Why natural stone is the best choice for your fireplace

September 26, 2017 by  
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Now that fall has started to settle in, there’s nothing better than getting cozy next to a roaring fire. And when it comes to fireplace design, natural stone is simply the most elegant, durable, and efficient material around. Natural stone retains heat better than just about anything out there, it’s practically maintenance-free, and it’s incredibly resistant to wear and tear. On top of that, it can handle extremes in temperature and doesn’t suffer from rot and mold like other materials. Whether it’s time to update your old brick fireplace or build something new, read on to find out why natural stone is the greenest choice. Zebrino marble fireplace – Image courtesy of Aria Stone Gallery Heat retention Natural stone absorbs, stores and radiates heat, so it can actually improve the efficiency of your home as the the warmth of a fire radiates throughout your space. Marble and limestone are particularly good at absorbing heat, while granite is particularly good at conducting heat. Basalt and soapstone are particularly good at storing heat and releasing it slowly over a long period of time. Stacked stone fireplace – Image courtesy of Eldorado Stone Low maintenance Natural stone is exceptionally easy to maintain – simply give it a wipe with a cloth every now and then to keep it looking new. That said, some stones, like marble, are porous so you may want to consider sealing them to help prevent dirt or soot from settling in. Regardless of the type of stone you use, you’ll be able to spend your time enjoying it rather than trying to maintain it. Image via Deposit Photos Longevity Natural stone is one of world’s oldest building materials – and it’s extraordinarily long-lasting. Just look at ancient buildings around the world – stone survives while other materials fade and rot away. Some stone surfaces can last many lifetimes without losing their luster, while others like limestone will weather beautifully over time. Stacked stone fire pit – Image courtesy of Marmiro Stones Durability Natural stone is known for being practically indestructible. It can handle wear and tear without falling apart, and it’s extremely resistant to water damage and mold. That’s why people use stone in areas that take the most beating – like countertops, floors, bathrooms and fireplaces. Related: How stone can help you create a more sustainable home Types of stone While you can choose just about any natural stone for your fireplace, there are a few options that are particularly well suited for the space. Limestone and soapstone are clean and simple, with a more modern feel, while slate is incredibly durable with a rustic vibe. Marble has a rich beauty that is impossible to replicate – and it can be honed or polished if you want a more formal look. Granite is a great choice for any contemporary space, and it’s one of the hardest and strongest stones available. If you prefer something dramatic, you can’t go wrong with a richly textured stone like quartzite. + Use Natural Stone Thanks in part to the Natural Stone Institute for sponsoring this post

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Why natural stone is the best choice for your fireplace

Volcanic eruption of Bali’s Mount Agung will cool Earth’s temperature

September 26, 2017 by  
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When Bali’s Mount Agung erupts in the near future, which could come at any moment, climate watchers may notice a slight shift from the seemingly endless global temperature rise . Ever so slightly, global temperatures will drop in the wake of the eruption. While this may sound like good news, it will only serve to temporarily cool down the planet. If Mount Agung’s most recent eruption offers any insight, the global temperature drop from the imminent volcanic activity should be approximately 0.1-0.4 degrees Celsius, as it was in 1963. Although this may not seem like much, even a small change in global temperature can make a significant difference on climate. For example, during the most recent Ice Age, the planet’s global temperature was only 5 degrees Celsius cooler than it is today. The significant cooling that should follow Agung’s eruption is the result of its spewing ash and sulfur dioxide into the air. When the sulfur dioxide reacts with the water vapor in the atmosphere, it becomes sulfuric acid. Accumulation of these droplets creates an atmospheric haze, which blocks the Sun’s ultraviolet rays from reaching the Earth, which causes the global cooling. Though the haze can remain in the atmosphere for years, its effects are short lived. “They’re small enough that they can stay up there for a while … but eventually they get rained out,” said Richard Arculus, Emeritus Professor in geology at the Australian National University. “These are short-term effects, not like the enduring, year after year injection of carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels — which keeps accumulating.” Related: NASA considers puncturing Yellowstone supervolcano to save life on Earth Though the cooling effects may be significant, and brief, you are unlikely to notice any major temperature change on the ground. However, it is not unheard of for volcanic eruptions to cause disruptive changes to the planet’s climate. For example, the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia resulted in what has become known as the Year Without Summer, during which Europe and the Northeast United States suffered from major crop losses due to unseasonable frost and lack of sunlight sufficient for plants . Via Australian Broadcasting Corporation Images via Martin Garrido , Jonathan Lin , and Flickr/unukorno

