Art with a Job: An End to the Debate of Form vs. Function

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There are times in our lives we face the form vs. function dilemma – do you go with the beautiful piece that speaks to you but doesn’t quite get the job done, or do you choose the utilitarian option that leaves something to be desired aesthetically?  Isn’t it ideal when we can have both stunning form and perfect function?

In a continual effort to push boundaries and explore new avenues of design, the Dream Home Building and Design Team was delighted to take a “field trip” to Terasteel Furniture Design of Bend.  Here we got a first hand look at the realized inspiration behind owner and award winning designer Kirk Casey’s creations.

Like kids in a candy store we oohed and aahed over Kirk’s amazing selection of exotic and sustainable woods- the gorgeously red and aptly named Bloodwood, the intricate patterned grain of Lacewood, the beautiful and whimsical Bubinga with its warm tones complimented by purple and black grain.  Add in Terrasteel’s extensive offering of metals, tempered and fused glass, rice paper, stone, and of course steel (which I might add can be powder-coated with over 2000 color options) and you are left with a truly overwhelming and exciting array of choices.  These options, ranging in look from traditional to contemporary, inspired our creativity as we pictured how to incorporate Kirk’s custom designs into our upcoming homes.

Perhaps the most fun of the visit was finding a kindred spirit in the work of creating the perfect union of design and performance.  Kirk’s pieces are truly art – art with a job – art that functions perfectly.  We at Dream Home see our homes and our collaborations with clients as art – art that functions perfectly.  This is a place where passion for design pairs perfectly with sustainable and environmentally responsible materials – a place where form, design, and execution are integrated seamlessly – sacrificing nothing in the union.

In Kirk’s words:

“We love the energy and excitement through the entire design and build process which is only surpassed by the awe in our clients’ faces when they realize that they were the spark behind their own creation”.

We couldn’t have said it better.  The thrill of seeing a client’s vision come to life before their eyes – the immense satisfaction of hearing how a piece, or home, has met and exceeded client expectations – this is the stuff we live for.

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The team at Dream Home is excited to share the fun of our latest project breaking ground. It was a sunny afternoon as we ceremoniously kicked off the construction of a new dream home for our clients Mike and Lyn. Their new home was designed in-house based on their vision of a modern new home capturing the stunning views from their lot on the southern flanks of Awbrey Butte.

Ground breaking!

Ground breaking!

We are honored to be their chosen team to make this ultra modern, elegant, efficient, high-performance home a reality. We have combined an outstanding energy performance package with an intentionally designed roofline to capture the abundant natural sun on their site and turned it into clean, renewable power. All the pieces are in place for them to be living utility bill free in their Net Zero Energy home!

Let the collaboration begin.

Ready to get to work.

attic-floors

Wondering about a fun and creative way to start building your custom home? Begin with the floors! There’s numerous flooring options to consider when designing a home, each with their own pros and cons. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by choices, check out a few tips regarding the best flooring option for each room of your house:

 

Living Room, Dining Room, Den

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The dining room may not be used as much as the living room and den if you have an eat-in kitchen, however it’s still a formal space. It subsequently benefits from attractive, classic flooring, such as hardwood floors. The living room is a formal space as well, and while the den may be a bit more casual, both look fabulous with hardwood flooring. Easy to maintain, hypoallergenic, and highly durable, wood floors combined with gorgeous rugs look wonderful. And since these three rooms take up a significant portion of the home, it makes sense to utilize long-lasting flooring where upkeep is minimal.

Kitchen

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Considered the hub of the home, most kitchens are high-traffic areas requiring stain-resistant, durable, easy-to-maintain floors. Vinyl flooring is a simplistic option that’s painless to install and manage, while tile offers a sophisticated look that won’t suffer serious damage following a sauce spill. And while both vinyl and tile are long-lasting, easily-maintained choices, the decision often comes down to budget…and kitchen size.

Bedrooms

bedroom-floor

Plush carpeting is frequently used in bedrooms, particularly children’s rooms. Hardwood flooring is arguably the better option, as it looks nicer and doesn’t collect dust, pollen, and pet dander the way carpets do. Carpeting is also highly subject to staining, and takes much longer to clean than hardwood. If carpeting gets wet and the water soaks through, mold formation may result. The hardwood/rug combination is therefore an ideal bedroom flooring option. Hardwood also increases home value the way few other flooring choices do.

Find floors for less by visiting GoHaus today.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) stands for green building leadership. LEED is transforming the way we think about how buildings and communities are designed, constructed, maintained and operated across the globe.

Dream Home Building and Design project is LEED-H certified.

Dream Home Building and Design project is LEED-H certified.

For the team here at Dream Home Building and Design attaining this gold standard in high-performance design and construction is really meaningful, representing our commitment that our homes will save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants, while promoting renewable, clean energy.

Now we are having fun! Dream Home’s project on NW 5th St. starts to get it’s skin on the outside while the drywall goes up on the inside. The modern style of the home becomes more evident as do the fun, custom interior details!

Looking good as siding goes on.

Looking good as siding goes on.

