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10 Ingenious Home Renovations in China That Defy Expectation

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-25 01:17

These crafty interventions in China and Hong Kong are a testament to out-of-the-box thinking.

The tile-clad addition to this existing home in Yangqing, China hosts the entry, dining room, and kitchen.

Whether the challenge is to fit three generations of a family in a 366-square-foot apartment or to salvage a historic house, the following projects are up to the task.

Starburst House by HAO Design Studio

HAO Design Studio exploits the awkward angles created by dramatic sloping ceilings in a 1,259-square-foot apartment in Beijing’s Haidian District by inserting a lofted mezzanine and tucking living spaces beneath it.

The open-plan living, dining, and kitchen spaces are located on the ground floor.

The open-plan living, dining, and kitchen spaces are located on the ground floor.

Courtesy of Hey!Cheese

Qishe Courtyard by ARCHSTUDIO

ARCHSTUDIO restores a rundown traditional residence in the old quarter of Beijing, then inserts a glass-enclosed, curved veranda to wrap the interior courtyards and provide circulation.

The traditional residence had three courtyards and seven pitched-roof buildings. The goal of the renovation was to rehabilitate the old structures and integrate updated living spaces, using a modern interpretation of a veranda to connect them.

The traditional residence had three courtyards and seven pitched-roof buildings. The goal of the renovation was to rehabilitate the old structures and integrate updated living spaces, using a modern interpretation of a veranda to connect them.

Wang Ning

The “transparent veranda” allows natural light to penetrate the building’s interior and connects the living areas to the exterior courtyards.

The "transparent veranda" allows natural light to penetrate the building’s interior and connects the living areas to the exterior courtyards. 

Wang Ning

Happy Valley Apartment by Lim + Lu

Sliding glass walls, cheerful ceramic tile, and a bright color palette refresh this old apartment in Hong Kong’s Happy Valley, in a remodel led by Lim + Lu.

Glass partitions framed in powder-coated metal slide back to make flexible use of the floor plan in a 1,206-square-foot apartment.

Glass partitions framed in powder-coated metal slide back to make flexible use of the floor plan in a 1,206-square-foot apartment. 

Nirut Benjabanpot

A Modern Shaanxi Cave Dwelling by hyperSity

A Beijing-based firm converts a dilapidated cave dwelling into a gracious home. The new, rammed-earth volumes are interwoven with small courtyards to bring in plenty of natural light.

The main entrance of the main cave was transformed into a wooden grid façade and glass curtain wall, allowing ample natural light to enter the space.

The main entrance of the main cave was transformed into a wooden grid facade and glass curtain wall, allowing ample natural light to enter the space.

hyperSity

Pets Playground by Sim-Plex Design Studio

Located in Yuen Long, Hong Kong, this 453-square-foot residence makes easy cohabitation possible for a couple, one of their mothers, a cat, and a parrot. Sliding doors create flexible living spaces for the adults, while built-in furniture is utilized for both storage and the climbing cat.

The two halves of the home can be sectioned off with sliding glass doors—one side for the parrot, and one for the cat.

The two halves of the home can be sectioned off with sliding glass doors—one side for the parrot, and one for the cat.

Photo: Studio D Design

Intertwine House by Wonder Architects

For this recent extension to a home in rural Yangqing, China, Wonder Architects mimicked the form of the surrounding homes, then wrapped the exterior in green tile. The new addition was then skillfully integrated with the older brick structure on the site.

The tile-clad addition to this existing home in Yangqing, China hosts the entry, dining room, and kitchen.

The tile-clad addition to this existing home in Yangqing, China, hosts the entry, dining room, and kitchen.

Courtesy of Wonder Architects

A view of the roof terraces show how the old and new structures connect. The mint green window frames on the original structure was a jumping off point for the new design.

A view of the roof terraces show how the old and new structures connect. The mint green window frames on the original structure was a jumping-off point for the new design.

Courtesy of Wonder Architects

A 1947 Shanghai House Remodel by RIGI Design

Sculptural elements—such as a perforated steel staircase and a bathroom vanity fashioned from bent metal—inform the modern remodel of this 1947 Shanghai house.

Because of its narrow site and messy interior layout, the original apartment was dark and cramped.

Because of its narrow site and messy interior layout, the original apartment was dark and cramped.

Courtesy of Tian Fangfang

The light, clean profile of the vanity gives the bathroom a sense of spaciousness and modernity.

The light, clean profile of the vanity gives the bathroom a sense of spaciousness and modernity.

Courtesy of Tian Fangfang

The Sea Captain’s House by Vector Architects

In a sea captain’s home on a stormy coastline in Southeast China’s Fujian Province, a vaulted third floor addition helps to divert rainwater off the facade and frames picturesque harbor views.

An third level extension with a vaulted ceiling.

A third level extension with a vaulted ceiling.

Courtesy of Vector Architects

A House Within Thirteen Steps by L & M Design Lab

A 2017 remodel by L & M Design Lab maximizes a 366-square-foot flat in Shanghai for a family of five that includes three generations. The designers used the home’s diagonal axis to make the interior space feel larger, installed copious storage, and carved out room for everyone’s hobbies—from a piano for the grandmother to an elevated playroom for the granddaughter.

A view of the master bedroom portion of the apartment illustrates how the designers made every square-inch of the home multifunctional. The bed platform is surrounded by smart storage and doubles as a stage for singing, or extra seating on movie nights.

A view of the master bedroom portion of the apartment illustrates how the designers made every square inch of the home multifunctional. The bed platform is surrounded by smart storage and doubles as a stage for singing, or extra seating on movie nights.

Courtesy of L & M Design Lab

Mini Tree House Residence by NC Design & Architecture Ltd. (NCDA)

A remodel of a 370-square-foot apartment with 10-foot-high ceilings utilizes the vertical space with a lofted bedroom that overlooks the trees in a residential neighborhood of Ho Man Tin in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

A tiny apartment in a Hong Kong high rise is named Mini Tree House Residence after its little lofted bedroom. Located in the residential neighborhood of Ho Man Tin in Kowloon, Hong Kong, this apartment was designed with a box-loft bedroom that's suspended above the main living and dining area. The little nook looks out to views of tree canopies along the hillside where the condominium is sited.

A tiny apartment in a Hong Kong high rise is named Mini Tree House Residence after its little lofted bedroom.

Courtesy of Dennis Lo


Build a Breezy A-Frame Shelter With These DIY Kits by Artist Jay Nelson

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-24 23:02

Each kit comes with a miniature model, two prints, and plans for building a shady backyard shelter in about a weekend’s time.

San Francisco–based artist Jay Nelson makes curvaceous campers, fantastical tree houses, and handcrafted homes that will blow your mind. If you’ve ever wanted to own one of Nelson’s designs (and who hasn’t), you’re in luck—he recently launched a DIY kit that shows how to construct a far-out triangular shelter with a built-in sitting area.

Sitting Structure #8 model

Sitting Structure #8 model

Photo courtesy of Jay Nelson

Sitting Structure #8 model side elevation

Sitting Structure #8 model side elevation

Photo courtesy of Jay Nelson

Nelson’s Sitting Structure #8 kit expands upon a series of shade structures he built in Mexico and for Uluwatu Surf Villas in Bali, Indonesia. It comes with a miniature model, two signed and numbered risograph prints, a full material list, and a detailed set of architectural drawings with assembly notes.

The A-frame structure consists of four triangular supports clad with thin wood slats. A built-in bench provides a cozy place to roost, and a circular portal frames the sky and the surrounding landscape. "This is a Temporary Autonomous Zone," writes Nelson, referencing the work of Hakim Bey. "It’s about encouraging new thought and altering the way we experience each other or our surroundings."

Sitting Structure #8 risograph prints

Sitting Structure #8 risograph prints

Photo courtesy of Jay Nelson

Sitting Structure #8 model front elevation

Sitting Structure #8 model front elevation

Photo courtesy of Jay Nelson

The plans are simple enough that anyone with a couple power tools and a bit of woodworking know-how should be able to build one in a couple days. They’re also sprinkled with words of encouragement—"consistency over perfection," writes Nelson.

Ready for your next weekend project? Sitting Structure #8 kits are produced by Mafia and currently available via Nelson’s website for $90.

Sitting Structure #8 model

Sitting Structure #8 model

Photo courtesy of Jay Nelson

Sitting Structure #8 kit

Sitting Structure #8 kit

Photo courtesy of Jay Nelson


A Fire-Ravaged Apartment in Barcelona Rises Again With Bold Color and Historic Charm

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-24 21:34

Tucked away in an Art Nouveau building, this colorful sanctuary fuses period details with contemporary updates.

Outside of the brick hued core, walls are white to maximize light.

The Klinkers—a young family of four—purchased their Barcelona apartment on the top floor of a stylish and historic building with the hopes of remodeling the space as their vacation home. Marta, an interior designer herself, planned to refurbish the home using her own design. Then, disaster struck. 

A day before completion, an explosion burned the flat down, along with much of the already completed work. This not only devastated their budget, but also severely damaged some of the property’s ancient features. A year later, they were ready to reach out to Colombo and Serboli Architecture (CaSa) to begin the remodel the Klinker Apartment again. 

A view of the original living room after the fire.

A view of the original living room after the fire.

Roberto Ruiz

The living room post transformation has a Kettal Landscape sofa with mustard frame and mink cushions, a planter by FermLiving, and a Handvärk lamp by Studio Floor.

The living room post transformation has a Kettal Landscape sofa with mustard frame and mink cushions, a planter by FermLiving, and a Handvärk lamp by Studio Floor. 

Roberto Ruiz

Naturally, they wanted to renovate the home as a budget-friendly project, while at the same time presenting a home that would be dramatically different from its previous incarnation as an old, neglected apartment. The goal was to preserve and highlight historical features and make the most of high ceilings, decorative elements, floors, windows, and doors. Walls and ceilings had been blackened by the fire, which needed special care, and most of the walls had to be scrapped to bricks and newly finished. Art nouveau details in the ceiling were either restored or reproduced.

The art nouveau corner plaster motifs were restored, while an entire corner in the living room had to be replaced with a new cast of the moulding.

An entire corner in the living room had to be replaced with a new cast of the moulding.

Roberto Ruiz

A steel kitchen fan cylinder stands as the anchor in the kitchen with white, plastic dome overhead disguising a spotlight to replace a ceiling lamp. Small globe sconces provide extra light on the backsplash.

A steel kitchen fan cylinder stands as the anchor in the kitchen with white, plastic dome overhead disguising a spotlight to replace a ceiling lamp. Small globe sconces provide extra light on the backsplash. 

Roberto Ruiz

Budget constraints kept CaSa from being able to demolish or change the layout. They navigated through the sea of charred and damaged surfaces to make the most of existing installations. The greatest challenge was installing a new interpretation of the existing spaces without moving any walls.

Outside of the brick hued core, walls are white to maximize light.

Outside of the brick hued core, walls are white to maximize light.

Roberto Ruiz

All fixed furniture is bespoke. Cabinets in the kitchen, bathroom, corridor, and bedrooms have custom-made door handles, lacquered in tones to match their surfaces.

All fixed furniture is bespoke. Cabinets in the kitchen, bathroom, corridor, and bedrooms have custom-made door handles, lacquered in tones to match their surfaces.

Roberto Ruiz

The original layout already held an open plan including a kitchen, living area, two bedrooms, and a small bathroom. CaSa focused on the main area as an anchor for the rest of the home, though it wasn’t easy. There were kitchen installations on the back wall, like a recessed dark nook that hosted a small dining area. Earlier demolitions had left a fragmented and messy patchwork of five different types of floor tiles. To remedy this, they decided to incorporate a clever use of materials, including Formica for the kitchen worktops, micro-cement for terra cotta floors, and a careful selection of paints, into the new design.

Tucked in a recessed space is the studio, opposite the kitchen. A bespoke desk provides just the right amount of work space. Shelves are cut in a circular shape to allow a pendant lamp to hang through them. A porthole window brings a dash of natural light into the space.

Tucked in a recessed space is the studio, opposite the kitchen, a bespoke desk provides just the right amount of work space. Shelves are cut in a circular shape to allow a pendant lamp to hang through them. A porthole window brings a dash of natural light into the space.  

Roberto Ruiz

Details of the Art Nouveau building.

Details of the art nouveau building. 

Roberto Ruiz

For the palette, they focused first on the kitchen workshops as there were limited options due to budget constraints. CaSa color blocked the space in a rich terra-cotta tone to create order in the space and allow it to serve multiple purposes including kitchen, dining area, and quiet studio corner with a long island doubling as a dining table.

A valance runs around walls, doors and windows, creating an artificial horizon, visually widening spaces in an otherwise vertically proportioned property.

A valance runs around walls, doors and windows, creating an artificial horizon, visually widening spaces in an otherwise vertically proportioned property. 

Roberto Ruiz

Colorful, original hidráulico floors add character to the space.

Colorful, original hidráulico floors add character to the space. 

Roberto Ruiz

"Funny enough, the family name recalls clinker brick blocks, clay bricks that are exposed to excessive heat during the firing process, resulting in a shiny surface," says Andrea Serboli, co-founder of CaSa.

Old meets new with original tile, updated moulding, and a contemporary splash of paint.

Old meets new with original tile, updated moulding, and a contemporary splash of paint. 

Roberto Ruiz

Decor is kept clean and minimal to allow ornate details of the space to shine.

Decor is kept clean and minimal to allow ornate details of the space to shine. 

Roberto Ruiz

The entire ceiling above the kitchen was dropped to disguise a support beam and air conditioning ducts. A micro-cement floor in the same color covers three different types of tiles (the least interesting ones), unifying the block and highlighting the adjoining floors. The same earthy tone is used for the micro-cement backsplash, ceiling, kitchen cabinets, the central island, the studio area, desk, and shelves. 

A porthole alongside the walk-in closet allows natural light to flow into the bedroom.

A porthole alongside the walk-in closet allows natural light to flow into the bedroom. 

Roberto Ruiz

The built-in headboard doubles as storage with cubbies on either side.

The built-in headboard doubles as storage with cubbies on either side. 

Roberto Ruiz

The result is a color-block area that makes a distinctive statement at the core of the apartment."Then once the terra-cotta was chosen, we decided to add colors to go with it, [including] calmer tones for the bedrooms. Colors were also chosen to match and enhance the colors of the original Art Nouveau cement polychrome tiles," explains Serboli.

The palette was selected based on the spaces and in relation to the colorful, original hidráulico floors. Neutral sand brings warmth through entrance and living areas to unify the spaces on both sides of the the kitchen, allowing the burgundy and grey shades of the living room floor pop. A cooler light green creates a soothing sensation in the bedrooms.

The palette was selected based on the spaces and in relation to the colorful, original hidráulico floors. Neutral sand brings warmth through entrance and living areas to unify the spaces on both sides of the the kitchen, allowing the burgundy and grey shades of the living room floor pop. A cooler light green creates a soothing sensation in the bedrooms.  

Roberto Ruiz

Intricate art nouveau corner plaster motifs were restored.

Intricate art nouveau corner plaster motifs were restored. 

Roberto Ruiz

Color play continues in the hallway and bedrooms with pastels adding dimension to creme-hued walls and an extra sense of whimsy against period tile flooring. Tones meet shapes in the bedrooms via a volume that forms a headboard along with storage, globe lights, light switches, and sockets. 

The bathroom is swathed in the same brick red micro-cement.

The bathroom is swathed in the same brick red micro-cement.

Roberto Ruiz

The children’s room has a built-in wardrobe that follows the wall colors.

The children’s room has a built-in wardrobe that follows the wall colors. 

Roberto Ruiz

A porthole window allows light to flow the space. Ceilings, too, are color coordinated with an off burgundy in the living areas and a dark teal for the private spaces. The soft palette and geometric elements add a whimsical and modern touch to the stately nature of the Art Nouveau apartment, allowing the space to receive a major facelift while retaining its original charm.

Related Reading:

A 1930s Barcelona Apartment Is Revitalized Into an Airy Abode

This Double-Height Apartment in Barcelona Features Historic Details and a Floating Staircase

Project Credits:

Architecture: CaSA / @colomboserboli

Interior Design: CaSA / @colomboserboli


A Couple Convert Their Parents’ Garage Into a Transforming ADU

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-24 21:14

Flexibility rules in an airy Southern California garage-turned-ADU that gives two professionals the chance to ride the wave of the future.

Jorge’s parents’ house is across the patio. “We believe we’re onto something here in terms of a societal shift,” says Jorge. “Not everyone wants to live in an apartment or condo. They can live in a home that’s part of a family compound.”

Like many adults with aging parents, Jorge Cuevas Antillón thinks a lot about the future. But the professor and educator believes he and his partner, Ruben Martínez, have found the perfect solution. "We’re 50-something-year-old professionals, and we live in my parents’ garage," he says with a smile.

Anchoring a multi-family property in Chula Vista is a 1,200-square-foot garage that Ramiro Losada-Amor of Modern Granny Flat transformed into an ADU for Jorge Cuevas Antillón and Ruben Martínez. The garage door is from Coastal Garage Doors.

Anchoring a multi-family property in Chula Vista is a 1,200-square-foot garage that Ramiro Losada-Amor of Modern Granny Flat transformed into an ADU for Jorge Cuevas Antillón and Ruben Martínez. The garage door is from Coastal Garage Doors. 

Photo by Rachel Pangi

It’s not just any garage. Set off a quiet street in suburban Chula Vista, just south of San Diego, the 1,200-square-foot space has been completely overhauled by architect Ramiro Losada-Amor into a clean-lined accessory dwelling unit (ADU) that’s all about flexibility, with moving elements that enable the interior to be quickly configured and reconfigured.

Jorge’s parents’ house is across the patio. “We believe we’re onto something here in terms of a societal shift,” says Jorge. “Not everyone wants to live in an apartment or condo. They can live in a home that’s part of a family compound.”

Jorge’s parents’ house is across the patio. "We believe we’re onto something here in terms of a societal shift," says Jorge. "Not everyone wants to live in an apartment or condo. They can live in a home that’s part of a family compound." 

Photo by Rachel Pangi

The original space was an unfinished expanse with concrete floors. With Treadlight Construction, Losada-Amor replaced the concrete with cement, installed plumbing, and updated the electrical system for residential use.

The original space was an unfinished expanse with concrete floors. With Treadlight Construction, Losada-Amor replaced the concrete with cement, installed plumbing, and updated the electrical system for residential use. 

Courtesy of Modern Granny Flat

The project came about when Jorge and his brothers urged their parents to move to something more age-friendly. They agreed on the condition that it become part of a family compound. After zeroing in on the San Diego area, where Jorge and Ruben had been living, they spent more than a year searching for properties. Finally they found a large lot that seemed to have everything: a renovated single-story home for Jorge’s parents, a four-car garage that could be revamped for Jorge and Ruben, and a large garden with room for a ceramics studio for Ruben. And it was close to shops and medical services.

Working with Prismática Architects, Losada-Amor designed the main space to serve multiple functions. In the kitchen, a table drops down for dining or work, and a rolling island can be moved as needed.

Working with Prismática Architects, Losada-Amor designed the main space to serve multiple functions. In the kitchen, a table drops down for dining or work, and a rolling island can be moved as needed.

Photo by Rachel Pangi

Shelving in the living area holds storage as well as a Murphy bed for guests. "It’s like a Swiss Army knife," says Losada-Amor. "Everything is a tool that you can fold or slice."

Shelving in the living area holds storage as well as a Murphy bed for guests. "It’s like a Swiss Army knife," says Losada-Amor. "Everything is a tool that you can fold or slice." 

Photo by Rachel Pangi

The storage boxes can be pulled out and used as stools.

Their next call was to Losada-Amor, a principal at Losada Garcia Architects who launched Modern Granny Flat in 2017 after moving to Southern California from Spain. "ADUs are a win-win for everyone," he says. "The owner can generate passive income, and the city can provide affordable housing for people that need it."

"It doesn’t feel like a garage because Ramiro cut away the boxiness, but we could still roll a car in here," says Jorge. The refrigerator is by Haier; the range is by KitchenAid.

"It doesn’t feel like a garage because Ramiro cut away the boxiness, but we could still roll a car in here," says Jorge. The refrigerator is by Haier; the range is by KitchenAid. 

Photo by Rachel Pangi

Three-ply birch from Th&h Hardwoods keeps the cabinetry streamlined throughout.

Three-ply birch from Th&h Hardwoods keeps the cabinetry streamlined throughout.

Photo by Rachel Pangi

To break up the garage’s rectangular expanse, Losada-Amor set an A-framed structure at the center to hold the kitchen, a skylighted bathroom, and ample storage. Keeping clutter to a minimum was high on Jorge and Ruben’s list, so Losada-Amor—working with Prismática Architects—devised features that do double duty, like a Murphy bed in the living area, kitchen cabinets that conceal a folding table, and panels that slide closed to divide the bedroom into two rooms.

Photo by Rachel Pangi

The master bedroom, which opens to the rear garden, is outfitted with a pull-out rack and sliding panels that can separate the room into two spaces. The windows are from Dixieline Lumber & Home Centers.

The master bedroom, which opens to the rear garden, is outfitted with a pull-out rack and sliding panels that can separate the room into two spaces. The windows are from Dixieline Lumber & Home Centers. 

