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  • Hospitality Design Spotlight: The Saguaro Palm Springs

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    Modern hotel in Palm Springs

    Take one franchise hotel with an outdated design, add some colorful paint, a little branding and voila... a super cool weekend getaway destination! The Saguaro hotel, located in South Palm Springs on East Palm Canyon, just recently opened in February 2012. Saguaro means large cactus in Spanish and there is no question that the design of this hotel fully utilized the Latin love for color.

    Modern hotel guestroom

    The design of their typical guestroom uses just as much color as the exterior. The green apple furniture against a yellow wall is risky no doubt, but the right shades of each color makes for a fun outcome. Streamlined furniture and modern desk lamps are a nice contrast to the basket woven dinette set in the far corner. 

    Modern hotel patio furnture

    The restaurant design of Tinto is just as cool as the rest of the hotel, but rather than lots of color, they took a more natural approach. Featuring modern pendant lighting and lots of wooded furniture, this outdoor patio has a very easy and relaxing vibe, perfect for heading to the pool after a bite to eat.

    Modern hotel restaurant patio

    The transition to the interior of the restaurant maintains that modern yet natural aesthetic. This wine bar and restaurant is inspired by the culinary-renowned Basque region of Northern Spain and Southern France.

    Modern hotel wine bar and restaurant

    Whether you are from nearby Los Angeles or live farther way, this desert retreat, busting with color, is sure to leave you invigorated and full of energy, ready to face the daily grind.

    Images: The Saguaro

  • The Future of the Kitchen Island

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    Automatic Wood Kitchen Island Top

    Next week I will be off to Milan for EuroCucina 2012 and will be drooling over all of the latest and greatest in the kitchen world. I keep asking myself what's next? What am I expecting? What do I want to see? Besides the new finishes and door styles I'm really looking forward to the technology and sculptural elements of the kitchen. I have a feeling I will see a lot of this happening in the kitchen island. The kitchen island in many open plan kitchens is an entire workstation in itself that needs to be beautiful in aesthetic and function like a machine.   

    Automatic Wood Kitchen Island Top and Exposed Bulb Pendant Lights

    This sliding top by Minimal is a perfect solution for the functional and modern island. This wood slab top slides forward to reveal an induction cooktop and a Corian counter with integrated sink. As it slides out it creates the perfect seating/workstation combination, but when it closes it's a beautiful linear block concealing all the functional aspects of the modern kitchen. The kitchen above is a great example of how island pendant lighting can take the center stage in a minimal space. I'm really looking forward to seeing a lot more mechanical devices integrated into island tops in 2012.

    T-Shaped Kitchen Island with floating cabinets

    This stainless steel workstation by Toyo Kitchen stands on its own quite nicely. The sculptural and functional elements unite in such a way that create a very powerful and elegant presence. All the plumbing and electrical is hidden with the central stainless steel column which allows the cabinetry to float through the space. The INO Leone line is a work of art. I'm looking forward to seeing some beautiful sculptural elements in the kitchen.

    Samsung Galaxy Tablet integrated into sleek black countertop

    Modern Kitchen Island and Samsung Galaxy Tablet integrated into sleek black countertop

    This futuristic kitchen from Toncelli takes user experience to an entirely different level. This sleek countertop features a sliding cutting board and built in Samsung Galaxy Tablet for this technologically advanced world. I'm looking forward to seeing some really smart kitchens.

    Modern Kitchen with Table cooking areas composte

    Modern Kitchen with 4 workstations: compost/harvest, preparing, cooking, and eating

    The Rehilete Kitchen designed by Agent for Mabe appliances explores the kitchen in an entirely new way. It's based on the understanding of using the kitchen as a cycle. Agent’s concept contains 4 stations (or “wings”), which are intended to have dedicated functions, as part of the kitchen cycle: compost/harvest, preparing, cooking, and eating. It allows the architect to envision the space in an entirely new way by truly designing from the inside out and beyond the use of walls. The wood dining table and white dining chairs truly soften up the composition to create a soft contrast and functional surface against the stainless steel and Corian tops. Who doesn't want a kitchen with everything at their fingertips? I'm looking forward to seeing some very thoughtful kitchens in 2012!

    I can't wait to share all the treasures from Milan with you in the next couple weeks!  

    Images: Trendir,  MocolocoAgent

  • Avant-Garde Art in the Home

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    Polka dot installation art

    For most of us, art plays a central role in our homes. It speaks to our interests, our ideals, and in a very visceral way, to the core of who we are. And yet, as much as we might love a Jeff Koons balloon dog or a Damien Hirst stuffed shark at the museum, how many of us are game for bringing the truly avant-garde into our homes?

    For serious art collectors, art rules the home. Some see their homes overrun by their collections. Others build homes specifically with their art collections in mind. Some will actually see their homes become the art itself, as in the image above, in which artist Yayoi Kusama transformed a home in Australia with polka dot stickers...to the children's delight of course.

    The Sapphire Gallery in Los Angeles was designed as a home addition by XTEN Architecture to house the owner's art collection. Mixed in with the artwork is a tasteful blend of furniture and contemporary lighting fixtures.

    Contemporary art in the home

    Contemporary art galleries benefit from clutter-free interiors when they show new work. Real life doesn't always allow for that, however. When their son outgrew his childhood toys, Manhattan Beach collectors Homeira and Arnold Goldstein commissioned artist Simon Ouwerkerk to build a sculpture out of them to be hung from the ceiling. You'll notice that recessed lighting is used discreetly throughout the home to showcase the rest of their extensive art collection.

    Toy sculptures

    Maybe you want to commission the artist for your clutter too? Here's a detail shot of Ouwerkerk's work recently at Garboushian Gallery in Beverly Hills.

    Toy art installation

    New York gallery owner Paige West's Tribeca home is a stunning testament to her profession. Contemporary art pieces, fresh colors and interesting wall treatments combine well to make a pretty good case for living with the art she sells.

    Art in the home

    We may not all have the means to erect temples to house our contemporary art collections (nor the means to amass a substantial art collection), but I'd like to think it's possible to look beyond purely decorative art and instead collect and display the art you really love - no matter how avant-garde it is - in even the most traditional interiors. As long as you love the piece, you'll want to live with it, right? So the saying goes anyway.

    Images: Freshness Mag, FreshomeLos Angeles Times, Garboushian GalleryThe Cool Hunter

  • Open Shelving In The Kitchen

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    Open shelving in the kitchen

    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!

    Kitchen with open shelving and dark walls

    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.

    Large artwork in kitchen

    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!

    Yellow kitchen

    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

  • 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