Posts tagged: downsize

Shelter or Sculpture?

By , June 28, 2014 3:53 pm

Often my posts are about the newest, smartest way too live small or how to downsize and stay sane.

Since summer is here everyone is trying to find the best beach rental cottage, camp ground to pitch a tent or the latest boutique hotel to land and relax at the Oregon Coast.

This month I have a art exhibit at Manzanita News & Espresso and it poses the question – are those beach driftwood forts, shelter or sculpture? Here is my artists statement.

photo7 Shelter or Sculpture?The crowds are gone, I walk on the beach and come upon driftwood that has been assembled into primitive shelters with only washed ashore elements, gifts from the sea, wood, stones, seaweed or when viewed in solitary to me  they become solitary sculptures, left over remains of another existence, often I would feel like a archaeologist.

Viewing the art in the context, seeing it in its natural environment. Some of the pieces are ephemeral, persisting only for a few hours or days- exposed to erosion and wind and the sea, striving to fight the elements of nature, their creators have vanished.

I started to document the pieces for the last 5 years, feeling like  My physical interaction is as important as the viewing. I would enter any portal, to find choirs and alters, shrines the view looking out to the sea was peaceful and safe. I would feel the energy of the people who built the piece, was it a couple a family, how old were they? Why did they build this, and what conversations took place, and how did the construction bring them together?

Why do we still build shelter with no intention of using it? Such a primitive instinct.

Each work grows, stays and decays.  I am the observer the one who captures the serenity. The tide will once again regain and re-give.
It reminds us that nothing can or should last forever.
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Owned by Bunny and Star they have a devoted following of locals and tourists. This is where you pick up your CSA box on the front porch. There is a long waiting list to show your art at the famous coffee shop in town, mine was three years.

On the corner is a lovely shady patio and water bowl for Fido and the inside is filled with magazines- good mags and all beachy unique local artists jewelry. There are surf magazines and newspapers if you really want to know what is going on in the world. The chess set has had many matches played with my son.  There is no wi-fi – but rumor is that they just bought into it.

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The greeting cards are $5 each and I am donating all the funds to Lower Nehalem Land Trust. The land trust has a beautiful garden, but you must wait for that post another day. I am hanging out in a beach shelter!

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So what do you think Shelter or Sculpture?

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Enjoy the summer where ever your travels lead you.

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Age-Friendly City of Roses

By , March 4, 2014 11:36 am

Portland always seems so ahead of the curve when it comes to hip fashion, hoppy beer, food carts and now housing for those eternally young graying baby boomers. Portland is in the top 5o regions where 40 plus boomers want to retire. Currently there are over 190,000 people aged 65 and older living in the Portland metro area and by 2030, that number is expected to grow to almost 395,000.

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Portlands Age-Friendly Housing

Alan DeLaTorre was the moderator for the City Club panel to discuss “How Age-Friendly are Portland’s Housing Options”. He is a research associate at Portland State University Institute on aging and a newly minted Ph.D with a focus on housing for older adults. There is a growing international movement and PDX crafted a Action Plan in the Fall of 2013 with Alan’s guidance.

 

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Alan DeLaTorre

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Villages NW works to enable people to age in place in their existing homes as well as they can for as long as they can for as little as they can. Four Villages are up and running in NW Portland and six villages are in development in the greater Portland area. 89% homeowners want to grow old in their home. There are 130 Villages nationwide that are successful. There is no real estate involved, but a community of  volunteers and “vetted vendors” that support people who want to live & age gracefully in their home.

 

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Bridge Meadows is an innovative community designed to bring together three generations to provide a stable, loving home for foster children, support for adoption and an opportunity for elders to have a sense of community and purpose. This project is up and running in North Portland. Windermere Cronin & Caplan Realty was a part of this ground breaking building and committed $250,000 over 4 years. I have worked for 12 years at Windermere and am proud to of been apart of this development.

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Bridge Meadows

 

PDX Commons is a new project focusing on creating an environment for aging in place based on the co-housing model. The project is under development and will be located in the Vancouver corridor. There are 25 units and the location in walking distance of urban shopping and parks.

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PDX Commons

For Cohousing resources in the US go here and Cohousing resources in the world go here                                                     It is an International Movement!

 

This trend is going to continue, since there are not enough retirement facilities in existence or being built to accommodate 395,000 projected seniors. Not to mention that a huge percentage of this population- current estimates suggest up to 75%- don’t have enough retirement savings to be able to afford he $3000 plus per month it would cost. Being ahead of the curve in design and housing options is a must.

Where do you want to live or retire to?

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Vintage Studio Interior

By , February 12, 2014 3:17 pm

Welcome back to the Sellwood Studio Tour- the last post was about building an ADU- now lets go inside -

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BEFORE Garage

 

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AFTER Sellwood Studio

How to design in a smaller space- the essential functions, sleeping, bathing eating and hangin out all all going to happen in 380 sq ft. First goal- jettison the stuff you really do not need. Use furniture that is light weight and moveable and does double duty.

