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Motivational Monday

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Motivational Monday: Natasha Goldenberg

August 17, 2015

You probably don’t know her. But you’ve probably have her pinned in one of your pinboards.

A Russian style icon, part designer (Tzipporah), part stylist, part consultant and full-time mom! PHEW! You go girl! Natasha Goldenberg is a daring and playful dresser. She doesn’t take herself too seriously. Mixing loud colors and patterns, wearing extravagant headpieces, wearing oversized anything, this girl takes risks and I like it!

Modern Colorist | Natasha Goldenberg Modern Colorist | Natasha Goldenberg Modern Colorist | Natasha Goldenberg Modern Colorist | Natasha Goldenberg Modern Colorist | Natasha Goldenberg Modern Colorist | Natasha Goldenberg

I wouldn’t mind going shopping in her closet. So much color, texture, pattern! I barely can contain myself.

She gives me a reason to get up the morning and put on the most wild thing I own!

I need to follow her lead and embrace the silly, the eccentric, the collective, the colorful Caitlin.


Sources: The Coveteur |

Artists + Designers Motivational Monday

Motivational Monday: Luis Barragán

July 13, 2015

Someone that was under my radar until very recently, I’ve come to value his aesthetic and fall in love with his usage of color and light.Modern Colorist | Luis Barragán

poster by Federico Babina

Referred to as Mexico’s most influential designer of the 20th century, Luis Barragán is remember for abundance of vibrant color as well light and space. He reinvented the International Style, bringing color to Mexican Modernism.Modern Colorist | Luis BarragánLuis’ heavy influences were gained by his trips to Paris to see the 1925 Exposition des Arts-Décoratifs, an event which popularized Art Deco and introduced the public to the industrially-produced International Style designs of Le Corbusier among others. He also gained inspiration with meeting Mexican muralist, José Clemente Orozco, and the landscape architect, Ferdinand Bac.Luis-Barragán-58Because of his mastery of space and light, Luis brought back his own version of Modernism by imbuing it with warmth and vibrance of his native Mexico. It combined Mexican visual heritage with modernist forms of abstraction. He accentuated his colorful buildings’ in a natural environment. He decided a house should not be a “machine for living.” Rather his goal was “emotional architecture.”Modern Colorist | Luis BarragánBarragán called himself a landscape architect:

“I believe that architects should design gardens to be used, as much as the houses they build, to develop a sense of beauty and the taste and inclination toward the fine arts and other spiritual values. Any work of architecture which does not express serenity is a mistake.”

From:  Contemporary Architects by Muriel Emanuel; published by St. Martins Press, 1980

Modern Colorist | Luis BarragánLuis’ favorite themes were light and water and soon became skilled at manipulating them both in buildings like the 1966 Folke Egerstrom House and Stables built around a brightly colored, sculptural sequence of horse pools and the 1975-77 Francisco Gilardi House framing an indoor pool.Modern Colorist | Luis Barragán

“My earliest childhood memories are related to a ranch my family owned near the village of Mazamitla. It was a pueblo with hills, formed by houses with tile roofs and immense eaves to shield the passersby from the heavy rains which fall in that area. Even the earth’s color was interesting because, it was red earth. In this village, the water distribution system consisted of great gutted logs, in the form of troughs, which ran on a support structure of tree forks, 5 meters high, above the roofs. This aqueduct crossed over the town, reaching the patios, where there were stone fountains to receive the water. The patios housed the stables, with cows and chickens all together. Outside, in the street, there were iron rings to tie the horses. The channeled logs, covered with moss, dripped water all over town, of course, it gave this village an ambience of a fairytale. No. There are no photographs. I have only its memory”.

