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March 27, 2007

Champagne Room...

Supremely functional yet totally unnecessary, the Veuve Clicquot Loveseat by Karim Rashid wins points for modern luxury that finally has fun. Note the sitters face each other, separated only by a perfect champagne cooling spot which, thankfully, is easily moved out of the way.


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March 26, 2007

Hiddur Mitzvah


For observant Jews, the Hebrew word mitzvah literally means commandment, but in the Jewish tradition, it has also come to mean blessing or good deed. Hiddur means to make beautiful. The concept, then, of hiddur mitzvah can be interpreted as beautifying those objects that are used in rituals. It is this concept that inspires product designer and silver artist Sharon Geller-Metal.

She has created an incredible line of Judaica products in sterling silver that are quite simply stunning. The "Wave" Sedar Plate is a striking centerpiece complete with six engraved cups so you can arrange your elements as you wish. The plate can be turned over to host matzoh. Her Kiddush Cup is an exquisite example of elevating a simple goblet into a functional piece of art.

"As both a trained industrial designer and an Orthodox Jewish woman, I have always striven for a synthesis of use and beauty in both Judaica and product design," she says. -- Diane

Thanks for the tip Judaica Journal!


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Modern baby just got better

Aerial_cribChanging_table_2 It seems everywhere you look the stork is making special deliveries... and many new parents are in dire need of modern baby furniture!

Nursery Couture, an online nursery boutique, carries a great variety of classic modern baby-wares, including apparel, bedding, furniture, decor, and rugs.

My fave pics --- the Aerial crib with adjustable side rail and optional drawers underneath that converts into a toddler bed, and the Two Wide changing table. Both pieces are available in eight color options.

Alpha_bedding Green_bedding And don't forget to check out bedding --- many alternatives to pale pastels and cutesy prints.

Kids Go Mad for Mod
Kids Design Blog Roll

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March 23, 2007



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Sit Urban Design


Portugal's Sit Urban Design makes practical outdoor furniture for cities and citizens. Stuck on concrete with simple organic forms, Sit creates fresh designs in smooth "soft shapes", industrial "masterlayer" and the unique and minimal  "boris" and "basics" collections.

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Royal Blue Wine Cooler

Aga_wine_cellar_blue_2 Can not get out of this blue mood!

Now I've found the AGA Wine Celler -- which holds 54 bottles on glide out racks. Designed to fit under countertops with zero clearance from surrounding cabinetry, it has all the temp control features you would expect for any refrigeration unit that costs $2000.

If you are familiar with the AGA Range (it was considered one of the iconic designs of the 20th Century by the BBC) then you are familiar with its cast iron frame and contoured front. You may even know that AGA has an esteemed pedigree: The inventor of the range was Swedish engineer Gustaf Dalén, Noble Laureate in Physics (1912), who perfected the art of keeping a stove hot for 24 hours with only 8lbs (!) of coal.

Like the stoves, the exterior of the Wine Cellar is made of a  vitreous enamel which ensures that the vibrant colors (like the royal blue shown here) do not fade. AGA is sold worldwide under a variety of brands -- and colors and model names do vary. In addition to the blue, the wine cooler is available in the U.S. in Black, Claret and Creme.

-- diane

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March 22, 2007

Glow in the Dark Faucets


I saw "Brick" -- the glass tap and faucet series by Italian tap and fixture manufacturer Neve Rubinetterie and wasn't too impressed. The transparent or frosted glass can be lit with blue, green or red LEDs and looked too gimmicky to me. Neve_green_faucetBrick_stainlessBut then I saw a press photo of a commercial application -- the size of the room, the stainless sink and dark backsplash made the installation work. The faucet looked dramatic -- if not perfect for a nightclub.

You can opt for an all glass Brick sans lights. For residential, I prefer the chromed brass Brick which is available in a horizontal version, a variety of heights and mounts for tub, sink, even shower. -- diane

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Elite Upholstery?


Elite Leather, known lately for its contemporary leather looks and collection by Lulu DK, is reintroducing fabrics to its sleek line. It's a forward move that has the family-run company looking back--to a time when it was called Elite Upholstery.  Shown above is the Munich Chaise, but all Elite Leather designs will be available this spring in a choice of over 80 fabric selections.

See the Elite Leather catalog.
Who is LuluDK?

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Candles get Modern


By now I'm used to seeing candles everywhere, and though I might find them sitting on zen-inspired stones or atop curvaceous Nambe candlesticks, the wax creations themselves lack the style, the feeling and essence of modern.

Which brings me to my own problems.  Drip-less wax candlesticks work only where there is no draft or movement. That means that unless you live  alone in a sensory deprivation chamber or gravity-free zone, drip happens. With two fast-running dogs and a house so drafty it's a wonder candles stay lit to begin with, I end up with wax rivers sliding down my crystal sticks into pools of wax on my tabletops. Also, I have two old brass candlesticks flanking a double set of pocketdoors in my dining room. It's a decidedly vintage look original to the 1880s house and I don't want to change it (something about messing with the original stuff), but want to give it a modern vibe. After all, it is 2007.

So I just did a simple Google search and found the solution to all of my candle problems: Glass oil lit tapers. Awesome. They're clear, minimal, and they make sense. A straightforward solution that gives my candles a modern edge. Minus the candlesticks, those pictured cost about $37 a pair for the 12" versions and they come with oil, a lifetime fiberglass wick and instructions from Firelight. But the bonus? You can by colored oil to give your candles red, pink, blue, or green flames.


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March 21, 2007

Meet Steve Godzisz

When we were considering a Spring giveaway we immediately thought of Western New York artist Steve Godzisz' abstract by the same name as a prize. Godzisz began his career working with oils as an abstract expressionist in the 1960s, inspired by Godiszspring_medthe likes of Jackson Pollack and Willem De Kooning. About 10 years ago he started working with digital art -- experimenting with the different tools and filters in PhotoShop. But his approach to a piece is identical to when held a brush.

With Spring, he started with the sage green field, and began applying contrasting colors, until he is satisifed with the combination. He then cuts and pastes and "brushes" until he gets the desired composition. "If you look at Spring," he explains, it is this muddy background -- and the colors "spring" out at you -- coming out of the dead of winter. I wanted to bring out the colors that winter hides."

Nightbeat3_2 Godzisz has exhibited throughout the US and Canada, has had his work represented by numerous galleries including the Albright Knox Art Gallery, and is represented in many private and corporate collections all over the US and Canada. "Night Beat," pictured to the right, is a triptych from his latest series. -- Diane

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