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Volcanic eruption of Bali’s Mount Agung will cool Earth’s temperature

Cool micro studio in Budapest makes the most out of 344 square feet

September 25, 2017 by  
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Space-efficient design is of the utmost importance when creating livable tiny spaces like this beautiful 344-square-foot studio located in Budapest, Hungary. The compact space was designed by Studio Bunyik for the homeowner who likes to socialize at home. Using bespoke furniture pieces by local company Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop to designate individual spaces, the design team shrewdly created an open floor plan that manages to make the most out of the small interior. The micro space was outfitted with all of the comforts of home, including a fully-equipped kitchen and dining area, study, and lounge. The spaces are all divided with singular furniture pieces , creating a comfy and functional living space that doubles as an office during the day and entertaining space on the weekend. Related: At Just 150 Sq. Ft., This Tiny Real Estate Office is One of NYC’s Smallest Workplaces The wooden furniture was all hand crafted by a local furniture company, The Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop. All of the furniture was designed to give the homeowner a space for all of his hobbies and passions as well as functional pieces like his work station or wooden ladder that leads to the sleeping loft. + Studio Bunyik + Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop Via Dwell Photography via Bence Farkasinszki  

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Cool micro studio in Budapest makes the most out of 344 square feet

IKEA’s new augmented reality app could totally change the way we shop

September 13, 2017 by  
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Ever purchased a piece of furniture, only to find out later it didn’t fit the style or size of the room? Swedish furniture maker IKEA is tackling this problem with a free augmented reality (AR) application that utilizes Apple’s new ARKit technology . The app will let users experience how sofas, armchairs, coffee tables and other furnishing items will fit into their homes in augmented reality. According to the IKEA press release, all products experienced through the app are 3D and true to scale. This ensures “every choice is just the right size, design and function.” Said Michael Valdsgaard, Leader Digital Transformation at Inter IKEA Systems, “IKEA Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles, and colors in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger. Augmented reality and virtual reality will be a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet. Only this time, much faster.” Users will also have the option of capturing the setting in the app and sharing it as an image or a video with friends. Related: IKEA’s SPACE10 lab is bringing a pop-up vertical farm to London IKEA is the first home furnishing company to build on Apple’s new technology to create an AR app that ensures customers are confident with their purchases. Reportedly, the app has a 98 percent accuracy as it scales products based on room dimensions. “The AR technology is so precise that you will be able to see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on your furnishings,” says the press release. “ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” added Valdsgaard. “ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” added Valdsgaard. Beginning late-September, users with an iOs 11 may download and enjoy the app. In total, 2,000 IKEA products will be available to experiment with. The first release will focus on larger furniture products, including all sofas, armchairs, footstools, coffee tables and top-selling “storage solutions” that can be placed on the floor.  Data collected from the application will also play a role in the launch of new product lines. “Now, technology has caught up with our ambition. AR lets us redefine the experience for furniture retail once more, in our restless quest to create a better everyday life for everyone, everywhere,” said Valdsgaard. To use the IKEA app, all one needs to do is: upgrade their device to iOS 11, download the IKEA Place app for free from the Apple store, scan the floor in your home, browse the list of available products in the app, select a chosen furniture item to experience, and move and place the product into the space. It is that simple! + IKEA  Images via IKEA

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IKEA’s new augmented reality app could totally change the way we shop

