Category Archives: On Building

Doors, portals, passages and gates of Sweden

I’m sure that somewhere, photographic essays – yes, probably entire books, have been assembled on doors and their similes. After all, for being such a simple, utilitarian building element, they are ascribed huge symbolic importance; hope, opening, opportunity, passage, transition from … Continue reading

Posted in On Building, Scandinavia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

The seven year wait…

So far, this week has been a pretty normal week for me, but it contains a GIGANTIC mile stone for my friend and co-worker Gina.  After the upcoming weekend, she and her husband will be at the end of a process … Continue reading

Posted in Cool building materials, Nice People, On Building | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The irk of Opportunity Wasted

Okay, so I’m going to try real hard not to be mean, but seeing backward-ass decisions realized just really rub me the wrong way. Seeing squandered opportunity and fizzled potential is just so depressing… This past fall, I noticed a … Continue reading

Posted in On Building, On Design | Tagged , , , , , , | 22 Comments

The beauty of clean, Green E-board – put the leftovers on your roses!

Did you know that we here in the U.S. throw out 221.7 million tons of garbage – every DAY!!! A whopping 20% of that comes from the building and construction industry! So not surprisingly, when I find a product or … Continue reading

Posted in Cool building materials, Environment, On Building | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nifty bathroom solution – 1

I recently had the great joy and opportunity to help a wonderful couple renovate one of their bathrooms. Their new house was from 1898, and last time anyone had done anything to the bathroom was in the 80’s – at … Continue reading

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Nifty Kitchen Solution – 1

Sometimes you walk into a prospective project, and within seconds, you see the solution – just like that! In this particular little house, it was the kitchen that was of most concern. Built in the 1940’s, the L-shaped kitchen was … Continue reading

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Magic and Mysticism in Scandinavian Vernacular Architecture – on Folklore, Superstition and on How the Gods Really Were in the Details…

The urge to decorate is as old as mankind. Since time immemorial, adornments have served as status indicators, cultural and national insignia, as well as tribal trademarks. Heraldic badges and coats of arms mark political and familial affiliations, and entire … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, On Building, Scandinavia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Celebration of the times before the big disconnect – how the old masters selected wood

I spent my childhood summers on a farm in a rather desolate part of northern Sweden. At one point, much later in life, we were looking into moving a small grain storage barn on the property. It was situated a … Continue reading

Posted in Cool building materials, Culture, On Building, Scandinavia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

From shou-sugi-ban to acetylated wood – a clean, green future in wood preservation

Tar kiln or “tjärdal” from Öland, Sweden. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia. Since humans began using wood, the material has always been subject to more or less successful methods of wood preservation. Alexander the Great is said to have soaked wood … Continue reading

Posted in Color, Cool building materials, Culture, Environment, Green Living, On Building | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Active Minds Build Passive Houses!

While still living in Sweden, I heard about these incredibly energy efficient “Passive Houses”. On average, their annual energy consumption is about 90% LESS than a normal, drafty, comparatively poorly built abode. This is, of course, a staggering slap in … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Green Living, On Building, On Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment