modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Dart Modern Bronze 21-Inch-WPendant Light
“If you don’t include at least one geometric design in your home, shame on you!”
- P. Daniels, Photo Stylist
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Let's face it...the mere act of walking through a grand space makes us feel, well, grand. A night at the opera, a wait in the airport or train station, an overnight stay in a hotel--in each of the world's greatest lobbies, we experience a connection to something bigger than ourselves.
There's just something to big-ticket public spaces that thrills and inspires. And there's a lesson to be learned too.
Within even the grandest lobby, there is an undeniable intentionality to the usage of space. Whether it's the Calatrava-designed Liege train station at the top of this post, or the Saarinen-designed TWA terminal in New York, floorplans are laid out to effect the logical movement of people. Spaces are sub-divided creatively to address a variety of tasks: encouraging relaxation, facilitating administration, inducing awe. Lighting is designed (and often adjusted throughout the day) to increase safety and add atmosphere.
The best thing about this? These same considerations can be applied to the home, no matter how small it is.
Do you eat, sleep and live in a single room? Create sub-spaces. Make sure the sofa or entertaining areas are easily accessible by guests. Keep a table and chairs close to the kitchen for an impromptu dinner party. For living room furniture, choose low-profile designs to "raise" the ceiling in small spaces.
Baby Anime Stackable Kids Armchairs
Does your bedroom double as an office? Use a swing arm wall light or adjustable floor lamp to shine light where and when you need it.
Bernie Turbo Series Chrome Swing Arm Holtkoetter Wall Lamp
Do you have Michelin star ambition but a small kitchen? Make it a castle by hanging pots and pans rather than stowing them. Choose open-face cabinets or shelving to cut down on the confined feel. Use colors that increase the illusion of space. White can open a room up and charcoal can recede into the background,
Yes, large hotels do have the large square footage to impress. But just because you might not have it too, doesn't mean you can't still flaunt it. At home, a little space planning can go a long way.
Images: Beauty of Decay, Modern Art and Style, Home Design We Love, Digs Digs
Hasn't that become the de facto war cry of the digital age, ushered in ever so presciently in the early 90s by Apple Computer?
Well, thinking differently isn't just for the the geek chic computer set anymore. A recent article in the New York Times suggests that the lighting industry is in the midst of a Silicon Valley-like LED lighting revolution:
“Up till now we only thought — do I have enough light to see, to clean my room, to cut a diamond?” said Ed Crawford, a senior vice president of Philips Lighting Americas. “Now it impacts what I do, how I feel, in emotional ways.”
As cost continues to drop and quality continues to rise, LEDs (and their ability to replicate a wide range of colors), are leading the charge. In fact, colored LED lighting is being used to do everything from settling the spirits of frazzled Virgin America airline travelers (pictured above) to managing jaundice in newborns. It is, in a sense, much more functional than meets the eye. At the consumer level, some LED ceiling lights even change colors to suit the mood.
But lighting is getting smarter too. There are park lights that turn on only as joggers pass by, and street lights that can detect noxious gases. There are light bulbs that can be dimmed and color shifted, all through a mobile app. And soon, public lighting could be networked to monitor traffic or direct cars to vacant parking spots.
While the technology is still in R&D, consumers are already beginning to see benefits. Famed Italian designer Alessi recently released LED bulbs at a very eye-pleasing 2700K color temperature:
LED AlessiLux Silver Decorative Light Bulb
And energy-efficient LEDs have made solar powered path lighting (and the added safety and security they provide) a viable consumer option for years:
Pewter Solar Lantern Outdoor Landscape Light
The question is: what's next? Instead of wall lights, we may see interactive lighting that covers entire walls. Instead of remembering to turn off the lights, our homes may do the remembering for us. Whatever comes next in modern lighting, you can trust we'll be chasing it down.
Images: All Things Tech, Catch Brand,
All of the white that is being incorporated into rooms in magazines and blogs is seriously addictive. It’s so fresh and clean and easy. I love the idea of a mostly white scale living room with little pops of color here and there. That is pretty much my dream living room at the moment!
This living room is kind of perfect. It doesn’t have any kind of loud style and it’s not over the top decorated. It is just plain and simple white. It’s totally a space that you could work with and even redecorate when the time came without too much hassle. It could easily be made into an eclectic room with a combination of styles and patterns, or a more rustic or industrial space. I love a space that has the main essentials or foundation that you can easily build off of with the right pieces. This is that room!
