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LUXURY HOME quarterly

July 2011

Carlos Martin Architects designs for floridian estate living

peek inside several dynamic +andAinnovative American lake homes

"We believe that we must continuously strive to earn our

clients’ trust by building to the highest quality standards and craftsmanship with unwavering attention and execution in the that thatwe we must must continuously continuously strive strive totoearn earnour our detail, creating lasting beauty and longevity, while delivering clients’ clients’ trustcommodity by by building building tothe thesquare highest highest quality qualitystandards standardsand and that we must continuously strive to earn our value trust and into every foot.”

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Voice  727.446.7600  Fax     727.446.7668 Email

Our commercial experience includes banks, Monogram Builders, Inc. is a full service LEED Certified auto dealerships, ware housing, stores, General Contractor that is highly experienced in large Our commercial experience includes banks,  Monogram Builders, Inc. is a full service LEED Certishowrooms and office buildings. scale residential and commercial construction. Our Our commercial commercial experience experience includes includes banks, banks, Monogram MonogramBuilders, Builders,Inc. isa afullfullservice serviceLEED LEED Certified Certified

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Green Building & Design


A comprehensive look at the structures and concepts of tomorrow, and the masterminds behind them For your FREE subscription visit luxur


FEATURES Homes in the Hills Reynolds Development & Management is selling homes in a development set amid the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

page 60

Second Nature

p 90 ON THE SURFACE From its location on the water, MOS LLC’s Floating House connects two ends of a U-shaped island.

On Lake Washington, Peter Cohan, Architect’s Cedar Park House functions as an extension of the natural landscape.

page 66

The Nest DeForest Architects used clients’ background as inspiration for the design of their lake home.

page 72

For Your Viewing Pleasure On Mercer Island, a Hutchison & Maul Architecture-designed guesthouse and its primary residence offer striking lake views.

page 78

Cooler By the Lake FINNE Architects’ Eagle Harbor cabin is just off the shore of Lake Superior.

page 84

Afloat, Not Adrift MOS LLC’s Floating House sits directly on the waters of Lake Huron.

page 90


ON THE COVER The living room of Carlos Martin Architects’ Spanish River residence showcases but a fraction of the Florida estate home’s lavish elegance. page 134

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luxury home quarterly




Custom-home projects of note


Chicken Point


The outpost


Construction firms specializing in peerless residences


Orren Pickell Designers & Builders

22 Erotas Building Corporation 24

Pecora Brothers, inc.


Witt Construction, INC.


Prutting & Company Custom Builders


Creative minds in interiors, landscapes, and furnishings

35 Gigi Olive Interiors, LLC 38

FZAD ARchitecture + Design

40 Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Inc. 43 Murphy & Co. Design

Designer Showcase

An in-depth look at some of the industry’s most unique designers


Diedre Shaw Interiors

the plans


SmithArc Architects

A showcase of sleek, modern architecture— and the blueprints that started it all


Chas Architects


Dynerman Architects PC


Dean Larkin Design

Vacation Homes

Second homes and getaways across the globe



The Faulconer Lodge


Hyatt Siesta Key Beach

Providing concepts and programs for deluxe homes


The Spanish River Residence


Wyatt & Associates, INC.

109 L. Barry Davidson ARchitects


112 Grandberg & Associates Architects

Serving a unique niche in the custom-home industry


John David Rose Architect


Cobblestone Homes Inc.


