Shot-Gun Houses

It is often stated that the “shot-gun” house got it’s name because you can stand in the front doorway, fire a shot gun, and the bullet would exit right out of the back door.

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A shot-gun house is a narrow linear home with the rooms arranged one after the other, so that each room leads into another without a hallway. Typically one room wide and two to four rooms deep. Usually the house is adorned with a back and front porch.

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This style of home is well suited for hot climates because if both front and back doors are open it allows air to flow through the entire house. Shot-gun homes can be found all over the southern regions of the USA.

One particular city comes to mind…. New Orleans.

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Many historians believe the style of the “shot-gun” was brought to New Orleans by Haiti immigrants, where the Haitian shotgun was a blend of West African and West Indian architectural styles. The style was popular because it was a building style Haiti immigrants were familiar with but it was also a very economical way of building for low-income families. 

The house’s exterior started off basic and as the shot-gun evolved through the 19th century, Greek Revival and Victorian Gingerbread were of many decorative elements incorporated into the style.

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Hurricane Katrina’s devastating affects have brought on thousands of shot-gun renovations and even some-what of a revival.

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The Make it Right projects in the lower 9th ward were inspired by the shotgun (with a very modern aesthetic). See above pictures from one of their projects. (The FLOAT house… It actually floats!)

See more other inspiring pictures of “shot-gun” style homes around the country:

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Trend Alert: Architectural Concrete Pavers

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Spring is upon us and is calling all outdoors! Architectural concrete pavers are a great way to create the ideal outdoor space you want to be in!

“Pavers are created from molded concrete formed into tiles to either resemble stone or brick, or proudly look like what they are: concrete. Concrete pavers generally fall into two types. The first is the thick durable interlocking paver. Resembling bricks in density, interlocking pavers are often used for driveways as they can handle the weight of a vehicle. The other variety is the thinner, and more visually pleasing, architectural paver.  Architectural pavers are commonly used for paths or patios where aesthetics are more important.”

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The installation of pavers is somewhat dependent on the use of the paver. A driveway differs from a simple garden path, but there are requirements that most installations have in common. The ground beneath the pavers needs to be compacted, and then a base layer that usually consists of crushed rock will be covered with a top layer of sand.  Then the pavers will be placed on top of the sand. Gaps are left between the pavers and depending on aesthetics, structure, and what is being placed in between will determine the size of the gaps. Is it grass? Plantings? Gravel?
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Above: These pavers act as a large rug that defines this central fire-pit, with gravel in between and grass and flower beds surrounding.

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Above: Pavers that fill a small patio garden space. The large scale pavers (in the small space) help make the space seem larger, with grass in between.

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Above: These pavers serve as an island oasis for a lounging area in this beautiful backyard.

Notice the pictures above show that several different materials like plants, grass, gravel, mulch and pavers are important contributing factors to a successful outdoor space, and all work together to add lots of differing colors and textures. The use of the different materials in separate areas help define different types of spaces, such as lounging, gathering, playing, etc.
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Above: The pavers here are used for a walkway and patio space around the front door of these homes, making the entrance much more defined.

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Above: An example of pavers being used for a driveway.

Marcel Breuer Cesca Chair – 1928

Marcel Breuer Cesca Chair – 1928

Did you know? “Marcel Breuer designed and built the chair Cesca Chair in 1928 working with the steel tubes with the intention of creating a session that would ensure both comfort and elegance. The use of tubular steel was quite widespread during those years and other designers such as Mart Stam and Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, had made extensive use.
The chair was named “Cesca” as a tribute to his daughter named Francesca.
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“Michael Thonet (for another history lesson on Thonet, click here) was the first to manufacture the chair in 1928, then known as model B32, for about $24. Thonet produced the chair until World War II. In the 50’s Dino Gavina, a furniture manufacturer in Foligno, Italy, started making the chair with Breuer’s permission, under the name Cesca. In 1968, Knoll Associates, now the Knoll Group, bought the Gavino factory, which conitnures to produce the chair today. About 250,000 Cesca chairs have been sold since 1968, said David Schutte, a product manager at Knoll.

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“It’s among the 10 most important chairs of the 20th century,” Said Cara McCarty, associate curator, department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art. It’s also among the 10 most common.

One of our designers, Logan Ramirez, says that she sees them all the time while thrift shopping. In fact check out this craigslist post! 
If you find a chair that needs some repairing, don’t feel intimidated, check out this video!
Here are some inspiring pictures if you’re looking to 
incorporate the Cesca Chair into your home:
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History Lessson: 1188 Chair

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“The 1188 Chair (1968) was Milo Baughman’s favorite chair and the one with which he chose to furnish the home of business partner and friend Thayer Coggin. Given that the Coggin family could have picked any dining chair in their company’s inventory, the 1188 is something special indeed. Baughman and Coggin met in 1953 and formed a powerful partnership that lasted for five decades. Based in North Carolina, the Thayer Coggin company is still the exclusive manufacturer of Baughman furniture to this day. The designer’s work was included in High Styles: Twentieth Century American Design at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1985. Baughman was inducted into the Furniture Design Hall of Fame in 1987. Made in U.S.A.”

