Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Personalized Tiny Prints I-phone Cases Holiday Gift

Here's an idea for an awesome Christmas or Chanukah gift for someone else or even yourself.  A customized phone case like this one:
Simply Snapped iPhone Cases
Or the literally hundreds of designs you can choose from for your iPhone or Samsung phone at Tiny Prints. You can also design one from scratch.
And today only, Tiny Prints is offering these cases for 50% off! Are you flabbergated? 

Here's how to get this offer:

1. Check out Tiny Prints phone cases and choose from iPhone or Samsung and if you want photos or not.
2. Add photos if you want, select your fonts, type in your message, choose your colors. Make it personal. Make it uniquely you (or whoever you are getting it for).
3. When you checkout, use the code EARLYBIRD1210 to save 50%.
It's that simple.
Also, check out all their other gifts and cards and use the code SWDEAL30 to save up to 30% on your order. And code FREESHIP49 will get you free shipping if your order is more than $49.
Pretty awesome...so check it out today.




Thursday, December 4, 2014

BLOG TOUR CALI AT WEST EDGE DESIGN FAIR 2014


Santa Monica Barker Hangar -West Edge Design Fair


On Modenus Blog Tour Cali we celebrated West coast design at the West Edge Design fair, located at the Santa Monica Barker Hangar. West Edge was one of the Tour's sponsors so it was great to connect at the October fest party! Here's who puts the Design fair all together.  The fair had a progressive vibe with more than 150 inspiring exhibitors displaying contemporary furniture, lighting, accessories, kitchen and bath products and outdoor furnishings. At night the Hangar transformed into a night clubby feel with edgy music and celebs abound like Ty Pennington, Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Kathryn Ireland. Even got a pic with Kathryn!! So much fun!

Fave highlights:



Caba- Bark and mirror




DXV by American Standard


Kelly Lamb - metal inlays



 Forbes and Lomax - invisible light switch



Jennair - black interior


Some of my lighting faves were Elish Warlop, Pelle's blown glass orbs, wood patterned fixtures by David Trubridge and mini rain sculptures by Blackbody. Furniture faves were Moore + Friesel's wood beauty and Kelly Lamb's geometric metal inlays. Accessory fave was the invisible light switch by Forbes and Lomax, SunValley bronze hardware and organic bark material by Caba. Kitchen fave was Jennair with the black refrigerator interior.  Bath fave was DXV by American Standard's mix of styles. Wall covering fave was Black Crow Studio's beautiful watercolor inspired textile and pillows. And much more....


Check out the slideshow and see what the show is all about:
(some images included by Chasen West)




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

Monday, December 1, 2014

Can a DXV Tub make you happy?


The right tub can turn an average bath into something amazing ....


Carrie of CarrieDesign Musings, Brandon of Dcoopmedia, Kim of DesignThoughtsInteriors, Michele (me) of MoDDesignGuru


BlogTourCali designers at the West Edge Design Fair couldn't help jumping inside of the DXV tubs...it makes us happy! So, What is it about DXV Tubs?



To start off, DXV stands for Decade 15. Clever, right?  American Standard brand celebrates its fifteenth decade of business with the launch of DXV, luxurious fixtures inspired by significant eras in history. DXV breaks down four periods of design history to make it easier for the consumer to connect to what their own personal style is....For example, if you're a classicist, the St. George is perfect. If you are more a modernist, the Lyndon is a beautiful choice. So jump right in and feel them out like BlogTourCali designers. Its a win-win and makes everybody smile! 


