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caliwag

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About this blog

Retired architect, occasional blogger on other forums, always curious!

Entries in this blog

Book...a few subheadings

As I might have mentioned, there's no real division of contents of the book, really a series of thoughts, comments, replies to earlier forum queries and questions as well as a few reviews of architects books of their own thinking and works. There are not that many that suggest design advice, just coffee table glories with big colour snaps. I taught (or assisted) students in design and interiors for 7 years and helped the thinking and detailing on the works at St Pancras International for 8 years

caliwag

caliwag

Design Book

Hello, If any readers have bought, read, borrowed etc my book 'Self Build Home...The last thing you need is an architect' (only £5 on Amazon btw) I welcome your feedback, comments, criticism. Jim on lofthousestudio@hotmail.com I know I've been critical of plan books on here and other forums, but I thought, for my second edition (!?)I'd include plan designs of some of my projects (realised and doomed), but illustrating and annotating a few important (well I think they are!) design features. Just

caliwag

caliwag

Black Kitchens

Bit of inspiration from Pinterest, at a price...https://www.pinterest.co.uk/topics/black-kitchens/?utm_campaign=interestrecommendations&e_t=966619f5e94f4898bd6d0198cd900cbf&utm_content=909714351701&utm_source=31&utm_term=5&utm_medium=2024

caliwag

caliwag

Self build book

My book 'self-build Home...the last thing you need is an architect' is now available in kindle form Amazon as an option...you'll get a few pages as an introductory sample. Any questions email lofthousestudioAThotmail.com Thanks, Jim

caliwag

caliwag

Garden ideas

I make a point of thinking about the window/house relationship to the garden spaces at an early stage of self build design, in my book...'Self build design...the last thing you need is an architect' and associated blogs. I have a mate who attends and sells at garden furniture shows around the country, seasonally of course, but you would be amazed how much people spend. Of course you do need to have the 'designed' infrastructure for any furniture to work and look good! There are a couple of blogs

caliwag

caliwag

self build book

Howdy, my self build book, selling OK thanks, costs quite a lot as an 'on-demand' exercise (£10 printing and binding...maybe a touch more but I have a friendly printer)  £3 post + £2 packing...one those secure and snug commercial, folding jobs!)...anyway I'm not complaining though I do resent the commercial outfits that don't even reply or acknowledge the free copy for comment...you know who you are!...how much energy or cost does it take to Email 'thanks but no thanks...good luck' ? The realiti

caliwag

caliwag

Small garden ideas from Pinterest

I attach some thoughts from Pinterest about small garden spaces. The key is the three dimensional nature of the designs...a clue to success. A clue to garden design is to itemise/list nice to haves, needs and wants, taking into account views, overlooking, climate and seasons, indeed not dissimilar to house layout, and of course changes in fashion, plant growth etc. Another must is to observe sun angles (OK that's climate and seasons) but it's easy to make assumptions. Obviously think about famil

caliwag

caliwag

Book mini Chapters

In a recent blog, I listed some of the chapters on garden design and ways to approach...clue, 'The same way as a house layout'!   So it seems reasonable to list some of the chapters and book reviews in my book...'Self Build Design...the last thing you need is an architect', not a sideswipe at architects, but a review of your way forward before the architect/designer's fee clock starts ticking. The book is equally appropriate for bespoke/custom designs, as well as renovations, rebuilds

caliwag

caliwag

Gardens

Hello again...a recent Pinterest garden design vision of approaches...if you don't like lawns! Well you've got to pamper them and cut then 20+ times a year   https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/455074737339246882/?lp=true

caliwag

caliwag

Consideration of gardens

Just caught a piece on the Today programme (about 8.45am R4. 23:4:18) . This was a brief interview with the Editor of Country Life, gardening section, Catherine Bradley-Hole who is leaving the role after 18 years. Her view suggests that there has been a generational rise in garden design and planting as much to do with the environment, health, food and general well-being often promoted by Radio 4 and TV. I am not a great gardener, but my student and teaching experience with Landscape Architect P

caliwag

caliwag

The Wee House Company

Came across this earlier c/o a Homebuilding and Renovating Ad post. Fascinating outfit and based on traditional Northern vernacular...I understand that these modest houses wouldn't suit the massive collection of sofas and picture window brigade but hey what a great starter or retirement home...It's an excellent website too extending to options, interviews and videos of processes etc. Well done the team and Lady behind it all.   http://theweehousecompany.co.uk/

caliwag

caliwag

Barn conversions

Appreciate that this is old news but the Yorkshire Post (Yorkshire's National Newspaper!) ran an encouraging article in the farming section of Saturday's paper.   https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/relaxed-barn-conversion-rules-are-economic-boost-to-rural-areas-land-valuers-say-1-9080408

caliwag

caliwag

Future ebook

Please click on lofthousestudioAThotmail.com if you may be interested in a copy of an E-book of 'Self Build Home...the last thing you need is an architect'

