The Estate of Things

Category Archives: Architects/Builders

House Hunting – Considering PreFab

by Betsy Moyer on November 26, 2014, no comments

I have a gypsy fantasy that I refer to as Seven Wanders. It is a fluid fantasy that has something to do with renovating my camper, something to do with Heffe brewing beer, something to do with launching an entrepreneurial hospitality business, and something to do with weekend getaways in Southern California and North Carolina.

Do you do this? Is it normal for people to have abstract fantasies that they name and build a website for!?

So, getting back to the fantasy of living on some mountain land. Once we find it – let’s erect a Pre-Fab! Here are a few options that I dig. I especially lean toward the lean-to shape shed roofs with rustic and modern elements mixed together, lots of texture in the reclaimed woods and walls of glass! So lovely in a natural setting like Topanga Canyon.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 11.42.18 AM
PreFab homes the estate of things
Connect Homes Model 7.4
eco space studios
jenny pre fab

The Sierra by Jenesys 


The fantasy is ever-evolving on my Pinterest Board Mountain Land Dreaming
Follow Betsy’s board Mountain Land Dreamin on Pinterest.



by Sarah on September 17, 2012, no comments

I recently took a trip to Charleston with some friends.  Here are some scenes from a carriage ride through the city.

If you’re thinking about painting the exterior of your house and need some inspiration, you can probably find it in Charleston.




one of the carriage guides had a commanding afro that he clearly spent time picking and/or fluffing,

There are some amazing architectural details on these houses,



The gardens were lush of course, lots of sago palms, podocarpus and oleander. I think we are looking at the trunk of a chaste tree, which is incredibly easy to grow in the South.



This looks like two apartments with interior entries on the right and left. But what I thought was interesting was that it appeared to be a bungalow style row house.

Another creative apartment house, two side by side entries and both apartments had side porches that spanned the whole length of the building just like other single residences.



Frank Gehry! Heard of him?

by Betsy Moyer on March 30, 2012, 5 comments

Of course you have!!!

If there is ANY CHANCE you don’t recognize the household name of “the most important architect of our age,” here’s a quick survey via Google Image search.

Now that we are all up to speed…… check this out.

In the depths of my mind there lie this fantasy idea…. that as I was on the apartment hunt – I might reach out to Staff at KCRW where I work.

In this fantasy…. I hear back from Frances Anderton, (who is not only a friend, a Producer of 2 KCRW news show, host and creator of the Design & Architecture show (and the blog that I help her with), she is also LA’s Dwell Magazine editor…… anyway, in my fantasy – she responds.

BTW – This is my facebook post from last Friday night when I discovered Frances’ video about Venice as part of PBS’ Departures series.

I love you Frances… | FacebookSign Up Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.

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How I love to dream, so, back to the fantasy, Frances says something to me like:

there is one, maybe even two, apartment(s) currently available in our building. It’s a great location — an early, early design by F. Gehry, situated West of Lincoln, South of OP Boulevard, just minutes from the station, and from Main Street and the ocean.

Oh wait, she didn’t say that in my fantasy — she said that in real life. It happened. This is bigger than me. My silly girl daydream fantasy became REAL.

I forwared it to Joel — along with something like this:

HOLY SHIT >>>>>>>>>>
a Frank Gehry design apartment………………

Sorry for the curse Momma, it’s a Frank Gehry apartment in an incredible location.

Meanwhile, let’s all hold our breath and see what Joel says. It is $300 more than the top of the monthly budget. The crazy thing is, I would have guessed a much higher rent for the area and other details, but I am forced to further imagine this isn’t the kind of place that hits the normal rental circuit and we are just EXTREMELY fortunate.

Either way, I’m going to arrange a visit with Frances and her adorably hilarious husband (read this post about his take on a Jonathan Adler/Simon Doonan soiree and you’ll see). It starts like this:

Got to the party site last night and my sardonic, inner, underfed crank thought, great, another twee little interior design scene party, ‘Yay, how substantial is this about to be?’

I made Heffe do some weird stalkerish drive by thing last night where I got out and creeped around the building for just a second. It’s ADORABLE and on a hill. Dear lord, I love me a house on a hill.



Pocket Neighborhoods: Aurora Dwelling Circle

by Sarah on May 31, 2011, no comments

I’m most intrigued by the idea of pocket neighborhoods because of the communal/social aspect. I think as cities and towns spread some of that neighborly connection is lost. But in pocket neighborhoods you are somewhat forced to commune with your neighbors through gardening and other neighborhood activities.

My brother in law and family live in a historic mill village called Saxapahaw in North Carolina along the Haw River.  Although its not in a pocket format, their village fosters the same sense of togetherness and community  through events like “Saturdays in Saxapahaw”.

We previously shared about a pocket cottage community in Washington state created by the Cottage Company.

Recently I was reading an old issue of Remodeling magazine and discovered another pocket style community called the Aurora Dwelling Circle in Ithaca, New York.

aurora dwelling circle overhead view

aurora dwelling circle


Aurora is the creation of a company called New Earth Living. Here are some examples of some floorplans on the site,

aurora dwelling circle floor plan

Just some of the perks enjoyed by residents at Aurora,

  • Super-insulated R35 in walls and R70 in ceilings
  • Soy-foam insulated fiberglass framed windows with a high R value
  • Digital readout on electrical panels making owner aware of energy consumption
  • BTU gas boiler for hot water and heat
  • Rainwater retention
  • Community composte
  • Community gardens

If you know of any other pocket neighborhoods please send me an email, I’d love to hear about them.


A Before & After

by Sarah on February 28, 2011, 2 comments

Oh what fun it is to look through Anne Decker’s architectural portfolio. Makings of a dream house in there.


anne decker before

and then booyao (DC pronounces it “beeyow”, her grandfather taught her that), After

anne decker after

Nice renovation. I think I would’ve gone with a wide black + white stripe on the outdoor cushions, you?

anne decker after2

To see more of this cruise through Ms. Decker’s portfolio and begin a 30 minute long daydreaming trance.