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December 29, 2006

Happy New Year--Now Get to Work


I've just about given up on resolutions to improve myself in the New Year, but my house? Now there's something that could really use some help. The low hanging picture may look normal to the uninitiated eye, but just knowing there's STILL an enormous hole behond there drives me batty. That's definitely on the list for 2007.

What are you doing?

Send us your current problem pictures with your intended resolution. We'll post the befores and afters--if they ever become afters-- and who knows, maybe some of our lucky readers will get some help from PURE CONTEMPORARY!

So plush up you pad in 2007, it will help make America beautiful.

Category: CAROLINE BARRY | Permalink | Add Your Comment (1) | TrackBack

December 28, 2006

Pure Contemporary Store

PURE CONTEMPORARY's editors have compiled an online store filled with modern books, kitchen gadgets, bathroom accessories, home furnishings, electronics and more! Check back often for newly added products.

Pure Contemporary Picks!
Prefab History of Modern Art : Painting, Sculpture, Architecture & Photography Modern Glamour: The Art of Unexpected Style
by Allison Arieff
History of Modern Art : Painting, Sculpture...
by H. H. Arnason
Modern Glamour: The Art of Unexpected Style
by Kelly Wearstler
Modern Architectural Theory: A Historical Survey, 1673-1968 Pacific Modern The Harvard Five in New Canaan: Midcentury Modern Houses by Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, John Johansen, Philip Johnson, Eliot Noyes, and Others
Modern Architectural Theory: A Historical S...
by Harry Mallgrave
Pacific Modern
by Raul A. Barreneche
The Harvard Five in New Canaan: Midcentury ...
by William D. Earls
Frank Lloyd Wright: The Masterworks Naturally Modern: Creating Interiors with Wood, Leather, Stone, and Natural Fabrics Tropical Modern
Frank Lloyd Wright: The Masterworks
Naturally Modern: Creating Interiors with W...
by Ros Byam Shaw
Tropical Modern
by Raul A. Barreneche

Visit the complete online store


December 21, 2006

Modern Homes Flood NOLA with Light


This home looks so hopeful and bright, like a huge star on the landscape. More pictures and the story of the NOLA architect who calls it home, Albert Ledner, 82 in the New York Times.

Category: ARCHITECTURE, CAROLINE BARRY | Permalink | Add Your Comment (0) | TrackBack

Clean Air for Christmas

This time of year is perfect for candles and roaring fires, and tells us how to choose the right candles and wood--so we don't end up pumping our homes with toxic chemicals. Good idea. Check out their tips...

Tips for a Healthy Holiday

The holiday season is upon us - a time for creating a warm and festive environment and entertaining guests and family. But before decorating the home, preparing a holiday feast or lighting the hearth, take a moment to consider how popular holiday activities might affect the indoor air and your health from harmful chemicals.

Decorating the Home
Many people use scented candles this time of year to help create a festive environment and to enhance the holiday spirit. A good tip is to avoid scented or slow-burning candles with additives, such as fragrance and essential oils, which can release toxins into the indoor environment when they are burned. Instead look for candles made with beeswax and bayberry wax, which are two naturally scented waxes -- beeswax offers the sweet smell of honey and bayberry a spicy, fresh aroma. Also, remember to cut the wick to about one-quarter of an inch to properly heat the wax for efficient burning; and it is always important to keep candles away from drafty places and not to shake or tip them because the candle can smoke and send soot and toxins into the indoor air.

Building a Fire
Fireplaces create a comfortable and cozy room, but anyone who owns a fireplace has experienced the challenge of building a fire. A good tip is to select seasoned, non-treated hard wood, which burns cleaner and longer than green, moist wood, which generates smoke and ash when burned. Treated wood contains resins that are released when the wood is burned. Also, never use your fireplace as an incinerator to burn garbage. While it seems easy and convenient to toss holiday paper into the fireplace, gift wrapping and other colored paper contain dyes that can release toxic chemicals when burned. Other tips include checking to make sure the damper is open, using a fireplace screen, and finally, never leaving the fire unattended. Santa surely will appreciate this last gesture!

Protecting indoor air from chemical emissions is not just a seasonal event; it's important to examine the products and materials we bring into our homes everyday, and to take protective measures as we go about our daily routines. The first step to improving indoor air is identifying the sources, and then taking action.

For more information and to search for low-emitting products and materials, visit Have a safe and happy holiday.

Category: CAROLINE BARRY, GREEN DESIGN | Permalink | Add Your Comment (0) | TrackBack

December 20, 2006

Be a clown for $195


Sometimes designers really are ahead of their time. Sometimes they're just trying to make us feel like we lack their exceptionally developed aesthetic. Come on Karim, do we lack your sophistication? No, but we do have common sense. And your Ikon shoes--breathtakingly hideous.

While bright white leather shoes might be considered tacky by some, for Karim, they're not nearly tacky enough. His version needed a little more Rashid, he took four of his "iconic" blob designs, made them flourescent, and affixed them to the top. Perhaps he found inspiration for these monstrosities while the circus was in town. Nice.

