Beautiful Historic Homes

I love architecture and when I’m out-and-about I sometimes find myself stalking the neighborhood to check the latest and greatest home designs. With the building frenzy going on in Seattle and so many structures being torn down and replaced at such a rapid pace, I’m developing a new appreciation for the beauty of old homes and buildings. I’m personally a fan of modern design with the less is more approach but my heart holds a special place for authentic craftsman style homes in Seattle, the colorful Victorian homes in SF and Row Houses in DC. It amazes me how much residential architecture can define a city. Put them in a different location and they almost look silly. Hopefully more will be preserved so that a cities don’t lose their historic identity. Enjoy these images, one day they may become just that, an image.

San Francisco Victorians

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Row Houses of Washington, DC
Many of these are about 200 years older than the SF Victorians and 300 years older than the Seattle Craftsman Bungalows! Built long before western states even existed. Amazing they have survived.

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Seattle Craftsman Bungalows
With the Seattle building boom, sadly many of these are disappearing and being torn down only to be replaced with what I consider poorly designed modern homes and condos. I am a huge fan of well designed modern homes however the surrounding neighborhood and homes always need to be taken into consideration.

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Beautiful Cuba

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The one place on my bucket list lately is Cuba. The fact that it’s been forbidden for the last 60 years makes it even more alluring. For those looking to visit you can book a tour through Coast to Costa out of LA. Alas you can peek behind the curtain and experience the magic of Cuba. More about the tour company here. For those who have visited feel free to any “not to be missed”  sites.

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Photo credits Alessandro Giraldi,
Erich Mcvey, Tom Blachfor for
My Modern Met.

Beautiful Green

As today is St. Patrick’s Day it has me thinking about the color green. It’s not my favorite color but I do love nature where it’s everywhere, some people wear it very well and when it comes to interiors it has a quiet, moody feel about it. So I guess it all depends on the context in which it’s used. As I researched the color I came upon some beautiful renditions. Happy St. Patrick’s day to all who celebrate. For those who don’t, enjoy some fun trivia about Green.

The Meanings of Green
Since the beginning of time, green has signified growth, rebirth, and fertility. In pagan times, there was the “Green Man” – a symbol of fertility.  In Muslim countries, it is a holy color and in Ireland, a lucky color. It was the color of the heavens in the Ming Dynasty.

Today’s greens can be found in a wide range of objects: pea soup, delicate celadon glazes, emeralds, wasabi, and sage. The English language reflects some strange attributes: Would you rather be green with envy, green behind the ears, or green around the gills?

Global Meaning of Green

  • Green is universally associated with nature.
  • Green symbolizes ecology and the environment.
  • Traffic lights are green all over the world.
  • In China, Green may symbolize infidelity. A green hat symbolizes that a man’s wife is cheating on him.
  • In Israel, green may symbolize bad news.
  • In Japan, the words for blue and green (ao) are the same.
  • In Spain, racy jokes are “green.”

Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride
by Jan Van Eyck , 1434
The bride in this Renaissance masterpiece wears green as a symbol of her fertility. She is slouching in imitation of pregnancy, thus indicating her willingness to bear children.

In Celtic myths the Green man was the God of fertility.
Later in the millennium, Early Christians banned green because it had been used in pagan ceremonies.
Nevertheless, as evidenced by Van Eyck’s 15th Century wedding portrait, the color green was the best choice for the bride’s gown because of its earliest symbolism.

Of note is the continued symbolism attached to the color in the latter part of this century. Anyone who chooses a green m & m (an American candy which contains an assortment of different colored chocolate sweets) is sending a somewhat similar message. Green has been reinterpreted by late 20th century American culture to signify a state of heightened sexuality in this specific situation.

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Jan Van Eyck: The Arnolfini Wedding, circa 1435
Jan Van Eyck: The Arnolfini Wedding, circa 1435

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Beautiful green velvet furniture
adds a quiet moodiness and softness
to a room.

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Some people wear green very well

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…even in nature

Beautiful Bauhaus Art

3,900 Pages of Paul Klee’s personal notebooks (1921-1931) are online. I love his art and thoughts on color and really enjoy his works. Klee taught at the Bauhaus in Weimar from 1921 to 1926 and in Dessau from 1926 to 1931. During his tenure, he was in close contact with other Bauhaus masters such as Kandinsky and Lyonel Feininger.

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Beautiful Pierre Auguste Renoir

Happy Birthday Pierre-Auguste Renoir, born in Limoges, France (1841). He began painting when he was 13 years old, first on porcelain, then later painting on fans. He went on to form the style of painting known as Impressionism, along with the painters Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley. Renoir became severely disabled by arthritis starting in 1902, but he continued to paint. By 1913, he was completely crippled, and he instructed his assistants in creating several of his last sculptures.
Renoir said, “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”

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