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Month July 2015 Archive

 Surprising Urban Garden Exhibited by Contemporary Home in Bratislava

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 Šebo Lichy Architects completed the design and development of a challenging contemporary home located on a steep terrain in Bratislava, Slovakia. The project is situated in a dense neighborhood, offering extensive city views and a lovely green space for relaxation envisioned on top of the garage:  “Thanks to setting the house away from the street front, the space was created for a small garden overlooking the city. The height difference between the street level and the first floor is used for carport, covered with greenery”, explained the designers.Second floor overhangs allow space for two upper terraces, as well as protection of the glazed surfaces on the main level during the summer. The client had a clear idea of the spatial structuring of the interior: “On the first floor there is a living room, kitchen and dining room, and the whole space is naturally connected with the views of the front and rear green gardens. On the second floor bedrooms are situated, two children’s rooms with city views and a master bedroom overlooking the garden. At the top level of the house there is another roof garden with panoramic views of the city, which you can access along the small private home office.”  [Photography by Tomas Manina]

 Contemporary Addition to Small Fishermen’s Village: The Cube House

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Designed by architect Irene Escobar Doren, the Cube House in O’Higgins Region, Chile is a contemporary addition to a small village of fishermen. The first step in building the residence was to “raise the house on piles, condensing the structure in two levels and a terrace on the roof; and solving the interior space in a compact volume whose dimensions were determined by the optimization of the chosen building material.” The cube-like volume has a black exterior in order to save heat during night time, when the temperature drops and the wind intensifies.The architects’ approach integrates the landscape in every interior of the house: “This decision orients the volume towards the sea and concentrates all the common areas on one limitless space that permits landscape trespassing. All private spaces, bedrooms and bathrooms are disposed on top of this collective use zone, each one facing the beach, the brook or the hill. The third level is a scenic lookout terrace to the village, the sand dunes, the hills, the wind and the sea.” Wood is employed extensively, for a chalet-like rustic feel and welcoming vibes.  [Photography by Cristián Domínguez]

 Flexible Home for an Active Small Family: ML Apartment in Vietnam

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Located in Hanoi, Vietnam, ML Apartment by Le Studio is a crib especially designed for a small active family. Upon consulting with the client, the designer realized that the owner and his 4-year-old son were always full of energy, quite easily bored and had a particular dislike of stationary spaces: “In this case, a trend-led approach would not be ideal since one would never be able to satisfy the client’s preference permanently, or it would be very difficult to rebuild this apartment completely in a different direction. Our approach to this problem would be to create a space that could be modified easily and changed up on a daily basis without repeating itself, giving owners a sense of renewal everyday in their own home”, explained the project developers.Flexibility was thus the main attribute guiding the design: “The main solution we came up with in this project was to replace the entire fixed wall of the small bedroom by sliding panels. When retracted, the panels would optimize the space for the living room, which is relatively small at the moment, improving ventilation for the common area and provide space for the highly active son. When in use, the panels would create one more bedroom for guest or a new family member in the near future.” Maximizing kitchen and dining space was also one of the main aims of the rejuvenation process. What do you think of the result? [Photos by: Thien Thach]

 Charming Home for a Family of Five: The Diagonal House in Fitzroy, Australia

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Simon Whibley Architecture completed the design and development of the Diagonal House, a lovely family crib meeting the living needs of a family of five in Fitzroy, Australia: “Seen in plan, the diagonal house’s singular gesture is a rhomboid volume, a kind of spatial easement that subdivides the site, creating courtyards on either side of the dining and living space. With its northern edge pulled upwards and its southern downwards, viewline and sunlight are drawn through the house on this diagonal axis, to the extent that afternoon winter sun extends all the way through the house, crossing the courtyard, to the edge of the existing master bedroom.” During the summer, this plan allows cross ventilation from the southern courtyard to the north.Breeziness, both spatial and sensory, is experienced from the functional and personal spaces located at the periphery: “The study, kitchen/pantry, bathroom and bedrooms are tightly composed-like extensions or fragments of the Victorian house plan. In opposition to the dynamic space at its centre, the views from these rooms are aligned towards the more intimate spaces at the edges of the site. In this way, aspects of the existing dwelling are reinterpreted in the new and used to provide different kinds of space over a small area. This allows the substantial brief of a young family of 5 to be accommodated without a large footprint.” [Photography by Peter Bennetts]