From: Kenneth Frampton. Modern Architecture: A critical history. London: Thames and Hudson. 1985. 2nd Edition

Modern Colorist | Luis BarragánModern Colorist | Luis BarragánBut for most of his life, Luis wasn’t praised for his colorful building. At times he was living off selling his collection of books and other collections to get by. At age 73, Luis wasn’t a well known architect. In fact, he had never built anything outside his native Mexico and was virtually forgotten. But the beauty and originality of Barragán’s buildings made him a legend among his fellow architects which lobbied hard for a show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Within a couple years, Luis was awarded the Pritzker Prize, the architecture’s answer to the Nobel.Modern Colorist | Luis BarragánSources: Barragán Foundation | Design Museum | Sketch42 | The Pritzker Prize | NY Times | Mocphale | Endless Tours | Architizer

Motivational Monday Music

Motivational Monday: Solange Knowles

June 29, 2015


Monday Monday Monday… yeah I know, don’t remind you! But get inspired! Get motivated because it’s Motivational Monday!

You should already know her. She has a famous last name. Maybe you’ve seen the footage of the Jay-Z attack in the elevator… but that’s not what I am here to talk about…

I’m here to talk about the oh-so-stylish Solange Knowles!Modern Colorist | Solange KnowlesA singer. An actress. A model. A DJ. Sisters to Beyonce. Aunt to Blue Ivy.

But Solange’s true colors shine with her style. Modern Colorist | Motivational Monday| Solange KnowlesWith her eclectic style, Solange has become a creative style icon. She continues to make waves in the fashion industry with her bold prints, big hair, and vivid colors.Modern Colorist | Motivational Monday| Solange Knowles

“When I look back at old pictures, my dad was always smartly dressed, my mom had the most elegant, beautiful style, and my sister was very into the ’90s Cross Colours look, and I… I just had all of these different things inside me.”

Modern Colorist | Solange KnowlesModern Colorist | Motivational Monday| Solange KnowlesModern Colorist | Solange KnowlesModern Colorist | Solange KnowlesModern Colorist | Solange Knowles

“As women we have the choice of how we want to look and how we want to feel, and that’s the beauty of being a woman. We all have the option of how we want to express ourselves through our life, hair, style or whatever we decide.”

Modern Colorist | Solange Knowles

And for your enjoyment…

Sources: PopSugar | Harpers Bazaar | Fashionista | Instyle | Fashion & Style |

Artists + Designers Motivational Monday

Motivational Monday: Josef Frank

June 22, 2015

Oh another Monday, but don’t worry I have a Motivation Monday for you!

Today is a feature on Josef Frank.Modern Colorist | Josef FrankAn Austrian-born architect, artist, and designer, Josef Frank fled to Sweden to escape Nazi Austria. He would become known as one of the leading pioneers and for Swedish Modern design and one of Sweden’s most important designers of all time.

Modern Colorist | Josef FrankBorn in Austria in 1885, the architect belonged to the same generation as the most prominent pioneers of modernist design, including Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier.  Like his contemporaries, he was passionately committed to shaping a new era. The machine age brought new technologies and lifestyles would have an affect on the way buildings and interiors were designed.

Early in age he was part of front figure of Vienna Modernism’s. Together with Oskar Strnad, he created the Vienna School of Architecture. There he started to question systematic Modernism. The Modernist’s principal was that a house should be a “machine for living in”. It was based on a linear, grid-like restrictions. Frank disagreed with and even feared this type of design. He believed it would make people all too similar.Modern Colorist | Josef Frank

Frank had a freer mindset, a more artistic style in which he developed his own type of Modernism.

“Every human needs a certain degree of sentimentality to feel free. Away with the universal styles, away with the equalization of industry and art.” – Josef Frank

For Frank, modern design should be simple, straightforward, and practical. He believed, however, that such modern precepts should not preclude character and comfort. He focused on his own personal values such as comfort, hominess, and an abundance of color. He perceived tubular steel furniture as a threat to humanity. Rather he contrasted by including nature’s colors and forms into his interiors. He wanted his living space to be a place of relaxation and at the same time to be harmonize with tradition and  development; in contact with nature, but also with culture and refinement. He wanted the space to be breathable, and even feel free from an enclosed room.

To look at his furniture you can see this style coming through. His chairs have space to see through them, his cabinets have long legs to see the floor and the wall. Nothing bulky or heavy. Modern Colorist | Josef FrankModern Colorist | Josef Frank

He embraced personal touches, sentimentality, and asymmetry, outfitting interiors with boldly patterned upholstery, traditional furniture forms, off-grid furnishing arrangements, and motley displays of assorted decorative objects.