THE CLASSICAL MOVEMENT (1890-1920)
Sculptural and flowing lines like the St. George below

St. George
image: Chasen West



THE GOLDEN ERA(1920-1950)
Simplified geometries and a reductive approach to decoration as seen in the Fitzgerald collection below





Fitzgerald collection


THE CONTEMPORARY MOVEMENT (1990-PRESENT)
Pure forms that emphasize geometry and precision as seen in the Lyndon tub below


Lyndon tub
Image: Chasen West


Lyndon tub

As a modernist, I connect to the Contemporary collection with its clean lines and flowing corner detailing. I'm loving the depth; allows you to really soak and immerse yourself in the water while bathing. Ahh, spa like. Tubs today equate to luxury and taking time for yourself. Bathing in the DXV Lyndon will make you feel like a million bucks.



DXV , thankyou. You were an awesome sponsor of Blog Tour Cali!



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

Saturday, November 29, 2014

ROHL | JORGER: HAND-CRAFTED INNOVATION IN FINISHING + DESIGN

Exciting new things are happening over at ROHL. Faucets and water fixtures have embraced German innovation in metal finishing. How? The ROHL/ Jörger collaborative - collections all hand-made by German craftsman who take pride in the best surfaces in-order to produce only the best fixtures.




Florale Crystale

Mark Rohl and Oliver Jorger


I learned all about it at an informative and scrumptious lunch at  the Asiate, Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC with two influential men in the plumbing industry: Mark Rohl, President of the Eastern division at Rohl and Oliver Jorger, the Managing Director of Jorger. Joining me was Amy from abcddesigns and Rebecca from Rebecca Reynolds Design.



The colors and the taste of the food was delightful! Paired well with the Florale Crystal collection. 

Florale Crystale






During lunch, Oliver Jorger explained that his great, great grandfather founded the company and was a master plumber to the court of the Grand Duke Friedrich II of Badenstarted.  Generations to follow, Oliver's father taught him to rely on his own sensibilities and look for inspiration from the world around him. For Oliver that would be nature and architecture. 




Aphrodite collection


Oliver told us that the Aphrodite collection was inspired by his great grandfather's watch but you can also see a nod to Greek architecture. 



Turn Collection

The beautiful twist of the Cayan Tower in Dubai is the architectural inspiration for the Turn collection. 


Aphrodite cross handle



What really blew me away while admiring all the new designs were the sparkling accents and striking metal combinations. Jorger's manufacturing process is able to combine multiple metals. This is something unique and complete luxury in the plumbing industry! Look at the integrated fluting of gold with platinum. Wow...Each warm colored layer is finished by hand. Oliver adds, "innovation is all about authenticity and value." In simple terms, its all about the craftsmanship and finishing which makes this collection so special!!






Palazzo collection


The Palazzo faucet exemplifies European luxury. See the special 18 karat gold alloy. Its more warm and less goldie. Its called the Sunshine finish. The platinum is called Mink. Gorgeous. Designers are seeking out unique embellishments for powder rooms and these new designs are very exciting for high end residential design.



Thank you so much to Julie McCrary and Sherry Hansel Qualls of Whitegood, Mark Rohl and Oliver Jorger for an inspiring lunch!



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



Sunday, November 23, 2014

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: FU-TUNG CHENG | ZEPHYR VENTILATION HOODS

Do you think that a range hood could be sexy? 


ZEPHYR- LED LIGHTING



CHENG's  TRAPEZE FOR ZEPHYR



Well, if its a Zephyr hood! 

Zephyr is making sure that unique hood design is the next revolution for kitchens. Some are curved, some sleek, some geometric and some with cool LED lighting! Whatever your preference, kitchen hoods can be a real architectural statement and reflect your taste and personality.  



San Francisco Zephyr showroom


On Modenus' Blog Tour Cali, I was introduced to Zephyr Ventilation. What a gorgeous San Francisco showroom! Zephyr is committed to smart design and making sure that range hoods are no longer an after thought. Zephyr gets that today's customer is savvy and not only wants something innovative; but also wants something cool, beautiful and captures one's imagination.


San Francisco Zephyr showroom

Pairing style and functionality, Zephyr's artful hood designs are great for modern kitchens: extremely quiet, self cleaning technologies and high CFM output. Zephyr has gone as far as partnering with innovative thinkers such as Fu-Tung Cheng and Robert Brunner bringing ventilation to a whole new level. 


