The Custom Furniture Business: Creating Beautiful and Timeless Designs
Small businesses are the soul of America

More people are interested in buying locally made products than ever before. You can capitalize on many consumers’ return to local shopping by emphasizing that all components of your furniture are made in the United States, or in your town or area. The same applies to handmade goods. Individuals who are tired of mass-produced goods are often the same people who are interested in buying locally. Given this climate, it is a good time to start a handmade furniture business.

The program uses “reminiscence therapy”

Inside a sprawling beige warehouse in Southern California is what some researchers believe could be the next big thing in dementia care. Town Square, a 9,000-square-foot replica of a 1950s-era town in Chula Vista, California, is designed to jog the memories of people with dementia by surrounding them with familiar places and activities from their past.

The replica, which is part of the George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Center’s roster of adult day centers, is impressively detailed. The town has 14 storefronts including a vintage shop, movie theater playing old films, a working diner, and an old-school gas station, complete with a 1950s Thunderbird that visitors can sit inside. Patients rotate through each location and participate in activities based on their abilities.

 Courtesy of George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers

The whole thing is designed to get patients moving around and socializing with each other. “Every storefront lends itself to reminiscing,” Scott Tarde, CEO of the Glenner Centers, told CityLab. “In the library, they’ll do everything from puzzles to having storytellers come in. In the pet store, animal...

It’s pretty darn cute

When Sony first released the Aibo in 1999, the animatronic pup sold out within 20 minutes of its launch. Understandably. With its floppy-ish ears and well-timed tilts of the head, the robot passed for a beagle, albeit one that was made from silver plastic and didn’t poop.

Sony continued to sell the Aibo for several more years, incrementally improving on its technological dogginess until 2006, when Sony discontinued Aibo. Over a decade later, the robotic pup is back and for sale in the U.S. for the first time since 1999.

Robotic dogs lined upSony
All the generations of Aibo.
Human shaking hands with robot puppySony

The new generation of Aibo is greatly improved in terms of sheer dog-likeness. It’s like Aibo trotted into Pixar and emerged a full puppy dog-eyed robot. This time around the robot is connected to the cloud, where its behavior is dictated by constantly learning AI. According to Sony, the Aibo’s personality is formed by its interactions with its owner, like a walking, woofing Tamagotchi.

Robotic dog carrying toySony

Using its suite of internal sensors, the companion puppy will react to seasons and weather, learn new tricks, and use its nose camera (plus facial recognition) to seek out its owner. The robotic dog...

Flood waters from Hurricane Florence surround a house and flow along the street on September 16, 2018 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Rain continues to inundate the region causing concern for large scale flooding after Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina and South Carolina area.

Hurricane Florence underscores how our current system of rebuilding after storms can’t afford a future of more frequent and powerful weather.

A flood of biblical proportions, the second 1,000-year rain event in as many years, a storm dumping 18 trillion gallons of rain that caused 16 major rivers to flood.

While the extent of Hurricane Florence’s damage to the Carolinas and Eastern Seaboard won’t be fully understood for months, preliminary estimates suggest that it will be staggering. CoStar estimated $33.5 billion in commercial real estate would be threatened. Moody’s prediction earlier this week that the total damage could range from $17 to $22 billion was immediately deemed too conservative in the wake of a storm that already dumped 36 inches of rain on parts of North Carolina in a single 24-hour period.

But more important and tragic is the human toll, both in lives lost and homes damaged or swept away. As of the afternoon of September 20, 41 people are reported dead, many whom were fleeing the rising waters on increasingly inundated and overwhelmed roadways. On-the-ground reporting also illustrated that the brunt of the housing damage will impact lower-income residents....

The shingle-style house sits on 3.5 acres

Have a nomination for a jaw-dropping listing that would make a mighty fine House of the Day? Get thee to the tipline and send us your suggestions. We’d love to see what you’ve got.

Location: Petersham, Massachusetts

Price: $650,000

It’s not often you find an elegant mansion for under $1 million—unless it’s of the McMansion style—but this antique Colonial is delivering on all counts. Located on 3.5 acres about 1.5 hours west of Boston, the eight-bedroom, five-bath home was constructed in 1900 and painfully restored in the 1980s.

On the market for the second time in 118 years, the shingle-style house measures 4,388 square feet with spacious porches overlooking the rear lawn. Inside, gleaming wood floors have been well-cared for, bathrooms feature claw-foot tubs, and the house boasts an astonishing seven fireplaces.

There’s plenty of space on the property to build a barn and the house backs to a trail system for hiking, riding, and biking.

If you’re looking for value in a quintessential New England town, 28 North Main Street is on sale now for $650,000.

This is the house-hunting show we need right now

The last time I hate-watched House Hunters, I found myself seething as a woman rejected one perfectly good home after another because it lacked her most-prized feature: a window that would show off her Christmas tree to the neighbors. “No one wants to see your Christmas tree,” I yelled at the television, even as I wondered what it might feel like to consider such a feature a necessity. Like many other House Hunters haters, I live in New York, in an apartment building with stairwells so steep and narrow I’m not sure a Christmas tree could even make it to my third-floor apartment (let alone fit through the door upon arrival).

I love reading about real estate, so for a long time I wondered if I’d ever be able to watch a home-shopping show and not resent everyone on it, and also myself for judging them and for feeling incredibly jealous. As if by magic, My Lottery Dream Home, the fifth season of which premieres September 21, came into my life.

Episodes of My Lottery Dream Home hew to the same “so you want to buy a house” structure as other shows in the genre, but here, the buyers haven’t come into their money through inheritance or...

Not just for the youth anymore

Millennial pink, the color we all love to love (and love to hate), isn’t just for the youth anymore. At least if we’re to believe this beautiful and very pink retirement home in France.

Dominique Coulon & Associés, designer of inventive libraries, schools, and elder care centers created the Huningue retirement home with a single color palette: a peachy, pink hue just a touch warmer than the traditional millennial pink.

