Mosman House is an extension project by Anderson Architecture, in collaboration with MacKenzie Design Studio, located in Mosman, a suburb on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The project involved opening up the existing rear half of the house to better engage with the backyard. As the rear of the house faces north, the extension was designed to capitalize on passive solar techniques to reduce heating and cooling costs. These techniques include north facing windows which allow sunlight to pass into the house and onto the thermally massive green-concrete slab which stores heat, thereby reducing heating costs during winter.
The use of sustainable, recycled and locally sourced timber and hardwoods featured throughout the project for finishes, shingles and flooring, most notably on the staircase to the first floor. The extensive use of LED and low-watt light fittings, complimented with solar hydronic floor and water heating, which both minimize the amount of electricity needed to power the house.
The use of low VOC paint on the project’s steelwork during construction minimized the amount of harmful vapors released into the environment while the 2.1kW photovoltaic solar panels and 32 000L of rainwater storage help make the house more self-sufficient toward electricity and water consumption.
Photos: Courtesy of Anderson Architecture
When Tanner Kibble Denton Architects took on the renovation and extension of an existing, heritage house located in Mosman on Sydney’s North Shore; they set out to create a spacious and contemporary family home whilst preserving the majestic charm of its original structure.
This project fully explores the relationship between indoor and outdoor. The main living space opens seamlessly to a level lawn and pool, framed with dense landscaping.
Adjacent the internal living space is the loggia, which operates beautifully as an undercover outdoor space. The room includes an outdoor fireplace and can be protected with retractable louvres and cavity sliding flyscreen panels.
The strong dark painted timber form of the upper level floats over the main living space, supported on slim steel flats, and sealed with virtually transparent sheets of frameless glass. Interiors employ stone, timber floors, timber veneer and a muted paint scheme that allows the owners art collection to add to the architecture.
Photos: Nicole England
This Los Angeles, California ranch house was designed by Janette Mallory Interior Design, perched on a hill in Mount Olympus, a neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills. It has incredible views of the Hollywood sign, downtown Los Angeles and the ocean. The classic 1950s ranch was worn and outdated, but Mallory’s clients saw past that. It had a wonderful layout, which the clients decided they wanted updated, but left the floor plan the same.
The couple wanted the 4,000 square feet (371 square meters) four bedroom, four bathroom house to be contemporary and rustic. The vision fit with how the house already was — it had all the rustic elements of a classic ranch with a twist of midcentury style. Playing on that, the designer produced a transitional look that incorporated the owner’s love of collecting and art. The space itself is furnished with a mix of classic, colonial, rustic and midcentury pieces — a similar stylistic brew that might have been found in many ranchers in the early 1950s.
Although the layout and the indoor–outdoor nature of the home were carefully preserved, many of the tired finishes had to be replaced. The cabinet is a replica of an antique, and it houses the couple’s collection of vessels. Throughout the house, furniture and accessories are large and simple, making for a graphic decorative statement. In this cabinet, the designer included natural elements such as corals, shells and ammonites.
The living room is separated from the dining room and kitchen by a pony wall (you can just see the top of the abstract painting that hangs over the sofa peeking above it). Before the remodel, this shot would not have been possible, as the breakfast room was separated from the dining room by a floor-to-ceiling wall.
The dining room table has oversize ladder back chairs on the sides and upholstered chairs at each end. The designer thought too many wooden chairs would make it feel heavy. The upholstered chairs help to soften things up a bit.
The family room is topped by another classic ranch house feature: A wood-paneled ceiling and exposed rafters. They were dirty and in bad shape yet the designer and the owners didn’t want to paint them, choosing to sandblast and refinish them instead. The statement ceiling is balanced by a floor crafted from reclaimed walnut.
In another classic midcentury move, the family room contained a wet bar. The owners chose to preserve it, and the designer gave it a new limestone top and accessories to freshen it up. The clients like to entertain a lot, so it made sense to keep it. The designer chose to front it with incredibly comfortable chairs, making bellying up to the bar a relaxing experience. A giant antique hourglass and a vintage hotel sign advertising “dining, coffee and cocktails” decorate one end of the bar; while a new metal-and-wood shelf displays select bottles behind it.
In the master bedroom, the designer started with the bed. She wanted to keep it simple and clean-lined. The designer put a chair on either side of the bed for her current event-loving clients. Each one has a place to sit and enjoy their coffee and newspaper.
The master bedroom already had a corner glass window, designed to embrace a swoon-inducing view. The designer selected this tub because you can select your own color for the exterior. She did not want a stark white tub there.
The elegant tub is positioned perfectly to enjoy the landscape — giving new meaning to the phrase “soak in the view.”
