Tuesday, April 29, 2014

This Is Murdock Solon Architects

The High Line

If you are not familiar with the High Line,  R.J. Diaz has a video explaining the history. My wife walked the High Line the last time she was in New York City with New Yorker Kathy DeJardin and was very enthusiastic about the experience.

Mike just posted this article on Integrity Contracting's website: This Is Murdock Solon Architects

Monday, April 28, 2014

Where to Splurge, Where to Save in Your Remodel

Uttermost Videos

Uttermost has added videos about their products. You can see all of them here.

Walnut Is Back

Vicki Payne, host and producer of “For Your Home,” acknowledges something today that has been coming on for about two years: Walnut is back!

"Here’s the latest example of a trend bounce: Walnut was once the wood of choice for many woodworkers but fell out of favor with designers and decorators for the past 40 years. Now it’s back again, big-time."

Here's two Bernhardt's in a walnut finish:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Two Firms in Oregon Win High Honors

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected winners of the 2014 COTE Top Ten Awards.

Two firms in Oregon made the top ten. They are:

Friday, April 18, 2014

Two Great Questions To Ask

I was checking out Renovating NYC and came across this re-post from Raina Cox, an Interior Designer based in Colorado titled "Is your client really ready? 5 questions you need to ask." I've lots of reasons for hiring an interior designer and questions clients should ask. I've even written some myself. This article asks some new questions of a prospective client.

  • “Do you have a realistic budget?” That's a natural!
  • “Are you prepared for the disruption in your life?”
  • “Are you comfortable with how long this will take?” 
  • “What do you think this project will do for you?” - Isn't that a great question? "While decorating can make home life easier by solving problems like traffic flow and space utilization, it cannot make the client a smarter or more well-regarded person."
  • “Is your life in order?” - "Decisions made in an emotional tornado are seldom the right ones, and Yoga Pants Mom will never be comfortable in a Z Gallerie glitz-fest."
Raina Cox has a follow-up to this article and quiz. See 5 signs a potential client my be crazy.”

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A New Series At Houzz: Off The Grid

Architect, Designer, Or Do It Yourself?

Renovating NYC carries an wonderful article by rjdiaz,  Should You Use An Architect, A Designer, or Do It Yourself? 

Interior designer Gail Green writes, "While previously relying on a professional’s expertise, client’s are now, for the most part, calling the shots. Design is motivated by the client’s desire to get the best possible price without realizing the inherent cost to them. Inherent because cost is not just comprised of the dollars spent, but something much more valuable: talent and expertise."

The article is filled with numerous examples of a fool and his money are soon parted. Great ammunition to convince your next prospective client.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Is Solar Power In Your Future?

Solar power is booming! Spurred by a 60% drop in solar panel costs in the last 2 ½ years, robust government subsidies and a technology that no longer appears experimental to mainstream America, rooftop photovoltaic solar is bursting out everywhere. About 200,000 U.S. homes and businesses added rooftop solar in the past two years alone – about 3 gigawatts of power and enough to replace four or five conventionally-sized coal plants. The U.S. is now generating via solar panels almost 10 gigawatts each year. That’s enough to power 1.5 million average American homes; that’s the equivalent of removing 1.9 million cars from the road; that’s like planting 236,000,000 trees.

Yet solar power provides less than 1 percent of the nation’s energy needs. Even in Oregon! Though our state has a reputation for clouds and rain, western Oregon actually receives as much solar energy as the national average. During a year’s time, an Oregon solar system will produce as much energy as the same system installed in Florida.

PGE says that solar systems generally cost $4.50 to $6 per watt. Home solar system sizes vary, but most are 1,000 watts to 4,000 watts (1 kW to 4 kW). As an example, a 2,000-watt (2 kW) solar system would cost about $9,000 to $12,000. There are two ways to offset the cost. The first option is Net Metering Billing which lets you offset the cost of the electricity you use from your local utility with the energy you generate. The second is the Solar Payment Option. Your utility pays you for the power you generate up to the amount of electricity you use.

