Jul 14, 2016

Proper Proportion: A Trick of the Trade

If you're a house junkie like me, watching the home shows, reading the home magazines, and looking at houses wherever you go, then you've seen good houses and not so good houses.

You've seen charming homes that seem perfectly settled; you've seen houses that seem "complete" - like there's nothing you could do to make them any better.

And you've seen houses that look a little...off.  Houses that look like something's missing, or like something's not in the right place.  Maybe the roof seems a little too tall, maybe the windows seem a little too wide.

And maybe you've wondered - are there tried and true ways to help assure that a house design will look "just right"?

Indeed there are, and one of those ways is to design using correct proportions.

Jun 29, 2016

Under Construction: A Weekend Cottage In The Hills

The owner of this little cottage, under construction in the Hocking Hills region of south-central Ohio, told me today that he "wants to build another one"..."this is fun!", he said.

I think I know what he's talking about, it's the thrill of seeing a design jump off of the drawings, of watching an idea come to life.  It's knowing that it's finally real.

Jun 27, 2016

We've Made A Few Small Changes to Knock Knock!

Thanks so much for taking time to read our newsletter, "Knock Knock", and our blog, "Sense Of Place", we do greatly appreciate your support!

We're making things simpler for you (and frankly, for us!) by combining both into one blog. We're keeping the name "Knock Knock" and hope you'll continue to read and comment!



Need expert Residential Architectural advice for your new home or remodeling project? Contact Richard Taylor, AIA at RTA Studio Architects to arrange a meeting or an online consultation.

Jun 25, 2016

Good Design = Energy Efficiency

If you’re not yet giving much thought to how much energy your new house is going to use, and how much it’s going to waste, then it’s time you started.

It should be one of your top priorities – if for no other reason than your own pocketbook.

Energy used for heating and cooling homes is going to continue to get more expensive and as we’ve seen recently, world politics can quickly and dramatically affect your access to cheap energy.

Saving energy isn't just about saving money, however - it's also an important part of good design.

A Little History

This isn’t the first energy crunch we’ve had. In the 1970’s – when I was a college student studying Environmental Design – world events conspired to create an American energy crisis. It was an interesting time to study Architecture, because the buildings we designed were required to respond to the environment – to use natural energy sources as much as possible.

May 26, 2016

Does Your Home Have Green DNA?

First published on Zillow Blog

It takes a little science and a little art to design a beautiful, livable new home that’s energy-efficient, uses less material to build, and connects with its building site.

Those are some of the major ingredients of good design - and essential ingredients of "green" design.

But beautiful design can be skin deep and sometimes “green” is too.  An energy-efficient home isn't just matter of more insulation and better windows; a truly green home is green from the inside out; meaning that the “green” can’t be separated from the “home”.

Apr 23, 2016

What's The Best Stone To Use On My House?

My clients and I talk a lot about the materials we’ll use on the outside of their homes, especially windows, siding, roofing, brick, and stone.

Stone in particular is a frequent topic, because while everyone knows what stone looks like, they aren’t often aware of the wide variety of stone types and colors, and don’t always know “real” stone from “cultured” stone – something that can impact the design of a home from the very beginning.

Stone lasts - just ask the Romans
Stone as a building material dates back to the very earliest days of civilization. The ancient Egyptians, and later Romans, quarried huge quantities of stone for their pyramids, colosseums, roads, and temples.

The art of stone building reached its peak in the Middle Ages with the construction of the great cathedrals of Europe, when, like ancient builders, stone was both the structure and the decoration of buildings.

Today, we rarely use stone as a structural material. Especially on homes, stone is typically a veneer – a relatively thin layer applied over the wall structure. How thin that veneer is depends on the type of stone you’re using, and how you’re applying it to the walls.