House L is a renovation project of a semi-detached house built in the 1970’s by Amitzi Architects, for a family with 3 children, located in Tel Aviv, Israel. Despite a cramped and dark interior caused by low ceilings and a split-level section, it turned out that demolition was out of the question, due to budget and schedule. It was decided, therefore, to renovate within the existing envelope, tear open large apertures and dismantle interior partitions, thus creating a spacious and well-lit space.
The kitchen was reorganized to place the dining-area in front of a glass sliding door leading to an outside deck. An axis crosses the entire length of the house – starting from the front deck, through the dining area, entrance hall, living room and up to the back garden – allowing longitudinal views and a natural cross-ventilation.
The entrance hall is lit by glass portholes set within the door. The living room was equipped with a fireplace, a library and a home-cinema system.
The bedrooms’ hall on the first floor is a windowless interior space. Natural light penetrates via a skylight, enabling the use of this space as a study.
Photos: Amitzi Architects
Having a house on the market for several months and not attracting any offers or interest is not only an extremely frustrating experience but can also cause you to put your dreams and hopes on hold while you are unable to move away from your current home.
There are typically two main reasons why someone chooses not to buy a house. Either the price isn’t right (too high) or the house is not what they’re looking for. If you’ve engaged the services of a good estate agent then the first should not be a problem; your estate agent will have assessed the value of your home and valued it using comparisons to other homes that are on sale in your area, homes that have been recently sold and homes that have failed to sell.
Assuming your house is priced correctly the likely problem is that your house is just not attractive enough to potential buyers. This can be hard for some sellers to understand because they love their home and it has everything that they need. However your taste might not be the same as your buyer’s taste and you might want to consider making some changes to your home to raise the value and help buyers to see that it is the house for them. Selling your home is about showing off your home in such a way that potential buyers can imagine themselves living there – and sometimes you need to make a few small changes and additions to help this happen.
Three Simple Ways to Improve the Likelihood of Selling Your Home:
Fix Those Small Problems – The average person is busy and getting busier. Less and less people are looking for homes to fix-up and would prefer to move into a house that is perfect straight away and requires no work. This means that the small issues in your home which you overlook, or not even notice, may be putting off potential buyers, even if they’re only superficial problems. Get out your tools and get working or hire a local handyman and make sure your gutters are cleaned and fixed, the garden is looking as good as possible and that spot on the ceiling from when the bathroom flooded five years ago is sorted!
Use Neutral Colors – When buyers visit your home they are trying to visualize what it might look like if they move in and lived there; as a buyer it is your job to help them do this. Your idea of interior design might involve bright colors or patterns on your walls but this won’t help your buyer think about moving in. Check out this post about the best paint colors to choose. Consider repainting your rooms in neutral colors such as white or cream, this will help your potential buyers imagine what they might do with the room.
Build a conservatory – Building a conservatory is one of the easiest ways to improve what your house can offer to buyers. Make sure you choose a decent roof as this can make a big difference to how people perceive the house. The house is extended by an extra room at a cost far lower than that required for a true extension. Once you’ve built the conservatory your home will be worth more so you can recoup the costs (and often more) when the value of your home goes up. Your home will also be more attractive to buyers especially if other houses in your area lack this feature.
1 Kindesign readers tell us what mistakes you have made when trying to sell your home!
Photo Sources: 1. Pinterest, 2. VanBrouck & Associates, 3. Front Door, 4. Alexander Design Group, 5. Arcanum Architecture, 6. Bosenberg and Company Landscape Architects, 7. Structures Building Company, 8. Studio S Squared Architecture, 9. Ownby Design, 10. Raven Inside Interior Design, 11. Home Gallery Store, 12. Ballard Designs, 13. The Design Co., 14. Linda Burkhardt, 15. Dominick Tringali Architects, 16. Martha O’Hara Interiors, 17. B. Jane Gardens, 18. HartmanBaldwin Design/Build
Garden Tree House is an extension project for a young couple, which incorporates trees into the design by Hironaka Ogawa & Associates, located in Kagawa, Japan. The extension on the thirty-five year-old house is for a daughter and her husband, comprised of 547 square feet (50.9 square meters).
Azelkova tree and a Camphor tree stood on the site since the time the main house was build thirty-five years ago. Removing these trees was one of the design requirements because the new additional building could not be built if these trees remained. When I received the offer for the project, I thought of various designs before I visited the site for the first time. However, all my thoughts were blown away as soon as I saw the site in person.
