Constance Halaveli Resort is more than a luxurious retreat – it’s a six-star Maldivian Paradise captured in between blue waters of the Indian Ocean. This is one of Maldives’ North Ari atoll getaways where pure white sand beaches meet turquoise waters in an unforgettable scene. Sun terraces and plunge pools, an overwhelming connection to wild nature and comfortable villas create a mixture of natural and man-made in perfect balance. Enjoying a relaxing experience at Spa de Constance and walks around the island go hand in hand, proving once again that the two experiences collaborate successfully to sooth the mind, body and soul. Family villas introduce children to the wonders of the Maldivian paradise and the Kuda children’s club keeps them entertained while parents experience romantic getaways. Three restaurants and two bars ensure guests have dining and socializing experiences infused with the island’s paradise-like atmosphere. Seafood specialties, alongside Asian inspired cuisine with European accents compose a palette of tastes and smells focusing on providing a new and exciting dining experience…
There is no denying that the tough economic climate is having an effect on our purchasing decisions. As consumers or specifiers, we are now more likely to opt for better quality products that will last longer. But we are also more interested than ever in buying products that have a reduced impact on the environment.This beautiful wooden flooring from Danish manufacturer Dinesen meets all these criteria. Quality is absolutely paramount to this family-run company and every single floor is custom-made to fit each particular room. The wood is sourced from Europe’s best forests, and comes from trees that are between 80 and 200 years old. The trees have been meticulously cared for throughout their existence and are managed by the principles of “Dauerwald,” which means promising sustainably productive, profitable, environmentally stable, biologically diverse, and socially responsive forests, patterned after nature.The great thing about the planks of wood from Dinesen is the fact that they are astonishingly long and wide, making them a hit with architects who appreciate the ability to lay flooring often with no partitions or joints. Dinesen offers solid oak planks in widths of up to 50 centimetres and lengths up to 6 metres and the Douglas fir planks are available in widths up to 45cm and lengths of up to 15 metres, making them perfect for large open spaces.I love the way that these extra long planks sweep through these interiors creating such a lovely flow throughout the space. The sheer width and length of them seems to create a feeling of space even when the rooms aren’t actually that big. Also the idea of walking on wood that had been growing for 200 years seems very romantic to me. What do you think?
You may remember the creative office design inspired by aircrafts, which we presented on our site a while back here. We received photos of another interesting project envisioned by Kamat & Rozario Architecture and consisting of a modern office space for an advertising agency in Bangalore, India. According to the press release we were sent, the design took inspiration from the firm’s name – WHITE CANVAS: “A blank white canvas takes on the personality of the artist.. We drew an analogy to Absolut Vodka’s Absolut Blank Campaign, where artists were invited to express themselves on a blank canvas in the shape of the iconic Absolut bottle. The clean white canvas takes on different Avatars depending on the artists’ imagination.The requirement of the client included a number of closed rooms for meeting/ discussion/ideating etc. These closed spaces or ‘containers’ were envisaged to be the Absolut bottle. The infill wall for each container defines its character. Thus, each container has its own personality depending upon its user and program. Waste pieces of block-board, generated from all the carpentry done at site were used to create a surface and left unfinished. The containers were placed in the center of the floor so that light and air from the windows stayed unhindered. Work areas happened along the periphery of the space. Areas between the containers served as informal breakout spaces”. [Photos by Shanavas Photography]
Virgin Atlantic teamed up with VW + BS studio to shape a new experience for passengers riding the airline 30 000 feet in the air. The first time the new upper class bar and cabin enchanted its guests was this spring, on a route from London to New York. This new aircraft hospitality space concept was created to encourage social interaction between passengers in an innovative atmosphere built for a plane with the strictest safety regulations. Virgin Atlantic’s New Upper Class Bar And Cabin is the sophisticated result of creative thinking based on giving the design studio free hand to redesign one of Virgin’s planes.When Virgin Atlantic sums up this projects, they describe it as a mixture of insight into the client’s needs and wishes, creativity and expert engineering. Collaborating with VW+BS Studio meant creating a luxurious experience – the bar was placed at the entrance, welcoming guests to the new flying concept. A futuristic design like this one, influenced by the angled positioning of interior spaces, creates a unique set of social spaces, while the espresso colored leather seats offer a comfortable place to rest. Take a virtual tour of the plane and study design lines and colors, then imagine how the RGB lighting effects create different moods. Have you seen better interior aircraft design?Virgin Atlantic’s New Upper Class Bar And Cabin Virtual Design Tour