Photo by Rachel Pangi

Skylights illuminate the bathroom, which sits in the center of the unit and is elevated slightly to accommodate the plumbing below. “It’s a wood box on the exterior and glass on the interior,” says Ruben. “It feels open and serene.” The glass tile is from Arizona Tile. The sink is from Toto.

Skylights illuminate the bathroom, which sits in the center of the unit and is elevated slightly to accommodate the plumbing below. "It’s a wood box on the exterior and glass on the interior," says Ruben. "It feels open and serene." The glass tile is from Arizona Tile. The sink is from Toto. 

Photo by Rachel Pangi

"The space can adapt for how they’ll be living over the next 20 years," says Losada-Amor. Adds Jorge, "It’s perfect. My parents have a traditional house and we have a modern space." 

Related Reading: 29 Granny Flats That Put Guests Up in Style

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Modern Granny Flat with Ramiro Losada-Amor and Prismatica / @moderngrannyflat, @prismatica_architects

Builder: Treadlight Construction

Structural Engineer: Jerry Dodd


Sweden’s Newly Opened Floating Hotel Is the Destination of a Lifetime

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-24 19:29

Arctic Bath plunges visitors into the remote wilderness of Sweden’s Lapland region.

Those who pounced on Arctic Bath reservations back in July are now packing their bags with snow boots and swimwear. In Sweden’s frigid Lule River floats Arctic Bath, a luxe wellness destination offering a menu of spa treatments, a traditional cold plunge, daytime excursions, a restaurant serving locally-sourced, regional fare, and on-site accommodations.

Six rentable cabins float at the end of wooden docks, while six more perch above the snow on stilts—and all feature sleek, Scandinavian design by architect AnnKathrin Lundqvist. Guests can wake up to heated floors, peer out of floor-to-ceiling windows (in the land cabins), and sip hot beverages from floating suites while gazing upon the Lule River. The interiors are outfitted with sustainable materials including wood, stone, and luxury textiles.

An overhead shot of Arctic Bath shows the lay of the land—and how cold it can get.

An overhead shot of Arctic Bath shows the lay of the land—and how cold it can get.

Photo by Anders Blomqvist

Logs splayed around the structure’s facade emulate a log jam—a reference to Harads’ logging industry from days of yore. During the summer, the bath floats freely in the Lule River and it’s anchored to shore by a wooden dock. In the winter,  the frozen river does the trick.

Logs splayed around the structure’s facade emulate a log jam—a reference to Harads’ logging industry from days of yore. During the summer, the bath floats freely in the Lule River and it’s anchored to shore by a wooden dock. In the winter,  the frozen river does the trick.

Photo by Anders Blomqvist

At the center of the rotunda is an ice bath where guests can take a frosty plunge—a traditional activity in Sweden. Temperatures are regulated at 39 degrees Fahrenheit year round.

At the center of the rotunda is an ice bath where guests can take a frosty plunge—a traditional activity in Sweden. Temperatures are regulated at 39 degrees Fahrenheit year round. 

Photo by Anders Blomqvist

Visitors can head into the wilderness with a moose whisperer, hike under the midnight sun to look for bears, enjoy wildlife photo sessions, or take cultural classes to learn more about the indigenous Sámi people. When there’s snow on the ground, husky sled rides and snowmobile tours set up a well-deserved visit to the spa.

The bath’s interiors are lined with beautiful slatted wood, accent lighting, and tile floors.

The bath’s interiors are lined with beautiful slatted wood, accent lighting, and tile floors. 

Photo by Daniel Holmgren

Ample, tiered seating provides plenty of space for guests to go for a shvitz.

Ample, tiered seating provides plenty of space for guests to go for a shvitz. 

Photo by Daniel Holmgren

A view of the sauna, which features a rock-filled furnace guests can pour water over.

A view of the sauna, which features a rock-filled furnace guests can pour water over. 

Photo by Daniel Holmgren

The bath itself, designed by architects Bertil Harström and John Kauppi, is an homage to the region’s logging industry. A jam of logs splay upwards around the facade of the floating structure, which holds massage rooms, saunas, outdoor and indoor showers, and a central patio where guests can sunbathe, enjoy an ice bath, or take in the northern lights.

Six floating river suites are moored by walkways. Each accommodates two adults.

Six floating river suites are moored by walkways. Each accommodates two adults. 

Photo by Daniel Holmgren

Inside the suites, sleek wood and tile make for svelte interiors.

Inside the suites, sleek wood and tile make for svelte interiors. 

Photo by Daniel Holmgren

The windows of the floating suites provide views of the flowing—or frozen—Lule River.

The windows of the floating suites provide views of the flowing—or frozen—Lule River.

Photo by Daniel Holmgren

Accommodations at Arctic Bath hover around $1,000 per night and grant not only spa access, but also a prix fixe five-course menu focused on regional fare. Chefs Kristoffer Åström and Maarten De Wilde source ingredients from within 25 miles to offer dishes like smoked capercaillie, traditional Sámi specialties, reindeer, and a handcrafted wine and beer list to complement a diversity of palettes.

The land cabins are built on stilts to avoid the need to shovel snow all season. Floor-to-ceiling windows grant breathtaking views of the region’s remarkable setting.

The land cabins are built on stilts to avoid the need to shovel snow all season. Floor-to-ceiling windows grant breathtaking views of the region’s remarkable setting. 

Photo by Anders Blomqvist

Some cabins can hold five guests, while others are designed for two. Scandinavian furnishings complete each unit.

Some cabins can hold five guests, while others are designed for two. Scandinavian furnishings complete each unit.

Photo by Daniel Holmgren

Each bathroom has a shower, a toilet, a standalone bathtub, and a sink. Champagne awaits your arrival.

Each bathroom has a shower, a toilet, a standalone bathtub, and a sink. Champagne awaits your arrival.

Photo by Daniel Holmgren

Although Arctic Bath looks pretty out there on the map, it’s one in a series of luxe destinations in Northern Sweden’s Lapland region. Treehotel (designed by the Arctic Bath folks), Logger’s Lodge, Arctic Retreat, and Aurora Safari Camp all attract adventurers interested in exploring the remote region.

Lapland sees little to no daylight in the winter months. Here, the sun makes a brief appearance.

Lapland sees little to no daylight in the winter months. Here, the sun makes a brief appearance. 

Photo by Anders Blomqvist

To catch the northern lights, book your stay between August and March.

To catch the northern lights, book your stay between August and March.

Photo by Johan Jansson

Here, a crew fights waning daylight to position the bath house.

Here, a crew fights waning daylight to position the bath house.

Photo by Anders Blomqvist


Whoopi Goldberg’s Longtime L.A. Home Seeks to Trade Hands for $9.6M

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-24 17:07

Originally built for famed author Vicki Baum in 1933, the grand Art Deco estate boasts quite a notable Hollywood pedigree.

Whoopi Goldberg's 7,039-square-foot former residence is located on one of the premier streets in Pacific Palisades, a coastal neighborhood in the Westside of Los Angeles. The acclaimed actress and comedian bought the estate in 1993, owning it for nearly 25 years before selling it in 2018. Now, it's back on the market seeking yet another buyer.

Tucked away in the star-studded neighborhood of Pacific Palisades, the six-bedroom residence is shielded by lush landscaping and mature trees. Ivy covering the facade creates an enhanced sense of privacy.

Tucked away in the star-studded neighborhood of Pacific Palisades, the six-bedroom residence is shielded by lush landscaping and mature trees. Ivy covering the facade creates an enhanced sense of privacy.

Photo courtesy of Compass

Yet, Goldberg isn't the only celebrity with ties to the Art Deco abode. First built in 1933 for Austrian author Vicki Baum, the home was later acquired by late English actor David Niven, who starred in The Pink Panther and Casino Royale. Boasting a gated and private 28,000-square-foot lot, as well as a detached guest house, it's no surprise why the compound has been so popular among Hollywood A-listers. 

Thriving jungle-like greenery runs along both sides of the main sidewalk leading to the home.

Thriving jungle-like greenery runs along both sides of the main sidewalk leading to the home.

Photo courtesy of Compass

Offering six spacious bedrooms, the home also retains many of its distinctive original features, including a black-and-white checkered floor in the main foyer, as well as an onyx-clad master bathroom. A free-flowing layout connects expansive living spaces, while a generously sized, remodeled kitchen overlooks an inviting swimming pool. Scroll ahead to see more of the historic property, currently listed for $9,595,000.

Thoughtfully updated for modern-day living, the residence also features many original details, such as a dramatic black-and-white checkered floor in the foyer.

Thoughtfully updated for modern-day living, the residence also features many original details, such as a dramatic black-and-white checkered floor in the foyer.

Photo courtesy of Compass

Large sliding glass doors create an instant indoor/outdoor connection to the backyard, while mirrored built-ins reflect the home's Art Deco style.

Large sliding glass doors create an instant indoor/outdoor connection to the backyard, while mirrored built-ins reflect the home's Art Deco style.

Photo courtesy of Compass

Featuring top-of-the-line appliances, the newly remodeled kitchen also offers plenty of storage.

Featuring top-of-the-line appliances, the newly remodeled kitchen also offers plenty of storage.

Photo courtesy of Compass

More original details can be found in the light-filled family room. A marble fireplace, crown moldings, and built-in bookcases are among the space's many features.

More original details can be found in the light-filled family room. A marble fireplace, crown moldings, and built-in bookcases are among the space's many features.

Photo courtesy of Compass

Arched doorways lead into the home's wet bar.

Arched doorways lead into the home's wet bar.

Photo courtesy of Compass

More custom built-ins can be found just steps away in the dining room. Here, white-painted exposed beams and brick contrast with the richly textured hardwood floors.

More custom built-ins can be found just steps away in the dining room. Here, white-painted exposed beams and brick contrast with the richly textured hardwood floors. 

Photo courtesy of Compass

The master bedroom includes a circular sitting room encased in windows. The bright area offers a quiet corner to rest and relax.

The master bedroom includes a circular sitting room encased in windows. The bright area offers a quiet corner to rest and relax.

Photo courtesy of Compass

A spacious home office is also located on the upper level. This space can easily be converted into an additional bedroom or multi-media room, depending on the new buyer's needs.

A spacious home office is also located on the upper level. This space can easily be converted into an additional bedroom or multi-media room, depending on the new buyer's needs. 

Photo courtesy of Compass

Out back, the in-ground pool is an idyllic spot for entertaining.

Out back, the in-ground pool is an idyllic spot for entertaining.

Photo courtesy of Compass

1461 Amalfi Drive is currently listed for $9,595,000 by Dan Urbach of Compass.  

Know of a home for sale or rent that should be featured on Dwell.com? Find out how to submit to Dwell.


Sweden’s Icehotel Celebrates its 30th Year With 15 Glittering New Art Suites

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-24 01:11

Grab your parka and your snow boots: we’re headed to Northern Sweden for an inside look at Icehotel’s latest crop of seasonal suites.

The Warm Up room by Aleksandra Pasek and Tomasz Czajkowski only looks cozy—you'll still need your snowsuit and sleeping bag to stay overnight.

In the incredibly Northern village of Jukkasjärvi in Swedish Lapland, the striking beauty of the surrounding landscape almost takes a back seat to the architectural feat that is the Icehotel. Originally a summer destination for tourists looking to enjoy all-day sunshine and luxurious swims in the river, the area now draws crowds by the thousands each year—even during the coldest months. (The figures are even more staggering when you consider that the municipality only counts 548 inhabitants, as of a 2010 survey.)

The draw? Yngve Bergqvist’s vision of a hotel built entirely of snow and ice. The vision came to fruition 30 years ago, and it now draws visitors from every corner of the globe.

Malmö-based design duo Kauppi & Kauppi were tapped to design the main ceremony hall of Icehotel #30. The chapel-like room is adorned with images of ginkgo leaves—a symbol of love and longevity. The 30 pinpoints of light on the ceiling represent each year of Icehotel’s history.

Malmö-based design duo Kauppi & Kauppi were tapped to design the main ceremony hall of Icehotel #30. The chapel-like room is adorned with images of ginkgo leaves—a symbol of love and longevity. The 30 pinpoints of light on the ceiling represent each year of Icehotel’s history.

Tina Stafrén/Visit Sweden

Another view of the Gingko Ceremony Hall. Each ice block in the ginkgo design weighs 40 kilos. Reindeer skin–covered benches allow visitors to sit in quiet contemplation for extended periods of time.

Another view of the Gingko Ceremony Hall. Each ice block in the ginkgo design weighs 40 kilos. Reindeer skin–covered benches allow visitors to sit in quiet contemplation for extended periods of time.

Photo by Asaf Kliger

2016 marked the opening of Icehotel 365—a permanent retreat where travelers can sleep in hotel rooms made entirely of ice and snow all year round. However, every December Icehotel builds a new crop of ice rooms to entice guests. These special suites last until spring, when the ice melts away and the cycle begins again.

The opening ceremony for Icehotel #30 featured singing, candles, and goodwill.

The opening ceremony for Icehotel #30 featured singing, candles, and goodwill.

Tina Stafrén/Visit Sweden

The Warm Up room by Aleksandra Pasek and Tomasz Czajkowski only looks cozy—you'll still need your snowsuit and sleeping bag to stay overnight.

The Warm Up room by Aleksandra Pasek and Tomasz Czajkowski only looks cozy—you'll still need your snowsuit and sleeping bag to stay overnight.

Photo by Asaf Kliger

This winter, 33 artists from 16 countries (together with Icehotel’s incredible build, ice production, creative support, and lighting design teams) spent two intensive weeks building the 30th reincarnation of the hotel’s annual art exhibition—including 15 art suites, hallways, and a ceremony hall made entirely of snow and ice from the nearby Torne River. The hotel also debuted a new outdoor installation featuring a 13-foot-tall tower, two new Icehotel 365 suites, and an amusement park–themed ice bar called "Torneland."

A Night at the Theatre was designed by Jonathan Paul Green and Marnie Green.

A Night at the Theatre was designed by Jonathan Paul Green and Marnie Green.

Photo by Asaf Kliger

Feline Lair was designed by Brian Alvin McArthur and Dawn Marie Detarand.

Feline Lair was designed by Brian Alvin McArthur and Dawn Marie Detarand.

Photo by Asaf Kliger

"We have planned Icehotel #30 since early spring, when the Icehotel jury decided which art suites would become reality," says Luca Roncoroni, the creative director at Icehotel. "Luckily, the Arctic weather greeted us with perfect conditions for the construction period. There is something special about creating art and design in collaboration with the river, the sky, and the air."

Crescents was designed by Elin Julin and Ida Mangsbo.

Crescents was designed by Elin Julin and Ida Mangsbo.

Photo by Asaf Kliger

White Santorini, by Haemee Han and Jae Yual Lee, brings the easygoing, warm architecture of Greece to the frozen landscape.

White Santorini, by Haemee Han and Jae Yual Lee, brings the easygoing, warm architecture of Greece to the frozen landscape.

Photo by Asaf Kliger


"It’s been a fantastic journey with a lot of pride and joy—and the reason for this is the employees throughout the years who’ve really made an effort to give the guests, coming from all over the world, life-enriching moments during their stay." —Yngve Bergqvist, founder of Icehotel

Ruossut was designed by Anna Öhlund and John Pettersson.

Ruossut was designed by Anna Öhlund and John Pettersson. 

Photo by Asaf Kliger

Designed by Jens Thoms Ivarsson and Mats Nilsson, the blocky sculpture outside of Icehotel #30 echoes brutalist architecture.

Designed by Jens Thoms Ivarsson and Mats Nilsson, the blocky sculpture outside of Icehotel #30 echoes brutalist architecture.

Photo by Asaf Kliger

Construction of the winter portion of Icehotel took nearly two weeks.

Construction of the winter portion of Icehotel took nearly two weeks.

Tina Stafrén/Visit Sweden

Directly adjacent to the winter hall lies Icehotel 365, which allows guests to experience frozen accommodations all year round.

Directly adjacent to the winter hall lies Icehotel 365, which allows guests to experience frozen accommodations all year round.

Tina Stafrén/Visit Sweden

Here’s a look at this year’s Icehotel by the numbers:

  • The total amount of ice used to create the hotel amounts to ten seconds of water flow in the Torne River. 
  • The hotel’s chandeliers contain 1,000 ice crystals sculpted by hand. 
  • The hotel’s floors, ceilings, and walls are composed of 30,000 cubic meters—the equivalent of 110 million ice cream servings—of snow mixed with ice (aka "snice").
  • This year’s hotel offers 55 cold rooms (including 15 art suites and 20 ice suites in Icehotel #30, and nine deluxe suites and 11 art suites in Icehotel 365). In addition to cold rooms, Icehotel also offers warm accommodation, cabins, and hotel rooms.
Just inside the lobby of Icehotel 365 sits Torneland, a carnival-themed bar that serves champagne in ice goblets by night and offers ice sculpting classes by day. Designed by Luc Voisin and Mathieu Brison, the frozen funhouse won’t melt in spring—it’ll be open to guests for the next several years.

Just inside the lobby of Icehotel 365 sits Torneland, a carnival-themed bar that serves champagne in ice goblets by night and offers ice sculpting classes by day. Designed by Luc Voisin and Mathieu Brison, the frozen funhouse won’t melt in spring—it’ll be open to guests for the next several years.

Photo by Asaf Kliger

Icehotel 365 Torneland bar

Icehotel 365 Torneland bar

Tina Stafrén/Visit Sweden

This winter’s edition of Icehotel can be experienced from December 13 until April 14, after which it will melt and return to the Torne River. Warm accommodations and Icehotel 365 are open all year round. To learn more, click here.

Related Reading:

Sweden’s Floating Arctic Bath Hotel Is Now Accepting Reservations

Go Stargazing in Snøhetta’s Towering Addition to Sweden’s Treehotel


Before & After: This Sleek California Home Is a Master Class on Minimalism

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-23 22:17

A run-of-the-mill residence in the South Bay receives a John Pawson–inspired renovation that eschews all unnecessary detail.

Huge header beams and thickened walls allow for a generous opening between the living room and deck, with doors that recess into the wall cavity and a seamless meeting between the indoor floor and the exterior decking.

When the new owners of this 1960s house located near Woodside, California, first saw the real estate listing, they looked past the hodgepodge of existing finishes that came courtesy of a previous builder’s remodel. Instead, the couple embraced the home’s potential, starting with the exterior.

"It's a privileged site because it has a very nice, large deck with views of the wooded area around it, and each of the rooms is kind of oriented towards the view," says architect Luat Duong of ltd Architecture. The goal of the new owners’ gut remodel became to "build it up as minimally as possible while maintaining the essence of the floor plan and accentuating the views," says Duong.

After: Front Door

The pared-back approach of the remodel begins with the front entry, where horizontal bands of orange-toned cedar were replaced with a refined wood screen.

The pared-back approach of the remodel begins with the front entry, where horizontal bands of orange-toned cedar were replaced with a refined wood screen.

October

Before: Entry

Before: A mishmash of elements from a previous remodel didn’t gel together in the 1960s-era home.

Before: A mishmash of elements from a previous remodel didn’t gel together in the 1960s-era home.

Courtesy of ltd Architecture

After: Entry

The white backdrop lets the black accents and wood grain in the pale, white-washed flooring stand out. A frameless glass railing melds with the surroundings.

The white backdrop lets the black accents and wood grain in the pale, white-washed flooring stand out. A frameless glass railing melds with the surroundings.

October

To foster a more generous connection to the site, Duong and the owners replaced standard or small window and door units with enlarged and elongated openings. Now, a long and linear ribbon window runs the length of the kitchen counter. In the living room, the walls were thickened to accommodate large glass pocket doors for a seamless transition between the interior and the deck.

Before: Living Room

Before: A cedar accent wall was a strong dose of unwanted color. The exterior door was doubled in size.

Before: A cedar accent wall was a strong dose of unwanted color. The exterior door was doubled in size.

Courtesy of ltd Architecture

After: Living Room

Huge header beams and thickened walls allow for a generous opening between the living room and deck, with doors that recess into the wall cavity and a seamless meeting between the indoor floor and the exterior decking.

Huge header beams and thickened walls allow for a generous opening between the living room and deck, with doors that recess into the wall cavity and a seamless meeting between the indoor floor and the exterior decking.

October

Before: Kitchen

Before: The previous kitchen finishes skewed to a traditional aesthetic.

Before: The previous kitchen finishes skewed to a traditional aesthetic.

Courtesy of ltd Architecture

After: Kitchen

Black wall ovens, streamlined pendants, and a Vola faucet offer notes of contrast in the all-white kitchen. Solid-colored Corian covers the counters and the backsplash. On the window wall, the Corian backsplash is flush with white-painted drywall at the end of the counter run.

Black wall ovens, streamlined pendants, and a Vola faucet offer notes of contrast in the all-white kitchen. Solid-colored Corian covers the counters and the backsplash. On the window wall, the Corian backsplash is flush with white-painted drywall at the end of the counter run.

October

In their first conversation, Duong introduced the homeowner to the work of John Pawson, a British architectural designer known for minimal design. Once the owner looked Pawson up, says Duong, "He was drawn to that aesthetic right away. And since I also work in that vein, we clicked right away with some of our conversations in terms of the aesthetics of house." 

