Must-Know Modern Homes: Edith Farnsworth House

Philip Johnson’s Glass House and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House are very alike, but their little differences are magnificent. Each is a glass box with an open plan of roughly the exact same size on a large estate for an individual, but Johnson’s home sits right on the land, while Mies’ home for Edith Farnsworth is increased above it. The Glass House blurs the distinction between structure and glass framing, while the Farnsworth House clearly expresses the construction. And of course one is painted black and one is white.

Johnson may have finished the Glass House in 1949, two years before Farnsworth House was constructed, but having seen a version of Mies’ design at MoMA in 1947, he was obviously poised to Mies. While the two homes are strongly connected formally, for Mies the home is part of a bigger idea about universal space that he had been exploring for decades and that would discover much grander fruition in a number of residential and office towers in the 1950s. In this sense the Farnsworth House is an incredibly important home for the architect, a small-scale experiment in his ideas. Matters weren’t as perfect for the client, as we’ll see, but the view of the home as a masterpiece of a contemporary architect has prevailed to this day.

Edith Farnsworth House in a Glance
Year constructed: 1951
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Location: Plano, Illinois
Viewing info: Individual and group tours available
Size: 1,500 square feet

More: 10 Must-Know Modern Homes

Farnsworth and Mies fulfilled at a dinner party held by mutual friends in November 1945. Farnsworth knew of his buildings and requested him to plan a weekend escape to get her 9 acres she owned in Plano, roughly 40 miles west of Chicago. Mies agreed to do the project that evening.

Accounts of their assembly and following working relationship signify that Farnsworth respected Mies’s imagination and gave him lots of leeway with the plan. She also liked the thought that her home can serve as a prototype for a new American architecture.

The weekend home sits on the banks of the Fox River, on land which would eventually mushroom to 62 acres from the initial 9. The home sits inside the flood plane, therefore Mies lifted it about 5 ft above the level of the river. In addition, he positioned the rectangular box parallel to the river, to benefit from these views to the south and into the clearing in the north.

The house consists of three flat planes: the floor of the home and porch, the roof, along with the lower porch. The home and adjoining porch occupy a 28- by 77-foot rectangle, while the lower porch is 22 by 55 feet, roughly the exact same dimensions as the enclosed portion of the home.

The two porches give the otherwise regular home some asymmetry. They also make sure that people going to the home approach it in a specific fashion, walking from the east and then visiting the home frontally in the south and then up the steps.

By comparison, the north side of the home is so regular that it borders dull. Nevertheless 1 detail (and remember, Mies is known for saying “God is in the details”) which comes across nicely in this opinion is the way the floor and ceiling extend past the columns.

This detail gives the impression that the two airplanes are being held (barely) between the columns, while highlighting the way the floor and roofing are somewhat of these columns, as if they can extend even further. In fact the beams of the floor and roofing are stored between the columns, welded to them so carefully that they seem to just “kiss” each other.

Whenever the Farnsworth House was under construction, Mies was working on two apartment buildings on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. While the house’s construction can be expressed on the outside, in the Lake Shore Drive buildings and towers the structural steel needed to be fireproofed (encased in concrete), therefore Mies chosen for smaller steel pieces on the outside to stand out for the construction.

This photograph, of the opinion Fox River in the porch, illustrates how Mies accentuated the landscape as a picture during the parallel planes of floor and ceiling. We can also see the roughly 2-foot-square grid where he founded the plan; every piece lines up with the grid.

What we don’t see are the screens Farnsworth had installed once she transferred in. These along with a wardrobe inside were taken care of by Mies’ workers, but the architect and client weren’t communicating at the moment. He sued Farnsworth for nonpayment, and she countersued, saying the home was unlivable. The courts sided with Mies on both lawsuits, but the entire undertaking scarred him so much that he never pursued another real estate commission.

The house’s entry is between the dining area and room inside the open area. Beyond is a piece of millwork that extends form the floor to the ceiling ; inside are two bathrooms, the kitchen cabinets, a fireplace and a mechanical core. In front of the millwork is your living room, seen here. In the backdrop is the apparel which Farnsworth had made following moving; to the side is your sleeping area.

Mies believed that a home with large expanses of glass would link people to nature in a deeper way than smaller windows, or even being outside. Appreciating nature as a picture was so just as important as being inside it. A home in character, like the Farnsworth House, subsequently supplied the ideal condition for this appreciation.

Even though the lawsuits brought the connection of client and architect into a bitter near, Farnsworth utilized the home for more than 20 years. Peter Palumbo bought the home and land in 1972; he removed the screens, added air conditioning and made extensive changes to the bigger grounds. In addition, he opened up the home for visits once he wasn’t in town.

In 2003 he put the home up for auction. Preservationists and the National Trust for Historic Preservation worked together so the NTHP could Buy the house and operate it as a house museum, such as Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.

