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    Core Principle

    Daniel Thomas and Sam Hagerman succeed by putting their employees first.

  • Indulge in These High-End Products From IBS

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    Core Principle

    Daniel Thomas and Sam Hagerman succeed by putting their employees first.

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    Five New Sexy and Sustainable Products

    Peruse five high-end introductions into the world of green products that offer clients healthier air quality, lower water and power bills, and reclaimed materials.

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    Artistic License

    Designer/builder Peter Sabbeth of Modern Green Home applies his fine arts background to custom homes.

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    Surface Wear

    This limestone tile series offers stone flooring that looks old yet is suitable for contemporary interiors.

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    Sleek Sense

    This motion-sensor faucet pumps water at a rate of 1 gallon per minute.

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    Eco Planks

    Ecowood tiles resemble aged wood while containing 85 percent recycled material.

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    Fiery Flush

    This fireplace uses a proprietary autopilot system that regulates three sources of combustion, achieving a 4.09-gram-per-hour emission rate.

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    Green Spray

    The Croma E 100 Green hand shower features three spray modes.

  • Products/Great Finds

    Builder Noel McNamee uses Nichiha's fiber cement siding, which he says is eco-friendly and easy to install.

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    Custom Builders Recommend Their Favorite Products and Tools

    Minneapolis-based builder Sven Gustafson uses the BuildTools software platform to keep his company organized and on budget. California-based builder Noel McNamee was looking for a siding product that would install easily and had a green bent.

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    Stormy Weather

    Severe weather events pose challenges and should capture the attention of custom builders and residential architects as we need to rethink the way we design and construct our houses.

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    Tall Walls

    This modular shelving system mimics the lean profiles of urban skyscrapers.

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    Altitude Adjustment

    Every custom home reflects site constraints, both physical and regulatory, but few occupy a tighter buildable envelope than Russian Hill. Its tiny infill lot, in the upscale San Francisco neighborhood of the same name, was subject not only to the city’s planning code and residential design...

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    City Nights

    Built-in bunks fold guest accommodations into a 1,050-square-foot one-bedroom apartment.

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    Old Grains

    Reclaimed Douglas fir table- and countertops from Viridian can add points toward LEED credits.

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    New Knobs

    Viking's D3 line of appliances is now available with custom knobs and handles.

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    Coppery Hues

    Antique Copper, a new addition to Terra Legno's Querica line of engineered flooring, offers a warm surface look in residential applications.

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    Global Structure

    This spherical suspension lamp from Foscarini is constructed from material similar to that worn by NASA astronauts.

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    On Stage

    This bath platform from BainUltra makes tub access easier.

  • Cooking and serving functions occupy a platform one step up from the dining area, which places the counter at an appropriate height for barstools. A window in the floor offers a glimpse into the wine cellar.

    Seattle Kitchen and Bath Maximize Water Views

    This home's kitchen and master bath both capture panoramic water views and simultaneously propagate intimacy, privacy, and noise abatement for the homeowners.

  • Bar None

    A new line of custom-cast zinc and pewter bar counter tops from Bastille Metal Works feature a protective patina and patterned edge profiles add a luxe edge to residential kitchens while opening up the space for a more interactive cooking and dining experience.

  • Undercover Storage

    True Professional Series’ new under-counter 15-inch stainless steel refrigerator and wine cabinets are designed with home design trends toward more compact and open spaces in mind.

  • Top 5 Custom Home Case Studies

    At first glance, the five most-popular custom house case studies from the past year seem to have nothing in common. Take a second or third look, however, and the similarities become more noticeable.

  • Cooking and serving functions occupy a platform one step up from the dining area, which places the counter at an appropriate height for barstools. A window in the floor offers a glimpse into the wine cellar.

    Cut Above

    The Seattle house called Ballard Cut takes its name from a waterway that connects the city’s Lake Washington to Puget Sound.

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    This master bath strikes a perfect balance between openness and privacy.

