If it’s January, it’s time for IDS Toronto. We at Homedit adore this show because it is our first real look at the design trends for the coming year and the types of products that will be showing up in homes. The 2019 show was bigger and better than ever, with a separate new contract division for businesses, which provided plenty of great ideas for styling a home too. From the big, creative installations to the small maker pieces in the “Studio North” section, here are some of our favorite finds from IDS.
The Backcountry Hut Company created this installation of a full concept house that is built with a “kit of parts” for building small structures. The company says it is a “modernist interpretation of the notion of rustic wilderness living base on the spirit of Canadian outdoor culture. The developers say that it can easily be customized for any location, from a remote back country area without plumbing to a more vacation-like “front country” cabin. The interior is comfortable and cozy, with a sleeping loft, bathroom with a shower and full galley style kitchen.
Ontario Wood always presents an innovative structure to highlight the area’s great natural resources and this year’s installations was conceived and built by architecture and design studio Izen Architecture. Their idea for this year’s work focused on forms that are easy to build, dismantle and relocate. It uses “conventional building methods to reimagine a modern sense of gathering and community using standard lumber.” The shape itself is an oval conjoined with a perfect circle, which creates two elongated conical forms with the gathering place in the middle. Stepping inside is a bit like gathering around a campfire.
The bathroom designers at the show always have some great innovations and this year, we ran into Canadian interior designer and social media influences Amanda Forrest. Forrest teamed up with Dezign Market to present a gorgeous bathroom design with super clean lines. Dark wood cabinetry paired with a light color vanity top are accented with sophisticated gold hardware and fixtures. The diamond-shaped mirrors at the vanity are an unexpected and very stylish option.
Forrest also designed this fabulous powder room that features a wall-sized mural of a weathered, old angel statue — the sort found in a cemetery. A muted shade of green covers the vanity and is also present in the mural, tying them together. A flock of birds in flight span the walls from near the mirror, across the corner and onto the mural. This is a daring but extremely effective decor trick for melding the elements together.
Another gorgeous bathroom is this calm and serene design, done with deep, mossy green walls. The hue adds a feeling of earthiness, which is enhanced by the stylish pendant lights. Set directly over the tub, this type of bathroom design truly makes the soaking tub the focal point. Its location in the middle of the room also makes it the star attraction. Adding accessories and plants to bathroom also transforms it from a stark and functional space to a warm and welcoming one.
Nothing says “over-the-top” like Swarovski crystals, and now they can adorn your toilet too. This blinged out black model was shown by PierDeco design. The hidden tank style is very modern and streamlined, which also makes the crystals really show on the black porcelain. Of course, the toilet has a matching sink to really add an opulent edge to the bathroom.
At the other end of the design spectrum, Zitta presented a shower with walls that will appeal to those who prefer a more natural vibe. What looks like a natural wood wall is actually a tile that will fool anyone until they touch it. The textural variations in the boards, complete with flaws and knots, are very realistic and add a rustic feeling to the otherwise modern shower shape.
Studio North & Prototype is a favorite section because of all the innovative, hand-crafted pieces found there. Artisans from all over Canada and some from other countries show off amazing talent with their custom work and limited-edition collections. The exhibits here are fascinating, and Zeed Ventures was the booth winner in Studio North for 2019. The Tapermoon Skylight floor lamp is very different. Because it uses LEDs, the individual pieces of the shade are actually made from paper, which can be stacked up on the main post, that houses the light source. Larger individual paper shades can be used for a small lamp. Ingenious!
A marvelous vanity chair by Vako Design of Iowa City, Iowa has a definite Art Deco vibe and is said to also be inspired by the Memphis Modern era. The plush velvet in rich colors is the perfect upholstery choice for the sensuous rounded shapes. The simple wood frame, which is visible throughout, strikes a perfect counterpoint. Besides being very attractive, this chair is quite on trend with its velvet upholstery.
Almost like a landscape, this wooden table by WooYoo gives the impression of sitting by a natural area. Called the PokoPoko, it adds dimension to what’s usually just a plain flat plane. The raised areas act as little gardens of green space and create a relaxed spot to enjoy some tea and conversation with friends or family.
Among all the pieces designed primarily for office and other business environments, we found great pieces that are ideal for home as well. In the NUA Office booth, this grouping snagged our attention right away. Perfect for a reading corner in the family room or as a seating area in a home office, the chair and footstool have a Nordic vibe that is very versatile. From Norman of Copenhagen, the pieces are also durable as well as comfortable. The charming little side table is also ideal for almost any space.
When it comes to stylish modern living rooms, Roche Bobois puts together an environment like no other. This collision of prints on the floor and the wall, accompanied by earthy hued seating and vibrant occasional tables creates an eclectic room that is hard to define — except to say it’s phenomenal. This space is also a lesson in how to combine wildly different prints and a divergent range of colors and finishes in a sophisticated way.
This vignette in the booth by Cardinal Fine Cabinetry and McKaskell Haindl is the perfect combination of retro and modern. The street-art-style mural on the wall pairs nicely with credenza that has a rounded shape and stone top. Floating shelves add storage without hiding anything much of the artwork.
A pooch needs some stylish new furniture too, and Slumberwolf has custom dog beds like this one that feature a natural wood frame and woven rope support in the base. Designed as a spin-off of beds used by the family, the artisan decided to create them for dogs as well. The company notes that many luxury dog beds just miniature versions of a human-size foam-filled sofa, but these are handcrafted pieces of furniture that can be displayed with pride.
Hollis + Morris is a favorite booth every year and 2019 certainly did not disappoint. A floor version of their willow pendant looks like stems of luminous trees growing out of the ground. More than just a stunning display, the fixtures are perfect for creating a natural ambiance in a room, with the globes gently forming an arc around the central post.
