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LBL Batons Satin Nickel Suspension Pendant Light
“When lighting looks like art, you know you have a winner!”
- D. Shultz, Interior Designer
About Euro Style Home
The Art Story
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Over the weekend, I attended Dwell on Design at the L.A. Convention Center. It's an annual event organized by Dwell Magazine and it includes a large showroom with hundreds of artists, vendors, manufacturers, etc. There are also panels discussing topics like sustainable design, innovations in product design and social media, etc. It was pretty awesome and inspiring for anyone who craves modern design. By far, my favorite moment was meeting the architect who designed the home featured on the July/August cover of Dwell (check it out, I got an autograph too).
Next up, I was awe-struck by the installation that greets you as you enter the main showroom (below). The artistic structure is constructed out of silver polypropylene rope looping around a steel frame. If you're interested, you can read about the process and see how this Oyler Wu Installation was created.
Jenny Wu describes the project, "Our interest in line-work is three-dimensional and spatial. This begs the question: How does a single line become spatial? Well, the simple answer is—it doesn't. A line only becomes three-dimensional when it becomes part of an aggregation of multiple lines that are not co-planar."
There were several architecture booths where I discovered my dream home. Huf Haus is a German based engineering and design firm that focuses on creating energy efficient, luxury homes. There was no way I wasn't going to snag one of their brochures and peruse their website after the show. This A-frame home with windows all the way to the top is magnificent!
I absolutely loved the outdoor living displays, which included pre-fab homes, campers, outdoor furniture, etc. In the photo below you can see the clear bubble pods that I want for sitting outside in the middle of a rain storm... now, doesn't that sound incredible?!
In addition to the outdoor living area, there were also several vendors throughout the showroom featuring plant related products. Potted had some truly creative pieces (shown below) that I want to put in my own home. With a shop located in the Los Feliz/Atwater area of Los Angeles, Potted provides an eclectic environment filled with an array of styles, from kitsch to cottage and vintage to modern. I just love this circular piece, which also comes in white!
Urbio was another a booth I spent a little time at. They have these really cool magnetic, modular pieces (shown below) that you can use for just about anything. But no doubt they look best with plants, especially succulents. They're great for using vertical wall space!
If you missed Dwell on Design this year, don't worry we have more recaps throughout the week, so stay tuned...
Images: Huf Haus, Potted, Urbio
Central Los Angeles High school features dramatic modern architecture designed by Wolf D. Prix and the Austrian firm Coop Himmelblau. There's no doubt this high school holds a place in debates over urbanism, planning, and architectural patronage in Los Angeles.
Fifteen years ago, LAUSD launched a $20 billion construction campaign, which included a new high school along Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, a neighborhood where existing schools had grown incredibly overcrowded. How important should architecture be to a city's urban development, and the design of schools specifically? Shouldn't campuses be both economical and appealing in design, rather than one or the other?
Katherine Harrison, the school’s executive director puts it like this, “The striking character of the buildings attract a great deal of attention to the school which is alternately welcome and unwelcome. Either way, we run the risk of the building somehow defining the school’s mission rather than the educational needs of students and the community we serve.”
Despite the continuing debates over design and budget, the beauty of both the interior and exterior architecure is hard to ignore.
The auditorium (above) is a show stopper in itself. The 950-seat theater is state-of-the-art and features a tower rising from its iconic roof. Bold, colorful seating provides any modern space added character. Give this chair a try in your modern home for the same effect.
Eclipse Red Vinyl Club Chair
Minimal lighting, with just the use of downlights, allows for the interior architecture to have the main spotlight. Here is a suggestion for achieving this simple, yet effective lighting aesthetic.
Juno 4" Low Voltage Chrome Adjustable Recessed Light Trim
Prix’s decision to design the whole composition in concrete and aluminum panels no doubt makes the school stand out in Los Angeles.
This image demonstrates its proximity to the downtown freeway system, the featured character in the story of Los Angeles should its urban development be turned into a script.
Despite the difficulty completing this project and the debates that continue to hover around it, there is no questioning the noteworthy appeal of the architecture and the impact it has on the city's overall design development.
Images: Coop Himmelblau
Quote: Metropolis Magazine
The 20-room Grace Santorini Hotel, which is a member of the award winning Grace Hotels Group, is carved into the cliff-face 300m above Santorini’s volcanic caldera. Athens-based studio Divercity Architects, in collaboration with MplusM, accomplished this amazing coastal hotel design. They created an environment with a luxurious combination of elegance and serenity.
From the first steps into the lobby (above) you know you're in for a treat. Oxidized steel, concrete, and stone combine to create a look that's modern and intriguing, making you want to reach out and touch everything, but not stay too long. A place where you won't sit and lounge forever, but that's going to get you excited about the comfort that awaits you within this beautiful resort.
Black modern accent chairs add a bold detail to any space. If you want this look in your space, we believe this black leather weave chair can get you there!
Zuo Prospect Park Black Leather Lounge Chair
The guestrooms' all-white interiors & furnishings, combined with brushed concrete floors, personify the trademark whitewashed houses of the Cyclades.
Bright pink accents provide an electrifying element to the decor while classic, modern design pieces such as the Eames Shell Chair add softness to the stark room. The soft curves play nicely off the sleek lines and concrete floors.
