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07/22/2012
by dsmMODERN
0 comments

{extremis: tools for togetherness

Soooo….a big part of a modern lifestyle is furnishings. One of the challenges of furnishings is to find good quality outdoor furniture. Over the years, we here at dsmMODERN have tracked a lot of pieces that we find inspiring and a recent trip to the new Whole Foods location on University Avenue in West Des Moines has finally led us to see one of our favorites in person. It’s the {extremis hopper table and can be found here. In addition, they also have the gargantua, which can be found here. {extremes is a European design company based out of Belgium and so it was exciting to finally see some of their pieces here in the Midwest. Currently, they only have design shops on the coasts and in major metropolitans here in the US that carry their line, so get to the Whole Foods and check them out! We are not sure of costs, but last time we checked they were a few bills…so I wonder how they could transfer for a cool modernDIY?!

 

There are loads of cool and modern design features about the tables, including not only the form, but the use of materials such as stainless steel, galvanized metal and Iroko hardwood.   Take a look and let us know what you think!

 

 

CHEERS!

 

dsmMODERN

flyovertop

06/27/2012
by dsmMODERN
0 comments

raygun

One of the most exciting things to us here at dsmMODERN is finding true modern pioneers here at home. One of our favorites is raygun with the modern design and culture they bring to the city. Not to mention, such a cool and refreshing sense of humor…we could all use a little more shots from the raygun to keep us humble and laughing at ourselves. Stay happy and humble raygun and keep blastin’ away!

 

 

 

06/24/2012
by dsmMODERN
0 comments

modernLANDSCAPING

So today’s post is going to be all about modernLANDSCAPING…in the form of eye candy of course! In the future, we plan on sharing some DIY tips, plant materials and more eye candy of course, but for now, let’s just be inspired…

Let us know what you think by hitting those comments below and pass along any great helpful information as well.

For more inspiration, see the links at the very bottom.

Cheers!

 

Come back and see us for our next modernOUTDOOR post on furniture!

06/21/2012
by dsmMODERN
2 Comments

modernDIY – Fauxdenza

Sometimes it’s important to make what you cannot afford….which brings us to modernDIY! This is one of my favorite DIYs and is about to go down in my basement. Here is to hoping the Woodsmith Shop can hook me up with a fine piece of wood….

Enjoy the following DIY from our modernFRIEND: www.the-brick-house.com

 

BOOM.

It’s modern-effing fauxdenza* time.

We could flashback to the rough beginning of this particular fauxdenza via the power of HYPERLINKS or maybe just scroll down for a refresher.

OK. Let’s get our DIY on.

* Trademark via Anna at D16 & blatantly used here ad nauseum.

 

FAUXDENZA

Dimensions: 10′ long x 13-1/2″ deep x 33″ tall

Materials:

Ikea

8  -  Applad Doors (15 x 18″)
4  -  Akurum Wall Cabinets (30 x 18″)
8  -  Integral Hinge (2 pack)
2  -  Akurum Suspension Rail

Lumber

1  -  Wood  (14′ L x 15″W x 1″T) *I used Afrormosia

Tools:

Drill
Circular saw
Level
Tape Measure
Ratchet
Screws + appropriate anchors
Shims
Steel Wool
Fine Sandpaper
Danish Oil
Feed n’ Wax
Clean Rags

This poor, strange living room wall…

There was once a pipe shelf. Then I got bored with that. Then nothing for a bit. Then a floating storage credenza sounded good. Yup. Fauxdenza.

The whole fauxdenza thing boils down to just installing Ikea kitchen cabinets way, way too low. Since the tops of the wall cabinets aren’t meant to ever be seen and are all uglified, making some sort of aesthetically pleasing top becomes necessary. But first, installation.

The Akurum suspension rail system is designed to levely hang Akurum wall cabinets very simply. Of course, to install the rail you have to choose appropriate wall fasteners for your walls. For our plaster walls, screws into studs plus heavy duty anchors worked perfectly.

I test mounted the cabinets to see what the plumb/level situation was going to be when confronted with our old plaster walls.

Obvious shocker. Old plaster walls are really uneven.

The walls are wonky, but the other installation hurdle was that creepy giant non-functioning heater thing. Not only did it ugly up  the place, it’s location blocked the centered installation of the loooonnng fauxdenza.

So we removed the internal bits, framed out the wall, patched and painted it up (although, finding matching molding and large floor grates are still an issue).

Old house + plaster walls = Gappity gap gap

The last cabinet had a pretty large gap since the plaster wall took a sudden curve.

