Month: July 2019

A Live-Work Space Lets In Light and Creativity

When Gary Richmond and Elaine Walker first fulfilled this house, they fell in love with its possible and agreed to get it on the spot. The husband-and-wife design team knew they had a fixer-upper in their hands, and it had been stuck in the early ’80s. “We worked together with the first brick structure, but we all restyled the decor and much of the interior, which was not a priority for the previous owner,” says Richmond. The house today reflects the couple’s distinctive flavor, their penchant for pre-loved furniture and their efforts to direct a more sustainable lifestyle.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Gary Richmond and Elaine Walker
Location: Central Southampton, England
Size: 2,500 square feet


The few pairs striking pieces like the Designers Guild drapery, printed rug and large scale paintings using white walls, which enhance the artwork. They bought nearly all of their furniture in vintage shops and specialty stores in London and Brighton.

Richmond salvaged the rich, strong mahogany flooring from a nearby college sports hall.


Richmond stripped off the ground’s older markings by hand to retain its grain and patina. “Most people today think the flooring is original to the house,” Richmond says. “Hand-stripping the flooring rather than sanding the whole thing using a machine actually adds to the floor’s personality.”

Paintings by New York artist and friend Tim Kent flank the seating area.


Sliding doors connect the living room to the atrium. This area had much more supporting joists earlier, “which was lovely to check at but obstructed the light, Richmond says. “We replaced the timber using an aluminum version.”


The reading chairs fronting the library shelves twice as seeing lounges in front of the media center.


Inspired by the reclaimed floors in the living space, the design team made a kitchen that’s sympathetic to the home’s brick structure while still expressing their modern taste.

The custom kitchen cabinetry is a rosewood veneer. A floating black parapan locker unit echoes the dark sheen of these light pendants. The flamed granite countertops have a textured surface that’s warm and leather-like to the touch.

Kitchen design and joinery: Walk Inside Design; dining room table: Safire; mild pendants: Conciluce


The kitchen and dining area change from bright and outward looking during the day, to darker with characteristic lighting and a cozier feel at dusk and into the night.


The bedroom reflects a more minimalist ethos in comparison using all the modern-eclectic kind of the rest of the house. A layered window treatment produces a sophisticated appearance and helps the bedroom.


Under-floor heating warms toes in the restroom. The few laid the bathroom floor and wall tiles at the exact brick-like pattern used throughout the house.

Toilet joinery: Walk Inside Design



Shutters covering the massive atrium window filter sunlight. Guests can control the solar-powered motor using a bedside remote.


The lined wallpaper provides more insulation and smooths from the unfinished plaster work underneath. The wallpaper adds visual interest and takes the eye away from the all room’s straight lines and angles.


“Bathing in the soaking tub is merely the very relaxing feeling — day or night,” says Richmond.

Another studio (curved wall) that formerly contained a swimming pool homes the pair’s office. “A pool wasn’t an option for us, so we transformed the pool to our job studio. We shortened the space to offer extra parking in the rear and a patio in the front,” says Richmond.


Inside, job lamps, a mirrored lamp and industrial light pendants throw the pitched roof’s angles a couple of curves. Tolix chairs and a pair of stools surround the table.


The design duo thinks of the house as the pleasant surprise in the end of the road.


“We’re surrounded by Victorian terraced houses. Most people, even folks from the region, don’t even know it’s here,” Richmond says.

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Steel Stud

Steel studs are largely used in commercial settings but are becoming increasingly popular in residential building, due to some interesting benefits. Steel studs are fabricated, so they are perfectly right, whereas a timber stud could be warped or bowed, throwing all of fantastic measurements off. Steel studs will not split or shrink; they are powerful, lightweight and fire resistant; plus they do not attract insects or suffer with timber rot.

Whereas a timber stud needs to be cut on a saw with every dimension, a steel stud could be snapped by hand following a tiny cut is made with wire snips. Steel studs additionally have predrilled holes for conducting electrical wire through. On the downside, steel studs transfer cold and condensation into the exteriors of walls, and even though they are recyclable, the pollution incurred during the procedure can outweigh the benefits. Wood, on the other hand, is renewable and biodegradable.