Barrisol is a company known for its “stretch ceiling”, which is a non-flammable sheet PVC sheet that is tightened under the effect of heat on the periphery of the walls thanks to a patented track system. Using that material concept, the company presented this stunning, delicate Butterfly by French lingerie designer Chantal Thomass. The suspended luminaire is sleek and subtle, with light coming through the canvas that is stretched over the aluminum frame.
Last year we discovered Decimal and its 3-D printed pendants in a range of rich hues. this year, the company was back with larger pendants, like this light called .016. The perforated sculptural design flows like a Moebius strip around the light source. Designed by Mexican designer Ariel Rojo, the light is said to “explore life as a series of cycles that give birth to each other, proposing a synergy between technological advancement and aesthetic sophistication.”
Monogram of Canada turned to renowned fashion designer Zac Posen for a collaboration that yielded a custom designed column refrigerator panel, which can be seen behind Posen. Inspired by how clothing wraps around the body and how different shapes move around, the panel shows how artful everyday appliances can be, which fits right in with Monogram’s new “Elevate Everything” campaign. And yes, Posen made pizzas on site at IDS in the company’s ventless electric indoor pizza oven.
When it’s time for clean-up, Blanco has a new farmhouse sink that looks like concrete but is actually made from BLANCO’s SILGRANIT material. which is cleanable, colorful, and very durable. The IKON sink comes in eight shades and three sizes, including one for smaller spaces. Another great feature of these sinks is that they can have a single bay or be divided, as is the one above.
La Cornue is already known for exceptional luxury in the kitchen but a limited edition of six specially painted Chateau ranges brings things to a whole other level. Hand-painted on all four sides by French street artist Kongo, each of the six are different and truly works of art for the kitchen. From these green hues, to more pink and coral shades, and two models done in a more typical graffiti style, they are unlike anything you have seen. Since all four sides are painted, the back panel could be removed and hung as a second work of art in the kitchen. This Chateau range was presented by Bloomsbury Kitchens.
Setting aside artful appearance, the overarching trend for the kitchen is technology integration and connectedness. Most all the brands, including Bosch, are showing kitchen appliances that can be controlled and monitored via smartphone or tablet device. From being able to start your dishwasher while you are at work, to programming all your guests’ favorite coffee drinks for the next dinner party, the possibilities are mind-boggling. According to Bosch representatives, the most technically advanced appliances will soon be able to integrate via a common platform, no matter what the brand.
Wood floors are still wildly popular and show no signs of slowing down. IDS sponsor and wood flooring manufacturer Pur Parket had the most imaginative way to display the sample of their wood flooring: On the sections of trees from which they come. New releases in lighter shades are becoming more popular and rustic selections also remain best sellers. The company also carries a vinyl flooring that looks like wood, which could probably fool even the most discriminating customers. Pur Parket’s representatives say that the vinyl is a good option for those who love wood but don’t have the budget for the real thing.
It used to be that the mention of sculpted carpeting would conjure up images of the old 1970’s low-pile rug with amoebic channels running through it. Boy, have designs come a long way. These sculpted offerings from W Tufted are a far cry from the early styles and offer so much texture, movement and artistic flair that they are hard to resist. Geometric shapes combined with color shading and the sculpting come together in some very sophisticated carpeting.
We can’t talk trends without addressing colors. For 2019, Beauti-Tone’s color of the year for Canada is Tropic of Conversation, an earthier version of the Coral color that Pantone released for the US. The hue of the year is part of the collection created by internationally acclaimed Canadian fashion designer Simon Chang. Chang’s fashion-forward collection of colors is perhaps a little bolder than usual, but is definitely user-friendly. Besides, we love the way all the BeautiTone color collections were displayed in country-style jars.
In a totally different take, North America’s Benjamin Moore, showed its Color of the Year for 2019, which is called Metropolitan. AF-690 is a stylish gray with cool undertones and mixes well with neutrals, as in this display. The company said that their choice is neither “arresting nor aggressive” and is an understated, glamorous hue that contributes to serene ambiance.
With more than we can possibly share in one story, IDS Toronto 2019 was loaded with new ideas for all the rooms of your home. Keep an eye on Homedit for more ideas from Canada’s best designers and brands for the coming year.
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Window box planters have the unique ability to enrich and to beautify our homes inside and out. They improve the curb appeal of houses and give them a lovely and charming appearance, a sort of white picket fence-inspired look and it’s not out of the question to hang them outside apartment windows either. As far as design and installation go, there’s more to window box planters than meets the eye.
Planting a window box is easy and a very enjoyable activity in fact. Assuming you already have the box in place, all you need to do is make sure the plants you’ve chosen get all the nutrients they need to look healthy and beautiful for the upcoming season.
You’re probably thinking we skipped a few steps such as the part where you actually get to hang the planter box outside your window. There’s also something even before that: actually building the box. It’s actually a fairly simple DIY project and, while you’re at it, we suggest considering making some matching window shutters as well. You can find all the details on catzinthekitchen.
There are plenty of cute ways in which to customize your window box planters, especially if you decide to craft them yourself. If you don’t want them to stand out too much, we suggest helping them blend in by choosing a color and style as close to that of the house facade as possible. A good source of inspiration would be the project featured on jennysteffens.
As with anything else, the style of your DIY window box planter dictates the difficulty of the project. A rustic design similar to the one featured on serendipityrefined should be simple enough for even a beginner DIYer to be successful and proud of the result.
