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  • Kitchen Lighting Takes Center Stage

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    charcoal dark veneer kitchen cabinets, mirrored island french herringbone floors

    Lighting is a key element in kitchen design, not just for it's functional element, but the aesthetic element as well. The lighting you choose for your kitchen can truly transform your space and take you from Mid-Century Modern to Hollywood Glam with one simple fixture. While the cabinetry style remains very similar take a look how the lighting in these modern kitchens completely changes the style and makes a really bold statement. A Mid-Century modern chandelier mixes so beautifully with charcoal veneer cabinetry, a chromed island, and herringbone floor. It adds playful character to an elegant kitchen.  

    MID-CENTURY MODERN

    Jonathan Adler Chandelier

    Jonathon Adler Meurice Collection 30 Light Chandelier

    Raw Wood Walnut Island table marble countertop dark charcoal cabinetry

    The charcoal veneer cabinetry, marble island, and natural wood island table work perfectly with an industrial modern pendant. The nice clean lines and gorgeous silhouette of the pendant lights compliment the rough edges of the table while the bronze finish contrasts so nicely with the marble top yet blends so nicely with the cabinetry and the flooring. This is the perfect look to warm up any industrial modern loft! 

    MODERN INDUSTRIAL

         Black Mini Pendant Light                 Black Pendant Light

    Piquito 11" High Black Mini Pendant

    Bronx 7-1/2" Wide Black Pendant

    Dark Charcoal Veneer Kitchen Cabinets with Glam Pendant Lighting

    These sleek clean lines are gorgeous on their own, but adding that glamorous chandelier is like putting on the perfect necklace or pair of earrings. It adds an element of sophistication and femininity without taking away from the strong modern details that make this kitchen so beautiful.  

    GLAM

    Robert Abbey Chandelier

    Robert Abbey Bling Collection Chandelier

    Charcoal Dark Oak Kitchen Concrete Floor Exposed Brick Wall Organic Lighting

    The organic shape of the chandelier really softens up the space. It's a great contrast to the hard elements of the concrete floor and brick wall and really adds movement and depth to an otherwise stark kitchen.  

    ORGANIC

    Possini Pendant Light

    Possini White Cloud 15" Wide Pendant

    Charcoal Veneer Kitchen White Caesarstone Island Minimal Pendant Lighting

    For the minimalist at heart, one option is no decorative lighting and the other is a light as sleek and clean as its environment. These long tube like pendants stand their ground over this island without creating too much drama. The clean lines mimic the lines of the cabinetry and remain absolutely stunning in their simplicity.

    MINIMALIST

    Sleek Chrome Mini Pendant

    Silver 24" High Chrome Mini Pendant

    Images: Pia Ulin, Fine Ting Og Sjokolade, TamizoWhat Wilson WantsTamizo

  • Modern Kitchen Design Done Artfully

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    Art in kitchen

    Who says you can't put art in the kitchen? No room should be forgotten when it comes to adding art on the walls. It's a beautiful way to add color, personality, and in this case... vegetation!

    Framed art in the kitchen

    The placement of home decor accessories in the kitchen, like art doesn't have to be dominating or a major statement piece, it can be subtle. Adding just a few pieces alongside some glass and ceramic containers on open shelving is a nice addition to any kitchen.

    Gold finish framed art in the kitchen

    The use of mixed materials is a statement in itself, but this art piece flanked by two modern pendant lights really makes this kitchen stand out.

    Images: Drago Capital, The Marion House Book, Home Sweetness

  • Minimalism Al Fresco

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    Modern Outdoor Fireplace

    On the surface, minimalism and the great outdoors don't seem to have much in common. However, upon closer examination, minimalist design's unapologetic shedding of extraneous elements closely echoes the process of natural selection - a process whereby plants and animals that have survived through the ages have done so by casting off all traits deemed unnecessary for survival. A clean focus on the essentials.  

    It's only fitting then that when cooking and eating in nature, one does so with a minimalist flair.

    minimalist outdoor decor

    Dining al fresco is an opportunity to return to basics. Simple ingredients are the key, be they what's on the table or the table itself. The Itauba table (pictured below) is an all-in-one outdoor kitchen solution. An unlikely design from outdoor gear manufacturer Snowpeak, this Japanese-inspired table features a stove and grill in the center. The camp lanterns are optional of course.

    contemporary outdoor kitchen

    In fact, there's much more to outdoor lighting than camp lanterns. The al fresco kitchen should invite starlight in and keep light pollution out. For that purpose, dark sky lighting provides light where it's needed (for pathways, stairs and such) without destroying the natural ambience.

