WindowSwap is a satisfyingly voyeuristic release for pent-up wanderlust.
No one’s getting passport stamps anytime soon due to coronavirus travel restrictions (and, hopefully, common sense), but WindowSwap, an interactive website that invites you to see the view from a stranger’s window, might be the next best thing to visiting new spaces and places.
With just a few clicks, I was in Shanghai, where an elderly person was hanging laundry on a clothesline in an alley; in London, where someone had placed six cacti and succulents in ceramic vessels on their windowsill; in Pampanga, the Philippines, where cows were grazing in a bucolic field; in Chennai, where a dog wandered onto a veranda furnished with rattan chairs; in Bavaria, where someone had a backyard pond surrounded by stones; and in Helsinki, where the breeze was making all the trees sway hypnotically. I could keep going but wouldn’t want to ruin the thrill of seeing what else is out there.
Current status: Spotting pets on https://t.co/jmYbuL2rpF pic.twitter.com/S9bLTkf1bl— Gisele Navarro (@ichbinGisele) July 8, 2020
WindowSwap — which offers the...
Pro tips from artists, interior designers, and smart appliance installers
For those without central air-conditioning, the energy cost of an air-conditioning unit is often the most expensive utility bill of the summer. This year, in the midst of a pandemic, those costs could be even more painful, as social-distancing policies keep us in our homes for longer, and nationwide unemployment makes every last dollar that much harder to part with.
To learn more about ways to keep cool without cranking the AC at full throttle, we asked 12 experts, from interior designers to smart appliance installers to artists in hot places for the alternative techniques they use to keep their spaces — and themselves — cool.
Now, before we get into the products that get them through the warmer months, we also received a number of suggestions about the products not to use. Specifically, we heard from many experts that using large appliances (or simply leaving them on idle) can substantially increase the room temperature of an apartment. That goes for everything from televisions and desktop computers to more essential appliances like laundry units and ovens, both of which interior...
The impeccably maintained residence was built for a grocer and his family
In Long Time No Sale, Curbed unearths homes hitting the market for the first time in a long time — or maybe ever — in hopes of finding mint-condition time capsules.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Year built: 1952
Specs: 3 beds, 2 baths, 1,647 square feet, 0.18 acres
Notable changes: Removal of a closet, new kitchen appliances
Born in 1921 to a pair of Greek immigrants, Harry Williams spent the majority of his life in Beachwood Canyon, the Hollywood Hills community where his family founded the neighborhood grocery store. Though the area is renowned as a bastion of 1920s revival architecture, when the time came for Williams to establish a home for his own young family, he took a decidedly more modern tack. He commissioned John Lautner, whom he’d met at the family market, to design a house on a piece of land just below the Hollywood sign. Williams passed away in March, and his “beloved” home is now on the market for the very first time.
After a role at the United Nations, Leilani Farha launched a new effort to protect housing rights.
Your rent goes up, but not by that much. Your missed mortgage payment leads to a penalty instead of foreclosure. Your makeshift hut in an informal settlement is not bulldozed. Your public-housing complex is not sold to an investor group. Your landlord is a person.
This is the world that Leilani Farha is trying to create. As the United Nations’ special rapporteur on adequate housing, she spent the past six years on the front lines of the global housing crisis, seeing homeless encampments in San Francisco, slums in Mumbai, forced evictions in Lagos, and empty investment properties in Lisbon. She’s not the only one who believes these conditions have to change.
Farha, 51, is a human-rights lawyer from Ottawa, and her task, an unpaid position under the umbrella of the U.N. Human Rights Council, was to be a sort of global watchdog on housing issues. After taking on the role in 2014, she traveled through the developed and developing worlds to witness and document the most flagrant violations of international housing standards and then confronted the governments in charge to do something...
Located in Washington Depot, Connecticut, it comes with a garden rich with ostrich ferns, columbine, and mountain mint.
In Outside the City, Curbed uncovers exceptional properties within a reasonable distance of NYC that will tempt even the staunchest city-dwellers.
Location: Washington Depot, Connecticut
Distance from Grand Central: 87 miles (1 hour 45 minute drive)
Specs: 1 bedroom (plus a loft), 1 bath, 1,200 square feet, 0.3 acres
Built in 1946, this renovated cottage sits on a lush hillside just across the road from the Shepaug River in pastoral Washington Depot, Connecticut, the inspiration for the fictional town of Stars Hollow on Gilmore Girls. While the Litchfield County village is ever-so-slightly too out-of-the-way to commute from, it makes for an idyllic getaway — there are weekly farmers’ markets, sprawling gardens, waterfall hikes at nearby Kent Falls State Park, and regional gems like Arethusa Farm, a 300-acre dairy farm with a restaurant, cafe, and ice cream shop.
