Friday, November 30, 2007
People are extending the comfort, convenience and pleasure of their homes into the great outdoors, and the result is the popular trend called the “outdoor room.” Yards, gardens, decks, patios, porches, sunrooms, gazebos, courtyards, balconies, terraces and even rooftops are being transformed in this fashion.
"The line between the house and the outdoor space continues to disintegrate," said Julie D. Taylor, author of Outdoor Rooms. "Many designers are using the same, or similar, materials both on the interior and exterior to extend the house to the outdoors. It breaks down the barrier and gives a feeling of a larger house."
According to Dominick Tringali, CEO of Dominick Tringali Architects, part of the reason homeowners are paying more attention to their outdoor rooms is because of another trend: downsizing. Today, many homeowners are seeking quality (over quantity) of square footage, making better use of the space they do have, and looking to connect the inside and outside areas. "People are downsizing homes, but they’re making the house more usable," said Tringali.
The possibilities for outdoor rooms are almost limitless ― from large and spacious to small and intimate; from a simple patio-sized eating and grilling area to a grand multilevel deck complete with cocktail bar, fountain, spa and pool. No matter the size, scale or budget, the goal in creating an outdoor space should be "to create a retreat that nurtures your personal lifestyle," said Anne Dickhoff, author of Outdoor Rooms II. "Don’t be led by the latest trends; create a space that reflects your individual taste and accommodates your favorite activities."
Architect Marc Whitman agrees. "I think color, materials, the way things are laid out ... all those things are important in creating a space that you want to go out to and be a part of,” said Whitman. "You want to really focus on what the feeling is overall and pick the colors and the materials that are going to create that feeling."
In an outdoor room, the "walls," can be an extension of the home’s exterior walls or formed by trees, shrubs, hedges, planters, fences, privacy screens or lattice panels. Outdoor "flooring" can be as simple as grass, pebbles or stepping-stones, or as elaborate as wooden decking or tiles installed on a concrete pad. Ceilings may be outlined by tree limbs, vines, pergolas, arbors, retractable awnings or permanent roof structures.
When it comes to outfitting the outdoor space, design experts recommend blending a variety of natural materials to enhance what Mother Nature has already provided. "There’s an inherent beauty in wood, in metal, in stone, and the imperfections create their own beauty. And by putting many of these together, you get a juxtaposition of textures and colors, and this creates, so to speak, a symphony," said Lori Naritoku, architect and designer, whose rooftop garden in Laguna Beach, Calif., contains a metal and cloth gazebo.
Plants add shade, texture and a sweet scent to a space. Besides favorite flowers, try fragrant plants like dwarf citrus trees or herbs. Visually, it’s important to consider the container as well as the plant; for a natural look, choose clay or stone or lighter resin designed to look like stone, and add splashes of color with painted pottery.
Elements that stimulate the senses are also natural components of an outdoor retreat. Some examples include fireplaces, fire pits and chimeras; ponds, waterfalls, fountains and wind chimes; outdoor lighting, hanging lanterns and candles; and fluffy pillows, soft throws and nubby rugs
Article Source : STIR magazine
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Turn up the temperature
Do you have a north-facing room that seems to have a chill even during summer? Or one with minimal windows, restricting the amount of sunlight that it gets? Without touching the thermometer, you can raise the temperature of a room with color. Just look at the warm side of the color palette and use it to your advantage. Consider yellow, for instance. In its most vibrant form, it can add visual warmth to even the coolest space. To take the concept a step further, consider red. Not only does this hue have the ability to add heat but it provides plenty of drama, too. Likewise, the orange hue that you associate with the fruit is only one of the tints and shades you can use in a room. In pale cantaloupe colors and cinnamon shades, it adds an element of excitement. And in the form of peach or apricot, this color is perfectly suited for a living area. The latter two hues, "cosmetic colors" naturally complement skin tones, adding a warm glow to everyone in the room.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
TOO OFTEN, A ROOM'S PAINT COLOR IS CHOSEN from a 1-in. –wide paint chip and the results are disappointing. There is a solution, though. Once you've narrowed your choices to two or three, buy a small amount of color. Then, go to your local do-it-yourself center and purchase pieces of foam core approximately 2 ft. square for each one. Paint each piece of foam core one of the colors, then prop them all against one wall of the room and study them at different times of the day. Move the pieces from wall to wall, as light can affect each one differently.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The first rule of any successful tablescape (an arrangement on top of any flat surface) is that the number of items doesn’t overwhelm the available space. A large collection of family photos works fine atop a grand piano but will likely crowd an end table.
