Incorporating Dome Ceilings in Your Home’s Design

A dome ceiling adds beauty and architectural interest, while making the room look larger and more spacious.  Whether it is a recessed ceiling dome, a surface mount ceiling dome, or a combination of the two, this is one design element that becomes the obvious focus point in the room. Our team of experts reveal what you need to know if you’re considering a dome ceiling in your home

Incorporating Dome Ceilings

Dome Garret Michael Eakin

This dome ceiling brings the outdoors inside. Image courtesy of Garret Michael Eakin Architect

“A dome ceiling is classical by nature and symmetrical by design,” according to Garret Eakin of Garret Eakin Architect in Chicago, IL. “If you like the drama of symmetry, a domed ceiling is for you.”

This photo above shows one of Eakin’s dome ceiling projects. “We employed the form with the intent to integrate clear story windows above the countertops, washing the space with natural and artificial light,” he explains. “A dome integrates a functional roof with the aesthetics of great natural light.”

Dome ceiling define dining area

The dome ceiling helps to define the eating area in this open concept home. Image: James Brey/Getty Images

Domed ceilings are popular in entryways and living and dining areas, but they can also be used in other locations. “I like a domed ceiling above a breakfast nook or even a small reading room off the master bedroom,” says Nathan Outlaw, president at Onvico, a general contracting and design-build company in Thomasville, GA.

Dome ceiling entrance

The dome ceiling is the focal point in this grand entrance. Image: John M Lund Photography/Getty Images

When used in an entryway, Outlaw says it’s important to think about the type of impression you’re trying to make. “I think that they make a cool impression in a front entry, but can be off putting with how grand they feel,” Outlaw says. “You want a home to feel inviting and an ill placed dome ceiling could come across as pretentious.”

“A dome ceiling can take more planning in the construction and design and will take skilled tradesmen to pull off correctly,” Outlaw says. “If a homeowner wants a dome ceiling, I would suggest looking for a contractor who has done one before and to ask to see – in person – an example of their work.”

Dome center

The dome opens the lid of the ceiling in this room. Image courtesy of Leslie Saul.

“Domes add a sense of space and a sense of place to a room,” according to Leslie Saul of Leslie Saul & Associates Architecture and Design in Cambridge, MA. “They add space because the higher ceiling opens up the lid of the ceiling,” she says. “They add place because the dome gives a centering, an identity, and a sense of comfort to those who sit or stand under it.” The photo above is of one of Saul’s dome ceiling designs.

Dome ceiling with handpainted details

Dome ceiling with handpainted details. Image: IPGGutenbergUKLtd/Getty Images

“A domed or rounded ceiling detail is a great custom feature that will set your room apart from others,” according to Terry Southwick of Southwick Construction in North Hampton, NH. “A foyer, over a dining table, or an office are the best applications in my opinion,” she says. “You can keep it light and white, or paint it with sky colors, or embellish with custom paint depending on your decor.”

Dome ceiling and chandelier

This dome design allows the chandelier to be several inches higher. Image courtesy of Southwick Construction

The photo above is one of Southwick’s dome designs. “A dome ceiling is really a statement feature that can set off a room – with a lighting fixture in the center,” Southwick says. “With LED lighting around the perimeter, it can make a great impression or be a subtle classic detail to your home,” she explains. “It is a specialty feature, and obviously adds some cost to your project, but should be reasonable with a good contractor.”

Dome Ceiling Kits

Small dome ceiling

Dome ceilings don’t have to be large. Image: TimAbramowitz/Getty Images

“There are kits available that can be mounted in the ceiling and trimmed out and painted,” Southwick says. “The nicest way would be to custom frame and plaster in with the addition of crown mouldings to finish off the entire room.” Archways & Ceilings is one company that makes dome ceiling kits. The company provides instructions on how to measure for a dome kit and determine if you want a light ring. The dome ceiling ships in boxes, and can arrive in 3 to 10 business days.

Resale Value

Dome ceiling sunlight

This dome ceiling creates a burst of sunlight. Image: Hoxton-Martin Barraud/Getty Images

If you incorporate a dome ceiling, how will it affect your home’s resale value? Will home buyers share your love of this unique design element?

