Adding a contemporary addition to an Edwardian home can be a challenging task. Cloud House is a project envisioned by McBride Charles Ryan in Melbourne, Australia and consists of a renovation and extension of a century-old home. According to the architects, “the street facade has been left to demonstrate the clients’ respect for the evolution of the character of the area and the modest street alteration belies the extent of the comprehensive internal renovation work. The spaces within the original structure are largely white in color, united by exotic floral hallway carpet. This journey through the space is followed by encountering a disintegrated red-colored ‘box’. This is the kitchen, at the heart of the property, which acts as a bridge linking the major spaces. A cloud-shaped extrusion is the unexpected final space.” The unusual design of the living room creates a dramatic interior language and a highly original space for various social events…
Looking at Maximo Riera‘s latest work – the Elephant Chair – we can’t help but wonder how a sculptural piece like this one can ever be ignored. It’s massive elephant head and body shares the feeling of surrendering to higher powers while drawing inspiration from one of the oldest living civilization of Earth. Adding to his existing three animal pieces – the Walrus Chair, the Rhino Chair and the Octopus Chair– this fourth piece is an ode to the world’s largest animal. Surprising exceptional details in yet another fabulous piece of furniture part of his now famous Animal Collection, the Spanish designer insisted that each project be biologically accurate to create a stunning first impression that lasts. Besides being inspired by the widely worshiped Indian deity Ganesha in all it’s shape, this imposing chair also features Indian patterns carved into the front legs – these were designed after original hand-made pieces of furniture found in India. Would you make room for a fabulous piece like this one in your home?
Take 5,000 square foot and give them to the architects Beyer Blinder Belle and Costas Kondylis! The output: an exclusive five bedroom duplex penthouse located in the city of fascination, New York. This city is so vivid because it vibrates in the very own heart of it. A crowded-bohemian lifestyle, filled with luxury and exquisite tastes, this is what New York has to offer! The very own shelter of many architectural wonders, Manhattan is probably the most coquette and chic place to be. Nearby Central Park, in a residential skyscraper called Park Laurel, a stunning apartment with 360 degrees overview upon the architectural horizon of Manhattan is out for sale!Amazing sight, high ceilings, large windows and an exquisite selection of elements of décor adorn this place, giving to it a vibrant touch of elegance. A subtle choice of neutral colors and the smart mix of glass reflecting the outside view, elements of contemporary art and an imposing fireplace, now that’s something we call dream home! Besides the incredible precise care towards details, the central and the accurate furniture alignments, everything seems dramatically extended: from ceilings to the panoramic sight upon this magical city. Here is a testimonial of a broker that knows this property very well: “This trophy property offers luxury at every turn and jaw dropping 360 degree park & skyline views from every window.” In case New York is an option, this duplex is an excellent choice for those who can afford it! We’re talking about a valuable residential space, offered for sale at 26.5 million dollars!
Connecting parent and child in a new and interesting way, the Steps Bench was created to display a simple design with a versatile use. Providing a long-term bond between the two users, the bench transforms from one age to another to accommodate the needs of the child: “Placing the stool under the hole of seat, it is a table for the child. When the child grows a little older, they can sit next to each other at the same level by fitting the stool back into the hole.” Designed by Kohdai Iwamoto and part of the Design Soil project, this beech wood bench rests its curved top on four legs. Urethane foam covered in colorful fabric was used to create the comfy stool and the hole on one side holds this muffin-resembling element when your kid is old enough to comfortably sit next to you. Its name offers a perspective on the steps each child has to take in order to grow up happy alongside family. Do you think this bench would increase the amount and quality of time you spend with your child?
