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

10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

rennovated exterior 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

Home inspections give buyers an idea of their new home’s condition. Image Via: Period Architecture Ltd.

Congratulations, your offer was accepted and you’re going to be a homeowner! After you’ve made all your phone calls to share the big news and sipped on a glass or two of celebratory campaign, it’s time to move on to the next step in the home buying process: the home inspection.

At first glance, property inspections can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never been through the process. That’s where we come in.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections. Give it a glance before you send the inspector out to view your new property. It will give you the ability to go into the transaction feeling more informed and better able to advocate for yourself.

circular exterior 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

These tips will help your familiarize yourself with the inspection process. Image Via Charleston Home + Design Mag

1) Inspections are Optional

To those unfamiliar with real estate, it can seem like inspections are just what’s expected. Watching enough reality TV can give you the impression that everyone completes all of their inspections because they are waiting for a huge problem to arise (right in time for commercial break, of course). In the real world, it’s up to the buyer to decide which inspections they would like completed – if any at all.

Generally speaking, inspections are a great idea. They give you an idea of a home’s problems before you buy it and most times will allow you to negotiate with the seller to cover the cost of some repairs. Essentially, they give you an idea of whether or not you’re equipped to handle this property or if you should move onto another that better suits your needs.

However, there are a few possible exceptions: mainly condos and other living situations where the bulk of home maintenance is covered by an association. Before you decide to go this forgo the inspection make sure you’re aware of your responsibility when it comes to fixing problems that arise when you own the property. You should also  check with your bank to make sure they don’t require one as a condition of the mortgage.

condo exterior 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

If a condo association handles your maintenance costs, you may be able to skip the inspection. Image Via: BcDc (B. Costello Design & Consulting, LLC)

2) Buyers Are Responsible for Inspections

Most first-time homebuyers don’t realize that they are responsible for the inspections. This means that, in order to get to the settlement table, they agree to hire the home inspector, have the inspections completed within a reasonable amount of time, and shoulder the cost.

Remember to leave yourself a sufficient time to pick an inspector and bring him out to view the property. Trust us, a home inspection is not something you want to rush through last minute. Do yourself a favor and leave a little wiggle room since you’ll likely be putting that timeframe in a binding legal document.

Financially, you need to budget for the cost of inspection services. While your initial reaction may be to balk at the price tag and wonder why the seller isn’t covering this cost, paying truly is for your benefit.

Think of it this way: The home inspector really works for you, not the seller. He or she is there to point out all the potential problems in the home. Even though it would be extremely dishonest, if the seller were to hire the inspector, there is a chance of the two working together to falsify the report. Since the seller has no impact on the inspector when you pay, you can rest easy knowing your report is sincere.

spacious bathroom 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

Remember to budget for inspection fees and repairs as you enter the buying process. Image Via: Charlie & Co. Design, Ltd

3) The Inspector Must Be Certified

A home inspector and a contractor are not the same thing. While a contractor may have know how to fix existing home maintenance problems, home inspectors are specifically trained on how to identify problems, even if they are slight enough to be easily missed by others.

Every country has its own home inspection standards that must be met. But, the unifying factor for a sale to be considered legitimate? The home inspection must be done by a certified professional. While qualified home inspectors may cost more than a contractor, you’ll know that you’ve received a complete report.

As for how to find a home inspector, your realtor is a great place to start. He or she probably has a few reliable contacts from past transactions. The internet, is always another option. Either way, be sure to ask the inspector if they are certified and keep up with any continuing education credentials.

industrial kitchen 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

Make sure to pick an inspector that’s been properly certified. Image Via: Jason Arnold Interiors

4) What Do Home Inspections Cover?

As a rule of thumb, think of a home inspection like a well visit to the doctor. Your doctor takes looks at several of your body’s individual components – reflexes, blood pressure, and medical history – to make an overall all determination of your health. Home inspectors work in much the same way.

