Eco-Friendly Ranch House: Hupomone Ranch

hupomone-ranch-tgh-architectsThis beautiful eco-friendly ranch was developed by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects. Located on 160-acres in California’s Chileno Valley, the Hupomone Ranch is owned by a young family with three children that had the dream of building a barn house that would reflect their commitment to sustainable farming. The main house spreads over 2.498 square feet and the interior has a close connection with the outdoors, the stunning light-filled open living area and huge slide away windows open directly to the garden, inviting a healthy, happy and conscious family life.

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A House Built for the Long Term

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 11.18.39 AMThe designers of this one-of-a-kind home made the most of its challenging location to deliver enduring comfort and style

When you’re building a house you don’t plan to ever leave, it’s smart to incorporate maximum comfort and easy access into the design. The owners of this new Melbourne house wanted a warm, practical place in which to live that would look as good in the years to come as it did the minute they moved in. They hired BG Architecture to come up with a modern design that incorporated sustainable practices and materials, would accommodate their needs as they grew older and would also suit their live-in adult son and visiting grandchildren.

Use The Force: Star Wars House

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Designed by the team at Korean architecture firm Moon Hoon, this Star Wars inspired dwelling is the beginning of a trend in Korea. This trend sees residents moving away from small apartments in the city, and into larger, detached homes in less densely populated areas. One quick glance at the home’s spaceship like facade, and you know exactly how it got its name. Geometrically, the Star Wars house has almost the same lines as the Sandcrawler from the beginning of A New Hope, but the exterior has a texture that is closer to the militaristic gray skin of the Death Star. Moon Hoon says that the house was designed for a young South Korean family looking to upgrade from an apartment to a small residential home with a garden for their children to play in. On the inside, Moon Hoon’s design is a little less evocative of the George Lucas aesthetic: it’s bright, open, and modern. It contains a few playful elements, like a playroom hidden behind a bookcase and a short slide between floors, but the white walls and combination pine-and-birch woodwork are otherwise pretty conventional. According to Moon Hoon, the Star Wars house cost $200,000 to design and build. Not a bad price for a home, let alone a piece of a galaxy far, far away.

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Good Fences, Good Neighbors — and Good Views

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 7.27.19 AMSee-through vertical fencing connects a yard with its surroundings while keeping children and pets safely inside

Good fences make good neighbors, Robert Frost instructed. Good fences can make even better neighbors when they keep the vistas and sight lines open, even as they establish a boundary. The fences below masterfully set property or area limits while maintaining permeability. In place of an imposing, solid mass of wood or stone, these modern constructs allow outsiders visual entry into the space and enable those inside to view the surrounding landscape, maintaining a relationship between outside and in.

While many of the fences here are custom jobs, they demonstrate that materials in a range of prices can be effectively used. The key is the spacing of the verticals. They can be left wide open for border plants to wander through, or placed more tightly to keep children and pets in and deer out. They can be anchored belowground or set into low walls. When done properly, they become a sculptural element all their own, blending style and function.

10 Living Room Touches to Bring to the Bath

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 11.40.58 AMGo ahead, borrow those bookshelves. Unexpected elements can boost interest and comfort in your bathroom

When you’re designing a bathroom, there are many decisions to be made — marble or ceramic, shower or tub, vessel or pedestal sink, brass or chrome? The list goes on. Not to stress you out, but there’s yet another design option to consider when designing your bath: the living room.

Stay with me here. By borrowing furniture, lighting, rugs, architectural elements and even plants from the rest of the house, you can add incredible interest to your bathroom. I’m talking an antique chest for linen storage, a crystal chandelier for romantic lighting over the tub or a built-in window seat for relaxing. Borrowing elements is a good way to add a personal touch and set your bath apart from the rest. Here’s are 10 ideas guaranteed to pique your interest.

12 Stylish Kitchen Counters That Seem to Float in Space

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 11.38.39 AMTake your culinary zone to new heights with a cantilevered countertop that’s visually appealing and practical

Want your kitchen countertop to be the hero of your new cooking zone rather than relegated to the background? One way to do that is to look beyond the basic block-like counter and incorporate acantilevered, or floating, countertop into your kitchen design instead. Here are 12 cantilevered counters that not only offer showstopping style but also enhance functionality and create the illusion of more space.

Window Wizardry: 7 Clever Approaches to Privacy

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 12.56.41 PMDo you want more privacy without losing your view or feeling boxed in? Take a look at these creative building solutions

Creating privacy while letting in light and views can be an issue for many suburban homes. We often see frosted windows or deliberate screens as the only method of dealing with the issue. Luckily, we now have design alternatives that not only offer privacy, but also look good while doing it.

22 Spectacular Stairs Make Climbing To The Second Floor More Fun

22-Beautiful-Stairs-That-Will-Make-Climbing-To-The-Second-Floor-Less-AnnoyingWe featured spiral staircase photography that already proved that even something as mundane as stairscan also be absolutely stunning. We decided to amplify on that theme and showcase you the 22 coolest examples of staircases and step design that we picked for your viewing pleasures.

Possibly one of the most vital non-aesthetic design elements of a staircase is space. If the architect ordesigner can’t determine a great way to make use of the gap under the stairsthey are going to take upa lot of space for no good reason at all. If you want to find the best stairs for your house check out  our 22 hand-picked photos of beautiful stairs for your inspiration.

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A Home Designed to Make Work a Pleasure

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 7.36.50 AMA house built for working, cooking, gardening and entertaining opens to the landscape while offering shelter from the summer sun

If you’re going to work from home, you want it to be a home in which you like working, and that’s exactly what these homeowners set out to create when they embarked on building their house in far northeastern New South Wales, Australia. With help from architects Sarah Aldridge and Jason Trisley of Space Studio, the couple created a home that would meet their needs for work, rest and play.

“Both clients carry out consultancy work from home, so a good home office space was an essential part of the brief,” Aldridge says. Their children live a distance away, and tend to visit infrequently but for longer periods, so it was important to the clients that they had a separate space for them. The guest bedroom has plenty of storage and its own en suite bathroom, and a refurbished onsite guest cottage is well used. The home office doubles as an additional guest space.

The owners are excellent cooks and gardeners and enjoy entertaining, so in addition to a kitchen and a butler’s kitchen, the architects designed a generous covered area next to the back door with gardening tool storage and a sink for washing vegetables picked from the garden.