  • Next Year’s Color Forecast

    Although the exact color forecasts form the major industry prognosticators don’t exactly match, they do all agree that natural hues will dominate color trends in design next year. Predictions from ocean blue to aloe to emerald green and even a touch of lemon sorbet as an accent tone all reinforce...

  • Bringing Up Builders Through Play

    An exhibition at the National Building Museum aims to foster future design pros.

  • Billings for Residential Interior Designs Shows Steady Growth

    Owners of single-family houses are hiring interior designers at a continually upward rate, according to the third quarter results of the American Society of Interior Designers’ (ASID) Interior Design Billings Index.

  • Simple Sinks

    Two ceramic sinks from Duravit prove that cleaner lines and simpler geometries can boost functionality without curtailing aesthetics.

  • A New Threshold

    A new integrated construction photo management platform uses a pay-per-project model with a user-friendly interface that takes the labeling and indexing process to the next level.

  • Screen Test

  • Sculptural Stairwells

    Stairs traditionally have been a practical element in the home used for circulation. Imbuing the clients’ personality or program into this utilitarian space is part of what creating a truly custom home entails. This collection of stairwells showcases how architectural detailing can put the fun in...

  • Cool Contemporary

    Atlas Homewares crossed a traditional oil-rubbed bronze with a modern graphite gray for a cool contemporary finish that fits a range of aesthetics in applications throughout the home.

  • Polished Vessel

    Dark polished grains stand out on this sink's light-colored surface to make it the bathroom's focal point.

  • Seat of Inspiration

    Furniture studio Peak Season added to its Inspired Visions collection of outdoor furniture more than 25 pieces with elegant detailing and eclectic design references that lend themselves to a dynamic outdoor living space.

  • Gram-iPhone

    Restoration Hardware combined the antique look of Edison’s phonograph with the 21st-century quality of Jobs’ iPhone and iPad in a docking station that will blast your digital tracks—regardless of their era of origin—up to four times their regular volume level without using electricity or batteries.

  • Tartan Tile

    Tile designer Sara Baldwin’s new collection of plaid and gingham mosaic tiles for New Ravenna gives traditional patterns a burst of color, letting designers choose whether to let interior tile walls and floors blend in or stand out.

  • Chicago House Tour

    Four very different houses and sleek product showroom highlighted the tour.

  • Custom Mattes

    Hardware maker Topex combined clean lines, bold colors, and a range of materials in its first line of wall-mounted bath vanities.

  • Looking Glass

    Native Trails is expanding its line of hand-hammered mirrors by adding new finishes to two of its staple products: the Milano and Divinity mirrors.

  • USGBC Leadership Awards and LEED Fellows

    The USGBC recognizes those who go that extra mile to promote or innovate in the field of green building. We’ve highlighted the honorees working in residential design and construction.

  • Greenbuild and ArchitectureBoston Expo Happening in November

    Custom builders looking for ways to expand, improve, or green their business have two opportunities to take courses, view new products and technologies, and network with peers.

  • Kitchen Products Slideshow

    Spring releases in kitchen products focus on streamlining tasks, maximizing efficient storage, and making cooking easier.

  • New Metric Helps Builders and Architects Maximize Daylighting

    Thanks to a new metric from the Lighting Research Center, builders, architects, engineers, and other design pros have a better method for predicting the maximum amount of beneficial daylighting in their designs.

  • Task Master

    A beech wood frame with an enamel finish contrasts with steel joining components for a sleek task lamp with a refined edge.

  • Coloring Nooks

    Austrian flooring manufacturer mafi engraved its Carving Kids II line of three-layer engineered larch wood planks with images small enough to look like a pattern but big enough for kids to color them in.

  • Exhibition on a Craftsman’s Tools and Techniques

    An array of hand and power tools are interspersed with the sculptures they were used to create in this inventive exhibition called Hammer Chisel Drill: Noguchi’s Studio Practice.

  • Strong Punch

    Apavisa’s Vintage collection gives porcelain tile a wood look and a retro kick that adds pops of bold colors to the company’s line of resilient floor and wall tiles.

