Designed after a serpent, the Craighill Sidewinder pocket knife is an eye-candy for the collector

Some of us have an uncanny love for knives, and in them, foldable knives. Not many, but of course a few of these foldable knives are created to get the toughest job done, and then there are a few amid them that are crafted for the collectors. An eye-candy for the latter is the Sidewinder, which is also an impending workhorse from Craighill.

Born to a brand “rooted in curiosity, ingenuity, and satisfaction” designing knives that are “beautiful and intriguing,” the Sidewinder draws its name from a namesake serpent known for its characteristic sideways gait. The knife has a unique handle and opening mechanism that mimics the Sidewinder slithering smoothly on the sand.

Designer: Craighill

Crafted to disrupt the appearance and functioning of the traditional pocket knives, the Sidewinder is the idea of Craighill but it was designed in a years-long collaboration with Chen Chen and Kai Williams. The outcome is a knife with little focus on functioning and longevity and more on style and substance, which may not make it the best option as an EDC for the outdoor, but would be a perfect conversation starter.

The opening mechanism that is high on ingenuity is easy to open with one hand. The handle is made in a two-piece hinge – one comprises stone-washed finish and the other has black PVD-coated stainless steel – that moves like the Sidewalker over to separate and join when the knife is opened and closed respectively.

The Sidewalker knife weighs 5.6 ounces to let you feel slight heft in the hand or your pocket. The knife measures 2.5 inches long; it has a fine tip and deep belly for everyday usage. But it’s the interlocking opening and closing mechanism that makes the biggest and most defining highlight of the knife. The interesting thing also is that even though the foldable knife is highly portable, it will make a great décor item on the desk or shelf where it is going to attract everyone.

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These Pendant Lighting Designs Are Made From A Leather Alternative Derived From Plants

Something that designers have been focusing on when it comes to the arena of lighting is sustainability in their use of materials and different techniques. Pretty lighting designs that illuminate well can be found generously, but ones with a splash of sustainability aren’t always easy to come by. And even if you do find an eco-friendly one, they aren’t always the most visually pleasing ones on the market and can mess up your interior decor style. But this is where Spanish designer Ceci Ferrero has come to the rescue with his Couro collection, created for the handmade decor brand Let’s Pause.

Designer: Ceci Ferroro for Let’s Pause

Now what makes Ferroro’s Couro collection special? Well, these distinctive pendant lamps are made using a leather alternative derived from plants! The lighting range for Let’s Pause is crafted from couro – a leather-like material made from the dry waste leaves of American palm trees. The material has a unique translucent appearance which softly diffuses light, creating a wonderful and ethereal-looking effect.

The collection includes the Couro 8 Leafs lamp shade, where the leaves’ shapes are preserved, and artfully draped into a mesmerizing artichoke-esque arrangement, or in the words of Let’s Pause in an “elegant skirt of spikes”. According to the decor brand, the pendants will look stunning over a dining table or even at the entrance to a hotel, making it a perfect fit for personal and commercial spaces. The lighting designs can be hung in groups of varying heights or individually.

“The texture of the leaves, with their compact fibers, evokes aged leather and provides a unique tactile element,” said Let’s Pause. The shades are offered supported by a brown frame crafted from aluminum and paired with a black plug, and a 2.5 meter-long matte black cotton electric cord. The Couro collection has a natural look to it with a touch of wilderness that adds some personality to the pieces. They perfectly complement various interior decor styles, adding a spark of style and whimsical elegance to different spaces, whether it is your own living room or the reception area of your office.

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Eight game design projects by the American University in Dubai

Dezeen School Shows: a video game informed by the Harry Potter books is included in Dezeen’s latest school show by students at the American University in Dubai.

Also included is a game that takes cues from the seven deadly sins and one that is based on the changing seasons.

American University in Dubai

Institution: American University in Dubai
School: The Center for Research, Innovation and Design (CRID), School of Architecture, Art, and Design (SAAD)
Course: DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments
Tutors: Dr Georges Kachaamy

School statement:

“The Center for Research, Innovation and Design (CRID) holds the distinction of being the first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region that is Rhino Certified Center, an Authorised VR Sketch Training Center and Gravity Sketch Certified Center.

