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strategy in design

February 20th, 2013 by

Spent the afternoon being part of the process of tiling yesterday (though, as the afternoon wore on, your flu-stricken reporter became less and less a part of anything).

An interesting process to watch, and be part of: the carefully asymmetrical layout of kitchen backsplash tile, starring Nicole Baxter and Nathaniel. It’s going to be quirky and beautiful, like its designer.

fun with details

March 15th, 2012 by

Funky glass tile for bathroom

Yes, I’m the same human in this family who just posted about the silliness of being concerned about silverware-drawer-location issues.  Yes, I frequently bitch and moan (internally, if not vocally) about the tedium of dealing with the details.  But some of them are fun.

It’s been a few months since we first traveled to Best Tile to look at stuff we might put on our walls and floors, so it took some time to find the photos we’d saved on the computer.  But when we did, it was just as cool to see some of these interesting shapes–and this one was still our favorite, as an accent in the shower or around the bathroom wall.

(That is my handsome husband’s face peeking out above the sample.)

We are at that point where we’re choosing these things–which wood will panel our hallway walls, what color the quartz composite countertops will be.

It can be the fun stuff, but I have to admit to still getting impatient–why can’t we just start BUILDING this house?–and wanting to get past the small stuff to the big thing of having a house of our own.

oh, we’re supposed to do this regularly?

June 2nd, 2011 by

So, OK, yeah, it’s been a while since either of us posted.  And, no, no one’s been sick (other than on our amazing Mediterranean cruise) or has any other good reason to not post since February.

We’ve just been…………busy.

And Fred has morphed a few times.

But now we think we’re close, really really close, and we have this nice model to prove it.

And Kevin’s gotten ticked off, again.  (I had to pull this one out of his leg.)

We hope to break ground this year…

they’re kind of like those ultrasound photos, if Google made the ultrasound software

February 10th, 2011 by

Here are the latest gestational images of Fred (Click on the images for a larger view).

Barring any unforeseen calamities, we can say with great certainty that this will probably be the general overall shape of the house, give-or-take some moderate changes. How’s that for locking in the design? We’re nothing if not decisive, after all.

Well, at least somewhat decisive, in a flexible sort of fashion. But enough about us…

We really like the way the house is shaping up. It was challenging getting to this point, as a few weeks ago, we found ourselves kind of stuck. There was a previous conceptual design that we were working with, and we kept trying to modify it to overcome some issues we had with it. Some parts just weren’t working, and it wasn’t flowing together. In short, it just didn’t feel right, but we weren’t really sure what was wrong with it. Everyone was getting a little frustrated, so our design team came up with a good exercise that helped break us out of our rut.

Instead of focusing primarily on the form of the house, they did a reset, and mapped out how Laura and I would use the house. One of their primary realizations shouldn’t have been much of a surprise to us, but we kind of missed it previously.

Fred needs to be a 24hr house. The team mapped out our typical daily activities on a timeline, and when we saw it all charted out, it showed that the house really never sleeps. (Note: I’m writing this at 2:21am; this may provide the keen-eyed reader with some insight into which one of us has the slightly atypical schedule.) That revelation became a key driver in the redesign of the house. By positioning the various elements in such a way as to avoid disturbing the currently-sleeping party, the whole floor-plan just kind of fell into place.

The team just hit “reset” and started fresh, and came up with the results you see above. We’re still doing some moderate tweaking, but the overall design now feels right. We can easily envision ourselves living in it, as opposed to just occupying it, as it is designed to fit the way we truly live.

And, of course, we think it looks great too. Who knows, someday I may even see it in daylight!

a mock-up of a preview of a sketch of a concept

May 14th, 2010 by

So, assuming we get to build Fred on the piece of land that my beautiful bride fell in love with, what is it going to look like? Well, perhaps nothing like these pictures but, just maybe, a fair bit like these pictures.

(Click on the images for a large view)

These are the very first conceptual sketches that our architect has shared with us. Our main motivation right now is to understand the potential price of a certain type and size of building, how the building might fit on the aforementioned land, and to check all of that against our budget. It will be interesting to see how much the final design—which we probably won’t settle on for at least a few more months—varies from these very preliminary SketchUp renderings.

BTW, I love SketchUp, so I was really psyched when I found out that our architects used it for these quick conceptual renderings. Now I just have to keep myself from “improving” the drawings that were done by folks that actually have architecture degrees and certifications. Yeah, whatever.

With that being said, SketchUp is pretty easy to learn, and there are tons of tutorial videos on YouTube. The price of the software is the ever-popular “free to you from Google”, so there’s not much risk in trying it out. If you ever want to play architect for a few hours—and don’t feel like dropping $10k+ on AutoCAD—you can do some amazing work with SketchUp, especially when you start downloading all of the house components that they have in the 3D Warehouse.

Anyway, back to Fred! We probably want a few more windows, and we really haven’t figured out all the internal spaces yet—these are just shells so far—but the single story, courtyard style is definitely on the right track.

Assuming that we build on that piece of land. Stay tuned for updates on that!