Hacienda San Jose Lavista is a fairytale retreat in San Miguel Allende

April 24, 2017 by  
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Set in the hills overlooking San Miguel Allende, the striking Hacienda San Jose Lavista is a beautiful retreat surrounded by expansive vineyards, lakes, and fields of wild flowers. Designed by architects Jose Seoane Castro and Pedro Urquiza to be a romantic getaway, the idyllic hotel pays respect to traditional building practices – including using adobe as the primary building material. Looking to colonial Mexican architecture for inspiration, Castro and Urquiza used traditional adobe as a primary building material. Adobe allowed the architects to forgo common structural elements, instead creating 50-centimeter thick walls to support the building’s mass. Related:Casa Xixim is an eco-friendly, self-sustaining resort in Mexico Castro and Urquiza reportedly designed the complex to be romantic retreat. In addition to the luxury suites, a picturesque chapel sits on a small pond, creating a picture-perfect setting for weddings or baptisms. Hotel guests can also enjoy various interior and exterior patios, game rooms, a pool and plenty of private nooks that look out over the gardens. Multiple pieces of local art and traditional furniture were used in the hotel’s interior design – another nod to the area’s long artisan history. + Hacienda San Jose Lavista Images via Hacienda San Jose Lavista

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Hacienda San Jose Lavista is a fairytale retreat in San Miguel Allende

6 tips for making your home a minimalist masterpiece from celebrity realtor Richard Nassimi

March 30, 2017 by  
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Spring is in the air! If you’re hoping to give your home a seasonal refresh, celebrity realtor Richard Nassimi has some tips on how you can spruce your space up by paring down. As the CEO of The Nassimi Group , Nassimi has helped stars like actress Lindsey Lohan, musician Bow Wow and basketball player Jeremy Lin with their luxury apartments searches, and specializes in creating minimalist design concepts for pre-furnished homes. Read on for some of Nassimi’s top pointers on how to achieve a simple, clean and high-end aesthetic in your space. 1. “One of the best ways to achieve a minimalist atmosphere in your home is to limit the number of furnishings to just a few key pieces,” says Nassimi . “In our living rooms, we might only have a couch, another chair, a coffee table, and a couple of lamps. Or even less – a bedroom might only have a simple bed, a dresser, and night stand. It’s all about quality over quantity. The fewer pieces of furniture, the better.” RELATED: 6 ways to add passive solar features to your home 2. “The next step is to think ‘out of sight’,” says Chanel Korby, Business Development Director at TNG . “Except for the bare essential furniture, there should be nothing else on the floors. Generally, TNG stores items out of sight (drawers, cabinets, etc.) except for a few simple decorations. We also keep surfaces clear -there are no knickknacks, stacks of books, papers etc.” 3. Korby also recommends anchoring furnishings to the perimeter of a room in order to keep floor space open for an unobstructed flow. The more of your floor surface that is visible, the more your eye perceives a larger space. 4. Nassimi says he also favors the use of plain window treatments. “The TNG team prefers very simple window coverings because too many ornate coverings around the windows can make the space appear too busy,” he explains. 5. “The final thing to consider is the addition of simple accent decorations,” says Korby. “Otherwise, a home would be too boring. We typically just use simple vase with a few flowers or bare walls with a piece of art, like a drawing or a photo.” To see more of The Nassimi Group’s minimalist-luxe listings, visit their website via the link below. + The Nassimi Group

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6 tips for making your home a minimalist masterpiece from celebrity realtor Richard Nassimi

Spruce up your home with this verdant Living Table

March 24, 2017 by  
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If you’re looking to greenify your home, look no further than the plant-filled Living Table . At first glance, the table appears to be a simple square planter covered in a glass top, but an integrated capillary system within the design actually mimics how plants naturally grow, while eliminaing the need for drainage. The high-tech system offers an attractive low-maintenance planter that even those without a green thumb can manage. The Living Table has an integrated passive sub irrigation system that creates a capillary action where water flows upwards. This system, along with the ideal balance of moisture to aeration in the base, results in an attractive planter that doesn’t need drainage. The low-maintenance design, which allows the plants to auto regulate, is perfect for those who find themselves constantly killing their plants because of too much or too little water. Related: Give your succulents their own spacesuits with this 3D-printed planter As far as planting, the  Living Table system is designed for low-growing, ground cover type plants that won’t grow tall enough to touch the glass. Standard 4” plant containers or smaller can be placed directly onto the Habitat Horticulture Growtex capillary mat or plants can be directly planted into the table base using any standard potting soil. Although the planter design is meant to be low-maintenance, the manufacturers are careful to point out that the plants’ specific needs should be considered before planting. The Living Table comes in two sizes with either a stainless steel or powder white finish, and can be all yours for as little as $850.00. + The Living Table

