Monthly Archives: October 201630

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Loft Vieux-Montréal Infused with a Masculine Feel

This traditional building in Montreal, Canada was recently converted from a fire station into a residential townhouse. Manon Bélanger took on the challenge of renovating Loft Vieux-Montréal and infuse it with an original, contemporary feel. The apartment depicted in the photos below takes advantage of the character and location of the building. Moreover, it boasts a spectacular view from the terrace of the St. Lawrence River and the port.

Once inside, guests are greeted by an impressive open plan living and dining area. The functional zones are visually established by exposed wooden beams. “The mandate was to leverage the richness of the architecture and materials while giving a masculine spirit to the place”, the architects said.

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“The choice to replace the wooden staircase to the terrace by the steel spiral staircase adds a touch of lightness to the place, in addition to the restoration of the wooden floor with a white finish. The end result is an apartment with a strong personality.”

We particularly like the reading corner, where two traditional armchairs ‘soften’ the industrial brick background. This nook seems perfect for both intellectual conversations and sleeping after a long day’s work while holding on to a good book. [Photos and information courtesy of Manon Bélanger]
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Why White Home Exteriors

It has been a big year for white in home design.

It started with Benjamin Moore selecting white as it’s 2016 Color of the Year. Following suit, light and monochromatic Scandinavian design trends continued to dominate home blogs, and Freshome was no exception.

We’ve already covered black home exteriors, so we’re flip the switch and see what a home can look like dressed in sheet of white. Below, we’ve found 25 of our favorite homes featuring white exteriors. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or entertainment, they’re sure to brighten up your day.

Considering a bright paint job for your abode? Take a look at these points before picking up the paintbrush.

Remember that white is cool

Meaning it’s stylish, yes, but more so in temperature. The sun isn’t drawn to white, and this lack of attraction means that you won’t get any help from the sun for heat.

Great news if you reside in the desert and are adverse to living in an oven, but worth thinking twice about if you’re a cold-weather dweller looking to save on heating costs in the chillier months. However, construction material choices and energy efficient windows are also important considerations when it comes to the subject of insulation.

Don’t disregard the shade

Despite what you may think about white, it’s not one-size-fits-all. White can come in as many hues and intensities as any other color. And since you wouldn’t slap any old shade of red onto your home, don’t make the same mistake with white.

Not sure where to begin your search for the perfect white? Our friends over at Gardenista have you covered with the full spectrum of white paint color options.

You can, and should, add color elsewhere

Just because your home is primarily white doesn’t mean there isn’t room for color in your curb appeal. A bright front door makes a statement and says a lot about your true colors, and non-white trim can make a home’s silhouette pop.

Easier yet, seasonal additions such as spring flowers or a winter wreath can make your white home look more cheery and lived in while adding color.

Prepare to prime

Priming should not be optional, but most of us (and I’m raising my hand here) can admit we’ve gotten away with skipping this step in the past with no real repercussion. However, when donning your home in white, but sure you’re going to be covered.

Most paints today come with a paint and primer in one, but be sure to talk with your local paint store to make sure you’re getting the right stuff. You don’t want to invest a lot of time and money into your new look to have your previous color playing peek-a-boo.

Here are a few of our favorite white home exterior:

Stanley Boulevard

This transitional European home’s white exterior allows its many details to shine through.

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Image: Mullers Buro

Haus Gross

The windows and skylights in this traditional home mean it’s just as bright on the inside as it is on the outside.

Minnesota Transitional

This transitional home’s white exterior keeps it simple, with rich wood paneling drawing the eye in.

Third Street Farmhouse

Without the distraction of color, the unique silhouette of barn-style design is highlighted.

Modern Farmhouse

This Scandinavian-style farmhouse looks right at home in the snow with it’s crisp lines and palette.

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Image: tx construct

Clifford Residence

The Clifford Residence combines traditional farmhouse details with modern minimalism.

Palmetto Bluff

This revered home, painted in a dull white, embraces the original character of the home while contrasting beautifully with the lush surrounding landscape.

Traditional Farmhouse

Eggshell white emphasizes the one-of-kind-details in this countryside home. You know, like cupboards.

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Image: Clarum Homes

Mission Revival

We’re no stranger to Mediterranean-style homes donning white. It accentuates terra cotta roofs and remains timeless. Also, don’t miss this incredible driveway.

