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Month October 2014 Archive

 Timeless Copper Corner Residence Blending Traditional Detailing with Modern Simplicity

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On a heavily wooded corner lot in an established neighborhood of Mississauga, Ontario, sits Copper Corner Residence, a timeless home envisioned by David Small Designs. Dark painted wood emphasizes the bold roof-lines, while light-colored stone adds warmth to the façade. And the most outstanding feature, the leaded copper roof, creates character and architectural interest. The leaded copper not only adds aesthetic intrigue to the home, bringing out the charcoal colour of the stone, but plays a functional role as well. It is a highly durable material with an incredible lifespan. As the home ages, the leaded copper will change colour, developing a beautiful silver-gray patina that will deepen over time. This home is a prime example of traditional detailing mixed with modern simplicity.The traditional gabled roofline is executed in a minimalistic way (clean lines, no shutters or brackets). The result is transitional architecture; a design style that merges the warmth and comfort of traditional architecture with the modern ideals of minimalism and open concept living. The elements of the design – the mix of exterior materials (stone, wood, stucco, leaded copper), the rows of windows enveloping the copper corner, the warm colour palette, and the preservation of a significant mature tree stand – work together to perfectly integrate the home with its natural surroundings. [Information provided via e-mail by David Small Designs; Photography by Jason Hartog]

 Provocative Modern Earth Home in the Heart of Sardinia’s Emerald Coast

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Architect Luca Marastoni in collaboration with interior designer firm BONVECCHIO have completed House in Sardinia, a daring modern residential project. Situated on the first line of the Gulf of Portisco, in the heart of Sardinia Emerald coast, the residence stands out due to its concrete structures pierced by windows and green rooftops. An outdoor shell pool surrounded by a lovely teak deck, a jacuzzi and a private beach are reasons enough for the inhabitants of this “earth home” to come out of their luxurious crib.Step inside and you will be immersed in a soothing atmosphere: “The interiors are characterized by a strong contrast between concrete surfaces and the warm tones of wood. The furniture and the floor are completely customized, all realized in oak, treated in different shades, and solid too. The kitchen is defined by a long marble top with a dedicated breakfast area and walls covered by oak.” A custom-designed sofa in the living room invites guests to relax and enjoy the lovely bay views, while the dining area beckons for romantic meals. According to the designers, all the five en-suite bedrooms have tailored desks, beds and cabinets. [Photography by Alessandro Gadotti]

 Smart Shelter in Spain Evoking A Breathable Lifestyle

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When time spent with family and friends becomes a priority, you also take into account the place you would like that to happen. This is where the smart refuge comes in. El Refugio Inteligente was imagined by NOEM as a functional space easily and automatically controlled from the owner’s mobile device. The blessed owners having been dreaming to build a small refuge in the ??Serra Espadà mountains of Spain. Working with Spanish studio NOEM ( the name comes from “No Emission”) opened their eyes to the possibility of enjoying an energy efficient leisure home where everyone they love is welcomed.Using prefabricated wooden modules to erect the refuge fast and efficient was key. Adding the swimming pool, barbecue and toilet extends the versatility and encourages a natural, conscious lifestyle. According to the architects, “Its S-SE orientation maximizes thermal comfort in winter and the abundance of sunscreens also ensures summer enjoyment. The architectural design stands out for its simplicity and for a metal frame which marks out the covered areas and provides the appropriate level of design. It is an area defined to cater for all the customs and habits of the occupants,with maximum accessibility and with openings which permit a privileged view.?”Photos by Meritxell Arjalaguer show the interiors and surroundings, both during and after construction. For a time lapse of the construction, check the video below. It would be amazing if you let us know what you think about this smart shelter or if you’ve seen anything better you’d like to share.El Refugi – Time Lapse – NOEM Go from NOEM on Vimeo…

