Over-Arching

Today I was looking at curves, the ever pleasing arches that appear in architecture. Like the arc of the rainbow, the arch always feels hopeful, pleasing to the eye and like an encouragement to step forward. Our eyes follow the line up and then happily down, back into the room. In stark Modernist concrete or centuries old white render, the arch will never go away – in style and sturdiness. These are a few that I am enjoying today…

TEd’A Architects produced this design in Spain. The stark white arches are really quite impressive. Simple in black, white and grey.

Spanish arched architecture

How much do you want to walk through that door! Its positively calling me.

A doorway you want to walk through

What I like here is the views these arches create. Environment and structure working in harmony.

CAD of arches creating shade

This arch makes the room. Beautiful chunky wood in a New York office, oh how I wish it was mine.

Loft style apartment with huge wooden arched windows

This perfectly formed arch is not a Hobbit house, but the entrance to Masía Freixa (1907-1910), the Modernist residence designed by Catalan architect Lluís Muncunill i Parellada.

Narrow and tall arched door

Minoru Yamasaki’s tall arched building in Minneapolis dwarfs the trees and borrows its form from nature’s elegance.

Tall concrete arched building

Form is celebrated here! The ceiling mirrors the arched doorway creating satisfying light and shade.

Crisp white curved doorway and ceiling

I adore these white washed narrow bricks. This is Valentino’s flagship store in Rome.

White interior with white wash brick arch minimalist store

Lets leave the Minimalism for a moment and settle our eyes in this Baltimore door – it makes quite an entrance! Black glossy wood surrounds pillar-box-red doors and a yellow domed ceiling. Curves every where you look.

Red door, yellow ceiling and black rimmed arch entrance

So much about this room is just lovely, the bare bones of the space are white washed shapes creating depth. Then we have this steep split staircase and a distressed door. The arch is off-set and seems to be there purely for the joy of it. I love design like that.

Distressed door in a white room with two staircases and an arched recess

An architectural drawing for a restaurant that uses arches in different textures and materials. It almost feels like this structure dances over ahead.

Architectural drawing of arch ceiling and windows

Such elegant arches! Black framed windows echo the shape, the rhythm, decreasing in size – its all very relaxing.

Black rimmed arch windows and white arches down a long corridor

This door is from a gorgeous villa in Majorca, embracing the old and adding in the crisp lines of the new (the stair rail is lovely, take a peak).

Majorcan house with arched door

This picture is of the San Cristobal Fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Such simple detail, honest lines. I love the point above the arch completely unnecessary in a fortress but lovely none the less.

Elegant arches in white plaster

I hope you enjoyed this simple offering, happy Friday.

What Do I Do With All Those Books?

So it isn’t Spring, but I am yearning for a sort out. One thing I have in abundance is books, and so many still unread. Rather than passing some of them on (I do very much believe in sharing what I have) I would like to store them in a better way than they are currently – which is everywhere!

Like many people my house is small, but if you can get creative there really is no end to how you can display these windows to another world. I am a dangerous combination of eclectic and sentimental. I have books where I just like the cover, books that have been recommended, books I read as a child and books that just smell and feel plain great.

I have compiled some rather tempting home libraries that help me feel justified in keeping my growing hord, see what you think…

Lets start with the dream – if you could you know you would, my childhood self would just adore a tree-filled library.

Tree lined dark living room with book shelves

The hidden room – I love the colour of these shelves, the perfect backdrop to all those vibrant spines.

Secret library door in a bookcase

If space is tight then I love the idea of shelves-come seats, and with a view like this I might be torn for where to look, out the window or the pages of my book.

Sea view and a space to read a good book

Over the years I have wondered around many an English country house with libraries worthy of a novel. This room is elegant, well proportioned and the books look old enough to have seen a thing or two.

Traditional sitting room with ancient books

Now this is a room my mum would covet, she is most definitely a colour coordinator. She loves ordering items by colour of the room – yellow for the yellow room etc. These white shelves house a rainbow that is really pleasing to the eye. The furniture is fun too!

Rainbow coloured books in white shelves

I am always wooed by green, and this little reading nook just looks so inviting.

Bookshelves form a little alcove to read in

For some calming white I do like these shelves. It would be guess work what book to pick but I love the varying horizontals of the pages.

The many shades of white - books around a door

Or alternatively, for a little space, these shelves work perfectly tuck away under the stairs. They create a calming piece of personal space.

Bookshelves and seat under the stairs

Granted there are very little books in these shelves but I love the indulgence of the rich dark colours. Painting the inside of your shelves can add another layer to the room. The darkness makes me want to curl up with a book and say goodbye world, just for a little while.

Rich dark interior with fireplace, chair and shelves

Everything is better in the round, ask Shakespeare. Though this wood is a little too orange for me, but painted in a powder blue or and chalky white this space would sing. You can see the craftsmanship and detail, a truly lovely space.

Round room with library and balcony

Such a well balanced space. The orange and blue work so well together, bold but in my book, beautiful.