“Furthermore, the CRID has earned the unique position of making the American University in Dubai (AUD) the first and only university in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to establish an academic alliance with Unreal Engine (UE) through the innovative application of Twinmotion.

“Leveraging these prestigious collaborations, the DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments course introduces a cutting-edge virtual reality setup that immerses students in the creation and design of virtual spaces.

“The course – curated and conducted by Dr Georges Kachaamy, a renowned VR instructor and visionary in future and virtual environments – offers an unparalleled educational experience.

“In celebration of the partnership with UE, the course culminates in a project titled ”Gamifitecture’ The Virtual Space of Playfulness’.”

“This project challenges students to design and gamify a virtual environment, drawing inspiration from existing video games.

“This unique approach encourages students to conceive projects that are exclusively experienced within a virtual reality context, transcending traditional physical world limitations.

“The innovative, pedagogical approach of the course has undeniably empowered students to venture into new territories of design thinking and skill acquisition.

“Such forward-thinking education equips our students with the competencies needed to excel in an increasingly competitive market, as evidenced by the remarkable quality and creativity of their project work.

“The CRID remains committed to pushing the boundaries of design education, preparing our students to be leaders in the evolving landscape of design and technology.”

Stills from a video game with spikes and columns

 Seven Deadly Realms by  Shahab Pasandeh

“The project concept is an immersive journey through the narrative landscape of the God of War game franchise, reimagined through the lens of the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, wrath, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth.

“Each of the seven main realms within the virtual environment is meticulously crafted to embody one of these sins, leveraging a rich palette of colours, thematic elements and spatial designs directly inspired by the game’s aesthetic and lore.

“This immersive experience is not only a testament to the creative potential of virtual environments but also serves as a profound exploration of themes and narratives that are seldom visualised in such a vivid and engaging way.

“Through this project, users are encouraged to confront and reflect upon the complexities of human emotions and behaviours in a context that transcends the boundaries of traditional gaming and storytelling.”

Student: Shahab Pasandeh

Stills from a video game with golden blocks and spikes

Awake? by Dana Kharsa

“Drawing inspiration from Mind Path to Thalamus, this virtual reality concept transports the player into a surreal dreamscape, besieged by portals that usher them through vivid representations of the four seasons.

“Despite numerous attempts to flee, the player finds themselves ensnared in a recurring nightmare.

“The central question looms: can they ever awaken from this cyclic torment?”

Student: Dana Kharsa
Course: DDFT 473 – Virtual Environments

Stills from a video game with blue staircases and spikes

Chamber of Secrets by Mehak Minocha

“This project is inspired by the game Hogwarts Legacy.

“The game is based on the famous book series Harry Potter, a fantasy world that every individual wishes to be a part of.

“Hogwarts Legacy is an immersive, open-world action role-playing game set in a world first introduced in the Harry Potter books.

“Different books inspired the spaces, and each space increases in intensity with increasing levels.

“The virtual exhibition enables visitors to experience the different realms of the wizarding world.”

Student: Mehak Minocha

Visualisation of colourful video game

Tetrascape by Yasmine Khalife

“Tetrascape, a virtual space inspired by the classic game Tetris, serves as a metaphor for life’s journey.

“Navigating through the various Tetris blocks represents life’s diverse experiences.

“Reaching the final destination symbolises achieving happiness – however, similar to Tetris, completed lines collapse and fall when the blocks finally fit.

“The achievement of a goal is followed by an unexpected fall, highlighting life’s uncertainties and the need to adapt to changes.”

Student: Yasmine Khalife

Visualisation of colourful video game

Toggestopia by Sameya Masroof Ahmed

“The project drew inspiration from the captivating game Togges, a delightful 3D puzzle-platformer.

“In this engaging adventure, players navigate through seven vibrant levels, stacking adorable living blocks and solving puzzles across various cosmic landscapes to safeguard the galaxy from the looming threats of the void.

“The game’s diverse environments, including underwater, snowy and vertical settings, influenced the transitions in this project.

“Infused with interactivity and cheerfulness, the project culminates in a satisfying ‘Eureka’ moment, reminiscent of the joyous discovery of a globe.”

