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A Dreary London Flat Finds Modern Amour

March 19, 2012

After relocating to London, French couple Nicolas and Fabienne took a dark flat and transformed it into their dream home by giving it a contemporary facelift. Check out the beautiful renovations and fabulous modern edge!

White walls and Kartell Louis Ghost Armchairs give the kitchen sitting area an open, airy feel despite the close quarters.

The Kartell Bourgie Table Lamp (below) in crystal offers a modern take on 18th Century Baroque design, an appropriate complement to a well-placed Union Jack pillow (perhaps representing the couple’s French roots while celebrating their new England home?).

No one is left out in this modern remodel – not even the couple’s beloved Old English Sheepdog, Bowee. Check out his plush Marimekko Doggielounge by Fatboy.

Be sure to check out the rest of this fantastic “new” home including more pics and an interview about the couple’s redecorating process at Apartment Therapy.

Modern Escape: Boise, Hollywood & Edinburgh

March 8, 2012

With the unseasonably warm weather, you may be gearing up for a vacation already. But before you make your final hotel reservations, check out these amazing modern stays first.

George Nelson’s in the house! Each room in the Modern Hotel (aptly named, I might add) features Nelson’s retro Cigar Bubble Wall Sconces and calming color palettes.

The Modern Hotel, Boise ID

With warmer tones and a luxurious atmosphere, the London blends Hollywood glamour with early 20th Century Restoration design thanks to a line of Hudson Valley Garden City Double-Arm Wall Sconces and gold trim around the pillars and ceiling.

The London West Hollywood, California

Can’t wait to get out of the country? Take a look at Hotel Missoni in Scotland. Colorful yet zen, the hotel is fully equipped with a relaxing day spa. But if you’re like me and won’t be traveling across the ocean any time soon, their bath collection is one step closer to creating your own every day spa escape.

Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh, Scotland

Keeping Up With the Eameses

March 8, 2012

Appreciation for mid-century modern design is alive and well in Sacramento, if the turnout at Tuesday night’s screening of the new documentary “Eames: The Architect and the Painter” is any indication. Hundreds of people came to the historic Crest Theater to learn more about design icons, Charles and Ray Eames, and to share their love of modern design with other like-minded individuals.

Prior to the actual screening, the hosts for the evening–Hot Italian, Sactown Magazine, Lumens and The Bridge District–gave attendees a delicious taste of things to come with displays in the Crest’s main lobby. Guests were first greeted by photo collages of the Eamses, as well as some of their pressed plywood masterpieces, including a splint designed during WWII:

The proceeds for the evening are all going toward the development of an exhibit in 2012 by The California Museum in honor of Sacramento native’s Ray Eamses’ 100th birthday. The museum’s display included numerous examples of Ray’s modernist paintings and fabric designs:

The Bridge District handed out beautiful graphic renderings of their development plan in West Sacramento. Many were handed out in conjunction with the raffle of an Eames molded plastic rocker:

And last, but certainly not least, the Lumens display celebrated not only many of the Eames’s most wonderful and popular furniture and home accessory designs, but also the fact that the furnishings–made by Herman Miller–are now available for Sacramentans to purchase through the Lumens showroom:

The documentary itself was a lot of fun, highly illuminating of the personalities, design process and incredible relationship between Charles and Ray and many of the people with whom they worked. It was introduced by Charles’ granddaughter, Llisa Demetrios. After the film, she sat in as part of a Q & A panel with the film’s director, Jason Cohn, and the moderator, California Arts Council Director Craig Watson:

(l. to r.) Director Jason Cohn, Llisa Demetrios and Craig Watson

It was all-around a wonderful evening for modern design lovers. And it doesn’t end here. For more information on the goings-on celebrating the Eameses in Sacramento and elsewhere this year, check out the following:

Eames Foundation

The California Museum

At 6pm this very evening, Lumens is having an open house to welcome Herman Miller to their showroom at 2028 K Street in midtown Sacramento. Come on by to enjoy food, drinks and Eames furniture in person, and enter to win an Eames Walnut Stool. The first 50 people in the door will also receive a free Eames Elephant Keychain. While Herman Miller furniture is available just through the Lumens showroom and call center, there are other furnishings and accessories designed by the Eameses also available at

Behind the Design: Chris Hardy

March 7, 2012

Wig Pendant by Chris Hardy

One of the things I like most about design is that people create new products and objects for reasons that run the gammut: from making something more functional, to using materials in unexpected ways, and translating ideas and notions into things we can enjoy on a daily basis.The brand new Wig Pendant by FontanaArte is a great example of the latter–Atlanta-based designer Chris Hardy was inspired by the individual elements that form a greater community when designing the sculptural piece.