To correct the gap, first we shimmed the rail with some broken paint sticks from Home Depot, because that’s how we roll (unprofessionally). It was clear that the initial shim was nowhere near deep enough. We tested out how deep it had to be by sticking those little furniture foot pads onto the rail (unprofessionally).

Turns out, the last cabinet needed over an inch of the wackiest shimming you’ll never, ever see.

With the extreme shimming resolved and stuff hanging level, hiding the enormous new shim gap was the next quandary. The simple wood top I had planned on installing had to continue and wrap around the sides of the cabinets to disguise the monstrous shim gap.

For the newly expanded wood wrap, it felt best to find a better grade hardwood than I could grab at Home Depot.

With some brief googles I found Peterman Lumber, a local mill/lumber yard that specializes in domestic and exotic woods. They have wood wood, you know, wood you take seriously. Wood that won’t take crap from no one, no how.

Tight budget in mind, I settled on a 14 foot long piece of Afrormosia, which is an excellent and – cough* cough* - cheaper teak substitute. Fauxteak.

At about 15 inches wide by an inch thick, the piece I picked ran about $100 and looked purtty.

We used a handheld circular saw to cut the wood down to size. No fancy woodworking, no miters. Just simple straight lines.

I traced along the front edge of the cabinet door onto the wood sitting on top of the cabinets and pressed flush against the wall. No brainer, no craziness. Cut on the traced line for a superb custom fit.

Each joint, as well as the edges, got a quick sanding to knock down any unevenness and smooth things out.

The rest of the wood got prepped with a once over sanding using super fine steel wool. Pretty much, I went with the same process that I use to restore vintage furniture to treat this new wood. Slap on a few coats of Danish oil and a few coats of Feed n’ Wax and…

Bam.

That untreated wood darkens up and looks incredible.

To attach the wood, I predrilled a few holes through the inside of the cabinet frames and screwed into the bottom of the wood to secure it; of course, do not go through it completely. It only takes a few strategic screws to set the wood solidly in place, all fancy looking.

Initially, I had planned on using the Ikea Strecket handles and tested them out a bunch during the cabinet installation. Once the wood went on though, the handles suddenly looked way too fussy and got nixed.

Having no handles on the doors has been fine. The cabinets are high enough that I can comfortably grab the bottom door edge to open things up without any awkwardness.

Done and done.

For about $300, some labor and some problem solving, we custom-built a ten foot long floating credenza that adds tons of storage while being perfectly scaled and custom fit on an awkwardly long and barren entryway wall.

Being both super customizable and easily constructed, the fauxdenza seems a clever DIY solution for a wide spectrum of storage conundrums. Plus it looks sexy doing it, which never hurts.

06/05/2012
by dsmMODERN
0 comments

Go ahead, what’s your style…

Got this email from Andersen Windows: “Andersen Windows is currently launching an innovational Architectural Collection of windows with a corresponding Style Library. This Style Library hopes to shift the paradigm of buying windows/door — focusing not on the windows themselves, but rather on the architectural style of a home that they are interested in (Modern, Prairie, etc.). There is also a huge benefit for architects with this new series, as it could make less hours of sifting through products to find the right match. And for homeowners, it means an easy guide for the choices to create the design or architecture style of home they prefer.”

Even if you don’t need any new windows, we think it’s fun to flip through the different styles of homes and see what we like and what surprises us. More.

Cheers!

[re]blogged from 2modern.

06/04/2012
by dsmMODERN
0 comments

eden

eden: A bath boutique carrying hard to find products you’d never believe would be available in Iowa. Yeah, they’re here!

John and Jennifer Hansen purchased the building from Solar Loan back in 2007 and have been in the process of renovating the 1880 building ever since, including a sweet pad upstairs!  They wanted to play homage to the old space by salvaging as much of the building as possible.   By stripping the building down layer by layer, they were able to uncover a hickory floor, and a beautiful tin ceiling, both of which had been covered for decades. It was important to get as much light in the building as possible, so the couple took off a good portion of the faux stone on the front of the building to let in as much natural light as possible. They also put transoms above the interior rooms (bathroom, storage room) in an effort to minimize the need to turn on lights.

John and Jennifer met while working at the Younkers corporate offices in Des Moines and wanted to have elements of the old downtown Younkers store in their new space. The grand chandelier and counter salvaged from the Younkers Tearoom take center stage. Eden opened in June of 2003 and has slowly grown to be the Midwest’s premier bath boutique, with focus on carrying coveted, hard to find lines like Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, Tocca, Kai, Molton Brown, Diptyque, and Bugaboo.

