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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Modern Renovations: Historical Spaces Reimagined

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    Historical Spaces Modern Renovations

    Historical spaces have an unexplainable magic to them, and yet by their definition (read: old), most are in danger of coming down. Luckily, architects and designers around the world are engaging in creative, modern renovations of these spaces and breathing new life into them while retaining the charm that made them worth saving in the first place. 

    A contemporized top floor of a pharmacy in Brugge, Belgium (pictured above) fits unassumingly into the city's historic streetscape (below). 

    Modern Renovated Flat

    Traditional structures don't always fit the footprints we've grown accustomed to in the present day. Buildings are narrow and tightly packed, as in this renovated warehouse in Tribeca, New York.

    Tribeca Converted Lofts

    To combat the lack of open floor or garden space, the Dean-Wolf Architects incorporated voids of empty airspace across the three floors of the townhouse.

    New York Modern Renovation

    Tokyo is notorious for tightly squeezed spaces. Like the Tribeca space, this home by Keiji Ashizawa (pictured below) utilizes open airspace to compensate for limited floorspace.

     Small Space Renovations

    Tokyo Modern Home

    In Adelaide, Australia, the street-facing side of this Victorian home honors the historical provenance of the neighborhood.

    Modern Victorian Renovation

    The rear of the house however opens up in modern splendor. Wide glass windows are thrown open and versatile outdoor chairs can be used inside or out to complement a casual modern lifestyle that's decidedly less-than-Victorian.

    Modern Back Patio

    With modern renovations, the sky's the limit on what lighting fixtures and furnishings you can bring into the home. The blend of historic and contemporary influences is perfect for an eclectic mix.

    Modern Home Decor

     Rebound White Contemporary Armchair, Crystal Burst Possini Euro Design Mini Pendant Light, Zuo Liftoff Black Dining Table

    When it's time to outfit your renovated historic space, we'll bring the mod and contemporary styles. The historical and keepsake stuff is all up to you.

    Images: Room & Room, Arch Daily, Dwell

  • Modern Barn Renovation: Rustic Design Style

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    moden architecture

    The challenge: Renovating an old Spanish barn into a modern home with rustic design style.

    The outcome: Success!

    modern barn

    Large barn doors provide extra large windows for every room.

    modern dining room

    The modern interior is a stark contrast to the exterior, making it the perfect pair. Modern dining tables are always a good statement piece.

    modern dining chair

    Wishbone Natural Wood Side Chairs

    modern dining table

    Zuo Leatherette and Glass Dining Table

    modern living room

    This loft-style living room is full of open space and minimally furnished, making it clean and modern. Selecting a few pieces of your favorite modern furniture without overdoing it is key to designing a modern home.  

    Images: Epundit

  • From Victorian to Modern: Home Renovation

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    Home Renovation

    Sidney based architecture firm Andrew Maynard Architects took this old Victorian home with tall surrounding walls and turned it into a super cool modern home. We approve.

    Modern Architecture

    Simple forms, minimal furnishing and mixed materials all work together to create the home's modern look. When your minimal furnishings include cool, modern accent chairs go ahead and consider yourself on-trend.

    Modern Loft Home

    Cool appliances, simple modern lighting and dark colored furniture make this place stylish for both male and female inhabitants.

    Images: Andrew Maynard Architects

  • Schindler House: Recessed Lighting Magic in Modern Architecture

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    schindler house feature recessed lighting

    Walking through the historic Schindler House in West Hollywood this past Sunday, I discovered something amazing about recessed lighting: namely that something so hidden could look so amazing. 

    First a little history lesson: Austrian born R.M. Schindler worked under Frank Lloyd Wright and in 1920 was sent to Los Angeles to oversee the construction of Wright's Hollyhock house. In 1922 Schindler set up his own practice with the construction of his Kings Road House in West Hollywood.

    schindler house modern architecture

    Fast forward nearly one century to this past Sunday, and I found myself strolling through the nearly empty rooms of the house (now managed by the MAK Center, "a think tank art, architecture, urbanism, design, and international discourse") listening to the sound of reel-to-reel tape recordings in a sound art performance curated and produced by the Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS). The layered, eerie tape recordings were mesmerizing. But so was the space itself. 

    modern interior by schindler

    What struck me most was how the furniture-less rooms hardly seemed empty. There wasn't excessive ornamentation in the rooms (Schindler's work is philosophically absolutely opposed to that), yet there was an extraordinary sense of depth. Materials like wood and cement mixed beautifully in the rooms. Daylight didn't stream in per se; in fact, the space was designed such that it feels like daylight is allowed to enter by permission only.

    japanese inspired modern interior 

    Looking about, I noticed that, aside from two pendant lights in the main room, visible light sources were conspicuously absent. Instead, the entire home was lit tastefully by recessed lighting, giving it a dramatic, staged look. Subtle architectural details took on a new life under these tucked away lights.

    led recessed lighting fixture

    LR6 12 Watt LED 6" Recessed Light Module

    Sometimes the beauty of an object lies in what you don't see, as is the case with the Schindler House's lighting design. Modern energy efficient recessed lights stow away nicely, and an LED fixture (pictured above) in particular will produce relatively little heat. For a warmer, spotlight style like I found in much of the Schindler House, you might want to consider a halogen light (pictured below).   

    modern halogen recessed light

    Juno 4" Low Voltage Flush Gimbal Recessed Light Trim

    Some recessed lighting fixtures are adjustable as in the above, allowing you to swivel or tilt the light, and some are fixed...and as I recently learned, in the right space, they can all be stunning.

    Don't believe me? Check out the MAK Center website for upcoming events at the house. You won't be disappointed. 

    Images: Moby, Wikipedia, Markus Canter, Architecture Week

     

  • Modern Artwork: Francesco Lo Castro's Stunning Geometrics

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    modern artwork

    The end of summer doesn't mean the end of bold vibrant colors, especially when used in modern artwork! The stunning geometric artworks by Francesco Lo Castro can hold their own in any space.  

     colorful modern artwork

    For over a decade, Francesco Lo Castro has been South Florida’s gateway  to the national New Contemporary art scene, as both a respected artist and as a curator of exceptional art exhibitions. And it's pretty obvious why!

    pastel geometric modern art

    This piece titled Eulenspiege, 2012 is created with oil, acrylic, silkscreen, spray paint, layered epoxy resin and gold leaf on wood. It's these layers that have you staring for hours!

     pink and navy blue artwork

    Choosing just one piece of LoCastro's work would be a challenge! I'm imagining these prints not just as artwork, but on modern decorative pillows, throws, and even bold geometric rugs. Keep your home bright and alive this winter by incorporating bold modern decor. And if you get your hands on a piece of LoCastro's work...I salute you!

    Images: Francesco LoCastro

September, 2012