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    Cake Architecture draws on Bauhaus principles for Hoxton bar

    Cake Architecture has renovated A Bar with Shapes for a Name, an east London cocktail bar featuring “utilitarian” interiors.

    A Bar with Shapes for a Name owes its title to the yellow triangle, red square and blue circle that are emblazoned on its facade in a nod to the primary colours and understated geometry commonly associated with the Bauhaus.
    Tall tubular chairs feature on the ground floorWhen creating the bar’s minimalist interiors, Dalston-based Cake Architecture took cues from the influential German art and design school that was established in 1919 and advocated for an emphasis on functionality, among other similar principles.
    Located at 232 Kingsland Road in Hoxton, the cocktail bar was renovated by the studio to serve as a multipurpose venue.
    Cake Architecture created a smooth ground-floor bar from reddish plywoodCake Architecture doubled the bar’s capacity by adding a basement, which acts as a “kitchen-bar” room, and refurbished the ground floor’s existing seating area as well as a classroom-style space that offers a location for rotating events or workshops.

    “These spaces have specific functional requirements and we selected colours and materials to suit,” studio director Hugh Scott Moncrieff told Dezeen.
    It was positioned opposite a rectilinear light installationUpon entering the bar, visitors are greeted by the main seating area or “showroom”, which was designed to be warm and inviting.
    Tall tubular chairs finished with neutral rattan were positioned around chunky geometric tables made from birch ply stained to a rich, reddish-brown hue.
    The renovation included the addition of a new basementThe team also used the same timber to create the space’s curving bar, which is illuminated by a squat, cordless table lamp by lighting brand Flos.
    Opposite the bar, a glowing rectilinear light installation by photographer Steve Braiden was fitted to the wall underneath bench-style seating reminiscent of early Bauhaus furniture designs.
    A steel, glass-topped table sets an industrial tone”We looked in particular at projects by the Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius,” reflected Scott Moncrieff.
    “Gropius is a master of this elegant zoning through the application of colour and form,” he added.
    The “classroom” includes steel-framed tablesDownstairs, the low-lit basement was created to house additional seating as well as “all of the crazy machinery they use to prepare the drinks,” the designer said.
    The basement is characterised by a bespoke central table by Cake Architecture and furniture designer Eddie Olin.
    Red, yellow and blue accents define a sculptural lampConsisting of a steel frame that “floats” over a central leg, the table was topped with a glass surface and its base was clad in phenolic-coated plywood to match the floor and walls.
    “This new basement is predominantly a production space – so the palette reflects this with hardwearing, utilitarian and industrial materials,” said Scott Moncrieff.

    Henley Halebrown creates Bauhaus-informed offices in converted London warehouse

    A thick, felt curtain in ultramarine adds a pop of colour to the otherwise pared-back space.
    With its pale blue walls and Valchromat-topped, steel-framed tables, the ground-floor “classroom” pays homage to the Bauhaus as an educational institution.
    A tall blackboard provides space to learn in the classroomBrighter blue vinyl covers the floors while a sculptural lamp featuring red, yellow and blue circles echoes the bar’s logo.
    A tall blackboard and overhead strip lighting add to the classroom feel of the space, which is used for various group events.
    Thin vertical lights frame the bathroom sinkCake Architecture worked closely with the bar’s founders Remy Savage and Paul Lougrat when creating the interiors, which were primarily informed by the duo’s way of working.
    “The team has a conceptually driven ethos drawn from the theory and practice of Bauhaus embedded in everything they are doing. We found that incredibly exciting,” explained Scott Moncrieff.
    A Bar with Shapes for a Name is located on London’s Kingsland Road”The Bauhaus phrase ‘party, work, play’ was pertinent to some early ideas and this carried through all our design discussions,” noted the designer.
    “The space enables these three things. Separately as individual functions and simultaneously as a representation of the overall atmosphere of a bar!”
    Cake Architecture previously worked with interior designer Max Radford to create a curtain-wrapped speakeasy in London’s Soho. The studio also designed a workspace for London agency Ask Us For Ideas in the same part of the city.
    The photography is by Felix Speller. 

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    Neri&Hu highlights simplicity and functionality at Shanghai art gallery

    Chinese studio Neri&Hu has designed a contemporary art gallery for Ota Fine Arts in Shanghai with a focus on the “sublime beauty of the banal”.

