Stunning images such as this classic example of French Louisiana architecture from architect Ken Tate with interiors designed by Ann Holden of Holden and Dupuy Interiors affirm my love of traditional design and decor features steeped in southern charm.
Since the dawn of home owning and renting time, American houses have come to know the weekend project(s). Regardless of the style of house or year of construction, at some point something will be in need of repair, replacement, renovation or remodel. That time came once again last week here at Places In The Home. The original air conditioning system in our fifty year old ranch style house finally bit the dust last week. It had a good life and provided hours of cold in the summer and warm in the winter air. Dave the Builder lined up the new system and the crew to work on Saturday, I stocked up on bottled water, sports drinks and cooling towels, and we were off to the races.
Sometimes you have to go through the ugly to get to the beauty of the sweet, sweet cold air on the other end of the air conditioning project.
If I had a nickel for every “we did just fine without air conditioning back in the good old days” comment my mother made during the central air install project this past weekend, I would be paying cash in all nickels for a new Nest thermostat. The subject of the good old days was immediately dropped as the first blast of cold air circulated around the room. My mother was the Road Runner to Dave the Builder’s Wile E. Coyote getting to the nearest vent blowing cold air, a feature of little to no presence in the main living and kitchen area of Places In The Home for the biggest part of last week.
You could hear the call to turn the thermostat to arctic and let the cooling down begin a mile away! I don’t believe I am in the minority here when I say there is nothing good about any day past, present or future when it comes to being hot.
My thoughts and prayers honestly do go out to the men and women who work outdoors in oppressive temperatures and heat indexes best described as dangerous. Dave the Builder hits the door some evenings after a 12+ hour workday in the Louisiana summer sun and humidity drained of all energy and will. Air conditioning plays a huge role in our lives, both at work and at home.
“We’ll make that into a sitting room where we can sit and talk… and the breeze can get at us.”
That line from the movie Giantmakes me wonder how people lived without air conditioning? Dust storms, tumbleweeds and brutal heat set the story of life on a Texas ranch in the 1920s. I would need a don’t talk to me I’m dying from this heat sitting room. Whenever I watch Giant and other classic films and television shows that show life and homes without air conditioning, I thank the conditioned air gods for Willis Carrier, the inventor of the first modern air-conditioning system. Bless the heart of this brilliant, brilliant man! Before Mr. Carrier’s invention however, the masses depended upon commercial and residential design features of the times to promote airflow and cross ventilation.
Screened sleeping porches, winding wraparound porches and deep eaves and awnings accommodated shade seekers, porch sitters and night sleepers from the harsh direct sunlight and heat of the day and gave protection from mosquitoes at night. Porch sitting and sippin’ in the late afternoon and after dinner (supper) was as much about letting the breeze get at you as it was an exercise in proper digestion.
A transom window proved crucial to upper air flow. Found above doors, a transom moved the warm air hovering at ceiling level to the higher floors or large open windows. Opening windows and doors at opposite ends of center halls allowed air to flow between areas of the house.
My brother removed all the working transoms and hardware from above the doors throughout his house during the initial renovation and restoration of his 1903 Victorian home. The transoms in his first house, a Victorian one story built in 1910, never worked properly and the hardware proved difficult at best to operate. The point of this explanation and pictorial example is to illustrate the architectural measures taken in the construction of homes and the thought to comfort given to air flow routes in the days devoid of air conditioning.
The long hot summer of 2015 has quite a few days and nights yet to go before relief is in sight. Thanks to Willis Carrier, Dave the Builder’s HVAC skills and the local power company Places In The Home won’t be without air conditioning. Remind me of this post if I dare complain about the cold of winter.
Happy Earth Day! April 22, 1970 was the first Earth Day, and the celebration of the environmental awareness has continued each year since. My darling mother’s father preached water conservation to her from an early age, and that conservation conversation is had on a frequent basis here at Places In The Home. Also from reading this blog you may know that my favorite travel destination and desert oasis is Las Vegas. Water conservation is indeed a big concern for Las Vegas, which sits in the middle of the Mojave Desert. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with an engineer from Las Vegas on a flight out to the desert. His firm worked on the concept, building, and installation of The Fountains of Bellagio. He explained to me how the water recycled from a well beneath the property for conservation and earth friendly responsibility. Kudos, Bellagio!
As I am considering replacing the not in use at the moment dressing area sink faucet set in the master bathroom, I am taking a few things into consideration. High on my list is water conservation, savings, reducing energy consumption, and as always- sustainable style.
The Virtue Widespread Bath Faucet from Pfister is the stylish and logical choice, all things better for the environment considered. With its brushed nickel finish, unique texture and elegant attention to detail, the Virtue Widespread Bath Faucet satisfies my desired function meets form meets style requirement.
The Virtue is WaterSense Certified, meaning it meets or exceeds EPA WaterSense Standards, which reduces water consumption by 30% and helps average households save up to $200 in their annual water bill, will satisfy my darling mother’s water conserving requirement. It’s a win-win situation for Earth Day and everyday, baby!
The kitchen has become the place to be in most homes. I can’t tell you how many cocktail parties I have hosted for business, birthdays, holidays, and just for the pure fun of it over the years. Some are more memorable than others, but they all have one thing in common. No matter how fantastic the rest of the house or outdoor space is, everyone gathers and remains in the kitchen. The same is true for everyday life lived in our homes. The kitchen is so much more than the space for cooking, dining, and cleaning.
I’ve been participating in design chats on twitter lately, and the dream kitchen and what defines that term was the topic of an informative chat hosted by #kbtribechat. Appliances, flooring, color scheme, cabinetry, and countertops are just a few of the design elements that factor in to complete the dream. The industry has so many unique ideas and user friendly ways to implement them into real kitchens.
Gone are the days of a small space with simply a stove, refrigerator, sink, and an exhausted cook going through the motions of getting the food to the table. Whatever your personal style may be, I say express it through food and the kitchen it is prepared in.
I’m am so impressed with this expression of individuality in a kitchen. The Georgia lake house of Leo and Kay Berard featured in the August issue of Southern Living is my idea of how to camp. Framed family photos serve as the cabinet doors in their sophisticated camp kitchen. The photos are backed with thin plywood and hinged. Genius! And is that copper I see? Speaking of copper…
House Beautiful‘s 2011 Kitchen of the Year is a good one! Tyler Florence delivered on many levels and the industry is buzzing. Can you guess what caught my attention and held it? The copper accessories compliment the ebony fixtures and countertops beautifully. I love the copper “vase” on the island.
A viewing of the KOTY cast inspiration magic. I was introduced to a great site last week. Olioboard is a free site for creating interior design moodboards. One board, two boards, and I’m hooked! If you have not discovered Olioboard, I highly recommend a visit. I had a ball creating my kitchen board.
The most popular kitchen design element hands down is function. It is nothing out of the norm for fifteen different tasks, jobs, and conversations to be going on at one time in our kitchen. Our kitchen is comfortable, multifunctional, and the space where everyone wants to be. Today’s kitchens serve a stylish purpose.