Author Archives - Stefan
By Stefan • Dec 21, 2018
Indigo Atelierwoning, a structure created innovative architect and design team Woonpioniers, is a bright, lovely wooden dwelling located in Geithem, The Netherlands. Nestled into a woodland area, this small, fresh feeling cottage is small but anything but cramped. Instead, it’s space efficient in a way that eliminates clutter and calms the mind.
Affectionately called Indigo for short, this ecologically sound structure follows a modular building concept. The intent of this project was originally to explore how small but effective “mass-customized” buildings might provide us all with healthier living solutions while still catering to individual needs and styles. Rather than adopting a “one size fits all” approach to housing, Woonpioniers prioritized green productivity, ease, and customization all at once.
To achieve these goals, designers aimed to actually invite potential dwellers into the design process of their home right from the beginning. This would facilitate a flexibility within the standard building framework that considers the context and lifestyle of each person. Although the Indigo is a an idea that might be produced on mass scale, this individualized process means that no two versions will ever be precisely the same!
This particular model, designed in partnership with a creative professional named Lia, was specifically customized to harness only the essentials in order to create a stunning, naturally inspired minimalist style. The inspiration in creating this aesthetic was Lia’s desire to create her natural stone art in the midst of the trees where she can absorb the calmness and beauty of the landscape around her.
To create a delineation between work and leisure, designers built a bright space that facilitates productivity on the ground floor, providing large windows with stunning nature views and lots of natural light. Above that, a relaxing loft bedroom is built. Rather than entirely cutting the two rooms off from each other, however, designers chose to leave space for the same picturesque windows to spill sunrise, daylight, and sunset auras into the room, creating an almost spiritual waking and winding down experience for the artist.
Besides the beauty of how customizable an Indigo home is, they’re also shockingly fast to build. They are made from pre-fabricated, bio-based elements, making them the perfect balance between “mass production” and eco-friendliness. As such, an Indigo can be installed in a single day! They’re not just convenient, however. The curved connections you’ll note between the wall and ceiling are resistant to weather based elements, making the structure incredibly strong, safe, and durable.
Because Indigo homes adopt an open concept layout on the inside, having no additional walls to the four on the outside, dwellers are afforded complete freedom of interior layout. This makes the home even more customizable. The way most inner structures are concentrated in the centre of the home, including the storage in the stairs, means that the view outside the home (whether it be Lia’s natural woodland landscape or someone else’s favourite secluded meadow or beach) is uninhibited from at least one side of the house, and both on the top floor. This integrates one’s surroundings into the interior experience despite the fact that the building is not actually one that physically blends interior and exterior environments.
Photographs by: Henny Van Belkom
By Stefan • Dec 21, 2018
Nestled in the countryside of Highlands, North Carolina, design professionals at RMT Architects have transformed an old, weathered, and rustic barn into the breathtakingly comfortable Timber Frame Barn House. Built in partnership with Ronnie D. Waller Construction, the vintage looking farmland home features 3,587 square feet of inviting living spaces and down home comfort.
Upon walking into the great room, you’ll encounter a stunning open concept layouts and an impressive metal spiral staircase traveling upward to the mezzanine. Rather than being airy, the great room stays warm and cozy despite its layout thanks to a beautifully placed stone fireplace that covers the full height of the room from floor to ceiling. The floor is kept warm as well in the home’s current decor scheme by a spacious area rug. This cushions the feet of guests while also adding pattern and texture to the room. The rug also marks a visual separation between the living room seating and the dining room without actually cutting off the nice open space between the two.
Besides having an open-space aesthetic that creates a sense of harmony between the rooms and makes hosting guests easy, this barn house also features pocketing glass doors in the dining room that open right out onto a comfortable patio seating area. This helps create a sense of cohesiveness between indoor and outdoor settings as well. Dwellers and guests can flow easily from room to room and from indoor areas to fresh air seamlessly.
In contrast with the warm, pleasant interior, which is undoubtedly rustic vintage influenced but feels whole and new, the exterior of the house is quite clearly the actual facade of an old barn. The original timber is still in place, but safely bolstered by frame updates and renovations.
The barn house’s exterior isn’t the only place you’ll find wood! Inside, the floors are actually a unique combination of wood and concrete, keeping things solid but natural. First the wood was installed and then the concrete was poured, using the wood as a framework, and stained to create a cohesive colour story.
In terms of decor, you’ll encounter all kinds of homey touches throughout the house that really drive the whole “rustic farm” aesthetic home in a way that’s beautiful and explicit rather than tacky and overdone. Cowhide rugs and homemade patchwork quilts in the bedrooms are the perfect example of this. These are things you might have seen in any old farm house, modern or vintage, but they make particular sense here in the way they play off the rustic wooden interior that follows from the floor, up the walls and supports, and right across the ceiling.
The part of the home that perhaps makes the “barn house” concept most explicit and whole is the authentic remaining barn door itself. On the outside of modern doors with glass insets and safe locks, an actual set of large, wooden barn doors closes just like they might have when the barn housed farm animals and farming tools and supplies originally. Once the barn doors have swung open, the glass doors can roll like sliding panels to disappear entirely on warm days, giving the entryway and even more authentically rustic feel when only the big barn doors remain.
In oder to stop the large, wooden home from feeling too dark at any point, bright ceiling lights abound all throughout. Designers place inset lamps and stylish pendant lights in each room and on the porch to make sure guests and dwellers are never in the dark, even on days that are too chilly for indoor-outdoor experiences and leaving the barn doors open for a nice breeze.
Mimicking the beautiful fireplace and seating in the great room, this barn house’s porch also features fantastic rustic inspired seating and a beautiful stone fireplace! This lets guests enjoy the surrounding woodland area any time they please without getting too cold, making the fire both functional and great for ambiance. This setup sits on a beautifully solid cedar deck that overlooks the yard bordered in natural greenery.
