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

Home Design Find


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Design Dilemma: Managing A Round Room

contemporary family room how to tips advice

Rooms that diverge from the usual rectangle or square are not all that common, but they exist. Frequently, you can find them in residential condo complexes and apartment buildings that have been converted over from a different use. Former churches, hospitals, schools, factories and industrial buildings sometimes have oddly-shaped room that don’t fit the norm. This can mean circular rooms, rooms that are triangular, or even something more exotic still. One of the most common oddly-shaped rooms is the circular one, so we’re taking a look at how homeowners handle what could be a problematic situation.

In the San Francisco home below, the homeowners have gone the full distance in embracing a circular shape by finding furnishings that exactly mirror the room’s roundness. This means a rounded custom-made couch a circular rug, and a nice round ottoman. Even the coffee table and side tables maintain a softened organic form — in the case of the coffee table, perhaps not round, but close enough with an oval.

modern living room how to tips advice

Here’s another view:

modern living room how to tips advice

Solving the round-room dilemma can be simple if that round room happens to be a dining room. All you need is a circular dining table, and you’re good to go!

traditional dining room how to tips advice


Although seeking out rounded shapes can be one way to address the rotundity problem, it’s not the only way. In the living room below, the homeowners simply opted for a sectional which, without going the full circular distance, does provide something of a sense of closure in the way that a semi-circular couch might.

traditional family room how to tips advice


You’ll notice in this shot of the same room that although the couch is a regular sectional, there are circular and oval elements in the room that can help pick up on the theme, namely the side tables and rounded glass coffee table:

traditional living room how to tips advice

Sometimes a room isn’t circular but semi-circular. And sometimes, folks who have a circular room make it semi-circular by erecting a wall that can dissect the space, providing that one wall which might anchor a couch or bed. Take a look at the Tel Aviv apartment below:


industrial living room how to tips advice

Even with the use of a wall, the owners still kept “round” in mind by opting to group two chairs and a couch around a circular coffee table.

The other half of the room uses a circular dining table to pick up on the theme:

industrial dining room how to tips advice

Because of the circular configuration of the apartment, the owners had to get creative when it came to the kitchen. They angled the kitchen island to create a triangular space within the circle that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

industrial kitchen how to tips advice
Other tips for handling a round room:
  • Keep the furniture arrangement casual and conversational. Have chairs and couches floating in the room and facing each other.
  • Consider built-ins and custom-made furniture to echo the shape of the room.
  •  Consider creative ways to give yourself a few right angles, including constructing walls and partial walls or bookcases.

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An Open Ended Design for a Bamboo Flood Shelter

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A small structure entirely built of bamboo is envisioned by H&P Architects as a flexible design that can withstand floods in their native Vietnam.

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Elevated on stilts, the house is accessed using wooden ladders that lead to small decks around the perimeter.

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They used tightly-packed rows of bamboo cane to build the walls, floors and roof with bamboo wattle, fiberboard and coconut leaves.

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Bamboo ‘french doors’ pivot and swing open on bamboo poles.

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These allow breezes (or floodwaters) to pass through.

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The space in the attic could be used as a meditation or study area.

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The sections of the roof can be propped open or completely closed, depending on the weather.

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While the persistent bamboo aesthetic is charming, the architects have a serious mission.

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The simple structure can be assembled in just 25 days, and used for a variety of purposes.

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The area underneath can be used for keeping plants and animals, and is designed to allow floodwater to pass through safely.

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As an exercise in vernacular architecture, it is a sweet space.

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And not just for waiting out floods.

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An Island Paradise on Thailand’s Koh Samui

An island home for architect Marc Gerritsen on the island of Koh Samui is a testament to simplicity in design.
The concrete, wood, glass and steel structure has a master bedroom up stairs, the public spaces on the second floor and two guest suites under the pool.
The architect has built his own private paradise, surrounded by land and trees overlooking the pool and the sea beyond.
He separated his rudimentary kitchen from the pantry to reduce clutter.

So no cupboards are seen in the open space.

While the top of the house is steel and glass, the bottom half is concrete.
Under the pool, an outdoor swing is suspended.

