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AlessiLux LED Accent Light
“This table lamp design is such a fun, modern spin on the original oil lamp.”
- P. Jackson, Interior Designer
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Plan Check Kitchen + Bar is a quaint little restaurant located in West LA's Little Osaka. Many of you might be familiar with this area for the sushi, but maybe you've frequented the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety on a regular basis to have your plans reviewed for permitting. The concept behind this restaurant design embodies the creative lifestyle of architects, designers, and developers that flock here on a regular basis.
The minimal industrial warehouse vibe of this gastropub has the laid back feeling of a corner general store or corner bar in any small town.The outside patio is very welcoming with its warm, minimal lighting aesthetic. Modern outdoor lighting paired with industrial awnings makes for a perfect L.A. evening hang out.
The long communal tables are centrally located with an open bar on the left and sculptural wood booths to the right. The natural wood and metal tables do a great job of warming up the space. Poured concrete floors and industrial modern lighting fixtures consistently create a warehouse style interior.
These gunmetal barstools paired with this bronze wall sconce are perfect for giving your space that feeling of an industrial warehouse.
Set of 4 Zuo Modern Marius Gunmetal Counter Stools
Robert Abbey Iris Bronze Plug-In Swing Arm Wall Lamp
Even the menus look like a set of plans! How great is that? But really, what's so great about this place is the menu.
Umami Burger's, Chef Ernesto Uchimura, has created a menu of comfort food topped with things like bacon candy and ketchup leather and stuffed with things like bone marrow and swiss cheese fondue. You can't go wrong with anything on this menu.
Now you've got something to look forward to next time you're visiting the Department of Building and Safety!
Images: Plan Check, GDX
Vacation homes were once only for the rich, but modern cabins are packing big design into small footprints...and small price tags.
As originally reported in the Los Angeles Times, students at the Woodbury University School of Architecture have proven that - with a simple storage shed, a $1,500 build-out budget, and some creative thinking - mini-cabins can achieve high design that's actually within reach. Land not included, of course.
Under the guidance of professors Sonny Ward and Jeanine Centuori, the students were tasked with transforming 10' x 10' "over-the-counter" tool sheds into hospitable mini-cabins, affordable summer homes with light, insulation and sleeping space for two. For kicks (and added educational benefit), the professors added a wrinkle to the project: each of the three design teams were charged with incorporating a material - either wood, paper or plastic - throughout the design.
Cabin interiors were kept understandably rustic, and with a 100 square foot footprint, space was utilized to the fullest.
While these cabins were clearly more case study than residential solution, the project raised an interesting point. There are tons of ideas circulating for prefab vacation homes that are affordable, design savvy, and can handily withstand the rigor of part-time use.
Check out this shipping container solution by Texas-based Poteet Architects, utilizing a durable steel shipping container as it's structure:
Clean and unobtrusive, use modern close to ceiling lights to open up the constrained feeling of a small space.
Modern prefab homes have been a boom industry for a few years now, because they're relatively easy to deploy. This Sommerhaus Piu Prefab Vacation Home by German industrial designers Patrick Frey and Björn Götte is billed simply as "affordable." We might add stunning to that description.
The use of wall lights and small contemporary sconces keep limited airspace clean and clutter-free while stowing away neatly in the kitchen.
And for those who are looking for the turn-key approach, there's this contemporary loft design by Zenkaya:
Summer is just around the corner. When your wanderlust kicks in, consider surveying the landscape for a location that's amenable to housing modern cabins. Look for level ground and affordable property prices in areas within a days drive or train ride from home. Drop a design-savvy structure on top and you're ready to vacation in style. And should you ever need a house sitter, you know where to find us.
Images: Los Angeles Times, Home Dsgn, the Coolist, Zenkaya
Wall & Deco introduces an incredible new collection of of outdoor wallpaper called OUT-Outdoor Unconventional Texture. The visual solutions for exterior decoration will blow your mind. Graffiti and street art have greatly influenced the design culture in the last few years and now Wall & Deco has taken this concept to the next level and combined it with innovative technology to create something completely unexpected.
There are so many expressive possibilities which make these bold and graphic outdoor wallpapers an architects dream! Adding color and graphic wall murals into urban settings makes for happy places and it actually brings inspiration to communities. Goodbye outdoor tile, hello outdoor wallpaper! Just take a look at some of the amazing exterior applications.
BauHaus: This colorful graphic pattern creates such a bold contrast with the natural environment. Imagine how this could light up at night with the use of modern up lighting.
Kefia: The Houndstooth pattern adds sophistication to this modern architecture. Pair it with colorful outdoor chairs and let the fun begin!
Tokio Stripes: Black and white patterns are a bold, yet classic statement. Modern outdoor furniture in neutral tones helps maintain balance and doesn't compete with this bold pattern.
Pop Pop Pop: No repeat on this pop wall mural. Just look at how the image seems transparent and you can still see the "wall" behind it. Such amazing innovation.
Loren Ipsum: Combing the old with the new. How can that not be ancient text carved into a concete wall?
Camooo: Camouflage your building or create a bold graphic statement. Imagine using this on a government building in your downtown!
Wall & Deco has just proven to us that architecture is about to get more fun!
Images: Wall & Deco
Porcelanosa's beautiful West Hollywood showroom opened last week and it was the perfect place to kick-off Dwell on Design and Meet the Architects. I spent the first hour or more wandering around the showroom drooling over the beautiful displays and the latest materials. As a designer I've been working with Porcelanosa for over 5 years and through these years they've never missed a beat. They are always introducing the most beautiful tiles with the most advanced technology, at reasonable prices. And the best part is that they almost always have everything in stock.
