Use a Salvaged Tub to Turn Your Backyard Into a Soothing Oasis

By Annie Thornton When a lilac tree died in Sloan Schang's yard in Portland, Ore., last summer, it left behind a blank corner. It also provided him with an opportunity. A secluded backyard spa appealed to Schang, a writer and creative director, but the $6,000 bill required for the necessary electrical work and a new... Continue Reading »

Prairie House (Style Spotlight)

By Bud Dietrich, AIA As the 19th century waned and the 20th century was dawning, a group of architects and designers in the Upper Midwest banded together to form the Prairie School. An entirely new approach to domestic design, the Prairie School featured a new language. Rooms made of four walls and small holes for... Continue Reading »

Kit House (Style Spotlight)

By Bud Dietrich, AIA Kit houses were America's first mass-produced, prefab homes, sold by Sears, Montgomery Ward, Gordon Van Tine, Aladdin and a few others. The materials for these homes, ordered straight from a catalog, were delivered to the building site by rail and truck. Remarkably, all of the parts, from lumber... Continue Reading »

Hurricane-Proof Your Home With These Tips

By Bud Dietrich It seems as if hurricane season is starting earlier and staying later than when I was young. While it was almost unheard of to use the letter "s" to name a hurricane back then, it may just be the new normal now. Whatever the cause, it seems that as we renovate our older homes or build new ones,... Continue Reading »

Victorian Home (Style Spotlight)

By Vanessa Brunner For most people, the term "Victorian architecture" defines a diverse but singular style. The reality is that this term encompasses several architectural house styles, all of which were used during the mid to late 19th century. The name, of course, comes from the reigning British queen at the... Continue Reading »

Allergy-Proofing Your Home, Room by Room

By Vanessa Brunner For many allergy sufferers, summer means more than sunshine and flowers -- it's the thick of the inevitable hay fever season. Anyone who has allergies knows how uncomfortable this time of year can be and how important it is to have a safe place to retreat to. You can make your home clearer of... Continue Reading »

The Row House (Style Spotlight)

By Bud Dietrich, AIA From the early 19th century through the early 20th, America's cities grew at a rapid pace. Immigrants from other countries as well as a migration from farms to city centers fueled this growth. To accommodate the new urban population, block after block of a new type of urban dwelling, the row... Continue Reading »

Mountain Home (Style Spotlight)

By Bud Dietrich, AIA I've just started the design of a new home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western Virginia. The property, more than 5 acres, is spectacular -- heavily wooded, with a change in elevation of almost 100 feet from front to back. As the land slopes away, the treetops drop down revealing mountain and... Continue Reading »

Bungalow Style House (Style Spotlight)

By Bud Dietrich, AIA As the Great War came to its end and the Roaring Twenties started, America became ever increasingly an automobile-dominated society. Cars, cheap gas and the availability of inexpensive land created a housing boom in the suburbs and outlying areas. A new house style, the bungalow, came about as... Continue Reading »

Colonial House (Style Spotlight)

By Bud Dietrich, AIA From sea to shining sea, America's most enduring home style remains the New England Colonial. It conjures up images of small-town America, the village green, Fourth of July parades and that independent spirit that defines the American character. Even as other styles gain in popularity, this... Continue Reading »

The Shingle House (Style Spotlight)

By Bud Dietrich, AIA First popularized by the Vanderbilts, Astors, Morgans and their peers, the Shingle style developed in New England in the mid to late 1800s in reaction to the highly ornamented Victorian revival styles. Simple forms and a minimum of ornamentation made the Shingle style America's first "modern"... Continue Reading »

Make Your House Sporty

By Katya Popova Being an avid climber, I always had a hard time reconciling my love for sports and my love for interior design. Can they coexist peacefully in the home? Take one look at Houzz users' photos, and you'll find out that it can be done gracefully and with a sense of humor. If you are a fan of biking,... Continue Reading »

White Clapboard House (Style Spotlight)

By Beth Woodson and Kristy Harvey From the Kennedy compound to FDR's Little White House, white clapboard houses are part of America's history. The classic style and design of these charming homes may have originated in a different time, but thankfully, they're far from outdated. Take a look to see for yourself why... Continue Reading »

Modern Gable House (Style Spotlight)

By John Hill At its root, modern architecture is a break from the past, and in terms of the roof, that break is most explicit. Pitched roofs that traditionally serve to shed rain and snow are commonly eschewed in modernism for flat roofs, which sometimes serve as terraces for reclaiming the land the building... Continue Reading »

Modern vs. Contemporary Houses (Style Spotlight)

By John Hill What's the difference between modern and contemporary architecture? Why the distinction? At its most literal, "contemporary" is the architecture being produced now, the architecture of the moment. "Modern" architecture breaks with the past -- specifically the traditional styles pre-dating the Industrial... Continue Reading »

Ranch House (Style Spotlight)

By Amy Renea In a world of 5,000-square-foot suburban homes, charming bungalows and soaring loft space, my little ranch sometimes seems to pale in comparison. I have often stared at the front of my home, wondering how to make it look more like the beautiful Colonial down the street or how to give it a rustic, log... Continue Reading »

Federal House (Style Spotlight)

By Steele Marcoux Federal home design style comes with another confusing name. In design, the word "federal" simply indicates the time period (1780–1820) when the style, known among architecture aficionados as the American phase of the "Adam" style, prevailed in the fledgling United States. The style borrowed... Continue Reading »

Craftsman House (Style Spotlight)

By Steele Marcoux What it is: Craftsman homes were primarily inspired by the work of two architect brothers - Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene -- who worked together in Pasadena, Calif., at the turn of the 20th century. The Greene brothers were influenced by Asian architecture as well as the English Arts... Continue Reading »

Tudor House (Style Spotlight)

By Steele Marcoux What it is: First, let's clear up this confusing moniker. When referring to the architectural style, the term "Tudor" is actually historically imprecise. It refers not to typical buildings of Tudor England (early 16th century) but instead to a style popularized in the United States during the end of... Continue Reading »

Cape Cod House (Style Spotlight)

By Bud Dietrich Cape Cod homes can be seen all across America in differing variations to suit differing climates and norms. This is because the Cape Cod is, in its soul, the one house style that conjures for us dreams of seaside holidays, flower gardens, white picket fences and a simpler, more relaxed lifestyle. ... Continue Reading »

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