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  • Becoming a Small Space Tourist

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    Small Space Tourist Hotel

    When people use the phrase "small space," they're usually talking about the spaces where we live. But what about the rest of our lives? The places where we shop, relax and even spiritualize?

    For that, we imagined spending the day as a small space tourist. We begin at the Das Park Hotel in Austria (pictured above), a sewage pipe turned pay-as-you-can hotel room. Yes, a sewage pipe.  

    After waking up, let's head to the cafe...or in this case, a pocket park in New York.

    Pocket Park New York City

    A collaboration between the NYC Department of Transportation and the businesses that front it, this space is nothing more than some seating and landscaping squeezed onto the sidewalk. We think the bright red chairs look great in the city, but to blend into more natural surroundings, one might want to consider using unique chairs that are transparent.

    After morning coffee, we head out to the Uniqlo store, designed by shipping container pioneer architects Lot-ek.

    Pop Up Retail Shop

    In our new clothes from Uniqlo, we now head for church...well, the chapel at least. The Mobile Chaplet below was designed to service rural communities in North Dakota, but it can be used just about anywhere a flat bed truck will take it.

    Modern Sculptural Mobile Chapel

    Finally, we return to New York's Pod Hotel for the evening. 

    Pod Hotel New York

    The Pod offers affordable small rooms, furnished in a way that should appeal to any fan of modern design.

    Modern Dining Chair

    Set of 2 Zuo Mesh Chrome Dining Chairs

    Modern Nickel Wall Light

    Besa Divi Satin Nickel European Swing Arm Wall Light

    At less than 100 square feet per room, the Pod offers just enough space for the things that really matter--you and your modern chairs. Isn't that the essence of small spaces?

    Images: SprklingTransportation NationNoticias AquitecturaDwellThe Pod Hotel

  • Modern Home Design at 840 Square Feet

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    Modern Home

    This eco-chic "4 Corners House", designed by Finnish architects Avanto Architects, uses its black exterior to blend in with the thick forest that surrounds it. At only 840 square feet, each corner of this tiny home features a view through glass walls. The exterior is dramatic, contrasting with its snowy surroundings and bright white interiors.  

    Another great eco feature is the passive solar operation, which further strengthens this modern home's connection to nature and reinforces its principles of minimalism. It creates minimal impact on its surrounding environment.

    White Interiors

    Although the interior is bright and all-white it still feels warm and cozy, which is a must in this snowy environment. The wood ceiling, walls, and floors are covered in a white wax finish which allows the natural wood grain to warm up the space. Similarly, when you use modern white pendant lights in an all white space it allows for the shape of the fixture to really stand out. Which is why we love the simple details of the Kiev Pendant Light (below).

    Modern White Pendant

    Tech Lighting Kiev White Modern Ceiling Pendant

    Modern Dining Room

    The simple dining table blends with the surroundings while the use of simple, modern seating helps make the space feel less cluttered. It's always an added bonus when your dining room opens to the outdoors. When it's warm enough the double-doors open and you could slide your table outside while still protected from the elements. The roof extends beyond the doors which makes the outdoor space an extension of the inerior.

    When living in a small space, bringing the outdoors in is a great way to make the space feel larger.

    Acrylic Dining Chair

    Zuo Diamond Clear Dining Chair

    Modern Fireplace

    There's an open, but defined feeling throughout the space. It's an escape from reality, where sitting around the wood burning fireplace in your modern lounge chair and reading a book might be the only concern for the day!

    Modern Bedroom

    The Danish modern wood-burning fireplace paired with a view like that might also keep you in bed all day!  

    Modern Home Floorplan

    When designing a modern home under 1500 square feet you're forced to push the boundaries of design. Creating an experience in your own home is key, well it's actually a key element of life too.

    So go ahead, push the boundaries, challenge yourself to look at things differently, make an impact, and create experiences just like this architecture team was able to.

    Sources: Arch Daily

  • Get the Look: Modern Dining Room Pendants

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    Modern Dining Room

    Pendant lighting is all of the rage these days – whether you install them in your kitchen, bathroom or dining room. I have to admit, I’m one of those people. I’m constantly proposing a modern pendant light to my clients. What’s not to love about them? The beautiful hand-blown-glass is timeless and provides a modern feel for any space.

