Arcidosso, Italy juxtaposition of old and new

Reaching back into the past, when I did my senior thesis project partly in Southern Tuscany while attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, I opted to create a project on a site that had the old center and medieval tower as its backdrop.

The site was surrounded by a grade school and a high school, so to follow the academic theme, I opted to choose a municipal university as the development program. This way, all age levels of students would be present in the same localized area.

An axis is created by connecting two focal points and drawing a line between them. One focus is the academic area of the university where all the classes are. The other focus point is the social area where the coffee shop and greenhouse for local produce are situated. The axial line that connects them is directly aligned with the ancient tower of the old town, so when walks from the academic area to the social area, they walk slightly uphill and directly toward the tower in the distance.


This image is the social area, which is called Coil Truss Court. The academic area is out of view to the right. The part that is in view at the right edge of the image is the parking structure.


This is a view walking towards the social area, with the old tower of the historic city center straight ahead. The opening in the structure to the right is the coffee shop, and the green enclosed structure on the left is the greenhouse to grow local vegetables.

Sundancer Lane exterior makeover

This single family residence in Huntington Beach’s Harbor community had never been updated. This was my residence from approximately 2005 to 2007. Although it was in a great neighborhood, a block from a park with playground, and vested with a boat slip just a short walk away, what it lacked was a bathroom for each bedroom and a small office and bonus room.


The design scheme above shows how the upper bedroom at the far right has extended further over the garage to accommodate a new bathroom adjacent to the old bathroom, which therefore became a designated bathroom for another secondary bedroom upstairs. The feature above the entry with the corner window is a small home office space, and the clerestory windows shown above the flower lattice is where the new bonus room is.

Ocean Crest Rd major addition and remodel

The ranch house above was built in the 1050’s in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. It was 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, situated at the apex of a slight uphill slope on the block. A couple other homes on the block were two-stories. This photo was taken right after the demolition process began.


Having personally designed the project, I had selected this home after careful analysis that after a second story was added with a rooftop deck above it all there would be an ocean view. The home became 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms with a large bonus room on the second floor. An exterior door from the bonus room leads to a set of stairs that arrive at the expansive roof deck.


The completed home maintains a few of the original craftsman features while incorporating contemporary elements that give a sense of era to the finished product. A 7 foot cantilevering platform provides cover during rain and communicates entry.


The roof deck occupies nearly all of the second story roof area, above, and features a gas line for a BBQ, a built-in concrete countertop with sink, and several different areas for a variety of activities. At one time there was a seating area with fire pit, a foosball table space, and a jacuzzi tub.

Edward Borlenghi
Architectural design services offers architectural design and planning services for ground-up construction of 1-4 unit buildings. This service is generally reserved for real estate developers. Smaller projects, such as interior remodels and room additions can be wrapped into your new home purchase, if you find a house in the right neighborhood but it falls short of being the right home.

Architectural Design for 2nd Floor Addition

Early design phase for architecture clients. This is one of the unselected proposals.

In some cases, architectural design related clients do not require a real estate transaction. That is, these owners happen to already own the property. The contrary is the case in which a property buyer wants to make changes to the existing conditions.

Edward Albert Borlenghi (Ted), 01930536; Pacific | Sotheby’s International Realty, 01767484

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Open House with On-The-Fly Sketchup Model - Clover Ct

Today's open house is at 6713 Clover Ct in Carlsbad, CA. There are excellent ocean views from both levels, where the living/dining/kitchen enjoy it through a very large sliding glass door, and the master bedroom enjoys it through a window. The current owners only needed one bathroom upstairs, so they combined the existing two bathrooms into one spacious one. This video provides several alternative methods whereby a new owner can convert the bathroom back into two, so that each bedroom can have its own bath. The listing agent is Ramon Maldonado, lic# 01920346.

NOTE: I am not an investment advisor; these are just my comments and opinions. Always do your own research before making investment decisions.

Edward Albert Borlenghi (Ted), 01930536; Pacific | Sotheby’s International Realty, 01767484

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Open House with on-the-fly 2nd story addition design

VIDEO: During today's open house, I modeled the rough exterior existing conditions and generated a couple design schemes for a second story addition. In its present state, the home is 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and was built in 1978. The lot is almost an acre, there is a pool, and room to build a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). There are wonderful southern views from two of the bedrooms, the living room and dining room. The location is the Olivenhain region of Encinitas, California. Listing Agent: Patti Gerke Lic 01386269.

