Tag Archives: Neighborhood

20 Perfectly Tranquil Bathtubs

Only one room in the house offers relaxation, aromatherapy, and soak-the-stress-away privacy—the bathroom. Here are 20 tranquil bathtubs to dream about sinking into (glass of wine optional, but recommended).

1. Frequent Collaborators dSpace Studio and Project Interiors Team Up to Design a Modernist Family Residence in Chicago

After raising their three children in a typical painted-clapboard house on a double lot in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, the owners decided to demolish it and build a modernist structure that better reflected their style. They engaged architects Kevin Toukoumidis and Robert McFadden of dSpace Studio, who recommended Project Interiors for the interior design—their fourth collaboration. Both firms share a progressive, contemporary spirit that appealed to the clients. Read more about the residence

2. Hotel Alessandra is Houston-Based Rottet Studio’s First Hometown Project

Rottet Studio has designed hotels all over, but none in Houston, where Lauren Rottet’s roots run deep—her firm has been headquartered there for more than a decade. None, that is, until now. Hotel Alessandra, a 21-story ground-up property done in collaboration with Gensler, is the Interior Design Hall of Fame member’s hospitality debut in the city. In a stan­dard guest room, an acrylic tub outfits the bathroom. Read more about the hotel

3. Los Angeles Residence by Standard Architecture Wins 2018 Best of Year Award for Kitchen/Bath Project

Designed in the 1920s by noted architect Roland Coate, this tony Bel-Air residence had seen better days. Standard Architecture‘s founding principal Jeffrey Allsbrook and partner Silvia Kuhle stripped away excess inside and out to create a minimalist, abstracted take on neoclassical design. Namibian marble clads the wet zone of the upstairs master bathroom, one of a pair. The stone’s quiet veining creates a pleasingly neutral backdrop—all the better to soak in the surrounding greenery through the frameless picture window. Read more about the residence

4. Hilltop Aerie by Aidlin Darling Design Provides Respite in Northern California

Two San Francisco denizens working in finance and tech came to Aidlin Darling Design with a straightforward proposition. Create a simple, efficient house, restrained in cost and scale, for their empty hillside site in Glen Ellen, about an hour north of the city. The couple’s only imperative? A single-story plan. Off a winding dirt road, the 20-acre property is at the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, overlooking the Sonoma Valley. Read more about the residence

5. Gulla Jónsdóttir’s Global Sensibilities Define the Kimpton La Peer Hotel in Los Angeles

Kimpton La Peer Hotel is the jewel in Gulla Jónsdóttir’s crown, a 65,000-square-foot property in L.A. “It’s the first ground-up hotel in West Hollywood’s design district,” Jónsdóttir says. She was creative director for and designer of the four-story project’s 105 guest rooms and suites, alfresco lounges, and vast living-roomlike lobby. Read more about the hotel

6. Rottet Studio Brings Texas Tradition to the Cavalry Court Hotel

Decidedly tied to place, not only the university but also the agricultural surroundings, the aesthetic of Cavalry Court Hotel skews rustic with honest, straightforward materials and forms. Yet, typical Rottet Studio, it’s still polished. And we couldn’t call it traditional. Her scheme is devised to appeal to a wide-reaching demographic, from visiting alumni to business travelers and locals. A guest bathroom’s custom vanity combines matte granite, blackened steel, and pine. Read more about the hotel

7. Idan Naor Thinks Horizontally for a Brooklyn Brownstone

The archetypical Brooklyn brownstone is a study in verticality, with a few stories of narrow corridors and dark rooms piled atop each other. However, when the local Idan Naor Workshop got the chance to reprogram a gem from the 1920s into a 5-unit apartment building, they decided on a different direction: horizontal. In the master bath, a custom teak and limestone vanity supports a Duravit sink and Watermark faucet; behind the MTI soaker bathtub is a wall of Stone Source’s chiseled limestone. Read more about the brownstone

