Home Design Find - Interior Design, Architecture, Modern Furniture

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Design Dilemma: Keeping Your Home Young

traditional dining room how to tips advice

Does your home decor feel “old”? Are you stuck in a classic style you’ve clung to for years because you’re insecure about dabbling in anything new?

It’s often not too hard to figure out the age of a homeowner just by taking stock of a home’s interior. Old homes often feel cluttered and stuck in time. It’s evident that the occupants settled on a style they liked 30 years ago, and never diverged from it. Often, there’s a feeling of claustrophia, simply because things seem so… set. Or, on the other hand, there’s a definite lack of excitement. You get the feeling that things stopped being fun a long time ago.

Well, we maintain that it’s possible to keep your home youthful, just as it’s possible to keep yourself youthful. All it takes is a little will. If you are one who feels that your environment can directly influence your behavior, then you’ll want to keep your home feeling vibrant and alive, no matter how old you get.

1) Try new things. Yes, you know that you love Southwestern decor, or shabby chic or mid-century Modern. But nothing gets stale faster than a home that rigorously toes the line on a certain decor style. If you want a more interesting home, go for one that is a little more eclectic. Mix in new looks every now and then. Try switching out rugs, accent pillows, artwork, for something that’s a little offbeat. Mix in new colors. And if you don’t want to spend the money try, swapping some of your pieces with a willing friend looking to freshen up their home decor too. What we love about the interior below, is it’s simple, eclectic feel. It mixes a variety of colors of the same Eames chair with muted mauve walls.

midcentury dining room how to tips advice

Below, an Australian bachelor pad exudes that youthful feeling, simply by virtue of the unexpected use of bold patterned wall paper and colorful patterned rugs.

eclectic living room how to tips advice

2) Get trendy. Young people love trends. Okay, so it’s possible to go too far with this, but it’s also true that indulging in moderation can be fun and refreshing. Check out design magazines to see what’s new and incorporate a few of the less expensive elements in your home. Try a trendy throw pillow, for example, or maybe a fun paint color, just to get the energy flowing again. In fact, a vibrant, unexpected paint job is one of the best ways to inject a bit of youthful verve into your home. Take the apple green stairs below, for example.

eclectic staircase how to tips advice

3) Pare down. One tell-tale sign of aesthetic-sclerosis is letting clutter and objects build up, without ever taking the time to reconsider their use in your home. A young person’s home is usually not cluttered, just because they haven’t had the time or money to collect an overabundance of objects. Take this same strategy to heart by holding regular yard sales or giving away items you no longer need or want. And for the items that you feel that you do need, ask yourself if you need so many. It’s possible you can make due with far less, which will give your home a feeling of youthful lightness. Another corollary to this is losing the massive pieces of furniture that can overtake a room and which are hard to move anyway. Since young people are on the go, they often avoid oversized pieces that won’t get through the doorway of their next home.

modern dining room how to tips advice

4) Socialize often. Young people are always entertaining. If you want to give your home that youthful feel, throw plenty of get-togethers with family and friends. Doing so often will force you to rethink design elements so that you can entertain often and well. And that will definitely keep your home feeling young.

contemporary dining room how to tips advice

5) Don’t take yourself too seriously. Your home is your refuge, but it shouldn’t necessarily be a deadly serious one. Have fun with color, pattern and style choices. Experiment. Think like a young person, if you get something wrong, you can always change it.

eclectic living room how to tips advice
beach style staircase how to tips advice

6) Don’t stop caring. One hallmark of the young is that they tend to spend a lot more time on appearance than seniors do. When you stop trying to look good (or make your home look good) then that spells the beginning of the end. So don’t give up on your home Pay a little attention to your home and your home will give back in spades!

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Glorified Camping in the Puget Sound Rainforest

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Sneeoosh Cabin by ZeroPlus Architects is a barely enclosed tent-like structure with glass on all sides.

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It is gently nestled in amongst the trees overlooking Puget Sound in Washington.

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The house is raised off the ground and rests on a foundation of minimally invasive concrete disks which raises the house up off the ground.

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This avoids disturbing plants and the capillary-like tree roots that are close to the surface.

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The location on the Washington coastline has a cool and desolate feeling.

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Rickety existing stairs connect the site with the shoreline.

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The idea was to create a cabin that would have minimal impact on the natural environment.

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Struts and poles seem to hold the “tent” roof down, like a pitched tent for camping.

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The roofline seems almost as arbitrary as a casual campsite.

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The result feels almost like having temporarily pitched a huge tent in the forest.

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But the structure is very sound and solid.

