your source for contemporary designs

October 22, 2008

The winter blues -- in October!

It's October 22, and I am FREEZING! It is 26 degrees in my neck of the woods (Western NY). I am listening to the dismal pitter patter of a mix of rain and snow against my roof and windows -- nature's sadistic way of telling me to take me winter coat out of storage. I'm so glad I spent a small fortune on my very chic autumn trench coat.

In the midst of my displeasure, I am still looking out for those of you who enjoy an endless summer.

Check out the Dodaz Chit Chat sofa.


Feel free to cast your weather-elite pity on me.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 22, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 21, 2008

Let them drink wine!

Our nation is on the precipice of major change. We're in the middle of an emotionally-charged, high-stakes election. Our economy is in the gutter. People are loosing big in the stock market. Home values are plummeting. And more and more are uncertain of their future. What's an American to do?

Drink! And drink surrounded by opulence.


The Louis XV Wine Rack by Axis FormLAB.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 21, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 20, 2008

Cigarette anyone?

Sleek, simple vase. Check.

Understated colors. Check.

Shocking resemblance to ciggies. Check.

The Arbor Vase from Chiasso.



Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 20, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 18, 2008

Evo Circular grill

I'm very much into shapes and fluidity. And, like most, I want my appliances to be functional as well as appealing. Let's face it -- most grills are lacking in the aesthetic department.

Check out the Evo Circular grill. The stainless steel flat-top allows guests to gather round as you cook. And the flame-less dual burner is conducive to boiling, poaching, and roasting. Buy now!



Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 18, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 14, 2008

Warm up your backyard


I spent the long weekend doing a favorite thing of mine -- our annual camping excursion.

No need to gasp in horror. I'm not talking about your typical camping. I don't cook anything over a fire. I don't relieve myself in an out-house. I shower everyday, and my husband has enough self-preservation to equip our vehicle with a power converter strong enough to run my hair straightener. I do sleep in a cabin without electricity, but I deck it out with as many modern conveniences and items of decor as possible.

Our large group (about a dozen adults, a handful of kids, and a few dogs) have a very lively time. We sip cocktails, not beer, feast of seafood, not burgers, and recline in lush chairs around a crackling fire. Ah yes, the fire. It is your typical camp site bonfire. You know, a round dug-out surrounded by stones and rocks. It's not particularly fetching, but it does the job when the temp drops to 35 degrees.

Wanting to recreate the same ambiance I enjoy every October, I've been looking to replace our fire pit. We have the typical metal set-up. It's not that it's horrible to look at, but it certainly isn't indicative of a natural setting. Of course a custom-made fire pit is an option, but I'm not big on dropping that kind of cash to outfit the backyard of a home that I don't plan on staying in.

Thankfully I was sent some specs on two new fire vessels from Stone Forest. Forged from granite and boulders, the Granite Fire Vessel and Suspended Fire Vessel use natural materials to create a modern fixture around which to warm and entertain.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 14, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 06, 2008

Modern teen decor

News flash -- angst is in among the 14-21 crowd. And Flor is quick to provide a comfortable rug for the teen who favors skulls and crossbones.

And if you don't have a sullen teen to contend with, the rug will add a little "spook" to your home this coming Halloween.

Introducing the new Funny Bones rug.



Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 6, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Happy Birthday Le Corbusier

Today is the 120th birthday of Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier.


A Swiss-born architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, Le Corbusier is mosr regarded for his contributions to modern architecture.

With buildings erected throughout Europe, India, Russia, and North and South America, he was dedicated to creating better living conditions for those residing in overcrowded cities.

Shop for literature on Le Corbusier.

More on Le Corbusier.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 6, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 02, 2008

Chiasso goes for the gold

Seems like the color predictions were correct -- gold and jewel tones are hot for fall and winter.

Check out what glitters from Chiasso.


Start shopping


Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 2, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 01, 2008

Making a small bedroom bigger

I, like many, have one bedroom in my home that is particularly small. I fell in love with this charcoal Ralph Lauren paint in their River Rock finish and covered my walls with it. Now I know using a dark color in a small room isn't always the best idea, but I accented the room with with white trim, white mirrors, white shelves, and white wooden blinds. However, the room still appears small.


Thankfully Sy John Iverson, a design expert, has offered some advice:

A small room never gets larger, however, the proper choice in everything from furnishings to paint can make a difference on the overall feeling of the room.  So although you can't make a small room appear larger, you can make it feel unified, spacious and clean.

Lighter weight, appropriately scaled, furniture on legs can make a room appear lighter in feeling, less heavy.  Fewer layers and clutter also have an impact on how open a small room may appear. Large or over-scaled art rather than a bunch of smaller framed prints have a greater impact and will make the room feel cleaner.

Some kind of backdrop behind the bed and nightstands (inclusive of all three elements) can unify the headboard wall minimizing the start, stop of the eye between the headboard and nightstands.  So, with this in mind I like to paint a giant rectangle in the accent color on the headboard wall that is 12" off the floor, 15" from the ceiling and transitions vertically in the middle or so of the nightstands.

Sometimes I will paint a wide vertical stripe floor to ceiling, or use a solid grass or textured wall covering with 1 x 2 molding in the same finish as the case pieces.  Straddling the space between the nightstands and the headboard, running this treatment up the wall, across the ceiling and down the opposite wall, can give a small room dimension.

More Ask the Design Experts advice!


Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 1, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

National Kitchen & Bath Month

October is National Kitchen and Bath Month.  Established in 1982, National Kitchen & Bath Month is the perfect time to shine light on emerging trends, design strategies and sustainability.

To kick off this month-long celebration, I'd like to present the DA 5000 Decor Island Hood from Miele.


It's features include centrally-located, glass touch controls, 3 fan speeds, delayed shutdown, integrated halogen lighting with dimmer function, florescent indirect lighting at chimney base, and two double-sided blowers.

It's best featured -- the DA 5000's opening is fully adjustable.



Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 1, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 30, 2008

Feel Good Designs

In case you didn't know, September is National Baby Safety Month (I would think Baby Safety would be a year-round cause...).

Child-safety can be a slippery scope in terms of toys and play equipment, especially with the occurrences of lead paint and toxic materials popping up. Then there is the issue of sharp corners and shoddy craftsmanship. With these very legitimate concerns, many parents and educators of young children are hard-pressed to find safe toys.

Feel Good Designs have created more than 250 individual pieces for their PLAY+SOFT line. Each made from their patented ecosoftx® fabric, an eco-friendly materials free from PVC and rubber latex, the pieces are soft, easy to disinfect, and fireproof.

Pictured: Weave Sphere, Smell Tunnel, Puddle



Tags: , , ,

Posted on September 30, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2008

Bailing out on new home decor?

Fall is here and I'm ecstatic. I love Fall. And I really love decorating for Fall. A funky wreath to adorn my front door. A new modern door mat. A few potted mums in various hues. Fresh top soil to make my new plants pop. Some funky throw pillows in rich reds and oranges. And of course, a pumpkin scented candle for each room.

I love to decorate for the seasons. Fresh colors. New textures and patterns. However, it can be costly to redecorate every 3 months. The price has gone up on just about everything! Not to mention the gas I blew through searching nurseries for mums in the "perfect" shade.

With talk of the Bailout Bill on every channel, and our nation's precarious financial situation seeping into all aspects of life, purchasing home decor products may not be on the top of your to-do list.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on September 29, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Sarah Palin's design style

It has been reported that Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin spent $50,000 to redecorate her Alaskan Governor's office. However, I have been hard-pressed to find any images of the redesigned space (with the exception of the one below).



Tags: , , ,

Posted on September 29, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

Wave range hood

Every kitchen needs a focal point, and the Wave hood from Elica will certainly light up any space.



Tags: , , , ,

Posted on September 29, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 23, 2008

Battery-powered lawn mower

Most of us only have a few more times behind the lawn mower before the cold moves in, and we're pleased! The mower is just another gas-guzzling, CO2 emitting, loud, obnoxious machine. However, unless you plan to pave paradise and put up a parking lot, the lawn mower is an essential tool.

Aiming to decrease our carbon foot prints, James Taylor Peterson created the eco-friendly Neutron Battery-Powered Mower. Running on a 24 volt battery that can mow for up to an hour on a single charge, you'll mow in peace and quiet, free from spark plugs, air filters, pull cords, and noxious gases.


Available on Design Within Reach for $479, the mower comes with the battery, charger, two wrenches, a discharge chute, mulching plug and bagger.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on September 23, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 17, 2008

2009 Color Trends

2009 Color Trends – from the Rohm and Haas Company

Authentic and Traditional Paint Hues Refresh and Excite the Senses

SPRING HOUSE, Pa.--(Business Wire)-- Color style for 2009 draws inspiration from both nature and nurture. With increasing numbers of homeowners remaining in place, many are searching for options to refresh and reinvigorate their living spaces. By simply changing the paint color in a room, all spaces in the home become reinvention candidates.

“Key drivers for 2009 color choices include aspirations that create a comfortable and tranquil home environment coupled with a return to authentic and sustainable materials. In contrast, lively color use and bold patterns will find their place as an alternative to more sedate living areas,” Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert from Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute (PQI) said.

Zimmer reveals the upcoming 2009 paint hues along with potential rooms for incorporation and decorative effects.


Like a warm argyle or paisley sweater, consumers increased their  yearning for artisanship and authentic materials like those found in “Menswear”. Menswear allows for a more traditional use of hues than recently seen such as navy blue, “leather like” brown and rich grey.

“Texture like” finishes and decorative techniques are also important to this palette. Incorporating herringbone and argyle paint patterns provides a focal point in living and family rooms.

Color recommendations: Grey, Navy Blue, Brown and Black

Decorative effects: Argyle, Herringbone and Pinstripes

Weather or Not!

Our eco-consciousness continues to expand and “Weather or Not!” glances upward for inspiration. This palette takes a cue from the continually changing skies and provides the homeowner with colors represented at sunrise or sunset resulting in a shift from the more expected botanical hues.

While suitable for all areas of the home, these combinations are an especially good choice for bathrooms, bedrooms and family living spaces.

Color recommendations: Dusty purple, deep blue, bronze metallics and rosy pink

Decorative effects: Large, dramatic geometric patterns incorporating metallic finishes

What’s in Bloom?

Consumers increased desire for healthy and sustainable locally grown fruits and vegetables provides fresh inspiration for “What’s in Bloom”. Another twist on the “green” movement, is inspired by fresh hues including citrus green, mango and lemon yellow.

Not just a one season offering, “What’s in Bloom” also derives inspiration from fresh fall produce such as pumpkin orange and apple red.

“What’s in Bloom” is ripe for use in a child’s bedroom, playroom and kitchens. Use in closets and pantry areas to provide an unanticipated pop of color.

Color Recommendations: Citrus Green, Mango, Apple Red, Lemon Yellow and Pumpkin Orange

Decorative Effects: Black as an accent color on trim or doors provides an interesting and unexpected frame for the What’s in Bloom color palette.

Posted on September 17, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

What’s Black and White and Green All Over?

Want to renovate your kitchen and decrease your carbon footprint in one fell swoop? Check out the Paper Kitchen from Bazzèo, an eco-friendly collection made from 100% post-consumer paper waste.


Bound together with a non-toxic, petroleum-free resin made from the crushed shells of cashew nut (yes, I'm serious!), the doors, drawers, panels, and counter top are produced using a composite material from recycled paper. Recycled wood, non-toxic laminates, aluminum, glass and veneers are used as well.

Available in Gunmetal Grey, Chocolate Brown, Grass Green, Indigo Blue, and Obsidian Black.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on September 17, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2008

10 Most Influential Design Bloggers

In the midst of this exciting, and sometimes baffling, election, Home Rejuvenation has announced its 10 Most Influential Design Bloggers poll.


The 2nd Annual poll is searching to find those blogs which affect the home furnishings and design world for the better -- let's call it the who's who of the digital media age.

You're invited to send a maximum of 5 choices from their list by October 15th. 3 lucky voters will also receive a free 1 year subscription to Wallpaper* magazine. The results of the poll and the winners will be announced in mid-October.

Now while those of us at Behind the Curtains and Pure Contemporary know we're not the only fish in the sea, we hope you enjoy swimming with us!

If you want to vote for Pure Contemporary’s Behind the Curtain, click here. Just put “influential blog” in the subject line and tell them why you love Behind the Curtains!


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on September 16, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Modern marketing?

I love the benches from Botanist by Orange 22 -- but I'm not sure how I feel about this ad...


What do you think --- timely and relevant or just tacky?


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on September 16, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 09, 2008

Solar tree

When I walk into my office I see one thing -- a jumbled mess of black cords, all plugged into the oh-so appealing power strip. My computer charger. My phone charger. My travel charger. My MP3 charger.  All dependent on that ugly, unsightly glaringly white power strip.

Does that sound familiar to you? Apparently we're not alone, and designers like Vivien Muller are trying to create more aesthetically appealing devices to rev up our much relied upon electronic appendages.


Playing on the process of photosynthesis, the bonsai-inspired charger features 54 photovoltaic cells to boost your batteries while they rest beneath the leaves (no water or pruning required).


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on September 9, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2008

Modern mounting

For those of you out there who hunt, or have the daunting task of being married to a hunter, you are well aware that opening day isn't too far off (depending on where you reside).

Every year I have the same debate with my husband --- "I don't care how big the buck was, it's head isn't going on my wall." I understand that it's some macho pride, 'look what I've done' thing. Don't care. Bambi's carcus isn't being put on display in my home.

My husband sulks away, looking defeated and hurt.

However, he has been a good sport through all of my home decorating and remodeling escapades. He has accepted my modern, minimal taste. He has come to terms that nothing camouflage, depicting a hunting scene, or reminiscent of the great outdoors will ever adorn our walls.

With that said, the Cable Buck from Rachel Denny doesn't really offend me that much. I actually like it...



Tags: , ,

Posted on September 8, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

Inflated Barbie

I just couldn't resist posting this one...

Growing up there was always the Holiday Barbie -- some decked out, ornate must-have for every little girl. When I last checked they were about $49.99.

Now I realize that increasing gas prices have effected just about everything, but this is ridiculous.


At $94,800, this beefed up Barbie isn't for sale, rather she is a publicity stunt to promote the Barbie and the Diamond Castle movie (releasing tomorrow). 'Never Going to Own" Barbie features 44 round-cut stones including 318 real diamonds. Her tiara, slippers, earrings, necklace, bracelet and the ring are adorned with diamonds and white gold.


Tags: ,

Posted on September 8, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 03, 2008

Solar purse

We're being urged to be more green and more energy efficient in our daily life. As a gal, what is more integral to our daily life than our purse?


The Solarjo Power Purse, a sleek handbag, is studded with enough solar cells to charge a cell phone battery in just two hours. Inside is a battery with an attached USB that can be used to charge most devices -- just leave your bag in the sun and let the battery store up.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on September 3, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 02, 2008

Fall trends -- Love It or Leave It?

Fall is coming! This is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. Fall in Western New York seems magical. The air gets crisp, red and orange leaves crunch beneath your brown leather boots, wood-burning fires can be inhaled wherever you go. And let's not forget about pumpkins and cider.

As the scenery surrounding us changes, shouldn't the interior of our home?

I've been searching the web for fall decor trends and, after a trip to the mall, I don't think you have to look further than current fashion trends.

Bold florals were in abundance from dresses to blouses, orange is the hot vibrant hue, and purple seems to be the new black. Of course classic black and white is still abounding, and animal prints (much to my chagrin) were plastered on everything from skirts to sofas.

I'm not one for floral prints, but I love this one on Anthropolgie's Astrid Chair. Change out those legs with casters and I'm sold!



Tags: , , , ,

Posted on September 2, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Soleil bed

As I've said before, I love beds with an over-sized headboard.


The Soleil from Fute.


Tags: , ,

Posted on September 2, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

August 28, 2008

Sphera Sleep System

Another colorful creation from Karim Rashid.


Made for Hollandia International, the Sphera features a 32" TV, covered LED florescent canopy-top lights, outside back vanity mirror, and champagne holder (because who doesn't like a nice glass of bubbly while catching up on Project Runway reruns?).


Tags: , , ,

Posted on August 28, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

August 26, 2008

Camping the modern way

I never thought I'd see the day! It's the ultra-mod alternative to the RV. Sounds like an oxymoron, I know.


The compact and lightweight Capsule Caravan, although still a concept, hooks to your vehicle and you're good to go. And unlike bulky RVs, it eases perfectly into a standard parking space.

The funky interior is split into two pods: The Comfort Pod provides seating and sleeping areas for two, a 12v power supply, and an audio system. The Service Pod houses a water system, power supply and storage space. The large central window provides natural light and contains an electrochromatic film, which changes from transparent to opaque.

I love to camp, but I'm more of a cabin kind of gal. A tent is too much hassle for me, and I've just never found trailers too enticing. However, I could gleefully see myself setting up shop in this super cool, super mod traveling pod. I just don't know how well I'd fit in at the RV parks...

Thanks for the great find Born Rich!





Tags: , , ,

Posted on August 26, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

August 24, 2008

Serving spoons with a twist

Carved from cherry wood and finished with mineral oil and bees wax, these funky spoons are food-friendly.



Tags: , , ,

Posted on August 24, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Bamboo bentwood

Bamboo bentwood can go a long way...


The Bamboestoel chair from Tejo Remy.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on August 24, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

August 19, 2008

Chiasso rug collection

Rug It's like they knew...

I have this ingenious method to getting home improvement and renovation projects done --- I wait until my husband goes out of town for work!

Sneak? Maybe. Successful? Absolutely.

For example, last year I wanted my kitchen floor done. I begged and pleaded to no avail. So I waited for my husband to board the plane for Bermuda and ripped the floor up myself. When he called the next night I calmly explained that we'd have to lay down the new floor as soon as he returned home. Why, he asked. Because the old floor was gone! Brilliant, I know.

Now it's my living room that needs some help. I'm over the colors and the area rug has got to go. It's not that I don't like the rug, it's just that my large dog has spent a bit too much time on it. Dear husband doesn't want to replace the rug. What should I do? I'm going to paint the room while he's in Oklahoma. The new colors will not go with the rug. Hence, we will need a new area rug!

I'm currently browsing, and have a few picked out. Check out some of Chiasso's area rugs -- priced as low as $198.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on August 19, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2008

Tori and Dean -- Love it or leave it?

I have a guilty pleasure that I must confess to. I'm not proud of it... I'm a huge fan of Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood.