The simple Cape Cod-style house at 44 Bee Brook Road has been updated throughout with neutral walls, blinds, and...
As a profession, we don’t all talk about our role in redlining. We don’t talk about equitable resource allocation. We have been complicit in warehousing people.
Architecture is about more than buildings. As a field, it plays a key role in the health, safety, and welfare of the public — or at least it should. Craig L. Wilkins — one of the most prolific writers about spatial justice and winner of the National Design Award for his scholarship on Black architects and spaces — believes architects have neglected these societal responsibilities. At a moment when people are taking to the streets to protest structural racism, he questions why the field doesn’t have a moral imperative akin to medicine’s Hippocratic oath and argues that the lack of one has contributed to the violence and harm against Black and brown communities. He resists and rejects prescribing a course of action for the industry but calls for an urgent reckoning from individuals and organizations.
“We can figure all of this out, but we can’t figure it out until we own our responsibility,” says Wilkins, who is a faculty member at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban...
Four women on settling into adult life in their childhood hometowns.
Lori Cheek never planned to leave New York City. After graduating from the University of Kentucky in her native state in 1996, she had packed up a Penske truck, driven to Manhattan, and never looked back.
Her plan was to become a famous architect. But — as happens to many people who come to New York City to realize their dreams — Cheek’s ambitions shifted but never faded. Instead, she started a dating app based on missed connections called Cheekd. She met the same 17 people for drinks every Sunday night (they called it “Church”). She funded part of the rent for her $3,300 two-bedroom Lower East Side apartment by serving as an Airbnb host. She loved her life. “I was a New Yorker at heart,” she said. “Hurricane Sandy, 9/11 — nothing was going to make me leave. Nothing.”
And then: COVID-19.
Suddenly, it was impossible to make rent as an Airbnb host. A dating app based on missed connections is harder to market when no one leaves their homes. And Church? It went online.
It became clear that the life Cheek had loved and nurtured for 24 years was not only something she couldn’t afford anymore; it was something that...
Market forecasters say it’s likely to happen if federal response to the pandemic wavers.
Housing markets across the United States have proven incredibly resilient to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Home sales have lagged since the outbreak of the virus in March but — more importantly to individual buyers and sellers — home prices have actually risen.
With the virus showing no signs of letting up, forecasters now believe that the pandemic could cause home prices to drop in 2021. The belated decline would come as a result of prolonged economic damage and rising uncertainty over the federal government’s longterm commitment to the policies that have kept housing markets afloat over the last four months.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty out there,” says Frank Nothaft, an economist with Corelogic. ”When we look at the mortgage market in particular, we have a lot of concerns that we’re going to see a spike in delinquencies and foreclosure rates as we get into 2021.”
Corelogic’s forecast predicts home prices nationally will have fallen 6.6 percent year-over-year by May 2021. A forecast by Haus shows home prices dropping between 0.5 and 2.5 percent from...
6x6 was supposed to be a flashy shopping destination. Instead, it’s a death knell for S.F. development.
There it sits and pouts, a gleaming glass-and-steel behemoth, its double-helix escalator visible from the sidewalk. Squeezed between two smaller buildings, it’s an awkward building. And empty. Always empty. Chronically empty. It’s been that way since 2016, when construction of the 250,000-square-foot retail complex was completed.
The $150 million project was supposed to be the prized bookend of Mid-Market, a skinny slip of a neighborhood that stretches from Fifth Street to Van Ness between Mission and Market Streets, with the Twitter building — the much-publicized tech neighbor meant to kickstart a revitalization — as the centerpiece. Far from the tech-fueled money tree that developers hoped it would be, 6x6 has come to represent something of a canary in the coal mine for S.F real estate.
Although its centrally located and adorned with some of San Francisco’s most stunning architecture, Mid-Market has, for years, been the butt of jokes. Within greater S.F., it is thought of as a kind of skid row — a rock-bottom spot where people suffering from addiction or mental health...
The Boring Company’s “public transit” system has become a valet stand in a parking garage.
Here’s one way to tell when Tesla’s earnings calls are scheduled: Elon Musk gets on Twitter to post a fanciful rendering of a Tesla-adjacent project to boost the company’s stock price. This week, just before yesterday’s call, it was a new look at the Boring Company’s Las Vegas tunnel transit system, which, in typical Musk fashion, is somehow more visually underwhelming than the previous version and also manages to contradict much of what he’s previously said about it.
