Kitchen of the Week: Creativity Shines at Seattle

Despite its modern patterned floor and bright crimson backsplash, this kitchen includes some amazingly traditional roots. Built in 1917, this Seattle residence formerly had only 1 owner, who had completed minimal updates over recent years. Although the clients didn’t need to maintain the rusted metal cabinetry or barely functioning stove, they still wanted to honor the house’s history. Designer Laura Zeck used sterile stuff, dressed up that the original flooring and framed discovered art to unite the past with the current in this hot and beautiful layout.

Kitchen at a Glance
Location: Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Washington
Size: 200 square feet

Zinc Artwork + Interiors

The kitchen had a massive 1950s-style stove, with the burners at a drawer. The clients were not able to salvage it, but they wanted to honor the kitchen in some manner. During demolition, they discovered a bunch of old papers in the cabinets, and framed a few pick clippings as wall art. The colours in the framed advertisement next to the stove motivated the bright orange of the new $3,000 Blue Star range and glass-painted counter tops.

The first hardwood floors have a beautiful honey color, but there were some very damaged sections. The homeowners liked the floor’s patina but wanted to divert from the destroyed parts. After the first coat of finish, Zeck painted large stenciled sections on the ground at exactly the same light grey as the walls, then put on two coats of finish.

Range: Blue Star; hood: Vent–a-hood

Zinc Artwork + Interiors

The kitchen bar area — complete with a zinc counter — had been an adjoining sunroom. The custom maple ply cabinetry layout, fabrication and installation cost about $11,000. The cutouts on the kitchen storage dividers replicate the cutouts on the shelves.

Faucet: Karbon Articulating Faucet, Kohler; sink: Franke;cabinetry: custom by Mike Miller Construction; dishwasher: Fisher and Paykel

Zinc Artwork + Interiors

The wood to the open shelving was discovered in the house’s basement — another tribute to the home’s history. Before refrigerators became dwelling mainstays, the cellar held a bigger refrigerator with individual lockers and shelves to the members of the little fishing community that the house is in. These open shelves once sat within the lockers.

Zinc Artwork + Interiors

Next to the L-shaped counter, a brief hallway with a swinging door helps separate the kitchen’s mess from the rest of the house. The floral wallpaper inspired the stenciled pattern on the kitchen floor.

Zinc Artwork + Interiors

The pantry shelf to the right of the refrigerator makes use of the refrigerator doors found in the cellar, also.

The zinc bar price $850, hence the clients opted for a more palatable choice on the opposite countertops. Salvaged slate chalkboards, found at Seattle’s ReStore for about $ 5 per square foot, were sterile coated, match with a custom stainless steel edge and finished with linseed oil.

Refrigerator: Liebherr

See related


Love Your Room: Boost Interest With Architectural Details

When upgrading your living space, go back to basics and look at your room’s architectural information. It doesn’t matter whether your house’s architecture is modern, transitional, contemporary or traditional — details such as beams, markets and moldings will help communicate the style you want, even without a remodel. Here are some suggestions.

Leone Design Studio

Note the current architectural capabilities. While contemporary architecture usually plays down embellishments, traditional architecture usually has more elaborate ceilings, windows, walls and doors. A redesign may highlight present attributes, push them in the desktop or add new ones.

Many people love both contemporary and traditional styles. A transitional living area can enable you to get the best of both worlds. Try keeping your architectural attributes neutral in color and show off your style via your furniture. This magnificent living room’s architecture pays homage to the past but honors the homeowner’s fashion with the iconic, eclectic furniture choices.

More about transitional style

Hufft Projects

Add feel to your fireplace. If your area has a fireplace, look at beefing this up with a textural element. This granite fireplace surround provides the space a significant visual attention while remaining true to the room’s blank form.

Hint: Whatever finish you and your designer are all operating with, taking the surround into the ceiling will make the room feel fuller.

Bonesteel Trout Hall

Install ceiling beams. Many of today’s ceilings are extremely straightforward. Ceiling beams may add some style without feeling too traditional. Faux timber beams are much lighter in weight and easier to install, and the warmth and attention they add to a space speaks volumes. Consider the scale of both room and beams. You do not want the beams to feel too hefty for the distance.

Hint: Install additional lighting right in the beams. This is sometimes useful if you want to hang a heavy pendant lighting and the ceiling joists do not line up.

Wendi Young Design

Update your doors with muntins. If your living area has French or glass doors, flat muntins may add a touch of detail and craftsmanship. Horizontal lines can communicate equilibrium, help create a serene area and increase visual distance. The inclusion of vertical muntins as well can give your space more of a Georgian feel.

Schwartz and Architecture

Add a market or 2. Going via a Larger remodel? A market can be a functional and eye-pleasing architectural addition. If you have a dead corner, then a small market with a seat for one can solve the issue. Shelving alone works wonders if built-in seating is too hard.

