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Entries in modern (21)

Wednesday
May212014

summer favorites: april

cube table-planter
best use of space and super versatile. I think you could even flip
it on its side and use it a third way —with battery operated candlelight
in the open space!
bergama reversible outdoor rug
simple and graphic, just the way
I like it—plus the care is effortless!
sophia chair
flexible material is super comfy to spend an entire evening with friends tasting rosé wines.

Monday
Feb242014

building affordable modern: dave and chad

Special Thanks to dave, eCommerce brand director—and his partner chad—for this submission.

Chad and Dave with Oscar and Wilbur As a kid I remember sketching house designs and floor plans—day-dreaming of being an architect. So when the opportunity arose to design and build a home with my fiancee Chad—it was literally a dream come true.

Our ultimate goal was to create a modern, small, affordable, and fun home. With the help of our dear friend, architect Scott Delano, we designed and built a 1600 sq. ft. house that met all of our needs—including maintaining a budget of $140 / sf.

Chad and I both have a modern aesthetic—with slight variations on the final touches. I prefer simple, clean designs mixed with vintage while Chad’s style is a little more industrial—Scott’s design successfully balances both our styles.

Throughout most of 2011—with the help of our architect and our realtor Joaquin Calle, brother of CB2’s very own Marta Calle—we viewed quite a few potential lots and Scott developed about 20 house designs for strong contenders.

In December, we decided on a lot near Andersonville, a neighborhood we loved and wanted to establish roots in. Since our team had done extensive prep work—we worked through a lot of scenarios and felt really comfortable with our final answers—together, we were able to take a design from idea to documents suitable for construction permitting in just 14 days.

We were approved for a loan from the Federal Housing Administration’s 203k acquisition and renovation program that allows buyers to combine a mortgage and repair loan—one of the conditions is that you have to work with an existing foundation.

Since the house was abandoned, it was actually in the legal court process heading towards demolition. Thankfully the seller partnered with us and we were able to convince the court to lift the order so we could get clear title, buy the property, and demolish it by choice.

This was key because we could save the foundation and fit the requirements of the loan—build off it pretty easily—and it saved a lot of the budget for the house itself.

We wanted a simple house with no fuss—that would be dog-friendly for our extended family: Oscar, a Boston Terrier, and Wilbur, a French Bulldog—so everything went very quickly. We closed in January 2012 and demolished the old house in February. Armed with building permits issued in April, new construction took place in the spring and summer and we moved in September 30th—start to finish in 9 months.

Although each part of the demolition and build was thrilling—the real fun really began when Scott took us through a few exercises to bring together our ideas and needs for the house. This gave him the opportunity to understand our visions and goals visually—and to dig out those we couldn’t communicate verbally.

Since the house is only 40’ long—and the garage another 20’—we were left with nice size backyard on the 108’ long lot. Mimi McKay designed a modern garden off the spacious patio—equally important, she worked in a dog run on the side of the house. Overall, the backyard was transformed into a peaceful oasis and we’ve had a lot of fun learning to garden.

Synergy Construction Group was a big part of our success. They installed all the cabinets we assembled—making them look more like built-ins—and executed the clean, overall look precisely; including a stunner of a fireplace.

Once they finished, we filled the house with a mix of modern, vintage and industrial furnishings from eBay to CB2. In preparation for all the recent photo shoots, we just put up removable wallpaper from CB2 which added another layer with modern graphics and colors.

It’s still a work in progress but we are thrilled to be living in the house we designed from start to finish, bottom to top, inside and out. First Floor Second Floor

Overall, what we’re most proud of is that the house was built on a budget of just $140 / sf.
Here are just a few of the ways we were able to do it:

size matters
At 1600 sq ft—but with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a generous backyard—it’s all the space we need.

create a liveable outdoor space
When the weather’s good, the house feels bigger with the usable exterior space—and it gives us all more room to breath.

eliminate the basement
Bonus is that we got the concrete floors on first level that we wanted and we shored up the integrity of the foundation—which resulted in slab on grade foundation. Rather than adding the cost of covering it with hardwood, we stained the freshly poured concrete with a water-based dark grey stain.

no fussy details
Simple and clean was our motto and it permeated all the design details so we eliminated extras like crown moldings, window treatments, etc. Finishing details like tile, faucets, trim, etc had to come in on or below budget—which actually made selections easier because we had less options to choose from.

use stock cabinetry that requires assembly
We saved quite a bit on the initial cost—definitely on the labor. So while the house was being built over the summer, we staged 200 boxes in the garage and assembled all of the kitchen and bath cabinets ourselves.

no bespoke anything
We used mostly standard materials and fixtures. For example, to achieve the modern / commercial window look we were after, 3 standard size windows were ganged together and repeated throughout the house. The bonus—the windows are practically ceiling to floor allowing lots of natural light to flood the house.

stick to an aggressive budget—together!
We can’t tell you how many times one or both of us were enticed to blow the budget—test your relationship and talk through every detail. In the end, it made a house our home.

