May 21st, 2015
The Fugal Barn
On our recent visit to the Snuck Farm plant sale, Anna snapped a few pictures of the recently completed Fugal barn and greenhouses. More to come soon.
On our recent visit to the Snuck Farm plant sale, Anna snapped a few pictures of the recently completed Fugal barn and greenhouses. More to come soon.
One of the highlights of the past year was the completion of this beautiful barn for clients Page & Brian Westover and Page’s parents, Guy & Paula Fugal. We teamed up with Louise Hill to create a working barn complete with spaces for animals, farm equipment and gathering places for the family. Located in Pleasant Grove, the farm has been part of the Fugal family for over 100 years and the construction of the barn was a way to preserve a piece of their family history on the remaining acreage. The Westovers manage the farm and are hosting their first annual community plant sale this Saturday, May 9th, featuring dozens of heirloom varieties of tomatoes and peppers. Local, family, sustainable, healthy, community–all the makings of a great enterprise in our minds. Congratulations to the Westovers on their new venture. We’ll be there Saturday.
We’re happy to announce that Lloyd Architects has been awarded “Best of Houzz” for 2015. The Best of Houzz award is given in two categories: design and customer satisfaction. Lloyd Architects received both awards. The “design” award is determined by the most popular images among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz. The “customer satisfaction” award is determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014.
A Park City client first introduced us to Houzz in 2011 and we’ve been using it as a valuable tool in the design process since. Clients save images and share their ideabooks with us to communicate likes and specific details–much more efficient than a file folder stuffed with images torn out of magazines. With over 5 million photos of homes to browse, there’s no shortage of inspiration.
It’s an honor to win Best of Houzz in both categories, but at the end of the day there is a great client behind every great project. We feel lucky to work with the people that entrust us with the design of their homes.
Here’s the most popular image from our projects featured on Houzz. It’s been added to over 1,000 ideabooks in the past 3 months alone. (And before you ask, the interiors were designed by homeowners Jeff & Nanette Amis, the cabinets are a wood veneer of dark stained white oak, local company Paramount Construction built them, and the barstools came from Crate & Barrel, but have since been discontinued.)
We are big fans of Reinvention, a conference hosted annually by Residential Architect magazine. We just returned from our third conference, and as always, found the housing tour to be one of the highlights. (See here and here for last year’s posts about the home tour in Chicago, and here for the 2011 home tour in Phoenix.) This year, we took the office staff with us to San Francisco and they’ve put together some of their thoughts on the home tour and observations about residential design. We’ll be featuring their posts in the coming weeks.
We are excited to be a part of The Utah Center for Architecture’s latest project, a new searchable database that showcases Utah architects and their notable works from the period of 1847 to 1949. This remarkable new resource goes live this Thursday and can be accessed through UCFA’s website. You can read a glowing preview and learn why this project is so significant here and get more details here. All are welcome to come to the official launch party this Thursday. We’ll be there.
October 14th marks the beginning of this year’s Salt Lake Design Week. Monday evening Warren will be speaking at PechaKucha on the launch of a great new resource for architecture here in the Salt Lake Valley, a searchable database of Utah’s historic architects and their works sponsored by the Utah Center for Architecture. If you haven’t ever attended a PechaKucha event, here’s what you need to know: the presenter shows 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and the presenter has to keep up. Why this format? As stated on PechaKucha’s website: “Because architects talk too much! Give a microphone and some images to an architect — or most creative people for that matter — and they’ll go on forever! Give PowerPoint to anyone else and they have the same problem.” It’s a lively format and keeps things moving along. Monday’s event features several creative types in fashion, photography, architecture, etc. You can find out more info and get tickets here. If you can’t make it to PechaKucha, plan to come to the official launch of the Utah Architects Project Thursday, October 17 at the Ladies Literary Club from 6:30 – 8 PM. More info here.
Two of our recent renovation projects will be open to the public in this Saturday’s Green Homes Tour hosted by the US Green Build Council Utah Chapter. You can visit this recently completed home in the 9th & 9th neighborhood and another major home remodel in the final stages of construction on Michigan Avenue. This is a great opportunity to see sustainable products and learn about payback incentives. The event tour runs from 10 am to 2 pm and is free and open to the public. Register here to receive a map and more details.