Playing with food is not only acceptable, but also fun and creative when it comes to modern ceramics design. These awesome Plates by Polish designer Boguslaw Sliwinski introduce us into a somehow forbidden mealtime tradition – playing with food. Displaying a transportation theme, the ceramic Transportation Plates are a fun way of enjoying a healthy meal. Childish lines shaping different means of transport – by truck, crane, boat, train, helicopter or forklift – adorn six white round plates composing a complete dinnerware set. Simple ceramics in black and white come alive once food is added – exotic fruits or common peas find their place on the transportation surfaces drawn on each plate. Spotted on Beautiful Life, these fresh plates are available in two versions: the 20,5 cm in diameter and the larger, 26 cm one…
Swedish photographer Bruno Basic sent us a set of wonderful photos of a contemporary home he photographed in Sweden. This is the story behind the inspiration and a few details about the materials and owner: “In 2011, I had the honor to photograph a house that was “modern” as my clients described it. What I saw at the driveway to the house I noticed that this house was a little different than regular houses that I see around me. This was more square and appeared to be incredibly well designed. I had never been in contact or met the owner of the house and honestly, I thought it lived a young design-interested couple there. But I was wrong. The house was owned by a middle-aged businessman who had exquisite taste for design. He had designed the house himself and was very proud of it. The house has magnificent view over the city of Kalmar and the sea that surrounds it. Everything in the house was exclusive and the materials came from local producers. The floor was made only a few miles away. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I do.” We did enjoy them, how about you?
Having a remote workplace, somewhere in the middle of nature is something many people dream about. Dramatically located on a steep hillside, near an inland pond in Newfoundland, Canada, Bridge Studio’s Saltbox House was designed by Saunders Architecture and serves as a place of inspiration for accomplished artists to generate works of art. Here is more from the architects: “The first impression of the Bridge Studio is its abstract quality. From the side elevation, it appears as a windowless wood-clad parallelogram, hovering above the landscape, propped up by four piers and connected by a sixteen-foot bridge to the adjacent hillside. As one approaches the three hundred and twenty square foot studio, it becomes more transparent – with a generous glass entry and a large square window at the other end of the room“. The unusual art studio is composed of two levels, connected by stairs. A wood-burning stove and a large desk facing a generous window ensure a proper environment for unleashed creativity…
Located on the Central Chilean coastline, this contemplative sea retreat designed by Raimundo Anguita has it all: an amazingly creative design, a spectacular panoramic view and last, but not least, a dynamic interior. Nested on a cliff between the exclusive summer locations, Zapallar and Papudo, the residence comprises two living areas. The main floor and the courtyard are situated on the same level. The curved roof evokes the sea while the exposed concrete defining the exterior protects this contemplative and detached hideout from the harsh wind.
Built directly into the ground, the house was envisioned as a contemplative space strongly connected with the environment. “The entrance to the property is through a covered garden area outside of the bedrooms which leads to a hall through which you reach a higher viewpoint to visualise and understand the house and its relationship with the environment.” The sea is visible from every corner of the house: living room dinning area and bedrooms. The living room boasts a high ceiling and a wooden staircase which leads you on the terrace, close to the undulated rooftop. Interior is dynamic, well-lit, airy and adorned with contemporary artwork.
House V in Costa Brava was recently completed by Barcelona-based studio Magma Arquitectura and was especially developed to meet the living requirements of a large family. According to the architects, “the project is configured as a large stone base, on which stands a large horizontal platform. The permeable cut of the staircase subdivides the platform into two independent bodies. Part of the platform receives the most public and spacious interior areas and the exterior terrace and pool that flies over the Mediterranean garden below. The large exterior terrace is lateral and runs the length of the public area, so it receives the southern sun at one end and captures the view of the horizon between the sea and the sky. Several porches constructed of wood, which also control the sun and privacy, complete the visual prism of the home“. The interiors are elegant and welcoming, with a color palette defined by white and plenty of inspiring details for upcoming contemporary projects…
This lovely clean-lined house located in Nikaia, Larissa, Greece is an inspiration for the architects due to its flawless design. The L-shaped project designed by Potiropoulos D+L Architects boasts perfect volumes, enhancing the feeling of order. A certain design discipline dominates the structure. A brave mix of exposed concrete and wood define the exterior of the house. The house’s orientation favours light and warmth. The aim was to create a perfect cozy and luminous home environment, where the clients feel pampered, tranquil and safe. The architects also had in mind to keep a connection with the exterior through openings and cut outs.