Karton creates ultra-durable cardboard furniture for every room in your home

September 5, 2017 by  
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Cardboard furniture doesn’t have to be boring. A startup from Melbourne, Karton Group has just opened a new Brooklyn showroom featuring a wide range of practical furniture pieces, all made from incredibly durable cardboard that is 100 percent recyclable. Although the company originated in Australia, the young startup has recently opened a showroom in Brooklyn, New York featuring their range of cardboard furniture . Everything they produce is made from recycled materials and free from toxins. The furniture pieces, which are constructed with super high-grade corrugated paper board, include everything from a bed frame, nightstand, and chest of drawers to an elegant work desk. Although the design of the furniture line was inspired to provide affordable furnishings, the aesthetic is surprisingly clean and polished . Related: This beautiful furniture by Emilie Mazeau-Langlais is actually made from cardboard For those worried about stability, the cardboard furniture is said to be exceptionally durable. Designed to last for more than 10 years, the fun furnishings are as practical as it gets. As for sturdiness, the Karton Bed, for example, has a load capacity of over two tons. Another bonus? The furniture can be assembled in a matter of minutes, without tools. The designers use an innovative system of folds and tabs to shape the furniture into place following simple, printed assembly instructions. The company also offers various step-by-step video tutorials online. + Karton Group

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Karton creates ultra-durable cardboard furniture for every room in your home

Old coal crane in Denmark converted into swanky hanging retreat and spa

September 1, 2017 by  
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Although stress relief comes in many forms, soaking in a swanky sauna hanging over the water may just be the new trend in spa design . Danish firm Arcgency has converted a former coal crane into The Krane, a multi-tiered structure topped with a soothing spa retreat that overlooks Copenhagen’s industrial harbor. The Krane space was carved out of a former coal crane that has sat overlooking Nordhavn’s industrial port for years. The creative adaptive reuse project was a collaboration between owner Klaus Kastbjerg and architect Mads Møller from Arcgency, who wanted to convert the old crane into a useful space for the city. Related: World’s first ‘cranehouse’ hoisted over Bristol harbor is completely carbon neutral The first floor of the crane was converted into a glass-enclosed meeting space called the Glass Box. A calming spa and wraparound terrace are on located on the second floor, and on the top floor, guests can enjoy a calming lounge space and additional terrace that looks out over the water. Paying homage to the crane’s industrial history, the structure was clad entirely in a stark black, on the interior as well as the exterior. The monochromatic color scheme was used to reduce distractions, intentionally putting the sole focus on the beautiful 360-degree views of the harbor. The space was decorated with minimal furnishings made out of leather, wood, stone and steel – most of which were custom built so they could disappear into wall panels. Local artists were commissioned to create various pieces, which are also subtly embedded into the walls. Møller explains that the monochromatic color scheme was inspired by the crane’s new use as a soothing getaway , “It’s all part of the vision, where the focus has been the integration of sensations—sight, sound and stemning (the Danish word for atmosphere). The Krane involved a 360-degree inside-outside approach. Natural light directly affects how we feel in a space and our happiness overall. So we optimized the inside to capture natural daylight and set the stage for the views of the water outside.” + The Krane + Arcgency Via Dwell

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Lakeside cabin made out of reclaimed wood is as idyllic as it gets

August 29, 2017 by  
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Seattle-based architects, Hoedemaker Pfeiffer  just unveiled a contemporary cabin-style home built on the banks of beautiful Lake Chelan. The architects used planks of reclaimed wood to build the stunning home, which sits overlooking incredibly scenic views. Think they have a guest room for us? The lake house design is a contemporary take on the traditional wooden cabin , with plenty of carefully cultivated rustic charm included throughout. The 3,300- square-foot structure – which is clad in reclaimed lumber and roofed with corrugated galvanized steel – sits on a heavily-wooded lot with front slope of natural stone. The interior is a bright and airy space with wooden flooring and exposed Doug Fir beams in the kitchen and living room. Related: Architect Jim Olson spent 55 years renovating this breathtaking Puget Sound cabin However, it’s clearly the lake view that inspired the beautiful home’s design. Large windows in virtually every room flood the interior with natural light as well as offer breathtaking views of the picturesque surroundings. The heart of the home is the open-air terrace that sits adjacent to the lake’s edge. Covered with a chunky wooden pergola , the outdoor area is complete with a glass-enclosed fire pit and plenty of comfy seating. + Hoedemaker Pfeiffer Photography by Thomas J. Story  

