Former Industrial Warehouse Converted Into Versatile Living Space

Andrew Simpson Architects completed the redesign of this 19th century industrial warehouse conversion in North Fitzroy, Australia. According to the architects, the building was once a jam factory, a carbonated water factory, and then an advertising agency. Now, it’s a home fit for a family.The 4,700-square-foot, two-story building now accommodates “two side-by-side dwellings which have separate main street entrances for different members of the family,” the architects explained. On the ground floor, there are two living areas, a common dining table and a large bathroom. The upper level contains a home office space and a small bathroom.Brick walls and exposed wooden beams add originality to the clean, contemporary design. Natural lighting cascades in from operable skylights on the north- and south-facing roof pitches. The color palette — white, with black and gray accents — adds to the spacious feel.“The ceiling geometry which intersects with the original warehouse roof trusses, varies and undulates along the cross-section of the building. It contains the electrical and mechanical services,” the architects added. What are your thoughts on the design and layout of this original warehouse conversion in Australia? [Photography by Shannon McGrath]The post Former Industrial Warehouse Converted Into Versatile Living Space appeared first on

7 Garden Ideas to Get You Ready for Spring

Is it just us or is spring in the air? It’s getting a bit warmer, and that renewing feeling we get as winter lifts is starting. We’re getting inspired to clean up, refresh, and get organized. Of course, there’s a ton of spring cleaning to be done inside. (See our post How to Save Time Spring Cleaning your Home for more there.) But the outdoors need a good sprucing as well.There’s nothing dreamier about spring than imagining sitting out on the patio with friends. Here are 7 ways to get your outdoor living spaces dialed-in to welcome the fairest season (and all those long days of summer, too!).Image: Houzz1. Take inventory of your garden furniture.Before you hit the stores or even the inspiration boards, take stock of what you already have. What needs repairing and what needs replacing? Preseason sales can be a good time to make any purchases. (Prices are higher when it’s beautiful outside.) Since outdoor living space is an extension of your home when the sun is out, choose pieces that continue the flow of your design style inside.Image: Flasek2. Plant your perennials.You can get rid of early weeds anytime the ground is thawed, but you’ll want to check the Plant Hardiness USDA Zone Map to figure out your yard’s sub-climate, shop for perennials and plant accordingly. While many conditions can affect a plant’s survival, this is the easiest way to ensure your plants make it through the season. Once you know what zone you’re in, we recommend designing your garden by vibe (more tropical? English garden? rustic wildflowers?) and your color palette (what is the ideal backdrop for this year’s outdoor activities?). Add in a few plants that attract bees — it might seem scary, but these natural pollinators will make sure your flowers bloom.Don’t have a giant yard or huge garden? Build a container garden. It’ll give you the same hit of nature that we all crave after a long winter on a smaller patio, balcony, or porch.Image: Deborah Silver3. Build a fire pit.Creating a personal fire pit for your backyard using inexpensive materials is surprisingly easy and a fire pit is perfect for entertaining late into the night on the patio when temperatures drop. It also gives the yard an instant focal point and a place to gather around. A wooden cover can turn the fire pit into a coffee table for drinks and hors d’oeuvres until the sun goes down and then can be removed when it’s time for s’mores. We love pieces that can do double duty, and the fact that this can be made yourself in a weekend makes it a no-brainer!Image: Shoreline Awnings4. Create more shade.We know that the draw to being outside during the warmer months is obviously the sunshine, but all-day sun exposure isn’t great. We like the idea of creating a dimensional plan of sun and shade in our outdoor living spaces.Don’t feel limited to a simple patio umbrella. There are so many more stylish shade options: buying (or building) a pergola for a sitting or dining area, raising a Sun Sail for a more modern look, or hanging a large umbrella from your tree’s canopy. Image: The Garden Glove5. Let there be light.While a state-of-the-art lighting plan can be expensive and should be installed by professionals, there are many things you can do to create atmosphere with lighting on the cheap — sometimes using items you already have in your home.Wrapping trees with string lights creates an enchanted forest effect. Filling a hanging lantern or birdcage with an entire string of lights adds a concentrated burst of rustic brightness.Solar powered or LED lights on stakes can illuminate a walkway and delineate the edge of a patio, and similar styles have adjustable spotlights to shine up onto your home, fence, or foliage.Image: Nuevo Estilo6. Hang outdoor curtains.Create the feeling of another room simply by adding curtains to fully or partially enclose any outdoor space and make it feel more intimate. Attach hooks to the underside of an awning, pergola or porch and hang a curtain rod between them.Outdoor fabric will have more durability, but if you can be diligent enough to take it down between uses, a floaty transparent fabric can create a beautiful, ethereal effect.Image: Alison Douglas7. Create some zen.Add a water feature and wind-chimes for soothing sounds and create privacy from neighbors by strategically planting trees or hanging baskets. Add a garden sculpture and plant bushes to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.Nature has been proven time and again to have restorative effects on the mind and body, so, with the sunny weather on it’s way, why not create a space in your garden where you can relax, do a little yoga, read, and generally just “unplug” for a little while. The final step, of course, is to leave your phone inside and enjoy the fruits of your labor.The post 7 Garden Ideas to Get You Ready for Spring appeared first on

