3 Modern Homes Which Are Rooted Nevertheless Soar

Some houses have exteriors that are layered and light, looking lantern-like at certain times daily. The obverse of the notion is houses with heavy walls that are predominantly solid, rooting the building in place or at least giving the appearance of such. Beyond looks, buildings with materials that are heavy and solid exude existential character by inviting touch and creating intimate spaces that shelter us and our daydreams.

Yet not all significant buildings are cave-like. The three illustrations collected here are rooted in position yet also soaring in spatial openness and in views.

Leicht Küchen AG

Belgium
This house, close to the Luxembourg border in Belgium, looks particularly imposing from the road, though the large picture window on the bottom floor and the band of windows over hint at the willingness inside.

Leicht Küchen AG

The rear elevation is the antithesis of the front all glass between the good side walls. The organization of the interior — two walls parallel to the side walls — is apparent from this viewpoint, where each big window is a glimpse into a separate area; it is like a cutaway section of a house.

Leicht Küchen AG

Here’s the view from the kitchen to the ground floor to the backyard. The lines of the kitchen island and drop ceiling parallel those of the pool outside, reinforcing the direction of the view. Notice how the silicon glazing of the glass opens up the opinion substantially by removing vertical framing members.

B+g design inc..

Colorado
This house, near Denver, is made of airplanes of concrete and metal panels. In particular, the former and its tough texture give the house a weighty presence.

B+g design inc..

The concrete extends to parts of the interior, including this hearth. It helps to give the house some solidity, but this view hints at the views beyond the house.

B+g design inc..

When many elevations utilize glass walls to frame views of the hills, it is on the roof that the combination of rooted and towering occurs. This seating area — alongside a fire, beneath a patio and with a gorgeous view — could easily be my favourite place in the house.

Studio Schicketanz

California
A house need not be covered in rock or constructed of concrete to become massive and rooted in place. This wood-clad house near San Francisco does so by being bermed to the landscape.

Studio Schicketanz

Here we can see the grass on the roof over, but in addition the massive glass walls forming either side of what’s the living area.

Studio Schicketanz

Indoors, under the undulating roof, we could see why full-height glazing is utilized. The doorways are in a less-than-ideal location relative to the seating area, but they do provide simple access to the patio.

Studio Schicketanz

The bedroom can be graced with full-height glazing and a corner window. With the Pacific horizon, it’s easy to forget how closely stitched the house is to the landscape.

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Modern Features Join Period Details in Toronto

This welcoming 1905 Arts and Crafts–style home once belonged to two elderly brothers who had never remodeled during their decades of possession. When bought by architects Ginger Sorbara and Douglas Birkenshaw, the century-old home had amazing period details, like a grand stairwell and nice background, that they could blend with more modern components. The couple place to function, extending and modernizing the storied house with a glassy improvement when retaining and relishing its amazing layers of patina wherever possible.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Ginger Sorbara and Douglas Birkenshaw, his daughter and their two sons
Location: High Park/Roncesvalles neighborhood of Toronto
Size: 5,000 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 5 baths

Great Five Lakes

From that vantage point in the end of the backyard, the century-old house and its glassy modern extension look like an island in a sea of green. However in need of landscaping, the inviting backyard supplies opportunities for outdoor dining and play.

Great Five Lakes

The rear extension’s floor-to-ceiling windows create a glass block that overlooks a big wooded ravine lot. Sorbara confined her silk-upholstered living area furniture to a cream wool rug so the set seems to float on the dark walnut flooring.

While there were numerous late nights renovating, working collectively on their family home was a simple collaboration for this couple. “We wanted it to be the best it may be; there was no room for ego or being right,” says Sorbara.

Furniture: Knoll

Great Five Lakes

Graphic, scientific and fine arts objects occupy a low bench running along one side of the living room. Sunlight pours through the sails of a version.

Great Five Lakes

The extension also features a modern fireplace plus a custom crosscut Eramosa rock mantel. Sorbara designed the wall to protrude and to shelter the rock.

Great Five Lakes

The kitchen flows down into the dining area, since the original house was previously grade. Thoughtfully mismatched chairs surround the table.

Great Five Lakes

In the kitchen, spacious shelves hold a range of treasured objects, including two lifesize felt rabbits around the upper shelf. The kitchen and main floor hall cabinetry is made from rift-cut walnut. Sorbara’s uncle and cousin — John and Dylan Barlow — did all of the millwork in the home.

Great Five Lakes

A multifunctional cutout on the left side of this kitchen offers sitting space, a perfect framework for flowers and art, and a glance in the home’s original Arts and Crafts staircase.

The home opens to a broad, classic front hall, with the original pocket doors resulting in the original drawing room on the right side.

Abigail Pugh

Sorbara had the storied interior recorded when the couple moved in. The pictures, shot by photographer Greg Pacek and Sorbara, were displayed at the Toronto’s Telephone Booth Gallery in an exhibition titled Call Home: Domestic Narratives. The photographs, combined with documentation of chosen missing items from the last homeowners, such as film stills and family snapshots, were published in a book that accompanied the display.

Pacek’s prerenovation photographs look in every remodeled room. This particular image, capturing yellowing oil-painted partitions and dim wood ceiling accents, is of the front room, which now serves as the kitchen.

Great Five Lakes

The original stairwell — the backbone of this house — unifies the three tales. Sorbara deliberately left the stairway as untouched as possible, letting its dark timber and hefty form comparison with the home’s blank white walls.