C.M. Oliver ARchitects

140 Enhanced Home Systems Inc.


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PLUS Editor’s Note

page 10

What’s New Industry news, awards, and product innovations page 12

Calendar Trade shows and special events in the coming months page 14

Behind the Lines featuring Christopher Guy page 15

On the Rise Popular trends and rising stars in the luxury-home market page 16



page 142

Products+Services Spotlight page 144 At Home With M. Grace Sielaff

COASTAL LIVING The capacious kitchen of the Spanish River residence was designed by Carlos Martin Architects on Florida’s east coast near Boca Raton.

page 146

p16 Tick Tock The always innovative designers at Fabrica created a clock designed to keep users punctual.

july 2011

luxury home quarterly


LUXURY HOME quarterly Publishing






EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Christopher Howe


SALES MANAGERS Stacy Kraft Krista Lane Williams SALES REPRESENTATIVES James R. Ainscough Michael DiGiovanni Toney Dimos Jackie Geweke Michelle Harris Kathleen Johnston Justin Joseph Heather Matson Rebekah Mayer William Winter Brendan Wittry

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ACCOUNT MANAGERS Kim Callanta Lindsay Craig Megan Hamlin Amy Lara _______________

SALES & RESEARCH 28 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60604


features editor Molly Soat

associate editor Geoff George Writers Zach Baliva Ruth E. Dávila Tricia Despres Julie Edwards Susan Flowers David Hudnall Frederick Jerant Laura Judy Amy Meadows Kaleena Thompson _______________

EDITORIAL RESEARCH MANAGERS Dawn Collins Anthony D’Amico Gerald Matthews Carolyn Marx EDITORIAL RESEARCHERS Ashley Brown Deidre Davis Bronwyn Milliken Hayley O’Hara Katie Yost EDITORIAL RESEARCH COORDINATOR Adam Castillo





DESIGNER David Chathas PHOTO EDITOR Courtney Weber



luxury home quarterly

july 2011


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editor’s note

OPEN HOUSE Peter Cohan, Architect’s Cedar Park House sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Washington. The lower level opens up to welcome cool evening breezes and the natural sounds of the surrounding woods.

This relationship between structure and surroundings is perhaps most apparent when the landscape produces unique challenges, such as with our featured lake homes. The Floating House by MOS LLC, a creative architecture firm that takes on unusual projects other companies might fear, is a stunningly unique example of a home working in a challenging environment (p. 90). Lead designer Hilary Sample explains how the home was designed to play off the natural landscape and to change with the tides, so to speak. “Red western cedar naturally turns gray over time, and we liked the idea that the house would change over time,” Sample says. “It also helped to play up the idea of the temporary conditions of the site, its constant flux—the rising water, the freeze and thaw of winter and spring, the shifting of weather and the seasons. It’s our hope that the house will continue to change in appearance over time and become more and more a part of the site.” Carlos Martin Architects combines luxury aesthetics with indoor-outdoor living in its eclectic, modern estate known as the Spanish River Residence (p. 134). The stunning living room graces our cover and really shows the lavish tone of the home. The opulence may be misleading, however, considering how resilient the materials are against the harsh tropical landscape.


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“Because people tend to leave the doors open, we used hand-carved, engineered wood throughout the home, so it’s more durable for scratches and weather elements,” says Carlos Martin, founder of the firm. His mindfulness of the home’s setting actually shaped the architecture and allowed the structure to blend harmoniously with the Floridian location. Next month, LHQ will explore the ways in which prefab building has entered the luxury marketplace. We will check in with HUF HAUS, a German company featured in our very first issue of LHQ that since has seen major success with its first US sales office. As always, I hope that our coverage of the custom-home industry will inspire your work and encourage you to embrace our unique and challenging North American landscape. Enjoy.

Moll y Soat , features editor


PHOTO: Lara Swimmer


uxury homes are not just about toys and gadgets, fixtures and finishes. The surrounding landscape is just as important to the overall aesthetic of a home as the interior design. How the home interacts with its setting is a fascinating and complex element of residential architecture, and the homes in this issue stretch the bounds of imagination.

