written by:
September 30, 2012

Rich materials, comfy textiles, a splash of paint, or the deft use of light—we call out design gestures that do wonders to carve out a cozy home.

open dining and living room area with Koura pendant lamps
A modern addition transforms the rear of this 1880 bungalow in Adelaide, Australia, which features a traditional, ornate facade. Kylie Brammy and George Kyprianou hung Koura pendant lights by New Zealand designer David Trubridge above the dining area. Their organic forms and diamond-shaped shadows create intimacy in the vast space. Among Bilardo’s contributions were the black tulipwood cabinetry and ceiling and the cantilevered concrete countertop that appears to go through the glass wall.
Photo by 
Courtesy of 
James Knowler Photography
Originally appeared in This Luminous Australian Renovation Packs a Lot Into a 23-Foot-Wide Lot
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dining room with original tilework
Layer by layer, a crumbling 18th-century flat in the middle of Barcelona finds new life at the hands of architect Benedetta Tagliabue. In the dining room, which opens to the backyard terrace, original tilework on the floors and walls complement decidedly modern counterparts—an original 1938 Butterfly chair by Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan, and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, and a 1983 TMC floor lamp by Spanish designer Miguel Milá.
Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Barcelona Home Like No Other
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Though it’s inside, this light-filled room allows for a nearly alfresco dining experience. 
The Fucsia pendant lamps are by Achille Castiglioni. The couch in the living area is by Antonio Citterio.
This 1930s farmhouse on the coast of Tuscany is sited on a podere, land claimed from the low-lying salt marshes by the Fascist government in the early decades of the 20th century. Though it’s inside, this light-filled room allows for a nearly alfresco dining experience. The Fucsia pendant lamps are by Achille Castiglioni. The couch in the living area is by Antonio Citterio. The rich, rust-toned ceiling is made from Cor-ten steel.
Photo by 
Originally appeared in Somewhere Under the Tuscan Sun
3 / 10
"Repurpose, refurbish, recycle" was the guiding principle for a metals broker in Ontario who harnessed his passion for–and knowledge of–industrial materials to create a new house from old scrap. Its main exposure is to the southeast for optimal levels of sunlight; in winter the concrete floor gains heat during the day and releases it at night, supplemented by radiant-floor heating systems.
Photo by 
Originally appeared in Scrap House
4 / 10
kitchen with reclaimed wood floors
The kitchen of this family home on Kauai features a multitude of wood accents. As throughout, the floors are made up of reclaimed Eucalyptus that resident Chris Gamby planed himself. With no Ikea in Hawaii, the Gambys took advantage of a trip to Los Angeles during construction to pick up their kitchen cabinets—simple models made of glass, plywood, and particleboard. They shipped the cabinets to the island and, à la all things Ikea, put them together onsite, situating them high above the counter.
Photo by 
Originally appeared in Grateful Shed
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The living room is a comfortable melange of pieces Baker grew up with, such as the Robsjohn-Gibbings chaise, and ones he's added, such as the Frank Gehry Power Play club chair.
A house that survived the Great Quake and the intervening decades is reborn after a serious intervention by a modernist architect. David Baker’s carefully crafted rehabilitation kept the bones of the building intact, while letting in light and air and creating a new relationship between the structure and the street. The living room is a comfortable melange of pieces Baker grew up with, such as the Robsjohn-Gibbings chaise, and ones he's added, such as the Frank Gehry Power Play club chair. Area rugs adda layer of softness to the concrete floor.
Photo by 
Originally appeared in Mission Statement
6 / 10
Modern home interior with pink and yellow walls
A good dose of Barragán—turned a dark and beleaguered mid-century house into a family home for the ages. The paint colors chosen by the residents and architect Linda Taalman are American Cheese 2019-40 and Blushing Bride 2086-50, both by Benjamin Moore.
Photo by 
Originally appeared in Colorful Remodel in Los Angeles
7 / 10
minimalist high-design apartment in Brooklyn
In this Prospect Heights apartment, a couple takes a minimalist approach, focusing on supple materials like brass, subtle gradations of color, and custom finishes by local craftsmen. The Mandayam–Vohra family gathers under one of architecture and lighting design firm Workstead’s signature three-arm chandeliers, shown here in its horizontal configuration.
Photo by 
Courtesy of 
matthew williams
Originally appeared in A Minimal Yet Mighty Brooklyn Apartment
8 / 10
The master bedroom.
Argentinean materials and a pinch of personal tumult served as the recipe for furniture designer Alejandro Sticotti’s Buenos Aires oasis. Dappled sunlight and reclaimed-wood floors and walls give the master bedroom a warm, peaceful feel.
Photo by 
Originally appeared in Net Assets
9 / 10
Warren Platner’s home in Guilford, Connecticut
For Warren Platner, whose modernist pedigree would make any contemporary designer squeal, design was all about the right groovy palette for the right glitzy project. Platner designed his own house in Guilford, Connecticut, in 1970, as a set of pavilions centered on a great room. At the center of the great room was a fur-covered sofa surrounded by more furniture, in tones of taupe and tan, of Platner’s own design.
Originally appeared in The Opulent Modernism of Platner
10 / 10
open dining and living room area with Koura pendant lamps
A modern addition transforms the rear of this 1880 bungalow in Adelaide, Australia, which features a traditional, ornate facade. Kylie Brammy and George Kyprianou hung Koura pendant lights by New Zealand designer David Trubridge above the dining area. Their organic forms and diamond-shaped shadows create intimacy in the vast space. Among Bilardo’s contributions were the black tulipwood cabinetry and ceiling and the cantilevered concrete countertop that appears to go through the glass wall. Photo by James Knowler. Image courtesy of James Knowler Photography.

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