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Spruce up your home with this verdant Living Table

Beautiful cliffside home ‘split in half’ by landslide rebuilt with wooden pods

March 21, 2017 by  
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Sometimes beautiful design is just fate. When AR Design Studio decided to add an extension to a cliffside home on the UK’s South Coast, the entire house ended up being split in half due to a major landslide . Fortunately, the architects stayed on to design a replacement house, resulting in a beautiful vacation home called the Crow’s Nest. This time, however, the gorgeous structure, which is made out of four wooden “pods,” was built with highly-engineered technology to stabilize the structure against future land movements. The Crow’s Nest home is built looking over a large cliff on the UK’s South Coast. To secure the new home against future natural disasters , the architects worked with engineers to create an integrated system that could resist major land movements. The system entailed installing dwarfs walls into a massive concrete slat that sits underneath the home. This was strategic to creating an adjustable raft-like structural frame where the walls absorb any major land movement. In this case, mechanical jacks installed underneath the frame would be able to re-level the house afterwards. Related: These 6 extraordinary cliffside homes will give you chills Although the original home was severely damaged by the landslide, the architects managed to use its original cabin design as inspiration for the new one. The team created an elongated structure with a series of four “twisted” pods, creating a unique contemporary cabin character . Clad in beautiful blond larch panels, the home seamlessly blends in with the surrounding landscape. The entryway is made up of the smallest pod , which leads into the main living area. The “tower pod” to the left houses the large master bedroom, along with the children’s bedroom and bathrooms. The remaining pod on the right of the living area is a guest space that can be closed when not in use. The interior comprises a light, airy design with a modern cabin feel. Bold wooden furnishings are found throughout, but the use of various industrial materials give the space a contemporary touch. Large windows offer optimal natural light as well as stunning views of the forest and coastal views. + AR Design Studio Via Design Milk Photography by Martin Gardner

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Beautiful cliffside home ‘split in half’ by landslide rebuilt with wooden pods

How to nail the rustic modern aesthetic with barn lights

March 6, 2017 by  
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We love the promises of modern design here at Inhabitat. The elegance and efficiency of modernism provides ease and comfort, clearing clutter and solving life’s little problems. However, overly minimalist interiors are often criticized for a lack of personality, warmth and comfort. Happily, we’ve found that you can have your modern cake and eat it too, by combining the best elements of modernism with tried-and-true vintage design classics that bring a necessary dose of familiarity, practicality and comfort into the home. A shining paragon of what we’d call Rustic Modern design is the humble and charming LED barn light . It’s the perfect marriage of the latest energy-efficient LED technology with the vintage aesthetic of the old-fashioned industrial lamp. It evokes a simpler time of family farms and Victory Gardens , and can bring warmth to an overly sterile space. From outdoor walkways to kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, here are ten inspiring examples of how homeowners have used LED barn lights to add a dose of warmth and humanity to modern residential spaces, while lowering their energy bill. There’s a reason that the iconic ‘ barn light ‘ was the shape of almost every inexpensive utilitarian lamp for such a long time – the simple metal design makes for an extremely practical and durable task lamp. The funnel shape of the metal baffle blocks ambient light from escaping in all directions, reduces glare, and focuses the light downward toward a task. The gooseneck that is familiar element of wall-mounted barn lamps allows the light to be positioned where needed. And in outdoor settings the barn lighting prevents light pollution, making it easier to see a path at night. A company called Cocoweb has taken the increasingly sought after barn light aesthetic and merged it with the latest LED technology, providing a futuristic, energy-saving lamp in a charming vintage package. Cocoweb’s Barn Lights are eco-friendly, fully dimmable, low-energy and last for over 20 years without ever needing a bulb change. Energy-saving lighting has thankfully become less expensive and widely available everywhere over the years, but many LED lamps on the market tend to be futuristic. When designers are looking for an old-fashioned aesthetic, through vintage lamps or Edison Bulbs, that charming vibe often comes paired with a doozy of an energy hog. Edison lightbulbs, a.k.a incandescent bulbs and halogen lamps, are extremely inefficient and consume tons of energy, wasting most of their energy input in the form of heat instead of visible light. LED light bulbs are extremely energy efficient, but for the early part of their public career they’ve been mostly associated with futuristic, bluish, 2001-A-Space-Odyssey style lighting. But LEDs can certainly provide a warm glow and work with a more classic aesthetic as well, as exemplified in the above photo. (Yes, those cute vintage lamps are LED lamps). Barn lights in brass or cherry red put a bolder, more vibrant spin on rustic modern design, proving that ‘rustic’ need not be limited to a neutral color palette. These jade pendants add retro flare and stand out as a statement piece in this apartment’s dining room. As shown in the photo above, vintage-looking LED lamps can achieve a distinctly intimate and cozy feeling. These jade LED barn lights shine 1600 lumens for over 50,000 hours (or 20 years), and offer a delightful pop of color and a timeless feel when paired with wide plank flooring, wooden cabinetry and natural stone. This warm meeting room epitomizes modern rustic style. With clean lines, midcentury modern furniture and white walls, this space would feel ultra modern if not for the softening touches of these classic matte black oldage pendants and the vibrantly patterned throw rug underneath the coffee table. These outdoor vintage green gooseneck barn lights were combined with a white washed exterior and farmhouse furnishings, turning a modern patio into a more pastoral setting. The entryway in the above photo maintains a decidedly contemporary vibe, but the subtle matte black LED sconces add a more welcoming feeling. The durable weather-proof coating and MET-listed safety rating make these LED lights equipped for both indoor and outdoor use. These matte black barn light sconces work just as well in the indoors as they do in the outdoors. The barn lights from Cocoweb have over 5,000 combinations of arms, colors and shades to choose from, making it easy to customize for any style space. Especially when combined with a bit of wood, these subtle Blackspot pendants can upgrade even the most modern spaces to exude rustic charm. This bright country interior is quite minimalist and white, but is warmed with the curves and light of the barn light sconce, along with the light wood and plaid patterned furnishings. ABOUT COCOWEB Cocoweb has been operating out of Irvine, California for over 50 years. If you’re itching to start a renovation, the company’s fast and free shipping will deliver to your doorstep as quickly as one business day. And each fixture has a 30 day satisfaction guaranteed return policy and a 2-year warranty. Their Design Corner will connect you with a variety of recommended interior designers and contractors in your area, should you choose not go the DIY route. If want more inspiration and eye candy, check out the Cocoweb blog . + Cocoweb

