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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Modern Design at NYC's Wanted Design

    Contemporary commercial LED lighting

    Designers, architects, interior designers, craftsmen, editors, manufacturers and more converged in New York last weekend (May 18-21) for Wanted Design at the historic Terminal Store in Chelsea. Focused on the exchange of ideas rather than products, the event found people engaged in lively practice and discussion throughout the weekend: students designed modern lighting fixtures, editors and designers engaged in a robust conversation series, and workshops and exhibitions focused on the creative and clever usage of materials new and old.

    A highlight was Lightfalls (pictured above), a lighting installation between collaborators 3M Architectural Markets and designer Todd Bracher. The exhibition describes itself as a "high-end lighting installation that capitalizes on the laws of physics to distribute light from a single LED source over a dramatically, large space." 

    The complex symmetry of the Lightfalls installation is indicative of a trend in lighting fixtures toward eye-catching geometries, as in this pendant light (below) from the Possini Euro Collection.

    modern pendant chandelier

    Possini Euro Planet Chrome and Black Pendant Chandelier

    Lighting was clearly high on the agenda at this year's event. The Design Students Challenge found students from six design schools (three from France and three from the United States) creating designer lighting fixtures under the constraints of using one material per design, one conceptual tool (computer software), and one fabrication tool (a laser cutting machine). Core 77 magazine, the media sponsor for the contest, posted photos of the contest on their website. 

    Contemporary Design Student Lighting

    While most of the completed student designs landed squarely within established contemporary idioms, they were cleverly constructed and aesthetically refined. It was also clear as one looked over the results: contemporary chandeliers always make an excellent focal point for the room.

    Manhattan Neon, who maintains a studio in the same building as Wanted Design, continued the trend toward lighting by providing three neon workshops during the event. It was great to see a throwback medium like neon used in a contemporary environment.  

    modern neon lighting

    There were furniture design studios, vendors, technology providers, even a boutique bicycle designer on hand. All told, the event brought in approximately 50 exhibitors and sponsors and, while there was a commercial focus to some of the exhibition booths, this was very much a place to meet, exchange and create. This playful, collaborative environment bodes well for the event's future success, and I look forward to seeing even better things to come next year.

    Images: WantedDesign 

  • The Modern Outdoor Bathroom

    Modern outdoor shower

    Sure, selecting the right building materials is key when creating the look and feel that you want for your bath, or rather your personal oasis. Natural materials, such as wood and stone will give you the feeling of being at a spa or retreat. But, why not take it one step further and take your tub and shower outdoors?!

    Modern outdoor bath

    There's many ways to situate your bathtub or shower outside while still keeping it private. The stone wall (above) and wood planks enclose this bath, keeping tub time personal. Or, you could design it to be half indoors and half outdoors to give yourself a little more privacy while still soaking in the fresh air and sunlight. The exterior fence (below) keeps the space private while the wood plank flooring unites the two areas.

    Bathroom with outdoor patio

    Some of these designs require a lot of architectural planning, but if you just want to add a natural, outdoor feel to your bath without any major construction, then simply bring the outdoors in! Adding some simple greenery indoors is an easy way to lighten up your space and feel one with nature. The succulent wall art (below) is a great way to use wall space and a super trendy way to incorporate plants in your home.

    Succulent wall art indoors

    Effective home decor accessories for adding a little bit of nature can range from plants to artwork, but also the right lighting. Selecting modern lighting fixtures made of natural materials, such as our Cassandra Ceiling Light which features a natural grass cloth shade will give the feeling of nature without having to be outside.

    Whether you go big or small, adding a bit of nature to your bath or shower can give you the personal oasis you've always wanted.

    Images: Home the Lovely, Feau, Arch Daily, Flora Grubb

  • The Photographer Behind The Art

    Photograph of girl with green eyes

    As your resource for modern design, including modern lighting, furniture and home decor we can't help but appreciate great photography as artwork. You should no doubt be able to recognize all of these photographs because they represent historic moments in time, some happy and some solemn. They have all graced the walls of many homes, but the artist behind them is often never seen. 