8. MoreySmith Renovates a 19th-Century London Townhouse With a Mix of Luxe and Historical Details

The owners of an early 19th-century townhouse in the historic London neighborhood of Clerkenwell knew it needed a bit of an overhaul. So, they turned to MoreySmith to breathe new life into the home and make it fit for entertaining. Specialist craftsmen restored or replaced heritage cornices and ceiling roses that weren’t in the best condition. Read more about the townhouse

9. An Artsy Sag Harbor Retreat by Groves & Co. Is All About the Mix

It’s one thing to live with art. But to live submerged in it—as do the owners of this Sag Harbor, New York, getaway—requires a whole other level of connoisseurship and commitment, not to mention a rather prolific collection. “The project’s biggest challenge,” says Groves & Co. principal Russell Groves, who masterminded the interiors, “was marrying the very forward art with the traditional envelope.” Linac marble clads the master bathroom, with blackened-steel mirrors. Read more about the residence

10. Kuth-Ranieri and Elena Calabrese Collaborate on Northern California Mid-Century House

A client of Kuth-Ranieri Architects, the mother of three college-aged kids, needed a new home. But she didn’t need a new house: Her mid-century abode on a charming slope in Marin County, California, was a gem. It just needed a rethink. New skylights flood the master bathroom’s walls of blue Heath Ceramics tiles and varying widths of gray Mosa Porcelain which surround a Toto bathtub with Vola fixtures. Read more about the residence

11. Rinck Brings Timeless Elegance to a Parisian Apartment

Paris-based interior architecture firm Rinck describes themselves an “ambassador of French lifestyle.” Founded in 1841 by a cabinetmaker, the firm has divisions that specialize in cabinet-making and boiserie, which can speed up their projects. For example, the firm completed a Paris apartment with views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine in just six months. Read more about the residence

12. Whitehall Interiors Gives a New York Penthouse Bursts of Personality

Asked to combine a pair of New York condominium apartments into one investment property, Whitehall Interiors eschewed the inoffensive but lifeless aesthetic common to most developer units. The firm gave the client a luxurious penthouse with a lot of personality. A tub set under the window permits panoramic city views while soaking. Read more about the penthouse

13. Stephen B. Jacobs and Andi Pepper Design a Nearly Net-Zero Home in Connecticut

After 30 years in Vermont, Stephen B. Jacobs and Andi Pepper, the architect and interior designer behind some of New York’s hippest lifestyle hotels wanted to move a little closer to the city. They found their ideal location in Lyme, Connecticut, on one of the area’s last pieces of undeveloped land. For Jacobs, the stately cedar and stone house they built was not only a home but also a working model of the sustainability practices he had long advocated, a concrete demonstration for potential clients of the economic and environmental advantages of green design. Read more about the home

14. Yuriy Zimenko Covers a Ukraine Apartment in Bold Colors

An accent wall is one thing, but for a 2,200-square-foot apartment in Kiev, Ukraine, designer Yuriy Zimenko devised full accent rooms, devoting each area to a study in shades—from a master bedroom in a bold purple to bathrooms of red, green, or blue. Read more about the apartment

15. Workstead’s Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith Embrace Southern Modernism in Charleston

This renovation of an 1853 row-house was for a dream client: a New York–based family who gave the studio carte blanche to design the project as if it were their own. Now it’s a crash pad for the family when they’re in town and an event space for the studio when they’re not. In the master bath, formerly a porch, vanity mirrors are mounted on windows painted Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green. Read more about the house

16. Steve Leung Designers Thinks Big for a Model Apartment at One Shenzhen Bay

With its superior location and stunning harbor vista, the residential development One Shenzhen Bay attracts sophisticated buyers and investors. Steve Leung Designers, a Hong Kong firm known for high-end luxury, was the clear choice to execute an appropriately upscale model apartment. Like yin and yang, dark colors contrast with light, and warm tones with cool. Read more about the apartment

17. Bates Masi + Architects Crafts East Hampton Compound For Couple and Company

For many years, the New York–based couple had enjoyed weekending in a traditional Shingle-style residence in the Hamptons. But their kids had grown and flown the coop, leaving the empty nesters feeling encumbered by the big, echoey place. So the pair hired Bates Masi + Architects to design a new house on a cove in East Hampton. Instead, the firm designed four. Well, not four houses exactly, but rather a quartet of cedar-clad buildings around an open courtyard, creating a compound that perfectly suits the couple’s life. Read more about the home

