Reach for the Sky

High ceilings have become a statement piece in homes and apartments across the nation, and buyers have responded. The National Association of Home Builders conducted a survey in which 67 percent of respondents in 2018 said they would be willing to pay more money for ceilings higher than 8 feet on the first floor of their home — and with the percentage steadily increasing over the past few years, it’s clear that high ceilings are a great addition to any home.

With so many different benefits, high ceilings can become the selling-point of the home. Here are some benefits involved with designing a home around high ceilings:

Photo courtesy of 90 Morton

Photo courtesy of THREE MARKS

1. More Space

By adding more vertical space, high ceilings offer a spacious atmosphere for the individual to live in. The additional space adds a grander feel to the room, elevating the standard of luxury homes.

At 227 Fifth Avenue in New York City, the 13.5-foot ceilings provide a sense of grandeur and elegance, bringing an elevated sense of luxury to the residence. The light and airy curtains hanging from the top provide a sleek and stylish addition to the grand floor-to-ceiling windows.

1. Dazzling Views

In apartments and residential homes across the country, high ceilings can allow for even more windows, and therefore add spectacular views. With the potential of higher ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows can provide spectacular views of the landscape before them.

At Summit New York, a private residential building located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the 15-foot ceilings allow for gorgeous views of the Chrysler building with the rest of the city in the background. The sheer height of the ceilings allows for a larger view, adding a dazzling feature to the home.

Photo courtesy of Summit New York

Photo courtesy of DooArchitecture

1. Creative Design

Although high ceilings include great benefits just by themselves, they also have added benefits for interior designers everywhere. Higher ceilings allow interior and architectural designers to get creative with the space they have available to them. Rather than creating a simple, high ceiling, designers have used their creativity to create spectacular pieces that can be the centerpiece of the space.

By using different materials and an eye-catching design, the designers have created a statement piece in the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami, Florida. They not only add a spacious and airy feel to the room, but its design allows for an artistic interpretation of the classic high ceiling.

Photo courtesy of DooArchitecture

1. Wellness-Booster

Adding natural light and creating an uncluttered, airy atmosphere, high ceilings with tall windows can increase the wellness of the individual. And with wellness becoming a hot topic in the industry, high ceilings and tall windows can become the selling-point of the home. By 2017, the wellness industry was worth $4.2 trillion, according to the Global Wellness Institute — a jump of 12.8 percent from 2015. And as the industry’s worth only increases, higher, grander ceilings have the potential to be a decisive element to the home.

Photo courtesy of Turnberry Ocean Club

Photo courtesy of Turnberry Ocean Club

By creating a warm and inviting atmosphere, the fireplace can always become the centerpiece of the home. With so many different styles, however, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make decisions based on the look of the room. Here are different styles that can be used to complement your own personality and the atmosphere of the overall home.

Photo courtesy of THE OLD CINEMA

Photo courtesy of DelightFULL

1. The Classic Grand Fireplace

For a more refined look, the grand fireplace will do just the trick. The gray and white colors in this living room add to the polished atmosphere, bringing luxury to the forefront of the space.

If the style of the home is more traditional and elegant, this is the perfect fireplace for any room. Although it will blend in with the character of the rest of the home, it can still be grand enough to catch your eye. With its intricate detail and sheer size, it is certain to be the masterpiece of any home.

2. The Simple and Sophisticated Fireplace

If you’re looking for a fireplace that warms the atmosphere without taking away from other statement pieces in the room, head in the direction of a simpler, sleek fireplace for your home.

For a more sophisticated style that blends into the background, look toward matching the color of the fireplace with the dominant colors of the room. Tans and light greens dominate the following space, with the chandelier in the center being the main statement piece of the room. To avoid taking your attention off of the chandelier, allow the fireplace to blend seamlessly into the rest of the room.

Photo courtesy of John Cullen Lighting

Photo courtesy of Brabbu Design Forces

4. The Avant-Garde Fireplace

For the more eclectic, a fireplace can also become a piece of art. Instead of a simple or elegant design, tough material such as metal and less-common designs can add the perfect conversation piece to any room.

