Intelligent Interior

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Facilities inside the conference room where wood table and recliners are equipped

Conference Hub

Inspiration, incentive, and information for the chosen design direction–art deco, as typified by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann–came from perusal of the Field Building’s decry studded street-floor lobby and from research at the Art Institute of Chicago. Speaking in tandem with design co-director Carol Penfold Patterson, Luzietti cites furniture styling, patterns, colors, and textures as being prime carriers of the chosen theme.

conference/dining facilities for a Dutch bank in Chicago

conference/dining facilities for a Dutch bank in Chicago

Its initial impact strikes visitors as they step from the 43rd-floor elevator landing and turn to face the circular vestibule.

This is where first and most formative impressions are made, the spokesmen note; hence their resolve to celebrate the act of entry. Among prominent art deco designs attracting attention are the carpeting a la Ruhlmann, whose “simple and sumptuous art” wowed the crowds at the Paris Exposition of 1925. (He died eight years later.) The rug’s large central circle echoes the rotunda’s ceiling; smaller swirls relate to the six portholes in macassar ebony doors. And the double-drum chandelier takes after its prototype in the building vestibule.

Both ceiling light and door windows are made of nickel and glass. Since the VOA contingent prefers that architectural scaling be larger than interior norms, the ceiling diameter is 20 ft. whereas the rug’s midpoint medallion measures 16 ft. across. Cornices and overhead detailing are among other replays of decorative embellishments seen in the public lobby. Seating could be at home in any well-appointed 1920s/’30s drawing room. A leafy fabric covers the wall in front of a small (fourth) meeting room.

Convertible Conference Hub for Other Purposes

convertibility of large conference hubs into entertainment areas

convertibility of large conference hubs into entertainment areas

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Manhattan House

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Bathroom and sleeping space

House structure

Located in Manhattan’s wholesale flower district, the 2,200-sq.-ft. loft is atypical of its breed since it boasts oversized steel sash window admitting good views not only front and back, but also to one side. The rear portion’s structural irregularities could have been deemed ungainly, and its “dog legs” at both ends might have been written off as useless.

Here, however, the back space is splendidly utilized for the master bedroom at one corner and a flexible study/library/occasional guest space at the other. It was the designer’s intent to smooth the rough edges of the core zone and, within, to accommodate the loft’s two main and service entries, master and guest bathrooms, laundry, part of the kitchen, and storage.

living room and guest space with sleeper sofas

living room and guest space with sleeper sofas

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Drab to FAB; Inspired by the pages Of magazines, Jack and Tracy Ford designed a flatpack Ikea kitchen So beautifully, it belongs in the pages of a mag! ‘ Here’s how

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Kitchen green spaces: The kitchen is now more a part of the outdoor entertaining area and backyard with recliners and coffe table for relaxing

JACK AND TRACY Ford put up with their ‘ “awful” kitchen in their 1960s-style Sydney home until a friend suggested they move to the kitchen to the playroom at the rear of the house. Brilliant! Not only did they get a new kitchen with new furniture, but a new lifestyle. “We use this space all the time, even for relaxing. We select best recliners located near windows with gree space as rest places for our whole family. – it’s everything we’d hoped for and more,” Jack says. Making the move meant additional structural, electrical and plumbing installations, but opting for an Ikea kitchen meant the project was affordable. Jack and Tracy followed these steps to create their DIY kitchen – problem-free!

Renew your old kitchen with Ikea furniture

The old kitchen space: Renew your old kitchen with Ikea furniture

1. DECIDE WHAT YOU

Want to achieve.

What do you want and need from your kitchen and will it work within the space? Study the room: note the pros, cons, traffic areas, where people gather, which kinds of table and chair set, and the best view or light source. If it’s not big enough, too dark or not ideal for entertaining, look at stealing space from adjacent rooms, adding windows, doors or skylights or moving it to another location. If you’re changing location, try to use the old space while the work takes place.

Space for kitchen: stealing space from adjacent rooms, adding windows, doors or skylights

Space for kitchen: stealing space from adjacent rooms, adding windows, doors or skylights

2. COLLECT

Dippings

Create a moodbdard to get a feel for how the look of the space will work. If you know what you want, combine images, colours and materials to see how they fit. If you’re finding your look, for inspiration go online for home advisors or recliner reviews (blogs, flickr) or to magazines, friends’ homes and showrooms. “We wanted a lot of white to brighten the whole house and to create a clean and uncluttered space, but with a special feature like our Spanish-tile splashback and red island-bench panels,” Tracy explains.

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Make Over The Media Room; Been putting off organising home entertainment central? Maybe it’s time!

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Home entertainment equipment organisation

Organizing Home Entertainment Central

Make Over The Media Room; Been putting off organising home entertainment central? Maybe it’s time!
TECH EQUIPMENT gets cheaper by the year. Take Blu-ray players – they give razor-sharp movie images and super sound and can now be bought for under $150. And the humble DVD player? Why, you can pick one up for 20 bucks! Other items become more and more feature-packed while increasing in quality but reducing in price. 3D televisions, for instance. Two years ago you’d have been mad to buy one, but the latest models have significantly improved 3D picture quality and can be very affordable.

