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5 Biggest Trends in Modern Home Design

Whether you’re building, renovating or just wanting to add a touch of pizzazz to your home, it can be difficult to find inspiration for your design. There are so many possibilities! From colour, to size, to functionality, how do you know where to start? To narrow down your options, you should try to figure out what’s important to your home and the atmosphere you want to create. Here’s a list of recent home design trends to get your creative juices flowing:

Create the illusion of space

Neutral tones like grey are becoming more popular than ever because it makes the interior of the home appear bigger. In addition, instead of intricately carved antique-style cornices or pillars, modern homes are also using cleaner lines that make the home look neater and more composed. When it comes to space, big floor to ceiling windows or curtains can be enough to make a room look more spacious. High tray ceilings also make it seem roomier.

&Tradition | AJ Sofa | Est Magazine

Tear off the labels

Your typical kitchen and study no longer need to be your typical kitchen and study. Your kitchen can include a dining area, and your study can have an entertainment area. In fact, most of the rooms in your house can be fused together, saving space and creating convenience.

Include convenient components

There are many clever tools that make every movement and activity more convenient. Modern homes can now have fancy built-in gadgets like wireless chargers on tables or retractable chopping boards built into the counter. Shelves, closets and appliances built into the walls are also becoming more common as they provide more space to move around freely.

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Bold and experimental pieces

Though the common trend is to use a neutral palate with sleek designs, certain areas of the home can get away with a tasteful pop of colour or a conversation-worthy piece. For instance, you can go wild with an intricate yet contemporary chandelier in the living room or a boldly patterned wall in the bathroom. These little quirks keep your home from looking like a generic model home and add some of your personality into the design.

Go green

More and more people are switching to more environmentally friendly options like geothermal pumps and solar energy. A home that runs (or at least mostly runs) on clean energy is always a welcome addition to the fight against climate change, and it’s the socially responsible choice. You can also explore options like low-flow toilets, and tankless water heaters. It may seem a little pricey to begin with, but it’ll save you money in the long run.

6 Easy Steps to a Greener Home

Modscape

Your home is a fairly accurate reflection of your personality. So we could probably assume that you’re a bit of a scatterbrain if your house is fairly untidy. But if you’re dedicated to making the world a greener and cleaner place, you’d probably consider making some eco-friendly updates to your home. They don’t even have to be big drastic changes that would blow a hole through your bank account. In fact, most environmentally friendly home updates are extremely low-cost.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some home improvement updates you might want to consider: (more…)

Eco-friendly Heating Systems: Going Geothermal

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Home heating systems are a worthwhile investment in every home and essential for when those ridiculously cold mornings and nights set in.

Eco-friendly heating systems are more efficient and much safer than any fireplace. However, the common option for many homes is the heat pump HVAC system, which can perform both heating and cooling functions. In the hotter months, these heat pumps expel the heat in your home in order to replace it with colder air. In the colder months, it expels the cold air and replaces it with warmer air.

But there is another type of heating system that is growing more and more popular for its efficiency and ability to use up clean energy, whilst adding value to your home. (more…)

5 Space Saving Tips for Your Home

Living in the city comes with its fair share of advantages. You don’t have to go too far to reach the business district. Your home is surrounded by shops, restaurants and recreational spots. And if you’re the type who loves the hustle and bustle of the big city, you’ll never run out of fun activities to do.

However, there’s one problem with city living that most people would agree on: space isn’t cheap. Most people often choose to forego large open spaces for smaller homes, as long as it’s in the city. The problem with this is finding out where to put everything. That’s why having some space saving techniques up your sleeve can come in handy when you feel like your home can’t contain all your stuff!

Want to make the most out of your living space? Here are some useful tips:

  • Use convertible furniture. Pull-out, foldable and stackable furniture are the best friends of people who live in smaller homes. These kinds of furniture take up minimal space when they’re folded up or stored, but they’re fully functional once they’re set up. You can also use furniture that doubles as a storage space which saves you from buying two separate pieces.
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  • Don’t forget the stairs. The space under the stairs is often turned into a little broom closet or a dumping ground for discarded objects. Why not maximize that space by using shelves or drawers? This way, you can easily see which      items should stay and which ones need to be moved on.
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  • Invest in loft beds or bunk beds. Beds take up lots of space in a room, but you don’t have to sacrifice the comfort of a big bed for some extra space. Families with many kids may find that bunk beds are a great way to make sure two or more beds can comfortably fit into a room. Loft beds, on the other hand, work well when you want to take advantage of the vertical space in your room.
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  • The ceiling’s the limit. The garage is a wonderful place for storing all sorts of things. But did you ever think of using its ceiling? By adding railings or shelves and using storage boxes, you can store items that you won’t be using all year-round such as winter clothes, rain boots or items with sentimental value. The best part is you can use airtight boxes and dehumidifying agents to make sure dust and mould don’t accumulate on your things.
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  • Clear out the clutter. This is automatic for people who are used to living in small homes. But many people don’t realize just how many unnecessary things they have lying around. Ask yourself if you really need that bulky coffee table or that huge china cabinet. Pinpoint the things you can live without and donate them to charity or give them away to friends and family who might need them.
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Instant Learning

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Last month we gave you a sneak preview of our latest project installation — a modular classroom wing for Australian Catholic University. Now, we’re excited to bring to you this amazing time lapse video of the project being installed. Consisting of 23 modules, the project took 14 weeks to construct and only 4 nights to install.