    Glass Pendant

    LBL Isla Smoke Bronze Pendant Light

    When I came across this antique light at the flea market (dining room above) I knew it had to be mine. Whenever a reader sees it they ask where it’s from. Since it’s vintage I’m always looking for a similar look. Luckily, Euro Style Lighting has a hand-blown version that is stunning with its smoke glass. The transparency of the glass allows you to enjoy the warmth and light from the bulb in true modern style.

    Modern Vintage Dining Room

    Farmhouse tables are a favorite amongst my clients because they want to host large parties. I’ve been mixing them with modern lighting – similar to the image above. I’m a huge fan of mixing styles – the modern lighting with the organic feel of the table. It adds more character to a room. These hand-blown clear glass pendants add that modern flair. 

    Clear Glass Pendnat

    LBL Isla Clear with Satin Nickel Modern Pendant

    Interested in another style of glass pendants? I've rounded up a variety of both clear glass and colored glass options below.

    Glass Pendants

    1. Mason Brown and Satin Nickel Ceiling Pendant 2. St Charles Mercury Glass Jamie Young Ceiling Pendant 3. Etched Glass 7 3/4-Inch-W George Kovacs Mini Pendant 4. St Croix Amber Glass Jamie Young Ceiling Pendant 5. St Charles Clear Glass Jamie Young Ceiling Pendant 6. St Croix Celadon Glass Jamie Young Modern Pendant Light

    Image: Caitlin Flemming, Femina

  • Nano Homes For Small Spaces Lovers

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    nano homes modern small spaces

    There's an extreme side of everything, and small spaces are no exception. Enter the nano house. Technically speaking, a nano house is 500 square feet and under, but there are more than a few out there that measure less than 200 square feet. And they teach a surprising lesson.

    The trick to living smaller, it would seem, is not how to better fit your life into your home--it's how to better fit your home into your life. 

    Vacation Small Home

    Sunset Cabin (above) by Toronto-based Taylor-Smith Architects is a lakeside vacation space. With cedar cladding, this 275 sq. ft. space draws the outside world in and in the process invites the occupants to spend the majority of their time outside. For spaces like this, recessed lighting saves room while centrally located modern ceiling fans can handle all the cooling needs.  

    Modern Mobile Home

    Gregory Paul Johnson credits his 140 sq. ft. home (pictured above) for allowing him to save money, lose weight and generally feel happier overall. Specifically speaking, his small space gives him more time and fewer bills. Sounds like a classic example of getting more for less. 

    Conversely, for a more is more approach, New York designer Zach Motl stuffs his 178 sq. ft. apartment with an artful arrangement of objects he's meticulously collected over the years (pictured below), giving credence to the notion that the more stuff you put in a room, the bigger it feels.

    Zach Motl Miniature Apartment

    And then of course, there's the smallest home of all: none at all. Tech nerd, writer and perpetual traveler Andrew Hyde claims only a backpack stuffed with 38 other items to his name. He says the absence of possessions leaves him more engaged with the immediate world around him. He appears to have a thing for things orange and green too (below):

    Living Small

    If you're considering a small space, a swing arm desk lamp similar to Zach's tucks away neatly when necessary. And while you're at it, you can always incorporate a stylish table lamp similar to his too--the black lamp shade mixes well with a multicolored or monotone spaces alike.

    Modern Desk Lamps

    Lights Up! Dasan Ivory with Black Silk Modern Table Lamp, Satin Nickel Adjustable Holtkoetter Desk Lamp

    Most of us may not all consider going to the nano extreme, but small spaces are becoming increasingly en vogue as they're often the most viable options, financially speaking, for would-be owners.

    Images: Design Buzz, The Cool HunterMother Earth Living, New York Times, Ecouterre

  • Cool + Collected 1.16

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    Neon Museum

    +If you like traditional museums then you might not like this, but we think it's pretty cool. Las Vegas has a neon museum with vintage signage that's pretty eye-catching.

    +Architect Magazine has issued their 2012 Annual Design Review and it's definitely worth checking out.

    +Dexinger compiled a short list of the best designs of 2012. The list includes architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product, transport.

    +We don't think you would have found your way to our blog if you didn't love Mid-Century Modern. So, we're happy to share with you the greatest hits Mid-Century design.

    +Trust us when we say, you don't know good use of space until you've seen this video. Design students were selected to help with the design of this 350 sq ft apartment in Soho, New York.

January, 2013