    The gallery sits on the ground floor of a mixed-use tower at Rockbund, a development amidst the historical Bund in Shanghai along the Huangpu River, where a series of restored colonial art deco buildings are located.
    The entrance of the gallery features an oversized sliding door”The primary design challenge was to utilise the areas along the facade for both storage and display, blurring the distinction between functional and experiential space,” explained Neri&Hu.
    “This deepened threshold condition found on both facades defines the visitor’s arrival sequence and journey within.”
    The facade of the gallery is framed in aged steel to contrast the contemporary galleryThe facade of the gallery was framed in aged steel, with portions of solid metal and large glass panels arranged to form a window display for the artworks.

    Handmade ivory tiles line the inner side of the window in a subtle woven pattern, serving as a neutral backdrop for the art pieces.
    A warehouse-sized door can be fully open on the west facade for easy transport of large art piecesAn oversized sliding door marks the entry to the gallery on the eastern facade. When opened, the entrance of the gallery is revealed, with the outer sliding door framing the window display next to it.
    When closed, the door slides back to its original position and allows the full-height glazed window to be exposed.
    The western facade features a warehouse-sized door that can be fully opened using a custom-designed handle. This allows large artworks to be delivered directly from a designated parking area into the gallery.

    Neri&Hu divides Shanghai fashion boutique with fabrics and marble screens

    Neri&Hu also added fluted glass to the exterior, which glows in the evening to illuminate the adjacent Rockbund courtyard and add elegance to the functional facade.
    Inside the gallery, the 350 square-metre space is divided into two zones – a 150-square-metre main public viewing gallery and a private zone that houses VIP rooms and office space.
    The pared-back, white VIP rooms feature contemporary furniture pieces with custom-made white tiles and a stained oak floor and were designed to create a relaxing environment, in which the attention can be focused on the art itself.
    The interior of the gallery has a neutral and simplistic tone”The project’s understated material palette and overall conceptual underpinning lies in the juxtaposition of old and new, raw and refined, ordinary and spectacular,” said Neri&Hu.
    “We hope one can appreciate the sublime beauty of the banal, as much as the brilliance of contemporary art,” it added.
    Clean white rooms are intended to highlight the art pieceNeri&Hu was founded by architects Lyndon Neri and Rosanna Hu in 2004 in Shanghai.
    Other recent projects completed by the studio include the Sanya Wellness Retreat hotel on the Chinese island of Hainan and a fashion boutique with fabrics and marble screens.
    The photography is by Zhu Runzi.
    Project credits:
    Partners-in-charge: Lyndon Neri, Rossana HuAssociate-in-charge: Jacqueline MinSenior interior designer-in-charge: Phil WangDesign team: Rovi QuFF&E procurement: Design RepublicContractors: ETQ Project (Shanghai) Limited

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    Dezeen’s top 10 staircases of 2023

    Continuing our 2023 review, we have selected 10 striking staircases published on Dezeen this year, from prefabricated plywood steps at a Cornish home to a colourful set for an opera in a Swiss theatre.

    Architects and designers have continued to find clever solutions to travelling on foot from one storey to another in 2023 by creating staircases that are both beautiful and functional.
    Ranging from the spectacular to the space-saving, here are Dezeen’s top 10 staircases of 2023:
    Photo by Purnesh Dev NikhanjRibbon House, India, by Studio Ardete
    An angular balustrade with tilting black rails twists around sweeping concrete steps to form the staircase at Ribbon House, a home in Punjab with an equally sculptural exterior.