Modern Home Tours Announces 2016 Tour Dates in Four Cities

Get excited — some of the coolest modern homes in the U.S. are opening their doors this spring. Modern Home Tours just announced the upcoming dates and cities for the first four of their 2016 tours. For us modern home design enthusiasts, this is like getting to see under the wrapping paper of all the birthday gifts; each tour lets you go inside six or more private residences.April 30: SeattleMay 14: Silicon ValleyMay 21: DenverJune 4: PortlandModern Home Tours is the brainchild of two major modern design fans. The Austin-based founders, James Leasure and his former partner Matt Swinney, started Modern Home Tours so modern architecture lovers like themselves could see inside the homes of a few of the lucky modern-living aficionados. The self-paced, self-driving tours can serve as an inspiration for your next home project, help you figure out how to solve a design dilemma, or you can treat the day as a trip to a living museum.Event Details: Self-paced, self-driving tours from 11am – 5pm. Tickets $35 in advance at the Modern Home Tours events page; $40 at the door. Kids 12 and under are free. The confirmed homes have not been finalized yet, so check back with Modern Home Tours when the tour date nears. If you or someone you know is an architect, builder or home owner with a property worthy of being on the Modern Home Tours program, you can submit the home for consideration.[Image Modern Home Tours]The post Modern Home Tours Announces 2016 Tour Dates in Four Cities appeared first on

