Archive for April 2015

These Houses Are Simply Too Stunning: 8 Amazing Examples of Architecture Porn

When it comes to design, it's great to see stuff that you could actually incorporate into your life, but it's also enthralling to see grandiose works that spark your imagination. These absolutely amazing homes are far out of reach for the average person, but that doesn't make looking at them any less exciting.

Hearst Castle

Perhaps one of the most famous residences in the world, Hearst Castle features a whopping 56 bedrooms and 61 bathrooms (as well as some of the most gorgeous swimming pools on earth). But it's not the size of the mansion that lands it a spot on this list, it's the stunning style of the home. Hearst took inspiration from the Spanish Revival style that was gaining popularity at the time, opting to focus his creation on Renaissance and Baroque period buildings of the Iberian Peninsula.

The interior was largely built around Hearst's antiquities collection, with many rooms' dimensions based on the size of antique ceilings Hearst purchased from across Europe.

Acqua Liana

Often touted as the most luxurious eco-mansion, Frank McKinney's 7 bedroom, 11 bathroom masterpiece features a fire spa, an arched aquarium bar and a glass double-helix staircase. Perhaps most impressive though is the fact that the 15,000 square-foot mansion is completely self-sufficient thanks to the ample solar panels and run-off water collection system.

Krause House

One of the lesser-known works of famed architect John Lautner, this Malibu home features unparalleled views of the beach through its incredible irregularly-shaped windows that frame the walls like works of art. Of course, the spiral staircase that looks like a delicate strip of paper dangling from a string only adds to the dreaminess of the picture-perfect living room. 

It's worth noting that this particular property has recently hit the market as a summer vacation rental and can be yours for the price of $70,000 a month.

Images by Simon Berlyn

Transformation House

If the idea of living in a home carved into the rocks makes you feel claustrophobic, you'll be pleasantly surprised when you see the light and airy Transformation House of Switzerland. With recessed lighting, breathtaking views and wood inlays that dramatically contrast with the concrete and stone building materials, this Wespi de Meuron Romeo creation shows that cave-dwelling is anything but primitive.

Diamond House

With more facets than a well-cut gem, Formwerkz Architects' Diamond House was built with an angular shape not only to make the property visually interesting, but also to maximize the home's square footage while still allowing for ample space for the garden outside. The tinted facade gives the residents ample privacy while still providing plenty of natural light and peaceful views on the inside.

Via Deezen

Golf House

Few houses reflect the interests of their owners as much as Studio 15b's Golf House in Brisbane, Australia and if you love golf as well, you'll wish it was yours. Built for a retired couple, the home not only is single level with no stairs, but also offers a golf course, swimming pool and fireplace to ensure the residents and their guests are entertained and comfortable at all times.

Bronte House

Rock Ockert Design was commissioned to build a beach house that would make the owners feel like they were on vacation every day despite the fact that the property is tightly wedged between the neighboring homes. The Bronte House delivers with massive skylights, floor-to-ceiling windows facing the beach and massive side walls that provide both privacy and a cooling effect on the home's temperature. Thin slot windows along the top of the home tease the ocean view from the front and allow natural light, while the view from the infinity pool makes swimmers feel like they could swim right through the Atlantic. The effect is a property that is totally set apart from the neighboring homes while appearing seamlessly connected to the ocean and sky outside.

Sky Garden House

Like the designers of the Bronte House, Guz Architects were challenged to build a private, luxurious house on a small plot with close neighbors on each side. Their solution was to separate the property from neighboring houses with large walls while still leaving the front and back of the home open to allow light and air in. A central stairwell allows the sea breeze to travel through the heart of the home, while the grass-top roof allows the home to feel like it has a much larger yard as each floor of the home has its own garden.

Not enough architecture porn to satisfy your craving? Then be sure to visit our Dream Homes category for cool designs of every size and shape.

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These Houses Are Simply Too Stunning: 8 Amazing Examples of Architecture Porn
10 Recycled and Upcycled Etsy Finds Perfect for Earth Day

Earth Day is almost here and while we've already brought you 20 ways to make your home greener and 7 cool eco-friendly technologies, there's still plenty you can do to  keep the Earth a little healthier for the next generation. One of the coolest ways is to recycle and upcycle old items that would otherwise be trash. We've featured some cool furniture pieces you can make yourself with old, beat up furniture but if you prefer to buy over DIY, then you'll love these delightful Etsy pieces.

Wine Barrels and Bottles

Love wine and want to encourage sustainable solutions for old wine containers? Then you'll love the products of Wine Country Craftsman who makes lights, vases, pet beds and more from old wine barrels and bottles.


As you might have guessed by the name, Skicycled specializes in reusing old, broken skis. From coat racks to tables and from clocks to log holders, their products are perfect for anyone who loves winter sports.

Old Books

A great old book is something that should live on as long as possible, but for those old tomes filled with terrible drivel or great novels ruined by wear it's better to recycle the book into something new and wonderful than to throw it out completely. These fantastic lights from First and Fig take the classic style of old books and make them into something new and wonderful.