2 higher-than-average flooding in the previous twenty years sent the Fox River’s waters nicely above the floor level. In 1996 the home underwent recovery following the oceans peaked 5 ft above the floor, and in 2008 waters climbing 18 inches above the floor needed some repairs that were less extensive. Rising waters are threatening the home this season, but the NTHP had heard from the prior floods and enacted emergency measures to protect the interior.

Blaser, Werner. Mies van der Rohe, Farnsworth House: Weekend House. Birkhäuser, 1999. Cadwell, Michael. Strange Details. MIT Press, 2007.
Farnsworth House + The Glass House. Modern Views. Assouline, 2010.
Farnsworth House, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Frampton, Kenneth and Larkin, David. American Masterworks: The Twentieth Century House. Rizzoli, 1995. More: 10 Must-Know Modern Homes

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DIY Love Reforms a Dated Cape Ann Home

Expectant parents Jen Migonis along with her husband, AJ, purchased their home three decades back, wanting room for their son to play and develop in. The location, only a 15-minute walk to the beach, and a good college system are just what convinced the couple to see the chances, despite a less-than-ideal inside. The home had dated and dark rooms untouched for years, zero insulation and flooring suffering from exactly what Jen explains as “nauseating linoleum,” but the industrious couple knew that using a great deal of DIY patience and love, they could create a bright location for their loved ones to call home.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Jen and AJ Migonis and their son, Drew
Location: Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts
Size: 1,600 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
That’s interesting: Although it’s located on chilly Cape Ann, the home had zero insulation when the family moved in.

Theresa Fine

The couple removed an present nonload-bearing wall that separated the initial bloated kitchen in the dining area. They added an island with a Carrara marble top, maintaining a bright and open-concept kitchen in mind. New stainless steel appliances plus a Maytag convection stovetop replaced the very outdated stove. “It was rather rough before. The 1950s stove took nearly an hour to boil water for pasta,” says Jen. “The brightness of the room today makes me happy every time I’m inside.”

Before Photo

When the couple moved in, the cabinets were painted a dull ” [The kitchen] was our first major renovation, because we’re going to have our first child, and we understood that it would be a key spot,” says Jen.

Theresa Fine

A silver faux pressed-tin backsplash gives the sink area a classic feel. “We ordered semicustom cabinets to fit our room but were cautious to not need to move windows and pipes in order to keep down the cost,” says Jen.

Backsplash: Shanko 309 Lacquer End Steel, Home Depot; cupboards: Thomasville; appliances: Home Depot; countertop: Bianco Carrara marble, Doyon’s Appliance; sink, faucet: Franke and Moen, Home Depot

Theresa Fine

Theresa Fine

The kitchen flows into the dining area, located to the right of the entrance. A turned-leg pine dining table found on Craigslist was stripped of its own glistening orange coat and awarded a black, distressed finish. The linoleum flooring went outside, and new hardwood floors were painted a dark warm walnut colour.

A classic window and inherited vintage lamp accent the dining buffet. Like many people I love the gray-blue colour palette and think it perfectly reflects the sea,” says Jen. “I’m a huge fan of calming colors on the walls and using the rooms readily flow to each other.”

Rug: Malika, Pottery Barn; seats: and Harry, Ikea; deaint: Driftwood Gray, Martha Stewart Living and Ultra Pure White, Behr

Theresa Fine

To the left of the entrance is your living room, featuring many of Jen’s budget-friendly DIY projects. The blue and white drapes are actually shower curtains from Target which she cut in half and adorned with a white band of fabric to produce affordable window treatments.

Before Photo

The living room’s focal point was a outdated wood-paneled wall. The couple pumped out the far corner of the wall, adding access to the kitchen, opening the space up and generating flow in the downstairs space.

Theresa Fine

The few whitewashed the paneling, trim and brick fireplace, making what was a dark area feel open and cheerful.

Paint: Vanilla Ice Cream 2154-70, Benjamin Moore; armchairs: Tullsta, Ikea; pillows: HomeGoods

Theresa Fine

This door off the kitchen contributes to the basement, decorated for the coming of spring with a moss wreath. A glittery coral-colored “M,” another one of Jen’s DIY projects, stands to your household’s last name.

Theresa Fine

Upstairs, one of three small bedrooms has been turned into son Drew’s sea-inspired nursery. Jen credits her inspiration and style for her mum and her love of browsing magazines. “My mother has always loved decorating and shopping comparatively frugally,” she shares, “therefore I think that is partially where I get that gene from. Subsequently marrying AJ was like a continuation of how I grew up, just he had been renovation minded as well.”

Wheel: Christmas Tree Shop; bedding, carpet: Pottery Barn Kids

Theresa Fine

Seat: Ektorp, Ikea; stool: HomeGoods

Theresa Fine

Jen’s dad made Drew’s sailboat mobile by hand in main colors, adding a personal touch to the nautical design plot.

