The living room is the center of the house, a territory for communication and meetings, but also a place of rest where you can recuperate and recharge with positive energy. 10 projects in Europe, America, and Australia offer ideas for a balanced interior.
Alicia Holgar, apartment in Brisbane
The Brisbane project is a stroke of luck for Australian designer Alicia Holgar. The Avian Apartment is named after a mural by artist Jessalyn Brooks. “After studying the context, I found it reasonable not to go against architecture, but to obey it, supporting curvilinearity. She designed a cantilevered curved wall with shelves, special cabinet furniture, an oval table, and a very long arcuate sofa: it continues the theme of the relationship between curves and consoles that occupied Seidler. The items were made by local craftsmen: it was important for me to support our community of artisans. My work was facilitated by the fact that the customer gave me the right to find the art myself – I didn’t have to rack my brains on how to adapt the space for this or that thing that he fell in love with, I could choose the optimal type for each room.
Stamos Michael, Esperinos project in Athens
Greek designer Stamos Michael has remodeled the Esperinos Guest House to create an open, almost gallery-like space. For the walls of the living room, I applied a shade of moss: it creates a relaxing atmosphere and harmonizes with the greenery of plants. The author painted the stairs black, making it a contrasting accent. Pillows on a light sofa successfully support the theme of geometry. The interior features a finely crafted mix of design classics, local artisans, and Michael’s designs – the living room features a checkered closet, a sculpted chair, and a stool made from stone quarried from the island of Tinos in the Aegean Sea.
MW Works, residence for three generations
Seattle-based MW Works designed Whidbey Island Farm, a house in the US Northwest, on the Pacific coast. It was meant to be a retreat for an elderly couple, their three adult children, as well as grandchildren, to have a flexible layout and accommodate up to 20 people. An important task is to use the environment as much as possible. To do this, the authors provided panoramic glazing, and the interior was made extremely concise, in soft colors and natural materials. Cream-colored stucco, wood on the ceiling and walls, and stone fireplace do not distract attention from the landscape. Simple wooden furniture stands both in the living room and on the adjacent terrace. “The interior turned out to be rustic, rustic, but open in a modern way,” the architects say.
Admas Richards, a farm in England
Nithurst Farm is the residence of Adam Richards near the town of Petworth. When designing the building, the owner-architect was inspired by the ancient Roman buildings and the scenography of the film “Stalker” by Andrei Tarkovsky: he interpreted the movement in the space of the house as a journey through the Zone. The ground floor has an expansive plan, from the hall-like kitchen-dining room to the bright living room, located on the south side overlooking the garden. Richards calls it “the final destination”: “The living room is my version of the room where all your wishes come true.” Despite the intricate concept, the living room looks quite traditional. Concrete ceilings and walls form a calm backdrop for bright splashes of color – paintings and curtains on the windows. Armchairs in Louis XV style add eclecticism to the interior.
Andrew Burges Architects: beachfront home in Sydney
Studio Andrew Burges Architects reconstructed a house on the coast. The project was named Bismarck House – in honor of the Bismarck palm tree, which rises from the facade. Much of the building was demolished, but the bricks were cleaned and reused. The architects developed the idea of the “continuous garden” as a way to organize and maximize space: the perimeter of the house is the boundary of the plot. The living room is designed to be in harmony with the exterior, the garden is an extension of the ground floor. The concept influenced the choice of materials: galvanized steel columns and concrete floors were created. Industrial components are opposed by objects made of cork and wood, and natural textiles. Vintage items are combined with modern ones.
Olga Maleva: family apartment
“Creating interiors, we, seemingly creative people, are responsible for many things: construction and engineering, procurement and production, architecture and product design. Success largely depends on good organization and well-coordinated business processes, on a strong team and trusted contractors,” says Olga. – In my projects, including in my own apartment, custom-made items occupy about seventy percent: in addition to drawings, they require coordination of finishes and finishes. According to my exact descriptions, the 3D contractor makes two copies of the samples, one of the sets is sent to me by mail.” The living room is decorated with a carpet designed by Olga Maleva, made by Atelier Tapis Rouge. The sculptural Loop wall console, complemented by a wooden box, is also Olga’s design. Next to the vintage chaise longue Milo Boman, favorite item of the owners. Metal panel: Christopher Prince, Patrick Parrish Gallery.
Atelier Rua: home in Portugal for Dutch pensioners
Casa Meco is a one-story house located south of Lisbon in the village of Aldeia do Meco, designed for an elderly couple from Holland, where they and their adult children spend the summer months. The house is built of concrete, the same material defines the image of the living room. Natural colors work well with the exposed concrete floor and ceiling. The spacious room is enclosed on three sides by glass panels that can be easily moved to reveal the interior garden. Furniture includes a taupe sectional sofa, a long wooden dining table, and a pair of cream-colored armchairs, all in simple rectangular shapes.
Jamie Bush, Houston villa renovation
Los Angeles-based architect Jamie Bush has refurbished a 1963 villa in the prestigious River Oaks area of Houston, Texas. “In our practice, we regularly encounter criticism of modernist houses: a significant proportion of it relates to their general cold and inhospitable atmosphere,” explains Jamie Bush. “However, I have never considered modernity and comfort as mutually exclusive concepts. The soft edges and curves found in nature are an essential counterbalance to the “angularity” of Modernist architecture; and if you build the space correctly, there is synergy between them. In this way I strive to create a kind of organic modernism.” Bush’s approach was to give a new image to the interior, balancing the ascetic geometry of the facades with its warm atmosphere.
Joanna Laven and David Wohlgren: a villa near Stockholm
Renowned Swedish stylist and designer Joanna Laven and her partner David Wohlgren have created their family home, Villa F, on the forested island of Lidingö. The two-story brick residence with panoramic windows was built in the 1950s–70s. In the setting, the authors moved away from the Scandinavian cliché, which implies light wood and whitewashed surfaces. The house is filled with wood in deeper tones – in the living room, dark-colored teak covers the radiator screens. Joanna Laven tends to combine different periods in design, and her signature style has also manifested itself in her own home. Living room furnishings include a pair of vintage Verner Panton armchairs from the 1970s, a sofa by Mario Marenko, a vintage floor lamp by Pierre Garish, and a chair and lamp by Tobia Scarpa.
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