The Library House is a vibrant home designed to be a peaceful oasis for a family of three by Khosla Associates, located in Bangalore, India. The architects were asked to create a relatively small program for a three bedroom house within a large 13,000 square foot plot of land.
Description from the architects: The brief for this house was a well articulated document that delved into the nuances of how this family of 3 wanted to live. The family, comprising an entrepreneur-industrialist, married to a bohemian writer and with a teenage daughter, wanted the house to reflect the diverse range of their lives.
Our clients wanted privacy from staff and casual visitors. Seeking a peaceful oasis from the stresses of life, the homeowners wanted space to breathe, a verandah to watch the rain fall and a garden to potter about in. They wanted an ecologically sensitive house, contemporary yet nostalgic about old Bangalore; and since they were avid readers, a space to accommodate their ever-growing collection of books.
From the road, a modest colonnaded Mangalore tiled walkway with wooden columns traverses a tropical courtyard and one enters the home via a light filled foyer.
The Library is given importance as a central space as it combines various activities for the family and provides an anchor to the house. The 750 square foot area has a 25 foot high gabled roof with wooden trusses and a bookshelf spanning over 30 feet. It is a casual space where the family congregates, where carefully demarcated areas for lounging, studying, listening to music, playing the piano, and entertaining are carved out in an open plan layout.
The generosity of space gently spills out via large sliding doors into an ample verandah, pool deck and garden. The interconnectedness of these areas allow for a grand and seamless living space. Comfortable clusters of seating in the verandah and deck interact with the library as well as the garden.
The house achieves a great degree of efficiency in generating most of it’s own electricity via photovoltaic solar panels, and stores excess rainwater in a large underground sump.
The Library house juxtaposes different moods within its plan, modulating scale and creating an element of surprise as you enter, and a process of discovery as you move along. There is a layering of space and a continuing bricolage of old and new, global and Indian, that extends through all the spaces.
Photos: Shamanth Patil J.
Manitou Lodge is a modern cottage retreat conceived for a family that loves to entertain, cook, and eat by Prototype Design Lab, located at Lake Manitou, Ontario, Canada. The brief was to plan for a lifestyle based around the kitchen — the centerpiece of the home.
Description of the project from the architects: They enjoy sharing their cooking passion and don’t want to be isolated from all the activity. For them, the kitchen is the communal area where experimentation and conversation about, and it’s for this reason that the kitchen became the center of our design focus. We knew that this space had to be functional, but incredible.
The kitchen starts out like a restaurant kitchen, with durable, stainless steel surfaces, but is designed to be warm and eclectic with a great mix of modern & vintage fixtures; pendant lamps, floating shelves and stunning blackened steel-framed chalkboard panels acting as cabinet doors.
Then there are some really warm elements such as a reclaimed barn wood wall and ceiling feature, marble counter tops, glass shelving and salvaged beam table. The palette of the space suggest vintage, contemporary and industrial all at the same time!
Photos: Sergio Sabag
Bathrooms are entirely more than just an extension of your home or apartment, they should be designed as a space where you relax and unwind after a long, tiresome day. In fact, they are wonderful spaces where your loved ones can spend some personal time and gather their thoughts. From elegant bubble baths to soothing showers and more, washrooms play a pivotal and essential role in any residential or commercial unit. As a result, they must be properly maintained at all times. This includes frequent cleaning, along with accessories and designs that effectively match the overall decor. Bathroom renovations and remodeling continue to soar in popularity, with homeowners spending $10,422 USD on average for bathroom renovations. With a strong emphasis on ambient and vibrant lighting, these rooms truly capture the allure and essence of fine living.
Have a look at some of our other articles on bathroom inspiration, 44 Absolutely stunning dark and moody bathrooms and 43 Most fabulous mood-setting romantic bathrooms ever.
Illuminating Bathrooms with the Right Lights
While tubs, showers, and sinks are important, finding the right lights for bathrooms are also essential to creating not only a mood, but for varying tasks while using your bathroom. From low wattage bulbs to track lights, there are a myriad of styles and designs available. These lights not only spruce up bathrooms but also accentuate tones and shadows. For years, numerous individuals have asked how can the right lights transform your bathroom? According to interior design specialists, selecting the right lighting systems can truly impact overall design and theme. For example: contemporary schemes usually entail systems that appear futuristic and streamlined. Similarly, flood lights are perfect for extensive bathrooms that feature large closets, cabinets, and extensive sinks and tile work.
Lighting Styles and Accessories
Whether for new or existing bathrooms, there are countless lighting styles and accessories to select from. This includes central lighting systems, along with ceiling fans and especially wall lighting. The latter comes in a wide array of designs that are affordable and match any scheme. This includes double wall lights, single wall lights, and even LED and tube lighting systems. From Padova and Olivia to Palermo and Mashiko, there are several leading brands available that will achieve desired results. If pressed for time, the Internet is a great place for brand and price comparisons. For those designing bathrooms on their own, local home and bathroom improvement stores are also great for accessing new ideas, tips, and suggestions.
Choosing the Right Design
Choosing the right lights and designs also depend on a number of factors. For one, the lights must coincide with the overall look of the washroom. This includes tiles, along with rugs, fixtures, and especially plants and wall hangings. The height of the ceiling also plays a crucial role in determining the right amount of lighting. While flush lights are great for low ceilings, discreet lights work best for tall ceilings and wide bathrooms. Chandeliers are great in capturing the allure and essence of romance and traditional décor. Contemporary lighting systems also offer simplicity at its finest. There are even water proof controllers for centralized and streamlined lighting systems. With so many options available, it’s never been easier to find the right lighting for your bathroom.
