Boucheron



REW House & Home: Passive Solar

Passive solar design of houses attempts to capture sunlight in winter and reject it in summer. The idea is to use solar energy to reduce heating and lighting costs, and to use natural ventilation for cooling.   “In Virginia, the climate imposes roughly equal loads for both heating and cooling,” says Charlottesville architect Andrew Thomas, […]

Backyard Playgrounds

Backyard Playgrounds

School will soon be out for summer and children will need something to keep them busy– preferably something out from underfoot. You can tell them to “Go out and play,” get back to potting orchids or code encryption, and hope for the best. If you live in a garden apartment complex or a city neighborhood, […]

The Basement

The Basement

When it comes to house design, there are few regional styles today. Much the same type of house is built across the United States and Canada.  One distinction is the cellar or basement. In states like Florida and Texas, a house is often built on a slab or crawl space. In Massachusetts and Minnesota, a […]

Permaculture Primer

Permaculture Primer

Permaculture is a contraction of “permanent” and “agriculture.” Instead of using artificial fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides, instead of watering and irrigation, instead of planting in straight lines and single species, permaculture uses natural techniques to grow food and conserve resources like soil and water. It is organic gardening taken to the next level. In the […]

The Patio

The Patio

 The back porch is part of American folk culture, and the wooden deck was popular in the late 1900s, but neither has the style and durability of a terrace. A transition between house and garden, a terrace allows French doors to open from the living spaces, promotes fresh air and sunlight, and provides an ideal […]

Small is Beautiful

Small is Beautiful

The average size of a new single-family house in the United States grew from less than 1,000 sq. ft. in 1950 to 2,521 sq. ft. in 2007, according to the United States Census Bureau. That was the peak year. By 2010, the average size shrank to 2,392 sq. ft., and experts in the industry predict […]

Fixing to Stay Put

Fixing to Stay Put

Out of economic necessity or personal preference, Americans increasingly choose to stay in their homes for retirement. The neighborhood may be ideal, equipped with public transit, shops, and a stable, congenial population. Relatives may live nearby, including the next generation of grandchildren. A circle of friends may provide an active social life and support system. […]

The Pantry

The Pantry

Located off the back of the house, down a narrow stair in the basement, or tucked into a corner of the kitchen, the pantry is more than a storage closet. Stocked with food staples and household supplies, it represents forethought, stability, and a kind of practical wisdom. Surveying the shelves bowed under the weight of […]

Mail Order Plans: How to Choose

Mail Order Plans: How to Choose

You want to build a new house.  It will be a family home, not a mansion, so you don’t need an architect.  It will look more or less traditional, and provide a sound investment in real estate.  You get a book of mail order plans from the public library or a building supply store, or […]

Five Ways to Go Green

Five Ways to Go Green

Sustainability, energy conservation, wise use of natural resources, recycling, save the earth—these are all related ideas, and timely, given rapid development in much of the world and the fact of global warming. “Green design” is the latest form of the idea, especially as it relates to manufactured products and buildings. Buildings, including houses, use more […]

The Front Porch; An American Tradition

The Front Porch; An American Tradition

What’s more, the front porch is an American tradition, part of our way of life, with a long history and deep cultural meaning—so deep that we are not always conscious of it. If you intend to build a new house or alter an existing one, consider adding a porch. From a practical point of view, […]

The underground actor

The underground actor

A barrel-chested man with a white beard and a casual manner, James “Ike” Eichling strikes up a conversation on anything, anywhere. He is most often found in his Downtown Mall shop, Ike’s Underground, an emporium for vintage clothes, furnishings, magazines, and other artifacts. Located below street level, that is where he sits most days, and […]