Home Design Find - Interior Design, Architecture, Modern Furniture - Part 2
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Design Dilemma: Cool Table Lamps

traditional kids how to tips advice

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:

midcentury dining room how to tips advice

 

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:

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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:

traditional nursery how to tips advice

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:

The Kate Spade Saturday Table Lamp from West Elm caught our fancy. A little mid-century, a little mod, it somehow reminds us of a Miro painting. It costs about $200.
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Here’s another view:

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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.

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Are you looking for something really different? If you’re into black humor, you might appreciate The Titanic Lamp by Charles Trevelyan.

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Or, another gallows humor candidate would be The Colgao by Enpieza:

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And this one’s by Patrick Jouin. The Bloom Table Lamp by MGX is made with polyamide that can expand and collapse so you can transform the shade from a bud to a blossom, thereby regulating lighting.
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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:
unique creative table lamp designs 9 how to tips advice

 

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Long Eco Family Home with Huge Roof Lawn

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A full length green lawn marks this extraordinary large family home.

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The lawn reflects its bucolic setting in the countryside outside São Paulo in Brazil.

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At one end, the home houses a picture perfect garage, like a child’s drawing.

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The long plan allows for six bedrooms and a master bedroom on the pool side, and another suite with a private entrance.

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An opening in its center creates a transition between interior and exterior.

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The central patio opens out on an enormous pool almost like a lake in front.

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This central patio opens to both sides under a low flat roof.

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The pool extending outwards from the underground patio creates another long axis view at right angles to the house.

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This central opening is an enormous underground patio that faces out towards the pool.

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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.

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While the central patio has a long low flat roof, the living room has a gabled roof that follows the roof line.

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The rooms all face out to the morning sun.

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A tiled stone floor is set in to the concrete as if it is a rug in the center of the great room.

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To one end of the great room the dining area catches the morning sun.

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The kitchen is warm and inviting.

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A very unusual home.

 

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A Stately Home for Art Collectors Takes Cues from the Anasazi

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Art is the heart of Casa Valle Escondido north of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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The entrance forms a broad central hallway that doubles as an art gallery.

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Inside, a cool diffused light creates a museum-quality of daylight from three long skylights above the hallway.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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All the interior walls and ceilings are plaster, tinted to match the soft warm grey of the limestone floor throughout.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The building materials also take a lesson from the traditional architecture of the region and blend into the natural environment.

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The rusted steel tubes used for columns is designed to recall the use of peeled pine timber columns of the ancient pueblo.

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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.

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So both the positioning and the materials of this very stately home owe much to the traditions of the Anasazi.

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Design Dilemma: Saving on a Kitchen Remodel

farmhouse kitchen how to tips advice

There’s one room in the house that seems to get more remodeling attention than any other. And that’s the kitchen, of course.  Should we change the cabinets? Replace the countertop? Put in a new backsplash? Retile the floor? It’s the subject of never ending rumination, speculation and dreaming. Problem is, kitchen remodels cost a lot of money. The national average for a major upscale kitchen remodel is about $113,097, according to one report. A mid-range professional, top-to-bottom kitchen averages almost $57,000. That’s a lot of dough for most of us. And if you’re considering an uber-luxurious kitchen with top-notch finishes, you’re looking at much, much more. In a high-priced market, you can drop between $200,000 and $600,000 on a luxury kitchen.

Okay, so that’s how high things can go. Very few of us, however, can afford prices like these. The reality for many of us would be closer to about $25,000, which is what the average minor kitchen remodel in the U.S. adds up to.

So let’s say you want to keep your remodel at $25,000 or even far below that. Can it be done?

