Sometimes you don’t need to go far to escape the frenzy of the city. Forget about charming mountain retreats or luxury seaside homes, this humble beauty provides the perfect place to escape it all right in a Boerum Hill, Brooklyn backyard. Crafted by local studio Hunt Architecture using salvaged cedar and fence pickets, the Brooklyn Garden Studio is a grown-up version of the classic treehouse.
All posts by Ana Lisa Alperovich
Adjacent to a preserve full of rolling sand dunes and low bushes of Long Island’s south shore (the secluded area is said to once have been used as a film location for desert scenes in silent movies), this passive vacation home by Bates + Masi Architects named “Amagansett Dunes” takes full advantage of its setting. A unique facade of vertical louvers made from twisted canvas strips let marine breezes pass through them to cool the interiors and let in natural light without the harsh afternoon glares.
When describing furniture as nomadic, it usually denotes lightweight, modular pieces that can easily be taken apart to move with you. But Dutch designer Wouter Scheublin created a table that needs no dismantling, as it can quite literally walk to your next home. Inspired by eight-legged creatures, the Walking Table is still graceful enough not to leave scuffing marks on your floor.
Israeli designer Maor Aharon says his work examines the boundaries between craft and industry, functional and decorative, and high- versus low-tech. This thought process is on view in his colorful “Matter of Motion” stools, which were designed through experiments in centrifugal forces and how they can be displayed through material and shape.
Though it looks like this cedar cabin is floating above the terrain, the structure actually sits atop nine steel stilts. Architect Steven Holl employed the building technique to minimize the home’s impact on the forested environment and likewise wrapped the construction in a cedar skin so it would meld with the trees. Known as “T Space,” the minimalist art gallery is located on a privately-owned, four-acre woodland property in Dutchess County.
Space T2 is a minimal artist studio located in Rhinebeck, NY. Steven Holl Architects built the off-grid cabin using what remained of a 1959 hunting shack, dressing the exterior in a sleek black wood skin while keeping the interior core a cool and contrasting white. The tiny abode rests on a handful of stilts that have been embedded in the sloping earth below.
Like many organizationally challenged folks, Argentinean designer Natalia Geci was inspired by Marie Kondo’s bestselling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Following the author’s principal of only holding onto items that bring us joy, Geci created a freestanding, multifunctional furniture system to not only encourage de-cluttering, but to display these prized possessions.
Our bodies are designed to move, yet most of us spend our days sitting at a desk, staring at a screen. But here’s a new device that claims to help counter that inertia by producing unconscious movements that can help keep you fit while answering emails. While it might look like some silly exercise device being offered on a late night television informercial, HOVR promises to burn calories by creating healthy movements without mental distraction.
Simplicity, humility and inner focus were key to early Quaker architecture, principles that also inspired Bates Masi + Architects‘ latest project. The beautiful Underhill home sits in Matinecock, a village within Oyster Bay, Long Island, on the site of an old Quaker settlement. It’s composed of a series of interconnected wooden pavilions topped by angled gabled roofs, “each one focused inward on its own garden courtyard instead of out to the surrounding neighbors,” according to the firm.
Made from wood wool, a mix of leftover wood chips, cement, water and pigments, these sound absorbing wall panels come in assorted colors and shapes that can be arranged and re-arranged, turning any cookie-cutter apartment into a unique space. Designed by Swedish studio Form Us With Love and known as BAUX Träullit, they’re a great example of how construction materials can also be functional and stunning.
For many city dwellers bogged down by the hustle and bustle of everyday life, vacations are spent offline in far-away places, disconnected from technology and reconnected to nature. But fashion and interior stylist Scott Newkirk proves you don’t have to go that far to have your own unplugged woodland dream.
Located in Yulan, New York, just 90 miles northwest of NYC, Newkirk’s charming wooden cabin is a mere 14×14 feet and is made entirely from salvaged and reclaimed pieces of wood.
While urban camping might sound like an oxymoron, there are some surprising options for roughing it in the city. Take for example Bivouac, a pop-up campsite on rotating, secret rooftops where you can wake up surrounded by Brooklyn’s terraces or admiring Central Park from above–free of charge. Created by artist Thomas Stevenson, the site consists of six waterproof canvas tents with wooden frames and one-inch wool felt flooring for comfort and insulation. There’s no electricity or internet to help guests disconnect from daily life, so all you have to do is book your stay in advance through Thomas (the “park ranger”) and bring along a sleeping bag and food to share in a communal dinner.
Tired of sleeping through the snooze every morning, hitting the button over and over again to only wake up sleepier? Then you might want to consider Ruggie, an efficient alarm clock-rug by Winson Tam that will only stop buzzing if you actually get out of bed and step firmly on it. And to help ease the pain of leaving the warmth of the covers, it will then play daily motivational quotes, setting a positive mood for the day.
Brooklyn-based designer Fernando Mastrangelo, founder of design firm MMATERIAL, was inspired by the blue shades of majestic Patagonian glaciers like Perito Moreno for his Drift collection. These sculptural pieces of furniture look like carved stone, but are actually made from sand.
Room dividers are a great way to maximize space and privacy in small spaces, but in some cases, they can also add a decorative focal point, as well as a temporary storage solution. That’s the case with Ana Arana‘s geometric and playful Tromploeil, which is made of separate perforated, white metal planes that are joined by magnets with colorful geometrical elements. The result has a fun, kitschy 1990s vibe that surely brighten up any cookie-cutter apartment.