It is fascinating to observe how concrete has won a secure place in the hearts of interior designers worldwide. The home presented below envisioned by oooox and located in a small village southwest of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic is an example of concrete creativity. You can see the material employed throughout the interiors (walls, ceilings, floor); yet the place does not feel too industrial, but sophisticated and contemporary-elegant instead.The core of the residence is a minimalist, open plan living and dining room, designed in a neutral color palette. Just a few furniture elements and carefully chosen lighting fixtures give this interior an original vibe. The “cold” and gray concrete on the ceiling is contrasted by wooden additions and white lacquered kitchen finishes. Subtle texture on the ceiling creates a visual disruption, making it easy for anyone visiting to look up. Far from being a concrete-used-in-living-space fan, I have to say this place touched a soft spot. How does it resonate with your tastes?
We are already used to Japanese architecture, which puts a different value on space than most of the Occidental cultures do. The Hiyoshi House is such a fine example of compact architecture! EANA, the firm responsible with completing this project, has envisioned a space that connects the inhabitants and makes them enjoy the cozy, compact space. The place is ideal for a couple that tries to experience the boundaries of “family life”. The rectangular house in Yokohama comes with large side windows, replacing the concrete structure and creating a place flooded by light. Transparent and breezy, the house is equipped with everything needed. The social space includes the kitchen, the living and the dining room and a four meters high ceiling.The large windows allow the inhabitants to be observers of the natural scenery. The interior floor is a mix of concrete and wood. Nothing too sharp nor sophisticated. Just moderate and relaxing. There’s little furniture to emphasise the breeziness, which is not a bad thing, of course. What is really particular about this house is the upper roof top garden – a spot ideal for seeking inspiration and enjoying a tasteful cup of tea at dusk…
Spotted on Beautiful Life, the Monster Chair is…well, something worth sharing! Don’t expect something beautiful, that will simply inspire you with its dazzling presence. No, not at all! As the name already says it, the Monster Chair is something rather, anaesthetic. A design object that fits the daring ones. It doesn’t go with everything and it’s not something you would buy for your exquisite new home. It’s something you would choose to impress the visitors. Or maybe you would go for “little monsters” if you were really into Quasimodo and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Inspired by the Gothic design, Marcel Wanders created a line of chairs that intrigues the imagination of any sane individual. The chairs have a steel frame and are available with or without the monster face sewed on the black synthetic leather. The black leather fantasy he envisioned is very much connected to his personal belief in the “obnoxious” doomsday: “I will be sitting on a little stool at the head of a large table, ready for an eternal dinner. Seven dark leather chairs with ferocious faces surround the table. Eight sets of silver cutlery and white porcelain plates lay amongst copious amounts of white tulips on a fresh white tablecloth with white ribbons.”
Area rugs serve several wonderful purposes. They provide warmth under our bare feet, create another layer of design, tie a room together and absorb sound in spacious rooms. Often thought of as art for the floor it can set the design scheme of the room allowing for wall color and accessories to play off it. Starting with the area rug to design a space can lead to a great adventure to find the right rug. How can you find the right rug? There are a few things to know that will help with your search.As with any large purchase for the home, it is best to have a budget. The cost of an area rug can run anywhere from a few dollars at a home discount store to several hundred at an antique dealer. The key to knowing how much to spend largely depends on the purpose the rug serves. Consider which room will house the rug. A high traffic room will call for a high quality, often-pricier rug, than will a seldom-used space. A rule of thumb used by designers suggests that the budget be equivalent to the budget for the sofa, but a sensible approach is to spend what you can and get the best quality you can afford for high traffic spaces.The production method used to construct a rug can have a hefty influence on the price tag. The most labor intensive and therefore most expensive is a hand woven rug, which is constructed by hand tying the yarn. A less expensive option is the tufted rug, which can be machine made or hand made, but in either case manufactured quickly and inexpensively. Yarn loops through the backing either by hand or by a machine, and then cut to create the pile. Wool, cotton, silk, coir, synthetic fibers, and grasses are common materials used. For a rug that will last, look for good quality wool or silk rugs. Wool wears well and looks better with age.Area rugs come in many size, the most common are 2×3, 4×6, 5×8, and 8×10. Before you shop have the measurements of the room you want to place the carpet in. Start by measuring the size of the room, then measure the area where the rug will go. If you want most of the floor covered, leave 12” to 15” around the room. For a rug in a dining room, you will want to have a rug big enough as to have the back legs of a chair resting on the rug with enough space to back the chair up without leaving the rug. In the living room, the rug should be wide enough to have the coffee table centered on it. In the hallway keep furniture off the