Large cozy cushy-looking armchair was inspired by the huge mooring ropes used for ships

We often underestimate the importance of a great armchair, especially in our living rooms. When in reality, we shouldn’t. The right armchair not only serves as a comfy and ergonomic seating option but also adds a certain depth of character and personality to the living room. An excellent armchair functions as the perfect spot to lounge about, have a snack, and or chill while interacting with your family and friends. And one such armchair that you should consider adding to your living space is the Knitty Chair by Nika Zupanc.

Designer: Nika Zupanc for Moooi

Designed by Slovenian designer Nika Zupanc, the Knitty Chair is a bulky and chonky armchair that takes inspiration from the large mooring ropes for ships. The huge armchair features a chunky basket-weave design that mimics a knotted rope. The chair has been upholstered in a knitted fabric that features a quilted diamond pattern and is available in 15 different colors.

“It was inspired by these very big ropes with which very big ships are tied to the ports. It is trying to change the perspective on things, playing with the scale that we are used to seeing in our everyday lives,” said Nika Zupanc. The lounge chair looks extremely comfy, and cozy, despite featuring a pattern similar to knotted ropes. The designer says that the industrial settings in which these ropes are found really boost her imagination.” I really like forgotten parts of any city, suburban industrial zones that are usually a little bit melancholic. I love this kind of sadness that you can find in them, and they are full of details,” she said.

Zupanc designed the massive armchair for the brand Moooi, which champions and encourages young emerging designers to produce and display their work without influencing their vision. The end result of Zupanc’s unique vision is a visually interesting armchair that has been layered with depths of personality and character. Of course, the Knitty Chair’s aesthetics arent for everyone, they’re quite bold, and won’t work for those who prefer a more simpler and minimal style. But for those who love to experiment, and add loud and amusing pieces to their living space – the Knitty Chair is an impeccable choice!

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Marc Newson’s Cabinet of Curiosities turns Louis Vuitton trunk into display shelves

I’m about to embark on what will probably be my longest travel away from home. While I’m pretty excited for it of course, I’m also nervous about the luggage situation as I always bring a lot of things with me and pack light is a foreign concept to me. I feel like I want to bring all of my creature comforts as well as make the place I’ll be staying in for three weeks as home-y as possible. The idea behind this newest collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Marc Newson is to have luggage and modular cabinets for the modern (and rich) traveler.

Designer: Marc Newson for Louis Vuitton

The Cabinet of Curiosities (not to be mistaken for the Netflix series) reimagines the iconic traveler trunk from Louis Vuitton and turns it into something that is not just storage for your stuff but something that can be turned into a display of the stuff that you brought along with you. On the outside, it looks like your typical monogrammed traveler’s trunk but the magic happens when you open it and assemble the storage cubes and all the items you want to store and display.

Each trunk comes with 19 colorful and modular storage cubes which you can arrange according to your mood or preference. The trunk can be displayed upright with a 180-degree opening while some of the cubes have a hinged door in case you want to keep some of the objects hidden inside. The bigger ones are just shelves where you can display books, figurines, sculptures, and other knick knacks.

The Cabinet of Curiosities comes in three colorways: VVN natural leather, yellow, and if you want to have more colorful shelves, there’s also a tricolor made up of red, blue, and green boxes/shelves. Obviously, this is not something that you will use to actually travel but it’s an interesting trunk to bring along with you when you need to turn into a cabinet and display your life.

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Studio Vaaro reconfigures House M using built-in storage volumes

Teal fireplace with oak bookshelves above

For the renovation of a house in Toronto‘s West End, local firm Studio Vaaro added minimally detailed millwork to form kitchen cabinetry, the staircase and a feature bookcase in the living room.

Studio Vaaro‘s overhaul of House M, a three-storey detached property that had been renovated and extended multiple times over the years, involved reconfiguring the layout to remove the awkward subdivided spaces.

Ground floor divided by pale blue storage volumes
The ground floor of House M is partitioned by storage volumes laid out in a diamond formation

“Our clients were a professional couple with two young children, who were looking for flexible and resilient spaces that could accommodate their home offices, overnight guests, and the changing needs of their growing children,” said the studio.

“We, therefore, developed a spatial concept based on ‘functional volumes’, in which well-proportioned spaces are partitioned by blocks of storage and service functions.”

Kitchen separated from dining room by pale blue partition
The pale blue-grey volumes provide additional storage space for the kitchen

These built-in storage blocks partially partition four rooms on the ground floor while keeping an open flow between them.

Laid out in a diamond formation, all are coloured pale blue-grey to highlight their function against the otherwise white walls.

Kitchen with oak cabinetry and marble countertops
In the kitchen, oak cabinetry contrasts with the marble countertops

“The large amount of built-in storage ensures the rooms themselves are free of clutter and ready for use,” said Studio Vaaro. “In line with the family’s personalities, colour and playful details abound.”

