Victorian or Colonial revival? Modern or contemporary?
Even if you’re just curious, knowing the style of a home can be helpful for buying, selling, remodeling or decorating.
Deborah Burns, executive director of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, said many homes have easily identifiable styles — a Colonial has a symmetrical facade, a small portico and a center hall, and a bungalow has a central roof dormer and a foundation made with patterned concrete blocks. But she also cautions that not all resources offer the correct information, and not all homes have a set style. It’s hardest to pin down suburban homes, she said.
Designs become icons when they embody the time in which they were created. The Eames lounge chair represented a midcentury shift to a more casual home life when many people still held “tea times” in formal living rooms. The invention of the Aeron chair in the 1990′s marked an era when a company could show that it cared about its employees by giving them the pinnacle in ergonomic seating. Today, with the launch of Herman Miller’s Public Office Landscape furniture system, Fuseproject, the design firm run by Yves Béhar, hopes to capture the spirit of our networked lives in a collection of chairs, desks, and space shaping components.
“We’re trying to reflect horizontality and creativity,” says Béhar. “Today, it’s not just the boss that gets a special chair. Because of improvements in materials and the way we approach design, everyone can have one. With the Public Office Landscape, we tried to capture this notion of collaboration and immediate access to ways of getting together.” On the surface the collection is stylish and airy, but below the polished aesthetics the system reveals a lot about what it means to be a modern office worker.
When your base team consists of engineers, scientists, plus an architect, you know your product will be interesting. But that’s an understatement when it comes to Deep Ocean Technology (DOT) and their customizable underwater hotel.
Construction started in January (in Poland) but the first planned Water Discus hotel (in Dubai) will likely not be finished until March 2015, although development began in 2010. The basic version starts at $50 million, not including local research or transportation. Location and configuration vary the price. Building takes place in a shipyard where DOT manages the plans and tools, and sees to it that everything is right. Then, the hotel is transported to the desired site and installed.
“Do you have a lake home that’s been sitting empty all winter long? With the arrival of the summer season, it’s time to dust off those cobwebs and renew your home’s summery appeal. I’m often asked how to spruce-up relaxing getaway retreats without breaking the budget, and here are some of my catch-all tips that can work for any second home, regardless of its architectural style.
When deciding what to bring into your lake home, it’s important to keep its purpose top-of-mind. We go to the lake to relax and hang out with family and friends, escaping busy city life; so, simple and straight-forward décor does the trick to bring this vibe to your private escape.”