Showing posts with label architecture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label architecture. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 07, 2017


I'm still looking at pictures of home interiors and I thought I'd share a few that I like. How do you like this open plan kitchen and dining room?

I like arched ceilings but there are few of those where I'll be moving.

Craftsman furniture would be's pricey, though.

I like how a lot of designers have merged Craftsman with Modern. And, do you like those black foreground chairs? The ones I've seen are expensive.

Here's (above) a California Ranch-Style back porch, the kind my favorite L.A. architect Cliff May would have approved of.

Big canvas awnings look great, though this example seems a bit flimsy. What happens when the wind blows?

Haw! A blackboard wall! You'd breathe a lot of chalk in a room like that, but it might be worth it.  You could draw life size caricatures of your family and friends seated at the table, eating and squabbling with each other.

And jasmine curtains...a nice way to cheer up a gloomy room.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017


Here's a photo (above) that made me want to stand up and cheer when I found it. It's of New York City, at Broadway and Fulton Street and Park Place, taken in 1866.

A book called "New York Then and Now" said the pedestrian footbridge was a popular place for courting couples who wore their best finery to watch the goings on down in the street.

Here's the same place today. It's a handsome corner even now, but even better in my opinion was the view with the footbridge from 1866. Amazingly, a purely utilitarian device to get people across the street actually added to people's enjoyment of the scenery. added to mine, anyway.

In my opinion footbridges add to the aesthetic value of any urban scene. Almost any man-made thing worth seeing is worth seeing from more than one angle.

There's so many kinds of footbridges.

Some (above) may not cross a road. Some are more like footpaths that cling to the sides of buildings, above street level.

Some bridges aren't bridges at all.

My favorite type of footbridge is the covered wooden kind, but maybe that's a fire hazard. Isn't there some way to make that sort of thing work in the city?

Unfortunately not all footbridges are equal. The white one above doesn't work because it's in a badly designed area, and doesn't seem to serve any important purpose.

This park bridge over swampy mud, on the other hand, earns its keep.

Maybe that aimless, white bridge could be made a little more interesting with addition of exercise bars.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


What do you think of this tiny house by Sou Fujimoto?  Okay, it doesn't look very comfortable, but it's only a proof-of-concept structure, not a finished house, and it certainly makes its point. 

Geez, if the world is going to contain many houses like this then we better start planting trees on a massive scale. 

Fujimoto loves wood and who can blame him? it's a beautiful material that's easily worked. 

Enough talk about wood! Let's talk about bricks!

There's some terrific brick ideas out there, like this one (above) by Ninbo, but they're not mass market yet. You have to special order them, or make your own designs at home.

Maybe the reason the new styles haven't caught on yet is that so many are not load bearing. Not only that, but they're porous...they let in too much cold air to be practical in a house. 

Well, that's okay. You can always plaster the interior side. Besides, I see bricks of this type as being more useful for purely exterior walls like fences and retaining walls. Just don't build them too high.

Too high and you lose sight of the individual stones and tiles. You get a texture that resembles a wool sweater.

Haw! All this is making me realize how beautiful and practical standard bricks are. Even a sloppy mortar job looks good on them.

BTW, What do you think of the color of these bricks?

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Like most people I'm a huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, but he's not above making mistakes.  Nobody is.  I thought it might be fun to review some of his faux pas.

Let's face it. A lot of his chairs don't look very comfortable.

Some of the worse offenders are his plywood chairs, like the one above. This chair is missing its cushions, but even so....

For a time Wright fell in love with plywood and used it to make visible walls even in his upscale houses, something few modern architects would do.

A more serious problem is his lack of interest in bedrooms and kitchens.

Here's (above) a Wright bedroom. It's a living room with a bed in it.  Taken alone it looks great but imagine a whole house where every room is a living's just too much of a good thing. I see homes as a confederacy of different moods and purposes, the way nature itself is.

Here's another bedroom. It feels like a family room or a study that's doing double duty.

Here's a kitchen that also looks like a study. You get the feeling that the man never spent much time in kitchens.

Lots of people think of landscaping as an art form but the subject seemed to bore Wright.  All he seemed to want around his houses (above) was a nicely mowed lawn. 

His low-budget Usonian houses seemed all the more stark and unappealing on the plain lawns. 

Does anything I mentioned diminish the architect's stature in my eyes? Nope. Not a jot.  He's still the greatest builder of homes that I'm aware of.  I only mean to point out that nobody's ever perfect, not even the greatest geniuses.

Monday, February 13, 2017


Architecture is on my mind these days, and I thought I'd talk about another favorite film house...this one from the 1945 thriller, "Leave Her to Heaven."  The stars: Gene Tierney and Cornel Wilde.  The director: John M. Stahl.  The location: Arizona.  Gee, I wish I knew the art director's name because this post is really about his work. 

This (above) is the best view of the exterior I could find, but it doesn't quite match the log cabin look of the picture at the top. I think the film presented these as different views of the same house, though. Anyway, this view kinda' makes you want to take a dip, doesn't it?

And here's an indoor shot highlighting one of the best staircases in all of film. It's only my opinion... is the Czar's staircase in Von Sternberg's "Catherine the Great."

This interior was built on a set in L.A. If I understand right
it was inspired by a real house in Arizona, but lots of alterations were made by the set designer.  Not bad, eh?

Above, a slightly different angle.

This house (above) is cozy as well as modern. That's a trademark of architect Cliff May. You don't suppose he had a hand in this film, do you?

The dining area (above) is raised two or three steps above the living room. Nice.

Of course, it helps to have Gene Tierney serving up the meal.

Above, the area in front of the dining table.

Here's (above) the set of another house in the film.

How do you like the Dutch door and the large windows that go all the way down to the floor?

BTW: Most of these pictures were found on a site called "Hooked on Houses."

Friday, February 03, 2017


I just saw the 2006 Gwyneth Paltrow movie, "Proof." It was director Director John Madden's next film after "Shakespeare in Love," a film I watched at least a half dozen times. I'm tempted to talk about the story here but I'm an artist and I'll try to stay focused on the wonderful house that was used in the film. That's it above.

In the story a bereaved Paltrow was the daughter of a famous mathematician, recently deceased.  This was the house her character grew up in.

Isn't that porch wonderful?  It could use some paint, though. Maybe "stressed" wood was still in fashion in 2006. 

Throughout the film horizontals and verticals are stressed. The art director thought that was appropriate for a film about math people.

'Nice neighborhood. Lots of trees and shrubs.

A large living room with hardwood floors makes for a perfect party.

I love the upstairs halls that you find in houses like that.

Geez, the dad's workroom was even messier than my own. I like it, though. Are those subway tiles behind the desk?

I especially like windows of that type, and notice the fibrous wall covering.  It allows the entire room to function as one big bulletin board.

Window sills are covered with shells and concentric cactus's the math theme again.

Even the pattern on the bedspreads is subtly math themed with repeating patterns. I'll discipline myself to ignore the quasi-nude scene that this scene builds to.

The kitchen continues the math idea with linear fluted trim on the windows and doors. It's a great look. 

Ditto the breakfast area with linear patterns on the cushions and vertical paneling on the walls. That's the sun room on the other side.

I love sun rooms! The architecture, the light and temperature...everything is different out there. Rooms like this are like little Robinson Caruso shacks grafted onto manor houses. It's a terrific idea! 

I'll end this with Paltrow lit simultaneously with dim blue and straw-colored lights. That's an easily achievable effect even in ordinary homes!