Kitchens are a place of sustenance and sociability. Food, family, and friends mingle to create a winning combination. So it makes perfect sense that remodels are so often geared toward the kitchen. What about thinking of your kitchen in the long-term sense, in terms of investment and return? Will your kitchen remodel projects be a positive contribution to your home’s value or will they erode that value? Continue reading
Rejecting ornament and embracing minimalism, Modernism became the dominant global movement in 20th-century architecture and design.
Modernism is the single most important new style or philosophy of architecture and design of the 20th century, associated with an analytical approach to the function of buildings, a strictly rational use of (often new) materials, an openness to structural innovation and the elimination of ornament. Continue reading
One of my favorite architectural monuments is British Sir Edwin Lutyens Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, commemorating the lives lost at the first Battle of the Somme, fought 100-years-on now, in May 1916.
Among his other credentials, Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) was one of the principal architects of the cemeteries and memorials of the First World War. Continue reading
The subject of choosing windows can cause trepidation for many homeowners. It’s understandable given the relative complexity, importance and cost that windows represent. But don’t panic. The path to overcoming any apprehension you might have about choosing new windows involves some education, broken down into manageable chunks. Once you understand the important parts of any window-buying decision you’ll be able to make informed decisions and good choices. Continue reading
“The secret of architectural excellence is to translate the proportions of a dachshund into bricks, mortar and marble.”
Sir Christopher Wren, 1632-1723
There are as many criteria for defining design excellence in architecture as there are architectural designs. And climbing to the summit of design excellence is analogous to that of climbing Mount Everest. Yet in architectural design there are infinite Everests which beckon: which Everest should we climb? Continue reading
If you were asked to list the main criteria you would like for your dream home, what would they be?
I’m guessing that high up on your wish list might be for your home to be situated in a location with a breathtaking view – perhaps by the sea, in the mountains, countryside or in a forest. And to be able to enjoy the scenery with a panoramic vista of it through your windows. We are all attracted to rooms that have an amazing view. Continue reading
Gone are the days when a homeowner’s interest in windows was limited to whether they could find stylish window treatments. Today, energy-conscious homeowners want to minimize the costs of heating and cooling their homes, and selecting the right windows is a crucial step. So how far should you go when choosing energy-efficient windows? The key is knowing what window upgrades will give you the biggest bang for your buck without delivering a blow to your bottom line. Continue reading
New homes can be a superior value.
Newly built homes are often priced higher than resale, but, with a new home, everything inside and out is brand new. Conventional thinking is that a new home will cost more than an existing home. The rule of thumb seems to be that buying a new home from a builder might run you 15 percent to 30 percent more than buying a comparable older home in an existing neighborhood. Continue reading
We all want to add more space to our home, yet it is a luxury and can be a particularly expensive one. Many of us dream of the day when we can expand our homes, add an extension or convert an attic. It takes no effort to imagine how life could be less chaotic and better organized if only we had a bigger living space, room for a home office, an extra bathroom or a guest bedroom. Continue reading
The 2013 iteration of California’s Title 24 energy standards, which came into effect last July, effectively raises the bar on the energy performance of buildings. One aspect of their thermal performance which now comes under the microscope in terms of obtaining the building’s final permit and Certificate of Occupancy is air infiltration. And can lights, while aesthetically pleasing, present certain real challenges from an energy performance perspective.
Recessed Can Lights: The Beauty And The Beast
Also known as “can lights” or “downlights”, recessed lighting lends an uncluttered look that provides light without taking up headroom or ceiling space. Recessed lights are often used to highlight wall features or to provide focused overhead lighting for reading or working. They can be used to increase the amount of light in a room, highlight artwork or other special features, and open up spaces so they look and feel bigger. Continue reading