  • Lighting for Tomorrow Winners Named

    Organized by the American Lighting Association, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, and the Underwriters Laboratory, the Lighting for Tomorrow competition celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

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    Exteriors Product Showcase

    Add panache to your next project’s exterior with energy-efficient windows, roof shingles that also generate power, waterproof mosaic tiles, and long-lasting, rot-resistant siding with a sophisticated look.

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    Interiors Product Showcase

    Luxury products for interior spaces

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    Bathroom Product Showcase

    Ergonomic sinks and tubs, a customizable fixture collection, and a temperature-controlled, sleek shower enclosure are among the sybaritic accessories to upgrade the bath.

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    Kitchen Product Showcase

    New, high-end products for the kitchen.

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    Lighter Looks

    This contemporary chandelier holds 24 LEDs and projects light upward and downward.

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    Great Scott

    European Home added colored interiors and surrounds to its contemporary Vision gas fireplaces.

  • The Suncrest Residence on Orcas Island, Washington. Designed by Heliotrope Architects.© Benjamin Benschneider All rights Reserved. Usage rights may be arranged by contacting Benjamin Benschneider Photography. Email: bbenschneider@comcast.net or phone 206-789-5973

    The Long View

    Site-sensitive architecture and construction marry this new island house with its extraordinary place on the earth.

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    Social Engineering

    Expanded and updated, this kitchen finally catches up with the rest of a sophisticated mid-century house.

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    Two to One

    Combining two small mid-century baths yields a master bath masterpiece.

  • Just Say ‘Om’

    Meditation and yoga rooms must be tailored exactly to the clients’ needs.

  • Standing Small

    Two new bath collections from Victoria + Albert make the luxurious look of freestanding bathtubs and vessel sinks feasible in small spaces.

  • Clean Slate

    GE’s new slate appliance finish may be a break from stainless steel but its neutral look embraces the rich texture of stone to mesh with cabinets and white or black appliances.

  • Sofa Revival

    Carl Hansen & Son is reintroducing Dutch designer Hans J. Wegner’s two-seat CH162 and three-seat CH163 sofas circa 1965.

  • Historic and Rural Houses Rule the Day

    Three custom houses, campus apartments for medical researchers, and one cool barbecue pavilion may not seem to have a lot in common. These four projects, however, share two things.

  • San Francisco Architecture Festival

    San Francisco residents and visitors alike can learn more about the history and architecture of this beautiful city as AIA San Francisco sponsors a month of architecture and design activities open to everyone.

  • The Social Sell

    Social media platforms are putting new labels on an old-school marketing approach: finding the most efficient way to get information to unique audiences (think vendors, homeowner customers, and even employees).

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    Feeding and Bathing a Family of Seven

    Owners of the Courtyard Residence in Acton, Mass., have five kids at home, so their kitchen and master bath required extra attention—one houses ample supplies and space for the whole gang while the other forms a haven of peace and privacy.

  • Scholarships Awarded to Student Kitchen and Bath Designers

    The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recently awarded its 2012 NKBA Outstanding Student Awards to 17 scholars who are studying kitchen and bath design at NKBA-accredited schools in North America.

  • Window App for Homeowners and Pros

    A new iPad application from Marvin Windows and Doors allows contractors, architects, and homeowners to browse window and door options in 3D, view videos and photographs of completed projects, examine individual product specs, and have direct access to Marvin dealers or installers.

  • Learn the What, Why, and How of Zero Net Energy Homes

    This 10-week course for residential designers, builders, and engineers covers in-depth details on how and why to design or build a zero net energy house. The online format offers participants a self-paced but immersive experience with an expert instructor.

  • Profile: Estes/Twombly Architects

    Boil it down, keep it honest, make it fit. Estes/Twombly Architects’ ethic of practice is as simple and direct as the architecture it generates.

  • Residential Construction Spending Highest Since Early 2009

    Private residential construction spending in June puts the sector at its highest point since early 2009, according to monthly Census Bureau data released earlier this week.