rug.The most common shapes are runners, rectangle, and round, octagonal, oval and square. Choosing the right shape comes down to scale and balance of the space. Less is more in entryways and other transitional spaces, while you will want a balanced look in larger spaces. A large room would call for a large rug, perhaps in a rectangle or a wide oval, but do not skimp on the size in large room, nor buy a rug too big for a small space. It is good to note that most handmade rugs are rectangular.There are many style options available suitable to all design schemes. One can pick from stripes, geometric patterns, florals, or tone-one tone patterns and even oriental designs. To pick the right one start by having a general idea of the look and feel you favor for the space and build from there. A modern or contemporary look would do well with a tone on tone neutral, or pair a traditional look with an oriental pattern. Florals and stripes are perfect for a casual look, while geometrics work well in an eclectic space. Along with the many available styles are many colors from which to choose too.Now that you have invested in an area rug, you will want to care for it properly and extend the life of your investment. Avoid direct sunlight if possible, but should your rug be in direct sunlight, rotate it so it will fade evenly. Vacuum weekly to pick up the usual dust and dirt a home attracts and spot clean immediately if it encounters spills of coffee, soda or wine. It is advisable to have your rugs cleaned at least once a year and inspected for loose fibers that need trimmed or repaired. Some cotton rugs can be machine-washed, saving you the cost of a dry cleaner.All in all, the most important consideration is that you love it every time you walk into the room.Have you purchased an area rug recently? If so, what factors went into your decision?
Collect this ideaThe idea that generated the design of this House in South-Western Australia was to achieve a reflection of the surrounding landscapes through materials and living spaces evoking openness: “the project displays the paired ideas of meandering and built formality, reflecting the relationship between the natural contours of bushland (emblematic of the site’s iconic Margaret River view, with its rolling river headland) and the crisp horizontal nature of the ocean beyond”, explained the creative team at Tierra Design.Collect this ideaFunctionally separated in two building wings by a central courtyard, the residence provides the opportunity of two families living together. White canopies shelter the volumes, adding an interesting effect to the overall exterior design composition: “The rooves are transformed from a gesture at entry to expansive planes, echoing the breadth of landscape beyond. The ceilings become a floating island contrasting with the olive backdrop of bush”. Timber screens and stone walls further contribute to the project’s well defined modern personality.Collect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this idea
Located in Aspen, Colorado, the Willoughby Way is a spacious luxury home, with gorgeous finishings. The interior is breezy and luminous, thanks to the glass walls that replace the regular ones. The house is flooded by light, offering also a beautiful view over the inspiring site. Surrounded by a staggering landscape, the Willoughby Way is a wonderful place for daydreamers: they can take long walks, admire the sunset, enjoy the fresh air and disconnect from the busy city rush. This particularly beautiful Aspen residence was defined by Charles Cuniffe Architects. “Heavy timbers and stone anchor this home into its site on Red Mountain, while large expanses of glass encompass the mountain views. Clean and contemporary materials create soft interiors.”Timber beams embellish the interior and make it more comfortable and cozy. The stone walls reflect the rocky landscape and the sophisticated furniture adds a touch of personality to this living space. The interior is very much connected to the exterior: the materials used in defining the décor, the transparence created through the glass walls and through the irregular ceiling’s sculpture that resembles to a mountain peak. Modern and stylish, the Willoughby Way (due to its location) inspires tranquility and harmony.Collect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this ideaCollect this idea
The sunny California weather, the beaches, the fun and all the “glory” make people think that if there’s a paradise, this how it’s supposed to look like! With such a lovely view comes a lovely house. And if you manage to have a lovely house nearby the Pacific Ocean, with the breeze knocking on your windows, feeling the sand under your feet in the morning, when you go for a relaxing walk, then you’re a happy individual.We are presenting you a home that respects the theory exposed above, that not only is located in Montecito (Butterfly Beach) but also is built from eco-friendly materials, being a sustainable LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certified home. This eco luxury home was designed by Maienza-Wilson Interior Design + Architecture.The house is composed of three different blocks: the main house, the garage and the swimming pool house. On the top of the garage and the swimming pool, green grass has been planted. The main house is surrounded by a wooden deck that basically connects it to the swimming pool house (the ideal spot to enjoy a good book and a bitter-sweet icy cocktail.The interior is breezy and connected to the exterior through wooden flooring. The sliding windows allow a better air circulation and a more relaxed environment. Neat and elegant, everything respects a certain “sandy-beach” design line, with warm shades of beige, white and brown. At the upper floor, you’ve got a wonderful view over the Pacific. Well, what do you think of this home, do you like it?
