First-time home buyers and veteran home owners alike look for ideas and vision when it comes time to look for a new house. Remodeling projects can also benefit from a spark of creativity spurred by viewing great houses that you love. Shoot has gathered fabulous homes from across the world and design style spectrum to feed your need for beautiful house inspiration.
Irresistible Watercolour Beach Home created by Geoff Chick & Associates as a holiday home with a dreamlike layout and colour palette
By Courtney • Jul 17, 2019
In the sunny dales of South Florida, iconic designers at Geoff Chick & Associates have built a stunning coast cottage that looks every bit the kind of serene escape a family might seek out to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and unwind somewhere that is truly calming.
The Watercolour Beach Home is aptly named for its unique use of colour and materiality, particularly in its interiors. In its details, shapes, and accents, the home already has a very coastal inspired aesthetic, but that’s undoubtedly driven home by the way the home grounds itself in a monochrome way in clean shades of white and cream, but then features pops of bright teal.
Those attention grabbing teal details don’t just happen in one room; it’s a theme that actually flows from space to space, extending throughout the entire house. Whether it’s a throw pillow, a simple blanket, a duvet, or a painting, a person walking through the house will absolutely find some kind of teal element in every single room.
Where there isn’t teal, there is greenery included in each of the aforementioned rooms, adding an additional colour pop to each space in a way that’s more natural and subtle. This not only adds another shade to the room against all that pretty cream and white, but it also creates a spa-like sense of nature throughout the house, bonding the interior experience a little with the home’s beautiful surroundings.
Those shades of cream we’ve raved about so much aren’t only present in the living and private spaces inside the home. The same cream neutral shades actually encapsulate the entire exterior of the house as well, making it at once stand out against and also not interrupt the greenery and coastline surrounding the plot on which the house stands.
Light, naturally finished wood also plays a huge roll in establishing the coastline inspired aesthetic and light backdrop colour scheme. It’s featured across the floor, on most tabletops, in several side furnishings, and even across the ceiling between white painted cross beams. The effect quite closely resembles driftwood, making the house look cleanly rustic even in its luxury.
Amidst its many bedrooms, ranging from spacious master to impressive guest, are several kids’ bedrooms built for not only the kids of the owning family, but also their friends and young relatives, since this is a vacation home. Designers continued their work with wood by building shelf style bunkbeds hat are inset right into the wall. Interesting wicker basket chairs add a slightly contemporary shape to the room to keep things friendly for the kids’ space.
The beautiful watercolour inspired house has several novelties for the adults living there as well, and not just for the kids! Down a set of wooden topped stairs, visitors can find a glass encased wine cellar that is not only well organized and impressively stocked, but even temperature controlled to ensure the perfect flavour when each bottle is opened.
The house also offers a whole plethora of beautiful balconies, giving every person in the house a place to relax in peace, alone or together, outside in the sun. Being elevated on the top floor and placed all around the front and back of the house provides several different stunning views of the seaside countryside surrounding the whole plot.
Finally, the house offers an ultimate sunny afternoon spot around the back in the form of a poolside that feels like a private getaway. The raised wooden deck features couch style point swings and sprawling day beds, some in warm sunlight and some under a shady pergola. Each one gives stunning access to the sparkling waters of a large pool.
Photos provided by designer.
Playful Chatterbox House by de la Guardia Victoria Architects & Urbanists, Inc. uses pink and turquoise to create colour pops in a perfect seaside home
By Courtney • Jul 16, 2019
Along the stunning coastline of Harbour Island in the Bahamas, forward thinking designers at de la Guardia Victoria Architects & Urbanists, Inc. have recently refurbished an old beach cottage with bright colours and beachy furniture in order to create the gorgeous Chatterbox House.
Located near the beaches of a little island village called Dunmore Town, the original building was a cottage that was first build in the late 1800s. It was the picture of old world Bahamian charm, but it was also in desperate need of some refurbishment when designers came across it.
Since they were already updating its actual structure, teams opted to update the style and atmosphere of the cottage ever so slightly as well. While they absolutely wanted to say authentic to the original history and classic integrity of the old house, preserving as much of it as they could, they also wanted to add a quirky sense of contemporary cheer to the space.
Once the three storey house, with its expansive front porch and rooftop terrace, was structurally sound once more and ready to be inhabited anew, designers decided to decorate it with an undoubted sense of Caribbean influence but with an even more colourful twist than usual. A colour scheme heavy in light pink and bright turquoise was chosen, with several contrasting shades featured in fun, visually loud patterned pieces like hanging art and throw blankets.
One particularly neat and surprisingly authentic detail is the tile inlay that adorns the front porch. Although it looks shining and new, it was actually a feature of the original house that has simply been redone in a precise reproduction of the first, which was damaged after years of seaside weathering.
The riles aren’t the only interesting thing about the porch, of course. Besides the fact that the beloved colour scheme follows visitors out into this open air seating area, there’s also the novelty of a comfortable and unique looking porch swing! A similar outdoor seating space exists at the top of the house as well, on a small, wooden rooftop terrace. Here, a full airy lounge area is afforded a beautiful view of the surrounding town and waterline.
Inside the house, the bedrooms are afforded stunning views as well. The master bedroom and both guests sleeping areas have large, breathtaking windows on each wall, giving dwellers an almost 360 degree view all around as they move through the house from room to room.
Perhaps the absolute best view in the house, however, is above even the terrace we described with the outdoor escape style seating. Near the barn-style door that leads to the terrace, there’s actually a wooden staircase that leads to a “bird’s nest” at the very top of the house, giving visitors an actual 360 view without the interruption of window frames!
From the street, Chatterbox House presents an irresistibly fun sight that stands out from and yet, thanks to its whimsy and brightness, also somehow suits the beachy surroundings amidst which it is nestled.