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what’s new

Industry news, awards, and product innovations


Remodeled rooms at Chicago’s Trump Tower A small portion of Donald Trump’s empire recently underwent a dramatic renovation. The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago worked with local architecture-and-design firm Mary Cook & Associates, Inc. to renovate five of the building’s residential units. The overhaul demonstrates continued confidence in the area’s real-estate market. The fully furnished model rooms—ranging in size from a 580-square-foot studio to a 2,742-square-foot, two-bedroom home—went on display early this year. Each one is designed in a distinctly different style— from glamorous and modern to urban and chic to worldly and exotic—and all rooms offer stellar views of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan. After meeting with members of the Trump team in both New York and Chicago, Mary Cook & Associates also put together a portfolio of floor plans for each unit that, along with the model rooms, will help potential buyers find a home in Trump Tower that’s suited to their lifestyle and personality. In addition to its 486 residences, the building also includes a full-service spa and health club, 24-hour room service, 24-hour white-gloved doormen, owner-designated parking, housekeeping and dry cleaning, secure storage lockers, and multiple restaurants. As if that weren’t enough, it is only blocks away from Chicago’s famed Michigan Avenue. Source: Trump International


Japanese bath products debut in North America Japan’s premier manufacturer of tile and lavatory products, INAX, is crossing the Pacific to bring its latest line to the United States. Included in the new collection are high-efficiency dual-flush and one-piece toilets from the stylish ECO-X Series, all of which feature the company’s distinctive Vortex 100 technology, which uses all of the tank water to ensure the bowl stays clean. (The firm’s products are the only ones approved to prevent bacterial buildup by the International Organization of Standardization.) INAX has a strong reputation as a sustainable firm, so it’s no surprise that the ECO-X series toilets are 40 percent more efficient than average products on the market. INAX’s three-principled approach— referred to by the company as Beaux Japonica—combines aesthetics with conservation and powerful sanitation technologies, and its products will make fine fixtures in any master bathroom. Source: INAX


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what’s new


Vibia premieres Link lighting system Conceived by noted designer Ramón Esteve, the Link lighting system, recently released by Vibia Design, is an innovative light fixture. Meant to work in spaces of varying shape and dimension, the fixture consists of four modules in a range of sizes and heights. Each module can be connected to another on any of its four sides, allowing for thousands of possible configurations and easy reconfiguration when remodeling. The modules require only a single electrical connection, and their inner light source is energy-efficient. The light source is dimmable, too, and it works off the DALI system to vary the level of light in the room according to the time of day and the degree of brightness already in the room. For larger spaces, additional modules can be acquired and attached, and the single electrical connection will continue to supply enough power for up to 25 separate light boxes. Finally, the system enables users to move and shape the light of a room with greater precision, keeping main areas lit while leaving specific corners darker to enhance the mood of a space. Source: Vibia


Team 7 releases furniture based on golden ratio Austrian design company Team 7 has unveiled its new LUX collection, a distinctive furniture set based on the golden ratio, a mathematical constant first studied by the ancient Greeks. Head designer Jacob Strobel chose the ratio because of its connection to aesthetic harmony in works by artists such as Da Vinci. The resulting furniture pieces achieve a timeless consistency and balanced proportions. The collection’s perfectly measured pieces include consoles, cabinets, and wall and shelf units—all of which feature artfully recessed fronts and fine edges overseen by Team 7’s own artisans. Each item can be customized with different wood types and glass elements. Source: Team 7

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luxury home quarterly



Trade shows and special events in the coming months

DAZZLING DÉCOR SOFA Santa Fe features an array of artwork from across the globe, including sculptures, paintings, and a variety other pieces.

SOFA Sante Fe Santa Fe Convention Center, Santa Fe, NM, Aug. 4-7

Southern Ideal Home Show The Park Expo and Conference Center, Charlotte, NC, Aug. 26-28

The Sculpture Objects & Functional Art (SOFA) expositions, which present distinguished works of fine art, decorative art, and designer furniture, have been staple events in the industry since 1994,. Now in its third year, SOFA West, the newest of the SOFA tradeshows, will once again take place in Santa Fe. The fair’s decorative pieces will be displayed in custom galleries, and ticket holders gain entry to an extensive lecture series.

Check out this 26-year-old tradeshow covering almost every area of design expertise imaginable, from kitchen and bath projects to outdoor patio decoration to extensive interior construction. Be sure to take a break from the bustle of the showroom floor to see The Ideal Dream House, a well-designed, economically sound sustainable home that will be put together in only five days.