Gasp, cringe, do what you must. But try to keep an open mind here.

The couple recently purchased a home and completely renovated it. Some rooms I adore, some need tweaking, and some are so offensive to my eyes that I quickly look away. What do you think?

The kitchen before -- simple, clean and warm.


The kitchen after -- new color scheme, bit more glam.



Which do you prefer?

Now this is one of the rooms that offends. It's loud. It's tacky. It's pink - very, very pink. So tell me -- would you place your sweet little baby girl in this nursery?




Tags: , , ,

Posted on August 14, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

August 12, 2008

The rocking horse gets a facelift

As I've mentioned, probably numerous times, I have a new nephew. He's the sweetest little thing, and I'm suddenly filled with the urge to buy him everything! Everything except one of those creepy rocking horses.

My best friend had one growing up, and it terrified me. And I never understood the whole rocking horse concept. Horses don't rock. They gallop. They're fast and wild. Just never fit.

But my nephew must have some sort of rocking mechanism. He must have everything! Thankfully I found a modern alternative to the stodgy old rocking horse.


The Olga Rocker from Modern Tots. The stunning bent wood is much better than those ornate rockers with eerie eyes.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on August 12, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Get a little wild

Fun! Very, very fun! Not sure how functional it is (I prefer my seating to be a little more constructed), but definitely fun.


The FatBoy beanbag chair by Jukka Setälä is vibrant and whimsical. Thoughts?


Tags: , , ,

Posted on August 12, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

August 11, 2008

Which sofa is suited for you?


Let's face it -- the sofa sees a lot of traffic. It can be a focal point of your sitting room. It's where you retreat to after a long day. It's your front row seat in the theater. Your comfortable cushion in your private library. But which one is right for you?

Style at Home has composed a savvy buyer's guide to assist you in your quest.

Some people have the luxury of replacing their sofas as often as they paint. But if you're not one of those people, this is an investment that requires not just some savings, but some planning as well. What size sofa are you looking for? Do you need a large sectional to accommodate kids, dogs and movie night in the den? Are you looking for something more demure, a two-seater to fit a cozy corner of the living room? And then there's the fabric -- from delicate (and high-maintenance) silks to rugged polyester blends, what's going to serve you best and for the longest period of time?

Continue reading!


Tags: , ,

Posted on August 11, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Vanity Easy Chair

How do you dress up a simple, white chair?


WIS Design decided to simply cover it in reused leather from old jackets!

The Vanity Easy Chair -- Love it or leave it? Comment below.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on August 11, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Contemporary Carriage House

Located in the historic Paulus Hook district, this carriage house that once held horses now hosts contemporary homeowners.



Read full article

Posted on August 11, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

August 06, 2008

Modern kiddy pool -- a suburban legend?

It's hot. Very, very hot. On top of hot, it's very, very humid. Welcome to August in Western New York.

Seeing as it's so very, very hot, I decided to help my pooch out and buy him one of those cheap plastic kiddy pools. Ha! Fat chance. The marketing powers that be have squashed my plans.

Apparently it's not summer for manufacturers and retailers. It's fall. Back to school supplies, dorm accessories, Halloween decorations. I can buy my dog a Halloween costume but no pool.

After a few hours of frustration I returned home to my trusty computer. If I can't buy a kiddie pool in a store I'll just order one online.

Again, fat chance! I figured that if I was going to spend good money on shipping and handling, I'd get a funky, high-quality pool. At 75 pounds of solid muscle, I really need a strong, well-crafted item.

I've been searching all afternoon to no avail. So I turn to you, our trusted readers. Can anyone point me to a cool, funky, mod kiddy pool?


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on August 6, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

August 01, 2008

Tea Time

I'm not a tea drinker, but this could make me start.



What started out as sketches from a junior college students quickly became the new must-have item. Rather that disappoint potential customers, Joey Roth went ahead and created the Sorapot.

Love it? Buy it now!


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on August 1, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 24, 2008

Dining chic

Just picture a large dining room with a muted color on the walls and a sleek dining table in the center. Hanging overhead is a mod chandelier with soft lighting. Decor is sparse, and the dinnerware is simple.

Then you turn around, and...



The Soho Sideboard from Boca Do Lobo doubles as a stunning artistic piece -- with varying drawers, colors and finishes.

I covet it. Tell us what you think below.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on July 24, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 17, 2008

A little bit can go a long way

We all want to keep our homes looking modern and edgy, but we don't always have the time, or funds, to spend on a full remodel.

One of the easiest ways to spruce up your surroundings is with knobs and pulls. Check these out.



Tags: , , , ,

Posted on July 17, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 16, 2008

Twig from Ango

Well now, can you guess what the new Twig ceiling fixture from Ango reminds me of?


Let us know what you think by commenting below.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on July 16, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (5) | TrackBack

July 15, 2008

Resuscitating the modern house plant

I love plants, trees, shrubs, flowers -- but I can't keep 'em alive. Well, it's more like I can't remember to water them...

Apparently I'm not alone, seeing as Vitamin, a company who thrives on creating products a bit out of the ordinary, has come up with the I.V. The self-watering plant pot features a medical drip to dispense food and water as necessary.


Now I just have to remember to put the food and water into the drip bag.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on July 15, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 14, 2008

Outdoor dining

Home Infatuation’s latest line of outdoor dinnerware was created not by a celebrity designer, but by emerging artists from Working Class Studio at the Savannah College of Art & Design.

While I prefer a plain white plate in my dining room, I like something with a punch when dining outdoors.

Inspired by the historical architecture of the Old South, student designers created square pieces featuring bold colors and exotic patterns reflecting themes in nature.


View full collection at Home Infatuation.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on July 14, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Blank Canvas brings big designers

Botanist by Orange 22, the brainchild of Dario Antonioni and Brandon Lynne, combines modern technology and the simplicity of nature to create sustainable furniture.

“A blank canvas inspired us to create a simple form that could easily be adapted with color, finish, and graphics to capture emerging trends in design. We utilized water-jet cutting technology in order to offer ourselves and other future designers an unlimited playground of surface disruption opportunities,” said Antonioni.

The Blank Canvas program, which debuted at this past ICFF, includes the works of Yves Behar and Karim Rashid.

Take a peek at a few of the benches:


Visit their site to see more.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on July 14, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

July 10, 2008

Modern bassinet

My first nephew will be arriving soon! My sister's due date isn't until August 12, but I think the little guy is preparing to make an early entrance. This should explain my obsession with tracking down mod baby furniture (and textiles, accessories, wall art...).

Whether or not you are as baby-minded as me, I think you'll enjoy this:


Inspired by Shaker furniture, the Offi Ovum Bassinet is the complete antithesis of the traditional bassinet. I nearly died when I accompanied my sister on our latest furniture-seeking excursion. Most were constructed of white, faux-wove plastic. Oh yes, I'm serious. As if the white plastic with it's faux appliqué wasn't bad enough, most have this scary dome covering one half and the only sheets that fit have this frilly lace trim. To add insult to bad design, they're fairly expensive!

Now I'm not sure how necessary a bassinet is -- I'm sure the crib is fine from day one. But if you're craving  a small cradle to house your little one for the first few weeks, the Ovum should be at the top of your list.

Don't get too excited just yet -- once only a prototype, I've heard that it is ready for production. However, I'm having a hard time tracking it down for purchase.



Tags: , , , ,

Posted on July 10, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

P'kolino -- not just for kids

I know the last thing that kids want to think about right now is school, work, desks -- but I love this.


Just imagine -- it's raining outside, or it's just too hot for little ones to frolick in the backyard. They come inside, sit at their P'kolino Klick (which is made in the USA), and spend endless hours coloring, molding clay, reading... Nice thought, isn't it?

With ample work and storage space you'll never have to search for a spot for paper, crayons, puzzles, etc. The padded seat also boasts additional storage space.

Now here is the best part -- push the chair into the desk and you've got a non-obnoxious little cube. Choose a color that matches your family room and call it a day.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on July 10, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 07, 2008

Little Hands Wallpaper

A child's room should be stimulating, colorful, and whimsical. This is exactly what Leonor Feijó and Marta Belo, the creative minds behind Little Hands, had in mind when creating their wallpaper murals.


There is nothing I despise more than walking into a child's room and being attacked by Winnie the Pooh borders, Precious Moments lamp shades, or Disney Baby sheet sets. It's just so commercial, so loud.


The mural wallpaper from Little Hands, which can be ordered in various sizes, is much softer. Featuring pigs, mermaids, birds, and gnomes, each scape is delicately finished with soft water colors.



Tags: , , , ,

Posted on July 7, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 04, 2008

Swim into Summer


Summer has arrived! Time for lounging poolside, entertaining on the patio, and outdoor dining.

Why not spruce up your yard with some mod furnishings? Check out the Marlin.

The Marlin Fish Seat is not only special for its form, the material application is also functional -- the plastic frame and "Mellow Face Plus" application on the seat and back enable it to withstand any weather.

Buy it now from Advance Furniture!


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on July 4, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Happy 4th!

Happy Independence Day!


Need a break from the fun and festivities? Check out our Product Guide and Design Blog for modern and contemporary summer furnishings and home decor.


Posted on July 4, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 03, 2008

Luxe tub

Luxury bathrooms are emerging as the new must-have for home owners. No longer it is enough to place a few candles in your commode -- today's top bathrooms have to be spa-like sanctuaries for the weary and worn down.

Bath manufacturers aren't missing a beat when it comes to catering to their elite clientele. While color palette, fixtures, and flooring are an integral part of creating a tranquil retreat, it's the tub that delivers the biggest impact.

Hydrology, a high-fashion bath art showroom, is focusing their energy on highlighting pure and authentic designs. With a catalog that features $350,000 bathtubs carved of pure seamless gemstone, LED-lit shower heads, and 24k gold sinks, Hydrology pulls from international artists including Jaime Hayon, Ross Lovegrove and Claudio Silvestrin.


Carved seamlessly from a single block of white gemstone, the Le Acque collection by Claudio Silvestrin incorporates the textured grain of grey oak to evoke a sense of calm and organic flow.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on July 3, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

June 29, 2008

Alfresco kitchens

With nearly every gathering you host, it's fairly certain that the party will end up in the kitchen. So why not take the party, and the kitchen, outdoors?

Alfresco kitchens are becoming ubiquitous, and almost synonymous with a successful soiree. Just think of how much easier it would be -- cook top, sink, refrigerator -- all at your fingertips while you entertain outdoors.


Peruse the outdoor kitchen collection from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on June 29, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

June 27, 2008

Owyn Toy Box


My name is Allison, and I'm a cleanaholic.

I'm woman enough to admit it. I like a VERY clean home. I like a VERY organized home. (Forgive my use of caps to emphasize --- but I'm too tired to think of more sophisticated verbiage). As stated before, you will find no chotchkies in my abode. No clutter. Nothing out of place. Even my dog keeps his belongings confined to a certain room.

However, training my dog will undoubtedly be easier than keeping a child's possessions under wraps. As it should be, children need a place to flourish their imagination. Realistically, children also need a place to store toys, puzzles, books, etc.

I'm not a fan of those giant plastic football (or baseball) toy bins. I'd like to have something a little more refined and kid-friendly (have you ever tried to pry those cumbersome plastic lids?).

The Owyn Toy Box from Modern Tots offers plenty of storage space and houses two easy lift-off lids specifically made for little hands. In addition, the box is made from eco-friendly birch plywood, non-toxic paints, and non-toxic, low voc water-based polyurethane.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on June 27, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Chia furniture... Love It or Leave It?

If ever there was a greener conversation piece, or one with more bugs...


I love the concept -- just fill the sofa or chair frame with soil, spread grass seed, and water. Within a week or two you have your own chia-furniture. I love sitting in the grass under a big tree reading a good book -- and this furniture may be equally comfy. But then, after about 20 minutes or so, the bugs come. Creepy crawlers dead set on breaking your bliss.

And what about all the additional trimming, weed wacking, and grooming that will ensue? How long before the wood begins to biodegrade? What do you say to a guest with a very inconveniently placed insect bite?

Are these pieces just meant to be decorative? Form without much function, if you ask me. So, Love It or Leave It?

Via TrendHunter


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on June 27, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Hey Mambo

Let me tell you why I so adore the new Mambo sofa from Massimo Iosa Ghini -- it lays directly on the ground.


While I realize that it may not be a big deal to some, for me it would save countless hours of retrieving dog bones, small tennis balls, flattened raw-hides, etcetera. Dog owners can attest to this -- those cute little buggers will find a way to push and toss everything under any open surface. Those of you with kids, how many times have you found yourself on hands and knees prying cherrios and legos from under the sofa?

The Mambo's looking pretty good right about now, isn't it?

See more


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on June 27, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

June 21, 2008

Gardening guidance

It should come as no surprise that my modern, minimalist design and home furnishing preferences have spilled over onto my landscaping and gardening methods.

I'm not big on roses, hate geraniums, and cannot be bothered with leafy, fluffy bushes. My husband and I thought we'd be sly and planted a peach tree last year, which has still failed to bloom.

So now I'm in search of modern, cool plants and flowers. However, neither of my thumbs are green and I have no idea where to look. I perused nurseries to no avail (well, I was actually just be stubborn).

I'm looking for reader suggestions -- what plants, flowers, shrubs do you recommend for a hip, contemporary yard?



Posted on June 21, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

June 18, 2008

Modern dining and occasional tables

Diagonale_2 I'm totally loving the tables from Paris-based architect and designer India Mahdavi. From geometric shapes and clean lines, to whimsical display, the collection features a varied array of dining and occasional tables.

Pictured: The Diagonale Table, constructed from walnut and enamelled ceramic.

Browse India Mahdavi's collection.

Search modern tables!


Tags: , , ,

Posted on June 18, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

June 16, 2008

Modern umbrella

Today was a typical June day in Western New York -- woke up to 73 degrees, sun was shining, slight breeze. By noon the temp had plummeted to 60, the slight breeze turn to gusts, and the sky looked like something out of twister.

It started with light rain, and turned into this


Thrashing, heavy rain, fierce wind, and hail the size of golf balls.

Which leads me to this


The Senz Umbrella -- apparently made for the toughest weather -- even Buffalo, NY weather.


Tags: ,

Posted on June 16, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

June 09, 2008

Modern recliner

In my mind recliners have always been synonymous with Lazy Boy. You know, big, clunky leather chairs with an unattractive wooden lever. Or, gasp, a flowery print upholster.

Don't get me wrong, recliners can be very comfortable. You come home from a long day, grab a book and a cocktail and lay back. But in the world of modern and contemporary, form and function are never mutually exclusive.

Check out the mod recliner from James Dipersia, an American designer who imbues Italian design in every piece.



Tags: , , ,

Posted on June 9, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

June 05, 2008

Beach bed

This just conjures up a plethora of music video images...

Girl rolling seductively in satin sheets while on the beach. Girl with mascara stained cheeks lying listlessly while on the beach. Boy and girl playfully romping on the mattress while on the beach. And then Chris Isaak's Wicked Games plays over and over in my mind.


Still, it is beautiful. And if I actually liked the beach, or even lived near a beach, I would totally covet it.

See more from Gandia Blasco on Unica Home


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on June 5, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

June 01, 2008

Modern Dog Beds

So the other night I'm blissfully sleeping in my comfy bed. Suddenly, at 4am, I awake to the sound of my dog pacing around the house. My 75 pound boxer has severe allergies and IBS. I know, a dog with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, nice huh?

When he paces it means only one thing -- he's sick. I lay in bed, willing him to lay down and go back to bed. Five minutes later I hear a strange noise, almost like a bunch of empty soda cans crashing to the floor. I jump up and head to the kitchen. Nothing there. I walk into the living room and see my boxer cowering, head down and shaking.

I glance down to the floor and see what appears to be chocolate pudding all over the hardwood -- and his dog bed. Great! Doggie diarrhea at 4 in the morning.

I won't bore you with the disgusting details, but needless to say, he needs a new bed.

Here are a few fun pads.

Dog_bed_3 Dog_bed Dog_bed_4

Pictured: Contour Dog Bed, Dog Bed from C. Bell, and the Holden Dog Bed.

Search Modern Dog Beds now!


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on June 1, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

May 30, 2008

Love It or Leave It?

I'm just going to come out and say it -- I do not like this! I've never been one for bronze or gold, so I understand I'm biased. I don't really go for the distressed looked, antique. Just not my personal preference. And when I think of rust, all I can think of is, well, rust! Rust on old rickety cars. Rusts on old wrought iron railings. Old, dirty, stinkin rust!

But what do you think -- Love It or Leave It? Comment below.

Rust_cabinet_2 Rust_cabinet

Pictured - Rust Cabinet from Dutch furniture designer Dennis Slootweg, who will be exhibiting a number of limited editions from his series of Rust-Cabinets on the Dutch design event 100procentdesign in Rotterdam.

I'd tell you more, but all the info was in Dutch.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on May 30, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

May 29, 2008

Crochet becomes cool

When I think of crochet I think of a doily. Doesn't exactly scream mod, chic, or stylish.

This is why I'm not a designer -- because I never could have taken crochet and manifested this...

Crochet_chair Crochet_lamp_on

The Crochet chair, which was designed for the Smart Deco project  presented by Droog Design and Barry Friedman Ltd., quickly sold out. The Crochet Lamp is part of the Personal Editions collection. Both from Marcel Wanders. Made from crochet and resin.

I love! What about you?


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on May 29, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

May 28, 2008

Modern aid

My husband works in environmental engineering. To be specific, he climbs very, very, very tall smoke stacks and test air emissions. He has a job that can be dangerous, if he's not careful, and one that usually leaves him and his guys with scrapes, cuts, burns, etc.

As a result my husband is very safety-conscious. This is evident in the FIVE first aid kits that are present in our home and two vehicles. That's right, five. Two people, one dog, five first aid kits. I've complained about the bulky kits many times. Of course I'm thankful each time I've burned myself on the stove, cut my finger in the car, or one of our friend's kids gets injured while camping.

Still, I wish the first aid kits were a bit more aesthetically pleasing. Apparently, so did Johnson & Johnson.


They enlisted Harry Allen & Associates to re-design their first aid kit, something as iconic as apple pie and baseball. The new kit stands on end for ease of storage and has a built in handle for smaller profile. My favorite part -- the big ol' red and white cross in the center.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on May 28, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Vestal Firescreen

I don't have a fireplace, but if I did...


