Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pool House Options and Finishes

Check out this little place. This is a pool house/guest house for a summer home in Stowe, Vermont. A very cool design and layout from the building itself to the surrounding landscape. The views look amazing and the finishes compliment the natural setting so well. They incorporated cedar and Douglas fir on the trellis, along with bluestone that runs from the pool deck right into the main enclosed structure.

This all black, matte kitchen cabinet is strong. That's a wood backsplash as well. Go for it. It's unique. Not the most practical but the sink will probably not get a ton of use.

That's copper cladding on the main structure with a sweet little outdoor shower on the right and a board-formed concrete chimney chase on the left.

This is just a great view and I really like how they broke down the space. It's perfect for entertaining or just relaxing.

photos via New England Home

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Woven Ceiling

There's kind of a lot going on in this picture with the mixed use of materials (concrete, hardwood, slate) but the ceiling detail over the dining table is just crazy. Have you seen a woven ceiling before? I love the rustic, raw and natural feel it gives. It's strips of reclaimed redwood and the craftsmanship looks amazing.

photo via

Monday, December 27, 2010

Board-Formed Concrete

How cool is this if you're looking for a rustic twist on concrete? This is a close up shot of concrete displaying the textures of natural wood. It's made by pouring concrete into temporary molds constructed out of various pieces of lumber. The textures or patterns of the wood, as well as the construction of the mold, will determine final outcome (smooth, rough, knotty). Once the concrete has hardened you remove the wood and reveal your results.

This photo above is an example of how they incorporated it in an outdoor shower. You can also see where they left some gaps between the boards and allowed the concrete to seep through a little heavier. It's a great mix of materials utilizing the concrete with the reclaimed redwood, the tiled knee wall and a stone floor.


Thursday, December 23, 2010


If you have a ton of books, why not show them off. This is from a loft in Tribeca that was designed by Ike Kligerman Barkley. The shelves are zinc. A simple yet solid design. The mix of color and various sizes of the books gives a very relaxed feel to the space.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Vintage Light Fixtures

While working on a few different projects this week I found myself researching old vintage light fixtures. It sounds so engaging, doesn't it? Well, whether you are designing an entire space or just trying to find a way to give a room a face-lift, a unique or vintage light fixture can sometimes make it happen. Check out Barn Light Electric if you're looking for some badass American-made vintage fixtures. They're family owned and have a killer passion for what they do. They are worth checking out. You can read about them here.

photo via Barn Light Electric

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cabin Interior

An interior snapshot with a few random details. This place is very cool and so well planned out from design and function to coordination of construction (see details and more photos here). The architect is Alex Scott Porter Design. She designed the place for her father, a journalist and retired professor. I like the use of all of these finishes. It's both rustic and industrial all rolled into one from the cattle fence and the black gas pipe handrail to the exposed electrical boxes. You can't go wrong with the knotty pine in any type of cottage either.

photos via Dwell

Monday, December 20, 2010

Creative Attic Access

This is a very cool little creative solution utilizing steel and glass. The owner needed a new solution to access their loft. The photo above shows the finished product. The shot below is how they previously gained access. So clean and also allows for so much more natural light.

I also really like the simplicity of the design. Stairs are always tricky and seem to take up some much space no matter how you figure them. These stairs themselves are cut from sheets of metal while the pole (also metal) serves as the handrail. That is just genius. You can see that as you walk up or down you can always have a hand on the pole.

It may not be the most conventional approach or solution, but it works. They solved the issue and completely transformed the two spaces.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Work as One

I know I've mentioned this before but I really can't stress it enough. I'm talking about contractor/architect relationships. When the two can come together and not only put out a kick ass product but also communicate their ideas from paper to building, it can make for pretty sweet results. We are going to be doing a couple different renovation projects (both on water) and both have such a good vibe. I like the feeling of coming away from a solid meeting with the client and the architect and just knowing that all parties are truly excited to continue moving forward. You can feel the passion and that makes you want to run with the momentum.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Solid Wood Island

A sweet little kitchen island here. There's just something cool about this solid, 14 foot chunk of walnut. It brings a richness to this black on white kitchen space with its warm color and high gloss. I like the custom look of how they carved it into the cooktop as well. This particular piece is by Evan Shivley. He salvages these from urban forests in Marshall, CA.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Interior Details

I like the idea of incorporating not only textures but styles as well. They brought in a rustic, lime-washed oak on the island and paired it with the smooth, polished finishes of the appliances, cabinets and tops.

Here are the same finishes and textures in this command center or small office. I see it mostly done in the kitchen but why not take it to another part of house. The shelves are very cool too as they appear to be floating while being back lit.

via Contemporist

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Beet Squad

Today it's all about the wife and her crew, The Beet Squad. They are involved in a competition to Reinvent Fast Food on

Yoxi is an online competition where teams of 3 use videos they create to compete and come up with creative solutions to social issues. Reinventing Fast Food is the social issue they are competing for and they have come up with a pretty kick ass idea called FoodSurge.

FoodSurge is an online daily deal site that links proprietors, producers and passionate people who all want to eat real food. By creating a web of support, they are able to keep costs down, create a risk free experience for restaurants and producers, and also give the public the options they want.

The Beet Squad is one of the top two finalists and the last round of voting started yesterday and ends tonight at midnight PST. You can go to yoxi and vote here for The Beet Squad. Just make sure you are signed in before voting.

To learn more about The Beet Squad and see the rest of their videos, check out their page here or go to

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dining on the Water

A whole new take on dining on the water. This is super cool for a couple reasons. It takes my mind off of this nasty winter that has set in here, it's a fundraising effort by a non-profit promoting sustainable seafood and, it's a custom designed floating dining room.

