Stephanie Langard has designed Domestic Gathering (Tapis), a concept for a carpet that encourages people to gather together.
“Historically the television was conceived to transmit information and entertain, but above all to gather neighbours around a single point, to create a bond.
Nowadays, new technologies have isolated members of the same family, of different age groups while they live under the same roof. However, these new technologies have permitted us to forge other bonds, other networks in a vast space making our world an even smaller place. At a time where nuclear families are struggling to come together in order to spend quality time with one another, I wish to explore the notion of forging bonds and gathering around quite a primitive element: the fire, like going back to basics. In the very idea of forging a link, and well before involving the final users, I mix up the expertise, disrupt the usual traditional production methods and blend the craftsmen together for the duration of a project.
Beyond the final product, it’s the pathway travelled together, hand in hand, which nourishes my creative approach. In this project, everything works well together to illustrate the bond, emotion, light and heat”.
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 22 October, 2014
Chris Dyson Architects converted a run down Victorian warehouse located in Londra, United Kingdom, into three large luxury units. This project successfully converted a run down Victorian warehouse in Shoreditch into three large, luxury units with a rooftop level copper clad extension. The character of the original warehouse is celebrated at every opportunity and emphasis is placed on using new materials that are complimentary to the character of the existing building.
The building was substantially thermally upgraded using an insulated external render to the exposed party wall which allowed the existing brick internal walls to be exposed and enjoyed. Historic Critall factory windows were refurbished and reinstated and a discreet copper clad box at roof level has large terraces to the north and south.
Photography by Peter Landers
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 21 October, 2014
Beautiful 1950’s California residence completely redesigned by Rachlin Partners, located in Los Angeles, United States.
Transformation of the Sawyer House began with gutting the entire interior of the 2,000-square-foot structure in two phases over a twenty-year period. A typical 1950’s California residence, the house lacked a definable style and was in poor condition due in part to damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Outdated avocado-colored kitchen appliances finalized the decision to modify this quintessential California house. Only the foundation, exterior bearing walls and roof structure were retained.
The Sawyer House has a magnificent park-like setting on a quiet cul-de-sac adjacent to a golf course, on a heavily wooded site. Although close to an urban environment, the house offers a sense of seclusion and space beyond the confines of its site. Both exterior and interior spaces have been organized to take full advantage of sweeping panoramic views and the extraordinary sense of space. Exterior areas include a front patio, side deck with fire pit, pool and spa and a raised deck/exterior lounge area.
Michael Rachlin’s approach to redesign of the structure blurs the line between traditional and modern, reinterpreting the archetypal vernacular using a minimalist language. Due to its relative small footprint, the house appears to be a modern-day cottage delineated by the geometric forms of hipped or gabled roofs with a series of cupolas added to the mix for visual interest.
At the south-facing front of the house, two freestanding peaked clapboard walls create the major formal gesture. The smaller wall defines a new entrance, while the larger wall delineates a semi-private front patio, which acts as an extension of the entrance hall and living room. Playing off the lines of the existing gabled roof, the architects created additional gable and hipped roof structures, as well as peaked interior spaces—establishing a motif for the entire the house. Both the living room and the master suite are airy, high-volume spaces filled with light and a feeling of calm, due in part to the skylight that runs the length of the upstairs ridge. (via)
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 16 October, 2014
Stunning single storey residence recently redesigned by Christopher Elliott Design. It’s situated in Templestowe, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.
“We are all familiar with the wise saying “a stitch in time saves nine”, but this proverb does not best describe the approach taken by the previous owners of this expansive single storey house, towards the maintenance of their property. In fact the house and its gorgeous surrounding gardens; although ideally located amongst the rolling hills of Templestowe, were a veil to the outdated rooms and darkened interior that lay within.
So by the time the current owners had purchased it they were rather overwhelmed as to how they would transform this awkward 1970’s property into a stunning home. Fear not, they called in the expert eye of Christopher Elliott; who had recently completed the design of their friend’s house.
