Monday, February 29, 2016

1299 XHouse4 New Open Plan Deal

If you've been following along you know how the XHouse4 is a modern house conceived to slip effortlessly into the narrow deep lots you find in traditional neighborhoods. But here's the deal: Along with its modern look it delivers wide open plan living to your traditional neighborhood too. A discreet kitchen niche off the living and dining space keeps the kitchen nearby but not in your face. The living area is large enough for two distinct sitting areas, one focused on media, the other for conversation. The dining area can expand for holiday gatherings with room for a huge table. All this and there is still space for a mud room and home office on the ground floor. So life in a traditional neighborhood is not limited to a series of boxy rooms! Continue reading "1299 XHouse4 New Open Plan Deal"

Friday, February 26, 2016

0857 L House is the urban loft for your suburban life

There may be any number of reasons you ended up with your life in the suburbs. Family, money, job, things out of your control. But all through it you've always loved the idea of a cool loft, high ceilings, timber beams, wood floors. But it never seemed like something that could co-exist with your world of mcmansions and curl-de-sacs, convenience stores and strip malls. But low and behold, it can exist with the L House, and happily right by your neighbors colonial, and your other neighbors Mediterranean. So go ahead, and have your cake and eat it too. Continue reading "0857 L House is the urban loft for your suburban life"

Thursday, February 25, 2016

0738 Palo Alto House front door

Bear with us while we take the ordinary house and sort of turn it outside in to create our Palo Alto design. Instead of your front door being on the street for everybody to see, lets take that front door back into the heart of the house, all the way back to the middle of the house protected from the street. Now that front door is there for you, not the mailman, or the cable guy. Its now part of your own private space, your inner sanctum, and you now can decide who even gets to approach your front door and petition for entry. Continue reading "0738 Palo Alto House front door"

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

0367 Porch House invites you to sit a spell

Yeah, you gotta be back at work on Monday, but till then you are going to do job #1, what's got to be done no questions asked, that nothing can distract you from. You've got to sit in that rocker on that porch and watch the water and figure out the meaning of life. Maybe skip some stones, count some clouds. Its gonna be a busy weekend. Continue reading "0367 Porch House invites you to sit a spell"

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

0970 Lagom House is the right house for our times

I found myself standing beside a guy in our local grocery one day listening to him relate a story to the deli man about how it had just spent a huge sum of dollars on a solar system for his house. I nodded and smiled as I did not have the heart to shatter the guy's day with some common sense questions, like did you bother to insulate your house before you threw an expensive solar system at the problem? A simple principal is at play here. First things first. Reduce your energy demand before you size your renewable energy system. So Insulate first, and insulate well. Get good windows, and shade them from summer sun. Make the house air-tight. Introduce energy recovery into your fresh air exchange. When you've done all this well you'll find your needs for power require only an eye-dropper of solar power instead of a bucket.

Our Lagom House is our break-through example of this approach. Even if you don't want wind-mills on your roof, this house shows the way to reduce demand through smart construction. The lessons learned in the design of this plan are now expanding to the rest of our catalog. Continue reading "0970 Lagom House is the right house for our times"

Monday, February 22, 2016

0862 XHouse1 an overview

Lets look again inside the XHouse1's terraced open plan living space. From this standpoint in the kitchen we look past the dining area into the living room below. Half the living room is in the high two story space, half under an ordinary ceiling height for a more intimate scale sitting area. Right of the living room is the entry foyer and the home office space directly off the foyer. Back in the kitchen on the right we see the steps up to the bedroom level, and the hallway/balcony that runs along the living space. At the end of the hall are the steps up to the master bedroom. At this point the master bedroom is a full story above the living room below, and a story and a half above the entry foyer. If you've been keep score you'd have figured out that this means the home office indeed has a story and a half tall space. A cool space, and just part of the story of the way this house unfolds for you. Continue reading "0862 XHouse1 an overview"

Friday, February 19, 2016

0971 The Plat House 3 Bedroom is the big brother

We did it, we relented to our customer's requests. The Plat House was the house they loved, but they wanted 3 bedrooms. The little long 2 bedroom cabin was just not enough house for them. A little stretch, a little reworking of the hall way, windows where they needed to be, but still true to the original design the Plat House 3 Bedroom was born. Continue reading "0971 The Plat House 3 Bedroom is the big brother"

