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