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Month February 2015 Archive

 Dynamic Creekside Retreat Invaded by Light and Bright Colors

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The Creekside Retreat by Richardson Architectsis a successful redesign project of a house initially built in 1954: “This home, nestled in a redwood grove, was recently purchased by a family of four. Situated on a gently upsloping lot bordered by a creek, its most distinctive site feature is an old wooden bridge over the creek and the rock walls which carve paths through the site”, explained the architects. Currently a cozy family refuge in California, United States, the residence is filled with natural light and color, adding up to a  dynamic atmosphere.A charming mix of old and new can be admired throughout the length of the house: “The client was interested in maintaining the residence’s historic character while updating it for today’s living standards and code requirements. This required adding more natural light with larger windows and skylights as well as adding a partial second story for a master suite. Maintaining the wood exterior and mullion patterns of the existing windows settles the addition into the landscape as an example of a very light effect to a sensitive site.” Enjoy the virtual tour below and tell us what you think! [Photography by Jeff Zaruba]

 Contemporary Couple’s Apartment in Brooklyn Enriched With Asian Artifacts

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After being overseas in Hong Kong for three years, owners Michael and Dorit felt that this apartment was going to be crucial to them settling back in and having the kind of space that let them hang out with family and friends. Their apartment was designed by Tali Roth of Homepolish and is located in One Hanson Place, a former savings bank tower and one of the tallest buildings in Brooklyn, New York, USA. The apartment is decorated with clusters of meaningful objects (the Buddha heads are from Thailand, Cambodia, India and Vietnam), collectibles and artwork (from Bali and India) throughout, all collected on the couples’ travels.The vintage ginger tins have been collected from around the world, as Dorit’s maiden name translates to ginger in yiddish. An antique mannequin from Dorit’s childhood bedroom back in Ohio, which adds a touch of childhood home to a cozy bedroom nook. Buddha head sculptures throughout the apartment create a cohesive vibe and bring back memories of our travels abroad throughout Thailand, Cambodia, India and Vietnam. [Information provided via e-mail by Homepolish. Photography: Sammy Goh]

 Re-Sizing Lifestyles: Modern Small Home for “Empty Nesters”

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With a catchy name like the Empty Nester Residence hinting to a serene atmosphere, this modern small home makes its presence known in the neighborhood with a sleek wooden architecture imagined by Studio Twenty Seven Architecture. Spreading over 222 square meters, the home known as the Empty Nester Residence is located in Arlington, Virginia. This home brings inspiration for those looking for small-scale homes to inhabit once the family home where kids grew up feels rather empty and nostalgic.Designed for “an “empty-nester” couple downsizing to a smaller residence now that their children have grown“, the modern small home stretches over only 2,400 square feet. This is more then neighboring homes usually measure, so “the most contextually appropriate massing for the new house was to work with the “pill-box” typology of the original structure.”Photographs by Hoachlander Davis Photography / Anice Hoachlander present this warm and inviting suburb home dressed in a wooden skin. This was the owner’s choice, as wood is know for its visually and functionally warm features. After having been constructed by a local builder using “builder-level detailing and common materials and framing“, the eye-catching contemporary small home gives a new perspective to couples who enjoy a relaxed living.We also presented the Watershack in Studio Twenty Seven Architecture’s portfolio, an old shack replaced with a contemporary weekend retreat, maybe you’d like to take a look and tell us what you think…

