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3/29/11

Musing On The Zero Energy Prefab, From The Mid-Century Modern




Baaaack at the mid-century modern, it being March in Virginia and all, despite the blossoms bursting like all-get-out all over the place, that's right, honeychile: It snowed.

My children are blaring Christmas music, convinced it will make it snow even harder. It's all fun and games until you're on hour FIVE of Charley Brown's Christmas. And Elvis. Oh, the Elvis...


Snow In March

I'm still in my pajamas, leopard print of course, shopping online for modern kitchen and bathroom cabinet ideas and running around the back yard (still in my pajamas, did I mention it's mid-day?) with my camera taking pictures of the snow. I hope all my neighbors saw me!



Here's some design inspiration you might like I ran across today:
1958 Alcoa house showcases “the wonders of aluminum” — Retro Renovation
Niiiice!  And their Alcoa house renovation updates: http://bit.ly/hDVSNF

You might recall we are now musing on the kitchen and bathroom areas.
Here are more thoughts for our own zero energy off grid prefab house kit.


As I mentioned, I want to sleek up that kitchen island area in the off grid prefab.
We are reusing found materials as much as possible, as always, but the reality is that yes, I am about to succumb to the easy, inexpensive Big Box. Yes, that one. I'm that tired and put out. The Big Ole Swedish Meatball o' all Big Boxes. I'm dreading it but it's time to snap my fingers and have it done.

Here are some of our ideas:

Kitchen:
After we all sketched out ideas yesterday with the architect of the casa ti prefab house, David Day, it was time to find the easy, done, inexpensive solution.

We achieve this:
End facing entrance could be lined with shelves w/seasonally
changing things... just a thought...
With this:

That double-bowl sink is important because it has the area on the right for drying handwashed dishes while also doubling as counter space.

Bathroom:
Finish walls with the reused VMI basketball court except around the claw foot tub, which will have a modern backsplash finish.
(Please excuse the coffee and crumpled effects;
I should have treated this more neatly!)
My philosophy on the bathroom is "Why the heck do people store stuff in the bathroom that then collect bacteria? Ga-roooooss! And why the heck don't you put on your makeup in the bedroom at your dressing table where it's much more elegant instead of holding the rest of the household up while you re-attach yer lashes?!?"

So, no double his-and-her sinks, no reasons to linger (ew). Here's this.

Middle Bedroom: 

We have gotten so used to that beautiful daylighting from the "T" of north windows emanating into the living space in the south room. Why stop now, just because we have systems there? Get translucent panels, mount them *within* the two-by-fours so they provide cool linear elements *and* something to fasten shelves randomly placed so that a little girl who will be a teen one day can be assured of privacy while allowing a larger-space-through-use-of-light effect in that room.

I've been talking about this idea for over a year and lo' and behold in that article above on the mid-century Alcoa house there is an EXACT EXAMPLE of what I'm talking about, check it out!
From Retro Renovation's article on the Alcoa house:
http://retrorenovation.com/2008/08/19/rochester-stevens-1957-alcoa-aluminum-house/
See those back translucent panels??? Bingo, baby! It even has linear elements like ours would with the two-by-fours! I think I'd give our two-by-fours a wash of white, so that the wood grain / color still shows through but that it's just lightened up a bit.

Seeing the Alcoa house made my day because of the similarities - lots of wood, airy open elegance, with color, and touches of metal / dark elements.
From Retro Renovation's Alcoa house article:
http://retrorenovation.com/2008/08/04/1958-alcoa-house-showcases-the-wonders-of-aluminum/
Lighting:
From the beginning we've discussed track lighting, which is why we didn't add chases in the roof panels (SIP). I love the idea of "stars" twinkling from the ceiling, hence embracing the leftover Christmas LEDs to provide temporary lighting in the bedrooms until we hook up the power in the back side of the house. (Currently that is turned off for safety reasons while the walls are still open.)

Awhile back I gave a little tour of how much recycled, reused lighting we have. You might see a few of these show up in the zero energy prefab, now with LEDs. So down, doooooown into the basement I go, and I brought up these gems:

Now don't forget that being solar powered / off grid there is NO REASON to waste any light with dark shades. That is why everything I choose for shade options disperses as much light as possible.

I also am looking for modern fans.
Ooo! Ooo! I see all yer hands shooting up, hold on, let me finish:
I am looking for sleek affordable modern fans that are...
DC POWERED.
And look cool.
Affordably.
The room goes silent.
That's what I thought.

#DesignFight
We keep going over this middle systems closet area.
I keep trying to explain the frosted translucent panels (which I have been talking about for over a year and finally found a visual, concrete example so I don't understand why Handsome Husband continues to balk). Finally, in frustration, talking about the kitchen side of that area, and how he needs "accessibility" (which yes I understand but there's multiple ways to do that), I blasted, "FINE. You want easy accessibility?!? You can go hang a frickin' frosted SHOWER CURTAIN there for all I care!"

Wait.
...
Wait!
Hmmmmmmmmmmm.
To Be Continued...

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1 Comments:

At 3/29/11, 9:44 PM , Blogger G. said...

Watching your video made me feel like it was Christmas!

 

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