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!
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.
One of my favorite aspects of Cape Cod Modernism is how these design leaders of architectural modernism began by building for themselves. Their homes were their creative laboratories, anchored by a sense of place on the Outer Cape. I personally love the sense of experimentation with both material and spatial organization that is reflective in these modern residences built from the 1930s to the 1970s. The Cape Cod Modern House Trust (CCMHT) has been preserving these homes and making them more available to the public since 2007. For more information on these homes, please visit CCMHT.
It's that time of year again- time to switch out the textiles, rearrange some furniture, and hang a few new pieces of art. Now, its not fall yet, so no need to break out the heavier textiles. But it's the twilight of summer and I always find myself wanting one last burst of bright textured color to recreate each interior landscape. I am a fan of slip-covers on couches. And they are a great way to change the feel of a space. I tend to go with a white or light colored slip-cover in the summer so I can punch up the blankets and pillows with pinks, aquas, greens, and oranges. Not a slip-cover fan? Then this multicolored lacquered steel chaise lounge is your alternative. For a pillow + rug refresh leif shop & the PS2014 collection from ikea offer great finds. Currently love the desert ocean & cabo colormix woven pillows and the flat woven PS rug with geometric detail. Another way to add color into your space and truly make an interior landscape is to add plants. Love the found image of plants in a dinning space from the portfolio of photographer Claudio Tajoli. Livens up the already colorful space.
Pietro Belluschi designed elegant modern residential (and commercial) architecture in the International Style. His materials used for residential designs were especially suited for the Pacific Northwest climate. Portland has a large concentration of Belluschi residences. They are functional, design-driven, and to this day contemporary in their timelessness.
While it is already hard to work when summer is here, it's even harder to work in an uninspiring space. Currently, I am beginning to spruce-up, reorganize and revitalize my studio. Three necessary components for me are: a fantastic chair (maybe even two), a desk with ample room, and storage. The A-Frame table from Duffy London is a creative space-saving piece of furniture. Its adjustable legs makes it work as a dinning, desk, or coffee table. For storage that is actually aesthetically pleasing - Ferm Living is the place. I am currently obsessed with their wire baskets, boxes, and brass trays. And for a little lounging while in your work space - the Lounge Chair by Hans J. Wegner is just what you need. However, most important for me is to fill the space with inspiring art (not just my own), books, magazines, flowers, and whatever else one needs to keep the creativity flowing. Enjoy!
Not only masters of celebrating food and wine, Italians are forerunners in the world of design. I will be jetting off to Italy in the coming week, and I thought it would be fitting to have a Modern Monday that focuses on Italian furniture design. Clearly, I am a sucker for chairs, and this post features an adorable RIMA burnt coral armchair with an all metal frame. Perfect as a dinning chair with the Mario Bellini for Cassina table. I enjoy the monumental stature of the table mixed with the curvy lines of the RIMA armchair. Always on the hunt for lighting, the vintage Murano Chandelier by Cenedese is an elegant tubular delight. Prefer more whimsy in your home? Brass scones, “Il Diavolo” by Gio Ponti are essential. And, a space can never go wrong with modern brass and glass accessories. Finally, a vintage metal desk (but could be used as a side table) adds a bit of masculine mid-mod pop. The dark wood and metal legs are timeless in their modernity. Ciao a tutti!
Making food, drinking bubbles, sharing stories, and laughing until it hurts - memories are created at gatherings around the dining table. While eating and drinking with family and friends is one of my most cherished things to do, dining tables are a great facilitator to enjoying said gatherings. The Surf-Ace table is a current furniture obsession. Meant to mimic the material and construction of surfboards, this wood table is sweet on the eyes with its seamless edges and beautiful curves. If traditional or retro with a flare of contemporary is your style preference, the Adara or Brownstone Madison are beautiful rectangular topped table choices. The Mango Wood Bowl table is a multifunctional option with removable legs, converting the table into a lacquered tray or bowl. Rounding out this collection of dinning tables is KST. Its traditional round marble top juxtaposed by modern geometric legs adds a pop of color and fun to any space.
Like in design, I am a lover of bold geometric art. I especially enjoy artists from the mid-century modern era, for what they were creating then is still contemporary today. Whether arranged as an hypnotizing geometric abstraction, op art, or thru mixed-medium hue matching and text, these artists works celebrate the power of color. Enjoy!
Clean lines and a mix of woods, powder-coated metal, and colorful textiles- it is time to get outdoors and lounge about. Thankfully, spring has sprung and rainy weeks are giving way to sunshine filled days. However, for those still too-chilly spring evenings (or last summer days) the heated outdoor furniture by Galanter Jones is a must. I love the simple curvy shape and stone material. To add color punch to your outdoors, the Acapulco multi lounge chair from cb2 and Fauteuil Caracas by Colonel are a must. Playful shapes, durable materials, and just the right shades of aqua, yellows, and pinks. For long hours of lounging, the Huron Large Lounge Chair & Ottoman from west elm is what you need (and I want). Its all weather cord is perfect for sudden downpours, and its simplicity brings elegance to any outdoor space. I couldn't resist the Cobbler Stool in teak by Skagerak, its perfect for extra seating indoors or out. The same can be said for the PS Sandskar table from ikea. In doors or out, this table does double duty when the table top unscrews to become a serving tray. And, how could I not include an outdoor textile: Summer Triangles by her art. Its bold, colorful, geometric, and perfect for outdoor naps.