Here’s a beautiful room that reminds me of summer. I love the dark wood floors, the white walls and furniture, the wood accents (coffee table and chair arms), the fireplace, and the wall of windows. This is a great example of bringing nature inside your home. Isn’t it inviting? The pet dog seems happy enough.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment
May 29, 2012
Learn more about the Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment.
The Pink Victorian
I always seem to notice pink homes. Perhaps it’s because they are rare. What sort of person lives in a pink house? Creative? Confident? Artistic? Fun? Bold? Gentle? Caring? Content? Blissful? Loving? Sweet?
If a home is going to be pink, it needs to be the right shade and hue of pink. This Victorian wears its pink well. Some homes will wear pink better than others. Victorians, yes. Cottages, yes. These styles generally have some architectural detailing that works well with pink. Your basic 1950’s rambler? Probably not so much.
Locale makes a difference. Southern states may have more of these pink homes than northern states. This home is here in the northern state of Minnesota. I get the sense winter wouldn’t be quite so dreary coming home to a pink house.
Landscaping can make a difference as well. Note the variety of landscaping here that softens the overall ambiance.
Would you live in a pink house?
Energy Efficiency: Pick Upgrades that (Actually) Drive Down Costs
Published: November 3, 2011
The award-winning energy-efficient Devonshire building
A new study says home owners won’t see their utility bills drop until they’ve conducted four or more energy upgrades. Here are projects that will give you the greatest bang for your energy buck.
I’ve long suspected that saving energy is like saving calories: Small measures add up, until a Thanksgiving pecan pie — or a dazzling holiday light display — wrecks a year’s worth of small though consistent efforts.
Evidently I’m right, according to a new study claiming that doing a couple of small, energy-saving measures actually increase utility bills. And that a home owner must perform at least four energy upgrades before their utility bill drops.
The 450-page study, conducted by the eco-curious Shelton Group, found that energy-efficient home owners think they should replace water heaters and install a higher-efficiency HVAC system, though they actually replace windows and add insulation.
We think they’re half right: Adding insulation, especially in the attic, is a low-cost way to reduce utility bills. But replacing windows requires a huge upfront cost, which you probably won’t live long enough to earn back.
To see net-net savings — in your lifetime — select upgrades that reduce energy consumption by 5% and require modest initial investments. We suggest:
- Seal and insulate ductwork through unfinished and unheated areas, such as the attic, garage, and crawl spaces.
- Install a programmable thermostat so you don’t overheat your house when you’re away or asleep.
- Seal air leaks around windows, doors, attic access, and recessed lights.
How many energy-efficient improvements did you make last year? Did you see a drop or increase in your utility bills?
Real Estate for Sale
Mac-Groveland Neighborhood of Saint Paul, MN
Sunny Spaces Inside
Beautiful Gardens Outside
List price: $144,900
Sale price: $139,300
This property is sold and no longer available for showings.
This one-bedroom plus den home is a “not so big house” in terms of size but has plenty of style and charm! It’s located just a block from Grand Avenue and is within close proximity to three private colleges/universities. Other features include a screened porch, main floor laundry, a single garage, and central air conditioning.
Walk Score = 85 / Very Walkable
For additional information and to arrange a showing, call, text or email:
Coldwell Banker Burnet
Minneapolis MN 55416
Vintage Goods at 40% Off
If you’re a fan of architecture and antiques, here’s a sale to check out this weekend. Explore a vast array of unique and desirable architectural pieces. These rescued items are the real thing, not reproductions. Categories include lighting, doors, windows, hardware, mantels and cabinets, ecclesiastical, and iron and stone items for both home and garden.
Architectural Antiques has been offering their salvaged, antique decor for over thirty years. They’ve been written about and featured in most of the prominent interior design, antiques and restoration magazines. Stop in and have a look. And, yes, that’s 40% off everything this weekend.
Sale Dates and Times
Friday, September 30th: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday, October 1st: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 2nd: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
1330 NE Quincy Street
A High Ceiling and Plenty of Windows
The Marsh in Minnetonka, Minnesota is a wellness center located on the edge of a scenic Minnetonka wetland. Pictured here is the upper portion of the Meditation Room. There is an additional layer of windows under these, along the lower portion of this space. They provide plenty of natural light and beautiful views.
