The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF), held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City each May, has become the premier North American showcase for modern design. It is the place to see new products, discover emerging trends, and learn about the latest “green” initiatives and innovations. It is also the place to meet the bright new stars in contemporary design, like Seth Grizzle and Jonathan Junker, co-founders of Graypants, a Seattle-based architecture and design firm.
Welcome to Bob's Blogs
- Interior Design >
- Shedding “New Light” on Recycling: Innovative Eco-Friendly Fixtures from Graypants
Shedding “New Light” on Recycling: Innovative Eco-Friendly Fixtures from Graypants
- Roofing & Siding >
- Climate-Right Exterior Siding
Climate-Right Exterior Siding
Home exteriors take a beating—from humidity, dry heat, rain and snow, salty air, freezing temperatures, and other unfriendly elements. But because different areas of the country experience different weather patterns, the seasonal assaults your home goes through will change depending on where your home actually is. Location is a variable that can play into your building or home improvement decision-making. After all, the siding that performs well in the Texas heat may not—in fact, probably won’t—do as good of a job in the snows of Massachusetts.
- Doors & Windows >
- How To: Replace a Door Closer
How To: Replace a Door Closer
The door closer on my front porch—that mechanical cylindrical device that keeps the door from flying open too far and then automatically closes it afterwards—had seen better days.
With numerous furniture and building material deliveries over the years, the “hold-open” washer had begun failing to do its job. And the door itself had become so misaligned that it remained slightly ajar even when closed. The solution? Replacing the door closer.
Changing a door closer couldn’t be an easier DIY project, particularly if you install one that duplicates the style and size of the one you are replacing.
I brought the old door closer to my local ACE Hardware to make certain that the one I purchased was, if not exactly the same, as close as could be to the original. I hoped by doing so I would find one that could be re-installed using the same screw holes. The one I settled on was a Post-Glide Door Closure from National Hardware ($13.49 + tax).
Here’s all you need to do:
- Major Systems >
- Fans vs. Air Conditioners
Fans vs. Air Conditioners
Last week, the New York Times featured a Home Section article on fans and/or air conditioning–depending on where you stand in the debate. The author, Michael Tortorello, reported that the number of people who prefer fans over air conditioning is less than 2%, according to ten years of research conducted by the Solar Energy Center in Florida. I, like the author, are among that Lilliputian population. What the article reveals is that we are essentially a nation addicted to air conditioning regardless of need.
Oddly enough, I spotted this window unit on the street where I live, and came to the realization that there could be an even more serious addiction to air conditioning than the article hints. What saddened me most was knowing that the energy I’m saving by not running an air conditioner, is being consumed just a couple doors away by someone who really, really loves air conditioning. (A colleague of mine likened this photo to people who, years ago, placed a smaller, portable television on top of their older, bulkier console units.)
- Bathroom >
- Easy Bathroom Makeover
Easy Bathroom Makeover
When I first purchased my weekend house in Upstate New York, I knew that the bathroom would need to be remodeled.
There were many things that I liked about the room, including the old-fashioned soaking tub, the dormered ceiling (although it makes standing up after bathing impossible), and the simple, square hinged, nine-pane glass window.
What I didn’t like about the room was the dated paneling and mosaic tile floor.
My initial thought was to remove both—to tear off the paneling, skim coat the walls with fresh plaster, and replace the tiles with a more contemporary floor covering.
I opted for a much easier—and less expensive—solution… a can of Ralph Lauren Paint.
- Historic Homes & More >
- The E.D.G.E.
For many city apartment dwellers, living in a small, confined space is hardly cause for celebration. But this year, the American Institute of Architects’ Small Project Awards honored the E.D.G.E.—an inventive 360-square-foot modular prototype that explores the concept of living well—and living green—with less space.
- Doors & Windows >
- Shopping for Energy-Efficient Windows
Shopping for Energy-Efficient Windows
Is your blood pressure rising on the same schedule as your month-to-month heating and cooling bills? Relax—you can stop that cost-climb by choosing the right replacement windows. Yes, there’s a lot to learn and a lot to decide before you can choose the right energy-smart option for your home, but we’ve pulled together essential information you need in the 5 homeowner-friendly links after the jump.
- Lawn & Garden >
- On the Deck
On the Deck
This year the deck on our summer place turns 11. The deck isn’t vast, maybe 10′ x 30′—just the right size for evening gatherings or lunch for my wife and myself.
When I built it, I decided the decking material would be mahogany. Other woods like red cedar or redwood are great choices too, but I liked the grain pattern of mahogany and the silvery sheen it develops when left to weather naturally.