Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Another New Mod Site

Mark Millikan, a Realtor at Ebby Halliday--along with Casey Lightfoot, an Interior Designer, and her web-design expert husband, Michael Laskey--launched DallasMod.Com this month. Personal interests in Modernism and familiarity with the quest for elusive mid-century modern architecture and design in Dallas hatched the endeavor. The site's mission is "to help people in this area learn more about the neighborhoods in which modern homes may be found and share ideas involving modern architecture and interior design."

Monday, August 28, 2006

Modern Furniture Finds

Couch, $750

3 gray acrylic tulip chairs, $750

Red dinette set with 4 chairs, $380

Green couch, $250

Orange couch, $700

white danish couch, $1600

Kagan (Cantoni) corkscrew ultrasuede chairs, $2600

hand-crafted steel queen bedframe, $550

Let's Talk IKEA

IKEA arrived in Frisco amid much fanfare last year, the 24th American outpost of "good design and function at low prices". What had everyone ga-ga? It's not just the 99-cent meatballs. According to the aptly-named Positive Fanatics, "Ikea balances two seemingly contradictory truths. It remains rooted in Scandinavian design, even as its global reach, toward customers "and" suppliers, broadens each year." IKEA must be commended for bringing the crisp, clean lines of modern Scandanavian design to the multitudes in an approachable and affordable way. Sherry Jacobson revisited the store's attraction in a recent Dallas Morning News article. Shoppers found the store "comprehensive" and "kid-friendly", offering "a little bit of everything" and a foreign flavor. The affordability lends itself well to the college and first-apartment crowd, but there are also budget-conscious stylewatchers and those who seem to rotate furniture with the seasons. The majority of items consist of flat-packed fiberboard components that assemble (some expletives might be necessary to aid in the more complicated versions). Flat-packing makes things transportable, while ecologically-conscious materials impress those who aren't struck by the pricing alone. Competitions range from Target's competing designs to the pricier cousins at Design Within Reach, but IKEA defines its niche, one that inspires creative variations and video and song parodies.
To the tune of Abba's "Mamma Mia":
Damn IKEA, here we go again
My my, feeling pale and trembly
Damn IKEA, sold me "Trollfjorden"
My my, it's all self-assembly
And if a screw goes AWOL
Man, you'll feel like an a-hole..
Why why, are you going back for more?
Damn IKEA, with their budget lines
My my, what a soul destroying store
IKEA was perhaps best spoofed by this scene in "Fight Club" touring us through Edward Norton's apartment, and The Onion offers its own commentary on the "epidemic of self-assembled, clean-lined modernist furniture". Love it or loathe it, IKEA has earned great cultural recognition for making modernism less affected and stand-offish, at least as best as it can and still preserve the tongue-twisting style names.

1953 Lakewood Modernism

A nice feature from the 8/25 Dallas Morning News on rehabbing a 1953 ranch home to become a zen-inspired haven of serenity.

"When David Collier and Greg O'Neal bought their 1953 two-bedroom Hillside Village home north of Lakewood four years ago, it was far from the sleek, chic condition it's in now. The parquet wood floors were buckled, the walls were slathered in thick black paint and red Mexican tiles covered the countertops in the home's only bathroom. 'It was total yuckville,' admits Greg."

The couple, who are well-known for their work in real estate and design in Dallas. chose to blend sleek modern lines with organic elements throughout. See more images and an interview in a flash slideshow here.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Some Attention from 2Modern

2modern has been doing a series on modern design trends in various US cities....and Dallas got a feature on the trip from Seattle to New York. A quick rundown of shops, museums, designers and some modern architecture is accented with some nice photo work. The store list includes Ligne Roset, Century Modern, Collage Classics, Jan Showers, Kul, and Scott + Cooner. Other cities featured in the series thus far include Denver, St. Louis, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego, Boston, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Miami.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Shopping Dallas at a Discount

There's tons of ways to maximize style while minimizing the wallet hemorrhage. The August Restaurant Week gets you into the door of exceptional restaurants at a cut prix fixe rate. SpaWeek is geared towards sampling fabulous spa treatments at a sinful price. Warehouse and Sample Sales abound, if you keep your eyes open (today was the last day for the Fashion Industry Gallery Finale Sale).

There are tons of craigslist postings, estate sales, and antiques shops to browse. If you don't have your own connection to the discounts at Dallas Market Center, you're probably anticipating one event for the whole year. For nine shopping days, a small card gets you 20% off at a host of Dallas's best retailers. The Partners Card (for a $60 donation to the Family Place) is the magic chit to get you into the club. Participating stores include Anichini, Cantoni, Ceylon et Cie, Kreiss, Kittrell/Riffkind ArtGlass, Lights Fantastic, SMINK Modern Living, West Elm (which isn't even open yet), and Z Gallerie. A full list is available here. Cards can be purchased at most merchants beginning 10/19/2006, just in time for the holiday shopping frenzy.

Mixed Use in the Design District

The Dallas Design District west of 35E near the American Airlines Arena and the Victory Center is getting more and more attention. First the influx of galleries, now lofts and more lofts. The largest project announced to date--from Trammell Crow--will begin construction early in 2007 on 240 rental lofts and 40,000 square feet of retail space at the corner of Hi Line Drive and Oaklawn Avenue. This is on top of the recent announcement that the company will redevelop the Maple Avenue site of the original Parkland Hospital into more mixed-use spaces including the new Trammell Crow headquarters.

Dallas Modern Expo Oct 13th

The Dallas Modern Committee of Preservation Dallas is sponsoring the Modern Expo in mid-October, with a special preview party Friday October 13th. Additional details at their website. A silent auction will feature mid-century classic designs and other goodies.

Why Dallas Modern?

Dallas is most often ignored by the modern design blog scene. Apartment Therapy and others seem stuck on New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. But wait! Look at that distinctive skyline! Think of the burgeoning Arts District, the renaissance of the Bishop Arts District and the growth of the Design District! What about the Trinity River Project and the Calvatrala bridges! What are we, chopped liver?
There is a growing group of design afficionados who aren't satisfied with just Pottery Barn, Storehouse, and Ashley for their furnishing selections. We're the types that have particular aesthetic predilections, from art and furnishings to architecture and cuisine. Dallas has more options every day to accomodate our desires and we're loving it! We're planning to follow the Dallas design scene along with its influences thanks to the Internets, and we'll try to feature some of Dallas's best developing neighborhoods and events along the way. Any suggestions? Let us know!