Monthly Archives: September 2012

Private Retreat in Big Sur, CA

Big Sur is one of the most amazing places on the planet as far as we’re concerned.  Aside from the spectacular, natural coastline, there is something very modern about this little slice of heaven.  Its natural beauty is timeless and, yet, ever changing with the dynamic coastline and free wildlife.  Eagles and condors in flight, ocean waves crashing, sun rising and setting…serenity defined.  And, without cell phone reception, you’re forced to enjoy it.  🙂

One of the most exquisite private estates in Big Sur is known as Anderson Canyon.  A long time celebrity favorite for weddings and retreats (it is rumored Natalie Portman and Anne Hathaway held their weddings here), it can be reserved for private rental, whether for a fabulous vacation or for a private event.  Imagine yourself staying a week, or hosting an unforgettable soiree, at this amazing, natural, modern, coastal retreat.

(All images via AndersonCanyon.com)

Home Sweet Sauna – The Best Modern Saunas

Few things are more relaxing than being enveloped in the heat of a sauna.  Whether you’re sweating it out after a work-out or just relaxing your body and mind, partaking in sauna time is good for you.  The only problem is if your sauna design doesn’t give you the same peace  of mind as the sauna itself.  To us design minded folks, it matters.  Here are some beautiful, modern saunas to inspire you when you go to design the sauna for your own home.

naturally modern sauna

naturally modern sauna

modern sauna architecture

 

(Photo credits:  1, 2, 3, 4)

Ocean Inspired Succulent Gardens for Your Beach House

We love succulent gardens!  While pretty much any combination of succulents in a gardens will likely look amazing because of their natural beauty and easy relationships to one another, there are some great how-to articles out there to help you go from good to breathtaking…  Sunset magazine, which we adore, published an article on one of our favorite things – how to plant a succulent garden inspired by the ocean!  Click on the link below to read the whole story.

“Succulents are … as jewel-toned as shells, sculptural as seastars, or fluttery as sea anemones. … The plantings create a spot-on connection between land and sea, as though they simply arose from the waves complete, like Venus on the half-shell, to their perch atop [a] bluff. [Succulents] thrive on little water and stay low enough to frame [a] coastal view without blocking it.” ( via Sea-Creature Succulents – Sunset.com.)

Is White The New Stainless?

Whirlpool Corp., the worlds largest home-appliance maker, recently introduced its “Ice Collection” of appliances, including glossy white. “White is the new stainless,” a Whirlpool news release says. (via Is this the end of a 25-year run for stainless steel? – Yahoo!. Photos above:  1-Dreamhome-design bloogspot; 2-Yahoo.com.)

We don’t know if white will unseat stainless when it comes to appliances, but white definitely feels fresh in design right now.  Light, clean, modern and fresh.  We dedicated one of our Pinterest Boards to the hue – check out our board “In the White” and let us know your favorites.  Here are a couple of our favorites:

modern display

 

Gwynth Paltrow's gorgeous, modern kitchen in Tribecca.   Celebrity Kitchens | naturally modern

 

 

Outdoor Furniture as Functional Art

GardenDesign.com published a great review of outdoor furniture from the Milan Furniture Fair.  We particularly like the press given to the idea of outdoor furniture as both functional and artistic.  Why should the modern indoor-outdoor lifestyle be anything but beautiful and practical?  We also like the trend in outdoor furniture becoming more richly upholstered – when you spend so much time “living” outside, why shouldn’t your outdoor furniture be on par with your indoor furniture?  Our favorite here is the Ligne Roset Serpentine chair (pictured above).  Can we say gorgeous enough?

One of life’s most fundamental acts, sitting, took on new meaning at the fair, especially with trends in outdoor furniture design. We saw many richly upholstered pieces for outdoor use—some with practical applications, others with elements of fantasy and whimsy. B&B Italia paired its retro line of Husk Outdoor recycled (and recyclable) plastic chairs with plush but decidedly eccentric waterproof cushions, a look that would work well poolside. Ligne Roset debuted its own equally arresting quilted and tufted Serpentine chairs by Eleonore Nalet.

