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A modular office space for the home.

Modular Office Space For The Home

Need some privacy at home but don't have the space? Or are you a work-from-home professional looking for a legitimate home office? These modular, eco-friendly outbuildings from Sustansia, Inc. were designed with office space in mind but imbued with a flexibility that allows for more than a few solutions.

While the $13,800 base price might have some balking, it's still cheaper than adding the same amount of sq footage to your existing home, and the unit does come pre-wired, lit, and features an 8' ceiling at the center and sonically tuned curved walls that maximize acoustics within. There are feature options, too, like different exterior finishes, exterior lighting, skylights and more.

The unit--dubbed "The Cocoon"--doesn't have plumbing, so you'll still have to head indoors to refill your water or take a bathroom break. That's fine for those living in dry climates, but I don't know if I want to slog through the snow and rain every time I hear nature calling.

Still, I like the privacy aspect of the unit. It can make a telecommuter feel like a legitimate worker and most likely cuts back on home-chore distractions during the work day.

I think if they came out with a "Garage Band" unit for musicians I'd be on board. Microphone hook-ups and a disco ball? Or the Man Cave option, with a wrap-around sofa and a Fussball table.

Would you go for The Cocoon? Be sure to check out all the interior photos before answering...

It's all fun and games until the hen turns out to be a rooster.

Chicken Coop Caveat

Although we at Renovate Your World are probably more likely to encourage homeowners to build and maintain their own chicken coop, I felt a sense of obligation to share with the world the potential pitfalls of such an endeavor.

This persuasive piece by a New York Times writer may give some folk second thoughts about raising chickens in their own backyard. It turns out there's a little more to it besides tossing some feed around every now and then and finding new ways to incorporate the dozens of daily fresh eggs into the family's meals.

No, there are diseases, predators, hens that won't lay, and the occasional case of gender identity -- just imagine when that grown hen you expected to start churning out eggs begins crowing at the break of dawn. Small wonder many municipalities have ordinances against roosters.

So read up and get the pros/cons list ready.

Who has some chicken-raising horror stories to share?

Photo courtesy of Archer & Buchanan Architecture.

Amazing Conversion

Hard to believe the house in this photo was once a horse stable. Archer & Buchanan Architecture recently won an award for the conversion of this 1898 William L. Price designed stable into a 4-bedroom, 3 1/2-bath private residence in Wayne, Pa. The Heritage Commission of Delaware County praised the "wonderful detail and craftsmanship...(in) maintaining the integrity of the historic structure" when they presented the award on May 6th. I've got to agree with them.

Photo courtesy of Sustainable Pet.

Green Building for Your Pet

I had heard of 'green roofs'—roofs that are designed to grow vegetation—on homes, but I had never before seen them on doghouses. Sustainable Pet Design's custom-built doghouses have green roofs which provide insulation, filter runoff water and dust while looking and smelling great. The doghouses are built to order to properly fit your dog and include the buyer's choice of style, color and plant type. Construction is done by hand using non-toxic materials. Sustainable Pet's online ordering system is being updated but interested parties are encouraged to contact the company directly.

Public photo courtesy of Flickr.

Your Next (Tree) House

Even adults dream of hiding away in a cool tree house. WebUrbanist has compiled a list with photos of "10 Amazing Tree Houses from around the World: Sustainable, Unique and Creative Designs." Check out these amazing photos.

This dog is stylin' with his own designer digs This dog is stylin' with his own designer digs

It's a Dog's Life

Behold the first dog house you'd ever want to live in yourself. Back in my day, dog houses were little more than a couple slabs of leftover plywood quickly hammered together one Sunday afternoon. Dogs made due with the dirt floor and leaky roof without complaint. Those poor dogs were born in the wrong era. The dog houses of today have French casement windows, columns, and stairs. No word on air conditioning. I guess it is true when they say Americans love their pets. If you've got a pet you want to pamper, you can't go wrong with this Colonial mansion dog house from The Well Appointed House. It's available as pictured at left or it can be custom made to match your home. It can be yours for the low, low price of $6,160.

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