modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
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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When we speak of design, we often refer to architecture, furniture and graphics, but rarely do we talk about letters. "Typeface" is a typography term that refers to the visual characteristics of a set of letters and numbers, and no typeface is more universally used, imitated, loved and loathed than Helvetica. A Google image search of the word Helvetica speaks volumes of its iconic place in 20th century communication design. What is is that makes this typeface so ubiquitous?
Developed in 1957 by Swiss designer Max Miedinger, Helvetica is the Modernist's dream - a sans serif typeface that eschews ornamentation for clean, crisp function. And it can be found absolutely everywhere.
On the New York City subway:
In the mark of some of the world's largest corporations:
And all over the place in graphic designer tributes such as this one (clearly inspired by the Russian artist Kasmir Malevich):
It arouses a range of emotions among designers. Some love it. Some don't:
Some imitate it. It's younger cousin Arial (developed in 1982), has been packaged with Microsoft operating systems since 1992 and is one of the most widely used computer fonts today.
I'll admit, the more I look at Helvetica, the more I start to notice that the same rules that dictate good typography apply to good design as well. You don't have to go far to see it, we have some on our website. Check out some of these fixtures below. There's the variable shaped bowl of Helvetica's "d" and "b" that reminds me of this Lite Source Kito Green Table Lamp:
And there are the straight, flattened finials at the top of both the Helvetica letter "t" and this Possini Euro Design Triple Column Wood Table Lamp:
I'm not suggesting that one influenced the other, but it is fun to note how the formal rules that govern typeface design are very much at play in the larger design world. The Modernist design principles that informed the creation of Helvetica are as ubiquitous as the the typeface itself.
Love it, hate it, use it, or don't. Whatever your reaction to Helvetica, one thing is certain: it's everywhere.
Images: AM Design Perspectives, Thirteen, Thomas J. Quinn, DeviantArt, Roberto Blake, Whitezine, Penny Finder,
The hot summer days always call for something light and refreshing. This modern loft features a light-filled design by Linda Bergroth and is just about as refreshing as you can get. Bold colors dance around the room like summer flowers in bloom while the white hardwood floors reflect the light that shines in these large gorgeous windows.
The modern glossy blue lacquer kitchen is such a strong and bold contrast with all the white surroundings. Adding bold colors in a neutral space is the perfect way to add character to any room. The use of the wall mounted light fixture above the cook top is a very clever idea and a great alternative for under-counter lighting. You can get this look in your own kitchen by using this modern swing arm lamp.
Mondoluz Pelle Brushed Platinum LED Swing Arm Wall Lamp
Bold colors and patterns bring so much fun energy into the space and still manage to maintain a sophisticated feel. Bright colored pillows are a great way to add personal style and energy into your modern loft.
Blue, black, and white stay consistent in the small library and create a well balanced, interesting space that one would actually get excited about reading in! The patterned rug is...well...just so cool! Blue accents on the built-in shelving create a very powerful element that shows the level of detail considered in this modern loft. Simple, but decorative pendant lighting can be a defining element in the style of your home. The solid black pendant (above) makes a strong statement due to the contrast with the white, but is very simple in form.
Kichler Olde Bronze Mini Pendant Light
Large, bold artwork above the bed is always a great alternative to a headboard. This colorful painting brings a very playful, positive energy into the bedroom and almost guarantees you'll wake up everyday with a smile! The wall mounted bedside sconces are perfect reading lights and help with keeping the nightstands clear from clutter.
The contemporary bathroom may be neutral in color, but its boldness is right on par. The gray, black, and white geometric patterned concrete floor tiles are a dynamic element and pair perfectly with the beveled edge white brick pattern tile. The vintage bathroom sconces and pendant lights bring an industrial vibe into this modern bathroom. Bathroom lighting can change the entire feel of your space so creating balance is key when deciding what direction you want to go.
