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The No-Rules Approach
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by Christiane Lemieux 



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Entries in Architecture (16)



There's nothing ordinary about this stunning mountain home set in a beautiful Dutch nature reserve. For starters, part of the house was embedded beneath a manmade hill by Amsterdam-based Design Studio Denieuwegeneratie, with a decor that follows in the footsteps of its eccentric architectural style. The offbeat choice of furniture and accessories in the Dutch Mountain house, as they call it, is exceptional yet a little on the wild side—particularly the vintage Jaguar-turned-bookcase-cabinet that stands tall in the kitchen. Talk about being bold and unpredictable.

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A Surgery Project

In residential projects, multi disciplinary international design and ‘Think Tank’ firm de-spec believes that architecture, interior design and decoration must reflect the clients and their style of living. Following this concept, they've created a series of projects referred to as “Surgery”. The projects basically fragment the floor plan and change the flow of a place to re-construct a relationship between the rooms more specific to the owners' needs and lifestyle. This renovation of a 3000 square-feet New York City home is of one of a series of 11. This particular surgery transformed a classic prewar apartment into a 4 bedroom home with eat-in kitchen, office, living and dining rooms, a library and  plenty of wall space to display their extensive art collection.

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Shaped for Work

How about this for a garden home office? The Tetra Shed is an innovative modular building system designed by London award winning architecture firm Innovation Imperative. This revolutionary concept is ideal for work, rest or play space for the home. If one is not enough, they've been designed to work in clusters and be used for many other purposes such as classrooms, corporate events or even retail space. They're suitable for year-round use as they're built out of clad in either copper, zinc, corten steel or marine plywood and internally lined in either birch faced plywood or plasterboard. There's no doubt this funky shed would be the envy of your neighbors.

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Inside Cloud 9

By looking at this ultra modern single family residence in Fitzroy, Australia, you would never imagine that it once operated as private horse stables back in the 1830s. The renovation by Andrew Simpson Architects is quite astonishing. They led the rather interesting project of converting the historic building into a high tech and environmentally sustainable home to meet their clients' needs. They named the project ‘Cloud 9’, making reference to the 1896 International Cloud-Atlas in which cloud No. 9  was the biggest, puffiest and most comfortable-looking. The kitchen, which is beyond belief, is literally the heart of this home where all the living spaces converge into a central area.

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Floating In Style

One of the first things I remember catching my attention when I visited Amsterdam last October was the amount of houseboats along the city's winding canals. They're very coveted real estate and they vary in style. I've always had the idea that houseboat living was casual and free, but after finding the very slick De Omval houseboat I'm starting to change my mind. The challenge for Dutch Studio +31Architects was to design a boat with an open floor plan that would allow their clients to enjoy the views of the Amstel River and the outdoor space to a maximum. They wanted all the charm that comes with living on the water but with a stylish design to meet their modern needs — not the typical houseboat they were used to. I've never considered living on a houseboat, but I have to admit this one might do it for me. It is absolutely flawless.

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The New Man Cave

My, my, talk about shoebox living. When I came across this article in The New York Times, I couldn't help but share it with you. I was amazed by these tiny structures built by Derek Diedricksen, a former comic book writer who makes a living doing carpentry in Stoughton, Massachusetts. He builds these micro structures in his backyard using discarded materials like shipping pallets, castoff storm windows and scrapped kitchen cabinets from his neighbor, keeping his budget to under $200. “The $100 Homeless Hut” was the first structure he built to see if he could build a homeless shelter for under $100 (It measures a mere four sq. ft. at its base and is four feet tall). These are very unique alternatives for a man cave. Now, if you want to read the whole story on Derek and his wonderful microhouses, go here. BTW, if you haven't already done so, enter this week's giveaway here. You can win a beautiful eco-friendly Icelandic sheepskin. Happy Friday:)

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A Summer Cottage in The City

I'm telling you, one can find just about anything through Craigslist. Even this 1899, 2-story carriage house that German architect Thomas Warnke was lucky to find in the listings. After much frustration looking for a home he liked, he turned to the infamous Craigslist where he saw an ad for what would become his nest in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn, NY. The fact that the property was in need of some TLC was the selling point for him. Being an architect, I'm sure he wanted to create something very special by putting his personal touch. The idea he had was to make this property a contemporary version of a vacation cottage in the city since he couldn't afford to own a Summer home. Basically, that's how his design concept for his home came about — and was very well done indeed.

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Andalusian Treasure

Voted the prettiest village in Andalucía, Spain, Frigiliana is a town known for its maze of narrow cobbled streets lined by whitewashed houses, their wrought-iron balconies and planters filled with brilliant red geraniums. Although the structure of this gorgeous home keeps its traditional style, the interior has been completely modernized. Playing with its organic anatomy, the owners achieved a harmonious balance between the historical features and the modern furnishings. I adore the mix match of styles, especially the red leather Mickey Mouse chair sitting in the foyer — the perfect protagonist for the space.

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