 Modern Summer Home Assembling Panoramic Ocean Views

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From the very first time you enter the Long Dune Residence, you know it will surprise you with a modern floor plan enhanced by carefully designed details. The architects warn that “little is revealed until entering the house through a tall glass door that emerges as one approaches the house“. Imagined by Hammer Architects, the modern summer home rises in a summer vacation community in Massachusetts, known as Truro.Perched on a coastal bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, interiors absorb panoramas of natural surroundings from behind revealing floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. This permanent visual connection to the outdoors brings glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean deep inside and encourages owners to relax and enjoy their modern summer home.Photos by Peter Vanderwarker reveal how the abundance of natural light filters through framed windows. Gleaming water views mirroring the atmosphere outside are captured like live transmissions from nature. Additional views of the Pamet River and a fresh water pond, together with tall trees complete the inspiring natural setting. Mirrored on the inside, this natural order appears mingled with the home’s sleek design lines.According to the architects, “the entry side of the house appears very solid with its wood clad walls and narrow strip windows enclosing the bathrooms, outdoor showers, stair, and laundry room. Little is revealed until entering the house through a tall glass door that emerges as one approaches the house. Once inside, the living and dining rooms, which occupy the building’s center, open to the dramatic water views through a floor to ceiling glass wall that features large sliding doors connecting to a multi-level outdoor deck.”The contemporary architecture is spiced up with a linear floor-plan “broken” by a screened porch where owners and their guests enjoy meals with a view. “One wing of the house provides the guest bedrooms, while the other wing, which is rotated forty-five degrees in plan, contains the master bedroom suite. A screened porch with a referential kite shaped roof occupies the intersection of the two geometries providing views in all directions.”Embedding active and passive solar design, the modern summer home supports and encourages a healthy lifestyle. Once you know how to plan home activities for your summer guests, a modern summer home will make its way to your summer wish list…

 Why Furniture Matters Most When Redesigning A Room

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Furniture matters when designing your home. Image Via: Jodie Cooper DesignWhether you’re a seasoned pro or just discovering a budding love for all things interior design, odds are good that you’ve noticed that furniture is important when it comes to designing a room.Today we’re arguing that, not only is it important, but furniture matters most be the most when it comes time to redesign your interiors. In fact, it should be the first component for your consideration.Don’t agree with us? Give the article a quick read and you may find yourself experiencing an unprecedented change of heart. You may even catch yourself looking at your furniture in a new light, which is always a very exciting possibility.Make it the first component you consider in your spaces. Image Via: Arent&PykePop quiz: What are the essential furnishings needed to design a bedroom? What about a dining space? We’re willing to bet that you didn’t need to think very hard to answer either of those questions. That’s because we use the furniture in a room as context clues. They provide us with essential information about the space’s purpose.As you pick out the pieces that will go into your next design project, ask yourself how you intend to use the space before anything else. The answer to this question will help you dictate which furnishings are most necessary. For example, if you are working on a room where you want to entertain lots of guests, you’ll need plenty of seating. However, if you want to create a more reflective space, give that square footage to work desks that will help you complete important tasks.Remember, furniture makes a great focal point, so don’t hesitate to put it to good use. Pick the one element that, in your mind, clearly defines the room’s intended function and center your design around it. Arrange your other furnishings and décor items in such a way that the eye is always drawn to that same spot.Use furniture as a focal point to make the room’s purpose crystal clear. Image Via: Laura Hardin, Intrigue Interior DesignSpeaking of arranging furniture, in addition to helping define function, these groupings also dictate how your friends and family will move through the space. Anyone who has tried to shimmy their way out of a too-tight seating area can tell you the importance of leaving the proper amount of – physical and visual – breathing room.When it comes to making sure you leave enough space, these are a few ground rules to keep in mind:Those who are visual learners may enjoy having the ability to test out multiple arrangements without having to push furniture around all day. Floor Planner is a free service that lets you see how your furniture will look without lifting a finger. They also have an IOS phone and tablet app so you can take your 3D plans on the go.Check each space for easy flow of movement. Image Via: Weatherill & AssociatesWhen you first hear it, the term “visual weight” seems like a complex concept. However, in reality, you instinctually know what it is. We’ll show you: Think about how you would feel if all of your furniture was suddenly pushed to the same side of the room. It feels like you’re on the Titanic and one side is sinking, right?Visual weight is all about helping balance a room. If you’re dealing with multiple, big, heavy components make sure to stagger them throughout the space so that one side does not feel more weighted down than another. Do your best to group larger items together with smaller ones to help vary your points of visual interest.The best tool that we can give you for this job is totally free. Just use your eyes. When you think you’ve found an arrangement that works, take a moment to step back and look at the room as a whole. That small shift in perspective should be enough to clue you in on whether one side feels more weighted than the other and allow you to make adjustments accordingly.Balance large and small objects for an even distribution of visual wight. Image Via: Adrienne DeRosaLast but not least, the furniture you choose to allow to fill your rooms is undoubtedly an expression of your unique sense of style. After all, some of us may flip over the simplicity of Scandinavian interiors, while others may prefer the collectivist comfort of a more eclectic design. Either way, the pieces that we allow into our homes speak volumes about our personalities.You may recall reading about the psychological effects of interior design and how the choices that we make effect other’s perception of us. Factors like the how much seating you provide for your guests, whether or not you prioritize comfort over style, and the brands that you buy all play a role, so weigh the decision of what furniture to buy with the utmost care.How do you go about finding a style that works for you? That’s easy. All you have to do is find pieces that you love and emulate their look. Design sites like our site are always a good place to start. But, don’t get too caught up in copying the pros. The best designs embrace individuality. Always remember to trust your instincts.Make sure to show off your unique personal style. Image Via: Sherwin-WilliamsMost of us would agree that furniture plays a key roll in interior design. However, would you argue that furniture matters most, enough to make or break a design? We certainly believe so. Take a look at the post above and see if you agree. Who knows? You may just be inspired to give your couches and coffee tables a fresh, more prominent role in your home. Let us show you how.How important is furniture’s role in a room. Do believe that furniture should come first in interior design? Share your opinions with us in the comments below. 