Since every property is different, the specifics of what is checked during your home’s inspection may very slightly. But, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) suggests that qualified inspectors will check the following areas:

  • Foundation and basement
  • Any additional structural components
  • Interior plumbing systems
  • Interior electrical systems
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Condition of windows
  • Condition of doors and door frames
  • Condition of floors, walls, and ceilings
  • The attic and any visible insulation
yellow bedroom accents 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

When interviewing home inspectors, ask each to tell you what is covered in the scope of their inspection. Image Via: Tara Seawright

5) What Doesn’t An Inspection Cover?

Of course, no single inspection is going to cover every aspect of your new home. Be aware that there are limits to what an inspector will check. To use the same doctor analogy, consider how some ailments require a referral to a specialist, who will give you a more in-depth examination.

Here are some areas that don’t often make the cut for home inspectors and may require another professional:

  • Inside the walls
  • Roof or chimney repairs
  • Septic tanks
  • Wells, sheds, or additional structures separate from the main house

Just because something isn’t covered in a home inspection, don’t think that it can’t be inspected. You may simply have to look into other sources. If there is an aspect of your new property that is giving you pause, do some research. Ask your realtor about the possibility of getting it checked out so that you can go through the rest of the transaction with confidence.

garden shed 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

Exterior structures like sheds aren’t usually included in a home inspection. Image Via: Sheds Unlimited INC

6) You Can Attend Inspections

Did you know that most home inspectors recommend that buyers attend their property inspection? They see it as an opportunity to thoroughly answer any questions that the buyers may have about the property’s condition. Most also will provide instructions on how to maintain the property after settlement.

In return for their instructions, it’s your job to be respectful of the inspector’s time. We know that it’s difficult to remain unemotional when it comes to buying a home – especially if unforeseen complications keep popping up – but do your best to keep your cool. Try to keep questions brief and refrain from fixating on tiny details. There will be time to negotiate repairs later.

One more important note: The inspector is not responsible for making any repairs, only identifying them. It’s considered rude to ask your home inspector to perform handy work. It’s better to ask them if they can recommend another professional.

spanish exterior 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

The home inspection is a great place for buyers to learn how their new home works. Image Via: Naylor & Son’s Plastering Co. Inc.

7) Request An Inspection Report

Coming out to view the property is only half of a home inspector’s job requirements. After their site visit, they are required to provide you with an official home inspection report, which details their findings in writing. It should include pictures of the damaged areas as well.

If you’re working with a real estate agent, he or she should receive the report automatically, but it’s a good idea to ask the inspector to also send it directly to you. Once you have it in hand, make two copies. Use one copy now and save the other in your legal records – just in case.

Read it over thoroughly before you sit down to negotiate repairs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if there is a portion of the report that you don’t understand or is unclear. We recommend taking a highlighter and noting which sections of the report that are most important to you. That way, it’ll be easier to refer back to them when you discuss repairs in the future.

craftsman exterior 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

Take the time to read your inspection report thoroughly before negotiating repairs. Image Via: Dennis Mayer, Photographer

8) Repairs After Inspections Are Negotiable

Unlike paying for the inspections themselves, who pays for the necessary repairs is up for discussion. There are three typical outcomes to these negotiations: the seller can perform the repairs before settlement, the seller can credit you money for the repairs, or they can become your responsibility.

Our suggestion for a successful negotiation: prioritize. If you send the sellers a long list of trivial repairs, they will likely become defensive and less willing to bear some of the cost. However, if you focus on a few, key points from the report, they will be more likely to assist you.

One exception to this is if a home is being marketed “As Is”. In real estate terms, “as is” means that, for whatever reason, the seller is unwilling or unable to make repairs. These types of properties will feature have a lower sale price to compensate for the lack of negotiating room. But, if you bid on one, you may want to pad your budget to include potentially extensive repair costs.

minimalist living room 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

Be prepared to negotiate with the sellers over repair costs. Image Via: Fougeron Architecture FAIA

9) You Can Walk Away After Inspections

Let’s say that you get the inspection report back and it features something truly catastrophic like toxic mold or severe structural damage. Alternatively, let’s say that you and the seller have gone back and forth in negotiations and can’t seem to reach a satisfactory conclusion. What happens now?