Oh look, and there's a modern sauna, as if we weren't sold on this loft already! This looks like the perfect place to relax after a hard day at work.
Hope you all are having a beautiful and refreshing summer! Make sure to take a little time for some rest and relaxation!
Images: Linda Bergroth
One of the many beautiful projects in this year's Dwell on Design Home Tours line up was Sander Architect's Green House pair. This set of townhouses on one single lot face each other over a drivable courtyard. They are very similar in appearance, yet not identical. Both buildings are wrapped in a skin of 1" x 2" aluminum edges that give it a very distinct appearance, but also act as a shade screen throughout the day.
This pair is what Whitney would call a Hybrid House. "This is a new type of house that we have developed, using a prefabricated metal frame, skin and roof. We have achieved unprecedented economies by using prefabricated building (warehouse) fabricators to manufacture the most expensive parts of the houses at a fraction of the normal costs. We have also achieved unprecedented scale."
The windows are wrapped in the same material used for bus graphics, which allows the home owners to see out, but no one to see in. What a brilliant idea! The custom pattern was designed to reflect the surrounding environment.
They photographed a tree and blew up the image so each building looks as though the the trees are reflecting in the windows. This organic element brings a lot of character to these ultra modern homes.
The front townhouse faces the street and features a quaint zen garden for a front yard. The concrete floors blend with the natural stone wall to create a very calm and peaceful area, filled with lots of natural sunlight. Simple organic wood furniture paired with these modern materials create a great balance in an industrial style space.
What a stunning kitchen! The dark oak Italian kitchen cabinetry contrasts perfectly with the concrete floors, while the two-story oxidized metal panels dominate the space.
The second floor living room features a glass railing and glass walkway which overlooks the kitchen. Modern glass dining tables are a great choice for an open plan. From above the dining table basically disappears.
The soft industrial aesthetic of this modern dining table (below) will help you get this look in your home.
Zuo Plume Clear Glass Modern Dining Table
The contemporary chandelier adds an elegant touch to the industrial space and brings the organic elements of nature indoors.
If you love the chandelier, but aren't one of those lucky enough have these gorgeously high ceilings, a shorter capiz shell pendant would work beautifully in your space.
Dolce Capiz Shell 25" Wide Pendant Chandelier
Many innovative green materials were used throughout this entire project, including passive heating and cooling, natural daylighting, shade screens, bamboo flooring, green cabinetry, and recycled glass countertops.
There were many amazing homes on the the Dwell Home Tour schedule and this is just one of them! I hope you had a chance to check them all out! But if not, there's always next year.....
Images: Sander Architects
Have you been searching for the perfect modern coffeehouse to meet your clients at, have a quick business meeting, or just get some work done? Well if you're in Los Angeles, look no further, Graffiti Cafe is the perfect place! The interior is a clean black and white palette with painted white floors and exposed vaulted beam ceilings that make the space feel incredibly open. It's a gorgeous crisp palette just waiting to be tagged by the local graffiti and street artists that fill the streets of the La Brea neighborhood.
The baristas are as friendly as ever and stand behind the all white counter lined with treats. This peace sign dictates quite an accurate description of this place. The glowing sign along with the incredible music creates a vibe that almost makes you feel as if you're floating like a cloud in the space. It's a real chill experience even when you're hyped on the delicious Intelligentsia coffee!
There are many different types of seating in this modern coffeehouse to suit your mood and your company. The classic fireplace mixes with the modern elements to create a cozy setting. Using a modern black sofa that is extremely comfortable can really make one feel cozy in a space that may appear to be very sleek.
This area is great for lounging and chatting with friends while sipping coffee or eating one of their amazing Butter Nutter cookies!
Zuo Fortress Collection Black Leather Sofa
You can head upstairs to the laptop stations in the lofted area and look down onto the crowd or you can grab a comfy seat in one of the booths lining the perimeter of the open space below.
