Simple Luxury at a Retreat

For many, luxury means opulence — rich carpeting, chandeliers dripping with crystal, and silk cushions. For others, luxury is all about simplicity — with less sometimes means you get to enjoy it more. This home in Österlen, Sweden, is a perfect example of the latter. The home was once an abandoned farmhouse, which the customers found in a terrible condition. However, the location in the summer beach town could not have been better, or so the family recruited Jonas Labbé and Johannes Schotanus of LASC Studio in Copenhagen to redesign the space.

The customers, a couple from Stockholm with 2 kids, were operating with a limited budget, so Labbé and Schotanus chose to stay with a very simple substance palette, re-inventing the farmhouse by opening up the space and blending traditional and modern elements. The end result is clean, minimalistic, and just luxurious.

Here it is before the family moved in with their own furniture, allowing you to focus on the property’s architecture .

LASC Studio

The homes in this area are often built in a style that is robust, using a central courtyard to protect residents from the spacious and subtropical atmosphere. While the customers were aware of what a traditional Österlen house looked like, they wanted something that would permit them to enjoy the outdoors.

LASC Studio

Labbé and Schotanus chose to maintain the original windows and flooring, but they eliminated nearly 2/3 of the walls within the home to open the room and give it a more lofty feel. They also installed more large window openings using window frames that dissolve in the plaster, which makes the glimpses of their outdoors seamless with the rest of the house.

The group at LASC also chose to add a renovated 1960s Danish stove. The gorgeous bit adds a rustic and authentic touch.

LASC Studio

The group chose to maintain the material palette quite minimal. Very little was utilized out of walnut planks, concrete, and white plaster. “We translated this as a struggle to rethink and play the notion of refuge,” Labbé says.

LASC Studio

Although bright pops of bold orange and blue are sprinkled throughout the house, the colors are usually straightforward and bare to replicate the landscape outside. While the pale palette connects with the outdoors, the orange and blue accents throughout the home were created as elements of comfort and nostalgia — they remind the customers of their time they spent living in China and of the summer days they spent in a nearby beach.

LASC Studio

The orange and blue are used mostly in transitional spaces, and seem to peek out and disappear again as you walk throughout the house.

LASC Studio

From the very start, they chose to infuse the 1,130-square-foot house with a look that they described as”immaterial luxury” Simple pine planks line the walls and flooring leading up the bold blue staircase.

“This is a very unpretentious house,” says Labbé. “It attracts the focus of luxury back to being about simplicity and experience.”

LASC Studio

Upstairs, a hidden door lends a playful and unexpected element to some light-filled bedroom . The pine door blends right in with the paneled wall, revealing a burst of neon orange when opened. “We like working in this manner — finding solutions and expressions that seem both familiar and unexpected,” Schotanus says.

LASC Studio

After the door to the bedroom is left open, the main living room downstairs is visible — making the home feel very much like a loft. The main aim for the group was supposed to open up the house as far as you can. While part of the process was removing some portions of this structure, it also involved re-inventing the current house by opening up windows and doors from the original walls.

LASC Studio

True to contemporary style in Sweden, product and decor is kept very straightforward and sparse. However, the area is heated up by natural sunlight pouring onto rustic and cozy pine paneling.

LASC Studio

Among the customers and LASC’s favourite parts about this endeavor was that the washing house connected to the main house. Both structures were created in precisely the exact same manner — a traditional exterior structure that has playful and contemporary ideas mixed into its design.

LASC Studio

The group wanted to make sure that the beauty of this Österlen countryside will be as present from the bath house because it is in the primary house. The shower floor was made from wood so that when the shower is switched on the noise of water falling on timber recalls the natural world outside.

LASC Studio

The tub was put towards the other end of the bath house, in front of a sunlit window. The seat underneath the window is warmed concrete. The easy design puts an emphasis on the view and creates a more blurred transition between the indoors and the outdoors.

More Tours:
Hey, Where is the Furniture?
Mobile, Modern Farmhouse
Scandinavian Style with a Twist
DIY Glitz and Glamour in Sweden

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8 Methods to Design a Better Shower

We went off for a long weekend and stayed at a wonderful condo with a view of the Gulf of Mexico. However, as fine as the condo is, the shower layout left lots to be desired. The controls were put in the wrong location, the shower head was set too low to get a taller person, the clunky glass door was all wobbly and unattractive, there wasn’t a location for soap and shampoo, and more. Thus taking a shower wasn’t enjoyable in any way.

What bothered me most about this was, with just a little forethought and no extra price, the shower may have been quite great. There was considerable space and a lot of natural lighting in the bathroom. My guess is that the shower wasn’t nicer simply because the builder and designer did not consider the shower in any way.

Here are 8 tips on how best to prevent this when you choose to remodel your bathroom.

Jamie Herzlinger

1. Right sizing. I hate showers that are too small and therefore are claustrophobic. When we were children, it is like those showers in summer camp. For if I was 10 but not now, Fine. So to get the best size I will ask customers to stand with their arms outstretched and then turn into a circle. This circle will be the minimum size shower the client will want. If you have the area, a good rule of thumb to follow is that the shower ought to be a minimum of 60″ by 36″. Of course the shower can get larger as we include things such as a bench or other feature.

