Monthly Archives: November 201531

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Madrid Villa Offers Luxurious Escape From City Life

Modern Homes Worldwide sent us information about this a modern residence on the market in Madrid’s Aravaca district. “Drama, glamour and modern design work in unison to deliver a vibrant space that is equally suited to entertaining as it is to family living,” the company said.

Encompassing nearly 14,000 square feet, this luxurious Madrid villa offers a versatile living space that includes an array of sophisticated amenities. It has four bedrooms, an open-concept dining and living room, modern kitchen, movie room, gym with sauna and entertainment area.

design modern residenceThe master bedroom suite includes his-and-hers bathrooms, a dressing room and a lounge. The property also features staff quarters, a one-bedroom guest apartment and a garage for up to six cars.

Geothermal heating, heated floors and air conditioning ensure comfort throughout the seasons. Oak floors, concrete walls and floor-to-ceiling windows add to the home’s modern style.

The Madrid villa is set on a half-acre lot with a landscaped garden, offering a peaceful retreat from city life. This outdoor oasis includes a private saltwater pool and a covered veranda with a fireplace. Interested? It can be yours for $7.4 million.
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The Best Bed Pillow: Sleep Soundly on Freshome’s Top Pick

Sleep is a beautiful thing. In the warmth and comfort of your own bed, sleep can help you stay healthy, improve mental dexterity and recharge for whatever tomorrow holds. While finding your

Goose-down pillows are undoubtedly the standard for friendly pillow fights and, as it turns out, a good night’s rest as well. The Luxury Soft Goose Down by National Sleep Products is a hypoallergenic pillow, showcasing a moderate 550 fill power for “comfort night after night.” At about $132 for a pair, these pillows are reasonably priced for the competition in down pillows.

Tempur Side to Back

The Best Pillow for Back Sleepers: Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Contour Side-to-Back Pillow

Studies have shown that sleeping on your back is the healthiest way to sleep, so why not find a pillow that can help you get comfortable that way? The Side-to-Back Pillow from Tempur-Pedic, at $110, helps to facilitate an easy rest in either the back or side position and is the perfect choice for anyone willing and able to spend the extra cash on a luxuriously comfortable rest.

Full Review of the Best Bed Pillow: Pacific Coast Double DownAround Firm

Pacific Coast Double

There aren’t many luxuries that top sinking your head into the perfect pillow at the end of a long day. It’s almost as if you can feel the stresses of the day melt away as soon as your head hits the pillowcase. No matter what type of sleep experience you’re looking for, the Pacific Coast Double DownAround Firm pillow is simply the one to beat.

What separates this pillow from the crowd is its pillow-in-a-pillow design. While some of you undoubtedly will fall on one of the extremes of the firmness spectrum, the majority of sleepers are simply looking for a reliable place to lay their head. The Double DownAround splits the difference between squishy and firm by combining the best of the down and springy feather worlds.

The outer layer is a 550-fill-power down that allows you to gratifyingly sink into your pillow. While down pillows typically allow you to sink until there’s nowhere else to go, this pillow features a packed-in Resilia feather core that adds a level of support and firmness without sacrificing the squishy comfort of a down pillow.

Another benefit to having the feather core surrounded by down is that it prevents you from getting pricked by the quills, an eventual inevitability for most feather-only pillows. The Pacific Coast Double DownAround Firm boasts a modest 300 thread count and a 100-percent-cotton down- and feather-proof fabric.

One major benefit of this pillow is its ease of maintenance. With many pillows, washing options are limited to dry cleaning or no washing at all. The Double DownAround is machine washable and dryer safe, making it a sanitary option in your home for years to come.

On top of the comfort and ease of maintenance, Pacific Coast also has some impressive warranties and guarantees, promising to put its money where its mouth is. First, the company assures users that if they have allergies while using this pillow, it can be returned “hassle-free.”

There’s also a 30-day “comfort guarantee,” meaning that you can send the pillow back for any reason within a month of your purchase, paying only shipping costs. To top it off, Pacific Coast also includes a five-year limited warranty, an impressive feature for such an affordable item that speaks volumes as to the quality and build of each pillow.

You may be wondering: why not pick a memory foam pillow? While many people love memory foam pillows, such as Amazon’s affordable top seller Coop Home Goods Shredded Memory Foam Pillow, there are a few reasons why we decided against picking one for the best overall.

Unless you’re shelling out big bucks for a pillow that has cooling gel built in, memory foam can trap heat and get a bit uncomfortable. They also tend to sleep much different than traditional pillows; that’s not to say it’s better or worse, just very different for those used to down or feather pillows. It comes down to preference, of course, but in this review we chose the pillow that would most likely satisfy the majority of common shoppers.