 Patented Innovative Window System Slides Around Corners

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From mesmerizing floor-to-ceiling windows to fully glazed panoramic homes, this desire to live in spaces flooded by light is a basic human need successfully crafted into modern solutions. We’ve seen our fair share of seamless connections between inside and outside, but this innovative window system from Vitrosca reaches perfection. Part of the Vitrocsa TH+ range, the innovative window system panels independently slide around corners and cleverly hide their structure to reveal panoramas. Founded 20 years ago in Switzerland by Eric Joray, Vitrosca’s vision was to “create large sliding glass structural elements that support window space and therefore minimalise the framework.”With its invisible frames and easy one-finger operation system, the innovative Turnable Corner Window System has hidden tracks designed to act as drains. Boasting simplicity and sophistication yearned by famous world architects, this invisible door/window system that slides with a touch of a finger to completely open the interiors will change the way we live once its patent-pending technology is embedded in modern homes. This frameless glazing system seen on Yatzer is designed to maximize views while boasting perfect integration in the chosen space. High performance monolithic panels withstanding harsh environments are available in sizes up to 18 m² (6x3m).Remember designer Claudia Schmutzler’s Floating Windows hypnotizing anyone who sees them hovering in midair? Or the multifaceted concrete house in Belgium boasting 18 huge windows? These projects and many of their kind (like this attic window that turns into a terrace) prove how important light is to us. And since light and technology meet on creative grounds, we pay attention to what Vitrosca says about this low energy consumption innovative window system:“Each panel can slide independently of each other and when they are moved out of the way can be completely hidden along a wall down the side of a building or stacked inside a pocket. The openings can be from the side, corner or middle. This allows architects to design a massive opening with more options for storing away the actual panels to open up the outside to the interior. Panels can freely slide independently around any number of corners. Allowing you to move the panels away completely from the opening to reveal your maximum view. Another feature is that this product uses the Invisible track system so only a 10mm slot is visible on your flooring.”Can you imagine your dream home showcasing this innovative window system?