ASID, Christopher A Rose AIA

2. A simple reach to the controls. Another pet peeve is when the shower controls are placed such that I have to walk in the shower to turn the water off or on. That initial burst of ice cold water getting me wet is something we could all do without. Setting the controls at a place that is can be obtained from outside the shower area is simple and well worth the few feet of extra piping.

Andre Rothblatt Architecture

3. Bench. Whether this is a place to sit down and relax (especially if it’s at a steam shower) or a prop that enables you to easily shave your legs, benches are essential elements of a well designed tub. This bench, set where the is the least ceiling height, which makes the shower even more usable and fun.

ZeroEnergy Design

And, lest we forget, shower seats could be fun.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

Shower benches can also be made to fold to be from the way too.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

4. A location for soap and shampoo. A small, recess from the shower wall with a shelf or two works magic when there are numerous bottles of shampoo, conditioner, conditioner and more. Size the niche to accommodate the tallest bottle you’ll use and be sure that you slope the shelf towards the shower to allow it to shed water easily.

MN Builders

5. A deluge of shower heads. From the conventional, wall mounted head into a rain head to body sprays to hand held showers, there’s an amazing wealth of shower heads available today. Just make sure that there’s enough hot water and water pressure to accommodate all of these. Definitely a tankless hot water heater near a shower like this can come in handy once the showering goes for awhile.

Gelotte Hommas Architecture

Or if the handhelds are in conflict.

6. Keep it glowing with natural lighting. Showers don’t have to be in the darkest corner of the bathroom. But when they are, put in the distance to brighten up.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

And use a glass door the light filters into the bathroom.

Neiman Taber Architects

Or just a skylight when there’s no window.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

7. Consider an open shower. You desire another shower and bathtub but you simply have a narrow, tight area. Consider an “open shower” that puts the bathtub after the shower, as revealed here.

John Lum Architecture, Inc.. AIA

8. Go curbless. A curbless shower is not only for those with difficulty getting around. A curbless shower can turn the whole toilet into a showering room.

More shower layout inspiration:
Your Shower: Make Room for a Bench
Step Into a Refreshing Outdoor Shower
The No-Threshold Shower: Access With Style

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12 Ways to Warm Up Your Patio

If there’s one tough point to say goodbye to in the end of summer, it’s outdoor entertaining on the terrace. However, with certain additions, there’s hope for extending your patio usage into late autumn. Some require a larger investment like a roof or heat lamps, others a kinder on the pocket, like candles. Or, if you reside in a warmer climate, a couple of design tricks for “warming up” your terrace for the season also have been included in the following ideabook. Here is to patios no matter weather!

Elizabeth Dinkel

Add a rooftop. Whether you choose a permanent, yearlong structure or a seasonal canopy, a roof over the terrace will help include warmth in the warmer months. If you are able, wire it with lighting to prepare it for fall’s sooner setting sunlight.

Brian Watford Interiors

If you do add a roof, circle it with curtains. You can easily block a breeze once it becomes overly cold, plus, visually, their addition will present your covered terrace a tropical cabana feel.

Build a fireplace. This one is quite obvious, and will alter the way you experience your terrace.

Kirkpatrick Design

If a fireplace is too big an investment, or your terrace just does not have room, light each seating area separately with small, portable candles. You will benefit from comparable warm lighting without shelling out big bucks.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

With all the cool gadgets nowadays, you can also create a small firepit directly in your terrace table. Just be careful when reaching for the salt!

Straight Line Landscape

Heating lamps can heat a substantial area, helping your whole patio stay cozy despite dipping temperatures.

Kaufman Homes, Inc..

If standing heat lamps seem to big and daunting, consider a more discrete version, similar to this heater installed in the ceiling.

DuChateau Floors

Though you’d never know from just taking a look at the picture, these wooden floors are heated. Engineered flooring can work wonders for a terrace, keeping your feet and space additional snug.

Baysix Design

If you are one of the lucky ones who resides in a warmer climate, you may not have to worry considerably about cold temperatures invading your terrace. However, you may wish to visually warm up your space for the winter season. Peppering your patio furniture with blankets and cushions can allow it to look extra cozy.

Scot Meacham Wood Design

In dryer climates, think about adding a rug under your furniture, particularly for stone floors, which is cooler. The carpet is going to likely more comfortable on bare feet and floor the appearance as a whole.

COCOCOZY

Warm up your furniture with upholstered cushions. Blogger Cococozy, who made this terrace, upholstered the cushions in heavy-handed linen backed with Sunbrella to defy the rain and snow of cooler months (she leaves her cushions out all year).

Hint: Cococozy suggests propping outdoor cushions in their sides when not in use: If it rains or snows, the water tends to drain out instead of build up inside the pillow.

Huettl Landscape Architecture

Texture adds visual heat. I really like the smart use of tall grasses facing the cement wall.

Add texture through tablescapes and mantle decorations. Even the look of rattan furniture can help to heat up the room.

Busybee Design

This terrace has it all going on: comfy cushions, a cozy rug, throw pillows galore and plenty of hot texture.

