Last weekend my wife and I went to the 10th Annual Homes by Architects Tour. It was a beautiful day. Since I am one of the ambassadors, I was in charge of homes in the West Central Zone. This meant I had to check in on the home at 3213 East Calhoun Parkway (with a detached casita) 2727 E.Lake of the Isles Parkway (with a British pub in the basement) and 2021 Harriet Avenue that was net zero construction- the home produced more energy than it used and sold energy back to the power company.
The tour is a great opportunity to not only meet and chat with architects about the home that he or she worked on but also to talk to suppliers. You may want to know more about automatic blinds, manufactured stone counter tops, or decorative yet utilitarian tile. You can talk to the Marvin Windows, Frost Cabinets or Warner’s Stellian rep about your kitchen without feeling any pressure to buy anything. You can see what an infrared sauna looks like or talk to builder Jason Stinson about installing an in-home elevator.
(Almost) Free Ideas
Touring is a great way to get ideas and envision changes to your own living space that can make your space for working, playing, cooking, relaxing or raising your family effective, efficient, personal and something that truly works.
Explore Your City
One other thing my wife and noticed when we visited these houses was that we also visited new neighborhoods, places we would never otherwise have gone or even knew existed. We stopped for a cocoa at SpyHouse and had tea and a roll at Isles Bun and Coffee then drove around Uptown and the Wedge and took in all of the new construction and hipster vibe. We imagined for an hour what it would be like to live in Uptown, walk to the lakes, be a part of the big city nightlife. And then, once we had our fill, we drove through the bright fall day back to our Saint Paul home and saw that space with new eyes.