Pascal White Chair, Possini Euro White Flower Pendant,
Perkins White Lacquer Wood Pedestal, Street Smart Accent Pillow
This chair is pretty popular, which makes it fun. The legs are amazing! And the white seat would go great with pretty much any cushion or throw pillow. The light fixture is pretty rad. It’s both modern and organic somehow, which I absolutely love. It’s a statement fixture without being too over the top. The stool would be fantastic for additional seating or even putting by the front door for an easy place to take off shoes. And the pillow is the fun one. Even though there isn’t any color, the bold black and white makes it really pop which is awesome.
Image: Residence Magazine
One of the most important details that goes into decorating a living space is the coffee table. It’s a piece that can sometimes be forgotten but it’s one of the most important parts of the room.
When decorating an eclectic space, I love to use modern coffee tables. They can become the anchor to the space. When designing a minimalist space, it fits like a glove. This space (above) is a great mix of traditional and modern. The coffee table accents the sofa and chair perfectly.
This vibrant room (above) has lots of color and patterns happening. The simple white round coffee table isn’t competing with the rest of the space and looks super stylish against the other pieces.
Another important note about coffee tables is don’t over think styling them. Display books, candles, flowers and decorative accessories. Basically anything that is low to the table. Make sure it’s items you love and you want your guests to love and appreciate.
We’ve always known that coffee tables are a practical solution to set our drinks and feet on. Now we know that they are as important in design as they are for our TV dinners. Below are a few awesome coffee table options that will work in any space.
1. Abby White Coffee Table 2. Silver Glass Coffee Table 3. Dark Walnut Coffee Table 4. Natural Wood and Glass Table 5. Sabbatical Coffee Table
Images: Seventeendoors, The Design Files, Jordan Ferney’s Home via A Cup Of Joy, Femina
Modern kitchen design is something that many people admire from afar, but don't actually get to explore the concept behind. You may love the simplicity of a kitchen, the unique shapes, or innovative materials, but how often are you able to capture the story behind the design and really have a true understanding and appreciation for the concept and place where it originated? I had the pleasure of exploring the 800,000 square foot Schiffini factory in Ceparana, Italy, and spending quality time with the wonderful Mr. Schiffini himself as he took us to his favorite places in Cinque Terre where many of the concepts for his kitchens originated.
Schiffini was established in the 1920s to supply nautical fittings to the Italian Navy dockyard in La Spezia (above). They later made their way into the residential market and became the first Italian company to introduce the modular kitchen. They continue to stand out as one of the best Italian companies for design and innovation.
The G-One kitchen (above) is made entirely of marine grade plywood and I bet you all can see where the inspiration for this kitchen came from! The soft curves and durable materials pay homage to 50s design while designer Giuliano Giaroli was able to transform these elements into a beautiful design of today. It's neither too retro nor too nautical, but a perfect blend of styles with the quality and craftsmanship to make this a timeless kitchen. The cluster of modern pendant lights floating above the island appear almost as if they are buoys hanging from a dock.
Jamie Young Petit Paro White 64 1/2-Inch-H Modern Floor Lamp
The soft curves and mixture of natural linen and white lacquer in this modern floor lamp (above) has a nautical influence with a sophistication and elegance that make it a timeless piece.
The next stop on the trip was in the incredibly gorgeous sea side town of Venazza (above) which deeply inspired the Cinqueterre kitchen that just happens to be Mr. Schiffini's favorite place. The steep cliff side is covered in vineyards and the waves crash freely into the town, creating something magical. The colors, smells, sounds and overall experience is something that's hard to even explain.
The concept behind the Cinqueterre kitchen (above) is the rolling waves of the sea. The handle represents the breaking crest of the wave as it's about to crash into the rocks. Each door is assembled by hand in the factory with such precision and detail. Designed by architect Vico Magistretti, the Cinqueterre is the first kitchen produced entirely in aluminium. This model is available in black and anodized aluminum as well as titanium and each one is spectacular in it's own way. There is something about the black mixed with the wood and copper top that sets itself apart from any other kitchen out there. After visiting Vernazza, the place where the concept originated, and watching the fine craftsman build each door by hand, I don't think there is anyway you can't appreciate every detail of this kitchen. It's like a modern work of art!
Jamie Young Gun Metal Modern Spotlight Floor Lamp
Finding pieces with history and a story are a great way to add character to your space, whether it be with a modern kitchen or even something as simple as a new modern lamp. The industrial floor lamp (above) could help you incorporate a little nautical edge into your own home don't you think?
Images: Schiffini, Annie May
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