Stairwell with pink wallsEugeni Pons via The Spaces

This—let’s call it retirement pink—covers the interior of the main building, which is part of a 43,000-square-foot complex that also includes a restaurant, hobby workshop, vegetable garden, and place to play boule. The color is the result of mixing red concrete with pink terra cotta, which also gives the space a beautifully imperfect texture.

Exterior shot of brick and glass buildingEugeni Pons via The Spaces

Though the interior is clearly the attention grabber, the architects paid equal attention to the facade, which is a pleasing mix of materials—large glass windows interspersed with a woven brick pattern whose color is pretty close to retirement pink, too.

Via: The Spaces

RB Components packed this Mercedes Sprinter van with loads of amenities.

RB Components sells both custom conversion vans—like this one—and DIY van parts

The world of conversion vans has been growing by leaps and bounds, with new companies popping up every month. But one trusted name in the camper van business has been around since 2002, providing adventurers with both fully built out vans and the parts to do it themselves. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.

Based just outside of Los Angeles, RB Components is marketed as a one-stop shop for trailer, shop, garage, and van accessories. And unlike some van companies out there with subpar websites and service, RB Components delivers. We saw one of their vans at Overland Expo this past spring, and it was well-thought out and superbly constructed.

Take this Mercedes Sprinter 170 EXT 3500. It’s a beauty of a van to begin with—four-wheel-drive included—but RB Components transformed the Sprinter into a sweet adventure rig. Open the side sliding door, use the electric folding step, and you arrive into a living room area that has three removable seats depending on how many people you’re hauling. A gray and black color scheme keeps things modern, and a sleek kitchen area features a...

This <a class="ql-link" href="" target="_blank">506-square-foot modern home</a> in Boulder, Colorado, maximizes natural light and embraces an open floorplan with ample negative space.

Interior designer Jessica Helgerson, tiny home designer and inhabitant, shares her time-tested strategies

Interior designer Jessica Helgerson and her husband, architect Yianni Doulis, bought five acres on an agricultural preserve ten miles from downtown Portland, Oregon, in 2010. The land came with two buildings, one of which the pair immediately began renovating into a weekend retreat.

The small 1940s cabin had already been poorly remodeled, so they gutted it, vaulted the ceiling, added new windows and doors, and reconfigured the entire floor plan. Once it was all done, they spent their first weekend there for Helgerson’s birthday—then never left.

They spent the following four years living in 540 square feet with their two young children. (They’ve since moved into a newly built home on the same property). Here, Helgerson shares her time-tested strategies for a successful small-space redesign.

1. Function first

"It starts with a logical layout," Helgerson says. When working with a client, Helgerson will identify their spatial needs and how they’ll use their home. She asks questions about their lifestyle, such as whether they like to entertain or need home office space, and...

Go ahead, walk right over it

From a house whose roof is made from seaweed and driftwood, to a town hall that serves as a physical bridge over a river, there is no shortage of buildings that are designed to blend into their surroundings. This school library in India is continuing the tradition with a sloping shape that merges with the ground.

Mumbai-based architecture firm sP+a designed a library for a school in Kopargaon, in the state of Maharashtra, to fit into a narrow space between the school’s existing buildings. The result is a vaulted brick structure that rises into a mound-like extension of the ground that people can walk over.

The architects say they arrived at the library’s final form through a combination of low-tech and high-tech processes. The arched shape is inspired by 16th-century Catalan tile vaults that were popularized by the 19th-century Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino. The vault’s actual shape was created with a special rhinoVAULT plug-in that allows the library’s arched shape to rely on pure compression.

Interior of library with concrete floorsEdmund Sumner via Designboom
Inside of school with concrete floorEdmund Sumner via Designboom
People walking on roof of buildingEdmund Sumner via Designboom

Via: Designboom

Tallahassee Mayor and Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum leads the Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School, Florida State University, Florida A&amp;M University, Tallahassee Community College, and Tallahassee area high school students, along with citizens of Tallahassee, FL, in a march from Florida State University to the Florida Capitol for a rally to demand gun control on February 21, 2018.

With records of real accomplishment in cities, mayors and city leaders are hoping to win over voters statewide.

It’s not news that Democrats tend to win in urban parts of the country, or that they support programs that would help their urban constituents. But many candidates running in 2018—from both parties—have a significant amount of first-hand experience with modern city government and urbanism, suggesting there many be a fresh infusion of progressive urbanists in statehouses and the Capitol.

For instance, Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Gillum, and Karl Dean are all Democrats running for state or federal office in 2018 who feature in many Blue Wave narratives about the upcoming midterm elections.

They also also bring extensive city government experience to their potential jobs. O’Rourke, running for a senate seat in Texas, got his political start as a council member in El Paso, Texas, and helped push for a massive redevelopment project that improved walkability. Gillum, a progressive aiming to occupy the Governor’s mansion in Florida, previously served as Tallahassee’s mayor. Dean, who as mayor of Nashville from 2009 to 2015 oversaw explosive growth in the city, wants to become...

This week’s favorite find is actually two pieces and although I said it was a bedroom set in the post’s title, they actually are not truly a set.  However, they are both going into a little girl’s room as her new bedroom furniture and need a cohesive look.  We decided on pale gray for both...

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I have a desk and bench that I’m working on for a client. She asked if I could replicate a finish that she had stumbled across online that used Annie Sloan paint and wax to create a metallic finish.  I’ve added paint into wax before (the French Drexel Shell Cabinet and the Vintage Gem Desk...

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Pink Vanity Before and After

My friend Kate asked me a few months ago if I would like to donate a piece for a charity silent auction that she was helping to organize.  Of course, I said absolutely!  The charity is called The Power of Pink and is a fund raiser for breast cancer.  She asked for a small piece...

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The post The Power of Pink and a Painted Pink Vanity, Before and After appeared first on .

