Home Design Find - Interior Design, Architecture, Modern Furniture - Part 3
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When Extroverted Glitz Meets Introverted Zen

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Architecture in South African seems to be always just a bit more extroverted and glitzy than elsewhere.

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So when the South African firm Metropole Architects was commissioned to design a Zen-style dream house, the result is quite a bit mixed.

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The exuberant result is located on a site in the Zimbali Forest Estate in South Africa.

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“Zimbali” is Zulu for “The Valley of Flowers.”

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Japanese pagodas appear to float on its assorted lavish pools.

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The neutral and highly textured palette is reminiscent of luxury hotels in Tokyo, but the staggering views are pure South Africa.

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The headboard behind the bed is just pony height, so the view over the Indian Ocean overwhelms you immediately upon entry.

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Water is made a primary component of the lush design, both indoors and out.

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An 18 ft deck is cantilevered boldly out over one of the exterior water features.

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One of several koi ponds flows under this red cedar plank walkway through the entry.

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The koi pond can even be glimpsed through a black glass floor inlay at the edge of the kitchen floor.

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Zen is an exacting aesthetic. But the architects cheerfully pile on all sorts of local South African motifs like this fossil-carved ebony pillar.

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The combination results in a uniquely sensual and luxurious style of its own.

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A Hip Home with a Warm Welcome in Seattle

 

 

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Dale Lang photographed this cheery red-trimmed house in Seattle, Washington.

Dan Stettler - Renton Residence

The new house by Stettler Design is for an active Seattle couple.

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A cacophony of red rimmed angles marks its exuberant notice-me design.

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A red homecoming welcome.

A nice detail: the stair light embedded into the concrete step.

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Inside, the red is paired with a retro milk-bar blue and hip ceiling lights.

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The hip urban vibe continues with black bar stools lined up at the turquoise island.

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Its angular roof subtly references the conventional gable forms of neighboring houses.

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All the living and sleeping spaces are on the ground floor, to allow the owners to stay in the house as they age.

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Upstairs is an open plan loft like space that will be for use as office space and to accommodate guests.
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The striking house is near Seattle’s Burke Gilman bike trail.

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A Connecticut Home with Terraced Green Lawns

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Specht Harpman Architects surmount the Weston Residence with a scattering of green roof terraces.

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Inside one of the terraces, a bed appears at the ground level created by its encircling grassy lawn.

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This beautiful space is the guest suite upstairs.

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Surprising transparency allows the surrounding greenery to be glimpsed through the house in orchestrated frames.

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Steps into the house bring you to another example of transparency:

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…that even the fireplace is surprisingly surrounded by glass.

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With no obvious chimney, it is not clear how this magic is wrought.

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Next to the living room, a pair of stainless steel islands comprise a simple, brisk kitchen.

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The master bedroom has easy access on the ground floor, for ageing in place.

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A fireplace does double duty in both dining room and the bedroom.

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Below the guest suite, a clerestory window in the master bathroom also looks out at a grassy lawn at eye level.

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The green terraced spaces and the transparent views conspire together to even more fully immerse the Weston House in its Connecticut landscape.