Brennan + Company Architects

Steel studs are shown in this picture, in which the wall meets the ceiling. Unless the studs have been exposed, it’s not possible to tell when steel rather than wood studs are used to frame a home.

Before Photo

ProSource Memphis

The simple construction of a steel-stud frame is approximately the same as with timber. Space the studs no further than 16 inches apart, align them onto a track connected to the ground, use wire snips to cut on the studs into the correct height, clamp the studs whenever they are level and use screws to attach them eternally.

Drywall could be wrapped with screws, also. Screws are easier to remove than nails when mistakes are made with measurements.

Symbol Audio

Steel studs are employed within this area as a design element. Notice the holes onto the studs. These are for conducting electical wire or other construction materials throughout the studs in case the walls are to be included.

Lucy Call

This transformed garage was a area that is industrial that is open. Steel studs were used to frame out rooms, and polycarbonate glazing and plywood sheath the walls.

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20 of Those most cozy Dining Area

For me, “comfy dining room” means a conventional, compact room with rock walls, a roaring fire, a wrought iron chandelier, upholstered seats and a round wooden dining table atop an Oriental rug, rather located in a Tuscan villa. Easy — we’ve got a good deal of beautiful examples of those on . But that’s not all there’s to comfy. Exposed brick and rustic beams aren’t a necessity. Cozy can take many shapes and fashions. I’ve combed to find a diverse assortment of dining rooms with a comfy feel. Caution: Don’t turn into a drinking game where you have a sip every time that I write “cozy.” This would be horrible for your health.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

You ask me to get comfy, I imagine this rustic yet elegant room. The flame, the comfortable chairs, the chandelier, the more exposed beams and brick. I could stop right here and claim that this is the ultimate comfy dining space, but I will press and provide you more.


This dining room is in a stone farmhouse in France. It doesn’t get any cozier than this, except maybe if it had been in Italy, because then the risotto will be even better.

See the rest of this home

CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc..

Coziness can mean having to create at least four people get up so for one to leave the dining table. While this sounds inconvenient, it is just part of the price paid for smart space saving, and it is not too big a deal.

Glenn Gissler Design

Coziness can also take the form of sitting shoulder to shoulder along with your dinner companions. This indicates you’re all very close, you like one another and you are having a great time.

Rachel Reider Interiors

Contemporary and cozy aren’t mutually exclusive. Warm woods, textures, colors and lighting give a cozy ambience here, while Cherner dining room provides a dollop of midcentury modern style.

Laura Martin Bovard

This transitional dining room is clean lined and uncluttered, but upholstered seats, art, a round table, exposed ceiling beams and a mix of wood finishes all contribute to the coziness.


This is the house that launched a thousand blog posts. Although Victoria of sfgirlbybay has moved a few times since this was her home, many of us fell in love with her cozy bohemian modern San Francisco apartment with a copper-clad fireplace, schoolhouse chalkboard, farmhouse dining table and tulip seats, and we have been following her around ever since the very first time we watched it.

See the rest of this home

Emerick Architects

This dining room is bodacious and glam, but is cozied up by sheepskin cries on the seats, excellent dimmable overhead lighting and bamboo shades.

Blackband Design

This Spanish colonial dining room is very sophisticated and hot at the same period, thanks to spool furniture, a candle-like chandelier, rich red walls and an antique rug.

Witt Construction

The style of this room can be Spanish colonial, but it is very different from the previous case. In this room the intricate woven textiles on the seats, the honey-colored wood dining table and seat, the faux-textured walls as well as the rugs, drapes and lighting all add coziness in a significantly lighter color palette.

RW Anderson Homes

This dining room is simultaneously comfy yet a bit austere. The wainscoting, cheerful background, drapes and chandelier bring in heat without also earning the mess.

Murphy & Co.. Design

On occasion a dining room is simply a little space where two people are able to enjoy a meal together. Within this comfortable gatehouse, two armchairs and a desk located a pleasant corner inside an open area.

See the rest of this home

Julie Smith

I am not positive whether it’s the rag rug, the cuckoo clock or even the proudly displayed groups, but this dining room feels like a spot where a family loves to collect softly and comfortably.

Risa boyer architecture

Although I don’t usually combine glowing white with coziness, this eclectic room feels like a joyful place that draws people in.

James Glover Residential & Interior Design

Again, tons of white does not necessarily make 1 think of coziness, however slipcovered chairs, candles overhead, a fireplace, rustic beams and a natural floor give this room an intimate vibe.

Michael Fullen Design Group

The dining room and library combo is a surefire way to earn a comfortable multipurpose room. This one gets bonus coziness points for heavy drapes and cushy host and hostess seats.

Extra layers bring extra coziness to this dining room. The dining table is layered in 2 tablecloths, the seats are wrapped in fringe-trimmed fabric, the mantel is layered with china, candles and plants … even the chandelier is strung in colours and greens.

Lands End Development – Designers & Builders

There is something about a rustic aesthetic that makes a space feel tucked far away from the rest of the world in a homestead or camp type of way. Natural materials like big stones and twiggy wood pieces bring in an away-from-it-all vibe; dark wood countertops and ocher walls finish off the look.

Andrea Schumacher Interiors

I cannot seem to write about dining rooms without including this photo. Though the area is relatively big, the extended dining couch, wingback host and hostess seats, red dining seats, cocktail room, rug, window trim and soft wall shade make it unique and so inviting.

Carson Poetzl, Inc..

I will end with the type of space I explained at the start. I am just a sucker for a round wood dining table in a dining room with stone walls, exposed beams, upholstered seats and of course, a roaring fireplace.

More: 20 of those Coziest Kitchens About

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Bedrooms for the Homes of Today

Since the Victorian age, that which we need in the bedroom has changed very little. We want basically the same pieces — mattress, bedside tables, clothing storage. And we enjoy basically the exact same aesthetic — comfortable, tranquil, even luxurious. Really, we may find that period’s wallpapers and fabrics attractive. Victorian staples such as freestanding wardrobes, marble-topped washstands and folding displays may be redeemed for modern bedrooms while still keeping the Victorian feel. Keep reading to learn how to turn a Victorian bedroom into a private space you will love spending time in.

Dreamy Whites

It is well worth noting that Victorian women in their country houses often spent the entire morning in bed reading and composing letters. I’m not sure I would get away with this, but if I did, I would want the finest linen and lace to surround me — just like them.

I wonder if I could find a lace iPad cover?

Dreamy Whites

Aside from the bed, the wardrobe will be the largest piece of furniture at a bedroom. The most popular models had a mirror at the center cupboard and double-width storage on either side. Traditionally, the wardrobes were made of dark varnished wood — a rather large and somber characteristic for today’s tastes. But, you can often pick one up cheaply and achieve great effects by stripping and painting it.

Aiken House & Gardens

Although not necessarily a four-poster (even though they were hot), Victorian beds often had draperies made from light cloth, with matching curtains on the windows.

Cabell Design Studio

Matching draperies and window dressing adorn this French-inspired space, without the four-poster mattress. Note the display in the corner — these were hugely popular in Victorian bedrooms.

Ernesto Santalla PLLC

Traditionally used to hide unsightly things (or maybe for the woman to groom behind), the display now functions as a excellent means to modify the shapes of the space. I adore the inventive way a display was used here. It is a hugely elastic thing, also; if bought cheaply in poor condition, it can be creatively re-covered in wallpaper or fabric.

The bunk bed often appeared in Victorian bedrooms. If you’d like the design but the finish feels a little too traditional, then get out your paintbrush. White makes for a soft and romantic aesthetic, or go for a bold and contrasting color option to get a more eclectic look.

Meredith L. Bohn Interior Design

Bedside tables were rarely matching, as this wasn’t the age of uniform bedroom sets. Consider using one plain table, covered with a tablecloth or lace, and an antique table or old army chest for another side.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Traditional Victorian bedrooms also had a washstand — a free-standing piece of furniture with a marble top, a bowl and a water pitcher. Put a washstand to good use on your en package. They can even be converted to hold plumbing.

Tracery Interiors

Fixtures and fittings in a Victorian bedroom could have been much the same as in the remainder of the home, including architectural moldings and a fireplace, needless to say. Many houses have had fireplaces removed or obstructed, however, the recesses make for good storage, and the mantel is excellent for a mirror.

