Browsing Tag



Ceiling Mounted Ellipse Ethanol Fireplace by Decoflame

Decoflame ceiling mounted Ellipse fireplace

Decoflame ceiling mounted Ellipse fireplace

Ethanol biofuel fireplaces allow condo owners and urban homeowners to enjoy the warmth feeling of a fireplace in rooms where they cannot put a vent or a chimney.  And because of that, it provides more freedom and designers have taken full advantage to create stunning contemporary shapes.

ellipse fireplace floor model by decoflame

One impressive design is Ellipse by Decoflame.  I love the ceiling mounted fireplace. When it stands on foot, Ellipse almost feels like a fresh take on The Jetsons style.

A Ceiling Mounted Wood-Burning Fireplace

ovalie wood-fireplace by brisash

If you live in Europe and can install a wood-burning fireplace, have a look at Ovalie by Brisach. on top of that, it pivots a full 360°.

+ Decoflame – it is not yet on their Web site
+ Ovalie by Brisach
+ photos of Ellipse via Trendir

HOME + GARDEN MODERN architecture

Minimalist Fire Pit

hill house designed by architect david coleman :: photo by Lara Swimmer

hill house designed by architect david coleman :: photo by Lara Swimmer

There are a lot of good things that I could say about this modest house designed by architect David Coleman. For one thing, he reduced the footprint of the building not just for the construction but also by keeping the living space small (1100 sq) during the cold weather. The usable space doubles during summer.

But the thing that really caught my eye is the fire pit cut from the wooden desk. You can not be more minimalist and functional than that.

+ photography: Lara Swimmer
+ via Contemporist


The Conmoto Gate and Turn Fireplaces

conmoto gate fireplace :: modern style fireplace

conmoto gate fireplace  :: modern style fireplace

I love sitting next to a fireplace. If you are looking for something spectacular, check out the modern fireplace and stove from Conmoto, a German fireplace maker. Their fireplaces often look like piece of furniture.

Carsten Gollnick designed a vertical fireplace with a companion wood storage unit. The combustion chamber of Gate is suspended to float in the matt, anthracite-coated steel plate. I think it looks edgy in a subtle way.

turn fireplace by conmoto :: swiveling fireplace

What about a 360 degrees swiveling stove for wood to create an atmosphere! The Turn fireplace locks in position at set increments. Prefect for people who lives in loft or with a open space dining and living space, you can enjoy the fire from several angles. This design by Schweiger & Viererbl won the 2009 Good Design Award in the Household products category.

If you are interested to buy those, I saw that Unica Home carries some of fireplaces and fireplace accessories by Conmoto but I did not see these two models on their online catalogue.

+ Conmoto Gate Fireplace
+ Conmoto Turn Fireplace


Cool Wood Storage by AK47

zero fire pit and wood storage tower Albert+ by ak47

zero fire pit and wood storage tower Albert+ by ak47

Even if we were not in the middle of a very snowy winter, I would still be impressed by the design of these wood storage units. Naturally, the round fire pit is the ultimate design when it comes to a ski chalet. It is called Zero.

wood storage solutions by ak47 :: flex butterfly and flex wall

The Ak47 collection delivers a series of tower styles. Albert+ is my favorite interpretation. From a series of baskets to carry the wood inside up to FLEX, a flexible structure that can act as a seat or an ottoman, the collection offers many possibilities.

Sadly, I have no idea where you can buy these Italian design wood storage solutions.

+ Ak47
+ via My Urban Garden Deco Guide

HOME + GARDEN MODERN architecture

I Am in Awe with John Melfi’s Modern Architecture Home in Venice, CA


If like me, you are a fan of Sex in the City and Rome, you probably heard of John Melfi since he produced these remarkable TV series. Now, I envy John not just for his stunning productions but also for his modern architecture home.

Living in a house like that is the reason I want to be rich. Moreover, I would love to live for a while in Venice and Santa Monica.

What I like Most about this House

I applauded that the architect put the garage at the rear of the property. He set the living room on top of the garage. This create an amazing view when you sit anywhere at the front of the house.

The architect Steven Shortridge thought a clever multi-level plan that works visually. The house is not only beautiful; it is also functional and must be fun to live in. Melfi said: “I can’t wait to drive home — it’s this wonderful retreat. I literally exhale the moment I step inside.”


The kitchen rests between the lounge front courtyard and the raised dining room at the center of the house. The courtyard featured a rusted steel backdrop fire pit. It is stunning.

