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A Gabled Interior Creates the Sense of Home – and Space

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The Hazukashi House by ALTS DESIGN OFFICE is squeezed into a tiny space in Japan’s Kyoto prefecture.

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Making the best of a typically tiny space left in urban Japan, the design disguises its long and narrow and windowless site.

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A recurring gabled motif is reminiscent of a child’s drawing of home.

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The gable motif is even carried to an extreme, but serves to illustrate the sense of belonging that defines “home”.

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Instead of windows on the ground floor, light descends from above, through skylights.

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Windows on the lower floor are simply filtered light.

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Different levels within the multiple gable cutouts create a place of refuge for the young family.

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The tiny house achieves a homey feeling, far from its urban neighbors.

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By dispensing with windows, the house is able to occupy the entire width of the narrow lot.

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A very clever use of space.

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Sweet Dutch House with a Secret Underground Space

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A most unusual design by Dutch firm Hofman Dujardin Architects hides second storey bedrooms completely below grade.

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The long and wide concrete ramp brings warm sunlight down to allow all four kids’ bedrooms to directly access the outdoors, as well as a glassed-in walkway to stairs upstairs.
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From nearby, the Villa Geldrop appears to have just a single storey and a dormer in part of its steeply pitched roof.

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As simple and charming as a child’s drawing of home,  the house is flooded with natural light.

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On the main floor housing the public spaces, the entire front is fully glazed.

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The sweetly childlike gable and the fully glazed front results in a home full of airy sunshine.

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Each panel of glazing opens up entirely from floor to ceiling to the clean fresh air outside.

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An elegantly unobtrusive fireplace avoids that forlorn look of an unwanted fireplace in summer. A tiny TV suggests homework is the priority here.

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The steep pitched roof has two dormers; one in front that houses the parents bedroom, above the kitchen.

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Another dormer is in the back of the house, housing a family room up above the living room.

A pleasant and modern Dutch home in Geldrop, The Netherlands, with an interesting secret.

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A Magical Dream Resort on Xálima Island

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Daniel Martin Ferrero, principal of Martin Ferrero Architecture, designed the dreamlike Xálima Island House.

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Ferrero created the astonishing render as “a poem to the horizon framed by the sea.”

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The building sits atop a rocky cliff on an imaginary island created by the artist.

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The atmospherics are extraordinary.

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The incredible renders of the impossible structure suggest a future in sci fi movies.

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Perhaps a Shangri La set for a new James Cameron movie.

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The design is just totally over the top… a sort of all-out fantasy architecture.

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A video that swirls you on an amazing tour through the entire place can be seen on Youtube.

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Every spot is set to stun.

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Each of its fantastical places are almost realer than real.

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An over-the-top fantasy architecture full of a surfeit of incredible spaces.

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What fun.

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Design Dilemma: 5 Ways to Up Your Home’s Cozy Factor for Winter

contemporary family room how to tips advice

As we move into chillier, darker, shorter days, we naturally start considering ways to make home feel warmer, cozier, more comfortable. And cozy, in our opinion, has everything to do with comfortable surfaces to curl up on, as well as softer textures and textiles everywhere to soften hard edges. The idea is to create a nice, fur-lined box for icy winter days. So here’s what’s on our wishlist this winter:

1. A  big comfy sectional.

Nothing is better at breaking that winter chill then having a large, comfy couch to curl up on. One, of course, that is large enough to accommodate several people! Sectionals like the ones above and below perform a number of functions that can improve the cozy factor of a room. In a large space where a couch must float, a sectional can provide room definition. It can also help fill up a large space without inducing a feeling of clutter. Sectionals are also the most comfortable way to sprawl out before the TV, a roaring fire, or to curl up with a good book. Add plenty of pillows and a nice warm throw, and you’re all set for the coldest, bleakest days!

traditional family room how to tips advice

2. A rug in the kitchen. Normally, rugs in kitchens seem kind of superfluous. What do you do when you inevitably spill a pot of spaghetti sauce? And yet, we’re willing to suspend our suspicion for the coldest, darkest months of the year.  There is truly something appealing about the sense of warmth, color and texture that a rug can give a very practical, and often very sterile, space. Take a look at the examples below:

contemporary kitchen how to tips advice

The oriental rugs above and below add elegance and warmth to all-white looks that would otherwise feel cold.

transitional kitchen how to tips advice
transitional kitchen how to tips advice

3. Good lighting. Imperative to a cozy home is good lighting. And this doesn’t necessarily mean only bright lights — rather it means lighting that can perform a number of functions, from task lighting to mood lighting to general room lighting. Your home should have it all, and in winter, there should be an emphasis on mood lighting that can create an intimate atmosphere.

contemporary exterior how to tips advice

The Philadelphia rowhouse above and below is a perfect example. Recessed lights perform the general lighting function, but can be dimmed to soften the atmosphere when required. A pendant over the dining table and over the kitchen island serve as lighting for meals, and can also be dimmed or brightened, depending on what’s required. They also provide a sculptural feel that is beautiful to look at, even when the lights are not in use.

contemporary kitchen how to tips advice

Remember, lighting can extend beyond just overhead lights and reading lamps. Lighting artwork instantly provides a room with atmosphere.

contemporary living room how to tips advice

4. Plenty of sheepskin. Nothing feels cozier than soft, embracing textures on furniture or floors.

eclectic living room how to tips advice

Bathrooms are a particularly great place for a sheepskin rug.

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And so are bedrooms!

modern bedroom how to tips advice

5. Add some culture.

Spending a lot of time indoors? Well, you need something to do there! The last important addition for a cozy home includes tons of books.

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A large screen TV, or a projector screen that can descend from the ceiling doesn’t hurt!

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Artwork gives you something to look at and reflect on.

contemporary dining room how to tips advice

 

Are you ready for winter? We say, bring it on!

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Olson Kundig Live-Work Studio in Spain

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Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects has designed the live-work home of a photographer and his family in the Spanish coastal town of Sitges.

In Studio Sitges, Tom Kundig pursues his macho signature; large scale, raw concrete and rusty Corten steel.

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The entrance in rusted Corten steel offers a large — or a normal size — entrance.

A huge door pivots on its center while a smaller door pivots inside it.

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The inventive and macho door captures the casual energy of this cosmopolitan beach town thirty minutes from Barcelona, and just three blocks from the Mediterranean sea.

Kundig adopts his industrial bohemian material palette, avoiding the cloying local traditions of stucco and tiled roofs.

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But a peek through the giant door reveals a reinterpretation of a more local tradition; windows framed in the small black muntins that represented the technical limitations of glass technology in the fourteenth century.

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The difference is that these sweet traditional muntin windows are floor-to ceiling walls of glazing and, like the front door, pivot out on giant hinges.

The master bedroom cantilevers out over the garden patio.

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Indoor or outdoor dining is an option in the balmy climate, under a cantilevered guest suite.

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Down a concrete driving ramp underground are two huge double-height raw concrete spaces designed for the client’s large scale photography studio.

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Each detail shows the tough, no nonsense Olson Kundig design signature.

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The house is designed vertically with four floors.

Spare furniture in the double height spaces includes restored teak tables and comfortable and unpretentious leather armchairs.