Friday, July 3, 2015

London Lifestyle and Apartment Living

Heading to London for business, or pleasure? I was in London 2 years ago and it was an exciting metropolis immersed in culture, bustling with beautiful architectural features, famous landmarks, fine art, prolific shopping and vibrant nightlife -sip cocktails in Soho, dance the night away at a gig in Camden or relax and enjoy some fine dining.  There is something for everyone- not to mention their Royal family. 

Would you want to live there? I asked my London  architect friends over at Unit One Architects who specialize in creating design-led residential architecture to add some flavor around living in London and what apartment living be like. They bring their top tips for making the most of your London apartment and embracing the city. 

City life

When people talk about living in London, they always mention the cost of living - but despite rising prices, thousands of people still flock to the city every year. This is unsurprising news when you look at what London has to offer. From world-class nightlife, to fine art - London is a cultural melting pot, offering any amount of things to do - any night of the week.

If you’re looking for exciting nightlife, sip cocktails in Soho or dance the night away at a live gig in Camden. For a quieter evening, take in one of the West End’s famous shows or dine out in one of its many Michelin starred restaurants. Whatever you’re looking for, life in London offers something new every day - and once you’ve made the monumental decision to uproot your life, the next decision is where to live.

Location isn’t everything

Thanks to London’s impressive transport system, wherever you decide to buy or rent an apartment, you won’t struggle to get around the city. With an unparalleled network of rail, tube and bus routes, getting around London is as easy as a walk in any of its picturesque parks. From affordable Acton to glorious Greenwich, the city has a plethora of different neighborhoods - each with their own unique quirks. Regardless of where you decide to look for an apartment - you’re guaranteed to find a home that suits your tastes, lifestyle and budget.

From views of the Thames in the city center to tucked away cosmopolitan streets, there’s so much on offer. Whether you’re looking for an apartment close to work or you’re keen for some outdoor space, London has any number of unique buildings available to buy or rent - and thanks to the smattering of iconic attractions throughout the city, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to secure an enviable view.

Types of apartments

When it comes to choosing the type of apartment you want to set up home in, London has any number of residential architectural designs to choose from - and we’ve gathered a few of them together to help inspire you.

Light and bright

The beauty of London apartments is they are often remodeled from older buildings - allowing designers to use what worked before to inspire their new constructions. The city’s dense population means that large apartments are rare - but if you’re looking for a spacious layout, a light and bright set up can make your apartment feel bigger than it actually is. Choosing an open plan apartment means less doors to restrict your space and keeping your windows clear of heavy curtains will allow the British sunlight to seep in and brighten up your pad.

Open and airy

Life in London can make you feel isolated from nature, but choosing an apartment that allows you access to some greenery is a great remedy for this. If you want to feel closer to the great outdoors, opt for a ground floor apartment. Whether you have green fingers or just want to take a breather, even the smallest garden area will allow you to embrace the open air. With a ground floor apartment and you will find your very own haven in the heart of the busy metropolis.

Modern and minimalist

Most people buying or renting an apartment in London are looking for a place that reflects their personality. The capital boasts some stunning modern apartments which are perfect for those who appreciate minimalism. From bespoke breakfast bars to ambient lighting and a white washed walls, modern apartments can provide you with a relaxing refuge from the crowded city streets.

These are just a few of the amazing apartments on offer in the country’s capital. So whether you’re on a budget or you’ve got the cash to splash, London has something for everyone - and our tips on picking the perfect living space are guaranteed to help you on your way to finding the ultimate city pad. Whether you’re moving to London for work or play - you're guaranteed to fall in love with this amazing city, and once you’ve found your perfect apartment, you’re unlikely to want to leave!

Credit images: Unit One Architects 

Thank you Unit One Architects for sharing your point of view about London and Apartment Living. From exploring bespoke architectural structures to implementing innovative interior designs, the experts at Unit One Architects can help with all your residential architecture needs - helping you create the perfect home.

To connect with Unit One Architects, 
check out her WEBSITETWITTER

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Sunday, June 21, 2015


I had the pleasure to personally meet Stacy Garcia, hospitality designer and rock star in the textile world at the 2015 Architectural Digest DIFFA Dining by Design show. She is just a delight to chat with! She is all smiles and very passionate about what she does. She took me into her optical and multi- layered wonderland of shimmer, stripes, and gorgeous flowers -  a part of her Paper Muse for York Wallcoverings collection. The explosion of dimension showcases her inventive use of color and pattern. Really powerful presentation.

Besides beautiful textiles, her talents are very diversified;  She also applies serious style to furniture. With Bernhardt Hospitality, Stacy has collaborated a "rugged luxe" line of furniture called The Foundry. Pairing rough torched woods with acrylic, polished chrome and gold details underlines Bernhardt's brand of chic with expertly crafted pieces. Love it!   Her inviting designs feature product with personality and aim to the sense of well-being to all who enter a hotel or home. 

