Every year our annual issue, Houses, showcases exemplary homes from around the country. Our mission is simultaneously simple and tricky. We want to bring you variety in size, style, function and budget. But not everybody wants a backyard cottage or a hurricane-resistant beach house (you'll find both in this issue). And yet those two homes have design ideas that can be applied to lots of different scenarios, and it's our job to highlight them for you.
In selecting the homes for Houses 2007, we emphasize ideas in each project that have universal appeal, no matter what your budget or style preference. For example, take a look at the grill alcove in At Home on a Hilltop or the daylighting ideas in Colonial Roots, Fresh Approach. You can take them home to any home. There are six other great houses in this issue, each packed with ideas and inspiration.
Does your house have circulation problems? Not enough daylight? Maybe some trim from a different time zone? Check out Home Remedies, a remodeling story by Keyan Mizani and Alexia Zerbinis. They walk you through the Rubik's cube of moves that they used to untangle what is now a great new/old house in Portland, Oregon, for a young family of five. Or maybe you're thinking about the perfect retirement house. If so, you'll want to study Designing the Best Last House. It examines two approaches -- one spreads out on a single floor, the other goes up three stories (with an elevator). Both solutions work just fine for their owners.
A word about green
Outside my office window, the leaves pushing out of their buds aren't the only green things on the horizon. The green bandwagon has become the green jumbo jet, and we welcome it. For home builders, green means lots of things, from sustainable materials to the right kind of windows for your climate. But nothing is greener than smaller. That doesn't mean, however, that you have to sacrifice a sense of spaciousness in your home to get green. Instead, apply what savvy designers know about making smaller spaces live large. In his article Big Ideas for Small Houses, architect Russell Hamlet explains 10 strategies that he uses to give the small homes that he designs a generous sense of space. I urge you to dig into these ideas. You can use them anywhere.
Special issues editor
Softcover Magazine, 8-7/8 x 10-7/8 in., 148 pgs.
Published 2007, ISSN 1096-360X, # 020187
Home Building & Design