Photos: Courtesy of Janette Mallory Interior Design
Seattle Box Remodel project is a full house remodel of a 1902 traditional home brought up to date by architecture studio Board and Vellum, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Crisp white trim and dark floors along with built-in cabinetry and special details really tie the whole home together. The brightly colored 3,300 square foot, five bedroom, four bathroom home helps contrast the dark Seattle days and works well with the adjacent homes which are also bright colors. Landscaping is a future project.
Seattle “Box” homes are prized for their stately appearance and generous floor plans. What isn’t often provided though is an easy way to convert these older homes into homes with generous and open living spaces. This project keeps the formal nature of the ‘three in a row’ formal rooms and opens the back of the house and the final room to the kitchen. An operable wall of glass helps connect the house to the yard and let light pour into the home. A centrally placed fireplace is viewable from all the main rooms in the house and helps anchor the entire plan. A wide galley kitchen opens towards the back of the house with an island facing the new family room. Careful design of the casework provides a clean and contemporary look while not looking out of place in a 1902 home.
A cozy front porch allows for a spot to watch the birds at the feeder.
The cozy front porch has a built-in ceiling heater to help socializing in the cool evenings.
The house borders a commercial district, so the owners felt they had a little more leeway to do something exuberant. The exterior is now painted in Benjamin Moore’s Douglas Fir, with Benjamin Moore’s Blushing Red for trim. After seeing the exuberant colors of the house next door, the architect saw this as an opportunity to turn the row into Seattle’s own version of San Francisco’s Painted Ladies.
A dutch entry door provides the option to have fresh air without dogs or children escaping out!
The Family Room has very tall ceilings so white wainscoting was used to visually lower the height of the room when seated around the new gas fireplace. Clean white display accents provide contrast without too much visual clutter.
The Family Room opens up to the Kitchen and a folding door out to the yard.
The Dining Room offsets the table into the bay windows to allow open circulation between the three main rooms.
A mid-century inspired light and bright colors help create a soothing color palette.
A custom dog crate lives behind this door which slides up on one side and opens on the other.
A custom dog crate lives here below a pantry and open shelves to the right allowing the dogs to look out in both directions.
The kitchen has a folding wall which opens to the small backyard.
The kitchen island serves as a buffer between the open Kitchen and Family Room.
Open shelves keep cookbooks and everyday tableware close at hand.
A custom library ladder works in the Kitchen and also the Living Room.
A recess in the island provides for a handy spot for the dog’s water bowl. A tip out cabinet above stores the dog food.
A simple and clean Laundry Room efficiently everything you need in a small footprint.
A small Powder Room is brightened by wallpaper and cleanly detailed walnut sink and mirror.
The Living, Dining, and Family Rooms open into each other and are trimmed by bright white trim for a fresh and dramatic appearance.
The upstairs hallway uses clean white trim to tie everything together.
Home Office uses walnut furniture to contrast with the blue walls.
The entrance to the Master Suite is painted all in white and detailed with crisp white trim.
Two smaller bedrooms were combined to create a generous Master Suite with a dressing area and built-in closets.
A custom magazine rack allows for storage in the Master’s Toilet Room.
Custom walnut vanity sits next to a wall of white Thassos marble and a double shower.
In the children’s bedroom, two doors were tied together with a built-in dresser and mirror.
Dubbed the Lego Lounge, the basement includes a bar, a media room, laundry, storage and a guest bedroom. The basement was completely renovated with ceilings that were only 6½ feet high. What’s more, you originally had to walk through a coat closet to access the basement stairs. The architect excavated the basement another 2½ feet, ending up with 9-foot ceilings and an inviting lair where the couple can entertain friends without disturbing their son when he’s sleeping in his bedroom two stories up. Although it can be a hassle lowering a basement floor the way the architect did, he ended up with an extra floor of living space without having to expand the home’s shell.
The basement bar uses space that would otherwise be empty square footage. A custom bar aligns with the stair treads and is the same wood and finish as the floors upstairs.
The custom bar uses every square foot to maximize entertaining. In the LEGO room beyond a custom table sits below the work area which can slide out and double the work space.
This bathroom features large scale glass tile in a more traditional subway pattern.
This traditional style bathroom uses White Thassos marble in a subway pattern along with white wainscoting to create a clean and fresh look.
The basement bedroom only has color on one wall to keep the focus on the bright white walls and trim to help brighten the basement space. A large window well helps reduce the stigma of high up basement windows.
