Friday, January 29, 2016

0970 Lagom House is smarter than the average plan

You'll often find me talking about how the Lagom House is a really smart plan, one that lives bigger than its square feet. Its a 1500 sqft house that packs three bedrooms including a master suite with its own bath, it has separate kitchen and dining + living room, a mud room, a home office, and a homework area for the kids. There are very deliberate strategies for making space brought to bear here to make this small house feel bigger and live larger. In a nut shell, here's the inside word. Number 1: when you have a small space, make distinct spaces within it. In a word a completely open plan here makes one place with kitchen living and dining all in one room. Breaking it up with elements like the stair and screen walls makes more places. And more places always feel like more than one place. Number 2: Make places feel as far away from one another as you can, even when everything in a small house is close by. So, having to walk around a corner to get to one room to another, or up and down to get someplace. Hide things from one another so places reveal themselves as you move, and it makes a journey to get from one place to another. Everything in site makes a very short trip, but destinations you can't see always makes a journey feel longer. This is how you live big in not a lot of space. Continue reading "0970 Lagom House is smarter than the average plan"

Thursday, January 28, 2016

0862 XHouse1 wraps a complex interior in a simple exterior

Last week we had a look at the fantastic terraced interior of the XHouse1. What you don't realize is that richly complex interior is wrapped in a simple exterior geometry. The result is a complete surprise as the you walk in and the interior reveals itself to you. The outside presents this simple wedge shaped prism clad in simple materials. Simple punched window openings for the private spaces contrast with wide glass areas and metal clad surfaces that corresponding with the large open spaces of the plan. So even though the exterior swings simple, it tells a story about what you will find inside. And yes, a great example of this house is built - do you want to see it? Continue reading "0862 XHouse1 wraps a complex interior in a simple exterior"

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

0242 Plat House is the most popular LamiDesign house plan

I'd love to tell you that we knew the Plat House would be our most popular design from the start, but really there was no way to know that a 1400 sqft 2 bedroom house would ever be the most popular offing from our catalog. A small house compared to American averages, and unusual in shape being long and narrow, with a front that downplays street-appeal and throws all its effort into view-appeal. The Plat house exemplifies our Original Collection and has all of the architectural queues that make these designs hang together as a family. The popularity of this design finally led us to offer a 3 bedroom variant which has also been popular. Continue reading "0242 Plat House is the most popular LamiDesign house plan"

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1204 RoHouse is the townhouse for the modern seeker

The RoHouse is here, the modern townhouse for the rest of us who'd rather be modern. This one is aimed squarely at the builders out there, to make it easier for them to build modern multi-unit projects, so that people like you can get a modern house. Because we can't do it on our own every time. In support of that the RoHouse design appears unassuming, but is actually a colossal collection of house plans that come in 2 plan schemes, 4 widths, and 3 heights, configured for twins, urban infill, and suburban townhomes, 48 variations in big and small homes. There is nothing like it in the world of houseplans and our first product marketed directly at builders. Tell the builders in your area you want one! Continue reading "1204 RoHouse is the townhouse for the modern seeker"

Monday, January 25, 2016

Indiana XHouse1 in the snow

A recently received photo from the Owner shows the XHouse1 resting happily in the wintery scene in Indiana. The Owner is thrilled with the energy performance of the house with 100-150$/month in power for this 2400sqft home. We know much better is possible, but its not bad, half of what my old house consumes. However this performance is admirable for a single wythe wall system - the Owner used the USA New Wall "Good" system and fully insulated the house with stone wool. More evidence that strides in better performance can be made without great effort or cost. See all the pictures of the house in its Flickr album. Continue reading "Indiana XHouse1 in the snow"

0385 Tray House serves good living' on a silver tray

The Tray House makes itself at home in the kind of neighborhoods we build today, but it does so without compromising our modern dreams. But what is this Tray thing it gets its name from? It refers to the way the second floor is open to the living space below, as if the bedrooms upstairs "sit in a tray" above the living and dining rooms. What does that look like? Stick with us - as we cycle back to the Tray House with our image show-&-Tell we'll see inside what that "tray" looks like. Continue reading "0385 Tray House serves good living' on a silver tray"

