Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book review: Living Modern Tropical

As we battle off short grey days and the growing threat of snow, it's hard to believe sometimes that across the globe, everyone is entering the height of summer. Life in the Southern hemisphere often boasts an abundance of sunshine and the ability to indoors and out quite seamlessly. The new book, Living Modern Tropical by renowned interiors photographer Richard Powers, takes us on a journey across the globe, sharing inspirational modern interiors in lush, tropical settings. 

Many of the fundamental concepts of 'modern' architecture and interiors work exceptionally well in these lush tropical settings. Rather than compete with the vibrant and extravagant displays of nature that surround them, their understated simplicity serves to highlight the natural beauty. 

Featuring stunning spaces from Brazil to Bali to the south of France, this books focuses on some of the basic elements and details that form these spaces. Each are highlighted in different chapters such as water features, use of light and the furniture and materials used, providing lots of inspiration for anyone living or aspiring to a tropical, modern feeling within their own space. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

All in the (architectural) details

Soaring ceilings, ornate crown moldings and classic architectural details, all contrasted with sleek modern fittings and crisp white walls. This beautiful Chelsea townhouse really provides the best of both worlds. The original fittings of the home (and those ceilings!) are works of art all on their own - highlighting them with all white walls and pairing them with very simple modern furniture gives them that much more focus. 

The minimal furniture almost fades away giving all focus to the beautiful details above. 

Much care has been taken to preserve the original architecture, with an old arched doorway now houses a custom fridge. 

Four doors open up onto a patio overlooking the garden. Bringing in fresh air and flooding the space with light. 

Ornate crown mouldings and carved marble mantle contrast with bold modern art and a Mooi Random string pendant light. 

I love how simple and uncomplicated the bathroom is. The floating marble sink feels so light.

An enviable backyard for downtown Manhattan - feels expansive and open with the large sliding doors on the lower level.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Inspiration for the new week 26.11.12

(I was completely captivated by the rich shades of purple within these flowers 
- somewhere in between violet and indigo...)

{Images: Purple Petunias, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1925. Prints available here}

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy (Modern) Thanksgiving

Just a few golden leaves still in the trees, and still waiting for the snow that will inevitably envelope us all, but for today the sun shines through the leaves creating a golden glow.
Design Within Reach's holiday calendar seemed the perfect fit for an autumn holiday. Set in Armonk, New York in a beautiful all glass mid-century home designed by architect Arthur Witthoefft that allows the autumn splendour to take over the interior of the home as well. 

Thanksgiving is always the perfect reminder that we don't have to look too far to realize how much we already have. No matter how long our mental wishlists get, taking a moment to be grateful for all the things we already have helps us to realize how fortunate we really are. 

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who is celebrating today!

{Photography: Jim Bastardo, Styling by Marcus Hay for Design Within Reach, Autumn 2012 catalogue}

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Notes + Inspiration

As we head off into a busy new week, here are some charming little notebooks from Etsy shop Sparrow Nest Script, each adorned with handwritten calligraphy, to keep all your ideas together and maybe even inspire some brilliant new ones!

{All photos: Sparrow Nest Script}

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Flora by Nick Knight

Acclaimed fashion photographer Nick Knight is known for his edgy images and innovative techniques.  In his current exhibition, Flora, he shows off the final product of a project he started in 1993. He spent over three years collecting and sorting through the Natural History Museum herbarium's six million specimens to select just 45 specimens to photograph and exhibit at his SHOWstudio location in Mayfair, London. In contrast to the crisp, precise studies of these natural specimens, he has also included an additional series of floral still lifes that he has specially developed using a innovative technique that blurs the line between photography and painting, manipulating photographs with heat and water during the development process. The effect is quite fascinating and hauntingly beautiful. 

You can visit Nick Knight's Flora exhibit at SHOWstudio in London until December 21st, 2012.

{All photos by Nick Knight}

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

White + Natural

This soft white space is airy, tranquil but filled with character. Stylist Kara Rosenlund's Sydney home is a tranquil retreat. It's beautifully balanced with an all white palette and clean lines to make it modern and unfussy, but enough natural and vintage pieces to make it interesting. 

I love this little shot of colour! (and how convenient for snacking on the go...)

The all white space is accented throughout with natural wood and warm metal tones. 

My most favourite corner in this home - these five pineapples jauntily displayed on a weathered wood bench - so fun! Have I ever mentioned my husband's obsession with pineapples? We're actually growing some here at home. And yes, by 'home' I mean our apartment in Toronto, Canada. Perhaps this would be a perfect display for the fruits of his efforts?

{All photos by Kara Rosenlund via My Paradissi}

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday morning inspiration

Success in life hinges more on 
seizing opportunity
than having everything go according to plan.

Ethan Austin

{Photo: via here}

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Antonio Zaninovic Architects

I often find it frustrating when I see so many of the popular misconceptions of Africa. While its challenges are covered extensively, very little is often said about so much of the vibrant and exciting developments. Southern Africa has a rather underexposed but very exciting arts and design scene, my recent trip has left me with a renewed intent to share more of it here with you.  

Cape Town, South Africa boasts some of the most beautiful and innovative modern residential architecture I've seen recently. The incredible landscape and the juxtapose of ocean and mountains against this vibrant city make it an amazing backdrop for clean, modern designs. Cape Town based architecture studio Antonio Zaninovic Architects have created modern liveable spaces that really enhance and maximize the natural surroundings. The Newlands house (below) boasts a beautiful courtyard garden with local flora off the main house, complete with infinity pool and spectacular city views. 

(My favourite element - the courtyard garden right off of the bedroom)

I was so impressed with this firm's work I couldn't resist sharing two different projects. The Gubbins House (below), is also in Cape Town is an incredible show shopper with breathtaking views of the local landscape and mountains, the city below and the ocean glimmering off in the distance. It instantly became my current dream home.

{All photos: Antonio Zaininovic Architects, see more of their work here}


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