Metrick Cottage and Boathouse, Lake Joseph, Ontario, Canada

A transformation from devout urbanites to resolute cottage-dwellers was unlikely for Torontonians Renee and Ken Metrick, their sons Andrew and Jamie and their families. They are the third- and fourth-generation owners of the Elte home décor retail brand and its extensions Elte Mkt and bath retailer Ginger’s. As a family they had proven they are capable of working together during the busy business week. But to want to spend also…

Farmhouse Residence in Provence, France

Monegasque Christopher Poyet and Parisian Emil Humbert established their Monaco-based Humbert & Poyet design agency in 2007. Over the years, their well-publicized luxurious projects have range from villas and hotels to showrooms and offices in Europe including Monaco, Paris, Berlin and London, and also in Mexico City and Dubai. Perfectly timed to become also their home office during Covid, the designers spent three years creating a second home and country retreat…

Laurel Canyon Residence, Los Angeles, California, USA

Sophisticated but practical would be an appropriate description of the large new family home in Laurel Canyon with interior design by West Hollywood-based Studio Lifestyle. But it is much more than that. Behind the holistic look are layers and layers of solutions reached through hundreds of decisions and negotiations, yet it all looks like a cohesive entity. We love the overall livability of the house. Although it is opulent and…

Pacific Palisades Residence, Los Angeles, California, USA

First, it is the height, the arches and the whiteness that attract our eyes and strike us as amazing about the main lounge of the Pacific Palisades residence. But in the end, it is the stunning, minimalist double-height fireplace that is the central focus and the most astonishing feature of this space. It is by far our favourite element of the entire house. These structural components determine the overall feel…

Warehouse Gym, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Those endless rows of black equipment. The overall feel of a gym. We are hoping that one day, someone will disrupt this segment and decide that not all exercise equipment has to look like oil-rig machinery channelling destruction and torture, not health and well-being. Maybe we are the only humans whose idea of health and fitness doesn’t include torture or brutalist leanings. And yes, we hear those of you who’d…

Theorem Winery, Calistoga, California, USA

Theorem Vineyards is one of many wineries located in Calistoga in the Diamond Mountain area of California’s Napa Valley. This region is known as a world-class winemaking region as its volcanic soil and mild climate are ideal for wine growing. With its lush mountain valleys, the area is also known for its breathtaking scenery and it is popular as a vacation destination. One of the features we love about the recently…

MDC Next Door, Berlin, Germany

Berlin-based design and architecture firm Gonzalez Haase AAS has reportedly channelled New York artist Gordon Matta-Clark’s ‘building cuts’ into MDC Next Door, their latest retail space collaboration with the MDC Cosmetic brand. Matta-Clark expressed his ‘anarchitecture’ in the mid 1970s New York with chain saws and sledgehammers, cutting holes into long-since cleaned-up downtown warehouses and slicing homes in half. However, Gonzalez Haase’s work with the distinctly feminine MDC Melanie Dal Canton…

Beta Cinema Quang Trung, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

According to Jade Kim Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of design firm Module K, Vietnamese movie theatres have thrived in recent years in part because they offer a social experience. She has said that in Vietnam millennials and gen Z don’t go to the cinema just to watch a movie, they go in a group to hang out, to talk and spend an evening together. In short, movie theatres are, or…

The Rock Residence, Alta Lake, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Consistently ranked as one of the top ski resorts in North America, Whistler is located less than two hours’ drive (120 km) up Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver. The pedestrian hub at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains is a cookie-cut chalet-style resort, but the Whistler area is also known for some spectacular upscale second residences. Completed in a five-year start-to-finish period, The Rock was initially created as a recreational…

NORM Residence, Baie D’Urfé, Montréal, Québec, Canada

In the recent NORM residence renovation, Montreal-based Alain Carle Architecte has created an elegant study in white that appears even more magical when the cold Montreal winter covers the ground in snow. Baie-D’Urfé is a residential community at the southwestern end of the island of Montreal. The area has mostly large houses on sizeable lots. But because its street grid meanders in the uneven topography, many residences are visible from several…

