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Modern-ish, The Latest Iteration of Contemporary Style

Most of you know that I express my passion for design as both as Design Journalist and a Decorator. I’m always on the hunt for the latest looks and trends to keep you up to date on the ever-evolving world of style. When it comes to my personal home, I try to stay current and contemporary without being too trendy. Yes, we all know that home decor typically requires a refresh after 10 years because looks go in and out of the style. The Mediterranean/Tuscan inspired interiors of the 90s and early 2000s with their faux finishes and heavy-handed embellishments gave way to today’s lighter, streamlined styles. Not everyone is a fan of modern decor. I get it. For me, I want a clean, uncluttered space that feels like I can breathe. I like simple and serene. With this in mind, I invite you on a tour of my personal residence. A Florida modern home that reflects its regional vernacular: slightly pitched rooflines that appear flat from the facade with geometric angles and elevations embracing touches of wood and stone.

The Design Tourist's personal residence, a Florida Modern Home. The exterior elevation has a linear roofline with a subtle pitch to facilitate drainage of the region's ample rainfall. The home was designed by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri at www.ImYourBuilder.com
The Design Tourist’s personal residence, a Florida Modern Home. The exterior elevation has a linear roofline with a subtle pitch to facilitate drainage of the region’s ample rainfall. The home was designed by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri at www.ImYourBuilder.com
An aerial view of The Design Tourist's personal residence, a Florida Modern home. Notice the subtle pitches in the roofline that are designed to appear planar from the facade and ground level. The home was designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri www.ImYourBuilder.com
An aerial view of The Design Tourist’s personal residence, a Florida Modern home. Notice the subtle pitches in the roofline that are designed to appear planar from the facade and ground level. The home was designed and built by Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri www.ImYourBuilder.com

Inside, I choose a color palette of white and grey with pops of blue to keep the spaces from swaying too monochromatic. Although my decor is decidedly modern, I didn’t want my rooms to feel cold and sterile like white-box museum space.

The living room of The Design Tourist's home features marble floors with grey veining, a 24-foot fireplace clad in white ledgestone and a custom crafted wood column with steel bands. The fireplace mantle has a cantilevered ledge of white quartz. The Design Tourist added a dose of cobalt blue with the shag rug and pillows mixing in textures of faux fur, leather, stone and wood.
The living room of The Design Tourist’s home features marble floors with grey veining, a 24-foot fireplace clad in white ledgestone and a custom crafted wood column with steel bands. The fireplace mantle has a cantilevered ledge of white quartz. The Design Tourist added a dose of cobalt blue with the shag rug and pillows mixing in textures of faux fur, leather, stone and wood.

I have a formula that I use to decorate my rooms: Texture + Color + Metallic+ Organic =Timeless Decor. Every room should speak to the senses with fabrics pleasing to the touch, plants that ground us in nature, metallic accents to bounce light and brighten the space and natural materials such as wood or stone for timeless appeal.

The Design Tourist's personal home features a master bedroom that incorporates her design formula: Notice the doses of metallic with the hanging pendants on either side of the bed and the stainless steel fireplace. Texture comes from the grey shag rug, faux fur accent pillows and blanket that complement the natural wood floors.
The Design Tourist’s personal home features a master bedroom that incorporates her design formula: Notice the doses of metallic with the hanging pendants on either side of the bed and the stainless steel fireplace. Texture comes from the grey shag rug, faux fur accent pillows and blanket that complement the natural wood floors.

 

The master bathroom in The Design Tourist's personal residence draws inspiration from boutique hotels with a zen/spa-like ambiance created with natural elements including a bed of river rocks below the freestanding tub and porcelain shower tile that mimics the look of espresso wood used throughout the home.
The master bathroom in The Design Tourist’s personal residence draws inspiration from boutique hotels with a zen/spa-like ambiance created with natural elements including a bed of river rocks below the freestanding tub and porcelain shower tile that mimics the look of espresso wood used throughout the home.