Now, let’s get back to that design discipline we were talking about. The house’s L-shape makes possible the integration of the entire project (including the swimming pool) into a rectangle. It’s all about the power of geometry. The horizontal openings encourage a dialogue with the natural light, allowing the sun to sneak inside. The interior is characterised by high ceilings, transparence and spaciousness. A glass staircase dominates the core of the living room, making the vertical circulation possible.
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.
Some ornaments can be useful and some useful things can become ornamental. Designed by Liz Boscacci for Bevara Design, these contemporary hand-blown terrariums were made in Poland: “They blow the glass into a mold, and turn it constantly so there is no seam, then the mouth is cut. If you look at the bottom of the piece, you can see where it was broken off of the bar. ” Each terrarium is etched with the designer’s and producer’s name. There are a few things you have to know about planting inside the terrariums: “To plant the terrariums, you first lay down a layer of gravel, then a layer of charcoal to absorb excess water, then the planting soil. We have found that a large number of artists have purchased these pieces, because the shape lends itself well to sort of a curated collection of plants since there are dimensional constraints. This has been an added perk to the design: some very lovely and artistic creations.” The unadorned design has a strong point: it can make the plants look so beautiful without any unnecessary additions. The simple shape enhances the natural beauty of the plant, do you agree?
When square footage is limited, the last thing you need is an obstacle course of furniture to weave through. Stick to the basics of what you need to enjoy your space. This doesn’t mean you need to live in an empty apartment; it means you should select pieces that serve double duty. Some ideas for multifunctional furniture include. An ottoman (even better: a storage ottoman). It can convert your sofa into a chaise sectional or work as a coffee table (with a tray on top for stability) or extra seating. A sofa table. This can serve as a makeshift dining table, a desk or an entryway table. Go the extra mile and choose a narrow 30-inch-high bookcase or a sofa table with shelving. Stacking, self-storing furniture. Nesting side tables have a variety of uses. A bench. It can serve as dining room seating, a coffee table or a low media cabinet.
Aun Siento Residence was developed by Santo Domingo-based studio Pons Arquitectos and is located in Arroyo Hondo III, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The 5,380 square foot single family home was based on an interesting concept: “The story behind the name “Aun siento” which represents this residence, is one that’s born from a family experience between the architect and his brother, Nelson Pons, and the passion that they both share for Fito Paez’s music”. The exterior appearance of the home is imposing, due to the mix of materials employed and the strong color contrasts. The project opens up towards the inner courtyard and swimming pool with the help of large windows, but it remains closed on the side facing the street. Nature is allowed indoors, where a potential guests is likely to be impressed by the spectacular “green” decors. The interiors are spacious and minimalist, characterized by an intriguing material diversity…
As we alluded to earlier, green and white is a smart combination that works well in a modern bedroom and balances energetic overtones with a serene backdrop. The amount of green you use here depends on the size of the room and the amount of natural light that floods into your bedroom. Smaller bedrooms with too much green might seem both overwhelming and visually cluttered.
Adding green to the bedroom is easy if you already have a muted color scheme going in the room. It is a color that works beautifully with the likes of white, gray and even brown. While the yellowy-greens add warmth to the bedroom, the blue-tinged variants bring a touch of coolness along with a vibrant ambiance. Here is a pick of 25 gorgeous bedrooms that incorporate green in a gorgeous fashion.
Only you know whether you’d rather hire a designer or develop the space on your own. Image Via: Martha O’Hara Interiors
Changing the look of your home is never easy. It’s an investment of time and money that you want to continue falling in love with for many years to come. It’s no surprise that many people seek professional assistance to ensure that they create a timeless look.
But hiring an interior designer isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer to be more hands on and thrive under the opportunity to create the look of their own space from scratch.