Straight from the mind of a 7-year-old

Ikea’s newest collection is another notch in its maximalist belt. This time, though, instead of wild candlesticks and strange vases, it’s all about toys. The new Lustigt collection, available in U.S. stores in October, is a line of toys that Ikea says celebrates “play for the sake of playing.”

All of the toys in the collection have a perfectly off-kilter sense of fun. There’s an origami set and a light-up jump rope. A weaving loom and paint roller set encourages kids to get creative (even at the cost of a parent’s sanity).

The line also includes some nostalgic pieces like a dart game and a bright colored puzzle, but there are also a few functional pieces (like a bedspread and a seriously cool asymmetrical shelf that has a face built into it) as well as things in the mix that we’re not quite sure what to do with (like a giant stuff hand).

The whole collection feels as if it was born from a child’s imagination as opposed to a handful of adults sitting around a conference table brainstorming what a kid might like. And indeed, Ikea says that the 7-year-old daughter of designer Henrik Preutz had a hand in bringing the line to life.


A glass house designed by longtime architecture professor William Starke Shell is for sale in Tennessee.

Live out your Farnsworth House dreams

Have a nomination for a jaw-dropping listing that would make a mighty fine House of the Day? Get thee to the tipline and send us your suggestions. We’d love to see what you’ve got.

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Price: $575,000

If you’ve been dreaming of a your own Glass House—à la Philip Johnson or Mies Van Der Rohe—it’s time to act quickly. This one-bedroom, one-bath boxy home in Tennessee was just listed and according to agent Barbara Apking, the offers are already rolling in. Built by longtime University of Tennessee architecture professor William Starke Shell, the 1,600-square-foot home features a flat roof, 40-by-40 steel beams, and huge glass panels.

Located on an 80-foot cliff on 1.2 acres in a South Knoxville neighborhood, the home took over a decade for Shell to build by himself; Shell worked as the designer, general contractor, project manager, and laborer. The all-glass walls still feel private thanks to a green forest of pines, dogwoods, and maples and a lack of neighbors. Shell called the house “a residential pavilion for a retired person,” and in 2015 it won an American Institute of Architects East Tennessee Merit Award for...

What is a house, if not four walls and a roof?

Welcome to Season 2 of Home of the Future, a six-part video series co-produced by Curbed and The Verge that chronicles the buildout of a prefab home in Austin, Texas—designed with cutting-edge technology, sustainability, and innovation in mind. This week, we reflect on what we’ve built and what “home of the future” means moving forward. Catch all of the episodes on our Facebook page.

Over the course of six months, we have built a home of the future from scratch—starting with assembling prefab pieces in a factory and adding in seamless solar power, and then little by little filling it with the best smart products for comfort, security, and entertainment. Now, it’s time to explore how the “home of the future” can continue to evolve.

While what we’ve shown you so far is impressive, it doesn’t stray far from the futuristic vision laid out in the last century: A 1967 Walter Cronkite-hosted special on the “home of 2001,” for example, highlighted surround-sound speakers, a console to control entertainment systems, and a monitor for the security cameras. So why hasn’t there been a more revolutionary shift in how we live?

According to...

Fit for a very spoiled pup

Whether it’s a human house that’s been designed around a dog’s needs or dog houses inspired by modern architecture, high design dog houses are a bona fide thing. The latest example is this “canine cottage” from Studio Schicketanz that’s a lesson in sustainability for dog and man alike.

Timber dog house with angled roofPhoto via Inhabitat

The architects designed the timber-clad dog house with some next-level eco-friendliness. The inside of the miniature house comes with a built-in floor drain and a solar-powered fan that keeps the pup cool on hot days. Outside, a carpeted ramp leads to a green roof where there’s a motion-activated water fountain that’s connected to an irrigation system, ensuring that no water is wasted.

Dog drinking from fountainPhoto via Inhabitat

The dog house itself its handsomely simple. Its angled shape is built from wide timber planks and has two small windows to let in natural light. On the side, there’s a hidden drawer to stash food, toys, and treats—as if a sustainable doggie palace didn’t spoil the pup enough.

This design is one of a few entries for the Carmel Canine Cottages Competition, which will eventually auction off the structures, with proceeds going to the Society...

Boho Camper Vans is renting and selling converted campers in Phoenix, Arizona.

#VanLife on a budget

Ask any follower of the #VanLife philosophy to elaborate on its attributes and you’ll get an earful; living in a van can help you downsize, forego a mortgage, and facilitate adventures in new places. But underneath the evangelizing is a hard reality: Van life is still expensive. Love campers and trailers? Come join our new community group.

Many new camper vans cost upwards of $50,000 just for the base vehicle, and high-end conversions easily run tens of thousands of dollars—custom builds like this one cost well over $200,000. Of course, most van dwellers aren’t spending this much money, instead living out of used vans or doing much of the conversion work themselves. Still, what if you want to buy a (new-to-you) van, have someone else do the conversion work, but not shell out a ton of money. Are there any options?

Maryland-based Off Grid Adventure Vans is building brand-new budget conscious vans on the Ram Promaster chassis for around $60,000 all-in (van+conversion), but the latest company to cross our radar is Boho Camper Vans in Phoenix, Arizona.

Founded as a camper van rental company, Boho is now offering affordable van conversions for sale. The Boho...

The Swedish retailer wants in on the rise of esports

Ergonomics, the domain of intricate office chairs and carpel tunnel-mitigating computer mice, is coming to Ikea—and not in the way you might expect. The retailer recently announced plans to develop a new line of hyper-personalized furniture designed for gamers.

Ikea is partnering with 3D printed prosthetics firm UNYQ and the e-gaming company Area Academy to design the products, which are expected to drop in 2020. “Gamers themselves have increased their ambitions by practicing better, eating better and getting better equipment but the solutions around seating and table, including accessories like lighting, can be improved,” said Ikea in a press release.