Luckily, buyers have the upper hand in this scenario. As long as you respond to the seller within the inspection timeframe and have a legitimate reason (i.e. you found the repairs too extensive) you will likely be able to walk away from the transaction largely unscathed. Most times, the sellers will just keep your initial deposit as collateral.

It’s a different story entirely if you decide you want to leave after signing off on the inspection negotiations. While you’ll still be able to terminate the transaction, you’ll likely suffer a much bigger loss and you could even face legal action. Take the time to make sure you feel comfortable with your end of the bargain before signing any binding documents.

rustic exterior 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

If you’re unhappy with your inspection results, don’t hesitate to walk away. Image Via: Trestlewood

10) Collect Paperwork for Completed Repairs

After you’ve made it through the inspection negotiations, both you and the seller will likely have a long list of repairs to complete and, yes, pay for. Both sides may be tempted to do the repairs themselves or to call in a friend-of-a-friend to do the work as a favor. Don’t go this route – at least not for anything bigger than a leaky faucet.

Cutting corners at this stage could harm the transaction. Hire professionals to do the work and be sure to collect paperwork – repair estimates and invoices – as proof. Mortgage and title companies will ask for these documents at settlement. In the event that supporting documents cannot be produced, they would be within their rights not to grant you the deed to your new property.

It’s a good idea to keep the repair invoices after settlement as well. While no one wants to think about broken heaters and leaking pipes in connection to their new home, it can happen. An invoice could save you from having to pay for a follow up visit.

ranch home 10 Things Every Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

Keep work estimates and invoices to serve as proof of repairs. Image Via: Bob Michels Construction, Inc.

Whether you’re in the process of buying your first home or your tenth investment property, home inspections can seem overwhelming. After all, there are many aspects of the property to consider, lots of paperwork to read over, an extensive negotiations to consider. Not to mention the gnawing worry that there could be something truly wrong with your dream home. But don’t let yourself get too worked up just yet! We’ve compiled a inspection cheat sheet that every buyer should read. Let us help you go into your inspection armed with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions.

Homeowners, did you go through inspections when you bought your new property? Buyers, what did we leave out? Ask us questions in the comments.

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Aerial Travel Memories Translated into Comfortable Rugs: LANDCARPET by Florian Pucher

carpet contemporary design Aerial Travel Memories Translated into Comfortable Rugs: LANDCARPET by Florian Pucher
There are a lot of creative ways one can bring traveling inside a home. Designer Florian Pucher took memories of his journeys and transferred them into the design of these comfortable rugs. LANDCARPET is the name of a project consisting of 88 different carpet models, each inspired by an aerial view of a landscape. “I have always loved to travel and tried to always get window seats on planes,” explained Pucher. The items are customizable, Eco-friendly and suitable for children (as they are made from natural wool and use non-toxic glue).
ideas aerial view rug Aerial Travel Memories Translated into Comfortable Rugs: LANDCARPET by Florian Pucher
If you will have a look on the designer’s website, you will notice that each piece is inspired by the particularities of a certain country or continent: “Some countries are very easily recognizable through their methods of farming and that has always intrigued me. Furthermore as an architect and master planner I constantly get to see and look through site surveys, aerial images and city plans which have further sharpened my eye for distinguishable patterns and different layers.” Pucher’s LANDCARPETs are signed and hand tufted in limited edition. For making a purchase, you can contact the designer directly, by visiting the official website mentioned in the paragraph above.
modern rugs ideas Aerial Travel Memories Translated into Comfortable Rugs: LANDCARPET by Florian Pucher rugs modern items 4 Aerial Travel Memories Translated into Comfortable Rugs: LANDCARPET by Florian Pucher rugs modern items 5 Aerial Travel Memories Translated into Comfortable Rugs: LANDCARPET by Florian Pucher rugs modern items 61 Aerial Travel Memories Translated into Comfortable Rugs: LANDCARPET by Florian Pucher rugs modern items 7 Aerial Travel Memories Translated into Comfortable Rugs: LANDCARPET by Florian Pucher rugs modern items 8 Aerial Travel Memories Translated into Comfortable Rugs: LANDCARPET by Florian Pucher rugs modern items 9 Aerial Travel Memories Translated into Comfortable Rugs: LANDCARPET by Florian Pucher rugs modern items 10 Aerial Travel Memories Translated into Comfortable Rugs: LANDCARPET by Florian Pucher

