Stay in a dreamy treehouse inside an ancient English forest

August 3, 2018 by  
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A magical treehouse retreat has opened its doors in the village of Lee in England’s stunning North Devon region. Built largely by hand, this luxurious one-bedroom rental is dressed in a combination of reclaimed and modern materials. Set within remote woodland, the Treehouse Retreat immerses guests in a private paradise in nature without sacrificing modern comforts. Built to sleep two, the two-story Treehouse Retreat is clad in locally sourced cedar charred using Shou Sugi Ban , a Japanese technique that enhances the grain of the wood and naturally protects it from rot, pests and the elements. Timber is used throughout the interior as well to tie the treehouse to its surroundings. Reclaimed flooring from an old U.S. factory was used for the bookcase and windowsills, and the stairwell banister was constructed using locally salvaged branches. Large windows, indoor plants and an outdoor terrace also emphasize the getaway’s indoor-outdoor living experience. The spacious hexagonal terrace overlooks sweeping valley views and is furnished with a solid teak dining set as well as with a wood-fired pizza oven and gas-powered barbecue. Glazed French doors connect the terrace to a bathroom, living space, dining nook and a charming kitchen with a restored 19th-century oak sideboard. Upstairs, a bedroom occupies the entire second floor and offers views of the tree canopy as well as the ‘botanical fleur’ feature wallpaper. “Designed as the ultimate escape, this unique destination also boasts a wide range of features to help guests disconnect from their day-to-day lives, with everything from a Zen-inspired meditation corner to a thoughtfully-styled reading nook lovingly dressed to help visitors distress,” said Nadia McCowan Hill, Resident Style Adviser at Wayfair U.K. , which dispatched an in-house team of stylists to dress the treehouse’s interior. The Treehouse Retreat can be booked exclusively on TripAdvisor Rentals with nightly rates starting from $271. + Treehouse Retreat Images by David Cotsworth Photography

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Stay in a dreamy treehouse inside an ancient English forest

Recyclable House is an eco-getaway that celebrates the circular economy

July 25, 2018 by  
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A recently completed environmentally friendly retreat has opened for bookings on AirBnB in the picturesque countryside near Beaufort, Australia. Designed by  Quentin Irvine , the Recyclable House is an experimental modern home that stays true to its name with its use of recyclable materials and passive solar construction principles. Conceived as a “prototype house for the circular economy,” the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath rental comfortably fits 10 guests and promises “sensational indoor air quality.” Inspired by Australia’s iconic galvanized steel woodsheds, Irvine designed the Recyclable House with a gabled farmhouse aesthetic. Three sides of the building are clad in durable Z600 galvanized steel. The fourth facade is covered in timber planks charred using the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique. All components in the home were selected for durability and are either biologically or technologically recyclable. Even the walls, which are built with plasterboard, are fully compostable. Passive solar principles and highly effective insulation create comfortable indoor temperatures year-round, with extra heating provided by a Pyroclassic wood-burning stove and a solar hot-water system; no air conditioning has been installed. Natural finishes used throughout ensure low toxicity. Related: Australia’s amazing Upcycle House is made from the ruins of an old home “Whilst learning the building profession I identified and became frustrated with the fact that most Australian homes are essentially built with/for rubbish whether they were promoted as eco friendly homes or not,” explains Irvine, discussing the impetus behind his project. “Even though materials were often coming to site as quality recyclable materials , they would be destined for landfill the minute that they were installed due to the building practices and installation methods used. I found solutions to many of these problems by researching older building methods as well as thinking creatively about the problem.” Completed in December 2015, the Recyclable House was recently made available to rent on AirBnB starting at $95 a night. + Recyclable House AirBnB Images by Nic Granleese

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A modular extension boasts a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience

July 25, 2018 by  
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Modular architecture and sustainable strategies blend together in the Ivanhoe Extension, a bold and contemporary addition to a suburban home in Melbourne. Designed by Australian practice Modscape , the two-story extension not only creates more space for the clients’ growing family, but also offers a new way to embrace their beautifully landscaped backyard. The house is equipped with many energy-efficient solutions such as solar passive heating, rainwater harvesting and double glazing with thermal break frames. Located behind a weatherboard house, the Ivanhoe Extension is a handsome structure clad in sustainably sourced blackbutt timber and Colorbond Diversaclad. The ground floor is fitted with full-height glazing for a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience, while the upper floor is wrapped in a curved battened screen to ensure privacy and protection from the sun. The new addition houses an open-plan living space, dining area and kitchen on the ground floor, and the master suite is found on the upper level. The original house has been turned over to the “kids domain.” “A new double?height entrance space has been created in the middle of the house providing a clean separation and demarcation between existing and new,” Modscape explained. “As soon as you walk in the front door, your eye is drawn up to the circular skylight, which casts directed light to the open stairs below. To accommodate for the sloping site, the extension is terraced down the block with a slight change in levels between the original house (which has now become the kids domain), the entrance way and the new modular living area. This helps to subtly define different zones, while the same oak flooring used throughout provides continuity and flow.” Related: This highly insulated modular home is completely self-sustaining The modular components were prefabricated offsite within a factory so that the clients could continue living in their house free of disruptions. Demolition and site preparation took approximately three weeks — the clients moved out four weeks prior — and installation of the modules took only one day. + Modscape Images by John Madden

