What is a JSON feed? Learn more

JSON Feed Viewer

Browse through the showcased feeds, or enter a feed URL below.

Now supporting RSS and Atom feeds thanks to Andrew Chilton's feed2json.org service

CURRENT FEED

Dwell.com

JSON


We Can Totally See a Modern-Day Jo March of “Little Women” Savoring This 1790s Home

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-29 20:18

Dressed in warm, moody hues, lined with shelving, and packed with historic details, the Gordon House—on the market for £1.2M—is a bookish haven.

Near the main entrance is the primary living space area, which retains a warm feel despite its vast proportions. Original skirting boards, picture rails, and a dividing arch mingle with the pair of white marble fireplaces.

Location: Churchfield Place, Margate, Kent (England)

Price: £1,200,000 (approximately $1,385,000 USD)

Year Built: 1790s

Footprint: 4,903 square feet (six bedrooms, four baths)

From the agent: "Gordon House is a remarkably characterful Grade II-listed home located on the fringe of Margate’s center, just minutes from the Main Sands and the railway station. Originally built in the 1790s as a Georgian family home with servants’ quarters, Gordon House’s 4,903 square feet includes a gallery space and studios across its five thoughtfully renovated floors. Many of the original architectural features have been revealed and preserved, and later Victorian cosmetic additions saved, including marble fire surrounds, internal archways and doors, sash windows and wooden floorboards. This is a home that can be configured in many different ways and is now ready for its next custodian."

Once part of the Ancient Parish of St John the Baptist, the home also had links with the nearby Grade I-listed Parish Church. Since its inception, the property has seen life as a women's refuge and a convalescence home for children, before transforming into a private residential home once again in the mid-1900s.

Once part of the Ancient Parish of St John the Baptist, the home also had links with the nearby Grade I-listed Parish Church. Since its inception, the property has seen life as a women's refuge and a convalescence home for children, before transforming into a private residential home once again in the mid-1900s.

Photo courtesy of Aucoot

Photo courtesy of Aucoot

Near the main entrance is the primary living space area, which retains a warm feel despite its vast proportions. Original skirting boards, picture rails, and a dividing arch mingle with the pair of white marble fireplaces.

Near the main entrance is the primary living space area, which retains a warm feel despite its vast proportions. Original skirting boards, picture rails, and a dividing arch mingle with the pair of white marble fireplaces.

Photo courtesy of Aucoot

Photo courtesy of Aucoot

Another room dripping with color is the kitchen, which mixes freestanding and built-in cabinetry with handmade Mexican terracotta tiles.

Another room dripping with color is the kitchen, which mixes freestanding and built-in cabinetry with handmade Mexican terracotta tiles.

Photo courtesy of Aucoot

Photo courtesy of Aucoot

Patterned tile continue into one of the home's four bathrooms, where a gold-painted, free-standing soaking tub complements the colorful blinds.

Patterned tile continue into one of the home's four bathrooms, where a gold-painted, free-standing soaking tub complements the colorful blinds.

Photo courtesy of Aucoot

Photo courtesy of Aucoot

Photo courtesy of Aucoot

The lowest level is currently arranged as an artist studio, complete with a gallery area and a separate entrance. Depending on the owner's needs, this level can easily be transformed into an income-producing apartment or workspace rental.

The lowest level is currently arranged as an artist studio, complete with a gallery area and a separate entrance. Depending on the owner's needs, this level can easily be transformed into an income-producing apartment or workspace rental.

Photo courtesy of Aucoot


A Renovation Reveals Hardwood Floors and Concrete Beams in This Airy Rio Apartment

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-29 16:46

Furnishings and plants add pops of color that complement the Brazilian home’s original features.

Houses We Love: Every day we feature a remarkable space submitted by our community of architects, designers, builders, and homeowners.

Project Details:

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Architect: Castro Cyon Arquitetas

Footprint: 1,400 square feet

From the Architect: "Located on the first floor of a small apartment building from the ’50s in Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, this 130-square-meter apartment has original features that were decisive for our client when he chose this space as his new home. High ceilings, original hardwood floors, blue wooden shutters, and a beautiful view from the trees.

"Our premise, thus, was to maintain some of the apartment’s original characteristics while opening up and creating free connection between uses, avoiding rigidity, and bringing natural light everywhere.

"By removing some of the layers we were able to discover original elements such as floors and windows that, after being recovered, were key to bringing back the original atmosphere. Concrete beams, pillars, and a brick portico revealed by demolition were also left exposed.

"Usually, in old apartment buildings, there are always structural limitations found during the demolition stage. An old corridor that was supposed to be eliminated on the original project was found to be delimited by two pillars that stood too close to each other. Therefore, our solution was to demolish the wall between them and install an open bookshelf, creating a more integrated space that still maintains the privacy for this circulation area.

"Different floor finishes mark different uses of the apartment. Hydraulic tiles were used on a porch that was previously incorporated into the living room, kitchen, and bathrooms. We recovered the original hardwood floor where possible (living room, dining room, home-office, guest and children’s bedroom) and a cement floor for a private circulation and primary bedroom. Wooden window frames were painted blue, the same color they have on the outside façade.

"Through spatial quality and materiality we sought to create a house-like atmosphere for a family of three people living in an apartment."

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine

Photo by Sambacine


Prepare for Cozy Season and Give Your Living Room a Makeover

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-29 15:02

Get ready for winter’s inevitable arrival with some new stuff for your space!

Even though I’m desperately clinging to summer, I must begin to accept that the days are getting shorter and cooler. We can all mourn the loss of beach weather together by opening several online shopping tabs. Today we’re shopping for things to refresh your living room.

I’m personally in the middle of a living room refresh after buying the mid-century couch of my dreams. The couch turned out to be the missing piece that allowed me to completely flip the layout of my apartment and change my entire life. This layout flip opened up a whole new world of decor possibilities. A new rug? Pillows? Maybe a projector? Rushing to decorate my old living room is how I ended up with stuff I didn’t really like or use, so I’m being intentional with my choices, taking it slow and making sure everything works together.  

Here’s a tip: When refreshing any room, it’s really helpful to mood board it out so that you can see the pillows you’ve been eyeing next to a rug you like, and so on. I do this on Landing, an easy mood board app, and Pixlr, a free photoshop alternative. I also love West Elm’s room planner, which I "hack" a bit to meet my needs.

Everyone loves (and needs) some throw pillows

If you want to experiment with colors and patterns, throw pillows are a great way in without much of a commitment. This Dusen Dusen pillow embroidered with a glass of water is one of my favorite things in my living room. It’s cute as hell and doubles as a cheeky reminder to hydrate. 

But maybe you’re over colors and patterns. Maybe you’d rather play with shapes. Is there anything more delightful than a round pillow? Look at this beautiful, cushy ball. For the safe but still chic route, these linen pillow covers from H&M could add some nice texture and depth to your sofa.

Dusen Dusen Water Pillow

Embroidered pillow in multi-colored Water print. 100% cotton, back zip, non-embroidered natural canvas back. Available as 18" x 18". Spot clean only. Made in India.

Pillow insert is a polyfill down alternative and mimics the fluffiness of natural down. Insert is made in USA.

Shop

Some grown-up security blankets

With Cozy Season upon us, you need to make sure you have an assortment of blankets to cocoon yourself in while watching yet another season of Love Is Blind. (Netflix, if you’re reading this, I will watch 10 more seasons of this show. Keep it coming.) I’ve had tabs open for this weighted blanket from Bearaby for almost two years now, whenI used one at a friend’s house and was honestly blown away by how comfortable it was! If you want something lighter, this waffle knit linen blanket is a good option. And lastly, I love a print, so I have to recommend this beautiful floral throw from Valley Cruise Press.

Midnight Floral Throw Blanket

Designed by LA-based artist, Katy Jones, the Midnight Floral Throw Blanket features our flowery vintage textile inspired design. Perfect to bring a little floral sunshine to your next nap or picnic! Made from 100% recycled cotton in the USA . Measures 50 x 68".

Turn the lights down low

Lighting is so, so important, especially in a living room, and you really want it to be easily adjustable. "Home automation" generally creeps me out, but I’m all in on smart bulbs. Most of the lamps in my apartment are powered by these smart bulbs that I can control with my voice or an app. Their brightness scale is pretty wide so you can make these super dim or bright depending on your needs. This particular bulb is white, but you can get the ones that turn different colors. (I personally do not believe in colored bulbs but support your choices.)

My absolute favorite lamp is this little Murano-inspired one that comes in a ton of colors. I love that the entire lamp glows when you turn it on but it’s also so nice to look at when it’s off. Same goes for this globe lamp that’s in my IKEA cart as we speak. It’s an interesting shape and the price is right. And if you have the space for a floor lamp, this one from an Etsy vendor made me gasp! It’s fully customizable, too.

Ansel Glass Table Lamp

Inspired by Italian Murano glass, this table lamp brings trend and vintage allure to your space that creates a timeless look we love. This glass lamp emits a soft glow with a shaped design featuring an open, angular top and bulbed base covered allover in patterned glass for a fresh effect that's perfect in any space.

Everything’s nicer by candlelight

Living room candles are an absolute must. My favorite one is made by a company hilariously named Scentsational (get it?), in the Fig Leaves and Cedar scent. (I first found this candle a few years ago at HomeGoods, the best place on earth.) I’m not great at describing scents but this candle smells expensive. I also keep seeing TikToks about this reusable candle brand called Notes. Their refillable silicone inserts should dramatically cut down on the number of empty candle vessels you need to find new uses for.

If scented candles are not your thing but you still like the candle vibe, get yourself some unscented prayer candles. I buy a pack of these about once a year and use them all over my apartment, but I especially love to stick them on my corner side table and window sills. They produce a really nice glow and will burn forever. 

Fig Leaves & Cedar Scented Candle

This green, woody composition features nuances of fig and lavender leaves wrapped in cedarwood and vetiver.

Don’t mess up your table!

As the proud and sometimes regretful owner of a glass-topped coffee table, coasters are a must. A friend recently got me these burger coasters as a gift and I love them. The tomato slice in particular brings me so much joy. Maybe you’re more of a ceramic deli sandwich person? Don’t worry, I hear you whispering, "but Veronica, what if I don’t want my coasters to look like food?" I simply don’t understand this way of thinking… but you do have options! These tile coasters are relatively classic and look nice in a stack. Or you can opt for this silicone set that looks like little notebook doodles.

Doodle & Scratch Coasters

Naoki Ono and Yuuki Yamamoto's silicone coasters and placemats mimic the scribbles that are often the starting point of great ideas. Set your table with these coasters featuring designs that mimic charcoal and pencil scribbles.

Everything in its right place, which is a tray

Where are you going to store all these beautiful coasters, candles and your various remotes? A tray, obviously, like these geometric metal ones. They fit into each other, so you can stack them or spread them out as you need. If metal isn’t your speed, you can’t go wrong with a classic wood tray. There are endless options online but I love this one with handles. If the arms of your couch are wide enough to accommodate an accessory, this armrest tray that drapes over the surface it lays on is maybe one of the best things ever invented? Finally, these straw cushions aren’t officially trays but they are tray-adjacent and double as floor seating when you have company. They stack nicely in a corner or you can slide them under most couches. 

West Elm Oslo Wood Tray

Made of solid wood with gently rounded edges, our Oslo Trays are the perfect size for transporting plates to the table or delivering breakfast in bed.

Rugs! Rugs! Rugs!

Rugs are a great way to bring a room together, especially a living room. First and foremost, make sure you’re shopping for the correct rug size. If the rug you love is too small, try layering! Jute rugs are perfect for layering and/or high-traffic areas. Ikea has a well-priced jute rug that I’ve used as a layering base in past living rooms. Note that these rugs are made of natural fibers and will smell a bit earthy for the first day or so, but this fades! 

I’m going to tell you a secret: I have had dreams about this rug. I’m almost embarrassed to admit this but we’re all friends here. I love this rug so much, and I hope one of you buys it so I can live vicariously through you once I’m done dying of jealousy. (While I haven’t dreamt of this rug, I do think about it a lot and have sloppily Photoshopped it into my living room several times.)

Terttu Rug

The Terttu rug, designed by Eri Shimatsuka for Finarte, reflects the atmosphere of Finnish forests, home to an abundance of wild berries. Hand-knotted from New Zealand wool, the rug is a fascinating combination of luxurious materials and a distinctly bohemian pattern finished with colourful fringes.

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Mirrors are my favorite things to decorate with in any room. I live in a first-floor, North-facing apartment, so I like to use mirrors to amplify the low to medium light I’m getting from my windows. I have nothing against a rectangular or round mirror but, in my opinion, irregular shapes are more visually interesting. This one from Zara Home, an underrated home decor store, is a great option. If you have room for a standing mirror, the Ikea Hovet is one of the best ones out there. It’s massive but understated. Perfect for mirror selfies!

Zara Home Large Irregular Mirror

Large irregular-shaped mirror with a black frame. Features three anchor points for horizontal and vertical placement. 43.3" x 31.5" x 1".

We love the products we feature and hope you do, too. If you buy something through a link on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission.    

Related Reading:

All the Sales to Shop This Month, From Labor Day and Beyond

How to Stylishly Blend Form and Function, According to a Ceramics Artist


A Little Bit Earthy, a Little Bit Magic: Meet Your New Favorite Fall Home Fragrance

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-29 08:40

Aesop's latest fragrance takes its cues from the myth of Narcissus, part of a new collection inspired by imaginary and liminal spaces.

A truly curated space is one that considers all of your senses. Like light, texture, and color, scent adds another dimension to how we experience the world. For the design-minded fragrance connoisseur, there’s Aesop: the vegan brand's artfully executed line of scents for self and space are intended to enrich the way we interact with the world. 

 is the latest in Aesop’s line of carefully considered scents, and an ideal pick for crafting a moody, autumnal vibe. This is a fragrance that honors the changing seasons, taking us into the depths of the woods, fusing floral notes with vetiver, cedar, and sandalwood. It’s part of the Othertopias collection, a new line designed by frequent Aesop collaborator Barnabé Fillion, and inspired by liminal, transportive spaces.

Eidesis

A beguiling fragrance with bright opening notes that develop into deep spice, damp earth and dry woods.

Eidesis takes poetic cues from the myth of Narcissus. As you might already know, in the Greek legend, Narcissus is a great beauty who falls in love with his own reflection, eventually drowning in a mirrored pond. The story is dark—the moral, darker—but it sparked Fillion’s imagination. The result is an aroma that is rich and woody, ethereal and earthy, and, in Fillion’s eyes, reflective; a unisex fragrance that offers both a window into nature and a chance to gaze inward. 

Each bottle is packaged in warm amber glass, enveloped in a carton adorned with the artwork of Belfast-based painter Jack Coulter. This fall, layer the eau de parfum into your space for a fragrant experience that’s as complex as it is comforting.

Shop Our Favorites From Aesop

Aesop Reverence Hand Wash & Hand Balm Duet

What it is: A pair of exceptional exfoliating formulas that cleanse and hydrate your hands, presented in a box perfect for giving. What it does: Each formulation is characterized by a complex and woody aroma and offers scrupulous cleansing and superior hydration for the hands. Duet includes: - Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash (16.9 oz.) - Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm (17.2 oz.)

Ptolemy Aromatique Candle

Scented candle with an aroma reminiscent of an ancient forest via Cedar, Cypress and notes of Vetiver. Formulated with vegan-friendly ingredients.

Cedar & Citrus Lip Salve

Nourishing formulation offering exceptional moisturisation for dry or chapped lips; contains a blend of vegetable-derived emollients to smooth and soften.

Explore Eidesis and more Aesop products at aesop.com.


Before & After: In Buenos Aires, a Crumbling Home Gets a Major Refresh With a Rooftop Pool

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-28 21:20

A couple spruce up a dilapidated dwelling in an industrial area with a living roof, emerald tile, and plants, plants, plants.

"PH" style homes are common in Argentina. Here, Maya Estudio has given the typology new life.

It’s appropriate that this bright and airy renovation is located in an area known as Argentina’s "third lung:" It’s the sort of place that makes you want to breathe deep and drop your shoulders.

"It really feels like an oasis," says architect and homeowner Alejandro Yañez Ayala. He and husband Marcelo Vitale, who works in banking, made their way to Parque Chas in Buenos Aires in search of a deeper connection to nature. They found it in a dilapidated, 50-year-old bungalow with huge potential—although it was on the edge of an industrial area, it was just a block away from the lush Agronomy Park. "We can hear birds singing every morning," says Alejandro. "I can see the moon while I’m washing a dish. Living here is like being on vacation."

Before: Dining Room

BEFORE: The dining room flooring would be torn up to make way for a concrete-like, smooth, minimalist finish.
BEFORE: Connecting the living room with the outdoor courtyard would require making a bit of a mess.

After: Dining Room

The exposed ceiling reveals some of the building's original structure: a rich contrast with the fresh white drywall and smooth, concrete-like floor.
Tabureto chairs surround a table from the interior designer's own home. The ceiling lamp was a Facebook Marketplace find.
The dark window frames outline the courtyard view like a painting.

Alejandro, as coprincipal of design firm Maya Estudio (with business partner Agustín Marveggio), was more than equipped to tackle a renovation. The home is what’s known in Argentina as "PH" house: a dense, small-scale horizontal structure unique to the region that was particularly popular in the ’30s and ’40s. Rooms connect to each other by wrapping around a central entryway, and though the floor plan is only 860 square feet, on the upper level, a spacious terrace and green roof add another 860 square feet of usable space. "When friends come over, we go straight to the terrace," says the architect.

Before: Kitchen

BEFORE: The crumbling original kitchen needed some love.

After: Kitchen

The green backsplash tiles are vintage, reclaimed from another project.
Treasures and finds from trips around the country have found their way into the kitchen display alongside a whole indoor garden of cacti.
Washing dishes is a joy in a space like this.

But even when the couple do make their way indoors, views of nature and natural light are never too far. To give each space its own indoor/outdoor connection, Alejandro tore out walls and installed oversized black-framed window and glass doors. "We don’t turn on lamps until sunset," says Alejandro. "There’s a constant connection to light."

The home’s iron and glass palette is a nod to the area’s industrial heritage; while Alejandro and Marcelo wanted something modern to call their own, they also wanted to respect the building’s history. "We wanted to keep the original spirit that these types of units have, and recover a bit of the Spanish-Italian atmosphere in which we both grew up," says Alejandro. They looked to materials that would’ve looked right at home in their grandmothers’ own houses—like the terrazzo in the kitchen, the floor of the patio, and the reclaimed ceramic backsplash tiles.

Before: Living Room

BEFORE: Though the archway had character, it blocked too much light.

After: Living Room

The sofa, bookshelf, and coffee table are custom from Zonda Taller de Mubles; the complementary armchairs were flea market finds.
Natural light pours in through the black-frame windows to keep the space feeling airy and bright.

"We can hear birds singing every morning. I can see the moon while I’m washing a dish. Living here is like being on vacation."

—Alejandro Yañez, architect and resident

A custom diamond-shaped mirror from Zonda Taller de Muebles sits above audio equipment inherited from Poroto's grandmother.

Alejandro defines his own style as "baroque," while his husband Marcelo is drawn to more minimalist designs. The humble home finds the middle ground, incorporating rich historic details sparingly (case in point: the exposed ceiling) to balance the fresh white walls and carefully curated accessories. The furnishings are a mix of family heirlooms—a mirror in the bedroom from Abuela, for instance—and custom-made pieces by Alejandro’s furniture studio, Zonda Taller de Muebles.