 IKEA Launches Wireless Furniture Collection to Eliminate Indoor Cable Mess

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Aiming to help users stay connected at all times, IKEA is to launch a wireless furniture collection with incorporated induction-charging stations. The new range consists of bedside tables, lamps and and desks, each item integrating subtle white charging pads. How does the system work exactly? According to the official press release, the wireless charging pads “use transmitter and receiver coils to generate a magnetic field which induces a voltage in the receiver coil. The voltage can then power a smartphone or recharge its battery simply by resting a phone on the Qi pad. Once placed on the pad, a notification pops up to alert the user the device is charging.”If you are worried that your phone will not be compatible with the new IKEA furniture range, don’t. The majority of smartphones currently being sold on the market come with inbuilt Qi wireless charging (the inductive charging standard). This makes it easy for any phone with this embedded technology to charge from any Qi charging surface. “Through research and home visits, we know that people hate cable mess“, said Jeanette Skjelmose, Ikea business area manager for lighting and wireless charging.”Our new innovative solutions, which integrate wireless charging into home furnishings, will make life at home simpler.” The wireless charging furniture range will be available on IKEA’s website from mid-April. 

 Why Going Back In Time Will Make You A Better Architect

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There is a very long history of past architects whose designs live on today, but are the current world-leading architects living up to those of the past? Image Source: Far HorizonsWe live in a world where it’s an understatement to say that things move fast. We desire and have even come to expect instant efficiency, if not constant entertainment. With the sheer amount of technology waiting at our fingertips at any given moment, it’s not hard to understand why when it comes to creativity, the age of having absolutely everything can make inspiration a bit muddled.For those who love and aspire to contribute to the world of architecture, this is also a common theme. Between the pressure to create beyond anyone’s wildest imagination and still come up with something that’s functional in society, it’s hard to find a place to stand, let alone build.When you come to the place where your passion for architecture starts fading in place of technology and the pressure of global competition— it becomes important to step back for a minute and look to the past. Yes, looking back in time can make you a better architect and can help you rediscover your passion for design. Reminding yourself of what has been gives you a foundation for the future. It’s a necessary pause for every architect to remind themselves of what inspiration in the field truly looks like.This article will take you back in time, so to speak. So, take a break from all your designs for just a moment and reflect upon the real reason that you became an architect—your passion for great design.Do you admire the great architects of the past and reflect their work in your own designs? Image Source: E-ArchitectThe beauty of architecture, and those who create it, is that their work becomes an enduring part of the world everybody lives in. The essence of their creativity lives on in stone and design whether passerby’s realize it or not. It becomes a part of everybody’s scenery and looking back to the greats can be a vital step in remembering where genius really comes from and how it flourishes.Antoni Gaudi is perhaps the best example of extended creativity. As an architect, he wasn’t afraid to mix style in an attempt to revere traditional values. A devout catholic whom one might assume would stick to rigid structure, he instead willingly delved into structures that captured the best of Spanish Late Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau to celebrate the faith he loved.He also didn’t only design for the here and now. In fact, his cathedral titled Sagrada Familia began in 1882 and is so complex, it’s not expected to be finished until approximately 2026.  Take a moment to look back to the great architects of the past for inspiration—there is a reason people travel the world to catch a glimpse of their historic work.Works by Antoni Gaudi are truly forms of art. Image Source: Arch DailyFor some it may be enough to be a good architect, but those who have a true passion for this art will find themselves wondering what it takes to be phenomenal. Great architects leave a mark on the world through their design, and often those designs carry some sort of message.It is possible to put meaning into design in a technology-driven world, it just takes a patience and perseverance that requires dedication. In the world of architecture, this means designing with a message in mind. Before you sit down and begin to draw it out, ask yourself what you want it to convey. When you look back at those great architects of yesterday, can you clearly identify their messages?It may come down to actually writing out your message or design meaning before you even begin to measure lines. Having a concrete idea of what it is your are setting out to say will help your structure growing into a creation that speaks to those who lay eyes upon it. What is it that you are trying to tell the world through your designs?What do you suppose is the message that Gaudi is trying to convey in this amazing architecture that he created? Image Source: WikipediaArchitecture lends itself to aesthetic appeal. Half of the job is creating something beautiful enough to capture the attention of practically everyone. However, the fear and downfall in this is that while it’s possible to create something stunning, it can equally be created in a void of purpose. Is beauty the only purpose of your design, or is there a deeper message that you want top convey?For this reason, it’s important that architects train themselves to be above all, superior communicators. If you cannot look at what you are designing and fluidly state what’s its purpose in the world is, than you cannot expect anyone else to either.The ability to communicate purpose in architecture becomes more important as cities grow, competition in the field increases and pressure to design quickly and efficiently becomes the common demand. In moments where purpose is threatened, it’s imperative that an architect step back, examine what exactly he or she is doing, and be able to clearly articulate that purpose. Once this is established, something truly remarkable can be created.The purpose of architecture is as important as its aesthetic appeal. Image Source: Global Site PlansIf your heart is set on architecture, but you’re struggling to figure out your niche or creative path, never hesitate to ask yourself the important questions. Are you willing to tell your story to the world? Great architects are able to infuse their work with their own passion.What they feel and what they want to say is visible in their design and the purpose is clear. Going into architecture is a test of artistic communication and a willingness to dedicate the time it takes to create something that will eventually be considered timeless.Make sure you’ve asked yourself the right questions before you enter lightly into a world that can quickly decline into design chaos— one that is controlled by technology and instantaneous gratification.The Montezuma Castle in Arizona certainly tells a story of ancient civilizations and how they lived. Image Source: Arizona RuinsOnce you’ve taken the necessary steps to look back to the greats who have come before, examined their messages and determined your own architectural purpose, you’ll be ready to set off on an adventure that could lead you around the globe.Architecture is a unique and stunning field that can be full of inspiration, if only you know where to find it.What is your inspiration for design? Who are the greats that you admire?