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Inside, the space is warm and sun-filled.

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But the dwelling lands lightly on the landscape.

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And from the shoreline, you can barely see it.

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The Tsunami House on Comano Island

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Design Northwest Architects have designed a waterfront house built to allow water to flow right through it during storms.

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The house is right at sea level on Comano Island in Washington state, so it’s very vulnerable to flooding.

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The architects made the lower level, also called the “flood room” in concrete.

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The ground floor can be left open on all sides during times of danger of tsunami or flooding.

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But it also serves as extra living space, weather permitting.

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And even includes two murphy beds that fold out of the wall for guests.

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In normal life it functions as the vestibule entry space: the family would evacuate in storms.

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The house has a marine feeling.

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Every room has a sense of watery presence.

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The material palette for the entire house is concrete, metal, wood and both clear and translucent glass.

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The house is compact.

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The main floor is an open living plan with with a sleeping loft for children.

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The parents sleep in a cosy cubbyhole-type bedroom directly off the main floor, that shares living room views straight out to sea.

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The street-facing windows are in translucent glass, for privacy, while all the ocean-facing windows are clear glass.

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This is a compact and straightforward family house built to survive the worst.

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Design Dilemma: How to Tame A Loft


Lofts can be a whole lot of fun. The problem is that they often look like the Boston loft above. That is, they lack personality.

Now there’s nothing wrong with this space. It’s airy and has good light. Plus, we love the hardwood floors. And yet, there’s no focal point, no personality.  The loft lacks flare because every element in it (and there aren’t many)  seems to have equal status.

In an effort to rescue this 1750 square foot box from its plain vanilla blandness, architect Stephanie Horowitz, of ZeroEnergy Design, took a number of steps to give the space more pizazz. Take a look:

One of the first things to happen was a change to the fireplace, an obvious place to start since a fireplace is a natural focal point in a home. Horowitz outfitted it in a stone veneer to provide a striking contrast to the loft’s white walls and bookshelves. She created a new stone fireplace surround, firewood box, mantel and hearth. In a daring move, the homeowners opted to remove the wood floors to expose concrete.

contemporary living room interiors

Here’s another view:

contemporary living room interiors

The kitchen was the other area of blandness that needed addressing. Instead of leaving it all white, as it had been previously, the architect opted to warm things up with a walnut wood wall made of unfinished floor tongue and groove planks from Vermont Plank Flooring. From the top of the cabinets, they wrap up the wall and across the ceiling, surrounding an existing skylight. Horizontal planks on the left add texture and depth to the room, and create a transition from the kitchen to the staircase and loft above.

contemporary kitchen interiors

Here’s another view:

contemporary kitchen interiors

And here’s a view from the kitchen over to the stairway, leading to the bedrooms above.

contemporary staircase interiors

Across from the kitchen is the dining room. The homeowners existing walnut dining table inspired the use of the walnut in the kitchen and other areas of the loft. The homeowners also customized a light fixture by Kenneth Cobonpue.

contemporary dining room interiors

What’s the take away from this renovation? Chiefly, even a modern, minimal loft can use some detail to inject some personality. Even if you are in pursuit of the white box aesthetic, it doesn’t hurt to inject warm, personalized architectural features, like wood paneled walls or stone veneer, to make a so-so place stand out. The right details can warm up any space and will never feel too fussy.

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Auckland’s Cliff House a Nature-Lover’s Dream

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Imagine coming downstairs to this amazing sight every morning!

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In its vast museum-like space, Cliff House by Fearon Hay Architects is an ode to the joy of each day’s fresh promise.

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With limitless vistas over New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf and the volcanic island of Rangitoto, the clifftop house itself is simply a slim sliver of a glass case interposed on the scene.

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The entire house can be opened up like a huge, high-ceilinged pavilion space.

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The entire bottom of the glazing can be slid back to experience the sweet and fresh night air.

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While the view over Auckland’s glorious Hauraki Gulf is inspirational, the house has a matter-of-fact air.

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An efficient and brisk lap pool keeps its inhabitants fit and tough.

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Sliding glass walls can be drawn to enclose its magnificent open-air bath room.

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The studied precision of this bathroom fixture perfectly expresses the supremely elemental bathing space.

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Landscaping is similarly rudimentary and unfussy.

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Backlit kitchen cupboards behind full height frosted glass doors are so serene that you’d not imagine that there even is a kitchen there.

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Cooking on this black marble island in this open plan space with its cool stone floor would have the feeling of a very posh barbecue.

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With its raw and natural open-air design, this is a very civilized house for living closely with – and truly experiencing – nature.