While open fires can be messy at a bedroom, think about a gas alternative to get a convenient and clean flame. Pure indulgence and, in true Victorian fashion, the perfect spot for the armchair.

Beccy Smart Photography

Finally, don’t be a slave to your Victorian bedroom. You are able to keep all the traditional features and toss in some glamour and contemporary pieces to get a gorgeous eclectic look. I’m sure Jane Eyre would approve.

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Modern Homes Embrace Mixed Views on Windows

Modern residential architecture could possibly be sensed as glass walls, however most houses of the ilk have smaller windows, rather than full window walls. Which leads to this question? Should a window be tall, wide square, fixed, operable? These concerns apply to all homes, but given the freedom that modern design affords, they are more of a concern with this style compared to other people. This ideabook deals with these questions by considering four projects recently posted to .

1. Vetter Denk’s Champion residence in Wisconsinhas an interesting mixture of tall windows and flat ones. The two overlap on the right side of the photo.

One intersection of wide and tall occurs in the dining room. The tall window contrasts with all the table and is flanked by sliding windows that allow natural ventilation. The flat window frames a vista for people eating at the table, but the tall window connects this perspective to the immediate foreground.

The opposing side of this Champion residence is partly bermed into the landscape. Here the window dominates.

Back in the dining room, we see the way the window functions together with the kitchen. The windows sit above the counter height and then turn the corner to attract lots of light into the space. The operable window sits in the front of the sink, giving a wonderful breeze to whoever must clean the pans.

Welch Forsman Associates

2. I am fascinated by this “Sixties Spiffed” project from Welch Forsman Associates, because of the perspective it appears fairly solid. Where are the windows?

Welch Forsman Associates

Many of the windows are in reality clerestories, located above the level of the brick wall in the previous photo. A skylight, visible above the island, helps you to bring daylight into the middle of the home. While the home isn’t confined to clerestory windows, they ring the home, developing a halo-like effect that links the many rooms.

Welch Forsman Associates

In the toilet the clerestory is very nice, since it brings in light while providing privacy.

Faust Construction

3. The Shepherds residence, made by 360 Architects, can be intriguing. At the rear patio the walls are mostly solid, save a small window upstairs and 2 narrow windows below. I am guessing the upstairs window functions a bedroom, since it’s operable. But what about downstairs?

Faust Construction

The 2 windows really visually connect the kitchen into the yard. In between the two windows is a solid wall that is used to get a large built-in refrigerator.

M+A Architecture Studio

4. The Gulf Coast Farmhouse, made by M+A Architecture Studio, comprises these 3 angled bays that are highlighted by different colors. Their regularity, and the fact that the home is to get a family with three kids, points into their serving bedrooms.

M+A Architecture Studio

In the living room inside, these rooms are evident throughout the bright colors’ “leaking” through clerestory windows.

M+A Architecture Studio

Past the bedroom is a stretch of wall that is punctured by different openings in a strange pattern that has to arise from inside issues.

M+A Architecture Studio

These windows serve the bathroom. One window is in the shower, a lengthy one sits large, one is facing one of those lavs, and one is even found below the counter, in a gap between cabinets. It is an interesting way of selectively bringing light into a space that frequently suffers from small to none.

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Guest Groups: Neutral Elements

While colour is always a welcome element in almost any room, sometimes a neutral palette of cream, gray, white and rustic brown could be precisely what your space requirements. It makes for a comfortable, relaxing and tranquil escape right on your home. — Annemarie from Brunch in Saks

Farrow & Ball

The Lotus Papers BP 2010 – $285

Including a bit of depth and personality, this lotus-print background from Farrow & Ball would complement any neutral space nicely. Pair it with an accompanying stone, gray or creamy white wall, and your space will instantly come to life.

West Elm

Turning Pendant, White/Natural – $149

I truly love this timeless necklace with its wood base and natural colour. It is versatile and may hang above anyplace, from an office desk to a dining room table.

West Elm

Boerum 6-Drawer Dresser – $799

I like this good wood dresser because of its normal appearance and practical use. It can easily fit in with any bedroom decor, and it may be dressed up with accessories kept simple with a single lamp and some other essentials.