 Dynamic Redesign for Colonial Style House in Westchester, New York

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Fougeron Architecture completed the redesign of a colonial style house in Westchester, New York, United States. A face-lift was done by changing all the exterior materials and reimagining the position of the windows. The project also included a living room expansion which currently takes advantage of the surrounding landscape. Connected to the swimming pool and courtyard, this part of the house offers plenty of opportunities for family interaction. The canted roof allows for tall windows and an abundance of natural lighting inside.Maximizing living areas was the main focus in developing a welcoming home that the entire family could enjoy: “The formal dining and living rooms are situated on two levels to help break up the size of the space. The kitchen includes glass-faced cabinets, modern amenities and an island with drawers below for a microwave and beverage cooler. A chalkboard wall in the back becomes a place for family messages and artistic expressions by friends. The second floor includes a new master bedroom with in suite bathroom and closet.” We appreciate the dynamics exhibited by the interiors of this Westchester residence. How do they look from your end? [Photography by Albert Vecerka]

 Spa Center Design in Vietnam Adorned With Beautiful Hanging Gardens

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Recently completed by MIA Design Studio in Da Nang City, Vietnam, PURE SPA is a 15 room treatment center with an original architecture, featuring beautiful hanging gardens. According to the architects, “the facade is composed of lattice patterns alternated with vertical landscapes that filter the strong tropical sunlight into a pleasant play of light and shadow on the textured walls. Various plants are carefully allocated and become a part of the architectural screens.” Creating a powerful color contrast with the white panels of the building, the lovely green walls stand out, making the building visible from far away.Amenities of the Spa center include a health club with gym and an open lounge garden for meditation and yoga sessions. Here is more from the designers: “The ground floor contains open spaces with relaxing platforms surrounded by serene lotus ponds and hanging gardens. The architectural design company MIA Design Studio’s use of natural ventilation keeps the building cool and gives the guest a refreshing experience. With use of local plants, each retreat becomes a healing environment where the guest can enjoy a luxurious wellness in privacy.” Enjoy the photos and feel free to share your thoughts! [Photography by Hiroyuki Oki]

 Exclusive New Home Overlooking The City of Angels

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Designed by Marmol Radziner and constructed by Fountainhead Builders-Developers, this new home in LA presents its contemporary shape in photos you will love enough to share. Floor-to-ceiling windows throughout make the contemporary structure reveal the surrounding view and suburban landscape while flooding the spaces with an abundance of natural light.From the moment you see this new home on the street, you can’t help but wonder how it would be like to come home to this, past the beautifully grained wooden door and into a world of curated architecture.The good news is this modern home in LA is for sale. Listed at $3,795,000, this new construction rises on Woodruff Avenue in Los Angeles, capturing from a safe and private distance views of the bustling city and rising skyscrapers. The 5 bedroom and 5 and a half baths offer plenty of private space for hosting family or friends when they come over. Imagine walking up the outdoor stairs and into an open floor plan continuing outdoors.Considering the home as “fundamentally a series of relationships between people, spaces, and the surrounding context“, Marmol Radziner imagined this new home as being in harmony with the surrounding nature and neighborhood. All it needs now is someone who perfectly fits in. Design and landscape come together to shape an indoor-outdoor environment anyone would be grateful to call home. More than just a place you recharge and reconnect with family, this new home is an architectural gem, inspiring you with its lines and choice of materials and with details like the way sunlight filters inside or the way palm trees reflect in the oversized windows.Marmol Radziner architects did an amazing job designing this home. And how about this imposing Prospector Residence unveiling surprisingly warm interiors in Idaho? Would you prefer to live there, maybe?

 Entry Tower and Sweeping Views Over San Francisco Bay Defining The Belvedere Residence

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Overlooking San Francisco Bay, the Belvedere Residence designed by Polsky Perlstein Architects aims at capturing light and surrounding vistas: “The site has South and West views over the San Francisco Bay toward Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge. With a desire for connecting the home to the outside on both levels, the Main Level has continuous windows and doors on the western elevation opening to a spacious terrace with sweeping views from the Golden Gate Bridge to Mt Tamalpais.” The clients requested an entry tower, which is why the highlight of the residence is an elliptical volume accommodating the entrance hallway and a stairway linking the two levels.Spectacular design features were integrated throughout: “The main level Great Room contains both lining and dining spaces adjacent to the kitchen. Additional spaces on the first floor include his and her offices, each with its own bathroom, a glass-enclosed wine room, an AV Room and a garage with car lifts for four cars. To the East, the kitchen has a back-lit Onyx island and pocketing sliding doors that open onto the spa terrace.” The second level is where the sleeping areas are located. You will recognize the master bathroom in the photos below, as it includes a beautiful bathtub carved from a single block of silver Travertine. See any other details you find interesting? [Landscape Architect: Studio Green; Photography by Bruce Damonte]

