Thursday, December 30, 2010

nice end to a great 2010

What a terrific 2010! Beginning with the Portland H&G Show and the NW Natural Street of Dreams, add some amazing projects working with terrific clients on incredible site, and now named as a top 20 fabulous green prefab on Jetson Green. Really looking forward to 2011, as we have some big things in store!

Happy Holidays to All, and to All a Great Night!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Holiday's to All!

From all of us at ideabox, wishing all a Happy Christmas & a Merry New Year

Thank you to everyone who have visited us here at ideabox, the Portland H&G Show, and at the Street of Dreams. And thanks to all of you who visit, call, who write us, it's great to hear from you.

And special thanks to our clients and the amazing projects we are privileged to work on. 

Here's to ending a wonderful 2010 & looking forward to an amazing 2011!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's the Season!

The Wonderment of Place
Perhaps the best reward of the ideabox "thing" are the sites our houses go, and the people we are so fortunate to work with. Each site is unique, and every project is about creating a new and special living environment. The simple elegance of the architecture and a confident palette of resource efficient materials allows the opportunity to basically custom design the ideal solution.

It's so much fun! 

This site is overlooks the Puget Sound and is truly spectacular. Nestled into the trees, the sunlight sparkles off the water and through the branches. What is amazing to me is the quiet, the silence is practically deafening. So close to modern civilization, yet completely away. It's this sense of place that inspires and motivates our efforts for small footprint, Northwest modern influence, ideabox houses. 

Hope all are enjoying the best of the holiday season! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Prefab at Your Price Point!

We're in natural home magazine!

It was a nice trip to the mailbox the other day. First, it was a bright, sunny, perfectly fall day. So any excuse to go outside is a good thing. Then, included in all the mail was a couple copies of natural home magazine. Flipping through the magazine, caught a nice article about an Aspen prefab. To my surprise, on the face page was a picture of... the ideabox fortino! How cool is that? With the headline "Prefab at Your Pricepoint" it is terrific to see ideabox recognized! In a national magazine! 

We work hard to continually evolve the entire ideabox portfolio of houses. At every opportunity we look to make our houses healthier, to use less energy, but always be an awesome living experience. Some of the houses currently in production are truly individual designs, expressing the design goals and lifestyles of the client. They are very cool, kind of hoping they too might grace the pages of national magazines like natural home!

Hope all are enjoying an incredible fall! The weather here is amazing!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Okay, So it's Fall!

It's the best time of year... well, it's supposed to be!

Finally, the sunshine is out in the Pacific Northwest. It's football season, the leaves are starting to think about changing color, temperatures are cooling (if not a bit tooo much this fall). I keep looking for those warm days and brisk evenings, kind of hoping we get some of that to make up for the summer we didn't quite get.

Lot's going on this fall!

First, last week I was fortunate to participate as a speaker at the Residential Design Forum and as a juror for Futureshack, both events presented by the AIA Seattle. It was an interesting discussion about housing. What will it be. How is it being done now, in an era of challenged financing (construction/development financing & home buyer lending). Is home ownership the big thing it's supposed to be? Or will it become a service product - something to use and move on from - suggesting perhaps ownership isn't as important as livability and portability.... kind of paralleling new models of employment and stability. Is all this a discussion of now, as we approach the end of this challenged economic environment, and will we just return to "normalcy" later?

Futureshack was fun, and compelling, in its second year of existence. To me, any opportunity architects can have to have a public discourse with their community is a cool thing. The fact Futureshack focuses on housing, something everyone can relate to, is the perfect subject matter. AIA Seattle staff and their participating co-chairs did a terrific job organizing the competition and creating public discourse public. During the live public jury presentation at Seattle Center, we were positioned on a brightly lit elevated stage in front of seemingly hundreds of people. Me being gallant and polite, got stuck with this huge modern (very cool) winged chair thing that you sat back inside. Now, I'm not a big guy, so this big chair kind of consumed me, which while very cool for watching football, is not so cool for sitting in front of a bunch of a few hundred people on an elevated stage with bright lights! (Everybody else had practical chairs). It did give me an air of authority however, assuming anyone in the audience could actually see me. It was fun!

I came away thinking housing will evolve more from the holdings of old to something more of a serviceable purpose... a kind of "make my life easier so I can go do stuff..." role. Size, we think, will diminish as we realize the enclosed space we actually use. And design hopefully will take a more prominent role as the concept of house becomes an identifier, kind of like cars, or computers, or the kinds of restaurants we eat at determine who and what we are. We think lives will become simpler, more focused on experiences than acquisition. 

What do you think? We, ideabox, just want our houses to be a part of a fun lifestyle. We want our houses to do their part by embracing small footprints, be responsible in use of materials, use very little energy, and be a total blast to live in... and around!

If you're reading this, and in Portland, we'll be at the Street of Dreams house from 10 till noon or so tomorrow. Come by and say Hi!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Mini Street of ideabox Dreams!

It's a mini "OPEN HOUSE" of the ideabox Street of Dreams house this weekend. The fortino house is still on location at 95th & Cornell, in NW Portland. We're thinking from 10AM till 4 PM. It's at the Arbor Vista development, who are very cool in allowing us to keep the house there for a little while. 

This is the first blog post since we had started the Street of Dreams - which - was amazing. Thousands of people came by, most quite surprised with what they saw. We followed the "big house" of the street, quite a transition from almost 6,000 SF and a $1.7 million price tag to the 1,200 SF $225,000 ish (installed w/ typical lot cost). We were quite pleased with their reaction. The modern design, the clarity of spaces and materials, the idea that houses can live beyond their walls with creatively designed outdoor "rooms" - most were delightfully suprised.

We liked the smiles. (And all those who thought it was the best house on "the Street.")

Special and continued thanks goes to Hip Furniture for their incredibly well received furnishings so elegantly designed by Unleash Design Studio that really showcased how the the house can live. When we designed the fortino, we were going for simple and cool lifestyle, and really got that! 

To get in the house, you had to get up to it. And with the incredible landscape design by Schultz & Long that was so quickly and professionally installed by Aspen Creek Landscaping and decks by "Bob-the-deck-Guy" (our name for him). the house truly was an indoor/outdoor experience.

And it's all still there for all to see - free - through the middle of October. Call for an appointment, or come by on the next few weekends!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's Magic on the Street of Dreams

You gotta see how cool dreams can be!
The NW Natural Street of Dreams is incredible. Houses and interiors that reflect today's active lifestyle. New green technologies that literally give back - from solar hot water systems to pervious pavers to finish materials - all stuff you can do at home! And incredible design talent from the homes themselves to spectacular interiors and amazing landscapes.

And a pretty cool modern prefab.... gotta see that!

And now you can see "the Street" with a discounted ticket! Print the attached coupon... it's like the Street & a latte!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

ideabox on the street

Getting Better Every Day!

The landscaping has arrived and the crafting of the exterior design begins. Thanks to the hard work by Arbor Homes with the county, decks are finally underway today by Bob the Deck Guy (our name for him). The deck designs by Schultz & Long continue the modern theme begun at the street as seen in the picture above. It will be a magical display!

It's like a giant puzzle, the biggest piece being the ideabox fortino and corresponding pieces going around and within the house itself. It's such a talented design team assembled for the Street of Dreams, the result will change the way you think about residential living.

The installation by Aspen Creek Landscaping is incredible. Baca Metal Works is back with metal planters and his rain catchment system.

More coming tomorrow. The interiors are coming together just as exciting as the exteriors!

The 2010 NW Natural Street of Dreams begins Saturday, (and runs though August!) 

Come See Us!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

ideabox on the street

Getting to Amazing

With each day the transformation continues. The landscape design by Rich Schultz being installed by Aspen Creek continues with incredible support from Arbor Homes, who's support has been above and beyond the call... it's a modern home living environment growing in front of our eyes!

Today is "movement day" as the outdoor environment continues and furnishings begin to arrive for the indoor environment. As we were preparing the inside of the house for today's deliveries, the sun was setting off to the west and the territorial views beyond started to twinkle. The evening's cool breeze was wafting through, it was easy to get excited by just how cool the finished house will be. 

The NW Natural Street of Dreams opens on Saturday. We'll be ready! Come see us!

Monday, July 26, 2010

ideabox on the street

Design is a Series of Details

It often begins with a napkin. Or any available medium to sketch out an idea, a thought, a concept. What happens between those initial thoughts and sketches and a completed work is the mystery of the details. The ideabox display at the 2010 NW Natural Street of Dreams is very much an exercise of thousands of details, from the house itself extending through the landscape.

