948 McClelland

It's exciting to see great modern homes continue to be built in Salt Lake City. I first walked through 948 McClelland last fall and immediately fell in love with it. This single level 2,750 foot home was designed by my friends at Imbue Design, a local architectural firm and built by Domain general contracting. Imbue is doing some fantastic work in the valley and the McClelland home is proof of that.

It has some wonderful spaces including a spacious living room kitchen area that is flooded with light by large windows on three sides and an interior atrium on the fourth. While the price isn't what I would consider "affordable" the home is certainly gorgeous. It was recently completed, and is for sale for $745,000. If you live in SLC a drive by gawking is a must. If you buy it, invite me over for dinner please.

More pics after the jump.

Full virtual tour available here.

MLS Listing here.


Master Bath


DIY $100,000 dollar modern home

GRM reader Sarah was kind enough to send me the story of the house that she and her husband built in in Texas last year, and I absolutely LOVE it. Long story short they built a 20' x 40' modern home by themselves for $100,00, and it turned out fantastic. You can read the whole story after the jump.

Story by Sarah Lindsey

When we were given the opportunity to build on 2.5 acres, we knew we couldn’t afford an architect to design our dream house. But we also knew we didn’t want a cookie cutter plan from a book. So we set out to design a house that fit our needs and tastes, that was energy efficient, and that we could afford. Oh, and that Chris could build by himself.

When we started to put our ideas together, we were working and living on a sailing yacht, but we were ready to make the move back to shore to start our family. We decided that we would save a portion of our salary toward building the house, and that we could leave the boat when we had $100.000. It took just over three years to save our goal, so we had a lot of time to think about what we wanted in a house.

We started with Google Sketch-Up. Our priorities were these: First, we didn’t need a lot of square footage. Living on a boat had taught us that it’s not the amount of space you have, it’s what you do with it. And frankly, any bedroom where you could sit up in bed without your head hitting the ceiling would seem spacious. Second, Chris needed a workshop. For the sake of our marriage, he needed a mad-scientist lab where he could make stuff (and messes), that was totally separate from our living space. Third, we didn’t want to have to stay sealed in an air conditioned box through the hot Texas summer, so we wanted to incorporate passive cooling techniques. And fourth, it had to be as simple as possible, be- cause Chris was going to do all the work himself. And we were determined to stay within our budget of $100,000.

What we came up with was a two story 20’x40’ rectangle, with Chris’ shop on the ground floor, and our living space up top. The interior, one big open space with a sleeping loft. To keep it cool, we decided on a south-facing shed roof (perfect for solar panels), clerestory windows to vent the warm air, and a big covered deck running the length of the house to keep the sun from coming through the two 8’ sliders into the living room. We took our Sketch-Up drawing to a sympathetic architect, Travis Young at Studio Momentum in Austin, who agreed to be our advisor and work with what we gave him for a fraction of his full service fee. He drew full plans, made sure the engineering was solid, and served as a valuable mediator in helping us make final decisions. We were ready to start the permitting.

Chris had built houses before. And his duties as captain of a yacht, aside from driving it, included maintaining all the systems. So he had experience with electricity and plumbing. But there was certainly a learning curve. For one thing, the materials he was used to from building in New England were clapboard and shingles, not stucco and standing seam steel. But once he started, he resolved to do everything possible by himself. From the framing to the wiring, the stucco to the concrete countertop, the drywall to the bathroom tile for Chris, it was a one man job. At first I helped a bit. Mostly cleaning up, handing him things when he was on the scaffolding and providing company. But 6 months into it, I became pregnant, and queezy. After that, even I stuck to budget minding and other stationary jobs.

Our choice of materials had two criteria. One, that it be low maintenance and as sustainable as possible, and two, that it fit in the budget. For flooring, we didn’t want pre-finished wood or laminate, but couldn’t afford hard wood, so we opted for plywood. Chris cut it into 4’x4’ squares, then stained and finished it with satin polyurethane. The result is clean and warm feeling; Fireslate countertops were out of our price range, so we went for concrete. Chris built the form and poured them 2” thick. We left them grey and they really pop with the plywood cabinets and stainless appliances, making the kitchen my favorite part of the house; Our dream was to frame with steel and concrete block, but we went for stucco on stick frame. The best part was, we never felt we were making sacrifices. It was more like a fun puzzle. Ikea cabinets for the kitchen were the least expensive option, but we didn’t like any of their fronts. So we bought the frames, and Chris made the fronts out of a beautiful, grainy Chinese birch plywood from Home Depot. We liked the look of the birch so much, we used it to panel the kitchen and one of the living room walls.

