Spaces 4 Living

An Architect's Idea Book: Sharing ideas and inspiration to help create beautiful living spaces.


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Taking on “Tiny House” ideas for your own home.

The concept of Tiny House Living is becoming more and more popular. The increasing number of foreclosures and unemployment in recent years has really pushed homeowners to rethink the concept of home and its size. Most tiny homes are under 500 square feet and many have stretched this notion to 150-300 square feet house on wheels. The ideals are simple living…focusing on outdoor spaces, de-cluttering and down-sizing. Smaller housing is not just for the retirees, but for those who wish to own their home who normally couldn’t afford a house or those who feel mobility fits their life style.

 

Tiny houses do not imply to live without comfort, just using your space more wisely. That is a concept that we can all employ.

 

Vertical Space

 
Craftsman Basement by Seattle Architects & Building Designers Board and Vellum
Eclectic Bedroom by Somerville General Contractors Morse Constructions Inc.

 

Built-in floor to ceiling storage or creating a partition wall with cupboard and drawers lets you packs away all your collectibles.

 
Eclectic Kitchen
Traditional Kitchen by Huntington Kitchen & Bath Designers Susan Serra

 

Using the vertical storage in the kitchen adds a bit more visual interest as well creating more storage. Whether choosing to incorporate shelves and/or rails to display your kitchenware or you could suspend over an island   if you have the space. The wall solution is not just limited to pots and utensils, there are baskets you could add for spices, plants and even task boards.

 

 

Shallow shelving 

  
Contemporary Kitchen by Jackson Interior Designers & Decorators dwelling
Eclectic Bathroom
Finding extra space to store things in shallow shelves or thin concealed drawers that might be otherwise wasted.

 

Under the stairs

loft-staircase-storage  office-under-staircase
http://www.tinyhousetalk.com

 

Using the dead space under the stairs is a great area for added storage, closet, home office or a powder room that can fit a number of storage needs and stair configurations.

Wall niche

  
Traditional Entry by Los Angeles Interior Designers & Decorators Alexandra Rae Design
Modern Staircase by London Photographers David Churchill – Architectural Photographer
   
Modern Bathroom by San Francisco Architects & Building Designers Michael Tauber Architecture
Traditional Home Theater by Peoria Design-Build Firms Dan Waibel Designer Builder

 

Creating a wall niche is not just reserved for the medicine cabinet.  Framing out the space to add niches for art, books, shower shelving,  or even to hide AV equipment.

Hidden storage under bulky furniture

 14791

BoConcept  (Chiva functional coffee table & Adria Nesting tables)

We’ve seen the storage in an ottomans and drawers in coffee tables, but the Chiva coffee table combines both ideas with elegance. Nesting tables are not a new concept, but them are coming back into trend. Storing tables beneath tables is a traditional and simple space saving innovation to keep.

 

Hidden bed

 

 
Poppi Theatre by Resource Furniture
 
Atoll 000 by Resource Furniture

 

Nothing short of amazing! I love the ideas that Resource Furniture has to offer. A twist on a murphy bed shown here is only a small sample of what they create. These beds are a vast improvement from the traditional hide-a-beds for guests in the living room. So comfy, they could be your own bed.

 

Dual Function and Transforming Furniture

Goliath Glass Table 
Goliath Glass by Resource Furniture

Modern console table transforms into a dining table suitable for 8 people. Incredible!

 

Loft Floor Space

Tiny House Floor Storagehttp://www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com

This storage solution is not for everyone, but for the loft or attic floor especially in a mobile tiny home, this is a great idea to incorporate storage without incrouching floor space with large furniture.


core77.com

If you can’t go over, go under! (the floor). Using the ceiling space between floor joists is a great spot to keep your books and trinkets.


Knee wall storage

 Traditional Hall by Chappaqua Architects & Building Designers Fivecat Studio | Architecture
Contemporary Family Room by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Ashley Roi Jenkins Design, LLC

 

Built-in storage into the knee wall maybe a great solution for hard to find furniture pieces and it keeps the floor space open.

 

There is always a storage solution, no matter the size of the space. Whether choosing built-in, dual function, transforming, wall space, floor space are but a few examples to use space more wisely and many more ideas out are there.

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The Art of Decorating with Black

 

So often many fall at the wayside away from colour and slump into the unfulfilled wasteland of beige! Some are intimidated to commit to using bold and bright colours in there living spaces…so goodness knows how they would react to black. OK black is not actually a colour, but it is a bold choice.

There are ways to enrich your space, just remember a little does go a long way.

 

Black Doors

 

Black doors can help create an upscaled and elegant look,  not just for the exteriors but the interior doors as well. The vertical plane of black draws your eyes to the other black objects in the room and creates a visual balance. It also helps balance the other large black elements in the home, for example that huge 60″ television that you always dreamed of, a black leather sofa or the unlit fireplace.

 

Black Windows

  

The odd thing about black or dark window woodwork is that you look past them to the outdoors. Whereas with white, your eyes tend to fix on the white frames instead of looking beyond. Bring the outdoors inside with black, charcoal or a dark stain.

 

Black ceilings

         
 

 

Now I bet you think I have gone too far!  A black ceiling adds a completely different character as compared to the traditional white. Your eye has a tendency to look for defined details to inform it of boarders and boundaries. Therefore, if you had black or partially black walls with a black ceiling your eyes would be tricked by the size of the space…making the room feel more spacious.