Creative Shared Bedroom Ideas for a Modern Kids’ Room

Laughing…crying…playing…fighting. A shared sibling bedroom is a beehive of activity and needs. And that means there’s a lot for parents to tackle when creating their kids’ shared bedroom. With twice the amount (or more) of evolving personalities and necessities, it’s often a daunting task for parents to accommodate storage, space and the individual style of each child.Here are some helpful tips to overcome common design challenges and create a happy and functional room for your young roommates.Creating a Boy and Girl Shared RoomDesigning a room for a brother and a sister doesn’t have to be challenging. In fact, it’s probably the easiest challenge to overcome when planning a shared room.Your first step is to select an underlying color palette for the main elements of the room (walls, rug, furniture) that is gender neutral…and, if they’re old enough to chime in, that each sibling gives the thumbs up. Color combos such as white and grey, turquoise and white or a mix of primary colors work well for both boys and girls.To complement your underlying palette, layer complementary colors and patterns on top of that. For example in a grey and white room, try accenting with yellow accessories. For patterns, lean towards stripes, chevron or solids with large geometric shape(s).When selecting furniture, opt for furniture with clean lines and that’s non-themed (steer clear of the race car or sleeping beauty beds) and pair with neutral colored essentials such as lamps and window treatments.The exciting part of creating a super fun bedroom for your young brood is accessorizing and customizing design elements to match their budding personalities. Select design elements that make the room feel like it belongs to both of them. Personalize accessories throughout the room such as wall art or coat hooks. Marquee lights with their names or first initial add a pop of energy and excitement to any space. Likewise, subtly add gender specific themes in one or two accessories, but keep them color coordinated. For example when accessorizing with red, try a throw pillow with a red fire engine for him, and a pillow with a red flower or heart for her. Storage that is complementary to the design scheme but specific for each gender (think charcoal for boys and yellow for girls) can also seamlessly pull a room together.Creating a Room For Different AgesSometimes its not just Jeremy and Sarah that you need to accommodate, but a 3-year-old Jeremy and a 4-month-old Sarah can definitely add another layer of design anxiety.The first thing to tackle is the furniture layout. If you have a baby, chances are you’ll be in and out of the room at night to tend to the baby. If possible, place their beds in opposite corners or walls with the crib being most accessible to the door. Obviously structural elements such as windows and heaters can dictate otherwise but your design objective is to give each child the most comfortable night’s sleep without one waking the other.Creating a play area that both siblings can enjoy, even simultaneously, is super helpful, especially for tired mommies and daddies. Floor mats, cushions and soft larger items like a rocking horse and tents are perfect to outline the area and fun for both to play in. Place your older child’s toys in accessible storage containers, but higher than the floor so your youngest can’t easily touch it.For example, whether it’s a bookshelf, storage cube or wall unit, place baby friendly toys and items on the lower shelves. Your toddler or older child can stand and reach for the basket of Lego.Incorporate elements that show your children their growing family. Photos of the kids together, framed handprints of when they each were newborns encourage them to appreciate their younger or older sibling while adding a warm family atmosphere to their bedroom.Creating Ample Storage for Two or MoreFinding the space in one room for twice as much furniture and storage is one of the most daunting tasks when designing a shared room. This is where your resourcefulness and editing eye need to kick into high gear. Less is definitely more in a shared bedroom, as is multifunctional and shared design.As a baseline, selecting streamlined furniture is essential to keep the room feeling as spacious as possible and allow for storage and playing. If your kids are old enough, bunk beds are always an excellent choice. Whether L-shaped or vertical, a bunk bed is an efficient use of space and oftentimes has built-in storage underneath.Speaking of…under the bed storage such as rollaway drawers is always helpful in creating more space and can hold seasonal or limited use items. Storage chests with cushions can be used as a seat to a play table as well as conceal a mountain of toys. A wall unit with drawers can pull double duty as a dresser and desk.Shelving is super convenient for toy organization as it doesn’t take up a lot of space and can be placed above dressers, desks, even above the door for hardly used items. Similarly, placing a bookshelf at the foot of the bed doesn’t take up valuable wall space and may even give you another surface near the bed for a lamp or nighttime book.For clothing, wall and door hooks are helpful for every-day go-to items. In the closet, install two rods (i.e. double hanging) so each child can have separate hanging space.Regardless of your design challenge, when creating a shared room for your little ones if you stick to resourceful, efficient, fun and creative choices, you’ll no doubt create a bedroom your kids will love!How are you going to design your kids’ bedroom?The post Creative Shared Bedroom Ideas for a Modern Kids’ Room appeared first on

