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Month August 2015 Archive

 The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Flooring Ideas and Materials

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If you’re considering kitchen flooring ideas to upgrade your cooking area, make function and durability a priority. Most flooring today is designed to be low maintenance and durable. The variety of beautiful material options and styles available can make choosing a kitchen floor an overwhelming experience. We’ve written this guide to help you find the perfect flooring for your kitchen.The most important decision when thinking about kitchen flooring ideas should be the function of the flooring. The kitchen is a high-traffic area, prone to spills ranging from water to oils, dishes and wine. You want to look for kitchen flooring materials that are low maintenance and can withstand use over time.The top durable flooring options include:–Concrete–Rubber flooring–Stone–Tile–Vinyl–Wood laminateBesides durability, cooking usually requires long periods of standing and walking back and forth. Flooring that has some cushioning is helpful, especially if you suffer from back issues.The most ergonomic flooring options include:–Bamboo–Carpet tiles–Cork–Rubber flooring–Vinyl–Wood–Wood laminateLet’s look at the materials available for your kitchen flooring ideas (in alphabetical order) and weigh their pros and cons.Bamboo is a great kitchen flooring material, especially if you like eco-friendly products. Bamboo grows so quickly it’s a good, sustainable source for flooring. Besides the eco-friendly aspect, bamboo’s strength is one of the highest of the natural materials on the market.Tips: When selecting bamboo flooring, go with a reputable brand with the longest warranty possible. The quality of the bamboo flooring is reflected by the length of the warranty.Pros: Durable, beautifully grained, eco-friendly, long warranty available.Cons: Some bamboo flooring can dent easily.Cost: $5 – $7 per square foot, installation averages at $8 per square foot.Carpet has not historically been a popular kitchen flooring option due to its difficulty in maintenance and cleaning. But the latest carpet tiles are a modern kitchen floor solution. Designed and tested to be industrial grade for high traffic areas, made of durable, easy to clean materials and easy to install, they may be the perfect kitchen flooring idea. The best part is that a carpet tile can be removed for cleaning or replacement.Tips: Choose a carpet tile from a company like Flor, designed for the modern, DIY consumer. Buy an extra box of tiles and keep for future replacements. For a modern look, use carpet tiles selectively in certain areas of your kitchen like the image above, instead of wall to wall.Pros: Durable, modern colors and textures, soft and padded, recyclable.Cons: Needs frequent cleaning and vacuuming.Cost: $1.85 to $8.00 per square foot, not including installation.Concrete has a contemporary look and tone that is hard to match. Durable, it can withstand activity in the busiest kitchens and look great.There are various finishes you can give concrete to customize its look. Freshly poured concrete can be stamped, while all concrete can be stained, polished, stenciled and waxed.Tips: If you like concrete flooring and live in a colder climate, consider adding radiant floor heating beneath the concrete to warm up the material’s cold surface.Pros: Durable, versatile, moisture resistant, contemporary looking.Cons: Hard if standing is required for prolonged periods, cold, needs re-sealing, can stain.Cost: Depending on the level of preparation required to install and finish concrete, cost averages range widely between $2 – $30 per square foot installed.Cork is a good kitchen flooring idea for a unique texture and a padded feel underfoot. Cork is a natural insulator against both temperature change and noise, making it a good choice if you’re worried about either issues. It’s naturally anti-microbial, thanks to a waxy substance in the cork, which repels insects and pests. And if you’re on a budget, cork tiles are a great DIY solution that’s easy to install.Tips: Choose a quality cork that like wood, can be sanded and refinished periodically. Confirm that the cork has a durable finish that will repel water and moisture. If choosing to install cork tiles, buy a few spares that can serve as future replacements should a tile become damaged.Pros: Earth friendly, anti-microbial, soft, padded feel, attractive texture options.Cons: Can dent or scratch easily, creating imperfections on the surface that may bother some cork flooring owners.Cost: $2 to $15 per square foot, not including installation.Laminate