Beautiful Italy

With Italy on my mind, I’d like to feature a gorgeous interior because well, we need a little more beauty in our lives. Presenting Vincenzo De Cotiis villa, Pietrasanta – Tuscany, Italy
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I love the idea of Old is New Again. I also believe that when we experience global disasters such as the current pandemic, we learn to appreciate history even more – especially Italy.

When we are forced to look at humanity from a wider perspective, we see the beauty of the human endeavor. The work and effort, the talent and skill, the appreciation of beauty, and the value of cooperation. Saving what is valuable and beautiful to us  becomes even more important than before.
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Milan-based Vincenzo De Cotiis renovated this beautiful villa for himself and his wife and business partner.
3He has overhauled the 5,500-square-foot (510-square-metre) early 18th-century villa in Pietrasanta by the sea in Tuscany, in a grandiose but understated, elegantly distressed minimalist style that is often evident in his palazzo renovations.

4This particular palazzo was built by a local painter, Antonio Digerini, who died in 1889, but it has served many purposes over the centuries including being a cloister and a hotel.

I love the exposed patina of the walls and ceiling beams, the minimalist emptiness of the rooms and the lack of unnecessary objects. The color palette is also beautifully muted with soft hints of cold greens and warmer brick-tones.

5In several spaces, the texture and tone of the patina of the original walls and ceilings is replicated in dyed, gessoed and sanded Belgian linen used for parts of the walls and ceilings. Most of the marble is local as the area is famous for its marble quarries.

6Many of the furnishings and art are of De Cotiis’s own creation and design and although their vibe is futuristic and even slightly brutalist, they fit seamlessly with the villa’s cold-cool ambiance. The balance exudes a sense of calm but in an eerily powerful way. It isn’t cozy or comfortable overall, yet it is inviting and interesting for those of us who love his style.

7De Cotiis doesn’t promise to create an environment in a style any client might want. But you can’t help but respect his boldness.

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Learn more here

Beautiful Workplace Design

GoCstudio re-imagines a century-old Seattle building to house digital product company

studio-office-seattle1US architecture firm GoCstudio has created an open office for a growing tech company that features original brick and timber elements, along with new enclosures made of ebony-stained plywood.

gocstudio_seattle 2.jpgThe office is located within the upper floor of a 100-year-old building in Seattle‘s Capitol Hill district. Encompassing 14,000 square feet, the space serves as a second office for Substantial, a digital product studio.

gocstudio_seattle 3.jpgThe company had occupied a portion of the floor since 2013, and decided to take over the full story when its neighboring tenant moved out. Local firm GoCstudio was charged with overhauling the entire floor, to read as one unified space.

gocstudio_seattle 4.jpgThe challenge was to create a cohesive open-plan workspace which retained the feel of the original Substantial space and would maximize the existing character of the building – exposed brick walls, old-growth Douglas Fir beams and roof decking, and the beautiful warehouse-style window walls.

studio_5.jpgThe architects worked closely with the client to understand day-to-day operations, as well as the company’s love of hosting parties. Their research led to the conception of the office’s signature element: The Forum, an assembly area for social and business activities.

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A large aspect of Substantial’s working practice is the hosting of public and private events thus creating a large social space that could be multifunctional was an important factor in the design of the expansion.

studio_7.jpgThe social space was situated near the entry staircase and looks toward a large reception desk faced with a steel door from the old office. The room is illuminated by a large skylight.

studio_8In the kitchen, the team installed two bars made of cross-laminated timber planks, along with several black dining tables with colorful chairs. Employees can be found working here throughout the day.

cstudio_9Surrounding The Forum are conference rooms, with walls made of black-stained plywood and large panes of glass. Additional enclosures were inserted on the north side of the floor. A large portion of the office is given over to open areas with versatile workstations.

The space is filled with natural light, thanks to large floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides of the building. For the first time in many years, views are opened up through the building, from east to west.

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Other projects by GoCstudio include a low-lying winery that blends with Washington’s natural terrain, and a floating wooden sauna that can accommodate up to six people.
Project credits:
Architect: GoCstudio (Jon Gentry, Aimée O’Carroll)
Builder: Montlake Associates
Lighting Designer: KMJ Design, Kathy Justin
Owner: Substantial
Photography: by Kevin Scott
Read more 

 

Beautiful Antique Iron Bar

This is a beautiful example of reuse.
Back in the day when light bulbs were
new on the market, Germans had big,
bulbous machines for testing light
bulb voltage. Today these large, 1920s
machines are being re-purposed as bar carts.
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Beautiful Hollywood Cabin

Mad Men‘s Vincent Kartheiser used to live in
a small one-room bungalow on a nondescript
Hollywood street”. But he had big plans for the little
580 SF house. Evoking a Japanese industrial feel,
it has a beautiful giant boulder sink. Local studio
Funn Roberts designed the space with a suspended
bed that drops from ceiling and a headboard made of
a huge slab of redwood fastened to the wall on hinges
so that, when the bed is raised, the piece of wood can
flip down to double as a desk.  Love the cleverly
designed bed; it works on a pulley-system
with a 300-pound counterweight hidden in the closet.
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Beautiful Old Factory

Today I celebrate the Oreo cookie not because
I like the cookie so much but I do love design
and history. Today I did some internet stumbling
and came upon these great images of the design
of the old Oreo Cookie factory in New York.
Sometimes I do wish I lived closer to NYC
to experience some of this first hand but suffice
to say I’ll enjoy the ‘ol factory thanks to
the talents of PATTIBUM.
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The first Oreo cookie was made in 1912 at
the original Nabisco bakery in NYC which
is today the Chelsea Market.
Read here for 13 things you didn’t know
about Oreo cookies
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Present day Chelsea Market
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