Once you have determined the amount have space available, pare down items to an odd number. This will make the arrangement less static, encouraging eye to move from one place to another. Then play with the arrangement itself. No matter what kind of accessories you are working with, an informal approach works the best. Start by placing tallest item in the back. Then work your way forward gradually, ending with the smallest piece in the front of the area you are working with. For a well balanced look, make sure that heights go up and down from side to side and from front to back. If too many objects are of the same height use some antique books to life them up.
Finally don’t cluster things too closely; little breathing room will let you appreciate the accessories better.
Once you have created the perfect tablescape make sure to take a picture of your tablescape and keep it handy. When cleaning day rolls around you or whoever is doing the cleaning can achieve the same perfect design!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Company website: www.demakersvan.com
Friday, November 16, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
A bright new look in the dining room
Here's a visually stunning contrast: complement your traditional antique-styled furniture and accessories with the lively and playful color, Hint of Honey. It's an unexpectedly exhilarating new take on a traditional dining room.
Bring hearty warmth to your kitchen
Who says a kitchen has to be basic? This bold Outlands Upholstery Red color offers a unique combination of warmth and strength, excitement and elegance. Use it as a primary or accent color to beautify your kitchen.
Royalty in the bedroom
Stately, elegant, refined. This Winter Amethyst color brings it all to your bedroom. Highlighted brilliantly by a white headboard and furnishings, this bedroom achieves an unexpected warmth and stateliness.
A peachy start to your day
Fruitfulness and fire. Passion and whimsy. These are the feelings evoked by this unexpected color, Peach Taffy. Used as an accent or primary color, it can brighten, enliven and invigorate your home.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Underwater Hotel Design
The original idea for Hydropolis developed out of Hauser's passion for water and the sea, and goes much deeper than just building a hotel underwater. More than just curiosity, it is a commitment to a more far-reaching philosophy. "Once you start digging deeper and deeper into the subject, you can't help being fascinated and you start caring about all the associated issues," he explains. "Humans consist of 80% water, the earth consists of 80% water; without water there is no life."
Hydropolis reproduces the human organism in an architectural design. There is a direct analogy between the physiology of man and the architecture. The geometrical element is a figure eight lying on its side and inscribed in a circle. The spaces created in the basin will contain function areas, such as restaurants, bars, meeting rooms and theme suites. These can be compared to the components of the human organism: the motor functions and the nervous and cardiovascular systems, with the central sinus knot representing the pulse of all life.
The ballroom, located at this nerve centre, will have asymmetrical pathways connecting the different storeys along ramps. A large, petal-like retracting roof will enable the staging of open-sky events. Staircases, lifts and ramps will provide access to the ballroom, while flanking catering areas will supply banquets and receptions.
Hydropolis Land Station
In order to enter this surreal space, visitors will begin at the land station. This 120m woven, semicircular cylinder will arch over a multi-storey building. On the lowest level passengers board a noiseless train propelled by fully automated cable along a modular, self-supporting steel guideway to Hydropolis. A just-in-time and on-demand logistical system will facilitate efficient supply of goods to the hotel.
The upper storeys of the land station house a variety of facilities, including a cosmetic surgical clinic, a marine biological research laboratory and conference facilities. On the lower levels are the staff rooms, goods storage and loading areas, and hotel and parking areas.
The land station also includes a restaurant and high-tech cinema screening the evolution of life in the ocean and the history of underwater architecture. As a finale, the screen will open to reveal the real-life Hydropolis. A viewing platform at the front opening of the spanning roof will allow views of the architecture as well as the light shows of Hydropolis.