CG&S Design-Build

Of course, the greatest addition to some “collapse” patio? A hot tub. The perfect spot to unwind, star gaze and enjoy a cool, winter evening.

More: Read ideas for outdoor fireplaces

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Guest Groups: Halloween Style for Your Kitchen

Instead of funny decorations in materials that won’t last beyond Halloween, embed the holiday at the color and style of your everyday. Black and orange and ghostly clear are amazing colors that complement the Halloween theme but still get the job done for the rest of autumn too.
I want some fun during the month of October, and such pieces bring it won’t lose my focus from year to year. A number could become a part of your area indefinitely. I think of Halloween since the beginning of the entertaining season. Invite some folks over for a Halloween dinner to observe the magical transformation going on in your kitchen.
Halloween sometimes comes out kitsch, but these pieces may keep your cooking, dining and entertaining classy all month — and season — long.
— Mariko Jackson from The Little Foodie

Amazon

Kosta Boda Mine Large Black Plate – $40

The wisp of black on this gorgeous serving plate feels like a mist or cloud on a Halloween night sky. This makes a stunning piece for any dinner.

Urban Outfitters

3-D Faux Chandelier – $39

This very simple light decoration makes your dining table haunted and gothic without the massive expense of a true chandelier.

Amazon

Barbuzzo Candle Carver – $6.14

I adore this takes a very simple apple and leaves it a source of light. This may be even be used for smaller pumpkins. I really could find uses for all these candles throughout Christmas.

Crate&Barrel

Vine Pumpkins – $5.95

These beautiful vine pumpkins would sit well on your kitchen island on the dining table as a centerpiece. I enjoy the tone of the vine as contrasted with the standard orange of Halloween pumpkin decorations.

Amazon

Fondue Set, Orange Enameled Pot – $64.95

To get a dinner or dinner, put a cauldron on your desk and get to delicious dipping. Heat chocolate or cheese such as a witches’ brew!

Chef Tools

Le Creuset Braiser Buffet Casserole – $184.95

My favorite cookware is flexible enough to go on the stove top and from the oven. I’d use this for stews, curries, braising meats or any reassuring long-stewed dish you can consider. Inside this color it provides a bright spot to your dinner table.

Crate&Barrel

Spider Cupcake Holders, Set of 6 – $9.95

Display your Halloween cupcakes with dash. These spider cupcake holders add a little spooky to your Halloween celebration. I bet some of these would walk off!

Pottery Barn

Pumpkin Serving Bowls – $32.50

Whether filled with soothing soups or candies for grabbing, I’d make use of this pumpkin serving bowl season long. It has a natural color and grain that I prefer in an autumn setting.

Crate&Barrel

Marimekko Kumina Orange Napkin – $8.95

Stylish table napkins with wrought iron autumn squash blossoms. I adore the arch stalks that cut through the colors of orange.

Fitzsu

Iittala Taika 5 computer. Set in Black and White – $156

The detail on these dishes could sit in well on a fall afternoon tea party. The white and black is tasteful and just slightly spooky as a result of the hooting owl.

InvitationBox

Here are some darling invitations you could use for your Halloween dinner celebration. I love the detail in these types of pumpkins almost as much as I like paper.

Amazon

Riedel Sommeliers Black Tie Bordeaux Grand Cru Glass – $117.95

Just barely accented in black. You might swirl around a fancy drink for striking effect.

Amazon

Halloween Creepy Creatures Glass Markers, Set of 13 – $9.95

These fun suctioning ghouls and goblins will help you find your drinking glass in your next Halloween party — which is, if your kids do not steal them!

Starck

Starck Louis Ghost Chair in Clear

Are you currently sitting or are you floating? Even though the expense places these on a “when you win the lottery” wishlist, a set of these stylish Victorian ghost seats are really fun on Halloween. (Plus, you can get miniature chairs to the kiddie table!)

Etsy

Delicious Nigiri Sushi Baby or Toddler Costume – $60

These sushi infant outfits are great enough to eat in a costume party. The wasabi/ginger headband accent is the sweetest aspect of the ensemble. I’ll take all of them.

Anthropologie

Tea-And-Crumpets Child’s Apron – $24

Bring your little one into your kitchen to get an afternoon of Halloween baking. I wish they had one in my size.

Sur La Table

Tangerine Hand Mixer – $49.95

What better way to add to your cooking style than with this tangerine mixer? The color is inspiring for some Halloween cookie baking.

Nordic Ware

Pumpkin Patch Pan – $41.50

I crave pumpkin desserts all the month of October (and let’s face it, way beyond that). These would be ideal for individual pumpkin cakes or breads.

Williams-Sonoma

Kuhn Rikon Pumpkin Knife – $24.95

Carving pumpkins is difficult and dangerous. This knife should help me reduce squash and pumpkin easily, as well as split for Halloween.

Amazon

Totally Bamboo NewBoo Black Silicone Spatula – $11.54

The modern woman’s magical broom. I love the wooden dark-grained handle along with the sleek look of the heat-resistant silicone spatula.

Next: Decorate for autumn and Halloween

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