Thursday, February 18, 2016

1204 RoHouse is the house that wears many hats

The RoHouse is a master of disguise, a chameleon, or more plainly a must-faceted design aimed at attached and semi-detached configurations. The first is the Twin home. American cities are filled with homes in the Twin attached configuration, so much so that our residential building code is officially know as the 1 or 2 Dwelling code. The common wall between two houses holds costs down, but gives you  enough space around the other three sides of the house to offer legitimate sub-Urban living. The RoHouse is a natural for this. A front porch to the street, a detached garage at the rear contributing to privacy in the yard makes for a great setting at compact densities. Factor in 2, 2 1/2, and 3 story versions for 2 - 6 bedrooms, and you have a design that is right for almost any market. Continue reading "1204 RoHouse is the house that wears many hats"

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

0385 Tray House is taking modern to the streets

Well more specifically the Tray House is taking modern to the cul-de-sacs! Sometimes you have no choice - the only places to live are the typical subdivision neighborhoods with a maze of streets all ending in a cup-de-sac. Just because that's the only thing being served up in your region that does not mean you have to settle for the cookie cutter starter McMansions that typically populate these neighborhoods. The Tray House is made to fit in these neighborhoods and offers a no compromise alternative to the status quo. Modern house is your dream? Come and get it. Continue reading "0385 Tray House is taking modern to the streets"

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

1201 XHouse5 is the hugest mid-size house you've ever seen

Here it is, the XHouse5, a modest 2200 sqft, just under the national average home size this is a the definition of a mid sized house. Three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths big enough for a family, not too big to retire in. But its more than that. At 2 1/2 stories tall it offers a stand up attic that can be finished into more living space, or more bedrooms. You want an in-law suite, or a guest room, or a really big family room. BOOM, its there under roof waiting for you. Your house is now a 4 bedroom 3 1/2 bath home. U R Welcome. Continue reading "1201 XHouse5 is the hugest mid-size house you've ever seen"

Monday, February 15, 2016

1192 Lagom 2 Story has the big yard that won't eat your weekends

Maybe you love working in the yard, it can be like therapy. But if you are like me you prefer to have a yard that works for you, and not vice versa. Our illustrations for the Lagom House has always shown such a yard. Small enough to not consume your free time that you want to spend elsewhere but large enough to function in a way that brings you joy and utility. Room for a small veggie garden, and fenced yard for drying laundry away from the romping kids and dogs. A potting bench behind the garage, out of site. A front yard big enough to give you some buffer from the street, but small enough to trim in 10 minutes. Ahhh, that's sub-Urban living at its best. Continue reading "1192 Lagom 2 Story has the big yard that won't eat your weekends"

Friday, February 12, 2016

0967 XHouse3 hides some surprises inside

The XHouse3 has our MoTrad exterior to make it a good fit even in traditional neighborhoods, but that bungalow friendly exterior gives way to a dynamic modern interior. What is going on inside is the the XHouse3 has a split-level second floor where the master bedroom is about 3ft above the main second floor level. That gives the master bedroom a nice element of privacy from the rest of the bedrooms, but what this does downstairs is allow the ceiling at the living room and kitchen to extend up to over 10ft high. Continue reading "0967 XHouse3 hides some surprises inside"

Thursday, February 11, 2016

0357 Steel Case House inspired by the Case Study House 8

There it is - we've said it. The Steel Case House is inspired by the legendary Case Study House #8 designed by design leggings Ray and Charles Eames. The Case Study houses held the promise of a future of modern houses, an optimistic view of the future unhinged from all the presumptions and baggage about what a house should be like. The Eames house for its part was fabricated out of an assortment of catalog parts made for industrial buildings - warehouse window sash, lightweight steel truss joists, and a factory made spiral stair, all put together in an elegant way into s simple steel box of a house. Unfortunately as we know, the dreams of the Case Study Houses did not play out the way they hoped, but they were and remain a huge influence on modern housing today. For the Steel Case House we took away more than the open spaces and steel aesthetic. The Steel Case is designed to be put together from standard off the shelf parts. While a steel house will never be as inexpensive as a typical wood framed house, the ability to use common products such as windows and siding allows you to control your budget. Continue reading "0357 Steel Case House inspired by the Case Study House 8"

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

0965 XHouse2 is that big living in a small house

The XHouse2 is that house with a small footprint, just 30ft x 30ft, but inside - look, a huge kitchen, a big dining room, a big living area. But its not all tossed in big box. The space is smartly articulated. The kitchen has a niche that allows some of the messy business to take place out of sight. The dining room has its own area framed by the entry foyer and stair. And the living room lives in the junction between the two. The entry foyer, half a level down keeps the front door at a discrete distance from your living zone. And the coat closet and powder room off the foyer keep those functions away from the living space as well. Continue reading "0965 XHouse2 is that big living in a small house"

