Contemporary Forest Retreat Faces Both Sunrise and Sunset

The Lantern Ridge House sits atop a small wooded hill in Kerhonkson, New York. From its hilltop seat, it’s windowed walls face both sunrise and sunset. The creative team at Studio MM was challenged to design a contemporary forest retreat suited for a family and their guests.

“The primary goal of the project was to create a home that responds to its natural surroundings while catering to the flexible needs of a client that craves both private reflection and social engagement,” the architects said.

The core of the house is an open plan living area, which faces both sunrise and sunset. This gathering space is flanked by two wings which contain the private bedrooms for the owners and guests. The design scheme is minimalist to focus everyone’s attention out to the landscape beyond the glass.

“A continuous wood ceiling shelters an exterior deck and the glass façade, which focuses expansive views and provides a consistently sunlit space,” the architects said.

Pine ceiling and dark siding were the materials used in order to blend the residence in its natural environment. According to the architects, the camouflage wears off after dusk. “At night, the typically obscured house becomes a beacon for passing cars and a guiding light for our homeward-bound clients.” [Photography credits: Studio MM]

This Sushi Bar’s Color Scheme Is White Rice, Black Nori Paper, and Wasabi

This newly opened Japanese restaurant in Poznań, Poland is our idea of a thematic restaurant. The vibrant TOKYO TEY Sushi Store, designed by Mode:lina architekci, takes inspiration from the freshness of sushi rolls.

“The color scheme inspired by natural colors of sushi appears on the triangle pattern stripe and other branding elements, as designed by Anna Markowska,” the architects said. “The triangular motif can also be spotted on the illuminated counter with a white steel truss and bright ceiling lamps situated above.”

The generously-sized glass facade illuminates the space too. And it allows passers-by to take a sneak peek inside. The concrete flooring texture and the exposed aluminum pipes on the ceiling give the place an original industrial-style vibe that’s unfettered by the glass table tops and thin metal legs. Everything is so well thought out, even the colorful juices in the sushi case seem to match the color scheme.

1970s Residence in Australia Gets Contemporary Update with a Twist

The custom home builders at Finney Construction completed the redesign of this 1970s residence located in Caulfield, Australia. The contemporary update isn’t shy about it’s newness. The complex street facade stands out in the more conservative Caulfield area. The main entrance door is flanked by “a combination of Dado Render and Woodform Timber Batons on a curved wall.”

Inside, it’s all clean lines, white walls, concrete-inspired textures, and lacquered surfaces. “A pivot door opens to the social area with curved walls that guide you to an impressive corridor with high ceilings and a gigantic view of the sky,” the architects said

The social core of the residence is the open plan kitchen, dining and living zone; extensive use of wood makes the place look welcoming. Fully glazed windows connect the social areas to the deck and inner courtyard, while allowing natural lighting to flood the spaces.

No Logs Wasted in This Sustainable Renovation of a 1970s California Log Home

Located on a steep site in Cloverdale, California, this vineyard residence by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects replaces a 1970s kit log home on the site. The client’s brief requested a sustainable house with minimal impact on the surrounding landscape.

“Our strategy was to utilize all of the existing site improvements and reuse the wood from the existing kit log structure to build a new house that would open out to the land and take advantage of the expansive views and south facing exposure,” the architects said. Cloverdale Residence is composed of two connected volumes of different heights. A green roof adorns the street-facing rectangular volume, providing great insulation and mirrors the vegetation of the surrounding hillsides.

As you enter, you are greeted by spacious and well lit interiors. The kitchen, lounge. and dining area are organized in an open plan, with walls that are nearly all windows. So many so that the walls seem to be wallpapered by the surrounding vineyards and oak trees.

“All of the interior and exterior wood paneling, trim and decking was milled down from the logs of the original kit house,” the architects added. “Including the porch in the body of the house allowed it to double as an entry to the guest bedrooms, reducing the need for circulation and the overall footprint of the project.” [Photography by Matthew Millman]

Half Subterranean Stone Villa in Italy Overlooks the Ligurian Sea

Vila N by Giordano Hadamik Architects is a family residence in Liguria, Italy, embedded in the hills overlooking the Gulf of Imperia. The project is composed of two half subterranean volumes: to the left of the main entrance there is an open plan living area, which extends out to a sun deck and infinity swimming  pool; to the right, the private wing accommodates five bedrooms,an outdoor terrace and more spectacular views.

“The villa plays with the cultural landscape of the Ligurian terraces — becoming part of it,” the architects said.

From the outside, it’s almost hard to tell where the hillside ends and the house begins. If it weren’t for the patio, it’d be nearly impossible. “The garden patio and the sun shading canopies create a mediating filter between inside and outside,” the architects said. The green roof isn’t just for looks either — it, like the solar panels and the underfloor ventilation, are sustainable too.

The minimalist interior design scheme highlights organic materials such as timber and stone, in combination with the more industrial concrete flooring and gypsum plaster. Custom-designed natural oak furniture contributes to a welcoming feel in the open-plan living area.

“The design of the bedrooms show a very efficient layout with built-in wardrobes and multi-functional use,” the architects added. Glass openings in the natural stone facades bring in views of the valley and the sea.

