Category Archives: modern

5 Easy Interior Design Tips for a Modern Home

From one of my favorite Austin blogs, the Republic of Austin, Rachel Naugle shares these 5 great, simple things you can easily do NOW to make your home feel more modern.

1. Paint your walls white–and let your accessories do the talking.

White walls help frame and spotlight your artwork, furniture and accessories. Add splashes of color using vibrant rugsthrow pillows, lamps or other accessories to really make a statement. This also helps you easily change the feel of the room with each new season or design trend by just trading out the accessories.

Photo by Doug Naugle

2.  Glossy glass tiles EVERYWHERE!

On the Austin Modern Home Tour, kitchens and bathrooms gleamed with glossy glass tiles.  Some were just clear glass,  while others were subtly tinted. Still others were bright with blues and bold reds. Glass tile is also making appearances in unexpected places, like around fireplaces and trimming staircases.

3.  Become a bookworm.

Obviously modern home owners are readers (or they want you to think they are) because every home on the tour used books in the decor.  Stack your books in a single column,on low vintage bookcases, or on a coffee table–just about everywhere there’s a flat surface.

4.  Get rid of your grass and put in rocks instead.

Let’s face it: You hate mowing the lawn–so why not create a modern entrance by replacing the traditional grass with rocks?  To add a more dramatic effect, combine both light and dark rocks.

5.  Salvage some old wood.

Sometimes modern homes can seem cold and stark, and this year designers are warming up interiors with salvaged wood.  From floors to tables and bookcases, salvaged wood creates a sense of history in places that don’t have any.

Photo by Doug Naugle

Check out more pictures from the tour at Rachel’s post.  All photos by Doug Naugle.


Generation Y makes room for dual-use furniture


by Christine Burn/Creators Syndicate

The new truth is that housing trends will be leading millions of Americans toward more compact living situations, which in turn will drive new emphasis on dual-use furnishings.
Petite housing is not a new idea, but the rise in popularity is definitely tied to current economic realities. There have been tiny models at other times in history. Have you ever seen a collection of small cottages built in a square surrounding a common patio?

Because these were popular in the 1930s and ’40s in Los Angeles, they have been a part of Hollywood films for what seems like forever. In the 1984 film “Swing Shift,” the character played by Goldie Hawn lived in just such a court.

Most charming is that these hut-like homes often share flowerbeds, trees and lawns. They often have names and appear to exist in a protected universe all their own.

Members of Generation Y, sometimes called millennials, are gobbling up unusually petite rental spaces that are only 500 to 600 square feet. As long as the place is wired for every possible electronic gadget and the building shares the more social functions, such as laundry, game rooms, exercise and juice bar, no one seems to care that they are living in closet-like places. It is fairly obvious that traditional furnishings will not work well in such pared-down living models.

In the photo is a coffee table/storage chest made from exotic wood that slides open for access and closed to hide items not currently in use. Designed by Jeffrey Braun, a film art director turned interior designer and furniture maker, it is called “The Hidden Agenda.” Braun is based in Seattle and has an affinity for urban living. He designed “The Hidden Agenda” with a nod toward the special effects seen in the film world.

There are much older examples of dual-use furniture. The traditional blanket chest or cedar chest is a classic. At once storage for linens and clothing, it also serves as a bench at the foot of the bed. There was a time when every respectable bride left home with a chest.

You can find fairly old examples of a wooden ladder that converts into a rather uncomfortable chair. Sofas have roots going to 2,000 B.C., but the true sofa came into existence at the end of the 16th century and early 17th century. It isn’t clear when the classic sleeper sofa was developed, but it must be the all-time winner of a piece of furniture serving two masters.

To read the full article, click here.

Artist Turns Coral Gables’s Eclectic Living Room into Artwork

From the Miami Herald:

Artist Fritz Haeg said he had a purpose in moving a family’s entire eclectic living room into the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami — complete with a coffee table, television set and a sofa made of multicolored circles.

“Reconsidering our ideas of what home is and how we use the homes we have in other ways,” Haeg said at a Saturday workshop to discuss his installation, Salon Colada: Miami, part of the museum’s current exhibit, Conventions.

Haeg sent out an open call in March, requesting a volunteer family for the project. He chose Coral Gables couple Keith Waddington and Mindy Nelson, who have hosted discussions in their now relatively empty living room on subjects such as art, tourism and literature.

They even invited their entire neighborhood over for a “Neighborhood Know How” session, where people shared stories and food as part of Haeg’s project.

Read the full article here.

Great Urban Living Decor/Home Shopping Resources

For those who like to live urban, there are a number of way cool shopping resources that you’ll probably love. I’ve put together a listing of some of my faves:

Apartment Therapy
One of the best! While not actually a furniture or design store, this is one of the best resources out there for finding urban and modern style resources. A calm, healthy, beautiful home is a necessary foundation for happiness and success in the world. Creating this home doesn’t require large amounts of money or space. It requires inspiration, connection to resources and motivation to do something about it.

Urban Living Shop
This store specializes in items for a modern Asian decor. Modern Asian Style is very simple, elegantly timeless, and uses traditional Asian design and color.

Departments are divided into outdoor living, dining, kitchen, bar, indoor living, bedroom, office, gift and aroma.

Urban Living Austin
Being an Austinite, of course I love the Urban Living store right here in my hometown. Chic and modern, the ambience and furnishings add up to city dwelling at its best. Sofas, chaise lounges, bedrooms, tables and chairs are all styled for modern tastes. Prices are affordable with beds starting at $289.00 and sofas starting at $539.00. This is also a great place to buy accessories, including the famous Jonathan Adler ceramics.
Lamps, vases, and local artwork from Austin area artists–everything you need to create a contemporary statement. Great styles at great prices!

Atom Designs
Atom is located in the heart of downtown St Louis, MO.  Owner Wendy Noory decided to utilize her 15 years of interior design experience to develop a modern, eclectic retail/trade boutique styled design showroom that reflects her innovative approach to creative spaces.

Plush Pod
Plushpod specializes in high end modern furniture and contemporary furniture decor.  Our designer home furnishings allow you to create a home as unique as you are.

STL Loft Style
Another St Louis store! Whether you live in a house, apartment, loft or condo, our beautiful lines of modern chairs and modern sofas will fill your seating needs. We also carry contemporary furniture to meet your other furniture needs. Our lines of chic furniture look great and are also efficiently designed to make the most use out of any space. This means our modern furniture lines work exceptionally well as loft furniture.