wood flooring is an affordable and durable kitchen flooring idea. The top layer can withstand most abuse. If you add padding beneath, it’s a soft, ergonomic flooring solution. Easy to install and available in a wide variety of styles, laminate wood flooring is a simple, modern solution for kitchen floors.Tips: Select laminate flooring with the longest warranty possible. Many come with a 25 year guarantee. For extra cushioning when standing, install a manufacturer recommended thin foam sheet layer underneath.Pros: Durable, cost effective, wide variety of options, easy to install and uninstall.Cons: Is not as valued as real wood flooring, may be slippery, noisy, not refinishable.Cost: $1.50 – $5.00 per square foot, not including installation.Rubber has similar properties to cork, but comes in a larger variety of colors and textures. It’s easy to install adhesive-free thanks to it’s high-grip properties which make it a good temporary flooring upgrade in a rental apartment. It’s cushy, durable and has a non-slip surface. Available in sheeting or tiles.Tips: Choose richer, darker colors which hide oil stains better. Rubber tiles are easier to install than sheeting. For an earth-friendly kitchen floor, choose recycled rubber flooring, which is also less expensive.Pros: Recyclable, naturally water and fire-resistant, durable, easy to clean, soft, padded feel.Cons: Some people are sensitive to the initial smell, oils may stain the rubber’s surface.Cost: $3.50 – $9.00 per square foot, not including installation.There’s a great variety of stone flooring available including the most popular marble, travertine and slate. Because of the variations in pattern and color, stone gives your kitchen flooring a unique, earthy look.Stone flooring is naturally cool, which is perfect in hotter zones. If installing stone flooring in a cold climate, consider adding sub-floor radiant heat to warm the floors in the winter.Tips: Purchase at least 25% more than you need and save your receipt to return the rejected stone. Look through all your stone tiles before having them professionally installed. It’s likely that the grain and coloring of the stone will vary dramatically and you’ll want to hand select the pieces you want installed for a similar texture and tonal match.Pros: Hard, durable surface, easy to clean.Cons: Certain stones may stain, requires routine sealing, some fragile stones like slate may chip easily.Cost: Depending on the material, $2 – $25 per square foot. Installation averages at $8 per square foot.Tile is a great, low-maintenance solution for a kitchen. It’s easy to clean, durable and has a reflective quality that expands the appearance of space in a kitchen.The latest tile designs mimic wood and other textures and patterns. Tile no longer comes exclusively as a 12” square. Some of the latest modern designs are large, rectangular shapes.Tips: Hire a professional to install tile, especially if the subflooring is not perfectly level. For ease of maintenance, install tiles with grout lines that are as small as possible.Pros: Durable, moisture resistant, easy to maintain, available in a large assortment of styles, shapes and colors.Cons: Grout lines may be difficult to keep clean, dropped items like glassware and dishes will likely shatter.Cost: $1 – $8 per square foot for material, installation averages at $7 per square foot.Vinyl is affordable, comes in a variety of textures and styles and is one of the most water-resistant kitchen flooring options. While tiles are easy to install, sheet vinyl requires professional installation.Tips: Check out the latest wood-look vinyl flooring planks. Easy to install, water resistant enough to be used in a shower, kitchen or wet area and textured to mimic wood grain, it takes a careful look to see if the wood plank vinyl flooring is actually wood or not.Pros: Easy to install, water resistant, certain styles look just like wood.Cons: Offgasses potentially harmful chemicals in your home, requires a flawless subfloor to install on, can gouge easily.Cost: $1.50 – $5.00 per square foot, not including installation.Wood has traditionally been on the top of buyer’s lists for flooring choices. Wood has a high-end, warm look that’s unique, according to grain and age. But wood in the kitchen requires special protection from excess moisture.Tips: Add an extra coat of finish in the kitchen to keep the wood sealed. If living in a high humidity or coastal region, avoid wider planks, which will cup and warp over time.Pros: Adds resale value, attractive, durable, can be refinished.Cons: Can be noisy, needs periodic refinishing, may dent or scratch easily.Cost: $4 – $12 per square foot, installation averages at $8 per square foot