Before: Terrace and Green Roof

BEFORE: The outdoor space had so much potential.
BEFORE: Though now the terrace is the place the homeowners spend the most time, it started out as a blank (and unappealing) canvas.

After: Terrace and Green Roof

A lush green roof is an oasis of nature in a primarily industrial area.
"PH" style homes are common in Argentina. Here, Maya Estudio has given the typology new life.
The office sits just off of the terrace, and features conveniences such as a bathroom and refrigerator.

The terrace isn’t used solely for entertaining, or splashing around in the pool; a small office area houses a desk, a refrigerator, and a bathroom. The green roof attracts butterflies and birds, and provides cooling shade for the workspace below.

Before: Courtyard

BEFORE: A solarium had potential – Maya Estudio would just need to open things up a bit.

AFter: Courtyard

An open-air walkway is the perfect spot for the couple's many plants to catch some sun.

As they work, and as they play, the nature they sought is at every turn. "Even in the bathroom, we can look at the sky," says Alejandro. "It's a little bubble. This is exactly the house we wanted."

Before: Bedroom

BEFORE: The bedroom, with its original windows and floors.

After: Bedroom

The cushy armchair in the bedroom is a Facebook Marketplace find, reupholstered in warm yellow.
The nightstand is from Caza Estudio, while the carpet was sourced from Argentine Elements.

After: Bathroom

A fresh black-and-white look for the renovated bathroom.
Floor Plan of Casa Quirós by Maya Estudio


A Coastal Home in Australia Echoes Northern California’s Sea Ranch

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-28 21:14

Architecture firm Insider Outsider followed similar design principals to achieve a wood-clad sustainable home that syncs with its setting.

At dawn

Houses We Love: Every day we feature a remarkable space submitted by our community of architects, designers, builders, and homeowners.

Project Details:

Location: Flinders, Victoria, Australia

Architect: Insider Outsider

Landscape Design: Kuku Design

Footprint: 3,200 square feet

From the Architect: "The vision for the project was to create a timeless and singular piece of architecture that is embedded in its landscape and responsive to a sense of place, weathers gracefully, and performs the delicate double act of being a layered coastal house and a secluded suburban retreat.

"The formal outcome was very much driven by the site and context, by the needs of the occupants, and by specific ideas about enclosure and release, but embedded in the design process was a strong focus on sustainability, structural simplicity, and "buildability," which is legible in the scale of the building.

"The relentlessness and resilience of the sustainably sourced external timber skin is balanced by the richness and tactile warmth of the internal skin, with a meeting of reclaimed timbers, recycled bricks, and tonal surfaces.

"The site is in a coastal environment, but it is also within a township zone and therefore the building itself has to wear many hats: It’s a functional family home, a transient indoor/outdoor terrain, a secluded retreat and a dynamic entertainer. There is also a sense of acknowledgement of, and contribution to, the streetscape—it engages with the evolving built environment and offers a fresh take on sustainable coastal development.

"The entire site is designed as an arrangement of spaces without hierarchy between inside and outside, and the spaces themselves have critical sequential relationships to their use, to each other and to opportunities provided by the land and broader environment. The form of the building is also used to protect the site from prevailing winds and rain, as well as to control and receive sunlight on its surfaces across the seasons.

"The project also set high goals for environmental performance and for its energy efficiency both in day to day terms and with regards to embodied energy. A rigorous approach to passive solar design pushed the house to ultimately reach a 7.5 star NatHERS rating, featuring high levels of insulation, timber framed double glazed windows, a 10kw solar array and significant on-site water storage and reuse. The benefits of this approach are felt well beyond the numbers, making the warm, naturally lit, and tactile home a pleasure to inhabit."

First light

First light

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

A native garden

A native garden

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

At dawn

At dawn

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

The way inside

The way inside

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Last light

Last light

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Interior textures

Interior textures

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

A tactile kitchen

A tactile kitchen

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Recycled and sustainably sourced timbers

Recycled and sustainably sourced timbers

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Fire

Fire

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Gathering

Gathering

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Ensuite

Ensuite

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Layering

Layering

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Vines

Vines

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Raised planters

Raised planters

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Pool

Pool

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Vines

Vines

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Outdoor fire

Outdoor fire

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Studio retreat

Studio retreat

Photo by Willem-Dirk du Toit


A Charming Midcentury Cottage Lists for the First Time in Cape Cod

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-28 16:36

Local architect Ray Brock built the quaint four-bedroom in 1952 as his family’s summer retreat.

Location: 10 Well Sweep Lane, Truro, Massachusetts

Price: $4,600,000

Architect: Ray Brock

Year Built: 1952

Footprint: 2,448 square feet (four bedrooms, two bath)

Lot Size: 1.51 acres

From the Agent: "A magnificent waterfront midcentury-modern home set high above Cape Cod Bay is being offered for the first time since it was built in 1952. One of the most beautiful waterfront sites along the Truro bayside was carefully chosen by midcentury architect Ray Brock for what was to be his family’s summer property. From there, he took great delight in siting, designing, and building the home that is there today. Set high and back on the dune, the siting takes full advantage of how the dune falls away, giving the property water views that are more broad and expansive than other Truro waterfront properties."

The bright-red main entrance pops against the home's original cedar-shake siding.

The bright-red main entrance pops against the home’s original cedar-shake siding. 

Photo by Kayla Robertson and Hayley Wright of JFW Photography Inc.

Photo by Kayla Robertson and Hayley Wright of JFW Photography Inc.

Inside, a freestanding fireplace anchors the main living area overlooking the ocean. Other notable features of the home include its different split levels and dramatic sloping roof.

Inside, a freestanding fireplace anchors the main living area overlooking the ocean.

Photo by Kayla Robertson and Hayley Wright of JFW Photography Inc.

The home features a split-level plan and a dramatic sloping roof.

The home features a split-level plan and a dramatic sloping roof.

Photo by Kayla Robertson and Hayley Wright of JFW Photography Inc.

"The house is well maintained, retaining all its original features and giving a vintage camp-like experience,

"The house is well maintained, retaining all its original features and giving a vintage, camp-like experience," notes listing agent Ashley Fawkes. "It harkens back to simpler times and a slower pace of life."

Photo by Kayla Robertson and Hayley Wright of JFW Photography Inc.

Photo by Kayla Robertson and Hayley Wright of JFW Photography Inc.

The property can comfortably accommodate large groups, thanks to its multiple sets of bunkbeds and sleeping areas.

The property can comfortably accommodate large groups, thanks to its multiple sets of bunkbeds and sleeping areas.

Photo by Kayla Robertson and Hayley Wright of JFW Photography Inc.

Photo by Kayla Robertson and Hayley Wright of JFW Photography Inc.

The residence offers picturesque views of a rare sweep of the beach spanning from Fisher Beach around to Long Point at the tip of Provincetown.

The residence offers picturesque views of a rare sweep of land spanning from Fisher Beach to Long Point at the tip of Provincetown. 

Photo by Kayla Robertson and Hayley Wright of JFW Photography Inc.

Photo by Kayla Robertson and Hayley Wright of JFW Photography Inc.


The Barbie Dreamhouse Is an Accidental Funhouse Museum of American Design

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-28 14:14

Her plastic real estate portfolio features it all, from A-Frames to Victorian Revivals. Looking back on its 60th anniversary shows the styles Americans actually lived in—and what they really wanted.

"All six rooms have a modern look," purrs the voiceover from this 1979 commercial for the vividly decade-specific Barbie Townhouse, as a small hand places Barbie in a bedroom sporting hectic floral wallpaper and a lamp with a fringed shade. "You can help Barbie arrange the living room!" the same voice continues, moving the doll so she’s in front of a white brick fireplace, a white sofa, and a plush white rug. There are ferns everywhere you look—true to form, this iteration of one of Barbie’s many homes had all the latest and greatest touches of the era.

Mattel introduced Barbie in 1959, and in the 63 years since, they’ve produced an absolutely staggering number of dolls, outfits, and accessories, showing careful attention to whatever was happening in the culture at the time. Barbie has been everything from a 1950s "teenaged fashion model," to a power suit-clad 1980s businesswoman, to a 2020s barista. Accessories have run the gamut: a 1965 scale set permanently to 110 pounds; chunky late 1980s home electronics; a tiny purple facemask.

One result of that deep dedication to the ebbs and flows of consumer culture is that Mattel has managed to accidentally create a funhouse museum of American design, tracking trends and technologies as they filtered into—and out of—American homes. "Barbie has always reflected the culture," explains toy expert Chris Byrne. "That’s why a Barbie in 2022 really looks nothing like a Barbie in 1950, because Barbie’s always reflected the world that kids see around them. And it’s always been somewhat aspirational, as well."

A 1960s version of the Barbie Dream House.

A 1960s version of the Barbie Dream House.

Image courtesy of Mattel Inc.

Barbie has amassed a stunning real estate portfolio over the years—townhouses, mansions, beach houses, country cottages—but the original was the surprisingly humble Dream House. Introduced 60 years ago, in 1962, it looked nothing like today’s elevator-sporting models. Perhaps the most striking thing to a child of the early ’90s era is the degree to which Barbie’s original home isn’t aggressively pink. In fact, it looks distinctly midcentury modern. Designed to fold up into a carrying case, it’s got the clean lines and the color palette of the era, with eye-searingly yellow walls and wood veneer throughout. 

"With a little imagination, one could discern the influence of Art & Architecture Case Study Houses—bold, modernist designs from the likes of Pierre Koenig, Craig Ellwood, Charles and Ray Eames—that sprang up in California from 1945 until the early sixties," wrote MG Lord in her book Forever Barbie. And, as a matter of fact, in 2011, LACMA included the original Dream House in the exhibition "California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way." An accompanying essay by the curators noted how Barbie as a whole "allowed young girls to act out their own dreams of a California future. Naturally, this fantasy included a comfortable but modern ‘Dream House’—a cardboard ranch complete with an Architectural Pottery–like planter and Scandinavian-inspired furnishings."

It’s a weird jumble of what people wanted, what people actually had, and what people were supposed to want, all of it filtered through children’s great love of everything over-the-top.

But it’s not an architectural showpiece sitting high in the Hollywood Hills, either. It’s a modestly sized place with state school pennants on the walls. "It isn’t Philip Johnson’s glass house," points out antiques appraiser Dr. Lori Verderame. "This is what a normal neighborhood would look like, and this could be your house and Barbie happens to be your neighbor."

It got bigger fast, though. The 1964 Dream House is less modest, more in-your-face midcentury prosperity, and it’s stuffed with up-to-the-minute design decisions. There’s a pass-through window from the kitchen—which is pink with pinky-orange appliances—to the living room, which boasts a big brick accent wall. Her pink closet has scalloping along the top.

Lord—who sums up the style as "Levittown rococo"—consulted architectural critic Aaron Betsky to parse the influences at work: 

 "‘Well, there’s a brick wall that’s right out of late Frank Lloyd Wright thirties school,’ he said, squinting at the Mattel catalog. ‘Then there’s this slightly Beidermeyer sofa and chair set, next to the television. And over there, next to the modern kitchen, these fake sort of Scandinavian arts and crafts chairs that have suddenly become bar stools.’"  

It’s less pure stylish California modernism, maybe, but it’s a very prosperous 1960s Sunbelt, like the sort of now-dated ranch houses that Chip and Joanna Gaines might show clients on Fixer Upper. The outside featured a red-brick patio with a built-in barbecue, floor-to-ceiling arched windows looking out on it from the living room. "There’s even a sliding door that really opens!" boasted a commercial for the model. (But for how long, and with how much frustration, wonders the skeptical parent.)

A detail of Barbie’s 1974 Townhouse, which was highly patterned.

A detail of Barbie’s 1974 Townhouse, which was highly patterned alá the period.

Image courtesy of Mattel Inc.

It’s hard to imagine a better time capsule of the chaotic aesthetics of the 1970s than Barbie’s Townhouses through the decade. Any sleek modernist lines are gone, in favor of an absolutely unhinged layering of styles, patterns, and colors typical of the decade. These had printed-on backdrops for each of the rooms, and that’s where you can really see the fashions changing. There were several kitchens in various slightly tweaked versions across the decade: yellow appliances with wood veneer cabinets and white stone floor; white lower cabinets and green upper, with orange-red walls and countertops against a neural tile floor; goldenrod yellow cabinets with an earth-tone floor.  

A 1979 Dream House in the iconic A-Frame shape.

A 1979 Dream House in the iconic A-Frame shape.

Image courtesy of Mattel Inc.

Perhaps the single most iconic Barbie home, one beloved by collectors, represented a dramatic new look: the A-Frame. Introduced in 1978, it testifies to the peak of the shape’s popularity in American architecture. (Fisher Price manufactured a similar model from 1974 to 1976.) The shape, with its distinctive peaked roof, was first associated with woodland vacation homes in the boomtimes of the midcentury, but that silhouette had insinuated itself deep into the suburbs by the close of the decade. Barbie’s Dream House is less Vermont than it is southern California, white and yellow with an orange roof, planters and indoor-outdoor space everywhere.  

But trends kept moving and Mattel adjusted accordingly. The ’80s went glam, befitting the Dynasty era. The Townhouse got an entryway with a black-and-white checkered marble floor and a sweeping staircase straight out of a primetime soap. By 1990, she lived in the "Magical Mansion," reminiscent of nothing so much as the achingly tasteful colonial from the 1991 Father of the Bride remake, written by Nancy Meyers, patron saint of the tasteful and expensive kitchen. But not for long: "Victorian Revival linked to ’90s gloom," declared Newsday in 1993. "Victorian rooms, painted in dark colors, stuffed with knickknacks, peer out of magazine ads everywhere you turn. Often engulfing a central, four-poster bed, they are velvety, mysterious, ultrafeminine." Sure enough, the 1995 Dream House had decorative stained glass windows, gingerbread trim, and—of course—a turret. But it was also equipped with another latest-and-greatest feature of the era, a fold-out jacuzzi tub (in bright blue).  

The back view of a 1990 Barbie Dream House, which still features some patterns and influences from the previous decade.

The back view of 1990 Barbie’s Magical Mansion, which features patterns and influences from decades prior.

Image courtesy of Mattel Inc.

Of course, there’d be little point to these houses without furniture. And that was, if anything, even more trend conscious than the houses themselves. "A lot of the puff and play furniture from the ’70s," Dr. Lori Verderame explains, "a lot of that was patterned after the dresses of Jackie Kennedy, the Marimekko dresses from Scandinavia." Other furniture looks like Eames, or Herman Miller—"There is a Barbie executive chair that is the Herman Miller executive chair that everyone had." You could upgrade your 1978 A-Frame with an orange-and-yellow combination stove and microwave, or a pink vanity and stool with art deco revival lines. Barbie embraced white wicker when it was in vogue, and then the over-the-top lacy plush look of the late 1980s with her "Sweet Roses" collection

Many of these houses are full of excess—but they’re not off in the stratosphere, either. In Forever Barbie, Lord compares the plastic doll to the "almost intimidatingly tasteful" first generation of American Girl dolls, with their gorgeous accessories. Felicity’s stunning Early American pieces and Kirsten’s gorgeous hand-painted folk art trunk wouldn’t be out of place in an early 1990s magazine spread about a WASPy executive’s home in the most bucolic parts of Connecticut. Despite Barbie’s dedication to trends in design and consumer culture generally, she never went repressively tasteful.  

And while the A-Frame Dream House was presented as a lavish blockbuster Christmas gift in a commercial from the early 1980s, these don’t seem like the richest people in town: "Even the windows work!" exclaims Grandma. "That’s more than you can say for ours," the proud Dad remarks ruefully. Dr. Verderame points out that the pool sold separately to accompany the Dream House during the economically miserable late 1970s isn’t the in-ground pool that Barbie would have had, if she’d been fabulously wealthy—it was quite obviously an above-ground pool with decking around it as a sort of disguise, the type of pool that was much more attainable. "A lot of people did that in the late ’70s and ’80s because, well, you wanted a pool but you couldn’t really dig into the ground and do all this excavating—it was too much money," she says.  

Unfolding over the decades and within every particular dwelling, Barbie’s style is a chaotic mishmash. That’s what makes it so interesting—because it’s a weird jumble of what people wanted, what people actually had, and what people were supposed to want, all of it filtered through children’s great love of everything over-the-top.

"Barbie stays relevant by reflecting the sensibilities of contemporary children," Bryne explains. "If you gave a child the Barbie with the cat eyes and the black-and-white striped bathing suit that she had in 1959, it wouldn’t really make any sense to them. It’s not a design language that they can relate to." As a consequence, Barbie’s many, many residences have traced design history as actually lived by Americans, tracking what was chic at the time, what Americans actually had—and what they really wanted. (Giant bathtubs. They wanted giant bathtubs, at least until fairly recently.)  

The most recent iteration of the Barbie Dreamhouse.

The most recent iteration of the Barbie Dreamhouse.

Image courtesy of Mattel Inc.

Over the years, Barbie’s homes have gotten a little less aggressively trend conscious—the Dreamhouse today (now styled as one word) is less concerned with the "modern look" and more about providing a giant pink clubhouse for Barbie and her sprawling, diverse friend group. If anything, they’ve gone a little nostalgic: in the Netflix series, Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures, which ran from 2018 to 2020, there’s that much-beloved A-frame roofline right there in the credits. The interior is a mix of the pink-and-purple Barbie palette and clean California lines. The iconic elevator is now wheelchair accessible

But despite the style’s near-total takeover of American design in recent years, Barbie’s never embraced the Modern Farmhouse aesthetic, for instance. Despite more time than I’d like to admit spent pouring over product images for this piece, I’ve never spotted any shiplap, and it’s impossible to imagine Barbie in a house with completely whitewashed walls and old-timey brass light fixtures. She shows no signs of reviving the Country Living Cottage, either, despite the continued popularity of Cottagecore. (Though Mattel did get the team from The Home Edit to imagine their own version of the Dreamhouse.)

Instead, after Dreamhouse sales skyrocketed during the locked-down first year of COVID-19, Barbie became a part of what’s following hard on the post-pandemic heels of Modern Farmhouse. As maximalism creeps back, one of the forms it’s taking is what many outlets have dubbed "Barbiecore." Emerging as a clothing trend roughly the same time as leaked set photos from Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie movie—part organic reaction to a decade-long tendency to minimalism, as well as a tumultuous and traumatic two years, part Mattel once again catching the zeitgeist and an anniversary just right and riding that wave—it’s now spread to home interiors.

The look is shamelessly pink and cheerfully over-the-top, right down to the Barbie™ Dreamhouse™-branded paint you can purchase. Need a sofa? That’s available, too. The doll who’s lived a thousand lives and a thousand careers is taking on the form of an interior designer and, through her influence on the children of the 1980s and ’90s and even the early 2000s, doing what no one thought could be done: helping shove the whitewashed shiplap into the dustbin of design history.

Top image of Barbie’s 1996 home, courtesy of Mattel Inc.

Related Reading:

As a Child of Immigrants, I Feel Guilty for Embracing the Minimalist Aesthetic

Gorgeous Gorgeous Girls Love Nursery Chic


Tile, Texas Stone, and Concrete Rule in This Soaring Houston Home

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-27 22:20

In the architect’s words, the residence is designed for “family, foster dogs, well-curated music, and Aggie game days.”

Houses We Love: Every day we feature a remarkable space submitted by our community of architects, designers, builders, and homeowners.

