“How Austin lives now”

Fake trend article* in the Statesmen about how people are “demanding smaller, greener, more contemporary homes”.  Quotes from Jay Hargrave, Dick Clark, Hugh Randolph, and Mark Lind (CG&S).  Pictures from a few homes we’ve featured a few times this year.

Perhaps I am jaded but all I hear is the same talk of opening of living space that has gone on since the 50s.  Many of the quotes sound like they could be lifted from the Eichler books I have.  Yes, there does seem to be an renewed interest in these principles.  I am thrilled about that.  My concern remains that it will remain niche and reserved to the premium market.  The cost premium has undermined widespread adoption of “smaller, greener, more contemporary” building principles before.   Tellingly, this article  steers well wide of that topic.

*Fake trend articles are made famous by the NY Times which make sweeping statements about the changing trends yet offer no actual data save a few choice quotes.  I always picture them as the result of idle chatter over a few drinks.

6 Responses to ““How Austin lives now””

  1. David Mathias says:

    Ben, I don’t disagree with your “fake trend” radar; but my read of the article is that it’s focused on high-end homes for which clients commission architects. In my book, that *is* the premium market. I didn’t read the article as pointing to broader trends in spec houses.

  2. john says:

    Ah, the fake trend article, close relative to the arbitrary city ranking articles.

  3. Eric says:

    “They are commissioning a 3,000-square-foot home instead of the 6,000 they might have opted for a decade ago.” Good for them, downsizing to their tiny 3,000 square footers! ;)

  4. Julie says:

    LOL, Eric! I’m with you, I see these sort of “downsizers” in Dwell all the time. How will you ever get along in your “tiny little house” that’s three times the size the one your grandparents would have lived in? What a grand sacrifice! And they all tear down old houses to build some new green monstrosity (in size, not necessarily looks), then tout all its “green” features. The “greenest” thing is renovating and reusing materials, but that’s never mentioned of course. It’s all buzz words.

  5. Julie says:

    okay, they talk about remodeling on the last page. I guess one should read the entire article before commenting, huh? :)

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