 Custom Made Abimis Kitchen for Passionate Gourmet Cooks

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The Abimis Kitchen by Italian company Prisma was especially developed for passionate gourmet cooks who want a home kitchen like those of the great chefs. Abimis is the result of a complete redesign of the kitchen environment, which is always centered on the most important figure – the chef – so that every movement is smooth and logical. Conserving, preparing, cooking, presenting and washing: these are the five phases in which every chef operates. Each phase is a sequence of careful and precise movements that, if properly organized, can become quick and easy, leaving greater freedom for expression and creativity.Here is more from the official press release provided by the designers: “Prisma understands exactly how these phases fit together, and has used its thirty years of experience to create Abimis, a new concept in kitchen that makes the efficiency and functional quality of a professional kitchen available to the home chef. The Ego kitchens are made entirely from stainless steel, completely join-free and amazingly impact resistant. The stainless steel surface is orbitally polished to make scratches and marks difficult to see and to give the kitchen a warmer and softer look.” [Photos and information provided via e-mail by Prisma] 

 Sculptural Wall at Nosotros Bar Drawing Attention to The Bartender

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When you see this sculptural wall dancing its geometry in front of your eyes, you know you are at the Nosotros Bar in São Paulo, Brazil. And since you’re in Brazil, mind as well enjoy a sophisticated drink prepared by Rafael Araújo in a stunning ambiance. Designed by Brazilian architecture and design firm Studio Otto Felix, the Nosotros Bar features an arresting faceted sculptural wall stretching up to shape the ceiling and meant to draw attention to the bartender.Rafael Araújo is not only the co-owner at Nosotros Restaurant and one of the best bartenders in Brazil.With a sucupira wood counter streching 8,15 meters, the bar looks elegant and sophisticated. The white sculptural wall beautifully contrasts the exotic wood while lights under the bar and hidden in the geometry create a catchy ambiance. The 140 square meter space was transformed with the help of wooden structures. Wood was chosen for ceilings and floors to create a warm coziness, a welcoming place to have drinks with friends. Traditional elements were introduced to create a balanced design, one that welcomes all to enjoy and bask in the elegant ambiance. The sculptural wall was a challenge, but one that resulted in an inspiring wall design.Wooden tables and linen chairs group together, while a large modular couch is surrounded by side tables and armchairs, creating a lounge space perfect for relaxing and socialization. Then, on one side you have this geometric sculpture covering the wall side to side, on the other hand, a traditional stone wall lined with wine bottles and a fireplace. In photos by Denilson Machado of MCA Estúdio we can see , but the atmosphere can only be felt there and the drinks only tasted at Nosotros Bar. Send us photos from there, ok?

 Six Parabolic Modules Shape Up Original House Design in Mexico

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The story of this house in Mexico begun when architecture firm PRODUCTORA was challenged to re-purpose six parabolic modules: “A friend of ours inherited of a number of polyester structures recovered from a modular house where they used to spend their weekends in the 1970s. The owners bought a new plot of land in a small town, about one hour from Mexico City in order to accommodate these fiberglass shapes”, the architects explained. The first step was to force the volumes back to their original shape and cover them with a new coating of polyester and fiberglass.The result is a highly original residence with dome-shaped ceilings and a vibrant interior feel: “At the scale of the whole plot, PRODUCTORA gave the powerful flower-like structure of the recycled domes a central position, while all the other additions are scattered around the plot. By considering the whole plot as a active field in which several activities take places (sleeping, cooking, swimming, sunbathing, guestrooms, grill area) the whole composition loses its centrifugal straight-jacket and becomes a more open and dynamic layout.” How would you comment on this unconventional architecture approach in Mexico? [Photography: PRODUCTORA and Luis Gallardo]

