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Month June 2015 Archive

 Modern LA Home Boasting Remarkable Outdoor Living

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Located in the increasingly trendy Mar Vista neighborhood in Los Angeles, this refreshingly modern LA home boasts exquisite details that shape an unforgettable space. Floor-to-ceiling windows and multi-slider doors ensure the owners are met with vibrancy every morning. Natural light makes art flourish on walls and invites outdoors in the beautiful garden.Privacy is protected from the curious eye by windows placed high up that allowing natural light to caress private spaces. Privacy continues in the garden, where the extensive use of glass between indoor and outdoor is protected by green fences all around.The volumetric white and gray facade is interrupted by framed windows and punctuated with wood to mark the entrances to a warm and inviting home. A beautiful corner window hides one of the bedrooms upstairs. Walking past the sleek wood entrance door, the home welcomes you with a large open space leading out to a green garden. A tree planted outdoors is clearly seen through the glass enclosure designed for it, making the space feel both indoors and outdoors.Blue and orange work wonders on creating a vibrant atmosphere inside. Large dark framed windows frame exhilarating green views of the surroundings, also flooding the interior with bright light.The brand new, meticulously designed modern LA home boasts fine details that animate the space: “The kitchen is equipped with Italian cabinetry, and luxury appliances. Limestone walls permeate interior and exterior. Dramatic lighting outside and in, enhances the artfulness of the design. The master bedroom has “his” and “hers” closets with sleek, customizable Italian shelving systems. The house is technologically cutting-edge with operating solar panels, security cameras and the Control 4 Home Automation System which allows the owner to operate systems and view the home from remote locations.”See more details of this modern LA home here and enjoy the inspiring photos! And if you loved this garden, maybe you’d like to see this surprising urban garden exhibited by contemporary home in Bratislava, it’s something to dream about at night…

 Window Treatment Ideas for Every Room in the House

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Having great windows is a major plus in any home–they add character and provide much coveted natural light. Without window treatments, however, the space will look unfinished.Whether you choose blinds, cornices or curtains, windows are a good place to anchor the room’s overall design and inject your own personal style. Before deciding on a treatment, determine what function the window covering needs to serve and the aesthetic you want it to reflect. Is it for a home office? Blinds that block out glare from the sun are a good choice. Looking for an elegant touch to a dining room window? A cornice is a stylish option. Do you need privacy? Opt for an opaque material.Custom curtains can be expensive, so think about both utility and style before making your decision. There’s many options for great window treatment ideas that work for every budget and skill level. Below are our five favorite trends.Wood cornices are one of the most classic window treatment ideas, but they are often overlooked as an option in contemporary homes because of their traditional nature. Used alone, however, cornices can create a sleek, modern look. Though they can be paired with curtains, stained or painted, wood boxes are perfect for the kitchen and bath, where fabric can succumb to water damage. These are best built by a skilled carpenter for a custom fit, so they can be expensive if you aren’t handy. Cornices hide curtain hardware and blend well with luxurious detailing, like crown molding, to give your home a gracious, regal look.If you love the look of clean edges but lack the funds for custom cornices, you can still have a beautiful window without any soft goods at all by painting the window’s mullions, frame and sill instead of dressing it with curtains. Any DIYer with a steady hand and some masking tape can paint a window, and the color possibilities are endless. Try a bold pop of color to highlight the view, but for best resale value, choose a dark brown or black color for a chic look.Swing arm curtains are one of the more unique window treatment ideas, and they haven’t seen much use in the United States in recent years. They require a special hinged curtain rod that allows you to move the curtain to stand out at a 90-degree angle from the window. Swing arm curtains are a brilliant and surprisingly inexpensive solution for bedrooms where you want to be able to block light easily without having to worry about ruining a carefully pleated or artfully scrunched curtain fabric with daily adjustments.No list of window treatment ideas would be complete without the ultra-rich look of opaque panels. Classic velvet is great for blocking light, and it can give your bedroom the feel of a sumptuous palace. Velvet’s beautiful drape allows it to look its best when tied back and allowed to cascade to the floor. Other great choices for opaque panels include sueded fabrics, chenille weaves and silk damask. Choose an unusual color for high impact in both traditional and modern spaces.Sheers are a bestseller for a reason: they look great in every room without costing a fortune. Sheer panels offer privacy while still allowing for plenty of light in your room, so they’re a great choice for north-facing windows or high-traffic areas. White sheers create a beautiful, breezy feel and are at their best when hung from floor to ceiling. Sheer panels are also available in a variety of colors. Match the walls for an interesting textural variation, or add a touch of color to a neutral room by choosing sheers in a pastel shade that works with the overall palette of the room…