Blue panneled walls with built in bookshelves

 

I Am Seeing Triangles

Everywhere I look triangles are apparent. From textiles to skirts, windows to playing blocks. So I thought I would compile a few triangular structures that celebrate this fashionable shape in all its beauty. Even a humble shed is elevated when a triangle is involved (quite literally actually). See what you think..

I love how the brutality of nature has created something quite unique. This house is in an exposed spot, and as such this tree has flourished behind the shelter of a pink pointy house. A verdant green triangle can be seen in season!

Triangle tree grows sheltered by a pink house

This roof is so pleasing, the angles stretch and reach for shelter. A welcome shade beneath a clearing in the canopy of trees.

Modernist triangle roof

There is an adorable quality topiary. Part of me feels anti such order in nature, I love the wild and whimsical English country garden. However, there is something captivating and strokable about geometric shapes brought into the garden by clipped hedges. I love the contrast in colours here too.

Cone shaped topiary in a formal English garden

This cottage has charm in abundance. The large thatched roof hugs the white washed home. It cuts an engaging shape and sits happily in its environment.

Thatched and white washed cob house

In quite a different landscape, and conjuring images of Seventies cocktails as apposed to home brew, is this Palm Springs home. The shape works wonderfully with the rugged mountains behind.

1970s home with a shape that echoes the mountains

Talk about rickety, this diddy, triangular cabin comes straight from a fairytale.

Triangular cabin in the woods

Well this is just plain awesome. The bamboo construction looks like a giant wigwam, I would just love to spend some time in this space.

Amazing woodland structure made with bamboo

This mountain lodge is really rather smart, the Norwegian architects have designed the sloping roof so you can ski over it!

This angular building nestled in the snow has been designed to have people ski on the roof

Simple is often best. This little escape would be ideal to delve into a novel and leave the world behind.

Black wooden triangular cabin ideal summer house or reading nook

For your urban triangle fix, this Italian hotel embraces the shape in repetition. The orange wood is all the more striking against the tiny grey tile.

Triangle windows in a hotel roof.

I cant’t even get my head around these triangles, they are quite arresting, certainly intriguing. Built in Copenhagen, the jutting out triangles are actually balconies.

Copenhagen flats with jutting out triangluar balconies

If the triangles above are a little over-baring, then the below triangles are harmonious. A graceful structure that feels like it is growing before our eyes.

Triangles wrap around old building

Such elegance and beautiful – shadow patterns with rounded triangles one after the other.

Black and white triangular tunel photographed

Can this be considered a triangle? Perhaps not, but what a window! I don’t know how you would keep the cobwebs at bay, but seriously wow.

Giant window in a triangle shape in a woodland retreat

No doubt I’ll need to add to this post at some point in the future, triangles are so captivating. With corners expanding our minds, I think we feel quite at home amongst these geometric shapes.

Grass Roofs

Grass roofs – I’m not necessarily thinking hobbit houses – contemporary sleek lines are being softened by a green glow of grass. This is of course nothing new but I have collected together a few examples which wear it well.

The attraction for me is the idea of sunbathing on a grassy summit and taking in the elevated view. Going up on a roof always seems a little naughty and exciting – or maybe thats just me.

Green roofs are truly ‘green’, great for controlling water run-off, they reduce sound reflection and transmission, and lower heating costs – and good for the local wildlife!

Some of these grass roofs help the buildings merge into the backgrounds – but other building are just made to stand out.

 

I love how this summerhouse becomes part of the hill side.

Glass, wood and stone grass roofed home

Just like the hills behind, the grass engulfs these traditional buildings. Contrasted with the dark wood and white windows these look like happy homes from middle-earth.

Hidden houses with grass roofs

Bellow is a giant building that is the San Francisco science museum and I think it looks quite stroke-able with its living roof and walls. The massive glass panels reflect the trees and provide a glimpse of a reflected sky.

Living walls and roof on this modern building

A grass roof works just as well on a tiny garden hideaway. Perfectly blended into its scenery, this green roof is a happy edition to the glass and wooden garden room.

Beautifully camouflaged grass topped hut

From the urban environment to the isolated wilds – these hidden huts are totally at one with their surroundings, and what surroundings!

Grass roof houses in idyllic location

This curved roof covered in grass looks so inviting – I want to run up it!

Curved grass roof like a ramp

Of course if you want the neat green glow you need to mow your roof – quite a sight I can imagine. But I like this wilder roof with speckles of blue blowing in the breeze. I think I would plant something sweet smelling so in the warmer evenings the aroma would linger.

Long grass roofed building

This is a building of two sides – view it from one and it looks open and welcoming, from the other – all huddled, green and enclosed.  Eco friendly and very, very green.

 

 

Grass wrapped housegrass covered structure

I love how drenched in grass this home is. It looks so laden with vegetation that the house might sink under its weight! A calming sea of green.

Courtyard house covered in grass

Would you consider a grass roofed house? I think our wooden graphic design studio would look rather fetching topped off in green!