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Lakeside cabin made out of reclaimed wood is as idyllic as it gets

This gorgeous ‘Tree House Tower’ was built using repurposed timber and old ship materials

August 29, 2017 by  
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When architect Jason McLennan isn’t busying working on Leonardo DiCaprio’s new eco resort off the coast of Belize, the talented designer is enjoying some amazing views from his five-story “tree house tower” on Seattle’s beautiful Bainbridge Island. The home, which was built in 1978, was constructed out of reclaimed timber and outfitted with various repurposed ship materials. The three-bedroom, four-bathroom house is located on a secluded lot surrounded by a wall of 200-foot cedar trees on one side and the Puget Sound on the other. The home was built in 1978 by an unknown architect, who used salvaged wooden posts – which reportedly date back more than 100 years – in the construction. Related: Delightful treehouse residence weaves through a forest in Thailand The bohemian-inspired interior, which is well-lit by an abundance of large windows and skylights, is filled with repurposed trinkets taken from an old ship. Many of the windows were made out of old portholes and the home’s various brass doorknobs were repurposed from an old sailing boat. McLennan’s architectural studio is on the top floor where he has used the lush natural setting of the island as inspiration for his building designs, “It’s just nature’s paradise,” he said. “Everything is nestled in the trees, so the trees are intact and the ecosystem is intact. You do feel like you’re in a special place when you’re there.” Although the interior of the house is undeniably incredible, the outdoor space is definitely the heart of the home. Perennial gardens surround the outdoor areas, which include a massive outdoor chimney, covered dining area and lounge, Koi pond, fruit orchard, and even a basketball court. Of course, there are plenty of secluded nooks located on the grounds for solitude amongst the beautiful lush foliage. + Jason McLennan Via Dwell Photography by Eric Hecht  

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This gorgeous ‘Tree House Tower’ was built using repurposed timber and old ship materials

Stunning home in India blends into the earth with segmented green roofs

August 14, 2017 by  
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Jodhpur-based firm Misa Architects has created a contemporary concrete home that – despite its brutalist structure – manages to blend in to its bucolic surroundings. Tucked into rural farmland, the concrete and glass house is sandwiched between the rolling green landscape and a series of verdant green roofs . The home is located on agricultural farmland just outside of Vansajada, India, and it was designed to create a harmonic balance with the natural horizon. Although the building is made from concrete, its elongated shape, segmented green roofs, and verdant landscaping help camouflage it amidst the land. Related: Massive stone walls rotate to bring natural light inside this extraordinary Indian home The home’s structure is broken up into various segments, courtyards and open-air spaces that create a dynamic living environment. The abundant greenery embeds the home within its sites while providing natural insulation to keep the interior cool during India’s sweltering summer months. The roof features a water collection system that reuses rainwater to irrigate the on-site greenery. The home features open-air courtyards and well-lit nooks that create a seamless connection between the interior and exterior. Large glass windows and doors also bring in an optimal amount of natural light . + Misa Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Zurich Shah

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Stunning home in India blends into the earth with segmented green roofs