Cabanas and tents seem to be ceding their traditional roles and evolving instead into true outdoor rooms, the most alluring example being Patricia Urquiola’s Cottage for Kettal—an inviting, pitched-roof structure with echoes of vernacular Polynesian architecture. (via All Dressed Up: Outdoor Furniture | Garden Design.)

Want your outdoor area to feel more like a true outdoor room?  Here are a few tips from us at Naturally Modern:

  • Furnish your outdoor space with high-quality, beautiful pieces consistent with those that furnish your interior spaces.
  • Use textures including richly upholstered outdoor pieces, pillows, blankets, umbrellas, etc.
  • Landscape, landscape, landscape – whether minimalistic in design or not, make the landscaping in your outdoor area like the artwork displayed in your home.
  • Do not underestimate the power of outdoor lighting – whether small ambient lighting dotting a pathway, or embedded in a fence… to full-on outdoor lamps and overhead lighting.  We especially like lighting on dimmers to create just a “glow” when you don’t need the full light spectrum.  Candles can also not be underestimated – tea lights can be your friend.

Good luck with your design.  We’d love to hear your tips for  luxury, modern outdoor living!

PS:  If you like the look and design of the Ligne Roset Serpentine shown at the top of this post, you might also like the new richly textured and upholstered pieces from Kenneth Cobonpue called “Rapunzel” – see below:

 

Houses We Love: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House (La Miniatura)

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House (La Miniatura)

( Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times )

By Sean Mitchell

By Sean Mitchell<br /><br /><br />
Frank Lloyd Wright's alluring Alice Millard house, also known as La Miniatura, rises like a Mayan temple from a tree-canopied hillside on Rosemont Avenue in Pasadena. The 1923  Millard house may be less known to the general public than Wright's other three "textile-block" homes in the region -- Ennis, Freeman and Storer -- but some architectural historians regard Millard as the finest. So does Eric Lloyd Wright, the architect's grandson and a longtime Southern California architect who explained the leading reason for critics' enthusiasm: "The way he set the house in that glen," he said. Frank Lloyd Wright called for the house to rise above a ravine between two eucalyptus trees, which are still there, forming a cathedral more than 100 feet high over a lily pond.

The Alice Millard house was Frank Lloyd Wright's first "textile-block" house, the term for the architect's way of stacking decorative concrete blocks that were knitted together like fabric. In the three textile-block houses that followed Millard's, Wright used steel threads of rebar, which, before the invention of epoxy coating, rusted and degraded the concrete. The lack of rebar in the Millard house has been a blessing, as the blocks have fared better since construction in 1923.

That classic Frank Lloyd Wright move -- the low ceiling -- leads from the entry to the airy living room. A blending of traditions can be seen in the way the concrete blocks are juxtaposed with the finely detailed redwood ceiling, doors and windows. Wright arranged the perforations in the blocks to create a concrete shell that feels lighter than it actually is.

The view of the room from the other side of those glass doors. The blocks above the doors have panes of glass sandwiched in the middle of the patterned concrete, so dappled light passes through in ever-shifting patterns and intensities.

... the living room's play of light and shadow.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s alluring Alice Millard house, also known as La Miniatura, rises like a Mayan temple from a tree-canopied hillside on Rosemont Avenue in Pasadena. The 1923 Millard house may be less known to the general public than Wright’s other three “textile-block” homes in the region — Ennis, Freeman and Storer — but some architectural historians regard Millard as the finest. So does Eric Lloyd Wright, the architect’s grandson and a longtime Southern California architect who explained the leading reason for critics’ enthusiasm: “The way he set the house in that glen,” he said. Frank Lloyd Wright called for the house to rise above a ravine between two eucalyptus trees, which are still there, forming a cathedral more than 100 feet high over a lily pond.

The Alice Millard house was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first “textile-block” house, the term for the architect’s way of stacking decorative concrete blocks that were knitted together like fabric. In the three textile-block houses that followed Millard’s, Wright used steel threads of rebar, which, before the invention of epoxy coating, rusted and degraded the concrete. The lack of rebar in the Millard house has been a blessing, as the blocks have fared better since construction in 1923.

 

 

 

via Landmark houses: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House (La Miniatura) – latimes.com.