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China vows it will 'fight to death' as tanks mass on beaches in D-Day-style Taiwan threat



CHINESE tanks and other military equipment have been spotted moving into Fujian Province, just across the strait from Taiwan, sparking fears of war.


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Family Compound For Two Brothers In China [Video]



Flowing Garden House is a large, luxury family compound, built for two entrepreneur brothers in the city of Zhangzhou, China. Created by architectural firm More Than Arch Studio, the 1700 square metre home stands apart from the majority of modern houses in China. This home is composed of three parts, which include a private unit for each brother’s family and a communal space for family gatherings, fitness and more. The social spaces centre around a peaceful courtyard design with a huge pond and majestic trees. The hope for this unique home design is that it will become a hub for extended family, and be the home fire that forges memories for generations to come.

It is a huge pond design that gives this home a feeling of close family connection. The central pond courtyard kindles a blanketing sense of serenity that flows into each branch of the house.

At night, the courtyard is a warm and welcoming space under soft exterior lighting. Focussed LED spotlights dance across the stone steps that lead down to the pond to create a pretty, tiered effect and promote safety in low light.

The concrete steps around the pond serve as a place to sit and contemplate by the waters edge.

The modern steps descend into the water, building an abstract design under the clear surface.

LED strips follow the wider edge of the pond, achieving a bold, contemporary look.

Mature trees thrive around the perimeter of the courtyard, creating height, texture, and natural beauty.

A traditional Chinese tea room opens up fully to the calming courtyard view. Tea drinking is elemental in Southern Fujian, as well as an integral part of hospitality.

With bi-fold doors drawn back, the tea room design is extended by a narrow terrace that leads to the water’s edge.

An indoor heated pool is placed in the basement, with lounge areas and meeting places situated alongside it.

A sunken courtyard blesses the basement areas with natural light and a beautiful natural panorama.

The material palette throughout the home compound remains consistent in warm wood grain and board-formed concrete. The palette is softened slightly in the two private residential volumes to create a comfortable vibe, where raw concrete walls are minimised by beige stucco.

In the larger, more open social spaces, cool, textural concrete rules with little additional decoration. Bamboo ceilings create a warm counterbalance.

Interior lighting is focussed and atmospheric.

A huge skylight brings sunlight to the basement swimming pool.

Fair-faced concrete and open walkways build a monumental aesthetic through the home compound.

The residential units that belong to each brother and their family are merged into one building but are entirely separate inside. They are entered via two independent, staggered entrance halls from a ribbon courtyard to establish privacy.

The combined home is equipped with a grand dining room, which is granted the best views of the internal courtyard design. The grand dining room is furnished with two round dining tables that can seat up to ten people each, to contend with a large number of family members and guests during the festivals. A smaller courtyard backs the dining room to create an open flow.

Fireplaces create a heartwarming glow, serving as an attraction for cosy gatherings.

The scale of respective spaces are distinct from each other to conjure contrasting moods.

The ribbon courtyard links all areas, threading an outdoor tour.

From stone steps at the northeast entrance, under shaded eaves, and through a series of narrow and wider spatial arrangements, the courtyard pathway is a private trail of tranquillity.

Via the south side of the building, a lower corridor reaches the terrace where the whole view fully unfolds.

For many years, the use of courtyards has been commonplace in local houses to improve environmental conditions and accomplish natural division between private and communal spaces.

Plants that flourish over time become earthed in family memories and in future generations.

Light wells touch each interior space with a hint of nature.

Porthole windows align to allow line of sight to pass through from one space to the next.

Guest bedrooms are arranged above the north side of the leisure zone.

Room sizes are compact and cosy, with serene garden views to the south.

Bedrooms are given an outdoor connection with a small courtyard.

Both of the master bedrooms are situated upon the south facing side of the second floor, which is faced toward woodland that leads to the sea.

Other than some land to the south, where the sea is narrowly observable through the trees, there are no remarkable views to be had, since the height of the building is restricted to just ten metres. This makes the courtyard and landscaped pathways all the more precious.

The 30-metre-wide dense forest belt serves as a windbreak and shield from typhoons.
The 3-acre, rectangular residential plot has its shorter sides at the north and south. Neighbouring buildings stand to the east and west.

The entrance is on the north side of the road, which meanders into the social leisure space. The south of the home compound is the private residential area. The division of the two independent residential units fluidly forms the ribbon courtyard.

Just off the northernmost corridor, multi-function rooms within the two units can be used as a casual dining room, for arts, as a reading room, or for games.

The basement is equipped with a living room, home theatre, a snug, a laundry room, and spare bedrooms.

Recommended Reading:  Luxury Family Compound With Huge Courtyard and Koi Pond

Check out the home tour video:

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Scholar sifts through trash to study North Korea



A South Korean scholar is hunting through piles of North Korean trash washed ashore on frontline islands, in an effort to collect information about the secretive nation as pandemic restrictions make it harder for outsiders to find out what’s life like for North Koreans. (April 21)



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Julian Assange Is 1 Step Closer To Being Extradited To U.S.



A British judge has formally approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to face spying charges.


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Wordle 305 April 20 HINTS: Struggling with today's Wordle? Three clues to help with answer



WORDLE fans could struggle with this latest daily puzzle for April 20, which is why Express Online has put together a selection of spoiler-free hints for Wordle 305.


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Dragons' Den cast in awe over pitcher's journey to success – 'an absolute inspiration'



THE DRAGONS’ DEN cast were moved by a pitcher’s journey to creating their business.


