Nestled along the hip Burnett Lane in Brisbane, Australia, The Survey Co. by architecture studio Richards & Spence is a modern restaurant and bar space brimming with a fusion of rustic and sleek design. The restaurant itself was named after James Charles Burnett (1815-1854), a recognized, historical surveyor of the city.
The contemporary interiors were mainly derived from traditional elements such as woods, steel, brick, yet surprise with pops of cork and copper. A restored space, original materials such as the rustic masonry and exposed timber-beamed ceilings add warmth and an organic vibe. Dim lighting creates an understated, idyllic ambiance, while Artful touches such as modern florals budding from chemistry beakers display a fresh design mindset.
The entrance off the lane welcomes with a sliding door clad in vertical steel rods. Once inside the large cork bar comes into view. This area is a highlight of the space, with built-in benches draped with dark leather hides as seating lounges.
Adjacent to this space is a long, narrow main dining room which features glazed windows allowing diners to observe the ongoings of the exhibition kitchen. Custom wood tables and smooth, curved wood chairs flank the space which includes a elongated banquette, while slender, cylindrical lighting hovers elegantly, individually spotlighting the numerous dining tables.
Brick brick walls contribute a raw beauty to this modern restaurant and flow to the outdoor courtyard which is a relaxing space accented with greenery. This unique dining space is open to the sky and presents a communal dining table surrounded by steel stools for a decidedly casual dining experience with friends.
With its prime location along a happening laneway, The Survey Co. exemplifies a design ingenuity which sets a higher bar for modern restaurant spaces.
Pictures by the street photographer.
Posted by Suzanne at 31 May, 2013
If you’re considering redesigning a room within your home, you can’t be blamed for not giving much consideration to the heating. After all, radiators are hardly the most aesthetically pleasing aspect to any room. However, rather than designing the new look for the room and then adding the heating, why not consider the options and then integrate them into the design? That way, you can have a heating system that is both cosy and that doesn’t in any way detract for the décor.
Starting from scratch
First of all, have your old heating system checked out to make sure it’s energy efficient, or purchase a new system through professionals such as Help-Link. If you are in the process of redesigning, there are a couple of options you may want to consider that won’t have any types of heating on display at all:
By installing underfloor heating, you’re eliminating the need for radiators altogether, giving you the freedom to design the room exactly as you see fit, without unsightly radiators curbing your creativity.
You won’t have to give consideration as to where the radiators will go in comparison to your bed, couch or electrical equipment, ensuring that the finished design will unhindered. Another advantage is that underfloor heating spreads the heat throughout the room giving a more consistent temperature. What’s more, it can often prove to be a far more efficient option than radiators that expel heat from one or two sources in an entire room. According to Which the savings over a year between normal heating and underfloor is negligible, however, at least you won’t be paying more for your new improved design.
This is another way that you can now heat a home without having to opt for unsightly radiators. If you’re completely redesigning a room, you can simply have the pipes put in behind the skirting boards. If you aren’t keen on ripping up the floor, as you would have to with underfloor heating, skirting heating can often be done with less hassle.
The systems are often compatible with central heating systems, so you won’t have to worry about a complete new system and again, you will be able to design the room concentrating all of your efforts on getting it just right. According to ThermaSkirt, skirting heating can save you money as well with energy savings being between 13% and 25%.
Hiding those radiators
It may be that you are planning on redesigning a room, but the radiators are already there. If having considered the options you have decided to work around the radiators, there are a variety of different ways to hide a radiator, that won’t necessarily detract from the finished design.
- A window seat: If the radiator is against a wall, why not have a cover designed that will match the interior of the room? You can have it designed by an expert, or if you are good with your hands, then perhaps do it yourself? If the radiator is in an alcove or under a window that juts out, why not build a nook or a window seat. These will hide a radiator effectively, whilst providing you with a snug area to sit and read a book of an evening.
- A bookcase: This is an excellent way of hiding a radiator, whilst not taking up too much room. A bookcase can be about the same depth as a radiator and can be designed to so it looks like one unit. A bespoke furniture maker can design a piece for you, or if you have the skills, why not do it yourself, thus ensuring you get exactly what you have in mind.
- Fabric covers: A fabric cover can be a very affordable option for covering a radiator. Requiring far less time and money than any of the other options, you can either design one yourself, or have a professional do it for you. Advantages include being removable for cleaning and interchangeability. If you like to change your curtains and throws depending on the season, why not change your radiator covers as well? What’s more, if you decide to redecorate in the future, you can simply change the covers for a design that fits in with your new décor.
Whichever route you decide to take, one thing is for sure. No longer do radiators have to be an unsightly, yet unavoidable, addition to your room.
Image courtesy of www.help-link.co.uk
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 30 May, 2013
Thirdstone Inc., a Canadian architectural design firm based in Edmonton, Alberta, accomplished a small space design challenge by cleverly maneuvering around a lot measuring a mere 25’ x 140’ to create the two-story LG House. While exuding the look of expensive finishes and details, this modern dream home was actually constructed from a set budget. It’s hard to believe this was an urban infill project.
