Fire Escape Shelf by Design Ideas

Made from hand-welded steel, the Fire Escape Shelf is the solution to your storage stumper. This sturdy, urban-inspired accessory borrows its silhouette from the classic outdoor fire escape and makes a worthy home for candles, potted plants, and miscellaneous curios.

About the designers : Siblings Andy and Alice Van Meter launched Design Ideas in 1983 to meet the dorm demand for a shower caddy that didn’t accumulate scum. Their self-draining design met with national success, and the brand’s quest for fun household solutions continues to this day. Now with over 1500 products, Design Ideas has appeared in Redbook, Real Simple, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

F Duplex Apartment – Bucharest, Romania by Studio 1408

Perched upon the top two floors of a residential building in central Bucharest, Romania, F Duplex is a modern dream apartment which experienced a complete and beautiful renovation by Studio 1408.

With just over 3,000 square feet, two penthouse apartments were opened up and joined to form one spacious duplex for a young family. The floor plan of this chic dwelling begins on the second level where the entranceway to the main living spaces is situated. A home office, bathroom and laundry are also situated here. Wide-planked wood floors in a satin finish contribute warmth throughout.

Beach Walk House – Fire Island, New York by SPG Architects

Beach Walk House is a modern dream retreat built by SPG Architects for a family of five. Situated in the Saltaire village on Fire Island, New York, the home enjoys abundant ocean views, privacy and plenty of light.

This 3,600 square-foot, five bedroom beachfront residence is comprised of three cubed volumes each with a varying facade. The ground floor structure is vertically-clad in dark timber slats, with the mid-level featuring light-wood siding, and the top and largest box is metal. Interestingly, strict zoning and FEMA restrictions had to be considered when designing the home, yet it clearly doesn’t seem as if anything was sacrificed with such cool, modern design.

The Office Group – West End, London by Acrylicize

Workspaces within virtual office provider, The Office Group in the West End, London, have undergone a keen renovation by art collective and consultancy, Acrylicize. The traditional space located at 7 Stratford Place, formerly home to eighth United States President Martin Van Buren, is now a resplendent mix of modern office design with quirky art and accents.

In the reception lobby of this Georgian townhome, The Office Group’s clients immediately get a feel for what these spaces present–functional, flexible and stylish meeting rooms with an artistic edge. What is so refreshing about this design concept is the contrast between serious, roll-your-sleeves-up success and the more lighthearted works of art strategicaly placed to enhance creativity and innovation. Brilliant balance!

Chelsea Duplex Penthouse by Marie Burgos Design

Location, location, location and fabulous contemporary design, together make this an enviable living space. Not only does this modern Chelsea Duplex Penthouse have the most amazing views of Manhattan, but this dream home has been designed by Marie Burgos using the Feng Shui philosophy which lends to its peaceful and harmonious flow. The welcoming space has floor-to-ceiling glass walls with a 25′ ceiling height which allows the flow of natural light to radiate throughout the home. I love the color scheme for the main living area. The white furnishings would be a challenging color for anyone with children, but they work beautifully with the green accents, natural colored wood flooring and integrated natural elements.

The formal living room wraps around the home into the cozy family room with fireplace and animal skin patterned rug. This design allows for an abundance of space for entertaining and the flow from one area to the next has just the right amount of physical separation, yet continuity of design aesthetic.

Traditional Vs Contemporary Outdoor Lighting

The long-established lantern style outdoor light is an old favourite loved by millions worldwide. First mentioned by Theopompus (a Greek comic poet), lanterns have been part of everyday culture for many years and give most contemporary lighting designs a run for their money.

Lanterns have come a long way since their popularity took off when used to shield burning candles over 300 years ago. Originally made of tinplate or sheet iron, the traditional design has remained a trusted and favourite design throughout the centuries.

Prior to the lantern revolution, families went to bed as the sun went down or relied on the glow from the fire for illumination. But since Boston homeowners started the trend of placing a doorway lantern outside their homes, lanterns were used as streetlamps on busy intersections. Powered by fuel-soaked pine knots, the lanterns were kept alight by Lamplighters who worker through the night adding fuel and flame to the streetlamps.

Fast-forward to the 21st Century and the lanterns style of outdoor lighting is still extremely popular in Western culture. Developments in technology since the Revolution meant that electricity now powers the best, and most traditional style of outdoor lighting.

Modern equivalents (with all the useful features for 21st Century living) are available from Mail Order Lighting.


Illuminating your garden using contemporary lighting, is a sure-fire way to make it beautiful whether the season is blooming spring or crisp winter.

Outdoor or ‘landscape’ lighting makes dramatic improvements to your outdoor space; and for low costs. The most popular ways to power your contemporary outdoor lighting are by LED or solar technology.

LED’s are both efficient and long-lasting; the average white LED lasts 35000 to 50000 hours compared to 705 to 2000 hours for a standard filament bulb. They are also child-friendly as they do not lose their energy through heat – they stay bright and are cool to touch.

Solar powered outdoor lighting is the cheapest contemporary lighting option on the market. Lights come in a wide variety of attractive styles and designs and will keep your outdoor lights bright for between 8 and 10 hours per charge. Plus, advances in technology mean some solar powered lights function as well in winter as they do in summer.

There are many benefits to both traditional and contemporary outdoor lighting. Visit homeclick to choose the design which fits with the look of your property and your tastes.

Outdoor Improvements

This may not be an option while temperatures outside are lodged firmly in the negative, but it’s something to think about for spring next year; expanding the design ethos of your home or business into an outside area is a fantastic way of instantly gaining more space, as well as having the effect of drawing some of the openness and nature associated with the outdoors, into your interior rooms.

Taking advantage of natural light and increased space by utilising a garden, patio or courtyard is something that many interior designers would love to be able to do, but it’s difficult to extend a design outside when the weather is refusing to cooperate. Rain, wind and snow are all factors which keep most of us inside and the fading and damaging effects of the weather prevent any outdoor furniture that’s more ambitious than plastic or wooden garden sets.