Home Design Find - Interior Design, Architecture, Modern Furniture - Part 2
RSS

Home Design Find

VIEW: FULL | LIST | GRID

No Comments »

Design Trend: The Benefits of Glass Countertops

contemporary kitchen countertops kitchen
Countertop by CBD Glass Studios

It seems that everyone has been obsessed with granite countertops in the last few years, but there’s another countertop surface that deserves some attention for both its beauty and durability. We’re talking glass!

Although we’re used to thinking of glass as something delicate and fragile, it turns out that glass, when used as a countertop material, can be surprisingly resilient and far more practical than you might imagine. And there are some other benefits as well.

1. Glass countertops come in a surprising array of colors and textures.

contemporary kitchen countertops kitchen

 

There ‘s no limit when it comes to color scheme or application.  You can opt for clear glass, textured glass, colored glass in transparent, translucent, and opaque varieties. The blue textured look of the countertop above, by CBD Glass Studios looks just as if you were looking to the bottom of a swimming pool, with the added advantage that the textured finish makes dust, fingerprints and small scratches nearly invisible.

You can also create a dramatic effect by using lighting, as seen in the countertop below.

 

kitchen countertops kitchen

2. They are very easy to clean and completely non-porous.

modern kitchen kitchen

In the kitchen, understandably, cooks are always concerned about germs and bacteria. The great thing about glass is that it’s a breeze to keep clean, and thus the perfect choice for chefs looking to keep a spic and span kitchen.

3. Glass countertops can take the heat.

Although the use of hotplates is recommended, glass is naturally heat resistant so hot cookware can be placed on its surface without the kind of damage that could occur on many other types of surfaces.

4. The edges can be curved or contoured.

contemporary kitchen kitchen

You are not limited in terms of shape or form with glass. Not only can edges be contoured in any way you like, but the glass can be designed into organic forms, as in the island above, also by CBD Glass Studios.

5. It can open up a room, providing an airy feel that reflects light.

contemporary kitchen kitchen

Glass countertops bounce light around the room but are transparent. The combination of these two properties gives rooms an open, airy, modern feel that can even make a space feel larger.

6. It’s a high end look.
Let’s face it, granite has become so ubiquitous it’s lost its cachet. Glass, on the other hand, is still very uncommon in most kitchens. When you see it, it automatically suggests a custom kitchen with a unique personality.

7. It’s recyclable.

And here’s an important advantage in our book. Glass is not a synthetic material and it is not using a limited resource, like marble or stone. It can be recycled again and again to create even more beautiful glass countertops.

Like any surface, glass does require some care. On slick, untextured glass, dirt, dust and debris will be visible, as will waterspots. Some acidic substances and corrode the glass, and of course, glass can be scratched, chipped or broken under pressure. Still, the same is true of many stones. All in all, glass is a unique countertop material with many more advantages than disadvantages for the discriminating homeowner and definitely worth considering for your next kitchen remodel.

 

No Comments »

A Bright Attic Home for an Immigrant Family in Amsterdam

 architecture

MAMM Design have renovated a dark two-storey attic in Amsterdam to build a home for an immigrant family of four, used to brighter light.

 architecture

They opened up the attic ceiling, exposing the giant rafters – allowing the light to flood the entire open space.

 architecture

The most unusual idea: right in the center of the new open space, a box containing the kitchen is sunken into the stairwell, a window to its side.

 architecture

As one climbs up the stairwell, looking to the right, one sees through an open frame into this sunken kitchen.

 architecture

Sharing the central tower stairs with the kitchen is the bathroom and toilet, utilizing the existing plumbing.

 architecture

The new home is housed in the top two floors of part of this 85-year-old building in the Netherlands.

 architecture

Obviously, the exterior cannot be altered, but there are many changes made within the shell of the existing building to protect against the gloomy weather of Amsterdam.

 architecture

The light from the existing skylight works overtime by opening up the floor to let it light two floors.

 architecture

The architects placed new grating stairs and small landings around the central stair-tower to create some places to stay at various levels.

 architecture

Parents can oversee a colorful vignette of the living room from the bedroom, brilliantly daylighted from the central skylight.

 architecture

All the balustrades are kept safe with rope nets, a cheerfully childlike touch suggesting an industrial gym.

 architecture

And at the very top of this gloom-dispelling new attic home, a playroom for the two young children.

