• About this Blog

    One found object, one makeover a week--give or take. In the mean time, as we wait for the glue to cure and paint to dry, Fine Diving provides a look at places and people who create something from the nothings tossed and found around Chicago. Have one of your own? Share it here. My email is didurkes(at)yahoo.com.
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Field Trip: MSI Smart Home

Smart House
Touring the smart house is like walking through the pages of Dwell. Clean, green pre-fab design on the outside.  Inside, plenty of eye candy. And as you walk around, the obvious question floats through the three levels:  how much does all this cost? The green-coated tour guide quoted a price of $450,000 for the house, not including the lot or the furnishings.  Not attainable for most, but the smart house demonstrates ideas large and small that make perfect sense for use in any home, such as watering the plants with grey water and using a kitchen composter.

What I found most eye-catching and inspiring is the use of local designers and sources.


Chicago artist Ted Harris designed the lighting above the dining room table. These are made from motorcycle parts.

smarthouse3A lamp made from found parts by Harris sits on the night table in the master bedroom.

smarthouse4Steel dining room table by midwesterner John Steel.



Locally made, eco natural lounge furniture by Verde Design Studio.


Out in the garage, work and storage bench from recycled wood.



Upstairs in the nursery, art work by muralist  Jeff Zimmerman.


In the kid’s bedroom, birch bed donated by Grow-modern Organic Kids on Division.  Flor carpet tiles, which are also used in the office here:


And red Flor tiles in the entryway.