Photographs by Eric Morley
Stunning Swedish Home Villa Wennerström Blends Wood and Natural Granite Thanks to Max Holst Arkitektkontor
By Stefan • Dec 20, 2018
In order to create the breathtaking Villa Wennerström, designers and architects at Max Holst Arkitektkontor harnessed the beauty of the topography Stockholm, Sweden. The result was a grand home structure that perfectly blends and contrasts natural granite and woods like oak and pine; a combination which is reflected in the scene around the house as well.
The goal in building and decorating this house was to draw guests’ eyes to the similarities and differences between not only the natural materials used in building, but also between the house and the land it sits on. Clear, strong architectural shapes were also used, making the house stand out from its surroundings despite being built from those very things. The stone coloured wooden facade and the way the building splits into two distinct looking but connected structures are the perfect examples of these goals being achieved with great beauty.
In the first portion of the house, you’ll find the more functional aspects of a home and the areas where you’d typically do things together as a family or host guests. These include the kitchen, dining room, and living room. Moving onto the second “volume” of the home, you’ll encounter spaces that might be used for more independent things, like sleep, work, and media or private relaxation. The rooms and parts of the house are far from cut off from each other, and yet the areas remain distinct in a way that makes sense. After all, separating public and private areas offers a logical change in atmosphere from room to room!
In terms of the home’s physicality, each of the two volumes of the house is angled slightly in a way that not only simplified the construction of the house, but also gives guests and dwellers a better view of the lovely natural topography surrounding the home.
Besides the granite flooring and the wooden walls and furniture, Villa Wennerström incorporates nature in a way that feels almost cohesive between interior and exterior thanks to stunning floor to ceiling windows. This gives one side of the house what essentially looks like a glass wall, which in turn allows sunlight to spill into the central living and eating areas. This is also partially thanks to the way the volumes of the house are angled, as we mentioned before.
Overall, the entire project is a stunning example of how functional and whimsical elements can be blended un innovative ways to create experiences in all kinds of manners, including architecturally!
Photographs by Lars Grafstrom
By Stefan • Dec 20, 2018
Recently, innovative Vietnamese design team Mét Vuong Studio took on an architectural project in Dong Hoi, Vietnam that had a slightly more unique goal than usual. Rather than just building an average family home, these designers sought to create a haven where family members can escape the hustle and bustle of busy life at the end of the day and thoroughly enjoy their space and each other’s company, letting them feel rejuvenated and refreshed to tackle each morning. That’s how PH House came to be!
PH House is a two story dwelling built for two married professionals and their children; a son and a daughter. Despite being located in the thick of fast paced, urban life, giving the family access to everything they need in their modern lifestyle, it is also an escape for the mind, body, and soul when the day is done.
In their design process, this team made their primary goal one of shared time and calming space. They strove to create a home where the family might return from a long day of work and study and gather together to catch up, eat, or relaxed and recollect. This intent is clear in the presence of a beautiful central room that features a comfortable seating area, distraction free space, and calming koi pond right in the middle of the house.
Besides providing the family with great shared space, these designers also emphasized the value of comfortable and cheerful personal space as well. As such, each family member’s bedroom has been customized to reflect their personality and style, making each room really feel like a home within their shared home.
In order to bolster this idea of home relaxation and winding down even further, Met Vuong Studio extended the idea of incorporating natural elements into an urban house even further than the featured koi pond. Guests will also find an abundance of refreshing plant life and greenery right there in the house, as well as structures and elements made from entirely natural materials. Throughout the house, materials such as wood, steel, concrete, brick, and stone play off each other and create both contrast and cohesiveness.
The drive to use as many beautiful natural materials in this project’s construction was actually two fold. Besides establishing a healthy, calming atmosphere in the home, these materials also enabled designers to buy supplies locally, eliminating unnecessary costs and boosting local economic participation.
As if all this wasn’t enough to create a place that’s perfect for unwinding in after a long day, features like skylights, large windows, and open-air transition spaces that blend interior and exterior elements of the home let a fresh breeze and sunlight permeate each room. Thanks to several cutout walls and the presence of stone based materials, however, no privacy or safety is sacrificed.
Photographs by Công Lý Phạm
Carney Logan Burke Architects Build Beautiful Fishing Cabin with a Sweeping View of the Teton Mountain Range
By Stefan • Dec 19, 2018
A new building project located in the mountainous lands of Jackson, Wyoming has wowed guests with its breathtaking views. Architect and design teams at Carney Logan Burke Architects nestled a fishing cabin amongst the rocks and trees, letting visitors breath in the fresh air as they absorb the surrounding beauty of the Teton Mountain Range.
Rather than creating a stereotypical fishing hut that feels temporary and makeshift, this team decided to build a structure on 10 acres of rolling land that feels like a true escape from busy cities and routines. The aesthetic and shape of the temporary home is somehow both contemporary and classic, giving guests an upscale experience without losing that mountain fisheries inspired charm.
Besides being a beautifully nature inspired structure, this fishing cabin is actually surrounded by natural features and wild lands that fishing enthusiasts and outdoor lovers will thrive in. The property that the home sits on has plenty of natural privacy thanks to the rock lands surrounding the mountain range. It also sits wonderfully close to a fishing creek and is a short distance from a calm and safe feeling wildlife habitat that is supported by the creek’s waters.
When designers procured the original site, there was actually already a home existing on the land. Rather than tearing the building down and starting again, the team decided to take advantage of the existing structure by stripping it to its barest bones in order to avoid having to move the home back from the water’s edge. You see, the house was nestled right into a stream setback that the land’s new owners didn’t want to disturb, nor did they want to put distance between their home and the water they so dearly wanted to reside near.