 Playful Dynamics Exuded by Family Home in California: Keystone Ave Residence

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The Keystone Ave Residence in Culver City, California is a modern family home completed by RILEY Architects. The focus of the project was to make the most of the temperate Southern California climate; this was mainly achieved by creating a social living space that extends outdoors with the help of a large terrace. A sense of warmth and harmony can be perceived throughout, due to an abundance of color and a well chosen mix of materials. The residence provides a healthy environment where the family can come together in various areas of relaxation, both in the garden and inside the house.The overall design approach inspires playful dynamics. According to the architects, “the massing of two intersecting volumes allowed the street frontage to remain lower profile and in keeping with the surrounding urban fabric, while the two-story portion of the house created room to create additional bedrooms and a playroom for the growing family, the required covered parking became a perfect place for a long outdoor dining table and a small enclosed porch created the opportunity for an outdoor shower in the middle of the city.” Have fun strolling through the virtual gallery and please share your thoughts in the comment section below! [Photography by Jeff Goldberg]

 A Day in the Life of Interior Designer to the Stars, James Blakeley

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All Images Via: James Blakeley
Interior Designer, James Blakeley III, ASID, may live a prominent and lavish lifestyle with roots that reach into Hollywood’s high society, but he is certainly not a stranger to a day’s hard work.
Blakeley was first introduced into the design world by a friend of the family, the late American design icon Tony Duquette. From there his intense passion for architecture and creative design grew into a prominent career.  Fast forward to the present, and Blakeley’s resume has notable names such as Keifer Sutherland, Tom Selleck and Paramount Studios listed as clients, to name only a few.
Blakeley has carved out such an astounding career for himself, so we thought it would be fun to follow him around for a day and see what it was really like in his shoes. All of you budding interior designers take note—this talented designer works hard (very hard) and devotes a large portion of his day to his success.
Here is what a typical day looks like for Interior Designer to the Stars, James Blakeley:
Blakeley does allow himself a few precious morning moments to greet the day in the proper way.
” I usually like to read the morning paper first and have breakfast with tea. Then I meditate. I don’t use this time to waste with worry. I am always pushing myself throughout the day, and I try new things with every client.”
Blakeley is proud that even after all these years, he is able to keep his designs fresh and fun. Perhaps that morning mediation allows him the calm Zen that is required in the high-stress design world?
At this time Blakeley is ready to greet clients.
“ I find it easy to handle 2-3 jobs at one time, since they are always in different stages.”
Blakeley has a process that he undergoes with each new client:
“I first meet with the client(s) and take a look at the house or the plans. I talk with them to see what their wishes are. I begin to create concepts with sketches and pictures – assemble it all in the office like a story board for a movie. Then have everyone in the office throw out their ideas. And it just evolves from there.”
While most of us are in need of an escape at this point in the day, Blakeley is still hard at work.
“Truthfully, I hardly ever eat lunch by myself; I’m usually with clients or workmen.“
Power lunch it is then, no time to slow down when productivity is paramount. Blakeley may be on to something with this noontime habit—it’s not about the food, but about the company you keep.
Blakeley divides his afternoon work into numerous tasks.
“Afternoons are spent broken up between visiting job site, shopping for jobs, overall organization, and making calls.”
However, as all interior designers know—things go wrong on a daily basis, whether it be an upset client, tight deadlines or the wrong fabric arrives. So how does a veteran like Blakeley handle this?
“Things always go wrong. It’s part of the job that you just have to deal with. There are times when I’ll discuss a problem with a client and times when I won’t, depending on what it is. But as a general rule, it’s best to keep the client in the loop so as to avoid surprises.“
It must be time for a break, right? Yes, indeed it is.
“Usually around 4 or 5pm I like to take some time to regenerate. Sometimes I’ll go to a movie or just ‘disappear’ for a bit.“
Blakeley is very wise to take a few precious moments to revitalize himself. Studies have shown that career burnout can be avoided by taking moments for regeneration; moments of reflection; moments to check in with ourselves and see how we are doing.
Blakeley also calls his home his sanctuary and place to escape.
“My home is the place for me to escape from the real world. I also try to make my clients’ space the same – so they have their own place to get away to.”
When day turns to night, Blakeley is still going strong.
“I often continue to work. I meet with clients after they have had their dinner. Or I will go to dinner with existing or new clients around 8:30 or 9:00pm.”
We see a mealtime trend occurring—Blakeley often uses the relaxing atmosphere of meals to discuss design with clients. Perhaps, those who break bread together, stay together?
Hmmm… Are we getting tired yet? Apparently not. Blakeley is just arriving home around 11pm, but his work day is not done.
“I’m generally home by 11pm or 12, at which time I prepare for the next day by making notes, etc. And then to bed and read until 2 or 3 am. Then sleep.”
Sweet dreams Mr. Blakeley.
Do you have the stamina and passion for interior design that Blakeley does? Perhaps this rugged routine is the secret to his immense success?

 Inspired by Cambodian Temples : Angkor Table Design Collection

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Angkor Table Design Collection by Paris-based Olivier Dollé caught our attention with a bold appearance and an intriguing concept. The design was inspired by the 12th century temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, “a place where architecture and nature are one and where tree roots and branches overrun the walls“, as the designer himself described it. So you may want to look at this furniture piece not just from a practical point of view, but from an artistic one as well.
The table features a multiplex birch wood structure finished in veneered wood dyed in black. It’s leaning leg imitates a natural branch motion and is veneered in oak as is the branch table top. The three black legs are furnished with oak feet. Available as a coffee table, dinning table and writing desk, the project is an interesting addition for a large array of modern interiors. It comes great on its own, and even better with the corresponding lamp- have a look!
 

 Mountain Ridge Hosting Dramatic Modern Architecture: House in Yatsugatake

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After spending many years searching for the ideal site to build his home, the owner came across this heavenly sloping mountain ridge at the foot of the Yatsugatake Mountains in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Next up, he commissioned Kidosaki Architects Studio to deliver a dramatic modern architecture project. House in Yatsugatake is partially extended off the ground, with a mega structures column enabling half of the project to visually “float”. The house comes with a total living surface of 303 square meters, each of them offering spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
Here is more from the architects: “When you are invited to the entrance-way, after passing through the restrained space of the hallway,  you enter a dramatic space, with magnificent and impressive scenery spreading before your eyes. This space is an extravagant experience that only those privileged enough to be welcomed here can enjoy“. All interiors were envisioned in a minimalist style, emphasizing on the magic beyond the windows-have a look and tell us what you think! [Photos by: 45g Photography]

 how to build an infinity pool

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Yellow is one of those hues that seems to capture the joyful bliss of summer to perfection, and this is especially true if you add a light, mellow shade or even a cool pastel yellow backdrop to the kitchen. The farmhouse-style kitchen below combines this bright yellow magic with a dark gray backsplash and countertops to craft a captivating and relaxing kitchen. The flood of natural light helps add to the cheery ambiance. Here is another kitchen that takes the traditional notion of gray as the principal color in the room and yellow as the one used in moderation and flips it on its head. When it comes to the kitchen, there is absolutely no reason to hold back on yellow; even in case of cool, contemporary kitchens. Gray here brings definition to the white cabinets and makes a big impact even though it is used in a very limited fashion.

 Picturesque Rural Villa Outside Aspen, Capturing Views of Ski Areas

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We received a press release about a project designed by architects Lipkin Warner Planning and Design Associates and located just seven miles outside Aspen, Colorado. Here is the description we were sent: “The owners had specific goals: a warm, modern, luxurious ranch house with lots of entertaining areas, a horse barn and artist studio, capturing views of all four ski areas. Exteriors are of Pennsylvania lilac block cut stone, metal and pressure treated spruce. The interior is an open floor plan with Colorado sandstone and reclaimed Bavarian oak floors, acoustically designed wood ceilings and alder and wenge walls and built-ins, giving warmth to a modern design. The owner artists’ hand is reflected in custom furniture and wrap around fireplaces with mantles of glass, wood and steel provided by Andi-Le. [Lighting design by Elumenate, Inc]
The owners’ mutual love of cooking and entertaining is reflected by the restaurant design kitchen, wine cellar and entertaining areas. Floor to ceiling windows and sliding floor to ceiling clad glass doors brings the magnificent views in and connects the outdoor living areas. Landscaping and water features assure absolute privacy. An open floor plan of this 6,200 sq.ft. home looks out upon horse pastures, 1400 sq.ft. barn and 1,000 sq.ft. artist studio where one of the owners designs and builds custom furniture of steel, acrylic glass, and wood. A full home audio visual system designed by Paragon Technology , a 1200 bottle wine cellar, music room, restaurant kitchen and three outdoor heated patio living areas, the home captures what Colorado living is about”. How do you fnd the overall design of this retreat?
main level plan
upper level pan