One of the best things about a window box planter is that it lets you add a little bit of greenery to the facade. One way to maximize that is by building a sleek trellis to frame the window. This way it’s as if the garden literary embraces the house. Check out talefromthecoopkeeper for more inspiration.
Like we mentioned before, there are a lot of cool and exiting ways in which you can customize your window box planter so let’s talk specifics. A very lovely design idea in that sense comes from thescrapshoppeblog. Don’t be intimated by the zig-zag pattern. The project is actually super simple and you can achieve that look with shims.
Although in some cases it’s nice to match the window box planters to the shutters, that’s not always a must. Sometimes a contrasting design, color or finish can contribute to creating a more harmonious and better-balanced look for your house. Also, if the planters stand out, that can help to improve curb appeal. You can check out shadesofblueinteriors for more details and instructions on how to build the planters.
If you’d rather not complicate the project more than you have to, a minimalist design is in order. We absolutely love the one featured on twotwentyone. The simplistic design of the extra wide window box planter is just what the house needs. It’s a lovely match for the large windows and their white frames.
Building your own window box planters is not just super easy but also cheap, especially if you use reclaimed materials. Reclaimed wood pallets are also a great option when it comes to DIY home projects of all kinds. You can find out how that can be applied to window planters in particular by checking out the tutorial featured on paradiseperspectives.
Remember when we said window box planters are somewhat similar to picket fences? Well what if you were to interpret that in a more literal sense. by that we mean you could actually use fence boards to create an extra charming flower box and to give your house a neat and cute look. All the details of the project can be found on makeit-loveit.
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Have a large family? Like to entertain? It can be a challenge to come up with a stylish dining area that comfortably seats large numbers of people while still functioning well in a “regular” sized space. You can buy a large dining set, of course, but what if you feel like you have more personality than that? Is it possible to even create a dining room that has form AND function for large groups of people? Of course it is. And here are some inspirational ideas to get you started.
Use a circle
Round dining tables are highly versatile and flexible in that they don’t have corners to work around when it comes to seating. This means that if you can squeeze in a place setting on the table itself, you can squeeze in another person without having someone eating uncomfortably off the corner of the table (as would be the case with a square or rectangular dining table). Plus, a circular dining table provides a nice contrasting shape to an otherwise generally squarish room.
Substitute a bench for chairs
Visually, the bench is less noticeable than chairs because it’s down below the eye-level of the table. This works great in naturally small dining rooms. Plus, there is not a set number of “seats” on a bench, so the number you can squeeze onto the bench is, shall we say, flexible.
Add pillows to your bench
This may not free up more seating, of course, but it adds a sense of luxury to the dining experience. So if you have a gorgeous table, such as this Jalan inlay dining table, that invites people to linger longer after dinner, providing comfortable seating pillows just might do the trick.
Paint mismatched chairs the same color
The thing about large dining seating requirements is that it can be tricky to find chairs that (a) fit around the table, and (b) match. Make the matching part easier by simply painting out all the chairs in the same glorious color – see? Instant dining “set.”
Use a couch
A couch or sofa upholstered in outdoor fabric is a fantastic way to squeeze in more optional seating because couches, as we all know, can fit two people, four people, maybe even six people as needed. We like the comfortable, homey vibe this gives the dining room, too.
Build in benches
Choose different chairs of the same style
These leathery-wood chairs may not be dining chairs per se, but when paired together around a dining table, they give a distinct industrial vibe that’s neither frumpy nor stuffy. We love the flexibility this dining chair method gives for stylishly and seamlessly adding or subtracting to the “set” as needed.
Keep the head chairs luxurious
Everyone loves a comfortable, luxurious chair, even (especially?) at the dining table. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible when many seats are required. If you keep the head chairs large, though, you can retain the style of luxury without actually having each seat use up that kind of real estate. Smaller (and, thus, more) chairs can be used on the sides of the table – an excellent marriage of form and function.
Opt for ornamental head chairs
No matter how large or small your dining room is, when you switch up the table’s head chairs and make them stand apart, it automatically ups the sophistication of your dining space. Keep the chairs all in the same color palette for cohesion, but use chairs with graceful or artistic lines as the head chairs, because these are the most noticeable.
Consider a large rectangular dining table
Some people love the idea of a dining table of “equality,” that is, where there is no head to the table. A large rectangular dining table such as this is a good choice for greater seating capacity without requiring that much more real estate. If your dining area is shaped to be able to accommodate such a table, it’s definitely a functional style worth considering.
Use dining chairs as décor
When your dining table all but fills the dining room by itself, a great way to make the space feel comfortable and inviting without feeling cluttered is to use the chairs themselves as part of the décor. Paint them a bright, cheerful color, for example, to add personality and spunk to the space while keeping things light aesthetically.
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There’s something magical and unique about sitting around a fire pit with a group of people that you like and enjoying each other’s company in a cozy environment. Wouldn’t it be nice to have such a cozy setup in your own backyard? You don’t even have to remodel the whole space to make that happen. You can build the fire pit yourself and this can be a nice project you can do on a weekend with some friends. As it turns out, a DIY fire pit is not such a difficult or expensive project.
If you’re not yet sure where exactly you’d like your new DIY fire pit to be placed, you can built one that’s easy to take down and moved to a different spot. There’s a great little tutorial on instructables which shows exactly how to do that using four sections of concrete tree rings, a portable charcoal grill and a bunch of stones and pebbles.
A fire pit doesn’t have to take up a lot of space and doesn’t have to be circular. If you’re tight on space you can still pull off a great DIY fire pit project. You just have to plan things accordingly. We suggest checking out instructables to find more details about this stone fire pit and its fireplace-like design which allows it to fit nicely in corners or against a fence.
