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Practical One-Level Residence With a Spacious Cross-Section: The Skylight House

Challenged to design a spacious residence for a family of six in Sydney, Australia, Andrew Burges Architects developed Skylight House, a compact and functional one-level retreat: “Our brief for this residential alterations and additions project was to rework a badly planned existing dwelling, and previous alterations project, to create a house with improved natural light and greater connection to the garden“, explained the architects. Authentic and welcoming, the resulting dwelling is a pleasant mix of old and new.

Natural lighting was one of the most important factors considered in the layout planning stage: “Five skylights – two existing and three new – have been incorporated to shape a distinct cross section that allows natural light and a connection to the sky from within the deep internalized footprint of the existing house, while shaping a generous and spacious cross section in the new addition.” The internal plan has been updated by integrating a central core containing a new bathroom and laundry area. This reduced excessive corridors, while creating a good connection between the living spaces. Find the place appealing? [Photography: Peter Bennetts]
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Sumptuous, Yet Intimate Design Scheme Exhibited by M Restaurant in London

The first thing that strikes you when you walk into M Restaurant on Threadneedle Walk is how big the space is, yet how intimate it feels! This brand new 12,000 square foot London eatery, was a collaboration between a veteran restaurateur and his interior designer, Rene Dekker. Martin Williams’ vision was to create an establishment that would appeal to a broad spectrum of gastronomes and offer the best cuts of meat as well as the finest ‘raw’ cuisine. Coupled with this, the interiors had to emulate a sleek and sophisticated ambiance that would feel intimate yet familiar; in his words “a boutique hotel without any rooms or a private members club with no members”.

On the ground floor the space is divided into two main areas by the clever use of bespoke designed, bronze screens, emblazoned with the subtle but ubiquitous M logo. To the left is ‘M Grill’, which serves some of the finest cuts of beef in Europe. The scheme is a fusion of many elements, most notably the strong teal fabrics on the banquette seating mixed with subtle wool tweeds on the chocolate brown armchairs which create a sumptuous, yet simple ambiance. Everywhere you look, René Dekker Design have added exciting textural elements leaving no surface unadorned, such as the faux eel skin wall paper by Elitis, which decks the walls in the banquette niche.

The client wanted a scheme that was unique and exciting but that would still be self-deprecating,and this is evident in the selection of art as seen in one of the many Miles Adridge photos that adorn the restaurant. Hanging squarely in the middle of this gorgeously finished wall is a seductive shot of a glamorous model sitting at a table in front of a large plate of steak tartar. The scale has also been carefully contemplated considering the double volume ceiling height on the ground floor. It was essential to ensure the space delivered an intimate atmosphere, so the team created niches for the banquette seating and brought the decorative lighting down to just above the tables. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by James Silverman]

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Challenging Australian Home Design Polished to Perfection

Bowler Residence was designed by Tim Stewart Architects to comply with strict building regulations while offering a platform for panoramic city views in Paddington, Queensland. This modern Australian home was imagined as a terraced space for living with direct connection to the sunny outdoors. Architects describe it as “this new residence in Paddington, Queensland involved the integration of a contemporary design aesthetic within the highly constrained planning requirements of the traditional inner-city suburb.”

Equipped with clerestory windows flooding the space with natural light, the open floor-plan invites to relaxation and socialization. Seamlessly connected to the outdoors, the living room continues down a flight of stairs to the open plan kitchen and dining space and further out to the deck and swimming pool. Photographed by Christopher Frederick Jones, the Bowler Residence fascinates with sleek furnishings and bold details shaping a restrained color palette boasting interesting textures.

The house implores an open-plan design strategy whereby spaces are defined by the series of internal steps that enable the house to follow the grade of the steeply sloping site, while still maximizing the potential for city views.

This environmentally conscious Australian home built using reclaimed wood is also in the studio’s portfolio, exemplifying even further the use of modern design as a strategic function of contemporary homes.
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Why Home Organization Matters In Design

An organized interior helps make sure your guests focus on your aesthetic rather than clutter. Image Via: Dyer Photo

When most people think of interior design, they consider the at of revamping the look of a space – picking out paint colors and finding the perfect furniture. However, it’s also vital to consider the life that a space will have once a design is complete and is being lived in.

Home organization is that crucial element that keeps a design looking fresh long after you’ve completed the finishing touches. It’s an essential step to creating a look that you’ll love for years to come.

