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Month January 2015 Archive

 Contemporary Residence In Switzerland Delivering Majestic Views: Villa Lugano

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Designed by Angelo Pozzoli, Villa Lugano in Switzerland is integrated in a hillside landscape, overlooking the lake and the magnificent landscape beyond. The three-level home in reinforced concrete features an array of open spaces, optimizing the connection with the outdoors. Terraces, balconies, and footbridges keep the interiors permanently connected to the magic of Lake Lugano. Rectangular volumes combine to create a massive home design, one that adds a highly contemporary feel to this city area.Commanding views of the landscape, plenty of natural light and an overwhelming feeling of space are probably the main assets of this home in Switzerland. The designers employed a blend of intriguing textures for the interior scheme, while keeping the focus beyond the glass walls of the house. Linking all three levels, the spiral staircase in the center of the residence makes a powerful visual statement. Be sure to have a look at two other inspiring architecture projects in the area- an original glass residence by Italian firm JM Architecture and House Lombardo by Philipp Architekten, both featured on our site a while back. [Photography credits: Giovanni de Sandre]

 10 Classic Misconceptions of Architects

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While every profession contains certain stereotypes, architects tend to be right up there with engineers when it comes to misconstrued notions. Image Source: ChicagoWhen you think of an architect, what is the first thing that comes to mind? We bet it is one of these top ten classic misconceptions that we have compiled below. While every profession contains certain stereotypes (and some may be valid), architects tend to be right up there with engineers when it comes to misconstrued notions.Look at our list of ten classic misconceptions of architects to see if any are ones you hold, and perhaps consider if these are truly valid ideas or are they are myths that need to be debunked?Look at our list of ten classic misconceptions of architects. Consider if these are truly valid ideas or perhaps they are myths that need to be debunked? Image Source: Hammer and HandThere are so many misconceptions of architects, but perhaps this is the first one that should be debunked. While it is true that architecture is a male-dominated field, it is not true that it is a career solely for men.Great female architects are finally getting their due attention with female architects such as Teresa Borsuk receiving the 2015 Woman Architect of the Year award.  Women certainly have a place in this field of design.While it is true that architecture is a male-dominated field, it is not true that it is a career solely for men. Image Source: MansonSadly, this is not true. Despite the years of hardwork in school, all of their studies do not pay off in the sense of the bank balance. Despite the mainstream thought, architects are not paid like doctors, they earn a good income, but not one that will make them wealthy.The median annual wage in 2013 was $74, 110 USD, with the top 10% earning $119,370 USD annually, and the bottom 10% earning $44, 930 USD annually. As you can see, you will certainly not be poor, but you won’t be wealthy either.Despite the mainstream thought, architects are not paid like doctors, they earn a good income, but not one that will make them wealthy. Image Source: E-ArchitectArchitects use tools but not hammers. Architects design the buildings, they do not build them. Their designs and blueprints are passed off to the builders/developers who then bring the design to fruition.Yes, this requires a close relationship between the architects and the builders, but the final structure is created by the developer/builder. Should we mention the salary of a developer? No, that might depress the architects reading this.Architects use tools but not hammers. Architects design the buildings, they do not build them. Image Source: Urban AnglesWhile many architects don’t want us to debunk this classic misconception—everyone wants to be sleek and cool like James Bond—but architects are not the eccentric, cool, cigar smoking characters that the general public has envisioned them to be.Sorry, they are just average people like the rest of us, sitting at desks (perhaps in a cubicle), hunched over computers, and usually working on the minute details of a project.Architects are not the eccentric, cool, cigar smoking characters that the general public has envisioned them to be. Image Source: Prentiss ArchitectsWrong! Architects can’t afford to be introverts—their design ideas would never leap from blueprint to reality if they were quiet and shy.In order to have their designs accepted and taken seriously, and to have the builders follow their designs—architects must be loud and proud.  