Displaying posts labeled "Sponsored"

New summer books

Posted on Sun, 11 Jul 2021 by KiM

This first book is frankly the BEST book for summer you will get your hands on. I adore both of these books Vendome Press sent over but The Maine House is about cottage, summer living in all its casual splendour and that really speaks to me right now. Photographer Maura McEvoy and art director Basha Burwell traveled the length and breadth of Maine in search of houses that capture the state’s singular character. These are not designer houses; they are homes created by the people who live in them, from artists to writers to fishermen, distinctive for their ingenuity, originality, and fierce individuality. Many are unchanged, inhabited by generations of the same family; some are ingenious conversions. I read it last weekend and its so good I’m exciting to go through it again this weekend, while lounging in my greenhouse, with a drink in hand and a cat in my lap.

Next up is Provence Style: Decorating with French Country Flair by Shauna Varvel. This book is about living the dream – in a 200 year old chateau/farmhouse (among others). Sign me up! I’m so incredibly intrigued by homes in Europe from this era so this book is eye candy that immediately reeled me in.
The era of colorful rusticity and shabby chic has since been replaced by a far more nuanced approach in line with contemporary tastes and needs. Provence Style showcases this new direction, featuring Shauna Varvel’s eighteenth-century Rhône valley farmhouse—Le Mas des Poiriers—as an exemplar. Named for the working pear orchard on the grounds, the property was reimagined by Varvel and noted local architect Alexandre Lafourcade, who transformed an outdated structure into a luxurious and contemporary expression of Provençal style. Alexandre’s mother, renowned landscaper Dominique Lafourcade, designed the extensive gardens. With her exquisite home serving as an archetypal starting point, Varvel goes on to explore the architectural and interior elements that are part of the reinvented Provençal aesthetic. Featuring a selection of homes created by noted interior designers, Provence Style beautifully illustrates the textures, furnishings, fabrics, color pairings, motifs, and accents that define each area, from kitchens, living spaces, bedrooms, and bathrooms to garden terraces and courtyards.

The Best Colors to Use for Hallway Flooring

Posted on Fri, 9 Jul 2021 by Guest

When it comes to your hallway, you have probably not put as much thought into its design as other areas in your home. But, it does not always have to be this way. You do not have to crowd the space with a lot of furniture or various types of artwork. Instead, you can carefully choose a laminate floor colour for a contemporary design. But, what is the best colour for your space? Well, you can discover a lot of options at https://www.woodfloorwarehouse.co.uk/laminate-flooring. But, here are some colors you can consider for your hallway.


First of all, a lot of people do not consider brown as a modern color to use for a home space. But, it can be. For instance, a light brown is going to have a contemporary wooden style that a lot of people like. It can make a space appear clean and tidy. You can also opt for darker browns, which can help to expand a space. This is something that can be beneficial if you have a narrow hallway that you wish to widen. So, a modern look can enjoy a light brown color or you can create the illusion of space with dark brown.

Baby Blue

Have you considered a baby blue color for your hallway? Often, this is the first space that a guest is going to enter. Indeed, this means that you want it to be comforting and inviting. This is exactly what the color baby blue can do. This shade is soft and makes you feel good, as well as having a modern touch.


A contemporary color that is trending right now is grey. This means that if you are trying to choose a modern color for your hallway, this is definitely one to consider. In particular, it is timeless and sophisticated and it will compliment other colors if you have furniture or décor already. What’s more, the good thing about grey is that there are so many shades to choose from. Grey wood flooring is popular and offers a lot of options that you can explore.


If you are someone that likes your hallway to appear clean and contemporary, another good color for flooring is white. This is going to reflect light and allow a bright and cheery room to walk into. What’s more, white is known to be a clean color and it can make a space look less cluttered and dirty. This is something that you definitely need for a hallway, which can be filled with shoes, bags and coats.

In Summary

Choosing hallway flooring is not easy. But, it is better to look at all of the options as being exciting. In particular, there are a lot of colors to choose from if you are wanting to enjoy a contemporary style. For example, brown is good for cleanliness and for creating the illusion of space. Baby blue is welcoming and grey wood floors are going to be sophisticated. Plus, white can be clean and cheerful.