 Wooden Home in the Forest Assembling Forces of Nature

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Bold and beautifully displaying a sleek wooden facade, this volumetric home in the forest speaks about the need to be in permanent contact with green surroundings. Delicately lined with black design elements and window frames, the home known as La Chasse-Galerie benefits from bright natural light, fresh forest air and a spacious collection of interiors imagined by Thellend Fortin Architectes.This modern home in the forest was built in Montreal, Canada and as you scroll through the photos, you will see what the architects mean when they say: “The design of this residence was principally driven by the desire to bring it in harmony with its environs. Located on a plateau in the heart of the Laurentian forest, the house benefits from natural light despite its north-facing aspect and its inverse orientation to the lake. The refined slender volume of the house as well as the open circulation areas over two levels ensure that the entire expanse of the interior benefits from abundant natural light.”“Spatially, the interior was designed around a large black ribbon that frames the topography and key features of the site, including the Precambrian rocks uphill and the lake below. The plan was developed to incorporate generous window openings and to imbue the living spaces with the same natural textures, including the mineral-inspired concrete floor and the eastern white cedar laths on the ceiling. With nature present at the very heart of the project, the spaces transform in accordance with the seasons.”Thanks to photographs by Olivier Samson Arcand of OSA Images, we can enjoy glimpses into the modern design that made this home rise with pride. You might even remember the Prince Philip Residence and become curious to see how a modern city oasis in Montreal looks like…

 Deconstructive Architecture Rising in Israeli Avocado Grove 

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Located in HaSharon, this peculiar residential structure built under the Israeli sun is part of Neuman Hayner Architects‘ portfolio. The owners – musicians who wanted “a deconstructive building, in the midst of an avocado grove” – never imagined how their new home would inspire hundreds to trust architects they work with.The Avocado Grove House reflects respect for the environment and owner’s comfort in a luscious and inspiring natural avocado grove. Reducing interventions to a minimum, architects kept a great deal of trees and imagined the home enhancing the beauty of the ones left.“We tried to minimize the number of trees we had to clear.The plan required the space of six trees, but unfortunately we discovered that a 7th tree was to sick to survive, so we enlarged the porch.”These large trees help in shading the exemplary garden and, together with a large inclined concrete roof, guide the desired amount of light inside. Architects Sharon Neuman and Hila Tsur made sure the planning intercepted their client’s need for open spaces with site-specific design fireworks stabilizing the architecture as “large openings were designed towards the north and south, ideal in Israeli weather.” All its 164 square meters are brightly lit and inspiring.Closely look at photographs by Amit Gosher to discover details like the color of the staircase or the frameless corner window delineating the porch from the light-flooded living room and know that sometimes a home has an architecture so memorable that each corner sparkles with elegance and simplicity. Then you might want to check out a large-scale example of deconstructive design showcased by Casa Gòmez in Mexico…

 Multifunctional Furniture Piece Hidden in a Notebook Cover: Bookniture [Video]

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Multifunctional and highly portable, Bookniture is a clever furniture piece hidden in a notebook cover. Envisioned by Hong Long-based designer Mike Mak, the project is extremely practical: it can be a foot rest, a nightstand and a standing work desk. Moreover, you can use it as an outdoor stool or add a wood-board on top of two Bookfurnitures and create a bench. The best part however is its ability to fold back into a book, making it easy to carry around from place to place and store it in style. Have a look at the official Kickstarter campaign video below for a better understanding of the project:The design is said to combine advanced Origami Structure with the traditional craft of book-binding: “Different materials were studied and structural design were developed. All over the world the right type of paper for the mass production of origami structure was sourced and identified. The specific machine, different toolings, and the dimension of the origami structure were all carefully managed. Our final sample is now a truly impressive piece combining strength, flexibility and portability all into one.” For additional comfort and durability, Bookniture also comes with a double color felt top with laser engraving, that can successfully be used as a table top. Find the combo appealing?