  • Form Re-examined Through Palladio Exhibit

    Palladio Virtuel challenges notions of the Renaissance architect's renowned formwork.

  • System Lets Homeowners Lease Solar Thermal, Electric Power

    A new flat-plate solar system available for lease allows green-minded homeowners to cash in on energy savings without the cost of a traditional long-term commitment.

  • Porcelain Twist

    Don't let the 'concrete' name discourage you from bringing the tiles' neutral tones and soft textures inside.

  • venetian arts

    The Murano Collection is hand cut to get the age-old look of Venetian blown glass.

  • regal look, market trend

    In the world of bathroom furniture, consumers haven’t forgotten their whites and off-whites.

  • House Painting(s)

    I love paintings of buildings,so I really enjoyed seeing some of Edward Hopper's famous house paintings next to current photos of their subjects.

  • Small-Firm Marketing Ideas

    The New York Times runs a regular story/blog called "You're The Boss," with case studies of small businesses all over the country.

  • Submit a Presentation for Universal Design Solutions

    Builders, architects, engineers, interior designers, government officials, educators, and aging specialists are invited to send in topic proposals to lead sessions on creating these built environments.

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    Rural Renewal

    A locally sourced utopia takes shape in Pennsylvania.

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    Ascending Order

    A casual yet composed stair reflects the character of this Shingle style seaside house.

  • Pavilions to Protect and Connect

    These sophisticated open-sided structures provide stylish shelter and allow occupants to experience nature.

  • Looking Smooth

    The visual texture of this glass mosaic makes it hard not to touch. Good thing it's name suggests that hands-on approach is OK.

  • Stay in a Schindler House!

    If you could decide between staying in a generic hotel or an architecturally important house, I'm guessing that if you're reading this blog you'd choose the latter.

  • Living in Nature

    Architect John Carney designed his 950-square-foot home as a guest house on a wooded Wilson, Wyo., property, and he and his wife are living there while he works on schematic design for an eventual main residence.

  • Sleek Green Approach

    Bronze hues and geometric shapes give a modern feel to the Mack recycled-content hardware line from Rocky Mountain Hardware.

  • Dream Big

    A new 7-foot-by-7-foot mattress by McRoskey Mattress Co. makes the bed a centerpiece in any room.

  • Mini Golf Course by and Fore Builders and Designers

    The National Building Museum’s Indoor Mini Golf Course Features Holes Designed by Architects, Contractors, and Landscape Architects.

  • Architectural Woodwork Professionals Optimistic

  • New-Home Sales Up in May

    Sales of new, single-family homes jumped 7.6 percent in May from April to 369,000, which is almost a 20 percent increase from a year ago.

  • First Light

    Alpha and Beta sconces from FDV Collection offer a glamorous retro vibe with a sleek blend of opaque glass and brushed steel.

  • Cast of Colors

    Kohler teamed with design guru Jonathan Adler to create four new hues for its enameled cast-iron sinks for both the kitchen and bath.

  • Award-Winning Custom Outdoor Projects

    Custom Home editors have compiled a slideshow featuring the winners in the Outdoor Spaces and Accessory Building categories from our recent Custom Home Design Awards.

  • International Architecture Student Competition

    The Hoop Cup 2012 invites architecture students worldwide to design a cultural complex consisting of engaging outdoor spaces.

  • ASLA Annual Conference

    The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) will host its annual conference and product expo in Phoenix this September. Early bird registration ends July 6.

  • Aldo Bernardi’s Artistic Outdoor Light Structures

    Venice, Italy-based Aldo Bernardi’s addedbrass- and copper-patina framed gazebos, floor lamps, sconces, and pendant lighting fixtures to its Shadows and Lights collection.

  • Bath Products Slideshow

    Universal design and affordable luxury seem to be the themes for the latest in bathroom fixtures and fittings.

  • Kohler Interactive iPad Application

    This new app allows iPad users to virtually place Kohler products into an existing or rendered space, compare finishes and colors, or take a 360-degree tour of a completed design.