Reed Zinc Chair, Open Weaves – $149

Just a small darker but still lovely with things neutral, this handwoven Reed Zinc Chair would look great in a workplace or multiplied round a kitchen table.


Lotus Natural Ottoman – $499

If maintaining your living space a neutral space with natural elements is your target, then that Lotus Ottoman from CB2 is perfect for you. I like that it can double as a coffee table if needed.

Pottery Barn

Classic Ticking Stripe Duvet Cover & Sham, Neutral – $29

I love this stone-colored duvet and shams from Pottery Barn. Light-colored bedding can make your bedroom feel calm and relaxing, making for the best night’s sleep.

Brook Farm General Store

Bud Vase, Small – $32

Small and ideal for a fireplace mantel or coffee table centerpiece, these handmade stoneware vases are simple, yet they could add tons of style to your space.

Z Gallerie

Chateaux Wall Plaque – $249.95

This Chateaux Wall Plaque is visually interesting and adds great dimension to your space. I also like that it’s unbiased enough to fit into almost any design scheme.


Asanto Natural Pillow – $39.95

A set of natural cushions, such as these interwoven linen ones from Crate & Barrel, is ideal for adding rich feel.


Uttermost Alita Mirror, Champagne – $386.99

This mirror is constructed of hand-forged metal strips, which gives it a classic flair that’s fit for almost any neutral space.


Cicada Art Bird Art Neutral Hand Torn Parchment Printing by The Haunted Hollow Tree – $28

These hand-torn parchment prints are ideal to keep your room within a neutral colour range while working nicely with any design scheme.


Weave Floor Lamp – $149

Another great way to add texture in addition to height is with a floor lamp. I love this woven light which illuminates its beautiful cross-hatching when lit.


Cotton Woven Stripe Throw, Neutral – $89

The tiniest of accessories, such as this striped throw, can contribute to the subject of your neutral space.


Target House ™ Wool/Jute Rug, Cream – $24.99

I really like this natural, woven, wool carpet from Target as it’s simple and can adapt readily to almost any furniture you already have.

Tree Ring Holder – $9.95

Cute and simple, this tree-shaped ring holder makes the ideal accessory accessory.


Traveler Coffee Table – $998

I love when furniture serves numerous purposes, similar to this trunk which may be used as a coffee table too. Use it to store family photo albums and other items you would like to keep close, or fill it with blankets and additional sheet sets for guests.

Cube Marketplace

Mud Australia Porcelain Large Pebble Bowl – $104

Neutral decor does not have to always be on screen. These porcelain pebble dishes are fantastic for everyday usage but also stylish enough to use for dinner parties or get-togethers.


HAVERDAL Frame – $3.99

These mat frames are great on almost any surface or as part of the outfit on a gallery wall.


Tropical Palm Natural Placemat – $4.95

I love this collection of natural place mats. They’re just right for dressing up your dining room table, yet they’re still simple enough to use daily.

Beach Style Decorative Bowls – $39.95

I love the natural and organic feel of the Naples Bowl. It is the great tabletop accessory for any neutral space.

Next: Neutrals from the Bedroom

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Home Tech: Where's My Robot Housekeeper?

A charming new film called”Robot & Frank” takes place in the not too distant future, where humanoid robot housekeepers are trivial. (The direct robot personality also acts as caregiver to an aging man and, finally, as co-conspirator and friend.)

It is a frequent theme in popular culture. From Isaac Asimov’s”I, Robot” series published starting in 1950 to the Will Smith movie of the same title to”The Jetsons,” have guaranteed a future where smart machines would wash our dishes and do our laundry.

In every one of those fictional depictions, housecleaning robots are humanoid. The home of the future is washed by something approximating a human servant re-created out of circuits and machined metal components.

Frank Langella in”Robot & Frank”

It is the future today, is not it? So where’s your robot housekeeper? It turns out that a few elements of autonomous housekeeping were harder than imagined. The mechanical problems have been resolved, and the”intelligence” to carry out domestic chores — for example, draining dishes and placing them into a dishwasher — is also doable.

Two problems prevent us from getting”The Jetsons'” Rosie the Robot: pattern recognition and decision making.