Some utilities are changing the rules. They want to charge a fee for using the Net Metering Billing method. They are experiencing a decline in revenue that is threatening their ratings. Expect more organizations like Green Tea, a pro-solar group in Georgia consisting of Sierra Club members and Tea Party founders, to fight for consumers’ rights.

If you would like to investigate solar power for your home, why not click the right-sidebar HomeSolar101 banner for a free quote?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

New Maralunga Sofa

The history of furniture has always fascinated this writer. I've had articles about Klismos chairs and Chesterfield sofas,m etc., but never a Maralunga sofa. It turns out the Maralunga sofa designed in 1974 was the first upholstered sofa that incorporated movement. It was designed by Cesare Cassina.

"Legend has it that when Cassina first saw Magistretti’s prototype for the now-iconic 1974 Maralunga sofa, he disliked it so much that he punched it — hard. His frustration split the back of the model, which fell back over itself so that it resembled a headrest."

Now, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the sofa, 20 students from the Swiss art and design school ECAL have updated the sofa and it will be on display at Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan’s annual design week,

Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Future Of Office Furniture

These are stirring times for office furniture. The world is progressing, and people’s needs when it comes to desks, seating and so on are changing too. With this in mind, below are just some of the emerging trends that are likely to impact on office furniture.

Floating around the office

Traditionally, office workers were tied to specific desks (not literally of course - or at least we hope!). This was seen as the most practical and efficient use of space. Also, it meant people could personalise their workstations with everything from their own stationery to pictures of the family guinea pig.

However, this orthodoxy is being challenged. Increasingly, experts are advocating a freer approach whereby employees can essentially float around the office, choosing workstations that suit their needs at any given time. They might start their days at desks working on their own and move to communal, brainstorming areas later on, for example. A typical office of the future may have zones including restaurants, coffee bars, meeting spaces, breakout areas and private rooms where people can get on with their tasks.

Home working

Increased home working is another key trend. Companies are switching onto the benefits of letting their staff operate remotely. This can save them office space and, when done well, it can boost productivity.

In some cases, firms are providing good quality furniture to their workers to help ensure they are able to function properly at home.

Local hubs

As well as working from their houses and flats, more and more people are setting up shop in local hubs. These communal working areas are a response to the potential isolation of working alone at home. They can also provide people with an opportunity to network, which is especially handy for freelancers and business start-ups.

Greater choice over technology

It’s hard to imagine life these days without all our gadgets by our side. What would you do if one day you awoke to find your computer, tablet and smartphone had disappeared? We know what we’d do, and that’s panic!

As workers become ever more dependent on technology, there is a trend towards giving them a greater say over the devices they use. Many people are still simply plonked in front of PCs and told to get on with their tasks, but over coming years this is likely to change.

More unusual furniture

There will always be a place for comfy chairs that promote good posture, but alongside these products, other objects may be commonplace in the office of the future. Already, some companies are providing their personnel with more informal items like beanbags as a supplement to traditional seating.

A number of companies are also embracing the idea that exercise can help to stimulate the mind. By encouraging their workers to use exercise balls, static bikes or simply to stand while getting on with their work, they hope to boost productivity. It remains to be seen whether this will catch on or not!

Author Bio - This article was written by Carly Lincoln, who is known in the furniture industry for her specialist knowledge. She researches her articles on various sites, including www.furniture-work.co.uk/

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

This Is Stanley

Back in 2007 we hosted Stanley 101 and announced the introduction of  Stanley Young America lineWe said at the time "Young America easily adapts to (family) changes, and grows right along with your children. Imagine you can go from the changing station to toddler to teenager..."

Today, Stanley announced it is discontinuing the Young America line and will concentrate instead on the "'... profitable and growing Stanley brand." The company said it plans to honor orders of Young America products placed on or before April 28.

We thought at the time Young America was a great idea. We are sorry to see this part of their business cancelled. However, our respect for Stanley continues. With Stanley and your interior designer, we want to help you create your dream home with quality, stylish furniture that’s affordable. Stanley offers furniture in contemporary, transitional, traditional, and cottage styles and meets the needs of almost everyone.