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Arch.itect.us: architecture from the edge….

Modern Addition Breathes New Life Into Terrace House in Australia

architecture modern residence

The creative team at Carr Design Group gave this Edwardian terrace house in Melbourne, Australia, a modern two-story extension. The Cube House project was designed for a young couple and their two children.

“The couple purchased the site with the intention of creating something extraordinary,” the architects said. “Living in the house for two years gave them a better understanding of the type of spaces they wanted to inhabit — spaces with an emphasis on raw materials, natural light and a sense of openness.”

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The modern addition consists of two rectangular concrete volumes stacked behind the original home. The upper level cantilevers over the bottom floor, creating a partially covered outdoor area. The main floor features open-plan living areas.

“Referencing the external facade, the kitchen is monolithic in form with plenty of storage,” the architects said. “Floor-to-ceiling glass doors frame the back garden, blurring the threshold between inside and out.”
design modern residence

The simple color palette in gray, white and black is in tune with the minimalist furniture and decor. This approach sets the tone for a bright and spacious home.

“In contrast to the open spaces downstairs, the new master bedroom wing is a play of contrasts; it is big yet intimate, enclosed but open, luxurious and minimal,” the architects said. [Photos and information provided by Carr Design Group]

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The post Modern Addition Breathes New Life Into Terrace House in Australia appeared first on Freshome.com.

Oddly Shaped Brick Could Revolutionize Sustainable Building

sustainable building - Bloque Termodispador - FreshomeA design studio in Colombia is tackling one of architecture’s growing energy challenges by using an unexpected traditional building material: brick.

Specializing in sustainable building, Sumart Design and Architecture created the Bloque Termodisipador, a ceramic building material, as a more energy-friendly alternative to traditional clay bricks.

sustainable building - Bloque Termodispador - Freshome

The Bloque is shaped like a rectangle with an irregular scalene triangle stuck to its face. The angle has several advantages: the shape allows ventilation across the surface of the building, reducing the heat that is absorbed into the building’s interior. It also helps to shield the surface from direct sunlight, further reducing heat transfer.

Additionally, the Bloques can be combined in a variety of ways, and their hollow channels add soundproofing to their list of benefits. Their novel shape calls to mind the decorative cinderblock of West Coast mid-century façades. But unlike that distinctive feature, these bricks are more than decorative.

sustainable building - Bloque Termodispador - Freshome

sustainable building - Bloque Termodispador - Freshome

sustainable building - Bloque Termodispador - Freshome

The post Oddly Shaped Brick Could Revolutionize Sustainable Building appeared first on Freshome.com.

Bright, White and Modern Home on the Mediterranean

architecture modern residence08023 Architects completed the design and development of Casa Herrero in Barcelona, Spain. The three-story, 5,300-square-foot modern home has a home-automation system that can be controlled by smartphone.

A straightforward geometry defines the exterior of the residence, a series of white rectangular volumes. The swimming pool extends the theme of the covered veranda; both spaces, also surrounded in white, feature LED lighting that can be changed according to the owners’ preferences.

modern residence (2)The bottom floor accommodates two parking spots, a fitness center and a spa area. The social areas on the main level include the kitchen, which is equipped with the latest technology and appliances. The bedrooms on the third floor open to an outdoor terrace.

The master suite includes an elegant spa bath with a terrace that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. A Mediterranean garden with a Japanese Zen ambiance adds to the modern landscaping. [Information provided by 08023 Architects; photography by Simón García Asensio]
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Calming Apartment Is One Family’s Oasis in a Busy City

design modern apartmentYevhen Zahorodnii completed the design of a contemporary apartment in Minsk, Belarus. Designed for a young couple and their small daughter, the project is the family’s oasis of relaxation in the middle of the bustling city.

“Each interior reflects the idea of harmony, the most important aspect of family life,” the architect said. Both bright and sober, the neutral tones and array of textures make for a calm and cozy home. The elaborate lighting system allows the owners to create different moods throughout the day.

modern apartment (1)“Wooden flooring and neutral wall colors create a good atmosphere for meditation; the design scheme helps the parents get away from the noise and problems of the big city,” he added. A mirrored coffee table reflects the living room, which features soothing tones of gray.

