January 14, 2008 4:00 AM PST

Inside the green designer home

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Living Homes has also tried to incorporate as many eco-friendly products and design techniques into the construction as possible to further cut down on environmental impact. All of the wood comes from managed forests. In Glenn's home, there is also no floor in the traditional sense: the floor is actually the cement foundation slab. This cuts down on additional materials. (Glenn, however, said the company will likely include more traditional floors in commercial models). Like a lot of cement these days, it includes fly ash harvested from smoke stack scrubbers.

Building the home from factory-built modules, meanwhile, also reduces waste, and cuts construction time and transportation.

But forget the eco-friendly part. What will likely attract buyers is the origami-like feel of the home. Pull open a blond wood wall panel/door next to the kitchen and there's the bathroom. I expected a broom closet. That's the next stylish wall panel/door down. The home is made up of 11 separate modules, but there are about 4 to 5 different module shapes. Thus, the home avoids a boxy, predictable structure.

Upstairs, Glenn shows me one of his own inventions: movable, floor-to-ceiling closets. It takes two or more people to move one, but in a few minutes you can completely reconfigure your household storage.

Then there's the bathroom, complete with sinks made from recycled glass, and silent de-humidifiers. Fabrics hang on the ceiling to give it a tent-like ambience. The light, the glass, the inside tents: academics call this postwar modern, but those who grew up in California know it as Nut Tree Dining Room.

And on the roof there is a rooftop garden populated with native plants. The home's solar panels serve as shade for a patio.

Living Homes has also tried to keep costs down. Cinder blocks compose the walls of the first floor. This isn't to cut down on harmful drywall chemicals. Instead, cinder blocks are cheap, he said.

Overall, the homes cost about $300 a square foot, including building costs. That's more than a standard home, but less than the $450 and $500 a square foot one would pay in a home based around an architect's design.

But the home doesn't seem to be the most kid-friendly place in the world. Glenn has all sorts of Lego structures in his living room and a collection of tastefully arranged toys. But how stylish would the living room look if those toys belonged to someone under 30 years old? First-graders could take some of the modernist sheen off this place in a few days.

Then there are the wall dividers. Each bedroom can be closed off by a telescopic wall. Nonetheless, it's a moving wall. If you lived there as a family, you would have to get accustomed to a higher level of feeling another person's presence. You could imagine it would be like living in adjoining rooms at a hotel: separate but together.

One of the company's primary goals is to make its homes more family-friendly. "We need to make them flexible to deal with people's lifestyle needs," he said. Still, putting those principles into effect may take practice.

Living Homes also doesn't plan on just selling you a home and saying goodbye. Each home comes with a battery of sensors that monitor your power and water consumption. By logging onto a Web site, you can check how you've reduced your carbon footprint. You don't have to log onto the site, but the sensors go in your house regardless.

What if you don't want the sensors, I asked him. What if you're worried about people studying your daily habits via your utility consumption?

Glenn fixed me with a stare as if I'd asked him if I could move in a La-Z-Boy recliner.

"We haven't had that come up," Glenn said. But he said the company could consider it.

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Let's Build HouseLet's Start Building Houses with Bamboo Floors Instead of
When I had my house built, I decided to use bamboo floors instead of hard wood floors. I personally think that they are more beautiful and they come in many shades. In case you are not familiar w/bamboo flooring, it is the green thing to do. Bamboo is like a weed that keeps on growing and can be harvested every 3 or 5 years (not sure of time frame here). The good thing is that when it is cut, it just grows back again from the same plant. It is not like a tree that dyes after being cut and you have to cut another tree down. Bamboo floors are harder than red wood floors. They are easy to clean and last just as long as hard wood floors.
Instead of cutting down our trees, why not just plant some bamboo in our country. I say lets plant some here because now most bamboo flooring comes from China.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://WomenOnGuard.com" target="_newWindow">http://WomenOnGuard.com</a>
Posted by Martha Z (34 comments )
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Bamboo floors sound cool.
Posted by walter boy 4 (1 comment )
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One of the key points of nearly all 2008 Italian designer modern bed furniture collections is a combination of a square shaped platform bed and oval shaped nightstands sometimes called night tables. Nightstands are no longer a part of the platform, where they served as an extension of the modern platform bed. Even the platform itself does not stand out now, looking very modest. Another great innovation is that, in some designs, modern platform bed feet are located close to the center of the platform, giving the whole composition an impression of the bed floating in the midair. The curve shaped appearance of the platform, foot board and headboard combined in one piece gives a strong resemblance of some kind of a mythological vessel.

http://www.modern1furniture.com/modern-bedroom-c-11.html

The materials most commonly used are plywood panels, but solid timber still rocks, with extremely popular wenge finish; however, warm tone cherry wood is still trendy if you want more country style.

