Replica Ironworks detail at new restoration project by Krueger Architects in Pacific Palisades

Restoration Details

Matching key details is an important part of an authentic, historic restoration project, but when the 100-year old original still works, let’s keep it!  Recently on the job site for the Sunset Steel project, we meet with our clients to show them the existing wrought iron cover for the decorative stained glass in the living room. This sturdy work of wrought iron had stoically protected the original stained glass window on the street-front facade on Sunset Boulevard. The condition was excellent, so we decided to keep it.  The hand-hammered detail of the wrought iron also became the jumping off point for inspiration for the new railings for the two new balconies and the inside stair railing to the second floor.

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Visiting the Redwood National and State Parks in Northern Calfiornia, Summer 2023

A Visit to the Redwood National Forest

Summer means we’re back in the RV exploring. On this trip, we visited the Redwood National and State Parks in Northern California. The first thing that struck us, as I’m sure many other visitors, is the scale. You know that the trees are large, but I’m not sure you’re truly prepared until you are standing at the foot of a giant redwood. For the trees to grow so large, you realize just how long this takes and for me, it made me reflect on our current moment as just a ‘blip’ on the timeline.  

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Los Angeles bans gas hookups in new construction starting in April 2023

NO MORE GAS—Los Angeles Mandates All Electric Buildings

The Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance on December 7th requiring that all new buildings within the city limits be constructed as ‘all-electric.’ This means no more gas-powered heaters, stoves, or gas hookups for new construction. The requirement applies to all new buildings approved after April 1 and affordable housing projects approved after June 1, 2023. The Council stated that this action is creating the framework to decarbonize buildings, one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide.  This move is intended to put an end to the expansion of local natural gas infrastructure and is believed to help Los Angeles reach its target of becoming carbon-free by 2035.  A similar, but separate ordinance, is being drafted to retrofit existing buildings for electrification.

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Graphic depicting how California's new SB9 will work

What You Need to Know About SB9

Senate Bill 9 (SB9), also called the California Housing Opportunity and More Efficiency (“HOME”) Act was signed into law on September 16, 2021, and went into effect statewide on January 1, 2022.

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Home design to combat severe weather including fire

Building Resilient Homes Sustainably to Endure Severe Weather

Every year natural disasters and extreme weather take a devastating toll on homes, land, and people around the world. Heatwaves, wildfires, landslides, droughts, earthquakes, and tsunamis are a particular threat to Southern California. The aftermath can be devastating. Buildings and homes can be easily toppled or destroyed; lives ruined or worst, lost.

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Architectural Design that promotes wellness and whole body health

Achieving Wellness through Home Design

To practice wellness is the deliberate pursuit of activities and a lifestyles that leads to a state of positive, holistic health. While topics such as clean eating tend to dominate the conversation on wellness, wellness is much more broad and includes how the built environment affects your daily life. Wellness is multidimensional. Our physical wellness, emotional, spiritual, and social health are all influenced by the homes and buildings we occupy—both directly and indirectly.

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How COVID-19 Will Change the Future of Home Design

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has changed the way we live. People are confined to their homes and with that new challenges for the home environment have arisen. This includes working from home, managing kids in the same space, home deliveries, sanitation needs, and a new way we think about the ‘great outdoors.’ With all these changes and needs to adapt, now, more than ever, we need to adjust our homes to met new daily demands. While some of the changes in home design are temporary, many of the new ways we are adapting to live in our homes will likely be permanent and continue well after the pandemic is over.

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Radiant floor type comparison

Radiant Floor Heating in California Homes

Radiant floor heating is an excellent choice for renovations in Southern California. Many of the existing homes in and around Los Angeles were not originally built with heating or air conditioning. This means that no ductwork exists and when you’re doing a renovation, trying to figure out how and where to install ductwork has its challenges. Many times you can’t go through existing walls because it either changes the aesthetic of the architecture and, equally bad, it can’t be done because of structural concerns.

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Original mid-century details uncovered during restoration of private home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles

Uncovering Original Detail During an Historic Renovation

When you are a design-build firm and you are hired to do a major renovation of a historically significant home, it’s a bit like being a detective. The owners of these homes are generally interested in preserving the character and style of the home–all the things they love about it–and getting rid of all the things they hate. You’ve got to work with them to figure out these important details and to also discover what the the original architect’s intentions were.

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