Frank argued:

“There’s nothing wrong with mixing old and new, with combining different furniture styles, colors and patterns. Anything that is in your taste will automatically fuse to form an entire, relaxing environment. A home does not need to be planned down to the smallest detail or contrived; it should be an amalgamation of the things that its owner loves and feels at home with.”

Modern Colorist | Josef FrankFrank’s idea of color was also contrary to the Modernist movement. While the rest were pushing a stark monochromatic environment.

Frank wrote:

“The monochromatic surface appears uneasy, while patterns are calming, and the observer is unwillingly influenced by the slow, calm way it is produced. The richness of decoration cannot be fathomed so quickly, in contrast to the monochromatic surface which doesn’t invite any further interest and therefore one is immediately finished with it.”

He rejected sterile, stark white and stern environments and went for light and airy colors instead. The yellows, the light blues, the soft greens and pinks.Modern Colorist | Josef FrankHe gained recognition after joining Estrid Ericson’s design company Svenskt Tenn (Swedish Pewter) in 1934. The duo made international breakthrough with their Svenskt Tenn exhibition room at the World’s Expositions in Paris in 1937 and in New York in 1939. It was completely contrary to the ideal of the time with its bold contrast in materials, color, and patterns.

Modern Colorist | Josef FrankEricson helped inspire Frank to conceptualize and produce a distinctive body of work at Svenskt Tenn. The two complemented each other, Frank producing the textiles and furnishings, Ericson arranging the interiors and overseeing the company. Together, they formed a dynamic partnership, creating imaginative, comfortable, and harmonious interiors. This new, more accessible approach to interior design became known as Swedish Modern.Modern Colorist | Josef FrankDuring WWII, Josef Frank was forced to exile yet again. He moved to Manhattan where he started growing trees and flowers. The product of those trees and flowers can be seen in his textile designs. With these fanciful designs inspired of nature, his patterns were his magic. In their generous scale and lavish use of bright, bold colors, and florals, Franks patterns quickly became popular with a host of Swedish designers and clientele. Today he is most remembered for these patterns, and many are still in production.Modern Colorist | Josef FrankHe had an extremely productive career with Svenskt Tenn’s; giving over 2,000 furniture sketches and 160 textile designs signed with his name in Svenskt Tenn’s archives.

It was because man who was driven out of his home, who brought his design richness of his culture to Sweden. It was because he never forgot where he came from and never forgot his goals and desires. It was because he question the Modernist streak. And because of that man that Swedish Modern is what we know it today.

Sources: Svenskt Tenn | Scandinavian Design | The Enduring Design of Josef Frank | Architect and Outsider | Enduring Design Advice From Moderate Modernist Josef Frank

Artists + Designers Motivational Monday

Motivational Monday: Ray Eames

June 1, 2015

Modern Colorist - Ray Eames

Today for Motivational Monday is all about Ray Eames.

Modern Colorist - Ray EamesRay Eames was the other half of the legendary Modern furniture makers. Clean curves and new forms, Charles and Ray Eames were leading designers in modern design. They fell in love because of a chair, and together in their talents, they created much more than a furniture company. Modern Colorist - Ray EamesRay was a painter who rarely painted. Charles was an architecture student who dropped out and never received his license. They married and moved to Los Angeles where they opened a design office. Their aim was to utilize new material and technology so that everyday objects can be produced in high quality at reasonable cost. Their mission was a success. Not only were they leading furniture designers, they also produced toys, films, photographs, textiles, exhibition, architecture…

Modern Colorist - Ray EamesCharles was the face of the company. He was more charismatic in the public eye, but behind it all was an energetic, witty, little woman who was equal partner in their projects. She brought the color to the company. She employed her graphic design skills to create number of textile design. Bold, bright, abstract, repetitive. Rays exceptional visual memory allowed her to create a visual stimulating color palette for Eames furniture.

Modern Colorist - Ray Eames

Ray was an extraordinary lady who did not shy away from her ambitions and embraced color.

Modern Colorist - Ray EamesModern Colorist - Ray Eames

Sources: Met MuseumFemBioThe Library Of Congress