The Vestal Firescreen from Lyle and Umbach. Available in Bronze, White Bronze, Stainless Steel, and Hand Forged Blackened Steel.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on May 28, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

May 26, 2008

Colorful chaise

Created by Hong Kong-based designer Kitman Keung, the limited edition Ribbow chaise lounge is feminine, chic, and stylish.

Named for the sensuous curves of a ribbon, and the gradations of color in a rainbow, the Ribbow’s  metal skeleton is coated with luscious two tone yellow and purple felt, making it unique from every angle.

Ribbow_chaise_00 Ribbow_chaise_01 Ribbow_chaise_02 Ribbow_chaise_03

Made out of recycled wool, the material goes through an extensive treatment and dying procedure before being woven with a "Koza", a specialized tool that gives the velvet exceptional comfort and durability.

Each Ribbow is handmade and assembled over five days.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on May 26, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Happy Memorial

Memorial_day It's Memorial Day, a time to acknowledge and honor those who lost their lives while serving our country.

It also marks the unofficial start of summer! Picnics and parties are right around the corner, so start shopping now! (Fall clothes and Halloween decor will flood local stores soon enough!)

Shop Patio and Outdoor

Browse the Pure Contemporary Search for all things modern and contemporary!

More Patio & Outdoor from Behind the Curtains


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on May 26, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

The Green Outdoors

I'm sitting in my home office. The window is open and a warm breeze is streaming in. The maple tree that resides to my left is in full bloom, gently swaying. The grass is green, the sun is out, and sound of birds, lawn mowers, and children riding their bikes fills my city neighborhood.

I'm not being trite -- just damned excited! It has been a while since those of us in Western New York have been able to open our windows. Three days ago I had the heat cranking. And while tomorrow's forecast calls for 57 and rainy, today's sunny 73 is a preview of what's to come.

Accordingly, I have been bombarded with new patio and outdoor products from around the globe. The world is going green, and designers and manufacturers are doing their part to help.

Wave_single Wave_double

Check out some of Home Infatuation's outdoor seating -- made from sculpted recyclable grade polymeric foam. The outer covers are made from stain, fungal and mildew-resistant weatherproof marine-grade vinyl.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on May 26, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

May 24, 2008

Just Do Hit

The price of gas is climbing each day. Groceries are costing more and more. Airlines are resorting to charging fees for each bag loaded. It's Memorial Day weekend and chances are you are spending it at home because it's just too damn expensive to do anything else.

Admit it -- you're pissed. We all are.

Maybe it's time to take your aggression out. While some say violence won't solve anything, Marijn van der Poll's Do Hit Chair begs to differ.

Created in 2000 for Droog Design, the Do Hit chair is customized by the consumer. Pound, beat, smash and belittle the steel cube into the shape you desire. Sledge hammer included

Not feeling frustrated, no problem. Pre-formed Do Hit's are also available.

Do_hit_original_2 Do_hit_middle_2Do_hit_final


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on May 24, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2008

Mademoiselle Rocking Chair


Upon entering my home through the front door it is easy to decipher that I am a minimalist. From my furnishings to decor, my mantra has always been less is more (I really didn't intend to rhyme).

The first sofa in my living room was exquisitely simple -- low to ground, white, clean lines. No over-stuffing. No scroll-detailed arms. Minimal. That sofa has now found it's home in another room, and is in desperate need of a pal.

I contemplated throwing in a plush arm chair, but I knew it would drive me crazy. The logical answer was a streamlined armless chair in a vibrant hue. But I scrapped that idea once I found Ilmari Tapiovaara's Mademoiselle Rocking Chair, designed in 1956.

We've featured a number of rocking chairs at Pure Contemporary, but the Mademoiselle's reversed-tapered  back and large rockers earned it the #1 spot on my list.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on May 23, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Champagne Wishes and Modern Dreams

Champagne_cellar_full Champagne_cellar_detail There are some great wine and champagne cellars out there -- but this may surpass them all.

Champagne house Veuve Clicquot's Vertical Limit by Porsche Design Studio is a stainless steel cellar tower, made for housing the most exquisite and coveted bubbly. At 6 feet tall it holds 12 bottles, each behind a hand-soldered door.

Don't get too excited -- only 15 were made, and 8 were already snatched up for $70k each!


Tags: , , ,

Posted on May 23, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

May 07, 2008

Spartan Daybed

Going au natural seems to be hot for summer. From wicker to rattan, breathable material is all the rage.

Prime example -- the Spartan Daybed. Inviting and chic, I'm ready to grab a Mojito and settle in for a siesta.

Available in Natural Grass, Leatherette, and Twill Canvas, or Plastic Resin Weave with Sunbrella outdoor fabric.



Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on May 7, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

May 05, 2008

Fava Rocker

Bean_rocker_4 Seating is a personal thing -- at least to me!

I'm not one to lounge on a couch or over-stuffed chair -- I like something will a little more movement.

The Fava Rocker sits low to the ground and braces the user’s back curve for easy reclining.

Cushions available in Green, Chocolate, or Black.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on May 5, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

May 01, 2008

Quiz: What's your design stlye?

I love personality quizzes, mainly because they just reaffirm what you already know. The best quizzes offer some useful advice along with the results.

If you're contemplating renovating your kitchen, check out Scavolini's Know Your Style quiz.



Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on May 1, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 30, 2008

Glam rocking chair

Emeco_rocking_chair We love modern rocking chairs here at Pure Contemporary!

Never mind that you might slip off the Emeco Hudson Rocking Chair from Philippe Starck -- it's just pretty!

Named for Ian Schrager's Hudson Hotel in New York, the chair's simple, clean lines and brushed, powder-coated or polished aluminum finish will add some glam to your home.

See more mod rocking chairs!


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on April 30, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 29, 2008

Modern Mother's Day

Aluma_frame For the memory maker...

Come on, what's better than a beautifully framed picture of your loved ones? We all have plenty of "stuff." Mom doesn't want another bathrobe. She's good on slippers. And regardless of what dad says, she doesn't want a turbo-charged weed-wacker.

You have the pictures (or you can raid hers -- maybe a collage of baby pics). Have them professionally resized and apply a black and white finish. Slip them into a clean, modern frame, and voila!

My pick -- Aluma Designs.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on April 29, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

Modern Mother's Day

Spin_cake_plate_2 I know I've blogged this before, but I just love it.

It's nothing fancy, but it's whimsical and functional -- I think. I've never actually seen a cake plated on a cake plate, but I love the idea of it. And if the lady in your life loves to bake and entertain, I'm pretty sure she'd appreciate it.

The Spin Cake Plate from Chiasso.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on April 29, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 27, 2008

Eco-friendly room divider

Bamboo_screen Regardless of the size of your living space, privacy and separation can be hard to come by. Most of us need to utilize every inch of our home, but dividing it into workable rooms without adding walls can be overwhelming.

I've always had this thing for room dividers. Maybe it is from all of those years watching Disney movies -- you know, the ones where the beautiful maiden or princess dress behind a screen. I haven't had any luck finding simple, modern screens -- until now.

The Bamboo Screen is an eco-friendly wooden room divider -- and molds to take the shape you want!.

Check it out at Gaiam.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on April 27, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Going Green

Stray_dog_lamp_3 Going Green seems to be on everyone's mind. From TV networks to car manufacturers to retailers, everyone is becoming more and more conscious of eco-friendly products.

So what's on your Green List?

Share below!

Pictured: Stray Dog Lamp


Tags: , , ,

Posted on April 27, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

April 23, 2008

Mod nursery decor

I just love these!

Kids_painting_2_2 Kids_painting_3

There is nothing more offensive to me than Disney characters, Winnie the Pooh, and Precious Moments splashed amongst the walls in a baby's nursery. Ick!

I realize that it is a nursery -- a space dedicated to a wee one -- but do you really have to sacrifice all codes of good taste?

Check out all of the great, colorful, NON-OFFENSIVE painting from Modern Tots.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on April 23, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

April 18, 2008

The not so Real World

I used to LOVE MTV's Real World -- until I became too old to be cast on the show. That's when you know it's time to bid farewell.

However, when Chiasso announced that it was part of the Hollywood home's furnishings, I had to check it out (easy to do since MTV replays it about 100 times a day).

Oh my word! Anyone prone to seizures would go into a fit upon entering the not-so-humble abode. Too many colors, too much "stuff," too many designs fighting for attention.


I know the point of the house is to be modern, cool, hip and fun. But they entered over kill with the marquees and faux movie sets. Considering that the 7 strangers spend most of their time fighting hangovers, maybe a more subdued design would be preferable.

Don't take my word for it -- check it out here.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on April 18, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (3) | TrackBack

April 17, 2008

Flowers, flowers everywhere

One of my favorite things about spring is the flowers. White, pink, blue, green -- I don't care! Just put them in a vase for a few days of admiration.

Now my problem... I have a hard time finding vases that I REALLY like. Sure, I have a pile of ornate crystal vases from wedding guests (who apparently had no clue of my design tastes). There are some cute and inexpensive vases at local stores. But I want a vase that wows -- especially since my brown-thumb typically causes limp stems.

In addition to form, I want some function! I don't want to be limited to just table vases and centerpieces. Thankfully, Kenneth Cobonpue's Crokkis vases are mixing things up this season.

Now your flowers can be admired from the floor, table, wall, even mid-air.

Pictured - Large table vase, Medium wall vase, standing floor vase.

Crokkis_large_4 Crokkis_wall_medium_3 Crokkis_floorstanding_vase_3


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on April 17, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 16, 2008


Tgrill_2 You know what time it is -- GRILLING TIME! And nothing can ruin a mod, sleek patio or backyard like a bulky, over-charged grill.

Think about it -- those of us who crave modern design and functionality will spend countless hours and dollars outfitting our backyards for summer. We will purchase the perfect outdoor dining tables and chairs. Linger over loungers. Search for the best in outdoor lighting. And don't get me started on tableware, planters, etc. So why shouldn't we put the same effort into our grill.

Whether we like it or not, the grill is a focal point during summer gatherings. It's where the men converge to have the all important "charcoal vs. propane" debate. It provides us with tasty warm-weather cuisine. And if it is unsightly, it is the bane of our summer existence.

This year, fear not! The T-Grill is here.

GrandHall's new vertical T-Grill embodies form and function with sleek lines and a Crossray technology that cooks faster, produces less smoke, and uses left and right infrared ceramic burners to decrease flare-ups.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on April 16, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 15, 2008

Modern Mother's Day

Countdown to Mother's Day...

For the hostess with the mostess:


Is the lovely lady in your life a master party-planner? Help mom illuminate summer fêtes with Chiasso's Bola Floating Water Torches. At $58 each, these won't break the bank.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on April 15, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Sustainable hardware

Glass_knobsGoing green doesn't have to be costly!

Check out the line of sustainable hardware from the GreenSage Store.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on April 15, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 12, 2008

Perfect Peel

Every once and a while a product comes along that just gives you chills. Admit it -- you know what I'm talking about. It's curves and shape draws you in. You don't even care about the price --- you MUST have it.

I see countless modern and contemporary home products each day. Most evoke feelings of lust, but only the really special ones send me into a tizzy -- frantically trying to figure out how I can convince my husband that "we need it."

Enter the Peel.


I know how you're feeling. Light-headed. Dizzy. Good, right?

Based on the principle of balance, the Peel from Olav Eldøy provides a sitting solution that is designed to satisfy our innate need for movement and variation. Maximum comfort seems inevitable -- with a footrest, half-open back cushion, and height adjustable neck support. The chair's design allows you to recline without slipping forwards or backwards -- just alter your body weight through different sitting positions.

Available in numerous fabrics, colors, and wood finishes.

See all products from VARIÉR -- now carrying the Stokke MOVEMENT and ACTIVE collections!


Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted on April 12, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

Modern Mother's Day

As promised, we have more Mother's Day gift ideas for you!

For the mom in need of some R&R...


The Viteo Swing. Ahh... Nice, isn't it?


Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted on April 12, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 11, 2008

Love it or leave it?

Is Dayglo back? Did I miss the return of shocking neon?


The basic white sink gets a jolt with bright lights (fucsia, green apple, red, and yellow).

Made from 100% recyclable plastics, The Wet Light Washbasin is outfitted with a halogen light unit and transformer.

I say in a funky night club, fun. In a private bathroom,  tacky. What do you say -- Love It or Leave It? Comment below.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on April 11, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 08, 2008

Modern Mother's Day

Mother's Day is May 11th -- mark your calendars, make your gift lists, and start shopping!

While I'm not one for 'hallmark' holidays, this one isn't to be ignored.

Finding the perfect gift for the important women in your life can be a daunting task -- lucky for you we're making your job a bit easier. We'll add new gifts regularly, so check back often!

Mothers_day_rocking_chair_3 For the New Mom:

The Eddy Rocker from duc duc. Made from sustainable hardwood in a walnut or natural finish, the high-back design and enclosed arm panels would appear to make rocking, nursing, reading, or just sleeping a pleasant experience.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted on April 8, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 07, 2008

Stunning sink

Perhaps the bane of my existence is my never-satisfied need for something different. Something that no one else has. Whether it be my mailbox, color palette, dishes, or sofa. Doesn't matter -- I want unique. I want functional modern. I want creative design and innovative materials.

As I am in the (long) process of remodeling my (severely out-of-date) kitchen, hunting for a new sink has been a priority. Plain stainless -- been there, done that. Black -- okay, but nothing special. White porcelain -- can chip and stain. Then, this stumble into my In Box...


Linkasink’s popular copper farmhouse kitchen sinks have been redesigned in a stainless steel mosaic version. The sink is hand-hammered copper which is finished in satin nickel, and the basin features a mosaic pattern created from small stainless steel tiles. Also available in drop-in and undermount versions.

Unique doesn't come cheap -- suggested retail price ranges from $5,800 to $6,900.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted on April 7, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 31, 2008

Modern Masterpiece


Pictured (top to bottom, left to right): Informal dining room, Formal dining room featuring 17.1 Omer Arbel table for Bocci, Bedroom and etched door detail, Informal living room, Formal living room at night, Formal living room during the day.

Read full makeover now!


Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted on March 31, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 28, 2008



Introducing the Spring Screen Lounge Chair from Aswoon.

Do you love it? I DO!!!

Check out more at Aswoon, or visit their new storefront at during the DUMBO First Thursdays Gallery Walk. Thursday April 3rd from 6pm - 8:30pm. Located at 14 Jay Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn, 11201.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 28, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2008

Modern doors

Neoporte_doors_2 My husband and I agonized over the picking of a new front door. We wanted modern, but something that would be inviting to home buyers when we decide to sell. We wanted some glass detail, but nothing with gold trim or intricate design. We were also on a budget!

If your budget is slightly larger than ours, check out the Neoporte Modern Doors sale.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 27, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

March 26, 2008

Green makeover

Tis the season to redecorate – and with green flourishing outside, it’s only appropriate that green should grow inside the home.

With a budget of $20,000, Harmony Design Studio set out to make a family room more comfortable for both the home owners and the environment.  But one big question loomed -- Are there adequate green and sustainable products on the market that support great interior design without having to sacrifice in terms of quality and comfort?


Used primarily for TV, reading and lounging, the seating in the family room needed to support these activities and address the following problems:

• The new seating needed to accommodate the homeowners’ size differences (she is petite, he is average) & individual preferences
• Inadequate lighting needed to be addressed
• Additional seating was needed to accommodate large family gatherings
• The overall look was to be contemporary and streamlined

The custom-designed sectional was locally made and sized appropriately for both the husband and wife, and is covered in eco-friendly Satin Wool by ‘Q Collection’, which produces biodegradable, environmentally friendly fabrics made from natural materials.  The company also uses non-toxic dyes and finishes.  This particular fabric is highly durable, which is ideal for a family room setting.

FLOR carpet tiles in sand-colored wool were chosen for the new area rug.  Made from highly renewable wool, FLOR encourages end-of-life recycling. The custom-designed solid walnut coffee table fits over a separate piece of furniture – a low combination bench/table manufactured by Bright Chair Company. The bench is covered in Cork fabric.

The lack of lighting was remedied with dimmable-floor and table lamps (dimmable options are great energy savers) and an overhead ceiling pendant. The color palette is neutral tones of ivory, sand and chocolate brown, chosen to blend with the existing furnishings and extensive granite on the countertops. As with any project, there was meaning and purpose to everything selected.


Learn more about Harmony Design Studio.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 26, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

March 25, 2008

When Babies R Us just won't cut it

I want to start off by stating that I do not have anything against Babies R Us. For many Americans it is the most accessible all-in-one baby Mecca. And let's face it -- it's affordable.

With that said, I spent the entire morning helping my expecting sister fulfill her baby registry at my local Babies R Us -- and I was left in a panic! OMG -- what am I going to do when my husband and I finally get around to reproducing! While my sister's traditional tastes were more than met with the store's inventory, my desire for streamlined mod prods was left unanswered.

I was most disturbed by the "bouncies" or baby loungers. They are necessary, I know that. I do not diminish their need or usefulness -- but they were not good! These little baby pods lay front and center in one's living room (typically), and I would think they could be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. For expecting parents craving modern and contemporary design, Babies R Us just fell short.

So, after hours of pastel pink and blue, I came home to my trusty computer. I began searching and found, of all things, the bouncer that Halle Berry has provided for her little one. Now, I don't believe in jumping on the celebrity bandwagon, but this it good:


The Bloom Coco Lounger Plexistyle - available at Nomi for $350.

Curved, single-piece frame with cozy comfort seat; perfect for contemporary living spaces; formed in shades of stylewood™ or plexistyle™; smooth self-rocking motion; 5 point padded safety harness, adjustable for growing baby; micro-suede™/micro-leather™ seat pad available in vibrant colors – easy clean and maximum comfort no assembly required -- SOLD!


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 25, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

March 24, 2008

More Dakota Jackson

I stumbled upon Dakota Jackson's website, and I'm kind of a fan! "The furniture has to be beautiful, it has to be provocative, it has to be meaningful," Jackson says, "To acheive this we are continually adding new processes and technologies."

In addition to his club chair, check out the stunning dining console.


Check out the American designer's full product line.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 24, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Love it or leave it?

This one goes too far for me!


I have a uterus, my girlfriends all have a uterus, many of you reading this have a uterus -- but do our tables, buffets and shelves need to have a uterus?

What's your take on The Plug and Stephanie Rollin Uterus Vase - love it or leave it?