This fireplace in this living room adds a bold style that is not just a functional piece of the home, but a work of art in it of itself. The layers of metal that are perceived to have been peeled back to open up the fireplace, which adds a unique addition to the piece. With a bold wallpaper in the background and dramatic lighting, this style is for the most creative and eclectic individual. 

3. The Space-Saver Fireplace

For those who live in apartments or are simply looking to save a bit more space, don’t rule out the possibility of having a fireplace in your home. For a more eclectic style while also saving space, look toward the stove fireplace. This style blends seamlessly into older-style apartments or spaces, and can add a pop of old-world flair to more modern rooms as well.

Photo courtesy of Ludlow Stoves

With the last few weeks of summer ahead, now is the perfect time in much of the country to embrace the warm summer days and spend time in the sun. A perfect outdoor dining area can allow you to spend more time with family and friends and soak in the sun at the same time. Here are a few tips to design the area that will best work for you and your home:

Photo courtesy of Chaplins Furniture

Photo courtesy of Go Modern

1. Consider the Colors

 

It’s always important to take into account the colors of the outdoor area. If the outdoor area is more centered around nature, consider more earthy colors that blend right into the background, creating a soft, calm atmosphere. For a bolder style, however, pick a color that contrasts sharply against the background. 

With this area, the lighter pinks and tans behind the dark table and chairs create a beautiful distinction of colors. Whichever your style, make sure to consider various colors in your design process.

2. Working with the Landscape

When working with nature, there are mainly two choices: working with the land or changing the landscape to fit your needs. Keeping the land untouched will allow for a more natural atmosphere, while changing the landscape may be more accessible and practical for an outdoor dining area.

For example, this bench by the pool allows a great lunch or dinner with family and friends. While nature is not emphasized, it creates a sleek, clean design that’s easily accessible to the house and pool, allowing for gathering around the table at any time.

Photo courtesy of Garden Trading

Photo courtesy of Go Modern

Photo courtesy of Lagoon

3. Creating Shade

While the idea of an outdoor dining area underneath the bright sun is important, practicality should always be a factor. With the sun out all day, it may get too hot to stay outside and enjoy the summer air. Remember to provide adequate shading, whether that’s with a tree or a canopy, so you and your guests are able to spend as much time outside as you would like.

This outdoor dining area was built with a roof for this exact purpose. Crafted with natural wood, it forms a calm atmosphere blocking the sun but keeping everyone close to the nature that surrounds them.

4. A Style that Fits You

Whatever the design, make sure that it fits your personality and will be used often for gatherings of family and friends.

Photo courtesy of Lagoon

With a sleek, modern style becoming the new trend in home design, chandelier makers are turning from the traditional designs to modern light fixtures instead. Not only do they add an elegant and modern piece to the room, but they’re becoming pieces of art in their own right. 

The creativity that goes into designing and manufacturing these modern chandeliers is pushing the boundaries on the line that constitutes furniture and works of art. With that said, here are some tips on choosing which modern chandelier is best for you:

Photo courtesy of Covet NYC

Photo courtesy of DelightFULL

1. Get Creative with Material

With any modern chandelier, the material matters. Getting creative with the material used to create the chandelier can add a great addition to the room’s decor. Creativity is proven to go a long way in designing the perfect modern chandelier.

The Botti pendant lamp, inspired by the American trumpet player Chris Botti, adds a fun twist by using trumpets as the main material of the chandelier. While still luxurious in its style and design, it adds personality and a conversation piece to the space. While the chandelier is more retro in its style, using a creative material and thinking outside of the box can be beneficial for whichever style is preferred.

2. The Space it Resides

Both small and large chandeliers can be a great addition to any space. It’s important, however, to consider the type of space when choosing which modern chandelier to include in it. For a foyer or room with high ceilings, look for a larger chandelier to create a major focal point. In spaces like dining and living rooms, a smaller chandelier will still be a work of art, yet it won’t take away from the rest of the design in the space.

Photos courtesy of Muse Residences

In recent years, more and more hotels and apartment buildings are getting rid of the traditional designs and replacing them with modern and sophisticated styles instead. The modern chandelier in this residential building is certainly the focal point, simply for its sheer size and elegance. When visitors and residents walk into the building, they are in awe of its design. 