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I wanted to blend my love of vintage (confession – I own 3 vintage refrigerators and 3 vintage Schwinn Bikes) with clean modern lines. Using old barn wood for the shelfs in the kitchen, subway tile is floor to ceiling, plumbing pipes to hold up the butcher block countertop. No need for a range when you can use induction plates just like  restaurants do – instant heat and they are safe, not hot to the touch turning off instantly. A microwave fits into the island, providing more prep area, or spreading out to read the paper. No disposal since there is a worm bin out in the garden. The green auto cabinet from Stars Antiques works as a panty, across from the Ikea PAX closet system.

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The entry has a coat wall rack and bench to sit and store shoes. There is also a place to hang your bike at the front door from the exposed rafters. The large open shower has storage at one end for towels- always go vertical and find storage overhead. Open shelving provides easy access to all those small toiletries items. A stackable washer/dryer is tucked away.

For lighting I like the vintage cage look and white porcelain for the bathroom that I found at                              School House Electric & Supply Co that also has an amazing of vintage furniture.

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Bathroom surface mount comes in exciting colors

 

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Kitchen & Entry Cage comes in a variety of finishes

Rejuvenation Lighting and House Parts  has wonderful exterior lights and is another store for vintage finds.

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Classic & lots of colors available

For more fixtures reminiscent of the industrial age be sure to check out Obsolete.

The ladder to the cozy sleeping loft was build by Ryan who specializes in working with Reclaimed wood, he found the large brackets and handles at Hippo Hardware.

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Here are other places to look for  custom ladder ideas more ideas here.

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When the project was finished anything worth recycling went to the Rebuilding Center- but this also a good place to start! Of course the Habitat for Humanity – Restore  needs left over building materials to help build homes for those in need.

What project are you planning for this Spring? Where do you start? Let’s talk ADU’s.

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Granny knows how to Downsize

By , January 9, 2014 11:50 am

My 95 year old mother in-law lives in a Granny Flat, she came west from cold Ohio to live behind her sons home in warm San Luis Obispo 15 years ago. Evelyn climbs the exterior staircase to her one bedroom 400 sq ft apartment above a garage. I was inspired to build my own studio following my Granny’s pioneering idea. Mother in-law apartments or Granny Flats have been around for years, but no longer just for Granny’s, ADUs ( Accessory Dwelling Units) offer rental income, work studios, and promote community Multi-generational living and increase your homes property value.

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Granny Evelyn with son Damian

Today the modern term is Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

In the fall of 2012 I went to a day long summit the International Living Future Institute held in Portland Oregon. Build Small LIVE LARGE  brought together architects, developers, builders, remodelers, urban designers, policy makers and real estate professionals to discuss, inspire and share ideas to craft strategies for this growing housing market. Go here to see videos from the summit. This was the first ever summit on space-efficient housing!

Currently the planning bureau and Portland City Council have waived Systems Development Charges on ADUs and they have increased the ADU size limit from 33% to 75% of the primary dwelling or 800 sq ft, whatever is smaller.

Go to this website for a one stop source of information about ADU’s, granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages.

Let me share with you my 380 sq ft Sellwood Studio ADU that I build last year!

First Permits and paperwork- Upfront work but well worth it.

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Now the fun part tearing down the old garage that just was a storage place for junk not a car.

DSC07446 300x225 Granny knows how to DownsizeThe size 16 x 24 was similar footprint to the garage but was vaulted and has a private patio

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BEFORE rear of existing garage

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AFTER rear of Sellwood Studio

Emily Refi was the architect that I worked with she now works for Waterleaf Architects.

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

I like how the Studio is similar in scale to the red cottage in front and that it sits in the middle of my urban garden.

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Red Cottage in front is 900 sq ft

Since the garage was demolished a small garden shed as built with nod to the old garage- the original green door was used.

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View from Studio set in middle of garden

Thanks Granny Evelyn for inspiring me to build a modern flat!  Next time we meet I will take you inside!

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French Garage Makeover

By , January 17, 2012 11:02 am

Hi all! Happy New Year!

I’m getting back into the swing of things finally and today, I have a fabulous garage make-over to share with you - all the way from Bordeaux! (You all know how I have a thing for garage projects!)

This tiny 441 sq. ft. space was designed by the ingenious team at FABRE/deMARIEN.

Check this out before shot…dull, dingy and dark.

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Not anymore, step into this light, airy, beautifully designed space...
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Glass walls allow plenty of natural light in and minimal white furniture and cabinetry keep the look crisp and clean.
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That wooden cube houses the sleeping loft, bathroom with shower, washing machine and storage. The small staircases leads up to the bed.
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The built in desk and convertible sofa offer both function and flexibitly – which is SO key when dealing with limited square footage!
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The sleeping loft has clothing storage and shelf space. The skylight makes the space fell less closed in.
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A simple, but functional bathroom is underneath the bed area. Love the generous counter space!
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The deck extends the living space and is a great place for dining al fresco on a lovely evening.
442660 0 8 9196 modern patio French Garage MakeoverPretty fantastic right? To check out the project in its entirety and read more about the process please go here.
Have a wonderful week!

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