The Vegas Loop, for which ground was broken late last year, is the first — and, so far, only — paying project for Musk’s tunnel-boring outfit, which has been doing test digs outside Los Angeles since 2017. The two 0.83-mile-long, 14-foot-wide tunnels in Las Vegas will allow vehicles to travel the length of the recently expanded convention center, shortening what might be a 20-minute walk to a one-minute ride (although that doesn’t include waiting or boarding time).
The cost for a single mile of underground...
This is what I scored last week! Well, I say “scored” but honestly it wasn’t that cheap. I found it online and had to have it! It s very old and very, very ornate! I am open to suggestions on color!
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The following article is what to do in case your home gets damaged by a storm. We had a huge one come through our area a few years ago that caused us to purchase a new roof! Pixabay Never underestimate a storm. They are powerful forces of nature and can devastate whole towns in the...
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I have run into a slight snag with the 1930’s vintage cabinet. The shelves that were given to me by the seller in a separate box that I was told belonged to the cabinet – well, they do not. However, we can work with them and plan on using our Dremel tool to create new...
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This is what I scored last week! Well, I say “scored” but honestly it wasn’t that cheap. I found it online and had to have it! It s very old and very, very ornate! I am open to suggestions on color!
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Signs that Your Kitchen Needs a Facelift Image Credit It’s easy to skate by and ignore your kitchen’s flaws, especially when you remember how much it costs to get your kitchen refurbished. But, there are certain situations that call for a complete or total facelift. How do you know when? Perhaps you caught a glimpse...
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Not to mention hardwood floors, detailed plasterwork, and built-in dressers.
Welcome back to the Six-Digit Club, where we take a look at a newish-to-market listing priced under $1 million in some of the most expensive U.S. cities—because nice things sometimes come in small packages. Send nominations to the tip line.
Like many of the other homes on its silk oak tree-lined street, this Spanish bungalow in L.A.’s Leimert Park appears to have been frozen in time, looking much the same as it did when it was built back in 1932. The neighborhood, conversely, is currently in the throes of a major transformation. Game-changing developments are percolating, including the long-awaited Crenshaw/LAX Line, a light rail slated to open in 2021, and Destination Crenshaw, a $100 million, 1.3-mile-long “outdoor art and culture experience celebrating Black Los Angeles.” Leimert Park Village Plaza, the neighborhood’s social and cultural hub, is just a five-minute walk from the property, which is located at 4260 South Norton Avenue.
A Black Lives Matter march through a gated community highlighted the decisions that divide the city.
If you were in St. Louis and wanted — hypothetically — to eat the rich, 1 Portland Place would be a good place to start.
The limestone-and-marble palazzo found at that address looms high above the hedge-fringed retaining walls lining Kingshighway, a major north-south thoroughfare where cars stream by at all hours of the day. But between the busy road and this street punctuated with opulent homes is an imposing stone entranceway with wrought-iron gates — one of many such structures St. Louis has built throughout its history to divide its communities.
Designed in 1909, the 18,000-square-foot mansion was a wedding present for Anna Busch, the daughter of beer magnate Adolphus Busch, whose name adorns the city’s ballpark. The mansion was purchased in 1988 by its current residents, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, personal-injury attorneys whose office is located in another mansion they own a 15-minute walk away. In a splashy St. Louis Magazine...
The ups and downs of multigenerational housing.
You can see the allure: grandma coming up from her place downstairs to read bedtime stories or babysit, not to mention being able to split utilities and mortgage payments with the in-laws. It’s no wonder multigenerational living has been on the rise in recent years. While the move is most popular among nonwhite populations, the total number of people living in such homes went up from 17 percent to 19 percent between 2009 and 2014. As of 2018, a record 64 million Americans are living in multigenerational homes, a move that can seem even more appealing during a global pandemic. From being able to closely care for vulnerable family members to having a larger community at home during quarantine to help with child care and at-home schooling, COVID-19 has cast a new light on this living trend.
Yet, little is known about a subsection of that trend: multigenerational homebuyers. To explore what it means and what it takes to not only live together but to make major life purchases together across generations, Curbed spoke to five people scattered around North America who have taken the plunge.
With many businesses destroyed or damaged, residents are working together to meet the needs of their neighbors.
In the parking lot of a towering brick church just before 9 a.m. on a recent Saturday, Brittaney Abodunde, a Black woman with a huge smile and a walkie-talkie in hand, was rushing to get volunteers in place to sort through donated bottled water as quickly as possible. “You set up the tables last week, right?,” she asked two young men who nodded yes. “Do the same thing again.”
