modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Mary McDonald Pythagoras 16 3/4" Wide Brass Pendant Light
"This pendant is a chic accent to any modern décor."
- D. Morgan, Interior Designer
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Dwell on Design
My Modern Met
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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
Today's modern chandelier often times double as an art installation. Is this good or bad? Well, how can art ever be bad? As long as you understand how to translate these designs to work in your own home, then you're able to enjoy them as the inspiration that they are.
This innovative creation (above), designed by Elisa Strozyk, is made out of small triangles of wood. Where you would normally see wood used only as a flat surface in product design, this chandelier can be bent and shaped however you like, far from a flat surface.
Innovative product design is similar to the fashion runway... Would you necessarily wear that? Similarly, would you ever put that in your home (above)? However, you can use the materials, colors and form as inspiration for selecting a modern chandelier. Also, the way it relates to the space can be a form of inspiration as well.
One very simple way to achieve these lighting-meets-art look is to go with an over sized fixtures (above two images), but keep the materials simple. Proportions can definitely be played with to make a statement in any room.
Another way to turn your modern lighting into art is to keep the furnishings and decor around it simple (above). Allow your modern chandelier, big or small to stand out.
Here's a few fun ideas for unconventional chandeliers that will surely make a statement in your home.
1. Fredrick Ramond Mondo Chandelier, 2. Maxim Chantilly Nickel Jewelry Chain Chandelier, 3. Possini Glass Orbs Pendant Chandelier, 4. Possini Corinthian Bronze Twist Chandelier, 5. Vienna Full Spectrum Chrome and Crystal Chandelier
Don't limit your sources for inspiration, just because certain products won't fit in your home (or budget), doesn't mean you can't pull ideas from them. Designing is about solving problems so there's always a way to achieve the look you want!
Images: Elisa Strozyk, Contemporist, Etsy
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
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
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