Photos by Annie Schlecter
By Courtney • Jul 12, 2019
In the rolling countryside in upstate New York, design teams at Chango & Co. have recently completed a stunning family getaway modelled after the farmhouses of auld, but with the interior decor and amenities of a modern country home. The aptly named Country Farmhouse stands out modestly but beautifully in the residential fabric of Dutchess County!
The home is notorious for its beauty amongst the residents of Amenia, the little country town it actually nestles on the border of. It was built for a family of only four, but with the intention of hosting family and friends whenever possible in mind. Designers wanted to make sure the country home had a clear sense of its relaxed location, while also feeling comfortably modern.
Because the family has two children, who they very much allowed an active involvement in choosing certain elements of the home, designers made the choice to create spaces the specifically cater to adults or kids, allowing the rest of the house to be blended spaces where the two generations can come together.
Of course, the house does bear an undeniably farmhouse influenced atmosphere, with clear elements of the aesthetic throughout just about every room. This rings true from the wooden X-frame detailing in the front door right to the table legs in the dining room and elsewhere. Carlisle style hardwood flooring spreads across each storey, adding a sense of rustic warmth with its ever so slightly uneven planking.
The walls contribute to both the farmhouse aesthetic and the concentration on visual texture as well. In rooms where statement wallpapers haven’t been chosen for a slightly more modern pop of colour, V-groove cladding is featured on the walls, giving the appearance of old fashioned boarding like you’d have seen in a working farmhouse in the area earlier in the century.
In the common spaces where the adults mainly occupy their time, a calming neural palette has been selected to carry on the sense that this is a serene place where people can truly relax. Natural materiality follows the palette’s suit, contrasting beautifully with the gleaming metal of things like the kitchen appliances.
In the rooms intended for the children, however, natural aesthetics take a back seat! Here, pops of colour own the space and help create an atmosphere that’s playful and full of cheer. Eye catching wallpapers have been chosen to take the colour palettes and visual textures to a whole new level.
From the shared spaces where the family might spend time together or with guests, floor-to-ceiling glass doors provide the family with a seamless feeling connection between the indoors and outdoors. This lets visitors go from a formal living room with a stone and reclaimed wood fireplace and surround straight out onto a lovely patio where the same wood that was featured in the reclaimed reclaimed ceiling beams is then mirrored in the beams outside as well.
The furnishings in the outdoor spaces follow suit of those inside; natural in materiality but with a touch of modernity when it comes to shape. The rounded porch swing with a cutout looking seat is a perfect example. The view from here is one of countryside bliss and rolling lawns where the kids can enjoy time outside of their colour popping indoor spaces.
Despite the fact that the home is supposed to be an escape, designers also wanted to make sure that all possible responsibilities and needs the family might have can be met by the space. This is why they built a homework space near the children’s bedrooms. When it’s not being used for school work, it’s a great hangout space away from the hustle and bustle of adult life.
Photos by Sarah Elliot
By Courtney • Jul 11, 2019
In the midst of the Stockholm archipelago, design and architectural teams at Tham & Videgård Arkitekter have recently completed a small but magical escape called the Summerhouse.
Located in Norrtälje SO, Sweden, the house sits at the centre of a remote island. It is small but intentionally so, built to make sense for its very unique context. Part of the reason it makes sense with the land is that it is made primarily with resources that could be either found in the directly local area or transported extremely easily.
This is, of course, due to the fact that the island, like all islands, is difficult to access in terms of transportation. Not being able to access the building site by car or truck presented several unique challenges to the design and construction teams, but the ways they found to work around those limitations are part of what gives the house its charm.
The small house is built around a central hub, which is a large multi-purpose room laid out to be the primary social space. With the living room in the dead centre, a corner is reserved for a fully functional but space efficient kitchen and small seating area. Different areas around the edges of the room have been built to look out of floor to ceiling glass walled alcoves from different directions, each one offering a view of the surrounding island from a differing vantage point.
All around the edges of the central room, designers built four small sleeping rooms. Two of these are sleeping rooms, which are conservative in space and designed purely for rest and repose, as the focus of the house is truly centred on the communal spaces. The other two rooms are a storage and a bathroom. Each of the four rooms sits at one of the four corners of the main space.
Besides the full window walls we’ve already described, light enters the central part of the home through a sizeable sky light, as well as several glazed niches throughout the house and in the sleeping spaces. The aim here was to create a sense that the great view outside the home’s walls is accessible from all angles, all the way around the house.
To one side, sliding glass doors have been built into the wall not only for light, but also to blend indoor and outdoor spaces. Visitors can travel from the interior of the home through to a small covered terrace where outdoor dinners often take place, then further into the yard. These spaces, in combination, create a sort of transitionary experience.
The interior and exterior of the house are actually built from the same material at its base, despite their quite different looks. On the outside walls and the rood, the wooden slats are covered in a black slate bitumen that is standard for the area. On the inside, however, the rooms are surrounded walls to ceiling in natural looking sawn wood panels painted in a pleasant light grey.
At present, furniture in the home is understated and quite minimalist. Some of it provides a subtle pop of colour while other pieces give the room some interesting shape in a house that is otherwise quite cubic.
Photos by Lindman Photography
By Courtney • Jul 10, 2019
In the quiet green spaces of Charlotte, in North Carolina, Fusterio Design recently finished the large and impressive Traditional Home to provide a family with a comfortable living space that hearkens back to classic and somewhat old fashioned architectural and lifestyle elements typical of the local area.
In total, Traditional Home encompasses 3,694 square feet on an expansive plot of green land right outside the city. In addition to beautiful shared spaces for the family to bond and host guests in, the home boasts four large bedrooms and three bathrooms throughout the house.
One of the most interesting aspects of the house is the way design teams intentionally chose to create a notable contrast between the home’s exterior and the style inside. From the street, the building is a striking example of traditional local architecture, and much of that continues inside, but a shift towards modern shapes, materials, and furnishings is visible the moment one enters the front door.
