Monday, February 25, 2013

ModDesignGuru nominated in 2013 JDR Industry Blogger Awards




OMGI am so excited to announce that ModDesignGuru has been nominated as Best Architecture Blogger in the 2013 JDR Industry Blogger Awards!  JDR (Jackson Design and Remodeling) has been a pioneer in the design and build remolding industry for over 20 years. They believe in embracing innovation and excellence. I am so honored and amazed that my design blog ModDesignGuru has been recognized!!

Voting is open NOW until 4/12/13 at 4 p.m. (Voting limited to one vote per person/computer.)

I would so appreciate your vote!!! Please vote for Mod Design Guru here.







Sunday, February 24, 2013

TREND: JEWEL TONES IN DESIGN

Anna Sui - Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Fall 2013

colorful, artsy, chic

Jewel tones (purple, orange, pink, red, etc) was the color scheme of Anna Sui's collection for New York Fashion week Fall 2013. Rich, saturated colors also hit the international trade show imm-cologne in Cologne, Germany. Eye-popping furniture and lighting designs  splashed with intense color made designs dynamic and distinctive. 





Montana is a system that offers a world of possibilities. You have the freedom to create unique and personal storage creations for your home. 42 units, 4 depths, 49 colors and 10 different designs. A whole wall of color, love it! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

3D PRINTING: NERVOUS SYSTEM

3D printing, a new construction method has become a buzz word over the past few years. You can make almost anything from aerospace parts, to jewelry to products for home design. The process is as follows: you enter a CAD drawing and the printer produces thin layers of materials, fusing them together turning your creation into a three-dimensional object. Voila!



Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jess Louis-Rosenberg of Nervous System design company are creating some awesome affordable lighting, jewelry and housewares using 3d-printing. All inspired by nature with complex and unconventional geometries. I was amazed to learn that on their site you can create your very own custom cellular jewelry and sculptural design using their Cell Cycle design app. Click HERE.  





(all images via n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com)

Connect and learn more on their 
WEBSITE, FACEBOOK & TWITTER


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

TRUFIG: flush wall mounted interior solutions



MOD Must Haves
pure, novel, tactile, wondrous 
for detail lovers



A representative from the TRUFIG company came to my office. I was blown away by their product! Their revolutionary flush mounted solutions are great for architects and designers who focus on modern details.  

Say goodbye to ugly looking switch or outlet covers.
Trufig's cover plates seamlessly disappear into any wall surface! 


Outlets mesh into sheetrock walls:








Monday, February 18, 2013

CREATIVE CATWALKS AT NY FASHION WEEK FALL 2013


BEYOND THE BREATHTAKING FASHION AT THE 2013 MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK, 
IT'S THE EVENT DETAILS THAT MAKE A SHOW.


(SOURCE)
 JASON WU

AN OVER-SCALED CRYSTAL CHANDELIER SET LOW TO THE GROUND SET THE MOOD



 (SOURCE)
PAMELLA ROLAND

FEELING THE OPULENCE OF RUSSIAN PALACES 
SEEN IN THE INTRICATE PAVED-LIKE FLOORING AND BROCADE WALLS



PRABAL GARUNG

STRONG, FOCUSED AND CONFIDENT WARRIOR WOMEN ACCENTED BY 
STRONG, PUNCTUATED LIGHTING



MARC JACOBS

THE SUNS WARMTH CASTS ROMANTIC SEPIA COLORS



DONNA KARAN

ANGULAR METAL WALLS ECHO THE LINES 
AND DRAPING OF THE MATERIALS 
(SOURCE)




(SOURCE)
SALLY LAPOINTE

FIERY NEON LIGHT BEAMS DEFINE THE CATWALK




RALPH LAUREN

CHANDELIERS ADD A HISTORICAL LOOK





MONIQUE LHUILLIER

A PROJECTION OF MALACHITE OPULENCE 
EMITS THE BACKDROP OF THE STAGE




BITT Networking Night


Sunday, February 17, 2013

SPOTLIGHT: DU VERRE HARDWARE, CRAFT AND HISTORY INSPIRED


GINA LUBIN OF DU VERRE HARDWARE

Du Verre Hardware, one of Blog Tour Cologne's generous sponsors, is a brand that is known for its sculptural and artistic take on hardware.  Each piece looks a one-off. It's handcrafted appearance is due to its sundry variation in dimension. 



The Rio collection, a distinct interwoven pattern of randomn lines was designed by Gina Lubin, the company’s co-founder, CEO, and creative director. She shares her inspirational story.





Q & A with GINA LUBIN 

INSPIRATION BEHIND THE RIO COLLECTION
Rio is my only collection for Du Verre so far although, in a sense, they are all mine. In the beginning, Du Verre Hardware was sand cast in India. We made all of our first collections there. Working in India was an incredible experience for which I am truly grateful. Everything there is made by hand and the creative imagination runs at full tilt. On one of my last trips, I began to play and sculpt in clay. I was inspired by all the craft and history around me.  

