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  1. An Introduction to Architects
    Design 101

    An Introduction to Architects

    Aside from that mischievous caveperson in France who used a piece of charcoal to draw a line around some stick figures that suggested some kind of manmade shelter, it is generally acknowledged that...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    10.12.10

  2. An Introduction to Building Codes
    Design 101

    An Introduction to Building Codes

    Fuss all you like about sprinklers and guardrails, we need building codes. Here's how to get your architect to play along.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    09.29.11

  3. An Introduction to Contractors
    Design 101

    An Introduction to Contractors

    Architect-author, Dan Maginn of El Dorado Inc., in Kansas City, Missouri, gives us the inside track on one of his favorite subjects: contractors. Learn what makes them tick, how to work with them,...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.26.10

  4. An Ode to the IKEA Cabinet
    Design 101

    An Ode to the IKEA Cabinet

    Joining the Grecian urn, the much-rhapsodized IKEA cabinet finally gets its poetic due as a heroic ode. Anyone who owns a set may verily be inclined to put quill to paper and dash off a few stanzas...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.30.09

  5. At Home in the Zone
    Design 101

    At Home in the Zone

    Sustainability doesn’t have to mean monasticism and darkness—with this zone-by-zone guide to the domestic world you know best, going green can be both more efficient and fun.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    05.12.09

  6. Beyond Thunderdome
    --The Future of

    Beyond Thunderdome

    Ten years from now, a hundred, a thousand? Yeah, we know what architecture will look like then.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    10.12.10

  7. Building Tomorrow
    Design 101

    Building Tomorrow

    What will the future hold for contractors and builders? We asked three industry leaders for their prognostications.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.25.10

  8. Edit Your Life
    Design 101

    Edit Your Life

    Good Small Spaces start with Good Small Occupants. Now, it could be that you’re one of the few who are hardwired to live compactly. But the rest of us need to sharpen our metaphorical red...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    11.17.12

  9. Exploded View
    A Great Idea

    Exploded View

    There is so much rolled up in a building—form, function, historical reference, materials, craftsmanship—that developing a comprehensive opinion on its design can be daunting. If you...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    10.12.10

  10. Get the Right Light
    Design 101

    Get the Right Light

    Daylight is the lifeblood of a Good Small Space. Start the process of getting the light right by better understanding the nature of the light-emitting gas ball that we call the sun.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    11.17.12

  11. Ich Bin Ein Mulcher
    Outdoor

    Ich Bin Ein Mulcher

    When, at cocktail parties, the conversation turns from the fleeting news of the day to the subject of sublime beauty, Dan Maginn often find himself smiling, for soon, he will speak of mulch.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    02.04.09

  12. Ill Communication
    --Done Wrong

    Ill Communication

    The Joneses went for a splashy starchitect to design their new home. Then things took a turn for the worse.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    10.12.10

  13. In the Nick of Time
    Design 101

    In the Nick of Time

    Though contractors are unusually deft with tools, accidents do happen. SawStop puts an end to that.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.25.10

  14. Let's Get Small
    Design 101

    Let's Get Small

    A five-step program for those suffering from too much stuff and not enough space.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    11.17.12

  15. Measure Your Life
    Design 101

    Measure Your Life

    With less stuff, you’ll need fewer square feet to jam it into. But how small is too small?

    written by: Dan Maginn
    11.17.12

  16. Modern Problems
    Design 101

    Modern Problems

    Love superclean design but fear the building inspector? Here's our guide to skirting those modernist missteps.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    10.05.11

  17. Moving Violations
    Design 101

    Moving Violations

    Can you spot the 11 infractions in this modern house?

    written by: Dan Maginn
    10.05.11

  18. On the Level
    --Done Right

    On the Level

    Sadly there's no blueprint for how to best work with an architect. Follow the example of the Smiths, though, and you'll come out ahead.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    10.12.10

  19. Permission Denied
    Design 101

    Permission Denied

    Muculus Grigsby runs afoul of the permits department, costing him a chunk of change and loads of time.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    09.29.11

  20. Reading Time: Creative Books for Kids
    Books

    Reading Time: Creative Books for Kids

    From picture books for pint-size readers to more involved, didactic tomes that parents can read to their kids, break out these entertaining and educational volumes for more creative play.

    written by: Dan Maginn
    photos by: Peter Belanger
    09.27.13

  21. The Bathroom Zone

    The Bathroom Zone

    Reducing your water usage is easy, and it doesn’t mean you have to brush your teeth with a pinecone or weep with remorse every time you flush the can. As is the case with all resource usage,...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

  22. The Food Zone

    The Food Zone

    Fine-tuning your cooking and dining areas pays off in more ways than just saving resources. As in other functional zones, their success starts with awareness: Where exactly does your food come from...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

  23. The Living Zone

    The Living Zone

    Let’s talk design for a minute. It’s important to remember that potential modifications to your home must be carefully considered before you implement them. If you blindly follow the...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

  24. The Sleeping Zone

    The Sleeping Zone

    Sleep on this: You probably spend more time in your bedroom than any other home zone, so it’s important to get it right.1 Reducing your resource consumption here requires a close look at how...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

  25. The Utility Zone

    The Utility Zone

    Your garage, laundry room, basement, and other nonglam support areas: These are the silent killers of energy-efficiency in your home.1 Because these spaces are largely “unseen” (and...

    written by: Dan Maginn
    01.01.09

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