Born in Baghdad in1950, British- Iraqi Zaha Hadid is the first woman architect to win the prestigious Pritzer Prize, which she did in 2004. Her childhood saw Baghadad’s better days without strife and warfare. There she attended a religiously diverse Catholic school and was instructed in French by nuns. Her father was a politician and it was assumed and expected that she would further her educational studies. She attended the American University in Beirut where she studied Math. Her family fled the country after Saddam Hussein came to power, and the outbreak of war with Iran. In 1972 Hadid moved to London and enrolled at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. In 1980 she opened her own office which proved a bit of a challenge; at first her ideas were more in demand than her actual designs.Today she is well revered and in the forefront of architectural design. She has broken through the glass ceiling and her modern, cutting edge philosophies have helped her to push the boundaries of architecture and design. Today her firm employs 350 people and has handled 950 projects in over 44 countries.Hadid, while considered and thought of as a revered architect, has also branched into the world of interiors. Her constant search for an aesthetic vision encompasses all areas of design, from the large exteriors of her architecture to interiors and furniture. The interiors are just another extension of the outside. Her interior talent is seen at The Hotel Puerta America in Madrid where Hadid and other renown architects were commissioned to designed various rooms within the hotel.The Phaeno Science center, an interactive science center, located in Wolfsburg, Germany, is a perfect example. In 2000 Zahid participated in and won an architectural design competition for the design of the building. The center opened about five years later, and houses over 250 interactive exhibits from Ansel Associates, Inc. The astounding concrete structure designed by Zaha Hadid, her German associate, Mayer Bährle architects and Adams Kara Taylor has been described as a “hypnotic work of architecture – the kind of building that utterly transforms our vision of the future.”Cleverly “the building effectively stands on concrete stilts allowing visitors to the Autostadt to pass through without having to interfere with the workings of the building. Phaeno is connected to the Autostadt via a metal bridge accessed by escalators and stairs either side. The underside of Phaeno is illuminated and the stilts are too.”Her thinking of spacial issues is what sets her apart from the crowd – both men and women. The BMW Central Building was based on the architect’s beliefs that a building is a space that is multi-faceted and multi-dimensional. Here she reinterprets a traditional office. The building and its functions become a more “dynamic, engaging nerve center.” Her fluidity transcends the traditional blue collar/white collar spatial divisions, effectively blurring the barrier.The Maggie Centres in Fife, Scotland does just this by blending the natural and the man-made. The building was designed to offer a protective environment, a haven, for cancer patients. Located adjacent to Victoria Hospital, the centre sits at the edge of a hollow surrounded by lovely foliage and countryside, blending man-made, modern building and technology with nature.To add diversity to her architectural projects, in 2002 Zahid completed the building of the ski jump at Innsbruck, Austria. Zahid describes the ski jump as “a concise piece of functional design, an instrument for high performance sport, shaped with mathematical precision.” She created this to “develop a seamless hybrid. The assemblage of elements was resolved in the manner of nature, developing a seamless hybrid, where parts are smoothly articulated and fused into an organic unity.”Architecture is meant to be looked at and enjoyed from many angles. Hadid breaks through, not only the glass ceiling, but all the barriers put up by traditional walls and floors. What could better reflect Hadid’s spatial philosophy than an Olympic ski jump?Despite Hadid’s level of success, of which she is grateful, she claims that it’s been and continues to be a very long struggle. She still sees her fair share of rejection which she claims keeps her in place and helps her to think about things and create things in a different way. The Millennium Center takes visitors on a journey through 3 aspects of the mind – input, process and output. Here floors and walls and other architectural elements are “pulled from one continuous space to house a wealth of thought-provoking stimuli.”Architecture is forward moving and forward thinking. All the greatest architects have had this modern, cutting edge vision. The Hoenheim-Nord Terminal in Strasbourg, Switzerland was created to echo the movement of everything – people, bicycles, cars and trams. Together they form a constantly shifting but clearly delineated whole.Another example of the fluidity of movement and space is Hadid’s creation of the 2012 Olympic Aquatic Center in London, England which was heavily influenced by the movement of water. It was created to resemble the motion of a wave with an undulating roof that sweeps up enclosing the pools with a “unifying gesture.”The Vitre fire station was created to fill an empty void created by a devastating fire in the 1980s. Built into a landscape with existing factories, the fire station was built to define rather than occupy space. It represents a moment frozen and ready to explode. The fire station is no longer housed in the building, instead it is home to a chair museum.The Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Arts in Cincinatti, Ohio was the first project to be completed by Hadid and the first museum in the United States to be designed by a woman. Her idea was to bring the city into the building, an open, “urban carpet”, welcome to everyone. She wanted to bring contemporary art to those who were not used to or exposed to such. In back of the museum she has created a backdrop as though the carpet is rolled out – a sort of flights of fancy allowing visitors see all these different spaces. Her desire to move away from the “white cube” that we think of when we think of architecture. Here movement and light flow giving each gallery and exhibition a unique feel.Strong-willed, and feisty Zaha Hadid has been called difficult to work with by others, but her clear, defined and forward thinking vision, combined with her steadfast determination have garnered her as not only one of the world’s leading female architects, but one of the world’s leading architects. Her visions continue to transcend time, movement and space and will for years to come…
Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa in the Philippines is set between the expanses of Puka Shell Beach’s white sand and the luscious hillside it adorns. The luxury beach resort boasts 219 rooms, suites and villas constructed to aid you in enjoying the perfect vacation. For example, the luxurious Seaview Suite promises to spark up your interest in prolonged awe-inspiring moments with Abaca weave rugs laid at your feet and local capiz shells composing an exotic atmosphere. Spacious balconies with daybeds in all rooms acquire sweeping views over the surroundings, preparing you for sleep while enjoying splendid sunsets. The CHI Spa complex set amongst a rocky peninsula overlooking a private bay intensifies the feeling of relaxed living while you recalibrate your body and soul. The resort acts as the perfect background for an unforgettable experience spiced up with exciting activities like kayaking, parasailing and deep sea diving – you’ll want to return for more soon!
