19 Aug 2010

Landscaping: Set the Tone

My sense is that landscaping is often an after-thought while building a home. At least that’s what I’ve heard from lots of people who seem to run out of budget by the time exterior decisions come around.

We’re trying to think about landscaping now – not just because it will be a lot harder to get materials to the back of the house as things progress, but also because I think the all of these exterior details will set the tone for the rest of the house.

No great surprise, but I gravitate towards simple, clean lines for landscaping elements. Nothing fancy. Some fresh cut grass (or even just gravel) and square edges as seen below:

Above: Photograph by Scott Frances
Below: Photograph by Anson Smart
Below: Design by landscape architect Andrea Cochran
Below: Design by Foras Studio
Below: Landscaping by Jack Merlo Design
Below: Court Square Press Building, Boston, MA. Design by Landworks Studio, Inc. Photograph by Eric Roth,
Below: Photograph by Roger Davies

16 Aug 2010

Details: Interior Door Hardware

Time to pick some door handles. We’re going for levers. The pieces below are my top choices:

Below: FSB is a German company that I first learned about through Remodelista. I particularly like their Mortise Lever Entry Set – FSB 1108 model and the 1021 model.


Below: Omnia Industries 12/00 Lever and 43/00 Lever. A solid, more affordable option.

Below: Colombo MD11 door lever

Below: Basics Lever Handle by Ize. Ize is a London-based company striving to bring an architectural edge to everyday design. They have a beautiful collection of products.

Below: Nanz 2110 door lever

And…to throw in one knob option, Nanz has an interesting alternative to the common rounded handle with their 1903 model.

13 Aug 2010

Details: Door Trim

I did a posting a little while back on baseboard trim. I probably should have looked at door frames at that time as well. But I got sidetracked by our walk-in-closet. Can you blame me?

Trim and jamb details aren’t exactly glamourous, but they do make a difference. I’m gravitating towards frameless doors, but I’m discovering that “less is in fact more.” That is, dry-wall reveal details are seriously expensive. Go figure. You’d think that getting rid of material would save you some costs, but nope…the added labour adds up.

I’m still looking into this – so I’m not going to write it off just yet. In the mean time, I’ll share some photos of various options.

Below: Dry-wall reveal care of architect Gregory Phillips
Below: Frameless door trim by Feldman Architects. Bottom photo from Dwell Magazine. I quite like the dark edges in both photos.
Below: Frameless door with dark oak door care of Oomen Architecten
Below: There are lots of other elements in this photo that might catch your eye before the door frame, or lack there-of, but here’s another frameless look.
Below: If we do decide to add a frame around the door, there’s no reason it has to be white. Look how nice it can look with some added dark wood detail. Photo from Design Crisis.

10 Aug 2010

Home Office: Storage

As much as I can’t stand packing up and moving, it’s always a good time to purge and get organized. I could use some help from some storage items like these:

Below: Upright Archival Storage Box ($29.99) and Stockholm Storage Boxes (Starting at $7.99) from The Container Store.

Below: Kolo makes beautiful products. I believe their collections are really designed to display and store photographs, but why not use some of their boxes in an office space? Havana collection starting at $30.

Below: Craft Box from Muji. Their products are not entirely accessible in Canada, but I get my fix at the Soho store in NYC. Muji makes such simple, no fuss, beautifully designed products.

Below: At $2.99 a piece, you can’t go wrong with Ikea’s Flyt Magazine File Boxes or check out their Strikt Magazine Files. $11.99 for a set of 2.

Below: Ordning&Reda is one of my favourite paper shops. Sadly they don’t have any locations in North America, but it’s the kind of store that makes me instantly happy whenever I have the good fortune of stumbling across one.