Art Nouveau Architecture

I recently returned from a jaunt to Prague and was wooed by the beautiful architecture. A city that is full of stunning buildings in ice cream colours with ornate Art Nouveau flourishes, and so many faces! You feel like you are being watched by angels that have been captured in stone.

I have always loved the Art Nouveau style and I thought I would show you some really great examples of the buildings and details that herald this remarkable movement.

The Central Hotel, Prague.

Art Nouveau. Hotel Central. Prague

Prague really is a city that enchants, what a magical door!

Art Nouveau door

Its not just Prague that embraced Art Nouveau, the movement was prominent in Europe and the USA from about 1890 until the First World War. When I was 17 and studying Photography I went on a trip to Barcelona – what an eye opener! Architect Antoni Gaudi’s work was prominent as we strolled the streets. I think his style maybe a step too far for me aesthetically but amazing none the less! Reminiscent of Disneyland, but on a sugar rush, and maybe slightly like the movie Alien, Gaudi’s buildings swirl and twirl in candy shades taking adornment to the extreme.

Barcelona Art Nouveau building

This Catalonian building can be summed up in one word to me, ‘joy’. I love it! A contemporary of Gaudi, Jenori Granell’s work has been restored beautifully.

Jenori Granell Barcelona building

Back to doors – why are doors so boring today! I have seen some amazing doors in my travels. A visit to the old town in Kiev years ago was marked by beautiful doors in verdigris. Prague was littered with wonderful entries and even my fair England has lovely carved offerings. This elegant entrance can be found in Barcelona.

turquoise Art Nouveau door

This doorway from Prague is more like a sculpture than a facade. The ladies are thinly veiled and beautifully draped.

Prague decorative door

Art Nouveau is not just about decadent doors, just look at this window in France. Such swirls and curves, not a straight line in sight.

Art Nouveau window in France

And finally Havana’s Art Nouveau was evidently a riot of colour.

Blue and green Art Nouveau facade

There is so so much more I could show you!  I hope you have been inspired by the embellishment and beauty of these bricks and mortar examples of Art Nouveau. Thank you for visiting!

Stargazing

Last night the heavy clouds were pulled back to reveal the beautiful night sky littered with sparkling stars. I am blessed where I live to be able to see the sky without too much light pollution. It got me thinking about how lovely it would be to enjoy the night sky from my bed and I went searching for inspiring interiors that very much connect us with that infinite blanket of stars.

How about actually suspending your bed for the best view? Not sure I wouldn’t fall out, I’m quite a wriggler!

Suspended bed in bijou flat

This room is amazing, I love the wood and triangular shapes.

Amazing glass room

I think a night spent in a snow wrapped glass igloo might just be perfect romantic getaway – especially if the Aurora Borealis turned up.

Snow emerged glass igloos

This simple glass and wood dome has literary feel about it, a real hide away and a perfect stargazing spot no doubt.

Watch the stars in glass dome cabin

Take to the Alps in this lux chalet with dramatic snow capped views.

glass and wood chalet

Slightly more achievable might be this dining room surrounded by brick walls, evergreens and tall houses. Lit with moonlight and candles the stars would just add to the ambience of a brilliant night in with friends.

Glass dining room to watch the stars

 

A Fresh Look at Built-in Seating

When it comes to the seating in our homes, thought is needed, because lets face it, it is kind of crucial! There is nothing worse than a saggy sofa or a piece of furniture that dominates, and not in a good way! In smaller spaces or a tricky shaped space the answer can be built-in furniture. You would think this would limit your options, but it can actually make a space more flexible as opposed to rigid. Here are a few that have captured my imagination..

Concrete seating is soften by tan leather cushions in this achingly cool pad.

Leather cushions on concrete seats

Ample seating in this bright yellow dinning room frames a chunky wooden table. Loving the ‘Y’ chairs too!

Built in yellow seats around a dining room table

Pretty perfect reading spot. The built-in seat or day bed and library shelves are making this wonderful view perfectly framed.

Perfect reading nook

Make use of limited outside space with a dual purpose bench and seat. I would definitely throw in some cushions though! Maybe create a feel more like a Moroccan riad.

Storage and built in bench for the patio

This cool blue and white tiled alcove works brilliantly in a high spec modern Dubai home. I love how the built in seating and tiles create an unmissable feature wall.

Built in seating in this modern with traditional touches home

This contemporary laid back space strikes the right balance between comfortable cottons and natural surfaces. So simple to achieve, a coffee table and lounging spot all in one.

Contemporary living with built in seating and table

Mid century style with built in seating and storage. Love how the cushion pads themselves add structure. Simple and snug.

Built in wooden seating and storage

The Greeks have it in abundance! Everything is built-in, the whole house is like a sculpture with undulating curves. Even the bed is part of the fabric of the room.

Cosy snug in luxury Greek villa

Moulded seating in luxury Greek villa

And finally an oh so simple built in seat by a window. Little details like this make a home; subtle shades of grey, a warming painting and generous delicate blossoms.

Fresh white calming space with built in seat

Are you looking around thinking what you could box-in where? I am!