Carla Ridge Residence, Beverly Hills, California, USA

With its 9,800 square feet (910.5 sq. ft) and five bedrooms, Carla Ridge Residence fits perfectly in the portfolio of the developer for whom Los-Angeles-based Woods + Danagran created this project. It is a decidedly Californian residence with a skillfully orchestrated connection with nature and exquisite modernist touches throughout the interior. Money is not a problem for most buyers viewing properties at Trousdale Estates in Beverly Hills. As of September…

RURI Kaiseki Ryori restaurant, Chengdu, China

RURI Kaiseki Ryori is a traditional Japanese restaurant located on the third floor of an office sky scraper in the middle of Chengdu’s high-tech district. Although the idea sounds like a recipe for failure, the end result is surprisingly magical. An elegant mix of traditional and modern, the 660 square-metre (7,105 sq. ft) restaurant is an environment all of its own with a completely different atmosphere and décor from the…

Harmay Cosmetics Store, Xidan Cultural Plaza, Beijing, China

Chinese cosmetics firm Harmay began in 2013 as an online-only operation selling its own brand and international imports via the Alibaba-owned shopping platform Taobao. By 2015, company CEO Damien Zhong was convinced that a real-life Harmay shopping experience would fit perfectly into the lifestyles of the brand’s young and adventurous target clientele. This was not the opinion many held about the future of cosmetics retailing. Many were predicting the end of…

AHC Waterful Desert Spa, Gangnam, Seoul – South Korea

AHC Waterful Desert Spa is the new flagship location and a renewed spa brand of the Korean beauty brand AHC. The soft-hued, open and airy spa provides an antidote to the endless hustle of the 9.8-million-inhabitant city’s Gangnam (Gangnam-gu – South of the River) district that is the capital’s modern high-end, high-energy centre with its skyscrapers, nightclubs and shopping. Local design firm FLYmingo  created the calm and pleasing atmosphere using…

Weekend Music Playlist 35

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Kämp Hotel Bar, Helsinki Finland

“My dear Aino, how would I know? I am a composer, not a fortune-teller.” This quote by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius in the 1890s is said to have been his reply to his wife’s persistent inquiries as to when, if ever, he might be coming home from yet another of his excessively lengthy and decidedly liquid ‘Symposium’ sessions at the luxurious Kämp Hotel Bar in the centre of Helsinki. At…

Sagaponack Modern Weekend House, Long Island, NY, USA

Sagaponack is one of the most expensive areas of the Hamptons, the famous seaside playground of New York’s elite at the East End of Long Island. In fact, Sagaponack is cited by Business Week magazine as the most expensive ZIP code in the United States. In this exclusive enclave, former fashion stylist Kay Olivia Keren and Ryan Jackson, principal of the real estate firm Stellar Management, located their future weekend…

Shanghai Metro Line 15 Wuzhong Road Station, Shanghai, China

Whether you know them as metro, subway, U-bahn, skytrain or tube, underground railways have existed for a long time. The oldest, the London Underground, opened in 1863 for locomotive trains. In 1890 it became the world’s first metro system when electric trains started operating on one of its deep-level tube lines. Budapest and Glasgow followed in 1896, Chicago’s L opened in 1897, and Paris in 1900. And although much of…

Shuckshuck Oyster Bar – Chinatown Vancouver BC Canada

For many of us, an oyster is as raw a food as it gets. A slurpy mouthful of a sea-seasoned bivalve mollusc. You love it or you hate it. Same goes for concrete as a dominant decorative element. You either love it or hate it, too. At the recently opened ShuckShuck Oyster Bar at 227 East Pender Street in the heart of Vancouver’s expansive Chinatown, the novice owners have hung their…

