modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
LBL Batons Satin Nickel Suspension Pendant Light
“When lighting looks like art, you know you have a winner!”
- D. Shultz, Interior Designer
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Design Spotlight is our regular monthly post covering modern design + lifestyle topics from around the globe. You'll find everything from design icon biographies to modern art, photography and architectural surprises. And of course modern design!
+ If you're in Southern California sometime between now and July you don't want to miss Pacific Standard Time. This event is a collaborative celebration of Southern California’s lasting impact on modern architecture.
+ Moving anytime soon? Does apartment hunting exhaust you? The Everygirl has a great checklist that should help the process run a little smoother.
+ Hey modern parents, you'll love this organization wall for a kids room! It's playful and functional... and of course, modern.
+ Victoria Smith from SF Girl by Bay has rounded up some of the best DIY's around. And make sure to click over to all of their blogs for more cool projects!
+ If you're looking for stylish ideas to design your outdoor space for the Summer then you should pick up the Outdoor Spaces book from Coastal Living.
Image: Pacific Standard Time
Pacific Standard Time, the art phenomenon that took Southern California by storm in 2011-2102 (with shows and events at more than 60 museums, galleries and other institutions) is back from now until July with something for fans of design and architecture: "Pacific Standard Time presents Modern Architecture in L.A."
There are two exhibitions in particular that should appeal to mid-century design lovers, chronicling the modernist aspirations that defined post-war Los Angeles. Featuring beautiful home photography and renderings, they promise to hold plenty of eye candy. But they're equally rich on substance too.
The first of the two is The Architecture of Smith and Williams at the UC Santa Barbara Art, Design & Architecture Museum. Drawing on the museum's rich archives of modernist designs by partners Whitney R. Smith and Wayne R. Williams, this exhibition focuses on the firm's pragmatic ability to site buildings beautifully within a landscape, such as the Shoreline House pictured as both sketch and photograph above.
The second exhibition, Technology and Environment: The Postwar House in Southern California at Cal Poly Pomona (pictured above and below) flexes that institution's muscle in architecture and engineering, saluting innovations in construction technology and the iconic designs made possible by them. As with most modern homes, large planes of glass blur the line between indoors and out while the structural use of steel usurps traditional building patterns.
All told, exhibitions, screenings, tours and talks will take place at seventeen area locations for "Modern Architecture in L.A." As is often the case with historical survey exhibitions, there will inevitably be a plethora of vintage furniture worth salivating over. We particularly love how smooth spherical hanging pendant lights and wall lamps play well in otherwise rectangular spaces.
Roomstylers Globe White Glass Pendant Light
Basque Brushed Nickel Modern Arc Floor Lamp
"Modern Architecture in L.A." offers a lot for the design fan and yours truly will try to hit every single event. At the very least, you can expect to see me at the downtown L.A. skyline tour hosted by the L.A. Conservancy. Multiple times.
Images: Pacific Standard Time
As lovers of interior design, we believe in one thing... We are all entitled to a designer look no matter what our budget is. If you include designer pieces, even just one, it will automatically upgrade your space.
This modern dining room (above) is well curated and every detail is accounted for, including a beautiful gallery wall. However, without the Zuo Transparent Dining Chairs this space might not catch your eye. The simple, transparent seating addition makes all the difference. They are the perfect balance to all the other colors and textures in that room.
The living room above is very well designed and perfectly balanced. For any well designed room, lighting is so important, both natural and artificial. But it's not just the light emitted that's important, it's the style of the light.
The Jonathan Adler Ventana Floor Lamp has the perfect form, texture, color and height to compliment the design of the room. Modern floor lamps, like plants and flowers are a great way to add vertical style to a space.
Often times, designer products provide seamless design. They can make a large impact on your space without dominating the design. The Possini Euro White Flower Pendant above is the perfect addition to this simple, white dining room. Without that fun, designer pendant the dining room would be quite average.
