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March 14, 2006

Color Expert Expands Line

Our in-demand color expert and founder of Devine Color, Gretchen Schauffler, took some time out to chat with USA Today -- and lets them in on a new venture!

Have a question for Gretchen?

Colorful dreamer turns her passion into thriving paint biz
By Sue Kirchhoff, USA Today

Gretchen_schauffler_1PORTLAND, Ore. — Gretchen Schauffler wants American women to embrace corsets. Not the kind you're probably thinking of.

Schauffler, creator of the high-end Devine Color brand of interior house paints, plans to expand her $10 million annual business by introducing a line of custom window coverings she calls corsets: valances that hug the top of window frames and transform into full-length draperies by zipping on skirts of different hues and textures.

Her approach to the product illustrates why Schauffler has transformed in a few years from stay-at-home suburban mom to a businesswoman whose products have national reach. To get a precise fit, she hired an apparel company to shape the window treatments — making the corset moniker more than just a marketing ploy.

"We decided to tailor the window with color," Schauffler says, predicting this corset will liberate women who tell her they have few good choices beyond lower-end, unlined window panels and fussy fabric-store treatments that don't convey the modern look they crave.

Continue reading Colorful dreamer.

Category: ART & ACCESSORIES, FLOOR & WINDOW COVERING | Permalink | Add Your Comment (0) | TrackBack

March 13, 2006

Modern Architectural Home Plans

We recently received an Ask the Design Experts question from a reader looking for books on modern home plans. He wanted to get to work designing his own neoteric digs, but found that blue prints for modern can be hard to come by. Our experts hit the stacks and compiled a list of books that meet their requirements for inspiration, guidance, historic relevance and modern solutions.

Modern American Homes

Contemporary Home Plans

Harvard Five

Mid-Century Modern

Category: BOOKS | Permalink | Add Your Comment (0) | TrackBack

Modern Developments

We're used to hearing architects and designers rail against the lack of ingenuity and craftsmanship in many of America's suburban developments, but not to hearing that they're actually building their own, more modern versions.

So kudos to Norman Smith of Norman Smith Architecture in Washington D.C. The firm, known for pared down, modern, energy efficient, luxury builds, joined with the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the American Institute of Architects to create a new kind of condominium, City Overlook.

Index_r2_c3_1Set in D.C.'s Columbia Heights neighborhood, City Overlook features a green roof that is part garden, part sponge, and part insulation. In order to capitalize on the circulation of light and air, south-facing, full-height windows absorb heat in the winter. During the summer to reduce the need for air conditioning, the building is shaded with steel brise-soleil and balconies.

Set for completion in the early Summer of 2006, City Overlook stands more than 12 feet apart from neighborhood properties, features an exterior of Mondrian-like glass, and offers large open floor plans that complement each of the 18 units, ranging in size from 850 to 2,100 square feet.

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

March 10, 2006

Kagan Still Ultra Modern Today

KaganTop names in fashion and design continue to choose Vladimir Kagan's work to bring a minimal, modern, luxurious look to their projects, and their own homes.

Giorgio Armani and architect Michael Gabellini chose Kagan's 1967 design Cubist Chairs for Nobu's Milan restaurant. Just for Nobu, Kagan the designed bar, counter stools and banquettes to boot.

Omnibus_new_brownTo revive Gucci's image, Tom Ford amped up more than its clothing. He paid close attention to the stores interiors and chose the reigning king of modern as his company's interior mogul. Ford purchased one of Vladimir Kagan's Omnibus sofas for his Santa Fe, New Mexico home then 360 more for Gucci stores around the globe.

When André Belaze, owner of The Mercer in New York and The Standard in Los Angeles, needed a fresh look for his newest hotel concept The Standard Downtown in LA, he chose Kagan too.

Category: BOOKS | Permalink | Add Your Comment (0) | TrackBack

March 09, 2006

Contemporary Curtains

Purple_gold_swirlModern window treatments are seemingly an oxymoron as we rarely ever see anything exciting. But fortunately we are optimists and ever scrounging through websites, catalogues and conferences looking for eye-popping innovations. British firm, Bryony Alexander fits the bill.Buckle__silver_with_green_silk_small2_1

These glass, Perspex and metal finials, rods and tie-backs come in fun colors, shapes and textures -- all the right qualities for a truly contemporary look.

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It's a (Very Pampered) Dog's Life

Ernie_3We're gearing up for the KBIS tradeshow to check out all that’s new and next in Kitchen and Bath design.

One thing we'll definitely take a look at is The Jentle Pet from MTI Whirlpools, a bathtub made especially for tail-waggers. MTI says they've designed The Jentle Pet ergonomically for dog owners and their pups to give them both therapeutic, comfortable, safe experiences.

Sounds good to me, but do the dogs deserve it?

Category: BATH & SPA | Permalink | Add Your Comment (0) | TrackBack

March 07, 2006

Wedding Registries

Wedding_registry_2Spring is just around the corner... and you know what that means --- Wedding Bells!

Not sure where to register for hip, modern fare? design*sponge has compiled a reference list for the engaging modern couple.

fitzsu -- ultra modern home goods
clio home -- yum, yum and yum again
not neutral -- fun tableware and linens
velocity art and design -- everything you could want for your modern home
chiasso -- modern designs for the home & garden
Michael c fina -- for those whose gifters have deep pockets
the magazine -- high end euro designs
moss -- for the uber design couple
target -- fun, inexpensive! -- for the chefs
viva terra -- viva eco friendly gifts!
unica home -- tons of ideas!
relish -- modern gifts for the modern couple
amazon -- books to read on the honeymoon?
rei -- for the outdoorsy couple
tiffany -- fancy schmancy
nambe -- unique, modern gifts
crate and barrel, william sonoma, macys and pottery barn -- cause everyone needs some good basics!

Category: ART & ACCESSORIES, BATH & SPA, MODERN DINING, MODERN KITCHEN | Permalink | Add Your Comment (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2006

Zia Priven Busts Up Donald Trump on "The Apprentice"


The strength of a woman brings a throwback version of modern to Donald Trump's living room on NBC's hit show "The Apprentice" this season.

Inspired by Minerva, the Roman goddess of crafts and wisdom, the Minerva Bust Lamp from NYC-based Zia Priven design graces the living room set with a unique Hollywood Regency look.

"We thought juxtaposing a classic Roman goddess of crafts and wisdom with 21st-century Hollywood would be a unique contrast for the wildly popular 'Apprentice'," said Marcia Zia-Priven, partner, Zia-Priven Design.

Minerva was considered to be the virgin goddess of warriors, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, crafts and the inventor of music. Which all adds up to a tough act to follow, even for the ultra competitive "Apprentice" crowd. We're just hoping it will distract us from looking at that strange architectural creation The Donald calls hair.

Category: MODERN LIGHTING | Permalink | Add Your Comment (1) | TrackBack

March 03, 2006

Flor Samples

Our Flor samples arrived yesterday. Can't wait to play. The color hues in the catalog are fairly close to the actuals.

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Legaré Modular, Flat Pack Furniture


Legaré corners the market on high Flatpackdesk_1quality furniture that's as easy to assemble as it is to ship. Taking its cues from a minimal industrial modern, the simplicity of Legaré's designs leave you wondering only why someone didn't think of it sooner.

Flatpackfurniture_1We just recieved a model of their straight desk and peninsula. It took about a minute to assemble with no tools required. Granted this is a desk only a doll could use, but the same holds true for the company's human-sized products. Check out the pictures of our model compared to the real thing. Pretty good right?

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