It’s that time again! This is an early bird call for your entries in the prestigious A’ Design Award & Competition. We are excited to share with you not only some of the previous winners but also how you can enter your own designs for this year’s competition. With over 100 categories the A’ Design Award & Competition is the world’s largest design competition. But it is not just an award. It is an indicator of quality and perfection in design, recognized worldwide, your design front and centre before design companies and professionals. Entries will be judged by an international jury panel of scholars, professionals and media members (you can check out the methodology here) and the benefits to the winners are inspiring. The trophy, of course, an invitation to the gala night, a certificate of quality, inclusion in the prestigious A’ Design Award & Competition exhibition and the yearly ResultBook but even more importantly press, PR, introduction to industry professionals and companies and international exposure.

From the Good Industrial Design Award, to the Good Architecture Design Award. The Good Product Design Award to the Good Communication Design Award. The Good Service Design Award to the Good Fashion Design Award and so many more. Are you inspired? Excited? Believe you’ve got what it takes to take on the best of the best design from around the world? You can register for A’ Design Award and Competition here.

And now some of the fabulous 2020-2021 winners …

Lattice Chair Weaving Armchair by Chen Kuan-Cheng

Minimal Techno Arm Chair by Sebastiaan Van Beest

The Bridge House Private Residential by Soheil Afshar Mohammadian

Slope House Residence by Kyungsik Kim

House of Tubes Residential by Enrique Leal

Zero Sun Lounger by Roberta Banqueri

Watch Tower Cat Climbing Tree by Fei Chen, Lei Yang and Qi Wu

B Fora Vase by Nicolau dos Santos

Peloponnese Rural Residential House by Ivana Lukovic

Hacienda Summer House by Hany Saad

Aura Minimalist Standing Fan by Marco Gallegos

Ori Accent Chair by Manish Maheshwari

God’s Math Cabinet by Michael Potter

Pagoda Cabinet by Pandi Li

Bamboo Leisure Chair by Wei Jingye and Li Jiashu


This post is brought to you in collaboration with A’ Design Award & Competition

Today, architectural lighting design is one of the most transformative elements in the building industry. Whether it’s natural or artificial lighting, proper illumination brings uniqueness to spaces by providing architects a broader scope to express their creativity while retaining the functionality, artistic value, and social perception of an architectural project.

If you look at modern building designs around the world, you can see how lighting design plays a vital role in the visual art of architecture. From using glass to ambient reflective surfaces, designers find different ways to showcase how various lighting solutions interact with various work and living spaces. 

Here are seven of the best illuminated architectural projects worldwide:

The Water Cube, Beijing National Aquatics Center

Accentuating spatial borders and other structural elements using light creates distinctively beautiful spaces. Among such architectural masterpieces in commerce and outdoor advertising is the light box sign. Illumination and custom designs put in a box can make wonderful illustrations of a brand.  

With its architectural design as a focal glow, the building uses both natural and modern light-box-inspired lighting to showcase its striking structural elements. Using the fluorine-based plastic ETFE, The Water Cube allows maximum daylight interior illumination and color-changing LED lighting, giving it a fascinating ambiance at night.

U.S. Air Force Academy (Center for Character & Leadership Development)

When reviewing the best-illuminated buildings, this 105-foot tall glazed masterpiece stands out. The artistically placed horizontal plates with reflective properties create adequate daytime illumination. At night, the structure’s base comes to life with LED floodlights. When coupled with the assortment of decorative mirrors, the lights make the interior space burst into an exciting glow.

When fully lit, the building evokes tremendous emotion with its ability to symbolize the design appeal of each space. The oculus found inside the building’s Honor Board Room further emphasizes the transformation. With rooms full of color and captivating architectural elements, such lighting serves to make it even more stunning. 

Hyundai Capital Convention Hall in Seoul, South Korea 

The Hyundai Capital Convention Hall serves a variety of purposes. From hosting training events to showcasing video presentations, the interior space requires flexible illumination. To achieve this, the lighting design project uses various lighting options, including stage lights, movable recessed lights, and linear wall lights. With individual operations, there are thousands of possible light configurations to suit different occasions.