Rio emerged and I liked it. It seemed mysterious and iconic at the same time. A little like Jain temples or Mayan ruins with their ancient symbols and architectural motifs. The intention was to keep its hand made look. It has been very well received. We now produce it in three finishes; Antique Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze and Satin Nickel.



TEMPLE OF UXMAL, MAYAN ARCHITECTURAL RUIN 


While Rio is my first official collection for Du Verre, I am the invisible hand that assists in bringing all the designs to fruition. We invite designers and friends from the design and craft world to create hardware for us. People whose work we admire.

Their original ideas come to me in many forms. Sometimes the idea is in the conceptual stage, sometimes I get a full blown prototype that needs minimal translation. Collaboration is at the heart of this endeavor and we are fortunate in working with highly professional and talented design professionals. I have known most of my designers for many, many years.





DESIGN MUSES
Design muses are everywhere. Mine are in nature, in art and music

I LOVE WHAT I DO: 
Leading Du Verre has been a dream job. Our business has been an excellent vehicle for exploration, learning and creative expression. My partner and I have been in business together for many years.  We have designed together, traveled together and learned about the world. It is always interesting, always changing. Who could ask for more?



DREAM COLLABORATION
The dream collaboration is the one I have with my partner Gavin McLean.



~

THANK YOU, GINA! 

YOU CAN CONNECT WITH DU VERRE HARDWARE




Friday, February 15, 2013

THE ANGLE: ART DECO, WHERE HIGH END FASHION COLLIDES WITH HOME DESIGN




an attitude, a point of view, a design perspective

Today's city slant: NEW YORK CITY Fashion week


On the runway last week for Fall 2013 NYC Fashion week, fashion designer Monique Lhullier showcased a girl who is confident, sensual, super dramatic with mixes of Art deco, intense color and structure. 

I really loved the Art deco references. Art Deco visual motifs include geometric shapes, curves, Eqyptian zigzags, motion lines, metallic colors and motifs depicting nature. 


Her sheer and brocade gowns had sophisticated lines in motion and applied plant-like patterns....

 Monique Lhuillier Fashion Week Fall 2013




Another stunner is the astounding metallic lace-work. (pic on the right). But the showstopper was the nude garment with intricate black geometric beading. ( pic on the left) Wow!!


 Monique Lhuillier Fashion Week Fall 2013




How can you rock the art deco look in your home design? There are ways to create a modern version of art deco without over doing it! 


Use of geometric architectural elements..






The chevron charcoal rugs by Metro Rugs USA picks up the use of zigzags..




Found some great finds from Dwell Studio:

Love this contemporary tripod table. Its luxe metallic finish and geometric simplicity makes a great accent to any room. The Trompe-L'oeil wallpaper on the left adds visual texture... 


                                 (source)                  (source)




The stepped Glynn Linen Natural headboard is pure geometry....







Pattern appeal from the stylized blossoms duvet and sham set....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spotlight interview with Phillipe Grohe on Blog Tour Cologne




Philippe Grohe, Head of Axor and Michele Alfano of Mod Design Guru


AXOR, A BRAND WITH HEAD & HEART

I had the ultimate pleasure to sit down at the imm_cologne show with Philippe Grohe, the head of Hansgrohe's luxury brand, Axor. He was extremely kind and so easy to talk to. By the end, it was clear that he is passionate about his work,  has a respect for nature and the world of tomorrow. His fascination and work with water ultimately is improving our quality of life.  He strives in this complex, modern life to provide a bathroom space where you can experience nature and balance - a sanctuary for us.








Q & A


How would describe the Axor Brand?


I would like to be a global brand offering bathroom solutions for your personal bathroom. We offer the best quality and technological components so that designers, like you who understand are able to make connections - like letters of an alphabet coming together to make sentences and solutions.









What value  do you put on social media and the blogger/brand connection?

Four years ago, we did not know what a Blog was. We took serious steps in the company to change the mindset. We gave a strong impulse on the resource side towards digital media and with a very clear objective we moved our resources from one side to the other. For 10 years, I was looking for a platform of discussions. We thought Facebook was the right place but it was absolutely the wrong place to talk about the Axor approach. We moved to the Blog side and now the Blog is exploding and the right platform. My approach with Axor is not about making a successful product but about a solution to making a successful product. It’s a very different approach from Hansgrohe and a lot of different companies.



Tell me more about making solutions?

A car is a solution in itself. The tap is not a solution in itself. There is always something around the tap. There is a basin, there are tiles. For me, the idea is its approach, it’s a perspective, it's an attitude. We think about water, we think about space and we think about people. We try to see the totality of this in-order to reflect on ideas and what consequences they play on these components. There are very few people that handle everything. We were very lucky to work with Philippe Starck twenty years ago. That’s when we started to understand that an interior designer looks at a product in a very different way than a product designer. I don’t do anything else but then to ask myself how can I continue to use this broad understanding, this holistic new view on things in order to do it different and do it better than other people.





Can you describe your collaboration with Philippe Starck and the Organic line?

