Surrounded by some of the most spectacular hill landscapes in Britain – the Brecon Beacons – this house fittingly was built as a testament to the surrounding landscape. Ty Hedfan (in Welsh, meaning hovering house) is unique, built on a site that slopes down to the meeting points of two rivers – Ysgir Fach and Ysgir Fawr. The dual design problems of a steeply sloping plot, and a no-build zone within seven metres of the river Ysgir, became an opportunity for the architectural firm Featherstone Young, which is known for having a focus on the context and area that surrounds a development. The house cantilevers over the river bank and into the canopy of the trees, almost hovering as it does.
Seeing these photos you might be forgiven for thinking that they are from a high-end luxury spa or hotel. Think again. This is the work of Claesson Koivisto Rune architects, built in the top floor of a historic (1800s) Stockholm building. You can see a video of the space here. I like how it’s decorated, quite simply, but in a contemporary style. This gives the architectural features some space to show off.
Built as a summer house by Paul Weidlinger, the concrete pillars below form a low elevation at the higher end of the slope, but coming closer to the pond the building stilts out at such a height that the building looks like it’s floating over the pond. Open glass in the communal areas, along with the height, make this a perfect place I can imagine just sitting back and viewing nature from. The place was built back in the early 1950s, and was almost demolished until the Cape Cod Modern House Trust (CCMHT) stepped in a few years back. This is our first post back from an extended Summer break – enjoy!
This week has been busy, and all the people I’ve been talking to recently have the same impression. Has the good weather inspired a social zeal in my city? Or is this a universal effect of Summer coming? I’ve always been quite introverted though, so meeting a lot of people in quick succession has left me exhausted this Monday morning. A friend sent me this music video to help decompress, and it’s soothing. This week isn’t going to be any quieter, so maybe it’s best I ask for a day off work?
Anyway, this is the reason I chose this apartment from Nooks, because I feel like it’s a very social space. The space that connects the kitchen to the living room was actually opened up, and then shelves were put in between the supporting pillars. It does look stylish, but the reason the owner did this was to be more social and connect the rooms together more for when he had guests over. Max, the owner, also said:
“In the vast majority of home decorating, we focused on the TV, but here in the living room, I wanted instead to the social would be central. The same applies to the dinner table, I chose a round table in order to be able to keep up more with each other. ”
This is a treat of a home, designed in the mid-20th century by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon – the very same who designed the Sydney Opera House. The house has an almost brutalist quality to it, but softened for suburbia; the roof is made up of one strong line that juts out from the flat garden – underlined with thick concrete beams.
In the featured image furniture from Denmark is featured – the country Jørn Utzon is from. I wondered whether to include this image, as it is clearly from a different time to the rest of the house. Is it the same home tour if it shows a ‘before’ picture almost disconnected to what the interior is now? However, I think it is important. The picture shows what kind of interior the architect could have expected at the time that it was being built. Two famous pieces by Arne Jacobsen are shown – the armchair on the left is a Swan chair and the group of armchairs away from the foreground are Egg chairs; what makes this interesting is the muted tones chosen for these chairs – in keeping with the house style. The photos below are shared, with permission, from The Modern House.
From the entrance, this place looks like a typical Victorian house. There’s little you can see from the front, and the ubiquitous London Plane tree (the big one) outside doesn’t point to anything out of the ordinary – houses such as this being a relatively common but well-coveted staple in Britain.
However, once you go in through the hallway and past the living room you’re greeted by something quite unexpected. A burst of light and open planned space that meets the garden. Click on the images below for a larger size.
This is what makes this house special. Staying on the lower levels, and going back towards the front of the house you’re met by something more traditional.
You’re then thrust back into the new world, with a trendy study that’s part of the new conversion. This looks like such a perfect spot for concentration, or writing a book. The decoration is fairly minimal and the palette is limited, but there’s also a view of the trees which must be calming.
You’ll also notice that there’s some light coming from the back, which is a nice touch.
The bedrooms are also all lovely, with some nice accents to boot. They’ve all made good use of space, and the mirrors, white walls and bright colours, all liven up the rooms.
The real showstopper in this building though, is what’s at the top of the tower conversion. A magical bathroom (below) with a completely glass roof. I don’t use the word magical with any exaggeration. This bathroom was the cherry on top that made the house received a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Award in 2008. An article in Grand Designs described the bathroom:
Upstairs the bathroom is more than just a room in which to groom. A small-scale bench in the shower room means you can sit while you shower, and on a clear night you can watch the moon traverse the sky through the glazed roof, from the comfort of a hammock.
New-builds always run the risk of being sterile, but this house is the opposite. It’s a place for late-night stargazing and leisurely late-afternoon lunches, with generous amounts of natural light and windows strategically placed to frame the natural surroundings
In the magazine Homebuilding & Renovating, more praise was given:
If there were a prize for best bathroom, [this] home in Hackney would easily win it. It’s rare that one finds a bathroom that multitasks, but Anne Katrine’s not only combines a magnificently stylish bathing area, but also has a space for exercising – complete with dumbbells – and hooks from which she can string a hammock to gaze up at the ever-changing sky through the room’s glazed roof
It’s been a busy week for me, and Spring having sprung, I’m sure it’s busy for everyone else too. Take a five minute break and look at this hip home from Nooks.
I love love love the wallpaper in this place. The rest of the apartment is quite starkly white, and the statement the kitchen makes shows that it pays off to take a little risk now and then. You can find more like it at Stadshem.