Professional Lighting Experts
If looking for professional lighting installers, companies such as AbbeyGate Lighting are simply a phone call away. With years of extensive industry experience, companies like this will have the tools and expertise to meet your lighting needs within your timeframe and budget. Whether you need upgrades or complete lighting system overhauls, look for a local specialist in your area. If you are tired of dully and moody bathrooms, securing the right lights will truly illuminate all master and smaller washrooms in your house or flat.
Photo Sources: 1. Fiorella Design, 2. Gast Architects, 3. K2 Design, 4. Ownby Design, 5. Garret Cord Werner Architects, 6. Urrutia Design, 7. Design4space, 8. Jeff Sheats Designs, 9. 186 Lighting Design Group, 10. Studio K B, 11. Bruce Bierman Design, 12. John Senhauser Architects, 13. SPACIZ Design Studio
The Bella Vita Villa is a contemporary oceanfront retreat integrating indoor / outdoor living, designed by Prototype Design Lab, located in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The villa explores lightness, filtering natural breezes, layers of transparency and integrating indoor / outdoor spaces within dynamic patterns of light and shadow, providing a simple frame within which a contemporary sustainable lifestyle can unfold.
Description from the architects: The beachfront facade is almost entirely sliding glass openings to maximize on the view, natural light andfresh breeze of the ocean. The villa is wrapped on the top and bottom by solid concrete bands which extend along the sides of the house to become the solid entrance facade.
The entrance evokes a fortress-like grandeur, into which a masterfully crafted, poured-in place concrete frame successively recedes toward an door of a more intimate human scale. This drama is counterbalanced by the old-world beauty of an original, hand-carved wood door, reclaimed and imported from India. Lighting helps nighttime visitors appreciate the full effect of the majestic doorway, with its receding concrete panels.
The layering continues in the foyer with a custom lace patterned grand staircase cantilevered off of a board-form concrete wall.The connection between the expansive deck, LED-lit negative-edge pool, and living spaces is dynamicand direct.
At the heart of the house, an expansive great room is an entertainer’s dream, featuring 30-foot ceilings, a large chef’s kitchen and a twosided indoor-outdoor fireplace above which sunlight is filtered through the custom laser-cut chimney pattern. The secluded white beach is a focal point with which almost every room in the villa enjoys a connection.
Let there be lightness: sunlight streams through the open beachside facade, filtering through the custom cut-steel fireplace to create patterned shadows within. By night, its illuminated column serves as a beacon when viewed form the beach.
The grand staircase lives up to its name. The drama is created using laser-cut steel panels designed by the architect, fabricated in Toronto, and then shipped to the island along with reclaimed heavy-timber beams for the stairs.
The villa’s bathrooms incorporate floating fixtures of glass and chrome played against black Brazilian slate walls and floors.
Lower-level beachfront bedrooms have the added benefit of direct access to the deck and pool areas.
Photos: Eugen Sakhnenko / A-Frame
This partly 2 storey home was designed to accommodate an extended family of eight on a relatively modest site within a dense urban context. A bedroom for each of the four children, one for the parents and another possibly for grandparents, generous living spaces and a swimming pool were key to the brief.
Situated in a relatively intact heritage streetscape in Balaclava the project required an approach that restored the street presence of the original Victorian weatherboard, badly disfigured over time and added the spaces required by the family.
The strategy was to divide the house into two discreet buildings, old and new, separated by a large central courtyard and reconnected by a glazed link. The courtyard with its pool, gives the new building its northern aspect and is conceived as an extension of the communal spaces of the home which surround it on three sides. It also bestows the old building a formal autonomy.
The original building fabric was stripped back to its salvageable elements and the footprint reduced to form a seemingly freestanding cottage at the front of the site. The exterior was then carefully restored to its original Victorian character.
Internally spaces of the old house were reconfigured to become an office, library/living room and guest bedroom. The volume of the original structure was exploited in the new layout to create a grand living space.
A new two storey timber clad building was constructed at the rear of the property facing the old cottage across the courtyard and pool. Its angular form, commenced as a response to planning constraints, evolved into a subtle geometry that shaped the envelope and influenced the plan of both buildings.
The family’s bedrooms are accommodated upstairs. At ground floor an irregular open plan of living space flows around large kernels of service space. A glazed link with built in daybed borders the pool exploiting the morning sun.
The original entry was eschewed for a new access sequence leading from the street, down the eastern side of the original house and into the central courtyard. At this point, one is embraced by the home. Full height glazing to three sides allows views into all parts of the ground floor. Entry to the home is via the solid “front” door into the new building.
Should weather permit, glazed panels slide away to open the house out completely, integrating indoor and outdoor spaces. Travertine unifies the floor plane, internally and externally. Timber is celebrated in the beautifully crafted cladding and interior panelling.
This is not a big house. Considered planning and the integration of indoor and outdoor achieve a generosity and variety of communal spaces for the family at odds with the actual size of the building. Private areas are restrained and humble. It is an urban home that functions successfully for a multi-generational family and its evolving needs.
Photos: Peter Clarke