Tags: , , ,

Posted on March 24, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

March 21, 2008

Modern club chair

Dakota_jackson_chair_3 Whenever I see a leather club chair I am instantly reminded of my late Uncle Harry. He was the epitome of a great lawyer, with an office to match. A large, intimidating desk, dark chocolate club chair, the green-glass shaded desk lamp. It was all there.

So while the club chair conjures pleasant memories and comfort, its aesthetic appeal does not. That's why I was thrilled when I found the IKO Lounge chair from Dakota Jackson.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on March 21, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 20, 2008

Make everyday fun

Alessi_2 The hum-drum of everyday living can get anyone down. Why not add a little fun to your home -- namely, the kitchen!

Alessi has a reputation for creating amusingly functional products. From egg timers and tea kettles to cheese graters and cookie jars, their elite list of designers always aim to please.

Check out StyleHive's Alessi-dedicated slide show.

Pictured: Lilliput salt and pepper shaker set.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on March 20, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Who says you shouldn't wear your food?

Let's face it, these are way cuter than the traditional bibs covered with ducks, clowns, or clever sayings such as 'Mommy Loves Me.' Plus, the packaging is great!


Plus, any food that misses the mouth will simply blend in!

Want to purchase the Fruit & Veggie Bibs from Modern Tots? Click here.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 20, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2008

Spring into Flor

I am a firm believer that the color palette in your home, like your wardrobe, should change with the seasons. This doesn't have to result in a full home makeover -- just simple additions and removals.

Spring and summer 2008 are going to see a surge of bright tropical colors, which can be overwhelming if done improperly. Not sure how to do it tastefully? Check out Flor's Mango rug collection.



Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on March 19, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

Designs from Poland

As a Polish gal I welcome any opportunity to give props to fellow Poles.

Check out the REM Bedclothers and MESSY Tablecloth from AZE Design, led by Anna Kotowicz and Artur Puszkarewicz.

Messy Rem

MESSY Tablecloth - In today's fast-paced world, we often don't have time to cook, let alone eat. We dine on the go, concocting meals of diet soda and protein bars. The "MESSY" project brings back the notion of dining at an actual table!

REM Bedclothes - REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is one of phases of sleep during which we dream our dreams. Changing the position during sleep is the "picture" of the dream. During the night we create our own pattern on our bed, which AZE Design has artfully brought to life.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on March 19, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 18, 2008

Chiasso's spring collection -- Love It or Leave It?

Chiasso's new spring collection is apparently supposed to be a a wonderful treasure -- as the titles of their newsletter, Shhh...Spring Preview - Just a click away!, suggests. However, I'm not sure exactly what the secret is...

The secret just may be that the new spring collection will evoke boredom...

Case in point -- the Bermuda patio collection. Sterile, dull, uninspired.


So, love it or leave it? Weigh in below!


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 18, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

More mod swings

Bubble_swing_4 Summer swings have an "old" air about them. Usually straight, boring, box-like and constructed from wood, the typical porch swing doesn't exactly scream hip and modern.

A few weeks ago I brought you the Globo Swing, now check out the Bubble.

The UK's Fletcher & Myburgh have designed a line of whimsical outdoor swings for Lavendar_bubblethe contemporary sect who like to think outside the box.

And make sure to check out the Lavender Bubble -- a special tribute to women with breast cancer.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on March 18, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day

We're green with envy! Happy St. Patrick's Day, and Happy Shopping!


Pictured: Muuto Vase
Roddler Stroller
Green Cart
Patricia Urquiola' 566 Re-Trouve chair


Tags: , ,

Posted on March 17, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

March 16, 2008

An Orgasmic Collection

Orgasm_table_2 Orgasm_luna_2Orgasm_mmmm Introducing the Orgasm Collection from Melia.

Each piece is handmade, primarily from man-made boards and wood veneers, with a choice of finishes: luxury high-gloss polished lacquer, or semi-matt laminate (like Formica).

Choose from the Luna or iDrawers chest of drawers, the Pants, Dunce, or Gina table, or the Mmmm lounger. I love it all -- even the cheeky name!


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on March 16, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Pastil chair

Pastil_chair With spring on the horizon, I cannot help but but lust after modern outdoor furnishings. Last year I seemed to favor clean, straight lines. This year, I'm all about curves.

Case in the point, the Pastil chair from Eero Aarnio. Made in 1968, the New York Times said the chair's design was constructed of "the most comfortable forms to hold up the human body." I concur!


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on March 16, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 15, 2008

Lojo Ball

I'm totally loving this! As previously stated, I am a what my friends call a "floor rat." I love sitting on the floor, it's my thing. And I typically sit with my back against my sofa -- but this looks much more fun!


The Lojo Bal, shown in Humbug, can be a stool, foot-rest, or cozy seat. The funky sphere opens up to reveal a plush pad.

It's available for about $100.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on March 15, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (4) | TrackBack

March 14, 2008

Chair for Two

Doesn't this look fun? The Chair For Two (or One) from Ghettogloss.



Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 14, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

March 12, 2008

I dream of...

Daybed_2 She cooked, she cleaned, she managed to wrinkle her nose and get him out of the tightest predicament. Maybe Major Nelson should have rewarded Jeannie with a cozier spot to dwell, other than a bedazzled genie lamp...

My suggestion -- the Nirvana Daybed.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 12, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

Mod Dot

Tomorrow morning I will (hopefully) learn whether I will be welcoming a niece or nephew! This of course will blow all of my baby decor options wide open.

You can go the traditional blue or pink route while still being modern and chic, but I'm not one for doing anything in a traditional manner. Plus, my baby-happy sister won't be stopping at one child -- and I don't want to be stuck with pink stripes or blue squares in my guest room.

Enter the proverbial baby question -- how do you go gender-neutral without covering everything in pale yellow? I've searched and searched, and found a few contenders. Those that I were partial to were a bit pricey -- and while I don't skimp when it comes to style, I'm not paying $600 for bedding that will host a number of baby bodily fluids.

Then, like manna from heaven, came my weekly email from Modern Tots. And I L-O-V-E their new bedding -- the Skip Hop set.


The colorful shapes and patterns will engage little minds, and the palette is acceptable for both boys and girls. The best part -- you'll have endless options for wall colors, accessories, decor, etc.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 12, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

March 09, 2008

Mod lighting

CarnivaleI'm still barricaded. The snowfall has increased to approximately 24" and my husband is snow-blowing yet again. I have nothing to do but search out new modern prods -- and search I have.

Looking for a new chandelier or pendant to add flare to your home? Whether you're in the market for an affordable fixture or a lavish light, you've come to the right place!

Personally, I favor the Carnivale pendant light -- and at $149, I'm sold!.

View Stylehive's slide show for more.



Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 9, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

March 08, 2008

Winter blues

100_3736_2 Are you kidding me? It's March and I am stuck indoors, held captive by 18" of snow (and growing). I have nothing to do but peruse the web and write for all of you fine people -- and dig my dog out of 4 feet deep snowbanks.

It's bitter cold, windy, and the snow shows no sign of ceasing. Just when I thought Spring would soon arrive, bam! Another winter storm takes over Western NY.

But I am still free to dream... Warm weather, new home fashions, backyard fêtes. Lovely, simply lovely. Luckily, I already have a few new mod prods on my wish list for the upcoming season (including the Amazonas Globo swing).

What are you craving? Share below by clicking Comment on this Story.


Tags: , ,

Posted on March 8, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

March 06, 2008

New Kettal!

Bright canary yellow traumatized me at a very young age. It was Jaws -- the banana boat... Just the thought of it and the theme song is playing over and over in my head. As a child I dreamed of being the next Jacques Cousteau -- daring marine biologist. Then came that fateful banana boat scene -- a young girl's dream decimated.

However, this could potentially bring canary yellow back into my good graces ---


Kettal never fails to produce simple, chic outdoor furnishings for the modern sect. The Lobby armchair and footstool from their XXL collection is available with either an aluminum or natural fiber frame, 15 fabrics in a range of colors, or 16 porotex fabrics and 15 colors for the frame -- including canary yellow!

More from Kettal.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on March 6, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Swingin' in the summer breeze

As I look out my office windows at the cold, hard, blinding snow, I have just one thought -- SPRING!!! Can't you almost taste it? The smell of sweet flowers, mild breezes, and glorious green grass? (I swear, there is grass under all of the snow and gray slush!)

I'm craving it -- more than ever before. Long walks along the Niagara River with my pooch, char-coal bar-b-ques, kids riding their bikes in the street. Ah... Just take a few minutes to let it wash over you...

Now imagine those delicate Spring days turning into lazy summer afternoons. Good, isn't it? All you need now is a cozy place to waste away in the warm sun. How about Amazonas' Globo swing.


Its semi-sphere European Spruce frame is whimsical and tragically modern at the same time. Now grab a mint julep and order yours now!


Tags: , , ,

Posted on March 6, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

Catch up with Frank Gehry

Frank_and_brad We love architect Frank Gehry! Check him on on Bloomberg Television's "Muse" with Carol Massar -- this Saturday at 10am ET.

Mr. Gehry will be dishing on his design process -- and maybe some Brangelina gossip!

Check local listings.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on March 6, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 03, 2008

I love mailboxes!

Priority_mailboxI love them, I really do! This is no shock to our avid readers. It's like bling for the exterior of your home.

The most common mailboxes are stainless, black, brow, bronze -- the standard. But what if your house needs a little color?

Check out the red priority mailbox from Chiasso.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on March 3, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 29, 2008

Furniture with a Brazilian Flavor

Less is more -- especially in today's over-inundated market of pillows, vases, and elaborate home decor. A simple piece of well-crafted furniture may be all you need to fill a room with life, style, and a sense of being.

That is why Pure Contemporary has quickly become a fan of Brastilo, a company specializing in Brazilian-inspired contemporary home furnishings -- with an eco-green consciousness.

To understand what makes Brastilo tick, we caught up with William Oliver, designer and consultant for Brastilo -- as well as William Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and Target -- and Jack Fisher, VP of Marketing for Brastilo.

William Oliver:

Flatfront_buffetBrastilo utilizes a lot of pine. Where does it originate from?
The Brazilian pine comes from 45,000 acres of sustainable land in the rain forest, owned by parent company Irani.

How do Brastilo products differ from those available from the mainstream market?
The high-quality pieces are constructed from solid wood and come fully assembled. Each is delivered to your door with white glove service, meaning they are unpacked and ready to use. There is an emphasis on individuality, with many pieces being hand-crafted.

How does Brazil translate into furniture and home design?
The people and culture of Brazil exude a simple, laid-back lifestyle, which translates beautifully into the furnishings.

You are well-versed in product design, working in mediums from furniture and lighting to textile design. What drives your design?
I specialize in simple, pure, aesthetic design. I believe that clean, modern design resonates from inside, and can be implemented across several product areas.

Pictured: Flat-Front Buffet by William Oliver for Brastilo.

Jack Fisher:

Tell our readers a little about Brastilo.
Brastilo strives to bring eco-friendly, contemporary furniture with a Brazilian flare to the consumers. Brazil has such a rich history in furniture design. We are looking for designers out of Brazil, and those with a penchant for Brazilian design, to create products that blend a mix of clean lines and primitive nature.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on February 29, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

February 28, 2008

Custom wheels

For many men, my husband included, a custom bike ranks high on their wish list. And for many women, this delusion of grandeur is often met with a resounding "no!" Until now...


Introducing the Roddler -- a completely customizable stroller for the chic, albeit unconventional, crowd.

Pricing starts at $2500 and orders are already being fulfilled. Check it out.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on February 28, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 27, 2008

Noodle Collection lives up to its name

Kenneth_cobonpue_4 I get countless emails everyday featuring new products, designers, retailer specials, and expos.

Each one is like a little present. You never know what's inside. The anticipation grows. You quickly open each one -- some are the equivalent of an expensive pair of designer boots that your husband swore he'd never purchase. Others, well lets just say they're similar to pajamas for a 6 year old on Christmas morning.

When I opened a recent email from Kenneth Cobonpue showcasing his Noodle collection, I felt like screaming Gucci, Prada, Dior, oh my!

There isn't one piece featured that I'm not lusting after this very moment. A mass of intersecting lines inspired by noodles -- so simple, yet so right.

Available in freestanding pieces or with an oak platform, the Noodle Collection is available for either indoor or outdoor use.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on February 27, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 26, 2008

In the Round

I have a bit of a reputation among my family and friends -- I'm what they call a floor rat. I love sitting on the floor -- in any room. Seems silly that my husband and I bought an elaborate over-sized sofa -- seeing as I rarely sit on it.

And I could have saved a few bucks in my office -- forsaking the plush chair I bought to reside behind my desk.

With that said, I could be persuaded to sit in this --


Something about it just seems so comfy -- perfectly formed to suit your body. No unnecessary padding, no overly-fluffed pillows. Nothing. Just the bones of a good chair.

In the Round, a chair named after the technique of knitting sleeves or socks, is constructed from a tubular steel frame to form one continuous line that closes in a loop. Over fifty feet of wool sleeve is used. Contact Luflic for price and availability.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 26, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 22, 2008

Mod baby dining

My family is growing -- as are my babysitting duties. As it goes, I have to outfit my home for the visiting little ones -- primarily somewhere for them to eat and sleep.

My dining area isn't exactly conducive to children, so a good highchair is a must. I went to one of those cumbersome baby stores -- and was instantly annoyed. Apparently there are very few options for an all-in-one baby diner. Then it happened -- the dreaded salesperson.

I was naive enough to inform them of what I was looking for. Apparently, I needed to buy a bouncy to start. Then as the child gets older they have to be moved to a regular highchair. THEN, I'll have to have a good booster seat once the child outgrows the highchair. Are you kidding me.

Why I didn't just go in search of what I needed online, I don't know. But after leaving the store empty handed I quickly found several options on the web. Here are two of my faves --

Hi_lo_chair Mutsy

Pictured -- The Hi Lo Chair and Mutsy Easy Grow. Both available from Liapela.

Want more of Pure Contemporary's picks for modern baby and kids? Click here.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 22, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Modern Makeover - Soho Chic

Before_raw_space_3 After_living_and_dining_room

With clients who craved crisp, clean design, Donald Billinkoff of Billinkoff Architecture, had 3,000 square feet in one of Soho's premier cast iron buildings to fill.

From the beginning, the home owners were a vocal presence in the process of making their new house a home reflective of their personal style, with one unequivocal request from the design team -- a bold red wall separating the kitchen and dining room.

Read full makeover.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 22, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 21, 2008

The table lamp

Jonathan_adler We all know that lighting is key -- at least I hope we do. It can transform a room, give if life, or leave it in the dark. It can make white walls pop, set the mood, or kill it completely. But what to choose?

With a plethora of choices, the task can be daunting. A tall floor lamp, wall sconces, hanging pendants, ornate chandeliers, minimal recessed, or decorative track. But what about the table lamp? Have we become so shrouded with choices that we've made the simple table lamp obsolete?

I'm thinking of my friends' homes. Try as I might, I cannot find a single table lamp -- except those inconspicuously placed next to the computer. However, I was not free from judgment. When I first decorated my home I bought two table lamps -- simple, chic rectangular wooden bases with an equally simple rectangular ivory shade. Nice, right? They fit my decor and gave off a soft light that warmed my somewhat sparse living room.Logico_table_lamp

A few months ago I moved my furnishings around, and the table lamps were out! I replaced them with a floor lamp sporting three separate bulbs. I didn't really see the difference in lighting -- I think the change in furniture overwhelmed it. As the months went on I came to miss the minimal lighting that my table lamps provided.

My husband and I decided to switch things up again -- and the final addition was the return of one of my table lamps. More than moving, adding, and eliminating furniture and decor, the change in lighting made a major impact. I can now sit in my living room without strong lights emitting. I can tone it down when need be, and sequester my lighting to a limited space.

Studio_italia_design_lamp So, what is the point of this little diatribe? Bring back the table lamps! Take them out of storage, go forth and purchase. Don't be afraid to mix lighting in your rooms -- give yourself the ability to change the look and feel of your space with the flick of a switch!

Not sure where to start -- we've removed the guess work. Start shopping now!

Contemporary Furniture
Save up to 50% during the Table and Floor Lamp Sale!
$25 off $250* at Lighting by Gregory
Save at Lighting Direct
Studio Italia Design
More lighting at Pure Contemporary


Tags: , , ,

Posted on February 21, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

February 19, 2008

Step into Spring

This is tricky time of year -- Spring fever is beginning to brew, we're craving sunshine and flowers and the sweet smell of fresh cut grass. Sadly, for most of us at least, it is still cold and drab outside. But it's never too early to start prepping our homes for the eventual return of Spring.

So, what's in and what's out? Many experts have been weighing in -- here's a few tips and trends to get you Black_and_whitestarted:

Basic Black & White -- Cool, modern, and clean, this classic couple makes way for more dynamic decor. If B&W is too harsh for your taste, try bringing in warm ivories, soft gray, and icy arctic colors.

Pillow Primary Colors -- I'm not a fan of pastels, and apparently, neither are designers this year. Jump into Spring with vibrant, tropical hues -- cobalt blue, ruby red, and citrus colors. Just be sure not to over do it!

Get back to nature -- We have to be more eco-conscious, this is no surprise. So why not start with your home's decor? Look for natural and sustainable materials like bamboo, willow, rattan and plantation hardwoods. Need small splashes of color -- bring in flowers, twigs, fruit, and long blades of grass.

When decorating for the seasons, remember to think small -- pillows, throws, window coverings, vases and framed art.

And most importantly -- what's hot in one region may not be in another. What trends do you see in your area?

Thanks for the tips MSN.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 19, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Mod mailbox

Blomus_mailbox_3I love mailboxes! I'm not sure why, but I do. It's like jewelery for your house. And while a good mailbox can be pricey, isn't it worth it?

Check out the Blomus-Signo Letter Box


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 19, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 15, 2008

Beautiful contours

With more cold, dreary days on the horizon, entertaining indoors is still the best remedy to the winter blues.


The Contour Cocktail Table from Johnston Casuals has created the ideal companion for appetizers and cocktails -- or strategically placed artwork and literature.

Buy it now at Contemporary Furniture.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on February 15, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 13, 2008

Puppy Love

They love you unconditionally -- shouldn't you take every opportunity to do the same?

This Valentine's Day take the most direct path to your pets heart -- his stomach!