Look for more posts in the future on this East Village gem, or visit Eden on Facebook.

Better yet, get up and visit several of our modernSHOPS here in the East Village…

 

Cheers!

05/25/2012
by dsmMODERN
0 comments

modernFRIENDS

You’ll find we’ll constantly be adding to this site – not just as it ages but as it matures. That said, one of the things we’ll always be looking to do is make sure we are connected to what is modern and relevant outside of DSM. This is where our modernFRIENDS come in!

Today’s spotlight is going to hit on a simple classic: www.2modern.com

About 2modern

When: 2modern launched in 2003.

Who: Founded by Greg Finney and Jennifer Sitko, formerly of the award-winning design studio Carve Media. They have worked together for over 15 years.

Where: Mill Valley, CA. Right over the Golden Gate Bridge in Southern Marin

Why: We want to share our passion of modern design with the world

What I like best though is their blog, which is part of the inspiration to get dsmMODERN up and running. They’ve got a lot of great categories with some of their best work probably finding itself here in some way. So whether you’re waiting for your InDesign file to open, your 125 prints to finish, PC load letter or just need a break for some eye candy, head on over!

[blog.2modern.com]

Cheers!

 

05/23/2012
by dsmMODERN
0 comments

MODERNcool: ICFF

This is the first post in a series of posts on what is relevant and happening in the world of MODERN design right now. The ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) just ended, so we’ll start there. For those of you who love MODERNcool, you’ve got to get to an ICFF! Feel free to bucket-list it. This post is also sponsored by our Build LLC friends out west who graciously traveled out east and gave a report.

 

Team BUILD just returned from bustling New York City where we energized the batteries catching up with old friends, new places, and fresh design. We timed our trip to align with New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair, the largest national trade show of furniture, interiors and beautiful people. Not only was the show extremely informative, but everyone we visited was a pleasure to speak with. A huge thanks to the hard-working reps, owners, designers and builders, all of whom were on their feet all day, foregoing the blue skies and sunshine outside to generously educate us on their products. With 500+ booths it’s daunting to attempt to see everything, but we had our finely tuned radar on. We filtered our highlights to a palatable shortlist of picks that we think you’ll enjoy getting familiar with.

Our first stop was a visit to the crack-team at Brizo where we were happy to see their new Solna faucet available in matte white and matte black. This thing is oozing with good, clean Scandinavian design savviness and we can’t wait to start specifying them for projects. (Added bonus: It’s also available with SmartTouch.) Big appreciation to Judd and Jai of Brizo for taking the time to catch up with us.


[All Photos by BUILD LLC]

Seattle’s very own Graypants was knocking it out of the park with their display, a loungy atmosphere, complete with soundtrack, attracting hordes of cool kids stopping by to chat. Their recycled cardboard lamps continue to be the freshest use of discarded boxes on the planet.

The 40” x 52” wall tiles by Inalco are the perfect match for those bathroom and shower applications where fewer grout lines are desired. The simple, sensual colors and textures maintain a balanced level of sophistication.

These handsome wood chairs are the work of student John Ford and we were blown away at their level of elegance and design discipline.

We’re not sure how practical it is for the home, but the Private Rocker by Kyle Fleet at Cranbrook Academy of Art stole our hearts and an unproportional amount of our time. The concept is playful and fresh.

The Autoban collection from De La Espada was one of the quickest transports from NYC to Scandinavia we’ve experienced. We felt like we got beamed up to the Swedish mothership to soak in the warm tones, elegant curves and natural beauty. It just made us want to hunker down and have a Tuborg.

We’re not huge wall paper fans but when we spied the NLXL booth displaying hip textures like weathered wood planks and rusted tin ceiling tiles, we we’re taken. Sign us up, we’re looking forward to having some fun with these.

It’s a challenge to find box sinks that aren’t overdesigned and AF|NY is doing a spectacular job of keeping them simple without losing the poetry. In addition to standard sizes, they can also customize the length, width, and height to darn near anything.

The Stickbulb lighting booth by Rux Design was love at first light. These crisp, clean, and highly functional lights are everything they need to be and nothing more. The wood housing keeps the LED technology warm and friendly, while the mounting options are ample.

We chatted with the Room B folks for quite a while (thanks, Room B folks) and, having our own cabinet shop, we can tell this crew knows their stuff. Their highly-crafted, timeless furniture is available at reasonable prices. Definitely get these folks on your radar and check out more of their work.

Design House Stockholm really nailed the design for a line of straight-forward, handsome pendant lights.

While the Jieldé Lamp has been around for decades, a true classic never gets old. So of course we had to stop by to say hello and pay our respects. And we were pleased to hear the lamp is now available in matte colors.

