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    U.K. Home Deals Rose 7% in January Year Over Year – Mansion Global - February 16, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The number of pending contracts for homes in the U.K. was up 7% in January compared to the previous year, according to a Monday report from Rightmove.

    In addition, the average listing price of U.K. residences ticked up by 0.5% in January, compared to the previous month, as a shortage of homes for sale continued to drive price growth. New listings dropped 21% last month, compared to 2020, the data showed.

    More: London-Based Interior Designer on Creating Luxury Layouts

    As well as the current lockdown motivating buyer demand again, the restrictions have also been a factor in limiting new supply, leading to some modest upwards price pressure, Tim Bannister, director of property data at Rightmove, said in the report. These are strong signs that new buyer demand is not facing a cliff-edge after March 31.

    That date marks the end of the stamp duty holiday in the U.K. that has saved buyers of homes under 500,000 (US$695,175) from having to pay the levy. For buyers of more expensive homes, the tax break amounts to 15,000 in savings.

    It remains to be seen if this momentum will be enough to make up for the removal of the stamp duty savings that are benefitting many buyers and have been adding a sense of urgency to the whole market, Mr. Bannister said.

    About 100,000 buyers, or one in five, who agreed to buy a home last summer still have not completed the deal and could lose out on the tax savings, according to the report.

    More: London-Based New Development Expert Says Builders Need to Offer More

    U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is reportedly considering extending the holiday six weeks, which could mean tax savings on between 120,000 and 160,000 additional transactions, Rightmove said in a separate news release Tuesday.

    Sellers who agreed to a sale last year...are now desperately trying to get their deals over the line, Mr. Bannister said. The delays have been a result of the huge number trying to go through, along with the many challenges of the people involved in the process working from home. If there was a six-week extension, it should give the majority of the sales from last year the chance to complete in time.

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    U.K. Home Deals Rose 7% in January Year Over Year - Mansion Global

    The Magnolia Network has a new star, Tom Dixon is a hologram, and more – Business of Home - February 16, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Welcome back from a long holiday weekend that, for many in the U.S., saw startlingly low temperatureswelcome or not, an excuse to sit inside. (Perhaps an apt moment to take a lesson from the cohort of South Korean homebodies vlogging about the simple pleasures theyve cultivated at home.) As the industry returns to desks this week, stay in the know with our weekly roundup of headlines, launches and events, recommended reading, and more.


    Zillow Group has entered into a $500 million agreement to acquire, an online scheduling platform for home showings. With a network of nearly 1 million agents across the U.S., the platform is poised to augment Zillows engagement in new and existing markets.

    Monroe, Michiganbased furniture manufacturer La-Z-Boy has announced that Kurt Darrow will retire from his position of president and CEO after more than 40 years of service at the company, reports Furniture Today. Darrow will remain chairman of La-Z-Boys board of directors in a nonexecutive capacity, and former chief financial officer Melinda Whittington will succeed him as CEO.

    Louisville, Kentuckybased virtual staging startup Stuccco has announced a $500,000 seed round. The company, founded in 2015, targets homeowners and real estate agents to provide e-designs starting at $499.

    As reported by CNBC, despite a 15 percent slump in demand in Q2 of 2020, Danish shipping mogul Maersk just reported a 16 percent year-on-year increase in revenue for Q4, to the tune of $11.3 billion. A striking resurgence of demand came toward the end of last year, as global supply chains recovered from pandemic-related shutdowns earlier in the year, hitting the company with an unprecedented surge in demand, both from a rise in consumer spending and a mass restocking on the part of large retailers.

    Cond Nast is refusing to pay its $24 million rent on its 1.2 million square feet at One World Trade Center. According to Business Insider, a statement from Conds owner, Advance Publications Inc., says the company is in discussions about bringing the lease in line with current market conditions and its ongoing needs at One World Trade. In response, Ben Branham, on behalf of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (the buildings owner) has said, These companies are entirely capable of satisfying their legal obligations, and the Port Authority has strong rights to enforce full payment.

    This week, Best Buy Co. notified store workers that it would be cutting some jobs and reducing hours as the big-box retailer adjusts to a surge in online sales. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company saw a 23 percent rise in sales in the Q3 of 2020, with a large portion of those gains owed to online orders, which nearly tripled in the U.S. in Q4. Best Buy has not yet disclosed the extent of these cuts, but one formerly full-time employee told WSJ that his once 30- to 40-hour work week would now be capped at 28 hours.


    Television retailers QVC and HSN have announced 63 new home and culinary brands that they will roll out this year as part of their Big Find initiative, which launched in 2019 as a way to promote new entrepreneurs. The group introduced new categories in the 2020 edition, including home decor, home innovation, electronics and culinary.

    Hologram Tom Dixon at Stockholm Design WeekCourtesy of Tom Dixon

    As part of the launch of his new Cloud collection, British designer Tom Dixon deployed a 24-hour activation at Stockholm Design Week to accompany his line of hand-beaten aluminum vessels, vases and platters. Due to the current restrictions, Dixon was unable to travel, so he turned up in a hologram.

    HGTV star and interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn is launching a new television series, Mind for Design, where he will navigate projects across a spectrum of budgets and scopes. The show will find a home at the forthcoming Magnolia Network by Chip and Joanna Gaines, with streaming available through Discovery+. Last week, Flynn released a preview of the show by way of YouTubeto view the trailer, click here.