Meanwhile in my world, it’s finally becoming sunny across Northern Europe now, and I can see people almost smiling in the streets. People playing, children running about and playing, strawberries on sale in the shops. This time of year is definitely a time for optimism.
Cute puppies abound.
I love how all the kitchen fittings are so well fit in. Very traditional. Of course back then, you probably wouldn’t have got a new kitchen every 10 years.
I want that vase! And that closet space …
These hooks are such a neat idea.
Once again I’m posting the whole layout. It’s in Swedish but should be relatively self-explanatory. Sovrum is bedroom for instance, and vardagsrum is living room.
Have you seen this show-stopping loft in central Stockholm? Built in the 1800s, the original flooring and beams are still in, and exposed.
Going with the trend, I’ve been looking at rustic and woody homes this week.
First up is this wonderful timber revamp from Western Massachusetts, designed by Ritch Holben. It was made from three old rental cabins that were demolished to make way for the more modern house. I can’t say if it were a good decision to demolish the old buildings, but what’s left is a very bright, open, spacious, and clean design, and the timber frame gives it sterling character! The only issues would be clearing the occasional spider web and changing light bulbs. And there are tools for those tasks.
Second to come is this modern rustic NZ pad, covered in ‘pohutukawa’ trees. More to come is this cosy warehouse conversion in London, and this luxurious converted barn. I feel like this house in the Sonoran desert, that mixes contemporary with rural French style, would go with all of the above as well.
Song for the weekend
Tennesse sounds so positive, it’s my song for the weekend because it talks about a lifestyle that these rustic style houses reflect. Cash actually lived in Tennessee too.
This feels so calm. I’ve had a busy weekend and it’s nice to sit back on Sunday evening and appreciate something like this. Hope you find this apartment from Nooks peaceful too!
Those funky boxes hold some Pukka tea. Not much better than your standard herbal tea at a supermarket, but the boxes look nice and they’re exactly the kind of brand I’d expect of the kind of person who’d live here.
These kind of handles are really in right now. I wonder if this is just a fad or will it last? Either way, cheap to replace.
Not a great idea to light a candle next to a window. Looks nice though.
A home isn’t complete without a mood board! (on the left below)
This is another from Stockholm, I really like how the place manages to make casual look so cool. If I could change something, I would have more accents like the yellow pillow and pink chest of drawers.
The colours in this bedroom are on point. Also, see the frames above the door in the centre.
This ceiling light is too cool.
This is a show-stopping loft in central Stockholm. Built in the 1800s, the original flooring and beams are still in, and exposed. It’s currently available on Nooks.se and is one of the most viewed properties there. I like it, even though it doesn’t follow my personal style. If I were to move in (which probably means winning the lottery) I’d add a tonne of soft furnishings – throws, pillows, and even more rugs than they already have.
The bright reds really work well with the exposed dark wood.
Somehow the bamboo sticks in the vase work? I would never have guessed.
Such a spacious shower. I love showers with high ceilings.
Most people hide away their washer/dryer. Here they seem to have made it into a statement piece. Love. it.
Once again I’m including the floor plan here.
This tour today is something special – a penthouse with lakefront views near Stockholm from Nooks. From the top, you can look across Lake Mälaren (Lake Malar in English), one of Sweden’s largest lakes, and see Ekerö island, where Agnetha Fältskog from Abba reportedly lives. I can only imagine what the sunsets and sunrises are like in that top bedroom, especially as the balcony isn’t limited to one face. I think if I lived there I might even go the way of Cato the elder and swim au naturale every morning. Scroll right down to the bottom for a floorplan.
This is such a perfect spot to enjoy with some friends. I would probably add some hardy potted plants, and a spot for tealights though!
This home is rich in two things – balconies and charm!
I love that ceiling light. Also, are rugs in kitchen on trend now or what?
This pale green room below would be my first choice if I were staying here, it looks absolutely serene.
Once again I’m posting the floorplan here. It really helps me visualise a house when it’s more than one storey. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
Following on from last week’s Friday roundup, I was looking at tiny homes and studios. This ground floor studio from FantasticFrank caught my eye. There’s blush colours on a very white backdrop. This isn’t me posting Monday’s regular tour, but it’s a bonus for the weekend as I couldn’t wait to share! Scroll down right to the bottom for a new feature also 😉
I really want to know where to get that globe light. In the meantime, I bought something similar recently (at least with the base), check it out here.
You can find the pendant here. All this black makes such a bold contrast.
I’m also trying something new this week. I’ve noticed that most websites don’t share the floorplan of their home tours so I’ll be doing just that as an experiment. Let me know in the comments if you think this is useful. I don’t believe, given the pictures above, that the labels below need translation.
Last week I was shopping in Kingston-upon-Thames’ old market (image credit for the picture). There’s a Clas Ohlson just to the right of the featured photo which I popped in for, just intending to buy a new kettle for my mum.
Turns out they had a really cool range of lighting. They’d nearly sold out but the manager (Jim, maybe?) sold me a display model and picked out the right LED bulb. I’m planning on going back there today to see what else they have left and I’m hoping to get this one as it looks really adaptable, and it’s on sale. The display model I managed to nab is shown below and is a combination of one of these bulbs with the black base.
Unfortunately some of their bulbs have a label on the top that can’t be removed so do watch out for that if the bulb itself is going to be a centrepiece.