A Cape Town House on the Foot of a Mountain

A Cape Town House on the Foot of a Mountain

Situated at the foot of a mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, House Sealion was designed by Greg Wright Architects for entertainment with large open spaces that lead out to the pool. The plot of land proved challenging as the mountains are on one side and the ocean is on the other, making it both views an important part of the plan.

Privacy was another focus, as the neighbors were in close proximity, which meant dividing the main volumes with the help of internal courtyards.

The main staircase is housed in a double volume space with large glass windows that continue onto the ceiling for mountain views.

Laser cut screens offer privacy for the homeowners while becoming an artistic focal point on the exterior.

Just past the staircase is a private courtyard with a water feature and lots of greenery.

The main living space opens up to the swimming pool that overlooks the ocean.

The second floor master bedroom has its own private terrace with views of both the mountains and ocean.

via http://design-milk.com/

United Arrows & Sons x SearchNDesign Launch The Bifida Sneaker

United Arrows & Sons x SearchNDesign Launch The Bifida Sneaker

Japanese brand United Arrows & Sons partnered with Italian design group SearchNDesign to launch a brand new sneaker with a split toe. The Bifida was inspired by traditional Japanese socks, called ‘tabi’, that date back 1200 years ago during the Heian period. Merging modern Japanese street culture while respecting the past, these white leather tennis shoes mark a new concept in contemporary fashion.

The collaboration began last year when United Arrows & Sons’ iconic Creative Director Poggy met up with SearchNDesign’s team in Florence, resulting in a fashion fusion of Japanese and Italian cultures.

The shoe is made by hand in Italy in white leather with a contrasting heel tab and will be available by the end of August in United Arrow & Sons stores throughout Japan and online at SearchNDesign’s store.


via http://design-milk.com/

House Milk BEFORE: Living Space Redesign with Emily Henderson

House Milk BEFORE: Living Space Redesign with Emily Henderson

Yep, I’ve gotten myself into another internet makeover/redesign. Actually this one has been going on behind the scenes for ALMOST A YEAR. This is real life design, not a 2-day TV makeover. Emily Henderson and I got to talking last year about my new house (which isn’t so new anymore). I told her that I brought some pieces to CA, then quickly purchased a few pieces for the space right when we moved in so we could entertain, but I wasn’t happy and needed help. The space is an open floor plan that has both a main living area and dining room. It’s a space that needed both division and cohesion. I’m not a designer, and I have no time (or talent… or vision!) to make this space what it needed to be.

She agreed to take it on and approached the project like an e-design, since we don’t live in the same city but we’re close enough that her team can come down to San Diego and style and shoot the space when it’s complete. I owe her about a million high fives, because I am not an easy client. Being a design writer and editor, I’m fickle and picky… I change my mind depending on the day. My first request: no blue. Nothing against blue, it’s just not my thing. She uses blue in nearly all of her designs, so I thought she might tell me to hit the road, but she accepted the challenge and put me in direct contact with the designer who would take the lead: Melanie Burstin. Melanie, Emily, EHD designer Ginny MacDonald, and I proceeded to engage in an email storm of ideas, links, and photos. For months, Mel and I went back and forth. I know they went above and beyond what they would normally put up with to make this come together, and I appreciated their willingness to be flexible and her determination to make me (the client) happy.

We had a lot of setbacks: not being able to find the right out-of-the-box rug or coffee table, things not being in stock, delayed shipments, incorrect items, stuff that was the wrong size, pickups and deliveries, and lots more fun stuff. They don’t really tell you this on makeover shows, and sometimes designers will hide it all from you but believe me—interior design is a tough business that consists mostly of project managing and Plan Bs. Kudos to those of you who deal with these issues daily—your customers should thank you twice and buy you a stellar bottle of wine in the end!

OK so I bet you’re wondering where we’re at after a year of designing! Well, we shot the space this week and will be revealing it very soon here and on Emily’s blog. In the meantime, I thought you might want to see the before pics and the designs we finally settled on. To see ALL the crazy options we went through first, definitely go read Emily’s blog post about it, complete with animated gifs!

Here are the “before” shots (that I didn’t anticipate sharing online but here they are in all their dark, low-quality, mish mash, messy glory):

And here are some of the inspirational photos that I provided via Pinterest—mostly Scandinavian design, pastel colors, geometric graphic accents, and light woods… which surprised even myself. If you follow my personal Instagram, or have seen my artwork, then you know that 1) I love anything graphic in black and white, especially stripes and 2) I love pink (not just “millennial pink… I do not discriminate when it comes to pink!) and 3) I am no longer afraid of color or pattern (after spending my whole life afraid of them!)

After what felt like a million options, here is the final concept that Melanie came up with that we approved. All of these items are in my living room RIGHT NOW! You’ll have to wait for the final reveal for all the juicy product and source details… and the stories behind why we chose what we did. Plus, you will get the scoop on our curtain snafu, a sofa dilemma and a crazy coffee table conundrum. There was never a dull moment!

Living Room final concept design

As for the dining room, which is totally open to the living area, we needed something that complemented the living space. I already had a chandelier and a dining table that I did not want to part with, so Mel worked with me to make sure I could keep these pieces.

We waited months to get the chairs we had our heart set on, had a tough time landing on a rug so we ended up having one custom made from Armadillo & Co—more on all that coming up in the next post!

Dining Room final concept design

Tune in for the result, coming up soon! In the meantime, read more over on Emily’s blog.

via http://design-milk.com/

Cadillac Brings VR Showrooms Ever Closer to Reality

Cadillac Brings VR Showrooms Ever Closer to Reality

Imagine this: you walk into a car dealership knowing exactly which car model you want, but not exactly the package and options you’d like to add to your eventual purchase. It’s not an uncommon problem, knowing the general, but not the specifics. Currently potential customers have to settle for 2-dimensional online “build this car” previews, request a catalog to thumb through, or visit the dealership in hopes of matching dreams with in-stock reality. Cadillac is envisioning answering the question, “Can I get that option with this package?” not with vague and generalized descriptions available today, but with virtual showrooms of tomorrow presenting buyers the ability to build, customize, and view their car in detailed 3-dimensions.

It was at the opening of the Letters To Andy Warhol exhibition at the Cadillac House Munich last month where a small group of guests – including Design Milk – were invited to preview the luxury American automaker’s vision of the auto purchasing experience: Cadillac VR.

Cadillac endeavors to usher in an entirely different experience that doesn’t rely upon vehicle stock on hand – or even dealership location, for that matter. Available models, finishes, and options are to be explored anywhere utilizing specially programmed HTC Vive virtual reality headsets in lieu (or at least in supplement) of physical location or inventory. With a headset on and controller in hand, customers will soon be invited to peruse and pick any vehicle from the Cadillac line up inside a virtual architectural showroom, then dive into the entire list of customization options to add and inspect instantly. Once completed, the VR technology permits a detailed walk/fly/zoom around the vehicle, inside and out (this even includes the ability to compare finishes and colors at different times of the day).

Cadillac reps made it clear that although the Cadillac VR system has progressed for demonstration purposes, there were still plenty of opportunities to fine tune the experience before customers (and equipped dealerships) are able to get their hands on the VR units. A “coming soon” beta.

We spoke with Lesley Ma, Cadillac Global CIO, to elaborate further on Cadillac’s plans to integrate the emerging technology of virtual reality into the car purchasing experience:

Design Milk: What exactly should someone walking through the doors of a Cadillac VR equipped dealership expect?

A customer will be greeted with the entire Cadillac 2017 vehicle line-up, including all models, trims, and options available in the US market. The Cadillac in Virtual Reality experience will continue to evolve, with new products being added to the visualizer as they are launched in the coming years.

DM: Beyond car building, will the Cadillac VR system offer any other unique experiences that a traditionally outfitted showroom cannot?

Cadillac builds exciting concept vehicles for our special motor shows and other events. Customers around the globe rarely have an opportunity to see one of these rare vehicles in person. This includes Cadillac racing vehicles. Leveraging the power of VR, we will bring that 3D visualization experience to those who visit our showrooms or events.

DM: Which VR hardware is being used in these virtual showrooms?

The “Visualizer” was built using the Unity development platform for HTC’s Vive headset. The Vive currently represents the highest fidelity image available. Our creative developer/production partner was a firm called ATM (All Things Media). In the future, a simplified version of the work will be available for other platforms, including mobile, tablets, etc.

DM: VR is still an emerging and quickly evolving technology…any concerns about obsolescence?

As technology innovations evolve with better head-mounted gear and user interfaces, we’ll upgrade accordingly, allowing customers  to interact and immerse themselves more effortlessly in the full range of our vehicles and be able to enjoy looking at the details of our precision craftsmanship and engineering.

DM: The average customer comes into a dealership to physically inspect before purchasing…literally and figuratively kicking the tires, so to speak. How immersive of an experience should customers expect using the VR headset? Is every compartment, door, and window accessible virtually as they are in real life?

Customers will be able to inspect all trims and options (including wheels, lights, interior colors and materials) available in the US market today. With each new release, we will build more animations and interactions to improve the full visualization experience.

The goal is to present the Cadillac vehicles in an elegant setting encapsulating the brand values. The sleek digital space was designed by the Architectural firm Gensler, who designed Cadillac HQ and Cadillac House. The view out the windows is NYC as seen from our Global headquarters.

DM: Virtual reality is currently still solely a visual experience, but a car is the sum of all our senses. Will Cadillac dealerships have a selection of support material option samples on hand for customers to supplement their VR experience?

Cadillac dealerships do, and will likely continue to have, material option samples on display in their showrooms.

This is in no way meant to replace a dealership or showroom experience, but rather it is a modern way to view, explore and engage with the vehicles, and the brand. All new build dealerships have a mandated footprint and planning to include VR.

Cadillac spearheads General Motors dive into VR-enhanced customer experience, but don’t be surprised to see it emerge in promotion of their other prestige vehicles such as the Corvette.

DM: What would you say was the biggest challenge for the VR development team while designing a newly imagined inspection process in relation and comparison to the traditional car purchasing experience?

The shopping journey of customers is changing rapidly across all industries. The automotive consumer is doing online research and very often making a purchase decision before even stepping into a physical showroom. At Cadillac, we are investing in our digital tools to help guide and inform consumers in a way that can immerse them in our products. We believe that whether the consumer is early or late in the shopping journey, we need to focus a positive digital experience coupled with a superior showroom experience.

Although VR is a technology known well in the gaming industry, applying it in other industries as a consumer tool is fairly new. Our biggest technical challenge was to achieve the level of image fidelity that would best showcase our product, and we continue to explore technical solutions that will evolve these efforts.

via http://design-milk.com/

Chilewich Debuts Its Fall/Winter 2017 Collection and a Special Limited Edition Collection

Chilewich Debuts Its Fall/Winter 2017 Collection and a Special Limited Edition Collection

Earlier this week, you saw a glimpse at how Chilewich crafts their unique line of textiles and now you can see some of their latest collection. If your home is lacking in colors, patterns and textures, you might want to add a pinch of their offerings. The textile brand’s Fall/Winter 2017 collection features a new yarn concept called slub that will give your tabletops a beautiful ombré effect. The brand also debuted a Chilewich EDITIONS collection that are only available in limited quantities.

There are five new collections for the table: Current, Dash, Jewel, Ombré and The Modern.

Current is inspired by the movement of flowing water, which is evident in the pattern lines and colors.

Dash is a jacquard weave inspired by the lines of stitching found in traditional Japanese Sashiko designs.

Jewel uses the brand’s new slub yarn which gives the textiles a rippled moiré effect.

Ombré uses Chilewich’s bi-color yarns to create a graduated change in colors.

The Modern isn’t made of textiles but is instead made of a vinyl that’s been molded into a mesh of geometric shapes.

Last but not least, the Chilewich EDITIONS collection is a series of products that will be produced in limited runs for the designer with a more particular style. The first in the new series is Blocks, which consists of saturated blocks of color on a black textile surface.

To shop the collections, visit chilewich.com.

via http://design-milk.com/

Friday Five with Grant Kirkpatrick

Friday Five with Grant Kirkpatrick

Born and raised in Palos Verdes, California native Grant Kirkpatrick now calls Manhattan Beach home where he heads up KAA Design, the firm he started 25 years ago. After graduating from USC with a Bachelor of Architecture degree, Kirkpatrick became a licensed architect at the age of 24, before going on to found his award-winning firm in 1988. While they’ve completed projects for Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hugo Boss stores, Christie’s auction house, the Santa Monica Beach Club, and more, they now focus on contemporary residential design exclusively. In his spare time, Kirkpatrick teaches and lectures on Southern California residential architecture, along with devoting time to various community organizations. When it’s time to get away, he heads with his family to his vineyard in Central California. This Friday Five takes a look at some of the things this busy architect loves.

Lake Nacimiento on Split Rock Ranch by Grant Kirkpatrick

1. Lakes
My wife and I were both fortunate to spend our childhood summers on a lake. I think it left a legacy of peace and serenity that I find in lakes everywhere.

Photo by Manolo Langis

2. Concrete
The search for integrity in the design and building process is paramount. Construction methods and materials are constantly analyzed for their honesty in both respects and, as such, the process of formed concrete as an exposed building material finds its way into much of what we do. Respected for its strength and performance in an active seismic climate, it is equally appreciated for its ability to set a contrasting stage for warmer, more expected counterparts such as fine woods, excavated stone, and integral color plaster. Mostly, it gives us a sense of permanence and calm.

Photo courtesy of Grant Kirkpatrick

3. Chevy Camaro
My 1967 RS Camaro Convertible. Blue on blue with a white top. I have always loved the lines on the first generation Camaro and when I saw this one online in Texas, I flew there with my son and drove it back on Route 66 with him for a week. We stopped at every Dairy Queen and never stayed in a motel over $50 a night.

Richard Diebencorn’s “Ocean Park” – courtesy of the Orange County Museum of Art

4. Richard Diebenkorn
The integrated architecture, landscape, and interior design were inspired by the work of celebrated artist Richard Diebenkorn whose work “connected blue, green, gray, and earthen colors and their proportions to sea and sky, and to natural and urban landscapes, placing the artist in his latest Ocean Park phase as part of a continuing tradition of artists influenced by the landscape of Southern California.” Ocean Park paintings are condensations of a career-long probing of historic modernism and as such, the home is an abstract, three-dimensional probing of California Modernism that not only pays tribute to Diebenkorn and his associated homages to Matisse, Rothko and Mondrian, but also to California’s early California Modernist architects including Rudolf Schindler, Richard Neutra, and their mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Nolli Map of Rome by Giambatista Nolli

5. Maps
I have collected maps since I was a kid. One of my favorites is the Nolli Map of Rome by Giambatista Nolli of 1748. I have a serigraph copy of all 12 plates. I am not entirely sure what intoxicates me about virtually every map I see – I have to believe it is the collected sense of history, of journey and destination, of untold amounts of effort. But likely it comes down to the seduction of texture.

via http://design-milk.com/

Get Ready and Get Organized for Back-To-School!

It’s August which means it’s time for students to be heading back to school. Starting a new year, especially in college, can be daunting so you definitely want to make sure you’re prepared, and more importantly, organized. To help out, we rounded up ten must-haves for those students heading off to campuses worldwide.

Get Ready and Get Organized for Back-To-School!

1. Urbio Happy Family Kit 2. Poppin Super Stacked Bundle 3. Golden Ratio Finder by Parsons and Charlesworth for Areaware 4. LED Task Lamp from Modern by Dwell Magazine 5. Colorblock Gel Pen Set by Poketo 6. Pantone Chip Drive USB Flash Drive 7. 2018 Leather Ardium Light Planner 8. To-Do Adhesive Notes by Russell and Hazel 9. Rundle Backpack from Herschel Supply Company 10. Black White Grid Laptop Sleeve by Beautiful Homes for Society6

via http://design-milk.com/