It’s all in the details

Best Architecture
Photo via Asp1re New Jersey

Hawk Nest is a high-tech equestrian home with every luxurious amenity one could possibly imagine. Scott Baxter, a serial entrepreneur, whose high-tech background includes founding Icon CMT Corporation, a leading Internet solutions provider, which sold in 1998 to Qwest Communications, helping launch Teoma Technologies, which was acquired by Ask Jeeves, and getting in on the ground floor as an investor in Google before the stock went public.

When looking to build the perfect horse farm in Bergen County New Jersey, he hired top residential architect, William Toth of Bol Architecture, and leading interior designer Frank DelleDonne. The goal: to build an updated reinterpretation of a tradition English country manor with state-of-the-art technology and the very best of design.

Design living room
Via the NY Times

The estate, which includes a “14,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom, seven-full and three-half-bath main house with adjacent guest quarters, stables, guest quarters, paddocks and a 14,000-square-foot indoor riding arena, took a talented team of architects, designers and craftsmen more than five years of planning, selecting, importing and installing. No amenity was overlooked. No corners were cut. No expense was spared,” writes “Only natural materials were used, unlike the fake, man-made, mass-produced imitations commonly used in construction today. Hawk Nest is faced in solid, square-cut granite, with window surrounds carved from real Indiana limestone and the Vermont slate roof plus copper-clad windows and doors that won’t rust, mean that the estate is virtually maintenance free.” Continue reading “It’s all in the details”


Best Kitchen Designs — Redefining kitchens and cabinetry

You know I don’t post regularly on here — but when I do you know I’m posting the very best. It takes a lot to get my fingers going on this keyboard and to take the time to post about a product or company — but this amazing company, Modulo Cucine, has me pounding away as I marvel at their amazing and sleek, modern kitchen and cabinet designs. They are, to put it frankly, one of the best cabinet makers I have ever seen due to their reinterpretation of what it means to have a kitchen, bathroom or closet space. Turning a mundane sink, dishwasher, and cabinetry into a seamless living space that is as sleek as it is functional is not easy to accomplish — and Modulo Cicine makes it look easy.

Following are a few of their amazing cabinet and kitchen design:

best kitchen designs

modern cabinetry

ASPEN is a stunning, minimalist design that expresses a perfect harmony between technology and Italian design. Aluminum-framed cabinet faces feature tempered glass, either back-painted with color or bonded to any natural stone. Designs choices are limitless, and iron-free Starfire glass is 100% transparent over your selected color or stone.

modern kitchen design

SIDNEY offers minimally visible, recessed channels in place of traditional handles, and is available with organic curves in place of hard cabinet corners. SIDNEY is available in any matte or glossy lacquer color, as well as in wenge, zabrano or walnut.

high-end kitchen cabinets

EASY offers clean Italian design and sophistication in a price-conscious product. EASY is available in four engineered wood laminates, or four different glossy polymeric finish options. Engineered wood finishes come either smooth or sculpted.

modern kitchen

CITY is a flexible cabinetry system that features 5/8″ door panels with either handles or channels. CITY comes in a variety of wood veneer or lacquer finishes, including a satin lacquer that reveals the wood’s underlying texture.

kitchen cabinets

EXTRA’S sophisticate simplicity of integrated pulls on 1.1″ thick door panels creates an uninterrupted cadence of rich materials with or without bold frames. EXTRA is available in any matte or glossy lacquer, oak, wenge, or teak finish.

Modulo Cucine offers full kitchen, bathroom, and closet design and installation services for multi and single-family residential projects, hospitality, and mixed-use developments.

Not only are these kitchen cabinet designs world-class, they are also eco-friendly and sustainable. The company says is proud to let us know that:

▪   All of Doimo Cucine’s composite materials (MDF or plywood) have zero VOC emissions.

▪   All of Doimo Cucine’s finish lacquers, paints and finishes are no-VOC and water-based.

▪   All Doimo Cucine products qualify for an EC-1 Certificate toward LEED certification points.

▪   All kitchen components are non-toxic and easily recyclable after use.

▪   Doimo Cucine has a Forest Stewardship Certification, ensuring that all wood is harvested responsibly and from renewable species.

▪   The Doimo factory sends ZERO waste into landfills. All sawdust and other construction waste is recycled back into the products where possible or sent to be recycled into other products.

▪   All Doimo Cucine products are manufactured in and by companies that are ISO9001 certified, meaning that its factories pass globally-recognized standards for sustainability, ethical management and financial practices.

