Spacious Modern Home Providing Freedom of Movement

We may not all live in the beautiful surroundings of rural Quebec in Canada, but we can still draw inspiration and ideas from what one Canadian family did to up sticks and move into the woods, aided and abetted by Gestion René Desjardins, the much-admired Canadian architecture and interior design studio.
Maison du Boisé is a modern home in the middle of the woods. The family asked the designers for a home that would be modern, without being too austere and minimalistic. They also wanted a space that provided freedom of movement for their three children.
The end result is something functional yet fun. High coffered ceilings were a must to recall classical architecture, while grand theatrical openings in the passage area, plus matt-white floor level mouldings underneath silk-grey walls shout elegance and harmony.
Being in a woodland setting, the last thing you want is small stingy windows, so the designers went for wide tall windows, enabling the family to relax and gaze out on the tranquil atmosphere of the natural trees and plants outside.
After gathering ideas and suggestions, the designers managed to create a fun place, offering “fluid circulation for joyful fun of all kinds”. The theatrical high ceilings remind us of the classical architecture where grand means gorgeous. The designers explain: “Reinterpreted from a modern perspective, the coffered ceilings, theatrical openings in the passages and wide matt-white mouldings running along the base of the silk-grey walls combine to create a sense of elegance and harmony, but, surprisingly they bring comfort, too.” Wide windows complete the décor, showcasing the beautiful green site, inviting you to relax, enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and explore the surroundings. But as you look out on the wonder of nature turn your eyes upward and you’ll see gorgeous spherical chandeliers that adorn the living room and the dining room. An excellent juxtaposition of a man-made internal sumptuous setting with an external natural beauty of nature.
The house and internal décor was designed with the children in mind: The designers asked “What does a child need to feel at home?” The answer was freedom of movement! This was achieved through having large spaces, fluid circulation and a lack of doors, for the fun to flow from area to area without confinement. The living room can easily become a play room, with Italian sofas ideal for childish capers and romps and for the youngest baby- a rocking chair for Mum to breastfeed and relax totally. From the start, it was understood that life in this house would minimize restrictions and allow for lots of play and laughter for both the parents and the children.
The double-height space of the living room is swamped in light from a glazed bay, which also serves the mezzanine floor leading to the bedrooms. At night when the electric drapes draw closed, and the windows become a screen for shadows from the back-lit trees outside producing fascinating natural moving shapes like a continual video silhouette show.
In the bathroom, there are frosted glass partitions which conceal the toilets. The shower uses Grigio Fior di Pesco marble, and in the kitchen a mosaic in hard-candy stripes (Bisazza) creates a sparkling confusion around its anthracite-lacquered wood kitchen cabinets, granite and stainless steel.
The interior décor is complimented with some carefully chosen paintings that add to the youthfulness and fun of the house; paintings that will be admired by the adults and appreciated by the kids!

Sculptural Oak Sofa Table Inspiring Daily Balance by Sandro Lopez

Sandro Lopez is just 28 and started working in this business 3 years ago. He is living embodiment to the statement that you can become a good designer at any age- you don’t need decades of tutoring, mentoring and experience. Lopez was the designer who created the sculptural Oak Sofa Table, a mature and elegant project that was unveiled at Milan Design Week 2014 . The table has a sturdy and curving wooden base which contrasts with the simplicity of the glass top, forming a beautiful furniture piece that is destined to become iconic. Like all the best modern architecture, furniture and sculpture, each point of view allows the viewer to discover a new take; a new version of the table, amplifying the “surprise” factor.
The unusual composition of identical and yet apparently conflicting geometries is the simple concept that gave birth to this cool and sophisticated design. The sculptural base or trunk touches both the table top and the ground on three carefully chosen points creating an appealing balance which gives the design a light feel, despite being made of from oak or beech veneer. With its 12 mm glass top, the table is made from certified wood and crafted entirely in Italy. The table is available in cream, dark brown and natural wood finishes. Its design will fit in to a variety of modern interior schemes. But in its natural wood finish, it can grace a more traditional older style room, even a cottage interior, and not look out of place.
The designer is quite clearly much more than a furniture-maker. Lopez has created the table design through a journey. From design inception to production, then from communication to distribution.
Lopez thinks of himself as a bit of a “natural”. Design came naturally to him and he has said that he had no doubts that this was to be his calling. The evidence of this is clear to see in that he is already designing sophisticated and mature pieces that might normally be expected to come later in a design career.
The things that inspire Lopez are many, but all credible and understandable- people, nature, things, events, places, his memories and his dreams. The types of design Lopez is interested in spans much more than furniture. With his talent it is unlikely that he is going to pigeon-holed anywhere.
As an example of his freedom of spirit and creativity, he was asked that if she had no constraints in terms of money and resources, what would she create? His answer was surprising and not one anyone could have predicted: To replace cars forever! His dream project would be to design a 2 person vehicle for traveling short distances, with a small storage space. It would weigh a mere 40 Kg, and have a max speed of around 35 mph. The fuel would have to be renewable energy- no nasty carbon-producing petrols or gasses here!
Given his flair for design, I would love Lopez to draw up some sketches of what his green concept car might look like! In the meantime we can have some of his talent in our own homes in the form of the sculptural Oak Sofa Table.