It’s the weekend before our Thanksgiving holiday, a time when people may feel a higher level of stress. Take a moment to breathe, relax, be in gratitude, and enjoy life.
Quiet your mind and body on December 2nd at The Marsh at this event: Spend a meditative evening in the Warm Water Pool where the room will be lit only by candle light.
Global Tree Project
I came across this image on another blog and was immediately struck by the beauty and spirituality it portrays. This abandoned space, Holy Cross Church in Mount Adams, Cincinnati, Ohio, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s beauty is still so evident even while it is fading from neglect. To me, this Hanging Garden breathes new life into the space, awakening hope, opening eyes to the beauty within its walls, creating a sanctuary once again, calling for a restoration of this 19th century church to its full magnificence–so like nature herself.
“Developing my Global Tree Project HANGING GARDEN at Holy Cross Church,” says Turner-Yamamoto, “I was drawn to debris in the abandoned church where pieces of fallen plaster and paint fragments melded with age-old dust. The material reminded me of the ruins I saw in Italy. It presented an extreme and insistent form of reconciliation between human and nature.”
“I found beauty in the decay of the church,” says Turner-Yamamoto. “There’s a beauty in how things crack. You can see nature’s power. It’s like looking at a bolt of lightning—it’s the same for me.”
Art installation and photos by Shinji Turner-Yamamoto
GlobalTreeProject.org – Press Release
The artist Turner-Yamamoto discusses the project on this video:
“A house is a home when it shelters the body and comforts the soul.”
What part of your home comforts you?
Is it a single room in your house?
Is it a piece of furniture within your home?
Is it your garden and the plants you watch grow?
Is it the food you prepare in your kitchen?
A great bathtub filled with hot water has always been a source of relaxation and comfort for me. Water in general has this effect on me, be it a river, a lake, an ocean, an outdoor shower, a swimming pool, or a deep soaking tub.
A bathroom in and of itself does not necessarily comfort my soul. Some bathrooms, such as this one, are created as much for their design as for their function. Utilitarian yet beautiful.
Plenty of natural light enhances the space. The windows are visually doubled by the use of a large wall mirror. A windowless bath benefits from the natural light that a skylight allows in.
There’s also an organic, earthy quality to this bath with its wood cabinetry, tile flooring, and colors that can easily be found in nature. The semi-opaque glass in the dividing wall reminds me of an early morning fog that will burn off once the sun rises high enough.
“The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.”
What comforts your soul?
I saw this home in St. Paul earlier this week. It not only has a bow window, but the upper panes feature beveled glass. Beveled glass has angled edges. One benefit of beveled glass is that the angled edges act as prisms in the sunlight, providing a spectrum of colors not present in regular clear glass. Imagine a rainbow of color streaming in your home through a beveled window! This color diffraction also highlights the beveled glass, making it more of a focal point within the room than other glass. An antique beveled glass window will give this magical effect with both natural and artificial light sources.
Most, if not all, beveled glass windows were made by hand in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There were many time-consuming steps involved in the process, thereby making this type of glass expensive. Even so, Americans embraced these visually stunning windows and, as such, our country produced the widest variety and best quality of these elegant windows. An antique beveled glass window is superior to a modern version due to the differences in glass composition, the thicker glass which allows for a more refractory surface on each piece, and the inherent extraordinary craftsmanship of a hand-made bevel that allows for greater prismatic light.
As a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, I like to raise awareness of the benefits of repairing windows rather than replacing them. Often times people think they are improving the energy efficiency by replacing the windows. Perhaps not.
“More heat is typically lost though your roof and un-insulated walls than through your windows. Adding just 3 and 1/2 inches of insulation in your attic can save more energy than replacing your windows.”
Has this quote caught your attention? It’s pulled from an article published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Read it for information about the benefits of keeping your old windows (they’ll last far longer). It also covers wood window basics, maintenance of wood windows, lead-based paint safety, and winter tips (including the most important job of a window lock. Hint: it’s not for security).
If you’d like to read more, go here: Historic windows and energy efficiency
And here’s another blog entry regarding Help for Historic Windows
“A man looking out of an open window never sees as much as the same man looking directly at a closed window.”