 Contemporary Appearance Camouflaging Brooklyn Roots: Slate Street Townhouse

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Hiding its Brooklyn roots inside a contemporary appearance, the State Street Townhouse by architects and owners Christine and Ben Hansen is an intriguing mix of old and new. This family crib in New York, USA, inspires openness and light throughout, as well as a great connection to the outdoors. The backyard, complete with swings and barbecue area contributes to a healthy and relaxing lifestyle. Step inside and you will be greeted by charming interiors, filled with color and character.According to the architects, the custom kitchen, “complete with Flavor Paper wallpaper, feels traditionally modern while retaining a bit of Brooklyn grit. Upstairs, the couple and their three children share two bedrooms with a connecting Jack and Jill bathroom, creating a fun open plan to contain them for years to come. The bedroom level is filled with natural light from huge steel windows, and leads up to a scenic green roof that stores rainwater and nourishes the garden.” The design scheme for this Brooklyn home includes texture variety, original lighting units and surprising pops of color. Enjoy the virtual tour! [Photography by Francis Dzikowski]

 Yarn Factory Converted into Luxurious Home: Loft „Alte Wollgarnfabrik“ in Berlin

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Loft „Alte Wollgarnfabrik“ depicted in the photos below was designed and implemented by Berlin-based BERLINRODEO interior concepts. The project is a transformation of a yarn factory into a luxurious and elegant contemporary home. One of the aspects that make this project special is that it was especially created for the designers themselves (couple Axel Schaefer and Ingo Hoelters, who currently share living spaces with their dachshund Elliot). An original wallpaper with translucent effects is the main focal point in the generously-sized living area, an interior that sets the tone for an inviting apartment with plenty of inspiring details.The color palette in soothing tones of white, beige and brown makes for a harmonious ambiance throughout. We like how the designers kept some of the elements of the old yarn factory (take the brick walls for example) and gave them a refined final look. Crystal chandeliers, a selection of artworks and vivid flower arrangements add up to the joyful and welcoming character of the contemporary loft. Have a look at the images and tell us what you think! [Information provided via e-mail by BERLINRODEO interior concepts; Photos by Adrian Schulz]