A shy architect will struggle in this field since the job relies heavily on communication skills with clients, designers, builders, contractors, public etc…In order to have their designs accepted and taken seriously, and to have the builders follow their designs—architects must be loud and proud. Image Source: MsaofsaBecoming the next Frank Lloyd Wright seems glamorous, right? Yes, it must have been glamorous to be a famous architect who created some of the most ingenious structures, but this is not the reality for the everyday architect.Most architects are busy working out the details; meeting city officials; trying to leap through bureaucratic red tape; dealing with building codes; constrained by a client’s budget, or visiting contractor sites—nothing about these tasks is glamorous. While some architects do have the chance to travel, it is not as common as some may think.While it may be glamorous to be a famous architect, this is not the reality for the everyday architect. Image Source: Markoff-FullertonWhile many architects entering school think they need amazingly creative artistic skills—it is simply not a job requirement. Architects do need to be creative problem solvers, but they don’t need the skills of Picasso.In fact, a lot of their work involves basic geometry skills which are by no means creative. And Computer Aided Design (CAD) has pretty much taken over the pencil and paper, so most times architects are hunched over computers rather than drawing their own design.Architects do need to be creative problem solvers, but they don’t need the skills of Picasso. Image Source: Atasadero GlassLike most projects—architecture is not the work of one sole person—it takes a team. There are usually dozens of people involved in the larger projects (interns, modelers, the CAD designers, people in the field etc)While most design firms have a managing principle: a person who facilitates the design; they are not usually the actual designers. Rather it is the lower totem staff who create the design, but sometimes the managing principle becomes ‘The Architect” who designed said building.  We see how this could be frustrating for the rest of the team. Just know that when you read in a magazine about ‘so and so was the architect’ , there was probably a lot more people involved than that one person mentioned in the article.Like most projects—architecture is not the work of one sole person—it takes a team. Image Source: Pastiche of Cape CodArchitects design, as we mentioned above, they are not the builders of their designs; therefore, they are not brokers for the materials used in a project.They can only suggest which materials are best suited for the design, and perhaps mention a possible source of such material to the builders, but the builders probably already have their own  material sources, and perhaps their own ideas of what materials will work best.Architects design, as we mentioned above, they are not the builders of their designs— they are not brokers for the materials used in a project. Image Source: DemetriadesThey all went to school to get the same degree, right? So they should all be equally qualified for the task at hand? Wrong. Yes, architecture is a science, but there are numerous ideologies that can change the way an individual firm approaches your job.Look to their individual past experiences: What are they predominant in–Commercial or housing or green design etc? Ask how they approach a job, what is their workflow process, what do their past projects look like? No two architects or architectural firms are alike, so choose one that best suits your individual needs.Architecture is a science, but there are numerous ideologies that can change the way an individual firm approaches your job. Image Source: DTC PortlandWow! There are a lot of misconceptions about architects. Do any of these ring true for you?  We think that despite all the ups and downs of this field of study, architecture still remains an amazing job whereby you can become well-known for your unique and creative design abilities.What do you think the most common misconception of architects is?

