Beautiful Fall Foliage

fall leaves

Some consider Autumn to be the most incredible time of the year. Gorgeous colors vibrantly encoring the end of summer as the trees put themselves to bed for the long sleep of winter. The Great Smoky Mountains floods with thousands upon thousands of annual visitors all hoping to achieve a breath taking view of the beautiful renaissance of nature.

The Smoky Mountains team has once again released their foliage prediction map, updated for 2017. The complex algorithm uses historical and forecasted precipitation and temperatures, as well as historical leaf peak and observational trends to predict when the trees will be at their most colorful. As each year passes, there’s more historical data to consider, and therefore, the predictions get more accurate.

This 2017 Fall Foliage Map is the ultimate visual planning guide to the annual progressive changing of the leaves. While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.

Beautiful Upside Down House

“What if I should fall right through the center of the earth…oh, and come out on the other side where people walk upside-down?” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

And now something weird for your Friday. You wouldn’t think the world would have so many upside down houses, but it does. People have built them for all kinds of reasons, from starting up a tourist attraction to commenting on the absurdity of politics.

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Upside Down House in Usedom, Germany: Designers Klausdiusz Golos and Sebastian Mikiciuk have a very nonchalant approach to this tourist exhibit, saying, “We didn’t do it for a reason. We just wanted to do something different.”

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Upside Down House at the Old School House Museum in Lee Vining, California: Part of an outdoor exhibit at a roadside museum in California, this tiny shed gets top billing as the “legendary upside-down house!”

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Wonderworks in Orlando, Florida: They bill themselves as “Central Florida’s only upside down attraction — an amusement park for the mind, featuring over 100 interactive exhibits.”

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Upside Down House in Poland: Daniel Czapiewski, an entrepreneur in Poland, built this house to comment on the insanity of contemporary politics (and bring in tourists as well).

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Casa de Cabeca para Baixo in Rio: Don’t know too much about this upside-down house, except that it’s located in Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro, and the Flickr member who took the photo says “They are reforming it. It’s a Showroom from a house-construction shop.”

Beautiful Workplace Design

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

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US 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.

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The 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.

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The 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.

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The 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.

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The 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.

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The 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.

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In 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.

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Surrounding 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 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 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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Beautiful Poetry

As the week comes to an end a bit of poetry is on my mind reminding me to always hold on to my power and never relent under any circustance.

INVICTUS
Out of the night which covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

~ William Ernest Henley
Written 1875

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Reflective

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Unchained

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Carefree

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A Bit Smug is good thing sometimes

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Pure Joy