Wood Is Good – World’s Tallest Wooden Towers Proposed for Paris

As American Carpenters in Paris you learn quickly how little wood is used in construction and renovation here.

Bottom line; it’s just too expensive.

Much of Europe has been deforested many hundreds of years ago. In fact the first US patent was for potash or wood ashes used for fertilizer, which was sold to Britain and other European countries.

But lately, it seems as if wood has been getting a bad rap.

The focus on sustainable development never seems to include lumber as a material of choice; that is until now.

In the article, Towers Proposed For Paris Would Be The World’s Tallest Wooden Structures wood evangelist and architect Michael Green argues exactly the opposite.

He says because of new technological advances wood as a building material has become stronger, safer, and more economical than steel.

But Green goes even further, “Just as Gustave Eiffel shattered our conception of what was possible a century and a half ago, this project can push the envelope of wood innovation with France in the forefront.”

And with a name like ‘Green’ it’s kind of hard not listen.

What It’s Like to Be a Woman In a Man’s World

What It’s Like to Be a Woman in a Field That’s Still 99 Percent Male Nina MacLaughlin. (Photo: Beowulf Sheehan)

In 2008, journalist Nina MacLaughlin quits her desk job of seven years with no plan for what to do next. Though she had no experience to speak of she jumped at the chance to apply to a Craigslist job posting for a carpenter’s assistant. She was especially heartened by the tagline “Women strongly encouraged to apply,” and sent off her application right away.

She got the job, and has been a carpenter in Cambridge, Massachusetts, ever since.

In her new memoir, ‘Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter’, MacLaughlin tells us her experience of abandoning her desk job and the satisfaction and joy of learning to work with her hands. She spoke with the Cut about what her career switch taught her about ambition, how working as a carpenter changed her own femininity, and what it’s like to be a woman in a field that’s still 99 percent male.

To read the full interview click the photo or click here.

The Rotting Rothschild Mansion Of Paris

The Rothschilds are legendary as one of the greatest European banking families ever. They own grand estates and Chateaus throught the world that are well-known for anything but squalor, ruin or decay. However just outside of Paris, walking distance from Metro Jean Jaurès Line 10, standing quietly behind a thick wall of shrubbery and overgrowth is the haunting, ghostly figure of the Chateau Rothschild.

The neo-Louis XIV estate house has been abandoned since the World War II when the Rothschild family fled to England. Germans would inhabit and plunder the house during the four-year Nazi occupation of Paris. After the city’s liberation, the U.S. army were the next tenants at the Chateau Rothschild. The Rothschilds never returned to their home which has been left to rot, crumble and deteriorate.

This once palatial estate was built to reflect the Rothschild wealth and fortune. It boasted a regal English garden with picturesque waterfalls and beautiful indoor frescoes by Eugène Lami. For over eight years James Rothschild and his wife Betty, hosted the most lavish parties of the time within these walls.

Their guests and party goers would include great artists of the day like Rossini, Chopin, Balzac, and Delacroix as well as, a who’s who of the financial and political world.

Chopin even dedicated his Valse Op. 64, N° 2 in C sharp minor to their daughter Charlotte.

As the champagne flowed while the laughter and music rang through the halls, it would have been impossible to imagine that the this great estate house, the Chateau de Rothschild would be doomed to become a playground for vermin, graffiti artists and vandals.

Sources:

http://www.messynessychic.com

http://www.urban-exploration.com

https://www.wikipedia.org/

IKEA’s Living Billboard Bathroom Advert In Parisian Campaign

IKEA EXPEDIT Goodness!

IKEA EXPEDIT  (Photo credit: tomas carrillo)

Yesterday someone somewhere in the world Googled “ikea paris france shower public” and ended up spending some time on our Paris Renovation Apartment and Home Improvement blog.

Is that cool or what?! 😀

The above video was first in the search results. IKEA actually created a ‘living Billboard’ at Gare St. Lazare.

They created fully functional bathrooms and rose them up like billboards. Then they hired actors to interact with the space to showcase how a small room can be maximized using IKEA furniture.

