Modern concrete house made of several rectangular pavilions by A4estudio

Modern concrete house made of several rectangular pavilions by A4estudio

Architects: A4estudio
Location: Manantiales, Uruguay
Year: 2017
Area: 10.764 ft²/ 1.000 m²
Photo courtesy: A4estudio

“The house is locate in Manantiales at two kilometers of the beach in a private neighborhood with views at the white lagoon. To the terrain of 60 meters front and 90 meters long is access for the ground part rising up more than nine meters in all your longitudinal develop in an approximate 10% slope.

Thought like a weekend house, two conditions presented like the most determinant, the first get an exterior space that articulate the activities at fresh air but that keep control visual relation respect the neighbours and allow direct visuals to lagoon and tajamares. The second, organize the program getting independences and privacies between the visitants, as well as open the possibility to make more efficient use of the resources integrating or not spaces according to number of people.

The project implants in the high part of terrain (getting a complete opening of house to the best visuals) over a basement that resolve the relation of project with the natural slope and organize all the access, wine cellar, playroom, plant room and stores.

Over this basement the house is organize in independent pavilions binds for a transversal gallery. In the south extreme the first pavilion organize the public spaces (living room, dining room, kitchen, gallery and services), in the north extreme, the second, organize the intimate spaces for the visitants (bedrooms), finally in center and one level above to the others, the third pavilion organize a big suite with gym for the owners house.

Over this basement the house is organize in independent pavilions binds for a transversal gallery. In the south extreme the first pavilion organize the public spaces (living room, dining room, kitchen, gallery and services), in the north extreme, the second, organize the intimate spaces for the visitants (bedrooms), finally in center and one level above to the others, the third pavilion organize a big suite with gym for the owners house.


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Forty-One Oaks by Field Architecture: warm wood floor and cool concrete walls

Forty-One Oaks by Field Architecture: warm wood floor and cool concrete walls

Architects: Field Architecture
Location: Portola Valley, United States
Year: 2015
Area: 3.200 ft²/ 300 m²
Photo courtesy: Steve Goldband, John Merkl

“There are forty-one oaks within this Portola Valley lot. They lie within the boundaries, dotting the rolling hills and shading the ground with their canopy. The clients, a couple retired from corporate careers and now immersed in their passion for photography, wanted the home to feel like a continuation of the landscape. They hired Field Architecture, a firm with a long history of designing homes that act in conversation with their site.

Jess Field sees the landscape’s orientation as “an invitation” from the oaks. The architectural response was to create a series of pavilions, including a guest house, tennis court, and Zen garden. Together, they allow for a porosity that connects the oaks with only the lightest of touches.

A sense of promontory is felt strongest in the dining room, where a sleek window box cantilevers over the hillside. It frames a view of the rich forest landscape and the unending Bay views off in the distance. The frame is simple: a warm wood floor and cool concrete walls, a visual respite from the liveliness outside. The trees formed the foundation of this material palette. The concrete elements take on the strong verticality of tree trunks and the steel horizontal cantilevered canopies shelter with the same grace as sloping branches — an architectural echo of the form of the oak tree.

Field Architecture puts landscape at the core of their work, expanding on the narrow idea of “site” (the earth between four plot markers) into a profoundly holistic reading of place. They see the landscape as the domain of nature, looking beyond land and plotlines to see the mountain lions, jack rabbits, rocks, and trees already at home there. Part of that involves a careful observation of the patterns of the sun and micro-climate of Portola Valley to maximize thermal management, using the passive heat-gaining properties of the concrete walls and carefully positioned ventilating windows to keep the 3,200 square-foot home comfortable through the year.

Field Architecture puts landscape at the core of their work, expanding on the narrow idea of “site” (the earth between four plot markers) into a profoundly holistic reading of place. They see the landscape as the domain of nature, looking beyond land and plotlines to see the mountain lions, jack rabbits, rocks, and trees already at home there. Part of that involves a careful observation of the patterns of the sun and micro-climate of Portola Valley to maximize thermal management, using the passive heat-gaining properties of the concrete walls and carefully positioned ventilating windows to keep the 3,200 square-foot home comfortable through the year.

Making that delineation permeable, a glass wall in the living room slides open onto an outdoor terrace, while the master bedroom opens onto a contemplative space reserved for a Japanese rock garden. As Stan Field has observed, “the feeling of being on the precipice generates a heightened sense of anticipation.” The glass both marks and questions the distinction between the human and animal realms.”

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Live by the beach in a “upside down” house: living areas upstairs and bedroom downstairs

Live by the beach in a “upside down” house: living areas upstairs and bedroom downstairs

Architects: Rolf Ockert Architect
Location: North Curl Curl, Australia
Year: 2018
Area: 3.660 ft²/ 340 m²
Photo courtesy: Luke Butterly and Rolf Ockert

“The clients fulfilled their dream to live by the beach when they bought one half of a new subdivision of a double size block on a quiet street with great views across the road to the lagoon and beach of North Curl Curl.

The house was designed “upside down”, with the living areas upstairs and the bedroom downstairs as the best views are naturally from the higher level.

The living area is open plan across the entire footprint of the house, creating not only view and natural breeze across that level but also an enormous feel of generosity, unexpected on the rather small block.


Council regulations asked for a steep angled setback from a rather moderate height on, aiming to encourage pitched roof forms. We employed that rule differently, designing instead a two-layered roof within the given envelope, gaining light and 360 degree sky views as well as natural breeze and a ceiling height that adds to the feeling of generosity.

The layout is all about the view, concentrating the sitting area and dining table at the very eastern front, together with the font terrace closest to the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. The kitchen sits in the centre, well positioned for the traditional hub of family life. To the East is a large deck and BBQ area, for dining on those days of uncomfortably strong ocean winds, as well as a study area for kids and parents, aiming to maximise the activities in the common area.

Downstairs the Master Bedrooom sits in the front, getting those wake-up views to die for, as does the Ensuite Bathroom. Two bedroom for the kids, yet to earn the top spot. To the rear a rumpus room opens up to the garden and pool, the latter extending deep under the house in order get a decent lap’s swim. The interweaving of pool and house ensures that the water is apparent from most areas of the house, and that the reflections of the water in the pool throw a playful pattern of light on the ceilings at certain times of day.

An underground Garage takes two cars without interference with the priced views and accommodates laundry and storage areas..

The house is constructed of brick walls on the lower level to provide the comfort of high thermal mass and steel upstairs to enhance the lightness, airiness and generosity that signify this level.

Priority was given to natural lighting and ventilation over artificial wherever possible in order to promote a responsible use of energy. Other environmental measures include rainwater harvest, solar photovoltaic panels and a focus on low energy, recyclable and low emission materials throughout.”

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Llano Retreat by Michael Hsu and Laura Roberts Design

Llano Retreat by Michael Hsu and Laura Roberts Design

Architects: Michael Hsu
Designers: Laura Roberts Design
Location: LlanoTexasUnited States
Year: 2015
Photo courtesy: Casey Dunn

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2 story brick structure has the archetypal form of a gable roofed house with an unusual twist by HYLA Architects

2 story brick structure has the archetypal form of a gable roofed house with an unusual twist by HYLA Architects

Architects: HYLA Architects

Location: Singapore
Year: 2017
Area: 7.750 ft²/ 720 m²
Photo courtesy: Derek Swalwell

“This 2 story brick structure has the archetypal form of a gable roofed house with an unusual twist – part of this form is actually an external courtyard that contains the swimming pool. This “room without a roof”, becomes the central focus of the house and blurs the distinction between inside and outside. It also gives the house privacy by controlling the views both from and to the house.

The house is cladded in a dark grey and textured face brick, which is modulated in a variety of ways – either with brick sized openings or protruding bricks. On the second level is a precast concrete screen which is both for visual as well as sun screening. The last element in the external palette is a timber grid screen which gives a warm contrast to the brick and concrete.

Internally, smaller pockets of green extend the inside-outside theme throughout. The staircase is a cantilevered structure with a triangular section facing a tiered landscape wall. The attic lounge has its own planting strip and is a continuation of the courtyard space vertically.”

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The Curve by E V A: all-glass facade maximizes visibility and light penetration of this office building

The Curve by E V A: all-glass facade maximizes visibility and light penetration of this office building

Architects: E V A
Location: IJsselstein, The Netherlands
Year: 2017
Area: 17.222 ft²/ 1.600 m²
Photo courtesy: Luuk Kramer

“Transparency is a core value of the organization that will occupy this office, and was therefore an important starting point for the design. The all-glass facade maximizes visibility and light penetration. The shape of the building follows in essence the existing building lines of the adjacent buildings, the façade jumps in and out where an exception is requested by program or function.

The façade rim also detaches from the rest of the façade at specific points and provides canopies to limit sun exposure. On the corner of the intersection and the best view the second floor cantilevers to accentuate the corner. The same floor jumps back at the opposite side of the building to create a roof garden and mark the main entrance.

The electricity for he entire building is generated by solar panels. The mossedum grass roof improves infiltration of rainwater. CO2-controlled zone air handling units and presence detectors for lighting ensure that no energy is wasted. The building will have an energy label A ++++ and performs 70% better in energy preservation than is required by building regulations.”