Three rows of 12” gray pavers arranged in circles make up a perfect fire pit frame. They’re also quite cheap so the project won’t cost you a fortune. The number of pavers you’ll need may vary depending on the size of the fire pit. In any case, putting together the pit should be easy and fun. Once that is in place you can arrange a bunch of seats around the fire pit or start planning a DIY outdoor bench project. Check out keepingitsimple for inspiration.
Instead of building your DIY fire pit above ground, perhaps you’d be more interested in an in-ground fire pit like this one. Keep in mind that the location you choose will be permanent. Start by digging a hole, then mix the concrete and start building the walls of the fire pit. Gradually it will start to take shape. You can find more tips and details about this on instructables.
You could also use cement blocks to build a simple fire pit. Start by picking the exact location and then level the ground and prep the area. Once that part is done and you have the outline of the fire pit, building the walls and finishing up the whole thing should be quick and easy. If you like this project, find out more about it on caroleknits.
There’s another DIY fire pit project that might inspire you and you can find it on attachmentprone. The total cost of the materials in this case was $75. The fire put was built using 6 square cement pavers for the base and 30 cinder bricks. If you also like to build a matching bench or two around the fire pit, you might want to get some extra cinder bricks.
Isn’t this fire pit super charming? What’s particularly interesting about it is the fact that it used to be a small koi pond. At one point it was transformed but even as a fire pit it still has a very organic and genuine look thanks to the stones and irregular shape. Check out lucyslampshade to find out more about this inspiring transformation.
You can also old and reclaimed materials when building a DIY fire pit. For example, the used bricks here come from a landscape site. If your project will be anything like the one featured on tuffguardhose you’ll need around 40 bricks (or pavers). You’ll also need a shovel, landscaping stone or gravel and spray paint (to trace the outline of the pit on the ground before you start digging.
A very cool and at the same time practical idea is to use a metal fire ring like the one featured in this project from imgur. The project started with an outline of the fire pit slightly wider than required. The grass was removed and the ground was leveled, then the ring was placed in the middle. Three layers of stone was added around the fire ring. As you can see, it turned out pretty great.
Building a DIY fire pit can be a great weekend project for a group of friends and this applies to anyone. None of you has to be an expert in landscaping in order to pull this off. In fact, it’s best if everyone is equally inexperienced because this way you’re all just learning from each other. Anyway, here’s how you can build a brick fire pit from scratch: mark the spot and start digging (not too deep, just a few cm/inches). Place the first level of bricks and make sure they’re level. Add the second, third and fourth layer and at the end place some decorative stone on top. Finally, put some gravel on the bottom and you’re done. Check out imgur for details.
If you want your new DIY fire pit to be not just cozy but also spectacular, there are ways to make that happen. We recently came across this cool sunburst fire pit design on imgur. It looks pretty awesome and it doesn’t seem that difficult to build either. It does however require plenty of space.
A fire pit doesn’t have to look perfect or to be perfectly symmetrical in order to look great and to be an awesome focal point for the backyard. Plenty of DIY fire pit projects focus on this very idea, including this one which was featured on imgur. The stone have different shapes and sizes and that gives the design a very genuine and unique look.
Of course, if you’d prefer your DIY fire pit to have a neat and clean design and to be simple and professional-looking, that’s easy to achieve too. A perfect example is this project from abeautifulmess. The supplies needed here include gravel, a shovel, concrete landscaping stones, a metal ring, masonry adhesive and colored spray paint (optional but useful).
It’s practical and sometimes even aesthetic to mix and match different materials when building a fire pit. Maybe this project from imgur is not the best example in this case since this look wasn’t exactly intentional from the start but we really like how it turned out.
As lovely as those classic outdoor fire pits are, you can pretty much only use them when it’s nice outside. What if you wanted to feel just as cozy indoors? You could make a small and portable fire pit for your living room. You can take it out on the porch too. One of the items you’ll need is a glass box. Check out theartofdoingstuff for more details.
This fire pit has a metal frame made of steel stripes. There’s stone in between and the overall design is a nice mix of modern, rustic and industrial. You can make your own version which you can customize according to your own needs and preferences. To learn the basics and a few tips that might help along the way, check out this video tutorial on youtube.
A concrete fire pit is yet another option. Of course, you’d have to be pretty certain about the location since you won’t be able to move the fire pit once it’s in place. A great advantage in this case is the fact that you can give your DIY fire pit any shape you want. Building the mold is perhaps the most difficult part. You can find out everything you need to know about the project on instructables.
If you like the idea of a metal fire pit, we suggest having a look at this tutorial featured on the-brick-house. It documents the important steps of putting together such a project and it also helps you form an informed idea of how it would all look like once you’re done.
Believe it or not, this awesome-looking fire pit was made out of a recycled washing machine drum. It would be great if you already had one but you could also check used appliance stores or ask around. Apart from that, you’ll also need an angle grinder, a wire brush, a sanding disc, some steel and heat-resistant black paint. Everything else that you need to know about this unique DIY fire pit project can be found on houseandfig.
Speaking of DIY projects involving recycled items, here’s a cool-looking DIY fire pit made out of a tractor wheel. The project is not complicated but you need a few specific things: a tractor rim, some stone blocks, gravel and sand. The overall size of the fire pit depends on how big the rim and how wide the stones are. You’ll also have to do some digging so make sure you have a shovel. Feel free to personalize and customize the look of your fire pit in any way you want. The tutorial from handimania can be a source of inspiration.
