Beautiful Stahl House

STAHL HOUSE, COMPLETED IN 13 MONTHS AND COSTING $37,500, FURTHER DEMONSTRATED PIERRE KOENIG’S FLAIR FOR WORKING WITH INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS, PARTICULARLY STEEL, GLASS, AND CONCRETE

Stahl-Landscape1-The image is instantly familiar; the house, all dramatic angles, concrete, steel and glass, perched indelibly above Los Angeles, with Hollywood’s lights resembling a circuit board below it. Inside, two women sit, stylish and relaxed, talking casually behind the monumental floor to ceiling glass walls. One of the world’s most iconic photographs, Julius Schulman’s Case Study 22 beautifully captures the optimism of 1950s Los Angeles, and the striking beauty of architect Pierre Koenig’s masterpiece, Stahl House. The classic L shaped pavilion, cantilevered above Hollywood on Woods Drive, was built in 1959 after being adopted into the Case Study Program, an experimental residential design initiative that commissioned architects to create model homes in the wake of the 1950s housing boom. Stahl House, also known as No. 22, was the wild one, conjured up by the man who purchased the plot of land at 1635 Woods Drive in 1954 for $13,500 and sealed the deal with a handshake. C H ‘Buck’ Stahl was a dreamer, who, along with his wife Carlotta, set about finding the right person to bring his vision for an innovative and thoroughly modern home to life.

Stahl-portrait1-chairstahl_portrait2-pool.jpgBuck was a former professional footballer who worked as a graphic designer and sign painter. He spent his first few years as a landowner hauling broken blocks of concrete to the site in attempt to improve its precarious foundation. He and Carlotta ferried their finds, load by load, back to Woods Drive in the back of Buck’s Cadillac, hopeful the reinforcements would prevent the land from sliding. Buck’s dreams for the house began to take shape over the following two years, and eventually, he made a model of the future Stahl House. His grand designs, however, were promptly rejected by several notable architects.

Stahl-Landscape2-view.jpgCarlotta recalled Buck continually telling prospective architects “I don’t care how you do it, there’s not going to be any walls in this wing.” Until they hired Pierre Koenig in 1957, an ambitious young architect determined to build on a site nobody would touch, it seemed unlikely the house would ever exist. Pierre described the process of building Stahl House as “trying to solve a problem – the client had champagne tastes and a beer budget.” He was interested in working with steel, and despite being warned away from it by his architecture instructors, possessed great aptitude for it. He’d experimented with a number of exposed glass and steel homes before he created Case Study 21, or The Bailey House in 1958 and 1959, and his skill for designing functional spaces with simplicity of form, abundant natural light, and elegant lines would eventually make him a master of modernism. Stahl House, completed in 13 months and costing 37,500 USD, further demonstrated Pierre’s flair for working with industrial materials, particularly steel, glass, and concrete. The project put him on the map as an architect with an incredible eye for balance, symmetry, and restraint. The 2,040 m² house was, as Buck insisted, built without walls in the main wing to allow for sweeping 270º views. Three sides of the building were made of plate glass, unheard of in the late 1950s, and deemed dangerous by engineers and architects. This design feature required Pierre to source the largest pieces of glass available for residential use at the time. With two bedrooms, two bathrooms, polished concrete floors, and a very famous swimming pool (a fixture in countless films and fashion editorials) Stahl House was an immediate mid century icon.

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Although there has been some dispute over Buck’s influence on the design in the years since he died in 2005 and Pierre Koenig’s death in 2004, some experts who have seen Buck’s original model agree that his concept informed the direction the Stahl House would finally take.

“I dismissed it as typical owner hubris at the time,” architect and writer Joseph Giovannini told the Los Angeles Times in 2009. “The gesture of the house cantilevering over the side of the hill into the distant view is clearly here in this model. But it is Pierre’s skill that elevated the idea into a masterpiece. This is one of the rare cases it seems that there is a shared authorship.”

Today, Stahl House is still owned by the Stahl family. Though it remains a magnet for film crews and photographers the world over, for Bruce Stahl, Buck and Carlotta’s son, who grew up there with his siblings, it was simply part of a typical, happy childhood. “We were a blue collar family living in a white collar house,” he said. “Nobody famous ever lived here.”

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Credits: Lucy Brook
Photos: Rick Poon

Beautiful Kitchen Design

I am loving this little kitchen with dark grey and black cabinets. Love the sleek new black stainless steel, fingerprint-resistant appliances with a rich, matter look.