 Narrow Dwelling in Toronto Converted Into Bright Family Refuge: The Contrast House

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Situated on a corner lot in a dense neighborhood in Toronto, Canada, the Contrast House by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design is a modern rehabilitation of a 120-year old dwelling. According to the architects, the primary design challenge was to “increase natural light in the space, accomplished through both physical and perceptual means. The long, narrow house was reorganized in plan and in section, introducing new sight lines to the expanded openings at the rear of the house and updating the layout for a growing family.” The name of the project hints towards the contrasting elements spread around the house with the purpose of brightening internal spaces with no direct access to natural lighting. The interiors are connected through a light stairway, said to increase the overall light flow. Special furniture elements contribute to the originality and charm of this Canadian family home: “From the tall black bookcases housing the owner’s colorful collectibles on the ground floor, the chalkboard wall for play on the second level, these bold, dark pieces, in combination with rich walnut floors and crisp white walls and ceilings, create contrast to produce an intensified effect.” After seeing the photos below, you will certainly appreciate the designers’ efforts in creating spaces filled with light and good vibes…

 Ceramic Wall Covering Inspired by Mathematics Patterns in Nature

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You know how you sometimes stumble upon something you were looking for, but it’s far more amazing than you imagined if would be?What if you were wondering how to decorate with ceramic tile? Then this highly contemporary tile design will have you wondering about how the world of ceramic tiles will look in a year or two. The remarkable Kin ceramic tile collection was visualized by Madrid-based design studio DSIGNIO for Harmony-Peronda.When it comes to this nature-inspired ceramic tile, installation requires a great attention to detail. The results, as spectacular as they are, also focus the attention on the science behind the visual appeal. Inspired by mathematics patterns in nature, the Kin ceramic wall covering helps you discover through design that “no form is accidental, no details are left to chance.” In a design landscape that can be recreated in your own living room, imagine these molecular tiles accompanying your lifestyle as your understanding and love for modern design grows. Its designers see the ceramic tile collection as “thousands of small molecules build stunning pieces of engineering: a great architecture that is perpetuated over time.”We received the news about this beautiful tile collection by email, and wanted to make sure you remember to send us tips about awe-inspiring design. The Kin ceramic wall covering shines under the light as a cell chain that adds depth and dimension to your walls.“That is how KIN is born, from a seemingly improbable approach -converting a pentagon into a hexagon?-, which, however, leads to a perfect game of Geometry. As a chain of cells, the pentagons weave together to form an interesting grid of hexagons that intertwines horizontally and vertically. Through its relief, the different pieces energize the reflection of ceramics, creating sinuous shapes that change due to the motion and incidence of light. It is the only randomness in the constructive accuracy of nature that KIN represents, and what nevertheless gives its spontaneous sparkles of beauty.”Seeing this home all clad in ceramic tiles makes you wonder what other designs will be available in the near future. Can you imagine a bold architecture clad in something like the Kin ceramic tile?

 Compatible Old & New Design Shaping 1930s House Transformation

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We’ve seen our fair share of amazing house transformation. This next home was designed to catch your eye like a red dot in a sea of black dots. What used to be a 1930s house in Toronto, Canada, was refreshed by Johnson Chou as his design studio embraced the original building in the new redesign. Known as 142 Kenilworth, the fully renovated home displays the original bricks which have been revived.This house needed a complete renovation including opening it to light and air. An oversized pivoting glass door pierces the glazed back side, leading to a cozy patio. Even from afar, this 1930s structure conveys a sense of respect and a sense of wonder.From the outside, the seemingly modest home relates to neighboring homes in terms of design and frame. Keeping the roofline and beautiful brickwork was important in order to embed the completely transformed home into its surroundings. Piercing the facade, floor-to-ceiling windows on the first floor shine natural light inside bright, open social spaces. Upstairs windows give off a modern, geometric vibe.A protruding window frame gives an extra dimension to the aluminum bookshelves bursting through the glass floor up to the second level, visually and spatially connecting social and private quarters. Another window wraps around the corner, making you instantly wonder how the backside of the house looks. Topped off with a dark-framed triangular window shining light on the modern freestanding bathtub, this dream home proves that borrowing charm from the past makes for incredible renovations.Architects shine light on the ideas that had this home completely transformed: “The design concept was two-fold: to perforate the volume of the building with openings to provide visual access throughout the space on a horizontal and vertical dimension; and to develop a motif that redefines the existing building as a series of overlapping ‘frames’ that function either as portals or apparatuses for viewing. The project is about creating volumes of flowing spaces in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions and the kinaesthetic experience of framed views from within and without.”The new floor plan allowed for the creation of a double-height space used as the new living area, where everyone gathers in a bright and cheery atmosphere. Custom-made mullions decorate and frame the home, making it appear sleek and sophisticated in photographs by Brenda Liu. You might want to think about the alterations made to this home before starting a renovation in your own house…