Over the past decade, we’ve worked on many remodeling projects throughout the Salt Lake Valley and beyond, converting unused warehouses to creative spaces for local businesses and renovating all kinds of homes built over the past century. A well considered remodel breathes new life and vitality into neighborhoods while utilizing existing resources. Our portfolio reflects finished projects. We thought it might be fun to post a few before images of some of the more dramatic transformations. Today we are focusing on residential projects.
Utah Style and Design featured this Country Club home renovation on the cover of their recent spring issue. The program of the Parley’s House reversed the dining and family rooms, better connecting the house to the backyard with a glazed steel window and door. A new ceiling profile and lighting creates warmth and visual interest.
Floor-to-ceiling wood paneling covered the walls of this 1960s home in the 9th & 9th neighborhood. Carefully considered finishes, a new light monitor with clerestory windows, and LED lighting transformed a dark interior into an energy efficient and light-filled space.
The kitchen in this 1920s home in the Yalecrest neighborhood was renovated a few times over the years. Opening up the ceiling and reworking the floor plan dramatically increased the functionality and appeal of the kitchen. Sunset magazine and Fine Homebuilding provide details of the renovation.
Sometimes remodels focus on capturing unused or underutilized spaces like this unfinished basement in the Wasatch Hollow neighborhood:
Attic spaces also provide an opportunity to capture existing space, as was the case for this tudor in the Yalecrest neighborhood:
If you’re considering a home remodel, it pays to do a little research. Construction costs on renovations vary broadly–from $150-$250 and up per square foot. This recent post on Remodelista has some good advice to consider. We also liked this post, complete with before and after photos of a remodeled California bungalow.
The owners of this single family residence in the Yalecrest neighborhood of Salt Lake City won a Preservation Award at this year’s Utah Heritage Foundation’s Awards Banquet. (See the full story here.) Jon and Donna Dewey contacted us a few years ago when they were seeking to renovate their home to capture existing unused attic space and create additional space within the existing roofline, all while minimally changing the appearance of the home.
By adding a second cross gable to the upper story, space was added without overwhelming the home, representing a typical addition for a single level brick tudor home that is sensitive to the original design.
The homeowners managed to stay in their home throughout the remodel–not something we’d recommend for most clients, though they seemed to genuinely enjoy the process of watching the renovation take shape.
The homeowners now have a generous master bedroom suite in the captured space upstairs.
The Yalecrest neighborhood is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The design of the home met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation as well as a local review by the Salt Lake Historic Landmarks Commission. Because the home was considered a contributing structure within the national historic district, the home also qualified for the Utah Historic Preservation Tax Credit.
Before photos by Jon Dewey
After photos by Sara Bateman
There was a time when all comings and goings were through the front door of a home. In our autocentric culture we regularly miss the opportunity to use the front door, more often than not opting for a side entrance or one from a garage instead. Still, the front door marks the transition spot from the bustle of the street to the intimacy of a home and can create a welcoming feeling to all who come there. Some recent projects and images from around the web have prompted a few thoughts on how to create an inviting entry space.
A brightly painted door on the home pictured below clearly marks the entrance while the covered porch provides protection from the elements and a small transitional shelter.
The glass doors and sidelights of this covered porch suggest a graceful entry spot and provide a glimpse of activity inside.
The full-width porch on the house pictured below creates an important visual element of composition while also providing an outdoor room with views to the street.
The front door of this mountainside home beckons from a distance. The pathway crosses over a bridge and leads to the front steps which accommodate a grade change. A glass roof covering the porch maximizes light into the home’s entry foyer. Lush plantings and the sounds of the creek below create a sensory experience for visitors to the home.
Trees and planting beds frame a diagonal stone entry approach to a simple but elegant porch on this 1940s brick rambler.
A large sycamore tree anchors the front of the home pictured below. A stone masonry porch and broad door distinctly mark the entrance.
Wide steps, gas lanterns and plantings delineate the formal entry experience to the front door. (Note the visual trick here: the door visible from the steps is not actually the front door, but rather a side door.)
Several elements combine to create a whimsical entry in the photos below: the oversized steel door, a framed eye chart, the George Nakashima bench, and a Downton Abbey-like doorbell that announces the arrival of guests.