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

0380 Cube House this is how its put together

From the outside the Cube House presents facades with an assortment of window sizes and locations which may not make obvious what's going on inside, so we're here to shed some light on this. The house is 2 1/2 stories - now that does not mean the top floor has a 4ft ceiling. What's going on is the Cube House is 2 stories on one side, and 3 stories on the other side. Right? So the one side has the entry foyer and home office, and laundry room and kitchen dining rooms, with bedrooms above on two levels, and also a roof deck. While the other side has the living room and the family room above which are both a story and a half tall - with like 11 ft ceilings, high like a loft like space. The organization is surprising, and will continue to delight you on a daily basis. Continue reading "0380 Cube House this is how its put together"

Monday, February 08, 2016

0518 U House living room

Even though the U House reaches out and takes in a huge chunk of the landscape, its actually a pretty compact home of modest size. It tops out at only about 1900 sqft for its 3 bedroom layout, and even squeezes a big mud room and a study/guest room into the plan. But at its heart its a compact design the way we like them here. This view shows the open plan living & kitchen area at the heart of the home. The modest living space is doubled by its relationship to the central courtyard. And by stretching out with the bedroom wings, it puts the bedrooms far from the living room making the house feel bigger than it is. Continue reading "0518 U House living room"

Friday, February 05, 2016

0237 Pretender is not pretending to serve you well

This is the side of the Pretender where your drive way would pass back to a detached garage at the rear of your lot. There is a big window into the kitchen so you can keep an eye on the comings and goings down your driveway. And best of all there is a door right there at the drive. So you don't have to come in the back door through your family room, or going in the front door from the porch. The driveway door does not even go directly into the kitchen - it goes into a mud room, big enough for the kids to drop all their crap, and you to leave your breifcase behind. Laundry is there, so when you come in from planting those new shrubs your dirty pants can go directly in to the works. Continue reading "0237 Pretender is not pretending to serve you well"

Thursday, February 04, 2016

1299 XHouse4, the best example of MoTrad

So what's the MoTrad thing I keep talking about? And what's it have to do with the XHouse4? MoTrad is a mix of Modern and Traditional, leaning towards Modern details and minimalism, and Traditional house forms and profiles. Think of a monopoly house with a peaked roof, that spares nothing for traditional detail and is all sharp lines and crisp geometry. This is the XHouse4. If you google MoTrad one of the first hits you'll come up with is a Pintrest board called Motrad, which I've assembled and I constantly add to. Here you'll see dozens of houses that fit the description, mostly european. Continue reading "1299 XHouse4, the best example of MoTrad"

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

0857 L House is the Giant in our catalog

Our largest plan design, with 4 bedrooms upstairs, the L House is our biggest offering. It can nestle in a wooded site, or sprawl out with a side entry garage to feel big enough for any big lot subdivision. The nomenclature - the L comes from the shape of the floor plan which is shaped like the uppercase L. What that shape does is capture a private living area between the leg of the L and the garage at the other end. This becomes the timber framed glass walled story and a half living room - the reference point for every space in the house. A roomy kitchen off the garage and dining room, a private study at the corner of the plan, a family room you can close the doors on, all adds up to an ideal machine for a big family. Continue reading "0857 L House is the Giant in our catalog"

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

0738 Palo Alto faces the street like it is

The Spirit of Palo Alto home design makes no bones about street life in todays new suburbs. There is none. Face it. People come and go by car, and duck into their houses by the garage. So why do those phoney traditional houses spend so much time paying lip service to a street life that does not exist. This is the way things are - we are not saying its bad. We are saying we should acknowledge it and make the best of it. So instead the Palo Alto turns all that phoney street front effort inside, into space you can use, and private outdoor space where you will be glad to spend your time. You will find a wonderful center courtyard that lets light into the middle of the house. And a a great interface to the backyard, where the living room and dining room have big shaded windows to your patio, and the master bedroom has its own back door to a master terrace. Continue reading "0738 Palo Alto faces the street like it is"

Monday, February 01, 2016

0367 Porch House expands for the weekends

When we say the Porch House leads a double life - this is what we are talking about. You've been able to afford this spot of land in a beautiful place, not too far, so you can actually get away most weekends and enjoy the change of scene. Maybe once or twice take a week away there. A little cabin just enough for the family, and enough to afford. But you want to share this with your friends and family, have them out on the weekends, crash for a few day during your summer week there. But where do you put everybody in your little cabin.That's where the Porch House excels - its size doubles in the summer as the screened porch becomes your summer living and summer kitchen. And the porch bunk space allows you to sleep a bunch of friends and guests. Come wintery time, button it up and retreat to the 2 bedroom cabin above. Continue reading "0367 Porch House expands for the weekends"