Learn more about Stacy Garcia. I'm so excited to share an interview with her today!


Our brand produces designs that all have an eclectic, well-traveled, high-art appeal. My personal style is reflected in many of my interiors, as well as, my wardrobe with thoughtfully collected pieces and a playful mixing of vintage and new.


My design aesthetic is inspired by couture fashion. In particular, how fashion designers create their collections. I’m lured by the idea that classic design can feel timeless, but at the same time I’m fascinated by how their designs evolve each season. It’s incredible to see the detail and level of craftsmanship that is involved.


My team and I meet once a year and we’re typically forecasting trends at least two years out. We start by taking a look at society’s drivers in art, media, and fashion. We’ll even examine mediums like politics and the environment, as many factors can have an impact on trends. We start on this more macro level and progress to a more micro level, looking at how these factors impact specific product categories within our industry. At this level, we’re really looking at the details, such as color, pattern, material and scale, and how they can be used together. When dealing with the interior world, we really want to capture the essence of evolution rather than revolution within the marketplace.


Contained chaos?! Just kidding...kind of. Joking aside, we work in a highly creative environment with materials and prototypes scattered everywhere. We get to have fun together, even though we’re running a business.


There was definitely an initial panic over all the moving parts when we started. The biggest lesson I learned is that I am capable of doing things outside of my comfort zone. There are a lot of considerations involved in this event. There is a lot of documentation that needs to be submitted in the early stages including a technical rider, fire certificate, inventory list and table renderings. I had to find the right vendors and partners for my installation and relied on them to guide us, as we hadn’t done this kind of install before.


The hardest aspect for me is editing, because there is never a lack of creative ideas. This is the most selective collection that I’ve designed for York Wallcoverings. I have a very eclectic design aesthetic and that can be challenging at times. With this collection, I really wanted to merchandise beautiful textures that have global appeal, and make sure that the editing work was done for the interior designers.


Bernhardt Hospitality is absolutely terrific to partner with. I look to Bernhardt as a leader in the industry–the very best in class within the scope of manufacturing companies involved in hospitality and residential design.

They were receptive to our ideas and willing to take a departure from the look they were previously offering to the hospitality market. We encouraged them to incorporate unique materials, details and finishes into our collection, such as, raw and torched wood finishes and rose gold details.


I would say that the biggest design impact on my work is the appetite today for good design. People have become increasingly more design-savvy. They have traveled more extensively and are looking for ways to incorporate features of hotel living into their own homes. This trend in consumerism has ignited another spark in what we do. The design-centric individual pushes us to keep innovating. It has become our mission to transcend ordinary design.


My most impactful travel experience started with seventeen months filling out paperwork and planning with anticipation of adopting our daughter from Russia. I've been very blessed with three biological sons and we were called to complete our family with a little girl. The process proved quite an adventure with three trips to Moscow and Samara. The biggest inspiration of all was our new daughter.


When we are up against tight design deadlines, it is always tempting to make concessions. When it comes to design and product, we have to love it!  “Meh” never makes the cut.


Stay Inspired. What else would it be?!

To connect with Stacy Garcia, 

image credits: Courtesy of Stacy Garcia, Inc.

To get a daily dose of design, find MoD Design Guru on

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

3D Printed Faucets ReInvented from DXV by American Standard

3D Printed Faucet with 19 waterways

I was invited by DXV by American Standard and Modenus to an evening of surprises. Top Secret was the buzz word making the event all the more mysterious. Woven into the evening were presentations from seven renowned designers (a few of which I am proud to call friends) who created their own unique spaces inspired by classic works of literature like Breakfast at Tiffanys, Anna Karenina and more. Each setting was a brilliant use of DXV products.  Hats off to DXV 2015 Design Panel which comprised of Lori Gilder, Rebecca Reynolds, Lisa Mende, Tami Ramsay, Krista Nye Schwartz, Justin Shaulis and Regina Sturrock. Veronika Miller of Modenus was ofcourse the genius who made it all happen!

The jawdropper of the night was the reveal of the 3D Printed Faucets in alloy metal.  DXV has certainly melded art and engineering innovation using a selective laser sintering printing process. Over the past few years, We have seen many 3D printed objects but what makes these designs so special is how the user experiences the water. 

Its a shocker - you do not know where the water is coming from thru the open lattice work; its revolutionary in faucet design! DXV adds, "The high strength of the alloy enables fine structures of concealed waterways that converge at the top of the faucet, shortly before reaching the aerator. This construction creates the impression water appears magically out of the faucet."  

See the Video:

This faucet below has waterways that are separated into four thin sections giving a more traditional appearance.

The elegant faucet below shows how water is supposed to ripple like water over a bed of stones. Love it! DXV used Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) technology to adjust each of the 19 waterways. 

If you want one of these new DXV faucets, they will be available though an exclusive network of showrooms costing somewhere between $12,000- $20,000. 

To get a daily dose of design, find MoD Design Guru on