The blog started in 2011 as a way to share ideas and images on finding beauty everyday, the role of the Arts (art, design, architecture) in informing and influencing our physical spaces, and to celebrate the importance of our domestic space as a core hub for thinking, creating, defining, and thriving in the modern world. In 2013, I started making and selling well-crafted home goods from linen, and the company Modernplum was born. In both writing the blog and in creating home products, a couple of core ideas about living modern have emerged:
1. Living well is self-defined. What we choose to live with and how to live is ultimately ours to define. At the end of the day, we should decide what to filter and what to keep, what to include in our physical environment and what to toss. Authentic personal choices bring an authentic lifestyle.
2. Pare down to trade up. It is often said that less is more, and I think this is true. Paring down means that clarity emerges about what we most cherish. The physical characteristics of objects such as materials, forms, and textures in a well-edited space are revealed, and they allow us to interact and see them better. There is the power of definitive choice.
3. Look outward to see in. In order to know what you like, observe. Look out at the environment, the change of seasons, the colors, forms, textures, and patterns in order to build a personal visual vocabulary. This kind of visual literacy ultimately will provide the information needed to define your home and your style.
4. Go for real. Products that are 100% authentic in their materials, ingredients, and lineage may cost more, but I think they ultimately carry with them benefits that far outweigh their cost. Products that are are not loaded up with fake chemicals, sweeteners, and man-made materials are healthy. Fakes oppose our natural way of being, our biology, and the planet. Real is quality and real will last longer (ultimately saving money).
5. Conserve resources. It is a modern idea to look for ways to conserve resources. This doesn’t imply going without or downsizing, it is just a move toward simplicity in allocation of resources. It’s a move to cook and bake, to carpool or bike or learn to sew. Modern is one that includes sustainable approaches, reusing, recycling, and retooling at every turn. It is one that recognizes our partnership with the earth and with one another. Something wonderful happens when we conserve: we become participants in our own lives.
I am a native of Southern California and grew up immersed in the west coast’s gardens, mountains, beaches, and sunlight. Love of the outdoors and the beauty of the landscape fuels my affinity for beautiful environments and modern style. While a graduate student at Cranbrook Academy of Art in metropolitan Detroit, I studied the Academy’s strong modernist traditions including the work of Ray and Charles Eames, Harry Bertoia, Florance Knoll, and Jack Lenor Larson. I hope you enjoy reading!