Sustainable design has many facets. Whether it's incorporating unique architecture that maximizes light exposure, furnishing with reclaimed materials, or reducing carbon emissions with green power, these houses showcase the best in innovative eco practices and stunning design. Many of them are also fittingly located in breathtaking environments, where farmlands, seashores, and jungles complement the sleek architectural frames of these modern homes. If you're looking to incorporate eco elements into your own home through a remodel or are simply curious about the diversity of sustainable design, you'll definitely want to peruse this impressive collection of homes!
Our patience has finally paid off; season three of Downton Abbey premieres Jan. 6 at 9 p.m. EST, and we could not be more thrilled. We have missed the Crawley family and the staff! This season, the incomparable Shirley MacLaine joins the cast as Martha Levinson, the mother of Lady Grantham. We can't imagine a better match for the Dowager — showdown at Downton Abbey! If those aren't the type of fireworks you are interested in, then get excited by the weddings of both Lady Edith and Lady Mary.
In case you have just returned from space, Downton Abbey meticulously traces the lifestyle of an aristocratic English family just before and during World War I, as well as the family's staff of servants, all of whom are harnessed to Downton Abbey, the regal home they inhabit.
It may sound like a dull period piece, but that could not be further from the truth. Drama! Intrigue! Dinner parties!
Downton Abbey itself is actually Highclere Castle, a 1,000-acre estate in Hampshire, England, that was designed in 1842 by Sir Charles Barry. Highclere is massive, with 11 bedrooms on the first floor and 40-50 on the upper floors. Several of the bedrooms are used in the filming of Downton Abbey, and the majority of the series is actually filmed on site at the castle.
While the Edwardian era officially ended in 1910, the style is broadly noted to extend through 1919. The show, which is set in 1912, reflects much of the era's look in terms of decor and colors. The onset of World War I delayed the influence of the art-deco style, which was the next era in fashion, art, and decor to follow the Edwardian era — though you can definitely see some hints of art deco in the Downton Abbey sets, as well. Keep reading to see photos from the upcoming season and to find out more about the unique decor from the series.
Photos courtesy of ITV
While black houses may seem a bit macabre, there's no reason that this dark color isn't a legitimate paint choice for any house. Granted, a black home will likely stick out in a neighborhood, but if you like being the center of attention, consider this hue. To get you inspired, check out these darkly painted houses from around the globe.
Designer Stephanie Fillbrandt and her team at Marsh & Clark Design transformed a 1913 San Francisco Edwardian for a modern family. Stripped down to its studs, the home was painstakingly re-imagined with custom cabinetry, moldings, stair railings, and fireplace surrounds. While the entire process took over a year to complete, we think you'll agree it was worth the wait! Keep reading to marvel at the bespoke details, the Golden Gate vistas, and the miraculous power of buckets of white paint.
If you're looking for a spook this week, I've just got the thing. New Orleans is perhaps America's most haunted city, so it's no surprise the place is full of ghosts and floating entities. Come take a look at 10 haunted houses in the Big Easy.
Built in 2009 and featured in the April 2010 issue of Dwell magazine, this gorgeous modern home, situated in Yucca Valley, is absolutely dreamy. Even better: it's available to rent. Before you head to the Southern California desert for your picture-perfect design vacay, though, why not take a virtual turn around this house, built by Blue Sky Building Systems? With features including large sliding glass doors that lead out to decks and patios, a home theater A/V system, perfectly selected modern furniture, and a picturesque swimming hole, you may want to book a stay today!
One of our favorite authors, Michael Cunningham, has just listed his Union Square loft for $1.595 million. Besides some truly incredible features, including amazing views south to the new World Trade Center and north to the Empire State Building, original steel columns and architectural woodwork, it's a true haven for book lovers. See why when you take a tour of this property.
Photos courtesy Corcoran
Located in New Zealand's Queenstown area, this modern home is the definition of contemporary grace. The five-bedroom home's plentiful amenities include a state-of-the-art theatre room, an indoor swimming pool, and a modern kitchen. Overlooking Lake Hayes, even though it seems like the ultimate secluded retreat, the home is close to the historic township of Arrowtown.
Located on a 75 foot-high bluff above the Montauk shoreline, this 5,000 square foot modern Hamptons home and accompanying guesthouse are true stunners. Currently on the market for $19.5 million, the main house and guesthouse share common materials and lines, but distinct designs. Architect James Biber of Biber Architects is responsible for the look of these two residences, describing them as, "Each house has its own identity, yet they share a vocabulary of materials, forms, and intentions. The main house is composed of a pair of opposing 'L' shaped wings: one of steel and glass ('his' space: a loft on the ocean) and one of brick and wood ('her' space: a warm, enclosing set of private rooms).
Keep reading to take a tour of this incredible property, which is located on four acres and boasts major amenities including an out-of-this-world screening room, an infinity pool that snakes beneath the guesthouse, and oceanfront access that's said to be perfect for surfing.
Photo courtesy Southeby's