Home Design Find - Interior Design, Architecture, Modern Furniture - Part 4
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A Casual and Effortless Beach Cottage for Harried New Yorkers

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The ultimate kick-off-your-shoes seaside escape is this beguilingly simple beach house by Stelle Architects.

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As blithely pleasing as its view, Surfside House overlooks the vast ocean at Bridgehampton, New York.

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Instead of putting in landscaping that fights the coastal climate, the natural dunes were restored with beach grass, bayberry and other native plants.

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Furnishings are bland and simple, the perfect invitation to loll about and get absolutely nothing done.

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In a light-saturated living space, a picture window encapsulates a beach vista that is as sweet as a primitive painting.

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A sun deck is designed for warming the New York-chilled body, while providing the option of a “sunhat” of shade at head level.

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In the kitchen, open to the sea air, a clanging collection of pots and pans hangs from a metal girder that forms the basic bones of the unassuming cottage. Read the rest of this entry »

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Revived Steel Structure Becomes Graceful Perch for Art Lovers

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A gigantic roof deck creates the sense of an expansive “tabletop” sited amidst the tops of a towering old growth forest in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Tonic Design + Construction designed and built the contemporary 3500-square-foot house for art collectors John and Molly Chiles, set in the forest canopy.

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The new house was constructed re using the metal “bones” of an abandoned 1960s era steel-framed and wood-paneled house overlooking Crabtree Creek.

The cladding had been overgrown by kudzu and ivy, rotting the wood. It was in terrible condition.

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The architect did not repeat the original mistake of wood cladding in a damp forest setting.

The new house was an all metal re-design.

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Instead, the wonderful “bones” of the neglected remains become the chassis for a dramatic new house.

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The deck of the now clearly defined steel structure offers views across the treetops to the distant horizon.

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The all white open floor plan with loft-like spaces makes this treetop perch an unlikely home. Read the rest of this entry »

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Design Dilemma: A Big Small Loft in Paris

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We’re used to thinking of lofts as gi-normous spaces featuring miles and miles of square footage. But increasingly, and especially in Europe, small lofts are the norm. They are open, light-filled and airy, but often fail to crack 50 square meters (or about 600 square feet). Here’s one such example in Paris where, architects Gianluca Gaudenzi and Sandra De Giorgio of Nzi Architectes have transformed an old artist’s studio located in the 20° arrondissement on the Right Bank of the Seine. It may be a small space, but the architects were able to maximize every inch, including massively high ceilings that are 5 meters tall.

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The architects created a loft on three levels, each within view of the other. The lowest level consists of a kitchen and dining room. Two steps take you to a comfortable living room with a built-in cherry bookshelf. A flight of narrow steps on the kitchen level takes you to the uppermost level, which is where a bedroom and study are located, closed off with a glass wall.  Here’s a view below:

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And here’s another view:

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Here’s a view giving you an idea of the entire landscape. On the far left hand side are the stairs leading up to the bedroom. To the right are the kitchen, dining room, and at the far end of the loft on another level reached by two steps is the living area with built-in bookshelf.

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Another view of the living room:
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And here is a view of the living room as seen from the little study area in the bedroom above:

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There’s a lot to love about this little loft, and we love it all!

  • It’s minimal without being cold. Punches of bright color, the use of warm wood, the liberal use of antiques like the theatre chairs and old stove give the loft warmth without clutter.
  • It’s industrial without going over the top. The industrial look has become a big trend these days, but this little loft indulges without seeming trendy. Iron supports and frames around windows provide just the right amount of factory flavor against the stone walls and wooden built-ins.
  • It’s filled with light. Thanks to a careful planning of space, there are no dark corners in this loft. A skylight on the top level also brings light into a space that might have otherwise been dark.
  • It looks like someone actually lives here. We’ve seen too many lofts that seem so picture perfect it’s hard to believe anyone could ever live there. This space, on the other hand, is unassuming in its grandeur. When can we move in?

Images: Courtesy livingcorriere.it

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The Outstanding Geometry of the Villa Escarpa

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This minimalist gem from architects Mario Martins overlooks the village of Praia da Luz, in the district of Lagos, Algarve, in the South of Portugal.

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The house sits gently upon an exposed concrete support giving the appearance of a house floating above the landscape.

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Its visually stunning lines create a sublime perfection from virtually every angle.

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The social area of the house is open and fluid.

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Thick roofs appear cut from a horizontal volume of white.

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“In a pure and contemporary architectural language,” say the architects, “we created sheltered terraces and courtyards for outside living.”

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The living space offers views to each side; to the distant horizon to the west, and across the body of water to the kitchen to the east.

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The long pool comes right in to transect the working area of the house, with the kitchen to one side, and the living room to the other.

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In this way the house merges with the long water surface dissecting the wide living and kitchen spaces. Read the rest of this entry »

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Design Dilemma: One Touch Can Make The Difference

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Sometimes, it only takes one thing to completely make a room. It could be a great rug, lamp, piece of art, an architectural detail or a piece of furniture, but that one thing can tie the room together, create drama and flair, and reflect, as well, the personality and style of the homeowner. This post is dedicated to just that one little thing that can completely change the character of the room.

A great example is in the living room above and  the dining room below. A rug (both of these are by Madeline Weinrib) packs a walloping punch of style that while quite graphic, also feels very classic.  Both of these rooms, without their respective rugs, would be nice enough but not nearly as cool.

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Adding a really cool rug is an easy way to change the flavor of a room with one thing. Lighting fixtures can be like that too. For instance:

 

 

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Without the pendant lamps in the dining room above, the room would feel more catalogue-y than artsy. But the addition of the black pendants in different shapes adds a quirky, appealing, offbeat touch that truly makes the room.

Same goes for the kitchen below:

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The kitchen is minimalist, a little industrial, definitely modern. The hanging pendant lights that are bulbs on black cords hanging over an iron bar, provide just the right, edgy touch. Without the lights, the kitchen would be boring.

Sometimes just one beautiful painting can make the difference. For example:

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What would the above room be without the drama and color of the bold abstract painting?
And what would this foyer be without the colorful pop of yellow provided by an abstract painting:

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Some people pooh-pooh the role that houseplants can play, but often, the addition of a plant or two can make a big difference in a room. For instance:

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This planter at the top of a stairway acts as a room divider and provides a sense of closure in the room. Without the plants, the room would have felt more like a pass-through. The plants also offer color and a sense of freshness. On a much smaller scale below, a vase with a stark arrangement of reeds seems to tie together the organic shapes found throughout the room.

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And finally, one easy addition that can make a room are pillows. Yes, it seems mundane, but it is nevertheless true. Take a look:

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And this:

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And this:

eclectic living room how to tips advice

And this:

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None of the rooms above would have the same oomph without the array of colorful pillows that truly pop and tie in different elements and colors throughout.

Isn’t it nice to know that when it’s time for a pick-me-up at home, one relatively small change can make such a difference?