This beach house project on Puget Sound has no entry at all from the street side. Instead, a side-entry path with stone pavers leads to the “back” of the house where a front door faces the water, a custom of waterfront houses.
Visit our Welcome Home pinterest board to see more examples of inviting front entries.
For last week’s Design Review, we visited the First Ave project located in the Avenues neighborhood, a local historic district in the heart of Salt Lake City.
While the exterior work was completed some time ago, the owners recently completed the interior work. Here are a few thoughts from everyone in the office after visiting the home:
1. Architects create solutions. After initially visiting the site a few years ago (see here for the before photo and the story of the project), Aaron and Warren came up with the idea to carve out the center of the house to let light and conversation pass between the two levels.
2. Small additions such as a dormer, a skylight, a light well, and a little insulation can create big changes. These particular additions made a cold, dark uninhabitable space into a hidden gem and cozy bonus room.
3. The project illustrates how it is possible to live both responsibly and comfortably. The owner utilized a small existing building footprint, created minimal square footage and did not require a large garage. Reducing square footage is the basis of a sustainable house.
4. We enjoyed seeing how the clients put their own touches into the design by using creative finishes and modifying furniture to fit their needs and budget.
5. The existing housing stock of our historic neighborhoods is a key to the vitality and sustainability of our cities. Capturing even modest spaces in existing houses extends the livability of the home.
“Windows are the eyes of the house. They connect it to the world around it, framing a view from the inside and offering a glimpse of interior life to the passerby. Windows, more than any other single element, will determine the character of your house” (Marianne Cusato, Get Your House Right, 87).
We live in a 1920s neighborhood where there are typically several remodels in progress at any given time. On a walk last September, I noticed one particular project that stood out for 3 reasons: the beautiful windows, its design restraint, and the well-proportioned facade. I later found out that a good friend of ours, Louise Hill, designed the remodel. Years ago, Louise and Warren both worked in Seattle for Tom Bosworth, a noted residential architect. Tom’s designs are characterized by their use of daylight, symmetry, and restraint. It’s easy to see his influence in the residential work of both Louise and Warren.
Louise graciously agreed to give us a tour of the remodel in progress for one of our weekly Design Reviews. In their work at Bosworth’s office, Warren and Louise spent countless hours hand drafting interior and exterior window elevations, and detailing proportions and operation of a variety of window types: double hung, awning, casement, etc. Properly detailed windows ensure that views are framed and that the windows contribute to the experience of the room during the day and night. Digital modeling has changed the way we draw windows, but it has not replaced the need to carefully consider the design of our windows to the world.
Thanks to Louise for sharing her project with us. To see several examples of carefully detailed windows, visit our windows pinterest board.
It’s no small thing to go from this:
Undertaking a home remodel or new construction project is a daunting task, but there are many resources available that help clarify the entire process. Several informative posts from around the blogosphere have caught our attention in recent months. As we move into a new year, we’d like to share several of them.
We love Build LLC’s blog. They’ve taken the time to document details of construction and several of their posts last year have focused on specifics, like demolition, everything you ever wanted to know about a concrete pour, and notes on what to watch for when using an existing foundation. (Admittedly for most of us, none of this is terribly interesting until it’s your concrete pour and your dime.) To see all of their technical posts, visit here. Perhaps a little more fun to dream about–especially as we are enveloped in a winter wonderland here in Utah–is how to create a landscape plan. (One of my favorite discoveries when we moved to Utah from Seattle a decade ago was Red Butte Garden. Visit their website for information on native Utah plants.) And the reality check? Construction IS expensive, though a potentially great investment if done right that will yield priceless benefits for years to come. For the grand finale of the year, Build Blog posted an evaluation of a case study home they wrapped up, complete with costs and timeline.
We recently learned of this blog, an online photo library of construction details with an equally extensive index to browse, i.e. cedar shingles, radiant flooring, and even a green wall is documented. Because this blog is out of the Northwest, some construction practices will be different due to the climate, but it’s still a very helpful resource in understanding the level of detail in a well designed construction project.
Houzz.com also has several idea books and articles on topics of interest to homeowners. Their photo library continues to grow, now approaching 1 million, up from 250,000 earlier this year. We’ve blogged about them before, but are including a few links here that may be of interest to our residential clients, including contractor tips, elements of green building, and tips on how to work with an architect.
