Versatile Taiwanese Family Home Balances Child and Adult Spaces

This family in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan wanted to achieve the perfect balance between parenting and romantic life — HAO Design took on the challenge to turn their plan into reality. The couple requested a large kitchen with plenty of space for cooking together, while watching over their two daughters. This triggered the idea of a kitchen-and-living combo for the project entitled Blue and Glue.

Wooden grid paneling on the ceiling was used to visually define the two functional areas. “The living room, which serves as the children’s designated play space, is furnished with large, stuffed sofas and low, round coffee tables,” the architects said. “When the children grow up, the space below the partition will provide them with a library-like reading space.” A small reading and working nook was improvised by the window, that offers views of the bustling city outside.

A variety of finishes and textures, such as glass, metal and concrete, create a dynamic feel, while light tones of blue paired with wood accents deliver a playful interior. The girls’ room is colorful and serene. “To help the children cultivate their creativity, we created secret hideouts across the home, so the girls could engage in original projects,” the architects added. In the living room, a large chalkboard encourages doodling, and a special place is designated for LEGO art. [Photography by Hey! Cheese]

Beer Lovers Will Swoon Over This Industrial Bar Design in Montréal

Envisioned by Humà design + architectureDas Bier in an industrial-style bar in Montréal, Canada. The project, based on the German “bierhall” concept, is a merging between the European passion for great beers and the Rosemont neighborhood lifestyle.

“Our first goal was to open the space, which is composed of three buildings with three different ground floor levels, to create one large hall,” the architects said. “Then, we custom-designed oversized communal tables, which evolve through the space, going from table height to countertop height tables, linking the different levels.”

Massive chandeliers made of hot-rolled steel enhance the atmosphere with soft lighting diffused through the perforations. Crude steel was also employed for the staircase and exterior facade.The interiors are animated thanks to a variety of materials and textures, from Terrazzo flooring and stone to wood-paneled walls and aluminum kegs on the ceiling.

“We’ve designed the restroom’s entrance wall with a composition of 7500 white and gold beer caps assembled into a pattern that reflects light and shines through the space,” the architects said. “Das Bier is primarily a place for beer lovers.” [Photography courtesy ofHumà design + architecture]

Traditional Apartment in Mexico Converted Into Functional Artist’s Studio

Arqmov Workshop took on the challenge of converting this older apartment in Polanco, Mexico City, to an artist studio for a graphic designer with a powerful personality.

Old service areas were transformed into new bathrooms, a breakfast nook and storage space, while a roofed conservatory, an extra bedroom and an open kitchen complete the design. “The removal of old carpets, wall finishes and drop ceilings uncovered perfectly polished concrete floors, which were sealed and left exposed in the common areas,” the architects said. The new electrical wiring was left visible on the underside of the concrete grid as well.

The variety of materials for this project is rich and visually exciting. Synthetic materials, such as the aubergine-purple for the kitchen cabinetry, sit alongside raw materials, a recycled timber beam used for the breakfast bench, and the metallic tube reminiscent of a bus stop, rounds out the materials to form the seating.

The lighting designs utilized Quasar luminaries (from Prisma), while custom-made metal wall lamps were envisioned for the breakfast area. These particular details plus the possibility of dimming the light in each room create a variety of functional spaces and ambiances. [Photographs courtesy of Arqmov Workshop]

Victorian Terrace House in London Gets Fresh Redesign

Scenario Architecture creatively redesigned a Victorian terrace house located in London, United Kingdom. The residence, named Canfield Gardens, was planned according to the living needs of a small family. After studying the clients’ living habits, the developing team found out that 90 percent of their time is spent in just 10 percent of the space, so solving for this was the main challenge for the project.

“A cut in the ground floor, and relocation of the staircase, proved to be a simple and effective solution,” the architects explained. “This created a mezzanine level offering a visual and physical connection to the two floors and a vertical flow of movement. The cut was located in such a way to allow the maximum amount of daylight down to the basement level.”