Great Five Lakes

These pale wood sliding doors beyond the master bedroom offer a stunning framework to the landing and staircase. The children’s bedrooms, a toilet and a guestroom are located to the left and right of this half-story rise pictured here.

Great Five Lakes

The 2 sons wanted to keep sharing a room when they moved into this new residence. Their bedroom space has a bed large enough for both of these, so each night is a sleepover. The room has plenty of wall storage in stylish plywood cross sections.

Great Five Lakes

Upstairs, Sorbara’s open-layout office space features heat-treated oak floors and alternately serves as a hive of activity for the boys and her harbor.

Great Five Lakes

A lengthy custom-built cabinet runs beneath one side of the roof. Colorful Plasticine clay testifies to just how much the 2 boys love here.

Since the house is on a ravine, the couple’s application to reestablish was initially turned down. “We needed a one time opportunity to consider and reconsider the drawings,” says Sorbara. This resulted in a beautiful coincidence of timing: The licenses came through 100 years to the day after the initial construction permits for the house were accepted. Pictured here is your building permit the couple eventually got for your renovation.

Photo courtesy of Ginger Sorbara

Great Five Lakes

The welcoming Edwardian exterior of the house is semitimbered from the Tudor revival style. The residence sits on a gorgeous 200- by 50-foot great deal near the peak of a little mountain, surrounded by huge sculptural old oak and maple trees.

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8 French Farmhouse Dining Rooms Worth Lingering In

The French adore high-quality dining — but the caliber doesn’t start and finish with the meals; it’s about the whole dining experience. Long, leisurely foods are developed for spending some time over great wine and food with family, friends and their kids. My mum’s side of the family is French, and also my parents tell stories of foods in France of eight or 10 little courses over a period of five hours or so.

You may or may not buy into the more relaxing eating rate of the French, but you can’t resist the casual charm of this French farmhouse dining area fashion. Lovely rustic farmhouse dining tables and linens, fairly wild flowers gathered from the backyard and casual mismatched plates and bowls have a wonderfully casual and intimate feel.

Take a peek at those French farmhouse–fashion dining places to inspire your very own delicious fresh dining experience at home — perhaps you’ll want to linger a little longer.

Mustard Seed Interiors

Blue and white French chic. A white and blue colour palette is quite common in French layout. Use the classic white and blue French lines in odd ways, such as on upholstery for Provençal-style chairs or on a casual tablecloth.

Continue the shades of blue round the area with white and blue floral drapery, cabinets in soft shades of blue and art using blues. Add some heat with natural woods.

Add fine finishing touches to a table with alloy chasers under plates, simple pieces of fruit plus a jar of mixed wildflowers.

Dreamy Whites

Bright and airy with antique-style accessories. French style frequently comprises a classic or two, or cheaper Provençal-style chairs like these. Paint them fresh white for a classic look or have fun and use a more modern colour. A simple, delicate crystal and iron chandelier adds some glamour to a rustic area. This weathered grandfather clock (although more Swedish than French style) adds to the rustic appeal.

That I really like this simple table setting which uses java cups as little vases. Purple is quite common in French florals — attempt mixing lavender with yellow daffodils.

To keep everything bright and airy, paint the walls . Flood the area with natural light by using simple white sheers and prop up an oversized mirror to assist bounce light around the room.

Yvonne McFadden LLC

Warm, earthy tones. For a more sophisticated sense, use a palette of bright, earthy tones. This chamber just needs to hug you.

Banquettes are a great way to mix up dining seating, and they will be able to let you squeeze in just one more aunt or uncle at the table.

Straightforward linen seat covers in muddy colours add texture. Insert some organic patterned throw cushions for a more comfy seat and freshen the space with some unfussy green flower arrangements in terra-cotta pots.

Dreamy Whites

Fresh and diverse. Attempt a mismatched flea market style for something collected and relaxed. Paint the walls a soft grey and keep the trim white and clean. Paint wooden chairs at a washed-out colour (such as this distressed sage green) and display collected trinkets and flea market finds round the room. Display pretty vintage seltzer bottles colored glass with drinking glasses onto a simple tray, ready for an informal afternoon drink.

When you have soft furnishings, help them blend into your strategy by covering them in white sheets, and throw in a burlap accent cushion or two.

Dreamy Whites

Use soft shades of lavender. Create your very own purple haze of Provence lavender fields by putting simple purple flower stems in antique lavender glass bottles. Take it a step farther by badger amazing water (Perrier of course!) With abundant purple berries, such as blueberries or blackberries.

Keep it simple and unfussy. This chamber is simple and unfussy — the epitome of French farmhouse style. Re-create this look by using a palette of white and biscuit, then adhere to the basics.

Keep materials down to a minimum — attempt a table setting with white crockery and linens, white candlesticks in pewter candelabra or solitary candlesticks and a galvanized jug to maintain simple white flowers

Red and white gingham checks. With organic green walls, white and red gingham can make a very typical French café look. This is a nice, comfy color scheme for a relaxing evening meal.

Aim to get a palette of white and red checkered cloths for your drapes or blinds, natural pine country-style tables and chairs, and seat covers in striped red, green and cream cloth. I adore these French-style cockerel cushions, too.

Search for paintings or images of fruit — like those red apples — and a classic black and white clock. A bowl of genuine fruit can also be very welcoming. Last but not least, add a vase of bright yellow flowers, such as sunflowers, as a final bright touch.

