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Category: architecture

Cool, Calm and Collected

An old saying goes something like this: if you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait a minute — it’ll change. Well, that pithy little maxim falls apart in summertime, when from May til October you can count on the forecast to read blazing hot with a chance that it will rain fire and brimstone. As evidence may I present the latest weather report?

weather in texas

Fuck!

Sorry to whip out the F-bomb, but I think we can agree it was deserved — unless you enjoy singeing the film on your eyeballs as you walk across concrete, or maybe catching the faint whiff of cooking kidneys if you happen to get caught outside of air conditioning for more than a minute or two, that is.

Aside from sprouting fins and gills and making a new home under the sea, the only remedy for such intolerable cruelty is this:

chahan minassian

Doesn’t this sleek white mid mod pad designed by architect Victor Gruen and decorated by Chahan Minassian look positively icy?

And ok, the pool doesn’t hurt anything.

Later, homies! If we don’t run errands before noon, someone will have to scrape us off the ground of a parking lot.

[Chahan Minassian, Roger Davies Photography, Modernica]

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Woodn’t this be a great title for a post about Wood

Sorry about that title.  I just wasted 5 mintues of my life googling clever sayings and song titles with the word wood in them.  My bucket list is really coming along nicely.  Not.  I do not have a bucket list and if I did I would come up with a better name for it.  Even if it meant I had to spend TEN minutes googling clever sayings and song titles.  What does all this have to do with today’s post?  Nothing, except those are all words that you are reading in today’s post.  capiche?

Anyway, today I’m showing you (an even number of rooms crazy erin) with wood in them.  why?  because my house is finally looking like it may be close to done and there’s not really much wood anywhere so of course all I want now is wood and I want to redo my house.  Let’s do this:

And boom goes the dynamite.  I know I’m giving away Christmas right out of the gate with this one but who can resist.  It’s magically unstoppable.  I want to eat fancy reconfigurations of comfort food at this table until my head explodes.  Note, it will explode from laughter because I will probably be hanging out with some really funny people.

After my hilarity laugh riot meal of ecstasy I will climb these stairs to burn off all those calories.  ha ha no i won’t.  I will turn and look at these stairs and think about what a genius i was for building them.*

*i did not build these stairs.  Please do not write and ask me how i did it.**

**some people actually write and ask us dumb shit like this.  can you believe it?

This perfect potty belongs to furniture designer J.B. Blunk.  He, unlike me with the stairs, carved that sink out of redwood.  Write him and ask your goofy questions, weirdos.

This is old and I don’t know what it is but i do know that it is awesome.  I do have an obsessive blog partner who can probably tell you who’s house this is, when it was built and how long, down to the minute, they took to furnish it.  You can write her too, she loves mail.

picture 1, picture 2, picture 3, picture 4 is unknown source

P.S. I would like to note that 99% of you who write us are awesome and amazing, please don’t take offense to this post.  But there is the 1% out there who will email us with questions like “how did you make that couch” without 1.  letting me know which couch they are talking about and 2. realizing that I am not, in fact, a couch maker.   99%, keep it coming. Love and kisses

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Yet Another House Hunting Fail

We’ve pretty much given up on our new house dream — for this season at least. The Austin market is overheated and overpriced (we hope), and we’d rather wait for things to cool down. Like, maybe on Christmas Day. Despite swearing off any more home tours, I found myself drawn to a particular house like bubbas to the rapture, largely because I spent two or three months trying to get into the same stupid house last year before it was finally yanked off market. What kind of realtor won’t allow people to come look at their awesome and amazing house for sale?

The kind that has something to hide.

When you look at the pictures, you guys are going to flip, because this place looks like the second coming of Christ. Let me try to explain why it’s really just this hellish house 2.0

Entry = incredible. This house was built in the 70s by a “designer.” Hmmmm, not an architect. Ok. Who cares? The neighborhood is a stunner, and even though buying this place would financially destroy us, I am already making plans to sell a kidney.

Upon entry we are informed by the listing agent that the owner installed all the custom *cough* lighting. It looks like Beetlejuice barfed all over the place, but whatevs. It’s just light fixtures. And hideous tiles. And ugly doors… but it’s all cosmetic, right?

The owners also built this delightful concrete island, with custom beetlejuice uplighting. I want to take a sledgehammer to the entire kitchen — which is teeny tiny, by the way. Count the cabinets… sike! Many are just for show.

Pop quiz: where is the master bedroom? Answer: in a labyrinthine hidden door BEHIND THE FIREPLACE. wtf???