Trying to be creative while being very limited in your options is never easy but rather than letting that discourage them, architecture studio Razavi perceived this as a challenge. They had to design and build a mountain cabin in a highly preserved Alpine valley from the Manigold region in France. Numerous very strict building regulations and architectural guidelines didn’t really leave much room for freedom. The architects had no say in deciding the building materials, window size or even the height and width ratio or roof slope. All these limitations made all the structures in the area look pretty much the same, as if they’re all mimicking the same exact design of a traditional mountain cabin.
In spite of all the restrictions, the architects managed to make this mountain retreat look special. They made the structure entirely code-compliant and they respected all the rules but they found ways to insert their own style and to control the smaller details in their favor. They also got rid of all unnecessary elements present in the designs of local houses and simplified everything as much as possible. This allowed the house to look modern despite its traditional framework and to have character. This is a house that stands out while blending in.
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When it’s time to go house-hunting, home buyers are faced with a wide variety of different types of houses to consider. The final choice will depend on budget, taste and family requirements, however, it pays to peruse the types of houses available, from multifamily options to single-family homes. Take a look at these various styles of homes and see what types might fit your needs — some will likely surprise you!
A condominium differs from other types of houses because it is one unit in a building or a separate building among many on a specific tract of land. Unlike an apartment, a condo is purchased and not rented, with each owner holding title to the residence, whether it’s in a high-rise building or a separate building. Condominiums are governed by a board that is elected by the residents that oversee the overall property and make rules and decisions about maintenance and the operation of the community.
In high-rise buildings, condo units can occupy one floor, two or even three. Other types of condos can be townhouses or other style units. According to Nationwide insurance, condominiums often focus on a community and include a clubhouse or common areas, pool, gym, and other amenities. Of course, while residents enjoy a care-free life and don’t have to care for the common areas, they do have to pay Home Owners Association fees for the upkeep of the common areas and the buildings. These monthly fees can range from $100 to more than $1,000 a month. That said, depending on the neighborhood and the nature of the property, these types of homes will cost less than a single-family detached house in the same area.
The key difference between apartments and other types of houses is that apartments are rental units and are typically not purchased. In larger buildings, apartments are typically owned by a single entity. According to the Apartment Guide, apartment complexes have maintenance and other staff on-call to handle things that break or stop working. These communities also offer amenities such as gyms, pools, party rooms tennis courts and other perks on site. Of course, the other side of the coin is that all the apartment look the same and resident generally cannot make major changes to the unit. In addition, most of the finishes, hardware and detailing will be generic and not as upscale as you could have in a condo or house.
A co-op physically looks the same as a condo or an apartment, but the real difference comes in the legal and financial side of the equation. In a co-op, the co-op members are essentially shareholders in the building. They don’t technically own a specific unit, but are leasing it from the co-op. Purchasing a home in a co-op can be a little more challenging in that the building’s board or association vets each prospective buyer, putting them through a rigorous screening that sometimes seems like an invasion of privacy. Also, according to TheBalance.com, not every bank will make a co-op loan and not every coop qualifies.
A co-op is often cheaper to buy than a condo, but the fees may be higher than those in a comparable condominium. Those fees cover a portion of the building’s mortgage, salaries for doormen, maintenance staff, possibly a building superintendent; insurance; regular maintenance, cleaning of common areas, and real property taxes.
According to Realtor.com, a townhouse is typically a single family home that is sandwiched between or next to other homes just like it. Sometimes called row houses, townhomes share side walls and are often quite uniform, generally have two or three floors. Unlike condos, residents own the interior and the exterior of their homes including any yard that comes with the house. These types of houses also have a homeowners association to cover any shared maintenance costs, such as things like trash removal and snow plowing. The associations also have rules about elements like exterior paint colors, fences and the like.
A ranch style home is a single-story house that has its origins in Spanish hacienda. As the suburbs grew in the 1950’s these types of homes gained popularity thanks to the wide open spaces. According to Angie’s List, a ranch is usually found in a rectangular or L or U shape with an open, casual layout. With a long and low profile, SFGate says that these homes have typically extended eaves and a low-pitched roof, along with an attached garage. The most common types of ranch homes are built with brick, wood or stucco. Many are built on a concrete slab, especially those in California or the Southwest, while others have a crawlspace or full basement. Inside, the floor plan of a ranch is open and flowing and generally has large windows, including sliding glass doors that lead out to a patio.
A small, square, single-story house with a front porch is generally called a bungalow. The name comes from India, says Antique Home Style, where small “bangla” huts were used for travelers. The English then took the style and adapted it to their needs, including covered verandas and open floor plans. SF Gate writes that they became popular in the Northeast US starting around 1900. Typically with this type of house the floor is raised up and front steps are needed.
These types of small houses became less popular as the desire for larger and larger homes took hold. The interior of a bungalow is very efficient with space as closets are small and there are usually built-in cabinets and shelving. Their smaller size makes them ideal for couples, singles, and those who want to downsize their lives.
Originating as a two-story building to house horses with the caretaker’s quarters above, carriage houses were popular in the Northeastern United States, says Realtor.com. Today’s carriage houses, however, are either older renovated buildings or modern ones built in the old style. In fact today these types of houses are a bonus, secondary to the main house, and used for in-law apartments, home offices, art studios and the like.
There is a difference, however, between a carriage house and a carriage home, the website says. A carriage house is a secondary building on the property while a carriage home is a single family home that is similar to a townhouse. These can also be called a zero-lot-line home or patio home.
Multi-family homes are just that –-properties with more than one unit that can serve as home to more than one family. These can be apartments, duplexes, or triplexes, few. According to Mashvisor, the main reason people invest in these is to defray the cost of their own housing. By renting out the unoccupied portion, homeowners can afford to have their own place. Those interested in living in and managing these types of houses have to consider the possibility of vacancies, dealing with renters and managing the maintenance of another person’s home, along with additional insurance considerations.
