When you imagine a trip to Bali, you may think first of lying on white sand beaches in the shade of tall palms. But a bit away from the water is where the magic can really happen. The jungles of Bali are rich with greenery and wildlife — and if you’re lucky enough, you may even find yourself at one of the island’s most luxurious estates, nestled right into that jungle. The home featured here is just such a retreat. Featuring a sparkling clear infinity pool, an outdoor bath, and plenty of indoor space for the long and luxurious evening of a vacation, this home is a true treasure, as you’ll see in the photos from photographer Daniel Koh.
We all know that styles are cyclical and, of course, the world of interior design is not exempt. The best aesthetics will be popular again and again. Right now, mid-century-modern design is making a comeback and, if you ask us, it’s for good reason.
What is it about this aesthetic that keeps us coming back for more over half a century later? We’ll tell you why mid-century modern will never really leave us — and how to work the style into your interiors while making sure they are rooted in the new millennium. After all, sometimes the old way of doing things really is the right way.
What Is Mid-Century Modern?
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Mad Men, you’re already familiar with mid-century-modern design. In fact, the term was coined in 1984 by author Cara Greenberg. She used it to discuss the signature looks of the 1960s in her book Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s.
Though the moniker has become a bit broad in the past few decades, it’s most commonly used to refer to the styles that became popular in a post-World War II landscape. While there may be a few variations, most people agree that this time period extends from 1945-1969.
Interestingly, this style doesn’t just refer to aspects of interior design. It is commonly used as a descriptor for any architecture, furniture, accessories, materials and technologies that grew in popularity after the end of the war.
It Showcases Simplicity
When you look at design projects that follow a mid-century-modern style, the one thing you won’t see is tons of excess. Rather than requiring a bunch of ornate embellishments, the mid-century look is all about stripping items down to their barest elements and letting their function become the star.
Keep this in mind when it comes to choosing the items that will fill your space. Look for furniture that has clean lines and, if needed, multiple uses. Stick to décor items that are modern or geometric in their aesthetic.
This concept should also be taken into account when it comes to designing the layout of your space. Rather than cluttering up the room, focus on choosing one strong focal area that will dictate the room’s function. For example, consider using a statement table in your dining room or creating an inviting seating area in your living room. Then, don’t be afraid to step back and allow negative space to play a key role in your design.
It Lets Us Play With Color
Of course, when you focus on bringing simplistic shapes into your space, it becomes necessary to add a layer of visual interest elsewhere. The mid-century-modern look does that by incorporating bold pops of color. Brooke Schneider, a designer based in Long Beach, Calif., explains it best:
“When homeowners think ‘color,’ they often think of the bright hues of the mid-century time period. With clear, cheerful colors, the 1950s exhibited a new American outlook of optimism that was comfortably removed from the drab war years.”
Don’t be afraid to go big with shades like blueberry, citron or fire-engine red. Just be sure to avoid mixing multiple loud colors like they did in that time period. Doing so might make your space look more outdated than retro-inspired. Instead, focus on tempering one colorful statement piece with more neutral hues to ensure a modern twist on this style of design.
It Connects Us With Nature
Since mid-century-modern design is all about simplicity, it makes sense that this school of style would harbor a strong connection to nature. In particular, those who are looking for ways to embrace sustainable design may be interested in what this aesthetic has to offer.
First, it’s important to consider how nature can affect the layout of the space. In mid-century architecture, large windows often play a key role. But anyone can work off those principles by making windows the focal point of your space whenever possible and making sure that they stay unencumbered from heavy drapery.
As for the design elements to fill your space, focus on choosing items made from natural materials such as wood, metal and leather or cotton textiles. Don’t be afraid to bring the outside in by adding greenery to accent your design.
There’s a reason why mid-century-modern design is present in our consciousness after over a half-century since its debut. Whether it’s the clean lines, bold colors or connection to nature, this school of style is currently making a big comeback in interior design.
Mario Martins Atelier designed this swimming pool at a home in Portugal, where the design intention was described as “simple with a quiet presence, and where the natural vegetation, of almond and carob trees, typical of the Algarve countryside, predominates.”
Photography by Fernando Guerra FG + SG
Loft apartments always have a distinct feel. Their openness, combined with their usual amounts of streaming light, makes them instantly appealing for most urban dwellers. Who wouldn’t want more light and a sense of more space in what’s usually a more crowded area? But lofts can also feel a bit cookie cutter, especially when the original space has been mass-converted to support loft living. A dozen or more lofts with the same feel and layout can feel stifling. This loft, designed by Indot, takes the idea of a traditional loft and plays with it using geometry, color, and texture. Don’t think that lofts are just limited to red exposed brick and neutrally painted walls.