Tell me… Are these not some of the best kitchens and cabinets you’ve ever seen? In my book, Modulo Cucine, located at 8447 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 100 in Beverly Hills, CA is where kitchens and cabinets are being re-innovated, and changing the global landscape of kitchen designs.

Best Residential Architecture: Cubic Home Design


Top Residential Architecture
Best Residential Architecture by A-cero

Out of the few residences that I have selected for the Best of Design blog, I have showcased two homes by A-cero – you’d think that they were my client or something! Unfortunately, they are not. But, fortunately for us, they continue to deliver some of the absolute best residential architectural designs. Period.

Modern residential architecture
Modern Home Design: Geometric Home
Concrete modern home
Modern Architecture: Top home

This modern home design is made of intersecting concrete blocks that connect on three levels, creating a bold geometric dwelling space that is accentuated by a unique delta view.

Residential Architectural Design
Unique Residential Architecture
Unique home design
Best modern residential architecture
Angular Architecture
Unique cubic angular architecture

The different levels of the home are connected by clean concrete stairs that each lead to floor-to-ceiling windows that expose the hilltop views.

Best interior architecture
Best interior architectual design
Best Interior Architecture
Best Modern Interior Architectural Design

The interior features two sprawling bedrooms, a full-sized gym, an indoor pool, a living area, an open kitchen space, a solarium to take in the views and a large terrace.

High-end indoor pool
Indoor pool design

The angles of the home, as with my previous post, are minimal but are so creatively put together that the home borders cubism in a way that respects tradition and ideas of modern architecture in Spain while lending a new edge to what can be done with basic materials: concrete and glass.

Modern architecture
Modern Architectural Design

Check out my other favorite home by A-cero Architecture in my post Residential Architecture: Angular Minimalism Design Reinvented.

Read more on Freshome.

Top 100 Architecture Firms in the US

Top Architecture Firms in the United States
Top 100 Architects and Architecture Firms – Dancing House by Frank Gehry

I have scoured the web for the most accurate list of the top 100 architects and architecture firms in the United States. For what seemed months, I came across too many lists of architects and firms that I felt didn’t encapsulate the industry. Until today. Following is a list of the top 100 architecture firms in the United States that I found on Architect Magazine‘s website. Having worked with a few of these architecture firms in the past, I can say that many notables from Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Moseley Architects to Kanner Architects and RBB Architects, every firm listed here belongs to it — and with great recognition. While there are many other architectural firms not on this list, which I definitely feel should be, the firms mentioned here are definitely the top 100 architectural firms you must know.

This list has been assembled based not only on the size of the company, but on three fundamental elements that are often overlooked: profitability, sustainability, and the aesthetic, design quality of their buildings and homes.

Continue reading “Top 100 Architecture Firms in the US”

Unforgettable bed designs

In ancient times (8000 BC), one could find rest at the end of a long workday on a pile of straw and a heap of palm leaves. It wasn’t until the ancient Egyptians that we begin to see the first beds that even closely resemble the sort of frames and raised surfaces that we see and enjoy today. Elite Egyptians had raised beds, accessible by steps with mounds of pillows to cozy into and curtains to hang around, and pharaohs and queens even had beds made of wood that were ornately carved with hieroglyphics. King Tutankhamun’s bed was gilded in gold.

King Tut’s Gold Gilded Bed

Needless to say,  we have come a very long way with designing beds. Following are some of the best bed designs on the market today. They reflect luxurious comfort, unique designs, innovative thinking and sheer genius. Just writing this makes me want to crawl into my own bed.

Atelier NYC Bridge Bed

Atelier brings us Bridge, a contemporary bed that offers exceedingly advanced quality, functionality, comfort and invention. This makes the best of interior design list because of its sleek reinterpretation of a familiar form, with added functionality. The headboards are completely adjustable and the minimal lines give the bed amazing architecture and a sinuous frame that is not only chic but peaceful. Living up to Atelier’s mission, this bed is all about lifestyle: for the late-night worker, who wants to crawl in bed, read, write on their laptop, cozy into a space and sleep. The mattress is aligned with the frame, so this bed isn’t one that you or your client would have to crawl out of — and it’s perfect for the busy city dweller who needs comfort and functionality. To learn more about this bed, and other beds by Atelier, please visit Atelier.