Crediting imaginative design, appeal and function were not compromised by the usage of more reserved materials. For instance, the street-view facade consists of fiber-cement panels which were manipulated for a more economical installation. Horizontal knotted cedar planks were installed in rain-screen style for maximum preservation of the wood over time. Cedar was also used for the stylish wood scrim above the doorway.
With a total living area of approximately 3,400 square feet, the overall East-West exposure of the dwelling inspired the architects to harness natural energies afforded by that angle. Windows were strategically placed on both levels of the home to enable cross-ventilation. Glazed walls of both the front and back of the structure create both an airy aesthetic and provide plentiful natural light.
On the first floor, the living room, kitchen and dining room share an elongated space. From the interior, a hallway joins the main living space with the rear garage. Floating laminate flooring system was used throughout both levels.
Just through the entry, the living room is striking with a wall of walnut-stained storage, concealing the television but boasting a lovely wood-burning fireplace. Furnishings are minimalist in plush black leather with mirrored steel frames.
On to the kitchen, high-gloss white and charcoal cabinetry and white island countertop gleam with style. Track lighting was artfully mounted into black-painted recessed boxes, while custom wood panels house these contemporary fixtures.
The adjacent dining room features a wooden table with mid-century modern chairs and is adorned with an original colorful painting by the client. A unique folding fir-framed glass door system was installed to open unto the private, U-shaped central courtyard, which is flanked by cedar paneling on one side and a garden wall on the other. This quaint outdoor terrace is constantly basking in the southern sun.
Ascending a cantilevered wooden staircase are the bedrooms. The master suite features a stunning bathroom of taupe porcelain tiles and cedar wood. Down the hall, the children’s room displays ingenious planning. A moveable wardrobe unit acts as a room divider, while the general space was kept open and loft-like. (So much room to grow!)
The LG Home by Thirdstone Inc. is a modernist dream residence which thanks to efficient design and innovation, nestles seamlessly into its surrounding neighborhood.
Posted by Suzanne at 30 May, 2013
The Stacking Green House in Saigon, Vietnam is an exemplary modern dream home which embodies the very essence of eco-conscious design. Envisioned and executed by acclaimed Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia for a young family and grandmother, this structure wows with innovation and simplicity.
The natural materials (concrete, granite, wood and plants) utilized to create such a stunning home resonates with me. Based on a typical “tube house” traditionally found throughout the country’s architecture, this white concrete dwelling goes beyond. Clad with a facade of 12 magnificent levels of cantilevered planters which ascend vertically, this structure ultimately reaches a grass rooftop blossoming with flowers and small trees. This dense greenery graciously acts as a “living” screen to the dwelling, deflecting the harsh sunlight of this tropical climate, as well as the noise and air pollution of the crowded city. A system of irrigation pipes adequately waters the flora at the touch of a button.
Step inside where matte wood flooring and linear granite walls create movement and a spacious feel to the otherwise modest rooms. I also respect the ingenuity of the four-story layout which encompasses 2,368 square feet on a lot a mere 13 feet wide by 30 feet deep.
The ground floor houses one bedroom and a small courtyard, a special feature desired by the residents. A straight, narrow wooden staircase becomes sculptural with uplighting on one side. The other three levels house the main living area, kitchen and master suite. The master bathroom is an enviable space with a huge soaking tub and bowl basin with suspended vanity. The child’s room rests at the top.
Wood-framed glazed walls with doors act as optional partitions between the planters and the home’s interior. A central light shaft topped by a skylight penetrates all four floors creating a free space for daylight–and moonlight–to bounce. When sunlight peeps through the greennery, mesmerizing organic shadows and verdant hues are cast upon the living spaces.
This Stacking Green House is a modern, eco-dream house, brimming with beauty plus efficiency, inspiring not only today but for many future generations to come.
Photography by Hiroyuki Oki.
Posted by Suzanne at 30 May, 2013
Seven Design Ideas for Transforming Your Basement with Purpose
If you have an unfinished basement or a basement design that has outgrown its function, you aren’t alone. And, you’ve probably daydreamed more than once about the many ways basement remodeling could improve your home. With a little work, your basement can be transformed to suit your needs to provide your family with some much needed additional living space.
Successful basement remodeling starts with function
Before you begin making any updates to your basement, it is a smart plan to define the intended purpose of the new space. Make a list of your needs and then try to map out a design that incorporates function into your basement remodeling project. Common design ideas for the basement include transforming the space into a:
- Family media and game room: Set up a home theater system, gaming system, comfortable furniture, and table games like pool or ping pong to give your family a new place to hang out. If you have young children, you could also designate a play space for toys.
- Man cave: Surrender décor and furniture selection to the man of the house. Give him and his friends a place where they can spend time watching sports, playing poker, or doing whatever they enjoy.
- Workspace: Make a designated area for hobbies like sewing, painting, scrapbooking or crafts. Utilize shelving and personalized wall art to make the space your own.