Photos courtesy of DelightFULL

3. The Lighting

In terms of lighting, either a dramatic flair or a softer hue can be a great addition to any space. While the design and material of chandeliers can be similar, the lighting can make a major difference in the atmosphere in the space.

 

While the first chandelier provides a dramatic light in a darker room, the second provides a more subtle light in a room ample natural light. Both, however, add to the design and atmosphere of the space.

4. A Work of Art

Regardless of the material, design and lighting, it’s crucial to remember the creativity a modern chandelier allows. Whether it’s above a dining table, in the living room as a statement piece or the focal point of the foyer, modern chandeliers aren’t simply light fixtures anymore — they’re works of art.

Photo courtesy of The Alyn

Wellness may be a hot topic, but not everyone is sure what it means.

Every year one topic seems to dominate real estate. This year it’s wellness. Yet, if you ask designers and architects what comprises wellness in he home you are apt to get a variety of responses ranging from connections to nature to spaces for meditation or yoga to air quality. Some might point to certifications such as Wellness Within Your Walls or the WELL Building Standard or biophilic design. Others say LEED and other green certifications address wellness.

“I think health and wellness is still in the ‘public education’ stage of what it means. All last year you’re hearing it more and more and more. But I still think it’s educating the designer,” and the public, says Beverly Hills designer Christopher Grubb, president of Arch-Interiors Design Group. Designers often understand the term as it applies to LEED accreditation or to aging in place, but not necessarily the overall concept.

“It might mean one thing to one person and something else to another,” says designer Allie Mann with Case Architects and Remodelers in Washington, D.C., noting that some might be caught up in the movement without fully understanding it.

“I think that this is really being driven by a lot of consumer behavior. When it comes to the builder-developer world, I think our consumers are much more educated. I think they know what they want. They just don’t know how to get there,” says Angela Harris, creative director and principal of TRIO, an award-winning, market-driven, full-service interior design firm in Denver.

“Health and wellness is a new frontier for all of us, says Jacob Atalla, vice president of sustainability for KB Home. KB Home, along with Hanley Wood, KTGY Architects and Delos, a tech and wellness company, created a concept home outside of Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada, to illustrate what a home designed with wellness as a core value looks like and how it functions. “It is the home story of the future,” he says.

Even though wellness seems to have suddenly burst onto the housing scene in the last year, the idea of connecting home to health is not new. More than 20 years ago, health issues potentially linked to building materials and toxic conditions such as black mold gained attention, giving rise to the term sick building syndrome. Since then, awareness of the relationship between the built environment and health has been growing. A decade ago, new technologies led to the development of products that either reduced the level of toxic contaminants released into the indoor ecosystem or scrubbed the air of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Other concerns about noise, water and connections with the natural environment were also beginning to surface. At the same time, health and wellness was becoming an important value for consumers worldwide, expanding beyond fitness to include personalized medicine, mind-body connections, spa, wellness tourism and also the built environment.

By 2015, wellness had morphed into a $3.7 trillion industry worldwide, according to the Global Wellness Institute, and climbed an additional 6.4 percent annually to reach $4.2 trillion in 2017. One of the fastest growing sectors in the wellness space is a category called Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate, which includes everything in the built environment that incorporates wellness elements in design, construction, amenities and service. In addition to physical well-being, wellness real estate also addresses social wellness and mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.

The biggest difference between homes designed to promote wellness and homes that address air quality or other environmental factors that impact physical health is that wellness is integral to the design and permeates every aspect of the home from floor plan to amenities. “Overall you are programming the home to be more livable,” says Harris.

Frustrated by the lack of attention to the ways in which indoor environments influence health, Phil Scalia, a former partner at Goldman Sachs, founded the initiative that eventually became Delos, which has been on the forefront of wellness in the built environment for more than 10 years. In 2014, Delos established the WELL Building Standard, which was initially applied to commercial buildings. Over 1,200 projects in 45 countries, across over 250 million square feet of commercial real estate, fall under the WELL umbrella. The WELL standard focuses on seven categories of building performance: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Additionally, it takes connections between a building and the surroundings into consideration.

