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Tag Archives: Interior Design

25 Sustainable Projects to Celebrate Earth Day

 

Happy Earth Day! Sustainability is becoming a standard in architecture, and LEED certification is only the beginning. These projects prove that green design is the new frontier.

1. Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Strikes All the Right Notes With Arvo Pärt Centre in Estonia

Spanish firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos won a two-phase competition to design this center with their thesis that links music and architecture. Considering the ratio of glass to metal also became essential because of the layers of thermal insulation needed to create a sustainable and easily heated structure. But first Nieto Sobejano decided what the project shouldn’t have: right angles, a main facade, and a discernable front or back. Instead, what emerged was a pattern of “continuous links echoing the trees,” Sobejano says. Read more

2. Sustainably Designed and Architecturally Significant Buildings in Singapore

Not only is the entire 27-floor external facade wrapped in a natural vine covered sunscreen, but the Oasia Hotel Downtown also has four lush sky terraces, 1,793 large planter boxes, and four large structural cores that allow for good cross ventilation reducing the overall energy cost. Designed by WOHA and completed in 2016, the hotel is home to over 33 species of plants and 21 species of creepers. In addition, the 314-room property is notable for its striking interior design by Patricia UrquiolaRead about 7 more sustainable buildings in Singapore

3. Warmth and Modernism Are at the Heart of 3XN’s Design for Olympic House

Two of the most poignant concepts International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach wanted the design to articulate were sustainability and transparency. 3XN certainly delivered; the build is LEED platinum-certified, and has reused 90 percent of the concrete from the previous headquarters that was demolished to make way for the new build. Read more

4. ACDF Architecture Partners With Architecture49 for Mega Project Parq Vancouver

Six stories high, capped with a 30,000-square-foot roof garden, this contemporary structure “is an urban oasis,”ACDF Architecture CEO Maxime-Alexis Frappier says. ACDF partnered with Architecture49 and their response was not a looming hulk but rather a curving, low-rise presence wrapped in a mirrored facade that reflects its surroundings. Aluminum louvers, capturing sunlight, reflect pixelated images of the Rocky Mountains in the distance. The daylight resulting from abundant glazing contributes to the project’s LEED Gold status, proving Parq fits into the global environment, too. Read more

5. Annapolis Residence by Bates Masi + Architects Wins 2018 Best of Year Award for Waterfront House

When a prospective client in Annapolis, Maryland, told Bates Masi + Architects‘ principal Paul Masi that he and his wife had recently purchased a house on the water, he really meant it: The residence’s second-floor deck literally hung right over a cove in the Chesapeake Bay. However, the 1970s structure was sorely outdated, located in the flood plain, and didn’t meet current energy codes. Masi’s solution yielded a new, flat-roofed house, raised three feet higher than its predecessor—and LEED-certified to boot. Read more

6. TPG Architecture Makes Headlines With Its Office for the Associated Press in New York

The AP staffers have had a chance to settle into their new digs by TPG Architecture, which have since been awarded LEED Gold certification. As you might expect, good news travels fast. As Carmel says, the office “compliments who we are as an organization.” That includes a bit of spirit, as seen at the perimeter of the café. There the white floor tile bursts into a confetti of colors, as if celebrating the much-decorated news agency. Read more

7. Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat by Neri & Hu Design and Research Office Wins 2018 Best of Year Award for Green

For Neri & Hu, this project entailed repurposing and renovating existing structures—including a former warehouse that now hosts a restaurant, a theater, and an exhibition space—as well as erecting new ones, among them a lakeside pavilion containing four of the 20 suites. “The rustic materiality and layered spaces redefine tradition via a modern architectural language,” says Neri. Read more

8. Studio Rianknop Creates Flexible, Sustainable Space for Amsterdam Tech Company

When an Amsterdam company that manages a file-sharing platform decided to move from the city center to a warehouse near the city limits, it shared a few tasks with local design firm Studio Rianknop: Create a flexible space for the company’s staff; make it sustainable; and take advantage of the industrial space in a relaxing, inviting way. In a clever nod to the wires funneling data across the globe, a “cable tree” grows from the lower level with branches powering first-floor public spaces and a tubular chandelier. Read more

9. The Center for Fiction by BKSK Architects Brings Books and Sustainability to Brooklyn

The Center for Fiction started out as the Mercantile Library in 1821 and moved locations throughout Manhattan over the years. In 2008, it was rebranded, and more than 10 years later, the Center has a permanent home in a LEED Silver-certified building in downtown Brooklyn by BKSK Architects. In the writers’ studio, locally-made custom wool felt panels are perforated with the Center’s logo, an open book. Read more

10. ASID Headquarters Becomes World’s First Space to Earn LEED and WELL Platinum Certification

The Washington, DC office, designed by Perkins + Will, is brimming with features that support health and wellness. One is a circadian lighting system that mimics natural daylight, paired with automated shades that follow the sun’s movement to help eliminate eye strain. The design team also implemented biophilic design strategies, for instance by using a range of natural materials and patterns. Read more

11. Mohawk Group’s New NYC Showroom Embraces Wellness

Located in a former textile factory in historic Chelsea, Mohawk Group‘s 13,000-square-foot showroom was designed by Gensler and incorporates LEED and WELL Building Standard qualifications, fully expressing Mohawk’s company ethos: Believe in better. Read more

12. Huntsman Architectural Group Downsizes McKesson for Maximum Efficiency

For McKesson’s San Francisco office, Huntsman Architectural Group went with undeniably contemporary furnishings. Sui generis, however, is a break room’s custom bench, a repurposed conveyor belt hinting at McKesson’s core business. Which brings us to the fact that the premises are going for Well Building certification as well as LEED Gold. Read more

13. Perkins + Will Creates a Contemporary Office for Nixon Peabody in New York

Perkins + Will designed this space to be easily reconfigured as needs change. A feature stair connects the office’s three levels with show-stopping views of the city, and floor-to-ceiling glass walls help foster synergy between practice areas. It was also awarded LEED Gold certification. In all, the office is a balance of functionality and design statement. Read more

14. Five Global Green Projects Pay it Forward

For Park + Associates‘s own office, minimal intervention transformed a 1960’s former school into a showcase of clean-lined design, thanks to vintage furnishings, a black-and-white palette, and painted-steel arches highlighting the reinforced-concrete barrel vaults. Read about all 5 global green projects

