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

    Chinese studio Neri&Hu has completed a store interior for Ms MIN in Shanghai, China, to showcase the fashion brand’s diverse use of materials.

    Located at the Taikoo Li shopping complex in central Shanghai, the 195-square-metre store was designed to evoke a sense of traditional home-based atelier that places materials and craftsmanship at its centre.
    Neri&Hu designed the store in Taikoo Li”Before the Industrial Revolution, textiles were made by hand in villages across China by individual families; carding, spinning and weaving all took place in farmhouses, indeed a loom could be found in every well-conditioned homestead,” Neri&Hu explained.
    “We harken back to the notion of a traditional fabric atelier, showcasing craftsmanship, rich materiality, and a domestic sensibility.”
    White fabric sheets were hung to divide the spaceThe space was divided into several zones by a series of floor-to-ceiling open grid wooden structures.

    White fabric sheet was hung in between a wooden grid to serve as lightweight semi-transparent partitions situated on left and right side of the shop. These were designed to allow plenty of natural daylight into the store.
    “Natural daylight and the chaos of the shopping mall are filtered by the sheer fabric screens, giving the space an overall sense of calmness,” Neri&Hu said.
    The flexible panels can be re-arranged and interchanged with different materialsThe same wooden structures with overhanging eaves to the right side of the shop form a series of more private rooms.
    These are used as a reception at the front of the store along with a VIP lounge, VIP fitting room and studio area at the rear of the shop.
    An internal courtyard was formed that can accommodate exhibitionsThe central display area was arranged by a series of panels, either made with micro-cement or marble and framed in brass, which form an internal courtyard that can be used as an exhibition space.
    These panels can be re-arranged and interchanged to suit the changing fashion trends in motifs every season.

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    The entire shop was paved with curved roof tiles stacked and inlaid, a traditional pavement commonly found in the region.
    Neri&Hu also created custom mannequin figures for Ms MIN. According to the studio, the linen-made mannequins have a skin-like subtle texture.
    The lightweight semitransparent partitions allow natural daylight into the shopNeri&Hu was founded by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu in 2004 in Shanghai. Other recent interior projects completed by the studio include cafe brand Blue Bottle’s latest shop and a flexible office space, both in Shanghai.
    The photography is by Zhu Runzi.
    Project credits:
    Partners-in-charge: Lyndon Neri, Rossana HuAssociate-in-charge: Sanif XuDesign team: Muyang Tang, Zhikang Wang, Amber Shi, Yoki Yu, Nicolas FardetLighting: Viabizzuno (Shanghai)Contractor: Shanghai Yali Design Decoration Co.

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    You Can Sit With Us aims to open doors that “were firmly closed to us” says 2LG Studio

    Russell Whitehead and Jordan Cluroe of 2LG Studio have curated You Can Sit With Us, a London Design Festival show that offered “a seat at the table” to a diverse mix of emerging designers.

    The 2LG Studio founders invited 13 designers from a mix of nationalities, races, genders and backgrounds to be a part of the exhibition, which was on show at London Design Fair.
    Cluroe (top left), Whitehead (top right) and Adam Fairweather of Smile Plastics pictured with 9 of the 13 chair designersThe exhibition took the form of a dining room, featuring a long table surrounded by chairs that were each designed by a different participant.
    Whitehead and Cluroe came up with the concept based on their own experiences of trying to break into the design industry and being made to feel like outsiders.
    The chair by Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng features a black lacquer finish”When we launched our practice nearly 10 years ago, there was an inner circle that felt very out of reach to us,” Whitehead told Dezeen.

