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Top of the Class: Vintage-Style School Chairs Are Having a Moment

Today’s lesson: school chairs. We’ve been spotting vintage French-style wood-and-metal versions everywhere the past few years, from Paris apartments to a holiday house in the Netherlands. But when we spotted them in the interiors of It-restaurant Gertie in New York, we knew they were officially trending. Here are a few of our favorite uses of school chairs in interiors from the Remodelista archives. Take a seat; class is about to begin. Above: Uniform cream powder-coated chairs make for a pared-back look in Tartine Manufactory in San Francisco. For more, see 7 Ideas to Steal from the Manufactory in SF by Commune Design.…

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Phoenix Gives Net-Zero House Plans to Anyone Who Wants Them

Building a net-zero house in Phoenix, Arizona? The city will be happy to provide you with a full set of plans at no cost. The offer is part of the city’s plan to see all new buildings net positive by 2050, according to an article posted at Architectural Record, and follows a design competition in 2017 challenging architects to develop plans for a near net-zero house suited to the city’s hot, dry climate. The winner was Marlene Imirzian & Associates Architects, which developed plans for a 2,185-square-foot, three-bedroom home. Home NZ, as it’s called, has a HERS score of 30,…

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Energy Department Reverses Light Bulb Standards

Widely used but relatively inefficient light bulbs that were headed for extinction next year have won a reprieve from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). First, the department issued a final rule earlier this month that reverses efficiency standards for an estimated 3 billion light bulbs used in U.S. homes. The rule scuttles attempts to expand the definition of “general service” bulbs to include candle- and globe-shaped bulbs, candelabra bulbs, and reflector bulbs used in ceiling fixtures and track lighting, according to a summary posted by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Now, those bulbs will not be…

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LA Autumnal: A 1920s House Makeover Composed in Jewel Tones

Floral velvet has never crossed the threshold of any architect I know. Ditto leafy Victorian wallpaper. I’ve visited a lot of architects at home, and the most are highly allergic to just about all colors and patterns. Sherry McKuin says she herself was a committed member of that cohort. That was until her family moved from a mid-century house in the Hollywood Hills to a 1926 Mediterranean-style manse in tree-lined Little Holmby next to Holmby Hills and Bel Air. They had only a week between residences and McKuin strategically took the opportunity to strip the walnut stain from the oak…

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Pioneertown Motel: The Old West Made New Again

This past spring, my husband and I spent a week road-tripping with our kids from Zion National Park to Palm Springs, with stops in Las Vegas and the Mojave Desert along the way. Pioneertown—an Old West movie set located 125 miles from Los Angeles and founded in 1946 by Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and other Hollywood legends—made our potential pit-stop list, but we ultimately skipped it. By that portion of our trip, we had become singularly focused on breaking out of our four-wheeled prison as quickly as possible and planting ourselves poolside at our Palm Springs hotel. I wish we…

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Kitchen of the Week: Architect Takashi Yanai’s Galley Kitchen—and Study—in LA

Architect Takashi Yanai’s Los Angeles kitchen is the size of his clients’ walk-in closets. A partner at Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects (and a graduate of Harvard’s School of Design), Yanai, who was born in Japan and grew up in Santa Monica, oversee’s the firm’s residential projects: he’s a master at designing clean-lined California dream houses that are all about indoor-outdoor living. His own recently remodeled 1950s ranch house, while much more modest in scope, is a microcosmos of the Yanai sensibility: Japanese formalism meets barefoot LA. We discovered Yanai’s place in Creative Spaces, the Poketo team’s just-published first book,…

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