Monday
Apr072014

project in progress

Needham MA. In a pleasant neighborhood of early twentieth century homes, made up of an eclectic assortment of styles and sizes, is a small simple Cape perched on a hill. The house is well sited overlooking the neighborhood, however is a bit small and too plain for the fun and interesting family who lives there. After living in the house for a while they decided they needed something new. They really like their neighbors and that particular location in town, so rather than moving they decided they wanted to add on and renovate. That’s when they contacted me.

From discussions, questionnaires and images shared through dropbox, we developed a detailed program for everything they wanted to acheive—modern but sensitive to the existing, bigger but not a lot bigger area, improved circulation and spatial connections, plus a few specialty items like a small tandem garage space to accomodate 2 cars squeezed in in a snow storm; big front sitting porch; tons of storage (everyone wants that); a nice spacious sunny laundry room; a convertable first floor study/guest room with Murphy bed; a golf-swing room; a green monster wall in the sons room, and if he was getting that, then the daughter would need a fairy princess wall… 

Then after we brought builders in to review the early plans, to get us in the ballpark in terms of budget, we embarked on the design. The goal was to maintain the existing character both of the original home and streetscape, and at the same time, it should develop its own personal style. The owners had clipped an image of a house they really liked, and I agreed it was a good model, so we used that as a starting point. We looked back to the model a couple of time when the owners struggled to clarify some aspect of the design they wanted to modify. The final front elevation as we begin the construction drawings is shown above. The existing house and the image they clipped are shown below.

I will post periodic updates for anyone who might be interested in the process and resulting product that comes out of it…

 model image: 

  

Monday
Feb102014

best of Houzz award 2014

Press Release

Shannon Taylor Scarlett recieved a Best of Houzz 2014 award for client satisfaction!

Read article here.

Monday
Jan272014

houzz kitchen survey

curious what the trends are in kitchen design today?

the residential “ideabook” site houzz (similar to Pinterest for houses) did a survey, and here is a report on what they found:

kitchen design report

top motivations

Wednesday
Nov132013

breaking the "fast house" habit

What is Slow House?

A slow house cannot be a standardized, mass produced commodity. While any good design will attract our attention, and ignite our desire, it will also add true value to the neighborhood, and provide long-term benefits to the homeowner.

In describing the problem of poorly designed houses across North America, Slow Home Studio points out, “…like fast food. A fast house is a standardized, mass produced commodity that has been designed to attract our attention, ignite our desire, and give the illusion of value as much if not more than its been designed as a place to live. This lack of attention to the fundamentals of good design makes a fast house difficult to live in and hard on the environment.”

They go on to describe their findings from their survey of design quality of over 4600 new residential properties in nine North American cities, they discovered 57% were badly designed fast houses. Even more unsettling was their finding that in the single-family house category 78% would be considered fast houses.

The slow home attempts to break the “fast house” habit by offering equally compelling but different standards for the homeowner to use in making future housing decisions.

“We believe that homes are too emotionally significant, have too large an environmental footprint, and represent too significant a financial investment for this kind of institutionalized bad design to continue unchecked. A Slow Home is the antithesis of this too-fast mindset.”

Friday
Oct112013

5 reasons architects are worth the money to redo your home

Came across this article in Popular Mechanics by Joseph Truini: 5 Reasons Architects Are Worth the Money to Redo Your Home If you’re like most homeowners, you probably dream of one day completing a major home-remodeling project. And I’m not talking about retiling a tub here. This is the once-in-a-lifetime renovation—the kind that dramatically changes how you live, energizes the entire household, and makes all the neighbors really jealous. Perhaps your dream is to build a two-story addition with a family room below and a master bedroom and bath above. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to expand the kitchen and install French doors leading to a wraparound deck. Regardless of what your dream entails, all major remodeling projects can benefit from the expert design help of an experienced, licensed architect. I know what you’re thinking: Architects are way too expensive and only necessary when building multimillion-dollar homes—and last week’s economic roller coaster isn’t helping any. The truth is, architects are well worth the extra cost on large remodeling jobs because with thoughtful evaluation and design, they can meet—and often exceed—your expectations. In fact, depending on the size or complexity of the remodeling, calling in an architect might be the only way to get the project off the ground, and to ensure your dream comes true. Here’s why you consider taking the plunge if you’re gung ho about a large-scale redux on the house.

Click to read more ...