modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas
Mary McDonald Pythagoras 16 3/4" Wide Brass Pendant Light
"This pendant is a chic accent to any modern décor."
- D. Morgan, Interior Designer
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My Modern Met
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Image from the New York Times
Designer Massimo Vignelli passed away earlier this week. Pictured above with his wife and collaborator Lella, this iconic figure is best known for his radical re-envisioning of the New York Subway map as an ordered symphony of intertwining lines (pictured below).
Image from New York Magazine
Over the years, Vignelli's architectural design aesthetic was applied to everything from branding to interior design. In looking at how he lived and worked, it's clear that a minimalist utilitarianism informed his choice of modern furniture and lighting.
Image from Design Observer
Explains Vignelli, "My desk is very square and strong. It’s very important to have a place where your work is in synch with yourself." Likewise, his dining table (pictured in detail at the top) exudes a firm yet reductive aesthetic.
The Vignelli's Upper East Side apartment is a masterpiece of modernist austerity. A broad window and torchiere provide ample ambient light while a single architect's light provides task lighting. Rolling backless counter stools dotting the space allude to the couple's ceaseless commitment to work.
For people who work day in and day out like Massimo Vignelli did, we recommend LED desk lamps for their energy efficiency and range of eye-strain-alleviating color temperature options. In addition, sleek and strong furnishings like the designs below capture Vignelli's look:
Architects Matte Black Halogen Desk Lamp, Zuo Bolo Glossy Black Coffee Table, Simon Black Club Chair
These designs are big on style yet free of excessive ornament, perfect for a small space or loft home that's used for both working and living.
Images: New York Times, New York Magazine, Design Observer
I grew up in a ceiling fan loving family. We had one in every room and unless it was freezing outside, they were most likely running.
The fans that I grew up with worked great, but man were they hideous to look at, far from modern in style! I feel like there just weren’t as many stylish options back then and so ceiling fans have kind of gotten a bad rap.
Luckily for us, these days you have so many great ceiling fan options to fit just about any aesthetic. So you can keep on cooling off your home while keeping your style intact. Whether you're looking for a white ceiling fan, metal or wood, I think we can agree that these three fans from Euro Style Lighting are amazing.
No matter what kind of style you love, there is a fan for you. These three are my personal favorites for a modern home.
The Casa Vieja brushed steel fan is very industrial chic, which I love! That style feels like it is something old that looks brand new and that's always a great thing in my opinion.
The Possini Euro wood fan is a fantastic way to bring some earthy tones and a feel into your home while still maintaining your modern flair. Isn’t it cool? I love the way it looks.
The Casa Vieja rubbed bronze fan, the bronze one, is so sleek and cool, every room would look amazing with this fan! It’s simple in design, but the color is rich and neutral.
All three are perfect options for most modern homes. I don’t think I could pick one if I had to!
Image from Domaine Home
Your home should be a place full of great style, clearly.... But it should also be a place where you can be at peace and relax. We want to share a few design tips for living a Zen lifestyle because your yoga class shouldn't be the only place you leave feeling serene.
This home tour from Domaine Home is a perfect example of good design that is also calming. It's the home of Nashville designer, Benjamin Vandiver. The home is well curated, featuring mixed materials and of course botanicals.
Images from Domaine Home
The calming sound of water will provide the most Zen in any space. It's both a natural element as well as a calming sound. Worried about maintaining your modern design style? Well don't, because there's lots of indoor fountains to choose from that would be perfect for your modern home... And if you're trying to save a little energy, there are also stylish LED fountain options.
Plants and flowers are the easiest way to add a calming effect to your decor. You can never go wrong adding natural elements like flowers and plants. Even if you don't have a green thumb, there's other ways to include this element. Check out the green leaf artwork below, for example.
Creating an environment with natural materials, like this drum shade chandelier below is a wonderful way to provide a little Zen to your lifestyle. It adds warmth and texture to your home style.
Here are a few product ideas from Euro Style Lighting to help you get started.
1. Buddha Face Faux Stone 6 1/2-Inch-W Floor Fountain 2. Quoizel Zen Black with Tan Rattan Shade Pendant Light 3. Zen I 30" High Color Photo Wall Art
4. Kenroy Home Bronze 5-Inch-H Four Section Table Fountain 5. Zen Ivory Faux Leather 26 1/2-Inch-W Club Chair 6. Kenroy Home Black Sierra Adjustable Water Flow Fountain
Images: Domaine Home
Awww, the onset of Summer! To me it’s all about being outdoors as much as possible, even if that means taking my laptop out to work with me. I constantly dream of an outdoor patio that is just as functional and beautiful as one that you would create indoors.
The same principles of design apply from functional space planning to beautiful décor accents and the important elements of lighting. A beautifully designed space without adequate lighting won’t be used as much as it should.
Here are some of my favorite spaces and how they could be better designed with some beautiful outdoor lighting additions.
I absolutely love this space above! It’s the perfect combination of greenery, rustic outdoor furnishings and functionality. Nightime lighting is not seen from this picture, but it could be used with candles on the table and lanterns on the steps. Adding handsome outdoor sconces on the wood wall would give a beautiful designer look in addition to nighttime lighting.
This outdoor living space is made functional with proper seating arrangements and lighting. These hanging lanterns are a perfect way to light the space!
This fun and modern outdoor space is accented with bright pops of color and fun globes hanging like garlands from the “ceiling.” Create this look with Chinese lanterns.
The courtyard from the top image is minimal and boho with colorful cushions and fun accent pillows. At night it looks like it may not receive proper lighting. Try adding some beautiful wall sconces throughout the space to achieve the look.
1. This outdoor bronze wall light comes with a beautiful glass shade.
2. I’m loving this more industrial outdoor lighting fixture. It’s both rustic and modern.
3. This flush mount ceiling light would be perfect for an outdoor covered space.
4. This more contemporary sconce would be so sophisticated at the entrance of a door.
Image from the Cultural Landscape Foundation
Despite its unofficial status as the kick-off to summer, Memorial Day claims a much more somber reason as its origin: it is the day in which we honor those who have given their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
To mark the day, we look at deceased landscape architect Dan Kiley, whose recently-closed exhibition at the National Building Museum chronicled the designer's work on some of the nation's most high-profile public spaces.
Image from the Lincoln Center
A modernist at heart, Kiley 's minimalist landscaping was durable enough to handle public use while remaining delicate enough to honor appropriately the space at hand. From the Saarinen designed Air Force Academy (pictured at the top of this post) to the Lincoln Center (above), he frames natural elements within simple, easy-to-read geometries.
We've talked about how contemporary water fountains can add a sense of cool and calm to your yard. The stillness of Kiley's reflecting pool at the Jefferson Expansion Memorial in St. Louis (above) takes it to another level.
Likewise, we've spoken about how modern landscape lighting lets your enjoy your garden after dark. Kiley utilizes it to the clinical degree expected of public spaces:
So as you head outside this Memorial Day - be it to a public park or a back yard barbecue - enjoy the relative calm of a well-designed outdoor space. And while you're there, take a moment to remember those who have fallen in defense of your homeland.
Images: Cultural Landscape Foundation, Lincoln Center
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