Category: Coastal Style

5 Modern Home Exteriors Tell a Texture Story

Every now and then I like to zoom in on homes and the materials they are made from. This ideabook investigates the textures that may be expressed through concrete, wood, stone, metal and even rammed earth.

The examples that follow move from the macro to the micro, from the distant view into the close-up, showing the qualities that might not be apparent at first glance. Check them out to see if these textures may work for your project, be it the walls of your home, a freestanding wall in your lawn or maybe a partition inside.

Kariouk Associates

1. House in Chelsea, Quebec

The exterior of this house in Quebec is made from industrial concrete blocks. But instead of a running bond or some other stacked pattern, Kariouk Associates composed the blocks into a pinwheel pattern. It makes the boxy exterior appear woven.

Kariouk Associates

Up close the variation from the surface — tough, not smooth — comes. This offers the exterior a few interesting shadow patterns once the sun reaches the right angles. It also demonstrates that feel may come about through the exploitation of the cheapest, most mundane materials.

Cornerstone Architects

This Texas home, made by Cornerstone Architects, consists primarily of two materials: limestone and concrete. Both seem fairly flat and monolithic, though the latter does have a couple horizontal openings occurring on the left side above and beneath a opening in the wall socket.

Cornerstone Architects

This gap, angled back on one side (it is really angled back on both sides, framing a view of the trees), accentuates the plasticity of the poured-in-place concrete. Given that wet concrete is poured into a mould so it can heal, dry and take a form, the material demonstrates the residue of its own formwork. Here flat wood planks have been used, as the “ghost” of these is visible.

Cornerstone Architects

Concrete can be used in this home for the chimney and freestanding walls (detached from the home’s exterior walls). Thus the limestone makes up the walls enclosing your home.

This is an aesthetic option, but it will add to the cost. Obviously, it also gives the walls a finer scale and a softer color than the concrete.

Cornerstone Architects

The limestone is also used inside, accentuating the monolithic nature of the walls (insulating material has most probably been placed between the inside and outside faces, although the wall appears strong through and through).

At this space a few things are evident: The mortar suits the limestone so well, it disappears at a space, and the feel of the stone actually exhibits how it had been created; one can see via the curved outlines how big discs cut through the stone at the quarry.

Imbue Design

2. Buddhist’s Home in Utah

One of the most unique aspects of this Buddhist’s home in Utah is the way the walls appear to grow up from the ground. The home appears to be produced from the rock upon which it sits. This occurs through construction with gabion walls — big stones are stored in wire baskets.

Imbue Design

The feel of gabion walls comes in the colour and size of the stones and the kind of basket — here. While normally used for retaining walls and highway embankments, gabion walls are somewhat well known in buildings.

But provided fire codes, they can not be the principal arrangement (lest the baskets fail and the stones fall), and the stones don’t protect or chalk almost well enough to be used for a key wall.

Within this house they are on the surface of a strong wall that is more typical on the interior. But nothing else out there resembles a gabion, if that is the look you are going for.

The building zone, ltd..

3. Model Home at Arizona

This construction is a sales centre that serves as a model home for a distinctive modern desert improvement in Sedona, Arizona. The dark metal stands out from the desert context, but the rammed earth origins the home in its own place, echoing the bluff outside.

The building zone, ltd..

The combination of stained concrete flooring, wood ceilings and rammed-earth walls generates a feeling of being suspended in the place.

Rammed earth is among the oldest construction approaches; it dropped out of use with modernization but is finding new life as buildings attempt to become sustainable. Obviously, the desert is perfect for the substance, provided its thermal mass and capacity to radiate heat during the cool night after absorbing it daily.

What I like about this particular wall of rammed earth is the method by which the formwork anchors continue to be from the wall, projecting from it like hooks. These reveal the horizontal layers where the wall has been constructed, compacting one layer, then moving the forms to another level etc.

Yamamar layout

In most ways rammed earth and concrete are similar; they approach a similar hardness, however, one is made by compaction while the other is treated. However both are built up from the bottom up (excluding sprayed-on concrete) and therefore exhibit a layering that can be pronounced to lesser or greater degrees. This garage in Portola Valley, California, actually accentuates the flat layering.

