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I believe this is the same design firm whose compact house model was on display at the Oregon State Fair last summer. That house was similar to the one I remember seeing there:

idea box similar to State Fair display model

It was a beautiful little house, and I was excited to see it; airy because of the tall ceilings, nice, natural looking floors, simple division between dining and living room area, and a small loft. I would love to be able to live in one.

kathleen  schrader

Thanks for the article on the Ideabox. it got us to drive up to the show. This little structure was all you said it was. We've been waiting for this type of structure and can certainly see us living in one..


Although you can't expect much for 80,000, I was not impressed with the ideabox. I am a big fan of affordable modern design, but the details didn't cut it. I feel that with a little more thought and/or design guidance the ideabox could be great.
-loose the silly trimmed glass blocks between the living space and bathrooms.
-don't used paint grade trim with stain grade door frames. pick one or the other.
-don't switch to a cheap looking quarter round base trim at the shower pan when all of the other trim is square stock.
-use flat wall paint WITHOUT TEXTURE.(and maybe a little color)
-the exterior paint was a bit higher gloss than desirable.
-the window patterns could be more consistent, more interesting, and enhance the overall composition. The model at the show was better but the clearstories on the website pictures don't align with elements below very effectively.

80,000 + excavation/foundation + shipping costs = > $115/sq. foot. As simple as this structure is I bet it could done better with a savy builder and designer; site built.

and by the way, the website claims that the wall systems are 40% more efficient than standards. the R-15 wall (and floor) in the northwest modern unit doesn't even meet code in the northwest.

let's ask for a little more.


matt, with the exception of your reference to the 'glass blocks', most of the items you meticulously itemized were kind of small details, weren't they? Things that would likely not represent that much money if upgraded according to your suggestions. I don't know and can't say about the insulation issue.

More important to me, was the feel of the place. Sounds as though you didn't have any particularly positive feelings in that respect about the house.


Based on what Matt said, seems to me like this isn't the perfect house for an inner Portland modern home for an empty lot.

I see this little building more as a great way to throw up something quick and easy far out in Eastern Oregon without having to find local contractors.


Matt would not make the perfect house guest... I have seen the IdeaBox and fell in love with it and the idea. The structure was tastfully finished well constructed. All components were top
drawer. I wish it was available when I went to college and paid out rent each month. It will definitely be on our ocean property.

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