Archive for the ‘wants’ Category

landing stripped

Friday, November 12th, 2010

On my brain today: the landing strip. That pesky area where you come into your house and want to divest yourself of the sundry things weighing you down. Coat. Muck boots. Scarf and hat. Mail. Keys. You know the drill.

As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t have much room in our entryway…

the landing

No room for a closet. Possibly room for a small bench (we have one in the works). The galvanized boot tray from now defunct Smith & Hawken we’ll likely keep for underneath the yet-to-happen bench. I vote for carting our coats upstairs, but I do see a need for a place our guests can unload before they make the journey up.

In just the past week, I’ve come across two possibilities that don’t look as though they’d intrude too much into our small space…

small teak Cutter wardrobe by Skagerak | horne.com

small teak Cutter wardrobe by Skagerak | horne.com

Funny, the photo of it in situ reminds me of our landing strip setup…

Skagerak Cutter wardrobe | horne.com

Skagerak Cutter wardrobe | horne.com

Looks like it needs a boot tray. They also have a matching stool for underneath…

small teak Cutter bench by Skagerak | horne.com

small teak Cutter bench by Skagerak | horne.com

Plus a longer version with a matching bench…

large Cutter bench and wardrobe by Skagerak | horne.com

large Cutter bench and wardrobe by Skagerak | horne.com

Made of plantation grown teak — a nice sustainable touch. Thinking those would do well in a bathroom as well as an entryway. Thanks to Remodelista for pointing me in their direction.

I came across another coatrack with landing strip potential while poking around the Amenity site. This one has an even slimmer profile…

douglas fir Muir wall coatrack | amenityhome.com

douglas fir Muir wall coatrack | amenityhome.com

douglas fir Muir wall coatrack | amenityhome.com

douglas fir Muir wall coatrack | amenityhome.com

Made of reclaimed fir.  Comes in a low-VOC, non-toxic walnut finish in addition to natural. I like that. The mail slot in the back makes it extra functional. Sweet.

Add those to my list of “gee I wish I had that.”

a plus-sized remod tour

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Our wants are large for this first round of the remodel. Yes, there will be other rounds. There’s not a room in this house that will go untouched. First round: the entryway to the living area. Interested in a tour?

remod wants | entryway

The entryway

It feels like you’ve stepped into a well when you come into the house. There are a few things that can help with that. First off, we’ll probably change out that solid door with something in glass. Seeing out will make it feel less vertical. It will also step up the first impression.

remod wants | entryway floor

Under foot, we can’t leave that plywood exposed. I already covered some of our tile options. This entry well gets cold in the winter, so we need to update the heat, too — we’re looking into removing the 40-year-old Singer heater and replacing it with in-floor heat.

Looking up from the doorway…

remod wants | railing on entry stairs

The solid railings don’t help with that I-fell-in-a-well feeling. Those need to be steel and glass or steel and cable, period. If you can see through the railing to the far windows (yes, that far back door will be replaced with glass for a view out to the yard), this space will feel less claustrophobic.

remod wants | railing on stairs again

Whether you’re headed up the stairs or down, even if the space isn’t actually bigger, it will feel bigger.

Overhead…

remod wants | fan removal

We have two of these ceiling fans that the previous owners put in just a few years ago. Those have to go. Anybody interested in like-new ceiling fans? We’ll remove the cobwebs.

Heading up the stairs

remod wants | stairs

Steps will need finishing in the cork flooring we’re going to use upstairs for a consistent flow.

remod wants | flooring

If you’ve been following, you’ve already seen what the floor looks like at the top of the stairs: particle board and prehistoric carpet. This will all be cork. One cohesive surface throughout the top floor to unify our fairly small space.

Stepping into the living area

remod wants | window wall

The window wall is the star of the house. We’d like to build in seating under the windows cuz everybody likes to sit by the window, and add a shallow shelf for the succulents I have to winterize. Would also be a handy place to set a glass of wine.

remod wants | leaky windows

Did I mention there’s water trapped inside the glass? Damn. This is something we’ve seen in a few of the larger windows, including the one by the front door. They have to be replaced. Since that’s the case, we’re looking at sexier, commercial aluminum windows and sliders with a thinner profile frame. It’ll look hot when we’re done.

remod wants | storage wall

Storage is an issue. On either side of the window wall, we want built-ins floor to ceiling, with room for books, music and art, as well as the stuff nobody wants to see.

remod wants | wall removal

There is a storage closet already. But it really interrupts the space.

remod wants | closet removal

Here it is from the other side. We want to knock that whole thing out and replace it with window/slider wall…

remod wants | view to patio

… so we can step right out onto our soon-to-be fabulous new patio. We’re envisioning the area that’s currently the storage closet as a sitting area that looks out to the yard, with a cozy built-in, high-efficiency woodstove.

