Paul Rudolph Umbrella House

Paul Rudolph Umbrella House

Architectural Digest named the Paul Rudolph Umbrella House as "One of the five most remarkable houses of the mid twentieth century".

In 1953, thirty-five year old Paul Rudolph was hired by entrepreneur Philip Hiss to design a 2,000 sqft model home for a new development on Lido Key in Sarasota, Florida. It became an icon of mid-century modernism and the most recognized example of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Rudolph and Hiss used the opportunity to explore modernism in a sub-tropical context, and the home’s unique features are their response. Built before air conditioning, its north and south walls are constructed almost entirely of jalousies which open to allow breezes from the Gulf and Bay to cool the house. The house and pool were originally shaded from the intense Florida sun by a trellis structure, which quickly became known as the Umbrella. The wood structure stood for over 25 years until it was lost to decay and storms in the late 1970s.

The Umbrella House was purchased by noted Museum Planners and Designers Vincent and Julie Ciulla in 2005. The Ciullas have completed the restoration and renovation of the interior, replaced the HVAC, and installed a new roof. The Ciullas have now turned their attention to the exterior, and the Umbrella itself.

The Ciullas are committed to maximizing the educational value of the Umbrella House, and intend to make the home available to appropriate groups. They have recently hosted their first group, architects and historians from around the country on a tour organized locally by Joe King, architect, historian and author of The Florida Houses and nationally by the Society of Architectural Historians.


Paul Rudolph Cocoon House

Paul Rudolph Cocoon House

Modern Architecture Rental Home
Sarasota School of Architecture
Siesta Key, Sarasota, Florida

The Cocoon House (also known as the Healy Guest House) is available for rent on the resort island of Siesta Keys in Sarasota Florida. Designed by modern architects Paul Rudolph and Ralph Twitchell, the Cocoon / Healy Guest House is a Sarasota School of Architecture Modern Icon, and an "American Treasure of the United States Library of Congress".

The home features 2 bedrooms, one bath and is a waterfront property with a boat dock. Rent is $1250 per month. Owner prefers a 12 month rental period. Property is delivered unfurnished.

Please contact Martie Lieberman at Modern Sarasota for more information regarding this property.

Smiling Lemon Shark

This smiling Lemon Shark won the 'best picture' award.
It was recently selected from more than 20,000 photos as winner of the Oceans division of the international Nature's Best Photography 2008 Windland Smith Rice Awards.

It captures an extraordinary moment when a big smiling Bahama Lemon Shark gazes into the lens.

Photographed by Bruce Yates who runs a investment management firm.
Mr. Yates will gladly admit that photography is his biggest passion.

The picture is titled 'Cheshire Cat Grin'.


Wood Variety Collection Gift Set

Wood Variety Collection Gift Set

Learn about different types of wood with this very unique gift set. Holz Kollektion (Wood Collection): designed by Jurg Naef and Lignum in 1984 for Naef Toys, Switzerland. Holz Kollektion includes 21 different kinds of wood. Each individual piece shows a Tree silhouette with its respective name in German, French and English. Very useful and educational for architects, designers or to learn kids the names of trees in French or German. Includes beautiful gift box as shown.

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Tom Dixon Beat Shade Lights

Tom Dixon Beat Shade Lights

The Beat Shade pendant lamps are designed by Tom Dixon from the UK. The Beat Shade series are made of hand-beaten brass with a black patinated exterior. We admire the unique and daring mix of modern forms matched to ancient materials. The Beat Shades are ecologically sound and have a "reclaimed feeling". The Beat Shades come in four distinctive shapes including Wide, Stout, Fat and Tall (see bottom page). The Beat Lights look amazing hung individually or in a group as shown in the Shoreditch House, London.

Nicely done Tom!

Modern Ligthing Sconce

Modern Ligthing Sconce

You probably noticed this wall sconce in magazines from the 1950's through the 1970's.
This modern wall lamp used to be all over the place! Super cool and well-designed, it is an original American Classic! It was impossible to find this light for a long time since it went out of production. But now, this classic mid century modern wall sconce is back and its better than ever since it is now UL rated for both indoor- and outdoor use!

Find it at:

Fiat 500 New Italian Mod Car

Fiat 500 New Italian Mod Car

This car has no competion when it concerns cuteness.

We couldn't believe our eyes but it is finally happening. Fiat decided to bring back the beloved iconic Fiat 500 super mini car! If you like the Mini Cooper you will adore the Fiat 500! It's a true Italian classic, just like espresso! The Fiat 500 won the Car of the Year Award 2008.

So small, you could "almost" fit it in your pocket:

Great interior styling:

And...available in the following colors:

A great car to make new friends:

The Fiat range starts at about 15,000 Euro.

Unfortunately there is no Fiat dealer to be found in North America!
So grab your chance, contact Fiat in Italy & convince them to become the exclusive dealer!

And this is the car that started it all, the original classic Fiat 500:

And here is the (rather confusing) website of Fiat:

Aptera Modern Green Car

Aptera Modern Green Car of the Future: The Little Car that Could

Sure, your Prius rocks, but than you have never seen anything like the aptera before! The Aptera truly looks and is the car of the future! The first operating Aptera achieved over 230 Miles per gallon, let me repeat that, that is 230 MILES PER GALLON! This sure is going to give some oil executives sleepless nights. Looking at typical California electricity rates the cost to charge the Aptera should be in the $1 to $2 range for "one charge".

