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Modern Furniture Blog
Modern Design Blog

A blog about thought-provoking, forward-thinking modern furniture, lighting & decor.

Musical Craft: African Djembe

For thousands of years musical instruments have been created and reinvented. Many Instruments around the world have changed their original ways of production for efficiency, consistency and overall demand for the instrument. There will always be some areas of the world where musical instruments are made as they always have. The African Djembe drum is one of those instruments.

In Gambia, West Africa, the djembe creation is a beautiful experience.The djembe is crafted from a tree but, not just any tree, trees are specifically chosen in the depth of wooded areas known as the BUSH and the one chosen is usually very dry to ensure that the environment is not negatively impacted. In the harvesting of one tree, a total yield of djembe drums from any one tree varies from 8 – 15 drums.

The drum is cut to size, debarked, and then internally carved to shape it. This position in the assembly is known as the Carver. Afterwards, the Djembe shell is brought to the neighboring village. Beneath the drumhead and at the top, metal rings are measured and fitted then, the djembe is brought to the welder to weld the metal to solidify the rings.

Next, the shell is brought to receive a fresh goat hide for the drum head. The skin is dried for several hours and is coated with the ash of the fireplace. Ash expedites the drying process and also wards off insects..


While the skin dries, Palm oil is gathered and is applied to the inside of the drum shell. Palm oil prevents the drum from cracking and promotes longevity. Knots are then tied equal distance apart around the top and bottom of the drum head. The skin is then stretched over the drum head and ropes are then weaved through the metal ring on top of the drum head to the bottom of the drum head to tighten the skin to the top of the drum head. The Drum head is then shaved and is completed!

The people of Gambia say that “a good drummer makes the Djembe speak.”

July 2nd, 2017 by Alex

The Panton S Chair

A hallmark of modern 1960s design, the funky Panton S Chair was designed by danish designer Verner Panton and continues to be an interior design treasure.

This innovative and funky design was the world’s first cantilevered plastic chair made of one molded piece. Today, the highly accurate reproductions of this futuristic design are made of strong and durable fiberglass.

You may be thinking, how would fiberglass be comfortable? But it is! The contouring of its seat and backrest forms to the shape of your body and provides remarkable support. The design is definitely funky and eclectic, plus it comes in a variety of vibrant, attention drawing colors.

However, it also comes in black and white which when paired with wood or metal does not overpower but simply adds a dramatic and eye-catching element to the mix.

The Panton S Chair looks best in a modern, contemporary and retro modern interior design motif but with the right imagination, can find a home anywhere!

It can be used as a dining chair or for additional seating when entertaining guests and makes a great conversation piece. It comes in children’s sizes as well, making it perfect for a children’s playroom or bedroom.

Not only is it great to look at, but it brings a piece of 1960 modern design history into your home.

You can find the Panton S Chair and similar modern furniture and decor from trusted online sellers.

July 1st, 2017 by Alex

Conserve Electricity Within

Electric bills can be quite the monthly expenditure and hassle especially if you have a larger family than most. In providing yourself and your family with alternative sources of lighting during the night and adopting techniques to conserve electricity, you can truly cut the cost and put some extra cash in your pocket.

How often do you and your family leave the lights on in the house when leaving to go somewhere? Do you ever leave anything else turned on too? Did you know that even when things are plugged into your outlets, they’re still consuming a constant flow of electricity?
Take a stand for your monthly electric bill, take a stand for change within your household.
Unplug and turn off all electronic based sappers when unused!

Some alternative in-home lighting that is easily accessible and affordable are…


1.Candles – Candles are a reliable and cost efficient light source that provide a wonderfully warm ambiance to any and all rooms they reside in. Additionally, candles do not emit any strenuous light rays as the typical electric light bulbs do.

2.Oil Lamps – Blast from the past! Adopt an oil lamp into your home for another cost efficient alternative. Oil lamps run on many different sources of fuel including animal fats, cooking oils and kerosene. Typically you want to lean towards a fuel that has very minimal scent and smoke to eliminate any potential side emissions of such from being in your home.