 

 

Love this touch the home owners came up with. Currently in drywall, this opening will access a kid's play area under the stairs and mirrors the line of the stairwell.

Love this touch the home owners came up with. Currently in drywall, this opening will access a kid’s play area under the stairs and mirrors the line of the stairwell.

Building geek time!

View of exterior wall system before siding starts going on.

View of exterior wall system before siding starts going on.

Dream Home Building and Design highlights an exterior wall system for exceptional performance, comfort, indoor air quality, durability and value. An insulating thermal break on the exterior of the wall also greatly reduces potential moisture issues caused by condensation within walls. But wait, there’s more, the firing strips create a valuable rain screen behind the siding, a building science best practice.

Amazing! Thank you for all the wonderful messages on my one year anniversary with Dream Home Building & Design. The year has flown by and while I’m still on a steep learning curve, I’m thrilled to be on board with my talented partner, Mike, and honored by the trust instilled in us by our clients. 2014 saw several outstanding projects go into the books, with more rolling as we head into 2015!

Love this picture symbolizing the collaborative effort with our creative clients.

Love this picture symbolizing the collaborative effort with our creative clients on their Awbrey Butte dream home.

 

Dream Home Building and Design is thrilled to be starting another high-performance home.This custom home is being built on an infill lot in a very walkable location near downtown Bend, Oregon. Our team is honored to be collaborating with this family to make their contemporary, sustainable, family home a reality!

Site prep equipment moved into place

Site prep equipment moved into place

 

Grading begins

Grading begins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grade established

Grade established

Answer: Granny Flats, Mother-In-Law Suites and Tiny Homes are all names for small buildings growing tremendously in popularity and are perfect for adding additional room on one’s existing property, cash flow to a family budget, or higher density housing within a community.

ADU modern

In our last blog installment the team at Dream Home Building and Design shared some highlights from a great day at Value It Green put on by Earth Advantage in Portland. In this blog we wanted to focus on one of the hot topics from the session- Auxiliary Dwelling Units, or ADU’s.

We have heard a lot of great names for these types of structures; “Granny Flats”, “Garage Apartments”, “Mother-in-Law Suites”, “Tiny Homes” and from Canada “Mortgage Supports”. Basically these terms all refer to apartments smaller than the main dwelling on one lot or parcel of land. They can be used for aging relatives, rental income, home offices, additional guest suites, yoga and exercise rooms and many other creative uses.

Traditionally they were built over garages, but more and more we see them being added as free-standing structures on existing home sites. Where we live, in Bend, Oregon an ADU is limited to a maximum of just 600 square feet! Such a small footprint requires thoughtful, intentional design and efficient use of space. And in our older neighborhoods new ADUs are subject to a rather arduous and expensive Conditional Use Permit process. In cities like Portland, Oregon where they are looking to increase density and promote infill, they allow a larger size maximum of 800 square feet and zoning hurdles and development fees have been removed. Given what’s happening currently with the Urban Growth Boundary situation in Bend, we wouldn’t be surprised to see similar measures adopted here.

So if you’ve been thinking of an ADU, Granny, Mother-In-Law or Tiny Home, whether it be attached or free-standing, a cozy cottage or an urban modern design, Dream Home Building and Design is on the leading edge of this movement.

Minergie, Value it Green, Earth Advantage

Minergie, Value it Green, Earth Advantage

EPS, ADUs and the Minergie building program topped the highlights of the recent Earth Advantage educational event we attended in Portland. While there we heard several of the leading thinkers on residential high performance building and design. The “Value it Green” Tour provided both an educational and thought-provoking day for us. We received in-depth presentations from industry experts on everything from design, to building science, to market insights during visits to new construction, remodels and ADUs. The highlights which we will expand on in future blogs were:

EPS, high performance residential design, residential development, real estate market

EPS, high performance residential design, residential development, real estate market

  • We here at Dream Home are on the forefront of high performance design and building! You don’t have to live in the big city to get the best in high performance home building and design in Central Oregon.
  • The United States on the whole is way behind many areas of the world when it comes to healthier, better built, longer lasting, higher performing homes that benefit the homeowners, the local community and the planet. Germany introduced Passive House program and on the Portland trip we were introduced to the principles of an impressive Swiss program called Minergie– with all the energy credentials of Net Zero Homes plus the holistic elements of LEED-H.
  • Energy Performance Scores (EPS) for homes continue to gain market acceptance and provide a valuable tool for comparing and communicating about the performance of a home.
  • An educated real estate community is required (and still sorely lacking) to make a meaningful difference in improving the health, comfort and performance of new-home and remodeling projects. This means everyone involved from homeowners, designers and builders to brokers, lenders and appraisers.
  • If the Bend UGB process brings changes in policy to encourage in-fill density through promotion of Auxiliary Dwelling Units (ADUs), we will have a huge new market for these types of homes- and they are ripe for high performance design and building.
  • We checked out a cool new Energy Recovery Ventilator– smaller, quieter, more effective. High performance home systems are proving their value, standing the test of time and getting even better.
ADU design, energy efficient home systems, Earth Advantage, indoor air quality

ADU design, energy efficient home systems, Earth Advantage, indoor air quality


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