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Review of Shoji Paper Lighting by Isamu Noguchi

vitra-akari

Born in 1904 in Los Angeles, Japanese American artist, designer and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi gained fame creating original designs infused with a deep respect for the natural world. Over a career that spanned six decades, Noguchi explored multiple artistic mediums, including furniture design, sculpture and theatrical set design. Collaborating with such luminaries as mid-century modernist Charles Eames and choreographer Martha Graham, he left an indelible mark on the world of art and design. Noguchi died in 1988.

In 1951, Noguchi began to explore creating light fixtures crafted in the shoji style. In traditional Japanese interior design, shoji describes room dividers made with translucent paper. Noguchi called his 100-piece series of shoji paper lighting fixtures Akari Light Sculptures. In Japanese, “akari” means light and brightness as well as the quality of being light. “The light of akari is like the light of the sun filtered through the paper of shoji,” Noguchi explained. “The harshness of electricity is thus transformed through the magic of paper back to the light of our origin: the sun.”

The Akari Light Sculpture line includes table lamps, floor lamps and pendant lighting fixtures. Using mulberry bark that was boiled and process to create the paper material, Noguchi’s shoji paper lighting illustrates a unique East-meets-West style. While preserving the restrained design aesthetic of class Japanese design, Noguchi infused the pieces with characteristic mid-century modern visuals. Some feature minimal decorations like painted teardrops, circles or stripes. The pieces are light, functional, witty and supremely stylish.

Many of the pieces in the Akari Light Sculpture line were exhibited in 1986 at the Venice Biennale in Italy when the artist’s work was chosen to represent the United States at the exhibition. Reviewers praised the work for its startling originality as well as for Noguchi’s thorough understanding of the modern design concept, “less is more.” Today, many of Noguchi’s designs can be viewed at the Noguchi Museum in New York. The master designer opened the museum in 1985, three years before his death.

Many of the furnishings and accessories that Noguchi designed, including lighting fixtures, are still in production and available for purchase. Although Noguchi designs exemplify the modern mid-century design style, there is a timeless quality to the pieces that makes them feel fresh and contemporary today.

Made primarily with natural materials, lighting by Isamu Noguchi adds organic sensibility to rooms decorated in both traditional and modern design styles. Akari lighting fixtures are ideal for providing soft, flattering light to a room, for enriching the look of an environment with an architectural element and for adding texture to the space.

3 Cool Dining Sets Under $200

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In attempting to find dining sets below two hundred dollars I discovered it was quite a task! I relied mainly on the World Wide Web and search engines to help with this endeavor. Making sure these sets are eco-friendly was uppermost in my mind. I found three dining sets that meet the specifications.

The first dining table set was discovered at the Ikea website. It consists of a table and 4 chairs made of solid pine going by the name of Ingo/Ivar. The cost of this fine table was set at one hundred sixty-nine dollars and ninety-five cents. This was a victory in discovering a nice set that is eco-friendly and priced right! The table and chairs must be assembled by the purchaser. The site suggests that the screws be re-tightened after about two weeks of use. The table dimensions are: length 47 1/4 inch; width 29 1/2 inch; and height 28 3/4 inch. The chair dimensions are: width 16 1/8 inch; depth 19 5/8 inch; height 37 3/8 inch. The dimensions of the seat of the chair are: width 15 3/8 inch; depth 15 3/4 inch; height 17 3/4 inch.

The next dining set I found that fit the bill was at Overstock.com. Find it here: at this site.
This Country Cottage drop-leaf dining set looks lovely and is certainly affordable at one hundred eighty-eighty dollars and sixty-six cents. I determined that it is eco-friendly due to being made of natural, sustainable rubber wood. The two chairs that come with it are made of the same material. The table measures 29 inches high x 30 inches wide x 30 inches long. This interesting table transforms from a 30-inch square to a 43.75-inch half-oval when the 13.75-inch drop leaf is raised. Each sturdy chair measures 35.5 inches high x 19.75 inches wide x 17.5 inches deep. Be assured that some assembly is required upon receipt of the product.

The last dining set was discovered on Craigslist. Now in purchasing items from this site be reminded that it is not quite as reliable as Ikea and Overstock.com, but it certainly accommodates the thrifty shopper. If you do decide to buy used furniture from Craigslist, make sure you don’t buy anything sight unseen! Most people post pictures of what they are selling, but pictures don’t always capture whether or not the furniture is moments away from falling apart, or if it has unsightly stains, scratches or markings.

Types of Platform Beds

Amazing Platform Bed

Platform beds have a design and style all their own, consisting of a mattress which rests upon a platform made of wood or metal, and often without foot boards or headboards. The box spring is replaced by slats or other rigid surfaces for mattress support.