 Virginia Farmhouse Renovation Gives Family Back Their Health

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Reader & Swartz Architects imagined a 1970’s farmhouse rekindled to its old flame with a twist of modern design. transformed from plain and boring into a contemporary example of modern design capabilities, the Virginia Farmhouse renovation literally brought back life and health to its inhabiting family. Architects inform us that “the house had mold problems, and, consequently, its inhabitants had respiratory issues. ”Imagine an old farmhouse, dressed in baby blue vinyl siding being replaced with a modern replica. How would it change?This 1970’s farmhouse in Frederick County, Virginia, was surrounded by fully-grown trees. This was its main feature that convinced everyone the old farmhouse was worth saving. Architects say that “because of its siting, and because the owners were concerned about conserving natural resources, a decision was made not to tear down and relocate the house. Instead, the design parti was to keep the box of the original house as the central core, add two wings which help make outdoor spaces and optimize the sun path, and rethink the building massing.”Oriented for passive solar gain and using locally sourced materials, this home has a whole list of environmentally-friendly strategies used in its design and construction.The owners’ environmentally-conscious way of living was infused in the farmhouse renovation. Boulders found in different places were used as decor indoors and outside. This creates a strong bond between natural and man-made and this was mirrored in the whole design.“The core of the existing house was used for the kitchen, service spaces, and children’s bedrooms. Because the existing house had typical eight foot high ceilings, we opened up the second floor above the kitchen. This new opening connects the centrally located kitchen to the children’s areas above, and drops daylight into the center of the house. One new wing is an open living room, connected to the kitchen and outdoors. The other new wing is dedicated to more private rooms, including the master suite, yoga room, and library.”Photographed by Hoachlander Davis Photography, the renovated farmhouse re-imagined as being an inspiring version of its old self, saving time and money in the process: “Cedar tree trunks were used structurally in the kitchen and yoga room. The building is skinned in cedar siding, arranged in horizontal and vertical patterns and punctuated by art panels.” A re-imagined family home where everything has its place, right?

 Bar Raval Brings Tapas and Sculptural Design to Toronto

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What makes a social space attractive? The atmosphere, details and sounds, aromas and laughs? These are all to be found at Bar Raval in Toronto, Canada. Designed by Canadian architects Partisans, the modern social space greets guests with a unique display of undulating mahogany lines. Imagined to have people enjoy each other’s company while sitting, the ambitious project is defined by smooth lines that invite to touch. It’s easy to lean against soft edges and feel your way along the textured walls and bar edge.“Bar Raval is a 21st-century reinterpretation of Spanish Art Nouveau. The brainchild of celebrated Canadian chef Grant van Gameren and wunderkind mixologists Mike Webster and Robin Goodfellow, Raval introduces Toronto to the pintxo bar, a cornerstone of social and gastronomic culture in Basque Country.”Spreading over 1,980 square feet, the sculptural Bar Raval encourages social interaction: “Raval’s molten quality fosters fluid circulation and close encounters, honoring the spirit of its Spanish pintxo counterparts.”Nooks and crannies become part of the sinuous design. Mahogany stretches from the walls up to the ceilings, where cut-outs showcase the complex ceiling design and bottles found their perfect decor place. The dark color palette alongside gold infusions help create a sophisticated atmosphere, perfect for socialization. Specializing in tapas but revealing a mix of modern and Nouveau design, Bar Raval brings a unique perspective on fun on Toronto’s bar scene.A customized project, Bar Raval is infused with its owners’ personalities: “The bar’s design pays direct homage to the physicality of its three owners. The result: A series of three-dimensional tattooed “limbs” that enfold patrons in a warm mahogany embrace. Passers-by can also admire the artistry—the handcrafted steel latticework we designed to clad the front and side windows. But like van Gameren’s mouth-watering pinxtos, the filigree only offers a tantalizing taste of what lies within.”We recently featured a fascinating bar area that was designed to become the focal point for the bartender’s intriguing cocktails, maybe you’d like to see how that design looks like and compare it to what you know…

