Browse Month: September 2020

Honoring the Past in an 1891 Queen Anne

It requires a specific mix of skill and compromise to turn a really old house to something warm and inviting while preserving the original charm and character. Jean-Marc Bourgouin and Kathleen McCormack have just this particular talent. On top of being built in 1891, their Queen Anne–style home in Astoria, Oregon, came with bamboo flooring from the 1920s or 1930s, a 1950s stove and original windows that appeared to allow all of the warmth out and invite each of the chilly in.

Bourgouin and McComack, that are both in the restaurant industry, kept the house mostly undamaged, adding furniture in the late 1800s, an exterior paint colour that matches the original and vibrant interior paint. The end result is a lively house brimming with both modern character and old-world allure.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Kathleen McCormack and Jean-Marc Bourgouin, plus cats Brian and Isabelle
Location: Astoria, Oregon
Size: 1,350 square feet plus basement; 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
That is intriguing: This home was built with planks. In late-1800s and early-1900s Astoria, only the wealthy built their homes with plaster.

Kimberley Bryan

Like most homes in Astoria, Bourgouin and McCormack’s Queen Anne–style home perches on a sloped hill while nestling to the bottom of yet another hill, affording them a theater-seating perspective toward the majestic Columbia River.

“Astoria was always a functioning town. Being on the lake, it was a fish-processing town,” Bourgouin states. It was a hardworking location that, after World War II, was seriously economically depressed. “After the war, homeowners didn’t have the money to work in their homes or rip them down and build new,” he continues. “That is why so many homes, like ours, have kept so a lot of their original components.”

Paint: Rematch B30.5 Cly22 E2y9.5 Ky7y33, Pratt & Lambert

Kimberley Bryan

The majority of the couple’s artwork came from local artists or garage or estate sales. “There is no subject,” says McCormack. “We have artwork piled up, waiting to get on the wall. It’s our own way of expressing what speaks to us”

Sofa: Ethan Allen; bench: Scan House; coffee table: Rosewood, Scan Design

Kimberley Bryan

A glass-front cupboard displays enamel and silver–Russian Revolution pieces McCormack has accumulated since childhood.

Kimberley Bryan

An early-1950s O’Keefe & Merritt stove takes centre stage in the kitchen.

Kimberley Bryan

Nearby an English walnut washstand in the late 1800s sits under a wall of vintage pictures and needlepoint. The large, framed news article over the washstand is signed by Julia Child, who spent a day at the French Culinary Institute while McCormack was a pupil.

Kimberley Bryan

An 1880s walnut and burled maple hutch commands one facet of the kitchen and provides a stark contrast to the modern appliances in the laundry area, which was originally a sunporch added on the home in the early 1900s.

Kimberley Bryan

Bourgouin built the bathtub and shower surround to help divide the space within the small bathroom. Care was taken to match the look and texture of the house’s molding. The vibrant turquoise at the bathroom “is a color we made up,” says McCormack.

Kimberley Bryan

Painted fir stairs decorated with glass jars lead to the house’s second-story hallway plus a 1920s English Victrola cupboard. Original windows offer generous doses of mild “but no heating,” states Bourgouin. “The original windows are all beautiful, but they do allow in the cold”

Rug: Paulsons Fine Floor Coverings

Kimberley Bryan

Bourgouin removed the door of the principal bedroom cupboard to expand the room and make a sitting space. The vanity is made from birdseye maple. The molding on the slanted ceilings is original.

Chairs: J.L. Moller, Scan Design

Kimberley Bryan

Even though the measurements of the rooms are comparatively small, architectural treats such as this view of diminishing rectangles created by the bedroom, sitting area and bathroom doorways help pull the eye through the spaces.

Kimberley Bryan

The enclosed front entry is a protected spot for enjoying the views.

Kimberley Bryan

Built with the help of a friend, the back deck benefit from one of the sunniest areas of the property. The very clear roofing lets the light while providing much-needed protection from the rain, where Astoria receives 100 inches a year. Alongside the deck, a salvaged bathtub provides a raised bed for vegetable and herb starters.

Kimberley Bryan

Bourgouin and McCormack, shown here, made a collection of small, intimate outdoor spaces. This patio is just one of many areas nestled in the yard; the patio was created by Bourgouin of vintage brick.

Kimberley Bryan

When removing a false wall for a cupboard, the couple discovered a photo of the house’s background: seven layers of background and an original square-head nail. The ninth or eighth owners of the house, they keep the piece in storage.