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7 Visual Tricks to Make Your Outdoor Space Look Bigger

7 Visual Tricks to Make Your Outdoor Space Look Bigger

If you think you can’t do anything with your pocket-sized backyard, think again. A small outdoor space can be just as stylish and functional as a huge, sprawling yard. All it takes is a little inspiration and some planning.

So don’t give up on that little patch of grass just yet. Check out these seven visual tricks you can use to get the most out of your backyard!


  1. Get creative with your outdoor fencing

For the most part, traditional outdoor fencing is going to make your yard feel more closed in. But you don’t have to completely sacrifice space for privacy – with diagonal fencing, you can have the best of both worlds. Diagonal lines create a sense of movement and energy, making your outdoor space feel more open and free.

Another way you can use fencing to your advantage? Grow fence-friendly vines to brighten up the perimeter of your yard with lush greenery without taking up any additional space.

For more design ideas, you can check out this selection of creative fences in Frisco.



  1. Hang up outdoor string lights

Transform your backyard into a fairytale garden and open up the space by decorating with string lights. Lights are an easy way to fill the vertical space in your yard and make the area more comfortable and inviting at night.

When it comes to outdoor lighting, you have quite a few style options. Fairy lights, paper lanterns, and globe bulbs are popular choices that look amazing over any patio.


  1. Decorate with tall plants

When ground space is limited, you have to think vertically. Choose plants, pots, and trees that are tall and thin so that you can add a variety of greenery without taking up your entire garden. These vertical shapes also draw the eye upward, creating the illusion of more space.


  1. Use small, open-patterned furniture

Small backyards call for small decorations. That means saying goodbye to large outdoor benches and hello to petit bistro tables and chairs. To make your small outdoor furniture take up even less space, opt for open-patterned designs. A pair of stylish lattice patio chairs adds function without the visual clutter.

You can also use furniture to play with perspective. For example, putting larger furniture closer to your home and smaller furniture farther away creates the illusion of distance and gives your yard more depth.


  1. Experiment with elevation

Variation is key when it comes to creating a spacious and dynamic backyard. Because let’s face it – flat grass is just plain boring.

Shake things up a bit by adding levels. Something as simple as a sunken patio or a raised garden can add incredible depth to your little space.


  1. Divide your yard by function


Make your yard feel more spacious by separating it into several defined areas – you might have one space for dining, one for vegetable gardening, and one for planting flowers.

Dividing your yard into smaller areas based on function might seem counter-productive, but you’ll find that a well-organized yard feels so much bigger than one that’s been decorated at random.


  1. Hang mirrors

Mirrors might not be the first thing you think of when you set out to decorate your backyard, but they can do wonders for a small garden or patio. Positioned just right, the reflective surface tricks the eye into thinking that there’s more beyond it – it’s almost like a window into a secret garden.

A simple outdoor mirror lights up a shady corner, and a mirror that’s brightly colored and ornately framed makes for an eye-catching finishing touch. The possibilities are endless!


Get the Most Out of Your Backyard

At the end of the day, small spaces don’t have to be limiting. In fact, with the right planning, they can even be better than a large space. Get creative and have fun designing your dream yard with these tips!

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Lake’s Edge: light, airy holiday home by Chow:Hill Architects Architects: Chow:Hill Arc

Lake’s Edge: light, airy holiday home by Chow:Hill Architects

Architects: Chow:Hill Architects
Location: New Zealand
Year: 2017
Area: 5.920 ft²/ 550 m²
Photo courtesy: Amanda Aitken Photography

“These northern New Zealand lakes have been a holiday destination for our client for over twenty years; with family camping holidays on the lake edge, enjoying the natural environment this location offers. Our brief was to create a light, airy holiday home that sits naturally within the landscape, which was initially a farm paddock. The house serves as a second home whilst also catering for an influx of family and friends over the holiday periods. Continuing the camping traditions, a designated space for camping, with independent amenities, has been included in the design.

The concept was based around a series of floating planes that peel from the landscape, allowing the home to nestle into the contour of the gently sloping site. The two pavilion roofs of the main living area and master suite have the appearance of floating above the linear form of the house, which in turn creates an ever-changing play of light internally. The long sleek building form stretches across the back boundary, providing panoramic views to the Lake.

The native environment has been extended into the property with extensive planting in order to screen and frame views of the lake and the surrounding landscape. The material palette and colour selections again were chosen to complement the context.

With a dual driveway and drive through garage, launching the ski boat is made easy. This second entrance also provides for a separate guest parking area that is adjacent to the camping amenities. The seamless connections between the exterior and interior make the home feel larger than it is, ideal for entertaining and taking in the stunning vista.”