Amy Lau Design

Bring the brick. The 1970s turned many people against the internal exposed brick wall — happily this look is on the rise again. Done well, humble brick adds character and texture to many styles of design. Old bricks were often handmade and have a gorgeous feel. New bricks may entice the colours from your flooring and furniture.

Hint: Do not neglect to have old bricks resealed for extra insulation. Utilize a matte sealant to get a more natural, earthy look.

AM Dolce Vita

Update your walls. If you have a living space devoid of any real architectural attributes, utilize wall frames to include easy, affordable particulars. If your room has a seat rail, add frames just below the railing and paint them a contrasting color.

Hint: The size of a wall framework isn’t the most important factor for this installation. Make sure you leave two3/4 to 31/2 inches between each framework and that the framework sits 3 to 4 inches up from the baseboard, then you can work out the size of each framework. Measure and mark the layout in pencil on the whole wall first. This may look like overkill, but equilibrium is all about with framing.

More: Interior Trim: 8 Must-Know Elements

See related


Kitchen of the Week: Color Bursts Enliven an Arkansas Kitchen

Colorful personalities often call for a brilliant kitchen, but these playful customers also wanted a space they would love and use for years to come. Bret Franks Construction functioned to build a kitchen which would handle all of their demands, despite challenges that were spatial. Minimal wall area, shared traffic routes with the remainder of the home and plans to get an adjacent laundry room initially limited the team’s choices to your kitchen floor plan. But designing outside of the traditional work triangle and adding a few playful elements led to an enjoyable space that feels spacious and is simple to use.

Kitchen at a Glance

Location: Conway, Arkansas
Size: 288 square feet
Price: $17,250 (materials, appliances and setup)

Bret Franks Construction, Inc..

Located almost directly at the middle of the home, the kitchen opens up to nearly every major living space on this floor, for example, mudroom, stairwell, dining area, living room and whirlpool.

The kitchen’s plan is due to the limited wall space. The dishwasher, sink and stove sit on a single wall. There is a microwave in the cabinet with the door, and the refrigerator is on a short wall area between the sunroom and kitchen. “It’s certainly not the typical work triangle so often recommended to get a kitchen,” says Bret Franks. “But, the result is a creative and practical use of space”

Dishwasher, refrigerator, stove: Frigidaire; faucet: Whitehaus; faucet: Danze; hood: Kobe

Bret Franks Construction, Inc..

One of the customers wanted to be able to show off her colorful dish collection, so Franks installed several base cupboard drawers for extra storage and put glass inserts on the top cabinets — except for the venting cupboard above the range hood. The brand new cabinetry price about $5,500, plus an extra $350 for your glass inserts.

Countertop: Caesarstone, Organic White

Bret Franks Construction, Inc..

The customers found the playful Clayhaus Ceramics tile online and instantly fell in love with the color mix. The mixture of green, orange, gray and black ended up determining the remainder of the kitchen’s colors: the gray cabinetry, the adjacent tangerine mudroom and respective black accents. Custom made painting ended up costing approximately $1,800, while the backsplash price around $300 (for substances only).

Cabinetry paint: Mindful Gray, Sherwin-Williams

Bret Franks Construction, Inc..

The home’s original plan had the mudroom as a laundry area, which left little space to your walk-in the customers desired. Franks and her team ended up transferring the laundry area to a different portion of the home, making room for a larger mudroom and a walk-in cupboard. The screen door provides a playful architectural element and allows for ventilation.

Orange mudroom paint: Tango, Sherwin-Williams; red pendant: The Old Dixie Cord Light in Barn Red, Barn Light Electric

Bret Franks Construction, Inc..

A couple quirky elements — like numbered cabinet pulls, lettered drawer pulls and lighting with old-fashioned touches — give the space character. The clients knowingly chose things that would make the brand new house look as if it had been designed over time.

Drawer and cupboard pulls: Etsy; pendant light above sink: McCoy, Rejuvenation Hardware; pendants over island: Independence, Hudson Valley

See related


Travel Guide: Portland, Oregon, for Design Lovers

Yes, the dream of the ’90s is alive in Portland, but the design-minded assortment of artists, manufacturers and innovators has catapulted this Oregon city into one of the country’s hippest today. Having a small but fast growing population of 600,000, Portland remains rather quaint, which accounts for its deadpan character even amid its latest increase in popularity and its trendsetting status. The town’s quirkiness spills over into its structure, which combines modernism with a wholesome respect for nature. All it takes is a weekend visit to this Pacific Northwest city to convince one that it’s North America’s youngest retirement community.

R. Olson Design


White Stag sign: Iconic graphic design
Location: 70 NW Couch St. (best seen from the Burnside Bridge)
Noteworthy: Only in Portland would a signal create nearly 75 years’ worth of design controversy.