 Modern Cottage Design Flaunting an Inverted Floor-Plan

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Modern cottage design can make you rethink your perspective on solitude. This modern family cottage with dark framed windows captures expansive views of the forest around. Built on a steep cliff’s edge, the Val-des-Monts Cottage in the Gatineau hills of Canada captures arresting views of the nearby lake. Children will definitely learn to respect nature and enjoy its ever-changing beauty.This modern lakeside family cottage imagined by Christopher Simmonds Architect stands on a stone platform that supports its smart inverted floor-plan.Boasting cantilevered family spaces upstairs, the home gathers stunning views of the surroundings. Private spaces were neatly tucked away in the land, resting on the sinuous lines of the landscape. Entering from the forest side, you move along the pathway into the home only to discover arresting lake views beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows.White oak boards were used on the floor and walls to create a warm and comfortable setting. On the outside, the modern cottage design showcases dark frames on the windows, while the interiors are bright and cheery with matching white frames on windows. Dressed in white cedar cladding, the modern cottage design impresses with every turn you take. Photos by Doublespace Photography showcase the abruptness of the land and glimpses of the warm interiors basked in sunlight.We can see details like slabs of silver maple shaping the bathroom vanity or the way light filtered by the forest caresses the interiors and creates a close connection to the outdoors. Cool air rising from the lake naturally ventilates interiors, rising the physical comfort level to match the attractive visual appeal. If you liked this modern cottage design and want to see more, check out this modern cottage rising on old heirloom cottage grounds in Quebec, it boasts inspiring elements you will fall in love with. 

 How to Add Modern Elements to Your Landscape Design

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Your landscape design is the perfect avenue to state your personal style, telling others what they should expect to see inside your home. Image Source: ZeterreDesigning a modern home seems almost ‘old hat’. We have so many resources available to us that offer multiple techniques for achieving a clean-lined, contemporary home. But what about the outside of our home—in particular, our landscaping?Our homes exterior often gets ignored, leaving our personal style statements for the interior. We think your style should shout from the rooftops, allowing passerby to immediately admire your personal style.  Your landscape design is the perfect avenue to state your personal style, telling others what they should expect to see inside your home, without ever entering your doors.Here are some great tips to create a modern landscape for your home:Our homes exterior often gets ignored, leaving our personal style statements for the interior. Here are great ways to add your style outside. Image Source: Ibarra RosanoInside a modern home  everything has its place and everything stays in its place. Clean lines rule and clutter is forbidden. These same design principles should be applied to your exterior landscape as well.Essentially, a modern landscape is the opposite of an English garden where it is elegant to let plants roam free and take over. Plants in a modern landscape are controlled and told where to go, and through manicuring they are forced to stay put. Akin to a bird in cage where we can admire its pretty plumage, but the bird is not allowed to fly free.Modern landscaping is broken up into clearly defined, tidy spaces. At this point, some of you may be feeling sorry for the modern landscape, thinking how boring and controlled, but please read on—a modern landscape offers a quaint, unique and pristine aesthetic that most other landscape designs cannot achieve.Plants in a modern landscape are controlled and told where to go, and through manicuring they are forced to stay put. Image Source: Barnes WalkerSquares, rectangles, circles, triangles…all of these simple shapes have a place in a modern landscape design. These shapes have multiple roles, but aside from adding that clean-lined modern aesthetic, they allow you to define areas in your garden and create individual vignettes.For instance, a straight-lined stone path can lead you to an outdoor sitting area that is defined by a squared boxwood enclosure, then perhaps circular stepping stones lead to an outdoor pool area, and so on. Geometry is not reserved for ground cover and stones, it should also be seen in the plants.It is best to choose plants that are open to pruning. Here are just a few modern garden plants that you may want to consider:Squares, rectangles, circles, triangles…all of these simple shapes have a place in a modern landscape design. Image Source: Denver ImageMost modern homes have a bit of a zen quality to them. They offer a place of refuge; a quiet place to sit back and relax, forgetting the worries of your day. Your outdoor landscape should most definitely offer the same zen-like atmosphere.Here are a few tips that help add zen to your modern garden:Your landscape should most definitely offer the same zen-like atmosphere as the inside of your home. Image Source: Westover LDGround cover and stone are essential tools for a modern landscape design. They are used to segment the landscape into areas and lead the eye from one outdoor ‘room’ to another.For instance a low strip of planted ground cedars can create a border around a pond or garden pathway. And concrete can be used to create a squared, grid-like path to a pool or pond. These features don’t always have to lead you somewhere—they can be used simply as visual tools that unify the design, as well.Consider incorporating a square sand garden with just a few well-placed rocks. Rake lines into the sand garden, swirling them around the stones, making a very zen, calming space. The picture below is a perfect example of how stone and ground cover can define a modern garden.Ground cover and stone are essential tools for a modern landscape design. They are used to segment the landscape into areas and lead the eye from one outdoor ‘room’ to another.Image Source: Peter Fudge GardensAs you can see, a modern garden has many elements, but it is not actually that hard to create a landscape that reflects your modern tastes—and we suggest your home exterior should always reflect who you are, just like your interior does. Just remember to incorporate clean, straight lines, lots of geometry, stone paths, borders, and don’t forget to add a little bit zen!Have you succeeded in creating your own modern landscape? Please share with us how you did it! 

