Hobbyists often have lots of stuff that require lots of storage room that’s easy to access and keep tidy. Whether it’s sewing, crafting, gardening, or something else — organization is key, and an armoire can really be the perfect solution for it. You might be surprised to find how versatile armoires can be to use in place of other pieces of furniture. Check out this desk from Apartment Therapy! Put it out of sight by closing the doors when you’re all done working. If you’re expecting, an armoire can be a clever use of a changing table. And when baby is all grown up, you’ll have the opportunity to find another use for your armoire. An old armoire works just as well as a regular bookcase — if not better for the unique look you get. Check out how these home owners replaced the glass doors with netting to show off their book collection.
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.
Defined by simple geometric rules, the modern AA House was designed by OAB and is located in Barcelona, Spain. According to the description provided by the architects, “the footprint of the building uses a superimposed 7×7 meter skewed grid to support the program in a composition similar to a musical score. The diagonals serve as a roof system that ungulates like an artificial topography, creating skylights in some cases, while in others situations, rising up double the height of other rooftop peaks. At the base floor, the program develops a direct relationship between the interior and exterior through the abundant use of glass-work, trellises, and sliding panels“. Most of the interiors are visually connected to the surrounding green spaces and are flooded in natural light from the generous windows. The bottom level accommodates the library, dining room, an inside swimming pool and an extension of the main bedroom, while the second level hosts the large piano room, with plenty of area for socializing…
From your interiors to the exterior – smart home technology can transform your lifestyle
In our ever-changing hi-technology world it seems like everyone is turning to “smart” technology. From the phone and tablet you carry in your pocket to controlling your home’s heating and air conditioning while away on vacation on a tropical beach, smart technology is everywhere. If you have been trying to figure out what smart home technology is and how you can take advantage of it – here are 10 simple ways to enjoy the innovation in your home. Whether you are looking to save energy, time, and money or you just want to become more efficient in your home’s day-to-day operations, take a look at these ideas that may transform your home and lifestyle forever.
Control your entire home from one smart technology pad
Smart technology is a way of connecting your home through innovative technology to control and give homeowners an “on-demand access to various systems throughout your home. From video, data, telephone, wireless, security, climate, lighting and other home lifestyle factors that affect you and your family’s daily life. Smart home technology can help your home run more efficiently while also helping family members live in total comfort while at home or away.
Kitchen faucets can help save water, turn on and off automatically amongst other smart features
Your kitchen has always been “command central” when it comes to cooking, entertaining, enjoying family discussions and more. You will be surprised how smart technology pairs with your favorite appliances, faucets, and cooktop surfaces can be controlled through smart technology. Many homes have their smart tablet or keypad built into the wall in the kitchen to have access of other parts of the home. While many homeowners prefer the on-screen directions of their refrigerator that can access the internet, can play music, or they can watch their favorite cooking television program – right on the screen of their refrigerator.
Your kitchen’s appliances, cooking surfaces, and plumbing fixtures can be “smart”
Many homeowners think that smart technology is only for people who want to have a remote control to everything! On the contrary, many smart home technologies actually help keep your family safe while saving you water and energy in the kitchen. Induction cooktops are one of these examples that produce heat that only heats the cookware when the metal comes in contact with the induction cooktop surface. This means a safer kitchen to work in, and less heat being generated for comfort while cooking.
While the kitchen has many amenities for your smart home tastes, all homeowners should assess their lifestyle, to see what amenities would best fit their home and family. If you’d like to control music, lighting, visual entertainment throughout your home, temperature or security systems, you can hire total smart home consultants who can walk you through the benefits of different configurations. While you may think that a smart phone activated security system is overkill, you may reconsider if you have school-aged children that come home from school before you come home from work, or if you travel often. Assess what smart home functions will work best for you.
Smart home technology in your bathroom can be personalized for all users
There aren’t too many homeowners who don’t love total comfort and relaxation in their bathrooms. Smart home technology is the perfect way to be able to not only control your bathing experience while lounging in the tub, but you can also control your shower’s temperature, spray, steam, audio, and lighting of your shower, all at the touch of a button. If you share your bathroom, why not program each users favorite settings and have your favorite music cued through sound tile speakers? That’s what smart home technology can offer in your bathing routine.
