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!
Graphic design is a communication tool that plays an important role in architectural design. At its most fundamental level, graphic design visually communicates information with typography, color, and form. It also, and perhaps more importantly, influences our interaction with and the identity of place and space. From way-finding signage, supergraphics, branding, material and texture, to motion-graphics, graphic design helps integrate word and content with architecture.
Graphic design is used to visually communicate and reinforce the sense of identity for architectural projects – including both new design, renovation, and planning projects. From logo design, visitor orientation and infographics, graphic design is an integral part to the sense of place. It affects the overall experience with the visitor, public, or inhabitant. It is also dependent on the architectural design. Think of the range of materials and its finishes used through-out a building. Graphic design must be intentional, otherwise chaos results in color, type, and form within the design struggling against the architectural design, materials and texture.
Click the arrows above to view personal favorites of mid-century modern graphic design for architecture.
One of the greatest luxuries one can give themselves in the home is a cozy bedroom. And more specifically, a cozy bed. Now, I am a lover of bright textiles through-out the home, but there is something soothing about neutral linens for the bedroom. Neutrals allows for more variation in texture, and work well for winter or summer nights. To really treat oneself, the Belgium linen line from West Elm is divine. Both soft and warm, you'll be tempted to bring the duvet into the living room. Another option is the rippled striped duvet and sheet-set from Anthropologie. Layering is important in winter months, and throw blankets are here to help. One of the more versatile options are Caroline Z Hurley Throws. Oh the glory of the simple design and luxe fabrics. Regardless of size, a cozy warm bed is a treat one should give themselves to begin and end the day.
'Tis the season for holiday decor. I am ever the fan of silver tinsel trees (or completely artificial silver trees), and using mint and pink tones to accent the red and green decor. Metallic's are another accent I enjoy in mid-century modern holiday decor. Luckily MCM is becoming more en-vogue by the second, and the design world is re-infusing holiday decor with its attributes. Click the arrows above for a round-up of classic MCM holiday decor and design. HO HO HO (all images found via pinterest with mcm, holiday, & decor as keywords)
WHOA. It has been too long (January!) since the last round-up of my current chair obsessions. For this round-up there is no theme. Some are leather, others painted, metal accents, maybe color punch worthy fabric too. To begin is the Robin Day Festival Hall 658 chair. A beautiful retro chair with blonde wood and fabric components. The Tropicalia chair by Patricia Urquiola for Moroso is both playful and bold, and is the perfect punch of color for your space. I enjoy the geometric forms created by its multiple colors that are also used to create a pattern. Now, for those that source eco-friendly furnishings, the Ciel! chair for Tabisso is an elegant high-end chair both for residential and office use. Its craftsmanship takes into account the full life-cycle of its design, from inception through production. Combining both retro aesthetics with bold colors and form, the Ignacia chair by Sergio Martinez is statement worthy. It is the perfect accent chair. Rounding out this Chair Obsessions is the Leather Tillie Armchair. A modern spin on a classic English leather wrapped chair with a houndstooth cushion. It is time to lounge.
With Halloween upon us, it's time to showcase five stunning works of architecture with modern black façades. These building envelopes are far from ordinary, some worthy of a scream! 1. A building envelope with monochromatic cladding. 2. Glowing glass home with black cladding. A modern take on a cabin in the woods. 3. Historic goes modern in a Rotterdam reconstruction by Studio Rolf.fr 4. Black wooden louvers for a single residential design in Japan. 5. A stacked module house with a perforated façade in the shape of a tree. BOOOOOOOOOOO!
From home accessories, to textiles, lighting, and furniture, pastels have arrived. Pastels invoke warmth and a soft glow into the home. And the perfect complement to the soft touch of pastels is marble. For this color punch round-up of pastels and marble, lets begin with Firm Living's latest collection of Kelim Carpets. These wool and cotton carpets invoke a relaxed mid-century vibe with muted pastel and earth tones. Hang on the wall as tapestry inspired art, or under foot. They add relaxed elegance to ones space. A complement to the softness of the Kelim Carpets is the Annex table (side & coffee) from Joe Doucet x Partners. These signed and numbered limited edition tables are snap fit in configuration - letting gravity hold them together. I love their angularity and the subtle 'x' remaining after configuration. Anthropologie's House & Home line has made a great debut. The Rod & Weave chair is no exception. The gorgeously woven leather seat with pastel colored iron frame is a great combination to showcase in your home. For table lighting with mid-century lines and a marble base there is the Clint Mini Task lamp. It works in the living room, on a pile of books in your office, or next to your bed. Personally, I like both upholstered and leather sofas. However, for pastel hues I would stick with fabric, and leave the natural tones for leather. Pastels aren't just for art anymore.
Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and built between 1960 and 1961 is a premier jewel of International Style modernism in the city. The structure consists of glass and aluminum, with a non-load-bearing curtain wall cube, and a central ovular concrete seating area within. It is a true engineering and architectural masterpiece that offers uninterrupted panoramic views of Portland from the seating area. The Veterans Memorial Coliseum is also a war memorial, with exterior sunken black granite walls inscribed with the names of veterans in gold paint.
At its completion it was the largest multipurpose facility in the Pacific Northwest. And a significant structure within the larger urban planning Rose Quarter Development project. In 2009 is was proposed to demolish the Coliseum to make way for a new sports facility. The city was almost successful in demolition, but the greater community of Portland, including architectural preservationists and historians, successfully applied for National Register of Historic Places status for the building. In 2011 it was placed in National Register.
Metallics are one of my favorite mediums to decorate with. From lighting to accessories, art, and even textiles, they add warmth and intrigue. Whether you use them as the focal point of your space, or more subtly with pops spread about, you can’t go wrong. And they can be used year round. My current favorites include: the gami rose gold candleholder from cb2. Its geometric and glows when you light your tealight. Also from cb2, the liberty pendant light is an overscaled modern update of your traditional pendant lighting. With a brass interior, your room is sure to glow in its warmth. While your lounging, wrap yourself in the grey stripes moroccan wedding blanket- sequence included for some metallic sparkle. This blanket from maven collection would also be a beautiful addition to your bed. For a little mid-century geometric glam, the worlds away surf coffee table with gold leaf legs and a black marble top is a must. Love those angular legs! Lastly, I can not say metallics without mentioning Tom Dixon. Besides wanting everything, the scoop high copper legs chair will do. Whether for dining or as a side chair, comfort and modern elegance are combined in this sculptural chair. Now go add some bold and beautiful metallics to your space.