Why It’s Time to Go Monochrome

When it comes to redesigning a room, the first decision is usually, “which color?”. And sometimes, that can be the hardest choice of all. I can’t be the only person who has excitedly walked into a paint store, then left a short time later, overwhelmed with a thousand similar-but-different options. Who knew there could be so many shades of white? And where do I even begin with furniture? Here’s one way we bypass having to coordinate colors: designing a room with a monochromatic color palette. It’s an incredibly simple way to bring elegance to your interiors without hiring a designer. And it’s becoming increasingly popular in interior design. In this article, we’ll outline why using a single color palette is an excellent choice for any interior, and show you how to recreate the look on your own. We think you’ll be eager to embrace monochrome in no time. All you
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Berlin Heritage Building Becomes A Home

asdfg Architekten converted the oldest heritage building of Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, Germany, into an original home for a family with three children. The challenge was immense, as the authorities requested the main facade to be reconstructed exactly as depicted on a drawing from 1844. “The history and special situation of the building was a big challenge, but we also saw a high potential in it to become a very unique single family house with a garden in the center of one of the most popular neighborhoods of Berlin,” the architects said. Many elements of the old miller’s house were kept intact, such as the brick walls which add a bohemian feel to the interiors.

“As a result of the previous uses as a police station and a workshop, followed by many years of vacancy, the house was in bad condition and had many small rooms,” the architects explained. “In order to create a
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Curing Blandness with Balance

The driving concept behind the Balancing Home, a project of Luigi Rosselli Architects, is simple: Infusing the comforting collective memory of tradition with a modern understanding. Part of a growing suburb on Sydney’s North Shore, the Balancing Home Creates an equilibrium between traditional architectural styles and contemporary sensibilities by using bold finishing features and details deferential to tradition. This gives a timeless look to an otherwise potentially sterilized style. The house is oriented along the cardinal points, with the master bedroom and the front door facing east towards the rising sun and a distant ocean view. Vaulted cathedral ceilings and polished concrete floors provide a balance between traditional style and modern materials. The white and crimson colors of the home were chosen in homage to tinder and clay earth, evoking traditional building materials. The house needs no artificial air conditioning; the home stays cool from cross ventilation and
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A Modern, Stone Retreat in Bulgaria

Located in Targovishte, Bulgaria, Slight Slope Long House is a modern residence envisioned by I/O Architects as a massive horizontal volume. According to the project developers, the topography of the site resembles a cave of an antic theater:The long structure is facing the favorable sun orientation and the view in slight opposition of the slope. This way entering diagonally into the house the height of the spaces changes in relation to their grade of privacy. In the opposite direction and apart from the main progression are the guest rooms over the compressed space of the entrance and the garage.The unconventional geometry of the project leads the eye along diagonal lines, creating a fun and surprising effect.

Slight Slope Long House accommodates generously-sized living and dining areas, three bedrooms, a home office and three-car garage: “The internal structure corresponds to the complementary space of the stairs-like veranda facing
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Pitching A New Lifestyle in Kansas City

When designing Madison Residence in Kansas City, Missouri, the architects at KEM Studio sought to create something inspired by the owners’ lifestyle. Three main directions were identified during the research process: “The first was for the new house to be modern, minimal and sustainable: focus on the experience with volume, light, and interactions more than square footage. Second was to emphasize the interaction of the house with the site and hillside: draw from the owner’s rural background and her unconventional, creative interpretations. The third was direction was super-efficiency”. Despite a small budget, this contemporary home is low maintenance and sustainable.

These three challenges were approached with originality: “The design met those goals and responded to her lifestyle as a writer, musician, runner, cinephile and creative spirit. Functionally it translates into a 1,200 sf, two-bedroom, two-bath home on a modest budget”, explained the architects. The gallery below unveils a spacious home
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A Garden Home Gets Modern in Toronto

Architectural firm LGA Architectural Partners designed the Garden House as vertically stacked living spaces, so that the green space extends under large floor-to-ceiling windows, and sliding doors open at garden level. The owner of this beautiful garden house wanted to remain in her neighborhood, and did so by updating her old Edwardian house for a new construction in Toronto’s west end. Minimizing and decluttering her life influenced the more minimalist design of her new space, though there’s plenty of character and charm that makes the space feel all her own. Simple, practical and bright spaces were given character with color, texture and patterns. Built on a modest budget, this Toronto garden house has a direct connection to the outdoors and the owner’s preferences. The breakfast room at the front of the house overlooks the street through a huge window, and doubles as an indoor porch. The ground living floor is mostly opened to the garden. As
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The Modern Rejuvenation of a Classic California Home

Henbest Residence is a private house recently redesigned by Robert Sweet, located in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Initially planned and designed in 1966 by the iconic mid-century modern Architect Pierre Koenig, the building is considered a rejuvenation of a classic California home: “The new design upgrades the building envelope, MEPs, updates finishes, and gently renovates and expands the floor plan to accommodate the current owners program, while paying special attention to respect the homes architectural roots”, explained the architects. Every sequence of space is connected to a generously-sized courtyard, thus blurring the indoor-outdoor line.
By removing some walls from the structure, the architects managed to open most of the interiors towards expansive ocean views. The layout is highly functional: “A compartmentalized kitchen and service core are gutted to create an open kitchen, dining and living space. The master suite is expanded, replacing a small enclosed patio for livable square
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Redesigning New Zealand’s Matai House