It was much more a product discussion then a bathroom discussion at first. We came to him with a special spray where we wanted people to use half but not to have the feeling that nothing was taken away. After the fact, Starck started talked about the "salle d'eau," a bathroom of water. He wanted it to be about wellness, about emotion. It’s not just about cleaning ourselves. It’s about feeling, about living. He thought about this shape and studied the energy of nature, the elegance of nature and about the efficiency of nature with the minimum effort to achieve the maximum of things. Our collaboration was like a ping pong game. At Axor, we like to keep it open. We do not do briefings in the classical way. We always have to know what the market will accept but it will not narrow down our discussion in the beginning anyway.




What do you want your user to feel and experience?

It’s not complicated. I want people to be happy and I think we have enormous potential on the bathroom side because in the daily life of modern people we lose contact with nature. We have so many choices and possibilities in front of us that it tortures us. People are so busy and have moved away from nature. Ninety percent of our brain is animal. There is an unconscious desire, which wants to interact, to understand, to feel things. Living in cities we move so quickly that it is difficult to do so. The bathroom becomes a place of nature in the daily life of modern people. It can do much more than make us clean.





What is the Head & Heart as it relates to Axor's bathrooms?

This is a good question. The Head is the more technical issues, the more intrinsic things that you do not see. The heart would be the feeling of the water. Put your hands under the water. You like the feeling or not. Look at the shape. It will already touch you or not. If I talk about the 3.5 liters per minute, or the 90 nozzles or the hollow casting, I am talking about the Head. The Heart, you have to feel, to experience, to make people understand that it’s more than just a nice design. With Head & Heart, people may understand.


You work with premier designers like Philippe Starck, Patricia Urquiola, Antonio Citterio to name a few. Would you consider working with an up and coming designer?

I say no more way too often. The investment and commitment to working with a new designer is enormous. It takes 3-6 years of collaboration before the first product is coming out. I started working with Philippe Starck, Patricia Urquiola, Antonio Citterio when they were known but not as what they are today. Its true I don't take them when they are inexperienced but its not because they are famous or well known that I work with them. The criteria I look for is first personal, if I like them and they like me. I very much focus on designers who have a broader understanding of things. The Bouroullec brothers are product designers but some of their products have an influence on space. They think like interior designers. I want to have very different people that have different approaches and languages. It's one of my difficult moments or decisions to whom I say Yes. 





Thank you Philippe for an inspiring and meaningful interview!




Photo Credits: Axor







Sunday, February 10, 2013

1882 Ltd. : dialogue between craft and mass production



1882 Ltd- Crockery


At the imm_cologne show I came across 1882 Ltd., a special and innovative ceramic company based in Staffordshire, England.  There I met Emily Johnson, a fifth generation ceramic artist whose family produced ceramics since 1882 in the heart of the Stoke-on-Trent Potteries. As I marveled at the tableware, she passionately described how she challenges the argument between craft and mass production. Her ambition is to revive the pottery business by taking a traditional craft into new fresh, novel forms. 



Emily Johnson with her father Christopher, an expert potter 
(photo credit: 1882 Ltd)



She realized her goal with her collaboration with the talented Max Lamb, a designer from London known for creating beautiful crafted pieces that have materials and traditional processes at their core. 




Crockery by Max Lamb
(photo credit: 1882 Ltd)




Crockery by Max Lamb 



Each bone piece looks like a one-off but is slip-casted, a technique for the mass production of pottery. The interior is glazed making it functional but its raw plaster exterior is what stirs a dialogue and communicates simplicity, one's craft and hand-carved skill. 





Max Lamb 
(photo credit: 1882 Ltd)



I smiled so wide when I saw Max Lamb's Crockery pieces in the exhibition, "Isn't it romantic: Contemporary Design Balancing Between Poetry and Provocation," at the Musuem of Applied Art (MAKK) in Cologne, Germany. On Blog Tour, we had the pleasure to meet the Curator Tugla Beyerle who gave us all a private tour. She explained that there is a revival of the emotional in modern design. New objects in the commercial world of design do have a romantic expression to it, that leave functionalism, that leave perfection and that leave all these things connected to design in a classical way. 



Image of Crockery by Max Lamb at the Makk



One thing I walked away with is a desire towards naturalism and the imperfect. This opposition between the industrial and handcrafts is clear in the work over at 1882 Ltd.

Contact 1882 on FACEBOOK AND TWITTER!
 




Tuesday, February 5, 2013

SEQUIN BUILDING SKIN in COLOGNE

While my time over in Cologne,  an undulation of sparkle caught my eye on one of the buildings in the city. Surprising as a majority of the buildings were built in the Bauhaus style: simple, clean cuts, white walls and no decorative elements.

  
(Bauhaus example in Cologne)

The vigorous shimmer was coming from the façade of a retail store called DOM.  I marveled that the skin of the building was composed of thousands of metal sequins that rippled in the wind.   I absolutely loved it and became obsessed with its sounds and pulsation. 






I had to get a closer look....





The kinetic effect  was dynamic and brought  the façade to life! I took some short movies on my iphone:



video




video


The inside was a place to discover too…. a selection of accessories, beauty, music, books, jewelry, gadgets, toys, furniture, home accessories, lighting and more....No pictures was allowed so check out their website.