Thursday, August 19, 2010

Living in a Glass House

Design Star Season 5: final 3 - Michael, Emily, and Casey

Challenge #9: Design a glass room in the middle of New York City! Awesomeness!

I will briefly re-cap each room and then give you my thoughts on the concept of living with crystal clear walls.

Room 1: Casey

Casey's room I like, but I don't love. Her show concept makes it difficult to design a room like this; especially with limited shopping options. I am proud of her for building the back wall and I absolutely love the color she chose for it. I also think her ceiling treatment was a great idea.I feel her biggest problems were filling the space, providing a WOW pop and addressing the floor better.

Room 2: Michael

I loved Michael's room. Comfy and quirky, I could totally see myself plopping down in here and drinking a beer. I also like his show idea because it is fitting for a lot of transitional young people like myself. Proud of his murphy bed and absolutely love the decal idea and the "hub" coffee table! Things I am not so crazy about: the desk, the window treatments, and pillows on the sofa. I think the sofa color is perfect; a bold and very brave choice that pulls the whole space together.

Room 3: Emily

The deserving winner of this challenge, although I thought Michael's room was great for different reasons. Emily might be the best stylist on the face! Her rooms always feel lived in, and are always SO CLOSE to being too busy, yet somehow everything makes sense. Her furniture selections were spot on. I'm not crazy about the finish on the bookcase, but the concept is very cool. I'm also not a big fan of the random frames propped up against the one wall. The drapes are basic, but add a nice airy texture. The overlay of the two carpets is something I would never think to do and it amazingly works so well. The balance of the space as a whole seems perfectly asymmetrical, the pattern and concept of the fabric wall I like, and the room's overall essence feels lived-in and completely relaxing. Emily's show idea made her design relatively easy to execute and her glass room wreaks of her Bohemian style, no doubt!

I would have enjoyed doing this challenge, but unfortunately I was eliminated! haha Michael, Casey, and Emily all deserved to be in the top 3 and I'm sad to see Casey go, but am excited to see what Michael and Emily come up with next week!

Since we're on the subject: Have you ever "really" considered living in a glass house?

I remember as a child that some of my favorite rooms in "fancy homes" were sunrooms. I also remember admiring the greenhouse attached to the Agee home. They had a full shower out there and a plethora of amazing tropical plants. I often wondered if anyone seriously ever showered out there. And, if so, what the neighbors thought!

With the advances in engineering and architecture, the idea of "living in a glass house" seems not so far fetched. The use of glass curtain wall systems (i.e. exterior walls made of glass that are supported by a steel infrastructure) in modern day construction is becoming a standard. This is mostly used for high-rise buildings in major metropolitan areas. (I understand that having floor to ceiling windows in a few rooms of a brand new condominium in the city is not the same as having an entire house made out of glass, but conceptually it's the same idea!) The technology is there, the production is there, the cost is still high, but living in a glass house is now a reality we can all consider.

Personally, as a child I always dreamed of turning a full-sized green house into a home. I think my adolescent inspirations were mostly driven by the idea of living in an environment where plants could thrive and I could live amongst them. Now, as an adult, I treasure my privacy, but the thought of living transparently is still intriguing.

I hope the following pictures are as inspirational for you as they were for me.

The following "glass house" is inspiring and very attainable for anyone with basic construction skills. However, it does not afford the same efficiencies and amenities that come in most modern day homes.

This "glass house" I initially thought was a log cabin on fire! What an amazing concept, though, with all the modern day conveniences and even the shape of a typical residential home!

All this daydreaming about glass houses got me thinking about how I would want to design the inside of my own glass home. Now, all of these photos don't directly correlate, but you'll get an idea of the general aesthetic you might see "from my front porch looking in"!

Entry/foyer: Evan Sklar

Kitchen: Apartment Therapy (just because the outside walls are glass doesn't mean I can't have a rustic brick INTERIOR wall in my kitchen! Love the pavers too!)

Oh, and while we're talking about interior walls, and since there will be plenty of sunlight, I think this Virginia creeper would be right at home climbing up ever interior wall in the house!

Dining room: House Beautiful

Living 1: Moodboard

Living 2: Heather Garrett

Living 3: Coastal Living

Bathroom: Momoy

Bedroom: Countryliving

It's fun to dream, especially when you wake up inside a glass house!

Have a great weekend and enjoy the Design Star Finale this Sunday @ 10/9 Central on HGTV .


  1. Dan, love your blog and all your thoughts on the show and living in a glass house! I'm definitely voting for you to win the on-line show for HGTV!
    Mrs. O

  2. Hey Dan! Thanks for all the inspiring images! DId you really wake up in a glass house? Tell Dasha I said hello!

    PS- It looks like you've got the online show in the bag!!! Congrats!