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Tuesday
Nov242009

lighting modern spaces

It’s just four more weeks until the days start getting longer again on winter solstice, December 21st.

Until then, daylight is brief and soft. All the more reason to focus on indoor lighting to enhance a space or create a mood for entertaining.

Start by picking a central location in each room and do a 360. This will help identify problem areas which the following hints may solve.

1. Floor lamps can add drama, brighten a corner, open up space and make a room feel bigger.

2. “Up” lighting can make a room feel taller and more airy. Consider small table lamps on top of low bookcases.

3. Create your own space within a space by positioning a conical floor lamp near your favorite reading chair.

4. When decorating for holiday gatherings, use strings of white lights in unusual ways—such as clustered in a glass cylinder vase and placed on a credenza.

5. Go big or go home—add drama to a dining area by installing an oversized equator pendant.

6. Dimmer switches are incredibly easy to install and allow your existing lighting to go from bright task-type lighting to warmer entertaining-type lighting in a smooth glide—or remote!—operation.

7. If you don’t have a junction box directly above your dining table, hard-wire a pendant lamp where you can and “swag” the fixture so it hangs above it.

8. As a last resort, consider placing an arc lamp near the dining table positioned so the light falls onto the centerpiece.

9. Guide guests throughout the house, to the bathroom or coat room, using directional lighting such as smart candles down a hallway. Bonus: unlike candles, they’re safe to leave unattended while lit.

10. Save energy and use CFL’s instead of incandescent bulbs when possible.

Thursday
Nov192009

10 essentials: the modern buffet

cylinder vases, white square plates, marta barwareYou’ve sent an open invitation for your party—so do you really know who’s coming to dinner?

For large parties, the easiest way to serve is buffet-style. Consider setting up early—even the night before so your day can be spent cleaning, cooking and getting dressed up without sweating the small, last minute stuff.

Following are 10 essentials for the modern buffet.

1. Create a festive mood with cylinder vases filled with Christmas ornaments in fresh colors.

2. Keep the setting clean and modern with stacks of white square dinnerware.

shadow bowl

marta and party cropped

3. Sleek marta barware is perfect for any cocktail, soda, juice or wine.

4. Scatter tealights for the warm glow of candlelight.

5. Have plenty of party flatware for each guest—and each course so you can be mingling instead of washing spoons for dessert.

6. White restaurant napkins are made for hungry crowds.

7. Water in beaker glass pitchers. Be sure they’re never empty since everyone’s drinking more of it.aluminum round tray solo

8. Shadow white porcelain serving bowls for pasta or green salads.

9. An oversized aluminum tray to serve cheese, fruits or breads.

10. Two corkscrews and plenty of your favorite wines. Open a few bottle early to let wine breath before pouring.

They’re all inexpensive—even in multiples. Isn’t that something to celebrate?

hint: Have plenty of everything so unexpected guests feel welcome.

Wednesday
Nov182009

one of a finds: ugandan sunburst bowl

A modern interpretation of an ancient craft passed down mother to daughter, these one of a find sunburst bowls were handwoven by village women just outside Kampala, Uganda.

The stepped ribs of coiled raffia over banana fiber recall the region’s mountainside farming known as “mountain terraces”.

The craftsmanship of these women provides both an outlet for their creative expression and much-needed income to educate their children. By using one of the few resources available in their remote area, they are weaving their rich cultural past with a future of hope.

Tuesday
Nov172009

the brooklyn flea's "gifted" holiday market

We love a good flea market find—and sharing a good secret—so check out the Brooklyn Flea Market…in Manhattan!

Starting on Black Friday, November 27th, thru December 24th, the pop-up venue will feature 50 vendors—just in time since the market goes on winter hiatus November 22nd.

For more information, including directions and hours, visit brooklynflea.com.

Thursday
Nov122009

designer customers: lonni paul

lonni croppedYou never know who’s going to walk through CB2’s orange doors—especially in Los Angeles.

Recently Lonni Paul, LA based interior designer and HGTV Design Star runner-up, came shopping for a modern Hollywood loft she was working on.

She chose an array of merchandise for the project—city slicker and peekaboo tables, big dipper floor lamp, lounge shag rug, toro barstools, cord pillows, an abstract mobile and many tabletop items. We were anxious to see the final “reveal”—check it out below.

hollywood loft

photo: Doug Hill

We were so impressed with Lonni’s work that we couldn’t help but ask her a few questions.

Is there an object or person that changed how you think about design?One of my first clients had a very traditional home which is not my personal style. Working on that project made me change the way I think about design because I realized good design makes any style beautiful. Especially if you think outside the box and throw some contemporary accessories and art in the mix. Also, Phillipe Stark is such an inspiration to me. Everything he does changes the way I think about design.

Is there something outside your field that inspires you? Fashion and art.

What’s the most overlooked detail in a room design? Scale. Many times people buy something for a room because they love the piece but they don’t consider how it relates to other pieces already in the room—or even the room itself.

Future trends? I believe in the near future “green/eco-friendly” will be a necessity and the norm.

Thank You Lonni!

Thanks to cristina, store manager west hollywood, for this submission.