Add Color and Drama to Your Home With These 35 Painted Ceiling Ideas

Most of us have stuck to the safe choice of a white ceiling. After all, it goes with almost everything in the room — and someone once said a white ceiling makes a room feel bigger and brighter. While this is often true, painting your ceiling a color other than white isn’t necessarily a bad choice. In fact, its dramatic effect has many design benefits. If you’re tempted to step out of your comfort zone, we have some tips on adding some color to your ceiling and transforming your space.Read on for our painted ceiling ideas.Dark ColorsCeilings painted dark gray, navy or black create a dramatic and intimate feeling in a room. Since they can make the ceiling feel lower, spaces with high ceilings or abundant natural light are an excellent choice to experiment with a darker color. To highlight your dark ceiling, select a pale color for your walls that nicely contrasts with the ceiling, and opt for furnishings that are lighter or neutral in color. Add a glittery or contrasting light fixture to properly showcase your dramatic ceiling.Bright ColorsPainting the ceiling a bold or bright color, such as turquoise, orange or yellow, adds energy and interest to any space. This is a great choice if you have white walls and neutral furniture. Brightly colored ceilings are perfect for fun, happy spaces, and also terrific in bathrooms or kitchens where the finishes and furniture (tile, counter, floors, tub, sink) are usually white or monochromatic.Wall ColorPainting the ceiling the same color as the walls creates a beautiful atmosphere that envelops you and allows you to really feel the color in the room. The space will appear a bit smaller, so keep a few things in mind. If the room is small — for example, a bathroom or powder room — choose a subdued color such as gray or muted blue so the space will feel intimate and serene. In a larger room, carefully select your furniture and accessories, since each piece will stand out against the paint in the room.Paint FinishRegardless of the color you choose, be sure to consider the finish of your paint. A matte or flat finish on a ceiling conceals imperfections such as cracks or pipes. Eggshell or glossy paint shows blemishes but also adds dimension to the ceiling, giving it a subtle reflection.Architectural DetailsIf you have architectural details on or around your ceiling — such as crown molding, tray ceilings or skylights — painting the ceiling a contrasting color is a fantastic design feature. Darker or bolder colors work well in this case, as the typically white architectural detail helps to break up the deeper hue.Specific SuggestionsWhile keeping these tips in mind, here are some inspiring color ideas for your next ceiling adventure:Pale aqua. A pale aqua or turquoise (think Robin’s Egg or Tiffany Blue) is a fantastic color choice for the ceiling in almost any space. From the bedroom to the bathroom or even the kitchen, a ceiling this color gives a light and airy feel to the plainest space. It also adds an appropriate amount of fresh color to existing neutrals such as white, beige, gray and wood tones.Metallic. A shimmery ceiling not only adds a little glitz to any room, but also adds depth, thanks to its reflective quality. Muted silver and gold are on trend and will glam up almost any room in your house.To transform your powder room into a reflective jewel box, replace your chrome fixtures with brass elements and give the ceiling a coat of gold paint. The same can be done to almost any room in your home. Just make sure you carefully select the right golden touches — and don’t overaccessorize.Black. It’s not the most obvious choice for ceiling color, but a black or charcoal gray ceiling definitely has its benefits. For one, it’s an inexpensive way to conceal unwanted elements, such as pipes or old beams. Many basement rec rooms have matte black ceilings.A black ceiling adds elegant drama to a refined room such as the dining room or bedroom, especially if it features details such as decorative crown molding. It also superbly highlights existing black accents in the room, like a black lampshade, or can help tone down high-contrast colors such as gold or yellow.Navy. As with black, a navy ceiling can add depth and drama to a room while giving it a more regal feel. Navy looks absolutely brilliant with shades of white or gray; if your walls are already one of those popular colors, try infusing navy into your design scheme by starting with the ceiling.Yellow. A yellow ceiling brings a bright, refreshing punch of color to any room. With its warmth and energy, yellow transforms an ordinary space into an interesting and happy space. A yellow ceiling allows your eye to dance around the room. It can amp up a stark white space or complement an already colorful room.Patterned. For the more adventurous design enthusiast, painting a pattern on the ceiling makes an uber-stylish statement. Whether you pick stripes or a geometric pattern, try to maintain a monochromatic color scheme with all the other elements in the room. This way, your ceiling won’t compete with, say, a geometric rug and make the room feel chaotic.Are you ready to take your ceiling on a colorful journey? Use these tips to find the best painted ceiling ideas to punch up your home!The post Add Color and Drama to Your Home With These 35 Painted Ceiling Ideas appeared first on

Rustic Renovation Celebrates Minimalism in Canada

Scott & Scott Architects completed North Vancouver House, a rustic renovation of a 1950s post-and-beam house in Canada. The project is the result of a collaboration between the architect and the client, two history professors, and their shared interest in traditional buildings and materials.“The house, while extensively renovated over the years, had a modest scale, well-proportioned rooms and a strong connection to the wooded and mature yard,” the architect said. The materials used in the upgrade were selected for their contrasting strengths and minimalist finishes.“The living space was stripped of embellishments, and the enclosed stair was replaced with an open stair of steel and fir,” the architect said. “This allows the light from the second-floor hall window to connect with the ground floor.”The owner’s collection of studio pottery is the highlight of the minimalist rustic kitchen. A 1,760-pound marble countersits atop a custom-designed base.The space on the main floor is divided by two massive plywood cabinets, which provide concealed storage for the living, entry and kitchen areas. [Photos and information courtesy of Scott & Scott Architects] The post Rustic Renovation Celebrates Minimalism in Canada appeared first on