Dustylu

Layer white on white on white. Plenty of white on white really brightens up any space. Begin by whitewashing all of your furniture and walls. Subsequently coat white textiles, utensils, plates and seat covers. Display an assortment of white crockery in open cabinets and soft-color flowers — like those pale pink hydrangeas — at a white enamel jug to get a rustic finishing touch.

More:
8 Parts of a Farmhouse Kitchen

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A Coastal Cottage Delights at a Wealth of White

Interior designer Molly Frey did not always love the design of this cabin. Before the renovation, Frey recalls that the home has been a “designer’s worst nightmare” — a split-level floor plan with multiple, disconnected staircases and disjointed rooms. “The first things I did were reconfigure the rooms, open walls up, build a central stairs and create a functional flow between distances,” she states.

The designer layered in elegant decor inspired by the expansive ocean, sky and sand. “I love that this summer home has an air of sophistication. The cabin evokes a casual-chic sense of the household while they visit in the summer, but it’s also elegant enough for dinner parties and entertaining guests,” says Frey.

in a Glance
Who holidays here: A couple and their 3 kids
Location: Marblehead, Massachusetts
Size: 4,800 square feet; 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths

Molly Frey Design

Frey built a custom made stage to the 11-foot model sailboat from the entry and surrounded it with built-ins for extra storage space. But initially, the boat’s height posed a challenge.

“We moved the front door to a new location and produced a two-story entryway that is open to both the living room [foreground] and household room ]backdrop) — the most ideal location for the vessel screen,” Frey says.

The stairs visually opens the cabin and makes its different parts available to one another. Frey augmented the space economically, and the design — that started off as a nightmare — turned into a feature that the designer along with her clients came to adore.

Molly Frey Design

Frey opened up exactly what she describes as closed-off and dated rooms on the ground floor by eliminating a wall separating the rooms. She maintained the structural wall’s aid poles but incorporated them into custom cabinetry, therefore adding storage to the kitchen side and paneling detail (not visible) on the living room side.

Molly Frey Design

Molly Frey Design

White keeps the space looking as clean and crisp as a freshly ironed shirt at the eat-in dining area and the kitchen. Beadboard paneling provides a quaint, cottage appeal to the kitchen, contrasting well with the sleek marble countertops and stainless steel appliances.

Slipcovered armchairs by the window, throw pillows from cool coastal colors and inviting chairs lend a casually chic sense to the living room. Sunlight floods the distance by the surrounding windows.

Molly Frey Design

Molly Frey Design

In the living area is a great case of TV styling with wires and unsightly wires out of sight. The built-in offers drawers for a DVD player and media storage, and bamboo shades decrease glare on the track.

Molly Frey Design

The guest package’s reading corner welcomes day nappers. Framed cubes, a cushioned seat and a sandy colorway of khaki and white encourage guests to put their feet up and stay awhile.

Molly Frey Design

A dressed-down four-poster canopy bed feels completely suitable for the coastal setting of this vacation home, don’t you believe?

Molly Frey Design

The household entertains guests over the duration of their stay in the summertime, so incorporating additional sleeping places was crucial.

“We made great use of this space by adding daybeds and beds at nooks where guests could sleep comfortably while seeing. These spaces were designed to be more quaint, unique spaces that add character to the house in addition to being functional,” says Frey.

Molly Frey Design

Clad in a cooling colour of olive oil, the guest bathroom feels bright and airy. A tree gives colour and some solitude to the window-side bath.

Molly Frey Design

The master bedroom appears the only high-flair note in the house, with a mini Florentine chandelier perched above shabby chic furnishings and a casually made bed.

Molly Frey Design

Frey augmented the seafaring theme from the boy’s room with nautical flags along with a navy blue loft-style bunk mattress.

Molly Frey Design

Labeled wicker bins corral toys, making arranging and cleanup a cinch after a day of play.

Molly Frey Design

Personalized hooks offer an easy way for kids to hang their moist towels and clothing from the mudroom.

Molly Frey Design

The designer thinks she was meant to accept this project. After closing on their cabin, Frey’s clients arrived from California eager to hire a designer and clutching pictures of a home they saw at a magazine.

“They chatted with a friend who watched the photos and recognized the house immediately. It was my home,” says Frey, “just down the road from this cabin.”

More Tours:
Clean-Lined and Casually Coastal

A Summer Beach House Charms and Welcomes

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9 Modern Prefabs You've Got to Watch

For quite a while, the term “prefab” had about as much architectural cachet as “double-wide” or “trailer park” But about a decade ago, that changed when a couple of gifted architects, engineers and designers started making beautiful, modern, eco friendly homes. Really houses, really.

It was a prefab revolution.

While they’ve become a great option for anybody considering building a home or adding an outbuilding, there are still many misconceptions about prefabs, both positive and negative.

If you are thinking of going prefab, here’s some stuff you need to understand:
They aren’t necessarily less expensive than traditional structure. Along with the actual house, you need to consider any site preparation and the base . Placing a prefab on anything besides a set lot can get expensive fast. They aren’t allowed everywhere. Many jurisdictions do not want them. It is a leftover bias from the pre-prefab-revolution era. But there you have it. They aren’t cookie cutter. At the same time you do picked from a bundle of choices, and each version has a set layout, there are a variety of approaches to personalize prefabs, based on the organization you’re working with. Everything from the amount of bedrooms into the amount of tales to the type of tile is left up to you. You can’t order the home and then put it up yourself with a few friends. The whole process requires professionals, and you’ll have to employ a contractor accustomed to prefabs to manage it all. Complications aside, they signify a wonderful mix of form and function, of thinking beyond the box and pushing design and architecture to work for individuals, the environment and the community. I am a little in love. Here’s the reason why.