The child’s area is divided into three parts — a bedroom, playroom and studying area. A small tipi tent is the decorative highlight of this interior. [Photography courtesy of Yevhen Zahorodnii]
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10 Small Kitchen Islands That Are Big On Storage and Style

If you’re starved for counter space in your small kitchen, have you considered adding a small kitchen island? It may seem counterproductive to add an island to an already-small kitchen, but there is a great selection of kitchen islands designed for small spaces.

We’ve put together a list of 10 small kitchen islands — also called kitchen utility tables, rolling butcher blocks and kitchen carts. They’re affordable, sturdy and versatile, and they made our list because:

  • They serve as multi-functional pieces, offering extra storage.
  • Some have hooks or a built-in towel bar.
  • Many have locking wheels so they can be rolled out of the way or used in other rooms.
  • Some fold flat for storage in a pantry or against a wall.
  • Some have drop leaves, which add counter space and serve double duty as a breakfast bar.

10 Small Kitchen Islands Your Small Kitchen Will Love

1. Oasis Concepts Folding Kitchen Island

Dimensions: 23” W x 24″ D x 36” H

The Oasis folding kitchen island ($250) is ingenious, thanks to its ability to fold nearly flat. It’s made of stainless steel and solid wood, including a parquet butcher-block top, to ensure durability even in the busiest of small kitchens.

2. Altra Elmwood Kitchen Cart

Dimensions: 36″ W x 17″ D x 34″H

The Elmwood Kitchen Cart by Altra ($349) is a modern and beautiful kitchen island. The industrial-chic cart has multiple shelves, including racks for 12 bottles of wine, in a cool-toned rustic oak finish to hold whatever you need stylishly. It also has wheels so you can use it as a bar cart or anywhere you need a little extra storage.

3. Ikea Grundtal Kitchen Cart

Dimensions: 21.25” W x 16″ D x 35.5” H

This low-maintenance, stainless steel kitchen cart ($149) has a small drawer with a bar-style drawer pull, as well as a fixed shelf. The large basket drawer is the perfect catch-all for larger items, while the wine rack is sturdy enough to hold some of your favorite wine bottles (or rolling pins).

4. Catskill Craftsmen Drop-Leaf Cabinet Cart

Dimensions: 20” W x 20″ D x 34.25” H

The top of the Catskill Craftsmen drop-leaf cart ($410) doubles in width to 40 inches when both of the drop leaves are up, to expand your counter space or serve as the perfect spot for breakfast for two. Locking casters keep the small kitchen island in place until you’re ready to wheel it elsewhere. A drawer and a two-door cabinet offer extra storage in space-challenged kitchens.

5. Winsome Folding Kitchen Island

Dimensions: 38″ W x 17″ D x 34.5″ H

Featuring a towel rack, wheels, a drop-down leaf and solid-wood construction, the Winsome Folding Kitchen Island ($180) is a small kitchen island that can fold flat for storage.

6. Metro Commercial Chef’s Cart

Dimensions: 27″ W x 21″ D x 39.25″ H

The Metro Commercial Chef’s Cart ($287) is heavy-duty enough to hold up to 500 pounds per shelf, making the lower shelf of this mobile, small kitchen island the perfect spot for housing mixers and other heavy kitchen appliances. The solid butcher-block top is thick and durable enough to withstand years of chopping.

7. Apex Entertainment Work Table

Dimensions: 30″ W x 18″ D x 34″ H 

Stainless steel food-prep tables, such as this one by Apex ($109), are the perfect solution for a small kitchen area. The 30-by-18-inch size is pictured, but this table comes in a variety of sizes as small as 24 by 12 inches. For extra versatility, add the optional rolling casters if you think you’ll be moving it around.

8. Linon Bamboo Work Island

Dimensions: 22″ W x 22″ D x 36.5″ H

What makes Linon’s Bamboo Work Island ($215) unique is its inlaid-granite top. Granite is low maintenance, modern and ideal for bakers who need a cool surface area to work on. A variety of storage options — drawer, basket, shelf, wine rack and towel hooks — offer places for everything a cook needs on hand, and rubber casters let you roll it wherever you need it the most.

