Now Trending in 2017: Wood Accents for the Home | via Realtor.com
There’s Beauty In Wood Damaged By Emerald Ash Borer, Furniture Maker Says | via DNAinfo Chicago http://buff.ly/2qStYse
Like many design enthusiasts, I’ve always had a special affection for vintage Airstream trailers, a classic American brand that’s distinguished by its rounded, aerodynamic shape and polished aluminum coachwork. First produced in the 1930s, the Airstream’s iconic form and materials derive from original designs by Hawley Bowlus, who had previously worked on Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, one of the most advanced and streamlined aircraft of its era. So I was intrigued when a friend alerted me to The Modern Caravan, a two-woman company that specializes in renovating vintage Airstreams. I was even more delighted to learn that their impeccably executed makeovers involve the use of American hardwoods—walnut in particular.
Back in 2013, Kate Oliver and Ellen Prasse bought and renovated a vintage Airstream for their own use. They did all the work themselves, stripping the fuselage down to its shiny aluminum skin and completely rebuilding the interior. By documenting the year-long process on Instagram, they discovered that there was a ready-made demand for custom refurbishment services from the country’s many Airstream owners. So, after perfecting their skills outfitting another Airstream—the 1977 Overlander model pictured here, which they named “June” after the month of its completion—the women set up their business this January, offering renovations across the country and using “June” as their traveling home and mobile office space.
Kate and Ellen also maintain an informative blog where they discuss their thoughtful, highly personal approach to the Airstream renovation process in general and to refitting “June” in particular. Kate, who does most of the design work, writes: “From a design standpoint, the goal was to create something that pushed the boundaries of the expected . . . I don’t look to other Airstreams for visual inspiration (only practical/functional), and instead I carefully consider how we behave in the space . . . The practical aspects of the trailer interior are not to be ignored, and I begin by addressing the necessities first and foremost . . . From there, I ask myself a series of questions to understand completely how the space will be used. Then, and only then, can I tackle the visual and the tactile.”
The interior of the Airstream reflects Kate and Ellen’s preference for clean, modern lines and a restricted palette that keep the tiny spaces from becoming visually cluttered. They’ve used a lot of natural materials, too, which bring a layer of homelike warmth, texture, and character to the trailer. The extensive use of dark-stained walnut for the custom cabinetry and counter surfaces is particularly successful in this regard. Apart from the wood’s striking visual beauty, it adds a note of solid quality and permanence that we don’t necessarily associate with mobile homes—a feeling that here is a true shelter in any storm.
“The architecture industry is increasingly having an impact on the built environment’s energy efficiency and carbon emissions. The main vehicle: the AIA 2030 Commitment program.” Each year, the AIA releases a report on the 2030 portfolio’s progress, and the most recent Progress Report is now available for review.
From the report:
- The reality check is that eleven years after Architecture 2030 summoned architects “and other building professionals to make carbon-neutral buildings by 2030, the average project in the AIA 2030 Commitment predicts energy use intensity savings of around 38 percent.”
- The clear choice for firms that want to keep pace with Commitment goals involves becoming expert at creating and reading energy models. If architects don’t reverse carbon emissions’ growth around the world, future practice and design will evolve amid a swirl of increased drought, floods, wildfires, human upheaval, and shocks to the world economy (U.S. Global Change Research Project, 2014.)”
- “Getting to 70 percent reductions in predicted energy use intensity (pEUI) demands creativity both in what we design, and how early we bring energy considerations and iterative design into the process.”
Bottom Line: “The building industry is not on track to meet the goal of designing only carbon-neutral projects by 2030.” But there is good news. It is predicted that the energy saved by the projects included in this report “totals 21 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.” And according to the EPA, that is “the equivalent of powering 2.2 million houses in a year.”
Download the progress report here.
Rustic or Polished, Wood Furniture a Stylish Addition to Any Room | HomeEdit http://buff.ly/2ppKVfW
We love our pets, but from sharp claws to gnawing teeth, our smallest family members can sometimes wreak havoc on our hardwood floors and furniture. Here are some easy first aid tips to help! http://buff.ly/2bGD5ES
Add some rustic flair to your bedroom with a live edge headboard, like this black walnut one we found on Pinterest! http://buff.ly/2ot7LD4
Ask anyone to name a hardwood, and it’s a safe bet they’ll reply, “Oak.” There are good reasons for this. Of the more than 600 extant species of oak found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, 90 are native to the United States, making the hardy, attractive, and plentiful wood familiar to every American. We’ve been using it for furniture, flooring, paneling, and building ever since the days of the Pilgrims; it’s even the country’s National Tree. If America’s longtime relationship with oak continues to flourish, it’s because today’s architects, designers, and homeowners are constantly finding fresh, inventive ways to use it in contemporary settings. Here are three modern projects that lend a decidedly 21st-century vibe to the venerable hardwood.
Among the late New York City–based architect Ali Tayar’s last projects was a large house in Austin, Texas. Having previously designed a Manhattan loft for the same client, Tayar injected some snappy Big-Apple attitude into the sprawling residence’s laid-back, Lone-Star-State sensibility. Drawing inspiration from the oak-studded Texas landscape, Tayar specified rift-sawn white oak flooring throughout the house. He used the same wood for paneling, built-ins, staircases, trims and moldings, and the custom Arete kitchen cabinetry—the last a minimalist floor-to-ceiling grid of honey-color wood juxtaposed with gleaming stainless-steel appliances and soft-gray marble countertops. The finishing touch: the ceiling lighting’s gridded egg-crate diffusers are made of—what else?—oak.
Oak takes dark stain very successfully, as is demonstrated in a Hollywood Hills, California residence renovated by Griffin Enright Architects. The project includes a new stair that ascends a half-flight through a raised library area to a landing with a glass wall that opens onto the backyard. The library, a platform at one end of the living area, is demarcated from its surroundings by a materials inversion: the living area has ebony-stained oak floors and a white ceiling, while the elevated library has a white epoxy resin floor and ebony-stained oak bookshelves, walls, and ceiling. The contrasting palette helps create a sequester spot for reading, while a dynamic note is supplied by the stair, which has fumed micro maple treads.
Oak plays well with other hardwoods, as Alameda, California–based Burton Architecture shows in the living area of an Oakland residence they recently renovated. Having specified 2¼-inch-wide white oak strips for the floor, which they did not stain but gave a clear urethane finish, the designers chose to clad the walls with planks of unstained alder—a wood with similar honey-blond coloring to the white oak flooring but with less figuration. This mix-and-match strategy gives the room an enveloping, cocoon-like feeling. The mood is further enhanced by the clean-lined fireplace, which has a soft-blue ceramic tile surround and an imposing hearth in the form of a bench-size slab of white Caesarstone. The whole composition is elegant and modern yet warm and welcoming. What more could you ask for?
Arete European Kitchens
700 North Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78703
Griffin Enright Architects
12468 West Washington Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90066
1913 Broadway, Suite A
Alameda, CA 94501