Sett Studio

I have long fantasized about having a prefab plopped down in my backyard to function as a workplace. This 92-square-foot beauty is by Sett Studio.

Marmol Radziner

This is a customized desert home by Marmol Radziner Prefab, one of the leaders in contemporary prefab. It has established also the ability and designs to make a home that was fully customized.

Blu Homes now owns Michelle Kaufman’s prefab designs, such as the Breezehouse along with the Glidehouse. Its fixed-pricing includes everything but the website preparation, and unlike many other prefab companies, this company has its own mill.

Stillwater Dwellings

A two-story prefab by Stillwater Dwellings in Seattle. Stillwater’s fixed-price packages revolve around energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

This contemporary three-bedroom, two-bath prefab from Resolution: 4 Architecture isn’t what most men and women think of when they hear “Vermont cabin”

Resolution: 4 Architecture

You do not require a wide-open space. Many prefabs, like the Bronx Box by Resolution: 4 Architecture, are designed for urban infill.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

Here’s the deck of the Bronx Box.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

Open interiors, multiuse spaces and a connection with the outside are signatures of most modern prefabs.

Method Homes

Clean lines, minimalist stuff and a lot of lighting are another frequent characteristic of modern prefabs. This one is by Method Homes.

Izumi Tanaka Photography

The open kitchen in the C6, a renewable prefab home by LivingHomes in Santa Monica, California.

Izumi Tanaka Photography

The living room — open into the kitchen — of those C6.

More:
Creating Prefab Work for All

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Renovated 1950s Family Home in Texas

Originally a dim, wood-paneled and closed-off area, this house in Dallas was bought by Ryan and Paulette Bock, who had big plans in mind. The typical 1950s layout was not conducive to their lifestyle, so they ready for a complete remodel. “We’re determined to turn this midcentury-style house into something special,” Paulette says.

Comfort and simplicity were vital for this particular fun-loving and laid-back couple. “I enjoy things that make me feel good, and that is what drove the design,” she says. So with Ryan serving as the general contractor, and with the assistance of architect and friend Keith Weik, the two created their dream house.

in a Glance
Who lives here:
Ryan and Paulette Bock, infant daughter Ava, cat Jade and dog Hannah
Location: Preston Hollow area of Dallas
Size: 2,400 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths

Kara Weik

When the couple bought the home, walls enclosed each room. “We tore down walls and added all new trim, crown molding, casing and doorways,” Paulette says. Now their dining and living area has one great spacious layout.

The dining table is one of Paulette’s most significant scores, given to her by a friend.

Chandelier: West Elm; dining seats: Overstock.com; Paint: Polar Star,Valspar

Kara Weik

The kitchen was gutted and remodeled into a bright and spacious area. “Now it is one of our favourite rooms,” Paulette says. “We handpicked everything, and it is the center of the home.”

“We’re always in here,” Ryan adds. “So it was important for us to make it our own.”

Paulette made the curtains over the kitchen sink out of a Target shower curtain. “I looked for a cool layout, and because the cover of the drape was already complete, all I had to do is cut it in half and correct the length,” she says.

Kara Weik

Ryan calls the cupboards over the refrigerator”Paulette’s graveyard.” She says,”I have made mistakes before once I attempted to step out of my comfort zone with colour and pattern, only to quickly retire those things to my graveyard.”

All of the kitchen appliances, such as a double oven, a wine fridge, a microwave (on the opposite side of this island) and a commercial refrigerator and freezer, are out of Frigidaire.

Pendant lighting: Lowe’s

Kara Weik

Glass doors from the great room lead into a new house office area, which had been a formal dining area.

Kara Weik

Your home office is next on their list of upgrades. Light gray, whites, greens and neutrals are all Paulette’s favourite colours and are observed within this area and throughout the house. “I could roll around in sea-foam green,” she says.

Desk, console, storage tower: Crate & Barrel; desk chair: Sam’s Club; art: World Market; Paint: Smoke Infusion, Valspar

Kara Weik

One of the couple’s main challenges was the prior mudroom, they renovated to a powder room. The first floor was a concrete slab that sloped away from the home. They replaced the concrete using a wood-framed subfloor to tie it into the rest of the home.

They also found a false ceiling in the present mudroom, so that they added nine classes of brick into the wall to bring it into the new ceiling level.

Sconces, mirror: Home Depot; dressing table: Nadeau; sink: Kohler

Kara Weik

Originally, the entire living room was had wood paneling.

Sectional: Macy’s; ottoman: West Elm; painting: Z Gallerie

Kara Weik

Paulette and Ryan removed all the timber paneling, replaced the millwork (one unit utilized to function as a gun rack), painted the mantel and fireplace surround a bright white, and utilized dark gray as a dramatic accent.

“We redesigned the bookshelves to possess an inset cabinet door, similar to our kitchen,” Ryan says.

Lounge seats: Crate & Barrel; lamp, wire side dining table, fireplace accessories: Dulce Consignment; brick paint: Stone Mason Gray, Valspar

Kara Weik

Kara Weik

Paulette designed Ava’s nursery and considers it one of their newest splurges. “I started off needing her entire nursery to add colors of cream and white, because I needed it to mimic a hot tub,” she says. She layered in vibrant accents while still making the room feel calm, relaxing and girly.

Ava likes to wear tutus, which add colour to the small fashionista’s cupboard.

