Friday, July 31


Paolo Soleri, the Utopian architect, built an "earth house" (1956-1958), just a few miles from Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West. The earth house explored natural forms and building techniques. The partially subterranean complex, named Cosanti, incorporated residences, ceramics studios, and apprentice quarters. Based on passive solar principles, the structures are still cool in the hot desert days and warm at night. 25 x 35 ft, 6 ft below the level of the desert floor, Cosanti is covered by a 3-in.-thick curved and ribbed shell roof and exposed to inquisitive visitors most days of the year

Today, the painted colors are faded and heat off the concrete lifts your breath away. It's hard to imagine this site being excavated in the undeveloped desert of 1950's Scottsdale; summer without air conditioning, cold winter nights so dry your skin can crack.

But the excitement of working with Soleri, within miles of Wright's western hub, urban development in Phoenix and Scottsdale exploding. How could it have been anything but exhilarating?

Saturday, July 18

Precarious Modern!

Half the fun of cruising Modern in 110+ degree summertime Phoenix is discovering the odd modern home or apartment complex. This one sits literally atop a hill near Butler and 7th Street in the Sunnyslope area!

Friday, July 17

A Few Words About Modern Life

Why I started Modern Life
The variety of unexpected textures and shapes, colors and styles that are considered 'modern' always surprise me! Nubby and wavy glass from the 70's, kitschy and playful chotchkies from the 60's and 40's, colorful kitchenware, sophisticated furniture-- almost anything that gives a sense of the newness of the times and hope for inventing the future-- evokes modernism for me.

Pieces that Compliment not Dominate
You undoubtedly had a relative with at least one unusual looking piece of 'Modern'. From some nubby golden kitchen glasses to sheen-clad aluminum picnic tumblers, just one or two pieces were sometimes all the actual "modern" the average America home other words, pieces that consciously broke from the design influence of the past.

Frank Lloyd Wright and My Mother
Who in your family's past was influenced by modern design? In my case it was my mother. Frank Lloyd Wright's extraordinary creativity marked my mother's design choices. From our nubby-rough mushroom colored formal couch to the matching inlaid paneling on the room dividers (not to mention the floor to ceiling windows of our manufactured ranch home in Ohio) modernism rumbled through our lives. What I wouldn't give today to have the wrought iron butterfly chair I settled into watching 1950's teevee! Thankfully, I have her entire collection of Frank LLoyd Wright-inspired House Beautiful magazines!

Modern and me
The difficulty for modern and me today is bearing up under the hipsters and Gen-whatevers whose connection to the period is a parent, grand-parent, college introduction or thrift-store find. Their modern romance lives in a compressed decontextualized world where the cool is mostly style and the social change is depasse. I hate to say it but God, some of them can be soooooo full of it!

Hey, this would be only a marketing blog for a modernist seller-- not a real one-- if there were no PERSONAL voice (whining), right?