 Why Essential Oils Are Essential For Your Home

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Essential oils have a plethora of uses for the home environment, making it healthier with its healing scents. Image Source: Rose and PartnersCan you smell it? The fresh air floats with hints of sharp citrus blended with cinnamon & clove undertones, invigorating your senses —and possibly making you and your home healthier?It’s time to come to our senses, our sense of smell, that is.  While the practice of aromatherapy has been around for ages, we are not talking about burning a few candles, rather we are talking about essential oils and all of their essential uses in our home.When researching this topic, we were surprised by all the uses essential oils have in the home—and it’s not just about making your home smell pretty. These little, viscous, liquid droplets pass the smell test and seem to hold the possibility of actually healing your home! Here’s how:These little, viscous, liquid droplets pass the smell test and seem to have the possibility to actually heal your home! Here’s how. Image Source: Shed BuiltIn the dictionary sense of the word, essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquids containing volatile aroma compounds from plants.  Broken into layperson language, it is a plant oil that contains the essence of the plant or the smell of the plant.For the most part, these oils have been used for superficial purposes such as scenting perfumes, soaps, cosmetics and incense. However, there are those who have historically claimed the medicinal benefits of these oils, ranging from claims of clearing up acne all the way to curing cancer.  One particular historian, Alain Touwaide claims there is archeological evidence “…that both frankincense and myrrh were used as medicinal substances in antiquity; used as healing aids in leprosy and toothaches”.These claims are still up for debate, but one thing is for certain—the interest in these olfactory oils seems to go beyond smell, and its rise in popularity shows the world has ‘caught the scent’.The interest in these olfactory oils seems to go beyond smell, and its rise in popularity shows the world has ‘caught the scent’. Image Source: Anna BraundThere are thousands of useful online sites that list numerous roles that essential oils can play in the home. One site lists the effectiveness of oils in cleaning products, another to keep mice at bay, and another uses scents to keep her family healthy.With all the choices available, where do you start? We suggest you start small and try just a few of the more well-known oil extracts such as lemon, orange and lavender. These oils have been known (and are quite time-tested) to aid in the cleaning and aromatherapy of your home.There are numerous essential oil manufacturers that offer starter kits for those who really want to dive in nose-first.There are thousands of useful online sites that list numerous roles that essential oils can play in the home. Image Source: JC-DesignAside from smelling pretty, essential oils have some magnificent cleaning powers. Here are some of the more popular cleaning methods that oil officiando’s are employing to clean their home:As you can see, cleaning your home and keeping your family healthy doesn’t have to involve a lot of harsh chemicals.  This Wiki How site shows you how to make an all-purpose cleaning solution with just lavender oil, lemon oil and water.Aside from smelling pretty, essential oils have some magnificent cleaning powers. Image Source: PorcelanosaSpeaking of harsh chemicals. Many do not realize the amount of toxins that float throughout their home. Almost all of the content in your home has some form of chemical emission—carpeting, furnishings, cleaning products, insulation, drywall, paint etc…An article in The Atlantic calls this a ‘silent pandemic’, noting that daily toxin exposure is actually damaging the brains of unborn children, and determining that 41 Million IQ points have been collectively lost amongst Americans due to exposure to common toxins like lead, mercury and pesticides.Perhaps this should be a wake-up call for us to employ a more green approach to living— and look into ways to use essential oils in place of toxic cleaners. Here is a great link to help you make your home green with essential oils.Many do not realize the amount of toxins that float throughout their home. Image Source: LBC LightingIt certainly seems that essential oils should have a place in every home. Not only do they smell great; they can alleviate the amount of toxic cleaners that you use in your home, and possibly eliminate some toxins in the home. Go a little green and try on some of these scents today.Are you ahead of the trend and already ‘on the scent’ of the power of essential oils? 

 Historic Tower in Amsterdam’s Iconic Dam Square Converted Into Artist’s Residence

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Dutch interior architecture firm i29 designed the interior of a historic department store tower in Amsterdam’s iconic Dam Square. The unconventional interior will serve as an artist’s residence and is part of a larger program entitled “Room on the Roof”. Musicians, artists, designers and other creative professionals will be invited to take up residence and create an artistic project to share with the public. The program was established by the De Bijenkorf department store in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum to welcome both national and international talents.Playing with proportion and perspective, the space resembles a colossal cabinet with various living spaces stacked over several half-levels. Wooden ladders lead from the lower level living space to a work space and to an elevated sleeping space. Across from the wooden structure is a small seating area bathed in white. A telescope offering panoramic views of Amsterdam provide inspiration. The black spiral staircase winds through the center of the studio.Designer Maarten Baas will be the first guest to inhabit the space. “Room On The Roof wants to offer the artist a unique experience,” said i29 in a statement. “This was the starting point for i29 to realize an installation that brings together two worlds in one space; playing with scale and perception as in the universe of Alice in Wonderland.” The artistic works created here will soon be exhibited for the public. [Information provided via e-mail by i29 Interior Architects; Photography by Ewout Huibers.]

 Modern Family Villa Infused With Minimalist Precision

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Imagine living in a modern family villa like the Villa Spee Haelen in the Netherlands. Famous for living openly and inviting bright natural light inside with every chance, Dutch people inspire us to live fully in an environment that suits our needs and desires. Designed by architect Loek Stijnen of Lab32 Architecten for a married couple and their child, the now very sleek and modern home replaces an outdated bungalow from the 1960s. Now dressed in warm materials that attract compliments, the interiors are carefully hidden behind white plastering showcased by the facade.Preferring the simplicity of country living, the family living here wanted a modern villa that opens to the outside both in the front and the back. Panoramic windows assemble green views as the volume floats above the undulating landscape. A seamless connection is thus formed between the outdoors and the carefully designed indoors, defining what elegance in design means.The back side of the house welcomes family with a terrace complete with a pond and a swimming pool, perfect for rare sunny days. Carefully exploring this powerful connection between inside and outside, architects imagined a covered terrace that makes this transition easier. Interior decorator Rob Zeelen constructed a collection of minimalist interiors that keep the family’s lifestyle simple and functional, as they wished…