The White Stag sign, since it’s known by locals, has experienced a set of entrepreneurial identities and designs because it was initially conceived in September 1940 by Ramsay Signs. Merely an outline of Oregon encasing the text “White Satin Sugar” at first, the signal gained its notorious jump stag in 1959 when White Stag Sportswear, occupant and proprietor of the building to which the sign is affixed, took over the promotion rights to it. This also marked the start of a holiday tradition where a neon red bulb glows upon the snout of the stag.

After White Stag Sportswear left the building in 1973, the destiny of the signal was in question. Who’d foot the electricity bill to maintain Portland’s most beloved sign lit? The landmark faced threats of being shut down or eliminated. Eventually the dispute was settled in 1997, with an agreement that the sign could undergo yet another franchise facelift, now for the gift retailer Made In Oregon. However, the Made In Oregon run was short lived, ending in 2006.

Ramsay Signals eventually grew tired of funding the sign’s utility bill in 2008 and searched for a solution. More controversy came together with the proposed advertising of the University of Oregon, whose Portland campus currently occupies the building. But facing much heat, the college withdrew. Ramsay made final risks to decommission the signal in 2010, but this time the city and Ramsay came into an agreement, with Ramsay donating the signal and a $2,000 monthly utility payment into town. For the very first time in its 73 years, the White Stag signal no more peddles any merchandise but simply reads, “Portland Oregon.”

R. Olson Design

The Rose Building: Previously the city visitor’s center
Location: 1020 SW Naito Parkway
Noteworthy: The building was created in the 1940s by Portland’s most prestigious architect, John Yeon.

A sensible beginning for any trip to a new city is the visitor’s center. However, an office wall full of rafting and hot-air-ballooning experience brochures is not what you came to Portland for, can it be? Do not worry; this is not really the city’s info center anymore. Named the Rose Building and now the house of the Rose Festival Foundation, the building was initially created in the 1940s by Portland’s most prestigious architect, John Yeon (pronounced “yon”). Located inside the beloved and always-bustling Tom McCall Waterfront Park, it had been Yeon’s only nonresidential endeavor. The construction is a solid screen of Yeon’s Northwest regional fashion right along Portland’s artery.

Now the inside is a collection of festival memorabilia for the Rose Festival. Even if festival history is not something, stop by because the admission is absolutely free and you’ll get easy access to an interior view of one of Yeon’s most profound works.

R. Olson Design

Watzek House: John Yeon’s first residential design
Location: 1061 SW Skyline Blvd..
Price: $15 (check site for dates)
Noteworthy: Monthly excursions are offered.

Even less successful compared to the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Yeon immediately entered the buzzed-about architectural landscape at age 25 with his Watzek house in Portland’s west hills. With its instantly recognizable east facade of floor-to-ceiling windows surrounded by long, slender columns, the house will later go on exhibit at New York’s Museum of Modern Art along with the visitor’s centre. Yeon’s style earned renown for its simplicity and modernism, leading to his being hailed as one of the country’s prominent practitioners of modern architecture, and more especially the Northwest regionalist style.

A notable component of the Watzek House is its connection to landscape, with a roof pitched to mimic its perspective of Mt. Hood, Oregon’s highest peak, and also a long, sloping yard to accentuate the perspective.

At 2012 the University of Oregon Architecture and Allied Arts School, which inherited the Watzek House, started conducting monthly excursions of the House to the public.

More info: Watzek House

R. Olson Design

“Pod” sculpture: Cool interactive public artwork
Location: 10th and Burnside, across from Powell’s City of Books
Noteworthy: 15 ft high with 73 metal sticks

What do Portlandians enjoy more than art? Art you can perform with. If you find yourself in Powell’s bookstore, which you inevitably will upon the recommendation of everybody whom you ask what to watch in Portland, then you might be confused, curious or downright freaked out from the massive metal sculpture throughout the road. The tripod-spider-looking-thing is known as “Pod” and was conceived by Portland artist Pete Beeman to capture the “infrastructure, power and vibrancy of Portland,” he says.

Supported with a 15-foot-diameter tripod foundation, “Pod” brings passersby with its hairdo (for want of a better word) composed of 73 drifting titanium sticks, reaching 30 feet to the sky and linking to an orb at the middle of the tripod that can be pushed and pulled by anybody interested enough (and tall enough) to engage with the massive sculpture.

Bonus: have a look at another piece of interactive art down the road: a massive pile of children’s bikes piled and chained together. Why? Every Sunday evening a large crew of thrill-seeking bicyclists rides down the town’s steep west hills, starting in the Portland Zoo. Hightlighting the citiy’s participation with its own visionary underbelly, these bicyclists built the statue for a meeting point.

Pittock Mansion
Location: 3229 NW Pittock Dr.
Price: $8.50
Noteworthy: Neighborhood craftsmen built the house in 1914.