Yamamar layout

Up close we can see the banding occurs from stripes of concrete bumped out of the wall. This is the end result of spacing the formwork apart ever so slightly, so the concrete may fill the gap (an outer cover into the shape will keep it from spilling out). It’s an imperfect method; hence a few segments drop off in the procedure.

Yamamar layout

On a negative note, the weapon that parallels the garage appears to be inspired by the concrete (or vice versa) with its less-than-true horizontal pieces.

Vladimir Radutny Architects

4. Loft in Chicago

For the past two examples, we move indoors. To get a loft in Chicago, Studio IDE made a few wood partitions with a wavy pattern that comes in the articulation of wood slats.

Vladimir Radutny Architects

The building of the alternating wood pine strips is more understandable up close, but it is still complicated enough that it is hard to fully grasp what’s happening. A door or wall similar to this would be expensive custom created, but a DIY woodworker would definitely have a burst tackling a similar project.

Bates Masi Architects LLC

5. Home in New York State

The modern-day hearth within this New York country home, made by Bates Masi Architects, is a standout, even as its vertical members replicate the walls and ceiling.

Instead of wood, the enclosure is made from bronze strips that were digitally trimmed and then patinated onsite.

Bates Masi Architects LLC

The strips are actually L-shaped, with the brief leg overlapping the adjacent strip — a shingle of sorts. This literally gives the enclosure some a feel that elevates the hearth to some bit of art.

Texture Talk

Beautiful Construction Materials

16 Architectural Details Which Sing

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Tour Comfort in the Hollywood Hills

Interior designer Jennifer Dyer loves you will find 52 windows in her Hollywood Hills, California, home. Dyer prizes organic light, which most Angelenos take for granted. She loves the way the sun’s rays fill her house throughout the day, which makes her feel like the luckiest girl on the block — despite her distinct block is filled with a few Hollywood heavyweights. “This is an easy house to reside in. It is filled with elegant rooms that are not overly formal and have a very lived-in sense of comfort and fashion,” says Dyer, who was happily involved with the remodel and design process of her house from start to end.

at a Glance
Who livers here: Jennifer Dyer, her fiancé and three Yorkshire terriers
Location: Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles
Size: 2,975 square feet
That’s interesting: Your house is in Outpost Estates, home to celebrities like Ben Stiller, Penny Marshall and Bob Barker

Jeneration Interiors

Red creates its first and only appearance in the front entry, drawing the eyes — and visitors — in.

Door paint: Vermillon, Benjamin Moore

Dyer plays movement in the entryway: The artfully arranged sprigs reach up to the ceiling, whereas the waves in the wall art and also the hide rug seem to extend horizontally, producing tension and a feeling of movement.

Jeneration Interiors

Here Dyer artfully layers neutral shades of white and beige in varying intensities to create an evolved look that’s anything but staid. A mother-of-pearl mirror frame, damask tufted wingbacks, a bronze ram bust and ceramics occupy the same space, which makes the living room a study in artfully blending styles and elements.

Tufted wingbacks: custom by Schumacher

Jeneration Interiors

Although Dyer’s house is suspended in Hollywood Regency and conventional design styles, her accent pieces look to the Far East. A settee in a whispery blush tone along with a luxe incline chair coexist with a lacquer box along with also a canvas painting of Buddhist monks bought at a weekend market in Thailand.

The horned coffee table base and reindeer table lamp are a nod to creature and rustic chic. Dyer has worked antlers, horns and branches to almost every room.

Jeneration Interiors

The pairing of neutral tones with the blues and grays of the bed frame, fabrics and artwork makes a relaxing and relaxing bedroom space. Dyer added subtle pieces of flair to the room, like a gilded arced table lamp that quietly bows its head in the corner along with an elegant antique brushed brass chandelier.

Bed frame: Hickory Chair

Jeneration Interiors

Designer clothing and accessories abound in the walk-in cupboard of this Tinseltown designer, who changed what used to be a bedroom into a shoe and clothes enthusiast’s haven. “I wanted something with a little bit of glamour, so that I did away with the anticipated built-in island also hampers,” says Dyer. The middle table is used as a location to display outfits and makes for a “convenient place to put stuff on when packing for a trip.”

Straightforward white painted wood has been used for the storage and shelving units so the space could easily be turned back to a bedroom.

Jeneration Interiors

The oval claw-foot tub with a view to the lush environment is perfection independently, but what really elevates this bathroom are the light fixtures, which look like crystal lace earrings in this perfectly written space.