In total, the new home that those structural bones were transformed into encompasses 5,600 square feet of comfortable, open feeling living space. Rather than looking like a bit of a country western cliche (the way the original home might have been described), the new cabin features reorganized elements of the original building to create a country chic aesthetic that makes more visual and material sense.
To create a new, upscale but still homey escape, designers replaced the previous shellacked logs, shiny river rock decor, and scattering or separate buildings across the plot. They reorganized the plot of the cabin to create a more streamlined grouping of buildings, connecting the smaller cabins together with a long, classically Western styled porch that sits low but still lets guests enjoy their surroundings, as well as that incredible mountain view. This porch creates cohesiveness between the different structures, preventing any visitors from feeling cut off from social experiences or shared spaces in other parts of the house.
Of course, in a space that’s designed to let guests enjoy as much of their outdoor surroundings as possible and even get involved in nature based activities, it only makes sense to blend interior and exterior experiences and spaces! These designers achieved that through the presence of large window openings cut into the log structures, preventing them from feeling too dark and heavy.
While it was certainly important to the new homeowners to preserve a country western kind of aesthetic, they and the design team both agreed to tackle the challenge of blending that idea with a more contemporary style, just to put an interesting spin on things inside the home. Part of creating this new atmosphere involved a simple black scheme for the exterior facade, which was created using stained black logs, black steel in the detailing, and black painted wood in furnishings.
In great contrast, the interior decor scheme features a predominantly white colour scheme. This includes several elements that directly balance out what’s seen on the outside of the house, such as the whitewashed logs bolstering the ceiling. At the same time, a few exterior details are brought inside so that the two communicate. This can be seen in the presence of black steel elements and Belgium slate flooring.
Photographs by Audrey Hall Photography
By Stefan • Dec 19, 2018
At the height of the French Alps, near the village of Megeve, architect Lionel Jadot has designed and built the stunning Alpine Cabin. This cabin mirrors the beauty of its mountainous surroundings by perfectly blending natural materials, primarily stone and wood, in its exterior design.
This breathtaking cabin is nestled high up in the mountains themselves, giving guests and dwellers a clear view of Mont Blanc on the distant horizon. The new cabin has been restored from an already existing structure made almost entirely of natural, local wood. Rather than feeling like a mere cabin in the stereotypical sense, where one might stay for only a few days and feel a cold draft most days, this stunning structure was created with the intention of balancing its surrounding environment in a more idyllic, long term way.
now, the updated cabin is equipped with roofed carports, chimneys that warm the home and give off an old fashioned (but safe) smoke that creates a wooded aroma and contrasts against the crisp, white landscape. There is also an access ramp that makes the cabin safe and simple for any visitor to enter, but this feature is make of bamboo instead of wood for durability and strength. Overall, the exterior of the cabin resembles a lovely Christmas scene.
There’s a lot more to this house, however, than meets the eye. Besides being an adorable looking winter cabin retreat, this building is actually also an important rehabilitation project. This is because design teams made sustainability and ecology in the natural space an absolute top priority while they built and restored the cabin. Professionals were specifically requested by the homeowner to updated the cabin, originally built in 1870, in a way that preserves and respects the history of the place, rather than just abolishing it and replacing it with something new and out of place.
This special renovation took two years to complete. This is partially because teams had to heartily winterize the dilapidated older structure and reinvent it in more environmentally and stylistically efficient ways. This required installation of a new roof, new floors, and new walls. Space was reorganized in the interior according to the homeowner’s wants and needs but builders ensured that the wood used in all aspects of the rebuild was local or harvested from the original structure. This ensured that the house fit in with the schemes and traditions seen in other houses in the area.
Inside, this wintery villa has two levels. While the ground floor features lovely guest bedrooms that are spaced to allow visitors free movement about the house, the master bedroom resides in a spacious upper loft. High ceilings there make the room feel opened almost right into the mountain range itself, particularly in combination with large, bright windows that continue all the way up to meet the ceiling. This stops the cabin from feeling dark and stuffy even on the shortest winter days.
In interesting contrast to the more traditional wooden log and stone foundation exterior that makes up this cabin, you’ll find a surprisingly unique interior decor scheme within its walls. Rather than looking even more like a Christmas hideaway inside, the decorative details reflect the adventures of the homeowner, telling an adventurous story through interior art! Furnishings and figures hailing from all different cultures and eras cover the walls and surfaces, harnessing beauty and stories from visits to Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Besides being garnered from all kinds of fantastic places, many of the pieces used to decorate the inside of the cabin are also garnered from antique sales and vintage stores. These two things in combination contrast beautifully with the wintery, wooden scene outside, giving the entire place a cheerful, warn, and intensely interesting atmosphere. Walking inside from the porch is like traveling from a nostalgic mountain home into a sophisticated New York loft!
The decor scheme isn’t the only thing that makes the cabin appear interestingly contrasted and wonderfully updated despite the strong remaining cabin atmosphere. Designers also installed solar power to the home, placing discreet but powerful panels on the roof to make it state of the art and energy efficient.
Photographs by Nuevo Estilo
By Stefan • Dec 18, 2018
Usually when one thinks of how a mountain cabin might look, they will picture something small, wooden, and designed for temporary stays throughout the winter. The designers at Skylab, however, had very different ideas when they took on the task of building Owl Creek House in Snowmass, United States!
Rather than using natural woods and materials that reflect the scenery around the home, Skylab chose to create interesting, geometric, and captivating contrast by sticking to metals, straight lines, and corners. Instead of looking intimidating or out of place, however, the ultra modern looking structure appears grand, impressive, and intriguing.
