See a Modern Update in Oakland

Architect Matthew Baran was called in by Heather Raney of REO Homes to flip a Spanish-style home in North Oakland into something much more contemporary that spoke into the diverse warehouse edginess of the surrounding neighborhood. Built on spec and working on a strict budget against a three-month deadline, he had to remove an illegal addition unit, then update the space with industrial windows, a modern paint job and a spacious backyard with a terraced patio.

in a Glance:
Location: North Oakland, California
Size: 1,200 square feet; two bedrooms, 1 complete bath and 2 half bathrooms

Before Photo

Baran Studio Architecture

BEFORE: Baran felt that the prior home was a “hacked together Spanish style,” with an illegal inclusion that turned the garage into a one-bedroom unit with another door to the street and backyard.

Baran needed to work quickly to bring the building up to code by removing the illegal unit and returning it to a garage space.

Baran Studio Architecture

AFTER: The architect wanted to make something that had a connection to the urban environment surrounding it. He removed the sloped arch parapet, sloped roof bits, overhang and built up the shell of the building into something more clean, stark and contemporary, with big square aluminum windows that resemble the industrial design of the warehouses at the neighborhood.

While he removed the deep line archway on the left side to be flush with the facade, the one about the right remains, something Baran regretted at the beginning but has come to love over time. “It leaves a hint of a previous life of the home,” he says.

To soften the crude components, Baran added painted redwood railing and landscaping by Miguel Nunez in M.A.N. Landscape to get a natural feel. Heather Raney for REO Homes oversaw the renovation.

Exterior paint: Benjamin Moore HC-103 Cromwell Gray

Before Photo

Baran Studio Architecture

BEFORE: Structurally, the interiors were in good shape, if a bit dated. Raney collaborated with Scott Silvera of Scout Design to update the interior while still maintaining the majority of the home’s classic architectural components. They stained the first oak floors and added a much more industrial-recalling window designed by Baran that faces the road.

Baran Studio Architecture

AFTER: For the most part, the group maintained the remaining interior components intact. The wood trim and tiled fireplace were all painted and the floors stained dark to get a more modern feel that amuses the previously dark vibe. (Silvera supplied and styled the home.)

Flooring blot: Minwax Jacobean

Before Photo

Baran Studio Architecture

BEFORE: Raney had originally wanted to remove the built-in cabinetry, but upon hearing that it was gum and much desired by homeowners and Silvera chose to restore it instead.

Baran Studio Architecture

AFTER: A fresh coat of paint and new hardware lightened and upgraded the first built-ins. The home is a split level — that the garage is on the ground floor; the kitchen, living and dining rooms are on the middle level; and the two bedrooms are located on the floor.

Light: Noir pendant from CB-2

Before Photo

Baran Studio Architecture

BEFORE: The kitchen was narrow and full of dated tile and cabinets, all that Baran torn out.

Baran Studio Architecture

AFTER: Baran enlarged the distance by pushing all the kitchen elements to a single wall, creating enough extra room to add a half bath and pub on the opposite side.

Kitchen cabinets: Ikea; light fixture: world pendant from West Elm

Baran Studio Architecture

The pub area acts as a breakfast nook that opens into a backyard patio and outdoor dining space.

Baran Studio Architecture

Before Photo

Baran Studio Architecture

BEFORE: Another square aluminum window designed by Baran was added into the street-facing guest bedroom. The floors were stained dark. One of the first windows remains on the left side.

Baran Studio Architecture

AFTER: The main bedroom opens to a private patio that leads to the backyard and outside dining space.

Before Photo

Baran Studio Architecture

BEFORE: The prior structure’s exterior was somewhat gloomy, together with paved-over landscaping and an illegal inclusion (on the left) that caused a separate living space. The main home was virtually closed off from the spacious outdoor location.

Baran Studio Architecture

AFTER: Baran’s plans removed the illegal inclusion and added French doors away from the kitchen plus a main bedroom to link the home to the outside. “I saw an opportunity to open the back of the home,” he says. Instead of having just one monotonous lawn space, Raney chose to separate the backyard into different zones that could correlate to rooms at a home. The planter boxes with vegetables represent the kitchen.

Baran Studio Architecture

The open grass space acts as a living room.

Baran Studio Architecture

A redwood trellis-covered dining area acts as a formal dining room separate from your casual dining room on the patio.

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Kitchen of the Week: Resurrecting History onto a New York Farm

Rescued at the nick of time from demolition, a 1790 barn framework now includes an updated kitchen having a working New York farm. The homeowners loved the framework and wanted it to help honor their house’s history. Architect Kate Johns maintained the frame’s high ceilings, exposed rafters, articles and authentic hayloft ladder, and used them to define the new kitchen’s design. A Scandinavian-inspired colour palette keeps the space light and bright and lets the wooden beams stick out.