The Pittock Mansion was Constructed in 1914 for both Henry and Georgiana Pittock, Portland leaders and leaders of the nation’s Top newspaper, The Oregonian. Incorporating what at the time was cutting-edge technologies, including a central vacuum and intercoms, the house was built by local craftsmen and builders and used local materials, signifying the Pittocks’ devotion to the city they helped build. Now the mansion is open to the public for tours and offers some of the finest views of the city.

More info: Pittock Mansion

R. Olson Design


Food carts: Trailers-cum-restaurants
Location: Throughout Portland

What could be confused for a congregation of wayward parade vehicles is in fact a village of specialization cuisine. Portland adopted the food cart phenomenon from the beginning, and now the trailers-cum-restaraunts are forming pods like schools of fish. These pods sponsor a wide variety of cuisine, and cart owners tend to take as much pride in their cart aesthetic as they do in their food.

Offerings range from a complete menu of grilled cheese sandwiches aboard a double decker bus to European comfort food amid late-night dance parties. One of Portland’s cleanest and finest collections of carts is Great Food Here, located on 43rd and Belmont. Hours vary from cart to cart, but there is always something open.

R. Olson Design

Portland City Grill
Location: 111 SW Fifth Ave.
Price: Plates from $13
Noteworthy: Among the best views of Portland

For a bird’s-eye view of town in the heart of downtown, you’re going to Need to eat. Of course, you can only enjoy the view with a libation, but odds are, you are going to get hungry making the trip around the 30th floor of the U.S. Bank Tower, in which Portland City Grill is located. Either way, the view of Portland and the not-too-distant Cascade Mountains is worth the visit. For the very best show, plan to get there around sunset. Just make sure you’ve got a reservation.

More info: Portland City Grill

R. Olson Design


Cycle Portland Bike Tours
Location: 117 NW Second Ave.
Price: $40
Noteworthy: There’s no greater way to see the city than from two wheels, maybe explaining Portland’s infatuation with bicycles. Many companies provide bike tours, or whether you’re a solo explorer, then they will rent you a bike. Think about carrying a bridge pedal back and forth across the Willamette Riverto get an up-close view of the engineering and architecture that gave Portland the nickname “Bridge City.”

More info: Cycle Portland Bike Tours

Forest Park hike: Trails in an urban forest

Use Portland’s natural aesthetic and hike in the country’s largest urban forest. Forest Park has 150 miles of trail, offering phenomenal vistas of town through dense forest as well as old expansion in some places. Additionally, the skeleton of an old rock home still lurks alongside a trail in the park. Go find it!

Bonus: Hike through Forest Park to the historic Pittock Mansion, for two great experiences on a single trip.

More info: The Forest Park Conservancy

R. Olson Design

Doug Fir Lounge: Concert venue and bar and restaurant
Location: 830 E Burnside St.
Noteworthy: The log cabin–fashion point

Music lovers should always check Portland’s concert calendar and also pay special attention to the Doug Fir listings. Even when you’re not overly familiar with the band performing on any given night, a concert in this cabinesque venue is worth it. Enjoy food and cocktails in the Doug Fir Lounge before heading downstairs to the bar and concert stage with a log cabin–fashion construction. During the show pastel-colored lights splash over the point and light up the wood grain supporting the band.

More info: Doug Fir Lounge

R. Olson Design

Must-Visit Shops

Beam & Anchor: Home furnishings shop
Location: 2710 N Interstate Ave.
Noteworthy: Many of the town’s greatest designers operate over the shop.

Portland proudly supports its regional manufacturers, and there is no greater example than Beam & Anchor. The store is a carefully curated collection of furniture, housewares and personal merchandise. It’s so homesteady that you’ll want to grab a Pendleton blanket and tear on a sofa upholstered in retrieved canvas.

However, what makes Beam & Anchor really special is the commotion taking place upstairs. Above the storefront is a place that is home to some of the town’s greatest manufacturers, including Maak Soap Labs, Wood & Faulk, Revive Designs and Phloem Studio. It’s no wonder creativity appears to float into the air, and it demonstrates the shop’s devotion to handmade products.

Sometimes, the owners offered the upstairs store space for get-togethers to help connect the community with the craftspeople, everyone sipping local spirits and enjoying the musical acoustics of their woodshop.

More info: Beam & Anchor

R. Olson Design

Reclamation Row: Neighborhood bustling with antiques and salvaged-furniture stores

The Southeast Industrial area is teeming with antiques and salvaged-furniture stores, making it the nickname Reclamation Row. Located within blocks of each other, Rejuvenation and Hunt the Unique both provide treasure chests of artifacts of yore. Many odds and ends can be bought, and each shop also offers one-of-a-kind furnishings assembled using knickknacks.

