The appeal of a home is determined by a number of different factors. Homeowners carefully choose the type of furniture, the wall color, the flooring material and various other decor options to help a home feel inviting and livable. However, some neglect to appreciate the importance of lighting. In airy and well-ventilated homes, there is a belief that lighting is not as much as a concern as it would be in a more constrained atmosphere. However, the correct lighting can add a sense of uniqueness and help to break up what may appear to be a rather open and even cold environment while at the same time offering environmentally-friendly options with low consumption fixtures.
The “Warmth” Factor
Well-ventilated spaces are ideal for stifling summer days, but in the evenings should rooms be sparsely lit, they can appear altogether harsh and drab. This is especially the case should the walls be painted a darker hue. Some of the best lighting techniques can add a sense of warmth and comfort to these spaces. “Airy” should never be confused with “cold”. Ceiling-mounted “High Hat” fixtures are an excellent way to bathe a room in warm light and help to accentuate the spaciousness while not leaving the occupants feeling overwhelmed.
Formal Dining Areas
As the dining room represents one of the areas of a home that is used most often, chandeliers can go a long way in adding a wonderful visual centerpiece that can help highlight an open environment. It is important to choose one that matches the decor around the room, otherwise the chandelier may appear “dated” and out-of-context.
Large Areas Such as Living Rooms and Other Formal Spaces
Wall sconces are a visually stunning way to accentuate the grandeur of a larger living space while simultaneously providing an elegant backdrop to any surrounding decor or furniture. There are often times when large, open areas can have a bit of an “institutional” feel about them, and these sconces can break up this space while providing an inviting ambiance during the evening hours.
The Environmental Advantage
In the past, properly lighting an airy or well-ventilated home was a concern due to the amount of energy consumption. Thankfully, we live in an era that offers many environmentally-friendly options when choosing a lighting fixture. For instance, energy efficient table lamps are very popular and are an effective way to break up the space of a large room while providing warm accents to the tables and furniture that may be nearby. These and other cost-effective fixtures make lighting a larger home easier and cheaper than ever before.
Finally, it must be remembered that proper lighting does not only provide a sense of warmth and comfort, but it also serves to accent and showcase any other interior decor.
We poured through some of our favorite ultra-chic interior spaces to create this collection to help inspire you. These spaces range from ultra-opulent to ones that you could emulate in your own home. The key to making your own space chic is to add personality to it, make the space your own. Creating a chic space is always a result of experimentation but it doesn’t mean you should not think it all out. Experimenting without really planning out the whole design thing can be risky and expensive, so the first rule is to figure out what you like. How do you imagine the space that you are designing? Start with style and color scheme, try using a neutral palette and add bold splashes of color. Texture and layers in fabrics and materials also helps to define your space and add depth and character.
These are all important questions, but also do not forget about a budget. Planning decor along with the budget will help you avoid unpleasant surprises. Creating a chic space usually challenges you to think outside the box, which requires some planning. So if you want something unusual, challenging the traditional square or rectangular form of the room is the easiest and the hardest thing to do. It’s easy in terms of adding an instant unique look to the room and it’s hard because it’s time and money consuming. Another way to make your space stand out and be chic is to use unusual furniture, finishes and accessories. Unique wallpaper, quirky chairs and sofas or creative lighting can all add a special feel to your room decor.
Enjoy the pictures and be sure to let us know which chic space was your most favorite!
On the edge of the sea, urban or country landscape, swimming pools represent relaxation, a tribute to the landscape and, above all, a luxury for the senses. Here is a fabulous collection of some our favorite swimming holes that we have come across recently. There are so many creative and visually stunning swimming pools out there that we decided to showcase them collectively in one article. There are various designs, from simple rectangular pools to more complex ones, featuring delightful patio arrangements, fountains and so on. Most of them were built so they would be opened towards extraordinary landscapes, transforming a common swimming hole into an unforgettable experience. Most of the designs in the photos feature lovely furniture decorations, exciting areas that seem perfect for entertaining guests, as well as for relaxing with family and friends afterwards. Pebbles, stone, incredible furniture arrangements, cozy pillows, amazing flower pots and candles seem to be a real trend these days when setting up the perfect pool. A wonderful atmosphere can also be created with the help of dim lighting effects.