The Holden Designs Pet Feeders are stylish and functional -- with stainless steel bowls (a must) and bent wood in cherry or walnut.

Buy it now at Design Public.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on February 13, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Love it or leave it?

It is striking in appearance, but is it really made for lovers?


The sculptural Loveseat by Jake Phipps is suitable for in or outdoors and is available in a variety of colors in gloss or matte finishes, but calling it a loveseat is what throws me. I'm still trying to figure out one would stop themselves from sliding off of it...

Check out more Modern Love Spells.

So what's your take -- love it or leave it?


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 13, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

February 11, 2008

Heathrow's Terminal 5 gets frosted

Windfalls_2Cameron Peters Fine Lighting lent their expertise to the VIP interiors in the Terminal 5 building at Heathrow, due to open this March.

Known as British Airways Galleries, the 20,000 sq metre VIP facilities at Terminal 5 has been designed to sooth and delight travelers -- relying heavily on the dramatic lighting supplied by Cameron Peters.

Cameron Peters supplied the designers with a total of nine chandeliers and several other dazzling lights for the five VIP lounges, including:

*Three Maryland chandeliers in ‘Liquid Citron’ made from mouth-blown glass, and a clear glass and gold Virginia chandelier by Barovier & Toso in Murano, Venice
*From Windfall -- Four Balances, which have no internal support structure - so the arms of the chandelier are suspended in space. Several Skyline Scarlett and Little Scarlett pendents -- made from Swarovski crystal and organza, the Hellbob chandelier, and Leaves -- a dramatic light fixture featuring Swarovski crystals encased in glass rods, assembled to mimic oversized floating leaves.

Designed by architect Richard Rogers, the British Airways Galleries has established a world benchmark in airport design, and it UK’s largest freestanding building.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 11, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 10, 2008

Unique home accents

Zeber_table_2 Made from clay and decorated with vivid, airbrushed underglazes, the tables, vases, platters, and tiles from Zeber-Martell are a must-see.

Pictured: Spool Table


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 10, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack


Winner of the 2007 Good Design Award from The Chicago Athenaeum, Ryann Aoukar and Damien Robache's Yabaco Chair exudes classic style with a minimal twist.


And it looks oh so comfy!


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 10, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 09, 2008

Wild Wassily

When I found an original Marcel Breuer Wassily chair in a local antique shop, I was stoked! And prompted snatched it up! Sadly, the chair is sitting in my basement, in need of repair on the brown cowhide leather. However, once nursed back to health, it will be front and center.

I love the rich, dark, chocolatey leather. And then I opened a back issue of Dwell... There, in an open, spacious room sat the Wassily chair -- in bright yellow! Loved it.


This of course prompted me to go in search of more delicious colors -- and I was not disappointed. From red and blue to bright yellow and punchy lime green. The possibilities are endless.

So here is my advice -- if you're looking to add a splash of color to your life, start with a Wassily in a bold hue!


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 9, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

New outdoor

Must check out!!!

Viteo>Outdoors, manufacturer of high-end outdoor European furniture, has an amazing line of products -- paying special attention to ergonomics, durability, functionality and environmental needs.

Here's a sneak peak...



Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 9, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 08, 2008

Modern Tots Sample Sale


If you'll be in Brooklyn this weekend, stop by Modern Tots first annual Sample Sale. Discounts up to 40% on cribs, dressers, rockers, clothing, and toys.

Saturday, February 9th – Sunday, February 10th. 53 Pearl Street (between Water and Plymouth) Brooklyn. Call 877-289-0453 for more info.

-- allie

Posted on February 8, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Gaga for Gonzalez

We loved Robert Gonzalez's sculptural glass-topped tables from the Grace Collection, and apparently, so does California Home + Design.


More on Gonzalez.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 8, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Bling your bath

Want to add a little sparkle to your bath?


California Faucets have just added decorative knobs with Swarovski Strass crystal inserts. Available in sapphire and clear.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 8, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 07, 2008

Outline Vase

I've taken a recent liking to design that resembles simple drawings -- first their was Mommy's Chair, now it's the Outline Vase.


The simple porcelain outline of the classic vase is a nice alternative to the plain, tubular glass vases that have been in vogue for, let's face it, a bit too long.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 7, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 06, 2008

Give your walls some Identity

Spring Cleaning will soon be upon us. As we throw out the old, we often have vacancies for the new.

Applying a new coat of paint is the traditional way of brightening dingy walls -- but what about a more modern approach?


Identity5's works of art are printed on heavy, museum quality canvas and coated for protection against fingerprints (which is more than most paint jobs...).


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 6, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Bedding down


Personality is everything -- especially when creating the perfect sleeping environment.

Are you a romantic, minimalist, non-conformist, dreamer, adventurer, modernist, or urbanist? Not sure?

Peruse Caroline Barry's latest feature to find your Modern Bed Personality!


Posted on February 6, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 05, 2008

Cozy floor art

A rug can change a room -- but a great rug can make an impact.

Prefer bare walls? Check out HZL by Henzel - wool rugs that make modern art of your floor.

Rug_black_and_purple Rug_arts


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 5, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Living Stones

As the world goes green, designers are using new and innovation materials to adhere to a new eco-conscious society. They're also stepping outside of the box to bring the outside in...


Smarin Design's Living Stones offer the natural whimsy of the outdoors -- but seem much more comfortable! Available in multiple colors and shapes, the stone-shape cushions can be arranged to your liking. Order an extra set for outdoor use!



Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 5, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 03, 2008

Karim for two

Oh Karim, you're so clever!

I stumbled across this gem -- just in time for Valentine's Day...


In classic Karim Rashid style, the Veuve Clicquot Loveseat features bold color, a rounded shape, and clean, modern fluidity.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Amping up your garage

In today's society of buy, buy, buy, many of us are left with a lot of 'stuff' and not a lot of space. Consequently, this has resulted in many of us utilizing every square-foot of our property -- and the garage is no different. It is no longer a place to store vehicles, gardening tools, and miscellaneous junk.


Today's garages often serve clean, organized storage areas, heated sitting rooms, or a fashionable place for parties. And nothing will deter from your finished garage than a dirty, dingy, cement floor.

My husband and I have perused home improvement stores for cement sealers and color tints -- and the finished sample simply looks like dirty, dingy cement with color -- which can sometimes be more offensive!


Check out Garage Floor Coating -- a beautifully sleek flooring application process that will amp your garage from unusable space to a clean, modern room. The three day process includes an epoxy primer and polyurethane coating in 6 solid and 35 "chip" options.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Grow creativity

When when my sisters and I were younger, our parents never stuck us in front of the TV. They didn't buy us hand-held video games, and pleas for a Nintendo (it was all the rage!) were ignored. My sisters and I were left with board games, coloring and reading books, and lots of arts and crafts. We went to the zoo, museums, parks. And summer days were spent outside -- playing neighborhood games of hide-and-seek and baseball.

Today, it is too easy to park kids in front of one of the many TVs in the house or stick a video game controller in their hand. When I'm not pounding the keyboard in search of mod design, I spend quite a bit of time with children. To my great disappointment, many of them do not know how to entertain themselves without electronic devices. This of course leads to a severe lack of imagination, laziness, and a plethora of other problems!

My mini-rant has a point -- the Otto Table & Chairs available from Modern Tots. I had something similar growing up (however, much less chic and modern). Children will have a space of their own dedicated to imagination, creativity, and their own devices!


Formed in patented stylewood, the Otto's style will fit nicely in a contemporary home. And while the $400 price tag may throw some of you, think of what you'd spend on costly video games...


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

February 02, 2008

Kettal delivers

Kettal consistently produces stunning, high-end outdoor furnishings -- and the Venezia collection, their latest line, is no different.

Kettal_venzia Kettal_venzia_2

Comprised of dining and lounge furniture, the Venezia line is constructed of aluminum tubing covered with  synthetic fibers.

See more from Kettal.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on February 2, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Love it or leave it?

Like art, good design is subjective. So forgive me for saying this, but the Salla Pendant Light looks alarming like the head of the mops used by janitors in a high school!


Strands of crystals in various lengths hang down to form the Salla Pendant light. What's your take -- love it or leave it?


Tags: , , ,

Posted on February 2, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

January 30, 2008


Rubadubdub With a name that cute, how could you not browse its online catalog.

From bath towels and totes, to baby bibs and blankets -- everything from Rub-a-Dub-Dub is bright, festive, and a little funky. The monogram accessories are my fave.

Check it out.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 30, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Savon loveseat

At the end of a long, hard day, many of us just want to go home and relax in a hot, sudsy, bathtub. But lets be realistic -- our days don't end when we get home. There are meals to cook, laundry to fold, bills to pay, and at least an hour dedicated to getting ready for the next day.

The long soak surrounded by candles fades away as the 11 o'clock news begins. Thanks to Flavour Design Studio you can now watch the news from the comfort of a tub -- well, sort of.


Starting at $3500, the Savon antique clawfoot cast iron bath tubs are converted into loveseats. Upholstered in sensuede with matching pillows, they definitely make a wonderful conversation piece -- but just home comfy can they be?


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on January 30, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2008

Mommy's Chair


My first reaction? "What a sweet drawing. Some little five year old went all out!"

What? It's not a drawing? It's actual furniture? Jump back!

These colorful, whimsical creations are Mommy's Chair by Lucy Merchant. Inspired by child drawings (obvious!), the chairs come in cheery primary hues. The powder coated steel frames hold the matte white seat -- resembling the drawing paper.

Suitable for indoor/outdoor use. But I think they'd look positively adorable in a mod nursery.


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on January 24, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Would you really?

Say what you want about space-saving tactics, utilizing wall space, and freeing your home of clutter...

This is bad!


A wall-mounted wire shoe rack in the shape of a pair of feet. Yes, they're real. And probably selling out.


Tags: ,

Posted on January 24, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 22, 2008

Bounce with me

Swan_bouncerMy cousin is giving birth to a baby boy as I write -- and I couldn't be happier!

However, this presents me with a dilemma... what to give the new mother and baby.

Many will supply her with baby books and albums, sweet stuffed animals, and the obvious adorable outfits with matching booties.

I prefer to buck the norm. Why not give a gift that will sooth the little one and, inevitably, calm the mom!

The Svan Bouncer is fully adjustable (allowing the baby to lay down or sit up), and bounces to the child's own movement. The padded fabric seat is easily detachable for machine washing, and the Bentwood backrest provides support -- as well as aesthetic appeal.

Let's be honest -- most bouncers are bulky and unattractive. At only 7lbs, and available in 6 modern color combos, the Svan can easily blend in to any modern home.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 22, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack


The Sitscape project from Hackenbroich Architekten wants to broaden the relationship people have with their furniture. But I'm sure if it's a relationship that I'm comfortable with...



Made of laminated wood, white leather, steel and aluminum, the Sitscape is a six-yard long seating arena that incorporates six different seating positions for consumers to discover (from sitting up-right to lying down). But does it look cozy? As it is only a concept piece, we may never know.

Thanks for the tip Stylehive.


Tags: , ,

Posted on January 22, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 17, 2008

For those cold nights

We found these online the other day. I have since been lost for words -- until about 5 minutes ago.

Forgive me for not knowing that iPods, inanimate objects, are sensitive to the cold. Apparently they need to have the option of putting on a hoodie! I kid you not. A little gray hooded sweatshirt for your iPod.


While this site only sells one type, I'm sure within the next month frivolous consumers will be able to choose from a plethora of ridiculousness. All too soon they be customizable. Want your alma matar on your iPod? Done! What about those cute little Jonas brothers. Not your style? Maybe a skull with crossbones. Or the eternally classic yellow smiley face.

Yes, the absurdity will blossom.

And by the way -- they're sold out!




Posted on January 17, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2008

Love it or leave it?



I doubt it's just me, but I have to ask -- who wants to buy this?

Just imagine walking into your bathroom in the middle of the night. You're groggy and a bit out of sorts. Then bam! Two gleaming white hands jutting from your walls. Terrifying. Simply terrifying.

I don't think Chiasso's Hand Holders (for $98!) will be a big seller. So tell me -- what do you think? Click on Comment on this Story below.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 16, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

January 15, 2008

Modern stairways

One of my many home remodeling projects includes knocking down a wall to expose the staircase to my second story. Of course, this will also expose a nasty, out-dated, straight wood railing on the opposite wall.

In lieu of eliminating the railing -- and creating a potentially dangerous situation for the clumsy -- I have to find a sleek, clean railing. This, of course, is not an easy task. Most home stores carry the same traditional stock. And if you want something more "modern" you must order it specially. However, their idea of modern isn't quite up to par.


I found one company, Europa Stairways, who carry a nice line of spiral and story railings. The various models are available in stainless, wood, and acrylic.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 15, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

They're coming...

Luma_line_2As I previously stated, I'm ready for summer! Those of us in Western NY have had our share of the cold, snow, ice, and sleet.  We're ready for Spring!

And apparently, so are retailers. Every catalog and magazine I receive is filled with patio furniture, outdoor fire pits, and modern outdoor tablewares.

What modern outdoor prods are catching your eye? Tell us by clicking on Comment on this Story below.

Pictured: The Luma Line -- from Modern Outdoor -- appeared in Dwell's February issue.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 15, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 14, 2008

Mod mods

Having purchased a small fixer-upper with my husband as our first home, I have quickly learned that I want my next home to be brand-spanking new! With that said, the thought of building a home is overwhelming to me.

Then, while running errands the other day, I saw pre-fab home where there had been none 2 weeks ago! Presto -- inst-home! The style was traditional, and resembled a pretty box, but it got me thinking -- there must be a plethora of modern mods out there.


I personally like the homes from Hive Modern -- which offers 11 styles in varying sizes, styles, and floor plans.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 14, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Oompa Toys

Oompa_toys_2 I was searching for the perfect baby gift when I found Oompa Toys - a great retail site for modern baby and children's toys, furniture, and decor!

They carry everything -- including the hottest European-made toys, wooden play sets, organic toys, bedding, dress-up accessories, outdoor toys and games, and much more!

Gift cards are also available, as well as a Wish List that can serve as a gift registry.

Happy shopping!


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on January 14, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

January 13, 2008

Loll around


I can't help it -- once the holidays are through, I am ready for warm summer days filled with the smell of freshly cut lawn!

Is it just me, or does the Loll Armless Double epitomize the lazy, hazy days of summer?

Made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic milk jugs fastened together with stainless steel.

Browse Loll Designs' full catalog.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on January 13, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

Give your walls a gift

Glass, ceramic, cork, pebble, metal, and eco-friendly tiles -- all in one place.

Thinking of giving your walls a face lift? A new coat of paint will help -- but try adding some accessories from Mod Walls.



An affordable way to make your walls happy!


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on January 13, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 12, 2008

Teak for two

I know it's only January, but in the world of retail it's time to buy patio furniture. Hurry!!!

I also know that not all of us are fortunate enough to have sprawling backyards and decks large enough to seat 30. For those of you an the balcony track, check out the Tea for Two Teak Set from Allegro Classics.


The stainless steel frame and plantation teak table and chairs are shipped fully assembled.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on January 12, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

The Big Chill

Big_chill_fridge_4 Big_chill_stove_2

It has long been said that the kitchen is the heart of any home. It's where girlfriends congregate to gossip, the kids gather to mull over their homework, and where husbands and wives meet to give the postmortem on their day.

Aside from being functional, the kitchen should be fun! Which is exactly what the nephew/uncle duo of Orion and Thom had in mind when creating the Big Chill fridge and stove.

Admirers of the kitchens of the 50s, Orion and Thom took the retro designs, added modern amenities, threw in a big splash of color, and presto!

The fridge, retailing for $2700, is 20.9 cubic feet and comes with a stamped metal body, chrome trim, 3 spill-proof glass shelves, a temperature management system, and 2 half-width clear crisper pans. Water dispenser and ice maker are optional.

The Northstar vintage stove by Elmira Stoveworks retails for $3695 (electric), $3895 (dual fuel) and $3995 (gas).

Both are available in a plethora of colors to suit your style.

Find a dealer new you.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on January 12, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 11, 2008

Curv appeal

Curvtec_yellow_2 Corvtec_1_pewter Ceilings can be difficult to decorate. All white is standard -- but then what?

Recessed or track lighting? A dramatic chandelier or subdued pendant. The choices can be overwhelming.

But if you are looking for something a little more, check out Curv Tec.

Comprised of modules that are four feet wide, and are available in lengths of 14, 12, and 10, you can form your own custom lighted ceiling art. Choose from Concave or Convex designs in 5 colors.


Tags: , ,

Posted on January 11, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Step inside the world of Fu-Tung Cheng!

Futung_cheng_3 Fu-Tung Cheng, the father of decorative cements and one of the foremost kitchen designers, opens his slip-cast concrete home to the public!

Stop by the open house in Menlo Park, CA on January 26 to witness Cheng's artistry as he elevates everyday to extraordinary.

Get more info.

See more from Fu-Tung Cheng!


Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 11, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 10, 2008

Fits like a glove

Winner of the best interior product at the 100% Design London last fall, the Glove chair lives up to its name.

With its felt exterior and wool lining, the Glove chair looks oh so cozy.

By Barber Osgerby for Swedese.



Tags: , ,

Posted on January 10, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Search modern!

Can't find what you're looking for? Click below to search the best in modern and contemporary.

Posted on January 10, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Crystal clear


Made from Strass crystal by Swarovski, the high-tech Geometrix lighting from Schonbek is absolutely stunning.

With a collection of endless styles, shapes, and colors, the choice is difficult. From chandeliers, sconces, and table lamps, each piece is unique -- and anything but ordinary.

Pictured: Refrax™ crystal chandelier, constructed of massive manifestations of crystal. Available in clear or jaguar.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 10, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2008

Mah-Jong modular

Change the seating, change the room.


Whether a trendy living room or funky basement, the Mah-Jong modular sofa from Roche-Bobois brings a feeling of modern whimsy.

The bold mix and match colors and patterns, paired with it's low to the floor design and hand-sewn-rolled edge, lend an air of comfort and creativity.



Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 9, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Heading to the country

When I, the urban-loving city-slicker, met my future husband, a good ol' country boy, I knew I was going to have to make adjustments.

My idea of the perfect summer weekend -- a cold martini paired with peep-toe pumps on a trendy patio bar. His idea summer weekend -- a campfire paired with a four-wheeler on 100 acres of wooded land.

So here's the dilemma -- I don't care much for backwood cabins. Something about wood-paneled walls and tiny windows just doesn't appeal to me. However, sacrifices have to be made in relationships.