    Designer J. Randall Powers has released a collection of window and wallcoverings through Hartmann&Forbes, a six-part line of checks, stripes and classic plaids.

    Decorative fabric wholesaler Fabricut has introduced leather into its arsenal, offering a variety of hide sizes in a broad array of colors. Many of the companys furniture options are also available in leather upholstery.

    A plate from Fabien Cappellos collection with HemCourtesy of Hem

    Global design brand Hem has released the latest piece in its limited-edition decorative accessories collection, curated in partnership with Modern Design Review. In collaboration with Mexico-based French designer Fabien Cappello, the collection is made up of a series of unique glass offcut plates in a bright palette of high-contrast colors.

    The NY Luxury Design Fair (formerly known as the Architectural Digest Design Show) has announced the launch of the first annual Editors Choice Awards, which will recognize outstanding products across nearly 20 categories. Submissions will reflect the wide range of products on exhibit, with close to 20 categoriesfrom lighting and kitchen and bath to furnishings and residential interior design. The fair and contest will take place September 9 to 12 at the Javits Center.

    The Bay Areabased Good Future Design Alliance has launched a Colorado chapter with dedicated resources to help elevate environmentally sustainable and ethical design practices.

    Paint company Behr has announced its 2021 Color of the Year: Canyon Dusk, a warm and dusty blush.


    Be Original Americas will host its second annual Virtual Student Design Fellowship from June 2 to 25 for an international group of current university students. The 2020 program saw participation from more than 3,400 students across five continents, and will again be virtual and free of charge.


    Italian appliance manufacturer Fulgor Milano has announced an expanded partnership with Pinnacle Sales Group Inc. for product distribution in the Northeastern U.S., adding to the 20 states where Pinnacle already distributes the brands products.

    The Luna counter stool by Taylor ForrestCourtesy of The Beck

    Pieces by New Yorkbased furniture designer Taylor Forrest are now available at The Beck, the Hudson Valley showroom and shop owned by interior designer Ana Claudia Schultz.


    Increasingly, home insurers like Chubb, Pure and AIG Private Client Group are playing a larger role in home repairs, reports The Wall Street Journal. As part of their due diligence, insurance companies are putting their risk-management specialists to work, having them evaluate clients properties and recommend and secure contractors to make upgrades. From installing app-controlled water and temperature sensors to alert homeowners of possible threats, to providing art preservationists who can develop escape plans for valuables, insurance companies are raising the bar for their wealthy clients.

    In the late 19th century, France became a locus of Japonisme (the country's interpretation of Japanese aesthetics), which indelibly shaped all modern design henceforth, writes Nancy Hass in T: The New York Times Style Magazine. For more than 40 years, [Japonisme] inspired the furthest reaches of the design world: tea sets by Herms, silver and cloisonn centerpieces by Boucheron ... lacquer dressing screens by the Irish-born, Paris-based architect and designer Eileen Gray, jeweled brooches by Lucien Gaillard, glass by Ren Lalique, and wallpaper designed by the legendary art deco interior designer mile-Jacques Ruhlmann.

    In a new series from The Wall Street Journal titled Thats Debatable, the publication tackles a gamut of issues, from scented moisturizers to Color of the Year trend announcements. This week, WSJ takes a look at a growing interior design trend: the double dining room table. Increasingly, for residences that have the space, designers are incorporating two dining tablesthose in favor claim it adds functionality to an underutilized space, while naysayers find the look impersonal, introducing an unnecessary hierarchy to the room.


    The National Kitchen & Bath Association has announced the winners of its 2021 Design + Industry Awards, which recognizes professionals whose work is elevating kitchen and bath design. Best Overall Kitchen was awarded to Chicago-based Summer Thornton; Best Overall Bath went to San Antonio, Texasbased Shea Pumarejo of Younique Designs; and first place for Contemporary Kitchen, Large went to Vancouver-based designer Madeleine Sloback. To view the award ceremony, click here.

    Home linens brand Parachute has announced the first recipient of its Home for Dreams mentorship and grant program: Taylor Long, founder and creative director of size-inclusive swimwear brand Nomads Swimwear. The initiative was launched to support Black-owned, product-centric businesses by way of capital and business advisory.

    A chandelier from Kalco Lightings award-winning Redding collectionCourtesy of Kalco Lighting

    Las Vegasbased brand Kalco Lightings Redding collection has been named to this years 30 Most Innovative Kitchen & Bath Products award, given by Better Homes & Gardens: Beautiful Kitchens & Baths.


    NYCxDesigns The Magazine is now accepting submissions from New Yorkbased creatives. Until March 15, entries will be accepted across the categories of Tools, Collections and Inspirations. To learn more or submit an entry, click here.

    In partnership with the New York Knicks, website platform Squarespace has announced its fourth annual Make It Awards, which grant $30,000 to four New Yorkbased entrepreneurs. Nominations will be accepted until March 12. To nominate an entrepreneur, click here.