Curve is the word of the season. Curved plywood panels are used in all parts of the modern bedroom, except maybe for the wardrobes, filling one of the most important areas of your home ? your bedroom - with uniqueness and chic. Curve really puts attention to the details. Curved shape of the modern chest drawer is not only fashionable, but extremely practical since it replaces traditional handles with the opening in curve without ruining the design of the chest drawer.

A special attention is now given to the wardrobes ? they are made very spacious yet still very stylish because of their finish. White decape finish is, of course, a hit of the season, but particular attention is given to the use of the mirrors and glass. The mirror?s direct task ? to reflect things falls behind and its key mission is now to accentuate the major color of the bedroom set. Mirrors and glass are frequently used to cover the top of the drawer chests and nightstands, but most importantly, they are used as the finish of the modern wardrobe doors. Mirror and glass finish comes in all imaginable types: from one-piece lacquered to patterned; all colors and shades: white, bronzed, smoked, satined, and appearances from break to plain smooth. And the combination of all above really impress: you can find white lacquered mirrors, which look really good in framed sectional fronts of the wardrobes; smoke patterned mirrors do a fascinating job with wenge color of the wardrobe, creating that unique sophisticated look. Bronzed mirror glass is always a perfect match for the country-style cherry wood. And break glass looks superior in bronze color.

Regular wardrobe doors, long before replaced with the sliding member of the door family, do not seem to come back this season. Sliding doors are still very much in style, which, given by their comfort and space-saving ability, will definitely keep them in our homes for a very long time.

http://www.modern1furniture.com/
Posted by genat1974 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
One of the key points of nearly all 2008 Italian designer modern bed furniture collections is a combination of a square shaped platform bed and oval shaped nightstands sometimes called night tables. Nightstands are no longer a part of the platform, where they served as an extension of the modern platform bed. Even the platform itself does not stand out now, looking very modest. Another great innovation is that, in some designs, modern platform bed feet are located close to the center of the platform, giving the whole composition an impression of the bed floating in the midair. The curve shaped appearance of the platform, foot board and headboard combined in one piece gives a strong resemblance of some kind of a mythological vessel.

http://www.modern1furniture.com/modern-bedroom-c-11.html

The materials most commonly used are plywood panels, but solid timber still rocks, with extremely popular wenge finish; however, warm tone cherry wood is still trendy if you want more country style.

Curve is the word of the season. Curved plywood panels are used in all parts of the modern bedroom, except maybe for the wardrobes, filling one of the most important areas of your home ? your bedroom - with uniqueness and chic. Curve really puts attention to the details. Curved shape of the modern chest drawer is not only fashionable, but extremely practical since it replaces traditional handles with the opening in curve without ruining the design of the chest drawer.

A special attention is now given to the wardrobes ? they are made very spacious yet still very stylish because of their finish. White decape finish is, of course, a hit of the season, but particular attention is given to the use of the mirrors and glass. The mirror?s direct task ? to reflect things falls behind and its key mission is now to accentuate the major color of the bedroom set. Mirrors and glass are frequently used to cover the top of the drawer chests and nightstands, but most importantly, they are used as the finish of the modern wardrobe doors. Mirror and glass finish comes in all imaginable types: from one-piece lacquered to patterned; all colors and shades: white, bronzed, smoked, satined, and appearances from break to plain smooth. And the combination of all above really impress: you can find white lacquered mirrors, which look really good in framed sectional fronts of the wardrobes; smoke patterned mirrors do a fascinating job with wenge color of the wardrobe, creating that unique sophisticated look. Bronzed mirror glass is always a perfect match for the country-style cherry wood. And break glass looks superior in bronze color.

Regular wardrobe doors, long before replaced with the sliding member of the door family, do not seem to come back this season. Sliding doors are still very much in style, which, given by their comfort and space-saving ability, will definitely keep them in our homes for a very long time.

http://www.modern1furniture.com/
Posted by genat1974 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
http://www.modern1furniture.com/modern-bedroom-c-11.html
Posted by genat1974 (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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