In our very compressed timeline, the magical transformation of an empty site a week ago to show piece is underway. Hundreds of details coming together at an incredible rate, the creative process in action. We're looking forward to showing you the amazing result.

On my way up to "the Street." More pictures to come - stay tuned!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ideabox on the street

Summer at the "box"

It's an amazing day, exactly what the concept "summer" is all about. Blue cloudless skies, perfect temperature, a light breeze, lots of green vegetation (a result of the never ending rain we had earlier), and wonderful shade only big trees can offer.

It's kind of the calm before the storm. A week from today the 2010 NW Natural Street of Dreams begins in Portland. It's kind of a big deal for ideabox, being the first prefab ever to be invited on "the Street." So it's a bit of tranquility before the craziness of a show with the magnitude of the Street of Dreams.

I just wanted to share, so I took the picture this morning. A practically perfect day!

A ton of work is going now at the Street of Dreams site. Rick Schultz and Teresa Long (Schultz & Long) have designed another terrific outdoor environment. Decks are under construction, trees and plants are being delivered and placed, it's landscape madness! Aspen Creek is doing a lot of the installation. Daniel Baca will once again be working his wonder with metal. It will be amazing!

Monrovia is providing the plant material for "ideabox on the Street" which we are very excited about.

We're delighted to be working with Unleash Design Studio inside the house. Hip,a local company with a terrific showroom on NW 24th in Portland, is providing furnishings. Design Within Reach is back with lighting & outdoor furniture. 

We'll have more on "ideabox on the Street" as next Saturday approaches.

In the meantime, it's another busy and delightfully sunny day at ideabox. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

ideabox on the street

it begins with an amazing site...

The 2010 NW Natural Street of Dreams is the premiere home show in Portland. We consider it a real honor to be asked to be on this year's "Street." Working with the Portland HBA and Arbor Homes, a site for the ideabox fortino house was identified "in the neighborhood" in Portland's northwest hills .

The picture above was taken last Friday!

Working with the amazing people at Arbor Homes and Schultz & Long Landscape Architects, a site was created for the house and the amazing landscape scheme forthcoming. The house was delivered on Tuesday and placed on the "building pad" yesterday. 

"Shelves" were created that step up from the street creating what will become a dramatic landscaped entry to the house. Because the emphasis of ideabox design is houses that "live beyond the walls," the transformation from building site to an integrated living environment is very exciting. An incredible deck/outdoor living area will project from the double set of sliding glass doors.

The shared living room / master bedroom will share a deck that will step off to a wonderful landscaped path with incredible views. It promises to be a wonderful display on the 2010 NW Natural Street of Dreams. The "Street" starts a Saturday, July 31. 

For more info on the "Street" visit - or - visit and click on the Street of Dreams logo!

Stay Tuned! More to come!

Monday, July 19, 2010

On the way to the Street

ideabox - today's dream house!
You have to ask the question...  An ideabox home on the 2010 NW Natural Street of Dreams? Aren't Street of Dreams houses like a million dollars? And full of opulent materials, the latest trends, incredible appliances, great design, craftsman construction, amazing sites - you know - really expensive houses that we all dream  to have?

Yes.... But wait a tick.... ideabox has all that Street of Dreams stuff too! Terrific materials, cool appliances, the latest trends (green), great modern design, craftsman construction. And really, isn't the most amazing site the one you have? 

I guess the only thing different is we're not really expensive, and our houses aren't very big. In fact, we're remarkably priced, and we like to think we're right sized! You know, "the right amount of everything!"

We think the reason ideabox was invited to be on the 2010 NW Natural Street of Dreams is because we're helping make the point that dream houses come in a variety of sizes, types, and cost. This year's "Street" has an eclectic blend of high-end living experiences; from the large and amazing, to an incredible penthouse condo in the Pearl, to the coolest thing in modern prefab. All represent shifting trends in what dream living is all about.

In June, I was honored to be on the jury for AIA Seattle's Futureshack design competition. The competition looks at what housing is becoming, what we want it to be, what is it going to look like? How can we make it better? There was a lot of discussion by very talented and experienced jurors prompting a lot of thought. Housing will surely be different than in recent years, offer different uses and functions, some resulting from different financial environments and individual capabilities. 