The term mansion might conjure up visions of grandeur, but it’s hard to define what those have to be. Realtor.com says that there is no rule regarding what square footage qualifies a home as a mansion, but it is generally over 5,000 square feet, while some realtors maintain it needs at least 8,000 square feet.
More than just lots of square feet – and numerous bedrooms and bathrooms — contemporary mansions must have plenty of luxury amenities. These include entertainment and relaxation facilities like high-tech media rooms, pools, bars, wine cellars, cigar rooms, cabanas, gyms and catering kitchens. The closets have to be large and spacious and the security systems top notch. Also, the materials used to construct all those elements have to be top of the line, as do all the appliances in these types of houses.
The term “mansion” is said by dictionaries to be derived “through Old French from the Latin word mansio“, an abstract noun derived from the verb manere to dwell. In order for a mansion to be historic, it has to be more than just big and a little old. This type of house has to be listed by an official body as “historic.” This means it has to meet certain criteria with regard to age, preserved condition, and historical significance. These types of homes are hard to come by and are typically named, either according to the original family or the historical event that defines it.
Most English cottages are immediately recognizable thanks to the exterior characteristics of a steeply pitched roof and cross-gables, large stone or brick chimneys often, and small-paned bands of casement windows. Antique Home Style says that entryways are commonly front-facing gables and the roof is a catslide, which is steep and straight on one side and curved on the other. English cottages are generally asymmetrical and often have a thatched roof. The exterior is usually done in brick, stucco, stone, or wood. Inside, the rooms are small, cozy and compartmentalized — not the open plan style found in many other types of houses.
Synonymous with a secluded getaway, the term cabin can mean many things. These types of houses have traditionally been small, modest structures. That said, today they can be chock full of amenities and as luxurious as a full-time house. Cabins may also be called cottages or camps, all depending on what part of the US you are in. The one thing they all have in common is their rural location in the woods and often by a lake or river.
In the past, cabins were often built with logs or timber, but these days, they can be constructed of just about any kind of building material. These types of houses are usually one, or one and a half stories tall and are simpler and more rustic than a traditional home
The term chalet calls up images of an idyllic Alpine location and actually refers to a house built from wood with a substantial, sloping roof and wide eaves at the sides of the house. The architectural style is well suited to hillsides and areas with plentiful snow. These types of houses have the air of being hand-crafted in a world full of mass-produced home strictures, notes All Things Stone. Chalet style homes originated in the Swiss Alps, where animal herders used them, but over time they became popular in many countries, especially as places for a wintertime getaway. Some of the features that make them so popular are the single-gable silhouette, dominance of wood on the exterior, front balconies and big windows ideal for gazing at the snow-covered landscape outside. The interior of a chalet is focused around the open floor plan and high ceilings, which beings everyone to gather in the heart of the home.
A castle is actually a fortified structure that originated in the Middle Ages, built for noble or royal families. While castles were fortifications built around the world to defend territories, there really aren’t any in the United States, writes the New York Times. Interest in castles has been piqued recently thanks to popular television shoes like Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey, however, unless you likely don’t want to live in a real one – not without significant upgrades. In the United States, any castles being built are fantasy structures, the paper says. Buying an existing castle of any size is a big commitment to renovation and maintenance, as most are lacking in the creature comforts most people come to expect and are functionally challenging in many ways, such as with kitchens in the basement and less than optimal plumbing.
Expansive lawns, manicured gardens and a massive stately residence come to mind when someone mentions the word chateau. The French term is actually translated as “castle” but is usually used to describe what most would also call a palace or large country house, according to My French House. Originating in the 13th and 14th centuries the name came to mean a substantial country house. As Britannica.com says, these types of houses became “spacious yet still-fortified private residences of the nobility.” Similar to purchasing an old castle, a European chateau is a financial commitment to constant upkeep and maintenance, both inside and out, thanks to the size and age of most chateaux.
Unlike a castle or chateau, a palace is built specifically to be luxurious, spacious and comfortable. Palaces arose as grand homes for heads of state and dignitaries, hence their large halls and spacious rooms. The aim behind these stately types of houses is to display wealth and opulence with their size, beauty and high-end materials. They are symbolic with a leisurely life and wealth.
Technically, a villa can be similar to a regular single-family home but is actually known for being a larger, more luxurious residence. These types of houses often have gardens, vineyards fountains or courtyards. Villas can have up to 20 bedrooms and typically have a more luxurious feel to them. Villas certainly have the cachet of a private retreat, no matter what their size, and are generally associated with European or tropical locales. In the United States, some planned communities also have units called villas, which are like apartments or condos, as do some hotels.
A manor house is essentially a country house that has land associated with it. Historically, it was the principal house of a landed estate, according to Castles and Manor Houses. Similar to a mansion, the term manor house is more commonly used in the UK, where it is associated with an estate that encompasses fields, woods and sometimes other buildings. Collectively, the entire package is called a manor. The term manor house has become associated with spaciousness but not all display largesse and some can be quite modest.
A mobile home is just that – mobile. Mind you, this type of house is not like a camper that you can move around frequently. It’s actually a large trailer or pre-built structure that is used as a permanent residence. It can be situated on a slab and connects to utilities just like a regular house. Living in a mobile home — also called a manufactured home – requires property where the home can be sited. This can be an individual plot or a location in a mobile home park. In either case, owners are responsible for property taxes and insurance. In a park, there is a homeowners association as in other communities, and residents have to abide by rules and pay the fees to cover upkeep of any communal areas and other services.