Outdoor stairs up the hill connect each floor.
On the lowest level, two guest rooms are cooled by intimate jungle views.
The bathrooms are open to each bedroom but can be separated with a sliding wall.
A more serene bathing spot is hard to imagine.
The guest rooms are mirror images of each other.
Scored concrete floors offer a simple but elegant finish in keeping with the eco-chic vibe.
evening view of living room
Glass walls slide completely out of the way by stacking past the outside corner of the home.
The feeling is of being in a cliffside cave looking out.
On the top of the house, the master bedroom has an al fresco bathroom, something only possible in the year round mild climate of Koh Samui.
In this bathroom, a bath is always in the open air.
In a home of fresh air and simplicity, the architect can retreat from a hectic work life in Taipei.

What a serene place in the world, and achieved with the minimum of fuss.

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Elegant Black & White Minimalism in Los Angeles

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A very elegant home is created by Amiat Apel Design for a family in Los Angeles, with a color palette restricted to black, white, and greys.

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As you approach, the bold contrasting white and black walls are tempered by the rich textures of wood and stone.

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Touches of wood and copper relieve the black and white upon entry.

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The kitchen receives the richest of these stark black & white color stories.

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A glassed-in office is framed in black and centrally placed with visibility to the kitchen and the living room.

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The spare color scheme is reinforced by a bare wood floor and the spartan furnishings.

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In the garden, a bold statement wall in black is repeated for emphasis in a zen-like reflecting pool.

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What appears to be an outdoor dining porch hides a secret – it is actually indoors.

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Its floor-to-ceiling black steel-framed windows simply slide out from full size wall pockets.

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Similarly, the even larger expanse of glass enclosing the living room also folds entirely into a wall.

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The polished concrete floor continues outside to extend the opened space outdoors.

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A sculptural fireplace wall suspended above the floor makes use of shadow to create more black on grey

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An intriguing shape for the minimalist washbasin is balanced by a narrow mirror and gets its gravitas from the refined stone wall and floor.

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A spacious room houses a generous shower and deep meditative soaking tub.

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This room overlooks the gardens of several neighbors for a long restful view, while green plantings on the balcony maintain privacy.

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A refreshing bedroom also fully opens its glazing to its own urban escape deck.

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This is also fully private, perched high above neighboring houses.

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A lush green planting creates an interior space divider for the black & white kitchen warmed by wood.

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A stark minimalist home that gets a sweetly old fashioned reference point in the very chic modern take on the muntin window.

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Design Dilemma: Ideas for Upscaling the Bathroom

traditional bathroom how to tips advice

Got a mundane bathroom that you’d like to make feel a little more special? It’s possible to give a run-of-the-mill water closet a bit of that spa feeling, just by making a few relatively simple changes. Here are a few ideas:

1) Extend the tile from floor to ceiling.

Nothing feels more luxurious than having tile run all the way from floor to ceiling. It’s a polished look that will give your bathroom instant class. Witness the photos both above and below.


eclectic bathroom how to tips advice


And here:

industrial bathroom how to tips advice

And here:

eclectic bathroom how to tips advice

2. Trade in the shower curtain for clear glass. To be sure, a plain old shower curtain has certain advantages. It’s easy to clean, easy to change out when it gets too filled with mold and mildew, and it’s inexpensive. Glass can present more challenges in terms of cleaning and cost. And yet, something about a clear glass panel shower surround exudes a feeling of luxury. See below:

eclectic bathroom how to tips advice

And here:

contemporary bathroom how to tips advice

>3) Add a cool custom feature. The glass bathtub, below, will suffice!

contemporary bathroom how to tips advice

4) Consider larger tiles. Longer, larger slabs of travertine, marble or stone feel very upscale but even a larger size white subway tile connotes sophisticated style. For example:

contemporary bathroom how to tips advice

And this:

modern bathroom how to tips advice

And this:

modern bathroom how to tips advice

5.) Add a large mirror. A large mirror can make a small bathroom feel larger, by visually tricking the eye into thinking the room extends out further than it does. It also bounces light around the room, which also helps it to feel brighter. And if you can’t afford to tile a large expanse of wall, a mirror can be a cheaper alternative to achieving that finished feel. Take a look:

transitional bathroom how to tips advice

And this:

contemporary bathroom how to tips advice

And this:

modern bathroom how to tips advice

So there you have it. A few simple changes can quickly move your bathroom from mundane to marvelous. Add fluffy white towels, fresh flowers, deluxe soap and you’ll feel like you’re on a spa retreat each time you step into your bathroom!