Early prototypes show a simple white chair that looks like a lovechild of the Aeron and an artist’s stool. The curvaceous seat is molded from plastic and cradles two cushions that have been crafted to fit your booty. How does Ikea achieve this, you ask? Let’s just say it would require your butt, a scanner, and an industrial grade 3D printer.

By venturing into personalized furniture for gaming, Ikea is chasing a massive audience of around 2 billion gamers around the world....

Despite housing shortages driving up home prices, built-for-rent housing continues to grow and evolve

Matt and Sam Blank always wanted to go into business together, and the housing bust in 2008 provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the two brothers to do so. They quit their jobs in New York and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. The plan was to buy houses out of foreclosure at bargain prices with their own money.

The only problem: private equity firms like Blackstone with bottomless access to capital had the same idea. “In about a period of two weeks they put us out of business,” Matt said.

To salvage their business—and their pride—the brothers shifted gears. Instead of buying houses and renting them, they decided build houses and rent them. And not just one house here and there, but whole communities of more than 100 single-family homes where every unit is a rental.

The Blank brothers’s company, BB Living, is one of a handful of home builders creating entire single-family rental neighborhoods—complete with all the amenities of a large apartment complex—to take advantage of growing demand from renters who want a single-family house without the responsibilities or risks of...

vintage empire chest

Happy Monday!  I have this great empire chest to share with you all today and am happy to be back posting my favorite finds 🙂 I found this ginormous chest last week in a thrift store.  It is solid wood, very old and very heavy!  I measured it and realized that it was too wide...

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Buckminster Fuller, <em>Geodesic Structures - Monohex</em>, 1981

The architect created the series of prints in the 1980s—now they’re on show and for sale

Throughout his career, the architect and engineer Buckminster Fuller worked to bring his wild ideas to the public. Some, like his utopian vision for Harlem, never came to fruition. Others, like his geodesic domes, have popped up in various forms around the world.

Screen print of round houseEdward Cella Art & Architecture
Buckminster Fuller, Dymaxion Dwelling House-Witchata House, From Inventions Portfolio, 1981

Many of his inventions got a real-world prototype, and all of them were the product of detailed line drawings that served as blueprints for his big ideas. In a new exhibition at the Edward Cella Art & Architecture gallery in Los Angeles, we can see how Fuller brought those two things together through a series of self-promotional posters he crafted near the end of his career with the help of Carl Solway Gallery.

Screenprint of Dymaxion CarEdward Cella Art & Architecture
R. Buckmister Fuller (1895-1983), Dymaxion Car, From Inventions Portfolio, 1981

The posters feature a photo of a Fuller invention—the Dymaxion Car, Geodesic Dome, and a Tensile-Integrity Structure, for example—overlaid with an illustration of the concept....

The new 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van.

And Amazon is the world’s largest Sprinter customer

Big news for anyone coveting the camper van lifestyle: The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will now be made in the U.S. The Sprinter van has grown increasingly popular stateside as a base for camper van conversions, used by DIYers and custom outfitters alike. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.

Since 2006, Sprinters for U.S. customers were assembled in a South Carolina plant from components shipped from Europe. This process was cumbersome and “a huge burden” said Bernie Glaser, vice president of Mercedes-Benz Vans USA. “The logistics process is a nightmare.” But it was better than paying a 25 percent tariff on imports—also called the chicken tax—imposed on automakers that build vehicles overseas for the U.S. market.

To compete with American companies building more affordable vans like the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz broke ground in 2016 on a new $500 million addition to its commercial van factory in South Carolina. The state-of-the-art facility will employ a total of 1,300 people by 2020, up from 900 currently. According to estimates, suppliers will create an additional 600 new jobs in and around North...

Architect Richard Meier stands at the Getty Center in Los Angeles in November 1997, a month before it opened to the public.

The architect is taking a six-month leave from his firm

Updated: On March 13, Meier announced a six-month leave of absence from his firm and changes to day-to-day leadership. In advance of the six-month marker, Curbed reached out to the firm for an update on his return. A spokesperson told Curbed that Meier remains on leave. We will update this story once an official announcement is made.

Noted American architect and Pritzker Prize winner Richard Meier has been accused of sexual harassment by five women, the New York Times reports.

Four of the women worked for Meier and a fifth woman met the architect while Meier worked on the Getty Center, one of his best known projects and an LA landmark about to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

According to the Times, two of the women associated with Meier’s firm described being sent to the architect’s New York apartment, where he exposed himself. Another woman who worked for the firm said she recalled Meier grabbing her underwear at a company holiday party, while a fourth woman who worked for Meier said she was asked to undress at his apartment so she could be photographed.

A fifth woman not associated with the firm accused Meier of...

Don’t spill a drop

This house in Alicante, Spain, abides by a simple color palette: All white everything. Designed by Spanish architect Ramón Esteve, the Oslo House is a serene coastal abode that’s definitely a “shoes off” kind of house.

Esteve crafted the residence as two giant concrete boxes that sit atop each other, slightly off-kilter, to create a stacked building block effect. The home’s entrance is at the rear, surrounded by white stone walls that hint at what’s to come inside.

Living room with concrete floor and open doors to patioMariela Apollonio via Designboom

From there, the house expands into an open floor plan—light concrete floors blend with white walls and neutral colored furniture. There’s white marble everywhere, from the floating staircase to the kitchen counters to the floor.

Dining table with wood wall behind itMariela Apollonio via Designboom

The only pop of color comes from the warm, light wood that’s scattered throughout the house. The muted color palette works. After all, it’s merely a backdrop for views of the bright blue ocean that’s just outside the windows.

Patio with infinity poolMariela Apollonio via Designboom
House from the back at nightMariela Apollonio via Designboom

Via: Designboom

Autonomous building is here

The future of architecture is here, and it looks a lot like a bee building a hive. Researchers at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design and Construction recently showed off a new concept called Cyber Physical Macro Material, which in plain english translates to: drones building stuff.