Project Details:

Location: Central Northwest, Houston, Texas

Architect: HR Design Dept

Landscape Design: XO Design Dept

From the Architect: "The Watonga residence was commissioned by a woman with a big heart for animal fostering. She wanted a house that felt private from the street but visually and physically connected to the backyard. The house needed to consider the typology and scale of the existing neighborhood, and it needed durable materials to accommodate little paws. Finally, it had to support an environmentally conscientious life. The house was intentionally placed on the short end of an irregularly shaped lot, allowing the living spaces to open up to a large native landscape and adjacent lot containing a significant tree grove. This siting allowed for a passive orientation where window walls face north and exposure to the south and west is minimal.

"The interior is light-filled, capturing expansive landscape views of an established oak grove to the North and bayou views to the East. A carefully choreographed entry vestibule and screen shield create interior privacy from the street. A two-story volume fills the center of the home with warm, southern light. A durable yet budget-friendly palette of tile, Texas stone, and concrete was used. The house is derived from a simple diagram with utilitarian functions placed in the stone box and living in a minimal gable roof that supports solar panel orientation and rainwater collection.

"At its core, this home is designed for family, foster dogs, well-curated music, and Aggie game days."

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande

Photo: Divya Pande


The New King of England Hates Modern Design

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-27 21:55

King Charles III’s public criticisms of British modernism have had real, negative impacts on U.K. building projects. So what does his ascension to the throne mean for British architecture?

It’s not particularly surprising that a hereditary monarch would have a preference for classicism, or at least an established comfort with traditional approaches. But Britain’s new monarch, King Charles III, is a noteworthy and particularly staunch critic of modern architecture, and his public polemics over the years have had real consequences for building projects in the United Kingdom.  

Over the decades as he has waited for his moment on the throne, the former Prince of Wales has had ample time to make his strong distaste for modern architecture quite well-known, using speeches, books, and documentary interviews to lambast new developments that have transformed—or even just posed to alter—Britain’s urban landscape with nonclassical building styles. Some of the famously fussy monarch’s scathing statements about modern designs in Britain have included saying that architect John Madin’s now-demolished 1974 Birmingham Central Library looked like "a place where books are incinerated, not kept," and that the British Library by architect Colin St John Wilson was "more like the assembly hall of an academy for secret police." Of architect Denys Lasdun’s Royal National Theatre, a brutalist complex completed in 1976, Charles once stated: "It seems like a clever way of building a nuclear power station in the middle of London without anyone objecting." 

King Charles III once publicly criticized the Royal National Theatre by architect Denys Lasdun, a brutalist complex completed in London in 1976.

King Charles III once publicly criticized London’s Royal National Theatre, completed by architect Denys Lasdun in 1976.

Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images

Charles has used his platform to vocalize his vendetta at many points in his royal career. In 1984, the then-Prince delivered a now-infamous broadside against British modernism at the Royal Institute for British Architects’ 150th anniversary celebration, where he was expected to raise a glass to the night’s honoree, but instead gave a pointed teardown of modern building projects in the United Kingdom. In that speech, he described a proposed addition for London’s National Gallery as "a monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend" and also criticized a proposal for a 19-story Mies van der Rohe–designed tower in Square Mile, stating: "It would be a tragedy if the character and skyline of our capital city were to be further ruined by yet another giant glass stump, better suited to downtown Chicago than the City of London." (Ouch to the much-beloved architectural city of Chicago.) Soon after, the design for the National Gallery extension by British practice Ahrends, Burton and Koralek (now ABK Architects) was dumped, and the Mies van der Rohe scheme was rejected.

A few years later, in the 1988 BBC documentary called HRH Prince of Wales: A Vision of Britain (which Charles wrote and narrated) he condemned the "monstrous concrete maze" that London became in its post–World War II rebuilding, pointing to "a jostling scrum of skyscrapers all competing for attention" while on a boat tour on the River Thames. "All around me is what used to be one of the architectural wonders of the world," Charles said. "London, a city [that] took about 300 years to build. It took about 15 years to destroy." The following year, Charles doubled down on this sentiment when he published his book, Vision for Britain, in which he outlined his 10 principles for architecture, and argued that traditional design methods and aesthetics used in Britain should be employed in the future.

Architect Colin St John Wilson designed London’s British Library, which King Charles III once said was “more like the assembly hall of an academy for secret police.”

Architect Colin St John Wilson designed London’s British Library, which King Charles III once said was "more like the assembly hall of an academy for secret police."

Photo by View Pictures / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Years later, Charles’s statements reportedly thwarted yet another building project in London. In 2009, architect Richard Rogers’s designs for more than 500 glass-and-steel apartments at Chelsea Barracks were dumped after Charles allegedly sent a plea to the site’s owners, the Qatari royal family, urging them to abandon the plans. The incident led Rogers to tell the Guardian that the prince’s intervention "single-handedly destroyed this project." Architects Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Lord Foster, and Renzo Piano rushed to the defense of their fellow Pritzker Prize winner, publicly accusing the prince of trying to "skew the open and democratic planning process." (Years prior, in 1987, Charles decried Rogers’s plans for the redevelopment of Paternoster Square just north of St Paul’s Cathedral. "You have to give this much to the Luftwaffe: when it knocked down our buildings, it didn’t replace them with anything more offensive than rubble," he said at the Corporation of London planning and communication committee’s annual dinner.)

A few months after the Chelsea Barracks debacle—and 25 years after his "carbuncle" address—Charles delivered another speech at the RIBA HQ in which he equated the argument between modernist and traditional architecture to the argument between "the inhuman and the human." He seemed, however, to understand that he had been developing a bit of a reputation, first making sure to assert that he never intended to start a "style war" between classicists and modernists. He did the same in a 2014 Architectural Review essay, further defending his stance against his critics, writing: "I have lost count of the times I have been accused of wanting to turn the clock back to some Golden Age. Nothing could be further from my mind. My concern is the future. We face the terrifying prospect by 2050 of another three billion people on this planet needing to be housed. We have to work out now how we will create resilient, truly sustainable, and human-scale urban environments that are land-efficient, use low-carbon materials, and do not depend so completely upon the car." 

A 2018 tabloid story headline posed the pointed question: "Prince Charles’ Poundbury: Charming masterpiece or feudal Disneyland?"

But what’s odd about Charles’s decades-long, vehement distaste for modern architecture is that some of his driving concerns are also hugely important to modern architects. "What the modernists are known for is a commitment both to sustainability and to the larger concerns of urban design and planning, both of which interest Charles a great deal," writes Douglas Murphy for The Guardian.

Before inheriting Britain’s throne, Charles did more than just critique design: he developed several model towns across England and Wales according to his theories on architecture. In them, there are no concrete towers or glass buildings, rather rows of neoclassical buildings in a mix of historical and regional styles. One such experimental community named Poundbury—started in the 1990s and due to be completed in 2025—was described by British journalist Oliver Wainwright as "a merry riot of porticoes and pilasters, mansards, and mouldings, sampling from the rich history of architectural pattern books with promiscuous glee." A 2018 tabloid story headline posed the pointed question: "Prince Charles’ Poundbury: Charming masterpiece or feudal Disneyland?" But supporters have defended the town of around 4,600 people as a sustainable, mixed-use residential development that’s walkable and largely affordable compared to Britain’s expensive cities. 

Now, after ascending the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, King Charles III is inheriting two of her private homes in the classic aesthetic he loves—Balmoral Castle in Scotland and the Sandringham House in England. Those properties will become part of his robust portfolio of real estate investments that measures to an estimated 130,000 acres (which the New York Times points out is, ironically, nearly the size of Chicago). But, also in keeping with royal tradition, the notoriously outspoken King Charles III will have to keep his opinions about architecture—along with most other topics—to himself. Of course, there might be times where he’ll be so perturbed by a particular design that he just can’t help but express his displeasure.

Top photo by Chris Jackson via Getty Images

Related Reading:

Dive Into a Visually Stunning Book That Celebrates Modernist Architecture and its Evolution


These Beach Shack–Inspired Prefabs Along U.K.’s North Sea Are Big on Nature

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-27 18:36

The series of three tiny cabins by Koto form a destination resort that plugs visitors into a pristine setting in Northumberland.

Koto, a U.K.–based prefab builder known for its geometric tiny homes, modular offices, and resort accommodations has just launched its latest, a series of three rentable black cabins that form a retreat known as Trees at Tughall along England’s Northumberland Coast.

The cabins that Koto designed for Trees at Tughall, a resort on the Northumbrian Coast of England, are outfitted with vertical Welsh spruce siding that helps the structures look as if they're part of the natural surround.

The tiny prefab cabins Koto designed for Trees at Tughall, a resort on the Northumberland Coast of England, feature 300-square-foot plans that prioritize a connection with the outdoors. The exteriors are clad with vertical Welsh spruce siding that’s been stained black.

Photo by Olco Studios

Inspired by the beach shacks and fisherman sheds that dot the area, the 300-square-foot, suite-like cabins—named Ash, Hawthorn, and Willow for the tree species found here—are designed in Koto’s signature "Japandi" style: angular in form, and with black-stained exteriors, natural wood interiors, and ample glazing for a strong connection with the outdoors.

There are three cabins, named Ash, Hawthorn, and Willow for the species of trees that grow in the region, and each supplies a different experience that connects visitors with nature.

The three cabins—Ash, Hawthorn, and Willow—are named for the species of trees that grow in the region, and each provides a unique experience on the site.

Photo by Olco Studios

A covered terrace on each of the cabins creates an indoor-outdoor living experience.

A covered porch enhances the cabin’s indoor/outdoor plan.

Photo by Olco Studios

Here at Tughall, that gives guests a chance to unplug from the rigors of daily life and instead connect with the area’s pristine wilderness. Covered porches marking the entrance of each cabin function as outdoor living rooms, while inside, poplar and ash finishes match the warm, golden hues of the grassy pastures surrounding the cabins. 

"The designs are simple and contemporary, almost bordering on elemental—they’re a clean platform from which to enjoy nature unfettered from the clutter of everyday life," says Zoë Little, one of Koto’s cofounders.

The walls and the ceilings of the cabins are dressed with poplar plywood and the flooring is made from locally sourced ash.

The walls and ceilings are finished with poplar plywood while the floor is locally sourced ash.

Photo by Olco Studios

Expansive windows and built-in seating blur the line between the interior and the landscape.

A built-in with an expansive windows creates a strong connection with the landscape.

Photo by Olco Studios

Although the cabins are structurally identical, each has a unique relationship with its immediate setting. The Ash cabin is situated among ancient ash trees that, when the sun is shining, create dappled light on its glossy black surface. The Hawthorn cabin, set on the banks of the Tughall Burn, a river running through the site, and flanked by ash, horse chestnut, and hawthorn trees, takes in an impressive view of the highest peak in the Cheviots, a range bordering Scotland. The south-facing Willow cabin is shaded by massive willow trees and gets its own panoramic view of the rural landscape.

The bedroom features a large picture window and built-in shelving and seating.

The bedroom features a large picture window and built-in shelving and seating.

Photo by Olco Studios

The cabins are a short hike from Beadnell Beach and the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The cabins are a short hike from Beadnell Beach and the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Photo by Olco Studios

In building the retreat, Koto was mindful of creating a connection with nature, but also preserving it. "We’ve a passion for sustainability, so these cabins were built carbon-neutral using Koto’s modular construction methods," Little says. According to Little, the company pairs sustainably sourced timbers with high-performance envelopes to ensure minimal energy usage and long-term carbon storage.

For the cabin design, Koto considered natural elements such as wind, scent, sound, and sunlight.

For the cabin design, Koto considered natural elements such as wind, scent, sound, and sunlight.

Photo by Olco Studios

Large glass doors frame views of the pastoral setting.

Large glass doors frame views of the pastoral setting.

Photo by Olco Studios

Koto's prefabricated, sustainable approach to construction helped to preserve and protect the iconic landscape.

Koto’s prefabricated, sustainable approach to construction helped to preserve and protect the bucolic landscape.

Photo by Olco Studios

Ideally, says the company, that would provide added peace of mind to visitors looking for tranquility in a place like Trees at Tughall, where the setting reigns supreme. Beadnell Beach and more unparalleled beauty on offer in and around the Northumberland coast are all easily accessible. Says Little, "There’s almost always a light easterly breeze that carries the scent and sounds of the sea as the sun sets over the nearby Cheviots."

The structure of the covered terrace harnesses views of sky and land.

The covered porch frames a unique vantage.

Photo by Olco Studios

Book your own stay at Trees at Tughall.

Project Credits:

Design: Koto / @koto_cabins


Uplift Your Home’s In-Between Spaces With These Handmade Rugs

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-27 17:07

The country home of Australian fashion designer Collette Dinnigan is the perfect backdrop for the muted palette of Armadillo’s newly expanded Nook Collection.

The new Nook Collection campaign was shot at the home of Australian fashion designer Collette Dinnigan. “I’ve always had a passion for interior design, starting with my own boutique stores and houses,” shares Dinnigan. “For me, there is an overlap because my starting point is always with color and I’m passionate about textiles, proportion, and scale in both fashion and interiors.” In the bedroom, a Malawi Nook rug in Oatmeal offers a tactile underfoot experience that elevates the simple act of going to bed or getting up in the morning.

Everyday luxury is one of the founding principles of Australian-American rug brand Armadillo—the idea that the simple addition of a beautiful rug can elevate our experience of the everyday.

Founded by Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst, every Armadillo rug is handmade by artisans using traditional craft methods and natural fibers, such as jute and wool. This approach is epitomized in the recently expanded Nook Collection, which features hard-wearing accent and area rugs in earthy hues that bring a dynamic edge to every corner of the home.

The new Nook Collection campaign was shot at the home of Australian fashion designer Collette Dinnigan. “I’ve always had a passion for interior design, starting with my own boutique stores and houses,” shares Dinnigan. “For me, there is an overlap because my starting point is always with color and I’m passionate about textiles, proportion, and scale in both fashion and interiors.” In the bedroom, a Malawi Nook rug in Oatmeal offers a tactile underfoot experience that elevates the simple act of going to bed or getting up in the morning.

To showcase the new rugs, Armadillo shot the campaign in Black Barn Bowral, the country home of iconic Australian fashion designer Colette Dinnigan. Located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, the rustic charm of the property is the perfect backdrop for the raw textures, grounded colors, and handcrafted beauty of the Nook Collection.

Shop the Look

Armadillo Ghan Nook Rug

Our Ghan Nook boasts an enviable mix of texture, with sensory enjoyment front of mind. Combining a soumak weave with a Berber knot, its multi-dimensional diamond pattern enlivens the home’s smaller spaces.

Armadillo Hemlock Nook Rug

Hemlock is the understated and effortlessly cool cousin of Armadillo’s sumptuous Winnow wool rug. Rigorously handwoven with the same flatweave technique but made instead with hard-wearing, timeless jute. Hemlock is a rug of natural elegance and endurance perfectly suited to everyday living and high-touch spaces.

Armadillo Petra Nook Rug

Invoking the lush, timeless feel of Moroccan Berber-style rugs, Petra holds pride of place as one of Armadillo’s most decadent styles. With a hand-knotted wool weave made with a 30 mm pile, the longest in the collection, Petra is a deeply warm embrace underfoot and is perfectly placed next to the bed or in any small space that requires a layer of luxury.

Dinnigan’s property was conceived as an authentic country residence that draws on its history as a former barn. “I wanted to retain as many of the old barn elements as possible, and use as many reclaimed materials as possible, such as the floorboards and lights,” explains the designer. These rustic yet refined details offered a complementary setting for raw materiality. In the hallway, for example, the Hemlock Nook rug in Natural adds characterful texture to the wide-format timber floors.

The synergy between the creative vision of Armadillo and Dinnigan goes beyond aesthetics—both are creative powerhouses with a carefully considered approach that celebrates craft, material honesty, and sustainability. "I always work with crafts people over mass production, and take the time to source and search out different materials and finishes that are unique and bespoke," reveals Dinnigan.

Shop the Look

Armadillo Terrain Nook Rug

Terrain is easy on the eye and luxurious underfoot, elevating interiors with its undulating weave. Well-suited to high-traffic areas, this durable jute design makes for a thoughtful addition to the home’s in-between spaces.

Armadillo Lucine Nook Rug

Lustrous jute is braided by hand before being coiled and stitched into this uplifting yet unfussy circular form. Full of warmth and elegance, Lucine is perfect for spaces where you want to spark interest but are unable to fit a full-sized rug.

Armadillo Nala Nook Rug

Neutral tones are offset by a scene-stealing pattern in our small-scale Nala rug. With a generously plush pile hand-knotted from sumptuous wool, this timeless accent rug endows smaller spaces with an alluring barefoot luxury.

The muted palette of the Mesa Nook rug echoes the color of the stone wall outside Dinnigan’s countryside home. “There are four defined seasons in the year, which makes each stay at the Black Barn Bowral very different,” says Dinnigan. “In spring the property is surrounded by blossoming trees and then by Christmas all the stonefruit is starting to ripen. Autumn brings with it the change of colors and loss of leaves, and winter is bleak but there’s something beautiful about the bleakness.”
The Petra Nook rug in Blanc reimagines a Moroccan Berber-style rug for contemporary interiors. The hand-knotted wool weave is crafted from a luxurious 30mm pile that creates a lush softness underfoot—ideal for bedside comfort.

The expanded Nook Collection is designed to make every corner of the home feel considered, from entrance hallways, bathrooms, and mudrooms, to cozy bedrooms and living areas. With this in mind, there are seven sizes of rugs in a variety of styles—from an elegant hall runner to a larger-scale 3’ x 8’ rug that grounds open spaces.

The textural Mesa Nook rug is handcrafted from a thick, durable jute weave using a one-sided soumak technique that makes it ideal for high-traffic spaces, such as hallways and doorways. It’s available in four sizes to easily fit in compact spaces and cozy nooks.
The Kalahari Nook rug in Natural and Pumice is woven from jute and wool, combining and celebrating the best of these two contrasting natural fibers. The result is a handsome rug that can withstand the rigors of everyday life.
Circular rugs offer a solution for oddly-shaped spaces and tight corners. The Braid Nook rug is available in four colors—Chalk, Pumice, Heron, and the pretty pink Blush pictured here—and is plaited from a plush wool blend to create a rhythmically contoured surface.

The Nook Collection has been designed so that even the statement pieces, like the multi-dimensional Ghan Nook rug with its raised diamond pattern, complement rather than dominate a space. Other rugs, like the Narla Nook, add visual interest through minimalist linear patterns.

Make a statement with the Ghan Nook rug in Milk, which combines a soumak weave with a Berber knot to create a three-dimensional diamond pattern. The soft contours of the pattern enliven stark spaces, and create a visually dynamic work of art on the floor.
The Nala Nook rug features a Natural base with a graphic zig-zag pattern in contrasting Slate. The short fringe detail adds a refined decorative touch that brings a softness to the interior space.
Bathroom floors are often overlooked when it comes to decorating with rugs, but the right combination of hardwearing natural fibers and durable construction can elevate the bathroom experience beyond the everyday. The Lucine Nook rug in Natural is crafted from hand-braided jute coiled and stitched into a circular shape that is the ideal size for a compact space.

With the expansion of the Nook Collection comes the enhanced possibility to make every corner of the home count—no matter how compact or unusual the space. From stepping out of bed in the morning, to cooking in the kitchen, or even doing laundry, the sumptuous feeling of handcrafted natural fibers underfoot has the power to elevate every moment.

Explore more rug collections at armadillo-co.com.

Related Reading:

Invite Elements of Nature Into Your Home With Armadillo's New Rugs


An Upstate Oasis for the Modernist With a Woodsy Streak Seeks $2.5M

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-27 16:39

The three-bedroom home sits on a lush hillside overlooking the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains.