caliwag

caliwag

book/e-book

Howdy, I'm just exploring the implications/costings of selling my book 'Self build...the last thing you need is an architect' as an e-book......any help or assistance/experiences gratefully received.   (Price link removed by moderator)

caliwag

caliwag

Shipping container/office

I don't suppose many of you see the Yorkshire Post newspaper which is emblazoned with the banner headline 'Yorkshire's National Newspaper' erm!   Anyway this conversion is neatly handled, in my view, even with expensive steel doors   https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/lifestyle/homes-gardens/for-sale-shipping-container-that-s-now-a-stylish-office-garden-room-1-8992743 

caliwag

caliwag

A Book Nook

Just a sort of screen grab (ignore other images until book nook pops up!). A nice idea A...if you've got book storage problems. B...a redundant closet   Could even be under the stairs with an open front and different lighting, or in the generous bay window...just a thought. Ignore the decor, that's just fashion, or not as the case may be!    

caliwag

caliwag

Local authority obligations for self build plots

Hello, A piece of 'legislation' I wasn't aware of.   https://www.righttobuildportal.org/?utm_source=Custom+Build+Strategy+Main+Database&utm_campaign=f0c0a00506-NOV_2017_PROFILE_1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c5b24ee15a-f0c0a00506-176850693   This info came on an email today, I guess via the people behind Buildit magazine and the Custom build strategy team ( NSB+RS) in Swindon.I assume that's all Castle Media! All very interesting and poignant.   I di

caliwag

caliwag

Bi fold doors

Greetings all...I am curious about the rise and rise of the use of bi-folds and similar devices to throw open a room to the elements. Virtually every illustrated Self/custom build appear to show bi-folds fully open. Could I ask why this is? Could members tell me how often they use them? Do you believe, in hindsight, are they such a grand idea or mere advertising puff? Surely, such huge glazed doors/windows are not very green and are net losses to a heating load. I live in a converted, yet i

caliwag

caliwag

House on a narrow plot

This was a response to a forum thread (elsewhere) and something that has been touched on in an earlier blog.   I designed a small mock coach house, at the end of a very long  garden. (It was mock to the planners, and a possible nimby backlash, and their were no coaches) The site was less than 5.6m and agreement had been reached to build on the boundary thus leaving an internal width of 3.6m. Plainly there were no projections over the neighbour's land and the wall and gutters etc were d

caliwag

caliwag

Seeing through Fashion

This is a blog that I posted a while back on another forum that encourages people to look beyond prejudices fashion wth a view to  exploring a pre-owned house that on first glance does not meet up with expectations and even the list of wants.   A Peter Aldington House, near Doncaster, from 1967 (arguably one of the finest Post War Architects in the UK) recently changed hands. It was sold via a bold estate agent calling themselves "The Modern House" Plainly this doesn't mean a house tha

caliwag

caliwag

Another book review

Aye, as a guide for design decision making, prompts and reminders if you're starting out, this is a must. I make no apologies for this recommendation, which I started using in 1979. " A Pattern Language" by Chris Alexander, Ishikawa, Silverstein and colleagues is a must...throw away the plan books and use words to explore any sketches to assist in list making of wants, desires, must-haves, dislikes etc. There's no glossy fashion shots, many black and white photos to amplify the theme. The book i

caliwag

caliwag

Solutions for making a small house feel big

Aye, the subtitle of a book, that inspires me, by Diane Maddex called "Wright Sized Houses". Published in 2003 (about  £20 on ABEbooks), this is a dissection of some of Frank Lloyd Wright's house designs over six decades. He lived from 1867 to 1959.    As the title implies, he shows how, amongst his big houses on huge spreads in the States, his tenets apply equally to small houses on conceivably restricted sites. Commenting on FLW's attitudes to entrances Ms Maddex writes "...You could

caliwag

caliwag

Spatial Excitement

Aye, this was a question raised on another forum, some time ago, and my thoughts. Whether 'Passive House Design should or would spawn spatially exciting architecture?' To my mind passive house design can end up with too much glass, which seems to be trend in new houses. That in itself provoked an inconclusive discussion, mainly based on heat loss versus heat gain...To be honest the jury seemed to be out on that one, without active participation of occupants to open and close external shutters an

caliwag

caliwag

A great read

OK, a slightly different blog format...suggestion from aregular member...   I am moved to recommend a book by Bill Bryson, who seems to shoot from the hip as it were to inspiring effect! In fact I pick up everything he's written in the local charity shop now. Sorry Bill if you're reading this, (which is extremely unlikely I know) I did by 'At Home...a short history of private life' at full hardback price, and worth every penny!   The Book (reviewed in Guardian Weekend with a

caliwag

caliwag

Two Gardeners

I mention in an earlier blog the desirability of considering the outdoor spaces and gardens at the same time as the house design.   Circulation and spatial thinking are very similar to the house layout. Making decisions about entrances and thresholds, capitalising on views and vistas, (to say nothing of orientation and overlooking/shadowing...See Survey blog) sitting places in morning and evening sun as well as dappling if you cannot stand direct sun! It's a good idea to list activitie

caliwag

caliwag

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