These have become quite popular in recent years, and with good reason. The lightweight frames are easy to transport—perfect for young adults or others who are in a transitional phase of life. They are economically priced and excellent for small bedrooms or rooms where extra space is needed. Other features include the elegant simplicity and the open styling, which allows ample under bed storage space.

Platform beds are available in many styles to suit every need. Some of the most popular are the canopy bed, the sleigh bed, the captain’s bed, the storage bed, and the Japanese bed.

Canopy Platform Bed

The canopy bed provides a level of privacy unrivaled by any other type of bed frame. It is essentially a 4-poster bed with rails at the top for holding the canopy.

Modern Design Ideas for the Home

Modern Living Room Design

Modern Design Ideas

Whether you are thinking of repainting a room in your home or if you want to remodel an entire space in the house, there are many modern design ideas that are available to implement to give any area in your home an entirely new look, feel and overall atmosphere. Using modern design in the home is a way to keep your home looking updated while also changing the overall appearance of it to keep your house appearing fresh and unique at all times.

The Easy Way to Install Wall Flats

Installing Wall Flats

Wall flats are designed to be installed over clean and dry surfaces. Before starting off the work, there are a few tools that are needed for a successful installation. These include:
• Cutting tools like utility knives or any other power cutting tool,
• Adhering material such as tile mastic, contact cement or double sided tape,
• Primers like professional level finish primer,
• Tools for finishing such as paintable caulk and paint.

Wall Preparation
If the surface where the wall flats are to be installed is glossy or has a coat of paint, the installer should first rough up the surface using sandpaper. The surface should then be wiped clean using damp rag.

Tile Mastic Adhering
• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the set and dry time. A trowel should be used for adhesive application.
• A V-notched 3/16” trowel is ideal for smooth surfaces while a 5/16 V-notched is best for rough or uneven surfaces.
• The tiles may need to be shaped in order to fit into certain areas. The shaping can be done with a putty knife if the area to be covered is small. The knife can also be used to flatten tiles that have a slight bow so that they lie flat on the adhesive.
• One should ensure that the tiles are tightly butted against each other.
• To minimize seams, the tiles can be slightly offset and slid into place preventing excess mastic from getting into the spaces between the tiles.
• Excess adhesive can be removed using a dam rag. However, avoid excessive rubbing on tiles that have not been coated with primer.

Contact Cement Adhering
• Here, it is also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on use. The fumes from contact cement are flammable and therefore, safety is paramount.
• The tiles should be pre-cut before applying the adhesive.
• A brush or roller should be used to apply an even coat of contact cement to the wall and the back of the tiles.
• Let the adhesive dry for about fifteen minutes.
• Pay careful attention while joining because the bond will be permanent. Apply gentle contact on the tiles to ensure bonding.

Finishing
• Apply paintable caulk on the tiles to minimize seams.
• Remove excess mastic by running a putty knife or tiny finger over the joints
• Finish off by applying a coat of primer to seal the tiles.

The Furniture of Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck

Philippe Patrick Starck is a French designer who has a reputation for creating fluid, natural, dynamic, and powerful furniture designs. He is also a master of interior design.

He helped to create many famous hotels, restaurants, luxury homes, boats, and recreation areas. He is likewise responsible for many mass-produced items, such as furniture of all kinds.

Unpredictably, he made his start by establishing his own design career and firm, fresh out of school in 1968. He specialized initially at that time in inflatable objects.

Furniture seems to be one of Starck’s stronger qualities. He has designed a wide variety chairs, tables, shelves, and beds. All of his furniture designs in the past have had an organic feel to them: His chairs and stools are usually egg-shaped, round, and curvy.

Meanwhile the beds and dresser drawers he thinks up resemble vague, modernized versions of land formations, slated rocks, or water eroded plateaus of sand. Sometimes, his designs are reminiscent of plants, trees, and sea anemones. Other times they are minimalist, and barren.

We are blessed that Starck has taken an interest in eco-friendly aesthetics. In 2008, Stark made the leap from designing interiors, structures, furniture, and utilitarian objects, to designing a sustainable, eco-smart, and aesthetically-pleasing wind turbine that doubles as a musical instrument.

His new design is called the Broom Chair for Emeco, and was released in 2012. It is equal in eco-friendly points to the power-producing windmill design. It is zero-waste, meaning it is made from almost 95% recycled material. The name of this chair is inspired by the idea that the chair is ‘sweeping’ up extra waste by coming into existence.

The Broom Chair is simpler than Starck’s more fluid-style furniture he has been famous for producing in the past, such as his egg-like and tear-drop shaped chairs and structures reminiscent of natural forms overflowing with aesthetic fluidity.

The Broom is designed to look like a school, library, or patio chair, with just a drip of curve to make the design still uniquely Starck. This chair is undoubtedly a simplified version of what Strack is capable of as far as an exciting design goes. However, it is likely he is making a statement through its simplicity about sustainability. Maybe, it is that helping the environment need not be complicated.