The Conrad Residence is a modern property redesigned to maximize views and living space by Swatt | Miers Architects, located in Sausalito, a San Francisco Bay Area city in Marin County, California. The residence was built over the footprint of a 1950’s residence by noted Bay Area modernist Rodger Lee that over the years had suffered irreparable structural damage.
The new design doubles the area of the house to 2,700 square feet while maintaining the original emphasis on the expressive use of wood and the distribution of public and private spaces.
The new design retains the spirit of the original on the exterior and the interior through its expressive use of wood structure and finishes. Strip windows and cedar siding emphasize the horizontality of the design, extending the lines of the house into the site, and helping nestle the house into the hillside.
Post-and-beam construction is used to reveal the structure of the house and articulates the grid upon which is it is base. Tongue and groove cedar soffits visually connect interior spaces to decks and terraces beyond.
Exposed woodwork, concrete, and stainless steel details complete the plan.
Photos: Cesar Rubio
LA House is a modern single family residence just recently designed by Elías Rizo Arquitectos in collaboration with interior designer Kárima Dipp, located in Mexico. Breaking with the norm established by all the houses in the vicinity, the residence recedes a considerable distance from the setback line, to yield a large open space below the tree canopies, a stark welcome gesture.
The main entry into the complex proceeds to an open passageway that runs along a rough-hewn stone wall and postpones the access into the house an additional number of meters. A glazed box containing a studio protrudes from the building. It hovers above a large pond that can be crossed via a series of stone pavers that rise above the water and lead directly into the public areas of the house. The garage, concealed on the other side of the stone wall, compels cars to park sideways so as to render them invisible from any space in the house.
The entry sequence into the building presents a series of layers, starting with the garden space beyond the setback lines, following through the open corridor past the pond, and crossing through the central courtyard all the way to the living spaces at the back of the main building.
A central courtyard scheme was implemented to introduce natural ventilation into every space of the house without compromising privacy. The corridors around the courtyard on the ground floor are defined by a series of operable windows that allow the kitchen and living spaces to bleed out into the exterior, when the weather allows it.
Expanding on the theme of permeability that dominates the ground floor, similar solutions were implemented throughout the living quarters on the second level, to allow for the private, open spaces. Such is the case with the small, glazed atrium that ventilates the master bathroom and the deeply recessed balconies that yield generous exterior areas to all bedrooms.
Dark gray steel, glass, wood, concrete and stone compose the greater part of the material palette throughout the house, wich is complemented by accents in leather and stainless steel. The master bathroom receives a special treatment as it is covered almost in its entirety with white marble.
Crossing the lawn, beyond the living spaces on the ground floor, a pool and a concrete volume containing an entertainment room overlook a small ravine outside of the property. Below this volume a staggered pathway descends gently to negotiate the changes in topography on a pronounced cliff, leading down to a lower landscape area.
Photos: Marcos García
Casa MM project is comprised of two contemporary homes on one property, just recently completed by Elías Rizo Arquitectos, located in Tapalpa, Mexico. Two brothers who owned a considerable stretch of land in Tapalpa approached the architects with the intention of building two separate houses. As they delved into the project´s needs, they realized that both clients had similar needs and while they didn’t mind, and in fact preferred, that the houses share a common language, each one had to convey its own singular personality. The topography of the site imposed its own set of variables that resulted in further slight alterations in the design of each house.
A similar set of priorities was implemented in dimensioning spaces and establishing spatial relationships between functions.
Access to both buildings became a primary concern in our design. Although the entry layout and sequences were mainly driven by function, the clients expressed a desire that entrance into the houses be conceived as an experience in its own right. We then proceeded to articulate the entry modules with their various spaces (mud room, garage, storage, and service quarters) around open courtyards that catch the eye and allow daylight in.
Both buildings are shaped by a need for flexible use of space, and a desire to connect with outdoors. Throughout the houses one finds that a large extent of walls and windows are in fact operable partitions that can be hidden entirely from sight to connect adjacent spaces with kindred functions, or to expose the house to its surroundings.