I don’t think you should be beholden to trends but I do think you can use trends as a springboard to create your own style and draw inspiration. I weave in trendier elements with pillows, accessories and lamps.

The grey and white color palette in The Design Tourist's kitchen plays with metallic accents including the silver glass tile backsplash that bounces light around the kitchen, chrome globe pendant lights, stainless steel appliances and chrome framed frosted glass upper cabinets. The quartz countertops around the perimeter of the kitchen and the quartzite double kitchen island give the space a contemporary feel that is grounded by espresso wood cabinets.
The grey and white color palette in The Design Tourist’s kitchen plays with metallic accents including the silver glass tile backsplash that bounces light around the kitchen, chrome globe pendant lights, stainless steel appliances and chrome framed frosted glass upper cabinets. The quartz countertops around the perimeter of the kitchen and the quartzite double kitchen island give the space a contemporary feel that is grounded by espresso wood cabinets.

Light fixtures add a sculptural presence and are more cost effective to replace in tandem with the latest looks as opposed to entire suites of furniture. 

The wine room in The Design Tourist's personal residence draws the eye to an on-trend "Sputnik" light fixture. The wood floors and white ledgestone wall echo the home's central design details.
The wine room in The Design Tourist’s personal residence draws the eye to an on-trend “Sputnik” light fixture. The wood floors and white ledgestone wall echo the home’s central design details.
The living room of The Design Tourist's Florida Modern home features two large globe lighting fixtures that fill just enough space in two-story room without overwhelming. The white sofa sectional visually defines the perimeter of the living space.
The living room of The Design Tourist’s Florida Modern home features two large globe lighting fixtures that fill just enough space in two-story room without overwhelming. The white sofa sectional visually defines the perimeter of the living space.

My main living spaces are 24 feet high which presents a challenge with scale. Scale is a tricky concept in living spaces but makes the difference between a so-so and a stellar space. Scale is a subtle thing; it’s subjective yet essential to creating a  space that is beautifully proportioned.

The glass and wood staircase in The Design Tourist's personal home features espresso wood handrails with chrome supports and marble stairs with mitered wood cladding on the sides.
The glass and wood staircase in The Design Tourist’s personal home features espresso wood handrails with chrome supports and marble stairs with mitered wood cladding on the sides.

Glass and translucent materials such as acrylic allow spaces to visually breathe which is why I designed a glass-paneled staircase with espresso wood railings and added acrylic home decor accents. 

The Design Tourist and the home's builder Jorge Ulibarri on set filming a tour of the Florida Modern custom residence. For more, subscribe to the youtube.com/thedesigntourist
The Design Tourist and the home’s builder Jorge Ulibarri on set filming a tour of the Florida Modern custom residence. For more, subscribe to the youtube.com/thedesigntourist

For more of my home’s design details, I invite you to check out this video tour of The Design Tourist’s residence filmed with the builder, Jorge Ulibarri, owner of Jorge Ulibarri Custom Homes. 

For more on what’s new and next in design, subscribe to The Design Tourist Channel and sign up for the blog email.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a freelance writer living in Orlando, Florida with many published bylines in magazines, newspapers, and multimedia sites. As a professional lifestyle writer, Karen specializes in art, architecture, design, home interiors and personality profiles. Karen is the writer, producer and host of the streaming series, The Design Tourist (www.TheDesignTourist.com) that brings viewers a global dose of design inspiration with episodes featuring the latest looks and trends from the world’s premiere design events and shows. She also publishes a quarterly magazine on design travel that you can read by clicking the link: https://thedesigntourist.com/the-magazine/ Her journalism background includes seven years on-air experience as a TV news reporter and anchor covering a range of issues from education to politics. Her educational credentials include a Master of Arts in Mass Communications from Northeast Louisiana University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Louisiana State University. Throughout her career, Karen has written and produced dozens of documentaries and videos for educational, commercial, corporate, and governmental clients and appeared in many TV and video productions as a professional host.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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