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Keeping an eye on design

Mon, 26 Dec 2016 19:10:06 UT

Meet Houston Chronicle design writer Diane Cowen at the Chronicle's Meet the Editors event, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11. Cowen will talk about trends in home design and how our changing times affect the way we live, as well as the homes we live in. RSVP at marketing.chron.com/meet_the_editors



See Houston's greatest man cave

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 22:27:14 UT

The retired Pittsburgh Steeler, himself a two-time Super Bowl champion who played in five Pro Bowls, is a Galveston native who was a relentless defensive lineman at the University of Texas and first-round NFL draft pick in 2001. Crucial elements revolve around food (full kitchens), drinks (bars and wine rooms), relaxation (dining and living areas) and entertainment (the biggest TVs you can find). Interior designers often counsel their clients on the size of TVs appropriate to the space: Matt Morgan has a home under construction in Fort Bend County, and among the many amenities in his "manplex," a two-story building with 1,100 square feet, are a waterfall from an upstairs balcony, 300-gallon aquarium with an 8-foot living reef, a fully functional bar with two beer taps and an outdoor kitchen with two grills. Hampton's mancave has a gym and poker table, so it's not just for watching sporting events, and despite a 12-year career in the NFL, there's very little sports memorabilia. On one wall with 28-foot ceilings, he'll have a 100-inch TV flanked by two 50-inch TVs, all artfully arranged by his interior designer, Pamela O'Brien. In his space, a separate building in his sprawling backyard - it shares space with a pavilion, pool and guest house - he and his wife are known to host all kinds of parties with up to 70 people. On Thanksgiving Eve, he hosted a gumbo party for 70 people, and it was used for a rehearsal dinner when his daughter got married. Duffy, a fan of LSU and the Texans, may tone it down for the Super Bowl with a simple game-watch party for 10 or 12 people.




A new role for Frank Lloyd Wright home that survived Sandy

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:58:57 UT

This Nov. 13, 2016 photo shows a wooden light fixture rising inside the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Bachman-Wilson House in Bentonville, Ark. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art moved the home from Millstone, N.J., to Bentonville and opened it to the public in 2015. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)



Thousands visit Frank Lloyd Wright home that survived Sandy

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:45:12 UT

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A Frank Lloyd Wright house flooded during Superstorm Sandy is now high and dry in Arkansas, and it's drawn thousands of visitors at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The Bachman-Wilson House is one of Wright's noted "Usonian" homes, which were designed for middle-class Americans. It flooded several times at its original New Jersey location. Crystal Bridges acquired it after the 2012 storm and opened it to the public last November. Curators note Wright wanted to immerse people into their natural environment, and key features of the Bachman-Wilson House are a glass-enclosed living room and window frames cut in the shape of a maple tree's winged seed pods.



Thousands visit Frank Lloyd Wright home that survived Sandy

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:45:12 UT

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A Frank Lloyd Wright house flooded during Superstorm Sandy is now high and dry in Arkansas, and it's drawn thousands of visitors at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The Bachman-Wilson House is one of Wright's noted "Usonian" homes, which were designed for middle-class Americans. It flooded several times at its original New Jersey location. Crystal Bridges acquired it after the 2012 storm and opened it to the public last November. Curators note Wright wanted to immerse people into their natural environment, and key features of the Bachman-Wilson House are a glass-enclosed living room and window frames cut in the shape of a maple tree's winged seed pods.



Freebie treasures: finding beauty and value in repurposing

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 09:23:29 UT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — OK, I admit it. I pick up castoff gloves I find along the side of the road. You never know: These gloves that have blown out of the backs of pickup trucks can, if you're patient, be useful. You just need to hold onto that lonely left until you can match it up with a nearly matching right. Sometimes you get lucky and find a pair straight off, which makes for a very satisfying day. My freebie treasures are not limited to gloves. It's amazing what's out there free for the picking. I've taken junk skis and made them into a coat rack. Once I made a doll house for my daughter out of old chair seats and kindling wood.



Freebie treasures: finding beauty and value in repurposing

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 09:23:29 UT

This Nov. 2, 2016 photo shows wood salvaged from a barn and used by Glenn Adams to frame a collection of historic front pages, at his home in Augusta, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)



NYC exhibit brings focus to temporary homes and their design

Sat, 19 Nov 2016 12:58:17 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — When it comes to the design of homes and interiors, ideas can have surprising origins. The origins of Modernism's spare functionalism can be traced to housing solutions created to solve Europe's severe housing crisis in the aftermath of World War I. And once-radical concepts like open flow plans, Pyrex glassware and linoleum flooring were initially designed for corporate or industrial settings. A contemporary example of that flow of ideas from crisis to general use is Pritzker Architecture Prize recipient Shigeru Ban's use of thick paper tubes in the quick and efficient construction of temporary housing for disaster victims.



NYC exhibit brings focus to temporary homes and their design

Sat, 19 Nov 2016 12:58:17 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — When it comes to the design of homes and interiors, ideas can have surprising origins. The origins of Modernism's spare functionalism can be traced to housing solutions created to solve Europe's severe housing crisis in the aftermath of World War I. And once-radical concepts like open flow plans, Pyrex glassware and linoleum flooring were initially designed for corporate or industrial settings. A contemporary example of that flow of ideas from crisis to general use is Pritzker Architecture Prize recipient Shigeru Ban's use of thick paper tubes in the quick and efficient construction of temporary housing for disaster victims.