Whether you’re someone who needs to have every aspect of your home in order or you’re the type of person that’s more laid-back, every home should have some type of storage system in place. We’ve compiled a list of reasons why order is key, as well as some tips on how to make it happen. Give them a look. You may just be inspired to give your home an organizational makeover.

Proper organization helps pull a room together. Image Via: j Witzel Interior Design

It Gives A Polished Look

Think about all the professionally-designed rooms that you see when you’re scrolling through Freshome or flipping through the pages of glossy magazines. There is one feature that sets them apart from real interiors. Simply, real homes often looked lived in while the staged photos leave nothing out of place.

Organization is the key to achieving that catalog look. If you look carefully at the pages of those photos, it’s clear that all of the everyday-use items in the room are stored in a specific and predetermined place, which creates a streamlined look.

One of the first steps toward getting your home organized is to find a place for those loose items so they aren’t left lying out and about. Challenge yourself to find spaces for all of your current loose items. Remember, if you can’t find a spot for something, it’s probably time to de-clutter.

Busy spaces like playrooms can especially benefit from an organizational touch. Image Via: Clean Design

Busy spaces like playrooms can especially benefit from an organizational touch. Image Via: Clean Design

Blend Form and Function

At Freshome, we often talk about how important it is to strike the right balance of form and function. After all, it doesn’t matter how good a room looks, if you can’t live in it peacefully, right? By the same token, you won’t enjoy your space if functionality totally overtakes aesthetic appeal.

When you’re looking to organize your home, try to find storage solutions that also fit into the look of your home. Dual-purpose furniture, colored baskets, and built-in shelving that you can paint or stain are often the safest bets.

Honesty is key here, too. As you shop for storage solutions, think long and hard about how you’ll use the item before you make your purchase. Even if you have to search out multiple options before finding a solution that works for you, it will be worth the time in the long run because you’ll continually be inspired to put the piece to use once you get it home.

Built-in shelving is a great way to keep clutter under control. Image Via: Laura U, Inc.

Built-in shelving is a great way to keep clutter under control. Image Via: Laura U, Inc.

Structure Adds Resale Value

It’s true. Proper organization can add value to your home. Whether you’re currently preparing to enter the real estate market or you want to stay in your home for a long time to come, it’s never to early to start taking the organizational steps that will keep your home in tip-top shape.

Think about it this way, if you were in the market to purchase a new home, would you want to have to wade through someone else’s clutter on a showing? Of course not. By welcoming buyers into an organized property, you not only show your home in its best light, but you also show them how they could potentially use the space.

Even if your not looking to put your home on the market right away, it’s never too early to put organizational systems in place. That way, if you do need to make a move, you’re not struggling to create order at a moment’s notice.

Make sure closets are organized on showings - you never know where people will look. Image Via: Capital Closets

Make sure closets are organized on showings – you never know where people will look. Image Via: Capital Closets

Designers Share Their Organization Tips

All this talk about organization doesn’t mean much if you’re unsure how to put it into practice. We’ve asked designers to share their best tips on how they get – and keep – their homes in tip-top shape:

Julia Epstein Fasano: Buy as many [baskets] as you possibly can. They should all be made of the same material and the same color to create a cohesive look.

Lauren Makk: Find storage solutions for the unused spaces in your home.

Cheryl Eisen: When It Comes to Knickknacks, fill the space without overcrowding it.
Holly Becker: Hire a cleaning lady or a personal organizer, even a decorator, if you need to clean the slate and start from scratch. Sometimes you just need another person to step into your space and give you some encouragement and advice.

Image Via: Patrick Brickman

Aim for storage that fits your organizational needs and aesthetic taste. Image Via: Patrick Brickman

Home organization is the key to allowing you’re home’s design to continue to shine long after the last coat of paint dries. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Even the most laid back individual can keep a house looking photo-ready, if they find a storage system that fits their lifestyle. Check out our tips on how and …read more      

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Imposing Clifton 2A Residence in Cape Town Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean

Clifton 2A Residence is an imposing contemporary project recently completed by studio SAOTA in Clifton, an affluent suburb of Cape Town in South Africa. Built on a spectacular, yet challenging site, the massive home comes with 270° views of the Atlantic Ocean, Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles beyond. The clients’ brief requested a flexible family getaway that would cleverly respond to its environment: “Due to the steepness of the site and the resultant excavation, the structural frame of the house virtually follows the natural ground level – this inherent drama was expressed as part of the overall aesthetic of the house”, says Tamaryn Fourie Project Leader.