In the entryway is a coat closet that hides the view of the living room behind, where an oak bookcase sat atop a teal powder-coated fireplace covers almost an entire wall.

Oak staircase with built-in bleachers and white guardrails
Bleachers are built into the oak staircase, offering a display area or extra seating

A powder room is placed between this space and the kitchen, also forming additional cabinet and counter space within its volume.

Further kitchen storage sits in front of the dining room, and another closet is tucked under the doglegging staircase.

Bedrooms viewed through deep portal doorways coloured dusty pink
On the first floor, the bedrooms are accessed through deep portal doorways

“A ‘mixing bowl’ at the centre of the plan, at the base of the stairs, visually and physically connects all four spaces,” the studio said.

Both the entry and the dining room volumes are pulled away from the home’s exterior walls, allowing additional views between rooms.

Kid's room with patterned wallpaper and writing on a closet door
The portals are coloured dusty pink and the kids rooms are also colourful

The remaining built-in furniture is oak to match the flooring that runs throughout, including kitchen millwork and the staircase, which incorporates oversized bleachers for displaying kids’ artwork or creating extra seating during a party.

A white metal “picket” guardrail, softened with rounded details, allows light to pass down from the upper levels.

On the first floor, two parallel volumes separate the children’s rooms at the front of the house and the primary suite at the back from the central corridor.

These create both storage for the rooms, and deep doorway portals that are highlighted in dusty pink.

Bathroom vanity with an angled skylight above
Skylights in the stepped angled roofs bring extra light into rooms at the rear, including the primary bathroom

Carefully considered details include recesses for the door handles, allowing the doors to open the full 90 degrees without banging into the wall.

Work and study spaces in the attic are minimally furnished, though feature built-in desks that step up to form shelves behind.

Study area with built-in oak desk
Study spaces in the attic also feature built-in furniture

Skylights in the stepped, angled roof planes on all three floors bring extra light into the dining room, primary bathroom, and the stairwell.

Other Toronto homes that have undergone extensive renovations to make them better suited for their occupants include a 14-foot-wide house where pale woodwork forms storage to make more space, and another “disguised as a gallery” – both designed by StudioAC.

The photography is by Scott Norsworthy.

Project credits:

Team: Aleris Rodgers, Francesco Valente-Gorjup, Shengjie Qiu.

The post Studio Vaaro reconfigures House M using built-in storage volumes appeared first on Dezeen.

Brunel University highlights 10 product and industrial design projects

A video game controller that helps children concentrate on school work 

Dezeen School Shows: a device that alleviates motion sickness and an item resembling a video game controller that helps children concentrate on school work are featured in Dezeen’s latest school show by students at Brunel University.

Also included are a piece of kit designed to notify users when fruit needs to be eaten to avoid it going to waste, as well as a gadget that uses increased heart rate to passively record video clips without the distraction of manually using a camera.

Brunel University

Institution: Brunel University
School: Brunel Design School
Course: BA Industrial Design and Technology, BSc Product Design and BSc Product Design Engineering
Tutors: Steve McGonigal, Steve Kingdon, Rob Eris and Tom Higgs

School statement:

“Students in the Brunel Design School study a range of modules in their final year to enhance their creative, user-centred and technical abilities.

“Their journey through the course allows them to become empathetic designers who weave creative thinking with technology, confident in framing problems and defining design opportunities.

“Many of the modules have a technical element, encouraging students to consider how the design could be practically realised.

“However, one of our final year modules allows students to propose a vision for the future – it’s called Advanced Design Innovation.

“This module allows students to create a range of innovative design proposals aimed at addressing some of the social issues, aspirations or trends predicted over the next ten to 15 years. Once a problem has been identified, students will research an existing brand and carry out an analysis of the brand values.

“Working as a team, they propose a design innovation strategy for their selected brand and create a set of product concepts that respond to the design opportunity. The outcome of this creative, academic project is a professionally written and presented executive report, high quality conceptual models and user interaction analysis.

“The brand re-position concepts are purely for academic purposes and are only being used in the context of design education. They are not for commercial gain nor represent the views of the brands or companies. We hope you find them interesting, thought provoking and inspiring.

“On the Design Process and Research module, year one students had the opportunity to work on a live project in collaboration with Habitat.

“The project began with a research trip to the V&A Museum exploring mechanisms and colour, material, finish properties of historical objects and documenting them through drawing.

“Informed by their research from the V&A, the brief then asked the students to develop either a task light or ambient mood light, reinterpreting their research in a contemporary way, while tailoring their lighting design to fit the brand ethos of Habitat.”

