Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Living Design

Following the theme of the previous post, have you ever thought about how you would customize your current home to make it more functional and livable? Too often we take for granted bad house design, lamenting poor decisions in our rented or owned homes made by "architects" and paying the price with unease and wasted space. B and I have applied a critical eye to our early 1900's duplex and taken to heart a list of changes we would make to improve it. I'm not a fan of all modern architecture, especially buildings that have blindingly white interiors, overly dark tones, or randomly placed windows. But I appreciate breaking the rules of the old architecture in the name of efficient storage, light and space. If you could build a custom house from the ground up, based on your experiences in the homes you've resided in, what are some of the characteristics it would have? RB and I had a ball playing around with ideas this morning as we hiked the Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park. Here is my running list, which is heavily influenced by a number of online sources. For a lofted ~400 square foot dwelling:

- Reclaimed/ salvaged wood ceilings (knotted, preferably)
- A bedroom for sleeping only
- Toto (bidet) toilet or composting toilet
- Separate toilet and shower area
- Shallow, open kitchen shelving, or a dual drying rack and shelving unit above sink- why move the dishes twice?
- 2-burner stove- we never use the back ones
- Integrated countertop and dining table
- Lots of blue! Our orange cats look great against it
- Jumbo wide windows strategically placed next to foliage
- Office or lounge room that morphs into a guest bedroom somehow (bed folds into the wall?)
- Overhanging dresser units from the loft walkway, like in our friends' old abode, Avenue F Studio, photo 03
- Lots of shelving for books and craft materials (minimal amount of furniture that rests on the ground- makes cleaning easier)
- Toying with Japanese influence: raised floors- eliminates need for chairs, provides underneath storage, shoji screens instead of doors
- Built-in entertainment system storage, maybe
- Glass tile? I feel strangely drawn towards it, as more and more people are remodeling their kitchen and bathrooms with it
- Shared lot with a set or two of friends, shared garden, chicken coop/ fish pond, and yard

I'd much rather have a thoughtfully customized small house than a run-of-the-mill larger one, wouldn't you? It's your home, your sanctuary, and you should feel like yourself in it.


Rachel B said...

Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAa6bOWB8qY

Fern said...

That is so amazing. But I bet thousands of $ per unit?

Fern said...

$8000 for the sofa/ bunk bed combo!

Sarah Hazel said...

If you ever cook for a larger family than the two of you, those four burners on the stove will come in handy.

Fern said...

Hm, good point.

erinhazel said...




and there is a guy named eli mosely making prefab houses in austin. and there is a place called KRVD that is also socially conscious.

Fern said...

Also, do you KRDB, the team that did tyler and sara's old place?

Also, totally random, last night i dreamed that you dyed Raleigh's coat bright orange, and i was oddly distressed about it.