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Our cool hot design picks

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Billed as America’s largest design show, the three-day Dwell on Design showcases the best and brightest products in modern design today. 3 Story’s own Madeleine Boos was there, and brings you her picks of what’s desert cool and urban hot.

Curated by the editors of Dwell magazine, Dwell on Design in Los Angeles featured 2000+ products and 400+ exhibitors. But what stood out at this year’s show?

1. Stikwood

Photo courtesy of Stikwood

Why we love it: This is DIY for the modernist: wood planking for walls and other vertical surfaces that sticks on. In just one weekend you could transform any room of your home into a modern space worthy of a shoot in Dwell itself.

The story behind it: Jerry McCall has been fascinated with high performance double-sided adhesives since the 1980s, when he was outfitting executive jet aircraft with the best in wood cabinetry and millwork. Sine then he’s been in pursuit of the best ways to stick wood to walls. Wood moves and wants to pull itself free from glue and adhesives, so making that work was not easy.

Now Jerry and his wife, Laura McCall, have launched a lightweight wood planking system that sticks to the wall with no backing, no nails and no glue. Next stop for Jerry and Laura is West Elm, where their product will be for sale in select stores starting July 9th.

Photo courtesy of Stikwood

The details: Most planks measure 5” x 12” to 48” in length. The thickness is 1/8”, the same as most engineered wood floors. Wood species include stained oak, ash, bamboo and a variety of reclaimed woods, even reclaimed barrel oak in 2” wide strips. Prices range $8 to $12 per square foot.

In terms of attention to detail, they’ve thought of everything, including transitions and outside corners.  They offer an aluminum edge trim for a finished modern look. A 4’ length runs $6 and also sticks to the wall.

All you need to know is on their web-site with step by step directions, including how to prepare the surface, and how to repair the wall it if you opt to remove it.

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2. The Aurora lamp

Photo courtesy of The Good Flock

Why we love it: Known for their sustainably sourced and beautifully hand crafted goods, The Good Flock and its products have a minimalist aesthetic and an old world soul. The firm’s latest design is a hand-crafted light fixture with a conical wood base, cotton covered cord, and single bulb in a porcelain socket.

It’s simple, elegant and versatile, with stainless steel and brass hardware and an engraved label. You can set it on a table or simply hang it on a screw or nail via the key-hole opening in its back.  New to the show was the hard-wired sconce, with no cord for a clean look.

The story behind it: The Good Flock is based in Portland, Oregon and the lamp was named for the Oregon town in which it was made. Owner Marco Murillo left product creation at Nike in 2010 to create a company that manufacturers goods of seminal materials, by skilled artisans with minimal waste.

Each product is designed to solve a specific problem. In the case of the Aurora, the challenge was to deliver light in a sophisticated form that takes up minimal space. In an urban setting where horizontal surfaces are precious, the Aurora hangs on the wall doing just that.

The details: Each base is hand turned by a master craftsman. The engraving is done with a state of the art CNC laser. Prices: Walnut $199, Black Oak $179, White Oak base $169, with your choice of Edison bulb, reflective bulb or just plain white. Ships free in the US. Just specify with chord or as fixed sconce. Price is the same.

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Photo by Madeleine Boos

3. The Helios Lounge – heated outdoor furniture

Why we love it: This is ergonomically cast concrete furniture with a built-in adjustable heating device that can be plugged in or hardwired for a concealed connection. It takes the same amount of power as a hair dryer and takes just 15 to 20 minutes to heat up. The smooth stone surface is cast in an ergonomic shape that provides comfort during hours of lounging. And because of its heating efficiency, you’ll stay warm all day and all night with minimal energy output. We much prefer the idea of a getting cozy on the Helios, than trying to huddle around a space heater.


Photo courtesy of Galanter & Jones

The story behind it: Galanter & Jones is a design and fabrication studio based in San Francisco. Aaron Galanter Jones is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where he studied architecture and was inspired by the use of concrete in lightweight structures. While working on a backyard design for a client, he wanted to create an outdoor seating area and provide warmth, but ran into limited options. Heat lamps, for example, disperse heat, but they don’t warm your blood to the core. He began casting concrete – strong, lean sculptural profiles and the Helios was born in 2013. It’s no surprise that this piece has been likened to mid-century modern furniture.


Taste and style is a family affair. Aaron’s partner and sister Miranda is also an editor at Pop Sugar Home and former style editor at Sunset Magazine.

The details: Made to order in 8 weeks. Price: $4900. There are 20 color combinations (5 cast stone colors and 4 base color options). The seat is comprised of cast stone/concrete and the color is fully integrated. The base is powder coated steel in your desired finish – white, black, silver or brass. Custom colors available. The heating element is fully adjustable to your liking

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4. Organic Modernism – The Bronze Collection photo


4th of Photo by Madeleine Boos

Why we love it: These hand-forged bronze pieces with Japanese patina finish are organic, imperfect, one-of-a-kind pieces that would look as at home in the chambers of King Henry the VIIIth, as airy, modern-day digs. (And if it means anything, Ivanka Trump has them in her Manhattan apartment).

The story behind it: Organic Modernism is a New York furniture company poised for expansion. With a new showroom in Los Angeles, and sights on Scottsdale, their furniture appeals to those wanting an earthy mix of bronze, wood and leather. We’re loving the rugged, sensual bronze pieces.

The details:  The Kashgar (as seen in Ivanka Trump’s apartment) costs $1995. Seating ranges from $1600 to $3200, dining tables $3000-$5000, and coffee tables $1400 – $3000.

*4th of July SALE through July 7th – 25% off

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IMG_1340 5Evolve concrete-look tile

Why we love it: This porcelain tile by Pental Granite and Marble has the refined look and texture of hand-troweled concrete. These days we’re having a love affair with raw industrial materials in a luxe setting. So if you love the modern and monolithic aesthetics of concrete but are not so willing to build the form work for a concrete pour – mixing truck and all – then Evolve may be the product for you.

How to use it: To achieve the massive look of a concrete wall, go for tight joints and a grout color that matches and blends with the tile color.

The details: The cost starts at $7 per square foot. Sizes range from 24” x 24” to 12” x 24” to 3” x 24”, and the matte colors are a minimalist’s dream palette – camels, grays and taupe.

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One last thought on concrete: If you prefer the unfinished rugged and urban look of concrete, then you’ll want to check out the new line of wall coverings by ConcreteWall available at Resource Furniture,

Made of polyvinyl, and with no repeat pattern, it can be sized so that the photo fits your space, and also color-enhanced to match your surroundings. Price: $18 per square foot. (See our graffiti feature this issue for more on ConcreteWall).


Photo by Madeleine Boos

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