    Homepage image: Wallcovering from the J. Randall Powers collection with Hartmann&Forbes | Courtesy of Hartmann&Forbes

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    The Magnolia Network has a new star, Tom Dixon is a hologram, and more - Business of Home

    WATCH: Limerick interior designer joins judging panel on RT’s Home of the Year – Limerick Leader - February 16, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A LIMERICK interior designer is set to take the limelight as a new judge on the RT show Home of the Year.

    Suzie McAdam, born and bred in Castletroy, is one of two new judges on RT favourite Home of the Year

    After spending her secondary school years studying in the Crescent Comprehensive, Suzie moved to Dublin in 2005 to chase a career in architecture.

    However, Suzies natural talent in art and her creative streak, made her turn more towards interior design: I moved away from architecture as I realised I was really drawn to colours and textures and the internals of the building appealed to me more than the building itself.

    From there, Suzie has built a successful business in Dublin. Then, in the summer of 2020, she was contacted by RT to take part in this years Home of the Year. She was a bit apprehensive at first as she had just given birth to a baby in the springtime, but the opportunity beckoned her and she couldnt say no: I was a big fan of the show, Ive been watching it for years. I love seeing peoples homes, as it is what I do in a way," she told the Leader.

    This years show has homes from all over the country, and Suzie says the standard is impeccably high: "I was really impressed with the level people had gone to. Ireland is not really known for its interior design but I definitely think were packing a punch when it comes to style, influences and creativity.

    Suzie says the show had set criteria when it came to judging. The homes had to have a clever design, creativity and functionality. Suzie had to push her own stylistic choices aside and bring a fresh set of eyes to the judging panel. However, the main thing Suzie looked for in the homes was individuality: Homes should reflect who we are and what we love.

    Suzie got the chance to travel to Limerick to judge a house for the show and said she welcomed the trip home to see her family.

    I really miss Limerick actually, particularly the people. There is a humour in Limerick that is so distinctive. You dont get it anywhere else, not even in Galway or Clare. They have a kind of friendliness that isnt too much, it's got a perfect balance of wit, humour and kindness.

    Suzie gave a last piece of advice for budding home decorators in Limerick as well, the most important thing, I think, is to be brave. Interior design is a medium that allows you to make bold and bright choices. You dont need to be afraid of beautiful things. You can make mistakes, you can always repaint something, I think its always better to experiment.

    You can catch Suzie on Home of the Year with the first episode airing on RT One television at 8.30pm this Tuesday.

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    WATCH: Limerick interior designer joins judging panel on RT's Home of the Year - Limerick Leader

    This New Gloucester Home Draws Inspiration from the Colors of the Ocean – Boston magazine - February 16, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Home Design

    The modified Greek Revival farmhouse is the brainchild of architect Zoe McManus and interior designer Holly Gagne.

    The minimalist range hood drove the placement and thickness of the cantilevered shelves in the kitchen, which also features zellige tile from Ann Sacks. The mermaid ink drawing is by local artist Paul Timmons. / Photo by Jared Kuzia

    The Barretts wouldnt be that family. The one that demolishes a long-standing house on a sleepy street to erect an out-of-character replacement that would make the neighbors groan. Although Renee and Jeff Barrett favor a contemporary aestheticthe empty-nesters raised their three kids in a midcentury-modern home in Concordthey were too sensitive to make that mistake. We like design and wanted to have fun, but the neighborhood couldnt support contemporary, Renee says.

    Instead, they hired architect Zoe McManus and interior designer Holly Gagne to conceive an airy interior within a traditional shell. The new dwelling supplanted a tired house just a block from the harbor on Rocky Neck in Gloucester, an area the couple love as much for its proximity to the water as for its funky, art-colony vibe. McManus designed a modified Greek Revival farmhouse with a wraparound porch that adheres closely to the original buildings footprint. It was a three-dimensional chess game, McManus says. Still, she successfully incorporated three bedrooms, a mudroom, and an office into 2,310 square feet.

    Sourced from Lindas Barn in Strafford, NH, an Oushak rug provides a neutral pattern in the living area while the abstract painting by local artist Sallie Strand adds a pop of color. / Photo by Jared Kuzia

    The offices sliding-glass bran door was a cost-conscious compromise to installing a full wall of glass. / Photo by Jared Kuzia

    The result is anything but constrained. The open floor plan flows from the entry, around the central stair, and into the kitchen and living area. They wanted all the rooms to relate to each other and feel as big as possible, McManus says. Even Renees office feels a part of the action thanks to its transparent barn door. The glass provides privacy without isolation and doesnt interrupt the natural light. Overall, the house lives large. Were a tall family and we feel comfortable in every room, Renee says.

    The design also makes the most of the seaside locale. Windows catch snippets of water views between surrounding homes without staring at their faades straight on. The kitchens back wall is solid to avoid an eyeful of shingle, while the office and the dining nook are located in windowed corners with less cluttered sightlines. You get the ambiance of Rocky Neck, McManus says. The colors and materials used throughout the home enhance this coastal flavor. The scheme is inspired by the oceans many shades of gray, blue, and green, Renee says. I saw an article recently that said gray is out. Well, it isnt if you look out our windows.

    Scalloped wall tiles offer a playful touch in the powder room. / Photo by Jared Kuzia

    Taking cues from the organic theme and Jeffs interest in woodworking, the couple chose character-grade, quarter-sawn oak floorboards from a mill in Vermont. Richly stained, rift-sawn oak cabinetry in the kitchen plays off the floors and grounds the space. The dark color provides contrast and depth, but doesnt feel heavy since there arent any uppers, Gagne says, referencing the single stretch of shelving on either side of the minimalist stainless steel hood.

    A family trip to Italy during the design process informed the backsplash itself. Renee was inspired by the tactile quality of Italian tiles and marbles, which led to the taupe-y gray, hand-glazed terracotta tiles, Gagne says. Renee confides she initially envisioned much more colorful specimens, but that Gagne gently steered her toward neutrals. I enjoy that tile every day, the homeowner says. The beauty lies in its imperfections.

    Gagne went neutral with the cushions on the adjacent banquette, too, so that Renee could showcase her collection of colorful pillows made from global textiles. The team commissioned local woodworker Andy Tolliver to craft the dining table using two slabs of Japanese elm connected by a river of dark blue epoxy. The family eats here and also uses the area for working and hanging out. Pre-COVID, neighbors climbed in to talk and drink wine; it was like the old-fashioned kitchen table, Renee says.

    The living area, just beyond the dining nook, is outfitted with a comfy sectional for lounging. The wood stove, a must-have for Jeff, is the focal point. Gagne balanced the off-center stove with the wall-hung television and a cantilevered shelf. It looks so simple and obvious now, but we went through so many permutations, Renee says about the arrangement. A sitting room with a more symmetrical setup that boasts four fuzzy chairs around a rattan table occupies a niche behind the sectional. While theres no wall between the two spaces, the sitting room feels private. Its all about being cozy, Gagne says.

    A Phillip Jeffries wallcovering lines the backs of the custom bookshelves in the sitting room. / Photo by Jared Kuzia

    In the couples bedroom, woven Roman shades allow privacy from the neighbors and lend a coastal touch. / Photo by Jared Kuzia

    Brushed-gold and lacquered-brass fixtures warm the primary bath, which boasts two vanitiespainted Benjamin Moores North Seaby Newbury Cabinetry. / Photo by Jared Kuzia

    The vanity in the hall bath, also by Newbury Cabinetry, sports coats of Benjamin Moores Rushing River. They had fun exploring color in the baths, interior designer Holly Gagne says of the homeowners. / Photo by Jared Kuzia

    For true privacy, the couple retire to their bedroom upstairs. Gagne designed built-ins for efficiency and combined elegant marble surfaces with splashes of blue in the en suite bath. The punch of color is coastal but not cute, she says. The hall bath follows suit with a vanity painted green.

    The family, who sheltered together in their new home last spring, are delighted with it, as are the neighbors. The prior owners daughter stopped by to see the house and loved it, Renee says. Thats a big compliment.

    ArchitectZoe McManus

    CabinetmakersAndy Tolliver Woodworks; Newbury Cabinetry

    ContractorRobert E Cahill Construction

    Interior DesignerHolly Gagne Interior Design

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    This New Gloucester Home Draws Inspiration from the Colors of the Ocean - Boston magazine

    The best luxury hotels opening in 2021 | International | Travel – Luxury London - February 16, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    For most of us it has now been nearly a year since we even contemplated checking into a luxury hotel and, frankly, we miss it. The warm greeting from a doorman, the crisp cotton sheets, the lavish room service and, to be quite honest, the time spent somewhere other than our own homes.

    So if the wanderlust has finally become too much and youve started researching your much-anticipated post-lockdown holiday, we cant blame you. But where to stay, given all that pent-up expectation? Ever the optimists, the worlds finest hotel brands have pressed on with their new 2021 openings, spoiling us for choice when it comes to booking the dream back-to-normality holiday. Here are the best new luxury hotels opening in 2021

    Okay, so this isnt technically a new hotel the Mandarin Oriental Ritz has been a fixture of the Madrid hospitality scene for over 110 years but having been closed for a major refurbishment since 2017, its definitely one to add to the 2021 bucket list. Spanish architect Rafael de La-Hoz and French design duo Gilles & Boissier have helmed the refurbishment, which the hotel promises will offer state-of-the-art new facilities while retaining the Belle poque character created by hotel founder Cesar Ritz. Key upgrades include all-new spa and wellness options, as well as the return of the historic Palm Court after 80 years, which will house one of the hotels five new restaurants and bars featuring menus by celebrated Spanish chef Quique Dacosta.

    Opening: April 2021Prices: From 650/night

    Book now

    All-inclusive resorts can get a bad rap but, done right, the concept can save a nasty bill at the end of your luxury holiday. This is exactly what high-end Greek hotel chain Ikos has been proving and, so popular has its formula become, that 2021 will see its first Spanish property open in Andalusia. Located 20 minutes from Marbella, guests at the 411-key resort can expect a la carte menus created by Michelin-starred chefs, 24-hour room service and a 300-label wine cellar to choose from. Ikos has also created relationships with surrounding restaurants to allow guests to try the best local cuisine. Room fees also include use of the hotels Mini car, golf passes and complimentary museum tickets to some of Mlaga's most prestigious institutions.

    Opening: April 2021Prices: From 392/night

    Book now

    The brainchild by Patricia Urquiola and housed in a 13th Century building that formerly hosted pilgrims and crusaders, the latest addition to Venices crowded hospitality scene is certainly worth making a beeline for. Occupying a privileged position on the Riva Cadi Dio in the artistic Arsenale district, just minutes from Piazza San Marco, the hotel will offer just 66 elegant suites and rooms and can be accessed directly by water taxi from the canal. Two pretty internal courtyards will offer respite from the hustle and bustle of the city and play host to the Alchemia Bar and Essentia restaurant, where traditional Venetian dishes will be created using the hotels own vegetable garden, while a roof terrace, spa and reading room ensure plenty of options to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.

    Opening: Spring 2021Prices: From 460/night

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    One of Londons most highly-anticipated new hotel openings, the first outpost of American luxury hotel brand NoMad, draws inspiration from its home in the Grade II-listed former Bow Street Magistrates Court. Centrally located in Covent Garden, opposite the Royal Opera House, the 91-room hotel provides the perfect base from which to explore the capital, with its light-filled central atrium restaurant promising to become a favourite of both guests and locals. Side Hustle, the hotels take on the classic British pub, will also serve Mexican-inspired small plates and one of the most extensive bar menus in the capital.

    Opening: Spring 2021Prices: From 455/night

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    Located on the banks of Lake Geneva and overlooking Mont Blanc, this new suite-only hotel from Oetker Collection was originally built in 1901 by Franois Durel and is undergoing a complete transformation by renowned architect Pierre-Yves Rochon. Beyond its historic faade, The Woodward will offer sophisticated, contemporary interiors across its 26 suites, bars, spa, tea room and cigar lounge (housed in a former vault from the buildings time as a bank). Dining will come in the form of Le Jardinier, helmed by Michelin-starred chef Olivier Jean, and LAtelierde Jol Robuchon, a 36-cover open kitchen concept created by the legendary French chef.

    Opening: Spring 2021Prices: From 1,200/night

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    Offering all of the glamour and luxury of St Tropez and Positano but with far fewer crowds, the coastal towns of Montenegro are fast becoming a favoured playground for the Mediterranean's rich and famous. Accordingly, luxury hotels are starting to pop up in the country's top locations, and, in 2021, One&Only will be joining them with its new hotel in Portonovi. As well as offering guests the usual state-of-the-art wellness, sport and fine-dining facilities, One&Only is also putting an emphasis on helping travellers explore Montenegro, with exclusive experiences including visiting the 18th century palace of a local aristocratic family, submarine diving through the caves of old Yugoslavia and scaling the Adriatic's highest mountain, Mount Orjen, with ultra-trail athlete Saa Kulinovi.

    Opening: May 2021Prices: From 495/night

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    Brand new luxury hotel chain OKU will launch its collection of high-end European retreats with OKU Ibiza in May 2021. Focused on barefoot living and a slower pace of life, the hotel has been designed around the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi which champions the use of natural materials as a way of connecting with the earth. Wood, wicker, rattan and stone abound throughout this minimalist hotel, which is home to 184 rooms and suites, two restaurants with menus created by Sushisambas Mark Vaessen, a spa, yoga studio, gym and the islands largest swimming pool (not pictured).

    Opening: May 2021Prices: From 316/night

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    Originally opened in 1986, the beautiful Le Guanahani hotel on the Caribbean island of St. Barths will reopen under the Rosewood banner after an extensive three-year refurbishment this year. Spread over 18 lush acres of peninsula, with access to two sandy beaches, the resorts 66 rooms, suites and villas have been overhauled by interior designer Luis Pons Design Lab and many have been upgraded with new private pools. Elsewhere, the hotels status as the islands only full-service resort is cemented with updated amenities, including tennis courts, a childrens club, gym, Sense spa and new swimming pool.

    Opening: Spring 2021Prices: TBA

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    Looking to really get away from it all post-lockdown? The first resort in the Americas from uber-luxury hotel chain Six Senses couldnt be more perfect. Nestled in the breathtaking forests around the Mantiqueira Mountains in Brazil, this remote eco-friendly retreat currently offers just 18 suites and villas (a further 16 are planned) and everything from the food to the spa treatments and the architecture are inspired by the hotels surroundings. Seasonal Brazilian dishes at the Mina restaurant, for example, are created using herbs, fruit and vegetables grown on-site, while drinks at the Fire Side bar are mixed using homemade probiotics and tonics. To help guests really connect with this unique location, the hotel also offers a programme of cultural activities, including capoeira and Afro-Brazilian martial arts classes and hiking and horse-back trekking through the surrounding forest.

    Opening: January 2021Prices: From 306/night

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    Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, in the heart of Bangkoks creative district, the Four Seasons' newest Thai hotel is a serene Jean-Michel Gathy-designed sanctuary. Spread across a series of tiered buildings to maximise on outdoor space and natural light, guests at each of the hotels 299 rooms will have access to six restaurants and bars, with cuisines spanning traditional Cantonese to Italian and French, as well as a 26,900 sq ft Urban Wellness Centre complete with extensive spa, nail bar, barber, hair salon and lap pool. If you find yourself never wanting to leave, The Four Season Bangkok will also be home to 366 private residences with access to all of the hotels amenities.