Residential Architect recently published an article on the color forecast for 2013 and top design trends of the past year–fun to browse through. A couple of other color resources we’ve discovered in recent months, both from Sherwin-Williams: chip it that allows you to take any photo from around the web and create a color palette from it, and this color tool app. Though colors often look different on a computer monitor, it’s at least a starting point.
And a little food for thought if launching into a residential project. Though we missed the Wall Street Journal’s article about a recent study of how families live in their homes, Dan Gregory blogged about it here. Seriously worth considering before drafting up a wish list for a new home.
In November, we heard a seminar from these Canadian architects at the Residential Architect symposium in Chicago. They are producing an entire video library with advice on just about everything to do with home design. We love their “slow home” design philosophy in response to the mass produced “fast homes” of the past few decades. Pretty entertaining stuff and we’re amazed (and grateful) at their stamina and commitment to educating the general public about basic design principles. Kudos to them.
If you have any favorite online resources related to home remodeling and construction, we’d love to know about them.
Happy New Year!
We recently headed north to Ogden for a tour of the historic Egyptian Theater and a morning of sketching. We welcomed the opportunity to brush up on sketching skills, an art that seems to be falling by the wayside as the computer becomes the tool of choice for most architects. While virtually all of our projects are rendered on the computer, the ability to communicate through sketches during client meetings remains an important tool for us. Below are some of our observations from the workshop.
From Anna: “To the left is a sketch I drew of the Egyptian Theater. In this half-day sketching course, we learned that there are four key ingredients in a drawing: edges, form, value, and color. We didn’t get into the color portion during our short course, but my sketch shows a 20-minute attempt at defining edges, form and value.
The lecturer for this course, Dave Cassil of Architectural Nexus, discussed how drawing is being taught today and drew comparisons with the masters of the past such as Rembrandt, Degas and da Vinci. Cassil’s greatest concern is that young architects today rely too heavily on computer generated images, and are losing the craft of sketching. While I feel that computer renderings are necessary to keep pace with the demands on architecture in the modern world, I also feel that they will eventually become dated when a good hand sketch will never lose its charm. With the time constraints in today’s fast-paced world we may never develop drawing skills to rival the masters, but I truly hope that the hand sketch will always have a place in architectural design.”
“Those who never make mistakes lose a great many chances to learn something” (John Luther).
“The lecturer, Dave Cassil, critiqued several sketches done by Degas, da Vinci, and Rembrandt. Some of the images displayed on the screen were simply uninspiring. In showing us these sketches, he emphasized the importance of the process. He pointed out that although some of the sketches may not have been impressive to look at, they were important to the artist and to their journey from beginning to end. This left me thinking about mistakes, which can be a positive learning tool. . . . After the lecture we spent some time sketching. I had nearly finished the sketch I was working on when Cassil asked if he might take a look at my drawing. The mistakes I had made led him to teach me. I learned more that day from my mistakes than I could have ever learned by doing everything right. Below are 3 sketches, representing my first attempt, the instructor’s sketch, and my final sketch after his observations.”
“Our hands and entire bodies possess embodied skills and wisdom” (Juhani Pallasmaa, The Thinking Hand).
“It is good for the soul to hunker down with the purpose to sketch with graphite on paper. Most of the time we are drafting and modeling with a mouse. Digital technology is a valuable tool but it is just one of our tools. I benefited from an exercise in remembering that the eye is connected to the hand and whole body.”
“I ventured outside and after a few false starts came across this framed view of the Wasatch from 25th Street. Below is my 3-minute sketch.”
With Thanksgiving feasts fast approaching, it seems appropriate to mention the kitchen table. We recently ordered this bumper sticker because we love dinner time and have seen how it has helped our own little family over the years. As our oldest son is now a senior in high school, this simple evening tradition has taken on even greater weight and meaning for us. I love to cook; we all love to eat, and it provides the perfect backdrop for reconnecting, unwinding and processing the day. (There’s some pretty compelling research and writing on the positive value of family dinner for the health of a child–see here.)