    Outdoor Lighting

    Hinkley Atlantis Bronze High Dark Sky Outdoor Wall Light (left), Vertical Dark Sky High Outdoor Wall Light (right)

    Fire can be central to the outdoor experience. Heat source. Light source. Marshmallow roaster. New Zealand based Escea makes a stunning line of modernist outdoor fireplaces.  

    contemporary outdoor fireplace

    Sleek, stark modernist lines are seemingly incongruous with nature, yet anyone who has seen Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater or John Lautner's Desert Hot Springs Motel (recently renovated by interior designer Tracy Beckmann) will speak of the sublime attention to the land that both of these monuments exhibit. The open-air folly pictured below, by New Zealand based Herbst Architects, is constructed mostly of natural materials to provide a minimalist respite that blends into the surroundings yet keeps the rain out. It includes a simple kitchen and dining table.  

    contemporary folly design

    Less is more. Such has been the modernist doctrine for nearly a century now and such has been the doctrine of nature for eons, proof that good design never goes out of style.  

    Images: The Outdoor Stylist, MoCo Loco, Urban Gardens, Escea, Architechnophilia

  • Barbara Bestor Shakes Up the Design at Pitfire Pizza

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    Bright Red Steel Brick Oven and Yellow Powder Coated Barstools

    Barbara Bestor has always been one of my favorite Los Angeles Architects and she proves herself to me once again. If someone was going to successfully transform this old concrete-box Shakey's Pizza surrounded by an asphalt parking lot into a fun and modern hangout, who else would it be? Well, Bestor Architecture did just that for Pitfire Pizza in this Culver City location. The space was completely stripped down to it's bones to reveal the industrial elements of the space and fully opened it up to the exterior. The results... an incredible light filled space with artisan elements as delicious as the pizza and elements of pop as playful as the price!

    Red Brick Oven Pizza Douglas Fir Tables Exposed Beams

    Bestor was inspired by Lina Bo Bardi as she created this bright red steel brick oven. This bold statement truly defines what the space is all about. The marine plywood walls and douglas fir tables keep with the natural aesthetic of the brand while the bold accent colors of the powder coated barstools (designed by the firm) really show it's all in the details. Bright yellow furniture and lighting accents pop throughout the space. 

    Vintage Chairs Douglas Fir Table Concrete Bench with plywood Back pendant lights with exposed bulbs

    The Douglas Fir Table and espresso finish vintage modern dining chairs stand out as the silver vinyl cushion disappears into the concrete bench. The exposed bulb lighting fixtures hang simply throughout the space to create a nice elegant glow.

    Exposed Ceiling Bold window graphics douglas fir tables vintage chairs

    The space now fully opens to the landscaped patio. The natural light floods the space and the interior lighting only needs to be turned on in the evening.  

    Open Kitchen Plan Red Steel Brick Oven Pizza Exposed Ceiling and Powder Coated Bar Stools

    The open interior plan provides a very easy-going atmosphere suitable for family and large groups.  

    Bright Yellow "Yes" Graphics Bright Red Brick Graphic

    The exterior has been stripped down and she has created a play on the existing concrete block. "A bold graphic move sets the atmosphere and allows you to be fairly minimalist with the rest of it," she says. 

    Bold Graphic Extra large Brick Pattern Modern Architecture

    I'm definitely going to say "YES" next time I drive by! 

    Images: Bestor Architecture

  • It's Always Sunny in a Yellow Kitchen

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    Yellow Kitchen with white brick accents

    I've been waiting about 7 years to design my first yellow kitchen and the time has finally come! There's something about a yellow kitchen that just makes me smile! The past few years we've been seeing a lot of grays, black, and rustic woods which creates a very solemn and sedated feeling. Don't get me wrong I absolutely love it. But as the times change I'm really starting to feel like the use of yellow is a nice touch in creating happiness, optimism and confidence which is definitely the vibe for the future. I love the mix of bright yellow with neutral modern furniture.

    Yellow Laquer Kitchen Island and Countertops with black tall wall of cabinets concrete floors

    The deep cheddar yellow glossy laquer cabinets and countertops flood this room with energy. It's like a sunbeam shooting through the room. Black cabinets, concrete floors, a dark communal dining table, and wishbone chairs hold their ground, but definitely aren't trying to compete.

    White Walls and White Hardwood Floors with Bright Yellow Base Cabinets and Contertop

    The yellow and white contrast is a beautiful effect. The white upper cabinets disappear into the walls which blends into the white hardwood floors, so the yellow can stand on it's own and truly own the room. Again, the yellow countertop on the yellow lacquer cabinetry is great for creating a unified base unit and a very solid visual element. The black modern dining chair is a great accent in this bright setting.  

    Gray Island, White Base Cabinets, Citron Yellow Upper Cabinets with concrete Floors

    A more muted Citron yellow is a perfect mix with a light gray and wire barstool. Although it stands out, the overall palette still feels quite serene. It's more of a subtle glow on a partly sunny day.   

    White Modern Kitchen with Yellow Countertops and Backsplash.

    The yellow countertop and backsplash is a strong move. I love this bold statement and think that if you're a "yellow person" this would truly capture your spirit. It's something unexpected that brings happiness into your home. A home is a true reflection of your soul, so don't be afraid to go bold! 

    Images: Digs DigsEmmas Design Blog, Designer PadAlinskie

April, 2012