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Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India

architecture modern house ideas Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India
Hiren Patel Architects completed the design and development of The Urbane House, a private contemporary home located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. According to the project developers, the project pays tribute to the concept “form follows function”, heavily reflected in the sharp lines that defines the language of the residence. An interesting play of volumes ensures diversity throughout, every interior offering a unique living experience. Nature was subtly blended in the design, resulting in a less rigid contemporary look.
design modern house ideas Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, IndiaHere is a virtual tour of the house, as presented by the architects: “The entrance porch faces north which leads into a double height foyer, that is further connected to the family living and formal drawing room. The bedrooms, multipurpose room, dining room and kitchen open into a central space which is the family living room. A veranda visually connects the family living to the drawing room and serves as a transept between the private space of the family living and the surrounding lawns.An excellent indoor-outdoor connection is achieved through extensive use of glass. The rooms are individualized and highly welcoming, with plenty of art works spread throughout.

exterior modern house ideas Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 4 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 5 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 6 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 7 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 8 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 9 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 10 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 11 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 12 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 13 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 14 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 15 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India modern house ideas 16 Intriguing Play of Volumes Exhibited by The Urbane House in Gujarat, India

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Industrial-Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub

architecture smart pub Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub
Bucharest-based studio Yellow Office completed the design and development of a high quality restaurant and events venue near Preajba lake in Craiova, Romania. The place is filled with a vibrant personality and offers beautiful surrounding views. According to the architects, the design is based on a contemporary eclectic-industrial style. On this two storeys building the main theme was to create a major “object and material contrast”. Warm materials such as wood and recovered brick are highlighted by white metal and ceramics. Glossy elements are also contrasted by rough natural wood flooring.
design smart pub Craiova Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub
Retro light bulbs were employed in order to create an inviting ambiance throughout. One other important characteristic is the disposing of the two bars, one on each floor. The furniture features classical design Thonet chairs, and comfortable sofas-both of which have two finishes, textile and leather enclosed with brushed wood. The major attraction of the place is the visual connection between the floors and the 2-meter-diameter chandelier. Enjoy the virtual tour and feel free to share your opinions!  [Information provided via e-mail by Vladimir Mindru; Images @ Yellow Office architecture]
interior smart pub Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 3 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 5 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 6 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 7 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 8 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 9 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 10 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 11 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 12 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 13 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 14 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 15 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 16 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 17 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub smart pub 18 Industrial Eclectic Restaurant and Events Venue in Craiova, Romania: Smart Pub

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How Architects Minimize Urban Stress

modern apartment How Architects Minimize Urban Stress

Is urban stress real? If it is, how can architects minimize its effects with their designs? Image Source: Grossman Photo

Experts are saying that we need to ready ourselves for a more urbanized, and therefore, a more depressed world. It seems that architects not only have to design homes that are modern, functional and green, but they now need to worry about the world’s mental health, as well.

So how does urban living reflect upon ones mental health? Some may love living the big city life, while others may dream of escaping to a slower suburban pace.  With the world’s population growing at alarming rates, we are undoubtedly packing ourselves into much tighter neighborhoods than ever before.  Builders are erecting houses side by side, with small postage stamp yards and no privacy—this certainly cannot be ideal living and is one of the leading causes of urban stress.

Humans naturally feel threatened and closed-in when they perceive that space is lacking—resulting in urban stress. What can architects do to minimize the strain that occurs from crowded urbanization? How can they alter their designs to make high-density living feel like open, airy dwellings?