Lamp: Fisherman Table Lamp, Pottery Barn Kids

Theresa Fine

Baskets, buckets, along with a vintage red wagon corral Drew’s toys and books. Jen made the Migonis family plaque.

Before Photo

BEFORE: The master bedroom had low ceilings, aged walls along with the dreaded linoleum flooring. This chamber was the brainchild of AJ, that came up with the thought to vault the ceiling and did all the work himself. The transformation took nearly three decades and $3,000 to complete.

Theresa Fine

AFTER: The finished master bedroom.

Theresa Fine

The couple opened the bedroom ceiling to include stunning lines and make the room feel bigger. Jen repurposed shower curtains into window drapery as well as pillow shams. The tufted headboard is a DIY project that Jen made from pegboard.

Jen also whitewashed the mantel around a newly installed electrical fireplace and created a small sitting area. The once-gold mirror has been painted and washed white to fit the house’s neutral colour palette.

Paint: Moonshine 2140-60, Benjamin Moore; drapes: Feather Gray, West Elm; flooring: stained with Jacobean, Minwax; fireplace: Home Depot

Before Photo

The upstairs bathroom is the only one in the home, so the few needed to liven it up right away. It had old tiles, wallpaper and cheap shelving, and the toilet was sinking to the ground. The shower also had a mysteriously stubborn mildew no matter how many times they washed it.

Theresa Fine

The newly tiled shower, mirrored in the mirror, is outfitted with neutral variegated cent tiles. A white beadboard ceiling adds personality. The few came in under budget at $2,500, getting members of to obtain a 7 percent reduction on tiles.

Shower tile:; Paint: Harbor Gray AC-25, Benjamin Moore

Theresa Fine

Jen covered a kid-friendly security gate at the peak of the stairs with old maps.

Theresa Fine

Connected to the wall beside the entry is a handmade giant ruler for charting Drew’s height.

Before Photo

The house was hidden by big shrubs and painted blue.

Theresa Fine

While it’s snowy today, Jen enjoys that they reside within a mile and a half of the beach. “It’s amazing to run or walk from the sea whenever we want to. Our neighborhood is composed of largely capes or tiny ranches that people are gradually renovating or tearing down,” she says. “There is a good mix of kids and older folks who only love talking and turning to Drew.”

Paint: Cumulus Cloud MSL260, Martha Stewart Living

Theresa Fine

Here Jen presents for a picture with an energetic Drew. In terms of the household’s future renovation programs, Jen says, “We are starting the process of producing a nursery for our little girl, due on April 5, and turning the guest room into a more grown-up room for Drew.”

Your turn: Share your renovated home with us!

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Washed Out to Knockout — Watch a Smart Living Room Makeover

When er Lana Carlene became fed up with her property, which she called a “large, dull, beige box,” she chose to do something about its lack of personality — one area at a time. She began her coup from the living area, in which an expansive fireplace screamed for attention. In less than two weeks of construction time, she had the black granite from around the fireplace stripped, organic rock installed all the way to the ceiling along with a clever new storage system packaged in. Here’s how she did it.

Project in a
What’s Living room makeover
Location: Maple Valley, Washington
Duration: Approximately two weeks of preparation; 12 days of in-house construction
Budget: $12,000

Installation done by Powell Custom Homes & Renovations

Before Photo

BEFORE: Carlene had transferred from a significantly smaller condominium to the 2,000-square-foot house. Her numerous small furniture pieces were creating the spacious living room feel cramped, and they felt out of balance.

AFTER: A clever storage method and ceiling-reaching stonework now surround the fireplace.

Mounting the TV over the fireplace would have put the display too high for comfortable viewing from the sectional, so Carlene had it hung at eye level to a side and the components put in a cabinet underneath. Cables running via a Smurf tube in the wall connect the components to the display. And she made sure to leave enough room for a larger TV in the future.

Before Photo

BEFORE: The small TV stand was crammed into a corner and packaged with amusement gear, furthering the mess issue. Carlene knew the spacious wall could be used for storage. “I wanted something more unified,” she said. “The thought of not needing another entertainment unit and shelving for storage has been attractive.”

She place various paint swatches on the wall until she found the right color.

Carlene spent hours looking at photos of living rooms with fireplaces, eventually settling on a mix system that would span the entire wall. After she found the right storage layout and wall color, the area was emptied and prepared for installation and painting.

In the beginning she tried a mild blue, Behr’s Cloudy Day. She had the black granite onto the fireplace surround replaced with natural rock to add texture and also to utilize the existing mantel. “The existing mantel is a really fine, chunky Craftsman appearance, so I wanted to just enhance that feel,” she says.

She had the rock extended to the ceiling for height and texture.

AFTER: Symmetrical shelves make the most of this extensive wall space and accommodate artwork. Carlene changed the wall color to a warm gray (Benjamin Moore’s Cinder) for a more dramatic backdrop for her artwork and accessories.

Stone: Cronin, Desert Gold

Once the TV components were put up, Carlene eliminated the center doors onto this cabinet and set in perforated metal panels for additional ventilation.