    “We were so bruised by the industry and felt blocked by certain doors that were firmly closed to us,” he continued.
    “Instead of chasing acceptance where it wasn’t forthcoming, we decided to accept the love that was coming our way and put our energy there.”
    Sam Klemick’s chair incorporates a sweater into its carved wood formThe aim of You Can Sit With Us, he said, was to give a platform to a new generation of designers who may be having similar experiences.
    The exhibition’s name is a reference to the 2004 movie Mean Girls.
    “We wanted this to be a safe space that actively welcomed new perspectives,” Whitehead explained.
    Helen Kirkum produced a lounge seat with upholstery made from trainer insolesAmong the most eye-catching designs in the show is a lounge seat with upholstery made from trainer insoles by Helen Kirkum, a footwear designer who typically crafts her designs from recycled sneakers.
    Norwegian designer Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng has contributed a CNC-cut version of a hand-crafted ash chair she first made during the pandemic in a new black lacquer finish.
    Benjamin Motoc’s piece playfully combines a sketch with a basic 3D formA backrest with a sweater slung over it is part of the carved wood form of a design by California-based Sam Klemick, who had a career in fashion before she moved into furniture.
    Rotterdam-based Benjamin Motoc created a piece that playfully combines a sketch with a basic 3D design, while Paris-based sculptor Bence Magyarlaki has produced a characteristically squidgy form.
    Bence Magyarlaki produced a characteristically squidgy formOther chairs were designed by Amechi Mandi, Divine Southgate Smith, Wilkinson & Rivera, Net Warner, Hot Wire Extensions, Byard Works, Pulp Sculptuur and Blake C Joshua.
    The participants were selected across design, art and fashion because Whitehead and Cluroe “didn’t want to enforce boundaries in that way”.
    Rob Parker of Byard Works contributed a chair made from plywood and corkTheir chairs were arranged around a table produced by Smile Plastics using recycled plastic bottles and old tinsel, which created a glittering effect.
    The exhibition was an important project for 2LG, and for Whitehead in particular, who battled mental health struggles following the pandemic.

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    The designer said the project allowed him to explore how “heart and emotion” can be a part of design.
    “A lot of healing has taken place in the lead-up to this show,” he said.
    Granite + Smoke produced blankets featuring the title, You Can Sit With UsThe project included a collaboration with textile brand Granite + Smoke, who produced colourful blankets emblazoned with the exhibition’s title message.
    Whitehead and Cluroe also worked with homeware brand Sheyn on a series of suggestive 3D-printed vases.

    “The collection we designed together is a celebration of our queerness, something we have not embraced fully in our product design output, but it felt more important than ever to put that out there right now,” added Whitehead.
    You Can Sit With Us was on show at London Design Fair from 21 to 24 September as part of London Design Festival. See Dezeen Events Guide for more architecture and design events around the world.

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    Shrek and Donkey invite guests to stay in mud-laden Shrek’s Swamp

    Rental website Airbnb has designed Shrek’s Swamp, a grass-and-mud-covered hut underneath a tree in the Scottish Highlands.

    The small house, which has a bare-earth floor, is described as “a stumpy, secluded haven fit for a solitude-seeking ogre”.
    The holiday home is located underneath a tree trunkIt is being hosted by Donkey, Shrek’s best friend, who is swamp-sitting while Shrek himself is away for Halloween, according to an Airbnb description written as if by Donkey himself.
    In it, he says: “I love everything about the swamp: the boulder out front, the modest interiors, the seclusion (ideal for singing karaoke late into the night), you get the picture”.
    It features rough-hewn wooden furnitureThe holiday home, which sleeps up to three guests, has an open-plan design, with a sturdy wooden bed leaning against one wall.

    A matching table and two wooden chairs sit in front of an open fire on the opposite side of the house, which is held up by large tree trunks.
    A fish-shaped lamp decorates the bedside tableShrek’s Swamp Airbnb also features decorative touches, including a green “earwax candle” – a nod to a scene in which Shrek pulls out a stick of earwax from his ear and lights it.
    It also has a bedside lamp that looks like a stuffed pufferfish.
    The dining table sits in front of an open fireVisitors can also make use of Shrek’s outhouse, a well-known location from multiple Shrek films, which is located about 20 metres away from the swamp itself.
    Located in a forest in the Scottish Highlands, the hut is surrounded by signs reading “Stay out”, “Beware Ogre” and “Danger!” though these are “probably for decoration”, according to Donkey.

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    The home will be available to book from 13 October for a two-night stay between 27 and 29 October and comes with an on-site concierge who will arrange meals for the guests – including morning waffles and parfaits.
    “This mud-laden, moss-covered, murky-watered oasis is a perfectly snug spot to escape from village life and embrace the beauty of nature,” Airbnb said.
    The home has a bare-earth floorThe company will make a one-time donation to the HopScotch Children’s Charity as part of the project.
    Airbnb also recently helped Ken rent out Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse and listed a 1970s wood cabin located in the iconic Sea Ranch development in California.
    The photography is courtesy of Alix McIntosh.

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    Yama fishmonger in Tel Aviv was designed to display fish “like jewels”

    Israeli architecture studio Baranowitz and Goldberg Architects has created Yama, a fishmonger in Tel Aviv with a sculptural interior that was informed by jewellery stores.

    The studio completely renovated the space, adding a sculpted ceiling that was designed to “create a ship-bottom-like formation” to underline the connection to the sea.
    Yama is located in Tel Aviv’s Florentin areaYama – which was named after yam, the Hebrew word for ocean – features a display area for showcasing fresh fish as well as prepackaged ready-to-cook dishes made by its owner, chef Yuval Ben Neriah.
    The display counters were designed to resemble the shape of a fin and have an all-white finish that contrasts with the fishmonger’s colourful walls.
    A red refrigerator holds drawers full of fishFor one wall, Baranowitz and Goldberg Architects created a bespoke clay-red drawer refrigerator that holds prepackaged goods.

    With the brief to “redefine the shopping experience that customers are accustomed to”, Baranowitz and Goldberg Architects designed the interior to emphasise the value of the product being sold.
    The fish is displayed like gems in a jewellery store”We suggested that rather than working with quantities and nonchalant arrangements of the product with the preparation of the fish being exposed, we wished to emphasize the values of the product within an elegant setting,” studio founders Irene Goldberg and Sigal Baranowitz told Dezeen.
    “It is this aspect of the carefully set display that promotes the value of what is presented, very much like jewels in a jewellery store.”
    Baranowitz and Goldberg Architects gave the fishmonger a sculptural ceilingSteel shelves in the same red hue as the refrigerated drawers hold delicatessen food that goes with the fish.
    The studio chose the colour palette to nod to the graffiti-covered walls in the surrounding area – the up-and-coming Florentin neighbourhood in southern Tel Aviv.

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    “The colour palette is light in its essence, consisting of white and warm grey,” Baranowitz and Goldberg Architects said. “It is only the drawer refrigerator and display shelves that bring in the deep and vivid colour of clay-red.”
    “The purpose of the colour was two-fold: to create an assertive and strong backdrop of the central island and to recall the vitality of the downtown neighbourhood it is located at, with its graffiti art walls and vibrant young population.”
    The red-and-white interior references the surrounding neighbourhoodDespite designing the store to have a high-end look, the studio used deliberately simple materials as a contrast.
    “To balance the experience and merge with the vivid alive-and-kicking neighbourhood the store is located in, the finishes and materials selected for the store are not particularly high-end,” Baranowitz and Goldberg said.
    The architects used simple materials for the interior”On the contrary, most of them are simple in their essence and consist of concrete flooring, plaster and paint-finished metal,” the duo added. “The heart of the store is constructed in stone to elevate the display of the fish specifically on the central island.”
    To further underline Yama’s connection with the ocean, Baranowitz and Goldberg Architects added a decorative coral motif to the door handle leading into the fishmonger.
    The studio said it always designs bespoke door handles for its projects since the entrance is “the beginning of the story”.
    The door handle was given a decorative detail”For Yama, which has a very clean and pared-back design, the door handle is the only part that was given a decorative motif,” Baranowitz and Goldberg Architects said.
    “We used the graphic design motif that was developed by Anaba studio for all the packages in the fish shop,” the studio added.
    “The graphic element reminds [us of] elements from the sea, coral reef indeed, which also reminds us of seawater. We like to combine existing elements, it is part of a story of the place.”
    Other recent Tel Aviv projects include an indoor playground with tree-like columns and a pair of apartments with trees growing through the facade.
    The photography is by Amit Giron.
    Project credits:
    Architects: Irene Goldberg and Sigal BaranowitzLighting design: Orly Avron AlkabesStone Work: Fervital

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    Għallis exhibition suggests alternative to Malta’s “unstoppable trajectory of hyper-development”

    Valentino Architects and curator Ann Dingli have presented a proposal to retrofit a historic fortification at the Venice Architecture Biennale to suggest alternative methods of conservation in the face of Malta’s rapid development.

    Curated by Dingli, the small-scale exhibition was part of the Time Space Existence showcase and featured an abstracted plan to retrofit the 17th-century watchtower on the north-eastern shore of Malta.
    The Għallis exhibition was presented at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Photo by Luca Zarb”The Għallis watchtower in isolation is not remarkably significant – it’s been vacant for years,” Dingli told Dezeen. “But it belongs to a network of micro-fortifications that were built along the edge of the islands in the 17th century and tell a part of the islands’ wider military story.”
    “Today the tower is a marker along the coast and not much more,” she continued. “The point of the exhibition is to re-charge its significance by introducing new usability and graduating it from just a visual landmark to a habitable space.”
    It focused on an abstracted plan to retrofit the 17th-century watchtowerWith its proposal, the team suggests changing the use of the building to create a multi-use structure that can be utilised in numerous ways.

    “The design reverses the exclusive nature of the tower – conceived as a fortress designed to keep people out – to an inclusive building that invites people in,” explained Valentino Architects.
    “Its programme is flexible, adapting to three permutations that allow for varying degrees of private use and public access.”
    The team proposed renovating the towerThe tower was showcased at the biennale to draw attention to a wider issue facing Malta – the commercialisation of its historic buildings.
    The team aimed to demonstrate that historic buildings could be converted into useable structures rather than being restored as empty monuments.
    The Għallis tower was the focus of the exhibition. Photo by Alex Attard”Heritage architecture in Malta has a strong focus on preservation of building fabric and less so on functional innovation,” said Dingli.
    “This means heritage buildings very often serve one programme – usually as museums of themselves or as institutional buildings – and as a result become inaccessible or redundant to everyday use,” she continued.
    “This design moves away from heritage as a product and towards heritage as useful space.”

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    The team hopes that the exhibition will draw attention to the rapid development of Malta, which it says is happening at the expense of the country’s existing buildings.
    “The islands are on a seemingly unstoppable trajectory of hyper-development,” explained Dingli. “Malta is the most densely populated country in the EU, and one of the most densely populated countries in the world.”
    “Its built environment hasn’t met this intensity with the right blend of retrofit and newbuild development – the former exists in extreme scarcity, despite a huge stock of existing building fabric crying out to be re-used in smarter ways,” she continued.
    The team proposed turning into a multi-use spaceAlthough the exhibition focuses on a historic fortification, the team believes that prioritising reuse over rebuilding should be implemented across the country.
    “The argument for conservation needs to be extended to any form of building stock, not just heritage buildings,” explained Valentino Architects.
    “Demolishing existing buildings to make way for new ones is almost never sustainable,” they continued. “When there is no alternative but to remove a building, we need to advocate for dismantling as opposed to demolishing.”
    “Materials such as Malta’s local yellow limestone – which has traditionally carved out the architectural identity of our island – is a finite resource that needs to be both protected and used,” they added.
    Alongside the Għallis exhibition, the Time Space Existence show presented work by architects, designers and artists from 52 different countries in venues across the city. These included a tea house made from food waste and a concrete emergency housing prototype developed by the Norman Foster Foundation and Holcim.
    The photography is by Federico Vespignani.
    Time Space Existence takes place from 20 May to 26 November 2023 at various locations across Venice, Italy. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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    Chair of Virtue presents experimental seating at London Design Festival

    Digitally shrink-wrapped skin, armrests salvaged from parks and “frozen” resin featured in Prototype/In Process, an exhibition of seating presented by virtual magazine Chair of Virtue during London Design Festival.

    Displayed under a railway arch at Borough Yards, Prototype/In Process was made up of 1:1 scale prototypes of chairs, as well as chairs that are still works in progress, by 12 London-based designers who are either established or emerging in their field.
    Prototype/In Process features a chair by Sara Afonso SternbergSara Afonso Sternberg presented sculptural aluminium seating made of armrests salvaged from the middle of public benches in Camberwell. The armrests were originally created to make it difficult for homeless people to sleep or rest on the benches.
    “These objects are given a new form and use, inviting the public to critically engage with control mechanisms such as hostile architecture that permeate the urban landscape,” said Afonso Sternberg.
    Jesse Butterfield created a “frozen” resin pieceAnother piece on display was by Jesse Butterfield. The designer used vacuum infusion, draping and papier-mâché to create a chair covered in resin that was intended to appear “frozen”.

    Various methods of production were showcasedthroughout the show. Daniel Widrig used 3D printing to digitally shrink-wrap a rectangular chair with polylactic acid, a starch-based bioplastic.
    Daniel Widrig used 3D printing for his pieceThe result is a grey-hued chair with an undulating form, which mirrors the shared style of previous blobby stools created by the designer.
    “Its contours mimic the gentle curves and natural irregularities of body tissue, forming intricate folds and wrinkles,” explained Widrig.

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    Thomas Wheller also used aluminium by folding a single piece of the material to create his chair, while Louis Gibson experimented with “regular” construction stock materials by creating casts from disused pipes.
    “I was interested in imagining how these parts could be used unconventionally,” said the designer.
    Thomas Wheller also worked with aluminium”With such large volumes, I was curious to create casts, and then evaluate the internal forms in a new light, and finally address the problem of reassembly,” added Gibson.
    “I chose plaster for the purpose of quick setting, I also felt it was in keeping with the world of builders’ merchants stock supplies.”
    Louis Gibson experimented with salvaged construction materialsWhile the exhibition concluded at the end of London Design Festival (LDF), Chair of Virtue is an ongoing project curated by Adam Maryniak.
    Prototype/In Process was on display on Dirty Lane as part of the annual festival’s Bankside Design District.
    Furniture created from the remains of a single car and a modular display system by Zaha Hadid Design were among the many other projects featured during LDF.
    The photography is courtesy of Chair of Virtue. 
    Prototype/In Process was on show as part of London Design Festival 2023 from 16 to 24 September 2023. See our London Design Festival 2023 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks that took place throughout the week.

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    USM Haller creates “techno-chic” Coperni retail space at Parisian shop-in-shop

    Parisian fashion brand Coperni has collaborated with Swiss furniture company USM Haller to create its first-ever boutique, a shop-in-shop at French department store Printemps Haussmann.

    The shop-in-shop, installed at Printemps Haussmann in Paris, marks Coperni’s first-ever physical retail location and will be replicated at London’s Selfridges store and China’s Duty Free Mall in Hainan Island.
    Coperni collaborated with Swiss furniture brand USMDescribed by Coperni’s co-founder as “techno-chic”, the interior is defined by its cubic, space-age-style look that was achieved by reinterpreting USM Haller’s cubic storage systems as tables, walls and display areas.
    The floor of the retail space was covered in Versailles parquet flooring, with each of the wooden floor panels separated by USM Haller’s silver tubing. This typically lines the corners and edges of its storage systems and furniture.
    USM reinterpreted its iconic modular storage systemsThe Versailles parquet flooring was chosen for its artisanal and timeless spirit that draws on Parisian craftsmanship, which Coperni said pays homage to its ethos as a brand.

    The use of USM Haller’s silver tubing within the Versailles parquet flooring system marks the first time that USM has adapted and reinterpreted its modular systems into a wooden material.

    Dress sprayed onto model on Coperni catwalk at Paris Fashion Week

    USM Hallers modular systems also form arch-shaped display units along the perimeter of the shop-in-shop, which were fitted with rails allowing Coperni’s ready-to-wear collection to be displayed.
    A display table constructed from larger cubic modules was placed at the centre of the space, while a wall behind was branded with the Coperni logo.
    It marks the first time USM used its silver tubing in a wooden systemIn 2022, Coperni’s Spring Summer 2023 show during Paris Fashion Week went viral for live spraying a dress onto the body of supermodel Bella Hadid using Fabrican’s sprayable liquid fibre.
    AMO recently created a terracruda-clad shop-in-shop for Parisian fashion brand Jacquemus in Selfridges, London, that was designed to have a “Provence atmosphere.”
    The photography is courtesy of Coperni.