Tuesday
Nov082011

1938 buenos aires, argentina

photo by: nancyesmith Originally created in 1938 for an apartment building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the designers of both named the BKF chair after themselves—Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy.

In 1940, after seeing the chair on exhibit at the Salon de Artistas Decoradores, a sample was requested by MoMA and remains in the permanent Collection.

More commonly referred to as the butterfly chair, it was inspired by a folding campaign-style chair—the Tripolina. Many versions have been produced over the years—in both fixed and portable styles—and the design has gained worldwide popularity for its ease of assembly and transport, its light weight, and the variety of materials that can be used for production.

Whipstitched by hand, the natural leather sling of the 1938 butterfly chair covers a metal frame—true to the original.

Thursday
Sep292011

california design exhibit: los angeles

photo by: andrewarchyWhat: California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way”
When: October 1, 2011 thru March 25, 2012
Where: LACMA, The Resnick Pavilion

California Design—specifically from 1930-1965, or the midcentury modern period—will get its due as this exhibit focuses on its role in creating a material culture which spread across the country and throughout the world.

More than 300 objects will be on display—including furniture, ceramics, metalwork, fashion and textiles, and industrial and graphic design—by such noted designers as locals Charles and Ray Eames.

Together, the Eames’ define mid-century modern—and their living room is sure to be a highlight of this exhibit. Yes, all 1,864 items from their living room have been moved across the city and placed in a duplicate at LACMA while the Eames Foundation, as part of its 250-year preservation plan, begins the work of maintaining the original 1949 Pacific Palisades house—now over 60 years old.

The house itself will be closed to public viewing until March 2012 so to avoid disappointment, contact the Foundation at least 48 hours in advance to confirm appointments to view the grounds. And don’t miss other exhibits in collaboration with Pacific Standard Time.

Thanks to todd, senior visual merchant west, for this submission.

Thursday
May122011

gertrude stein: san francisco

photo by: permanently scatterbrainedStarting today, the Yerba Buena neighborhood of San Francisco celebrates Gertrude Stein—specifically her tremendous influence on modern art, literature, and culture—with a variety of events, locations and collaborators.

If you don’t live nearby, book a flight, a train or bus and pack your bags—this is a rare series not to be missed.

What: Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories
When: May 12 thru September 6, 2011
Where: the Contemporary Jewish Museum

An art-filled biographical exploration of Gertrude Stein as a literary pioneer, transatlantic modernist, Jewish-American expatriate, American celebrity, art collector, and artists’ muse.

What: Words + Voices Free Outdoor Series
When: May 17, August 16, and September 20, 2011
Where: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

Poets Litquake and TODCO will pay tribute to, and reflect on, the poet and writer Gertrude Stein.

What: The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde
When: May 21 thru September 6, 2011
Where: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA

As American expatriates in bohemian Paris when the 20th century was young, Gertrude Stein and her family were among the first to recognize the talents of avant-garde painters like Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso—and collect their early works.

This landmark exhibition offers a rare, in-depth chance to view the artworks and learn more about these extraordinary people behind the birth of modern art.

What: UC Berkeley Extension Course on Gertrude Stein
When: June 2, 16, 23, and 30; July 7, 2011
Where: UC Berkeley Extension

An educational experience that will examine the way Stein presented herself—and how others depicted her throughout her life. Sessions will be held at the Contemporary Jewish Museum and SFMOMA.

What: Four Saints in Three Acts: An Opera Installation
When: August 18 (preview), 19 - 21, 2011
Where: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

In association with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SFMOMA presents Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson’s opera, ‘Four Saints in Three Acts’. An experimental milestone in 20th century music—and a Broadway hit in 1934—the chamber opera organization Ensemble Parallèle, composer Luciano Chessa, and video and performance artist Kalup Linzy are in on this new production.