The tiny home movement has been growing across the globe for the past few years and shows no signs of dying down. These tiny residences allow people to free themselves from a lot of the expenses associated with larger homes, giving them the freedom to pursue activities other than house maintenance and upkeep. Traditionally, these tiny houses are around 2.4 x 5 meters, which is between 100 and 400 square feet, according to Living Big in a Tiny House. These homes generally have a sleeping loft, multipurpose central space and a small bathroom. While they do cut down on expenses, these types of houses require significant downsizing of belongings and a change in lifestyle.
A bit like condo or a mobile home in a park, a floating home is built on a dock-like structure and permanently connected to utilities. The floating homeowner is responsible to pay fees for the dock and the slip, along with utilities and any other associated costs. One of the more unusual costs is the inspection that must include a diver to examine the underside. Moreover, these types of houses have to meet all building codes and carry all the closing and other costs associated with a more traditional home.
Sure they’re still built for kids in the backyard, but increasingly, homeowners looking for something more novel are turning to the trees. Treehouses are becoming more common as primary residences or weekend getaways, especially for those who want to disconnect from technology. Much like regular homes, treehouses run the gamut from modest structures made from upcycled materials to luxurious versions designed by professional architects. Security and privacy are among the bonuses, however, different locations will have different building codes governing whether treehouses are allowed.
Sustainability considerations are modernizing the image of the yurt from a 1970’s phenomenon associated with hippie culture into a viable home with a smaller carbon footprint. According to the Mother Nature Network, yurt design has moved from felted wool mats to modern structures with high-efficiency glass windows, high-tech insulation, and clear translucent vinyl skylights. With an exterior of marine-quality sailcloth, a yurt can withstand all sorts of weather. Yurts are generally built on a platform, making them quick, easy and economical to build, however, they do pose challenges for electrical lines and plumbing. Other considerations are a lack of privacy for residents, as can close interaction with all types of nature. That said, they can be a great choice for those who like to live close to nature with fewer belongings.
Container homes have exploded in popularity since the one of the first and most famous was built in Brisbane, Australia in 2011. Since then, people have found that these types of homes have lots of benefits besides being eco-friendly. According to DiscoverContainers, homes made from shipping containers can cost much less than traditional homes and are generally faster to construct. On the sustainability side, each time a container is repurposed for a home, more than 7,000 pounds of steel are recycled and fewer new building materials are used. Houses made from shipping containers range from modest, off-the-grid homes to luxurious constructions with several containers joined together.
Caves might have been the earliest type of housing, but they can still serve as homes for people today. In fact, for those who want to minimize the impact they have on the environment, cave homes are a popular option, writes Earth Homes Now. From a practical standpoint, cave homes are a good idea: They are quiet, secure, maintain a constant temperature and are well protected against the elements and storms. That said, a natural cave is probably too small for a family home, so it will either need to be excavated further or the cave will need to be created artificially. Regardless, these types of homes have some definite advantages.
Underground homes have generally been in the realm of doomsday preppers and fodder for late night comedy, but they are actually an efficient – and popular – way to live. Earth Homes Now says that in the US, there are already more than 6,000 underground homes. These types of homes are not just for people awaiting the apocalypse. Those who want to be more eco-friendly like these homes because they don’t use as many natural resources. They are safe in natural disasters and are more energy efficient because they are underground. Underground homes also require very little exterior maintenance because at most, one wall of the home is exposed Styles of building underground homes can range from earth berms, rammed earth, urban sites, shafts, tunnels and even abandoned underground nuclear missile silos.
As always, different types of houses have advantages and disadvantages, and not every kind will be suitable for every person. This just provides an overview of the breadth of selections available when considering a home. Determining the lifestyle you want to lead and the priorities you have will help guide you to the type of house that will be the most appropriate.
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Located within a reconstructed industrial building from Kaunas, in Lithuania, this modern loft gives a new meaning to the idea of minimalism by taking advantage of its location and of the overall architecture and character of the building. The apartment’s interior design is the work of studio IDwhite. They focused a lot on preserving as many raw elements as possibles, the goal being to put an emphasis on the strong industrial character of the space. Even so, the interior design is not in any way unwelcoming and that’s thanks to the carefully selected palette of materials and finishes.
The apartment is mostly defined by a monochromatic palette, featuring lots of warm neutrals combined with rich natural materials such as wood, metal, glass and concrete and, of course, what is a loft without a high ceiling and open spaces? A floating staircase with glass railings leads to the loft bed area, making sure to maintain an airy and transparent decor. Dimmable LED lights directed towards the ceiling ensure a soft and very pleasant and luminous ambiance throughout the apartment while at the same time highlighting the columns which have been left exposed as a way to balance the decor.
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Furniture with smooth and delicate curves is always exceptional and eye-catching in ways that make it very desirable. At the same time, curved furniture is definitely rare because of the difficult crafting process which further adds to its desirability and uniqueness. We too have been mesmerized by how beautiful some curved furniture designs really are so we chose our favorites and we’re sharing them with you.
The Frolic table from Amorph is a piece of art, like all furniture pieces designed and manufactured by the company. It’s created using cutting edge techniques and the result is a very sculptural table with seamless, organic lines. The table is made of ash wood and is available with a natural stained finish or a semi-glossy one.
Tryst is another intriguing example of curved furniture, featuring a design that stands out both from a structural and an aesthetic point of view. The table measures 26” in width, with a height of 20” and depth of 20”. It has a natural ash stained finish and a gorgeous asymmetrical top.
Curved coffee tables can look pretty awesome too. A great example is the Crux Natural table which features this unique, sculptural base made of ash wood. It’s a perfect pair for the clear glass top.
Curved furniture such as sofas, benches and armchairs are usually interesting and special enough to stand out on their own but it doesn’t hurt to help a bit with some cool-looking accessories. How about some cozy knitwear such as what Leiz has to offer? These are actually seat shells which you can add to any regular base to make your own curved furniture.