One constant example of traditional materiality all throughout the house is the heavy featuring of white oak. It can be seen in cupboards, decor detailing, trim, and all across the floors throughout the house. These wooden elements contrast beautifully with high end lighting choices, cleanly modern looking tiles, and contemporary plumbing features.
To match the white oak featured all over but withstand changes in weather, the bulk of the home’s exterior is built from brick that has also been painted a clean, stark white. These bricks contrast further with even more wood in the form of cedar columns and a pleasantly naturally stained cedar porch.
Although it is intentionally styled along an old fashioned, not-quite-rustic aesthetic, the kitchen is possibly the most obviously modern looking room in the house. Here, brand new appliances made from gleaming stainless steel play off shining white marble countertops. Decor elements and continued wooden details, however, keep a sense of the traditional ever present for cohesiveness.
Despite the fact that the layout of the home follows a more classic sense of room building, with more delineation between common spaces than you might find in very modern looking open concept spaces, the house still manages to feel open and airy, rather than closed off or uninviting.
This is partially due to the colour choices (white is absolutely the dominant shade throughout all rooms), but also the design choice to prioritize large, gorgeous windows. Every room features beautiful casings and glazed panes, many that extend clear from floor to ceiling. This is just one example of the kind of incredible attention to detail that went into designing and building the house.
At the heart of the home is a grand looking living room where the bulk of the family’s bonding time is spent. In this room, beautifully old fashioned style furniture is arranged comfortably around a stately looking fireplace, close to which designers built a set of impressive French doors. These lead to a shaded and very pleasant covered deck at the back of the house.
The covered deck is built more like a fully equipped outdoor living space rather than simply a patio where people might spend a few minutes. For example, the family regularly eats dinner out there on warm days. The house already boasts two different dining rooms as well, one formal and one informal, giving the owners flexibility of where to dine depending on the occasion.
Besides the double dining room situation, the house boasts several other spots where classic looking decor and styling gives off a traditional feel even though the concept of the space is actually quite contemporary. The mud room is a great example, as is the “zero entry” shower, which resembles its own open concept room!
Overall, the colour scheme house-wide is very light, which is part of what keeps things feeling so light and airy. That’s not to stay, however, that the rooms feel to monochrome of that they’re not dynamic! In each space, darker features like cabinets or siding ground the room while gold decor pieces keep things interesting and slightly upscale.
Photos by Charlotte Imagery
By Courtney • Jul 10, 2019
On the edges of Austin, Texas, design and construction teams at Cornerstone Architects recently finished and impressively expansive and bright dwelling called the Gorgeous Mediterranean Home.
This home was heavily inspired by the architecture and lifestyles of homes in the sunny Mediterranean. Nestled onto a stunning plot in the neighbourhood of Rollingwood, the home was erected from an older structure that had become run down and dilapidated before the plot was sold.
Despite the inhabitable building, however, the land was still of top quality. One of its biggest draws was actually a cluster of mature live oak trees, which were the first thing that caught the new owner’s attention. In fact, the team held these trees in such high esteem that their placement and the path of their roots largely determined the layout and situation of the home itself.
Besides working with the primary goal of not disturbing the trees, designers were also tasked with incorporating several of the new owner’s architectural fascinations. This resulted in an aesthetic that is at once quite traditionally Mediterranean in its shapes and proportions, but that also has a clean looking elegance to it that’s slightly more modern and personalized.
In every single room of the house, natural light was made a high priority. Rooms were built with an open concept layout to encourage the easy flow of sunlight from the windows and all throughout the spaces, and between them as well. The owner desired every room, right from the public spaces straight through to the private areas to be, in his words, “awash” in light.
Besides letting light flow from space to space, the open concept layout of the home also also facilitates good airflow and free movement of people and things from space to space. The goal here was to create a harmonious feeling from one space to the next, making the home feel cohesive and sensical; comfortable to be in but easy to use.
We’ve already mentioned how the large, impressive windows allow the free flow of natural light, but they serve another purpose within the house as well. Designers intended these to work in partnership with several sets of sliding and disappearing doors to create a sense of blended space between the home’s interior and its outdoor spaces.
On the other side of the biggest glass wall sits a sunny lanai that provides a breathtaking view of the very oak trees that attracted the new owner to the plot in the first place. Indeed, the way that this outdoor space situates those who sit there, where they can relax underneath the trees’ shady branches, makes one feel as though they are part of the natural scenery swaying in the soft breeze.
Beyond the kitchen, which the glass wall sidelines, visitors will also find a grand but very cozy great room. This flows easily into a library that boasts its own breakfast nook, as well as several nooks for quiet reading or sitting and socializing with friends. All of these rooms roll into one another intentionally, without any harsh transitions between them, and each features, of course, its own iteration of that same stunning oak tree view.
Photos by Buff Strickland
The Candelaria House, created and designed by Llano Arquitectos, was recently completed in La Estrella, Colombia to provide a modern, open home to a young family.
The house, which lies in the area of Antioqua, sits in an upper subdivision. Despite its impressive appearance, it’s actually quite small, which was intentional. Within this project, designers aimed to preserve natural areas surrounding the new building while also taking advantage of the stunning sunlight that floods the whole land plot.
The standout feature of the home’s exterior is the parallelepiped aspect. This can be seen all around the outside of the home and used within the facade, most often supporting floor to ceiling glass windows. These windows and the way the sunlight spills through help create the sense of a beautiful isolated pavilion, wherein the open concept of the main living space seems limitless.
At the same time as the concentration on windows and sunlight breaks down division in the interior spaces, the lack of visual roadblocks also seems to dissolve the limits of the home’s exterior, making the dwelling feel like a blended experience with its surrounding nature. No matter what room you’re in, hardly anything blocks access to the home’s beautiful view.
The glass and glazed metal pavilion of a residence boasts two surprisingly spacious floors for its modest size. The flow of these floors is intercepted by a central vacuum space and this acts as a core towards which all of the rooms in the house are turned. This is intentional, with spaces situated towards the common areas where family would spend the most time together.