What was cluttered and plump is now inviting and warm. Merely ask Carlene’s puppy, Ricky.

Prove us : Would you have before and after photos of a project to discuss? Upload them in the Comments or in the Discussions section, and your project may be contained in a featured ideabook!

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Making Room: Discover New Models for Tiny NYC Apartments

Following Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the winner of New York City’s adAPT NYC competition in the Museum of the City of New York in late January, 2013, he toured the Making Room exhibition that opened the next day. The exhibition, organized by the museum together with the Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC), is subtitled New Designs for Housing New Yorkers, ” and it explores this subject through layout strategies that react to CHPC research on the city’s changing demographics in addition to through finalists’ entries in the adAPT NYC competition, some precedents beyond the town and an entire 325-square-foot apartment. This last piece received the most attention and gave the mayor some fantastic photo ops, but as we will see, it is simply a part of the narrative.

The exhibition and competition are linked through the housing council’s findings which nontraditional households (singles and couples without kids) are on the rise, but there is not sufficient housing stock in their opinion. The city states that there are 1.8 million residents who are singles and couples, but only 1 million studio and one-bedroom apartments in all five boroughs. The competition aims to reach a pilot project with microunits averaging about 300 square feet. The exhibition, on the other hand, is a mixture of hypothetical jobs and design alternatives for living flexibly and economically within small spaces. Both are directed at making New York City cheaper to singles and couples.

Here’s a look inside the Making Room exhibition, which runs in the Museum of the City of New York before September 15, 2013.

John Hill

The exhibition is about the museum’s upper floor, at a gallery that is, unsurprisingly, little. Architectural models and drawings occupy about half the distance, with the rest dedicated to a full-scale microapartment designed and supplied by Clei and Resource Furniture and together with design by Amie Gross Architects. The floor plan is a stubby “L,” together with the living area and kitchen on the long side and the bathroom on the brief side; the entry is between the kitchen and bathroom.

Going into the apartment feels similar to entering an Ikea showroom, given the contemporary furnishings, but the emphasis is on versatility — the living room also acts as a bedroom; the kitchen may be utilized as a dining room; wall storage becomes a home office.

Here we see one wall of the dwelling room, with a couch, open shelves and overhead storage behind doors. The white and shelf panel are key into the space’s versatility.

John Hill

The panel hides a Murphy bed (the Atoll 000), which folds down to flip the living room into a bedroom. What’s unique about this layout is how it straddles the couch: simply move the cushions into the side and the bed may be pulled down. Another nice design touch is the way the shelf stays horizontal, so in theory the items on the shelf do not need to be moved every time the bed is moved up or down.

John Hill

Next into the Murphy bed is full-height storage for coats and other garments. A light comes on once the door is opened, and the clothing rack can be pulled out (notice the mechanism on the side) for easier accessibility.

John Hill

Opposite the Murphy bed is a wall with storage, a moving panel with a flat-panel TV attached to it and a bar behind the TV. A vertical support behind the TV hides the wires and allows it to move about 3 feet from side to side.

John Hill

On the same wall as the moving TV is a storage unit with doors which hides a drop-down desk. As with the closet next to the bed, a light has been built to the piece, over a shelf where notes may be hung with magnets.

John Hill

The kitchen is L-shaped and little, both in terms of dimensions and appliances and fittings — the sink is little, and the refrigerator is beneath the counter, for instance. As much as possible is moved off the counter (such as the microwave) to maximize counter space, one area where even larger apartments in Manhattan are inclined to be missing.

Flexibility from the kitchen is sold through a dining table tucked beneath the counter. It rolls out and contains a leaf that doubles its size, therefore it can seat two comfortably. Folding seats are hung on the wall near the front doorway.

John Hill

The majority of the exhibition out of this full-scale microapartment is dedicated to suggestions for many different new home types which are not permitted under present laws. As an instance, small units (less than 400 square feet) are prohibited in most parts of the town, but those might ideally function as unrepresented demographic. This is the focus of this adAPT NYC competition.

A team headed by Deborah Gans proposed extensions to Tudor-style houses in a neighborhood of Astoria, Queens (near where I live, coincidentally). Current laws don’t permit the proposed extensions, which can be envisioned as accessory components for the old or young. The coloured roofs emphasize the now-illegal areas that would add space to single-family houses.

John Hill

A version of one house shows how the attachment extensions would be executed in a similar speech into the first.

John Hill

Architect Peter Gluck’s team proposed microlofts of 232 square feet and 15-foot ceilings. Each unit includes a sleeping loft and a lesser area which may be used for living, working or both in a flexible layout. The kitchen is small (more of a sink with burners than a complete kitchen), but communal areas, like laundry space and worktables, are supplied. Five components are located on each floor inside walk-up buildings that may be situated on normal infill lots. A variance will be required to permit windows overlooking narrow side yards in addition to for such tiny units.

