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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • LED Lighting: The Future Looks Bright

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    office and desk LED lighting

    Believe the hype: LED lighting can help you save money. When looked at holistically, factoring in the cost of electricity over the lifetime of the bulb, a house full of LED lights could actually save you hundreds of dollars. 

    Let's do the math.

    LED Is for the Long Term

    According to GreenBiz.com: "A conventional 60-watt bulb lasts about 1,000 hours, uses 60 watts of electricity and costs $180 to run for 25,000 hours. The LED equivalent lasts 25,000 hours (nearly three years if you left it on 24/7), uses 12.5 watts and costs $37.50 to run for 25,000 hours."  I've outlined the math below.

    energy savings incandescent vs LED

    The calculations above are based on the Philips Ambient 12 Watt LED Medium Base Light Bulb, a light bulb that fits into any medium base fixture, intended to replace incandescent bulb usage. However, there are also tons of designs available with the LEDs built right into the design.

    Save money by using LED lights in every room of the house:  

    The Entryway>

    The Dining Room>

    The Bathroom>

    The Office or Work Space>

    Discover a Warmer, Gentler LED

    You most likely have heard an incandescent bulb described as a "warm" light. This look or feel of the light is its color temperature. Lower color temperatures (in the range of 2700K to 3000K) appear yellow/white and, despite their lower color temperatures, are referred to as "warm" in color; higher color temperatures (5000K and higher) appear blue/white and, despite their higher color temperatures, are referred to as "cool."

    LED lighting has typically been associated with these harsher looking higher color temperatures. But that is changing. Increasingly, LEDs are reaching down into the warm 3000K range, resulting in color akin to incandescent bulbs and much more natural light than most fluorescent lights.

    LED on color temperature scale

    The environmental impact of LED lighting is difficult to compare directly against other options, but the circumstantial data is encouraging.

    • Requiring 1/5 to 1/10 the energy of an incandescent bulb, LEDs clearly reduce strain on power plants.
    • With a life span of decades, not months, LEDs reduce strain on landfills.  
    • Unlike the compact fluorescent light (CFL), the LED doesn't contain toxic mercury.  

    Natural looking. Cost effective. Environmentally friendly. LEDs are a slam dunk, right? Assuming you find a style you like, the answer is probably yes. In an interview blogger Cori Magee conducted last year with Edmund Ng and Kenneth Ng of Koncept Lighting, they discussed the role of aesthetics in designing for LEDs. "Both form and function are equally important," explained the Ng brothers. "New materials enable new designs. If we find a good material, we are able to create an exciting design around it."

    It's this type of commitment to design, technology and, ultimately, cost that leads us to believe the future looks bright for LEDs.   

    Images: Koncept, Kozai Modern, Toni Spilsbury

  • Curiosity Rover Lands On Mars

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    curiousity rover

    Did you hear... the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars! Of course you have, but still what an incredible performance by Nasa's JPL and everyone in the world that has been involved in the creation of the Curiosity Rover and this incredible feat. Is there life on Mars? When will we be able to travel to Mars? How will this event inspire the future?  We just might be able to answer some of these questions soon. We gain inspiration from nature and everything that surrounds us so there is no doubt in my mind that design, architecture, music, fashion, and film will be extremely inspired by this journey as well.

    modern architecture

    I'm already imagining the first houses inspired by this trip to Mars. Mars is a very peaceful place right now with only Curiosity wandering around, as far as we know! The bold white geometric concrete structure contrasting against the rough red rocky landscape is what comes to mind.  It's peaceful and elegant while the surroundings appear to be rough and a bit harsh.  

    modern kitchen

    I image the modern kitchen on Mars would be natural in its elements, but ultra modern in its technology and aesthetic. The concrete kitchen, Twenty Cemento from ModulNova is a great example of this. The concrete cabinet fronts are subtle, but the soft texture is something you just want to reach out and touch.

    Pairing sleek modern barstools with more organic materials like concrete and wood creates layers of materials that are perfectly balanced. Too much of anything is never a good thing, but a pop of chrome and white leather is like the icing on the cake.

     modern barstools

    Zuo Flick Chrome and White Bar Stool Set of 2

    modern bathroom

    Modern bathrooms don't always have to be so sleek and clean. This solid wood vanity stands strong against the naturally textured concrete wall, while the modern pendant light hangs gracefully from above. It's like the combination of the surface of Mars mixed with the sleek elements of the Curiosity Rover. 

    The mix of modern mini pendant lights with rough natural materials blend together in such a way that still allows each element to hold their ground, make a statement, and maintain the balance.

     modern pendant light

    Silver 24" High Satin Nickel Mini Pendant Light

    There are so many things this world needs, and although a Mar-traveling rover and a house on Mars may not be on the top of everyone's list (yet), it should be able to bring inspiration to each and every one of you. Just think of the possibilities! How has this event inspired you?

    Images: MashableFran Silvestre Arquitectos, ModulNova

  • Portable Beach House Design: Permanant Summer

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    beach house design

    Why not hold on to Summer as long as possible and just follow it?! This portable beach house design will let you do just that!

    window wall

    Designed by Crosson, Clarke, Carnachan Architects, this home was made to rest within the coastal erosion zone, where all buildings must be removable. So, the "hut" is designed on two thick wooden sleds for movement.

    modern living room

    The interiors, like the architecture, were kept simple. But no space should go without modern seating and simple home decor.

    ocean view

    What a view! And to think, you could actually turn this home for a different view if you really wanted...

    portable beach house design

    And away they go...

    Images: Arch Daily

  • Summer White: Home Decor Items For After Labor Day

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    summer white

    Who says you can't wear white after Labor Day? Well, we think you can. But we also think white home decor items, simple pendant lighting, and modern furniture are stylish year-round!

    white home decor items

    1. Artcraft On the Spot Pendant Light 2. Profuse 19" Round Wall Clock 3. Zuo Wilco White Dining Table 4. Small Glacier Glass White Vase 5. Zuo Carnival White Modular Sofa

    Simply put, rock your style no matter what the season!

    Image: Fashion Gone Rogue

  • Architecture + Education: Maria Montessori

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    modern architecture

    Today's Google "doodle" depicts colourful elements key to the methods of Montessori education. The fun graphics is in commemoration of the 142nd birthday of Maria Montessori who is of course known for the philosophy of education that she pioneered.

    The Montessori approach is based around learning in an environment in which a number of physical objects are situated to stimulate natural instincts and self-directed learning.

    The Children's School in Stamford, Connecticut (both images) is located in Stamford, Connecticut. The design of this Montessori School for children aged 2-8 is based around the concept of a "one room schoolhouse", with each space connected to the next as well as to interior connected to the outdoors. The natural environment was also high on the agenda in the school’s construction with the building obtaining a LEED certification.

    modern interior architecture

    Never underestimate the impact of a child's surroundings when it comes to their education...

    Let's celebrate education today... And modern architecture of course!

    Images: Imagine School Design

August, 2012