Monday, May 25, 2009

Casa Gutierrez in El Salvador by P&P Architects

Specially designed for a recently married young couple in El Salvador, Casa Gutierrez has the exquisite feel of a contemporary home with traditional spaces. Designed by P&P Architects, there’s a Salvadoran kitchen, a large living room with floor to ceiling glass windows and a small terrace in the front that gives the feeling of living outdoors. Promoting natural light during the day and turning into a gorgeous lit home at night, it’s perfect both for a family or a young bachelor. Another party-perfect home?

Contemporary Vanities - Solace Bathroom Vanity

Installing a modern bathroom vanity is a great way to remodel your bathroom, or resuscitate a boring bathroom design. Many contemporary vanities, much unlike their traditional counterparts, feature a minimalist (“bare bones”) aesthetic that is often quite striking in its simplicity and beauty. Of course, some of these vanities just end up looking trashy. Today, some of the most popular and common vanities are manufactured with steel or chrome and glass. Again, this is a nod to minimalist art, and the philosophy that sometimes less is more. Which brings us to the 35” Solace Bathroom Vanity. Like many modern vanities, the Solace is wall-mounted. The solace features sturdy chrome construction and, as with most modern vanities, features a very sparse look. But just because it is simple, do not assume that it is unattractive. In fact, the simplicity of the Solace’s design is one of its more endearing qualities.

The countertop is glass, and it supports a glass countertop vessel sink and a towel rack. The glass is available in four colors: amber, blue, frosted (a sort of light blue), and grey. The Solace has one shelf beneath the countertop for storage, so if you are a serious organizer by nature, this may not be the vanity for you. The shelf should give you plenty of room to organize your toiletries and hygienic products, but the fact that these are clearly visible (as the Solace does not have cabinet doors) may be a bit deterring for some designers and homeowners. The shelf is approximately 30” wide, as opposed to the countertop which is 35” wide. The entire vanity stands at about 20” in height, though this may change depending on the faucet you choose to install. It should be noted that the Solace and the faucet are sold separately, which is an important budget consideration. The Solace is a relatively affordable vanity though, with a price tag of about $650 and you can get it from here.

Overall, the Solace is a very charming contemporary vanity at a very reasonable price. It won’t be worth your time if you have a lot of bathroom stuff to organize, nor will it serve you particularly well if the bathroom sees a lot of traffic everyday from multiple users (look into a double bathroom vanity for that). But for a simple and endearing bathroom vanity that fits nicely into bathrooms of any size, consider the Solace a very good option.

Exquisite W Hotel in New York by BBG-BBGM

What are the key elements that you look for when searching for a hotel? Good location, cheap prices or a stylish interior that gets the eye? Well if it’s the latter what about a look at the W New York, a prestigious Manhattan hotel. With guestrooms and suites recently renovated by Hong-Kong based architecture firm BBG-BBGM to feature soothing colors and textures inspired by nature, the five-star hotel is conceived as an urban oasis. Sweating the adrenaline and energy of a bustling city, the rooms are all enhanced by the alluring angles created by a stunning array of futuristic furnishings. We dig!

The Axor Starck ShowerCollection

Revealed at this year’s New York Design Week, Phillipe Starck’s ShowerCollection is literally the rain shower of your dreams. Design from building blocks to be easy to both use and install in your bathroom, the blocks can be individually mixed and matched to anyone’s preference. Very cyberprep-inspired in appearance, the module is free of any innecessary or gaudy frills and is shiny and efficiently mechanical in design. But the best part of this design is the shower itself, which falls onto the bather like rain water. Although this may not be the most environmentally-friend or water-efficient design of all time, it’s definitely one of the coolest and one of the few that makes me want to purchase it in a last-minute impulse buy. An impulse buy that I would absolutely not regret, by the way.

Stilvoll’s Crescendo C2 Desk

A wildly adaptive design, Stilvill’s Crescendo C2 desk comes in three separate heights: “School & College,” “Secretary” and “Standing Desk.” Although those size categories may be confusing to the average desk-buying passerby, Stilvoll will hope that you open up the various components of their traditional-looking table top to reveal the desk’s true nature: a versatile contraption that allows for several uses for any age or occupation. Folding in-and-out in this-way-and-that, the Crescendo C2 desk incorporates engineering that’s practically unnoticeable until you start manipulating it in both width and height. What’s most striking about the desk’s design contrast of deliberate simplicity in the use of rough, bare wood to look like a drafting table and the intricate interaction of mechanical components to allow for personalization per task.

Luxurious 23 Oakmount Drive Residence in Beverly Hills

This spectacular contemporary house is located close to the “famous”, at 23 Oakmount Drive in Beverly Hills. Rich in wood, with a striking black frame exteriro and large open spaces on the inside, it’s a dream home that charms with modern furniture, elegant furnishings and lots of natural light. Surrounded by a lot of “green” and with such amazing views over the bustling Los Angeles, you wouldn’t have to think twice why Westside Estate Agency have it for sale at $15.9 million. And did we mention the charming pool where you can get the perfect tan …

The Deadly Multipurpose Closet

While it may not be a killer weapon-inspired piece of furniture, the Deadly Multipurpose Close hast its own way of getting the eye. Inspired by the classic magic trick of sticking knives (and not killing anyone), it features wooden “swords” that “impale” the unit as supports or racks for your clothes. Only a concept for now, it already proves a fun, practical idea that will show your guests that you mean business. And although it may not go great with your modern environment, the kids will obviously love it. Hell, we love it, too!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Victorian Terrace House Extension by Ailtireacht Architects

The extension for this Victorian Terrace House in Rathgar, has been commissioned by Dublin-based Ailtireacht Architects to create an additional multifunctional livingspace, that would meet the growing needs of a growing family. And they managed in the most stylish way. Made from light-grey zinc foil wraps and featuring some colourfully glazed projections, the generously proportioned house adds a tinge of contemporary functionality to a two-storey building house. With an additional bathroom, bedroom and work space, Matilde House has now become a cozy place to live. It looks like the place we’d move in, to blend both looks and the beautiful three-dimensional realm.

Tetris Furniture by Diego Silverio and Helder Filipov

Tetris is one of the most classic and phenomenal games ever created. Even over two decades later, the interest and hype still continues. Tetris is so popular, that two artists, Diego Silverio and Helder Filipov, have created epic and modern pieces of furniture which are modeled after the famed tetriminoes. Designed to be multi-functional (as desks, shelves, drawers or tables), these pieces offer functional storage, colorful design, and superiorly built frames. Surprisingly, each piece is designed to be able to stand alone or fit with the other tetris “pieces”.

House Prices Decline, Again

House prices across the world are declining by massive percentages, and less than a year ago prices were set to 15% more than they currently are. That’s a drastic drop when you consider everyone who has been affected. And even when prices rise (like the rise seen in March), they quickly drop by the same amount, if not more. What does this mean for the housing market? It’s getting worse, slowly but surely, and projected losses are expected to go down at least another percent within the next few months. However there’s one good side of the story. The state of the economy “seems” beneficial for those interested in purchasing a new home and have the money to do so. So what do you think? Are you going to buy a property anytime soon?