In many ways, those same observations are behind the thinking in this year's Street of Dreams. Today's dream house will take many forms, offering many different solutions, different sizes, and probably be more about the quality of the living experience. I think houses will be more about design, and contribute to how they will be lived in beyond square footage. I also think the definition of  "value" will change - perhaps less about the dollars per square foot and more about the living per square foot.

But that's just me. Come see what your dreams can look like at the 2010 NW Natural Street of Dreams, starting Saturday, July 31 thru August 29. 

Prepare to be amazed!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's fun building houses!

I think it's the transformation...
Every ideabox project is a special design exercise. Every site is unique and exceptional in their own ways. Every client has their own dreams and goals. Materials are personal expressions. Wrapping all that up creates a very individual lifestyle solution. From our viewpoint, there is great satisfaction to watch the process unfold before our eyes - from sketches on a table to walking on site and seeing the amazing view from the perfectly placed window. It's the beauty of prefab - engineered building in a controlled environment turning dreams to reality - quickly!

The real fun is watching the transformation occur. Prefab construction is speedy compared to a site built building as the entire production is an engineered process. The house literally comes together as assemblies are put together in succession.... while the floors are finishing the walls are being completed, and as the walls are being placed the roof assembly is built... Within each area rough plumbing and electrical are placed. Once the structure is complete the finish materials - both exterior and interior - are applied and installed.

We're having a lot of fun with the 2010 vintage of ideabox houses. Very cool systems from windows to new siding are adding real personality to the exterior elevations allowing our clients more creative license. The interiors are truly inspired with incredible attention to detail throughout the house. Crisp, virtually flat drywall sets up clean window returns with maple sills. Custom cabinets pick up the maple doors, stainless appliances set off the industrial gray windows, everything is designed compliment an entire living experience.

As much fun as it is to design, the real fun is in the building, seeing the transformation from what's on paper to the full scale experience.

But then there is what happens on site - talk about transformation! Literally one day there's this open space. And the next it's filled with a house. Just that fast the real living experience begins.

ideabox.... all about transformations!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Sun is Shining! And so is ideabox!

Cool Projects for a Hot Summer!

It's in the air, the whole summer thing. If you're anywhere near the Northwest, you know of the amazing lack of sun and over abundant amount of rain we've "enjoyed" the last several months. The spectacular sunshine and blue skies have re-energized everyone. 

We are so excited about the new 2010 vintage of ideabox houses. The entire line has been updated in about every way. Exteriors feature new siding, new window systems, and a new ideabox designed custom entry door. Interiors are incredibly well detailed, starting with new virtually flat drywall, incredible and new all maple cabinet systems, new vertical bamboo floors, new maple window sills, new Kohler baths, new Kitchen-aid appliances, new maple base trim & interior doors, absolutely clean lines. 

We've employed new ideabox energy efficiency measures developed with the guys at the NEEM Northwest ENERGY STAR Home/Eco-Rated program. First, we optimized our thermal shells including leading edge efficient glazing systems. Next, we eliminated the ductwork, typically an opportunity for building air leaks. Then, we designed in ductless mini-split heat pumps, the ultimate in efficient heating and cooling. Back up heating is zonal. Doing the math: optimal thermal shell + amazing glazing + latest technology heating/cooling = unparalleled comfort and efficient living! The perfect ideabox environment.

Amazing new houses are coming out of the ideabox design studio. It's so easy to get really excited when you see these mini architectural gems going through production. A couple of all galvalume houses will be incredible - one (pictured) for a vineyard in the wine country with incredible views and windows to take it all in; and the other a 1,400 SF two cube design for Central Oregon's high desert - again with expansive views....

It's exciting times at ideabox this summer. Big news coming soon, cool projects we'll feature, a new model being released.... keep reading!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

introducing the urban confluence

What's Old is New..... Again!

Sort of... 

Before we get into that, let's break it down a little.

First - the name "urban confluence." 

"Urban" relates to the character of a city. "Confluence" is about the coming together of things, or people. So if you do the math, the new "urban confluence" by ideabox is a practically perfect name. It's a design palate inspired by modern urban influences in a house that brings people together. It's an equation with a very cool ideabox lifestyle solution! 