Article published in design-build network.com
Friday, November 9, 2007
Company website: http://www.stoneforest.com/
Moso Bamboo: The woody perennial evergreen has never looked better than in its new
spot inside the home and fashioned as a sleek minimalist sink. Rectangular and pristine, the vessel brings a sense of tranquility to the bathroom.
Papillon Bathtub and Infiniti Pedestal: Now available in stunning Carrera marble, the Papillon Bathtub was inspired by an existing Stone Forest product, the Athena Vessel Sink. Simple geometry played a role in converting the oval Athena into the Papillon, giving the basin the organic shape Stone Forest is known for. The interior basin footprint of the Papillon is set at an angle from the top rim and the angled ‘scoop’ out of the top rim creates the wave effect seen from the front view; thus varying its appearance with every viewing angle. The matching Infiniti Pedestal is a striking oval column carved out of a solid block of Carrera marble. Its spacious and alluring design features a beautiful basin shaped into the top.
Wave Pedestals: Curvaceous lines and fluid shapes crown this pedestal as the ultimate in new-wave design. Although it resembles a soft flowing ribbon, the pedestal stands static as it was carved from a solid stone mass.
Old World Bathtub: Inspired by the ancient Roman baths, the Old World Bathtub in pearlescent onyx is a true testament to times past. Carved from a solid mass of onyx, the tub features sculptural lines and glowing natural colors courtesy of the translucent stone. At a whopping weight of 1,500 pounds only two custom-built tubs have been commissioned thus far.
Thought for the day – “Save Energy”
No more FEC's
Good Old days !
"off the Hook"
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
It seems fitting that for a building named after a mythical island, rumors have swirled about the exact program of Antilia since a local newspaper first published renderings of it earlier this year. Ambani, who is chairman of the petro-giant Reliance Industries, has a net worth estimated at more than $21 billion. Some accounts falsely reported that the tower will rise 60 stories and that the Ambani family would occupy all of it.
“There’s been a lot of crazy things floating around,” says Ralph Johnson, Perkins + Will firm-wide design principal, “but there’s actually a lot of positive things to talk about because it’s an interesting building.”
Among its interesting elements, Antilia will feature a band of vertical and horizontal gardens that demarcates the tower’s different program elements. A garden level will separate the ground-floor parking and conference center from residential space above, for instance, and the outer walls on certain levels will be sheltered by trellises supporting panels that contain hydroponically grown plants.
In addition to signaling different space uses and providing privacy, these “vertical gardens” will help shade the building and reduce the urban heat island effect. “You can use the whole wall almost like a tree and increase the green area of the site by five or 10 times over what it would be if you just did a green roof,” Johnson observers. “It’s a prototype for buildings of the future.”
Antilia’s roots also draw on the traditional Indian concept of Vaastu. Similar to Feng Shui, the practice orients a building in harmony with energy flows. At Antilia, the overall plan is based on the square, which is Vaastu’s basic geometric unit, and a garden level occupies the tower’s midsection, the point where all energies converge according to the Vaastu Purusha Mandala.
Perkins + Will won the commission for Antilia in 2004, besting Foster + Partners, SITE, Wilkinson & Eye, and Ken Yang. The building occupies a one-acre site on Altamount Road, where real estate prices top $1,000 per-square-foot. Construction had reached Antilia’s mid-section garden, but was halted this summer after a land dispute. Although the delay is expected to be temporary, many Indians nevertheless feel that the residence flaunts the country’s socialist sensitivities—and that it is excessive and ostentatious given that more than 65 percent of Mumbai’s 18 million residents live in tenements.
Others, though, find aspects of the skyscraper to admire. Mumbai-based architect Hafeez Contractor praises Antilia’s efficient use of land. “Occupying less space on the ground decongests the area at the ground level so more trees can be planted,” he explains. “Ambani’s choice will make high-rises more acceptable.”
Monday, November 5, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Company website: www.EcoDomo.com