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Saturday, June 29, 2013

DIFFA Picnic by Design 2013 Summer Soiree

How would you like to go to Picnic by Design, a NYC summer soiree benefiting  DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS)? A one-of-a-kind picnic basket designed by MoD Design Guru is a ticket to The Picnic By Design 2013 dinner + cocktail party. Each basket includes dinner and wine for two people followed by the cocktail and dessert party. Take home the whole experience..... which includes the unique basket and all its tabletop contents!! 

The soiree is on August 21, 2013 at the Scholastic Building Rooftop Atrium 557 Broadway, New York City. Dinner 6:30- 8 pm. Cocktail: 8-11pm. 

MDG's Picnic basket is available for purchase HERE.... but I'm sure you would like a peek into the inspiration before hitting the red "Buy Basket button." 

Picnic Design inspiration: 

MoD Design Guru Picnic by Design experience 2013

Connecting with all the amazing work DIFFA does in promoting life and caring for those living with AIDS, MoD design Guru's picnic design is based on the pure elements of LIFE: air, fire, earth and water. Each essential LIFE element is embedded into the experience:

AIR: the EOS light fixture by Vita lighting is encased in pure bird feathers. ( fixture donated by Vita lighting)

FIRE: candles. 

EARTH: the cross-section of the box depicts the earth and its many layers. The basket's top layer transforms into a table for two, perfect for a picnic.

WATER: a pop of ocean blue. 

Design: MoD Design Guru 
Fabricator: FiveStarMillwork

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

todays ANGLE: Mod Lighting trends for 2013

LED fixtures are hot, Incandescent fixtures are not!
The incandescent light bulb has had its day and environmental concerns about energy efficiency has dampened its popularity. New advancements in Mod LED lighting are happening and I  asked Ingo Schaer, an industry insider for over 20 years and the President and CEO of the mod website Interior-Deluxe to share his ANGLE on trends he sees in modern lighting for 2013 thus far. attitude, a point of view, a design perspective from lighting expert Ingo Schaer. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and regularly blogs on a variety of Modern lighting and Interior design topics, often focusing on practical solutions.   You can find him on Google +
Take it away, Ingo....
Since I work with many brands I have noticed a gradual switch (this year especially) from traditional incandescent lighting to energy efficient LED lighting or sockets that accommodate CFL's. Secondly when it comes to materials, I have seen many creative things being done with 3D printing. Really awesome things, especially from Materialise but i'll get more into that later.

First things first. Energy Efficiency. The days of chandeliers or suspension lamps with 16-34 incandescent bulbs are winding down. Not only did these items create unnecessary heat, but also incandescent bulbs don't last as long as CFL's or LED's for that matter. A very popular brand that has embraced this shift is Artemide from Italy. Artemide has been around for years. Many of their products can be found in permanent museum collections and they are leading the pack when it comes to energy efficiency.

This is a classic modern table lamp that has won many industry awards, originally available with an incandescent configuration, and is now available in an eco-friendly LED configuration.

This fixture, originally available in a halogen configuration, is now also available with LED bulbs.

Pirce Pendant Light

Modern, Enigmatic and a show stopper. Originally created in 2009 but redesigned for LED in 2013.

Now for 3D printing, another trend in mod lighting:

Wonderful things are being created now due to the advent of 3D printing. Designers create a 3D model on the computer and see their creations realized via 3D printing technologies.  Beautiful diffusers that would otherwise be impossible with molds.... Have you heard of Materialise? I would look out for them. Here are a few of my favorite pieces by them. 

Quin.MGX Pendant

Flame.MGX Pendant

Metropolis. MGX Floor Lamp 

I too am crazy about 3D Printing and the work Materialise is doing. I actually had the honor to meet and interview Joris Debo, Creative Director of Materialise.  Click HERE to read the interview and learn more about fashion innovations in 3D printing. 

Thank you Ingo for your insights on Mod LED Lighting!