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The great thing about black and dark grey is how dramatic it is, and how it helps make everything else around it pop. And adding black appliances to the mix gives things a seriously seamless look!

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Check out Whirlpool’s newest line of black appliances here

 

Beautiful Textiles

Swedish brand HIMLA has launched a unique collaboration with interior
stylist and photographer Daniella Witte, and the imagery she has created
is stunning. Representing Scandinavian Simplicity, most of HIMLA’S products
made from linen, but they also work with other natural materials like wool,
silk and cotton.

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Using textiles from the range, Daniella has created a relaxed interior with
natural colors and a simple aesthetic. Beautiful stone floors are softened
with sheer linen curtains and a warm layering of textiles that carry through
to every room in the home. These include soft rugs underfoot in the living
room, scattered cushions on the sofa and a lovely layering of tablecloth and
napkins on the dining table. Bathed in light, the bedroom is my favorite.
Read more about this inspiring collaboration here. Love the stone floor!

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Styling and photography by Daniella Witte for Himla via TDC

Beautiful Renovated Home

This beautiful Copenhagen apartment was featured in
Elle Decoration South Africa earlier this year.
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Located in the Frederiksberg, the couple renovated the once run-down
apartment themselves. Restoring the original architectural detailing,
they have introduced new contemporary additions to provide a strong
yet understated contrast. The couple have also incorporated their own
stories and heritage. Justine’s South African roots can be seen in details
such as the fabrics and lithographs created by artists such as her aunt,
South African artist Deborah Bell.

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Bringing in a number of delicate heirlooms, Jonas’s Danish upbringing
is also evident. Featuring natural materials such as wood and stone, the
home showcases the pair’s attention to detail and the interaction between
origins, functionality and aesthetics. The end result a beautiful!

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Images 1-5 Styling Marie Monrad Graunbøl / Photography by Mikkel Tjellesen via Elle Decoration.  Last image via justinebell.com

Beautiful Kid Spaces

How to crate a beautiful, cool, functional space for kids.

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September is almost here and that can only mean one thing: back-to-school time! But homework doesn’t have to be boring – and neither does your child’s desk. Whether it’s for homework, drawing, coloring or simply chilling with a favorite book, study spaces can be both functional AND fun.

Here’s how:

1. Choose an area that works within the room

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Image sourced from Van Staeyen

Placing a table along the length of the room (as pictured above) makes an area that may otherwise not be used for anything, useful – especially in a loft or attic room like this one. It’s light and bright, thanks to the window and the cheerful sunshine yellow and white, with plenty of desktop space for every activity you can think of! Don’t forget alcoves, unused corners, underneath loft beds, and even cupboards – they can make perfect study zones too!

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Image sourced from The Land of Nod

2. Hang a shelf

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Image sourced from Estiloescandinavo

If you don’t have a lot of space, consider hanging a wall-mounted shelf instead. Simple and smart, yet effective as well. If it’s next to a wall, even better – hang some extra storage for all those arty bits and pieces and to help keep everything tidy and organized. And don’t forget all that extra space underneath the desk. Stack some storage boxes, bins or baskets to stash away all the mess when work and play is over.

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Image sourced from En Suus

3. Choose a colored chair or stool

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Image sourced from Saarkeloves on Instagram

These Ikea steps look amazing painted in bright colors and used as stools. Love how the drawers divide up the two areas whilst serving as functional desktop legs, not to mention brilliant storage for paper, pens, crayons and books.

Likewise, these sweet vintage chairs in this kids’ room (below) add a pop of bright color whilst being perfectly in keeping with the style of the room:

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Image sourced from Coosje 

4. Decorate!

Colored paint, wallpaper, wall stickers and wall art all help to add color and character to the walls, giving the study area its own identity. This simple yet creative two-tone ‘mountain’ design on the wall, which defines the corner and separates it out from the rest of the room:

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Image sourced from Wildones

How cool is this grey and white cloud wallpaper for the alcove surrounding the desk?

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5. Add a peg board

A simple pegboard above the desk is decorative, functional as storage and the perfect solution for displaying their creative masterpieces:

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Image sourced from Aimee Weaver
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Image sourced from Pretty Life Girls 
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Image sourced from Petit and Small

So, whether it’s for a 2, 12 or 22-year-old, you can keep the study space both fun and functional by adding elements such as a bright chair or stool, a colorful shelf or pegboard or a decorative wall feature through paint, wallpaper or wall art. And let’s face it – when you have kids, there is plenty of wall art to display.