“Dome ceilings should not be confined to museums, according to Nicole Durosko of Warburg Realty. “When found in a New York City apartment, an elaborate, classical charm is automatically added to the home.” But she admits that it’s not being asked for by popular demand.

Karen Kostiw of Warburg Realty doesn’t think that dome ceilings are that popular in large, urban areas like New York City – at least not among her clients – but she says they’re very popular in homes commutable to the City.  “Buyers outside of the city like architecturally-designed ceilings in the master bedroom and great room,” Kostiw says. “You’re also likely to see this type of ceiling in dining and living rooms.

Dome ceiling ornate

The dome ceiling complements this ornately designed and decorated room. Image: IPGGutenbergUKLtd/GettyImages

However, Howard Margolis of Douglas Elliman says it’s hard to accurately predict which homebuyers will like this style or not. “When it comes to dome ceilings, it depends on an individual’s personal taste and the existing style of their residence,” he says. “I find dome ceilings more often on Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue homes.” He says they’re most likely to be found in the entry foyer or rotunda. “But in general, I think they are a bit dated,” he concludes.

 

 

 

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What is a Barndominium? Could It Be Your Next Home?

Barndominium Color Ideas

Choosing the right paint color for every room of your barndominium is easy when you’ve already created the perfect color palette. Image courtesy of PPG – Modern Farmhouse Palette.

You may be new to the barndominium style, but this pretty and practical home style is gaining in popularity. Barndominiums, nicknamed “barndos,” got their start as a practical living option. Many farmers and ranchers created a loft area above a working barn so that animal caretakers could stay close by.

Today, the popularity of barndominiums has evolved into luxury homes and vacation rentals, especially in upscale rural areas with ranch land and vineyards. Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines remodeled a barndominium on their show, creating a social media buzz about these unique homes. Most barndo construction uses a steel shell, then adds tons of interior customization options.

Entertaining is a breeze with large doors and windows that flow outside. Image: Mint Images/Getty Images

The Advantages of a Barndominium Home

There may be no ‘typical’ barndominium, but most share a few key advantages:

  • Simplicity: Barndos are often built as a shell with simple interior framing.
  • Construction Time: The popular metal shell construction goes up quickly.
  • Durability: Metal barndos withstand the elements and have a longer life than most standard home-building materials.
  • Flexibility: Barndominiums can be configured for living or work/live space.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Lifestyle: Rollup doors and large windows encourage indoor/outdoor living.

Designing the Interior of Your Dream Barndo

One of the barndo features owners like best is the flexibility of the interior layout of their new space. Some rooms will require a specific location due to plumbing and other utilities built into the home. Beyond that, though, the interior layout can be customized to your needs.

Plan your essential needs first, like square footage and how each room will be used, before you start your interior layout sketch. Knowing how you’ll live in your home is essential to a comfortable design. Barndominiums work best as an open concept home, often with a loft area above. 

The structure of a barndo encourages indoor/outdoor living. Rollup doors, big windows and wrap-around decks can give a feeling of spaciousness to your interior living space. 

Bring the outdoors inside with dramatic windows in your barndominium or open concept home. Image: hikesterson/Getty Images

Interior Design Tips for This Open Concept Home

A barndominium is truly an open concept home, so tips and ideas for an open interior layout definitely work here. When you’re decorating a barndominium or great room in any home, color becomes your easiest and best tool for defining space. To unify a large, open space, a colorful stripe that runs the perimeter of the room is a great trick that helps it look more intimate. Accent walls are still very much in style and can create a focal point in a large open space. And don’t forget, ceilings can be accents walls, too.

Furnishing the main areas of a large barndominium can be a challenge, but there are a few tips that make it easier to get a balanced look.

  • Choose Large Furniture: If you are furnishing a big, open space, using large furniture, like sectionals and oversized chairs, can fill the space without looking too busy.
  • Create Areas Within the Space: Grouping furniture together for conversation or eating areas prevents the “furniture store” look from which many open layouts suffer.
  • Use Color to Unify: If you’re grouping furniture within your barndo great room, stick with one color palette across all the areas you’re furnishing. That way, your colors tie everything together.