 10 Things I Wish My Realtor Would Have Told Me

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Owning your own home is freeing, but it certainly catapults you quickly into the adult world of bills, brokers, and banking. Image Source: The 425 GroupAh, home ownership—the dream we all chase. Owning your own home is freeing, but it certainly catapults you quickly into the adult world of bills, brokers, and banking. There are so many things to know before buying a home, and even if you have owned and sold homes in the past, there may be things that your realtor never revealed to you.Here we attempt to share with you the tricks of the trade, and perhaps the secrets behind the scenes, revealing what may really be happening when you hire your realtor. Here are the top then things that you will wish your realtor would have told you:Here we attempt to share with you the tricks of the trade, and perhaps the secrets behind the scenes, revealing what may really be happening when you hire your realtor. Image Source: AIA HoustonWhile this seems to defy logic, there is some merit to spending a wee bit more than you initially intended. Say your budget is $250,000 USD. Well, it really won’t break the bank to buy that dream house for $275,000. Why?Well, for one— your monthly mortgage payments will really only be around $15-20 more per month (depending on interest rates). Perhaps just give up your daily high-end coffee? Plus, that dream house has everything you want; it has the granite countertops; the walk-in closets; the finished basement.  These are the things you will eventually add to the less expensive house; thereby, spending that $275,000 in the long run. (Although, always be sure to stay within your means—see affordability calculator below)While this seems to defy logic, there is some merit to spending a wee bit more than you initially intended. Image Source: Baud BuildersMaybe you are single and buying your first home. Most likely, this isn’t going to be the home you raise kids in. We still encourage you to buy in a growing family neighborhood where schools are established or are in the phase of being built.This is the perfect investment scenario. A home where families are flocking and schools are growing is only going to go up in value. So buy that family home even if you don’t plan on staying in it for the long haul—your wallet will thank you in the end.This is the perfect investment scenario. A home where families are flocking and schools are growing is only going to go up in value. Image Source: JB ArchitectureOf course, realtors and sellers have a legal obligation to reveal pertinent things they know about the property. Things such as past floods, restorations, and future building proposals in the vicinity are all topics that should be revealed to a potential buyer.  Wouldn’t we all like to know if a baseball field is proposed for construction across the street?Although, sometimes the realtor is in the dark just as much as the buyer. Perhaps the seller has hidden some of the less attractive events that have gone on in the home—such as mice infestations or toilet overflows that soaked into the drywall. Your best bet is to hire a trustworthy realtor. Ask your realtor to do some leg work for you (that’s their job after all); ask them to look into city plans, future schools, roads or other construction proposals, and past insurance claims. A trustworthy, reputable agent is paramount to discovering the real truth behind the walls of your potential dream home.Realtors and sellers have a legal obligation to reveal pertinent things they know about the property, but are they revealing everything? Image Source: David JensenWe have mentioned that stretching yourself a bit when it comes to price can increase your profits in the long run, but you still need to be very careful that you are buying something that leaves money in your budget to buy food. Avoid rich house, poor man syndrome.Your realtor should be able to help you decide whether or not the home is truly affordable and within your means. They can point you in the direction of a reliable online affordability calculator, but they can also help by listing all the known costs that come with the house. Home owners insurance, property taxes, typical monthly electrical bills of past owners, home association fees etc… These are all items that must be included in your affordability calculations.  Buy smart and don’t dive into something that ends up drowning you in debt.Buy smart and don’t dive into something that ends up drowning you in debt. Image Source: Structures Building Inc.Ugh! The offer. This is the most stressful part of the entire home buying process. Here is where you hand it all over to the realtor and expect them to negotiate like a shark. But here’s the thing— the higher the selling price, the higher the commission for the relator. Did your realtor tell you this? We doubt it; its up to you to know these little facts.The scales are already balanced against getting the best price (unless your realtor takes a flat fee no matter the selling price— and not many do). How do you fix this? You need to stay firm when it comes time to barter the price. Have