Friday, January 22, 2016

1201 XHouse5 is living the good narrow lot life

You've all been places like this, house after house on narrow lots, front porches overlooking the street, modest front yards (but who wants to be cutting the grass anyway). Maybe your grandmother's house was in one of these neighborhoods, maybe its the new "Traditional" neighborhood across town. We've come full circle to realize that this kind of suburban pattern promotes great neighborhoods and the smaller lot sizes support the reality of todays development pressures and density targets. The modern house should not be blocked out these kinds of places because of a lack of designs. The XHouse5, and its slightly wider brother the XHouse4 are made to slide right into this kind of neighborhood. Heck, if we're lucky a developer near you will build a whole neighborhood of these just for you. Continue reading "1201 XHouse5 is living the good narrow lot life"

Thursday, January 21, 2016

1192 Lagom House 2 Story is the modern house next door

The Lagom House Two Story is a slightly larger version of the original Lagom contest house, but only larger in the fact that it has a full second story with out the dormered ceiling bedrooms from the original. But that full second story also makes this version the easiest one to build and it maintains the same great compact floor plan. In some ways this house is so ordinary its no great stretch to imagine it sitting next door to almost any kind of traditional house and being right at home. But it shines modern in the details - funky window arrangement, modern style front porch, cool galvanized corner trim, too many to list in fact. Its the every-day modern house for the world we all live in. Continue reading "1192 Lagom House 2 Story is the modern house next door"

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

0967 XHouse3 is a modern bungalow

The bungalow is an original American house prototype, but unlike other historic house types it was never limited to a single style. There are bungalow examples that are craftsman style, mediterranean, colonial - you name it, its been done. But there are not too many modern examples, and so we offer the XHouse3. A comfortable open plan ground floor, and bedrooms upstairs under a dormered roof - its perfect continuity for a truly American house type. Continue reading "0967 XHouse3 is a modern bungalow"

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

0357 Steel Case House is a steel house for the rest of us

The Steel Case House was our first effort to make a steel house in a catalog plan. Houses of steel have always held an iconic image for people interested in modern houses. But it remains a difficult thing to achieve because the construction business is just not set up to deliver small steel structures. Never the less the goal here was to make a simple steel structure, and then let the carpenters take it from there. Once the carpenters get in there, its all pretty normal house building. Continue reading "0357 Steel Case House is a steel house for the rest of us"

Monday, January 18, 2016

0965 XHouse2 packs a lot of house in a small footprint

The XHouse2 actually started out as an all steel design for a customer outside of Washington DC. But we thought it was such a good and efficient design that it would be perfect for our plan catalog. A small 30ft x 30ft footprint on two floors and a basement yields a house of 2700 sf. A welcoming front porch and broad rear porch makes an easy transition to the outdoors. Its a lot of house that fits in a little space. Continue reading "0965 XHouse2 packs a lot of house in a small footprint"

Friday, January 15, 2016

0380 Cube House is that cube house thing

Cube House is a sort of slang for a modern house. If you google it you'll find people talking about "cube houses" as a way to describe a type of house that we all understand as modern or contemporary. Sort of strange, but I love it! The Cube House is our answer to this strange phenomenon. High loft like living spaces, bedrooms wrapped around a central stair core, this is one cool cube house! Continue reading "0380 Cube House is that cube house thing"

Thursday, January 14, 2016

0518 U House a country retreat with a private courtyard

The U House is everything you want in a country home. You've found a beautiful site, it has a beautiful view that you want to enjoy every moment you spend there. You want a deck or outdoor space to enjoy the view and you want that outdoor space to easy to reach so it can take part in the life of the house. And you want the bedrooms to have a good shot at the good stuff too - not shoved in the back of the house away from the view. Here the bedrooms are like welcoming arms hugging the view, framing the courtyard and giving you some privacy and shelter from unwelcome elements as well. Continue reading "0518 U House a country retreat with a private courtyard"