Photos: John Wilbanks Photography
If your basement is dark and dingy, used for storage of things since forgotten, don’t despair, you can transform it into a functional basement design your whole family will love. Any basement can be magically transformed from depressing into family-friendly havens, inviting guest suites, inspiring workspaces, home theaters, a playroom for the kids, a games room, a laundry room, fantasy man caves, etc., it’s up to you to decide the best way to make it useful. Basements can actually be quite cozy. Some of them had lots of square footage and the advantage of natural light to work with, while others were no more than damp holes in the ground underneath the house. It’s all about the layout and the furniture. Include warm and comfortable textures and avoid dark colors unless you are trying to add drama to the space, or it is the media room.
If you want to see what your basement space might have the potential for, these images will help give you amazing inspiration! If you are looking for more ideas for creating entertaining spaces for guests, have a look at 58 Exquisite home bar designs built for entertaining. For ideas on increasing your living space in your home, have a look at 60 Unbelievable under stairs storage space solutions.
In a clever design move, the slide is lined up with arcade machines with similar lines, as well as painted stripes on the walls and ceilings.
Stone accents in Cincinnati. This basement has it all, with room for TV watching and lounging, a bar for entertaining and a pool table. Dark wood floors and custom stone accents unify the entire room.
Modern basement in Maryland. An open floor plan and exposed joists on the ceiling create visual lightness in this previously dark and damp basement. The little details help make the space more modern, including the wood treatment around the center column.
This beach style basement offers a cozy living space and hideaway bunk beds tucked behind sliding barns doors.
Basement Bar and LEGO room: A custom built room for LEGO storage also provides a backdrop for a Media Room and a nearby bar.
This multifunctional basement space serves as a mudroom, a seating area, an office and a laundry space. The built-in bench, desk and cabinetry keep things tidy and neat while preserving traffic flow.
The designer carefully considered the way the family would use each zone in the space. This mom’s command central has loads of storage — overhead, on the desktop and underneath the stairs — including flat files, room for wrapping supplies, and storage for adult and kid craft supplies. Well-placed lighting, electrical outlets and a fabric-covered pinboard along the back of the wall let her keep everything she needs close at hand.
When entertaining, the clients can draw full-height, in-line sliding doors across the children’s craft and homework area and across the desk, leaving everything as cluttered as can be, with no one the wiser.
The doors, made by German company Hafele, stack and disappear into closets at either end when open. There are also bolts in the floor so that the mom can lock up her computer when the kids have sleepovers. The doors are covered in a custom lacquer that reflects the light.
Contemporary New York bar. Slate, granite and dark cabinetry combine beautifully in this basement bar. This design offers a stunning raised bartop and ample lighting.
Make use of the space you have. You don’t need an entire room for your wine cellar. If you’re tight on basement space, consider re-purposing a closet or a small storage area.
A 1,500-square-foot basement takes up the downstairs, including a home theater with a custom built-in surrounding a large TV. Speakers hide behind mesh-front doors. Theater-inspired sconces line both sides of the room, and there’s a snack area with a microwave and refrigerator.
Georgia media room in soft blues. Even a small basement can be put to good use. Fill it up with cozy furniture and soft colors, as in this room, and you have a dedicated movie-watching space. The wood wall adds a subtle architectural element.
Gray and white in Virginia. Crown molding contrasts with soft gray walls to visually open up this elegant basement. This refreshing space proves that basements don’t have to be dark and dingy — a coat of paint can make all the difference.
Soft colors in San Francisco. Subtle gray walls and furniture allow the bright bursts of color in this basement to really stand out. The separate seating areas makes entertaining large groups easy.
Beautiful built-ins in Georgia. Built-ins around the basement fireplace adds plenty of storage and spaces for personal items and decor, creating a cohesive and symmetrical look. This wall could have been left completely bare, but the built-in shelves seem to infuse life into the space.
Barn door for a Washington bedroom. Your basement could be the perfect place for another bedroom. This stunning gray door and its hardware give this basement guest bedroom a unique and playful touch.
Add a home office to your basement space, built-in under the stairs makes use of this otherwise dead space.
Separate spaces in Massachusetts. A simple carpet divides up this open space by function. The wall trim and molding along the far wall helps to make this room feel like part of the rest of the house.
Focused on Family. This family-friendly basement includes a TV area, game area, kitchenette, bedroom and bathroom. It is a walk-out basement bathed in natural light. The kitchenette is a great spot for fixing snacks for movie and game time.
The architect painted the exposed rafters black; they work well with the client’s contemporary tastes. Industrial touches mesh with the utilitarian elements often found in basements and the concrete floors. For instance, the architect used a galvanized metal wall that’s curved and corrugated to separate the living space from the utility area.
