Thursday, May 31, 2012

Contemporary Loft in New York City, USA

Too much variety results in a deplorable result.
On the first level shockingly strong shots of vivid colors – green, yellow, blue, and red - are intensely present.

PLUS:
- a spiral staircase,
- a green wall against furniture in bright primary colors (red, yellow, blue),
- wooden ceiling beams,
- columns,
- decorated / artwork column,
- brick walls,
- silk covered walls,
- doors with yellow wood framing on the first level,
- sliding Japanese inspired screen doors on the upper level,
- and so on – make a ‘soup’ of completely unrelated and incompatible design elements that translates into a visual chaos.

Or, in other words: too many elements competing for or, rather distracting, one's attention.

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Loft; New York, USA. Interior photos via Freshome



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Living Room - Courtyard - Bedroom in Carmel, USA

A project that creates a beautiful indoor-outdoor flow and connection.
...
Continue reading below a few more commentaries on this interior.

Carmel Residence / Dirk Denison Architects © David Matheson
Living - Courtyard - Bedroom
Carmel, USA
Dirk Denison Architects

Living - Courtyard - Bedroom
Carmel, USA
Dirk Denison Architects

Carmel Residence / Dirk Denison Architects © David Matheson
Living - Courtyard - Bedroom
Carmel, USA
Dirk Denison Architects

Carmel Residence / Dirk Denison Architects © David Matheson
Living - Courtyard - Bedroom
Carmel, USA
Dirk Denison Architects
Living-Courtyard-Bedroom; Carmel, USA. Dirk Denison Architects. Interior Photos via Archdaily


Fully folding doors/walls adjacent to the courtyard from the living room and bedroom (the bedroom is at the opposite end of the courtyard but not seen in detailed photos) open the space completely up.

Excellent rhythm, continuity, and at the same time variety are created by the sequence of various design elements and interplay of materials (wood, glass, and steel) that run vertically - from the walls in the living to the courtyard's walls, and all the way to the back wall in the bedroom.

The detailed architectural elements on the walls are balanced out by a two-tones color scheme, and simple furniture.

The organic shapes of the two coffee tables in the living room bring variety in this area, and establish a link with the outdoor.

And the Japanese Ofuro soaking tub installed beneath the glass roof is a one-of-a-kind detail, and a total delight: imagine watching the (evening) sky while being immersed in water in this serene place.



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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eye-catching art and peaceful landscape: Dining Room

Simply beautiful: very large pop art, warm rustic timber, transparent, and pastoral settings merge seamlessly.
...
Continue reading below a few more commentaries on this interior.

Dining Room
USA
Joel Barkley
Interior photo via Architectural Digest

Excellent balance and proportions: expansive views, substantial ceiling, large art.

The contrast is stunning: the eyes move back and forth from the eye-catching art (by Nicholas Krushenick) to the peaceful landscape outside without losing sight of each other's presence. 

Clean dining tables design (by Joel Barkley), and vintage green upholstered chairs (by Vladimir Kagan) perfectly complement the decor.

The casters on the tables' legs, and the fact that there is a pair of two dining tables instead of a single table make the interior feel informal, accessible yet in such a sophisticated way.



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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Contemporary Open Space in Stuttgart, Germany

Placing a dining area at the stairs landing is completely uninspired.
...
Continue reading below a few more commentaries on this interior.

Quant 1 Apartment by Ippolito Fleitz Group (5)
Contemporary Open Space
Stuttgart, Germany
Ippolito Fleitz Group 

Contemporary Open Space
Stuttgart, Germany
Ippolito Fleitz Group 

Contemporary Open Space
Stuttgart, Germany
Ippolito Fleitz Group 
Interior Photos via HomeDSGN

To place a dining area next to the kitchen is a natural impulse.

Yet, if the dining area is at the stairs landing such placement is not happy at all. 
Unless you are / eat in a fast food, a meal should be served in a place that induces 'permanence' - a feeling that cannot be achieved when you are right next to some stairs (transient, fleeting moments).

Ideas, Suggestions / What could be done:
- the two areas (living and dining) should be completely reversed, even on the account of having to make a few extra steps when bringing food at the table; 
- place the dining table in the corner / back of the room - create a cozy, 'lasting' spot for an enjoyable  meal;
- move the sofa in the middle of the space, with the back at the dining table - create a visual demarcation within the room;
- place two chairs with their backs at the stairs - in this way you create a natural 'hallway' as an extension of the stairs.



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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Contemporary Grotto Kitchen in Milan, Italy

A kitchen that is way more than a functional place for mundane cooking, but rather a fiction that arouses wonder.
...
Continue reading below a few more commentaries on this interior.