Without altering the floor plan much, the team gutted the interior in order to introduce a tightly pared-back palette consisting of white walls, black fixtures and window frames, and light-washed wood tones. For instance, the previous dark flooring was swapped out for wide plank, white-washed European oak, which runs continuously throughout, its natural patina some of the only pattern in the main rooms of the house. 

Before: Office

Before: "The thing with the rooms in the existing house was that the windows were small and they framed some views, but you really wanted…more of an inside-outside experience, especially with that deck being there," says Duong.

Before: "The thing with the rooms in the existing house was that the windows were small and they framed some views, but you really wanted…more of an inside-outside experience, especially with that deck being there," says Duong.

Courtesy of ltd Architecture

After: Office

A new sliding door offers a streamlined black frame for the view outside.

A new sliding door offers a streamlined black frame for the view outside.

October

An integrated desk and wall shelf, the latter incorporating hidden LED lighting, frame a ribbon window that appears frameless to better merge with the treetop view.

An integrated desk and wall shelf, the latter incorporating hidden LED lighting, frame a ribbon window that appears frameless to better merge with the treetop view. 

October

The view down the hall to the office shows how the spaces flow together.

The view down the hall to the office shows how the spaces flow together.

October

Such simplicity might seem straightforward, but instilling it in a post-World War II house with crooked walls and uneven floors takes a talented team. Duong paired up with builder Devlin McNally Construction, as they’ve collaborated on such projects before. 

"The clients were great, and they were very supportive of a rigorous design and detailing," says Duong. "Some of those simpler details are the ones that have to be very considered. It was a very collaborative effort between the contractor and ourselves." 

Before: Deck

Before: The deck was expanded to enhance the home’s outdoor experience.

Before: The deck was expanded to enhance the home’s outdoor experience.

Courtesy of ltd Architecture

After: Deck

The wood screen continues at the back of the house. The spacing on the slats was very carefully thought out so as to disguise the sheen of the waterproofing membrane beneath it.

The wood screen continues at the back of the house. The spacing on the slats was very carefully thought out so as to disguise the sheen of the waterproofing membrane beneath it.

October

In addition to the wood screening, the house is finished in smooth-trowel stucco with black-framed openings to maintain the high contrast palette inside and out.

In addition to the wood screening, the house is finished in smooth-trowel stucco with black-framed openings to maintain the high contrast palette inside and out.

bOctober/b


Albemarle Addition / Renovation

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-23 22:09

A full interior renovation of, and addition to, an existing Colonial-style home in the American University Park neighborhood of Northwest Washington, DC. New spaces include a Kitchen and Living Room on the first floor with two children's bedrooms above and an au pair suite below. Further re-configurations include an addition powder room on the main level and a true en-suite bathroom for the owner's bedroom.

Rear Addition
Front Elevation
Re-configured Side Entry
New Rear Facade
New Rear Facade from Existing Detached Garage


E&A 64 House

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-23 21:37

EA64 HOUSE is a living space located in Merida´s historic center that seeks a dialogue between colonial and contemporary architecture. The Patios or courtyards are a real composition system, making them the main element that configure the structural order, the interior and exterior visuals which are part of the path. The scale variation and the use of the preexisting galleries, helped us for the access and light capture, as for a proper management of the exterior space. The space sequences create a linear circulation through the backyard, touring the living space fluently with a lobby at the beginning and a terrace in front of the swimming pool at the end. The plant composition pretends to use all the natural aspects in favor of functionality and spatial comfort. A Study, lobby, living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms with bathrooms shape the architectonic program. Stucco walls, mostly in a neutral color, create a perfect canvas for artwork and recycled pieces that change their function adapting it for the domestic life, cement floors give each area character either in a traditional mosaic form or in big surfaces, natural or colored wood give warmth and functionality for the furniture and, aluminum and glass allow to create a close relationship interior-exterior. Furniture and art selection abbey a premise, “to use unique pieces that combine past and present of the house, do not restrain it to one period permits to create a perfect eclectic blend that mix modern- contemporary designed and traditional furniture. The white cement swimming pool constructed over a platform responds to the natural unevenness of the land, is located in the back of the property and works as a temperature regulator element; the wind flows over it and refresh the interior spaces of the home. Illumination, airflow and nature make this living space a place to enjoy.

Front View
Kitchen view
Dinning
Laundry
Hall


Ridge Mountain Residence

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-23 18:23

Envisioned as a sculptural piece that grows from the existing landscape, the Ridge Mountain Residence will take advantage of the incredible vistas to the valleys, open spaces, and untouched surrounding areas Palm Springs. The house dissolves the barriers between indoors and out by integrating sliding doors and operable windows to facilitate natural ventilation which also creates an uninterrupted flow from the shared space to the infinity edge pool. Using a natural material palette to help blend in with its surroundings, the concrete will match the light browns and tans of the site while Cor-ten steel cladding will provide a naturally weathering material. Large irregular pieces of flagstone will be used throughout the project for floors and terraces while mesquite seating and finishes will help provide a natural sensibility to the site and this residence’s eco-system. The extreme topography changes of the site help screen the house from adjacent properties and cul-de-sac. The site is accessed via a drive which is conceived as a canyon that is carved through the eight foot tall rock face rising from the curb below. The house harmonizes with its natural habitat and echoes the subtle beauty of its desert location, and accordingly will have low impact in its remote location.


Sweden’s Ultra-Instagrammable Accordion House Just Hit the Market for $210K

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-23 16:34

The former fishing cabin features an extension that expands like a turtle’s head coming out of its shell.

One of Sweden's most unique and instagrammed homes is now for sale. Set on the shores of Lake Övre Gla about three hours north of Gothenburg, the family cabin of Maartje Lammers and Boris Zeisser features an expandable living room that’s shaped like a turtle’s head. Lammers and Zeisser, both principals at Rotterdam-based 24H Architecture, designed the clever solution in response to local bylaws that limit new construction.

Like a turtle’s head, the extension expands outward from within its shell and cantilevers over a small stream that runs through the property. The cantilevering section complies with local bylaws that would have restricted a permanent foundation so close to the stream.

Like a turtle’s head, the extension expands outward from within its shell and cantilevers over a small stream that runs through the property. The cantilevering section complies with local bylaws that would have restricted a permanent foundation so close to the stream.

Photo courtesy of Agentur fastighetsförmedling

The cabin is located in the Glaskogen nature reserve, where strict guidelines limit new construction to roughly 320 square feet. Desiring a bit more space, the architects designed a steel frame mounted on roller-bearings, which allows the main living room to expand by an additional 290 square feet.

The new section’s shell-like exterior is wrapped in Canadian cedar-shake siding, which provides long-term durability. A large deck provides space for entertaining or enjoying lakefront views.

The new section’s shell-like exterior is wrapped in Canadian cedar-shake siding, which provides long-term durability. A large deck provides space for entertaining or enjoying lakefront views.

Photo courtesy of Agentur fastighetsförmedling

The homeowners generally extend the space in the summer and open the windows to cooling breezes. In the winter, they retract it to create a cozier, more insulated living area. The interior is lined in overlapping wood slats for a sleek Scandinavian look, and the cabin also has a small environmental footprint with a propane gas cooktop, a wood-burning fireplace, and solar panels for lighting.

The deck leads to a dining room set on a platform that disguises the steel frame underneath. The minimalist kitchen runs on propane gas and spring-fed water.

The deck leads to a dining room set on a platform that disguises the steel frame underneath. The minimalist kitchen runs on propane gas and spring-fed water.

Photo courtesy of Agentur fastighetsförmedling

Named the Accordion House, or Dragspelhuset in Swedish, the Instagrammable abode has been featured in numerous international publications over the years. Now, Lammers and Zeisser are moving on, listing the property for the first time since its transformation. Keep scrolling to see more of the unique summer retreat, currently listed for 1,975,000 Swedish krona, or approximately $210,000.

A closer look at the home’s interior, which is clad in overlapping slats of silver birch.

A closer look at the home’s interior, which is clad in overlapping slats of silver birch.

Photo courtesy of Agentur fastighetsförmedling

A view of the living room when extended. Reindeer pelts cover the walls and ceiling, creating a cozy Scandinavian-inspired atmosphere.

A view of the living room when extended. Reindeer pelts cover the walls and ceiling, creating a cozy Scandinavian-inspired atmosphere.

Photo courtesy of Agentur fastighetsförmedling

The original, one-room cabin is now the bedroom. A platform lowers from pulleys to provide additional sleeping space.

The original, one-room cabin is now the bedroom. A platform lowers from pulleys to provide additional sleeping space.

Photo courtesy of Agentur fastighetsförmedling

Architects Maartje Lammers and Boris Zeisser sought to expand their summer cabin while complying with local bylaws that limit the size of new additions. Built in 2004, their clever extension features a pulley-and-lever-operated extendible room that cantilevers out and over an adjacent stream.
Windows on the other side of the extension provide views of the lake and allow the homeowners to enjoy the soothing sounds of nature.

Windows on the other side of the extension provide views of the lake and allow the homeowners to enjoy the soothing sounds of nature.

Photo courtesy of Agentur fastighetsförmedling

The rustic property features a turf-roofed outdoor bathroom. The location is not connected to water or sewage mains, and it receives its water from natural springs.

The rustic property features a turf-roofed outdoor bathroom. The location is not connected to water or sewage mains, and it receives its water from natural springs.

Photo courtesy of Agentur fastighetsförmedling

The .7-acre lot includes direct water frontage on Lake Övre Gla, as well as a small dock. For all its unique features the original cabin and its reptilian extension largely blend into the natural surroundings.

The .7-acre lot includes direct water frontage on Lake Övre Gla, as well as a small dock. For all its unique features the original cabin and its reptilian extension largely blend into the natural surroundings.

Photo courtesy of Agentur fastighetsförmedling

The Accordion House in Årjäng, Sweden, is currently listed for 1,975,000 Swedish krona (~$210,000) by Malin Jakobsson of Agentur Fastighetsförmedling.

Know of a home for sale or rent that should be featured on Dwell.com? Find out how to submit to Dwell.


27 Valentine’s Day Gifts for Your Loved One

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-23 15:32

Celebrate that special someone in your life with these charming, heartfelt gifts that are sure to delight.

The couple welcome visitors to Casa Mami, a thoughtfully curated, secluded desert getaway.

Whether it's a cozy sweater, a new book, or the always-perfect bouquet, share the love on Friday, February 14.

The Bouqs Company All the Rage Bouquet

This all-about-color Bouq has taken trending to the next level. Joyful tulips explode in bursts of white, red, pink, purple, and orange –– color for days! It's a bouquet that's basically impossible not to love. Plus, enjoy next-day delivery anywhere in the USA. Orders must be placed by 2:00 pm EST to arrive next day. Please note that our tulips will grow throughout their vase life. They arrive in bud form and open 1–2 days upon arrival. Photo Courtesy of The Bouqs Company

The Hinterland: Cabins, Love Shacks and Other Hide-Outs

The cabin has become our third place, our hideaway where we can recharge our spirits and reconnect with ourselves, away from the restraints of society and the stress of the everyday. This book presents the best new cabin architecture and design. We all need to be somewhere else, just for a little while. The cabin is that somewhere else. They allow us to get into a different state of mind, one where we can just have a good time. Four walls and a roof and a weekend―these getaways free us from the distracting and unessential, and put us back in touch with nature and our own inner peace. In cabins, we can savor solitude or share experiences with friends among mountains, rivers, woods, and wildlife. The Hinterland explores architecture and design approaches to creating the refuges that refresh and revitalize amidst the beauty of nature. Photo Courtesy of Gestalten Publisher: Gestalten

SIN Uni Candlestick

We've got a new flame. Made from unglazed terra cotta, this earthy candle holder turns the traditional, straight-and-narrow types on their head. It's an instant eye-catcher, with a coiled, single-legged design (that's where the "Uni" name came from). Whether you perch it on a table top, a mantle or a windowsill, it'll add a little artistic ambience to any situation. Photo Courtesy of Food52

Vitra Alexander Girard 1971 Love Heart Mug

One of Vitra’s most esteemed designers, Alexander Girard was one of the leading figures in American design during the post-war era and is famed for his signature playful graphics. Bringing a touch of romance to your kitchen cupboards, this porcelain mug is decorated with a bold love heart motif. Photo Courtesy of END.

Zoe's Chocolate Co. Chocolate Lover’s Gift Box (16 Pieces)

Bet you can't eat just one. This is the box of chocolates we want life to be like: plentiful, varied, colorful, and made with care. It features some of the Zoe’s Chocolate chocolatiers’ favorite treats, from caramels to truffles reminiscent of the makers’ Mediterranean roots, and we’ve found ourselves reaching—and then reaching again—for yet another chocolate. Would make a perfect gift for anyone with a sweet tooth. Photography by Rocky Luten

Grown Alchemist Intensive Hand Cream

A rich intensive hydrating, non-greasy Hand Cream that is instantly absorbed reviving the driest skin and cuticles. Photo Courtesy of Grown Alchemist

Portland Soda Works Set of 2 Syrups

Elevate your cocktail and your overall bar aesthetic with these handcrafted, all-natural syrups in apothecary bottles with vintage labels. The yummy syrups are brewed with whole herbs and spices and can be mixed with alcoholic drinks or bubbly sodas. Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

Everlane Cashmere Crew

It doesn't get more classic than a crew. This crewneck sweater is warm, soft to the touch, and lightweight with a slightly relaxed fit for an easy, timeless look. Did we mention it's Grade-A Mongolian cashmere? Photo Courtesy of Everlane

Tosaryu Hinoki Bath Flakes

Naturally scented bath flakes from Tosaryu. Aromatic Japanese Hinoki Cypress chips. Sustainably made from recovered by-product of "Hinoki" wood manufacturing process. Includes two pouches. Photo Courtesy of Jinen

Alessi 6 Cup Moka Espresso Coffee Maker

Moka espresso coffee maker from Alessi. Designed in David Chipperfield. Cast aluminum body. Hinged PA handle. Engraved logo at lid. Yields six cups. Photo Courtesy of Need Supply Co.

Land of the Rising Cat: Japan's Feline Fascination

Read this book if you want to find out just how crazy Japan is about cats. In a country with millions of cat owners, it's not unusual to find felines in coffee shops, hotel lobbies, and museums; being taken for stroller rides; or even serving as train stationmasters. But how did this cat mania start? Why does it continue to grow? And--are there really Buddhist funeral services for cats? In this lively, tip-to-tail cat compendium, Japanese culture maven Manami Okazaki shares the weird and wonderful realities of Japan's cat shrines, temples, and festivals; interviews toy artisans, fashion designers, and even an architect; and looks at cat-centric social media, manga, and mascots. From ubiquitous manekineko dolls and Doraemon collectibles to Maro, a cosplaying internet celebrity, every aspect of Japan's ongoing love affair with cats springs to life. Accompanied by fun and adorable photographs, this pop culture book is the purrrfect addition to any cat-lover's coffee table. Publisher: Prestel Photo Courtesy of Prestel

Entireworld Recycled Cashmere Blend Beanie

Do your noggin and the planet a favor with this cuffed beanie knit from a recycled cashmere blend that feels just as soft the second time around. Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

Olympia Provisions Salami Bouquet

Say it with salami. Forget a bouquet of flowers—the way to our hearts (and stomachs) is this “bouquet” of incredibly delicious gourmet salami, delivered straight to a loved one’s door all wrapped up in a festive, ribbon-tied arrangement. Choose from a three- or six-sausage arrangement—though we’d bet neither will last long.

Parachute Cloud Cotton Robe

Lounge like you mean it. Soft, light and luxurious, this super comfy robe features fluffy 2-ply gauze, a snug waist tie and two hidden side pockets. Made from premium 100% long-staple Turkish cotton and designed to have a relaxed, comfortable fit. Photo Courtesy of Parachute

Book of the Month Gift Subscription

The gift they get to pick. The perfect present? Letting them choose their favorite books, every month. Fun to give. Fun to get. Gift members get their pick of each month’s best new books. Plus, shipping is free for you! Photo Courtesy of Book of the Month

Todd Snyder Italian Indigo Western Shirt

Albini, the world famous Italian mill, has been producing premium fabrics since 1876. We figured that was enough to prove their commitment to innovation and dedication to quality. We choose their unrivaled cotton for this vintage-inspired shirt for its resilience and comfort. Tailored in a classic Western silhouette, this shirt is a playful staple for the discerning man. Featuring pearl snap buttons down the middle, front and back yokes, and a classic three button cuff. Photo Courtesy of Todd Snyder

Bellroy Hide & Seek Wallet

The Hide & Seek Wallet is a natural starting point for those looking to slim their wallet. It's conventional, yet loaded with hidden features and compartments that will Houdini away your extra bulk. Cut from premium vegetable tanned cow leather, it'll protect your bills and plastic and photo of your sweetheart for years to come.

The Citizenry x P.F. Candle Co. Halston Candle

Hand-thrown by a master ceramicist, you can trace the throwing lines in each piece, giving these candles a unique, artisanal feel. Each one takes several days to throw, fire, and glaze, all made start to finish in a Dublin-based studio. Oh, and the scent? We worked with P.F. Candle Co. to create the perfect cozy-up scent. Inspired by our adventures in Argentina, this candle combines notes of leather, oak, with a hint of malbec. Photo Courtesy of The Citizenry

Vitra Alexander Girard 1966 Sun Key Ring

Sure to add a touch of warmth to any ensemble, Vitra’s sun key ring bears the image of a smiling sun – a motif that was created by the American mid-century designer Alexander Girard. Photo Courtesy of Vitra

Areaware Stacked Porcelain Planter

The Stacking Planter discretely integrates both a planter and saucer into one form. Lift out the bottom ring to reveal a hidden saucer. The circular stoneware form takes its inspiration from high voltage ceramic insulators found on power lines. Dimensions: Short: 8" in diameter x 4" H and holds 64 ounces; Tall: 8" in diameter x 8" H and holds 128 ounces. Each planter has drainage holes at the bottom and an accompanying saucer that adds another ring. Photo Courtesy of Areaware

Alessi Cocktail Shaker

A re-edition of the Alessi tea and coffee sets project, the Alessi Cocktail Shaker represents bar and kitchen objects of the '20s, '30s and '40s designed by Carlo Alessi and the Ufficio Tecnico Alessi. Made of mirror polished stainless steel, the Cocktail Shaker is the perfect addition to any bar set, casual or formal. Alessi, known as the Italian design factory, has manufactured household products since 1921. The stylish and fun items offered are the result of contemporary partnerships with some of the world's best designers of unique and modern home accessories. Photo Courtesy of Alessi

Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask

Light is the enemy of sleep, so this miracle worker helps you find total darkness wherever you zzzz. Our mask is made from naturally moisturizing silk AND doubles as a headband for your nightly beauty routine - basically it’s just about flawless. Photo Courtesy of Lunya

Herbivore Coco Rose Lip Conditioner

Blended with virgin coconut oil and Moroccan rose absolute, this lip conditioner helps to protect, smooth, and soften. Coconut oil offers intensive hydration and replenishment, while steam distilled rose absolute works as a natural anti-inflammatory. Photo Courtesy of Ban.do

Iittala x Issey Miyake Cup in Pink

A wonderful embodiment of simplicity, the Iittala X Miyake Ceramic Cup Pink has a unique beauty all its own. Ideal for drinking tea, filtered coffee or juice shots, this cup's round opening tapers to a more irregular shape at its base to artful effect. Sure to become a household favorite, the Ceramic Cup Pink is made from durable, high-quality vitroporcelaine and finished with a specially developed colored glaze. Photo Courtesy of Need Supply Co.

Otherland Rattan Candle

Sandalwood / Amber / Moss Signature Wax Blend Hand-poured, soy/coconut wax blend Made in the USA Premium glassware, wick, and waxsourced from leading American factories Developed with Master Perfumers Each scent is crafted to bring its own transformative energy Photo Courtesy of Otherland

Better Almond Butter Beet & Cashew Butter (2-Pack)

Bring in the beet. We don’t throw around superlatives willy-nilly in these parts—ladies and gents this cashew butter is, indeed, one of the better butters we’ve encountered. Check out the label (nevermind we’ve got ya) and see that it’s certified organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Once they’re sprouted and soaked (for happy stomachs), these raw cashews are ground into creamy, spreadable heaven. Ok, now comes the color. Thanks to beet powder, this jar is like PB&J all in one (and all grown up too). Photography by Ty Mecham

Joshua Ellis Charcoal Cashmere Scarf

Marking its 250th anniversary in 2017, British brand Joshua Ellis is widely celebrated for its steadfast dedication to quality and use of luxury materials. Beautifully woven in soft and lightweight pure cashmere. Photo Courtesy of Todd Snyder

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.