Nowhere exemplifies this emphasis on spaciousness and free flowing movement without division better than the master bedroom. It stands out in the fact that it actually doesn’t even have walls! To ensure a bit of privacy from the outer world, however, it does possess a covered terrace on its outer edge, where shade and stunning natural landscape provide a kind of blended, open air feeling screen from the home’s exterior.
In this way, the terrace blends into the main bedroom, becoming a calming place for relaxation, introspection, and contemplation. This sense of calm is carried throughout the rest of the house too in the inclusion of light wooden details in every space, as well as in the strong presence of fresh greenery.
Moving downward from the bedroom, across the open air bridge that connects it to the main landing, guests find a blended living, kitchen, and dining space that, thanks to full sliding glass walls, opens entirely onto the patio. In this way, the interior and exterior spaces are even further incorporated into each other while giving the family easy access to a stunning outdoor pool.
Photos by Alejandro Arango.
Queen’s Lane Pavilion created by Carney Logan Burke Architects blend traditional and modern styles in a five-building complex
By Courtney • Jul 2, 2019
On an expansive 180-acre plot of greenery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, innovative designers at Carney Logan Burke Architects have collaborated with the land’s owning family over a total period of 20 years to make the Queen’s Lane Pavilion; a stunning five-building project designed for avid hosts who love to blend traditional and modern aesthetics in one beautiful place.
The land on which the buildings sit is part of a riverine ecosystem that is more than a little bit rich in its own wildlife. The compound of buildings is anchored around the first building you’ll encounter, which is a timber lodge made from stone and Parkitecture-influenced log.
From there, visitors can move towards the second building, which is both a combination office-shop and also a wine silo. This building is building on the more traditional side as far as local style is concerned. Between its interior spiral staircase and its sunny rooftop viewing platform, affording visitors a breathtaking view of the surrounding land, the silo features a wonderfully rustic influenced modernism heavy in oxidized steel details and a sense of sculptural expression.
Moving on from the office and silo, you’ll find yourself wandering through a charming covered bridge that has become iconic in the area. This bridge ends in a thoroughly modernist glass pavilion with a flat roof, sitting clearly on the more contemporary end of the whole area’s style spectrum.
This glass pavilion was built specifically for the owners, giving them a retreat of their own within their hosting space. It is a streamlined building that somehow still manages to look nature-oriented, paying homage to its location with big, lovely windows. This building sits nestled between two spring creeks, perhaps the most pleasant spot on the whole plot.
The final building in the compound is a two-bedroom guesthouse. This was built on the precise spot where an older structure used to sit, long before the current owners took over. To stay within preservation limitations placed on the land, designers built the new guesthouse on the precise footprint of the older structure.
The new guesthouse has an L-shape, the short end of which houses a garage. The longer section is where the bedrooms lie, next to a lovely, open concept kitchen, living room, and dining space combination. Glass walls along the north and south walls give the guesthouse a sense of airiness while visitors gather around the central fireplace, which anchors the rooms. White oak floors and ceilings work in partnership with the window walls to create wonderfully private experience of nature.
Of course, it only makes sense to provide an outdoor space to enjoy on such a lovely plot as well! Outside the guesthouse, a minimalist style patio appears to merge right into the surrounding landscape. This is provided a bit of privacy by a pierced steel curtain that looks almost like an art piece.
Designers and owners alike took care in the details and materiality of each building to make sure they all relate back to one another, as though they’re communicating. At the same time, each is unique, as though it functions in its own micro-ecosystem. Surrounding the five-building pavilion, a small but thriving wildlife refuge and a fishery have grown throughout the two decades it took for Queen’s Lane to be finished. This refuge is home to eagles, moose, elk, deer, and even coyotes.
Because the guesthouse boasts all of its own amenities right down the a laundry, some people choose to enjoy it as an isolated, meditative experience. Others wander down through the cottonwood trees to the serene glass pavilion and enjoy a view of the local wildlife with the owners. This space is always welcoming people; a comfortable retreat during the day and a glowing glass lantern peeking through the trees around it after dark.
Photos by Matthew Millman
Pereira Miguel Arquitectos finishes Monte House, or the Dune House, as an architectural tribute to sand dunes
By Courtney • Jul 2, 2019
Nestled into the sandy beaches of Comporta, Portugal sits the impressive and uniquely shaped Monte House. This modern but natural looking structure, built by innovative designers at Pereira Miguel Arquitectos, has been nicknamed “The Dune House” for the way is harnesses the beauty of the sand dunes surrounding as an inspiration for its shape.
The original aim of this project was to try and establish a clear visual and functional relationship between a new building and the landscape on which designers chose to build it. The goal was to create a home that looks like a fixed point where the natural world and the human one meet and intersect as seamlessly as possible.
One of the ways in which designers tried to enable this seamless meeting of worlds was by building artificial sand dunes, one on either side of the actual dwelling space. These help establish a physical relationship between the structure itself and its surrounding landscape as well as a visual one.
Nestled in between the concrete and sand hills lies the main living space of the house, encased in four natural concrete walls, one of shining floor to ceiling glass, and accessed by beautifully smooth stained wooden doors. These materials at once blend into the landscape but also provide solid shelter in a location where beach weather can become quite harsh quickly when the sun isn’t out.
As if bearing its own faux sand dunes didn’t make the house interesting enough, an extra element of visual appeal is added by the undulating shape of the roof. Like the sand dunes surrounding it, the monolithic and monochromatic concrete roof of the main house ebbs and flows, rising and dipping in the same rounded off shapes as the sand hills piled around the beach.
Inside the house, the ceiling actually undulates right along with the roof! This creates interesting but entirely different visual an spatial experiences inside and out based around the same element of the house. The waves of the ceiling and roof almost become and experience in and of themselves as you cross the house on the interior or outside.