The HGTV Fixer Upper Barndominium Episode

HGTV’s Fixer Upper tackled a barndominium in Season 3 for a family looking for acreage and a unique home. Chip and Joanna Gaines reimagined a 1980s barn that already had an apartment upstairs. Their remodel used the upstairs apartment and the stable area downstairs to create a two-story, 2,700 sq. ft. home.

The Fixer Upper floor plan created a large upstairs kitchen and living room. Family bedrooms and an indoor/outdoor gathering space for entertaining complete the downstairs floor plan, including a 17-foot custom dining table for entertaining. The owners listed the totally remodeled barndo for sale in 2019 with a 1.2 million dollar price.

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Small Apartment in Taipei Reveals Great Storage Options

All images courtesy of A Little Design.

This small apartment in Taipei, Taiwan, envisioned by A Little Design studio, ranks high in creativity. Despite a total living space of 22 square meters (236 square feet), the flat is as practical as it gets.

According to the designers, the space clearly defines all the living functions. The stairs lead the way to the upper “bedroom” but also increase the accessibility to the cabinets in the wall. A fridge and a cupboard are located under the stairs, thus expanding the kitchen.

“The sofa area behind the wardrobe is a small, cozy corner which makes up for not having a living room,” the designers further explained. “The sofa can also be used as a single bed to host a guest and the deep drawers below complement the storage.”

Specially designed for a business person permanently on the move, the apartment had to include an ingenious solution for a working space. It more than meets that requirement. First, it has a retractable table upstairs that serves as a desk. Additionally, a side table adjoins the sofa on the ground level, perfect for placing books and magazines when working. And the sofa becomes an ideal reading nook with plenty of natural light coming through the large window.

Enjoy the virtual gallery below and let us know if there are other details that you find inspiring.

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2019 Architecture Trends: What to Expect This Year

When you think about architecture, you might imagine the timeless columns of a Grecian revival or the clean lines of a mid-century modern home. But for every classic architecture style, there are a few that didn’t quite weather the test of time. It’s why you can sometimes tell exactly when a home was built based on its architectural style alone (looking at you, 1990s ranch). The trick to transitioning from trend to style staple is choosing one or two of the elements from the style you love for your home. Resist the urge to pile all of the trends into one space. Instead, check out some of our favorite 2019 architecture trends to see which features you’d choose.

Monochromatic living room with large TV

Smart homes should blend tech with design. Image: Jodie Johnson/Shutterstock

Hidden tech

Smart homes are nothing new in the world of tech and design, but architects are learning to be sneakier about it. Today, technology exists as part of the home’s design instead of being its main feature. Building smart outlets or speakers directly into the home means you get all the tech you love without tripping over wires. It’s also important that tech is seen as a seamless part of life, rather than an add-on. Expect to see even more solutions to keep tech hidden, yet totally functional.

Living room and home office

Flex design allows homeowners to create what works for them. Image: SeventyFour/Shutterstock

Flex design

No two families are exactly alike, so why are so many floorplans the same? The idea of flexible design is one of those 2019 architecture trends we can really get behind. After all, it just makes sense that designers would start to see that different families have different ways of doing things. The result is a flexible approach to design that leaves the details up to the homeowners. Creating rooms that pull double duty (a combination guest room and office, anyone?) or getting rid of formal, less-used spaces (bye, formal dining room!) means architects can create homes where every inch is optimized for each family.

Modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances

Reclaimed wood and energy efficient appliances make a home more sustainable. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Sustainability

Designing for sustainability isn’t anything new on the architecture scene, but the solutions architects are using are so 2019. Sustainability isn’t just about using energy-rated appliances and a few solar panels, but really considering the impact building has on the environment. With that in mind, more designers are turning to locally sourced, sustainable building materials to get started. Sustainability is being built right into the walls with more efficient fixtures and even indoor green spaces. You might not even know that your architect is a stickler for sustainability because great designers simply make it a seamless part of your build.