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Bonny Doon Forest Temple

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-23 01:55

Greetings! We would like to submit our sweet little cabin to be featured in Dwell. My beloved and I just finished remodeling the home this past summer. I work as an interior designer & Jamie is a painter/contemporary artist - but we do lots of other things too. The intention behind this space in the woods is to offer a safe space for healing work, while it is our main home - we also hold retreats, song circles, sound healing, kirtan, yoga gatherings and tea ceremonies. It's hard to explain the powerful feeling this land holds if you have not visited, but it's palpable upon arrival. Your nervous system begins to regulate and all the worries of this human experience wash away. The cabin is nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains surrounded by lush forest and old growth redwoods. Only 15 minutes down the road, you are at some of the most beautiful clean beaches on the coast. The house was already very charming & has great bones, it just needed some TLC. I have lots of 'before' photos if you are interested. I love Japanese style bathing rituals, so we created an outdoor spa with huge sun deck, cedar hot tub, cedar sauna, and cold plunge. We also have a large yurt which is where we hold most of the gatherings & ceremonies. There is also a cute guest house not pictured in the attached photos. I hope you can see the magic through these images. With Gratitude, Eva & Jamie

from the deck looking into living room
lounge zone
wood burning stove
guest bathroom with my favorite tile & custom vanity cabinets made by our friend


Messner: A childhood dream comes true

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-23 01:52

At the foot of the Sciliar, in the picturesque area of Alpe di Siusi (Bolzano), the spirit of a barn is reborn as a home. The project, realised by noa* (network of architecture), has at its core, the South Tyrolean tradition combined with surprising features internally, resulting from design of visionary and unexpected spaces. An almost magical ambience is created, inspired by childhood memories. Keep tradition in mind, but at the same time move away so as to create an original identity, a new way of living, a different structuring of the domestic space, and to search inspiration from a childhood passed in the mountains. This, in summary, was the challenge faced by noa* in the project to construct a new home at Siusi in Sciliar, a construction to take the place of a deserted house in the centre of the village, with the original structure dating back to 1850. The job, completed in 2017, needs to be understood in its complex and delicate context. We are talking about South Tyrol, and a project executed at a height of 1100 a.s.l. at the foot of Alpe di Siusi, a part of the Dolomites recognised as a Unesco World Heritage due to its outstanding natural beauty. It was therefore extremely important to respect the parameters of the original structure and the urban planning requirements and regulations of the village. For Stefan Rier, founder, together with Lukas Rungger of the noa* studio, and in this instance ‘his own client’, the project was an opportunity to give a personal footprint to his own property. In this sense there was a move away from the traditional principles of spatial distribution, this being achieved in part by recalling memories of a childhood spent in the mountains. “We wanted the project to respect the aesthetics and the urban aspects of the village, a village where wooden barns alternate with plaster-fronted houses destined for farmers and the keeping of cattle.”, explains architect Rier. “With this in mind, we finished the exterior structure with a ‘coating’ in keeping with tradition: a wooden grid on all 4 sides, just as is used for alpine barns. However, as far as the interior is concerned, I decided to leave tradition behind me, and thereby free the design from any preconceived limitations. In this way I was able to look forward...but also a little back in time to the beautiful years of my childhood”. The outcome of the project is a dwelling, having two aspects which confront each other in their style. The exterior represents the traditional alpine location, splendidly immersed in the local topography, whilst the interior boasts the visionary impulse, the surprise of a space freed from the general scheme of things, almost permeable, osmotic, and certainly innovative. On the ground floor there is a common area which spreads out almost in a ‘piazza’ fashion for (habitational)and interactional use: there is a dining table to enjoy with friends, an ample sized kitchen to accommodate more than one cook! The rest of the house develops in a vertical way and instead of the classical room division there are what can be described as ‘hanging boxes’, which are positioned at different heights and interconnected by stairs and walkways - they giving the sensation of walking up a mountain path towards the peak. The hallways are carefully designed so that, apart from their connecting function, they accommodate other essential areas such as the library and open ‘bathroom’ areas with tubs and showers (only the WC are closed in). The entire structure is conceived in a way that the further one goes up the level of privacy and intimacy is heightened. The highest ‘box’ which features a sauna opens out to the splendid view of the Santner mountain. The revolutionary distribution of the interior spaces can be noted also from the exterior, and a sort of counterpoint is created with the traditional presentation of the exterior itself. To the north the two boxes of the bedrooms, finished in bronze, can be seen behind the wooden trellis shell, and as a result the material contrast is evident, while to the south it is sauna box which protrudes the glass facade. It is an architectural concept, both extremely innovative and courageous in nature, but which also has the value of being able to evoke an atmosphere of time past. Viewing the structure from a distance, the larch framework which supports the hanging boxes with its roof supported by 12 metre high wooden columns, seems to be the outline of an old barn. “Thinking about it, I spent a lot of my childhood playing in barns”, underlines Stefan Rier, “and one of my lasting and favourite memories is of when I used to climb high up in the barns and then throw myself down into the hay. Maybe if I had not had that experience, I would never have come to design this house ...”. THE STRUCTURE: A DIALOGUE BETWEEN TIME PAST AND TIME PRESENT The house mirrors the construction type of the location’s rural buildings. On the stone foundation (10x8m), is a wooden structure in larch on three levels, and which supports the gable roof, typical of the village’s dwellings. A wooden trellis covers the whole house in a shell-like manner, screening the light and heat of the sun in the hotter periods, and as a whole it is suggestive of the typical structures of alpine barns. Two boxes, one in bronze and one a glass structure 'peak out’ from the trellis, to the north and south respectively, and so revealing to the exterior that there is something complex to the interior layout. To the south there is a glass facade and a terrace which opens out to the magnificent view over the landscape of the Dolomites, a view which is dominated by the splendid sight of the Sciliar massif. THE INTERIOR SPACES: A STATIC CHALLENGE Inside the house, the distribution of spaces and functions is really unusual. The ‘boxes’ which house the three bedrooms are supported by the wooden beam structure, visible in its totality (12 metres high). The bedrooms are designed as micro-homes, each one having its own particular design, these boxes seem to almost ‘hang’ in the ample volume of the interior (1,100 cubic metres). One gains access via a staircase and a walkway system, which as well as having a connecting function, accommodate the ‘bathroom’ areas with tubs and showers (only the WC are closed in). On the last floor, a box plays host to the sauna with a panoramic view, extending out of the southern front. Preceding the sauna, there is a book-lounge with an antique majolica stove, which has been taken from the pre-existing building. The library together with a cloakroom area complete the private spaces on the higher levels. The ground floor is a large open space with three diverse ‘island’ functions: the relaxation area, the dining area, and the kitchen, resolved with a large working surface feature in natural brass, and decorated on the sides with artisan earthenware tiles. MATERIALS As well as incorporating materials having a local tradition – wood and stone – the project introduces others of a more contemporary nature, in some cases recalling a Mediterranean style. The floor resin, giving uniformity to the ground floor appearance, alternates between baked clay and sea-blue tiles, the same as used for the side covering of the kitchen’s work surface. The brass gives brilliant warm tones to the furniture details and to the work surface which also incorporates the cooking essentials and sink. The staircase, in finely worked steel recalls the grates of Arabian tradition, creating a chiaroscuro effect which is extremely unusual for the Alpine environment. Furniture and Cloth The furniture has all been produced to design specification, adhering to a zero-kilometre regime. Attention to detail has been scrupulous, as has the search for original solutions from both a formal and functional stance. Cloth chosen plays an intricate game with wood in creating an atmosphere almost theatrical in kind. Flowing blue drapes act almost as stage curtains in enclosing various spaces and giving different and new perspectives. There has also been a coming together of texture and décor for the box-like bedrooms, this evident even in the wallpaper in blue tones, and so creating a functional soundproofing barrier. Light The project strives to make the most of natural light: to the south the facade is a complete glass construction, the light being filtered by the external wooden grid positioned at 2.5 metres from the principal structure, whilst the jutting out roof shades protect the interior from the extreme heat of the summer months. On the roof, a skylight opens to the east providing another source of light. To the north there are windows. As for internal lighting, in the very high living area, there are suspension lights to guarantee sufficient light and in particular for the specific functional areas (dining and kitchen areas). Many of the lamps in the house have been design created.


This Winning Midcentury in Houston Can Be Yours for $260K

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-23 00:11

Nearly every detail in this 1962 residence is spot-on for the midcentury enthusiast.

Sporting restored midcentury furniture, the main great room is a time capsule in itself. Wood beams contrast with the crisp white, vaulted ceilings, which provide indirect cove lighting. An original fireplace sits tucked in the corner.

Now up for grabs in Houston, Texas, is a delightful midcentury abode that underwent a recent restoration by its architect and interior designer owners. Offering 1,850 square feet of space, the residence features a free-flowing open layout, along with three bedrooms and two baths.

Nestled on a lush lot with mature trees sits 5443 Whispering Creek Way, a charming one-level midcentury that was recently treated to a top-down renovation.

Nestled on a lush lot with mature trees is 5443 Whispering Creek Way, a charming one-level midcentury that was recently treated to a top-down renovation. 

Photo courtesy of Robert Searcy

Built in 1962, the meticulously maintained home boasts plenty of original detailing to transport you back in time. Vaulted, beamed ceilings enhance the sense of space in the wood-paneled great room, which features a painted brick fireplace and a trove of midcentury furnishings. Floor-to-ceiling windows lining the walls invite natural light inside. 

Sporting restored midcentury furniture, the main great room is a time capsule in itself. Wood beams contrast with the crisp white, vaulted ceilings, which provide indirect cove lighting. An original fireplace sits tucked in the corner.

Sporting restored midcentury furniture, the great room is a time capsule itself. Beamed ceilings contrast with wood-paneled walls, and an original brick-painted fireplace sits in the corner. A small dining area sits just off the kitchen.

Photo courtesy of Robert Searcy

Custom built-in shelving lines one of the walls in the formal dining room, offering plenty of storage space for books and collected memorabilia.

Custom built-in shelving lines a wall in the formal dining room, offering plenty of storage space for books and collected memorabilia.

Photo courtesy of Robert Searcy

In the kitchen, retro countertops and cabinetry contrast with newly added stainless-steel appliances. The terrazzo tile lining the floor of this space extends into the living room. A long hallway separates the main living areas from the home's three spacious bedrooms, all lined with richly textured hardwoods. Keep scrolling to see more of the property, currently listed for $259,900.

In the vintage-style kitchen, original cabinetry mingles with modern appliances. Terrazzo tiles extend to the adjoining dining and living rooms.

In the vintage-style kitchen, original cabinetry mingles with modern appliances. Terrazzo tiles extend to the adjoining dining and living rooms.

Photo courtesy of Robert Searcy

Another view of the kitchen. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets provide an abundance of storage.

Another view of the kitchen. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets provide an abundance of storage. 

Photo courtesy of Robert Searcy

A more casual breakfast nook sits just steps away from the kitchen.

Another look at the eating area off the kitchen. A pass-through in the wall connects the two spaces for entertaining.

Photo courtesy of Robert Searcy

Although updated with new faucets and fixtures, the home's two full bathrooms also feature period details, including vintage colored tiles that run from the sink to shower.

Updated with new faucets and fixtures, the home's two full bathrooms also feature period details, including vintage colored tiles that run from the sink to shower.

Photo courtesy of Robert Searcy

In total, the residence offers three bedrooms, one of which has direct access to the backyard. In addition to the sliding glass door, a wide clerestory window invites warm light inside.

In total, the residence offers three bedrooms, one of which includes direct access to the backyard. In addition to the sliding glass door, a wide window above the bed invites warm light inside the large space.

Photo courtesy of Robert Searcy

A peek at the covered patio located at the back of the house. With no rear neighbors and a fenced backyard, the property, which sits on an over half-acre lot, offers ample privacy.

A peek at the covered patio located at the back of the house. With no rear neighbors and a fenced backyard, the half-acre property offers a private place to relax.

Photo courtesy of Robert Searcy

5443 Whispering Creek Way is currently listed for $259,900 by Robert Searcy of Robert Searcy Properties.

Know of a home for sale or rent that should be featured on Dwell.com? Find out how to submit to Dwell.


A Matte Black Cabin Steps Down the Steep Slopes of Norway’s Stokkøya Island

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-22 22:54

On the windswept Norwegian island of Stokkøya, a holiday cabin built from local timber connects deeply to the landscape.

The design of the roofline matches the slope of the site.

When a couple with three young children asked Kappland Arkitekter to design an island retreat on a steeply sloping plot, the Oslo-based architects didn’t just rise to the challenge—they created a home that fully embraces the tricky terrain.

"The building follows the terrain and forms a stepped unit on the hillside, creating several levels, both indoors and outdoors," explain the architects. "The goal was to preserve the way one moves up and down the steep hillside indoors—to preserve the relationship with the site and its characteristics."

Stepping down the landscape from east to west, the timber cabin takes in sweeping views of the open sea on one side and the dramatic hills on the other. Large glazed openings and an all-timber palette further blur the line between indoors and out.

Stepping down the landscape from east to west, the timber cabin takes in sweeping views of the open sea on one side and the dramatic hills on the other. Large glazed openings and an all-timber palette further blur the line between indoors and out.

Kappland arkitekter AS

The design of the roofline matches the slope of the site.

The design of the roofline matches the slope of the site.

Kappland arkitekter AS

The terraced design of the 904-square-foot cabin places the open-plan living area on the property’s raised side to the east and the sleeping areas downslope.

At either end of the linear volume are two additions that extend toward the north and south sides: a raised "loft box" and a lower-elevation "rest box." These flexible rooms can be adapted to serve as extra bedrooms, workrooms, or playrooms. "This way, one can experience climbing and descending the slope—both indoors and outdoors," add the architects.  

Large walls of glass frame sea views throughout the building. This view of the open-plan living area looks toward the north; the elevated loft box is to the right, while the rest box is placed a few steps down to the far left, opposite the bedrooms.

Large walls of glass frame sea views throughout the building. This view of the open-plan living area looks toward the north; the elevated loft box is to the right, while the rest box is placed a few steps down to the far left, opposite the bedrooms.

Kappland arkitekter AS

A daybed with integrated storage takes up almost the entire footprint of the rest box on the southwest side of the home.

A daybed with integrated storage takes up almost the entire footprint of the rest box on the southwest side of the home.

Kappland arkitekter AS

"The shape of the building defines two outdoor spaces that can be used during different sun and wind conditions," explain the architects. "At the back, an outdoor space is formed by the slope and the building. Here, one can enjoy the morning sun and at the same time be protected from the westerly winds."

Since the sloped site had low vegetation and limited natural shelter, the architects designed the building’s shape to help shield the outdoor decks from the wind.

Since the sloped site had low vegetation and limited natural shelter, the architects designed the building’s shape to help shield the outdoor decks from the wind.

Kappland arkitekter AS

In addition to maximizing enjoyment of the landscape, the Stokkøya Cabin emphasizes low-impact design both physically and visually. Appearing to float above the landscape, the deliberately compact cabin rests atop piles at the front and a concrete slab at the rear for minimal site impact.

The facade is clad in dark Norwegian royal impregnated wood to make the building recede into the landscape, and locally sourced timber is also used throughout the interior and for the outdoor deck.

The dark timber cladding helps the building recede into the landscape.

The dark timber cladding helps the building recede into the landscape.

Kappland arkitekter AS

The cabin is accessed via a walking trail on the north side of the site.

The cabin is accessed via a walking trail on the north side of the site.

Kappland arkitekter AS

To subtly break up the interior’s all-timber palette, the architects used a mix of Norwegian birch planks and panels that vary in thickness and direction to delineate the active and quiet zones in the home.

The project celebrates local Norwegian craft and materials. The living room holds an Outline sofa by Norwegian designers Anderssen & Voll for Muuto.

The project celebrates local Norwegian craft and materials. The living room holds an Outline sofa by Norwegian designers Anderssen & Voll for Muuto.

Kappland arkitekter AS

The custom-built staircase from the living room to the loft box is integrated with a wood stove and storage for firewood.

The custom-built staircase from the living room to the loft box is integrated with a wood stove and storage for firewood.

Kappland arkitekter AS

Located a few steps above the living room, the loft box connects to an outdoor deck with views of the hills to the north.

Located a few steps above the living room, the loft box connects to an outdoor deck with views of the hills to the north.

Kappland arkitekter AS

"In order to effectively utilize space in the relatively small bedrooms and other areas, most of the furniture is designed specifically for the cabin and built on-site," note the architects. Kappland Arkitekter worked with a local carpenter to design and build the birch veneer furnishings that maximize the flexibility of the compact home.

In one of the bedrooms, custom bunk beds sleep three.

In one of the bedrooms, custom bunk beds sleep three.

Kappland arkitekter AS

"The main functions in the cabin are organized along the main unit, with the walkway to the west," say the architects. "As such, contact with the views and the sea are enhanced while moving through the cabin."

The rest box faces west for views of the sea.

The rest box faces west for views of the sea.

Kappland arkitekter AS

“The simplistic interior does not compete for attention with the magnificent views outside,” say the architects.

"The simplistic interior does not compete for attention with the magnificent views outside," say the architects.

Kappland arkitekter AS

Stokkøya Cabin  floor plan
Stokkøya Cabin site plan
Stokkøya Cabin west elevation
Stokkøya Cabin south elevation
Stokkøya Cabin east elevation
Stokkøya Cabin north elevation

Related Reading:

Dwell’s Top 10 Cabins of 2019

The 101 Best Modern Cabins

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Kappland arkitekter AS / @kapplandarkitekter

Builder/General Contractor: Hosen AS


Budget Breakdown: A Playful, Postmodern ADU in Los Angeles Is Built for $249K

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-22 20:02

Bunch Design imagines a colorful, dynamic backyard dwelling that looks and feels larger than its 850 square feet.

"A sense of expansive space and careful use of light and color are things that make our ADU designs feel large, even when most of them are under 800 square feet," says designer Bo Sundius, who co-founded Los Angeles–based Bunch Design and Bunch ADU with his wife Hisako Ichiki, also an designer. "The result is that the people who live and work in these small homes never feel like they’re in a small space," he adds.

$10,000
Demolition
$7,560
Site Upgrades
$20,000
Foundation
$44,000
Framing
$11,200
Stucco
$17,580
Windows & Doors
$6,200
Roofing
$3,660
Gutters
$15,600
Drywall
$11,200
Flooring
$7,400
Paint
$13,600
Electrical
$14,600
Plumbing
$13,200
Mech & HVAC
$24,000
Kitchen & Equipment
$17,958
Bathroom
$4,500
Permits
$6,000
Fees
Grand Total: $248,658

The surprisingly lofty, 850-square-foot home that Sundius and Ichiki designed for a backyard in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles is a prime example of how small spaces don’t have to feel so small. As such, the design is one of Bunch ADU’s prototypes. "Anyone can purchase the design for a reduced fee, and we can work with them to build it in their own backyard more quickly than they’d be able to build a custom design," Sundius says. "It’s an off-the-shelf approach with known costs." 

A stepped drywall ceiling lends texture and interest on the interior. The open-plan public space, which includes the kitchen, dining area, and living room, is sectioned by a pair of box-like volumes that contain the two bathrooms; the two bedrooms are located at the rear of the house.

A stepped drywall ceiling lends texture and interest on the interior. The open-plan public space, which includes the kitchen, dining area, and living room, is sectioned by a pair of box-like volumes that contain the two bathrooms; the two bedrooms are located at the rear of the house.

Yoshihiro Makino

Sundius and Ichiki sided the home with sand-colored stucco that ties to the other stucco-clad homes in the neighborhood.

Sundius and Ichiki sided the home with sand-colored stucco that ties to the other stucco-clad homes in the neighborhood.

Yoshihiro Makino

To make the two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath dwelling look and feel as large as possible, Sundius and Ichiki maintained sightlines from one end to the other. "We didn’t want to disrupt the flow of the stepped ceiling as it runs the length of the building," Ichiki says. The designers placed the bathroom and the water closet in box-like volumes that are inserted within the house’s overall volume. The bathroom and water closet inserts separate the kitchen and the living area from the bedrooms. 

The dining table was crafted from a single 4-by-8 sheet of walnut. The chairs, designed by Shin Okuda, are from Waka Waka in Los Angeles.

The dining table was crafted from a single 4-by-8 sheet of walnut. The chairs, designed by Shin Okuda, are from Waka Waka in Los Angeles.

Yoshihiro Makino

A 15-foot-tall vaulted ceiling, a  clerestory, and a large sliding glass door flood the open-plan living area with plenty of sunlight.

A 15-foot-tall vaulted ceiling, a  clerestory, and a large sliding glass door flood the open-plan living area with plenty of sunlight.

Yoshihiro Makino

The master bedroom displays a bed from Muji that's dressed with pillows and coverings from Atacama; the rug is also from Atacama. The second room, which can be used as a bedroom, office, or play room, is outfitted with a textured rug from Atacama.

The master bedroom displays a bed from Muji that's dressed with pillows and coverings from Atacama; the rug is also from Atacama. The second room, which can be used as a bedroom, office, or play room, is outfitted with a textured rug from Atacama.

Yoshihiro Makino

The designers used the long lines of the stepped ceiling to make the space feel more expansive than its 850 square feet. The inserts, too, contribute to the home’s spaciousness. "Space is defined by how walls meet ceilings and floors," says Sundius. "If you pull the wall back from where it meets the ceiling, you blur the way you visually read the space."

Sundius and Ichiki employed a white-painted, stepped ceiling that's made from drywall and reflects a bright, yellow wall and door and the pink tone that accents the bathroom skylight.