Haus MF

This scantily Scandinavian home is fuss-free, with a classic pitched roof and minimalist windows.

Palmetto Bluff

Southern Living’s own home takes on a creamy white to compliment a baby blue tin roof, and it’s sweet as tea.

Sonoma County Residence

This farmhouse is featured on our site, and we love the way the white previews the modernism found inside this stunning home.

PH1 Residence

This 1960’s home doesn’t look so dated anymore with a fresh coat of white.

Cape Porpoise Residence

This beach-style home in Maine keeps its New England …read more      

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Historic Montreal Bank Gets High Tech Transformation

In Montreal, Canada, an ornate former bank has been given a new lease on life as the headquarters for a tech start-up and cafe. Designed by Henri Cleinge, the marble floor, custom brass details, and painted ceiling were all restored to life with painstaking detail as the new headquarters for Crew Collective.


Besides the tech startup, individuals are able to rent space in the cafe by the week or the month for short term projects. The architect specifically created a natural flow for this communal space, to allow for cross pollination between permanent office residents and short term tenants. There is also a cafe in the building, making it an appealing place to drop by and work for an afternoon.


Henri Cleinge said the challenges “originated from the client’s requirements – how to elaborate an architectural relationship and construct boundaries between the various program functions. The second challenge became a deeper questioning on how to approach design in the context of a heritage building”.

The conference rooms can be booked by the public, and the design matches the ornate bronze plated steel design of the ceiling of this 1926 historic building. Teller stands from the building’s former life provide a natural division between public cafe space and private offices.








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Mirrors Add Playful Charm to Transitional Apartment in Barcelona

This transitional apartment is located in Plaça Catalunya, in the heart of Barcelona, Spain. Designed by Nook Architects, the project makes the most of its location, with generous balcony doors opening up to the city’s eclectic rhythm.

“The customer wanted a spacious dwelling for him as the main occupant during his occasional visits to the city and for hosting his guests,” the architects explained. “The kitchen had to be at the center of it all, serving as a meeting point — more of a gastro bar than a family kitchen. It also had to be complemented by a wine cellar for more than 600 bottles.”

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A load-bearing wall was partially brought down to connect the living area with the kitchen. The main bedroom, with an en-suite bath, is close to the entry and opens to the more intimate patio. Adjacent to the guest bedroom and with direct access to the kitchen is the wine cellar, which includes a wooden wine rack and a wine cooler.

A total of ten windows spread throughout the apartment bring abundant natural light inside. To multiply their presence, the architects used mirrored panels in the hallway and in the remaining section of the load-bearing wall that was brought down.

Vaulted, ceramic slabs and iron beams in the ceilings make for a unique design. The color palette in pastel tones combines with warm material finishes to create a friendly ambiance. [Information provided by Nook Architects; photography by Nieve]

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What Does Your Front Door Color Say About Your Home?

Your front door is more than just an entrance to your home, it’s a guest’s first glimpse at your personality.

The all-important first impression of a home begins where you’d expect: the front door. It’s the way that guests enter our homes — literally. A pop of color marking the entrance to your home is an expressive and somewhat simple way to show your style. Therefore, it’s important to know what your color choice says about both you and your home.

But where do we get ideas about the meanings of color? Right outside of our doorstep! Subconsciously, nature is what drives our associate of color and emotion. Think about it: green remind us of plants, yellow of the sun, pink and purple strike the same chords as spring flowers and sunrises.

Whether you already have a painted front door, or you’re looking to pick a new color, flip through the slides above and find out which color is best for you.

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Minimalist, Natural Beach House

Rising out of the Westlandse Zoom dunes like a rock on the beach, this minimalist family home embraces natural inspiration in more than just design. Global Architects designed this beach house in the South of Holland. This light sand colored house resembles a rock rising from the surrounding beach grass.


Each side of the house is asymmetrical, giving it more of an organic appearance. The south side opens up to natural gorgeous natural views and features windows of different sizes overlooking the water. The roof and walls join together with no gable, making the resemblance to a small beach rock even more striking. The floors are weathered, contrasting the clean white walls of the house. Two patios allow for outdoor living in all seasons.