Coffee Sacks

Burlap coffee bags have so much personality, it's a shame to let them go to waste. This funky and fabulous storage bench is constructed from reclaimed wood, recycled steel and used coffee bags. Best of all, since RecycledBrooklyn makes them all to order, you can even specify what kind of designs and colors you'd like on your coffee sack seat.

Reclaimed Wood

There's something classic and comforting about wooden furniture, but if you dislike the idea of trees being cut down for your home decor, be sure to visit Reclaimed4aPurpose. This cool shop uses reclaimed wood for all types of products, but most notably entertainment centers, nightstands, pantries and bed frames.

Light Bulbs

Light bulbs are rarely considered attractive, but these brilliant recycled bulb vases by Dimitar Palanski show the simple beauty of something most of us look at daily but rarely actually notice. They're also lovely luxuries for those with low bank balances as they start at only $8.

Leather Belts

Worn leather belts tell a story of the rugged men and women who once wore them. This neat one-of-a-kind chair shows how beautiful and fascinating these old wardrobe standards are. If you have a rustic-theme in your home, this chair might be just the piece to tie the whole thing together.

Bike Parts

Perfect for steampunk fans and cyclists alike, DreamGreatDreams' clocks reuse bike gears, wheels and chains for a cool and uniquely industrial look. As an environmental bonus, the creator promises that he uses only biodegradable cleaning products to get the used parts ready for production.

Recycled Skateboards

What do you do with a broken skateboard? Etsy seller Seshnotstigma uses them to make all kinds of cool home accessories from tea light holders to clocks and from vases to greeting signs.


All of Copperamano's beautiful copper creations are made from recycled copper and hand-fired by an artisan metal smith. We particularly love this beautiful sink that looks almost reptilian on the inside.

Even if you aren't planning to buy anything from this list, hopefully it will inspire you to be a little more creative with your waste and remind you to reduce, reuse and recycle.

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10 Recycled and Upcycled Etsy Finds Perfect for Earth Day
14 Things to Remember While Doing Your Spring Cleaning

Spring is here and if you're finding the idea of a once-a-year mega-cleaning marathon to be a little daunting, try breaking it down into an item-by-item list. It will be more manageable and you won't be left feeling like you have too much to do with too little time to do it. As you write your list, be sure to include these items:

Disinfect Your Washer and Vacuum Your Dryer

Washing machines do get funky after a while and you can buy detergents specifically for this purpose -like Affresh or Washer Magic. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and you'll find your clean clothes smelling much cleaner.

As for your dryer, lint buildup is a major cause of house fires. To keep your home safe, always clean your lint traps and open the back of the dryer and vacuum it out at least once a year along with the lint trap and the end of the exhaust vent. Consider buying a dryer vent cleaning kit to really ensure you're free and clear.

Image Via lovinkat

Wash Your Dishwasher

Like your washing machine, your dishwasher gets dirty if not cleaned regularly. Use baking soda and water to clean the edges and door, then run it on empty with a product made specifically for cleaning dishwashers -like Dishwasher Magic.

Image Via Nic Taylor

Disinfect the Garbage Disposal

A lot of nasty stuff goes down the disposal but it rarely gets cleaned because we don't look down there. Throw a sliced up lemon and some ice and salt into the sink and then run the disposal to neutralize odors and clean the blades -or try a commercial product like Plink.

Image Via Dean Hochman

Scrub Your Food Storage Spaces

Don't just throw out old food, take everything out of the fridge and clean the shelves, drawers and sides. When you put all your refrigerated food back, do the same process with your freezer. After that, move on to the pantry.

Image Via rfreebern

Clean Out Your Trash Cans

You may have sprayed them out after accidentally throwing something in there without a liner or when a particularly stinky bag of trash leaked some unknown fluid in the bottom of the can, but your trash cans could probably use a good, thorough cleaning. Use an old sponge and some bathroom cleanser that contains bleach to get out all the nastiness that's accumulated over the last year.

Image Via Beautification Syndrome

Wipe Down Your Baseboards

This process can go pretty quick, but the dust that builds up baseboards gives your space a dingy look. Use a little dish soap to scrub off any scuffs or stains. You'll be surprised how much cleaner things look when your baseboards are spotless.

Image Via Brian Sawyer

Scrub Those Window Tracks

A lot of grime gets caught in those tracks. You'll be amazed when you clean it and realize just how much dirt has been sitting around in the open all this time. And don't forget those sliding glass door tracks.

Image Via Jacqueline

Dust and Wipe Down Your Fans and Air Conditioning Vents

You may have forgotten about them over the winter, but your fans and AC vents will soon become your best friend. Give them a little TLC by knocking off all the loose dust and then wiping fan blades and vent covers down with a wet sponge.

Image Via Hannah Meanor

Clean Your Blinds or Curtains

It's easy to forget about these often-used window covers, but when you clean them after a year or more of neglect, you'll soon notice the difference.