Control your ultimate bathing experience while still saving water
While enjoying your bathroom is one topic, enjoying the savings on your monthly water bill is another. Instead of dreading your water usage each month, take advantage of smart water fixtures that use less water but have larger water droplets to produce a more luxurious experience? One example are Delta Brizo brand faucets that offers a H2Okinetic® shower heads that sculpt the water into a unique wave pattern, creating the feeling of more water without using more water. Other faucets can turn on and off automatically by motion and the temperature of the water can be seen by a color LED light indicator before putting your hands under the water. These smart technologies ensure a better and safer user experience and less water wasted – all at once.
Your daily home can use a lot of energy for cooling and heating to keep your family comfortable in all seasons and climates of the world. In order to do this without costing a fortune for fluctuations of outdoor air temperatures, your home can have smart technology that helps you control and monitor your energy usage with thermostats such as the Nest learning thermostat. It “learns” your family’s lifestyle and connected to a Wi-Fi connection enables homeowners to control settings from any internet enabled smart device. Register your email and home location and you will get monthly energy usage reports sent to you directly to see how you compare with other homeowners in your city.
From the outdoors to your interiors – controlled heating and cooling can be automated
Other creative ideas for helping homeowners with heating and cooling doesn’t involve innovative electronics but rather placement of windows and doors and the position of your home can help take advantage of nature’s seasons and temperature changes naturally. A passive house is designed to maximize its ability to heat itself in winter and cool itself in summer. This is designed by careful consideration of a home’s site and how the sun moves across the sky, where the trees and other vegetation are located, where the winter winds come from, etc. This “smart” technology of this Passive House is an example of using the Earth’s resources and adapting our home’s to work with nature.
Passive Homes are built with “smart” architectural design orientation to cool/heat effectively
Many smart home ideas are out in the commercial world but haven’t been adapted for residential use, but the reality isn’t far into the future. Coffee tables that enable you to control your home, surf the internet, and entertain your guests are already being used in hotels, casinos and hospitality industries. Samsung has the SUR40 Microsoft PixelSense that isn’t available to consumers yet but enables guests to watch tv, control smart appliances and more. The ideas are vast for how many different areas of your home smart technology will touch in the upcoming years.
Smart technology like this innovative coffee table are in the near future for homeowners
While smart technologies are used for saving energy, water and adding safety, there are other factors that homeowners love, automation. Similar to the science fiction movies that we all fell in love with years ago, today many of those futuristic amenities have come to life. From automating your interior shades and exterior awnings from your bedroom to controlling your pool temperature, lighting and music before your guests arrive – all at the touch of a finger is mind-blowing. In this new era, smart home technology is fast and ever changing. Try these 10 ideas in your home and see how your lifestyle changes for the better.
our site readers we’d love to hear what smart home technologies you’ve seen in homes today!
Japanese architect Kimihiko Okada completed Toda House, a spiraling home with a unique appearance and architecture details in Hiroshima, Japan. According to the architects, “the land of this area is developed into platforms forming several levels. The architecture was requested to have a view over the roof of the neighboring house, standing one level lower, and to consider security, for the site is located at the edge of the residential area, and to leave some space for extension when the client opens a small shop in the future. To respond to the requests, the house is lifted from the ground. Like a bird’s nest, it called up architecture’s primary function of relief from disturbance.The house is open to the view and yet protected from the fear and environment. The variations of circulation and diverse spatial relations were achieved by placing a penetrating staircase. Together with the slab, the spandrel wall creates the continuous but various environments“. How do you find the architecture of this home?
This 1950’s semi-detached house located in Silchester Park, Dublin, Ireland needed a small upgrade. The owners wanted to transform a little bit their home into a brighter and more breezy living space, so the team of architects responsible with the project, GKMP Architects, came up with the following solution: a modern extension to the existing house. Parts of the new addition were covered in terracotta tiles that resembled to bricks, for a more traditional look. “The timber roof of the extension is covered in sedum to have a visual connection with the garden when viewed from the upper floor. A rooflight is made at the point of connection between the new and the existing to pull light into the plan.”
