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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Part 2: Bargain hunting

We're still working on the remodernization of our 1964 house after the previous owners "traditionalized" it with curves and curlicues, mostly in oil rubbed bronze. They changed out every fixture, pull, handle and hinge...and now we're changing them back. To keep it from breaking the bank, we've been shopping for bargains.

I shared some great finds in my previous post. Here are a few more the you might enjoy.

  • Ceiling fan for sunroom

Harbor Breeze Mazon fan, $118. Lowe's

  • Cabinet pulls

Orrnas knob, $3.99/2-pack, Ikea

Orrnas 13" pulls, $12.99/2-pack, Ikea

  • Light fixtures

Galaxy vanity strip, $155.80, Lowe's

Kichler vanity strip, $79, Lowe's

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

In the store: Great savings, good times

It's that time of year again. The Gus*Modern summer sale starts tomorrow, July 16, and runs through August 16. To make the kickoff day even better, it's Deep Ellum's monthly Wine Walk too.

If you're local, stop by the store for a little adult beverage while it lasts, and pick up some cool Gus pieces at 20% off.

Here are some of my favorite current Gus pieces. What are your favorites?

All images from

Switch sofa in Laurentian Citrine
Love that you can reverse the cushions!

Atwood sofa in Muskoka Surf
Great color!

Jane sectional in Urban Tweek Ink.

Elk chair
I can't resist formed plywood.

Lodge chair
See, I really, really can't resist formed plywood.

Mimico storage ottoman
Such a great storage piece!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

For you bargain hunters out there

Do you need a nice, modern light fixture or ceiling fan that doesn't cost a fortune? Or towel rings and door handles that don't break the bank?

When we moved into our new house, we knew we were going to have to replace every single light fixture, cabinet pull, towel ring, door handle and hinge. The former owners were two sisters partnering in the house-flipping business, and they had filled our 1964 ranch with all things ornate. To be fair, what they did appeals to a broad segment of homebuyers...just not to modernists. 

We knew that ripping it all out and starting over would be expensive unless we shopped carefully, so I began creating my usual Pinterest pages, just as I did when getting ready to build the little Modernist Nest. Those of you who have read my blog for a while know that I'm never happier than when I'm planning a decorating project and hunting for great prices, and with this one, the smiles just keep coming. 

Here are a few things we've used in the ongoing restoration of our house from curlicued oil rubbed bronze back to modern.

  • Ceiling fans

Minka Aire Roto, $160, Lightology

Casa Vieja Viridian, $199.95, Lamps Plus 

  • Flush mount lights (modern and unobtrusive for hall, over sink, laundry room)

Access Lighting 11", $25.77, Amazon

Back in April we had chosen a different style and had even installed one of them, but after living with it for a while, we decided it was too large, and exchanged them for these.

  • Pendant lighting

Feiss Beso pendant, $111, Lamps Plus

  • Bath accessories

Hollywood towel ring, $7.47, UnhingeHardware
(Matching toilet tissue holder available)

(Disclaimer: I had to ask UnhingeHardware for a partial refund, because their website has a glitch and doesn't give sale discounts, but they were very prompt to accommodate, as well as very courteous.)

  • Door handles

Schlage Latitude handle, $28.63, HandleSets

  • Bathroom fixtures

Godmorgon sink/cabinet, $299, Ikea

Moen Method faucet, $150.65, Lowe's

These are just a few of the things we've installed since we moved in March, and the work continues. I'll share more bargains with you in my next post.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Back to

is now

Donald Wexler

Donald Wexler (1926-2015) was born on January 23, 1926, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and grew up in Minneapolis. After serving in the Navy from 1944 to 1946, he attended the University of Minnesota on the G.I. Bill and graduated in 1950 with a degree in architecture.

Wexler worked as a draftsman in Richard Neutra's firm and was a devoted disciple of the famed architect. In the early 1950s, he moved to Palm Springs to go to work for William Cody, a leading architect in the Desert Modern style.

“Wexler worked from an existing Desert Modern vocabulary — indoor-outdoor spaces, walls of glass, a focus on mountain views, all very spare and minimal — and applied it to all sorts of buildings over the years,” said Peter Moruzzi, an architectural historian and the founder of the Palm Springs Modern Committee, a preservation group. “He had a profound influence not just on Palm Springs but on the entire Coachella Valley.”

In 1952 Wexler formed a partnership with Richard Harrison. Their first major project was El Rancho Vista Estates, 75 low-slung single-family houses with decorative concrete-block walls and floor-to-ceiling glass walls oriented toward the mountains, some with the folded “butterfly” roofs that became one of Mr. Wexler’s signatures.

In the early 1960s, Wexler and Harrison teamed up with Calcor, a manufacturer of prefabricated steel panels, local developers Alexander Construction Company, U.S. Steel, and Bethlehem Steel to design dozens of modest-size prefab steel houses. Only seven of the houses were ever built, but they are considered excellent examples of the Desert Modern style: light and elegant, with floor-to-ceiling windows, fluid interior layouts, multiple sliding doors opening onto exterior living spaces and pools, and design features, like deep overhangs, that accommodated sunlight and shadow.

After dissolving his partnership with Harrison in 1961,Wexler took on a number of public projects, most notably his design of the main terminal of the Palm Springs airport. According to Michael Stern, who has written extensively about Palm Springs modernism, “The center of the main terminal is almost a temple of glass that frames the mountain...It was Donald Wexler’s love letter to Palm Springs.”

Wexler died on June 26 at the age of 89.


Style in Steel house, Buena Park (1967)

Detail perspective

Palm Springs International Airport, circa 1965