Chandelier: Lamps Plus; crib: Burlington Coat Factory; rocker: Pottery Barn Kids; paper lanterns, crib mattress: Etsy

Kara Weik

“I believe her room turned out perfect for our perfect baby girl,” Paulette says.

She swapped out the present hardware on a Hemnes Ikea dresser with pretty pink ones found at Target. The”Ava” wall decal was custom ordered from Etsy, one of Paulette’s favourite sites to search for the nursery.

Paint: Sweet Leaf, Valspar

Kara Weik

Ava’s bathroom was ready way before she even arrived, including the cotton-candy-pink tile. The couple chose not to renovate this original bathroom.

Paint: Seashell Gray, Valspar

Kara Weik

Paulette gets her eyes on replacing their present bedding with the Soho collection from Natori. “It is glamorous, chic, relaxing, calm and flirty, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired or bored with the routine,” she says.

The master bedroom is one of their dog’s favourite rooms. She loves sleeping almost every night on a seat from Dallas consignment shop Dulce.

Bed, nightstands, tall dresser: Bassett Furniture; lamps: Target; paint: Pewter Tray, Behr

Kara Weik

The master bathroom was gutted so that the couple could start their design using a blank slate. They chose an all-white palette, adding new cabinets and an Arabescato marble countertop. Remnant bits from the Arabescato marble slab were utilized from the window sills flanking the mirror and as a transition strip on the threshold of the bathroom entrance.

Accessories: Target, Pier 1 Imports; sconces: Lightology;
Paint: Wave’s Crest, Valspar

Kara Weik

To conserve space using their new glass shower surround, then the original door was replaced with a pocket . Travertine tile laid in a brick pattern and trimmed to 12 by 16 contrasts against a mosaic tile accent wall.

Tile: Daltile; shower machine: Brizo

Kara Weik

Paulette’s solution to Jade’s unsightly litter box was to keep it from sight using a door installed in a utility closet. “Unfortunately, it backfired on us since she’s a 14-year-old ninny who loves the warmth and now spends all her afternoon hanging out from the warm room,” Paulette says. “She comes out in the evenings and when it’s time to go to bed, with Mom and Dad of course!”

Here, you can see Jade exiting her room through a cat door in the pantry.

c: Do you have a creative, modern home? Share it with us!

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Art Influences a Dallas Ranch Overhaul

A stunning art collection and contemporary furniture make their home in this contemporary ranch home in a tree-lined Texas neighborhood. Realtor Kindred Roach and long-time spouse Brett Gray, a public relations executive, were drawn in by the pair of majestic, towering trees on the home’s front lawn and opted to provide the run-down 1953 ranch-style house a comprehensive overhaul.

One year after, the couple eventually moved into their re-created area and are thrilled with their larger, brighter, more organic architecture-inspired residence and, of course, the magnificent trees that surround it.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Kindred Roach, Brett Gray and their puppies, Walt and Angie
Location: Dallas
Size: About 2,500 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The front exterior of this couple’s renovated ranch and 2 of the trees that started it all.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman: Kindred, as a Realtor, have no advice for prospective home buyers?
Kindred Roach: You can always alter a construction. Focus on finding a locality that works for you… whether it is nearby restaurants, affordability, architectural style, schools, access to streets etc..

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The backyard is visible in the front entrance, incorporating the outdoors into the house. The entrance opens into a large, multifunctional area, with a slick sitting room positioned around an indoor-outdoor fireplace. The see-through fireplace is inserted in a handsome wall of black walnut and flanked by a pair of sliding glass doors.

VMD: Who or what inspires your style?
Brett Gray:
We are fortunate to have many fantastic friends with terrific style who always inform and inspire us. We particularly enjoy art, fantastic photography and suitable lighting, which we feel is equally as important, if not more sothan furnishings.

Art above fireplace: Michael Tole; enlarged, triple split-framed print: William Fraser; couch: Crate & Barrel; Barcelona chairs: Design Within Reach; area carpeting: Karastan

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

A stylish contemporary door creates a dramatic first impression in the home’s entryway, which is where the very first item of artwork in the residence is introduced — a contemporary watercolor by Santa Fe, New Mexico, artist Sarah Bienvenu.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The open-concept entry is also the location of this formal dining area. The dining table is a robust piece of round glass atop a custom Inmod wooden foundation.

VMD: When did it actually feel like your home was your own?
KR:
Our home felt very much like our own from the beginning; we’re actively involved in the remodeling plan and design. We have collected art for the past 15 decades, and we believe our art makes the home our house.

Collage on alloy artwork: Debbie Klein; area carpeting: Karastan

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

This dapper step-down den was the home’s garage. Just off the kitchen, it is centered by means of a wall setup of floor-to-ceiling Indian black slate, a dramatic backdrop for the home’s second fireplace plus a built in flat-screen TV. When weather allows, six oversize crank-style windows provide fabulous all-natural light plus a cross breeze.

“Our windows allow excellent lighting at several parts of the day,” says Gray. “The angles and shadows of the mild bring modifications to the rooms, not just throughout the daytime but round the seasons.”

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

A reverse view of this den exemplifies the open layout design with a breakfast/bar area and the kitchen. Indicative of this couple’s new love of minimalism, the understated decoration contains a custom leather sectional, a coffee table and a silk shag rug.