From the onset, it was clear to Christopher a complete overhaul of the disjointed internal architecture was in order; for the existing layout didn’t take full advantage of the picturesque garden outlook and left many rooms unutilised. Christopher’s new floor plan design brought unity to the architecture and enabled a more intuitive relationship between each of the various rooms of the house. Pivotal to the new design was the decision to open large sections of the house onto the pre-existing centrally located pool and courtyard via large expansive sliding doors, installed throughout the living spaces and the master bedroom. These modifications provided the house with a beautiful tranquil vista and some much-needed natural light; it was also the inspiration for the new colour scheme. Christopher’s new design also incorporated all of the necessary state-of-art modern conveniences and luxuries expected from a house of this calibre, which in some instances required striping the house back to its bare bones. The extensive renovation would also provide a clean backdrop for a new tailor made interior design, better suited to the client’s lifestyle.
The first phase of the project involved altering the access into the master bedroom via a newly appointed ‘parents retreat’ which was previously an unused storage space and blocking off the old entrance from the kids study area. Thus providing more privacy and separation for the clients from their two growing teenage boys, now who wouldn’t want that? Also, the remodelling of the master bedroom incorporated a spare bedroom that was transformed into a beautiful, generous walk in robe and the previous inadequately sized walk in robe and ensuite became one large ensuite with a separate toilet. As you can guess, this house was not short of space!
The second phase of the project included the complete demolition and reinstatement of the properties kitchen, study, spare bedroom, both formal and casual living/dining spaces. The massive renovation was a bold direction but took all of the previously unused areas, and there were many, transforming and simplifying them into functional, practical and enjoyable spaces with the kitchen at the heart of the design. And what a big heart it is! The kitchen island bench alone is an impressive seven metres long, clad in a stunning ‘Super White’ marble and with a butler’s pantry come laundry extending off from the kitchen that can be completely concealed with the closing of the full height sliding door. The new design meant many of the existing internals walls were removed and subsequently new engineered support beams were required to underpin the large ‘A’ frame roof, but these were cleverly concealed behind feature timber posts. That was also aesthetically a way of partitioning adjoining spaces without totally blocking either the light or the view.
The third and final phase of the project was the most rewarding for the clients, for it is when they could finally begin to truly experience the wonderful results of Christopher’s thoughtful and meticulous design. Many of the previous decisions and choices lay the foundations of the design, but it was not until the final selection of the furniture, decoration and artwork were in place, could they fully appreciate the vision Christopher had all along. Most of the furniture and artwork for this project were made-to-order and in some instances Christopher specifically designed pieces of furniture to suit. This process also included the commissioning of several artists’ works. One significant piece that hangs above a colourful custom-made sideboard in the dining space was a beautiful work by renowned Australian artist Andrew O’Brien. This dynamic artwork, visible from the front entrance, sets the tone for the entire house, one that is bold, brave and surprising”.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 9 October, 2014
Underfloor heating systems are ideal with wood floors and the system truly lets you to enjoy this natural floor finish. There are a couple of things to consider with wood floors and underfloor heating and we’ve listed these for you in this post.
• Thickness and density of the wood floor
The conductivity of wood is less than stone or tiles so the thinner the wood is, the higher the heat output of the system and the faster the heat up time. The maximum thickness is 18mm as any thicker than that will hinder the efficiency of the system. If desired, thicker boards can be used, but these will result in a lower heat output. The density affects the heat transfer where high density floors transmit heat better.
• Suitability for use with underfloor heating
Underfloor heating systems can be used under almost all wood floors, but it’s advisable to check with your floor supplier and manufacturer to make sure your floor is compatible with the system.
The better the underfloor insulation, the more energy and cost efficient the system is. A number of insulation types to use with the system are available, from insulation boards to special under and overlays (depending on the system).
• Moisture content of the wood flooring
Engineered wood is more stable than solid wood, but it is important that the moisture content is sufficient with both types. This is typically 10-11% when the boards are laid, which will reduce to 8-9% when heated. The best thing to prevent any problems is to check the moisture content with your supplier and make sure that the flooring is transported and stored in a dry environment.