Device with tabletop and in-ear components on grey gradient background

The ND-300WL by Alexandra Liu

“The ND-300WL is a nausea-preventing device for those who live in floating homes. Water living and floating communities are flexible and can rise with the water level, meaning risk from flooding due to rising sea levels is reduced.

“A monitoring earpiece tracks the user’s nausea parameters. When nausea surfaces, the device directly applies Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to ease feelings of sickness.

“The physical appearance of the device takes cues from product design brand Casio.”

Student: Alexandra Liu
Course: BSc Product Design Engineering – Advanced Design Innovation
Tutors: Steve McGonigal, Steve Kingdon and Rob Eris
Email: alexandraliu.22[at]

Small black device on dark grey background

Seo by Arthur Donn

“Seo is a small device that lives within the fruit bowl to supplement storage, extend shelf-life and communicate when fruit is degrading.

“Fresh fruit is important as part of a healthy diet, however the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates waste among fruit and vegetables are the highest across all food types.

“The value offered to the user is improved management of fruit around users’ day-to-day schedules, promoting responsible consumption.

“This is achieved through communicating shelf-life status using coloured lighting, and prolonging shelf-life through ethylene gas absorption, using a replaceable zeolite and titanium oxide filter.”

Student: Arthur Donn
Course: BA Industrial Design and Technology – Advanced Design Innovation
Tutors: Steve McGonigal, Steve Kingdon and Rob Eris
Email: arthurdonn60[at]

Small object on table beside plant

Minne by Jemma Queenborough

“One in three of us keep ‘meaningful possessions’ in our homes to trigger memories, foster belonging and embody our identities, which are lost on parting with them.

“In 2030, climate migrants are predicted to move long distances to create new homes in new dense communities without their meaningful possessions.

“Minne is an immersive 3D volumetric displayer that projects ‘Digital Twins’ of lost meaningful possessions to retain identity, belonging and memory, strengthened by appropriate or captured scent and sound.”

Student: Jemma Queenborough
Course: BA Industrial Design and Technology – Advanced Design Innovation
Tutors: Steve McGonigal, Steve Kingdon and Rob Eris
Email: jemmajqueenborough[at]

Games console controller-like device on grey backdrop

GAM-0 by Markella Viagkini

“GAM-0 aims to reduce screen time among Key Stage 2 children in order to improve their academic performance.

“The device is inspired by Nintendo’s products and resembles the shape of a console.

“The child’s phone or tablet is placed on the groove and deactivated for a chosen amount of time while the kid concentrates on their homework, meanwhile the wireless earbuds play white noise to help isolate the child from distractions.

“After the timer runs out the child is rewarded with a short gaming session.”

Student: Markella Viagkini
Course: BA Industrial Design and Technology – Advanced Design Innovation
Tutors: Steve McGonigal, Steve Kingdon and Rob Eris
Email: markella.viagini[at]

Small device on desk next to laptop

BlackBerry Surround by Thomas Ledsome

“BlackBerry Surround focuses on improving productivity within the hybrid work environment by tackling overstimulation.

“It utilises Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) combined with Dolby Atmos technology to project a sound-dampened area surrounding the user with distractions removed.

“Accompanying this are non-disruptive, low frequency sound notifications as well as noise isolation to amplify natural sounds, reducing stress and improving focus.

“People are becoming overstimulated more often due to increases in screen time, more notifications and a higher number of distractions to the extent that throughout 2022, 21 per cent of hybrid workers struggled to focus when working from home.”

Student: Thomas Ledsome
Course: BSc Product Design Engineering – Advanced Design Innovation
Tutors: Steve McGonigal, Steve Kingdon and Rob Eris
Email: thomas.ledsome[at]

Illustrations of various anglepoise lamp designs

BluGold Task Light by Abinaya Sripathy

“BluGold Task Light is luxury task lamp that combines high quality materials with contrasting aesthetics.

“Intricate engravings on the lamps are inspired by objects in the V&A museum. The V&A contains delicate designs with a high amount of detail – I wanted to incorporate these within my lamp design.

“Taking inspiration from the archetype angle poise I designed a more modern version.”

Student: Abinaya Sripathy
Course: BSc Product Design Engineering – Design Process and Research (Level 1)
Tutor: Tom Higgs
Email: abinayasripathy[at]

Illustrations of three planters

Habitat Viridis Light by Jack Fisher

“Habitat Viridis is a collection of planters that help to improve ambience for people working from home.

“More than eight in ten workers who had to work from home during the Coronavirus pandemic said they planned to continue to hybrid work. Some feel like there is no longer a division between work and home.

“Both lighting and plants play a similar role in improving the mood and ambience of a space – this product brings both elements together.

“It comes with an integrated RGB LED strip light along the rim of the product which illuminates both the environment and the chosen contents.