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An 1820s Catskills manor gets a marvelous modern makeover

June 26, 2018 by  
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Just two hours outside New York City sits a stunning vacation rental that blends old-world charm with contemporary design. Completed by architectural designer Tom Givone , the property was dramatically reworked over the course of four years from a decaying manor into the Floating Farmhouse , a beautiful home that combines historic and modern elements. Crafted to embrace the outdoors, the light-filled home features a veranda that appears to hover over the edge of a pristine Catskills creek as well as a fully glazed gable end wall. Originally built in the 1920s, the Floating Farmhouse had fallen into a severe state of disrepair when Givone came across it in 2007. After a painstaking demolition process that involved careful preservation of original features like the cedar roof shakes, he began rebuilding the structure — 11 pine trees felled on the property were used for the hand-hewn ceiling planks and wainscoting — and inserting a mix of modern and vintage furnishings throughout. “The hope at the outset was to combine archaic and modern elements throughout the home in a way that enhances the innate beauty of each by virtue of its contrast with the other, and create tension between polished and raw, primitive and industrial, sophisticated and simple,” Givone explained. “The Floating Farmhouse is an experiment in how these opposites attract.” Related: Disconnect in these A-frame tiny cabins in the Catskills The grandeur of the spacious interior is emphasized through ample glazing that fills the home with natural light and offers serene views. The most dramatic of the rooms is undoubtedly the “cathedral-like” kitchen with polished concrete floors, a wood-fired pizza oven and a double-story fully glazed wall that frames views of the brook, gazebo, apple orchard and barn. French doors to the side of the living area open up to a shaded veranda that hovers over the creek, where a waterfall cascades over an ancient stone dam. Givone has made his spectacular retreat available for rent . + Floating Farmhouse Images via Tom Givone

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An 1820s Catskills manor gets a marvelous modern makeover

Old fishermans shack is reimagined as a dreamy eco retreat

June 26, 2018 by  
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Eco-conscious couple Jamie and Ingrid Kwong have breathed new life into an old fisherman’s shack by transforming the dilapidated structure into a cozy, environmentally-friendly getaway. Located on Pittwater’s Mackerel Beach in New South Wales, Australia, The Little Black Shack is a restorative retreat that offers complete immersion in nature with minimal site impact . The house was reconstructed by hand with recycled materials and lovingly furnished with secondhand items. Local fishermen originally hand-built the shack around the 1930s. The couple, who lived nearby, had admired the shack for over 20 years and finally jumped at the chance to buy the property when it was put up for sale in 2013. The building was in poor condition with termite-damaged wood, but the couple was undeterred in fixing up the shack and spent the next 18 months with family and an eco-minded builder to completely restore the shack by hand. “Our aim is to give our guests a relaxing and restorative experience in our sustainable little patch of paradise by giving them everything they need, whilst taking very little from the environment ,” the couple explained. “By the end of their stay, our guests tend to take a lot less for granted too. If you want real stars, wildlife, peace, quiet and a place to connect with and appreciate nature and each other, you might want to jump on the old wooden ferry ‘Myra’ and cross Pittwater to Mackerel Beach.” Related: Decrepit lumberjack shack transformed into a beautiful retreat with minimal site impact The Little Black Shack was rebuilt with recycled and repurposed materials as part of the owners’ desire to reduce their impact on the environment. Instead of air conditioning, the property relies on natural ventilation and passive heating supplemented with a hand-built, sandstone open fireplace. The paints used throughout the home are all-natural, water-based and VOC-free . Rainwater is also harvested and reused; during times of drought, a desalination system is used to turn salt water into purified fresh water. The couple hopes to take the Little Black Shack completely off the grid in the future. The idyllic retreat is available for rent; for a closer look inside, follow their Instagram . + The Little Black Shack Images by Luisa Brimble

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This modern solar-powered retreat is topped with a massive green roof

