The Ugly

Everyone should have a respectful fear of natural or man-made catastrophes. Today you can choose from the Mayan prediction that the world will end on December 21, 2012 to the everyday fear that a nut will set loose a home-made bomb in the supermarket. In October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, people in my neighborhood built home bomb shelters or called in special contractors to handle the work. Some of us began building them anew after 911.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another. While there’s no hard data on how well pre-fab or high-end shelters handle radiation, chemical or germ attacks in America, there are plenty of innovations if you’re moved to take action.

Get away from it all

Photo by Hardened Structures

Photo by Hardened Structures

When only military grade will do, consider the Genesis Series by Hardened Structures. The basic unit can be expanded to suit any size family or neighborhood group. Genesis is 100 percent waterproof and fully protected against high altitude and regular electromagnetic pulses, and the nuclear, biological and chemical air filtration system is top-grade. No, it doesn’t come with vinyl siding!

Do it yourself shelters

Photo by Good Inc.

Photo by Good Inc.

If you’re interested in surviving the apocalypse and are good with tools, find a wide range of considerations at Backwoods Home Magazine. You can read about ventilation, sanitation, food and water storage, medical issues and furnishings from writer-engineer Jeffrey Yago.

You’re not alone

Photo by Home Designing

Photo by Home Designing

After the dust settles, it’s good to know you won’t be the only ones to climb up, blinking at the sun. Families, people of varying spiritual persuasions, survivalists and cultists already have their underground condos built. Many are in Utah and Montana, but there are Europeans, too, who have their shelters.  Check out the décor and details at Good.

Mr. Noah, call your office

Photo by Lifeboat

Photo by Lifeboat

Ark I is a green, self-sustaining space station proposed to house escapees from a global catastrophe. You can read all about it at The Lifeboat Foundation.  The non-profit group claims the Ark will include humans as well as native plants and animals from Earth and will feature artificial gravity. Resources will come from asteroids and the moon if dependence on a poisoned Earth is impossible.

Make mine a double:

Photo by Wardomatic

Photo by Wardomatic

They say there’s a wrench to fit every nut. That’s a metaphor for saying that there are bathroom designs to fit every taste and eccentricity. The unique comfort stations below prove beyond all doubt that everyone has their own notion of a place to roost and attend to their ablutions.

The bathroom gets the shaft

Photo by Homestone

Photo by Homestone

World-class designer Jorge Luis Hernández Silva really pushed the design envelope in this Guadalajara condo conversion that situated the bathroom atop an unused warehouse elevator shaft, 15 floors from the ground. I would purchase a wide area rug if I lived here.

The not-so-super Mario

Photo by Findboom

Photo by Findboom

If you spend half your hours paying video games and the other half reading cheat sheets, you’ll love this bathroom dedicated to the leaping and gathering of bonus points. There are bathroom designs suited to World of Warcraft (nothing like spears on your bath wall) and other contemporary games, too.

Fruits and nuts

Photo by Obsit

Photo by Obsit

While this looks absolutely refreshing, I couldn’t stand this shower treatment for long. For one thing, I associate kiwi fruit with its rugged, itchy skin. I’d prefer pictures of fish. On the high side, the rest of the otherwise bland room really benefits from the warm light through its sliding windows.

Soaping up to soaps

Photo by Building Design Ideas

Photo by Building Design Ideas

It’s been a long, tiring day. Slip into the tub in this Japanese-style bathroom, have a glass of wine, and unwind to your favorite show. Don’t drop the remote!

Pioneering bath designs of the North Star State

Photo by Stan Hecker

Photo by Stan Hecker

I’m giving big props to the people I met in Fairbanks, AK, during a winter where temperatures dropped to 68-below-zero.  Because of former gold mining, the local water can be polluted on the outskirts of town where people go without plumbing. They use the outhouse no matter the season. Now that’s true grit. Why not put some fiber cement siding around the facilities and stay warm?

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)

    Ben

  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.