18. Studio GUM’s Asmundo di Gisira Hotel Is Awash in Catania Lore

Studio GUM co-founders Valentina Giampiccolo and Giuseppe Minaldi simultaneously respected history and looked to the future for this hotel in Catania, Sicily. Demolition and construction were minimal, focused on enclosing the courtyard with a skylight, adding en suite bathrooms, and installing herringbone parquet in ebonized oak. Read more about the hotel

19. Sanchez + Coleman Refreshes a Tired Manhattan Apartment With Tropical Vibes

Tasked with refreshing this four-bedroom pied-à-terre on Manhattan’s Upper West Side,Sanchez + Coleman combined chromatic restraint with a touch of Coleman’s old flamboyance. The clients were looking for a luxury kitchen, great kids’ bedrooms, and the latest smart-home features (something the tech-savvy designer was pleased to provide) as essential elements in rejuvenating the tired 1980s apartment. Read more about the residence

20. Lagranja Design Brings Beachy Grandeur to Spain’s ME Sitges Terramar Hotel

Regional craftsmanship was the thrust of the ME Sitges Terramar Hotel outside of Barcelona, Spain, a project by Lagranja Design. Lagranja’s challenge was to bring grandeur back to the rundown seaside relic, its 10 floors housing 213 guest rooms and suites. At the firm’s nearby studio, a 19th-century former biscuit factory, model-makers, artists, and local artisans developed the decorative elements that would accompany the project’s myriad furniture pieces, both custom and production. Read more about the hotel

Continue reading 20 Perfectly Tranquil Bathtubs


An Interior Designer’s Guide to Stockholm Island art galleries, super-traditional meatballs, and impeccably curated design stores.

A street in Södermalm, Stockholm. Photo: CSP/Getty Images/AWL Images RM

It’s commonly understood that the best way to explore a new place is to go straight to the locals. Each week in the Urbanist, we take that wisdom one step further by seeking out not just locals but local experts — those who are especially well versed in their cities’ newest and most noteworthy scenes — to give us insider tips. This week, we asked Johannes Carlström, interior architect and founder of Note Design Studio, for his recommendations in the Swedish capital.

“I think Stockholm has the same kind of values as Scandinavian design: clean, functional, democratic, and aesthetically pleasing. The city has been preserved quite well. There’s a strong idea of preserving old buildings and restoring and keeping what has been for the future. If you come to Stockholm, come in the spring or summer. The days are long and people are just starved for sunlight from the long, dark winter and the city is buzzing with activity. Stockholm is surrounded by water, so you can easily end a late night by having an outdoor swim or go out in the archipelago to enjoy nature and relax. Gamla Stan, the Old Town, is a bit touristy during the summer, but otherwise it’s a really nice part to visit just to walk around — lots of narrow streets and old buildings. In Djurgården, you have the Nordic Museum (Nordiska museet, Djurgårdsvägen 6-16), which shows the history of the Swedish home, as well as Vasa Museum (Vasamuseet, Galärvarvsvägen 14), which has a big old wooden ship from the 17th century. That’s quite impressive.”

His Other Musts


Ett Hem was originally built as a private residence in 1910. Photo: Courtesy of Ett Hem

“In the last few years, there’s been an explosion of new hotels. One of the standouts might be Ett Hem (Sköldungagatan 2), which means ‘a home.’ It’s a small hotel, but it’s super-well-curated. It’s not cheap, but it has a homey vibe to it. And it’s super, super, super–aesthetically nice. They have treated the interior as a private space, not as a public hotel, with the scale and functionality and comfort of a home creating a relaxed but elegant vibe that I really enjoy.”


The view from Södermalm. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

“I would go to Södermalm to search for an Airbnb. It is, generally speaking, the creative part of Stockholm. There you will find experimental restaurants, vintage stores, and small-scale, edgy fashion stores. If you want to go out dancing in Söder, I recommend Under Bron (Hammarby Slussväg 2), a big outdoor club under one of the central bridges — a really creative and fun place. It’s also close to Gamla Stan and Skeppsholmen, where many art and design museums are (Moderna Museet, ArkDes).”