While Warren enjoys designing various building types, the intimacy of creating a home for a family remains very satisfying. In most cases, the kitchen/dining area serves as the heart of the home and the place where families most like to gather and linger. So, with that in mind, Warren put together a presentation for “You on View” at the most recent Reinvention Conference in Chicago, featuring several of Warren’s residential projects from the past few years. The quote is taken from The Family at Home, by Anita Kaushal and expresses exactly what we feel about the nurturing potential of the home, and specifically the kitchen table. Because really, home is all about family.
Wishing everyone a joyful Thanksgiving feast with loved ones at the table this week.
Photo credits: Roe Osborn, Sara Bateman Photography, Mark Weinberg Photography
Our final destination on Residential Architect’s housing tour was to Crab Tree Farm near Lake Michigan, an idyllic setting on a pleasant fall afternoon. While several of the buildings on the farm were constructed decades ago, Vinci Hamp Architects recently designed a new guest house for the owners. The home blends harmoniously with the older buildings on the property to create an inviting and welcoming gathering spot. And oh, was it inviting. (more…)
In October we attended Residential Architect’s annual Reinvention conference in Chicago. Like last year, the housing tour was a highlight of the event for us, giving us the opportunity to see the work of talented residential architects. We visited four homes, two of them infill urban projects and the remaining two outside of the city. Many photos later, we’re featuring in this post the urban projects. Studio Dwell designed the first home we toured, Bucktown Residence 3. Located on a tight lot, the project manages to create a feeling of spaciousness and elegance despite close proximity to neighbors. (See the professional photos here.) (more…)
While rehabilitating an old warehouse in downtown Salt Lake City a few years ago, we came across some unique salvage materials that were just too interesting to ignore. The contractor on the Westgate Projects, Chris Nielson of Evergreene Construction, uncovered a few different types of doors that have been cleaned up and put to use in current projects. (more…)
We’re delighted to be part of Salt Lake Design Week’s Studio Crawl again this year. If you’ve ever wondered what exactly an architect does, or would like to see what projects we have on the boards, or would just like a bite to eat and a little conversation, please come by! We’d love to see you. (more…)
We received an e-mail today announcing that Sarah Susanka’s book, Not So Big Remodeling has just been released in paperback. So why are we posting that here? Well, a few reasons. We’re seeing an uptick in calls about potential remodeling projects and consider this book an excellent resource for visually showing and explaining “not so big” principles of remodeling, something we espouse. The “not so big” way seeks to maximize a home’s potential by working within the existing footprint, creating a bump out, or adding on just a little. Hundreds of photos illustrate these concepts, and honestly, who doesn’t love a good before and after photo? One of our projects, (our own home) was featured in this book and reminded me of the process we went through when we decided to remodel. Warren’s design utilized unfinished attic space, reconfigured existing spaces, featured a bump out in the dining room and a modest addition to the rear of the house, adding only 450 square feet to the footprint of the house (see first two before & after photos below). Not So Big Remodeling is available at the Salt Lake City Public Library and online. (more…)
A few years ago when we were gearing up for our own home remodel here in Salt Lake City, I had file folders stuffed with favorite images from various home magazines. These days, instead of tearing apart magazines to save an idea, a few favorite web resources help me save ideas. While there are many, many blogs and websites out there dedicated to home design & renovation, three websites stand out that help facilitate image collection and organization. (more…)
The other day I dropped by a friend’s house in my neighborhood. She’s gearing up for a major home remodel and commented that she was meeting with an interior designer the next day, but wasn’t even sure what to ask. We’ve probably all felt like that at one time or another before meeting with a professional, and there are probably people who hesitate to call an architect for that very reason. The American Institute of Architects has provided a handy list of questions on their website for those thinking about hiring an architect: (more…)
Architectural Record recently mused about the possibility of a genetic predisposition for choosing architecture as a profession (All in the Family: Architectural DNA). I’ve no idea whether or not there was a genetic tendency for Warren, but his father practiced architecture for over 40 years in Salt Lake and his influence on his son is unmistakable. While Warren didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming an architect–it wasn’t until he was well into his college career that he changed course to pursue a design degree–this profession has been a good one for him. Like his father, he received his degree in architecture from the University of Washington. We recently came across these photos in an old scrapbook of his father’s studio days at the UW: (more…)
The current issue of Utah Style and Design features one of our latest remodeling projects on the cover. The homeowners wanted a contemporary, open kitchen and living area that could accommodate family and friend gatherings. Visit our portfolio section to see photos of the completed project and editor Brad Mee’s blog to see some before/after pictures and learn a bit more about the project. (more…)
We tried to resist this contest, but the pull of Legos AND modern home design were too great. So, we recently gathered some architects and designer-type friends and their families here in Salt Lake, ordered a few pizzas and hosted a design build event just hours before the contest deadline. (more…)
Setting: This single-story Victorian cottage is located in the Avenues Historic District, the oldest residential neighborhood in Salt Lake City. It’s a short walk to the Cathedral of the Madeline and downtown area from the home.
Clients: A married professional couple, Adam & Lee, who lived in the house for several years prior to starting their remodeling project.
Background: Because of the home’s location within a local historic district and a previous owner’s detailed listing of modifications over the years, Adam and Lee were able to find out many details about their property. (more…)
Setting: A residential neighborhood in the Richmond Beach area of Seattle.
Clients: If you read the previous post on this house, you may remember this renovated beach bungalow. At the time of the remodel a decade ago, the clients had two children; they’ve since welcomed two more children to their family. (more…)
We had a little fun this holiday season with a residential design challenge on a smaller scale than most of our projects. How hard would it be to make a bunch of gingerbread houses and get a few families together for an evening of decorating? (more…)
We just returned from Phoenix where we attended Reinvention 2011, an architectural symposium organized by publisher Hanley Wood. We try to go at least once a year to a conference for the chance to see our practice with fresh eyes and be inspired as we visit with architects from all over the country; this was our first Reinvention that we’ve attended and it won’t be our last. Reinvention caters specifically to architects who design residential work. As Warren has several interesting residential projects on the boards, the timing couldn’t have been better. We spent the first day on a tour of 5 homes designed by local Phoenix architects. (more…)
One recurring theme in recent years at conferences sponsored by the American Institute of Architects is the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, a smart approach to construction both for its green elements and the preservation of history. Warren has worked on a number of these preservation projects in Salt Lake City. The first such project, The Westgate Lofts, was completed a few years ago, and involved converting an old warehouse building to mixed-use housing and retail spaces. (more…)
Drop by our office on Tuesday, November 15 between 4 and 6 PM as we participate in Salt Lake Design Week Studio Crawl. Tuesday’s Open Studio Crawl features design and architecture firms in the East District. Come by and see our renovated office space and check out what we’ve got on the boards. See you Tuesday!
For ages, I’ve been meaning to post about houzz.com as a valuable resource for those gearing up for a remodel or planning a new home. It’s a well-organized resource that allows the user to create idea books right on their website. Users can browse the site by filtering for individual rooms and spaces (“home office,” “patio,” “kitchen”) and style (“contemporary,” “eclectic,” etc.) and then save any images to individual idea books. We’ve created idea books on their site and have enjoyed searching the reservoir of images that are readily available (most are uploaded to the site by architects and interior designers). Beats tearing apart magazines, though I still have plenty of those kind of images in my files, too. And clients have sent us links to their own idea books to help us better understand their tastes and preferences.
In 2008 Warren launched one of our most ambitious remodeling projects ever, that of our own office building. As his wife, to say I was a little concerned would be a bit of an understatement, but happily his vision won over my worries (be sure to scroll down to see the “after” photo). The most recent issue of Utah Style and Design features the story of our office remodel (see pages 44-46). Utah Style has also posted a “behind-the-scenes” narrative of the photo shoot on their blog. To see photos of the finished interior, visit the portfolio section of our website. Better yet, if you are in the area, give us a call to schedule a tour of the building.
In Salt Lake many of our neighborhoods are full of beautiful homes built several decades ago. While they are loaded with charm, they are often impractical for today’s lifestyle and technology, leaving homeowners wondering whether they should renovate their property or move. The November 2011 issue of Fine Homebuilding has an article every one thinking about renovating should read. “12 Restoration Blunders” identifies pitfalls to avoid when planning for a remodel. One in particular caught my eye: Mistake #9: Ignoring Historic Tax Credits. In Salt Lake, there are 10 national historic districts (the city website only lists 8; the Yalecrest and Liberty Wells neighborhoods should also be listed on the registry). The author of the article writes, “Historic-rehabilitation tax credits are the largest incentive available to residential homeowners in the United States, even larger than the sacred mortgage-interest deduction.” We couldn’t agree more. In the past 2 years, five of our projects have qualified for this tax credit, including our own office space.
