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  • Contemporary Dining Room Ideas For The Family

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    Contemporary Dining Room

    It is said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. However, I would like to suggest that it is actually the dining room that is at the center of it all. The contemporary dining room is where the family gathers. Adults and children come together for a meal at the table. 

    Even creativity convenes at the dining table, likely with coloring books and paints spread about. We do a great bit of learning in the dining room, whether it is from each other or the daily task of homework. And, best of all, conversations are had at the dining table.

    Since we spend so much time in our dining rooms, why not make it a place that you and your children love to be? So, let's discuss some contemporary dining room ideas for the family...

    Modern Dining Room

    There are several elements that create a welcoming gathering place around the table. Although most pieces are obvious and very necessary, others are optional and are there to add interest.

    The star piece, certainly, is an attractive dining table. There are many options available and personal preference can play a big part in this decision. But, whether round or rectangular, I always find a rustic table works great for families like in this image above from The Style Files. Not only does it have character and add warmth, but it can, also, handle wear and tear and a million spilled milks.

    Fun Dining Room

    When it comes to creative dining chairs, the options are endless. But, with little ones it is usually best to steer clear of fabric and go with chairs that can, easily, be wiped clean. 

    If you are looking to add interest, why not mix chairs and a bench or incorporate all different styles of dining chairs for a playful look (as seen in the first image by Milk Magazine)...?

    Lighting can often be overlooked, as it is easy to just leave the standard light fixture in place. However, lighting is what really sets the tone and mood for the family dining room. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Arc floor lamps are a great option if you don’t want to do traditional pendant lighting over your family table.

    Here are a few of my favorite picks to get you started:

    Home Decor

    Don’t forget about the walls. Art places a big part in designing an area for the family to gather. This is where you can really have fun. A favorite idea is to blow up photos of your children, their artwork or their favorite food. I also love the look of a neon sign (pictured above from The Glitter Guide). The look is both modern and playful which translates to fun for both kids and adults alike.

    And, to finish, accessorize with an area rug, one that hides spills and cleans up easily. Also, a few beautiful pieces to adorn the table,  like greens in a vase, a bowl full of fruit or a tray filled with candles.

    When you create a contemporary dining room for the family, you make room for a million memories to be born.

    Jamie Young Campaign Silver 30-Inch-H Folding Dining Table, Zuo Anime Transparent Modern Set of 4 Dining Chairs, Possini Euro Arlo Chrome 18-Inch-H Pendant Light

    Images: Milk Magazine, Andreas Stenmann via The Style Files, The Glitter Guide

  • Wall Lamps For Trendy Bedroom Design

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    Stylish Wall Lamps

    The traditional table lamp on the night stand will always look nice, but if you enjoy taking part in design trends then you'll want to add some wall lights around your bed. This bedroom style above from The Brick House is a perfect example.

    Plug in wall lights with designer style create a modern, industrial aesthetic for a trendy bedroom design.

    Task Lamp

    Keep it monotone with white walls and a metallic or white wall light for a really modern look like in this image from Nata Shatlova.

    Swing Arm Wall Light

    Refined modern sconces like in this image from Deerheads also look great in a modern bedroom. Contrast is a wonderful thing because it adds personality to any space. 

    Images: The Brick House, Nata ShatlovaDeerheads,

  • Modern Luxury Hotel Design: Square Nine

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    Modern Luxury Hotel Design

    What is the purpose of vacation? To disconnect. Relax. Recharge. Be inspired. Assuming so, it would then follow that those goals should serve as guiding principles in any modern luxury hotel design.

    Set amid the streets of historic Belgrade, Square 9 hits the mark.

    Modern Check-In Desk

    Public spaces such as the check-in desk (above) are both wide and open. Appointed with comfy recliners and contemporary lamps for living room and office settings, the spa (below) has a particularly relaxing feel.

    Modern European Spa

    Guest rooms have a handsome, minimalist look:

    Modern Hotel Guest Room

    Best Hotel Bathrooms

    There's a classic modern design theme that runs throughout the luxury hotel. Mid-century inspired modern sconces and wood paneling underscore the refined aesthetic that permeates the space. 