Designing for Entertaining

The kitchen and dining spaces are designed so that your friends can be with you when you cooking a casual dinner. Still you feel separate from the kitchen when you sit down at the dining table.

This is a key element to examine when you design an open living and dining space. If you like to hire staff for a dinner party, it is important to keep at least a psychological barrier between the kitchen and the dining room.

You can always put a temporary screen to hide the kitchen when you sit on the front walled courtyard for the pre-dinner cocktails. If I was entertaining in the Melfi’s house, I would put a screen that stands no more than 5 feet to keep the view the living room at the back of the house.


Or in the case of John Melfi, you can host the pre-dinner cocktails on his stunning rooftop terrace complete with hot tub and an outdoor shower.

Culver City architect Steven Shortridge of Callas Shortridge Architects imagined this amazing modern architecture house. Check out the slideshow on Los Angeles Times to see more stunning pictures of the interior.

+ John Melfi’s daring house on Los Angeles Times – photography by Kirk McKoy


Daily Quick Links | Playing with Fire

The Other Boleyn Girl :: fire bowls :: Minimahue

This is my daily collection of noteworthy stuff that I saw online.

+ I recalled the story of Henry VIII and the Tudors from my history class in high school. I watched The Tudors TV series with the intrigues of Anne Boleyn. Now, I am curious to read about the sisterly rivalry and the intrigues in The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. Via Junebug Weddings

+ To continue with a burning question, let’s talk about the joy of a fire bowl to prolong the outdoor living this autumn. Before you buy anything, check first the city bylaws and talk to your insurer. You may need to put a metal grill, as open flame is often not allowed by fire departments in the city. If you live in the Los Angeles area, check out the precast fire bowls made by concrete artist Seth Ernsdorf of Ernsdorf Design. See more fire pits here. Via Dwell blog

+ I introduced on Style Sheet how Kathy Scully converted incandescent light bulbs into vases to start her plant cuttings. The big design issue is how the light bulb will stand. The design studio Minimahuella of Buenos Aires provides an answer with this stand. Via Inhabitat

+ I do not present products from Wal-Mart typically but when they carry a cute bamboo and fabric cat bed, I do have a choice. Unfortunately, it seems that it was a limited time product. If you know a source, please let me know. Via moderncat

+ olivelse features beautiful pictures of her family vacations. Look at le retour and the four previous posts. I selected those because they fit well for a Labor Day.


Good Deals on Fire Pits

fire pit and grill :: outdoor entertaining

We reached the time where outdoor furniture and accessories start to go on sale. I find you a few interesting deals.

Three models at Restoration Hardware are available at less than $280. You could opt for the modern Del Mar Fire Pit/Grill, the Provencal style of the Antibes Fire Pit/Coffee Table or the Classic Copper Garden Fire Pit.

If you like the copper look, Target sells a similar model. To save more, buy the Copper Fire Bowl online since you can save 15% when you spend online $125 or more on furniture, patio furniture and lawn and garden items. The Copper Tub available at Smith & Hawken will complement the look.

Smith & Hawken carries amazing accessories. I like the Fatwood Kindling and the wonderful scent of Eucalyptus-Lavender Burning Bundles. In fact, I created a floral arrangement with lavender for an upcoming post on Style Sheet, the blog of HGTV Canada.

Well-equipped, you can imagine plenty of warm summer nights surrounded by friends. A fire pit definitely adds to the outdoor entertaining experience.

Safety First

Before you hit to the store, check with your fire department. Inquiry about the rules surrounding open fires in your area. Analyze the typical wind directions before selecting a position. Be a good neighbor and place your fire pit at a spot that will be pleasant for your guests and will not be annoying to your neighbors.

+ Antibes Fire Pit/Coffee Table – on sale at $279 USD
+ Del Mar Fire Pit/Grill – on sale at $259 USD
+ Classic Garden Fire Pit – on sale at $279 USD
+ Copper Fire Bowl – price: $129.99 USD
+ Fatwood Kindling – price: $16 USD
+ Eucalyptus-Lavender Burning Bundles – price: $29 USD
+ Copper Tub – price: $119 USD


Inspiring Outdoor Rooms and Lighting in Domino magazine

outdoor rooms and bedroom on domino :: havana lamp :: moroccan globe lantern

Summer is here. The last two issues of Domino magazine featured amazing outdoor rooms and lighting.

Outdoor entertaining requires more than a cool outdoor kitchen. The new essential is an outdoor lounge. Here are a few ideas to create an incredible outdoor space.

Modern Bonfire

No one can deny how much fun it feels to sit outside around a bonfire. This modern version mixes with classical touches. You can see a more ornate version of the green glazed ceramic table I shown you in my Moroccan Dinner Party theme.