June 18, 2018 by  
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Outside the concrete jungle of São Paulo , Brazil is a solar-powered holiday retreat that fully embraces nature. Brazilian architecture firm Studio MK27 designed the striking home, called the Planar House, for a couple and their three children. Despite the rather spacious size of 10,763 square feet, the dwelling projects lightness thanks to its concrete slab green roof that appears to float above the landscape. Topped with a grassy green roof , the Planar House was crafted to blend in with the surrounding lawn and rolling hills. The building was constructed almost entirely of reinforced, poured in-situ concrete. Slender metallic pillars on both side of the home hold up the concrete slab roof. The home, which was designed for entertaining, consists of five en-suite bedrooms, the staff quarters, kitchen, kid’s playroom and expansive living and dining areas with indoor-outdoor access thanks to sliding glass doors. A hallway that runs north to south divides the programming. “Planar House is a radical exercise in horizontality, [an] aspect commonly explored in the projects of the studio,”  Studio MK27 explained. “Discreetly inserted in the highest point of the plot and favoring the existing topography, its presence is most strongly felt in the footprint rather than volumetrically. [The home is] an extensive line in an open landscape.” Related: Flat green roof helps Casa Guarujá integrate with the forest in Brazil The holiday home’s design was strongly influenced by Miesian architecture. The home is sandwiched between two concrete slabs with the upper slab serving as a structural platform. The interiors feature board-formed concrete ceilings and a mostly timber material palette that lends warmth throughout. In contrast to the home’s rigid geometry, the architects added a sinuous brick wall — punctuated by voids to let in light and views — that wraps around part of the home. The architects said, “The wall, which is usually a symbol of division and isolation, in this project, is at times concave and at others convex, embracing the entrance garden and creating transparencies as well as offering protection from the street.” + Studio MK27 Images by Fernando Guerra

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This modern solar-powered retreat is topped with a massive green roof

Old Greyhound bus converted into gorgeous tiny house on wheels

June 18, 2018 by  
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For most people traveling on a Greyhound bus, the journey usually involves squeezing into cracked polyurethane seating for uncomfortably long periods of time. But that’s not the case for Jessie Lipskin , who transformed an old 1966 Greyhound bus into a shockingly sophisticated and spacious tiny home on wheels . Now, in this new space, the name Greyhound has become synonymous with tiny home living in comfort and style. Lipskin revealed to Apartment Therapy that years of living in New York City inspired her to commit to the tiny home lifestyle . Little by little, she began to get rid of superfluous possessions, until everything she owned could fit in a suitcase. Related: Traveling family renovates old school bus as both solar-powered home and hostel The next step was finding her perfect tiny home, which turned out to be a 1966 GMC Commuter Greyhound bus she found on eBay. According to Lipskin, she chose the bus because “The Greyhound’s classic body style and great condition made the perfect fit for a beautiful tiny home conversion.” After gutting the interior, she installed beautiful new hardwood flooring throughout the space. The interior of the bus was painted all white, which opens up the tiny house tremendously. Additionally, the bus’s original windows were left in place to flood the interior with natural light. LED lighting with dimmers was installed throughout the interior to provide a serene ambiance. Lipskin mapped out a new floor plan for the tiny home that includes a large living area and a full-sized bath, as well as two sleeping areas that comfortably sleep up to four people. Additionally, three large closets were installed – a rarity in such a compact space. The tiny home’s kitchen is equipped with ample wooden counter space, as well as an oven and stove top. An energy-efficient washing machine and dryer also fit into the kitchen, along with an instant hot-water heater and propane tank. There is ample storage to keep the space clutter-free. It took Lipskin three years to create her custom tiny home on wheels , and the result is incredible. However, she has since decided to put the bus up for sale in order to travel internationally. The tiny house is currently listed on Craigslist for $149,000 . + Bus Tiny Home Via Apartment Therapy Photos via Jessie Lipskin

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UNStudio designs cocoon-like pavilion made of 100% recyclable materials