Location: 164 Mount Merino Road, Hudson, New York

Architect: Barry Price

Price: $2,500,000

Year Built: 2014

Footprint: 3,072 square feet (three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths)

Lot Size: 6 acres

From the Agent: "With breathtaking, unparalleled views of the Hudson River and majestic Catskill Mountains, River House is a stunning modernist home artfully sited to take full advantage of the breathtaking views. A private, serpentine driveway slowly and deliberately reveals the home, which appears to hover just above the water’s edge. The interior has an impressive two-story living room and an overhanging loft with a floor-to-ceiling wall of glass that beautifully frames the ever-changing scenic backdrop, while glass sliders blur the lines between indoors and out. Seamless polished concrete radiant flooring extends throughout the first floor to connect the living room, kitchen, private media/screening room, half-bath, and entryway."

The winding driveway allows sufficient time to shake off any remaining pulls of city hustle.

The winding driveway allows sufficient time to shake off any feelings of city hustle.

Photo by Gavin Preuss Photography

Photo by Gavin Preuss Photography

Polished concrete floors complement the crisp white walls lining the primary living spaces. Walls of glass allow the both levels of the interior to be bathed in warm, natural light.

Polished concrete floors complement the crisp white walls lining the primary living spaces. Walls of glass bathe both levels of the interior in warm, natural light.

Photo by Gavin Preuss Photography

Photo by Gavin Preuss Photography

A sleek, open kitchen fitted with all new appliances is positioned steps from the living area.

A sleek, open kitchen fitted with all new appliances is positioned steps from the living area.

Photo by Gavin Preuss Photography

Photo by Gavin Preuss Photography

The primary bedroom can be found on the upper level, complete with a spa-inspired bath that offers a large soaking tub and walk-in glass shower.

 The primary bedroom can be found on the upper level, complete with a spa-like bath with a large soaking tub and a glass shower. 

Photo by Gavin Preuss Photography

Photo by Gavin Preuss Photography

Photo by Gavin Preuss Photography

Though privately nestled on six acres, the River House is conveniently located less than a three-hour drive to Manhattan.

Though it’s nestled on six private acres, the River House is conveniently located less than a three-hour drive to Manhattan.

Photo by Gavin Preuss Photography

164 Mount Merino Road in Hudson, New York, is currently listed for $2,500,000 by Gary DiMauro Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty.


Expert Recs: Professional Bread Baker Carla Finley’s Favorite Tools for Perfect Loaves

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-26 20:32

Finley recommends some tried-and-true kitchen gadgets that even novice bakers will find useful.

Throughout the pandemic, Brooklyn-based baker Carla Finley became an unexpected local hero for loaf lovers (and, subsequently, those who never took up bread-baking) when she founded Apt. 2 Bread, a homemade bread pick-up and subscription service that she operates out of her rental apartment in Clinton Hill. Sure, we’ve all had delicious bread before but Finley’s loaves hit the mouth differently — her boules are consistent and exact, with a crisp crust and a chewy, fluffy center full of airy crumbs that were perfect vessels for soft butter and flaky salt.

Finley’s success is not surprising, given her background: Before striking it out on her own in April 2020, Finley was on the bread team at famed Italian eaterie and market Il Buco Alimentari and before that, she honed her baking chops at She Wolf Bakery. At the onset of the pandemic, Finely was laid off, and Apt 2 Bread was born: Suddenly, her loaves, which were previously only available for Il Buco restaurant diners, could be ordered by anyone in her Brooklyn vicinity. Through word-of-mouth, Finley’s humble, one-woman operation took off and she eventually transformed her standard kitchen into a space where she could bake more efficiently.

Photo by Hannah Wederquist-Keller

"I gutted the guest bedroom and put in real equipment with an oven that could fit nine loaves at a time. That changed everything," says Finley, whose original apartment oven only fit two loaves. "I was finally able to join a farmer's market and make enough bread to actually live off of this business and get off of unemployment." Finley has kneaded, risen, and shaped hundreds of carbo-loaded creations: "My main thing is what I call my ‘daily bread,’ my white sourdough, that I was literally making every day for the past two years," says Finley. When focaccia was introduced to her lineup, it became the most popular bread (toppings included plump green olives and sesame seeds), followed by her cinnamon rolls slathered in gooey frosting.

Over the summer, Finley has paused on subscription orders to focus on creative bread-related projects — like making bread magnets (which Finley says will be restocked soon) and bread-border mirrors, or collaborating on pop-up dinner series — as a way to prevent herself from the burnout of producing like a factory. (She had flirted with the idea of expanding as a brick-and-mortar but ultimately scaled back as a way of "honoring the original vision of the project and the business" which has always been to provide quality bread for her neighbors. She still bakes for her CSA once a week.) 

For now, Finley recommends keeping an eye on the @apt2bread Instagram account for holiday pre-orders, events, and other bake sale announcements. To tide us over till then, Finley shares her most trusted kitchen tools that bakers at any level will surely find useful. 

"I've tried a number of bread knives and I always come back to this one. It is super sharp and can cut even the hardest crust. And it's a treat to visit the flagship store in Tribeca." 

Suisin Inox Bread Knife

Suisin Inox knives are highly recommended for those learning how to sharpen knives with a sharpening stone. This series has a thin and easy to sharpen blade made out of a blend of Japanese AUS-8 base steel. The simple yet beautiful two toned handle and well balanced knife makes this line increasingly popular. Home cooks and professionals agree - the serrated knife is the best tool for cutting bread. This Inox bread knife is highly stain-resistant and as straight and as strong as they come.

"As a bread baker, I cannot live without this gadget. The first thing I do when starting a dough mix is glance at my thermometer/hygrometer. Based on the reading I then choose the appropriate water temp. Every day is different and the challenge of proper fermentation conditions is one of the joys of bread making."

Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer

The thermometer hygrometer features a 2.3in clear LCD display with large bold numbers, allowing you to read the digital from any angle. The hygrometer digital is lightweight, compact, and easy to carry.

"Before Apt. 2 Bread, I used this tabletop KitchenAid for my small batches. Now I use this Famag Italian mixer when I need to make large batches. I can make up to 15 loaves at a time in this cutie."

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer

10-speed slide control ranges from a very fast whip to a very slow stir. Includes (1) Coated Flat Beater, (1) Coated Dough Hook, (1) 6-Wire Whip, (1) Pouring Shield.

"Only the best. A classic brand that you can trust. All of my dough is divided and shaped directly on this wood." 

Boos Edge-Grain Rectangular Maple Cutting Board

An exceptionally hard cutting board provides a stable work surface and also helps protect finely honed blades. Sturdy construction – with the edge grain creating the work surface – gives this board a commercial-quality toughness to withstand years of use.

"These are basic bins but I love the bright colors for moving large quantities of bread around!"

Recycled Colour Crate

Made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic in a variety of colors and sizes, the HAY Colour Crate is a multifunctional favorite for its stackable and collapsible design.

"The only natural deodorant that doesn't give me a rash. Gotta smell fresh when working in front of the oven!"

Herbal Deodorant Roll-On

An alcohol-free, roll-on alternative to Herbal Deodorant spray containing Zinc Ricinoleate, Wasabi extract, and a complementary blend of essential oils.

We love the products we feature and hope you do, too. If you buy something through a link on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission.  

More Expert Recs:  

Two Trees Studios’ Allison Samuels Shares Her Favorite Handmade Home Items

Parachute Founder Ariel Kaye’s Home Picks Are All About Comfort

How the Kalon Studios Founders Achieve Peak Minimalism at Home


This Black Gable Country Home Looks Like It Was Broken in Half

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-26 20:29

The plan is split into a main residence and an in-law suite, but the facade’s mirrored roofline makes it seem like it was once a single volume.

Houses We Love: Every day we feature a remarkable space submitted by our community of architects, designers, builders, and homeowners.

Project Details:

Location: Rybí, Czech Republic

Architects: KLAR / @klarchitecti

Builder: Richard Kovář

Structural Engineer: Martin Wünsche

Fire Safety Engineering: Pavla Tvrdá

EPC: Tomáš Brückner

Footprint: 1,560 square feet

From the Architects: "The clients specified that the building program should include a home for a family of four and a separate unit for their grandparents. They wanted the house made of wood and also sustainable in the sense that it should be easy to build and cost-effective in operation. They also wanted to be able to build the house themselves, at least partially.

"There are almost no neighboring buildings around the site that would limit or influence structure or form. Two pitched-roofed catalog houses are standing close by, the rest of the village is a mix of detached single-family homes from various periods. Answering the question, "What should the new house look like?" was quite difficult in this case. After considering the budget limitations, program requirements, and the preferred choice of a wood structure building, our final decision was to adopt a rational approach with repeating structural elements.

"Two elongated volumes with pitched roofs are joined together at an angle and placed on the edge of the buildable area, defined by the setbacks. At first glance, this shape can appear to be reminiscent of the Beskydy region’s typical small single-story home with a pitched roof. The solution with two wings works well to separate the family home and the future in-law suite. A south-facing private courtyard is formed inside the angle, protected from the north and overlooking a nearby forest. Shaded by the roof overhang, a wide deck stretching all the way along the house connects it with the courtyard, offering endless possibilities to sit, relax, and listen to the sounds of running water, rustling leaves, or distant hum of village life. Mature trees growing around the stream provide shade from the hot summer sun, but their bare branches let in enough sunlight to reach the house in winter."


Here’s Your Chance to Own a Dazzling Midcentury Home in the Hollywood Hills

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-26 15:48

Designed by Edward Fickett and revitalized by Dan Brunn, the 1957 residence comes with giant glass sliders and a sparkling pool.

Location: 7541 Woodrow Wilson Drive, Los Angeles, California

Price: $3,495,000

Architect: Edward Fickett, FAIA

Year Built: 1957

Footprint: 2,602 square feet (three bedrooms, three bath)

Lot Size: 0.17 acres

From the Agent: "This 1957 property by Edward Fickett, FAIA, has been reimagined and restored by the owners in collaboration with architect Dan Brunn. Perched at the top of Nichols Canyon on a large, private lot, this published piece of architectural history offers contemporary comfort while remaining true to its historic roots. The 2016 remodel brought this home back to life with a brightened interior via giant glass sliders, new skylights, and gorgeous oak flooring. The main living space showcases Fickett’s iconic post-and-beam design and central fireplace. It has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, including a primary suite with en suite bath. Numerous additional upgrades throughout make this a true turnkey experience of California modernism."

A wide brick driveway leads up to the home, where bright-yellow doors extend a warm welcome.

A wide brick driveway leads up to the entry, where bright-yellow doors extend a warm welcome.

Photo by Christopher Lee

Photo by Christopher Lee

Extensive glazing and clerestory windows allow the open layout to be bathed in natural light.

Extensive glazing and clerestory windows bathe the open layout in natural light.

Photo by Christopher Lee

Photo by Christopher Lee

In addition to new appliances, the kitchen features a large central island and bespoke cabinetry.

In addition to new appliances, the kitchen features a large central island and bespoke cabinetry.

Photo by Christopher Lee

Photo by Christopher Lee

A peek at the oversized glass shower awaiting in the primary suite.

A peek at the oversized glass shower awaiting in the primary suite.

Photo by Christopher Lee

Photo by Christopher Lee

The landscaped backyard offers an idyllic setting for entertaining, complete with fenced-in seating areas, a grilling station, and a sparkling pool.

The landscaped backyard offers an idyllic setting for entertaining, complete with a dining patio, a grilling area, and a sparkling pool.

Photo by Christopher Lee

Photo by Christopher Lee


This New Prefab Manufacturer Is Making Modular “Haciendas” in Texas Starting at $249K

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-23 18:51

Award-winning Texan architecture studio Lake|Flato has partnered with developer Oaxaca Interests to create HiFAB, a new venture producing homes smaller than 2000 square feet.

Oaxaca Interests is a Texas-based real estate operator, developer, and investment firm. The company partnered with award-winning architecture practice Lake|Flato to found HiFAB.

The modular home sector has boomed in recent years, thanks largely to a bevy of companies marketing prefab homes as more affordable and sustainable than their conventional counterparts, due to shorter construction times and less waste. Recently, a new player arrived on the market. With a focus on affordability and sustainability, HiFAB has ambitious plans to become a leader in modular homes in Texas—and they have placed their bets on a collaboration with San Antonio-based architecture studio Lake|Flato

The first two models, known as "Haciendas," might look like regular homes—allowing them to integrate into existing neighborhoods—but can be constructed on site in seven days or less.

Oaxaca Interests is a Texas-based real estate operator, developer, and investment firm. The company partnered with award-winning architecture practice Lake|Flato to found HiFAB.

Oaxaca Interests is a Texas-based real estate operator, developer, and investment firm. The company partnered with award-winning architecture practice Lake|Flato to found HiFAB, which has just released its first two modular prefab homes.

Photo by Robert Tsai

The two models are available to order now and will be shipped in early 2023. The Studio is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home that starts at $249,000, and The Standard is a larger three-bedroom, two-bathroom home that starts at $375,000. Both feature the same simple, clean design language with a vaulted ceiling in the main living and dining area that aims to make the relatively small footprint—The Studio is approximately 1250 square feet, and The Standard is approximately 1875 square feet—feel spacious. The modular components can be arranged to create three different layouts, and clients also have the opportunity to choose tiles, paint, and other finishes.

The modular homes are designed to be primarily produced in a factory in Grand Prairie, Texas, which is also designed by Lake Flato.

The modular homes are designed to be primarily produced in a factory in Grand Prairie, Texas, which is also designed by Lake|Flato. 

Photo by Robert Tsai

“The simple exterior material palette, including hard-troweled smooth stucco and corrugated material, gives a subtle nod to West Texas design,” says Grace Boudewyns, Project Architect at Lake|Flato.

"The simple exterior material palette, including hard-troweled smooth stucco and corrugated material, gives a subtle nod to West Texas design," says Grace Boudewyns, Project Architect at Lake|Flato. 

Photo by Robert Tsai

"These houses are a way to design a new type of adaptable urban infill that can appeal to a range of clients," says Grace Boudewyns, Project Architect at Lake|Flato. "They were designed to encourage outdoor living, with the design centered around the courtyard as an extension of the home."

The Haciendas are designed to stand alone, but when placed next to each other they create small private courtyards that enhance the indoor-outdoor living experience.

The Haciendas are designed to stand alone, but when placed next to each other they create small private courtyards that enhance the indoor-outdoor living experience. 

Photo by Robert Tsai

Multiple glazed French doors open out to the courtyard to create a connection between interior and exterior spaces.

Multiple glazed French doors open out to the courtyard to create a connection between interior and exterior spaces. 

Photo by Robert Tsai

"Simple design is hard to pull off but it allows us to focus on the details for a cleaner, more efficient way of living," said Brent Jackson, founder of HiFAB and Oaxaca Interests, in a recent press release. "Uncluttered living seems so much more enjoyable," he explained further in an interview.

“The uncluttered design allows for a lock and leave lifestyle to travel the world and then return to a lovely home to catch your breath and relax,” says Brent Jackson, founder of HiFAB and Oaxaca Interests.

The homes feature a living-kitchen-dining module that allows for efficient open-plan living.

Photo by Robert Tsai

The vaulted ceilings over the living space create generous height that makes the interior feel larger than the modest footprint.

The vaulted ceilings over the living space create generous height that help make the interior feel larger than the modest footprint.

Photo by Robert Gomez

Alongside this visual and functional simplicity, the Haciendas are designed with sustainability in mind—think ultraviolet-light air purifying and fresh air exchange systems, zero-VOC paints, and tile setting materials that are Greenguard Gold Certified. But, like any prefab home, the main sustainability benefits come from a shorter construction process that results in significantly less waste in an industry that is notoriously full of it.

Clients can choose their own fixtures and fittings to create a unique home that reflects their own style.

Clients can choose their own fixtures and fittings to create a unique home that reflects their own style. 

Photo by Robert Gomez


The front patio offers another outdoor space for residents and can be used to develop a sense of community amongst neighbourhoods of Haciendas.

The front patio offers another outdoor space for residents and can be used to develop a sense of community amongst neighborhoods of Haciendas.

Photo by Robert Gomez

While the first Hacienda models were built on-site in Dallas to prove the concept, the market-ready models will be produced at a dedicated new manufacturing plant located in Grand Prairie, Texas, before being delivered to site—and in a bid to get consumers more involved in the manufacturing process, HiFAB has made it possible to watch the construction of a customized home from start to finish online.

HiFAB will arrive at the build site several days prior to delivery of home in order to pour the foundation and to prepare for connections. On the day of delivery, HiFAB will "Crane Set” the home, tie into the connections, and apply exterior final touches.

HiFAB will arrive at the build site several days prior to delivery of home in order to pour the foundation and to prepare for connections. On the day of delivery, HiFAB will "Crane Set" the home, tie into the connections, and apply exterior final touches.

Photo by Robert Tsai

HiFAB has lofty ambitions for their new Haciendas, touting them as a potential solution to the housing crisis. "I love that these homes represent a critical step towards solving the essential workers' housing solution," says Jackson, throwing out one example of who he hopes the homes will be bought by. "These folks are the backbone of our nation and we will absolutely continue on that mission."

Residents or developers will generally only need to apply for approval to install the foundation and connect the utilities. The on-site construction then takes place in seven days or less.

Residents or developers will generally only need to apply for approval to install the foundation and connect the utilities. The on-site construction then takes place in seven days or less.

Photo by Robert Gomez

According to Jackson, however, initial interest has unsurprisingly come from arguably the other end of the market—DIY developers who own five to 10 urban lots ready for a new home, Airbnb investors, and the hospitality sector. This is reflected in the HiFAB website, which features a number of case studies demonstrating potential return on investment for each of these models. One case study, for example, claims that a "DIY Developer" could make an unlevered yield of 20 percent by spending $499,000 on land, utilities, landscaping and the Hacienda and selling to a home buyer for $599,000.

HiFAB hopes to grow their business and, eventually, pass savings onto potential homeowners to make the homes affordable for more people.

HiFAB hopes to grow their business and, eventually, pass savings onto potential homeowners to make the homes affordable for more people.

Photo by Robert Gomez

"The market, however, will grow as we scale in order to meet our mission of pushing down costs to pass on to consumers," says Jackson in response to this. "Our mission is to provide ‘high-design yet attainable’ homes focused on both health and sustainability—efficiency and doing the right thing for our planet just makes me smile."

Project Credits:

Architect: Lake|Flato

Manufacturer: HiFAB

Photographer: Robert Tsai & Robert Gomez


A Refined and Delicate Renovation Primes a Historic Puglia Apartment

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-23 14:06

Luce Architetti added built-ins and a wire-frame stair that complement the two-level flat’s ancient stone interiors.

Houses We Love: Every day we feature a remarkable space submitted by our community of architects, designers, builders, and homeowners.

Project Details:

Location: Martina Franca, Puglia, Italy

Architect: Luce Architetti

From the Architect: "The building, located in the historic center of Martina Franca, is spread over two floors and is characterized by traditional cross vaults and partitions in local stone masonry. A profound renovation brought the ancient stone vaults back into view and redesigned the internal layout with the addition of two toilets, one patronal, and one service.

"On the first floor, an equipped wall elaborates on the composition and arrangement of the stones of the ancient partitions, hiding the bathroom behind it and providing a scenic backdrop to the living room.

"The dark-toned kitchen overlooks the large central space where a new vertical connection with the upper floor has been inserted. This, in addition to being a mere staircase, acts as a bench for the dining room and as a visual fulcrum of the entire environment. With compact and full shapes, it offers support for the iron staircase with fine lines in stark contrast to the strong materiality of the entire space.