According to the architects, the key strategy to create a generous level for principal living rooms was to elevate the main level on a plinth comprising of guest bedrooms and secondary spaces such as the Gym, Study, Garage and all plant This Ground Floor is partially set into the steep site thereby maximizing the living level and raising it above the noisy provincial road. The First and Second Floors were then set back, fragmented and rotated to create a central but sheltered external terrace. A glass bridge forms the link between the fragmented structures at the upper levels and permits North sunlight to shine between the bedroom wings and into the central areas on the South side of the house. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by SAOTA]
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How to Know if a Career in Interior Design is Right for You

It’s important to take a minute and really think about what it is that drives you when it comes to choosing a career path. Image Source: Arthur Rutenberg

Choosing a career that is not only going to provide financially, but will also provide happiness is an undertaking of incredible proportions.

It’s important to take a minute and really think about what it is that drives you when it comes to choosing a career path. Everyone holds within themselves passions and inspiration that could lead to a fulfilling career—they just need to find it.

If you’ve ever considered a career in interior design, it’s most likely because at some point, you’ve found yourself passionately rearranging a room, or constantly offering to spruce up a friend’s place. Here’s the thing, interior design is not only about aesthetics—it is a career that requires a multitude of skills; It’s a career that demands attention to detail, creativity and logical solutions.

Interior designers are called to a profession that tests their limits on a daily basis. Are you up to the task? Let’s see:

interior design is not only about aesthetics—it is a career that requires a multitude of skills; It’s a career that demands attention to detail, creativity and logical solutions. Image Source: Imaestri

You Find Design Inspiration Everywhere

A career in interior design is often catered towards individuals who innately understand space and enjoy the prospects that a challenging room provides. Not to be confused with interior decorators, interior designers are often charged with the task of taking a less than ideal space and creating something functional, beautiful and structurally sound.

Even when they’re not hard at work, exceptional interior designers are always hunting down new ideas, trends and creative paths to make those designs happen. If you’re drawn to a job that goes beyond the hours of 9-5, interior design could be your personal oasis of happiness.

Designers are creative beings who are never off-the-clock. Design possibilities and inspiration lie everywhere for these creatives. Going for coffee with a friend or attending a new restaurant, all pose the possibilities of new design ideas.

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Even when they’re not hard at work, exceptional interior designers are always hunting down new ideas, trends and creative paths. Image Source: Darren Edwards

Continued Education Is A Must

While interior decorators​​ aren’t necessarily expected to have a bachelor’s degree, interior designers have to understand space and safety for many of their projects and therefore, are expected to pursue the education that supports the profession.

If you’re looking to get hired on with a design company, most of these enterprises will require you to have completed your bachelor’s degree. That being said, many interior designers go on to complete their master’s degree in specific topics such as interior architecture. Each degree you earn towards your profession validates your knowledge base and can increase your profitability whether you’re with a company or self employed.

It’s important to be aware of the fact that many states/cities will require you to obtain your interior design license before you begin to practice. These requirements vary, so depending on where you live, this is something to inquire about early on as it can help you plan for the start of your career.

Continued education opportunities throughout the course of a career in interior design are crucial. Not only do these opportunities keep you on top of the latest strategies and trends, but they add to your professional profile and make you a sought-after force in your field.

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If you’re looking to get hired on with a design company, most of these enterprises will require you to have completed your bachelor’s degree. Image Source: Pennville Cabinetry

It’s Not All Fabrics And Fun

Many people enter the design field with the idea that they will spend their days drawing and designing beautiful spaces. However, interior designers are often asked to work in commercial spaces to bring a location up to code on safety and functionality—not nearly as fun to those who dream of pretty things.

Being an individual who is fluid enough to move between residential and commercial projects is a must in this line of work. While many interior designers start out with the dream of being a sought after residential specialist, a large number of jobs for designers present themselves in commercial spaces that need redesigning. Understanding this need and being able to meet it is essential if you’re going to be a successful professional.

Many interior designers also find that their work takes them straight to the heart of the hospitality industry. Locations such as hotels, spas and resorts call upon the professional work of interior designers to make their spaces customer friendly. While this may not be an expected venue, it can be an amazing opportunity to work in a larger scale setting with the creative opportunities you might find in a residential project.