Student: Sameya Masroof Ahmed

Visualisation of colourful video game

Eternity by Tara Chopra

“This project is inspired by the game Etherborn and is made up of five spaces representing the five levels of the game.

“The way the viewer moves through the spaces is inspired by Etherborn’s gameplay, which involves ascending a massive, twisting tree after which the gamer reaches ‘the end of the world’.

“Similarly, in ‘Eternity’, the user would ascend through five different spaces starting at the origin in ‘genesis’ and reaching the very top, the ‘nebula’.

“The project takes the viewer through the calm yet chaotic, and ever-changing ‘tree of life’.”

Student: Tara Chopra

Visualisation of colourful video game

Paralysis by Christelle Hanna

“The project consists of five spaces – the lair, eruption, jagged, chimes, and REM – all of which are inspired by the game Little Nightmares.

“The idea of chaos is incorporated to achieve a dark and gloomy atmosphere and is emphasised by designing the spaces in an uncoordinated way while also making them irregularly large to match how small the viewer should be.

“The intensity of the scattered elements changes depending on the colour choices, matching with the game itself.”

Student: Christelle Hanna

Visualisation of colourful video game

Chromatopia by Dana Otoom

“Chromatopia immerses you in a kaleidoscopic journey inspired by the game Manifold Gardens.

“Gravity shifts dynamically as you traverse each stage, transforming the essence of every space.

“Explore vibrant environments where perception bends, colours dance and architectural marvels defy conventional laws.

“In Chromatopia, the journey is a symphony of gravity-defying exploration, where each twist and turn reveal new dimensions of wonder and awe.”

Student: Dana Otoom

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and the American University in Dubai. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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Portal House by Svima features brass details and curved oak ribbons

Portal House by Svima

Brass ribbons line the asymmetric portals that connect the kitchen and dining room of this Toronto residence, renovated by local architecture and art studio Svima.

The Portal House was designed for a couple who had wanted to refresh their home for 10 years, but have very different aesthetic tastes.

Portal House by Svima
Two portals connect the renovated kitchen and dining areas of this Toronto home

Toronto-based studio Svima found a compromise by combining his desire for “tenebrous minimalism” and her love of “bright French country kitchens” into the design.

The resulting “denlike cosiness” pairs dark oak across the lower half of the ground-floor spaces and clean white surfaces on the upper half.

Brass-edged asymmetric portal looking into a kitchen
The curved, asymmetric portal over the deep counter acts as a pass-through

The snaked kitchen layout is tight, so Svima curved the corners of cabinetry and counter surfaces to steal extra space for circulation.

This theme continues to the living room millwork: a bookcase is filleted at the corner and meets the wall at an angle, while a built-in sofa beneath the window also softly angles inward.

Open doorway with brass edges looking into the kitchen
The other portal, mirrored in shape, forms a doorway between the two spaces

“The design hinges on ‘ribbons’ flowing through the space, guiding the motion through the rooms,” said Svima.

“The ribbons curve in areas where sharp corners would not fit, or would stop the flow of movement.”

Detail of a brass-lined portal with a kitchen counter behind
Brass edges around the portals were artfully installed to perfectly fit the curved drywall

In the kitchen, the curved oak doors were handmade by a cabinetmaker who created a special jig to kerf-bend the oak into a radius.

Tiles that offer a contemporary take on Dutch Delft porcelain form the backsplash, adding small touches of blue to the otherwise neutral space.

Kitchen with white upper cabinets, blue and white tiled backsplash, and dark oak lower cabinets
To add touches of colour to the dark oak and bright white palette, tiles influenced by Delft porcelain were added to the backsplash

Two portals provide connections between the kitchen and adjacent dining room, both with a mirrored asymmetric shape and edged in brass.

One acts as a doorway, while the other over the deep counter is used as a pass-through for food, drinks and tableware.

“It was an artful process for the contractor to lay the brass into the wall, as it had to fit into the curved drywall perfectly with no tolerance for error,” the architects said.

The living room, located at the front of the house, was furnished with mid-century pieces such as a chair, a coffee table and a media console.

Hallway with dark oak flooring and a staircase
Dark oak flooring throughout the home’s ground floor matches the other millwork

The closed and open shelving unit organises the family’s books and possessions, and its shape allows more light to enter from a side window.