Besides its shaped and materiality, Owl Creek House catches the attention of anyone passing it thanks to the way it perches so perfectly atop a hillside. The angles the windows are placed at provides guests with a panoramic view of Snowmass Mountain. This means you can absorb the stunning scenery around you whether you’re sitting inside or outside, and no matter which room you’ve posted up in for a cozy evening.
The angles and metal posts that you see in the structure might look like awesome aesthetic choices, but they actually serve a functional purpose as well. Because the site chosen for the home is so mountainous and rocky, builders wanted to ensure they overcame rocky surfaces and slope constraints safely and effectively. By anchoring the structure directly into the rocky landforms it sits on at different points around the house, builders overcame all obstacles provided by the chosen site.
At the inception of the project, designers and owners decided that the primary goal of the space would be to prioritize the way a physical place can actually deepen connections between friends, families, and the natural world around all of us. Owl Creek was designed to give people differing spaces to relax together, converse, eat, or be active with one another while also interacting with nature in ways that they might not get to regularly at home.
The social goals involves in building this fantastic house make even more sense when you learn that the dwelling was actually build as a singular but shared home for two families together, rather than just one. The structure is built as a collaborative home with one primary building for everyone, but there are also several small lodge areas clustered together outside the main building. These are intended as communal spaces meant for shared social time. Being able to travel from space to space with friends and family makes the entire home feel somehow both intimate and open all at once!
The walls of Owl Creek House might be made of thick materials and angles, but that doesn’t stop sunlight from sleeping in at all points! In fact, the involvement of natural light was a top priority along with shared social space during the entire building process. Designers purposely aimed to minimize visual separation between indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing natural sunlight to reach all parts of the house and land alike. Each of these things in combination makes the house a fantastic place for recharging your relationships, reinvigorating your soul, and reconnecting to the earth around you.
By Stefan • Dec 18, 2018
Located in the beautiful French village of Le Puy-Sainte-Reparade, PietriArchitectes‘s project MaisonP nestles right into a cosy, sunny hillside. offering a panoramic view over the Alps. Surrounded by lush, dense greenery that makes the space feel refreshing and cheerful, the home looks mod and stylish on the outside but actually provides a private haven behind the bordering leaves.
During the design process, creative and building teams aimed to alter the natural land around the home as little as possible. Instead, they wished to incorporate the house into the landscape in a way that’s attractive and eye catching without detracting from the present beauty of the hillside cove. In building the actual foundation and structure, teams changed the natural slope of the hill minimally, leaving the space with a raw, wild feeling character and preserving its original appeal.
The house itself is made up of two separate parts with distinct features and purposes. Guests encounter the main house first, followed by a drystone outbuilding that serves as a relaxation area, social space, and pool house. Within the main house itself, there is also a neat division of space, just to make sure that guests make the most of everything it has to offer.
The first floor of the main house features a spacious garage, which comprises the first “volume” of the house and sits on the main floor. Wandering towards the second volume, you’ll find a welcoming entryway, a gorgeous kitchen, and a cozy living room area with seating set up for conversation. The third and final volume of the main house features four relaxing bedrooms, including the master bedroom, each decorated in a way that’s clutter free so as to appear calming rather than minimal.
Moving on from the main house and its three sections, you’ll find the outbuilding. This is a smaller structure of about 95 square metres and it sits slightly higher on the hillside than the main house. Here, you’ll find another lovely, socially driven seating area but within walls that slide back in order to create a very open concept space that blends interior and exterior experiences. This is convenient since it’s right next to the luscious pool!
Between the two main buildings of the house, you’ll encounter a stunning, plant-lined canal that reflects the land around it beautifully and causes a sense of quiet calm. Between that, the pond near the entryway, and the lengthy pool out back, it becomes clear that water plays as much of a role in establishing the way this house pays tribute to the nature around it as the luscious greenery throughout and around it does.
The way that MaisonP is divided, rather than being built as a monolith, might seem stylish or modern, but it’s actually conceptual and referential. The idea is to create an architectural composition by building things around valuable empty space, rather than just filling spaces with buildings. This idea is reminiscent of historical architectural styles in Provence, which are referred to as being “bioclimatic”.
Inside the home, colour and decor schemes are kept just as light, airy, and natural looking as the sunshine and plant life outside. Very light wood floors and light spilling in through countless windows keeps things bright and cheerful, eliminating the need for crowded decor or overwhelming colour. Instead, a few bright art pieces are scattered throughout in order to bring personality, but furnishings are otherwise kept to a clean white.
Photographs by Philippe Biolatto
By Stefan • Dec 17, 2018
The Woodsy Farmhouse Cabin by Wade Design Architects is a beautifully sprawling structure located in St. Helena, California. This project blends stone foundations and supports with smooth wooden interiors in a way that looks sleek and stylish but still entirely influenced by a down home, woodsy rustic feel.
Built on a breathtaking wine country property, the Woodsy Farmhouse Cabin was originally built as a guesthouse to the main building nestled into the trees and fields there. The primary homeowners intended to live in the main house when they vacationed in California at length, but they built the lovely Farmhouse Cabin in order to share their lovely wine country summers and experiences with friends, family, and guests in equal comfort.
The longer the original homeowners spent time in the vacation home, however, the more they realized that they actually preferred living in the stunning Farmhouse inspired guest house themselves! Something about the slightly smaller but much more efficient design of the building appealed to them and made them feel more comfortable and at home.
Boasting a comfortable 1,200 square feet, the Farmhouse Cabin greets guests with a warm aesthetic that feels just as comforting and welcoming as coming home after a long time away might. The primary goal in both designing and decorating the cabin as to make it appear as though it was built directly from the land it sits on. They also wanted to prioritize the stunning views their particular land plot offers; the working vineyard and mountain range in the distance are not to be missed!