During groundbreaking work on EcoManor, the first LEED Gold certified single-family residence in the U.S., designer Jillian Pritchard Cooke discovered that both consumers and design and construction professionals lacked accurate information on how to reduce toxins in the interior environment. That was the inspiration for Wellness Within Your Walls, another wellness certification that offers education on building and designing healthier interior environments. The focus is on materials both for construction and also furnishings and finishes.

Another more recent wellness initiative centers around the principles of biophilic design and the benefits of bringing natural elements into buildings. In 2016, Amanda Sturgeon, a biophilic design expert and CEO of the International Living Future Institute spearheaded the Biophilic Design Initiative. In addition to designers, builders and architects, current proponents include tech companies who have added natural elements to buildings to increase productivity and reduce stress for workers.

This year, it’s fair to say wellness is coming home as attention shifts from commercial to residential applications. The KB ProjeKt Home takes wellness in residential structures to the next level. Not only are established practices regarding connections with the outdoors, indoor toxins and air quality embedded in the design, but a synergy with smart home tech transforms wellness from a passive attribute into one that is active.

“The motivation was to examine how we can make the home healthier and at the same time how do we engage that home in partnering with the occupants, with the people living in it, to enhance their health and wellness or engage them in making the environment they live in better. We know that about 90 percent of our lives are spent indoors, and a lot of that indoor living is in your own home,” Atalla explains. Recent research from Hanley Wood shows that homeowners believe housing is essential or extremely important to good health, and two-thirds say the right housing environment could cut annual medical costs by 40 percent.

Central to the home’s wellness quotient is an innovative smart system, dubbed DARWIN, developed by Delos. This first of its kind, home wellness intelligence network constantly monitors the home environment and interacts with and adjusts systems in the home as needed. A network of sensors built into the walls — there are nine in the ProjeKt Home — constantly tests air quality.

If it detects problems with air quality, containments or chemicals from everyday products, DARWIN directs the climate control systems to bring more fresh air to that room. Water quality is also monitored, and purified water is delivered to every fixture in the home. “You have a wellness intelligence system that is constantly doing things on your behalf to increase your wellbeing,” says Atalla.

The system also monitors the plumbing system and alerts homeowners to leaks. Sleep is an important wellness component and the master bedroom in this home is primed to promote slumber. Special noise-damping drywall ensures quiet. Motorized shades block out exterior light. “Total quietness, total darkness, and circadian rhythms help you sleep,” adds Atalla.

Lighting is another mainstay of wellness formulas, both natural light from large windows and expanses of glass as well as interior lighting keyed to circadian rhythms. DARWIN adjusts lights to match the time of day. But what makes this function more worthwhile is the homeowner can change the lighting to produce a desired effect, which means the lights can create an energizing morning environment even if morning comes at 5 a.m. on a stormy day.

A living garden wall enables the home to grow herbs and microgreens. Turning the home and kitchen into a place to produce healthy food is an emerging area of innovation for kitchens.

Social interaction is another wellness component, and community design increasingly takes social interaction into account with spaces such as walking trails, parks and coffee houses designed to encourage interaction and encounters among residents as part of everyday life.

It might seem like a big jump to add wellness to typical new homes, particularly production homes, but Atalla says the KB ProjeKt Home is an example of what can be done. Additionally, Harris says it’s often an easy tweak to add features such as water filtration in the kitchen and master bath. “That doesn’t cost a whole lot. And again, I think it’s just about livability and how you’re programming your floor plan to be more livable.”

Looking ahead, most research points to continued growth of the wellness economy, with new initiatives approaching wellness from the perspective of design, construction, materials and function. There are now more than 740 wellness real estate and community developments built or in development across 34 countries — a number that grows weekly according to the Global Wellness Institute.

Right now, the $134 billion wellness real estate market is about half the size of the global green building industry and projections call for the pace to continue. “But the wellness market isn’t just growing, it’s extremely dynamic. We believe that the three sectors that represent the core spheres of life will see the strongest future growth — wellness real estate, workplace wellness and wellness tourism — while other sectors will also grow as they support the integration of wellness into all aspects of daily life,” says Ophelia Yeung, senior research fellow, GWI.