Opposite, the built-in sofa helps to resolve an awkward space under a bay window and orients the sitter towards the TV to one side.

Living room featuring a dark oak storage unit with a filleted side
In the living room, the curved kitchen cabinetry is translated as a storage unit with a filleted side

“The custom sofa sweeps into the space to provide seating at precisely the right sideways angle for viewing the media unit, for lounge reading, and for gathering,” Svima said.

The floors throughout the home match the other millwork, grounding the spaces with a rich dark hue.

A built-in sofa under a living room bay window
A built-in sofa under the living room’s bay window similarly features softly curved angles

Svima, founded by architects Anamarija Korolj and Leon Lai, is not the only studio that’s had to get creative with a tight Toronto floor plan.

When Studio Vaaro overhauled a house in the city, the firm created a series of volumes with minimally detailed millwork to form kitchen cabinetry, the staircase and a feature bookcase in the living room.

The photography is by Scott Norsworthy.

The post Portal House by Svima features brass details and curved oak ribbons appeared first on Dezeen.

Amazon Is Selling A Modern Foldable Tiny Home That You Can Build Within 15 Minutes

No matter what you are looking to buy, you’re almost always bound to end up on Amazon. Amazon is lovingly called the Everything Store: Anything, and quite rightly so because you get everything on there, and now even a foldable tiny home! Yes, you can now go house shopping on Amazon. So next time you’re out shopping for pillow covers or a book or two, you can add a tiny home to your shopping cart. Meet Officer Owl’s Modern Foldable Home – a 20-foot by 20-foot kit that helps you build the cozy little tiny house of your micro-living dreams!

Designer: Officer Owl

Click Here to Buy Now

The oversized kit includes a steel frame, amped with a hydraulic ceiling, floor, and four walls. The Foldable Home is quite user-friendly, you don’t need to be a construction wizard to set the little house up. Follow the directions, put in a bit of effort, and you can easily lift the hydraulic ceiling, set up the walls, and lay down the floor in around 15 minutes! Pretty quick, right?

It’s the kind of DIY project you could easily take up in your free time, if you’re looking to build a guest unit in your backyard, or even your own private office. Since the prefab home kit is so easy to set up, you may feel that it’s not designed to last, but that is not true in the least! The home has strategically placed windows to offer plenty of sunlight and air circulation. The frame is flame-retardent, waterproof, and thermally insulated as well. It can also withstand grade-eight earthquakes and grade-ten winds. Officer Owl claims that the home can last 25 years!

The home features a built-in electrical system complete with LED. It is also equipped with a fully plumbed kitchen and bathroom, allowing it to function as almost anything – from an office to even a gym. You don’t need to limit the space to a garage or a tool shed! I mean, you could even use it as your full-time home. Although you may need to consider the price. The tiny home is priced at $13,450, so it isn’t a cheap housing solution. But when you consider having to build a guest unit from scratch, the Modern Foldable house does seem so much more convenient, and worth the price!

Click Here to Buy Now

The post Amazon Is Selling A Modern Foldable Tiny Home That You Can Build Within 15 Minutes first appeared on Yanko Design.

SOA Architectes completes "eclectic" social housing in Parisian park

Parc Princesse social housing by SOA Architectes

The 19th-century villas in the suburbs of Paris informed the arched windows and sloping roofs of this social housing block in France, completed by local studio SOA Architectes.

SOA Architectes was tasked with creating 24 social housing units and two affordable units at Parc Princesse – the site of a former hospital in Vésinet that is being developed into housing and an urban park.

The studio drew from the historic villas found nearby to create a structure that would “stand out” while also respecting its parkland setting.

Exterior of Parisian social housing
SOA Architectes has created a social housing block in France

“The town of Vésinet includes numerous parks dotted with villas, most of them built in the 19th century,” explained SOA Architectes.

“The styles are eclectic, readily combining architectural devices borrowed from different eras,” it continued.

“The watchword seems to have been expressive richness and the desire to stand out, [and] this double constraint constitutes a contradictory injunction: blend in and show yourself,” it continued.