In Paris, your apartment along with your bathroom can be painfully small as opposed  American standards.

So you gotta love IKEA.

And you gotta love WordPress.com.

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IKEA Nanny Banned Commercial

Français : Dans le magasin IKEA de Roques (Hau...

Français : Dans le magasin IKEA de Roques (Haute-Garonne). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In America, IKEA furniture is almost somewhat of a novelty. But after one spends enough time in Paris, it is clear how precious every square centimeter of your living space is.

As a result, there are very few companies that can inspire more renovation ideas than IKEA. The ingenious use of space as illustrated here in the above sightly risque video is the core competency of IKEA.

It use to be rare when furniture informs the choices you make as you choose what and how to renovate your home or apartment.

But the solutions provided as far as style, ease of use and price point in terms of total renovation costs makes IKEA really hard to beat.

Not to mention this video is pretty hilarious.

Enjoy! 😀

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IKEA – Refresh Your Bedroom

English: The IKEA store in Frisco, TX, USA.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When renovating a home, whether you realize it or not you are always thinking in ‘zones’.

There is a zone to store materials and a zone to store tools, you need a wet zone to access water, a zone where to stage the debris etc…

These zones should not conflict with one another and should be organized to maximize work flow.

Here Designer Dad Stephen Saint-Onge from IKEA asks ” Do you want to change your life?” And then continues, “Good design does have the power to change you life.”

He asserts that the by looking at a bedroom in ‘zones’ that are pleasing to the eye as well as functional, one can increase the pleasure of using that space thereby giving you more comfort and rest which in turn, adds more vitality to your life.

Makes sense.

Change your room.

Change your life! 😀

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WARNING! BANNED IKEA VIDEOS: Crazy, Sexy, Cool.


As an American in America you look at the proliferation of IKEA stores  in the USA like the furniture version of ABBA in the 70’s; very popular, trendy, easy on the eyes and rather predictable.

In America IKEA is still some what of a novelty like Swedish dance music.

In Paris, an IKEA kitchen in many, many situations is a necessity.

In America there is no special term or drama in bringing kitchen furniture on to the job site.

Your renovating the place. You drive up. Park the car. Deliver the furniture. No problem.

Here it can turn into cauchemar (nightmare) so huge it has it’s own name.

FLAT PACKING!

Imagine…

English: Logo of Ikea.

English: Logo of Ikea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“OK, TOMORROW, IF PLAN GOES AS SCHEDULED WE ARE COMING FROM IKEA AND WE ARE LOOKING TO START FLAT PACKING THE APARTMENT AT ONE, FIVE, THIRTY HOURS. THAT’S 3:30 PM. OK?

OK…

GOOD.

THIS HUGE SITE IS ON A SMALL ONE WAY STREET FEEDING A MAJOR BOULEVARD.

TYPICAL FOR THE 7TH….

SO WE NEED ALL HANDS ON DECK IN A ONE BLOCK RADIUS LOOKING FOR PARKING.

NO PARKING?

I CALL IT.

WE SHIFT TO A DUMP AND GO.

DUMP AND GO?

WE STAGE OUTSIDE SO WE DON’T BOTHER THE GUARDIAN.

THIS ONE IS A REAL PIECE OF WORK.

WE DUMP ON THE SIDEWALK,

I GO FOR PARKING.

YOU GUYS START FLAT PACKING THE APARTMENT.

IT’S A FIVE STORY WALK UP TO A HUGE KITCHEN  RENOVATION BUT WE CAN’T USE THE ELEVATOR BECAUSE THE GUARDIAN  IS OUT OF HER MIND.

OK.

HERE IS THE CODE TO GET IN THE FRONT DOOR.

HERE IS THE CODE TO GET IN THE DOOR INSIDE THE FOYER.

HERE ARE THE KEYS TO THE APARTMENT.

REMEMBER. TAKE YOUR TIME

DON’T NICK THE WALLS ON THE WALK UP.

OK! WE READY TO FLAT PACK?!!!”

So in honor of this IKEA craziness we offer the following crazy videos.

BEWARE: A bit racy at points, but nevertheless lots of fun!

Enjoy.

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