VMD: what’s your design philosophy?
BG:
Until we lived in this house, we were largely traditional/eclectic. We lean towards contemporary, museum-finish walls, fantastic lighting for our art and windows that bring the outdoors inside.
KR: “Less is more” is our newest philosophy. And it is easier to keep.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

In addition to being a Realtor, Roach is also a formally trained chef, and he designed a kitchen meant for doing plenty of cooking. The beautiful and professional-grade area comes with a rich mix of stainless steel, black walnut and soapstone. It is accented by a white penny tile backsplash and a backyard view.

VMD: If you might have four famous people over for dinner, you’d encourage…
BG and KR: Ellen DeGeneres, Warren Buffett, Liz Smith and Kinky Friedman

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Ardent entertainers, the couple installed this pub area in black walnut directly across from the kitchen. The area includes a place for casual dining table on a tulip dining table and scoop chairs from CB2.

VMD: What’s your proudest homeowner second?
KR: We are always pleased when we invite new folks over and they remark positively about the home.
BG: It always surprises people who have seen our previous homes, which have been incredibly different.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

This half bath — a fresh addition to the original two-bathroom house — sits just off the bar area and includes an elaborate floor tiled with mosaic glass in a tasteful sea foam color.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The biggest of the backyard trees (a portion of which can be found in this view in the master bedroom) greatly influenced the remodel. The initial plan called for an expansion of the master bedroom and bath. When the homeowners understood that it required the tree to be removed, they promptly reworked the plan.

Art previously bed: artist and friend Ted Kincaid

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

An expansion of this house was required to make their vision for the master closet and bathroom, and it is the only true modification to the home’s original footprint. The shiny new area includes two floating vanities in black walnut and a generous source of Carrara marble.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The guest bathroom redo resulted in a distinct but equally no-nonsense look, with white contemporary cabinets and a floor of black slate that was Indian.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

An excess bedroom used as an office stands out with its daring, custom green-apple wall shade. “We wanted an energetic, cheerful shade,” says Roach. Even with the eye-catching hue, the space maintains the polished, streamlined tone of the rest of the house.

VMD: Finish this statement:”Our solution to jumble is…”
KR: We despise clutter and don’t have any. We’ve got a garage sale approximately every year. It is very liberating!

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

One of the outside sitting areas includes a ceiling fan, antique ceiling tile art plus a flat-screen TV. It lies under the couple’s latest investment — a built in mosquito misting system.

VMD: Where is your favorite place in your home?

BG: I’d have to mention the outside patio on a nice summer day. Fans turning, fantastic songs, dinner on the grill, friends hanging out in the pool…
KR: Definitely. In the winter, we turn to the fireplace and revel in the patio.

Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Taking full advantage of their large lot, the couple installed a sterile saltwater pool, which they enjoy almost year-round as a result of its mild Texas winters. It is surrounded by a healthful, landscaped yard and a vegetable and herb garden, all of which were they designed and implanted themselves.

VMD: What do you want to do with your home next?
BG: We are done. I honestly can not fathom another home or significant project. After transferring six times, we call this one of our final resting place.
KR: Amen!

Do you live in a creative ranch-style house? Share it with us!

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Cape Cod Style at California

When Julie and Rick Borgens purchased this bluffside home in California’s Orange County, the magnificent ocean view and expansive outside area overshadowed the dull 1970s stucco exterior. But with the help of Todd Custom Homes, Tuvalu Home and R.J. Imports, they were able to redesign the area into a home worthy of its dreamy site. Native landscaping and a luxurious backyard pool helped finish its transformation into a Southern California paradise.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Julie and Rick Borgens and two brothers, ages 19 and 21
Location: Capistrano Beach, Orange County, California
Size: 4,000 square feet; four bedrooms; four baths
That is interesting: The outside dining table was custom-built with additional height so guests can see the ocean while they eat — whales and dolphins often swim by.

Dana Nichols

A teak furniture collection and outside fireplace create a warm setting beside your home’s backyard pool. Julie put glass within an empty drum to generate a dining table which may be full of sand and seashells in summer and pine cones during the vacations. “As the seasons change and it gets chilly outside, we travel from the ocean side of the home to the fireplace around the pool side,” she states.

Driftwood heart and wreath: Tuvalu Home; drum table: R.J. Imports; teak chairs: Patio Outlet

Dana Nichols

The grottolike swimming pool and spa are tucked to the house’s backyard. Orange cape honeysuckle and blue salvia colour the landscape around the pool.

Landscape layout: Jan Houghton, Houghton Design Group

Dana Nichols

Instead of a classic front door, guests enter the property through the backyard gate which leads beyond the pool place.

Dana Nichols

Julie loves to include her favourite accent shade, bright blue, in careful doses so that it doesn’t detract from the home’s decor. She filled buckets with plants and seashells and piled them onto a blue chair to create a charming vignette in this outdoor place.

Wooden chair and bucket: R.J. Imports

Dana Nichols

Creative plant arrangements take the place of conventional art in this home. This six-wreath succulent arrangement in the entryway bridges the exterior with the interior. Lanterns turned terrariums serve the identical purpose in different areas of the home. “Art appeared too expected,” Alter says. “So a lot of people would only waste this space”

Succulent arrangement: The Ivy Guild, Inc

Dana Nichols

The home includes three indoor and outdoor living spaces in total. Doors from this open onto a deck perched high above an unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean. The custom made fireplace surround is made of Canyon Creek stone from the northern Rockies.