Green Residence in Singapore Grows Grass on Every Level

Located in a lushly planted residential area of Singapore and surrounded by mature trees, this green modern residence aims to capture the spirit of its surroundings. The House at Trevose Place was completed by A D Lab.“This ambition to extend the site, its sense of gentle movement and tranquility, posed a challenge, given the extensive programmatic requirements of the owners,” explained the architects.The green residence had to be adapted to the needs of the multi-generational family. This was achieved by developing a relatively compact building around a courtyard and swimming pool. The highlight of the design is a pathway that winds around the external facade, encircling the home in grass.“Aside from gently merging the building into the site, this long, winding veranda also serves as extensions of the individual rooms,” the architects added. The veranda continues all the way to the rooftop lawn.The home has three levels, each hosting both private and social areas. Large windows and sliding doors on each floor ensure natural ventilation and lighting, and allow access to the grassy areas from every level. [Photography by Masano Kawana] The post Green Residence in Singapore Grows Grass on Every Level appeared first on

The Car’s the Star in This Modern Home in Bulgaria

I/O Architects completed the design of Pagoda House in Sofia, Bulgaria. The two-level, single-family home is perched on a hill, offering panoramic views of the city on one side and the mountains on the other.“The client, a Bulgarian investment banker, had two important requirements,” the architects said. “He wanted a home in which he could proudly showcase his classic car while comfortably housing his small family.”The main level accommodates the living areas — living room, dining room, kitchen and children’s area — as well as three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Partially embedded into the mountain slope, the lower level of the modern home consists of utility rooms.“By keeping a simple but carefully selected palette of materials and adding tasteful touches in the generous space, we have created a cozy, family-oriented home that feels open, contemporary and comfortable,” the architects said.The concrete flooring and black metal framing were inspired by the prized vehicle, a vintage Mercedes, which is showcased in a dedicated atrium. [Information provided by I/O Architects; photography by Assen Emilov] The post The Car’s the Star in This Modern Home in Bulgaria appeared first on

Apartment in Sydney Gets a Bright, Contemporary Upgrade

Chris Bosse, the director of Australian architecture practice LAVA,upgraded a narrow apartment and made it his own. The 1,184-square-foot Tivoli Terrace is in Paddington, a historic district of Sydney, Australia.Blurring the indoor-outdoor boundaries was the main target of the transformation. Soothing finishes, mid-century furnishings and contemporary lighting enhance the 13-foot-wide apartment’s interior design scheme.“New timber floors streamline the dining, living and kitchen areas into one continuous space,” the architects said. “The living area is extended into the courtyard by sliding windows and timber screens that magically hide from view and give shading and privacy.“A new kitchen is at the heart and features a custom-made island bench and a white glass backsplash to reflect the light,” they added. “The traditional stepped geometry of fridge, oven, cupboards and range hood was realigned to create a streamlined look.”The architects maximized the storage space in this apartment in Sydney, installing floor-to-ceiling shelves in the dining/living area. Upstairs, a small room was turned into a second living area. [Information provided by LAVA; photography by Brett Boardman] The post Apartment in Sydney Gets a Bright, Contemporary Upgrade appeared first on

Japanese Family’s Privacy Salvaged in Challenging Site

The architect’s job here was clear: wrestle tranquility and privacy from an environment that has neither. Like so much architecture in overcrowded Japan, the house in Shiga, Japan is in an unpromising site. So ALTS Design Office hide a peaceful and private space within a blend-in ugly exterior. The childrens’ high bedroom windows upstairs are seen in the parking lot, but no hint is given that that is what they are. Anything less banal on the outside would pierce the privacy of the family hiding their home in clear site on a parking lot. The boring wall to the parking lot is the key to the design. To gain peace and privacy, the architects arranged an exclusive path extended in along the front of the house. A skylight outside, behind the parking lot wall brings daylight but not rain to this briefest of exterior views. “This way “we gave importance to design the outside space in inside space and produced diverse and interesting space,” say the architects. The interior blends so seamlessly into the exterior that the ground floor doesn’t feel at all claustrophobic. And once in the anonymous public realm, no hint is given that family life goes on inside. The zen placement of the rocks is just perfect. “We didn’t separate into inside and outside of house simply, and designed the outside space in inside space,” say the architects. “By doing so, we brought a feeling of strangeness in a good sense.” Only in Japan could the zen sensibility of Japanese architecture work the magic needed! This is a post from Home Design FindJapanese Family’s Privacy Salvaged in Challenging Site