marc thorpe designs minimalist ‘sharp house’ amid new mexico desert – Designboom

marc thorpe design presents a minimalist desert retreat, developed for a retired new york city couple, entitled ‘the sharp house.’ located north of santa fe, new mexico on five acres of land, the house is designed with the intention to be as economical as possible in its construction. the featured building material of the house is exposed cast in place concrete with full height glass apertures to the north and south to allow for solar gain and cross ventilation. the interior spaces, covering 2000 square feet, comprise two bedrooms, dining, kitchen, living areas, and bath. toward the west, an integrated ladder offers access to the roof for views of the dusk and evening sky.

all images by truetopia

the design of marc thorpe’s sharp house maintains material and geometric integrity within the architecture and makes use of these elements to reflect the program. the resulting volume expresses a neo-brutalist approach to space, a declaration against the tendency of mainstream architectural practice to prioritize exterior ornament, decorative façades, and arbitrary forms. in contradiction, the sharp house is meticulously designed as a study of space, light, and shadow — an investigation of the essence of architectural experience.

the house expresses the designer’s sound approach to its ecological impact. the large expanses of thermal mass allow the building to regulate interior temperature while naturally ventilating itself throughout the day. the house is powered by monocrystalline solar panels rated at 220 watts, powering 100% of the energy required for the home. in addition, all excess power is fed back into the power grid. it’s a back to basics approach with less becoming more and a statement for a sustainable and humble future.

project info:

project title: sharp house

architecture: MTD | marc thorpe design

construction and fabrication: ABConstruction

furniture: moroso + casamania, design by marc thorpe

image credit: truetopia

What Is Organic Modern Style? Minimalism Meets Mother Nature – News

Move over, modern farmhouse. Back up, boho chic. The rising star in the world of home style mashups is organic modern decor. This au courant concept channels a light, airy aesthetic while combining the best of modern design, natural craftsmanship, and a dash of Scandinavian flair. Think cozy, comfortable neutral spaces with well-crafted fixtures such as hand-hewn wooden beams, clean lines, and natural textures and fibers.

Even Justin Bieber has taken to the trend—his new home is filled with these touches.

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“While organic modern style is a nod to Scandinavian minimalism, it also borrows from midcentury modern and bohemian design to create inviting spaces that are warm, natural, and effortlessly sophisticated,” says Stephanie Thornton Plymale, president and CEO of the Heritage School of Interior Design.

Has this style piqued your interest? Read on for the simplest ways to incorporate the look into your home.

What is organic modern style?

Photo by MAS Design 

Organic modern style is an evolution of the most popular elements of minimalist design that have been personalized and given individual character, explains Beverly Solomon of the eponymous design firm.

“The general idea goes back to Frank Lloyd Wright and his concept of continuity,” she says. Wright felt that great design should feel like part of the landscape, stressing livability, natural materials, and craftsmanship.

The organic modern look also has roots in design from the turn of the 20th century, especially the influence of the Finnish designer and architect Alvar Aalto and designers such as Charles Eames.

Look to the Danes

Photo by Mint House Interiors

Design experts say the Danish home lifestyle craze hygge is giving way to the popularity of organic modern. Chunky knits, sheepskin, faux fur throws, and candles all work beautifully in this style.

“Hygge describes a quality of warm coziness, which was brought in to complement and soften the modern aesthetic in nordic countries,” says Glenn Rush, visual design manager at


Watch: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Spiral House Is Dizzyingly Delightful


Lean on a neutral color palette

Photo by

Organic modern style features clean open rooms with natural elements, texture, and very little clutter, says Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP. One of the key hallmarks is a subdued color palette, which is typically shades of white, gray, or beige with very few vibrant colors. If brighter tones are used—say on a pillow or in a rug—they’re used to juxtapose all the white.

Looking for a neutral paint shade as a starting point? Consider the ever popular greige family like Ashwood by Benjamin Moore (OC-47) or the quieter, more feminine Pink Ground (No. 202) by Farrow & Ball.

Choose clean lines

The clean lines of a leather sofa go perfectly with a modern organic decor scheme.

West Elm

Gray-Plaisted says you should stash all thoughts of tufted sofa in favor of simple geometric shapes. A leather option like the Hamilton sofa (seen above) fits the bill ($2,400, West Elm).

Lay down natural rugs

Photo by bySHnordic

The best way to curate an organic modern aesthetic is to choose a rug made from natural materials like sheepskin, cowhide, wool, or sisal. One to consider: the Gracie Oaks tribal handwoven area rug ($130, Wayfair).

Other materials can include wood or natural stone flooring, bamboo, and, of course, live plants.

Sustainable textiles are a must

Photo by MAS Design

“Look for natural, sustainably produced fibers like linen, cotton, bamboo, seagrass, and jute, coupled with reclaimed wood and recycled glass and metal,” Plymale says.

The simple, sharp lines of furniture in this style can be broken up by organic textiles that are begging to be touched.

We love the color-block designs of these Bainbridge Pillow covers ($68–$88, Serena & Lily) to accent chairs and beds.

Mix big-box with Etsy finds

Photo by West Elm 

Make it easy on yourself, and hit up the bigger retailers for larger items (Design Within Reach, Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, World Market) and then accessorize with handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces from Etsy. Plymale loves the idea of a Danish teak or natural hide slingback chair with a native woven blanket from a local vintage shop.

The Best Workwear Jackets For Every Budget – Highsnobiety

Workwear continues to emerge as one of the hottest trends in men’s fashion, with inspiration drawn from every corner of the industry. From 2018’s reflective-strip grails of Junya Watanabe to more understated workwear styles in muted neutral color palates, this timeless trend is loved for its year-round functionality, and so far in 2019 we’ve seen some dope offerings of one piece in particular – the workwear jacket.

Whether you call them chore coats or logger jackets, this multi-pocketed, cotton canvas, button-up style is at the top of our shopping lists for spring, offering a perfect mid-weight for spring layering and breezier summer evening ’fits. And while OG brands such as Carhartt and Dickies have been releasing these kinds of jackets for a minute now, the likes of Acne Studios, Helmut Lang, and even affordable fashion offshoot ASOS DESIGN have been delivering on the workwear-inspired front more recently.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best workwear-inspired jackets we’ve come across at every price point, ranging from sub-$100 to particularly designer heights of $1,200. In our picks, you’ll see affordable grails that can be easily integrated into any spring wardrobe from go-to retailers Weekday and ASOS, as well as a decidedly minimalist offering from Acne Studios and a paint-splattered Heron Preston x Carhartt WIP showstopper.

Scroll on to shop our full selection.

Under $100

$100 – $500


Check out our conversation with BRISTOL Studio’s Luke Tadashi below.

To stay up to date with more Shopping content from Highsnobiety, follow @Highsnobietyshopping on Instagram and @Highsnobdrops on Twitter.

Our designated shopping section features products that we love and want to share with you. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

Why more and more people in Dubai are turning to minimalism –

Jana Zille’s sitting hall – a minimalist and use only 30 pieces of clothing and very little furniture. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Dubai: With a growing number of online classified apps, charities and free recycling pages on social media, more people in the UAE are finding it easier to transition towards living a more minimalistic lifestyle.

Apps like Dubizzle and The Luxury Closet have given more residents the motivation to get rid of unwanted clothes, bags and shoes for a small price tag.

The Luxury Closet saw 25,000 items listed during the second half of 2018. Kunal Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer at The Luxury Closet said the core category of the app is second-hand and brand new handbags sold by residents in the UAE.

“We do feel people are more conscious of their closet’s value, more keen on the idea of reselling due both to increased awareness of pre-owned market for handbags, clothing and shoes, as well to a broken barrier of the “taboo” of selling such products.”

Kapoor said people are more conscious in purchasing “investment pieces,” often considering the resale value in their choice.

People are [becoming] more conscious of their closet’s value, more keen on the idea of reselling due both to increased awareness of pre-owned market for handbags, clothing and shoes, as well to the broken barrier of the ‘taboo’ of selling such products.

– Kunal Kapoor | CEO of The Luxury Closet, a high end online resale marketplace

Sellers are also motivated by minimalism, as many report the reason for selling is due to having too many items they don’t wear.

“They feel that decluttering their wardrobes will help grant them a clearer mind,” said Kapoor.

The app added nearly 15,000 bags to their catalogue in 2018, with the volume of items at a value of $5 million (Dh18.3 million) a month, compared to $10,000 (Dh36,700) during the app’s first month of operation in 2012.

Dubizzle reported 138,996 ads for clothing and accessories between July and December 2018.

Social media influence

Social media pages that promote free recycling are also encouraging people to recycle their unwanted items.

The ‘Minimalism UAE minimalist lifestyle’ group on Facebook has been growing, while many other similar pages based in different emirates around the country have recently popped up, attracting more expatriates to declutter.

For Susy Aryani Singgih, a lawyer from Indonesia, becoming a minimalist is her goal.

“I would not call myself a minimalist yet. The road to minimalism is a long one if your plan is to dispose of items gradually and responsibly,” she said.

So far, I have gotten rid of 50 per cent of my belongings and aim to reach 70 per cent by end of the year … Fabrics, bed linen, pillow cases … I have given these away to Rags to Riches, an organisation in the UAE run by women who use their sewing skills to make dresses for girls in need.

– Susy Aryani Singgih | Dubai-based lawyer

Singgih was inspired by the people of Ladakh in the Himalayas, who do not believe in wasting anything.

“They will find a use for everything they possess, no matter how worn out. They have traditionally recycled everything due to scarce resources, given their remoteness. I have taken a leaf out of that book,” she said.

“So far, I have gotten rid of 50 per cent of my belongings and aim to reach 70 per cent by end of the year,” she said.

She has donated many of her unwanted clothes to organisations that help Syrian refugees, as well as to people who were impacted by last year’s Kerala floods. She has also reached out to Emirates Red Crescent during Ramadan to donate additional clothes and unused diapers and toiletries.

“Fabrics, bed linen, pillow cases and even towels that are in good condition, I have given these away to Rags to Riches, an organisation in the UAE consisting of women who use their sewing skills to sew dresses for girls in need around the world,” said Singgih.

For items that cannot be given away to charities, Singgih uses Facebook pages to give them to those who need them in her community.

“I have also used Shedd, Dubizzle and Facebook pages to sell certain items that are high-end or more suitable for recycling,” she said.

“Happiness is not defined with the material things you possess.”

“The less I own, the less I have to clean.”

Sammirah Muheidien, 44, a homemaker from India, said she was inspired by the UAE Facebook minimalism group and has been practising minimalism for almost a year now.

“I started by clearing things out from under my bed were I used to hoard gifts and different items that were given to me by family. I also dumped my bed and bought another that has no space underneath for storage,” she told Gulf News.

The Sharjah resident is working on holding back when it comes to her love for collecting books.

“I am a cleanaholic and it stressed me out to keep cleaning all these books and items around the house. So the less I own, the less I have to clean,” she said.

She cleans out her closet every few months, giving her unwanted clothes to charities around the country.

Muheidien has also joined the recycling trend and launched a free recycling page on Facebook to encourage residents in Sharjah to declutter their homes.

There is a strategy to categorising unwanted items, she said. “You have to segregate the items based on categories — Use in Future; Maybe; Throw Out, and Sell,” said Muheidien.

If you don’t use something for six months, you probably don’t need it, is what she believes.

Insight from a social media expert

The growing trend of free recycling of furniture, accessories, electronics and more on social media, has effectively impacted the number of people consciously decluttering their homes.

Farrukh Naeem, a tech blogger and social media strategist based in Abu Dhabi, said he believes in living a simple life with little possessions.

“Second-hand goods don’t find buyers unless you sell things really cheap. So many times we have found it easier to simply give unwanted stuff away rather than try to sell it off. Apps, pages or forums that make this process easy and free surely help,” he told Gulf News.

Naeem pointed out that most people don’t have time to book ads, search for buyers, negotiate and bargain through phone calls, which makes social media pages and groups an effortless way to give away unwanted items. These pages target and engage specific audiences, who get notified when new posts are published.

He believes the trend of people giving away unwanted things will continue, with social media bridging the gap between those who have too much and those who have too little. The internet is full of content, from TED talks of people who left city life to live simply, and even build their own homes by hand, to apps and groups that share stories and tips on becoming a minimalist. “This information has built communities across borders who share the same goals and values, and has helped make people’s vision of a minimalistic lifestyle a reality,” said Naeem.