Santa & Cole’s playful wall and ceiling fixture utilizes simple geometry and reflected light to create a sophisticated aesthetic.

By the end of our day at ICFF, we’d had our fill of incredible design. It was high time for a break and a thirst quencher. So to cap off our list is the supremely well-mixed Mezcal Manhattan we had at Locanda Verde after the show. Gorgeous and tasty.

To wrap things up that evening, ICFF threw a slick opening night party at the Park Avenue Armory on Manhattan’s upper east side. The theme was NASA and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to see the installations mimicking everything from lunar landers to artistic interpretations of mission control centers. Throw a few drinks in the mix and you’ve got one serious party.

Kudos to ICFF and everyone involved –a very successful show this year and we’re chomping at the bit to use some of our new design finds.

Cheers!

05/23/2012
by dsmMODERN
0 comments

MODERNmaterial: Countertops

One of the topics we’ll constantly be engaging in is what are Modern Materials? As these topics come along, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages. The goal is to try and peel back the curtain a bit for everyone to see how certain design decisions might be made as it relates to materiality.

For anyone, who has ever had to pick materials there are many choices out there, so this will not be encompassing by any means, but will give you some modern professional preferences we have seen. So sit back, relax and feel free to fire away with any comments you may have and thanks to our friends at Build LLC for this initial preview:

Over the years we’ve experimented with many different types of countertops covering a range of materials, manufacturers and methods. The countertops that we’re using today are, for the most part, the ones that have proven themselves. We’ve rounded up a bunch of past projects and it’s a good time to share what we know and what we like about countertops. Like anything, take it with a grain of salt – this is just what experience has taught us.

 


[Concord Penthouse, photo by BUILD LLC]

Having a modern philosophy about design and construction filters down the material and method options to a select handful –and this couldn’t be truer as applied to countertops. There are a lot of fashionable, glossy products out there and there’s no lack of the term “green” being thrown around. Our advice is to skip the marketing and focus on a few key characteristics. Here’s our list of attributes for good, modern countertops:

Function: they should work well for decades; the material should have a proven track record of durability. You can always take a sample home from the showroom and spill some wine/ coffee/ baby food on it and see if it stains and how well it cleans (or doesn’t). The proof is in the pudding.

Timelessness: they should look good for decades; they shouldn’t go out of “style”. If racy phrases are used to describe the material’s abundant personality, it’s probably going to look dated in 5 to 10 years. There’s a term for this; perceived obsolescence.

Sustainability: It doesn’t matter how “green” or recycled something claims to be, if it needs to be  replaced 5 years after it was installed then there’s nothing sustainable about it.

Weathering: there’s nothing wrong with materials that weather, so long as they weather in such a way that it makes them better/ more interesting/ more valuable over time.  We like weathering that tells a story and provides a history and fond memories, not weathering where you are constantly fretting over spills and if your guest is going to leave a red wine ring.

Cost effectiveness: the use and look of the countertop should be proportional to the cost. A countertop that costs $750 and is replaced in 5 years is not as cost effective as a countertop that costs $3,000 and lasts for 30 years

Straight forward installation: since labor costs can often exceed the material costs, the ease of installation is a major contributor to the cost effectiveness.

With that said, here are the products that most consistently achieve these qualities on our projects:

Chroma: Made from 90% crushed natural quartz the product is non porous and impervious to water. While it comes in a ton of colors, our favorites are Oasis, Mesa and Coastal Grey –each with a honed finished for a look and texture similar to poured concrete. For a lighter palette we’re big fans of the Super White and Cascade White.


[Davidson Residence, photo by BUILD LLC]


[Innis Arden Residence, photo by BUILD LLC]

Caesarstone: Also made from 90% crushed natural quartz the product is a great solution to kitchen and bath applications. We’ve taken advantage of Caesarstone’s ambitious line of colors in the past, like the “Tequila Sunrise” used in conjunction with bamboo cabinets in the image below.


[Concord Condominium, photo by BUILD LLC]

Stainless steel with a “non-directional” finish: This may be the most bomb-proof countertop of all –we’ve had these in our own homes for years and they’ve performed incredibly well. There are different philosophies about the weathering of stainless steel countertops; some cooks like to cut directly on the stainless itself –subsequently nicking and scratching the surface for an intentional look. Others stick with a cutting board to keep the stainless steel relatively free of marks. In either situation the orbital finish conceals the smaller day-to-day scratches. Our favorite supplier here in the Pacific Northwest is Metal Masters Northwest Inc., they can build a one piece kitchen countertop with integral stainless steel sink, drain board and backsplash. They even mount it on plywood for easy installation. Ka-pow!


