Spirited Set of Wall-Mounted Bathroom Elements by A-Cero

A-Cero is perhaps best known for their architecture (and one-off oddities), but has a knack for statement-making interior designs and furnishings as well – this one-off venture into bathrooms, though, certainly befits their style.

The so-called Spirit Collection created for L’Antic Colonial features a set of interlocking pieces that can be arranged like artwork on the wall – a curved glass mirror, white ceramic sink with an independent metal fixture above and organic stone-faced wooden vanity below.

What is perhaps most interesting here is the transition the designers made from their usual architectural fare, in this case blending emotive originality with modular functionality and mass-market availability.


Exotic Curves: Tropical Modern Hilltop House in Singapore

Mixing regional vernacular, local climate needs and a curved contemporary look, this award-winning residence addresses its client desires architectural mandates with an amazing dynamism but strong sense of balance.

Master bedroom and family rooms occupy the third floor to engage views of the valley and ocean below, while resort-style cabana guest rooms sit poolside on the more-private ground level.

On the outside, folding roof forms wrap and overhang breezways, terraces, verandahs, Â porches, decks and roof gardens, blending outside with insight and incorporating passive cooling and structural shading strategies throughout.

Inside, community, entertainment and dining rooms connect to these external spaces, while the most-enclosed areas are used for service and secondary functions (showers, toilets, pantries and the like).

Back and forth, curves shape everything from spatial forms to funnel-like entryways and overhead, ceiling-suspended, recessed-lighting panels, creating a sense of movement and a series of lovely transitions reflected even in the ground-shape forms of patios and pools.

On all sides, Aamer Architects added operable windows, large doors and swinging partitions to take maximum advantage of interior-to-exterior connections and natural ventilation opportunities.


Mountain Abode: Rural Chinese Home Radiates Simplicity

Sometimes, tradition provides the best design solution – and local materials make a good project great. There is no pretension and little decor in this sprawling mountainside residence, but there is plenty of framed natural beauty to more than make up for their absence.

Llixiaodong Atelier designed the dwelling to engage the overhanging mountains as well as regional waterways, all without interrupting these pristine and picturesque surroundings.

Modest stone walls work to establish interior and exterior spaces, zones of openness and privacy, but also draw the eye along their long straight tops toward the horizon. These lines are reflected in flat interconnected clear pools that likewise dot (and join) the property.

The primary dwelling is composed of a series of substructures made of unadorned wood and using unobtrusive metal fasteners, shaping a series of open courtyards in between them that are elemental and reminiscent of Buddhist monasteries with their Zen rock gardens. Simplicity is carried through to basic wooden screen doors and minimalist outdoor and indoor furniture. In short: the home is ultimately quite basic, very Chinese, but somehow universal at the same time.


Scrolling Bookshelf: Modular Scroll-Shaped, Roll-Up Library

Self-adjusting, scroll-shaped ends make space for as many (or few) books as you want to accommodate, all without the need for separate conventional bookends (or even existing shelf space – a window ledge, side table or floor would work too).

Aside from the physical need for support (and place to store spare lengths of the wrapped-up metal bands the hold it together), these end pieces also provide extra semi-secret storage space for pens, pencils or other odds and ends.

Exterior and interior foam padding and plastic shell (in black or yellow) prevents damage to your precious books and softens the look and feel of the Scroll Bookshelf.

Designed by Xin-Hung Lin, Pei-Yi Chiu, Chia-Rung Shu, & Wung-Bing Lin, this is a clear but playful reference to pre-book volumes wrapped up and stored as scrolls, but there is balance, too; it incorporates modern materials and accommodates contemporary book shelving needs as well.


Light Wood, Literally: Glow-in-the-Dark Outdoor Furniture

Not light as in weight nor as in the tone of the wood, this furniture is literally alight from within – bands of bright orange, purple, blue and white layered between slices of wood to create a remarkable look. The stylistic result sits somewhere between high-end craft and luxury contemporary design.

Designed to work as small stools, ottomans, or coffee tables, just imagine turning out the lights and letting these objects be the sole source of illumination for a room – perfect for parties, though perhaps a bit strange and/or overly colorful on a day-to-day basis unless kept to a outdoor garden, porch or patio space that could use some additional nighttime lighting.

The so-called Bright Woods collection from Gruppo Avanzini employs stripes of various kinds of wood with resin infill between each layer. Most are more uniform in color, darkness and grain to give equal weight to both the wooden and artificial elements. Better pack some extra batteries before you buy it, though – at least until there is a viable passive-charging alternative for your light-up furniture objects.


5 Light-Up Outdoor Furniture Sets Glow White at Night

With the increasing ease of manufacturing strong, translucent and curved furniture from recycled synthetics, illuminated furniture has taken on a life beyond mere fad as people find the useful duality of having durable and double-use objects.

Vondom is one company tackling this typology from multiple angles, with sets like the above series of simple chairs, coffee tables, ottomans and flower pots.

They also have more unique forms made from the same materials, such as the above lounger that can balance on both flat and grassy or sandy surfaces.

Their patio furniture gets larger and lighter, too, with items like this light-up barroom table – a cool centerpiece for garden gatherings, cocktail parties or rooftop terraces.

Plust boasts particular softness without sacrificing modern style – cushy armchairs and spongy sofas with some give (and which also give off a nice atmospheric glow).

Solpuri starts with the same translucent-white base as other items in these collections, but layers on a separate adjustable shade and some removable liners and cushions for a more comfortable daybed experience in the sun or shade.