Your brain’s skills to recognize what objects are, and to contextualize them, are far beyond even the most effective computer. These skills are required for even the most commonplace of national pursuits.

So with the current technologies, humanoid, all-purpose cleaning robots are out of the question and will be for quite some time.

The fantastic thing is that little housecleaning robots which specialize in just one task are becoming more and more accessible and affordable.

Roomba 650 Floor Cleaner – $399.99

Floor-Cleaning Robots

Robots that vacuum rugs and wash floors have been around awhile, and they improve with every generation.

The chief in the group is a company named iRobot. They make vacuum cleaner robots under a brand called the Roomba and cleansing or floor-washing robots known as the Scooba. Other companies have emerged which also sell Roomba-like robot vacuums.

In general, these floor-cleaning robots are all round, flat and operate on re-chargable batteries. They map the room in their robot brains and make multiple passes in every area. Sensors stop them from tumbling down stairs and permit them to clean around the bottoms of furniture. Many return to their charging channels, so the only human intervention required is the occasional emptying of their dirt bubbles and cleaning of their brushes.

One of iRobot’s most recent products is state of the art. Called the Roomba 650, this floor cleaner automatically corrects for various sorts of floors and carpets. And it has a fresh layout for transferring dirt into an enlarged bin, which involves draining less often. You can program it to clean up to seven times each week starting at whatever time you specify.

WCR-I001 Window Cleaning Robot – $539.99

Window-Cleaning Robots

A new category of robot does windows! These generally involve two light and small units that you set on all sides of the window — one side cleans, and the other hand holds it against the glass using magnets and controls direction and speed.

Once you turn it loose, the robot cleans horizontally until it reaches the other side of the window; then it makes another pass in the opposite direction a few inches lower. These passes until the window is done, repeat.

One of the leading brands is Named Windoro WCR-I001 Window Cleaning Robot. It cleans replaceable microfiber cloths and runs for approximately two hours on a battery charge, as stated by the manufacturer.

Looj 330 – $299.99

Rain Gutter-Cleaning Robots

iRobot creates a gadget known as the Looj 330, which won’t only clean your roof’s rain gutters without much effort on your part, it will reduce your ladder time, which makes that seasonal gutter-cleaning chore safer.

The Looj is a lanky, watertight mini-tank that fits to the gutter. You turn it on and let it go, and its large, rubberized flaps flip the leaves and junk out of your gutters.

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Brick Oddities Throw Home Design a Curveball

Among the hundreds of thousands of home photographs on , many fall into some broad stylistic types. Designs rooted in conventional fashions tend to predominate , and contemporary houses receive their fair share, even though both camps can scarcely agree. Even in the eclectic category, lots of the buildings are still quite similar to conventional or modern/contemporary houses, with minor idiosyncrasies.

However, what about the really odd? Showing some of these houses was my target in this ideabook, and mercifully, I have discovered a couple of.

Bernard Andre Photography

Take away all the curves moving this way and that, and this house in Northern California may just fit in with additional contemporary houses on . However, why do so? They give this hillside residence so much character. It appears as though the numerous volumes and curves work in perfect balance, the convex curve on the left rooting the house into the site as the concave curve on the right leans over the incline.

Bernard Andre Photography

A ravine of sorts stays between these two curving volumes. This is the entry stairway below a third volume that’s also restricted by a curving roof.

Bernard Andre Photography

This view of this leaning volume provides a small glimpse inside, where we can observe a curving interior wall around the floor. It’s excellent to see that the curves are not just skin deep.


Additionally curved at odds with the first instance, are these DomeHouses out of Korea. Where the hillside house is habit indoors and outside, the DomeHouse is a prefabricated construction purported to take four hours to get a few people to build. Bucky Fuller may be proud, given they’re prefab, around (surrounding the most space) and extremely lightweight. I’m not sure about these square windows inserted into the domes, though.


Indoors, the DomeHouse is precisely what you would expect: a dome. Furnishing a little, single-room dome isn’t simple (note the way the apparel “violates” the world), but you can not assert that it does not have character.

