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modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Modern Homes from the Silver Screen

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    single man house

    Image from Federico Babina's Archicine Series

    Barcelona-based architect and designer Federico Babina has been steadily making headlines over the last year by creating playful architecture and design themed illustrations. The latest is a series of posters illustrating iconic works of architecture that have played prominent roles on the silver screen. As you might guess, many of them are breathtaking modern homes. 

    Below is a sampling of the film posters and the real buildings that inspired them. 

    Single Man (2009) - dir. Tom Ford / John Lautner, architect

    lautner glendale house

    Photo by Joe Fletcher; Image from Desire to Inspire

    Pictured a the top of this post is the house from the film Single Man, as illustrated by Babina. A John Lautner house in Glendale? What else would you expect from a film directed by a fashion magnate? It looks equally beautiful in the photo above by Joe Fletcher. 

    The Big Lebowski (1998) dir. Joel and Ehtan Coen / John Lautner, architect

    Lautner Big Lebowski

    Image from Federico Babina's Archicine Series

    Sheats-Goldstein Interior

    Image from Curbed LA

    Yet another Lautner, the Sheats-Goldstein house featured fabulously in the Coen brothers' cult hit. We love how the usage of recessed lighting keeps the space clutter-free. With tons of built-in seating, the space is house party-ready at a moment's notice.

    L.A. Confidential (1997) dir. Curtis Hanson / Richard Neutra, architect

    Neutra LA Confidential

    Image from Federico Babina's Archicine Series

    Richard Neutra Interior

    Image from the Times UK

    SoCal modernism features so heavily in cinema, one has to wonder if Hollywood influences design trends, or if it's the other way around. The Lovell house by Neutra is textbook International Modern, set in the Hollywood hills. We particularly like the fixtures that delineate walking paths. For a similar look in your home, you could consider using one or more rectangle chandelier designs.

    North by Northwest (1959) dir. Alfred Hitchcock / Robert Boyle, William A. Horning, Merrill Pye, Henry Grace, and Frank McKelvey, set designers

    hitchcock movie poster

    Image from Federico Babina's Archicine Series

    Hitchcock House

    Photo from North by Northwest, Image from Open Buildings

    Last but not least, this is not a home by Frank Lloyd Wright. The iconic Vandamm house from North by Northwest is actually a fake, designed and constructed by the film's set design team on a vacant lot in Culver City, California. As Lloyd Wright was cost-prohibitive even by Hollywood standards, the production's low budget work-around resulted in a home as memorable as any to grace the silver screen. 

    For a look at the entire series of posters (including an illustration of Lautner's Chemosphere from the movie Body Double), check out the artist's website.

    Images: Federico Babina, Desire to Inspire, Curbed LA, The Times, Open Buildings

  • Smart Homes: Dawn of a New Age

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    smart homes

    Image from the Warner Bros. Film Her 

    This much we know—one day soon, we will wake up to conversations like this:

    "Start the coffee and open the curtains, please...Should I wear a coat today? Record tonight's game, I'll be home a little late."

    Only the person on the other end of the conversation won't be a person at all. It'll be the home itself.

    smart home diagram

    Image from Smartbuilt Home

    With everything from Apple's Siri to automated coffee machines, both the technology and our own habit patterns are in place for such a reality. The only barrier to a truly connected smart home, it seems, is how to get all these different devices to speak with one another.

    There are a growing number of companies addressing smart home technology, from app developers to light bulb manufacturers. From developing a codified syntax (what language are all our home appliances speaking anyway?) to defining which interface will manage them all (the TV remote, desktop computer, mobile phone), the space is wide open.

    smart appliances

    Illustration by Jeffrey Bowman for Adweek

    As the technology falls into place, consumers will begin to truly reap the benefits of the "Internet of things," in which the vast stores of information out there interact with us on an intimate level. From telling us to leave a little earlier because of heavy traffic to helping us pick an appropriate outfit for the day, the home becomes our personal-assistant, not unlike the operating-system-as-love-interest in the recent Spike Jonze film Her (pictured at the top of the post).

    modern lighting

    Antique Brass Metal Cone Holtkoetter Floor Lamp, Rico Espinet Boom Bronze Robert Abbey Modern Table Lamp, AlessiLux Lumiere Silver and White Accent Light, Lola Modern Chrome with Frosted Glass LBL Bathroom Light

    Of course, those of us in the lighting industry are delighted by the possibilities. Everyone loves the innovative styling of modern lighting fixtures, but just imagine if those fixtures could communicate with us: lighting up as we walk through the door or, better yet, monitoring the music we had been listening to on the car ride home and dimming the lights to fit the mood when we walk through the door. In this regard, the home is no longer just responsive, it's predictive. And that's the essence of smart.