Parsonson Architects were behind the redesign of Matai House, a welcoming family home in Wellington, New Zealand. The early 1900’s villa had a simple layout, with rooms situated on each side of a central hallway and a bathroom area in the back. A better connection between interiors was needed, as well as a larger living space and two more bedrooms for a growing family. Challenged by this brief, the architects decided to divide the house into two living quarters: the old house and the new, contemporary extension. As you can see in the photo gallery below, the addition has a well-defined personality: “To accentuate this difference and to connect the house with the sunny rear part of the section we created a series of concrete platforms with wooden steps between creating a new elevated family living space leading up to a larger sunnier rear courtyard. We placed the two
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Wood and Wicker in North London Apartment

Amin Taha Architects built this gabled apartment complex in the north of London, the UK. The six apartments feature traditional brick facade and distinctive projecting wicker balconies. To build this six story apartment, the architects used a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure, where layers of laminated wood are used as a skeleton instead of concrete and steel. This structure was surrounded with a facade of perforated brickwork, matching the brick facade of the two neighboring buildings. Punctuating the street facing side are large bronze framed windows. Wicker covered balconies provide a seating area for the homes, as well as a cover for the seating area below, spaced in a way that allows light. Because the interior structure is timber instead of concrete or steel, there was no need for plasterboarded walls and suspended ceilings. The CLT structure is exposed in the interior, with parts of the brick facade visible as well.
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Contrast at Play in Contemporary Vancouver Residence

In 2014, Scott Posno built this contemporary single family residence in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Vancouver, BC. Designed for a family of four, the house is decidedly modern in aesthetic, but incorporates some neighborhood specific details to complement its surroundings. The stained cedar exterior is similar to the wood siding commonly used in the area. The entryway is recessed before the second story, giving an abstracted sense to the street facing facade. Starkly contrasting the black cladding exterior are the streamlined and pale tones of the interior. The light color palette and open floor plan give this 3,000 square foot home the impression of being larger. A skylight opens to all three stories of the home, allowing natural light to filter throughout the house, including one of the most striking features of the home: the transparent glass balustrade. The family room opens onto a generously sized back deck, allowing
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Nature Inspired House of Stones in Taiwan

Ospace Architects built this four story building in Changua, Taiwain, in 2014. The site is an irregular triangle shape, and so it was not efficient or realistic to go with a standard floor plan for this 360 square meter building. The architects came up with two design concepts to complement the unusual location. The initial inspiration comes from the rock in Zhangjiajie, and so the architects chose to view the site as a stone full of shapes. All of the openings of the buildings follow the idea of carving from stone, where windows and roof are excavated rather than added. Visually the first step was separating the ground floor from the upper floors, with the exposed concrete base providing a visual barrier from the white painted upper floors. This creates the appearance of a white stone resting on an irregular rock column. Taiwan experiences subtropical weather, which was accounted for
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17 Christmas Living Rooms We’re Loving

An unforgettable Christmas is built from love, compassion, and giving. Of course, we also love Christmas time for the twinkling lights, fresh trees, and familiar carols that make us feel warm year after year. Christmas is just around the corner, so here’s a little holiday decor inspiration to get you in the spirit wherever you are this holiday season. From monochromatic Christmas decor to vividly colored holiday decorations, we found a few of our favorite places we’d love to call home for the holidays this time of year. Enjoy!

17 of our favorite modern Christmas decorations:

Shining silver

I’m dreaming of a gray Christmas. Really! White and gray guarantees the vivid Christmas tree gets all the attention, while fur textures add depth and warmth, balancing the austere color palette.

Gone coastal

Feeling the winter blues? Try the ocean blues instead – we love the seafoam and bright blues present in
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Holiday Home with Stunning Lake View in Chile

The architect Cristian Hrdalo completed the renovation of this countryside holiday home in 2008. The clients had a large family, with 8 children and 12 grandchildren, and wished to renovate the central lodge, Maiten. Smaller cabins surround the lodge, giving each family some privacy with a central space to gather. Located in southern Chile near the city of Puerto Octay, Maiten is 950 meters of beach front lake shore property. Bounded in between two streams, the lodge overlooks the Llanquihue Lake, with a view of two volcanoes, Osorno and Calbuco. The entire property is hemmed in by forests, providing privacy. The most striking architectural detail is, of course, the long rust colored house set up perpendicular to the stone masonry foundation. It gives the impression of floating above, providing a shady spot to relax and converse with a view of the water. The back of the home is open with
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Historic Spanish Bar’s Return to Former Glory