Chris was lucky enough to let us pick his talented brain recently, sharing what inspires him, what’s important to him in design and the meaning behind the Wig, which was welcomed to rave reviews at least year’s Euroluce Light Fair in Milan. Check out a few highlights from our chat with Chris: Read more…

An Abandoned Barn Becomes a Modern Home

March 7, 2012

In my search for the best use of modern lighting within the best architectural designs, most of what I’ve found has been brand new. Smooth, clean lines coalesce into altogether grand, customized spaces. While I would be ecstatic to live in any one of these homes, I find the project featured here particularly appealing because it uses what was already there. The architectural firm of Abaton took an old abandoned stone barn in the hilly Spanish province of Caceres and turned it into a wonderfully modern and rustic private home. The design blends in with its surroundings and is given fantastic texture through its incorporation of the barn’s existing stone walls. It is also unexpectedly airy, what with enormous wood plank doors opening up the interior.

The use of natural stone extends beyond the home’s outer walls and hardscapes. It has also been brought inside, as evidenced by the trough sink shown here in the master bathroom. Such unique, thoughtful touches help create design cohesion between the home’s interior and exterior:

The guest and master bathrooms (on the first and second floors, respectively) and main living room all look out onto a central courtyard, featuring a modern fountain nestled within the rustic rock walls:

To see more photos highlighting this project, be sure to check them out on the enpundit blog.

Modern Escape: Palm Springs

March 5, 2012

Here at Lumens, we LOVE color, especially when it’s paired with modern lighting. So when I spotted this post on Apartment Therapy, I knew I just had to share it.

The Saguaro Hotel Explodes with Color

The Saguaro Hotel recently opened its brightly colored doors, inviting guests to enjoy a colorful oasis in the middle of Palm Springs.

The hotel’s name was inspired by the iconic saguaro cactus plant of the Sonoran Desert. And the twelve juicy colors that decorate the hotel, ranging from lemon drop yellow to mouth-watering orange and lime green,  are all inspired by native desert wildflowers:

The guest rooms are great for both an occasional romantic getaway or business trip (shown below). They prove equally as thirst-quenching as the hotel’s exterior, decorated with rainbow bed linens and brightly-colored walls and headboards. Once the curtains are drawn, the Koncept Equo Gen 3 Desk Lamp (right) provides easy-on-the-eyes LED lighting for catching up on emails or jotting down notes during a business call:

A unique office space provides both privacy and energy, accented by the airy Moooi Random Light. The shade’s see-through material paired with translucent rainbow walls lets color and light shine out:

For more photos and info on the new project, visit the blog post at Apartment Therapy.

A Light and Bright Concrete House by Omer Arbel

March 5, 2012

Being so surrounded by lighting day to day here at Lumens, oftentimes we (okay, maybe it’s just me) get so focused on a designer’s lighting pieces that we forget about all the other creative things they might be doing out there. For example, we know Omer Arbel mostly for his popular and wonderful line of Bocci pendants. However, his skills as an architect are as equally impressive as his lighting, as evidenced by the home shown here.

The Vancouver-based Arbel spent several years designing and building this home, from 2006-2010. Its design inspiration initially came from massive beams of Douglas Fir that had been reclaimed from demolished warehouses. These beams provide the main support for the wooden roof, together with walls made of poured concrete. The overall structure is at once angular and flat, allowing it to flow naturally with the sloping terrain on which it was built. The house is also noticeable for its enormous banks of windows, which open everything up, lighten up the otherwise solid monolithic design and make the most of the view outside. Such opening up is often quite literal, as many of the ground level windows are actually accordion doors, able to be folded away to bring the outside into the interior living spaces.

It is no surprise to us that the most whimsical part of the design is the lighting. Here, Arbel has installed dozens of his new Bocci 28 Series Pendants. With their organic clear glass outer spheres and white inner cavities, these pendants float like bubbles throughout the main living area. Beautiful during the day, their glow at night borders on the mystical.

For more information about this project, you can find more photos on the design to inspire blog, as well as on the Omer Arbel Office website.


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