And thankfully for me, Metroshed's new MetroCabin is a very easy pill to swallow!



This is not your grandfather's cabin. At 320 square feet, it's open, manageable floor plan is perfect for a weekend getaway to the country (and small enough for him to clean!). What's better -- the MetroCabin can be transported to different locales if desired.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 9, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Perpetually simple

Need to add simplicity to your office? Try the wooden Perpetual Calendar from design Thomas Bai.


Shop the Museum of Contemporary Art.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 9, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 08, 2008

Lighting your space

Home theaters are becoming increasingly popular in today's homes.

Lighting_3 When it comes to decorating this space, nothing is more crucial than the right lighting. Tim McKeough from the NY Times consulted lighting expert Randall Whitehead to help sort out the confusion.

Q.  What kind of lighting should I install in my home theater?

A. In most people’s homes, the media room is a multifunctional space used not only for watching movies and TV, but also for entertaining guests or reading in a quiet corner. Fixtures and controls that allow the levels of illumination to be adjusted in different areas of the room are essential.

Randall Whitehead, a San Francisco lighting designer and the author of “Residential Lighting: A Practical Guide”(John Wiley and Sons, 2004), identified four basic categories of lighting used in most rooms: ambient, task, accent and decorative.

Continue reading.


Tags: , ,

Posted on January 8, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Concrete creations

Concrete_countertop Found this while flipping through the pages of the February issue of Dwell.

Thinking of adding concrete to your home -- check out Fab Concrete Countertops to find out more and locate a contractor in your area.

Pictured: J&M Lifestyles - Formed and cast color inlays within a concrete countertop. Monolithically poured. Exposed recycled red glass chunks and chips in a modern pattern.


Tags: , ,

Posted on January 8, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 07, 2008

The Cherner Chair

Reissued from the original drawings and molds of Norman Cherner, the molded plywood armchair is a mid-century icon.


Simple and sleek, the Cherner Chair is available in several finishes from the Cherner Chair Company (formed in 1999 by Norman's sons, Benjamin and Thomas).

Make sure to browse their line of stools and tables!


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on January 7, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack


Want to liven up your living room? Create your own rug with Katrin Sonnleitner's PuzzlePerser modular flooring.


With 1225 pieces of recycled rubber, the possibilities are endless!

Perfect for playrooms, entryways, and bedrooms.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on January 7, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

January 06, 2008

The Sereno

Design trend experts are predicting warm metallics and gold tones for kitchens this year, and the good people at Berkeley Mills must got received the message.


The Sereno kitchen, the first in their new kitchen line, blends the warmth of natural materials with European technology (drawers that never slam and that close by themselves, cabinet doors that slide up, U-shaped under-sink drawer outfitted with garbage disposal). Customized to fit your kitchen.

This green design is outfitted with Bamboo, Jarrah (sustainably harvested Australian wood), and recycled glass counters.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on January 6, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

In the round

Where do you buy the bedding???


The Corbu bed, comprised of soft leather and tubular steel, stays inline with the style of Le Corbusier, Mies Van der Rohe, and Marcel Breuer. The two curved leather upholstered headboards may be placed in eight different positions around the perimeter of the bed, or may be removed.

Customize the bed with 51 leather choices here.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Posted on January 6, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 04, 2008

Victorious Modern

Faced with the prospect of selling their 7,000 sq. ft. townhouse in lieu of more modern digs, DC area homeowners opted to revamp their Victorian pad.


So, how do you transform a 100 year old Victorian, with a lot of Victorian detail, into a modern living space?


View full makeover

Posted on January 4, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

It's a jungle out there

Apparently, animal print is back in the bathroom. Ceramica Cielo's new Jungle collection utilizes snake and crocodile patterns to make sinks, toilets, even shower floors, stand out.

Ceramica_2_2 Ceramica_2


Tags: , , , , ,

Posted on January 4, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack


Check out Mercury Appliance's Thermastone - a flueless, heat store range cooker featuring 4 independently heated ovens, 2 gas burners, and an electric Chef's plate.

Available in 6 colors, the look of the stove can be altered by simply changing the doors.



Tags: , , , ,

Posted on January 4, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

January 03, 2008

Search modern!

Can't find what you're looking for? Click below to search the best in modern and contemporary.

Posted on January 3, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Wet & Wild

I just received West Elm's January catalog -- and, as expected, natural hues and materials line the pages (as predicted for 2008 Color Trends).

And while I'm all for natural materials and earthy vibes, I'm not sold on this collection:

West_elm_bath_mats West_elm_bath_towels West_elm_shower_curtains



Tags: , , ,

Posted on January 3, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

January 02, 2008

Shop now!

The holidays are over -- and now we can all get back to our favorite thing -- shopping for ourselves! And for some of you -- getting a head start on holiday shopping for 08.

Chiassolgnew_2 Peruse Chiasso's sale center and save up to 50%.


Tags: , ,

Posted on January 2, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Laying low

I have always loved platform beds - simple and clean.

However, I've had a hard time finding platforms that offer an over-sized headboard (my fave!).

Check out the Solide Platform Bed from Charles P. Rogers. Available with the Poole upholstered headboard in leather or ultra suede.

Poole_headboard_in_leather_2 Poole_headboard_in_suede_2


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on January 2, 2008 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Wishing you a safe, healthy, happy, and modern New Year!
~Pure Contemporary~


Join us is 2008 for more fresh modern and contemporary design!

Posted on December 31, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

It's a celebration

Celebrate in style!

New Year's Eve may be upon us, but you will have 365 days to celebrate in 2008!

Shop now!


Ming_yu_martini_2 Pictured: Nambé Chill Champagne Flutes, Ming Yu Martini


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 31, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

December 28, 2007

Geniol Fireplace

The season of giving is over (for this year anyway). Now is the time to receive.

Geniol_fireplace_3 Why not treat yourself to the Geniol Fireplace! The clean, impressive 100cm-high glass cylinder body is designed for both indoor and outdoor use.

Available for delivery in mid 2008.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 28, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Dressed to impressed

Finding the right dresser can be difficult -- the perfect piece where form meets function.

Check out these fun finds - courtesy of Stylehive.

Cherry_cabinet_2 Cherry Cabinet

Accordion DresserAccordian_dresser_2

View all of Stylehive's picks for Funky Dressers.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 28, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

December 27, 2007

That's so 2007!

Chocolate_wood_bed_and_turquiose As we usher in the new year, there are a few design trends that we would like to usher out.

Tired of dark wood, turquiose paired with EVERYTHING, and cold stainless?

What trends would you like to see in 2008? And which do you resolve to banish? Click to Comment of this Story link below to share!


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 27, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

When bad gifts happen to good people

'Tis the season for returning!

While this year I was spared from ugly sweaters and useless tchotchkes, I'm sure many of your were not as fortunate.

Gift Heading out to make returns? Check out Pure Contemporary's Product Guide for some great replacement gifts!


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 27, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

December 20, 2007

Search modern!

Can't find what you're looking for? Click below to search the best in modern and contemporary.

Posted on December 20, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2007

Color Trends for 2008!

Put down the paint brush! Throw away those swatches! Don't make a single design decision until you check out which hues will shine in 2008.

Blye_bathFeeling blue? Warm blues that remind us of the sky and water will remain prominent in 2008, but be on the lookout for a blacker blue inspired by technology. A rich, deep, dark navy will be emerging.

Looking_green Be green - go natural. Modern will meld with natural in 2008. Stock up on hand-made, un-dyed and unbleached accents -- the more texture and natural imperfections the better. Look for shades of off-white, sand, linen, rock and soil colors, brownish-greens, and all colors found in nature.

Warmer_matallicsYou're getting warmer... Stainless steel, brushed chrome, and nickel may be taking a break. Look for warmer metallic shades of copper and bronze.


Go global. Ethnic accent colors will be hot this upcoming year. Be on the lookout for Indian, Chinese, and Latin American influences - deep reds, vibrant oranges, rosy pinks, golden yellows, and lots of turquoise. Try pairing these with rich brown and natural accents.

Visit the Color Marketing Group for more!


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 18, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Style and Grace

Robert_austin_gonzalez Introducing Grace, the collection of limited edition, one of a kind, sculptural furniture from Robert Austin Gonzalez.

Made one at a time, the pieces from the Grace collection utilizes wood from fallen trees that are sent directly to lathe for carving. Gonzalez allows the grains to split, looking for worm holes and color variations, and allows for the wood's true identity to form.


The result -- sculptural focal points for which glass tabletops rest.

View the full Grace Collection.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 18, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

December 17, 2007

Last minute shopping

Chiasso_gift_2 If you're like my husband, who has yet to start his holiday shopping, you may find the Chiasso sale useful.

Order by December 21 for holiday delivery.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 17, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Storage without sacrifice

There will soon be a new addition to my family, and I'm getting a head start on making my home baby-friendly for when the little critter comes to visit -- all the while not forsaking my love of clean, modern design.

My home is virtually clutter free -- everything has a purpose and place. So the thought of baby toys strewn about my pristine pad has caused for a considerable amount of stress. Until now!

Toy_bin The P'Kolino Play Ottoman from Modern Tots serves as a side table and toy bin as well. Available in 8 colors, the black vinyl will fit perfectly in my office.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 17, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Baby, it's cold outside

I'm stuck inside my home with a wicked cold - barricaded by 16" of snow - with nothing to do but peruse the web.

Heated_blanket It may not be glamorous, but you can't slight its appeal. The 12V heated blanket with power pack just moved to the top of my wish list as my husband and I iron out our (chilly) holiday travel plans.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 17, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

December 12, 2007

Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of...

Need to say 'Thank you' this Hanukkah season? Bestow your hostess with this dreidel and wood stand from Nambé.


Browse all of their Judaica and Hanukkah products.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 12, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2007

How do you Zhu?

I am currently coveting this creation from designer Julie Salles Schaffer.

Zhu_table_2 Designed by first combining several black and white digital images of bamboo stalks, the negative space is removed to create bamboo stalks resting in various positions and lengths. The images are then printed on aluminum and the excess material is removed.

The Zhu Table is customized by altering the background color.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 11, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Tea for two

Full_bloom_tea It may seem a bit odd at first, but it will be a crowd-pleaser!

The perfect hostess gift, or for the grandmother that has everything, the Full Bloom tea bags will amaze all - while providing a nice refreshment.

Specializing in unique hand-crafted artisan teas from China, Full Bloom Tea offers tea blooms hand-tied by specialists in the Taimu Mountain of China

When steeped in boiling water, the tea bags twist, turn, move and appear to bloom right before your eyes into amazing floral bouquets. Containing the rare Silver Needle White Tea leaves rich in antioxidants, the tea is infused with dehydrated flowers and can be re-steeped up to 3 times.

The used bloom can be placed in a glass or vase.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 11, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (4) | TrackBack

December 10, 2007

More modern menorahs

Created by Michael Levy for Louis Vuitton this menorah, while not for sale, is intended to be a commentary on luxury and religion in today's society. Interesting...

Louis_vitton_menorah_4 Find more menorahs.


Tags: , , ,

Take our survey

Posted on December 10, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

A hop, skip, and a jump to fun!

Need an innovative gift for kids that doesn't involve game controls -- and won't annoy you?

Flor_hopskotch_3 Check our Flor's Hopskotch tiles. 11 tiles of fuzzy Toy Poodle in Kiki Cream, Cece Chalk, Bijou Pale Blue, Zozo Yellow, Fifi Orange, Booboo Citron and Toto Teal are numbered for hours of tiring fun.

$169.99. Available through Flor's website.

Want more from Flor?


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 10, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

December 09, 2007

The gift the keeps giving

This time of year is stressful -- and for most of us, frigid! So who wouldn't want to arrive home from a blistery, shopping-filled day to this...

Hotwind_sauna_2 Available in numerous styles and sizes, these sanctuaries are offered from the HotWind Sauna Equipment Co. (the largest manufacturer of infrared saunas in China).


Product features: Multi-direction Magnetic Therapy system, Color Therapy light, Opional color TFT TV, Carbon fiber heater, Resistant 100% Pure Ceramic Far Infrared Heaters, Soft Touch Controls, CD/FM/AM Stereo, Oxygen Ionizer, Tempered Glass Windows On Doors.

Wood choices: Canadian Hemlock, Canadian Western Red Cedar, and Russian Spruce.


Tags: , ,

Posted on December 9, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

Clean your air... beautify your environment

Belair Good design and good for you! The Bel-Air mini mobile greenhouse, from designer Mathieu Lehanneur, continuously inhales pollutants filling your home, purifies the air, and sends it back out.

Think the air you're breathing in your own home is clean? Plastic used for daily furniture production emits pollutants (benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene) whose levels are maximal during warm and humid periods. The Bel-Air acts as purifier (the air goes through the plant/tree's natural filters - the leaves and roots - and a humid bath before rejecting it purified), while adding modern flare to your environment.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 9, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

December 02, 2007

The perfect gifts for kids (and parents)

How can you not love this?

Pillow_light Among the throngs of toys for tots this season, there seems to be little that promotes true learning -- that which can only be attained through reading.

Instead of buying Transformers and countless High School Musical dolls, pick up the Pillow Light by Oh Sehwan. Available through Kids Modern.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on December 2, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 27, 2007

Sit back and relax

This time of year is stressful -- take a break and relax!

Cf_lounge_2 Unconventional in appearance, the LONG Y Modern Chaise's head rest moves up or down to provide just the right support. Available in a two tone leather combination or solid.

Shop now and save!



Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 27, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 26, 2007

Gift idea alert!

Fjords_magazine_rack_3 Multi-purpose modern at its best.

The Fjords Magazine Rack, constructed from bent plywood, doubles as a sleek laptop table or writing desk.

See more from Fjords.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 25, 2007

Don't forget the dogs

They're a part of the family too! Don't forget Fido this holiday season.

Check out a few of my faves (WOWO dog bed, Stockholm dog bed from Jonathan Adler, Doggie Dinnerware from Clodagh).

Wowo_dog_bed_3 Jonathan_adler_dog_bed_3 Doggie_bowls_2


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 25, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Urban kitchens


Our readers are used to my home remodeling rants -- so this should come as no surprise! I am currently seeking a new kitchen -- floor to ceiling new.

While this is simply a starter home for my husband and I, and our goal is to find cost-effective methods to our redesigning madness, I just can't resist seeking out the crème de la crème.

NY Loft, a company that designs for trendy, modern urbanites, focuses on creating styles that reflect personal taste. And their numerous kitchen systems do not fail to impress.

Check out a few...




Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 25, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 22, 2007

Chocolate Coasters

I'm loving Animi Causa! It's modern with a hint of whimsy!

Chocolate_coasters_dual_image_2Chocolate_coasters_mound_8 I usually find coasters pretentious -- an awkward beverage accessory that hostesses provide to shame guests into keeping their end tables squeaky clean. And they're typically unattractive to boot!

On the other hand, the Chocolate Coasters from Animi Coasters are fun and inviting. Who wouldn't want to slip one beneath their mug of coco or spiked coffee?

And according to their site, the coasters will engage your senses. The mere sight of chocolates causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormons that affect your feelings and behavior by making you happy.

They're a steal at $12.95 for a set of 4 (milk or white chocolate). Check out some discounts.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 22, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 21, 2007

They may never leave

The relatives are coming -- but where to put them?

Feel_red_bed Feel_blue_sitting_up

Check out the Feel Seating System from Animi Causa. I love this. LOVE IT! And your guests will too.

Constructed out of 120 100% foam spheres covered by stretch fabric, Feel is designed to mold to the various positions of the body.

However, if time with the in-laws is similar to a tour in a Thai prison, stick with the old futon.

Discounts on Feel Seating System.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 21, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2007

For the literati on your list

Is there a lover of literature and modern design on your list? Look no further!

Pick one up for yourself while you're at it!


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 18, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Trim the tree

I got into my car Friday evening and it began -- the Christmas tunes are all over the radio! It's time to get into the season.


Start with these modern ceramic ornaments. Available at


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 18, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 13, 2007

Gift Giving ideas

What to give the apartment dweller (or those who adore their old-school radiators)? Check out Byung-seok You's Natural Wave.

Natural_wave_2 This oh-so-simple ceramic plate fits over the radiator and warms your drinks and snacks without having to use electrical devices (also perfect for the green-conscious).

Simple and functional -- doesn't get any better.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 13, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

Orgy anyone?

Orgy_sofa_and_ottoman_4 I'm not being crass... it's the name of a sofa!

Karim Rashid's Orgy Sofa & Ottoman may have an unconventional name, but it's smooth, curved lines scream simple modern style.

And what does Karim's online store have to say about the Orgy -- "Uncompromised sofa structure for maximum comfort and style." Well said... but what about the name?

Maximum comfort and style won't come cheap -- this Orgy will cost you $14,000.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 13, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 09, 2007

Happy Hanukkah

Every year at Pure Contemporary we search for the best in modern Menorahs. Here are a few finds -- all available for purchase at Modern Tribe.



Pictured: Jonathan Adler Skyline Menorah ($130), CeMMent Modern Menorah ($285), Cube Modern Menorah ($239)


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 9, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

Deck the floors

I love the idea of decking my halls for the holidays, but never seem to get around to it. I've bought countless red and silver balls, small mirrored trees, and even a few sprigs of mistletoe -- but sadly they end up staying in a tote buried in my basement all season.

I never can find the right place to put them where my precocious dog won't be able to play snatch and grab with my pricey holiday gems.

This year I resolved not to buy another ornamental prod -- until I saw Flor's two holiday-inspired rug tiles. Check out SpiroFlake and Tannenbaum. They'll add some holiday cheer without taking up space.

Flor_spiroflake_3 Flor_tannenbaum


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 9, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 07, 2007

The holidays are here...

At least according to the subject line in the latest email from Chiasso.

I'm starting to take all of these holiday emails as a personal affront -- I get it, it's time to buy!!! I'm a bad shopper. I've slacked on my holiday obligation. But it's not my fault -- with my current home remodeling projects I'm a bit cash poor. However, after succumbing to the email I discovered a number of budget-friendly gifts for everyone on my list:

For the avid reader - the Ring Wall Magazine Holder $32Chiasso_ring_wall_magazine_holder

For the cook - the Swirl & Spin Cake Plate$38


For the child - Child's Play Chess Set $48


For the gardener - the Bamboo Slant Vase $58Chiasso_bamboo_slant_vase

For the whimsical one - the Splat Wall Clock $48


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 7, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 06, 2007

On fire

Shane_smith_fire_table I love red in the home -- but do not have the nerve to go all the way. I've been trying to find a way to add the bold hue to my basement -- and found it by way of Shane Smith's innovative metal designs.