Through studying and predicting its customers’ present & future kitchen habits and preferences, Egyptian kitchen manufacturer Amr Helmy Designs claims to be able to invent breakthrough organic design solutions. The company’s catch phrase is “7 Years Ahead”, which sums up its goal to fill a gap in the kitchen market by 2015 by offering improved functionality, taste and service. With the Cubello Series, Amr Helmy was aiming to revolutionize kitchen design by offering a range that is designed around a grid system based on just 24 different units and one size of door.This approach top kitchen design has a number of benefits. The factory has a minimum number of components to work with so a number of costs are reduced including: warehousing; machine set-up; packing; and shipping. The grid system allegedly makes it easier for designers to work with and ensures that all design output is aesthetically maximized.The most interesting design aspect of the Cubello kitchen though has to be the innovative configuration options provided by the island unit. Featuring the sink and the cooktop, the island unit provides the main work area within the kitchen. Surface space is maximised through the use of off-set counter tops and a swivelling surface that contains the kitchen sink. This surface is on wheels so it can easily be repositioned for best use of space.How does this kitchen appeal to you? What do you think of the swivelling counter top on wheels? Leave us a comment to let us know or send us a tweet or a Facebook message…
Apartment Therapy shows a really interesting bathroom design where a bench on an outer wall extends right through the glass into the walk-in shower. Another great and simple example of a shower with a bench (again from Carla Aston) makes use of wood material for both the bench and flooring. You may not have a ton of room for a full-sized bench, so a corner built-in might work instead. This one featured on Angie’s List looks great in this smaller shower! Another from BHG highlights the top of the bench with white.
It is more than a little intimidating to begin decorating a home, no matter how big or small. Here we help get you started. Image Source: Wheeler Kearns
Got blank walls? Stuck in a decorating rut? We have all been there, listening to the echo thrum through empty halls, wondering, How on earth do I fill this space and where do I begin?
It is more than a little intimidating to begin decorating a home, no matter how big or small. We want to do it right and we have a budget that leaves little room for costly mistakes, so we need to do it right the first time, but how?
Here are ten ways to step up, jump in and conquer that home designer’s creative block head on:
Here are ten ways to step up, jump in and conquer that home designer’s creative block head on. Image Source: Nance Construction
What better way to learn what you like (and dislike) than to look at how others do it? With the summer season upon us, realtors are opening the doors of all their listings, welcoming everyone inside to take a peek.
Even if you are not in the market for a new home, consider walking through some open houses in neighborhoods you admire. Note the way the home is staged, the colors they choose and the way the furniture is placed. If there is something you admire, perhaps take a picture so that you can mimic it in your own home.
What better way to learn what you like (and dislike) than to look at how others do it? Image Source: Franklin Associates
Perhaps you feel uncomfortable walking through a bunch of open houses—especially if you aren’t in the market for a new home. Sites like Pinterest and our site are the next best solution.