In combination with those goals, designers also strove to achieve a relatively open-concept structure for the cabin. They wanted it to feel quite large despite its average size. Between this and the emphasis on large windows that frame the gorgeous outdoor view, the Farmhouse Cabin is flooded with lovely natural light and plenty of sun, without getting too hot during the day.
High ceilings inside the cabin help those feelings of spaciousness as well. The main living room, for example, features 24 foot vaulted ceilings supported with wooden pillars that add to the farmhouse aesthetic. This atmosphere is bolstered by a simple, clean decor scheme that sticks to woodsy, neutral tones and natural, clean material palettes. Reclaimed wood on the siding, walls, and ceilings pairs with naturally coloured concrete flooring to create a space that’s both durable and low-maintenance.
In contrast to the wood and stone, several steel elements can be seen dotted throughout the house. The most noticeable of these is, of course, the impressive fireplace in the middle of the living room. Besides drawing the eye and keeping the space warm on chilly evenings, this piece creates visual texture in comparison to the wooden walls and vaults around it.
Sticking with the spacious, open-concept theme, the living and dining rooms and the kitchen are all blended as a central space, allowing free movement between the three. The dark neutral colour scheme that’s predominant here was chosen specifically to make the rooms feel as though they blend with and come directly from the surrounding landscape, making the whole house feel cohesive with the beautiful scenery it’s nestled into.
As is the inside of the Farmhouse Cabin wasn’t appealing enough, it also features a wrapping verandah with a lovely, surprisingly comfortable seating area. This entices dwellers and guests out into the fresh air to listen to the soothing sounds of nature around them whenever the weather allows, which is often thanks to its fantastic Californian location.
Photographs by Paul Dyer Photography
By Stefan • Dec 17, 2018
Located in the hear of Sofia, Bulgaria, a wonderfully stylish and sensually dark dwelling called Villa 29 offers guests and owners a calmly modern experience in every room. Innovative architectural studio STUDIO LTD designed and decorated the space using “nothing absolutely new”, making the villa a unique combination of sleek aesthetics and vintage appreciation.
The villa was designed with the intention of creating endless connections between artistic shapes, natural or upcycled materials, and cutting edge technologies. The goal was to use elements that have been seen and experiences previously in new blends, ultimately creating something entirely unique and never before seen.
The villa was created specifically for a young professional couple and their two children, both under the age of ten. Because the villa is located within a city centre, in the heart of a residential complex, the goal was to make it at once stand out and blend in; the structure of the apartment must make sense with the needs of someone living a cosmopolitan lifestyle and yet also give them a place to retreat to at the end of a busy urban day.
Designers hoped to help the family blend various styles and experiences in one place; they wanted spaces for comfort but elements of high-tech living. They wanted sophistication for guest hosting but also elements of being close to nature in order to benefit their children.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the house is that behind its vintage inspired and rather mod looking facade, it’s actually also a “smart-house”. This means that just about everything in the home can be controlled from a cell phone. This gives homeowners ultimate customizability within each room and ultimately saves physical and electronic energy alike. It also makes the home very accessible for those with varying physical needs or abilities.
Working with a unique blend of the designer’s visions and the homeowners wants and needs, the overall team established a space that’s unique in its physical construction as well, before you even consider its decor or how it functions. Asymmetrical ceilings opened up many possibilities for playing with symmetry, for example, so the team extended from that idea and built a space that features unique shapes and visual textures all throughout.
Once shapes and space definitions were established, material blends were chosen. The young couple owning the villa wanted a modern overall atmosphere but were intent on using a blend of soft, natural materials. This is why a combination of wood and stone offsets the sleek black colour schemes and mod shapes seen throughout the rooms.
Despite the strong presence of black in the decor scheme, designers and owners alike agreed that the darkness anchored the spaces in a comfortable way that was balanced by the lighter, natural materials and the impressively unique lighting choices. They also made sure to lighten the scheme in areas meant specifically for the children, instead building airy spaces that let the children physically enjoy the room by getting active on climbing structures and stairs built right into the walls and construction.
Overall, each party was pleased with the way the finished villa offsets itself in innumerable ways; a sense of calm and quiet is easy to find in rooms that are at once elusive and coherent, visually stimulating and technologically practical. The formulation of the villa’s aesthetic in itself was practically an artistic feat!
Photographs by Dian Stanchev
Sunny Teph Inlet House by Omar Gandhi Architect Gives Family Perfect Holiday Escape in Eastern Canada
By Stefan • Dec 14, 2018
Teph Inlet House is an impressively cubic, clean edges holiday home designed and built by teams at Omar Gandhi Architect. Located in Nova Scotia, Canada, it gives dwellers, guests, and passers by a fresh view from the street thanks to the way it differs in aesthetic and structure from surrounding buildings.
Originally designed as a holiday home for a young family, the Teph Inlet House sits not far from the ocean, nestled into its own little space in the village of Chester. The building is a two story main house with a nearby guest house, both impressively cuboid in their shape. These straight edges contrast agains the greenery and foliage around the border of the plot but also symmetrically complement the rectangular shape of the backyard pool and its paved outdoor space.
Rather than standing out in an unpleasant way, Teph Inlet House looks like a breath of fresh air, just like the kind guests might experience while staying there on a warm, sunny day. Thanks to an entirely glazed glass walling system on the ground floor, spanning all the way around the building, natural light and sunshine can flood the comfortable seating area for maximum relaxation.
Continuing that concept of being perfectly fit and linear, guests will notice how the garage at the front of the property lines up precisely with the pool house further back in the lot. This creates a sports area between the two buildings where the family can enjoy a whole range of activities, including (but not limited to) their very own working zipline!