9. Baxton Studio Meryland Kitchen Cart

Dimensions: 47.5″ W x 17.75″ D x 34.5″ H

Fresh and clean in a white finish with a wood butcher-block top, the Meryland Kitchen Cart ($459) has a towel holder and spice rack on one side, plus drawers, cabinets and shelves to hold all the essentials.

10. Winsome Mali Kitchen Cart

Dimensions: 36″ W x 18.5″ D x 34.5″ H

Contemporary in a striking espresso finish and a butcher-block top, the Mali Kitchen Cart ($265) is a good, small kitchen island when extra storage and counter space are needed. One of the open shelves is removable to accommodate taller items or kitchen gadgets.

Did you love these ideas? For more inspiration, check out Small Kitchen Island Ideas for Every Space and Budget.

Do you see any small kitchen islands in this list that could help you make the most of your small kitchen?

The post 10 Small Kitchen Islands That Are Big On Storage and Style appeared first on Freshome.com.

A Wedding Registry That Lets You Design Your Home By Room

wedding registry - blueprint - freshome

The way we furnish our homes says a lot about our lifestyles and our personalities, and creating an environment that reflects these ideals is no simple task. For many, the bulk of furnishing a home comes with marriage and, subsequently, the all-important wedding registry.

Creating a wedding registry is an exciting opportunity to outfit a home, but it can also be a frustrating and tedious project. We found one company whose goal is to change that.

 

Thanks to its clean, simple design and impressive features, Blueprint Registry is simplifying the traditional wedding registry experience while expanding the options available to newlyweds.

The free service allows couples to create a personalized profile and select home goods from a large selection of retailers. Choices include registry staples such as Crate and Barrel, Anthropologie and Amazon, as well as boutique and specialty product lines. The “Add to Blueprint” bookmark button lets you add registry items in one click while browsing the web.

wedding registry - blueprint - freshome

Our favorite part of the experience is that it allows couples to break down the process and search for items room by room. You can collect both the essentials and the decor items one space at a time, making it easier to put together accents for your dream living room, and harder to forget utensils for your kitchen.

For higher-priced items, multiple guests can contribute to a “group gift” — so you can get that modern sectional or Vitamix blender you’ve had your eye on.

wedding registry - blueprint - freshome

At a time when many newlyweds already have most of their household essentials before marriage, Blueprint enables them to go beyond home goods with an Experience Room, where guests can contribute to designated cash gifts. It’s a simple (and low-fee) way to fund a honeymoon, mortgage or other monetary investment.

For the modern couple furnishing a modern home, it only makes sense to create a modern approach. The design, function and capabilities of Blueprint Registry make it a great place to register for wedding gifts from a variety of retailers for your newly combined household.

Video courtesy of Blueprint Registry

The post A Wedding Registry That Lets You Design Your Home By Room appeared first on Freshome.com.

Home in Canada Offers Both Social Spaces and Room to Retreat

architecture modern residence

Recently updated for a multi-generational family, this contemporary two-story home is in Calgary, Alberta. DOODL (Design Office of Deana Lewis) combines modern and traditional materials for a welcoming look and feel.

“This residence was designed for a dynamic family that includes five people over three generations,” the architects said. “The primary design objective was to create a functional, open family home while still offering each person their own retreat.”

renovated house (1)The exterior features white stucco walls and asphalt shingles on the roof. A bright orange front door and chairs accent the welcoming front porch; the color is carried throughout the home and out to the back door.

As you step inside, you’re greeted by a double-height living space that extends outdoors. “On the main floor, the in-law suite is separated from the central living space by a double-sided brick feature that houses the family’s hearth, TV, storage and display shelving,” the architects said.

renovated house (2)“The second story is accessed via an open sculptural staircase and is divided into two distinct areas,” they said. “The master suite includes a large bedroom, covered deck, walk-through closet and large en suite; the kids’ wing has bedrooms, bathing and laundry facilities.​”

Colorful mid-century furniture and decor enhance the overall interior design of the home, complementing the neutral tones of the floors and cabinetry. [Information provided by DOODL; photography by Rob Moroto, Calgary Photos]

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Freshome’s Bookcase Buying Guide

Bookcases are among the most useful pieces of furniture you’ll ever own. They not only organize your collection of novels, but also serve as a place to display art and accent pieces.