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

0237 The Pretender is the modern house with a split personality

So what does that mean, the Pretender has a split personality? This house puts up a deliberate traditional front on the street, lulling your neighbors into a sense of comfort - "Hey, that new guy is one of us!" In the meantime lurking behind that mild traditional front is full bore, take no prisoners, modern box that will curl your neighbors curtain valance. But no worries, they will never spot it thanks to the Pretender's unique Suburban Camouflage. Sleep well knowing your modern house is flying under the radar. You're welcome. Continue reading "0237 The Pretender is the modern house with a split personality"

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

1299 XHouse4 fits great in traditional neighborhoods

The XHouse4 is a great fit for the deep and narrow lots found in old neighborhoods and new Traditional Neighborhood Developments. These are great neighborhoods, often in walkable towns and cities. But if you are a fan of modern homes, chances are you won't find one in these places. And you're even less likely to find a modern house design to fit on those narrow lots. Until now! Continue reading "1299 XHouse4 fits great in traditional neighborhoods"

Monday, January 11, 2016

0857 The L House backyard

The L House can stand up to the most obnoxious McMansion neighbors, and does so with modern style. Although its our largest house design we know it pales next to some of the giant starter mansions built these days. But with its big loft like living and dining space it will be more impressive than any of those off the shelf suburban train wrecks! Continue reading "0857 The L House backyard"

Friday, January 08, 2016

0738 Palo Alto backyard haven

The Spirit of Palo Alto was purpose designed to live in the kind of neighborhoods built all over the country today. Homes are close together, and garages are the only thing that stand between the street and privacy. This design creates layers of space between the public and your private life, culminating in a wonderful private yard which is where the front of the house really lives. Continue reading "0738 Palo Alto backyard haven"

Thursday, January 07, 2016

0367 Porch House weekends are the best

The Porch House is one of our earliest designs, purpose made for weekend get-aways, this is the modern vacation cabin you've always dreamed of. An efficient 2 bedroom flat upstairs, a summer kitchen and bunk space for lots of friends in the screened porch downstairs. Continue reading "0367 Porch House weekends are the best"

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

0970 Lagom House street view

The Lagom House was the product of a design competition, further developed into a family of house plans. This was the first plan in our collection to utilize the energy efficient USA New Wall assemblies and Swedish Platform Framing informed by our study of residential construction in Scandinavia. Continue reading "0970 Lagom House street view"

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

0862 XHouse1 terraced loft living space

Here is the fantastic open plan XHouse1 and its terraced living space. You can see the kitchen and dining area on the raised platform in the background, and the living room in the foreground. The entry foyer is to the left, and the balcony hall to the bedrooms just above it. Continue reading "0862 XHouse1 terraced loft living space"

Monday, January 04, 2016

0242 Plat House living room

This render of the Plat House living room gives you a good feel for the bright open feeling and connection to the view that this design provides. You can also see how the properly dimensioned roof overhang will control summer sun at the high clerestory windows. Continue reading "0242 Plat House living room"

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Happy New Year!

As construction activity returned 2015 was a busy year, but it only marked the return to interest in house plans. This is why things have been so quiet on the blog. While we were very busy all year there has been little customer construction activity.

The last construction activity we reported on was the Pennsylvania Plat House. The house is now occupied while the Owner puts on the finishing touches, but we have not received any new photos to post.

While the construction front has gone quiet, we’ve delivered modified Construction Prints for a new Plat House in Michigan this year which should begin in 2016. And other Design Print customers from Michigan seem close to making a start, suddenly making Michigan into a Modern House Plan hot spot.

But the remarkable thing is a clear return to interest - questions and emails from site visitors, and a parallel rise in web traffic indicates that people are once again feeling confident enough to begin to plan a project. We also see rising interest in our Builder Portal on the site and we are hoping that 2016 sees our first builder/developer partners adopting modern as a focus in their local markets.

So for this coming year look forward to images from Michigan to begin, and with some luck an update from Pennsylvania, and news of new customers, maybe you?

In the meantime we are going to begin sharing a new series of illustrations of our designs that we have been creating over the second half of 2015. These images are made from our existing 3d models and use a simple ray-tracing rendering application to create a new visualization of our house designs. These are less sketch like, and while not photo like, they have more atmosphere and a more natural sense of light. We hope you will enjoy them and take it as an opportunity to get to know our house designs all over again.

Here is to a good New Year for all of you, and good things to come!

Continue reading "Happy New Year!"