From the very first time you enter the Long Dune Residence, you know it will surprise you with a modern floor plan enhanced by carefully designed details. The architects warn that “little is revealed until entering the house through a tall glass door that emerges as one approaches the house“. Imagined by Hammer Architects, the modern summer home rises in a summer vacation community in Massachusetts, known as Truro.
Perched on a coastal bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, interiors absorb panoramas of natural surroundings from behind revealing floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. This permanent visual connection to the outdoors brings glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean deep inside and encourages owners to relax and enjoy their modern summer home.
Photos by Peter Vanderwarker reveal how the abundance of natural light filters through framed windows. Gleaming water views mirroring the atmosphere outside are captured like live transmissions from nature. Additional views of the Pamet River and a fresh water pond, together with tall trees complete the inspiring natural setting. Mirrored on the inside, this natural order appears mingled with the home’s sleek design lines.
According to the architects, “the entry side of the house appears very solid with its wood clad walls and narrow strip windows enclosing the bathrooms, outdoor showers, stair, and laundry room. Little is revealed until entering the house through a tall glass door that emerges as one approaches the house. Once inside, the living and dining rooms, which occupy the building’s center, open to the dramatic water views through a floor to ceiling glass wall that features large sliding doors connecting to a multi-level outdoor deck.”
The contemporary architecture is spiced up with a linear floor-plan “broken” by a screened porch where owners and their guests enjoy meals with a view. “One wing of the house provides the guest bedrooms, while the other wing, which is rotated forty-five degrees in plan, contains the master bedroom suite. A screened porch with a referential kite shaped roof occupies the intersection of the two geometries providing views in all directions.”
Embedding active and passive solar design, the modern summer home supports and encourages a healthy lifestyle. Once you know how to plan home activities for your summer guests, a modern summer home will make its way to your summer wish list.
A three-bedroom home can be the perfect size for a wide variety of arrangements. Three bedrooms can offer separate room for children, make a comfortable space for roommate, or allow for offices and guest rooms for smaller families and couples. The visualizations here show many different ways that three bedrooms can be put to good use with stylish furnishings and unique layouts.
For small families, a two bedroom house is almost the ideal. Here are some of the 3D floor plans and lay-out designs we gathered for you to choose from and to get your ideas somehow.
23o5Studio completed the design of BQ-17 Residence, a contemporary home located in an uncrowded neighborhood of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The design was adapted to the living needs of a couple and their three children, while taking in consideration the laws of urban planning. Local legislation required to leave 2.5m (8ft) front and 2m (6.6ft) behind the house, which somewhat challenged the initial plan of developing the construction more horizontally. According to the project developers, the solution was to “build interleaving spaces, which have different foolproof, placed around a central vertical space”, thus creating voids and connections between rooms.
Minimalism is the key feature of this residence; yet, quite a few elements stand out: “Seen from outside, the house has simple lines, yet strong enough to combine cubes as a sculpture. Lot of squares, with different sizes and free layout, joined with graceful greenery to attract people and make them curious about entering inside. The squares become highlighted from the front door to the central block. They do not only get natural light for the house, but also create an aesthetic effect at night.” By employing wood extensively for the furniture elements, doors, floors and central staircase, the designers achieved a welcoming family atmosphere-have a look! [Photography by Quang Tran]
Photography courtesy of A.D.D. Concept + Design
Farmhouse by A.D.D. Concept + Design (Farmhouse by A.D.D. Concept + Design)
Built on a coconut plantation outside of Mumbai, India, on the Arabian Sea, Studio Mumbai’s Palmyra House is a place of refuge, not only from the city but also from people (houseguests possibly included). The 3,000-square-foot setup is split into two wooden louvered structures, each constructed using local traditional methods and wood. One building contains the living room, study, and master bedroom; the other houses the kitchen, dining room, and guest bedrooms. And should the occupants be feeling convivial, there’s a long, thin pool, perfect for swims together while sharing the expansive views out to the sea.
Hanway, C. (2015, May 27). Architect Visit: A Louvered Beach House on the Arabian Sea: Remodelista. Retrieved June 3, 2015, from http://www.remodelista.com/posts/architect-visit-a-louvered-beach-house-on-the-arabian-sea-studio-mumbai-palmyra-house
I spent the first 18 years of my life occupying Harry Potter–size quarters in an otherwise spacious house—and feeling as if I was the lucky one. And though I’ve since gained a bit more elbow room, I’ve been gratified to watch the tiny house movement mushroom in the past decade. (And yet frequently let down by the twee hippie-gnome lairs that await beyond so many downsized front doors.) More architects ought to join the downsizing crusade—but, fortunately, enough have that the seeds of first-rate minuscule design have been planted. Here are some standouts, many of them from Remodelista and Gardenista’s own greatest-hits archive.