3. Solar lights – Invest in some solar powered lighting to keep outdoors and bring it indoors at night! Again limiting the amount of negative emissions that would normally coexist with the typical unnatural light fixtures.

Alternative living for Alternative expenditures!

June 30th, 2017 by Alex

Make Your Own Decorative Wreaths

Wreaths aren’t just for the holidays! They can spruce up any space for any season and look great all year around. Plus, they are very expensive to make and a fun craft project!


I’ve seen wreaths made of beads, fabric, wire, tissue paper even glass and tile, but some of the loveliest wreaths I’ve seen are those made of natural materials. Most of your materials can be found in your backyard, local park, or any natural setting.

For less experienced crafters and weavers, you can start out with purchasing a pre-made wire wreath form or frame using heavyweight wire.


For more experienced crafters, you can begin by finding a bendable vine, loose branches or wheat straw.. You can easily weave these together and secure them using a hot glue gun.


Next, take a walk into nature, allow your eyes and your intuition to guide you. Begin collecting any flowers, pinecones, feathers, leaves or really anything that isn’t too heavy in weight to intertwine or glue onto your wreath creation. Whether you are using a wire or natural base, you can add any of these materials on your beautiful new decorative wreath.


Allow the process to be fun and fluid. Allow your imagination to guide you. Your finished product will reflect a piece of mother nature, your own personal style and breathe new life into your living space!

 

June 29th, 2017 by Alex

Wall Art Mural Ideas

From masterpieces like those displayed on the Sistene Chapel in Italy to street art graffiti on the sides of buildings in Brooklyn, NY, hand painted murals are everywhere and they add beauty and culture to both the interior and exterior of the environments they are displayed in.

A wonderful way to create an artistic, elegant or themed atmosphere in your living space is by commissioning an artist to create a mural in your living space or by creating one yourself.

We’ve seen the popular trend of accent walls take hold over the past decade, but how about turning that accent wall into a full blown painting. Below are a view mural ideas to get you started and don’t worry if you decide to paint it yourself and are unhappy with the results you can always paint over and begin again!


Mountain Murals

Moon Murals

Oceanic Mural

Forest Murals

No matter what theme you choose for your living space, you’ll be sure it will brighten the space and be a conversation piece for guests, friends and family members!

 

 

June 28th, 2017 by Alex

Ancient Medicines: Ayurveda


Searching for that new nitch in your holistic medicine belt? Something with historic and scientific backing? Ayurveda is Sanskrit and is the combination of Life (Ayur) and Science (Veda). Ayurveda has a Trilogy of books known as “The Great Trilogy.” The series of books individually are called Caraka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Astanga Hridaya. These texts are said to have been written more than 2,000 years ago in Sanskrit, others say that it is as old as the early Indus Valley Civilization.

Although, there has been confliction with the overall benefits and the side effects, Ayurveda is said to be one of the greatest medicinal practices available. It is recommended to discuss with your doctor any remedies / practices you are attempting to assure there is no conflict with already existing treatments.

Ayurvedic practices range from massage, internal cleanses and special diets. Some Ayurvedic therapies involve the use of intricate herbal compounds, minerals and metals (Influential of early Indian Alchemy).

Some herbal medicines used in Ayurveda therapies:


Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera): An amazing herb for anxiety and an excellent source of energy without the stimulation of the heart. This herb is also said to be a good remedy for insomnia. This occurs due to the suppression of the strenuous changes of dopamine receptors in the brain.


Bitter melon (Momordica Charantia) : A gourd plant that aids in diabetic cases by allowing an overall increase in insulin production from the pancreas. This plant is also said to reduce cardiovascular risk.


Turmeric (Curcuma longa) : Rhizomes of this plant are consumed for anti-inflammatory effects. The main active ingredients of turmeric are curcumin and curcuminoids. These components are an excellent anti-cancer preventer and promote healthy joint and brain function.

There is a vastness of therapies used within the confines of the Ayurvedic practice, along with many modalities built from it. As time has passed, the efficiency of the ancient practices have blended with the modern understanding of science. In this, there has been a removal of certain practices and the adding of certain practices. Thus, creating an equilibrium to the ancient and modern practice of Ayurveda.

June 27th, 2017 by Alex

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