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American Craftsman meets Swiss chalet in Pasadena

August 9, 2013

Look, I fully understand this house is NOT your common property. There is nothing wrong with using top-of-the-line examples as a source for your very own creativity though, right? ;0)

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Log-Craftsman-entry
A dentist named Francis K. Ledyard paid $10,000 to the Milwaukee Building Co. — the firm best known for Grauman's Chinese Theatre — for his two-story, four-bedroom house. Believed to be the only home like it in Pasadena, it sported furry, bark-on redwood logs, russet-stained redwood shake siding and a white limestone chimney — an American Craftsman with a touch of Swiss chalet.
Log-Craftsman-frontThat was 1909. By the time architect Douglas Ewing spotted the house in 2003, the defining log trim was gone, the house had been painted brown and the kitchen and bathrooms had undergone Midcentury Modern remodels.
PHOTO GALLERY: Log Craftsman in Pasadena
But Ewing, who grew up among Pasadena's Craftsman bungalows and worked for Case Study architect Whitney Smith, had by then designed several Adirondack-style projects, including a Colorado ski lodge for Ralph Lauren.
“I fell in love with log buildings,” Ewing said. So he and his wife, Maggie, decided to buy the house, warts and all.
Negotiations fell through, however, and the house wound up back on the market. Enter Faith Dymek and her husband, Mark, who were moving from Virginia. They brought with them daughter Ryanne; Faith's mother, Sharon McCabe; plus Arts and Crafts furniture that had never looked quite right in their old Colonial-style home.
The couple bought the “falling-down, ramshackle, termite-ridden house” in 2004, Faith said, figuring a little elbow grease was all they needed to fix it up. Then they met Ewing, who explained the difference between making the house livable and bringing it back to life as originally designed. The latter, he said, would require more time, more money and more expertise.

The Dymeks' decision?
“We decided we would restore versus renovate,” Faith said.
To economize, she served as general contractor, visiting the job site daily and gathering leads on local artisans.
Other times, complete strangers volunteered information. A real estate agent offered a photocopy of a 1911 article about the house from American Homes and Gardens magazine. The detailed description and black-and-white photos revealed that a second-floor sleeping porch had been enclosed and that log pergolas once covered the front porch and a side garden.
A color image of the house materialized when a local painter dropped off a copy of a vintage postcard. And a previous resident stopped by to share what she knew, which included the markings on a door frame that are believed to be the heights of the Ledyard children.
When work began in 2005, replacing the dry-stacked brick foundation was the priority and took seven months. Ewing hoisted up the house to remove the loose bricks, then poured concrete.
“All that had held the house up was its own weight and gravity,” he said.
To rehab the rustic exterior, Ewing tapped Montana Idaho Log & Timber in Victor, Mont. Redwood logs were no longer available, so the company supplied bark-off natural turned pine logs. Over five months, 400 to 500 logs meeting Ewing's specifications were cut, numbered and labeled, then trucked south, where two craftsmen spent three months re-creating the pergolas and timber trim.
Log-Craftsman-living-room
Inside, Ewing left the den and living and dining rooms intact but updated the kitchen, turned the maid's room into a laundry room and grafted on a breakfast porch out back. Upstairs, he sacrificed a bedroom to create a bathroom and more storage. The sleeping porch was enclosed anew, but this time Ewing recessed the walls to give the illusion of the original open balcony.
The rest of the lot features a new pond-like swimming pool, an outbuilding converted into a guest cottage for Faith's mother and a modern garage that replaced a barn Faith remembers being “held up with chicken wire and vines.”
Paul Haywood and Chris Kidd still spend months at a time refinishing doors, windows and shingles, and applying sunscreen and conditioner to preserve those picturesque logs.
“We didn't need to do all that we did, but we felt it was our responsibility to put the house back together the way it was.” Faith said. “After the extraordinary investment we made, the thought of not keeping the place up is unthinkable.”
 
CRAFTSMAN DESIGN: GO-TO RESOURCES FOR THIS HOUSE
Faith Dymek sought out a long list of fixtures, fabrics and information resources to restore her family's house in keeping with its original Craftsman aesthetic:
Crown City Hardware in Pasadena: “We wanted latches and hinges for several new windows to match the 1909 hardware,” Dymek said. “I set out hoping to come close, but Crown had the exact pieces — in stock.”
Historic Lighting in Monrovia: “Historic helped us create custom outdoor lanterns and a dining room chandelier that combines mahogany framing made locally with glass shades handblown in San Francisco.”
Archive Edition Textiles in Hawthorne: “Archive had period fabrics to reupholster sofas and make bedspreads, pillows and table runners.”
American Bungalow magazine: “The directory of advertisers is awesome, and the articles detailing restorations all over the U.S. are great.”
Craftsman Weekend Exposition Show & Sale: Pasadena Heritage's annual event is scheduled for Oct. 19 to 21 this year. “Amazing resource,” Dymek said. “I met artisans from around the country who knew how to approach stripping our woodwork and staining our replacement shingles.”
Gamble House in Pasadena: “I went on tour after tour and studied the casement window treatments, then had similar ones made of wood for our daughter's room.”
 
ALSO:
W+D ocean viewMalibu modern: New indoor-outdoor house
Venice house 360: Full-circle panorama photos
More home profiles: Southern California design
-- Emily Young
Photos: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
 
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How Social Media Can Help you Create Your Personal Brand

June 10, 2013

Are you looking out to leverage social media to create a personal brand that goes a long way? If your answer is yes, then you've reached the right article. Given below are a few easy to apply social media ideas that will help you in more than one way to not only create a strong brand out of yourself, but to also reach out to your audience in a targeted way.

Regional Focus: Social media is growing at a rapid pace across the world, which is an opportunity for anyone that's looking out to capture local audiences and build a brand on a regional level. In order to achieve this, you need to remember that people access information differently in different locations. This is why it's important that you get strong regional advice when going global. This will give you a fair idea on how people access information and what kind of platforms they depend on. Since this varies from country to country, having the right person giving you advice is crucial. You can use a local colleague to make sure your message is tailor made for the particular market you're targeting. If you want to make an impact with your business on a higher level, then you shouldn't ignore the regional importance. Give them a Reason to Share: We all know that social media is about sharing; every person that engages in it shares something or the other with their friends/contacts. There is actually no social media without effective sharing, which is why you should give your audience a reason to share. Your brand building can be taken to a whole new level when you instill a strong confidence in your target audience with your approach, ultimately pushing them to share. In other words, if you're not going to give a viable reason for people to engage with you, they simply won't. You need a lot of variety going on in your offerings; your menu card should offer interesting stuff to your audience so that they feel compelled to share. The more your stuff gets shared across various social media platforms, the more effective will be the returns that you get from your brand building efforts.

Be Smart: Your approach to social media needs to be highly smart, because when you're using social media on a large scale, you won't be able to control everything. If you're running a big company, it wouldn't be possible for you to monitor and control the social activity of each employee. Although you can have systems setup that would inform your social media users on critical issues, your main guiding force should be the 'be smart' motto. Rising above the others in social media and strengthening your personal brand is something that requires both brains and brawns, so make sure you're having a balanced approach towards everything.

Every effort that you put into creating your brand in the social media world will be well worth it in the end. The people in your niche will start to see you as being credible and will seek your advice when help is needed. Could you really ask for a better outcome?