N.B.: One man’s hut is another’s palace. We tend to be generous in our definition of tiny: Our selections here range in size but most are under 300 square feet.
Guralnick, M. (2015, May 20). Small-Space Living: 13 Radical Tiny Cottages. Retrieved May 21, 2015, from http://www.remodelista.com/posts/small-space-living-13-radical-tiny-cottages-designed-by-architects?utm_source=Remodelista/Gardenista Subscriber List&utm_campaign=d26f58a198-Remodelista Daily Mail Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_447a717cea-d26f58a1
It is always fascinating to observe Japanese architecture in its most flexible sense. Fujiwaramuro Architects have completed the design for Narrow House, a project that seems to defy the laws of space, located in the downtown residential area of Kobe, Japan. The total area of the site of 36.95 square meters meant a good challenge for the architects, which ingeniously built living space vertically.
Despite its name, the inhabitants can enjoy their space, just like in any other horizontally-developed residence: “The slatted, drainboard-like floors on the first through third floors are connected to the slatted tables, stairwell and skylights, allowing sunlight to reach right to the bottom of the house. Three-dimensional gaps and holes in the visual field eliminate any sense of a two-dimensional spatial narrowness, or sensation of being fenced in“. Would you consider living in a home like this? Except for the lack of courtyards, we have to say we fail to see the disadvantages. (Lavinia)
“Flexible Modern Architecture: Surprising Narrow House in Japan.” Freshome. N.p., 28 Mar 2013. Web. Web. 30 Mar. 2013. <http://freshome.com/2013/03/28/flexible-modern-architecture-creative-narrow-house-in-japan/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed: FreshInspirationForYourHome (Freshome.com)&utm_content=Yahoo! Mail>.
Photography by Todd Mason/Halkin Mason Photography.
For artist Diita Hoeber and her historian/writer husband Frank, home—an open, white, minimalist loft located in a former window factory—is where they work and live; all 3,000 square feet of it. Their secret to keeping it pristine and orderly is a smart storage system designed by Philadelphia-based architecture firm Qb3.
According to Patrycja Doniewski, a Qb3 founding partner, “the storage and display cases delineate the floor plan like chess pieces; each responding to the activity of the space it demarks.” How’s that for smart?
Who doesn’t love a white loft space? (Hanway)
Hanway, Christine. “Strategic Storage in a Minimalist Loft .” Remodelista. N.p., 21 Mar 2013. Web. Web. 24 Mar. 2013. <http://remodelista.com/posts/strategic-storage-in-a-minimalist-loft?utm_source=Remodelista/Gardenista Subscriber List&utm_campaign=b3824d11fb-Remodelista Daily Mail Campaign&utm_medium=email>.
(Photography by Daniel Tejo and Adriana Edith Sierchuk)
Barrionuevo Sierchuk Arquitectas have designed the Agua House in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
From the architects:
The site is 2.000sq. meters (21,530 sq ft), facing the Northeast, looking at the Canal Arias river, in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. It has 450sq meters (4,840 sq ft) and it is designed for a couple without kids, with, in the ground floor, a program of very big reception areas, that opens and closes by very big wooden sliding doors that hides into the walls.
In the first floor are the Master Bedroom and another small bedroom for guests.
The house is designed based on two stone walls (made of Laja Neuquen) that interact all over the house. The colour of the stone is the origin of all the color pallet of the house.
The landscape all the time gets to the building across it’s big crystal facades.
The light transforms the house along the day.
“Agua House by Barrionuevo Sierchuk Arquitectas.” Agua House by Barrionuevo Sierchuk Arquitectas. N.p., 18 Mar 2013. Web. Web. 19 Mar. 2013. <http://www.contemporist.com/2013/03/18/agua-house-by-barrionuevo-sierchuk-arquitectas/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed: contemporist (CONTEMPORIST)&utm_content=Yahoo! Mail>.
Located in the historic district of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill town, the GK House sits on a 1.5 acre site sloping from east to west. Accessible via an easement through an adjoining property, this imposing structure gathers wood, stone and glass in a contemporary display of architecture. Originally part of the Coker Estate, where amateur botanist Dr Coker composed a distinctive collection of plants derived from his experiments, the house sits surrounded by woods and greenery that offer an original outdoor experience. Constructed after the sketches of Raleigh- based Kenneth Hobgood Architects, the residential structure replaces the original house that burned down to the ground and took part of the vegetation down with it. Collaborating with landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburg, architects managed to revive the grounds and compose a bright, cheery and stylish set of interior and exterior spaces, as you can see in the photos. (Teicu)
Teicu, Ada. “Replacing a Burned Down House Surrounded By Experimental Vegetation: GK House.” Freshome Design & Architecture. N.p., 12 Aug. 2012. Web. Web. 12 Aug. 2012.