House A, which was built on the higher part of the property, maintains a more introvert disposition. Its floor plan displays a slight angularity that distinguishes in from B, and all of its spaces are arranged around an open yard. Aside from the master bedroom, which stands off-axis and partially detached from the rest of the house, all dormitories contain a mezzanine level with additional beds.
House B shares to overall layout and spatial sequence of House A, but displays a strict, rectilinear floor plan which looks out beyond the property´s edge. Unlike House A, its dormitories are on a single level.
The exposed steel structure, with its clean lines and its stark geometry, acts as disciplined three-dimensional contour, framing planes and volumes clad in raw texture, which in turn a direct relationship to the building´s natural setting.
Photos: Marcos García
Stylize an accent wall in your home with the alluring warmth and depth of wood, whether you select a gorgeous rustic style or upscale chic. Warm, rich, and timeless, wood has long been a material of choice for floors, trim, and cabinetry. There are numerous ways to enjoy the colors and textures of raw wood in your home, whether you prefer a subtle touch or a full-on feature wall. The colder temperatures of fall and winter inspire gravitating toward warm woods and textures. A wood accent wall is one of those versatile details that looks great just about anywhere, and as the temperatures dip, you will find yourself loving the look of wood in every color and shape. The impact is strong, and layers of texture and warmth can bring a rustic sophistication to traditional or modern spaces. Possible applications are numerous — no space is off-limits.
Browse this collection to see how it can also add character and beauty to your walls. If you are seeking further inspiration on accent walls, browse through some past articles on 51 Modern and fresh interiors showcasing gray paint and 41 Sensational interiors showcasing black painted walls.
Shipping-Pallet Headboard. Make a headboard out of rustic and worn-looking wood from shipping pallets.
Reclaimed and Rustic. Clad one wall of your bedroom in reclaimed boards of various lengths, arranged horizontally. Using boards with a variety of tones and leaving the nail holes visible adds to the rustic appeal. Choosing the wall behind your bed gives the impression of a full-wall headboard.
Bed wall. A bed wall is a great location for a wood accent. I find the natural patina of wood to be very calming and a perfect choice for a bedroom. I especially like the way the texture of this wall gives just enough interest to this minimalist room but does not compete with the spectacular view.
Warm rustic with bright white. Opposites attract, and that’s certainly true for this fresh interpretation of soft modern. This room is so calming and minimalist, with its sharp contrasting textures of smooth bright white and smoky rustic wood. This is such a perfect vibe for a bedroom. Notice the pendant lights at either side of the bed in place of lamps, saving space on the petite nightstands.
Play up the rustic. Yes, a wood accent wall can also be distinctively rustic. Play up the lodge experience with barn wood and branch furniture. Consider an unexpected soft color like lavender to contrast the edge of the wood.
White on Wood. Put a fun spin on tradition in your kitchen by installing white cabinetry on wood walls. Opting for open shelves over wall cabinets helps showcase the beautiful wood walls and provides a layered look.
Wood as wall art. This idea is almost a full accent wall but more like a piece of art. Consider artful configurations of wood on a focal wall in a dining room or home office.
Sleek and modern. Wood accent walls can look sleek and modern, not rustic at all. Walnut is a great choice for a modern accent wall, especially applied vertically. Notice the modern neutral palette of solids and textures. No need for art; the wood accent wall is the star.
Floated. This idea reminds me of a warm, rustic art installation all by itself. Naturally, it’s the perfect place for a great piece of art and a great idea for defining spaces in an open floor plan.
Reclaimed with color. This fun, rustic wood accent wall features reclaimed wood with a touch of color. The punchy red accent table looks right at home in this mix.
Horizontal and Zen. The slim horizontal styling of this wood accent wall creates the perfect Zen-like atmosphere for this master bathroom. The choice of a squared-off modern bathtub makes this bathroom distinctively minimalist and spa-like.
Inset accent wall. There is a great transitional vibe of this inset wall against the bright white walls and soft layers of the three-tiered chandelier. A shapely mirror and mirrored sideboard attractively contrast the horizontal pattern of the white oak accent wall.