    Mid Century Hotel Room

    Disconnect. Relax. Recharge. Be Inspired? That's shouldn't just be the goal of a luxury hotel design.

    Design with these ideas in mind at home too. We're particularly happy with how his and hers wall lamps add a comforting, golden touch to the bedside.

    Holkoetter Wall Lamps

    Top to bottom: Holtkoetter Bernie Turbo Brushed Brass Swing Arm Wall Lamp, Holtkoetter Bernie Brass Wall Lamp

    Every time my hotel bill creeps up near $200/night or above (not all that often, mind you), I find myself doing the math. For the cost of a few nights, it's possible to deck out your room at home for the entire year. Something to think about when you book your next dream vacation.  

     Images: e-architect, Square Nine

  • Color Crush: Royal Blue

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    Modern Home Office

    One of my favorite colors to add to a space if I want it to have a little more fun and character is royal blue. I don’t know why, but to me it just seems like a bright and fun color. I love to wear it, so why not dress up your home in it?

    A little royal blue table lamp here, a royal blue patterned rug there. Can you kind of see what I mean about it being fun? And even though it can be a fun color to add to a room, I think it is one of those rare colors that can be fun and sophisticated at the same time.

    Especially if the royal blue is in a sophisticated fabric. Like on an arm chair for example. If you have a velvet like fabric covered royal blue arm chair, it adds both fun and sophistication to the room instantly. I love it! This royal blue office is amazing (image from House to Home). I love how the pop of color from the modern armless chair plays off of the royal blue on the walls.

    Generally I am a white walls kind of girl, but I think I could definitely live with a pretty royal blue office. Especially if it looks like this!

    Home Decor

    Casey Royal Blue Lightweight Resin Round Wall Mirror, Color Plus Ovo Envy with Satin Dark Blue Shade Table LampMarine Blue Square Set of 2 Outdoor Accent Pillows

    This mirror! My jaw literally dropped when I saw it. I think I need it! Just look at the detailing and the bright royal blue being all shiny and asking to come home with me.

    The lamp is a good mixture of colors. The bright green and the royal blue combined make for a lot of fun. All from one lamp!

    The pillows are the perfect little pop of royal blue to add to your sofa or bed. I love how simple they are. They would look awesome with some mix and matched patterned pillows.

    Image: House to Home

  • Loft Life: Artist's Live Work Studio

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    Artists Live Work Studio Design  

    Artists' live work studios just look...well...more creative. Maybe it's the attention to aesthetics or the unconventional approach to space, but these homes usually compel a sense of awe and a-ha for those who enter.

    Artist Vik Muniz's home in Brooklyn is a textbook example. The loft (pictured at the top of the post) is a tale of opposites: part lab, part comfortable home. Nonetheless, creature comforts abound, such as this cozy bedroom, decorated tastefully with collectibles:

    loft-bedroom

    The dining area is clean, open and ready to entertain. Notice the pendant lighting over the table. For a bright and easy look in the kitchen or dining room, nothing beats decorating with island pendant lights

    Loft Dining Room

    A wall of books or a comfortable couch to sink into? What family could live without them?

    Loft Library

    Whether it's an architect's lamp for bedside lighting or a brushed steel ceiling fan, each room in Muniz's home strikes that delicate balance between functional work space and homey living space.

    Architects Desk Lamp

    Dimond Ingleside Chrome Desk Lamp

    Modern Ceiling Fan

    Modern Fan Cirrus Ceiling Fan

    Living the loft dream does have a certain appeal. A 15 second commute from bedroom to office? Check. Creative space? Check. With an open floor plan and an open mind, you can get the artist/designer look with modern hanging light fixtures, simple but stylish mid-century furniture, and a few well-place pieces of art along the walls.

    How about you? Do you live in a live/work space? We'd love to see photos! 

    Images: Financial Times, Elle Decor 

October, 2013