After a long day of swimming in the sun, the family can enjoy warm summer evenings on the rear terrace, which provides an open view to the harbour beyond the property, with all its various docked and visiting boats. This terrace is also easily accessible to a grassy area with towering trees overhanging the edges, giving the kids some green space to enjoy when they’re not in the paved areas like the pool or the sports plot.
The way the main house, pool house, and garage are arrange on the plot establishes distinct sections of the property; a public entryway sort of area at the front and a more private, family driven area at the back. This is useful since the above mentioned glazed walls surrounding the ground floor actually slide back entirely, opening the bottom of the home into the leisure areas for a blended interior and exterior experience. This allows for very free movement from the terrace, sports plot, grass, and pool into the open-concept lounge, dining room, and kitchen area inside the glass doors.
Inside, guests will find an impressive doglegged staircase extending upward from the main living space. This is minimally furnished in a way that is clutter free rather than uncomfortable. Whitewashed marble and a pale colour scheme keeps things feeling light and airy, even when the fireplace at the end of the room is in action on chilly evenings.
Moving beyond the stairs, you’ll encounter a study, an ensuite bedroom, and a guest washroom. The way that a pocket door can be pulled from the wall, as well as a secondary entrance from the other side of the house can be accessed further down the corridor, means that this part of the house can be closed off or used as independent lodging from the rest of the house when guests stay for longer periods of time.
Traveling up the floating white oak stairs (which bolster the airy, light atmosphere), you’ll encounter an upper floor that’s equally sunny and bright thanks to continued emphasis on windows as well as several skylights. This is where you’ll see the master bedroom, complete with its walk-in closet and private bathroom. From the exterior, this section of the house is wrapped in a red cedar which looks stunning from the street.
Connecting from a long, sunny hallway, three more bedrooms and two additional bathrooms accommodate plenty of summertime guests, making Teph Inlet House the perfect social summer getaway for people of all ages. Each of these areas is perfect for taking in the surrounding landscape thanks to continued emphasis on windows and skylights, meaning no one gets ripped off of that harbour view.
Despite the minimal decor scheme and very light colour palette, Teph Inlet Home is by no means dull or monochromatic to look at. This is partially thanks to stone details and tiling that offset the copious white surfaces, as well as the herringbone pattern featured in the oak flooring all throughout the house.
Photographs by Ema Peter.
Spacious Modern Home La Serena Blends Textures and Lines Thanks to David James Architects & Partners
By Stefan • Dec 14, 2018
La Serena, designed and built by David James Architects & Partners, is a visually pleasing and structurally interesting home located in Canford Cliffs, United Kingdom.
Nestled into the very end of a peaceful cul-de-sac, the home offers a fantastic view of the Championship Parkstone Golf Course in the near distance, framing picturesque foliage and greens through just about any window. Designers achieved a unique goal in choosing that location because the way they framed the house all along the edges of the plot with maritime pine trees makes the course feel at once like part of the home’s experience but without sacrificing any privacy.
Despite the trees all around the house, designers ensured that sunlight still abounds on the grounds, as well as in the interior rooms. As the sun moves, it hits each point of the property at some hour, bathing that area in light for a time. Taking advantage of this in the placement and structure of the home was paramount for the owners.
Although the structure looks sparkling and new, it’s actually a restoration project that transformed a 1970s split-level house. If you think about some of the angles and waving lines in the construction and decor, this becomes less surprising to learn! The original structure had a driveway that the owners deemed two narrow and, while its two floors were a decent size, the physical design was uninspiring and bland to look at.
In their transformation, designers strove to take better advantage of the space and the stunning view it offers. They also aimed to explore how remodeling might create a house that better embraces its surroundings while simultaneously appearing to float above the landscape. In short, all parties involves wanted more visual interest that would also do the great natural setting more justice.
To do this, designers chose to work in a way that would create lines, textures, and shapes that are at once crisp and clean but also flowing. That idea of having good “flow” also translated into how they wanted the space to be used, so they aimed to create an interior layout that lets dwellers and guests flow from room to room during any point of modern living.
The goal of the house was to create a comfortable living space that was also dynamic, diverse in its function, and generally exceptional to experience. Their specific examples of how they could see the house being used ranged from a retirement home, a family getaway, or even a party house! Designers outlined four bedrooms, a number of relaxation and social areas, and several rooms specifically laid out for work or play.
Because it sits on a natural slope, designers were able to take advantage of that unique physicality by building a home that actually has three floors, despite looking like a two storey home. The house cascades gently but securely down the face of the slope, ending at the top in a stunning and rather large rear terrace.
Upon entering the home, a large foyer leads seamlessly into a formal lounge and an impressive study. From there, two staircases lead in different directions; one to the master suit on the top floor, as well as other guest bedrooms, and the other down into the primary living space and kitchen. This area is the space where the house’s layout and function really extends from and revolevs around. It features stunning floor to ceiling windows that perfectly frame the lovely golf course view.
In terms of decor, you’ll encounter a number of different materials and textures inside. Rather than looking haphazard, however, these contrasts play off the waving lines in things like walls and light fixtures, suiting the eclectic and cheerful atmosphere established all throughout the bedrooms and primary living spaces.
Outside the house, designers were intent on honouring the natural landscape by creating a garden that blends the structure into the surroundings more effectively. Here they placed a seating area from which guests can enjoy the fantastic view, but also seek some peaceful moments in green privacy. The exterior of the house is finished in basalt stone, Grespania wood ceramic tiling, and charcoal grey metal. These things help the house contrast less with the natural scene as well.
Photographs by: Tom Burn Media
Dry Creek Pool House Designed by Ro Rockett Design Give Guests a Perfectly Sunny Californian Getaway
By Stefan • Dec 13, 2018
Dry Creek Pool House is a lovely guest home project designed and built by Ro Rockett Design. Located in the most peaceful part of Sonoma County, California, it offers dwellers and guests a moment of respite and warmth, as well as the perfect opportunity for a cool, relaxing dip.
