Tag Archives: living

Beautiful ánd sustainable – Mosaic Decocos tiles made from coconut shells!


Just as I was looking for a special way to treat two walls in a design for an office, I came across Decocos’ tiles. Little mosaic tiles made from residual waste from the coconut processing industry. The unused shell of the actual nut is sawn into tiny ’tiles’. Both inside and outside can be used and create a spectacular wall feature certain to deliver a wow factor.

 

Decocos Edge tiles / Foto: Castillo Foto voor Vega Projects

Decocos Edge tiles / Foto: Castillo Foto voor Vega Projects

100% ecological and sustainable
Because the shell is normally disposed off as waste, Decocos tiles are truly sustainable. Not only did they find a purpose for the shells, but the production of the tiles creates jobs and income for the local community in Vietnam. Because the source of the tiles, the nut, is so natural, the tiles have the same characteristics as wood. This means none of them are the exact same size of texture, and they often show little imperfections or even the fibres tat are so typical for the shell of the coconut. This actually enhances the natural sensation of the wall and gives it a chique and rich look.

 

Inside Out Decocos tile / foto: Castillo Foto voor Vega Projects

Inside Out Decocos tile / foto: Castillo Foto voor Vega Projects

End Strip Decocos tile

End Strip Decocos tile

Inside Out Decocos tile in Coral wassing

Inside Out Decocos tile in Coral wassing

Caré light Decocos tile

Caré light Decocos tile

The tiles come in a variety of finishes, textures and can be finished further with various laques or oils. They can even be dyed in several colours from coral to rich purple ti fit every home or interior. Check out decocos.com for more information.

Edge Decocos tile

Edge Decocos tile

The smallest apartments in Amsterdam


A top three of teeny-tiny apartments in the Amsterdam real estate market.

1. 16m2 / 172 ft2, right on the canal

This very compact refurbished studio apartment on Amsterdam’s posh Prinsengracht offers all you need. A new kitchen with basic appliances, a small freshly retiled bathroom with shower, toilet and vanity. The roof is sloped,further limiting the available floor space. But it has its charm, and I can imagine the view, once one sticks their head out of the window, is quite nice. The studio is in the front of the building, so canal side. It was on the market for €120.000 / $162.000. That’s €7500 per m2 / $942 per ft 2, which is quite steep even for Amsterdam standards. But it sold within 4 months.

A tiny studio right on an Amsterdam canal

A tiny studio right on an Amsterdam canal

Refurbished and move-in ready

Refurbished and move-in ready

2. 22 m2 / 237 ft 2, again on the same canal

Funny enough the second smallest apartment is not far from the previous one. Again, this tiny studio is in a very characteristic and typical Amsterdam building on the canal. However, this apartment is not as refurbished as the other one, and the kitchen leaves a lot more to desire. But it does have double doors opening to a French balcony and I guess it’s bigger. The apartment faces the garden in the back, so no canal view. A big bonus is a storage room on the ground floor and access to a communal garden. This one was on the market for €129.000 / $174.400 and sold in a bit over 4 months. The price per m2 / ft 2 of €5864 / $736 didn’t scare potential buyers.

Another studio on one of Amsterdam's famous canals

Another studio on one of Amsterdam’s famous canals

French doors leading to a French balcony facing the communal gardens

French doors leading to a French balcony facing the communal gardens

View to the gardens in the back. The owner of this studio has shared use of the garden

View to the gardens in the back. The owner of this studio has shared use of the garden

3. A 23 m2 / 248 ft 2 studio with balcony overlooking a canal in up and coming Amsterdam West

This building is a bit of a landmark. It’s right along a canal by a working drawbridge, so many of Amsterdam’s inhabitants have seen it while waiting for passing boats. It’s in a part of town that was not really desirable up until a few years back. Since then, many people have ventured that way for its cheap real estate, and its proximity to the more popular parts of the city. This brought in new shops, bars and restaurants and in turn caused a fast rise in prices and a shift in the area’s popularity. That makes the price of €89.000 / $120.000 surprising.  Only since the crunch have prices dropped slightly below €100.000 for the smallest of places in lesser areas. The owner must have been going for a quick sale. Like the other, this one sold in a little over 4 months. Surprising because flats in this building tend to sell faster. Especially considering this is one of the few with a balcony. Only the first and top floor units have these. The apartment consists of a small living/bedroom, a separate kitchen, nice when you only have one room, and a small bathroom. There are a few built-in closets. The view is quite spectacular. And there’s a shared garden, laundry facilities, private storage and a communal bike storage. The building itself is an architectural gem so all in all a very good deal for €3870 per m2 / $484 ft 2.

The 'Geuzenflat' overlooks a working drawbridge in one of Amsterdam's newer canals.

The nicknamed ‘Geuzenflat’ overlooks a working drawbridge in one of Amsterdam’s newer canals.

The building's official name is Oranjehof, and is listed as a monument

The building’s official name is Oranjehof, and is listed as a monument

The door leads to a balcony overlooking the canal

The door leads to a balcony overlooking the canal

 

Public toilets turned into architect’s dream home


Well, your initial thought might be what I was thinking too. No matter how cool this house is going to look, I am not sure if I could ever live in what was once a public restroom. But London-based architect Laura Clark went for it and after long legal battles bought the old restroom from the local council, and revamped the space into her dream home.

The place before. Now there are some original features you might want to get rid of instead of preserving……
image source: telegraph.co.uk

The place after. I am beginning to see what she was thinking
image source: telegraph.co.uk

The garden is where the stairs to the ladies restrooms were. The entry to the men’s is now her front door.
image source: telegraph.co.uk

The flat has no windows, only roof lights. But it still seems bright and airy. I really hope she managed to get rid of any lingering odour though. All in all I am impressed with her pezzaz, or chutzpah if you will, but am not sure I would call it worth it. To be honest, I find the decor a bit dull.

Read the whole story here.

Soucre: telegraph.co.uk

Great books about interior design, living and how to start a design business for knock-out prices!


Do you want tips on interior design? tips on decorating? Tips on how to start an interior design company? Looking for a great gift?

Have a look in the Homevoyeurs Webshop It’s worth it! Sure, it can do with a bit of a revamp, but that would mean an investment and then I would not be able to offer you guys these insane discounts! Below just a few examples of great gifts, treats, spoilers and must reads.

Frank Fontana’s Dirty Little Secrets of Design
$9.98

The Color Scheme Bible: Inspirational Palettes for Designing Home Interiors. By Anna Starmer $13.57

The Interior Design Sourcebook / Thomas L. Williams / $14.56

How to Start a Home-Based Interior Design Business / By Nita B. Phillips / $12.62

Nate Berkus’ show canceled


Bad news for fans of pretty guys and interior decorating. The Nate Berkus show is no more. Or, will be no more as Sony and Harpo decided to pull the plug on it. This was announced just before the new year, just after my post about Nate’s own home.

Nate got his lucky break as a regular guest advising on home decorating on the Oprah Winfrey Show.