A vanity bench can always help if you spend a lot of time in the bathroom putting on makeup or doing your hair. Have a look at this incredibly elegant tufted bench from Alice Lane Home that could do the trick. A more compact option is a simple stool, like this gorgeously elegant selection (again from Home Bunch) that matches the style of this bathroom. This vanity from APD Architects actually has its own seated area, with a matching cushioned stool. Even a regular ottoman can work in a bathroom. This one featured on HGTV has a space against a wall right across from the vanity. This next very interesting bench featured on BHG stems out from the vanity beside it, where there’s a window. If the size and architecture of your bathroom make it work, then why not?
A relaxing ambience, lush vegetation and a bright and breezy house – meet House 780, a project designed by Stephenson ISA Studio, in Manchester, England. The client’s former house had minimal views over the surroundings. With a different orientation, the house could had captured the essence of the landscape. So, the challenge was to modify the house’s orientation, in order to take advantage of the site’s topography and expose stunning views across the surroundings of Halebarns, Manchester. “The form of the building is formed by two blocks, set at different levels, one of which incorporates a double height living space that takes advantage of the sites topography and provides views across the surrounding landscape via full height 5m glazing to the South elevation.”
The house can be accessed via two bridges: a vehicle bridge and a pedestrian one. The pedestrian bridge carries your steps directly onto the mezzanine floor. Once inside, you notice the bright and warm living environment. The living room is flooded by light, due to the glass panels (floor-to-ceiling windows) that replace the regular walls. Whenever you feel like enjoying moments of tranquility, you can simply go for a walk around or sit in the garden, exploring from there, the wonders of the surrounding landscape…
Resonating with its surroundings, the Bulgari Resort in Bali speaks a hybrid design language, combining traditional Balinese shapes and high class Italian style in an unforgettable destination. A sophisticated atmosphere intertwines with exquisite services in a successful attempt of creating a sublime experience. Gathering views across the Indian Ocean, the resort sits 150 meters over the sea, implementing natural inspiration and creating a dreamy setting for guests. This is the second luxury property from Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, and it gathers 300 square meter villas where you can wholeheartedly enjoy exquisite views across the nearby Ocean. Beautiful alang alang roofs made out of coconut thatch combined with luxuriously designed interiors and exteriors compose a breathtaking merger between traditional and modern: ” The floor plan makes a sharp distinction between the quiet and reserved private area and the glamorously festive social area. The construction faithfully respects local techniques, and each stone has been cut and chiseled on site by hand.”
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.
You’re pretty lucky if you have a large enough window in your bathroom that could use a seating area right beneath it. A bathroom reno featured on Beneath My Heart uses an upholstered loveseat bench with added accent pillows for the window area. How about a built-in? This vanity featured on Home Bunch has a bench area near the window, while this other example (also from Home Bunch) creates a window seat out of a bathroom storage unit. You could also try a bathroom storage unit on a much larger scale with a bench as well, like the third option below from BHG. Built-ins are great, but they’re not for everyone. You could try a simple wicker bench with an elegant cushion to place by your bathroom window, like the one below featured on House of Turquoise.