But, how can you tell which camp you fall into? We’ve outlined some of the main differences between hiring a designer and going DIY, or doing the project on your own. Read them over before you start your next remodel. They’ll help you make the decision with confidence.
Both professionally designed rooms and DIY projects look great in the end, but there are tradeoffs in the design process. Image Via: Harper Design from HarperCollins Publishers
Before starting any design projects, odds are you have some idea of what you’d like the finished space to look like. Since working with a designer often requires steady communication to get your concept across, take the time to consider how you see the space before you start hiring.
For some of us, it’s all about the details. Are you the sort of person who already has the furniture for your new space picked out? Is your heart set on recreating a contemporary Japanese style? If you have very specific thoughts on how you would like to design the space, you may be better suited to tackling the space on your own so that you can be sure your vision is executed exactly how you want it.
Others of us, however, are more about seeing the big picture. These are the people who know what they like when they see it, even if they have trouble nailing down exactly what it is that makes that look so appealing. In this case, a designer will probably be your greatest asset since he or she will be able to present you with a multitude of options and help guide you through the decision making process.
Going DIY means that you can entirely control how the space looks, right down to the tiny details. Image Via: Andra Birkerts Design
It goes without saying that DIY projects tend require a large investment of time. Though they are often worth it in the end, if you’re not prepared for the process, they can be more trouble than they’re worth. Before you start your design project, think long and hard about if you can handle the commitment or you would rather consult a professional.
If you’re the type of person who is constantly clocking overtime hours at work or is in charge of balancing several family members’ hectic schedules, DIY may not be the best choice for you. It may be better to hire a designer who can do all the legwork of finding contractors and sourcing materials, so that you only have to give final approval.
On he other hand, if you happen to have a good amount of free time at your disposal and genuinely think you’ll enjoy spending your nights and weekends giving your home a facelift, go for it. Renovating a space can be an opportunity to hone new skills, not to mention a point of pride that you’ll have for years to come.
A designer will handle all the pesky details of your project, so you can just enjoy the end result. Image Via: Upholstery Club’s Shelly Leer
We’ve got some news for you: interior design projects are rarely a one or two person job, no matter how small they may seem. Even if you plan to tackle a lot of the physical labor on your own, the process will be much faster and more enjoyable if you can call in a few connections who are willing to lend a hand.
When you’re considering doing the project on your own, it’s often a matter of calling in favors from your rolodex. Do you have any friends and family members who may be willing to help you help you tackle some of your more tedious tasks? Have you worked with contractors on a past project that you’d like to hire again, if need be? As long as you can think of a few names that you can turn to for assistance, you should be fine.
But, if you have trouble coming up with some names, a designer may have just the connections you need. He or she will likely have a large network of contacts that they’ve worked with on previous jobs. You should have no trouble getting plenty of recommendations for qualified contractors.
Designers have contacts that can assist with every aspect of the remodel. Image Via: IKEA
Every home design project comes with some element of cost and hiring an interior designer is no exception. Fox News estimates that most homeowners spend between $75-$250 per hour on their services. At that price range, cost absolutely needs to be a factor in your decision.
Sit down and look at your budget for the project. Are you content with the idea taking a sizable chunk of money out of your budget to pay a designer? Considering the estimated hourly figure, did you also leave a cushion for extra expenses and unforeseen costs? If the answer to either one of those questions was, “no”, we’d strongly advise you to go the do-it-yourself route and put your money towards design elements that you’ll love.
However, if you’re lucky enough to be able to afford hiring a professional, you still want to be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. As you interview each designer make sure to ask them not only about their price, but what services are included in that figure. Make sure to ask if any additional fees apply and what the procedure is for handling additional incurred expenses.
Repurposing items you already own such as using slip covers can also help you stay on budget. Image Via: Leslie Glazier @ Properties
The decision of whether to hire an interior designer or develop the space on your own can be a weighty one. While professional help may require a large investment of money, going DIY takes an equally big investment of time. Only you can decide which path is right for you, but we’ve got a few tips to make that right answer become clear. Read them over before you start your next project and let us know what you decide.
Do you like to hire a designer or to redo your spaces on your own? What factor makes that decision for you? Tell us in the comments below…