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    Eight living rooms enhanced by decorative and striking art pieces

    For our latest lookbook, we have gathered eight examples of serene living rooms where well-curated artworks add a touch of creativity.

    Paintings, sculptures and other art pieces can add a more personal feel to interiors, as seen in these eight art-filled living rooms.
    While some have gone all in on the art, others chose just one or two signature pieces to create a creative atmosphere.
    Either way, smartly placed artworks can enhance an interior and give homes a more personal feel.
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring living rooms with cowhide rugs, monochrome interiors and basement apartments.

    Photo by Nicole FranzenAmagansett house, US, by Athena Calderone
    Plaster walls, marble details and linen fabric were used to decorate this renovated mid-century home in Long Island, New York.
    Owner and designer Athena Calderone also added plenty of sculptures and paintings to the interior, including in the living room where white artworks with playful textures and shapes add interest to the pale walls.
    Find out more about the Amangansett house ›
    Photo by Fran ParenteGale Apartment, Brazil, by Memola Estudio
    Brazilian studio Memola Estudio aimed to balance natural and industrial materials in this apartment in São Paulo, which has a double-height living room.
    The owners took advantage of the height to create a gallery wall on one side of the living room. Artworks also decorate an adjacent mosaic wall, giving the whole room a gallery-like feel.
    Find out more about Gale Apartment ›
    Photo by Salva LópezCasa Vasto, Spain, by Mesura
    Designed to be both an apartment and an art gallery, this home in a former factory in Barcelona features an exquisitely curated living and exhibition space.
    A large abstract blue-and-beige painting sits on top of a low bookshelf, which also displays a sculpture and multiple smaller paintings.
    Find out more about Casa Vasto ›
    Photo by Trevor Mein and Sharyn CairnsKew Residence, Australia, by John Wardle Architects
    A large contemporary painting in a bright green hue decorates the living room of this house in Melbourne, the home of architect John Wardle.
    Other artful details include playful side tables held up by mannequins, a sculptural wooden coffee table and numerous small vases and sculptures.
    Find out more about Kew Residence ›
    Photo by Olmo PeetersRiverside Tower, Belgium, by Studio Okami Architecten
    Located inside the brutalist Riverside Tower in Antwerp, this pared-back apartment has made a feature out of its original concrete structure.
    In the living room, the material is juxtaposed with a dark blue wall and a large painting in green and blue hues. Cosy leather sofas and green plants add a homely feel.
    Find out more about Riverside Tower ›
    Photo by Andrey Bezuglov and Maryan BereshLog cabin, Ukraine, by Balbek Bureau
    This house in Ukraine, a modern interpretation of a log cabin, features a number of striking and strategically placed artworks in the open-plan living room and dining room.
    Above the dining table hangs a large painting in a neo-expressionist style, integrating turquoise, white and pink to create an eye-catching focal point among the room’s more neutral colours.
    Find out more about the log cabin ›
    Photo by by Ingalls Photography and Mark Durling PhotographyMalibu Surf Shack, USA, by Kelly Wearstler 
    Designer Kelly Wearstler created Malibu Surf Shack, a renovated 1950s beachfront cottage, as a bohemian retreat for herself and her family.
    Its wood-clad living room has been enhanced by artworks in tonal colours that match the warm panelling, as well as tactile timber sculptures and geometric stone tables.
    Find out more about Malibu Surf Shack ›
    Photo by Giulio GhirardiParis apartment, France, by Rodolphe Parente
    This apartment in a Haussmann-era building in Paris was given a makeover by interior designer Rodolphe Parente.
    Parente played with contrasting materials and colour palettes in the apartment, which was designed around the owner’s “radical” art collection. In the living room, a framed photo print hangs on an otherwise empty wall overlooking two sculptural coffee tables.
    Find out more about the Paris apartment ›
    This is the latest in our lookbooks series, which provides visual inspiration from Dezeen’s archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks featuring living rooms with cowhide rugs, monochrome interiors and basement apartments.

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