 Why Millennials Are Moving Home Design Trends

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Millennials (who are the up-and-coming home buyers) are beginning to drastically shape home design. Image Source: Gunlock HomesHome design trends are like fashion— constantly in flux. What’s hot one minute is not so hot the next, leaving you with an outdated home. Let’s try and forecast what’s coming by catching a trend in its infancy, allowing you to be ahead of the bandwagon and have an on-trend home, or perhaps a home that sets and solidifies an upcoming trend.Here we will look at how millennials  (who are the up-and-coming home buyers) are beginning to drastically shape home design trends. Millennials have a unique perspective on life and how it should be lived, and this outlook is shaping how homes are being designed and built. Let’s delve deeper into the mega-impact millennials are having on home design:Millennials have a unique perspective on life and how it should be lived, and this outlook is shaping how homes are being designed and built. Image Source: CR MartinBefore we explain how millennials are redefining design, we better first explain who exactly these millennials are.Millennials are often referred to as Generation Y, following Generation X. Most think this demographic ranges in birth years that span from 1980 to the early 2000’s. Imagine for a moment what this generation has witnessed so far in their lives, and perhaps what their parents have witnessed and how that has shaped their upbringing.Author, Eldwood Carlson, who penned The Lucky Few: Between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boom, refers to this demographic as Generation 9/11, noting the upswing in births after 1983 that abruptly ended once 9/11 hit. According to many theories, this generation has specific traits due to its timing of birth. The main traits resulting in a civic-minded generation who have a strong sense of duty, and local and global community awareness. Imagine how that way of thinking could affect home design….Millennials are often referred to as Generation Y, following Generation X, and range in birth years from 1980 to the early 2000’s. Image Source: Western Window SystemsWhen researching this topic, one main theme kept reappearing in terms of a millennial lifestyle and what this generation holds high and values: Money & Success.A Monitoring the Future study by University of Michigan, showed a dramatic increase resulting in 75% of millennials noting that wealth was a very important life attribute. This study also noted dramatic decreases in the desire for lifestyles that:These statistics don’t seem to align with the earlier-mentioned traits of millennials being civic-minded and having a strong sense of duty, locally and globally. But with this dichotomy in mind, let’s look at some recurring home designs that builders and home designers are noting popular among millennials.This ‘Generation Y’ holds high and values: Money & Success. Image Source: Wick DesignPresident of the Southern California Edition of Tri Pointe Homes, Tom Grable, believes it’s the urbanized environments that are attracting the young, cosmopolitan people. He notes: “These people with high-tech or engineering jobs like things that look and feel techy and have practical applications.”He further notes how this urban or millennial trend will filter and spread to the majority: “…a lot of those urbane buyers are thought leaders, and over time their [housing preferences] will filter down to a greater marketplace. So, over time, we’ll start to see contemporary aspects introduced into the more suburbanized or outer edges of our markets.”Since millennials seem to value money and success, it only seems natural for them to flock to high-tech jobs that lead to wealth and success.  This lifestyle requires a home that suitably reflects their values. Read below to see what this type of home may really look like.It’s the urbanized environments that are attracting the young, cosmopolitan people. Image Source: Ellerman HomesEssentially, millennials don’t strive to live like their parents’. Realtor Magazine notes the following attributes that top the list of a what a millennial wants in a home:Realtors, builders, architects, interior designers— are you listening? This is the new, up-and-coming generation of home buyers.Essentially, millennials don’t strive to live like their parents’. They value originality. Image Source: Nathan GoodAre you a millennial? If you are, are we correct with our above characteristics? Obviously no two people are alike, but is their some truth in our generalizations of this generation?

