A Modern Farmhouse

The Belk family of Chester, South Carolina, hired architect extraordinaire Ken Pursley to rebuild their farmhouse, and rebuild he did. Inspired by wood, tin and rope – the most humble materials! – Ken transformed a former brick-heavy construction into a light, airy and modern getaway.


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New York by Gehry

It was a big week in New York, as Architect Frank Gehry’s new residential building opened its door for occupancy. I’ve been watching the development of the construction phase of this project. I have to agree with the positive reviews this week in the New York Times and elsewhere, that the building is indeed worthy of its prominent placement in the New York city skyline. It is breathtaking. Gehry's innovative incorporation of bay windows creates the tower's dynamic silhouette as well as an exceptional variety of panoramic views from within the residences. By shifting the bay windows from floor to floor and tailoring their configuration for each residence, Gehry has given residents the opportunity to, as he puts it, "step into space." New York by Gehry

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Time To Buy: Modern Quilts!


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Mies van der Rohe McCormick House

This is the best kept secret around.  Really.


Have you heard of the McCormick House?

The McCormick house at the Elmhurst Art Museum is a mid-century modern masterpiece. It is one of only three residences in the United States by Architect Mies van der Rohe. The Farnsworth House in Plano Illinois, and the Morris Greenwald House in Weston Connecticut, are fairly well known, but the McCormick House
A stroll through the home offers a rare opportunity to personally experience Meis' design philosophy of “Less Is More”. Visually confronted with post war American culture and transformative changes in design of the 1950’s, these elements are reflected in the clarity and simplicity of the architecture, and the technical innovation of material use in both the structure and furniture of the period.
During 1951-1952, Mies' designed the steel, glass and brick McCormick House located in Elmhurst, Illinois (15 miles west of the Chicago Loop)  for real-estate developer Robert Hall McCormick, Jr. A one story adaptation of the exterior curtain wall of his famous 860-880 Lake Shore Drive towers, it served as a prototype for an unbuilt series of speculative houses to be constructed in Melrose Park, Illinois. 

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Eco-Friendly Flooring Material: Linoleum

For a material that has changed little since the 19th century, linoleum has the ability to look surprisingly modern. What's more, this classic flooring is incredibly green. Need convincing? Check out these eco-friendly benefits of linoleum:

Non-toxic - Nowadays, people often refer to vinyl flooring as "linoleum," but true lino is made from a mixture of natural linseed oil, cork dust, tree resin, wood flour, and limestone with a jute backing. That's in stark contrast to vinyl or PVC, which can have harmful environmental and health effects. As a bonus, linseed oil, which is made from flax seeds, is also antimicrobial.

Durable – There's a reason linoleum has traditionally been used for kitchen floors and hallways – it's super durable and can last for decades. Many of us have memories of linoleum-tiled classrooms and gymnasiums, and you know those take a beating!

Biodegradable – At the end of its useful life, all-natural linoleum can be shredded and composted. Or, if it does make its way into a landfill or incinerator, you can at least feel comfortable knowing that it won't release toxic chemicals into the air, soil, or water.

One thing that has changed since the early days of linoleum is the range of colors available. Companies like Forbo (Marmoleum), USFloors (Corkoleum), Armstrong, and Eco Friendly Flooring offer just about every color of the rainbow, so whether you're looking for something subdued or vibrant, you're in luck.

Related: Eco-Friendly Flooring Material: Cork

(Images: Forbo, USFloors)

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