The pictures below feature a variety of shapes, in order to make things as inspiring as possible, so enjoy each and every photo and don’t forget to leave a comment as to which one best matches your tastes and why?
Today we bring to you a collection of all different kinds of fabulous and dreamy bedroom styles to inspire you. From cozy to chic to sophisticated, the sky is the limit on our choices in bedroom ambiance and style. A bedroom is the place where you begin and end each day, make it you’re most restful and nurturing room in the house. Sometimes your new bedroom decorating simply needs a change of atmosphere to make it more comfortable. Maybe you have a bedroom design that is immaculate, modern, and beautiful. But is it comfortable? It’s important that a room still feel like home, and an easy way to achieve this is by adding some creature comforts. Some personal bedroom decorations add individual character to a space and make it more relaxing. Don’t forget to add a throw to the end of the bed for those cool winter nights or to get cozy under when curling up to read a book before bed. Which one is your favorite bedroom design?
German designer Siren Elise Wilhelmsen exhibited her 365 knitting clock at DMY International Design Festival Berlin. The clock includes a circular knitting machine with 48 needles, a thread spool, a thread holder, and roll of yarn. The design seeks to make time a tangible, physical thing. It moves clockwise and after one year, creates a scarf two meters long.
According to Wilhelmsen, time is a concept which unites us all, making it the lowest common denominator. On the one hand, time appears to be a physical phenomenon, logical and easily divided into the past, present and future. On the other hand, time can be viewed very subjectively. How long a minute, an hour or a year takes can depend on how time is experienced in different situations. However, this does not alter the fact that a day has 24 hours, one hour has 60 minutes and one minute has 60 seconds. ’365′ seeks to give a physical manifestation to the change of time. Drawing from the change that is witnessed through the growth of human bodies and hair, the same concept is found in ’365′ which translates time through the growth of knitted material. Via
Located in Discovery Bay, JamaicaÃ‚Â and built in 2000, Amonoka Villa, whose name in Indonesian means “peaceful home”, is a luxurious 9,600 square-foot creation executed to perfection. Amonka’s imaginative architects used only materials of the finest quality and many of the authentic design elements were imported from Bali, especially much of the wood and woven cane used for some of the ceilings.Ã‚Â Stepping through the inner garden gate of Amanoka transports one into an unexpected world.Ã‚Â The very beautiful and intimate, yet formal garden with fish pond leads the way to the main house.Ã‚Â Crossing the garden bridge one enters a large entry hall, decorated with live orchids, that opens to a open-air Balinese pavilion and infinity pool overlooking the clear blue waters of Discovery Bay.Ã‚Â AmanokaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s main pavilion houses an elegant living room, dining area, entertainment and lounge room, and three of the villaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s six bedrooms, each designed to a different style and all with bath en suite. True to its name,Ã‚Â there are freshÃ‚Â orchid arrangementsÃ‚Â dispersed around theÃ‚Â home and soothing textures of bamboo and teak throughout. AmanokaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s additional three bedrooms are located within the beautifully-appointed Annex, which connects to the main house via a landscaped interior courtyard. The Annex bedrooms are equally distinct and also have bath en suite. All open onto private balconies or terraces with lovely views of the gardens and bay.Ã‚Â Photo Credit: David Massey
A quick stroll through AmanokaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s landscaped exteriors, with unexpected meandering ponds and fountains, brings you to a private sandy beach with waterfront gazebo.
This incredible house named Te Kaitaka is a retreat in Lake Wanaka, New Zealand by Stevens Lawson Architects. The architects won the New Zealand Home of the year award for this incredible structure, built for clients who requested concrete for its heft and its low-maintenance qualities. The architecture of the house was apparently inspired by folded paper. This home shows a thoughtful response to its site in terms of scale, natural light, environmental awareness, passive solar design, spatial experience, material selection and landscape integration. Everything from the architecture, to the interior design and all the details and how the natural light filters into the space, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s all stunning. According to the architects, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our team excels in creating memorable and productive building environments that give long term value to their users and owners through clever design.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Like driftwood collecting in courses on the beach, this incredible beach home nestles comfortably between the waterfront and road along a narrow site on the northern coast of Jupiter Island, Florida. This 3,600 square foot modern structure has been designed by Hughes Umbanhowar Architects. Completed in 2004, the house has been designed to be timeless, as both a quaint coastal cottage retreat and a chic island villa. The geometries of the house are complemented by the pitched nautical dynamism of a structure perched on piers and railings, ready to set sail at a momentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s notice. Situated on the beach, the house affords direct access to the water, reinforcing the immediacy of the relationship to site and the spontaneity of island living.