In fact, one can even walk from one end of the house to the other on top of the roof, climbing up and down the slopes of the faux sand dunes on either side. Standing on the different hills and dips will actually give you a different view of the surrounding beach area from a different level, depending on where you’re situated.
There is actually one more thing that the shape of the roof and house is intended to pay homage to besides just the sand dunes. Once upon a time, an old winding road was paved through this area. Though long gone, it was a point of access for many people to enjoy the beach, so now the home’s roof winds like its own little concrete road, allowing visitors to see the beach like the road used to.
Extending from the central volume of the house, the actual living spaces protrude in three remaining volumes, built on four arms that raise them from the uneven ground a little and make them feel slightly detached from the front of the house for more private relaxation. Thought the sleeping areas lie in a different wing from the public ones, natural wooden platforms leading from space to space and to the stunning pool out back make everything feel cohesive and far from closed off or hard to access.
Photos by Fernando Guerra
Sabará Residence created by Padovani Arquitetos Associados to blend indoor-outdoor spaces with family experiences
By Courtney • Jul 1, 2019
In a beautifully sunny and calm residential neighbourhood in Campinas, Brazil, innovative designers at Padovani Arquitetos Associados recently completed a house for a couple and their two small daughters, named Sabará Residence.
The structure of this house is intentionally compact. The primary goal, before adding personality with decor and furnishings, was to make it functional so that it’s conducive to the busy life of a modern family. Additionally, designers and owners alike decided to prioritize the integration of interior and exterior spaces, creating a house that, while secure and private, still blends the two aspects of the home experience in a way that feels seamless and comfortable.
Luckily for all involved, the landscape of the plot on which the house was billed lends itself well to that sort of indoor-outdoor setup. Brazil’s climate also provides enough sunlight year round that natural sunlight pouring in through the large windows and glass doors that the house features also help the place stay energy efficient by providing both warmth and light to every room.
The unique shape of the home’s structure is most noticeable on the right side, where two panels with cement flooring lead upwards towards the entryway, de facto supporting the upper block of the house as well as the edges extend past where the ramp stops. Those supported rooms, built like dorms for each member of the family, open out in two different spots to outdoor areas thanks to huge sliding panels of wood, like patio doors.
The upper outdoor area opens upward to form a lovely rooftop seating area. Because designers chose to border it in glass siding all along the edges, the space is child safe but still looks limitless, since the railing doesn’t cut off the otherwise panoramic view. This lets the nature surrounding the house feel like a true part of the experience of sitting up there, on the sofa in the sun.
Underneath the upper supported block we’ve mentioned, the living and dining rooms reside, each one open concept to meld with a kitchen and another outdoor patio space. The rooms open right out into an outdoor seating area that is so lush with local plants in its garden that this space is actually what got the house its name!
Just past the patio, designers built a series of natural stone bench seats around a relaxing in-ground fire pit. This mimics the shape of the atrium found in the centre of the house, where a double height space features a staircase leading to the upper floor. Throughout this vertical space, an indoor tropical garden grows lush and green right in the heart of the home.
The bedrooms of the house keep up this theme of greenery and neutral colours, resembling a sort of relaxing spa while still providing all the amenities of contemporary living. The only space that varies greatly is the children’s room, which is adorned in pretty pastel colours and cheerful, childlike decor.
Photos by Evelyn Muller
By Courtney • Jun 28, 2019
In historic centre of the city of Mérida in Mexico, innovative designers at Taller Estilo Arquitectura have recently completed an impressive revitalization project, transforming an old, abandoned dwelling into a lovely new home called the Diaphanous House.
From the outset, the main goal of designers was to create a new building that pays proper, authentic homage to the historical surroundings of the plot the home sits on. In creating a fully equipped modern living space that pays respect to local heritage, the architects help play a role in revitalizing the actual city as a contemporary choice for new residents, rather than solely transforming what sits on the specific plot itself.
This goal of blending the new dwelling into the historical context of its street was partially met by keeping as much of the original Casa Diáfana’s exterior facade as possible, since this is what passers by see from the street. Rather than building new houses that interrupt the local context and wear down the history of the residential streets, local housing officials have been encouraging projects like this instead to work with what is already there, revitalize historical areas, and renew the city’s housing.
Once the facade was restored, teams moved onto the interiors. The lobby and guest bedroom area you encounter almost immediately upon entering were actually in such good shape that they have been largely preserved as they were, with only the most minor necessary updates. The blend of old spaces and new amenities creates an atmosphere as though the house speaks two languages; underneath the char, designers hoped their modern renovation of this space will make it more sustainable.
Towards the public spaces of the house, you’ll encounter a double height living area, kitchen, and dining room. Between this and the stunning floor to ceiling windows that were built into a wall that already needed reconstruction anyways, light is allowed to flow abundantly into the social spaces of the house, helping preserve power and keep things cheerful.
The house bears a certain fluidity in its renovation in terms of its materiality as well as its blend of contemporary and historical elements. This is in the contrast between the stone of the yard walls and the outer front facade (which has been repainted its original stunning shade of blue) and the lighter, more organize woods and materials used to transform the interior decor, as well as the modern and more streamline feel of the furnishings and appliances.
Besides being an absolutely lovely little place for relaxation, the patio pool actually plays a passive role in heating and cooling thhe home’s main living spaces. When the glass patio doors are slid open, the water, cool from the chilly night, helps reduce the temperate in the living and dining area. It then absorbs the heat during the day and gives it back off in those spaces when the temperature drops at night, until dwellers slide the doors closed again to sleep. The wind helps this whole process along too!
Besides being just updated visually and functionally, designers hoped that a new family moving into the house will help update the space and the neighbourhood a little bit socially as well. They wanted the revitalization of the space to be full and thorough, making the home open concept so there’s free flow of movement and energy, as well as space for activities and comfort for bonding.
