euro Design White Flower Pendant Light

    Modern pendant lighting and White Cloud Pendant Light

    Possini White Cloud Pendant Light

    Have fun selecting your kitchen lighting while keeping function, scale and style in mind. You're sure to create the look you want for your modern kitchen with any number of different pendant lighting styles out there.

    Images: Plastolux, Cococozy, SF Gate

  • Bread, Espresso &...Design

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    contemporary cafe designs

    When the idea struck to cover my favorite cafe designs across the globe, Tokyo's uber-chic bread and coffee hot spot Bread, Espresso & was a shoe-in to lead the story. This design savvy cafe typifies today's resurgence in artisanal bread and coffee and the increasing focus on design that seems to accompany the resurgence.

    Located just blocks away from Bread, Espresso & is Omotesando Koffee (pictured below). Housed in a traditional Japanese residence in Tokyo's Omotesando district, it originally opened as a pop-up space to showcase barista Eichii Kunitomo's skill (although the cafe recently announced a two year lease extension). The box-like kiosk design and a charming paper note chandelier nonetheless point to the cafe's temporary nature.

    mid-century modern chandeliers

    If paper notes and binder clips aren't your thing, the Possini Euro White Flower (pictured above right) offers a more permanent chandelier solution.

    In the Los Angeles neighborhood of Mar Vista, Earl's Gourmet Grub leaves no detail unturned, with a gently torqued ceiling design. Drop sky lights provide natural light, while recessed lighting illuminates the plywood fans down the length of the cafe.

    Contemporary Restaurant Designs

    Earl's architects, LA/NY based Freeland Buck, applied computational methods usually reserved for skyscraper construction to the restaurant's interior details, as in this alpine inspired design that runs along the wall of the space. 

    Computational Architecture Rendering

    Similar to Earl's Gourmet Grub, a torque motif defines the direction at a Starbucks back in Tokyo, yet again in the Omotesando neighborhood. Designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, this design arranges timber into a cornucopia shape across the ceiling, resulting in contemporary yet naturally comfortable interior.

    A similar organic flow of materials could rightly be used to describe the cafe by designers B3 which debuted at the 2008 London Design Festival. Constructed entirely from carboard boxes, this truly is a pop-up cafe. Folded, it can be transported in a single car. As with Kengo Kuma's Starbucks, directional and track lighting help to expose the textured design without overpowering it.

    Pop up cafe designs

    At Munich's Das Neue Kubitscheck (by Designliga) rectangular motifs dominate as well, offset by charming pastels in this comfortable neighborhood cafe. 

    modern european cafes

    The above examples are my favorites. When it comes to good coffee and good design however, they're just the tip of the iceberg. I invite you to discover your own, and by all means, share them with us.

    Images: Cafe Snap, Spoon & Tamago, Tokyoblog, Freeland Buck, JapanOnline, designboom, Design Made in Germany

  • Add Big Summer Style to Your Home with Small Changes

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    Summer Style

    Summer is here! We are firm believers that your home is just as important as your closet when it comes to appropriate styling for the seasons. It's easy to add Summer style to your home, indoors and out, with just a few small changes.

    Add a fun pop of color to your outdoor furniture. Outdoor seating can be really fun with all the different selections nowadays.

    Outdoor Seating

    Zuo Repulse Steel Outdoor Lime Green Bay Chair

    There's no brighter way to add a little Summer style to your décor than with the color yellow! The kitchen is a perfect place to start with this fun hue.

    Modern Kitchen

    Pendant Lighting

    Access Sydney Amber Yellow Art Glass Cylinder Mini Pendant

    One of the smallest changes you can make is with accessories. Decorative pillows are a perfect way to add color and patterns to any space. For the summer, try some pillows with reds and pinks, the color of sunset!

    Modern Bedroom

    Decorative Pillows

    Aviva Stanoff Boho Peacock Red Down Throw Pillow, Kite White and Red Ikat Fabric Decorative Throw Pillow, Infinity Fire Red Modern Square Down Throw Pillow

    Nothing says Summer like the clean, crisp color white. It's fresh and welcoming. The best part is, it's year-round too. Whether you go big and paint the walls white or just switch out some chairs, you'll be able to enjoy it all the way through next Summer.

    Modern Dining Room

    Modern Dining Chair

    Zuo Modern White 33-Inch-H Set of 2 S-Chairs

    Just like your wardrobe, small changes can mean big rewards when it comes to home décor. Have fun this Summer and give your home a mini-makeover!

    Images:

  • From Outfit to Interior: Cool + Pulled Together

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    Outfit to Interior

    Modern Living Room

    When in the doldrums of summer Ms. Cool & Pulled Together doesn't want to worry about mussy fabrics and fussy accessories. Nonononono. She wants cool, calm, and collected pieces that don't require a lot of muss and fuss but that give the illusion of being pristine.

    Modern Ceiling Fixture

    When metal and glass meet they can feel cool in summer and warm in winter, especially when surrounding textiles are swapped out. Our Ms. loves this Floating Bubble Possini Euro Round Ceiling Fixture for just that reason, and it makes a bold statement without feeling weighed down.

    The slim profile of this Modern Dark Bronze Tenda Pharmacy Sonneman Floor Lamp is both classic and contemporary with an adjustable height feature. A pretty piece for rainy summer afternoon or chilly winter nights.

    Modern Wall Mirror

    Ms. Cool & Pulled Together prefers the clean lines of modern pieces, like this Candelaria Robert Abbey Modern Chandelier. It gives her dining table the perfect halo of light for dinner parties!

    When it comes to making her space feel airier it's time to pull out some visual tricks. Number one on the list is a great mirror, like the Sunrays Antique Silver Metal Round Wall Mirror with its openwork sunray spokes and silver antique finish.

    Modern Table Lamp

    Ms. Cool & Pulled together loves the softness of the Satin Brass with Transparent Shade Sconce. The metal's finish paired with the shade make a light that's just right for the vanity.

    The industrial feel of the Edison Bronze with Glass 3-Light Console Lamp takes the feminine edge off of any space, and definitely adds an element of interest.

    Images: Topshop, Patric Johansson

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