19 November 2014

Boathouse | TYIN tegnestue

This used to be a traditional Norwegian boathouse for boat and fishing gear storage. The existing condition of the boathouse was decayed and had to be torn down, but placement of sensible honest materials has revived this simple house to be a recreational space for summer time. 

Most of the materials that were used were salvaged and reused. The windows from the client’s farmhouse were also used on the project. Norwegian pine saturated with a by-product from the sugar cane industry gives the exterior cladding a grey patina.

Learn more about this project here!

14 November 2014


It’s that entertaining time of year when family & friends are coming for dinner and party season is in full swing.  Does your entryway welcome guests to your home?  Here are some key considerations for a welcoming and functioning foyer as well as links to some of our current, favorite entryway finds:

An ENTRY TABLE provides a drop zone for keys, phones & handbags for both you and guests.  It’s also great display space for seasonal decor, a special photo or an interesting table lamp.

Rustic Storage Console at WEST ELM

For lighting, consider a fun CHANDELIER or interesting PENDANT.  Either works well in a foyer to illuminate the entry as well as to further define the space as special.

Diamond Kiss Pendant at DOT & BO

COAT HOOKS or RACKS provide guests self-serve access to their coats, scarves & belongings.

Splash Coat Rack by BLUDOT

MIRRORS work double duty in an entry providing an opportunity to reflect light as well as provide that quick 
vanity check.

Fleur Framed Mirrow at DOT & BO

SEATING, whether a single chair, stool or bench allow guest to remove shoes or set bags.

The LIFT Storage Bench at CB2

For flooring consider an area rug, specifically a RUNNER that helps define the entryway as its own space as well as minimizing dirt tracked into the home.  Runners come in all kinds of fun colors and can easily be swapped out depending on your tastes and the season.

Voyages Geometric Rug from ALL MODERN

Send out those invitations...now you're ready to welcome guests into your home!

10 November 2014

ELEMENTAL’s OchoQuebradas | “The Spirit of the Primitive”

ELEMENTAL’s design concept for this coastal weekend house is inspired by the idea that “a weekend house is ultimately a kind of retreat where people allowed themselves to suspend the conventions of life and go back to a more essential living.” 

 Simple composition of three masses forms the house, carving out space, like a cave, to enhance the spirit of the primitive within the occupier. One of the special features in the living room is that it can be opened to the outdoors with a central open fire. 

The lower horizontal mass contains the main living space, the upper mass hosts the bedroom and bathrooms, and both masses are connected with the third skewed mass that serves as a light well and chimney for the open fire. The architect feels that the chimney, or the third mass, is the center piece of the house.

07 November 2014

Two Small "!" Moments

Nendo - one of my favorite industrial design firms, keeps their focus on designing 'Small "!" Moments'. All of their designs have an intelligence and whimsy to them, while still maintaining a modern simplicity.

I particularly love these two products - The cube rubber band is a re-envisioning of a product that we all use daily, and is so smart, not to mention good looking. The stay-brella is another simple modification to a design we all use (especially those of us in Seattle) that instantly improves both the aesthetics and the use.

As a design firm, Nendo has the genius ability to redesign everyday products in a way that makes you wonder why the original was ever considered a good option. And that is pretty cool!

03 November 2014

DIY Board Form Patio

This week in our ongoing effort to to document the things we personally construct, we wanted to share the patio that Steve has been building at his home. It's turning out great and has been a good learning opportunity to understand the labor costs, detailing and finishing process for board form concrete. Personally making things, helps us better understand and specify similar building techniques in the work our office does. The design process for A DIY project is really not that much different then a contractor built project. The more you think the process before you begin the smoother it goes. A tight budget and expensive taste sometimes forces you to take matters into your own hands and make things yourself. This patio turned out well and we learned a lot about how to specify and build board form concrete that will help us counsel our next client or contractor. We are looking forward to seeing some planting go in and perhaps Steve will have us over for some relaxing and wine after work.

30 October 2014

Simple yet also complex | De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop

Whisky loving firm, De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop, were challenged to design a visitor center for Kentucky Wild Turkey Bourbon Distillery. Their design reflects the context and history of the distillery using form and materials which makes this architecture significantly attractive. 

The visitor center contextually resembles a barn in shape, and it is clad in cedar siding stained black that are set in a herringbone pattern to provide the exterior a varied texture. 

White oak, which Whisky barrels are made of, are used in the interior to create contrast with the exterior finish and spread the aroma of Bourbon.

As a result, the love for the taste of the Bourbon, history and context of the distillery are all minimized into a simple silhouette of a barn. 

Find out more about this architecture by clicking here!

27 October 2014

Tara House | Studio Mumbai

The programs of this house are arranged loosely to form a courtyard in an oasis above ground
, and carved into the earth creating a sanctuary underground. Concrete, stone and wood are used as primary materials in the house, but light and vegetation are also used as materials to enhance contrasts between hard and soft, dark and bright. 

Beneath the courtyard, which is filled with sunlight and varieties of greenery, a subterranean room is hidden underground, which is filled with water from a subterranean aquifer. As one enters this subterranean room underground and descends the stairs through a dark corridor, he/she experiences dramatic passage into the earth.

The room provides a comfortable silence and allows rays of hot Indian sun to penetrate the earth into the space, into the water. Find out more about this architecture by clicking here.

22 October 2014

“It is a site-specific, life-size sculpture.”

Recently one of our projects was featured in Dwell magazine and we couldn't be more excited to revisit one of the coolest homes we have worked on. Not only is this minimalist style beautiful to look at, our Island Home + Studio is also unique in that the geothermal wells, heat pump, solar panels, and sophisticated insulation system allow the house to achieve in nearly zero energy use! To read more about the project check out our Dwell article here or visit our website here.