Striking a balance between light and innovative architecture and design depends on aesthetics, efficiency, and functionality. The convention hall adequately addresses all three aspects to produce simple yet adequate lighting, showcasing its architectural beauty. The lighting project also uses an abundance of accent lighting in the screening hall, creating breathtaking shapes and graphics in a captivating blend of natural and artificial lighting.

Ports 1961 Shanghai in Shanghai, China

The flagship store by Ports 1961 in Shanghai is best described with two words: innovative and breathtaking. The store adopts an iceberg-like design made entirely from glass. The three-story structure uses sculptural design elements instead of the standard two-dimensional glass blocks. The features, creatively designed by combining traditional square and L-shaped glass blocks, fascinatingly provide adequate natural lighting.

The exterior design does more than complement the interior. When stepping through the entrance, the square blocks’ interior elevations display LED monitors coupled with linear LED lights installed along the joints. The light reflects indirectly from the glass to create a breathtaking effect, especially at night. When lit, it results in a beautiful icy glow, reminiscent of an iceberg in the moonlight.

Lighting Design Is at the Forefront of Modern Architecture

Today’s architectural trends show the demand for efficient lighting systems for both interior and exterior environments. A designer can use their innovation to make the lighting enhance the building’s overall design without losing its primary function (to see) while ensuring the overall architecture is appealing and user-practical. 

Many of the best-lit buildings and structures globally take advantage of both natural and electric lighting. With the increasing need for sustainable green energy solutions, investing in natural lighting techniques will save energy while maintaining functionality. Architects need to continue working with interior designers to design aesthetically appealing, functional, and energy-saving lighting techniques for a sustainable future.

Tuft + paw – more new modern cat furniture

Posted on Tue, 25 May 2021 by KiM

You might remember this post from back in 2018 when I received the cutest cat bed from California-based modern cat furniture company Tuft + Paw. They reached out earlier this year about some new products they have since launched as well as an awesome new website and asked if I were interested in testing out some more items from their line. I am such a sucker for decent looking, well-made cat furniture and this company really does make some of the coolest I have come across in many hours of scouring the interwebs on this subject. Above are the two I selected – the Zip scratching post and the Grove cat tower.

One of the things I love about Tuft + Paw is their attention to detail – in their designs, their simple and easy to follow assembly instructions and their packaging. You are guaranteed to never have any mishaps with your items showing up damaged in any way given how careful they package everything. Above, Mimin is inspecting the Grove box as soon as I opened it. I recycled almost everything, and what I didn’t I stashed away because I’m a sucker for good packing materials I can reuse. But before you break it all down and put in your recycle bins, you know how it goes my fellow cat parents….

Lucky insisted on a couple of hours nap in the box first.

The Grove cat tower is a beauty! They sent me over the shorter, 24″ tall version (there is a 41″ version, and it also comes in a light grey stain) which is perfect as half my crew are geriatric and would not likely have been able to jump to the top level of the tall one. I love the simple design. The slats make the cats feel safe and enclosed, and the faux shearling cushions on each level are super cozy. Since it arrived I have found Lucky asleep in it at least once a day. The others have been using it too but it seems to be Lucky’s favourite.

I’m stoked to have another awesome, modern piece of cat furniture in the house I’m not at all embarrassed by and won’t need to push out of the way if I’m trying to take random pics for Instagram. A total winner in my book.

The folks at Tuft + Paw didn’t ask me to review their Zip scratching post, but I wanted to because if you have a pile of cats like I do, and value your furniture like I do, you understand the importance of a good scratching post. The one on the left has seen better days, and I was dying for a replacement. It is very hard to find tall scratching posts. Tall is important because cats like to stretch when scratching. So to note, don’t ever cheap out and buy one of those short, cheap ones. TRUST ME. The Zip is 36″ tall and I’d say likely one of the tallest, simple and modern scratching posts you will find. The post is wrapped in a really thick sisal so this beaut is going to last a long time. All of the cats have been going to town scratching their little dagger claws on this so I’m happy to finally be able to get rid of my torn to shreds post.

Thank you Tuft + Paw for making such great cat furniture! My cats thank you too. Go have a look around their website – they have all sorts of goodies for sleeping, climbing, scratching, litter, playing and eating.