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A Halloween Treat: Villafane Studio's Phenomenal Pumpkins

Ray Villafane is visionary and patriarch of Phoenix, Arizona's Villafane Studios, one of whose specialties is carving incredibly impressive pumpkins. They also create jaw-dropping sand sculptures, props and toys.

From carving for the President at the White House, carving for Heidi Klum’s Annual Halloween Party and along side Martha Stewart, Ray’s pumpkins have made their way across the world. Ray partnered with the awe inspiring Andy Bergholtz, and together they built a “Dream Team” of amazing sculptors and have been carving away ever since. Other talented team members include Trevor Grove, Chris Vierra, Alfred Parades, Patrick Burke and Sue Beatrice. The beautiful pumpkins I'm sharing with you in this post have been carved by all of the aforementioned sculptors.

The exposure of Ray’s style, talent and creativity amassed an all-new appreciation for pumpkin carving, and his artistic take on the traditional jack-o-lantern has granted him invitations from across the globe for VIP Galleries (Very Impressive Pumpkins). From the President’s quarters in the White House to Bermuda’s Sousa’s Gardens, Ray’s pumpkins have gathered a cult-like following.

above: Ray and some of his team of expert carvers at Villafane Studios

above: Ray Villafane poses in front of the studio built for him and his team in Hong Kong.

The Mirror House, Transformed Into A "Fun"ctional Pavilion In Copenhagen by MLRP

MLRP of Denmark transformed a somewhat sad existing structure into an inviting reflective pavilion to engage interaction and play. The structure, which is in a public playground in Copenhagen, is now used by kindergarten classes and includes restrooms.

Funhouse mirrors are mounted on the gabled ends of this playground pavilion as well as behind the doors. This engages a play with perspective, reflection and transformation.

Instead of a typical closed gable facade, the mirrored gables creates a sympathetic transition between built and landscape and reflects the surrounding park, playground and activity. Windows and doors are integrated in the wood-clad facade behind facade shutters with varied bent mirror panel effects. At night the shutters are closed making the building anonymous. During the day the building opens up, attracting the children who enjoy seeing themselves transformed in all directions.

With simple means it has succeeded to transform an existing, sad and anonymous building to a unique and respectful installation in the newly renovated park. The roof and facade is clad with heat-modified sustainable wood and the gables and shutters are clad with mirror polished stainless steel. The Mirror House is a flexible space and restrooms, used by kindergarden classes.

Project type: Playground Pavilion
Year: Completed Nov 2011
Site: Fælledparken

, Copenhagen
Client: City of Copenhagen – CAU and the fund of Mærsk McKinney Møller & wife Chastine McKinney Møller
Engineer: Grontmij A/S
Landscape: GHB Landskab A/S
Contractor: A.F.Hansen
Area: 140 m2
Building Sum: 1.700.000 Dkr

Robert W. Paulsen, Mads H. Lund, Joana Pimenta, Sara Marie Malmros

MLRP / Architecture, Research & Development / +45 2971 4515 / Ryesgade 19a / 2200 København N / Denmark

Storage With Style - Hollo Printed Customizable Decorative Cabinet Options.

Hollo is a storage unit which simply becomes a ‘blank piece of paper’ for international designers and artists who can have fun in transforming it with their own original graphics.

Chalet Citrine Is A Winter Getaway For Those Who Have Income To Accommodate Good Taste.

above: a combination indoor pool and cinema is just one of the indulgent luxuries at Chalet Citrine

Ah, Wintering for the wealthy.
Winter Escape offers luxurious ski chalets in Verbier, Chamonix, Courchevel, Megève, Val d'Isère and Zermatt. Each Chalet is named after a gemstone and all of them are drop dead gorgeous. But the Citrine Chalet (also known as the Chalet L'Hotse) especially caught my eye with its combination indoor swimming pool/cinema (shown above).

This 5 suite chalet sleeps 10 adults and two children and comes with a full professional staff, including a Michelin-trained chef, concierge, chambermaids and beauty therapist.

The Chalet Citrine has a spacious open plan living space, complete with grand piano, bar and a lounge, making it a great place for socializing. The main living area opens out onto various terraces and provides stunning views of the La Face piste. Your dinner is served in the adjacent dining room, which features both contemporary and characteristic cowhide chairs.

The games room is the perfect place to entertain your little ones, while the reading room provides a hideaway that allows you to delve into that much anticipated novel.

In addition to the adult bedrooms (each of which has their own en-suite bath and a balcony), there are two extra beds in a sixth room in the mezzanine for children.

Chalet Citrine’s Master Suite displays a one-of-a-kind double bathtub, which has been cut out of a single piece of granite.

There is also a fully equipped gym, a massage treatment room, an outdoor jacuzzi, steam room and indoor pool with a giant cinema screen.

The Chalet combines a traditional alpine style with contemporary designer pieces and features impressive reclaimed Mongolian furnishings.

Sitting right in the heart of Val d’Isère, Chalet Citrine is just a short stroll to all the action of this buzzing resort and just a five minute chauffeured drive to the Solaise lift, one of the main lifts of the area. Chalet Citrine is the perfect location for a friends’ reunion or your family holiday.

Val d’isère
The legendary ski resort of Val d’Isère sits high up in the Tarentaise Valley, close to the French-Italian border, and showcases traditional Savoyarde architecture. It owes its ‘must-ski’ status to its incredible snow record and easy, extensive access to off-piste terrain. With skiing up to 3,600 metres high, Val d’isere is probably one of the most snow-sure villages in Europe: the Pissaillas Glacier even offers both summer and winter skiing. Sitting at an altitude of 1850 metres, it’s a firm favourite with expert skiers, who gravitate here to ski the infamous Olympic downhill run, La Face. Nevertheless, there is plenty of variety for novice skiers and an almost infinite choice for adventurous intermediates. The Espace Killy ski area, which also includes the neighbouring resort of Tignes, boasts more than 300 kilometres of pistes alone. The attractive resort centre has a great range of stylish bars, boutiques and restaurants. In addition, both in summer and in winter, the Henri Oreiller Centre offers an Olympian setting for scientific conventions and motivational meetings for executives and sales teams.

The Chalet Citrine Experience includes:
• Sleeps 10 adults and 2 children: 5 suites, all with en-suite bathroom and 1 children’s room with 2 beds
• 350m² of rustic alpine luxury, with contemporary furnishings and impressive craftsmanship
• Swimming pool, which also functions as a cinema
• Fully equipped gym, Jacuzzi, steam room and a massage treatment room
• Professional staff, including Michelin-trained chef, concierge, chambermaids and beauty therapist
• Game and entertainment room
• In-resort chauffeur driven 4×4 cars 24/7
• Airport pick-up and drop-off
• VIP night at Club Doudoune for all
• Snowmobile racing for 10 adults
• Ice diving for 4 adults

Chalet Citrine at Winter Escapes
This property is also known as Chalet Lhotse and can be booked through the Oxford Ski Company and Val d'Isere Chalets along with other luxury rental companies.

additional images courtesy of Boutiqchalets

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