    Architecture office Studio Ardete placed open living spaces next to the staircase on each floor to create lobby-like communal areas on the house’s different levels.
    Find out more about Ribbon House ›
    Photo by Lorenzo ZandriHouse by the Sea, UK, by Of Architecture
    House by the Sea is the home of a surfer-and-artist couple in Newquay, Cornwall, that was designed to be “simple, robust and utilitarian”.
    For the interior, London studio Of Architecture inserted prefabricated plywood steps leading to a cosy mezzanine level tucked beneath the dwelling’s sloping roof.
    Find out more about House by the Sea ›
    Photo by Schnepp RenouHaus 1, Germany, by MVRDV and Hirschmüller Schindele Architekten
    A bright yellow, zigzagging staircase juts out from the facade of the Haus 1 building in Berlin, creating the appearance of a striking crane and providing a beacon for approaching visitors.
    Dutch studio MVRDV worked with local studio Hirschmüller Schindele Architekten to design Haus 1, which forms part of the city’s Atelier Gardens redevelopment.
    Find out more about Haus 1 ›
    Photo by Pezo von EllrichshausenLuna House, Chile, by Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen
    Brutalist-style spiral staircases connect the storeys of Luna House, an expansive geometric complex in Chile comprised of 12 individual buildings.
    Chilean studio Pezo von Ellrichshausen designed the stairs and the majority of the structure in reinforced concrete, which is highly textured thanks to imprints left behind by wooden formwork.
    Find out more about Luna House ›
    Photo by Paolo Abate.Rigoletto set design, Switzerland, by Pierre Yovanovitch
    French interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch embedded moving, curved walls within an undulating staircase that stretched the full width of the stage for a production of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Rigoletto at Theatre Basel.
    Bathed in coloured light, the flexible walls created a neutral set for the performers to balance the play’s complex plot, according to the designer.
    Find out more about this staircase ›
    Photo by James Leng (also top)Hairpin House, USA, by Studio J Jih and Figure
    This Boston house was renovated to revolve around a sculptural “hairpin” staircase informed by the twists and turns of mountain roads.
    Designed by American firms Studio J Jih and Figure, the white oak stairs were created to increase the home’s useable floor area by 20 per cent.
    Find out more about Hairpin House ›
    Photo by Alex Shoots BuildingsHouse in Pernek, Slovakia, by Ksa Studený
    This home in the village of Pernek, Slovakia, was designed in the shape of an isosceles trapezoid, mirroring its longitudinal profile.
    Architecture studio Ksa Studený positioned a chunky white staircase over a slanted slab of concrete to divide the interior space.
    Find out more about this house ›
    Photo by Jim StephensonThe Arbor House, Scotland, by Brown & Brown
    A spiral staircase made from birch plywood winds into the dining area at The Arbor House by Brown & Brown, located in a conservation area in Aberdeen.
    The studio assembled the stairs over three weeks, with timber treads individually cut and hand-layered to form a smooth curve.
    Find out more about The Arbor House ›
    Photo by Gokul Rao KadamSNN Clermont residential tower, India, by FADD Studio
    Indian practice FADD Studio renovated two apartments within the SNN Clermont residential tower in Bangalore to create a fused multi-generational home.
    The studio took cues from the curves of caterpillars when creating a swooping staircase, which connects the two flats and features deep red marble risers.
    Find out more about these apartments ›
    Photo courtesy of The Conran ShopThe Conran Shop, Japan, by Keiji Ashizawa 
    Japanese designer Keiji Ashizawa created interiors for The Conran Shop in Tokyo to reflect the inside of someone’s home.
    The store’s mezzanine floor is accessible by a minimalist geometric staircase featuring a handrail made from black paper cords.
    Find out more about The Conran Shop ›

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    Christian Louboutin and Madalena Caiado create “most extravagant and most traditional” hotel in Portugal

    Fashion designer Christian Louboutin and architect Madalena Caiado’s 13-room boutique hotel in the village of Melides, south of Lisbon, celebrates craftsmanship and has been “designed at the scale of the hand”.

    Named after the French designer’s signature colour, Vermelho, which is Portuguese for red, is Louboutin’s first hospitality project.
    Each room is furnished from Louboutin’s collectionThe hotel features 13 rooms – all of them filled with the work of local craftsmen and a selection of materials and furniture from Louboutin’s personal collection.
    “This project has allowed me to empty my storage full of antiques and objects I have purchased over many years!” Louboutin told Dezeen.
    Floor tiles are in Louboutin’s signature shade of redAt one point in the development of the project it looked like it might not be approved to operate as a hotel and so Louboutin decided “if it’s not going to be a hotel, I’m going to do it as my house”. As a result, each of the hotel’s rooms have been individually designed and have their own identity.