 Two-Level Courtyard and Garden Dream Home in Mexico City

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Spreading over 650 square meters, this imposing dream home rises in Mexico City, promises this bustling urban community a modern take on possible lifestyles. Known as Casa Sierra Leona, the home in the colonia Lomas de Chapultepec, just outside Mexico City, has risen is the shape of a modern juxtaposition of volumes. Greenery rising up the walls in the garden creates an ever uplifting feeling of freedom. Floor-to-ceiling windows opening the interiors to the outdoors bomb the eye with inspiring green surroundings that help protect privacy.A brainchild of José Juan Rivera Río, this wonderful dream home in Mexico City is raised 2,5 meters above street level, encouraging architects to come up with a creative solution to increase space and functionality inside and out. This is how the home was given a courtyard in front and a garden behind. Those who want a dream home in Mexico City will be thrilled to see the interiors unfolding in photos by Nasser Malek Hernández. Seeing Casa Sierra Leona under both natural light during the day and carefully artificial, we can imagine how it would feel like to live there.Concrete, glass and steel were used to build the frame in which quality materials take central stage. Blurred lines between the interior and exterior create a natural flow through the spaces, up, down and side to side. The flat roof and this wonderful volumetric architecture was inspired by the 1960s modernism. Including a basement accessed from the front facade and leading to the parking lot, this home seems like the perfect solution for urban living in Mexico City. Or maybe you prefer something like this 1960s beach home turned into a spectacular A-Frame residence?

 Holiday Villa Within Medieval City Walls: House Sperone in Croatia

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Recently designed and implemented by Studio Metrocubo, House Sperone is a private residence located in Novigrad, Croatia, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Integrated within the medieval city walls, this place previously functioned as a wine cellar and a discotheque. Today, it is a 5 star holiday house with four bedrooms, living area, wellness and indoor swimming pool. The new design of the building “is put in the background of the existing architectural heritage, further highlighted in all its parts. This creates a symbiosis of past and present, stone walls with striking crenelations at the top mixed with contemporary residential functions inside the house”, explained the project developers.Aiming to create a visual experience with the sea and medieval stone walls, the architects oriented all the major facilities of the residence towards these elements: “The ground floor has a spacious spa area with indoor pool, sauna and gym. Sliding floor to ceiling glass windows can be completely open for access to the lower terrace with summer kitchen and sun deck. Upper level, for the most part, contains daily spaces – living room, kitchen and dining area incorporated in a whole. In front of the living area there is a large terrace directly connected to the interior with sliding glass walls”. On the rooftop of the building, another lovely outdoor space welcomes guests to contemplate the old town of Novigrad and the magic places where it comes in contact with the sea…

 Visually-Striking Interior Design Exhibited by Residence in Glyfada, Greece

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Residence in Glyfada is a modern two-level private home designed by Dolihos Architects in Athens, Greece. The architects opted for a simple shape, with the southwest façade emphasizing on horizontality, “resulting in a seemingly austere, almost monumental design with two major gates. The southwest gate leads to the house’s main entrance. The surrounding area lies 1m (3.28ft) higher than the street level, which, along with the tall planting, provides privacy to the residents.” Featuring a large courtyard with swimming pool, the retreat offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor entertainment and relaxation.Modern luxury defines the inner spaces, which exude a visually-striking array of materials and textures: “The living areas on the ground floor were designed as an open space, oriented to the south, with views over the garden, whereas a playroom and a guesthouse are situated on the back, along to the backyard. The upper floor accommodates the family’s bedrooms and an open space office, all with direct access to outdoor space. Storage rooms, gym, garage and living area for the domestic worker, can be found on the basement.” Let us know what you think after taking the virtual tour! [Photos courtesy of Dolihos Architects]

 Avenue Residence in California Integrating Traditional Coastal Design

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The Avenue Residence by Christian Rice Architects is an example of maximizing space on a relatively narrow property through the integration of exterior living areas. Located in Coronado, California, USA, the house features a covered front porch and covered rear patio that engage the open-plan great room at the front and rear through pocketing glass doors. The array of open and enclosed spaces create plenty of opportunities for family gatherings and outdoor relaxation.Exuding a rustic-contemporary vibe, this narrow dwelling is highly welcoming: “A two-story outdoor stone fireplace is constructed on the detached rear guest house, providing a visual focal point throughout the home. The stone fireplace is further accented at night as recessed lights embedded into the hearth provide illumination. The aesthetics of the home take inspiration from contemporary ‘barn’ design seen in the Northern California wine country, and integrates these concepts with more traditional coastal design to create a unique blend of coastal and contemporary architecture.” Enjoy the virtual gallery below and feel free to share your thoughts regarding the overall design of this project. What are the elements you find most inspiring and why? [Photos and information provided by Christian Rice Architects]