John Hill

Stan Allen and Rafi Segal proposed “Block/Tower” as a flexible reuse of allegedly obsolete office buildings in midtown Manhattan. Their project sits in the opposite spectrum of the suggestions from Gans and Gluck, who targeted small-scale areas outside of the city’s commercial cores.

John Hill

Their version shows the omnipresent curtain-walled glass boxes of the portion of Manhattan, yet with cuts at the base and up the building, to create “vertical neighborhoods.”

John Hill

Another version and accompanying drawing readily illustrate the idea of open, potentially green spaces snaking buildings up, a means of creating shared spaces inside the vertical neighborhood.

John Hill

Next is a scheme proposed by a team headed by Jonathan Kirschenfeld, an architect famous for developing strangely shaped sites deemed unbuildable by programmers to get single-room-occupancy (SRO) homes. Kirschenfeld is an authority in tiny units, and he applies his expertise to a different demographic on three tons along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. As the model gets clear, the larger scheme comprises a greening of the boulevard to boost the desirability of dwelling on the wide thoroughfare.

John Hill

The proposal comprises a lot of unit forms, like the studios which share a bathroom in the model at right. This sort of plan isn’t brand new (he has used it in SRO layouts, and dormitories use exactly the same design), but Kirschenfeld is a strong critic of innovation in home design, using spoken on events that a large part of the alternatives have already been done.

The Initial microunits are coming to NYC. Take a mini tour
Research the Small Homes segment

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Time Travel to ers' Childhood Homes, Part Two

In this second round of ers’ youth homes, you’ll see the exact powerful connections people have with these distinctive places. Several of you are renovating the houses you grew up in, a few are living very near the houses you grew up in, others are re-creating the houses you grew up in or picking houses that remind one of the ones you grew up in. A number of you have popped into the houses you grew up in for a trip (inhabited by relatives living there, fresh owners that became friends or new owners favorable enough to encourage you in) or simply enjoyed driving. One er became a professional due to the admiration she had for the house she grew up in; yet another is writing a book inspired by her youth community.

Please check out each of the stories from the original Call and continue to add your stories and images of your houses.

Time Travel to ers’ Childhood Homes, Part 1

Dorset, England. “I had the joy of growing up in the home in the center of the island (Portland, Dorset, England), whose community I didn’t fully appreciate at the time, that’s now the topic of a novel I am writing,” says user deniseqaqish. The decoration was my mother’s (complete with multicolored plastic stripes as a doorway decoration — very ’60s), the alleyway was my play area, and the shop next door was where I worked!

“The island is linked to the mainland by a narrow causeway and steeped in history,” deniseqaqish adds.

West Hartford, Connecticut. “That is the home I remember the most fondly, from when I was about 5 to 13 years old, back in the mid-1950s,” says er emsbutler. “That is a recent photograph, but it looks the same, except the new owners turned the screened-in porch into a space. My mom planted lots and lots of rhododendrons from the front lawn, which are gone now. The memories of playmates, our puppy, a pet rabbit, playing in the leaves and skating in the tiny pond near are so much a part of that home.”

Baltimore, Maryland. “The home I recall best we lived for eight years. At the time I thought it had been enormous, though it appeared smaller than I recalled once I returned as an adult,” says christina.

“It was built in 1880, and it was a constant project removing layers and layers of wallpaper and paint, refinishing the wood floors, repairing the old slate roof,” she says. “Nevertheless, it was a fantastic home, with pocket doors and rooms tucked here and there.

My brother and I had the whole third floor to ourselves (which had an extremely narrow, winding stair, hence the adults didn’t like coming up) . I recall when both of us found a hidden staircase that went from the kitchen china closet up to the linen closet on the second floor. We loved that home, but I believe our parents were happy when we moved to a more modern home that didn’t have quite so many issues.”

Gates, North Carolina. “My dad was in the Marine Corps for 30 years, so I really didn’t have a ‘household’ house, but I remember my mother being skilled at turning any place we lived right into a cozy home,” says user caci. “This included a World War II Quonset hut in Adak, Alaska! I married a farmer and now reside in an 1889 farmhouse in Gates, North Carolina, that reminds me so much of my grandmother’s home in Harrisonburg, Virginia.”

Bellevue, Washington. “It’s funny how you remember things — I always thought the home I grew up in was huge! It was a fine, comfy size but was not as enormous as I recall it,” says Sammi Thielen. “My bedroom was the one on the left, and I remember when it snowed, which was not too frequently in Bellevue, Washington, I would sit and look out my big window and watch the snow fall under the streetlight. I recall it being so peaceful and quiet. The home was a trilevel and had, in the time, the most beautiful gold shag carpets — we had a little sterile carpet rake to help keep it looking fine! Tons of wonderful memories from that house.”

Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. “I grew up in a Sears & Roebuck kit house,” says user hjracer. “My parents lived in their forever home for 45 years and just sold it to move into a retirement community. It was built in 1929. It was sad to say goodbye to my childhood home, but another young family bought it to continue many happy memories in a tiny bit of Americana history.” Hjracer’s childhood home was known as the Crescent.

ers, you may recognize some of those kit homes seen in these youth home ideabooks; they were built all over the country. I know there’s a Crescent somewhere around my neighborhood; I am eager to go find it now.

Laguna Beach, California. user joymaker and her husband like to drive by her husband’s childhood home. “It’s on Top Drive in Laguna Beach … we drive by when attending annual high school reunions. It was built using many different bricks and is filled with charm,” she says.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Occasionally, you can go home again. “I made Ottawa 15 years back. I was lucky in my last trip back (only the second in 15 years) to be able to walk throughout my childhood house (sooo grateful to the new owners),” says Cathy. “This three-story home was magnificent — there was a living area on the first floor, bedrooms on the moment and my father’s office library on the next floor,” she describes. “My dad built that front porch, and he also built the coated indoor pool. The new owners have promised it superbly. It will always feel like home to me”

Medford, Oregon. A well-known local architect built this Pacific Northwest house. “Bob Bosworth designed our home in Medford, Oregon, and it was built in 1959,” says user chrdan.

Birmingham, Alabama. “My family lived in at least five homes in three nations when I was growing up,” says beverly_crawford. “The very first house I remember living in was in Birmingham, Alabama, along with Shades Mountain in an area called Bluff Park, from 1966 to 1974. Our home was a brick ranch with three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I wish I’d found an image of the silver aluminum tree with the color wheel spotlight that was exhibited in our living room window. As children we played out from sunup to sundown. There were no fences in anyone’s yards. There was a creek that ran through our neighborhood and a mountain so steep in the end of the road that we were prohibited to ride our bicycles onto it.”

She adds, “The first home my husband and I purchased was in Houston, Texas — a three-bedroom, two-bathroom ranch. It took me a few years to realize that the 2 homes wore each other on the exterior.”

Highland Park, Illinois. “The very first home we had was a fabulous 1930s Tudor with nooks and crannies, sloping rooflines and window seats,” says lilybeach. “The next was a dreadful ranch home my parents loved, built in 1968. They loved using a new house. I hated sleeping on the first floor, and overlooked all of the architectural surprises of this very first place. As a result, I’ve loved and lived in old homes ever since. My oldest home was built in 1787; my hottest, 1930.”

Additionally in Highland Park, Illinois. “The home I grew up in was a midcentury contemporary in Highland Park, Illinois, built in 1957,” says Carol Moses. “My dad is an architect and designed the home. They have lived in this home for 55 years and love it.”

“I had been so affected by the home I grew up in that I became an architect,” Carol Moses continues. “I like clean lines, lots of light and believe less is more. The little girl on the rocking horse is me.”

Yukon, Canada. “I grew up in a 1960s home in a fantastic neighbourhood from the Yukon,” says user tourere. “The house didn’t look big in the road, since the lawn came up to cover the bottom level, however it had four bedrooms, a large second living area (my dad’s study) and a large room that housed the freezer, camping equipment and all sorts of canned goods. There were two bathrooms, one with bathroom and shower/tub and another with only a bathroom. This was problematic when there were three teenaged girls (plus their friends) needing to shower in the afternoon.”

“But as a result I’ve never been that keen on the en suite thought, as I enjoyed that it had been an area that we all had to talk about,” tourere persists. “It’s where I watched my dad brush and learned how to whiten my teeth. Both things I love as I return would be the fantastic food storage/pantry and the big picture window. As I child and when I go home to visit my mom, I love looking out the window and seeing exactly what the neighbors are up to — that has a new baby or puppy and who’s learning how to ride a bike. I now reside on a farm in New Zealand, however from our deck we can see down the road, and my son enjoys looking at the tractors and trucks drive beyond. If I were to reside in a city again, I would need to be on the road with a view.”

Austin, Texas. “I recently remodeled and moved into my childhood home in Austin, Texas,” says katrina50. “My parents built the home from the early 1960s. I recently remodeled the master bedrooms, bathrooms and added hardwood floors; however, I did maintain the pine living space.”

“It did have a Nutone intercom system that has now been replaced with newer technology,” katrina50 says.

Cincinnati. Michael Long of Ridge Carpentry is also pleased to be renovating a youth home. “I am fortunate enough to have bought my childhood home in the Pleasant Ridge area of Cincinnati and’m in the process of restoring it,” he says.

It sounds like Ridge Carpentry’s remodel can result in a fantastic future Tour. I’ll be keeping my eye on it.

Detroit. “I grew up in a home in Detroit which is very similar to the one I reside in now in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan,” says user ruthie11. “They call them Cox and Baker bungalows, and it’s not that I love them, however my spouse and I do a fantastic job renovating it piece by piece to make it fit contemporary needs! We got it for a fantastic price in fantastic condition during the bank-owned phenomenon.” Ruthie11’s latest home is only about 5 kilometers from the one she grew up in.

Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your own stories. Please keep them coming!

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The Hidden Factors Driving Your Home's Style

For most people, houses embody a style that’s draped over the home’s exterior and applied to its interior. Many people are comfortable picking a style like an entrée off a restaurant menu, but they’re often not too familiar with what generated these fashions in the first place: homeowner needs and values, the builder’s vision and experience, the neighborhood and available materials.

There is another powerful influence that often goes unseen. Since the 1950s basic house prototypes and every other home constructed in or around most urban facilities have been defined and limited by a growing amount of construction regulations. The top designs adopt those regulating regulations — and the needs of homeowners and the organic context — to create houses that surprise and comfort.

Burr & McCallum Architects

There are principles that every new constructed house has to follow. These regulations shape and specify several essential elements you may think came out of a designer’s creativity.

Rules and beauty aren’t enemies, nevertheless. Talented designers can make constraints disappear, requirements can express themselves with beautiful details, and idiosyncracies of homeowners may get artful features anyone can appreciate. For example, this home’s unique sliding barn doors are a feature layout component. They also separate adult places from children’s, and the ample opening could accommodate a wheelchair.

Studio of Glenn Williams Architect

If you are thinking of creating a home you love by rebuilding it, adding on to it or even building it from the bottom up, then you will need a building permit, and in an increasing number of areas, getting that license has an increasing amount of strings attached to it. Truth be told, the most artful houses still need to follow the most artless of all inspirations: codes, commissions and costs.

This home has been conceived as a brand new single-family dwelling; the intention was to convert it into a duplex with a minimum of physical intervention. Following a lengthy approval process, the duplex conversion has been finished, which allowed the homeowner family to live there in addition to accommodate a brother.

MQ Architecture & Design, LLC

Every home has to follow rules; it’s just that a few of them do it superbly. Before you even put pen to napkin, construction codes, zoning laws, septic technology requirements, national regulations for construction on the coast, energy rules, wetlands regulations as well as sustainability variables are also designing your home, whether you know it or not.

This house is situated in a nature conservancy. It’s sustainably designed and LEED Gold certified, and has won local and national awards.

Duo Dickinson, architect

Before generation, village districts, historic districts and architectural review boards have boldly gone where no regulatory body has ever gone before: into aesthetics. These external revisionists look on your shoulder as you imagine how you need to live and frequently provide a perspective that’s not yours. So if your home is on or near water in a historical neighborhood or an urban centre by way of example, these fresh labyrinths of design review and acceptance have been set up to protect that water whether you think your home represents a threat to it or not.

In intense cases, these regulations can be budget busting. My office is the design architect for the house exhibited here, in California; it had 13 consultant firms (geotech, archeological, hydrological and on and on), two years of applications and hearings, and over $600,000 in gentle costs to receive a construction permit for a layout that had no variances. The site is set half a mile inland from the coast with no wetlands, no historical district without a architectural review board approval required.

Architect, duo Dickinson

Beyond addressing codes and rules and bureaucratic review, every single home layout has requirements that have nothing to do with fashion. Construction cost, the particulars of the way you cook, the way you use your bathroom, if you’re able to handle measures, or if your children or parents can go back to the nest most fix a home’s bones before the art part invents your design.

Here the shape of the cantilevered deck follows the coastal setback line, that’s the limiting line for building.

Additionally a great tree, a radically beautiful or ugly opinion, or just street noise can challenge every “Home Sweet Home” dream you had before you discovered the specific place on the planet for you and your family.

“Design” isn’t the background glued over these inartful sources. Whether you renew, add on or build new, the plan of where you live first finds inspiration in every aspect of what your home must be.

More: Have It Your Way — What Makes Architecture Successful

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Produce a Long-Lasting Eucalyptus Holiday Wreath

Fragrant and textured, this crazy eucalyptus and juniper wreath may be a pleasant addition to your front door or a wall above a fireplace mantel. Tracy Goldman of Sabellico’s Florist breaks down the measures.

Rikki Snyder

Set against a bright doorway, your handmade arrangement would be sure to be noticed. Or bring it indoors to enjoy its fragrance indoors.

Rikki Snyder

To create this wreath, you’ll need the following greens:
4 distinct types of chamomile: spiral, gunni (baby), flat and seededJuniper sprigs (optional)You may need 1 bunch (approximately 5 to 10 stems) of each chamomile type, available at your local florist.

Added tools and materials:
14-inch metal wire wreath, clamp-style form (available at a crafts store or florist)2 feet of 2-inch-wide burlap ribbonScissorsPruning shearsHammer

Rikki Snyder

1. Lay the metal wreath type apartment. Starting with the spiral eucalyptus, use two pieces at a time to get the foundation coating, trimming to slightly uniform lengths as you go. Place them between the clamps, making sure they are even.

Notice: You can adjust the amounts of each kind of eucalyptus to suit your tastes.

