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June 23, 2005

2nd Annual Showcase for Contemporary Architecture and Design

CA Boom II, the 2nd Annual Showcase for Contemporary Architecture and Design, will explode this July in Santa Monica, CA. The event, consisting of guided tours of the homes and projects from California's premier architecture and design firms, as well as panel discussions concerning contemporary design in today's work, will take place July 28 - July 31.

To check out which products will debut at Ca Boom, and for more information visit, www.caboom2.com.

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June 22, 2005

Nice Profile

Consumers no longer have to sacrifice the style of their kitchen for the functionality of the refrigerator. The new GE Profile™ French door bottom-freezer refrigerator allows design-savvy consumers to express their sense of style without succumbing to the white rectangle. Gerefrigerator

Ideal for kitchens with center islands and cook tops, the top French doors need only a 33" installation opening and minimum space to open the doors. Door configurations and sliding shelves allow for oversize and tall items, as well as large cookware.

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June 21, 2005

Bye, Bye Brown?

What was once clean, crisp and white is now rich, chocolate and taupe. It's everywhere - decorating condos in Miami, lining restaurants in NYC, even filing the home decor section of Target stores. Brown_2

Fitting in with the Wenge invasion, browns and taupes are taking over as The Color of contemporary. But what to pair it with - a question Pure Contemporary has seen from readers on a daily basis. Interior designer Charles Allem told Florida Inside Out, "You can take it masculine - brown and navy is drop dead chic - or you can go Florida, with wenge floors and baby blue." Other pairings include pale pink, chartreuse, pale purple, gray and even brown on brown.

Maryott Custom Interiors views brown as the dominant color in sophisticated bedding and textiles, predicting the introduction of earthy red-browns. Meanwhile, House and Garden declares, “the marriage of chocolate brown and blue evokes an urbane attitude” and is “decidedly chic and sophisticated.”

But is this trend just that -- a fleeting blip on the design radar? Gretchen Schauffler, owner of Devine Color, says "Brown became the new black and will stay as a black alternative, but not in the proportions or combinations we have seen. You will see brown in relations with neutrals and the new black will tend towards charcoals and grays."

According to British designer Kelly Hoppen, "When all the developers are doing it, then it means it's over."

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Lego's of Light

Building blocks aren't just for kids! French architects Laurence Bourgeois and Elisabeth Hertzfeld, the design team behind Remake Design, introduced the Remake Light. 9" by 6", and outfitted with a dim 40 watts, the designers aimed to create "A simple object, a light that could be multiplied without additional wires." Remake_light_1

These blocks of individual light, available in orange, pink, red, white, gray and black, create  luminous sculptures when brought together by simply plugging them in to each other.

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June 20, 2005

Relax at Home, Four Tips from Moen

It's no secret that the major trend in bathrooms is spa-like relaxation. Bath company Moen, (and they're obviously biased here, but they make some good points), offers four tips for creating the spa-inspired bathroom getaway everyone craves. The first, spa tubs--with whirlpool jets for vigorous massage or with air bubbles that allow for all kinds of great liquid soaps and essential oils. Next, custom showers, think massaging showerheads and rain dome heads affixed to the ceiling for an all over downpour. And remember to add heat, in towel warmers, under the floors, and in some baths, like those made by Bain Ultra, heated tubs. Last but not least, mood. Moen advises using soothing colors, fresh flowers, or candles to help set the mood of relaxation and comfort. And doing what makes you comfortable is always good design advice.

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Eames Demetrios & Kymaerica

Eames Demetrios, grandson of Eames_1the famed mid-century design duo Charles and Ray Eames, is a creator in his own right; a photographer, writer, filmaker and, odd though it may sound, invetor of a parallel universe of sorts, Kymaerica.

According to the website...

"Kymaerica is a land (and some waters) somewhat co-existent with our linear world and a general landscape quite similar to large parts of what we would call North America. There are about 80-90 districts, containing over 4000 gwomes. A gwome is cognate word meaning "footprint of (the) nation." Usually it refers to a nation (so the terms are often used interchangably), but it is actually a term for a physical area within a district which has a unified political structure. Kymaerican influences and stories are everywhere in our linear world and likely vice versa. But there also many wonders in Kymaerica not easily found here."

Demetrios holds plaque dedication ceremonies in order to tell the story of Kymaerica in different, relevant areas. So far, there are 8 plaques, with a 9th being dedicated Saurday, June 25 from 3-5 pm in Culver City, Ca.

This plaque, (the 10th will be dedicated in Wisconsin in a few days) tells the story of the last remnant of the Lesser Paralytic Forest which once covered most of Greater Mar Vista. There will be a mural sized map of Kymaerica with insight into many of its cultures, and Demetrios's brief remarks about the history of Kymaerica and the historical importance of the Kulver Glad, will be followed by a group sing-a-long of a Kymaerican anthem.

What could be more fun than that? And conveniently located (for many) too: 10401 West Jefferson Blvd in Culver City.

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June 16, 2005

Noguchi at the SAM

Noguchi_takasi2_1 The Seattle Art Museum will be chock full of Isamu Noguchi through Sept. 5. The exhibit, entitled Isamu Noguchi-Sculptural Design, explores Noguchi's groundbreaking sculptural furniture, landscape architecture and fine and decorative arts. Plus, it's inspired a Noguchi revival of sorts throughout Seattle. Design Within Reach set up a lounge filled entirely with Noguchi pieces, and Seattle stores Velocity Art & Design and KOBO have stocked up on classic Noguchi items like the Akari Lamp. If you're not in Seattle but need to satisfy your need for Noguchi, try Ikea, they have a line of lamps inspired by some of the designer's greats.

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National Design Awards

Ceramics legend Eva Zeisel wasEvazeisel Patagoniaannounced this week as the winner of the coveted National Design Award for lifetime achievement from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Sportswear company Patagonia received the museums second highest honor, the award for corporate achievement in design.

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June 15, 2005

Touching is Believing

Victoriaalbertmuseum_2

As any parent knows, taking a child shopping, or almost anywhere really, usually involves over-usage of three handy words: "Don't touch that!" Kids, and adults too, can't help but touch things to find out more about them. Shopping for clothes is a constant judgment of the way fabrics feel. Buying china or crystal, you pick it up first. Ceramics designer Eva Zeisel won't declare a prototype up to snuff until she's run her hand across it.

So why aren't the things we touch everyday––light switches, steering wheels, computer keypads–– made to excite this important sense? That's the focus of the Victoria & Albert Museum's upcoming exhibition, Touch Me, showing June 16-Aug. 29. If you're in London, stop in and check it out. Then be sure to write to us and tell us how it feels.

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June 10, 2005

New Ford Mustang Design

Fordmustang2005036By now we're sure you've noticed those new Ford Mustangs cruising around your neighborhood. Like the classic model, the new Mustang screams strength, sex, and Americana.

From the proportions, which viewers instantly recognize as being that of a Mustang, to the intense shape of the headlights and low, rumbling sound of the transmission, the Mustang design succeeds because it captures what all designers, in any field, hope to: emotion. Designs that tap into emotions, whether nostaligia, excitiment, or that latent lust for speed, get around the track, and into people's homes, or in this case, garages, fastest.

Find out more about the new Ford Mustang, and the man who created it at NPR.

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