Tiny home in the mountains

Homes are getting smaller by choice. Image: Ariel Celeste Photography/Shutterstock

 Smaller scale

Just a decade ago, size really mattered most when designing a home. It was all about how much square footage you could get, which is why the real estate market is packed with 1990 and early 2000 “McMansions.” These are usually homes that, while large, are often cheaply finished or cursed with small lots. It’s interesting to note that one of the most common 2019 architecture trends is choosing to build smaller. It’s not always a question of budget; homeowners are simply choosing to create smaller footprints. Not only does this leave more outdoor space, but it means easier upkeep and less maintenance. It also allows homeowners to invest in good-quality finishes and furnishings so their smaller home stands the test of time.

Modern home with hardwood stairs

Open concept homes can be divided with features like stairs. Image: korisbo/Shutterstock

Segmented spaces

We all know that the open concept home has been the gold standard for the last 10 years. After decades of small, specific rooms, American families are choosing spaces that allow more room and fewer labels. But while open concept offers the most room to roam, it still has a few issues. There can be such a thing as too much openness in a home, so architects have had to learn to create defined spaces without using walls. Segmented spaces, which use architectural features like sunken rooms, varying ceiling heights and other features help to divvy up the space while keeping it open.

Backyard deck with living area

Well-planned outdoor spaces are like an extension of your home. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Outdoor living

The backyard isn’t an afterthought anymore. More architects are taking the time to design the outdoor living space as much as the indoor. Whether it’s space for a backyard barbecue, a sunny pool oasis or even just a kid’s paradise, expect to see more outdoor design in 2019. As architects consider the way families live and use their homes, it’s more apparent that outside is just as important as inside. Design a smart outdoor space and you’ll increase your home’s size without increasing square footage. What’s more, planning for outdoor space as part of the design and build means more efficient budgeting.

Modern black and white farmhouse

Modern farmhouse is 2019’s most popular trend. Image courtesy of Curtis Design Group.

Modern farmhouse

For the last couple of years, the farmhouse has reigned supreme as the top trend. Homeowners love the comfortable warmth and architectural interest farmhouse design brings to the table. But there were a few drawbacks, including the risk of becoming cluttered and kitschy. That’s why we’re not surprised to see modern farmhouse take over the list of 2019 architecture trends. It takes what everyone loves about farmhouse design (warmth, character) but uses clean lines and architecture to ensure it doesn’t become clunky and cluttered. It’s a perfect marriage of two design styles to create something as functional as it is beautiful — and we’re here for it.

Using every possible trend in your home is what could push your design out of the “timeless” category. Instead, choose two or three trends that you’d like your architect to incorporate and then allow him or her to work magic on your design. When done well, your 2019 home can stand the test of time and always look totally on trend.

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Contemporary Urban Refuge: the Skygarden House in Toronto

skygarden 1

Image courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.

Dubbeldam Architecture + Design completed the development of the Skygarden House, a contemporary residence located in midtown Toronto, Canada. The three-level home hides between the trees on the site and offers plenty of outdoor spaces for work and relaxation.

The architects remodeled a century-old building on the site, turning it into a contemporary refuge. Colorful and fresh, the interiors of the Skygarden House feature floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing natural light to flood the spaces. The highlight of the property is an open-air roof deck, which extends the public areas of the residence.

Image courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.

“Although the new house is only 2,420 square feet, it feels much larger — its rooms expand beyond the interior of the house to a series of highly usable outdoor spaces that enrich the domestic experience, each with its own unique character and varying level of privacy,” the architects said.

“The rear yard is landscaped and features a generously scaled thermally-treated ash wood deck. A few steps down is another zone, defined by granite pavers and planted with a row of honey locust trees that offer dappled light and shade in summer. Even the existing porch at the front of the house is an extension of the indoor living space, remade into a private outdoor dining room enclosed by a five-foot-high wood screen, extending the private realm into the public arena.” All the photos and information in this article provided by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.

Image courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.

Image courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.

Image courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.

Image courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.

Image courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.

Image courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.

Image courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.

skygarden 2

Image courtesy of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.

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Arched Doorways Add Interest and Beauty

Straight lines versus curved lines. In a study published in PNAS, participants were more likely to label a room as “beautiful” when it had curves than when it only had straight lines. Straight lines certainly serve a purpose, but they can be formal and predictable. On the other hand, curves add a level of softness and interest. Arched doorways are one way to add soft curves and elegance to any space. Below, we’ve listed some of the ways to use arched doorways in your home.