Rikki Snyder

Continue layering all of the way around the wreath base. Keep everything visually even and uniform.

Rikki Snyder

2. Rip little pieces of this gunni (baby eucalyptus) off each pack.

Rikki Snyder

Follow the same procedure as for the spiral eucalyptus, layering each gunni stem in a uniform way.

Rikki Snyder

3. Twist the gunni in addition to the spiral skillet between the clamps, going around the entire wreath, staggering each one and making sure the pieces are even.

Rikki Snyder

4. Layer in the apartment eucalyptus. Considering these leaves are larger, move them more toward the center of the wreath so they do not overpower the foundation coating. Continue layering around the wreath as you did in the previous steps.

Rikki Snyder

5. Now it’s time to add the seeded eucalyptus. As you did with all the gunni, break small pieces off the stems and layer them on top. The seeded eucalyptus adds a unique texture that stands out from the remainder of the wreath, dividing the other silvery textures. Add as much or as little as you like.

Rikki Snyder

6. Snip off small sprigs of juniper from the stems with garden shears. Place each piece carefully on top of all of the other greens.

Notice: At this point, the clamps might be getting harder to see underneath each one of the greens. This is completely normal. As you place the juniper sprigs in the wreath, look for each one of the clamps and be sure each has a sprig of juniper within it.

Rikki Snyder

7. Feel through the greens to Discover the clamps. Push down on each to shut it, so they will hold each one of the greens in place.

Rikki Snyder

Hint: When the clamps are too hard to shut with your hands, use a hammer to gently push them down. Take care not to bruise the greens in this procedure.

Rikki Snyder

8. When the clamps are down, fluff up the wreath. Don’t be afraid to pick it up and give it a fantastic shake to observe how nicely everything remains in place. Be sure that the clamps are coated by the greens. Here, the wreath is propped upon a gentleman’s easel to make it easier to use.

Rikki Snyder

9. To create a hanger to your wreath, cut about 2 feet of 2-inch-wide burlap ribbon.

Rikki Snyder

Turn the wreath upside down and then fold the ribbon through the metallic framework.

Rikki Snyder

Pull it all of the way through and tie a bow where the 2 ends meet at the top.

Rikki Snyder

To add to the rustic appearance of the wreath, you can use scissors to fray the ends of the bow.

Rikki Snyder

This pretty wreath will last for many weeks through the holiday season. Enjoy!

More wreath DIYs:
How to Produce a wonderfully twiggy All-natural wreath

How to Produce a lush and leafy holiday wreath

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3 Modern Homes Which Are Rooted Nevertheless Soar

Some houses have exteriors that are layered and light, looking lantern-like at certain times daily. The obverse of the notion is houses with heavy walls that are predominantly solid, rooting the building in place or at least giving the appearance of such. Beyond looks, buildings with materials that are heavy and solid exude existential character by inviting touch and creating intimate spaces that shelter us and our daydreams.

Yet not all significant buildings are cave-like. The three illustrations collected here are rooted in position yet also soaring in spatial openness and in views.

Leicht Küchen AG

This house, close to the Luxembourg border in Belgium, looks particularly imposing from the road, though the large picture window on the bottom floor and the band of windows over hint at the willingness inside.

Leicht Küchen AG

The rear elevation is the antithesis of the front all glass between the good side walls. The organization of the interior — two walls parallel to the side walls — is apparent from this viewpoint, where each big window is a glimpse into a separate area; it is like a cutaway section of a house.

Leicht Küchen AG

Here’s the view from the kitchen to the ground floor to the backyard. The lines of the kitchen island and drop ceiling parallel those of the pool outside, reinforcing the direction of the view. Notice how the silicon glazing of the glass opens up the opinion substantially by removing vertical framing members.

B+g design inc..

This house, near Denver, is made of airplanes of concrete and metal panels. In particular, the former and its tough texture give the house a weighty presence.

B+g design inc..

The concrete extends to parts of the interior, including this hearth. It helps to give the house some solidity, but this view hints at the views beyond the house.

B+g design inc..

When many elevations utilize glass walls to frame views of the hills, it is on the roof that the combination of rooted and towering occurs. This seating area — alongside a fire, beneath a patio and with a gorgeous view — could easily be my favourite place in the house.

Studio Schicketanz

A house need not be covered in rock or constructed of concrete to become massive and rooted in place. This wood-clad house near San Francisco does so by being bermed to the landscape.

Studio Schicketanz

Here we can see the grass on the roof over, but in addition the massive glass walls forming either side of what’s the living area.

Studio Schicketanz

Indoors, under the undulating roof, we could see why full-height glazing is utilized. The doorways are in a less-than-ideal location relative to the seating area, but they do provide simple access to the patio.

Studio Schicketanz

The bedroom can be graced with full-height glazing and a corner window. With the Pacific horizon, it’s easy to forget how closely stitched the house is to the landscape.

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