Walkway through Parc Princesse social housing by SOA Architectes
Its design references 19th-century Parisian villas nearby

SOA Architectes divided the apartments across three volumes. To the west, the two smallest blocks sit at an angle on either side of a central circulation space and bike parking area topped by garden terraces.

To the northeast, the largest block connects to the central space via a small link bridge on the first floor, with an angled spiral staircase leading back down to ground level.

Facade of Parisian social housing
Its facades are animated by arched windows

A landscaped path provides routes between and around each of these blocks and to the adjacent housing developments on the site.

SOA Architectes decided to break up the mass of the building in an effort to “not monopolise the park”.

Exterior of Parc Princesse social housing by SOA Architectes
SOA Architectes’ goal was to reduce its visual impact on the park

The apartments themselves are organised as duplexes, allowing for the creation of double-height living rooms on the ground floor that overlook the park through large, wood-framed arches.

Balconies cut out of the corners of each block create covered terraces for the upper levels of the apartments.

“To disappear at eye level and blend into the plant masses, the bases of the buildings are treated with large double-height arches,” explained SOA Architectes.

“Their proportion reflects the size and shape of the gaps left between the trees.”

Facades of concrete panels
Concrete panels clad the exterior

Externally, a cladding of concrete panels is enlivened by thin metallic strips, intended to help break down the mass of each of the apartment blocks by reflecting the trees and sky.

“This hybrid material, both concrete and evanescent, anchors the construction as much as it melts it in the kinetic reflection of its reflective lines,” said the studio

Interior of Parc Princesse social housing by SOA Architectes
It contains 24 social housing units

Each block is topped by a butterfly roof, another strategy to reduce the visual dominance of the buildings and “increase the feeling of intimacy”.

Previous projects by SOA Architectes include the 21-storey mixed use Aya Tower in Beirut, for which the studio drew on traditional Arabian houses.

Other social housing blocks featured on Dezeen include La Brea Affordable Housing in West Hollywood and The Caserne de Reuilly in Paris, which were featured as part of Dezeen’s Social Housing Revival series.

The photography is by Camille Gharbi.

The post SOA Architectes completes “eclectic” social housing in Parisian park appeared first on Dezeen.

Eight chocolate-brown interiors that look good enough to eat

Shadow House, Australia, by Grotto Studio with chocolate brown walls

In memoriam of the many chocolate eggs that will be consumed this Easter, our latest lookbook rounds up eight homes with tasteful cocoa-coloured interiors.

Chocolatey brown might be the unofficial colour of Easter as the biggest driver of chocolate sales – second only to Christmas.

But the rich, earthy hue is also proving increasingly popular among interior designers for its unique function as both a colour and a natural, able to bring a sense of warmth to otherwise minimalist spaces.

Below are eight mouth-watering examples to feast your eyes on, including a rammed-earth house in Brazil and the renovation of a Shigeru Ban loft conversion in New York.

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration, see previous lookbooks featuring minimalist bathrooms, breakfast nooks and compact garden studios with neat storage solutions.

Shadow House by Grotto Studio with chocolate brown walls
Photo by Jack Lovel

Shadow House, Australia, by Grotto Studio

Almost all of the surfaces in this Perth cottage extension by Grotto Studio are lined in sumptuous brown timber, from the walls and floors in the bedroom to the entire bathroom counter.

“The choice of dark timber for the interior was motivated by a desire to create a rich, intimate and immersive atmosphere,” studio founder Craig Nener told Dezeen.

“The dark tones add depth and character to the spaces, creating a warm and inviting ambience.”

Find out more about Shadow House ›

Interior of Chuzhi house in India by Wallmakers
Photo by Syam Sreesylam

Chuzhi house, India, by Wallmakers

Soil, waste and debris were used to form the spiralling walls of Chuzhi house in Shoolagiri, India, giving the interiors a rustic, earthy feeling.

To keep the focus on the architecture, the rooms themselves are finished in matching colours with reclaimed timber floors complemented by woven and wooden furniture.

Find out more about Chuzhi house ›

Colonia Condesa house, Mexico, by Chloé Mason Gray with chocolate brown walls
Photo by Fabian Martinez

Colonia Condesa house, Mexico, by Chloé Mason Gray

Interior designer Chloé Mason Gray sought to embrace the lack of natural light in this bachelor pad in Mexico City‘s Condesa neighbourhood, shaded by large trees from the avenue outside.