The two trees stood there quite strongly. I listen to the stories in detail; the daughter has memories of climbing these trees when she was little.
These trees looked over the family for thirty-five years. They colored the garden and grew up with the family. Therefore, utilizing these trees and creating a new place for the client became the main theme for the design.
In detail, I cut the two trees with their branches intact. Then I reduced the water content by smoking and drying them for two weeks. Thereafter, I placed the trees where they used to stand and used them as main structural columns in the center of the living room, dining room, and kitchen.
In order to mimic the way the trees used to stand, I sunk the building addition 70 centimeters down in the ground. I kept the height of the addition lower than the main house while still maintaining 4 meter ceiling height.
By the way, the smoking and drying process was done at a kiln within Kagawa prefecture. These two trees returned to the site without ever leaving the prefecture.
The client asked a Shinto priest at the nearby shrine to remove evil when the trees were cut. Nobody would go that far without a love and attachment to these trees.
When this house is demolished and another new building constructed by a descendant of the client hundreds of years from now, surely these two trees will be reused in some kind of form.
Manhattan Beach Residence is the conversion of an existing three story property into a family home by Abramson Teiger Architects, located in Manhattan Beach, California. Located on a walk street, the original 1940’s stucco box was in need of an update. The clients were ready to move back to the beach and wanted to transform this property into their main home.
On the exterior the architects re-built the front facade with large openings creating a connection with the pedestrian friendly walk street . The exterior pallet is a subtle mix of smooth trowel stucco, honed limestone and dark stained mahogany siding. The living room with master bedroom above was articulated in a wood box breaking down the overall massing and gesturing towards Santa Monica Bay and views toward the north.
The public entry sequence pulls you through the front garden leading to the entry in the heart of the house where a custom designed walnut and stainless door opens into a 2 story foyer. Above the door a ledge and new window creates back lighting for an antique water wheel selected by the client.
The middle floor contains the main living spaces increased in length by combining the two units. The central two story kitchen is washed with light from multiple skylights flooding into the adjoining living and dining rooms. Custom millwork embraces a built in couch in the family room. The pantry, storage closet and powder room are all concealed behind walnut stained veneer cabinetry.
On the third floor the master bedroom occupies the view corner while an open passage leads through the master bath and continues across the bridge looking into the living spaces below and accessing the roof deck at the rear of the house.
The large roof deck is a private oasis for the clients to entertain and enjoy morning coffee.
Photos: Douglas Hill
25th Street Residence is a Victorian home designed by Geremia Design, located in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, California with a storybook facade and modern interior. The homes blueprint for stylish living addresses the ever-changing needs of a growing family. The designed wanted the house to be durable, functional, and flexible while still maintaining a strong design perspective.
We worked with a newly-wed couple to build out this Victorian home in Noe Valley. We dove into a full-scale remodel that transformed the traditional Victorian into a bright, modern home that can accommodate their growing family.
Geremia Design directed the layout of both the interior and the exterior, using innovative materials and finishes. Custom light fixtures and furniture are the highlights of this project.
1. Divide and Conquer
Geremia’s team decided to approach the front living space as “an adult entertaining zone.” The custom-made sectional (visible above in the far right corner, behind a low storage piece holding games, toys, and books) is located between the wall and a hot-rolled steel–clad closet, creating a “corral” in which the kids can play within eyesight of the adults. The closet doubles as an industrial statement and—thanks to its magnetic surface—a place to display postcards and drawings.
2. Keep Your Options Open
Geremia bypassed the traditional concept of a singular dining space in favor of multiple seating options to reflect everyday and entertaining needs. The dining table accommodates eight for a dinner party, while the durable barstools at the concrete island work perfectly for casual weeknight meals for this family of three.
3. Keep It Simple (But Add Interest)
Geremia opted to keep things fairly neutral in the nursery, allowing her client’s son to grow in a space that would stay relevant. Eschewing a totally minimalist aesthetic, she enlisted a former Rhode Island School of Design classmate, Terry Powers, to paint a mural inspired by animal imagery from the ’70s. Touches of bold color—a tangerine screen-printed blanket by Caroline Z. Hurley, a lacquered blue display shelf by Brooklyn’s Wintercheck Factory—round out the room.
Photos: Matthew Millman
HT Apartment is a playful flat of 893 square feet located on the 11th floor of an old condominium building, designed by Landmak Architecture, located in Me Tri, a ward in the district of Tu Liem South, the city of Hanoi, Vietnam. The building belongs to the resettlement housing group (low income) with the old status and has divided the site due to poor lighting and ventilation and arrangement diagrams of the rooms are messy. The landlord was very confused: Should I move into a place like this?
