Wednesday, June 29

Innovative stairs

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I am always on the lookout for interesting stair design, and this staircase by architect Francesco Librizzi definitely grabs attention. It was designed for a 1900’s house in Milan. The client required extra space but did not want the original tiles, windows and doors to be tampered with.

Seems like an impossible task but Librizzi came up with a  simple and elegant solution – his idea was to insert a mezzanine into the double height space and connect it to the ground floor with a 2D frame staircase. Although I like the striking design, I cannot help but think that the stair treads look very uncomfortable. If I were the user, I would certainly prefer stepping on a flat and broad bar. Maybe it's just me, but  I believe that good design has to be comfortable and functional along with being visually appealing.   

Thursday, June 23

Minimalistic white house in Sweden

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All images via Dwell

Thursday, June 16

Traditional meets modern in a Spanish country home

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Dating back to early 1700’s, this house was built in Algaida, Mallorca as a warehouse and oil mill. But by the time architect Durval Dias Junior discovered it, it had lain abandoned for decades and fallen into disrepair. The architect was fascinated with the possibilities that this building offered, he says, "the building retained enough original architectural elements to give it a clear identity". 

He set about restoring these traditional elements using local sandstone to repair the walls, arches of the windows and the staircase. Wooden beams salvaged from the site were re-purposed to make the interior doors. Use of such earthy materials along with the elegant architectural austerity, few ornaments and open spaces pay a warm tribute to the sober Mallorcan village houses. 

The Spartan industrial backdrop compliments the minimalistic interior style perfectly. Durval has used modern furniture and a soothing palette of earthy colours and natural materials like wood, stone and iron. An unadorned concrete floor unifies the space and accents of red provide the final flourish to bring it all together.

All images via Nuevo Estilo

Monday, June 6

Having fun with Marimekko!

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I just love Marimekko. More so because the company is always looking for ways to encourage people to have fun with their products – be it through the craft book Surrur or the Marimekko tribe. These initiatives help bring people together in a positive way.

Such an initiative was planned for the Marimekko space at the International Design Festival Berlin held from 1st-5th of June 2011. There were interactive workshops on each day of the event under the theme of “Why Not Together”. These explored the different seasons, as they play a special role in Finnish society and affect how Marimekko creates products.

Each day was marked with a change in mood and atmosphere – with a long table laid out with seasonal fabrics. Different activities were planned for each day, inviting people to create using Marimekko fabric off-cuts. 

Etsy’s local Berlin office also participated with an activity of their own using the same fabric off-cuts. The Marimekko table was an intense area of concentration with people spending from 20 mins to a few hours creating bags, ornaments, jewellery and even voo-doo dolls.

All images courtesy Marimekko blog.
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