15. SKB Architects Creates Lively Lobby for Key Center Office Tower

No longer merely pass-through places, lobbies have become hotel-esque settings. They entice potential tenants to lease, and existing tenants get a perk that might entice them to stay. Such is the case at the Key Center office tower across the water from Seattle. After purchasing the 23-story building, Kilroy Realty Corporation opted to implement changes resulting in LEED Platinum certification and to transform the immense lobby into a “people place,” SKB Architects senior principal Shannon Gaffney recounts. “That’s our thing.” Read more

16. Mosa Tiles Enliven Venetian Villa by JM Architecture

Italian studio JM Architecture outlined a sustainable agenda to maximize the home’s energy-efficiency. Mosa’s LEED-contributing ceramic tiles, which received Cradle-to-Cradle® Silver certification, join the multitude of eco-friendly features that distinguish the villa, including inlaid photovoltaic panels and radiant floor heating. Read more

17. Venable by Alliance Architecture Wins 2017 Best of Year Award for Large Law Office

Moving to a gleaming LEED Platinum palace in the booming East End, this 117-year-old law firm left behind the endless dreary silos of its former headquarters and embraced a cultural shift toward wellness and ergonomics. Thanks to Alliance Architecture, sunlight penetrates offices with clear glass enclosures, every employee has a motorized standing desk, and the café opens onto a terrace complete with barbecue grills, a fire pit, a bar, and a bocce court. Read more

18. 1 Hotel’s Miami Beach Debut by Meyer Davis Studio

Meyer Davis Studio was charged with transforming the lower eight stories of a 1968 building into 1 Hotel Miami. “We paid homage to the natural landscape of south Florida,” Meyer notes—versus the art deco razzle-dazzle typically associated with the area. Moves large and small rack up points in the quest for LEED Silver certification. Uses of reclaimed wood represent a virtual forest preserved. Dialing down to details, Meyer andDavis specified organic bed linens, hemp mattresses, and clothes hangers molded from recycled paper, while bedside note pads have disappeared in favor of chalkboards. Read more

19. Lotus Square Art Center by Shenzhen Dae Wins 2018 Best of Year Award for Outdoor

It’s basically common knowledge these days that installing a green roof on a building helps reduce its energy use, absorb stormwater, and combat air pollution. This practice has become increasingly mainstream in hotter developed land masses known as urban heat islands. One such is Hengqin island, overlooking Macau. That’s where this sculptural verdant roof tops an art exhibition hall. Read more

20. Six Futuristic Projects Sprouting Green Roofs

From reducing storm water runoff and city dust to energy-efficient cooling, the benefits of green roofing go beyond beautification. As costs lower and technology makes installation easier, this environmentally conscious trend is increasingly defining the facades of both existing and new buildings. A 660-foot-long undulating wave of verdant green grass forms a rooftop park at Université Paris-Est’s technology and science center, the Espace Bienvenüe designed by Jean-Philippe Pargade. Read about all six green roofs

21. Kimpton Travels to the Caribbean

Amid the sea blues and sandy whites of this resort, there’s a good amount of green, too: A solar array generates electricity, rainwater is harvested for maintaining the landscape, and air-conditioning is geothermal. Read more

22. Mortenhals House by Stinessen Arkitektur Wins 2017 Best of Year Award for Green

The unusual configuration of this family compound by Snorre Stinessen, comprising multiple cabins, plays with the way that the visitor slowly discovers what’s hidden behind the wooden doors. Even the outdoor areas remain private, with only waterscapes or trees as neighbors. In addition to the aesthetic appeal of the design, it checks off all the eco-conscious boxes: The forest was protected during the building process, all wood was sourced locally, water is used with restraint, and electricity is primarily hydropower. Read more

23. HKS’s Loretta Fulvio Decodes U.S. Bank Stadium, Site of Super Bowl LII

When designing for a Super Bowl–sized audience, there’s no greater expert than Loretta Fulvio, lead interior designer for architecture firm HKS’s Sports sector. When tasked with designing the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Fulvio and her team sought to create experiences that extend far beyond Super Bowl Sunday. In the stands, visitors can feel good about making a positive impact: 91 percent of waste is recycled, composted, or donated, due to the concession stands using compostable packaging. And the entire venue is run on wind power. Read more

24. San Vicente 935 by Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects Wins 2018 Best of Year Award for Rental Apartment Building

All apartments in this building have balconies overlooking the central courtyard. Its accessibility eliminates the need for interior, climate-controlled hallways, saving on energy consumption. For the solid faces, Lorcan O’Herlihy employed two materials that contrast each other for visual interest and also help to reduce scale. Siding is fiber cement made of recycled content. Screens, which act as a rain-shield system, are slats of ipe harvested from a local, sustainably managed forest. Read more

25. A Bamboo Kitchen Dominates This Super-Green House by Minarc

Built with prefab panels, this 2,500-square-foot structure by Minarc is sustainable to the max. Bathrooms overflow with eco consciousness. In the powder room, wood scraps stack up to form a vanity supporting a sink in recycled rubber. For a truly back-to-nature experience, right next to the soaking tub in the master bathroom, there’s a lush plant wall. Read more

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The Wing Brings Custom-Designed Mother’s Rooms to Brooklyn Office Buildings

Mother’s room designed by The Wing for DUMBO office buildings. Photography by Shelly Kroeger/ courtesy of The Wing.

 

When thinking of comfortable and relaxing spaces for a mother to pump or otherwise care for an infant, the office is likely ranked dead last. Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, cofounders of the women’s co-working space, The Wing, want to change that. Gelman and Kassan have mobilized The Wing’s internal design team to bring secure, private spaces for working moms into the close-knit community of offices in DUMBO, starting with office buildings under Two Trees Management.

The office buildings—20 Jay, 55 Washington, and 45 Main streets—neighbor The Wing’s 9,000 square-foot co-working space at 1 Main street, which is also a Two Trees property. Laetitia Gorra, head interior designer of The Wing’s internal design team, led the design process for the mother’s rooms.

Read More: No.12 Fashions Women Professionals a Room of Their Own in London

“The Wing’s Dumbo location at 1 Main has been a valued addition to the neighborhood and we are proud to build on our partnership with Audrey and Lauren to deliver Wing-approved mother’s rooms to our own building tenants,” said Jed Walentas, principal of Two Trees Management, in a statement.

Mother’s room designed by The Wing for DUMBO office buildings. Photography by Shelly Kroeger/ courtesy of The Wing.