Now - the old being new again thing. The confluence is one of our original designs - and - currently is our most popular house. We thought it was because of the cool name, but more likely because it is a design of balance of space and elements.... so we're told. In this balance we saw an opportunity to bring in cleaner, crisper lines both inside and outside the house. By playing with materials in clever ways, we've taken the best elements of the original and made them new. And fresh. And mostly, fun!

It's a design that simply works. Soaring ceilings take off from the moment you open the front door. Walls of glass frame amazing views typically found on the incredible sites ideabox houses seem to land. An expanse of solid vertical bamboo floors tie the rooms together. Wood cabinets and doors, engineered composite counters, stainless appliances, it's the ideabox notion of living large in small spaces.

We like the idea of blending materials and expressing them in creative ways. A cool new front entry door, clean exteriors, crisp lines, and everything is done with functionality in mind.

The floor plan is all confluence, just a little different. For starters, interiors are finished with our own ideabox "virtuflat" wall treatment. Trim is maple. Quartz composite counters, Kohler baths, and Whirlpool stainless appliances bring elegance to clean modern interiors. Everywhere you look, everything you touch, it's all about the ideabox experience.

So, what is old is indeed new again. While the new urban series is already popular, we are still building houses to the original designs.... and a few using features of both. It's an exciting time at ideabox. With the sensationally well received "fortino" and the new urban series in production, the concept of an affordable prefab design solution is finding an ever growing audience.

ideabox is making small living a very big thing!

Vital Statistics:
Model: ideabox urban confluence
Description: 800 SF, 2BR/2BA, gourmet kitchen, modern baths, ultimate living
Interior: Vertical FSC certified bamboo throughout, maple cabinet/doors/trim, ideabox "virtu-flat" drywall finish, composite quartz/solid surface counters t/o, tile shower w/ glass rolling doors, KOHLER bath fixtures including dual flush toilet / vessel sink & faucet / shower fixtures, front loading washer/dryer

Mechanical: New Ductless Heat Pump primary, zonal back up heating & cooling, tankless hot water system - it's incredibly efficient!
Efficiency: Certified NW ENERGY STAR Home; ENERGY STAR labeled windows, appliances, lighting; ECO-RATED resource efficiency (green construction); Low water use everywhere (toilet/shwr/dishwasher/laundry).

For more information, please visit or give us a call... 503.510.4789 

ideabox... the right amount of everything

Saturday, March 20, 2010

ideabox to speak at Northwest EcoBuilding Guild

ideabox out & about

As some of you might already know, ideabox grew out of work in architecture, energy efficiency, and green construction. It was this passion for design and better ways to build and live that became the drive to bring ideabox to the market. 

It's the living part that is really special to us. We want every house we design and build to contribute to the users lifestyle. Perhaps more than that, we want houses that are a blast to live in and around. Never mind that every ideabox house is built to energy efficiency and green construction standards.

It's with that enthusiasm (we hope) that ideabox's Jim Russell will be speaking at the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild's "Small, Affordable, & PREFAB" this Wednesday, March 24, 6:30 to 8:30. The presentation will be at the Zion Baptist Chuch's community room at NE 9th & Freemont in northeast Portland.

Jim will be talking about how ideabox came to be, the new fortino house recently displayed at the Portland Home & Garden Show, and the new urban contemporary series for 2010. For more information, please contact or

Friday, March 19, 2010

introducing the ideabox urban series - the urban cottage

the urban cottage

We love cottages! A cottage evokes everything a little house should be. But to be sure, we looked it up (Remember the dictionary? It's an amazing book!) (Remember books?) The word "cottage" is from the late 13th century, but really found its stride in 1765 with a meaning of "small country residence." We thought what a quaint , idyllic quality about a house, but why limit it to the country? Why not extend the cottage's capability to a more urbane existence? Imagine all the lifestyle of a small country residence... but maybe in a city?

Okay, it's a little nuts, (cottages in cities, c'mon... wouldn't it be cool?) But that doesn't mean the clean lines, modern use of materials, open floor plan, and easy living of a cool urban loft couldn't find a home anywhere, even in the country! Right? That's what we thought, so we're introducing the "urban cottage" by ideabox. A small country residence with an urban flair.

The new urban cottage uses the kitchen in a variety of ways. To us, kitchens are the center of our lives, both inside and outside a house. Se we placed it at the end of the house, with windows on all three sides. Think of it as kitchen as observation post! The location allows for generous cabinets, lots of counters, and maintains connected with the primary living areas. We located outdoor access for easy access to the kitchen making outdoor entertaining easier and minimized traffic patterns within the house. 