• Humidity of the room
Wood is a natural material and the variations in humidity levels can lead to shrinkage and expansion of wood. Air humidity should be maintained between 40% and 60% at all times.
• Maximum floor temperature
The maximum floor temperature wood floors are heated to should not exceed 27°C. This is achieved by having a thermostat with a floor probe which automatically controls the underfloor heating so that the temperature won’t raise above the 27°C. Warmup has a selection of thermostats that are ideal for controlling underfloor heating under wood floors.
• Heating controls
The accurate controllability of the system is essential with the top temperature restriction of 27°C. Temperature accuracy ensures no energy is wasted and that the floor heating can be safely used under wood floors.
For floating and nailed floors it is advisable to use a specialist wood floor underlay over the heating system. This needs to be thin and not the foil-reflective type. The maximum TOG is 2.5 as any thicker than this will reduce the heat output too much.
• Type of system
Both electric underfloor heating and warm water underfloor heating are suitable for use under wood floors. The type of system usually depends on the project type and your preference. Electric is usually preferred in refurbishments as it does not raise floor levels. Warm water underfloor heating is ideal for new builds and the combination of both, hybrid, provides a perfect heating system for a whole house.
• What makes a reputable UFH supplier
There are different solutions for underfloor heating for wood floors and when choosing an underfloor heating supplier for a wood floor, you should at least find out how long they have been trading for, what their guarantees are like and have they got technically skilled staff to help you out should you have any problems.
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 3 October, 2014
Moroccan design takes its roots from Moorish architecture, distinguished by its rich colours inspired by the Middle East, its exquisite furnishings and beautiful tiled designs are proving very popular the world over. Traditionally Moroccan homes were built with privacy in mind; houses were built around a central courtyard, beautifully adorned with fountains and pools and it’s this style that has worked its way across the globe in recent years.This post written by experts in Moroccan décor, Habibi Interiors, will guide you through some of the most alluring ways to bring Moroccan style into your courtyard.
Let’s start with the cornerstone of Moroccan inspiration – the traditional architecture, built from centuries of cultural and religious influences to create beautiful mosaic archways, curved doors, patios and furniture. You can bring as much or as little mosaic decoration into your courtyard as you like, from creating entire tiled walls and floors to simply adding Moroccan style tables or seating areas or a beautifully decorated fountain or water feature.
When it comes to Moroccan style your colour schemes need to be bold. Brilliant reds and warm oranges are very commonplace, but so too are vibrant blues and greens combined with cooling neutral colours, chosen to reflect the feel of the desert and the Mediterranean ocean. You can replicate this look by keeping the walls neutral whilst adding lots of colour with a mosaicked water feature and bright furniture and ornaments.
Textiles and Upholstery
Your courtyard needs to be all weather friendly, so there won’t be a huge amount of upholstery present but you can still invest in (or make your own) cushions or draperies for your garden furniture. Big plush floor cushions finished with intricate patterns and geometric shapes are a sure fire way to get your Moroccan style noticed. Don’t be afraid to mix and match colours and patterns to get that eclectic Moroccan look.
Moroccan themed accessories are going to be the thing that really brings the whole Middle Eastern atmosphere to life. Traditional Moroccan lanterns are a great place to start, usually moulded from brass or copper, the intricate designs cast beautiful shadows across your courtyard when hung from the walls or canopies.
Moroccan style ornaments will enhance your theme even further, much like with the lanterns, metalwork plays a heavy part in ornamental design. Look out for delicately designed vases, canisters and trays, featuring complex designs as well as ceramic vases, candle holders and bowls.
Something that will really help emanate that Moroccan atmosphere is a traditional oil burner, decorated with beautiful tiles or coloured glass, choose Moroccan spiced oils – the cinnamon, clove and spice will burn to create a truly Middle Easter feel.
Taking inspiration from Moroccan architecture, ornamental design and traditional textiles will allow you to create your very own Moroccan escape, shaded from the world outside; your courtyard can be your own private, Mediterranean haven.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 1 October, 2014