This pink Robert Abbey Pink Gourd Table Lamp above provides a fun color pop in this stylish bedroom. Designer products often provide that small but necessary detail that is necessary for completing a stylish space.
Jonathan Adler Ventana Floor Lamp, Possini Euro White Flower Pendant
Zuo Transparent Dining Chairs, Robert Abbey Pink Gourd Table Lamp
You don't need a large budget or a room full of high-end designer products to have a stylish home. All you need are a couple details and a few great products at reasonable prices.
Images: From the Right Bank, Bliss, Homedit, The Everygirl
By far my favorite room of the house to add a little gold to is the living room. It’s the space where we entertain and spend a lot of time as a family so it has to look spectacular. This modern living room above has the perfect balance of gold accents throughout. I am in love with the little side tables and how about that beautiful bright couch? It goes so well with the gold accents. I know they say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and while I do love diamonds, I have to say that gold is a girl’s true best friend.
Gold can add so much with so little! You can add a few accents throughout the room to give it a more polished and sophisticated look, or you can go a little overboard and make the room look like something Donald Trump would feel comfortable in. Either way, gold is lovely.
1. Jonathan Adler Meurice Brass Robert Abbey Chandelier 2. Glitz Filbert Arm Chair 3. Robert Abbey Sputnik Ceiling Light 4. Theissen Stripe Black Pillow
These gold items are just downright gorgeous, don’t you think? The chandelier and the ceiling fixture are both beautiful pieces that make a statement. I think they would look fantastic hovering above a brightly colored couch with some striped pillows. So chic!
The armchair has a fantastic modern mid century look to it, and when you add the gold on top of that, well you have a winner of an armchair. The throw pillow is kind of perfect because it has two of my favorite things in one. Gold and stripes! This pillow would be a great and subtle way to tie in some other gold accents throughout the room.
Hope you have as much fun with gold as I do!
Image: Design Love Fest
If you had to live off the land, could you? What if you had to do it with only a balcony or a tiny plot of land in the middle of the city?
There’s a growing movement of “urban homesteaders” who are doing just that. With only 1/12 acre of land, Los Angeles residents Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (pictured below) are among a handful of people leading the way, and they're doing so with wry humor and a cool, metropolitan sense of style.
Coyne and Knutzen penned The Urban Homestead, a book that covers everything domestic, from composting to cooking. Urbanites themselves, they’re the first to acknowledge that homesteading is a matter of trial and error (as you'll see on their blog) and a matter of degrees. Not everyone has the time or will to maintain a chicken coop, yet (as we found firsthand) it can be surprisingly easy to keep the raw ingredients for clean, green household cleaners on hand.
Urban homesteading is about living in the city in an environmentally sensitive way at the domestic level. Whether it be simple addition of drought tolerant herbs to your garden (as in the Laura Cooper home pictured at the top of this post) or urban based farming initiatives such as community gardens (LA's Manaznita Street Garden pictured below) are about consuming less while growing more.
As this approach to city living grows in popularity, modern lighting retailers like Euro Style Lighting are doing what they can to expand their product bases to include designs that complement the lifestyle. Solar landscape lighting is an energy neutral way to keep the garden lit after dark. Energy efficient and longer lasting than incandescent bulbs, LED outdoor lighting can help reduce both electricity costs and landfill waste. And dark sky compliant lighting leads the to less light polluted skies in the urban environment.
Copper Solar Lantern Landscape Light
Kichler Dark Sky Nickel Outdoor Wall Sconce
Hinkley Piza Angle Bronze LED Landscape Light
Small space living. A penchant for artisan produced food and goods. A belief that small scale changes can contribute toward a cleaner city and a sustainable future. These are the tenets of the urban homesteading ethos, and while it may sound like something straight out of an episode of Portlandia, you don't hear anyone making jokes when a fresh loaf of home-baked bread or a batch of home-brewed beer lands on the table, courtesy of the urban homesteader.
Images: Dwell, Root Simple, Los Angeles Times
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