Just across from the storage closet…

… is another wall that’s coming out. See ya, ’70s-style kitchen pass-thru.

remod wants | kitchen wall removal

Once that wall comes out, it’s open concept. The kitchen becomes part of the living space and dining area. We’re picturing an island with a cooktop and a few stools pulled up to it — more entertaining-centric. And we’d like to knock out a section of the far kitchen wall to create a window onto the entry well. Once again, longer views always make a small space feel bigger.

remod wants | kitchen expansion

Remember, the current kitchen is insanely small — it made sense in a home built for a single person, but not for us. The floor measures 3’10″ across at the widest point. Only 3′ where the fridge would have been directly across from the stove. It’s only 6′ from the doorway to the sink.

By knocking down the walls, we gain a little breathing room and hopefully a smidge more space. There are no appliances in this kitchen, so we need those. We already invested in an open-concept-worthy fridge — meaning we have to look at it from the living area so it has to be fab, as far as I’m concerned. It was the smallest footprint fridge I could find that still has enough space. Currently stashed downstairs next to our kitchenette. More on that another time.

remod wants | cabinet removal

We’ll need new cabinets as the space is being reconfigured. These we’ll save for either the garage or a future shed. We need to maximize storage in here so we’ll have to go vertical.

remod wants | kitchen ceiling heaters

We want to put in a big skylight, again to make this feel more spacious. But more than that, natural light and food just make for a sunnier mood. Those panels in the ceiling are heaters, which means we have to think about how to heat the kitchen as there’s no other source of heat in here.

remod wants | kitchen tile removal

Kitchen flooring will be a continuation of the cork. Looking forward to losing those cold, dark tiles.

Looking down the canyon between the kitchen and the storage closet…

remod wants | view to back

You can see how this space would be opened up by knocking down the walls. As much as I wish it weren’t the case, those are load-bearing, which means we’ll still need support. See how the stair railing completely interrupts the view to the back? I can’t wait for that to change.

This is a good time to address the ceiling… We want to cover it in the same material we’re using for the floor. One is aesthetic: to highlight the slope of the ceiling and the long view from the front to the back of the house. The other is yuck: popcorn ceilings installed prior to ’79 may have stuff in it that you don’t want in your house. We want to encase it and forget about it, just in case.

Let’s finish that spin around the living area…

remod wants | stove removal

A woodstove sits in what we want to be our dining area. A high-efficiency Jotul we brought with us from the loft as a temporary heating solution, but it obviously doesn’t suit the style of the house. We’ll be selling that. The wall behind it will be floor-to-ceiling built-ins just like the opposite side of the room. And speaking of walls, behind them we’ll be adding insulation.

remod wants | take that chandelier

Over the dining area, the last owners put in a chandelier that’s coming out. Anybody want a chandy?

remod wants | deck updating

Wait, we’re almost done! That deck we look out onto? We use it as an extension of the living space when the weather’s good — lovely dining spot with a view of downtown. Unfortunately, it needs replacing…

remod wants | deck rot

Here’s the view from below. You can see that soon, we may fall through.

remod wants | deck phone service!

While we’re out here, let me point out this space-age creature comfort on the deck: phone lines! Man, the architect thought of everything. Here it is 2010 and we literally have not had a land line in years — I gave up mine a decade ago. My how times have changed.

So what didn’t I cover?

remod wants | heaters

Heaters in the living area. We have to figure out how to not have them be hideous, how to do built-ins around them, etc. We’ll cover heating and our scads of research in another post.

remod wants | heat control

Obviously the heat control will change. I’m sure this was advanced in its day.

remod wants | light switches

Lighting controls will change, too. Basically, everything’s changing.

So that’s it. End of tour. You can go home now. You’re probably looking forward to a cozy, inviting place after seeing this mess. So are we.

total yard-on for hardscape

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Name a category for our remodel, inside or out, and I’ll show you a stash of dreamy ideas dug up online or shot in my daily travels. Trying to show you all my inspiration for outside is ha! fuhgeddaboudit. Let’s just talk hardscape. I’ve culled some of the bazillion images I have so you can see how a few themes for the look of our future yard rise to the top. Ready to take a dive?