Let’s look into some of the key ways that architects minimize urban stress:

loft How Architects Minimize Urban Stress

Architects can employ some key tricks to make an environment feel less crowded. Image Source: Tahar Decor

Better Planning and Density Management

An article by LSE Cities, points out that there is a difference between density and crowding. The study theorizes that it is crowding that leads to urban stress rather than density. They feel that even the most dense areas can be designed in a manner that makes them feel uncrowded.

High-density is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, there are advantages to high-density living such as accessibility to facilities and more efficient land use.  With proper planning architects can design urban areas in a manner that may be dense but does not feel overcrowded, therefore minimizing urban stress.

Let’s look a little further into the many ways that architects design individual communities/buildings in order to minimize the feeling of crowdedness.

high rise How Architects Minimize Urban Stress

With better planning and density management, communities can minimize urban stress. Image Source: Two Column

Communities With Open Spaces

One of the main negative effects of density is the feeling of over crowdedness. City planners and architects can minimize this sensation by designing communities with open spaces and park systems intermingled amongst busy city life.

Take New York Cities Central Park for example. Among the hectic, fast-paced city life of New York sits one of the most beautiful park systems. Central park offers a mental refuge with its vast, open, green spaces, giving city-dwellers a place to unwind and feel at peace in an uncrowded, natural environment.

Essentially, green cities equal good health.  Green areas provide space for exercise; space to experience nature; space to restore the body, mind and soul; and space for calm social interaction— green spaces are a must and should be included in every architect and city planners blueprints.

central park apartment How Architects Minimize Urban Stress

This home overlooks New York Cities Central Park, offering green space and a place to reduce urban stress. Image Source: Robert Granoff

 Using Roof Tops For Relief

Some cities do not not have established areas for green space, and it seems there is no room left to create these park systems or recreational areas. This has lead architects to become inventive with already-existing spaces such as roof tops, turning them into green spaces, gardens, and recreational areas.

Roof top farming seems to be a popular choice amongst some eco-conscious designers/architects. It is easy to see why when one looks at all the positive benefits of roof gardens— provision of green space; provision of locally-grown organic food; provision of healthy exercise; and provision of temperature and hydrological controls for the building.

Also, gardening has been shown to significantly reduce stress and depression. Indeed, the trend of using roof tops as open, green-living spaces certainly has a role in reducing urban stress.

roof top garden How Architects Minimize Urban Stress

Roof top gardens re-invent un-utlilized space and reduce urban stress by providing a get-away. Image Source: Amber Freda

Buildings Designed to Feel Vast and Open

Architects have gotten quite inventive when it comes to designing buildings that make a visitor feel relaxed and at ease. Many architects realize the secret to successfully reducing urban stress—buildings shape the human experience.

It seems obvious, but it is often forgotten in design—people react to their environment.  Designing a building where people feel a sense of belonging; where they feel comfortable; and where they have an overall sense of place, is imperative to the reduction of urban stress.

Architects can incorporate  this  welcome feeling in their designs by adding green spaces and vistas; by improving building flow and function through escalators and modes of better traffic flow; by incorporating large windows, high ceilings and natural light; and by creating multi-functional areas where people can access numerous activities.  People spend most of their days working and living in large office buildings and high rise apartments, so mental well-being always should be considered in the design.

high rise apartment How Architects Minimize Urban Stress

Architects can reduce urban stress by incorporating open spaces with large windows and lots of natural lighting. Image Source: High Rises

Urban Acupuncture

This is something that is probably a new term for most—Urban Acupuncture. Essentially, urban acupuncture is a theory that combines urban design with Chinese acupuncture. Followers of this theory look at urban design as a living organism.

The main goal is to reduce stress in the urban environment through small remedial interactions, just like acupuncture does to a human who is suffering certain ailments.  Essentially, urban areas that are in need of repair receive certain building projects that are meant to heal the stress or malfunction.

Architect and Urbanist, Manual Sola DeMorales, coined this term, and it seems to be something worthwhile for other architects to take hold of—especially since it does not require massive urban renewal, rather focuses on smaller projects that help to heal the  larger whole.

modern urban loft How Architects Minimize Urban Stress

Urban acupuncture may help reduce urban stress by healing small dis-functional urban areas. Image Source: Zack Devito

The population of the world is growing rapidly, forcing many to live in over-crowded urban environments—this leads to urban stress.  We have seen that architects have a key role in the reduction of urban stress, and that their designs can actually help people feel at ease, even the most crowded of living situations.

