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Updated: 2017-08-17T17:14:32-04:00


Incredible Tuscan villa can yours for $1.15M


Imagine life under the Tuscan sun Have you ever dreamed of owning a home in the countryside of Tuscany? Of course you have. Well, here’s your chance, provided you’ve got just a little over a million bucks to spare. In euros, that’s actually under a million, which sounds much more palatable, even though it’s still a hefty chunk of change. Located in the hills of Pistoia between Lucca and Florence, this 18th-century villa has been impeccably restored and boasts a wealth of incredible original details. These include an incredible great room with frescoed walls and inlaid coffered ceilings, original terra cotta floors, a rustic dining room with a massive fireplace, and so much more. Five dreamy bedrooms—many with exposed, rough-hewn ceiling beams, four bathrooms, a studio, and an additional living room unfurl across the 5,381-square-foot home. Numerous windows frame views toward the rolling valley, which surrounds the home on all sides. For that quaint, Tuscan-countryside lifestyle, look no further than this property, which is offered at 980,000 euros, or approximately $1.148 million. Via: Sotheby’s International Realty [...]

Cocoon-like villas offer sweeping volcano views in Rwanda




Traditional yet statement-making, thatched structures are a popular choice for new nature retreats these days. The latest example comes by way of a striking luxury villa development in Rwanda, with wide views of nearby volcanoes and proximity to a gorilla conservation area.

Designed by Garreth Kriel from South African firm Nicholas Plewman Architects, “Bisate Lodge” offers six dwellings, each with cocoon-like forms and domed roofs, which mimic hills of the surrounding landscape. The earthy vibe becomes more refined inside, where interior designers Caline Williams-Wynn and Nilfah Adams showcase a rich variety of woven materials. Each lodge clocks in at about 980 square feet and includes a living area with a full-height fireplace, bedroom, bathroom, and private deck.

The villas, developed by ecotourism company Wilderness Safaris, also come with a reforestation component, for which 15,000 trees of 10 indigenous species were planted, along with three sewage treatment plants to avoid site contamination.


Via: Designboom

Take a peek at this incredible cliff house overlooking the Aegean Sea



Casa Brutale will be built by Dutch firm LAAV Architects

A spectacular cliff house is set to be built into a mountainside in Beirut, Lebanon, by Dutch firm LAAV Architects. Called Casa Brutale and clearly inspired by Brutalist architecture (as well as Capri’s Casa Malaparte, the boxy structure would slot into the face of Faqra mountain and be entirely underground.

But the most surprising feature of the 2,900-square-foot residence would be its breathtaking rooftop infinity pool with a reinforced-glass bottom, which in turn would make up the home’s massive, skylit ceiling.

What’s more, the ocean-facing side of the home, where the living and dining area are positioned, is also entirely gazed, providing a double-height—not to mention dizzying—view of the Aegean Sea, 5,400 feet above sea level. It would be like living in a fish bowl of sorts. That is, if a fish bowl were rectangular.

The home accommodates six people and features a guest bedroom on the main floor and a mirrored master suite on the mezzanine level, where a built-in bed is made of concrete and finished in wood. The entrance to the cliff house is accessed by a grand concrete staircase of 50 steps. For an inside sneak peek, check out the video above.

Target will launch Project 62, a midcentury-inspired furniture line, next month



It hits stores on Tuesday, September 19

Target’s Project 62 line of midcentury modern-inspired furniture and accessories, which the company announced last month, has a look book now—and it seems promising.

Named for the year Target was founded (1962) and for, according to the company, the year “modernist design hit its peak,” the brand arrives online on Saturday, September 16 and hits stores on Tuesday, September 19. Good news, city dwellers: The line puts special emphasis on small spaces, with accent chairs, ottomans, and side tables Target says can easily serve multiple functions.

The 1,200-piece line also includes things like throw pillows, rugs, barware, dishes, serveware, bedding and more. As promised, the line does have the streamlined look and simple metallic accents we’ve come to know and love from midcentury designs. Have a favorite color palette? You have your pick of four color families for your furniture and home goods purchases from the Project 62 line: “black and white,” “cobalt,” “blush,” and “neutrals.” Take a look at everything that will be on offer right over here.