 Farming Kindergarten Uplifting Vietnam’s Hope for the Future

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Spreading over 3800 square meters, the Farming Kindergarten by Vo Trong Nghia Architects is an astounding architectural project trying to give back the power to the people. In a historically agricultural country like Vietnam, where the manufacturing economy quickly gains ground, people’s connection to the natural environment is quickly changing. Located in Biên Hòa, Dong Nai, Vietnam, the contemporary kindergarten strives to supply two activities of utmost importance: learning and growing food.According to the architects, the Farming Kindergarten is located next to a large she factory where the parents of these 500 children enrolled here work. In order to keep and forge a deeper relationship with a natural environment, the Farming Kindergarten was “conceived as a continuous green roof, providing food and agriculture experience to children, as well as an extensive playground to the sky.” They continue with explanations about the structure and functions: “The green roof is a triple-ring shape drawn with a single stroke, encircling three courtyards inside as safe playgrounds. Recently, an experimental vegetable garden was realized on its top. Five different vegetables are planted in 200m2 garden for agriculture education. All functions are accommodated under this roof. As the roof lowers to the courtyard it provides access to the upper level and vegetable gardens on top- the place where children learn the importance of agriculture and recover connection to nature.”Designed to maximize light and fresh air intake, the modern kindergarten is insulated by a green roof and a green facade shading the interior spaces. Solar water heating and recycled waste water from the nearby factory are used for irrigation and flushing toilets. Every environmentally-friendly function is shown in order to participate to a healthy, ignorance-free education for these children.Photographers Gremsy and Hiroyuki Oki show us different perspectives of the undulating kindergarten structure. You might even remember the Stone House or the Stacking Green home, both constructed in Vietnam, and both under the attentive supervision of Vo Trong Nghia Architects. Check them out too to get a better grip on the architect’s style and solutions. Stay inspired!

 Ionic Column Literally Broken Down in Three Furniture Pieces by Studio 65

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Inspired by the Ionic architecture order, Studio 65 designed a seat, chaise and side table for lounging entitled Colonna. By literally breaking down a column, the designers developed three seating units, each with a well designed personality. The upper part of the “stack”, “Capitello”, is also the most alluring one, presenting interesting details from every standpoint and offering a high level of comfort.
The middle piece (“Attica”) is a cozy seat with a dotted black and white cushion- a small, yet very interesting addition to the overall composition. “Attica TL” is the base, consisting of a central table with a glass top. Even though the project was especially created for the outdoors, we can not imagine why the trio can’t be brought inside, with enough space available. The creative furniture collection- which we are certain appeals to those of you living for classic design inspiration- is available for purchase at Gufram…

 Creative Modern Extension to 19th Century Building in Paris by h2o architectes

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The project of the rue Godefroy Cavaignac in Paris consisted in the rehabilitation of a building which did not meet hygiene and security standards into new social housing by h2o architectes (lead architect) in collaboration with Ingénierie Louis Choulet (Mechanical and Sustainability Engineer). The agency’s aim was to renew the image of the building in the street while responding to the requirements of the  «patrimoine habitat environnement» certification. The project is largely based on the building extension, contemporary reinvention of the bow-window, inserted in the prolongation of the unfinished 19th century façade.
The alternation of voids and solids as well as the diagonal cutting of the volumes break the visual monotony of the alignment of the buildings in the street and offer new and interesting views onto the rue de  Charonne. Inside, the apartments benefit from new space and comfort including, for some of them, a small space for gardening, a loggia or balcony. The courtyard is transformed into a planted patio which is made visible thanks to a transparent wall from the street. A page is turned, social life is reinvented. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by h2o architectes; Photos: Stéphane Chalmeau]
 
 

 corner sinks in kitchens

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We now shine the spotlight on a series of modern powder rooms that are magnificent in their own right. Stone is the material of choice in the bathroom below, which makes the Haven Stone Bathtub with Base from Apaiser an ideal choice for the space! Note how details such as a sculptural pendant light add layers of eye-catching design to this interior. Sometimes less is more, and when the powder room is all about the tub, it’s not a bad idea to go bold. Next we see Apaiser’s Haven Stone Bathtub (this time without the base), and if black isn’t your tub color of choice, note that in true Apaiser tradition, the piece is available in a variety of finishes. Here’s another modern black bathtub in a grey bathroom, and this time the tub is available through Modern Bathroom Vanities.

 african themed furniture

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You’re pretty lucky if you have a large enough window in your bathroom that could use a seating area right beneath it. A bathroom reno featured on Beneath My Heart uses an upholstered loveseat bench with added accent pillows for the window area. How about a built-in? This vanity featured on Home Bunch has a bench area near the window, while this other example (also from Home Bunch) creates a window seat out of a bathroom storage unit. You could also try a bathroom storage unit on a much larger scale with a bench as well, like the third option below from BHG. Built-ins are great, but they’re not for everyone. You could try a simple wicker bench with an elegant cushion to place by your bathroom window, like the one below featured on House of Turquoise.