“It is a platform for expression, a product that can be adapted and moulded to suit any personal choice and environment.”

Student: Jack Fisher
Course: BA Industrial Design and Technology – Design Process and Research (Level 1)
Tutor: Tom Higgs
Email: jacktfisher76[at]

Composite image of lamp

Tilt by Louis Byrne

“Tilt is a task lamp that aims to create the ideal work environment in any room through the easy adjustments in brightness, colour temperature and position, helping people concentrate and feel comfortable when working from home.

“Whether a student or an office worker, people all have favourite environments and areas to work and spend time in.

“Powered by the mains, the lamp is controlled with the textured dials down the centre body, with a window showing visually the current setting for a more intuitive experience.

“The product is lit by an array of led lights in two separate colour temperatures and shielded with a translucent layer to diffuse the light.”

Student: Louis Byrne
Course: BA Industrial Design and Technology – Design Process and Research (Level 1)
Tutor: Tom Higgs
Email: louiswb19[at]

Tabletop device that projects facts and images onto table surface

Tik Tok Portal by Benedict Hughes

“Meet Portal, the self-led learning experience device that can transport the user everywhere, from anywhere.

“Using a combination of projectors, LiDar sensors and face tracking, Portal shines projections onto any surface, creating a seamless wrap-around immersive experience from the user’s perspective.

“In a world where engagement with education is dwindling, no thanks to the incredible (and addictive) tools students have in their pockets, teaching needs to catch up by utilising emerging technology to boost student engagement.”

Student: Benedict Hughes
Course: BA Industrial Design and Technology – Advanced Design Innovation
Tutors: Steve McGonigal, Steve Kingdon and Rob Eris
Email: benhughesy[at]

Bumble Ocillus by Maximillian Younossi

“Bumble Ocillus helps users to capture the good times without even knowing. The device records your happiest memories, allowing you to stay in the moment and keep your experiences real.

“As we journey into an ever digital world, we often miss what’s going on around us, too concerned with recording it rather than living it. “Pulling out your phone to film a good time can lead to a disconnect, taking you out of the very moment you want to remember and making it feel disingenuous.

“The Bumble Ocillus uses internal microphones to detect your heartbeat and translate your pulse patterns into moods.

“When you are happy, the device records the moment and automatically saves it to the Bumble app to review later as a video or in 3D virtual reality, helping you to remember good times that would have otherwise been forgotten.”

Student: Maximillian Younossi
Course: BSc Product Design – Advanced Design Innovation
Tutors: Steve McGonigal, Steve Kingdon and Rob Eris
Email: maxyounossi[at]

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and Brunel University. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

The post Brunel University highlights 10 product and industrial design projects appeared first on Dezeen.

Top 5 stool designs to incorporate into your living room ASAP

I’m at a point in my life where I’m team stools over chairs, and I truly believe stools deserve to be given way more credit than they get. Stools are often overlooked, maybe because they occupy minimum space, and aren’t really overbearing. But these traits are what make stools so great in my opinion! I mean, they’re compact, and a great space-saving furniture option for our modern homes. They are also super portable. And, we’ve put together a collection of stool designs that not only provide a healthy seating experience while promoting a good and stable posture but most of them are created from sustainable materials as well. From a minimal stackable stool with slim wooden legs to a rustic stool made using leftover grain from beer – these well-designed stools are the furniture pieces you need to add to your home.

1. Drum

The Drum stool is minimal, elegant, stackable, and not to mention sustainable! At first glance, the Drum stool looks like a cute little wine cork to me. But when you dig deeper, you realize it has much more to offer than its adorable good looks.

Why is it noteworthy?

Teixeira picked materials such as cork and wood to build the stool, instantly rating it high on sustainability. Cork was used to create the seat, while wood was the material of choice for the legs.

What we like

  • The cork seat features round trimmed surfaces, giving it a rather fun and playful shape
  • The trimmed seat is further supported by slim wooden legs that effortlessly blend with the seat, creating a furniture piece with a cohesive and harmonious personality

What we dislike

  • We’re not sure how comfy the trimmed cork seat would be to sit on for longer durations of time

2. The Plastic Translation Stool

Called the Plastic Translation Stool, this intriguing stool design attempts to reinterpret the lines of a plastic stool, creating a form that is similar and yet completely unique, allowing the wooden stool to possess its own unique character.

Why is it noteworthy?

The wooden legs alone, however, won’t be enough to offer the same stability as the plastic counterpart, so an additional element had to be added. This element comes in the form of Birch plywood buttresses. These buttresses distribute some of the force evenly across the beechwood legs, which, in turn, hold the buttresses together. The result is increased architectural stability and visual amplification, which gives the design an upgraded look.