Abodunde and the army of volunteers at Christ Church International, located on the corner of Lake Street and 13th Avenue South in South Minneapolis, were working to fill the void for a community left with no grocery store, no pharmacy, and no place to grab household essentials.
More than a month after George Floyd was killed by police and anger spilled out onto Lake Street, many storefronts are still boarded up. The smell of smoke lingers from the buildings that were burned to the ground. For the businesses left standing, it’s...
The architectural storyteller finds inspiration in sci-fi.
The future Olalekan Jeyifous is imagining for New York City probably won’t happen in his lifetime, and he’s okay with that. The “implausible architecture,” as the Brooklyn-based visual artist calls his work, is about the creative excitement of an alternative story line.
“Architecture is my medium, but I’m really a storyteller,” Jeyifous says.
Jeyifous was born in Nigeria and immigrated to the United States when he was 6. After going to architecture school at Cornell and working at DBOX, he ditched the office world and began working more as a visual artist creating public murals and sculptures. A few years ago, Jeyifous made headlines for his improvised “Shanty Megastructures” series, a speculative, and somewhat dystopian, vision of Lagos.
Now, he’s turned his attention to Crown Heights, where he’s lived for about 20 years, and is conjuring up a version of the neighborhood inspired by Afrofuturism, eco-Futurism, and agro-Futurism. It’s lush and Edenic, filled with technologies like rainwater harvesting, biofuels,...
The hillside home offers mid-century vibes with a postmodern twist.
Location: Alamo, California
Year built: 1981
Architect: John Nance
Specs: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2,729 square feet, 2.51 acres
Price: $3,295,000, includes two parcels
When native Californians Joan and John Jamieson set out to build a house near a wilderness preserve just 29 miles east of San Francisco, they were inspired by Sea Ranch, the famed mid-century planned community on the Sonoma coast known for its sloped-roof wooden homes. Although the Jamiesons’ architect, John Nance, designed mostly commercial projects, he won them over with one of his few residential projects, which featured a shed roof similar to Sea Ranch’s Binker Barn.
The couple wanted the house to blend into the hillside site as much as possible and for nearly every room to have a mountain view. So instead of building on the ground level, they chose to sit the house atop 35 eight-foot piers, which are drilled deep into the ground and are connected by grade beams. This building method, which does not require excavating the land, also helps to reduce the environmental impact of construction as it does not...
“You can’t do the work of equity and racial justice without centering public transit.”
As the daughter of a single mother without access to a vehicle, riding public transportation was not only a part of Representative Ayanna Pressley’s daily life growing up in Chicago, it shaped her perspective of the world. “Using trains to get to school, to access fresh and healthy foods — which was always a challenge because where there are transit deserts, there are food deserts as well,” she says. “My own experiences have informed my understanding of how important transit is.”
Now the congresswoman — and Squad member — represents Massachusetts’ Seventh Congressional District, a diverse swath of the Boston metropolitan area home to enviable transportation assets like handsome brick sidewalks, bike highways, and a bustling regional rail system. Yet the Seventh District is also one of the most unequal places in the country: In Boston, the median net worth for white households, which make up a third of...
Unexpected pops of color put pep in the century-old bungalow’s step.
Sandwiched between Highland Park’s twin main drags of York Boulevard and Figueroa Street, 713 North Avenue 53 has an abundance of restaurants, coffee shops, galleries, bodegas, vegan bakeries, and panaderías within walking distance. There’s a farmers’ market held every Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. across the street from the Highland Park Gold Line light-rail station and an even more extensive farmers’ market at the (one stop further) South Pasadena station on Thursdays between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The Craftsman-style residence was built in 1921 as a two-story two-bedroom, two-bath bungalow and was expanded a decade later, with a one-bedroom apartment (a potential rental unit) built onto its rear façade. Along with period elements such as hardwood floors, built-ins, casement wood windows, crown moldings, and wood-burning fireplaces, both units feature modernized...
The overlapping care crises of COVID-19 make the case for feminist cities clear — and more urgent.
While there are still many unknowns about the coronavirus pandemic, one thing has become certain: Our cities aren’t taking care of us like they should. Sidewalks are too narrow. Buses are too slow. Parks are too crowded (if there’s even a park to go to). Homes are too cramped (if you’re fortunate enough to have a home). Working from home isn’t always an option, and is nearly impossible for those who have children.
To Leslie Kern, an urban geographer, associate professor at Mount Allison University, and the author of Feminist City: Claiming Space In The Man-Made World, out now from Verso Books, none of these problems are new; they’ve just become more apparent during the pandemic.