For more ideas visit petitandsmall.com

Beautiful Pink House

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The Pink House, otherwise known as The Spear House, is one of the best known and most photographed residences in Miami, Florida. It is a quintessential symbol of modernism and sits at the edge of Biscayne Bay in the older Miami suburb of Miami Shores, is intended as an urban house within a suburban context. Rigorously conceived as a study in different planes, the house is painted give shades of pink, ranging from deep near-red to pale pink, which heighten the illusionistic perspective of the house and define the series of planes. Pink was chosen because it seemed to be the most tropical of all colors and at the time was rarely used. Many factors make the house interesting bit its controversy has all the intrigue. designed by Laurinda Spear and Bernardo Fort-Bescia of Arquitectonica for Spears’ parents in 1976, it’s a series of planes and framed views designed to maximize East/West breezes.

The Pink House, Miami Shores, Florida, 7800

Although the house was initially conceived as an object standing on its own, the west façade, facing the city, is scaled down; its dimensions diminish to relate to other houses on the street in an almost mathematical cadence. The east façade, designed for long-distance viewing from Miami Beach and the bay, is scaled so that it looms large. The approach is through a tropical grove — almost a tunnel– which opens to a geometric landscape with palm trees spaced regularly in a carpet of pavers.

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The house has a precise sequence: the façade, the courtyard, and then the rooms, each framing a different view of the bay. The house encloses a swimming pool, which, along with the living areas, is the piano, one level above ground. The house in narrow — only 18 feet wide — to capture the bay breezes and daylight as well. The Spear House is more rigorously mathematical than Arquitectonica’s later work, yet in many ways it is seminal, establishing a number of paths of inquiry that the firm has pursued consistently, including color and cadence.

The Pink House, Miami Shores, Florida, 7800

Its color statement received a lot of attention in the late 1970s when it was built.
Neighbors were disturbed by the 5 shades of pink, which were chosen to reflect
the tropical climate and were rarely used at the time. Ultimately a grove of trees
were planted to shield the house from the street.

The Pink House, Miami Shores, Florida, 7800

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Original sketch

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Beautiful Hotel Interiors

Located in a brutalist former bank headquarters in Stockholm, Universal Design Studio’s latest project, the At Six hotel, is home to one of Europe’s most significant hotel art collections. The London-based studio carried out a complete interior renovation to create the 343-room luxury hotel in the Swedish capital’s Brunkebergstorg Square, and also designed a new entrance. The scheme includes 10 floors of guest rooms, a penthouse suite, a 100-cover restaurant, a wine bar, cocktail bar, a 2,000-square-metre events and flexible work space, and Scandinavia’s first slow listening lounge.

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The art collection is curated by Sune Nordgren, formerly of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.

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The gorgeous monochrome interior contrasts shades of warm grey and highly textured natural materials with soft furnishings and classic furniture. The aim was to reinterpret the brutalist aesthetic of the building and the immediate architectural landscape of Brunkebergstorg Square. “A palette of sawn stone, blackened steel, fine timber and polished granite lends a sense of permanence and authenticity to the new interior,” explained Universal Design Studio.

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“Moving away from the uncompromising and unforgiving aesthetic characteristics often associated with the brutalism – the brief was to create a desirable, fashionable destination,” said the team. “Design is focused on humanising the architecture, bringing a sense of desirability and luxury to a brutalist building not often associated with these traits, turning the hotel into a contemporary version of a metropolitan grand hotel.”

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Pieces of contemporary and classic furniture are complemented by specially commissioned pieces created by local makers and established Scandinavian designers. Custom lighting by Rubn is installed in each guest room, and local glassmaker Carina Seth Anderson has created a series of sculptural, hand-blown glass vessels for the lobby as well as tabletop pieces for each dining table in the restaurant.

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The handrail of the grand white granite staircase in the hotel’s lobby was wrapped in leather by a local saddle maker, while a communal table in the wine bar was carved by local artist Lies-Marie Hoffman from a single Swedish elm trunk. Bedrooms feature timber wall panelling and marble credenzas that run the full length of the room. The hotel is one of four 1970s buildings that occupy Stockholm’s Brunkebergstorg Square. The buildings were built during a government initiative that aimed to replace much of the city centre’s belle époque grandeur with brutal modernity.

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Although the high-rise building was originally designed by Swedish architects Boijsen & Efervgren as a hotel, it ended up functioning as the headquarters of Swedbank, never fulfilling its intended purpose. Now owned and operated by Petter Stordalen of Nordic Hotels & Resorts, the hotel is at the centre of a wider regeneration programme that aims to transform Brunkebergstorg Square into a social hub within the city.

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