No Comments »

A Peek Inside the Most Expensive Condos in Miami

Have you ever fantasized about what it would be like to live in a chic Miami high-rise? In other words, an expansive balcony with sea views, floor to ceiling windows in every room, a pool downstairs. And of course, a concierge in the lobby.
Well, if you’ve had the fantasy (and let’s face it, we all have)  we’re here to show you what’s on the market if you’re lucky enough to have an extra $2 million on hand.
If you like glass and marble, check out this $1.8 million beauty at 465 Brickell Avenue, in downtown Miami.  The condo is in the Icon Brickell Tower No. 1. Chock full of upgrades, the condo features custom electric window treatments, custom closet build-outs, custom counter tops, lighting, and more. Views from the space completely clear over the top of Brickell Key, offering unobstructed water views as far as the eyes can see.
$1,799,000
3 beds, 2 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 2,044 sq ft
Year built: 2008

 

1 full interiors 2 full1 interiors
4 full1 interiors 5 full interiorsOr perhaps you prefer an even larger space, with a Manhattan style feel. Replete with custom wood cabinetry, the Brickell condo below features two master bedrooms, a master sitting room, a master roof-top terrace, two family rooms, a wine storage unit, and white marble floors, all for about $2.5 million. And remember, you’re not just buying a space, you’re buying a lifestyle. In the Brickell Key One, where this unit is located, you can enjoy a game of hoop on the building’s courts, a barbecue in the building picnic area, a jog along a nearby jogging path, a romp with the kids in the child play area, or a swim in the association pool. There’s also an exercise room, tennis courts, hobby rooms and extra storage.
$2,495,000
4 beds, 3 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 5,680 sq ft
Year built: 1982
Parking spots: 3
4 full interiors 3 full interiors 2 full interiors
Or maybe you’re interested in something expensive but just a little more modest. Check out this unit at the Infinity Brickell.
It’s a chic, minimalist corner loft corner with all sorts of upgrades, including white porcelain tile floors throughout, upgraded kitchen island, walnut stairs and a large wrap around terrace with stunning north west, north east, and south west panoramic views of Miami.
$595,000
2 beds, 2 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 1,383 sq ft
Year built: 2008
Parking spots: 1
Days on market: 6
Walk Score®: 88
1 full1 interiors 2 full2 interiors 3 full1 interiors 5 full1 interiors
Curious to see more? Check out E Miami Condos where you can find a huge selection of upscale Miami condos on the market to feed your luxury lust.

No Comments »

Design Dilemma: Coping with a Windowless Room

industrial basement how to tips advice

If there’s one thing that is almost universally desired when it comes to interiors, it’s natural light. Buoyant, life-affirming, natural light is a mood booster and does a world of good for interiors as well. Any room is going to look larger and feel airier with loads of light streaming in. Alas, not all of us are lucky enough to have rooms with much light. In fact, some of us, living perhaps in basements or converted apartments, may not have windows at all!

If that’s the case, not only are we missing out on light, but also the interest that a beautiful natural view can provide indoors. Are you stuck in a windowless room? Below are a few clever ways to provide the feeling of a window and some light, even so.

1) Add hidden sources of light.

Creating light sources that can’t be seen — a floor lamp tucked behind a couch, or upward lights placed behind a beam — can help provide a room with an indirect glow that can mimic the sort of indirect glow rooms get from windows.

Below, a windowless bathroom makes excellent use of this approach:

contemporary bathroom how to tips advice

And here, an entertainment room area has no window. But hidden lights casting light upwards over the seating area create just that natural sort of glow that a window might otherwise provide.

traditional living room how to tips advice

2) Consider recessed lights with a dimmer switch.