People sitting under shaded canopyUniversity of Stuttgart/ICD

The ICD, which is known for its wild architectural experiments, has explored drone-built architecture in the past, but this is the most sophisticated example of the technology yet. Using drones, the researchers were able to build and manipulate the shape of a canopy in real time, turning it into a morphing shade that reacts to the world around it.

Drone carrying canopy moduleUniversity of Stuttgart/ICD

The canopy’s shade is built out of carbon fiber modules that are integrated with sensors and communication technology. The drones, which are programmed with certain behaviors, communicate with each module and are able to grab the lightweight shades like an insect carrying pollen and hook them into place. It’s pretty remarkable to watch.

The researcher say they can program the drones with behaviors that allow them to be responsive to...

The Kompanja out of Germany can sleep four people and also work as a daily driver, camper, or cargo van.

Watch movies from your bed or from the campfire

The small camper van sector of the RV industry checks all the right boxes. Small and nimble but with enough space to haul two to four people on weekend getaways, they are often an affordable and practical solution for anyone looking for a camper. And although many Americans pine after the Volkswagen California—which isn’t sold in the U.S.—and are excited by new vans like the Envy Recon, you don’t necessarily see a lot of innovation in this camper size. Love campers and trailers? Come join our new community group.

That’s because the standard pop-up roof, small kitchen area, and fold out bottom bed works so well. But at this year’s Düsseldorf Caravan Salon—the biggest and most innovative camper trade show in the world—the German conversion shop Kompanja came up with a truly unique idea: a movie theater.

Built on the Renault Trafic, the Kompanja van features a projector system that turns the pop-up roof into an indoor or outdoor movie theater. It’s a simple and nifty innovation that provides something you didn’t even know you wanted: The ability to watch a movie around the camp fire. The LF projector is mounted on magnets and the...

Small living, made easy

We've seen heaps upon heaps of micro homes crop up with all sorts of eye-popping attributes, whether it'd be glam interiors, wildly low budgets (how does $489 sound?), or major eco-friendly cred. But sometimes, the best tiny house is the one that's all ready to go, with the floor plan and systems all figured out. So without further ado, here are five of the coolest tiny houses you can get your hands on at the moment.

The trendy all-black stunner

Inside of RV with kitchen leading to loft bed
Loft bedroom with bed and white linensJeremy Gudac via Land Ark

Name: Drake by Land Ark RV
Size: 357 square feet
Cost: $139,900
Key features: Two lofts, flex room to serve as bedroom or office, white-washed pine interiors, built-in sofa, stainless steel appliances, matte black fixtures, black corrugated metal siding. [More info]

The affordable starter tiny house

102-square-foot tiny house
 Modern Tiny Living

Name: The Nugget from Modern Tiny Living
Size: 102 square feet
Cost: $39,900
Key features: Pine siding, metal roof, white Poplar cabinets, copper fixtures, composting toilet, off-grid capability with solar panels, batteries, fresh water tank, and pump. [More info]

The stylish one-off with an “obsession space”

light-filled tiny houseCubist Engineering


The airport is trolling us

For most people, the Denver International Airport (DIA) is a stopover on the way to a final destination or a Mile High City vacation. But for a select few, the airport is ground zero for a heap of shadowy, dark conspiracy theories fueled by the internet.

These rumors believe that everything from aliens to the Illuminati call DIA home, and they are so prevalent that the city’s paper of record compiled a guide to the most popular theories. Since 2016 the airport has publicly embraced the wacky ideas, featuring a museum-style exhibition of the least controversial theories and even hosting events around similar themes. But now DIA has gone a step further.

In the midst of a $650 million renovation of the airport’s Great Hall, DIA installed temporary walls in Jeppesen Terminal to keep people out of construction zones. And instead of a polite, “We apologize for our dust” sign, DIA and marketing agency Karsh Hagan went all in with the conspiracy theories.

One sign reads, “Since the airport’s opening in 1995, there have been endless rumors and theories. People say our underground tunnels lead to secret meeting facilities for the world’s elite. Our blue...

Check out the custom four-sided orange fireplace

Have a nomination for a jaw-dropping listing that would make a mighty fine House of the Day? Get thee to the tipline and send us your suggestions. We’d love to see what you’ve got.

Location: Branford, Connecticut

Price: $1,950,000

Nestled in a waterfront neighborhood, this four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath contemporary is just 90 minutes from Manhattan but feels lightyears away. Built in 1997 and boasting 4,701 square feet, the contemporary steel-framed house sits tall amid mature landscaping not far from the beach.

Inside, spacious, light-filled rooms benefit from walls of glass and windows, while polished concrete radiant floors add a simple touch. The first floor features a striking foyer, an expansive dining room with 12-foot ceilings and butlers pantry, an eat-in kitchen, and a hard-to-miss bright orange custom gas fireplace. The 360-degree fireplace uses stacked rectangular boxes that mimic other elements of the house—like the floating mahogany staircase—to serve as a focal point. Custom-designed bookcases and cabinetry complete the look.

Elsewhere, a 900-square-foot first-floor master boasts two walk-in closets, an...

Volvo’s 360c is a driverless car designed to replace flying.

Autonomous sleeping cabins are the dystopian future we must prevent

In 2015, I was invited to Volvo’s design studio to see an early concept for its first self-driving vehicle. The studio is 50 miles from downtown Los Angeles, where I live, and very close to an Amtrak station, so I took the train. From the reaction I got when I arrived, you would have thought I just hopped off the hyperloop from Mars.

The Swedish automakers in town to show off their work were shocked that I had gotten there using transit. In fact, at least one designer I talked to, who was supposed to be working on solutions for Southern California’s transportation crisis, didn’t even know that trains served this part of the LA region.

My trip took a little over an hour, and I got there faster than some people coming from other parts of LA who got stuck in the 101 freeway’s notorious traffic. As I started writing my article on the way home—which I could do because I was riding on a train—I looked at the freeway gridlocked below me and wondered how a self-driving car could possibly improve upon this particular journey. A train was clearly the most efficient way to travel.