 Bedroom Decorating Ideas That You Will Love

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Your bedroom should be a place to relax and unwind. And while your master bedroom’s design can have a major effect on resale value, it’s also a space that is primarily for you so it’s important that you create a space that you’ll love.It’s easy to change the look of a bedroom on any budget, whether that means bringing in new furniture pieces, adding a few splashes of color or altering the lighting to be more soothing. There are many different styles and aesthetics that you can emulate in order to produce a space that works for you. If you’re wondering where to start, here are some bedroom decorating ideas to help you turn your bedroom into one of your favorite rooms in the house. Bedrooms are a retreat from the world that should be a place where you can feel at ease after a long day. Outfitting your room in soothing colors is a good way to help your bedroom become a tranquil sleeping space. Start by focusing on high impact areas, like the walls and floor space. Using calming greens, beiges or misty blues works well in areas like these because they create a peaceful, serene feeling that will help you feel more relaxed. Keep your bedding colors simple and avoid any bright colors or patterns that might hamper your sleep. Instead, add in tactile luxuries, like fur throws or sumptuous woolen blankets to add texture to the room. Sometimes choosing a theme for a room can be the best inspiration for getting it to feel exactly how you’d like it. For bedrooms, one great theme is going with a country vibe that will make you forget the bustle of life outside the bedroom door. Keep the walls sunny and bright by choosing a pale yellow paint color and decorate with landscape photographs and light wooden furniture. Use antique touches, like a delicate chandelier and curvy nightstands to make sure the room doesn’t feel too old-fashioned or frumpy.Back in the Victorian age, bold patterns were all the rage (in the bedroom and everywhere else in the home). If you’re craving a more dramatic aesthetic, look for bold wallpapers as either an accent wall or an all-around covering. Find a duvet cover that has patterns in the similar colors to complement the look. When using bold patterns, go with vivid colors like bright reds, yellows, blues or oranges; this helps make the patterns pop and gives your bedroom a distinctive look and feel.There’s a reason why people associate the sea with tranquility and relaxation: the colors of the seaside-pale blues and beige-are naturally soothing for your body and mind. You will be able to relax more easily when you feel like you’re in a natural setting that reflects the essence of the oceans. Paint your walls a soft blue and layer natural textures on your bed in order to recreate the look and feel of the seaside. Keep your floors raw and simple, and use weathered pieces of furniture to give your bedroom a timeless feel.For some people, a bedroom is not simply some place to sleep, it’s also a place where they can celebrate their own personality and style. A bedroom is an oasis for personal style and favorite items that you wouldn’t necessarily display in your living room. That makes it a great space for big, bold splashy art or other design elements that inspire you, but might not blend into other areas of your home. 

 Contemporary Aesthetic Blending with Traditional Layers: Thornbury House

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Widely known for its tranquil and beautiful suburbs, Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) is an inexhaustible source of architectural inspiration. From modern to fully traditional venues, the city keeps expanding its boundaries, enriching the landscape of the suburbs. We’ve stumbled upon  Thornbury House, a traditional dwelling with a contemporary extension. The owners, a family who lives in an area with many early century homes, decided to keep some of the old features of the house while adding also a feel of contemporary. Modern aesthetic became an important issue, so, in order to obtain a harmonic blend of old and new, an architectural firm was contacted. Mesh Design, in lead with the project, executed the house’s extension.
Defined by functionality, the new addition was designed with sustainability in mind (using many principles of passive solar design). The exterior, entirely wrapped in timber, looks very natural and coquette.“The north facing design encompasses the kitchen as the hub, with a large island bench plus more formal dining area and has copious natural light. The living area to the east protected from the sun and the play area for our small children with a recessed fish tank in the wall surrounded by hidden storage cupboards.”  

 small backyard inground pools

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There’s more to San Diego than sun and surf, although the nation’s eighth-largest city loves to boast about a mild climate considered by many to be the best in the U.S. With (mostly) easy access to beaches, mountains and deserts, San Diego is a recreation lover’s paradise. Attractions like the jewel of Balboa Park (home to the San Diego Zoo), Legoland California and SeaWorld keep tourism booming, and the highly rated University of California at San Diego has spawned a healthy biotech industry. Meanwhile, a diverse, ever-gentrifying urban population is upending the city’s reputation as a conservative Navy town.

