Beam Tower Pine Speakers

Pine Beam Speakers

I’m not sure too many audiophiles would list heart pine from a 19th century Virginia factory as a must for great sounding speakers. However, these fantastic looking pine speaker cabinets do come from factories over 100 years old.

Heart pine was used in almost all factories at one time. It was used so much in the framework and flooring of most American factories, that it was nearly timbered to extinction. Thankfully it survived, but it can only be had from salvaging from old factories. And that’s how Beam Tower speakers came to be.

And because the wood is over 100 years old, the speakers create a unique, but high quality sound, with excellent full bass extension and superior imaging. And of course, they are just stunning.

They can be purchased at Fern & Roby for $4500.

Cube Speakers

For those looking for smaller speakers and a smaller price tag, you can buy these pine heart cube bookshelf speakers. These output superior sound as well, with a minimalist modern design.

You can purchase them at Fern & Roby as well, for $1500.

Endless Power Solar Generator Possible?

solar-power-cells

Is endless power through a solar generator possible? Yes, says Google. They are so committed to the task that they have put another $300 million into SolarCity’s residential solar power model. This money will help install rooftop solar panels on homes in 14 states and D.C.

In case you haven’t heard of Solar City, SolarCity has been installing one out of every three solar power system in the United States. As of 2014, they had 190,000 customers and one gigawatt of deployed production.

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A Modern Fish Bowl

Aquaform fish bowl

I like simplicity, and the Aquafarm is nice and simple, and pretty amazing. On the lid is a tray that houses a small garden, containing  basil, mint, spinach, baby greens, and/or anything else you want to put in there. The water circulates past the roots of the plants, which in turn purifies the water, making a small Betta fish healthy and happy in it’s chic and modern in it’s modern fish bowl.

The aquaform

 

This product is sold by Uncommon Goods, and it’s made in Union City, California.

 

Affordable Modern Homes from Blu

Breeze House

The idea of having a green modern home seems a lot like a pipe dream for most folks. However, with each passing year we are getting closer to realizing the dream of an affordable modern home for ever more people. One such company leading the charge is Blu Homes in Waltham, MA.

Affordable Modern Home Inside

Blu Homes have seven home styles to choose from (as of this post), and each house comes LEED certified and include bamboo floors, energy-efficient building envelope and efficient lighting and stainless steel appliances throughout the home. Not to mention a 50-year life span warranty on the metal roof. Plus each comes with solar hot water and photovoltaic energy generation, low- or no-VOC interior primers and paints, and low-flow water fixtures. Which is pretty nice considering homes begin with the $155,000 Breezehouse. The price goes up to the $665,000 Sidebreeze house.

Side Breeze House outside

The best place to start is their website, so you can customize your own home, and figure out the total price with construction and land.

Side Breeze House inside

USA Made Furniture: The USA-OK Chair

USA-OK chair

USA-OK Industries is a manufacturer based out of Chicago, who are presently running a Kickstarter campaign for a initial run of their USA-OK Chairs.

The idea of the USA-OK chair is to have USA made furniture made by Americans, by constructing them in Chicago using a process called brake forming, “a group of standardized, low-cost operations” that uses the skills of the workers to cut and form sheet metal into very precise, complex shapes. Most furniture manufacturers use low skill labor in third world countries.

Each chair is finished with a powder coat in a variety of colors. And although the chair doesn’t look comfortable, but looks can be deceiving, as the company says that most people who sit in the chair remark on it being comfortable. The chair can be used indoors or out, and is put together with nothing but a screwdriver.

Modern Mobile Home and Trailer

The mobile home has gotten a bad rap over the years. However true some of the criticisms can be, there is a movement under way to build better and more aesthetically pleasing mobile home units. This is actually pretty important as our population ages, and senior citizens are looking for better and more economical ways to spend their retirement in comfortable style.

Take for example the following.

The Trailerwrap Project

 

trailer-wrap

The Trailerwrap project by Michael Hughs gets it’s name from taking a known type of structure, the mobile home, and wrapping it into something modern, pleasant to look at, appealing and above a livable space. However it portable and more economical than a full blown home.

Christopher C. Deam Mobile Home

Modern Airstream Trailer

Another mobile home modernized, this time by architect Christopher C. Deams. Revitalized and made contemporary for the modern mobile home customer of today.

Mehdi Hidari Badie Mobile Home

portable_home

This mobile house design is by Mehdi Hidari Badie. This design makes it easy to transport, and then fold out with ease for a nicely spread out home, with solar panels and other green technologies. Via

 

5 Ralph Haver Mid-Modern Century Homes

Haver Home

7338 E. Cypress St. Scottsdale, AZ 85257

California born and educated at USC Pasadena in Architecture, Ralph Haver worked as an architect in Phoenix circa 1945 until the early 80’s. He designed and built homes in Mid-Century Modern style tract housing, often called Haver Homes. 

Haver Home Pool

Ralph Haver is responsible for so much of the design of postwar Phoenix.

Haver Home Interior

“Architecture is both an art and a hobby, and it is constructive. Unlike medicine and some other professions, it is pleasurable. It deals with pleasant things rather than pain and sorrow.”
–Ralph Burgess Haver, AIA

Mid Century Phoenix Home

Haver’s “Town and Country” model homes are what he is know for. The homes are characterized low sloped roofline with mortar brick and a “patio port.”

Haver Home Evertson Residence