In my recent travels, I was introduced to one of the best collections of refurbished mid-century modern furniture. Reeves Antiques in Houston, TX. While the shop has a robust inventory of mid-century furniture, naturally I was drawn to the chairs (obsessions!) Additionally, the majority of the upholstered pieces had been refurbished in house, with fabrics as close to the originals as possible. From the wood, acrylic, or metal framed to purely upholstered pink velvet barrel back chairs, it was hard not to try and lounge in or purchase them all.
Tile isn't just for the bathroom and kitchen. Whether you go bold with color and pattern or streamline and traditional, tile is a great alternate flooring (or wall!) option to hardwoods and carpet. A large part of tile is the pattern created from solid color tiles or patterned tiles. Adding another dimension to creating pattern, is using curved ceramic tiles. Marazzi Progetto Tiennale via Archiform has beautiful curved ceramic tiles that spark a dialogue between present production and their inception in the 1960s. Additionally, they can be used as wall or floor tiles. Now for those that truly embrace the bold- sitio by commune slash tiles are amazing. They have a limited color palate, but the geometric pattern created is a tile trend worthy of lasting a lifetime. The herringbone pattern is quite traditional, but when executed in a bright color, the result is a classical revival (modern!). Another option is encaustic cement tile. It can be used for both floor and wall tiling, and has a nice smooth feel to its surface. And for those that love traditional Spanish / Mexican tile, Latin Accents is a great resource for sourcing.
Mid-century lighting design is equally as fantastic as furniture design from the same era. It expresses a bold geometric form thru simplistic line- with circular shapes dominating its shades and other bulb coverings. From floor to pendant residential lighting, mid-century lighting is still contemporary today. A few of my favorite inspirations include: brass sputnik pendant light; gorgeous Italian Lumi ceiling lamp with enamel details; French Lightolier sputnik inspired pendants; Serge Mouille minimal floor lamp; and the retro Angelo Leli floor lamp. From pendant to ceiling to floor-lightening from the mid-century is as illuminating as ever.
Summer has arrived, and my plants need extra watering. For being a daughter of a landscape designer, my thumb isn't exactly green. However, my home is filled with plants that can go a few extra days with out watering - i.e. cacti. And others that are part of my watering calendar, including, palms, money trees, asparagus ferns, devils ivy, and succulents (creating a calendar of when to water has saved many an indoor plant). Above are images to inspire your indoor living-green accents. Ceramics and plant stands for your indoor garden favorites include: Eric Trine, Universal Isaac, and pieces from Leif. For tips on which indoor plants are best for eliminating air toxins, low light or direct light, I can't recommend enough: How to Grow Fresh Air.
West-coast artist Richard Diebenkorn was influenced by his surrounding environments and successfully combined abstract expressionism and color field painting. He was the alternative (laid back and more private) to New York artists Jackson Pollock and William de Kooning. His Ocean Park series has long been a favorite of mine for their color palates, expressive brush work, and grid-like planes. All painting images found online via: Glasstire from a past exhibit at the Orange County Museum of Art / OCMA
Holy pink! One of my favorite colors and animals is everywhere in design as of late. Now, pink is a tricky color, because the wrong shade can mimic pepto-bismol, and too much pink is overwhelmingly frightening. Flamingos on the other hand are simply fabulous. And I am enjoying their less campy iterations currently found in design (from interiors to fashion). But nothing is wrong with a little outdoor whimsy to bring inside for a punch of color. Back to the pink- the glas italia table iridescent pink, blue, yellow hues bring a modern glow to your space. Its simple form and modern assembly works well as an accent or side table in ones living room or bedroom. Textiles and texture are presented well in a dark spotty pink on the flutura occasional chair. And if you prefer pink with a deep purple/blue undertone the patricia urquiola upholstered modular sofa for moroso is lounge and envy worthy. The geometric pastel pink pillow with gold accent is one of my paintings transformed to textile. Rest your head on some art. (gorgeous marble and metal shelving found via Pinterest)
Springtime has arrived, with a tease of summer weather. All I want to do is lounge outside with a cold beverage-in-hand with books (or magazines) galore. Mid-Century modern outdoor furniture has seen a surge in reproductions or like-minded designs from popular furniture design stores and pop-ups. And there is reason for it- timeless design aesthetic with simple and effortless looking lines that complement lounging. I am also partial to power-coated steel and wood outdoor furniture. These materials couple well with bold textile accents. Also, the true vintage ones have beautiful aqua, pinks, and orange colors that offer the perfect pop of color to an outdoor backdrop. Now get outside.
For this round-up of color-punch textiles it is all about rugs. Rugs are a great starting point for setting the tone of a room. I tend to love rooms with neutral tone furnitures with lovely wood accents, leaving the bold and geometric colors to the textiles. My current favorites are woven rugs featuring beautiful pinks and oranges. These colors add warmth and a focal point to a space and are a design classic. Moroccan and Turkish rugs have long been my favorite woven rugs, and luckily they are more available in the States. The 1970s vintage pink one featured is perfectly worn and would look beautiful in any room. A slightly muted and variation on a theme version can be found at urban outfitters. And I couldn't resist the playful boobie rug from cold picnic. Who doesn't love a little humor in ones space?
Portland, and Oregon on the whole, has a substantial presence of Post-World War II architecture. One of the more prominent mid-century works is the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Portland is also home for a post-modern work of architecture, Michael Grave’s designed Portland Public Service Building. Locally, several mid-century modern, and especially post-modern, works of architecture are not held in high esteem from the design community through City leadership. Yet, the City has approved locally designed mix-use developments that directly reference mid-century and post-modern design aesthetics. When these new developments enter their middle age, will they too be called obsolete, tacky, and ugly?
During a recent move it became apparent I have enough textiles, pillows, and rugs to outfit a small boutique. The never-ending puzzle of how to store it all without expansive built-ins or closets surfaced again. To complicate this puzzle, I am not one for traditional looking storage bins or baskets that are hidden in closets, the second bedroom, or basement. I prefer storage that can be displayed and is aesthetically in-tune with the surrounding space. This round-up includes both found images of spaces incorporating practical yet stylish storage, and actual storage pieces. Enjoy!