‘extreme architecture’ looks to be inspiring read


The trend watchers over at Cool Hunting just wrote about Ruth Slavid’s new book Extreme Architecture: Building For Challenging Environments. The book is divided into five sections that cover the major challenges the environment poses when building a structure — hot, cold, high, wet, and space. I love to see how people deal with the tricky environmental factors of their location, and Slavid’s book gives a good look into solutions with tons of information and stunningly beautiful photographs. The book will be available in August through Chronicle Books. — Erica P.

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where’s the best old-house neighborhood near you?

The editors of This Old House think they know. They’ve just put out a list of the coolest neighborhoods of old houses in every state and one in Canada. I’m happy to see that a neighborhood that butts right up against my old haunting grounds in Cincinnati made the cut, and intrigued to see that the coolest old neighborhood in Washington is someplace I’ve never been. The list and lots of photos will be in the issue of This Old House that hits newsstands June 29, but you can get a sneak peek here. And if you’re curious to know if your neighborhood is included? Click the link for the full list. –Mary T. Click to see the This Old House Best Old-House Neighborhood List. (more…)

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summer reading on ridiculous design rules

When swissmiss blogged about the book Never Use White Type on a Black Background: And 50 Other Ridiculous Design Rules by Anneloes van Gaalen, I immediately headed over to Amazon.com to buy a copy. Well, the book isn’t yet available, but I did pre-order it for just under $13. Read the description from the site below:

Design has many rules that claim to be big truths and full of wisdom. Designers all go by rules that work for them. However, their rules may not work for someone else, or for a particular piece of design work. When a rule is forced upon you, it stops working and becomes a joke, like “Never use a PC,” or “Leave it until the last minute,” or the most famous of them all, “Less is more.”

The problem is that every rule related to, or governing, design is ultimately ridiculous. In this book we have collected the most talked-about rules and the viewpoints of designers and thought leaders who live by them or hate them.

Now try to resist pre-ordering your own. I dare you! — Erica P.

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the new readymade is here

I got my April/May issue of Readymade today, the first under the new editors and produced in Iowa. (You can read the backstory on that here.) As I’ve mentioned, I’m fairly new to Readymade, so at a glance, it’s hard for me to tell if anything major has changed (besides the staff, that is). There’s still a challenge where readers make something completely new out of a common object (the upcoming challenge is to make something from a slide carousel). There’s an article on the “Tao of Pie” and a peek into a Portland home that I like a lot. (The home includes quite a few succulents — these are obviously getting really popular.) There are lots of DIYs on sewing, making a chandelier, revamping a desk. I am not ruling out, of course, that some of the stories may have been filed before the staff was replaced.

Interim editor Kitty Morgan addresses the changes in her letter, which I was happy to see; better to acknowledge than pretend nothing is different. It does make me sad that Readymade won’t retain the exact style and culture of its founders, though it’s not as if you have to live on the coast to be creative — after all, I’m from Ohio myself. Are you a longtime Readymade reader who’s received the new issue? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts. –Mary T.

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ebay find: vintage sunset books

If you like decorating with vintage style, why not expand it to your home and garden DIY projects, too? Sunset magazine has been publishing how-to books for several generations, and you can find a surprising number of them on eBay. Starting at just around $3, you can learn how to build 1960s-era patios and gardens, add a deck, and landscape with lawns and groundcovers. And check out the amazing-looking book on patio roofs from 1974. You can find a lot of vintage Sunset books on topics like cooking and crafting, too. As you can see from the photo above, we’ve collected a few Sunset books for DIY inspiration ourselves. –Mary T.

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