What we like

  • Doesn’t require screws or nails to be assembled
  • A more sustainable option to the plastic stool
  • It’s like a fun design puzzle

What we dislike

  • Options to customize the stool are currently missing

3. Mask Stool

Design brand Mater designed the ‘Mask Stool’. Now, what makes the Mask stool so unique or special? It’s the fact, that it has been built using the spent grain from brewery Carlsberg’s beer production, at the Danish film festival 3 Days of Design.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Mask Stool is built using a sustainable design technology that Mater developed. Mater developed this technology alongside the Danish Technological Institute and the University of Copenhagen. The technology merges and mixes fiber-based materials with plastic waste.

What we like

  • Utilizes an innovative new sustainable technology

What we dislike

  • The aesthetics of the stool are quite odd-looking, and may not be appreciated by everyone

4. The Balanco Stools

The Balanco stools were designed during the pandemic to provide kids and adults with something to play and engage with! Besides being interesting playthings, the stools are great seating options, inspired by rocks and boulders. You can stack the stools in different forms and patterns, in turn creating art in the process.

Why is it noteworthy?

The idea for the Balanco stools came from the Japanese practice of stacking pebbles to create towers. Traditionally, the pebbles mostly consist of rounded forms, designers Lisa Lai and Joel Wong decided that chiseled rock-like shapes would create more visual dynamism while offering a variety of flat surfaces that are ideal for stacking and layering.

What we like

  • The poufs are deceptively light
  • The individual surfaces remain relatively flat, so they stack on each other rather beautifully
  • Inspired by rocks and boulders

What we dislike

  • Made from felt, there is a higher chance of staining this design

5. The Tie Stool

The Tie Stool is made up of three bent plywood strips that effortlessly lock into one another, creating a tripod form that is comfortable to sit down on. Besides its unique design, the sheer simplicity of the stool, and the use of minimal materials make the stool quite a beauty.

Why is it noteworthy?

Fabricating the Tie Stool would require a few simple steps. The three plywood strips can, in fact, be split into 6 total parts (you can see the parting lines). The individual parts are formed using high pressure and temperatures that cause the plywood to bend and retain its shape, and cutting/finishing processes are performed on the parts to make them interlock into one another.

What we like

  • The entire stool can potentially be flat-packed and shipped to customers
  • It’s stackable

What we dislike

  • Its compressed design means it needs a tabletop to add more space on the stool

The post Top 5 stool designs to incorporate into your living room ASAP first appeared on Yanko Design.

Grass-topped home in Czech Republic bridges "the urban and the natural"

Exterior of Family house in the Czech Republic by RO_AR

An undulating concrete roof topped with grass covers this house in the Czech Republic, designed by local architecture studio RO_AR.

Located alongside a wildlife corridor at the edge of the Hlubocepy district in Prague, the family home is designed to be a “bridge between the urban and the natural”.

To achieve this, RO_AR designed the house as a “clash of two geometries”: a rectilinear form facing the city that is clad in thin oak slats and a hill-like, grass-topped form facing the garden and natural landscape beyond.

Exterior of house in the Czech Republic by RO_AR
Czech studio RO_AR has created a house in the Hlubocepy district

“Urban space surrounds the site on the south and east sides,” explained studio founder Szymon Rozwałka. “It is a chaotic and random development, often adversely affecting the value of the terrain.”

“We designed a building that was created by the method of land deformation. The terrain was to transition smoothly from the north-west side into an artificial ‘hill’ into which the house was to be placed,” he continued.

On approach, the ground floor has been carved out to create a garage and entrance sheltered by the overhanging first floor. Here, a paved path leads around the side of the home into the garden.

Home with glazed facade and green roof
It has an undulating concrete roof topped with grass

While the front of the dwelling is more austere, finished in white render and clad with oak battens for privacy, the rear opens onto the garden through fully-glazed facades beneath the curving roof.

“The home seeks to extend the natural context into the interior of the site and into the interiors,” said Rozwałka. “It becomes an abstract body that, through its form and scale, corresponds to the surrounding rocks in the background.”

A paved patio outside the living area overlooks a small pond, and on the first floor, one of the bedrooms opens onto a small terrace that is concealed from the adjacent properties by a section of concrete wall.

Internally, the home’s undulating roof is expressed as an exposed, board-marked concrete ceiling, with large skylights created in the areas where its curves intersect.

Entrance to family house in the Czech Republic by RO_AR
An overhanging first floor creates a sheltered entrance

The concrete structure has also been left exposed for the internal walls, contrasted by wooden ceilings and staircases and black-metal frames, fittings and furniture.

Concrete interior of Czech house by RO_AR
The concrete structure has been left exposed

Based in Brno, RO_AR was founded in 2011 by Rozwałka and operates in both the Czech Republic and Poland.