Edward Albert Borlenghi (Ted), 01930536; Pacific | Sotheby’s International Realty, 01767484

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A Floating Loft in Amsterdam
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From the Sotheby’s International Realty blog

For land-scarce metropoli like New York, architectural innovations tend to scale vertically: without a place to spread outwards, development takes to the skies. Meanwhile, in Amsterdam, innovation can be found at sea. A district of water homes located on a string of artificial islands adjacent to the city’s historic canals feels distinctly Dutch: dubbed the WaterWonen project (translates literally to living in water), modern houseboats are moored at a harbor conceived by Danish architecture firm Monteflore (responsible for designing one of the city’s most luxurious hotels). The independently-sailing vessels include homes—like this spacious steel converted cargo ship—that invite guests to come down out of the clouds and enjoy the delights of open water.

Originally built in 1962, this Kempenaar ship has been completely transformed into 250 square meters of floating loft space. The entrance, located in the ship’s original wheelhouse, opens up into a spacious study that feels equal parts boutique hotel lobby, luxury spa, and remote cabin in the woods. If it weren’t for views of Steigereiland across the water, you’d never know you weren’t on land. Though this buoyant pied-à-terre certainly feels more house than boat, don’t let its luxe interiors fool you; it operates with a fully-functioning Iveco motor.

The handsome and spacious living room features a custom wood burner, flanked by low-profile mid-century modern furniture and complemented by in-floor heating—the very epitome of hygge. At the back of the ship, the former cabin holds the master bedroom and ensuite. With furniture made from Azobe wood salvaged from the ship’s cargo hold, the cabin is a calming place to rest after a day spent exploring all that Amsterdam has on offer.

When it comes to attracting visitors, this home is sure to be in demand. Two guest bedrooms designed with dark walls and natural wood details feel like a minimalist spa retreat, with porthole windows deepening the sense of place. With an open-concept kitchen, induction cooker, dishwasher, and two refrigerators, entertaining is effortless. And an enormous table made from reclaimed wood is the perfect place for dinner parties, where the conversation and jenever (traditional liquor of the Netherlands) is sure to flow.

Docked in the marina-like setting of Cas Oorthuyskade and part of a development of 34 independent water homes located on the IJburg’s artificial islands, the boat is easily reachable by car, and is just a short 12-minute tram ride away from the breweries, restaurants, and coffee shops of central Amsterdam. Those looking for a leisurely day trip can take a 10-minute sail to Pampus, a manmade island and fortress originally built between 1887 and 1897 to defend Amsterdam in case of war. Or inspect other notable architectural feats at the World Architecture Festival, taking place in the city from November 28–30, 2018.

Houseboats provide unique rewards for those who choose to call them home: a rewarding sense of connection to nature, a romantic escape from the crowds, and the chance to captain your own ship. Few other forms of housing come close to capturing their sense of freedom and adventure.

For more images, hit the link at the top of this post.

Edward Borlenghihouse, boat, amsterdam
Open House with on-the-fly Kitchen Redesign

This 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in Carlsbad was built in 1986. It has approximately 1700 square feet, a view of the mountains in the distance, and has a quiet and peaceful backyard. While doing the open house, I decided to remodel the kitchen. This video includes high-speed modeling on sketchup to recreate the existing conditions and generate 3 new design schemes. Listing Agent: Vincent Morris, Pacific Sotheby's International Realty.

Edward (Ted) Borlenghi, 01930536; Pacific | Sotheby’s International Realty, 01767484

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The coming Blockchain revolution in Realty

“The real estate industry is massive and slow-moving, especially with regard to technology,” said Edward (Ted) Borlenghi, realtor and architectural designer at Pacific Sotheby's International Realty in the Greater San Diego area. “From my standpoint, ShelterZoom is the right company with the right platform at the right time. They have addressed the major pain points suffered by real estate professionals and consumers alike – security, transparency and efficiency among them – in a truly innovative way.”

From Business Wire:

Video of the Week - Queensland

From the Sotheby’s blog:

Commanding a world-class position with breathtaking river vistas is this trophy residence of architectural mastery and unsurpassed luxury. Holding pride of place amongst West End’s blue ribbon enclave of elite homes, it evokes magnificent grandeur through its distinctive curvilinear design, fluid layout and elevated views of Brisbane’s riverfront pervading all interior spaces.

Meticulously designed by L T Design architects, and built by award-winning developers, Tabrizi Home Builders, the result is a triumph of design and craftsmanship with a purity of form that is both ageless and noble. Every element both internally and in the private gardens has been hand crafted and curated. The world’s most elegant materials have been transformed into functional works of art by the best of international and local artisans.

51 Orleigh Street offers prestigious riverfront positioning, an incomparable and irreplaceable lifestyle, whilst conveniently located within immediate proximity to West End Village, just minutes from the CBD, exclusive schools and transport.