There is a lot of glass - a primary feature of every ideabox - but we've weaved awnings and casements to continue our focus of using natural ventilation and moving air around the house. It's also kind of fun too, you can play with which windows to open.... do you open the lowers on one side and the uppers on the other.. or maybe just the uppers.... or maybe one of each.... the combinations are endless. 

You gotta sleep sometime, so we created a bedroom that is separated yet connected. A cool alcove takes a craftsmanlike built-in and opens the room up, an eight foot tall slider opens it out, as in outside! Casement windows perfectly placed provide a nice balance of natural light and ventilation. 

The bath has evolved too, now featuring KOHLER vessel sinks, faucets, dual flush push button toilet, and shower head. Speaking of showers, the urban cottage continues with tile and glass roll-by doors. There are also very nice fiberglass tub/showers and "accessible" options. 

Now, before I forget, we offer fiber cement shingle siding in place of the more urban "z-channel" urban look. Gotta admit, it's a nice look and is a nice contrast to the corrugated metal. Flooring is FSC certified vertical bamboo with optional marmoleum and cork.

The urban cottage from ideabox - the ultimate "small country residence with urban flair."

Vital Statistics:
Model: ideabox urban cottage
Description: 665 SF, 1 BR / 1BA, idbx euro inspired kitchen, modern bath
Interior: Vertical bamboo throughout, maple cabinet/doors/trim, ideabox "virtu-flat" wall finish, composite quartz/solid surface counters t/o, tile shower w/ glass rolling doors, KOHLER bath fixtures including dual flush toilet / vessel sink & faucet / shower fixtures, front loading washer/dryer
Mechanical: New Ductless Heat Pump primary, zonal back up heating & cooling, tankless hot water system
Efficiency: Certified NW ENERGY STAR Home; ENERGY STAR labeled windows, appliances, lighting; ECO-RATED resource efficiency (green construction); Low water use everywhere (toilet/shwr/dishwasher/laundry).

For more information, please visit or give us a call... 503.510.4789 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

introducing the ideabox urban series

Welcome to ideabox, 2010!

What an amazing year 2010 already is. We had an incredible show experience in Portland last month with the introduction of the ideabox fortino, a house that shows how infinitely livable ideabox homes can be. The new fortino also showed where ideabox is going in design, quality of construction, and attention to detail. We are very excited with the response!

With a new year comes a series of new houses and updating of favorites. We're calling it the "urban series" taking design cues from urban lines and materials and applying them in new ways. The result are bolder lines, clever uses of glazing to extend your living experience, and cleaner finishes and materials.... yet keeping all the wonderful aspects that make ideabox.... ideabox!

The first in the new urban series is the studio! It's a delightful living experience. Check it out! 

the ideabox urban studio
ideabox makes living small a really big thing. We wanted a small house that lives really large, and also a house with a spunky personality. The studio is all about attitude and simplified living that starts with the front door. We focused on creating views and interactive living The kitchen looks both outside and in, the living reaches out beyond the walls, even the sleeping space is fun with inside/outside access. The result is a little house that's all about everything around it! It's charming, clever, modern, and captures our Northwest lifestyle.

The new urban studio is all about a tiny carbon footprint with a lifestyle like the coolest urban loft - only anywhere you want to be. It is amazing how easy it is to live large in the studio's 580 SF. In fact, the concept behind the urban studio is all about everything that makes a studio such a great living solution - easy, uncomplicated, and totally fun. We just made it easier, complication free, and funner!

The urban studio is all about a designer modern loft. Speaking of loft, the ceiling soars above walls of glass in all directions. A large open living area shares space with a euro inspired kitchen, complete with stainless appliances, modern cabinets, and a very cool island. Your decisions each day will focus on what amazing cuisine is up for dinner each night!

Studio living is all about being open, we kept the sleeping area private from the living area by a clever dual sided cabinet "wall" - a media center & shelving on one side and an ideabox built-in closet system on the other. It's totally functional... it's a wall, a media center, a closet, even a dresser! The fully featured bath offers a relieved underlit maple vanity, KOHLER fixtures, including a dual flush toilet, vessel sink & faucet, and shower controllers. The shower is ceramic tile with glass roll by door, (tub/shwr optional). There's even a front loading ENERGY STAR washer & dryer - you CAN have it all in 580 SF!