[Park Modern, photos by Chase Jarvis]

Paperstone: it’s been on our radar more and more lately. Although the material requires frequent resealing, it can be re-sanded and refinished to some degree –highly advantageous for that occasional catastrophic red wine stain.


[Photo courtesy of Paperstone]

Laminate: yup, good old fashioned laminate, just like you had in your house growing up except without the funny patterns and colors. We find that the ratio of durability to cost of laminate is hard to beat, and it’s a great application for the laundry room or drop-sort area that is going to receive considerable abuse. There’s a bounty of laminates out there, we like Nevamar.


[Innis Arden Residence, photo by BUILD LLC]

Absolute black granite with a honed finish: this is a favorite stone product of ours. It’s an extremely durable material with just enough texture to differentiate it from the engineered products. We typically contrast it with lighter cabinets like the maple bathroom vanity below.


[Park Modern, photo by Chase Jarvis]

Custom granite: while there is some aversion to custom granite slabs out there (they got a bit overused in the 90s), under the right circumstances it can bring a very handsome look to an interior palette. Granite is a tough stone and a great application for kitchens. The drawbacks are that there are so many different types of granite that the process of sorting through all the granite slabs a stone yard has to offer can be quite time consuming. Given how unique each granite slab is, the selection typically requires a significant amount of time from the homeowner to review and approve. But with a go-getter of a home owner, it can be the centerpiece of a smashing kitchen like the one below.


[Innis Arden Residence, photos by BUILD LLC]

You can decide on an exceptional material and still screw up the detailing, so here are a few specifications notes for a modern install:

Eased edges: with any of the stone or engineered stone products it’s very important to call out an “eased edge” rather than the radius, chamfer or <gulp> bevel that most countertop installers will try and give you. Nothing takes the glimmer off your hot modern project like a big clumsy 45 degree chamfer on that sleek countertop.

Backplashes: we often use the same material for the countertop and the backsplash. The thickest you’ll want to go for the backsplash material is ¾” (3cm). Since the backsplash is often made from the off-cuts of the countertop, this may dictate what thickness of material is used in general. Buying a 1¼” thick slab for the countertop and an additional ¾” slab just for the backsplash pretty much blows the cost-effectiveness of the assembly -it also produces a lot of waste.

Straight edges: with laminates, don’t dry to seam or roll the edge. We like the look of a clean modern edge and we’ll often combine it with an exposed apple-ply or Europly to keep with the utilitarian aesthetic.

Undermount sinks: we recommend using undermount sinks with most of these materials. It keeps the look and function unobtrusive and clean. Overhang the countertop approximately ¼” over the sink –this hides the sealant in the shadow lines.

Honed finish: a honed (or flat) finish just about always looks better than a gloss finish. We typically like to see the material itself, not the reflection -that’s what mirrors are for.

Seams: When breaks in separate countertop panels are required, specify that the breaks occur centered on a sink or an appliance so that the composition is deliberate.

Thickened edges: for a thicker edge condition, most of the engineered materials can accommodate a deeper edge band condition at the perimeter.


[Davidson Residence, photo by BUILD LLC]

There you go, happy counter-topping.

Cheers!

05/23/2012
by dsmMODERN
1 Comment

How To: Use dsmMODERN

The following is a how to: Use dsmMODERN

First you should notice the TOP HEADER MENU items:

HOME | ABOUT | BOARD | CONTACT | EVENTS

These are fairly self explanatory, but we’re gonna’ jump in there anyway.

HOME – Just like our founder returning home to Iowa, this is the “boomerang” to bring you right back to where you started.

ABOUT – This tells you what dsmMODERN is and stands for.

BOARD- We are comprised of an active board and this highlights who serves.

CONTACT- ummm…how to get in touch with us. I’m just saying…

EVENTS- The place to find out what is happening in our dsmMODERN world.

As you move further down you will come to our most recent posts. Feel free to scroll on down or look to the right and click other RECENT POSTS or SEARCH topics or keywords. Sandwiched in between there is our connections to BE SOCIAL, we’d love to have you join us.

Finally, there is a whole series of Links to the far right. We’ll get into these more individually in later posts as they’ll always be changing and growing, so check back often for updates. Essentially, these Links are all about connecting you to the FRIENDS, SHOPS and SPONSORS of dsmMODERN. So please take time to not only check us out, but click over and see where all the real MODERNmagic is happening with these DOERS!

Cheers!

[zane]