    “If you build a house, you’re never going to design the same room,” the designer said. “I don’t know a house where you have the same room three times – it only exist in hotels.”
    “Houses have feelings – they have different rules to hotels,” he continued. “You can’t have your house looking like a hotel”.
    The hotel has been designed in the local architectural styleVermelho was designed to be “well-integrated into the village” and it was important to Louboutin “that it really respects the area and environment”.
    Working with Portuguese architect Caiado, the resulting hotel meets the street as a series of traditional buildings in the local architectural language: white render with blue plinth and window detailing, terracotta-tiled roofs and a scattering of chimneys punctuating the skyline.
    There was nothing on the site before work began”We have tried to imagine a building that could have existed in that place, and that was part of the landscape,” Caiado told Dezeen.
    “To achieve that, we made a project adapted to the topography, relating to the surrounding buildings, and re-discovering traditional construction systems and materials.”
    The hotel looks onto a private garden and poolThe site, which curves round a private garden and swimming pool that looks out to reed marshes, culminates in a tower, punctuated with playful window openings that hint at the internal character of the project.
    Discreet from the street, the interior design and garden-facing facade is full of detail, colour and craftmanship.
    The tower features unusual diamond punctuationThe hotel’s maximalist and eclectic style was intended as a reflection of Louboutin’s personal taste, while also celebrating Portuguese savoir-faire and the traditions of local craftspeople.
    Having already worked with Caiado on his Lisbon house, Louboutin’s brief for Vermelho was to show Caiado an Indian bracelet from his collection, which from the outside looks like a simple gold bangle, but on its inside face was engraved with busy animal designs and set with diamonds.
    The interiors are highly detailed”I said to Madalena, the hotel should be like the bangle; from the outside, you don’t see anything,” Louboutin explained. “It’s to be a very simple, well-designed building that doesn’t give away much information about the inside,”
    “But when you go inside, it should be this animal and diamond thing,” he continued.
    Bedrooms feature murals by Konstantin KakaniasTo achieve the highly decorative and detailed interior Louboutin collaborated with designer Carolina Irving, who acted as an advisor on textile creation and decoration, and ceramic tile designer and interiors consultant Patricia Medina.
    Hand-painted frescoes by Greek artist Konstantin Kakanias cover the walls, while bedrooms features wardrobes with Maison Gatti French latticework.
    Playful murals adorn walls throughout the hotelBespoke woodwork and carpentry was completed by Spanish master craftsmen company Los Tres Juanes. Throughout the project Louboutin used Alentjo tiles, as well as giving the Italian artist Giuseppe Ducrot a blank slate to design sculptural ceramic details for the facade.
    The hotel restaurant, called Xtian, features a Klove Studio mural chandelier and a bespoke bar covered in hammered silver leaf, which was made by Seville-based liturgical goldsmiths Orfebrería Villarreal.
    The bar is made from silver by Spanish goldsmithsSpeaking to Dezeen, Caiado described the project as “at the same time, the most extravagant and most traditional project I’ve ever done”.
    “The biggest challenge was balancing the different constellations of ideas for each space, so that it results in a harmonious way,” she explained.
    “Especially during construction, Christian was present and brought his own creative universe, but also a more tactile way of thinking and with an artistic component of searching for novelty, even when it came to traditional materials and techniques – almost as if the hotel was designed at the scale of the hand of those who built it.”
    Local Atlentjo tiles are used throughout the projectOther recent boutique hotels featured on Dezeen include Dorothée Meilichzon’s revamp of Cowley Manor Experimental and Beata Heuman’s interiors for Hôtel de la Boétie in Paris.
    Photography is by Ambroise Tézenas.

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    Ductus coats blocky apartment complex with red plaster in Switzerland

    Architecture studio Ductus has designed an apartment complex coated with a monochrome red plaster facade into a sloping site in Schwarzenburg, Switzerland.

    Located on the outskirts of the village of Schwarzenburg in eastern Switzerland, the complex was designed by Ductus to have the appearance of a series of intersecting blocks of various heights that protrude and recede throughout the design.
    The red plaster-covered block was has a blocky appearanceAccommodating 16 apartments, the complex comprises two buildings sat perpendicular to one another that are connected by a shared garden.
    Balconies constructed from pressure-impregnated white fir and green columns contrast with the red plaster facade and overlook the garden and neighbouring buildings.
    Adjoining balconies are constructed from pressure-impregnated white fir, which contrast with the red facadeFlat roofs lined with untreated copper top the apartment complex, which distinguishing it from the surrounding more traditional pitched-roof buildings.

    On the exterior, untreated copper was also used for downpipes, while red-toned window frames and mechanical shutters match the plaster’s colour.

