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Preview the '131-Day House'

Our July/August issue (on newsstands now) focuses on the work of talented female architects who found creative ways to solve design problems. One such story is told by Jayna Cooper, an emerging L.A. architect (and Dwell on Design 2012 speaker) who shepherded her home from blueprint to building in just 131 days. Cooper dreamed up the concept, put it on paper, managed subcontractors, sourced materials and products, and completed some of the construction work herself. Check dwell.com Wednesday to read the full story and accompanying slideshow of photos. In the meantime, here are four excerpted tips to whet your appetite.

Architect Jayna Cooper in her Los Angeles home
Architect Jayna Cooper designed and built her new home in L.A.

On materials: "Basic inexpensive stuff like corrugated sheet metal, stucco, and drywall can look really great if it's incorporated in modern and well-thought-out way."

On pricing: "Everything is negotiable, and if you're nice and can give someone a good excuse to give you a deal, they usually will."

On the floor plan: "I located the bathrooms, a bank of cabinets, and the closet between the street and the bedrooms [to create a sound buffer]."

On the final product: "The best advice I got on this project, and advice I give now, came from a wise friend and seasoned architect. He told me: 'Don't try to do everything in one house, especially your first house.'"

Find copies of our July/August Designers at Home issue on newsstands, order a risk-free subscription here, buy Dwell for iPad and smartphones here, or call 1-866-565-8551.

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