The resurrected framework now connects the farm’s 18th-century home together with the couple’s recently built home, blending the old and new — in more ways than you.

Kitchen in a Glance
Location: Hudson Valley, New York
Size: 1,553 square feet, including the kitchen, dining area and living area (kitchen: 650 square feet)


The older hayloft was removed, and the 200-year-old framework — cleaned, refinished and stabilized — now opens into the rafters. More light is let in by A dormer in the ceiling.


Berkshire Barns helped the bunch deconstruct the barn framework, rebuilding it on this sloped website. The barn-framed great room currently connects the first rock house on the left and the new home on the right side.


The kitchen revolves around a primary dining area, large island, small cooking fireplace and La Cornue stove with a custom surround. The owners use the tiny fireplace to cook appetizers, roast meats and grill vegetables for groups of friends.

The ladder involving the huge island and the table led to the hayloft in the first barn.

Island paint: Lamp Room Gray, Farrow & Ball; hardware: Rocky Mountain Hardware; pendants: PW Vintage Lighting


The red La Cornue stove is the only splash of colour. The habit vented alcove mirrors the fireplace in the living area at the opposite end of the excellent room.

Countertops, backsplash: Danby Marble


A giant “swing beam” at the middle of the space spans the full width of the window with no supporting posts in the middle. Although it was originally designed so carriages can turn around in the barn, the open area gave Johns lots of space to work with.

At first, the frame’s post height was too low for anybody to walk underneath the cross beams, so the barn builder added 21/2 feet into the base of each pole using remnants from additional barn articles.


The 16-foot-long island is in proportion to the extra-tall ceilings. Johns installed a sink, a dishwasher, undercounter refrigerators, chairs and storage area in the island. Two-inch-thick marble counters high the painted island cabinetry. The legs around the island make it seem more like a piece of furniture than a built-in.

Bar stools, dining table: Chris Lehrecke; seats: Nakashima straight-back-chair reproduction; flooring: white walnut, Carlisle Flooring


Johns made custom workstations on either side of the island and primary cooking area. Each side functions with conveniences and its appliances, saving measures.


This workstation has a refrigerator, a cleanup bowl and sink storage.

Though Johns did not want too much exposed timber, she did not want to use Sheetrock. Instead, she installed tongue and groove boards on the ceilings and walls, painted the wallboards and whitewashed the ceiling.

Cabinetry: habit, assembled by Vormer Cabinetry; sconces: Filament, Restoration Hardware


On the opposite wall (beyond the island) a beverage and coffee channel greets the guests and homeowners as they walk into the kitchen. The two tall cabinets have pivoting pocket doors that can hide countertop appliances open to reveal workspace. There is also a sink and a small refrigerator for beverages.


2 dishwashers, a small sink and refrigerators within this butler’s pantry make postparty cleanup simple.

Sinks: Shaw Original Farmhouse, Rohl; fixtures: Barber Wilson


The owners use a small steam oven and microwave to warm up food before serving. Added pantry storage area removes the need for upper cabinetry in the primary cooking area.

Next: Explore barn-inspired houses on

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Resources for Landlords

An landlord–the proprietor of a property rented to people or businesses–need to contend with a number of occupational challenges. These include keeping his property through regular repairs and maintenance, as well as navigating the maze of legal regulations associated with leases, tenants and real estate law. Fortunately, there are numerous resources that landlords can use to better meet their obligations.

National Landlord Tenants Guide

The National Landlord Tenants Guide, accessible at, provides a detailed, state-by-state manual of legal regulations associated with tenant and landlord issues. This includes legal advice about Section 8 housing, mould, eviction, security deposits and renter’s insurance.

A heart of landlord resources, provides a number of rental and company forms, checklists, agreements and design letters, as well as legal guides and a discussion board. Standard membership was available at $39.95 for six months, as of July 2010, at which time the website said that it had more than 110,000 members. is the Web’s biggest forum for landlords, with nearly 160 million page views since 1999. In addition to a slew of legal resources, the site delivers a question-and-answer part in which landlords can pose state-specific questions to one another. The site also hosts a live chat on Wednesday and Sunday nights in which landlords can chew the fat., the online legal resource center, has a section dedicated entirely to landlord-related law. While the National Landlord Tenants Guide provides state statutes, Nolo answers tricky legal questions, such as explaining what a”shelter-in-place order” is, also provides business advice, such as when to hire a property management company.