10 gorgeous vintage lamps that add rustic modern charm to any space

August 2, 2017 by  
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These days, everyone seems to be embracing the appeal of rustic modern decor . While modern design is sometimes perceived as being cold and sterile, a touch of rustic charm goes a long way towards infusing a space with warmth, charm, and personality. One of the easiest ways to nail the rustic modern aesthetic is with vintage industrial lights, which have withstood the test of time – and they look incredible when paired with other hallmarks of rustic modernism like natural stone, salvaged wood , and cozy textiles. We’ve rounded up 10 lamps that set the right tone for the perfect rustic modern space – check them out after the break! Cocoweb ‘s beautiful vintage-styled lights make the perfect addition to any rustic modern interior. From clean industrial barn lights and wall lanterns to colorful pendants and eye catching bulkhead lights , you’re sure to find one to suit your space – and thanks to LED technology, these lamps are much more efficient than their forebears. Read on for 10 of our favorite rustic modern lights – and if you’re struggling to find the right look, check out Cocoweb’s Interior Design Directory for a heaping dose of inspiration. Oldage LED Pendant Light Barn lights are the ultimate example of rustic modern design, with a vintage silhouette that has been around for ages. The Oldage LED Pendant Light updates a classic shape with the latest LED technology and finishes that are anything but bland. We love the copper color, which adds warmth and brightness to any room. Goodyear Indoor/Outdoor Barn Light Cocoweb’s Goodyear Barn Lights are a mainstay for any rustic modern space. Not only do they come in a wide range of colors – you can also choose the perfect size and stem style, which means that no matter how challenging your space is, there’s one that will be just right for you. And if they don’t already have exactly what you need, the Goodyear light is fully customizable . Blackspot LED Pendant Light Sometimes all you need is a little spot of light. The Blackspot LED Pendant provides focused task lighting and, when you choose a fun color like this dreamy jade, it can add a lively pop to neutral interiors. The braided cord can be adjusted to suit the height you need, and it comes in 8″, 10″, 12″ and 14″ shade sizes. Rockhampton Nautical Wall Sconce The Rockhampton Nautical Wall Sconce features an aged brass cage that evokes seaside days gone by. Meanwhile, the filament LED gives you all the benefits of energy-efficient light without detracting from the vintage look. Palmerston Nautical Wall Sconce The Palmerston Nautical Wall Sconce has the modern rustic look nailed down, with a caged design and simple utilitarian shape. You can choose black or brass depending on whether you want to go classic or bold, and the LED filament bulb uses a mere 6 watts of power, so you don’t have to feel guilty about letting it shine all night long. Canberra Bulkhead Wall Sconce Wall sconces add light where you need it, but done right, they can also be works of art. The Canberra Bulkhead Wall Sconce is handcrafted for a unique industrial look that will make any space shine. The exposed hardware and worn finish gives the sconce a vintage feel, while the LED bulb gives you plenty of light (without the extravagant power bill). Related: 10 ways to nail the rustic modern aesthetic with barn lights Carran Outdoor LED Wall Lantern There is nothing more charming than the warm glow of a lantern. What isn’t so charming is the fire hazard of oil-based lanterns. The Carran Outdoor LED Wall Lantern gives you all that vintage appeal with a modern LED bulb. The cage design and bulbous glass enclosure give the lantern the perfect Old-World charm. Limerick Outdoor LED Wall Lantern Sometimes you want your lighting to lean more rustic than modern. In that case, the Limerick Outdoor Lamp is the perfect fit. The spirals and vine-like ornamentation gives it a look straight out of a European village. But the LED technology is all modern. Unlike some LEDs, Cocoweb’s LED bulbs have that familiar yellow cast that we love from Edison bulbs – but at 6 watts, they are considerably more efficient. Oldage Customizable Industrial Floor Lamp Hunting for a flexible lamp that oozes rustic modern style and can be positioned anywhere you like? Look no further than the fully-customizable Oldage Industrial Floor Lamp . The adjustable shade is similar in style to the Oldage Gooseneck and Pendant fixtures, but in a floor lamp format that can be placed practically anywhere. The lamp can be adjusted at the joint to a range of different heights, and a built-in dimmer lets you pick the right amount of illumination. We particularly love the elegant arm that gives the lamp a minimalist vibe. Newcastle Flood Light The Newcastle Flood Light provides powerful illumination – and it feels like something straight out of an industrial workspace. The base is made of metal piping, and a caged shade and exposed hardware take your design to the next level. + Cocoweb

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