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Hide House Extension in Melbourne by Mani Architecture

Hide House Extension in Melbourne by Mani Architecture

Architects: Mani Architecture
Location: MelbourneAustralia
Year: 2016
Photo courtesy: Tatjana Plitt

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Two Angle House by Megowan Architectural is all about contrast and contemporary design

Two Angle House by Megowan Architectural is all about contrast and contemporary design

Architects: Megowan Architectural
Location: Mount ElizaVictoriaAustralia
Year: 2018
Photo courtesy: Tom Blachford

“The Two Angle house, located in the seaside town of Mount Eliza in Victoria, Australia, is about contrast. The interior and exterior are a play on the contrast between two angles of internal organization, the contrast between warm and cold materials and a considered contrast between architecture and landscape.

The two angles within the layout of the design are immediately expressed upon entry into the house. A large concrete blade wall extends due west out to frame a double height view of the bay while the prevailing angle of the surrounding subdivision is expressed through a spotted gum timber lined ceiling which leads to the main living area of the house.

Joinery volumes, the direction of decking and soffits, the board forming in the concrete, custom elongated strip lighting and large cantilevered decks all extend westward reinforcing and framing the principal western view. In angling off the suburban grid, the house was able to stretch from east to west across the site allowing for optimal passive solar design to every habitable room.

The house presents to the street as a modest single family home in scale with many of the older post war homes which exist in the area. It is only upon entry that the true scale of the house is revealed.

The principle areas of the house are designed on the top (second) floor allowing the two clients to live predominantly on one level despite the hillside nature of the site. The master bedroom was oriented to the north and east to allow for the clients to wake up with the sun and take in spectacular views across the bay to the Melbourne CBD. The kitchen living and outdoor terrace was oriented to the west and north to maximize the views and dramatically frame sunsets.


Extensive concrete in floors and walls acts as thermal mass while in slab hydronic heating further helps regulate interior temperatures. Water tanks, solar panels and solar hot water (both domestic and for pool) are some of the many sustainable initiatives.”

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House Zeist finished inside and out in exposed concrete by Bedaux de Brouwer Architects

House Zeist finished inside and out in exposed concrete by Bedaux de Brouwer Architects

Architects: Bedaux de Brouwer Architects
Location: ZeistThe Netherlands
Year: 2016
Area: 4.327 ft²/ 402 m²
Photo courtesy: Michel Kievits, Peter Keijsers

“The house is situated on the edge of a village in a natural setting where forest meets heathland. Distinctive features of the house are the raised patio and living area, the large overhanging roofs and the generous picture windows. The house is finished inside and out in exposed concrete. The straight lines and subdued detailing go to make up a striking design by Bedaux de Brouwer Architects.

The living area, which is raised above the forest floor, has the appearance of a pavilion and feels like a lookout post in the forest. At the back it runs into the patio, which overlooks the heath. The large glass panels and sliding door at the back provide views of the surrounding countryside. Further to the front, the rooms are more enclosed to provide a safer and cosier feel. Access to the living area and patio is via a concrete path and outside stairway. A concrete wall guides the visitor to the front door, which is sheltered by a thin steel canopy.

The main structure of the house consists of inner and outer concrete shells, poured on site, which required careful detailing and intensive coordination with the structural engineer and contractor.

The aluminium panorama facades are finished cleanly and merge unobtrusively into the walls and floors. Mullions have been minimised to ensure the least possible hindrance to the influx of light. As a result, the outer and inner spaces appear to flow seamlessly into each other. The aluminium louvres can be used to ensure privacy when desired.

The raw concrete gives the house a pure and basic appearance, which contrasts handsomely with the refined and restrained detailing of the frames, louvres and interior. The connection with the natural outdoor environment, the subdued design language and the use of materials give the house its striking character and provide an exceptional living experience.”

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4 Secrets to Improving the Security of Your Home

4 Secrets to Improving the Security of Your Home

Unfortunate as it is, we live in an ever-changing world where new threats are always around the corner. While this isn’t something anyone enjoys dwelling on, we are lucky enough that even with all these issues of security and safety, we exist in the most technologically advanced time and have innumerable proven ways to protect ourselves, our homes, and our families. Through securing your home, you will give yourself the gift of peace of mind. These security measures will prevent intrusion for the long haul. Let’s get in to the best secrets to improving your home security.


  1. Alarm System

This should be a no-brainer as the number one spot on the list. Alarm systems are great, as they are not only helpful after the fact of a burglary, but they mainly serve as a large point of prevention.

When potential burglars or intruders see an alarm system, they are statistically less likely to attempt a break-in. The trick here is that it must be obvious that the alarm system is armed and used often. A dusty alarm pad visible through your front window is a dead giveaway that the alarm isn’t used often and might still be worth a break-in to the intruder. Keep your alarm on at all times when away from your home.

