Archive for June, 2011

Living Off the Grid

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Living off the grid is a goal for many homeowners.  Pictured here is the Van Geet Off-Grid Home, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.  Located near Denver, Colorado, the house has solar panels that take advantage of 300 days of sunlight per year. 

You can see more off-the-grid houses like this one on the Treehugger website

This YouTube video shows how one Nevada City family combined luxury with an eco-friendly design in a 6,000 square-foot home.  Besides using environmentally friendly construction materials, the house has solar panels that supply all heat and power.  Now that’s what we call living off the grid in style!

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iPad Apps for Home Design

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Apple’s iPad 2 makes it easier than ever to download and use apps.  Did you know there are apps to help you design your home?  Now you won’t have to save piles of magazines with pictures of your favorite rooms are create lots of bookmarks in your web browser.

Here are 3 of our favorite home design apps:

  • Houzz Interior Design Ideas – This well-known app has been recommended in the Wall Street Journal.  It provides access to one of the largest home design idea databases on the Internet.  Over 70,000 photos and 150,000 ideabooks are available for browsing and you can also create  your own virtual ideabooks.
  • Dream Home HD – Become inspired by browse through thousands of pictures of kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms.  You can search for rooms categorized by style, color and popularity.
  • Autodesk Sketchbook Pro – Draw room layout and design idea with the next best thing to paper and pencil.
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    Movie Stars and Swimming Pools

    Sunday, June 12th, 2011

    It’s summertime again and many homeowners will find themselves contemplating the addition of a backyard pool.  Pictured here is the pool at actor John Travolta’s Florida home.  Speaking in Architectural Digest, Travolta described the home’s design as a tribute to mid-century modern.  Note the private jet in the background – Travolta is an avid pilot and added a runway when his home was built.

    Visit the Architectural Digest website to see a collection of pools belonging to celebrities of the past and present, including Jack Benny, Demi Moore, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jean Harlow, Sylvester Stallone and Esther Williams.  After all, what goes better together than movie stars and swimming pools?

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    100xBetter Chicken Tractor for Backyard Farms

    Saturday, June 04th, 2011

    The chicken tractor isn’t a new invention, but Los Angeles design firm 100xBetter has created a modernistic version for the backyard. This portable home for chickens is perfect for urban dwellers who want their own mini-farm.

    This indoor-outdoor chicken coup doubles as a lawn fertilizer spreader. The bottom of the coup is open and the chickens fertilize the patch of lawn where it’s parked. Wheels make it easier to move the coup to different locations. The upper portion provides room for nesting and roosting, while a door on the back provides access to freshly laid eggs.

    Read more about 100xBetter’s Chicken Tractor in the Los Angeles Times.

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