What is Good Design?

Good Home Design

I have been engaged in a discussion on an on-line forum of residential architects in which we are debating what good design is and what our profession should do about it. It has been my contention that we have negatively influenced public opinion about architects be creating an elitist image of ourselves. I would like…

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Built-In Refrigerators – Handles for Paneled Doors

Built-In Fridge

Sub-Zero, Liebherr, GE Monogram, and other “cabinet depth,” built-in refrigerators are increasingly popular in the high-end market. These refrigerators provide a number of desirable features, such as humidity controlled compartments, specially controlled drawers for fine-tuning the temperature for delicate foods, snack drawers, and independent compressors for the freezer and the refrigerator so that there is no shared air…

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Wood Floors Are Not Just Oak Anymore

Wood Floor Variety

When you mention wood floors to most people, they conjure up an image of a narrow board, red oak floor. But times have changed. Now there are many, many choices of board width and species. And many of these choices come at a modest cost increase. I’ve used white oak, antique chestnut oak, antique heart pine,…

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Tile Floor – Size in a Shower

Tile Floor in Shower

Here is a little tip to keep in mind when you are selecting a tile floor for your shower. Make sure the tile is relatively small. The reason might not seem obvious at first. A shower floor needs to have a slope so the water will flow toward the drain. Puddles in a shower floor are…

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What Should Your Dream House Be?

Dream House Staircase

Do you have a clear vision of the perfect house for you and your family? If you are like most people, your vision of your dream house is actually an idea without much in the way of concrete details. It may consist of mental images of houses you admire or remember. You may have merely a…

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Does Granite Pose a Radon Danger?

Granite Counter

Radon is back in the news. Radio personality Paul Harvey, the New York Times, and other news outlets reported recently that granite countertops pose a threat of emitting radon gas. Radon gas has been purportedly linked to risk of lung cancer. The Marble Institute of America has responded with a scholarly report essentially saying that the…

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A Bright Look at Dimmers, Light Switches and Plate Colors

Light Switch

I had a client ask me about light switch type, color and what I thought about dimmers. One question was whether or not the Decora style switches, those are the ones with a wider, flatter, rocker type of switch, were “expected” in a high-end house. I told them that I have some clients who like the…

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Design Your Dream House with a Purpose

Dream House Purpose

If you asked me what the single most important quality a good house design should have, I would have to say that there must to be a “purposefulness” to the plan. A key to this purposefulness is to be sure your house design has an understandable concept. There are many good and effective organizing concepts,…

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Electrical Outlets in Baseboards Might Make Sense

Electrical Outlet

Some parts of a house never seem to be in a good place. Electrical outlets (the place where you plug in the cord) are often in obtrusive and clumsy places. Many times you don’t have a choice because the National Electric Code requires outlets where you don’t think you really want one. But the Code…

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