What we ended up with is a house that is very specifically ours. There is only one interior door (on the bathroom), giving it the feeling of a loft apartment out here in the woods. Sure, there’s not a lot of privacy, but as the baby gets bigger and busier, it’s easy to keep an eye on her in a big open space. We don’t have a dishwasher, because we never had one before and we got to like hand washing the dishes. Our dining room is outside on the deck because living on the boat gave us a taste for al fresco dining. And we live on the second floor, so Chris can have his shop and because we love the tree house feeling we get up here. Yes, we will need more space and privacy when our little girl gets to be a big girl, but we’ve got 2.5 acres and plenty of time to build the next phase of the Rhombus Ranch before then.
Chris and I have been together since 2002, and this is the first home we’ve had together that was really ours. We’ve lived in a glorified tent, in a friend’s spare bedroom, and then on other people’s yachts for 5 years. This place is ours, for exactly the way we want to live, from the slab up.

Photos by Adam Glick Photography, Chris Renner and Thao Nguyen

The Statesman also did a nice article on the home which you can read here. I've included some of the pictures from the article above.

Huge thanks to Sarah for sharing!
You can contact her at sarahelindsey (at) yahoo.com

1519 Cleveland

I love LOVE it when I see architects and builders working to make affordable modern housing. The 100k house was a great example of this, and now Celtic Works and Studio 2LR have come up with another shinning example. 1519 Cleveland.

This 1,120 SF single-family dwelling includes 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths with an open living/dining/kitchen space.It's located at 1519 Cleveland St. in Columbia, SC, and is listed at $130K.

Yes, you read that right. 130K for a brand new 2 bed 2 bath modern home.

Check out the 1519 Cleveland FB page for more info.

More pics and a floor plan after the jump.

Affordable MCM in Olympus Cove, SLC UT

I may be geeking out on design in NY but that doesn't mean my heart isn't still in SLC, and I'm in love with this house. It is literally kitty corner from my old home up in Olympus Cove and I remember swooning over it for many a day. I have never seen the inside, but pictures don't do the exterior justice. Besides having a great design, great lot (can you say stream?) it has a great price too. The $299,000 price tag reflect the fact that it may need a little work, but I would take an original 50's interior over a 80's remodel any day. More pics and some details after the jump, or see it on utahrealestate.com.

Affordable MCM in Olympus Cove

Untouched Mid-Century Modern-style home, where form follows function. Designed by the creator of Dale Boots ski boots and built from Inland Steel, concrete, and green quartzite rocks with petrified lichen quarried from the Park Valley quarry in Northern Utah. The design is two boxes that come together at 19 degrees on a pie-shaped lot. There is the original old growth wood panel mahogany wall inside, and each window was designed to have views of the surrounding area and/or for passive solar heat. The owner lovingly built this himself, and welded each piece of steel roofing to the I-beams in the roof and floor over a period of six months of construction in 1958, and added a steel shed hidden in the back yard. (He originally worked for Inland Steel). An additional solarium was added to the kitchen to jut diners out into the private back yard. The basement walks out and could potentially have a mother in law apartment. There is 6” of Styrofoam insulation between the roof decking and the tar and gravel roof for extra comfort. The downstairs vents are covered with rounded pegboard There's a terrazzo hearth on the main floor and a fireplace down Olympus Creek runs through the back yard scrub oak for two months in the Summer. This home is a treasure of this style of construction, lovingly built and ready for the right buyer to restore it and modernize it. Sold in as-is condition, but livable now!

Square Feet On Each Floor
Floor 1: 1556 sq. ft.
Basement: 1140 sq. ft.
Total: 2696 sq. ft.

Lot Size In Acres
Acres: 0.23

Summer shot from Google maps.

Modern Birdhouse :: Wee Rowhome

Ha! You thought that because it was winter, my birdhouse/feeder obsession would subside, didn't you? Not so. The ol' bird fever is still raging and after spotting this modern cedar and cardboard design, it's only gotten stronger. The Wee Rowhome was designed by Philadelphia-based architects Austin + Mergold and takes inspiration from the iconic row houses of the area. Fully weather-proofed and designed for ideal nesting conditions.