Three oil lamps with the same shape as the fire pit show an attention to details. This is a great example of the art of repetition.

Havana Outdoor Lamp

The look of tall modern lamps illuminating the backyard is second to none. Many models exist for the home interior. Now, upscale manufacturers produce outdoor version.

The Havana outdoor lamp can light ample spaces. It is very efficient for your backyard since it nicely defines paths, perspective planes and depth of field. The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) selected it for its permanent collection. I love it!

Safety Issues

The cutest lamps we can find for an event are sometimes indoor lamps. You can use indoor lamps for one night but make sure to hook them to the power supply with outdoor plugs. And use them if and if they forecast no rain.

These amazing amber and pink Moroccan Globe lanterns are available at Mosaik. These lanterns become more impressive once they are lit.

Outdoor Bedroom

Here is something that we do not see often done other than in magazines. This urban camping seems a great compromise if your partner is not ready to do camping in nature.

It feels very out of Africa. Sleeping outside sounds divine on a hot day with a breeze.

For more inspirations, check out the outdoor rooms gallery and the outdoor lighting gallery available on the Domino’s Web site.

>>> Sourcing:
Buy online: Havana Outdoor Floor Lamp at YLighting – price: $672 USD
Buy online: Moroccan Globe Amber glass lantern at Mosaik – price: $79 USD for 10 inches, $99 for 12 inches
Buy online: Moroccan Globe Pink glass lantern at Mosaik – price: $79 USD for 10 inches, $99 for 12 inches
Bonfire, Havana and Moroccan Globe: photographed by David Tsay for June/July 2008 issue of Domino – rights reserved
Outdoor Bedroom: photographed by Paul Costello for March 2008 issue of Domino – right reserved


Comfort Food Christmas Gift Ideas

christmas gifts ideas for comfort food

For my first Holidays gift ideas of the season, I got inspired by the pleasures of eating at home on cold winter nights near the fire.

These gender neutral gift ideas symbolize friendly atmosphere after skiing or skating. Price ranges go from stocking stuffer to indulgence.

Log Tote by Felt Studio

Made in Canada using industrial manufactured felt, Log Tote is a hip design to transport wood logs. Felt Studio was founded by artist Kathryn Walter.

Knitware Vases by Alyssa Ettinger Design

These vases are hand-cast porcelain. The patterns vary from large knit to large cable knit up to small cable knit. I feel good just looking at Alyssa’s designs. It is perfect for the season. She sells her Knitware ceramics through her etsy shop.

Fingerprint potholder by Menu

Design by Jacob Wagner for Menu, the Fingerprint potholder is made of heat-resistant silicone. It was inspired by the designer own fingerprint. For added practicality, a magnet is inserted at the center. And a little self-adhesive metal plate is supplied so you can hand them anywhere you like. Menu is Menu is a Danish design company that celebrates Scandinavian living.

Roast and Serve and Silicone Locking Tongs by Cuisipro

The Cuisipro Roast and Serve garnered the 2006 Housewares Design Award in the Best Kitchen Tool category. You use it to roast, lift and serve your birds and large roasts. It is available in two formats to best suit your cooking needs.

I own the Cuisipro Silicone Locking Tongs and I am very satisfied with them. I feel that the push and pull locking mechanism works better than the standard one. The non stick silicone ends grab well the food for serving and when cooking.

Bodum Chocolatière at Crate and Barrel

This chocolate maker works for hot and cold chocolate drinks. A manual propeller rod blends the chocolate powder and whips up a delicious froth. Since it is makes by Bodum, I feel it should work well. All parts are dishwasher safe.

Buy online: Log Tote by Felt Studio – price: $80 CAD
Buy online: Knitware Vase by Alyssa Ettinger Design– price: $120 USD for the small, $150 for the large
Buy online: Fingerprint potholder by Menu at Panik Design – price: £25
Buy online: Cuisipro Roast & Serve Roasting Rack at Kitchen Kapers – price: $19.99 USD
Buy online: Cuisipro Silicone Locking Tongs 9.5 Inch in Red at – price: $11.95 for 9.5 inch long, $13.95 for 12 inch long
For Americans: Bodum Chocolatiere at Crate & Barrel – price: $29.95 USD
For Canadians: Bodum Chocolatiere at Muffet and Louisa – price: $38 CAD
Via: 30 Presents under $30 #8  Bodum Chocolatiere on Oh Happy Day and Cuteable Finds on Cuteable