“It’s fascinating to learn the background of your own home … the way that it had been home to others before you, also,” McCormack says. “It’s a means of sharing one another’s personal histories”

Kimberley Bryan

A year following the homeowners moved, they purchased the adjacent 15,000-square-foot lot. Once a dumping ground of sorts for both previous homeowners and many others, the yard is now a serene space full of towering deciduous trees and a garden. “I grow chamomile, parsley, chives, mint, strawberries, potatoes and fava beans,” says McCormack. “We get too many herbs and just enough potatoes and fava beans for us”

Kimberley Bryan

The couple created a meditation space with a rustic bench made from salvaged timber from the dockworks at the riverfront.

Kimberley Bryan

This chair, painted by artist Karen Bain, seems to hold a towering rustic birdhouse.

See more photographs of this dwelling | Show us your diverse home!

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Guest Picks: Beautiful Wire

Wirework has a lengthy history in homewares. From the humble beginnings as a means to repair precious broken pottery in 17th-century Slovakia, it gradually spread through Europe, thanks to itinerant tinkers whose clever hands created a massive collection of household items from the very simple material. Nowadays, the flexibility and strength of wire attracts modern designers who reveal the same imagination in their work as those drifting craftsmen from long ago. Here are a few inspiring vintage and modern examples of wonderful wire.
— Lori from automatism

John Lyle Design

Vestal Fire Screen

I adore the hip midcentury vibe of the Vestal fire screen by John Lyle. An intricately designed bronze sculpture instead of wire work, its great style would work well with any modern space.

Cox & Cox

Wire Mail Box – GBP 15.50

Even bills would look good in this pretty mail box from Cox & Cox. Use it in your front door to catch the mail when it is delivered, or on your desk to arrange the paperwork.


Moooi Carbon Chair – CAD 1,102

Produced in 2004 by Bertjan Pot and Marcel Wanders for Moooi, the Carbon Chair’s utilization of carbon fiber emptied in epoxy resin not only makes it strong and light, but convenient for both indoor and outdoor usage.

Cox & Cox

Bird Cages – GBP 65

This pair of birdcages would look equally as good with a little felt bird or plant indoors because it might with the real thing. Though I believe I enjoy it even more as a way to display art, as shown here.

Herman Miller

Eames Wire Side Chair – $1,399

The classic Wire Side Chair, designed in 1951 by Charles and Ray Eames, is a showcase for the versatility of cable. Both strong and lightweight, it seems as good now as it did back then. It’s offered in a choice of seat and back cushions.


Petra Pendant Lamp – $449

Add a warm glow to your dining or living room using all the Petra Pendant Lamp, handmade from iron wire finished with an antiqued copper patina. I adore its organic modern layout.

Cox & Cox

Wire Wall Rack – GBP 60

I adore the prettiness of this wall stand from Cox & Cox. And its size makes it perfect for adding storage to a strange corner in the kitchen, bathroom or home office.


Vintage Four Bottle Wine Carrier By Vintage French Linens – $75

This charming French classic wine bottle carrier will tote four bottles of classic bubbly in style — a good housewarming party gift.

West Elm

Wire Lanterns – $19

I adore the simple clean lines of these outside lanterns from West Elm. They create a pretty way to add light to a day on the patio or a midnight dip in the pool.


Alessi Nuvem Round Wire Basket – CAD 110

I really like the loose, scribbly look of this wire basket, with its playful relaxed vibe. Great for showing fruit onto a modern table.


Vintage Wire Basket By Experimental Vintage

Here is a vintage wire egg basket which would look equally as fine storing veggies, fruit or a small assortment of, say, classic wooden spools.

Design Within Reach

Bertoia Asymmetric Chaise With Seat Pad – $6,689

Produced by Harry Bertoia over 50 years ago for Knoll, the Bertoia Asymmetric Chaise remained a prototype before 2005, when Knoll introduced it into production. I really like the free form sculptural shape of this piece; it is a work of art as much as it is chairs.


Vintage Wire Frame Lampshade Photo Screen By Crimson Truck Designs – $25

That is such a clever way to use a classic lampshade frame — though its pretty shape would look equally as good covered with fabric.


Wire Hanger From Areaware – $49

Inspired by the form of the timeless hanger, the Wire Hanger by Areaware is a fantastic way to organize odds and ends from the hallway, office or other areas where space is at a premium.


Vintage Wire Magazine Rack From msmichiganroux – $32

I adore the simplicity of this midcentury wire magazine rack, along with its own golden tone adds a touch of glam. It would be a fantastic choice for exhibiting your prettiest inside design magazines.

MoMA Store

Photo Mobile – $14

Produced by Will van den Bos in 2003, the Photo Mobile is a lively way to display favorite photos, postcards and art by the youngsters. I really like how it’s an ever-changing cosmetic element.

Clayton Gray Home

Entrelace Modern Hanging Chandelier Light – $265

Made in the intertwined nest of aluminum cable, the Entrelace Chandelier includes a beautiful scribbly quality to it rather like a Ronald Searle drawing.