Elsewhere in the Czech Republic, local studio Architektura recently completed a brightly coloured kindergarten that is intended to echo childhood playfulness.

The post Grass-topped home in Czech Republic bridges “the urban and the natural” appeared first on Dezeen.

Eight brutalist Mexican interiors that prove concrete doesn't have to feel cold

Casa Alférez, Cañada De Alferes, by Ludwig Godefroy in roundup on brustalist mexican houses

Raw concrete surfaces are softened by timber and plenty of daylight inside these Mexican houses, rounded up here as part of our latest lookbook.

Many of these brutalist interiors leave their concrete shells exposed and their cavernous rooms largely unadorned.

But freed of the constraints posed by frigid temperatures, they also create a greater connection to the outside, whether overlooking Puerto Escondido’s wave-swept beaches or nestled in the bustling metropolis of Mexico City.

Here, concrete surfaces help to create a sense of seamlessness between indoor and outdoor spaces – often separated only by removable partitions – while unfinished natural materials, such as wood or stone, are brought into the interior.

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring homes with exposed services, primary-coloured living spaces and houses with outdoor showers.

Casa Alférez, Cañada De Alferes, by Ludwig Godefroy in roundup on brutalist Mexican houses
Photo by Rory Gardiner

Casa Alférez, Cañada De Alferes, by Ludwig Godefroy

Tucked away in the forest outside Cañada De Alferes near Mexico City, this brutalist holiday home has a board-formed concrete shell.

This is left on display throughout its entire interior, all the way down to the bedrooms (top image) and the double-height lounge (above).

To bring a sense of homeliness to its otherwise spartan living spaces, architect Ludwig Godefroy added warm wooden floors and lush pops of green – as seen across upholstery and lighting fixtures.

Find out more about Casa Alférez ›

Casa del Sapo by Espacio 18 Arquitectura in Oaxaca, Mexico
Photo by Onnis Luque and Fabian Martinez

La Casa del Sapo, Playa Zapotengo, by Espacio 18 Arquitectura

The kitchen of this seafront home – set right on Oaxaca‘s Zapotengo beach – can be merged with its neighbouring patio using a wide wooden folding door.

All-around concrete helps to underline this fusion, while also serving a practical function in the form of a kitchen island and matching shelves.

Find out more about La Casa del Sapo ›

The Hill in Front of the Glen, Morelia, by HW Studio
Photo by César Béjar

The Hill in Front of the Glen, Morelia, by HW Studio

Reminiscent of the Hobbit houses in JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, this sunken home is nestled into a hillside in the forests of Michoacán in central Mexico.

The building’s interiors are defined by its concrete vaulted ceilings, which can be seen in every room, while log benches and full-height glazing provide a visual link to the woodland outside.

Find out more about The Hill in Front of the Glen ›

Casa Mérida by Ludwig Godefroy
Photo by Rory Gardiner

Casa Mérida, Mérida, by Ludwig Godefroy

Mayan architecture and craftsmanship informed the design of this otherwise brutalist house in Yucatán state, which is considered the capital of the indigenous civilisation.

The home’s perimeter walls, for example, have joints covered in stone splinters that take cues from the design of Mayan pyramids and temples. These are left exposed on the interior alongside the concrete ceilings, creating a rich medley of architectural references.

Find out more about Casa Mérida ›

Pachua by PPAA from roundup on brutalist Mexican houses
Photo by Rafael Gamo

Pachuca Apartments, Mexico City, by PPAA

Concrete slabs pave both the patio and living spaces in this Mexico City house to create a sense of continuity, only separated by a full-height glass wall that can be completely pushed open.

On the interior, the rough concrete finishes are contrasted with details in American white oak, among them a long dining table as well as a staircase with treads that slot into a huge bookshelf.

Find out more about Pachuca Apartments ›

Casa UC, Morelia, by Daniela Bucio Sistos
Photo by Dane Alonso and Mariano Renteria Garnica

Casa UC, Morelia, by Daniela Bucio Sistos

Neutral colours and tactile materials are found throughout this home in the city of Morelia, including raw concrete ceilings and floors finished in a honey-toned tropical timber called caobilla.

In the library, the same wood was also used to form integrated shelves and a huge porthole window that can be pivoted open and closed like a door.

Find out more about Casa UC ›

Casa Aguacates, Valle de Bravo, by Francisco Pardo
Photo by Sandra Pereznieto

Casa Aguacates, Valle de Bravo, by Francisco Pardo

Mexican architect Francisco Pardo repurposed the pinewood formwork used in the process of constructing this concrete house to form a series of partition walls throughout the home.

The resulting interior layout is simple and fluid and centres on an open-plan kitchen, dining area and living room that open up onto a sunken garden.