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“Milo Ray Baughman, Jr., born in Goodland, Kansas on October 7, 1923, was a modern furniture designer. His American designs were forward-thinking and distinctive, yet unpretentious and affordable. Contemporary furniture designers and dealers continue to copy, reinvent, and revive his work in the new and secondary decorative arts markets.

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Baughman designed for a number of furniture companies starting in the mid-1940s until his death, including Mode Furniture, Glenn of California, The Inco Company, Pacific Iron, Murray Furniture of Winchendon, Arch Gordon, Design Institute America, George Kovacs, Directional, Henredon and Drexel, among others. He is most famous, however, for his longtime association with Thayer Coggin Inc., of High Point, NC, which began in 1953 and lasted until his death in 2003.
He also lectured broadly on the state of modern design, extolling the positive benefits of good design on the lives of human beings, and helping to define and shape the discussion for years to come.”

Trend Alert: Encaustic Tile

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Encaustic tiles are ceramic tiles in which the pattern or figure on the surface is not a product of the glaze but of different colors of clay. They are usually of two colors but a tile may be composed of as many as six. The pattern appears inlaid into the body of the tile, so that the design remains as the tile is worn down. Encaustic tiles may be glazed or unglazed and the inlay may be as shallow as an eighth of an inch, as is often the case with “printed” encaustic tile from the later medieval period, or as deep as a quarter inch.

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We love the simplicity of this room.  The added flooring detail and the use of wood tones creates a nice balance.

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Our own designer, Logan Wheeler, has plans to use the green version of these in her guest bath update.  The black wall and bright accessories really make this room pop.

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Using these tiles as a fireplace surround is a beautiful idea.  Simple stunning.

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This inspiring industrial kitchen gets grounded with this beautiful floor tile.
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A dark and moody minimalist bathroom is complimented by these light and airy encaustic tiles.

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These geometric encaustic tiles create and illusion and almost look 3-D.

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Decorating with Emerald: In the Spirit of St. Patrick’s Day

This month many of us will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Irish friends or Irish family– or just enjoying our Wearing of the Green Parade!  To kick off the celebration this year we decided to show you how to use a color that goes perfect with this months festivities, emerald green. You might be afraid of incorporating this beautiful color into your home, there is no need to be afraid. If you want to go bold and change the wall colors or you just want to add a few accent pieces or an accent wall in emerald green.

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Even though Pantone proclaimed emerald green as 2013’s Color of the Year, and some find that the color trend to has come and gone, we find that Emerald will always be a great color choice for accessorizing in the home.

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This rich jewel tone has always been a showstopper in traditional decorating, the color emerald is synonymous with wealth, prosperity and luxury, so it works naturally with other colors that evoke the same air of richness and elegance.  Many other jewel tones mix well with emerald green, but in particular we love this color with deep blues, shimmery golds, and vivid reds.

“Red and green occupy opposite sides of the color wheel (Complimentary Colors), and thus are especially dynamic together. This combo is exciting but not exhausting because the green, while still powerful, is a bit desaturated, and the red occurs as an accent. Notice how the chair really seems to jump off the page.”

Emerald is such a strong color that if we were to use it as a room wall color, we would be inclined to furnish the room in neutrals.  But, in a large room with tall ceilings, emerald could be dazzling.  Even our own designer, Stevi Gibson is going gaga over emerald-colored malachite accessories!

Such a great price on this little guy!

Where to Use it:

Anywhere!  Whether your style is classic or modern, this color seems to transition beautifully.  And while we don’t usually recommend cool colors like blues and greens for south-facing (darker) rooms, Emerald provides an exception to this rule as it’s yellow undertones means it exudes warmth and depth.

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How to Use it:

Personally I love Emerald as the focal color with an understated back drop of classic crisp white and deep charcoals and blacks.  However if you would like this color to harmonize with other colors in your room, just ensure it’s in the same tonal range (yellow or blue based colors).

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If you don’t want to go all the way with Emerald and small measures are more your thing, consider something as simple as plant life, a vase, lamp, or pillow to introduce the vitality of this colour in to your interior.

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As we know, all designer’s have their very own style–and sometimes this is not obvious when we deal with clients because it is our job to interpret your design visions and make them come to life, but for this blog post we decided to ask our designers which spaces they liked with the use of emerald green.  Here are their picks:

Logan’s pick is a bold emerald ceiling complimented by neutral white walls and a warm wood floor.  The light fixture is mid-century modern style.  Logan was so inspired by this image she decided to use an emerald green in her guest bathroom that she is currently renovating.

Vickie’s Pick is a yellow french-country inspired powder room.  Vickie loves to use furniture pieces that have been retrofitted to house plumbing fixtures.  The rustic emerald dresser helps to keep the room casual and from seeming too traditional.  Notice the hand towel–its really working overtime in this space because it acts as the go between for the wall and the dresser.  Even though red and green remind most people of holiday decorating–if done properly the complimentary color scheme can work very well.

Stevi’s pick is an edgy and moody living space with multiple influences that knods to Kelly Wearstler, one of Stevi’s favorite designers.  The dramatic abstract painting compliments the drapery and sofa and plays the go-between to the sofa and tufted leather side chairs.   A mix of feminine and masculine fixtures and finishes makes this space dynamic and intriguing.

Here are a few other interiors that utilize emerald green that we love!

Emily Henderson’s Fig House Design
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