The Bar Virgen Del Carmen in Santa Pola, Spain, dates all the way back to 1860. What started as a repair to the filtration system quickly turned into a full building rehabilitation by Estudio Arn Arquitectos. When work began it was discovered that, over the decades, layers and layers of repairs, additions, modifications and removals had altered the building so completely as to be unrecognizable from the original condition. The external walls were covered by layers of mortar and different colors of paint. The interior brick walls were layered over with tiles, hiding the original brick masonry. Two levels of false ceilings blocked the original wooden beams of the ceiling from view. Extensive cleaning was undertaken. Each layer of paint and mortar had to be carefully excavated, removing years from the building until the original masonry was visible. The original roof tiles were recovered and treated for waterproofing. Both false ceilings were
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Boavista’s Public and Private Lives

Pablo Pita Arquitectos developed Boavista, a single family house renovation, in 2016. The house is named after the street it resides on, which is one of the busiest streets in Porto. Nearing ruins when the project began, the house was built in the last century, with a busy street view and a private back garden connected by 260 square meters of living space. The width of the building was predetermined by the houses in both sides, and so the focus of the renovation became opening the space between street and garden. The kitchen is the main corridor, with a movable island in the middle, giving the space flexibility. The kitchen opens onto an interior courtyard, separated by a skin of wooden shutters offering different layers of shade. The skylights on the third floor are able to reach the first floor through a clever maneuvering of the staircases in different stages, further creating
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Ex of In House Experiments in Space

The In of Ex House, by Steven Holl Architects, is an experiment in space, a response to modernist suburban homes that sprawl across their lots. Built on a forested twenty-eight acre property in Rhinebeck, New York, this house explores compression within interlocking spaces, utilizing experimental shapes within 918 square meters to create a new kind of dwelling. The house was made almost entirely from raw materials: a solid mahogany window and door frames, birch plywood walls, and a mahogany staircase. No sheetrock is used anywhere — the spherical shapes were created in thin, curved wood layers. The interior space is comprised of spherical spaces intersecting with tesseract trapezoids, creating a voluminous inner world. The utility of these spaces are also decided by intersections; there are zero bedrooms, but the house can sleep five. The resulting home is incredibly eco-friendly, utilizing geothermal heating and powered by solar electricity. Thin film solo power photo voltaic cells
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How to Modernize Your Outdated Kitchen

Whether your kitchen is a true fixer-upper from decades ago or your once-trendy laminate countertop and linoleum flooring fell out of style fast, it may be time to modernize your outdated kitchen. With new design trends showcasing creative uses of colors, modern appliances, and functional design, there are endless ways to bring your kitchen into the present day.

Whether you are trying to sell your home, or if you plan on staying in your space for generations to come – these ideas can help you transform your kitchen into the cooking space of your dreams.

Here are 10 creative ways to make your dull, outdated kitchen feel new and inviting once again.

1. Upgrade your metals

Outdated kitchens were made with materials that were popular decades ago, including metals used for kitchen hardware. With manufacturer’s releasing innovative materials and design trends following suit, it may be
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Greek Apartment Proves it’s Hip to be Square

This Greek apartment by Normless Architecture Studio and Workspace borrows trends from Scandinavian design in its low-key modernism.  For instance, black geometric patterns pop up in a collection of hip furniture and artwork throughout the 500-square-foot apartment. On one side, a sectional sofa and muted artwork naturally delineate a living room in the open apartment.  This comfy space has modern touches, like matching geometric coffee tables and a smooth stone wall with cut outs for shelving, a TV, and a fireplace. The light wood dining has a simple design, drawing attention instead to its paper lantern chandeliers.  The light pink and white cylinders give the space an ethereal feel.  The black square-paneled window behind the table also grabs your attention.  It opens up to the apartment’s minimalist kitchen and breakfast nook. The design team echoed this style in the sliding door separating the master bedroom
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Edwardian Extension Gets a Bold Look

Poly Studio completed this home extension on an Edwardian weatherboard house in Melbourne, Australia. Located in the suburb of Balaclava, the house inhabits a corner lot, giving it multiple front angles and first impressions from the street. The home is divided into three quarters: the original Edwardian structure houses the parents’ zone, completed with master bedroom, bathroom and study. The ground floor of the extension hosts a living and dining room, connected with kitchen and laundry, opening out into the garden. The second floor of the extension has the children’s bedrooms, and a balcony overlooking the garden. The extension was intended to complement the original structure without overpowering it. The original home was finished in weatherboard cladding, which had been painted white. To complement this, the extension was clad in Silvertop Ash, a hardwood, then stained black to contrast the original building. The extension is pushed down on the
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Bold Linear Shapes Form this Canadian Ski-In Lodge

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson completed this modern ski-in / ski-out lodge called Kicking Horse Residence for its location in British Columbia.  The owners wanted a weekend property capable of housing plenty of guests.  With that in mind, the design incorporates ladders leading up to bonus, lofted sleeping area with maple bunk beds. This home includes two distinct volumes.  It nestles the sleeping and bath spaces above the garage and below a slanted ceiling.  The black-stained cedar cantilevered roof creates a striking look — a nod to modern Scandinavian design.  For its part, the garage includes a custom cedar bi-fold door. The second volume houses a central kitchen for entertaining and an open dining and living room, complete with a cozy fireplace.  The design team oriented this space toward the mountain peaks.  Meanwhile, an adjacent ski trail invites residents and guests to get out and
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