By adding a few bins or baskets, they also make the perfect spot to neatly stash odds and ends. Choose correctly, and you’ll own your bookcase for years (or even decades) to come. Here are some tips for finding the best bookcase for your home.

Bookcase Buying Guide

Chloe Warner

Image: Chloe Warner

Style

Whether you’d like just a few shelves to showcase decor or you’re looking to house a small library, when it comes to choosing the style of your bookcase, you’ll find yourself faced with dozens of options. Some of the most common styles include:

  • Standard. Standard bookcases are the workhorses of shelving units. They’re typically made of wood or MDF, and designed with evenly spaced or adjustable shelves and a closed-back frame.
  • Étagère. An étagère is more delicate than a standard bookcase, featuring an open back and shelves that are often made from glass. If a standard bookcase is designed for function, an étagère is all about form.
  • Ladder or leaning. Ladder-style bookcases are designed to lean against the wall, often with “stepped” shelves that gradually decrease in size from the ground up.  
  • Corner. Corner bookcases are built at a right angle, making them the ideal shape for wedging into tight nooks.
  • Scaffold. These bookcases get their name from their look: They’re fashioned from shelving suspended between two ladder-like supports.
  • Cube. Cube bookcases are divided both horizontally and vertically to create cubby-like sections that are perfect for housing both books and storage baskets.
  • Built-in. If you want to create a wall (or room) of floor-to-ceiling shelves, built-in bookcases are the way to go. This style will require more than just a trip to your favorite furniture store, however; you’ll need to work with a contractor to create a custom plan for your space.

Size

Size is perhaps the most important factor to consider when shopping for a bookcase, since it will determine how the shelves both look and function within your space. Here’s what to consider:

  • Height. Most bookcases range from three to eight feet tall. Consider both aesthetic and practical concerns when choosing height. Tall bookcases that fill up most of a wall typically look more expensive and formal; however, shorter ones offer the added functionality of a usable surface area on the top. This allows it to double as a media cabinet, buffet or workspace, for example.
  • Width. The width of your bookcase should be considered relative to the height. If you choose a tall bookcase, purchasing multiple narrow units instead of a single large one will offer more flexibility to add or subtract storage space as needed. If you opt for a shorter unit, choosing something wide will make the piece feel more substantial.
  • Depth. Most shelves are at least 12 inches deep to allow ample room for storage, but some bookcases, especially ladder or leaning styles, have narrower shelving. Consider what you’ll be storing on your bookcase before making a purchase.
  • The space between shelves. If the shelves on your bookcase are fixed, make sure to measure the space between them to ensure that your books and accent pieces will fit. Adjustable-height shelves offer more flexibility.  

Functionality

Depending on how you plan to use your bookcase, you may want to look for the following options:

  • Adjustable-height shelves. For the greatest versatility, choose a bookcase with movable shelves. These shelves are typically suspended on pegs that can be inserted into a series of holes in order to adjust their position.
  • Wheels. If you plan to use your shelves as a room divider, or if you like to redecorate often, consider a shelf on wheels. This will allow easy movement from room to room.
  • Room dividers. In an open-concept home or a large room, a bookshelf can double as a room divider. If this is your plan, be sure to purchase a shelf that is specifically designed to stand on its own. Many bookshelves need to be secured to a wall and aren’t suitable for use as room dividers.
raad studio

Image: Raad Studio

Material

Bookshelves are made from a variety of materials. These are the most common:

  • Wood. Wooden bookcases offer a traditional look and a solid, long-lasting frame. Wood is ideal for standard bookcases, since it can withstand substantial weight.
  • Particle board. If you’re on a budget, look for shelving made from particle board or MDF, which offers the look of real wood at a much lower price.  Note that particle board isn’t as sturdy as the real thing, so be sure to consider weight restrictions before loading up your shelves.  
  • Metal. Metal shelves can offer sturdy storage with a lot less bulk than wood or particle board. This makes it an ideal material for those who prefer a streamlined, contemporary look.

Buying Tips

The price of your bookcase will depend on size, material and manufacturer. A floor-to-ceiling solid-wood bookcase from a high-end furniture retailer can cost thousands of dollars, while the price of a three-shelf unit made of MDF can be as little as $50.

