Three handsome black steel framed glass gables define a warm family home on an urban street in Auckland, New Zealand.
The house features operable black steel vertical shutters on the outside of its windows to modulate both sun and privacy.
The louvres make it possible to close off the facade to the street.
The warmth of the morning sun permeates the family breakfast area.
The kitchen is the beating heart of this home.
It is at the lowest point in the house.
On one side, stairs lead up to the boys computer room seen to the left of the fridge.
So from the kitchen, one can be sure that tonight’s homework is actually getting done.
To the other side, another short flight of stairs leads up to the family room.
This family room then leads out to an outdoor dining terrace.
While to other side of the family room, giant pivoting french windows open out over a cooling water feature.
Double height window glazing brings the winter sun deep into the home.
The plan shows the many levels, and the downstairs boy’s bedroom with its passageway to the computer room.
The boys share a narrow spa-like bathroom that opens onto a private deck.
Upstairs is the second boys bedroom, as well as the generous and sunny master bedroom and sitting room.
Behind the headboard is the dressing room and the bathroom which opens out to the back of the house.
Here the louvres can be angled for complete privacy yet let in light to the master bathroom with freestanding tub and black marble bench with white porcelain vessel sinks.
The parents have a peaceful study retreat up here next to the bedroom.
This parents’ sitting room is warmed by the chimney of the wood stove downstairs.
Strachan Group Architects in collaboration with Rachael Rush made this warm and friendly family home.
Architects Vincent Coste add an intriguing wrap-around and fold-over pergola to the side of this house in St Tropez, on the coast of France.
This pergola creates an upper story walk-around space that shields the original house from the sun, and from sight.
Originally a charming, traditional coastal home with the Moorish influence much seen in this region of the south of France…
… the walkway now creates a very different facade to the private side of the home.
With its new pergola, now the villa is all about the pool.
The shade it casts brings welcome relief from the hot St Tropez sun.
An additional renovation was to fence in the pool from the neighbors gaze with high walls and a stucco staircase.
Hidden in this new garden wall is an outdoor shower out in the sun.
A clever lounging spot is created under the new staircase leading up to the walk around deck.
Inside, one bathroom is updated with the simplicity of timeless materials like this travertine stone bench.
Walls were knocked out of the original cramped home, to open it up.
The exterior bathroom wall has also been taken out, bringing the garden in to the ensuite.
Likewise, the formerly dark kitchen space now opens the entire wall to the outside.
Tropical plantings form a graphic contrast to the white stucco and turquoise pool.
Instead of baking under a stifling sun, now the villa and its pool form a cool oasis.
The new facade creates an odd intersection with the traditions of a sloped tiled roofline – but what fun to be able to walk for the first time through the neighbors’ trees!
One of the most critical elements in any home is light. Good natural light is critical during the daylight hours if you want a space that feels good to be in. And in the dark of the night, it’s also important to have good artificial light. Any good lighting scheme is going to include table lamps, which can be incredibly versatile, functioning as general light in a room, task lighting for reading or mood lighting. A simple table lamp can be a wonderful opportunity to not only light your home but to bring a little “art” in as well. And if you don’t believe us on what a difference a lamp can make, check out the room below:
See how the lime green table lamp provides a pop of color that balances and plays off the pendant lamp as well? And although we don’t endorse lamps obscuring paintings, in this instance, the lime green also works as a wonderful contrast against the black and white painting.
And here’s another example of what a good table lamp can do:
These vintage buckets and burlap lampshades pick up on the homespun, rustic, somewhat folkloric look of the room. Even when the lamps aren’t in use, they’re fun and fitting.
And here’s a third example:
The fisherman table lamp is the perfect finishing touch in a nautical-themed baby’s room. It makes a statement without getting overly dramatic.
So if you’re looking to add a little drama in the table lamp department, we recently ran across these ideas:
Here’s another view:
Also at West Elm, is the Lens Table Lamp. Inspired by factory lighting, it gives a nod to the industrial look. But even after that trend has become passe, we think we still wouldn’t mind keeping this lamp around. It’s $139.
Are you looking for something really different? If you’re into black humor, you might appreciate The Titanic Lamp by Charles Trevelyan.
Or, another gallows humor candidate would be The Colgao by Enpieza:
So by now, you’re getting the picture. A table lamp shouldn’t just be any old table lamp. A lamp is an opportunity to do something fun, inspirational, sculptural and interesting.Why not eschew the traditional lamp with lampshade and do something like this:
A full length green lawn marks this extraordinary large family home.
The lawn reflects its bucolic setting in the countryside outside São Paulo in Brazil.
At one end, the home houses a picture perfect garage, like a child’s drawing.
The long plan allows for six bedrooms and a master bedroom on the pool side, and another suite with a private entrance.
An opening in its center creates a transition between interior and exterior.
The central patio opens out on an enormous pool almost like a lake in front.
This central patio opens to both sides under a low flat roof.
The pool extending outwards from the underground patio creates another long axis view at right angles to the house.
This central opening is an enormous underground patio that faces out towards the pool.
To one side of the open patio, the indoor great room opens out fully to the front and closes up behind the screen doors, like the bedrooms.
While the central patio has a long low flat roof, the living room has a gabled roof that follows the roof line.
The rooms all face out to the morning sun.
A tiled stone floor is set in to the concrete as if it is a rug in the center of the great room.
To one end of the great room the dining area catches the morning sun.
The kitchen is warm and inviting.
Art is the heart of Casa Valle Escondido north of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The entrance forms a broad central hallway that doubles as an art gallery.
Inside, a cool diffused light creates a museum-quality of daylight from three long skylights above the hallway.
Casa Valle Escondido by Bucchieri Architects is home to an extensive art collection.
Its positioning is inspired by the Anasazi’s use of using sunlight as an indicator to mark the seasons by singling out the solstices and equinoxes.
The house is exactly positioned, by transit sighting to the North Star Polaris at night and the sun at solar noon.
So the sun’s path creates a perfect beam of light sixteen inches wide to strike the center of the floor at noon.
The central art gallery connects all of the main living areas to the east and west, which open out to views of the sunrise and sunset over the mountains.
The home is sited on the northern slope of a ridge sighting the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east, the Jemez Mountains and the city of Los Alamos to the west, and San Antonio Peak, near the border of New Mexico and Colorado, to the north.
All the interior walls and ceilings are plaster, tinted to match the soft warm grey of the limestone floor throughout.
A full-scale cross-section mockup was built at the site to produce an arrangement that would block direct sunlight, with its damaging ultra violet rays, while at the same time deliver reflected light, optimal for viewing art, to the wall surfaces.
Instead, tall glazing to the east and west allows morning or evening sun to fill the rooms to the east or to the west of the gallery at the heart of the home.
Placing the living rooms at the northern side of the house supplies the solace of a cool respite in the heat of the overhead sun.
As the sun crosses the sky from east to west, the slit of sunlight on the floor of the art gallery narrows, ending at the wall. No direct sunlight ever traverses the walls to each side.
The building materials also take a lesson from the traditional architecture of the region and blend into the natural environment.
The rusted steel tubes used for columns is designed to recall the use of peeled pine timber columns of the ancient pueblo.
The natural uncut face with lichen growth is set in an uncoursed ledgerock pattern with mortar set behind the stone for a dry-stacked appearance.
This masonry bearing wall veneer is the same Pecos sandstone from the nearby Sangre De Cristo mountains.
So both the positioning and the materials of this very stately home owe much to the traditions of the Anasazi.