Most alarm systems can alert local law enforcement if there is a breach, getting them on the scene immediately if someone does break in. This could prevent additional loss and get the perpetrator arrested before he even leaves your property!


  1. Fresh Door Locks

Depending on how long you’ve resided in your current home, it may be time to update the locks on your doors. Changing your locks regularly will beat the chances of anyone from the past possibly having access to your home.

It can be easy to forget who you let borrow keys once before, so rather than keeping meticulous track, simply change the locks every few years to enhance your home security. Getting a Locksmith in West Palm Beach out to your property, switching locks and providing new keys is a simple task. Even if you live in what you believe to be an incredibly safe area, it’s not worth the risk.


  1. Motion Detection

Motion detection and security camera systems are two of the more advanced items on this list. As a homeowner, you should be willing to take advantage of these newer safety precautions in order to keep your home, its residents, and possessions safe.

Many security systems now offer night vision cameras, motion activated lights or motion-activated resident notification. These sensors are so advanced that they can pick up any movement within a certain radius, either turning on lights, alerting the homeowner of motion, or both.

Both the light systems and camera systems are great investments into your home, as they make it increasingly harder for a burglar to break in unannounced.


  1. Maintain Constant Presence

One of the biggest tricks to improving the security of your home doesn’t even require a technical system or hardware. All it requires is a bit of effort on your part every day to make it seem like you are presently at home.

Signs that someone is home are some of the biggest deterrents to burglars. If you’re away, things like piling up mail, a closed garage with no cars, lights off, and even publicized social media posts advertising vacation can be dead giveaways of an empty home.

Next time you plan to leave, make sure to leave a couple lights on or invest in automated timers that can turn on in certain intervals to make the appearance that someone is home. You could also leave a locked car in the driveway to make it seem like someone is there. Always arrange for someone to take in your mail if away for a while, as a large pile of mail in a mailbox tells anyone who sees it that you haven’t been there in a long time.

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Simple and minimalist wooden Red Hill Residence by Finnis Architects

Simple and minimalist wooden Red Hill Residence by Finnis Architects

Architects: Finnis Architects
Location: MelbourneAustralia
Year: 2017
Photo courtesy: Les Hams

“Set in the picturesque wine region of Red Hill, The Red Hill Residence is a striking modern family home inspired by its surroundings.

The home’s entry greets you with a simple and minimalist facade enticing you into the design. Dark metal cladding which covers the walls as well as the pitched roof accentuates the shape of the house and highlights the timber features which wrap around to the back of the house and continue inside where light timber panelling emphasises the high angled ceilings. The dramatic hallway, flooded with light from the skylight, lead you through the generous living areas into the main entertaining space where the star of the house is on full display.

The home’s use of timber both in the interior and exterior of the design allow the materials to age naturally and blend in with the landscape. The timber ceiling which covers the main living and entertaining space continues outside and wraps around the entire house. The timber deck extends the living space outside where the grape vines cover the landscape. The bold colour of the timber will age gracefully and provide a tranquil setting for evening gatherings within the angled comfort of the architecture.

The feature deck also serves an environmental purpose allowing warm sun to heat the house during the winter and reflecting the hot sun during the summer. This architectural forethought allows the house to be comfortable all year round and minimise additional heating and cooling requirements. The house also has a cool cellar tucked under the living area and seen from the living space through toughened glass. This house will settle within the landscape and age over time, but through the use of natural materials and a modern design, but just like a good wine, this house will only get better with time.”


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Layered views and blurring edges of the Pine Tree Residence by SAOTA

Layered views and blurring edges of the Pine Tree Residence by SAOTA

Architects: SAOTA
Location: MiamiFloridaUnited States
Year: 2016
Area: 4,306 ft²/ 400 m²
Photo courtesy: Dan Forer

“Open plan living and the ability to live in and through your home has inspired this transparent and easy-living family home.  Set between the Indian Creek Canal and Pine Tree Drive in Miami’s historic Collin’s Waterfront district, the SAOTA-designed space is expansive and fluid – opening up to the activity of the canal when desired, or contained when privacy is needed.

Set on a strongly linear proportioned site, the building is porous, bringing the landscape and water bodies into the interior of the house to create a greater sense of space.

Through the introduction of a number of introverted and extroverted courtyards, the house boasts views to the outside in two directions. These views are visible from almost any point in the house, creating a tangible and immediate relationship to the outdoors.

“The design is as much about containment as it is about the views through the many living spaces, towards the Atlantic Ocean and world-renowned Miami Beach,” says SAOTA director, Philip Olmesdahl.  “While the overall contemporary architectural design is a key focus of the SAOTA design team, the use and connectivity of the spaces is the primary driver – how the house lives.”