California Construction Expo

California Home Garden & Design Show

Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, CA, Aug. 10-11

Santa Clara Fairgrounds, San Jose, CA, Aug. 26-28

Attend this West Coast tradeshow to make contact with a whole host of contractors, designers, builders, and suppliers. (You’ll have the chance to mingle while walking the showroom floor, where the latest products and building techniques will be on display.) In addition to networking opportunities and product previews, the expo will have a number of workshops on topics including LEED design standards, California airport and seaport construction, bidding on highway and transit projects, and small-business management.

This trade fair, one of four 2011 home shows put on by World Class Shows and its experienced staff, brings interior designers, decorators, furniture makers, and landscapers together to present and compare products and services. The three-day event takes place in two separate halls, the Pavilion Hall and the Expo Hall, guaranteeing room for hundreds of attendees and exhibitors alike.

Baltimore Summer Antiques Show  Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD, Aug. 25-28

Home Décor & Remodeling Show 

Now in its 31st year, this major antique fair will draw 30,000 attendees and more than 500 of the world’s top exhibitors. More than 200,000 individual items and artifacts valued between $100 and $1 million will be on display, including folk and fine art pieces, jewelry, silver, glass, furniture, and textiles—and the collection as a whole ranges from ancient times to the mid-20th century.

Review a wealth of design and home-improvement products at this major expo, held near the Gulf Coast. On the showroom floor, find the Kitchen & Bath Design Center, which will host live woodworking demonstrations, among other offerings. Throughout the event, various seminars will be held on topics such as decorating and earning a profit as an inventor.

AUG 4-7

AUG 10-11

AUG 25-28


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AUG 26-28

AUG 26-28

Leonard E. Merrell Center, Katy, TX, Aug. 27-28

AUG 27-28


behind the lines


Christopher Guy

X MARKS THE SPOT The Chris-X chair’s cross-legged design takes inspiration from the scissoring legs of ballerinas in midflight.

After a stint in real-estate development, Christopher Guy Harrison turned his attention to furniture design. His first creations were brought to life in the mid-1990s when he set out to create the world’s largest mirror-frame collection under the brand name Harrison & Gil. A phenomenal success, the business became the launching point for a growing range of high-end furnishings and home-accessory designs, and in 2006 it was renamed Christopher Guy. Today, Christopher Guy’s luxury furniture collection runs the gamut from tables and chests to office furniture and decorative lighting. An encompassing elegance ties all the pieces together. “Christopher Guy is about sensuality with few straight lines, replaced instead by many curves such as those found on a beautiful high-heel shoe,” Harrison says. “My inspiration has always come from my travels. However, there’s no particular country’s tradition that I adopt in my designs, as I believe that the understanding of elegance is international and recognizable instantly.” Harrison notes that one of his favorite designs is the Chris-X (pronounced “kris-kros”) chair leg, which elevates a traditional chair into something more elegant. Patented across the United States, Europe, and Asia, the signature chair-leg formation is handcrafted from a single piece of wood and tapers without compromising the comfort, structural strength, or stability of the chair. Recently honored with the 2011 Design Icon award, Harrison’s plans for 2011 include working on five new collections that will each reflect a different theme and opening a state-of-the-art showroom at the Christopher Guy corporate headquarters in Singapore. “I feel what sets me apart from other designers in my field is a global view and presence which, in turn, requires a new approach to design and marketing that continues to evolve,” he says. “Ultimately, though, Christopher Guy is about elegance, and elegance belongs to no single nation.” —Julie Edwards

CARAMEL AND CREAM Le Debutante, a comfy lounge chair, features golden brown piping to contrast the primary cream upholstery.

