At a job site meeting this past week, our newest design clients handed Abe a small pile of dog-eared, marked-up “inspiration” magazines. They contained pictures and ideas collected by the homeowners, and demonstrated their affection for clean lines, neutral colors, and a judicious use of space. 

One magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, looked particularly well loved. The corner of page 137 was folded over to mark the homeowner’s favorite article and pictures, entitled “Small Wonder…A Little House that Lives Large.”

Thinking about the line of books on our office coffee table with titles boasting the modern ideals of conservation, energy efficiency, and living larger in a smaller space, I settled in to see what was new in the world of small design.

The author wrote about eliminating unnecessary rooms, defining open spaces, and the use of natural light. What I didn’t expect was the sentence, “…we pumped up the volume with 17-foot high vaulted ceilings to ease the squeeze.”

What?! 17 foot high ceilings? Why would they promote such an energy and space guzzling design?

I flipped the cover over and found the publishing date. August 1997.

A ha!

After that, I sat back to read and discover what has changed over time, and what hasn’t. Truthfully, 1997 doesn’t seem like that long ago, but in the world of energy innovations, building design and language use (“pumped up the volume…” - hehe), things change quickly. Consequently, the home we will soon remodel, inspired by the more timeless elements of the magazine pictures, will be tighter, more functional, and energy conscious enough to meet today’s standards.

I turned another page and gave silent credit to the gurus of technology. A lot has changed in the last decade.

I finished scanning the necessary pictures into our computer so Abe can access them wherever he decides to work, picked up my smart phone to check my email and my schedule for the rest of the day, and headed home to the sound of digital tunes that did not require a CD, tape, 8 track, record, or Victrola.

But, radio is still totally awesome.


 

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Tags: Construction, Degnan, Design, Efficiency, Energy, Remodel

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Comment by Joe Romero on August 6, 2013 at 12:07am

Nice Post Cara,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the post and I just love the image on top right. The color combination is making it look more beautiful and elegant.

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