Tastemaker’s Edit: designer Waris Ahluwalia

Excerpt via One Kings Lane

Curated by Waris Ahluwalia

He has collaborated with brands as diverse as the Gap and Gucci, acted in Wes Anderson films, and launched House of Waris sustainable tea blends. But above all, Waris Ahluwalia thinks of himself as a storyteller. A portion of the proceeds of his exclusive curation with One Kings Lane benefits the conservation organization Elephant Family. Shop the collection below, and learn more about Waris here.

Soicher Marin, Botanicals II
Waris Ahluwalia’s Favorites Gift Set

Teema Teapot, White
Large Brass Elephant Figure

Newport Armless Club Chair, Chocolate
Amelia 24×24 Pillow, Natural/Ochre/White
Villeroy & Boch Porcelain Coffee Pot

Faulkner Porch Swing, Black/White Sunbrella
Antique Indian Painting
Chatwin Rug, Blue/Coral
Night of Nights Tea
Chinese Daybed
Sweet Clarity Tea
Designer Blue & Ivory Sun & Stars Pillow
Osgood Pendant, Bronze
Hermes Unisex Oversize Toile Weekender
Quincy Premium Stripe Beach Tent, Blue

60″ Bird-of-Paradise Tree w/ Planter, Faux
3 Part Credenza/Buffet
Julien Slipper Chair
$1,595.00 – $1,750.00
Antique Mughal Indian Horse Painting
Elephant Friendly Black Tea with Canister
Yves Coffee Table, Gold

Samal Screen, Natural Rope
Leopard 20×20 Pillow, Blue/Multi
Immunity One Tea
Indonesian Teak Plantation Lounge Chair

Clark Sofa
Sunburst Quilt
Large Javanese Teak Wood Blanket Chest
Brass Peacock Wall Hooks
Claire 16×16 Disc Pillow, Prussian Blue Velvet

Lorena Bone Inlay Wall Mirror, Brown

Mindy Hand-Knotted Rug, Camel/Orange
$195.00 – $3,615.00
Asst. of 4 Vienne Tumblers, Clear/Multi

Aden 79″ Oval Dining Table, White
FIlamento Pendant, Natural
Millbrae Ottoman, Navy Velvet
Palm Frond 20×20 Pillow, Taupe Velvet
Ships free
$895.0025% off one item with SINGLE25

Travelers Palm w/ Black Planter, Faux
$899.00 – $1,299.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Entryway or White-Glove Delivery

Bamboo Bed, Natural
Entryway or White-Glove Delivery
Eucalyptus Pillowcase Set, Fog
$40.00 – $50.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Ships free

Hazel Bench
$645.00 – $795.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Minna Rattan Wall Sconce, Natural/Gold
$195.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Midcentury Beveled Glass Jewelry Box
Ships free
Deeba Sofa, Camel Leather
Entryway or White-Glove Delivery
As Collective, Hamsa
$100.0025% off one item with SINGLE25


Ships free

Nailed Sideboard, Warm Reflections
Entryway or White-Glove Delivery

Star Side Table, Ash/Clear
$495.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Entryway or White-Glove Delivery
Wilshire Teacup & Saucer



Ships free

Ready To Ship

Green Palm Frond 20×20 pillow, Green
Ships free

Gardner Rug, Navy/Slate
$1,145.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Shipping Method Varies
Scheana Floor Mirror, Natural Wood
$995.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Entryway or White-Glove Delivery

Ellsworth Canopy Bed, Natural Linen
$13,450.00 – $14,850.00
White-Glove Delivery
Black & White Elephant Family
$195.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Mina Side Table, Gold
$195.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Two-Handle Kettle Table Lamp, Iron
$660.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Taj Velvet Stool, Olive Velvet

Paradise 16×16 Silk Pillow, Orange / Multi
Ships free

6’0″x8’10” Kacey Hand-Knotted Rug, Rust
$2,595.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Helen Chaise, Cream Performance
Entryway or White-Glove Delivery
Georgina Wall Mirror, Dark Antique
Ships free

Ready To Ship

Bok Extension Dining Table, Oak
$4,210.00 – $4,730.00
Entryway or White-Glove Delivery
Gramercy Chandelier, Gilded Iron
Entryway or White-Glove Delivery

Brier Side Chair, Natural
$1,395.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Addison Pitcher, Amethyst
Jungle Mural Wallpaper, Gray/Green
Ships free

Asst. of 7 Due Ice Oro Serving Set, Gold
Ships free
Henry Sofa
$4,195.0025% off one item with SINGLE25
Entryway or White-Glove Delivery
Nassau 24×24 Pillow, Natural/Black/White
Padma Organic Wood Wall Mirror, Natural

David Weeks Oval Table Lamp, White
$209.50 $265.00
S/2 Magnolia Nesting Tables, Clear
Samson Outdoor Rug, Blue
$45.00 – $495.0025% off one item with SINGLE25

96″ Kentia Palm Tree w/ Black Vessel, Faux
Entryway or White-Glove Delivery


Cascata Chest, Dark Walnut
Mid Century Brass Flower Ashtray
Kayla Accent Chair & Ottoman Set, Ivory
Susan Hable, Allium
Extra Large Saharan Kilim Floor Pillow
Allison Oak Coffee Table, Off White
Hermès Red Enamel & Sterling Silver Ring

Maverick Ceiling Fan, Dark Walnut/Black
$770.00 – $1,030.00
S/2 Jet Set Luggage Tags, British Tan
Kofi 24″ Round Wall Mirror, Tan/Black
Bryn Ottoman, Palm Leopard Dusty Blue
Double Gourd Mini Vase, Sage Green
Camden Channel Bed, Natural/Cream
Lodi Fil Coupe Duvet Cover, Blue
$755.00 – $830.00
Swat Valley Primitive Pidda Low Chair
1000 Places To See Before You Die
Utopia Accent Table, Antique Gold
Desert House Vintage Kilim Sofa
Moroccan Leather Pouf, Brown

Dash 24×24 Pillow, Black/White

8 trending amenities that luxury buyers want

brown wooden table near swimming pool

The home has become the center of the universe for many of us during the pandemic. In 2021, and going into 2022, buyers are seeking unique amenities that make living and working from home exciting and comfortable. Here are a few.

Excerpt via Inman

T hroughout the pandemic, we have witnessed a huge shift when it comes to the amenities our clients prioritize when purchasing a home. The amenities that used to fall under the “would be great to have” category have now become nonnegotiable.

More than ever, the home has become the staycation, the office, the gym — you name it. In today’s world, home life is everything, and staying abreast of the latest and greatest amenities on the market is key. Here, we’ve outlined the amenities our clients are seeking when house-hunting in 2021 and 2022.

Are you a luxury home buyer or seller looking for the right-sized home in South Puget Sound or Souther California? Schedule a consultation call. We look forward to hearing from you!

1. Outdoor is king

While under lockdown, we have spent more and more time outdoors. The need for outdoor amenities has skyrocketed with buyers. From upgrading outdoor living and dining areas to installing state-of-the-art outdoor kitchens and barbecues, clients are hard-pressed on finding the perfect outdoor area for entertaining safely.

brown wooden table near swimming pool
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

A perfect example of this is a client of ours who installed a retractable roof at home to capitalize on the incredible Southern California weather and provide the ultimate indoor-outdoor experience.

2. Kid-friendly features

With everyone working from home and homeschooling becoming a part of everyday life, the desire for more kid-friendly amenities has increased exponentially.

From large playrooms and outdoor half courts that can be used for basketball, skating and scooter rides to incredible jungle gyms, sandboxes and swimming pools, having kid-approved amenities has never been more important.

3. Work-from-home spaces:

The home office has become the go-to amenity for homebuyers. Clients are seeking spacious and quiet office spaces that are ideal for working from home. Aesthetically pleasing rooms that double as beautiful Zoom backgrounds are also a priority.

brown and black office table and four black cantilever chairs
Photo by Damir Kopezhanov on Unsplash

4. Sporting areas

During the pandemic, buyers have taken up new hobbies — including sporting activities. From batting cages to basketball courts and indoor simulated putting greens, clients want to have these amenities accessible to them at home so they can work on their game whenever they choose.

5. Home gyms

With many fitness centers and gyms still closed or open with limited hours and capacity, buyers are seeking state-of-the-art home fitness spaces. From the latest Pilates equipment to expertly crafted weight rooms, fitness rooms have become very important to buyers in this market.

6. Salons

Luxury buyers have become accustomed to at-home salon visits, with nail technicians and masseuses going directly to them for regular grooming. We’ve witnessed buyers seeking built-in salon spaces they can dedicate to pampering themselves within the comforts of home.

7. Kitchens with storage

The kitchen is truly the heart of the home, and buyers are now seeking kitchens with extra-large pantries or adjoining storage rooms where they can keep their essentials stocked, should any shortages occur.

8. Sanitizing amenities

Sanitizing stations in mudrooms, air filtration systems throughout the home and even guesthouses that can be used for quarantine purposes have all become the new normal for buyers in this market.

Overall, the home has become the center of the universe for many of us during the pandemic. In 2021, buyers are seeking unique amenities that make living and working from home exciting and comfortable. We look forward to seeing how these client needs evolve as the market continues to progress throughout the year and beyond.


Five Key Trends for 2021 & Beyond: Lifestyle & Interiors

Excerpt via WGSN

Accelerating forward into 2021 and beyond, these are some of the overarching trends that will influence lifestyle and interiors, from digital colour and pets to reframing how consumers will interact with their furniture and spaces. When combined, these trends are all about a growing sense of digital-cozy that will develop in the coming decade

1. Back in the room

One of the long-term learnings from lockdown is that open-plan living quarters and airy lofts are far from ideal when multiple people are trying to work, live and play from the same space. Instead of taking walls down, architects will be asked to put them up and design separate rooms, with extra noise insulation.

Consumers will hack their own rooms within rooms using partitions, from homemade study and work cubicles to room dividers and decorative screens that provide visual separation from others.

Luxury will be having a room that does only one thing: a workout room, powder room, personal office, library and maybe even a room to host other people…




2. Cleaning with light

As hygiene has risen to the top of the agenda for consumers during the pandemic, the long-term need for sanitation stations at home will go further than soap and wet wipes.

Zapping germs and viruses with UV light is already happening in the public sphere – sanitising hospital floors and transport – but UV light remains dangerous to people. However, scientists have discovered a new type of Far-UVC and if further research demonstrates it could be harnessed safely, we will witness it moving into the home, evolving into gadgets that will give consumers a clean conscience, with all the wow effects of a lightsaber.

Moving on from the self-cleaning water bottles we have today, we will see decorative boxes and lamps where we can place our keys, phones and small objects for safekeeping and sterilisation. Our clothes will be stored in specialised wardrobes to be washed with light while we sleep. One day, we may enter homes and public spaces through UV light portals worthy of a science-fiction film – emerging not only clean, but with something of a halo effect. Light housekeeping at its finest.

3. Robot pets

To combat lockdown loneliness, consumers have sought out new companions: plants, pets and even robots.

With solo living on the rise, electronic companions are set to grow, providing social connection and someone to come home to, without any of the long-term commitment of a real furbaby.

Robots will increasingly become part of the family household, too, as consumers move from relating to their robot vacuum on a first-name basis to having a full-on robot friend at home who can balance writing shopping lists with keeping elderly parents company and supporting kids’ emotional wellbeing. For this reason, tech will be built with personality, with animators and psychologists brought on board to design character and empathy into machines, taking the human-robot relationship to the next level.

4. A.I. Aqua

It’s perhaps no surprise that our Colour of the Year is digitally friendly. Back in March 2019, with our sister brand Coloro, we forecast that A.I. Aqua would have key relevance in 2021. Our tech-inspired hero colour to watch (Coloro: 098-59-30) is a truly versatile shade. It can look simultaneously sporty and trend-forward, making it suitable for fashion and activewear, but is also a fresh take on blue that’s suitable for interiors and tech products.

A recent survey of the tones used on the world’s biggest websites found blue easily outstripped others, and shades of blue, which are used prominently in tech, are set to become more immersive and important. In a digital age when we’re able to curate our identities and our online personas are as important as our offline ones (if not more so), we expect this hue to resonate broadly with consumers and have strong appeal across all design categories and demographics.

5. The deconstructed sofa

Static sofas are so last decade. This year we’ll be seeing more flexible and completely deconstructible sofas. Each cushion able to live its best life as a pouf, a daybed or an imaginative pillow fort, depending on customer needs and whims.

Taking modular furniture to the next level, the Nugget sofa has saved many a family, with its soft, sleek and easily washable and interchangeable cushions in huggable geometric shapes that can be transformed in an instant into a pirate ship, a playground or even a Christmas tree. When kids prefer playing with a sofa to staring at a screen, you know the product has a bright future. Perfect for students, young families and conceptual artists. And also bringing a whole new meaning to couch surfing.

Everything You Need to Know About Designing an ADU

More time at home this year translated to more home renovation projects—including, for many, the addition of accessory dwelling units. So, how do they function?

“Up until a few years ago, ‘ADU’ was a term used mostly by architects, as part of their professional jargon. The acronym [accessory dwelling units] has only become part of the lexicon in the last year or so. Now, it seems as if everyone is designing, building, or dreaming about an ADU,” says Mary Maydan, founder and principal of San Francisco Bay area firm Maydan Architects.

“The rise in popularity of ADUs started before the pandemic.… [But] COVID-19 took this interest to a whole new level. After sheltering in place and working from home, we are all trying to fit a lot more functions into our homes. The possibility of having an additional structure in the backyard that can house a home office, a gym, or a hangout place for the family has made ADUs hugely attractive to almost everyone.”

Curious to know what the fuss is all about? Below, we break down everything you need to know about ADUs.

Has the pandemic made you rethink your living space? Click here for active homes with ADU’s in South Puget Sound

Interested in building your own ADU? Schedule a consultation call . We look forward to hearing from you!

What is an ADU?

An accessory dwelling unit is a fully functional living space that can fall into one of three categories:

  • Interior, within the primary residence and often is converted space in a basement or attic, for example.
  • Attached, built as an addition to the main house.
  • Detached, a separate standalone structure like a garage, shed, cottage, or carriage house.

“ADU is a very broad term and covers everything from temporary construction to backyard offices to lane houses and converted garages. The intended use has a major design and planning impact because things like plumbing, square footage, and foundation requirements add significant time and expense,” explains Robbie Friedman, cofounder of ootBox, a company that designs, builds, and fully equips 10-foot shipping containers, complete with turnkey furnishings. “If a user just wants a home office, they can probably get away without plumbing while staying under 120 square feet. If they want an in-law suite—or something that is technically habitable—it becomes an entirely different project.”

Friedman says now, 10 months into the pandemic, he’s seeing the greatest need for dedicated environments for remote learning and working from home. “Some have even brought their retail business home—such as hairstylists, tattoo artists, private practitioners, and others,” he notes. “We focus on providing 80-square-foot portable units that users can rent until their needs change.”

designing an ADU
An ADU by Palo Alto, California–based firm Maydan Architects /  Dave Edwards

How to create an ADU

ADUs may be the conversion of existing spaces or new builds, depending on the space available and the needs of the clients. Maydan says her clients are primarily interested in independent additions that are designed specifically for their needs and offer additional living space, although she does see a fair amount of converting garages, which is less expensive. “However,” she says, “converted garages do require a considerable upgrade. Often a project like this requires significant electrical work, as well as new systems, such as HVAC and plumbing.”

Christina Roughan, founder of Roughan Interiors in Weston, Connecticut, and New York, says: “A new build is typically the easiest to create as it’s our vision, with our clients’ intent, from start to finish. That being said, renovating an existing pool house to an office/kids’ space can be just as fun and turn into a spectacular functional interior.”

Jim Westover, residential practice leader at William Duff Architects in San Francisco, says his firm engages in both types of ADUs. “In dense urban areas like San Francisco, we are more likely to convert existing space—sometimes in a basement or an area behind a garage that lends itself well to being an ADU. In more suburban areas, it could be a conversion, addition, or independent new construction.”

Similarly, Ian Read of Oakland, California, firm Medium Plenty has experience with both conversions and new builds. “Many of the early projects were conversions, typically garages. Because the existing footprint of these structures were grandfathered in, there was some benefit to using them, although they almost always needed to be fully rebuilt,” he says.

For Wendy Yates, creative director and founder of Abigail-Elise Design Studio, conversions are more common. She cites garages and attics as viable options “that have the potential of adding more usable square footage to your property.” But she adds, “If independent additions are what you’re looking for, there are some great build-it-yourself kits that can be added in a backyard…. Shipping containers are quite easy to move onto a property, and they make ideal tiny units if designed well,” referring to structures similar to Friedman’s ootBox.

designing ADUs
A guest shed by Oakland, California–based design and architecture firm Medium Plenty. / Mariko Reed

What are the benefits of an ADU?

ADUs are employed to carve out areas for work, play, learning, or additional living space such as in-law suites, nanny/caretaker’s dwellings, potential quarantine quarters for at-risk or sick family members, or rental apartment units. David Shove-Brown, partner and principal of //3877, notes, “A popular reasoning behind adding an ADU is many find the value of having family members close by, whether it be allowing aging parents to have their own place or a young graduate needing their own space.”

While creating extra living space is certainly welcome—especially this year when all families have been spending more time at home—Shove-Brown sees the main motivation for creating these ADUs as a money-making stream in the form of a rental unit or by increasing property value. “For some families, an ADU providing additional income can help ease the cost of a mortgage,” he says. Roughan adds, “ADUs increase the value of a home immediately and give the owner the opportunity to have a room outside the home that becomes a second dwelling on the property—a place to rest and enjoy peace and quiet. It can serve as a guest house or place for teenage sleepovers.”

designing ADUs
Designer Christina Roughan converted her late 1700s-era shed into an office and design studio, featuring stone-walled interiors, a fireplace, a kitchenette, a bathroom, and a loft. / Sean Litchfield

What’s the key to a highly functional ADU?

“It’s all about maximizing flexibility,” Westover says about the most critical consideration when designing ADUs. “Life throws curveballs; someone might build an ADU to use as a home office, a gym, or a pool house, but then they may need it as an in-law unit,” he continues. “The ADUs we’ve done have that flexibility. We designed one that opens up to the pool for entertaining but also functions as a private two-bedroom house for our client’s visiting parents.”

Yates agrees about the necessity of multi-functionality, “because we believe needs change over time, and it’s better to be prepared for the future,” she says. “For instance, if you add a fold-down wall table to a home gym, the room can quickly be turned into an office for a Zoom call. Or maximize the area by installing a Murphy bed, minibar, or electric plug-in cooktop.”

Yates also advises designing the space to be timeless rather than trendy, thereby reducing the need to renovate in the future. “Keep the color palette neutral to allow for easy accessorizing,” she says. “Pay attention to lighting by increasing your use of natural light, layering lamps, or including wired fixtures. This will give you options for activities that require more or less luminosity so that the area feels more intentional and becomes a comfortable living environment.”

designing ADUs
A California ADU by Medium Plenty. / Melissa Kaseman

What are some challenges to consider?

Regardless of where designers are based, local codes and regulations have posed the greatest hardship in successfully creating ADUs. Maydan, Westover, and Read all recall difficulties in the Bay Area well before the COVID era. “In the past, many municipalities made it difficult to create additional dwelling units on most sites by requiring added parking and setbacks in an attempt to guard against illegal rentals. A common solution was to design an ‘accessory building,’ which created the necessary space, but only allowed for a half bathroom or a kitchenette—not both. We would typically build in a utility sink or floor drain in a way that a shower and/or kitchen could be added,” Read explains. “As housing became more scarce (and expensive) there was enough momentum to loosen up the requirements for the creation of units. Within the last five years is when we have seen ADUs become a more prevalent project type.”

Spatial constraints on-site are the main issue. “Unless you have a huge yard, then you are trading outdoor space for building footprint,” he says. “Utilities and other logistics are also a factor, but space, especially in the Bay Area, is the crux.”

In Washington, D.C., where //3877 is based, Shove-Brown had to endure municipality regulation issues similar to California. However, he notes the District has eased restrictions through municipal code changes. Now, he says, “the biggest challenges all depend on the infrastructure of the house—figuring out how to separate the electrical systems from the main house and the ADU, and also determine where the water source should come from.”

Friedman, who’s based in Columbus, Ohio, also acknowledges designing around local permits as the biggest challenge. He says, “You can simplify the process and minimize costs by keeping the structure small and without plumbing. But building a small space that is still inspiring and usable raises a whole different set of challenges.”

The restrictive footprint must be taken into account with every design decision—from the placement of doorways to furniture selection to decor elements. “The criteria for creating a useful, highly functional ADU is the same thought and attention as designing for a full-size house—they’re just smaller,” Westover explains. “If the ADU is going to really serve its purpose, it needs to be something you can actually live in comfortably.”

And one pitfall that should be obvious but is sometimes not considered enough is the budget. “Often people expect building a small space to be inexpensive, but it is actually quite the opposite,” Maydan says. “A small structure costs more per square foot than a big one since there are many budget line-items that don’t change linearly. A small structure still incurs the costs of engineering, permits, grading, and drainage, along with the actual construction of the structure. It often ends up being much more expensive than the homeowners anticipated.”

The Future of Kitchen Design Is Hands-Free and Smartphone-Activated

Touchless technology, voice automation and app-controlled appliances are bringing kitchens into the digital age

Excerpt via WSJ

 “My ovens are almost more advanced than my computer.”

Douglas Gilman chose a speed oven that combines convection and microwave technology.

Eating may still be analog, but kitchens have taken up residence in the digital age, as designers and appliance makers increasingly rely on a host of technological innovations to update the traditional tasks of cooking, storing and cleaning up. Kitchen-appliance categories haven’t changed much since the 1970s, when microwave ovens began appearing on ordinary countertops. But cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence and newfangled materials are now turning those appliances into ultrasophisticated hardware, while smart functions and connectivity are recasting the Cloud as the latest kitchen accessory.

As the pandemic draws new focus to the kitchen, with families forsaking frequent dinners out for daily home-cooked meals, players in the industry are noticing an uptake in sales—accompanied by a greater interest in high-tech options. Even induction stovetops, which can be a hard sell for gas-loving Americans, have seen demand rise by 35% in the U.S.

Phoenix Homeowner Dean Heckler relies on sensors in his Miele coffee maker to measure the cup size of his latte, and uses Apps to adjust the lights in his kitchen, monitor solar-power production for his house and adjust his living-room thermostat. VIDEO: Steve Craft for The Wall Street Journal

Buyers of Miele’s new G7000 series dishwashers never have to worry about running out of detergent. When the machine runs low, a sensor prompts their smartphones to reorder the brand’s trademark detergent disk from the company’s online shop.

Mr. Gilman’s West Village dining room, just off the kitchen, has a high-tech LED fixture from Austria’s Kaia Lighting.

Meanwhile, Bosch, Miele’s competitor in the luxury dishwasher market, has introduced Zeolite, an alkaline mineral compound, in its new dishwasher series. Among other tasks, the compound helps plastic items dry more efficiently.

The Hecklers of Phoenix have a kitchen that features a sensor-equipped Miele coffee maker, lights controlled from a smartphone app and a Dekton composite countertop that resists heat, light and scratches. A nearby TV has the option of an app-created camouflage screen when not in use

Elsewhere in the kitchen, cameras in refrigerators can be called up on smartphones, allowing you to look into your fridge from the grocery aisle to see what you need to buy. For European homeowners, Bosch’s new Cloud-accessing system has a fridge camera to suggest recipes based on what you already have on-hand.

Has the pandemic made you rethink your kitchen’s design? Let us know. Schedule a consultation call or get in touch.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Covid-19 is changing homeowners’ basic expectations for the kitchen, according to a new survey compiled by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Companies are seeing soaring requests for items that help keep the cooking area more sanitized, such as touchless faucets and antimicrobial surfaces.

Kohler, the Wisconsin-based plumbing company that specializes in luxury finishes, says a majority of homeowners recently sampled are starting to regard the touchless faucets as must-haves. Kohler now combines voice automation with their touchless feature, allowing you to command your faucet to pour exact amounts of water. Homeowners can go so far as to customize voice orders by recipe. Daniel Markham, a Utah-based influencer who has Kohler faucets in his new home, shouts out “mac and cheese” for just the right amount of water for the recipe his family of five uses.

Thermador, the California-based luxury appliance brand, offers an extra-low simmering feature that, the company says, lets you melt chocolate on a paper plate. Thermador users can hook up all its appliances categories to the same app, which will alert you that the fridge door is open, let you preheat your oven, or adjust the temperature of your wine cabinet to accommodate an unusual varietal. On its high-tech to-do list: finding ways to digitalize its luxury gas stoves.

Designer-kitchen makers are also going high-tech. This year, Italy’s Boffi introduced its high-performance ceramic-like material, called MDI, which can be used for a range of kitchen surfaces, including countertops and filler space around appliances. Nonporous, as well as crack- and stain-resistant, it is much easier to clean, and therefore more hygienic. A high-tech alternative to other materials, such as stone and stainless steel, it has a grain-like finish that is soft to the touch.

Tired of Your WFH Furniture? Skip IKEA. Try ‘Stooping.’

Need furniture? Go “stooping” for it on Instagram, where people list gems left on the curb.

Excerpt via WSJ

“I love how this is reducing a carbon footprint and that these pieces,” she said, “which are often nicer than IKEA and built to last, get a longer life to live.” 

Urbanites have always been street salvagers. But over the past few months, “stooping” has gotten more competitive. Instagram pages devoted to mapping curbside castoffs via citywide community submissions are turning serendipitous stumbling upon streetside finds into a competition.

Georgie Osgood, a resident of the Brooklyn said she furnished her entire apartment she moved into last month with streetside décor, went home with the blue-tufted couch.

“One girl who had been waiting for the same amount of time was completely red-faced and really upset that she didn’t get it,” she said.

The coronavirus pandemic has created the perfect stooping milieu. People moving out of cities have left behind furnishings, while those who remain are eager for a change of desk-front scenery. Out-of-work residents on tight budgets have added to the stooping competition.

Stooping NYC, started in August 2019, has more than doubled its follower count since May, from 35,000 to 78,000. Residents of Philadelphia, Richmond, Va., and Amsterdam have created similar Instagram stooping pages.

“You can only walk so far in a day, so the page helps more discarded stuff find a new home,” said Rosco Kalis, 23, who started Stooping Amsterdam in March, prompted by the pandemic.

Plants are the page’s hottest commodity, with dozens of people reaching out about a recent posting, he said: “People were even willing to accept clippings to start their own.”

Stooping pages are community affairs. When followers encounter an abandoned desk or dresser, say, they direct-message a photo to their city’s Instagram stooping page along with the cross streets.


Have you gone stooping during the pandemic, or left anything for stoopers?  We’d love to hear from you! 


Twin Peaks Meets Le Corbusier on the Left Bank in Paris

Interior architect Rodolphe Parente’s client asked him to incorporate three things into his apartment: David Lynch, Buddhism, and Le Corbusier

Excerpt via AD

French interior architect Rodolphe Parente was 25 years old and working as a designer for the grande dame of French design, Andrée Putman, when he first met his client, a young collector. A few years later, Rodolphe set up his own studio, in 2010, the client came looking for him and asked him to work on his 645-square-foot apartment in Paris. Rodolphe remembers, “He had a few very strong wishes: He loves [filmmaker] David Lynch and collects his work, is a Buddhist, and also loves everything modern and very Le Corbusier.

Kind of a mix between architect Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier’s Roquebrune project, and David Lynch. The idea was to do one thing, this amazing floor, and then a concrete box. Everything here is in concrete. But a ‘soft’ concrete—very sensual.” Even the large bookcase is concrete, but it floats above the floor. Incredibly, it all feels very light.

pink metal dining chairs and brass table next to onewall white kitchen
In the dining area, vintage garden chairs by Gae Aulenti are paired with a Rodolphe-designed brass pedestal table topped with green marble.Photo: Olivier Amsellem

Working together, Rodolphe and his client came up with something austere but glamorous. “This is a 1910 Parisian apartment and we just took everything out,” Rodolphe says. “All the moldings, the mantle—out. This took two years of renovation.” The main feature of the remodeled one-bedroom apartment is inarguably the red floor, a tribute to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Rodolphe tinted the oak parquet a scarlet hue, then applied a super brilliant resin to “give off reflections and the impression that everything is wet, shiny, and reflective.”

concrete room with floating bookcase and red floor looking into bedroom
A peek into the bedroom and another look at that floating bookcase, where a statement vase by Jean-Baptiste Fastrez is on display.Photo: Olivier Amsellem
bedroom with red floor gold bedside table and silver lamp
In the bedroom, the brass bedside table is designed by Rodolphe himself, and the reading lamp is by Felix Aublet.Photo: Olivier Amsellem
concrete bedroom with grayscale painting
The opposite corner of the bedroom. Artwork by David Lynch.Photo: Olivier Amsellem

Rodolphe continues, “I also designed a stainless-steel dressing closet. He loves fashion, so this was important. A nice place for his clothes. And also, flashes of shiny brass, which read as gold and relate to Buddhism.”

Concrete Cements Itself as a High-End Finish

The use of concrete as a building material dates as far back as 2550 BC, when it was fundamental to assembling ancient Egyptian pyramids. But the use of exposed raw concrete as an end-finish in homes didn’t gain consumer acceptance until after World War II, according to Texas-based architect Paul Lamb. That acceptance was largely driven by the work of Swiss-French architect and designer Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier.

Excerpt via WSJ

“A concrete wall can be both structure and finish,” said Mr. Lamb. In 2017, along with architect Ted Young, Mr. Lamb remodeled a high-concept contemporary home in Austin, Texas, whose main structure comprises concrete walls. Located in the West Lake Hills neighborhood, it is currently on the market for $8.995 million.

These days, Mr. Lamb said concrete homes are generally perceived as edgy, arty, tough, and not for the faint of heart. That hasn’t stopped consumers from scouting them out.

Here, four concrete homes currently on the market in South Puget Sound and Palm Springs vicinity:

Listing ID: 20587708  |  707 W STEVENS Road, Palm Springs, CA 92262

Panoramic view in this premiere lot overlooking mountains, trees and canyons from every room in this immaculate, recently completed remodeled home. Smart home security. Gated paved driveway. Exceptional rear yard includes a rarely found 6,000 sq. ft. lush lawn which provides fun options to create your dream putting green, garden or grove.

Listing ID: 20576464 | Wagon Wheel Road, Joshua Tree, California, 92252

Less than 1 mile from the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park lies 22.5 acres of unparalleled natural beauty positioned at the finest point in Monument Manor. This phenomenal project includes plans, construction and delivery of the spectacular Starburst, an architectural shipping container home commissioned from London Based Whitaker Studios. The home’s exoskeleton of cuboid forms emanate in all directions oriented to capture the sheer beauty of the vistas, sky and desert-scape. A stark interior comprising concrete flooring, white walls and minimal furnishings. Incredible rock formations, private mountain, panoramic basin views and hundreds of Joshua Trees. Ideal for stargazing, horses and those who seek tranquility for their spiritual, meditation or yoga practices.

Listing ID: 219041834DA I Nucham Avenue, Joshua Tree, California, 92252

Nestled amongst the Bartlett Mountains you’ll find this breathtaking location for your modern retreat. A short 4 minute drive to downtown and walking distance to untouched trails and mountain privacy, its the best of both worlds. Choose all your own finishes to polish off this well received design for vacation rental and family enjoyment alike. Indoor Outdoor living abounds in this brand new architectural home, large glass openings, sliders and view corridors everywhere. Plans are ready to submit to the county with minor modifications to suit your taste. Tons of high end amenities are included, standing seam metal roof, concrete flooring, built in cabinets throughout, cowboy pool and above ground spa, covered outdoor areas, high end appliances, quartz countertops, LED lighting, and two private outdoor showers. Enjoy wildlife, views, boulders, privacy and easy access to the park and downtown.

Listing ID: 1546523  |  7415 Nanitch Lane SE, Tenino, Washington 98589                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Sustainable and off-grid functionality in this flowing modern, circular home atop 85 acres of stunning land with sustainable gardens, saltwater pool, separate 3 bedroom guest house, and archery range. Intentional less-is-more, curvy, and plush custom furniture. Eco-friendly and self-sustaining with geothermal/solar systems allowing for nearly off-grid living. Double gated land mass gives serenity, privacy and presence with nature.

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