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.
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.
This Tudor-style home in Seattle, Washington, USA initially built in the 1930s has been upgraded with a modern rear facade. The project team at Workshop AD explained: “Given the clients goals for cleanly detailed spaces oriented to the northern view of the Ship Canal, the rear facade of the existing house was blown open and replaced with an aperture that spans the entire width of the structure.” The traditional front facade was kept unchanged, hiding the massive design transformations that occurred inside.
The brief requested upgrading the overall layout in accordance to the modern living needs of the inhabitants: “This new facade responds to the reorganized spaces that create a new bedroom, open living, and family sized entry space all within the footprint of the existing home.” By opening up the rooms to the garden through large expanses of glass, a general feeling of light and space was achieved. An elegant wooden staircase links the bottom level where the social areas are located with the private upper floor. Minimalist appliances and furniture additions on a white wall backdrop contribute to a high level of functionality. What are your thought on this unconventional home upgrade in Seattle? [Photography: Lara Swimmer]
Overlooking the waters of the Andaman Sea and the green vistas of Bang Tao in Phuket, Thailand, Villa Beyond combines an original escape with the comfort of modern living. According to the official description, the project is a mixture of luxury and elegance “neatly encapsulated in an architectural symphony of stone, wood, concrete and steel, all effortlessly blended and infused with water and infinite views“. The villa boasts seven bedrooms, a spacious living room, kitchen, dining room, recreation room, a massage room and an impressive infinity pool.
Each interior exudes a highly contemporary design, softened by wood additions and local decorative elements. An open plan social zone connected to the swimming pool deck acts as the core of the residence. The chef’s kitchen is equipped with modern conveniences and luxury counter tops. Inside and out, the villa inspires opulence, making it fit for those in search of powerful holiday statements…
It’s something to think about if you haven’t already done so. Hiring an interior decorator is a smart decision if you’ve invested a good bit of money into your home and want to be able to showcase it to look its best. Decorators truly serve a purpose for everyone. Whether you have no idea where or how to begin to decorate your home, or whether you have an idea but need help tying pieces together, or you simply haven’t the time to execute your style and desires due to your busy day to day schedule.
I recently asked Michelle Cortizo of Cortizo Interiors in Boston, Massachusetts, to explain why hiring an Interior Decorator is a wise and sensible choice. Toss aside the idea that interior decorators are only for the rich and famous or those with so much money that they don’t know what to do with it all. In reality they save you a great deal of time and money and headache medicine!
It might sound strange that hiring someone to decorate your home would save you money since you have the additional fee of the designer, however Cortizo makes a compelling point. “Hiring a designer can help you to avoid costly mistakes that will not only help you save money but can increase the value of your home.” Especially when selling your home – interior design is essential when listing your home. It can help boost buyer appeal and set your home above the competition.
“A designer can give you a professional assessment of your situation, that will will lead to a solid plan of action. The order of things in a design plan is key in determining what can be repurposed or should be edited. This will not only effect the budget but help you to spend it more efficiently.” A designer offers an extra set of eyes, but these eyes are trained to see and notice things that you may not.
A designer can keep you on budget and save you time and effort. A designer knows where to go for resources for everything related to your home. This will save you endless amounts of time researching products, brands and prices. A designer will have all this readily on hand, and should he or she not, will spend the time researching so that you don’t have to.
A designer will be able to build “a stronger bridge between you and your architect or contractor early on and can head off design misses in your overall plan. This is crucial in managing time and money explains Cortizo. Also designers are trained to think about things we may overlook. “It’s so important that the lighting and furnishing needs are addressed before construction. If your living room sofa is floating in a the middle of the room you want to make sure you have the proper placement for floor outlets.”
There are things available to designers that are not available to the general public in terms of connections, resources and general merchandise. By culminating these resources designers can help to make your space look more collected, unique and pulled together.
Cortizo states that : “In addition to vendor resources, designers have many home improvement industry contacts. They can save homeowners time and headaches trying to identify reliable, contractors, plumbers and electricians for their projects.”
Designers can help to give you the “wow” factor you’ve been looking for. They are trained to think differently, spatially and to see an overall picture that clients often cannot. Cortizo adds that “Thinking outside of the box is what designers do all day long.”
A decorator can potentially add a great deal to the aesthetic of your home, which in turn can increase showings and sales. This increased appeal can exponentially speed up the amount of time your home sits on the market before it is sold. The benefit here is two-fold, a faster turn-around time and more money in your pocket.
“A designer is a professional with a trained eye that can automatically tell you if there is something wrong or right with a space. Having that immediate consult is a major advantage when making aesthetic decisions. It is the result of years of experience.” says Cortizo. Often times homeowners try to do it all themselves and get frustrated. Look at these 10 most common interior design mistakes and how to solve them.
Cortizo concludes with the fact that : “Interior design is a skill and an art that will only enhance the space and the quality of your life in the space. Hiring a pro raises the level of that experience and makes your house a home. A designer can help you tell your visual story. I can’t think of a better reason than that!”
Given all this information will you consider hiring an interior designer the next time you remodel, buy a home or move?
We now shine the spotlight on a series of modern powder rooms that are magnificent in their own right. Stone is the material of choice in the bathroom below, which makes the Haven Stone Bathtub with Base from Apaiser an ideal choice for the space! Note how details such as a sculptural pendant light add layers of eye-catching design to this interior. Sometimes less is more, and when the powder room is all about the tub, it’s not a bad idea to go bold. Next we see Apaiser’s Haven Stone Bathtub (this time without the base), and if black isn’t your tub color of choice, note that in true Apaiser tradition, the piece is available in a variety of finishes. Here’s another modern black bathtub in a grey bathroom, and this time the tub is available through Modern Bathroom Vanities.
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.