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How to nail the rustic modern aesthetic with barn lights

Architects of France’s first passive house unveil latest extraordinary design

February 13, 2017 by  
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From the architects who created France’s first passive house comes another wonder of green design located just outside of Paris. Karawitz Architects have just finished work on the Marly House, a large family passive home designed to “live openly” within the community. The unique aesthetic of the structure is meant to “awaken the curiosity of the passers-by”. The extreme gabled roof pays homage to the traditional vernacular of the French community, but its pre-greyed larch cladding (CLT prefabricated) gives the home a strong contemporary feel. Related One of France’s First Passivhaus is a Wonder of Green Design The home was built on an incline, which from a certain angle, gives off the impression that the structure is levitating above ground. A perforated galvanized-steel fence allows for some privacy without closing off communication entirely with the community. On the interior, the architects went with a minimalist touch for the large 145-square-meter space. Raw materials such as steel and concrete were left exposed to create a sense of airiness. A large central fireplace is at the heart of the interior and is the only active heating system in the passive home . The bedrooms on the top floor have large windows that were installed almost at ceiling height, protecting the privacy of the homeowners while providing natural light into the interior. Although the interior may seem a bit cold at first glance, warm touches like colorful furniture and a playful childrens room with a climbing ladder add a sense of whimsy to the design + Karawitz Architects Photographs by Schnepp Renou  

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Upcycled urban cafe in India modeled after communal "chawls"

January 30, 2017 by  
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Call it what you will, but the creators of Cyber Hub Studio in New Delhi have applied their “anti-design” style of minimal intervention and maximum up-cycling to create one very unique urban cafe. To create the Cyber Hub Studio, a 5,000-square-foot warehouse inspired by traditional communal-living chawls found throughout India, the firm filled the space with vast array of quirky odds and ends. The designers focused on adapting a low-cost housing model from the beginning of the project, but the principal theme of chawls led the design scheme. Chawls are large buildings divided into separate tenements, which were used to provide very basic accommodation to mill laborers in Indian cities. Related: Tokyo factory is transformed into an industrial-chic Blue Bottle Coffee cafe According to the architects’ description, this theme was meant to emit a message of unified coexistence to visitors of the cafe,” Chawls were first created to house as many mill workers in one building – a space that was efficient and functional. In the same way, the hub has evolved into a space that symbolizes community living – a place that stands for unity, togetherness, security, camaraderie, cultural essence and ethos – minus all of the pretences of modern day life.” The design team went the distance to incorporate colors and themes typically found in the makeshift housing units, recreating the appearance of a thriving social living situation with a festive, creative twist that makes it an intriguing hangout for socializing. On the interior, a dark narrow hallway is flanked by rooms on either side, each one with a distinct decor. Upcycled materials and furniture are found throughout the rooms, which lead to a central courtyard that houses a bar and dance floor. Once outdoors, revelers can enjoy seating made out of large concrete pipes that have been “artistically vandalised” with graffiti. Via Archdaily + Chromed Design Studio Photography by Suryan / Dang

