Close
Geberit, concealed tank, in-wall, wall-hung toilet

Installing a Geberit In-Wall Concealed Tank for a Wall-Hung Toilet

A pre-school I worked on is finally under construction. There are lots of small details to address in the framing stage. Thankfully, I don’t need to worry about anything when it comes to plumbing — my favorite plumber Vadim Larkin is on the job. He just installed a Geberit in-wall concealed…

Read More
picturing, space, planning stages, model

Picturing Space in Planning Stages Is Easier With a Model

A project you designed, when built, may present itself in ways that were ultimately unpredictable. Picturing a space with a degree of certainty is an acquired skill, and a scaled model is an invaluable tool for training your eye. It just makes it much easier to imagine what a room will feel…

Read More
hacking, IKEA, limited edition, collections

Beyond Hacking: IKEA Is Introducing Handcrafted Limited Edition Collections

I appreciate IKEA’s trend of partnering with various companies to produce limited edition collections. For instance, a “splashy” new line with Dutch studio Scholten & Baijings capitalizing on a beloved DIY pastime of hacking off-the-shelf products. IKEA wants to be part of it too!

Read More
wheels, casters, furniture, versatility

Casters at Target: Versatility of Furniture on Wheels

Having just come across a post advocating putting wheels or casters on furniture, I am thinking out loud. Enhancing versatility with casters is a terrific concept. Unless the piece in question is intended to be a certain height, like a desk, and it would be ergonomically awkward to raise it….

Read More
planning, tiny, bathroom, kitchenette

Thoughtful Use of Space: Planning a Tiny Bathroom & Kitchenette

A generic statement, such as: “In this bright white modern space, the architect used clean lines, a minimalist palette, and simple shapes to create…” can succinctly describe my intentions for a tiny bathroom and adjoining kitchenette I am in the process of planning. Although it sounds…

Read More
windows, built-in, window seat

Selecting Windows for a Built-in Window Seat Comes First

I’ve written extensively about a collaboration with a wonderful client while designing an in-home child-care facility. We successfully got the project approved by the City of Santa Monica. You can read about our process here, here, and here. Finally, it’s under construction; the client is…

Read More
learning, work-in-progress

Passion for Learning: Life as Work-In-Progress

Second installment of the workshop felt like the fastest three hours ever! In awe with the participants’ commitment, I admired and respected their passion for learning — the way they were striving to stretch their comfort zone — developing, acquiring knowledge and expanding existing…

Read More
organizing thoughts, parti

Generating a Parti? Try a New Way of Organizing Thoughts

Although nervous and uncomfortable promoting my own system, I’m compelled to recommend it. I teach a strategy of organizing thoughts aimed at generating a parti, a launch pad for an architectural design. The process is quite simple; it’s outlined in my how-to ebook DIY Like an Architect:…

Read More
cornice molding, wall, ceiling, light, cove

Cornice Molding — Transition Between Wall & Ceiling — Doubles as Light Cove

Cornice molding (AKA crown molding) is a decorative trim and a topmost element that marks a transition between wall and ceiling. Parts of it are placed against both horizontal and vertical surfaces. Most of the time it’s purely ornamental; however it can also function as an intriguing light…

Read More
bar height, console, study

Designing a Bar Height Reading Console for a Study Filled With Books

I have a design-conscious client who calls me up periodically with a new assignment to tackle. I love working with him — designing something that fits its function and is innovative can be extremely enjoyable. This time we are working on his study brimming with books. In addition to…

Read More
curb appeal, architectural, intervention

When Improving Your Home’s Curb Appeal Requires Architectural Intervention

As architect on demand, I frequently get emails from DIYers concerned with their home’s curb appeal. When adding a few potted plants or planting climbing vines is enough to spruce up the entryway, Martha Stewart has great advice. However, it could be a question of subtracting, instead of…

Read More
trendy, timeless, style

Trendy or Timeless? But It’s Not About Style! Part One

I am nervous: adding to an existing house. In my opinion, the addition, instead of blending in, has to be distinctly autonomous. Making it trendy, reminiscent of everything else around, is safe. However, design is not about applying a style. The new has to work with the existing and the end…

Read More
bad experience, IKEA, kitchen, cabinet installation

A Bad Experience with an IKEA Kitchen Cabinet Installation

I wrote about helping a friend with an IKEA kitchen remodel recently. Unfortunately, it has not gone well. We are very disappointed with the cabinet installation. A problem that could’ve been addressed and resolved on site was ignored. The resulting mistake has not been acknowledged and fixed….

Read More
plumbing, submersible sewage simplex pump

Plumbing Question: Submersible Sewage Simplex Pump

A client wants to act as a general contractor on her own small addition project. She asked me to help her understand the plumbing issues involved, as I’ve done with rainwater harvesting. Today I’m researching the installation requirements for a Submersible Sewage Simplex Pump, which will…

Read More
DIY Like an Architect, workshop, generating ideas

DIY Like an Architect Workshop: Generating Ideas

Every time I teach DIY Like an Architect workshop through Art Center’s ACN, a sense of doing something meaningful gives me a jolt. Being able to assist with the process of generating ideas is uplifting. It’s so inspiring to come in contact with men and women who’d give up their Sunday to…

Read More
submittal, requirements, one-story, addition, alteration

Submittal Requirements for a One-Story Addition or Alteration / Part 1

A friend of a friend asked me to help with producing a set of documents necessary to get a building permit. Acting as an owner-contractor, they are planning a one-story addition/alteration and need to demonstrate that all of the submittal requirements per the Department of Building and Safety…

Read More
architecture, 11-step method

Architecture 101: 11-step Method

Establishing Children’s Architecture Workshop in 1995 meant embarking on a journey that shaped the course of my life as well as career. A young mother and a newly licensed architect, I aspired to make an impact and become a better parent in the process. Years of hands-on teaching architecture…

Read More
Adi Console: the skeleton

How Difficult Is Simple?

Mary Little sat right next to me at a panel discussion. Once the Q&A part was over, she asked me to reflect on it. I welcomed a conversation — always too shy about approaching someone myself.

Read More
READ THE BOOK "DIY LIKE AN ARCHITECT" AND GET THE FIRST CONSULTATION FREE