We say, yes, if you follow a few rules:

 

1) Look for ways to save on cabinetry. For one, you can use ready-to-assemble cabinets. You’ll save yourself a bundle, since cabinets are the biggest budget buster in a kitchen remodel. Custom cabinets, depending on the materials you use and the size of your kitchen, can cost anywhere between $10-$60,000. But off-the-rack cabinets, particularly in-stock ready to assemble cabinets of the sort you might find at Ikea or a big box hardware store, might cost only a few thousand. Below, see an example of a kitchen remodel with ready-to-assemble cabinets.

transitional kitchen how to tips advice

You can also save on new cabinetry by simply re-surfacing your existing cabinets, or repainting them. The cheapest option is to repaint, especially if your cabinets are of good quality and you like the style and configuration of your cabinetry. Resurfacing is a good option, but not always much cheaper than buying a whole set of ready-to-assemble. It can run in the $5-$15,000 range, depending on the size of your kitchen. Finally, you might consider using open shelving as a way to slash your cabinetry costs.

If you are able to keep your cabinetry budget under control, you have an excellent chance of keeping your remodel within budget.

2) Keep your existing configuration. What really boosts costs with any kitchen remodel is moving around plumbing lines and electrical outlets to accommodate a move of appliances and sinks. But if everything stays pretty much where it is, things get much simpler.

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One popular remodeling act these days is knocking down a wall to open up a closed kitchen to a dining room or living room. This can make a dramatic difference in the look and feel of your kitchen, but it comes at a cost. Especially if you have to put in supporting beams to take the place of the old wall, or if there happen to be pipes or electricity running through the wall. One way to lower your price — create a pass-through or cut-out rather than knocking down the entire wall.

3) Consider less-expensive countertop options. Yes, granite has been popular in recent years, but now there are tons of good-looking materials to choose from, some of which are considerably cheaper than granite — including tile, concrete and recycled materials. Laminate countertops are also much improved in style options from the days of yore. The kitchen below, for example, looks like it features high-end Carrera marble. Actually, it’s Formica!

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How else can you save money?

  • Opt for pendant lamps or track lighting instead of recessed lighting. 
  • Consider a low-cost option for a backsplash. A washable wallpaper could be the way to go if you can’t afford a backsplash right away. Otherwise, simple white subway tiles are always a good-looking and affordable option.
  • Buy an off-the-rack island. An island from Ikea, or even just an old work table can work as an island at a much reduced cost.
  • Tackle your project in stages. Maybe this year it’s the floor and cabinets. Next year, you’ll replace the appliances and backsplash. If you do your work in stages, be sure to plan well so that the work proceeds in the right order.
  • Forego luxury brands. Yes, Viking stoves are nice, but fancy and/or industrial quality appliances can blow your budget. Look for reliable and stylish workhorses when it’s time to replace appliances.

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Moscow Attic Renovated with Scandinavian Good Looks

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A young family with two rambunctious boys wanted a renovation of a dark attic apartment in Moscow.

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The result is a marriage of blonde Scandinavian wood and creamy white paint that makes a home that fairly bursts with light and energy.

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The new two storied design is ingeniously devised to wear out the two young boys by maximizing the attic space.

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So there are plenty of opportunities for exercize, like this ladder leading to an overhead mesh trampoline that cleverly uses every inch of ceiling space.

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Yet when not in use, the mesh playground discretely ‘disappears’ into an artistic ceiling lighting system.

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The imaginative design revolves around the boys.
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The upstairs bunk gets its own mini stairway, lined with storage.
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The boys beds are beautifully aligned with the custom bunks.

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At the other end of the boys bunk room, a wall to wall bench marks what will soon become a homework center that makes excellent use of the un-needed lower space over a work table, while one wall is entirely storage.

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Initially, it will be a work space for mom and dad while the boys nap.

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Downstairs, the parents bedroom is flooded with the southern sunlight.

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As well as the master bedroom, the kitchen and dining area (not seen) is also downstairs.

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The requirement for ample storage space leads to every square inch being used.

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The TV watching space is a simple sofa in the window corner at the top of the stairs.

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To one side of this landing-cum-family room is a large draw-on wall for the kids.

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Wooden slats are used throughout and together with the warm white walls they warm up the new home.

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Ruetemple have turned a formerly dark and uninhabitable attic into a comfortable and bright loft space for this young Russian family.