The Landlord Protection Agency

The Landlord Protection Agency, located at, provides a warehouse of almost every legal form that a landlord will need in the course of her work. Along with the normal tenant screening form, the LPA provides such esoteric legal records as a”Notice of Intent To Enter Premises” and a”Notice of Unauthorized Rent Deduction.” Forms may be purchased a la carte or free with the purchase of a yearlong membership.

Condition Agencies

State agencies can be invaluable for landlords, offering legal advice and advising them of applicable local government programs that may assist their business. Each state welcomes these jobs to a different service. Back in California, the Department of Consumer Affairs handles most landlord-tenant troubles. Check with your local secretary of state to find out more.

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Let Us Revisit Some Revolutionary Garden Believing

I grew up in the 1950s, and that I recall our garden as being typical of this period: composed of a fundamental lawn surrounded by borders and a vegetable patch with fruit trees at the back — a result of this U.K.’s”Dig for Victory” campaign of the war years. This was how gardens had been laid out in British suburban gardens since the 1930s, but in the swinging’60s the design was about to change.

As a horticultural student in the late’60s, I had a defining moment when my eyes were opened to the actual possibilities of small-garden layout; this was when I read Space Outdoor , a now-classic publication by British garden designer John Brookes.

It was the first aspirational guide to garden design for the’60s homeowner who wanted to design, construct and plant his or her own garden. Brookes shifted my thinking on garden design by designing gardens for people and how they use them, rather than just as places to grow plants in. He taught me to take account of just how much time the operator will spend in the garden and the ages of these utilizing the garden.

Klondike Contracting

Brookes really opened my eyes as well as the eyes of many other young horticulturalists and garden designers — to his view that the garden was basically a location for use by people, not just a static picture.

In the’50s and’60s, gardening hadn’t kept pace with all the influence of design in other lifestyle areas, likely because it was still mainly seen as an old person’s hobby. Almost in a moment, however, Brooke’s alternative thoughts really did change how we thought of our garden spaces and how we could design and use them.

Space Outdoor became my bible, influencing not only how I seemed at garden layout, but also how I physically drew my aims, imitating his fluid draftsmanship with ink on tracing paper in days before CAD.

Hel├ęt van Blerk

One of the major modifications in thought — as a horticultural student, I discovered this hard to swallow at first — was that garden plants were merely one of the features of a garden, not necessarily the stars of it.

“We have allowed ourselves to be conned into thinking that the garden is only a set-piece for showing off plants, to be admired for perhaps two or three months of the summer, and not looked at through winter,” Brookes wrote. He considered that though plants are an essential bit of the garden layout, the principal factor in any garden layout should be how folks are going to use the garden.

Affecting Spaces

It is apparent in comparing the prior picture to this one just how distinct the usage of plants becomes when the designer uses Brookes’ ideas.

In my early years of functioning in garden layout, after leaving school in the early’70s, I can remember using a very restricted selection of plants in my Brookes-style garden designs, such as mainly ground covers, including Hypericum calycinum and Brachyglottis greyi, and smaller conifers such as Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Boulevard’ and Thuja occidentalis ‘Rheingold’. All these were planted in blocks or groups instead of being in a traditional mixed border.

Costello Kennedy Landscape Architecture

This style of garden layout is commonplace today, together with the use of this garden area clearly defined, so it isn’t easy to comprehend just what a revolution John Brookes started in Britain together with the publication of the first publication.

Brookes took a number of his new thoughts from the new architecture and gardens in the USA and Scandinavia, which might have been formulated under different conditions but still presented the same conclusions that he came into. It wasn’t just outside influence that explained his views on design, but also the radical shift in our manner of life when compared with prewar days.

Boxleaf Design, Inc..

Reading Room Outside today, with 21st-century eyes, I believe it is simple to observe how our lifestyle has changed, particularly about work. Brookes watched a very traditional middle-class family as an ordinary family, together with the husband working and the spouse carrying out housewifely duties. Some of these duties, such as sewing, shelling peas and ironing, he felt could be completed in the newly created style of garden.

However he joined this lifestyle to his layout ideas by suggesting that the amount of time the householder can spare for garden maintenance was vital to the original layout. Grassing on a big region of the garden might initially look labor saving, yet over a long period it involves a lot of mowing and general upkeep.

Christopher Yates Landscape Architecture

Space Outdoor was designed to be a complete DIY handbook not only for horticultural students, but also for those who desired to design and build a garden in a modern style.

Brookes outlined simple geometric layout techniques to balance the garden with the home, creating patterns which could tie together all of the functions of the garden; the consequent designs echoed Mondrian paintings.