The design has been schematically layed out to incorporate three distinct elements, glass, sand and aluminum for their metaphorical and material possibilities. The sand element represents the sleeping area, aluminum has been used to enrich the entertaining space, and glass is used to enhance the public living spaces. Each division has been sensitively oriented to capture light and views. The ceramic fritted glass used in the kitchen and dining room lends translucency and visual play to the south-facing two-story entertaining space. The textured face of stucco or Ã¢â‚¬Å“sandÃ¢â‚¬Â of the north-facing sleeping area underscores the ancient wisdom of worn stone, an apt sensibility for an intimate space infused by soft morning light. Linking the two, the core area of the home which is the kitchen area, has been sheathed with louvers (aluminum vertical blinds).
Located close to a well-known surfing spot in Maui, Hawaii, Slaughterhouse Beach House expands the concept of a traditional surfing hut with three connected huts, general living quarters, guest suites, and a main sleeping area. Designed by architects from Seattle, Olson Kundig Architects fused Hawaiian tradition with some of the latest innovations in sustainable architecture. The house is situated high enough to provide spectacular views, but low enough to blend in with the landscape of pili grasses and ironwood trees. The structure’s walls are constructed from rammed earth. In this process, different local earth-based mixtures are packed together, and the resulting striated layers are visible both inside and outside the building. The walls blend in with the surroundings, are low maintenance, virtually fireproof, and provides a strong sound barrier.
The roofs are the first thing you notice about the house, these great umbrellas of corrugated metal with extra-deep overhangs to keep out sun and rain. Hefty steel beams protect the roofs from hurricanes and earthquakes. They also do away with the need for supporting columns and allow for uninterrupted views from every room in the house. Materials are simple and raw: concrete floors, rammed-earth walls, exposed lumber, corrugated metal for the roof. The decks are made from ipe, a durable and sustainable hardwood from Brazil that doesn’t need to be treated with preservatives.
The house is cooled by massive, 18-inch-thick walls made from rammed earth. During the hottest part of the day, you can still feel the coolness of the night in the walls. This is one of the only rammed-earth houses built in Hawaii, and using Maui earth as a building component means it’s local and natural. Custom-made glass-and-steel-framed walls tilt back on hydraulic lifts (by means of 20 pistons) like airplane hangar doors, so you fully experience the views and changing weather patterns on both the Mauka (mountain) side and the Makai (ocean) side.
Family life is oriented around a long concrete counter, extending from the kitchen, straight out through the front window and 15 feet beyond, over the ipe wood deck.
A simple seating area to one side of the central pavilion with a daybed, coffee table and chairs.
Materials are simple and raw: concrete floors, rammed-earth walls, exposed lumber, corrugated metal for the roof.
Even when the front wall is closed, this hyper-extended counter juts 15 feet through the glass facade, as if it’s riding the house, like a surfboard rides a wave.
The central axis of family living is this massive counter top of smooth concrete that extends the length of the kitchen.
The decks are made from ipe, a durable and sustainable hardwood from Brazil that doesn’t need to be treated with preservatives.
Forty-three-foot-wide glass-and-steel walls on hydraulic pistons flip up to open both sides of the main living area to the trade winds of Honolua Bay.
Custom-made glass-and-steel-framed walls tilt back on hydraulic lifts (by means of 20 pistons) like airplane hangar doors, to fully experience the views.
Many of the home’s accessories can be found at Plantation Design.
Transom windows allow natural light into the master bedroom.
The children are perched at the end of the concrete countertop. A small plot of grass surrounding the property’s pool gives way to native plantings.
Photos: Simon Watson