Those who embrace a multitude of jobs, will likely flourish in this career.

modern bathroom brass fixtures

Being an individual who is fluid enough to move between residential and commercial projects is a must in this line of work. Image Source: Michael Greenberg

You’re A People Person

As in most professional positions, networking is a key factor in becoming a successful interior designer. Interior designers in any given city tend to be a close-knit group of colleagues. Making sure you keep up on your networking opportunities will keep you up to speed on new techniques and requirements, as well as up to date on other professionals who may have advice or projects for you down the road.

Commercial design projects require a designer to work closely with project managers, architects, builders, contractors and supervisors in order to guarantee that codes are being met and kept—this is not a job for a meek or shy individual.

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Flexible House Providing Room for Both Socializing and Seclusion: Villa J in Sweden

Adapted to the living needs of a family of five, Villa J by Architect Johan Sundberg stands out on the background of a former fishing village east of the town of Höllviken, in Sweden. “While the house itself is close to the water, the corner site is adjacent to roads in the southeast and –west. Local planning regulations imposed certain limitations, as only a third of the building’s upper story could be built to its full height”, explain the architects. The residence displays facades clad in Danish brick, light grey render, stained pine and black aluminium.

A great connection between the interior and the exterior spaces is ensured through an atrium, secluded by walls and a pool house. Said to provide room for both socializing and seclusion, Villa J comes with a very flexible layout: “The floor plan is an attempt to merge different room types without the bulk of unnecessary walls and doors, with spaces opening onto each other in clear sequence and often with subtle shifts.” The master bedroom and several ample social spaces, as well as a winter garden, kitchen and sauna are located on the ground floor. The upper level is the children’s realm and accommodates a living room, bedrooms and a sizable family bath. [Photography by Markus Linderoth]
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Charming Log Residence in Colorado Unveiling Spectacular Contemporary-Style Rooms

Located near the Thunderhead high speed chair lift in the Burgess Pines neighborhood, Colorado, this charming log residence offers 5,200 sq. ft. of living space with five comfortable bedrooms and four and one half baths. As you enter this home, you can’t help but notice its texture variety: hickory flooring, Montana logs, travertine, granite, and elegant wall coverings. The great room features large windows framing the Ski Area from Pioneer Ridge to the gondola and a two story double-sided stone fireplace. An intimate dining area leads to a large deck overlooking the Burgess Pines open space. Enjoy views of dramatic sunsets over Emerald Mountain from either the deck or the patio below.


The upper level hosts the master bedroom, an additional bedroom with private bath, and a comfortable loft. The master bedroom accommodates a cozy fireplace and sitting area, plus a small deck. A spacious walk-in closet with built-ins leads to an amazing bathroom complete with rainfall shower head and towel warmer.

Cross the loft to the second bedroom and find a freestanding tub with spectacular views of Emerald Mt. The lower level provides room for everyone to relax, with a home theater complete with AV equipment and a wet bar, a separate game room, and a walk-out patio and seating area perfect for a fire on a cool evening. [Photos and information provided via e-mail by The Paoli Group]
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Elegant Home In Upscale Denver Area Encouraging Leisure

Showcasing an elegant home design, this impressive 5 bedroom and 5 bathroom home in Denver, Colorado, presents a version of reality we are mostly unaware of. The stylish home design seen present throughout the mansion’s 4,215 square feet unravels contemporary craftsmanship sprinkled with Frank Lloyd Wright inspiration. Rising two stories in the air between local vegetation, the elegant home unveils an open floor plan where entertaining would be a breeze.

Past these fantastic social spaces with multiple functions, the kitchen and adjacent dining space invite to wholeheartedly family meals and social cooking gatherings. Designed in an organic palette of stone, wood, glass and metal, the home’s impressive kitchen caters for many, as the residencee is prepared to take on quite a guest crowd. With two additional bedrooms on the lower level, a gym, home theater, game room and custom bar, the home becomes the perfect platform for entertaining.

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An elegant home with great potential for upscale living, the imposing structure dotted with French doors is strongly connected to the outdoors via and abundance of windows and a direct link to a covered outdoor living room with gas fireplace. Imagine friendly barbecues and then retreating up to the private level once everyone had left only to find a private heaven of epic design proportions, as explained by the brokers: “The luxurious master suite is second-to-none. The suite boasts a sitting room with gas fireplace that unfolds to the intimate bedroom. The 6 piece master bath is generous in size, yet intimate on its design and function. The heated stone floors, custom millwork, steam shower and air jet soaking tub create the perfect tranquil experience.”

Currently for sale, the home priced at $2.4 million is located in Denver’s luxurious Hilltop neighborhood, at 5401 E Cedar Ave.

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