Carson Arthur Design

In Space Outdoor Brookes also showed us that distinct age groups need different features inside the garden, which this should be considered in the plan. It is no good to expect kids to play football on grass surrounded by their parents’ prize herbaceous border.

This little garden follows his precepts flawlessly by allocating space for every purpose: There is an area for kids of different ages and also space for dining and relaxing. With the layout contemplating kids to begin with, any abandoned toys will not disrupt the whole layout.

blackLAB architects inc..

In the early years of my profession I designed many small gardens, many based on the concepts that I’d discovered in this publication by Brookes that I had read as a student. This one book changed the way I looked at garden layout, and that I can still see the same thoughts that excited me more than 40 years back.

Brookes neatly picked up his thoughts in this one sentence:”Design afterward isn’t the acquisition and placing of ornaments and plants, or perhaps drawing of plans or rather patterns, but the logical reasoning from what you and your loved ones want from an area, to provide for yourselves a purpose built uncovered extension to your house, which you are able, take care of and appreciate.”

More: Layout Icons: Thomas Dolliver Church

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Home Accessorizing Made Simple

Accessories are what give an inside soul and help differentiate a house from a furniture showroom. When accessories are done correctly, they tell the story of their owners’ lives — their passions, their journeys … and maybe their heartbreak. But accessorizing a house can be a scary thing. We’re often unsure what to include, what to leave out and how to arrange the things that remain. Fear not. As soon as you realize the fundamentals, accessorizing could be a snap.

Look around your house, attic, basement and lawn for possible accessories. At times it’s not the thing itself, however you exhibit it, that counts. Frequent objects like stones, shells or pinecones make great accessories — if you gather enough of them and display them in an attractive bowl. Arrange costume jewelry onto a tray or fill out a bowl with decorative matchbooks. The next time you travel, skip the T-shirt shop and head for the antiques shop, craft gallery or flea market. You’ll come home with something appealing and a story to go with this.

The bottom line: If you have fun with your own accessories, your loved ones and friends will get pleasure from them, also. Check out more information and find more inspiration beneath.

Christopher Burns Interiors

Avoid placing like things at opposite ends of a fireplace mantel. (Imagine how boring that this mantel could have been if one candlestick sat on each end.) Rather, rely on clusters of objects to balance one another. Propped and overlapped photos feel much more casual and curated than artwork that is hung, and in this instance help unite the vignettes on each end of the mantel.

Kerrie L. Kelly

Avoid dispersing individual accessories round a space. Organize them in groups, combining items that share an identical palette, texture or character. Unless you’re dealing with a collection of indistinguishable objects, change the size of the pieces and lean toward having an odd number for each vignette so things do not get too symmetrical or matchy-matchy. Organize the items in a pyramid, from highest to lowest, with the tallest thing in back. If an item is small, group it with other small things on a tray or in a bowl. If it’s too low, set it beneath a decorative box or books.

Paul Davis Architects

Unless you are living in a library, combine accessories with books. (Only keep the paperbacks from the bedroom or someplace inconspicuous.) If you do not own books, purchase some in a yard sale or library purchase — they do wonders to warm up a room and are one of the least expensive accessories you can find.

Not My Favorite Books! Pain-free Ways to Reduce Your Library

Do not forget the anchor. The candles with this coffee table anchor the arrangement and are surrounded by objects of descending size. Small things are grouped onto a tray, so they have a collective existence. The bowl of apples functions just like fresh blossoms — it makes this feel as a “living” structure rather than something that was put here two decades back and never touched.

Tiffany Eastman Interiors, LLC

Pay attention to scale. Your arrangement should not be too large or too puny for the surface it’s on. And do not feel as though you have to fill every tabletop — the eye needs a chance to rest, also.

Since all 3 things on this particular coffee table are roughly the same size, the coral was set atop a stack of books to stagger the peaks. Notice how the book jackets pick up the color of the vase and the seat cushion.

Adrienne DeRosa

Group objects that share a common character, while it’s a unifying color, finish or texture. In this instance the figure, skull, box and bowl all share a similar color palette and feel of history — as does the tortoise shell out on the coffee table.

Julie Ranee Photography

If you’re a collector, do not hide your fire in a neart. Group items together on shelves or tabletops, or display them on a wall. (Unless the objects are delicate or valuable, prevent curio cabinets, which frequently look fusty and inhibit interaction.) Combining lots of like matters gives them a collective weight that they would not have individually. The collections do not have to be matters of great value, either, as shown by this display of straw hats.

Sutro Architects

Know that almost anything can look great if you set enough of them together. If you’ve got a restricted number of great pieces, throw in a couple of imposters; you can always replace the affordable examples with better ones as you acquire them.

