Real Rooms

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Lots ‘o Video of the 2008 Dwell NextHouse, Silicon Valley


Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali
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So, you are still dwelling (ha!) on the fact that you missed the open house for the 2008 Dwell Home in Mountain View, yeah? Well, dwell no further. Kohler’s snazzy video team created a dozen or so videos featuring all the design elements of the space including discussion from the owners of the home as well as lead designer, Sally Kuchar. There are 13 videos in all (yes, I’ve watched every second of them!) so you can get a solid sense for what the place looked like in March.

While doing so keep an eye out for guest appearances from some of our DP products…a.k.a. 0.00125 seconds of fame for the Blu Dot Animal Sofa, the Fatboy room, a Zid Zid poof, Blu Dot D2 Utility Shelving, Amenity pillows, upper playground pillows, k studio pillows, a STAACH table and chairs, among others…

Here are a few of my favorite flicks:

“How all the cooks in the kitchen created a unified look”…

and…the “unique spaces” feature:

View all of the Kohler videos and check out our Flickr group of still images.


Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

A Green Remodel: Making a Cottage Modern


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky



Hello, Cottage Living, are you reading?  When I missed my flight on Sunday I really lucked out. My friends Sophie and Kent offered me shelter in the 1940’s cottage they have been lovingly modernizing for many months. Circa 200 years ago, their neighbors would have been Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, as it is located between Monticello and Ash Lawn. It is truly one of the most beautiful spots around Charlottesville. It sits between the flood plain of Houchens Creek and beautiful woods, and when you look in out from the back, you can spy neighboring cows. Sophie and Kent are two of my pals from grad school. Kent has his Masters in Urban Planning and both of them have Masters in Landscape Architecture. Kent also has lots of experience in construction with a focus on green building, and Sophie is a kick-ass fiddler and gardener.

I wish I had some interior before pictures to show you, but unfortunately, they no longer exist. The space shown below used to be four dark, cramped rooms: A kitchen, a dining room, a bedroom and a bathroom.  S & K ripped the whole thing open and installed all new windows, which are all Low E, argon-filled sashes. The ceilings, once low and dark, were ripped out, and now they are 10′ high. The beams were restored from the original structure. The space is so peaceful and sunny that I felt like I was in one of the charming chapels that dot the landscape in the country around Charlottesville.

A very small addition that accommodates a new bathroom was added to the house’s original 840 square feet (it’s on the right side of the exterior “AFTER” photo). The floors are reclaimed heart pine, and all of the poplar siding and trim came from the Appalachian Sustainable Development mills in southwest Virginia, all of it harvested from certified-sustainable wood lots in the southern Appalachians.

I love that they used an antique dresser for storage in the bathroom:

Formerly an unused attic, Sophie and Kent opened up to the roofline and created an upstairs loft. Yours truly was not feeling confident about scaling the ladder after two margaritas, but I could see from below that it  added a lot of usable space to the house:

Here are a few more sweet nuggets:

There is a real nature study aesthetic all around the house:

While all of the walls are crisp and white, S & K’s careful editing of antiques, oriental rugs, artwork and objects add so much warmth to the modern space.

Curious about that lamp? The lovely and talented Christina Michas made the gorgeous shade for them as a wedding gift:

The house is still a work in progress, but I kind of dig these little traces of it:

To read more about the project, check out Strata Projects Design.


Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Ali moved!


Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali

I’m in! I moved! I know there is major love right now for small spaces and I do appreciate how small places limit your material world to only the items you need/love, but I have to admit that having a bit more leg room feels really really good. I have to go against the norm, right?! The biggest factor for me was having a photography business in addition to trying to live in a 502 sq ft cozy corner with odd angles (and two people). The photo gear became a third wheel/roommate.

Anyhow, I managed to throw out my back on after lifting the fourth box that I packed (weak!) so the rest of the weekend was super slow going, but we had amazing movers who piled the heaviest boxes on top of one another and carried them away without breaking more than two sweat drops (per square centimeter). We’ve been in the space for a week and three days now and still have a lot to unpack (which is why I have not shared many photos yet), but I’ve actually had a little fun living amongst the boxes…take a look (and crank up your volume!):

A couple of folks inquired about the general floor plan of the living space so I drafted a very basic layout (I am not an architect or graphic designer, unfortunately). If you have ideas as to how I could arrange things, have at it! So far we have gone through three different setups and liked them all for different reasons. I promise to post more photos next week so you can get a better sense as to what I am really working with. Until then, use your imagination!


Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Ali is moving and needs your support


Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali

I am moving to a new space and I know I am going to need some mental support. I know, people move every day so it is not a big deal, but because moving is such a source of stress I think there should be a support group out there to help us who are feeling crazed (as I am). I’ve been bugging the folks in my office about the move for long enough that I now need a new outlet (aka the blog and you!).

The move is a totally great thing as we’ll be upgrading from 502 square feet to nearly 1200 square feet, but when you go from a cozy small craftsman style apartment to a spacious loft the headache in figuring out how best to use the space (let alone the moving process) is a little overwhelming.

Here is a photo of the space from the loft/bedroom area:

Ali\'s loft

To give you an idea as to what I am working with

  • It is a corner unit so there are two walls of windows.
  • The red industrial beam going across the theater curtains is about 17 feet high from the floor. From floor to ceiling we’re talking about 30+ feet.
  • The theater curtains (although not the most attractive) are staying which while keeping the sun out of our eyes also saves us from paying $283795729385 for fabric.
  • The floor space in the living area is huge…I am Read the rest of this entry »

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Clean House: A Green Nursery


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

I think Niecy Nash is hilarious. Thus, I find myself getting sucked into the show she hosts, Clean House, all the time. This week they featured a couple who wanted a green nursery for their baby. After some soul-searching, the mother-to-be finally gave in and sold the nursery furniture at the garage sale in exchange for green nursery furniture by Oeuf. In these days of green-washing, I wanted to let you know what makes Oeuf furniture green. I will use the Oeuf Classic Crib to show you the considerations a designer takes into account when manufacturing an eco-friendly piece of furniture:

First of all, the crib can be transformed into a toddler bed with an additional kit. It’s able to transform to meet lifestyle needs and changes, thus making it a product you can use longer and in different ways. Oeuf furniture is designed to be used after a nursery is no longer necessary:

Second, The birch used in the base is from certified sustainable forests.

Third, the sides, footboard and headboard are all cut from single sheets of wood panel which is eco-friendly MDF made of recovered wood fibers – to eliminate the hazard of loosening joints.

Fourth, the lacquer used on the finished products is, of course, lead-free, non-toxic, and completely inert.In addition to being eco-friendly, non-toxic lacquer is what you want to have if your youngster decides to try to chomp his/her way out of the crib bars!

To check out the entire Oeuf line, click here.

If you have completed an eco-friendly home project, please leave a comment and tell us about it!

top two photos from the style network