The approach to living on the water is a unique Miami experience and something SAOTA sought to reinforce, in keeping with the continuous summers in Miami.  In total, the size of the overall body of water on the site, is about half the space of the six-bedroom house.


On arrival, a multi-purpose basketball court creates a buffer to Pine Tree Drive, offering a suspensive arrival experience as one enters into the grand, serene forecourt. On the opposite side of the property, to the back of the house, a pool pavilion provides a space for people to enjoy the immediacy of the water – both at the pool and at the waterway; an enclosed space offering an outdoor experience, while also allowing for privacy.

A great deal of time and effort went into the design of the pool courtyard,” says Mark Bullivant, SAOTA director. “Time was spent understanding the use of the spaces, including how and when the pool will be used. The outdoor area is animated by a series of events; whether that be the hot tub, BBQ, bar, or a two-storey waterslide. The waterslide forms a focal point at the pool pavilion and makes the space appealing for entertaining.”

Natural lighting plays a strong role in informing the design, with glazed openings to the side of the house flooding the interiors with natural light. The outdoor terrace is also designed to take full advantage of the Western sun, late into the afternoon.

“Raymond Jungles’ relaxed, confident and freehand approach to landscaping resulted in a natural environment that truly reflects Miami. The integration between interior and exterior spaces allows lush greenery to invade the home in a structured way.”

The concept of containment of the various living spaces is best embodied in the screens that cloak the building. Primarily born out of the functional need for privacy and solar control, their application evolved to something far more significant as punched anodised aluminium becomes architectural jewellery. The screens play with the character of light, heightening the experience of enclosure and transparency.

The screens have multiple functions; in some instances they define spaces, as seen with the double volume nature of the entrance, and in others they facilitate the creation of private protected sanctuaries, as seen in the bedroom where the terraces can be screened in to become part of the room. Where the screens are iconic and loud, the finishes are assertive, but restrained. A key intent has been to implement a palette that is controlled and continuous – limiting the materials to a core few wherever possible. This ensured a cohesion between various spaces, creating a home that is refined and comfortable to live in.

The interiors are designed in collaboration with Nils Sanderson. There is a refinement to the interior design of the home that subtly rouses all senses but leaves room for discovery. Serene and harmonious, the fluid finishes creates a sense of respite from the pace of city life. Warm tones are explored throughout the sun-filled spaces by using delicate manipulations of patterns and textures. This is complemented by unique lighting designed by Lux Populi. The designers approach keeps things calm and subdued, creating an effortless design. Singularity and warmth is achieved through various materials including the callacutta and limestone, the wood’s richness, texture and movement.

Working with DVice as the architect of record and Brodson as the construction company, Pine Tree is SAOTA’s first project to be completed in Miami.”

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Freshly refurbished Shoreditch Loft by Day True in London

Freshly refurbished Shoreditch Loft by Day True in London

Architects: Day True
Location: LondonUnited Kingdom
Year: 2018
Photo courtesy: Day True

“This freshly refurbished loft represents many of Day True’s values: a progressive and simple design that blend in the environment and enhances its architecture.

This was part of a full house project renovation and the client wanted to completely re-organize its structure. The large open space presented dual height aspect windows and a huge amount of natural light.

High ceiling and minimal concrete walls symbolized the starting point for this endeavour, using design as the mean to create decoration and play with the environment, creating clever ways to add space to it.”


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The Advantages of Selling Your House with a Flat Fee MLS Listing

The Advantages of Selling Your House with a Flat Fee MLS Listing


Selling your home can be a long, stressful, and expensive experience – one that people usually don’t want to repeat in a hurry!


Making sure that your next home is your dream home-for-life is most people’s priority; but sometimes life happens, and you need to move away. Maybe you got a new job in a new state, need to move closer to family, or just decide you need a fresh start. On top of all this, huge commissions paid to realtors can put you on a back foot financially when you need your money the most.

That’s why so many people are foregoing the realtor route and choosing to sell their house through the MLS instead. MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service, and when you do it yourself, requires only one flat fee to list your home on dozens of the very best property listing sites.

Below, we’re listing all the reasons why selling your home yourself using this service has multiple benefits over using a realtor.



  1. Save $$$

When you partner with a realtor to sell your property, they will usually charge you a hefty listing commission to register your home on the MLS and may even charge you with a buyer’s agent commission when the sale is going through.

By self-listing on the MLS, you pay just one flat fee, with zero listing commission to your realtor. You may have to pay a buyer’s agent commission if your buyer is purchasing through a realtor; but even in this case, you could still potentially save thousands. If your buyer doesn’t have a realtor, you pay NO commission!