Question, the suspense pursued them until they met architect. We said: “They should live in” (because price of house is very expensive in Hanoi where the position of apartment is relatively center, convenient for moving in the city), with the condition is to renovate and repair space of furniture and the work is started.
The apartment is designed and modified to give a young couple + 1 small child + grandparents. Status site includes 3 bedrooms with an area almost equal, the kitchen is arranged independently. Space of living room is small and it is almost no light, poor ventilation.
In this apartment, we have pressed tiles to television cabinet block together (it’s inside the bedroom), large are of living room, in the main bedroom is a little in the kitchen. By this way, the landlord can feel the “Art” feeling to be just enough and in everywhere.
We have destroyed one-bedroom in the center of apartment to create a public space (living room + dining room + kitchen + Terrace), four spaces can “borrow” traffic area to create the continuity of different functions of rooms into a large space with ventilation and good lighting.
Patterned ceramic tiles is used as a decorative material (tile appeared in Vietnam in the 90s of last century, is used to pave the floor popularly). It goes on the minds of the Vietnamese people to remember a difficult time in the economy. But, at the present, this material is re-produced with role to beautify decoration for artistic interior spaces.
Small bedroom is set in the position of old kitchen, positions of walls could also be adjusted to be small to ensure to be able to put the standard sleeper (small bedroom). At the position in main bedroom, wall area is adjacent to the living room to be cut away a part (40cm) at the top of the forehead before meeting ceiling of house. By this way, it helps the living room to have more light, the wall area of main bedroom is tiles block of television becomes gentle and happy like a puzzle.
Photos: Le Anh Duc
City House was designed for a single client as a retreat from a busy professional life by architecture studio Architex, located in Auckland, New Zealand. Completed in 2011, this 4,305 square foot (400 square meters) inner city home was purchased with an approved Resource Consent for a family home – and so a revised brief was developed to fit into the approved envelope.
The site is developed to its maximum both visually and physically, with a play on transparency and the flow of spaces from in to out. A variety of outdoor rooms complement the bold pavilion forms. They are linked by a circulation gallery – which also creates an axial focus for the full length of the site on entry.
The street pavilion has the potential to become two guest rooms which share a bathroom and lounge area. The rear pavilion is private and contains an indulgent main bedroom suite.
Sliding glass panels disappear into pockets to create open balconies for living and sleeping, and focus on the central courtyard as their oasis. The street facade is particularly private with only a hint of the sophistication that lies beyond in the selection of color and materials.
The City House is a recent winner of the New Zealand Architecture Award 2011 for Residential Architecture.
Photos: Simon Devitt
Chelsea townhouse is a three story contemporary renovation with a garden extension completed in 2011 by architecture studio Archi-Tectonics, located in Chelsea, New York. The existing 3,400 square foot brownstone townhouse is a New York landmark. The existing structure was gut-renovated and a 550 square foot garden extension was added to two floors and a roof terrace. The client, a fashion designer, was interested in a ‘textured’ and layered approach.
The new rear extension is conceived as a light airy space which creates a filter to the garden space beyond, adding more light and better views. The new garden facade is a 3d folded steel and glass structure with reclaimed tropical palisander infill. It extends the library on the garden level, the living room on the parlor floor and creates a terrace for the master bedroom area above.
The interior of the townhouse is gut-renovated; the top floor is raised, the garden floor is lowered and a completely new wood and glass staircase with a skylight is inserted, lighting the stair space all the way down. Large sets of sliding doors at the living/ entry and bedroom/bathroom areas are creating flexible use of space; these doors are 3d CNC milled with wood and glass patterns.
Photos: Richard Powers
Sausalito Hillside Remodel is a 1940s ranch style home transformed into a family retreat by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, located in Sausalito, California. The architects renovated this two-unit ranch house into a serene, single-family retreat that captures sweeping views of San Francisco Bay. Perched on a steeply sloping hillside in Sausalito, the 3,888 square foot house is nearly invisible from the street.
We replaced the original aggregation of roof shapes on the upper level with a simple, light-filled building volume. A cascading series of garden terraces creates an inviting entry sequence along the north side, allowing the original front-yard to be developed as a private garden.
Inside, floor to ceiling windows and generous ceiling heights allow the living spaces to flow uninterrupted from the lush backdrop of the hillside garden, to the broad panorama of the bay. As a result, the soaring view is grounded by a strong connection to the land.
Photos: Mathew Millman