Contemporary Penthouse in Kiev Exhibits Original Arch Roofing


 Ukraine-based Alex Obraztsov completed the design of a contemporary penthouse in Kiev’s city center. The concept behind the High Lounge project— “Life is wisely thrifty: all new things are made of old ones”— is inspired by a poem belonging to Russian writer Konstantin Forfanov.

Discovered on site, the original arch roofing system was exposed and adds function to the space — aside from extending the living areas, it works as a space divider as well. The steel beam structures complement the plywood panels for a bold, modern look. The newly added terrace has ample space for outdoor relaxation with breathtaking views of the city.


 The living room’s dark color palette of gray and black is accented by bold colorful artworks from modern Ukrainian and Japanese painters Oksana Masj and Valerij Startsevand Kenzo Takada. The striking white lacquered kitchen and bathroom further add to the contemporary style of this penthouse. Large windows let in ample natural light during the day, while at night the soft, built-in lighting creates a warm, intimate ambiance. [Photography courtesy of Alex Obraztsov]








Creative Bedroom Ideas for a Modern Kids’ Room

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.

Creative Bedroom Ideas for a Modern Kids’ Room

Creating a Boy and Girl Shared Room

Designing 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.

Creative Bedroom Ideas for a Modern Kids’ Room

Creating a Room For Different Ages

Sometimes 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.

Creative Bedroom Ideas for a Modern Kids’ Room

Creating Ample Storage for Two or More

Finding 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!

Living Space Former Industrial in North Fitzroy, Australia


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.










5 Landscaping Ideas for a Modern Low-Water Garden

OK, so California isn’t the only state going through a water shortage. At least 30 states in the U.S. currently have some level of drought, ranging from “abnormally dry” conditions in Florida and Massachusetts to the “exceptional drought” currently happening in California and Nevada.

If you live in more one of more than half of the states on the list, water conservation is probably a high priority for you, but honestly, conserving water doesn’t mean you have to live with a dry and neglected garden. And it’s not the only reason to swap your water-loving lawn for a more drought-tolerant landscape. Today’s low-water gardens aren’t just smart and in vogue; they’re downright gorgeous.
These 5 drought-tolerant landscaping ideas look so fresh and modern that they’re an inspiration — even if water conservation isn’t your first goal.

1. If you can’t live without flowers, go with perennials.


2. Plant ornamental grasses.


3. Replace your grass with artificial grass.

 Grass is the largest water waster in the yard and it’s the most high maintenance item. On top of the watering there’s the mowing, mulching, aerating, fertilizing and re-seeding or re-sodding. Artificial grass doesn’t have to look like a neon green professional football field, either. There are a lot of realistic artificial grass options with varying amounts of multi-colored hatch.

4. Replace your grass with gravel and stone.

Artificial grass looks more like the real deal than ever before, but a gravel, stone and paver garden gives the garden a contemporary, minimalist look. It’s still low maintenance (and requires zero water) and is a great counterpoint to succulents and a fire pit.

5. Use succulents in your garden design ideas.

 We can’t get enough of them and the way combining many different types in the same garden adds amazing texture and color.We’re particularly obsessed with aloe, burro’s tails, and hens and chicks.

Space and Light Platinum House is a residence in Tokyo, Japan

  

Platinum House is a residence in Tokyo, Japan designed by Atelier Spinoza. The narrow shape of the lot meant they needed to design up, but the interior doesn’t just showcase that main goal: maximizing vertical space. The architects were able to achieve an interior that feels spacious by letting natural light flood every single room of the three-story building.

There’s not a single part of the home that feels dark or closed off. In fact it doesn’t even feel horizontally narrow. The first floor abuts a small triangular courtyard and light comes in the floor to ceiling window and glass patio door. And, though most of the courtyard is covered by the second floor deck — the open grating lets light cascade in nonetheless. On the second floor, the floor-to-ceiling patio door and a skylight on one side both allow light to bound in. The central staircase is open so there no hallway walls close off the light. (Only simple white handrails mirror the geometry of the split floor layout.) And, the wood ceilings and interior windows make it seem as spacious and wondrous to look up as it is to look down.