Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s Saturday Design Spotter, our way of bringing you even closer to the home of your dreams. We will begin with this lovely and sophisticated bathroom decor, meant to tickle your senses. So what if this photo was actually taken in a villa resort? The important thing is that anyone can decorate their tub with rejuvenating flowers and turn a regular bath into a relaxing experience.This truly mesmerizing “Maine Shoreline” room was designed by Annie. The interior is crazy, yet fun and inspiring. There isn’t a single element in the room that can be referred to as “common”. And did you notice the blue knitted rug?Are you a fond of immaculate rooms? Then this interior photographed by Lincoln Barbour for designer Jessica Helgerson should relate to you. White inclined walls, flower arrangements and an overall minimalist design make this room truly captivating.Next off, we have a living room that book lovers will certainly enjoy. A horizontal bookshelf defines the interior, while a wooden wall and staircase accentuate the warmth this room inspires.If you like of idea of an airplane crashing into the meeting room in the middle of an argument, here is the next best thing. We like this giant wallpaper that inspires dynamism and brings some life into an otherwise dull office interior.We like to call these unusual architecture additions, “smart pillars”. But they are not only clever (supporting a home that was built on a pretty challenging site), but also aesthetic and original. In case you are wondering what’s with the huge wooden rectangular shape on the wall, it is the back of a room on the upper level. Cool, right?We really liked the overall atmosphere this room below inspires. Floor to ceiling windows, a curved sofa set and a fireplace descending from the ceiling make the interior very friendly. The photo was taken in a remarkable modern residence in Australia.If transparent bedrooms are your thing, here is an idea for an interesting wall or sliding door. Made entirely out of glass, the design is perfect for a bedroom that is minimalist and worth showing off to all the visitors. We featured this a while back on our site here.This intriguing traditional room is literally filled up with suitcases. The photo belongs to Italian photographer Sergio Ghetti and we love it because it is genuine and inspiring for those of you out there who appreciate vintage interiors.This next idea might get you a bit puzzled. Take a good look at the photo… It is not a wallpaper, but a real pool outside the room, with a swimmer. See more revealing information about the fascinating home where the picture was taken here. Tell us if you enjoyed the decors presented today and tune in next week for some more captivating designs!
Capturing the essence of privacy and comfort, the Karlusic Residence was built around a 30 year old Japanese Maple in the front yard. This beautiful tree guided the architecture from many points of view – the front facade was finished in a light warm grey lime wash that accentuated the shape and color of the tree, the two slotted windows were designed to capture views of the Maple and even the whole spine of the structure is oriented according to the Japanese Maple’s position.The front yard display a beautiful play of contrasts – the cladded volume, the Maple tree and a series of landscaped areas “such as the textured water wall along the steps towards the front entry, a shallow reflective pond with Gold fish and turtles, segmented raised platforms with each platform holding a different form of plant-life, and with the middle platform holding sand with a 3mx.6m old solid wood pier beam that was recycled from the docklands piers.” The hidden garage door in the back has a natural zinc finish, matching the rest of the natural stone facade. An internal courtyard with a lap pool is flanked by the large windows of the ground floor on one side and a line of bamboo on the other. Splendid interiors shelter living spaces on the ground floor and private room on the upper level. Located in Melbourne, Australia, the Karlusic Residence was designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates…
We ran across this delightful modern home in Gloucestershire, a county in South West England. The project impresses due to its dreamy surrounding landscape and original design. The architecture of The Lake House maximizes its privileged location, blurring the indoor-outdoor boundaries. With a lovely wooden facade, the house is visually integrated in its environment and inspires an inviting feel. The residence is structured on two levels, each of them featuring floor to ceiling windows. This allows a large amount of natural light inside, and insures a good ventilation throughout. Once inside, you are greeted by an open plan living room, which mixes modern furniture elements with traditional decorating ideas. The eclectic style is taken further, to the rest of the rooms of the house, with a few exceptions. The kitchen for example displays a simple modern design which also happens to be quite practical. Enjoy the photo and tell us if you find this architecture approach suited for a lake house…
Casa del Tec 167 was designed by GLR Arquitectos and is a modern residence located in San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, México. The project occupies an area of 600 square meters, on a site that is double in surface. Featuring enormous windows, the design of the Casa del Tec takes full advantage of its beautiful surrounding garden and mountain views, while allowing a high amount of natural light to enter the actual living space. The volcanic rock used for the exterior finish of the building contrasts the white painting and complements the metallic window blinds. Once inside, visitors are overwhelmed by an incredible ceiling- in the living room, its height reaches 7 meters !- and inspiring modern arrangements. The overall appearance is that of an elegant, opulent, sober, yet inviting home. Do you find this design approach practical?