Most of the finishes were custom; the existent flooring is complemented by a custom jute rug, adding a natural warmth to the space. The scalloped wallpaper used throughout is custom designed and branded by The Wing but printed by Flat Vernacular. Fringe detail on the custom-designed lighting fixtures creates warm-toned, softly diffused light. Next to the changing table, a custom Carrara marble sink is fitted with matte black Moen fixtures and sits atop a cabinet in one of The Wing’s signature tints of mint green. Plants from Sachi Rose floral design add a secondary touch of nature to the space and complement the other tones of green used throughout. 

Read More: Why Jonathan Adler is Fisher-Price’s New Creative Director

The design objective for the series of mother’s rooms was to bring the same sense of security and comfort a woman would feel attending to her child at home to the workplace, according to Gorra. Over 500 companies occupy the three Two Trees buildings and are now able to make use of these six nursing and care spaces.

Next, read about Chandra Moore; the Detroit-based architect has built her firm around designing for children. 

Continue reading The Wing Brings Custom-Designed Mother’s Rooms to Brooklyn Office Buildings

Michael Maltzan, Fettle Design, and Jorge Pardo Create Art at Audrey at the Hammer

PROJECT NAME Audrey at the Hammer
LOCATION Los Angeles
FIRMS MIchael Maltzan Architecture, Fettle Design
SQ. FT. 3,000 SQF

Like a lot of New Yorkers, restaurateur Soa Davies Forrest and chef Lisa Giffen have headed toward the enticing sunsets and glamorous settings of Los Angeles—in this case, for Audrey at the Hammer, located on the ground floor and patio of the Hammer Museum as part of the institution’s renovation and expansion overseen by Michael Maltzan Architecture.

LA- and London-based Fettle Design worked with Maltzan on the vivid 3,000-square-foot, 115-seat space. “It takes inspiration from the clean lines and renowned installations of the museum itself,” says Fettle’s director and co-founder Tom Parker. “This meant that the restaurant and courtyard needed to set the stage for a multitude of strong components,” he adds, not only enticing the Hammer’s art fans but also LA foodies to view it as a destination on its own.

Read more: Workstead’s Citrus Club at The Dewberry Takes Mid-Century Modern Tropical

Jorge Pardo’s tiles wrap around the sides of the banquettes in the dining room. Photography courtesy of Audrey at the Hammer.

 

The project also serves as a canvas for Cuban artist Jorge Pardo’s tiles, which pop up across the walls behind banquettes, and his pendants, which cluster inside then flutter into the courtyard, suspended from trees. “If you look closely,” Parker says, “you can see that the lights are banded by color, with the red, orange, and white versions suspended at set heights.” They’re an artful installation in their own right.

Keep scrolling to view more images of the project >

Custom banquettes by The Flemming Group line the courtyard, with chairs by the Teak Workshop. Photography courtesy of Audrey at the Hammer.
Pardo’s pendants hang on custom brackets in groups of three, clustered above the feature banquette. Photography courtesy of Audrey at the Hammer.
Audrey at the Hammer’s nearly 30-foot, double-sided bar sits between the dining room and the courtyard. Photography courtesy of Audrey at the Hammer.
The banquette’s back pads are olive mohair from JB Martin; their seat pads are forest green leather from Tiger Leather. Photography courtesy of Audrey at the Hammer.
Precast concrete panels form the bar, with satin nickel fixtures and banding. Photography courtesy of Audrey at the Hammer.

Read more: New in Los Angeles: 10 Recent Projects in the City of Angels

10 Questions With… MoMA Curator Juliet Kinchin

Juliet Kinchin, curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA. Photography by Robert Gerhardt, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Juliet Kinchin, dressed in black accented by pops of color from her necklace (a find at the MoMA Design Store) and ruby-red square bracelet, walked through The Value of Good Design exhibition at theMuseum of Modern Art in New York, pausing at an armchair designed by Hans Wegner in the 1940s as if seeing it for the first time. But this was hardly Kinchin’s introduction to the object in front of her—she curated the exhibition.  

As Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA since 2008, Kinchin has organized design retrospectives ranging fromCounter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen (2010-11) to Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000 (2012) and held faculty positions at The Glasgow School of Art and at The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in Design in New York. Positioning objects in ways that create new dialogue is her forte.  

The Value of Good Design runs through June 15, 2019 and features household objects, furniture, and appliances from the late 1930s through the 1950s when the U.S. emerged as what Kinchin calls a “design superpower.” It also spotlights MoMA’s Good Design Initiatives, which served as an incubator for innovation at the time. After the walk-through, Kinchin shared some insights into her curatorial process with Interior Design, including her earliest design influences, addressing inclusivity in exhibitions, and the joy of re-purposing vintage curtains.

The Anywhere Lamp by Greta Von Nessen (1951), made of aluminum and enameled steel. Photography courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Interior Design: What does ‘good design’ mean today?

Juliet Kinchin: The words ‘good design’ are always going to conjure up different things for different people. And something that was considered good design in the 1950s doesn’t necessarily hold up nowadays. Good design should reflect technological advances and the social conditions or aspirations of each generation. It goes without saying that most people don’t want to live in the past or dress like our parents and grandparents. Having said that, some objects and core values do seem to have stood the test of time—generally those which combine eye appeal, functionality, and affordability. This was a combination of values that MoMA curators, like Edgar Kaufmann Jr., were trying to seek out at mid-century. What’s perhaps different is the way we are now thinking more about sustainability and the ethical dimension of the way things are made and sold.

ID: Why choose to explore the value of good design through mid-century pieces?  

JK: The second world war and its aftermath brought design into focus as a tool for engineering change, whether social, technological, or economic. It was a time of tremendous experimentation, innovation, and idealism in the design of everyday objects and, from 1945 at least, a time of optimism about creating a different, more egalitarian future. I think we are all hungry for that kind of optimism and innovation right now. ‘Good Design’ at mid-century was an international phenomenon and in our exhibition at MoMA we wanted to show the commonality of approaches and thinking in different parts of the world, and the networks through which so many designers and manufacturers moved freely.

Read more: 10 Questions With… Lisa White

Prototype for Chaise Lounge (La Chaise) by Charles Eames and Ray Eames (1948), made of hard rubber foam, plastic, wood, and metal. Photography by Jonathan Muzikar, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

ID: What’s the greatest challenge when curating an exhibition like this? 

