The generous proportions of the Garden House project come from a complete makeover of a family home in Minas Gerais in Brazil.
Brazilian architectural practice, David Guerra Architecture and Interior renovated it into a welcoming home for the CEO of a London-based business.
To achieve this flowing, open design, the architects had to integrate spaces, destroy walls and completely transform doors and windows.
Dark and glowing satiny posts and beams are a dominant design element, literally tying together the entire structure.
A rhythmic modular grid of dark wooden posts marches out to the garden from right inside the house.
There’s a wonderful treetop feeling in the high up bedroom, with light bounced up from the terrace into the rafters.
It was important to remake the home as a contemporary haven, befitting the style of a new generation of residents. Read the rest of this entry »
The holidays are all about parties, celebrations and grand feasts. If your dining room wasn’t a central focus of your home before, it probably is this month! But is it up to snuff?
Answer these questions honestly: Is your dining room flexible? Can it seat 4 or 14 with ease? Is it comfortable? Do your guests linger in their chairs for hours? Is it inviting? Does it feel lively and reflect your style the way the rest of your home does? If you can’t answer yes to all these questions, something is wrong.
So how can you improve on your dining room? Keep these tips in mind:
1) Avoid matchy-matchy. Ditch the dining room sets of yesteryear. Mix and match chairs and tables for a more dynamic, creative look that beckons and welcomes without feeling stiff and forced. See examples below:
Or this casual, but extremely inviting dining space below:
Notice how each of the dining rooms above is much more dynamic, more “alive” than they would have been with a traditional dining room set complete with matching chairs. Try mixing a traditional table with modern chairs or vice-versa. Try using benches with upholstered chairs with wooden chairs. Mix it up, but avoid the deadening look of matching table and chairs!
2) Invest in a great chandelier or pendant lamp. Nothing is going to set the mood in your dining room like the appropriate lighting. A beautiful chandelier or pendant light should not only create a focal point when the lights are off, but should cast moody, romantic light during dinners, with the ability to turn up the lights for game night or office meetings. Take a look:
3) Give people something to look at. A lot of people stick a dining room set in a room and call it a day. But a dining room should exude all the warmth and personality of the rest of your home. That means adding wallpaper, interesting art, and area rugs. For example:
Above, a vivid wall paper creates interest, and lends style and warmth. Below, another dining modern room features wallpaper, a beautiful pendant light, and sheepskin draped over the chairs, which makes it feel cozy and dramatic at the same time.
The colorful dining room chairs below exude joy and happiness.
And below, the wall art adds lots of character:
4) Don’t forget a centerpiece. A little decoration on the dining table is the finishing touch to any great dining room. That decoration could be a colorful fruit bowl, a bouquet of flowers, or an arrangement of candles.
So you see, a dining room can actually offer infinite possibilities for creativity and personal expression. There’s no need to allow it to be an afterthought in your home. Jazz it up and enjoy the holidays!
The POD boutique Hotel in Cape Town is designed by Greg Wright Architects.
Massive blocks of granite behind the pool balance the weighty landmarks of Lions Head and Table Mountain.
The heavy granite and the oversized tree trunks do not seem out of scale in this setting.
In the dramatic landscape of South Africa, the gigantic trunks have the right weight.
The color palette also derives from heavy materials such as slate, South African native timbers and granite.
By night this outdoor seating area affords a sunset view out across Camps Bay Beach.
The drama of the natural surroundings is balanced in the massive weight of the materials chosen.
Beds are set on a raised alcove of weathered wood that surrounds the sleeper on three sides. Read the rest of this entry »
Ottawa River House is a cool and serene three level contemporary home in Ontario by Canadian studio Christopher Simmonds Architect.
An elongated entry under cedar planking draws you into a vista that will develop into the dominant theme.
A confidently executed skylight surprises on the way through the front door.
To move through the space is to enjoy a well orchestrated sequence of views out over Lake Ottowa.
The experience inevitably accompanies every traversing of the interlocking interior walkways – until it is wound into your very soul.
So it is a house that walks through one vast airy space after another. Read the rest of this entry »
The Frill House by India’s Hiren Patel Architects is completely focused on the climate-altering effects of the gardens surrounding it.
Located in steamy Ahmedabad in Gujarat, the house opens out onto two cool garden spaces on each side.
It has a shaded garden for escaping the heat in summer, seen here on the north of the house.
The wide expanse of flat lawns of the summer garden is shaded all day by the house itself, offering a cool respite from the heat.
The winter garden, on the south of the house is designed like a “forest ” to help tree plantations to create shadows on and into the building.
Deep overhangs and open air rooms are the climate key to protection from the sun.
The winter garden surrounds a family room with tall palms and tropical plants.
Each space has a view to either the summer or winter garden.
“We planned different philosophy to experience the garden from different places,” say the architects. “The experience of garden is like poetry.”
Cool marble chills the floors both indoors and out.
Inside the house, cool marble floors are brightened by colorful Indian artefacts.
An intriguing palm leaf door is an example of the unique Indian craftsmanship to be found in this house. Read the rest of this entry »