“There’s a broad economic reliance on unpaid and underpaid labor, a lot of which is done by women, women of color, recent immigrants, and other minority groups,” Kern says. “What the pandemic has shown is that when this kind of labor, like childcare or education, is not able to function then everything else kind of also has to shut down … We’ve created a really shaky foundation for our basic human needs:...
Here’s what’s really going on in NYC’s housing market.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented levels of job loss and could push the global economy into a prolonged recession. And if you need more evidence that we have stumbled into the darkest late-capitalism timeline, look no further than people hoping the pandemic might help them finally buy a house.
For anyone shopping in Manhattan, the opportunity for a discount seemingly presented itself last week: A Douglas Elliman report revealed that the median price for Manhattan home sales in the second quarter of 2020 was down a shocking 17.7 percent year over year. Has the economic fallout from the pandemic caused Manhattan’s housing market, one of the most durable and expensive in the country, to collapse?
Despite headlines like “Manhattan Real-Estate Market Plummets As City Dwellers Seek Housing in Rural Communities” and “Real-Estate Prices Fall Sharply in New York,” the answer is, sadly, no for prospective buyers. The pandemic has disrupted the basic functioning of housing markets across the country, and particularly in New York City, where brokers weren’t even able to show homes to buyers for much of the...
We tend to think of our homes in terms of how well decorated and comfortable they are, but, increasingly, we have to think in other terms too. For example, how eco-friendly is your home? There’s no avoiding that impact of climate change, and the understanding that we have to change how we live. These changes...
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The Stillwater Sideboard just sold on my Etsy Shop and will be making its way to Seattle, WA soon! Stillwater Blue Sideboard Before After I was reflecting on how lovely these old sideboards are and thought to share a few other makeovers that I have done over the years! French Grey and Gold Sideboard Before...
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Hello, hello! Well, this is not a Favorite Find Monday as it is Tuesday but I had to share with everyone. I found this lovely old china cabinet and snapped it up. It has a ton of detail that can be highlighted with paint and it is a great size (not too big). I believe...
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Turning your house into a home means creating a homely and welcoming space where you feel comfortable. However, sometimes “homely” can seem boring, and it might not inspire you much if you like interior design. While a homely interior might be comfortable, perhaps it won’t give you the sophistication and style that you’re looking for....
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Last week I shared my latest find – a gorgeous old china cabinet that has definitely seen better days! Here is a peek at the beginning of its makeover. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Work on Getting the Best Home You Possibly Can Your home is something you should take pride in....
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“When you meet somebody in this life and you decide to go somewhere together, it’s almost like asking them to move in.”
After ditching a life in corporate accounting in 2017, Amber Baldwin hit the road—first in a Winnebago recreational vehicle, and then, starting in 2018, a Hymer Aktiv camper van. In three years, she has crisscrossed the U.S., completing 30 of National Geographic’s 300 scenic routes, and traveled to parts of Canada and Mexico.
Baldwin usually travels alone, chronicling her trips, and posting interviews of other RV and van owners, on her YouTube channel. Traveling solo is typical for many people who trade in their homes or apartments for full-time life on the road. But last year, Baldwin met Mark and Shea, digital nomads who have been living in a custom van for about five years (and who declined to give their last names for privacy reasons), at an RV event in San Felipe, Mexico. They decided to head north in tandem, to Alaska, for the summer—where Baldwin discovered the benefits of having friends on the road.
Close to Homer, the second alternator in her van, which she uses to charge the batteries, caught fire. Mark and Shea saw the flames...
The 2017 home has serious Farnsworth House vibes.
Nestled between mature oak trees, 11345 West Ricks Circle is located in the North Dallas neighborhood of Hillcrest Estates, where sprawling houses come equipped with pools and leafy backyards. The 2.2-mile Northaven Trail located just a block to the south is a popular spot for the community, bringing together runners, joggers, and walkers; an eastward expansion of the trail is set to begin this year. The North Dallas dining scene may not be as happening as districts closer to downtown, but you’ll find neighborhood gems like long-running Royal China and TJ’s Seafood Market & Grill a five-minute drive south — plus a Torchy’s Tacos outpost in a Whole Foods–anchored shopping center a four-minute drive northeast.
Designed by local architect Joshua Nimmo with interior design by William Nash, this 2017-built home was inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and its iconic use of glass and steel. The...
Open-window piano concerts and a 100-person WhatsApp group.