Create boards on these sites and gather images of all the housewares and designs that catch your eye. Remember, you are in the learning stage. The purpose of all this browsing and pinning is to learn what your eye is drawn to. It is imperative you become acquainted with your own unique style before you begin to decorate.
It is imperative you become acquainted with your own unique style before you begin to decorate. Image Source: Below Magid Construction
Yes, more looking, but like we said, it is better to look and become acquainted with what you truly love before buying. Decorator showrooms are great sources for browsing high-end furnishings and housewares.
These showrooms are usually decked out in all the latest and greatest design trends, showing you a vast range of decor styles, allowing you to gravitate to the ones that speak to who you are. The things you like may surprise you. You may discover a style you never even knew you had. Stop yourself from buying at first sight because the next section below will tell you how to get these showroom designs at bargain prices.
Decorator showrooms are great sources for browsing high-end furnishings and housewares. Image Source: Look 2 Home
There is a myth that only wealthy people can afford to hire an interior designer. This is untrue—anyone can hire a designer. No matter your budget, there is an interior designer or decorator out there who can meet your needs—even if it’s just an initial small job of choosing paint colors for your home. You just have to do your research first.
Here’s the other great advantage of hiring a designer: they can get you all those showroom pieces at a discount. Designer showrooms usually offer a designers discount of up to 40-50%.
No matter your budget, there is an interior designer or decorator out there who can meet your needs. Image Source: Ron Blunt
Do you have a friend whose taste you admire? If there is someone you know who seems to have a natural knack for design, then ask them for advice. Perhaps ask them to accompany you on a shopping trip, but remember to get what you like, don’t buy something just because someone else pressures you to like it.
Maybe you have a room in your home that you want to overhaul, if so, ask your friend to come over and help you edit the room. Take out everything that doesn’t work within the room and assess what is left. Now ask yourself what the room is missing—color? pillows? a cool piece of art? dramatic curtains? This gives you an idea where to begin and what to look for when shopping or browsing.
If there is someone you know who seems to have a natural knack for design, then ask them for advice. Image Source: Board and Vellum
Choosing paint is always a tricky undertaking that is seldom done right the first time. Of course, paint swatches help a lot, but there are ways to learn about color and how it works in your space without swathing your walls in blocks of random colors.
our site offers many informative articles on color theory, helping you to choose the right color the first time. Here are just a few of our helpful articles. Read these before you go to the paint store to become a color-savvy design pro: Learn about color theory and the color wheel, 10 Things to Know Before you Paint, How Color Affects Your Mood. Or in place of paint, try wall paper (the same color theories apply to paper.)
There are ways to learn about color and how it works in your space without swathing your walls in blocks of random colors. Image Source: Cook Architectural
Technology is amazing isn’t it? There seems to be an app for everything, and now there are numerous apps and online design programs to aide your design choices.
Here we have highlighted 10 free virtual room designers to help you navigate the plethora of online options. Mashable has also compiled a list of 6 home design apps. Browse through all these online options to discover which ones meet your personal needs. Whether it’s as simple as choosing paint color or as complicated as remodeling a kitchen—these tools offer help for it all.
There are numerous apps and online design programs to aide your design choices. Image Source: Arthur Rutenberg
There’s something to be said about making mistakes—sometimes mistakes are the best avenue to learning. Sometimes this is what it takes to get it right— trying, discovering something is still wrong, and then trying again till you get it right.
Depending on the scale of your design project, this can become costly and it can test your patience. However, for those with an adventuresome spirit; those who are willing to make a few mistakes along the way, this can be a great experiment to discover what your design sense truly is. So go ahead and paint your walls that daring red. You may discover your new favorite color, or perhaps you will make an epic fail and learn never to make that mistake again.
Experiment to discover what your design sense truly is. Image Source: Phi Home Design
A home should reflect its owner. After all, we do not invest all our heard-earned money into our home only to mimic someone else, do we?
In order for a home to truly speak to who you are, it should reflect your culture and passions. Is your ancestry Scottish? Perhaps your home should have a den decked out in plaids reflecting your tartan. Do you love the ocean? Well, your home should echo the beach with light cottage colors or jars of sea glass, perhaps. Essentially, your home should reflect who you are. Design it in a manner that tells visitors where you come from and what you love.