On the other hand, if you were to have lighter walls and a dark ceiling, the ceiling would appear lower. This could be beneficial in a room with a high ceiling that you wanted to make it feel more cozy and intimate.

 

Black Floors

     

 

Black floor have a huge impact. It is a bit more of a finacial commitment than paint, but the rewards could be outstanding. It says luxury all over it. If you have a dog that sheds it maybe more of a chore to keep spotless and high shine floors show more dust so unless you enjoy sweeping every day opt for a matte or textured finish.

 

Black Cabinetry or Surfaces

      

 

There is one way to get your white surfaces to pop in your kitchen and that is to have black cabinets. For a  contemporary open layout this would be stunning. The black gives the modern white space living a new twist. However if you inverse the palette with white cabinets and black surfaces the same pop occurs, but with a more traditional appeal. Granted, the main influence on the contemporary vs transitional vs traditional depends upon cabinetry style and layout.

 

Architectural details

   
 

Why not paint the wainscoting black (charcoal is illustrated in the photograph) or the ornate frames. It gives the woodwork a new lease on life and celebrates its artistry and craftsmanship.

The key element in using black, is that it enhances the other colours in the spaces as well (in my opinion) gives a sense of solid, grounding elegance. Dare I say, its the equivalent of that “little black dress”- a staple that imbues a air of simple sophistication.


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Sunny Conservatory

 

Conservatory…Sun lounge…inside-outside room…Sun room, whatever you like to call it they are almost one in the same.  All are enclosed in windows, although a conservatory has the addition of a glazed roof. Not too dissimilar to a greenhouse attached to your house, but far more detail orientated.

 

Traditionally, a conservatory was used to house citrus fruits and tropical plants brought back to Britain from merchant traders during in the Victorian and Georgian eras. The delicate plants of India, Africa and the Far East needed shelter from the more northern climates. Nowadays, the conservatory is used as an additional room in the house.  Integrated into the whole functionality of the house a conservatory can bring the wow factor into your home.

 

 

Often used as an additional sitting area or lounges, the amount of glazing brings you closer to nature but leaving the elements at bay.

 

 

This gorgeous example of a conservatory brings an homage to the traditional grandeur that the Victorian era exuded. Used as a sheltered seating area of the deck, it creates a cascade of spaces from house to shelter to deck to garden with each step unwrapping its layers.

 

 

With a flair to the modern, this home office is inspiring. The gentle curve of the glass softens the space. The sloping glass has a filter to protect the residents as well as retractable blinds for additional shading. Most glass used in conservatories do have UV and protective coating options much like typical windows.

 

 

The fabulous monochrome kitchen takes a step back as it lets the back garden/courtyard play at the window. The sleek simplicity from head to toe just draws you in.

 

    Contemporary Annabelle Modern Yellow Linen 32-Inch-H Mid-Century Chair    Woven Jute Roll Up Blinds 48 Inch, Width - 48 Inches    Fiore Floral Patterned Acrylic Accent Chair

 



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The Well Tailored Study

LDa Architects - living rooms - glossy, black, built-ins, moldings, fireplace, black, velvet, sofa, ivory, accent chairs, nailhead trim, black sofa, black velvet sofa,

source: LDa Architects


I love built-in storage furniture, but to be honest the regular white doesn’t always fit into everyone’s décor tastes. The matte black of this study imbues a sense of sophistication that sets it apart from the white walls of the room . The black bookcases and backdrop of the fireplace is the backbone to this entire room. It has a sense of solid masculinity.


The grandeur of the coffered ceilings and the fire surround is a statement of order within the larger context of the space.  The convex mirrored clock on the wall and the art add just subtle hint to feminine glamour of a different era to balance the room.


The high contrast black and white of the walls, hardwood floor and woodwork has been toned down and grounded by the introduction of the gold hues in the carpet, upholstered accent chairs and even the sepia tones in the artwork.


I really love that the three floor lamps are mis-matched, two are contemporary with a transitional with a shade in the corner. This works because the lamps are more or less at the same height and use the same metal. The mirror finish of the chrome is also present on the cylindrical side table and fireplace surround detail. Pulling the chrome elements together and connecting them to the mirrored wall clock.


The large couch successfully melts into the room by being as dark as the built-ins.  The fine stripe of black and charcoal pinstripe fabric is reminiscent of a well tailored suit. It reinforces the tailored masculinity of the space.


I like the high gloss sepia on black fashion photography. I can’t help but to think of the possibility of objects incorporated in back-lit built-in shadow boxes on either side of the fireplace in their place. It would add more intrigue and more dynamic to the space.


Visions of curling up with a good book beside the glow of the soft flickering flames and a single malt whiskey in this space is alluring and yet it is sophisticated enough to entertain.

Shop now at BurkeDecor.com Egg chair at serenity living stores


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Simple Home Office Space

This Simple set up for the home office desk space moves the desk away from the blank wall to looking out at the view. Reconnecting to the outside while working maybe all you need to change for better positive thinking.

A Sleek Parsons table in a lacquered bone finish is accompanied by a comfortable upholstered dining chair. This gives a casual approach so that you could incorporate a more multi-purpose function yet still has a decorative feel. However, if you plan to spend more than an hour at your desk at a time, invest in an ergonomic desk chair, but for sorting out your bills, checking your emails and what not, this may be right for you.

The same parsons table shown in white with a white study chair gives a modern flair for a student’s small space requirements. Flat screens, laptops and tablets are great space savers. Replacing the artwork with shelving would be a great spot for reference books, desk supplies and pictures of family and friends giving more surface area for reports and homework