Home Design Find - Interior Design, Architecture, Modern Furniture - Part 3
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50 Years Later – a Home for an Artist

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Gary Gladwish Architecture designed this sustainable home for an artist in Orcas Island, Washington.

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54 years ago she visited the island and decided that one day she would live there.

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All her life, the artist had been working with rocks, nature and landscape.

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Populated with madrone trees, firs, beech, thistle, moss and rocks with magnificent views to the west, the site of her future dream home had remained un-built over 40 years.

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The architects selected a material palette to incorporate some of her favorite materials like rusty steel siding and moss and rocks from the building site.

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The entry walk utilizes a favorite rustic wood recycled from a 100 year old barn.

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The house is entered at the pivot point of its L-Shape.

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An art studio and storage area provides the flexibility to add bedrooms or an apartment in the future.

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The simple L-Shape plan centers around an open plan living/dining cooking area with a study and bedroom on one wing.

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The house is designed for ease of movement for the artist to age in place – without stairs and encumbrances.

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This design will accommodate the inevitable bad hips, knees and back worn out from a lifetime of moving rocks, dirt and plants.

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Double insulated windows and doors surpass energy code requirements and all of the lighting is either LED or CFL.
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With its construction in honest natural stone the bathroom is both modest and sensuous.

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Around the long side of the L-Shape, large doors slide away to open the house to the expansive views.

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The achitects have fulfilled a long time dream – a true living room in the woods.

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Design Dilemma: The Modern Farmhouse Sink

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Have you always admired the look of farmhouse sinks but wondered if they would fit into a modern setting? Certainly there is an allure to the oversized sinks of yesteryear. The sinks are well beyond the size of most modern sinks today. They were built in a time before running water, when it was necessary to bring in well water from outside. The sinks were made extra large, to reduce the amount of running back and forth between sink and well. Not only that, but these large sized sinks are extra deep, and worked perfectly on a farm, where they could also be employed to wash clothes or prepare large quantities of freshly harvested vegetables, or even a plucked chicken or two, for cooking. Unlike undermounted sinks with cabinetry, you stand right up close to the sink, making it easier to accomplish your task.

Today, most of us go for farmhouse sinks not for the practical aspect, but because they look really cool. They hint at tradition and hearth and home. Plus, if you love to cook, they’re great for washing really large pots, baking sheets and other oversized cooking implements. Can these old-fashioned sinks work in a more modern context? We think so! Take a look:

Stainless Steel

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Who says farmhouse sinks can only come in porcelain? Above, a double farmhouse sink in stainless steel picks up on the industrial vibe which has been so trendy in the last few years. It would fit well into a modern minimal loft. This one’s by Kraus.

Below, another example, with squared off edges:

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And another example here, this time with a rounded edge:

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And here, a Kohler:

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Porcelain

Just because a kitchen is modern in style doesn’t mean a porcelain farmhouse sink can’t be used to mix things up. Below is one great example:

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Here’s another Kohler porcelain sink called the Whitehaven Hayridge featuring a gentle pattern of horizontal ridges on the apron-front. A large single basin accommodates large pots and pans, while the sloped bottom helps with draining and cleanup.

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And here:

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Stone

Below, this Hawaii bathroom uses onyx for a modern, distinctive feel.

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And here’s a sink of soapstone,

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So if you’re a lover of farmhouse sinks and you’re wondering if you can make it work in your modern kitchen, the answer is yes!

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Delicious Symmetry in Mirrored Pair of Australian Townhouses

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The Australian architecture studio Martin Friedrich Architects has designed a pair of very chic urban townhouses.

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The mirrored floorplans results in an intriguing and symmetrical facade.

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Each has a fully glazed floating effect living room that flows out to a pool.

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Connecting the floors, from the basement garage to the bedrooms is a spiral stair.

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Each has an underground cinema at the bottom of the circular stairwell, next to the drive-under garage which can house five cars each.

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And each have identical mirrored upper floors that could house either 3 couples or a family with 2 to 4 children.

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The street-facing wall is also curved white, suggesting the curved spiral stair to be found within.

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The stairwell is a truly sculptural form, perfectly presented in its pristine white gallery-like setting.

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This free standing sculptural circular staircase connects all three levels with a huge circular skylight above.

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The long central expanse of white wall offers the perfect setting for art.
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The two townhouses are designed for hip urban professionals with a desire for a maintenance-free garden.

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Both are designed for an easy, low upkeep indoor/outdoor lifestyle.

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The pure clean white render throughout makes the perfect foil for an art collection.

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A deep grey European oak flooring adds depth and warmth and richness to the gallery-like setting.
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The bold white sculptural shape of the ‘shutter’ defines the minimalist and contemporary exterior.

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Because these bedrooms are recessed quite far back behind the shutters, passersby can only see in from directly in front.

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The very striking pair of brilliant white townhouses is in the affluent Bayside suburb of Melbourne.

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A Villa in Merida that Embraces Old and New

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Casa CP 78 was designed by Taller Estilo Arquitectura in the old colonial city of Merida, on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

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The house brings just the right amount of the old world charm of Merida’s colonial Spanish architecture to a modern home.

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A pool sits within the typical small site of urban Merida, but we find that it’s exactly sufficient.

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Contrasting strongly against the white stucco are floor to ceiling black framed windows – departing decisively from the old world.

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These black accents against white stucco define the exterior asĀ  well.

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A marble floor cools the sultry tropical air as it enters the kitchen.

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A zigzag archway and traditional tiled floor salute the traditions of the old city architecture.

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Tropical plantings are beautifully presented and framed by a white stucco wall.
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Black marble for the kitchen counter is both feminine and luxurious while also being practical and enduring.

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Bathrooms too feature the sophisticated clean lines of sculpted marble basins.

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Even here, marble floors cool the bathroom.

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The shiny black accents impart a sophisticated urban edge to the residence.

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The little Mexican outdoor kitchen makes an intimate gathering spot day or night.

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Altogether a small and charming city dwelling that gently references the traditional architecture of the region while embracing a sophisticated new architecture.

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The Tiny and Clever Casa Quebrada

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What you see is what you get in the charming little Casa Quebrada by UNarquitectura by a creek in the forest near Curacavi, Chile.

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The tiny cabin supplies very livable sleeping and eating in a tiny space.

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The tiny space doubles up on the views so the raised bedroom and the living room share the same long views out.

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Accessed through the living room, the house is raised up above the forest floor.

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Holes were left in the walkway to allow trees to continue their growth.

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The posts holding the walkway are set at odd angles, echoing the random angles of nature.

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The siding and the deck were painted black, allowing it to recede into the forest shadows.

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Despite the tiny space, the cabin feels open and airy inside. The deep steps up to the bed double as seating with the tread being the seat and the riser being the backrest.

It’s a clever and efficient use of space.