DRIVEWAY

Major theme here: Strips of concrete set into gravel or grass. These could be squares, rectangles, angles — all shapes Irving Haynes, the architect of our house, used again and again in his work and his art. Linear strips would complement the modern architecture of the house (more so than the stupid blacktop there now) and  reduce runoff into the street (and that slippery sheet of ice across our sloped driveway in winter).

The Black House, Andres Remy Arquitectos | archdaily.com

The Black House, Andres Remy Arquitectos | archdaily.com

Waterfall House, Andres Remy Arquitectos | archdaily.com

Waterfall House, Andres Remy Arquitectos | archdaily.com

Maas Architects | contemporist.com

Maas Architects | contemporist.com

Maas Architects | contemporist.com

Maas Architects | contemporist.com

Frick Residence, KRBD | contemporist.com

Frick Residence, KRBD | contemporist.com

Below, not exactly a driveway but definitely a style we could duplicate for a driveway…

Canyonhouse, X Ten Architecture | xtenarchitecture.com

Canyonhouse, X Ten Architecture | xtenarchitecture.com

PATIO

The look we settle on for the driveway we definitely want to carry into our two patio areas — to simplify, surfaces will be done at the same time. That likely means repeating strips or squares of concrete. Additional themes I see in the images I’m most drawn to: irregularity as a part of the pattern, grids and intersecting planes, plantings set into the patio surface, strong delineation of grass or moss/gravel/river rock areas, the interplay of different kinds of surface materials, softening of hard edges by plantings.

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

shot at The Farmer's Daughter, S.Kingstown, RI

shot at The Farmer's Daughter, S.Kingstown, RI

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

Marin Residence, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture | acochran.com

Marin Residence, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture | acochran.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

John Maniscalo Cole Street Residence | remodelista.com

John Maniscalo Cole Street Residence | remodelista.com

Summer House Vestfold 2, JVA | archdaily.com

Summer House Vestfold 2, JVA | archdaily.com

Bellevue City Hall, Phillips Farveaag Smallenberg | pfs.bc.ca

Bellevue City Hall, Phillips Farveaag Smallenberg | pfs.bc.ca

searching for attribution — will add asap! :(

searching for attribution — will add asap! :(

Rosen House | eichlernetwork.com

Rosen House | eichlernetwork.com

From the Ground Up | blogs2.startribune.com/blogs/newhouse

From the Ground Up | blogs2.startribune.com/blogs/newhouse

livingetc.com

livingetc.com

San Damian House, Daw | archdaily.com

San Damian House, Daw | archdaily.com

Seattle Dream Gardens | sunset.com

Seattle Dream Gardens | sunset.com

Brookvale Residence, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architects | acochran.com

Brookvale Residence, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architects | acochran.com

Adams Fleming House, Levitt Goodman Architects | levittgoodmanarchitects.com

Adams Fleming House, Levitt Goodman Architects | levittgoodmanarchitects.com

Johnson House, Pierre Koenig | eichlernetwork.com

Johnson House, Pierre Koenig | eichlernetwork.com

shot at Denver Botanic Gardens

shot at Denver Botanic Gardens

Tepper Residence, Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture | houzz.com

Tepper Residence, Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture | houzz.com

Adding the image below because we might consider a more textured surface…

latimes.com home tours

latimes.com home tours

PATIO COVER

We’re being very conscious about not adding structures that will detract from the original architecture of the house. The patio cover should be functional, not a focal point. Minimal but large enough to keep driving rain and snow from the north off the windows (plus we like to leave the windows open to let the air circulate in season). Preferably not light blocking as it’s on the shady side of the house. The overriding theme: simplicity.