Bali is a small island in Indonesia, a magical place, known worldwide due to its rich culture and mesmerizing landscapes. For today, we will present Ubud Hanging Gardens Hotel, a man-made attraction. The most striking of the hotel’s design features is a large, multi-leveled infinity pool, with curves that are said to copy the shape and beauty of the hills nearby. Guests can swim at the edge and enjoy peaceful vistas of the ancient Pura Penataran Dalem Segara temple, located on the opposite hillside. Decks adorn the pool, offering visitors a chance to relax in the sun, while contemplating. Taking full advantage of the setting, the resort was built on wooden pillars among the steep rice fields of Ubud. This way, each of the 38 luxury private pool villas is perfectly integrated in this scenic environment. You can consider this a perfect Balinese hideaway for romantic couples and honeymooners, or a comfortable family retreat. Either way, this tropical paradise plays with senses and provides experiences beyond imagination. Enjoy the photos!
The need for more space does not necessarily require a small residence. Managing to blend different functions in the same piece of furniture shows how versatility has become an important feature for modern furniture items. Christian Lessing‘s Collecteur is one of those objects that encompasses both a piece of furniture and a storage system, making the surroundings more spacious by implementing a double function. Part filing system, part stool, this industrial-looking piece of furniture/storage can elegantly display magazines while offering you or your guests a comfortable surface to rest or sit on while putting on shoes.The fun part about this stool is that is grows in height depending on the amount of magazines stacked underneath the seating unit. This modern solution for storing newspapers or magazines can do even more for you – place a tray on top and you have a modern side table prepared to become a stool if needed. Two sliding pieces of metal make this possible – they can rise between 28 cm and 52 cm. The white or grey painted steel with removable cushion will help you save space and adorn your home at the same time. The German designer based in Dusseldorf has been working on many interesting pieces, but this versatile furniture/storage item caught our attention…
Hampden Lane House was designed by Robert Gurney Architect and is located in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. According to the architects, the client for this project was a forward thinking entrepreneur who wanted his home to be energy efficient and to occupy a small part of the property. The new building was designed as a cube, having 2,200 square feet and with spaces fully utilized. There is also a flat roof providing an additional 1,100 square feet of outdoor living space with views of treetops and the downtown Bethesda skyline. Here is more from the project developers: “This house represents a deliberate departure in both the thought process and the realisation of current building trends in the neighbourhood. Instead of building a large house with pretentious ties to the rural past, this new house is smaller with a stronger relationship to the modern, urban area that Bethesda has become. The house is intended to be more site sensitive, environmentally conscious, and to provide comfortable, efficient living spaces“. We salute this approach and looking forward to see more similar projects. How do you find this home’s design?
Back in 1976, when Steve Jobs just started the Apple Company, he was coming back from an apple farm, and he was on a fruitarian diet. These facts inspired him to name the company after the well-known fruit, thinking that the name was “fun, spirited and not intimidating“. Now, after his passing, many tributes show how important his life’s work was. This is what multi-disciplinary visual artist Olivier Lefebvre wanted to accomplish with his representation of Steve Jobs’ portrait made entirely out of apples – the landart tribute expresses the impact Steve Jobs had on modern technology and the apple silhouette. This organic portrait features apples of different sizes and colors, arranged to shape a red/green portrait. How do you feel about this tributary way of thanking an important visionary for his inspirational creations?
The first Active House in Russia was designed by architecture firm Polygon Lab and is situated in the outskirts of Moscow, in Zapadnaya Dolina. According to the developers, “the design is based on the Active House principle of reaching a balance between energy saving, healthy indoor climate and care for the environment, all of which add to the architectural quality and well-being of the residents“. This particular home in Russia is said to be energy efficient and easy to operate. Its design integrates various energy sources, such as solar thermal collectors, roof windows, a PV solar cell system to generate electricity and a highly effective heat pump. Moreover, the residence features multiple layers of insulation, as well as a healthy indoor climate, filled with natural light and fresh air. This is possible due windows that open and close based on the CO2 levels in the house. More information about this project on Aktivny Dom…
Welcome to a home that inspires harmony and relaxation. This crib is composed of two rooms plus kitchen and its layout is clever and inspiring. With old times still echoing between the rooms of this lovely Scandinavian building, modern style combines with traditional details in a fascinating way. Through the courtyard and up the staircase, you reach the apartment’s entrance. The hallway has plenty of room for six closets and is connected to the kitchen and living room. Old wooden floors feel soft against bare feet. Bright and generous, the living room is the core of the apartment and hosts a reading corner, a large sofa, a dining table for four. A peaceful bedroom with large windows overlooking the quiet courtyard is up next. This is large enough for a double bed, wardrobe and a workplace. Along one wall, there are several large cupboards that provide plenty of storage. The walls are painted in a broken white color and the wooden floors do a great job complementing the room…
1525 Blue Jay is a fascinating, contemporary residence designed byLori Dennis, one of the nation’s top interior design companies. You might already know the location from other posts about the extraordinary residences of exclusive Blue Jay Way in California, like the Blue Jay Way Residence or the 1654 Blue Jay Way house. A sun-flooded kitchen displays natural grey stone and white washed oak and cabinets, warm-grey recycled content quartz counters and efficient appliances. Natural air flow is encouraged throughout the house. Exotic wood finishes adorn the interiors and the bar, closets, vanities and cabinets are all made from eco friendly materials. Special features are the indoor-outdoor pool and jacuzzi on the panoramic side of the residence, 13 feet high windows and a 360 degree roof deck. “The floor to ceiling windows and open floor plan in the Blue Jay home allow natural daylight and airflow virtually everywhere in the residence. In addition to being beautiful the limestone 4×4 slab flooring throughout the interior and exterior of the residence acts as a heat sink, absorbing solar energy during the day and releasing it in our cold desert nights. The master bath and master patio have radiant heating, which is highly effective and is the most luxurious way to heat a body.” Do you love it as much as we do?