Sundius and Ichiki employed a white-painted, stepped ceiling that's made from drywall and reflects a bright, yellow wall and door and the pink tone that accents the bathroom skylight.

Yoshihiro Makino

When it came to color, form, and materials, Sundius and Ichiki took inspiration from iconic architectural designs. "The color and gradients of the interior were central to our concept," Sundius says. "The white-painted, stepped ceiling has this playful formality that reminds us of Italian modernists like Ettore Sottsass and Gio Ponti, who were never fearful of color and oversize gestures." 

The work of Mexican architect Luis Barragán also proved inspirational. "His designs seeped into our thoughts," says Ichiki. "The stepped ceiling takes on such great shadow and light." The designers employed skylights—one of which they accented with a hot pink tone—and a bright shade of yellow on one of the walls and a floor-to-ceiling door to one of the bedrooms. "The effect is wonderful," Sundius says. "Sunlight casts pink and red hues onto the white, stepped ceiling. With the ADU being a small space, we wanted to use aspects of nature, like sunlight, to change the space throughout the day so you’d never get bored or feel cooped up." 

A 15-foot door with a stepped top edge joins the stepped ceiling, and closes the master bedroom to the rest of the home.

A 15-foot door with a stepped top edge joins the stepped ceiling, and closes the master bedroom to the rest of the home.

Yoshihiro Makino

The skylights punch through the stepped ceiling and expose large blocks of bright blue sky that pair well with the sunshine yellow tone of the wall and the door. "We had fun balancing the yellow, blue, white and reddish pink as sort of an abstract artwork that you get different glimpses of as you move through the house," Sundius says. 

Left: The designers placed a sink vanity and a bathing area in one of the baths, where a rectangular skylight floods the space with sunshine. Right: The second bath, where there's a sink vanity and a toilet, features an oval-shaped skylight accented with a brilliant shade of hot pink.

Left: The designers placed a sink vanity and a bathing area in one of the baths, where a rectangular skylight floods the space with sunshine. Right: The second bath, where there's a sink vanity and a toilet, features an oval-shaped skylight accented with a brilliant shade of hot pink. 

Yoshihiro Makino

Left: The skylight in the bathroom where there's a tub and shower exposes a rectangular swath of bright blue sky. Right: The designers separated the functions of a bath, housing a toilet in one and a bathing area in the other.

Left: The skylight in the bathroom where there's a tub and shower exposes a rectangular swath of bright blue sky. Right: The designers separated the functions of a bath, housing a toilet in one and a bathing area in the other. 

Yoshihiro Makino

The brilliance of the interior contrasts with the more subdued look of the exterior, which Sundius and Ichiki clad with sand-colored stucco. "All of the nearby houses are stucco, so we decided to go with that aesthetic and keep things unified," Sundius says.

Sundius and Ichiki’s design is as artful as it is practical. "The house takes time to experience," Sundius says. "When people come through, they kind of loiter around like they’re in a gallery, taking in all of the different moments. It feels great to demonstrate that a home can be a work of art, and that architecture doesn’t have to be a privilege for only an elite group."

Outdoor string lights help to bathe the adjacent courtyard in a soft glow.

Outdoor string lights help to bathe the adjacent courtyard in a soft glow.

Yoshihiro Makino


This Monolithic Concrete House Appears to Float Among the Trees

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-22 19:45

Located outside of Buenos Aires, the house rises above the forest floor on a single concrete pedestal.

The pool is lifted up from the forest floor to the level of the home on a single concrete fin.

Casa en los Arboles is, as the name suggests, a house in the trees. Built on a sloping, secluded site in the Argentine countryside, the home is a unique weekend retreat for a nature-loving couple from the city of Buenos Aires. From the beginning, says architect Luciano Kruk, the couple was interested in an elevated structure that would afford views of the ocean and treetops without sacrificing the feeling that the home was nestled in the woods. 

The pool is lifted up from the forest floor to the level of the home on a single concrete fin.

The pool is lifted up from the forest floor to the level of the home on a single concrete fin.

Photo by Luciano Kruk arquitectos

The exposed concrete of Casa Arboles is a neutral shade of gray. The architect hopes the material will weather over time to blend in with the landscape.

The exposed concrete of Casa Arboles is a neutral shade of gray. The architect hopes the material will weather over time to blend in with the landscape.

Photo: Luciano Kruk arquitectos

Because of the home’s intended purpose as a second house, Kruk designed it as a secluded retreat—a place to get away from it all. "A getaway home should guarantee disconnection," he explains. "For this, it must concede a place to enjoy the landscape in which is implanted and embrace its energy. At the same time, it should be practical, functional, and most importantly, easy to maintain."

The entire structure rests on a singe, central support.

The entire structure rests on a single, central support. 

Photo: Luciano Kruk arquitectos

Kruk wanted the house to have as little physical impact on the landscape as possible. He started by designing a compact house—but then went a step further, lifting the home from the ground and minimizing its footprint. "As the house is an object inserted into this rich landscape, the intention was for it to have a minimum impact on the surrounding land," he says.

The home’s interior is minimal and streamlined, with classic modern furnishings and polished concrete floors.

The home’s interior is minimal and streamlined, with classic modern furnishings and polished concrete floors. 

Photo: Luciano Kruk arquitectos

The resulting design rests upon a single central pillar. The two upper floors expand out around the central column, giving the home the appearance of an inverted ziggurat. Heavily reinforced concrete slabs are cantilevered off the main support by up to nine feet. Inside, the poured concrete is left exposed, and the stripes and impressions left behind by wooden forms provide a subtle visual reference to the trees that are the home’s namesake.

The house’s small size and compact footprint necessitated some clever spatial arrangements—like the hidden kitchen—to make the space feel bigger.

The house’s small size and compact footprint necessitated some clever spatial arrangements—like the hidden kitchen—to make the space feel bigger. 

Photo: Luciano Kruk arquitectos

Wraparound windows on all sides of the first floor provide immersive views of the surrounding woods, making the minimal interior feel like a home carved out of the landscape itself. The logic here, according to Kruk, was to make the windows a part of the structure of the house. 

A swimming pool extends from the edge of the elevated terrace.

A swimming pool extends from the edge of the elevated terrace. 

Photo: Luciano Kruk arquitectos

"The window placement was conceptualized as a series of elements that crystallizes and continues the morphology that the concrete elements form, completing the object. The color was chosen for the same purpose—the carpentry lines shouldn’t take any attention, so as not to be perceived as isolated elements, merging with the concrete structure tones."

Poured concrete was the perfect material for such an intensely geometric design.

Poured concrete was the perfect material for such an intensely geometric design. 

Photo: Luciano Kruk arquitectos

Perhaps the house’s most striking feature is its swimming pool. Shaped like an enormous concrete sarcophagus filled with blue water, it’s lifted up from the forest floor to the level of the home on a single concrete fin. Viewed from the house, the effect is of an infinity pool extending from the glassed-in living room into the surrounding forest.

The house's elevation brings it into the canopy of the surrounding trees.

The house's elevation brings it into the canopy of the surrounding trees. 

Photo: Luciano Kruk arquitectos

An appealingly geometric concrete staircase floats towards the home’s second floor. Attached only to one wall, it’s unencumbered by handrails or support from below. On the second floor, privacy plays a greater role—and it’s apparent from looking at the house’s exterior. At this level the windows face only one direction, toward the sea, and a concrete overhang shades them from the sun like a visor.

The home’s interior is quite minimal and makes extensive use of large windows to let in sunlight and views.

The home’s interior is quite minimal and makes extensive use of large windows to let in sunlight and views. 

Photo: Luciano Kruk arquitectos

From outside, the home appears to hover amid a copse of small trees, and the exposed concrete looks pale amid the forest’s earth tones. As time passes, the trees continue to grow, and the cement begins to weather, Kruk hopes that the home and its landscape will become further entwined. "Harmonizing with the surrounding forest through its color and texture, this artificial stone coexists with its surroundings—a condition that will increase with the passing of the years," he tells Dwell.

A sparse bedroom on the home’s second floor.

A sparse bedroom on the home’s second floor. 

Photo: Luciano Kruk arquitectos


Health is Wealth: 39 Products to Help You Stay on Top of Your New Year’s Resolutions

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-22 17:22

Whether it’s dusting off that old gym membership or incorporating new rituals into your routine, healthy resolutions can be hard to keep up. Our picks make sticking to your goals a whole lot easier.

The tropical modernism of the resort provides the perfect backdrop for exercise and relaxation in the Costa Rican jungle.

If You’re Trying to Train to Run a Marathon

Outdoor Voices Relay Short

Less is more. Your go-to unlined short made in our lightweight quick-drying recycled polyester fabric featuring a hidden zip pocket. Photo Courtesy of Outdoor Voices

Garmin Forerunner 35

Easy-to-use GPS Running Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate. Monitors heart rate at the wrist, all day and night, using Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology Built-in GPS tracks how far, how fast and where you run Connected features: smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking and music controls All-day activity tracking counts steps, calories and intensity minutes and reminds you when to move Automatically uploads your data to Garmin Connect, our free online fitness community where you can join challenges, receive insights and share your progress as you meet your goals Photo Courtesy of Amazon

On Cloud X Running Shoe

From high-intensity training to distraction-free running, this lightweight crossover shoe sits on signature zero-gravity foam for both comfort and performance. Supportive engineered mesh and a molded heel cup stabilize your foot without suffocating it, while the articulated CloudTec® sole brings heel-to-toe flexibility to every stride. Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

Master & Dynamic MW07GO True Wireless Earphones

Wireless Bluetooth® 5.0 headphones with compact rechargeable case from Master & Dynamic. Ultra-durable TR90 thermoplastic. Silicone eartips and vented silicone sleeve creates comfortable, secure fit. Custom 10mm beryllium drivers. IPX6 water-resistant design. Dual integrated microphones in right earphone. Tonal multifunction top button. Included in box: four additional eartip sizes, two additional silicone sleeve sizes, charging cord and USB adapter. Photo Courtesy of Need Supply Co.

If You’re Trying to Make Bringing Lunch From Home a Habit

Modern Lunch

Modern Lunch, written by Allison Day, immerses readers in a feasting journey inspired by fresh flavors and ingredients. Contains recipes, photography and tips to create simple yet inventive dishes achievable for a variety of budgets and appetites. Photo Courtesy of Terrain

W&P Porter Bowl - Plastic

The Porter Bowl is a durable plastic lunch bowl that features a protective nonslip exterior, rigid plastic lid and snap-tight silicone strap. Perfect for transporting your salad, grain bowl or leftovers - wherever life may take you. Photo Courtesy of W&P

Rosti Mepal Modern Large Bento Box

It’s time to upgrade your lunch-to-go: These Dutch-designed beautiful bentos are big enough to hold a full meal’s worth of leftovers, or a pic-worthy not sad desk lunch that doesn’t leave your belly growling for more. Each of the components is microwave-safe, so you can pop your potatoes in for a hot minute while you enjoy your fruit salad. And when you’re done? Yep, it’s dishwasher-safe, too. Photo courtesy of Food52

If You’re Trying to Get Your Sleep Schedule on Track

Snowe Down Alternative Pillow

Get all the plumpness and fluff of a down pillow... without the down. This one is stuffed with near-magical hypoallergenic fill that will help you rack up all the hours of sleep you ever dreamed of. Pillow density is a personal preference. But typically, side sleepers prefer firm, back sleepers prefer medium, stomach sleepers prefer soft. 100% allergen free microfiber for a sound snooze. Ultra-soft, OEKO-TEX certified cotton shell is smooth, supple and quiet. Photo Courtesy of Snowe

Marpac Whish Sound Machine

Whether you're looking to focus, meditate or sleep easily, this compact sound machine has you covered. The Whish offers 16 sound options—8 white-noise tracks and 8 soothing nature and spa tracks—ensuring you a custom sound environment to meet your needs. Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

Moon Juice Dream Dust

What it is: An adaptogenic blend of tranquil superherbs and Chamomile Flower that help combat the effects of stress to soothe your tension for deep, nocturnal rest.* If you want to know more… This formula contains ingredients that help alleviate the effects of stress and tension* and promote more restful sleep* with notes of sweet, chamomile. Moon Dusts are fresh and potent with intensely herbal flavors. You will feel the effects and your palate will evolve. Intensity has its benefits. What else you need to know: Adaptogens are plants, mushrooms, and minerals that have traditionally been used to help the body manage stress, whether the source is mental, physical, or emotional. Adaptogens work to restore balance in the adrenal, endocrine, nervous, and immune systems, reducing the impacts of stress (aging, exhaustion, anxiety) on body, beauty, and consciousness from the inside out. Photo Courtesy of Moon Juice

Bearaby the Napper

A hand-knitted weighted blanket, made with nothing else than layer upon layer of soft organic cotton – cozy, chunky and delightfully heavy. Medical research has shown that sleeping under weight makes us sleep and feel better. The weighted Napper weaves stimulate the production of serotonin (happiness hormone), reduce cortisol (stress-hormone) and give a sense of ease to help relax and fall asleep. Thereby, the weight of the Napper softly and evenly melts across the body, providing a gentle tactile input for an immediate calming effect. The Yarn is naturally weighted through nothing else than layer upon layer of plant-based tree fabric, making the blanket chunky soft and highly breathable. Photo Courtesy of Bearaby

Vitruvi Sleep Face Mist

Facial mist from Vitruvi. Carefully selected blend of essential oils create a cozy, calming and powdery scent that will calm and relax for bedtime. Formulated with Witch Hazel to reduce inflammation; Lavender to reduce stress and Frankincense to calm.To Use: Mist face and/or body at any point in the day. Breathe deeply. Photo Courtesy of Vitruvi

If You’re Trying to Take Your Relaxation Seriously

Theragun G3 Percussive Therapy Device

Quiet and streamlined, this percussive therapy device targets tight, sore muscles with up to 40 lb. of force—helping to relieve pain and speed muscle recovery. Two speeds—one for standard deep treatment, the other lighter and well suited to sensitive areas—let you customize your treatment. Customize it further with your choice of four attachments: the standard ball for overall use, a dampener for tender or near-bone areas, a thumb attachment for lower back and trigger point therapy, and a cone for pinpointed muscle treatment. The ergonomic grip makes it comfortable to use; simply turn it on and instantly release knots and spasms, help muscle activation and encourage natural pain relief. Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

Maude Soak Bath Salts

The Soak Bath Salts were made with hand-harvested salts from the Southern Dead Sea. Crafted to allow your skin to absorb rich vitamins and minerals, these salts detoxify your body, leaving behind a warm scent filled with notes of amber, cedar leaf, lemongrass and more. How to use: Add a handful to warm water and mix until absorbed. Soak for 20 minutes. Rinse and towel dry. Photo Courtesy of Verishop

Jane Inc. Indigo Palms Spa Pillow

The Indigo Palms Spa Pillow is a beautifully crafted and soothing accessory that you can use either warm or cold to give your muscles necessary relief. With motifs hand-printed in India, this pillow is both beautiful and functional as it’s filled with natural lavender flowers, flax seeds and fragrances to promote relaxation. Photo Courtesy of Verishop

If You’re Trying to Become a Skincare Expert

Glossier Invisible Shield

Not optional. If you don’t already use sun protection every day, now’s the time to start. If you do, good! Now it’s time for an upgrade. Introducing sunscreen for people who hate wearing sunscreen—a clear watergel formula filled with active microcapsules that instantly absorbs into skin with no greasy residue and zero white cast. It helps prevent sun damage and skin cancer, but also works to neutralize harmful free radicals, and keeps pollutant junk from getting in there in the first place—that’s the “+”. We want you to use it every single morning as the last step in your skincare routine. Photo Courtesy of Glossier

Herbivore Prism Exfoliating Glow Potion

What it is: A nearly magical potion that is part essence and part serum that exfoliates away the top layer of dead skin cells. What it does: This truly natural water-based potion de-clogs pores, to reveal fresh, smooth and glowing skin. A rainbow of natural fruit acids and hydrating botanical waters combine to gently resurface skin, even tone, improve texture, increase clarity and boost hydration for your best skin yet. Bilberry lactic, sugar cane glycolic, orange peel citric and apple malic acids pair with vitamin C-rich kakadu plum to gently resurface and brighten skin. Rose water, aloe water and plant-derived vegan sodium hyaluronic combine to soothe and hydrate. How to use: Apply 4–8 drops onto clean skin and massage in as a leave-on treatment. Use daily or as often as needed. A tingle upon application is normal. If used during the day, follow with SPF. If redness or irritation occurs, please discontinue use. Store in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight. Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask

What it is: An ultra-moisturizing sleeping mask that instantly floods skin with moisture and keeps skin soft, smooth and hydrated for 72 hours. What it does: Infused with new Swiss glacier water, hyaluronic acid and avocado butter, this hydrating mask drenches extra thirsty skin in 72 hours of nonstop hydration. Plus, it treats skin with lasting nourishment. How to use: Twice a week or as desired, gently massage onto clean skin at bedtime. Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

If You’re Trying to Cut Down on Coffee

Kinto LT Teapot

Small modern tea pot from Kinto. Smooth coated porcelain with subtle shimmer finish. Squatted cylindrical vessel with beveled edge and long, enclosed triangular spout. Brushed stainless steel handle. Tonal recessed topper. Removable, perforated stainless steel strainer holds loose tea leaves. Round tapered base. Hand wash. Photo Courtesy of Need Supply Co.

Palais des Thés Classic Tea Selection (48 Bags)

Just our cup of tea. For whatever type of tea craving strikes, we've got a selection of nine teas perfectly parceled off: each tea bag is individually wrapped in a sealed sachet, while the whole tea leaves are enclosed in large cotton muslin squares. You'll get a selection of Long Jing, Margaret's Hope, Sencha Ariake, Grand Yunnan Imperial, Thé de Songes, Thé du Hammam, Rooibos des Lords, and Vive le Thé! Photography by Mark Weinberg

If You’re Trying to Finally Become a Gym Person

CALPAK Hue Duffel Bag

Featuring: Padded laptop sleeve designed to hold laptops up to 15" Removable zippered pouch Trolley pass-through sleeve Whether you’re going on vacation, to work, or to the gym—make this elevated, minimal duffel part of your routine. Crafted from buttery faux leather with matte black hardware (including matte black metal feet to put the back upright!), this clean, timeless design is made to last. With lots of thoughtful utility details like a removable crossbody strap, trolley pass-through, magnetic closures, a laptop pocket, discreet cell phone pocket, and exterior side handles that make grabbing it from the overhead bin easy—this will be your go-to for years to come Photo Courtesy of CALPAK

Bose SoundSport Free Wireless Earbuds

Take your workout wireless with these high-performance ear buds that are optimized for active use. Water-repellent mesh keeps the tech dry in any conditions, while the five-hour battery life takes you all the way from warm-up to cool-down. Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

If You’re Trying to Reduce Your Meat Intake

Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists

The creator of the immensely popular Salad for President blog presents a visually rich collection of more than 75 salad recipes, with contributions and interviews by artists/creative professionals like William Wegman, Tauba Auerbach, Laurie Anderson, and Alice Waters. Julia Sherman loves salad. In the book named after her popular blog, Sherman encourages her readers to consider salad an everyday indulgence that can include cocktails, soups, family style brunch dishes, and dinner-party entrées. Every part of the meal is reimagined with a fresh, vegetable obsessed perspective. This compendium of savory recipes will tempt readers in search of diverse offerings from light to hearty: Collard Chiffonade Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing and Crouton Crumble, Heirloom Tomatoes with Crunchy Polenta Croutons, or Flank Steak and Bean Sprouts with Miso-Kimchi Dressing. On the lighter end there are Grilled Hearts of Palm with Mint and Triple Citrus, Persimmon Caprese, and fresh Blood Marys. The recipes, while not exclusively vegetarian, are vegetable-forward and focused on high-quality seasonal produce. Sherman also includes insider tips on pantry staples and growing your own salad garden of herbs and greens. Salad—with its infinite possibilities—is a game of endless combinations, not stifling rules. And with that in mind, Salad for President offers a window into how artists approach preparing their favorite dishes. She visits sculptors, painters, photographers, and musicians in their homes and gardens, interviewing and photographing them as they cook. Utterly unique in its look into the worlds of food, art, and everyday practices, Salad for President is at once a practical resource for healthy, satisfying recipes and an inspiring look at creativity. Publisher: Harry N. Abrams Photo courtesy of Abrams Books

Simply Vibrant: All-Day Vegetarian Recipes for Colorful Plant-Based Cooking

A colorful take on whole foods cooking--everyday dishes that are seasonal, clean, and nourishing, from the author of The Vibrant Table. With everyday recipes inspired by the seasons and practical preparations, Anya Kassoff leads the way to colorful, internationally-flavored foods that delight the palate and the eyes. This book offers a modern way to eat—breaking the boundaries between sweet and savory with intuitively nourishing foods. Start your day with Creamy Steel Cut Oats with Rainbow Chard and Pine Nuts, throw together a rainbow-colored salad for lunch or make black rice sushi for a quick snack, and later, feed your sweet tooth and your body with Sweet Potato Chocolate Brownies. This is fresh, fun, delightful whole food. Publisher: Roost Books Photo Courtesy of Roost Books

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi

The hotly anticipated follow-up to London chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s bestselling and award-winning cookbook Plenty, featuring more than 150 vegetarian dishes organized by cooking method. Yotam Ottolenghi is one of the world’s most beloved culinary talents. In this follow-up to his bestselling Plenty, he continues to explore the diverse realm of vegetarian food with a wholly original approach. Organized by cooking method, more than 150 dazzling recipes emphasize spices, seasonality, and bold flavors. From inspired salads to hearty main dishes and luscious desserts, Plenty More is a must-have for vegetarians and omnivores alike. This visually stunning collection will change the way you cook and eat vegetables. – Amazon.com

If You’re Trying to Learn to Meditate, Once and for All

Vitruvi Porcelain Essential Oil Diffuser

What it is: A handcrafted, stone essential oil diffuser that doubles as a stunningly simple piece of home decor. If you want to know more… Essential oil diffusers are a way to create your own custom home aromas without the synthetic chemicals of traditional room fresheners or candles. This stone diffuser is made with a hand-milled, ceramic cover and contains an easy-to-clean water basin made of BPA-free, high-grade plastic. It uses ultrasonic technology to diffuse essential oils without heating them, and can fill up to a 550 square foot space with scent. What else you need to know: Vitruvi believes in living simply and naturally and creating premium-quality essential oils and diffusers. They invite you to experiment and create your own bespoke aromas with this stone diffuser. Photo Courtesy of Vitruvi

Avocado Green Meditation Pillow

Our Meditation Pillow is made from natural and organic vegan materials and features a buckwheat fill and GOTS certified organic cotton cover. Handcrafted in Los Angeles, it delivers just enough height and support for wellness practitioners of all meditation levels, styles, and mantras. Photo Courtesy of Avocado Mattress

Invitation to Meditation: How to Find Peace Wherever You Are

Meditation has gained widespread popularity as an effective tool for living peacefully and mindfully in the moment. But what is it exactly, and how does it work? Invitation to Meditation provides simple answers in a beginner-friendly format that weaves the experience of meditation directly into the reading—proving just how easy and enjoyable it can be. The artfully-designed package features a jacket embellished with gold foil and a spaciously laid-out interior with light illustrations that evoke calm and serenity; while the text presents timeless wisdom that is perfectly suited to modern life. As accessible as it is deeply resonant, Invitation to Meditation is for fans of meditation and newcomers alike, and makes a meaningful gift for anyone interested in exploring the present moment.