Zuniga Interiors

Echo an accent color. If your chamber has a dominant accent color, echo it in the drapes to tie the space together. Here the orange of the walls is repeated in the vases, and also in some of the coral. On the foreground table, notice how a footed bowl provides the coral height and scattering the arrangement.

Tracy Murdock Allied ASID

Keep your eyes amused. Here’s another example where the accessories select up the dominant accent color in the room and give your eye someplace to travel. The glass compotes on the coffee table make even ordinary objects appear special.


Look for equilibrium. Interior designer Jay Jeffers knows his way around an accessory! I like how he used the sculpture to equilibrium the lamp onto the console table here, and also the artwork group to equilibrium the tall picture and help bridge the space between the furniture and the ceiling in what is obviously a tall space.

Jamie Laubhan-Oliver

Be open to surprise. When an everyday thing is taken out of context and treated as a work of art, it can take on special significance. This old scale is now part of a still life. I’ve seen people decorate with vintage microscopes, scissors — even old lawn sprinklers. The only limit is the creativity.

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Clean Regular: Housework Strategies the Whole Family Can Share

After my sister, Torey, and her husband, David, were married, she said she always knew precisely what he did when she had been off by following the “Trail of David” when she returned: shoes tucked beneath the coffee table, sweatshirt tossed to a chair, a glass of water on the desk, a bag of bread on the counter with a dirty plate in the sink, the toilet seat up at the bathroom.

When it comes to cleaning, Torey may be a tiny bit kind A–ish, so it is not surprising it was a major job for them to figure out how to work together well. For David the problem was simple: “It’s not that I did not have a cleaning rhythm — I did — it is just that mine was every two months, and Torey’s was daily.”

I am sure many people can relate. Here are a few tips that will help you to find your own rhythm.

A Beach Cottage

Pick together what is “clean enough.” I know I know; don’t slap your forehead. This may take a while to negotiate, however, you have to try. Establishing a dialog about how you want your house to be supplies an chance for you and your spouse to determine where you might want the same thing and what needs to shift or change so as to accomplish it.

Take it a room at a time, if necessary. “I believe our bedroom is clean enough when the bed is made and there’s nothing on the ground,” for example. It’s possible to begin with broad ideas: “I wish to do a little bit daily, so the home is never a mess” — or your feelings: “If somebody stops by suddenly, I wish to feel happy instead of panicked and ashamed.” It might be simplest to go right for your own triggers: “The living room feels clean enough when there are no dirty dishes and empty bottles on the coffee table” and work your way up out there.

This will be a continuous conversation and may be an emotional one. Based on your perspective, you could be tempted to say anything like, “I don’t know why it is so tough that you do these basic things!” Or, from the opposite side, “I don’t know why you are making such a big deal out of these basic things!”

Whatever side of the neatness spectrum you are on, it is important to listen to and try to comprehend what your spouse is saying. If you are anything like me, this could be challenging, but it is more than worth it.

Divide the Job. This doesn’t have to be 50-50 or set in stone forever, but it is a beginning. 1 friend and his wife took over about the other’s least favourite chore; she did the laundry and he did the dishes. With another couple I know, she does the cooking and he cleans up. That is where making requests will serve you. If you already perform the majority of the cleaning, then request help and be specific: “Can you please be responsible for __?” Schedule a check-in to assess how things are moving.

In our family if we don’t do what we say we’re going to do, we apologize and request forgiveness. This may seem a bit much if we’re talking about something as banal as taking out the garbage, but our personality is shown in everything, large and little. It’s finally alerting to eschew excuses and accept responsibility: “I am sorry. I said I would empty the garbage and completely forgot. Will you forgive me?”

The Decor Fix

Establish new habits and patterns. If you are the individual always picking up after other members of your family, pay attention and look for patterns. “Is everything a blueprint, Alison?” Come, grab a paper bag, breathe in it a bit and stay with me.

Let us begin at the very beginning: Are coats thrown over chairs, a pocket or handbag tossed on the table, totes and whistles dropped in the center of the ground? No mudroom? Give each member of their household a minumum of one hook and a basket, as close to the door as you can.

In our old home, our mudroom was not large at 6 ft square, and every wall had a door. I covered the little bit of wall we had with three-prong hooks and wrapped baskets for hats and gloves right on the wall, very similar to what this homeowner did.

Everyone was assigned a room and encouraged to hang coats and backpacks and stash hats and gloves in the baskets. A number people took to it easily, and others needed to be reminded … repeatedly. Focus on one habit at a time, and once that is established, proceed to another.

Colleen Brett

Hang a few pins. Try to eliminate steps for your family members who aren’t naturally organized.

