Single Bedroom Loft With Double-sided Living Wall Design

In visiting this one bedroom loft, located in the Jung-Wha-dong neighbourhood of the Jungnang-gu district, Seoul, we find a soothing living wall with a dual sided design. The unique modern interior is situated up on the top floor of a 30 year old industrial building, with an area of 80 square metres, which is split into two floors. The custom layout and bespoke furniture was designed by architects Arcave to suit the wishes of a professional female homeowner with a deep interest in well-being. It was the client who requested the creation of the double height, double sided green wall as the special revitalising centerpiece for her home.

Although modest in size, the interior layout feels spacious thanks to a minimalist aesthetic and a light colour scheme of white walls and natural wood tone. A silver floor lamp arcs beside a neat two seater grey sofa in the open plan living room, with a small accent chair situated on the opposite side of the lounge layout.

There is a home workspace located to one side of the main living area, where a desk stands at a right angle up against the tv wall, in a peninsula fashion. The desk chair is situated to face into the lounge rather than looking outward toward the windows, though this could quickly be reconfigured to suit the mood and task at hand.

A group of indoor plants plants stand in pots on the floor next to the bespoke double sided living wall design at the centre of the downstairs floor plan.

Mirrors clad a structural support column in the living room, which visually reduces its solidity in the free flowing open space. One wooden step and a wood landing area leads into the open sided staircase design, which climbs directly past the vertical living wall so that they work together as one elegant volume.

The interior living wall also serves as a beautiful room divider, providing a visual buffer between the home entryway and the lounge with home office. Because this room divider doesn’t touch the wall, all of the natural light through the windows on each side is free to flow into both sections of the room.

A dining room is situated on the same wall as the home entry door, with a dining table peninsula jutting from a run of wooden cabinets. These units are not the kitchen, which is actually situated through a door to the right. It is probable that the cupboards nearest the entryway are used for general home storage, with the units on the right housing tableware and an integrated wine cooler.

Wood ceiling panels join the dining room with the home entryway. The elegant white dining pendant light is the Bell Pendant by Normann Copenhagen.

The living wall planters are affixed to mirrored panels. Slivers of silver glint from behind the green tumbling foliage.

The very minimalist staircase design has a simple white powder coated metal banister, which climbs the full height of the staircase ascent without the addition of spindles.

A great raw beam contrasts with the uber clean and sleek white finish of the staircase and custom white wall planters.

Sunlight spills down the staircase and green wall from a series of picture windows that are located on the second floor of the loft home.

The indoor plants flourish in the sunlight that blesses the home, and the mirrored backing of the living wall shines right back through the gaps.

Where the indoor vertical garden reaches the ceiling, at the second floor of the home, there is a white bedroom situated on a mezzanine structure. Clear glass balustrades keep the green wall fully on view beside the bed, whilst making safe the gap between the edge of the mezzanine platform and the planting wall. At the foot of the bed, a door leads off the bedroom to a narrow storage area, and into a separate bathroom. An outdoor deck surrounds the entire upper floor.

Back downstairs we take a peek inside the white and wood kitchen at last. The room has a unique half and half design that cuts it straight down the middle. All of the wood units are to the left of the galley kitchen layout with a grey countertop, and an entire wall of white units with matching countertop and backsplash fill up the right. Warm sunlight washes down the narrow kitchen, making it a pleasant and welcoming space to come into and cook.

The ground floor plan shows the indoor garden opposite the entry door of the two story loft space; the staircase design to the mezzanine bedroom situated just behind it. From here we can observe the proximity of the dining room to the separate kitchen. A very generous walk in closet is installed directly next door to the kitchen, which is accessed via a dedicated laundry room. At the end of the laundry room, there is a convenient downstairs restroom attached.

The second floor plan shows how the staircase design from the living room attaches to the mezzanine bedroom. We can also observe the position of the door to the upstairs storage area and the second floor bathroom. The shaded area represents the outdoor deck.

This exploded diagram illustrates the bespoke structure of the double height, double sided living wall design, including the drainage and gutter system.

A closer look at one of the living wall planter cells.

Recommended Reading:  a href=”” alt=”vertical garden designs” title=”Gorgeous vertical gardens from around the world”>Gorgeous vertical gardens from around the world

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A Beginner's Guide to Surfing

I won’t sugarcoat it: most surfers don’t want you to pick up their sport. Surfers can be territorial, aggressive jerks—especially to newbies. Though I’m not excusing that behavior, the instinct is partly for good reason: a beginner wielding a sharp surfboard they can’t control in waves they don’t understand puts everyone in danger. And unlike many other outdoor pursuits, the resources (waves) are limited. Every wave you catch is one less wave for me. 