Lawrence seeks to terminate incentive agreement with hotel

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 19:15:14 UT

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The city of Lawrence has filed a lawsuit to terminate a multimillion-dollar incentive agreement with The Oread hotel, alleging its developer fraudulently collected tax rebates. The lawsuit filed Wednesday claims developer Thomas Fritzel improperly collected tax rebates for hundreds of unrelated purchases, including landscaping for his home, a cabin in Colorado and the rental of a party tent, the Lawrence Journal-World (http://bit.ly/2gmhYhv ) reported. The lawsuit, which names Fritzel and three of his associated companies, is based on a report by accounting firm Allen, Gibbs & Houlik. The city seeks to recoup more than $400,000 in monetary damages and to terminate the incentive agreement with the hotel.



Frank Lloyd Wright home in Virginia Beach sells for $2.2M

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 11:38:55 UT

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A Virginia Beach home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright has sold for $2.2 million. The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/2fkJO98) reported Wednesday that Misty Brownell, an agent with Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty representing the seller, says the home was sold to an unnamed businessman who had wanted the residence for more than 30 years. The house had been on the market for $2.75 million. The 3,000-square-foot house boasts concrete floors and a 40-foot-long built-in sofa. A curving wall of glass windows and doors overlooks a lake. The Atlantic Ocean is a few blocks away. The home is the only Wright-designed house in the Hampton Roads region and one of only three in Virginia.



Summer home of President Chester A. Arthur listed for $14.2M

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 01:35:19 UT

SAG HARBOR, N.Y. (AP) — A recently renovated home on Long Island that once served as the "summer White House" for President Chester A. Arthur has been placed on the market for $14.2 million. Newsday reports (http://nwsdy.li/2g5R2CG ) the Sag Harbor residence was renovated by renowned architect Steven Gambrel, who retained much of the historic detail of the six-bedroom Victorian. Gambrel kept the 1796 home's original fireplaces while adding modern amenities such as a new kitchen and bathrooms, a media room and a wine cellar in the finished basement. The .34-acre property also features a swimming pool on the grounds. Arthur used the home as a summer retreat while serving as the 21st president of the United States from 1881 to 1885.



Restoration work moves ahead at author Edith Wharton's house

Sat, 12 Nov 2016 10:48:04 UT

LENOX, Mass. (AP) — Preservation of author Edith Wharton's country house in the Berkshires of Massachusetts is moving forward with additional funding. The organization that maintains The Mount says it recently received a $50,000 grant from the Jane and Jack Fitzpatrick Charitable Trust after it was able to raise $65,000 in matching donations. The trust had previously given the home $50,000 toward restoring the property's former stable, which is now used for lectures, workshops and other programming. The work includes repairing foundations, sills, sashes, doors and window frames, as well as making utility upgrades. Wharton was a novelist and short story writer who authored The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth and other works.



Mark Cuban settles dispute with ESPN, restores credentials

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 21:26:50 UT

DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has restored the credentials of two ESPN reporters who cover the team, with both sides saying they agreed on an adjustment in how NBA coverage appears on the network's website. ESPN President John Skipper said the network "has never contemplated automated reporting in our NBA coverage" after Cuban raised such concerns when he pulled the credentials for Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon last weekend. Skipper said the network will now link to team sites in game recaps while still utilizing content from The Associated Press "when we are not in the building." The AP has at least one reporter at every NBA game.



Mark Cuban settles dispute with ESPN, restores credentials

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 21:26:50 UT

DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has restored the credentials of two ESPN reporters who cover the team, with both sides saying they agreed on an adjustment in how NBA coverage appears on the network's website. ESPN President John Skipper said the network "has never contemplated automated reporting in our NBA coverage" after Cuban raised such concerns when he pulled the credentials for Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon last weekend. Skipper said the network will now link to team sites in game recaps while still utilizing content from The Associated Press "when we are not in the building." The AP has at least one reporter at every NBA game.



ASK A DESIGNER: new twists for the Thanksgiving table

Wed, 9 Nov 2016 09:28:37 UT

Perhaps more than any other holiday, Thanksgiving is about tradition. The menu and tableware often vary little from year to year, and the day feels as reliable as a cozy sweater. It can also feel repetitive. So as you honor tradition, why not bring a dose of fresh style to your Thanksgiving celebration? As interior designer and HGTV host Vern Yip puts it, just "get to the heart of why those traditions exist and what they're about. That opens up a whole new box of decor ideas." Here Yip and two other designers — Maxwell Ryan, founder of apartmenttherapy.com, and crafter Lia Griffith of liagriffith.com — offer advice on creating a memorable Thanksgiving table.



Saltillo gets new shelter for residents to wait out storms

Sat, 5 Nov 2016 15:38:56 UT

SALTILLO, Miss. (AP) — Saltillo residents are closer to having a large, safe place from storms. A crew from Supercell Shelters, in Decatur, Alabama, delivered the city's community storm shelter Thursday. The 10-foot wide and 48-foot long arched steel building is designed to house up to 96 people and withstand the high winds and flying debris of a tornado. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/2fDhyDj ) reports the 19,000-pound structure is located next to Saltillo City Hall. But it will probably be mid-November before the shelter will be ready for residents. "We still have some work to do on the outside," said Saltillo zoning administrator Brian Grissom.