By  designing communities with open green spaces, re-inventing spaces such as rooftops into usable areas, and by designing buildings that shape a positive human experience—urban stress can be greatly reduced. There is also something to be said about urban acupuncture and its possible role in repairing malfunctioning communities.

Do you live in a busy urban area? How do you feel about urban stress—is it a real thing?

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Refined Scandinavian Apartment Inspiring Joyful Home Decorating Ideas

apartment living room Refined Scandinavian Apartment Inspiring Joyful Home Decorating Ideas
Welcome to a refined Scandinavian apartment in Vasastan, Stockholm preserving quite a few charming turn-of-the-century details. The feeling that greets you when you enter the hall is striking. This is due to the three windows allowing natural light inside and a generous ceiling height. From the very beginning it is clear that this is a home inviting you to see more! The wooden parquet flooring runs through the hall, lounge and kitchen, creating a unified feel throughout the loft. According to the designers, it is also sanded and varnished so that it will last many, many years.
apartment Scandinavian design Refined Scandinavian Apartment Inspiring Joyful Home Decorating Ideas
Discovered by Freshome on Alvhem, the crib has a total of three rooms, but the inhabitants can think of at least one other alternative house plan, as featured in the last image of this post. Walk straight ahead and you will enter a beautifully designed living room, acting as an open invite to socializing. Three large windows looking onto Victoria Street provide contact with the city life below. A large dining table with seating for up to twelve people adds a sense of familiarity to the space. Adjoining the living room, there is a modern looking kitchen, with black cabinets powerfully contrasting the white walls. Enjoy the virtual gallery and let us know what Scandinavian home tricks you discover!
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Modern Villa Design in Sweden Balancing Social Fun and Privacy

Modern Villa in Särö Sweden Modern Villa Design in Sweden Balancing Social Fun and Privacy

Impressive interior design lines each space in this Sweden villa, inspiring us to choose the best color palette for a bright, relaxed atmosphere. Large open spaces guide daily routines on an intuitive path, helping you create habits that boost energy and provide relaxation. Enjoying the outdoors is a big part of this home – this is a residence elegantly designed for a collection of memorable pool parties.

The first floor plan opens both the social areas and the masted bedroom to the backyard. Here, the well-maintained swimming pool surrounded by a deck shapes a big part of the social outdoors. Windows create this fabulous invitation to both experience the aesthetic vibes of the indoors and to unwind outdoors.

Modern Villa in Särö Sweden 1 Modern Villa Design in Sweden Balancing Social Fun and Privacy

Smooth transitioning from one space to another adds to the feeling of depth and open space. Inviting through design, color choices and brightness, this modern villa design creates a vibrant environment for a dynamic social life. It seems to have been made for entertaining, especially the outdoor dining area and wide poolside deck. Imagine groups of stylish people socializing around the pool, some having conversations on the long bench shaped out of the wall, some enjoying a buffet in the covered outdoor dining area. This last feature – the covered outdoor dining area – will definitely add more value to a home.

Then again, the villa also boasts an outdoor hammock and Jacuzzi deepening the feeling that is was designed for relaxation. However the new owner might use it, we can dream many scenarios happening in these welcoming spaces. This modern villa design provokes owners to live a chic and stylish life, enjoying both their outdoor presence under Sweden’s sun and the elegant cluster of interiors.

Priced at $1.7 million on Svenskfast, the modern villa in Särö provokes owners and guests to deeply enjoy their presence here. Sound to me like someone’s dream home. Is it yours?

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Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey

apartment design Istanbul Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey
Have a look at this colorful penthouse envisioned by Yasemin Arpac & Sabahattin Emir of Ofsit Studio and situated in the heart of Istanbul! The location of Karakoy Loft, as well as the personality, way of living and needs of the client (a 45-year-old bachelor) were the main parameters in the design of this project.