Inside, wood and the same terracotta tiles define the space. Basically, the extension was envisioned as a transition area, connecting the big house with the courtyard. It now houses the kitchen and a small living area. Since the building of the extension, the new living area became the family’s favourite spot in the house. Photo credit: Alice Clancy.
West Elm Heath Sofa is small in scale without sacrificing classic styling. Ikea Ekero Armchair has a reversible back cushion and thin arms for the space challenged. Kyle Schuneman Monroe Apartment Size Sofa at apt2b.com has a classic, retro feel and fits in small spaces. Euro Style Calais Dining Chairs (set of 2) at 2bemod.com aren’t just for dining rooms; they can work in any space. CB2 Casbah Corner Chair can be used indoors or out, singularly in a corner or doubled up to create a loveseat with arms. The Casbah Armless Chair can be added to extend it into a chaise. Istikbal Twist Convertible Loveseat at wayfair.com comes in bright colors and converts to a sleeper. Euro Style Fenia Swivel Chair at amazon.com is small and versatile, thanks to the swivel mechanism. CB2 Flatiron Haze Apartment Sofa is sleek and streamlined at only 60 inches wide.
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.
Gerard de Hoop is an independent designer and interior architect living and working in Groningen, the Netherlands. His passion gives life to versatile pieces of furniture created to suit a modern lifestyle. The first thing I noticed about Gerard was his unobstructed attention to details. The interview is punctuated with examples and images that illustrate the inspiration gathered in the years that led to creating such an interesting portfolio.
Tell us about your first steps towards design – when did you realize you want to become a product and interior designer?
How did your short exchange student experience in Budapest help you on the long term?
What are the most challenging things when working in collaboration with other designers?
You have had many exhibitions during your career, most of them in the Netherlands, but also outside your country. Can you tell us the main difference between Dutch and non-Dutch visitors, clients and admirers of your work?
How do you see versatile furniture in a world where space has become a challenge?
Can you describe the design process from idea to finished product?
What is your favorite material and why do you find it challenging to work with?
What are the main characteristics of your pieces, except simplicity and functionality?
Which piece of furniture in your home is your favorite and why?
What advice would you give to those just starting out in the design field?
Przystanek Piekarnia on Koszykowa Street is the fifth bakery design in this chain opened recently in Warsaw and developed by Maciej Kurkowski. It is located on the ground floor of 19th century tenement house designed by Józef Hintz, close to the Warsaw Technical University Architecture Faculty. The long, rectangular shape of the shop enabled the architects to design two distinctive zones- selling point in the front, and preparation area, staff and storage area in the back.
The preparation area was purposefully left open to the selling point, so that customers could have a peak at staff preparing freshly brewed coffee or sandwiches made on the spot. The walls in the back are kept in delicate gray tones accentuated with existing alcoves. The ceiling and walls of the bakery are painted black to contrast the main feature in the interior- a functional installation made of oiled and stained plywood modules. The structure is made of 746 pieces connected with small wooden pegs.
The whole structure is stabilized by additional planks, allowing for mounting display shelves at different levels easily. Above the main display area the structure is dispersing, allowing introduction of slender LED lights for an integrated look. Bright interior and the intricate structure are visible from the street, thanks to refurbished original shop front with a custom made neon light logo to accentuate prestigious location and showcase the shop. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by Maciej Kurkowski]
Some book lovers are particularly careful with storing their favorite authors and stories, with making sure their best reads are safe from damaging exterior factors. Israel-based studio Artori Design envisioned Book&Hero and Supershelf, a pair of bookends that create the illusion of books being constantly guarded by a superhero. We love how the black silhouette contrasts the colorful book covers, resulting in a fun addition for a home or office. The crazy addition can be used vertically or horizontally, according to the design needs of the user.
Here is an excerpt from the official project description: “Supershelf is a cool floating shelf which gives the impression of a superhero holding the books aloft, preventing them from falling to the ground. The base is concealed by the books and the superhero is affixed via a magnet to the base to give the item its dynamic appearance. A magnet is employed to suspend the superhero in the air, giving the impression of him ‘saving’ the books from an imminent fall.” The imaginative project weighs 350 grams and you can purchase it online on the designers’ website for $25. A fair price for an exquisite gift, wouldn’t you agree?