The chrome plated Madison Plata porcelain tile (above)is sure to add drama to any space. It's elegant, sophisticated, and just jaw dropping. Pairing it with a porcelain wood floor is great way to mix the organic and the glitz. The bathtubs and sinks are made of Krion, a matte solid-surface material, and the simplicity is stunning.
This natural stone wall tile paired with Urbatek's Max Black Nature floor tile (above) is a great combination of porcelain and natural stone. Layering natural elements with glamorous elements is the perfect way to create depth and interest in any space. Ornate and modern decorative mirrors will really define the style in your bathroom.
The subtle pattern on the mosaic tile behind the vanity gives you the look of wallpaper, but with the durability of porcelain.
Can you believe this Calacata Gold wall and floor tile is not the real thing? This is one of the best Calacata Porcelain tiles on the market! Wood and marble is always a classic comibination and the only thing that's missing here is the modern bathroom lighting.
These porcelain mosaic tiles are brilliant! Choose a light or dark grout color and watch these mosaics change faces in an instant!
After wandering around the showroom I did get a chance to listen to a few of the Architects speak about their projects in this year's Dwell Home Tour. Shawn Bleet of OKB Architects spoke about the all the huffing and puffing the city did in regards to the exterior color and finish selections of the Avon Residence addition in Pasadena. While one of my favorite architects, Whitney Sander of Sander Architects spoke about the Green House (below) and light-gauge metal building and it's effect on the environment and your pocket!
We'll tell you all about Dwell on Design and the Dwell Home Tours next week! Hope you get a chance to enjoy both of them this weekend! And if you don't, be sure to stay tuned for our full coverage of the events!
Images: Annie May, Sander Architects
Not since the City Beautiful movement of the late 19th century and its most prominent advocates (including landscape designer Frederick Law Olmstead, designer of New York's Central Park) have designers, policy-makers and the public embraced ambitious landscape designs for public spaces. Today, as the world's foremost designers are joining efforts for the task of creating new urban green spaces, a few challenges arise: How to incorporate hardscape with landscape? How to design attractive drought-tolerant landscaping? What are the best practices in outdoor lighting? And with those challenges come solutions that each of us can apply to our own private green spaces.
The following six projects represent the vanguard of thinking in outdoor design. The first three are already completed; the second three may never break ground, but represent visionary thinking nonetheless in the greening of public space.
The Elevated Park - High Line Park, New York City
Manhattan's famous High Line park (above) opened in 2009. It occupies more than one mile of a former elevated rail line.
The Pocket Park - Materials & Applications, Los Angeles
This small green space in Los Angeles (above) is technically private property, open in the daytime to the public. With a rotating schedule of outdoor design exhibitions, M&A serves as a park space for neighbors and an innovative hardscape studio for designers and architects. Made from a series of interlocking plates, this sunscreen by Benjamin Ball & Gaston Nogues shares its inspiration with modern ceiling lighting designs.
Cassini Collection Bronze 16 1/2" Wide Ceiling Light Fixture
The Rooftop Park - City Hall, Chicago
Chicago was a leader of urban design 100 years ago with the advent of the skyscraper and it leads again today with rooftop parks popping up across the city. Among them, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Chicago Center for Green Technology and Millennium Park. Perhaps the most prominent sign of Chicago's all-in commitment to forward-thinking urbanization is the rooftop garden atop City Hall (above).
The Vertical Park - SkyFarm, Toronto
The SkyFarm (above) by designer Gordon Graff is a proposal to erect a 58 floor "agri-tower" in Toronto's Theatre District, intended to provide fresh, organic produce to the surrounding city with minimal carbon footprint.
Despite boasting some of the world's largest parks located within metropolitan boundaries, the City of Los Angeles ranks far behind other major U.S. cities in parkland per capita... Which leaves designers and developers (as well as this blogger) dreaming of expansive park projects in the horizontal city.
The Flyover park - Park 101, Los Angeles
A joint project between several different design firms, Park 101 (above) proposes to cover a section of the 101 freeway in downtown Los Angeles with a green lid, uniting the city's civic, cultural, transportation and historic centers with vital green space.
The Reclaimed Park - The Piggy Back Yard, Los Angeles
The Los Angeles River (yes, there's a river) has long been a target of reclamation projects intent on returning the notorious concrete viaduct to its natural state. The Piggy Back Yard (above) proposal transforms abandoned rail yards near downtown Los Angeles into a drought tolerant park and river flood basin.
As important as the landscape design is, it's only one step in a functioning outdoor space. Hardscape design and outdoor lighting is key to increasing access and safety. In the July/August 2011 issue of Monocle magazine, Christine Loh, CEO of the Hong Kong based think tank Civic Exchange, explained the need for reasonable lighting in city parks and streets: "Street lighting can obviously make people feel safer but it doesn't have to be bright, bright, bright." To minimize light pollution, both amateur and pro landscape designers are increasingly turning to dark sky outdoor lighting. The examples below are attractive but unobtrusive by day, and bright but not too bright by night.
Hinkley Luna Dark Sky 16" High Bronze Outdoor Wall Light
Hubbardton Forge Lightfall 13 1/2" High CFL Dark Sky Light
Not everyone is landscaping acres of reclaimed land or rooftops. Despite plot size, home garden or city park, the same general design principles will always apply... Use native and climate-specific flora when possible, let hardscape enhance the space without overpowering it and use lighting modestly for best results day and night.
Images: The Architect's Newspaper, Aether Journal, Archinect, Growing a Greener World, Torontoist, LAist
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