Four Floors consists of four couture apartments dispersed over four floors of an historic 19th century stone Galata building that was immaculately restored in Istanbul, Turkey. The contemporary renovation was carried out by it’s owner and designer Sema Topaloğlu, one of Istanbul’s most original designers, and her team of furniture designers and craftsmen. Inspiration for this small and sleek boutique hotel came from the historic culture of Istanbul and the deep-rooted Istanbul traditions of handcraft. The spacious interiors of the 4 Floors contains furniture from Topaloğlu’s own unique collections and other leading contemporary designers such as Marc Newson, Ingo Maurer and Marcel Wanders. These stylish interiors feature sweeping views of Istanbul, combining the new and old to dramatic affect that represents the new contemporary culture of Istanbul.
Features includes a peaceful environment within the busy city is created by the personalized service of Murat Topaloğlu. Spacious rooms with high ceilings and panoramic views of the famous skyline and Bosphorus, unique design and furniture by Sema Topaloğlu Studio, contemporary amenities including fully outfitted kitchens, music players, high-speed internet, in-room coffee makers and selected international and Istanbul magazines. The top floor Penthouse features executive accommodation provides striking views across the Sea of Marmara framing the old Istanbul from atop the living loft and terrace.
Photos: Courtesy of Four Floors Istanbul
This stunning modern home renovation is of a 1980’s residence in Tryol Hills, Minneapolis, designed by Peterssen/Keller Architecture. Though awkwardly configured and dated on the interior, the architects recognized the potential of the home’s underlying architecture and its site. they removed all the interior walls, exposing the tall vaulted spaces hidden within the roof trusses. The new design combines a contemporary open floor plan that addresses the needs of a modern family with traditional detailing that fits comfortably within the surrounding neighborhood. The house was carefully designed and sited to encourage indoor/outdoor living through its multiple porches.
The interiors were designed by Eminent Interior Design, selecting materials that would hold up to heavy use among four active boys. Spaces are defined by walls of red birch cabinetry, while glass transoms and hidden doors provide acoustic separation. Large windows and a 16-foot folding glass door open the home to its wooded site. Unusual materials bring warmth and depth to the “organic modern” design, including an undulating stone floor and custom mosaic backsplash. High shelves above the kitchen, accessed by a sliding library ladder, provide spaces to showcase art and books.
This home was featured on the 2011 Parade of Homes Tour, and appears in the February 2012 issue of Kitchen and Bath Ideas magazine.
The designer retained neutral tones in the home’s fixtures, with grey walls, warm woods and mellow upholsteries. Colorful accents, including rugs, artwork and pillows jazz up the space white providing far-out focal points.
Sustainable features are seamlessly integrated into the design from the ground up, including geothermal heating/cooling, photovoltaic solar panels and a whole house control system. This nearly “net-zero” energy use home is a study in how green architecture and traditional design can successfully work together.
Franken House has been designed by Bekhor Architecte and is situated in an urban environment of Brussels, Belgium where row or town houses in well aligned facades are the standard. The home was originally a carpentry workshop that had become neglected during the last 20 years. At the very beginning, a fence wall was used as protection between the private property and the public space. It was just 2 meters high with no other utility than to separate. The existing volume was constructed around 1930 by raising the main elevation over the existing fence wall and completing the volume enclosure behind it.
The suspended cube that can be seen on the exterior facade is a result of the structure’s extension. The structural grid in steel is filled by a wooden frame. The facade is expressed backwards against the existing blank wall. In order to emphasize the attitude towards this brick wall, a stair is backed on it and animated by an overhead light, offering different atmospheres during the day.
The second guideline was to relink this unordered urban space. The new “skyline” of the project is made of different in a row of “step volumetry”. Levels are open spaces, but each have connection with closed rooms in order to make privacy possible. Material treatments are chosen to break the frontier between the inside and the outside. These materials like steel, zinc, wood or coating are used in both situation in a fluid continuity.
Photos: Laurent Brandajs
This contemporary home renovation project designed by Beauparlant Design is located in Cabbagetown, a neighborhood of Toronto known to be the largest continuous area of Victorian housing in North America. Part of the planning phase of the project included the possibility of moving to a new home. The client knew that their 120 year old residence would need a substantial renovation in order to bring it up to date and answer the needs of their family. The prevailing focus for this whole home renovation was centered on the kitchen area. Basic needs for added storage and functionality were challenged by narrow passages points and a disconnected access to the rear yard.
One of the pivotal decisions made during the space planning was to relocate the basement stairs towards the rear of the house. This enabled the designers to create a lowered landing at grade with the yard and create a dramatic 1 ½ storey glass wall. The resulting storage under the 2nd floor stairs also widens the hallway to the kitchen improving the access through the house.