"On the second floor, the volume of the bathroom divides the serving spaces consisting of a walk-in closet and an anteroom, lending itself as a bed headboard. The clean and candid lines of the volume accentuate the material qualities of the stone ceiling which gives the room a warm and welcoming atmosphere."

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri

Courtesy of Claudio Carrieri


A Heavenly Home in a Converted Church Hits the Market for $2.5M

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-23 14:04

The storied Rifton in upstate New York has lived many lives since it was built in 1876—and now it’s ready for a new chapter.

Location: 1883 New York 213 Rifton, New York

Price: $2,495,000

Year Built: 1876

Footprint: 6,286 square feet (four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths)

Lot Size: 0.5 acres

From the Agent: "Introducing The Rifton, a fully restored and masterfully renovated 1876 stone residence perched above the Wallkill River between Kingston and New Paltz, in the hamlet of Rifton, New York. Over the years, The Rifton has served as a church, a town hall, and the bâtiment canards for a local duck farm, and the current incarnation beautifully preserves this spirit of gathering and community throughout all the living, entertaining, and work spaces spanning over 6,000 square feet. Preserving original elements from each of the iterations, The Rifton has been artfully restored with incredible attention to detail and wabi-sabi modernism, resonating throughout the space in the perfectly imperfect details like exposed beams and bedrock ledges, original stone walls and pine floors, and antique doors layered in timeless patina."

Nestled on a forested lot, the property offers a serene oasis set two hours north of New York City.

Nestled on a forested lot, the property is a serene oasis set two hours north of New York City.

Photo by Gabriel Zimmer of Catskill Image

Photo by Gabriel Zimmer of Catskill Image

Exposed beams pop against the light hardwood floors and neutral walls on the main level.

Exposed beams pop against the light hardwood floors and neutral walls on the main level.

Photo by Gabriel Zimmer of Catskill Image

Photo by Gabriel Zimmer of Catskill Image

Lofted above the great room is a vaulted atelier space dubbed “The Tower,” which features a mix of stone, steel, and wood, all connected by a sleek spiral staircase.

Lofted above the great room is a vaulted atelier that features a spiral staircase and a material mix of stone, steel, and wood. 

Photo by Gabriel Zimmer of Catskill Image

Photo by Gabriel Zimmer of Catskill Image

The bathroom located in the primary suite features a floor-to-ceiling glass shower designed to highlight the space's natural bedrock walls. A large clawfoot soaking tub is also included.

The bathroom in the primary suite features natural bedrock walls and large claw-foot soaking tub is.

Photo by Gabriel Zimmer of Catskill Image

Photo by Gabriel Zimmer of Catskill Image

A peek at the sprawling entertaining space sited on the second level. In addition to soaring 30-foot ceilings, there is also a Viking-inspired, custom stone-and steel-fire pit.

A peek at the sprawling entertaining space on the second level. In addition to 30-foot-tall ceilings, there is also a Viking-inspired, custom stone-and-steel firepit.

Photo by Gabriel Zimmer of Catskill Image

Photo by Gabriel Zimmer of Catskill Image

1883 New York 213 in Rifton, New York, is currently listed for $2,495,000 by Angelica Ferguson and Annabel Taylor of Sotheby's International Realty.


Before & After: A Serene Renovation Saves a Portland Midcentury From Shag Carpet and Pink Linoleum

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-23 14:02

Architect Risa Boyer collaborates with a design-minded couple to revive a 1950s home with colorful plaster and rift-sawn white oak.

Brooke and Tobi found the dining table on Craigslist, from a Eugene carpenter who specializes in refinishing vintage furniture. The chairs and light are vintage, and the white oak banquette is designed by Boyer, with Brooke’s love of the Audo hotel for inspiration. “They have a dining area that has an insert in the back of the dining bench to lean photos and pictures,” says Brooke.

When Brooke and Tobi Probst’s wedding was cancelled because of the pandemic in 2020, the couple decided to elope and buy their first house together instead. They wanted something historical that hadn’t already been remodeled, so they jumped at the chance to purchase a 1956 midcentury designed by architect Victor Greb in the Concordia neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. "It was the only midcentury we looked at, because they were selling pretty quick," says Tobi.

Brooke and Tobi think this house sat on the market for a little longer than most because it hadn’t been spruced for the listing photos, which might have scared off other buyers. "When we walked in, I think Tobi was even a little bit doubtful," says Brook. "He saw the shag carpet, and all the dark wood and pink linoleum, and was a little terrified—but I saw the wood beams and the vaulted ceiling, and felt there was so much potential." 

Before: Kitchen 

Before: Brooke and Tobi Probst bought their 1956 house in Portland, Oregon, during the pandemic in 2020. It has 2524 square feet, with generous living areas on the main floor. The kitchen was separated from the dining room and living room by a wall that did not meet the ceiling. That made it “easy to picture what it would be like open,” says Brooke.

Before: Brooke and Tobi Probst bought their 1956 house in Portland, Oregon, during the pandemic in 2020. It has 2,524 square feet, with generous living areas on the main floor. The kitchen was separated from the dining room and living room by a wall that did not meet the ceiling. "It was easy to picture what it would be like open," says Brooke.

Courtesy of Risa Boyer Architecture

After: Kitchen 

Risa Boyer Architecture helped with a strategic remodel that targeted specific areas, such as the main living spaces, staircase, and primary suite. The kitchen was expanded to overtake an existing eating nook, and better connected to the dining room and living room.

Risa Boyer Architecture delivered a strategic remodel that targeted specific areas, such as the main living spaces, the staircase, and the primary suite. The firm expanded the kitchen to overtake an existing eating nook, and connected the space the dining room and living room.

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann

The couple—he is an operations manager at a utility contractor, and she’s a global senior merchandiser at a subsidiary of Nike—first lived in the house for nine months, in order to get to know it before making any drastic changes. "We got a really good feel for where the light was during the day, and how the rooms functioned, and how we lived in the home," says Brooke. "That really helped us craft a direction of how we could embrace some of the original details, but also modernize the outdated ones."

When it came time to research local firms to help them with a remodel—"I actually used Dwell," says Brooke with a laugh—they were drawn to several projects by Risa Boyer Architecture. "We love the way that Risa really embraces the midcentury soul of a house," says Brooke. "You could feel that the house wasn’t turned inside out." For Boyer, it was fun to work in close collaboration with the homeowner. "Brooke has a great eye, and was really involved in the finishes," she says.

Before: Kitchen Nook

Before: Pink laminate and linoleum adorned the counters and floor in the kitchen, which also had an eating nook.

Before: Pink laminate and linoleum adorned the counters and floor in the kitchen, which opened to a small dining nook.

Courtesy of Risa Boyer Architecture

After: Kitchen

Custom rift-sawn white oak cabinetry now packs a lot of storage and creates a serene backdrop in the open plan.

Custom rift-sawn white oak cabinetry now packs a lot of storage and creates a serene backdrop in the open plan.

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann

To preserve this home’s midcentury soul, the team opted to refinish existing wood features, such as the vaulted cedar ceilings and red oak floors—although they did decide to remove a paneled wall that divided the kitchen. "It felt like one big room with little walls dividing the spaces," says Boyer. In its place, she designed a custom white oak hood vent that follows the line of the new kitchen peninsula to define the room amidst the open plan.

Boyer calls it a "floating cloud," noting how it’s "a bit of a nod to midcentury houses that would have those hanging cabinets. Of course, this one is pulled up higher so you can actually see through it." 

One of Brooke’s favorite spots in the home were the corner windows in the eating nook. Now the light from those can spread to the rest of the plan. Honed limestone covers the counters. “You can see some of the shells and other things that have been pressed into the stone,” says Brooke. “They have a really beautiful patina.”

One of Brooke’s favorite spots in the home were the corner windows in the dining nook. Now, the glazing can illuminate the rest of the plan. Honed limestone covers the counters. "You can see some of the shells and other things that have been pressed into the stone," says Brooke. "They have a really beautiful patina."

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann

Elsewhere in the house, the couple were inspired by the Audo hotel in Copenhagen, which is a project by Menu and Norm Architects, as well as the colors used by Mexican architect Luis Barragán. "I definitely wanted to experiment with plaster and texture," says Brooke. "Being stuck inside during the Covid pandemic, it was really inspiring diving into Pinterest and photos from a lot of other places that you couldn’t travel to."

To bring in soft texture and balance the wood tones, the team opted for plastered walls with integral color ranging from pale green in the main living spaces to a pop of pink in the bathroom. The couple fell in love with a vintage dining table on Craigslist and bought it pre-remodel—and later Boyer designed a new banquette around it.

Before: Dining Area 

Before: Boyer swapped out the picture windows for a sliding glass door to access the backyard.

Before: Boyer swapped out the picture windows for a sliding glass door that leads to the backyard.

Courtesy of Risa Boyer Architecture

After: Dining Area 

Brooke and Tobi found the dining table on Craigslist, from a Eugene carpenter who specializes in refinishing vintage furniture. The chairs and light are vintage, and the white oak banquette is designed by Boyer, with Brooke’s love of the Audo hotel for inspiration. “They have a dining area that has an insert in the back of the dining bench to lean photos and pictures,” says Brooke.

Brooke and Tobi found the dining table on Craigslist, from a Eugene carpenter who specializes in refinishing vintage furniture. The chairs are also vintage, the light is original to the house, and the white oak banquette is designed by Boyer, and inspired by Brooke’s love of the Audo hotel. "They have a dining area that has an insert in the back of the dining bench to lean photos and pictures," says Brooke.

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann

Before: Living Area 

Before: The fireplace wall was gently reworked.

Before: The design team gently reworked the fireplace wall.

Courtesy of Risa Boyer Architecture

After: Living Area 

The green plaster, a color inspired by the palette of architect Luis Barragán, now covers the stone fireplace and hearth, extending the column up to the ceiling so there’s no longer a line chopping up the wall. “It made such an incredible difference that it goes all the way to the ceiling. It draws your eye up,” says Brooke. The new built-ins are white oak, and evoke the style of what was there before.

Green plaster, inspired by the palette of architect Luis Barragán, now covers the stone fireplace and hearth. The team extended the column up to the ceiling so that there’s no longer a line chopping up the wall. "It made such an incredible difference—it draws your eye up," says Brooke.

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann

“There was no way out to the backyard from the main living space” before, says Boyer, who swapped out the windows for a large sliding glass door.

"There was no way out to the backyard from the main living space," says Boyer, who swapped out the windows for a large sliding-glass door. 

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann

Boyer used rift-sawn white oak for the new built-ins throughout, to create a consistent thread and meld with the refinished floors. The new millwork includes a screen to demarcate the stairwell, the dining banquette, the kitchen cabinets, and a wall of new closets with an inset vanity in the primary bedroom.

Before: Stairs 

Before: The previous stair treatment chopped up the flow of the house.

Before: The previous stair treatment chopped up the flow of the house.

Courtesy of Risa Boyer Architecture

After: Stairs 

Boyer added a skylight over the stairwell to bring light into the middle of the home.

Boyer added a skylight over the stairwell to bring light into the middle of the home.

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann

Before: Hall Bathroom

Before: Boyer worked to “peel away” some of the interventions from a nineties remodel.

Before: Boyer worked to peel away some of the interventions from a ’90s remodel.

Courtesy of Risa Boyer Architecture

After: Hall Bathroom 

Sage green tile and a custom vanity reflect the new design details elsewhere in the house.

Sage green tile and a custom vanity reflect the new design details elsewhere in the house. 

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann

While the couple took on home ownership and a remodel instead of a wedding, they did get to travel recently—they visited Mexico City at the beginning of this year to see some of the Luis Barragán buildings that inspired them, and they’ve enjoyed living in the new space since the remodel wrapped in February.

"We dove headfirst into a lot of the details, and getting to see it come to fruition has been amazing," says Brooke. 

Before: Primary Suite 

Before: The existing closet was a walk-in, but couldn’t accommodate both Brooke and Tobi at once.

The existing closet was a walk-in, but it couldn’t accommodate both Brooke and Tobi at once.

Courtesy of Risa Boyer Architecture

After: Primary Suite 

Boyer reconfigured the floorplan for more accessible storage, continuing the theme of white oak built-ins on the upper level, which allow Brooke and Tobi to access their side of the closet simultaneously.

Boyer reconfigured the floor plan for more accessible storage and installed white oak built-ins, which allow Brooke and Tobi to access their side of the closet simultaneously.

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann

Boyer added the primary bathroom, with a surprise wrap of pink plaster on the walls and ceiling.

Boyer added a primary suite bathroom, with a surprise pop of pink plaster on the walls and ceiling.

Photo: Jeremy Bittermann

Floor Plan of Fernhill MCM by Risa Boyer Architecture


22 of Our Favorite Finds From Helsinki Design Week

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-22 18:45

Our highlights from the Finnish capital include vibrant textiles, forward-looking innovations, and wooden furnishings that are anything but stiff.

Our highlights from the Finnish capital include vibrant textiles, forward-looking innovations, and wooden furnishings that are anything but stiff.

When it comes to Nordic design destinations, many may think of Stockholm or Copenhagen—but you’d be remiss to overlook Helsinki. The Finnish city made waves in 2012 when it was crowned a World Design Capital for its use of design to drive cultural and economic growth—and over the past 10 years, its creative scene has only picked up steam.  The city sprang to life this month as Helsinki Design Week kicked off, the Habitare trade show opened its doors for the first time in two years, and scores of showrooms and venues launched exhibitions and events.

Whereas the Nordic nations are often associated with functionalist, wood-forward furniture and minimalist—dare we say "blandinavian"—interiors, it’s clear that designers in Finland aren’t afraid to push the envelope with splashy color, fresh forms, and new approaches and materials geared toward social and environmental sustainability. Read on for a few of our favorite finds from Helsinki Design Week 2022.

Psychedelic Color

Finarte’s Blending Collection by Minni Havas

Founded in 1985, Finarte is a family-owned rug company that pairs Nordic textile traditions with avant-garde designs. For its latest collection, the brand teamed up with Finnish artist and designer Minni Havas for a swervy set of textiles defined by vivid color and organic lines abstracted from fruit motifs. Finarte’s entire line is handmade in India from natural or recycled materials, and all of its products are fully traceable.

Founded in 1985, Finarte is a family-owned rug company that pairs Nordic textile traditions with avant-garde designs. For its latest collection, the brand teamed up with Finnish artist and designer Minni Havas for a swervy set of textiles defined by vivid color and organic forms abstracted from fruit motifs. Finarte’s entire line is handmade in India from natural or recycled materials, and all of its products are fully traceable.

Photo courtesy of Finarte

The Finnish company Durat has developed a durable, 100-percent recyclable surface material made from resin and post-industrial plastic chips. It’s available in over 1,000 colors, including speckled options that mimic the texture of terrazzo, and it can be cast for applications ranging from countertops to sinks and bathtubs, as seen in its vibrant new showroom by Linda Bergroth.

The Finnish company Durat has developed a durable, 100-percent recyclable surface material made from resin and post-industrial plastic chips. It’s available in over 1,000 colors, including speckled options that mimic the texture of terrazzo, and it can be cast for applications ranging from countertops to sinks and bathtubs, as seen in its vibrant new showroom by Linda Bergroth.

Photo courtesy of Durat

Textile designer Zuzana Zmatekova draws inspiration from new media and virtual reality to create technicolor fabrics with a shimmering, otherworldly quality. She used 3D modeling tools to design her <i>Real Virtuality</i> collection, which seeks to replicate the effects of moiré and irridescence.

Featured at Habitare’s Talentshop exhibition, textile designer Zuzana Zmatekova draws inspiration from new media and virtual reality to create technicolor fabrics with a shimmering, otherworldly quality. Zmatekova used 3D modeling tools to design her Real Virtuality collection, which seeks to replicate the fleeting effects of iridescence and moiré.

Photo by Timo Junttila

Textile designer Lilli Ilmavirta drew inspiration from the natural world to create her colorful Sammal rug, which resembles a topography of lichen and moss with lofted tufts that feel soft underfoot. She exhibited the piece at Habitare’s <i>Protoshop</i> exhibition.

Textile designer Lilli Ilmavirta looked to the natural world to create a colorful carpet with lofted tufts that resemble a topography of lichen and moss. The piece, named Sammal, was featured in Habitare’s Protoshop exhibition.

Photo courtesy of Habitare

Color ruled the day at Habitare’s <i>Signals</i> exhibition, where curators Susanna Björklund and Sisse Collander unfurled a surreal tableau

Color ruled the day at Habitare’s Signals exhibition, where curators Susanna Björklund and Sisse Collander cooked up a surreal kitchen tableau centered around the theme of Magic.  

Photo by Martti Järvi

At Habitare, up-and-coming designer Venla Verjus showcased a plush collection of wool pillows and rugs that pair fluffy texture with pastel tones to sumptuous effect.

At Habitare, up-and-coming designer Venla Varjus showcased a plush collection of wool pillows and rugs that pair fluffy texture with pastel tones to satisfying effect.

Photo courtesy of Venla Varjus

Kinks in the Woodwork

Matami by Miika Ruotsalainen

Featured at Protoshop, Miika Ruotsalainen’s Matami table embeds new functionality in a familiar form

Inspired by the Japanese art of ikebana, designer Miika Ruotsalainen carved fresh functionality into his Matami table by hollowing out its legs to serve as flower vases. The sculptural piece was featured at Habitare’s Protoshop exhibition.

Photo courtesy of Habitare

Finnish designer Antti Tuomi used utilitarian straps and cinches to create a clever line of collapsible furniture that disassembles in a snap—perfect for those that are always on the move. The pieces pack flat and showcase the with

Finnish designer Antti Tuomi leverages utilitarian straps and cinches in Still Combining, a clever line of collapsible furniture that disassembles in a snap—perfect for those that are always on the move. The flat-pack furnishings assemble without glue, and tensile straps peek through the structure of each piece for a pop of color.

Photos by Tero Ahonen

Helsinki-based Poiat is a multidisciplinary design studio whose works range from interior architecture to finely crafted furniture. Their latest launch, a low sideboard for the Bastone collection, features a spindled structure designed to emulate the way that light falls through a forest of tall trees.

Helsinki-based Poiat is a multidisciplinary design studio whose works range from interior architecture to finely crafted furniture. Their latest launch, a low sideboard for the Bastone collection, features a spindled structure designed to emulate the way that light falls through a forest of tall trees.

Photo courtesy of Poiat

Featured at Habitare’s <i>Protoshop</i> exhibit, the Birdbox is a flat-pack birdhouse made entirely from plywood. Tautvydas Petruskevicius designed the nautilus-shaped habitat using just 8 pieces of ply and two pins.

Featured at Habitare’s Protoshop exhibit, the Birdbox is a flat-pack birdhouse made entirely from plywood. Tautvydas Petruskevicius designed the nautilus-shaped habitat using just 8 pieces of ply and two pins.

Photo courtesy of Habitare

Finland is covered birch and pine forests—and while the former is sought after by furniture makers, the later is oft overlooked as a lesser wood. Vaarnii’s Return to Pine collection celebrates the raw, natural beauty of the affordable, locally sourced material through a line of. Two stand

Finland is covered birch and pine forests—and while the former is sought after by furniture makers, the latter is oft overlooked as a lesser wood. Vaarnii’s Return to Pine collection celebrates the raw, natural beauty of the affordable, locally sourced material through a line of striking furnishings. Two standout pieces are the sculptural lounge chair and the recently launched Hans pendant, which updates a classic ’60s design by Hans-Agne Jakobsson.

Photo courtesy of Vaarnii

Maiju Räty’s mesmerizing Alvari lamp is made of thin sheets of plywood cut and perforated by a CNC machine. It’s designed to pack flat for shipping, and it can be set on a stand or suspended from above as a pendant.

