Sunday, January 16, 2011

Industrial Design -- Lofty aspirations

Some people are captivated by the idea of a country house, removed from the hustle and bustle of  the modern city. They long for the peace and quite that a only a house on the prairie offers... and some simply don't.

The reality of living in the city is that space is a commodity. (and one which you will pay through the nose for) Yet in every city around the world, there are areas that seem like industrial wast lands. Warehouses once filled, no doubt, with valuable goods, now stand abandoned and unloved like a woman who has taken to growing a beard. The solution. A loft.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Design Study: Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing. Maple syrup. Brown Gravy. Pancake batter. A rancher style house.

 What in the world does the average rancher have in common with these food items. Simple, all ranchers regardless of size, color, or price, are low and spread out. Instead of building up, they build out.

Typically this type of home is more common in the mid west and south portions of the US, due to the lower cost of land. In places along the coasts where land is expensive, homes are built with several floors to give them a spacious interior using a relatively small foot print. A common choice for seniors (it's one level = no stairs) it is also a very cost effective design, featuring simple A-frame roof and and a boxy floor plan.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Design Study: Industrial revenge

It seems that in this day and age of forward thinking and illuminating, revolutionary ideas, the biggest thought amongst designers is that of simplicity. The efficiency of space utilization combined with an externally striking appearance lends the modern neo-industrial design movement a credible, if somewhat imbalanced ideal of what the industrial revolution promised, misplacing any semblance of originality and soul along the way.

Friday, February 19, 2010


This is too much snow...

This is a picture taken in eastern Maryland, after the recent snow storm...

As you can see, not even the National Guard, with their hummers is getting through this street....

I guess we just have to wait for the sun to melt it...sigh.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The magic of snow

I don't know what it is, but snow is like magic... confetti of the gods, if you will. Somthing about it just makes you want to curl up and read a book, sip hot coco, watch a movie, and and generaly become an all-purpose bum.

Snowy day at Java Mama's, a local coffee shop

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


IV Walls has undergone a makeover to allow for larger pictures and a more dynamic appearance. Pictures are now click-able for full resolution photos.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Live like Tarzan -- Tree Homes

For many people, the words 'tree house' bring back fond childhood memories of playing in the back yard, pretending that the tree house was a pirate ship or a fort or even just a private club (no girls allowed!!).

So what happens when we grow up? We forget how to imagine. We force ourselves to be serious, when all we really want, is the whimsy and fun of being a child. I present you with an elegant solution, a tree house. No, not some shack in one of your back yard trees, I mean a real home... in a tree. 10 Cool tree houses after the jump...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Drink the kool-aid: Mortgage Matters

Today in our first instalment of Drink the Kool-Aid, we discuse the current hot topic in the housing market: Should homeowners default on their mortgage just because they feel uncomfortable with the tyer,ms of the loan?

As always there are to sides to every story...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Haiti -- Bad day

Until now, this blog has centered mostly around faboulouse homes and luxury accesories for the modern age homeowner.

A taste of reality then. As of this moment, there are at least 2 million people who are now COMPLETELY HOPELESSLY HOMELESS due to the massive earthquakes in Haiti. But you knew that.Guess what. Most people don't care. They just don't. It hit me as I was reading a news article published by the Guardian. On one side of the page, pictures of devastation and of people who looked absolutely miserable. The other side? An advert for a $100k Lexus . I'm sorry, have you gone mad?! I know what your thinking. Your saying, 'Joel, common now, everyone's gotta pay their bills, no sense in getting upset over an advert.' But you see it more than that.

Im not upset about the advert, its rather ironic placment, or even about the car itself. I firmly belive that if you have the means to surround yourself with nice things then you should. Life should be enjoyed. What I take issue with is the flippant attitude that many (most?) people take to human suffering. They justify their actions by assuming there is nothing they can do, so why bother even thinking about it. They hear the news and say things like, 'oh thats terrible,' or, 'those poor, poor people,' all the while sipping some sort of artificialy flavored $5 coffee drink. In the time it takes them to finish that frappy-latte-mocha-chino that they're drinking, the sufferings of other human beings will have all but vanished from their thoughts. That is what makes me upset.

So the next time you hear about tropical storms in Florida, tsunamies in India, gurrilla wars in latin america, hunger and poverty in southern africa.... Remember, these are people, just like you. They cry the same tears and share the same love as you do. The only diffrence is that they are there, and you are here. So at the very least, as we go through our day, we should remember that, there are people who are less fortunate.

Haiti Disaster:
National Palace before and after

Monday, January 18, 2010


Bold is living like few others would dare:

Monday, January 11, 2010

So you bit off more than you could chew...

After a nice relaxing week end, you arrive at work Monday morning as usual. You park your (insert high-zoot brand here) in its usual spot, a space reserved just for you. The elevator ride up to your office is uneventful. The elevator doors open, revealing the spacious reception area. Except that Patty, the receptionist isn't at her desk. Hey isn't that Mr. Caluham, the district manager? Whats he doing here? The news comes soon enough. Sober faced, your DM explaines to the small group of emplyeees gathered in the reception area that the company has entered bankrupcy proceedings. You have 30 minututes to remove your personal belongings from your desk.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dude! Thats a big house!

It has recently come to my attention that there are people who, so far as I can see, get paid to walk around Hollywood and generally make a mess of things, mostly their lives. They spend their time going on talk shows and pretending to avoid photographers when they go to the corner store for milk. But that's neither here nor there. I'm talking about celebrities.

Trivial as their lives may seem, the homes they inhabit most certainly are not. Five exapmles of extravagance after the jump
 Pictured: Antonio Bandera's home in Miami