Whether you’re organizing that shoe collection that keeps on growing, displaying your endless accessories, or if you’re striving for a clean, minimalist style and feel, a little extra storage never hurt. Even pricey and luxurious apartments in places such as New York City aren’t offering much space. 

Get inspired with these storage tips and find the perfect place for everything in your home.

Photo courtesy of Lola & Mawu

Photo courtesy of Lola & Mawu

Be bold and embrace your own style. Even if you are working toward a more neutral style with clean lines, it’s okay to introduce a few pops of color. Your storage is the perfect place to try new color schemes and patterns because they are easy to switch out and adjust with your growing taste and the changing seasons.

Portable, movable storage is the best kind of storage. The convenience of wheels should never be overlooked. If you’re hosting an event, entertaining guests, or simply looking for a fresh feel, storage that can be moved make the process of change seamless. Simply wheel a fun, stylish cart into the next room for all of your storage needs. 

Photo courtesy of Lime Lace

Photo courtesy of Melody Maison

There’s no shame in falling in love with storage space that is not the most functional. A few stacked baskets with a playful touch of fringe is a nice addition to your bedroom or bathroom. The layered look adds complexity and style to your room, and it can still be functional for small items and accessories.

When in doubt, try under the bed. The space below your bed was made for storing blankets, shoes, winter sweaters and more. Built-in storage is even less noticeable under your bed and ensures that you’ll always have a little extra room to stash your bulkier items or less used items. These clever built-in draws will help clean up any bedroom.

Photo courtesy of The French Bedroom Co.

Photos courtesy of Melody Maison

Multi-functional is never a bad thing. Side tables, ottomans, benches, and other furniture that offer a hidden storage section is a dream come true. Forget searching for bulky storage options that take up space and ruin your decor. Find a charming side table that serves as a storage unit to declutter any room. 

Boho may bring overwhelming patterns and a mix and match style of colors to mind but these refined expressions of boho are bringing a whole new touch of elegance and class to the term. 

Choose the bohemian blend that is perfect for you and your home.

Photo courtesy of Sweetpea & Willow

Photo courtesy of ABSTRACT HOUSE

African Boho

When many people think of boho style, they think of African inspired bohemia, namely the bright colors, clashing prints and metal tones that are often introduced into the décor of a boho themed living space. Include lanterns, jewel-colored cushions, and ottoman style seating to achieve this laid back vibe.

European Boho

European boho is a little more refined in its mix and match approach, though strives to look spontaneous. European style boho is characterized by vintage style furniture paired with rustic beaded curtains and quirky wall art. Layers, mixed fabrics, and statement wall décor will make or break this look.

Photo courtesy of Lights4fun

Photo courtesy of Flo & Joe

Western Boho

The 1960s and 70s saw a resurgence in bohemian style, one that was influenced by community living that became a prominent characteristic of the counter culture. The western bohemian style relies heavily on natural materials and fabrics to complete the aesthetic. Think exposed beams, tribal prints and pouffe’s or floor cushions rather than traditional seating.

Contemporary Boho

So what’s happening now with Boho style? Contemporary Boho style borrows from its processors but combines elements of the classic boho styles with modern minimalist living. Think white walls and floors, wicker seating and animal head wall art. Cushions and rugs add splashes of color while décor pieces can range from vintage to African to contemporary.

Photo courtesy of Melody Maison

With the guidance of experts, travelers are able to experience more than simple sightseeing.

Spanning across Africa, Europe and The United States, these expert-led trips — curated by Architectural Adventures — blend world-class vacations with a deep appreciation for culture, history and architecture. Serving as the official travel program of The American Institute of Architects, Architectural Adventures plans each trip alongside knowledgeable architectural experts — unlocking the historical, cultural, and aesthetic significance behind the world’s most notable architecture.

©istockphoto / Daniel_Keuck

©istockphoto / TomasSereda

“In both Barcelona and Rome, we stay in the same city, and each day discover more about it. Staying in one place affords developing a more intimate look at the architecture and culture of the city.”