Looking for advice on how to decorate your tiny apartment? We’ve got you covered.


This picture ledge saved me from my addiction to gallery walls



I am thinking of naming my first child after this product

I am thinking of naming my first child Mosslanda.

Mosslanda Ikea Picture Ledge Kuchar doesn’t roll off the tongue, but this product is important enough to me that I need to honor it in a profound way. (Also, this is not me letting everyone know I am pregnant. Mom, I am not pregnant.)

I had an addiction to gallery walls. “Just one more,” I’d say, as I hammered another ill-fitting nail into my walls—missing the stud, of course.

I’m also a chronic renter, which means moving always required gallons of spackle for patching up holes.

Gallery walls are great—in theory. If you are able to hang a beautiful gallery wall with excellent composition, I am so happy for you—I really am! I am not that person, though. I really wanted to be, and until I found the Mosslanda picture ledge at Ikea, my walls were just a reminder of my failure—a failure that was sprinkled on the walls of nearly every room of the various apartments I rented over the years.

You see, this picture ledge is the happy place for people who started reading The Life- Changing Magic of Tidying Up with the best intentions but then stopped midway because they couldn’t refrain from balling up their clean socks, nor could they bear to get rid of their books. It is hope.

It is a clean slate, literally. It’s a ledge, and you can cram as much art onto it as you want, because it has a depth of 4 34 inches. It comes in two lengths: 21 34 inches and 45 14 inches. I have both. I take a maximalist approach to minimalism.

There are two colors, black and white, though I suppose you could paint them the color of your wall if you want them to “disappear” into it. Sure, fine. Do what you want.

I plop framed posters, family photos, original works of art, and prints on them. Hell, I even have a pennant hanging from one. There are tiles, there are mementos. My dog’s Canine Good Citizen certificate sits on the one in the living room, while a tintype photo of us rests on top of it without obstructing the words.

I love the way it looks.

I look at these ledges and I see my family, my friends, my hobbies. I feel warm. I am happy.

Never do I look at the ledges and think, “Wow, the spacing between that gold-leaf frame with the Beyoncé pun (To infinity and Beyoncé) and the wedding photo of my grandparents is off. Better get the hammer and nails.” It is such a relief.

I have so much art crammed onto my ledges and it still looks so clean. The greatest thing? There’s no permanence. When I grow tired of one of my husband’s dozens of 311 posters (don’t ask), I just swap them out for something else. It is a love story. A love story about harmony between my art and my home.

California Eichler trimmed in blue asks $1.2M


Located in San Rafael Have a nomination for a jaw-dropping listing that would make a mighty fine House of the Day? Get thee to the tipline and send us your suggestions. We'd love to see what you've got. Location: San Rafael, California Price: $1,175,000 Trimmed in blue, this inviting Eichler home with its signature atrium entrance has come on the market in the Terra Linda neighborhood of San Rafael, California. It was built in 1959 and has since been updated, retaining many original midcentury period details including an open floorplan, tongue-and-groove beamed ceilings, and, of course, walls of glass that open directly onto the pool out back. The 1,894-square-foot single-story residence is entered beneath the point of the low-pitched gabled roof by way of a recessed patio, beyond which is an open courtyard separated by full-height windows. Once inside, a new kitchen with bright blue cabinetry to match the house’s trim shares space with a dining area and living room. On the other side of the kitchen is a cozy, carpeted family room with a cinder block fireplace and a glazed wall, while four bedrooms and three bathrooms are arranged along the front of the home. Outside, beyond the pool are an upper garden as well as planting beds, plus views toward the hills of San Rafael. Located at 324 Devon Drive, it’s offered at $1.175 million. Via: Sotheby’s International Realty, (h/t Estately) [...]

