An Incredible Homemade Castle in Colorado Tells a Scary Tale on Building Codes

Building code restrictions are in place to keep us safe and in good health, right?  With that in mind, I have to confess that I have been frustrated at times by the degree of code regulation.  But a few weeks ago I had an epiphany while driving through the mountains in southern Colorado....Read More

Don’t Let Smoke Alarms Tarnish Your Decor

Most smoke alarms are just plain ugly.  Certainly as some have gotten smaller they are a bit less noticeable.  But their appearance can still be a distraction in an otherwise well thought out interior.  But there is a low-profile smoke alarm solution that is different and less...Read More

Japanese Garden House …In My Bedroom

I wake up early at our place in Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota in the summer because of a glow in our upstairs bedroom. The sun’s rays reach deeply into the room imbuing the smooth Port Orford cedar timbers of our garden house, or Japanese Machiai, with rose-colored light.  I savor the smell...Read More

The Pay As You Go Cabin Dream

For many folks, cabins appear as luxury, only to be paid for by cash available. But there is a way to build your dream cabin – on a budget. After the land is paid off there are several options for a pay as you go strategy for cabin creation.Read More

Spend a Night with Wright

For anyone looking to expand on the typical Midwestern architectural pilgrimage to Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio in Spring Green, Wisconsin, consider a trip to Mason City, Iowa, where instead of settling for a 45 minute tour, you can stay—docent-free—in the recently...Read More

Small Home. Small Lot. Small Energy Footprint. Here’s How.

URBAN GREEN The Task: A small home on a small lot with a small energy footprint for a growing family. The Solution: This LEED for Homes, 2250 sq. ft. three bedroom house with detached garage is nestled within a 42’x128’ infill lot in Linden Hills. It features an eclectic blend...Read More

81 Minutes After the Bridge Collapse

Sometimes, Architects Get to Make History. Most of the time, architects are focused on the present, or even the future. Clients come to us because they’re expecting children and their house is getting too small, or they are thinking ahead to retirement years, and want something smaller....Read More

Real Rewards of Winning Awards

Spring time is what some refer to as awards season in the Residential Architects community. A couple of the well promoted honors are The Home of the Month Awards by The Star Tribune, and the RAVE Awards by Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine. This year SALA was privileged to be the recipient of three...Read More

Bark Siding is Back

One of the historic building products appropriate to cabins that has returned to the market is bark siding. Once popular to rustic lodges and cabins in the 1890’s to 1920’s it then disappeared due to blight in the chestnut trees from which it was harvested. Recent growth of yellow...Read More

Net-Zero Farmhouse

After a year of fine-tuning work has begun the NET-ZERO Farmhouse where our goal is to produce as much energy as we consume and hopefully more! Our approach here is an extremely tight and energy efficient envelop with triple pane windows, natural lighting and ventilation, and highly energy...Read More

Original Bookcase?

I enjoy books and over the years have collected quite a few, from slim paperbacks to oversized architecture tomes, but my partner and I recently moved into a house that offered no place to visibly store them. After a semi-exhaustive search, we identified a freestanding unit with potential, but...Read More

A Walk in the Woods

When my husband, Deane and I went for a walk in our woods a few years back, I needed to look down so that I could step over stones and the underbrush without getting tangled up and losing my balance.  Deane on the other hand, had his head tilted up and back.  As usual he found his...Read More

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