But there is a right way to partake as a beginner, all while staying safe and not pissing people off. It involves surfing in the right places for your ability level, choosing the proper equipment, being respectful of locals, and knowing the rules of the water. Let’s start with the essentials.

How to Be the Good Kind of Beginner

To start, surf only at beginner spots. (See Where to Surf, below.)
Before paddling out, spend at least 30 minutes watching the surf. You’ll want to watch where other surfers paddle out, where the waves are breaking, and the ability level of the people in the water. Are they all very advanced, or are there beginners as well? You need to make sure that the waves are a comfortable size for you—and sometimes it takes 30 minutes or more to see how big the bigger sets are. Once you paddle out, sit off to the side and watch for a little longer, noting where people are catching waves.
Be respectful. As with any outdoor pursuit, the locals know the area best and feel a sense of ownership. Be polite, don’t yell (most lineups are surprisingly quiet), and try not to get in anyone’s way.
Understand the rules. Generally, one person surfs per wave. The person who is closest to where the wave breaks (also known as “deeper”) has the right of way. Imagine a wave is coming in and you and another surfer turn toward shore to catch it. Let’s say it’s going to break on the left side of you and peel toward your right. If the person is to your left, they have the right of way, so you need to stop paddling and wait until the next wave. If a wave is peeling in both directions, one surfer can ride the wave in each direction. You might hear someone yell “going left” or “going right” to indicate their direction, and that they have the right of way. If you’re at a break with one takeoff spot, wait your turn, slowly moving toward it as others take their turn—it’s bad etiquette to paddle around them.
Stay out of the way when paddling out. If there is a channel (a deeper area where the waves don’t break), paddle out there. Never paddle out through the surf or through the lineup if there is another way. This not only keeps you and others safe, but it also saves energy. If there is no other way out than through the whitewater, it’s your job to stay out of the way of a surfer riding a wave. If someone is riding a wave coming toward you, paddle in the opposite direction of where the surfer is headed. Lastly, always hold on to your board.

Where to Surf

After etiquette, the second most important element of an enjoyable surf experience is finding the right waves at the right spots. Ideally, you’ll want to find a spot where waves break slowly over a semi-shallow (waist- to chest-deep) sandy bottom.

When you’re just beginning, you don’t need perfectly peeling waves; look for long rows of knee-high whitewater rolling toward the shore. Keep your ego at bay, and don’t be afraid to go where kids are learning. The key is finding someplace that’s not too crowded, where you can catch lots of waves and master the art of paddling into waves and popping up.

You can search online for the best beginner surf spots in your area or see where local surf schools run their lessons. Stay away from famous spots—they’re crowded, not welcoming to beginners, and usually not the best conditions for newbies.

What to Ride

(Nicolás Pina Calvin/Tandem)

When you first start, get yourself on a big board. I’ve seen so many beginners on brand-new, expensive shortboards that are really cool but lack the volume and length for the rider to catch enough waves to actually improve their skills. There is no shame in starting on a ten-foot soft-top longboard that’s easy to paddle and stable to ride. By doing this, you’ll get lots of practice learning to read the ocean and popping up with ease. Then, when you’re more skilled, you can get your first serious board. Here’s a brief breakdown of the options: 

Shortboard: Generally six and a half feet or shorter, with very little volume, usually with a tri-fin setup, designed for high-performance surfing with faster turns and more speed in larger waves.

Mini Mal, Mini Tanker, Funboard, Fish, Egg, Bonzer: These are all names of boards that are on the shorter side (smaller than eight feet and as small as five feet) but usually have a little more volume to make it easy to paddle into smaller waves, while being more maneuverable than a longboard.

Gun: Generally seven feet and above, designed for big-wave surfing.

Longboards: Generally nine feet and up, these either have a single-fin setup (best for nose riding and a classic style of surfing) or tri-fin setup (can be easier to turn and facilitate a more high-performance style of longboarding). 

Other Important Gear

The beauty of surfing is that, besides a board, you need very little gear. Here’s what else to have:

A swimsuit that will stay put, a snug rash guard to keep from sunburning your back or chafing your stomach, and potentially a wetsuit for cold locales. Evo has a helpful guide to choosing a wetsuit.  

A leash. Get one that’s the length of your board, and put it on the back ankle of your riding stance.

Wax, which keeps you from slipping. Cover the area where you’ll stand while riding. 

How to Catch a Wave, Stand Up, and Ride It

(Daniel Kuras)

Evan Valiere is a professional surfer and the owner of Hanalei Surf School on Kauai, where he has taught thousands of beginners to surf. We asked him to break down the basics.