Embracing the dark and moody atmosphere, the designer chose colours and textures that would make the spaces feel “masculine, rich, and interesting” including leather, linen and textured chocolate-brown plaster.

Find out more about Colonia Condesa house ›

Charlotte Perriand chairs in Mayfair dining room
Photo by Felix Speller

Mayfair pied-à-terre, UK, by Child Studio

Adolf Loos’s modernist Villa Muller informed the dining area in this London mews house, where mahogany joinery is backed by veiny dark red marble.

Soft light filters into the space from a glass-brick partition, blocking out the kitchen and rounding off the intimate atmosphere created by Child Studio.

Find out more about this Mayfair pied-à-terre ›

Highbury House, UK, by Daytrip
Photo by Gareth Hacker

Highbury House, UK, by Daytrip

A more pared-back take on the theme comes in the form of this vintage 1970s Gilda sofa by Michel Ducaroy, composed of multiple segments reminiscent of a Chocolate Orange.

It serves as a focal point in the otherwise muted living room of London‘s Highbury House, paired with a blackened oak armchair by EBBA Architects founder Benni Allan and one of David Horan’s delicate Paper lights.

Find out more about Highbury House ›

House in Cunha by Arquipelago with chocolate brown walls
Photo by Federico Cairoli

Casa em Cunha, Brazil, by Arquipélago Arquitetos

The rammed-earth construction of this house in Brazil‘s mountainous Cunha region is left exposed on the interior, creating an organic striped finish across the walls.

Matching brown finishes feature heavily throughout the rest of the home, where ceilings are covered in wooden slats while the bathroom is defined by coppery hardware and tiles the colour of bitter chocolate.

Find out more about Casa em Cunha ›

Casa Los Tigres, Mexico, by César Béjar Studio and Fernando Sánchez Zepeda with chocolate brown walls
Photo by César Béjar Studio

Casa Los Tigres, Mexico, by César Béjar Studio and Fernando Sánchez Zepeda

Dark wood panelling helps to hide doors and storage inside the Casa Los Tigres beach house on Mexico‘s Pacific Coast, designed by César Béjar Studio and Fernando Sánchez Zepeda.

It encircles the lower portion of the living spaces and develops the bedrooms almost entirely, paired with pale stone flooring and pared-back accessories to create a calm refuge.

Find out more about Casa Los Tigres ›

Tribeca loft renovation, USA, by Timothy Godbold
Photo by David Mitchell

Tribeca loft renovation, USA, by Timothy Godbold

New York interior designer Timothy Godbold was responsible for renovating this loft in a historic Tribeca textile factory, originally converted by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban in 2019.

The former TV room now functions as a home office and bar, with a low-slung chestnut-brown sofa helping to warm up the otherwise neutral colour palette while wall reliefs informed by 1970s sci-fi spice up the walls.

Find out more about this Tribeca loft renovation ›

This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration, see previous lookbooks featuring minimalist bathrooms, breakfast nooks and compact garden studios with neat storage solutions.

The post Eight chocolate-brown interiors that look good enough to eat appeared first on Dezeen.

Tigh Na Coille cottage receives "Scandi-Scot" makeover

Lounge with fireplace inside Tigh Na Coille cottage by Wildland and Ruth Kramer

Hospitality company Wildland and Swiss designer Ruth Kramer have converted a former manse in the Scottish Highlands into a holiday cottage featuring a mix of classic Scandinavian furniture and traditional Caledonian details.

Tigh Na Coille, which is Gaelic for “house in the forest”, is a four-bedroom property on a wooded hill overlooking Loch Ness in the Cairngorms National Park.

Lounge of Tigh Na Coille cottage by Wildland and Ruth Kramer
Tigh Na Coille is a holiday home in a former manse

The 19th-century stone building was carefully restored and refurbished with help from Kramer, who has worked with Wildland on several of its historic properties.

Kramer coined the term “Scandi-Scot” to describe the way these buildings seek to combine Scandinavian simplicity with a playful take on Scottish heritage.