May 25, 2018 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of cocooning yourself in nature, this woven prefabricated pavilion may be right up your alley. Dutch architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio has unveiled the Ellipsicoon, a digitally developed and handwoven pavilion that can pop up anywhere as a sculptural and meditative retreat. The curvaceous Ellipsicoon was created as part of the pavilion series for Revolution Precrafted , a collection of limited-edition prefabricated homes and pavilions designed by the world’s leading architects, artists and designers. Inspired by the organic curves found in nature, Ben van Berkel designed the 160-square-foot Ellipsicoon with soft sinuous curves generated from 3D-modeling computer programs. Although the pavilion was designed and developed digitally, production will be done entirely by hand. Highly skilled craftsmen will hand-weave the Ellipsicoon’s continuous sculptural surface using strands of 100% recyclable high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The pavilion measures 18.7 feet in length, 13.45 feet in width and 8.53 feet in height. To enter the Ellipsicoon, users must first step over the raised threshold to reach a sunken area with built-in seating that follows the fluid curves of the space. The round openings on either side taper inwards near the top to create the sensation of being simultaneously inside and outside. Gaps in the woven structure let in natural light while the two differently sized elliptical openings frame views of the outdoors. Related: Ron Arad designs the modular Armadillo Tea Pavilion for indoor and outdoor use “I have long been interested in exploring spaces which extend function to replace the reality of the everyday with the potential for more nuanced, reflective experiences,” van Berkel said. “The Ellipsicoon offers a place of temporary disengagement, where the practicalities, duties and interruptions of daily life can momentarily fade and the imagination can take over.” Revolution Precrafted will produce limited quantities of the Ellipsicoon. The price and additional details about the pavilion are available upon request . + UNStudio Images via Revolution Precrafted

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UNStudio designs cocoon-like pavilion made of 100% recyclable materials

This modern vacation home embraces indoor-outdoor living in Ontario

May 25, 2018 by  
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The boundary between indoors and out are blurred to beautiful effect in the Bear Stand Residence, a family retreat located approximately three hours northeast of Toronto, Ontario. Designed by Bohlin Grauman Miller in association with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson , the 3,300-square-foot holiday home is wrapped in glazing and natural materials in order to feel like an airy extension of the surrounding forest. Sitting along the shores of Contau Lake, the Bear Stand serves as an escape from city life for residents Sharon Leece and Joe Migrath. The couple lives and work in Shanghai but sought a forested retreat that they could share with their young daughter as well as family and friends. When in Shanghai, the family also offers the house as a vacation rental. “We wanted to build a West Coast-style property, as we love the open, airy, inside-outside connectivity of the modernist design approach there,” Leece said. “We felt the land was the perfect place to envision an authentic cabin aesthetic, visually connected with the environment.” Before Bohlin Cywinski Jackson principal Robert Miller started the design process, he joined the clients in a multi-day camping trip on the property to get a feel of the land. The time he spent with the couple was critical to shaping the vision for the house, which is designed to embrace the surrounding lake and forest at every turn. Related: The net-zero Frick Environmental Center is officially one of the world’s greenest buildings In addition to the master suite, the Bear Stand can accommodate a minimum of 12 guests in three guest suites, a bunk room with four beds and a den. The two-story home is oriented on an east-west axis to parallel the lake and an adjacent granite rock-face that rises up to the south. A double-height living room and dining area forms the heart of the home, while nearly all of the bedrooms — save for one guest bedroom — are located upstairs. The material palette echoes the wooded environment, from the black fiber-cement panels and stained cedar siding to the indoor fir windows and walnut flooring. Large windows open the home up to the outdoors. The house also includes a private sauna, ofuro soaking tub, hot tub and a screened porch. The American Institute of Architects  recently recognized the home’s excellence with a 2018 Housing Award. + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Images by Nic Lehoux

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This modern vacation home embraces indoor-outdoor living in Ontario

Pinwheel-shaped timber cabin grows more beautiful over time

May 1, 2018 by  
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Like fine wine, the timber facade of this charming Norwegian cabin will improve over time. Designed by Mork-Ulnes Architects , the contemporary dwelling sits just outside of Oslo in the pine forest where it serves as a retreat for an American geologist and his family. Named after the nearby lake, Mylla Cabin is designed to blend in with its surroundings over time as its untreated pine exterior acquires a silvery patina to match the snowy landscape. Designed with a pinwheel shape, the Mylla Cabin comprises four intersecting volumes each topped with a sharply pitched roof. The 940-square-foot cabin includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms, storage space, and even a two-person sauna —an iconic piece of Scandinavian culture. In fact, the entire design was guided by local traditional vernacular, specifically the “hytte,” Norwegian countryside cabins marked by their simplicity and use of natural materials. Related: Tiny alpine cabin rewards mountaineers who reach its stunning yet wild heights As a contemporary interpretation of the traditional ‘hytte,’ Mylla Cabin is clad in untreated heart pine planks that will weather over time. The interior is finished in plywood and outfitted with custom plywood furniture, from the children’s bunk beds and bed frames to the dining table and shelving. “The wings of the house engage four distinct characters of the landscape: the great room looks onto Mylla Lake, the guest room looks towards the rolling hillside, the kids’ room looks up at the sky, and the bedroom has a private view of the towering forest beyond,” share the architects. + Mork-Ulnes Architects Via Dezeen Images by Bruce Damonte , via Mork-Ulnes Architects

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