If You’re Trying to Drink More Water

Kinto Capsule Water Carafe

Water carafe from Kinto. Glass and stainless steel. Two-piece design; lid opens automatically for pouring. Circular base. Dishwasher and microwave safe. Photo Courtesy of Need Supply Co.

Hydro Flask 40-Ounce Wide Mouth Cap Bottle

A large-capacity bottle is the perfect companion for the trail, the beach or everyday use thanks to TempShield protection that keeps all your beverages the perfect temperature, hot or cold. Photo Courtesy of Nordstrom

W&P Porter Bottle

Upgrade everyday hydration with the Porter Bottle. Made from durable, lightweight glass and wrapped in protective matte silicone, this reusable water bottle is an eco-conscious and stylish replacement for disposable, plastic or metal canteens. Photo Courtesy of W&P Design

If You’re Trying to Live More Sustainably

If You Care Reusable Paper Towel Roll (Set of 3)

Wipe, rinse, repeat. Can you imagine a kitchen without paper towels? Yeah, we can’t either. But we can imagine a kitchen without nearly as much paper towel waste, thanks to these reusable sheets made in a patented process from a three-dimensional blending of cellulose, non-GMO unbleached cotton and natural mineral salt. They’re super absorbent (as in, 16 times their weight in water) and don’t leave fibers behind on your countertops or floors (bye disposable sweeper pads!) even after several rinses. Each sheet lasts for a week and when you’re ready to move on to the next one, simply drop it in the compost. Photography by Ty Mecham, Bobbi Linn & Julia Gartland

Live Green: 52 Steps for a More Sustainable Life

Many of us are already doing what we can to adopt a greener lifestyle. We recycle, try to reduce our waste and plastics, choose organic food when shopping, eat less meat, and opt for environmentally friendly cleaning products. Yet we often wish we were doing more and it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Live Green is a practical guide of 52 tips and changes you can make to your home and lifestyle over the course of a year. Tackling all areas of your life from home and garden, your cleaning routine, food, fashion, natural beauty, and Christmas, this book has all the ingredients to help you achieve a more sustainable existence. Learn how to modify your daily habits to rid yourself of environmental guilt and rediscover the pleasures of living a slower and simpler life. From creating your own eco-friendly cleaning products and improving your natural beauty regime to creating a capsule wardrobe and composting – discover how to get the most out of life by living more intentionally. Live simply. Live Green. Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Photo Courtesy of Quadrille Publishing

The Zero Waste Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Cooking without Waste

Do you ever just throw out a corn husk or a lemon peel and call it a day? This cookbook from Giovanna Torrico and Amelia Wasiliev will teach you just what you need to do to stretch your food further and reduce your waste (hint: use the corn husk to make vegetable stock and lemon zest to infuse vodka!). With chapters on fruit, vegetables, bread, dairy, meat, and fish, you’ll learn to use whatever food you have at home to its fullest. Photo Courtesy of ban.do

Stasher Medium Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bag

Bag those plastic baggies. You’ve likely thrown away hundreds of plastic zip top bags in your lifetime. Take a leap forward into a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle with Stasher storage bags: They’re BPA-free, self-sealing and airtight, like your beloved ziptops, but they’re made of an extra-durable silicone for use over and over again. You can wash them in the dishwasher between lunches (the non-porous surface helps inhibit bacterial growth). Use them to cook in the microwave, for sous vide cooking, or as a toiletries bag for an airplane trip—they come in snack, sandwich, and half-gallon sizes, so you can pack as much or as little away as you like. And if you love the lunch notes of yore, you can write directly on the bags with dry erase markers. We’re going to write “We love these storage bags!” on ours. Photo Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

If You’re Trying to Read More

Kindle Paperwhite

Our thinnest, lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet, with a sleek, modern design so you can read comfortably for hours. Features our signature 300 ppi, glare-free Paperwhite display, laser-quality text, and twice the storage of the previous generation. Plus a single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours. With the waterproof Kindle Paperwhite, you’re free to read and relax in more places, including the beach, pool, or bath. Paperwhite is IPX8 rated to protect against accidental immersion in up to two meters of fresh water for up to 60 minutes. Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Kikkerland Design Rechargeable Clip Book Light

Brighten up your nighttime reading with this book light clip by Kikkerland Design. Recharges via USB and offers two brightness levels that will illuminate your reading material or journaling. Complete with adjustable neck to position at the perfect angle. Photo Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

If You’re Trying to Grow a Green Thumb

Bloomscape Potted Philodendron Heartleaf Plant - Small

The viny Philodendron Heartleaf is a graceful, glossy houseplant with quaint, heart-shaped leaves. Placed atop a bookshelf or left hanging, its lush leaves will spill out for a dramatic effect. Highly adaptable and forgiving, it's a perfect first-time houseplant. Photo Courtesy of West Elm

Second Skin Garden Gloves

Ideal for outdoor tasks that require extra dexterity, these stretchy, form-fitting gloves are made from tough and water-resistant Supplex nylon with silicone grips for sure hands. A long cuff prevents scratches while weeding or trimming, and lab-certified UPF 50 sun protection keeps skin safe on summer days. Photo Courtesy of Terrain

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Grab This 1937 Redwood-Wrapped Residence in Eagle Rock for $1.3M

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-22 17:21

The L-shaped home elegantly blends concrete, wood, and vintage furnishings for a decidedly modern and hip look.

A focal point of the living area is the aesthetically pleasing fireplace wall, which elegantly mixes materials and features a mantel that runs across to meet the staircase tread. The open stairs lead up to an airy bedroom.

A new listing in the L.A. neighborhood of Eagle Rock fits right into the area's eclectic and laid-back vibe. The three-bedroom, two-bath home offers a vintage kitchen, crisp neutral color palette, and sleek lines—all tied together in a simple yet refined package of wood and concrete. Expansive sliding glass doors also open up to the backyard, creating an effortless indoor/outdoor connection.

Originally built in 1937, the home has been modernized inside and out. A stone driveway ends at the one-car garage, while a cascade of steps lead up to the entryway courtyard.

Originally built in 1937, the home has been modernized inside and out. A stone driveway ends at the one-car garage, while a cascade of steps lead up to the entryway courtyard.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

Other unique features run throughout this retro abode, including a cast-concrete soaking tub, a hidden door in the living room, and a wrap-around deck. A sunny upstairs bedroom also offers a private perch to enjoy picturesque views, while a detached studio provides space for work or hobbies.

The main entrance opens to a large living room and a wall of glass that stretches along the entire space. Redwood beams and veneer line the ceiling, while stained concrete floors complement the earthy aesthetic.

The main entrance opens to a large living room and a wall of glass that stretches along the entire space. Redwood beams and veneer line the ceiling, while stained concrete floors complement the earthy aesthetic.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

While the property feels like a retreat from the city chaos, many of Eagle Rock's best cafés are just minutes away. Keep scrolling to see more of this cozy property, currently listed for $1,295,000.

A focal point of the living area is the aesthetically pleasing fireplace wall, which elegantly mixes materials and features a mantel that runs across to meet the staircase tread. The open stairs lead up to an airy bedroom.

A focal point of the living area is the aesthetically pleasing fireplace wall, which elegantly mixes materials and features a mantel that runs across to meet the staircase tread. The open stairs lead up to an airy bedroom.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

On the opposite side of the fireplace, a hidden door disguises the entrance to another bedroom.

On the opposite side of the fireplace, a hidden door disguises the entrance to another bedroom. 

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

The living room flows into the dining area and kitchen, with each space differentiated by transitions in the flooring and ceiling. Sliding doors and windows wrap around the space to provide natural light and access to the home's multiple outdoor areas.

The living room flows into the dining area and kitchen, with each space differentiated by transitions in the flooring and ceiling. Sliding doors and windows wrap around the space to provide natural light and access to the home's multiple outdoor areas.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

The U-shaped kitchen features vintage wood cabinetry and appliances. An open peninsula provides views into the dining and living rooms.

The U-shaped kitchen features vintage wood cabinetry and appliances. An open peninsula provides views into the dining and living rooms.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

The peninsula is capped by a tall cabinet, which offers additional storage and houses the vintage oven.

The peninsula is capped by a tall cabinet, which offers additional storage and houses the vintage oven.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

A peek at one of three bedrooms, which features large sliding doors that open directly to the outdoors and drench the room in natural light.

A peek at one of three bedrooms, which features large sliding doors that open directly to the outdoors and drench the room in natural light.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

Here is one of two bathrooms, this one completing an en-suite with the previous bedroom.

Here is one of two bathrooms, this one completing an en-suite with the previous bedroom.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

The second bathroom features a deep cast-concrete soaking tub and shower. A natural mosaic of pebbled stones line the shower walls.

The second bathroom features a deep cast-concrete soaking tub and shower. A natural mosaic of pebbled stones line the shower walls.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

Upstairs, a bright bedroom features corner windows overlooking the front yard.

Upstairs, a bright bedroom features corner windows overlooking the front yard.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

Beneath the bedroom is a hidden space off of the main living area. A few steps lead down to the large room, which is wrapped in plywood, exposed framing, and concrete floors.

Beneath the bedroom is a hidden space off of the main living area. A few steps lead down to the large room, which is wrapped in plywood, exposed framing, and concrete floors.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

With its own side entrance and minibar, the space doubles as a handy guest bedroom. Clerestory windows provide additional light into the area from above the bed.

With its own side entrance and minibar, the space doubles as a handy guest bedroom. Clerestory windows provide additional light into the area from above the bed.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

Outside, a wrap-around deck begins off the kitchen. A deep overhang provides some shade for the wide sliding doors that wrap around the corner of the home.

Outside, a wrap-around deck begins off the kitchen. A deep overhang provides some shade for the wide sliding doors that wrap around the corner of the home.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

The deck continues around the other side of the home and traces the home's L-shaped floor plan. Expansive sliding doors in the living room and master bedroom provide a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.

The deck continues around the other side of the home and traces the home's L-shaped floor plan. Expansive sliding doors in the living room and master bedroom provide a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

An additional concrete patio adjoins the deck near the main entrance, connecting with the detached studio and garage. Several large pines around the .20-acre lot offer a canopy to escape the sun.

An additional concrete patio adjoins the deck near the main entrance, connecting with the detached studio and garage. Several large pines around the .20-acre lot offer a canopy to escape the sun.

Photo by Alex Zarour of Virtually Here Studios

1248 Las Flores Drive in Los Angeles, CA, is listed for $1,295,000 by Sonya Coke of Compass.

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In San Francisco, a Developer Proposes Packing People into Underground Pods

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-21 23:42

The 50-square-foot subterranean sleeping pods are expected to rent for $1,000 to $1,375 a month.

Solutions to San Francisco’s squeezed rental market are getting weirder by the day. Closets become bedrooms; Victorians bought with venture capital become cramped, live-in tech incubators; and coliving dorms—where adults earning a living wage bunk with strangers—are becoming commonplace.

Kentucky-based firm Elsey Partners, which specializes in college campus developments, is cashing in on the new normal. The firm has proposed two apartment buildings in the Mission District with eight levels of 200-square-foot micro apartments—but the real dirt lies underground.

The plans also call for two subterranean levels filled with "sleeping pods"—basically stacked bunk beds that come with privacy curtains, shared kitchens and bathrooms, and rules that address the finer points of living in extreme proximity to a transient population of renters.

88 underground sleeping pods fill the basement levels of two proposed apartment buildings in the Mission District of San Francisco. The 50-square-foot spaces are expected to rent for $1,000 to $1,375 per month.

88 underground sleeping pods fill the basement levels of two proposed apartment buildings in the Mission District of San Francisco. The 50-square-foot spaces are expected to rent for $1,000 to $1,375 per month.

Courtesy of Elsey Partners

"Obviously, people don’t like it when people come home drunk and belligerent. And no pod sex," Chris Elsey of Elsey Partners told SF Gate. "I think anyone who has been in college, or a dormitory—you’ve had experiences where you prefer that people do those things in private."

Most would agree—but anyone who’s attended college, lived in dorms, or has stayed a single night in a hostel is aware that rule breaking can be hard to curb. Who will police the halls? Will there be RAs? Will they get a discount on the $1,000 monthly pod rental fee?

The arrangement calls to mind SROs that house low-income residents—but at a grand for a below-ground nook, and upwards of $2,375 for a 200-square-foot apartment, they can hardly be considered affordable housing. Still, the developers call each project "a modern-day version of the affordable SRO."

Above ground, each building will feature 200-square-foot apartments that are expected to rent for anywhere from $2,000 to $2,375 per month.

Above ground, each building will feature 200-square-foot apartments that are expected to rent for anywhere from $2,000 to $2,375 per month. 

Courtesy of Prime Design

The micro homes seem geared toward bootstrapping tech talent willing to settle—at least at first. One such worker, Nick (who requested I omit his last name), arrived in San Francisco for video game development. Like-minded folks suggested he try a coliving arrangement, and the simplicity appealed to him—no utility bills, relatively low rent, no lease agreement, and a social environment. But with simplicity came caveats.

"I shared a room and a bunk bed with a complete stranger, on a floor with 16 other rooms with other people who were doing the same thing," says Nick, whose building spilled out into the seedier parts of the Tenderloin. "Each floor had shared bathrooms, and the whole place was really poorly taken care of. It got old pretty fast," he said, laughing.

Each pod comes with access to shared living areas, bathrooms, and kitchens. The proposed development continues a trend toward bunk-style living arrangements that have become commonplace in San Francisco.

Each pod comes with access to shared living areas, bathrooms, and kitchens. The proposed development continues a trend toward bunk-style living arrangements that have become commonplace in San Francisco.

Courtesy of Elsey Partners

For some, living the college dream into their 30s and beyond has appeal. In most cases, it’s a lifestyle choice and not a last-resort living situation. It certainly raises questions about basic human needs and desires, and what kinds of standards a city should set for its residents.

The images of the 50-square-foot sleeping pods are far from the chic, instagrammable, pop-in-for-a-night capsule hotels of Iceland or Japan, and they’re short on amenities found in standard apartments. They’re effectively a hard-boiled solution to a fundamental lack of sleeping space in the city.

"We’re trying to utilize this below-grade space that has traditionally been used for accessory uses such as bike parking," says Elsey. "What’s more important, beds or bikes? I guess it’s up to everybody’s opinion, but my opinion is there’s an incredible housing shortage in San Francisco."

Elsey Partners purchased two lots across the street from each other at the intersection of South Van Ness and 15th Street.

Elsey Partners purchased two lots across the street from each other at the intersection of South Van Ness and 15th Street. 

Courtesy of Prime Design

Elsey’s intentions have a saintly clarity—however they’re clouded by the logistics of squeezing the most dollars out of the least square footage. After all, the developer is known for near-campus projects where tight living conditions are widely accepted.

The Midwest developers are replicating that model in San Francisco to capitalize on the progression of a trend. Elsewhere, the startup Podshare reached full capacity for a Tendernob building filled with bunk beds in June of last year, according to Curbed.

Elsey’s pods may take some time to hit the rental market, as San Francisco is notorious for its hurdles to build. Near the end of a maze-like process—after planning assessments, environmental evaluations, and more than one round of community feedback—a project lands in the city’s planning department before its final approval by the Department of Building Inspection. 

In December, city planner John Rahaim pushed back on the developer’s submitted plans, arguing that they did not satisfy building codes due to lack of light in the basement levels. Elsey now has 18-months to revise the plans, or change Rahaim’s mind about them. Will this subterranean future be the new normal? As of now, it’s in the hands of local authorities. 

Related Reading:

Here’s What One of San Francisco’s Most Expensive Homes Looks Like 

The Most Expensive Home in SF Is a $46M Penthouse Over the Facebook Offices


19 Laudable Midcentury Modern Renovations in Los Angeles

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-21 22:45

These thoughtful remodels take on the daunting task of preserving the homes’ marvelous midcentury roots.

A Restoration Hardware sofa and vintage rug in the living room.

With residences by the likes of Richard Neutra, Raphael Soriano, Craig Ellwood, Pierre Koenig, and A. Quincy Jones—to name just a few—dotting the landscape, Los Angeles is no doubt a globally known destination for masterful midcentury homes. Thankfully, today’s stewards of these treasured houses have risen to the challenge of preserving and renovating them for modern living. We’ve gathered our favorite midcentury modern renovations in L.A. to celebrate the city’s architectural heritage.      

A Fresh Dose of Color Livens Up This Midcentury in Los Feliz

How a highly productive collaboration among a trio of creative Angelenas—and a good dose of Barragán—turned a dark and beleaguered midcentury house into a family home for the ages. The resulting design acquired its own flow, full of colorful narrative, spirited counterpoint, and anecdote. Now, in place of dark, disconnected spaces, outdoor rooms echo luminous indoor ones, and experimental filmmaker Laura Purdy and her family’s eclectic collections of art and personal artifacts share space with flashes of pattern and interior planes of saffron and pink stucco.

How a highly productive collaboration among a trio of creative Angelenas—and a good dose of Barragán—turned a dark and beleaguered midcentury house into a family home for the ages. The resulting design acquired its own flow, full of colorful narrative, spirited counterpoint, and anecdote. Now, in place of dark, disconnected spaces, outdoor rooms echo luminous indoor ones, and experimental filmmaker Laura Purdy and her family’s eclectic collections of art and personal artifacts share space with flashes of pattern and interior planes of saffron and pink stucco. 

Photo: Lisa Romerein

Food blogger and commercial director Claire Thomas honors this Brentwood home’s heartwarming history. Jack and Marilyn Zuber lived in the Brentwood home for 65 years without altering anything but the wallpaper. Thomas even has photos of them digging on the site when construction first began. Out of respect for the home, Thomas tread carefully with her updates, even keeping the old drapes and using the original paint colors as a jumping-off point in researching color palettes of the era. Her approach was to "celebrate and preserve, rather than rip out and change."

Food blogger and commercial director Claire Thomas honors this Brentwood home’s heartwarming history. Jack and Marilyn Zuber lived in the Brentwood home for 65 years without altering anything but the wallpaper. Thomas even has photos of them digging on the site when construction first began. Out of respect for the home, Thomas tread carefully with her updates, even keeping the old drapes and using the original paint colors as a jumping-off point in researching color palettes of the era. Her approach was to "celebrate and preserve, rather than rip out and change." 

Courtesy of Claire Thomas

A tired midcentury in Eagle Rock with a chalky-green facade was transformed into a warm, contemporary home for a couple and their two daughters. The original single-level house had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small kitchen, a concrete deck in the backyard, and an above-ground swimming pool beside the guest house. "The first thing we did was put in white oak hardwood floors throughout the house, then add the Fleetwood sliding doors off of the living room. Eventually, we added a bedroom, extended the master bedroom and added an ensuite bathroom, enclosed the washer/dryer area, which expanded the kitchen, built a wood deck, wood fences, and then remodeled the guest house. No room was untouched by the time we were finished," says Matt, a woodworker and designer who is also the founder of L.A. handcrafted furniture brand Monroe Workshop.