Patane Residence was designed by the architects at bureau^proberts and is located in Newmarket, Queensland, Australia. According to the official project description we were sent, “the home was designed for a young family and occupies the crest of a hill facing south towards the Brisbane city skyline and Mount Coot-tha. A series of connected pavilions perched on solid concrete platforms encourage exploration and interaction whilst portraying a sense of permanency and refuge. The concrete construction enhances a sensation of intransience the client desired, while timber elements re-interpret the craftsmanship of Queensland home construction, responding to the suburban context of Newmarket’s 19th and 20th century dwellings. The home is intended to conjure summer memories of time spend in the cool, shaded spaces found under the homes of our childhood. Visitors are welcomed onto the middle level of the home. This transparent platform encourages family activity through connection between living space, play space and the street. Private spaces of the home are separated between the basement and upper level”.[Photography by Jon Linkins]
It is not too hard to see the magnetism of this modular kitchen that can be altered to suit the individual floor plan of your home. Features such as the wooden cabinets painted in lovely pastel blues and yellows, brass and steel surfaces that add a touch of metallic glint without seeming far too modern, plastered walls, stone countertops and shelves with fabric frill bring back images of an era that is lost in time. Even the smallest of details is carefully chosen to complement and enhance this classic ambiance while the warm hues in the room create an inviting backdrop for a perfect social zone that brings the entire family together.
The Convertible Courtyards Residence by Christopher Megowan Design is a retractable roof house kinetically adapted to the notoriously variable climate found in Melbourne, Australia. This project added a kitchen, living area, dining area, bathroom, master bedroom, ensuite and two decks to a previously overlooked yet charming weatherboard cottage in the inner urban suburb of Prahran. Nestled on an intimate street, the existing house is one of a series of heritage protected cottages. In response to the north-facing block of land, a central courtyard was created between the weatherboard and modern extension in order to flood the open kitchen, living and dining area with natural light.
A carefully detailed glazed link-way runs along the central courtyard and vertical battens cast a playful cadence of shadows across the floor and walls as one transitions between old and new. A second courtyard straddles the living room to the south and allows access to the rear garden where the client and his young daughter avidly nurture various vegetables and herbs. The conceptual strength of the house is found in the manually operated retractable roof which runs over 12 metres from north to south to cover both courtyards. A hand winch and a block and tackle, allow the slatted timber, steel and polycarbonate roof panel to help regulate sun and rain on the two outdoor spaces, a valuable feature given Melbourne’s famously fickle weather. Two sets of hardwood bifolding doors, one on each side of the living room, help successfully ensure the all-important connection between indoors and out.
In the rear garden, an elevated aqueduct sculpturally cascades rainwater from both the fixed and operable roofs to a slimline water tank that is connected to the sanitary flushing system. Solar panels, gas boosted solar hot water, high levels of insulation, and sustainably harvested/regionally sourced spotted gum timbers round out the projects green credentials. [Information provided via e-mail by Christopher Megowan; Photography: Nils Koenning]
You can never have enough storage in the kitchen. If you lack cabinet space but have just enough room along an area of a wall, an armoire can serve as a wonderful pantry. Check out this great example from Decoholic. Alternatively, you could use the same idea as above, but for coffee instead. Ever Evolving Life 4-5 shows the complete transformation this armoire went through to become a cute little coffee bar.
The picturesque s_DenK Residence envisioned and developed by Soho Architektur in a small Bavarian village inspires freedom and harmony. Its hillside location allowed the architects to place the garage and living spaces at different levels, thus creating an interesting coverall composition. The typical colored and textured facade is a reference to the local context of the building.
A pathway allows access alongside the garage and to a sheltered courtyard with gravel flooring. Main entrance is located below, at base level. The next floor houses the living area with “huge South facing windows, featuring the view to the village and further on to the Alps, and an even opening to the garden in the North. Narrow wooden stairs lead to the private rooms under the roof“. Paying tribute to the surrounding landscape, each room was imagined in a minimalist manner, inspiring sober, yet peaceful leaving…