Diaphanous House is truly a practice in blending modern living with urban culture that is thoroughly and authentically centred on the preservation of historical culture and context. Hopefully its success leads to more projects that value and revitalize existing neighbourhoods in the area rather than reducing them to ruins and making new ones that might result in loss of culture.
Photos by Verónica Gloria Hernández
By Courtney • Jun 28, 2019
on the Southwestern outskirts of Daejeon City in Seo-gu, South Korea, a new residential complex area has recently become home to the Urban Hamlet. This is a stunningly modern three storey home finished by Chiasmus Partners with the express purpose of putting a unique spin on all the needs and wants of a modern family with members of different ages and spatial requirements.
The house might have been commissioned by and designed with the parents, but it was absolutely conceptualized with the children’s needs and lives in mind. This is why all functional and private rooms are located on the ground and top floors, while the entire second floor exists as a unique and very diverse multi-purpose space to be used by the entire family however they need in the moment.
Beginning at the bottom, visitors approaching the patio will find it surrounded by a large garage and, through the front door, a living room, dining room, and guest room. When the family has guests who are not staying the night, this spare bedroom doubles as a quiet and pleasant tea room. This floor is where most of the functional spaces are located.
Moving up to the third floor (we’ll come back to that exciting second floor in a moment), you’ll encounter six bedrooms. Each of these is duplex in style, meaning that they adjoin in pairs like dorms. Surrounding the bedrooms is a lovely shared family room that extends through the rest of the floor, eventually opening onto a beautiful open terrace that features a jacuzzi and a long “floating” swimming pool.
The swimming pool is of particular note for the way it faces the mountains to the south, as well as for the way the glass plates in its bottom act as small windows, letting swimmers see the street below as they paddle. This isn’t the only cool rooftop space; each bedroom actually has its own accompanying little rooftop space. There’s also a larger rooftop space with a hammock that is often used for family gatherings.
The second floor of the house is intended to be an open-space, multi-purpose area where family members can do whichever activities they need space for. The ceiling of this floor is supported in its full weight by a central core, inside which is a staircase and and elevator, each of which will take you to and from each floor of the house.
This core is also put to good use on its outer surface too, rather than just inside. It is covered from floor to ceiling in media shelves, book shelves, and a television stand. It also features a fireplace for chillier nights, a projector screen, and even a desk! It truly is designed to be a space for all kinds of different people and purposes.
Beyond just giving the family member space to do their own thing, the multi-purpose floor is also designed to reinvigorate bonding and social time. It draws activities that have become isolated in modern families out of individual bedrooms occasionally and into a shared common space where people might spend time together, even if they are doing different things.
As the home’s name, Urban Hamlet, might suggest to you, the house is actually organized like a little village of its own. Each bedroom is designed to be like an individual’s house (complete with an adjoining neighbour). The multi-purpose floor, on the other hand, becomes like a town square where friend gather and people meet. This idea is literally reflected in the actual architecture of the house; from an aerial view, you might noticed that each bedroom has its own little roof, making the outside of the house resemble a walled village.
At the same time as it is clearly a priority to facilitate social spaces and family bonding, designers and owners alike wanted to give each family member a respectable amount of privacy as well. This is why the rooms are left like their own little worlds, individualized and closed without losing natural light. These elements make the house more of a community than a single faceted dwelling.
Besides giving the family amazingly modern social spaces to enjoy, it should also be noted that the outdoor rooftop areas and the open-air multi-purpose floor provide dwellers and guests stunning panoramic views of the surrounding neighbourhood and nature. It is classic Korean architecture to build a home that blurs the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces and rooms of different functions, without sacrificing the privacy that families find ever so important.
Photos by Namsun Lee
By Courtney • Jun 27, 2019
In a lovely little suburban village in the united Kingdom, creative designers at Studio 30 Architects have renovated and revitalized and old Victorian building and is accompanying coach house into a stunning contemporary home that’s perfect for a growing modern family.
In addition to refurbishing the existing home and the buildings surrounding it, designers also decided to extend the space a little to give the family even more room. One of the main goals within the renovations was to open the space up to let more natural light into each room, since original Victorian era architecture was much darker and more enclosed than most people prefer now.
Despite the need to update certain parts of the house, other aspects were kept in their original state and simply improved upon. This helped keep an air of history and authenticity about the place, improving the home in an additional but different way. In the entryway, for example, guests now enter through the freshly refurbished coach house doorway, providing an experience that hearkens back to the original makeup and running of the house.
This change of entry is an aesthetic choice but also serves a functional purpose; moving the new entryway away from the original door creates a bit of an additional barrier away from the public street. The original front doorway has now been transformed into a wood storage for the fireplace and wood burning stove inside!
Inside the house, things have been opened up in terms of layout much the way new windows have been added to open the house up in terms of light and cross breezes. The kitchen and dining space, for example, is open concept leading in from the hallway, and this space also opens out onto a freshly landscape garden and pleasant little patio.
Perhaps the biggest point of structural renovation was the removal of the dividing wall between the main house and the coach house, amalgamating the two spaces as one to provide the family with a more extensive living space. This move acted as a sort of de facto expansion without having to build an entire new extension onto the side of the house.
Moving towards the back of the house, skylights have been added in addition to new windows in an attempt to flood the part of the home that was previously the darkest with nice, natural sunlight. This process was helped along by a set of sliding and folding glass doors, each of which further breaks down barriers between the interior living spaces and the garden greenery outside.
In order to create a modern family home without interrupting the visual fabric of the street and taking away the history that the house offers, designers chose to keep certain elements as close to their original state as possible, so long as doing so was practical. For example, rather than simply replacing the floor boards outright, teams chose to lift them, install modern floor heating, re-oil them, and settle them back in place more solidly than they sat before. Elements like this created a certain dialogue between the modern adaptation and the building’s unique history.
