A staircase lined with familiar family photos is a reset button, a way to remain grounded, architect Dan Maginn writes.
My wife and I find ourselves in the midst of our own grunge movement the ongoing renovation of our house in Brookside. Like many other creative and fiscally challenged couples, we are interested in creating dynamic and inspired spaces without breaking the bank. Predictably, we have fully embraced the Cobain, named for Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana.
Now, as I sit in front of the fire with my family, I am reminded of my childhood and the role that a roaring fire played in warming it up. And as I add a chunk of oak and sit back, I can see my future moving forward. And with my warm wife on one side, and my warm 3-year-old on the other, it is decidedly rosy.
Just as our food supply and production methods have globalized, so has our access to everything else, including building materials. It is not uncommon to have stone counters from the other side of the world without thinking twice about it, and we pick up lumber from the hardware store but we have little idea what forest it was cut from. But lets envision for a moment what the locavore version of residential building might look like.
As an architect, I get along well with all kinds of metal, but I have a special affinity for weathering steel. Invented in the 1930s under the trademark COR-TEN, it is unique in that it gets rusty like regular steel, but it never completely corrodes.
Fall is a great season for a screened porch. Spring is equally a wonderful time of year for a porch, and even summer can be enjoyable. Why are screened porches so appealing? A screened porch can provide a bug-free, fresh-air-yet-dry space to enjoy anything from dinner with friends to a quiet place for coffee while reading the newspaper.
My well-intentioned yet clumsy forays into stonework taught me to better appreciate the work of actual masons. There is something about well-crafted stonework that simultaneously communicates both the beauty of natural materials and the skill of the craftsman who labored to put them into place.
When given a choice, I always purchase local produce and products at the farmers market or grocery store. I like knowing that I am supporting a local family business in our community and that the dollars stay here in the region.