In order for a home to truly speak to who you are, it should reflect your culture and passions. Image Source: Modern House Architects
As the famous Nike brand says, just do it. There is no better way to get out of a rut than to simply step forward and do something. Working toward a goal without a particular end in sight can be exhilarating. And sometimes the end result far exceeds your imagination.
A room design is fluctuating. You cannot design a room overnight and have all the pieces perfectly placed. It takes time and tweaking to get it right, so just do it and step forward to make the first design move. The end result will come with time and as you discover your tastes along the way.
There is no better way to get out of a decorating rut than to simply step forward and do something. Image Source: Paulsen Construction
Are you feeling a bit more creative now? Simply step forward and start your decorating adventure. It takes time and lots of browsing to discover your own unique design taste, so have fun, enjoy the ride and learn from your mistakes.
What gets you in a creative design mood?
Dutch artist Maxime Ansiau imagined a set of plates that combine well-known Netherlands porcelain and a unique view of how several plates can be combined into a long one. By conjoining several plates together, the artist created interesting long plates, on which skyscraper images throne among clouds. The Amsterdam-based designer created this collection of blue and white delftware showcase beautiful castles and windmills, stretches of water and repetition in a delightful pattern. These traditional painted ceramic plates depict an interpretation of the classic dutch landscape, surrounded by decorative margins. Country homes are portrayed in an interesting repetition, growing longer and longer to elongate the dish itself. These Plates by Maxime Ansiau can easily adorn a dinner party or even walls…
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.
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.
Have a look at this waterfront house designed by Greg Shand Architects in Singapore! With a sinuous wave envelope and wide overhangs, Nautical Lines Residence stands out against a backdrop of modern residential units. While one side of the house faces the ocean, the other makes up for lack of water views, with curved elements acting as a constant reminder of the project’s nautical character. According to the architects, “the underside of the ceiling is clad in recycled teak, reminiscent of a boat hull. Extensive low-e glazing affords views of the waterway to the North and South China Sea to the South.”
All interiors feature special elements that add up to the idea of sea-sailing: “The master bathroom walls are flowing curves with a shaded skylight over to afford views of the sky and curved roof above. The walls, floor and ceiling of the bathroom form a sinuous curved envelope clad with stainless steel, and all bathroom fixtures including basins, water closet’s and shower fittings echo this fluid curvaceous nautical theme.” We hope you will enjoy the architectural journey offered by this original project in Singapore. Any fresh thoughts on the overall design? [Photography by Aaron Pocock]
There’s more to San Diego than sun and surf, although the nation’s eighth-largest city loves to boast about a mild climate considered by many to be the best in the U.S. With (mostly) easy access to beaches, mountains and deserts, San Diego is a recreation lover’s paradise. Attractions like the jewel of Balboa Park (home to the San Diego Zoo), Legoland California and SeaWorld keep tourism booming, and the highly rated University of California at San Diego has spawned a healthy biotech industry. Meanwhile, a diverse, ever-gentrifying urban population is upending the city’s reputation as a conservative Navy town.
Benches can be great for increasing storage space, given that you can find options that come with cubbies, shelves, and drawers. Check out this bench from Porch.com that has lots of room for extra towels. Another bench featured again on BHG has a drawer pullout where you can store all your accessories. Everyone knows standing up in the shower is the norm, but if you have a disability, or if you just want to safely be able to wash the soles of your feet, a bench in the shower can really help! Keep that in mind for your next shower remodel. Here’s a beautiful marble bench that extends from the subway tile in this shower, featured on BHG. You can get really creative with built-in shower benches by using different types and colors of material, like this example of a black tiled shower from Carla Aston. Or why not just keep it subtle? Extend the tile to include the bench, like this white and pink bathroom featured on BHG.
The Componibili Storage Unit was designed in 1968 by Anna Castelli Ferrieri for Kartell. A design classic, it is on show at New York’s MoMA and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Functional, adaptable and smart, this hard-wearing and versatile unit has many uses around the home. Componibili units are stackable, available in round and square versions, varied sizes and several colors.
Your bench doesn’t necessarily have to be built right into your shower. If you have enough room, you can purchase a standalone bench that you can bring right in, and remove whenever you want! Here’s a wooden bench in a large walk-in from HGTV. What type of bathroom bench or stool is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.