A clever and tiny floor plan creates a spacious home hidden in plain sight in a wooden box in the most impossible site imaginable – with only a view of ugly apartment towers looming over it.
Tiny courtyards within the wooden box bring in filtered light and some greenery and create a suggestion of a zen garden around each room.
By night, clever lighting transforms the same space: adopting the outside as an extension of inside.
The most astonishing part of the design is a tiny courtyard garden on each side of the short corridor in the center of the house.
Check the plan: this is a nothing corridor. Yet what a reward from that tiny created view!
Looking the other way, viewed from the living room, looking down the corridor to the entry at the end on the left, a garden on each side has a lot of bang for a very tiny buck; the garden is only two or three paces deep.
Contemporary additions to rustic old farmhouses are not always successful, but here’s one by Quebec architect Henri Cleinge that succeeds by emphasising warmth in both the older renovated interior and the new addition.
The renovation houses four generations in an interesting combination.
Living in the old stone farmhouse will be a great grandfather, the grandparents and the children.
The parents are to be housed in the new glass and steel addition.
The entire four generations can gather for shared time in its spacious open plan new living areas.
At the other end of the living room, the new addition also has a generous wood-lined kitchen.
Both kitchens are warm and homey, one rustic, this one contemporary.
The plan shows both kitchens are designed to accommodate everyone for meals.
For accessibility, all three members of the older generation; grand- and great grandparents sleep on the ground floor of the renovated barn. Read the rest of this entry »
The Brick Bay House has an unusual trellis facade in front of the windows.
This louvered frame to the walkway gallery provides shade in the summer and protection in the winter.
The house was designed by Glamuzina Paterson Architects for a young family of five in Snell’s Beach.
The clients wanted a house that had a relaxed feeling of connection to its rural surroundings, and followed the land contour.
Firmly dug into the earth and designed as a relaxed L plan, it has public spaces on one end, and bedrooms on the other.
At the far end of the public L, a built-in barbecue fireplace allows for outdoor cooking on balmy summer evenings.
The north deck opens to the east and west allowing afternoon sun to penetrate the living areas.
With the floor to ceiling windows open, a breezy kitchen feels almost as ‘outdoors’ as the barbecue seen through the living room. Read the rest of this entry »
Is this heavenly place some kind of a Shangri La?
Here, all cares are cast aside.
Just blue skies, and blue waters.
Its pure and simple shapes and materials – just white stucco and black slate - are as soothing and refreshing as an island vacation.
The crispest purity of line is a perfect mind-emptying device.
Interiors mix white stucco, black slate floor and ancient, heavy rustic timber tables.
The black slate is simply continued up the wall in the clean lined bathrooms, for water resistance.
Its bold and stark shapes seem as eternal as its site. Read the rest of this entry »
Can you find the TV in the room above? You’ll never guess where to look: The window seat on the left side of the room contains a TV and all of its components. The push of a button brings the TV up on an automated lift.
Which leads us to the point of this post: with the advent of flat screen TVs and a new generation of projectors, it’s no longer necessary to keep a TV screen anywhere in sight when not in use. Now, it seems that homeowners are getting increasingly inventive about tucking away TV screens in unexpected places. For instance, below, you have a beautiful bookshelf, right?
But surprise, surprise, the bookshelf actually incorporates a screen in a compartment above and audio equipment in cabinets below when it’s time to watch a favorite movie:
Below, sliding doors keep a TV tucked out of sight.
And here, a sliding compartment allows a TV screen to disappear behind a fieldstone fireplace when not in use:
Here’s another TV near a fireplace. Now you see it…
And now you don’t, thanks to folding wooden doors…
In addition to sliding doors and compartments, some homeowners are installing swivel mechanisms that keep TVs tucked away. For instance:
Here’s the same concept:
And then there are those who opt for pop-up TVs.
Now you see it:
And now you don’t:
The important thing to remember if you’re considering a hide-away system is that electronics build up heat and need to breathe. Many of the systems you see incorporate ventilated compartments for any system that is enclosed. The other thing to keep in mind is being realistic about your TV viewing habits. If you love watching TV, it may not make sense to hideaway a TV because doing so often necessitates suboptimal TV placement (often higher or lower than recommended for the best viewing.) If you love your TV, you should best own up to it, and arrange the TV accordingly.
On the other hand, TVs have become massive in recent years, taking up a significant amount of real estate in a room. It seems fair that more of us would want to reclaim our rooms from the big black screen that can suck all the life away. And now, thanks to all the new creative ideas out there, we can much more easily do just that!