Palecek chairs and sofa: Tuvalu Home; stone fireplace surround: Sepulveda Building Materials; TV framework: LCR Furniture and Design, Inc

Dana Nichols

Julie wanted several intimate seating areas within her home rather than one big one. Each is varied enough for entertaining, yet intimate enough for casual living — like this downstairs area. “It’s kind of interesting,” says Julie, “but we do use every area”

Seagrass chairs and menu: R.J. Imports

Dana Nichols

External, a custom-built grill using a huge backsplash offers privacy from the neighbors. Julie’s favorite beachy blue appears in the porcelain vase.

Rick enjoys winemaking, so the couple’s next job is a wine cellar on the lower level, available through a secret door.

Grill: LCR Furniture and Design, Inc..

Dana Nichols

In the kitchen, custom cabinetry hides the refrigerator and microwave. Julie originally envisioned a glistening white kitchen but cabinetmaker Michelle Anderson of LCR Furniture and Design, Inc. advocated this antique-style variation as a suitable match with the mix of walnut and other imported woods through your home. An oversize navy island offers plenty of entertaining and prep area.

Turquoise vases: Tuvalu Home

Dana Nichols

Upstairs in the stairwell landing, an open press room serves as the house’s third living room. The window seat, having a sea view, is one of Julie’s favorite places in the home. The brown leather couch came from Costco, the firm at which Rick has worked for 30 decades.

Glass lamps and drum: Tuvalu Home; master bedroom bed (through the doorway): R.J. Imports; framed artwork: Tuvalu Home; couch: Costco

Dana Nichols

The bedrooms are simple and modest in size compared to the home’s entertainment locations. “Apart from sleeping, we do not hang out in our bedroom a complete lot. No sitting chairs or anything,” says Julie. A mirror, rather than a dresser, makes the space look and feel bigger. This massive piece reflects the ocean view all around the master bedroom.

Paint: Silver Sage, Restoration Hardware; bedding: Pottery Barn; mirror: R.J. Imports

Dana Nichols

The guest room overlooks the pool side of the home, and another massive mirror reflects light.

Mirror: R.J. Imports; lamps, pillows and seashell blanket: Pottery Barn; striped coverlet and blue throw: T.J. Maxx; bed: Urbanism Furniture, Costa Mesa, CA; paint: Silver Sage, Restoration Hardware

Dana Nichols

Glass railings onto the deck framework the ocean view, but the couple found that a regular 36-inch-high dining table wasn’t tall enough to allow diners to see over it. “You’re constantly looking through the railing in the ocean. We had this dining table made at pub height so that we could see over the railing,” says Julie.

Custom bar-height dining table: LCR Furniture and Deisgn, Inc.. ; chairs: Patio Outlet

Dana Nichols

Backyard plants were selected for low water usage, ground-hugging colour and textural interest. Either side of the pathway are landscaped with native plants and succulents such as sedums and aeoniums, dwarf agaves, salvia, California fuchsia, ceanothus and sea lavender. The stone pathway leads to some other firepit down the hill.

Log planter: Plant Depot; landscape layout: Jan Houghton, Houghton Design Group

Do you Reside in a beachfront home? Discuss it with us!

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Serene Cabin Retreat Near Austin

This cozy cedar cabin was originally built as a refuge for Melissa and Mike Wilson. When the opportunity arose to allow them to create this 20-acre property outside Austin, Texas, they understood that it was the perfect feast for their hungry cousins. The creative couple first designed a simple and colorful space to escape and operate in. Now they share their oasis by renting out the space to others, and hope to build yet another vacation rental in their property soon.

at a Glance
Who resides: A vacation home for Melissa and Mike Wilson
Location: Austin, Texas
Size: 1,000 square feet; two bedrooms, 1.5 baths

Kara Mosher

Minimal furniture invites visitors to use the comfy, alternate chairs in the living room. A Costco memory foam beanbag is paired with a cushion for a makeshift cushioned chair.

Kara Mosher

After Melissa first moved to Austin, she stayed at the Hotel San Jose and fell in love with the relaxed, contemporary design. “I’ve followed Liz Lambert’s work and have stayed at all her properties over time,” Melissa says. “Her work really motivated me. I wished to keep the design clean and simple, uncluttered and with a few unique pieces to invite you bring down your heart rate a little. I hope it does.”

Kara Mosher

Mike loves music, so the cottage’s album player (tucked beneath the ladder) is an essential accompaniment to his impressive vinyl library. “I think that it can help to set the tone for the distance. We do not have a TV or phone so it’s great to unplug, lie back, listen to great music and enjoy the warmth and solitude the cabin attracts,” Melissa says.

Sconces: Manuel’s on 5th Street (currently closed)

Kara Mosher

The exterior and interior of the home are produced from a regional species of cedar timber.

Kara Mosher

The couple has hosted everyone from honeymoon and wedding guests to writers needing somewhere to finish projects. The cabin has even been used by musicians working on albums and gearing up for excursion — including bands during Austin City Limits and SXSW.

Kara Mosher

Melissa put her own creative touch on decoration pieces across the area, such as this written reminder:”Discussing does not always improve upon silence.”

Kara Mosher

The simple kitchen is outfitted with stainless steel appliances and custom cedar attributes. Both the countertops and seat are custom made.

Kara Mosher

The couple loves spending time in the floor-to-ceiling cedar space and fun with friends. One of Melissa’s favorite pieces is the dining table Mike designed; it sits against the wall with bench seating. “All you need to do is pull it away from the wall and you’ve got space to have six people for supper,” she says.

Kara Mosher

The cabin’s most important bathroom has a classic claw-foot tub. “A long soak in the bathtub is one of my favorite things I do to relax,” Melissa says. “I make sure we keep relaxing bath salts on hand for all guests to use.”

