modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Steel Droplet Cylinder Shade Lamp
"Perfect lamp for a bedside table…nice clean design."
- Martha, San Jose, CA
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Dwell on Design
My Modern Met
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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...
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.
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:
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
Small space decorating can often be a struggle, but we have some tips for how to manage your tiny modern home. There's a few strategies you can implement, along with specific elements such as space-saving floor lamps, modern nesting tables or decorative mirrors.
This image above demonstrates the stylish benefits of nesting tables. Pull them out when you need more surface space or tuck them away on a daily basis.
Sometimes, with small spaces different areas overlap. Like this tiny dining area and kitchen above. The absolute best way to visually distinguish areas is with lighting. For small spaces, small pendant lighting is ideal. And if it sparkles, even better!
Mirrors, mirrors, mirrors! Whether you hang them on the wall or lean them on the floor, framed mirrors are a super easy way to help a space look larger than it is. Plus if you choose wisely, the style of frame can add tons of personality to a room as well.
Lean, and unobtrusive floor lamps are a key factor in small space living. You need light, but are often times short on surface area for table lamps.
If you have any questions or need some additional advice, don't hesitate to post a comment... Good luck with your tiny space!
Images: Your Ideas, Miriam Kenly, La Maison, Marry Bee
Image from Justina Blakeney
Lamp shades are so great because it's such an effortless, economical update for a room. Whether you add a new shade to an old lamp, or have several shades for your favorite lamp that you switch up when you get board, changing something as simple as a lampshade can have a HUGE impact on a space.
With so many patterns and textures to choose from, it can be difficult to know which lamp shade to pick for the lamp, so I've done the work for you! I've looked through the enormous selection of patterns and colors of lamp shades and picked out my favorites.
Multicolor Flowers Drum 13-Inches-H Lamp Shade, Orange Floral Drum 10-Inches-H Lamp Shade, Guatemalan Print Drum Lamp Shade 14x14x10 (Spider)
The first three are colorful and fun and would look great in spaces with a bohemian bend, spaces with lots of white that needed some bright, happy accents, and I could see them looking perfect in rooms that are going for a young and fresh vibe.
Black with Gray Scroll 11-Inches-H Lamp Shade, Blue Leaf Print Drum Lamp Shade 14x16x11 (Spider), Mud Cloth Print Drum Lamp Shade 15x15x10 (Spider)
These three lamp shades are perfect for gender-neutral spaces, rooms with lots of wooden, earthy elements, rooms that need a bit of whimsy, but not much color.
Geometric Shapes 11 1/2-Inches-H Orange Lamp Shade, Embroidered Hourglass 14-Inches-W Lamp Shade, Tan Ikat Pattern Drum 12-Inches-W Lamp Shade
And these three are good choices for sophisticated, well-traveled spaces, modern rooms that need a little punch of pattern, but with a soft color palette.
Which shade would you choose?
Image: Justina Blakeney
Image from Rue Magazine
When styling the perfect home, few colors are as relaxing or peaceful as turquoise. It's that perfect shade of ocean-y blue that has the power to transport you to a beach in the middle of the work week, when all of your vacation days are already earmarked for the upcoming holidays. It can make you feel like you're drifting in the clear blue sky on a warm, early summer day. So why not bring a little of it into your home to experience every day?
The Cloud Sky Blue Glass Jamie Young Table Lamp looks like a beautiful piece of sea glass and features a subtly quilted texture on its base. It can make any room feel a little breezier and relaxed. When in doubt, never shy away from using a modern lamp styles for today's home, they're classic and always functional.
If glamour is your thing, look no further than Made By Girl's Chevron Ikat Teal Silver Swag Chandelier! The pretty mix of chevron and ikat patterns give any space this chandelier swings in a fun personality.
A trio of these Mason Steel Blue LBL Pendant Lights would add an instant dose of modernism to any space – think in the kitchen, down the hallway, in the bathroom. The simple design is sleek and cool. It would definitely classify as an upscale look in island pendant lighting.
The hand-blown, hand-painted recycled glass of the Envy Hand Blown Glass Decorative Cylinder is both vivid and unique. Place it on a shelf or in a corner that might otherwise go unnoticed.
One of my favorite things is when cool colors are mixed with otherwise warm materials (and vice versa). A Teal Blue Pouf Modern Roped Cotton Ottoman fits nicely into this category and this cooler October weather.
The lines of this Ceramic Gourd Teal and Tan Table Lamp are meant to mimic gently swaying coral, while the beautiful blues provide a great splash of color! Pun intended, of course.
Image: Rue Magazine
Big changes may be coming to a street near you: the City of New York recently announced plans to outfit all 250,000 LED street lanterns by 2017. The net savings to the city is estimated at 14 million dollars per year, and the characteristic orange-tinted glow (seen in the fabulous photo above by Kenneth Rockwell) may soon appear whiter.
I'll never forget the first time I realized the street lamp outside my house had been replaced by an LED filament (my hometown of Los Angeles recently completed the retrofitting of more than 141,000 lights). The light was bright, clear and best of all, didn't have the hum or flicker of the old high-pressure sodium lamps. As the nation's largest cities realize the savings of LED, it's likely we'll see more and more municipalities follow suit.
And with that may come wider adoption in home and commercial settings as well. LEDs have made their way into all outdoor styles, from cozy barn wall lights to these LED retro street lanterns:
Royal Solar Bronze LED Triple Lamp Post, Solar LED Black Outdoor Lamp Post
Easy to maintain. Reduction of carbon emissions. Saving money. With LED retrofit options for everything from street lights to recessed ceiling lights, LED is fast becoming a no-brainer...for the heads of cities and the heads of households alike.
Images: Ken Rockwell, Forbes
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