Sharp corners and angular forms were replaced by continuous and softly curved geometries. Those are juxtaposed with materials in their most bare state; concrete, wood, aluminum, glass and natural plaster, to introduce a sense of ‘eroded’ minimalism to the house. Splashes of color make the interiors feel fresh and dynamic. [Photography courtesy of Scenario Architecture]

Mirroring Brownstones: A Contemporary Reinterpretation in South London Neighborhood

Knox Bhavan Architects designed London Brownstones, a project conceived from a pair of sandstone residences to reflect the early 20th-century houses lining this south London neighborhood. The pair of homes mirror each other to tie the project together with designs and proportions that embody the popular stucco detailing of the time period.

The street-facing facades are made from a terracotta colored sandstone which attributes to the inception of the term “brownstone” and are detailed with white sandstone lintels and columns.

Clients Greg and Jenny Falzon hired the local firm, Knox Bhavan to design one of the five-bedroom houses as their family home, and the other to fund the project.

“London Brownstones replace an ugly 1950s bomb damage infill building and are a contemporary reinterpretation of the Edwardian terrace,” said the architects. “They are a contemporary answer to the ubiquitous and well-loved London terraced house.”

The design team aimed for a contemporary aesthetic both for the internal and external features of the homes, which include an arched porch that is shared between the two symmetrical houses. Inside, the second floor features a split-level arrangement that can accommodate five bedrooms around a family bathroom. A timber staircase unites all levels of the house. To add to the butterfly effect of the house, four angled bay windows protrude from the upper floor bedrooms.

The ground floor of each house is occupied by an open-concept living area, dining space and kitchen that offer clear sight-lines into the middle of the structure. In the shared front garden, a pair of  planters are used to disguise bike stores.

The project successfully blended the updated homes to create a modern, yet seamless addition to the neighborhood. [Photography by Dennis Gilbert]

Wood Accents Uplift Black & White Scandinavian Apartment

This lovely apartment in the center of Gothenburg, Sweden showcases an inspiring design and a playful layout. As listed on real estate broker Alvhem‘s website, the 791-square-foot crib takes up the upper two levels of a historic house that dates back to 1873. A living room ceiling height of 9.85 feet, a rustic brick wall in the bedroom and exposed wooden beams are just a few of our favorite features in this space.

Beginning in the entryway, a black and white color scheme with wood accents make the dwelling feel airy and inviting. The kitchen provides a soft and rustic ambiance, with a generously-sized wood dining table as the focal point of this room.

The living area is peacefully located overlooking an inner garden. Two chairs, a sofa and a variety of decorative pillows make this contemporary corner perfect for a tea break with friends.

Up the stairs is a versatile space, where a small desk allows for an improvised work zone while being able to keep an eye on what’s cooking in the kitchen. Located behind the staircase, the bedroom is arguably the most captivating interior of the apartment. There is ample space for a double bed, large dresser, and cozy reading area. A skylight brings light to the white-painted and plastered walls and parquet in oak. The brick accent wall serves as storage and gives additional character to the room.

Best in Show: Highlights from the Top International Design Week Events

The top design shows for 2016 have come and gone, leaving those in the home design business with plenty of inspiration. What will you be seeing at retail stores near you soon? Here are some of the best in show products featured at the top international design events this year.

Maison&Objet Show

Les Gambettes Suzie Chairs

Design firm Les Gambettes rolled out their simple, retro-inspired, whimsical chairs in an assortment of vintage prints and colors. The inspiration behind their design choices is a tropical summer.

Maison&Objet’s next Paris show is September 2-6, 2016.

International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Shore Rugs

A finalist in the Best in Show category of the NYCxDESIGN awards, Shore Rugs are woven from durable silicone cord into bold, modern textures and color patterns. Designed for use indoor or out, they feel cushy underfoot all while looking fab.

Mesh by Francisco Gomez Paz for Luceplan

This flexible pendant is outfitted with LED lights that illuminate a room in a stunningly stark, architectural way. Besides being a finalist for the NYCxDESIGN award at the International Contemporary Fair, the Mesh pendant also won the prestigious Red Dot “Best of the Best ” for 2016.