 masculine headboards

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There are a few specific styles and themes which come alive in the bedroom with the addition of a green tinge. The first that comes to mind is here is the exotic tropical style. Whether you wish to combine a hint of tropical charm with modern aesthetics or want to create a guest bedroom that is full of tropical flair, green is the color to turn to. A splash of bright or mossy green can turn your boring bedroom into a fun and playful space that reminds of your recent holiday trip to a stunning tropical getaway. Another look that revels in green is the beach style and you can replace the traditional white and blue blend with white, green and a hint of orange to create a unique and exquisite bedroom.

 long living room design

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Emerald is a color that has consistently topped trend charts in recent times and its jewel-toned glamor is perfect for bedrooms with Hollywood Regency style. Malachite pattern and color is also a smart choice if you love that luxurious look in the bedroom while eclectic bedrooms drenched in green goodness steal the show with sheer audacity and flair.

 Gorgeous and Comfortable VIK Lounge Chair Designed by Arian Brekveld

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VIK Lounge Chair is a gorgeous project designed by Arian Brekveld for the Dutch design company Spectrum. A light metallic pipe frame supports its comfortable seat made of leather or fabric. The backrest and the headrest are both adjustable keeping your body into a permanent reclined position – reminding us of a car seat and it characteristic comfort. It’s clearly that the main purpose of the chair is to pamper and make you feel as comfortable as possible while sitting. “Car seats are always comfortable. They are beautifully made, the materials are used in a clever way and, although they are small, they provide a lot of comfort! I wanted to translate those qualities in my design.”
The interior of each VIK is made of foam and hand-crafted in several layers. With elegant contours, high quality fabrics and a palette of nine colours to choose from, this particularly interesting armchair might represent a good way to bring a freshened perspective to any room. Do you like it? Does it fit your personality?

 art deco dining room sets

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We end today’s post by highlighting powder rooms with traditional style. Charming wall tile, an arched window and a clawfoot Astonian Luxor tub grace the light-filled bathroom below. While subway tile adds a modern look to this next featured space, striped curtains and (once again) a clawfoot tub put their traditional stamp on the room. In case you’re curious, that fabulous shower rail can be purchased at Lefroy Brooks. Be sure to check out the brand’s lovely bathtubs as well. The silver feet on this clawfoot tub make it a true standout. Surround it with black tile, and you have a powerful contrast that can’t be ignored.

 Spectacular TriBeCa Loft Combining Two Duplex Penthouses

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We recently discovered two duplex penthouses located in the historic Duane Street in prime TriBeCa,New York and listed for sale together (although they can also be sold separately). In other words, the current owners offer the opportunity to combine these two homes into “the ultimate 4550 square feet trophy residence”. In between the two penthouses there are over 2300 square feet of landscaped private roof terrace with a hot tub, barbecue, built-in wet bar, and fireplace. The project boasts a total of 12 rooms, with 4 bedrooms and 3,5 bathrooms.
A variety of materials and textures makes this unconventional crib homey and appealing. Gorgeous cast iron pillars and floor to ceiling arched windows with brick walls in the living room offer great natural light and an overall powerful character. Other features include beautiful glass French Doors leading to North and South terraces, contemporary high end furnishings, custom backlit millwork built around the fireplace and surround sound speakers. The cost for the two penthouses combined is $9,950,000. Enjoy the virtual tour and let us know if this place made an impression!

 gazebo light fixtures

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If you believe that green does not work in a trendy and minimal contemporary bedroom, then think again! A green accent wall is easy to shape and it brings that much needed warmth to an otherwise cool and mundane interior. Just repeat the color in the room using vivacious bedding, accessories, nightstands or even a couple of lovely vases and you have an inviting bedroom that is both energetic and relaxing. Those who feel that an accent wall in green or décor are not your thing can still add the color by placing a couple of potted plants to fill up those empty corners. It is an easy, eco-friendly and healthy choice to turn to that will instantly alter the mood in the bedroom.