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'How did you lose it?' Russian TV presenter slams loss of flagship Moskva



RUSSIA’S fury over the sinking of one of its biggest warships was spelt out yesterday as a broadcaster blasted Moscow’s Navy in a televised onslaught.


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Creating Cosy-Chic Interiors With Grey Decor & Wood Accents



Tonal grey decor and wooden accents culminate into a cosy-chic aesthetic within these three modern home interiors. In our first inspirational home design, we visit a living room with a textural decor scheme and a host of high-end furniture. The stylish living space, however, is completely overshadowed by a striking entryway design with a punchy orange colour blocked treatment and a cool modern staircase design. Our second featured home interior is a deeply shaded design with atmospheric mood lighting, a plethora of indoor plants, and an industrial feel. Finally, we’ll complete our trio of tours in a lighter, limewashed living space, where en vogue arches and subtle boho flourishes add elegance and intrigue.

Architect: MAA Architects  

This 145 square metre home design is located in Frankfurt Germany. A host of tones and textures are brought together to create a cosy modern apartment, with just a hint of bohemian essence. A tan ottoman makes soft, tonal contrast with a grey tufted sofa design, whilst a small side table cuts a crisp white silhouette.

Behind the tufted sofa, ridged gypsum wall panels draw deep textural interest, which is exaggerated under dark graphite paintwork. Two modern art pieces pull together several decor hues, to form one cohesive focal point.

A Traveller’s palm fills the corner of the living room with nature’s architectural beauty and rich emerald colour. A slender floor lamp matches its height.

A pair of living room chairs are set in front of the window to form an L-shaped furniture layout without blocking too much of the natural light. At the end of a large area rug, the final living room wall is dedicated to a bespoke media cabinet that smoothly wraps around into the neighbouring kitchen.

The wide doorway between the lounge and kitchen maintains an open flow.

Out in the home entryway, a fabulous floating staircase design winds around a wide stairwell. The modern design is elevated by a bold orange colour blocked paint feature that rises and falls in abstract silhouette.

Built-in bookcases and storage units make practical use of the spacious entryway. Indoor plants loll from the black book niches to form small explosions of vibrant greenery.

A glass balustrade maintains the floating effect of the staircase, allowing the edges of the treads to show through without obstruction.

Decorative vases and small sculptures make up an interesting pitstop in the hallway.

Back inside the kitchen diner, a mature cactus complements the vertical linearity of the textured wall panels.

A bank of full-height grey kitchen cabinets forms the partition wall between the living room and the extraordinary orange hallway.

Visualizer: Dmitry Matveev  

In our second featured home design, a cosy modular sofa is settled centrally in the lounge, leaving a small walkway around it to access the kitchen. A striking floor lamp fills the vacant corner behind the couch, whilst a modern coffee table occupies the area in front.

The grey living room gains depth from a dark concrete focal wall, which is atmospherically lit from above by a bright ribbon of LEDs. A second ribbon of light runs beneath a floating media unit at the base of the wall to complete the moody effect.

A slatted partition draws a subtle visual divide between the living room and the hallway.

Walnut flooring makes rich contrast with the grey lounge furniture and light area rug.

In the kitchen, the sophisticated grey and walnut decor scheme continues. A plethora of lush green indoor plants uplift the look.

A large wall clock casts shadow onto a concrete statement wall. Modern planters make black, hourglass silhouettes.

Concrete countertops wrap the grey and wood kitchen design.

Grey storage closets smoothly line the hallway of the home.

Inside the bedroom, a smoky grey upholstered bed contrasts against a light area rug. Dark grey bedside cabinets flank either side, adding to the tonal ensemble.

A glass closet causes bright reflections to form across the shadowy bedroom decor scheme.

At the foot of the bed, a grey wall mounted media unit morphs into a vanity table by the window. A punchy yellow vanity stool adds a moment of bright colour underneath.

A backlit mirror forms an atmospheric halo of light above a built-in chest of drawers.

The home entryway is a darkly dramatic little space that’s made to appear larger with the help of a custom-cut mirror. A bespoke console unit threads across the front of the mirror, above a simple grey vanity stool.

Inside the compact bathroom, large-format grey tiles and wood wall panels combine to create a chic aesthetic.

A frameless vanity mirror exudes mood light from around its square edge.

The shower room follows a similar grey and wood grain design, but this time goes even darker with recessed spotlights instead of bright perimeter illumination.

Black shower fixtures fade into the deep shadows.

Visualizer: AV Tikhomirov  

Our final home tour leads us to a light grey limewashed living space with en vogue arches.

A curvaceous accent chair complements the arched alcove and doorway.

A racetrack-shaped side table continues the smooth shape theme.

The lounge leads directly into an open plan kitchen, where light wood and rattan make warm contrast with the stony grey surroundings.

A kitchen island divides the open layout.

Situated by the window, the dining area benefits from natural light.

Three modern wood kitchen bar stools are teamed with the concrete kitchen island to fashion a stylish breakfast bar.

White kitchen appliances lighten the look.

Macramé bedroom pendant lights give the decor scheme a boho vibe.

A grey upholstered bed melds softly with the limewashed backdrop.

A macramé wall hanging adds beauty to the bedroom TV wall.

Recommended Reading:  Welcoming White, Grey And Wood Interiors

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These invasive trees smell like rotting fish and kill plants. State bans want Bradford pears gone



Experts say Bradford pear trees out-compete other tree species and should be replaced with native plants.



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