Low Energy House was designed by Steinmetz De Meyer Architects and is located in Luxembourg. Its design came as a result of the town-planning specifications in Luxembourg City, where interconnected houses are a common sight. According to the architects, this lead to a “complex massing characterized by cantilevers and large recesses acting as generators of the architectural form. Displayed as white volumes extended by strong horizontal and vertical lines, the composition appears very geometric, while drawing an elegant flowing from the ground to the roof top. Very expressive, the cornice becomes the element of integration to the architectural typology of the street and the neighboring houses“. The layout of the residence is interesting: a double height dining room connects the ground floor to the study in the mezzanine and the parental suite on the first floor. Have a look at the architecture plans at the end of the post for a deeper understanding of the project.
Nico Van Der Meulen Architects completed an imposing residence in Johannesburg, South Africa, entitled House Serengeti. The residence impresses due to an unusual mix of earthly textures and raw materials with high-gloss finishes and refined design elements. According to the architects, the brief “was to create a stylish family home with ecologically sound design that maximized indoor-outdoor living to take full advantage of Johannesburg’s legendary eight-month summer. It’s a double-storey home with an open-plan living area downstairs, an upstairs pajama lounge, a study, and four bedrooms, all of them en-suite. The three family bedrooms are upstairs, and we positioned the guest room downstairs, separating it from the family’s sleeping area to maximize privacy”. Visual treats can be observed throughout the interiors of this residence, from the sculptures created by van der Meulen’s brother, Regardt, to the bold pendant lights above the dining room…
Usually they say that successful interiors are a beneficial combination of environmentally friendly contemporary decorative materials, design furniture, sanitary equipment and home appliances. Nevertheless, the interior of an apartment located in the heart of Kiev’s historical district has a much more valuable treasure – an idea. A young creative couple had been looking for an architect, when their designer friend recommended them Alex Bykov. After a fruitful discussion of suggestions and proposals the concept of “constant motion” was born.
The concept of movement appears through the spacial design areas such as the bedroom, the lounge, the library and the bathroom are located surrounding the kitchen, the historical symbol of the “family’s heart”. So you can move from one room to another in an uninterrupted circle, since the spaces flows smoothly into each other. The interior has a cozy warm coloring due to the pastel brick walls, the natural texture of wood and soft furniture. The built-in library – a primary wish of the couple, was designed to house the family library. Alex also designed all the furniture and prepared individual work drawings. The woodwork was made from low cost materials.
Artificial lighting is dim, warm and comfortable. Decorative lamps are by Ukrainian designers Anna Popovych and Vasyliy Butenko; the ceiling lamp, which were presented to the newly-weds by close friends as a wedding gift, are by ‘Artemide’. Wrought-iron products also bespoke immediately grab attention: the legs for the coffee and dining tables, a mirror in the bedroom, a sleeve for the hood and a window . [Photos and information provided via e-mail by architect and photographer Alex Bykov]
With a stripy exterior, pierced by box-shaped rectangular and square windows, this sweet dwelling spells “coziness”. Envisioned by Austrian architects Casati, the project entitled Casa Prè de Sura is perfectly integrated in its privileged environment, making the most of a dreamy Italian landscape. The windows frame views towards a small castle on a nearby hillside and bring plenty of natural light inside. According to the architects, the limestone aggregate walls surround rooms and hallways on each of the three floors, absorbing moisture from the air that can cool the house during warmer months. The interior design is minimalist and tasteful- clutter is not welcomed in a place like this. Wood is present throughout, complementing the white plastered walls and rare furniture items. Several paintings and art pieces cheer up the place, adding subtle color. The overall feeling is that of a sweet cottage-like residence, where intimacy and space both feel at home…
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.