Charles Haertling: Modernism in the mountains


Nature’s own intricate patterns inspired the architect’s outlandish homes Charles Haertling called the city of Boulder, Colorado, his gallery, and throughout his decades-long career in architecture, he drew inspiration from the city’s incomparable mountain landscapes. He didn’t just frame gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains, but built with nature in mind, replicating organic forms in a series of custom private homes for fellow artists, intellectuals, and nonconformists. Often compared to Bruce Goff and Frank Lloyd Wright, Haertling found inspiration beyond modern theory and forms. The homes and offices he designed riffed off the shapes of yucca pods, a mass of barnacles, and even a human eye (the entry, of course, was in the cornea). Haertling didn’t seek these shapes for the sake of being nonconformist; he diligently interviewed clients for days, often steering homeowners to other architects if he didn’t feel like the project was a good fit. But the laborious process meant that while his 39 Boulder-area homes may have drawn double takes from neighbors—the Denver Post once wrote about the way his “space craft home” drew onlookers—they were above all livable, carefully mimicking nature’s balance of form and function. Biography After graduating from high school in his hometown of St. Genevieve, Missouri, Charles Haertling joined the Navy in 1946 for a two-year stint. During a series of military aptitude tests shortly after registration, he discovered his natural design talent and decided to pursue a career in architecture. After serving, he went back to Missouri, graduated from Washington University in 1952, and took a teaching position at Colorado University in Boulder in 1953. Courtesy of the Boulder Public Library The prow of the Volsky House, a circular structure that leaned over the hillside. Between teaching and apprenticing for local architects, including Jim Hunter and Tician Papachristou, Haertling was on his way to starting his own practice, and would open his own office in 1957. But nothing in a classroom or office inspired him as much as his new surroundings; obsessed with the mountains and Colorado’s natural beauty, he would work there his entire life. Haertling’s big break came with the 1958 Noble House, a series of thin, folded octagonal forms he described as a “wigwam.” As clients began hearing of the unorthodox Boulder designers and approaching him for their own eccentric homes, Haertling didn’t disappoint, constantly varying his style and approach. The circular 1964 Volsky House, arranged around a central indoor garden, had such an odd shape and dramatic balcony, which jutted out like a ship’s prow, that neighbors petitioned against its construction. His bold, blocky Razee House, an outlier in a portfolio of curvaceous creations, was Brutalism at its best, down to lined concrete walls (it’s since been renovated, without sacrificing its bold facade). St. Stephen’s Church, a rare nonresidential design, was a caricature of hyberbolic paraboloids, a set of swooping curves that looks more Googie than god-like. His perfectly perched Aspen Leaf House, featuring a flared copper roof, offers a stunning view of the surrounding mountains and hills. Haertling’s portfolio, though small, lived up to his early promise, making it all the more tragic that his career was cut short. Diagnosed with brain cancer in 1984 at 54, Boulder’s irrepressible architect was forced to stop working in his prime. Courtesy of the Boulder Public Library Brenton House Buildings to know All of Haertling’s creations had character. But none makes as much of an impression as 3752 Wonderland Hill Avenue, officially called the Breton House but known to locals as the Mushroom House. A bulbous white building formed from five pods of polyurethane foam and rebar, it’s fam[...]

‘Game of Thrones’ turned Ikea rugs into capes, and now you can too



The Swedish retailer just released assembly instructions for the rug-to-medieval-garb transformation

Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer, has jumped on the revelation that the mega-popular HBO show Game of Thrones used the company’s Skold and Ludde rugs as capes. The company recently released a set of assembly instructions for the rug-to-cape transformation.

The one-page manual for “Vinter” uses the company’s signature visual style to depict Ikea Man cutting a neck area in the sheepskin and wearing it in the style of John Snow, a popular character on the show.

(image) Ikea via Facebook

The instructions, shared on Ikea’s Norwegian Facebook page, were inspired by a comment made last year by Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton. Talking about the black fur capes worn by members of the Night’s Watch, Clapton revealed: “These capes are actually IKEA rugs. It's a bit of a trick... We cut and we shaved them, and we added strong leather straps and then break them down.”

The comments were more recently passed around online, prompting Ikea’s playful response, created by SMFB, a Norwegian creative agency.

Via: Dezeen

Tiny house packs all the essentials in 100 square feet



A nugget of dreamy small living

This new off-grid dwelling designed by Modern Tiny Living, endearingly named Nugget, manages to fit a bathroom, kitchenette, and full-sized bed into just 102 square feet. Built atop a single-axle trailer, the home weighs about 4,500 pounds and features simple pine siding and a metal roof.