Stairwell detail. A stairwell is a perfect place for a wood accent wall. The high nature of a stairwell will create a dramatic effect, with a great opportunity for accent lighting. Run the boards horizontally to visually expand the width of the space.
Photo Sources: 1. Julia Robbs, 2. Habachy Designs, 3. The Urban Stylist, 4. Jeffers Design Group, 5. This Old House, 6. Anthropologie, 7. BHG, 8. House Beautiful, 9. Allure Interiors Inc., 10. Blender Architecture, 11. Bruce Johnson & Associates Interior Design, 12. SHED Architecture & Design, 13. AMW Design Studio, 14. Cornerstone Architects, 15. Jordan Iverson Signature Homes, 16. Capital Building, 17. Meritage Homes, 18. Design Associates, 19. Wellbuilt Company, 20. LKID, 21. Pinterest, 22. Robert Hawkins, 23. SB Architects, 24. BHG, 25. Hufft Projects, 26. Light Locations, 27. Stikwood, 28. Les Collections Dubreuil, 29. Dane Cronin Photography, 30. Clayton&Little Architects, 31. Union Studio, 32. Imagine Living, 33. Urban Design Centre, 34. Jeffers Design Group, 35. Studio Schicketanz, 36. Jersey Ice Cream Co., 37. Cornerstone Architects, 38. DuChateau Floors, 39. Frenchs Cabinet Gallery llc, 40. Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, 41. NB Design Group, 42. Jersey Ice Cream Co., 43. Risinger Homes, 44. General Assembly
Palm Beach House is an incredible single family residence designed by architecture studio Vaughn McQuarrie, located in Palm Beach, Auckland, New Zealand. This 1,184 square foot (110 square meters) house is located on a reasonably steep bush covered site a few hundred meters up a valley from the golden sands of Palm Beach Waiheke Island.
Sitting under a large pohutukawa tree the house negotiates the site with a series of suspended internal and external spaces connected by external bridges and stairs. The owners of this home have to step outside in order to circulate from room to room. Due to difficult access and the wish to minimize waste, the design was based around factory sheet sizes which could be carried by hand and directly fixed in place without the need for cutting. Glue laminated timber was used extensively in the framing, once again carried in by hand and pieced together on site.
A draw bridge allows the house to disengage itself from the ground, giving the occupants a sense of privacy and the feeling of being on a platform up in the trees.
Photos: Simon Devitt
Two Barns House is a stunning modern dwelling designed by architecture studio RS+, located in a quiet northern district of Tychy, Poland, near the forest complex. Access to this 2,701 square foot (251 square meters) home is achieved by a cul-de-sac from the main road connecting the plot in its north-west corner. Zoning plans based on the analysis of the urban area imposed roof geometry and the maximum height of the building. The rectangular shape of the plot and its orientation towards the south-west suggested preferred location of the building.
Requirements of investors was that the house have to be open to the south garden, spacious and comfortable. To accomplish this and to split the volume, we divide the body of the building in two materially and functionally different parts. We turned first shape towards south and include in it the whole day zone.
To let residents maneuver their cars easier, we headed second shape toward the entry to the plot. Here we placed the rest of functional areas. In addition, we shifted both solids relative to each other to further enlarge the driveway, which due to the relatively narrow access road must be used to turn back. This procedure also allowed us to create shaded and private part of the terrace which is directly accessible from the bedroom.
What’s more parts of the house shade each other so that the master bedroom does not collect direct sunlight in the afternoon, letting the room to cool down before the night. We connected both shapes with bright, open and glazed mezzanine. The choice of very durable materials, and resignation of the gutters gives the possibility for the house to retain its original appearance without maintenance throughout its entire existence.
To keep the building comfortable, we placed on the ground floor all zones necessary for everyday living, and the rest on the first floor. Interiors designed in two-color and warm minimalist style stands in contrast to the facade with a cool colors.
The quality of the building and its details is the result of high quality materials, good workmanship and constant supervision by designers over the investment.