 Artistic Wall Mural Enriches Apartment Design in Central Warsaw

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Proudly displaying an elegant interior design envisioned by Mood Works, Shades of White is a contemporary home located in Warsaw, Poland. According to the architects, “one of the main goals of this project was to preserve the original layout of the building. With a just little modifications in the partition walls layout, it was possible to give a new expression and momentum to the space and create a light, airy feeling of the interior.” The apartment in the photos below has a total surface of 140 square meters (1,507 square feet) and includes a special corner for artistic expression.The layout is described by the designers as simple and open, “with a distinct daily zone contains a living room, connected with a dining room, and a functional kitchen – with a sliding doors system, that can hide all appliances if they are not in use. There is also a private area, where the cozy bedroom, private bathroom, wardrobe and a laundry room can be found. Those two living zones are separated by a partition wall with a mural art from Tymek Jezierski’s, a Polish graphic artist. It underlines a modernist character of a tenement house.” [Photos by Rafa? Lipski]

 Exuberant Green Landscape Beautifully Showcased by Pachamanca House in Peru

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Pachamanca House in Lima, Peru, borrows its name from an ancient Peruvian technique of cooking under the ground.The 682 square-meter home was built by 51-1 Arquitectos for a family of professional chefs and their daughters. Its hillside location allows the inhabitants to take advantage of some amazing views of the ocean and the city of Lima. The clients’ brief requested a residence that was respectful to the environment while in the same time celebrating conceptual luxury, rather than material opulence.In a place where vegetation is scarce due to lack of rain, the architects went with a bold design plan: “Instead of a building, we decided to start the project by generating an exuberant green landscape. Buildings tend to age and get uglier while vegetation grows and gets better over time. Manipulating the site we generated a hill, a valley, a plateau, a cliff, a cave, a ravine, a shore…then each corresponded to certain vegetation class while changing altitude: trees, grasses, vegetables, hanging plants, xerophilous, hydrophytes”. The plan of the residence plays with space, offering multiple levels, various entrances and many possible itineraries inside and out. How would you personally comment on this architecture approach in Peru? [Photography: Cristobal Palma / Estudio Palma]

 Creative Extension to Classic Edwardian Villa: Malvern East Residence in Australia

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Designed by Pleysier Perkins, Malvern East Residence is a two story extension to a classic Edwardian villa in Victoria, Australia. The new house accommodates a double garage, open plan living area and master bedroom on the ground level and a study and guest retreat on the first floor. According to the developing team, landscape architecture was also a major part of the project: “Designed in collaboration with Jack Merlo Design, the garden spaces include a plunge pool, lawn, vine clad walls and a number of planted courtyards that integrate seamlessly with the architecture and contribute to a contemporary living environment that unfolds unexpectedly upon entry into the original Edwardian villa”.Powerful visual and textural contrasts are created due to the use of concrete block-work, marble and blue-stone, in conjunction with a white interior and timber floors. The most visitor-appealing area of the residence is a living pavilion that includes full height glazing and “an adjacent loggia exhibiting a circular void and marble wall that provides a focal point from the original entry hall. A zinc fascia caps the pavilion and wraps over the first floor guest retreat and terrace in a strong formal gesture that architecturally ties the two levels together.” [Photos by Hilary Bradford & courtesy of Pleysier Perkins]