Scandinavian Design Stores

The Arranging Things showroom is open Thursdays. Photo: Courtesy of Arranging Things

“One of the go-to places is Asplund design store (Sibyllegatan 31). It’s been around for more than 20 years. They’ve been doing really nice work for a long time, and it’s still really updated. Now they’re even producing themselves. It’s a really good place to find not only Scandinavian but a selection of European design. It’s located in Östermalm, which is one of the more posh areas. If you go in the other direction, there’s a small place that hasn’t been open for long — not too many people have found it yet — called Arranging Things (Erstagatan 17). It’s just a beautiful little store. They have a selection of mostly secondhand or antique stuff. You can find really unique stuff. If we’re talking about a curated selection, you will find it there.”

Local Restaurant

Pelikan’s meatballs (left) with cream sauce, gherkins, and lingonberries. Photo: Jack Bengtsson/Courtesy of Pelikan (meatballs); Christer Fahlstrom/Courtesy of Pelikan.

“It’s not cliché to order Swedish meatballs; it’s just good food. One of the best places is Pelikan (Blekingegatan 40). It’s super-traditional. It was a beer café in the beginning, a big room, old furniture. Now it’s a restaurant with a bar, of course. They’ve preserved everything. It’s loud and it’s a bit messy but the interiors are really nice. There you find the best meatballs and lots of locals. Not too many tourists find that place. The guys next to you on one side of the table will be like the guys drinking beer every day, but on the other side there will be business guys having meatballs.”


From left: Photo: Erik WåhlströmPhoto: Erik Wåhlström/Courtesy of Omnipollos Hatt

“There’s this brewery called Omnipollo. It’s craft beer, quite small scale, but they’re starting to pick up a little bit. They have a place where they serve pizza and beer called Omnipollos hatt (Hökens gata 1A). The beer is fantastic. It’s rich and it’s complex. I recommend the Aon Pecan Mudimperial stout, but beware, it’s heavy, with a powerful aroma. All the interior is bespoke, made by Kristoffer Sundin, Simon Klenell, and Fredrik Paulsen.”


Yasuragi spa. Photo: Courtesy of Yasuragi

Centralbadet (Drottninggatan 88) is nice and located right in the middle of the city, but I would recommend the Yasuragi (Hamndalsvägen 6). It’s more of a Japanese spa, but it has some Swedish influences. It’s located a bit outside of Stockholm in Nacka. Super-nice, with a view of the water and the forest nearby. You could just do the sauna. You could also take a sauna, swim a little bit to cool down, take a sauna again, swim a little bit, and take the sauna again. You don’t want to stay in the sauna for too long. It’s good to stay there for maybe 10, 15 minutes, have a little break, and then do it again.”


Hellasgården. Photo: Karin Alfredsson

“I like Hagaparken. It’s a bit on the outskirts of the city center. It’s a big park and there’s nice cafés. There’s a butterfly house with butterflies from all over the world. If you want to have an experience of nature, you can go to Hellasgården. You can go there by bus; it takes like 15 to 20 minutes. You can book a sauna: In the winter, they cut up the ice from the lake right next to it, so you can have a sauna and go out and have an ice bath. You can also rent ice skates and go skating around the lake. There are also nature trails there, so you can hike.”

Day Trip

One of the smallest islets (left) outside of Stockholm. The boardwalk at Artipelag (right). Photo: Sven Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images; enricobbbb/CC BY-SA 4.0.

“There’s an archipelago right outside of Stockholm. There’s lots of boats going from the city center out to the archipelago daily, because people live in the archipelago and work in the city. You can go on boats through Strömma. In the summertime, it’s really nice. You can go to these places where there’s a lot of restaurants or go further out and find small islands where just a few people live. I would recommend to take the boat to Artipelag (Artipelagstigen 1), a very nice art gallery and restaurant, for a combined cultural and nature experience.”



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