Zillow musters up enough courage to tour some of America's most infamous haunted houses. Sure, you may have a fearsome mortgage payment, leaky windows, and the neighbor from hell but at least you aren't visited nightly by the victims of murderess Lizzie Borden, crazed rifle heiress/home builder Sarah Winchester, or the spirit of someone named "Charlie the butler."


Gawker revisits "The Best Four Minutes of Sandra Lee's Ridiculous Halloween Special." Okay, so this has nothing to do with eco-friendly homes but I just couldn't resist. Booze-soaked tablescapes of terror!


Design Crave shares a few pointers on how to ghost-proof your house with a spooky/helpful infographic from CreditSesame. On the list? Paint the porch blue (!), curve your driveway, add a Mezezuah to your door, and ensure your stairs aren't divisible by three. Also key to keeping vengeful spirits at bay? Protecting the northeast corner of the home, an area "especially susceptible to ghost penetration."


The Atlantic grills erstwhile ballerina and Dwell editor Allison Arieff. A must-follow Tweeter and a truly brilliant thinker, Arieff now primarily writes about sustainable design and architecture. She says, "A beautifully designed modern home is very nice for the person living in it but it's not a driver for broad social change even if manifestos are written to that effect. I'm much more interested in what's going on outside the house. What's the neighborhood like? How does the community interact? Is the home energy-efficient? Is there smart thinking about infrastructure? Wastewater mitigation? I may have written about a lot of gorgeous Italian closets and kitchens but not any more."


The New York Times exposes New York City's shortcomings when it comes to recycling (and composting) in an eye-opening piece by Mireya Navarro. Under the direction of despotic city boss Michael Bloomberg, the Big Apple has emerged as a progressively green city boasting plenty of much-hyped environmental initiatives. But as the NRDC's Eric A. Goldstein puts it, "they've treated their recycling operation like the after-school clarinet program." 


Dwell digs Modern Farm Furniture, a small furniture design firm out of Ohio that built the custom furniture for Ohio State's enCore House at this year's Solar Decathlon. Beautiful — not to mention affordable — stuff!


Salon explores the aftermath of the "Put a Bird on It" catchphrase from the IFC sketch comedy show, "Portlandia." Explains Erin Keane: "In the sketch, two improbably named artists, Bryce Shivers and Lisa Eversman, visit a stylish Portland boutique to slap generic bird silhouettes on teapots and vintage suitcases and call it art. Their refrain, 'Put a bird on it!' pointed out just how painfully ubiquitous the bird motif had become. And while the sketch aired nine months ago, it’s still causing angst throughout Etsy, the indie-craft world and among artists, designers and shoppers who are used to setting trends — not being outwardly mocked themselves."


TreeHugger dazzles with the headline: "Crazy Steampunk Philips Kitchen is Powered by Poop Gas."


The Los Angeles Times turns its attention to the Cherokee Lofts, a super-fabulous and super-green (it's the first LEED Platinum building in the Hollywood area) mixed-use project from Brooks + Scapa Architects. Hands-down, the highlight of the building is its facade: "The perforated anodized aluminum panels of the building facades are owner-controlled, allowing the occupant to adjust operable screens that reduce noise, enhance privacy and provide shading while still allowing for spectacular views and natural light and ventilation. The façade is virtually redesigned from within the space, in real time, which in turn promotes a lively streetscape. The façade becomes a live canvas, painted upon daily, moving with the passing cars and people."


Poltergeist house image: Google Maps

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Playing catch up: They're heeere ...
I know, I know ... it's the weekend before Halloween. But set aside that VHS copy of 'Poltergeist' or other homeowner horror film for just a moment to peruse t