 Clever Design Ideas in a Lovely Stockholm Attic Apartment

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Welcome to an original looking attic apartment with a design that literally captures the feel of Stockholm. Found on Skeppsolmen, this 141 square meter home with a double-height living area and 3,5 rooms mirrors a modern lifestyle, yet with respect for the traditional.With a dominant white and gray color palette, the overall impression is that of space and soberness. Classic details which characterize the historic building of this home are mixed with modern elements, with harmonious results. The focal point of the apartment is the living room, with inclined walls, a large sofa and original shelving units. The bookcase wall is ingeniously continued upwards by a tiny desk and further storage ideas. A south facing terrace with seating for six and barbecue makes this apartment even more inviting. See any other clever details worth mentioning?

 Small, Smart & Easily Movable Hut On New Zealand’s Shoreline

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Set in a serene environment on the shore of New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula, this modern hut is a small and simple holiday retreat. Easy to remove from this coastal erosion zone, the contemporary hut named Whangapoua was built on two thick wooden sleds that can be loaded on a barge and moved. Designed by Crosson Clarke Carnachan, which you might remember built the Rahimoana Villa, this 48,8 square meters holiday beach hut encompasses all the necessary amenities for a family of five. Entering through a double-height set of glass doors from the beach deck, the living/dining/kitchen zone continues in the back with a bathroom and a three tiered bunk kids room. Upstairs, a mezzanine bedroom for the parents opens towards enchanting stretches of water. Displaying a Monterey Cypress (Macrocarpa) cladded facade and sides, the hut’s rear was clad in a cheap, traditional building material called “flat sheet”, merging recognizable materials in a movable display of modern architecture…

 beachy living rooms

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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.

 Massive Family Residence in Australia Displaying Intriguing Architecture Features

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Elizabeth Street Residence was envisioned and implemented by the creative team at Jackson Clements Burrows and is located in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Especially developed for a large family, the massive building meets the living needs of its inhabitants, while also displaying intriguing design features. According to the architects, “the approach on the site was to find a solution that could be contextual, but also challenge the default rear-yard configuration of the typical suburban dwelling.
This was achieved by dividing the site lengthwise to create a parallel format of ‘house’ versus ‘landscape’. The primary form of the dwelling has been aligned on the southern boundary, enabling the habitable spaces to take full advantage of a panoramic, north-facing garden“. The interiors of the residence are spacious and elegant, characterize by extensive use of wood. Floor to ceiling windows ensure an optimum indoor-outdoor connection, especially in the generously-sized living room, where glazed doors slide open to let in the fresh garden breeze…

 small house living room

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Contemporary bedrooms are all about a neutral color scheme that is accentuated by pops of color in an elegant fashion. These colorful additions can be often swapped out with ease to alter the appeal of the room and its color palette with changing trends and seasons. While blue is touted as the most popular hue in the bedroom irrespective of style and season, green is the ‘chosen one’ for those who want to bring a hint of natural goodness indoors. Relaxing, elegant, bright and refreshing, it is a pleasant hue that comes in diverse shades ranging from the brilliant jewel-toned emerald to more subtle and modest minty greens.

 Glass Residence With an Intriguing Architecture : Lake Lugano House

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Lake Lugano House is a lovely looking villa designed by Italian architecture firmJM Architecture. This residence displays a highly original architecture in the shape of an oval glass pavilion. Even though it is not obvious when looking at the photos, the crib is structured on two levels. The upper floor hosts the living room, dining room, kitchen, and storage areas, while the ground level accommodates the bedrooms, bathrooms, and garage. With unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains and lake, this minimalist home is an oasis of relaxation and tranquility. Moreover, the architects envisioned a sustainable home, as the Lake Lugano residence was built using eco-friendly materials, geothermal energy and low-emittance glass insulation. Are you pleasantly surprised by the overall design of this home, or do you find it too privacy-invading?

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