This group is trying to bring awareness to the amount of plastic that is floating out in the oceans and showcasing ways to put it to use. The design team took approximately 1,700 plastic bottles and used them as the foundation for this floating dining room. The structure may come across a little raw but all the materials are local and have been donated. They didn't have a ton of time or a huge budget to work with so it's basically a cedar shell with a metal roof. I like the simplicity. It's still refined and looks cool.

The dining room only holds 12 people and it was just put up temporarily for the summer. It's all about a creative idea, raising awareness and giving back. There should be more projects like this.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jo's Apartment

A little more New York to finish off the week. The wife did find some time to catch up with a sweet college friend who has this really cool apartment in the West Village. Such a cool little pad. It has that charm and warm feeling you look for in traditional apartment living with the classic built-in book shelves and the weathered reclaimed brick fireplace. And, I'm digging the look of the old school marble fireplace surround. You don't see that application that much anymore and when you mix it with the brick and hardwood, it's an instant classic. You can recreate anything, but sometimes, there is nothing like an original. Joanna had her friend from Little Green Notebook remodel the place and they did a great job. You can read and see more here.
(via Cup of Jo)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

NYC Loft

The wife was in NYC this past weekend on business so we've been talking a lot about the city. Since it's been on my mind, I've been looking at different styles of architecture. This is a loft in Tribeca where they did a very cool job keeping the volume of the existing space while still providing some necessary division to separate rooms.

The loft has 3 sides full of windows and it was key to keeping them free and clear of any room division or obstruction.

Two other cool features I liked about this place are the custom sliding and operable panels they designed and the blown glass pendant light fixtures. When you look close you can see that they used the same pendant fixture throughout. It's a nice subtle accent with the exposed wire.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Turn it Sideways

They captured the look of a library with a snapshot, turned it sideways and created this unique space for an espresso bar. Very cool.

via NiceArtLife compliments of Nema Workshop

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Car Lift

The car lift. It's badass and I'd say pretty much a high end item but it's still sweet. They're like anything custom. The price will depend on design, application and where it's located in the house. We have installed some of these in the past and it got my attention because one of the customers randomly stopped by the office yesterday. There are a ton of different manufacturers out there depending on the application and look you may or may not be targeting. It still requires a very close relationship between contractor, architect and manufacturer from design development all the way to installation.

This is a nice clean look and great if you have the opportunity to utilize a portion of basement. It's called the Phantom Lift from American Custom Lifts. All you have to do is pull in and onto the platform, hit a button and the car lowers leaving an empty platform for another car. Very slick.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cape Town

This place is just spectacular. It's the Bridle Road Residence in Cape Town, South Africa. It's been getting a ton on press on sustainability with the landscaping as well as the house itself. One of the coolest features (as side from the badass view of the Atlantic Ocean and the beauty of outdoor living) is the pool system.

It's all natural and self cleaning utilizing plants, sand, gravel and a waterfall that cascades down the side of the home. Are you kidding? And, they designed the waterfall to also act a screen to give privacy to one of the bathrooms. Genius. Here's a picture (below).

The craftsmanship and overall collaboration of design (from the inside, out) on this place is so well done.

This photo, in my opinion, just captures the whole experience of this place from the view to the indoor/outdoor living, to the eco friendly pool system. The private reflection pool in this shot cascades down the building and provides that screening (photo above). There's a ton more detail on both sites listed below.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Sometimes something temporary can turn into something permanent. The pallets are a perfect example. A very cool idea. It may seem a little sterile and informal but it's another sweet example of adaptive reuse. This is an office space designed for an advertising agency.

Creative and unique. The pallets give a rustic character that seems to warm the space just enough with the white walls and black accents of the handrail and chairs.

design by MOST Architecture photos via the Contemporist

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Corporate Ship Yard

Reuse, give back and turn out a badass place. Done. I'm referring to the Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus. Have you seen or heard about this place? It's four old historic buildings in Philadelphia's ship yard. My sister-in-law, Leslie used to work for Anthropologie (part of the U.O. family) and I remember her talking about the space with such passion. She wasn't kidding. If you've ever been in one of their stores (Urban or Anthro) you'll notice the similarities in vintage design and the refurbished finishes. They have a craft and style that carries all the way through from corporate to customer.

I feel like I've been talking about it all this week but I'm such a firm believer in creativity and adaptive reuse. This is a perfect example, just on a much larger scale. There's a cool connection between the two industries with similar characteristics. Both create, build, refurbish or fabricate whether it's a ship or article of clothing.

It looks raw in a way, yet it's so refined from the timbers to the exposed duct work. The mass of the facility and the amount of natural light really give a comforting atmosphere. I could go on and on. This place is amazing and so well done. Check out more photos on ArchDaily.

photos by Lara Swimmer via ArchDaily

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rustic and Modern Elements

You can find ways to utilize salvaged materials in so many ways. It just takes a little research, some patience and a little creativity. I do like this idea for a cottage or cabin. It's rustic and reclaimed with some fresh modern finishes.

This idea I think is sweet and again, a fantastic use of reclaimed wood. They built these units out of salvaged material from a barn dating back to the early 1900's and some old fruit and whisky crates. This is actually the kitchenette at a creative design company out in Portland, Oregon called Parliament. You can see the entire office here. They did some very cool design work, worth checking out.

These are actually the cabinet pulls that were later installed on the reclaimed, custom built cabinets shown in the previous photo. Genius. A perfect way to finish it all off. It works so well with the overall design.

Top photo via Livingetc
Bottom 2 photos by Lincoln Barbour via Parliament
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