Home Tour: A Minimalist Apartment In Turin With Unique Home Office Space

A minimalist apartment in Turin, Italy

Open plan living has been a popular choice in home design for several years now. But there is something to be said for the new trend for broken-plan living. It gives us different areas to break off into when we want a bit of quiet time and privacy. In addition, it adds element of mystery when you can’t see the entire layout of a home all at once. And as a result, can make a home appear to be more spacious.

That’s exactly what happened with the renovation of this exquisite minimalist apartment in the heart of Turin, Italy. The home forms part of a Palace dating back to 1800 close to the historic Piazza Castello. Here, broken-plan living and warm minimalism were brought together in a design that combines open areas with walls and sliding doors to provide both space and privacy – and a very unique mezzanine home office space.


Biophilic Architecture: When Design Meets Nature

Biophilic architecture - mirrored installation by Anish Kapoor

Architectural shapes have always fascinated me. Especially when they are juxtaposed with nature.

I never realised there was a name for this synchronicity of design and the natural world working together. But then I learnt about the concept biophilia, and it all made perfect sense.

When you set architecture against the sky, like the Anish Kapoor installation above, or Santiago Calatrava’s Chords bridge (below) the effect is quite dramatic.


Decorating With Light And Shadow

Architecture of Villa F - light and shadow on Mocha UK

Have you ever noticed that so many architectural homes have predominantly white interiors? 

When a home has interesting features, it doesn’t need much decoration. Sometimes the best thing is to keep it simple.  Let the architecture do the talking. And the interplay of light and shadow becomes the decorating.

Too much colour or pattern might detract from the shapes and obscure the details. Whereas the contrast between the light and dark shadows creates depth. And it can also be very atmospheric.


The Tallest Hotel in London: Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard

The Shard Shangri-La Hotel London - Mocha

The tallest hotel in London is set to open on 6 May.

Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London will occupy levels 34 to 52 of the glass-clad skyscraper. And will actually be the tallest hotel in Western Europe. Offering the most breath-taking views of the city, it will unfold in all directions to reveal iconic landmarks such as the River Thames, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and Big Ben.


Why Design Constraints Can Give You a More Creative Home

Fallingwater by architect Frank Lloyd Wright

What would your dream home look like?

Is it by the sea, in the mountains, or surrounded by a forest of trees?

Everyone has their own vision of a dream home. But one thing they usually all have in common is that they are spacious and everything fits in perfectly.

In reality, though, it may be the total opposite. Perhaps there are space constraints in your home that make it challenge to fit in all your furniture and belongings. Or it might have unusual features that are difficult to work with.

However, it is those very design constraints that can result in a more creative home.


Villa F: A Greek Island Holiday Home With A Difference

If I asked you to imagine a Greek Island holiday home, how would you describe it to me?

You might mention typical Mediterranean whitewashed walls and a spacious and airy interior. Perhaps simple but comfortable furnishings  (ideal for relaxing and getting away from it all!) And no doubt, a view of the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea.

Villa F Greek Island Villa on Mocha UK

This holiday villa on the Greek Island of Rhodes has all of this. But I bet it isn’t quite what you were imagining …

Villa F is a futuristic looking home. It was designed by architects Hornung and Jacobi Architecture for a couple who wanted a holiday home that also included a separate area for guests.


Explore the Architecture of Santiago Calatrava at Liege-Guillemins

Liege Station by Architect Santiago Calatrava

It may look like a setting from a futuristic film set. But the image above was actually taken at Liege-Guillemins train station in Belgium. It was designed by one of my favourite architects: Santiago Calatrava.

Last week I travelled through the station en-route to IMM Cologne (the International Furniture Fair in Cologne). It was freezing – about minus 4 degrees celcius – and still dark outside because it was so early in the morning. But despite that, seeing this station for the first time with its amazing architecture, was mesmerising.


Open House London

A view of the London skyline including the BT Tower

If you love architecture and interior design – and planning to be in London next weekend – then don’t miss Open House London which takes place from 18 – 19 September.

Called the capital’s greatest architectural showcase, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some amazing public buildings and private residential homes of all types and periods, including some architecturally designed modern homes. And best of all, it’s completely free!