Photos by Salt Productions
By Courtney • Jun 26, 2019
On the edges of Willoughy, Australia, a suburb of the city of Sydney, the stunning geometric looking Aperture House was recently completed by the talented design teams at Studio P for a clients who wanted their home to mirror the concepts present in their work as industrial designers.
Built with the needs of a growing family in mind, the Aperture House provides open concept comfort and privacy while looking, from the street, like an impressively stacked set of unique and interesting volumes. From the topmost points of the house, dwellers are afforded breathtaking and uninterrupted views of the city skyline towards Sydney while still enjoying the more quiet setting of a slightly removed residential neighbourhood.
From the outset, designers aimed to build the house in such a way that shapes, geometry, and patterns played a roll in the structure and aesthetic. This is why the repetition of shapes from volume to volume on the home’s exterior is so visually pleasing when you look at the facade from the street or the yard.
On the inside of the house, the unique stacked geometry of the structure cause a unique and interesting light shift as the sun moves across the sky throughout the day. This gives the different rooms, which are laid out according to the different functions typical of a busy family, varying sweet spots of light and shadow, like each one has its own prime time to be used.
In fact, light is one of the things that many guests notice first upon entering the house. This is largely thanks to the prevalence of skylights, floating ceilings, and huge, uniquely shaped windows in the entryway and shared living spaces. Near the patio, where a lovely seating area has been built to become almost part of the inner space if you roll the patio doors back, a circular window lets in a perfectly round point of light; this is really where the home’s name came from, and that spot of bright light is the heart of the home that many of the designers’ other ideas were conceptualized around.
Besides emphasizing the role of light in the house, the prevalence of windows was prioritized by designers and owners alike for another reason; creating more places where sky and greenery can be seen easily from the house on any day, no matter the weather, helps to visually break down barriers between indoor and outdoor spaces in a comfortable way.
The concept of “aperture” plays out in the home in one additional way besides the playfulness of light. Because of the way the home is structures and stacked, there are actually several intentional lines of vision that pass straight through the home, from room to room, mimicking the way one might look through the view finder of a camera to see something in the distance.
The two most notable spaces like this are near the front of the house, where one can look straight through from the entryway into the backyard where children play, and from the mezzanine level to the ground floor social areas. Designers cited a scene where children might peek down after bedtime to catch a glimpse of their parents’ dinner party as the inspiration for this particular vantage point. These lines of sight establish a sense of connectivity throughout the home and link physical spaces in the house to certain memories, experiences, or emotions within the family.
In order to counteract the very linear shapes of the home’s volumes, more curved points than just the one aperture inspired rounded window have been included within the house’s interior, for balance and contrast. Paying close attention to small details, designers chose to sink clean LED lights into curved ceiling tiles, lending a soft glow that contrasts with an otherwise slightly industrial chic inspired atmosphere. They also chose several softly curving, colourful pieces of lounge furniture to counteract exposed concrete and steel detailing; the comfy bean bags you see dotted around the rooms do the trick!
Photos by Brett Boardman
By Courtney • Jun 26, 2019
On a stunning countryside slope in Bressanone, Italy, the aptly named House on the Hill, recently completed by MoDusArchitects, is a stunning modern house in which the same hexagonal shapes that make up its structure are mirrored in its furnishings and decor too.
At the core of the house sits a convenient stairwell that provides access to all of the different levels and rooms, which expand from that central point almost like spokes. This structure leaves the outer walls of each floor entirely uninhibited by functional structures, meaning they afforded veritably panoramic views all the way around.
Because of its unique shape, the house has no official front or back. This makes the interior living spaces feel like a free flowing continuum, where things are easy to access and diverse, making using each room, no matter its function, feel comfortable. No matter which room you’re in, you’re also afforded easy access to different stunning views of the South Tyrolean landscape, the rest of the little hillside town the house is a part of, and the woods and meadows that stretch beyond that into the Isarco Valley.
Knowing that the view would become such a pivotal part of the experience in living in such a house, designers made the choice to include more than a few floor to ceiling windows all the way around the outside of each floor, letting dwellers and guests see the surrounding view from almost any angle in a 360 degree manner.
Without making something too expansive, the owners stated right from the outset that they wished for a spacious home with a layout open enough that they could feel like they “have room to breathe”. Because they have young children who will grow up there, they also didn’t want to sacrifice too much privacy within that concept, so designers had their work cut out for them.
They opted to try and create a house that fosters a sense of freedom. They included open concept layouts in all of the social spaces, establishing a sense of airy comfort and easy bonding. They kept colour schemes warm, pleasant, and neutral, creating a continuous scheme of homey grey floors and locally sourced cedar planked ceilings and furnishings.
In order to incorporate the unique shape of the home’s structure right into the rest of the house itself, several furnishings and art pieces have a somewhat geometric quality to them, mimicking the octagon within which they’ve been placed. This contributes to the overall established sense of continuity and communication.
In order to take these integral concepts of continuity of spaces and limitlessness into nature into account, designers also wanted to make sure they provided the family with decent outdoor space that can be used as part of the home as well. Besides several decks and patios, the house also features an overhang at street level, designs specifically for hosting guests and greeting neighbours like an outdoor room.
The rooms that have the most delineation from other spaces within the house are the bedrooms. The first three bedrooms (for each of the children) and a guest bedroom sit on the ground floor, slightly removed into a quieter wing from the social spaces, while the master bedroom resides upstairs, off the central spoke. These rooms are closed off just enough to feel private and personal, but they still feature large, stunning windows that make them feel open to the outside world rather than too isolated.
Photos by Filippo Molena
By Courtney • Jun 25, 2019
In the forests of Austria, innovative designers at Roeck Architekten have recently completed a stunningly quiet and genuinely panoramic home called Wohnhaus DRV! Its primary goal was to provide beautiful views to the owners unlike anything they’d find elsewhere.