Basically, by listing your property yourself and not paying an expensive real estate broker to do it for you, you get to keep your money to put towards your new forever property.


  1. You’re In Control

Sure, a real estate agent will take the load off your hands – for a big price. They negotiate offers for you, market your home to potential buyers, and set up viewings without you needing to lift a finger. But this way, you lose money and control.

Listing your home yourself means that you can set your own price, schedule your own open house viewings, and liaise directly with buyers to ensure your home is going to the right family. You can negotiate offers and counter-offers yourself, meaning that you get the exact price that you want for your property. You’re even in charge of marketing your home: you take the photos and write the advert. After all, you know your own property’s selling points better than any realtor does.

With self-MLS listing, you’re in charge of the whole process – meaning no people viewing your home at inconvenient times or feeling that your agent is underselling your house. It may take a little extra work on your part, but it’s worth it in the end.


  1. You Gain Selling Experience

Selling your first home yourself is the hard part. Once you’ve learnt the laws of the land, housing market rules and regulations, and all the dos and don’ts, there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same again!

Selling a house on your own initiative takes time and energy, but once you make your first sale for a huge profit, you’ll be addicted. The project management, marketing and sales skills you gain could lead to a new career in real estate!

So: you’ve saved (and potentially made) thousands of dollars, gained a new expertise and bought yourself a new house in the process – all by yourself, without help from the experts.

Flat fee MLS listing is the new big thing for people who have the time to invest in such a project. People are finding that they can easily fit this in around their work and family commitments if they truly want to do so.


What are you waiting for? Investigate flat fee MLS selling today if you’re considering selling your home – you won’t regret it!

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Technology for Your Bathroom That Will Change Your Life

Technology for Your Bathroom That Will Change Your Life


We all love our gadgets: but do we need them in the bathroom? Really?

The digital age excludes nothing, and our bathrooms should be no exception. Technology exists to make life easier for us, and there are now plenty of ways that it helps us to better enjoy our showers, make things more hygienic, and speed up the process of washing.

So, if you’re looking to update your bathroom and want to bring in some specially-made, water-safe tech, browse our top ideas to help streamline your showers. A musical showerhead is definitely on our must-have list!


Electronic Toilet


Electronic toilets are becoming more and more popular and accessible across the world. Models like the TOTO Neorest range can be found in homes across America, due to the cleanliness and comfort they bring to you and your home!

Here’s just a few features that explains why everyone is after a Neorest:

  • Contains electrolyzed water for self-cleaning – this works basically the same as household bleach, which cleans the toilet and everything in it with effective sanitation. The best part? It’s entirely natural and turns back into ‘normal’ water within about two hours. That equals a sparkling clean commode with no harmful chemicals being flushed into the environment.
  • Spray washer for ultimate freshness (and saving you a ton on toilet roll).
  • Automatic lid, which knows when to close and open without you needing to touch it at all!


Whirlpool Bath

After a long, hard day at work, you deserve more than just a quick soak in a normal tub.

Enter the whirlpool bath: a tub pierced with tiny jet nozzles, turning your bath into a luxury jacuzzi at the touch of a button. Some even come with in-built LED lights to light up the water in any arrangement of the rainbow that you wish. They also usually feature a range of settings, so you can go from ‘bubbling brook’ to ‘river rapids’ depending on your mood.

You’ll never settle for still water again after you’ve tried a whirlpool – install one in your home today! These can come in all shapes and sizes, including regular rectangle, corner tubs, and even circular. You can even go all-out and get one the size of a small swimming pool, if you’ve the money and the space! Get yourself a whirlpool bath from brands like Trojan, Snowden and Verona.


Smart Taps


Smart taps are a great idea not just for convenience and cleanliness, but for conserving water, too. Instead of having to twist a stubborn handle to turn on your taps, you need only wave a hand across it to turn on the stream.

This means no grubby hands need to touch the fixture, meaning less cleaning for you, as it keeps a mess-free sink surface. These are also great for kids, disabled people and the elderly who might struggle with turning on normal taps.

To counteract the problem of the sensor being set off by something other than someone needing to wash their hands, these taps usually have a short timer and automatically shut off, preventing water loss.

They also come with aerated streams – water flow infused with air – making the stream softer to the touch while wasting less water. What are you waiting for? Get a smart tap from brands like Grohe, RAK, Orion and more.


Showerhead Speaker

Music fans will know that unless you have a good-quality speaker, it can be hard to hear your favorite tunes when there’s water running – especially if you have a power shower. Luckily, various brands have come up with an ingenious solution to eliminate this pesky problem: in-built showerhead speakers.

These completely waterproof speakers are set into the actual showerhead where the water flows from and can be connected to any music device that has Bluetooth capabilities. Perform your shower karaoke routine in style, without straining to hear the words! Look to companies like Kohler to purchase your very own showerhead speaker.