Here’s another Caroma tub, this time in a pearly shade of white. In fact, this Caroma Pearl (also available through Reece) boasts an oval organic shape. Note the way its simplicity is the perfect contrast to the ornate wall in the product shot below. Would you choose an acrylic tub for your crisp, clean powder room? This Nazzano Acrylic Modern Bathtub from Modern Bathroom Vanities has the advantage of being nonporous, which means it’s very hygienic and easy to clean.
Have a look at this charming house and artist’s studio envisioned by Carney Logan Burke Architects and located on a butte in Jackson, Wyoming, USA! According to the official description of the architects, Butte Residence overlooks the confluence of the Snake and Gros Ventre Rivers and commands panoramic views of the Teton Mountain Range and National Parks.
The residence is organized in a series of volumes, each ensuring a maximum connection with the outdoors: “Gently curving roof forms separately capture public and private functions within the residential program. Springing from and returning to the topography of the site, the roof profile mimics the soft shape of the butte and creates a series of protective canopies that provide shelter in the harsh western landscape”. A daring mix of materials and texture, enriched by vivid chromatic additions result in fresh and dynamic interiors. The open plan living and dining room stands out due to extensive use of glass and high ceilings. Elegance is naturally displayed through, inspiring waves of creativity…
For those of you who love the unpretentious design lines obtained from natural wood, the Creus Armchair by Italian company Riva will be an object of desire. Spotted on Trendir, this interesting chair is a wooden piece of furniture designed to offer comfort and display its natural shape among other modern furniture items. The simple and elegant design was obtained by sculpting a single piece of cedar wood into a beautiful chair. Following the body’s natural curves, the Creus armchair displays its backrest and seating side while inviting guests to relax on a unique piece of seating furniture. The cedar retained its texture and imperfections only to give the chair a subtle elegance merged with the result of modern furniture-building technologies. The leather seat, available in a wide range of colors, can become the detail that makes it perfect for your home. With a brushed metal base, the design was taken to new heights, adding modernity to a natural design and offering a strong and stable base for the overall design…
Is urban stress real? If it is, how can architects minimize its effects with their designs? Image Source: Grossman Photo
Experts are saying that we need to ready ourselves for a more urbanized, and therefore, a more depressed world. It seems that architects not only have to design homes that are modern, functional and green, but they now need to worry about the world’s mental health, as well.
So how does urban living reflect upon ones mental health? Some may love living the big city life, while others may dream of escaping to a slower suburban pace. With the world’s population growing at alarming rates, we are undoubtedly packing ourselves into much tighter neighborhoods than ever before. Builders are erecting houses side by side, with small postage stamp yards and no privacy—this certainly cannot be ideal living and is one of the leading causes of urban stress.
Humans naturally feel threatened and closed-in when they perceive that space is lacking—resulting in urban stress. What can architects do to minimize the strain that occurs from crowded urbanization? How can they alter their designs to make high-density living feel like open, airy dwellings?
Let’s look into some of the key ways that architects minimize urban stress:
Architects can employ some key tricks to make an environment feel less crowded. Image Source: Tahar Decor
An article by LSE Cities, points out that there is a difference between density and crowding. The study theorizes that it is crowding that leads to urban stress rather than density. They feel that even the most dense areas can be designed in a manner that makes them feel uncrowded.
High-density is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, there are advantages to high-density living such as accessibility to facilities and more efficient land use. With proper planning architects can design urban areas in a manner that may be dense but does not feel overcrowded, therefore minimizing urban stress.
Let’s look a little further into the many ways that architects design individual communities/buildings in order to minimize the feeling of crowdedness.
