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Decorating Modern

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Back-to-School: Finding the Right Desk


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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Now that the school year is getting into full swing, it’s time to make sure your workspace suits you. In fact, even if you aren’t in school, check out your workspace and make sure it’s inspiring you to do your best and enjoy it as much as possible. We’ll start with some smashing contemporary desks. Here are six favorites – see if you (or your little homework-doer) are cut out for any of them. Enjoy!

Blue Dot Desk 51. You’re a minimalist, and you like fast cars, or at least, Matchbox cars. All you need is your laptop and everything else is in the cloud or in your head. This desk is powdercoated and glossy, sleek and clever. There’s also an extending keyboard tray/shelf that glides on metal/ball bearing side runners; you can’t even tell it’s there.

The OFFI Half Pipe Desk. You love to board, whether on pavement or snow, but you also like to put your feet up. You like to fidget and love having a few items close at hand. You’d rather make a diorama than write a report, you collect matchboxes (not matchbooks) and you love to curl up in a cozy nook. This desk has some cool curves, niches for stowing things and a footrest.

Stoller Works Yellow Frame Standing Desk. You are so tired of sitting at school all day that you need to stand. You dream of a career where you’re at a drafting table, designing a zero-energy skyscraper, a bridge, a new public park or a motorcycle like the one in Tron. While you embrace technology, you also have an appreciation for handmade things, and enjoyed using the jigsaw in shop class. This desk has a beautiful trestle sculpture and will keep you from succombing to a sedentary lifestyle.

The MASH Studios LAX Wall-Mounted Desk. You hate wasted space, probably because your room is tiny. You like hiding things between your mattress and your box spring, and have a particular affection for stash boxes that look like books. You love the concept of floating and you played with building blocks a lot as a kid. This desk mounts to the wall, saves floor space and combines walnut wood with powdercoated aluminum.

The Brave Space Design Delta Desk (shown: Maple). You’ve always been fascinated by airplanes, and you’re quite good at fashioning your own from paper and drilling your friends in the head with them. You’re a piler, not a filer and you prefer a good old fashioned corkboard to one on Pinterest. This desk has a very cool silhouette, and its sculptural wings serve as shelves.

The Blu Dot Modulicious Power Deskette. Legos were always your toy of choice. You tend to make a mess but like to be able to hide it with one sweep of your arm. You think Mike Brady was a dang good architect and wish you could have seen more of his work, and you think your Mom’s vintage Fisher Price A-Frame House was way under-rated. This desk has mid-century modern flair, yet it’s fresh, and you can totally customize it with fun colors on the drawers.

Browse all desks


Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Outfitting the Dorm Room


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
Leave a comment! has featured some great vintage dorm rooms

Ah, many people I know are heading off to college this week. By now, you may have gotten a glimpse of the abysmal dorm room furniture and lack of personality in the room. While you or your college kiddo may already have the basics – bedding, shower shoes, bathroom caddy, shoe rack, there may be quite a few items you didn’t realize you could squeeze in there or they may discover they want after settling in a little bit. Here are a few ways to help make the room your own.

1. Customize your bed. Often times, your bed serves as your sofa, your chair, your desk. Fill it up with extra throw pillows to prop up and/or create more of a daybed when you’re not sleeping in it. Add an OFFI overlap tray for doing a little work on your lap. Also, add a rug, even a tiny 2×3 one, so you can step onto something soft in the morning and give them a little wipe off before hopping into bed.

2. Create a better lighting scheme. Overhead light is such a bummer. Gain some softer light and versatility with a desk lamp. We love the modern lines and metallic finish on the Flos Archimoon K Lamp.

3. Gain some comfy seating beyond the bed. We love all of the fun colors offered up by the Fatboy Original. It’s the ultimate bean bag; you can actually sit upright in it if you choose.

4. Add a small side table. By now, you may realize that a desk somewhere behind that weird headboard is not the best place for your water glass, glasses, book or other stuff next to your bed we won’t mention here. Grab a portable table like this snazzy little number that also serves as a tray. This is a piece you’ll take to every home you live in for the rest of your life; but if you’re short on dough, those milk crates will do. Shop all side tables/nightstands

5. Wake up! You can add great design detail via a happy colored clock that is also a dock for your iPhone.

6. Keep charged. In addition to your clock dock, you’ll want to keep your tech accessories in order. I like to keep juiced up with the Blu Dot Juice Box Digital Dock.