Three years later, Volvo’s 360c is a real...

Hi everyone!  What a fantastic weekend we had in NYC celebrating my Sophie’s 14th birthday.  We saw the Broadway show, Waitress, went shopping and had fun with my sister and her family.  Now we are home and getting into a new groove with my son back at Salisbury University, my daughter Ella starting her senior...

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Establish Mint Teen Mid Century Modern Makeover

We are just about finished with Sophie’s Establish Mint Mid-Century Modern Teen Bedroom Makeover – whew, that’s a title! The room started off pink and purple, with bunk beds and my childhood bedroom furniture (post here).  We sold all of her furniture on Craigslist, which totally emptied the room and gave us a blank canvas. ...

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Brooklyn Carriage House

We spent the weekend at my sister’s house in Brooklyn a few weeks ago and I have a few of the latest pics of the house to share!  In case you haven’t been following along, here is a link to the full “Brooklyn Carriage House Series” that follows this renovation from the very beginning to...

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The Pika teardrop trailer from Timberleaf Trailers is a tiny take on a classic shape.

There’s even a skylight for stargazing

There are plenty of large campers out there, from Sprinter vans that can sleep a family of six to giant Class A RVs that store a sports car in a mobile garage. But for some people, the desire to adventure requires something a bit smaller. Love campers and trailers? Come join our new community group.

Enter the all new Pika teardrop trailer, which comes in an off-road trim package. Like other teardrops, campers like the Pika trailer boast a a swooping, curvy design and a rear-accessed galley kitchen. However, off-road teardrops feature better suspension and burly tires, allowing campers to go further on rougher terrain. Made by Colorado-based Timberleaf Trailers, the Pika is a about 13 smaller than a standard teardrop, making it perfect for one or two people.

Weighing 1,025 pounds for the base model, the Pika is a lightweight trailer that makes for easy towing and handling by most passenger vehicles. The length clocks in at just under 12 feet, and it’s the smallest of the trailers sold by Timberleaf. Even though it’s compact, you still get about 36 inches of headspace and a skylight that helps the interior feel larger. The sleeping space...

The perfectly purple kitchen of a <a href="">converted warehouse home</a> in San Francisco

Something for everyone

For many households, the kitchen is where all the action is. It’s the heart of the home where everyone comes together to eat, talk, work, relax, and just be in the presence of each other. It’s no surprise then that of the numerous charming homes we’ve toured across the country, so many have delightful, distinct kitchens that seem to have been designed exactly as the homeowners wanted.

So go ahead, take a closer look at some of the best kitchens unearthed in our House Calls and Renovation Diary columns. They come in all styles, shapes, and sizes, and offer plenty of ideas to steal.

 Photo by Kyle Johnson
How’s this sixteen-foot-high wood-heavy kitchen for a statement? This Seattle “cabin in the city” by Olson Kundig makes a strong case for it.
 Photo by Gieves Anderson
Contrasting brick adds a cool touch to the kitchen of an architect’s home in Philadephia.
In this San Francisco home, the remodeled kitchen features Ikea&nbsp;boxes fronted by drawers and doors from&nbsp;Semihandmade.Photo by Carlos Chavarria
In this San Francisco home, the remodeled kitchen spruces up Ikea boxes with drawers and doors from Semihandmade.
dining room with black cabinetrySarah Dorio
This Atlanta home shows how to embrace black in the kitchen, brightened up by white marble, golden accents, and pops of blue.

A whole bedroom in a box

Casper, a leading purveyor of direct-to-consumer mattresses, is getting deeper into the sleep game. The company recently started selling bedding products like sheets, duvets, and a mattress protector, plus a line of minimalist furniture.

Platform bedCasper

Pick up a set of Casper cotton, supima, or linen sheets (ranging from $75-$200) and throw them on top of your Casper mattress that now rests atop of a Casper platform bed (that’ll be an extra $895). If you want to get extra comfy you can throw in a foundation (essentially a box spring) or a remote controlled adjustable base (starting at $1,095). Make sure you pick up a matching nightstand ($295) because where else will you store that remote?

White nightstandCasper

It was only a matter of time before Casper unveiled its plans for bedroom domination. The sleep industry is booming for the young, tired, and wellness-minded, and the company only had a small piece of it with mattresses.

Casper is betting that convenience will be enough to convince customers to drop a couple thousand dollars on a bedroom set. Now, you have the option to get everything you need for your bedroom in one place—delivered to you in a box to your...

And it’s not just for show

Most homes have window blinds, but very few have shades that are controlled by a hydraulic system. Architect Manuel Herz designed the facade of a five-unit complex in Zurich with a series of curved panels that open and close like blooming flowers.

 Photos by Yuri Palmin via Designboom

The building, called “Mechanical Ballet,” has a dynamic facade that opens and closes via a hydraulic system that the residents control from inside their apartments. When closed, the outside of the aluminum panels are a plain, metallic gray. When opened, they reveal a pop of color that reference the colorful metal panels on the facade of Le Corbusier’s nearby Heidi Weber Museum.

Inside of building looking at colorful shadesPhoto by Yuri Palmin via Designboom

The moving louvers fold outward and up and down, providing roof shading, privacy, and a deck-like platform when fully open. From the inside, the open shades let in an ample amount of light. Closed, they create a colorful wall that blocks out natural daylight. It’s a simple trick that feels at once novel and frustrating given the constraints on your options—open or closed.

The interior of the square building is designed with a similarly mechanical...

Yves Béhar at a 2015 UK press event for the connected thermostat Hive, a competitor to the popular product Nest.

Fast Company’s profile features revealing anecdotes about the designer’s startup-funded flops

Yves Béhar’s résumé features a dizzying roster of established global brands and potentially world-changing ideas. But among a handful of hits is a long list of failed and forgettable Silicon Valley-bankrolled products, some of which—a $700 juicer for pouches which reviewers discovered could be squeezed by hand—have become poster children for design’s extravagant knack for solving the wrong problems.