House Cat as Client: Interior Design Inspired by Pet Cats

All architecture has to start somewhere, so why not with the favorite family pet? Designed around the needs of its smallest residents, this compact Japanese dwelling blends fixed needs with fluid spaces for both humans and cats alike.

While various rooms are still divided by walls, a series of interior human-sized windows and door-less transitions are matched on a smaller scale by shelves and room-to-room slots acting as cat-oriented portals.

The feline-friendly shelving also organizes space, driven by and driving other design decisions including the placement of openings, counters and cabinets.

Framed in wood, these simple custom innovations by the Japanese firm Key Operation form another layer of detail that matches the window trims and built-ins found on various floors of the structure.

On the outside, local building codes necessitated dull grey stucco-covered sides but allowed sufficient freedom for unusually-square windows of various sizes (and the ability to paint a partially-enclosed garage a rather garish pink).

As models of the spaces show, there is rich complexity in plan and section enhanced by a playfully-tilted roof. Coupled with colorful illustrations, one can start to see a cat-like meandering in the method of the layout.


Futuristic LA Loft: Like Living in the (Black & White) Movies

Los Angeles has a history of letting technology drive design, but not in a form-follows-function kind of way. Rather, as is the case with this ultra-cool contemporary condo, folks like Frank Gehry, Morphosis and the local students at SCIArch love seeing what three-dimensional rendering and fabrication can do to shape a space itself – and not just the technologies found within a home.

Patrick Tighe architects have taken advantage of high-tech modeling techniques and complex manufacturing processes to craft a set of compelling ‘before’ ?images followed impressive real-life ‘after’ photo series. These techniques are available (and emphasized) in part, of course, because of the proximity of Hollywood – a place increasingly packed with 3D designers behind major motion pictures (animated or otherwise).

Starting with the truly blank-slate space of an empty warehouse, this design solution is perhaps not as extreme as it might first seem – it simply adds a new layer within the old, and focuses on creative interior elements rather than drab industrial surroundings.

And lest you think something so extreme could not possibly be sustainable, consider again the approach: a new and different element placed within the old. Removing it would actually be far easier than undoing a more complex and integrated renovation.

The result is a sculptural, stark-white, space-shaping intervention that wraps, winds and twists its way through a black-box void. It almost seems as if the loft were created less to be a luxury living structure and more as a television or film stage. However, it is in LA, so perhaps that is a perfect fit – the best of both actual residential architecture and scenes from imaginary movies.


OCD Organizers: Set of 7 Modular Desktop Office Products

Keeping things neat and tidy on your home or work desk can be tough, in part because most objects are made independently – different shapes and sizes from different manufacturers.

This series of square-edged tools (titled Buro – the German word for office) from Lexon makes a conventional organizer obsolete, letting you stack or array items in desk-top towers or drawer-slotted rows. Everything lines up in terms of length and height, from traditional tape dispensers, hole punchers, magnifiers, calculators and calenders to the more contemporary external hard drive most modern offices require.

Block-printed labels alongside the edge (as well as an beautiful range of colors and hues) let you easily pick out what you need for a particular task. This may be more than some of us need, but for those who spend all day sitting at a desk, it is nice to feel like everything around you is ready and waiting for, not distracting from, the work at hand.

This is not Lexon’s first foray into matching series and systems of items, though. They have an anodised aluminum-themed series of professional tools, a cute collection of monochromatic colored radios and a diverse bunch of bamboo-based products as well, all commissioned from various industrial designers. Still, while these are all aesthetically related by materials and aesthetic, there is something compelling about the physical interconnections of the Buro office set.


Organic Villa Expansion Transforms South African Cottage

A traditional villa of modest huts forms the core of this home, making the curved addition a beautifully contrasting extension, reaching out into the adjacent forest environs.

Elmo Swart Architects started with a simple gesture – a single arcing steel-framed plane that wraps up the outside of the building, clad partly in permeable bamboo where it forms a lofted outdoor deck.

Local materials inform and soften the stark modern shapes, from packed-earth walls and natural-wood finishes to furniture and furnishings from the old home moved into the new sections.

Inside, the expanded floor plan includes a pair of new studies, a bedroom and a multipurpose entertainment, art gallery and gathering space.

Outside, it hangs over the edge of an partly-underground driveway terminus, cantilevered to both conceal and protect cars parked outdoors below its floors.


Surf & Turf: Wave-Shaped Home Lofted in FEMA Flood Zone

Florida beaches can be beautiful … but floods are far from fun (and all too frequent). This house, however, seems to welcome (or challenge) oncoming waves with a huge sweeping arc of its own.

This impressive mid-sized vacation-and-guest residence is situated on a thin barrier island, straddling a forested strip of Casey Key turf sandwiched in surf on both sides.

Designed by Totems Inc to mimic canoe and ship hulls, glue-laminated pine beams bring wooden warmth to the inside (and reference surrounding oaks) while allowing curves that would be impossible with traditional lumber.

Sometimes the best home property insurance for a flood lies in the architecture rather than a contract. Lofting the main living quarters a story above the ground provides built-in management, as damage is much harder to clean up in occupied interior zones (and mold is a serious issue).

The simple main-floor plan consists of a single bedroom, bathroom, living area and kitchenette – a cozy bedroom is lofted above. Below, steel pilings sunk directly into the ground prevent root-system damage and provide support if the lower level is flooded.