The structural approach of the house was to open up to get more light and view. The previous small window openings on the front façade were enlarged and the new folding window frames slide the width of the building to transform the living room into a balcony, since the apartment is missing one. And a large rectangular skylight was inserted just below the peak of the pitch to provide light and view to the mezzanine.
architecture house Istanbul Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, TurkeyOne of the longitudinal walls was resolved as storage. A very simple system was designed with iron rods climbing two floors and running the length of the house, without categorizing it as living room, kitchen, library or bedroom. 12mm iron rods coming out of the wall and 16mm rods connected to them create a 60×60cm grid over the wall surface. Various shelving units and accessories were designed to fit this system, such as a single shelf, double or triple story shelves, vertical separators or hanging units. The user may arrange and utilize this storing system however he likes; as a library, a woodshed, kitchen storage, or a wardrobe.

The cast-concrete block surface which was created to form the kitchen counter framed in an iron structure, steps down into a cantilevering dining table and ends up as a short plinth as the hearth, which allows extra seating around the table.[Photos and information provided via e-mail by Ofsit]

house Istanbul 2 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 4 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 5 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 6 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 7 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 8 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 9 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 10 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 11 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 12 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 13 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 15 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 16 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 18 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 19 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 20 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 21 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 22 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 23 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 24 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey house Istanbul 27 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey plans 17 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey plans 27 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey plans 37 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey plans 45 Colorful Penthouse Bursting with Personality in the Heart of Istanbul, Turkey

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Why Everyone Needs to Make Their Home Green

cabin mountain home Why Everyone Needs to Make Their Home Green

It’s time to get back to nature and try living a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. Here is how you can make your home green. Image Source: Yellowstone Traditions

It’s time to get back to nature. Can’t you sense that the world is craving it?  When we look around it certainly seems that we hunger for a more natural way of living. Take for example the natural goods that are showing up everywhere in our lives, from the whole foods that line the shelves of grocery stores, to the recycling programs that local cities pump loads of money and effort into.

Going green is not only trendy, but we dare to guess that it is the new way of life— a way of life that is here to stay. If you have not already hopped onto the green bandwagon, then it is time to learn a few things about living a sustainable life. Here we discuss the key reasons that EVERYONE needs to make their home a bit more green.

Whether you are already living in a LEED certified home, or you are still struggling to change your bulbs to LED ones, you will surely find some great tips here. Let’s discuss the many ways that green is gorgeous!

open modern kitchen Why Everyone Needs to Make Their Home Green

Green homes have it all : Beauty, Character and Cost Efficiency. Image Source: Urban Pioneering

Cost Savings

Always after your own heart, we will first get down to the nitty gritty of money. It’s a fact: selfishly, you should go green if for no other reason than to save some green, cash that is.

While there are a lot of money-saving claims, with some being disappointing to say the least, there truly are some green measures that can save you hundreds of dollars per year. For example, if you live in a “normal” home that was not built with high-effieciency green technologies/materials, then you can save up to $570 per year by performing a simple energy audit. Now that is big savings!

Here are the steps that you can take to perform your own energy audit to start saving money now:

  • Seal and caulk all your doors and windows
  • Install a programmable thermostat (saving you beaucoup bucks on your electricity bill)
  • Add insulation to walls, ceilings and attics (saving you lots on your home heating bill)
  • Install a water barrel to collect and reuse rain water
marble and wood bathrrom Why Everyone Needs to Make Their Home Green

Performing a home energy audit can save will you a lot on your water and electricity bill. Image Source: Grady O Grady

 Green Homes Have Character

Aesthetically, green homes are chock-full of character. Between the reclaimed wood floors, the hand-hewn wooden beams, and all those reclaimed architectural windows/doors/trims— a green home simply oozes charm and character that one cannot attain through normal building standards.

What could be better than attaining the character and charm of an older home, without all the hassle of owning an old home. Even if a rustic-style kitchen doesn’t suit your modern flair, you can still enjoy added character in a minimalist home by simply adding those modern architectural elements that suit your style.

