Miescisko Next Wave designer Caroline Rafferty might be based in Palm Beach, but it's the breeze block architecture of Palm Springs that's at the top of her inspiration list right now.
Rafferty fell in love with breeze blocks while working on the renovation of her own mid-century home. "We bought a 1950s, low-slung single-story house and were looking for a way to add some shade and privacy," she says. "A local architect named Dan Kahan turned me onto breeze blocks, and now I'm completely obsessed!"
A staple of mid-century design, breeze blocks are essentially cinder blocks designed for more decorative applications. While they've been around since the 1930s, it was in the '50s and '60s that their popularity peaked before eventually being relegated to the kitsch department. Now, designers like Rafferty are helping usher in a breeze block revival by using them in a decidedly modern way.
So how do you make such a period-specific trend feel fresh? "I think it's all about restraint," she says. "You want to use breeze blocks in small doses; for example, we're using them to build a vestibule outside of the master bathroom to provide some screening from the pool."
Choosing the right pattern is also key. "I love the look of combining two different sizes, or doing something non-traditional, like a circular pattern," Rafferty explains. "When the sun shines on them, it creates the most amazing shadows, and at night when they're lit from behind, it's even more beautiful!"
Looking for some breeze block inspo of your own? Check out Australian brands and , both of which show off some pretty amazing applications of their products.