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10 Easy Pieces: Media Consoles and Sideboards

If you’re not able to hide the television in some way, you can always improve the look of the giant black void with a good piece of furniture. Here are our favorite media consoles and sideboards for resting beneath a wall-mounted television or to support one directly. Above: From UK designers Pinch, the Lowry Sideboard is made up of various sizes of solid wood fins. It’s available in natural cherry, natural oak, white oiled oak, or natural black American walnut. On the higher end of the spectrum, the sideboard is $16,800 at The Future Perfect. Above: The Copenhagen Media Cabinet…

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It’s Not that Hard… Or Is It?

Editor’s note: This is the first post of a new GBA Prime blog “It’s Not that Hard,” by Andy Engel. With a wide range of experience in the building trades and a couple of decades covering home building as an editor at Fine Homebuilding and Professional Deck Builder, as well a presenting at JLC live and writing books for the Taunton Press, Andy has a unique view. He’s practical, smart, and still passionate about building, so we’re excited to see what he will bring to GBA in his bi-weekly posts. By way of an introduction, we’ve made his first post…

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Druid’s Hall: A Nature-Worshipping Guesthouse in Northern California

We’ve long been captivated by Margaret Grade and Daniel Delong’s distinctively moody guesthouses in West Marin, California. In addition to Sir & Star at Hotel Olema, Manka’s Inverness Lodge, and Manka’s Boathouse, the two are the proprietors of Druid’s Hall, once the former meeting hall of the United Ancient Order of Druids. Like Sir & Star at Hotel Olema, Druid’s Hall is located in the hamlet of Olema (in fact, it’s just a half block away from Sir & Star). The couple bought the property in 2014 and have since updated it while maintaining its foothold in the past. They’ve…

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The 2019 HIVE Conference

In December I attended the 2019 HIVE Conference in Austin, Texas. This was my second time to this conference and found it again to be an interesting experience, different from the typical building industry event. HIVE is an acronym for Housing, Innovation, Vision, and Economics, and the event strives to address each of those priorities over two days and through the Hive for Housing website, which features regular articles on the same topics throughout the year. This is not your typical building industry conference. It is light on the nuts and bolts of construction, and instead it focuses on climate…

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The Midcentury Petal House: Remodelista Co-Founder Janet Hall at Home in Napa

A couple of years ago I got a call from Janet Hall, one of our Remodelista cofounders, to say she and her husband, Mark, had just bought a house in Napa. “Janet, buying a house in the span of a week?” I thought. As Janet herself says, “I’m not impulsive, I’m the opposite, so this was not a characteristic move for me. It wasn’t in our life plan, we never intended to move to Napa.” So when I heard the news, I knew the house had to be spectacular. A bit of backstory from Janet: “We had been living in SF…

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Minnesota Homestead: It’s Not All Sunny in Net-Zero Land

A meeting with our electricity provider, People’s Energy Cooperative (PEC), shed a new light on the difficulty of incorporating solar or wind distributed generation systems (DG) into the energy mix of electricity providers. PEC provides electricity to rural customers in our area and previously had two modes of recouping fees for obtaining and distributing electricity to its customers. These were a base monthly fee ($37) and a fee per kWh used (~$0.11 per kWH). However, the base fee did not cover the entire cost of distribution (~60% of cost) with the remaining embedded within the per kWh used (~40%). The…

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