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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Post-Holiday Accessories for Your Home

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    Neutral Design

    With the holiday season coming to a close it’s time to take the Christmas cards and heaps of greenery down. Are you looking around your home at the blank spaces where the Christmas tree once stood or the greenery once laid? . . . Well, it’s time to get your home looking refreshed with new modern accessories that will make your home feel spruced up. Although it might feel a little toned down from all of those holiday decorations, I think staying with a neutral color scheme is important because it makes for an easy transition now. In the Spring you’ll want to layer on the bright bold colors.

    Here are a few of my favorite accessories that will have your home feeling jazzed up for the rest of the Winter.

     Modern Wall Mirror

    Jamie Young Leather Strap 19" High Round Wall Mirror

    Are you looking at that empty space on your wall and longing for something to fill it? I have lots of little spaces like that in my home (especially where my tree once stood). Contemporary mirrors are a great addition and this Jamie Young round mirror would work well in any space. The leather cowhide frame makes for a wonderful detail that sets this mirror apart from a normal silver frame.

    Modern Sculpture

    Round Silver Sunburst on Stand

    All right, you might think I’m a bit crazy – I promise I’m not. For those of you who don’t use your fireplaces or don’t have a working fireplace this is the item that will make your empty space look unique. I’ve used similar sunburst objects in client’s homes and they look fabulous.

    Modern Crystal Bowl

    Nambe Crystal 6" Wide Butterfly Bowl

    In my eyes crystal bowls can be used two ways – as art work and for serving. Which means this beautiful Nambe bowl could be used to store your Winter accessories on a mantel or coffee table.

    Modern Wine Holder

    Brighton Iron and Leather Wine Holder

    Do you have leftover wine lying around from hosting parties? A small wine rack next to your bar for those bottles of Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc will remind you to grab one as you walk out the door to a party or open a bottle after a long day at the office.

    Modern White Vase

    Braided And Lattice Design Matte White Small Diana Vase

    Last but not least, vases are one of my favorite accessories to decorate with – I use them empty or with a beautiful arrangement. This stunning ceramic with lattice texture would be perfect for a coffee table or console.

    Now that you’ve seen a few of my favorites, do you have any post holiday accessories you’re decorating with right now?

    Image: Desire to Inspire

  • 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

  • New Year Resolutions for 2013

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    Libeskind Museum Tops New Years Resolution

    Every year, people around the globe start the year with a series of resolutions, and it's no different around here. The following are five things topping our 2013 to-do list: 

    1. See Someplace New

    Yosemite High Sierra Camp

    It seems like there’s a cultural or architectural treasure springing up in every city these days. Find one and visit it. Our short list of must-see items this year includes architect Daniel Libeskind’s wing at the Denver Art Museum, followed by a glass of wine at the High Sierra Camps in Yosemite National Park (both pictured above).

    2. Act Locally

    Artisan Lamill Coffee

    We’ve been obsessed with locally roasted coffee from Cafecito Organico and Intelligentsia, not to mention design-savvy LA Mill (pictured above). Nothing beats a fresh cup within walking distance. This year we’re going to walk more and discover the world right outside our doorstep. Architecture and design writer Alyssa Walker turned us onto the joy of walking with her blog Gelato Baby, and guess what we've noticed? There's no better way to see how others mix and match modern ceiling lights and crystal chandeliers (many of which I recognize from our website) in their homes than to peer into their front windows as we walk past. We also discovered that walking a dog makes us look less creepy as we do it.

    3. Stay Centered

    White Office Furniture

    White Leather Low Back Swivel Office Chair, Robert Abbey Havana Polished Nickel Task Desk Lamp

    It’s not always easy to stay calm in the chaos, but one thing we’ve discovered around here is that clean, organized work spaces are a great way to fake the peace until you make the peace. Essential to a calm work space are a functional (and beautiful) desk lamp and an office chair that promotes good posture. Above are two designs we’ve been ogling as of late.

    4. Dress to Impress

    Free & Easy Magazine

    Size matters…with clothing anyway. This year we’re looking for a clean tailored fit, and the Japan-based Free & Easy Magazine (which helped us find a perfect fitting boot this time last year) will be one of our top sources for cutting-edge-meets-classic personal style. Why walk out of the house (see resolution #2 above) looking anything but your best?

    5. Read More

    Coffee Table Book Covers

    Reading more is by and far a universal resolution. Well, if your time is limited in 2013, there are still some great coffee table reads out there. We’re looking at Michael Idov's Made In Russian: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design (Rizzoli) to fire up our aesthetic side, and John Long's fashionable tribute to early rock climbing, The Stone Masters (T. Adler Books), to fuel our adventurous spirit. 

    That's it for us. But we'd love to know: what tops your to-do list this year? 

    Images: Artnet, Yosemite, LAMILL, Dress Launderette, Architect Magazine, Patagonia

  • Small Home + Modern Architecture

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    Modern Architecture

    A client wanted peace, freedom, and nature so Sven Matt Architects made that happen with this small modern home in Austria. The budget was tight, but that didn't mean there was a compromise on function or aesthetic. It just means smarter design and that's exactly what Sven Matt was able to do.

    Modern Kitchen

    There was a focus on the essentials... The large living space, two small bedrooms and entrance are organised around a central core containing the bathroom and technical installations. The thick walls house the kitchen and living room storage which creates a completely built-in look.

    Modern Living Room

    The living room has an open floor plan with minimal furniture and a view like no other. The concrete floors, wood-clad walls and ceilings provide a peaceful yet cozy feeling.

    Modern Window Wall

    The repetition of materials throughout the space make it appear larger and very zen like. Using modern chairs in the same tone as the walls allows the form of the pieces to stand out and integrates perfectly with the architecture.

    Modern Chair

    Set of 2 Wishbone Y Natural Wood Side Chairs 

    Modern Bedroom

    Built-in furniture becomes part of the modern architecture and helps to not waste an inch of space. In this room, you could also opt for modern wall lamps instead of table lamps so the nightstand becomes more available.

     Modern Wall Lamp

    House of Troy Generation Black LED Swing Arm Wall Lamp

    Modern Desk

    The built-in modern desk is very streamlined, providing the resident with a very generous work surface. We all know that a generous modern desk and open space are the keys to productivity!

    And aren't we all trying to be more productive in this new year?!

    Images: Sven Matt

  • Design Ideas for Small Spaces

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    Small Spaces

    What's the smallest space you've ever lived in? I must admit, though I have been an apartment dweller for most of my adult life, I've lived with someone else for many, many years, and recognized that I would probably be the cohabitor from hell if I lived in anything smaller than a one bedroom.

    Small Living Room

    In short, I've never had the good fortune to live in one of those tee tiny studio apartments that are so often featured in design glossies and blogs. And yes, I said "good fortune." Because honestly, I think decorating a tiny little space would be a very fun design challenge! The larger your space gets, the easier it is to collect unnecessary clutter and be coerced into buying furniture you don't really love (or don't even really need). In a small space, every square inch counts! Every piece of modern furniture or stylish light fixtures you choose must have a purpose.

    Small Living Room


    Below are some of my favorite picks and tips that are essential to anyone living in a small space. What would your small space essential be?

    Small Space Decor

    Gen Metallic Black Koncept Floor Lamp, Uttermost Sherise Beaded Wall Mirror, Sunrays Antique Silver Wall Mirror, Pascal White Plastic Side Chairs, Ryn Grey Shelving Unit or Media Stand, Cancun Outdoor Tri-fold Screen, Modern Wendover White Steel Dining Chair

    What are your small space ideas?

    Images: Stua; Winnie Au for Refinery 29; Apartment Therapy

January, 2013