CHENG's OKEANITO wall ventilation hood for Zephyr 


At our exclusive dinner, the bloggers got to meet Mr. Cheng and hear him speak about his firm Cheng Design, a history of innovation.  I had the opportunity to chat with him during our amazing dinner! What an honor!


Michele Alfano (me) and Fu-Tung Cheng

Mr. Cheng is trained in fine art and an innovator in the use of concrete. A man who is inspired by beauty in everyday life. He told us that he is not a trained architect;yet he knows how to build entire homes out of concrete!  Of course years of experimentation starting out in his very own home! (image below) His new book Concrete at Home shows some of his wonderful work! 

I am so inspired by his thinking that I had to learn more about him...I am excited to share an interview with Mr. Fu-Tung Cheng!







House #6


WHAT IS YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE?

I would describe my style as modernist (Bernard) Maybeck...after the Bay Area famous, turn-of-the-19th century Beaux-Arts trained architect who in turn trained Julia Morgan of Hearst Castle fame. I love the work of Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona and aspire to put a minute portion of his detailed craftsmanship and artistry in my work.



Cheng's Home Kitchen concrete countertop


WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?

I approach architectural design somewhat like a painter approaches a blank canvas––excited at first, anticipating the infinite possibilities. Apprehensive edge of fear.  The lengthy creative process to discover, or uncover, the final design is too big for one person. So I rely on all the influences from every person engaged in the process, from client and staff architects to contractors and sub contractors. Each contributes crucial bits of information and expertise. It’s akin to movie making, where you have a writer, producer, director, editor, and of course, the all-important actors. Each adds their unique ingredient to spice the collective stone soup. My role is the shape-shifter chameleon who maintains the DNA of the vision. Sometimes I keep to the background, camouflaged. Sometimes I am front and center. 



Concrete Fountain

House #6

WHAT GOALS HAVE YOU SET OVER THE YEARS TO BECOME AN EXPERT AT CONCRETE?

None really. The material itself is so versatile, so essential to structures that its myriad possibilities re-sets new goals to achieve, organically, project to project. From modest countertops to whole houses of concrete, I have risen to the challenges of the big change in scale, while maintaining the same level of active play with the material.



Cheng Zephyr Range Hood

WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO CREATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING WHEN DESIGNING WITH THE ZEPHYR TEAM?

In product design, there is the added challenge of what price the target market is willing to pay for a given design. The vetting process of finding out what the market needs, who will pay for, and how it will be made at an affordable price with a profit to be made, is different than with custom design. I take in all the data and sketch with pad and pencil. We all look at sketches and make short lists. The factory gives their input. Then we go back to the drawing board. Working backwards from the price at retail is sometimes the only realistic way to design what will actually evolve to production.




House #6


WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE ON HOUSE (#6)?

Working out the concrete wall "lifts" around the perimeter of the house was a first for Cheng Design. This method of "Slip" casting four foot high sections of wall enabled me to place colored 'geological' strata along the length of some of the walls. It is somewhat of a blind placement as it is difficult to see what is happening in the few inches of clear space between the re-bar, mesh and wall forms...as the concrete is being vibrated. One has to rely on instincts and experience to achieve distinctive results. House 6 could have easily felt cold and forbidding with its small portholes and concrete floors, walls, and kitchen countertops. But the eclectic textural and material array of warm Japanese plaster, wood, and paper lanterns combine with the rich imbedded tones of the shiny smooth concrete walls to assuage the seemingly hard surfaces.





House #6


WHAT LESSONS DID YOU LEARN WHILE WORKING ON HOUSE (#6)?

Not to over-reach with too much manipulation of the building finishes process and trust that the space, light, and form of the building can hold its own as the core experience. 



