Friday, July 6, 2012

Our own Back Yard Mansion

My wife and I are passionate about community.  When you live in a 790 square ft house, you soon find that entertaining more than a few other people gets very cramped.  Since we built this 320 sq fot Tudor-style studio.  The space has housed giant meals with a table spreading accross its entire length.  It has been host to many small concerts and performances, rehearsals, and recitals.  On a daily basis it is a design studio in the morning and a violin teaching studio in the afternoon.

Ultimatelly this project became the catalyst for Vintage Greenhouses and Little Mansions Designs as people continually told me that I needed to bring this creativity to the market--both with my furniture and with my building designs.

In designing the studio, my Wife and I each had a requirement.  Her requirement was that it have all leaded glass reclaimed windows.  Mine was that it have a tower....neither requirement made construction easy, but when we were done it was all worth it.

The Interior space is completely open.  Weyerhaueser engineered a large beam in the middle of the building that allowed it to be one big open space with high vaulted ceilings. 

The bookcase was built out of reclaimed wood from an old barn near Puyallup, WA.  The owners had bought the house to retire in...and the barn was why they fell in love with it.  They finally were forced to take it down.  I found them and they gave me the wood for free!  My favorite wood was the floorboards, which had about an inch of horse dung that had built up over the last 100 years.  But after cleaning and lightly planing with a dull blade, I found the most beautiful old growth fir...still in good shape, but with plenty of "beauty marks" from bugs, nails, and just the perfect amount of rot!


Community Space and Teaching Space were very important to us.  By spanning the space created by the tower and the lower wing, we were able to create a giant square in the middle of the building.  The 320 sq ft building with a small grand paino, has been known to host as many as 38 people for concerts, events, and recitals.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Classic Storefront Greenhouse

So maybe your typical greenhouse doesn't look like a turn-of-the-century storefront, but this client wanted something unique that matched the property and didn't overwhelm the small space allotted for it.  The owner had built a beautiful wood-shed, with a farm-style single pitched roof.  They had suggested I mirror that with the greenhouse, but I was having trouble figuring out how to make it look refined enough, while matching the shed.  After about 5 different drawings, the though hit me....a classic storefront would provide the perfect place to display favorite plants, and would accomodate a roof line that match that of the woodshed.  

The clients, a designer and an antique collector collaborate with me to create this fabulous design.  They plan to add shelves and a number of details.