Monthly Archives: March 2014

New Ranch House, New Fire Pits

Lining Up with the View

Houseplans.com’s architect Nicholas Lee recently gave me a tour of his most recent design, a contemporary 4 bedroom ranch house built on a 2+ acre site in Sonoma, California. As you can see, the single story house is long and

carriger exterior view

linear and offers views east to the Mayacamas Range and west to Sonoma Mountain. The newly planted rows of saplings and sweet peas reinforce the farmhouse/ranch house esthetic.  Huge picture windows flanking the fireplace  Continue reading

Walking On Wine: Mondavi Floor Boards

It’s All in the Oak

At the Home Builder Show in Las Vegas I met winemaker Rob Mondavi, Jr. (grandson of the legendary founder of Napa’s Mondavi Winery) and his wife Lydia, who are launching a new venture in partnership with Georgia-based Authentic Reclaimed Pine Floors this spring. The name of the product is “Barrel Reserve,” which refers not to a chardonnay blend, but to the wood that might have encased it. The limited edition interior wood floor collection is made from Continue reading

Road Testing Your New Home

Try Before You Buy or Build!

Syndicated Washington Post real estate columnist Katherine Salant recently gave an insightful talk to our Houseplans.com office about how she “road-tested” two developer homes. This is a splendid idea — contemporary cultural anthropology in action, and it reprises a field work technique she developed in Nepal while living with families and village architecture.  She lived with a family at Libertyville, Illinois, in the new School Street community of row houses. And she  spent several days and nights in the model unit of a townhouse development in Mosaic District, near Washington, D. C. Her revelations are fascinating.

At School Street, she found that there was a strong sense of community even though the development was very new; that every owner wanted his or her own Continue reading