Monthly Archives: December 2012

Cool Cabins, Hot Rooms

Let It Snow — Or Not

After all the feasting it’s time for a change of pace and some fresh air for the new year, so here are two innovative and unusual mountain cabins by Seattle architect Tom Lenchek and his firm Balance Associates, to whet your appetite for an architectural escape. Let’s start with Tom’s own retreat near the

Methow Valley in eastern Washington. The strong shed roof profile matches the slope of the site. Inside, a dramatic double height great room rises from a glass Continue reading

Build Our Sea Ranch-Inspired Gingerbread House

Edible Architecture

To celebrate the holidays we decided to make a gingerbread house based on our exclusive and historic Plan 447-1 by William Turnbull, which was originally designed as a cottage for The Sea Ranch, the famous second home community on the Northern California coast. Here it is — the simple gable roof (standing seam

metal out of royal icing) and porch evoke the quintessential mountain cabin. Snow on the doorstep (more royal icing) indicates an unusual weather event for the Sea Ranch and the chocolate mint pathway pavers and gumdrop shrubs give new meaning to the term “edible landscape.” The view below shows how the Continue reading

How We Live At Home

Everybody’s in the Kitchen

It’s just as we suspected — when we’re at home we spend most of our time in the kitchen and family room. Now there is documentation to back up that assumption, along with this compelling diagram, thanks to a fascinating new

study by the Center on Everyday Lives at the University of California at Los  Continue reading

Diane Keaton, Design Books, and Toy Blocks

Five New Architecture and Design Books for your Holiday List

‘Tis the season to give architecture — as literature, I mean. Here’s a quick roundup of titles to consider for the design buff on your list.

Actor’s Equity. Stimulating the architectural imagination through playing with basic forms — the toy block approach! —  is the theme of actress Diane Keaton’s

beautiful new book House (Rizzoli, 2012). It’s a lavish and mesmerizing Continue reading