A tired midcentury in Eagle Rock with a chalky-green facade was transformed into a warm, contemporary home for a couple and their two daughters. The original single-level house had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small kitchen, a concrete deck in the backyard, and an above-ground swimming pool beside the guest house. "The first thing we did was put in white oak hardwood floors throughout the house, then add the Fleetwood sliding doors off of the living room. Eventually, we added a bedroom, extended the master bedroom and added an ensuite bathroom, enclosed the washer/dryer area, which expanded the kitchen, built a wood deck, wood fences, and then remodeled the guest house. No room was untouched by the time we were finished," says Matt, a woodworker and designer who is also the founder of L.A. handcrafted furniture brand Monroe Workshop. 

Courtesy of Alex Zarour, Virtually Here Studios

In Los Angeles’s Nichols Canyon, architect Dan Brunn was tasked with renovating a home rich in architectural history, but lacking in modern functionality. The 1957 home's closed-off kitchen was thoughtfully reimagined, maintaining the post-and-beam structure of the Edward Fickett–designed home while updating and opening up selective areas to the outdoors.

In Los Angeles’s Nichols Canyon, architect Dan Brunn was tasked with renovating a home rich in architectural history, but lacking in modern functionality. The 1957 home's closed-off kitchen was thoughtfully reimagined, maintaining the post-and-beam structure of the Edward Fickett–designed home while updating and opening up selective areas to the outdoors.

Dan Brunn Architecture

Rudolph M. Schindler’s Kallis House, recently restored by homeowners Susan Orlean and John Gillespie, is often referred to as the Austrian-born architect’s late-period masterpiece. It makes use of the "Schindler frame," an adaptation that allowed him to design large glazed openings and thin ceilings and roofs. John, Susan, and their dog, Ivy, commune in the sitting area of the master bedroom. The Wide Angle Janus sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar Furniture, found by John’s mother at a thrift store with the original orange fabric intact, was purchased for less than $100, including delivery. The coffee table is by Isamu Noguchi and the 9-Light LED pendant is by Sonneman.

Rudolph M. Schindler’s Kallis House, recently restored by homeowners Susan Orlean and John Gillespie, is often referred to as the Austrian-born architect’s late-period masterpiece. It makes use of the "Schindler frame," an adaptation that allowed him to design large glazed openings and thin ceilings and roofs. John, Susan, and their dog, Ivy, commune in the sitting area of the master bedroom. The Wide Angle Janus sofa by Edward Wormley for Dunbar Furniture, found by John’s mother at a thrift store with the original orange fabric intact, was purchased for less than $100, including delivery. The coffee table is by Isamu Noguchi and the 9-Light LED pendant is by Sonneman.

Photo: Pippa Drummond

Located in the Pacific Palisades, this home had been virtually untouched for over 40 years as it remained in the hands of the original ownership. Architect Kevin Southerland renovated it with an eye for preserving its "good bones" and gently updating it with eco-friendly materials. A new layer of painted cement board now coats the exterior, lending it long-term durability and resistance to decay. "By removing a few interior walls, reconfiguring a couple of others and opening up the kitchen/living/dining areas, we were left with a wonderfully livable floor plan with a great balance of public and private space," says Southerland. A large, open, galley-style kitchen and mirrored planes of wall paneling visually expand the home's interior perspective.

Located in the Pacific Palisades, this home had been virtually untouched for over 40 years as it remained in the hands of the original ownership. Architect Kevin Southerland renovated it with an eye for preserving its "good bones" and gently updating it with eco-friendly materials. A new layer of painted cement board now coats the exterior, lending it long-term durability and resistance to decay. "By removing a few interior walls, reconfiguring a couple of others and opening up the kitchen/living/dining areas, we were left with a wonderfully livable floor plan with a great balance of public and private space," says Southerland. A large, open, galley-style kitchen and mirrored planes of wall paneling visually expand the home's interior perspective.

Photo by Benny Chan/Fotoworks

Set in the foothills of La Canada Flintridge, California, this 5,000-square-foot home was renovated by Osborn Architects and Jamie Bush + CO. At the core of the revamp was a composition of materials that creates a unique architectural presence while remaining appreciative of the landscape of the nearby San Gabriel Mountains. Interior and exterior spaces cohesively blend through vast windows with views to the surroundings, and continuous materials that wrap from the inside out. Redwood cedar warms every room, while one connecting plane of dark flooring extends throughout.

Set in the foothills of La Canada Flintridge, California, this 5,000-square-foot home was renovated by Osborn Architects and Jamie Bush + CO. At the core of the revamp was a composition of materials that creates a unique architectural presence while remaining appreciative of the landscape of the nearby San Gabriel Mountains. Interior and exterior spaces cohesively blend through vast windows with views to the surroundings, and continuous materials that wrap from the inside out. Redwood cedar warms every room, while one connecting plane of dark flooring extends throughout.

Tyler J. Hogan

Built in 1956, this carefully updated 2,032-square-foot home with sweeping views of downtown L.A. is a true California dream, with three bedrooms, two baths, and light-filled living areas that seamlessly flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Built in 1956, this carefully updated 2,032-square-foot home with sweeping views of downtown L.A. is a true California dream, with three bedrooms, two baths, and light-filled living areas that seamlessly flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Charmaine David

An architect immersed in the history of California modernism restored a nondescript Los Angeles ranch house bordering a celebrated midcentury neighborhood. Midcentury enthusiast Margaret Riley purchased a 1957 ranch with little panache or pedigree, but a plum location just two doors down from Crestwood Hills, the Los Angeles cooperative development revered for its wealth of A. Quincy Jones masterpieces. As the author of Crestwood Hills: The Chronicle of a Modern Utopia, Cory Buckner was the ideal architect for the transformation. The new butterfly roof, redwood tongue-and-groove siding, and vertical louvers help the updates feel original to the period.

An architect immersed in the history of California modernism restored a nondescript Los Angeles ranch house bordering a celebrated midcentury neighborhood. Midcentury enthusiast Margaret Riley purchased a 1957 ranch with little panache or pedigree, but a plum location just two doors down from Crestwood Hills, the Los Angeles cooperative development revered for its wealth of A. Quincy Jones masterpieces. As the author of Crestwood Hills: The Chronicle of a Modern Utopia, Cory Buckner was the ideal architect for the transformation. The new butterfly roof, redwood tongue-and-groove siding, and vertical louvers help the updates feel original to the period.

George Pesce

Built in 1952, this home was designed by architect Albert P. Martin as his own residence after having apprenticed with Richard Neutra. Martin set the home atop challenging hillside terrain and took full advantage of the site's sweeping reservoir views with floor-to-ceiling glass and outdoor patios. When the three-bedroom, three-bathroom home hit the market in 2014, actress Kristen Wiig snapped up the property for $1.7 million and tapped Taalman Architecture and The Archers for a thorough renovation. The design team preserved the original elements of the home for authenticity while upgrading the facilities to meet modern needs.

Built in 1952, this home was designed by architect Albert P. Martin as his own residence after having apprenticed with Richard Neutra. Martin set the home atop challenging hillside terrain and took full advantage of the site's sweeping reservoir views with floor-to-ceiling glass and outdoor patios. When the three-bedroom, three-bathroom home hit the market in 2014, actress Kristen Wiig snapped up the property for $1.7 million and tapped Taalman Architecture and The Archers for a thorough renovation. The design team preserved the original elements of the home for authenticity while upgrading the facilities to meet modern needs.

Charmaine David

Located just above Mulholland Drive, this updated home still maintains its glamorous midcentury vibe. Built in 1961 by celebrated Los Angeles firm Buff & Hensman, the post-and-beam abode features wraparound floor-to-ceiling glass windows and sliding doors that bring the spectacular surroundings into the minimalist interior.

Located just above Mulholland Drive, this updated home still maintains its glamorous midcentury vibe. Built in 1961 by celebrated Los Angeles firm Buff & Hensman, the post-and-beam abode features wraparound floor-to-ceiling glass windows and sliding doors that bring the spectacular surroundings into the minimalist interior.

Photos Courtesy of Rodeo Realty

In 1950, landscape architect Bill Davies tasked Canadian-born architect John Kewell to design his home in Silver Lake. The charming two-bedroom, one-bath house has been carefully maintained over the years, with minimal updates save for a bathroom remodel in 2014. This has allowed the original home’s connection to the outdoors and midcentury modern design to remain, along with its siting—it sits partly cantilevered off the hillside to take in stunning mountain and city views framed through massive panes of glass.

In 1950, landscape architect Bill Davies tasked Canadian-born architect John Kewell to design his home in Silver Lake. The charming two-bedroom, one-bath house has been carefully maintained over the years, with minimal updates save for a bathroom remodel in 2014. This has allowed the original home’s connection to the outdoors and midcentury modern design to remain, along with its siting—it sits partly cantilevered off the hillside to take in stunning mountain and city views framed through massive panes of glass.

virtually here studios

Once immortalized by master architectural photographer Julius Shulman and currently being considered as a historic landmark in Los Angeles County, this four-bedroom, two-bath residence was built in 1954 by builder and craftsman Ken McLeod to be his personal home. In 1964 architect Rufus Turner restored the rear after a fire damaged the living room.

Once immortalized by master architectural photographer Julius Shulman and currently being considered as a historic landmark in Los Angeles County, this four-bedroom, two-bath residence was built in 1954 by builder and craftsman Ken McLeod to be his personal home. In 1964 architect Rufus Turner restored the rear after a fire damaged the living room.

Cameron Carothers

For their A. Quincy Jones house in Los Angeles, architect Bruce Norelius and his partner, Landis Green, retained and restored core elements, such as the living room’s redwood paneling and concrete-block wall.

For their A. Quincy Jones house in Los Angeles, architect Bruce Norelius and his partner, Landis Green, retained and restored core elements, such as the living room’s redwood paneling and concrete-block wall.

Photo: Jake Stangel

The challenge of renovating an iconic midcentury house is surely a daunting one for any architect, but apply this formula to a Richard Neutra house, and the responsibility rises exponentially. This was the situation for Los Angeles–based architect Peter Grueneisen, founder and principal of Los Angeles–based Nonzero Architecture, who inherited the task of taking on significant updates to an already-altered Neutra—the 1949 Freedman House in Pacific Palisades, California.

The challenge of renovating an iconic midcentury house is surely a daunting one for any architect, but apply this formula to a Richard Neutra house, and the responsibility rises exponentially. This was the situation for Los Angeles–based architect Peter Grueneisen, founder and principal of Los Angeles–based Nonzero Architecture, who inherited the task of taking on significant updates to an already-altered Neutra—the 1949 Freedman House in Pacific Palisades, California.

Julius Shulman and Juergen Nogai/Nonzero Architecture

This midcentury gem lays in Crestwood Hills, in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, an endangered enclave of midcentury post-and-beam houses designed by A. Quincy Jones and Whitney R. Smith. Elise Loehnen and Rob Fissmer bought their house, which dates to 1950, in 2012, furnishing the living room with a Jasper sofa by Room & Board, Laccio tables by Marcel Breuer, and a wool sisal rug from Madison Flooring and Design.

This midcentury gem lays in Crestwood Hills, in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, an endangered enclave of midcentury post-and-beam houses designed by A. Quincy Jones and Whitney R. Smith. Elise Loehnen and Rob Fissmer bought their house, which dates to 1950, in 2012, furnishing the living room with a Jasper sofa by Room & Board, Laccio tables by Marcel Breuer, and a wool sisal rug from Madison Flooring and Design.

Photo: Spencer Lowell

In 2014, Nikolaus Kraemer and Heather van Haaften, a couple that's passionate about midcentury-modern architecture and furniture, purchased the Scott House, originally designed in 1954 by Pierre Koenig. They sensitively restored the iconic house in a way that would reflect the property’s roots. "We knew of Koenig’s work when we first saw his iconic Stahl House. Heather and I were intrigued by his accurate rationale of steel being not just something you can ‘put up and take down,’ but a way of life," says Nikolaus, who compares their serendipitous acquisition to "owning an original Warhol, Lichtenstein, or Ruscha."

In 2014, Nikolaus Kraemer and Heather van Haaften, a couple that's passionate about midcentury-modern architecture and furniture, purchased the Scott House, originally designed in 1954 by Pierre Koenig. They sensitively restored the iconic house in a way that would reflect the property’s roots. "We knew of Koenig’s work when we first saw his iconic Stahl House. Heather and I were intrigued by his accurate rationale of steel being not just something you can ‘put up and take down,’ but a way of life," says Nikolaus, who compares their serendipitous acquisition to "owning an original Warhol, Lichtenstein, or Ruscha."

Courtesy of van Haaften & Kraemer residence

When comedian Adam Carolla purchased his midcentury home three years ago, he did so with the intention of doing major renovations on the 1963 gem. His renovations included a complete revamp of the kitchen, new terrazzo and hardwood flooring, and a gut-renovated master suite.

When comedian Adam Carolla purchased his midcentury home three years ago, he did so with the intention of doing major renovations on the 1963 gem. His renovations included a complete revamp of the kitchen, new terrazzo and hardwood flooring, and a gut-renovated master suite.

Charmaine David

An interior stylist with a soft spot for run-down homes brought this 1951 ranch in Monterey Hills back to life. When designer Tony Wei found a 1951 ranch in the Monterey Hills district of Los Angeles, the home’s mishmash of finishes—from the mirrored bar in the living room that harkened to the ’80s to the sunshine-yellow kitchen cabinets—called for an intervention. "I wanted to respect its architectural origins and its integrity as a midcentury ranch-style home," says Wei. "And from there, we just ended up trying to insert a level of design continuity throughout, whether repeating a specific tile in the various bathrooms or repeating a specific color."

An interior stylist with a soft spot for run-down homes brought this 1951 ranch in Monterey Hills back to life. When designer Tony Wei found a 1951 ranch in the Monterey Hills district of Los Angeles, the home’s mishmash of finishes—from the mirrored bar in the living room that harkened to the ’80s to the sunshine-yellow kitchen cabinets—called for an intervention. "I wanted to respect its architectural origins and its integrity as a midcentury ranch-style home," says Wei. "And from there, we just ended up trying to insert a level of design continuity throughout, whether repeating a specific tile in the various bathrooms or repeating a specific color."

Shawn Bishop


Welcome to Your New Office, the Creative Cabin

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-21 21:15

This minimalist cabin was designed specifically with 21st-century work trends in mind.

The Falls Church, Virginia-based architecture firm GreenSpur has found an architectural solution to work commutes that negatively affect health and the environment. "Traditional work commutes contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and poor air quality," architect Zach Gasper says. "And, time spent sitting in cars is linked to higher rates of depression and stress." As such, Gasper and his fellow architects at GreenSpur, with Alexandria, Virginia-based McAllister Architects, have devised Creative Cabin, a 280-square-foot backyard construction, located in the suburb of Arlington Forest just outside of Washington D.C..

GreenSpur and McAllister Architects imagined a cabin sided with Cor-Ten steel, glass, and shou sugi ban-treated cedar for a wooded property outside of Washington D.C.

GreenSpur and McAllister Architects imagined a cabin sided with Cor-Ten steel, glass, and shou sugi ban-treated cedar for a wooded property outside of Washington D.C. 

Mitch Allen

"Thankfully, as the age of digitalization becomes more prevalent, the once standard 9 to 5 work day is disappearing," Gasper explains. "We wanted to create a space that’s close to but separate from the home, a space that’s simple and in concert with the natural environment—because places are what inspire the best in us, not a diluted version of ourselves."

Glass pocket doors slide away, opening the cabin to its wooded surround. Bluestone pavers on the exterior contrast with the warm tone of the Cor-Ten steel siding.

Glass pocket doors slide away, opening the cabin to its wooded surround. Bluestone pavers on the exterior contrast with the warm tone of the Cor-Ten steel siding.

Mitch Allen

When the glass doors are pocketed, an entire corner of the building disappears and there's a feeling of being outdoors while working or spending time inside the cabin.

When the glass doors are pocketed, an entire corner of the building disappears and there's a feeling of being outdoors while working or spending time inside the cabin.

Mitch Allen

Gasper asserts that by 2020, at least 40-percent of the workforce will be freelancers, temporary workers, independent contractors, and solo entrepreneurs. "These are jobs that can be done from home; however, working from the kitchen table or an office off of the living room doesn’t provide mental separation or the ability to completely focus on work," he says. "As a result, our clients asked us to build a detached creative space."

The interior of the cabin maintains a minimalist aesthetic so that the lush landscape is the main focus. The concrete floors are stained a medium brown tone, while the ceiling features tongue-and-groove clear pine with a pickled finish; the walls are sided with grouted cement board.

The interior of the cabin maintains a minimalist aesthetic so that the lush landscape is the main focus. The concrete floors are stained a medium brown tone, while the ceiling features tongue-and-groove clear pine with a pickled finish; the walls are sided with grouted cement board.

Mitch Allen

Creative Cabin’s footprint and siting was strictly dictated by the existing natural landscape. It’s sited between two mature oak trees and designed with a pier foundation system "to minimize the impact of the structure on the critical root system of the trees," Gasper says.

The architects situated the cabin between two old-growth oak trees so as not to disrupt the natural features of the site.

The architects situated the cabin between two old-growth oak trees so as not to disrupt the natural features of the site.

Mitch Allen

Meant to resemble a traditional cabin in the woods, the building is clad with Cor-Ten steel over prefabricated structural insulated panels (SIPs) certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative; a pitched standing-seam metal roof references the surrounding 1940s Colonial Revival-style homes in the area. "The roof finishes into an obscured gutter, which transitions to a copper rain chain and flows to underground rain barrels," Gasper says. 

Sliding cedar screens treated with the traditional Japanese shou sugi ban method are layered with the Cor-Ten steel siding of the exterior.

Sliding cedar screens treated with the traditional Japanese shou sugi ban method are layered with the Cor-Ten steel siding of the exterior. 

Mitch Allen

The cabin features operable cedar screens that allow for passive heating and cooling. "The cedar is weather- and pest-resistant from being charred prior to installation, using the traditional Japanese technique shou sugi ban," Gasper says. The texture of the charred cedar, which ties to the cabin’s wooded landscape, and the transparency of the corner glass-pocket-door system gives the feeling of being outdoors while working inside the cabin. "The glass doors slide away to create a direct connection with the surrounding landscape," Gasper says. "Bringing nature into the workplace is proven to reduce stress, boost productivity, and increase creativity and focus. Being exposed to nature also has a huge beneficial impact on mood and general outlook, which is why it was the main focus of Creative Cabin."

The slats of the cedar screens allow for light play on the interior.

The slats of the cedar screens allow for light play on the interior.

Mitch Allen

The materiality of the cabin blends into its wooded surround.

The materiality of the cabin blends into its wooded surround.

Mitch Allen

Related Reading: Get Off the Grid and Recharge at This Tiny Cabin in Virginia’s Countryside

Project Credits:

Design: GreenSpur

Architecture: McAllister Architects

Construction: GreenSpur

Structural Engineer: Terziotti Engineering

Landscape Design: Custom Stonescaping


Now You Can Order Healthy Houseplants Through West Elm

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-21 20:17

Thanks to a partnership with direct-to-consumer brand Bloomscape, the home retailer is your newest source of greenery.

Gone are the days of hunting at nurseries for the perfect houseplant. Bloomscape, the direct-to-consumer online plant shop known for delivering beautiful plants to your doorstep, is now bringing its sunny attitude to West Elm. Justin Mast, founder and CEO at Bloomscape, says, "Our mission is to help everyone become successful plant parents. We’re excited about this partnership because it will help us to share our unique plant experience, all the way from purchase to plant care, with West Elm customers."

Photo Courtesy of Bloomscape

The ease of adopting houseplants may come with some additional questions for new plant parents, but never fear: Joyce Mast, Bloomscape’s plant program director and resident "plant mom" has some advice: "Relax and enjoy it! The keys to plant ownership are consistency, basic knowledge of your specific plant’s needs, and patience. Get to know your plant and be careful not to overwater!"

Bloomscape Potted Fiddle Leaf Fig Live Plant - Extra Large

The Fiddle Leaf Fig is a live plant that brings instant drama and character with its lush, recognizable leaves. With careful watering this hardy plant can survive most places, but thrives in warmer temperatures with bright sun, making it perfect by a window or sunroom. Photo Courtesy of West Elm

Bloomscape Potted Philodendron Heartleaf Plant - Small

The viny Philodendron Heartleaf is a graceful, glossy houseplant with quaint, heart-shaped leaves. Placed atop a bookshelf or left hanging, its lush leaves will spill out for a dramatic effect. Highly adaptable and forgiving, it's a perfect first-time houseplant. Photo Courtesy of West Elm

Bloomscape Potted Zanzibar Gem Plant - Medium

For the forgetful plant owner, Zanzibar Gems are elegant but hardy houseplants that thrive best when kept out of direct sunlight and left alone. The layered leaves take on a feathered appearance and make a graceful statement for your home. Photo Courtesy of West Elm

Bloomscape Potted Spider Live Plant - Small

The easy-to-care-for Ribbon Plant looks great hanging from a ceiling or sitting atop a mantle and is known for its tremendous air-purifying qualities. Photo Courtesy of West Elm

Bloomscape Potted Monstera Plant - Large Live Plant

Monsteras grow just about anywhere (just avoid direct light!) and their unconventional, hole-dotted leaves make them a fun addition to any indoor green space. Photo Courtesy of West Elm

Bloomscape Potted Ponytail Palm Live Plant - Medium

The Ponytail Plant is an ideal plant friend for travelers and people always on-the-go: this quirky plant adds personality but is also drought tolerant and requires little care. Leave it to soak in sunlight and water every few weeks and you're good to go! Photo Courtesy of West Elm

Bloomscape Potted Parlor Palm Live Plant - Medium

Potted Parlor Palms are natural air purifiers and thrive in tight spaces, making it a great companion for offices or apartment living. It's lush, slim fronds dress up any tabletop or shelf and will readily adapt to an array of light conditions. Photo Courtesy of West Elm

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:

11 Lush, Plant-Filled Dwellings That Pay Homage to Home Horticulture

Don’t Have a Green Thumb? The Sill’s New Line of Hyper-Realistic Faux Plants Is Just for You


This Shou Sugi Ban Cottage Blends In With its Lakeside Surroundings

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-21 19:17

Bigger isn’t always better—this lakeside cottage has a low-lying form that disappears into the surrounding landscape.