    Opening: January 2021Prices: From 240/night

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    The first step in Legian Hotel Managements Asian expansion plans, the boutique Legian Sire in Lombok, Indonesia, takes relaxed island life to the next level. Each of its 60 spacious villas and suites boasts gorgeous views across the forested mountains, paddy fields and calm seas of Lombok, while the hotels complimentary boat service allows guests to take advantage of the world-class diving and snorkelling at the neighbouring Gili Islands. The Legian Sire also puts a strong focus on wellness, with treatments at its in-house spa using Lombok volcanic clay. Elsewhere, its wellness garden grows all the ingredients used at the adjacent vegetarian restaurant a first for the island.

    Opening: July 2021Price: From $347/night

    Book now

    Read more: London's best five-star hotels

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    The best luxury hotels opening in 2021 | International | Travel - Luxury London

    This Band-Aid inspired antibody home test kit design is the simple and safe home testing solution we need! – Yanko Design - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    COVID-19 has left us with many questions that need to be answered in case of another such pandemic strikes again. Even though the vaccine for the yearlong disease thats jolted the world brings a refreshing change in how we perceive the current future, the threat is still not all gone. There are hotspots around the world that need to be scanned for the virus, and a handy antibody test kit is more than the need of the hour. Yue Zhao, a medical design student at Muthesius Kunsthochschule University, has come up with the Testen?Testen! (name so nice, you gotta say it twice. But this is the name bestowed by the designer) home antibody testing kit that simplifies the process of mass screening in any community.

    Compared to the currently available test kits, this design is painless, uses a lot less blood, and safer to use as the blood goes directly inside the tester. According to Yue, she has created theband-aid-like test kitin such a way that it brings a safe and hassle-free means of testing at home for antibody development. According to her, finger prick testing can be painful and difficult for some individuals when performed at home. Thats why this test sticks to the forearm and using high-velocity microneedles and vacuum pressure, only the required amount of blood drop is collected. This ease of makes it possible for one-handed use of the test kit, even for alone individuals.

    The operation is simple, just stick it to your forearm, wait for one minute until the blood cells turn red, and then press the sample diluent button. This will trigger the blood and diluent to mix and flow to the absorbent pad. The resulting area will then show the result of the test. Yues design is promising, to say the least, as more and more people are venturing out of their homes to make sure they are not infected and have a good immune response, this test kit is the viable solution.

    Designer: Yue Zhao

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    This Band-Aid inspired antibody home test kit design is the simple and safe home testing solution we need! - Yanko Design

    Life Meets Art book offers glimpse inside homes of leading creatives – Dezeen - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Norman Foster's lofty dining room and the tactile living space of Faye Toogood are among the home interiors revealed in author Sam Lubell's new book, Life Meets Art.

    Life Meets Artwas curated by Lubell to "reveal a new side" to over 200 of the world's best-loved creatives by offering a glimpse inside their private spaces.

    The homes of both notable and lesser-known architects, designers, musicians, poets and artists from across six different centuries and more than thirty countries are also shown many for the first time.

    "It started with the people, the world's most talented, interesting, original, and in some cases strange artists, architects, writers, musicians, and more," Lubell told Dezeen.

    "We knew we wanted to reveal a new side to these creatives, but we also wanted a lot of surprises, people and places that people might not have heard of."

    "All the spaces are reflections of their owners"

    According to Lubell, one of the most significant discoveries in the book is how "all the spaces are reflections of their owners".

    "There's this phenomenal feedback loop between a creative person and their living space," he explained.

    "Their experience inspires their art, which inspires their home, which inspires their art, which inspires their experience, and so on," he continued.

    "Every square inch is fueled with a creative vision that manifests in entirely different ways. We learn how they've shaped their homes, and how their homes have shaped them. It's almost like peeking inside someone's body."

    "The homes of designers have most influence on residential design trends"

    Lubell believes Life Meets Art also encapsulates the extent of the influence that architects and designers have had on residential interiors.

    According to Lubell, this "trend rolls through history", and is evident in homes ranging all the way from Charles Moore postmodernist dwelling in Texas to the minimalist London residence of John Pawson.

    "I think the homes of architects and designers had the most influence on residential design trends," Lubell explained.

    "This makes sense because that's their speciality, and in many cases, their homes were opportunities to experiment with and advocate for entirely new design philosophies."

    Read on for Dezeen's pick of 10 designer homes in the book:

    La Voile, France

    One of the most notable contemporary architects to feature in the book is Pritzker Prize-winning architect Foster, with his La Voile residence that he created within a 1950s tower on the French Riviera.

    The building was carved out to create an open, futuristic interior, with a series of balconies overlooking a white-walled dining room and a living room at its heart.

    Toogood/Gibberd Residence, UK

    Toogood's minimalist home, which she shares with Modern House co-founder Matt Gibberd, is located in a 1960s house in London by Swiss architect Walter Segal.

    In her living room, pale bricks are used as a tactile backdrop to a number of pared-back furnishings that range from her own pill-shaped coffee table to playful geometric tapestries.

    Cabin at Longbranch, USA

    American architect Jim Olsen created this stilted woodland house for himself at the age of 18 and remodelled it several times since.

    The dwelling is characterised by its exposed-wood framework and large windows, captured here in this seating area, which is designed to retain focus on the home's natural surroundings.

    Rainbow Penthouse, UK

    The vibrant and colourful home of Zandra Rhodes, aptly named Rainbow Penthouse, is an embodiment of the fashion designer's trademark style.

    Located on top of London's Fashion and Textile Museum, which she also owns, the penthouse apartment is filled with colour-blocked surfaces and adorned with her personal art collection.

    Finn Juhls Hus, Denmark

    Modernist furniture and artwork fill every space of Finn Juhl's former home in Ordrup. This includes the living room, photographed above, within which his Chieftan lounge chair takes centre stage.

    In the book, Lubell describes the dwelling as a "perfect example of how Juhl weighed interior design and architecture equally".

    Moore/Andersson Compound, USA

    The final home of late Charles Moore, which he created for himself was in Texas, perfectly captures the bold postmodernist style for which he is best known.

    Life Meets Art spotlights the dwelling's main living area, which is crammed full with decorative pilasters, a collection of toys, colourful ceramics and statues of kachina dolls.

    Villa E-1027, France

    Furniture is the focus throughout Villa E-1027, the former clifftop home of modernist designer Eileen Gray that is now open to the public in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

    Life Meets Art homes in on its main living room, which features her the iconic Bibendium chair and the glass and steel E-1027 side table.

    Rashid Residence, USA

    This gallery-like kitchen and dining room forms part of industrial designer Karim Rashid's four-bedroom townhouse in Manhattan.

    White walls and floors form a backdrop to bright finishes that range from a luminous lime-hued backsplash to a multi-coloured carpet that echoes Rashid's joyful approach to design.

    Juan O'Gorman House-Studio, Mexico

    Located just outside Mexico City is the home of the late architect, painter and muralist Juan O'Gorman, which he built for himself in 1933. It is positioned close to La Casa Azul, the dwelling he created for Diego Riviera and Frida Kahlo.

    Today it is owned by artist Paulina Parlange, who has teamed its bright, light-filled finishes with an eclectic mix of furnishings, murals and patterned textiles.

    Neutra VDFL Research House, USA

    Large glazed walls that frame views of a neighbouring reservoir line the Neutra VDFL Research House the former home of modernist architect Richard Neutra.

    Lubell selected the dwelling for the book in recognition of its innovative, mid-century design, which he describes as "strikingly ahead of its time".

    Photography is courtesy of Phaidon.

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    Life Meets Art book offers glimpse inside homes of leading creatives - Dezeen

    Resetting for the new year with soothing decor – - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    After an anxiety-filled 2020 and during the continuing pandemic, many of us are looking to our homes for nearly everything: a place to work, study, sleep, eat, exercise. And dont forget unwind. Homes these days can offer calm and relaxation, designers say. Whether that means a decor refresh or a few small additions, they suggest some easy ways to create a more restful home space in 2021.

    Think both big and small as you assess your rooms, says John Eason, an interior designer in New York.

    The feeling of a soothing room comes not only from the overall effect and aesthetic, but from key details, he says.

    THE NEW COZYDont be limited by conventional ideas of what makes a space cozy, Eason says: Metal and stone are as comforting for their sturdy dependability as wood is for its flex and give. Deep, rich colors can be as relaxing as cheerful, bright ones.

    Sustainably produced textiles and environmentally friendly paints with velvety finishes can lend a healthy and comfortable vibe.

    Find apps that play calming music and relaxing stories, or YouTube videos of crackling fireplaces or lapping waters.

    Aromatherapy candles and diffusers wafting scents of nature, or baked goodies, are easy additions, as are soft toss pillows where youll be binge-watching.

    In recent years, the Danish word hygge came to describe the concept of coziness. The Welsh have their own apt term: cwtch. Pronounced kutch, it loosely references both cozy nooks and extra warm hugs.

    FOLLOW YOUR OWN TASTESCreate your easy-living vibe based on your own sense of balance, harmony and good energy, says Leigh Spicher, national design director for Atlanta-based home builder Ashton Woods. Thats especially true now when guests are discouraged because of safety concerns.

    The best way to design a restful, relaxing home is to make it about you and the people you live with, she advises.

    Choose colors you love, not necessarily whats trendy. Frame travel pictures and personal photos.

    UNPLUGGED SPACESWe all need more screens if were working and spending more time at home, but allow yourself to escape them too, Spicher says.

    Make sure theres a space in your home without tech, including TV, she says.

    Real plants, and a mix of elements like wood, stone, metal perhaps even a water feature, like a table fountain can create a soothing, authentic living space.

    DEFINING THE SPACEIt can be stressful when too much is going on in a space. Get creative with delineating spaces and their functions.

    For children, I love to create a designated play area by overlapping a fun, patterned area rug with woven poufs and storage ottomans, says Amanda Amato, a designer in Caldwell, New Jersey, and style expert for HomeGoods. She also suggests creating a reading nook in a forgotten corner of a room, and reducing clutter in a small bedroom by multi-purposing a writing desk as a nightstand.

    SEE THINGS IN A GOOD LIGHTChip Wade, a designer and architect in Cumming, Georgia, uses light to define different parts of a room and to create a laid-back atmosphere.

    Lighting is a key component to personalizing my space. Controlling my entire lighting setup remotely on my phone makes it easy to dim and create scenes, he says.

    You can swap out regular bulbs for color-changing ones that offer sunrise, sunset and other mood-enhancing hues.

    Eason likes to play with the way light works on various surfaces.

    An upholstered wall lends a peaceful air to a room for its sound-absorbing qualities, but also for how it affects the play of light, he says. Creating pools of light in a variety of intensities, rather than an overall brightness, and having that light emit from fixtures that are focal points, can create a sense of focus and calm.

    Continue reading here:
    Resetting for the new year with soothing decor -

    Brand-New Oceanfront Mansion on Australias Southern Coast Is a Modern-Day Masterpiece – Mansion Global - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder


    Location: Flinders, Victoria, Australia

    Price: A$30 million (US$22.93 million)

    Dubbed Horizon, this recently completed five-bedroom mansion is perched on a dramatic cliff edge on Australias Mornington Peninsula near Flinders township, about 45 miles south of Melbourne.

    In 2015, the family of legendary Australian rules football coach Jock McHale put the property, which includes a 1920s homestead called Pinnacle Park, up for sale. According to listing agent Rob Curtain of Peninsula Sotheby's International Realty, developer Brooke Starbuck bought it, along with multiple adjoining titles.

    Unlike all of the other allotments offered, which have restrictive zoning regulations, the five-acre homestead did not fall into the same zoning, Mr. Curtain said. So he saw an opportunity and subdivided the land into four separate plots while maintaining the original homestead.

    More: Luxury Homes in Seoul, Berlin and Sydney Headed for Significant Price Growth

    Starbuck enlisted local craftsmen Williams Group and commercial architect Bruce Henderson to build the home. The process took five years. He wanted to do the unique position justice and build a generational home that would withstand the harsh environment of living so close to the ocean, Mr. Curtain said. He also hired interior designer Mim Design for the internal fit-out based on Miriam Fannings renowned coastal work. Its truly a modern-day masterpiece.

    The interiors feature St. Croix stone complemented by American oak flooring. The homes elevated first level contains five ocean bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms and ocean views, as well as a central chefs kitchen, a fully appointed scullery and three living spaces oriented to maximize the views.

    The main open-plan living, kitchen, dining area is simply spectacular, Mr. Curtain said. The 13-foot ceilings with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a 180-degree ocean view create the most surreal feeling of being suspended over the water. Its an architectural and engineering triumph set on a truly spectacular landholding with 335 feet of oceanfront and tremendous 270-degree ocean and rural views.

    More: Why Australian Buyers Are Turning to the Mornington Peninsula


    The 21,528-square-foot home sits on a 1.25-acre lot and has five bedrooms and six full bathrooms.


    The home has the latest in technology with world-class kitchen appliances from Wolf and Sub-Zero, integrated audio-visual by Sonos, zoned hydronic floor heating and VRV heating and cooling throughout. A comprehensive security system includes keyless entry and all home technologies are controlled via Elan. The residence is also 6-star energy rated and includes a solar panel system.

    An elevator connects the upper level to the lower one, which has a professional gymnasium, sauna, cinema room, wine room and a garage. There is also a second gourmet kitchen servicing an al fresco spa terrace, where a suspended 20-person spa overlooks the ocean.

    From Penta: Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes Rookie Card Sets a Record

    Neighborhood Notes

    The beauty of this location is the views are all water and rural surroundings as the area is better known for the farming environment, Mr. Curtain said. But this home is only a five-minute walk to the Flinders township, golf courses and the Flinders Bay Beach. Its also only a 60-minute drive to Melbournes central business district.

    Listing Agent: Rob Curtain, Peninsula Sotheby's International Realty

    View the original listing.

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    Brand-New Oceanfront Mansion on Australias Southern Coast Is a Modern-Day Masterpiece - Mansion Global

    Gang of Thieves Used Instagram to Stake Out Celebrity Homes – Euro Weekly News - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    ITALIAN POLICE have arrested a four-man gang of thieves who used Instagram to stake out the homes of Milan celebrities to prepare daring burglaries.

    Investigators in Milan have arrested a gang nicknamed the acrobat thieves by the local press who used Instagram to monitor the movements of their celebrity targets as well as using photo posts to get an insight into their luxury homes.

    The criminal quartet, aged between 14 and 44, targetted homes of local celebrities in Italys richest city including Inter Milan footballer Acharif Hakimi, TV personality Diletta Leotta, and Instagram influencer Eleonora Incardona. They analysed the stars social media output to see when they were out of town when they could strike, as well as gaining info on their homes and what type of windows they had.

    Dramatic CCTV footage captured the acrobatic thieves scaling a wall to break into a first-floor apartment and the criminals reportedly dressed in style to blend into the crowds of upmarket Milanese neighbourhoods during their heists. They looted Rolex watches, designer handbags, and expensive jewellery during their robberies, much of which has now been recovered following the gangs arrest.

    While the south of Italy is famous for its mafia, some of Europes most accomplished thieves have hailed from the north of the country. The mysteriousSchool of Turin,originating in their eponymous home city, garnered international attention in 2003 following the daring and lucrative Antwerp Diamond Heist.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this news article Gang of Thieves Used Instagram to Stake Out Celebrity Homes. For more UK daily news, Spanish daily news and Global news stories, visit the Euro Weekly News home page.

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    Gang of Thieves Used Instagram to Stake Out Celebrity Homes - Euro Weekly News

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