Maiju Räty’s mesmerizing Alvari lamp is made of thin sheets of plywood cut and perforated by a CNC machine. It’s designed to pack flat for shipping, and it can be set on a stand or suspended from above as a pendant.

Photo courtesy of Habitare

At Habitare, few could resist running a hand over Ilme’s Kanto table, which features a curvaceous form reminiscent of a smooth river stone. The Finnish spruce table is a fresh launch from the   young Helsinki-based brand.

At Habitare, few could resist running a hand over Ilme’s Kanto table, which features a curvaceous form reminiscent of a smooth river stone. The Finnish spruce table is a fresh launch from the   young Helsinki-based brand.  

Photo courtesy of Ilme

Finnish designer Reeta Laine launched her eponymous brand in 2022 after working for Nina Bruun Design Studio for five years. Her debut collection, Layers and Repetitions, includes a marble side table, a set of segmented lamps, a patterned quilt, and an armchair composed of vertical and horizontally slats that rhythmically repeat.

Finnish designer Reeta Laine launched her own studio in 2022 after working for Nina Bruun Design Studio for five years. Debuting at Habitare, her Layers and Repetitions collection includes a granite side table, a set of segmented lamps, a patterned quilt, and an armchair composed of vertical and horizontal slats that rhythmically repeat.

Photo courtesy of Reeta Laine

Low Impact, High Design

Coral by Megan McGlynn

Designer Megan McGlynn is experimenting with nanocellulose, a novel renewable material made of wood pulp. The pieces in her mesmerizing installations dry and set in unique ways to create delicate forms reminiscent of flowers, fungi, and coral reefs.

Designer Megan McGlynn is experimenting with nanocellulose, a novel renewable material made of wood pulp. The pieces in her mesmerizing installations dry and set in unique ways to create delicate forms reminiscent of flowers, fungi, and coral reefs. Her work is showcased in the Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition at Aalto University.

Photo by Megan McGlynn

Fashion and textile designer Sofia Ilmonen has created a line of modular dresses that can be endlessly adjusted and resized using cinches, buttons, and loops. The garments are truly one size fits all, and they can be easily adjusted over time to extend their lifecycle.

Also exhibiting at Aalto University’s Designs for a Cooler Planet show, fashion and textile designer Sofia Ilmonen has created a line of modular dresses that can be endlessly adjusted and resized using cinches, buttons, and loops. The garments are truly one size fits all, and they can be transformed as needed to extend their lifecycle. 

Photo by Sofia Okkonen

Fair Trade company Mifuku empowers female artisans in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Ghana to create socially and environmentally responsible textiles and homewares for fair pay. The company’s baskets and bags are made from natural grasses, paper string, and recycled plastic, and each Mifuko product bears the name of the artisan who crafted it.

Fair Trade company Mifuko empowers female artisans in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Ghana to create socially and environmentally responsible textiles and homewares for fair pay. The company’s baskets and bags are made from natural grasses, paper string, and recycled plastic, and each Mifuko product bears the name of the artisan who crafted it.

Photo courtesy of Mifuko

Founded by Lukas Schuck and Tea Auramo, Fluff Stuff seeks to provide a more sustainable alternative to the down feathers and polyester fibers that fill puffy jackets, pillows, and duvets. The renewable material is made from cattails, which can be grown in peatland ecosystems that serve as carbon sinks.

Founded by Lukas Schuck and Tea Auramo, Fluff Stuff seeks to provide a more sustainable alternative to the down feathers and polyester fibers that fill puffy jackets, pillows, and duvets. The renewable material is made from cattails, which can be grown in peatland ecosystems that serve as carbon sinks.

Photo by Mikko Raskinen

Designer and researcher Mari Koppanen’s Fomes seats are made from wool, wood, and amadou, a soft and velvety suede alternative made from polypore mushrooms. The natural, vegan, and cruelty-free material is used in traditional handicrafts in eastern Transylvania, and Koppanen has been exploring new applications and processes to broaden its use.

Designer and researcher Mari Koppanen’s Fomes seats are made from wool, wood, and amadou, a soft and velvety suede alternative made from polypore mushrooms. The natural, vegan, and cruelty-free material is used in traditional handicrafts in eastern Transylvania, and Koppanen has been exploring new applications and processes to broaden its use.

Photos by Jere Viinikainen

The Austrian company Organoid has developed a line of wallpapers infused with flowers, leaves, grasses, and other natural materials salvaged from various industries. The materials are affixed to flax backings with a bio-based glue, and they

The Austrian company Organoid has created a line of wallpapers infused with flowers, leaves, grasses, and other organic materials salvaged from various industries. The ingredients are affixed to flax or adhesive backings with a bio-based glue, and their appearance, texture, and scent evoke the charm of the alpine landscape.

Photo courtesy of Organoid Technologies

Peacock feathers and butterfly wings get their sheen from microscopic nanostructures that reflect light. Aalto University researchers have discovered a way to replicate this effect by processing wood without using any pigments, dyes, or chemicals. The designers believe that the iridescent material can offer a sustainable alternative to toxic colorants, plastics, and metallic foils.

Peacock feathers and butterfly wings get their sheen from microscopic nanostructures that reflect light. Aalto University researchers have discovered a way to replicate this effect by processing wood without using any pigments, dyes, or chemicals. The designers believe that the iridescent material can offer a sustainable alternative to toxic colorants, plastics, and metallic foils. 

Photo by Esa Naukkarinen

Tikau’s new collection of Ülle textiles are completely sourced and manufactured in Finland. The company purchased a series of manual looms from a 1940s factory, and sourced wool from the country’s livestock industry that would have otherwise wound up as waste. The resulting textiles are supremely soft and feature subtly nuanced textures.

Travel and accommodations for this coverage provided by Habitare.


In Norway, a Brick Home With an Institutional Feel Is Surprisingly “Koselig” Inside

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-22 18:25

Sanden + Hodnekvam Architects create honey-hued wood interiors that ooze warmth, and an exterior that honors local building traditions.

Sanden + Hodnekvam Architects create honey-hued wood interiors that ooze warmth, and an exterior that honors local building traditions.

Houses We Love: Every day we feature a remarkable space submitted by our community of architects, designers, builders, and homeowners.

Project Details:

Location: Lillehammer, Norway

Architects: Sanden+Hodnekvam Architects

Footprint: 1,000 square feet

Total Square Footage: 2,350 square feet  

From the Architects: "The area around the lake of Mjøsa has long traditions with masonry. It has been the home of 25 brickyards, and both the railway station and church in Lillehammer are made of brick. It’s a durable material with a weight and character providing it with a timeless quality. Today, it is usually used as cladding without structural properties. Our interest was to find a way to build a brick house within a rational economy and an honesty in terms of tectonic qualities and a visible structure.

"The brick house in Lillehammer is dressed in red brick wrapped around a load-bearing wooden structure, made visible through the repetitious openings. Brick is clearly and visibly used as cladding and weather protection. At the same time, the volume and openings are planned in relation to the properties of material using traditional masonry techniques to create openings without excessive use of steel and concrete as reinforcements. The repetitive and simple facades follow the grid of the underlying wooden structure with simple detailing and a contemporary aesthetic. Yet, the architectural expression is a continuation of the historical references and brick structures found in the area.

"The brick house with a tower is located in a steep hill facing south-west, a few kilometers south of Lillehammer, overlooking the lake of Mjøsa and with views toward the city center. A trail runs parallel with the house on the rear side. The placement of the house is chosen to get long views above the adjacent neighbors below, while at the same time preserving the views from the trail. The tower is comprised of one open space overlooking the city to the north and the lake to the west. A part of the tower is open to the floor below, establishing a visual contact between the different levels and providing the kitchen area with air and a generous ceiling height."


A ’60s Studio With a Bright-Yellow Spiral Staircase Asks £725K in London

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-22 18:19

Sliding glass doors connect the spruced-up midcentury apartment to a private balcony.

The main living spaces can be found on the lower level. Wood-framed glass doors open onto the south-facing balcony, which overlooks expansive communal gardens.

Location: Southwood Lawn Road, London, England

Price: £725,000 (approximately $817,510 USD)

Architect: Douglas Stephen & Partners

Year Built: 1965

Footprint: 583 square feet (one bedroom, one bath)

From the Agent: "Positioned within one of Highgate’s most notable modernist buildings, this split-level studio apartment has been carefully renovated by the current owner. It was designed by Robert Maxwell for Douglas Stephen & Partners in 1965. Wonderful original features have been preserved, including full-height sliding doors that open to a south-facing balcony, and sensitive contemporary additions introduced. Behind Southwood Park lie expansive communal gardens, which are home to mature trees, beautifully planted borders and a heated residents’ swimming pool."

Surrounded by mature trees and flowering shrubbery, the modernist apartment building offers a peaceful city escape. An array of other large green spaces, including Hampstead Heath and Waterlow Park, are located just a short walk away.

Surrounded by mature trees and flowering shrubbery, the modernist apartment building offers a peaceful city escape. An array of large green spaces, including Hampstead Heath and Waterlow Park, are located just a short walk away.

Photo courtesy of The Modern House

Photo courtesy of The Modern House

The main living spaces can be found on the lower level. Wood-framed glass doors open onto the south-facing balcony, which overlooks expansive communal gardens.

The main living spaces can be found on the lower level. Wood-framed glass doors open onto the south-facing balcony, which overlooks expansive communal gardens.

Photo courtesy of The Modern House

Photo courtesy of The Modern House

The L-shaped kitchen was recently updated by the current owner and now features all new appliances, white glass cabinetry, and Silestone worktops.

The L-shaped kitchen was recently updated by the current owner and now features all-new appliances, white cabinetry, and Silestone worktops. 

Photo courtesy of The Modern House

Photo courtesy of The Modern House

The spiral staircase ascends to the light-filled mezzanine level which hosts the bedroom.

The spiral staircase ascends to the light-filled mezzanine level, which hosts the bedroom.

Photo courtesy of The Modern House

Photo courtesy of The Modern House

Photo courtesy of The Modern House

Residents can also access the heated swimming pool located near the rear gardens.

Residents can also access the heated swimming pool located near the rear gardens.

Photo courtesy of The Modern House

 Southwood Park in London, England, is currently listed for £725,000 (approximately $844,817 USD) by The Modern House. 


How ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Became the First Movie to Film at Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-22 17:42

The team behind the much-talked about psychological thriller walk us through how they scored the similarly obsessed over Palm Springs home as a shooting location.

There’s a lot of beauty to gaze upon in Don’t Worry Darling, and we’re not just talking about the film’s cast of young, hot Hollywood A-listers, some of whom started dating during filming and some of whom may are rumored to hate each other. While much of the conversation leading up to the film’s release focused on alleged behind-the-scenes drama between director Olivia Wilde and star Florence "Miss Flo" Pugh, leaked texts from one-time leading actor Shia LaBoeuf, Chris Pine’s pained face at the Venice Film Festival press conference, and more than a few less-than-glowing early reviews, even the film’s harsher critics agree that Olivia Wilde’s second directorial feature is visually impressive, chock-full of gorgeous Palm Springs vistas, swinging Eisenhower-era fashions, and more than a few excellent examples of midcentury architecture. 

Florence Pugh as Alice and Olivia Wilde as Bunny in New Line Cinema’s <i>Don’t Worry Darling</i>, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Florence Pugh as Alice and Olivia Wilde as Bunny in Palm Springs, California.

Photo by Merrick Morton, Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Chief among those architectural marvels is Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann Desert House, which the celebrated modernist architect built in 1946 for Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. (the same Pittsburgh department store mogul that charged Frank Lloyd Wright with designing Fallingwater). The International Style structure plays off the nearby San Jacinto mountains using walls of windows that thoughtfully frame vistas and natural materials such as sandstone and birch-veneered plywood. Vertical aluminum louvers protect the various wings from harsh desert temperatures and create a strong connection between the inside and outdoors. Neutra novices might recognize the home’s adjacent poolside pavilion from photographer Slim Aarons’s quintessential 1970s photo, Poolside Gossip, which featured a couple of mod, bubble-haired socialite types perched on lounge chairs while in candid conversation. (A writer for the New York Times once said the image "has become as much a symbol of modernism" as its setting.) Olivia Wilde certainly did. As she told Variety, the director actually had a print of Aarons’s photo on her wall when she was beginning work on Don’t Worry Darling, and had visions of using the home as a model for the film’s set design.

Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, and Harry Styles with cast and crew on location at Richard Neutra’s Desert Kauffman House in Palm Springs, California, for New Line Cinema’s <i>Don’t Worry Darling</i>, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, and Harry Styles with cast and crew on location for Don’t Worry Darling at Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann Desert House, also called the Kaufmann House.

Photo by Merrick Morton, Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

But it wasn’t until she and production designer Katie Byron started to scout for locations in Palm Springs that location manager Chris Baugh told them they might actually be able to shoot there. Prior to Don’t Worry Darling, no Hollywood productions had been allowed to shoot in the architecturally significant residence, which is designated a Class 1 Historic Site by Palm Springs City Council. Baugh, however, had made headway with the home’s longtime owners, Brent and Beth Harris, through an acquaintance and thought he might be able to get Wilde and company in to at least see the space. (The Harrises, he a financial executive and she an architectural historian, bought the house in the early 1990s, but sold it this May to an undisclosed owner for a reported $13 million.)

In the film, the angular, glass-and-metal building is the residence of mysterious Victory svengali, Frank (Chris Pine) and his all-too-perfect wife Shelley (Gemma Chan). (Victory being the incredibly insular company town that everyone works, shops, and resides in throughout the film. The goal of Victory is to change the world, Pine’s character says, though it’s not clear until very late in the movie what he means by that.) Viewers first see the home when Jack (Styles) and Alice (Pugh) are invited to a garden party there, which is considered quite an honor. Baugh says he immediately thought of the Kaufmann House when hearing about Pine’s character, who, he explains in an interview, "has idealized affluence, taste, and wealth. When you’re thinking about where somebody like that might live in a community like Palm Springs, it’s got to be a pretty spectacular place." 

Director, producer, and actor Olivia Wilde and lead actor Florence Pugh with prop master Joshua Bramer and director of photography Matthew Libatique on the set of <i>Don’t Worry Darling</i>.

Wilde and Pugh with prop master Joshua Bramer and director of photography Matthew Libatique on set.

Photo by Merrick Morton, Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Once Wilde, Baugh, and Byron toured the Kaufmann House, they fell in love with the idea of using it for the scene. Baugh then embarked upon a months-long letter-writing campaign with the very thoughtful and protective owners, providing them with what he describes as "detailed plans about how we could shoot safely and what the project was."  

"It’s a very delicate, historic, fragile property," says Baugh. "It was built with soft materials and it’s very easy to damage the home. If you bumped into the wall too hard you could scratch something. There were certain floors you couldn’t walk on unless you were barefoot because things were delicate. It just wasn't worth it to the owners to have a film crew in there [previously], and so that was a difficult discussion."

"We didn’t want to be known as the people who destroyed the Kaufmann House."

Still, Baugh did manage to convince the owners to let them use the Kaufmann House as a filming location; it’s actually where the first day of shooting on Don’t Worry Darling took place. In the run-up to the shoot, Byron and her team toured the home several more times to prepare, which she says led her to develop an even greater love of Neutra’s work. "When you prep a location, you spend a lot of time there," Byron explains. "You keep going back and measuring details and looking at every single nook and cranny of the place in order to create plans for the art department. A lot of that time, we were also studying all of the details like every little piece of hardware." 

Byron says her team even fell in love with a paint color that was original to Neutra’s design. She describes it as "almost black, but like the deepest, darkest brown," and says it could only be purchased through a special order. The production team decided to weave it into the whole film, connecting the rest of the interior sets back to Frank’s house in a way that’s both intentional and suggestive, creating what Byron calls "a little bit of noise throughout the film." 

Florence Pugh as Alice in New Line Cinema’s <i>Don’t Worry Darling</i>, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Pugh plays a 1950s housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

When it came time to actually shoot at the Kaufmann House, tensions were understandably high. Film crews can contain about 150 people, many with dirty shoes, heavy equipment, and rogue tool belts. Because, as Baugh says, "We didn’t want to be known as the people who destroyed the Kaufmann House," the production team took extra special precautions. Baugh says they enlisted a special company to install protective materials all over the property, using durable floor and edge coverings in every hallway and on every corner and door jamb. "We had people there the whole time from before the first people walked in until the last people left just to sit there and monitor things," Baugh says. "The owners of the house also hired representatives to stand in each room quietly watching to try to prevent any accidents or rough behavior." 

Only certain production staff and cast members were even allowed in the home in an effort to keep the interior a tightly controlled environment. No camera dollies were permitted on-site either. "A dolly is almost like a mini train car. It’s a heavy piece of metal," Baugh explains. "If that gets rolling and rams into a wall, you’re done. It’s going to damage that wall."  

Director/producer/actor Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles on the set of New Line Cinema’s <i>Don’t Worry Darling</i>, a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Wilde and Harry Styles on the set of Don’t Worry Darling.

Photo by Merrick Morton, Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

All that reverence paid off, not just because Don’t Worry Darling’s first day of shooting went off without a hitch, but because the location helped the cast and crew better understand the spaces the film would inhabit, both production and storywise. "In order to shoot in the Kaufmann House, we had to come to set with the utmost respect," says Byron. "Sometimes [on film sets] people kind of lose the plot and forget where they are. With the Kaufmann House, everyone was very aware of where we were, and that carried throughout the film. Anytime we were in any space, we wanted to treat it as if it was a celebrity itself."  

Baugh agrees, saying, "Everything about that house is spectacular. It’s what you feel when you’re walking through the hallway. It hits you at an emotional level that’s deeper than aesthetics; you’re feeling sensations that have a visceral impact. I can’t even describe it, but the Kaufmann House has it. It’s a very special space, and it was an honor to be there." 

Top photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Related Reading:

How Neutra’s Kaufmann House Got its Groove Back

How the Caterpillar House Set the Stage for Zendaya’s Secret Movie Filmed Under Lockdown


One Tiny Home Builder’s Big, Big Plans to Bring Its Space-Age Prefabs to the Masses

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-21 19:16

Looking at SpaceX and Apple as inspirations, Nestron says it will launch its first concept stores in Las Vegas, Houston, and Fort Lauderdale in June 2023.

For years, tiny homes have been gaining ground in U.S. cities like Durango, Colorado, Fresno, California, and Flat Rock, North Carolina. Until recently, however, buyers seeking options for an alternative, eco-conscious lifestyle, extra income from a rental property, or simply an affordable place to live mostly had to do the legwork themselves. (The HGTV series is called Tiny House Hunters for a reason).

Soon, that could change. Nestron, the Singapore-based company behind futuristic prefabricated homes such as the 279-square-foot, galvanized steel-clad Cube Two (starting at $77K) and wood-wrapped Legend Two ($55K) wants to make it easier for potential buyers to see what they’re getting into, quite literally.

The floor plan for the Nestron’s showrooms, slated to open in Las Vegas, Houston, and Fort Lauderdale in June 2023, shows an elaborate  multilevel design. A showcase area, reception hall, customization studio, and after-sales service desk occupy the ground floor. The mezzanine houses staff offices, meeting spaces, and an informal public area. The first floor contains a public education space and NFT gallery.

The floor plan for Nestron’s showrooms, slated to open in Las Vegas, Houston, and Fort Lauderdale in June 2023, shows an elaborate multilevel design. A showcase area, reception hall, customization studio, and after-sales service desk occupy the ground floor. The mezzanine houses staff offices, meeting spaces, and an informal public area. The first floor contains a public education space and NFT gallery.