Channels Ranch project is the complete renovation of an existing residence by Van Bryan Studio Architects and Carter Kay Interiors, located in Ennis, Montana. The talented design team transformed the seventies style dwelling into a sophisticated vacation home. Exposed rafter tails, rusted steel, natural stone, and wood siding are interlaced throughout the exterior and interior of the building creating a contemporary, yet warm and natural atmosphere.
With passion, experience and integrity, Van Bryan Studio Architects provides full-service residential and commercial design. Consistently demonstrating their commitment to excellence, the entire Studio Architects team has worked side-by-side with clients and builders to develop a broad range of projects that beautifully and accurately represent the people and places that bring them to life. That experience, combined with the diverse backgrounds and shared vision of all the associates, is what defines Studio Architects.
Photos: Gordon Gregory
House L is a renovation project of a semi-detached house built in the 1970’s by Amitzi Architects, for a family with 3 children, located in Tel Aviv, Israel. Despite a cramped and dark interior caused by low ceilings and a split-level section, it turned out that demolition was out of the question, due to budget and schedule. It was decided, therefore, to renovate within the existing envelope, tear open large apertures and dismantle interior partitions, thus creating a spacious and well-lit space.
The kitchen was reorganized to place the dining-area in front of a glass sliding door leading to an outside deck. An axis crosses the entire length of the house – starting from the front deck, through the dining area, entrance hall, living room and up to the back garden – allowing longitudinal views and a natural cross-ventilation.
The entrance hall is lit by glass portholes set within the door. The living room was equipped with a fireplace, a library and a home-cinema system.
The bedrooms’ hall on the first floor is a windowless interior space. Natural light penetrates via a skylight, enabling the use of this space as a study.
Photos: Amitzi Architects
Having a house on the market for several months and not attracting any offers or interest is not only an extremely frustrating experience but can also cause you to put your dreams and hopes on hold while you are unable to move away from your current home.
There are typically two main reasons why someone chooses not to buy a house. Either the price isn’t right (too high) or the house is not what they’re looking for. If you’ve engaged the services of a good estate agent then the first should not be a problem; your estate agent will have assessed the value of your home and valued it using comparisons to other homes that are on sale in your area, homes that have been recently sold and homes that have failed to sell.
Assuming your house is priced correctly the likely problem is that your house is just not attractive enough to potential buyers. This can be hard for some sellers to understand because they love their home and it has everything that they need. However your taste might not be the same as your buyer’s taste and you might want to consider making some changes to your home to raise the value and help buyers to see that it is the house for them. Selling your home is about showing off your home in such a way that potential buyers can imagine themselves living there – and sometimes you need to make a few small changes and additions to help this happen.
Three Simple Ways to Improve the Likelihood of Selling Your Home:
Fix Those Small Problems – The average person is busy and getting busier. Less and less people are looking for homes to fix-up and would prefer to move into a house that is perfect straight away and requires no work. This means that the small issues in your home which you overlook, or not even notice, may be putting off potential buyers, even if they’re only superficial problems. Get out your tools and get working or hire a local handyman and make sure your gutters are cleaned and fixed, the garden is looking as good as possible and that spot on the ceiling from when the bathroom flooded five years ago is sorted!
Use Neutral Colors – When buyers visit your home they are trying to visualize what it might look like if they move in and lived there; as a buyer it is your job to help them do this. Your idea of interior design might involve bright colors or patterns on your walls but this won’t help your buyer think about moving in. Check out this post about the best paint colors to choose. Consider repainting your rooms in neutral colors such as white or cream, this will help your potential buyers imagine what they might do with the room.
Build a conservatory – Building a conservatory is one of the easiest ways to improve what your house can offer to buyers. Make sure you choose a decent roof as this can make a big difference to how people perceive the house. The house is extended by an extra room at a cost far lower than that required for a true extension. Once you’ve built the conservatory your home will be worth more so you can recoup the costs (and often more) when the value of your home goes up. Your home will also be more attractive to buyers especially if other houses in your area lack this feature.
1 Kindesign readers tell us what mistakes you have made when trying to sell your home!
Photo Sources: 1. Pinterest, 2. VanBrouck & Associates, 3. Front Door, 4. Alexander Design Group, 5. Arcanum Architecture, 6. Bosenberg and Company Landscape Architects, 7. Structures Building Company, 8. Studio S Squared Architecture, 9. Ownby Design, 10. Raven Inside Interior Design, 11. Home Gallery Store, 12. Ballard Designs, 13. The Design Co., 14. Linda Burkhardt, 15. Dominick Tringali Architects, 16. Martha O’Hara Interiors, 17. B. Jane Gardens, 18. HartmanBaldwin Design/Build