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Archive for June, 2012

2012 Luxury Interior Design Tips

Your home is your refuge, your happy place, your safe space. But most importantly it is yours. When making decorating decisions, you should be sure that your choices feel like you, represent you, and make you feel comfortable and happy. Whether you are decorating a new apartment or renovating a wing of an inherited family home, here are some modern ideas to make your home feel luxurious – whatever your tastes or budget!

  • It’s not unusual for a beachside hotel to bring the ocean inside with aquariums in the lobby. You can do the same in your home. Try dividing a large open space with a floor to ceiling aquarium. Have fun picking out a variety of colorful fish, corals, and other pieces. But don’t forget that aquariums require upkeep!
  • It’s never been more popular or easy to go green with your interior design. Sustainable furniture and décor comes in a large variety of forms, including using reclaimed wood to build rocking chairs, countertops made with recycled glass, or low-energy lamps. With these kinds of purchases, you’re not only making your home a better place, you’re making the world a better one, too.
  • Leave the over-the-top gilded furniture to your grandmother. These days, minimalism conveys luxury. Stick to basic shapes and color blocking, mixing in patterns and busy pieces only for accent.
  • If you feel like doing something a little off-the-beaten-path, try using the space above your bed to hang something flat on the ceiling. Make sure you pick something large enough that you will be able to get the full experience from the distance of laying on your bed.
  • If you don’t like the idea of ceiling art in the bedroom, try stenciling the ceiling in your bathroom. Pick a pattern that matches your bathroom’s style (classic, modern, etc.) and colors that will work in the lighting.
  • Do you love soft lighting and want a bedroom that feels extra private? Try using wall panels in front of windows that will only allow light to come in from the sides.
  • Upgrade the vanity in your bathroom from drab to dramatic with textured wallpaper. Try a luxe snakeskin print over something understated.
  • Recreate the campfire feeling with a “conversation pit,” a new design trend that uses an oversized, circular, sunken couch with a fireplace or coffee table in the middle. You’ll need a large space in order to do this, but if you host a lot of parties, this is a great way to bring people together. And the bonus is that it works both indoors and outdoors!
  • For those that gravitate towards monochrome black and white, you can use this palette in a way that is both striking and elegant. The key is to mix in greys and browns, so that you don’t overdo the black/white motif. Make sure you keep the light and dark elements well balanced for an upscale, chic look.
  • Keep things surprising by staying away from symmetry. Use a variety of shapes and lines, but stick to a limited color palette to avoid coming off as a design schizophrenic.
  • Using natural colors is nothing new, but if you stick to neutral colored furniture, play with the wall color and window dressings. Try a muted blue wall with bright orange curtains to make your beige furniture really pop.
  • So many of us love to use our bookshelves to display everything we’ve read, but so few take full advantage of the decorating potential of books. Try arranging your books by color – all the blue ones together, etc. – based on the color of their bindings. Mix up placement – have some standing up, others lying flat in stacks.

Try one of these or a few, the key is to make yourself feel at home.

About the Author: when Michelle isn’t covering the best in class luxury beds and luxury mattresses, she is busy giving her readers the luxury style tips they are looking for depending on the season!

New Aalborg University Hospital / by Indigo Consortium

New Aalborg University Hospital / by Indigo Consortium

As part of the Indigo Consortium, schmidt hammer lassen architects has won the competition to design the New Aalborg University Hospital in Northern Jutland, Denmark – a project of € 551.5 million. The new hospital, which is part of a governmental health reform, comprises a 330,000 m2 masterplan with 134,500 m2 hospital buildings and 17,000 m2 for the Faculty of Health Science of Aalborg University. The Indigo Consortium consists of schmidt hammer lassen architects, Aarhus Arkitekterne, Creo Arkitekter and four consulting engineering companies: Brix & Kamp, Oluf Jørgensen, NNE Pharmaplan and Royal Haskoning. The consortium is backed up by sub-consultants Norconsult, Arkitekt Kristine Jensens Tegnestue, Implement and Bjørk & Maigaard.

The Austrian Pavilion at the EXPO 2008 in Zaragoza / by SOLID architecture

The Austrian Pavilion at the EXPO 2008 in Zaragoza was designed by an interdisciplinary team formed by SOLID architecture, Michael Strauss and Scott Ritter.

For the EXPO 2008 the participating countries rented spaces in buildings provided by the organizer. The room made available for the Austrian pavilion had a semi-circular shape. The central idea of the design concept was to double that shape to the figure of a cylinder by using a floor-to-ceiling mirror. This mirror extended along the length of the room and doubled a digital 180° projection on the curved interior wall into a 360° panorama. By means of digital projection the panorama underwent permanent changes.

Invader Apartment in Hong Kong / by OneByNine

In Hong Kong, where space is at a premium, the OnebyNine studio architects took on the challenging brief to help design a limited 32 square meter apartment. Lukasz Wawrzenczyk and Ewa Koter; architects originally from Poland but now working in Hong Kong, were tasked with integrating standard European program without compromising comfort of living as a main design approach.

Two-in-One House, Leiden / by GAAGA

Two-in-One House, Leiden / by GAAGA

Situated in the urban planning area Nieuw Leyden, the project includes two separate houses combined into one single looking volume. Both houses, practically identical on the inside, are designed as one entity on the outside, only the two entrance doors reveal the presence of two homes.

The Architecture Of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum that is location on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City remains one of the great modern architectural accomplishments. It stands out as a unique structure between the other more traditional buildings on Fifth Avenue. It was originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and construction was delayed for a 16 year period. The museum was only completed after the death of the architect. There are several unique features of the building that were designed with a specific purpose in mind:

An Inverted Ziggurat
The design of the Guggenheim was meant to imitate an ancient structure known as a ziggurat. A ziggurat is a pyramid that has a walkway along the outer edges that grows narrower as it rises towards the pinnacle. The Guggenheim is an inverted ziggurat because the outer walls and the walkway inside grow wider as the building rises.

The Rotunda
Visitors to the Guggenheim first enter into a large rotunda. This is a vast, spacious area that sits at the base of the open center of the museum. The spiraling walkway can be seen rising upwards until it reaches the large skylight at the top of the building. The rotunda allows guests to fully understand and appreciate the architectural and sculptural elements of the building in one panoramic view. This is also a common area where visitors can gather before embarking up the ramp, where moving companies frequently transport artwork in and out of the museum.

Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center / by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

© Timothy Hursley

This New Orleans neighborhood library is comprised of two buildings joined together with the intention that they function as a whole. One building is a historically significant bungalow built as a residence in 1917, sited prominently on the corner of South Broad Street and Napoleon Avenue. The other building, built in 1993 specifically to function as a library, was home to the main reading room and stock areas. Both buildings were severely flooded by levee breaks attributed to Hurricane Katrina. The bungalow was salvaged and raised for future flood prevention, but the modern addition was deemed necessary for replacement by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

Addis Ababa Stadium / by LAVA

Football and athletics-loving Ethiopians will have a new FIFA and Olympic-standard 60,000 seat stadium in Addis Ababa thanks to a competition winning design combining local identity with new technology. LAVA, Laboratory for Visionary Architecture, and Designsport collaborated with local Ethiopian firm JDAW to win the international architecture competition for a national stadium and sports village, held by the Federal Sport Commission, Ethiopia.