Here the homeowner wrapped some hooks and set out a couple washtubs to corral kids’ stuff. In Torey’s home they enter right into the kitchen. She wrapped hooks, place a two-shelf closet organizer for shoes directly next to the door and placed a few bins in addition to a nearby cabinet.

For a number people, there’s no question about which is simpler: opening a closet door, grabbing a hanger, hanging a garment and closing the closet door versus “neatly” dropping the garment at a heap by the bed.

One friend of mine hung a row of hooks inside her bedroom as a solution for her husband, who piled his clothes. She had been surprised to find herself too. “It’s not ideal, but it keeps things in sequence, and it is easy,” she states.

Shannon Malone

Do not pick up after anyone but yourself. The exclusion being babies and actual animals — a few of whom may even be trained to pick up their toys, so be discerning there too. I know this is a difficult one for certain men and women. A number of you might have passed out just imagining how your house would look if you did not scuttle about and pick up after everyone else, but give it a go.

I purposely leave things my children will need to pick them up to care for when they return from college, only to visit my husband, Paul, scoop them up the second he comes home, because he just can’t help himself. I remind him, “If you always pick up after them … us … we will never , ever learn to do it.”

Note: A matter-of-fact reminder is not nagging. When I am pointing out messes, I try to use an upbeat and adoring tone.

Be strategic with furniture and individuals placement. In our new house, I’ve a little study off the living room. I’m a piler and often distribute a lot when I am in the middle of a project, so I put the desk off to the side of the French doors. You can catch a glimpse of my desk from the living room, but it is not the continuous view.

In our bedroom I usually spend the side of their bed away from the door. When either the drawer of my nightstand or my basket of books is erupting, I am the only one to see it. In our home it is no accident that a certain child’s hooks and baskets are tucked out of sight at the mudroom.

Minimize horizontal surfaces.
I have space in my bedroom to get a chair, but I am aware that it would turn into my clotheshorse. In our living room, I thought carefully about superfluous tables. In our wide upstairs hall, I’ve an old farm table just outside the laundry room, and next to it is a massive cabinet filled with my daughter Eden’s art equipment. Maintaining that table clean is the battle of my own life, but it is so convenient for folding laundry and also for Eden to operate at, it is well worth the attempt. For a number people, a horizontal surface is a heap magnet, so choose yours carefully and well.

Designate areas that may be messy. For the sake of peace, love and all good things, yet another friend of mine suggested her husband — who works from their home — utilize the bonus room over the garage for his office.

Others contested her giving this up massive area, which could have been an ideal playroom for the kids, but she had been happy to have her husband’s messy office from sight.

How he maintains it’s his business, and she doesn’t have to watch it.

Crystal Kitchen + Bath

Catch a basket. Granted there are times when you just have to have things picked up.

Torey instructs out of her house, and as a result of the design, the kitchen, the dining room, the upstairs hall, her daughters’ bedroom, the living area and the bathroom all have the chance of being seen by clients.

She has a couple baskets at which she can quickly stash her family’s belongings, which they can then put away in their leisure.


Hire Assist. For many this retains peace and order, and even when it moves the budget, economizing elsewhere is a little cost to pay.

We Can Work It Out: Living and Cleaning Collectively

4 Obstacles into Decluttering — and How to Beat Them

Are You a Piler or a Filer?

Beautiful Clutter? All these 13 Rooms Say Go for It

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8 Gable Homes Reshaped for Modern Times

Formerly I have looked at the way the traditional gable form was utilized in modern residential architecture. The usage of the conventional form — what is the most familiar expression of house and home from childhood to maturity — in modern and contemporary residences appears to grow each year, so it seemed time to take a second look at jobs with gables. These illustrations run the gamut from the lively to the acute, in the abstract into the concrete, and virtually everything in between.

Among the most playful homes — span — is Sou Fujimoto’s layout for four flats on one Tokyo block.

The layout appears to be a drama on the childlike form of the house, piling it in odd ways that require exposed columns between amounts and even external staircase linking some flats to the street.

The job also alludes to the chaos of Tokyo, as if the town were a random stacking of functions beneath one another in a variety of ways. In any scenario, it is a building that easily gets one’s attention.

Another attention-getting gable happens with Dutch company MVRDV’s design of this Balancing Barn, a vacation house close to the Suffolk Coast, U.K., that is one of Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture jobs. From the driveway all you actually sees is the gable type, using a reflective metal skin applied to it along with 2 glass doors resulting in the kitchen area and rooms outside.

But walk around a little bit along with the construction’s name begins to become evident. The house is perched on a hillside, from which it cantilevers over fifty percent of its length. The living area is located at the front end, and a glass flooring reminds guests precisely what is going on.