Contemporary bedrooms are all about a neutral color scheme that is accentuated by pops of color in an elegant fashion. These colorful additions can be often swapped out with ease to alter the appeal of the room and its color palette with changing trends and seasons. While blue is touted as the most popular hue in the bedroom irrespective of style and season, green is the ‘chosen one’ for those who want to bring a hint of natural goodness indoors. Relaxing, elegant, bright and refreshing, it is a pleasant hue that comes in diverse shades ranging from the brilliant jewel-toned emerald to more subtle and modest minty greens.
Rovio Mobile, makers of the worldwide mobile game phenomenon Angry Brids, will soon open another theme park, this time in Finland. The new Angry Birds Land will be part Särkänniemi Adventure Park in Tampere and it will feature an adventure course, food outlets and no less than 12 rides: “The opening of Angry Birds Land in Särkänniemi is a really big deal for us. The theme and design of Angry Birds is internationally renowned, so we are delighted to welcome visitors from around the globe to experience the product for themselves. The area is definitely a must see destination for millions of Angry Birds players, but also a great experience for those who are not yet familiar with the game”, stated park manager Miikka Seppälä. Angry Birds fans everywhere, how would you comment on this new project? We also added a presentation video below, briefly getting you acquainted with the existing rides in the Angry Birds theme parks…
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?
With a sleek and innovative angle design, Saidoka is the ultimate iPhone-charging dock and one of the most interesting products of its kind we’ve seen lately on the market. A trustful companion, the stylish dock designed by Bluelounge plugs into the USB port of your computer or adapter to charge your phone as you work. Saidoka responds to your needs: the subtle angle allows you to access easily the incoming notifications (you can even text much simpler) while keeping your phone docked. With a soft rubber lining, this desk accessory complements the iPhone’s simple, yet elegant design. The good thing about it? It’s always close to your keyboard, so you never miss a call or text.
“The bottom of Saidoka features micro-suction rails to grip smooth surfaces without the use of a sticky adhesive allowing you to dock and undock your phone with ease. High-tech Japanese micro-suction uses tiny suction cups to hold Saidoka firmly in place and allows you to reposition again and again without leaving residue behind.” Both available in black and white, this cool accessory is very pleasant to the eye and matches the Apple design perfectly …
As we alluded to earlier, green and white is a smart combination that works well in a modern bedroom and balances energetic overtones with a serene backdrop. The amount of green you use here depends on the size of the room and the amount of natural light that floods into your bedroom. Smaller bedrooms with too much green might seem both overwhelming and visually cluttered.
Marcus O’Reilly Architects recently sent us two urban projects called Red Stair and Vent Sculpture, located in one of Melbourne’s most populated areas. Here is the press release from the developers: “Situated along Southbank Promenade beside the Yarra River, Queensbridge Square is a major public meeting space connecting Southgate, Southbank Boulevard, Queensbridge Street, the casino, the Freshwater Place apartment tower and the Sandridge Bridge, which leads to the Flinders Street Station and its underpass. This red stair works as a beacon, an easy to find meeting place. It is an outdoor amphitheatre for buskers and small meetings or demonstrations, and for sitting in the sun. On any given day hundreds of people descend upon the stair for a casual chat, a quick bite to eat with co-workers, access to their recommended daily vitamin ‘D’ intake, or put on a show of impressive bmx and skateboarding tricks off the canted sides of the structure.
Red plywood is backlit with LED lights, providing a glow in the dark effect. The high back wall cuts the wind and hides the roadway leading to the tunnel underneath. The back wall further functions as a book end to Queensbridge Square. This creates a sense of enclosure to the urban space effectively resulting in a modern Piazza. The iconic form and bold use of colour helps signalize a truly successful urban space.
Across the square, a second sculptural intervention was created over a new concrete vent shaft. The splayed planks, sit in the garden area of the urban space. The planks and curved steel recall the railway tracks that were pulled up to make the space available. The entire project is an excellent case study of how underused and mundane aspects of urban life can be transformed and activated through clever design. The design work was done in conjunction with the client, the City of Melbourne, led by Professor Rob Adams. The project was awarded the Melbourne Prize and an Urban Design Award by the AIA.”