Courtesy of Nestron

Although no one in the U.S. is currently living in one of its tiny homes, the company plans to open supermarket-sized retail showrooms in Las Vegas, Houston, and Fort Lauderdale in June 2023, followed by more in Japan, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand the following year. Nestron says it already has 15,000 preorders requiring $10,000 deposits from customers across those U.S. cities.

"The needs and calls of tens of thousands of market customers are our driving force," says Lawrence K., president of Nestron, who didn’t want to share his full surname. "Our goal in opening Nestron Centers is to realistically showcase the tiny home lifestyle we offer and to provide a more direct live experience and complete after-sales service."

The main entrance to the Nestron Center includes a prominent archway that leads to on-site parking.

The main entrance to the Nestron Center includes a prominent archway that leads to on-site parking.

Courtesy of Nestron

Courtesy of Nestron

Nestron plans to include a Metaverse portal as part of the shopping experience.

Nestron plans to include a Metaverse portal as part of the shopping experience.

Courtesy of Nestron

To date, one of Nestron’s models has been installed in the U.K. for a private resident, and the company expects to deliver to Hawaii, Maryland, and Tennessee by the end of 2022. Is it a wild idea to open multiple showrooms in an overseas market without proof of concept and a successful track record of ownership? Perhaps, but K. says preorders and inquiries tracked on the company’s AI-powered database show growing demand in the U.S. from a diverse set of buyers and potential customers. 

"Backyard housing, disaster victims, low and moderate-income people, Airbnbs,campgrounds, resorts, hotels—these are our audiences. It's very large andcontinues to grow," K. says. 

The design for the center includes an NFT gallery.

The design for the center includes an NFT gallery.

Courtesy of Nestron

The Orbiter, a curving concourse conceived as a space tunnel, educates visitors about the material and energy savings of prefabricated homes and their potential as an affordable housing solution.

The Orbiter, a curving concourse conceived as a space tunnel, educates visitors about the material and energy savings of prefabricated homes and their potential as an affordable housing solution.

Courtesy of Nestron

Color-controlled LED lights framing the mezzanine cast a spectral glow and reflect the Nestron Center’s focus on energy-efficiency.

Color-controlled LED lights framing the mezzanine cast a spectral glow and reflect the Nestron Center’s focus on energy-efficiency.

Courtesy of Nestron

More than just retail showrooms for individual consumers, the Nestron Centers are envisioned as hubs for decentralized networks of sustainable, low-carbon tiny homes that are meant to serve local markets by alleviating affordable housing shortages. The United States alone is short 1.5 million homes according to a report by the financial research company Moody’s Analytics. K. believes that by exposing consumers and city officials to Nestron’s homes and the quality of life they promise, the company can begin to shore up the gap, if only in baby steps.

"The inspiration, I would say, for the Nestron Center is, of course, the audience," K. says. "If we have this kind of showroom, we will probably get the attention of the local government and society at large."

An NFT Gallery takes visitors into the metaverse where futuristic homes occupy virtual worlds.

Another view of the NFT gallery shows visitors connecting with the metaverse where futuristic homes occupy virtual worlds.

Courtesy of Nestron

A product gallery features the Cube Two X, a 376-square-foot home clad in steel and fiber-reinforced plastic that’s being offered in one or two-bedroom models.

A product gallery features the Cube Two X, a 376-square-foot home clad in steel and fiber-reinforced plastic that’s being offered in one and two-bedroom models.

Courtesy of Nestron

A rendering of the exterior shows glass curtain walls wrapping around a corner of the facade.

A rendering of the exterior shows glass curtain walls wrapping around a corner of the facade.

Courtesy of Nestron

It sounds like a big bet, but it’s one with a distinct vision. K. says the showrooms’ designs, like Nestron’s homes, are inspired by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Foster + Partners–designed Apple Stores, and sci-fi films such as Tron and Avatar. Renderings show the centers dressed in white metallic facades and glass curtain walls, with solar arrays to minimize reliance on local energy grids. Outside the 20,000- to 50,000-square-foot buildings, landscaped areas will feature Nestron’s homes styled as glamping fantasies, disaster relief houses, medical facilities, and residential dwellings for expansive tiny home communities.

The interiors are depicted with a curvilinear floor plan that includes full-scale modular homes, interior furnishings, and LED-illuminated studios, meeting spaces, and purchase locations. According to K., the centers will help to explain what Nestron sees as the benefits of the tiny home prefab lifestyle: a lower carbon footprint, floor plans that facilitate efficient living; abundant natural light; and smart features like lighting, sound, and air-conditioning systems.

For now, the company is keeping the details of showrooms curiously vague. The Orbiter, as a press briefing states, is "a space tunnel with a sci-fi vibe"; the Generator is a destination for "like-minded people such as designers, builders and more to connect"; the NFT Gallery, a space to "experience the virtual world of Nestron."

The Orbiter floats overhead in the showroom.

The Orbiter floats overhead in the showroom.

Courtesy of Nestron

Another corner of the showroom would be reserved for another of Nestron’s prefabs.

Another corner of the showroom would be reserved for another of Nestron’s prefabs.

Courtesy of Nestron

What is clear is that prospective buyers will be able to browse homes, use smart interfaces to customize models to their budget and preferences, and finalize purchases through an in-store app. According to the company, units can be shipped in about 90 days and installed on the day of arrival, and an after-sale service for maintenance and furnishing upgrades will give buyers ready access to customer service. Think of it like a modern-day Sears kit home backed by the Geek Squad.

K. says homes are delivered complete, and that "there’s zero installation needed upon arrival." But that’s not strictly true. Local contractors are needed to install the units, which are anchored in the ground by four support legs bored with screw holes—60- to 100-centimeters in circumference depending on the terrain and building requirements. Then there are the electric and water hookups, and most crucially, permitting the building type according to an area’s building and zoning codes.

The all-white interiors evoke a space-age feel.

The all-white interiors evoke a space-age feel.

Courtesy of Nestron

Nestron’s showrooms are envisioned as prefab housing hubs for local governments and individual consumers alike.

Nestron’s showrooms are envisioned as prefab housing hubs for local governments and individual consumers alike.

Courtesy of Nestron

A larger than life arch marks the entrance to the design of the center.

A larger than life arch marks the entrance to the design of the center.

Courtesy of Nestron

Last April, in North Las Vegas, local leaders brought in bulldozers to demolish a community of tiny homes the nonprofit New Leaf had built for unhoused residents on a parcel of land zoned for single family homes at least 1,200 square feet in size. But a Nevada state law, Senate Bill 150, which passed in 2021, will require large cities to create building and zoning codes to allow for tiny homes in select areas by 2024. Nevertheless, the incident lays bare the bitter fault line that has emerged over tiny homes and where they’re allowed to be built, which, in many cases, due to encoded size requirements, amounts to structural discrimination against the poor and underprivileged.

K. offers assurance that Nestron has been doing its homework, and says he’s currently in talks with authorities in Houston, Las Vegas, and Ft. Lauderdale who are "very accepting of our product." Even if true, Nestron’s ambitions for a tiny home world takeover, if you can call it that, are likely to be held up by jurisdictions across the U.S. The states and cities that prohibit tiny homes rarely do so openly, but instead have inspection programs or onerous requirements for square footage, ceiling heights, and exits that make it illegal to live in them.

Surrounding the building is a 20,000-square-foot landscape space with outdoor seating, water features and models of prefabricated homes and components.

Surrounding the building concept is a 20,000-square-foot landscape space with outdoor seating, water features, and models of prefabricated homes and components. Solar arrays could power the the building, or add to a local grid.

Courtesy of Nestron

Still, building showrooms could serve as a way to raise awareness around the viability of tiny homes to alleviate the housing crisis, especially as housing prices continue to soar. Prefabricated and assembled in Asia, homes like the Cube Two, offered at a base price of $77K, can be built up to 50 percent faster than those built on-site, according to Nestron’s media representative, TzeYan Law. Advanced automation and casting processes—Nestron has 27 proprietary molds—achieve greater precision than traditional building methods, generating less waste, and using fewer materials to keep costs in check, says Law.

The centers Nestron plans to open are are just one phase of its larger vision. The company also wants to open factories in the U.S., the European Union, and Japan to ramp up production and reduce shipping costs. To naysayers who might find such an investment premature, K. contends the need for affordable, fast-to-market housing is real, especially in the context of disaster relief, and it is past time for manufacturers to rise up to meet the demand.

"Last year, California forest fires kinda destroyed a lot of things," K. says. "If we had a solution back then, I think it would have helped society immensely." 

While K. and Nestron lay plans to solve the housing crisis and come to the rescue of disaster victims across the U.S., we await its first U.S.–built home.

A customization studio gives prospective buyers access to smart, human-scale interfaces to configure the design of prefabricated homes to their preferences.

A customization studio gives prospective buyers access to smart, human-scale interfaces to configure the design of prefabricated homes to their preferences.

Courtesy of Nestron

A sales center would provide customers with a smooth buying process.

A sales center would provide customers with a smooth buying process.

Courtesy of Nestron


Everything You Need to Know About Being On a Home Renovation TV Show

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-21 16:44

There’s been a rash of recent stories recounting nightmare experiences on home makeover series. Here, insiders share what interested homeowners should be prepared for, like who fronts the bill, and what happens to the furniture.

These days, there are dozens of home renovation TV shows currently airing or in production on networks like HGTV, Netflix, DIY, or Magnolia. These shows often follow the same formula: A contractor-designer duo (think Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines or Home Town’s Ben and Erin Napier) sits down with a set of eager and telegenic homeowners who have volunteered to change up their living space, which sometimes just means buying a newly flipped residence, and other times involves inviting the crew into their existing home for a much-needed update. There’s a budget, one that the show will strain against along the way, but in the end, there’s a big reveal and all parties seemingly walk away happy. 

But in recent years, there have been more than a few stories where participants have spoken up about televised home makeovers gone awry, even though most contracts bind homeowners to firm confidentiality, preventing them—at least in theory—from spoiling unaired storylines or making public complaints. In January 2022, Magnolia Network, which is run by Chip and Joanna Gaines, even pulled its Home Work series from the air following allegations from at least three homeowners that its hosts performed shoddy work and broke promises about renovation timelines and budgets. Former contestants on shows like Property Brothers and Love It or List It have gone as far as to file suits against the production companies that call the shots on these series, and some have been met with countersuits. But that’s not to say homeowners can’t walk away happy. Here are six things industry experts and former participants think everyone should know before they go on a home renovation show. 

Home renovation TV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines updated the Cottonland Castle in Waco, Texas, for the upcoming season of <i>Fixer Upper: The Castle</i>, which airs<i> </i>on Magnolia Network this fall.

Home renovation TV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines gained fame as the hosts of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. In January 2022, the duo launched Magnolia Network (formerly DIY Network) with Discovery Inc., featuring programs focused on home design, renovation, and landscaping, as well as some food-oriented series.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia

You’ll have to chip in time, energy, and (probably lots of) money 

Almost all home renovation shows—save your Extreme Home Makeovers and other more charitable productions—require the homeowner to pay for their own renovation. This means footing the bill for everything from the materials to the permits to the dumpsters, not to mention the porta potty workers use on-site. You’ll also have to pay to move out and store your existing furniture for the duration of shooting (anywhere from two days to three months) as well as any relocation costs you or your family might incur. Hopefully you’ll be able to find a place to crash for free, but if you need to rent a hotel room or an apartment, you’re going to have to do that on your own dime.  

Most casting notices for renovation shows will make this clear, calling explicitly for homeowners with budgets to work with. The amount a show is looking for can vary wildly, from $10,000 for a backyard makeover to $125,000 for a historic redo. That being said…

You’re getting a great deal on the work

One perk of being on a home renovation show is that, for the most part, you know the work will be done on schedule and within budget. Anyone who’s had work done on their home knows that this can be a rarity, especially now, with pandemic-related material shortages and shipping delays. "The biggest secret that most people don’t know about home renovation TV is that it typically expedites your renovation by about 20 percent," says Loren Ruch, group senior VP of programming and development at HGTV. "Since we have crews at your house and hard deadlines, it’s typically the sole focus of the contractor and designer, as opposed to the real world where they may be working on multiple projects at the same time." 

Scott Feeley, president of High Noon Entertainment—the production company behind Fixer Upper, Good Bones, Restored By the Fords, and more—echoes this sentiment. "When you sign up for one of these shows, you’re going to get a unique opportunity to work with one of the top designers in your state," he says. "You’re also most likely going to get your renovation within your budget and schedule, which I think is huge." In other words: The show is not going to tell you that your job will be done in three months for $50,000 and then have it take nine months and cost $100,000. That’s bad TV and bad business. "At least on our shows," Feeley continues, "We’re going to stay within budget and on schedule." (And if they don’t, that’s a red flag.)

There’s also the possibility—though it’s not a guarantee—that the show might kick in some money toward your renovation if it serves the story they’re telling. For instance, if a design is all about a certain kind of cabinets that are a few thousand dollars out of the homeowner’s budget, the producers might choose to make up the difference or work with a sponsor to get a good deal on that product. This isn’t something to rely on, but it’s nice to know it’s occasionally possible. 

Restored by the Fords

HGTV’s Restored by the Fords follows sibling duo Leanne and Steve Ford—she an interior designer, he a carpenter/contractor—as they restore historic houses in their native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Photo courtesy of HGTV

You’ll have some control over the design, but you can’t make all the rules 

Heather Huntington, a homeowner in Los Angeles, says that when she was on HGTV’s Carter Can in 2007, she had to give producers a list of a few rooms she’d like to see made over. They scouted her house, took measurements, and ultimately decided they’d turn a blank, box-like concrete space she hadn’t been able to figure out what to do with into a theater. Luckily, Huntington says she was thrilled with the outcome, but that doesn’t mean producers always pick the rooms homeowners would like done the most. 

Mark Abulencia says when his family was initially approached about being on HGTV’s First Home Fix, he and his husband, Michael Hargrove, suggested the show renovate their family room and kids’ bathroom. Producers came to check out the rooms and decided the bathroom didn’t give enough bang for the show’s buck. "It’s a pretty narrow, small room and I guess it lacked any kind of wow factor," Abulencia says. Instead, producers said they’d rather makeover the family room and dining area, which the homeowners were ultimately fine with. 

"I always say that the best candidates [for these shows] are the ones who are the most collaborative," says Ruch. "If you know exactly what you want before meeting with the designer, you’re probably not going to have as much fun as someone who comes with an open mind and enthusiastic energy. Take the opportunity to tap into the incredible brains of our experts so that you’ll end up with a makeover that’s even more spectacular than what you imagined." 

Feeley says taking away a little of the homeowners’ control is also about making good TV. Participants always sit down with designers before construction, tell them their needs and wants, and check out a design plan. Once the homeowners agree to a plan, the show typically asks them to move out of their space. "The reason we do that is because we want that big reveal," Feeley explains. "We want the homeowner to walk into the house and be blown away by what they’re seeing. We’re not going to get that reaction if the owner is living in the home or stopping by every other day to see the process." 

First Home Fix

First Home Fix, which premiered on HGTV this September, follows professional renovators Raisa Kuddus and Austin Coleman as they help first-time homeowners transform their starter homes "without breaking the bank," according to the network.

Photo courtesy of HGTV

If you’re not picked to be on a show, it’s not necessarily about you 

Feeley says that for each of the 10-plus home renovation shows High Noon develops, the company is looking for a different type of participant. If a show is about ugly duckling homes and shoots in Fort Worth, for example, you’ll need to own a home in the area that’s got zero curb appeal and is in need of major updates. You’ll also have to have the hefty budget to pay for those updates and be personable, available, and willing to put your life and home on television. 

"It’s really about the right fit," Feeley says. "A lot of it is timing, too. Are you ready to renovate your house when the show needs to be shot? Does your house fit into the creative [concept] of that show, and does your budget match the scope of work that we want done?" 

A homeowner’s design vision also has to match with the show’s aesthetic. If you want to go on Home Town, for instance, but your whole vibe is brutalist furniture and primary colors, the show’s producers might decide you’re not a great fit. "Generally, the designers on these shows really work with the clients to figure out what they like and talk about what the homeowners are envisioning," Feeley says. "At that step, if the designers and producers feel like the homeowners want a look that just doesn’t match what we’re going for, we probably won’t end up casting them." 

Mark Abulencia and Michael Hargrove Family Portrait

Mark Abulencia, his husband, Michael Hargrove, and their two children had their home renovated for an episode of HGTV’s new show, First Home Fix.

Photo courtesy of Mark Abulencia

Your background and story can also help you get a leg up in the casting process. Abulencia says a friend of his pointed a casting director their way after hearing they were looking for a more diverse set of first-time homeowners with unique stories to tell. He says he feels like the reason they were cast—apart from their home, their budget, and their personalities—was because he, his husband, and their two children represent a type of family not always seen on home renovation shows. "HGTV tends to feature middle-class white families in the Midwest that can redo a whole house for $30,000," Hargrove adds. "First Home Fix wanted to really show the real estate market in Southern California and how much things cost, and they wanted to show diverse families across the series." 

The furniture isn’t always included 

While Huntington says some of her own budget went toward buying the furniture needed to create her entertainment room, her case is more of the exception than the rule. Most shows will stage rooms for televised reveals, then offer homeowners the chance to buy the staging furniture if they’re into it. Some pieces stay, like anything made custom as part of the show, but many of those white couches that look great on camera (but are wildly impractical for families with children) don’t stay after production has wrapped. Abulencia says that he and Hargrove opted to purchase two chairs they fell in love with on the shoot day, but sent the rest of the staging furniture away with the production crew. It’s worth noting that, for the most part, the staging furniture is fairly priced. "Generally, the pieces that designers put in these homes are relatively affordable," Feeley says. "It’s not like their staging budget is astronomical so they’re putting in high-end designer furniture."  

Since its 2016 debut, <i>Restored by the Fords</i> has become one of HGTV’s most popular series.

Since its 2016 debut, Restored by the Fords has become one of HGTV’s most popular series.

Photo courtesy of HGTV

The process might seem like a lot, but in the end, it’s generally worth it 

Going on a home renovation show isn’t right for everyone, but if you’ve got an adventurous spirit and are willing to give up a little control, it could pay off. It’s also a great option for homeowners who may not have the strongest  design sense or overall vision for their space. "I would not have known what to do with the room the show made over," Huntington says. "I certainly would never have dreamed of making it into a screening room. I felt so spoiled and special to have it." 

Abulencia says part of what he and his husband got from the show was peace of mind. "Before the show, we had another contractor that was supposed to do our family room and he dropped out mid-project," he explains. "Michael ended up trying to fix it by himself and he did not like the job he did. That’s why this show was so appealing to us, because we got professional help that wasn’t gonna flake on us." Even better, he says, was that the help actually ended up being better than expected. "It was supposed to be done in six weeks, and sure enough, it was actually done in five weeks," Abulencia says. "That’s unheard of with non-TV contractors." 

Ruch says that HGTV strives to leave the homes it redoes on its network "in tip-top shape," especially since the network and its experts put their reputations on the line. "I call it the ‘white glove treatment,’ where we genuinely do our best to have the homeowners feel like the end result is better than they imagined," he says.

Feeley agrees that, for the most part, participating homeowners end up walking away from the process satisfied. "They also often mention that having this basically one-hour documentary on how their house was renovated is a very special part of the process," he says. "It’s something that they treasure, and that, if you were going to renovate your home outside of television, you’re just not going to get." 

Top photo courtesy HGTV, of the show Good Bones.