Ridgeview (after) | designspongeonline.com

Ridgeview (after) | designspongeonline.com

Kidosaki Achitects | contemporist.com

Kidosaki Achitects | contemporist.com

POOL

Still debating whether we have fish or not, but we absolutely must have water — no room for a swimming pool, unfortunately. Major theme in these images: a long, rectangular water feature either raised or set into the ground, frequently set off by rectangles or squares of concrete, sometimes grass or gravel. Especially loving floating steps across a pool.

archdaily.com

archdaily.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

shot at Denver Botanic Gardens

shot at Denver Botanic Gardens

stylehive.com

stylehive.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

Fox Residence, Lutsko Associates | lutskoassociates.com

Fox Residence, Lutsko Associates | lutskoassociates.com

Alexander's Crown, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture | acochran.com

Alexander's Crown, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture | acochran.com

Blue Mountain, Phillips Farveaag Smallenberg | pfs.bc.ca

Blue Mountain, Phillips Farveaag Smallenberg | pfs.bc.ca

Singleton Residence, Richard Neutra | lacurbed.com

Singleton Residence, Richard Neutra | lacurbed.com

Ohara Residence, Richard Neutra | mcarch.wordpress.com

Ohara Residence, Richard Neutra | mcarch.wordpress.com

Stone Edge Farm, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture | acochran.com

Stone Edge Farm, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture | acochran.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

contemporist.com

contemporist.com

GARDEN

I’m talking hardscape, not plants… Repetitive themes: corten steel steps backfilled with gravel, concrete (or granite) block steps, rogue plants interrupting the steps — there to make you linger, raised beds of corten, variety in the levels of plantings, plants no longer banished to a border but set apart in the landscape for drama, zones of grass amidst the plantings, the satisfying crunch of pea gravel.

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

Cow Hollow Garden, Veverka Architects | houzz.com

Cow Hollow Garden, Veverka Architects | houzz.com

Lake House, Hutchison & Maul Architecture | archdaily.com

Lake House, Hutchison & Maul Architecture | archdaily.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

I’ll get to lighting someday, but isn’t this shot of light canisters hanging from the oaks absolutely dreamy?

D-Crain | d-crain.com

D-Crain | d-crain.com

I want to go to there.

That brings an end to How Green Is My Brain Week. Except that I’m currently in the garden planning stage so my brain will likely be green for months to come. You’ve been warned.

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Bookmarks for this post:

acochran.com The land and sustainability are key to her incredible modern gardens. Genius landscapes. Also worth noting that Andrea Cochran published an amazing book last October.

archdaily.com So many projects from around the world. Great, great stuff here.

contemporist.com I’m absolutely in awe of the architecture this site covers.

d-crain.com Austin, you’re so lucky to have such a progressive landscaping firm. *sigh*

designspongeonline.com My daily virtual commute must. Great inspiration for everything.

eichlernetwork.com A constant source of inspiration for an MCM remodel, even if you don’t live in an Eichler.

houzz.com Home design images from architects, designers and landscapers searchable by style and keyword. Consider it a gateway drug.

levittgoodmanarchitects.com Just really beautiful work, inside and out.

la.curbed.com For the inside scoop on LA’s drooliest real estate.

latimes.com Luuuuuurve their Homes of the Times section. Great style, lots of innovative use of materials and sustainability in action in L.A.

livingetc.com A modern mag with great ideas in their photo gallery.

lutskoassociates.com Landscapes that combine ecology and modernism. Gorgeous.

mcarch.wordpress.com An enviable collection of midcentury architecture photos.

pfs.bc.ca So happy to have stumbled across Vancouver’s Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg landscape architecture. Modern, thoughtful landscapes.

remodelista.com Who doesn’t use this as a style resource? Big fan from the beginning.

sunset.com I don’t live out West but I get the magazine like I do. Love all the home and garden ideas with a green focus.

xtenarchitecture.com Rad L.A. architecture firm. They know modern and sustainable.

the beginning of the end-grain

Friday, February 12th, 2010

end-grain bamboo cutting board

Off on a tangent — an end-grain wood tangent I began yesterday. Forgive my obsession and just play along.

If the term “end-grain” leaves you thinking, huh? don’t worry. If you’ve seen a butcher block table or countertop, you’ve seen end-grain. That’s my own end-grain bamboo cutting board above.

It’s called end-grain because all those individual blocks of wood in the butcher block are turned on end rather than set longways, so you can see the grain of the wood where the saw blade sliced through it. Think of a pepperoni sausage… laying on its side, that’s long-grain. But slice it into discs and lay those face up, that’s end-grain. If you still don’t get it, watch this.