Sitting atop a hillside amidst a vineyard retreat, this weather timber pool house provides a perfect getaway space for those seeking to unwind and enjoy the coastal views. The pool house was built to accompany a particular holiday home near Geyserville after the owners decided that a specific space meant for total relaxation and enjoyment would greatly improve their experiences there, as well as those of their guests and neighbours.
The focus of the lovely plot outside the pool house is undoubtedly the gorgeous pool. Slender in width but gracious in length, this pool sits slightly above the main slope, hidden from a nearby road for calm privacy. This road, in turn, is hidden from view by the way the deck near the pool is raised, offering only a lovely green scenery in the eye line of anyone resting there.
In order to complement and blend with the surrounding greenery, the exterior of the pool house is made in a rustic style. Designers used wood and natural materials in an attempt to make the little house both stylish and primitive; something unlike what guests would experience in their regular homes in the city.
The roughly weathered timber mentioned above is a perfect match for its vineyard surroundings because it was actually sourced from grape stakes. This aesthetic is consistent in the first volume of two that comprise the pool house, while the second is a black pavilion style building feating large, sunny panes of glass. These panes let guests open the house entirely to the view while seeking comfort in the shade by sliding fully open.
Inside the pool house, basic amenities make it an extremely comfortable place to spend the whole day. Besides cushy sofas that make for good talks and great naps, the house boasts a bathroom with a full shower and even a mini-bar for entertaining. If additional privacy is needed, guests can draw a set of stark white curtains closed around the entire structure. These also provide more shade from sunlight in the most intense hours of the afternoon.
If you’d like the bit of shade but you don’t want to go in from the soft breeze on your skin, the patio that runs alongside the pool is the place for you! Here, a slatted canopy covers the pool deck, shading an outdoor dining table as well as two lounge areas. This is the perfect spot for people who want to enjoy the breeze and water but without sitting in direct sun!
In order to give guests a break from lounging but keep them from getting bored with the space, designers added an amusing little bocce ball court further down the slope from the poolside. Although this strip of grass is closer to the road, it’s still safe and private thanks to a row of luscious trees all along the edge of the space.
Photographs by: Adam Rouse
By Stefan • Dec 13, 2018
Allotment House is a stunningly simple modular home project by Kristian Olesen that blesses any visitor with a fragrant wood aesthetic and a cozy atmosphere that immediately makes them feel right at home. It is located in Aarhus, Denmark, nestled right into the scenic area around the Brabrand lake.
The house itself was inspired by a Nordic tradition that eventually became its namesake. Allotment houses are classically self-built wooden cabins that are extremely space efficient and leave you wanting for nothing despite their small size. They are typically built entirely recycled materials and this particular Allotment House follows that custom to the letter.
The purpose of the little house was to give owners a place to escape city life so they can enjoy spending some time closer to nature. Designers place this home on a lovely green patch that’s perfect for gardening, allowing dwellers to grow their own vegetables. These gardens also help connect the little house better to the landscape, helping it look much less like it was just placed down on a patch of grass to stand out.
On the southwest side of the modular home, folding terraces extend, letting dwellers open up the interior space like a continuation of the living room. This blends indoor and outdoor experiences in a beautiful way that lets people take in the view even better than they already can naturally from the setting of the house.
In terms of its shape, the house is purposely compact, which works well in the limited size of the plot. To avoid making it seem too small (or being buried in the snow in Danish winters), the house is raised slightly on a stilt foundation. This provides a better view as well and protects the floors from spring flooding.
Inside, the house features a singular space that spans the whole length and width of the building, like a fully open-concept home. A vaulted ceiling gives things a unique shaped by mimicking the actual exterior structure of the building closely. In the centre, visitors encounter a divided volume that visually separates the open space into main rooms like a living room, a kitchen, and a bedroom.
Just in case open-concept living isn’t your thing, Allotment House actually also features interior sliding doors. These come out of pockets in the walls, pulling across the room on either side in order to create more physically distinct spaces. This is useful for hosting guests who want some privacy when they’re sleeping, for example.
When designers first conceptualized the house, they aimed to place the functional features and spaces in a continuous line so as to foster seamless movement that reflects the owners’ needs and lifestyles. This is why storage, the kitchen, the utility room, and an outside shed can be found all organized in a linear fashion called “the function-line”. With the practical features all kept in a company solution, extra space is created and saved for socializing, relaxing, and leisure!
As you’ll notice immediately, the house is rich in smooth, light wooden surfaces. This lines up with Nordic building traditions and creates a calm cohesiveness all throughout the house, both inside and outside. Continuity and interesting geometric shape is created by the way the wood travels all across the floor, up the walls, and undisturbed into the peak of the roof, both inside and outside. Galvanized wooden furniture keeps things consistent and traditional as well.
Between the lovely pine minimalism of the whole interior and the fully glass walls and doors at each end of the house, designers created a sense of vast spaciousness despite working with a limited square footage. This lets the owners take in a stunning view but also keeps things natural and in line with the landscape and the design’s traditional Nordic roots.
Photographs by: Kristian Olesen
Retro House, Dubbed Re-Open House, Updated With an Appealing Open Concept by Matt Fajkus Architecture
By Stefan • Dec 12, 2018
Re-Open House is a recent transformation project planned and completed by Matt Fajkus Architecture. Located in Austin, Texas, this dwelling harnesses all the retro style of the original home but gives owners an updated structure to enjoy with increased comfort.
During this transformation, designers prioritized several things. First, they made sure the house would get plenty of natural light no matter what room you’re in. Next, they strove to use simple materials that would provide lots of style with minimal cost and ecological impact. Finally, they aimed to created a free flowing space where guests and family members could move seamlessly between spaces without feeling cut off from one another.