Unlike the vast majority of tiny homes, the interior isn’t lined in wood, rather, its walls are finished with what appears to be sheetrock or insulating panels. The kitchen features a polished wooden countertop—there are matching wood shelves throughout the space—as well as a copper faucet and copper knobs.

There isn’t a stove, but a stow-able hotplate might suffice. A mini fridge is also installed beneath the counter. The bathroom has a composting toilet as well as a simple shower. The built-in bed hides storage beneath.


The entire home can function off-grid, powered by solar panels on its roof and an integrated inverter and battery set. It’s also got a 100-gallon fresh water tank and a propane heater.

The price tag for the so-called “most livable 12-foot home on the market” is $36,000. Worth it?


Via: New Atlas

Gunnar Birkerts, postwar modernist, dies at 92


The Latvian-American architect’s legacy is more relevant than ever “The School That Will Vanish,” reads the headline on Architectural Forum’s November 1967 story on Gunnar Birkerts’ Lincoln Elementary School in Columbus, Indiana. Birkerts had first worked in Columbus, that hotbed of postwar modernism, in the early 1950s, as project architect on Eero Saarinen & Associates’ Irwin Union Trust building. Harry Weese, John Carl Warnecke, The Architects Collaborative and Edward Larrabee Barnes had all designed schools in the intervening decade but, unlike its six predecessors, Lincoln was set on an urban site, just down the street from Eliel Saarinen’s First Christian Church and the under-construction main library by I.M. Pei. “They thought they didn’t need another star architect to build another one of those things,” Birkerts told me in an interview last year. “They thought they were losing part of the community. I had a good solution to that problem: first of all, the school occupies the smallest area that you could have, a square, and the rest returns to the town as a park.” Courtesy of Bentley Historical Library Gunnar Birkerts Birkerts died this week, at 92, but his work has never seemed more relevant. I cited his underground addition to William Pereira’s Geisel Library in San Diego as a possible precedent for an Albright-Knox extension; when I defined Late Modernism as “beefy bold shapes, wrapped in singular materials, sticking their sharp corners in our faces,” (and as worth preserving) I was thinking of him. Birkerts’s best work combines Louis Kahn’s new monumentality with a judicious amount of flash, an ease with metaphor, and an embrace of engineering. Birkerts loved geometry, the simpler the better, so around the square brick school, he created a sunken circular garden. Around the circular garden, he planted a ring of linden trees. The top of the two-story school would reach no higher than the trees, and the trees were no higher than the roofs of the neighborhood’s houses. For a modernist trained Bauhaus-style at the Technische Hochschule in Stuttgart, Germany, and who then worked in the offices of both Saarinen and Minoru Yamasaki, context was scale, context was material, and context was form. From above, Lincoln could be a Bauhaus brooch. From the sidewalk, the broad steps leading to the school’s second-floor entrance can look a bit forbidding, but inside, all is light. Daylit classrooms are arranged around the building’s perimeter, on two levels, and circulation is handled by a rectangular hallway which gives access to the classrooms as well as the central, double-height multipurpose space, topped with a peaked roof and faced in golden birch panels. To bring light to the center of the square, the upper hallway doesn’t touch the walls of the multipurpose room: a rectangular rooftop skylight sends shafts of light through the school, illuminating the wooden ark. A post shared by arcgeometer (@arcgeometer) on Aug 8, 2017 at 9:23pm PDT It’s a grand, poetic gesture, hidden inside a seemingly prosaic wrapper. Birkerts would come to be known for bigger things: the giant catenary bridge of Minneapolis’s former Federal Reserve Bank (1973), the mountain peak of his Latvian National Library, finally completed in 2014, but this modest project, early in his independent architectural career, demonstrates the surprise that makes his work special: massive form, manipulated light, Nordic (or rather, Baltic) warmth. The children who went to Lincoln knew its secret and they, after all, were his clients. Birkerts’s Calvary Baptist Church in Detroit, where he practiced for 50 years, offers a different version of surprise. On a site next to Frederick Law Olmsted’s historic Elmwood Cemetery,[...]