In a new Fast Company feature deftly reported by Austin Carr, Béhar laments the fact that he hasn’t achieved the same level of fame—or, perhaps, respect—as his peers. At a posh San Francisco event, he tells his fellow partygoers: “Ten years ago, I was on the cover, and now they’re doing that story of, ‘Whatever happened to Yves Béhar?’ ”

Béhar talks about growing up in Switzerland for Curbed’s Home Sweet Home series.

Béhar is undoubtedly a very well-known designer who elevated the profession along with his own profile. But for all Béhar’s big-time commissions, media appearances, and speaking engagements, writes Carr, he’s regarded by his colleagues as someone who is “willing to slap his...

Save up to 75 percent off furniture, appliances, decor and more

Labor Day is coming, bringing the first whispers of fall with it, but not without giving us all one last lazy summer weekend. It’s also one of the year’s major home shopping holidays, and you don’t have to wait until September 3 to score some great deals.

Labor Day sales are already popping up across the internet, with more expected to drop over the course of the next week. Whether you’re heading back to school, making a big move or just excited to get your fall clothes out of storage (yay, sweater weather!), you may want to check out some of these promotions—especially if you’re in the market for a new mattress.

As always, we’ll be updating this post with new sales as they drop, so keep checking back!

DreamCloud Sleep: Take $200 off any mattress.

Eight Sleep: Mattress purchases are $50 off when you spend $500 with code 50LABORDAY, $125 off when you spend $1000 with code 125LABORDAY, and $250 off when you spend $1500 with code 250LABORDAY.

Houzz: Save up to 75 percent off Labor Day bestsellers through September 5.

Interior Define: The customizable furniture retailer is offering 15 percent off everything from...

I’ve evangelized about these crisp cotton percale sheets to all my friends and colleagues

A couple of months ago, I came to the realization that—despite all the marketing geo-targeted to me, a thirty-something woman in New York City—I actually hate sleeping on linen sheets.

I posed the provocation on Facebook and, to my surprise, unleashed a barrage of agreement. “Not crisp. Overrated.” “Now that you mention it...” “Cannot stand them!” “I bought some linen sheets because I really like other household linens. But I find them to be really hot... so maybe I will just use them in the winter.”

So what to do? Well, I already knew the answer: a return to classic cotton percale. I grew up in the South, where it’s hot and humid for roughly half the year, and percale—matte cotton broadcloth constructed as one thread (warp) over one thread (weft)—is the standard. The tight weave gives a breathable crispness that I can only describe as feeling tented around the body, instead of cocooning the sleeper, as you might find with softer sheets like linen or cotton jersey.

Of course, the sheets between which you sleep are a matter of personal preference. Some may go to bat for the other cotton...

Check out the woodwork!

Have a nomination for a jaw-dropping listing that would make a mighty fine House of the Day? Get thee to the tipline and send us your suggestions. We’d love to see what you’ve got.

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Price: $3,800,000

Another week, another Santa Fe pueblo-style beauty. This one is pretty pricey at almost $4 million, but it sure works for it.

The five-bedroom, 4,626-square-foot property features a glorious main house, designed and built by American painter, architect, and furniture designer William Penhallow Henderson in 1922.

In 2010, the house received a thorough renovation that sought to maintain its masterful craftsmanship. That process involved installing handmade replica tiles, new windows, as well as restoring the original adobe. Meanwhile, the kitchen is a surprising dash of modern style and convenience.

The 1.4-acre property, adorned with gorgeous gardens and outdoor entertaining areas, also includes a guesthouse with its own living room, kitchen, and bedroom.

Want to make this dream Southwest escape yours? 551-555 Camino Del Monte Sol is now listed for $3.8 million.

A new website called <a class="ql-link" href="" target="_blank">Conversion Trader</a> lists converted vans, school buses, and more for sale from individual owners.

Never scroll through Craigslist again

In Curbed’s extensive coverage of campers, trailers, and RVs, we get asked the same question a lot: How do I buy one used? If you’re on a budget and looking for a converted Sprinter van, for example, it can be hard searching through Craigslist or forums for the right camper. Love campers and trailers? Come join our new community group.

Of course, there are many other ways to buy a camper. You can buy an empty van and DIY, or maybe order a conversion kit to help speed the process along. And then there are the most expensive options: A brand-new off the shelf converted van like the Winnebago Revel, or a custom conversion van from companies like Outside Van and Sportsmobile.

But for anyone focused on finding a used camper, the options have been limited. A new website,, hopes to change that. The founders—a group of ski industry types who also run—realized that there was no central place to find converted vehicles for sale, especially if you needed to look beyond your local area. While Class A and C RVs get a lot of love on sites like, there aren’t many DIY Class B conversions or unique...

Under the C40 pledge, all new buildings will be powered by renewable sources like solar or wind by 2030.

By 2050, all buildings, old or new, will be required to generate more power than they use

The cities we build are one of the greatest contributors to climate change. Buildings generate over half of the total greenhouse gas emissions for most cities, and in some cities, like London and Paris, it’s closer to 70 percent. A new mayoral pledge from 19 cities worldwide would require all new buildings to produce as much energy as they consume.

Today, 19 mayors from the C40 coalition signed a pledge to make all new buildings net-zero carbon by 2030. The mayors—including those of U.S. cities Los Angeles, New York City, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, and Washington D.C.—also pledge that by 2050, all buildings, old or new, will be net-zero as well.

“Portland has been a longtime global leader in environmental initiatives and I look forward to continuing to advocate and fight for ambitious environmental strategies,” said Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland, Oregon, in a statement. “Ensuring Portland’s old and new buildings achieve net zero carbon use is an essential challenge I am ready to take on.”

The C40 cities will work with the World Green Building Council, which has...

Vintage Desk in Annie Sloan Duck Egg

It’s almost the end of summer!  We had a fantastic visit to Chicago and spent the week walking the city, eating pizza and shopping 🙂 On to this week’s makeover! This desk was originally from an old house located at the beach in Barngate, NJ.  My neighbor is actually tearing down the old house and...