Weeks ago, when most of us had settled into quarantine life, Curbed put out a call for stories about you and your neighbors from the past few months. We wanted to know: Has spending more time walking around your neighborhood changed your relationship? What have you learned about your neighbors, and how have your interactions influenced your experience under quarantine? Here, five of our favorite anecdotes.
“One of my neighbors owns a coffee roastery and started making coffee for everyone in our seven-unit building on Saturday mornings. It’s helped us get to know each other and chat about how we’re holding up in the pandemic. Also, I’ve been ordering their coffee wholesale now to help with their business.”
“I have a garage workshop on my street and I work on bikes a lot, and several times a day a pedestrian or cyclist will ask for advice or socially distant help. I’ve given away a gel seat cover, a few brake pads, replaced someone’s bottom-bracket bolt, and things like that, which just didn’t happen much before. There are easily more bikes passing...
“Money would never get in the way of our shit.”
When Ali Fantl met Gabe Hernandez in 2012, she was applying for a job as a counselor at the Hoboken, New Jersey, prep school where he worked as a teacher. He wrote down his email and invited her to reach out with questions.
Fantl took the job, and the two became fast friends. It helped that Fantl got along incredibly well with Hernandez’s wife, Rachel Elmer—after he introduced them, she says, “Gabe got upset because I’d stolen his friend.”
Six years later, Hernandez and Elmer bought a two-family home, and invited Fantl and her husband, Vito Cataldo, to move into one half. Each family occupies a floor of the house; they share the foyer, basement, and backyard.
When COVID-19 hit, the families (Hernandez and Elmer have a 3-year-old son, Fantl and Cataldo’s children are 2 and 1) knew they were going to have to weather it together. Having companionship has made life easier throughout the ordeal, the couples say, even though, like everyone else, their world has been upended.
Hernandez, who left teaching to become an actor, is now in full-time dad mode while doing some modeling for art classes and bachelorette parties on the side....
On the front porch, the desire to be neighborly butts up against the desire to be left alone.
The very first thing Joanna Taft and her husband did after they bought their house in downtown Indianapolis in 1991 was decorate the front porch. The 1898 Victorian had been abandoned for seven years, so adding a porch swing and setting out a seasonally appropriate gourd was a quick win. That no one had any intention of sitting there was beside the point. “Here I bought a historic home with a front porch, and I thought I was supposed to decorate it,” Taft says. She and her husband hung out on the back patio, the way Taft did at her suburban childhood home.
Then, in 2007, new neighbors in the Herron-Morton Place neighborhood invited them to do some pregame tailgating on their front porch. Everyone loved it so much they did it again. And again. Soon the event had its own name — porching — and a weekly time slot on Sunday afternoon. “People would send an email or text saying, ‘Porch? 3 p.m.,’” Taft says. “Now I literally porch every single Sunday from three to 5:30. It’s this really meaningful rhythm that has enriched my life.”
Taft and her small circle of neighbors were unusual in urban...
The mutual-aid networks that have defined the COVID-19 pandemic are looking to the long term.
Maryam Shariat Mudrick and her husband, Ross, formed the Astoria Mutual Aid Network in March by passing out thousands of flyers to let their neighbors know they were there to help with groceries, transportation, and deliveries. In early June, some members of the aid network were passing out flyers again, but this time it was at a Queens protest against racism and police brutality, and the flyers included information on what to do if you get tear-gassed or pepper-sprayed and how to contact the National Lawyers Guild.
“In addition to ensuring that people have what they need at their most basic level, we need to ensure that people don’t just ignore everything else when the health threat is gone,” Mudrick says about the Astoria Mutual Aid Network’s organizing around the protest. “I think before this moment, the rest of the community might not have been ready to talk about what else needs to happen in our neighborhood.”
The mass uncertainty surrounding a virus scientists know little about, record-shattering unemployment, and insufficient government response has made the lack of an adequate...
“Our landlord’s neglect has been fruitful for our friendship.”
In August 2018, I moved into a second-floor apartment in a brownstone in Park Slope, in Brooklyn. My roommate, Lucy, moved in later that month. By the fall, thanks to a series of building problems, I’d become unusually close with our neighbor, Cat Beurnier, who lived downstairs with her two kids. We spoke about how living in a disaster building cemented our friendship.
Jessica Gross: Let’s start in fall 2018 when, a couple months after I moved in, all the drama started with our building. We’d spoken before then, when we passed each other in the hallway, but that’s when we became close.
Cat Beurnier: Right. It was the end of October, I think?