 Lenny Kravitz Extends His Creativity In Tile Design Alongside LEA Ceramiche

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An inspired collaboration between famous singer Lenny Kravitz and Italian tile manufacturer LEA Ceramiche led to the creation of a fantastic collection of tiles. Meaning “drop” in Italian, the Goccia Three Dimensional Tile Collection imitates the features of moving water, mirroring the light and capturing shadows in a merger of quality material and imagination. Lenny Kravitz extended his creativity to a new media, helping create a stylized version of water in black and white. You might know that back in 2003, the famous singer set up a design studio that transform’s Lenny’s “eclectic global lifestyle into innovative and dynamic design solutions.” – Kravitz Design Inc. Working with the LEA Ceramiche team resulted in a fabulous set of matte and glossy textures that can be used to beautify either residential or commercial spaces. For sure, Lenny Kravitz’s creativity has found another inspiring outlet expressed in this challenging project…

 Russia’s Future Science City Teaser At The Venice Architecture Biennale

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Representing Russian innovation and creativity, their stunning QR Code Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 is completely covered with QR codes, demonstrating the country’s urban and architectural development and placing it in a new context of innovative digital format. The fascinating pavilion challenges visitors to use their gadgets to explore plans of the new Russian science city to be built by 2017 near Moscow. Embodying Russia’s high level of technological and architectural excellence, the Skolkovo project assumes the role of a teaser for the future Russian science city.
The Russian i-city pavilion was imagined by a creative team of architects: Pierre de Meuron, Rem Koolhaas, Kazuyo Sejima, Mohsen Mostafavi, Sergei Tchoban, Sergey Kuznetsov, Yury Grigoryan, Steano Boeri and Venice Architecture Biennale’s director, David Chipperfield. Spotted on MyModernMet, Russia’s QR Code Pavilion provides valuable information on the country’s technological progress. Russia’s new city dedicated to science will rise in 2017 not far from Moscow, incorporating different research facilities, a university and residences. Researching biomedicine, energy efficiency, space technology, nuclear and computer technology, 500 companies now working from different parts of the world will be reunited in one single city dedicated entirely to science. Enjoy the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale already opened to the public and running until 25 November 2012…

 Uniquely Tailored Home in Minnehaha Park by Quartersawn

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Quartersawn, a design and house remodeling company based in Minneapolis, presented this uniquely tailored home in Minnehaha Park. With a lively interior and an impeccable clean-lined façade, the space feels modern, fresh and functional. It was completely adapted to the needs of the owners, who initially approached Jeff Nicholson (Quartersawn) about renovating their existing house. After realising that the property had too many structural problems, they decided to demolish it and start all over. The professional approach towards clients implied, in this particular case, regular status meetings with the owners and understanding clearly their needs and wishes.
The discussions were extremely useful for both sides. The construction of the new house took seven months under the watchful eye of the clients. Since the original house was an episode of the past, the clients together with the designers agreed to keep a very small part of the old stuff. The new living room functions as an open plan space, accommodating also the kitchen and the dinning area. Bursts of vibrant colours (here and there) blend harmonically with the existing neutral base of colours, creating a lively environment…

 The Future of Gardening Technology : Smart Herb Garden by Click & Grow

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Two years ago we presented on our site the Click and Grow Electronic Flowerpots for those of you who remember this great product. Today Click and Grow’s team announced their second generation Smart Herb Garden for indoor cultivation …just in time for planting season. The new Click & Grow Smart Herb Garden lets everyone grow fresh herbs at home with extremely limited maintenance.
The Smart Herb Garden is easy to use and no gardening knowledge is required, just add water, plug into an electrical outlet and the technology does all the work. The nano-tech growth medium combined with a removable LED grow light helps yield plants even in less-than-perfect conditions. The Smart Herb Garden’s unique LED technology provides the plants with enough light to grow, consuming minimal electricity, costing around 6 dollars for an entire year.
Unlike its first incarnation, which only allowed room for one plant, the new model lets you raise up to 3 herbs at once ( Each starter kit comes with basil, thyme and lemon balm. ) . Seeds come included and embedded in a cartridge, ready to be inserted into the growing bed.  The design now also features a built-in light that can be plugged in to let artificial sun shine whenever it is needed.
Measurement and Specs
Finally if you think that The new Smart Herb Garden is a product that you’ll want in your own home you can order it from  the Click and Grow website for 100$.
BONUS : If you’d like to know how Click & Grow started here is a really nice video presenting their story and mission. Enjoy !

 tuscan bed

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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.

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