7. Protect your electronics. Thomas Paul’s clever Composition Book iPad Envelope cracks me up. Shop all personal accessories

Dorm Room Help

Dorm Room Help

Jonas Damon dock

PYRUS lambswool rug

OFFI overlap tray

Thomaspaul throw pillow

Mater bowl table

Fatboy Original


Friday, July 19th, 2013

Making the Most of a Small Entryway


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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photo by Ben Anders for Dwell

Get clever with every inch of space. Rather than drywalling in the space beneath the stairs, exploit it. A bench for taking one’s shoe off Mr. Rogers’ style and hanging a coat is an ingenious use of space.


Keep it simple. In this relaxed entryway, clever hooks steal the show and play off the lantern, mirror and door hardware with aplomb. Shiplap siding adds a subtle nautical cottage touch.

by Ferreira Design

Add a big mirror to fake some big space. This mirror visually doubles the entryway in size. A sleek  console table keeps thing open underneath, a clear glass lamp lets the light and reflection through while a zebra covered ottoman adds some pizazz. For a funky modern console table, I recommend Blu Dot’s Strut version.

by Cococozy

Use a long narrow table where space is tight. This weathered piece works well with organic pieces like live branches, oversized glass jugs, sponges and wood bowls.

by Jennifer Weiss Architecture

Going more modern, use a cantilevered storage unit saves on floor space. The great thing about a unit like this is that you can integrate a charging station and keep all of your personal electronics in one space, along with your sunglasses, mail, wallet and other items you like to drop as soon as you walk in the door.

By Amy Lau Design

Use a closed console for even more storage. If you’re the type that requires shoe removal upon entry, a swanky mid-century modern style piece like this is a great spot to stash them. For something similar, I recommend you check out the goods from MASH Studios.


Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Spiffing Up the Laundry Room


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

Are you one of those people who actually feels like most of your decorating is done and you’re Jonesing for another project? Look to the laundry room. These utilitarian closets are usually quite neglected and dreadfully dull. Stuck with some boring, 15 year old appliances? Don’t think for a second you need shiny red front loaders to have a cool looking laundry space. Here’s a look at some easy ways to make your laundry room wow.

1. Put up wallpaper. Nothing livens up a wall like a bold pattern. While wallpaper can be costly, the good news is, your small laundry room probably wont require much of it. I love the way interior designer Tamara Magel took the paper right up the slanted ceiling.

2. Add a backsplash. Again, the small amount you’ll need will mean you won’t need to order much tile. What I especially love about this room is that it’s as small as they come, taking up only the space between bi-fold doors. This metallic backsplash would make me want to keep those suckers open and show off my laundry room all the time. The hangers for air drying are also a smart touch.

3. Get a great light overhead. Who says a laundry room isn’t fancy enough for a crystal chandy? Just make sure the room is large enough to meet safety codes.

Also, are you noticing how handy a few simple cabinets come in? Hit up the Re-Store and salvage some for a bargain. You’ll have plenty of spot for your Tide, Shout, Dryel, what have you …

4. Go bold with color. If you want to avoid the expense of hiring a pro to hang wallpaper or put up tile, hit the paint store. Don’t fear not matching the rest of your home; the laundry room is one of those great spaces like a first floor powder room that you can shut off.

5. Match up some fun art with the room. Why not? Whether it’s the cute clothespin mat or the laundry line piece seen above, the laundry room is one spot where we can go a bit theme-y and not feel cheesy about it.


Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Patrick Townsend’s White Orbit Chandelier Is Back!


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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I try not to play favorites, but Patrick Townsend’s White Orbit Chandelier is an ingenious work of lighting art I’ve always admired. I’ve also admired what a bunch of different creatives have done with it – placing it in rooms that are traditional, eclectic, modern, transitional and contemporary with aplomb.

by Kimberly Peck, Architect

Urban Global Style. I love the way the Orbit looks with exposed brick. Especially when the rest of the room is mostly white.

by Susan Manrao Design

Clean and Contemporary. Susan Manrao uses it to navigate all of that empty space supplied by very high ceilings.

by Sarah Yates

Eclectic and Colorful. We’re so grateful that Design Public customer Sarah Yates sent us these photos of her Orbit in action against her colorful wall hanging and dark wall. Loving that aqua bullet planter and bright yellow shell chair too – what a great dining room she has (check out more of it here).

by sfgirlbybay

Modern Bohemian. Love love love when Victoria finally hung hers (I think she’s moved a few times since then, if you follow her blog, but I loved the round up she did here of more Orbits in action).

by Wettling Architects

Cozy and Collected. The Orbit fits right in without taking over in this quirky and cozy eat-in kitchen nook by Wettling Architects, adding a contemporary geometric object to the vintage metal letters, pedestal table, suzani fabric and the rest of the mix.

Industrial. Finally, I love the look of the Orbit against a gritty loft wall like this one. It’s industrial yet refined.

Ready to get one now that they are back? Learn more about them and check out other colors here.


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