Jessica: Yes, and “John the Plumber,” as Joe [our landlord] kept referring to him, failed to come turn on the heat, resulting in this —
Cat: Disaster. If memory serves, I called him and asked if he would come turn the heat on [because the boiler is in the basement, which is part of Cat’s apartment], and he told me I should do it myself. I was like, “I’m kind of nervous about doing that.” He said, “Well, you have a carbon-monoxide detector, don’t you?...
The 350 that remain in L.A. are some of the city’s most desirable housing.
Hollywood producer and writer Alison Bennett was intent on starting over when she moved into a 1920s bungalow court in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake. At first, she was enamored with her floor-to-ceiling windows and clear view of the “Hollywood” sign, but she quickly learned that the true draw of the court was its residents.
“Most of the people living in the bungalow court were insanely good-looking couples in their late 20s,” Bennett recalls. Her tight-knit neighbors would hang out in the party-light-strung parking lot of the Spanish Revival–style court at all hours of the day and night. “It was like a sitcom … I was only a few years older than them, but I felt like the resident divorcée crone. It was like being stuck in Friends when you didn’t want to be in Friends. I loved every second of it. My girlfriends would come over and see all the hot people walking around and be like, ‘What is your life?’”
Today, roughly only 350 bungalow courts survive in L.A., but the sense of community and camaraderie among residents has made them one of the city’s most beloved and desirable styles of...
What it’s like to live through tear gas and an Occupy movement.
When Seattle declared its stay-at-home order in March, the usually bustling Capitol Hill neighborhood turned into a pretty eerie place. Businesses started boarding up. Artists followed suit and painted the plywood-covered windows with murals to remind passersby that the coronavirus isn’t permanent, to wear a mask, to think about the community — that things will slowly but surely return to a new normal.
Historically home to artists, activists, and the LGBTQ+ community, Capitol Hill is a hip neighborhood. “It’s one of the traditional party centers of Seattle,” says Sophia Lee, a Capitol Hill resident and a transgender woman who found solace and community in the neighborhood, which she moved to over six years ago. It’s also quickly gentrifying: Homeless people live on the doorsteps of apartment complexes that house tech workers, where rent can climb over $2,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment.
However, the neighborhood’s community roots might have helped it find its new role. In recent...
Getting familiar with the strangers next door.
Think of your neighbors before the pandemic: Their letters in your mailbox and the inexplicable bowling-ball sounds from above, or the person you passed on the street who looked so familiar but you weren’t sure why.
These weak ties were always crucial to our sense of community, but now, three-plus months into a routine of self-isolation that has more of us sticking close to home and relying on our neighbors for everything from groceries to social interaction, we’ve gotten more acquainted with those strangers next door. We’ve met through local mutual-aid societies that sprang up amid months of isolation, or simply because we’re spending more time on the porch or stoop. (This newfound intimacy might be tinged with frustration as we come face-to-face with each other’s quirks.)
In Curbed’s Neighbors Issue, we look at what it means to form relationships with the people who live closest to us, whether we met before or during the pandemic, or whether we live in L.A.’s bungalow courts (we stan the most neighborly form of housing in the U.S.), a New York City apartment building, or a pair of RVs that caravan together....
pexels When the summer arrives, most of us just love spending time outside, whether it’s gardening or drinks in the sunshine. But when we’ve had enough sunbathing, the last thing we want is to return to a house that’s too hot and stuffy. To keep your home lovely and cool this summer, try using these...
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https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-plants-on-the-table-1005058/ Spray foam insulation is one of the best solutions for energy-saving insulation. Homeowners are often astonished by the amount of money they can save by using spray foam. Did you know that air infiltration can cause a building to lose as much as 40 per cent of its energy? If you currently have any...
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(Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash) Did you know that you can lend a luxurious touch to your kitchen with just changing the countertops? It’s true, and you can do it with stone kitchen countertops. Stone counter tops are a great way to add class and polish to your kitchen and each have different price...
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My daughter, Ella is home from school (she came home in March, as did my son) and quickly went to work in creating her own “new” space in her old bedroom. I absolutely love what she has done and had to share the process! Step One Go online (Pinterest, etc.) to choose the photos that...
The post Ella’s Room and How to Create a Photo Wall Collage! appeared first on .
My friend had this little table and chair that had belonged to her grandmother. It originally had her grandmother’s phone sitting on it, but we all know that this use is now obsolete! She had it sitting in her garage and was looking to incorporate it into her beach house decor. She adores the Annie...
The post Hello Hello? A Very Vintage Phone Table Gets a New Beach Life appeared first on .