 Similar to the effect above, carefully placed recessed lights can provide a room with a soft glow that is unobstrusive and that really helps open up dark and dim spaces.  The key is to make sure your lights have dimmers so that they need not be blasting at full power  all the time. Full power light will destroy that soft natural glow.

traditional basement how to tips advice

They can be particularly effective when combined with uplights, as you see here:

traditional living room how to tips advice

3. Add your own window.

Just because a room doesn’t have a window doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Add a transom window over a door, which will allow you to steal a little light and air from any adjacent room receiving light and air. In the bathroom below, the owners also installed frosted glass in the door to steal a little more light from the hallway.

traditional bathroom how to tips advice

And this bedroom below steals light from an adjacent sunny window by creating a huge high “window”.

contemporary bedroom how to tips advice

And below, this basement gym receives a little light, air and interest from two windows and a paned door which help brighten things up considerably:

traditional home gym how to tips advice

4. Add under cabinet lighting.

It’s a great way to provide that indirect light source that immediately brighten up a room, adding light and depth to dark corners. The dark kitchen below gets a big benefit out of under cabinet lights.

modern kitchen how to tips advice

5. Add pops of color with a good dose of white.

Windowless rooms have a way of feeling quite depressing. Counteract this effect by brightening up things with bright accent walls that are complemented by pale colors. The basement kitchen below receives a huge dose of cheeriness from the electric orange cabinetry and the distressed baby blue door. The bright white of the walls helps to cast light about the room.

contemporary kitchen how to tips advice

The distressed blue door actually hides the refrigerator!

contemporary kitchen how to tips advice

6. Add art.
Large pieces of art can help stand in for a window, providing a room with both color and interest. The same Toronto basement above makes good use of this principle.

contemporary bedroom how to tips advice

And another view from the same apartment:

contemporary dining room how to tips advice

And some other cheap tricks for windowless rooms?

  • Add a large mirror, which will help bounce light around a room and provide a point of interest.
  • Consider adding drapes over walls to mimic the effect of drawn curtains.
  • Add french doors
  • Keep your walls white and bright.

 

No Comments »

Accessible Formed Concrete Barn in California for a New York Loft Family

 architecture

A family of New York City loft-dwellers made the cross country move to a new home they built in Sebastapol, 60 miles north of San Francisco.

 architecture

Their disabled son determined the design brief for the architects – accessible open plan design on a single story.

 architecture

The family now grows olives, wine and apples on their semi-rural farmland in the small town of Sebastopol.

 architecture

Anderson Anderson Architects succeed in transplanting the open loft feeling to their new home in a Sonoma County orchard.

 architecture

Embracing the local mores, the parents prepare and can large quantities of their own produce on an enormous hunk of wood – amusingly set on a trestle of flimsy blue metal.

 architecture

Their new home is highly individual, and full of whimsical and practical touches.

 architecture

While the structure is formed concrete, and the floors, polished concrete – intriguing antiques like these glass bookcases are juxtaposed against this backdrop.

 architecture

A quirky steam-punk combination of practical 18th century open fire cooking implements work just as well in a 21st century formed concrete fireplace.

 architecture

For this family, the kitchen really is the heart of the home.

 architecture

Instead of drawers or cupboards, open shelving keeps everything accessible by wheelchair.

 architecture

Formed concrete elements unify the house, and are used structurally both inside and out.

 architecture

The formed concrete contrasts with homely touches like these sweet framed pictures.

 architecture

Here one of the units becomes an outdoor shower.

 architecture

Because the concrete is formed in rough wooden forms, it takes on the warm texture of the one foot wooden planks.

 architecture

Each of these concrete units is used throughout the house, shaping structural components that are cast on site.

 architecture

Combined with a rich wood trim – these doors are framed in reclamed redwood – this is a practical and simple way to build a wonderful home to grow a family.