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English Designer Creates Furniture That Looks and Feels Like Human Skin

Gigi Barker, a British furniture designer and owner of Studio 9191, has come up with a new range of seating that looks and feels a lot like the human body. The seats are designed to mimic bulbous, podgy human flesh. And they’re oddly comforting, as Gigi’s customers reluctantly admit.

Although the seats are made of leather – the closest material to human skin that she could find – they’re so oddly shaped that they aren’t instantly recognisable. And that’s exactly the effect that she was hoping to achieve with the project, which she calls ‘A Body of Skin’.

Through the project, Gigi wanted to explore people’s reactions to furniture that is strangely familiar to the sight, smell and touch, but not recognisable. “That made the viewers question how to interact with the shapes and to form their own conclusions,” she said.

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Star Trek Fan Turns the Basement of Her Home into an Awesome Replica of the Enterprise Deck

51-year-old Canadian social worker, Line Rainville, is a Star Trek superfan. She loves the 1960s Original Series so much that she spent $30,000 to bring the Enterprise spaceship into her basement. Rainville re-created parts of the bridge, transporter room, observation deck, recreation room and Spock’s quarters in her home in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Quebec.

You’ve got to be a Star Trek fan yourself to truly appreciate what Rainville has done here. It wasn’t easy for her to find pieces of furniture and décor that matched the theme of the series. She used custom-built furniture for the stations on the bridge that would face a central viewing screen (the TV). She had to get her widescreen TV to fit the space reserved for bridge viewing screen, which was a tricky process.

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Man Designs and Builds Unique Star Trek-Themed Home

Steve Nighteagle likes being different, he hates having possessions that every person can have. So to make sure his home was completely unique he has spent the last four years turning his front room into a Star Trek-themed Federation room.

“I disliked my life in the past, the now is OK!  Star Trek gives me the way to escape from those areas,” Steve explains his decision to use the Star Trek theme as design inspiration for his house. An experienced builder from Colorado, Nighteagle has always been a fan of science-fiction and of the epic saga of the original Star Trek series. Before turning his house into every Trekkie’s  dream home, he changed its theme from a homestead to southwestern, but ultimately decided a futuristic look worked better. Steve says he spends seven and a half month out of a year on his Star Trek abode, and although it took him four years to finally finish his amazing Federation Room, he won’t stop until he gives the other four rooms the same kind of makeover. “I still have 4 rooms that I can create this 23rd Century look,” he said in an interview. “I believe that if you have a theme for living quarters, you loose the effect if you dont completely do the entire house!  It would be incomplete for me!”

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An Old Story Revisited – Whatever Happened to the Star Trek Apartment?

I first wrote about Tony Alleyne’s amazing Star Trek apartment back in 2009, but after seeing some photos of his ultimate Trekkie crib I decided it was worth another look. It’s yet unclear if the dedicated fan still owns the place, or if it even exists anymore.

It was 1994 when Tony Alleyne started redecorating the apartment he was living in with cream and metallic colors inspired by the interior of the USS Enterprise from 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. His friend had just given him a Star Trek magazine and he became obsessed with having his own ship. But soon he realized the old Enterprise was a bit boring so he decided to start over and this time recreate the set of the starship Voyager from the 1990s series. Soon his conventional apartment featured a computerized flight deck, a voice-activated computer system, bleeping panels and fluorescent lights inspired by his beloved TV show. Even the windows had been replaced with layers of wood and perspex so they would appear to look out on outer space, and the doorbell played a sample of Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. It was a dream home for any real Trekkie  and Tony had spent just £4,000 ($6,000) sourcing the materials and building it himself. His only mistake was doing it in an apartment he didn’t own. And that apparently cost him everything…

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Ukrainian Painter Turns Communist Apartment Building Into an Inhabitable Art Gallery

Communist-era apartment buildings from the former Soviet Union are some of the ugliest edifices in the world, but Ukrainian painter Valery Haroun managed to turn one of them into a marvelous art gallery.

The apartment building in Odessa, Ukraine looks pretty ordinary from afar, but as you draw near the entrance, you realize there’s something special about it. The building’s door has been painted to look like that of a palace, the bland concrete pillars look like old temple columns and there’s a mural of naked Aphrodite looking right at you. Pretty unusual, but we’ve all seen graffiti artworks on apartment buildings, right? But it’s actually the interior of this place that’s truly stunning. Each of its nine floors is covered with colorful artworks, from reproductions of Claude Monet and Victor Vasnetsov, to postcard illustrations and cartoons like Winnie the Pooh and Madagascar.

