Archive for the 'Architects and Designers' Category

Sarah Susanka designs her dream window

Do you remember Susan Susanka, the guru of the not-so-big-house movement? Well, this architect can do it all — design homes, design interiors, write bestsellers and present moving speeches to thousands of enthralled attendees in packed ballrooms. Plus, I can tell you from my journalistic encounters with Sarah, she is a very kind person. And [...]

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Architects are third-worst drivers by profession

If you believe the old adage that you are what you eat, it follows in the car insurance business that you're likely to drive what's on your mind. To put it plainly, when people are stressed and in a hurry, they tend to get in more accidents. Recently, Quality Planning Corp. and Insure.com released their [...]

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Carving out a mom cave of her own

Kelly Porter had an office inside her Ellicott City home, but she never used it. Each day she would set up shop with her laptop at the kitchen island. The home office, which her family of five shared, "never felt right," says the designer and color consultant (http://www.porterhousedesigns.com). "I never felt comfortable. I never felt [...]

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Acclaimed kitchen designer now offers phone consultations

Susan Serra, an acclaimed kitchen designer who lives and breathes kitchens, now offers one-hour phone consultations. We can't all be lucky enough to live near a kitchen designer whose work has appeared in many major magazines. But her wisdom and insight is still available: Here's what Susan posted on her blog, The Kitchen Designer: I've [...]

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In Sicily, renovating a cave

Modic, Italy — Amid the fabled 100 churches that line the sun-cracked streets of this Sicilian city, the New York architects William Brockschmidt and Richard Dragisic found a second home. By modern standards the property is no ordinary dwelling. It includes a centuries-old cave in the area’s volcanic rock that once was a place of [...]

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Going Swedish – The Boston Globe

Can a Cambridge architect pull off a complete renovation — including a new high-end range — for less than $20,000? Is a budget-minded kitchen renovation with a high-end range and custom carpentry an oxymoron? Not in the case of architectural designer Chiong Lin’s rehab of an 11-by-14-foot Cambridge kitchen. The story begins in 2005. Lin [...]

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Coping Skills: What are your priorities?

When Harriet Burke and her daughter Kathy Scheidemen decided to expand Burke’s 1961 tract house into a “green,” energy-efficient home for the two of them, they agreed they would spend $200,000 and “not a penny more,” Scheidemen recalls.  The two women made a list of their desires, including two separate living areas, vaulted wood ceilings, [...]

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Home’s green remodel gives mother and daughter space

See all photos Charles Darwin might have found an interesting research subject in the Burke family's Goleta, Calif. home, which has evolved over the last 47 years as the family has changed. Chuck and Harriet Burke purchased the five-bedroom tract house in 1962 as a place to raise their five rambunctious kids. As the children [...]

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Book Report: ‘Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House’

"Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House" by Daniel P. Gregory, with photographs by Joe Fletcher and a foreword by Joel Silver. (Rizzoli; 256 pages; $60) Reviewed by Robert Nebolon (Robert Nebolon, a Berkeley architect, designed a contemporary Hermosa Beach home featured previously on this blog.) Cliff May, the father of the California ranch house, [...]

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Architect/contractor from California builds colorful home in Israel

Michael Abel, an architect and contractor from California, and his Israeli-born wife Nava, built and decorated this 1,800-square-foot, five-bedroom, three-bathroom home in the town of Zichron Yaacov, Israel, which overlooks the Mediterranean. This is from an article in the New York Times. The article says that many of the building materials, including interior doors, were [...]

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Pardon Our Dust Classic: Not just a tract house anymore

While Gretchen Zee bought her 1960s tract house in Santa Barbara for its lush one third-acre ocean-view lot overlooking an oak-covered hillside, she had to go outside the house to get any sense of nature. The house was, in fact, backed up to the views, oriented to offer visions of the driveway from the family [...]

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A mod beach house for sis

Sleek and customized, a ground-up remodel transforms a tiny ocean-view lot. When architect Robert Nebolon started sketching out ideas for his sister’s tear-down and rebuild in south Hermosa Beach, he felt pretty confident that his design would meet the needs of her family — despite the challenging 30-by-50-foot lot they had to work with. But [...]

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Ask an Architect: Can I pick your brain for ideas?

Question: I’d love to hire an architect to give me some ideas for my remodel. I’m not sure I want to hire the architect to oversee the whole project, or even draw up any specific plans. I just want the benefit of an architect’s creative ability to come up with visions for what my house [...]

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Reader Letter: How to find an architect?

Today’s query comes from Michael H. in the Beachwood Canyon area of Los Angeles: I’d like to enlist an architect to help me with some design work for a remodel, including load calculations (I need to take down some walls). My end goal is to have plans in hand that I can shop to contractors. [...]

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Affordable green prefabs

When it comes to green building, some professions and industries get it, and some don’t (yet). Those who get it are architects and manufacturers. Those who are playing catch-up are suppliers and retailers, and most contractors and subcontractors. So if you can get those who get it — architects and manufacturers — into one room, [...]

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Contrary about contemporary

This Pacific Palisades house, a rebuild designed by L.A. architect John Sofio, is pretty good-looking, don’t you think? I love the boxy shapes, banks of windows and the way he brought natural light into that stairwell. But, I wonder what the neighbors think. If you study the top photo, you can see that the house [...]

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A bathtub on the landing? Dude! It’s Venice!

Why live in Venice if you’re not going to go eccentric with your remodel? You can move to Northridge if you want to be conventional, or Diamond Bar. It’s not that those areas don’t have their eccentricities, but when you live in Venice it’s kind of expected that you will push the limits of design. [...]

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When the embers die down . . . recovery begins

It might be soon to talk about recovery as the tragedy unfolds, but Southern Californians do rebuild after fires. I’m sure Claremont residents Vern and Deb Jahnke, who lost their house in the 2003 Grand Prix Fire, are thinking about and praying for (he’s a minister, after all) the victims of the current fires. After [...]

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Can’t read blueprints? Welcome to my world

I’m sure few things excite architects and contractors so much as a full set of blueprints for a house or remodel. I also like those stacks of large paper sheets with thin lines and serious notations. But as for being able to visualize what these plans represent? I haven’t got what it takes. And maybe [...]

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Santa Barbara dream kitchen is a team effort

Ann Lippincott recalls the exact moment her kitchen remodel got off the ground. During a Halloween party at her Santa Barbara ocean-view condominium two years ago, Lippincott, who was dressed as a witch, was standing in the kitchen with a friend, Lena Savage, an artist and former architect who was dressed as a punk rocker. [...]

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