The project included improvements to the residence as a whole and addressed structural and mechanical concerns while simultaneously improving spatial divisions, programming and functionality. The 3rd floor was re-configured into two bedrooms and an existing attic space was expanded to create a bathroom. The basement was underpinned and lowered to create a bright family room and guest bedroom. Every decision made on layout, materials and finishes were made for the long term enjoyment of the clients.
Photos: Courtesy of Beauparlant Design
Piampiano Residence is a stunning contemporary remodel by Studio B Architects in Woody Creek, Colorado. The home was originally several structures on a narrow site that were wedged between a steep embankment and the rivers edge. The architects did not want to demolish the existing house as the relationship to the Roaring Fork would then be lost. Using the existing structures for mass, scale and materials, the ordinary was transformed into a series of additions and new elements to unify the new residence blurring the boundary of existing and new.
From the Architects: Perched within the tall conifers and unable to remove them, the reclaimed siding reflects the texture/color of the trees, refers to the previous house and coupled with aluminum windows yield a maintenance-free exterior. The additions and detached garage/guest suite configurations are driven by the site and topographical constraints while providing the owner requested programmatic requirements. The simple white and maple interiors capture and reflect natural light within the heavily shaded site and provides contrast to the darker and textured exteriors. The project was completed on schedule and within three percent of the original estimated budget in the spring of 2013.
The value we offered was a vision utilizing existing conditions and saw that as an opportunity as opposed to a hindrance. Our exploration and creative use of material options, both exterior and interior enabled us to deliver a high-level of design and architecture on a limited budget.
Photos: Derek Skalko, Andrew Pogue
This cozy and comfortable remodeled home in Madrid, Spain is that of interior designer Sofía Calleja, owner of the firm SCV. The home gives off a fresh and fun ambiance, a credit to the designer’s personal style. Built some thirty years ago and renovated on several occasions according to the needs of each moment, today the distribution is divided into a ground floor, where there is an open plan living area comprised of the kitchen and living room, while above are the bedrooms, with a terrace. To bring the garden inside, large windows were used throughout as well as plenty of mirrors that multiply the views and clarity.
Capturing the light precisely, was another of the priorities of Sofía Calleja. Using chromatic range is quiet and bright, “I tried to use colors that are not tired to look at and transmit serenity. Only the bedrooms have included red, energy permeating the relaxed atmosphere.” Extraordinarily white surfaces — such as the entryway or staircase — and the dominance of toasted tones in the lounge and the dining room achieves this objective.
As for the furniture, the designer created a balanced mix of contemporary design in the combination and use of materials and finishes, as well as in the shape of the pieces: some refined and others classic. Many of these furnishings and accessories are original designs and can be found in SCV, the designer’s studio and showroom in Madrid. There is also space for antiques, such as the Biedermeier desk lounge, Louis XV armchairs or small details found in auction markets and fairs. Findings that add warmth, beauty and uniqueness to the comfort and relaxation that the whole family enjoys here. This was one of the dreams of Sofía Calleja, which she has more than fulfilled.
Photos: Nuevo Estilo
We just received images of the latest project by AR Design Studio, The Medic’s House, which is an incredible modern addition of a 1950s three bedroom house situated in Winchester, United Kingdom. The architects, Andy Ramus & Laurent Metrich, were commissioned to update the home by two doctors who are based in Winchester to meet the needs of their growing family. The brief required that the architects add two additional bedrooms to the upstairs and create a spacious open plan family space with plenty of light, views and access to the beautiful garden on the lower level.
From the architects: AR Design Studio’s solution was to create a large charcoal grey living box at ground level with a full height glazed opening elevation to the garden. A timber clad sleeping pod is perched above at first floor level providing the additional bedrooms.
The fenestration was resolved as a series of verticals that celebrate the depth of the walls with a combination of recessed and flush frameless windows. The overall composition was influenced by the ancient Greek theory of the ‘Golden Section’ in order to provide a well-balanced and proportioned rear elevation.
At ground floor level the extension contains a utility, WC, kitchen, dining room and lounge area, fitted with 3 large eco-friendly sliding glass panels creating an uninterrupted view of the garden. The flush threshold and continuous floor surface enhance this connection with the garden by allowing the internal space to flow seamlessly out into it on warmer days.
The walls are constructed from super insulated block and oversized insulated cavities ensuring a very thermally efficient envelope. Large opaque glass panels to the sides allow etch light to enter deep into the plan of the space. The structure is hidden in strategically placed fins that suggest living zones within the open-plan space.
Upstairs, the western red cedar clad addition consists of a generous master suite with a separate dressing area and one other additional bedroom. This upper box is also fabricated in timber, allowing for a light weight structure that reduces the need for unsightly columns beneath. The construction contains over 250mm of insulation which AR felt was important at the upper level. This approach to construction was also carried through into the over insulated single-ply roof.