Edward Borlenghi
Open House - October 20-21, 2018 - La Costa Area

VIDEO: Open House October 20 and 21, 2018. La Costa Avenue, just east of El Camino Real. This home sits on the golf course at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, CA. Wonderful views of the fairway from the living area and master suite. The master bath includes a whirlpool tub and sauna. $749,900-$799,900. 2 beds, 2.5 baths, 2002 square feet.

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Development Proposal Design - South Coast Hwy

This is a collection of three different design schemes for an apartment or condo development. The seller of the land would not come down in price sufficiently to make the project pencil as apartments, which was the original desire instead of condos. Real estate development can trigger a street improvement requirement that can certainly cause total construction costs to increase to a degree to which the project becomes entirely unfeasible.

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Beach Access Controversy while Erosion Threatens Pathway

Adequate and safe beach access is absolutely imperative when you live in a beach community, especially if there is a cliff standing between the road and the sand.

There is talk about improving the beach access at Beacon's Beach in Encinitas, but as you might expect both community opinion and municipal bureaucracy cause final decisions to be dragged into the future. This indeed is appropriate because both components are essential. In the meantime, hopefully further erosion doesn't result in neither an injury nor total failure of the existing beach access.


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Concerns about displaying Public Records

Now that I am approaching the double digits with respect to creating my youtube video series that I currently call Real Estate Reviews, I began to wonder what recourse there might be if a property owner, or seller, could complain to me about their contact information showing up in a video.

My initial assumption was that I’m free to access the information for my videos because, after all, they are public records… not private records. But I wanted to do a bit of research to see what Mr Google might have to say about the matter.

The first thing I found was: - “Can your website be sued for publishing public records?” The following quote from the article indicates that the court recognizes that public records are indeed public and can be published on a website:

“In the suits, Eng claimed that his personal information, including name and address, are private and cannot be published or shared online, even though they were part of his own public court filings. TechDirt and PACERMonitor were only making available public documentation from Eng’s own lawsuits against another author when they were sued the first time. These lawsuits were quickly dismissed by Judge Eric N. Vitaliano of U.S. District Court in New York.”

The second thing I found was: - “It’s Creepy, But Not Illegal, For This Website To Provide All Your Public Info To Anyone.” The following quotes are significant:

“And it’s inevitable because public records are, well, public, Tien continued. All that public records data is, every day, easily and readily available to police, governments, marketers, and even journalists. Millions of employees at thousands of public and private entities can, usually through paid means, quickly assemble profiles and dossiers about basically anyone.”

“By merely existing in this world, you are going to continue to generate records. Your life, legally lived, is traceable. Your information is known and recorded, and what can be put in a database can be accessed. Until or unless the law changes in a significant way, nothing is going to alter that.”

And, “Tien is right that FamilyTreeNow is just the messenger — and as far as he or we could tell, it’s not in violation of existing law.”

The third thing I found was: which has a very straightforward query that links an address you provide to the name of the person associated with it. So anybody who sees a home for sale on a site like redfin or zillow can simply type the address of the home in and come up with a name.

Therefore, I can now rest easy that my Real Estate Review videos are not in any way not complying with law. As the “creepy” article stated, until there are changes to the law, public records will remain public… for any eyes to see. If you happen to be someone whose name turned up in a video, I’m sorry if it unnerved you. The existing system is the framework, and that’s what I aim to stay within.

Complications with Newland Sierra Project, North County

Developers spend remarkable amounts of time and effort organizing new projects, only to be stumped by preservationists. Indeed, we MUST preserve our beautiful land and restrict the destruction of natural earth. At the same time, there is a housing crisis in Southern California. So how can we solve this dilemma? That’s complicated and will be an issue for years.

The Newland Sierra Project in North San Diego County will serve as a marker along the path, and perhaps help serve as precedent going forward. What the results will be, only time will tell. Here are some key excerpts from the article:

“Lawyers for two parties seeking to halt the county’s approval of a North County housing project say they will ask a Superior Court judge on Monday to hold the county in contempt of a court order issued earlier this week unless they postpone the vote.”

“The Sierra Club and the Golden Door spa sued the county to prevent the Board of Supervisors from granting a General Plan Amendment to the Newland Sierra development, contending the project violates the Climate Action Plan (CAP).”

“Newland Communities, the developer of the proposed 2,135 home master-planned project that would be built just west of Interstate 15 and North of Deer Springs Road north of Escondido, maintains the stay and injunction ordered by Taylor does not apply to their request.”

“Groups opposed to other controversial North County projects such as Lilac Hills Ranch in Valley Center and Warner Ranch in Pala have also sent letters to the county, asking it to honor the injunction and postpone those hearings now scheduled tentatively to be heard in December.”