Posts Tagged 'lamps'

Dress up Your Lighting.

Lighting is such an hugely important and often overlooked part of design…at least for the do-it-yourselfer. Professional designers know and understand the importance of lighting. Not just the function, but the art of lighting.

There is at least one place in most homes that would benefit from a really outstanding light fixture. That said I thought I’d share with you some of the more spectacular chandeliers and pendants out there. These are all contenders in a “Best of 2009” competition, sponsored by Interior Design magazine. They all fall into the “statement piece” category, meaning  they move beyond function and becomes a focal point, a statement,  in the space they occupy. Think of them as a fantastic piece of jewelry for your home.

I hope you enjoy browsing and realize you don’t have to settle for ho-hum lighting.

FireFarmSunset1950_th

Sunset from Fire Farm Lighting


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Dada from Globe Lighting


GraypantsScrapLights_th

Scrap Lights from Graypants, Inc.
made from salvaged corrugated cardboard


3formLightArt_th

Light Art from 3-Form
made from 40% pre-consumer, recycled material


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Heat from Joel Berman Glass Studios, Ltd.


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Cumulus from ABYU Lighting
made from turkey and coque  feathers and crystal teardrops


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Organics Chandelier from D’style


CooperShaperFabrique101P_th

Shaper Fabriqué Pendant from Cooper Lighting


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Orbit1 from Bodner Chandeliers
steel with eco-friendly bronze finish


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Venus from Bodner Chandeliers
steel with eco-friendly bronze finish


StudioVetroChandelier_th

Cascading Series from Studio Vetro
hand-cast glass ribbons on a steel frame

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10 Budget-Stretching Decorating Ideas

We’re all watching our pennies these days…thinking two and three times before making any discretionary expenditures. Yet making our homes more comfortable and attractive will help us feel better as we weather these challenging times. So here are my top 10 ideas for spiffing up your space without breaking the bank.

MM_0022_crop1. Paint: You’ve heard me say it before…there is no faster easier way to get dramatic change in your home than new wall color. Without a doubt the biggest bang for your buck.

2. Refinish worn pieces: If you have some tired furniture, a fresh coat of stain and varnish can breathe new life into the most tattered of pieces.

3. Recover or replace old lampshades: This is an easy way to add some spalsh. Recover your existing shades with a bright, bold pattern or trim. If that intimidates you, purchase new shades at any store that sells lighting.

img94i4. Reupholster: You love you grandmother’s chair, but the upholstery screams “old lady”. Have it recovered in a bright new fabric and viola…instant fabulous! Consider an animal print or a really vivid color…bright yellow or hot pink…not only will it add punch to any room but it’s unexpected.

5. Change the shower curtain, towels and accessories in your bathroom…you can have a new room for less than $100.

6. Rearrange your furniture: We all get so accustomed to seeing our furniture in the same arrangement, it’s hard to imagine it any other way. Truth is, most rooms will accomodate more than one floor plan. Try looking at your room as if seeing it for the first time, without attachment or emotion. Then rearrange, you’ll think you have all new things!

7. Add an area rug: A bold stripe or graphic rug will update your space quickly.

8. Repurpose: Get creative. Is a door always a door? Can it be a table top? A great piece of ironwork can become a beautiful piece of wall decor. Wire a ceramic vase into become a lamp (most local lamp stores sell supplies and/or will wire it for you.) Most everything can be used for another purpose, it just takes a little creativity.

9. Buy used: Now more than ever you can find amazing deals at garage sales, consignment shops, flea markets, salvage yards and online sources like Craig’s List and ebay. It takes some time, but the rewards can be huge. Remember what I said earlier about refinishing, reupholstering and repurposing.

transform-chair-after-m-m10. Add a punch of color: Paint a piece of furniture a bold color, add some accent pillows or a collection of objects. If it’s bright and unexpected, you’ll look like a design genius.

Most importantly, have fun. Do you have other budget-stretching decorating ideas? I’d love to hear them.

Metropolitan Home’s Design 100

I always look forward to the Metropolitan Home Design 100 — an annual showcase of  100 of the design world’s best. It represents everything for homes, architects, furnishings and materials to people and ideas. The editors of MH collaborate, discuss, debate, and downright argue for what they believe are the best. The final 100 are those that they agree on. Each page of this publication can be lingered over and savored. I find myself leafing through it multiple times. Each time finding something or someone new to be enamored with.

I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you…

3-09-09masterFirst (#100 on the MH list), without a doubt, is the new LED lightbulb from Philips.It fits a regular socket, consumes 7 watts and burns for about 45,000 hours, sells for about $40 to the trade. We’ve been waiting for this product for a long time. Compact flourescents, in my opinion, just don’t cut it — the color is still dismal, they contain mercury and they’re not dimmable. This LED bulb will finally bring good quality, energy saving light into the household. And it’s DIMMABLE. Now on sale in Europe, it will be avialable in the U.S. mid-July.

Second (#96 on the MH list), designer Ana Borrallo’s transformation of a Chicago office suite into a spectacular apartment. She took advantage of the unique traits of the space and created a home completely reflective of it’s owners. It’s open, flexible and gorgeous. If you ever want to know what my dream home looks like, this comes very close.

index.1Third (#4 on the MH list) – The Oslo Opera House in Norway. Dressed in white marble and blue-tinted glass it emerges like a glacier emerging from the landscape. Visitors are able and encouraged to walk up the sloping roofs to views the city and fjords below. I am completed enamored with the architure of the last decade or so that invites visitors to interact with the structures themselves. The Academy of Science in San Francisco, being another recent example.

PC_Antonis-Achilleos32Also worth mentioning are MH#11, tableware designed by Masanobu Ido. As one who loves to set a table, I love these plates. They offer near-infinite flexibility allowing you to create the perfect tablescape. And  MH#28, Idea Paint, the next step from the chalkboard paint we’ve all come to love. Idea Paint turns your walls into white boards. Just like the ones you use in your meetings…only bigger. How great is that!  

Take a look at this collection of incredible design. Let me know what your favorites are.

Photos:
Oslo Opera House – Friends of the Oslo Opera House
Tableware – Antonis Achilles, Metropolitan Home

Lamps and Pillows and Art. Oh My!

designpublic1I love sharing cool products with you and I recently found an e-retailer that carries a fabulous collection of home decor for those with a modern aesthetic. Its Design Public, www.designpublic.com, 14181__dp__e700x600based in San Francisco. They offer a broad selection of merchandise from furniture and accessories, to bedding, lighting, art, and spectacular pillows. You’ll also love their selection of personal accessories. Ladies, check out the handbags and totes – so cool.

16688__dp__e700x600Some of you will recognize the manufacturers and designers, but all of the products Design Public offers are well-designed and well-crafted while being approachable and affordable.

If you ever visit San Francisco, sign up for their weekly “outlet deals.” There are some really good bargains, but the hitch is you have to pick them up in S.F. – no shipping on outlet purchases.

Enjoy!

Norwalk Furniture set to rise again

new-nfi-store-location-bend-oregonwith-bg2Many of us were disheartened by the apparent demise of Norwalk – The Furniture Idea. They had been a dependable furniture resource and fixture downtown for the past several years. Well rest easy, after months of the “Liquidation Sale”, Norwalk is set to reopen as Luxe Home Furnishings. Many of the Norwalk retailers have banded together with a restructured and reorganized group of stores. You will see many of the name brands you rely on and a mush improved fabric selection. The Bend store is set to close tonight and reopen on January 28th. I’ll keep you updated with their progress.


Contact the Author

martha@mmdsf.com 541-330-5899 www.marthamurraydesign.com

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