Lucy Junus
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One of the unfortunate liabilities of living in a beautiful place is that everyone else wants to live here too. The sweeping vistas of the California coast, the statuesque cathe­drals and the ancient trees are all signposts of photo ops; our backyard is tacked on refrigerator postcards in homes all over the world. It’s a wonder more visitors aren’t missing their flights home and settling in to stay. No one would deny, however, the blight that McMansions and tract homes place upon our wondrous California land­scapes.

We live in an era of growing concern regarding our impact on the environment. This concern has radiated from a singular philosophy into every arena of human life, so many Californians want just as much to know about the source of the lumber used to build their homes as they do the source of their vegetables. This reaction to globally manufactured living goes a long way in explaining the current resurgence of interest in “DIY building” and home design, and why a marvelous book like Handmade Houses is now coming to press.

Author and former editor of Architectural Digest Richard Olsen provides an organized and relevant centennial look at artfully built and handcrafted homes from around the world. Olson traces the history of hand­made homes from their artisan woodwork­ing roots to the present day. His text draws sweeping but compelling parallels between the resurgence of handmade homes that be­came popularized in the 1970s and today’s sustainability-minded builders.

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This article was published:
Art & Design Issue - Released July 2012
Issue 11 / Version 2 | Buy print copy here
Issue 11
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