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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • From Outfit to Interior: Cool + Pulled Together

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    Outfit to Interior

    Modern Living Room

    When in the doldrums of summer Ms. Cool & Pulled Together doesn't want to worry about mussy fabrics and fussy accessories. Nonononono. She wants cool, calm, and collected pieces that don't require a lot of muss and fuss but that give the illusion of being pristine.

    Modern Ceiling Fixture

    When metal and glass meet they can feel cool in summer and warm in winter, especially when surrounding textiles are swapped out. Our Ms. loves this Floating Bubble Possini Euro Round Ceiling Fixture for just that reason, and it makes a bold statement without feeling weighed down.

    The slim profile of this Modern Dark Bronze Tenda Pharmacy Sonneman Floor Lamp is both classic and contemporary with an adjustable height feature. A pretty piece for rainy summer afternoon or chilly winter nights.

    Modern Wall Mirror

    Ms. Cool & Pulled Together prefers the clean lines of modern pieces, like this Candelaria Robert Abbey Modern Chandelier. It gives her dining table the perfect halo of light for dinner parties!

    When it comes to making her space feel airier it's time to pull out some visual tricks. Number one on the list is a great mirror, like the Sunrays Antique Silver Metal Round Wall Mirror with its openwork sunray spokes and silver antique finish.

    Modern Table Lamp

    Ms. Cool & Pulled together loves the softness of the Satin Brass with Transparent Shade Sconce. The metal's finish paired with the shade make a light that's just right for the vanity.

    The industrial feel of the Edison Bronze with Glass 3-Light Console Lamp takes the feminine edge off of any space, and definitely adds an element of interest.

    Images: Topshop, Patric Johansson

  • Get the Look: Stylish Outdoor Seating for Summer

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    Outdoor Seating

    Summer is now in full swing - can you believe it's already mid-July? A few weeks ago I shared outdoor lighting I loved and I have to tell you, I still have the outdoors on my mind. Maybe it's due to the blue skies and warm weather we've been having here in the Bay Area.

    With that being said, I've been lounging outdoors more than ever - enjoying time with friends over cocktails, getting a little vitamin D or taking a little time out to read a book. It has been a real treat doing all of these lovely things outdoors. But it wouldn't be the same without fabulous seating.

    Outdoor Rattan Chair

    Gazelle Indoor/Outdoor Taupe Rattan Lounge Chair

    I've gathered my favorite chairs for your outdoor space - these can fit on a deck, porch or beautiful garden.

    Outdoor Stacking Chairs

    White 32 1/2-Inch-H Indoor/Outdoor Set of 4 Stacking Chairs

    Outdoor Arm Chair

    Riviera Stone Cushion 34 1/2-Inch-H Outdoor Arm Chair

    I hope one of these looks has inspired you to design your outdoor space and get outside.

    Images: Lark & Linen, Elle Decoration UK, Apartment Therapy, Dust Jacket

  • Iconic Apple Designer: Jonathan Ive

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    Jonathan Ive Apple iMacs

    Steve Jobs is the name everyone knows, but as Senior Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple, Jonathan Ive is the man most often credited with the actual look of the iMac, iPod and iPhone, iPad…and whatever comes next. And true to principles of good design, no matter the complexity of the products he creates, the outcome is refreshingly simple, fresh and intentional.

    Colorful iPod Nano

    "A product has to be genuinely better…For something to ultimately be better, the consumer has to see, feel and believe that it is in fact better,” explained Ive in interview with Innovation Excellence

    Ive and his team created some of the most iconic industrial designs of the 20th-21st centuries, and in so doing they were clearly treading in uncharted waters: “If something is going to be better, it is new, and if it’s new you are confronting problems and challenges you don’t have references for. 

    It’s easy to see how these lofty principles apply to the rich and famous world of Silicon Valley. But in the contemporary lighting industry, we’re seeing the same innovative and principled thinking develop. In an interview with Koncept last year, we discussed the challenge of educating consumers that LED is in many ways better (and more cost-effective) than traditional incandescent. 

    Colored LED Desk Lamp

    Gen 3 Z-Bar LED Lamps by Koncept

    And Alberto Alessi, who runs Milan-based Alessi (whose designs we recently featured in a blog post), remarked to the Telegraph in the UK: "We do not offer things which people fundamentally need but we deliver something which answers a wish, a dream." 

    Alessi Table Lights

    Table Lights by AlessiLux

    The wish, as Alessi calls it, is for design to offer extraordinary value: energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing, high quality and long lasting. In many cases, that dream has come true.

    Images: Apple

  • Color Crush: Silver

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    Modern Kitchen

    Silver is one of those colors that adds so much to a room, even a little bling, but can easily be over done if you use to much. All you need to amp up your room with some silver tones is a few small accessories for your space.

    This room has a great amount of silver in it. Just enough that you notice but not so much that it is over bearing. And the lamp overhanging the space is amazing. Silver accents help make a room seem simple and put together without going over the top.

    Home Decor

    Mercury Glass 3-Piece Canister and Tray Set, St Croix Mercury Glass with Silver Jamie Young Chandelier, Sunburst Reflections Antique Silver Resin Round Wall Mirror, Retro Silver with Cream Metal Round Wall Clock

    These canisters are perfect. You can fill them with something small or just keep them empty. Either way they would be awesome in any space. This light is so cool. The shape of it has a modern but also antique feel to it, making it work so well in pretty much any room. The clock is simple and clean which I love and the mirror is a definite statement piece. Along with some silver toned chair legs or accent table and your room will be good to go!

    Images: A Piece of Happiness

  • Public Art: Translating Emoji into a Giant Light Show

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    Public Art

    Like all of us, I'm sure you remember the amazing architecture from the Olympics in Beijing, China. Ever wonder about it still? Well, we've learned that designers have transformed the Water Cube into public art. We couldn't help but share this...

    The exterior of the building shifts between beautiful gradients of color, but that's not all... Using custom software millions of Emoji are sifted through, and in combination with the I Ching, they inform the color, tone, and movement of the light.

    Water Cube

    Jennifer Wen Ma is the Visual Artist on the project. She calls it a "symphony of light". We have to agree.

    She explains that this design project is a representation of nature and man and a symbol of society since the color and speed of light is in fact determined by the emotions of the people.

    Modern Art

    Lighting Designer Zheng Jianwei explains how light enters the bubbles then bounces off unpredictably within the structure. He continues to explain how this is similar to the I Ching philosophy... the sense that chaos, grandiosity and interconnectivity.

    We are truly impressed with this project. It's beautiful architecture taken to a new level and turned into public art. Check out this video below to see both Ma and Jianwei eloquently describe this amazing design project.

    Images: The Creators Project

July, 2013