Contemporary meets grotto: Kitchen
Milan, Italy
Tiziana Serretta
Interior Photo via Yatzer

A strikingly unconventional twist on a contemporary, super clean design:
- ceiling covered in branches,
- raw floor sculpture that brings a spot of color at the same time,
- grotto inspired walls - all these elements bring an ancestral feeling that is in total opposition with the feeling of the steel appliances.

An extreme play of contrasts and textures that easily creates controversial emotions.



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Friday, May 11, 2012

Eclectic Interior - Dining Room with Asian influences in California, USA

An eclectic mix of furniture and objects tied very well by a common color, and simple design.
...
What works or doesn't, and Why - Read below a few more comments, observations, critiques about this interior. 

Eclectic Interior - Dining Room
California, USA
Michael DePerno

Eclectic Interior - Dining Room
California, USA
Michael DePerno
Interior Photos via Elle Decor

The casual feeling of the furniture and the pendant light is excellently carried through in the accessories arrangement that is very informal as well: the two Artworks are Leaned against the wall directly on the floor.

The display of objects on top of the enclosed cabinet elevates the level of the cabinet so the top line of the arrangement continues at the same level with the top of the glass cabinet - providing a smooth eye movement throughout the room, and visual horizontal continuity.

The animal hide rug is a very welcome choice - it brings variety in texture and color contrast in a decor where the dominant texture is wood in brown tones.

***
Only if someone could fix the position of the glass cabinet, its off-center location is so noticeable and disturbing: move the cabinet so its center will follow the table's center axis.



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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Minimalist Interior - Open Space in Hyogo, Japan

There is a question that instantly arises when looking at these photos: How this space should be lived in? With or without furniture? With or without light?
...
What works or doesn't, and Why - Read below a few more comments, observations, critiques about this interior. 

Nomura 24 House 2 Minimalist Japanese Residence Displaying a Polygonal Shape: Nomura 24
Minimalist Interior - Kitchen / Dining / Sitting Area
Hyogo, Japan
Antonino Cardilllo

Nomura 24 House 14 Minimalist Japanese Residence Displaying a Polygonal Shape: Nomura 24
Minimalist Interior - Kitchen / Dining / Sitting Area
Hyogo, Japan
Antonino Cardilllo
Interior Photos via Freshome

I have said it before using these exact same words: "If, during the photo shooting of an interior the furniture and furnishings need to be moved around, and rearranged depending on the angle the photo is taken it means one thing: It Only Shows how bad the project is."

Example here, in this project: the white table and the two black chairs in the first photo mysteriously disappear from the second image.
AND:
- the Rug - is just positioned somewhere ... off-center, and far from the sofa ...
- the Three Hanging Pendants - are just positioned somewhere ... in the middle of the room ...
- the Four Recessed Lights - are just positioned somewhere, very close together ... the square they form covers such an insignificant area that the corners of the room don't get any light ...

Ideas, Suggestions / What could be done:
- move the rug in the front of the sofa, and closer to it - create symmetry, and anchor the sitting area,
- position the dining table right bellow the three hanging pendants, not against the wall - give a purpose to the pendants, and create a clear separation between the kitchen and the sitting area,
- re-position the four recessed lights as to cover a (much) larger perimeter - allow the entire space to benefit from light.
AND: Minimalism doesn't mean Sterile, Desolate, Bare, Devoid of any form of beauty. So, Bring life, enliven the 'minimalist' space with a piece of art, a decorative object.



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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Blend of Classic and Contemporary minimalism in a Black and White Kitchen/Dining Room

An interior that aims to, and beautifully succeeds in bringing together classic and contemporary minimalism, formal and elegant, casual and relaxed.
...
What works or doesn't, and Why - Read below a few more comments, observations, critiques about this interior.


Blend of Classic and Contemporary - Kitchen / Living Room
Karin Leopold & Francois Fauconnet

Blend of Classic and Contemporary - Kitchen / Living Room
Karin Leopold & Francois Fauconnet


Blend of Classic and Contemporary - Kitchen / Living Room
Karin Leopold & Francois Fauconnet
Interior Photos via Marie Claire Maison

The adorned ceiling acts as the focal point of the room while everything else is kept simple to emphasize it, and no superfluous decoration is necessary indeed.

The wall with the fireplace encompasses everything this interior stands for:
- a fireplace is a very unexpected element in a contemporary kitchen,
- the fireplace and its black marble give the space a grand feeling,
- yet the grand feeling is toned down to the level of casual by the presence of the informal food jars on unfussy shelves,
- a single mirror as a decorative accessory provides a clean but statement decoration,
- the outward projection of the wall and the recessed portions that flank it create movement,
- the choice of grey color brings in variety,
- and the entire composition excellently counterbalances the plain, flat look of the two other walls (a wall completely covered in cabinets on the opposite side, and a black painted wall).

The strings the black lights are suspended from are just brilliant:
- the amount of red color creates a tiny contrast but with a lovely impact,
- it shows that attention is paid to the smallest details.