The natural inspiration doesn’t end at the exterior design. Buried 135 meters below the house are 2 earth thermal ground heat pumps, which serve to make the house more carbon neutral. It relies on a solar heater and lower floor cooling. The house is well insulated against the weather, making it more energy efficient.
















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Unique Amenities that Cater to Modern Life in Rio

Cité Arquitetura completed Sorocaba 112, which already stands out in the hip Botafogo neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro with its mix of truly unique amenities. The biggest — it offers a customized bicycle for the residents of each unit. This is a major draw for urban cyclists.

A colorful storage space on the ground floor makes life here even easier for bike enthusiasts. It has the feel of a parking garage for bikes with individual spaces set aside and features a map of the surrounding area.


The building also caters to young families with a play room for kids. The room includes a slide and synthetic grass to mimic an outdoor playground that would be difficult to accommodate in the building’s urban space.

Each of the twelve apartments in the building features an outdoor space to enjoy the Rio sunshine. Among these, large balconies run along the front face of the building. They offer a luxurious space and create a cool, modern look in white and glass. [Photography and information courtesy of ArchDaily]

Kids Room



Interior 2

Outdoor Area


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Heritage on Display at Ancestry Headquarters

Heritage is the focus behind the design at the new headquarters for Ancestry. Designed by Rapt Studio, the interiors feature comfortable lounging areas and high-tech meeting spaces, as well as communal eating tables. Since the purpose behind this Utah-based company is helping people find their personal history, they wanted their new headquarters to be an integral part of telling their own story.


The 10.5-acre site is located in Central Utah, the central hub of Ancestry’s activities. The four-story building contains conference rooms and offices, a fitness center, a cafe with central dining, and an outdoor patio for socializing. Throughout the building, art pieces on display focus on abstract ideas like history and lineage, as well as more concrete scientific concepts like genetics.


The four-story building hosts impressive views of Mount Timpanogos and the beautiful countryside around it. All in all, the office totals around 210,000 square feet.


Ancestry, started in the 1980’s, is the largest genealogical database in the world, and they wanted their new headquarters to reflect that purpose. “The aim throughout is to root the abstractions of regional migration, genealogy, genetics, and data in familiar objects present in the space.”











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Coastal Cabin under the Northern Lights

Located along the coast of Norway, Asante Architecture & Design created this custom home to blend into its surroundings. The client, a chef, wanted a home that could be completely at peace with the natural surroundings, while providing a retreat away from the rest of the world.


From the living room, the owner can watch the moon rise, or fish off the side of the balcony. The bathtub, which is submerged into the rocks of the coast, has a view of the Northern Lights over the ocean.

The front and back of the house have been divided, in order to facilitate more privacy; the side facing the road has smaller windows, while the panoramic windows on the opposite end offer views of overlooking the coastline and the Norwegian Sea. The bedroom is lofted over the kitchen.


The facade is weather treated with a Japanese technique of burned wood, which needs little maintenance to keep it from the wind and rain. The roof is covered with sedum grass, making it blend further into the landscape.

The house is part of a larger project, Bygda 2.0, to create a dynamic village in the rural area of Stokkøya.















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Writers Theater Creates a Modern Cultural Hub Outside Chicago

The Writers Theater in Glencoe, Illinois—completed by Studio Gang—offers its community a modern cultural hub with innovative performance spaces. The space features two venues, a main stage and a black box theater. Within each, the design structured seats to “maximize the sense of intimacy between actors and audience and to enhance the immersive experience.”

Main Stage

The main theater and hallways connect to a glass-enclosed atrium that provides a central, multi-use meeting place. Unlike the intimate performance spaces, the atrium feels bright and open. Its elevated ceilings reach up two stories to a second floor a canopy walk, which is partially open to the outside through a loose wooden lattice.

Studio Gang created a very unique piece at the center of the lobby. It has built-in shelving and a bar for concessions on one side and then flows into stadium seating on the other.

Unique Built-in

During intermission, visitors can venture through a canopy walk to the building’s second-floor patio. It is the perfect spot for enjoying the night and a glass of wine. Similarly, the lobby can be opened to the adjacent Women’s Library Club Park in warm weather. This feature makes the most of the project’s site in the Glencoe community. [Photography and information courtesy of Studio Gang]


Patio Upstairs


Bright Lights


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