Architect Changes His Spots

leopardI’ve heard a leopard cannot change his spots, but an architect can change the color of his house. I don’t know where the leopard idiom originated, but I know where the architect phrase originated. It’s an absolute in every architect-designed home, every architect-remodeled home and every home an architect ever lived in. Our architect-designed and architect-inhabited home is no exception. After five years of living, WishingRock is slowly changing colors like the seasons. Continue reading

Cold Nights, Warm Dog — The Storm

Warm PuppyHappiness is a warm puppy…at least that’s what Charles Schultz indicated in his famous Peanuts comic in reference to Snoopy the eccentric beagle, who behaved more human than canine. Arguably, Snoopy was the most popular Peanuts character and was also my favorite even though I look more like Charlie Brown.  We have our resident character Hershey, the precocious labmaraner, and she makes Snoopy’s antics look bland. They are both dogs, they play on top of their houses, they carry their water bowl and they are omnivores, but the similarities end there. Snoopy is more resilient than Hershey. Even the changing seasons that normally persuade us to change our dress and a few habits don’t interrupt Hershey’s perpetual ambition to live life her way. When the weather turns cold we invite Hershey to sleep in her crate and we place it in the entry so she’ll be warm. Most outdoor dogs would be thrilled spending the night indoors, but our dog had other ideas.

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Natural Space — Outdoor Spaces

outdoor_livingOne of the exercises I use to understand a new home project is an Area-Activity-Adjacency matrix. This simple table helps me understand the home size and function. It’s a four column table. The first column is Space, the second is Area, column three is Activity and column four is Adjacency. I ask the client to list all desired spaces in the Space column, objects stored or used in the space in the Area column, activities in each space in column three and which spaces connect to others in the Adjacency column. It’s incredibly simple, provides great insight into someone’s home and helps me get started. Well, I applied the same concept to my outdoor spaces at WishingRock and like the result. Continue reading

Sustainable Patio — Green Idea

rrr+patioI’m trying hard to practice what I preach, but it’s not easy being green. What I mean is I work hard to be green, live green and help my clients do the same. When we built this home we employed green ideas and we emphasized the same philosophy for our follow-on projects —  dog pen, address sign, landscape and driveway. Our philosophy is to reuse native or local material, preserve natural areas and conserve resources. Each project cost us more than a traditional project, but knowing we tried and succeeded makes it worth it. Our latest green project endeavor is our sustainable grill/patio — a friendly outdoor area designed to conserve material and preserve the natural environment. Continue reading