(The MGX images are courtesy of Materialize and the Artemide images are courtesy of Artemide USA Inc)

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Sustainable Felt Design by Metylos

Metylos Louison patterned felt rug

With all the top-notch designers showing their innovative wares at Wanted design 2013 this year, I fell for the French company Metylos.... where designers Claire and Fabrice Roch create unique decorative products out of 100% Lambswool Felt fused with wood. Mod colors from natural pigments, well-crafted, sustainable processes, and a genuine concern for the environment describes their unique designs.  See the range:

Like ameobic creatures from the ocean, these felt LED light fixtures named Mathilde radiate a warm glow of light. The beauty of these lamps is its ability to change shape...they can be be braided, knotted, or slumped into different modulations with small round felt discs. About 48" long. Comes with cord, and discs. Felt comes in range of colors from white, pink, red, oranges, blue, to natural colors.

Succulent like a pineapple, recycled scraps plump up this 100% felt fixture named Martin. About 12" wide X 24" long. Felt comes in range of colors. Comes with cord, switch and socket.

The Victor fixture glows thru its perforated felt design. Its sculptural form comes in two sizes - 12" or 16".

The mustache motif always brings forth a these felt i-phone and i-pad cases called Geek corner!

I have never seen a mirror like this one before....The Leo mirror has cascading felt that gives this mirror design texture and dimension. The felt can either be left hanging or fastened to the sides. It is about 24"X36" in size.

The Paul side tables are so much fun... made from natural beech wood from French forests with cool turned wood legs to support.  The applied felt gives the table a nice pop of color and added texture. 

You can connect with Metylos on their WEBSITE, FACEBOOK and TWITTER

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Authentic Polish Pierogi Recipe

I love my Cooking Club! What's better than sitting around a table with women who love food, wine and good conversation!  The theme for the night was I proceeded to ask my Polish friend how to make authentic Pierogi's, like her Nana would make! She sent me her Potato-Cheese Pierogi Recipe that was absolutely scrumptious. The ladies loved it, even though I forgot the dollop of sour cream. I was warned that it was a lot of work but I was up for the challenge...although secretly shooting myself while making them for the first time. Although a labor of love, I would make them again...See the process below: 

Makes 30 (6 servings of pierogi)


- 2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg yok
- 1 teasp.salt
- About 1 cup lukewarm water

Potato-Cheese Filling:
- 2 lb potatoes
- 1 minced onion saute in 1 tablespoon butter
- 8oz cream cheese - secret ingredient
- salt and pepper to taste


In a medium bowl, combine egg, salt, water and flour. Knead until dough is firm and well mix cover with on overturned bowl or loosely with plastic wrap and rest 15 min.

Peel potatoes and cook them in water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt (mash potato after full cook and mix with saute onion and cheese (salt and pepper to taste)

Add the butter and stir until the onions are translucent. 

I snuck a taste and mmmm the mixture of cream cheese, onions and potato were delish!

On a flour work surface (I used my corian countertop and spread flour), roll the dough out thinly  and cut with a 2-inch round or glass. Spoon a portion of the filling into the middle of each circle. Fold dough in half and pinch edges together. Gather scraps, reroll and fill. Repeat with remaining half of dough.

Sprinkle a baking sheet with flour and place the filled pierogi on it in a single layer. Cover with a tea towel. 

The final step....ahhh:

You can choose to boil or pan-fry your perogi’s. I pan-fryed in butter and a teaspoon of olive oil until it was browned on both sides. It may be easier to boil them as originally suggested. If you boil, bring a large low saucepan of salted water to boil. Drop in the pierogi six at a time. Wait for the pierogi to rise to the surface, and continue to simmer a few minutes more. Remove one with slotted spoon and taste for doneness. When satisfied, remove pierogi from water to a serving platter.

Serve warm with minced caramelized onion and sour cream on top. Yumm!!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

MoD Must Have: Element Ceramic's Tactile Porcelain

pure, novel, stylish
for sculpture lovers

Heather Knight

"the natural world holds a wealth of imagery from which I filter into this work

I stumbled upon Heather Knight of Element ceramics a gifted ceramicist whose work captivates your eye with all its textural movement. Inspired by nature, the clay becomes alive with repetitive texture and produces the illusion of movement. I wouldn't be surprised if something started to wiggle..... Heather is constantly looking for new hints of inspiration in nature on walks through the woods and beach adventures. She adds, "I look at nature for inspiration, the ocean, seeds, leaves, flowers, grass and trees. I collect objects and images that inspire me and let them sink in, I try not to over think and work intuitively."