Seating area of Tigh Na Coille cottage
A Papa Bear armchair by Hans J. Wegner stands in the lounge

“Scandi-Scot is about creating a clean and modern aesthetic that weaves in elements of Scottish craftsmanship,” she told Dezeen. “Everything is calm and natural, the colours don’t scream at you and the furniture is comfortable like you’re at home.”

Tigh Na Coille was once a manse – a dwelling created for the Christian minister of a now-ruined church that stands on the grounds. The heritage-listed building was modernised by a previous owner and had lost much of its original character.

Seating area inside holiday home by Wildland and Ruth Kramer
Several fireplaces were uncovered during the renovation

Kramer preserved the layout of the rooms but the interiors were stripped back and redecorated, with original features reintroduced to bring an authentic feeling to the spaces.

The house is located on the Aldourie Castle estate, which Wildland renovated at the same time.

Display inside Tigh Na Coille cottage
The interior scheme combines Scandinavian and Caledonian references

The refurbishment merges the Scandi-Scot aesthetic with nods to the castle’s more traditional decor. Modern carpets and softwood flooring were replaced with oak floorboards salvaged from the castle, which add warmth and tactility to the spaces.

Several of the beds were also sourced from the castle and were refurbished by local joiners, who created new parts for the four-poster frames.

All of the bathrooms were completely remodelled and the kitchen was brought up to modern standards, with a new island unit providing an additional worktop in the centre of the room.

Fireplaces uncovered during the renovation were carefully restored along with the property’s existing doors and windows, which were redressed to preserve their original appearance.

Bedroom with four-poster bed inside holiday home by Wildland and Ruth Kramer
The bedrooms feature dramatic four-poster beds

Over the years, various sections of the cornicing and architraves around the rooms had been replaced, so new parts were produced using mouldings taken from the original plasterwork.

According to Kramer, roughly half of the furniture was sourced second-hand and given a new life through bespoke joinery or reupholstery. The majority of the remaining pieces are vintage designs that add to the timeless feel.

“The ambition is that people walking into the house shouldn’t be able to tell what is new versus what is original,” she added. “We’re going for an ageless look that will also become better over time rather than being fashion-led.”

Bedroom in Tigh Na Coille cottage
Many of the furnishings were salvaged from the nearby castle

The centrepiece of the dining room is a vintage wooden table surrounded by midcentury chairs that were sourced at an auction and reupholstered using linen fabric and leather for the armrests.

Every Wildland property features one of Kramer’s favourite furniture designs, the Papa Bear armchair created in 1951 by Hans J. Wegner and produced by PP Møbler.

At Tigh Na Coille, the chair sits in a corner of the living room where it has a view of the fireplace. A wall-mounted lamp provides gentle illumination for reading.

Exterior of Tigh Na Coille cottage by Wildland and Ruth Kramer
The cottage is set on a wooded hill overlooking Loch Ness

Kramer collaborated closely on the project with Wildland co-owner Anne Holch Povlsen, the wife of Danish businessman Anders Holch Povlsen who made his fortune in the fashion industry with brands such as Bestseller.

Wildland owns three large estates in Scotland on which it operates hotels and self-catering accommodation as part of its 200-year vision to preserve the landscape and contribute to local communities.

The group’s other properties include a formerly derelict cottage that was transformed into a pared-back holiday home by Edinburgh-based GRAS architects, and another converted manse that was converted into an art-filled guesthouse.

The photography is by Fran Mart.

The post Tigh Na Coille cottage receives “Scandi-Scot” makeover appeared first on Dezeen.

Move over LEGO… These human-shaped bricks plug in together to showcase the power of unity

The idea of LEGO sparked from bricks, the concept of Minecraft sparked from pixels – but the Souper Connect has a much stronger metaphorical background. You see, each individual Souper brick is shaped like a human with a hole in them, and a single human brick can’t stand on its own. However, fill that hole with another human brick and the two can stand together. Build on this concept and you create a self-standing self-sustaining community, reflecting the power of human connectivity and the indomitable spirit of a healthy family or society. The cleverly designed bricks aren’t just great to play with, they’re also an overall lesson that we’re stronger together than we are alone. Quite a brilliant metaphor for what’s essentially just a set of building blocks, right?!

