Welcome to Villa Flora, otherwise known as the “the greenest office in the Netherlands.” If you happen to know anything about the Netherlands (repeatedly ranked among the world’s greenest countries), that is astoundingly green. Although the incredible construction will eventually become home to several cutting edge companies, it was initially showcased quite recently to the public during Floriade 2012. The “Floriade”, or the World Horticultural Expo, is an artistic, festival-style celebration of nature. It seems only appropriate that this new landmark of intelligent design be revealed during an event embracing sustainability in such a creative and enthusiastic manner.
Architect Jón Kristinsson designed Villa Flora according to Cradle-to-Cradle principles, which promote a holistic approach to human systems (plant waste supports us, while our waste supports plants, thereby ultimately leaving no waste at all). Villa Flora supplies all her own energy, is CO2-neutral and re-uses organic waste in a sustainable loop; being in Villa Flora means being a healthy, dust-free indoor climate with stunning natural views.
For more on this masterpiece of sustainability and how it will impact the future, have a look at the following video report on its construction and reveal.
Luxury Furniture Designer Christopher Guy
Designer Resource Center (DRC) is officially welcoming British luxury designer Christopher Guy’s line to the showroom.
Christopher Guy was born in Britain, raised in France and Spain and resides between Europe, Singapore, and Los Angeles. His wide international background allows him to draw inspiration of everything he admires from around the world. Guy’s line embodies refinement and sophistication, fusing modernism with elegance. His brand includes a collection of chairs, sofas, banquettes, tables, cabinets, chests, beds, decorative accents, mirrors, chandeliers, and much more. At this time the Christopher Guy brand consists of three collections: Mademoiselle, Autograph, and Galleria.
The designer has worked with a wide range of clients such as The Mayfair Hotel and The Savoy Hotel in London, San Clemente Palace in Venice, Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, The Venetian and Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Ritz-Carlton worldwide, Villa Maria in St. Tropez, Harrods department store in London, and the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai. Guy has also made design collaborations in many Hollywood films including a Thomas Crown Affair, 007-Casino Royale, 007-Tomorrow Never Dies, The Devil Wears Prada, and The Hangover.
He has earned many awards for his outstanding designs, including: the Outstanding Design Award in 2004 granted by the British Interior Design Association, the Certificate of Excellence by HA+D for the Loose Furniture Category in 2010, and the Design Icon presented by the World Market Center Las Vegas and Las Vegas Design Center in 2011.
During the 20th century, the number of individuals aged 65 years and older in the United States absolutely sky rocketed—in short, it grew nearly four times as fast as the U.S. population as a whole. Thanks to healthcare advances across the board, this growth rate is likely to continue too, certainly well into the 21st century; some estimates have gone so far as to guess that by the year 2050, roughly one of every five U.S. adults will be over the age of 65.
Interior designers, as those often entrusted with the great responsibility of ensuring a house is truly a home, will play a critical role in this future: The accessibility issues developed with age can be frustrating, exhausting, limiting; with proper interior design skills, though, society can still ensure the elderly have homes that, while accommodating, do not feel institutionalized. Especially recently, interior designers have been developing and implementing creative elements that can keep a space functional yet warm and welcoming, from pull-out shelving to adjusted counter heights.
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) website offers one excellent case study on a bathroom designed for a wheelchair-bound client. The client, like many others, wanted a space that offered accessibility without sacrificing style. The designer, taking this into account, created a spa-like bathroom that refused to allow the accessibility factors to intrude or undermine the room. While a walk-in closet was provided, as well as grab bars and open spaces for easy maneuvering of both client and care givers, the design complemented these needs with strong, masculine materials like slate and mahogany. Thick, distorted glass blocks were also stacked to create walls that provided a respectful degree of privacy.
Granted, this shift in the population does not only affect home design; especially since the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, the design of public buildings and areas of all kinds has also required increasingly careful attention to accessibility details. Country-wide, interior designers will likely find themselves being called upon more and more often to satisfy the special needs of an elderly population. In remembering that the design needs of those clients are just as essential as their accessibility requirements, interior designers will play a critical role in ensuring the elderly can age with dignity, comfort, and respect.
With the popularity of hardwood floors on an exponential rise, rugs are becoming major players in rooms all over Florida. They offer great potential when it comes to injecting personality into a room, and act as a flexible element that can either calmly focus an existing design or add a bold splash of color. As always, color is key. However, in the case of rugs, which are available in every color, shape, and texture imaginable, designers must give special thought when selecting precisely what features unite their decorative elements. Here are some tips—and their subtleties—that designers commonly use when selecting rugs:
1)Texture can have just as much of an impact as color: the feel of the rug adds to the feel of the room. In a room set with sharp edges, metal, or glass pieces, a wool rug could nicely integrate a sense of warmth and welcome.
2)Keep in mind that all rugs are not the same size. Do not forget to consider your space and the surrounding furniture carefully. In a room with large, plush furniture, a small or slender rug will seem mismatched. If the rug is for a kitchen, consider guests will be sliding chairs in and out—will they be sliding off the rug?
3)As always, color is key. The term “chromo therapy” has been practiced by several ancient cultures and is all about using colors to heal. Rugs in blue shades are known as cool colors, and environmental colors, like deep greens, rosy quartz and stony neutrals are becoming increasingly popular and keep one calm. The color of a rug looks different under different lighting conditions.
4)In general, a simple beige rug can make your room look spacious and open. For a bolder version of the “beige” effect, look for a common neutral color in your furniture and draperies. For those a bit put off by a small room or little house, this tip can often add the sense of space they are seeking. On the flip side, in a minimalist room, a bright geometric or patterned rug could be a brassy statement piece.
5)Another advantage of rugs is that it provides warmth and insulation which guard against extreme heat or cold along with chromo therapy, an important benefit in our energy-conscious world.
Fashion and interior design are sister industries. It’s not uncommon for us to share inspiration amongst ourselves, so when we heard a buzz in the fashion world about fall trends, we took notice. PANTONE, the global authority on color, has surveyed the designers of New York Fashion Week and compiled a comprehensive report detailing the most popular colors for this rapidly-approaching fall. This year’s selections have been called a “palette of many moods” that has an unmatched versatility. Do you ever take inspiration from fashion trends? Check out the colors below and comment to let us know if you will be incorporating any into your designs!