We suggest this idea (below) for bringing this feeling into your home.
Zuo Spire White Dining Chair
This built-in daybed mimics the architecture of the Cyclades. Integrated side tables are a very clever solution and create a strong grounding element for the sleek coffee table. Minimal coffee tables are a great way to keep a space open while still functional.
The lightweight white table lamp perched beautifully next to the rocking chair casts a subtle glow down onto the pure white surface. This modern table lamp (below) would work great in the space as well!
Lights Up! Virgil White Linen Shade Table Lamp
Outside, the magnificent infinity pool’s jagged outline echoes the zigzag paths that criss-cross Santorini’s sheer mountain cliff terrain.
Meanwhile, outdoor patios offer majestic views of the famous sunset cast across the Aegean sea and the Cyclades Islands, as well as a romantic atmosphere for visitors. You could sit here, relax, and just wait for that sunset all day.
Can you imagine a more beautiful and romantic place that you would want to spend your vacation? The Restaurant in Santorini is out of this world as well! Time to start saving your pennies now!
Images: Grace Santorini
Have you been looking for a way to incorporate contemporary gardens into your modern home decor? Well, Flora Grubb and other specialty shops provide lots of great ideas that double as artwork.
These small aeriums (above) have a "ship in a bottle" appeal. The're all unique, but typically feature tiny mosses, lichens, and tillandsias which all live happily together under glass. They have artists in the store handcrafting each one. If you want to make this a fun project for yourself, we also suggest using attractive glass containers, like this one (below) as a perfect way to display a variety of stylish succulents.
Fuller Clear Glass Document Box
In addition to the aeriums, Flora Grubb also makes plant "pockets" (below) that hang openly or against a wall. It's a great way to have an organized, yet beautiful mess of greenery. It's also a great way to apply plant life toward using vertical space.
Are you looking for a way to incorporate just a little bit of greenery, but in a more controlled manner? Try these "thigmotropes" (below). They're designed to be screwed into a wall and hold tillandsia plants. Just take them down to lightly water every once in a while.
As you incorporate more greenery into your decor, make sure to reap the full benefit of having plant life indoors and help circulate your fresh air using modern ceiling fans. This handsome fan (below) would do the trick.
Fanimation Torto Bronze Ceiling Fan
Succulent wall art is such a big trend right now. They're low maintenance and they look great. Although time consuming, and depending on the size, they're easy to make and could be a fun summer project.
The best part about succulent wall art is that they can be any size and work indoors or out. All you have to do for watering is spray them using a water bottle.
There are so many inventive ways to incorporate plant life into your modern decor, indoors or out. And many of them could also make fun DIY projects. Although, some are more simple than others, should you need help you could always refer to resources like Flora Grubb and other creatives.
Images: Flora Grubb
Over the last three decades, a growing number of public "percent for art" programs have transformed commercial design projects into city cultural stewardship projects. How?
The concept is simple: for major commercial design projects (capital improvement projects and new developments), an increasing number of major cities require funders to earmark a set percentage of the overall budget for the purchase and installation of public art. Effectively, property developers become the arts benefactors and beautifiers of the cities within which they build.
While not all public art pieces are universally a hit, most would argue they certainly intrigue. Pictured above is Cradle, a 2010 installation by Ball-Nogues Studio for the Santa Monica Place shopping mall in Santa Monica, California.
One of the earliest adopters of the percent for art concept, Chicago began asking developers to earmark 1.33% of project costs back in 1978. Weighing in at 100 tons, Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate (nicknamed "The Bean") is a favorite in Millennium Park.
The "Percent for Art" idea traces back domestically to the early 1960s and then chairman of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Michael von Moschziskerhe. As von Moschziskerhe explained to TIME magazine in 1962, "I said to the other four members that maybe we could let it be known that we would look with favor on bidders who offered to spend 1% of construction costs on frescoes, murals, bas-reliefs, mosaics, stained-glass windows, and fountains with statuary in or around them...Psychologists and efficiency experts now find that beauty increases productivity. It necessarily follows that true functionalism in man-made edifices must include artistic expression."
Visitors to Los Angeles will recognize the "pylons" at LAX. This kinetic installation of multi-color lights by Paul Tzanetopoulos is the result of the city's 1% for art program.
The distinctive pylon look can be adapted to the home with torchiere floor lamps.
Possini Euro Design Hybrid Torchiere Accent Light Floor Lamp
Public art can be seen as a talking point, an eyesore, or a design centerpiece, as with Eclipse, a 40 foot high, 12-sided dodecahedron by artist Charles O. Perry located in the atrium Hyatt Regency in San Francisco's Embarcadero. I love the string lights hanging from the ceiling in the background. They remind me of the droplets on some of my favorite crystal chandeliers.
In the case of some public art, it can be so formally driven that it verges on looking functional. Can you tell which of the below is sculpture and which is a chandelier?
(Hint: One is the Bowling Ball Curtain sculpture by Eung Ho Park; the other is the Possini Euro Floating Bubble 6-Light Round Ceiling Fixture)
Public art infuses public spaces with color and interesting forms which inevitably become the common social and cultural bonds of a city.
Images: Ball-Nogues Studio, Art Observed, Daily News, Hyatt Regency, DM Contemporary
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