Details and Materials

7 Different Foyers for 7 Different Homes

Your home probably has several entries – front door, back door, garage door – but you only use one to welcome guests into your home. The front door in most homes opens into a foyer, a word derived from French and originally referring to a small room that separated the heated rooms of the house from the outside, keeping the cold out.

Fortunately, central heating made that function obsolete. Today, a home’s foyer serves several other important functions, not the least of which is giving your guests a glimpse into the style and character of the rest of your house.

A Laundry Room/Mudroom That Does a Lot More, and Saves Space, Too

The laundry room/mudroom: according to my clients, it’s one of the most-used and most important rooms in their home – so it’s surprising to see how often it’s ignored in the design of new homes.

A recent experience with a new client shows what I mean; my client had invited me to see her home, the one she wanted to move from. She wanted me to see how she lived now, and get a better idea of what she did and didn’t want in her new home.

When To Use Fiber-Cement Siding and Cultured Stone

Architects don’t want you putting fake stuff on the outside of your house – faux wood siding, faux stone, faux trim – just because it’s less expensive than the real thing.

We don’t like sacrificing aesthetics or authenticity, when the only benefit is cost savings.

There are trade-offs we’d rather you make when you’re trying to save money – house size for size’s sake, and artificially-complex design are at the top of my list.

How To Choose the Right Outdoor Decking Material

The materials and finishes that you use on the interior of your home requires cleaning and occasional maintenance; you dust, you vacuum, you mop-n-glo to keep them looking good and long lasting. Without too much effort you can stay ahead of the wear and tear from your kids and pets.

Materials on the outside, however take a daily beating from the sun, wind, rain, temperature changes, and other environmental elements (in addition to your kids and dogs).

Those materials need a great deal more care and maintenance but that can be reduced somewhat by selecting the proper materials to suit your goals.

colonial revival back hall remodel

4 Keys To Creating A Better Family Entry

Getting the design of your house right means making it work for the way that you and your family really live. Trading off useless formal space for very useful informal space is one way to do that – and there aren’t many places in your house more useful than the family entry.

You’ve heard this space called by other names: mudroom, back hall, utility hall – but none of those terms express what this room really is – a very important space that you and your family use every single day.

A Brief Primer on Stairs – Types, Parts, and Designs

The first home my wife and I owned was a brick Queen Anne built around 1900. I opened my first office there, in the attic.

It was a cool little space and I had a unique view of downtown Columbus, Ohio from up there.

All I had to do was climb the 23 shallow, steep steps up from the kitchen. Every day.

Stairs are probably already a part of your daily home life – you go up and down them constantly, carrying laundry baskets, sleeping children, furniture; stepping over toys, pets, shoes…

But as familiar as we are with using stairs, we’re not nearly as familiar with how they fit into the design of a home – stairs are expensive, complex three-dimensional constructions that take up a lot of space and are highly regulated by building codes.

williamsburg colonial custom home

How To Choose The Right Window Shutters for Your House

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.”

That’s a delightful passage for a young child to hear, especially when it’s Mom or Dad reading it with all the wonder and excitement the line suggests.

Even if the youngster doesn’t know exactly what it means.

Mom and Dad explained, of course, that a sash is part of a window – the part that the writer “threw up” to look out the window, and that shutters are those “doors” on the outside of the window.

french country home design

Basic House Parts Vocabulary – Exterior

One of the smartest things Residential Architects have done in recent years is to stop talking to their clients like Architects. We’ve gotten a lot better at conversing like regular people instead of like college professors.

Even so, we sometimes lapse into saying silly things like:

“Communicative inheritance, remembered as the true conveyance of cultural integrity, fosters an exchange of the sacred geometrical building blocks.”