 Why Green Design Companies are Overhauling the Home Industry

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Green designers are ready to show you what they can do. Image Via: Niche Interiors
For years, the idea of building and designing green spaces only held popularity within certain niche interest groups – agriculturalists, tourism-driven communities, etc. Outside of those areas, environmental impact wasn’t a huge concern. It wasn’t really a concern at all. After all, how much of an effect could something like a home’s interior design have on the environment anyway?
However, as our effect on the environment has become steadily more clear, small, green design companies began to pop up. They offer services that, while keeping with current trends, also focus on the sustainability of their products.
Many green companies are not so small anymore. With more consumers looking to embrace sustainable design, these businesses have been given the chance to prove their worth – and have succeeded. Take a look at why sustainable companies are overhauling the home design industry as we know it today.
See how these green designers have changed the industry. Image Via: Hughes Umbanhowar Architects
You know how every once in a while a news story will pop up that exposes a big company’s questionable business habits?  The truth is, these questionable practices are more common than one might think. Major manufacturing companies count on the fact that their consumers care more about receiving affordable products than looking into the reasons why they’re so affordable.
That assumption may be hazardous to your family’s health. Few people realize that formaldehyde is a key ingredient in Urea–formaldehyde, the adhesive resin that holds composite woods like particleboard, plywood and medium-density fiberboard? Similarly, PentaBDE, a chemical most known for its use in pesticides also is commonly found as part of a flame-retardant coating for plush furniture.
A good green designer has been trained to look carefully at the furniture and décor items that they use to fill a space. They know which companies to avoid and will be more than happy to educate you. Before you hire a designer, ask them ask them which brands they support and why. In addition to getting a peek at their sense of style, you’ll get a feel for their grasp on sustainability.
Green designers focus on utilizing natural ingredients. Image Via: Sabal Homes
The biggest change that these companies are making is that they force us to look at design as more than just aesthetics. No doubt you’re familiar with the troupe that design, even though it’s nice to look at, is not all that important to our daily lives. Green design companies make no bones about the fact that the work they do has a larger impact than just the way a particular space looks.
On a residential level, a designer who focuses on sustainability will likely recommend small changes for your home that will help you conserve natural resources. As an added bonus, these changes will often save you money on your energy bills! (Who wouldn’t want that?)
For reference, according to the 2012 American Society of Interior Designers’s Facts & Figures Report, if every household replaced just one a water-efficient faucet, the U.S. could save 60 billion gallons of water annually. That savings would translate to around 34,500 gallons and $240 dollars in water bills for a family of five.  Think of the impact if similar measures were taken through your entire home.
Commercial buildings stand to make an even larger impact. More corporate structures are taking steps to generate their own power through alternative energy sources like solar panels. Some are also opening up their rooftops to urban farming structures, which provide affordable produce to the local community.
They redesign spaces that innovate the community as a whole. Image Via: Maienza-Wilson Interior Design + Architecture
When the concept of sustainable design started to burst onto the scene about twenty years ago, one of the biggest complaints was that the designs weren’t very, well, let’s just say aesthetically pleasing. Sustainable fixtures like solar panels and rain water filtration systems were bulky, not to mention expensive. Natural fabrics came in an extremely limited array of colors and biodegradable décor items were extremely difficult to find.
Today, however, is a much different story. Those previously bulky solar panels can be built into windows for seamless power generation. Energy-efficient appliances are among the top sellers in stores and companies practically jump at the chance to brag about their sustainably produced items.
It’s only going to get better from here. Sydney, Australia has plans for a 250,000 square meter development to be constructed by 2030 that aims to reduce the city’s emissions by up 60% through gas-powered co-generation electricity plant, a wastewater recycling plant, solar power energy and green rooftops.
Sustainable designers know how to blend form and function. Image Via: Slifer Designs
If you wart to learn more about sustainable design, feel free to start here. Designers share their best tips (and mistakes to avoid) on how to cultivate interior  design that is as stylish as it is environmentally friendly.
Let green professionals share how to get the look in your home. Image Via: Historical Concepts
Sustainable, or green, design has gained popularity in recent years. Now, instead of being a niche interest, these companies have the power to make an impact. It’s a responsibility they haven’t taken lightly. Green designers are overhauling the industry as we know it. Read above to find out why and we’re sure you’ll be clamoring for an opportunity to be a part of the change.
Would you use sustainable design in your home? Designers, what’s the best tip you can offer to someone who wants to make their home more sustainable?

 spa designs

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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.

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