Gorkana Meets…Dan Gregory

First, tell us a bit about your blogs on Houseplans.com and what you cover.

Time To Build is the main blog for Houseplans.com, the largest online source of ready-made architectural house plans. I edit Time To Build and also write regular posts for it. The purpose is to provide useful and timely information for anyone thinking about building a new house. Subjects range from how to select kitchen cabinets to understanding building codes and how to plan a better master bathroom. Freelance contributors include Gale Steves, author of the best-selling Right-Sizing Your Home; Wendy Silverstein, former Senior Editor of HomeStyle magazine; and several others.

Eye On Design, which I write, very broadly covers contemporary and historical houses, home products and trends, architecture and design books, even toy blocks.

Tell us about your readers.

The target reader for Time To Build is someone looking for a ready-made house plan or someone who is about to start the process of building a house. The target reader for Eye On Design is anyone interested in houses and home design.

What initially sparked your interest in architecture and home design?

I have always been interested in architecture. I grew up in a simple gable-roofed adobe house in coastal California. Many doors open to long porches, like an old-fashioned, small-town train depot. I think it gave me a fixation on circulation and fresh air: there are no dead-end rooms – every in has an out – and every space connects to the outside.

What kind of traffic do you get on the blog? What is most popular?

Each of the two blogs receives about 1,000 visits per day. The most popular articles on Time To Build have included “Tailoring An Off-The-Rack Plan,” “Anatomy of the Great Room,” and “House Design Checklist.” The most popular subjects for Eye On Design have included “Window Walls and Rooms-Within-Rooms,” “Courtyard Houses Then and Now,” and “Tour de France Architecture and the Classical Home.”

What sort of content can PRs help you with?

I am interested in freelance writers with expertise in home construction and design who can pitch ideas for Time To Build, and I'm always interested in learning about new home products and trends with wide appeal or usefulness for Eye On Design. I attend the International Home Builders Show and the Pacific Coast Builders conference every year.

What architects, designers, or products do you work with or highlight in your blog? Have you done any notable projects with them? Are there others you’d like to review or feature?

I have featured many – including architect Sarah Susanka, author of the best-selling Not So Big House books; Katrina Cottage designer Marianne Cusato; New York architect Ross Anderson; New Jersey architect Gregory La Vardera; Houston architects Braxton Werner and Paul Field; Bainbridge Island, Washington architect Peter Brachvogel; Irish architect Frank McGahon; Lithuanian architects Arch L. A. B.; and Australian architect Leon Meyer – who just won Plan of the Year in our 2014 Design Awards Program (the HOWIES).

Do you have any plans to add new features to your blog or to expand it in any way?

As we add more freelancers, we will be able to add more articles more frequently.

You recently worked on two books, From the Land: Backen, Gillam, & Kroeger Architects and Shingle Style: Living in San Francisco’s Brown Shingles. Tell us a bit more about these books and your contributions to them.

I wrote the text for From the Land: The Architecture of Backen, Gillam, & Kroeger, published by Rizzoli in the fall of 2013. The actress Diane Keaton was the producer of the book and wrote the introduction. Rizzoli asked me to write the introduction to Shingle Style: Living in San Francisco's Brown Shingles, by Lucia Howard & David Weingarten, also published in 2013.

I am the author of Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House (Rizzoli, 2008) and numerous essays about California architecture in books and magazines, including "Promoting Ranch House Living: Cliff May and Maynard L. Parker," in Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream (ed. Jennifer Watts, Yale UP, 2012).

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