Dwell March/April 2020

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2 min
a smarter, better home

There is a fairly standard vision of the smart home. Systems silently automate tasks from temperature control to grocery orders in the background as our virtual assistants guide us effortlessly through the day. Whether this sounds like a seamless dream or a privacy-compromising nightmare, the reality for most people is a bit different. We rely on a constellation of more-or-less connected devices and apps. Some refuse to talk with one another without a complicated intervention. Others may be “smart,” but for reasons more interesting to engineers and marketers than users—do we really want to get phone alerts from every last appliance in our kitchens? The best new tools respond to real needs. Right now, one of the most urgent is reducing the ecological burden created by our houses. For our annual special…

2 min

“That’s one of the tightest two-car garages I’ve ever seen.”—Fred Hall via Dwell.com Feedback Thanks to Peter Gluck for choosing a fórcola [Venetian oarlock] for One Last Thing [January/February]. Tucked away in our Florida room is another example of this beautifully functional sculpture. As a summer student in Italy in 1998, I purchased it from Paolo Brandolisio, who was one of Giuseppe Carli’s students (and took over the Carli shop). An inspiration ever since, it has often been drawn into evening conversations about travel, art, design, and happiness. MARSH C. KRIPLEN, MIAMI I’m curious to know who made the windows in “Creative Potential” [Renovation, January/February]. In most new construction or renovations, windows are the most important elements of the design. BOZENA WACLAWIK VIA DWELL.COM EDITORS’ NOTE: The windows in the project you’re referring to are by…

1 min
what’s new at dwell.com?

1. A Handcrafted Home in British Columbia Take a video tour of a lakefront retreat that balances private spaces with joyful camp vibes. 2. 25 Midcentury Modern Kitchen Renovations The hardest-working room in the house gets the treatment it deserves in these stellar remodels. 3. Budget Breakdown: A Postmodern ADU Pops Up for $249K In Los Angeles, Bunch Design conceives a dynamic backyard dwelling that looks and feels larger than its 850 square feet. 4. Shopping Guide: 10 Show-Stopping Wardrobes They may not lead to Narnia, but their style and functionality do seem magical. BLU DOT MODU-LICIOUS #6, COURTESY BLU DOT…

2 min
how do you feel about “shoes off” in the house?

“My household members don’t wear shoes in the house, but I would never make a guest feel uncomfortable if they chose to keep them on.”Jayme Lillie via Facebook Love, love, love no shoes. Eight years as expats in Tokyo—no turning back. @Tojourneywise Just get rid of carpets! It’s shoes on the carpet (that you can’t wash) that grosses me out. Raina Fellows I keep shoe covers by the entrance (the kind contractors wear). So if there’s a preference for guests to leave their shoes on, I accommodate that. @KeniLF I have a “shoes on” house. I understand and appreciate those who have a “shoes off” policy. I just really want to know before I visit. I have been stuck in a benchless entryway struggling to take off lace-up boots way too many times. @Anne.marie.labich It’s for people who are…

2 min
spirit of invention

More at Dwell.com Do you have a project you’d like to see published in Houses We Love? Share it at dwell.com/add-a-home A good friend is someone who can keep a secret. Brad Horn and Maria Berman, partners of Berman Horn Studio, discovered they had very good friends indeed when they chanced upon the island of Vinalhaven, Maine. At the time, they were searching for a suitable location to build a house that would serve as a year-round retreat and a second office for their Manhattan-based practice. “We thought nobody had heard about this place,” says Maria. “Turns out, lots of our friends were keeping it a secret.” Their friends’ silence was understandable. The island is wooded and remote, blanketed in spruce trees and more than an hour by ferry from the mainland. Its…

2 min
anna saint pierre

In Paris, as in most cities where the architecture has stood the test of time, aesthetes bemoan the inevitable renovation projects that replace aging, stately facades with updated materials. Yet modern-day energy efficiency requires it, and, well, time marches on. But when Paris-based designer and doctoral researcher Anna Saint Pierre saw the massive granite slabs that were slated to be replaced with thermo-efficient metal panels in the conversion of an old building into a new co-working hub, she started asking herself: Could that granite—all 182 tons of it—be repurposed on-site? And was there a way to create a beautiful new material from it that conserves resources and preserves history all at once? Saint Pierre was aptly situated to experiment with the concept, given her work-study position at SCAU, the architectural firm…