Image Via vanessa

Deep Clean Your Carpets

If you have a steam cleaner at home, use it. Otherwise, hire a professional or head to your local grocery store and rent a deep cleaner. Remember to do this early in the day and leave the windows and doors open because it can take a while for carpets to dry out all the way.

Image Via CitruSolution Carpet Cleaning

Empty Out your Closet

Use the one year rule. If you haven't worn it in a year, give it away because you aren't going to wear it at all. Also donate any clothes that don't fit you anymore -sure, you may fit into them again later, but chances are they'll be outdated by then and you'll be better off just buying new clothes than holding on to old ones for years.

Image Via m01229

Shake Out Your Doormats

Your doormat catches dirt and grime before it can get inside -shake it out and swat it a few times to get all that dirt out so the mat can operate at peak efficiency once again.

Image Via Theen Moy

Scrub Your Patio Furniture

When you think of spring cleaning, you probably think of indoor chores, but as summer inches closer it's a perfect time to clean up your patio for guests. Wash any removable pads and scrub the surface of chairs and tables and your patio will look clean and inviting when warmer weather rolls around.

Image Via mateoutah

Consider a Power Wash

Not all home exteriors can handle power washing, but if yours can, it's a quick and efficient way to get the outside of your house looking clean from top to bottom.

Image Via J-nellie

If, after cleaning, your house still doesn't seem to shine and sparkle like it once did, then don't miss these great tips to refresh your decor.

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14 Things to Remember While Doing Your Spring Cleaning
14 Simple Ways to Spruce Up Your Decor

Have you finished with your spring cleaning only to find that your home still looks a bit dull and drab? Then put away the mop and broom and get ready to DIY your way to a fresh and fabulous home.

Color Code the Books on Your Shelves

There is a surprisingly large debate about this concept with some book-lovers arguing that if you truly love to read you would never treat your books like ordinary design objects. But if you can move past the debate (and here are a few good reasons to do so), organizing your books by color does look fantastic as the above image by Pietro Bellini demonstrates.

Decorate Your Stairs

For those that just can't get over the idea of books being used as decoration through color coding, here's an easy alternative from Lonny that brings your volumes front and center -get rid of the bookshelf and put your books on your steps. This can even help free up some floor space while making your stairs that much more visually interesting.

Switch Out Your Drawer Or Cabinet Pulls

There's no good reason to keep your door pulls looking bland. Any hardware store sells a good number of pulls and if those don't do it for you (or cost too much) it's surprisingly easy to make your own. You can even cast your own shapes using novelty ice trays as we demonstrated in our recent Star Wars home goods article.

Repaint Your Home Hardware

If you can't or don't want to completely switch out your door handles or cabinet pulls, you can still change things up with a simple paint job. Little Green Notebook shows how simple the process is and how great the results can be.

Paint Your Pillows

Designer pillows often feature cool and funky patterns, but the reality is that many of them can be easily replicated with a little paint and a steady hand. Burlap and Lace has the full instructions.

Polish Your Wood Furniture

Are your wooden tables, dressers, cabinets, etc. looking a little sad? Well they probably haven't received any TLC in ages. Remedy this problem quickly using this recipe for a natural wood cleaner and restorer from Pistachio Project.

Clean Your Leather

Similarly, you might have no idea how dirty and dried out your old leather pieces are until you give them a good rub down. We suggest using this simple homemade leather furniture cleaner from Pop Sugar.

Detail Your Dresser

It's amazing what a little paint can do. Sunset shows how to transform a worn out wooden piece into something breathtaking. It's not the easiest project in the world, but it's easier than it sounds and the finished piece will be something you can treasure for years to come.

Add Mirrors to Old Furniture

Alternatively, in place of a fancy paint job, you can always spruce up your dresser or an old cabinet with mirrors. Andersen Seven shows how it's done, but remember to have your mirror cut by a professional if you don't know how to do it yourself.

Create a Side Table With Old Suitcases

If you're always dreaming of travel, then this stylish night stand spotted on Cupcakes and Cashmere will help you drift off while thinking about destinations far away. Best of all -it's cheap. Just grab a few old suitcases and a mirror from your local thrift store and get stacking.

Make a Stylish Charging Station

Yes, we all have cell phones, tablets, mp3 players and the like that need to charge. That doesn't mean we need to leave them out all over the place. That's why we love this cool DIY from Design Sponge that can show you how to make a funky old suitcase into a cool charging station.

Make A Funky Jewelry Stand With Old Bottles

Epbot proves that you don't need to spend a fortune for cute decor. In fact, this DIY jewelry stand is made from Mountain Dew bottles. If you prefer another color, just head to your local convenience store and pick up a few bottles in a hue you love.

Put Your Jewelry on Display

Of course, if your jewelry is truly fun to look at then consider putting it on display rather than hiding it away. You can make your own picture frame jewelry organizer with this cool how-to on Pop Sugar.

Frame Your Foliage

First off, if you have any artificial plants -ditch them. Next, try installing a cool vertical garden like this one presented by Lowes. It shows that nature truly is the greatest artist.

Looking for more ways to improve your space? Try decluttering and organizing with these past articles.

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