Highlight entrances and corridors

Archway highlight entrances

Archways highlight entrance areas. Image: EricVega/Getty Images

“When you are refurbishing a historic property, arched doorways are a welcome change and distinguish more important and grand entrances and corridors from mere utilitarian corridors,” says Michael Schienke, Director and Chartered Architect at VORBILD Architecture in London.  However, he doesn’t think this look would work in every type of design. “In new and modern properties, creating an arched doorway seems rather unnecessary,” Schienke explains.

“External double doors with arches in traditional properties enable more light to enter the building. Usually, you would have a fixed glazed panel there,” Schienke tells Freshome. And the type of repeating archway style shown above can help you create a grand entrance with your entryway.

Add a Mediterranean vibe

San Fran

A light and airy San Francisco home. Image courtesy of John Lum Architecture.

“Once a staple in older homes, arched doorways can help achieve various architectural styles and are essential for implementing Mediterranean design styles including Spanish-Style Villas, Spanish Colonials, Italian Renaissance, and Renaissance Revivals,” says John Lum of John Lum Architecture in San Francisco. Lum is the architect for the photo above. “And if you don’t have a particular design style, arched doorways will add an element of play to your desired look,” he says.

Provide contrast

Archway balance

Archways can balance a room. Image: Fuse/Getty Images

Sometimes, arched doorways serve another design purpose. In the photo above, the curved archway serves to contrast the square design on the ceiling, columns, fireplace mantel and the room’s square furniture.

Create a pattern

Archways repeating

These archways form a repeating pattern. Image: Mood Board/Getty Images

In the photo above, the arch in each doorway is repeated in the round chandelier and pendant lights, as well as the round barstools in the adjacent room and to the right.

Infuse elegance

Archway adds details

Archways add architectural detail to formal rooms. Image: akurtz/Getty Images

If you have a formal dining room and/or a formal living room, arched doorways can add to the elegant look you’re trying to achieve. In the photo above, the magnificent arched doorway contributes to the grandeur of the room. The archway also complements the architectural details on the columns, walls and windows.

Making your own archway

Archways frame room

Archways frame a room. Image: Fuse/Getty Images

“For the DIY-er who has moderate carpentry skills, changing from a rectangular door to an arched entryway is fairly straightforward,” Lum says. “Be aware that drawing out the arc takes some precision as you want the radius to be symmetrical throughout its span.”

However, once the archway is made, he says it’s simple to frame it out. “For homeowners working with a professional, be mindful of scale, proportion and function, as the arch may lower the entryway height by an inch or so,” Lum advises.

doorway

Converted doorways. Image courtesy of CurveMaker Arch Kits.

You can also convert a square doorway to an archway with products like CurveMakers Arch Kits. In the photo above, several square doorways were converted into archways. The kits typically include two columns and one top header (you can choose between round or elliptical headers). Depending on your budget, you can choose between paint-grade MDF or solid poplar wood. Homeowners can also add architectural details with these types of archways since the columns include a plinth block, column casing and capital. You’ll need to measure your opening to ensure that you order the right size.

The directions in a nutshell: if you have any existing trim, remove it from the doorway. Using the arch template, cut your arch shape. Finally, install the prefab arch kit.

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Warehouse in Australia Transformed into Minimalist Design Studio

Studio 103 completed the transformation of this old warehouse into a collaborative design studio. The building, located in Abbotsford, Australia, also contains a colorful history. It served as a manufacturing venue beginning in the 1940s.

“We set out to create a unique, functional space which retains its original industrial charm, utilizing the existing architectural features as a foundation,” the architects said. The project also aims to strengthen the connection between Studio 103 and their building partners, McCormack Property Services, who reside in the neighboring building.The interiors boasts minimalist arrangements and industrial designs. The exposed timber trusses and industrial shelving also add to the personality of the space. The concrete flooring, black-framed windows and the original red brick wall create a powerful contrast. The new studio accommodates a series of working offices. They’re split by a glass meeting room, an open kitchen and plenty of greenery. The design studio also includes a gym!