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The Michigan-based furniture manufacturer Herman Miller is one of many brands feeling the impact of tariffs.

The Trump tariffs have sweeping implications for the American design and furniture industry, which ultimately affects what we put in our homes

For the past eight years, San Francisco-based furniture designer Ted Boerner’s Thicket coffee table has been a reliable seller and a foundation for his livelihood. Inspired by Northern California’s redwood forests, it has modern lines, an oval glass top, and a base made of richly patinaed steel. Come March of this year, the perennial piece’s future was suddenly in jeopardy.

The Trump administration’s announcement, on March 1, of proposed steel and aluminum tariffs caused steel prices to rise and supply to shrink—destabilizing the market via a hint of uncertainty, but no actual implementation.

 Ted Boerner
Ted Boerner redesigned his popular Thicket table due to the rising cost of metals.

Boerner’s Los Angeles fabricator had to start sourcing raw material from a new source. There was no guarantee that the metal would receive its patinated finish, as it had in the past—since electroplating involves precise chemistry, and the exact composition of steel affects the results—and Boerner, whose three-person studio makes pieces to order...

We’ve gotta hand it to the robots on this one

Is a smart home truly smart if it’s not built by a robot? The DFAB House, a three-story building currently under construction at the technical school ETH Zurich, isn’t just built by one robot—it’s the product of five robots, each armed with a special digital fabrication skill set needed to autonomously construct a building.

Close up of concrete with ripple patternETH Zurich

Case in point: DFAB’s wild ceiling. ETH Zurich recently showed off a decorative ceiling that’s half the weight of typical concrete slabs. The architects created the ceiling’s undulating form by casting concrete in a 3D-printed mold designed with the help of some clever software.

By inputting parameters like room dimension and shape, the program is able to devise a design that uses the minimal amount of concrete necessary to support a two-story timber structure that sits above the ceiling.

Ripple pattern on concrete slabETH Zurich

At its most delicate, the concrete slab is just 20 millimeters thick, which has both aesthetic and functional benefits. Sure, it allows for major savings on material and weight, but just as important, its complex rippling pattern is simply beautiful to look at.

Via: Dezeen

‘The Bridge’ building on the Cornell Tech campus.

Partnerships with the startup world have changed how universities invest in cities

Dennis Lower, longtime president and CEO of Cortex, a self-styled innovation hub and technology district in St. Louis, calls the sprawling, 200-plus-acre development “a handshake to the millennial workforce” in this Midwestern city.

Since 2010, when Lower arrived, Cortex, a nonprofit development and a public-private collaboration between local universities and businesses, positioned geographically between Washington University and St. Louis University, has become a nexus of the new economy.

“Every major region is trying to recruit tech companies,” says Lower. “That’s not how we’re going to get where you need to be. We need to grow our own companies, which is one of the main goals of Cortex.”

In the last eight years, the number of homegrown startups in Cortex has risen from 35 to 360, manufacturing startups have clustered in formerly abandoned brick warehouses, Microsoft just opened its first Midwest headquarters in the district last week, and the mobile-payment company Square now plans to employ 600 workers in the city’s Central West End. A former site of vacancies and urban decline has been...

A stylish <a class="ql-link" href="" target="_blank">600-square-foot studio</a> in Philadelphia.

It's not as hard as you think

A version of this article was originally published on Curbed NY.

When the rental market gets tough, the tough need to learn how to negotiate. After all, you'll never know how low the landlord will go unless you try to bargain—in a respectful, pleasant, non-aggressive way, of course.

It's worth the hassle, even if you're a perennial conflict-avoider; you can end up saving hundreds of dollars over the course of a lease (as much as 20 percent, by some accounts), or get other perks thrown in (utilities, or a longer lease) as a result of the negotiation process.

Here are 10 tips to help you save money on your monthly rent and avoid unnecessary fees when apartment-hunting.

1. Time your apartment search right

To start off, make sure to avoid the summertime, specifically from May to October, since it's when the most people are on the hunt, and landlords are a lot less likely to chop $100 off your monthly rent if they have tons of other applicants beating down their doors. When you're the only interested party for miles, you have a lot more leverage.

2. Be an ideal applicant

According to one broker, it’s very helpful if you are a picture-perfect applicant....

A&nbsp;<a class="ql-link" href="" target="_blank">color-filled Brooklyn apartment</a>.

Your landlord is responsible for making repairs to essential services, but sometimes it's not so simple

A version of this story was originally published on Curbed NY.

Finding a rental apartment can be quite an ordeal. But once you've found a place, negotiated the terms of the lease, and moved in, your problems aren't necessarily over. Because now it's time for everything in the apartment to stop working.

The good news: Your landlord is responsible for making repairs to essential services such as heat, hot water, ceilings, etc. The bad news: Sometimes it's not so easy to make him or her actually do that.

If your landlord is refusing—or simply ignoring your polite requests—to make necessary repairs, then consider these steps (which do not constitute actual legal advice):

1) Raise the issue

If your usual way of getting in touch with the landlord—be it a call, text, or knock-on-the-door—isn’t working, it’s time to put it all down in writing. Detail what the problem is, when it started, and when you first notified your landlord. Be as specific as possible in terms of dates and what needs fixing. Send the letter certified mail and request a return receipt so that you can prove that...

Give your business a name. Name your business something that indicates what you sell. This will come in handy later on, when you are marketing your business and want people to associate your business name with handmade furniture.
File a DBA, which stands for “doing business as,” at your local county clerk’s office. You may want to do a search to ensure that no other business in your town is operating under the same name. If you live in a large metropolitan area, a search is a necessity.
Create a line of furniture. You’ll need to have models of each piece of furniture that you intend to sell, so that customers can easily visualize what you have to offer. Add to your furniture line each year so that your stock stays fresh and on-trend.