Step 1: At home or on the beach before paddling out, practice popping up by pressing your hands into the ground or board beneath your chest and, in one burst, jumping to your feet. (If your left foot is in front, you have a “regular” stance. If your right is in front, you’re “goofy-footed.”) This will get you comfortable with the motion.

Step 2: Paddle out to the lineup, using the tips outlined above (How to Be the Right Kind of Beginner). 

Step 3: When you see the wave you want to catch, turn around and face the nose of your board toward the shore, then lay down and begin paddling. Make sure the nose of your board is not underwater or too high in the air—it should just graze the surface.

You’ll slowly get some momentum going with the same direction of the wave. It’s important to conserve a burst of energy for just the right time: get in position, and line up the wave using about 30 to 50 percent of your paddle power. When the wave starts to draw on your tail and lift the back of your board as it rolls under you, kick it up to 80 percent and then save the last few strokes for 100 percent effort.

Step 4: After a few strokes, look back over your shoulder to gauge where the wave is behind you, but continue paddling forward. The crucial part is that you’re not too far in front of the wave and not too far outside, but this comes with practice and experience in understanding the waves.

You also need to make sure that the tail of your board is perpendicular to the wave as you paddle toward shore. The swell does not always come in parallel to the beach, so looking back and lining up with the wave is key.

Step 5: Look forward, and use your peripherals to sense where the wave is. When you feel a burst of speed and momentum, it’s the right time to stand up. Dropping in feels like a mini roller-coaster slope. That’s when you stop paddling and get ready to stand up.

Step 6: When you pop up, calmly look ahead and fully commit. Try to hop up all in one motion. (You can practice on the beach or at home beforehand.) Hesitation creates instability. Always keep your eyes up and forward. Never look down at your feet, back at the wave, or at the nose of your board.

Step 7: Keep your knees bent, with slightly more weight in your back foot. Hold your arms out to your sides to balance. And... you’re surfing.

Valiere’s additional safety tips:

Never hold your board between you and the waves.
Always fall flat on the surface of the water like a leaf, rather than dropping straight down. The deeper you drop, the greater the chance you’ll collide with something under the water.
Cover your head when you fall, particularly when you are separated from your board.
Never reel in or hold your board with your leash string or cord.
Stretch, hydrate, and warm up before your session, and hydrate and stretch afterward, too.
If you experience any serious pain, especially in your back or neck, stop immediately.

Training for Surfing

During your first couple of sessions, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you get tired and how sore you are in new places. “Surfing is a pretty unique sport—paddling requires muscles that a lot of people wouldn’t normally use,” says Crystal Walsh, a professional surfer and certified personal trainer. “It requires core control, as well as muscular endurance of the arms and back, plus strength in your legs, all while laying or standing on an unstable surface.”

She says that surfing often is the best way to get stronger, but that interval training and yoga—for balance and flexibility—are helpful, too. “Since surfing isn’t a steady-state workout, interval training is an awesome way to get you ready for surfing,” she says. “I usually design circuits that alternate between an upper-body exercise and a lower-body exercise and short rest period. It’s like catching a wave, surfing the wave, and resting while waiting for another wave.”

She also recommends these three exercises to strengthen your surfing muscles:

Dumbbell Front-Lateral Raises

What it does: Strengthens deltoid muscles for paddling.

How to do it: Start with your feet hip-width apart, and brace your core by drawing your belly button into your spine. Inhale and raise both dumbbells overhead. Keep your shoulder blades down and your back and arms fully extended overhead. Keeping your arms straight, slowly lower one dumbbell to your side while keeping the other dumbbell overhead—four seconds down, one second up. Alternate sides (to simulate paddling). Exhale on the way down, inhale on the way up. Use light to moderate weight, and aim for three sets of 15 per arm.

Barbell Romanian Deadlifts

What it does: Strengthens posterior chain muscles (glutes, hamstrings, back) for generating power while doing turns.

How to do it: Start with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back (as if you were trying to touch a wall with your butt), and keep your knees stacked over your ankles. Reach down and grip your barbell about a thumb’s length in front of your knees. Keep your shoulders down and back and your back flat. Push through the floor with your feet while driving your hips forward to stand upright. Slowly return to the starting point. Use moderate to heavy weight and aim for three sets of ten.

Core Rotations on a Swiss Ball 

What it does: Strengthens core in a rotational movement for doing powerful turns and cutbacks

How to do it: Sit upright on a swiss ball with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Your knees should be at 90 degrees. Draw your belly button into your spine to brace your core. This can be done with or without weight—a medicine ball works well. Holding onto the weight with both hands, extend your arms out in front, keeping your shoulders down and back. Lean back until your body is at a 45-degree angle. Rotate to one side while keeping your hips level. Alternate sides. Use light to moderate weight, three sets of ten per side.