    PSLA Architekten tops urban townhouse with cascading roof terraces

    Within the apartments, textured white walls were set off by wooden flooring, while stylish bathrooms were characterised by red-toned fittings and decorative tiles to match the facade.
    Bright living spaces are lit by floor-to-ceiling doors that also provide access to the adjacent balconies.
    The complex contains 16 apartments split across two buildings”All 17 apartments were designed as condominiums,” Ductus partner Marcel Hauert told Dezeen.
    “The client’s desire was for all buyers to determine the interior finishes themselves. We provided a basic concept that could be adapted virtually without restrictions.”
    Red-toned fittings and tiles feature in the bathroomDuctus is an architecture studio operating between Sweden and Switzerland.
    Elsewhere in Switzerland, BE Architektur recently used intersecting sculptural blocks to form a barn-like house and Enrico Sassi has transformed a wood store into a micro home.
    The photography is by Rasmus Norlander.

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    Format Architecture designs “delightfully untraditional” Cafe Mars in Brooklyn

    Bright colours, neon lighting and expressive furniture create a playful mood inside this Brooklyn restaurant, designed by local studio Format Architecture Office.

    Cafe Mars is an Italian eatery located in Gowanus, founded by co-chefs Jorge Olarte, and Paul D’Avino – whose grandfather lived across the street when he first emigrated from Campania in 1901.
    Playful furniture throughout Cafe Mars includes chairs with hot-pink arched and zigzag legsHonouring these roots, the restaurant is designed as a celebration of all things Italy: from the Memphis design movement of the 1980s to the glamorous Amalfi Coast.
    “It was important to connect the intent of the culinary experience with the intent of the spatial experience,” said Format principal and co-founder Andrew McGee.
    The bar and open kitchen are framed by white oak panels”If the driving force of the menu was to showcase knowledge and love of traditional Italian cuisine, twisted and subverted at just the right moments to create something playfully rebellious and unusual, it seemed only natural to reference the character and movement in [Ettore] Sottsass and the Memphis style with a similar vintage in the architecture and design realm,” he continued.

    Above each table in the main dining space is a yellow panel with a hole cut-out, exposing the building’s original brickTo enter the 1,100-square-foot (100-square-metre) restaurant, visitors must turn a pasta die door handle sourced from local third-generation manufacturer D Malardi & Sons.
    “The detail is a charming nod to the building’s pasta factory and Italian grocery history whilst ushering in its restaurant future,” the studio said.
    The custom banquettes are coloured one yellow for every two whiteOnce inside the long narrow front space, the bar area can be found on the right and a row of back-to-back banquettes runs along the left.
    The bar and the open kitchen further down are framed by white oak panelled arches, revealing a bright blue back bar that echoes the same shape.
    The “blue room” in the back features cobalt-coloured seating that contrasts the exposed brickworkA tall, light grey counter forms an L-shape within the first arch, with a lower surface for diners seated in custom chairs by Studio Apotroes with hot pink zig-zag legs.
    More seats – this time with white details – face the kitchen area, beside a bright green shelving unit for tableware tucked under the bar counter.
    Hot pink reappears in the cords of pendant lights, which have shades made from mushroom myceliumOpposite, the custom double-sided banquettes have ribbed edges and are coloured one yellow for every two white.
    In between are arched yellow panels with circular holes that expose the original brick walls behind, and Stuff by Andrew Neyer globe pendants that hang above each table.
    Pasta illustrations by artist Massimo Mongiardo are found throughout the interior, including in the bathroomThe “blue room” in the back features cobalt-coloured seating that contrasts the exposed brick walls, black window frames and white hexagonal floor tiles.
    Hot pink reappears in the cords of pendant lights with MushLume shades made from mushroom mycelium, while bespoke wooden tables have puzzle-piece tops that slot together in various configurations.

    Usonian architecture informs Sereneco restaurant in Greenpoint by Carpenter + Mason

    At night, colourful LED lights within the circular wall elements, under the bar counter and above the back bar all match a neon sign in the window, which traces the Cafe Mars logo designed by artist Massimo Mongiardo.
    His illustrations of pasta shapes can be found throughout the interiors, including in the bathrooms, and across the black-painted roller shutters pulled down when the restaurant is closed.
    Mongiardo’s illustrations also cover the black roller shutter on the exterior”The goal was to strike a delicate balance between fanciful and comforting, transformative and familiar,” said Format co-founder and principal Matthew Hettler.
    “The design, however loud, becomes a backdrop for a quality experience, and that is something we are excited about.”
    A neon version of the Cafe Mars logo sits in the window, matching the colorful LED lighting insideOther relative newcomers to Brooklyn’s ever-evolving culinary scene include Nabila’s, a Lebanese spot designed by Frederick Tang Architecture, and Usonian-inspired eatery Sereneco featuring interiors by Carpenter + Mason.
    Over in Manhattan, the number of Italian restaurants continues to balloon, with Bad Roman and Cucina Alba among the many to have opened in the past year.
    The photography is by Nick Glimenakis.
    Project credits:
    Architecture and interior design: Format Architecture OfficeProject team: Clare Hačko, David Hettler, Matt Hettler, Andrew McGeeConstruction: RuskStructural engineer: Blue Sky DesignMEP engineer: Department of Approvals