Sophia Gruzdys

Barcelona, Spain

Whether she’s embracing the local language, indulging in local cuisine, or exploring historic architecture, Sophia Gruzdys — an Architectural Adventures expert since 2017 — brings her own perspective to each tour she plans.

The licensed architect and educator has led tours in Barcelona and Rome, and will lead two Barcelona tours in 2019. “In both Barcelona and Rome, we stay in the same city, and each day discover more about it. Staying in one place affords developing a more intimate look at the architecture and culture of the city,” Gruzdys explains.

In Rome, travelers explore a wide range of architectural styles — including Contemporary, Fascist-style, Art Deco, and Renaissance. Meanwhile in Barcelona, travelers visit Antoni Gaudí’s iconic Sagrada Família and recently opened Casa Vicens, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s famed Bareclona Pavillion, and the modern urbanism of the @22 District. “It’s fascinating to compare the styles that emerged in our culture in different periods of history in different cities,” Gruzdys says.

Gruzdys, who encourages travelers to engage with local languages and embrace local culture, values the importance of hands-on experience. “It’s so rewarding to travel with people who are interested in the architecture — and to share their enjoyment. Each time I visit the sites, I’ll notice something new, and continue to learn from the experiences of others,” she says.

©istockphoto / TomasSereda

“I have traveled all over the world, but traveling back to San Antonio makes me more aware of its architectural history, and its many layers and textures.”

Jane Martin

San Antonio, Texas, United States

First discovered by Spanish explorers in the 1600s, San Antonio’s identity has always been strongly rooted in Mexican culture, history, art and architecture. From exploring the city’s Spanish colonial past at the Alamo and other UNESCO World Heritage Missions to cruising along the San Antonio Riverwalk, those who travel to San Antonio will be deeply immersed in local culture.

Jane Martin — architecture educator, historian and resident of San Antonio — will lead her first trip with Architectural Adventures in 2019 in her hometown. “I have traveled all over the world, but traveling back to San Antonio makes me more aware of its architectural history, and its many layers and textures,” she says. “There is a lot to see in San Antonio, and I am constantly discovering new things. There are a great variety of architectural styles — with everything from Spanish Colonial, all the way to International Modern.”

Travelers will also visit Sir David Adjaye’s cutting-edge Ruby City, the newest of the city’s world-class museums, and learn about historic Pearl Brewery, now a 22-acre complex with housing, retail and fine dining. “I hope this trip helps to bring San Antonio to the world, encourages people to sign up for the tour and enjoy the city,” Martin says.

©istockphoto / Marco_Bonfanti

Milan, Italy

From marveling at Milan Cathedral, touring Santa Maria delle Grazie (home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper), to visiting the UniCredit Tower, those who travel to Milan will surely learn a great deal from Architecture Adventures expert David Rifkind.

Leading a nine-day tour in 2019, the architectural history professor and practicing architect will explore the city’s range of historic architecture, as well as its recent cultural renaissance — which led to the creation of new museums, sustainable architecture, and Contemporary art exhibits. “I was surprised to learn that architects tend to be very interested in Contemporary architecture,” notes Rifkind, who also finds that non-architects tend to be more interested in historic structures.

Rifkind’s trip to Milan will bring together a unique group of travelers, consisting of both architects and non-architects from around the globe. “The dynamic of the people on the trip really does impact the experience in a really positive way,” Rifkind says. “Experiencing architecture first-hand is a unique pleasure, and alongside a group of diverse people who share your passion is truly magical. It has been rewarding to learn how travelers experience places that I thought I understood.”

While Rifkind understands the importance of an informative lecture, he also highly values hands-on learning. “It is really fascinating when a relatively small group of people experience a city together,” says Rifkind, who made unique contributions for this trip to contrast classroom learning.

“Experiencing architecture first-hand is a unique pleasure, and alongside a group of diverse people who share your passion is truly magical.”

David Rifkind

©istockphoto / Daniel_Keuck

“Although my studies will be very helpful, leading an Architectural Adventures tour will be a new experience for me. It will be very interesting to give tours to travelers who are already immersed in architecture.”

