Kitchen of the Week: Industrial Design’s Softer Side

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 10.45.06 AMDark gray cabinets and stainless steel mix with warm oak accents in a bright, family-friendly London kitchen

The style was pretty well set when kitchen designer Jane Powell created this kitchen for Phoebe and Nick Bryans and their three kids. “Phoebe had a clear vision of what she wanted, which was design-led with a slightly industrial feel, using stainless steel and brick,” Powell says. But in addition to aesthetics, the functionality and atmosphere of the space were crucial too. “It had to be a relaxed family area,” Powell says. “Friendly and warm, not at all clinical, and somewhere that reflected the family’s personalities.”

Phoebe Bryans came armed with a mood board of images, and she and Powell worked closely together to design the space. “Her ideas were very much on the pulse of current trends,” Powell says. “One tear sheet she had featured an open shelf on an island, so we incorporated that here.”

Staircase is Like an Indoor Frozen Waterfall

walnut-waterfall-staircaseThis cascading set of stairs in a Mumbai home is a perfectly executed example of architecture that mirrors nature. The wooden treads flow and curve to resemble a peaceful frozen waterfall.


Designed by Mexican studio Arquitectura en Movimiento, the staircase is defined by continuous curved engineered walnut strips that connect the wall, the treads, and the floor without interruption.


Near the bottom of the staircase, the treads are inverted U shapes, almost like raised benches on the floor. But as the stairs progress up, one end of the treads continues up to form the top portion of the staircase.curved-waterfall-wooden-staircaseThe stairs are functional, but they are also very much like a large, striking sculpture in the middle of the home’s living area. The staircase is framed by a double-height window, and its airy design allows all of that natural light to filter further into the home.

Folding Designs Make the Most of Your Space

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 9.41.38 AMLook to furniture and doors that fold to increase usable living space without crimping your style

Remember folding tables? Many of us grew up with one in our homes. It had a simple design: Its two leaves could collapse down, leaving just a narrow central worktop, with legs neatly stowed beneath. When folded up, it left masses of space free, but could be flipped open to create a dining table to seat the whole family. What’s not to like?

Today this simple concept has been expanded and improved upon. Now folding designs crop up in every room of the home. From doors that fold away to reveal a pantry in a galley kitchen to ingenious flip-down storage, the foldaway concept works in both small spaces with confined dimensions and stylish bigger rooms with a streamlined look.

Here are 10 great ways to use designs with hinge benefits.



Casa Rambla is a spectacular weekend house designed by Chilean studio LAND Architects. Located on the seafront in Zapallar, a town close to Santiago, the idyllic seaside residence has an harmonious connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, making the most of the scenic location. The open space property features glazed walls on all sides so the living areas can be either completely enclosed or opened up to the elements.

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Coastal Home Captures Every Inch of Ocean View


Set on the coast of Chile, the Catch the Views House from LAND Arquitectos was designed to perfectly frame the beautiful seascape and landscape surrounding it. Volumes are stacked one atop another, like playfully stacked stones at the beach.

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The exterior of the home is colored to match the stones at the beach, and the home’s volumes are arranged on the hillside in a way that lets them capture as much of the surrounding natural beauty as possible.


The home’s interior is similarly arranged around the goal of “catching the views.” Oversize windows, a long terrace, and unlimited sunshine make this coastal home almost unbelievably bright and airy.

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The Future of Backplashes

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 7.28.56 AMGrout is out. Continuous sheets of glass, stone, metal and porcelain are saving cleaning time and offering more looks than ever

Ask a kitchen designer about the future of backsplashes, and the response will be “seamless.”

Seamless materials, that is. High-maintenance surfaces are on their way out, being replaced by continuous, easy-to-clean finishes without joints, grout lines or any other places where grease and grime can collect. And the benefits aren’t just janitorial. When paired with hidden outlets, these new uninterrupted surfaces offer a wealth of design possibilities.

9 Ways to Make Your Home Office Fabulous

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 12.31.59 PMWhen your workspace is as unusually beautiful as these, inspiration and motivation are never placed on hol

There’s no rule that says your home office has to be a fun-free, functional space kitted out with a standard desk and run-of-the-mill swivel chair, and that’s your lot. In fact, how thoroughly rewarding would it be to head to work and step into a color-packed, glamorous room bursting with personality and pizzazz? There would still be a place for your computer, printer and files, natch, but the room itself could be just as much a part of the decorating jigsaw as the rest of your interior. Who knows? Your daily 9-to-5 might suddenly look very inviting…

Rio House Will Blow Your Mind

al-house-studio-arthur-casas-10This spectacular residence was designed by Brazilian Architectural studio Arthur Casas. Located in Rio de Janeiro, the 5,200-square-foot dream house is set around lush vegetation and over the iconic landscape clinging to a slope of the Pedra da Gavea dome. The house features floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels that open onto an amazing infinity pool with breathtaking views of the dramatic scenery. 

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13 Upgrades to Make Over Your Outdoor Grill Area

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 7.47.02 AMKick back on your patio or deck with a grill that focuses on fun as much as function

When the weather cooperates, there are few meals more pleasant than those you can enjoy in your own backyard. The fresh air and hot grill have a way of conjuring a vacation mood — even if you are only grilling up a quick weeknight dinner. Get inspired to make over your grilling zone for luxurious outdoor dining with these 13 ideas.