Archive for the 'Architects and Designers' Category

A source for green-building professionals

Looking for a green-building expert to help you with your home or remodel? The Build It Green program offers a certification program for building professionals who want to show their proficiency in creating buildings that are more healthy, energy-efficient, resource-efficient, comfortable and durable that conventional homes and buildings. To become a Certified Green Building Professional, [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Book Report: The New Bungalow Kitchen

If you’re a lover of bungalow homes and want a chance to drool, I suggest The New Bungalow Kitchen, a recently published Taunton Press book by Virginia architect Peter LaBau. "Classic charm meets modern convenience," the book jacket says. "Craftsmanship, comfort, and a little piece of history. This is what bungalow kitchens are all about." [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Creating a remodeling team, avoiding a horror story

When Patricia Morrow and her two children finally outgrew their two-bedroom North Hollywood home, it was obvious that something had to be done. I was sleeping in my daughter’s room and my son was in the other room," said Morrow, who had bought the house with her then-husband in 1970, pre-parenthood. "It was obvious there [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Have a hard time picturing new space? Get a scale model made

You have to admire architects, designers and contractors who can picture 3-dimentional space by looking at a set of blueprints. I’m not among them, and you might not be either. Of course, 3-D renderings on the computer have made it easier to imagine the corner cabinet or island your designer is suggesting. But for a [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

‘Not So Big House’ DVD now available

If you’ve been following the career of architect Sarah Susanka, author of the “Not So Big House” books, you’ve been able to read her words, see her house photos and even see her in person (she is a speaker at the West Coast Green conference coming up Sept. 20 to 22 in San Francisco). Now [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

A large dose of charisma

Here’s a story I wrote for today’s L.A. Times about an ugly-duckling duplex that was turned into an Eastside swan by a couple who think they’ll stay awhile: Daniel Curet was a contented apartment dweller looking for an Eastside investment property a few years ago when his plans took a sudden turn on a narrow, [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

A week at design school

If a new custom home or major remodel might require a year and a few hundred thousand dollars to pull off — or more — wouldn’t it make sense to spend a week thinking about it? I’m talking about spending an intensive week in Vermont, at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School, which I did a few [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Architects’ own Venice remodel wins national AIA award

Earlier this year, the so-called Solar Umbrella house — designed by owners and architects Angela Brooks and Lawrence Scarpa and built by Above Board Construction in West Los Angeles — won a 2007 Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. The innovative house is hard to describe and luckily it’s built in Venice where [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Street tree coming down? It could be your new breakfast bar

What do you think happens to the trees that come down in our neighborhoods? Last year, I had three pines taken down because of the aggressive topping by the electric company under whose power lines the trees were growing. I was left with several piles of logs, which I finally persuaded a firewood seller to [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

A Mar Vista family’s journey to inner space

A cramped bungalow becomes a 5,000-square-foot oasis with plenty of elbow room for all. The first thing you notice about Janet Mitsui Brown’s remodeled Mar Vista home is its sense of balance, harmony and consistency. The slate on the fence posts is repeated on the chimney, the front steps and into the foyer. The red-toned [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Green building in Santa Barbara? It’s not all that easy

What does it take to build a very green infill condominium project in conservative, tourist-driven, image-conscious Santa Barbara, where detractors argue that solar panels on red-tile roofs create visual blight? “It takes explaining and patience,” says Dennis Thompson, AIA, the architect charged with shepherding a four-unit project through the seaside hamlet’s notoriously picky boards, commissions, [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

A new designer house in Long Beach for $280,000 (including land)? How is that possible?

So how did Richard Gomez manage to build an architect-designed home in Long Beach for less than $300,000, including the land? Here’s what made it possible: 1. Richard bought the lot in 2001 for $30,000. Why so cheap? The lot is tiny, at 45 feet by 50 feet, and it had some "issues" that had [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Looking for a pretty good architect or designer?

If you consider Southern California one big neighborhood, then the designers and architects listed below have been recommended by neighbors. And these neighbors were so pleased with their remodels that they wanted to see them, and their architect or designer, featured in the Los Angeles Times, in my "Pardon Our Dust" series. That’s a pretty [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Santa Monica house named one of AIA’s top 10 green projects

This modern single-family home in Santa Monica was named one of the top 10 green projects by the American Institute of Architects. The house is two stories, 2,480 square feet, four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, and earned the LEED Platinum-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The house was created by Living [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

If you plan to build a house, you must read this book

If you’re building a house or planning a good-sized remodel, you should read “House” by Tracy Kidder. It’s one of the top 10 books I’ve ever read. Kidder, who won a Pulitzer Prize for a previous book on the birth of personal computers, “Soul of a New Machine,” hangs out for a year with Apple [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

In praise of architects

Before its major remodel, this 1921 Granada Hills home had virtually no discernable exterior style. That’s because the original house had been distorted in the 1950s with a boxy family room addition that went clear across the front, enclosing the front door and forcing the inhabitants to enter thereafter through a side door. When owners [...]

Read the rest of this entry »