Dip into Nature, Not Chlorine

natural pools

The next time you take a swim, consider what you are diving into. It is known that chlorine and other chemicals are commonly used to disinfect swimming pools. But with natural, chlorine free options available, why expose your health to these chemicals? Beyond turning hair green, chlorine also reacts to bodily fluids, including sweat and urine. When combined, toxic breakdown products, called chloramines, are formed. Another of chlorine’s most common effects is eye irritation. This isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that we continue to immerse ourselves, eyes open, into a pool of the stuff. You can cool off in a… read more

A Tree House That Makes You Want To Be A Kid Again

A Tree House That Makes You Want To Be A Kid Again

This amazing tree house raises the bar pretty high for a play space. Constructed by architect James Curvan, the clients’ focus, obviously, was on children. Their grandchildren must have wanted to come over every weekend for a stay at this Texas tree house. Taking 3 months to build it was a group effort between the architect, family members and the owners, Steve and Jeri Wakefield. At 100 square feet this playful design includes 2 decks, 2 lofts with room for sleeping and features a crow’s nest. Unlike many tree houses with just a ladder access, this one has a staircase, ladders,… read more

Beautiful Angles and Curves From Japanese Designs

Beautiful Angles and Curves From Japanese Designs

From Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects, these 2 family centered homes showcase utility and the perfect blend of openness and privacy. Forget flat walls and ceilings, this home exceeded the architects’ goal to display an assortment of visual offerings, much like life itself. House I is a home ideal for a family of 3. The exterior seems unsuspecting of the interior splendor, but still stands out with its dome shape presence. It feels low and doesn’t invade the landscape or neighboring homes, but the inside feels large, open and curious. Though the entire home is an open design, there are still options… read more

Above and Below: This House Design Offers Both

Above and Below: This House Design Offers Both

Sitting on a stretch of Dutch coastline, this unique looking home was designed by the architecture firm Paul de Ruiter. It was created for a family who are builders by trade, and they wanted an original residence that incorporated specific regions needed for the household. Split into 2 portions, the above ground area includes the family zones. The underground expanse holds the garage and office space, as well as room for storage. The 2 separate structures are connected by a stairway. The staircase enclosure actually forms its own intersection between the living and working quarters, and it carries up to… read more

Getting Organized

Getting Organized

The start of the New Year often inspires cleaning and organizing around the house. Getting things in order can be done economically, and purchasing high dollar units or storage bins isn’t always necessary. These clever ideas are neat to look at whenever the organizing mood strikes. Rustic shelving can be made from reclaimed lumber or reused boards and hung where needed for instant storage. Add glass jars, baskets or other containers for holding items. This unique and colorful arrangement is made from assembling a variety of used furniture. Strategically placed and painted, this one of a kind cabinet storage has… read more

Industrial Meets Country In This Rustic Retreat

Industrial Meets Country In This Rustic Retreat

From Studio 80, this mountaintop residence is a striking blend of gorgeous countryside and industrial utility. The home cozily sets in a group of other houses, and is nestled near a mountain region. The exterior shows the unique tower room set in stone behind a covered entryway. The mix of stone, wood and metals is carried through the home, and the perfect balance of details mimics the mountainous views found right outdoors. Inside, the tower room provides an interesting canister shaped entryway. The interior is decorated with items that create a pastoral vibe, and the original features add to the character of… read more

Blast From The Past Designs

Blast From The Past Designs

The work of Michael Jantzen has been on the go-to list for architectural inspiration for quite a while, and many have been talking about his remarkable projects and concept designs over the years. He has been impressing and innovating for several decades, and looking back at some of his earlier projects gives an interesting story into how some of his more current works were developed. In the 1970’s he made a solar vacation house built mostly using unconventional materials like agricultural based parts, reused metals and other salvaged items. The home is made from corrugated metal and features a grain… read more

Check Your Thermostat

Check Your Thermostat

If one thermostat controls your entire home’s temperature, it is best to keep it set at 78 degrees F (25 degrees Celsius) during the summer and 68 degrees F (20 degrees Celsius) during the winter. If you can, have multiple thermostats, installing one in each room of the house. When you use one thermostat for the entire house it can create uneven temperatures throughout your home. Plus energy is wasted heating and cooling unused rooms, which will probably show up on your bills. If you have a different thermostat controlling each room, you can individualize the temperature to the room,… read more

Onions, More Than Simply Flavoring Food

Health-Benefits-of-Onions

Onions are a versatile vegetable with a high nutritional value. Onions are thought to prevent cancer, diabetes, and even the common cold. But onions can also be used around the home in place of harsh chemicals and aerosols. Here are some uses you may not have thought of.. Make DIY Dye: Onions make brilliant all natural dyes. Simply place the skins of the onion in a nylon bag and boil for about 30 minutes. Soothe a sore throat: Onions make a fantastic tea that with the natural antioxidants helps fight infection. Using the peels bring the water to a boil, remove… read more

M-vironment Structures Can Respond To The Weather

M-vironment Structures Can Respond To The Weather

M-vironments are an imaginative design concept for structural units. From architect and artist Michael Jantzen, they are calculated and interesting, and the goal is to incorporate flexibility and responsiveness to offer a new way that buildings can operate. They are made to accommodate a number of lifestyle needs, including being weather respondent. Though the look of the exteriors will probably be either loved or hated, the features offered from these machine-like buildings are definitely eye-catching. An example of an M-vironment construction is the M-HOUSE. It is made from steel, concrete composite and various panel mechanisms that can be moved, changed, expanded… read more