A modern home can easily go green (and have plenty of character) via concrete floors (which are very green, by the way), or by using reclaimed wood kitchen cabinets that have been polished and stained to a shine, or by using reclaimed light fixtures that have a steam punk style (as featured in the image below). Regardless of style, green homes have added character and charm that is unbeatable and certain to increase your homes value.

modern kitchen wood beams Why Everyone Needs to Make Their Home Green

Regardless of your style, green homes have character and charm that is unbeatable. Image Source: High Craft

 Recycle, Reuse, Reduce

Good Housekeeping magazine cited a study that showed the average homeowner buys a power tool and uses it for only half an hour in its lifetime. Wouldn’t it be better to simply borrow your neighbors power tool or reuse an old one? This is one simple example of how reusing and recycling can save a homeowner cold hard cash.

By reusing an item, we save money and save natures precious resources. Imagine how many trees could be saved by reclaiming old barn boards and using them in your homes flooring. Or how landfills could be reduced by purchasing modern plastic chairs that were derived from recycled bottles.

There are so many ways that you can live a greener, more sustainable life—saving you money and saving the worlds resources simultaneously.

wood headboard Why Everyone Needs to Make Their Home Green

This recycled wood headboard is very stylish and sustainable. Image Source: Grounds Well Design Grp.

Improve Your Quality of Life

Did you know that a typical home produces twice the amount of pollution that a car produces in a year? It’s a simple fact—Green homes are better for you (and for the environment).

Have you ever heard of sick building syndrome? It is a real thing—a homes poor air-quality can actually make you sick. Here are some of the key reasons/ways that a green home can increase your health and safety:

  • Better ventilation and air recycling
  • Significantly less mold
  • More air-tight and sturdier building
  • Ample natural lighting (reducing depression)
  • Significantly less toxins, glues and harmful fumes
red craftsman home Why Everyone Needs to Make Their Home Green

This lovely craftsman home has the National Green Building Program Gold Certification. Image Source: Studio 26 Homes

As you can see, there are many reasons to go green. Why wouldn’t you want to try for a greener home when you can save money, improve your quality of life, help the environment, and add value to your home?

Follow these helpful hints to see how much money you can save by year-end. If you already consider yourself quite green, then what else can you do within your home to become even more sustainable? Or maybe you can reach out and help your neighbors go green.

Do you live a green life? What do you do within your four walls to keep it green?

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Stylish Handmade BUBBLE Sofa Inspiring Cosiness by Sacha Lakic

design modern sofa Stylish Handmade BUBBLE Sofa Inspiring Cosiness by Sacha Lakic
The BUBBLE sofa is part of the new furniture designs by Sacha Lakic for the Roche Bobois autumn winter collection 2014. This entirely handmade sofa brings to mind a puffy cloud, and offers great comfort through its reassuring forms. It may be colorful and fluffy, yet its appearance is also elegant, perfectly fit for a high-class social zone or a public spaces. Its friendly look is also given by the lack of supporting legs, a feature which seems to “root” the sofa into the room.
ideas modern sofa Stylish Handmade BUBBLE Sofa Inspiring Cosiness by Sacha Lakic
The fabrication of the BUBBLE sofa required the development of an innovative textile, Techno 3D. This unique fabric is tenacious and extendable in three directions, which allows for the well rounded and tight shapes. It is composed of a robust black jersey onto which a soft touch honeycomb wool is applied. The seat and backrest are made of a bi-density foam based on a solid wood frame. The sofa is available in three colors and two dimensions, with a matching ottoman in different sizes. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by Sacha Lakic on behalf of Roche Bobois]
modern sofa 2 Stylish Handmade BUBBLE Sofa Inspiring Cosiness by Sacha Lakic modern sofa 3 Stylish Handmade BUBBLE Sofa Inspiring Cosiness by Sacha Lakic modern sofa 5 Stylish Handmade BUBBLE Sofa Inspiring Cosiness by Sacha Lakic modern sofa 6 Stylish Handmade BUBBLE Sofa Inspiring Cosiness by Sacha Lakic

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