a number in your head that you are willing to pay and stick to it. Don’t allow anyone to negotiate a price that you are uncomfortable with and be willing to walk away if you don’t get what you want. Keep emotions at bay and know there are always other houses on the market if you lose this one.Keep emotions at bay and know there are always other houses on the market if you lose this one. Image Source: Cullum HomesWhile the home inspection doesn’t normally happen until an offer has been accepted (contingent upon what the upcoming home inspection reveals), we think it would be wise for your realtor to suggest that you the seller get a home inspection done before even listing your home.A lot of money, grief, and unplanned surprises can be avoided by hiring a home inspector before listing your home. Imagine if the home inspector finds improper wiring? A window that won’t open? A poorly insulated attic? All of these are things that may either turn away a potential buyer or cause the potential buyer to drastically reduce their offer.  By fixing these items before hand, you can save yourself a lot of money as it is often cheaper for sellers to make the repairs themselves rather than bartering at the negotiation table.A lot of money, grief, and unplanned surprises can be avoided by hiring a home inspector before listing your home. Image Source: Planning and BuildingYes, it sounds cynical but its true. That open house where you run yourself ragged cleaning every corner of the home actually has a mere 2% success rate according to the National Association of Realtors study.What the open house does allow for is many work opportunities for your realtor. Just think, they get to mingle with tons of potential buyers! Perhaps your home isn’t right for a certain buyer but we bet your realtor knows “Just the right home for them, let’s schedule a time to meet so I can show it to you. Here’s my business card”.  Cynical but true. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have an open house, as your home can most certainly sell from one of these events; it just means that you should be cautiously optimistic and perhaps not feel pressured to hold an open house every weekend.That open house where you run yourself ragged cleaning every corner of the home actually has a mere 2% success rate according to the National Association of Realtors study. Image Source: Susane BrownDid you tell your realtor that your absolute buying limit was $300,000 but you instructed your realtor to  put an offer in of $ 275,000? Be careful, as your realtor will talk to the selling realtor. Yes, they get on the phone and discuss everything. While a reputable realtor will not disclose your wants/needs, a less than reputable realtor will.A fair realtor is hard to find. It’s a business and the quicker the deal closes, the sooner the realtor gets their money. They don’t want long drawn out negotiations or months of showings. Again, just do your research, follow your instincts when hiring a realtor, and be careful what you reveal to even the most trusted realtor—they have a hand in this game, as well.A fair realtor is hard to find. It’s a business and the quicker the deal closes, the sooner the realtor gets their money. Image Source: Osborne ArchitectsOf course, what realtor is going to say, “don’t hire me, you don’t really need my services”. However, it may be true. Do you really need to hire a realtor and pay a hefty commission to sell your home? And do you really need a realtor to help you buy a home? The latter is a bit tougher. A realtor can be invaluable when it comes time to gain access to homes for sale. The former is a bit more open to debate.You can go at it alone and sell your house successfully by yourself. Just be sure it is something you are willing to do as it involves some work on your part, and perhaps the hiring of a good lawyer to draw up legal papers, and an appraiser to help you decide the homes value.You can go at it alone and sell your house successfully by yourself. Image Source: Seamar ConstructionAfter all this talk of home buying, it’s easy to get caught up in the dream of owning your own home. But perhaps your realtor should stop and ask you if you are truly ready to by a home?Are you really financially ready to take on all the bills that come with home ownership? Are you really ready to mow a lawn every weekend? Shovel snow every winter? Do you have a nest egg for when the roof needs repair or the carpets need replaced? Home ownership is expensive! Maybe your realtor should give you a wake-up call before you sign the dotted line?Are you really financially ready to take on all the bills that come with home ownership? Image Source: Jodie O DesignsAre you still feeling ready to buy or sell your home? We suggest you continue to review our ten realtor “secrets” and hire a trustworthy realtor with plenty of years under their belt in this business. Don’t be shy about asking questions, and certainly be willing to walk away from negotiations no matter what your realtor or anyone else says. Despite all the negative things that can take place behind the scenes, home ownership is an exciting prospect when you are truly prepared.  