Five years ago, Aptera's founder Steve Fambro endeavored to design and build a passenger vehicle that was safe, comfortable, and more fuel-efficient than anything ever produced. This aspiration, combined with his background in engineering, led him to an intensive study of aerodynamics, and composite aircraft construction. He hypothesized that a low-drag, aerodynamic body shape could be achieved without sacrificing comfort, drivability or safety.

What emerged, after much designing, conceptualizing, and constructing, was a prototype two-seat, three-wheeled vehicle. This first operating prototype achieved a stunning 230 miles per gallon, Building on this success, Steve expanded his Aptera team and created the Aptera Typ-1, which has been re-designed, re-engineered, and refined into a production ready vehicle.

And its behind might make you blush, nothing comes close.

The approximate price for the all electric version is $27,000 and the plug-in hybrid $30,000. These prices are subject to change any time before they begin production. The goal is to begin production of the all-electric in late 2008 and the hybrid in late 2009. And the company is now taking reservations.

Check it out at:

Andy Warhol Banana Obsession

Andy Warhol Banana Obsession
Show 'em your Banana with these cool Banana enhancing objects!

Bend the Rules Ruler

Bend the rules banana-style!

The "Bend the Rules" Ruler is a must for your bureaucratic friends and family!
Also a great tool to overthrow a government of a banana republic!
You will be hard pressed to find any better tool to bend the rules "accurately"!
The Bend the Rules ruler is about 12" long and says "made in Bananistan".
Made from stainless steel.

Designed by Arash & Kelly in the UK.

Truly Big Clip Coat Hook

Big Clip Coat Hooks

Imagine being able to put a small paper clip on a copy machine and hit the 1000% enlarge button! The result is the "Big Clip" coat hook made of posh stainless steel with mirror finish. The Pop-Art inspired "Big Clip" is part of the Post Design Series from Memphis Milano, a collection designed by students from the Royal College of Art UK in 1999 under the direction of Ron Arad, who has exhibited at major museums and galleries throughout the world and designed for many leading companies including among others Kartell, Vitra, Moroso, Fiam, Driade, Alessi, Flos. Arash Kaynama studied at the Royal College of Art where he met Kelly Sant in 2000, they have been working together designing products ever since. Their design philosophy is about developing practical and original products with added value.

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Moooi Design Pantheon

Job Smeets & Nynke Tynagel: Moooi Pantheon Throw
Moooi Design, imported from Europe.

Pantheon was designed by Job Smeets & Nynke Tynagel. This oversized Throw is bound to be a classic. Designers Job Smeets & Nynke Tynagel transformed an ordinary throw into an artistic collage which includes animals, airplanes, war symbols and even some skulls. This unique display, to say the least, guarantees to be a conversation piece for many years to come.

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Luxury Home Decor Pillows

Scholten & Baijings: t.e. 42 Luxury Cushion/Pillow Multi Color Square
Thomas Eyck, Netherlands.

The finest luxury cushions/pillows (lots of) money can buy.

The richly colored cushions by Scholten & Baijings, Studio for Design, create a true explosion of colors in the interior. The patterns on these cushions are compiled of brightly-colored stripes and interrupted shifts in color. The design duo had them woven at the weaving mill of Weverij De Ploeg, who have been working with renowned designers since 1923. The cushions are woven from merino wool and cotton, making them irresistibly soft to the touch.

Modern Paperweights

Modern Animal Paperweight & Book End Collection

Who wouldn't like a pink elephant on his desk? This wonderful and accessibly priced line of happy animals feautures a Giraffe, Elephant, Penguin, Polar Bear, Panda and Teddy Bear. Each of these elegant creatures makes a perfect gift for friends, family or yourself. Use them as a paperweight, book end or simply use them as whimsical and fun design objects on your desk or cabinet! They are wonderful to look & to play with. Handcrafted with earth-friendly faux leather and perfectly weighted and balanced with natural cotton and iron fillings to keep letters or books in place. Presented in a drawstring bag and craft box.

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Past, Present, Future Watch

Daniel Will-Harris: Past, Present & Future Watch

Live in the present. That's what we strive to do. This unique timepiece beautifully reminds you that "there's no time like the present." You only see the present time: what's past is past. The future doesn't exist yet. The time is now. At once super minimal and warmly conceptual, Past, Present, Future is a meditation on time.

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Ross McBride Modern Designer Watch

Ross McBride Extra Normal Design Watches

The Ross McBride Extra Normal watch is from his line of Extra Normal time pieces which also includes wall clocks. The Ross McBride Extra Normal Watch represents the culmination of designer/producer Ross McBride's strong desire to create a brand that completely embodies his aesthetics, and long time fascination with timepieces. The inaugural product range includes the Exra Normal Watch of which the hour hand reveals the time as it makes its way around the watch's face. This amazing watch is presented in a gift box.

Ross McBride Extra Normal Clock

Ross McBride Extra Normal Modern Wall Clocks

This truly is a very unique modern wall clock. The Ross McBride Extra Normal Clocks represents the culmination of designer/producer Ross McBride's strong desire to create a brand that completely embodies his aesthetics, and long time fascination with timepieces. The inaugural product range includes the Exra Normal Clock of which the hour hand reveals the time as it makes its way around the clock's face.

Available from: