A far-reaching water feature flows through Preston Hollow House, where it washes away the borders between inside and out. The slender stream trickles through the home, interrupted only by terrace walkways and a soothing waterfall beside the entryway, before concluding at a large swimming pool. Designed by Specht Architects, this 8826 square foot home in Dallas, United States, also features a remarkable floating pavilion roof design. The flat canopy appears to levitate weightlessly over the main living spaces and peripheral terraces. Corrugated concrete walls solidly shield the residence from the busy street, making nearby houses imperceivable. Sliding glass panels create open, light-filled rooms with wide views of plant-filled courtyards.

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At first glance, a laconic materials palette of cold grey concrete may not appear to lend itself greatly to fluctuations in character and atmosphere between the different rooms and functional spaces of a family home interior. However, it turns out that the cool concrete slab makes an excellent candidate for flexible functionality and an ideal canvas on which to create mixed moods. In these two inspirational home designs, the use and play of atmospheric light takes the role of a writer or artist, scripting and sculpting new scenes for life. Considered lighting schemes shape warmly welcoming lounge areas, sacred family dining spots, invigorating home workspaces, and preciously detailed connective spaces.

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Resting gently upon the undulating green terrain of Bragança Paulista in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, this luxury home design respects its locality. Created by architectural firm Yuri Vital, the 693 square metre house was designed as a perfectly linear volume, which drinks in both intimate and far-flung views of the beautiful valley ahead. A board-formed concrete exterior textures the modern home exterior, along with huge expanses of wood-slatted window shutters. Cantilevered volumes float lightly between oblique structural walls at each side of the house. Elegant support columns meet the grassy ground or sink delicately into the water mirror that rounds the front of the property.

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We’re showing two ends of the size scale for industrial style concrete themed interiors here. Our first is a particularly large two story home with three double bedrooms to boast of, and a few colourful accent colours to brighten the mood. The other is a much smaller home with a single level studio apartment layout, and is tinted with a more muted colour palette. Both of these strong interior schemes feature raw grey concrete decor stretching across their walls and ceilings. Exposed ducting and electrical wires streak the rugged rooms. In contrast, the furniture is high-end with sleek edges and smooth finishes. Modern artwork and plants bring in personality and life.

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This Argentinian house takes on a linear, monolithic form that dominates a green landscape next to a native forest. Built with walls of cold concrete, the large house presents a hard, brutalist exterior that can be seen from afar. As onlookers draw nearer, intermittent walls of rustic stone interrupt the smooth expanses of grey render, bringing texture and depth into rectangular cutaways. Created by architects at Patio Estudio, the house design is both separated and connected by patio areas that expand the volume of the home. The patio elements create an interior-exterior link and work as an integral part of the floor layout, complementing the main functions of the home.

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