Wee Rowhome available from Anthropologie: $100

Darco Magazine

Looking for a little eye candy to keep you busy as we go into Thanksgiving weekend? My friend recently turned me on to Darco, a portuguese architectural magazine that is available online. It has a decent online viewer, some amazing homes, and text in both english and portuguese. I really appreciate how it includes decent floorplans and elevations with every home so you can really get a good sense of the space. There are 16 issues available online for your viewing pleasure. That should just about get you through your post turkey stupor tomorrow.

Darco Magazine

Industrial design, architecture and more

Being the big technology nerd that I am I love to read engadget. While wading through pages of cell phone posts I came across this fantastic link to a Flickr page by Andreas Fuhrimann of the Swiss architectural firm AFGH . Besides being an amazing architect, Andreas has an amazing photographic collection of some of the best industrial design from the 60's and 70's. The goodness doesn't just stop there though. He also has some gorgeous architectural sets including some stunning buildings from Mexico and Brasil.

Oh, what's that you say? You wish he had some landscapes? Done.

Or maybe you prefer some gorgeous watches. Gotcha covered again.

Or how about vintage cars?

Mind = Blown. Thanks Andreas.

Mid-Century Revival :: Peterssen/Keller Architecture

How about some eye candy to ease you on into the weekend? After you're satisfied, don't forget to enter our Müzo Collectibles giveaway, which ends today! Now, lean back..

Elizabeth Close’s brilliant design for this classic 1963 split-level rambler lacked a direct connection from the main living areas to the site’s beautiful yard. A new spiral stair now leads from the living room to the terrace below without obstructing the facade. Inside, the kitchen’s ceiling was vaulted and a wall removed to open the space to the dining room, reflecting the important role the kitchen now plays in family life. A renovated eat-in kitchen and new mudroom provide modern amenities, while updating throughout the home brings a fresh, modern look that suits this young family.

LINK: pkarch.com

[via Plastolux]

More pics after the jump!

Soji Solar Lantern :: Modern Outdoor Lighting

This Le Klint-inspired outdoor lantern is a) 1/10th of the cost of the real thing, and b) equipped with Earth-friendly solar panels. It's also totally portable, so you can hang it anywhere and not have to worry about a tangled string of electrical wires. Pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself!

Equipped with two high powered Amber LED lights, solar panel and a rechargeable AAA battery, 9" diameter.

Soji Solar Lantern available from SFMOMA Store: $40

Modern Planters :: Wallter

If you've been wondering when those awesome planters from Wallter would be available, I've got news for you! Wallter just announced that all styles and colors are now available for purchase, just in time for the holidays! (These are definitely on my wish list this year!) The hanging and wall-mounted styles go to the tune of $72, while the post-mounted planters are available for $92.

Made of powder coated spun aluminum and available in white, mustard, orange, and turquoise.

Outdoor Planters by Wallter: $72 - $92

Modern Bungalow for sale in SLC

I know modern bungalow is a bit of an oxymoron, but believe me, this house pulls it off. From the street it's a total sleeper that looks like many other homes in the area, albeit with better landscaping. Inside, while not extravagant, is full of tasteful details everywhere you look. White walls meet up with warm fir floors with no base or case to ruin the look. A simple tasteful kitchen with black granite countertops. Modern Fan co fans in most of the rooms. There is even an nice built in bed with storage and a built in desk. The whole home comes in at just under 1,000 square feet, and best of all it's only priced at $188,000 and it's in a great area. This has got to be the best deal on the market right now. Buyers, make sure you do a walkthrough so you can really appreciate the home.

Modern Bungalow for sale

Way Back When :: Mini Mod Tour

Grassrootsmodern is proud to once again be a sponsor of another fantastic Salt Lake Modern event. This time we are not doing just one house tour, but an entire neighborhood. TheWestshire neighborhood is an incredibly unique neighborhood that contains over 150 homes all designed by MCM architect Ron Molen. If you have never been out there before you absolutely need to go, and if you have been out there before, this is your chance to tour 4 of the best houses out there.

Check out the Salt Lake Modern facebook page for details. See you out there, make sure you say Hi!

Please excuse me while I pay some bills...