JK: The exhibition includes objects of such different scales and media, which is also half the fun, from a Tupperware popsicle to printed textiles, a Fiat Cinquecento, and a film made by Charles and Ray Eames for the 1959 American National Exhibition held in Moscow. It’s about trying to arrange them in meaningful and visually coherent groups, bringing designed objects into friendly dialogue, or argument, with each other. It is also a challenge to put developments in the U.S. in a broad international context. We have included stunning and familiar design from Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, and the U.K. but also wanted to move beyond them to countries like Czechoslovakia, Mexico, Japan. It was interesting to see how good design was coopted into a framework of Cold War politics. One only has to think of the face-off in 1959 between Nixon and Kruschev in front of a fitted American kitchen on view in Moscow. It is a timely reminder about the power of design as an ideological weapon.

ID: How do you address inclusivity, especially when revisiting work from the 1930s through 1950s?

JK: There is no doubt that in those decades the design professions were far from inclusive in terms of gender and ethnicity, and that often credit was not always publicly given where it was due. We don’t want to whitewash the past, but through research into the collections and staging exhibitions that pose sometimes difficult questions about whose values we represent, we can often throw light upon objects and individuals from the past that reflect current concerns with inclusivity. To give a couple of examples, in the Organic Design competition of 1940 organized by MoMA, prize-winning designs by Ray Eames, Noémi Raymond and Clara Porset were all credited to their respective husbands. We have little representation of African American designers working at mid-century, but we now know a little more about Joel Robinson whose textiles were featured in magazines like Ebony and were highly lauded at the 1951 Good Design exhibitions held in MoMA and the Chicago Merchandise Mart. It is also true to say that the Good Design program was a lifeline for many women at mid-century who were perhaps working in relative isolation and found it difficult to make headway in larger corporate firms of the period.

Butterfly Stools by Sori Yanagi (1956) made of molded plywood and metal. Photography courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

ID: You’ve lived and worked in Europe and the U.S.—what most distinguishes the design appetite in these areas? 

JK: Each city, region, country has its own design culture and material feel, even if many of the actual products are actually the same in different parts of the world, and our high streets are increasingly homogenized by global corporations. New York has a different pace and energy from anywhere else I’ve lived, but I don’t feel design is given as much priority in government-led initiatives and agendas as in many other parts of Europe.

ID: What is your earliest memory of being impacted by design?

JK: As a young child, I remember being mesmerized by the version of Ray Eames’s Hang-It-All coatrack finished with colored plastic balls, and the colorful abstract patterns of curtains my mother had bought in the 1950s—I have patched and relined these over the years and still use them in my own home.

Mitsubishi Sewing Machine Silkscreen by Hiroshi Ohchi (c. 1950s). Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

ID: Back in 2012, you organized ‘Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000’ at MoMA; did any of your favorite childhood toys make it into the exhibition?  

JK: Like many children (and adults) the world over I played for hours with a Slinky. As we speak, I can remember the transfer of its weight from hand-to-hand, and the clinking whirring sound of the spring as it unfurled and sprang back. And the smell of the metal in tiny hot hands! I was delighted to feature this mainstay of MoMA’s Good Design exhibitions in both ‘Century of the Child’ and the current show.

ID: What’s your process when it comes to curating spaces, either for exhibitions or in your home? Where do you start?

JK: I love stuff—not only the way it looks and feels, but sounds, smells, perhaps even tastes … I find the things that ‘call out’ to me often reflect the issues or things I am thinking about in the present. Whether we are looking at design from the past, or future-oriented design, we are always filtering perceptions through the present. Curation is about exploring relationships between artworks. I like to think of it in terms of creating a new social life for things, introducing them to new friends, making up with one-time enemies, having a civilized conversation with strangers. And it’s about trying to pace the experience, creating contemplative as well as abrasive moments, and about mixing familiar favorites with less well-known pieces. Exhibiting everyday objects like an axe, a shrimp deveiner, a cookie cutter in the context of an art museum forces people to look twice at such things and to see them in a different light.

The 500f city car by Dante Giacosa (designed 1957; example pictured from 1968) made of steel with fabric top. Photography by Jonathan Muzikar, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

ID: What most surprises you about the way people interact with exhibitions through social media?

JK: I think people are often using their phones as a means of looking in detail at design rather than recording and saving images for posterity. Taking and posting photos on social media has become an incredibly important way of consuming design without having to actually purchase it or possess it physically.

ID: What’s your ‘go to’ source of inspiration?

JK: Flea markets, old magazines, libraries and archives, artists’ studios, podcasts, street signs and sounds, factories … design is everywhere you care to look.

Low Chair by Charlotte Perriand (designed 1940), made of bamboo. Photography by Jonathan Muzikar, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Read more: 10 Questions With… Caroline Till

Continue reading 10 Questions With… MoMA Curator Juliet Kinchin

Hear The Call of the Wild In Gerflor’s New DLW Linoleum Collection

Gerflor’s new DLW Landscape collection in Spicy Orange. Imagery courtesy of Gerflor USA.

 

When it comes to sustainable flooring, some manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to create a never-before-seen, material-of-the-future product for architects and designers. There’s nothing wrong with that, but why reinvent the wheel — which is to say, why did everyone forget about linoleum?

Linoleum may have been invented nearly 160 years ago, but that doesn’t make it antiquated. Indeed, in today’s sustainably-minded A&D industry, linoleum has a real edge over its twenty-first-century counterparts — it’s 100% recyclable and biodegradable. The only thing that seems to get in linoleum’s way is its aesthetic associations with the homely suburban architecture of the 1950’s. 

Gerflor’s new DLW Landscape collection in Dive. Imagery courtesy of Gerflor USA.

Gerflor, a premier European manufacturer of commercial resilient flooring, has updated the veteran material’s look with a new, biophilic collection that connects back to linoleum’s organic origins. The DLW Landscape sheet flooring collection features 43 colorful patterns drawn from some of the most stunning landscapes and natural wonders across the globe: California’s iconic coastline, the Grand Canyon, volcanoes, fall foliage, and sweeping deserts, among others. 

Gerflor’s new DLW Landscape collection in Lobster Red. Imagery courtesy of Gerflor USA.

“Biophilia is the foundational base of the collection,” explains Catherine del Vecchio, Gerflor USA’s senior director of marketing. “Our goal was to stay true to the nature of linoleum, believing it to be the perfect material for designers to elevate sustainability and creativity in their projects.  We like to think of the DLW Landscape collection as both inspired by and made from nature.”

The technical aspects of this product are just as intriguing. Gerflor’s linoleum is derived from 100% recyclable and biodegradable linseed oil, wood flour, limestone, jute, resin, and natural coloration pigments. It is manufactured in an ISO 9001 and 14001-certified factory that boasts 100% energy and waste recycling. Coincidentally this factory, located in Delmenhorst, Germany, is the very first and only remaining linoleum factory in that country. 

Gerflor’s new DLW Landscape collection in Curacao Petrol. Imagery courtesy of Gerflor USA. 

For all this careful attention to both ingredients and process, Gerflor’s DLW Landscape Collection has racked up an astounding amount of environmental accreditations. Specifically, the collection has a USDA organic label, a Blue Angel certification, FloorScore® certification, and a Declare label. “The labels and certifications are a huge honor, but we are most proud of being able to offer our customers a smart alternative that can bring positive change to the built environment,” says del Vecchio. 

Gerflor’s new DLW Landscape collection in Antique Green. Imagery courtesy of Gerflor USA.

Continue reading Hear The Call of the Wild In Gerflor’s New DLW Linoleum Collection

Mykita’s New SoHo Flagship Blends Handcraft and High-Tech

The in-house team repurposed heavy-duty shelving supports into the bright display wall. Photography courtesy of Mykita.

Berlin-based Mykita arrived with aplomb on Crosby Street in 2014, but its new SoHo location nearby on Broome Street proves the sunglass and eye-frame specialist’s future is even sunnier than expected. The two-floor, 1,590-square-foot flagship juxtaposes space-age white walls and neon with industrial red steel and warm oak.

Read more: Tacklebox Architecture’s Design for Claus Porto’s NYC Store is Layered with Portuguese References

Steel benches carry on the industrial, red-coated aesthetic. Photography courtesy of Mykita.

Designed in-house, the interiors “reflect the way handcraft and high-tech are brought together in our products,” says founder and creative director Moritz Krüger, “but it also draws from New York City itself and the way this city brings together ultra-modern architecture with, for example, Tudor revival or Victorian.”

A custom oak desk with a neon logo warms up the cool white space. Photography courtesy of Mykita.

Repurposed airline trolleys and eye-popping display walls house the brand’s collaborations with Maison Margiela, Martine Rose, and many others. In a nod to the previous location, Krüger says, “we took the neon installation from the ceiling with us. The neon graphic that makes me think of James Turrell now sits on the wall right by the consultation area,” which he calls “the heart of the shop” in the heart of SoHo.

Repurposed airplane trolleys serve as additional storage, tucked into a custom oak counter. Photography courtesy of Mykita.
The laboratory sits within a frame of powder-coated steel and oak. Photography courtesy of Mykita.
The Mykita Wall glows through the windows of the boutique’s historic SoHo location. Photography courtesy of Mykita.

Read more: Ulla Johnson’s NYC Boutique Takes After a Town House

Continue reading Mykita’s New SoHo Flagship Blends Handcraft and High-Tech

Latitude Architectural Group Goes Geometric for CupOne Coffee Shop in Beijing

PROJECT NAME CupOne
LOCATION Beijing
FIRM Latitude Architectural Group
SQ. FT. 3,300 SQF

Entrusted with the design for the 3,300-square-foot CupOne coffee shop in eastern Beijing, the Latitude Architectural Groupdecided to forgo the usual dark colors and cozy furniture of the traditional java joint. Instead, the Beijing-Madrid based firm looked to geometry.

Triangles form a lattice across the ceiling, and also the legs of the café tables. Both contrast effectively with the soft wave of corrugated aluminum along the walls. “The idea of using the curved shape appeared quickly,” says founder and principal architect Manuel Navarro Zornoza, “due to its smoothness, continuity, and flexibility to create areas with different levels of privacy.”

Read more: 10 Simply Amazing Cafés

The design team installed two types of tiles, each a different size and color, parallel to the ceiling and oblique to the benches. Photography courtesy of Hector Pei.

The brand’s signature color, a cool white, naturally became the palette. “We were afraid the project would be very flat,” he says, “so the challenge was to use materials with texture, like the graphic design on the walls, to create a sense of depth.”

Custom curving banquettes are covered in gray leather. Photography courtesy of Hector Pei.

But it’s all about the product. “The curved shape is also inspired by the coffee cups,” says Zornoza, which certainly gives the space a buzz.

Keep scrolling to view more images of the project >

Custom white-lacquered tables and chairs lend a touch of individuality. Photography courtesy of Hector Pei.
When viewed from outside, the aluminum panels resemble chic coffee filters. Photography courtesy of Hector Pei.
CupOne’s main façade is entirely glass. Photography courtesy of Hector Pei.
Panels of corrugated aluminum contrast with the pendants’ soft light. Photography courtesy of Hector Pei.

Looks like white interiors are quite a trend, especially in café projects. Check out the 2018 Best of Year Winner for Coffee/Tea, a tranquil tea shop in Guangzhou, China.

Continue reading Latitude Architectural Group Goes Geometric for CupOne Coffee Shop in Beijing

FIVE EXPERTS ZERO IN ON THE YEAR’S BIGGEST PRODUCT TRENDS

BUILDER’s annual product guide rounds up some of the most interesting materials, technologies, and innovations in the residential realm.

Wood flooring in light shades is especially popular this year, such as in this dining room in Miller & Smith's Brambleton Garden District community in Virginia.
Courtesy Miller & SmithWood flooring in light shades is especially popular this year, such as in this dining room in Miller & Smith’s Brambleton Garden District community in Virginia.

The best residential products exemplify both the latest trends and greatest innovations that a newly constructed home can offer. To help sort through what’s shaping product selection this year, BUILDER asked five residential design experts for their take on the biggest trends facing home builders. The products showcased below reflect their trend forecasts in each of six product categories. The pros interviewed are:
–Lee Crowder, model branding manager for Darling Homes and Taylor Morrison
–Jay Endelman, president of Maryland-based builder Guild Craft Inc.
–Manny Gonzalez, principal of Southern California–based KTGY Architecture + Planning
Washington, D.C.–based developer and builder Sean Ruppert of OPaL
–Patti Wynkoop, vice president of product development and purchasing for Mid-Atlantic area home builder Miller & Smith.

EXTERIOR PRODUCT TRENDS

Click here for a roundup of the newest products in the Exterior category.
Protective Finishes. Numerous exterior products are now designed to endure the extreme. Impact- and fire-resistant siding, from fiber cement to metal to hardwoods; shingles that withstand gusts up to 150 mph; and the time-tested use of shutters offer top-to-bottom protection.

Patty Wynkoop
Patty Wynkoop

Creative Privacy. Dense infill developments mean smaller yards with innovative privacy features for outdoor living. Inventive and customizable screening options include artistic fencing in unusual materials, vertical gardens, all-weather curtains, movable metal or wood panels, shoji screens, trellises, and pergolas. “We use unique design elements … to temper the close proximity of dense site plans,” says Wynkoop.

Modern Appeal. Contemporary designs and materials—larger expanses of glass, smooth surfaces, clean lines, flat or low-sloped rooflines, and commercial finishes—are in demand with buyers across the country. High-contrast color palettes such as white or pale gray with black window and door trim add a stylish touch to any architectural style. “Now we can get more creative with window and balcony placements, exterior skins, and colors,” says Gonzalez.

Al Fresco Spaces. Savvy builders provide buyers with lots of choices for outdoor amenities, including fireplaces or pits, outdoor kitchens and wet bars, entertainment equipment, and natural materials like wood and stone. “Roof decks and balconies are giving way to patios and terraces directly off kitchens and dining and living rooms,” says Ruppert.

INTERIOR PRODUCT TRENDS

Click here for a roundup of the newest products in the Interior category.
Healthy Homes. Along with sustainability and energy efficiency, consumers are more educated than ever about products affecting healthy indoor air quality. They demand low- or no-VOC paints and sealants, formaldehyde-free cabinets and adhesives, antimicrobial surfaces, and whole-house water
and air purification systems.

Sean Ruppert
Sean Ruppert

Wood Flooring. Hardwood flooring finishes skew lighter with natural, unstained varietals taking center stage. Products mimicking wood are also increasing in popularity, such as porcelain tile and laminate. “People finally warmed up to engineered and vinyl wood floors. Either they warmed up or products got much better—probably both,” says Ruppert.

Open Inside to Out. Open floor plans went from a trend to common practice, but now they extend visually in all directions—even outside—and dominate throughout all house sizes, styles, and types. Interior courtyards, breezeways, and open-air entryways appeal to buyers of all ages, from young families to empty nesters. “Perhaps the biggest trend in interior space is exterior space,” says Gonzalez. “More and more, interior areas open up to exterior areas to create a lively indoor–outdoor experience.”

Artisan Accents. Consumers enjoy expressing their creativity and supporting craftspeople by selecting unique, handmade products. Even big box home furnishing stores like Target and Ikea offer limited-edition artisan collections. “Today’s consumer bypasses anything mass produced in exchange for artisan products, fixtures, and features,” says Wynkoop.

KITCHEN AND BATH PRODUCT TRENDS

Click here for a roundup of the newest products in the Kitchen and Bath category.
High Contrast. White kitchens and baths remain popular, but with high contrasting finishes. “Black is a really important color for 2019 and you’ll be seeing it pop up everywhere—from countertops to hardware and faucets—and paired with stark white cabinets,” says Crowder.

Lee Crowder
Lee Crowder

Plumbing Choices. A proliferation of finishes for plumbing fixtures and fittings allows homeowners to show off their personal style. Gold-plated, matte black, copper, brass, nickel, bronze, pewter, and chrome are all available across various price points in styles ranging from elaborate to sleek. “We’re seeing a revival of gold and bronze fixtures as designers mix metals in their palettes, similar to today’s fashion jewelry trends,” says Wynkoop.

Attractive & Accessible. Stylish universal design products are popping up in housing for all ages. Many of these products do double duty, such as towel racks or shower shelves acting as grab bars and spacious, no-threshold showers with built-in bench seats that also serve as shelves.

Island Living. Larger, decked-out kitchen islands continue to trend in most housing types and sizes. Treating the island like a piece of furniture is a new look, however, with islands having legs or even wheels for flexibility and more personalized style.

Floating Fixtures. Wall-hung vanities, cabinets, and toilets help the bathroom look larger and generate a sleek, serene atmosphere. Floating cabinetry and wall-hung toilets make spaces look and feel larger as the floor runs under the pieces and gives a more expansive aesthetic.

STRUCTURAL PRODUCT TRENDS

Click here for a roundup of the newest products in the Structural category.
Cross-Laminated Timber. Cross-laminated timber is becoming popular as structural material even for taller buildings and large expanses. The product offers the strength of concrete, but it’s more sustainable, lighter, and renewable, makers say. The product also offers fire and seismic resistance and produces minimal construction waste.

Jay Endelman
August HutchinsJay Endelman

Prefab Products. Prefabricated systems allow for faster construction, stronger building envelopes, and reduction of waste. Panelized walls, flooring and roof systems, insulated concrete blocks, modular framing components, and structural insulated panels also provide builders with consistent quality of materials. “Some of the newest structural systems have a huge impact on what can be built cost effectively,” says Gonzalez.

Roof Fasteners. Even with today’s lighter roofing materials, roof fasteners make sense on every house given the increased occurrence of extreme storms. They also improve roof stability and load allowances. “Building a house now requires more wind bracing and stronger framing,” says Ruppert.

Steel Framing. As building codes get stricter, steel is making inroads with single-family construction. The material provides strength; resistance to wind, fire, and floods; quick construction time with less waste; and design creativity. Steel also serves as an environmentally friendly option as it can be recycled after use. “Lateral wind loads have increased across the board, so steel framing in residential makes more sense and allows for more flexibility,” says Endelman.

SYSTEMS PRODUCT TRENDS

Click here for a roundup of the newest products in the Systems category.
Long-Distance Control. Consumers want the ability to monitor and manipulate lights, locks, thermostats, audio/visual equipment, water heaters, and appliances when at home or away. Most electronic components are available in smart forms that homeowners can control with their phones and voice-activated devices. “Consumers are hungry to not only integrate their homes but also centralize the process rather than manage several separate apps for everything,” says Wynkoop.

Manny Gonzalez
Manny Gonzalez

Systems That Save. Resource- and cost-saving products like tankless or solar-powered water heaters and ductless HVAC systems reduce homeowners’ utility bills and make them feel good about preserving resources. “Some residents turn tracking their utilities into something of a ‘utility video game’ where they try to win the month by having the lowest energy usage ‘score,’” says Gonzalez.

Responsive HVAC. Manufacturers are responding to consumers’ desire for indoor comfort with heating and cooling products outfitted with high-tech features like UV air filtration, evaporative cooling, humidifying and dehumidifying, and maintenance alerts.

Home Control. Lights, blinds, and thermostats aren’t the only self-monitoring systems builders can offer as upgrades. Smart water valve controllers detect leaks and alert homeowners, or turn off the water automatically. Manufacturers also make sensors to detect problems throughout the home, from a door that’s been left open to an oven turned on, to provide added safety and peace of mind.

WINDOWS & DOORS PRODUCT TRENDS

Click here for a roundup of the newest products in the Windows & Doors category.
Peak Performance. For both windows and doors, savvy consumers demand higher thermal values along with improved impact and wind resistance. Using increased thermal values keeps indoor temperatures more stable, saving on heating and cooling costs, while windows and doors with higher
wind resistance can stand up to severe storms.

Door Design. Homeowners want the high-end look of wood and glass on doors for maximum curb appeal, added natural light, and as a personalized look for interior doors. “Wood-style front doors and matching arbors are a new trend even in contemporary homes,” notes Ruppert.

Window Walls. Window walls are becoming more common and less expensive. Many manufacturers offer bifold, accordion, or oversized sliding glass doors to heighten indoor–outdoor connections, frame views, and make spaces feel larger even with the door closed.

Think Big. For a “wow factor” to entice potential home buyers, an oversized window is the way to go. They are available in numerous sizes and options featuring fixed glass combined with a variety of operable panels. “We’re maximizing picture windows at sizes as large as 6×6 or 8×5 for an additional 40 square feet of glass,” says Wynkoop.

Black Trim. Black trim on windows and doors–inside and out—is trending across styles and price points. Darker shades of trim require less maintenance, make the glass look bigger, and provide a luxurious look for both contemporary and traditional designs.

SHELLEY D. HUTCHINS, LEED AP

Shelley D. Hutchins, LEED AP, writes about residential construction and design, sustainable building and living, and travel and health-care issues.

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9 days ago
Vincent Valles

Poor indoor air quality? Transform the walls of your home into a permanent air purification system. Simply add the ionic paint additive by Air-ReNu with interior house paint and apply the blended mixture to the walls. One application will remain effective for 8-12 years eliminating offensive smoking, cat urine odors and airborne toxins.

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Continue reading FIVE EXPERTS ZERO IN ON THE YEAR’S BIGGEST PRODUCT TRENDS

Industry Pros Share Top Outdoor Kitchen And Living Room Trends

 

Outdoor kitchens topped the project trends list in the latest American Institute of Architects’ survey, which is not terribly surprising, given people’s love of living outside. But the survey didn’t go into detail on what homeowners are putting into those spaces. As we move into the warmer months, it’s worth looking at what’s popular for outdoor kitchens and their related living areas.

Luxury moves outdoors

“Homeowners are seeking the sanctuary of outdoor living spaces – both for entertaining and unwinding,” shares Atlanta-based landscape designer David Bennett. These spaces are likely to have architectural structures like pergolas, walls, custom fireplaces, hedges and varying elevations to create privacy and distinct rooms with a natural indoor-outdoor flow, he notes. “Divided living spaces encourage conversation gathering, including screening areas for watching the big game or a movie, and heating and cooling systems to ensure year-round use.” These outdoor rooms may also be equipped with water, light and fire design features, as well as heating and cooling systems for year-round use, he says.

Outdoor kitchens are getting more elaborate, both for entertaining and relaxing.

Outdoor kitchens are getting more elaborate, both for entertaining and relaxing.

LYNX, AVAILABLE THROUGH FERGUSON BATH, KITCHEN & LIGHTING GALLERY.

Premium cooking

“In the past, many homeowners focused solely on their grill, and perhaps some outdoor seating,” recalls Mary Hannah Fout, senior marketing manager with Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.“Today, many homeowners are accompanying the grill with a fully functioning built-in kitchen complete with sink and faucet, refrigeration, dishwasher, ice machine, beverage unit, pizza oven, weather resistant cabinets and more. Smart appliances are becoming very popular and it comes as no surprise that smart technology is also trending in the outdoor kitchen,” she comments. “Many grills and smokers are now wi-fi enabled, some even have voice recognition,” she adds.

Outdoor kitchens are getting equipped with pizza ovens and other gourmet appliances.

Outdoor kitchens are getting equipped with pizza ovens and other gourmet appliances.

LYNX, AVAILABLE THROUGH FERGUSON BATH, KITCHEN & LIGHTING GALLERY

Even with all of the extras, the grill is still king of the outdoor kitchen. “No longer is stainless steel the only option,” Fout declares. “Grills are available in bright red, sunny yellow, royal blue, hunter green, and more! The ability to customize your outdoor space allows the homeowner to complement the surrounding landscape and views or extend the home’s décor into the exterior.”

Style coordination

This is also true for flooring that can extend seamlessly from interior to exterior, coordinating cabinetry and wall-width, track-free doors that completely open rooms to each other. “Exactly as the interior kitchen and bathroom design trends have shifted towards more sleek and modular aesthetics, so too have outdoor designs,” comments landscaper, contractor and designer Joe Raboine, now director of residential hardscape for outdoor products manufacturer Belgard. “To mirror the look inside the home, homeowners are choosing longer, linear plank pavers outdoors, and playing more with texture and color than in the past. This trend extends beyond modern homes, with this look translating to every home style.”

Outdoor living areas are sharing contemporary styles with their indoor counterparts.

Outdoor living areas are sharing contemporary styles with their indoor counterparts.

BELGARD

Nature connection

“There is a growing awareness about the importance of individuals being connected to nature,” Raboine observes. “That is why you see vertical gardening and the integration of container gardens adjacent to outdoor cooking areas. There is also an increased awareness of how an outdoor space can enhance the habitat, specifically through permeable pavers and plant choices, which can help with water drainage and more.”

Cassy Aoyagi, president of Los Angeles area-based FormLA Landscaping. acknowledges the strong nature connection, too, especially for cooking. “What we see now is increased interest in having edibles integrated into gardens, particularly in areas close to their outdoor kitchens,” she shares. “This has taken the form of grape vine fencing and raised beds where grabbing herbs for the table requires just a step or two.”

Edible plants add nature and nutrition to outdoor cooking.

Edible plants add nature and nutrition to outdoor cooking.

FORMLA LANDSCAPING/LESLY HALL PHOTOGRAPHY

Technology enhancements

An outdoor living area’s natural elements might hide speakers and wiring, as well as irrigation and security tied to smart home controls. According to CEDIA, the association for home technology professionals, homeowners and their consultants are taking on far more projects and spending far more money outdoors than in past years. Outdoor televisions are a major category. So are outdoor speakers.

Outdoor living areas are getting more luxurious high tech features.

Outdoor living areas are getting more luxurious high tech features.

CEDIA/ARGUS TECHNOLOGIES

Last words

While outdoor kitchens and living areas are trending strongly and richly, with more enhancements than ever before, there are still many homeowners who are likely to drag a comfy chair and portable grill out on the porch or deck. It’s all about enjoying life outdoors, financing  nice, but not necessarily needed, for life’s simplest pleasures.

Continue reading Industry Pros Share Top Outdoor Kitchen And Living Room Trends

I’m Over Open-Concept Design

CreditTrisha Krauss
Image
CreditCredit

 

At some point, the previous owners of my house decided to take down the wall separating the living room from the dining room, creating an open space that, in theory, was a good idea. But in reality, it seemed to me, it didn’t make any sense.

The dining room felt like an awkward, disjointed extension of the living room, not quite private enough to be its own space, but not fully integrated, either. And with the living room missing a key wall, figuring out how to logically furnish it was no easy feat.

And so, about a month ago, I hired a carpenter to restore part of the wall. By partially closing off the space, I aimed to create a separate dining area with its own mood, and to restore the original dimensions of the living room.

When I told the carpenter what I wanted, he stared at me blankly, like he’d heard me wrong. “But people like the walls open,” he said.

In the weeks before the work was done, I avoided telling friends, worried that they, too, might think I was nuts. The few I did tell mostly seemed confused. In the age of open-concept design, who builds a wall?

The trend toward an open-concept floor plan — where few, if any, walls separate the spaces where we eat from those where we lounge — has become so commonplace it’s hard to imagine an alternative.

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The idea of togetherness drives the design, creating a setup where a parent can simultaneously make an omelet and watch the children play in the living room because, apparently, no one wants to be alone. Or guests can move freely from the giant kitchen island to the living room sofa, unencumbered by obstacles like doorways. The design style has become the liturgy of home-improvement shows, with HGTV stars like Joanna Gaines catapulting to fame largely because of her uncanny ability to transform rundown farmhouses into loft-like showrooms.

In the city, that ethos translates easily because space is tight and lofts are a genuine home style. Remove the walls in a galley kitchen and suddenly a tiny cooking space can feel larger and lighter. With an island instead of a wall, you might actually have a place to sit. New developments are invariably designed with open floor plans, a trend that’s reinforced by ever-shrinking apartments. Without any walls, a prospective tenant might not realize how small the space really is.

Developers claim the tenants like it. “Many new renters and buyers are embracing the open concept,” said Chris Schmidt, a senior vice president for Related Companies who oversees the developer’s rental portfolio. “It allows, certainly, the flexibility for entertaining and cooking.”

Mr. Schmidt pointed to millennials in particular as a “generation who crave that social interaction,” and so “are going to crave that open concept versus walling everything off.”

Owners of older apartments also see the potential in a sledgehammer, with an enthusiasm fueled not only by HGTV, but by home-improvement design websites like Houzz, which features endless images of Instagram-ready open living spaces.

“People walk into every space, regardless of the condition, and want to make an adjustment,” said Sydney Blumstein, an associate broker with Corcoran. People “feel like they must personalize a space to make it theirs, and that goes beyond home décor.”

And what better way to personalize than to make yours look like everyone else’s?

The fixation with openness extends to the suburbs, where buyers eagerly take down walls in the kitchen and living room, and widen doorways. “People are definitely looking at the floor plans,” said Judith Daniels, a sales associate with Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, who works frequently with first-time buyers moving from the city to Summit, Short Hills, Maplewood and South Orange — New Jersey towns with large, colonial homes that weren’t originally designed to look like lofts. “They’re looking for openness that’s already there or the ability to do it, just by opening the wall.”

But do we really need so much togetherness? That fabulous dinner party where guests wander endlessly from the kitchen to the living room feels far less glamorous with everyone staring at a sink full of dirty pots, or smelling the burned soufflé in the oven. Sure, the idea of watching your children play while you make dinner sounds great, but only until you’re trying to listen to Terry Gross on NPR while an episode of “Peppa Pig” blasts from the other side of what used to be a wall.

Then, of course, there are all those Houzz pictures. None of them show what it’s like when you haven’t tidied up in a week and you’re left staring at the living room clutter while you eat breakfast. With no walls, there’s nowhere to hide.

“It went so far about opening everything up,” said Jade Joyner, the chief creative officer of Metal + Petal, an interior design firm in Athens, Ga. “There’s something nice about privacy and having your own space.” In the last year, she’s noticed the beginnings of a pushback against the doctrine of openness. Clients have been asking for media rooms, libraries and playrooms set off from the main living area. A quiet den means you can come home from work and not immediately join the family, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “It’s been indoctrinated that walls are bad, but they’re not,” Ms. Joyner said.

A home designed for entertaining does not necessarily take into account that most of the time you’re not entertaining. Mostly, you’re just living there, trying to read a book while your son practices the piano.

It also can be difficult to decorate an endless expanse of space. “My biggest issue with an open floor plan is lack of wall space. Where do you hang things?” said Abbe Fenimore, a Dallas-based interior designer who otherwise embraces open concept.

After the carpenter rebuilt my wall, I painted the dining room a deep teal, and the living room white. The two spaces, which once felt like they competed with each other for attention, now seem more defined. If the children’s homework is spread out on the dining table, I don’t have to look at it from the sofa anymore and wonder when it will get finished.

As for my friends, when I had a few of them over for dinner to celebrate the redecorated space, no one even noticed the wall. It was like it had always been there.

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Correction: 

An earlier version of this article misstated the name of an interior design firm in Athens, Ga. It is Metal + Petal, not Petal and Metal.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page RE4 of the New York edition with the headline: I’m So Over Open-Concept Design. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
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