Ron Brenner Architects creates new Cottage House Plan

Ron Brenner Architects is creating a new design for the Cottagewood division of Kyle Hunt & Partners. The design is characterized by a dramatic steep front gable roof line and will feature a modern open floor plan. Design refinements are still in progress but the video below illustrates its current state.

Cottagewood specializes in crafting Architect designed homes. They have created strategic partnerships with several Architects including Brenner to provide services for their clients. This design will be featured at their Palmer Pointe neighborhood in Minnetrista, MN.

I just thought I would give you an update on this design we are working on. We have done some "tweaking" of the exterior. The image below is the latest.

Hövding-revolutionizing the bike helmet market

: : For months now Iz and I have been talking about ideas for creative marketing strategies that would be aimed at convincing more people to wear bike helmets. Why people don't wear bike helmets I can't understand. A simple solution that will save your life one day. Let's just say it's a very unwise decision not to wear a helmet, one of the worst decisions you can make in your life.

Then today I get some great news from my Swedish friend Tina. A couple of her  classmates from the Design program at Lunds University, Sweden have been working on developing a new bike helmet which started as their thesis project while in school. Today,  6 years later they are launching their bike helmet, .Hövding.,  which looks like a collar and functions like an airbag for your head. A brilliant invention! Watch the video on their website to see how it works. Not only will it save your life, but it's a style statement as well, with interchangeable sleeves to match your outfit. Check out their available styles.

Congrats to the .Hövding. team, a great accomplishment! Let's hope this is the solution or at least the direction for the solution of this age old problem.


Architects Suck?

I had quite a long conversation with a very nice fellow the other day. I’ll call him Tom, the owner of another pre-designed house plan company. His company specializes in the sale of architect designed houses that were originally designed for a real client. Anyways, Tom talks to people every day that are interested in purchasing his plans. Based on these conversations he believes that Architects have gained a bad reputation amongst the general public. Over and over again he hears a long list of complaints:
  • Architect did not listen to client
  • Architect ignored the construction budget
  • Architect ignored the design budget
  • Architect took forever to get anything done
  • Architect did drawings that were not “buildable
  • Architect is not cooperative with the builder
  • Architect does not communicate
  • Architect has “attitude”
  • Architects Suck!
All of this is a bit disheartening; but I happen to know the complaints are all too often true. I have heard similar complaints from the builders and contractors I have worked with. In my primary residential architecture business at Ron Brenner Architects we have taken on a fair number of new clients that came to us after having a bad experience with another Architectural Firm.
I am certain that none of my fellow CORA (congress of residential architecture) members fit into this “bad egg” category. But there seems to be a small component of the Architect family that does not put client first. We have a tough enough time out there without having to deal with a bad rep.

Most of us provide a great service for our clients and add value to their projects. We simply need to find more ways to get the good word out. Architects need to start generating some new ideas on how to do that.
I believe the internet is providing architects with more and more opportunity to reach out. One such example is Flickr. Here, Architects can post images of their projects, thus exposing more examples of good architecture to the general public. You might check out the CORA Flickr site which is beginning to post many good images of residential architecture.
You could also explore my own Ron Brenner Flickr site where I have posted images of projects completed by Ron Brenner Architects.

This is Sweden to me...

: : Dreaming back to the most amazing summer vacation in Sweden ever this summer!! I miss Sweden so much some days!

Here are some photos from two of my favorite Swedish photo blogs that truly capture Sweden and "Swedishness" to me.

Sandra Juto
Hilda Grahnat- Forever is Today

Geometry and color

: : Okay, more inspiration, really inspired by .Charis Tsevis. work (via .ShareSomeCandy.). Beautiful and detailed work! Love the colors and use of geometrical triangle shapes!

Patterns in the making.....

: : I am going to be focusing on creating more patterns in the coming weeks and hopefully get an etsy shop up and running. I'm also participating in a Holiday Bazaar with some other very talented ladies on Dec 5th in Brookline, MA. So pencil in the date and keep your eyes out for more updates.

So at the moment, I'm trying to gather as much inspiration as I can. I like what .Patrick Hruby. is drawing (via .ShareSomeCandy.)

Mila's Daydreams

: : One of my best friends (and probably one of most frequent readers) is having a baby in a few weeks. She sent over this amazing and creative blog the other day. .Mila's daydreams. started by a mom on maternity leave who decided to get creative while her little daughter was napping. It's absolutely genius! She can do amazing things with blankets, fabric and stuffed animals. See more of what Mila is dreaming about.

New Simple Yet Dramatic Home Design

I just completed a new home design for a client that will be built in "Tapestry at Charlotte's Grove"; a new community in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.  This modern cottage house plan is a classic example of the kind of work I love to do.  Simple yet dramatic in form.  Clean detailing inside and out.  Open and connected spaces.  Efficient in it's use of space and relatively affordable to construct.  Here is a sneak peek at the exteriors.

Look for a variation of this design to be offered soon at  Simply Elegant Home Designs.

Mushroom picking +Sweet Paul

: : mushroom picking is a big "sport" in my family. I say sport because it's about competition. Each family has their own "secret" mushroom picking place in the woods surrounding our Swedish summerhouse. Mushroom picking is something I associate with late summer in Sweden. On rainy days when the weather doesn't allow us to sun tan on the dock or take the kayak out, we head to the woods looking for "gold". Gold to us is chantarelles (kantareller). It's our favorite mushroom, lightly seared in some butter and salt on a piece of bread it's the perfect evening snack. The photo at the top is proof of what a great mushroom year it was this year! And my parents picked another heap of mushrooms just this past weekend.

.Sweet Paul. has a fall issue out (2nd issue) of their new online magazine. Their recipe for creamy mushroom soup and mushroom risotto (photos above) sound delicious. So, if you haven't tried mushroom picking yet I would recommend you to, but make sure you know which mushrooms to pick and which NOT to pick.

happy hunting!

The Erickson Vancouver

These are some preview pictures of a current project I just completed the Interior Design for in the newest luxury development in Vancouver, The Erickson building, situated on the most treasured waterfront location in Vancouver overlooking False Creek. It was designed by the late Arthur Erickson(1924 – 2009), one of the masters architects of our time. 

“Beauty in a home conveys a sense of harmony and wholeness….created with the end experience of the owner in mind”
The Erickson Building Vancouver 
The Erickson Building Vancouver

 Patricia Gray | Interior Design
The Erickson Building Vancouver Dining Room silver leaf ceilings  

Patricia Gray | Interior Design  
The Erickson Building Vancouver
view from living room Patricia Gray Inc. 

Patricia Gray | Interior Design 
The Erickson Building Vancouver looking south across False Creek  
 Patricia Gray |  Interior Design    
The Erickson Building Vancouver looking east across David Lam Park
Patricia Gray |  Interior Design
The Erickson Building Vancouver onyx counter Powder Room

Patricia Gray Inc The Erickson

“Powerful design has a lasting and profound impact on the imagination. 
It sparks change, shapes our world and inspires our future.” 
Bottom Photo Credit: Albarosa Simonetti

PATRICIA GRAY INC is an award winning interior design firm writing about lifestyle and
WHAT'S HOT in the world of interior design, architecture, art and travel.
2011 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™