Sunday, 26 May 2013

Pictured: The three best homes built in America in 2012 (one even comes with a living room IN a forest)

The American Institute of Architects announced the winners of the 2013 AIA/HUD Secretary Housing Award with the top prize going to a contemporary-styled home in Orca Islands, Washington State.

At the request of the artist owner Marie Gladwish, who also happens to be the mother of architect Gary Gladwish, the home utilizes its natural backdrop and even comes with a living room in the woods.

A sliding panel door separates the outside from the inside

The two other top contenders also made the most of their natural surroundings in California and Colorado and both have pools that can be used year-round.
The hilltop location offers incredible views of the Canadian Gulf Islands

LED and compact fluorescent lights are used throughout the home
The voting body for the American Institute of Architects appreciated the 'Zen-like' quality of the home 
The second-place home known as Halls Ridge Knoll is on a site formerly a cattle ranch and now a prime vacation retreat in the Santa Lucia Preserve.
Stone, timber and glass were all used for home that overlooks the San Clemente Mountains.
Perhaps the most unique feature to the home the sliding doors which open out onto a wood-paneled deck. Because of California's unique weather, the outdoor pool is also a solid year-round feature.

California climate is enviable this is a heated pool
Wood used for this deck was salvaged from a nearby barn
The home provides astonishing views of the San Clemente Mountains
In third place is a 2,850 square foot home in Colorado that features three bedrooms, a dining room and a kitchen area that overlook the Rocky Mountains.
A solar thermal system operates the pool, spa and outdoor area which has a fireplace and a retractable movie screen.
The smart house with its high array of sensors is over thirty percent more energy efficient than comparable homes nearby.
The unique roofing structure has the home blending in to the scenery
Smart programming sensors keep the home energy efficient
An outdoor fireplace accommodates many of those chilly Rocky Mountain nights
The heated pool has views of the surrounding mountain terrain


Friday, 3 May 2013

London top hotel open doors to five-star nursery suite...

A top London hotel has unveiled a luxury nursery suite fit for royalty after being inspired by the imminent arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's firstborn.
The Grosvenor House hotel - located on Park Lane opposite Hyde Park - has collaborated with bespoke royal nursery designers Dragons of Walton Street to design the room, which has seen one of the luxury hotel's Premium Park View suites transformed into a nursery, designed and tailored with a certain royal baby in mind.
Dragons of Walton Street has a historic association with the Royal family, with Princes William and Harry and their cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie all growing up in Dragons nurseries.
And now, we have been granted an exclusive video tour behind the closed doors of the hotel's take on a royal nursery just before it opens to the world.