Aside from the living spaces, the residence incorporates a pantry, laundry, storage rooms, technical service rooms and, somehow and somewhere, a two-car garage. [Information provided by Giordano Hadamik Architects]

This Living Roof Literally Rises From the Lawn

This modern project with a living roof from OYO Architects is an attention grabber. Surrounded by more traditional dwellings in its neighborhood in Ghent, Belgium, the House Pibo seems to be just now rising out of the grass.

“OYO was given carte blanche, which opened the possibility to focus on an ecological and compact building from the start,” the architects said. “The house is defined by the continuation of the soil, creating one lifted green roof.” That living roof is a rubber membrane covered in plants.

But that dramatic lawn of a roof wasn’t the starting point. “Unlike most single family houses in Belgium OYO started with the idea of positioning the living rooms on top of the bedrooms.”

The bedrooms are placed half below ground level, which keeps them cool in the summer. The social areas are split in two — the sofa and lounge zone sit slightly below the dining area. “You could say that from the living room you only have to go half a floor up to the kitchen and dining room and half a floor down to the sleeping area,” the architects said.

Simple Romanian Garage Transformed Into a Cozy Lounge Space

London-based designer Manuel Teicu recently sent us these photos of a project he recently completed in Brasov, Romania. The owners of the home wanted a warm and cozy lounge space with an eclectic vibe that would suit their young family well. Teicu turned their simple garage into their fantasy room.

He covered the ceiling, flooring, and one main wall with wood for a welcoming ambiance and all-encompassing cabin feel. The wall covering — a collage of pieces of mahogany — adds geometry and texture. A vintage touch is added by the small wooden bar camouflaged by oxidized tin plates.

At the core of it all, a custom yellow sofa that was developed on site adds brightness and storage. The matching ottoman can be turned into a small coffee table. The white chimney with its powerful rustic character adds to the eclectic atmosphere. During the day, natural lighting floods the space through a traditional window that’s painted blue.

Canadian Cottage Exudes “Modern Scandinavian Barn”

This contemporary cottage-like dwelling was developed by CARGO Architecture for a young, dynamic couple in their thirties. The project, named Villa Boreale, sits on steep terrain and is surrounded by the wooded valleys and mountains of Charlevoix, Canada. It’s inspiration: the clean lines of a modern Scandinavian barn.

Purity and simplicity are at the basis of the design. The exterior displays a well chosen array of textures such as wood, concrete, and black metal cladding. A powerful contrast between the black steel finishes and the natural grain of the Eastern white cedar makes the residence stand out.

As you step inside, the Scandinavian inspiration becomes even more noticeable. The walls are all painted in white. Simple lines and minimalist furniture abounds. State-of-the-art appliances set the tone for an elegant, functional home. The highlight of the space is a flexible mezzanine, which currently accommodates a bedroom, a playroom for kids, and a reading corner.

“Throughout the design, the site was quickly revealed as a powerful element of the project,” the architects said. “By choosing carefully the location and size of each window, external views were highlighted, and the atmosphere created by natural light is pleasant throughout the whole day.”

Nature Meets Tradition in This Seaside Taiwanese Home

Located on the eastern coastline of Taiwan and overlooking the Pacific Ocean, A’tolan House by Create + Think Design Studio seamlessly integrates organic elements with contemporary design in this innovative seaside home.

The essence of the design is in the use of local traditional architectural techniques — the practice of incorporating rocks from the excavation site to create multiple levels and layering walls, similar to rice patty terraces. The word “A’tolan” is a native Taiwanese expression for “a house made of rocks”.

The three levels of the property follow the shape of the coastline and gradually descend towards the sea: the driveway and front yard start at the highest part of the terrain, the living spaces take up the middle level, and the swimming pool, deck and lawn are located below. A living roof featuring various species of plants serves as a walking plateau and lounge deck.

With floor-to-ceiling glass openings in almost every room, an optimum indoor-outdoor relationship was achieved throughout. Sweeping views of the sea can be enjoyed from the swimming pool deck, the al fresco dining area next to the open foyer, and from the multipurpose terrace. [Photos provided by Create + Think Design Studio]

Contemporary Add-On Transforms This Dutch 50s Farmhouse

Located in a village in Aalten, Netherlands, this 50s farmhouse’s renovation is a contemporary blend of the traditional and the modern. Bureau Fraai updated the interiors in the main living area, and created an add-on living space that incorporates the old barn next to the house.

Surprising building materials and creative architectural elements make the new addition a standout: “While the existing barn was built from bricks and ceramic roof tiles, the extension’s façade and roof are made of black pre-weathered titanium zinc with hidden aluminum window frames, for a bold and modern look,” the architects said. To open up the home to the surrounding landscape, the extension showcases large glass windows.

The wooden scissor frame truss is a nod to historical Dutch farms. Bright and spacious, the new open-plan living, dining and kitchen area connects to the garden through glass doors.

The minimal design features concrete flooring and white plaster walls creating a neutral background for the large interior wooden beams. [Photography by Wim Hanenberg]