The house, which is cubic in shape and stands two storeys tall, sits on a plot of land surrounded by Tyrolean forest, in a small Austrian town known as Mils. The property on which the house stands is marked by two lovely little streams, one sitting on each side of the house like a border.
From the outside, the house appears entirely, evenly cubic from most angles. If you walk around the front, however, the only area that protrudes is the dark, calming entrance enclave. Here, visitors find a greeting vestibule with its own dressing room and a guest bathroom. The protrusion also provides a sort of protective wall to the garden, making it feel more like a haven.
On the ground floor, the public living spaces are mostly open concept, with the living room leading straight into the kitchen with good spatial flow. Following suit, the dining room opens itself entirely into a beautiful garden at the back of the house. On the upper floor, the private rooms of the house are where dwellers and guests like find those breathtaking panoramic views.
The sight of the home’s natural surroundings bathed in sunlight is practically irresistible, so the private rooms are designed with comfort and relaxation in mind, assuming that people will want to spend comfortable, long periods of time there. The bedrooms aren’t the only place where comfort and views are provided, however; they’re simply home to the most wide reaching angles!
The house also features a centrally located foyer that is purposely intended to offer much the same views and comfort as the bedrooms, but as a more social hub than one’s sleeping area. This atrium features a spacious seating area with views out to the trees all around. Sunlight spills in both here and into the bedrooms, but moveable wooden elements featured on the north side of the house give dwellers the option to slide them into place for a little more shade and privacy when necessary.
In terms of materiality and overall decor scheme, the inside of the house presents a stunning contrast to visitors. Here, purposely exposed concrete walls and ceiling play off of oak wood native to the area, as well as untreated steal details throughout the home. The facade of the house, which is also made of local oak and extends to both storeys, also bears contrast with the abstractly shaped concrete terrace outside. Overall, the effect makes the house feel somewhat like a sculpture.
As with most of the details built into this home, the use of oriental inspire patterning on the surface of the building was careful and intentional. These shapes allow a breathtaking play of light and shadow to drift into the building in different ornate patterns right before dawn and right before sunset.
Overall, the materiality in the house is self-regulating, making the space quite energy efficient. In the kitchen, a central white tiled stove not only visually delineates between the living and dining areas, but also gives the space heat during colder seasons and on chilly summer nights.
The stove isn’t the only source of heat! After all, Austrian winters can be quite chilly indeed. That’s why designers included an efficiently distributed floor heating system which works in partnership with the concrete surfaces on the inside and the thermal facade on the outside to provide an even, comfortable living environment all year round.
Photos by Dominik Rossner
By Courtney • Jun 24, 2019
Named for the city in which it was built, the Doonan Glasshouse of Doonan, Australia was created by Sara Waller Design as the lead architect’s very own dream getaway and private residence.
Within her personal design, Waller adopted an explicit “less is more” approach to the structure and details alike. The home features a floating terrazzo slab, a healthy helping of floor to ceiling glass walling, and a nearly flat roof. These features, along with an almost minimalist decor scheme, give the entire space a feeling that is modern, linear, and simple while still feeling elegant and welcoming.
The basic concept of the design was originally inspired by mid-century houses and their typical decor, structure, and furnishing styles. The aim here was to create a timeless piece of architecture that at once hearkens back to those homes of auld while also harnessing a few local elements of the local area and living up to the “glass house” component of its name.
The house sits close to the Sunshine Coast, giving it stunning views all around. To take full advantage of this, designers chose to eliminate distinctions between indoor and outdoor areas as much as humanly possible without sacrificing too much privacy and safety. They wanted spaces to feel open and transparent while letting natural light flood any part of the house that is closed off.
Even those spaces that are physically separated from the outdoor areas are primarily done so by a glass wall. This at least makes those areas feel like they are open to the outside world thanks to good views and free flowing light. This also keeps the home passively heated when the sun goes down and things cool off at night and in the winter season (which is, of course, still quite warm).
The surroundings of the Doonan Glasshouse are nothing short of lush. This is evident from every corner of the house in the wa greenery either physically pours into the room, is purposely featured as a design element, or can at least be seen in abundance through the numerous windows and glass walls. The effect is relaxing and refreshing.
These walls and the flat roof that sits on top of them helps the home appear as if it blends right into its surroundings, making sure it doesn’t interrupt the beautiful natural scenery in which it sits. The only extremely noticeable element is the roof itself which, thanks to the walls again, appears to sort of hover interestingly in the distance, like a natural formation amidst the trees.
On the ground floor, visitors encounter all of the functional and social areas, which have an open layout that is conducive to hosting, socializing, and bonding thanks to free flows of energy and easy movement. Moving upwards, the second story of the house features bedrooms, which appear in an L-shaped volume also made of glass, as thought the private spaces are housed in an ethereal glass box.
Thanks to the lush greenery around the home, however, these bedrooms feel far from lacking in privacy, despite their lack of solid walling. Instead, the tropical climate is welcomed most of the time, while large shades can be pulled down occasionally to provide privacy and block out light if necessary.
In terms of colour scheme throughout the house, most rooms follow suit in that same minimalist line of visuals we mentioned before. Neutral, natural tones adorn most rooms, giving a relaxing and pleasant sense, while black and white features, like benches and chairs, are dotted here and there as contrasting pieces and to ground the palette.
The overall scheme inside the house is quite monochrome, and that’s bolstered by the black facade of the outer structure, which follows suit. creating a sense of cohesiveness. This facade is what provides shade on hot days and gives just the right amount of privacy in any space where the walls aren’t otherwise floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
In tune with the goal of creating a home where one might feel like they’re on holiday all the time, the outer spaces that the home spills into feel somewhat like an impressive 1950s inspired resort. Here, you’ll encounter a Modernist inspired Palm Springs style pool and a relaxing, friendly cabana. The lush, tropical greenery envelops this area like all others, increasing that sense of being on a relaxing holiday, away from the strains of the outside world.
Photos by Mister Mistress