Stanley Ira
Hallet

Morocco

From volunteering in Tunisia for the Peace Corp to lecturing at the University of Kabul in Afghanistan, Architectural Adventures expert Stanley Ira Hallet’s range of cultural experiences has prepared him to lead a tour throughout Morocco in 2019.

“Although my studies will be very helpful, leading an Architectural Adventures tour will be a new experience for me. It will be very interesting to give tours to travelers who are already immersed in architecture,” says Hallet. The trip will include visits to the Hassan II Mosque, the French-designed Habous Quarter, and the Majorelle Garden (a two-and-a-half-acre botanical garden).

Whether travelers are exploring the ancient capital of Mauretania, Volubilis, visiting the medieval school of Bouanania (which was built in the 1300s), or marveling at the Sahara Desert, Hallet says they will partake in a “completely different urban experience.”

Hallet, who also has a passion for photography, hopes the trip will offer travelers a more complete story of Morocco.

Photo by Giacomo Maestri. 

New design brand LATOxLATO, founded by the young architects Francesco Breganze de Capnist and Virginia Valentini, presents its first collection of furnishings and objects that strives to tell a story of true passion for Italian design. Exclusively made in Italy, LATOxLATO uses the finest materials and refined techniques, all built on a search for the best artisans and craftspeople. 

“LATOxLATO comes from the wish of bringing the artisans’ knowledge passed down across generations to the public,” say designers Breganza de Capnist and Valentini, “and make people realize that in Italy we still have a great tradition of true masters of the art that mold one piece at a time with their hands … Our mission is to show the consumer everyday objects in a different way from the one they are used to seeing them, freed from the constraints of the usual trends through the constant dialogue between art, aesthetics and functionality.”

The duo is usually inspired by day to day life, taking their personal memories as well as the architecture of Italy and transposing generalized design concepts into household pieces. For those looking to outfit their home, both designers say that these pieces help to “tell a story about [the] owner.”  

“Each product has a unique and recognizable identity and is meant to embellish its new home and also bring value to its new owner. The goal is to give the consumer the chance to own a very unique piece that tells a story about him, what he likes and what are his dreams.”

There are several pieces in the collection, varying in look and purpose. The Fourmosa storage chest draws on the clean formal lines of classic Italian design from the 1950s, updated for the modern age.

The piece is in varnished oak, with masterfully carved sharp edges bringing a sense of continuity to the surface. Designed to fit together in infinite combinations, these pieces create a dynamic, personalized piece that can even be expanded over time.

The trapezoidal modules easily lend themselves to various free combinations, without the use of joints. 

Photo by Matteo Imbriani.

1950s design also provided inspiration for Aracne, an unconventional coffee table with an unexpected eight-legged silhouette. Its round glass top seems to float atop the elegant zoomorphic structure, solid and airy at the same time.

Its eight wooden supports, with rounded edges that allow the top to nestle into place with a natural elegance, create an evocative visual rhythm, interacting with its surroundings by projecting delicate threads of shadow into the light.

Precise woodworking and organic design make Aracne an elegant presence full of personality. 

Photo by Giacomo Maestri. 

Candleholders, vases and a centerpiece are a tribute to the Italian art and architecture that inspires their form and character.

The Vestalia candleholder boasts the natural elegance of the most precious marbles, from Carrara White to Carnico Gray and Imperial Green. 

A complex process of water-jet carving, entrusted to historic Venetian ateliers, brings out the stone’s edges and veining.

Their design, rich in tactile emotions and interactive possibilities, makes them objects of compelling sculptural presence. 

Photo by Matteo Imbriani.

The arched ceramic vases Marcello, Massimo and Vittorio offer a subtle allusion to Italy’s Palladian villas and palaces and to the perspectives of Metaphysical art.

The detailing in precious 24k gold or platinum creates reflections of light and motion in perspective.

The pure white of the surface showcases the precious glaze finish and the imperceptible differences in intensity that come from handmade artistry. 

Left photo: Marcello; Right photo: Massimo

Both photos by Giacomo Maestri. 

The beauties of artisanal ceramic return in the Sophia table centerpiece, inspired by the great piazzas of the città d’arte, Italy’s “Cities of Art.”

