modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Crystal Strand Chrome 29-Inch-W ET2 Halogen Chandelier
“Lots of glam and a little modern, this chandelier has it all!”
- R. Brannon, Interior Designer
About Euro Style Home
Dwell on Design
My Modern Met
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
One very hot trend right now is open shelving, but it's a little more than a trend I believe... This design method is great for saving space and adding many more platforms (literally) for home decor options. This clean modern kitchen (above) uses the open shelving for accents and the opportunity to bring in other materals, such as those gorgeous wood bowls. Having the combination of cabinets and open shelving is also a good idea so you can keep the less attractive items behind closed doors. But don't hide your ceramics just because they don't match, sometimes those make the best accessories!
You can't deny that the dark wall in this kitchen is perfect for accentuating the open metal shelves and everything on them. The stainless steel material was a great choice to keep the storage sleek and not too heavy.
This modern kitchen does a great job of mixing materials. Spanish tile, warm woods and sleek stainless steel work together to create an eclectically modern kitchen with super cool open shelving. What a beautiful idea to open up the bottom cabinests and create shelving while keeping the walls free for art!
You can add color with the shelves in addition to the accessories you place on them. The clean white tile and floors really make the love for yellow pop in this kitchen. Modern barstools are a nice addition for keeping this space functional. To see more yellow in the kitchen, be sure to read Annie's post - It is Always Sunny in a Yellow Kitchen.
If you decide to implement these ideas in your space, notice how in each image only the more attractive accessories are displayed on the shelves and the rest are tucked away behind closed cabinets. Scales and colors are also important, but often times a difficult balance. Once you find the perfect combination, you'll see how open shelving can be a great way to maximize your space and look very cool doing it.
Images: Live, Apartment Therapy, Revel, House & Home
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.
Mini Mullberry Black Tech Pendant Light
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.
LBL Isla Clear Satin Nickel Pendant
Jaime 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.
Possini Euro Design White Flower 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
Yesterday, I introduced you to Jessica Davis, the designer behind Nest Studio. We showed you her new modern hardware line, which is a must-see! If you missed yesterday's post, you can read Part I of this interview: Nest Studio: Where Design & Products Merge. Today, we get to chat a little more with Jessica and see some of her amazing interior design projects.
The images above are from a residential project that Jessica did in Marina del Rey, California. I'm loving the modern dining chairs that add a punch of color to the space. Here's what she had to say about it.
Jessica: This is a home I did for a client in Marina del Rey who was not afraid to let me use bold colors. I had so much fun adding personal touches, like the photography over the sofa. It was rewarding to create something that truly reflected the owners.
As I mentioned in Part I of this interview, Jessica is also a new mom. Here's what she had to say about designing her son's nursery. I love the map Jessica used for an artistic backdrop to her modern crib.
Jessica: My latest personal project was my son Bryan's room. I guess it helped to have a deadline (delivery date!) to get it all done by. Bryan's room is fun and playful. I tried to design a space that would grow with him, using a lot of fun vintage, Etsy, and IKEA finds to keep it all in budget.
In addition to her residential and personal design projects, Jessica is a designer at Wilson Associates, a top international hospitality design firm. Here are some of her very cool projects that she has designed with her Wilson team.
Jessica: These images (above) are the Lobby and Bar areas from the MGM Grand at Foxwoods that I worked on for three years while I was in the (Wilson) New York office. It was challenging to take a concept that was really high design and then pare it down to fit in the budget. But we did it and the results turned out nicely.
Jessica: These two images (above) are the Lobby and Typical Guestroom of the Crowne Plaza Times Square that I worked on prior to leaving the New York office (Jessica now works at Wilson, Los Angeles). It was a really challenging renovation project with a tight budget. The hotel lobby was so dated and we managed to really freshen it up.
While discussing these projects, Jessica and I also talked about the difficult task of selecting lighting for a project and how she's goes about it.
Cori: For each project, at what stage do you select lighting?Jessica: Lighting is integral and I always start selecting it as soon as I begin the design process, along with the other furniture items and finishes. Just like any other piece of furniture, lighting is both functional and decorative. It's an important element in developing how the space is perceived.
Robert Abbey Candelaria Chandelier
Jessica: This Robert Abbey chandelier is a great modern retro alternative to a traditional chandelier, but still has a lot of sparkle. I need to find a place to use this!
Holtkoetter Bernie Turbo Series Bronze Swing-Arm Wall Lamp
Jessica: I’m kind of obsessed with swing arm sconces right now. They free up space on a nightstand and work great for reading in bed.
As if she didn't have enough to do as a designer and a mom, Jessica is also a blogger. Here's what she has to say about her popular site.
Cori: Can you tell us a little about your blog, The Eagle's Nest?Jessica: My blog is a journal of sorts, documenting my ideas on everything design related - interiors, fashion, landscape, and of course the trials and tribulations of renovating our 70 year old house.
Cori: What do you see in the future for Nest Studio?Jessica: In addition to developing my e-commerce site, I’m working on more Nest Studio hardware pieces with a mix of fun materials and hoping to do a line of metal tables and other small furniture pieces. I’m also looking to develop a plumbing line to complement my hardware. So be on the lookout for those in the coming months.
Thanks Jessica! We'll be on the lookout for exciting products from Nest Studio and more cool design projects from you...
Images: The Boo & The Boy, The Eagle's Nest, Wilson Associates
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