Related Reading:

Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Latest ‘Fixer Upper’ Is Lovely, but Unsurprising

The Knowing Blandness of the ‘Dream Home Makeover’ Aesthetic

9 Critical Tips to Read Before Kicking Off a Home Renovation


A “Floating” Midcentury Time Capsule Lists for $750K in Minnesota

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-21 16:27

The eccentric 1950s home is suspended atop a steel bridge and packed with original details—including an indoor pool.

The eccentric 1950s home is suspended atop a steel bridge and packed with original details—including an indoor pool.

Location: 3328 E Superior Street, Duluth, Minnesota

Price: $750,000

Year Built: 1959

Footprint: 2,452 square feet (three bedrooms, three baths)

Lot Size: 0.34 acres

From the agent: "This home speaks to the heart of what we mean when we say a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity.’ The midcentury-modern home, known as the Erickson House, is built on top of a steel bridge spanning a creek that flows through the Congdon Estate to Lake Superior. Built of steel, concrete, and slate in 1959, this time capsule is ready to be restored and polished. The wall of windows in the open-concept living room and primary bedroom looks into the trees, suspended in nature. This engineering feat has stood solid through its 60 years, and is ready to once again shine."

A long walkway overlooking the surrounding property leads to the home's main entrance.

A long walkway overlooking the surrounding property leads to the home’s entrance.

Photo by Ben Clasen

Photo by Ben Clasen

Upon entry, original wooden cabinetry serves as a winding partition to the main living spaces set just beyond. Clerestory windows line the walls draw in ample natural light.

Upon entry, original wooden cabinetry partitions off the main living spaces set just beyond. Clerestory windows line the walls, drawing in ample natural light. 

Photo by Ben Clasen

Photo by Ben Clasen

The open kitchen is located on the opposite side of the entry partition.

The open kitchen is located on the opposite side of the entry partition.

Photo courtesy of Gulliford &amp; Rue Realty Team at Edina Realty

Photo by Ben Clasen

Each of the three bedrooms offer a quiet refuge for relaxation—in addition to spacious, ensuite baths.

Each of the three bedrooms is a quiet refuge for relaxation, with a spacious en suite bath.

Photo by Ben Clasen

Photo by Ben Clasen

Soothing sounds from the creek below can be heard atop the home's private balconies.

Soothing sounds from the creek below can be heard from the home’s private balconies.

Photo by Ben Clasen

An indoor pool—eager to be restored and polished—awaits under the garage.

An indoor pool—ready to be restored and polished—awaits under the garage.

Photo by Ben Clasen

3328 E Superior Street in Duluth, Minnesota, is currently listed for $750,000 by Jessica Buelow and Karen Rue from the Gulliford & Rue Realty Team at Edina Realty.


Small Tweaks Turn a Traditional Japanese House Into a Home for a Potter and His Family

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-21 15:47

Architecture studio Raumus applied flattering finishes and created flexible spaces for work, play, and family living.

Houses We Love: Every day we feature a remarkable space submitted by our community of architects, designers, builders, and homeowners.

Project Details:

Location: Okayama City, Japan

Architect: Raumus

Structural Engineer: Nishi Structural Design

Contractor: Yamato House

Photographer: Norihito Yamauchi

From the Architect: "This is a renovation of a ‘minka’—a traditional Japanese-style house—for a family of four in Okayama, Japan. We wanted to revive the form of the house and modify the floor plan for modern-day family living.

"The home is not only a residence but also a place of work and gathering—the husband, a potter, works in his studio during the day and has many clients visiting, and the wife, a cook, often gathers people together for meals. We decided to reconfigure the house into three spaces: the doma/tatami room for guests, the living space, and the sleeping areas.

"The doma (the traditional, earthen-floored space between indoors and outdoors) and the hall are separated by three sliding doors that can be opened to make one large room with a four-meter-high hipped ceiling. Rather than create a dedicated nursery, the earthen-floored area is also used as a children’s room.

"The porch facing the large window on the south side is used for reading, drinking tea, and as a playground for children; the hall is used to store firewood collected from the surrounding mountains; and the rear study space features a niche made of lauan plywood and is also used by the children.

"It was important that the home is friendly to both people and the environment. The sashes were replaced with new, more efficient ones; the walls and ceilings were insulated; the home is heated by a wood-burning stove in combination with hot-water floor heating; and a heat pump is used instead of air conditioning.

"The ceiling has been finished with a dark lauan plywood that matches the color of the existing beams and columns, while the lower part of the ceiling is finished with a lighter color to complement the modern furniture. We avoided contrasting the old and new parts of the house, and instead used time-honored materials to harmonize the existing and new elements and respond to the client’s desire to ‘enjoy the flavor of old things’ while practicing a modern way of living."

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Photo by Norihito Yamauchi

Floorplan of the renovated minka by raumus

Floor plan of the renovated minka by Raumus.

Raumus

Raumus


Seeking $5.8M, This Topsy-Turvy Venice Beach Home Will Make Your Head Spin

Permalink - Posted on 2022-09-20 18:41

The Tectonic House is the first project built by famed firm Coop Himmelblau in the United States.

The Tectonic House is the first project built by famed firm Coop Himmelb(l)au in the United States.

Location: 513 Grand Blvd, Venice, California

Price: $5,800,000

Architect: Coop Himmelblau

Year Built: 2001

Footprint: 2,522 square feet (four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths)

Lot Size: 0.06 acres

From the Agent: "Steps to Abbot Kinney and Venice beach, this dynamic urban intervention is a rare private residence by Viennese architects Coop Himmelblau, and the first project built by the Austrian team in the United States. Here the architects explode the constraints of functionalism into a thousand pieces, in the process creating a complex sculptural form interwoven with the apparatus of living. This private, gated four-bedroom home is one of Venice’s most prized architectural masterpieces. The expressive use of concrete, glass, and structural steel is tempered by an open floor plan with direct connections to the landscape, a sculptural shelving installation, natural wood ceilings, and the play of daylight with cool ocean breezes throughout and atop the generous roof deck."

From street-view, the multi-story home bucks convention, boasting an eccentric, inverted-like design.

The multistory home bucks convention, boasting an eccentric, inverted design. 

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

Burns acquired the property in 2014 for $2,300,000. “Owning this house is a bit like being a celebrity in very weird, eclectic circles,” he described in a recent interview, noting how architecture students would regularly visit to study the home's sculptural construction.

The Simpsons writer and producer J. Stewart Burns acquired the property in 2014 for $2,300,000. "Owning this house is a bit like being a celebrity in very weird, eclectic circles," he said in a recent interview, noting how architecture students would regularly visit to study the home's sculptural construction.

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

The plywood structure, which starts on the ground level, ascends with the steel staircase.

The plywood structure, which starts on the ground level, ascends with the steel staircase.

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

In addition to mesmerizing art installations, the home also features large living spaces. Here is a peek of the  Bulthaup kitchen, fitted with European fixtures and appliances.

Here is a peek at the  Bulthaup kitchen, fitted with European fixtures and appliances.

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

The residence is comprised of two steel-framed towers, connected via a wooden bridge.

The residence is comprised of two steel-framed towers, connected via a wooden bridge.

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier

513 Grand Blvd in Venice, California, is currently listed for $5,800,000 by Sandra Miller of  Engel & Völkers Santa Monica.


20 Unbelievable Tree Houses We’re Pining Over

Permalink - Posted on 2019-06-12 19:39

These spellbinding tree houses will bring your childhood dreams to life.

Ethan Schussler built his first tree house at 12 years old. His tree house in Sandpoint, Idaho, sits 30 feet above the ground and can be accessed by an "elevator" consisting of a bicycle that, when pedaled, ascends a pulley system to the top.

Few dwellings capture the imagination like tree houses—and when they're designed by talented architects, the effect is positively enchanting. These 20 tree houses pack in fantastical features ranging from bicycle-powered elevators to metal slides and built-in hammocks perfect for stargazing.

World of Living by Baumraum

This fascinating tree house was created for the World of Living show park, a space dedicated to displaying contemporary prefab home design. Located in Rheinau-Linx, Germany, the tree house rests on seven slanted larch support beams and features a round, futuristic-like shape.

This fascinating tree house was created for the World of Living show park, a space dedicated to displaying contemporary prefab home design. Located in Rheinau-Linx, Germany, the tree house rests on seven slanted larch support beams and features a round, futuristic shape.

Photo by Alasdair Jardine

Founded in 2003 by Andreas Wenning, the German design firm Baumraum has built over 50 perched spaces across the world, continuously offering clients of all ages an intimate and adventurous way to connect with nature. Each tree house built by the firm is entirely custom-designed, taking the site plan into account, as well as the wellbeing of the trees. To reduce impact at the site, the team prefabricates many of the houses, arranging them so that the surrounding trees’ roots aren’t harmed.

Austin Treehouse by Ryan Street Architects

The panelized building system places minimal impact on the job site and the surrounding nature. “DARIO is a better, more efficient way to build,

Set atop stilts designed to resemble tree branches, the tree house is clad in reclaimed Douglas fir and mirrored panels that reflect the surroundings.

Photo by Cate Black

To create a tree house on their property, one Austin family looked to their daughter’s artwork for design inspiration. The project started out as a backyard playhouse for the couple’s two daughters—but then it took off and went above and beyond everyone’s wildest dreams.

Brisbane Treehouse by Phorm Architecture + Design

The homeowners wanted a space to accommodate their interests: gardening, looking after their ducks, or relaxing in the shade provided by the canopy of trees on the property.

The triangular shape comes from the owners’ desire to not completely fill the backyard area, while also accommodating the stately, deciduous tree at the center of the space.

Photo by Christopher Frederick Jones

When Phorm Architecture + Design was asked to design a backyard extension for a young Australian couple, they were stepping into uncharted territory. Designed to be a "weekender in the backyard," the 452-square-foot tree house takes a grown-up approach to the classic children’s club house.

Upper Tree House by Jay Nelson

Woven into a stand of redwoods on Jason Titus and Nerija Sinkevičiūtė-Titus’s property in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a tree house by San Francisco designer/artist Jay Nelson gives the couple and their three boys a new perspective on the forest.

This tree house, designed by Jay Nelson, is not like any tree house you grew up with. Weaving through a stand of redwoods, it carries all the inimitable charms of the San Francisco artist’s imaginative, woodsy, and weatherworn aesthetic. (His previous work includes a camper built on the back of a Subaru Brat and a small rough-hewn home on Kauai.) Made mostly of reclaimed wood, it looks like a ship lost in an ocean of trees.

Playa Viva by ArtisTree

The Playa Viva tree house by ArtisTree

On the Pacific coast in southern Mexico, ArtisTree created a tree house in an eco-resort called Playa Viva, where construction and sourcing of sustainable materials proved to be a challenge. They created a solution that included using an extensive amount of bamboo, local stone, and hand-held power tools to create a 700-square-foot, two-level tree house that offers impressive views of the ocean.

Photo by Kevin Steele

When it comes to designing tree houses, Texas-based ArtisTree looks to local, natural materials for both design inspiration and construction materials. Their unique tree houses, which are thoughtfully sited for breathtaking views of the landscape, combine sustainable features with hospitality design. They create escapes that are small in size, but boast a powerful connection to the local environment.

Flying Pigsty by Amir Sanei

The Flying Pigsty provides the perfect place for young boys–or pigs with wings–to wile away summer afternoons.

The Flying Pigsty provides the perfect place for young boys–or pigs with wings–to wile away summer afternoons.

Courtesy of Amir Sanei

Those looking for a more down-to-earth option might consider wallowing in a pigsty, which is essentially what designer Amir Sanei constructed for his two sons. The cofounder of London-based Sanei Hopkins Architects, Sanei based the design on a "pig ark," a simple metal dome used to house pigs, which are abundant on farms surrounding his house in Suffolk.

4TREEHOUSE by Lukasz Kos

The 4TREEHOUSE features a futuristic illuminated facade that looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie.

The 4TREEHOUSE features a futuristic illuminated facade that looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie.

Photo Courtesy of Lukaksz Kos

The 4TREEHOUSE is a two-ton, 410-square-foot tree house suspended 20 feet off the ground from steel airline cables anchored to four tree trunks. Toronto-based architect Lukasz Kos says, "This was really a parameter-driven project. That is, I had to let the trees decide how the house would be."

Pinecone by O2 Tree House

Designed and built by Oakland–based O2 Treehouse, the Pinecone is a five-and-a-half-ton geodesic home that can be installed in the forest or in your own backyard. The treehouse, accessed via a wood ladder and a trap door, is constructed from steel, wood, and glass that integrates into the forest canopy. Inside, 64 diamond-shaped windows provide 360-degree views of the surrounding forest or landscape. Even the floors are composed of transparent panels—enhancing the sensation of floating above the earth.

The Pincecone tree house is accessed via a steep wooden ladder and a trap door that unfolds down from the top.

Photo by Garna Raditya

Oakland-based O2 Tree House uses steel, wood, and glass to create tiny pincecone-shaped homes that look like ornaments hanging from from the treetops. Best of all, they’re available for purchase, so you can create your own forest getaway.

Woodnest Treehouses by Helen & Hard Architects

Designed by Helen & Hard Architects, Woodnest is a pair of rentable dwellings suspended from living trees in Odda, Norway.

Helen & Hard Architects say the tree house design is "inspired by the Norwegian cultural traditions of vernacular timber architecture and a desire to experiment with the material potential of wood." The structure utilizes a central steel collar that wraps around the tree, and a series of glue-laminated timber ribs extend outward in a radial design.

Pigna Tree House by Claudio Beltrame

Located in the woods of Malborghetto Valbruna in the Italian Dolomite commune of Tarvisio, this egg-shaped tree house appears to hover in midair like a giant pinecone.

Located in the woods of Malborghetto Valbruna in the Italian Dolomite commune of Tarvisio, this egg-shaped tree house appears to hover in midair like a giant pinecone.

Photo Courtesy of DomusGaia

This egg-shaped wonder is located in Malga Priu, a mountain farmhouse retreat in Tarvisio, Italy. Claudio Beltrame and DomusGaia designed the tree house with three levels and a smooth, round facade that’s inspired by pine cones.

Free Spirit Spheres by Tom Chudleigh

"You really get the sense that you are just floating up there in a different world," remarks Chudleigh.

"You really get the sense that you are just floating up there in a different world," remarks Tom Chudleigh, a designer and the founder of Free Spirit Spheres. 

Photo by Gregor MacLean

Free Spirit Spheres are the ultimate wanderlust retreats. The spherical dwellings are suspended in midair, however they offer all the comforts of home—including electricity, appliances, and plumbing.

Bicycle Elevator Tree House by Ethan Schussler

Ethan Schussler built his first tree house at 12 years old. His tree house in Sandpoint, Idaho, sits 30 feet above the ground and can be accessed by an "elevator" consisting of a bicycle that, when pedaled, ascends a pulley system to the top.

Ethan Schussler built his first tree house at 12 years old. His tree house in Sandpoint, Idaho, sits 30 feet above the ground and can be accessed by an "elevator" consisting of a bicycle that, when pedaled, ascends a pulley system to the top.

Photo Courtesy of Noah Kalina

Idaho native Ethan Schussler has been obsessed with tree houses since he was young. Although Schussler lives off the grid and pays little attention to pop culture, his tree house went viral when he uploaded a short clip of himself riding his "bicycle elevator" into the sky. The video has since reached 2.1 million views, and it has been picked up by major news outlets such as CNN and Fox News.

Qiyunshan Tree House by Bengo Studio

The exterior is vertically clad in timber to complement the spiraling design and surrounding red cedar trees.

Nestled in the forest next to Qiyun Mountain in China, Bengo Studio’s tree house hotel features staggering cantilevered rooms. Guests can mimic the experience of climbing through the surrounding cedar trees by exploring different vantage points across each of the stacked rooms. The hotel stands 118 feet tall, so it doesn’t exceed the height of the surrounding trees.

The Woodman’s Tree House by Guy Mallinson and Keith Brownlie

The Woodman's Tree House stands interwoven into the landscape in Dorset as part of a larger luxury camping site.

The Woodman’s Tree House stands interwoven into the landscape in Dorset as part of a larger luxury camping site.

Photo Courtesy of Mallinson Ltd.

If you’ve ever wanted to live like Tarzan, then this whimsical tree house in Dorset is for you. Designed by Guy Mallinson and Keith Brownlie, the tree house is thoughtfully planned with playful details from top to bottom. Atop the retreat you’ll find a hot tub, and down past the spiral staircase you’ll find a metal slide that takes you down to the ground level.

Tree House by Atelier Victoria Migliore

The deck of Atelier Victoria Migliore's tree house in France has two swings attached.

This tree house in France by Atelier Victoria Migliore wraps itself around the surrounding pines. The charcoal exterior makes a strong statement, while playful features such as suspended nets and swings add a touch of whimsy.

Sustainability Tree House by Mithun

Visitors learn about energy and water conservation as they climb outdoor staircases that lead from the forest floor to the 125-foot-high rooftop rising above the leaf canopy.

Visitors learn about energy and water conservation as they climb outdoor staircases that lead from the forest floor to the 125-foot-high rooftop rising above the leaf canopy.

Photo: Joe Fletcher

Designed for the Boy Scouts of America, the Sustainability Tree House atop Mount Hope in West Virginia informs visitors about conservation and the environment. Even the staircases feature factoids to read while climbing the next level.

Treehotel by Snøhetta

The 7th Room is a remarkable accommodation at Sweden’s Tree Hotel that blends into its natural surroundings with a stark black facade. Snøhetta designed the structure, which features an expansive, black-and-white mural of the tree canopy stretched across its base. You can sleep in the beautiful cabin—or if you are brave, under the stars in a giant lofted hammock slung between the two bedrooms.

To reduce the load of the trees and minimize the building’s impact on the forest, 12 columns support the cabin. One tree stretches up through the net, emphasizing the connection to the outdoors.

Photo by Johan Jansson

This Swedish getaway by Snøhetta offers towering views and a pine-printed base that conceals its appearance when viewed from below. A double-layered mesh net surrounded by glass walls provides the perfect spot for stargazing.

Yoki House by Will Beilharz

ArtisTree's cabin towers 25 feet above the stream of water below, and it's anchored by ropes, chains, and cables.

ArtisTree’s cabin towers 25 feet above a stream, and it’s anchored by ropes, chains, and cables.

Photo by SmilingForest

This Texas tree house was inspired by the ravine that lies below. The Yoki House is named after the Hopi word for rain, and it incorporates a soaking tub with views of a babbling creek. "Water is life—one of our most precious resources, and ArtisTree tree houses are designed to let people experience nature’s resources more intimately," says designer Will Beilharz.

Quebrada House by UNarquitectura

"Quebrada House" translates to Ravine House and speaks to how the design was inspired by the landscape.

"Quebrada House" translates to Ravine House and speaks to how the design was inspired by the landscape.

Photo by Natalia Vial

Chilean firm UNarquitectura designed the Quebrada House to stand on stilts, thus preserving the surrounding ecosystem. The home’s open living areas feature expansive windows that frame views of the surrounding foliage.

Inhabit Tree House by Antony Gibbons Designs

This quaint cabin operates completely off the grid with no internet access.

This quaint cabin operates completely off the grid with no internet access.

Photo by Martin Dimitrov

Sitting in the middle of a lush 14-acre property, the Inhabit Tree House offers the perfect weekend escape. The cabin’s angular form is meant to "contrast against the organic forms of the forest," says designer Antony Gibbon. The Inhabit Tree House is available to rent through AirBnB.

Related Reading:

10 Surreal Tree Houses That Will Make Your Childhood Dreams Come True

10 Tiny Home Dwellers You Should Follow on Instagram Right Now