A meticulous study in proportion, Sophia presents itself as a scale model of the arches and porticoes of Renaissance architecture.

The result is an abstract geometric form, rich in sensory character and vibrant with luminous details that enrich the pure white of the ceramic. 

Photo by Matteo Imbriani.

These high-end, luxe speakers and audio consoles specifically for music lovers and audiophiles will make you feel like you’re listening to your favorite band rockin’ out at an ampitheater live, or let you experience your classic vinyls with authentic, high-performance sound. It’s time to hear what exceptionally engineered design and and audio quality can do for your home music listening experience. 

Renaissance ESL 15A by MartinLogan, $25,000 a pair

The flagship model in MartinLogan’s Masterpiece Series of high-end electrostatic (ESL) speakers, the Renaissance ESL 15A, is a revolutionary step forward in terms of performance, technology and design. Since 1983, MartinLogan has handcrafted speakers featuring electrostatic and thin-film technologies, achieving the ultimate in audio realism. Renaissance’s 15-inch-wide and 46-inch-tall electrostatic panel reproduces sound with unfl inching accuracy and is married to a pair of amplified high performance 1,000-Watt powered woofers which can deliver powerful bass sound. “The experience of listening to an electrostatic speaker for the first time is often described as transformative,” says Devin Zell, Martin Logan Marketing Manager. “If you set aside all of the evocative technology, close your eyes, and listen, these speakers disappear and transport a listener deep into the heart of music — accessing a shockingly intimate and emotional connection to the music and performers.”

Sonos Edition Console by Wrensilva, $5,000

“We wanted to design something specifically for smaller urban spaces,” says Debra Sayler, Chief Design Officer of Wrensilva of the Sonos Edition Stereo Console. “Something that combined natural elements, such as gnarled wood grain, and the clean, urban lines in the welded steel legs and crisp white outer finish.” Based in San Diego, California, Wrensilva was founded in 2016 by Sayler and her husband Scott. Together, they create modern stereo consoles dedicated to “reawakening the spirit of hifi.” Their mission of time-honored design combined with advanced audio technologies materialized in their collaboration with Sonos for this custom piece. In this console, Sonos speakers are incorporated into curved walnut enclosures. “We wanted to highlight the speakers’ curves, not disguise them. On the technology side, we incorporated a wirelessly synced volume knob that communicates directly with the Sonos app. This is a neat feature for Sonos users that are craving a more traditional analog experience.”

Persona 9H by Paradigm, $35,000 a pair

Persona 9H, Paradigm’s most ambitious design to date, leverages the company’s 34 years of acoustical development and innovative design. The speakers were developed out of research to explore the limits of audio engineering, and the results were staggering — an entire line of high-end loudspeakers utilizing cutting-edge concepts. The flagship line showcases vanguard materials such as the utilization of Truextent® Pure Beryllium, a rare chemical element, in the drivers to deliver high-resolution detail, depth and dynamics. While the use of Beryllium in the construction of the tweeters is not unheard (it has a “cult” status for the most expensive of audio equipment), the use of it in both the tweeters and mid-range divers is unique to Persona. The Persona 9H is not only the perfect speaker for audiophiles craving exceptional performance, but also for those seeking luxurious levels of fit and finish — available in 23 premium automotive finishes.

Modern Record Console by Symbol Audio

The Modern Record Console by Symbol Audio pays homage to the “all-in-one” HiFi consoles of the 1950s, integrating “old school” electronics with modern wireless capabilities. Since 2012, the company has been creating products for music lovers who value thoughtful craftsmanship in their audio home furnishings. With a mission to enrich the connection between the listener and their music, the Modern Record Console combines technology with traditional analog electrics into a beautiful piece of handmade furniture crafted from solid American Walnut wood. The sleek design makes this piece a focal point of any space. Lift the lid to expose a hand-built tube amplifier and turntable set into patinated steel plates that delivers a warm, pure signal to two 6.5” full-range speakers. Tucked out of view in the metal base is a second amplifier and subwoofer made to extend low-end frequency and add richness to any sound. Switch the selector from turntable to WiFi to stream from any digital source to control music selections.

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