Friday, November 30, 2007

Top Trends in Home Design: Rooms Without Walls

Outdoor spaces have become an exciting way for homeowners to combine the pleasures of nature with comfortable living areas.
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

Design Tip-04

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

Get you free gift!!!, Inc.

Design Tip- 03

Strokes of Genius
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.

K House

Photography: Peter Bennetts Copyright: ARM 2007

Beginning with the letter ‘K’ was not entirely arbitrary as our client’s family name begins with it. By cutting the K in half and rotating the two pieces, the house emerged as a composition suspended along the maximum building height envelope to achieve the best sea views. Under this we projected its shadow to form the ground level accommodation. The plan is simple, the ground floor cut into the sloping site with entry off the carpark to two bedrooms, bathrooms and home cinema, then up to the long living, dining and kitchen, all facing north and open each end, east to the sea, west to the garden. The kitchen joinery, pantry wall, big sliding door and enormous ceiling-high bookshelf ‘K’ are painted brilliant, glossy red. The main bedroom and another bedroom are also at this level, with a spiral stair to the library above. This is a shiplap weatherboard house in the tradition of the seaside shack. It has bold, legible forms and an easy livability belying its extreme derivation in the shape of that K.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Holiday Shopping

Free* Gift with the purchase of $50 or more

Use the link above to get your free Gift !

Design Tip- 02

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

Lace Fence

The Lace Fence is an interior as well as an exterior product. Each fence is unique in its design by its craft and assembled patterns. The patterns come in a variety of themes, showing how something which was meant purely functional can also be decorative.The design, quality and density of the patterns are flexible. Meaning that for each application we always create according to its function. For example to prevent climbing on, to hide or enhance it’s surrounding, to deal with harsh weather or to give an unique custom made look.
Company website:

Friday, November 16, 2007

Design Tip - 01

Painting wood floors
May be you have less-than-perfect hardwood floor. Or you just want to express your creativity. Painted floors can be the solution to both situations, invariably giving you handsome results. Design options run anywhere from simple checker board patterns to stenciled images to elaborate Trompe l’Oeil effects. Be sure that you use paint specially formulated for floor use. You can also use latex paint, as long as it’s of a high quality. Just be sure, when finished, to protect your design with a coat of polyurethane.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Unexpected Colors

Yes, the traditional blues, whites and neutrals carry their own sense of beauty and charm. Yet sometimes, the right color scheme for your home may be one you'd never expect—like the unusual color combinations presented here. They can open your eyes to exciting new possibilities.

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.

A color as playful as your kids
Why shouldn't a bathroom reflect the lightness, whimsy and fun of the kids who will use it? This Ocean Sigh color brings that playful feeling to your kids' bathroom.

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

Hydropolis - "The Underwater Hotel"

The land on which Hydropolis is being built belongs to His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. It was his last free beach property on this stretch of coast. The project is a fantastic one, yet Sheikh Mohammed's success record with comparable schemes instills confidence that science fiction can become fact. With his support, several companies have been formed to kick-start this phenomenal project, and around 150 firms are currently involved."There have been many visions of colonizing the sea - Jules Verne, Jean Gusto and several Japanese architects - but no one has ever managed to realize this dream," says Hauser. "That was the most challenging factor, and that's what makes it so fascinating. Despite being a dream of mankind for centuries, nobody has ever been able to make living underwater possible."

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

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fengshui tip for the day

The feng shui bamboo plant is known as lucky bamboo due to its good luck qualities. According to feng shui, the lucky bamboo brings prosperity and fortune to those who keep it and to the environment in which it is. This makes it ideal for a business or for a house spot where money is kept.

Natural and Unique

STONE FOREST creates hand carved granite sculptures which combine the elegant simplicity of Japanese style with contemporary design. The integrity of granite gives Stone Forest carvings a radiant mass or presence not realized using man-made materials such as cement or cast stone. Since each piece is hand carved using hammer and chisel, the individual character of the rock as well as the inspiration of the stonecutter lend each sculpture a unique quality. In a world of impermanence, the timelessness of hand carved granite can bring a suggestion of eternity to your home or garden.
Company website:

What’s new?
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.

Zero Pedestal: This geometric piece flaunts Stone Forest’s ability to test the vanishing Point as the honed basalt mass is literally beveled into the drain. Solid, yet delicate the Pedestal marries minimalism with the organic.

Veneto Pedestals: Inspired by classic Italian design, the Veneto barrel-shaped pedestal harkens the contemporary in clean honed black granite.

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.

Die Electric

A Dielectric is an insulating material. It does not conduct electricity. The “Die Electric” experiment makes use of AC power plugs and sockets less the flow of Electricity.
Thought for the day – “Save Energy”

Plug potential Leaks

Please dont use this outlet

could hold cell phone , a glass of water....

No more FEC's

Single Vase AC

"Grow Plug"

Good Old days !

"off the Hook"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Antilia Tower

Construction is underway, albeit with some delays, on one of India’s highest profile and most opulent projects—the Antilia, a 490-foot-tall corporate meeting facility and private residence in Mumbai. Chicago-based Perkins + Will designed the 24-story tower for business tycoon Mukesh Ambani, whose family will occupy roughly 35,000 square feet in its top floors.
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

Renovate your home without demolishing

KERLITE has now taken another step forward to become KERLITE PLUS, the ceramic solution you were looking for to renovate that old flooring. With a minimum height increase – from 3 to 3.5mm – KERLITE PLUS has a tough fiberglass mesh backing, doubling its cladding potential. The sky’s the limit for this stunning, minimum weight tile. With Kerlite it’s easy to lay new flooring in your home. But more than that, it’s economic and simple. KERLITE PLUS can be installed directly over existing flooring in wood, ceramic or any other compact type of surface. This is because the underside of the ceramic slab has been reinforced with a dense fiberglass mat. As well as allowing excellent heat conduction, this minimum thickness mesh ensures the tile sticks solidly to the adhesive spread on the substrate. With just 3.5mm additional floor height there’s no need to adjust the level of doors and jambs.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Recycled Leather Tile

The ultimate Collection of Recycled Leather Tiles from EcoDomo LLC offers the look and feel of genuine leather at a fraction of the cost. The completely green product uses scraps of leather from tanneries that would otherwise enter landfills. The leather scraps are shredded and bound together again using natural rubber and Acacia tree sap. The tiles show remarkable resistance to moisture, stain and abrasion. They are ideal for restaurants, hotels and in retail outlets.
Company website: