Australian architecture has kept pace with changing times throughout its history. With a host of immigrants coming into the country from all over the world, there is tremendous influence on the local architecture. Today, Australia is enjoying the 21st century style of architecture, something that verges on the experimental and bold rather than the tried and tested.
There are plenty of examples of Georgian, Old English and Gothic architecture that have ruled the streets of Australia’s largest cities. However, it is the introduction of the likes of Late Modern and the Post Modern era that has created a buzz amongst Australia’s tallest buildings.
Today, Australia is the place to be if Deconstructivism tingles your taste-buds. From the fantastic Swan Bells, in Perth, to the absolutely fabulous Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, in Southbank, ideas are flowing out of the seams. The design is flamboyant and yells out the new Australian image to the world. The country is on the cutting edge of design and technology and with installations and constructions like Federation Square, in Melbourne, counting Australia as a weakling would be the biggest mistake anyone could make.
When it comes to aesthetics and giving a new meaning to spaces and styles, Australia is leading the way in Post Modern architecture. The 21st century has been all about expression through ambiguity and installations like the entrance at the National Museum of Australia, in the Australian Capital Territory, highlight the capability of the architects of this progressive nation. And if you thought that the entrance of the National Museum was flamboyant, you need to just take one look at the Port 1010 building at Melbourne’s Docklands Harbour to get an idea of how far Australia has moved down this wonderful path.
When we speak of 21st century Australian architecture, not mentioning structuralism amidst them all would be a grave sin. Using some of the world’s most advanced technology, Australian architects have created marvels like the Telstra Dome, now known as the Etihad Stadium, in Melbourne. A fantastic stadium that oozes with extravagant design and a retractable roof that lends unimaginable magic to the entire experience of sitting in the stadium, the Telstra Dome is the epitome of Australian Structuralism.
There are plenty of massive examples of this art form and Melbourne’s Southern Cross Railway Station is another fantastic example of this wonderful style of architecture.
Moving along with the latest trends, Australia is moving into the Sustainable sector with ease. With a fantastic track record of environmental concerns and initiatives, Australia has always been at the forefront of flora & fauna species conservation as well as environmental friendliness. The bend towards sustainable architecture has been everything that the world has imagined it to be – use of natural, renewable and recyclable materials to create some fantastic structures like the Dunc Gray Velodrome in Sydney or the Council House, in Melbourne.
The Sustainable architectural style has poured into the Modern format as well, with plenty of examples lining up along Australia’s biggest business and cultural districts. As the world moves deeper into the 21st century, there has been a massive focus on Australia and its contributions to the world of Architecture. Winning awards and accolades all across the globe, Australia is leading the way into this new era!
Matt Pollock writes about architecture from around the world and is currently exploring modern, modular homes in Queensland Australia as part of a study into the changing styles and technologies used in Australian home design.
Last Updated on October 6, 2011
A free standing bath and a bathroom cabinet mirror means that you have more space than ever as you can work around it with other furnishings. This image shows a contemporary bathroom that looks minimalist and clean, offering a calm ambience in a wide open space. Neutral furnishings against a dark oak floor definitely give the look of an eco-natural spa. A free standing bath means that you have more space than ever as you can work around it with other furnishings.
You may not have recognised this before but a bathroom mirror can actually change the way your whole bathroom looks and feels. As we stare into them every morning with fright, this piece of interior can actually be the hidden gem to full stylish completion.
Cabinet mirrors can make your bathroom look more spacious by creating an optical illusion. They work well as an ultra-modern furnishing in an up-to-date bathroom. Hide all your ugly shampoo bottles and toothpaste tubes behind the stylish doors and organise your morning vanity products. You will be pleased to know if you include mirrors with lights; it saves on extra lighting within the bathroom during daily use.
Bathroom mirror cabinets with built in lights provides a glamorous spot to put on make-up or the perfect place to shave. This slick design creates soft lighting that isn’t too overpowering or startling. Placing pretty soap dispensers and perfume bottles in front of the mirror can create a fashionable artistic image, saving on extra wall art or décor. If you place this mirror close to a window, the natural daylight will reflect against the glass and brighten the entire bathroom (perfect if your overall interior is fairly dark).
A mirror that is outlined with lights actually provides a theatre, dressing room experience that is perfect for everyday activities such as applying makeup and tweezing eyebrows. If you are looking at creating a peaceful and tranquil spar like atmosphere, mirrors such as the one featured above really enables you to do so.
Infinity mirrors will transform your bathroom into a futuristic compound that will be impressive to any visitor. With the optical impression of never ending light that escapes beyond the depth of your walls. Infinity mirrors are set with an innovative touch sensor that enables you to control the lights with one touch. An infinity mirror simply takes you to another world of contemporary bathroom living.
Last Updated on October 6, 2011
This guest blog post was written by Tracy Tesmer, founder of Tracy Tesmer Design • Build • Remodel • Repair, a Gainesville, GA residential remodeling company specializing in kitchen remodeling. Tracy has over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and hosts a weekly home improvement radio show in WDUN in north Georgia.
When it comes time to remodel your kitchen, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with decisions, questions and stress. With many things to consider, such as floors, appliances and counters, cabinets can be one of the most difficult, and expensive, decisions you will make about your kitchen. Study the cabinets you already have to see if they can be integrated into your new design. In most instances, you will be given the choice of replacing or refinishing your cabinets. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to replacing and refinishing cabinets. Make sure you understand them both before you make the final decision.
If one of the goals of your remodeling is to add extra storage space, replacing your cabinets is likely the best option.
If the wood, frames or joints are bad, replacing cabinets will be able to fix these issues.
Replacing cabinets is time consuming because it requires a demolition of the current cabinets. When you go to choose cabinets you will be able to choose between three different types:
Stock cabinets – These are mass produced but have a wide variety of options.
Semi-custom cabinets – The cabinets are pre-made but you can help choose moldings, trims, finishes, etc. These are typically more expensive than stock cabinets.
Custom cabinets – These are specifically made for your wishes and style choice. This the most expensive form of cabinets. You can create just about anything you dream up, with any type of finish, design or material.
Replacing cabinets allow you full control of the design and look you want for your cabinets.
A disadvantage may be that you will be without cabinets throughout the replacing process.
If you currently like the style and/or layout of the cabinets you have, this may be the best alternative because you can change up the look of your cabinets without having to replace them completely.
Refinishing your cabinets is a less expensive, more economical alternative to changing things up. You will not have full control or as much flexibility when refinishing cabinets as you will with replacing them.
Budget – If you have a modest budget, cabinet replacement may not be an option. However, if you are willing to spend a few extra dollars on sprucing up your kitchen, replacing cabinets can certainly allow room for more creativity and personalization. Remember that out of all line items in a total kitchen remodel, cabinets typically take up the largest percentage of your budget.
Needs – This will depend on whether you need more storage space. If you need more space and want to build them up vertically, then simply refinishing the cabinets will not add this. Replacing cabinets can add more storage and allow for a different kitchen workflow.
Time – Time constraints will definitely help make a decision for this process. Full kitchen overhauls typically involve several weeks or months of work. You will need to make other accommodations for storing kitchen supplies while it is being remodeled.
No matter which form of cabinet refinishing you choose to use, you will be able to make it unique and your own. Whether you choose a simple DIY re-paint, polish and hardware change, a more complex professional refinishing, or a complete demolition and re-do, you will finish the process with a revitalized kitchen!
Last Updated on October 5, 2011
Here’s a secret: hiring a contractor is one of the most important things a homeowner must do. Without the right contractor, you can lose time, money and patience. In this economy, no one can afford to work with an inexperienced and unreliable contractor. Thankfully, there are a series of easy steps that can make this search successful. Think of this process as something you would do when buying any kind of good or service. You get all the facts, talk to several providers, review the numbers and make a final choice.
Recommendations Are Everything
Start with some recommendations that have real value, such as:
Learn about how your friend or coworker used this contractor.
Was the contractor reliable and effective?
Does the contractor have enough experience?
Is the contractor able to handle your specific project?
Answering these questions is critical; you do not want to blindly hire a contractor who has no training or list of satisfied customers. Consider this exercise an investment in your own protection: you will be in a stronger position to hire the right person.
Have a Real Conversation
Next, talk to these contractors on the phone. Forget email and texting, and focus on having a real conversation with a contractor. Here are some points to follow:
Use this call to ask questions involving your project.
Get a sense of the contractor’s personal style.
Is he open to criticism and change?
Will he respect your opinions?
Does he come across as patient and professional?
This initial phone call is your chance to interview a contractor before you meet with him. Use this opportunity to ask as many questions involving this person’s credentials and level of experience. Do not hesitate to examine every relevant issue, because your contractor must appreciate – and honor – your expectations.
Meeting in Person
After a phone call, you should schedule an in-person meeting with a contractor. This meeting will quickly let you know if should hire this person. When conducting this meeting, pay attention to the following factors:
Does the contractor project authority and confidence?
Does he have the patience to overcome sudden challenges?
Does he listen to your opinion and respect your suggestions?
Will he work well with his colleagues on your behalf?
This meeting is an occasion to narrow the number of contractors you will hire. Therefore, take control of the interview: have the contractor make a compelling presentation about his qualifications. Use this time to record additional questions or thoughts about this contractor’s willingness to work with you.
The Power of Independent Reviews
Also, take some time to read some online reviews about your contractor. Some of these sites include Angie’s List, Judy’s Book, The Better Business Bureau along with other review sites. These websites will give you information about the following:
The contractor’s reputation online.
The contractor’s rating among previous clients.
The contractor’s level of certification.
Reading these reviews is a quick way to get some helpful intelligence about a contractor or any other vendor.
Is the Contractor Licensed, Bonded and Insured?
Depending on where you live there may be certain licensing and insurance requirements for contractors in your area. Be sure to check with your state or local licensing office when applicable. To see contractor licensing requirements listed by state, please visit http://www.clsi.com/state_contractor_license_board.htm.
Reviewing a Body of Work
Finally, have this contractor show you – with photographs or an actual visit to a job site – examples of his work. This material allows you to draw some valuable conclusions, such as:
You will quickly see if this contractor has a past record of working on projects that match your requirements.
You will understand the quality of the projects this contractor oversees.
You will know if you want to proceed with this person.
This advice is the best way to move ahead with a trusted and capable contractor. With these recommendations, you can hire an experienced and dedicated professional to help you get the job done.
William has been a real estate investor for over 10 years, and currently works with home buyers and sellers throughout the St. Louis, MO area. For more information on William, please visit We Buy Ugly Houses St. Louis.
Last Updated on October 5, 2011
Periodically updating and improving the appearance of your home’s interior is a great way to keep things fresh and keep your home looking great. Major overhauls can be pricey; but it isn’t necessary to spend a ton of money to change the look of your home’s interior. Here are some ideas for Updating and improving your home’s interior on a budget.
Choose One High Quality Piece
If you want to change the look of a room; it is not necessary to buy all new furniture for the room. Try purchasing one beautiful new piece and perhaps some new accessories to change the look of the entire room without purchasing all new furniture. Try purchasing a high quality, beautiful new bed for the master bedroom along with some new lamps and your room will look completely different.
Buy Home Furnishings with Price and Quality in Mind
When you are shopping for home furnishings it might not seem budget friendly to choose a more expensive option; but sometimes it will help you save later to choose a high quality product that will last much longer than a cheaper alternative.
Painting is a great, inexpensive way to dramatically change the look of your home’s interior. A coat of paint in a new color can give your home a completely different feel. A bright color on the walls of a dark room can brighten it up and a new coat of paint over dirty walls will give your home a fresh, clean look.
If installing new flooring is out of your budget but you would like to change the look of your floors; consider purchasing rugs for your home. A rug placed over a wood floor adds warmth to the room and can make the space look more cozy and inviting. A colorful rug placed on plain colored carpeted adds color and excitement to a room.
Change Accessories like Bed Linens and Window Treatments
If you can’t afford to replace any furniture, you can update your home by purchasing new window treatments, changing your bedding or even buying new towels for your bathroom. These types of changes are much less pricey than adding new furniture or remodeling, but can still produce dramatic changes
If you feel your home is outdated or you have simply grown bored with the look of your home’s interior; it can be tempting to take on huge expensive projects like replacing flooring or to spend a lot of money replacing entire rooms of furniture. But improving the interior of your home does not have to mean going over budget. Well planned purchases and small changes can produce big results with little money.
Last Updated on October 5, 2011
Close your eyes and think of your ideal space, then think about your home and if you have a neglected area or if you and your family need extra space.
Your home should be as individual as you are. For some of us though we may never get the opportunity to plan our own space.
The likelihood of moving into a ready made home where someone else has designed it is pretty high – not many of us will have the chance to build a new home on our own plot of land, or build a statement or family home.
That said, for those extending the home there are endless possibilities, even for properties that do not currently have lots of space.
The traditional layout of an average two up two down house used to be two reception rooms with a kitchen and a downstairs bathroom, with two or three rooms upstairs. But that traditional way of planning has changed and while people still have to live in average homes, we are all improving them inside and out through original, sometimes quirky, open plan layouts incorporating home extensions, conservatories and basement & loft conversions.
Expanding the home to add more internal space is an exciting way of improving the space in your property. Home extensions may mean that you can change the use of an existing room so that it better serves you or your family. Or, a home extension may simply let you indulge by adding space that you didn’t have such as an extra bathroom, some more bedrooms, a utility room or office.
Whatever your reason for extending, it’s possible to change the layout of your home so that you can add value and improve the way you live.
Changing the Current Layout
Typical homes with lounge diners are common yet all too often they offer a distinct lack of space for a growing family. Dining areas in this type of home often get used as simply corridors and ignored altogether – we often walk past the area to give access to stairs or the kitchen.
A growing family needs more storage space and room to live comfortably. If your home has room to the front or rear, it may be possible to extend and change the way you utilize that space.
It’s amazing what a couple of meters of extended space can offer. A young family may choose to add a useful utility room, a downstairs bathroom and a play room while allowing for a bigger dining table or extending the kitchen into the space for a larger family style kitchen.
In the same way a professional couple may be able to add the bathroom, incorporate a study or office and extend the kitchen into the space – it can all be done because the new extension provides you with the room to do it.
Changing the current layout can allow you to zone off areas or open them up. For example you might extend at the rear and open up your lounge and kitchen so that you can access your garden through bi-folding doors, or you might choose to zone off the dining area and open it into the kitchen which turns it into an entertaining area or a laid back family room.
Not everyone is extending or changing the layout of their home to make money, the chances are you will stay in your newly laid out home for years to come. However, it makes financial sense to create a new look that appeals to buyers should you ever need or wish to sell your home.
Poorly laid out homes can be a turn off to new buyers, a ‘bad feel’ comes from a home that isn’t well laid out.
Whilst it can be expensive to change the layout – moving load bearing walls or stairwells can make a layout change financially unviable.
Adding some real perks to your home (such as french doors/patio doors, en-suite bathrooms and solar heating) not only increase the value of your property, but really ensure your home stands out from others and ensures that you and your family experience a perfect life whilst you reside there.
Here are some things that homeowners do to change the layout of their home:
Change Location of Stairs
For those that follow feng shui, stairs that face the entrance of a home directly is bad for karma.
Old style converted duplexes and even new terraced home often are built in this way.
It may be pricey to move the stairs, but can you extend a porch to the front to give a better feeling of spaciousness, or perhaps you can relocate your entrance.
Merge Long Hallways or Corridors with Rooms
Long corridors with rooms leading off them can often be quite dark and unattractive. Not being able to see one room from another can mean the home feels smaller than it really is.
By changing the location of doors or merging some of the corridor or hallway with the rooms, there is less chance of creating a feeling of claustrophobia and a way to increase the size of the rooms in that area.
Trends are moving all the time and builders today are creating homes with less zoned off living rooms and opting in favour for more open plan areas with less of a need for lots of doors that cut spaces off.
Living areas that are a little more laid back, family rooms and large lounges that open up onto the garden are more desirable these days so developers are changing layouts to suit ever changing tastes.
We created this article to help those looking to extend the home, or even if you are looking at moving into a new home – a new home or adding space to yours may give you the potential to be easily changed to suit your needs.
Last Updated on October 3, 2011
The bathroom does more than serve its purpose as the household washroom; it provides us with a quiet place to relax and contemplate days ahead and passed. Much like our kitchens, bathrooms are effective at showcasing our sense of style and individuality through colours, accessories and fixtures.
There are some fantastic new designs that are quickly becoming popular that show just how varied and spectacular your bathroom can be, whether you’re looking for a vintage, rustic look or a dazzling modern theme, you truly have more variety to choose from than ever before. Whatever the style, the bathroom should be a place to relax and unwind, and with some thoughtful suggestions, you can transform your bathroom into a true spa experience.
Know Your Style
Ideally, you should plan far ahead, get an idea of how you would like your new bathroom to feel, if you’re going to be basking in its ambience then it stands to reason that you should set the mood for yourself whilst designing. For example, those looking to capture the feeling of an ancient bathhouse may be willing to sacrifice practicality for style. Features such as a vintage vessel sink may provide the exact style you’re looking for.
Glass shower enclosures look fantastic; with larger enclosures becoming more attainable (in terms of both practicality and price) we can have the luxurious showers that once would have been a custom installation for those with money to burn. Steam showers are becoming hugely popular, helping to relieve tension and cleanse the skin; these showers should be at the top of your Christmas list if you are looking to create the ultimate home spa experience. Be sure to choose an enclosure with clean, clear glass, ensuring it won’t interfere with your contrast of colours.
Little things make all the difference
Nothing ruins a relaxing shower more than getting out to a freezing cold floor and a damp towel. Consider investing in a heated towel rail, wrapping yourself in a soft, warm towel could be the icing on the cake in your new home spa. Why not make those first steps out of the shower warm ones? With under tile heating systems you can enjoy something as simple as walking into your bathroom. The heating mats are installed underneath your chosen flooring, so no need to worry about compromising your chosen flooring.
Accent and Accessorise
Once you have your colour scheme settled you will want to match it as closely as possible with your bathroom accessories, bathroom vanity is practical as well as being a fantastic way to break up the wall and contribute to the colour coordination. Choosing the perfect tiles for your bathroom is one of the most important decisions you will have to make during your remodel. Large format tiles are trending, and if you choose the right colour and texture these could prove to be the perfect way to bind your new bathroom together.
Deciding on the colour and style of your luxury bathroom in advance gives you time to explore the possibilities and fantastic features available to you.