Whenever the weather warms, our thoughts naturally turn to the great outdoors. Particularly here in the Pacific Northwest, our breathtaking surroundings inspire so much of what we do. Lush temperate rainforests are the perfect place for quiet reflection, sandy beaches allow us to momentarily escape from our preoccupations, and snow-capped mountains serve as a resolute reminder of nature's permanence.
Natural materials and design principles frequently find their way into LIV's work, creating all-important cohesion with the world around us. This can be as simple as selecting tile and wood that reflect the project's setting, or as elaborate as designing layouts that allow nature itself to play a part in the space. Ultimately, we are all stewards of this earth and creating designs that harmonize with the world around us is a huge part of LIV's TECH/DESIGN/CULTURE ethos. We seek to enrich our surroundings by including them at every step of our processes and finding creative ways to augment them with our own additions.
Regardless of the time of year or where you call home though, there's so much to be learned from nature. Today, we're sharing what inspires the team at LIV Design Studio, providing examples of how our work seeks to replicate and incorporate elements and principles of our surroundings.
[Pictured in header - Left: Photo by Daniel Plan on Unsplash; Right: Breezeway at Marylebone Square]
Punctuating our projects with purposeful spaces for gathering, relaxing and contemplating is tantamount to enriching residents' day-to-day lives. Much like valleys and rivers carved into expansive mountain ranges, courtyards and atriums allow us space to nurture our thoughts and seek quiet amongst sprawling urban backdrops.
Filling these communal areas with windows to the outside world further enriches their restorative powers, and creates purposeful escapes within the home. We defer to this rendering of the central courtyard breezeway at Marylebone Square in London as an example of how architecture and design work hand-in-hand to create these sorts of intentional spaces.
Replicating these atriums in the home can easily become a reality as well. Our advice – seek open spaces within your abode that have abundant natural light, then fill them with calming furnishings and plenty of greenery to create a restful, rejuvenating scene.
[Pictured left: Photo by Holly Mandarich on Unsplash; Left: Inner courtyard at Marylebone Square]
"Biophilic design is not just aesthetics. As the boundary between our work life and personal life is increasingly blurred, it's important to connect ourselves with nature in order to remain happy and fulfilled."
–Dickson Chu, Senior Interior Designer at LIV Design Studio
Re-thinking how we delineate inside versus outside helps to weave nature into our daily routines. Indoor-outdoor transitions are more prominent now than ever, a principle LIV incorporates into many of our multi-residential communities. Outdoor living rooms and amenity areas that seamlessly transition from inside to out allow for meaningful all-season enjoyment of our living spaces.
Especially in the work-from-home era, grounding oneself amongst nature is tantamount to cultivating balance in our lives, and helps forge a stronger sense of place. This can come in the form of sliding glass doors leading onto patios, balconies or backyards, or floor-to-ceiling windows that let in light from outside.
The recently completed Avenue One by Concord Pacific is emblematic of all these principles in action. Seen here, the sliding glass doors open up to sprawling outdoor living spaces overlooking the community's stunning Southeast False Creek location. Set amongst the water, cityscape and mountains, this space allows residents to forge their own private connection with nature without leaving home.
[Pictured from top to bottom: Photo by Maddison Fantillo on Unsplash; Rendering of an 'outdoor living room' at Avenue One by Concord Pacific; Rendering of the fitness facilities at Avenue One]
Materials go a long way in creating cohesion between interiors and exteriors. When well-chosen, tiling, wood, and furnishings themselves can capture aspects of the design's physical setting to create easy transitions between outdoor and indoor space.
Ultimately, the best design has context: it's informed by the history and realities of its setting and reflects this in a creative manner. Interiors that encapsulate the land around them while reinterpreting them through the lens of design tend to have a lasting impact beyond those that lack a sense of place. Our advice: take heed of your surroundings – what materials are in your immediate purview? The types of stone and wood found just outside your home can often make for great additions to your interiors.
Conjuring certain moods and atmospheres through consciously selected furnishings is an excellent way to give a project identity. In this rendering of an in-suite powder room at the forthcoming Marylebone Square project, rough stone textures are paired with elegant walnut-toned wood fixtures and trim to give a refined appearance.
[Pictured above - Right: Rendering of a powder room at Marylebone Square; Left: Photo by Moriah Wolfe on Unsplash]
"We often forget that our lives require a connection to our natural surroundings. By introducing green elements such as plants into our living spaces, we're not only improving our physical health, but also positively contributing to our mental well-being."
–Dickson Chu, Senior Interior Designer at LIV Design Studio
Who's to say that our homes can't be as restful as a resort vacation? Amenity spaces within multi-residential communities allow the LIV Design team to incorporate our favourite elements of holidays abroad into everyday life.
There's no better way to envision this than with our work for Oasis at Concord Brentwood. Though the project is located in the heart of the bustling Brentwood Town Centre community, residents and guests are whisked away to tropical shores without stepping outside the comfort of home, owing to the over 30,000 sq. ft. of amenity space within, including the full-length pool and outdoor sunbathing beach pictured here.
Inspired by tropical cenote beaches, this tucked-away paradise transports the mind to places beyond our daily realities. Our advice: even if you aren't able to fit a full-length pool within your abode, incorporate facets of relaxed resort living into your interiors for a transportive touch.
[Pictured above - Left: Photo by Jonathan Bean on Unsplash; Middle & Right: Indoor swimming pool/Outdoor sunbathing beach at Oasis at Concord Brentwood]
Inspired by falling droplets of rain, an all-too-common sight in the Pacific Northwest, this luminescent accent wall at Avenue One by Concord Pacific was the LIV team's creative way of incorporating West Coast elements into the lobby's design. Glowing rods of light are affixed against a dark-hued backdrop, set directly behind the concierge desk to welcome residents and guests in elegant fashion.
Comparisons don't need to be heavy-handed, either – when referencing nature, subtlety reigns supreme. Try utilizing found objects and materials from your surroundings in sustainable ways, like driftwood or moss in the form of wall-art, as an example.
[Pictured - Top: Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash; Bottom: Accent wall at Avenue One by Concord Pacific]