Tub: Circe cast iron, Kallista; light fixtures: Cascade wall brackets, Boyd Lighting; accent table: Midi Furniture

Jeneration Interiors

The four-poster bed ups the luxury of this guest bedroom. Although the overall effect of this space is decadent, nothing ever feels overly formal, and you have the feeling that it is perfectly fine to roll around the bed or toss the cushions on the floor.

Jeneration Interiors

“The house was already wonderful to begin with, but it had a few finishing details. Most of the cupboard doors have been broken, the entire space needed new light, and the kitchen had more shelves and functionality,” says Dyer.

The classic milky beauty of Calacatta marble contrasts with the deeper wooden shades of this dining table and chairs, bought by Dyer at the Santa Monica Swap Meet.

Jeneration Interiors

Instead of going daring with big metallic bits, Dyer artfully incorporates brass and gold accents in the dining area; the glimmer in the utensils, chair finish and furniture grabs the eye at different points of the room.

Dining seats: Thomas Pheasent for Baker; table: Artefacto; driftwood lamp: classic

Jeneration Interiors

Earth tones in the industrial-vintage floor lamp base, pub stools and window dressing hot up the pub at the corner of the family room.

Jeneration Interiors

The living room overlooks homage to the Southern California coastline. Swathed in ocean blue, nautical stripes and flashes of crimson, the distance is bathed in sunshine.

Jeneration Interiors

A dreamy cabana with decadent navy blue drapes provides shade and privacy poolside — but Dyer rarely pulls the drapes, because the 15-foot-tall ficus hedges enclosing the home provide plenty of seclusion.

For Dyer, the coolest aspect of this pool area is its own technologies: The light systems and pool controls are concentrated and can be modulated from her iPad.

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Go Global With Kilim Rugs

Kilim. The word, pronounced “ki-LEEM,” conjures visions of exotic nations and tribal traditions, and that’s pretty close to the truth. These handwoven rugs, with their intricate designs and characteristic flat weave, were born thousands of years back in the fields of Turkey (where the best-known kilims include), Kurdistan, Caucasus, Iran and Turkestan. The regional variations, each with its own cultural traditions and symbolism, led to differences in the colours and themes used for the textiles.

Kilims often get lumped in with their Asian and Persian cousins, however, they have a different history and fashion of their own. In technical terms, the most important distinction is the weaving method: Carpets have individually knotted strands bound by wefts to shape the pile, whereas kilims are created by interweaving warps and wefts in an upright loom to create a flat, often reversible design with no pile.

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

Clear as mud? Here’s the takeaway: The flat weave makes kilims light yet sturdy so they can withstand foot traffic better than a traditional rug. And because they’re simpler to create, their price has historically been reduced, though that’s changing as kilims increase in popularity.

Greg Logsdon

Nomadic peoples in these areas crafted kilims in the wool of their sheep they herded and used them in a variety of roles: tent floors, coverlets, screens, sacks, pillows and more. Although kilims for decades were overlooked in favor of pricey Asian and Persian carpets, they’ve caught fire with collectors and homeowners, and they’re moving very quickly from trend to mainstay.

Economy Interiors

Though kilims are ordinarily used as floor coverings, they’re also common in more decorative uses, such as wall hangings or seat upholstery. In this bedroom, a kilim wraps an easy headboard, echoing its partner on the floor. Often, worn or partly disintegrated kilims may be salvaged to work with for smaller pieces, such as throw cushions or seat chairs.

Wish to Inspire

Kilims feature a geometric pattern sometimes complex. That is one reason that they transition so readily from traditional interiors to more contemporary ones: They combine a surprisingly contemporary sensibility with an old-world mien.

Ten June Designs

Since the dyes used for the wool initially came from natural resources, earthy colours — particularly red — are the principle. However, some kilims, particularly newer ones, have a much more limited palette.


Medallions, diamond octagons and shapes appear in several versions. Antique kilim patterns often have special meaning or symbolism, depending upon the rug’s country of origin.

Blackburn Architects, PC

It is not possible to replicate the patina and gravitas of a classic kilim, but recently crafted versions have the same richness of colour and are often less expensive. Locate a respectable dealer in your area who can direct you toward the best purchase for your requirements and price range.

