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.


 

Views: 120

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

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Joe Romero on August 5, 2013 at 9:07pm

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.

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

jerry gentile replied to Chad Mcaulife's discussion BPI QCI Cert.
"you are spot on my friend-- during the exam I said this is ridiculous--- I have bpi certs for…"
3 hours ago
Eric Kjelshus commented on Jeremy Begley's blog post The Home Envelope : Does it Really Matter in a Heat Loss Caculation
"IT all matters,  I lot of sealing,  A lot of air barrier.  A lot of "R" A…"
16 hours ago
Michael Dunseith posted a status
"BPI Infiltration and Duct leakage (IDL) Certified"
21 hours ago
Jeremy Begley posted a blog post
yesterday
Kim Burnett joined Sean Lintow Sr's group
Thumbnail

Best Practices (Residential)

Best Building, Retrofitting, or even Auditing Practices - what are they, what should change, what…See More
yesterday
Kent Mitchell commented on Adam Swain's blog post Top Worst Crawl Space Insulation Ideas
"Hi Adam - It sounds like you may be referring to enclosed crawlspaces - Here in the NW we've…"
yesterday
peter chang replied to Damien Greenfield's discussion Is there is cost saving for you in having a tankless water heater?
"I think it is quite possible the greatest savings will be realized by the lowest volume users. I…"
yesterday
Marie Fuentes is now a member of Home Energy Pros
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service