Posts tagged: environmental design

What do you call – IT ?

By , March 26, 2014 5:06 pm

PDX Small Homes Go Big -is about how the City of Portland Bureau of Planners and Sustainability and Department of Environmental Quality have put together this great video
explaining ADU’s- or is it Laneway housing or Mother-in-Law studio or Secondary Dwelling or Accessory Dwelling – OR – What do you call it? – watch the video HERE and let me know what you think.

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The growth of these units compromise a quarter of the new single dwelling residence permit applications. Currently there are 800 completed ADU’s in PDX and more on the way. The city has waived development SDF fees until June 1, 2014, often a savings of $11,000 or more.

There is even a ADU Tour in PDX June 1, 2014, no mine Nordic Studio will not be on the tour this year, it is so popular and booked out through Airbnb. If you would like a personal tour just let me know!

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AFTER rear of Sellwood Studio

 What do you call   IT ?

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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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All images via Houzz

Airstream Dreams

By , December 14, 2011 11:12 am

Downsizing is all about priorities. What do you really need to live, work and play? What are the essentials? Arriving at a place where your space is smaller may actually lead to a larger lifestyle. Mobility, less financial burden, a clutter free existence – FREEDOM!

So, I love it when I see successful people living in downsized homes whether it be a condo, apartment, town-home or trailer! Check out this fabulous retro airstream that has only 150 sq. ft of living space and has been refurbished by landscape architect, Andreas Stavroupolo.

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Airstream 09 1 Kind Design e1323888553232 Airstream DreamsAndreas actually works from a second trailer that provides ample natural light, plenty of desk and wall space to spread out his plans and is equipped with solar panels that power his laptop and other electronics. Now, that’s just plain cool (and green)!

Stavroupolo loves the freedom this lifestyle affords him and the ability to live and work on or near his work sites helps him personally connect with each project.

Do you have any dreams of owning an airstream? Or perhaps you already do…I would love to hear about it!
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Images via here.

Pdx Love: Kask Bar

By , October 25, 2011 8:29 pm

Hello friends! You know I’m a total sucker for re-used, re-cycled and re-purposed when it comes to building so when I found this fabulous bar in Portland it was love at first sip! Meet one of the newest, hippest and greenest bars in Pdx – KASK!

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This intimate cocktail lounge serves up delicious concoctions on their rough-hewn walnut bar that is supported by a rock-filled gabion wall. I saw this kind of construction when I was in Austria -  it was everywhere! They would make benches and fences out of it!

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Can’t go wrong with good ole’ rock!

The eco-friendly cork floors keep the green vibe and instead of wasting paper, ever-changing black boards inform patrons of what’s on the menu. Love that!

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Kask is owned by the restaurateurs from neighboring, Gruner – another fine establishment with a focus on the warm, rich flavors of “Middle Europe”. Go check out both destinations for amazing food, drink and a peek at some creative green building materials!

Hope your week is going well!

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 All images via here.

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