Photo: Stephen Barling

Solar gain: A prairie-style house makes the most of the sun

Ray Gaines has been involved with sustainable architecture since the energy crisis of the 1970s—long before “sustainability” was a term du jour. So when an old friend approached him about building a house with passive solar functionality and other green attributes, he was more than ready to accommodate. “We talked in generalities,” he says, as […]

A fresh coat of white on the walls at this Ivy house opened up a previously dark den. Photo: Stephen Barling

Blank slate: How white walls can save a space

It’s a not-so-secret design secret that mirrors can help open up a dark space. But, says WKNDR Design owner Becky Seager, in some cases, white walls can deliver the same effect: They visually open up a space and reflect light (as long as there’s natural light to reflect). And there’s another benefit to white walls. […]