Designer: Peter Minsoub Sim

Click Here to Buy Now: $25 $42 (40% off). Hurry, only 8/35 left!

Created by visionary designer Peter Minsoub Sim, Souper Connect brings a new dimension to building blocks. The bricks are both the characters as well as the individual blocks, making them an incredibly creative toy for children as well as for adults. They’re a great way to stay entertained, learn valuable social and moral lessons, and the fact that all the Souper Connects are different colors just teaches an incredibly powerful aspect of human society – that people are different but they can still come together to build and grow.

Let your mind wander

Find focus at work

Have fun with the family

Take it with you wherever you go!

“These blocks offer a minimal and identifiable form that inspires imaginative play, collaboration, and with enough pieces can bring out the building engineer in any of us,” says Sim, who co-founded Souper Studio – the company behind the Souper Connect blocks. Each block is shaped like an abstract human, with two arms, two legs, a slight stub for a head, and a hole running through the chest. Two ‘humans’ can be connected simply by plugging an arm into the chest hole, bringing them closer together, but also giving you the ability to make complex shapes and forms. The overall gist is no different from LEGO, and you can use Souper humans to make a variety of shapes from towers and bridges to crowns. However, there’s also a unique fidget quality to the human bricks too, and they make rather decorative pendants for necklaces or bracelets.

Each Souper Connect is 1.9 inches tall, 2.4 inches wide, and 0.8 inches thick, making them incredibly safe around younger children too. The human bricks are molded from polypropylene plastic, making them incredibly durable and long-lasting, although there’s the ability to get them in aluminum too, sort of as a more premium toy for collectors. The bricks come in either a single unit as a keychain (or double if you choose the aluminum variant), or in playable sets of 12, 36, and 72, featuring an entire colorful bunch of Souper humans that you can bring together to create the utopia of your dreams! The Souper Connect is available at a special early bird discount on Kickstarter using the link below.

Click Here to Buy Now: $25 $42 (40% off). Hurry, only 8/35 left!

The post Move over LEGO… These human-shaped bricks plug in together to showcase the power of unity first appeared on Yanko Design.

This Simple Boxy Home Conceals Multiple Gardens & A Light-Filled Interior Within

Dubbed The Lang House, which is Chinese for pretty, this lovely home in suburban Melbourne is designed by Australia’s Austin Maynard Architects. When you first look at it, you may find the home quite simple and unassuming. It features a plain boxy exterior which is certainly no eye-grabber, but as you venture deeper into the home, you are welcomed by an ingenious space-saving layout that includes multiple gardens, filling up the space with warm natural light.

Designer: Austin Maynard Architects

The exterior of the home is clad in equitone cement fiber panels, which can be quite hard-wearing and is intended to be resistant to scratching and graffiti. The interior occupies 2,700 square feet and has loads of clever features that maximize the space available, accommodating concealed guest quarters at the entrance. This space includes a Murphy bed and heavy curtains.

The kitchen is located in the center of the home, and it is connected to two separate gardens, which provide loads of natural lighting and ventilation throughout the home. The cabinetry in the kitchen cleverly hides the appliances, as well as a little study area and a pantry. The upstairs section also accommodates a dedicated laundry and outdoor area, along with three bedrooms, and a bathroom with a neat sunken bathtub inside. The home also includes a multipurpose room which occupies the area located between the bedroom. This space functions as a playroom for the owner’s two young children. The home also contains a garage which can be utilized as a party area as well.

“The owners provided a thorough and well-researched brief; specific in their goals, aware of the site limitations, and encouraging creative solutions and architectural flair,” explained Austin Maynard Architects. “They were determined to live in a home without hallways and corridors, to avoid feeling boxed or compartmentalized, and to circumvent poor ventilation and heat retention in summer. They asked for their home to be highly pragmatic and efficient – in energy, cost, and use of space, but also to show uniqueness and creativity. To make something different.”

The Lang House features a roof-based 7-kW solar power system which is connected to a Huawei battery. and an electric car charging hookup. The home is oriented in such a manner that it makes good use of the winter sun, which warms the home in the cold months with the help of underfloor heating.

The post This Simple Boxy Home Conceals Multiple Gardens & A Light-Filled Interior Within first appeared on Yanko Design.