Contemporary Storage And Organization – CAD 395

Add a touch of country chic to your home with all the Three-Tier Chicken Weave Rack from Black Rooster Decor. Not only can it be pretty, but it is also a clever way to add storage to a space without the majority.

Haus Interior

Wire Book Holder – $12

Display your funniest novels or photos on this very simple book holder out of Haus Interior. I adore its industrial, handmade look.

The Conran Shop

Baffling Wire Puzzles Game – GBP 11.95

Give family game night a twist and take turns learning the secret of this traditional disentanglement game. A charming reproduction of a classic set, the collection includes 12 cable puzzles in a gorgeous retro packaging.

Next: 18 Great Midcentury Modern Chairs

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What All About?

How do you tell the difference between homes that look environmentally friendly and ones who actually are? Home certifications can help. Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is just one certification that aids all sectors of the home-building sector use a few of the best methods of sustainable construction and design.

Your first two concerns about certification are likely to be, “What’s in it for me? And “How much is this going to cost?” Let’s take a look at some of the fundamentals.

Butler Armsden Architects

Advantages of LEED Certification

The advantages touch everyone involved. For the homeowner a voluntary certification like LEED for homes increases accountability for quality checks on the building site, therefore decreasing the frequency of costly mistakes. Additionally, as stated by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED-certified homes use on typical 20 to 30 percent less electricity and water, with a few homes consumed to 60 percent less energy use than a house built to meet code minimums.

In addition to the decrease in monthly utility bills, many cities and states have tax breaks and incentives for environmentally friendly construction. While the LEED rating itself doesn’t address individual incentives, the requirements often predominate. In Reality, the U.S. Department of Energy includes a searchable Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. You and your project team can appear federal and state incentives to present your budget a little boost.

Finally, if you ever need to sell your house, you can request a higher price to get a LEED house than comparable homes on the marketplace. 1 study in California, for example, revealed an 8 to 9 percent increase in the market value of green-certified homes.

Meanwhile, any builders wanting to put themselves apart should consider learning how to construct based on LEED requirements. Most agree that there is a steep learning curve, however using over 100,000 home units certified from the U.S. (and a lot more from the pipeline), it could set an experienced business even farther apart from the audience or help a new company jump ahead. The same holds for designers who wish to show clients that they may be creative even in environmental parameters.

Prices of LEED Certification

It is hard to pinpoint an exact percentage increase in building costs that you will probably see with a LEED house. It depends on what you’re comparing it to. Within an apples-to-apples comparison using a high quality, uncertified construction that follows best-practice guidelines, the cost difference is hardly noticeable: maybe 2 to 5% higher).

In a comparison with the normal house on the marketplace that just meets the minimum construction codes (apples to apples in this little fruit metaphor), the percentage would be far higher: maybe 20 percent.

By earning points in eight classes, the finished house can reach these ratings:
Platinum (90 into 136 points)Gold (75 to 89 points)Silver (60 to 74 points)Certified (45 to 59 points)Whether you’re in the market for a LEED house or trying to build yourself, understanding what goes into these scoring categories can help you formulate your queries for your real estate agent or home builder.

1. Innovation and Design Process (ID)

Points available: 11

Points earned for: making certain that the residence is sustainable, durable and cost efficient, using a well-rounded approach into the layout.

Items to keep in mind: This category of credits is meant to see if you truly mean it if you truly wish to create a sustainable house or if you are just searching for a quick certification. The lesson: Plan early and strategy often. You need to get your project team to the same webpage when possible and make sure that every professional involved is willing to use the best approaches, instead of the easiest methods.

The design of your house should be integrated with the choice of your group. It should take into consideration the path of the sun and the use of solar heat to reduce intake. The house also needs to be durable and high quality, not only to continue you through time, but also to offer a good foundation for all of the future of construction technology may hold.

2. Location and Linkages (LL)

Points available: 10

Points earned for: Selecting a sustainable place for your house. To be really green, you must try to use an present infrastructure.

Items to keep in mind: Urban infill projects located near transport, services and public parks are the perfect candidates for this. This doesn’t mean that your countryside cabin can not be LEED certified; you might need to work harder in different areas to acquire enough points.

The simplest way to earn points within this class is by buying land in an already certified LEED neighborhood.

Natural Balance Home Builders

3. Sustainable Sites (SS)

Factors available:
25 (minimum of 5 required)
Points earned for: Managing the impact of the building process and landscaping on your bit of property and neighboring surroundings.

Items to keep in mind: There is a 5-point minimum necessity for this section, because the sustainability of a house doesn’t stop at the walls. To reduce your environmental footprint, you’ll need to check out your whole parcel of property and even beyond. Your building team will need to correctly control erosion and storm water runoff to reduce the down the stream impact of construction activities. Additionally, your landscaping can’t include any crops that are considered invasive in your area.