Photos: Tomasz Zakrzewski
Santa Monica Residence is an extension project to a mid century home, the vision of architecture studio Jendretzki, located in Santa Monica, California. Completed in 2012, this beautiful pavilion was inspired by the clients’ appreciation for Scandinavian design.
This new pavilion added to an existing mid century house in the Rustic Canyon area of Santa Monica bordering the Pacific Palisades involved negotiating the high functioning requirements of a Los Angeles based family and their love for Scandinavian design and detailing.
By utilizing a muted material palette of light toned wood and glass we were able to harmoniously engage the southern California sun and create a tranquil work studio and inviting home.
The building has a total surface of 12,000 square feet and is well connected with its surroundings. The interiors are characterized by a minimalist approach, with wood playing a major role in creating a friendly atmosphere. Simple lines and ingenious functionality are two of the main features of this Santa Monica Residence.
Photos: Alejandro Wirth
This Martis Camp Estate Home is a contemporary mountain property that has been designed by BAR Architects, located in Truckee, Nevada County, California. One of the original objectives of BAR’s design was to orient this custom mountain home to take maximum advantage of the spectacular views to the Carson Range and Northstar’s Lookout Mountain afforded by this amazing lot in Martis Camp. To achieve this, the primary rooms of the 7,580 square foot house – living, dining, kitchen, family room, master bedroom and kids’ bedrooms – are aligned along the hillside to front towards the view.
A large great room has large sliding doors that pocket into the walls to allow the interior to completely open up to the exterior and the views. In addition to providing maximum views, the careful planning of this upslope lot preserves a large existing pine tree at the center of the lot as a feature that brings the forest right up to the front door, and provides for indoor/outdoor living for all seasons.
The home was laid out as three separate gable structures. One gable for the garage and guest rooms; another housing the great room pavilion; and the third housing the master bedroom, TV room and study. The three camp buildings are linked by a glazed flat roof breezeway housing the entry, boot/coat room, powder room and stair to the lower level.
The design of the floor plan results in a home that is both comfortable for the owners when they are there by themselves, yet expandable to comfortably accommodate up to 18 friends and family. The architecture brings together simple traditional mountain building forms with large openings and contemporary detailing to the great satisfaction and delight of the owners.
Photos: Courtesy of BAR Architects
Sound House is a contemporary waterfront property that has been designed by Roger Ferris + Partners, located in Fairfield, Connecticut. Completed in 2009, this 1,500 square foot house is located on an unusually narrow waterfront site along the Long Island Sound with spectacular views, while preserving privacy from adjacent properties. An angled entry wall captures the sunlight and orients views while the interplay of solid siding and open and screened glass balances privacy and transparency.
The design responds to strict site land coverage and setback requirements, as well as FEMA guidelines regulating first floor elevation and setbacks from the shoreline. Side yard zoning rules limit the building width to less than twenty-eight feet. The angled entry wall creates, within these constraints, an opportunity to capture sunlight, orient views, and provide formal interest.
The house is clad in stained cypress. Its glazed volumes contain feature the living room and master bedroom on one end and the kitchen and guest bedroom on the other. The low rectangular mid-section, clad in contrasting dark cypress, contains the entry hall, staircase, bathrooms, and support spaces. The glazed end rooms offer framed views to the water to the south and inland down the street to the north. The windows integrate retractable shades for sun control or privacy. The bedrooms have cypress louvers for these purposes.
The loft-like interior spaces open to glass curtain walls at each end. Screened side walls provide visual separation from neighbors.
The angled north elevation leads to the front door at the midpoint of the house. This angled wall also orients the kitchen and breakfast room to the morning sun and captures a view down the street and across an adjacent property. The water view one sees entering the house is framed with a perspective defined by the angled stair. The open first floor plan provides interior spaces with loft-like proportions, increasing the scale of the major interior spaces.
The interior finishes continue the loft aesthetic, with kitchen cabinets of natural white oak and ribbed glass doors. Counters and back splashes are granite. Floors are white oak throughout. Interior illumination includes indirect uplights and recessed down lights.
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