All told, the Pacific Coast Double DownAround Firm combines everything we look for in a great pillow. It’s soft, yet supportive; easy to maintain; backed by stellar guarantees; and, chief of all, extremely affordable. While no pillow will meet the expectations of every customer, it’s just about as close as you’ll get to a perfect pillow at a price you can feel comfortable sleeping on.

Who Is It Best For, and Who Should Skip It?

The Pacific Coast Double DownAround Firm pillow is perfect for the person who falls somewhere between wanting a stiff pillow and a squishy pillow. It’s also great for anyone looking to improve their sleep without breaking the bank.

The only people who should skip this pillow are essentially those who lie on either extreme of the firmness spectrum.

What made the Pacific Coast Double DownAround Firm stand out?

  • Pillow-in-a-pillow design
  • Features both down and feathers
  • Eco-conscious design
  • 100-percent-cotton down- and feather-proof fabric
  • Machine washable and dryer safe
  • Reasonably affordable among the competition
  • Great guarantees and five-year limited warranty
  • Placed in more than 2 million hotel rooms

Your Sleeping Style and Your Pillow

Whether you sleep on your back, your side or your stomach, your sleeping style speaks volumes as to the pillow you should choose. In fact, many pillows are created to facilitate a healthy sleeping position. Let’s take a look at what your sleeping position means for your pillow choice and your health.

Back sleepers: If you are one of the brave people who can peacefully sleep face up, we have good news: chiropractors almost unanimously agree that your sleeping position trumps the rest. The biggest reason for this is that the most sought-after sleeping position is the natural spine alignment achieved only in this position.

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Winter Wall Murals Bring the Magic of the Season Indoors

Winter is coming, and with it cozy evenings spent by the fireplace and restless days of preparation for Christmas. Meanwhile, muted shades of gray, white and blue dominate the landscape.

PIXERS decided to pay homage to snow and frost in its collection of winter wall murals. This lovely series features mountain vistas and close-ups of winter’s natural phenomena.
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“We created hyper-realistic wall murals using photos of stunning winter landscapes that resemble the way nature looks during winter. Vibrant colors give way to muted hues of mountains covered in snow, frozen twigs and light gray skies,” the designers at PIXERS said.

The murals can transform a regular room into a peaceful winter refuge — especially in areas that get no (or little) snowfall. PIXERS also are great for those who desire the look only temporarily, thanks to a special backing that allows them to be repositioned.

For more inspiration, check out these summer- and autumn-themed murals, published on Freshome a while back [Photos and information provided by PIXERS]
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Terrace Is Ingeniously Lowered to Let Light Into London Home

This light, bright London home was envisioned by Scenario Architecture. The Gransden Avenue project was designed to allow a family of three to interact within a flexible, engaging environment. But it didn’t quite start out that way.

“The site was challenging, as it is part of a terrace that opens out to a hard landscaped internal community space” and parking lot, the architects said. “The key elements of our brief were to utilize daylight as much as possible while maintaining a warm living space, and to have a green area that can be seen from the living room.”
design modern residence“By lowering and glazing a section of the roof terrace, we were able to create a rooftop garden that can be enjoyed from the kitchen and living areas,” they said. “We also provided a central core to the house that lets light penetrate down to the first floor while creating a continuous flow through the second level.”

This 2,766-square-foot London home combines the stark elegance of a gallery-like interior with the warmth that only a family home can exude. Plenty of design elements make this home stand out; which are your favorites? [Photography by Matt Clayton]
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Private House East London

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Wood Warms Modern Mexico Apartment in Unexpectedly Creative Ways

Completed by Kababie Architects in Mexico City, Apartment KG is a contemporary home defined by an original design scheme. Its uniqueness comes from an unexpectedly vibrant mix of textures and furnishings in a neutral palette of white, gray, brown and black — and that spectacular ceiling.

“The kitchen and the family room are unified through the harmonious ceiling design, a prefabricated lattice made of reclaimed wood,” the project developers said. Lighting units are creatively hidden within the sculptural addition, making it both aesthetic and functional.

The reclaimed wood lattice continues from the ceiling down opposite walls, forming a bar area on one side and a media wall on the other.

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Almost every element in this apartment draws attention; a fireplace in gray marble visually contrasts the neighboring dining room for 12. Hexagonal tables of different heights act as the core of the lounge area, contributing to the 3D effect this apartment exudes.

“The dining room is subtly separated from the kitchen through a breakfast/eating area,” the developers said. “All the bedrooms are grouped in a specific wing of the apartment. The master bedroom is complemented by a TV room.” What do you find most inspiring about this modern Mexico apartment? [Photography by Jaime Navarro]
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Opulent Home in Jakarta Plays With Shapes, Textures

DP+HS Architects completed the design of a three-story residence in an affluent residential area in North Jakarta, Indonesia. Located on an irregular site in a cul-de-sac, the F+W House stands out due to its imposing contemporary silhouette.