Category: CAROLINE BARRY | Permalink | Add Your Comment (2) | TrackBack

December 18, 2006

5 Last Minute Design Tips

Newdwbio_1Still struggling with striking the right note with our holiday decor, we asked TLC's Doug Wilson how to pull a clean modern look togther, the easy way. He came back with 5 easy to follow tips on making our halls festive, and avoiding kitschy Christmas pitfalls.

See Doug's Tips here.

Note* Season 3 of Doug's show Moving Up premieres Saturday, January 6 at 8pm on TLC!

Category: CAROLINE BARRY, CONTEMPORARY HOLIDAYS | Permalink | Add Your Comment (0) | TrackBack

A kitchen in need

Boxed in and segregated before, continuous and open after... A pair of doctors' out-dated kitchen goes under the knife.

In desperate need of help before...

Before_stoveBefore_refridgerator_upcloseBefore_sink_and_window Before_refridgerator_and_wall


Sleek and sophisticated after.

See more images and get all of makeover details at Removing the wall to modern

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December 14, 2006

BiOH Replaces Some Petroleum in Furniture Foam


Petroleum barrels would make uncomfortable couches, but petroleum is precisely what most manufacturers use to fluff furniture foam. Not great for the environment, or as it turns out, our wallets.

Furniture prices are linked to petroleum prices and as each grow, so shrinks the length of my design dollar. So as an eco-conscious consumer with a greenback deficiency, I think it's nice to know that there's an interest in getting rid of petroleum based foam. And Cargill, an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services, upped the ante with its innovative and award-winning BiOH polymers.

Cargill created these little petroleum substitutes from soybeans, and markets them to furniture manufacturers and designers. Although BiOH polyols do not replace 100% of the petroleum polyols, the replacement of a portion of them is a great start.

Some pluses:

BiOH made foam meets quality standards set by petroleum foams.

Producing BiOH polyols uses 60% les renewable energy than producing petroleum polyols.

BiOH polyols come from US grown soybeans.

BiOH foams come in the same wide range of foam densities of 100% petroleum.

Find out more at

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Category: CAROLINE BARRY, GREEN DESIGN | Permalink | Add Your Comment (0) | TrackBack

Brookbend Cedar Outdoor Furniture

I remember outdoor furniture designer Richard Schultz telling me that one of the materials he would like to experiment with is cedar. He mentioned that teak is common for outdoor furniture use, and that cedar is common as a home building material, but that cedar furniture is relatively rare. He was right about that.

And right about his hunch that cedar's ideal for building al fresco furniture, but Brookbend is the company that proved it. Brookbend's simple designs belie loads of function. Check out their large storage bench. Runabout_collage_1With enough room to store patio necessities like chair cushions and alcohol, it also seats three and folds out to create another table top; $899-$1,194.

We also like the smaller Runabout version. It saves room, delivers all of the extras of its bigger brother, features cute-as-button wheels for easy mobility, and costs less. Just $349-$454.

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Category: CAROLINE BARRY, PATIO & OUTDOOR | Permalink | Add Your Comment (0) | TrackBack

December 13, 2006

The Ins & Outs of home trends

Trends in home remodeling are constantly changing. Here's the ins and outs on hot home trends from Mark Nash, author of Real Estate A-Z for Buying and Selling a Home.

What's in?

Upscale garages: They're not just for cars anymore! Homeowners are looking for large garages to fill with cabinet and storage systems, refridgerators, air conditioning, flooring and more! The goal is to make the area into another residential space. For those of us living in colder climate, we suggest adding radient heat!

Caving: It may be the key to a happy, lasting marriage... separate spaces! Homeowners are creating separate areas dedicated to one person only -- a room to relax, exercise, and work.

Heated patios: As a group of Northerners, we welcome this trend at Pure Contemporary! Heated patios, walkways and driveways = less snow shoveling. Adding heated patios to homes increases the useable space in all types of weather.

Snoring rooms: I was wrong... THIS is the key to a lasting marriage. The goal is to take the shame and loneliness out of leaving the master bedroom for shuteye on the sofa. In addition to a sleeping area, closet and dressing room, bathroom, and lounge, today's master suites are being outfitted with small snoring rooms (complete with bed and decor).

Have any of these hot trends invaded your home? Share your remodeling stories with other Pure Contemporary readers by clicking Design Design below.

It's so over!

Spiral staircases: Tough on older homeowners, children, and pets, Nash advises sellers to remove and replace them before putting a home on the market.

Bamboo floors: Wood floors require added maintenance, but Nash advises replacing the easily scratched, warping-prone bamboo ASAP.

Hardwood laminate flooring: Nash doesn't recommend this cheaper alternative, "they don't stand up to multiple sandings to change color or remove stains."

From's and Les Christie.

Category: ALLISON JAWORSKI | Permalink | Add Your Comment (0) | TrackBack

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