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.

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!

In Praise of the Trullo

I have only visited Italy once, lake Garda, and it was so so lovely I would love to return again. Today I stumbled upon an architectural jewel, the trullo, a traditional ancient dry stone conical building. Found in Alberobello, Italy, in the areas of Monti and Aia Piccola these little structures are being transformed into unique homes and businesses and they have been declared World Heritage by UNESCO.

Here are a few that I have found to inspire. A trullo seems the perfect getaway space, cool from the heat and full of quirks and character. The home below is being lovingly restored by architect Vittorio Cassano and just looks so inviting!

Traditional Italian buildings renovated in sympathetic style

Italian home lovingly restored

This Italian Trullo looks pristine in brilliant white wash. The spaces have been thoughtfully restored and the result is a peaceful getaway.

Trullo white washed and looking beautiful against blue sky

simple bedroom design in this Italian trullo

cosy lounge in this trullo home

These photos were taken by photographer Bill Hocker in Alberobello and I think they capture perfectly the quirky character that makes these homes such a draw.

Bill Hocker photographs trullos in Alberobello

Trullo roofs photographed by Bill Hocker

Many of these beautiful buildings you can stay in. This particular one I love the feel of, restored by architects Azzurra Garzone they used only traditional methods working with stone and lime and local crafts people. These buildings were originally temporary field shelters or storehouses but are today being restored so many more generations can enjoy them.

Exterior of a trulli

Trulli bedroom

Trulli interior window seat

Exterior of Italian trulli

Now where is my passport?!

J’adore Paris

What is it about Paris that encourages romance so? From the flaky pastries to the effortlessly chic females on the Champs-Élysées and the bijou but beau interiors – Paris has it. Here are some homes that look so inviting they have captured my heart, well a girl can dream..

These shots are from the apartment of Ramdane and Victoire, a brilliantly brought together family space with that Parisian flare.

The view in a Paris apartmentParis apartment with balcony and view of the Eiffel tower

This thoroughly modern but homely apartment belongs to architect Joseph Dirand. Lovely choices of materials and textures layer to make a home of real beauty.

Stylish galley kitchenBeautiful bedroom in ParisParis apartment lounge

For high glam and drama how about the Paris duplex of Stefano Pilati designed by architect Bruno Caron. And may I say I think that is the most glam shower I have ever seen!!

Dramatic study in Paris duplex  Very luxurious shower in Paris duplexDelightful dining room with woodland scene on the walls

Can you get more elegant than Coco Chanel’s Paris getaway?

Coco Chanel's Paris apartmentVery opulent Coco Chanel's Paris apartment

This final image pretty much captures it – ornate architectural details and soft stylish glamour make Paris life so enticing. I hope you have enjoyed the images, please click on one to see its source.

Paris interior with soft shades of pink

Homes by the sea

We live in Cornwall, England which really is like being on holiday all of the time. Today is a bitter cold February Friday and the sunlight streaming through the studio is just stunning. The trees and buildings are lit with a warm lime coloured light. It makes me really quite content with the world.

I live and work a few minutes by car from the sea but I am always quite envious of those who can stroll down of a morning and feel the sand between their toes. 

When it comes to seaside architecture I am torn between the cosy traditional Cornish cottage who’s thick stone walls surround you in a warm embrace, and cutting-edge glass buildings that exert their mark on the landscape. 

Cornish cottages by the sea

One of my clients at work, I am a graphic designer at Pickle Design, has holiday cottages on the Lizard and they just look so inviting. She has a small collection of Cornish homes which really do entice memories of Famous Five adventures and family picnics with epic sandcastles. 

Cosy interiors and panoramic views

Holidays by the sea

The Lizard is just the most beautiful holiday destination, I have been there only once for a holiday and wondered around Coverack, where the most of The Lizard Holiday Cottages are nestled. She also has one on the Helford River. Helford, in my opinion, is a real hidden gem. The creek carves its way through the countryside creating an atmosphere of pure holiday magic. 

Sea views of the Lizard

On a day like today it really would be beautiful. I would love to have the opportunity to design the interior of a home like these. Having the correct balance of sea side charm, modern convince and a nod to traditional Cornwall, would be important. I would say a log fire is a must and some where cosy to read a good paperback. The icing on the cake would be a view that drew the eye, always changing and inspiring.