Habitat | Living Spaces in shades of Caramel + Mint


Elements in Doug Aitken’s house in Venice, California, blur the line between inside and out.  “The goal was to create a warm, organic modernism that’s also perceptual and hallucinatory.”

Silk-screened walls mimic hedges growing outside the windows; the corner window is amazing.  Microphones integrated into the foundation of the house amplify the sounds of the moving earth and sea.  Stairs can be musically played as well as tables that alternate as sonic tables that can be played like a xylophone.  A kaleidoscopic staircase is constructed of angled mirrors, reflecting the sun’s movement illuminating the interiors.

photo credit: The New York Times

In an exclusive VIDEO produced by Gonzalo Amat for The New York Times, Aitken, with the help of his girlfriend Gemma Ponsa and a few of their friends, activate its more hidden charms, revealing that it’s a house that sounds as cool as it looks.

NY Times Style Magazine ↓

Acid Modernism: it’s an apt term to characterize a modest, functional home where the ground-floor walls and curtains have been silk-screened to simulate the hedges growing outside the windows, the sky-lighted staircase is lined with angled mirrors that turn the passage into a dazzling kaleidoscope and the light fixture that illuminates the vintage Western-Holly kitchen stove looks as if it’s wearing a toupee.  The toupee is actually a cluster of air plants, tropical ferns that feed off the moisture from Ponsa’s cooking.


An 18th-century flat in Barcelona finds new life at the hands of architects Benedetta Tagliabue and Enric Miralles of EMBT.  The dining room, with original tilework on the floors and walls, open to the backyard terrace.  Original restored structures and furniture such as a 1938 butterfly chair by Antonio Bonet, Juan Kurchan, and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, and a 1983 TMC floor lamp by Spanish designer Miguel Milá are complemented with modern elements.

photo credit: Gunnar Knechtel, via dwell

photo credit: Italian Country Living

photo credit: Anthropologie

The mid-20th century Eames House, aka Case Study House No. 8, will be the first monument of modern design to be restored by the Getty Conservation Institute.

photo credit: Eames Foundation

Green patina walls, painted murals, architectural moldings and octopus chandeliers paired with thrift and antique store furniture come together at the home of artist Adam Wallacavage.  Part Victorian, part Baroque and all Jack Cousteau.

Philadelphia Magazine

My inspiration: If the Addams Family, the Munsters and Pee-wee Herman lived in a castle by the sea.  It’s anti-modernist.


photo credit: Todd Selby for The Selby

photo credit: Michael Eastman

The Argentinian artist Pablo Piatti presents ‘Tropical Birds’ mural full of exotic birds and plants at the BOFFO Showhouse Reception; printed in collaboration with Tres Tintas Barcelona.

photo credit: Evan Joseph

Designed in 1969 by Paulo Mendes da Rocha, who went on to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2006, the Sao Paulo residence is a stellar example of Paulista, the local school of brutalism that he championed in the 1950’s and ’60’s.

photo credit: Filippo Banberghi/photofoyer, via Interior Design Magazine

This amazing place belongs to Maurizio Zucchi.  Concrete floors and white walls provide a perfect backdrop for plants and vintage pieces of furniture.

photo credit: Ideat Magazine, Jun 2011, via ELLE Korea

Kismet Tile by Tracey Reinberg is cement tile crafted according to traditional materials and methods but with bold, modern motifs.  Here, Hexagon #8 in Green Tonal with several Hot Orange accents is used in a garden in Ojai, California.

photo credit: Laure Joliet, via Kismet Tile

Mid-Century Danish modern furnishings meet Moroccan plasterwork in Riad El Fenn, a boutique hotel in Marrakesh.

photo credit: Patrick Cline, via Lonny Magazine; design: Riad El Fenn

photo credit: The Hill Plains House, Wolveridge Architects

photo credits: Gunnar Knechel, via dwell; Michael Eastman

Château de la Goujeonnerie was built in 1872 by the architect Arsene Charier in Loge Fougereuse, Vendee, France.  The table in the formal dining-room was once in a Paris library.  It is now painted and mirrored, surrounded by antique chairs covered in green mohair.  From the mirrored ceiling hang four identical chandeliers, a rare find from a church.

photo credit: Paul Raeside, via Les Trois Garçons

An eclectic mix of statement pieces: Zoffany Verdure wallpaper by Melissa White, BAU pendant light and Kartell Masters chairs by Philippe Starck.

photo credit: Heals AW/2012 collection

Author Emily Chalmer combines retro and flea-market style furniture in an array of colors and prints in her apartment living room.

Home of architect, interior designer and art dealer Colin Radcliffe and his partner, model Angela Dunn, pays homage to the class and brass of 1960s Hollywood. Gorgeous brown and gold Portoro marble basins can be found in the bathrooms.

photo credit: apartment of Emily Chalmers, via Marie Claire Maison; home of Colin Radcliffe, via Living Inside Spa

photo credits: Vintage record player, Moustache salt & pepper shaker, Miniature forest bookends

Living room: modern shapes and patterns paired with natural elements like wood and brick and a Marcel Wanders chair.

Bedroom: an iconic vintage Palm Springs home designed by architect William F. Cody and updated by architect Michael Haverlard.

photo credits: Lucas Allen, Architectural Digest France

Home of Chad Kouri and Margot Harrington.

photo credits: Brian Guido and Julia Stotz, via Design Sponge

photo credits: Patrizia sofa, via Anthropologie; Jurgen Lehl hand-carved stools

Amazing patterned marble flooring at Villa Planchart, a private home build in 1956 in Caracas, Venezuela; by designer Gio Ponti.

photo credits: Villa Planchard, via Casa VOGUE Brasil; Casa La Ricarda, by Antonio Bonet Castellana, via Mondo-Blogo

Serbian artist Draga Obradovic reupholsters one-of-a-kind vintage frames at her studio in Como, Italy. She uses her signature coated-cotton canvas fabric, layered with rich pigment then screen-printed and hand-distressed.

photo credit: Mathilde Sofa in Dots, by Draga Obradovic, via Anthropologie


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