Find out more about Casa Aguacates ›

ZIcatela House by Ludwig Godefroy
Photo by Rory Gardiner

Zicatela, Puerto Escondido, by Emmanuel Picault and Ludwig Godefroy

Set in the small surf town of Puerto Escondido, this weekend home accommodates its main living areas inside a covered patio and is made almost entirely of concrete.

The only exceptions are the doors and sliding louvred wood screens that can be used to open the space up to the gardens on either side, as well as a few sparse furnishings such as the low-slung dining table, which is made from a cross-sectioned tree trunk.

Find out more about Zicatela ›

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring homes with exposed services, primary-coloured living spaces and houses with outdoor showers.

The post Eight brutalist Mexican interiors that prove concrete doesn’t have to feel cold appeared first on Dezeen.

Halleroed mixes French and Japandi influences inside L/Uniform's Paris boutique

L/Uniform boutique in Paris by Halleroed

In the arty Paris district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Stockholm design studio Halleroed has designed a new boutique for French bag and luggage brand L/Uniform.

Taking cues from the brand’s simple, rational approach to design, Halleroed design lead Ruxandra Halleröd created a series of backdrops that allow the products to “pop out in a beautiful way”.

Wooden display cabinets in boutique in Paris by Halleroed
Halleroed has designed a boutique for L/Uniform in Paris

The boutique is comprised of two rooms that drawing on L/Uniform‘s French heritage alongside a mixture of Japanese and Scandinavian design traditions – also known as Japandi.

The first room was designed to nod to the vernacular of the traditional French marketplace, with stepped display furniture and rustic materials, such as walls papered in woven raffia.

Bags hand on walls in L/Uniform boutique
In the first room, bags are hung from integrated wooden hooks

“It reminds us of L/Uniform’s use of French canvas on its more functional bags, but on a bigger scale,” Halleröd told Dezeen.

“We used a Shaker-inspired approach where bags are hung from hooks. There’s an association with everyday market life because some of these bags are specifically made for bringing to the market.”

To create a striking visual contrast with the natural textures of this space, Halleroed added a monolithic display table in deep burgundy with a high-gloss finish.

Mint green display cabinets in boutique in Paris by Halleroed
Glossy red details feature throughout the store in finishes and furnishings

The second room is more “elegant and eclectic”, according to Halleröd. Here, L/Uniform’s leather handbags are displayed against a palette of soft pink and green, featuring an olive-coloured velvet sofa and pistachio display cabinet alongside tactile elements like the handwoven jute-and-wool carpet.

The same glossy red finish from the first room is also reprised – in this case applied to two exposed pipes, around which Halleroed has constructed a low timber cabinet.

Mint green display cabinet in L/Uniform boutique
Pistachio display cabinets provide additional storage

“We worked with colour, texture and material as one entity, creating contrast and also unity,” said Halleröd.

Around the counter, Halleroed added cedar cladding “for a Japanese look and feel”.

This is mirrored across the shop with details such as a rice-paper pendant light by Isamu Noguchi and chairs by George Nakashima, as well as cedar table lamps with rice-paper shades created by a Japanese cabinetmaker.

Gallic influences are reflected in the lighting by Pierre Chareau and Charlotte Perriand and the bush-hammered limestone floor, which according to Halleröd has a “calm, vintage touch that for us is very French”.

Hallway of boutique in Paris by Halleroed
Travertine floors and stone counters bring a sense of refinement to the space

Halleroed also brought Swedish elements into the mix, reflecting the studio’s own approach.

“With our minimalist Scandinavian mindset, we prefer to work with fewer elements and materials but in a conscious and precise way,” said Halleröd.

“Working with wood and craft is something that I think is common for both Japan and Sweden, while we think of the warm tones here as being both French and Japanese.”

Wooden storage cabinets in L/Uniform boutique
Timber joinery nods to Japanese and Scandinavian craft traditions

“Many of the items in the store were handmade specifically for the space, which was important for us since we believe that this reflects the L/Uniform mentality and approach,” she added.

Since it was founded in 1998, Halleroed has completed a number of high-end boutiques around the world.

Among them are an Acne Studios store in Chengdu and various outposts for Swedish streetwear brand Axel Arigato in Berlin, Paris, Copenhagen and London.

The photography is by Ludovic Balay

The post Halleroed mixes French and Japandi influences inside L/Uniform’s Paris boutique appeared first on Dezeen.

You can build this ‘transformer’ couch in any shape by joining pieces together like LEGO bricks

Designed by the same folks who brought us the award-winning Transformer Table that could expand from a two-seater to a twelve-seater, the Transformer Couch gives you the freedom to design a couch to exactly fit your space. Buy the couch as a set of modules and plug them together at home in any shape. You can make a single linear couch to sit five, a couch and two armchairs, or an L-shaped sofa for people to sit and recline on. The modules make building the couch of your dreams easy, but more importantly, they make carrying the couch from one house to another easy too… so you don’t have to try and PIVOT like Ross Geller.