ICFF’s next show is slated in Miami Beach October 5-6. 2016.

Stockholm Design Week

Inblue by Monica Förster for Rörstrand

Designer Monica Förster has taken Rörstrand‘s traditional blue and white china and given it a fresh, new twist. The patterns appear to bleed like watercolors on the crisp, white porcelain.

Three-Generational Home in Switzerland Ensures Harmonious Living

Daniele Claudio Taddei Architect completed the design of Autumn House, a contemporary residence in Switzerland that perfectly suits the living needs of a multi-generational family.

“Three generations, two cats and one dog living under one roof was a bit tight, so the grandparents decided to use a leftover corner from their property to get their own roof, building a house attached to the old one for themselves and their pets in this neighborhood adjacent the City of Zurich,” the architects said.

The idea was to have a vertical building wrapped in wood and annexed to the initial construction. A metal staircase in stainless steel connects the three floors of this new addition.

The Autumn House is accessed through the street level, which also doubles as a laundry room. On the ground floor, the living room can be fully opened up to the outside with foldable glass panels to the garden in the south. This brings the serene atmosphere of the garden inside, giving a sense of openness despite the relatively small size. It also adds some color and life to the clean minimalist design.

The second level faces the airy staircase and accommodates one bathroom and two bedrooms. One bedroom has a secret door leading directly to the granddaughters’ room, making babysitting very easy. “The project modernized and cleaned the look of both houses, giving them a distinctive face in this suburban surrounding form the 60’s,” concluded the developing team about Autumn House. [Photos and information courtesy of Daniele Claudio TaddeiArchitect]

Uplifted Brick Building in San Francisco Houses Graphic Design Office

Creative offices should be just that, as those who think outside the box for a living need an imaginative space to thrive. This growing graphic & product design office, a project by Terry.Terry Architecture , has accomplished this perfectly. It is located within an existing brick building in the Jackson Square Historic District of San Francisco, California, USA.

The design required the removal of the existing interior structure, while leaving the existing perimeter brick walls and the original front facade intact. A second story volume was added above the original floor. It opens out to a roof deck which brings elements of the outdoors into the office. A steel ribbon surrounds the front facade to create a large bay window and entry shroud, forming a looking glass from the workplace to the busy street life this neighborhood provides.

The main graphic design office space and conference areas are located on the first floor, while the second level hosts additional office space and exhibition venues. The new addition (above) straddles the existing structure and provides an informal conference area that is adjacent to the modern kitchen and outdoor deck space.

A series of steel frames are used as the primary support structure throughout the building. This is to seismically brace the existing brick walls as well as to collect the additional loads of the new second story. Both the roof plane and roof deck have been peeled back slightly from the perimeter walls to create skylight openings, which allow natural light to spill into the core of the building.

Enjoy the virtual gallery of this graphic design office below and let us know what you think! [Photos and information provided by Terry.Terry Architecture]

Sustainable Home Rooted in its Lac Grenier Setting

Paul Bernier Architecte completed House on Lac Grenier, a sustainable, innovative residence on a lakefront site in Estérel, Canada.  The construction responds to its surroundings with natural bends and openings, nestled lengthwise between a creek and steep slope.

Cedar flats surrounding the exterior are placed in an openwork manner that mirrors the home’s wooded background.  The architect envisioned that “as the cedar slats fade and trees and ground cover grow back in and around the building, architecture and nature will intermingle.”  This distinctive design is completed by a green roof that allows nature to grow onto the home itself.

The interior features three abstract hickory built-in units that guide you through a sequence of minimalist rooms with views of the surrounding forest and creek.  Its large windows take advantage of the shade from nearby trees for cooler temperatures in the summer.  In the winter months, these same trees’ bare branches allow sunlight and warmth to fill the space.

The built-in units provide storage and hide away living essentials, allowing the focus to be on their shape and design.  They also separate more private areas from the open atmosphere of the house’s main rooms. [Photography and information courtesy of Architizer]