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2009 Solar Decathlon, Washington DC

This is the second time I’ve had the opportunity to check out the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, a competition between 20 colleges and universities to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. Honestly, while it is interesting to learn about new and energy-efficient technology, mostly I go to admire the modern architecture.

This year, there were a lot more people turning out to tour the homes, so we only had time to tour three: Rice University’s , Penn State’s, and the University of Minnesota’s. Personally, I liked the design and layout of Penn State’s the best, except for the amount of plants inside (a little too messy). Our guide said that it was originally designed for “DINKS” which apparently stands for “double income no kids,” so I guess I won’t be living in one any time soon.

Event goes through October 18th, and I would highly recommend visiting it if you get a chance.


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Living in a Tiny House

David and I love our little house, except that it is just so…little. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before how we have an on-going conversation about building an addition. Recent events, however, are again pushing that idea onto the back burner. That is why I was so curious about this article which included the following video about Jay, a man who lives in a tiny house that is only 100 square feet (although that doesn’t include a sleeping loft). Can you imagine?! Also, check out the tiny dwellings at Tumbleweed Houses (shown above). To think, our house is just a hair bigger than the largest “small house” that they make!

Oh, and for all you modern house lovers like me, don’t miss the Z-house. It is so minimalist and cool, but what is with that rusty siding they chose?


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Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House for sale

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My husband noticed that Frank Lloyd Wright’s Los Angeles Ennis House was listed on the real estate market today for $15 million. I was surprised to read about some of its many big screen appearances – House on Haunted Hill, Grand Canyon, Blade Runner, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Twin Peaks, Black Rain, The Karate Kid III and 1975’s The Day of the Locust.

While I am a huge fan of FLW, this property is not among my favorites. However, I do hope someone decides to step up and responsibly take on the maintenance and restoration it needs.

My other Frank Lloyd Wright posts: Falling Water, Kentuck Knob, Pope-Leighey House


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Ben Rose home for sale


Photos from the Sotheby’s web site, photographed by Robert Harshman

Remember the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Well, it turns out the 5300 square foot home (with movie-famous detached garage) is for sale through Sotheby’s. The modern steel and glass structure, built in 1953 by architects A. James Speyer and David Haid, is named after photographer Ben Rose, who once owned it. Only $2,300,000. Wow.


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Holy Sh*#! – My Dream House is for Sale!

kaufmann House Richard Neutra

I just found out here that one of my dream houses is going up for auction. And OMG is it gorgeous! I’m talking about the Richard Neutra designed Kaufmann Desert House in Palm Springs, California. I’ve never seen it in person, but after touring the Kaufmann’s Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright this past summer I just know that it will be similarly superb in every way. Even more so, perhaps, because it’s closer to my personal ideal of modernism. How I would love to live in such beautifully open spaces, surrounded by breathtaking views, streaming sunlight, and modern simplicity.

With all my heart I hope it is purchased by a preservation group that will allow visitors to tour this magnificent piece of modern historical architecture. Or at least someone willing to give it the care, admiration and love it deserves.

Read the NY Times article here. Photos shown are from this slideshow.

kaufmann House Richard Neutra

kaufmann House Richard Neutra


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A Modern Gingerbread House

modern gingerbread house

This is the coolest gingerbread house, ever! Hard to believe that no one has thought of it before (at least that I’ve ever seen). I came across it here while perusing Redenvelope.com“Every bit as edible as the original, this isn’t your grandma’s gingerbread house. We gave the classic holiday treat a mid-century makeover, complete with garage and rock garden. A unique gift and sure-fire conversation piece, it comes assembled and ready to enjoy.”

It’s a little spendy at $78 (for an extra $10 you can add personalization, like in the photo above) and it makes me a little sad that you can’t assemble it yourself. Isn’t that the fun part? Seeing this makes me think about trying to re-create one of my favorite modern houses, maybe Michelle Kaufmann’s Sunset Breezehouse or maybe an iconic Portland-area Rummer home, complete with melted hard candy glass windows (see recipe here). Wouldn’t that be so awesome?!

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