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Monday, May 7, 2012

Classic decoration and subway tiles. Dining Room in Istanbul, Turkey

Classic decoration and subway tiles - Regrettable variety and contrast.
...
What works or doesn't, and Why - Read below a few more comments, observations, critiques about this interior.

Ayazpasa House 11 Contemporary Apartment With a Touch of Turkish Tradition by Autoban
Dining Room
Istanbul, Turkey
Seyan Ozdemir & Sefer Caglar of Autoban
Interior Photo via Autoban

Regrettable variety and contrast: the four main surfaces noticeable in here (ceiling, two walls, flooring) are done in completely different, unrelated treatments that range from classic inspired decoration (ceiling, and one wall) to subway tiles applied to another wall.

And, as if this displeasing mix is not enough, a contemporary lighting fixture, a table and benches featuring a rustic inspired design, and two wall sconces that have absolutely random positions are added to the combination - everything contributing to an incoherent and distressing final result.



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Bringing in a sense of history? Interior in Istanbul, Turkey

Lack of proportions, and a sense of history that doesn't integrate with the present.
...
What works or doesn't, and Why - Read below a few more comments, observations, critiques about this interior.


Entryway
Istanbul, Turkey
Seyan Ozdemir & Sefer Caglar of Autoban
Interior Photo via Autoban

Lack of proportions and balance: a massive mirror, a floor lamp having a heavy base, and a tiny, delicate sofa are a wrong combination.

The two rectangular shapes above the sofa and behind the mirror suppose to reveal layers of paint applied over the years - the intention of allowing 'the past' to become part of 'the present' is applaudable but the result is far from being positive:
- the contours that have severe and straight lines look so forced, and fake, and they completely miss portraying the beauty of old where rigid shapes simply don't exist;
- the position of these two areas (high, and close together) succeed only to accentuate a bad asymmetrical balance - everything that is visually heavy is cramped toward the corner and up, while the rest of the wall in the front is visually much more lighter or void.



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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Open Space, and abundance of Natural materials. Interior in New Zealand

Beautifully integrated with the landscape.
Multiple spaces clearly defined, yet seamlessly connected.
...
What works or doesn't, and Why - Read below a few more comments, observations, critiques about this interior.


Mountain Range House by Irving Smith Jack Architects (3)
Open Space - Kitchen, Breakfast Area, Living Area
Richmond Ranges, New Zealand
Irving Smith Jack Architects


Open Space - Kitchen, Breakfast Area, Living Area
Richmond Ranges, New Zealand
Irving Smith Jack Architects


Open Space - Kitchen, Breakfast Area, Living Area
Richmond Ranges, New Zealand
Irving Smith Jack Architects
Interior Photos via HomeDSGN

Beautifully integrated with the landscape:
- the visual access to the scenery is unobstructed due to the floor to ceiling glass walls on two sides;
- the abundance of wood in the decor makes the indoor to shift smoothly into the outdoor.

Multiple living spaces are clearly defined, yet they are seamlessly connected:
- the ceiling folds define the individual areas in a wonderful way;
- the decorative panel between the kitchen and the sitting areas subtly reinforces the main demarcation.

The monochromatic color scheme is enriched through the use of leather, fur, and smooth, shinny textures.

The lighting fixture hanging above the kitchen island is a graceful choice - its design is almost unnoticeable, resulting in a minimal visual interruption.

In the living area, the day bed is another great choice - the fact that the seating piece positioned in front of the window has no back allow the eyes to flow over, and to enjoy the outdoor view with an unbroken continuity.



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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Contemporary Decor in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Lavish space, fantastic views.
Odd and bizarre furniture layout.
...
What works or doesn't, and Why - Read below a few more comments, observations, critiques about this interior.


Casa China Blanca 8 Luxurious Beachfront Villa From The Limitless Movie
Decor - Open Space
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Interior Photo via Freshome

- An exceedingly long table in front of the windows with a singular chair in front;
- A lonely daybed positioned on the edge of the rug;
- A desk, and an office chair tucked in a tiny recessed spot - make for an odd, and bizarre furniture layout.

Not to mention the confusion about the purpose of the area: 
- does it want to be a dining area (given by the table choice)? 
- does it want to be an office area (given by the desk choice)?
- does it want to be a living area (given by the daybed choice)?
- is it a transitional area (given by the stairs)?
...
What is this area ultimately for?

The result leaves room for a thought: perhaps the space is so overwhelming in its size that the task of furnishing it proved overwhelming as well.

Ideas:
- First, and foremost: Define the purpose of the space. 
- Don't attempt to multipurpose in a huge house like this one, it's quite ridiculous: if you have a large house, well ... you have to learn to live large, and move from one area / room to another one according to what you do at a certain moment.
Multipurpose rooms are (necessary) for small spaces.


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