Archive for the ‘Funny/Cool/”I want that!” Real estate’ Category

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Brothers Rehan and Josh Nana recently converted an old, disused grain silo into a quaint cabin. The silo was located on their family’s farmland in Missouri, so the new structure is in no way out of place in its surroundings. One of the primary reasons they opted to complete this conversion was the desire to repurpose something that would otherwise be left to rot and rust. They were helped in making their idea become a reality by architect Kyle Davis of Blue Earth Projects.

The silo-turned-cabin is located a few hours’ drive from the brother’s main residence, and therefore makes for a comfortable weekend getaway space. Most of the wood and other materials they needed for the conversion came from an old barn, 3-story that had collapsed a few years ago. They repurposed its structural beams for the cabin steps, as well as for loft support and bin support next to the large window.

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The tin from the barn’s roof was used as cladding for the interior walls, which made it possible to separate off the bathroom, storage area, and kitchen backsplash. Also, a few of the stones from the barn’s foundation was used for bathroom flooring. The rest of the flooring in the cabin was also repurposed from the barn. For this they used the old hay loft flooring. The cabin only has one large window that also doubles as a door. It was assembled from six insulated double pain patio door blanks.

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They insulated the interior, and used drywall panels to cover the walls, but they left the tin walls used to separate the kitchen and bathroom from the main living area in its original condition. The tin walls certainly add a nice blend of traditional and modern to the converted cabin.

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The resulting 2-story silo cabin is also equipped with running water, heating and standard kitchen appliances, though there is no television or internet. Since the team completed most of the work on their own, and used mostly repurposed materials, the overall budget for the conversion was very low. They managed to complete the conversion in about two weeks.

By: Christine Walsh

 

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Flexible spaces, tech-savvy features and outdoor-oriented living are popular with well-to-do U.S. homeowners, a pair of recent surveys show.

Among the 300 wealthy consumers polled, open floor plans, full automation/wiring and swimming pools topped the list of important amenities, a study by Coldwell Banker Previews International and the Luxury Institute found. Lower priorities for households earning at least $250,000 annually were staff quarters, tennis/sports courts and catering kitchens.

Architects also are seeing high interest in wireless and energy-efficient systems, results of an American Institute of Architects second-quarter survey show. And homeowners are still seeking outdoor living rooms and home offices.

It’s not easy being green — if you’re a house for sale.

Sure, everyone loves energy efficient upgrades — in theory.

But when it comes time to fork over green paper with pictures of dead presidents, many buyers won’t pay a premium for eco features, no matter how sexy and how beneficial for the planet. That could soon start to change as some new national programs create incentives and infrastructure for energy upgrades in for-sale homes, as detailed here.

Some forward-thinking developers have taken green to the max in rehabbing high-end SF houses. Here are two luxury renovations that received LEED Platinum certification — among only a handful of SF houses to snare the coveted designation.

First up, a six-bedroom Queen Anne at 235 Broderick on the border of Haight Ashbury and the Panhandle. Its owners* spent $2 million and a lot of time and energy redoing it to be ultra-environmental.

“Every single thing in that house is salvaged locally, sustainably forested or a combination,” said listing agent Amanda Jones of Sotheby’s International Realty. “Getting LEED certified requires a lot of attention to water consumption, energy use and air circulation.”

The three-story house was gutted, given a new steel frame, new foundation and lots of extras. In addition, the house is “wired to the hilt,” Jones said, with an impressive media room.

It looks spectacular in the photos — but hasn’t found someone willing to pony up extra to be that green, although lots of successful tech execs and even some Hollywood types have toured it.

The house hit the market almost five months ago at just over $4 million and this month dropped the price by $600,000 to $3.495 million.

Now, the owners, who are moving back to Australia, are contemplating renting it, at a cool $17,000 a month.

The stainless steel appliance hegemony has ended.

On Monday, Whirlpool introduced a new premium exterior finish that they call “White Ice.” With clean lines, silver accents and streamlined controls, the new collection’s refrigerator, range, dishwasher, and microwave are a departure from the flash and glitz of stainless steel and its many lookalikes. In fact, the combination of a white finish, stainless handles and mirrored glass appear to have a lot in common with Apple’s popular design language.

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White Ice gives your kitchen a clean slate.

The streamlined new look combines with simplified features that Whirlpool says will make the appliances easier to use. “In addition to the intuitive technology, the line takes a fresh look at appliance design and features flawless exteriors that add beauty to any home,” said Pat Schiavone, Whirlpool’s VP of Global Consumer Design.

Because the whole suite of appliances have such a unique style that’s exclusive to one manufacturer, it’s a safe bet that Whirlpool is hoping customers will upgrade their entire kitchen instead of taking a piecemeal approach.

Whirlpool seems to be aiming their new finish at customers who have grown weary of stainless and its numerous imitators. Indeed, the manufacturer says the new finish is “signifying a shift in the culture of home appliances.” Because it’s essentially an update of the classic white exterior, White Ice may appeal to consumers who are bored by stainless but also don’t want their kitchens to look dated. For Whirlpool, it’s an attempt to appeal to homeowners in a bottomed-out housing market, where renovating is less about increasing resale value and more about appealing to an individual’s own tastes.

Before the recession, investors looking to flip a house for profit wanted to install upscale finishes that could cheaply and easily update the look of a home. So from the HGTV-era onward, the most popular kitchens have combined granite countertops along with stainless steel appliances. Go to any home improvement store and you’ll be sure to see rows upon rows of fridges and dishwashers with stainless steel and stainless-style exteriors.

It wasn’t always that way, and all it takes is a look at classic sitcoms to see how far kitchens have come. If I Love Lucy were in color, the Ricardo’s kitchen likely would’ve had pastel finishes alongside white and stainless. Along with shows like Maude and Soap, the ’70s and early ’80s brought in earth tones, like avocado, harvest gold and almond. Later on, white and bisque became popular — even on the upscale appliances that Geoffrey tended to in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

In addition to the modern White Ice, there are several other alternative finishes available on premium appliances. Smeg, an Italian company, builds retro-looking fridges that could easily be mistaken for your grandmother’s Norge. They’re available in a whole rainbow of shades, from bright yellow to deep purple. AGA, a British manufacturer, puts hard vitreous enamel surfaces in a variety of different colors on their ovens and dishwashers. Whirlpool’s own Amana division also introduced a series of colorful refrigerators in 2009, including an exterior called Green Tea which features a floral motif.

The new White Ice refrigerator, range, dishwasher and microwave will be on display at New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza this week for House Beautiful magazine’s Kitchen of the Year event.

Happy Friday Everyone!

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