A Welcoming Holiday Entryway

Holiday Entrance Design

Who among us does not like a front door and entryway that’s been decorated for the season? We know how important first impressions can be. The entrance to your house is a visitor’s first impression. Seeing nicely decorated front doors reminds us that the design of your front door, front porch or portico, and the…

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Printable Light

Printable LED Lighting

If you need more light at home, in the near future you might be able to print some out on your computer printer. It seems that a start-up company in Idaho is nearly ready to put their paper-thin, printable LED light on the market. Rohinni, the company behind this unusual light, has created a planar,…

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Adding an In-Law Suite to Your Home

In-Law Suite House Plans

Today we are featuring a guest blogger, James Wentling, of the James Wentling/Architect firm in Philadelphia, PA. He is discussing the in’s and out’s of the in-law suite. I found myself in the exact situation James describes when my father died and my mother needed to live with us. We built on an “in-law suite,” just as James…

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Decorative Wood Trim in Latvian Houses

Decprative Latvian Wood Trim

Call it “gingerbread” or call it “frou-frou,” but either way, intricate detail in wood is the signature of Latvian Wooden Architecture from the early part of the last century. This house on the island of Kipsala in the river Daugava across from Riga is a great example. And it’s wonderful to see treasures like this…

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The Traveling Architect in Latvia

Latvia Traveling Architecture

Today, we toured a neighborhood in Riga, Latvia that is full of 100+ year-old wooden houses. These were the homes of the professionals, merchants, and business owners from an era long past. Since the time when these homes were built, Latvia has been overrun and occupied by Russia, Germany, and the Soviet Union from the…

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The Memorial for Deported Children in Riga, Latvia

Latvia Memorial Deported Children

We design and build memorialsto remember important people, places, and events. Things that have been deemed important enough to never be forgotten. Sometimes these are not pleasant memories of happy times. For that reason, it is even more important to remember them and never repeat them. Thus is the case with the memorial seen here. Sitting at the intersection…

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The Dark Time of Latvian Architecture

Dark Age Latvian Architecture

Latvia is a country with an attractive and culturally integrated architectural history. The buildings of the past reflect the true character of the Latvian people, their traditions, and the environment around them. The capital, Riga, contains the largest collection of Art Nouveau buildings in the world and has been said to be the largest wooden…

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The Handcrafted Heritage in Latvia

Latvia Shutter Dogs

Have you ever wondered why most people prefer handcraftedthings more than their machine-made counterparts? It does not seem like it should be that way if people were looking for items that were made to a higher level of precision and free from imperfections. Most everything made by machine is going to be closer to perfection than…

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Peteris Blums and the Wooden Architecture of Latvia

Wooden Architecture Latvia

Recently, while in Latvia for a house design project I am beginning, I met an architect who is on a one-man mission to preserve the delightful architectural heritage that exists in Latvia’s capital city, Riga. His name is Peteris Blums. A quiet man with a quiet determination to do an important job for his city,…

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New Old House in Latvia, a Preliminary Look at the Design

Old New House Design Latvia

Well, we’ve been working hard on developing a design of the house in Latvia. With my clients’ kind permission, I’m going to share it with you. Today, we’ll take a preliminary look at the front of the house. The key characteristics that we are emulating and “borrowing” are the steep roofs, the details in wood,…

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