The job balances the standard (gable form) along with the bold (cantilever), two opposites of sorts that are treated with the metal skin on either side.

Bagnato Architects

Sometimes a gable comes straight from an old building, as in this church converted into a house in Melbourne, Australia. Bagnato Architects added new floors into the old building (floor slabs can be seen running across the narrow arched windows) and added a small volume into the side that echoes the original.

Bagnato Architects

Unsurprisingly, the most striking rooms are situated beneath the gables in the former church. A round window and skylight are great excuses for going upstairs to catch some distant views and pieces of sky.

Remick Associates Architects + Master Builders

This house in Napa, California, consists of numerous concentric volumes side by side. The door and the window above it tip in the open spaces inside — in 14 feet, the door is rather tall, along with a flooring inserted between the door and the window would seem to create the very best space too short.

Remick Associates Architects + Master Builders

Indeed, Remick Associates has exploited the cognitive capacity of gables inside. Not only is that the room tall and bright, but the interior elevation is akin to a house exterior, with doors on the side and a window overhead.

Peter A. Sellar – Architectural Photographer

This ski chalet in Ontario, Canada, designed by Atelier Kastelic Buffey, utilizes a gable type in an abstract manner, devoid of much detail. The cantilever might not reach the extent of this Balancing Barn’s, but it generates an outdoor space that has the same shape as the space inside. The entrance is concealed behind the wood slats that sit under the terrace.

Peter A. Sellar – Architectural Photographer

Outside is a rather consistent treatment of wood, and the interior is treated like a seamless surface that wraps walls and ceiling. The tall windows attract lots of sunlight into the open space, aided by the square windows on the side.

Nick Noyes Architecture

The weathered wood shingles give the Sea Ranch Residence by Nick Noyes a conventional look, but these big windows in dark frames hint in a modern interior. The chimney acts as a hinge between both living and sleeping volumes, which can be linked by a small hallway.

Nick Noyes Architecture

Here is a view toward the fireplace, which is bordered by a large window on one side and the hallway to the bedroom on the other. The open gable makes the room seem generous yet intimate.

Wheeler Kearns Architects

Gable forms, particularly in buildings that are linearhark back to cabins, not just homes. So in the Camp Charlie Retreat outside Chicago, it appears right that Wheeler Kearns Architects utilized the shape for both long bars that slide past each other slightly.

Wheeler Kearns Architects

This allows for windows on each side of the rooms that job, such as in this spacious kitchen and living area. With windows on either side, the roof construction has to do some double responsibility, because gable roofs want to push outside. Walls can brace this tendency, but steel fractures or various other means can also counteract this force. They also help to give a rhythm into a room, here alternating with pendant lighting.

Carney Logan Burke Architects

This beautiful house in Utah, designed by Carney Logan Burke Architects, conveys the wood construction of the gable roof, remembering traditional architecture as far away as Japan. The big windows in selective metal cladding along with the corner are modern bits within the form.

Carney Logan Burke Architects

Unsurprisingly, the interior is quite spacious and light, thanks to the big windows. The beams are coated on the underside with a wood ceiling that accentuates the directionality of the gable and the distances. Much like all the cottage, steel ties aid to structure the gable.

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Bocce, Anybody? Get Some Popular Games Into Your Yard Plans

Get the household from the electronic devices and into spending quality time together outside, inspired from these green spaces devoted to favorite yard games.


A backyard that showcase a nice, long rectangular patch of well-manicured lawn is the ideal playing field for a game of bocce, croquet, horseshoes or lawn bowling.

Affecting Spaces

A plot the size and proportions of a driveway is perfect for a bocce court: 10 to 13 feet wide and 60 to 90 ft long.

Huettl Landscape Architecture

Owing to the long and lean dimensions, a flat side yard is a good location for games that don’t interfere with your daily living. Placing games up near the backyard allows different members of the family to interact or just be near one another while participating in activities that interest them.

Windsor Companies

Artificial turf provides a superior surface for lawn bowling or bocce due to its consistency, durability and very low maintenance year round. Additionally, it helps to conserve water and eliminates the need for weed-killing substances.

To avoid a Brady Bunch backyard seem, landscape with actual neighborhood greenery around the lawn’s gaming area. Utilize Bender Boards to define the separation between turf and real plants.

Installing cushioning underneath the synthetic grass will provide the ultimate game area by removing jagged surfaces.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

If artificial turf isn’t your style, but you desire a surface you do not have to water, look for a floor material that will provide minimal bounce. Decomposed granite, sand or crushed oyster shells are all choices that do not need water. These are especially appropriate for arctic climates and for re-creating a genuine Italian villa feel.