Moss Oaklands Residence was designed by studio Nico Van Der Meulen Architects and is located in Cape Town, South Africa. The brief of the project was aimed at remodeling a 1950s residence and giving it an urban feel. Here is how the architecture team handled this task: “Alterations and additions were made to the original building to allow for four bedrooms and large entertaining areas. The single-storey building allows for large double volume spaces and flat roofs have been used in the alteration to keep vertical expansion in mind for the client’s future.In keeping with the owner’s brief to have a home with an urban and open feel, the interior and exterior entertaining areas have been blurred by sliding stacking doors that open up the whole facade. By using a neutral palette, the company was able to create a warm environment by bringing in touches of colour through rich and bold accessories and furnishings”. How do you find this South-African display of luxury?
Defining the necessities of a luxurious lifestyle, this exquisite villa located at 818 N Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills boasts a unique combination of building materials – stone, glass and wood – composing a functional, well-proportioned property. Spreading over 9,302 square feet, the two story residence features four bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms, a private spa and swimming pool and a large collection of extraordinary spaces beautifully designed to astound anyone who has the privilege of visiting. Additional spaces like the gym, China storage and art storage room give this home a sense of customized art-loving collection of spaces. Located in the sought after 800 block of the flats in Beverly Hills, the imposing residence is part of Leonardo Umansky’s portfolio. Featured in “The World’s Best 100 Homes” edited by Images Publishing, this exceptional example of luxury architecture displays its luscious cluster of social and private spaces with an unprecedented proudness. Priced at $12,850,000, the fabulous villa would make a splendid residence for those who know how to appreciate it…
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.
Santiago Chile announced they’re going to become a “smart city” in 2013. Santiago is just one example of a growing number of areas around the globe preparing and modernizing for the future, in fact demographers have long predicted the mass urbanization of metropolitan areas across the world. According to the United Nations, by the year 2050, 80% of the world will be living in urban areas. The equivalent of seven Manhattan size cities will be built each year until 2050. For these cities to thrive they must use smart technology to its fullest. Let’s take a look at what’s available now and what’s coming down the pipe.
Fuel cells of the future will use less energy, produce much less CO2 emissions, and may even be able to generate electricity autonomously. Amsterdam, a city on the forefront of smartness, is already implementing some of these fuel-cell technologic advances as we speak.
Vehicle transport in futuristic smart cities will probably entail folding self driving cars. Groups in Europe have already begun implementing these folding micro transport vehicles in replacement of clunky public transport. And hey, they can drive you directly to your destination…take THAT, bus!
The future of solar technology is bright, pun intended. More and more gadgets, gizmos, and larger systems will be powered by the sun in the coming years. Solar energy will be highly diversified and simplified making it accessible and economical.
Thermostats are getting a lot of buzz with the latest and greatest temperature control gadget on the market, Nest. The smart thermostat of the future will be completely autonomous and able to make temperature corrections based on weather and living habits.
The days of fighting over power outlets in coffee shops or airports to charge our devices will probably end with us paying a small access fee for wireless charging. The electric vehicles of the future will also have similar wireless charging mechanisms, so you might just get to kiss goodbye to plugs and cords.
Water, like electricity, will be part of the “smart grid”, and the use/waste will be highly regulated. Companies are using NASA’s space age water recycling technology to make consumer level mechanisms that we will probably be seeing in the near future which will recycle water.
There is more than just mobile payment solutions when we talk about NFC technology. This technology has uses in advertising, security, GPS navigation, retail, and whatever else innovative companies will dream up. Get used to NFC because it’s not going anywhere soon.
Finding ways to cut down costs on utilities is at the forefront of building smart cities. There are currently many cities implementing LED technology to slash energy bills, and make no mistake, this technology cuts kilowatt hours like nobody’s business.
Food will be grown in vertical farms within city limits. This food will grow every day of the year 24 hours a day. Think stackable greenhouses and you will start getting the idea of what this looks like.
Vehicles and mobile devices will provide real-time parking maps. This technology will probably be integrated with sophisticated city grid systems that seamlessly talk to your self driving electric car to find optimal parking.
Get ready for a gradual but massive overhaul of public electric vehicle charging availability. Infrastructure must be built because electronic vehicles will soon become the norm.
The future smart city might not be the utopia we all hope for so cities will have to create a safer environment through ultimate surveillance systems with facial recognition technology and a plethora of security cameras.
A highly complex system of sensors integrated in roadways will allow traffic to be managed much more efficiently reducing congestion and fuel waste.
Smart homes are those which are intimately aware of how much power they consume as well as having all appliances connected through a common interface. Smart home automation systems will be talking to each other and moderated with sophisticated software making everything more efficient.
The smart grid will be tracking how much energy you use and when you use it. Plan on being given a sliding scale connected to a smart meter with the amount of money you pay for electricity increasing during peak times.
I reckon that within the decade, thanks to the Affordable Care Act in the U.S., your employer and the government will be tracking your healthcare decisions. If you decide to make bad choices and do something like not take your medication or smoke a cigarette you might just get a penalty in the form of an increased premium.
Current apps are able to essentially break down language barriers in many ways, for example, there are currently sophisticated applications you can use to take pictures of text in other languages and have a translation on demand. That’ll be nice in big multicultural cities.
Companies are popping up which allow members to pay access for bike use with technology installed to make the process of bike rental painless. Things like solar powered rental stations and RFID chips to tell you where available bikes are located will make bike rental very feasible.
Urban wind turbines are going to be popping up more and more this year and in the coming years and as technology improves we will be more able to harness the power of the wind, even in confined urban areas.
Windows will be tinted on demand so that on hot days they can be darkened to keep rooms cool, and conversely on cold days they can be clear to embrace whatever warmth the sun has, this may be a subtle way to improve the use of renewables, but it’s still awesome…