Uni architecture

This is the XS House, which I believe is pretty cool–it’s so basic yet so distinct. Uni Architecture altered them relative to each other and used three boxes. Windows are cut into portions of the boxes.

Uni architecture

Along with the windows, light comes in through the gaps that are created by altering the boxes relative to each other. Like I said.

Charles Debbas Architecture

This house is completely contemporary, without one detail: that curved window cut into the metal facade. Is your house smiling? Can Amazon’s largest stockholder live there?

Charles Rose Architects Inc..

Speaking of odd facts, how about this scupper that projects from the copper-clad residence? Let us call this the Pinocchio scupper.

GMK Architecture Inc

I have heard of reusing barns for residences, but how can one reuse a concrete silo? In the looks of it, the cylinder connects the two pieces on either side, so stairs would be a good guess. The “hat” on the top indicates a secluded loft or escape as well.

Illinois Outdoor Playhouse – EUR 8,500

The strangest example yet may be the miniaturization of a contemporary masterpiece into a playhouse, like in Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (Plano, IL, 1951). Mies supposedly said, “God is in the details,” in that case the playhouse is sadly lacking — it is wood rather than steel and contains corner posts where the first had none. But it instantly recalls the first in an odd sort of way.

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Green Home Tucked at a Forest

After four generations of family summer vacations spent at their cottage in Roberts Creek, British Columbia, Bill and Carol Page understood this area on the Sunshine Coast is where they’d build their dream home after retirement. The environmentally conscious bunch worked with Montgomery Wood Architect to the majority of the design, using local timber and high tech sustainable attributes where they could. The Pages retained all of the cut-off material during construction and are now using the bits in handmade furniture. Inspired by the Arts and Crafts age, their home design is a lively mixture of fresh, contemporary lines and simple craftsmanship.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Bill and Carol Page
Location: Roberts Creek, Sunshine Coast, British Columbia
Size: 1,600 square feet; two bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, office, workshop, spacious garage
That’s intriguing: Rainwater kept in a cistern under the sun deck is used for irrigation and a koi fish tank.

Ryan Nelson Photography

The few took advantage of their long, narrow lot by placing the house to the back and opening the bright front to get a garden, a driveway and a deck.

Carol’s bent for growing and her experience working at theDevonian Botanic Garden at the University of Alberta helped turn their front garden into a lush oasis. She also planted a lively mixture of hydrangeas, Russian sage, elder, montbretia,Euphorbia, daylilies, Kinnikinnick, clematis,honeysuckle, bamboo, daisies, black-eyed Susan, dogwoodand showy stonecrop — among many different plants.

Ryan Nelson Photography

Rather than interfere with the sun deck at the front, the homeowners put the door to the side of this lot and let the entryway into bisect the dwelling and private areas of the house.

The local cedar siding was hand-dipped in a stain by a local painter to protect the timber from weather and boost the color’s longevity. Painted a forest green, two trim accents were utilized: rough-cut Douglas fir and stained vertical-grain Douglas fir, which carries on inside the house.

Ryan Nelson Photography

Front deck wraps around the face of the house.

Ryan Nelson Photography

The main living room opens onto the sun deck and the kitchen; windows make good use of this whole lot’s southwest orientation.

The design highlights the progression from backyard to deck into dwelling spaces and then private locations. Clean and simple buttery walls match the warmth of this timber siding outside.

Ryan Nelson Photography

The big central island serves as a prep and dining space.

Ryan Nelson Photography

The spacious floor plan, the vaulted ceiling and the skylights make an airy feel in the living areas.

Freshly cut hydrangeas in the backyard are an instant centerpiece.

Ryan Nelson Photography

Glass doors connect the home’s interior with its lawn.

A furnace that is efficient, on-demand hot water and in-slab heating keep the house warm in the winter. However, strategic window placement along with the insulated thermal mass of the concrete flooring mean heating is seldom required.

Ryan Nelson Photography

Steel spindles from a Vancouver company were a successful design experiment.

Ryan Nelson Photography

The upstairs home office overlooks the primary roof and provides an opinion of the Georgia Strait.

Ryan Nelson Photography

The upstairs bathroom is straightforward and pragmatic, with a huge tub and dual-flush toilets.