The home’s three low-lying rooflines subtly emerge from the landscape.

Since the early 1860s, Ontario’s Muskoka region has been a popular summer spot where city-dwelling Ontarians escape the chaos of urban life and embrace the region’s 16,000 lakes. However, the humble and unobtrusive structures that once dotted the landscape are now being replaced by large, oversize "McCottages" that threaten the area’s unique character.

With their Lake Joseph Cottage, VFA Architecture + Design strove to provide a contemporary alternative to these supersized cottages while respecting Muskoka’s unique landscape.

Located near the entry, the cottage’s breezeway frames a view to the lake beyond. The breezeway extends the use of outdoor space so that residents can enjoy the great outdoors even on rainy days.

Located near the entry, the cottage’s breezeway frames a view to the lake beyond. The breezeway extends the use of outdoor space so that residents can enjoy the great outdoors even on rainy days.

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

The home’s three low-lying rooflines subtly emerge from the landscape.

The home’s three low-lying rooflines subtly emerge from the landscape.

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

Architect Vanessa Fong designed the cottage for her mother-in-law with respect for the site and a strong understanding of the family’s programmatic needs. The result is a year-round cottage that maximizes lake views, embraces solar orientation, and provides a variety of public and private spaces—both open and enclosed.

"The home provides a significant contribution to the current dialogue on how to design cottages which allow us to appreciate Canada’s unique wilderness without undermining the natural beauty we seek to enjoy," says Fong.

In the public spaces, large sliding glass doors provide a seamless connection for indoor/outdoor living.

In the public spaces, large sliding glass doors provide a seamless connection for indoor/outdoor living. 

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

The living, dining, and cooking spaces are located in the central volume. The open concept provides plenty of space for family gatherings and entertaining. A walkway doubles as bench seating for the large dining table.

The living, dining, and cooking spaces are located in the central volume. The open concept provides plenty of space for family gatherings and entertaining. A walkway doubles as bench seating for the large dining table. 

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

On approach, the cottage emerges from the landscape as three low-slung volumes unified by expressive roofs with generous overhangs. Each of the three volumes responds to unique spatial and functional needs.

The lower two rooflines define the all-season, enclosed portion of the cottage. The lowest volume houses the most private areas, including the bedrooms. The middle houses the common living areas, with a lakeside facade that provides a seamless connection between the interior and the exterior deck. 

Large openings frame views of the tree line and the lake beyond. The heart of the living room is a stone tile fireplace, which references an element found in traditional cottages.

Large openings frame views of the tree line and the lake beyond. The heart of the living room is a stone tile fireplace, which references an element found in traditional cottages.

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

The simple kitchen provides unobstructed views of the lake while cooking. Clerestory windows provide ample diffused light while encouraging cross ventilation.

The simple kitchen provides unobstructed views of the lake while cooking. Clerestory windows provide ample diffused light while encouraging cross ventilation.

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

The third space has the highest roofline of all, and it holds the most public areas of the house: a covered deck and a screened-in patio. These two generous spaces enable outdoor living while providing shelter from the elements.

The large, covered deck increases the amount of livable space while providing views of the lake and the hillside terrain.

The large, covered deck increases the amount of livable space while providing views of the lake and the hillside terrain.

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

Large overhangs shelter the home from the summer sun, while allowing daylight to warm the interiors in the winter.

Large overhangs shelter the home from the summer sun, while allowing daylight to warm the interiors in the winter.

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

Inspired by the history of the site and the context of the landscape, Fong selected Shou Sugi Ban charred cedar for the facade. Whitewashed pine is also used extensively, in a contemporary take on the wood paneling often found in traditional cottages. The lighter wood creates bright and airy interiors—in contrast to the dark and heavy interiors of traditional cottages.

The large overhangs provide year-round comfort while adding a strong architectural element to the simple massing.

The large overhangs provide year-round comfort while adding a strong architectural element to the simple massing.

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

The Shou Sugi Ban facade is weather resistant and maintenance free. Ironically, the treatment is a bit of an ode to the site, which once held a cottage that burned down.

The Shou Sugi Ban facade is weather resistant and maintenance free. Ironically, the treatment is a bit of an ode to the site, which once held a cottage that burned down.

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

The connection to the landscape resonates not only through the views, but also through passive building strategies that minimize the cottage’s environmental impact. These features—including cross ventilation, shading overhangs, radiant heated floors, and a maintenance-free facade—increase comfort while minimizing the need for mechanical systems.

The light and bright interior spaces are clad in whitewashed pine.

The light and bright interior spaces are clad in whitewashed pine.

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

The client specifically requested that the architects not use drywall anywhere—thus whitewashed pine serves as the project’s primary material.

The client specifically requested that the architects not use drywall anywhere—thus whitewashed pine serves as the project’s primary material.

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

Embracing the stunning lake views, the contemporary cottage respects the region’s natural character with a simple architectural form that nestles into the wooded terrain with a series of spaces geared towards enjoying Lake Joseph all seasons of the year.

The large overhangs add drama to the cottage’s simple form with far-reaching timber-clad planes.

The large overhangs add drama to the cottage’s simple form with far-reaching timber-clad planes. 

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

A balance of open and enclosed, public and private, the cottage embraces all seasons of the year with a variety of spaces that meet programmatic needs.

A balance of open and enclosed, public and private, the cottage embraces all seasons of the year with a variety of spaces that meet programmatic needs. 

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

Ontario’s Muskoka region has a rich history of recreational architecture that spans over 100 years.

Ontario’s Muskoka region has a rich history of recreational architecture that spans over 100 years.

Photo by Scott Norsworthy

The home sits lightly upon its heavily wooded site.

The home sits lightly upon its heavily wooded site.

Photo by Cindy Blazevic

The Lake Joseph Cottage sits amidst historic single-story Victorians and new three- to four-story McCottages.

The Lake Joseph Cottage sits amidst historic single-story Victorians and new three- to four-story McCottages. 

Photo by Scott Norsworthy

Related Reading:

A Dreamy Lakeside Cottage Embodies the Spirit of Simple Living 

This Lakeside Family Home in Canada Celebrates the Life Aquatic

9 Marvelous Waterfront Homes

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: VFA Architecture + Design

Builder/General Contractor: Mazenga Building Group

Structural Engineer: Blackwell

Landscape Design: R.E. Landscaping

Lighting Design: Object Interface

Interior Design: VFA Architecture + Design

Cabinetry Design / Installation: Thomas James Cabinetry


Create a Spa-Like Ambiance in Your Bathroom With These Designer Tips

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-21 18:14

These key features and smart design techniques can turn your space into a relaxing and rejuvenating home oasis.

For most of us, the bathroom is where we begin and end the day—it’s a space where we slowly awaken our bodies each morning and reset them each night. It’s often a place to escape, too: it provides an intermission from modern distractions, even if brief, and an intimate moment to reconnect with simpler elements, such as water and heat. A spa-like atmosphere in your bathroom can enhance these daily rituals while promoting health, wellness, and relaxation.

Creating a spa-like atmosphere in the bathroom begins with key design features,  including natural lighting, soothing color tones, and organic materials.

Creating a spa-like atmosphere in the bathroom begins with key design features, including natural lighting, soothing color tones, and organic materials.   

Photo courtesy of GROHE

"First and foremost, you should consider how you want the space to function," says Amy Hill, interior designer and manager at GROHE. An important first step to creating a spa-like environment is to make the space feel as open and airy as possible by removing walls or considering the arrangement of windows for natural lighting. Other spa-like additions include the placement of a soaking tub or large steam shower, depending on the size of your space. "Once you have decided on the perfect layout, you can move on to finishes," she adds. 

“Are you the type of person that enjoys a long soak to  relax after the day? In that case, it could make sense to integrate a beautiful free-standing  tub with floor mounted tub filler as an important feature in the bath,” advises Amy Hill, interior designer and manager at GROHE.

"Do you enjoy a long soak to relax after the day? In that case, it could make sense to integrate a beautiful free-standing tub with floor mounted tub filler as an important feature in the bath," advises Amy Hill, interior designer and manager at GROHE. 

Photo courtesy of GROHE

The bathing experience is a particularly important component, especially when designing a personalized space to promote optimal relaxation. On this topic, Hill believes flexible technologies can also help: "Perhaps you enjoy a soothing shower but have a partner who prefers a stronger, concentrated spray. In that case, you could incorporate a shower head with multiple functions, along with a modern valve that allows for precise control over water condition and volume."

GROHE SmartControl provides a single trim for the control of up to three water functions—such as a rain shower, jet shower, and hand sprayer.

GROHE SmartControl provides a single trim for the control of up to three water functions—such as a rain shower, jet shower, and hand sprayer.

Photo courtesy of GROHE

One such solution is the GROHE SmartControl system, which consolidates multiple controls into a sleek design and eliminates the cluttered look of different valves or diverters. User-friendly features allow for easy control over different water flows, while advanced thermostatic technology achieves the desired set temperature within a fraction of a second. "The real key to creating a spa-like feeling is the ability to have a perfect showering experience everyday," comments Hill.

“The beauty of the SmartControl is its simplicity. I love how the design fits  everything you need into one place. Once you select your ideal temperature with the thermostat dial,  it takes just a quick push of a button to begin and a turn to adjust the volume—that’s it.”

"The beauty of the SmartControl is its simplicity. I love how the design fits everything you need into one place. Once you select your ideal temperature with the thermostat dial, it takes just a quick push of a button to begin and a turn to adjust the volume—that’s it." 

Photo courtesy of GROHE

Available in round or square designs, the trim can be adapted to fit your needs,  offering one, two, or three valve controls and swappable icons for each button. Finish options for square designs include classic chrome and subtly elegant moon white. Round designs come in hard graphite, brushed cool sunrise, polished & brushed nickel, moon white, and classic chrome.

Available in round or square designs, the trim can be adapted to fit your needs, offering one, two, or three valve controls and swappable icons for each button. Finish options for square designs include classic chrome and subtly elegant moon white. Round designs come in hard graphite, brushed cool sunrise, polished & brushed nickel, moon white, and classic chrome.

Photo courtesy of GROHE

Beyond the tub and shower, other design features such as large mirrors, floating vanities or toilets, and the incorporation of natural elements, can further enhance your at-home spa experience. "I also like to work with a monochromatic color pallets to create visual harmony in the space and between the different elements," says Hill.

Depending on your aesthetic goals, muted minimalist shades or a blend of earth-colored  tones can create a soothing palette. An overall focus on clean lines and simple  decoration can also help create a calming ambiance.

Depending on your aesthetic goals, muted minimalist shades or a blend of earth-colored tones can create a soothing palette. An overall focus on clean lines and simple decoration can also help create a calming ambiance.  

Photo courtesy of GROHE

Hill provides a few tips for the final touches: "If you are concerned about privacy, window films are a great way to obscure the view while still letting light in. Also, accessories that incorporate stones, woods, and plants can work in tandem to create a serene space." 

For more information about the GROHE SmartControl and other products, visit their website


We Love These 10 Show-Stopping Modern Wardrobes

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-21 17:39

Almost as important as the clothes you buy is how you store them. These models offer ample space to hang up your clothes with style and verve.

The view from the bedroom into the living space. The double-sided joinery unit features a wardrobe and storage space.

Medley Atten Armoire

The Atten Armoire is made from solid, domestic hardwood. Choose between walnut or hard white maple for this armoire. The wood is finished in a linseed oil finish and natural wax. The design brings to mind the memories of a classic style, with the modern touch of sloping legs. Stem gives multiple options for the armoire, so it’s easy to find one that would fit comfortably and stylishly into any home. A stylish joinery on the ends shows the class of a handmade, created when ordered, unique piece. Photo Courtesy of Medley

Urban Outfitters Finley Armoire

Angular, industrial-inspired armoire from our UO-exclusive Finley collection. Featuring 5 open shelves and a hinged door that opens to reveal a hanging bar + lower shelf compartment. With angled edges + base. 2 people recommended for assembly. Photo Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Blu Dot Shale Wardrobe

The Blu Dot Shale Wardrobe is a beautifully sleek and rustic modern way to add more storage to a bedroom. Four drawers are perfect for stashing essentials, while the cabinet space above keeps hanging and folded clothing alike neat and tidy. The entire piece is made out of solid wood and matching natural wood veneers with leather door and drawer pulls. Photo Courtesy of Blu Dot

Egg Collective Morrison Armoire

Based in Brooklyn, Egg Collective was founded in 2011 by designers Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis and Hillary Petrie. The trio produces furniture, lighting and accessories that evoke their own personal histories and draw upon memories of families and friends. Recent honors include the Best New Designer award at the 2012 International Contemporary Furniture Fair and inclusion on Forbes magazine’s 2014 “30 Under 30” list. They were also commissioned to design a seating area for the New York City Ballet’s David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. Their Morrison Collection (2012) was originally created for friend Morrison Mullen, who needed a custom cabinet for her small apartment. What they created was a multifunctional modern take on traditional casegoods, featuring a solid marble top, soft-closing hardware, turned legs, sleek lines and delicately scalloped profile. The original design has since grown into a collection of flexible storage equally at home in the entryway, living room, dining room and bedroom. Made in Canada. Photo Courtesy of Design Within Reach

Design Within Reach Matera Armoire

The Matera Collection (2007), focused on delivering ample storage, is the work of Sean Yoo, who at the time of its conception lived in Matera, Italy (thus its name). Born in Seoul, Yoo grew up in Los Angeles and was working as a city planner when a visit to the Noguchi Museum in New York inspired him to pursue design. “I was particularly attracted to the way Noguchi applied sculptural qualities to common household objects,” says Yoo. “It seemed to give meaning and purpose to otherwise meaningless objects.” The Matera Collection features clean lines nicely finished with beveled edges, running match-wood grain and exposed-slot mortise-and-tenon corner joints. All pieces have slotted bases that lend an airy feel. The Matera Armoire has side panels that rest off the floor and three drawers, an interior mirror, a clothing rod and hooks for scarves and ties. Made in Malaysia. Photo Courtesy of Design Within Reach

Moooi Paper Wardrobe

Inspired by the childhood memories of making things out of paper, the Moooi Paper Wardrobe is a full-sized and fully functioning paper and cardboard wardrobe. This classically styled piece is held together without hardware, instead having each component slotted perfectly within another for strength and smooth function. Moooi creates modern pendant lighting, lamps, and a unique array of suspension lighting. Founded by Marcel Wanders and first presented in 2001, Moooi creates products that satisfy the customers desire for individual style, and features designers such as Ross Lovegrove and Erwin Olaf. Photo Courtesy of Moooi

Volk Pacific Armoire

The pacific armoire is shown here in solid ash with an ash veneer and whitewashed finish, turned copper legs and drawer pulls, swing doors with inset leather panels and a flat waterborne finish. It’s handmade in the USA and was introduced in 2017. Photo Courtesy of Horne

West Elm Mid-Century Armoire - Acorn

Our Mid-Century Armoire is an instant closet and versatile storage system all in one. Anticipating your every storage need, it comes with two removable hanging rods, four adjustable shelves, a deep drawer, three hooks and a full-length mirror. Configure it however you’d like to hold your wardrobe—or use it as a coat closet or office storage. Photo Courtesy of West Elm

Blu Dot Modu-licious #6

Drawers and doors are your canvas with the award-winning Modu-licious series. Choose from white, grey blue, red, ivory, slate and robin's egg blue to create your own look. Photo Courtesy of Blu Dot

IKEA STUVA / FÖLJA Wardrobe

“I can do it!” Isn’t that what they like to say? This STUVA combination puts everything at a lower height that is easy to reach. Photo courtesy of IKEA

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:

Master the Lean Closet Movement With These Everyday Staple Brands

17 Midcentury Modern Dressers That Max Out Style and Storage


This Colorful, “Mad Men”–Style Ranch in Houston Seeks $220K

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-21 17:33

Decked out in vintage fixtures and furniture, the 1957 residence is like a midcentury time capsule.

In the master bedroom, richly textured furniture complements the green accent walls.

These days, it can be quite common to come across midcentury homes with price-tags well into the millions. That's why we have a hunch this 1950s Texan gem won't stay on the market for long. Located in Houston's Glenbrook Valley Historic District, the 1,844-square-foot residence sits in good company with other ranch and midcentury homes. Yet, it's when you step inside that the real time travel begins.

Nestled in the city's largest historic district, 7527 Wilmerdean Street is a midcentury time capsule with an incredible price point, particularly for first-time home buyers.

Nestled in the city's largest historic district, 7527 Wilmerdean Street is a midcentury time capsule with an incredible price point, particularly for first-time home buyers. 

Photo by TK Images

A bright yellow front door offers a warm welcome to residents and visitors alike.

A bright yellow front door offers a warm welcome to residents and visitors alike. 

Photo by TK Images

Spread across one level, the meticulously maintained dwelling features a free-flowing open layout that's chock-full of charm and period details. A large living area, perfect for parties, seamlessly connects to the bright kitchen. Vaulted ceilings enhance the home's sense of space, while expansive sliding doors create an instant indoor-outdoor connection. 

A light pink entryway leads to an open great room, featuring vaulted ceilings and a brick fireplace. In addition to sliding glass doors, the area is brightly illuminated by a skylight.

A light pink entryway leads to an open great room, featuring vaulted ceilings and a brick fireplace. In addition to sliding glass doors, the area is brightly illuminated by a skylight.

Photo by TK Images

The home features three bedrooms, all with original hardwood floors, as well as two full bathrooms. An attached two-car garage is also included. The 9,000-square-foot corner lot provides plenty of outdoor space, all while being conveniently located close to downtown. Scroll ahead to see more of the classic abode, currently listed for $219,900.

The retro kitchen is located steps away from the living room, separated by a half wall. Another sitting area is around the corner.

The retro kitchen is located steps away from the living room, separated by a half wall. Another sitting area is around the corner.

Photo by TK Images

The kitchen comes with original details, including a vintage cooktop and cabinetry. The white palette contrasts with the colorful accent wall in the dining room.

The kitchen comes with original details, including a vintage cooktop and cabinetry. The white palette contrasts with the colorful accent wall in the dining room.

Photo by TK Images

A closer look at the dining room, which features a bay window overlooking the backyard.

A closer look at the dining room, which features a bay window overlooking the backyard.

Photo by TK Images

The sitting area located off the entryway is fitted with midcentury furnishings.

The sitting area located off the entryway is fitted with midcentury furnishings.

Photo by TK Images

A peek inside one of the home's three bedrooms, all which feature hardwood floors.

A peek inside one of the home's three bedrooms, all which feature hardwood floors.

Photo by TK Images

Both bathrooms feature original colored tile.

Both bathrooms feature original colored tile. 

Photo by TK Images

In the master bedroom, richly textured furniture complements the green accent walls.

In the master bedroom, richly textured furniture complements the green accent walls.

Photo by TK Images

The home also includes a home office, which can easily be converted into another bedroom.

The home also includes a home office, which can easily be converted into another bedroom.

Photo by TK Images

Sliding doors open to the covered patio and fenced-in backyard.

Sliding doors open to the covered patio and fenced-in backyard.

Photo by TK Images

7527 Wilmerdean Street in Houston, TX, is currently listed for $219,900 by Robert Searcy of Robert Searcy Properties.

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Refresh Your Countertops With These Bold, New Surfaces

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-21 04:49

Make a statement with a striking, new kitchen or bathroom counter.

From veiny to subtle, silky finishes, here are a range of options to dress up your space. Keep scrolling to see our top picks.

Mar Del Plata Slate Finish by Neolith

Mar Del Plata Slate Finish by Neolith

 

Courtesy of Neolith

Mayfair Luxury Series by Cambria

Mayfair Luxury Series by Cambria

Courtesy of Cambria

New York–New York Silk by Neolith

New York–New York Silk by Neolith

Courtesy of Neolith

Valley White Polished by PentalQuartz

Valley White Polished by PentalQuartz

Courtesy of PentalQuartz

Et Noir by Silestone

Et Noir by Silestone

Courtesy of Silestone

Primordia by Caesarstone

  

Courtesy of Caesarstone