To choose the best bookcase for your space, start by determining how you’ll use it. From there, it will be much easier to figure out what size, material and style will ultimately work best in your home. Consider the following:

  • Your space. Keeping in mind the space where you plan to put your bookshelf can help you narrow down your options. Measure the width, depth and height of the area, and use that as a guide when shopping.
  • How you will use it. Before you shop, have a clear idea of how you plan to use your bookcase. If you’re an avid reader, you’ll want sturdier shelving that can withstand the weight of your hardcover collection. A bookshelf that will function more as a display case, on the other hand, can be more decorative.
  • Your budget. Because a bookcase is something you’ll use for years, think of it as an investment and purchase the highest-quality item you can afford. If you yearn for a built-in bookcase but the price puts it out of reach, consider a series of tall, high-quality bookcases placed side by side. This can have a similar effect for a much smaller investment.  

Freshome’s Picks

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Image: West Elm

West Elm Modern Cabinet Bookcase, $1,099

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Image: West Elm

West Elm Scaffold Bookshelf, $699

3-wall mounted bookcase

Image: CB2

CB2 Stairway Wall Mounted Bookcase, $399

4-pier 1 industrial bookcase

Image: Pier 1

Pier 1 Imports Takat Bookcase, $450

 

5- industrial - bookshelf

Image: Home Decorators Collection

Home Decorators Collection Industrial Mansard Double Bookshelf, $519

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Image: Target

Threshold Carson 5-Shelf Bookcase, $120-$130

OKL chippendale etagere

Image: One Kings Lane

David Francis Furniture Chinese Chippendale Étagère, $2,280

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Image: One Kings Lane

One Kings Lane Dover Kids Bookcase, $1,425

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Image: Amazon

Better Homes & Gardens 8-Cube Organizer, $88

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Image: West Elm

West Elm Mid-Century Bookcase, $698

The post Freshome’s Bookcase Buying Guide appeared first on Freshome.com.

L.A. Bridge Project Elevates Contemporary Design

Bridge and GardensLos Angeles broke ground this month on an ambitious bridge project, designed by Michael Maltzan of Michael Maltzan Architecture.

The 3,500-foot bridge, made of up of 10 pairs of arches that will light up at night, is replacing the iconic Sixth Street Viaduct, which was built in 1932. It will span the Los Angeles River and U.S. Route 101 freeway, connecting the Boyle Heights neighborhood to downtown L.A.

“These pairs of repeated concrete arches and cable-supported roadway deck are simultaneously elegant and efficient,” the architect said. The project is scheduled for completion in 2019.

The bridge will enhance access for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, with five staircases at different points along the span along with ramps for cyclists. Additionally, the structure is being built in tandem with parks and green space being developed under and around the bridge.

“The project foresees a multimodal future for the city, one that accommodates cars, incorporates significant new bicycle connections and also increases connectivity for pedestrians to access the viaduct,” said Maltzan.

It will link “the bridge to the Los Angeles River and future urban landscapes in a more meaningful relationship.” The project is just one contributor to the recent surge in the city’s building design projects.

The post L.A. Bridge Project Elevates Contemporary Design appeared first on Freshome.com.

Italian Apartment Thinks Inside the Box

design modern apartmentAIM Studio was challenged to design a creative apartment in a former office building in Milan, Italy. Even though Brazilian Taste exudes a harmonious design throughout, its functional spaces — the kitchen, dining area, living room and study — are well defined.

“The owner asked us to think about an elegant, fresh, flexible space that would communicate with numerous plants, their major passion,” the architects said. The layout was redesigned according to the contemporary living needs of the clients.

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The project was developed around a white concrete box, a living room that’s framed in and closed on three sides. Inside, the white resin finish bounces light off the walls, helping the plants grow. A variety of eclectic furnishings make the room homey and inviting.

The rest of the 2,153-square-foot apartment features several textures, including concrete walls, dark wood flooring, a sleek, modern kitchen and bath, and — adding a touch of the tropics — plenty of plants. What do you think of this creative apartment? [Photography by Nicolò Parsenziani]
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The post Italian Apartment Thinks Inside the Box appeared first on Freshome.com.


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