With better planning and density management, communities can minimize urban stress. Image Source: Two Column
One of the main negative effects of density is the feeling of over crowdedness. City planners and architects can minimize this sensation by designing communities with open spaces and park systems intermingled amongst busy city life.
Take New York Cities Central Park for example. Among the hectic, fast-paced city life of New York sits one of the most beautiful park systems. Central park offers a mental refuge with its vast, open, green spaces, giving city-dwellers a place to unwind and feel at peace in an uncrowded, natural environment.
Essentially, green cities equal good health. Green areas provide space for exercise; space to experience nature; space to restore the body, mind and soul; and space for calm social interaction— green spaces are a must and should be included in every architect and city planners blueprints.
This home overlooks New York Cities Central Park, offering green space and a place to reduce urban stress. Image Source: Robert Granoff
Some cities do not not have established areas for green space, and it seems there is no room left to create these park systems or recreational areas. This has lead architects to become inventive with already-existing spaces such as roof tops, turning them into green spaces, gardens, and recreational areas.
Roof top farming seems to be a popular choice amongst some eco-conscious designers/architects. It is easy to see why when one looks at all the positive benefits of roof gardens— provision of green space; provision of locally-grown organic food; provision of healthy exercise; and provision of temperature and hydrological controls for the building.
Also, gardening has been shown to significantly reduce stress and depression. Indeed, the trend of using roof tops as open, green-living spaces certainly has a role in reducing urban stress.
Roof top gardens re-invent un-utlilized space and reduce urban stress by providing a get-away. Image Source: Amber Freda
Architects have gotten quite inventive when it comes to designing buildings that make a visitor feel relaxed and at ease. Many architects realize the secret to successfully reducing urban stress—buildings shape the human experience.
It seems obvious, but it is often forgotten in design—people react to their environment. Designing a building where people feel a sense of belonging; where they feel comfortable; and where they have an overall sense of place, is imperative to the reduction of urban stress.
Architects can incorporate this welcome feeling in their designs by adding green spaces and vistas; by improving building flow and function through escalators and modes of better traffic flow; by incorporating large windows, high ceilings and natural light; and by creating multi-functional areas where people can access numerous activities. People spend most of their days working and living in large office buildings and high rise apartments, so mental well-being always should be considered in the design.
Architects can reduce urban stress by incorporating open spaces with large windows and lots of natural lighting. Image Source: High Rises
This is something that is probably a new term for most—Urban Acupuncture. Essentially, urban acupuncture is a theory that combines urban design with Chinese acupuncture. Followers of this theory look at urban design as a living organism.
The main goal is to reduce stress in the urban environment through small remedial interactions, just like acupuncture does to a human who is suffering certain ailments. Essentially, urban areas that are in need of repair receive certain building projects that are meant to heal the stress or malfunction.
Architect and Urbanist, Manual Sola DeMorales, coined this term, and it seems to be something worthwhile for other architects to take hold of—especially since it does not require massive urban renewal, rather focuses on smaller projects that help to heal the larger whole.
Urban acupuncture may help reduce urban stress by healing small dis-functional urban areas. Image Source: Zack Devito
The population of the world is growing rapidly, forcing many to live in over-crowded urban environments—this leads to urban stress. We have seen that architects have a key role in the reduction of urban stress, and that their designs can actually help people feel at ease, even the most crowded of living situations.
By designing communities with open green spaces, re-inventing spaces such as rooftops into usable areas, and by designing buildings that shape a positive human experience—urban stress can be greatly reduced. There is also something to be said about urban acupuncture and its possible role in repairing malfunctioning communities.
Do you live in a busy urban area? How do you feel about urban stress—is it a real thing?
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.
The bathroom is perhaps the one room that doesn’t allow you to do very much in terms of furniture. With so much space taken up by the shower, the tub, the vanity, and the toilet, it can be a challenge to figure out how to bring in a little more style, even with the smallest pieces of furniture like shelves and benches — especially if you’re stuck with a really small bathroom! Lucky for you, there are lots of benches and stools out there that are versatile enough to fit any bathroom, small or large.
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.
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.
Benn & Penna Architects completed the design and development for Southern Highlands House, a home-office pavilion exhibiting original modern architecture details in New South Wales, Australia. Inspired by a quote belonging to American architect and artist Marion Mahony Griffin- “A tiny house, like a tiny temple, can be a perfect work of art”- the designers managed to deliver a welcoming dwelling with an intriguing modern look. The new construction sits alongside two existing pavilions containing the functions of sleeping and living.
According to the architects, the three pavilions are “loosely arranged alongside one another at the base of a natural amphitheater formed by the tower sandstone cliffs of the Barragorang Valley“. Non-combustible metal sheeting was employed to protect the building from the hazards of the environment. The new working area is as inviting as it gets, with its generously-sized windows, comfortable furniture and visually-friendly materials. [Photographs: Tom Ferguson]