Anthony Residence is a mid-century 1960’s single-story ranch house that has been re-imagined by DesignARC, located in Montecito, California. Inspired by the architect’s Greenworth House, the owners desired a fresh take on their out-dated, well-worn Montecito residence. Hailing from Toronto Canada, the couple is at ease in urban, loft-like spaces; and, looked to create a pared-down dwelling that could become their home.
As a remodel, the objective was to re-configure the extant floor plan completely beneath the existing roof. Re-establishing organization to the interior layout, the strategy connected all spaces to the outdoors–large pocketing sliding glass doors on either side of the Family Room, create an open-air breezeway out of what was once a dark and secluded room. Continuous ridge skylights bring natural illumination into the center of the house, and work to further erase the boundary between inside and out.
The minimalist palette consists of essentially three materials: smooth-trowelled plaster, cementitious panel, and fumed-oak floors. With a color scheme of “one white” paint, the space is a polite backdrop to the vibrant relationship the family enjoys with the outdoors, and the mild Santa Barbara climate.
Photos: Jim Bartsch Photography
The Squam Residence is a custom family home recently completed by J. Brown Builders, located on Nantucket, an island 30 miles south of Cape Cod, in the American state of Massachusetts. Nantucket is at once town and country, and one of the greatest gifts it gives us is the reminder that one need not always escape completely from the urban idea to find rest and ease. Nantucket island has a set of fairly rigid design controls. You cannot build as you please on Nantucket; houses must have pitched roofs, not flat ones, and they must be covered in unpainted shingles, which weather to a soft gray once they have survived their first Nantucket winter. The rules do not require that contemporary architecture precisely duplicate the old cottages that make up the fabric of Nantucket town and the smaller settlements scattered across the 25 square miles of the island, but they clearly demand a sympathy for the island’s older architecture.
The Squam Residence carries over this traditional exterior architecture, but gives a more modern approach to it’s stunning interiors. The luxurious home is built for entertaining family and friends, with wonderful seating arrangements, a spacious kitchen open to bright living and dining areas and sliding glass doors that brings the outdoors in. Stepping out to the exterior of the home, there is a fabulous landscape surrounding the residence, offering an incredible pool with plenty of patio space and furnishings for entertaining.
Photos: Jeffrey Allen Photography
Story Pool House is an open air pavilion with a living room centered around a swimming pool, designed by architecture studio Lake|Flato, located in Center Point, Texas. The property offers a slice of paradise enveloped by nature, with sensational views over meandering rolling hills.
The pool house is a simple, open air pavilion that serves as a “sunrise to sunset” living room. Created from Texas limestone, steel and wood, the structure provides shade from the hot sun and includes a full kitchen, screened bath, dining space and storage area. A private deck under the vine-covered arbor creates a special space for the Airstream. The cooling effect of the water completes the sense of place in this much-loved oasis.
Lake|Flato fosters a collaborative open studio environment that leverages each person’s passion and unique talents to develop common ownership of award winning design. As architects, teachers, environmental stewards and community advocates, Lake|Flato seeks to foster the education of the next generation of architects. We do this by exuding excellence in our efforts to integrate design and sustainability, through our engagement in civic focused community development.
Photos: Courtesy of Lake|Flato
Designed by BAR Architects, Soda Canyon Residence seamlessly blends into its setting on the side of a canyon that branches off the Napa Valley in California. The client’s vision was to construct a home in which it is hard to tell where the house stops and the landscape begins.
This 13,000 square foot main house occupies one of the last available ridge top sites in Napa Valley with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay to the south, and the length and breadth of the Napa Valley.
The guest house served as a successful testing ground for design ideas used in the main house on the ridge above. Designed to merge into the landscape, the guest house incorporates the use of wood trellises, stone elements and colored stucco that reflect the color palette of the surrounding hills. Limited by local ordinances to 995 square feet of interior space, the plan more than doubles the usable area by adding a covered loggia between the bedroom suites, decks and a courtyard.
Entering the main house, one crosses a rich white Alhambra limestone floor to the living room. Sliding doors reveal a dramatic wrap-around stone-paved terrace, which spills into the game room linking the interior to a second terrace accessing the pool area. A door in the game room reveals a spiral staircase leading down to a 1,750 square foot wine cave. The wine cave is a series of rooms leading out to daylight at a portal, landscaped with planting and a seating area, with views of Mount St. Helena to the north.
Photos: Matthew Millman Photography
This 92 square foot SIP panel, modular, backyard office has been designed by Sett Studio, located in the backyard of a beautiful home in Austin, Texas. The materials used in this outdoor home office are Shou-Sugi-Ban wood siding and Monotread wall sheathing. Burned-wood or charred-wood siding, Shou-Sugi-Ban is Japanese wood treatment used in various elements throughout Sett’s – interior and exterior. Not only does it deliver an attractive aesthetic, the burning also weatherizes the wood, prevents bugs and rot, and has enhanced fire-resistance.
Our signature interior surface, Monotread is a durable, seamless, sustainable material used on floors, walls and ceilings. Milled from OSB (Oriented Strand Board), Monotread is produced from fast-growing, underutilized, inexpensive wood species grown in carefully managed forests. The combination of wood chips allows a unique, monolithic presentation allowing various applications. Durable, seamless and sustainable, Monotread is produced from fast growing, underutilized trash trees. Sett Studio manufactures and sells mono tread in house starting at 14.99 a square foot.