 Refined Contemporary Design: Self-Supporting Spiral Staircases by Rizzi Studio

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In creating these cement spiral staircases, Rizzi Studio combines a sophisticated design with a perfect technical core. Each of the projects acts as a connection between storeys, enhancing the value of the settings and accommodating the requirements of contemporary living. The self-supporting staircase winds around itself according to the available space in a harmonious upward crescendo to become a fundamental element of interior design as well as a functional feature. Individual prefabricated modules are put together to form self-supporting staircases, with 11 standard diameters of between 125 cm and a maximum of 300 cm, to offer fully customizable projects according to the finishes of the intended surroundings.The logic behind the installation of Rizzi’s reinforced concrete spiral staircases drastically reduces installation times: individual unrefined steps are shipped and subsequently assembled directly on site. They include the tread, the riser and at either end the stringer which, when assembly has been completed, will form two spiral stringer boards notched to accommodate the reinforcement connecting the starting storey to the landing. The treads and risers can also be clad with wood, stainless steel, ceramic, marble and resin. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by Rizzi Studio] 

 Inspiring Eichler Great Room Remodel in California [Before & After Photos]

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Klopf Architecture redesigned a well preserved Eichler House in Mountain View, California. The brief for the Eichler GreatRoomRemodel project requested a brighter and more open space that would respond to the socializing needs of a family with small children: “What was once a disjointed set of rooms were all combined into one large greatroom, complete with a new kitchen. The open, modern design space admits light and openness to nature and allows this family to live together in comfort.”
According to the architects, the house was originally an atrium model Eichler, but the atrium had been filled in by a previous owner. They did a partial job, leaving the exterior doors, windows and walls in place around the enclosed atrium, so the layout was chopped up:”We removed the glass doors and solid walls separating the enclosed atrium from the kitchen and living room to create one large great room space, and re-arranged the kitchen in the process. We used alignments and a clean, simple approach to achieve a calm and logical layout. Materials flow around the great room space to give an integrated feeling of the space“. Have a look at the before&after photos uploaded at the end of the post for a better idea on the transformation and tell us what you think!

 Pavilion-Like House Designed as a Lake Retreat by RES4

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RES4 designed the second home of a young mother and her son who live in Manhattan, nearby the lake, away from the city rush, a pavilion-like house. The brand new Lake Iosco, sited in Bloomingdale (New Jersey), brings down Manhattan pressure to enrich life with full openness and all out fabled comfort. The two-storey rectangular-shaped haven (envisioned as a “pavilion”, not a “cave” – like the family’s old house) was built as close to the lake as laws permitted. Having north-south orientation and deck to the east and west, this veritable pavilion of light takes pride into a surreal exposure to both sunrise and sunset, everyday.  “The specific lot is located adjacent to the lake’s concrete dam that forms a water-spill creating a creek to the south. The approach weaves through the woods along a narrow road, terminating in a gently sloped drive and polycarbonate carport that frames a view of the lake upon arrival.”
The contemporary architecture of the refuge is comprised of 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms accompanied by a carport, study, playroom and lakefront deck. Within the centre of the plan, at ground floor, one can find the kitchen with the living room on one side and the dining area to the other. Major appliances are concealed away beneath the countertop, ensuring an airy and open setting. Sun is integrated all through, being defused in the most playful manner, with the use of acrylic cylinders, polycarbonate carport, 2×2 cedar slats and reflections off the water neatly captured within…

 cute baby boy nursery ideas

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Round bathtubs are often used to accentuate clean, crisp powder rooms. And when it’s a room with a view, a simple form is the preferred tub of choice, especially when the focus is on the scene on the other side of the glass windows. Bathrooms with round tubs often feature round sinks. Here’s one more modern powder room with a view. Round tubs are often used to mirror other round forms in the powder room, such as the skylight in the all-white bathroom below. Curved built-in wall shelving provides another focal point in this space, especially since it’s filled with coral and other natural wonders.