    Photograph of The Beatles in hotel room

    These portraits of photographers holding their groundbreaking photographs were shot by Tim Mantoani as part of a new book Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends. The book was created in an effort to prove that although photography is arguably a dying medium, when you see the best of the best, there is something really special to be acknowledged and respected.

    Photograph of Marilyn Monroe in white sheets

    In addition to seeing the face behind the photograph, what is also intriguing are the messages below each portrait. The photographers gave their notes on the photograph and how it impacted them. For example, in the image below the photographer behind that heart wrenching moment gives his thoughts on the day and his photograph that will live forever.

    Photograph of World Trade Center

    As these photographs continue to adorn the walls of all our homes, now this book is sure to land on many coffee tables as art in and of itself.

    Images: Juxtapoz Magazine

  • BaseCamp: rustic modern boutique hotel

    Gray and Orange hotel room

    BaseCamp Hotel is a boutique hotel located in Lake Tahoe. It reflects exactly what you might think from its name, the ideals and adventures of a base camp. A comfortable place where travelers can share stories and tips in communal spaces, rest up, and prepare for a day of exploration. Walk out the door and you're in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, just a five minute walk from exploring until your hearts content. The location is perfect, the price is affordable, and the design is a winner!

    Lofted Bunk Beds

    The wood clad wall, plaid wool blankets, raw wood table, and that adorable orange lantern table lamp combine to create the perfect rustic modern cabin feel. Whether you're traveling with children, friends, or small groups the bright orange lofted bunks are such a great solution to accommodate six people and really make you feel like you're at summer camp!  

    Modern Orange Artwork

    The orange desk chair works like a piece of art against this modern walnut desk (above). The deep red orange is very sophisticated and brings a lot of energy to this neutral room. The use of orange accent furniture provides bursts of color in any space and creates a very lively and playful effect. 

    industrial bathroom lighting

    Industrial modern bathroom lighting fixtures is a great way to define style in any space.

     Graphic Shower Curtain

    The bathrooms are not overly designed, but very simple and elegant with playful pops of orange. I am completely in love with this graphic shower curtain! I wonder where I get one for my house?! The natural oak vanity, industrial bathroom lighting, and white brick patterned tile give you that classic rustic modern feel that works so perfectly in the setting of Lake Tahoe.

    Hotel Room with a view of Lake Tahoe

    Map of Lake Tahoe

    The hotel doesn't open until June 20th, 2012 but I'd book a room now if you want to enjoy your wonderful summer getaway at BaseCamp! I know I do! Just look at all the exploring that's waiting for you!

    Image Source: BaseCamp Hotels

  • Rustic Cottage Meets Modern Glass Home

    Modern glass house

    Normally, when a home is purchased furniture is simply moved in, the house is renovated or the house is demolished and re-built. In this case, the scenario was none of the above. When the current owners, a banker and an antique book collector bought this land in Vilnius, Lithuania, all that existed was a little yellow brick cottage.

    Modern residential staircase

    They removed the yellow paint and were surprised to see the gorgeous, timeless Vilnius bricks. Not wanting to destroy the history of this one-time cannon foundry as well as needing much more space, they decided to restore the old structure and build a glass house around it to showcase the history.

    As you can see, situated behind the added staircase (above), the dining room is part of the new structure, but features a backdrop of the vintage brick with up-lighting. Large pendant lighting helps balance any space when you're dealing with a mix of large and small scales, like with this home. The dining area is small, but the overall structure is large.

    Mixed materials for a modern home

    There's nothing more artistic than combining materials in a cohesive manner, and this is especially true in architecture. This is a great shot into the belly of the added staircase, showing all the elements of this structure. With such a beautiful backdrop, a wide range of modern furniture can be used to design spectacular interiors in this amazing home.

    For more images of this home within a home, visit Trendir

    Images: Trendir

May, 2012