To earn points in this class, your layout needs to consider everything from landscaping to pest control. As an example, you can earn points by employing drought-tolerant plants and using permeable paving methods to allow rainwater to filter naturally through the ground. You can also use innovative technologies like green roofs (sometimes called living roofs) to raise the amount of green area on a small lot.

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

4. Water Efficiency (WE)

Points available:
15 (minimum of 3 required)

Points earned for: Conserving and using less water in and about the house.

Items to keep in mind: This class is rather straightforward. However, you do need to reach three or more points. There are numerous easy fixes you can pursue, such as low-flow bathrooms and energy-rated appliances. Harvesting rainwater and with different sources of recycled water are rewarded, as is landscaping that has low irrigation demands (for example, it uses native plants adapted to your climate).

For a comprehensive list of products that meet the guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for water efficiency, such as fittings like taps and showerheads, check out its Water Sense site.

South Park Design Build

5. Energy and Atmosphere (EA)

Points available: 38

Points earned for: Building a more efficient residence, which absorbs cleaner and less energy.

Items to keep in mind: This really is one of the most complex classes, using a number of options for pursuing credit points and many mandatory measures. By way of example, all homes must meet the minimal requirements of Energy Star. Beyond this your project group can assess the energy efficiency of your designed home in a number of ways, such as the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) or Title 24 Energy Code if you’re located in California.

The objective of the section is basically to predict how energy efficient your house will be, based on factors such as insulation, air filtration, windows, heating and cooling, hot water, lighting, refrigerants and renewables.

The major question here is cost. Designing for exceptional energy performance requires an increase in building costs relative to a ordinary home. More insulation and higher-quality windows may take their toll on the total budget. Many LEED-certified homes achieve their evaluations by picking up points in different categories and skimping on this one. The added costs of the class are also highly determined by your local climate. By way of example, in hot and humid locations, good dehumidification can lessen the cost of cooling your home.

Keep this in mind whenever you’re interviewing builders or looking at licensed houses. On completed constructions, it could be worth it to look at the individual score from 38 points within such a credits. The long-term impact of an efficient house could be more significant to the utility-paying homeowner compared to cost-cutting builder. But keep in mind that no two homes are the same, and no two builders. So it’s always best to have a full understanding of the pros and cons of investing in your home’s energy efficiency given that your particular climate.

KW Designs

6. Materials and Resources (MR)

Points available: 16 (minimum of 2 required)

Points earned for: Reducing the demand of fresh materials and minimizing waste.

Items to keep in mind: This group of credits often gets a whole lot of attention from homeowners interested in recycled rugs and sustainably harvested wood flooring. While environmentally preferable products are surely part of the section, there is also a strong focus on resources and materials utilized in the practice of construction.

Two from the 3 main categories of credits in this class address building waste. From the standard American construction industry, one of the largest waste elements is discarded framing material. According to the National Resources Defense Council, the financial motivation to reduce wasted framing substance is notable, even on an individual-home basis.

South Park Design Build

7. Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ)

Factors available: 21 (minimum of 6 required)

Points earned for: developing a healthy and comfortable indoor environment whilst managing pollutants correctly.

Items to keep in mind: That is another big category, covering the general sustainability of the job. The way that you manage the air you breathe in your house can have enormous effects on your general health and comfort. This implies, for example, choosing a fireplace that seals closed and paying special attention to bathroom and kitchen exhaust systems. Some other simple fixes to help improve indoor air quality are to maintain garages detached and to install shoe-scrubbing mats at entryways.

Like other classes, this set of credits can be addressed by participating in a parallel program — in this instance the EPA’s airPLUS program.

We often inquire about natural venting: “When I open up my windows, won’t I’ve healthy indoor atmosphere” Well, it depends on where you reside. Naturally occurring pollens, levels of humidity in certain climates and pollutants out of neighboring constructions may still affect your health. Mechanical ventilation and filtration may be a good means to ensure high quality indoor atmosphere.

Ltd, Camery Hensley Construction

8. Awareness and Education (AE)

Factors available: 3

Points earned for: Educating the homeowners and passing knowledge about sustainable house construction.

Items to keep in mind: A sustainably designed house has limited effect in case you don’t know how to use it. As with any other product, your house should include a user’s manual. Responsible owners of LEED-certified homes know how the path of the sun affects the heat advantage in their house, understand the significance of a durability checklist and also understand the need to be familiarized with their house’s systems.

For another credit, you may then “pay it forward” by passing that knowledge and information on to other people.

Are you considering building an LEED-certified house? Please tell us in the Comments.

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