 Quiet Modernism Inspired by Private Boathouse and Docking Facility in Canada

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This private boathouse and docking facility designed by Kevin Weiss of Weiss Architecture & Urbanism Limited exemplifies a quiet and precise modernism. Located on one of the many islands dotting The Archipelago in Georgian Bay, Ontario, this project merges with our idea of harmony achieved through design. The new building gently responds to the natural and cultural context of the area, where historically built-form yields to the power of the landscape with its exposed and glacially carved granite and wind swept jack pines.Sitting on a structure of robust timber and rock cribs, the large cedar dock, and its amenities, is the primary location of the family’s daytime leisure activities – both active and reposed.  The building elements consists of the cedar dock, floating docks and bridges, a storage building for kayaks, canoes and windsurfing equipment, a food servery, linear shade canopies, and a covered seating pavilion.The storage building is clad with black stained resawn cedar, while the steel pavilion structure is covered with cedar and terne coated copper. The two are connected with a light, steel, and canvas linear shade canopy structure. On approach, due to its thinness, lightness and horizontality, the finely crafted ensemble almost disappears as it recedes into the landscape. In the evening, gentle up-lighting of the pavilion provides a warm beacon for late arriving guests.  [Information provided via e-mail by Weiss Architecture & Urbanism Limited; Photography: Arnaud Marthouret]

 bedroom ideas for teenage girls

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Emerald is a color that has consistently topped trend charts in recent times and its jewel-toned glamor is perfect for bedrooms with Hollywood Regency style. Malachite pattern and color is also a smart choice if you love that luxurious look in the bedroom while eclectic bedrooms drenched in green goodness steal the show with sheer audacity and flair.

 A Story of Love and Modern Architecture: Unconventional Casa Redux Tour [Video]

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Instead of opting for a conventional house-tour video, the architects at Studio MK27 chose an intriguing story as a proper way to “describe” Casa Redux in Brazil. Produced by Pedro Kok and Gabriel Kogan, the video below is entitled “That was not my dream” and strangely enough, it narrates the “disadvantages” of living in an ultramodern home: ”Who would want that kind of house – cold, dull, lifeless? I was in search for what I had always imagined, a beautiful neoclassical project, the symbol of permanence, something with history. A home how we always dreamt… with pediments, ornamental columns… it will be impressive, beautiful, classical, a home as it should be.” Have a look at the movie and  feel the irony in every sentence.Casa Redux is a massive single-floor holiday residence in the exclusive Quinta da Baroneza neighborhood, north of São Paulo.  As you can probably imagine, the story behind this movie is entirely fictional, yet we considered it an interesting approach to presenting a modern residence. “The idea was to intersect architecture with a narrative, making the space itself the central character. The human relationships here take place according to the architecture – they are transformed by it and they transform it,” architect Gabriel Kogan explained. We would love to know your thoughts on this artistic short film and the house it unconventionally depicts!

 Strong Details Providing Monumentality: Amsterdam Residence by Marcel Wanders

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By employing strong details, Marcel Wanders developed a striking design scheme for the interiors of a private residence in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. A slightly royal sensation is exhaled by a daring variety of patterns coming together in a harmonious blend. We haven’t seen anything quite like this before, which is why this project got our undivided attention.
With a total surface of 102 square meters, the space in the main residence had to be very rationally organized: “But rational doesn’t stop architecture from speaking. The interior of Private Residence, Amsterdam abounds with strong details which provide instrumentality. The semi – circular wall in the main area has been enhanced and the curved wall got bulged to give an iconic presence to the space. The boundary between inside and outside, and between architecture and nature are blurred“. Have a look at the imposing interiors below and tell us if you find them inspiring!

 Stylish Home Near Moscow Flaunts Round Architecture

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SL Project imagined a home displaying round architecture near Moscow that will make you look closely at all the details. And that’s because the carefully chosen collection of details make for one dreamy home in Russia. The architecture studio designed this contemporary single family home with an open layout in mind. This creates a strong connection to the manicured garden and encourages inhabitants to live an indoor-outdoor life. Natural light is guided inside via floor-to-ceiling windows. Observe the curved windows that make the architecture look like a futuristic approach to living a modern lifestyle.
Architects Alexey Nikolashin and Ekaterina Emelyanova of SL Project are the ones who imagined this home as an estate of wonder with round architecture. They never dreamed it would become a point of inspiration for those who love contemporary architecture.
Thin, dark frames on the windows contrast the white facade. Different sized windows aid light flow naturally inside and brighten up each space. The use of glass throughout maintains an open layout and pushes light deep inside the home. Architectural curves and a play of open/closed help define a unique design. The minimalist decor allowed designers to focus on details that make up a comfortable atmosphere. Bright and welcoming, the open floor plan flows from one space into the next. Integrated with the outdoors, the interior spaces feature pops of bright colors that cheer up the atmosphere. Bright color tones are set on a white background, making everything look clean and welcoming.
Photographs by Ilya Ivanov showcase the way this house was imagined to fulfill every need. From the double-height living room to the Jacuzzi and playroom, this house has it all. Wood, stone and glass meet in a modern display of architecture. How do you find this impressively large home with round architecture?