- Guest Bedroom: Give your guests a comfortable, private place to call home while they visit.
- Gym: Set yourself up for workout success by creating an area of your home dedicated to fitness equipment. Put up mirrors, pad the floor, and give yourself the ideal space to work out.
- Second kitchen: With the addition of a second kitchen, you can prepare a fantastic meal downstairs and keep the upstairs kitchen looking spotless for entertaining guests in the meantime.
- Bar: Socialize with friends around your own basement bar. You can create an authentic bar feel by adding a mini fridge, utilizing dynamic lighting and including a television in your design.
Don’t let financing delay your remodel
If you are concerned about how to pay for your remodeling project, a home equity loan can be a great solution. Financing a basement remodel with home equity allows you to invest the equity you have built back into your home, which increases the value of the home overall. Plus, it can enable you to make changes to your basement at the time you can use and enjoy them the most, not just before you plan to sell. As with any other remodeling project that you plan to finance with a loan, you should budget for your basement remodeling project. Then, apply for a home equity loan and finalize your plans accordingly.
Content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 29 May, 2013
Built by and for the architect of Dutch firm VMX, the SODAE House sits on a private island in Amstelveen, an area south of Amsterdam. This minimalist dream home for a family with children was purposely planned to become one with the preserved, natural landscape.
Perhaps my favorite observation of this ultra-modern structure is its silhouette. Defined lines and a hard geometric shape intrigue with beautiful slopes that seem to defy gravity. It possesses a simple refinement with smooth concrete and glazing, appearing absolutely nestled within the grassy foundation…like a rock would be. The rear of the home features windows that reach the ground level and reflect its natural splendor.
Reaching just over 5,300 square feet of living space, this three-story home is vertically divided between living and private quarters. Upon the first-floor, the open kitchen is positioned between two living rooms and features a floating wall of storage and cabinetry on either side, acting as partitions to the main spaces. Smooth concrete flooring connects the spacious rooms, while a subdued color scheme of grey, white and black bursts with a bright orange kitchen, where even the fixtures zing with this same citrus tone. (Interestingly enough, the family’s pet dalmatian also seems to adhere to the color balance!)
A basic wooden bench and table is the dining area which rests underneath one of the many slanted windows of the entire space. The afforded views of this level are priceless–miles of unspoiled land, a skyline of skyscrapers and aircrafts on their flight path.
A classic ebony piano sits next to a contemporary white spiral stairwell–a strong focal element–conveying a striking contrast in both color and form. On the other side of this sparsely furnished space, a horizontal wood-burning fireplace rests at the base of one of the storage units.
Another area of interest is the lighting–and its lack of complexity. A series of clear, bare bulbs in varying shapes and sizes are scattered across the ceiling. This simplicity works so well, one may even view it as an art installment. So genius!
Another staircase also leads downstairs to the bedrooms and bathrooms which face the gardens. Perched just above ground level, the floor-to-ceiling windows (which now slope on the inverse to those in the living areas) integrate the great outdoors with the inner habitat. A centralized bathroom is captivating with a freestanding tub mimicking the architectural lines of the space itself, which welcomes the outdoors through its entirely glazed wall. A basement level features a theater and in-home gym.
The SODAE House is an intentionally-planned modern dream home with unexpected allure.
Posted by Suzanne at 29 May, 2013
When you first peek into interiors of the newest Camper store on the renowned Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, you cannot recognize what the meticulously organized wall protrusions are until you get up close, finally realizing they are shoes! Well, not actual shoes but resin replicas of the Spanish brand’s best-selling Pelota model. Nendo, the Japanese design studio responsible for various other Camper stores around the globe (including three others in New York), created this illusional and thought-provoking retail display.
What strikes me about this commercial interior is the use–or should I say refrain–of color. The white-on-white-on-white is so visually enticing and simultaneously, perhaps unexpectedly, tactile. I think it’s just plain cool how the footwear is perched heel-to-toe on translucent platforms, intermittently popping with vibrant hues. Volume ceilings create a cavernous feel, while the pattern of bright white recessed lighting across the entire ceiling adds a futuristic vibe to this store.
As an avid Manhattan shopper, I must also comment on the spaciousness. Shopping in the city is sometimes a cramped endeavor, though well worth it. The Camper store possesses an airy layout where a shopper is free to maneuver happily and freely around the stylishly casual shoe presentations.
A double-height steel framed glass facade entrance greets footwear fanatics as they step off the bustling shopping avenue. Smooth grey floors meld into the built-in mirrors and wall units, which merchandise soft goods like handbags, socks and accessories, including a speciality sailing collection. White blocks of bench seating share space with other shoe styles being displayed. A check-out island in Camper’s iconic bold red hue is a welcoming splash, garnering attention at the rear of the store.
While many of the other Camper stores also possess innovative flair, the Fifth Avenue location is brimming with a progressive, modern retail design worthy of a visit.(via)
Photography is by Jesse Goff.
Posted by Suzanne at 29 May, 2013