The Sett Studio office is more like a pre-fab house, with a “water and ice shield roof membrane” and Drywall walls and Monotred flooring. You can add upgrades like air conditioning and heat, a built-in desk, stainless steel metal shingles and even planter boxes. You can even add a deck. The company is also working on a solar-powered version.
Waterfall House is a single family residence tucked away in the rolling hills of West Lake, in Austin, Texas, recently completed by Dick Clark + Associates. The home features efficient design and impressive views, a unique single family spec home built to attract a discerning group of potential owners. Though comfortably removed from the thick of the city in the hills of west Austin, the stunning skyline is the most influential factor in the design of the house.
To achieve the ideal view, the house is subtly perched on a raised foundation. The main spaces in the house are located along the eastern facade to have equal access to the skyline views. The seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces of the house is achieved through material continuity, such as the tile floor that flows from inside to out, and through the massive sliding glass doors that open the living, dining, and kitchen spaces to be one with the exterior pool deck. The skyline, as viewed from this open indoor/outdoor space, is dramatically framed by an elegant negative-edge pool that disappears into the hills below.
The love of beautifully detailed architecture, shared by both the builder and the architect, are evident in the carefully executed lines, delicate proportions, and seamless spatial transitions in this high-end Austin home. The site placement of this house blurs the line between city and rural living, a characteristic that Austinites greatly value, just as the design itself softens the divide between interior and exterior.
Photos: Alexander Stross
Patios balance outdoor living at a nearby distance to indoor quarters. You don’t have to get in your car or travel a great distance to relax amidst the great outdoors. However, to optimize the patio experience, one must consider a number of implementations.
It’s time to take that vision of the perfect patio outside of your mind and into the exterior of your home. Here’s how to do it.
As an extension to indoor design, you want the outdoor ambiance to appeal to the naked eye. Purchasing colorful plant containers, placing bold colors (that may not be found naturally) about your yard. Moreover, low-maintenance plants, like lantanas, hibiscus, and scaevola, offer showy and cascading petals and flowers.
Plant multiple entities in one container; for example, place sweet potato vine along with petunias for a contrasting yet complementary effect. Mix sizes and shapes of containers; experts suggest using larger containers as vocal points amid patio furniture and dimensions of the house’s exterior.
Taking design a step further, consider the geographic location and time of year. For example, fiery, red flowers may go well in a sunny, spring setting. The ‘hot palette’ of colors is befitting to the time of year and heat of the sun.
Outdoor fences can be expensive; additionally, depending on the division of property, you may have to ‘share’ the choices of others. For example, a neighbor will erect a fence so that the aesthetic side is facing their yard, not yours. While choosing to put up a fence or not is your respective decision, planting a number of bushes and small trees can improve the sense of privacy in your patio area.
Tree-formed versions of popular shrubs, evergreen trees, and other varieties help emulate the privacy provided by a fence, yet shrubs and small trees are much more pleasant on the eyes than fences.
To complete the ‘feel’ of the outdoors, consider attracting additional animals to your property. Perhaps stray cats and flower-eating rabbits are not on your invite list, yet building a birdhouse to hang by the patio or hanging a hummingbird feeder as well as buying flowers that attract butterflies, add to the enjoyment of sitting outdoors.
Butterfly bush, zinnias, pride of madeira, and verbena are known to attract butterflies; so, you can add plant and animal life to your backyard via one purchase.
Of course, plants, shrubs and flowers enhance the bouquet of smells throughout your patio area but you may want to avoid smells that are too pungent. The following have strong odors attached: privet, female ginkgo tree, stinking hellebore, photinia, carob tree.
Depending on the season and location, your patio area may be great for growing a variety of vegetables. Speak with local farmers and plant stores about what foods are optimal for growing in your specific area. If you’re prone to buying fresh veggies at the store, you’re used to paying high prices.
However, you can add to the physical allure of your patio as well as feed your appetite by arranging a vegetable garden around your property. Free food puts money back in your pocket; visit online sites for additional ideas regarding an affordable patio.
Topiary is the ancient Greek art of trimming shrubs and plants for aesthetic and aromatic benefit. Through time, foliage adopts the definition of living sculptures that owners may modify at whim. Topiary, largely practiced up until the 1700s, fell out of vogue with aristocrats; yet, many commoners continued to modify shrubs and plants for the effect. Today, a number of gardens in Australia and all over host artful and aromatic pieces.
Don’t settle for imagining a grander patio any longer. Devote time to minding the above sentiments and begin enjoying the fruits of your intent’s labor.
About the author: Samuel Wendt enjoys entertaining outside in his patio. An avid blogger and DIY guy, you can find his interesting and informative articles on many blog sites online.
Photo Sources: 1. Penza Bailey Architects, 2. John Kraemer & Sons, 3. Sean Papich Landscape Architecture, 4. Faith Sheridan Design Group, 5. Bohemian Vintage, 6. Casa Smith Designs, 7. BHG, 8. HGTV, 9. Lankford Architecture, 10. AMS Landscape Design Studios, 11. Jeffrey Erb Landscape Design, 12. John Bentley Photographer, 13. Shapiro Didway Landscape Architects, 14. Eddie Rider Designs, 15. Enviroscape LA, 16. Atmoscaper Design, 17. Carl Balton & Associates, 18. Robertas Gardens, 19. Ziger/Snead Architects, 20. Conte and Conte Landscape Architects, 21. Earth Mama, 22. Banyon Tree Landscape Design, 23. The Labyrinth Garden, 24. Harold Leidner Landscape Architects