Home entertainment equipment organisation

Home entertainment equipment organisation

Many TVs now also let you stream content (like pictures and video) wirelessly from equipment such as computers and movie cameras, and access web content, such as Skype and YouTube. You can even record shows from some TVs by simply inserting a USB stick. And some makers (LG, Samsung) have teamed up with providers such as Telstra BigPond and Yahoo to deliver on-demand movies, etc. Continue reading

Christmas ALL Wrapped Up; It’s celebration time! We’ve put our heads together and come up with a Santa-sackful of ideas to help you celebrate this festive season

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Make it beautiful

Krafty Proposal

So simple, so effective. We made our kraft paper Christmas tree by cutting out identical triangles from two rolls of 15m kraft paper and sticking layers of them on the wall using Blu-Tack. For the stars, we used dress-pattern paper from Spotlight. After cutting out the star shapes we pinned several layers together and attached them to the tree with double-sided tape. The trunk was made with an inner cardboard tube from a roll of cling wrap, and stuck to the wall with Blu-Tack. Presents – wrapped in kraft paper and dress patterns – were scattered at the tree’s base. Scissors, paper tree! Beachy Nautical

Make it beautiful

Make it beautiful

What better typifies an Australian Christmas Day for many than a visit to the beach or a run around in the boat? We’ve brought the colours of the sun, the sand, the surf and the sea into the living room with our neutral and natural decorating palette, and added a touch of the nautical with our anchor decorations – painted white – and the smart blue and white striped cushion covers.

Our colour scheme has been offset with a splash of traditional Christmassy red. And in true laidback Aussie style, we’ve casually strung – across the doorway and window – a length of ribbon, on which we’ve hung a selection of greeting cards. Christmas has never looked so relaxed!

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Holiday At Home; Head outdoors on Christmas Day and take your furniture – and family – with you! Check out our themed outdoor rooms and get the party started

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moving your indoor furnishings outside

WHEN THE SUN is shining there can be nothing better than enjoying a festive lunch or afternoon soiree outdoors. Taking the celebrations outside doesn’t have to mean a barbie on the beach or a picnic in the park. We’ve found three creative ways to transform your backyard or balcony into the perfect alfresco entertaining area – from a relaxed Moroccaninspired lounge, to a cool and contemporary cocktail party. But before you grab the cocktails and canapes, it’s time to get creative!

exotic GARDEN PICNIC

Create a luxurious garden lounge by moving your indoor furnishings outside! Our elegant oversized sofa, Persian-style rug, and assortment of ottomans give this outdoor space a laidback Boho vibe with a Moroccan twist. A scattering of comfy floor cushions come in handy as extra seating and work well with the theme. We added a little festive flair with large red letters spelling out the word “NOEL”.

moving your indoor furnishings outside

moving your indoor furnishings outside

For a twist on tradition the Christmas pine tree was swapped for a palm and its branches decorated with lengths of ribbon (see “Make”, left). The decorative ribbon drapes not only create a striking shady spot to sit under, but it gives the outdoor room a lovely whimsical feel as the evening sun glimmers through the streamers.

A wicker basket comes in handy as a spot to store gifts, while accessories like the ornamental birdcage give our garden lounge a real “room” feel. Of course, no gathering would be complete without food – or friends. So grab a platter of tasty nibbles, a bottle (or three!) of wine and enjoy a leisurely garden picnic with friends and family. Cheers!

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Classic Christmas in Atlanta style Home

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Design a livable space for a house

A mixture of antique and reproduction furniture

During their 1963 honeymoon, which included days at Colonial Williamsburg, Rosemary and Harold Youmans say they took more photographs of architectural details than they did of each other. Their interest in 18th-century, style is today as strong as it was then. Rosemary, a former schoolteacher turned full-time homemaker, and Harold, an insurance agent, live in a one-and-one-half-story brick Georgian-style house in Vinings, Georgia, just north of Atlanta, with their son, David. Their home is decorated with a mixture of antique and reproduction furniture. At Christmas, heirloom ornaments bedeck the Christmas trees and toys from David’s childhood add to the festive look.

mixture

In 1992, Harold heard through a friend about a new development of 18th-century-style homes being built in Vinings. “We already had a Williamsburg-style home outside of Atlanta, but Vinings just seemed the perfect place to build a dream home,” says Rosemary. The location offered easy access to the Chattahoochee River and several Civil War sites of interest to the Youmans. Called Highgrove, the development is set on three-and-one-half acres lined with pin oaks, with a small commons at the center. Each of Highgrove’s 12 homes features a different, but traditional, architectural style.

