Trend spotting: Wood accents that go with the grain | via LA Times http://buff.ly/2lqCMT5
“Sick house syndrome can be a serious problem in today’s newer, airtight homes. The indoor air can actually be more polluted than outdoor air, and some indoor chemicals can cause or exacerbate existing allergies.”
When asked for healthy home building tips, mechanical engineer, environmentalist and columnist, James Dulley offered the following suggestions to ensure “the best indoor air quality.”
- “To minimize the problems from chemicals being emitted from new building materials, use as many natural products as possible. For example, select cabinets made of real wood without particleboard (contains adhesives). You may even want to select unfinished cabinets, and finish them yourself with environmentally-friendly finishes.
- Install hardwood flooring, instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. It is much easier to keep hardwood floors clean, and it minimizes dust, as compared to carpeting. Dust mites, a common allergen, live in the carpeting, as does mold in damp conditions.
- Select paint with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOC). Most major paint suppliers offer them. Short-term exposure to VOC’s may cause symptoms such as irritated eyes and nose, headaches and nausea.”
Information source: Hillsdale Daily News.
Maple, pine and hickory making a comeback with floors http://buff.ly/2kF2Vl2
We’re ‘knot’ sure if you’ve seen this amazing photo of a dog face in a plank of wood, but we had to share! http://buff.ly/2lfjhMP
In a seminar at the Toronto Wood Solutions Fair, architect, editor and adjunct professor, Lloyd Alter, discussed the uptick in construction of pre-engineered wood buildings in Canada, and blasted the false claims being made by the steel and concrete industries.
- In response to the argument that wood lacks “the strength or durability for construction applications in major buildings,” Alter referenced the “medieval timber frame structures in Italy that continue to support masonry structures.”
- As to the concrete sector’s argument that wood is a fire hazard; Alter pointed to heavy timber and cross-laminated timber studies which show that the material “does not burn well” because a char layer protects the inner wood. “So if you design the wood for the dimension it needs after it burns,” he said, “it is still just as strong.”
- And contrary to common belief, wood is “favorable to concrete and steel in high-density neighborhoods and infill projects,” says Alter, “because it is quiet, clean and quick to build with fewer trades.” And it requires less complex foundation systems because it is lighter in weight.
Bottom Line: For low-to-midrise buildings, wood has proven itself. And if it is properly designed and properly maintained, “wood can last as long as any concrete building.”
Information source: Daily Commercial News
There’s always something interesting to discover at the Historic Home Show, an annual event in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, dedicated to the restoration, renovation, and furnishing of traditional and historic houses. For me, this year’s find was D.R. Dimes & Company, an exhibitor from Northwood, New Hampshire, that specializes in crafting museum quality reproduction American and, more recently, English furniture in cherry, oak, and tiger maple. Founded in 1964 by Douglas Richard Dimes, and now run by his son, Douglas P. Dimes, the company also makes custom kitchens and built-in cabinetry, crafted to the same high standards as their reproduction furniture. Here are some examples of their splendid work.
The settee, which evolved in the 18th century, is an expanded version of the classic Windsor chair. D.R. Dimes produces several historically informed versions of these two- or three-person seats, but one that particularly appeals to me is their Philadelphia low-back settee, which is copied from an original in Independence Hall. (As a noted authority on Windsor chairs, Douglas R. Dimes had unusually free access to the very finest examples in museums and historical institutions.) Made of cherry, and available in several attractive finishes, the settee’s plain-spoken elegance, beautiful proportions, and compact form make it suitable for today’s residential interiors, even space-challenged ones like my Manhattan apartment.
D.R. Dimes also produces a collection of English-style furniture such as a handsome William & Mary period cabinet that’s been adapted for use as an entertainment center. Available in cherry, oak, or tiger maple, it’s more of a free reinterpretation of the late-17th-century style than an accurate reproduction of a specific historical piece. The cabinet, which has bi-fold doors with raised panels, is mounted on an open stand with carved barely-twist legs—a very characteristic detail of the period—and a pot-board shelf, which could be used for decorative objects or a pair of speakers. With an opening almost four feet wide, the cabinet is large enough for a generous-size HDTV.
In 2005, about the time Douglas P. Dimes took over from his father as president and chief designer, the company expanded its services into the design and construction of custom kitchens and built-in cabinetry. The company has really mastered the art of adapting authentic early American furniture styles for use in modern kitchens. One of their most popular styles is the Lane kitchen, a combination of stained-cherry and white-painted cabinetry that the company first developed on a custom installation. The homeowner, after whom the style is named, worked very closely with the company on the design, which features such distinctive touches as a six-piece corner cupboard and an island that incorporates a turned-leg tavern table.
D.R. Dimes & Company
49 Dimes Road
Northwood, NH 03261
Historic Home Show
Valley Forge Convention Center
1160 First Avenue
King of Prussia, PA 19406
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