Architecture 605 Stories

Every architect’s design process is extremely personal and nuanced. For example, I have certain tools that I reach for ritually when I start a new project. One is a favorite lead pencil with a lightweight, medium-size barrel and a thinly ridged grip, loaded with a medium-weight HB lead that’s not too soft and not too...
So You Want to Build: 7 Steps to Create a New Home
Whether building new or renovating an existing structure, creating a new home is a journey of discovering who you are, what you want, how you want to live and where you want to be. It’s a chance for you to define your relationship to the world, to...
Tell a Story With Design for a More Meaningful Home
I just finished listening to the TED Radio Hour piece about storytelling. While it shouldn't come as a surprise that books, plays, poems, paintings or music tell stories, many folks...
Architect's Toolbox: 6 Drawings on the Way to a Dream Home
From thumbnail sketches to detailed construction drawings, architects and other design professionals produce all sorts of drawings. While these drawings can be quite beautiful in their own right, their purpose is twofold. First, they help flesh...
6 Reasons to Hire a Home Design Professional
Who hasn’t heard that regular trips to the dentist can prevent the spread of tooth decay? Even though sitting in that chair isn’t the most enjoyable way to spend time, most of us know that a dentist has the knowledge and expertise to check all aspects...
Architect's Toolbox: The Sketches That Spark a Home
With everything that goes into building a house today, it’s tough to imagine where everything starts. How exactly do you communicate your ideas to another person, and how does an architect interpret things like “indoor-outdoor flow, lots...
Must-Have Book: ‘A Field Guide to American Houses’
In the spring of 1984 I had just returned to my native Texas from a semester of study abroad. I had spent the previous four months living in the scenic Chianti countryside near Florence and traveling to numerous breathtaking Italian landmarks. I had seen...
How to Read a Floor Plan
The floor plan, or plan, is the most common of all architectural drawings. From builders to architects, Realtors to appraisers, everyone uses a floor plan. More than likely this is because the floor plan is the one drawing that tells us the most about...
Design Workshop: The Art of Joining Materials
I remember the first time I set foot on a bustling construction site as an intern architect fresh out of school. It was the first time I connected the abstract vision I had been drawing on paper to the reality — and chaos — of construction. It all...
3 Surprising Essential Tools for the Modern Architect
What do you think architects do all day? Most people envision someone sitting in front of a drafting table, with pencil, eraser and straightedge, drawing into the wee hours of the night. Contrary to this stereotype, most firms have replaced old-school...
Iconic Architecture: 10 Must-Know Modern Homes
On some days it seems that modern architecture has 10 times as many detractors as proponents, even though the movement has influenced a great deal of residential architecture — from open floor plans to means of construction. Some of the dislike for...
Houzz Tour: A New Mediterranean Home Goes Country
Most renovation stories start with a dreary assessment of the house before the remodel. In this case there were no leaky ceilings, dark rooms or cramped spaces to describe. When Jim and Stephanie Stafford purchased this home in Sonoma, California, it...
Houzz Tour: A Shape-Shifting Space, Cloaked in History
When you have only 140 square feet (13 square meters) with which to create a bedroom, a dining room, an office and a media room, you want to make the most of it....
Design Practice: 11 Ways Architects Can Overcome Creative Blocks
Architects and designers are under constant pressure to summon creative forces into action on a moment’s notice. We visit our clients’ homes or their building sites and are expected to produce the imaginative vision for transforming them into masterworks...
Rounded Forms Smooth Modern Architecture’s Edges
Strong lines and box-like forms dominate contemporary residential architecture. But in many cases, it takes just one flowing line or ingenious curve to soften or spice up the look of a house’s exterior. And on the inside, rounded...
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