    Until the time of the smart home comes, of course we can still bark out orders in the morning. Unfortunately, we'll likely be met with silence or, even worse, a rightfully annoyed spouse.

    Images: Architect, Smartbuilt Home

  • Stripes For a Modern Home

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    Design Trend

    Image from AV Interior

    It is no secret I have a thing for stripes. A little bit of an obsession my husband might say. But really, what design minded person doesn’t love stripes? They are great for adding pattern to a space and depending on the colors, they can be bold, soft or just the pop of color and playfulness you need for your room. Modern striped textiles might even be the most fun application of this design trend.

    There are so many different types of stripes, and I love them all! In this room, I absolutely adore their use of black and white stripes. Some big, some small, some on the rug and some on the throw pillows. If you love the Scandinavian trend, then this room will really do it for you. It’s clean and modern with an element of fun because of all of the stripes!

    Now, if it were my space, I would need to add some color to it. But the reason I picked this room as my inspiration is because it uses different sizes of stripes to achieve the look and I love that.

    Striped Home Decor

    1. Contemporary Koi Glass Bold Stripe Color Plus Ovo Table Lamp 2. Safavieh Bleeker Cream Stripes Set of 2 Accent Pillows 3. Avanity Knox Zebra Wood Rectangular 36-Inch-H Wall Mirror

    The table lamp I picked above is a great bold color. While it’s bold, it is still just a few shades away from pastel and that makes it workable with other colors. I think it would be a great addition to so many living spaces to add a pop of color and a splash of pattern.

    The pillows have a totally different stripe than the lamp, and perhaps you wouldn’t want to use them together. But I think depending on the furniture and the rest of the room’s color schemes and patterns, you could make these work together nicely! The pillows are great for brining in even more color to the space but with a neutral background, they aren’t overwhelming for the room.

    Oh that mirror! I love this mirror. For one, it has stripes throughout it which are subtle. The fact that you can have a natural element like a wood mirror that also has a great pattern like stripes in it, is just perfect to me. I really cannot say enough great things about this mirror.

    Image: AV Interior

  • Backless Barstools For a Modern Kitchen Design

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    Modern Kitchen Design

    While the "open floor plan" style is growing, barstools are quickly becoming a coveted item for the home. Though you can opt for stools with or without a back, we love the versatility that sophisticated backless barstools brings to a kitchen or room.

    With a backless stool, you don't cut the sight line of a room, but rather leave the eye seeing the open floor plan in its entirety.

    Backless Barstools

    Hillsdale Cyprus Backless Stool / Zuo Marius Gunmetal Counter Stools

    Another great aspect of these barstools is that they come in a variety of styles - contemporary, modern, industrial (like the stools we have chosen here!), or traditional. These stools can be positioned at varied heights, making it easily adjustable for your kids of all ages.

    Pull up a bar stool and enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner with your family around your island.

    Images: Rejuvenation, House Beautiful, Sarah Richardson

  • Jewelry For Your Ceiling: Statement Pendant Lighting

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    Statement Pendant Lighting

    Image from Dust Jacket Attic

    A room without the right accessories can often come across as bland or poorly planned. Large pendant lighting is one of those accessories that every home needs—it’s the perfect option for overhead lighting.

    Large pendant lighting with innovative style is my favorite accessory for the home! Like a beautiful necklace, it can take a room for boring to brilliant!

    In the above image, the glass chandelier with adorning black lampshades mixes in the eclectic feel of the apartment with a view.

    Modern Dining Room

    Image from The Little Room of Style

    Sputnik pendant lights tie in the other mid-century pieces with a clean punch. Always a great choice!

    Modern Living Room

    Image from Jonathan Adler

    The living room of Jonathan Adler (above) is a wonderful mix of textures and glamour including the fixture from his own line (link below).

    Large Pendant Lighting

    1. Possini Euro Hydra 29-Inch-H Double Swag Chandelier 2. Sputnik Modern Brass Crystal Jonathan Adler Chandelier 3. Jonathan Adler Ipanema Modern Nickel Multi Boom Pendant 4. Possini Euro Square Glass Brushed Nickel Swag Chandelier (currently unavailable) 5. Jonathan Adler Meurice Brass Chandelier

    Above, I’ve selected some of my favorite large pendant lighting. Enjoy!

    Images: Dust Jacket Attic, The Little Room of Style, Jonathan Adler

January, 2014