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    La Balsanera house aims to revive “tradition of living on the river” in Ecuador

    Architecture studio Natura Futura Arquitectura and architect Juan Carlos Bamba have created a floating house along the Babahoyo River in Ecuador.

    Situated within a centuries-old floating village at risk of disappearing, La Balsanera is designed as a model for the preservation and sustainable redevelopment of the river’s depleting community.
    La Balsanera is a floating house along the Babahoyo RiverFollowing the river’s current closure as a commercial fluvial route, the community saw the number of floating structures decrease from 200 to 25.
    La Balsanera is hoped to help revive “the tradition of living on the river”, according to Natura Futura Arquitectura and Bamba.
    It has a terrace with a colourful hammockBuilt for a family of three, whose livelihoods include selling food to the local community and repairing wooden boats, the 70-square-metre design highlights the river as a vital socio-economic resource.

    A two-metre-wide extension to an existing platform provides terraces for them to use as “productive environments”, such as a cafe seating area or anchor point for tourist boats.
    Slatted openings provide ventilation”La Balsanera explores possible floating solutions that recover local artisan techniques while promoting the active and productive participation of the occupants in vulnerable communities,” Bamba told Dezeen.
    The home is built from wooden porticos constructed every two metres to form a gabled truss structure. This is topped by a corrugated roof that shelters the outdoor terraces and a colourful hammock.

    Floating Bamboo House offers model for “stable and safe accommodation”

    A central space hosts a shared living room, dining area and kitchen along with two bedrooms, while two external strips at either end provide a toilet, shower, laundry space and boat workshop.
    Slatted openings, known locally as “chazas”, have been made from recycled wood and help naturally ventilate and cool the interior.
    A bridge made from bamboo and wood connect the home to the mainlandA bridge made from bamboo and planks of wood provides a walkway between the floating home and the mainland.
    Meanwhile, shutter doors used throughout the design link the living spaces to the surrounding terraces.
    A seating area is provided on the river-facing terraceNatura Futura Arquitectura and Bamba are based in Ecuador and Spain respectively.
    Other projects completed by Natura Futura Arquitectura include a fitness centre featuring giant shutters and a mirrored viewing platform in the Ecuadorean countryside.
    The photography is by Francesco Russo.

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    Vote for your favourite home interior of 2023!

    For our review of 2023, we take a look back at the year’s 10 most interesting home interiors and invite our readers to pick their favourite.

    With more than 500 interior stories published on Dezeen in 2023 so far, there is a wide variety of beautiful and unusual homes to choose from.
    Among the 10 most interesting we’ve published are a lodge in South Africa, an apartment in Spain’s Torres Blancas tower and a tiny Scottish flat.
    The winner will be announced in a post on Dezeen on New Year’s Eve.
    Read on for this year’s home interior highlights, then vote here or by using the form at the bottom of the article.

