Nathan Good Architects have designed an imposing family home in Oregon for an active couple with three children.
A generously sized solar system spread across the clerestory roof completely powers the four story home.
Unlike many solar systems that have been ‘bolted on’ – at whatever size is needed – after the house has been built, this roof was sized to precisely accommodate the number of solar panels needed for its electricity needs.
Typically a large house with many rooms like this four story house, over 4,000 sq ft, means that it requires a larger solar system.
But energy efficiency measures like optimize the daylighting of the sun’s path, to warm the house for free, as this house has done, can reduce the size of the solar system needed.
A humility informs the design, inside and out.
This is an agreeable and unassuming family home…
… designed to be able to provide 100% of the electricity it uses in a year.
This Singapore residence from ONG&ONG has their signature blend of art and nature, the civilized and the raw.
The sculptural presence inside and out calls to each other across the gleaming smooth stone surfaces.
A sublimely perfect spiral contains a stair that is soft and smoothly civilized.
By contrast, a stone wall is the ultimate in roughness.
Like all ONG & ONG projects, the residence is stately, urbane and civilized, with a quiet palette of browns and creamy whites.
Thick cuts of dark wood edge bedding in luxurious silky whites.
A smooth and creamy stone is paired with a soft and warm timber in the kitchen.
A toilet is glassed off to the side, allowing a central bathtub to center itself serenely amidst a travertine-lined bath room.
The bathroom is lined in honed travertine, so the rough-hewn blocks of stone form a textural contrast.
This same very rough cut stone forms one end of the residence and walls the garden off from the neighbors.
Another quiet masterpiece off the assembly line.
Sometimes, it can be a struggle to find the cash to decorate your home like the ones you see in all the design catalogs. It’s especially frustrating when you’ve got your eye on a George Nelson pretzel chair that costs hundreds of dollars, or a B & B Italia couch that costs thousands and you know you can only afford a Craig’s List bargain. One option is to obtain a home equity line of credit or you can choose to create a warm, aesthetically pleasing and unique home without having to spend a lot of money on expensive furnishings. Even so, you can create a warm, aesthetically pleasing and unique home without having to spend a lot of money on expensive furnishings. Keeping a few principles in mind you can transform any run of the mill space into a beautiful, polished, peaceful home that is a pleasure to live in. And you don’t need to spend a cent!
1) Keep it clean and clutterfree. This may sound like an odd decorating tip but it is the foundation of every successful space. Clean and sparkling can make even the most modest places feel good to hang out in. And eliminating the clutter that tends to build up over time can make a space feel organized.
The Shaker style kitchen below is not super fancy. It features white subway tiles, tile flooring and simple white cabinetry. And yet, it feels chic and high-end, simply because it is clean and clutterfree.
2) Organize, organize, organize. A place for everything and everything in its place helps even the most modest place feel planned out. Work to optimize your room’s flow and feeling by concentrating on creating layouts that allow for a flow of traffic, while also providing areas for conversation, study, entertainment, etc. Below, a well-thought out “study” in a hallway provides the perfect space to work on the computer, handle phone calls, etc.
3. Eliminate things. Sometimes, the key to a great space is not buying and adding things — it’s subtracting! Take a second look at your space for objects that are unnecessary or ugly. If they don’t have a purpose and you don’t like the way they look, give them away! Enjoy how the room feels with all that extra space. The Japanese home below is a great example of this. The living room is essentially composed of a couch and dining table. The simplicity of it all allows the beauty of the textured walls to shine through.
4. Create your own art. There are few things that can elevate a home in style and personality, as art. If you can’t afford to buy a piece, try creating your own abstract piece. The beauty of it all is you can switch out the art and try something new whenever you feel like it. Say you can’t draw? The art in the photo below was created with paint chip samples!
A surprisingly light-filled townhouse is squeezed out beyond a traditional colonial facade by noted Singapore architects ONG&ONG.
The sullen earthy moss-colored trim is redolent of the dampness prevalent in urban Singapore’s moist and warm climate.
Within the narrow space, the only option for light will be from above.
The architects use a central light well to flood the new interior with light.
This double-height atrium in the central space gives the illusion of larger spaces.
All the rooms look out towards this central source of light and air.
To maximize use of the space, the kitchen cum dining room is placed right at the front entrance.
Even with the front door open, however, the kitchen opens out on the front garden as if it’s its own private garden.
All white, with hanging black stairs, and with the business end of the kitchen recessed into the wall, the space is not at all too intimately ‘kitcheny’.
Conceived as a rental for two couples, the residence is harmonic and neutral.
At the very top floor a bedroom in the airy top floor space gets lit from skylights above.
Behind the bed is this elegant and enchanting attic bathroom.
A second floor living room moonlights as a second bedroom.
This second floor living space/bedroom faces to the front out over the street.
Its bathroom is designed with no less attention to detail, pairing tiny turquoise mosaic tile in a perfect symmetrical space with a niche to each side of the cabinet.
This is versatile and elegant rental suited to two couples who are friends, or – with two beds in the second floor bedroom – to a young family.
An utterly sleek and perfectionist place is crafted by Wendell Burnette Architects in the timeless Arizona desert.
The plinth was cast in place with one material throughout.
The architects intended that “a wall, a floor, a ramp, a step, or a bench could be experienced as part of one contiguous stone.”
By working the surfaces of the plinth “in order to reveal the composite qualities of the material, sand, conglomerate gravel, pebbles, broken stone, in a cement matrix.”
Fire, set within an arid stone environment, is used as a feature.
The local hard aggregate cast stone forms the polished interior floor surface as well as the exterior.
Massive rammed earth walls are backed up against leather furnishings.
An artfully placed cactus becomes like a sculpture in the courtyard.
The interior detailing is as precise and scrupulous as the exterior architecture.
The fascinating textural palette bounces a rough rammed earth wall against a rusty leather headboard and polished copper cabinetry.
Deep within the dark opaque stone of the residence, a translucent blue shower appears suddenly like gift.
The surprise of a glimpse of translucence picking up light hidden behind a black toilet and bounced off a rammed earth wall.
Altogether, an impeccably put together project, crammed with well-conceived textural experiences.
The architects succeed in their mission to “provide a window into the geologic time” of the extraordinary site.