At the same time as they wanted to update the house, designers sought to remodel the structure in a way that still preserved the original mid-century mod style it came with. They worked on an interior design scheme that had a slightly retro feel, while also adding features that established a direct connection with nature to offset city living.
In order to open the space up more than the original structure offered, builders raised the roof and knocked out some walls to unify social and common living spaces. This consolidated practical portions of the house used by all members of the family, making the spaces more positive to spend time in, but also letting private bedrooms become more desirable by establishing them as more of a haven than before.
Thought they raised the ceiling, designers did not change the unique angle it sits at. This point of the house remained the same as part of their efforts to preserve some of its original style. The sharp angle also gives the house a little bit of privacy from the street as it nestles behind its bordering trees and hedges.
In order to really drive home the connection to nature we mentioned earlier, designers also built several patios into different parts of the house. First they added some shared patios in the common areas of the house and then they included smaller patios behind sliding glass doors that extend off the bedrooms. This lets dwellers access nature close to where they sleep and enjoy private outdoor moments more easily if they wish.
Inside, wooden ceilings and piled stone walls bolster that sense of natural material used and the incorporation of the landscape. These materials were gathered a purchased locally. The overall decor scheme is kept light in vast colour palette but features several pops of colour in each room, letting those pieces stand out like mod accents. Occasionally, guests will find an entire accent wall as well, as in the kitchen and the guest bathroom, where a brightly coloured, mod patterned wallpaper draws the eye and reminds everyone that this house has a history in its list of influences.
Photographs by: Charles Davis Smith
By Stefan • Dec 12, 2018
Sydney Street House is a stunning transformation project planned and carried out by innovative design teams at Fouché Architects. Located in Brisbane, Australia, this project remodelled an original pre-1946 house that was a boarding house once upon a time.
The original structure of the house was raised and segregated when it was taken over for boarding. Renovators at the time closed all of its verandahs and internalized a lot of what was previously a more open-concept layout. Places where outdoor and indoor areas were once connected were closed off almost entirely and most functional spaces were internalized in ways that reduced natural lighting.
As a result of those changes, this latest renovation sought to reverse much of the closed off work and literally, as its name suggests, re-open the house! Designers aimed to bring light back into the overall space, reinstate the connectivity between rooms and also between the indoor and outdoor spaces, and general add an airier and more cohesive atmosphere to the whole property.
Rather than expanding in their transformation, builders and designers wanted to work with the space they already had but take better, more open advantage of it. They decided on taking a tactile approach to structure and decor that, in addition to making the house’s living spaces more enjoyable to spend time in, will make people actually want to use the rooms. After all, houses are truly meant to be lived in!
In addition to the internal re-opening, designs made sure to invest time and effort in re-opening the outside space in a better connected way as well. They began this process by rebuilding the upper floor verandah that gave the master bedroom a relaxing outdoor connection with a little bit of privacy.
Next, a back verandah was re-added with an extension, making the two areas feel like one thanks for the ability of dwellers to move seamlessly between the two. This makes the primary living space feel much grander and more open-concept. An entire sense of establishing verbal and physical communication was built throughout the home as a result. This is even evident in the way the pool fence was made from durable glazed glass, as though there’s no barrier at all!
Finally, spaces were opened up and better connected visually in the use of natural materials to build the home. This is particularly true in the way wood and stone are incorporated both internally and externally, particularly since the colour finished coordinated with the landscape around the house, blending it into its surroundings rather than making it stand out from its environment too harshly.
Photographs by: Cieran Murphy
Haddock House, a Famous Historical Designer’s Personal Project, Brought to Life Years Later by Taliesin Associated Architects
By Stefan • Dec 11, 2018
Haddock House, recently brought to life many years after its inception by Taliesin Associated Architects, is a beautifully built, stunningly retro inspired home located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The original design for this house was conceptualized, sketched, and planned by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who had created the image of this innovative home as a one-of-a-kind customized masterpiece for a northern Wisconsin school teacher and friend in 1938. The house, however, was never actually built before Wright passed away.
Forty years after Wright designed the plans for this house, a University of Michigan professor named Frederick Haddock purchased it from Wright’s widow. He then partnered with the architectural firm Taliesin Associated Architects, founded many years earlier by Wright himself to manage his legacy, to bring Wright’s masterpiece to life.
With the help of Taliesin, Haddock chose a 10 acre plot of luscious green lawn and wooded areas sloping gently down towards Honey Creek. This met not only what Haddock wanted, but also the kind of site that Wright’s original design was conceptualized to exist in. Once the house was built, it was named after professor Haddock himself.
Now, Haddock House is a stunning structure with unending visual appeal and lots of artistic angles and texture. It was designed in the style of Wright’s classic Usonian homes, known for their efficient living capabilities and the way they’re built specifically to blend in with their natural surroundings.
Haddock House is build with slanting layers of wood, panels of shining glazed glass, and high ceilings intended to increase feelings of spaciousness even farther that its actual square footage. Personal rooms, like the bedrooms and bathrooms, are designed to appear as cozy and warm as possible, heavily featuring natural woods and materials that follow the aesthetic of blending in with the house’s wooded surroundings.
The rest of the house follows those stunning wooden guidelines too, getting creative with small details like lamps and art pieces that continue the grained theme. In contrast to all that wood, a beautiful space in the garden features a lovely landscape design that nods to traditional Japanese gardens.
Once the house was finished and put up for sale, Haddock made sure to include original drawings and blueprints, as well as letters of authentication from Taliesen Associated Architects. These confirmed to new owners that house was now just a Frank Lloyd Wright design, but a pristinely completed and incredibly unique one-of-a-kind Wright masterpiece.
Photogra11phs by: PlanOmatic