Designer: Transformer Table

Click Here to Buy Now: from $1,204 $1,606 (25% off). Hurry, for a limited time only!

Use coupon code “YANKO100” for $100 off sitewide. *Not valid for the Transformer Couch.

Simply put, a couch is made up of 5 different components – a structural base, a structural backrest, two sets of cushions, and an armrest. While most couches come with these components pre-assembled, the Transformer Couch doesn’t. Instead, it gives you the freedom to put them together in a manner of your choosing. Sort of like taking an IKEA meets Build-a-bear approach to the couch, the Transformer Couch lets you choose the number of modules, cushions, and armrests you want based on how many people you’ll be seating.

Two-seater Loveseat

3-seater L-shaped with Ottoman

4-seater U-shaped with Ottomans

Once the couch ships to you in its multiple parts, you can merely plug them together to create different shapes, designs, and orientations. Make a couch for 3 with a set of Ottomans to match, or an L or U-shaped couch for lounging on, or just two sofa sets facing each other for an intense game night. The Transformer Couch lets you assemble, disassemble, and re-assemble your couch as many times, switching things up as often as you want. “Customizable. Comfortable. Practical. Endlessly Rearrangeable”, say the designers responsible for this shapeshifting piece of furniture.

5-seater Couch with Armchairs

6-seater U-frontCouch

7-seater Couch

Each Transformer Couch comes made from eco-sourced solid wood on the inside, with high-density foam padding for comfort, and 100% high-quality, stain-resistant polyester fabric on the outside that’s easy to maintain. The modules feature connectors made from steel, which allow you to comfortably plug and unplug them on command, while floor-protector-lined acacia-wood legs let you move the modules around rather easily too, without worrying about damaging your hardwood floors. Speaking of damage, the sofas are virtually stain-proof, and in the event that you do end up pulling off a Joey Tribbiani and dropping some spaghetti in red sauce on the fabric, the fabric covers zip right off, and are designed to be machine-washable, so your couch remains as good as new.

8-seater Loveseat Couch

9-seater Couch

10-seater U-Couch

The Transformer Couch follows in the footsteps of its iconic predecessor, the Transformer Table, which still holds the title of the most-viewed product video on Instagram with 131 million views and counting. With its size-defying design, the Transformer Table could expand up to 7x its original size, going from 18-inches long to nearly 10-feet in length. The Transformer Couch adopts a similar mentality, with a design that’s rooted in customizability, allowing the user to freely change size, shape, and format on command. The Transformer Couch is up for pre-order, with a 1-year warranty, and free shipping across North America and to 35+ other countries worldwide.

Click Here to Buy Now: from $1,204 $1,606 (25% off). Hurry, for a limited time only!

Use coupon code “YANKO100” for $100 off sitewide. *Not valid for the Transformer Couch.

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Olson Kundig designs a small railroad-inspired workspace/retreat extending from an existing home in Seattle

Designed by Olson Kundig Architects, the Maxon Studio is a private workspace designed to function as a sidekick to a pre-existing house. The workspace and the home are tucked away in the forests of a rural area outside Seattle. It is a two-story steel tower, that has been mounted on a fifteen-foot-gauge railroad track and is designed to be a seamless and effortless extension of the main house, while also functioning as an independent structure.

Designer: Olson Kundig Architects

Designed to be a workspace, and a retreat to relax and unwind in, the Maxon Studio features the same materiality and views as the main home. While the main house is horizontal, the studio is vertical, creating an interesting yet cohesive contrast between the two structures. The architects drew inspiration from the local region’s rail industry legacy, and the excavation site’s discovery of steel cables and railroad spikes while they were constructing the main house. Mimicking a traditional caboose, the lower storey of the studio functions as a primary workspace with a built-in desk, and multiple shelves for storage and display.

The workspace is surrounded by a steel-clad wall which allows visually stimulating materials to be easily replaced, to create different themes and assignments. The upper level can be accessed via a steel ladder and serves as a zen retreat to restore yourself and explore your creativity. ‘This level functions much like a cupola on a train’s caboose, a high vantage point to look out across the landscape,” said the architects.

What makes the Maxon Studio even more interesting is that it has wheels, making it a portable workspace! This also signifies the influence of train and railway design on the structure. The door of the studio has been painted in the DuPont paint color of the striping on Great Northern trains. The interiors have been clad in wood, and authentic wooden railroad ties repurposed from a Great Northern Railroad relay line have been used. The studio also includes a stabilizing bar to ensure the tower doesn’t tip during an earthquake – this was inspired by Japanese high-speed railways. The studio’s control panel was also originally installed in the Burlington Northern locomotive.

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