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I was pretty amazed yesterday to see that Google’s home page design was in celebration of Josef Frank’s 125th birthday. It’s not exactly a public holiday or day of global celebration. In fact, I imagine most Americans would be asking ‘who on earth is Josef Frank?’ But the ‘doodle’ created to mark the occasion will still be familiar to anyone interested in design.

Josef Frank, of course, was the Austrian-Swedish architect and designer who created the fantastical designs still seen in textiles today. What’s incredible is that, even though he was born 125 years ago and passed away in 1967, his designs still look so incredibly fresh and modern. To my mind, that’s the mark of true innovation. Feast your eyes on some of these examples of his work.

All from Svenskt Tenn.

And, just to show how wonderful Frank’s designs can look in a contemporary space, check out this image from Apartment Therapy.

Ah, a ray of sunshine for the start of the weekend, don’t you think?

So, which other designers do you think should feature in the Google homepage doodle?

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Every so often I post something on architecture, as opposed to interior design, just because it’s so stunning and inspiring that I can’t resist. So when I spotted these videos of buildings that move, and even dance, via Fast Company, I had to cover them. They are truly amazing.

The first video shows an art installation called Articulated Cloud, by Ned Kahn, that forms the facade of the Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh. The building is covered in a ‘skin’ made with thousands of white, translucent tiles which move in the wind. It is meant to resemble clouds.

Kahn has a fantastic portfolio online which shows his other work around the world, using fire, light, water, sand, fog and wind to create stunning effects in conjunction with architecture. I particularly love this one, called Wind Silos, in North Carolina.

Ned Kahn

It’s just a parking structure, but it’s covered in these undulating metal screens and then a 16′ ribbon of wind-activated stainless steel disks. Call me shallow, but it looks like like this rather fabulous Tiffany bracelet to me….

Tiffany bracelet

The next one is just an artist’s impression. It’s called the FLARE Facade and is designed by White Void. The facade is like a membrane made of thousands of ‘flakes’ which can be programmed to move in any pattern. It looks like some amazing light show, but it’s really just reflected light. It’s almost as if the building is alive.

Finally, check out this one for a bit of humor. It really is a building that dances! The building was covered in shutters (of a kind that I think are actually quite common in Germany) and then the movements were choreographed. It almost has a personality!

Don’t think my house will be looking like this any time soon. But pretty inspirational stuff all the same.

If you hanker after a state-of-the-art home with your own theater, TVs that rise out of the floor and centrally-controlled lights, then here’s some eye candy for you. Electronic House magazine has just announced its Home of the Year.

The gold winner is just a cozy pied-à-terre in LA…

Home of the year - gold

Ah, a triceratops skull. Just the accessory I need for my living room!

Home of the year - gold

Now, that’s a bathroom with a view.

Home of the year - gold

Here’s the silver prize winner – a Manhattan penthouse.

Home of the Year - silver

And look at the home theater in the house that won bronze. That’s a theater?! Where do I lie with my bowl of chocolate ice-cream?

Home of the Year - bronze

These are all stunning homes. Of course, I wouldn’t turn down the chance to live in one of them. But, you know, after the excitement of being able to control everything at the touch of a button, I think I would get a bit tired of the extreme convenience of it all. I secretly quite like the slightly chipped paint and the faded squashy sofa in our house. At least I can eat ice-cream without worrying about spills. And there are no triceratops…

What do you think? Would you love to live here, or are you more of a squashy sofa type too?

One of my favorite design blogs, mirror mirror, posted about this quiz to determine your design style on Sproost. Naturally I was tempted to try it out. Apparently my style is 86% Rustic Revival and 14% Vintage Modern. Hmmm, not sure what the difference is between those two. But they don’t seem too off the mark.

This is Rustic Revival…

Rustic Revival

And Vintage Modern…

Vintage Modern

I’m not really surprised I ended up being a mixture of styles. Not even I can decide what my style is! It changes depending on the day of week, time of year or the last great interior I saw. Oh well..

As for Sproost, it looks like the site needs to be built out a bit. The idea is great: in theory you can search for items that suit your style. But there’s not too much content yet. Worth keeping an eye on though…

Designing a home office often involves finding ways to disguise the essential pieces of technology. But this new HP laptop changes things in ways that even my lovely sleek Apple MacBook Pro can’t. HP partnered with Vivienne Tam to create this masterpiece in Tam’s typical ‘China Chic’ style.

HP laptop

I love peonies. I love red lacquer. I love chinoiserie. I just never thought I’d see them all come together on a laptop! So it got me thinking, what if a home office were to be designed around this laptop? What would it look like?

Well, first there’s the literal interpretation, with red chinoiserie wallpapers and fabrics and Asian-inspired furnishings. This stunning room is from the Betsy Burnham Design web site (as are a couple of other pics in this post).

Home office

Or a lighter, airier, more modern version like this one from Livingetc.

Home office

Osborne & Little has a beautiful peony wallpaper that would be perfect.

Osborne & Little wallpaper

Or you could go with a much lighter look – floral patterns, ladylike furniture, splashes of peony pink and yellow.

Home office

Or this more neutral version of ladylike living.

Living room

Then there’s the other end of the scale – a dark, dramatic look with deep red, charcoal and metallics. This would work well for a work space incorporated into a living room, dining room or bedroom. This room is from The Rug Company’s web site which has an amazing picture gallery, full of inspiring roomsets.

Red and black room

Or, minus the red…

Dramatic dining room

But I think my favorite option is to go with a monochrome look and let the laptop really stand out on its own.

Home office

Home office

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