Kara Mosher

The limited color palette echoes the rest of the cottage’s soothing layout. Melissa used mainly green, giving the distance power and life.

Curtain: Cost Plus World Market

Kara Mosher

Melissa is a therapist also uses a spare bedroom for her very own private counseling practice. She and Mike intend to keep the cabin for a vacation rental and aspire to build yet another unique structure on the house within the next couple of years.

Kara Mosher

Upstairs, the second bedroom is in a spacious yet cozy loft space. A barrel nightstand contributes to the rural sense.

Throw cushions, blankets, nightstand: Pier 1 Imports

Kara Mosher

The downstairs bedroom windows fill the room with soft light, highlighting the colors of the room. Melissa made the light rainbow mosaic-tiled art bit.

Rug, bedding: Cost Plus World Market

Kara Mosher

Melissa and Mike enjoy their saltwater escape is close to downtown but still feels a world away. They recognize that it’s rare to find 20 acres in Austin and feel blessed to have this escape. “We are only 20 minutes away from amazing Hamilton Pool, and down the street from The Salt Lick BBQ and Lady Bird Wildflower Center.”

Kara Mosher

The creative couple’s thoughts aren’t limited to their own rural retreat — they also attend Burning Man each year. They brought the cedar swing set shown in this photo there in 2011. Two musicians at Curious Customs made the lamp hanging out of the swing set.

Kara Mosher

Melissa snagged this birdhouse out of a neighbor who had helped a girl with an amazing birdhouse set clean out her home. “They were just going to be thrown away, so I was able to choose a couple that I loved,” she says.

The weathered wooden picnic seat was salvaged from a local skating rink that needed to get rid of some tables. “I love that it has so much character and several layers of paint,” says Melissa.

Do you have a nation cabin? Show us your property.

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Style In Stereo: Fine Design For Your Media Center

On the lookout for a means to house your music and media equipment? So am I. Whether it’s a vintage stereo console or a new media centre, here is a range of stylish options I’ve gathered.

I’ve been on the hunt for a vintage stereo console or recording player that looks like this cabinet for awhile. A few of those cabinets were designed with so much care that they are unique stand-alone pieces of artwork that can double as either a house for your media equipment and a console table.

Amy Lau Design

If I were to come across a stereo cabinet having a nice shape for this, my goal would be to rehabilitation the device with a few punchy color to give it a mid century kick. On that note, be aware that if you are planning on repurposing a vintage stereo cabinet, you might need to wash out a lot of old technology for example non-functioning record players and tape decks to create room for your new networking technology. You also might need to drill a few holes in the back to accommodate wires.

decordemon

Truth be told, most of the units I am discovering on Craigslist or at thrift shops are of the gaudier laminate selection. I never would have thought to paint 1 cherry red and put in white upholstery to achieve a Regency Glamour look. Now that I am seeing this smart sew paired with the dark paint and white greyhound statuettes, I can see new potential in formerly rejected styles of vintage stereo cabinets.

SBaird Design

By default, I lean towards the Scandinavian wood made stereo cabinets that work so well with today’s modern technology and other contemporary furniture icons. How cute would a tiny unit similar to this appearance with a flat screen TV overhead?

Denise DeCoster Architect

If you enjoy the appearance of a stand-alone cabinet with doors to conceal all your stereo equipment, but don’t gravitate to vintage, an armoire that has been altered with openings for cables and sliding doors for speakers can be just the answer. This stunning gold-leafed beauty is the centerpiece of the living room.

Elad Gonen

Another fairly common solution is a minimalist, simply assembled open cabinet, available at most contemporary furniture shops. I enjoy the simplicity of this solution, but remember that wire management can become unsightly.

Elad Gonen

Another opinion of a similarly engineered cabinet demonstrates how it appears to float on thin metallic legs.

Alexander Johnson Photography

If you are willing to spend some more bucks on a personalized solution, an entire wall unit that incorporates drawers and shelving is best. A low-slung, long flat layout beneath contrasting dark wall is a contemporary approach.

S.A.N Design Group, Inc..

A more conventional built-in unit occupies the entire wall with both proportioned shelves around the top and timeless cabinets across the bottom.

James Cleary Architecture

If your floor plan allows for it, working your built-ins to home media/stereo equipment in under the stairs is a space saving and unconventional route.

FORMA Design

One of my favorite solutions for housing stereo equipment incognito is a small built-in cabinet to both sides of a fireplace. Back in the day, these were used as wet bars or for extra storage, but as more people mount their flat screen TVs above the fireplace, these cabinets are being repurposed to discreetly house AV equipment, with the cables to the TV hidden behind the drywall.

CB2

Grid media console – $499

Some resources for media cabinets include CB2, which delivers this adorable little white oak/white painted steel combo.

DwellStudio

Franklin Media Cabinet – Gold Leaf – $2,685

Dwell Studio has released a brand new line of furniture and also among the standout layouts is this gold-leafed media cabinet. It reminds me of the armoire featured previously.

Urban Outfitters

Draper Media Console – $249

If you can’t find an original vintage stereo cabinet, Urban Outfitters will happily sell you a replica for about precisely the exact same cost or less than the originals go for.

Anthropologie

Illusorio Console – $1,698

Maybe a more rustic conventional version with lots of drawers would be a much better fit in your living room? There is a console out there for every style.

More:
See How TVs Are Passing the Designer Test
Design Dilemma: Where to Place the Media Center?
Fall Premiere Season: Where to Set Your TV

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