Blog Archives

Baptism by fire: Turning old into dramatic with a lick of flame

As she herself says, “This girl is on fire!” Tana MacDonald is a creative gal, running a multi-faceted business of interior design, space planning, specialty/faux painting and more in Toronto’s western suburbs. So it was that, casting about for something new to tackle, she found herself one day with an old cabinet and a new blowtorch — and was drawn like a moth to a flame.

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Posted in Design, DIY, News


Wowed by Shou Sugi Ban in the W Boston’s redesign

If there is any beauty in destruction then it is found in shou sugi ban. This traditional Japanese method of weathering and preserving wood by charring became trendy in America over the past couple of years, and falls in line with a desire for aged decorative elements. But shou sugi ban’s rumpled black tarry finish has an element of chaos — something violent happened to this wood — and a mysterious Gothic quality.

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Posted in Architecture, Design, News


Off-grid Shou Sugi Ban tiny house is giant by nature

Alpine Tiny Homes, the firm behind the Brown Bear tiny house, recently completed a large new model that looks finished to just as high a standard. Aptly named the Tiny Giant, the towable dwelling stands out from the crowd thanks to its size and unusual charred wood siding.

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Posted in Architecture, Design, DIY, News


French tiny house with Japanese flair serves as full-time home to a family of three

Due to the country’s towing laws, French tiny houses give firms less room to work with than their US counterparts. With this in mind, Baluchon had a real challenge to make the 6.5 m (21 ft) long and 4 m (13 ft) high Calypso suitable for use as a full-time home for a family of three.

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Posted in Architecture, Design, DIY, News


Off-grid tiny house comes in Shou Sugi Ban style

Canadian green living proponent Greenmoxie recently completed its first tiny house. The firm is off to a strong start, and alongside some impressive off-grid technology the eponymous dwelling includes novel features you don’t usually expect to see in a tiny house – most notably an electric drawbridge-style deck.

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Posted in Architecture, Design, DIY, News


Escape’s latest tiny house has a Japanese flavor

A big-hitter in the small living scene, Escape’s tiny house models always offer good build quality and smart design. The firm’s latest tiny house, the Escape One, is no different, and features a Japanese-style charred wood exterior and a well thought-out interior.

Based on a 25 ft-long trailer,

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Posted in Architecture, Design, DIY, News


Tiny minimalist hut goes back to basics with Shou Sugi Ban

muji-hut-3Japanese retailer Muji has entered the small living scene with a tiny new hut. Featuring an attractive minimalist design, the Muji Hut is about as basic as it gets, but could suit those looking for a simple cabin in the woods, a home office, or guest accommodation.

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Posted in Architecture, Design, DIY, News


Shou ‘Piney’ Ban: Finishing southern pine with fire

Since 2004, Michael Moran, and now his partner Celia Gibson, can be found, chisel in hand, building each unique object one piece at a time, one hand-cut joint at a time, watching wood become a functional work of art.

Moran says his vision is one in which materials,

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Posted in Design, DIY, News, People, Techniques


Zen Meditation on the Art of Creating Shou Sugi Ban Boards

Zenmeditation_frameJohn Neeman Tools shows us how shou sugi ban should be done – by hand, under dappled sunlight and with a zen master playing the flute as accompaniment. Check out his meditative video tutorial – without any words to take away from the artistic spell he puts us under.

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Posted in Design, DIY, News, People, Techniques, Video


Japanese Surrealist Architect Fujimori Revels In Fairytale Visions

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A one-legged Shou sugi ban teahouse suspended amid cherry trees in the Japanese mountains showcases the vivid imagination and designs of architect Terunobu Fujimori. Conceiving his first creation at the age of 42, Fujimori is considered one of the world’s first surrealists in his field.

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Posted in Architecture, Books, Design, News, People