modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Steel Droplet Cylinder Shade Lamp
"Perfect lamp for a bedside table…nice clean design."
- Martha, San Jose, CA
About Euro Style Home
Dwell on Design
My Modern Met
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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
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
My experience at the 2012 Dwell on Design show at the Los Angeles Convention Center last weekend can be best summed up by a well-worn cliche: what a difference a year makes. Whereas last year's Dwell on Design Show seemed retrenched under the specter of the euro zone crisis (and completely out of step with its tagline "Go Big. Find Design."), the 2012 incarnation was 100% about thinking big.
Summarizing this year's event, Dwell Media President Michela O’Connor Abrams said, “Without exploration, there would be no innovation. This year at Dwell on Design, we’re exploring beyond the boundaries of expectation to get a first look at the people, products, and ideas that will redefine the very notion of modern.”
So what four things did I discover at Dwell on Design 2012?
1. Modernism is Alive and Well
If the exhibiting non-profits at the show are any indication, classic Modernism is very much the guiding light of Dwell.
I was delighted to discover Modcom, the Modern Committee of the Los Angeles Conservancy. Through research, outreach, and action, this group works to preserve L.A.'s post-war architectural treasures.
Also in attendance were representatives of Palm Springs Modernism Week, the annual symposium of lectures, tours and exhibitions dedicated to Modernism's rich legacy in the Palm Springs area.
2. Outdoor Is In
The outdoor "deck" of the show was larger this year. Plants, prefabs, pods, pots and more graced every corner of the space.
The show boasted two retrofitted Airstream campers, further underscoring Modernism's firm hold on the Dwell aesthetic.
Even the very notion of "outdoor" was expanded. As part of the show's onstage series, Artillery magazine's review editor Carrie Paterson presented "The Road Less Traveled: How Miniature Forests Will Humanize Long-Term Space Missions," in which she detailed the history of agriculture in space exploration, and offered the bonzai tree as a possible human companion in long-term human missions to space.
3. Big Design Fits in Small Spaces
As expected, the latest in modular home design was on display at the event. All three participating designers utilized diminutive floorplans to the fullest, and I caught more than one attendee peering into cabinets, checking under beds, and above appliances in an attempt to visualize how they might downsize their lives into a small, elegant space.
The ecofabulous LivingHome was the event darling - it seemed like there was someone pouring juice, wine or champagne at almost every hour outside the space. At their $172 per square foot claim, the LivingHome is budget-fabulous.
Connect Homes and Sustain Design didn't rival the ecofabulous LivingHome fanfare, but their designs equally inspired. Sustain Design's caliMini prefab packs a high aesthetic into the footprint of a flatbed truck:
All in all, these homes felt a bit, well, mobile. I found it hard to resist the urge to knock on the walls to see how they held up, but seen in a broader context, these structures are quite a feat. Given only a few days of set up time, each of these designers erected and staged a livable home. Who am I to complain?
4. We Live in a Material World
My favorite part of the show was that which was perhaps least practical in the most direct sense: a number of sculptural installations were on view that explored the limits of material. As Cori mentioned in her recap of the show earlier this week, Oyler Wu's Screenplay installation utilized 45,000 feet of rope to create a textured wall.
Student Bruce Guan from the Interior Architecture Department at Woodbury University constructed a fabulous curtain from paper airplanes (pictured below and in detail at the top of this post).
Los Angeles based Timeline Wood showcased a line of distressed wood planks. These FSC certified, low VOC treated planks had the appearance of reclaimed wood. The owners, Shelby Keyser and Matt Stroud, perfected the "aging" techniques during stints as furniture restorers and artists.
As evidenced by the event as a whole, design's role in the building of a better future is more important than ever. Nowhere was this more obvious than at the motor court in front of the Convention Center, where Green Car Journal hosted a test drive program showcasing the latest in electric, hybrid and clean diesel cars. A year ago, the electric vehicles on display were concept cars. This time around however, I was able to test drive two production cars: the Coda and Ford Focus (available starting January 2013).
When it was time to head home however, I did the green cars one better: I jumped on my bicycle and rode home. Sure, nobody walks in L.A...but they do ride.
Images: Modcom, Sustain Design
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
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