More info: Rejuvenation, Seek the Unique


Kennedy School
Location: 5736 NE 33rd Ave.
Price: $115 to $145 per night

The McMenamin brothers have built quite a reputation for their renovation of historic buildings in Portland and the rest of Oregon. Among the jewels is the Kennedy School. Originally built in 1915, the building served as an elementary school until 1975, when it closed because of lack of student enrollment. To stave off demolition of the building, the McMenamin brothers suggested a hotel, which was warmly approved by the neighborhood.

In 1997 the Kennedy School opened. Having a schoolhouse motif throughout the construction, the venue offers more than only a place to stay. Access to a huge food- and beer-friendly theater and a relaxing soaking pool is included with every room; the two places are also open to the general public for a fee when a day trip is all you can fit in.

There are a variety of restaurants and pubs, including Detention Bar and Honors Bar for the poor and good members of your clan. The numerous amenities and activities make this a fantastic family-friendly alternative. Additionally, the place puts you near the Alberta Arts District, one of Portland’s most entertaining areas.

More info: McMenamins

Ace Resort
Location: 1022 SW Stark St.
Price: $125 to $135 per night

in the Event You truly want to feel as If you’re crashing at a friend’s home in Portland, check into the Ace Hotel. Vintage furnishings, modern art and updated fittings mimic a conventional Portland living space.

The Ace is the epitome of cool, with a lobby between the city’s premier coffee roaster, Stumptown, and Clyde Common, a raved-about restaurant. Its place in the heart of downtown makes researching the city easy, and the free bike loan makes it enjoyable. If a typical bike is not sufficient, locally created Hufnagel bikes can be rented for an extra charge.

More info: Ace Resort

7 Design Ideas By the Portland Ace

See related


Spring Duvet Fix-Ups: 6 Ways to Light Your Outdoor Space

Enhance these long, leisurely evenings on the terrace with the ideal lighting. From subtle landscape lighting and string lights that cast a gentle glow to sconces, pendants and more, these thoughts will help ignite your imagination and strategy that perfect patio.

Nick Noyes Architecture

1. String Lights

Nothing could beat the soft, luminous light of café-style lights strung overhead, and as they’re so cheap, you may use them liberally without denting your budget.

Great to know: make certain to choose outdoor-rated string lights. LED bulbs will last almost forever, but incandescent bulbs can give you that signature glow glow. Solar string lights are a wonderful option if you want to hang them away from a socket.

More manners with string lighting

FormLA Landscaping, Cassy Aoyagi

A note on additional outlets. Having adequate exterior outlets is essential for hanging string lights, lanterns and more (unless they are solar powered). Make the investment in outside outlets instead of running cords through a cracked window not only will your house be safer, but you’ll have the ability to choose exactly where you want the sockets to go.

Great to know: If you reside in an older house, your outside outlets might not have up-to-date security features, so think about having them updated. All outside electrical outlets need to have a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and a weatherproof box cap to keep the socket protected.

Gast Architects

2. Sconces

Sconces are a great option if you want to cast a glow on an open terrace.

Great to know A lantern-style fixture will cast a larger glow than mounted flush against the house, so consider opting for something larger than you might use on, say, the front porch.

Urban Landscape

3. Landscape Lighting

Not just for the backyard, low-voltage landscape lighting may ramp up the ambience of your patio.

Great to know: Generally inadequate to light up an outside space by itself, landscape lighting may work well along with sconces or string lighting. Try a couple of low lights in bushes enclosing the terrace or illuminating a pathway.

Because picture lighting is reduced voltage, this is a comparatively simple and secure DIY project, should you choose to give it a whirl.

Elizabeth Dinkel

4. Pendant Lights

Few things state outside space quite as elegantly as a well-placed pendant light.

Great to know: If you decide to replace an present overhead fixture on your own, be certain the new fixture is similar in weight to the old one — if it’s much thicker, a pro might need to devote a brand new junction box that may take the additional weight.

Cornerstone Architects

5. Recessed Lighting

Simple and sleek, recessed lighting are perfect tucked to the covered terrace of a contemporary or contemporary home.

Great to know: Dimmer switches allow you to adjust the lighting to perfectly suit the mood — along with a dimmer is some thing you can do yourself.

Frankel Building Group

Extend dinnertime using a well-lit outside kitchen. In case your grilling area is separate from the patio seating area, think about subtly linking the twozones using lighting. Direct lighting is much more important from the kitchen zone than mood, so go to get a overhead option, such as recessed lighting or flexible fixtures that may be pointed exactly where you want them to proceed.

Karen Garlanger Designs, LLC

6. Stair Riser Lights

This little touch can add ambience and prevent falls.

Great to know: Having just a couple of measures can actually cause more injuries than a taller staircase. Especially at dusk, that only step can be easy to miss, so including a mild is a kind thing to do.