The house is surrounded by incredible decks that overlook the yard — only problem is that I’m afraid my foot might go through a board (did I mention I might have to sell Ben’s kidney to buy this house, too? no money for repairs). Also there is a weird stairway that goes to the bottom deck, and the opening is only four feet tall. Ike has no problem fitting through the Willy Wonka door, but even shorty me is screwed. We are informed that the “designer” meant to do that because it’s “funny.” Why was this place not built by an architect???

Speaking of the yard, it’s actually pretty great, except for the rickety death fort and the weird drainage ditch that runs across its full length. Oh, and it backs up to a main road.

But we haven’t yet discussed the main, uh, focal point of the home. Hmmm… what’s that I spy through those windows?

Oh, it’s just a 2.5 story waterfall running through the center of the house. Seriously, ya’ll, this thing is SO MUCH BIGGER than it appears in the photo. Like almost 30 feet tall. Check the chairs for scale. Notice the stairway through the window. And then look at the green water and imagine this thing backing up in the middle of your house… Do you think this is cool? I admit it’s pretty spectacular — like it’s a SPECTACLE. But it is also very very weird. And BIG.

Still, I think I might get over living in fear of a septic meltdown if this place were cheap. Or in any way functional. Instead, it was built by a “designer” who valued a giant waterfall over kitchen space, who hid the master bedroom behind the fireplace, and who built rooms you could only see from the outside. The whole house is like a labyrinth of doors and useless rooms. It’s bizarre.

If the price drops 100k, then I think we should buy it, right? And judging by the alternating looks of shame and terror flashing across the listing agent’s face, it just might.

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Move-In Ready

Sometimes when we post extraordinarily designed homes (like this one) I play make-believe-fantasy-party that I’m in the market for a new home and, oh, what is this?  suddenly this interesting home shows up in my MLS listing and (gasp!) it’s in my price range.  I imagine whether or not I would chose to throw down my cash to live somewhere so extreme (hint: the answer is always yes).  The home in today’s post is no exception. In fact, it’s so damn amazing it’s the very first house ever in the history of Design Crisis to be shown completely unfurnished.  Just full frontal architecture for you to drool over.  Who have I become?

Seriously, could you imagine opening up your MLS search to see this puppy?  Do you think you would hyperventilate or just have a heart attack?  This Toranto home was custom built (with no budget, time line or design restrictions) for a cool 24 million, so don’t expect to tour it with your realtor anytime soon.

How would you dudes feel if I told you this 18,000 square foot home was owned by a math professor?  Ok, a math professor who also wrote a slue of successful calculus books, but a matt teacher non-the-less.  Pretty bitchin, right?

Ok math students, quick problem for you:  if train A leaves the station at 1:00 pm traveling 100 mph and train B leaves the station at 4:30 am traveling 60  miles per hour, how quickly would Karly move the F into this house?

Yes to the yes.  I love that the treated wood gives the house a mid-century feel.  Not that I’m all mid century crazy these days (I’m not) it’s just nice to see a modern home that still feels warm and livable.

And the gold on these stairs drives it home

More stairs, more curves, more wood and concrete.  Ok, yes, fine, I’ll take it.

PS. this joint was designed by Shim Sutcliffe

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Heart of Gold

I’m back from the brink of certain death and I’ve got nothing but good times planned for this week — cool art, colorful homes, and for today this fine fine masterpiece:

Resembling a gilded ’77 El Camino that ran out of gas en route to casinos and ladies, Acido Dorado holds golden court in the middle of the Joshua Tree desert.

If the Palace of Versailles had a grill and knew how to ghost ride the whip, it would be kissing cousin to this street sweet pad.

And in fact a golden welded grille marks the mouth of this slightly lascivious lair, whose given name translates to Acid Gold.

Speaking of, who knows how many drugs Robert Stone — architect at large — imbibed during this vision quest.

He seems like the kind of guy who reads a lot of Carlos Castaneda and runs with Mescalito, because he obviously has some very strong feelings for this house.

If I ever get stranded in the desert, this is the mirage I’ll be searching for. There’s gold in them there hills (and probably lots of liquor, too).

But since Plan A is to avoid getting stranded in the desert at all costs, I am prepared to move on to Plan B, which is: calculate how many cans of spraypaint it will take to turn my bedroom into this scintillating slice of heaven.

I already have a white duvet — how hard could the rest be?

[Interior Design, Pretty Vacant Properties]

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