Ryan Nelson Photography

Carol’s upstairs sewing area also looks out to the front of the house and the Georgia Strait.

Ryan Nelson Photography

Efficient multipurpose spaces promote circulation into different areas of the house. The laundry area area also functions as the back hallway, leading to the downstairs storage area along with the garage and shop areas out the back. Large light wells on each side of the space welcome light to the home’s deepest areas.

Ryan Nelson Photography

The lower patio is enveloped by Carol’s backyard — a refuge secluded in plain sight. Carol maintains an edible garden with a wide selection, including beans, lettuce, raspberries, cucumber, squash, swiss chard, kale, chives and leeks.

The couple is responsible for all of the landscape design, plantings and built structures. Many of the plantings are heirlooms from different families’ homes around British Columbia and Alberta, and lots of the new plantings are native species.

Ryan Nelson Photography

The cottage style of Roberts Creek lends itself well to a massive setback site, instead of a tight urban cloth. The house almost blends into the woods. Carol and Bill’s home is now a destination for future generations of their family to enjoy annually.

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A Manhattan Loft Slides Into Flexibility

This Tour is an instance of art impacting life: architect Azin Valy took inspiration from her customer’s artistic work when changing a cramped two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood into an open, expansive loft. In her work, artist and client Suzanne Russell frequently deals with “interrelated parts that are constantly shifting and moving.” It’s a philosophy that Valy applied when she incorporated sliding doors, built-in cabinets and “smart glass” windows that go from transparent to opaque.

“Casper [Russell’s partner, a Danish attorney] also has an eye for perfection and minimalism, so the attic is our collaborative attempt at translating their requirement for a space that reflects their characters and thoughts,” says Valy.

at a Glance
Who lives here: A retirement home for Suzanne Russell and Casper Munter
Location: New York City
Size: 1,500 square feet
That is interesting: In the late 1900s, the flat was tenement housing.

I-Beam Design

All the walls in the flat were stripped to the first brick foundation. “The apartments used to be row-house buildings before they were converted to condos from the 1980s,” says Valy.

I-Beam Design

The sleek, contemporary spirit of the appliances, the Caesarstone countertop and the white cabinetry contrasts using the white oak floor and recycled-beam pub in the kitchen.

Would you see that the smart-glass windows that transition from clear to frosted at the flick of a change (from inside the bathroom)?

I-Beam Design

Following is a closer look at one of the windows from the kitchen right now it’s in transparent mode and allows light to flood the bath from the home living room. Along with being a natural light source, the windows are just plain fun.

Kitchen designers: Urban Homes; countertop: Caesarstone

I-Beam Design

Following is a peek at the window inside of the toilet while it’s frosted for privacy.

I-Beam Design

Materials utilized in the kitchen can also be utilized in the bathroom, linking the two spaces. “Reclaimed classic subway tiles from the kitchen also surround the tub in the toilet,” says Valy. The identical Caesarstone countertop used from the kitchen cascades on sills and shelves in the toilet as well.

I-Beam Design

The clients’ minimalist style is evident from the bedroom, in which a task lamp and a pair of reclaimed planks are the only decoration. A reddish side table gives the spare room a place of color.

I-Beam Design

A close look at this picture reveals a mirrored door, which creates the illusion of a extended narrow space by representing the distance resulting in the living space. Interestingly, the hallway used to be a shaft between two row houses.

“Our goal from the renovation was always to reflect the clients’ modern sensibilities,” says Valy. “But keeping the brick walls and keeping up the appearance of the shaftway-turned-hallway roots the space to its tenant housing history.”

I-Beam Design

The living area and the dining area can be connected or separated. Sliding doors (the track along the ceiling is envisioned here) let the room to change from open to private.

I-Beam Design

A closer look at the sliding doors that separate the living area in the dining room.

I-Beam Design

Here we see the sliding door can separate the guest bedroom (at right) in the dining room — and the way that it can also visually connect the two spaces.

I-Beam Design

The floor plan shows the way the living spaces are interconnected and the way one area bleeds into another. The flat retains its raw and open quality with the help of temporary obstacles that allow the room to accommodate and transform based on the privacy requirements of the clients.

400-Square-Foot Unfolding Apartment in Manhattan

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