Your Décor: Crazy for Kilim

How to Shop for a Persian Rug

11 Area Rug Rules and How to Break Them

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Decorating Around the World: Easy Living in Australia

It’s mid-winter at New England, and I’m craving the sunshine and wide open space of Australia. Pulling notions from sleek, architect-designed houses and bloggers’ abodes with this personal touch, there is something to tempt every taste.

Come with me on this virtual tour of new, inspired houses from Brisbane to Melbourne, and make sure you wait for the next in this new show when we explore the ingenious apartments of Amsterdam!

Olive & pleasure

This coastal Sanctuary Cove home has a perfect balance of mid-century pieces and new handmade accents. A zing of lemon zest is just the thing to awaken an interior filled with warm woods and white, and a graphic print is always a welcome touch.

Camilla Molders Design

Vibrant aqua paired with red, dark wood and weathered pendant lights makes a bold statement in this Port Melbourne kitchen designed by Camilla Molders. The large windows let in a flood of light in the gardens and invite you to take your meal outside.

Beach Vintage

Take a cue from Brisbane-based blogger Beach Vintage and frame a collection of classic swimming costumes. It’s quirky and charming and would certainly make any guest grin! Or, put your own twist on it by framing whatever private mementos you’ve got available; matchbooks or coasters from holidays would have a graphic allure when framed in a grid.

Sam Crawford Architects

This Sydney home has that indoor-outdoor living thing nailed. French doors leading onto a patio? Check. Cool, modern seating, outdoor fireplace and spacious yard? Check, check and check!

This Melbourne kitchen is a Mid-Century Modern lover’s dream. Eames chairs, a marble-topped Saarinen dining table, and groovy wallpaper that echoes the design of the timeless pendant lighting.

A Beach Cottage

This porch in Sydney is indeed warm, it makes me want to kick off my shoes and settle in with a heap of new design magazines and an icy drink.

Here is a very simple look to recreate in the home: collect a few classic furniture locates (leaving a few with Engineered timber and giving other pieces a lick of white paint), toss in a few striped cushions plus a row of Ikea lanterns, and you’re set!

A Beach Cottage

The beachy vibe continues into the bedroom of the Sydney home, with classic trunks painted white standing at as a bedside table, a linen-covered director’s seat, and old fashioned bedstead. Fresh flowers in a pitcher include a hint of color and create a welcoming mood.

Sam Crawford Architects

Sydney-based architect Sam Crawford created a sense of free flowing movement between inside and outside by installing a wall of windows and large open door in this home. And I really like the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves with library ladder; what a great use of vertical space!

Sam Crawford Architects

An opinion of the same home at the day shows how the space flows effortlessly from 1 end to another. The big, open area keeps from feeling at all cold through the usage of chunky wooden beams, warm tones in the concrete flooring, and aged brick on the exterior.

Secret Gardens

Secret Gardens of Sydney is a creative landscape design company, and if you’re looking for outdoor inspiration, their portfolio is a great place to start. Note how they’ve replicated the color in the flowers in the foreground in the striped cushions of their outdoor armchair above. I know I’ll be maintaining this tip in mind whilst updating my porch this spring!

Sweet William

Paula Mills resides in a sunny Melbourne home full of thrifty locates and handmade flair. I really like the quirky mix inside this dining area; in the classic table and seats to the eclectic artwork display, it’s inviting and creative.

Every area in blogger and designer Vivian Mansour’s Sydney home is covetable, but I am drawn to her kitchen first and foremost. The open plan, large windows, and beautiful tile function create a clean, spacious feel, while the only wallpaper accent adds a more lively note.

Olive & pleasure

Julie of the beautiful website Olive & Joy is a new mother and internet shop owner. I’m completely smitten with Julie’s home, which is located on the coast in Sanctuary Cove.

Her style runs towards blank Mid-Century Modern discovers and graphic artwork, all kept within a rather strict color palette of black and white, charcoal and orange yellowish. I really like the classic bus roll hung on the wall !

Olive & pleasure

That attracts our excursion of Aussie style into a close, but I would really like to hear from you.

Tell us: That was your favorite space? What do you think of when you think of Australian style? Did you find any ideas here you would like to use in your home?

Read more Australian home design:
Sydney | Melbourne | Brisbane

More: 20 Dramatic Beach Houses

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