A former editor at Dwell, Amara recently left the glamorous life of a magazine staffer to pursue her freelance writing dream. She has written for Sunset, Wallpaper*, the Architect’s Newspaper, VIA, and Apartment Therapy.
With its slim profile and sleek gray exterior, Lola Oyibo and Eric Boardman’s home in Portland, Oregon bears little resemblance to the house it used to be. Unable to afford the 40% down required to build a new house, the couple instead opted for a FHA 203K renovation loan that let them put just 3% down—and hired architect Ben Waechter of local firm Atelier Waechter to give the place a massive facelift. Formerly a nondescript 1947 Cape Cod-style structure, the house “had a horrible kitchen and had no built-ins or historic elements worth keeping,” says Waechter. Plus, it was only 625 square feet, which was overly crowded for the homeowners and their two year-old daughter, Mena. Keeping the footprint, foundation, and framing intact, the architect stripped the structure down to its bones, opening up the interior and adding a second story to give the family 1250 square feet —and a sweet modern space—in which to live. "It's the idea of reuse," Waechter says. "We recreated a building that had reached the end of its lifespan, infusing it with another hundred years of living."
A baby's arrival is cause for celebration—and for many, it's also a time to confront limited living space. For one Parisian couple, living in a cramped but loved apartment in the 10th arrondissement with a four-year-old, a new baby on the way, and one tiny bedroom to work with, a space-saving solution was needed badly. Enter h2o architectes, a young firm led by principals Charlotte Hubert, Jean-Jacques Hubert, and Antoine Santiard. The trio decided the smartest way to approach the problem was to subdivide the older child's room in two, making separate places for both children to sleep and play.