Using various types of metal (aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and steel), Smith molds each original piece from start to finish. Using transparent coloring along side with a grind pattern, the bright furniture adds color while allowing the metal to shine through.

Ranging in price from $1000-$4000, each piece is customized to meet customer needs.

Browse catalog for pricing.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 6, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2007

Modern dining

They're inside too! After gushing over Pampaexport's great outdoor prods, I happened upon their great indoor furnishings.

Mod_dining_3 Since I am without a dining room (a must-have for my next home), I have found myself fixed on amazing dining tables -- a futile effort. Browse Pampaexport's line of modern dining.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on November 1, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 31, 2007

Outer living

While the warm weather has vanished for the Pure Contemporary staff up here in Western NY, those of you closer to the equator are still feeling the burn -- and in need of some mod outdoor furnishings.

These will definitely be on my wish list come early Spring -- and should be on your property ASAP!


Mod_outdoor_conj_vergara_2 Mod_outdoor_conjunto_camar_2 Check out Pampaexport's full line.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 31, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

A Nip and a Tuck to a whole new set!

Nip_tuck_3 Tuesdays just got better... Nip/Tuck is back -- and more modern than ever!

I don't know what I liked more -- the blue sofas in the reception area at the new Rodeo Drive office of McNamara/Troy, or the black kitchen table in Christian's new LA pad.

With the boys soaking in the L.A. sun we're sure our readers will be clamoring to know who designed what -- and where they can buy it! Send us your inquiries and we'll do our best to get the inside dish from Ellen Brill, the set designer behind this provocative program.

Posted on October 31, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (3) | TrackBack

October 26, 2007

Orange is in


According to all the fashion mags, orange is in for fall! And while my fair locks, pale complexion and rosy cheeks wouldn't take well to tangerine, my home sure will!

Check out the Ray Designer Dining Table, starting at $2802 from Spacify.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 26, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Get High

High_point_5 Attention buyers, designers, students and press: Register Now!

High Point Market 2008 is set for April 7-13. Check out modern and contemporary design from around the world, and get an inside look at the hottest home trends.

(P.S. - High Point is not open to the general public)


Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 26, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Problem solved (for now)

The search is over! My husband and friends have had to listen to me moan and complain for months about my inability to find the perfect bath rug in the perfect shade of green. Not grass green, not lime green, not pale green -- asparagus green (according to the Behr paint on my walls).

Let me explain -- when my husband and I bought our fixer-upper over a year ago, the bathroom was public enemy #1. The powder blue drop-in sink resting on a faux-wood vanity with wicker-front doors. The powder blue toilet with a cracked tank lid. The brass fixtures and hardware. The tulip light shades. And worst of all -- the CARPETED floor. That's right, I said CARPETED.

We spent weeks gutting, repairing, and redecorating. The end product -- a clean, modern abode. A new white vessel sink. A new sleek toilet. A white 3X3 tiled floor. A round mosaic mirror, stainless fixtures, and a stainless wall cabinet with frosted glass. My fave part - the asparagus green and tiled walls. It's bright, clean, and minimalistic.

Now, I'm not a fan of bath rugs. When done improperly they're unsightly and unstylish - not to mention a potential breeder of mold and mildew. However, my pristine white tiled floor proved to be slippery after a relaxing shower -- enter the bath rug. I found a decent rug -- and thought white would be the natural choice. Clean, crisp, simple. Ha! After a few months my gleaming bathroom had a glaring problem - a dingy bath rug. No amount of bleaching would return it to its original state.

So the search began -- white was out. I was initially open to a multi-color masterpiece -- but the idea of bringing unnecessary hues into play seemed just that - unnecessary. The field was narrowed to a textured design in solid green. And the frustration began. Never the right green! Never the right size! Never the right texture.Circu_rugs

Things were looking grim. I considered teak, but it would never work with the wood in the rest of my home. Then, just as I was about to give up, my friendly postal carrier delivered what I'd been searching for - the CB2 catalog. As I paged through what I thought would be another useless book of products offered by at least 10 other retailers, I saw it -- the Circus Rug in Peel. The small fluffy pompoms will add whimsy to the space -- and the price tag ($19.95) won't hold me slave to my choice (I tend to change accessories and decor with the seasons).


Tags: , , ,

Hudson Reed 50% Discount

Posted on October 26, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 25, 2007

But how does it work?

Antelope_1_2 Antelope_2

It's lovely, it really is. I love the stark white, smooth Corian. I love the clean lines mixed with gentle slopes. I just don't understand how the water stays in...

Antelope, a bathroom collection from Alex Vitet Design, consists of 4 washbasin forms, shelves, and boxes, allowing the buyer to manage space and construct to meet their needs. However, their hard-to-navigate site frustrated me and broke my spirit before I could discover just how the water avoids spilling all over the floor!


Related Categories: Alex Vitet Design, Modern Bath Products, Modern Bath Trends

Tags: , , ,

Posted on October 25, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Brilliant bamboo

When I purchased my bamboo bed in Toronto 5 years ago, it wasn't out of my love of green design (a relatively new consumer term), or my desire to be more environmentally friendly, but because it was beautiful!

I loved the way each shoot was varied in color and shape, forming an imperfect perfect form. Every time I crawled into bed I felt as though I was entering an oasis. Thankfully, in recent years more designers are jumping on the bamboo bandwagaon -- recognizing its sustainable functionality and clean, modern appeal.


(Pictured: Cabinet from Iannone Design, modern bamboo chaise)

Check out the Cebu Exhibit (held in the Philippines) to learn more!


Tags: , ,

Posted on October 25, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 22, 2007

Sweet dreams

Boodalee_multi_prints_3 Winnie the Pooh, Disney characters, action figures, and all Nickelodeon cast members belong on TV, the big screen, and coloring books -- not your child's bedding. (The same goes for the wide-eyed Precious Moments figures).

Finding children's bedding without licensed characters dancing about can be a difficult task -- until now. When Jeanice Skvaril, owner and creative director of Boodalee, looked down at her infant son cloaked in his modern baby bedding, she had a terrifying thought -- “What the heck kind of bedding are we going to outfit your big-boy bed with?”

Craving alternatives to the commercial children's bedding offered by large retailers, Skvaril created minimalist bedding designs to fit her modern home -- and stimulate her little one's imagination as it grows.

Check out the full line


Tags: , ,

Posted on October 22, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 16, 2007

New Blik!

We love Blik over at Pure Contemporary -- and now the company that produces wall graphics for the commitment phobic have teamed with lifestyle designer Mel Lim to create 6 new whimsical designs.

Blik_bambinis_3 Blik_flying_plane

Blik_giraffes Blik_happy_geese Blik_hare_hopping Blik_lucky_koi

Check out more from Blik.


Tags: , ,

Posted on October 16, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Turbo cooking

My husband and I are remodeling our outdated, cramped, storage & cooking space-free kitchen (by the way, it's also carpeted!) -- unfortunately this oven won't be gracing our kitchen.

Turbochef TurboChef, the manufacturers that supplies SubWay with it's commercial ovens, has created a residential version.  It claims to cook up to 15 times faster (a 12 lb. turkey in 42 minutes!), keep more flavor and crispness to foods, and can store your favorite recipes and display on its colorful interface. Available in 7 color options.

Although I have been unsuccessful in locating a price tag, I think it's safe to assume it's not in our budget.


Tags: , ,

Posted on October 16, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

October 15, 2007

Mirror, Mirror

Which is the fairest one of all?

In response to Caroline's post on the mysterious fast-forward of Autumn by most retailers, I spent my day trolling online for modern fall decor -- and soon grew tired! With my search unproductive, I moved onto mirrors.

My friend Loretta LOVES mirrors -- we can't peruse a single store without her trying to take one home -- like little caged puppies, she just wants to give them a loving home.

While I'm not as in to mirrors as Loretta, I do appreciate reflection... Check out a few of my finds.

Arbo_mirror_umbra Mingle_mirror_chiasso(Clockwise: Arbo mirror from Umbra, Mingle from Chiasso, Sherene from Bellacor, and Orion Starburst from Rezon8 Living).   



Tags: , ,

Posted on October 15, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 14, 2007

Bright lights

I'm typically not a fan of the overly ornate -- I prefer an understated style. So when I stumbled upon La Murrina's Glamour Chandelier in October's issue of Elle Decor, I was surprised to find myself lusting after the loud lighting fixture.

Glamour_chandelier Glamour_chandelier_orangeWhimsical & delicate in appearance, the glass chandelier is handcrafted in Murrano, Italy.

Also available in black, or clear, Glamour won't come cheap -- $5,738.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on October 14, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

October 03, 2007

Ready, Set, Camp -- Part II

Dutch_tub_2 Seriously?!?

Continuing on my search for mod camping products, I stumbled upon the Dutch Tub -- an ultra-modern tub with a heating system to match.

Part hot tub, part barbeque, and totally portable! Available in several vibrant colors, and priced at $6,000, it is definitely on my luxury camping wish list.



Tags: , , , ,

Posted on October 3, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 30, 2007

Ready, Set, Camp

I'll be heading to the great outdoors this upcoming holiday weekend, and am always looking for new and modern camping gear (a twisted oxymoron).

Such products can be hard to find -- so if you've scored some mod camping finds send them my way.

So far on my quest I've found the SylvanSport GO - a unique and modern camping and travel trailer. Weighing in at a mere 700 lbs. it can be easily towed by small vehicles -- and at $6,000 it's a great camping find!


Product info:
Therm-A-Rest mattresses (equal to a king size and a half sleeping surface)
Stargazing windows
Multiple living space configurations
Waterproof gear storage and electrical system
800 lb. load capacity
LED lighting


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on September 30, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Table for 4 (or 8)

Gargantua_table_2 Love this table! Whether it's a party of 4 or 8 the Gargantua table and InUmbra parsol adapts to your social-gathering needs. First introduced to the market in 1964, Extremis' first product from Dirk Wynants has been accommodating family and friends for more than 40 years.

With four removable benches the table can comfortably seat up to 8, as well as those in wheelchairs. The adjustable benches adjust to four heights, making dining easy for small children and adult alike.

Constructed from Jatoba wood and stainless steel the table is as visually appealing as it is functional.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on September 30, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Modern wallcoverings

Modern design has seen a surge in wallpaper -- and they are bolder than ever. Check out the vinyl wallcoverings from Vycon. Available in 7 color families (including the hot jewel tones for 2008), the vinyl design allows for little to no moisture permeability. Worried about mold? All Vycon wallcoverings can be outfitted with the micro-venting option, allowing moisture to pass easily from from side to the other.

Deep_purple_wallcovering Blue_wallcovering_2 Orange_wallcovering Red_wallcovering


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on September 30, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 18, 2007

Have a seat


I'm not a huge fan of regular, rectangular sofas -- I like something with added curves or angles -- something that welcomes you in for a night of relaxation.

The curved opening of the Merrick sofa from Montauk just screams "crawl in!" Constructed from wood from sustained forests and upholstered in white wool, it's environment-friendly appeal and cozy covering may be worth every penny of its $5500 price tag.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on September 18, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Time for football

Kegerator It's that time of year... Sundays filled with football games on the big screen, junk food, and beer!

This year, why don't you serve that cold, frosty beverage in style? Check out the Kegorator -- the high-end mini fridge holds a pony keg or 2 5-gallon kegs and quickly dispenses from the top tap.

Shop Montgomery Ward's for more entertainment accessories.


Tags: , ,

Posted on September 18, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2007

Well rounded

Love Sand & Birch products -- here's a look at their last piece of work...

Velvet_sofa The Velvet sofa's spiral shape is upholstered in smooth velvet.  It's wooden frame is coated with a thin layer of polyurethane.


Tags: , , , ,

Posted on September 16, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2007

Pipeless spa

Cierra_spa_bath Need a bit of spa relaxation? Check out Sanijet's line of pipeless spa baths.

* spa-quality hydrotherapy
* customizable design
* spa-quality massage with variable-speed intensity
* pre-programmable settings
* pipeless jets channel water to cushion behind the back, neck, and shoulders
* direct pressure massage to specified areas
* soothing chromatherapy lighting
* unparalleled heat retention

"Everything in the Asian spa culture centers on flow – the flow of pure, soothing water, the flow of energy and the flow of natural, simple and elegant design." -- designer Cary Collier.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted on September 10, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

September 09, 2007


Feng_shui Life is stressful -- once you enter adulthood the lazy days of endless relaxation float away, and most of us find ourselves with perpetual To-Do lists, constant errands, and full schedules.

Typically we want nothing more than to go home, curl up on the sofa, and go comatose in front of the TV. But what happens when your physical surroundings are actually adding to your stress -- rather than melting it away?

Following the principles of Feng Shui -- the practice of placement and arrangement of space to achieve harmony with the environment -- can help to sooth the energy in your home, as well as within yourself.  Reporter Laura Milligan outlines 50 Feng Shui tips to improving and productivity and mood within your home office and home -- making your home your own personal refuge.

* Don’t lose sight of the door
* Give yourself a choice of places to sit
Light and Color
* Control your light
* Shades of Blue, Green & Red
* Be reflective
Decorations and Plants
* Put up family photos
* Take time to smell the flowers
* Avoid sharp-cornered objects
* If it doesn’t have a function, you don’t need it

Read all 50 Practical Home Office Feng Shui Tips. Thanks for the tips Bootstrapper!


Tags: , ,

Posted on September 9, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Modern art

Widescreen_girlsBare walls aren't always inviting -- or fun to look at. Check out Four Blank Walls' range of modern acrylic wall art.

Pictured: Widescreen Girls.

Tags: , ,

Posted on September 9, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

August 27, 2007

Back to school shopping -- with a twist!

Summer's winding down...

Parents are counting the days until school starts, and kids are savoring their last few days of freedom. This upcoming weekend will undoubtedly be filled with back to school shopping -- new shoes, clothes, backpacks, and supplies. But this year, why not add furniture to the list.

Homework will soon be assigned -- and if you cherish the use of your dining table or living room floor you should seriously consider investing in a work space for your budding scholar.

Alex_desk_3 The Alex desk and chair from ducduc is bright, fun, and enticing! Available in 14 bold color combinations and two heights, the Alex desk comes with an optional entertainment system (built-in speakers and PC or iPod connection).

Order now from Modern Tots and receive free shipping to the continental U.S. until 9/3/07.

-- allison

Tags: , , ,

Posted on August 27, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Kitchen makeover

The kitchen is the heart of the home -- but what happens when you are in desperate need of a transplant?


From a raised ceiling to a new view -- check out the complete makeover of this Pennsylvania kitchen!

Posted on August 27, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2007

Grand entrance

Scott_piers_cutom_work_3 When Robin was asked for her input on artwork for her company's new office space she didn't need to look any further than Scott Piers. Specializing in post modern, contemporary and abstract wall art, Scott's blend of color, dimension, and digital creation immediately intrigued both the artist and I.T. specialist in Robin.

While ordering Scott's work for the office from Advance Furniture, Robin mentioned the empty wall space in her home's entryway to John Kenyon, Advance's national sales manager -- and the collaboration began. After sending John a photo of her blank space, he responded with a rendering of Scott's work broken into three panels. Robin was hooked -- and quickly began working with Scott to create three unique panels of artwork.

"I was convinced that I was going to have Scott's work somewhere in my house," said Robin.  "The photos on the website are nice, but to see them finished is eye-popping. The color and dimension that Scott  puts together is what drew me to his work."

Wall mounted and laminated with a velvet finish protected coating (allowing the prints to be protected without the glare of plexiglass), the three 38" x 78" panels of artwork liven up Robin's warm khaki walls, adding blasts of color to her otherwise neutral, mid-western home.

-- allie

Posted on August 21, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

New search dedicated to modern!

Finding the perfect modern sofa or getting inspiration for a contemporary renovation can be taxing, time consuming, and completely frustrating... until now!

Get a sneak peak at Pure Contemporary's new search engine -- dedicated to the best hand-picked sites for modern and contemporary furnishings and design.

Tell us what you think of the search!

Posted on August 21, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

August 20, 2007

Weigh in on glass

Dual_elbowThe future is clear -- especially if you're shopping at Future Glass.  With a full line of dining, side, occasional, and outdoor tables, all pieces are able to be customized -- from leg color, table shape, materials, and even colored glass.

I love glass tables and the clean, distinctive look they offer -- but hate the smudges and fingerprints.  Sadly, my glass topped coffee table is now hiding in the basement due to the incessant windexing factor.

What are your thoughts on glass tables -- love 'em or leave 'em?

Posted on August 20, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

August 13, 2007

Spice up the outdoors

Design_discoveries Outdoor design consultant John Aves lends his design expertise to Pure Contemporary readers:

Catlan from Miami, Fl writes: My husband and I are building a deck off the back of our Miami Beach home. We want to achieve a modern, clean look by using clear glass railings and sleek furniture. We are having a problem choosing the material to construct  the deck -- we don't want to use wood. Can you recommend any alternatives?

Your investment in the materials for your patio will pay especially high dividends in Miami, where your views and all connections to nature are precious. Stainless Steel or Polished Aluminum are the only metals (for holding the glass panels) that will stand up to the salt air and sun exposure in coastal Florida.

Flooring could be mosaic or tile. There are many wonderful choices in tile. Sandstone colors work well in areas where you may accumulate fine particles of sand and other airborne materials -- and it reduces the maintenance.

Using contemporary wicker/resin furniture will look and feel comfortable, but also cleans well and will withstands the coastal conditions. It feels good to the touch and is softer than metal. Maintenance and comfort are paramount. Check out Design Discoveries. Either the Thayer Hopkins Collection or Infinitas Modular Collection would be appropriate for a contemporary setting.  The modular option is especially helpful in smaller space where you may wish to re-arrange elements to suit guests, etc.

Posted on August 13, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

August 03, 2007

New store alert!

Umbra_2 Love Umbra? If you live in Western NY or Southern Ontario you're now even closer to their great home decor goods -- and great price.

Their new outlet is located in the Fashion Outlets of Niagara in Niagara Falls, NY -- and is a welcome addition! Can't make it to our neck of the woods? Shop online.