Photos: Martin Gardner
This vibrant and colorful 1800s Victorian three story home is situated in the gorgeous Uptown area of New Orleans, designed by architectural designer Marie Palumbo. Anything but ordinary, a couple with their three young kids, a dog, cat and a bird take up residence here. The 6,000 square foot, four bedroom, four full bathroom plus two half bath residence features walls with colorful artwork and original classic pocket doors, eclectic furniture and timeless heirlooms in each room. With the help of the local designer, Marie Palumbo, the couple was able to completely renovate the kitchen, re-purposed some rooms and transformed their backyard into an outdoor oasis to better equip the unique structure for their family’s needs, without losing the home’s original charm. “You never know how you are going to live in a house until you are actually in it,” says the homeowner.
For extra storage, Palumbo designed a full pullout pantry with baskets — visible behind Crystal, the family’s bird.
The kitchen leads into a colorful living room, connected to a sunroom through original French doors. The family considers their sunroom a bonus room, where built-ins and a plush sofa allow for reading and relaxing.
Traditional pocket doors on the right open up into the family’s formal dining room.
The dining room is enclosed by original pocket doors and dressed in more traditional furniture and artwork.
This second living room, between the dining room and foyer, has bold art and furniture that’s mostly from local artists and designers.
Artwork, creative accessories and large Victorian-style windows all face the foyer, giving the more formal living room a warm and inviting feel.
The first-floor guest bathroom off the foyer displays wallpaper inspired from calling cards passed down through generations of the designer Angèle Parlange’s family.
The original staircase, accessorized with two traditional portraits, leads to the second-floor bedrooms.
The original master bedroom and study were re-purposed into two bedrooms for the kids.
Palumbo designed this custom built-in closet and dresser in one room, and then drew up a bathroom plan for the space where the original master closet was.
Once the study, this room now features cowboy-print fabrics, a vintage rocking horse and timeworn furniture for the youngest.
Timeless heirlooms, like this desk from the homeowner’s mother, add subtle charm to the son’s room. To freshen up traditional things, contemporary items are mixed in.
The beige penny tile in the guest bathroom adds warmth to the bathroom’s clean lines. The console table, originally from Mexico, was purchased in Mississippi. The vintage red chair traveled with the family from Minnesota.
Down the hall from the kids’ rooms, the master bedroom showcases the homeowner’s eclectic style. As in other parts of the house, the white linens and calming paint color create a platform for the artwork and bright pillows to stand out against.
Palumbo reconfigured the entire layout of the new master bath to make it seem like a natural extension of the bedroom.
Traditional art, a new layout and modern hardware gave the master bathroom an update while preserving the traditional details. Vertical marble walls enclose the shower. A custom vanity was made to look like a piece of furniture.
A wrought iron gate, with the look of a French balcony, protects the original bathroom windows.
The third story features built-in twin beds, bookshelves and finished bathroom. The homeowner’s added a drum set, a small puppet stand, colorful bedding, a television and a video game setup to create the perfect entertainment area for family and guests.
Clean lines and modern hardware give this small bathroom a fresh look. A narrow staircase in the back of the house connects all three floors.
The guesthouse connects to the main house; it has an outdoor living space and dining area.
Palumbo reconstructed a once-outdoor kitchen into a one-bedroom suite pool house with a bathroom.
The porch has a small circular tower and wraps around the front of the home. Large floor-to-ceiling windows face the neighborhood.
Much like the city of New Orleans itself, this 1800s Victorian home has a historic and traditional exterior, but a vibrant charm radiates behind the doors.
Photos: Corynne Pless
This recently renovated home, designed by interior designer Susan Jay Design, lies in the magical area of Sullivan Canyon, a small equestrian community in Brentwood, a district of Los Angeles, California. This renovation is an inspiration for those of you who have homes that are in desperate need of repair, when you see the before pictures at the bottom of the page, you will bare witness to the incredible transformation! The vibe of this home is a fresh version of a Mid-Century Modern Ranch with warmth and whimsy. The clients are a family of four who are creative, love animals (horses, dogs, turtles, duck and chickens) and enjoy entertaining.
Hickory wood cabinetry, reclaimed Walnut counter and light fixtures from Spain create an aspiring chef’s dream kitchen.
Eclectic table, art & lighting makes this Entry exceptional.
View from the bed…custom cabinet with firebox & storage or the spectacular backyard.
Before the Renovation:
Photos: Tom Bonner Photography
Los Altos Hills Residence was an extensive renovation to a dated hillside home in Los Altos Hills, California by architecture studio Aleck Wilson Architects. The program was to open up the home to the view, to extend and integrate the decks with indoor-outdoor living and reorganize the flow of the plan. The architects sought to create a soothing palette, with carefully detailed materials. Striking features of the home include the glass central stairway that has an ethereal transparency that illuminates the interior of the three-story home. Custom stained wood slat cladding emphasizes circulation walls and creates a balanced counterpoint to the naturally lit stair. Custom lighting, furnishings and materials were selected by interior design firm The Wiseman Group and integrated with the architecture throughout the home.