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If you believe that green does not work in a trendy and minimal contemporary bedroom, then think again! A green accent wall is easy to shape and it brings that much needed warmth to an otherwise cool and mundane interior. Just repeat the color in the room using vivacious bedding, accessories, nightstands or even a couple of lovely vases and you have an inviting bedroom that is both energetic and relaxing. Those who feel that an accent wall in green or décor are not your thing can still add the color by placing a couple of potted plants to fill up those empty corners. It is an easy, eco-friendly and healthy choice to turn to that will instantly alter the mood in the bedroom.

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When square footage is limited, the last thing you need is an obstacle course of furniture to weave through. Stick to the basics of what you need to enjoy your space. This doesn’t mean you need to live in an empty apartment; it means you should select pieces that serve double duty. Some ideas for multifunctional furniture include. An ottoman (even better: a storage ottoman). It can convert your sofa into a chaise sectional or work as a coffee table (with a tray on top for stability) or extra seating. A sofa table. This can serve as a makeshift dining table, a desk or an entryway table. Go the extra mile and choose a narrow 30-inch-high bookcase or a sofa table with shelving. Stacking, self-storing furniture. Nesting side tables have a variety of uses. A bench. It can serve as dining room seating, a coffee table or a low media cabinet.

 ideas for a girls room

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Painting the walls might be the easiest way to add green to the bedroom along with bedding and accessories in matching hue, but think beyond the obvious if you want a truly captivating room. Painting the ceiling in green can be a fun alternative and by leaving the walls white, you will still have a neutral and versatile backdrop that will beautifully showcase wall art and sculptural décor additions. And for those who really want a personalized solution, mixing different shades to come with your own custom green hue is indeed an exciting and enjoyable alternative. This will assure that you are proud owner of a one-of-a-kind bedroom with a shade of green that you came up with.

 straight stairs design

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You can never have enough storage in the kitchen. If you lack cabinet space but have just enough room along an area of a wall, an armoire can serve as a wonderful pantry. Check out this great example from Decoholic. Alternatively, you could use the same idea as above, but for coffee instead. Ever Evolving Life 4-5 shows the complete transformation this armoire went through to become a cute little coffee bar.

 Two Rectangular Volumes Set at Different Levels: House 780 in Manchester

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By incorporating two volumes set at different levels, House 780 sets apart from the other neighboring residential buildings in Manchester, England. Taking full advantage of the topography of the site, the project features a highly original layout and offers stunning views across the surrounding Cheshire landscape. The 5,005 square foot house by British architectural firm Stephenson ISA Studio is accessed via two bridges, one concrete vehicle bridge into the upper level garage and a glass pedestrian bridge onto the mezzanine floor.
The client’s wish was to live in a home that it is “simple in its detail and appearance”. As a result,  “all the grilles associated with the air conditioning, blind boxes, glazing frames, door frames, and storage spaces have been designed so that they are not visible, and do not detract from the simple form and clean lines of the building, and its surrounding views”. An extensive use of oak softens the appearance of the exterior facades and ensures a welcoming atmosphere…

 Long&Narrow House in Singapore Encouraging Strong Family Connections

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Sunny Side House residence was especially developed by Wallflower Architecture for a family of five. This project in Singapore came with its many challenges, as the long and narrow site needed to be adjusted to the socializing needs of the inhabitants. By accepting and keeping the small scale of the bedrooms, a welcoming cozy atmosphere was achieved. Moreover, the interiors receive a high amount of natural light and are better ventilated.
The first level was entirely dedicated to family bonding. A generously-sized kitchen and dining space with massive windows seems to defy the neighboring small spaces. The second level is the bedroom box with the interiors arranged in a row along the outer edge. Pivoting wooden screens control visual privacy and can be manually angled to adjust for individual preferences. The top floor hosts the entertaining spaces, where the family enjoys watching football league matches. [Photography by Marc Tey]

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