 Modern Home in Canada With Extensive Pacific Views by Mehran Mansouri

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Some of you may remember The Palmerston Project, a modern residence we presented on our site in a previous post. The house in the photos below was also designed by Mehran Mansouri and built by Dcube Construction ltd., with the intention of providing a warm living space for its owners in West Vancouver, BC, Canada. The construction has a total surface of 2500 square feet and features a beautiful 270 degree view of the Pacific Ocean from the first and second floor.
One enters the residence to discover an open layout with the fireplace parallel to the entrance. The three bedrooms are located on the second floor, all with open layouts as well: “The goal we hoped to achieve was to fade the ideology that modern homes are too cold, and help people visualize how they can be quite the opposite in fact. One of the most important features to us was to build a private deck for the owners. Hence why you will find a private 1000-sq.ft. deck overlooking the water with entrances from all three bedrooms on the second floor“, explained the architects. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by Mehran Mansouri]

 tile for the kitchen

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The bathroom is perhaps the one room that doesn’t allow you to do very much in terms of furniture. With so much space taken up by the shower, the tub, the vanity, and the toilet, it can be a challenge to figure out how to bring in a little more style, even with the smallest pieces of furniture like shelves and benches — especially if you’re stuck with a really small bathroom! Lucky for you, there are lots of benches and stools out there that are versatile enough to fit any bathroom, small or large.

 dining room wall decor

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As we alluded to earlier, green and white is a smart combination that works well in a modern bedroom and balances energetic overtones with a serene backdrop. The amount of green you use here depends on the size of the room and the amount of natural light that floods into your bedroom. Smaller bedrooms with too much green might seem both overwhelming and visually cluttered.

 Sleek, Modern and Sophisticated Single Family Property: Villa Veth

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Caught in between a forest and a meadow, Villa Veth was designed to offer its outdoor-loving inhabitants the best of both worlds: a fascinating natural environment and a sophisticated and comfortable indoor lifestyle. Located in Hattem, the Netherlands, the contemporary villa was designed by 123DV Modern Villas. Modern power floated concrete floors were matched with dark gray stucco and frameless glass walls to create a contemporary display of modern building materials. Not only the materials were carefully chosen, but some of the glass walls were curved to give the south-oriented living area a creative twist and to seamlessly connect the interior to the outdoor patio.  With 475 m2  floor surface spread over two floors and 6,000 square meters of land, Villa Veth is an amazing single family property. This house’s features also allow its owners to enjoy late summer days and night out on the terrace, secured by the comfort of heated floors and a large canopy. The interiors are warm and inviting and a special feature visually unifies the living/cooking/dining zone: the kitchen, storage space, fireplace, piano and audio equipment form an integral part of the custom designed wall unit. I bet you already imagined yourself living there…

 bohemian living room decor

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The terms ‘contemporary’ and ‘modern’ are often used interchangeably when describing design. It’s a common faux pas and one of which this writer is certainly guilty. In design lexicon the two words have contrasting and quite distinct meanings. Describing their difference at a somewhat rudimentary level: contemporary makes reference to the present-day – that which is current and of the time – whereas modern alludes to the past, specifically that of Modernism (post the First World War) and mid-20th century modern design and architecture.

 teenage girl room ideas painting

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The terms ‘contemporary’ and ‘modern’ are often used interchangeably when describing design. It’s a common faux pas and one of which this writer is certainly guilty. In design lexicon the two words have contrasting and quite distinct meanings. Describing their difference at a somewhat rudimentary level: contemporary makes reference to the present-day – that which is current and of the time – whereas modern alludes to the past, specifically that of Modernism (post the First World War) and mid-20th century modern design and architecture.

 Contemporary Mix of Light, Space and Geometry: La Grande Vue in South Africa

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Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects (SAOTA) in collaboration with interior design studio OKHA have developed a massive contemporary project entitled La Grande Vue 5A residence in Cape Town, South Africa. The house is composed of two apartments, both having exceptional views of the sea below. Here is the story behind the project: “Carla & Stefan Antoni’s growing family is what forced the couple to demolish their bachelor pad and build a larger home. The result incorporates Stefan’s dual-level penthouse, including two en-suite bedrooms, a living area and a kitchen on the first level, a studio, third bedroom and garage on the lower level, and an apartment underneath. On the roof, there is a swimming pool and terrace, as well as the magnificent SKY BAR containing a cocktail bar and entertainment area”. The interiors were designed in a highly contemporary manner, taking advantage of the breathtaking vistas: “We wanted to break free from the mould, create a piece of poetry that plays on light, space and geometry, and balances the primal quality of raw surfaces with modern elements,”Stefan explained…

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