Ep. 183: architect Andrew Cogar


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We are thrilled to welcome back our guest today Andrew Cogar who is an architect and president of the award-winning firm Historical Concepts. We discuss his new book, Visions of Home: Timeless Design, Modern Sensibility, collaboration, the narrative of a house, a closer look at a historic Charleston single house, designing around honesty, the concept of the creative process, and more.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Trials & Triumphs! Karen’s lingering Christmas issues, the Wilcox mirror, adorable doormats, our love of Etsy, Taryn’s old bricks, where to store the extra toilet paper, and Caroline’s new dishwasher.
  • What are some examples of “sparks of joy” as it relates to architecture?
  • Why collaboration is a fun puzzle.
  • What is the concept of a “house narrative”?
  • Recent shifts around the open floor plan.
  • Considering the guest experience and privacy in a house.
  • Reinterpreting the historic Charleston single house featured in Andrew’s book.
  • The importance of designing even the small spaces.
  • Why it’s imperative to be honest with your design team about how you want to live.
  • What Andrew studied and learned while in London.
  • The concept of creative process; emphasis on two separate words.

Decorating Dilemma

Hi Olivia,

The biggest challenge is that this is a pass-through room and it’s hard to get around this square layout. My advice is going to come more from an architectural standpoint than interior design. First, I would suggest putting up a wall. Most people think of this as an impossible task, but it’s not! It’s actually some of the cheapest and simplest construction to do as long as it doesn’t involve any electrical or plumbing. Assuming the fireplace is a gas insert, I would close up that space above the couch and I would put the fireplace on that wall. Incorporate it in a complete wall of bookcases and built-ins and have the TV worked into the bookcase more to the right. You could get a big reading chair and ottoman to be able to take advantage of the fireplace. I would then shift the cased opening and put that where the fireplace was (assuming those are closets and not a powder room) and move the opening there. That way you can have a 3-sided enclosure at the West side of the room. You can put a couch or sectional where the TV currently is, so it really takes advantage of the natural daylight coming in from the sunroom. This really creates two zones; one is a sitting and reading zone and the other one is more of a living room. Being able to see this from the front entryway will really bring it in with the rest of the house. You can spend just as much money and time trying to solve this room, but I think making these inexpensive and simple changes will really unlock so much potential in the space. Hopefully, this is helpful and works out! – Andrew

With regards to the rug, we think you should try to find the biggest rug you can find for the space. Usually anywhere from 3inches to a foot of space around the edges works well. It will really help ground and center the room in a good way.

Good luck, Olivia!

Mentioned in This Episode:

246 episodes