Jobe Corral Architects

Inform us Will you be adding lighting to your patio this spring? Which manner of lighting is your favorite?

See related


Layout Surprises Amaze Within an Eye-Popping Manhattan Penthouse

Skyhouse is an aptly named skiesscraper penthome in lower Manhattan. The home was created by David Hotson, who inserted four floors to the formerly unoccupied hipped roof space beginning on the 21st floor of a landmark building near City Hall Park. The interior design has been managed by designer Ghislaine Viñas, that inserted colorful furnishings, floral accents, and playful fixtures to the otherwise monochromatic spaces.

Hotson gave me a tour of this recently finished job, showing me the Skyhouse’s details, many of these concealed, and clarified the ideas behind this complicated project. This tour moves from the entrance and living room back down again and to the attic. Photographs do not do the design justice, however they call the residents joys and their guests can enjoy.

at a Glance
Who lives here: A Totally minded bunch
Location: New York City
Size: 7,000 square feet
That is intriguing: A slide. A rock-climbing column. Tons of windows and openings.

John Hill

Easily the most striking portion of Skyhouse is the polished stainless steel skid that winds its way from your attic level to the living room in two sections. Here we are looking up at the slide at the family room as it makes its final descent.

However, the Skyhouse is much more than something playful inserted into a classic building. As we will see, it is a spatially complex and rich space that should reward the citizens as well as their guests for several years to come.

John Hill

Since the apartment occupies the surface of the building all by itself, the elevator brings people directly into it. A little room with faceted white walls and a skylight hints at the complexities that await. A left turn, a few steps up a short stretch of slide, and one arrives at a tall space beside the stair.

The space is defined by white surfaces (angled ceilings and walls), exposed structural steel, polished metal bands, glass guardrails and bridges, and light coming from hidden windows. It is confusing yet also exhilarating.

John Hill

What makes the design even more notable is that this is. The granite, brick and terra-cotta building dates to 1895, though it was modern for its time, being that it had been one of the first steel-frame skyscrapers in Manhattan. The first floor of this Skyhouse is the one using the large arched windows; much of this job is fit above this tall space, in the tight cool roof above it. From this view it is worth noting the windows in the roof: arched dormers and smaller round openings above those.

John Hill

Hotson took advantage of each dormer and round opening as a source of light. This view up to the attic from close to the entrance reveals one of the dormers, made visible with means of a glass floor that helps to bring its mild outside just one room.

John Hill

After the left turn to the apartment, you are on an axis with one of the large arched windows facing west, toward the 100-year-old Woolworth Building and the World Trade Center site outside. This view draws you past the tall space beside the stair and into the living room.

However, no sort of comfort level is attained, as right next to the window is that blue aperture. What is it? An Anish Kapoor sculpture? Actually it is the end of the slide, but we will go through the rest of the job first. (Note the sculpture on the mezzanine above the slide, yet)

John Hill

Fundamentally the Skyhouse is a long rectangle with a full-height living area on one side and stacked bedrooms on the other end; in between are the kitchen, bathrooms, more bedrooms along with other spaces. Even though the slide circuits through the bedroom spaces on the southwest, the living area on the north is marked by means of a swing and a rock-climbing column.

John Hill

Green and orange footholds are attached to the 40-foot steel pillar, making their way from the bottom degree to the pyramidal space that is tucked into a corner of the hip roof. About halfway up is a seating area that can be glimpsed as the white surfaces protruding into the space above the steel beams.

John Hill

To head up to the seating area, we have to backtrack to the stairs. Stepping off at the mezzanine we take in a view toward the living area from the job of the sculpture above the end of the slide (viewed in the fifth photo). From there we could proceed along the glass guardrail to a study along with also a seating area overlooking the living room, but to reach the seating area we watched from below, we need to head up one more floor.

John Hill

Now we’ve arrived at the seating area that sits inside the large vertical space of the living area. A glass flooring lets us look down to this level, whereas the arched dormer window (third photo) appears toward the Chrysler Building.

John Hill

Here’s a view of the seating area from the fourth-floor attic space. The attic is separated from the lower levels at the ends by canted panes of glass, providing security but also an unencumbered view of below.

As you probably noticed, the finishes of the built-in chairs (designed by Ghislaine Viñas, that managed the inside design) are at odds with all the white surfaces and painted steel. However, the comparison works, because the finishes and other splashes of colour throughout are just that — little moments that punctuate various parts of the Skyhouse.

Another intriguing part is how the white surfaces reflect the colors, such that it is hard to discover any ceilings or walls devoid of colour.

John Hill

A glass ground on the attic level gives a glimpse to the space beside the stair; a glass bridge down one level crosses the space. This is one of the most disorienting parts of the Skyhouse, one that really embodies Hotson’s intention to shape space rather than create sculptural objects, as many architects attempt to perform these days.