Happy shopping -- allie

Posted on August 3, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 31, 2007

Modern design questions answered!

Ali_azhar_2 Ali Azhar, contractor and design coordinator for HGTV's Design on a Dime, lends his advice to Pure Contemporary readers.

Lisa from Chestertown, NY writes: How do we change a 1970's contemporary exterior home with diagonal siding into something more updated but with a rustic feel?

There are several options available to give the exterior of your home a more rustic feel. Most of them can be a bit costly, so if budget is your main concern a faux finish is the answer you are looking for.

Sometimes color and texture is all you need to create a new look regardless of pattern. I would suggest using a white exterior paint (or what ever color you love) and lightly brushing the paint on your exterior. Once that is complete follow-up with a light sanding so that the paint holds on to the grain of the wood but the look appears as though years of sun and rain has begun to barley strip the paint off and give your exterior a more rustic and worn in feel. If you are feeling slightly more ambitious with your budget, you can hire a contractor to carefully remove all the diagonal pieces and reattach them horizontally and then follow-up with the same faux finish. In doing this you won't need to purchase any new siding or panels, and because you are recycling old pieces this will help add to the rustic feel as well as keep your project green.  The more you can reuse...the more we can help the environment.

Thanks for the tips Ali!

Posted on July 31, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 27, 2007

Bathroom design advice from Ali Azhar

Ali_azhar_2 Ali Azhar, contractor and design coordinator for HGTV's Design on a Dime, lends his advice to Pure Contemporary readers.

Barbara from Miami, Fl writes: My bathroom is outfitted with a white tub, sink, and toilet. What type of tile should I use to update my bathroom and add some Miami heat?

Ali's answer: If you are living in Miami and want a contemporary feel for your bathroom there is only one way to go -- Glass Mosaic Tile. Pick your favorite color and go with it -- covering the entire wall from floor to ceiling. This tile is so beautiful that by covering both the floor and walls makes the bathroom feel like a work of art. There is a manufacturer of glass mosaics based out of Miami called Bisazza. I recommend checking out their website to get some ideas.

Thanks Ali!

Posted on July 27, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

July 26, 2007

Contemporary conservation

Water_decor_faucet Striving to be more eco-friendly -- or just reduce your water bill? The line of Bridge faucets from Water Decor monitoring the amount of water you use by emitting water only when necessary.

The touch-free sensor allows the use to rinse, operate and cleanse without ever touching the instrument.

Posted on July 26, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 19, 2007

A splash of color

Cup_chair I like things simple and elegant -- I'm not a fan of clutter, hate chotchkies, and prefer strategic splashes of color over messy splats! Which is why I love the Cup Chair from Zou.  It's ABS molded seat and swivel base brings a retro flare and color to any space, especially a sedate backyard.

Buy it now from Advance Furniture.

-- allison

Posted on July 19, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Back to school

It seems to come earlier every year -- the invasion of back-to-school supplies in every major store around the country. Here are a few cool finds for the college-bound crowd from Chiasso.

Chiasso_chair Mesh chair in blue.

Chiasso_book_holder Hang-up book holder


News rack

-- allison

Posted on July 19, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 12, 2007

In the dog house

As I previously stated -- I love my dog, I really do. He is spoiled, pampered, and catered by all who cross his path. And during these lazy summer days, he accompanies me almost everything -- especially if it involves the outdoors.

While outdoors he spends hours running, chasing, and playing -- and once exhaustion hits, he plops down on a cozy stretch of grass for a sun-soaked nap. At times I worry about his comfort -- but I don't know if I would go this far (plus he wouldn't fit)...

Magis_dog_house_2 The Magis Orange Dog House -- for $900 your modern canine can relax in style.

Love it or leave it? Post your comments below!

-- allison

Tags: , , ,

Posted on July 12, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (3) | TrackBack

July 11, 2007

Reader's room - What a view!

Room_makeover_2 A Pure Contemporary reader, and Contemporary Furniture customer, shares their modern room makeover.

Situated on the Lake Erie waterfront, our condo gets an unobstructed view of the boats traveling up and down the channel each day. At night the view becomes sensational as the sun sets to west in direct view of my windows. I love my view from the windows -- and now I love the view inside our condo. To liven up our space we teamed up with our designer Christine Kenyon of Advance Furniture and mapped out what we wanted to do.

I wanted a central living/entertaining area that wouldn’t obstruct the view looking out. Christine suggested the organic look of American Leather's Menlo Park. This curved sectional sweeps throughout the center of the room, allowing easy access while providing ample seating. Facing the windows overlooking the lake, the couch also faces a maple wall unit. The maple hardwood floor and kitchen cabinets, as well as the maple-based coffee table from Elite manufacturing, unify the space together.

While the area is soft and warm in color we added splashes of red ultrasuede for excitement. The back pillows and the seats of the Elite manufacturing barstools boost the color palette for an exciting flare. The finishing touch is the custom carpet from Carpet Creations. Christine designed the perfect rug to sweep along with the sectional, be simple in design, and tie in all the elements of our home.

-- allison

Posted on July 11, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

The pitter-patter of good furniture

Maybe my biological clock is beginning to tick -- or maybe my sister's is just so loud that it is unavoidable -- but whatever the reason, I've found myself searching out the most desirable design for little ones.

My latest must-have items come from Celery – a company whose focus is as much on pleasing parent’s pocket books as it is on pleasing kids.  Constructed primarily of bamboo and low VOC paint (releasing low amounts of pollutants and are virtually odor free), the products are as friendly on the environment as they are on the eyes.  And if you’re planning on more that one bundle of joy, the price points aren’t that bad either.

Check out a few of their products:

Celery_crib_chalk_panel_2 Celery_dressing_table


Above: crib with chalkboard end panel; Lullaboo changing table; Lullaboo rocking horse.

-- allison

Tags: , , ,

Posted on July 11, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

July 02, 2007

Proud to be modern

I_b_red It's that time of year again when cook-outs, bonfires, fire works, and splashes of red, white, and blue can be seen for miles.

This year, why not show your patriotic side with the I B Pop chair from Scottish-based Blue Marmalade. Available in red, white, blue, and black, these indoor/outdoor chairs aren't just patriotic, but eco-friendly as well I_b_blue --  made from a single sheet of 90% recycled plastic.

-- allison

Posted on July 2, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

June 26, 2007


Solotaire_workstation_2 Traveling down under during the next month? Make sure to stop by the QUT Art Museum in Brisbane, Australia and check out Freestyle: New Australian Design for Living.

Featuring the works of 40 Aussie designers (furniture, lighting, home decor, fashion, jewelry, and accessories), the exhibit showcases the effervescence and maturity of Australian contemporary design now through July 22.

Can't handle the flight? Visit Freestyle's official site and click on Designers to view collections of work.

Pictured: Solitaire workstation, Alexander Lotersztain

-- allison

Tags: , , ,

Posted on June 26, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Stylish? Yes. Necessary? You Decide.

Dog_bed I love my dog -- in fact, I love all dogs. I have spent countless dollars pampering my pooch, buying the best dog food and treats, the most interactive and safe toys, and the plushest dog beds and furnishings for my four-legged friend.

As it turns out, my dog prefers ice cubes to fine doggy cuisine, Rubbermaid bowls to expensive toys, and the comfort of the hardwood floor and raggedy blanket to his customized hypoallergenic bed.

For those of you whose pooches like the finer things in life, check out Dog Bar's Bauhaus and Le Corbusier-inspired Cowhide Dog Sofa (starting at $540).

-- allison

Tags: , , ,

Posted on June 26, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

Modern delivery

This time last year I was searching for the perfect mailbox -- and happily chose the mounted Envelope Mailbox from Chiasso.

For those of you still in need, here are a few of my faves.


The Blomus 65123 Signo Stainless Letter Box from Bizrate. $260.91


Post-modern mailbox from Chiasso. $328

Urban_mailbox_2 Urban Letterbox from $199.95. Can be customized by color and adding house number.  

Posted on June 26, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

June 23, 2007

Hybrid grill

Kalamazoo_bread_breaker Grilling maverick, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, has created the Bread Breaker Dual-Fuel hybrid grill -- making cooking with hardwood, charcoal or gas is as easy as rotating the grill's removable drawer system.

-- allison

Posted on June 23, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

June 05, 2007

Domo arigato

Edo_closed_2 Edo_open_2

Rarely would I call a grill "pretty," but just look at it!

Resembling a sleek, modern table, the Edo grill from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet was inspired by Japanese architecture and cuisine.

An added bonus -- the fuel tank is hidden in the base of the grill.

Don't grab the steaks just yet -- grilling in style doesn't come cheap. Suggested retail $6,000.

-- allison

Posted on June 5, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

June 01, 2007

The next must-have stroller

Stroller I don't have children yet, but when I do, the Wiegen Stroller will be number one on my registry!

Unlike many of the over-stuffed, bulky strollers on the market, the Wiegen is covered in sleek neoprene (a synthetic rubber), and features a snug cover to keep your little one warm.

Designed by Dan Clements for Worrell, Inc., the stroller (sadly) is not currently available for consumer purchase

Thanks for the tip AT.

-- allison

Posted on June 1, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

Rejuvenate while you rest

Loome_bed_2 After two years of researching common sleep problems, German-based Cycle 13 has introduced Lomme -- a platform bed designed to awaken the senses and relax the mind.

The egg-shaped bed is outfitted with light therapy (in a variety of colors), an iPod sound station, muscle relaxing system, and storage compartments.

Lomme claims to have created an atmosphere in which the senses are enhanced, making relaxation, meditation, and peaceful sleep attainable. Sounds good to me!

-- allison

Shop, Browse & Price...
modern beds

Posted on June 1, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (3) | TrackBack

May 29, 2007

The great (and confusing) outdoors

Like many of our readers I spent the holiday weekend landscaping and repairing my chaotic garden.  At times I found myself at a lost as I tried to conjure a modern garden in my mind -- and the search began.

Below are a few picks on modern landscape and gardens -- enjoy!

-- allison


Posted on May 29, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

May 24, 2007

It's a man's world -- pt. 2

Robomower What do you get the man who has everything? Or the man who complains relentlessly about mowing a cumbersome lawn... The Robomower RL 1000

The virtually silent, fully automatic Robomower will mow any lawn (up to 16,200 sq ft) completely by itself. Running on battery power equivalent to a 5.5 HP gas mower, the 21 inch three blade system is gas, oil, and emissions free -- perfect for the Green man.

Also included --- a programmable docking station. Just set the days and times for mowing and relax!

-- allison

Shop, Browse & Price...
Lawn Mowers

Posted on May 24, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

May 16, 2007

It's a man's world

With father's day one short month away, the race is on to find the ideal gift for today's modern man.

Grill_greenwood Our first find -- the Greenwood Wood Pellet Grill/Barbecue/Smoker from Louisana Grills.

With it's double wall construction, tough stainless frame, and wood pellet fuel source, this gift could end the gas or charcoal debate once and for all.

Shop, Browse & Price...
Modern Grills

Posted on May 16, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

May 02, 2007

It's an honor just to be nominated...

It's the Acadamy Awards of the blogosphere! Well, maybe that's a little far reaching --- but we're excited to be nominated for Best Blog Design and Best Blog About Stuff nonetheless!

From now until Oct. 19th you can visit the Bloggers Choice Awards and vote (or nominate) for your fave blogs in 36 categories. The winning blogs will be announced on November 10th at PostieCon in Las Vegas.

Do you love Behind the Curtains? Cast your vote below!

My site was nominated for Best Blog About Stuff!

My site was nominated for Best Blog Design!

Icon_su Stumble It!

Posted on May 2, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 24, 2007

Have a seat

Mag1_4 With the abundance of wooden outdoor furnishings on the market, the aluminum geometric-inspired Maia collection designed by Patricia Urquiola for Kettal is a welcomed change.

Need a little more padding for your padding? The chair is available with a white, grey, or orange cushion.Maia_orange_2


Tags: , , ,

Exotic hardwood flooring

Posted on April 24, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 23, 2007

Style on tap

Wine_fridge_with_tap For those of us living in the Northeastern states, Spring has finally sprung! As has landscaping season.

As I watched my husband and neighbors slave away under the hot sun I couldn't help but envision a great, modern beverage refrigeration  system in our garage. Apparently so did Kalamazoo Grill and Perlick...

With one, two, or three taps to accommodate multiple lagers, digital temp control and display, and Energy Star qualified, I believe the 48-inch beer dispensing and refrigeration unit is every man's dream!

View Perlick's complete line.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on April 23, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 17, 2007


Notneutral_2 I love the new line of dressers and credenzas from notNeutral -- especially because the pieces were inspired by my favorite computer game of all time - Tetris!

Comprising of storage units based on the Greek numeric prefix Tetra (meaning 4), and Tetris (which use 4 segments to build interlocking structures), the line comes in four shapes and sizes and features one drawer in an accenting color.

View the complete line at Design Public.


Tags: , ,

Posted on April 17, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 13, 2007

Riding in style

A few months back I received the dreaded baby shower invite -- pastel bows, ducks, rattles -- no cutesy baby paraphernalia was spared.

As I trolled her online registry I found myself at a crossroad -- purchase a white ruffled Moses basket (which I believe looks like a handbag my grandmother would have carried), or buck the norm and go for chic child wares.

The latter won as I made my way to modern baby boutique Nursery Couture. But this minor upset prompted me to go in search of even more modern-friendly baby gear for our expectant readers...

Bugaboo_orange_2 The Cameleon from Bugaboo (a fave among celeb moms Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow) offers a convenient 3-in-1 design -- transforming into a car seat, reversible bassinet, and reversible seat.

And while I'm not a fan of jumping onto the celebrity-driven product train, I must admit this colorful carriage caught my eye (yet may elude my wallet).

Available in 32 color combinations (sorry, no pastels), this Cadillac of toddler transport comes equipped with mosquito net and rain cover.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on April 13, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

April 02, 2007

Calling all bath rugs

I have been in search of a new bathroom rug for weeks -- and I'm still at a loss.

Buttom_rig_3 For those you experiencing the same dilemma, the new Button rug from Flor could end your search.

On the plus side --
*it's round (a welcome change from many rectangular mats)
*easy to clean
*available in 5 colors (green, brown, blue, red & tan).
*only $59.99

Button's shortcomings -- it's only available in five solid colors and is not suitable for small baths (when assembled it's over 3 feet in diameter).

So my search continues...

Have you stumbled across a hot modern bath rug? Send it's pic and info to Allison. Select entries will be posted on Behind the Curtains.


Tags: , , ,

Posted on April 2, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (2) | TrackBack

March 30, 2007

Spring lighting sale

Blue_pendant_lighting_universe It only seems fair that if we are to endure Spring cleaning, we should be rewarded with Spring shopping!

The fresh air, sunshine, and flora may have you itching to brighten up your home -- and while we love splashing new colors on our walls, it may be a bit easier to install a new lighting fixture.

Visit Lighting Universe from now until April 28th and save up to 20% on select products.

Lighting Blog Roll

Happy shopping!!! --aj

Tags: , , ,

Posted on March 30, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2007

My, what a big sofa you have


Gone are the days of plastic lawn chairs and cheap aluminum tables. Outside living requires comfort, style, and above all, plenty of seating for summer fêtes.

Kettal's Xxl collection of modular furniture allows for single-seating creations, are a wrapping sofa large enough for all of your guests!

Available in tan and brown finishes and 15 fabric options.

Have a great outdoor furnishing find? Enter Pure Contemporary's Think Spring Contest!.

Patio & Outdoor Blog Roll


Tags: , ,

Posted on March 27, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 26, 2007

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

Tags: , ,


Posted on March 26, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 20, 2007

Paintable wallpaper

Wallpaper_circles Wallpaper_beige

Friends of mine recently decided to remodel their basement -- creating a lounge/kitchenette.  After tearing down the existing owner's flat wallpaper they discovered sections of unfinished drywall! Not wanting to waste time mudding, they found textured paintable wallpaper!

While I realize this is not a new concept, I had never seen it executed! The result --- a fun, vibrant alternative to flat walls.

Decorate Today offers more than 150 styles averaging around $15 a roll. But beware -- the rolls do not come pre-glued, so a trip to your local hardware store is required.

More on modern wallpaper

Tags: , ,

Posted on March 20, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 12, 2007

DIA - more popular than ever

Vicki, a Chicago reader, isn't the only fan of the now un-defunct DIA...

Q. In 1981 I had dining room chairs made by Design Institute of America (DIA). I am trying to locate the company. Any suggestions?

A. DIA closed up shop about 2 years ago -- but has re-emerged with some of the original ownership. It is now located in North Carolina -- and they carry some of their original line.

Give them a ring at 336-885-8617.

More experts questions

Tags: , ,

Posted on March 12, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

March 09, 2007

A personal touch

Dscf6114_2So how did this floor stone floor come to be?

While working on Developer Manuel Torres' Costa Rican home, one worker decided to surprise the homeowner with a personal touch... inlaying rocks collected from the beach in front of the home to create a custom mosaic floor!

Get the full story on The great outdoors

Looking down on Manuel Torres's home --- the outdoor shower allows for spectacular ocean views.Dscf6165a

Posted on March 9, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (1) | TrackBack

Bathing, au naturale

When is a bathroom more than a bathroom?

Continued from Pure Contemporary's latest home makeover: The great outdoors

Dscf6213 Torres' use of natural materials continues inside -- as does the mosaic flooring where it is met by travertine and marble flooring.  Lying against sliding windows surrounded by greenery and a rock wall is the master tub, complete with a second rainfall shower head.  Ideal for soaking, Torres retreats indoors for horizontal relaxation.

Dscf6223_1 The home's 2nd bath is reserved for the developer's children & guests.  Continuing the use of natural materials, the bathroom sink is surrounded by a poured concrete counter and mosaic tiled wall.  Dscf6138_1

Explore more poured concrete creations with expert Fu-Tung Cheng.

Around the corner is the impressive poured concrete tub (which fits five children with ease!).  Mosaic  tiles climb the walls,  meeting a  quarter of the way up with  natural cut stone.  Extending three stories up, the  walls meet at a 15 x 15 acrylic roof.  Water trickles down the wall, collecting in a basin just about the waterfall ---  the 'crying wall' has indeed become the room's focal point.

With baths like these, it's easy to see why Torres and his family spend six months out of the year relaxing in this Costa Rican paradise.

Posted on March 9, 2007 Permalink | Discuss Design! (0) | TrackBack

your source for contemporary designs