Check out this beautiful work by photographer Petra Bindel, for Swedish brand Stringfurniture, her work is crisp, bright and showcases classic Scandi-style interiors at their best. Bindel’s work has consistently appeared in Elle Interiors and Elle Decoration magazines, popped up in Dwell, and appeared across billboards and book jackets.
With 16 years in the business, the photographer has worked with some of the best stylists in the business to build an impressive body of work, about which she enthuses: “I don’t think there is anything more fulfilling than to work with talented people. It’s inspiring and the feeling of creating something together drives me forward and makes me want to do more”, and indeed she is prolific.
The pictures we see here of the String® system–a range of versatile shelving combinations that provide bespoke storage arrangements–exhibits the products in rich imagery, full of depth and clarity, and framed to perfection; the simple lines of the furniture take on an artistic, architectural quality, full of balance and careful geometry.
See more of Petra Bindel’s stunning photography portfolio, and read about her current inspirations, news, and impressive endeavors with a glittering list of industry greats on her blog: www.pertabindel.com. (Home Designing)
Home Designing, . “Photographing For Catalogs: Petra Bindel.” Home Designing. N.p., 05 Apr 2012. Web. 6 Apr. 2012. <Photographing For Catalogs: Petra Bindel>.
House Tour – Lindsay’s Modern Bohemian in Silver Lake
Name: Lindsay Marcus
Location: Silver Lake — Los Angeles, California
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 8 months — rent
Lindsay’s lovely bright apartment sits on a hill in Silver Lake and serves as a home and music studio. New to Los Angeles, she was lucky enough to find a bright airy space to hold all her vintage finds and East Coast memories.
Lindsay wanted to move into a home that embraced the Los Angeles sunshine and offered a sprawling view. She explained she was thorough in her search and needed enough room to work from home. As a musician and composer she has set up camp with all her equipment right in the living room. Lucky for her, the built in shelves and desk offer alternate ways to save space and in return gain more storage. “Most of what I have in my apartment I brought from Brooklyn. That said, the interaction with the outdoors is much more pronounced here, and the arid climate inspires you to open your home more to the outdoors and incorporate natural elements in one’s designs.”
When starting all over in a brand new home, there are many ways to approach your design. For Lindsay the most essential part in designing a home is “being aware of how the pieces and colors in your home work together as a whole.” I believe that what she has created is a home that honors the memories she’s carried along the way. Even some of her treasured art pieces are tiny notes or mementos. Mixing vintage, flea market scores and modern decor — she has a cozy, warm space to dwell in.
My Style: A mix of mid century modern and bohemian.
Inspiration: Brooklyn, old treasures, the hills where I live.
Favorite Element: The items in my home that were given to me by friends, and the various items that remind me of different stories and periods of my life.
Biggest Challenge: Creating a space with style and finding pieces that resonate with me and work within the overall scheme while remaining within a smaller budget. That said, I love the challenge and excitement of finding great pieces and accents on a dime.
What Friends Say: I love your place!
Biggest Embarrassment: My love seat. I brought it with me when I moved to LA from NY because I thought it better to have something than nothing… but I still haven’t replaced it. Hope to soon.
Proudest DIY: I designed my dining table with a wonderful craftsman who lives in the east village in NY. We worked together on all of the specs and dimensions, and I love how it came out.
Biggest Indulgence: Fresh flowers.
Best Advice: Take your time collecting pieces you love.
Dream Sources: My dream sources are my current sources – basement finds, thrift stores/vintage furniture boutiques, flea markets, and local artisans.
Nauert, . “Lindsa’ys Modern Bohemian in Silver Lake .” Apartment Therapy . N.p., 21 Nov 2011. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/tours/lindsays-modern-bohemian-silver-lake-home-house-tour-161349.
Simple and cozy … from loft to the barn, from city to country living.
Small ideas are about finding and using hidden spaces and choosing furniture that does more than one thing. It’s about being creative, a little rebellious and doing what you dream about no matter how much or how little space you have. And we think that is a pretty big idea.
- Making space to be together in a small apartment
- Building a walk-in closet in a small bedroom
- Transforming a small living room into a room for everyone
- Creating a small kitchen that can handle your biggest recipes
- Finding your own space in a shared space
- Squeezing a small laundry room into a small bathroom