Snøhetta reveals future plans for serpentine-shaped Opera Hotel

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Image via Snøhetta

The Lofoten archipelago in Norway is about to receive a spectacular architectural statement when construction of the newly unveiled Opera Hotel begins later this year. The project’s architects, radical-thinking Norwegian firm Snøhetta, have revealed images of a serpentine-shaped hotel complex that is as stunning and unique as the mountainous landscape. Set low and coiled across a rugged outcrop, the design’s spherical form evokes the feeling of being in the middle of the elements and offers guests oceanic views from every location in the building. According to the architects, the building program focused on “the functional and technical aspects of access, infrastructure, ecology and sustainability, connection to outdoors areas and existing buildings.” Future guests will be offered a complete accommodation experience with a mix of hotels and apartments, an amphitheatre, spa, hiking facilities and sea water basins located within the 11,000 sqm building. Once completed, the Opera Hotel is set to attract new tourists and guests to the Lofoten area which is home to one of Norway’s 18 national tourist routes.

School of Life Begins New Life in Melbourne

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Image via School of Life

‘There’s no better school than the school of life’ is how the saying goes, but now you really can say you’ve learned from The School of Life, which has just moved in permanently to Melbourne’s CBD. Originating in the UK but operating workshops worldwide, The School of Life is a school dedicated to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture in a variety of classes, books, retreats, intensives, bibliotherapies and conversations that are proudly dogma free. Whereas most colleges and universities chop up learning into abstract categories, The School of Life titles its courses according to things we all tend to care about. Classes range from two hour how-tos in creativity, confidence, relationships and careers, to art therapy guided tours and five-day intensives that give you the chance to step outside your daily existence and think productively about important life issues, goals and dreams. Founder Alain De Botton is no stranger to ideas that impact the way people live, having established Living Architecture — a social enterprise that offers the public a chance to rent holiday homes designed by some of the most talented architects working today. Botton chose Melbourne as the next international hub for its “ideal community, with people being creative, curious and open to new experiences.” Since its launch in the UK in 2008, The School of Life has taught some 50,000 individuals and, with another campus so close to home, promises to continue introducing new ideas that will exercise, stimulate and expand the mind. For details and upcoming class information check out The School of Life website.

Hell Bent for Leather

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image via walter knoll

The construction of our new display suite is now underway and will showcase the innovation, quality and high level of contemporary modular design that Modscape clients (old and new) have come to expect. No display suite would be complete without a complementary mix of furnishings and accessories, so we searched high and low for some seriously cool furniture around Melbourne and found the Cuoio Lounge Chair by German manufacturer Walter Knoll. Designed by EOOS, the Cuoio Lounge Chair features minimalist design, understated materials, and exact lines to form an elegant piece of furniture with lasting appeal. The contour of the leather saddle is enhanced by lateral slits in the fabric which gives it its shape and ensures a comfortable sitting position. The fact that the chair can be separated into its constituent parts and is recyclable confirms its sustainability and gets the thumbs up from us. The Cuoio Lounge Chair is available in black or brown with optional accessories including sheepskin rug, cushion and matching footstool. Check out the Walter Knoll website for a list of stockists or, if you’re a little short on change, you can experience it for yourself in our new display suite when it opens at the end of March.

Stairway to the Treetops: Tower House by Gluck+

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image via gluck+

Despite its stately form and lofty proportions, the Tower House by Gluck+ is a small holiday home in upstate New York that is designed as a stairway to the treetops. More reminiscent of an upright Tetris block than a conventional holiday home, the right-angled orientation of the home was an intentional move by owner and Gluck+ principal, Thomas Gluck, to minimise its environmental footprint and create a treetop aerie which afforded mountain views. As a four storey tower, the home is glazed on all sides and features a stacked internal arrangement. The larger living areas are lifted off the ground, and the smaller bedroom and bathroom areas are confined to the three floors below, creating a modest 40sqm base footprint. In order to optimize energy savings for heating and cooling, a two part sustainable strategy was employed to reduce the heating footprint of the house in the winter and avoid the need for air conditioning in the summer. While the house is heated conventionally, by compressing and stacking all of the wet zones of the house into an insulated central core, much of the house can be switched off in the winter when not in use. By closing the building down to only the insulated core, there is a 49% reduction in energy use. The cantilevered top floor spreads out of the tower like the surrounding forest canopy, and reminds us of our Point Leo project which features a similar profile and elevation, although on a slightly smaller scale. While conventionally built, the clean lines and cubic dimensions of the Tower House could easily be conceived as a sustainable, modular solution.

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