The new home needed to accommodate eight people, so maximizing available space was paramount. “The mass is halved, and the rooms are placed on both sides,” the architects said. “The middle zone was transformed into a horizontal and vertical circulation corridor; this way, the area on both sides can be maximized as rooms.”
modern residence (3)“The central corridor is paired with a long void that literally splits the mass of the building. A glass roof is placed on top of it as a skylight, which serves to bring in light all the way to the ground floor. Air outlets are located below the glass roof to draw the warm air out of the building and trigger cross-ventilation.”

The interiors are defined by a variety of textures. A highlight of the opulent home is a small rooftop shelter; it is here that the inhabitants can take in the distant sea views to the north. [Photography by Mario Wibowo and DP+HS Architects]

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16th-Century Barn Transforms Into a Contemporary Retreat

Merging old and new, Cat Hill Barn in Sheffield, England, is a striking conversion of a 16th-century barn. Snook Architects successfully achieved a design where contemporary living needs are met within a timeless building in the hills of Yorkshire.

“Despite a difficult process with the local planning officer, Snook won planning permission on appeal,” the architects said. “Key in winning the support of the appeal officer was the restrained aesthetic of the scheme, which deliberately avoided being too domestic in appearance.”

design rehabilitation (2)“The design delivered a flowing open-plan internal space that avoids compartmentalization and opens up to reveal the splendor and scale of the original barn and its trusses,” they said.

Beautiful details preserved from the historic building enrich the interiors. Exposed wooden beams and a stone fireplace wall in the living room contrast with the concrete flooring. This array of materials and textures give the home a dynamic feel.

Comfort plays a key role in this renovation. And the highly modern kitchen and game room prove that this 16th-century barn-turned-contemporary retreat is not only functional, but also fun. [Photography by Andy Haslam]
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Italianate-Style Row House in Brooklyn Gets an Elegant Upgrade

This row house, developed by Lang Architecture in Brooklyn, N.Y., is the result of an architectural makeover. Originally a three-family residence, the home in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood now accommodates the contemporary living needs of a single family.

The elegant Italianate-style home has four levels and showcases original details throughout, carefully restored by the developing team. Large steel windows can be found on every floor, and the ceiling boasts a skylight.
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According to the architects, the parlor floor is the social area of the house; it accommodates a living room in the front and a kitchen with a steel balcony in the rear. This floor features a custom window seat next to a tall bookcase creatively integrated into the wall.

“The fine wood period stair has been restored and leads to the bedroom floors,” the architects said. “A master bedroom overlooks the street, with a generous dressing room and bathroom suite in the back. The top floor features two children’s bedrooms flanking the stair hall.” [Photos by Ty Cole Photography]

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Dutch Museum Renovation Features Living Roof

We love it when museums take a step forward in creativity, highlighting the design trends of the moment. The bold look of the Biesbosch Museum in Werkendam, The Netherlands, is the result of an eight-month renovation project led by Studio Marco Vermeulen.

A new wing that accommodates a restaurant and a display area for contemporary art was added to the complex. Studio Joyce Langezaal reinvented the permanent exhibition building, where the historical development of the region is explained to the public. This area also accommodates a library, multipurpose theater, reception area and museum shop.
modern museum (2)The architects decided to keep the hexagonal shape of the original buildings, whose extensive windows look out over the water from the man-made island. A harmonious exterior look was created by covering the volumes in grass for a living roof, providing not only a lovely aesthetic but also energy efficiency.

“The earthworks on the northwestern side and the green roof serve as additional insulation and a heat buffer,” the architects said. “On cold days, a biomass stove maintains the building’s temperature, while in warmer months, water from the river flows through the same piping to cool the museum.”

A highlight of the landscaping is a pathway that leads visitors across the green land forms. Enjoy the visual tour of this Dutch museum renovation. [Photography by Ronald Tilleman]
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California Eichler House Remodel Features Wide-Open Spaces

This remodel of a 1970s Joseph Eichler house in Palo Alto, Calif., completed by San Francisco-based Yamamar Design, displays a modern personality sprinkled with personal touches.

“The project took focus as a result of the collaboration between architect, interior decorator and a supremely passionate owner,” the architects said. “
A former television producer, the owner had recently moved from Toronto with her husband and four small children.

“The owner was willing to embrace bold ideas about color, texture and space. The project shows what can happen when a client is not limited by practical considerations.”

interior modern house designFar from pretentious, this 2,300-square-foot contemporary home displays a warm, open environment throughout. As you enter, you are greeted by an overwhelming feeling of space. The generously sized living room is illuminated by skylights in the ceiling and a glass facade at the rear.

To the left is a minimalist kitchen and dining area. The color palette — subtle additions of magenta, blue and yellow — unfolds gently against a white background. Wooden beams and flooring add to the coziness. What are your thoughts on the unconventional layout of this Eichler house remodel? [Photography: Bruce Damonte]
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