Not in L.A. or maybe just not into paying the cover charge to attend last week’s Dwell on Design conference? We feel you. But in the spirit of journalism, and design (and free press passes), we went anyway. What we found: prefab of the now (and prefab of the future), mid-century modern re-imagined and an answer as to where Workshop in Palm Springs scored their amazing patio chairs. Read on for all the details.
Prefab Finds at Dwell on Design
The prefab showcase was perhaps the most notable aspect of this year’s Dwell on Design event. Central to the exhibit (centered in the outdoors area), the space explicitly demonstrated three brands vying to make trailer parks a little more chic. The major players were Altius, Wheelhaus, and LivingHome. While we know not to believe everything we read––especially in advertising––the promise that our home could be delivered to us completed in all of its modular chicness was ultra-appealing, especially considering a large majority of the homes where we’re located (Orange County, Calif.) have that faux-Mediterranean stucco aesthetic. Of course, there are a handful of hidden Eichler’s and Cliff May’s in the OC area that exemplify mid-century modernism vibe, but those take patience to find unless you have the right realtor.
Altius – miniHome
Altius demo’d the miniHome with interiors by BoConcept, the international modern furniture retailer. Altius made a strong impression with their lines and layout that bordered on being atrium-like. The fact that the builder is compliant in both California building codes and park living (trailer parks, that is), make this a strong competitor in the prefab industry. The building envelope components, too, make the miniHome prime for off-grid living––even in the dead of winter. That being said, their next major project will be a luxury resort based in Hawaii, which we’re not in the least bit complaining about.
Wheelhaus – The Wedge
Wheelhaus was another one of our favorites at the design conference. Considered a vehicle (it even has a VIN number!), the interiors felt eerily similar to being inside an Ace Hotel room.
LivingHome – C6 Model
The LivingHome models captured the most attention visually if only due to its sizable footprint. LEED certified and made from plenty of cradle to cradle materials, the model boasts plenty of noteworthy attributes––but just how prefab the space is has been questioned due to their rumored lengthy set-up time at the event.
Mid-Century No More: Modern Aesthetic in the Millennium
Another standout trend present at Dwell on Design was the re-take of mid-century modern aesthetic; specifically, the transition from new mid-century modern that looks like a complete replica to design that’s updated while still maintaining the general aesthetic. A few standouts were the Bungalow House, the design and furniture company that mirrors angular elements of mid-century design, but updates them with higher glosses and components like touch-to-open, hardware-less exteriors, further taking the focus off the furniture and onto the architecture of the home it’s situated in.
Bend Goods, another LA-based supplier, also showed an updated design that let’s the space it’s in breathe. Known for their wire chairs (that are actually the patio furniture in P.S.’s restaurant Workshop), the group of guys behind these genius chairs nailed why they’re perfect for any mid-century home: the wire allows you to see through the piece, as opposed to having to look around it. Fantastic. Even better: a number of their chairs are powder-coated, perfect for indoor, outdoor, or atrium vibes.
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