The tables and chairs float in front of the booths to create small group seating that can easily be clustered together for larger groups. You won't feel cramped in this large open space by any means. The use of modern black dining chairs and simple round white dining tables creates a bold, modern contrast in any space.
Zuo Spire Black Dining Chair
Zuo Wilco White Dining Table
The larger communal spaces are perfect for serious business! Long dining tables are linked together to create a communal area for interacting with larger groups or just new friends.
The graffiti installation in this rear nook subtly separates the corner from the open plan seating. Semi-circular booths create intimate, more private seating in this area.
No matter what your agenda is, this modern coffeehouse is tailored to suite you. The coffee is definitely sublime and the music is so good you won't want to leave! Soups and sandwiches are coming soon and I'm sure so much more is up their sleeve! Welcome to the neighborhood Graffiti Cafe!
Images: Graffiti Cafe. The Delicious LIfe
Pyramid of the Magician, Uxmal
As I plan a trip to Mexico soon, somewhere I have been many times as a child, I can't help but do some research as I prepare for my trip as an adult. More specifically, an adult who loves design and architecture.
Mexico is a country built on tradition and history. As you tour its cities, you will see modern structures next to old, broken down buildings from ancient times. Rather than tear down and build new, much of the architectural philosophy is to build around and upward. Progress, but do not forget.
Maya civilization dominated southern Mesoamerica in the second half of the first millennium AD. Classic phase (600 to about 900) architecture (above) is characterized by an exquisite sense of proportion and design, seen in the structural refinement and subtle detailing.
The National Palace in Mexico City
Mexico's colonial history marked the collision of the European and Indigenous cultures, giving rise to a new form of art and architecture. Most colonial cities were planned around a plaza, which held the three main institutions: the cathedral, the administrative center (above) and the court.
Palacio de Bellas Artes
During the 19th and early 20th century Emperor Maximilian I brought a new set of urban design ideas to Mexico. Drawing from the mid-century Parisian redevelopment plan, he built a broad new diagonal avenue called Paseo de la Reforma. This elegant boulevard ran for miles from the downtown National Palace to the lush Chapultepec Park where the Austrian ruler lived. Neo-Gothic designs incorporated into the monumental public buildings, including its cultural center (above).
La Torre Latinoamericana
As modern times began to impact the urban design of Mexico, functionalism, expressionism, and other schools would leave their imprint, combining techniques and stylistic elements of Europe and North American techniques.
It's quite interesting to see modern Mexico develop and how it seems to be coming around full circle. I can't help but notice the similarities between The Soumaya Museum (above), completed in 2011, and The Pyramid of the Magician, Uxmal (top).
This stunningly modern structure houses one of the most important art collections in Latin America with over 6,200 artworks and 60,000 square feet of exhibition space. It also includes an auditorium for 350 people, library, offices, a restaurant, a gift shop and a multi-purpose gathering lounge.
This stunning structure is located in a former industrial zone dating from the 1940’s, providing the opportunity to play a key role in the reconversion of the area as a cultural center and defining a new model for Mexican and international architecture.
Structurally, this organic and asymmetrical design is constructed with twenty eight steel curved columns of different diameters, offering a soft non-linear circulation all through the building. Located at each floor level, seven ring beams provide a system that braces the structure and guarantees its stability. It widens at the top, where a roof suspended from a cantilever allows natural daylight onto the top floor gallery. The windowless facade is composed of hexagonal aluminium tiles. Strategic track lighting is great for complimenting natural light. The lack of any modern furniture, such as benches, keeps the space clean and leaving the spotlight on the art.
The study of modern design and architecture would be endlessly entertaining, but understanding it's history provides inspiration at an entirely new level. The develpment of entire cities goes hand-in-hand with the culture of that particular civilization, giving the architecture that emerges immesurable personality.
Images: MVTPRD, Wikipedia, Open Buildings, The Architect's Newspaper, Positive Magazine
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