 Prefabricated House Design in Vienna Embraces Transparency 

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Architectural office SoNo arhitekti teamed up with Slovenian manufacturer of low energy and passive prefabricated buildings Lumar to design a home that would suit the needs of a modern family and the visual appeal of the world. Displaying cubic architecture and an interesting dynamic shape that changes with every vantage point, this prefabricated home design makes you question your perspective on transparency.This particular prefabricated house design spreading over 180 square meters “consists of two different size volumes with one-gable roof.”The rise of quality building material and architectural vision leads us to see inspiring homes everyday. Now even more, prefabricated house design catches up with customization design to offer new alternatives on the real estate market.“The unified facade constructed of large format panels emphasizes the dynamics of the house’s form. Nevertheless, the type of materials that are used are subdued. Dominant material is wood in its natural colors that are combined with light shades of the facade’s surfaces. Larger glazed surfaces present the connection to its natural surroundings. The result is a modern residential building with optimal functional floor plans, which offer a comfortable and a pleasant living.”According to its designers, the prefabricated house uses transparency to its advantage: “While we enter into an open spacious groundfloor area which because of its shape slowly reveals as a pleasant intimate ambience to the visitor. The living room offers a lot of light through the large glazed window surfaces. They are designed as a sitting area from where we can observe the surroundings. A prominent staircase leads us to the upper sleeping area through the gallery that overlooks the living area below. The sleeping area consists of a large bedroom with its own dressing room and a bathroom, two smaller rooms with a smaller bathroom.”You can see it in one of the biggest show parks for prefabricated houses, FertighausPark Blaue Lagune in Wiener Neudorf. Photographs by Matevž Paternoster give us a glimpse into the dynamic design, but if you’re in Vienna, you should see this prefabricated house for yourself…

 romantic bedroom design

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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.

 formal living room design

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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.

 Sculptural Living Staircase as Centerpiece for London’s Ampersand Building

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One of the most recognized office locations in London, the Ampersand Building, reunites exciting design elements. The Living Staircase by Paul Cocksedge  is the new centerpiece of the building, an original unit providing much more than functionality: “Paul Cocksedge’s design removes the load-bearing pillar from the center of a traditional staircase design and replaces it with a series of zones for relaxation, creative thinking and informal workplace interaction.” The entire length of the balustrade is planted, and thus converted into a beautiful miniature garden that the staff here can look after.
The new spiral staircase is an aesthetically wondrous element, filling the room with its lovely curves and green additions. As the designer stated, it is meant to serve as an integral part of the space: “If a staircase is essentially about going from A to B, there is now a whole world living and breathing in the space between the two. I hope the Living Staircase will be used in ways we hadn’t at all expected! This is the beauty of it: it allows so much space for all kinds of activities. I’m really looking forward to Ampersand’s staff taking over the structure and making it totally their own.” [Photography: Mark Cocksedge]

 antique bedroom decorating ideas

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Curves or angles? This may be the very question you’re asking yourself as you shop for the perfect bathtub. And if you’re a modern design enthusiast, the choice becomes even more difficult, as there are clean-lined advantages to both approaches. Today we shine the spotlight on round bathtubs, both oval and circular. We’ll take a look at the different styles that can be evoked by round tubs, and we’ll even point you in the direction of some fabulous bathtub sources should you be ready to make a purchase!

 silver bedroom

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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.

 gray decks

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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.

 small dining spaces

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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.

 goth room ideas

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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.

 stained glass chandelier

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The best modular shelving systems will encourage individual expression and personal style. An investment in both design and practicality, they are something that we choose to live with (design is arguably always a choice). Famed industrial designer Dieter Rams once remarked: “I am convinced that a well-thought-out design is decisive to the quality of a product. A poorly-designed product is not only uglier than a well-designed one but it is of less value and use. Worst of all it might be intrusive.” This quote, from a speech on ‘Design by Vitsœ’ presented by Rams in New York, 1976, remains pertinent today.

 Sustainable West 21st House in Vancouver by Frits de Vries

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West 21st House is a sustainable family residence designed by Frits de Vries Architect and located in Vancouver, Canada. Outdoor patios and gardens at every level define this home and ensure a good indoor-outdoor connection. Here is more from the architects: “Designed and oriented for passive solar usage the project also employs ultra high efficiency windows, solar hot water heating and a high performance heating / cooling system, including heat recovery that allow the home to operate with low energy consumption. The careful selection of appliances, plumbing fixtures, and lighting also reduce energy and water consumption. Interior elements, such as flooring and millwork, include recycled materials and low/no emission finishes. Planters on the roof reduce heat reflectance and rainwater runoff”. The interiors pay tribute to modern design and inspire openness and flexibility. Have a look!

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