End-grain cutting surfaces are traditionally maple, because it’s a hard, durable wood. But end-grain lends itself to other woods and other applications — like flooring! Really gorgeous, incredibly pricey flooring. I only know because I’ve been looking into flooring options for our remod and have been hoarding samples of things that catch my eye. Okay, I’ll show you a few end-grain samples but no touching….

end-grain oak flooring

bamboo end-grain flooring

plywood end-grain flooring

End-grain bamboo flooring you can find from a few different sources, Plyboo on the West Coast being the leader (also end-grain ply for furniture). Kaswell Flooring Systems in Framingham, MA, makes end-grain wood flooring from scads of different species, some more sustainable than others. We prefer the more eco-conscious options but they’re all pretty awesome to behold…

kaswell ash

kaswell ash

kaswell cerisewood

kaswell cerisewood

kaswell hemlock

kaswell hemlock

kaswell teak

kaswell teak

kaswell mesquite rounds

kaswell mesquite rounds

kaswell white oak

kaswell white oak

Eyes buggin’ yet? My personal favorite… strips of plywood end-grain! Plywood! (Scroll back up to my flooring samples for supa-dupa extreme closeup.)

kaswell plye

kaswell plye

God I love how a material that seems like such a throwaway can create such an amazing pattern. Just look at it in some lucky bugger’s fabulous New York City apartment:

It is to sigh. There are waaaay more species to choose from here and here. Want to see a few more installations? Hopefully Kaswell won’t mind… I’m on a roll.

mesquite floors and walls

hemlock used as tile

stairs with rounds

nyc standard hotel

As much as I love them, I have to admit that most of those choices are too busy design-wise for our space even if we could afford them.

But I’ll always have the samples.

ooh, aaah…

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Quick followup to my most recent post

Just poking around and discovered that BILT has an etsy shop! Not much there at the moment, but what is there is pretty spectacular. A few images of their Olympia Table made of walnut end-grain…

Olympia Table by BILT Furniture | etsy

Olympia Table by BILT Furniture | etsy

Olympia | top view

Olympia | top view

Olympia | side view

Olympia | side view

Have always been a fan of end-grain. Love how it really shows off the character of the walnut. The extra legs, witty. Drooly scrumptious. I can see I’m going to have to meet these guys.

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UPDATE 02/16 | It’s been less than a week since I posted this and suddenly their website and their etsy shop are empty. What up?!

old-modern i’d put my butt on

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Old vs. modern. I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive — especially since modernism took root in the 1920s if not earlier. Old can be very modern, at least in principle. An example…

Last October, David, Bix and I spent a few days in Denver — loving that city a little more every time we go. In search of great sushi, we stumbled onto the amazing REI Flagship store, which rubs elbows with the Greenway Trail, South Platte River and Confluence Park. REI is located in a drop-dead gorgeous Tramway Power Company Building built in 1901. It’s an excellent example of sustainable development, in which historic preservation, adaptive reuse and social responsibility combine to create something the city can take pride in.

Take a quick peek at the inside — it’s mind-blowing.

Enough background. Outside the REI building, I saw a few of these:

bench at Denver REI Flagship

Ancient. Rustic. Beautiful. Not modernist per se and yet in my eyes modern. An example of reuse that’s completely in keeping with its sustainably inspired environment. I think the simplicity of the steel and the bolts works well… Nothing fancy here.

detail on bench

So would a super organic bench hewn from an old log work in the context of a “modern” house like ours? I say yes. Maybe not inside as we’re really taxed for space, but outside, absolutely.

When I see the word modern, I think of an aesthetic that embraces not just the past — not just modernist icons like Le Corbusier and the Eameses, among many — but what also makes sense now. Beyond simplicity of form and a focus on function, modernism has always celebrated a connection to nature. That deep respect for the environment makes more sense than ever.

Then there’s this, which I just came across today…

1838 Bench 2 by BILT

1838 Bench 2 by BILT

Similar to the bench outside REI but a more refined interpretation. Instead of a log, the wood was taken from 19th century wooden beams. Imperfectly gorgeous and another great example of reuse. The steel that holds it off the floor is more stylized but still simple, unadorned, absolutely modern.

steel detail on 1838 bench by BILT

steel detail on 1838 bench by BILT

Turns out BILT, the designers of this bench and other drool-worthy furniture, is from Providence. You’ll find more about BILT’s work here and here. They take commissions. Uh-oh.

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UPDATE 02/16 | It’s been less than a week since I posted this and suddenly their website and their etsy shop are empty. What up?!