Cattelan Italia modern bed

All one has to do is glance at this bed to see exactly why it has made the best of interior design list. Inventive as it is conversational, this piece is sure to set-off a “wow-factor” from viewers. A perfect blend of serenity and contemporary design, one could easily get the sense that they’re floating away on this bed. Andrea Lucatello, the designer, created this modern art piece (yes, I am taking it that far) for Cattelan Italia, and clearly threw out limitations, antiquated ideas and put a new form on the market that is stylish without compromising quality or comfort.

Continue reading “Unforgettable bed designs”

Hive Modern’s Globus Desk

Hive Modern's high-end office furniture
Hive Modern’s Globus high-end desk

Founded in 2002, Hive Modern presents the high-end design world with fresh forms and new designs that remind me, strikingly, of the sort of inventions that spurred the Bauhaus movement. Inspired by bringing interior designers never-seen-before designs and post-contemporary solutions, this Globus desk is nothing short of a complete reinterpretation of commercial and residential office design that rings as promising and as true as the company itself.

The Globus desk puts other office furniture to shame. It’s truly a compact personal mobile workstation that offers flexibility thanks to its rotating chair, the pull out table top and castors, so you can easily move it around, change location and work where ever you are most inspired to at the time. You can work with or without a notebook. Flexible and functional, Globus can be used in the office but also at home.

As Shelterrific’s Angela Matusik writes on her blog about not having an office space to work from: “My ideal desk would be something fun, engaging, and have a pretty hearty sense of humor (after all, who wants to work on at a serious, no-personality-required desk? Isn’t that why we all hate cubicles?). That’s why I love Hive Modern’s Globus desk . The nifty little pod snaps open to reveal a full corner office within.”

Modern desk
Globus desk when closed

Featured in these images, the shell is lacquered white with an aluminum cast base powder coated in aluminum structure. The seat is available in your choice of fabric or leather.

Continue reading “Hive Modern’s Globus Desk”

Residential architecture: angular minimalism design reinvented

A-cero Architectural Studio Designed Home

The Sotogrande House, designed by A-cero Architectural Studio, is perhaps one of the best examples of simple, angular designed residential architecture. The lines are characteristic of minimalist architecture,  but are offset by slopes and geometric slants that add surprising character to the typical design. Dare we say, this home is a reinterpretation of modern minimalism? Perhaps not, but this is surely the closest thing I’ve seen.

Entryway Architecture

Living With White explains: The architecture and design of this white vacation house truly sets itself apart. White plays the leading role throughout the spectacular interior which elevates each space and offers both play and contemplation. The drops of color here and there add charm and personality to the white interior. Once you get outdoors, the grand white architecture continues as the main attraction, where some greens and blues complement the great abode.

Outdoor seating area design

The rooftop takes lounging to a whole other level! The marble stairs are dreamy! There are simply so many magical touches to enjoy throughout.

White minimal interior design
High-end living room interior design

To learn more about this amazing home, please visit Living With White’s article, Sotogrande Vacation Home in Spain, or visit A-cero Architectural Studio.

Top Residential Architecture: Eco-Friendly Beach House by Guz Wilkinson


Top Residential Architecture

This modern home, designed by  Guz Wilkinson of Guz Architects, a Singapore firm specializing in eco-friendly tropical homes, truly sets itself apart from other beach front properties with its creative and unique design that includes a feeling of unrestricted space, an underwater lounge, undulating roofs, and a unique use of bamboo and limestone.

Creative Architecture: Underwater room

The New York Times writes:

“I wanted to live in an open space, not a concrete monolith,” Stephen Fisher, owner of this amazing architectural space and a banker with J. P. Morgan, said.The design is simple: two glass-and-wood pavilions — one for living, one for sleeping — connected by a floating bamboo walkway, surrounding an ocean-facing infinity pool. Sliding glass panels allow views of water and sky from every room and can be opened for natural ventilation.

Eco-Friendly Architecture
Open Architecture Design
Best of Modern Architecture: Living Room with Coastal View

Not only stylish and sophisticated, the beach front home is eco-friendly, in perfect Guz Wilkinson style. Unique, undulating roofs are lined with solar panels that generate about a third of the energy the house consumes; grass planted on top provides insulation to optimize natural cooling and a spot for the couple to practice yoga at dawn. Sliding glass panels allow views of water and sky from every room and can be opened for natural ventilation, reducing the use of air conditioning in the often humid climate.

Top Architect Home Design

Read the full New York Times article, In Singapore, Embracing the Humidity.