I asked Heather to tell us about her creative process. She adds, "All of my items are made by hand. I build the bases of the tiles with slabs and then individually apply each texture - a process of delicate, repetitive hand work. The bowls all start with slabs and then I impress the texture, making each mark with my hand or tools." 

Heather's craft has such a simple form; yet each piece is so dynamic and complex. You just want to reach in and touch it. Her bowls would look fantastic as a centerpiece on a kitchen island.... Her sculptures would add dramatic interest to a styled bookcase or dining room table...... peruse a little..

You can connect with Heather on her WEBSITE,  FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and ETSY, yes you can purchase one of these beauties!!!

(all images by Heather Knight)

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I remember the days of NYC apartment living....bare walls, small windows and tight spaces. But I managed and loved every moment... Creating cool moments in a rental can be challenge but there are ways to modernize a rental apartment. 

I was recently asked by an online newspaper to advise renters how to add a modern edge with 10 different stylish products in their Sunday Cleveland Plain Dealer section....Click HERE to read the article. (Below are the coordinated images to the article that was not included:)











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Monday, June 17, 2013

today's ANGLE: Harbor Springs Michigan, a Summer Destination attitude, a point of view, a design perspective from Interior designer, go-to color maven and artist Lisa Smith. Known as the "color girl and thinking interior designer," Lisa runs her own firm called Interior Design Factory Ltd, in conjunction with her fantastic blog Decor Girl. You can follower her on Twitter and Facebook.

 I love Today's city slant! 
Thanks to Lisa who shared her wonderful vacation to her hometown:  

Summer In Northern Michigan – 
The Simple Pleasures of Harbor Springs

As soon as Memorial Day has passed the sleepy towns in Northern Michigan began to awaken from their cool winter slumber.  A summer destination for tourists since the 1800’s, small Victorian towns dot the shores of clear blue Lake Michigan at the northern most tip.

This also happens to be where I grew up, Harbor Springs Michigan.  As one of the rare people who actually have more than four generations preceding me in the area, I have a primal tug to the history and charm of the region.  Although I left long ago, when I return it is never as a tourist though I can appreciate what draws them back year after year.  Life is about the simple things.

Would you imagine and plain old turkey sandwich (on homemade bread) from Gurney’s Bottle Shop (liquor store) on Main Street is one of the first things I run for?  The smell of freshly baked bread, the overall mouth-feel of biting into this sandwich and perfect garlicy dill pickle tastes exactly the same as when I was a child, nothing compares.  Pure heaven.  This is often followed by Kilwin’s Traverse City Cherry ice cream.As kids we called tourist’s “Fudgies” as this is what they always have, not on my list. 

There are plenty of restaurants and cute little gift shops to keep one occupied, but there is more.  I enjoy driving around the area taking in the architecture.  A combination of east coast Shingle Style and Victorian Clapboard mix in amongst cute little Arts & Crafts Bungalows.  This is likely where I got my penchant for white molding, unpainted interior woodwork is a rarity. 

Meandering along M-119 (Shore Drive to me) in and out of the tunnel of trees, one can catch all sorts of log cabins, new and old along the Lake Michigan shoreline. 

Another common theme is the use of stone with edges softened by early glaciers and the ravages of Lake Michigan.

Three and even four story cottages built long ago in certain enclaves which were the playground for the rich and famous back in the day.

Back in the late 1800’s Northern Michigan was abundant in virgin hardwoods and logging was one of the first, though short lived industries aside from tourism to sustain the common man.  This is my great, great grandfather at the reins.

Horses were great however, Ephraim Shay felt rail would be much more efficient and he invented the Shay Locomotive just for this purpose.

Harbor Springs is rich in history and a lovely northern town to remove oneself from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  For me going back home, is going back to a simpler time when the enjoyment in life was what occurred around you, no electronics required. 

Thank you Lisa, a wonderful destination for sure!! That Gurney's sandwich looks very yummy!

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