Concrete Geocrete Countertop

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPACTFUL SPACE YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED THAT HAS INSPIRED YOUR WORK?

Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian houses and Taliesin West and East, Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. Temples in Kyoto. Paolo Solari's studio Cosanti in Scottsdale, AZ. Christian Science Church in Berkeley by Bernard Maybeck. Sacred Kivas of the Anazasi in Arizona. Venice, Italy.


Concrete Geocrete Countertop



WHAT IS THE BEST DESIGN ADVICE YOU FOLLOW WHEN YOU ARE UNDER THE GUN?

Meditate or take naps!



Concrete Fireplace Design


WHAT MANTRA YOU HAVE BEEN LIVING BY LATELY?

Don't Worry, Be Happy––Meher Baba. 




Concrete Fountain


Thank you Zephyr and Mr. Cheng for the wonderful interview!



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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: JOE GINSBERG'S MARMARA PARK AVENUE HOTEL

Marmara Park Avenue



One can say that New York City artist and designer Joe Ginsberg is a Renaissance man. With formal training in art, sculpture, color science and photography, Joe Ginseberg's multi-faceted background informs interior spaces with thoughtful ingenuity. The NYC Marmara Park Avenue, an American flagship of the Turkish hotel chain the Marmara Collection is his latest creation. The 1927 building located on 32nd street between Park and Lexington avenues underwent a full renovation to house the luxury boutique hotel,128 key units in the heart of Manhattan.



Marmara Park Avenue Hotel


The cool factor about this forthcoming hotel and Joe Ginsberg's design is that it aims to make guests feel as if they're coming home.  Each hotel room is designed to look and feel more like apartments rather than the standard traditional hotel room layout. For the NYC visitor, this urban oasis is perfect for an extended stay.  The design includes custom-designed and individually produced items from artisans across New York City's five boroughs. Nothing mass produced. Love that!  The signs that this is going to be an unique experience is when you walk through the front doors. The black riveted iron façade is spectacular. Its a big, wow!  A neutral palette combined with richly colored accents and art indulges the visitor to find refuge from the busy New York City streets.





I'm excited to share an interview with Joe Ginsberg today!



YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE?

I create designs that are timeless and classic. Our interiors carry a distinctive hand made sense of craftsmanship evident in our unique material applications and custom fabrications. In my drawings, you can see the visual process of how one idea leads into the next. My work spans multiple platforms from my paintings to the interiors and collections I design. 

Private residence



DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?

To approach each project and creation with a new point of view each time.


Paul Rudolph Landmark Estate



DESCRIBE the vibe and creative process in your STUDIO?

The creative process is one that I embrace and aim to have my studio run in the same way. Together we work collectively as a team to unify our ideas and voice, bringing together our independent design aesthetics and goals.


Marmara Park Avenue Hotel


which of your material innovations are your favorites and why?

It's hard to have a favorite child.

Marmara Park Avenue Hotel



BIGGEST DESIGN IMPACT THAT inspired the marmara park avenue project?

A design impact hasn't inspired the Marmara project. Rather, it was my gut that told me to create the modern metropolis setting in the heart of the city.

Marmara Park Avenue Hotel


LESSONS LEARNED ON THE  MARMARA PARK AVENUE PROJECT?

I continue to develop a deeper understanding of how to deal with challenges that arise with each project. 

Marmara Park Avenue Hotel



MOST IMPACTFUL entity (space, art, music, etc) THAT has INSPIREd your work?

Nature, the street, Picasso and the Beatles.

Marmara Park Avenue Hotel


BEST DESIGN ADVICE YOU FOLLOW WHEN YOU ARE UNDER THE GUN? 

Keep your cool. 

Marmara Park Avenue Hotel



MANTRA YOU HAVE BEEN LIVING BY LATELY?
Lose yourself to find yourself. 


Marmara Park Avenue Hotel



Thank you Joe for the great interview! 



To connect with Joe, 
check out his WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER


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