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Upcycled urban cafe in India modeled after communal "chawls"

Bjarke Ingels and other outstanding designers star in a new Netflix series called ‘Absract’

January 24, 2017 by  
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Design lovers: pull up a sofa and get ready for a serious Netflix binge sesh. On February 10, Netflix is revealing a show called Abstract: The Art of Design that features conversations about the revolutionary impetus of design. The series features rock star architect and BIG founder Bjarke Ingels, graphic designer Paula Scher, automotive designer Ralph Gilles and interior designer Ilse Crawford, among others. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=63&v=DYaq2sWTWAA Netflix just released a preview of the show, which will be released in its entirety on February 10th. It shows Bjarke Ingels flying through the air like Superman, which is apt, since Ingels promises to be a superhero of a star for a show about design. The gregarious architect routinely garners massive audiences for his TED talks and he has been featured in numerous major magazines. Related: 10 Must-See Documentaries You Can Stream on Netflix Right Now Other designers on the show may be slightly less well known, but they are massively important in their own fields. Ilse Crawford has changed the way interior design impacts the way we live, Nike designer Tinker Hatfield oversees Nike’s Innovation Kitchen and photographer Platon has helped us see world leaders in a way we never have before. The show is produced by Wired Editor-in-Chief Scott Dadich. “Abstract is an eight-episode documentary series about creativity, about visionary designers who shape the world around us—from architecture to illustration, cars to typography,” said Dadich. Via Architizer

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Bjarke Ingels and other outstanding designers star in a new Netflix series called ‘Absract’

Decrepit 19th century chapel converted into a breathtaking home

January 22, 2017 by  
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From the beginning, the principal renovation objective was to retain as much of the old church’s original essence as possible, keeping the beautiful arched windows intact and working around the rather complicated floorplan. To retain the original feel of the chapel layout , the design team went for an open mezzanine floor design. Related: Majestic church is transformed into a gorgeous modern family home in Chicago “One of the main elements of the Chapel is the Gothic style arched windows that elegantly frame the beautiful views and allow the space to fill with light. Before the mezzanine floor could be considered we had to ensure that the new ceiling line would not obstruct any of the windows,” says designer Paul King. “Our approach was to provide solutions that answered the brief, but did not alter the historic details or essence of the Chapel. The main hall was the core element that gives the Chapel its feel of space and with its detailed simplicity it became the heart of the proposed design.” For anyone who’d love to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Chapel on the Hill guest home has four bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living room, and offers stunning views of the expansive countryside. + Evolution Design Via Archdaily Photographs via Evolution Design

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Decrepit 19th century chapel converted into a breathtaking home

Tech entrepreneur renovates UK castle into a giant happy office space

January 20, 2017 by  
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When entrepreneur Chris Morling decided to renovate a historic castle into his company’s UK headquarters, he looked for a designer who would think out of the box, and well … that’s exactly what he got. Morling hired famed designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen who teamed up with Interaction to take on the massive task of transforming the “ugly, unfriendly and un-creative” interior into a dizzyingly vibrant office space with plenty of sustainable features for money.co.uk . https://youtu.be/KiSFafxBGpk Located in Cirencester, UK, the 10,000-square-foot Victorian Castle is now filled with a dizzying hodgepodge of colorful paints and quirky design features , from Rolling Stone-inspired toilets and suits of armour to a Star Wars-themed cinema and even an ice cave meeting room. Although certainly flashy, the office space is really geared to the comfort of the employees. There are plenty of distinct areas for team meetings or quiet nooks like the library for a little bit of solitude. Nature lovers can enjoy the large vertical garden wall in the reception area, which is equipped with automatic water release system. Related: Medieval Italian Castle Transformed into Modern Mountain Museum Mr. Morling told the Daily Mail that the inspiration behind the renovation was to make his employees happy, “It is about making this a wonderful place, a productive place to work,” he said. “What we have done is modeled all the design around the needs of the team. Some people want to stand while they work, some people to work alone. Ultimately it boils down to creating a space where you feel comfortable.” Thankfully though, this design isn’t purely in-your-face aesthetics. The castle was installed with a super-efficient high specification energy recovery system that provides fresh air ventilation into every single room in the castle, cutting down on the office’s energy needs. For further energy conservation , each room is equipped with passive infrared sensors that light up when people are in the room and turn off when they aren’t. + Money.co.uk + Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen + Interaction Via The Daily Mail Images courtesy of Interaction

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