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Charlotte Mann’s Meticulously Detailed Marker-Drawn Murals

Don’s you ever wish you could take a magic marker and simply draw things into existence? I’m talking about things like a better view for your house, new furniture or a brand new bicycle. That’s exactly what Charlotte Mann can do.

Most of the time, we don’t like it when other people draw on our walls, but a lot of people would love to have English artist Charlotte Mann go to work on their home, because she has the power to make their every dream come true with her trusty marker. Mann, who used to be a fashion designer, creates intricate murals on white walls, turning bland space into impressive masterpieces. Her wall decor installations have been so popular that the artist confesses she has never had to look for work. Most of her works have served as backdrops for various events, like fashion shows, but she has also unleashed her artistic talents on living spaces, proving a few doodles go a long way when it comes to redecorating.

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Chinese Pharmaceutical Factory Looks More Like the Palace of Versailles

This is what you’d expect to see in the lavish Palace of Versailles built by Louis the XIVth, but it’s actually the inside of a pharmaceutical company in Harbin, northeast China.

Citizens of Harbin were outraged to see what the state-controlled Harbin Pharmaceutical Group spent their funding on rather than solving more pressing issues, like the factory’s sewage problems, but representatives of the company said the recently emerged photos are part of a smear campaign. They claim the photos show the museum, which takes up three floors in the same building as the factory, where the company showcases local art. Now I’m not an expert on Chinese art, but those gold-tinted walls and lavish chandeliers look pretty European, and some of those rooms look an awful lot like conference halls…In fact, photos of the museum on the company’s website showed white-painted walls, brown wooden floors and none of the opulence in the photos.

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Tokyo’s Baby Café – Where the Cool Japanese Kids Hang-Out

Tokyo – probably the only city in the world where toddlers have their own hang-out spot, where no childless adults are allowed.

Japan may have one of the lowest birth rates in the world, but that apparently only means the few babies that are born here are given everything – even their own exlclusive café. Located in the Omotesando neighborhood of Tokyo, the Nendo-designed Baby Café is the perfect place for children under seven to chill out, and play in a safe environment, while their parents socialize over a cup of coffee. No more having to listen to mommy telling them to “sit up straight”, “don’t play with your food”, “don’t run through the restaurant”, at the Baby Café kids can do as they like. But there are monitors all over the place so parents can keep their eyes on children while giving them the illusion they’re free to do as they please.

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New York Steampunk Apartment Can Be Yours for $1,750,000

One of the coolest homes in new York City, film-maker Jeremy Noritz’s steampunk-themed apartment is now for sale for the “modest” price of $1,750,000.

It sounds like a lot of money, I know, but keep in mind this is the Big Apple and we’re not talking about your average apartment. Featuring a beautiful steampunk interior complete with submarine-style front door and colorful zeppelins flying down from the ceiling, this truly is a geek’s dream home. Noritz, and American film-maker, bought the open-space loft in 2006, for $1,3 million, and even though it was in good condition, it was just too conservative and compartmentalized for his taste. Inspired by steampunk design and photos of zeppelins, he set out to turn his pad into a unique experience for visitors and himself.

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Paris Museum Displays Skateboarders’ Dream House

The PAS House, a skateboarding living environment concept thought up by French pro skater Pierre Andre Senizergues and designer Gil Le Bon Delapointe, has finally been brought to life at the La Gaite Museum, in Paris.

Pierre Andre Senizergues has been in love with his skateboard ever since he first discovered it, as a teenager, and has pretty much built his life around the board. He’s ridden it to five world skateboarding championships and built a successful skateboarding shoe line called etnies, so you can see why he felt a little reluctant to part with it every time he went inside his house. But then one day, he had this crazy idea: “I began imagining a city of the future where skateboards are used as the primary form of transportation and recreation — in and out of your home.” the skater told the Toronto Star. “A utopia city for skateboarders would mean that a skateable path, like a ribbon connecting everything together, links each building in an unending ability to keep in motion on your board.”

So, in the early 2000’s, Senizergues partnered with etnies designer and fellow skateboarding fanatic Gil Le Bon Delapointe to create a perfectly skateable house on Senizergues’ Malibu property. They came up with a few great ideas, and even managed to build a miniature model of this skateboarder’s dream house, but after 10 years and some run-ins with the Coastal Commission, it was still in the project phase. But, La Gaite Museum, in Paris, somehow learned about their original housing idea and presented them with the opportunity of building a prototype for their skate-culture exhibition, running this summer.

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Man Turns His House into Renaissance-Style Masterpiece

Robert Burns, a 63-year-old retired decorator from England, has turned the interior of his house into a modern-day Renaissance masterpiece.

After years of painting other people’s houses in boring, pastel colors, Burns got bored. He remembers thinking he had spent 15 years of his life applying the exact shade of magnolia with a paint roller, and was in desperate need of a creative outlet. One day, he bought two books about the Vatican at a car boot sale, and suddenly discovered the Italian Renaissance. Even though he had never been to Florence or Rome, he said to himself “How difficult can this be, I’m a decorator”, and that’s how it all started.

When he started working on his Renaissance interior, the self-taught artist redid his first painting three or four times because he thought it didn’t look good enough, but he soon got the hang of it and began to understand how great classics like Caravaggio or Michaelangelo did their works. While acrylics didn’t seem like the right kind of paint at the beginning, he soon learned they worked quite well if he got the technique right, and now his entire house is painted with acrylics.

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If You’ve Ever Wanted to Live in a Church, Now Is Your Chance

Saint Jakobus Church, a Christian sanctuary dating back to 1870 has been converted into a modern townhouse and is now for sale.

Known as “WoonkerkXL” or “The Residential Church XL“, this unusual home is located in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and is the only so-called “plasters” Gothic style church in the city. Once a soberly decorated church, Saint Jakobus became a beautiful, lively home, once the designers of ZECC Architects were done with it. Paying great attention to space, lighting and functionality, they managed to create a living space you’d actually want to live in, without messing with the exterior or the stained glass windows dating back to 1911.

While it doesn’t serve its original purpose, The Residential Church XL is an important municipal monument, due to the relationship to its surroundings. And apart from its unique design, it’s also very close to Utrecht main tourist attractions and nightlife venues.

Check out the wonderful photos below, and if you like what you see and can fork out 2.375 million euros, you can place a bid on The Residential Church XL, here.

 

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Real-Life Barbie Suite Is the Ultimate Girls’ Pad

If you’ve always wanted to be like Barbie and live in her pink dream-house, you’re about to get your wish. A hotel in the Italian Alps has opened a series of rooms decorated just like Barbie’s miniature pads.

The owners of the Grand Hotel Savoia, at the Cortina ski resort, thought they’d celebrate Barbie’s 50th anniversary by decorating some of their rooms with real-life furniture and decoration you’d normally only find in Matel’s play sets. That’s right girls, you’ll get the chance to live it up like Barbie for as long as you or your parents can afford it, surrounded by the popular dolls favorite clothes and accessories, including skirts, lace-up dresses, corsets, toy-like chairs and even a sunburst mirror made from Barbie dolls

Italian interior designer described the recently inaugurated Barbie rooms as “the ultimate girls’ pad with details celebrating Barbie’s love of pink.” Barbie fans can book their stay in one of these life-size Barbie homes until the end of next March.

Yesterday the news about a Hello Kitty theme park in Japan, now this…This just hasn’t been my week!

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Shed of the Year Is a Regular Pirates’ Den

Inspired by the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Reg Miller transformed his old shed into a pirate themed retreat that earned him the title of winner in the Shed of the Year 2010 contest.

Reg Miller, or Jolly Reg, as he’s come to be known, built his impressive pirate shed from scratch. He has some old muskets and swords, and since his partner didn’t want them in the house anymore, he figured the best place to store them was the shed. After seeing his first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, he decided he was going to build his very own pirates’ den.

Jolly Reg did it all himself, using anything from recycled pieces of wood to fixtures and fittings he found at car trunk sales. He spent years working on it, but his pirate shed is still a work in progress, as he is always adding new things. So far he has set up a Koi fish pond, complete with palm trees, and decorated the shed with barrel seats, pirate flag pole and even a real life parrot.

The 65-year-old would-be pirate managed to beat over a 1,000 other candidates and snatched the grand prize at  UK’s Shead of the Year 2010 competition. He’s now 1,000 pounds richer and has a hefty supply of wood-maintenance products from the contest’s sponsor.

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