    Photo by René de Wit and Pim TopDomūs Houthaven apartment, The Netherlands, by Shift Architecture Urbanism
    This home in Amsterdam residential complex Domūs Houthaven features a bedroom cupboard with built-in shelves and under-bed drawers. It can be closed off from the living space with folding doors made from perforated steel.
    Shift Architecture Urbanism used striking colour-blocked modular units in pastel hues to give the apartment a playful feel. The home also has untreated concrete ceilings and pale laminate floors that contrast with the colourful furnishings.
    Vote for Domūs Houthaven apartment ›
    Photo by Fabian MartinezCasa Tres Árboles, Mexico, by Direccion
    “Monastic sanctuaries” inspired this weekend home in Mexico’s Valle de Bravo, which was designed to celebrate light and shadows. Natural materials and an earthy colour palette were used throughout.
    Mexican studio Direccion, which designed the interior, removed a number of walls and adjusted the split-level floor to connect the home’s social spaces and open it up more. Artworks and artisan craft pieces were dotted throughout the house.
    Vote for Casa Tres Árboles ›
    Photo by Lorenzo ZandriHouse by the Sea, UK, by Of Architecture
    Designed for an artist and a surfer, House by the Sea is located by the sea in Newquay, Cornwall, and has an understated colour palette of off-white and grey hues.
    Its sitting area has expansive sliding windows that directly overlook Newquay’s picturesque Pentire Steps beach. A long L-shaped sofa was dressed in beige marl fabric, while a classic Eames lounge chair offers another space for relaxation.
    Walls were mostly kept clear, while green plants were scattered throughout the space to liven up the minimalist spaces.
    Vote for House by the Sea ›
    Photo by José HeviaTorres Blancas apartment, Spain, by Studio Noju
    This two-storey apartment in the curvy Torres Blancas apartment in Madrid was renovated by local firm Studio Noju to remain “in constant dialogue” with the original apartment design.
    The studio added terraces with curved floor-to-ceiling glazing and slatted crimson shutters, as well as gleaming sea-green floor tiles. Curves were used throughout the interior in a nod to the facade of the tower, which has cylindrical, bulbous balconies.
    Vote for the Torres Blancas apartment ›
    Photo by Jack LovelCity Beach house, Australia, by Design Theory
    This 1960s house in the City Beach suburb of Perth was given an update by interiors studio Design Theory.
    “The brief was, on the surface, simple: to update the home while keeping its considerable mid-century charm,” said the studio.
    The resulting home features warm, earthy materials, including Forbo Marmoleum flooring, exposed brick in terracotta tones and native Blackbutt timber. The furniture and decorations also reference the house’s mid-century modern origins.
    Vote for City Beach house ›
    Photo by Adrien DirandTembo Tembo Lodge, South Africa, by Studio Asaï
    Tembo Tembo Lodge, which won home interior of the year at Dezeen Awards 2023, is a family lodge made from rammed earth and located close to the Kruger National Park.
    Designed by Paris-based Studio Asaï, the living room features a “bush”-green sofa to evoke the colour of the foliage outside the house, as well as a stone table decorated with stone vases and a selection of small side tables in dark wood and steel.
    Vote for Tembo Tembo Lodge ›
    Photo by José Hevia10K House, Spain, by Takk
    Russian Matryoshka dolls, which are stacked inside each other, informed the interior of this apartment in Barcelona that was designed with a material budget of just 10,000 euros.
    Spanish studio Takk designed the home to be as sustainable as possible, nestling rooms inside one another to maximise insulation. The bedroom was raised on white recycled table legs and clad in gridded frames of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) that are enveloped by slabs of local sheep’s wool.
    Vote for 10K House ›
    Photo by Pierce ScourfieldGlasgow apartment, Scotland, by Lee Ivett, Simon Harlow and Duncan Blackmore
    Designed by its owner, developer Duncan Blackmore, together with architect Lee Ivett and designer Simon Harlow, this flat in Glasgow’s Govanhill area measures just 25 square metres.
    It was designed without any freestanding furniture. The designers removed internal walls and raised its existing structural openings closer to the ceiling, before inserting a number of 3D-volumes with built-in functions.
    “The main space is entirely unprogrammed and uncluttered and has almost nothing in it,” Blackmore told Dezeen.
    Vote for Glasgow apartment ›
    Photo by Seth Caplan (above and main image)Dumbo loft, USA, by Crystal Sinclair Designs
    An eye-catching book-lined mezzanine was among the solutions created by Crystal Sinclair Designs for this loft apartment in Brooklyn, which was renovated in a way that would expose its concrete shell.
    The studio also created a bedroom behind a glass partition for the home and filled it with furnishings intended to introduce European flair against the industrial backdrop. In the living space, wooden furniture adds an organic touch and contrasts with the concrete walls and white floor.
    Vote for Dumbo loft ›
    Photo by Tomooki KengakuHiroo Residence, Japan, by Keiji Ashizawa
    Architect and designer Keiji Ashizawa filled the Hiroo Residence in central Tokyo with wood, using the material for furniture pieces as well as panelling and artworks.
    To underline how light-filled the open-plan flat is, he used muted, subtle tones of grey and beige instead of bright white. The 200-square-metre apartment, which overlooks the Arisugawanomiya Memorial Park, also features decorative stone sculptures and Shaker-informed furniture.
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