Much of the design happened following the interior had been demolished along with the casing has been three-dimensionally scanned to make a computer version. Hotson carried out much of the design inside the computer environment, aligned with the customer’s adopting of mathematical complexity (one of the customers routed Hotson his dissertation for inspiration). With such complex interactions with surface, emptiness, structure and mild, it’s easy to determine how a computer would have to be involved.

John Hill

The slide begins in the attic at the end opposite the living area. A similar angled piece of glass separates the attic from the guest bedroom down one level.

The mouth of this slide along with the piece of glass are actually independent of each other (the former doesn’t rest on the latter), so the slide can proceed without damaging the glass.

The slide runs in two sections; the primary is from the attic space down one level to a hallway by the guest bedroom. Then you can continue the second leg to the exit near the dining area we saw before.

John Hill

Here’s a view from the glass bridge (its own glass guardrail is visible in the bottom-right corner) that joins the stair and the guest bedroom. The steel near the peak of the hipped roof is visible in the top opening, and the slide is visible in two, as it makes its way from the attic to the guest bedroom to our right.

Like the apartment, the stainless steel tubing of this slide contains occasional openings; now we could see one at the larger opening at the left.

John Hill

In the guest bedroom the slide is an undeniable presence, snaking its way down over the bed. A brightly colored mural covers the wall behind the bed and can be reflected in the surfaces of the slide. The reflections accentuate the manifold structure of this slide (it had been fabricated in Germany and put together onsite before the walls were constructed). This illness accentuates the motion of the slide and of the people inside.

John Hill

The final leg of this slide curls its way down over the sofa in the little family room.

To the best of us is a TV, and outside is your master bedroom, which sits below the guest bedroom. The closely coiled slide makes a significant statement in this space, but notice the way its mild slope near the bottom lets people slow down before they depart by the dining area. Amazingly, this particular stretch of slide is supported at two things: the wall at the exit along with a little flange two tales up by the guest bedroom.

Hotson discovered inspiration in the slides of German artist Carsten Höller; his show at the Tate Modern in 2006 was actually followed by a large slide inserted to New York’s New Museum at 2011. As executed, the slide will be as much art as play.

John Hill

It’s worth looking around the apartment again to see some of the unique details beyond the slide, stair and living area. This is one of the dormer windows that happens to perfectly frame the Woolworth Building to the west.

A glass pane below the window helps to deliver light to the lower levels while also supplying security. Here is the window we are looking up at in the next photo.

In different parts of the home, triangular glass panes fill the gaps between the walls along with steeply sloped hip roof. These room dividers act clear with all the flick of a switch, so mild could be “borrowed” at a few times and privacy can be ensured the rest of the time.

John Hill

At one of those dormer windows is a toilet. A couple interesting things are happening here: First, the sink is at the gap between the dormer and the canted interior wall; this detail occurs in all the bathrooms (even when the walls are perpendicular) because of the contour of these walls.

Second, the mirror and medicine cabinet are put into a sheet of frosted glass within the arched opening. The latter admits light and preserves privacy, but as the photo on the right side here reveals, opening the mirror provides a view of this building (designed by Frank Gehry) to the east.

John Hill

The final detail is an aperture inside the shower beside the sink in the previous photo. An individual can take a shower and also look at a distant view of the Chrysler Building (awarded the photo, you’ll have to trust me). This view is through an opening in the wall filled with the dormer by the seating area above the living area (ninth photo).

This detail illustrates how Hotson formed the distances on the inside based on external factors (light, views) in addition to the requirements of each room. Views like the one of the Chrysler Building in the shower orient people to the city from deep inside the ground plan.

Walls are not solid; they’re punctured and pleated to make connections across space. Yes, the design is more complex, but there is a logic to it that contributes to a never-ending chain of surprises.

See more photographs of the house

See related


Texas Gardener's April Checklist

Is there anything you can’t do in the Texas garden in April? This is a critical month for planting, sowing seeds, fertilizing and performing important garden maintenance chores. With so much to do, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, but take it a step at a time to ensure your garden is healthy, lush and beautiful. And keep one eye on the toaster while we are not as inclined to have a late-season frost at this point, it’s not hopeless, so be sure to cover up tender tails or new transplants if temperatures dip.

Noel Cross+Architects

Sow Seeds

Virtually any plant easily grown from seed could be sown this month. Be sure to check the planting directions on the backs of their seed packets to know the correct planting depth for each seed type.

Annuals. Opt for celosia, coleus, periwinkle, sunflower, zinnia, gomphrena, ageratum and cleome.

Herbs. Most herbs can be sown this month, including chives, catmint, basil, thyme, oregano, sorrel, tansy, winter savory, summer savory, yarrow, tarragon, germander, lavender, cumin, comfrey, sage and lavender.

Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design

Vegetables. Lots of vegetable seeds can be sown: lima beans, snap beans, beets, chard, okra, radishes and summer squash. Wait till late April to sow seeds for corn, cucumbers, eggplant and pumpkin.

Erin Ponte Landscape Design

Plant Your Garden

You can plant nearly anything that month.

Vegetables. Eggplant, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, tomatillos and sweet potato slips can be planted from 4 – to 6-inch containers.

Fruit. Cantaloupe, honeydewand watermelon are good options; look for them in 4-inch pots.

Herbs. Nearly all herbs can be planted, including rosemary, chives, thyme, oregano, lavender, sorrel, catmint, sage, lemongrass, lemon verbena, basil, catnip, bay laurel and tarragon. Plant from the nursery from containers.

Douglas C Lynn

Bulbs. Caladium, elephant’s ear and lily bulbs can be planted today, but be sure to plant them in the proper depth. A good rule of thumb is to plant two to three times stronger than the bulb is tall.

Annuals. Plant ageratum, geranium, impatiens, marigold, pentas, periwinkle, phlox, coleus and torenia. Start looking for 4-inch containers or six-packs for quick growth.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Perennials. Coneflower, shasta daisy, four-nerve daisy, lantana, salvia and yarrow could be planted this month. Start looking for 1-gallon pots for quicker growth and spread.

Ornamental grasses. Maiden grass, bamboo muhly, large muhly, pink muhly, inland sea turtles, Mexican feather grass, switchgrass and purple fountain grass are fantastic grasses to try. Choose grasses in 1 – .

Notice: Some grasses, like Mexican feather grass, can be invasive. Be sure your plant choices are appropriate and recommended for your region.

Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc..

Trees and shrubs. It’s generally a good idea to plant those larger landscape plants in the cooler months, but it is possible to plant them today if you take a little extra care.
Dig a hole twice as wide as the root chunk of the plant, then add just a little bonemeal or rock phosphate to the pit. (Follow the package directions for numbers.) Plant and water in thoroughly. Spray some liquid seaweed within the planting area for more nutrients. Irrigate regularly through the first growing season (two to three times every week). Turfgrass and grass seed. Consider planting a native grass mix of buffalograss, curly mesquite and blue grama in a sunny part of your lawn — those grasses are drought tolerant and sturdy enough for foot traffic.

Make certain to prepare the region thoroughly before sowing grass seed — follow the directions on the package — and keep it moist until the seed has sprouted.

If you want to include sod to get a more instant lawn, start looking for bits of St. Augustine or zoysia, both of which are somewhat tolerant of light shade. Always follow turfgrass recommendations from specialists locally, such as a trustworthy nursery or your county extension office, even if making bud selections.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Stay on Top of Garden Maintenance

If you continue with frequent maintenance chores this month, your garden will thrive throughout the hotter summer months. And if the forecast is right, it’s going to be another warm and humid season.

Weed. Hand select stray weeds before they go to seed or spread, but be sure to pull them out from the roots rather than breaking them off at the soil surface.

Use chemical weed controls only when required, depending on the severity of your weed issue. There are lots of organic options available that are kinder to the surrounding environment, but use caution if employing a solution of any sort — those that are labeled “nonselective herbicides,” whether they’re organic or not, will kill any plant they’re sprayed.

Fertilize. Spray a seaweed solution on your bedding plants once every week for lush growth and flourishing. Fertilize based trees, shrubs and other plants using a balanced fertilizer, and go light on fertilizing newly planted transplants.

Fertilize your lawn using a low-nitrogen fertilizer and water it in thoroughly. Use a water-soluble fertilizer for container plants and houseplants. Always follow the package directions, as overfertilizing can really harm your plants.


Bugs. Be on the watch for detrimental bugs, such as aphids, tomato hornworms, leaf rollers and spring cankerworms. Remember that not all bugs are bad — ladybugs feed on unwanted pests and should be protected and encouraged to set up home.

Identify your problem pest by choosing a sample to a local nursery, and then make your treatment selection from that point. Always follow package directions when using any pesticide or chemical to prevent damaging insects.

Compost. Add 1 or 2 inches of mulch to bare soil areas to amend the soil, and then gently work it into your topsoil. I like to use a garden fork to loosen the region up to incorporate the dirt, then rake it smooth with a challenging rake and then add mulch.

Arterra Landscape Architects

Mulch. A 3-inch layer of mulch around all plantings will maintain soil moisture and discourage weeds. In Texas use a Texas native hardwood mulch, which is shredded and resists moving through a hard rain. Mulches such as bark chips or stoves have a tendency to wash off, leaving the soil bare and creating a maintenance issue.

Irrigate. New plantings require regular irrigation to establish roots. Attempt to water toward the bottom of the plant rather than about the plant’s leaves (which can create fungal problems); water deeply and less often, and always comply with any watering instructions that exist in your area.

More regional gardening manuals

See related