Curbed furniture also seems to be the specialty of Furniture maker Kino Guerin who manages to always find the perfect balance between functionality and aesthetics, blending introcate curves and straight lines to create unique pieces. The furniture is made of woods and veneers using special vacuum press lamination processes. Each piece of furniture is also a sculpture.
The Nebula Table is an iconic piece of furniture, well-known for its graceful and fluid curves which push the boundaries of what wood can become. The entire table looks like a long sheet of wood skillfully bended and curved to create a knot-inspired base which seamlessly forms a level top.
It’s called the Simple Twist Shelf but there’s really nothing simple about how this unique piece is made. The shelf is made of bent laminated wood and walnut veneer and has an asymmetrical design which forms two loops that give the ultimate fluid appearance.
Looking at this sculptural piece and its smooth and graceful lines it’s hard to believe it was designed back in 1967. It’s called Dos à Dos and was created for the Louvre Museum. It’s a very unusual piece of furniture which no unique function. It can serve as a double seat but it can just as well be a stylish and eye-catching sculpture.
Ghost is a very special chair for two reasons: it’s made of glass and it has a monolithic and curved design, as if it’s been cut out of a single large sheet of glass and then effortlessly bent into this simple but at the same time extravagant shape.
When it comes to accessories, finding curved designs is quite easy, Mirrors come in all sorts of shapes and sizes so the fact that they can have curved designs doesn’t really come as a surprise. However, in the case of the Love Me Do floor mirror the star is actually the frame which has this exquisite and fluid form.
The creator of this unusual bench is designer Verter Turroni. The bench is called Trip, was designed in 2012 and has a fiberglass and stainless steel base and a comfortable seat with leather upholstery. It’s a very peculiar piece, part furniture and part giant sculpture.
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The ceiling is probably the most neglected surface when decorating a space. We focus a lot on the floors and the walls but not so much on the ceiling which works out well most of the time but also makes us forget that there are a lot of great design ideas and strategies which we haven’t even thought of. Take a coffered ceiling for example. It’s the perfect design to make a high ceiling seem less dramatic and more homey. It’s also a great way to draw the eye up and to complement an otherwise simple interior decor.
The coffered ceiling designed by Geoff Chick architects is a great fit for this breezy, coastal-themed living room. The light wood adds a lovely warm touch to the space and complements the neutral color palette just right.
Coffered ceilings come in a surprising number of versions and styles. This design for example incorporates multiple geometric forms in a pattern that draws the eye up. It’s an interesting strategy for a living room which has dark wood flooring and gray and gold furniture. This is one of the projects completed by Willoughby Construction in Miami.
There are very few limitations when it comes to coffered ceilings. They’re not just for living rooms and libraries but also for less ample spaces such as the kitchen. As it turns out, a coffered ceiling is pretty great for a kitchen because it lets you add multiple ceiling lights in a way that fits the decor. This eclectic kitchen was remodeled by My Design Studio.
The most common space where you can expect to find a coffered ceiling is actually not the living room but the library. All-wood designs are very popular here. They give the space a formal, elegant but at the same time very welcoming and cozy look and feel. It’s the same thing for home offices like this one.
Another traditional home office with a wooden coffered ceiling was designed by Frasier Martis Architects. It seems the whole room is wrapped in wood and this creates a particularly warm and comfortable ambiance.
This is a pretty clever integration of a coffered ceiling into the airy, modern decor of a dining room. There are two chandeliers hanging from the underside of one of the beams and that places them lower than usual which works out great in the case of this beach-style setup by Lindye Galloway Interiors.
Another idea definitely worth considering is that you can use a coffered ceiling design to either differentiate various functions within an open floor plan or to visually connect them for a more cohesive and fluid appearance. Check out this charming open kitchen done by GMT Home Designs for reference.
There are a lot of ways in which coffered ceilings can be customized but sometimes it’s best if you just keep a simple design: a classic pattern, white on white, no crazy features. It’s enough to stand out and to make a room look extra welcoming.
Speaking of ways to customize a coffered ceiling, color is a great resource. You can paint the gaps between the panels and they can match the walls. Another idea is to have matching floors and ceilings. This design right here was created by studio Advantes Group.
A coffered ceiling can also be an ingenious way to deal with a room that has an unusual shape, like this home office which has been remodeled by Murphy & Co. Design. It’s a small room but it looks open thanks to the large windows and all the wood makes it look elegant and inviting and also gives it a professional allure.
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City Heights is the latest project completed by architecture studio SAOTA in collaboration with interior design firm ARRCC. It’s a beautiful mountainside house located in Cape Town. Its design and architecture are a harmonious blend of minimalism and custom geometry, the building featuring an angular structure and a gorgeous mix of linear and curved surfaces which designs both the interior and exterior design. The spaces are organized on three floors. The lower level houses all the guest bedrooms while the living area occupies the middle floor and the master suite the top floor. This organization allows the owners to have their own private penthouse even when the house is full of guests.
The entrance hall welcomes one into a wonderfully inviting decor defined by walnut paneling and marble-like flooring while a custom woolen rug with a geometric pattern sets the tone for the dynamic decor of the living room. At the same time, the overall impression is that of a sophisticated yet at the same time very comfortable space. The interior design as a whole combines metallic surfaces, warm wood and vivid colors. The living area has a double-volume glass staircase and open onto a terrace which can be entirely closed off whenever required. The open kitchen and dining area are also part of the main living space. The master bedroom occupies the top floor and has a welcoming yet slightly masculine appearance complemented by stunning views.
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