INES Innovation Center, University of Bio Bio, Collao Campus, Concepción, Chile

Designed in 2013-2015 but completed only recently, the INES Innovation Center at University of the Bio Bio’s Collao Campus is just as impressive and delightful now as it was when originally conceived. The local, Concepción-based art and architecture studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen has created a wood structure that bears many of the hallmarks of the studio’s work, most notably the blocky exterior of the structure combined with the interconnectedness that…

Villa JM, North Brabant, The Netherlands

Villa JM, designed by Powerhouse Company manages to convey both lightness and solidity, and transparency and stability. Located in a woodland area of the historic North Brabant province in the south of The Netherlands, Villa JM takes full advantage of its tranquil setting. The openness and gentleness of the surrounding woods are repeated skillfully in the exterior of the house. The residence achieves an exquisite balance with its curving walls…

Villa La Grintosa, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, Italy

Costa Smeralda (Emerald Coast) is a resort destination in northern Sardinia, Italy. Parisian Architect and founder of Stera Architectures, Stefania Stera, grew up in this area and remembers climbing the rocks in the early 1960s when Prince Karim Aga Khan and a group of investors began shaping the area’s Porto Cervo resort.  Stefania Stera got to know the construction sites of the luxury hotels Romazzino and Cala di Volpe, and…

Residence DVB Knokke, Knokke-Heist, Belgium

Built in the summer of 2020, DVB Knokke residence is a single-family house located in the province of West Flanders in the municipality of Knokke-Heist, one of Belgium’s best-known and most affluent seaside resorts. The house itself, with architecture by Arttec Knokke, is a beautifully unassuming, two-level structure that blends discretely with the surrounding, lush […]

Casa Mais Linda, Condomínio Terras de São José, Brazil

Casa Mais Linda (Most Beautiful House) is located in the historic municipality of Itu, about 100 kilometres west of the city of  São Paulo in Brazil.  More specifically, the residence is part of Condomínio Terras de São José, one of Brazil’s first and foremost urban residential areas. Established in 1975 and known for is extensive green […]

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nCAVED Vacation Residence – Serifos, Cyclades, Greece

Designed by Athens-based MOLD Architects nCAVED is currently high on our list of genuinely original yet refreshingly unpretentious vacation residences. The drama of the severe rocky landscape is repeated with dramatic skill in the chiselled strictness of the building. Completed in 2020, nCAVED’s 340 square metres (3,660 sq.ft) of space disappear into the rock in a […]

Bananananana Coffee, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China

Instead of going for cozy or comfortable, the designers of Bananananana Coffee went for shock value in their design concept for the 60-square-metre (646 sq.ft) coffee shop. The shop is located at 175 Qingjiang Road in a non-descript older building in the Qianjiang New Town in Hangzhou, so a more conventional approach would have been […]

RN Residence, Itaúna, Minas Gerais, Brazil

RN Residence is a recreational property overlooking a massive dam in the small town of Itaúna in the State of Minas Gerais in the southeast region of Brazil. Within the large 26,650 square-metre (almost 6.5 acres) site, many options were available to the architects at Jacobsen Arquitetura but together with the clients they identified a few […]

Moore House Restoration, Los Feliz, Los Angeles

It is always risky to renovate a classic or potentially classic building. Is this really a classic and worth saving? Are the changes necessary? Will the changes ruin the integrity of the original structure? These are simple, basic questions, but crucially important if there is a desire to restore rather than recreate. In their recent […]

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Historic Residence Renovation, Pacific Heights, San Francisco

A family of four had purchased a gorgeous, white Edwardian-style building on a hilly street corner in the historic Pacific Heights area of San Francisco but the house needed a complete upgrade to meet the needs of the family that includes two busy professional adults and two young daughters. The 1925 structure was indeed beautiful […]

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Ando Japanese-Spanish Restaurant in Hong Kong

An eclectic fusion of styles, cuisines, cultural influences, traditions and urban settings was the inspiration and starting point for the dark and masculine design for Ando restaurant in Hong Kong by Singapore-based design firm Brewin Design Office. The Brewin design office team is led by its award-winning founder, Robert Cheng, known for example, for designing some […]

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