Specific vision for a house

The couple worked closely with the builder, Cornerstone Associates of Atlanta, and the firm’s residential designer, William T. Baker, who specializes in historic American architecture. “They had a specific vision for their house and were inspired by Williamsburg’s George Wythe House and the Red Lion Tavern,” says Baker. Details such as narrow dormers, a pair of end chimneys, six-over-six windows. and a wood shingle roof were modeled after the restoration’s houses.

The couple’s house is built on what Rosemary describes as a “postage-stamp” lot, 65 feet wide and 117 feet deep. The structure was designed to accommodate a formal garden in the back. The Youmans maximized the landscaping by planting flowering shrubs in the backyard and adding a rose arbor, based on one at Williamsburg, along the side of the house.

Rosemary did all the decorating, mixing 18th-century reproduction furniture with Colonial Revival and earlier pieces. She relied on William Baker for specific 18th-century-style interior woodwork details.

“We put in cornice moldings in the first-floor rooms and wide heart-pine flooring throughout the whole house,” says Baker. The arched niches in the living room are exact copies of Williamsburg models, down to the height and width of the shelves. During their many trips to Colonial Williamsburg, the couple was impressed with the varied color palettes of the interiors. Notes Baker of the pair: “They knew the right colors to use for the period and weren’t afraid to break away from white.

Livable home space design: a challenging part

“The other challenging part of the project was the Youmans’ request to make the basement as livable as the first-floor space,” explains Baker. The designer put in large windows at the back of the house, which is built on a steep slope. A concrete floor was scored to look like expensive tile. “You can get a rich look without spending a lot of money and it looks just like tile,” Baker says.

Design a livable space for a house

Design a livable space for a house

Rosemary and Harold still enjoy collecting antiques. “When we went on our honeymoon, we had very little money, but we bought a dainty fruitwood chair in Tennessee for $20,” says Rosemary. “That was really when our collecting began.” They are always on the lookout for early 19th-century English porcelain, tole, and have begun collecting Staffordshire figures. The couple also enjoy decorating their home for Christmas. “It’s probably when we are closest as a family, and it’s a joyous time of year,” says Rosemary. She specializes in making 18th-century-style garlands, cones, and table arrangements with pomegranates, pineapples, and other fruits. “It’s the time of year when I want to entertain and share our home with friends and family,” she says.

Tai and Rosita: designing Missoni for the future

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How did furniture design change?

Furniture Design: How did it change?

We had no responsibility in the beginning,” Rosita Missoni remembers, her tone leaving it uncertain whether she thinks those times better than these. She is watching her husband Tai, who is at the other end of the long dining table in their home on the family compound at Sumirago, Italy, playing with the couple’s first grandchild, Marguerite.

How did furniture design change?

How did furniture design change?

“Much of the business is being taken over by machines,” she continues, as if musing about the passing of the horse-drawn cart. But, regaining her focus, “the creative part of it is still in our hands.”

Over the past 30 years, Tai and Rosita Missoni–Italian fashion’s George and Martha Washington–have seen their knitwear business grow from five workers and three hand looms to a $30-million-a-year business. Now, they have responsibility.

Creativity is still in our hands

In the beginning it was something else altogether. The Missoni story reads like the most hopelessly romantic Harlequin novel. Ottovio (Tai, for short and for always) was born the son of a sea captain and a Dalmatian countess. He fought in the great battle of El Alamein during World War II, and was captured and kept in an internment camp until the end of the war. Ever the athlete, Tai placed first in Italy in the 400 meters hurdles race and went on to the London Olympics of 1948, where he placed as a finalist. It was during the games that Tai met Rosita, an Italian studying in London. They were married five years later.

computer creates a difference

computer creates a difference

Somewhere in all of this hazy romanticism, they began to produce knitwear. Tai Missoni had begun his fashion career producing wool track suits and athletic uniforms, and he even outfitted the Italian light athletes, football and basketball squads for the London Olympics. With his marriage to Rosita, the focus changed to women’s knitwear.

But all that was in the beginning. And even though Tai and Rosita may look backwards with fondness at those early years, they are calculatedly taking their company into the computer age. Video and computer technology are next.

As a harbinger of things to come, their spring/summer women’s collection shown in Milan in October treated press and retailers to a look at the future: From behind a backdrop with the Missoni name carved out, a bank of 50 video monitors projected blowups of the fabric being shown on the runway.

Luca, the couple’s 27-year-old son, is the Missoni’s master of computer wizardry. “Years ago, it took at least three days to try a design,” Luca explains, warming up his terminals and video monitors in one of the factory’s design studios. “Now we can program a design into the computer, and the tape can be read by the looms. You get instant design and it is easy to make a modification.”

Furniture design with computers

Furniture design with computers

Luca demonstrates with a pattern from the current collection, changing colors and even drawing new patterns simultaneously on top of the old. Luca becomes totally immersed in his gadgetry and mumbles to himself, “maybe it’s better with more blue.”