Like everything ideabox, how we use our resources is as important to us as design. The new urban studio is certified as a NW ENERGY STAR Home assuring incredibly low energy use. The house is also ECO-RATED certified, reflecting its sensitive use of materials, water saving features, minimal construction waste, and indoor air quality. You can make the house even more efficient with the installation of a ductless heat pump offering state of the art heating/cooling technology and an amazingly low utility costs.

The new urban studio by ideabox. It's the right amount of everything!

Vital Statistics:
Model: ideabox urban studio
Description: 580 SF, Living, Sleeping, Kitchen, Bath
Interior: Vertical bamboo floor throughout, maple cabinet & Whirlpool stainless appliances; KOHLER bath fixtures including dual flush toilet, vessel sink & faucet, shower controller; tile shower w/ glass rolling doors; front loading washer/dryer; media wall/built-in closet dividing "wall"
Mechanical: zonal electric; tankless hot water; optional ductless hp
Efficiency: ENERGY STAR windows, lighting appliances, and home. ECO-RATED resource efficient materials including flooring, cabinets, counters, exterior siding (fiber cement / galvalume), low water use toilet/shwr head/ aerator faucets.

For more information, visit or give us a call... 503.510.4789

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Time is Now

Urban Living... it's about the living!
The Portland Home & Garden Show is underway. Months of planning, thinking, creating, and executing are finally on display, now through Sunday at the Portland Expo. A caring collaboration of designers, installation contractors, Crate & Barrel, and the Portland Home & Garden Show has created a truly dynamic display of garden and home. Imagine an urban sized, 50'x100' lot with a very cool house surrounded by four of the city's most talented landscape designers. Add interiors by the designers from Crate & Barrel. The result is stunning, and on display for all to see!

As best I could, I grabbed some pictures in a veiled attempt to capture just how cool the display turned out. We were blown away by the quality and attention to detail each of the installations required - and then remembering that we went from an empty show hall to "this" in less than a week!
While everything was going on all around the house, some amazing things were going on inside too. Our talented craftsman readied the interior, preparing for the design team from Crate & Barrel to do their thing. And what a thing they did. We have long felt that the design direction we strive for with ideabox was in keeping with the quality of design and expression of materials, colors, and textures of Crate & Barrel. Even with that said, the marriage of house and furnishings offers inspirational living, completing our fundamental goal of designing houses that are all about "the living." 
A terrific result of all this great work is the reception by the media in Portland. We spent most of Wednesday with all the local television stations who were all captured by the concept of creating an affordable design solution for smaller urban lots. For me, one of the coolest moments was when after touring the entire display with a TV crew the reporter's eyes lit up, and she said so simply " can live in this" Not as in the normal live of keeping up the house and mowing the lawn, but the idea that you can truly live experientially where the house and its landscape are about the interactions of each day. "It's about the living!" It was a great moment.... I hope it came across on TV!
Special thanks has to go out to an incredible design team. Rick Schultz & Teresa Long of Schultz & Long pulled off their ambitious modern architectural landscape of metal, pavers, plantings, fire and water. Truly inpirational. Terry Gibson's landscape as urban garden demonstrates that you can have a designed landscape solution that sustains your stomach as well as your eyes! It's very cool to think you can eat what you're growing, as opposed to just mowing it! Jack Hayes created peaceful serenity with a series of decks, plantings, sculptural elements, and sail cloths. Feeling like a nap just writing about it! And if want a cool place for kids to play, the creative use of rock, sand, and some very cool trees designed by Kristine Hanson of Green Leaf Design is both clever and sustainable!
And special thanks goes to the Portland Home & Garden Show team. They are simply amazing. First for allowing this creative collaboration to come together. And perhaps more than that their tireless efforts making sure everything goes together smoothly. It's a big deal to do these shows, and this one required a lot of attention. Terry and Karin O' Laughlin are incredible, making the work of it all seamless and a terrific job of PR and marketing. Phil Parker was kind of our creative director, seeing the vision and guiding everyone in.
The best thing is to come see it. The time is now! (Well, now through Sunday...) So get down to the Expo. Come by and say Hi!