Another helpful resource to those considering a remodel is a publication put out by the Utah Heritage Foundation. Celebrating Compatible Design: Creating New Spaces in Historic Homes features beautiful photos and drawings of homes throughout the Salt Lake City area that have utilized good design to create functional, contemporary homes that are compatible with their surroundings and retain the historic character of the home. The book explains the hows & whys of good design and looks particularly at compatible additions, dormers, and garages. If you’re considering a remodel in Salt Lake, you will want to get a copy of this book.
Another book worth reading is The Face of Home: A New Way to Look at the Outside of Your House, by Boston architect Jeremiah Eck. He writes, “When people describe houses they tend to think in absolute terms, using labels that don’t always completely fit…. Well designed houses are often a mix of styles because following one style to the exclusion of all other possibilities can lead to a sterile, predetermined look–a house in a particular style, yes, but one with no real style of its own” (80).
Eck shares 5 principles, or hallmarks, of good design for home exteriors. There’s a progression to the order of the principles that build on each other. He shares several case studies of homes–lots of beautiful, detailed photos–that illustrate the principles from across the nation, from urban neighborhoods to seaside vistas. (more…)
In our first entry of the “Every Building Tells a Story” series, we’re featuring a project Warren completed a few years ago in Seattle.
Setting: A quiet neighborhood set on a hillside in North Seattle with endless views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains beyond. The neighborhood is home to an eclectic mix of beach shacks and luxury homes.
Clients: A newly married couple with 2 kids, ages 9 and 12. The husband is a filmmaker and the wife is a sales rep for a sweater and sustainable clothing line.
Background: Shortly after their marriage, Rick and Julie began searching for a suitable home for their family of 4. After an unproductive afternoon of visiting open houses, they asked Warren to meet them at a little cottage that Rick owned in Richmond Beach to explore the possibility of remodeling. Would it be worth pursuing? The house, originally built in 1935, was located on a high-bank waterfront piece of property. Rick had owned the house for several years and stayed there when he was in town–a place suitable for a single man, but needing some serious attention to accommodate a family.
Above: A few before photos of the house under consideration
In April, Warren was invited to speak at a local gathering that was part of a global event, PechaKucha Day: Inspire Japan. The Japanese word “pechukucha” means something like “chit chat” in English. PechaKucha nights have been happening around the world since the first event took place in Tokyo back in 2003. It’s a pretty clever format: architects and other creative people are invited to show 20 images of their choosing on any topic for 20 seconds each; the images forward automatically on a large screen while the speaker tries to keep pace. At the Salt Lake event, Warren was one of a half dozen or so presenters that included a professor from the U, an environmental artist, a furniture designer and others.
The global event served as a fundraiser for reconstruction efforts following the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Sendai region, with proceeds going to Architecture for Humanity and ArchiAid. Warren was happy to participate in Salt Lake City’s event because of the 5+ years he spent in Japan as a volunteer, a student and an architect. He has a genuine love for and interest in all things Japanese. In the mid-90s, we lived about an hour outside of Sendai where Warren worked for the Shelter company, a design-build firm specializing in large-scale timber structures. Warren has long been inspired by Japanese architecture, as he explains in his 20 x 20 presentation:
For people thinking about remodeling or building a home, there’s an abundance of great resources available. One such book caught my eye recently. The title alone was enough to lure me in: The Simple Home: The Luxury of Enough, by Sarah Nettleton. I knew when I read the description on the inside flap that I would be reading the entire book:
“A simple home puts us in touch with the simple pleasures of life: the warmth of winter sunlight, the scent of flowers through an open window, a family meal at a communal table. By learning to appreciate the ‘luxury of enough,’ we can delight in the simple abundance of our homes’ most basic pleasures. Finding your own simple home reflects the wisdom of good choices, the elimination of non-essentials, and the celebration of restraint.. . . Along the way, you’ll realize that it isn’t so much the things you put in your house that bring you joy as it is the way the house allow you to revel in the simple pleasures of life.” (more…)
Here are excerpts featuring the Military Drive House from Sarah Susanka and Mark Vassallo’s Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way Your Really Live