Featuring tons of salvaged elements
Located about 20 minutes northeast of downtown Seattle, Kirkland is known for its waterfront parks and beaches on the shores of Lake Washington. Like many of the Emerald City’s suburbs, Kirkland can feel like a world apart from urban living; an abundance of hiking routes, biking trails, and large trees help you feel like you’re living deep in a forest.
That’s certainly the feeling you get at this three-bedroom, one-and-three-quarters-bath Kirkland home. The house sits on a cul-de-sac by Hidden Hills Pond, a small, man-made lake in the north end of the Highlands neighborhood. It’s a captivating structure at first glance, with a cedar shake siding and brightly painted trim work in greens and blues. The unusual design was the handiwork of George Reynoldson, a passive solar architect who penned the book, Let’s Reach for the Sun: 30 Original Solar and Earth Sheltered Home Designs.
Reynoldson’s company, Space Time Homes, specialized in unique homes that used solar principles and salvaged materials, and he christened this 2,490-square-foot home—constructed in 1974—“The Original Funky House.” That name...
The Baker House mixes neutrals with warm wood and black accents
Perhaps more than any other TV show, HGTV’s Fixer Upper generated its own category of interior design. From 2013 to 2018—and in the reruns that followed—Chip and Joanna Gaines flipped outdated homes in Waco, Texas, into photogenic iterations that all boast the same “modern farmhouse” look.
Now, a two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath cottage remodeled in season five is back on the market. The 1,432-square-foot home was designed for Patti Baker, a client looking for a cozy, family-oriented home in a quiet Waco neighborhood. Baker didn’t stay in the home for long, however, as she soon got married and moved in with her new husband. The property was briefly listed for sale in 2018—just a week after it was featured on the show—and has hit the market again this month.
The 1950s bungalow had good bones, but it was dark and in need of updates, so the Gaineses started by reworking the home’s layout. Relocating the kitchen to the opposite wall provided more space for an open-concept living and dining room, and the living room got neutral walls and clean white bifold shutters on...
Your inner third grader will love this design trend
Hopie Stockman, co-founder of Block Shop Textiles, is eating at her dining table more often these days, like many of us are doing under stay-at-home orders. She quickly grew bored of looking at the same table setting but didn’t want to order nonessential items like candlesticks. So she decided to make her own.
She began by wrapping old rope around a paper tube, then sculpted everything into place with papier-mâché, and painted the candlesticks with optical patterns and punchy colors. The spiral shape riffs on the Italian design guru Ettore Sottsass’s whimsical totems and the turned-wood legs of a table she was admiring on Chairish. Stockman showed them to her sister, who suggested she share them with their audience as a DIY Instagram tutorial.
“We’re trying to find the humor where we can, and papier-mâché feels silly,” Stockman says. “It’s not about putting pressure on ourselves to be productive, but hopefully using this time to be a little...
Or use it is a summer rental for $40,000 per month
A heart-shaped private island 50 miles north of New York City is still on the market, now at an over 20 percent discount from its 2018 list price. Called Petra Island (also called Petre Island), the 10-acre property boasts two homes with Frank Lloyd Wright ties, an original ’50s guest house that Wright actually built and a larger residence built decades later based on Wright’s early drawings.
In 1949, the engineer Ahmed Chahroudi purchased the island and commissioned Wright to design a residence. Wright originally designed a sprawling 5,000-square-foot structure for the site, but when the owner realized he couldn’t afford the project, Wright was forced to build a smaller 1,200-square-foot cottage instead.
Many years later, Petra’s new owner, John Massaro, decided to bring Wright’s original plans to life based on a handful of drawings, floorplans, and other documents that came with the property. He enlisted an architect and Wright scholar to complete the massive home around 2007, but the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has refused to recognize it as an authentic...
The Victorian brick building was once the guard house for a much larger Second Empire mansion
Before Eleanor Roosevelt made history as the longest-serving First Lady of United States, residing at the White House from 1933 through 1945, she spent summers at a sprawling 1872 estate in Germantown, New York.
Part of that estate is now for sale. The property was the home of Roosevelt’s maternal grandparents, Valentine G. Hall, Jr., and Mary Livingston Ludlow Hall, whom she lived with after the death of both of her parents by age nine. They spent summers at the home, called Oak Terrace, which had a modestly sized gate house that guarded a much larger Second Empire-style mansion.
The parcels have since been separated and much of the land sold off, but this listing is offering the smaller three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath gate house on 2.7 acres. While the 10-bedroom mansion is a masterpiece of balustrades and cornices, the two-story house built in 1872 features peaked gables and dormers with iron cresting on the roofline.
Additions at the rear...