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

An all-gravel landscape works well with minimalist contemporary architecture, giving it the air of a Zen garden. Proper drainage is necessary to avoid the amount of water from the courtroom. Crushed gravel below the court’s surface material will help.

Charles McClure – Expert Website Planning

A perimeter curb will keep balls in play. One that’s constructed 6 to 18 inches from cast concrete, bricks or blocks will do.

The structure adjacent to this playing area offers a luxurious spot for resting between games, turning this backyard into an oasis.

B. Jane Gardens

A fire pit near your yard patch will allow summer parties to last well into the night.

How to Make a Stacked-Stone Fire Pit

Harold Leidner Landscape Architects

If lawn bowling and bocce are not for you, try a round green for placing. This one is large enough for Frisbee tossing and croquet.


If you are gifted at landscape — or can hire somebody who is — try your hand at developing a giant chess board. Your visitors will be delighted.

Bill Fry Construction – Wm. H. Fry Const. Co..

You could even apply this idea. Alternate concrete or slate square tiles in the driveway so you can play if the mood strikes without committing to a precision lawnmower.

Watch more oversize chess sets

Annette Tatum

Even children’ energy sags after hours in sunlight. Erecting a straightforward tepee is an simple, fast and engaging yard activity. Let kids decorate the fabric, line the tepee with quilts and pillows, and step backwards as they relax and retreat to more hours of quiet, creative play.

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Think Like an Architect: How to Pass a Style Review

It’s unfortunate when a homeowner’s biggest fear is how much a dream house will cost or how long it will take to construct, but instead in the event the local design review board will surpass the house he or she desires on the property.

We have all heard the horror stories: projects taking years to have accepted, neighbors stopping other neighbors from building a similar-size house, and neighborhood design review associates making purely subjective recommendations — inflating a budget by tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Just a few days ago, a neighborhood planner suggested that the best way to achieve what my client wanted is to bulldoze the existing house and garage and move them back 5 feet. Our funding was for a 400-square-foot inclusion, not a brand new 2,400-square-foot home.

Dylan Chappell Architects

So what’s the magic bullet promising your new home will pass design inspection? Here’s the key. Sorry. Understanding the psychology will up your chances of success.

Most design review boards have a tendency to share the same goal: to promote growth that exemplifies the very best professional practices to enhance the visual quality of the surroundings, benefit surrounding property values and prevent inferior layout. Obviously, the aim changes by area and means something completely different at a downtown area than it will in a rural residential one.

Natalie Myers

The very best thing you can do is to participate your local planning department in the thinking stage of your project. The sooner, the better. This will make certain you don’t end up spending money on a layout that won’t ever get accepted.

The tips below will help your house project pass muster. Some may seem like good ol’ ordinary sense, but they are all incredibly important.

Designs Northwest Architects, Dan Nelson

Work with design professionals who have an established relationship with your local planning department. This is particularly important if the home is in a place with a complex design review process. It makes no sense for you to cover for somebody else to understand the ropes.

Union Studio, Architecture & Community Design

Make the size, scale, form and placement of your building compatible with nearby properties. You also want it to make sense together with the dominant locality or district development routine. In the event of the homes have a long driveway leading to a garage back, don’t presume your front-and-center three-car garage will sail through the plan process.

Archiverde Landscape Architecture

Have the project’s site layout and orientation at an appropriate relationship to each other. Make sure the site design has a well-designed relationship to the ecological qualities, open spaces and topography of the property too. Is your new outdoor kitchen overlooking your neighbor’s swimming? If that’s the case, be ready to sink more bucks to some redesign.

Designs Northwest Architects, Dan Nelson

Think of the big picture in respect to landscaping. As well as creating your landscape in percentage to your project and property, is preservation of specimen or landmark trees an issue? What about vegetation? Plant selection should be suitable to the layout. And be sure to demonstrate adequate irrigation and maintenance features.

Designs Northwest Architects, Dan Nelson

Pick consistent materials, colours and compositions for all sides of your building. Architectural elements and details should be carried around all areas of the building, developing a consistent and unified exterior composition. True, these are factors that are subjective, however, most design issues are. Study the appearance and layout of houses in your region. Get a sense for what your design review board has greenlighted.

John Hill

Be a great neighbor. It’s always recommended to share your proposed plan together with your neighbors before the design review meeting. Most neighbors are going to be in support of any developments to the area, and it will allow you to avoid negative comments from them during the assembly. Design review boards always find projects having the help of the neighbors simpler to approve than those that don’t.

Tell us Do you have any design review process nightmares or victories others may learn from? Please share your story in the Remarks.

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