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The Farmer’s House by AR Design Studio

The Farmer’s House by AR Design Studio

Architects: AR Design Studio
Location: United Kingdom
Year: 2017
Area: 6.600 ft²/ 613 m²
Photo courtesy: Martin Gardner

“The Farmer’s House acts as the UK base for AR Design Studio’s clients, who return to the English countryside from their travels to tend to their farmstead. Set on a private estate in the most western part of the South Downs National Park, the house’s rural location is its raison d’etre.

AR Design Studio were approached by the clients who were looking to add a completely self- contained yet joined annexe, that would be a space for their children and grandchildren to ‘take over’ when they were staying.

The existing house had been subject to a number of previous alterations and extensions throughout the years which had led to it feeling mismatched and sitting uncomfortably on the plot.


The team at AR Design Studio proposed an extension and makeover that would wrap everything together in a unified and elegant form. The old and new are joined by a glazed link that sits between the existing house and the new annexe. The annex, which sits to the east, is surrounded by a large covered alfresco dining and relaxing area. The terrace and pool sat centrally in front of the house are tied in with a large sweeping canopy above. This reaches around the existing house, and continues to the west of the plot, providing an additional sheltered seating space. This canopy incorporates openings for the existing trees and partial shading elements, providing protection to the southern facing façade with delicate timber louvres.

In terms of updating the existing house, the traditional geometry has been embraced, using materiality to tie the scheme together. The wrapping gesture is continued with an element of Zinc, beginning on the north elevation of the existing house and continuing over the roof to overhang and provide shading to the south elevation, while the remaining facades of the existing house are now clad in Kebony Wood to match the extension.

A palette of natural and man-made materials was carefully curated. The zinc has a strong agricultural feel that defines the context and client’s heritage whilst providing a protective gesture. This is contrasted with the linear timber cladding which acts as a contemporary, yet rural material, and the fibre cement provides a cool toned solidity to compliment the warm details of timber.

Visually, the extension appears as a single mass placed on the landscape, with the snug, kitchen/living and dining space, utility room, and two of 3 bedrooms on the ground floor. Small punctuations have been made into the timber cladding to introduce natural light, yet their scale kept modest to protect the rooms from the on looking driveway. The geometry of the façade is clad with fibre cement and provides the dining area with more privacy. The hidden subterranean mass below avoids a visual bulk which could otherwise swamp the existing house’s proportions, and includes a bedroom, plant room and garage space for 2 cars.

Internally, the finishes have been kept minimal with cool grey tones, similar to that of the fibre cement cladding. Warm touches are constantly visible through the furnishings and timber cladding.

East facing bedrooms catch the morning light and have extensive views over the surrounding South Downs, whilst strategically placed skylights have been used throughout the project to introduce natural light into spaces deeper in the plan.

The scheme now stands as a single architectural form that stretches out across the garden setting. Looking at the wider context, the strong geometry sits amongst a structured landscape, which gradually dissolves into the farm land beyond.”

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Gothic Revival Church renovated and transformed into 30 unique residential condominiums

Gothic Revival Church renovated and transformed into 30 unique residential condominiums

Architects: Bonstra I Haresign Architects
Location: Washington DCUSA
Year: 2017
Area: 35.000 ft²/ 3.252 m²
Photo courtesy: Bonstra I Haresign Architects

“The Sanctuary is a Gothic Revival Church that was adaptively preserved and repurposed into a contributing structure of the Capitol Hill Historic District. The project encompasses three buildings, the church and two adjacent townhouses, with a gross floor area of 34,693 square feet. Meticulous restoration and careful space planning transformed the purpose-built spaces into 30 unique residential condominiums.

Each unit has a distinctive floor plan focusing on maximizing original features such as exposed brick and cast-iron columns. The church’s original stained and leaded glass windows were carefully reassembled by hand, using the original glass or historically accurate reproduction glass. The interior was entirely gutted, leaving only the first and second floor framing, a restored existing stairwell and the shaped ceilings on the top floor.”

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Heritage setting with contemporary sustainable design, redefining typical urban townhouse design

Heritage setting with contemporary sustainable design, redefining typical urban townhouse design

Architects: Melbourne Design Studios
Location: MelbourneAustralia
Year: 2017
Photo courtesy: Peter Clarke

Located in an historic and tightly-held pocket of inner-city Melbourne, this multi-award-winning boutique development features six bespoke and individual urban residences.

The development balances a heritage setting with contemporary sustainable design, redefining typical urban townhouse design to hero connection with the landscape and surrounds, and to feature intriguing details.

Rather than a series of row houses, these are individual. loveable and inviting homes.


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