“The build was a mutual effort between Studio 103 and McCormack Property Services to establish a foothold at the pinnacle of design and construction. Together, we have repurposed a tired warehouse and transformed it into a sleek, sophisticated workspace for the purpose of collaboration and business growth.,” the design team added. Information provided by Studio 103; photography by Jack Lovel
design studio

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Prefabricated House in Mexico Inspired by Love for the Outdoors

prefabricated house mexico
The Mexican architectural firm SOA Soler Orozco Arquitectos designed the unconventional Casa Molina residence. This prefabricated house in Mexico offers a total living area of 1722 square feet (approximately 160 square meters). A contemporary prefabricated home, it includes a two-bedroom layout with two full bathrooms as well as a common terrace space.

According to the architects, they manufactured the structure in a workshop. This is also where they assembled the light covers, electrical, plumbing installations and floor finishes. The foundation was prepared to receive the structure on the site, were the modules were fit together. The final step of the process was to install the lighting fixtures, furniture and accessories to complete the residence.

The U-shaped prefabricated house in Mexico features an optimum indoor-outdoor connection.  It features alluring terraces and spaces for entertainment. By using wood and metal, the architects managed to create a home that is both functional and inviting. Casa Molina has two bedrooms, designed with peacefulness in mind. Large windows with views to the inner courtyard also increase the feeling of intimacy. Enjoy the virtual tour! Information provided by SOA Soler Orozco Arquitectos. Photography courtesy of César Béjar.

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Take a Tour of the Season 3 Queer Eye Loft and Shop the Look

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Season 3 of Queer Eye is out now and we’re taking you on a tour of the Fab Five’s fabulous Kansas City loft. You’ll see plenty of the modern-industrial space in the new season. The guys gather to do their makeovers and watch the final transformation at the end of the show in the Queer Eye loft. And the best part – you can shop the look at West Elm.

West Elm Season 3 Queer Eye Loft

Rich, masculine neutrals and textured fabrics and finishes warm up the large, open loft space. All images courtesy of West Elm

Bobby Berk and West Elm worked together to pull the space together. Working with a large, open loft space has its challenges, but Bobby shares his secret: “Creating different vignettes throughout the room in a cohesive color palette allows me to define the different spaces without having them feel separate from each other,” he said.

Let’s check out the Queer Eye Loft:

queer eye loft living room

The men gather on the cozy Andes sectional to watch the results of their makeover on TV.

Shop the look:

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queer eye Kansas City loft

Step up a platform into the entertaining and styling area where the makeovers happen.

queer eye season 3 sneak peek

A vintage barber styling chair adds charm to the modern industrial loft design.

queer eye loft plan

The loft features plenty of tropical plants that separate each area into an intimate space.

Shop the look:

queer eye loft plan
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season 3 queer eye loft design

The kitchen is a showstopper, with a large kitchen island for the Fab Five and guests to gather around.

queer eye decorating ideas

A “living wall” along the large kitchen windows uses hanging potted plants on industrial poles.

Shop the look:

queer eye decorating ideas
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Check out more of the Queer Eye Loft Season 3 on Netflix!

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Modern Penthouse in Krakow Displays Intriguing Contrasts

The creative team at Blackhouse designed and completed Penthouse PK43, a modern penthouse located in Krakow, Poland. Although the design scheme features industrial references, this contemporary space does not lack warmth and comfort.

According to the designers, they warmed up the raw spaces with oiled wood and natural materials such as leather and felt. These also mark the boundaries between the functional areas of the modern penthouse. Surfaces of concrete oppose the smooth white plaster walls, creating an eye-catching visual contrast.

penthouse

As you step inside this modern penthouse, you see an impressive open plan living room and kitchen. While combined, the spaces remain visually divided. Floor to ceiling windows allow natural light to enter the apartment and highlight its design contrasts. Industrial references are visible, yet minimized by the variety of textures.

The master bedroom is a true oasis, with wood covering the walls, floor and ceiling. Long curtains fall over the black-framed windows, creating both a feeling of privacy and a visual connection with the living areas. Can you spot any other details that you find inspiring in this modern penthouse? Let us know in the comments. Photography courtesy of Tom Kurek

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