Category: architecture

Stylin Senior Design

By , April 15, 2015 9:53 am

This past year Michael Graves came to Portland Oregon to defend his iconic Portland Building and when he was done telling his side of history and why the 1982 Postmodernist building should not be torn down, there was a standing ovation.

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Graves, has left us mortals on earth as he has gone to another galaxy to continue his design presence.

Since he was partly paralyzed by an infection in 2003, he focused on health care design, and brought humor and design sense to walkers, transfer chairs & walking canes.

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He thought that design should celebrate aging for what is really is- filled with spirit, possibles and growth. He challenged design conventions making everyday items smarter and more beautiful.

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Also this past month a Concept store called Senior Design Factory opened in Zurich. There are products with character, from hipster canes, high end walkers and durable household goods.

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This growing trend is exciting and has more humanistic design and for boomers it has to have the fun appeal!

What would you like to see redesigned as you age?


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Tiny Homes on Derelict Lots

By , February 17, 2015 1:13 pm

These tiny homes go up quickly in a day, but even better they are built on “derelict sites”- empty lots.

The Dutch firm Heijmans needs to visit Detroit, where there are many vacant lots.

Modern & Bright

Modern & Bright

If you ever wondered if you would feel catastrophic in 200 square feet, spend the night at the        Tiny Caravan Hotel in Portland Oregon, the only tiny house hotel. You can also tour six of them on Sundays and talk to the builders.

My Favorite Tiny

My Favorite Tiny


I just finished a class sponsored by the Energy Trust of Oregon that Kol Peterson teaches to the public and brokers like myself. His next class is March 21 you can register here.

Energy Trust of Oregon

Energy Trust of Oregon

After you take the class be sure to go on the Build Small Live Large Tour this spring, where you can tour 20 small homes for more ideas before you break ground on your own ADU!

buy tickets early - last year it sold out!

buy tickets early – last year it sold out!

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Mine own ADU – Sellwood Studio will be on the tour- meet the architect Emily ReFi now with Waterleaf Architects.

Architect Emily Refi at front of Studio- complete with Vespa scooter!

Architect Emily Refi at front of Studio- complete with Vespa scooter!

When you get past the dreaming stage- I am always here to offer any advice you need.

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So Hard to Contain Me

By , February 2, 2015 4:22 pm

You know my passion for small spaces and recycling so when I found this site Montainer they are a one stop shopping site for taking a shipping container and creating your home, office, ADU, yoga studio or an extra sleeping room.

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solar panels & banana yellow

They have a team of architects, engineers, builders and designers that put the package together for you.              Design Build concept.


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deck adds a whole new floating room

It may be hard to stop with just one, go ahead and stack or attach them. When building it is always the city that can be tricky to navigate, and this company has adapted the recycled containers to meet code and move forward to permit stage. Go to this site for more ideas. Want to buy your own metal box go here.

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double decker- like legos stack them high

So many creative ideas- What would you use one for? Go ahead and dream…..


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I am Legal!

By , January 19, 2015 1:59 pm

I am legal! I am a legal to have a short term rental in the city of PDX!

easy paperwork to fill out

easy paperwork to fill out

The city has allowed ADU’s =Accessory Dwelling Units to be rented out on a short term basis.

Go here to see the paperwork involved.

Garden Studio

My ADU Garden Studio

I market my studio on the Airnbn website. When I travel I also use Airbnb you meet the most interesting people and stay in some cool design spaces. Airbnb moved their very headquarters to Portland Oregon in 2014. They worked with the city to allow short term rentals, yes, in return the city gets more revenue. There is not a sales tax in PDX, so the money has to come to the city in other creative ways.

I want to work here!

Airbnb Portland Hip Headquarters

The process is easy to become legal, fill out the form, send out a letter to neighbors , send out a letter to neighborhood associations. Within a couple weeks you will get a call from an inspector to come out to be sure that safety measures are in place; exits, smoke alarms, Carbon Monoxide detectors, GFCI’s, and walkable pathways to the ADU.  In a couple days the city sends a nice official letter stating you are legal for short term rentals, yes along with a invoice for $128.00.

Easy to send to City GOV

Easy to send to City GOV

This was the perfect task to take care of in December when I figured City Gov may be slow and the wait line for the paperwork only took 15 minutes.

Though an even more important reason is that my ADU studio will be on tour this year with 15 other ADU homeowners over a two day tour in NE & SE Portland! I am very excited to be part of this growing cult of smart home ownership. I now consult many of my clients with how they can turn their basement or use the garage to build an ADU, I have the real estate know how, the design chops and the savvy advice of how to be a great host as they rent out their space!

buy tickets early - last year it sold out!

buy tickets early – last year it sold out!

MARK YOUR CALENDERS! May 29 – 30 – meanwhile contact me for the nuts and bolts of building your own ADU!

Be sure to go to my website and check out my new video  about downsizing!

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Age Friendly?

By , November 4, 2014 6:00 pm

Elders in Action- Sharing experience. Staying engaged. This community of individuals live life to its fullest. They are active advocates and vibrant volunteers of ALL ages committed to assisting older adults.


One way they stay involved with the community is with their Age Friendly Program, which was developed in 1993 as a way to engage, evaluate and educate businesses and the community on how to involve our aging population.


Visit their website here to see the complete list of partners in the Age Friendly network.


Last month four volunteers visited the Lake Theater & Cafe that has just been remodeled in Lake Oswego. There were other small groups that visited The Pine Needle, The Oilerie, Key Bank, Sofas by Design, and Miller Paint. This was a partnership with the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.


They had a tour of the theater and than sat down with the owner Drew Prell to discuss their evaluation and discuss the the following key points:


Finding the Building, Parking, Building Entry, Signage & business information, Seating, Restrooms, Stairs, aisles & walkways, Lighting & Flooring, and Customer service. All the notes were recorded in a booklet from the volunteers including their feedback.

With a variety of businesses meeting current building city code issues and trying to appeal to a wide range of ages this was a excellent opportunity to connect and be aware how the older population views your business.

The big surprise really is that the feedback would be helpful for any age group- signage and directing people though a space is vital, were do I go, how do I pay and maneuvering throughout the space safely. Great ideas!

What store or restaurant do you like to visit over and over again- it just feels right?

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