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luxury home quarterly


on the rise

Popular trends and rising stars in the luxury-home market

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ON-TIME CLOCK Forget being fashionably late. This wall clock, designed by Italian-based Fabrica, offers a chic new take on time: the minute hand is bent at an angle to always read three minutes ahead. The clock has a lacquered metal frame, its hands and dial are made of aluminum, and its simple design comes in three sizes to fit a variety of modern spaces. It is available in black, white, or black and white.

A sculpture might look great, but it does not have much purpose. Check out these two aesthetically pleasing pieces—they look good while also serving a function.

on the rise


AAKKOSET Review the ABCs of design—always be compartmentalizing—with Kayiwa’s bold, graphic room divider. The letter-shaped gaps can either be filled with books, CDs, and knick-knacks or left empty to maintain a connection between separate spaces. The unit is made from sections of medium-density fiberboard, cut with a computer-controlled router and then glued and pressed together. Paint is mechanically applied and then hand-finished; available colors are black, blue, green, orange, red, violet, white, and yellow.

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luxury home quarterly



custom-home projects of note

Credits Architectural firm: Olson Kundig Architects ( Project architect: Kirsten Murray Engineer: MCE Structural Consultants, Inc. ( General Contractor: Upham Construction ( Other Consultant: McNay Metals and Design

Chicken Point Built in 2002 by Olson Kundig Architects, the Chicken Point Cabin rests on the edge of Coeur D’Alene National Forest, near the shoreline of Lake Hayden. A combination of unfinished materials and an open floor plan allow the dwelling to meld with its placid surroundings. The home, which can house up to ten people, was designed as a single, flowing space. The upstairs bedroom, for example, is connected to the main living area by a large wall cutout. Areas of the home, including a kitchen and sizeable living room, are defined mainly by color and texture. And simple materials, such as concrete, steel, and plywood, have been left unfinished and will eventually age to blend with the surrounding environment. The structure’s signature design element is a 30’ x 20’ window that—via a traditional hand crank—opens up the living room onto a patio that sits right at the water’s edge, effectively creating a loggia space. The innovative design of the home has earned it recognition from the National Design Museum and multiple publications, including Acciaio Arte Architettura and Cabin Life magazines. And the best is yet to come, as the cabin’s timeless aesthetic continues to work itself more intimately into the landscape.


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july 2011

The Outpost For many, Idaho’s desert terrain is hardly an ideal place to take up residence. But, thanks to clever construction strategies, Olson Kundig Architects’ Outpost, a remote home built in 2007 in the central part of the state, makes the most of the barren territory.

PHOTOS: Tim Bies

The distinctive home is long and narrow, and its shape protects it from the potentially harsh elements. The architects used materials such as concrete blocking, car decking, and plywood, all of which are tough and easily replaceable. And inside, windows surround the main living area on multiple sides, offering nearly 180-degree views of flatlands and distant mountains. The home functions as a living space, studio, and workshop for an area artist, so the architects took the opportunity to offer additional creative inspiration. One end of the structure features a deck overlooking the flat, expansive terrain, and the other end opens into a cement-wall-enclosed garden, which runs longer than the residential section of the house and protects trees and other plant life from strong winds. Since its completion, the home has won a national AIA award, and ecologically, its stretched layout continues to limit its effect on the land it occupies.

Credits Architectural firm: Olson Kundig Architects (

Structural engineer: Monte Clark Engineering

Interior design: Debbie Kennedy

Engineer: MCE Structural Consultants, Inc. (

Project architect: Steven Rainville

Glasswork: All New Glass

Contractor: MC Construction Consultants, Inc. (

Mechanical engineer: Moser, Inc

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luxury home quarterly



Construction firms specializing in peerless residences

The Coleman Residence

Orren Pickell Designers & Builders

Designed for a busy couple with two young children, this five-bedroom, four-bathroom, 6,000-square-foot home features a traditional, formal stone-and-stucco exterior that is offset by a warm, casual, inviting interior boasting a comfortable, lived-in feel. The house also includes an additional 2,500 square feet of living space in the finished basement.

CREATING A CITYWIDE NAME THROUGH YEARS OF SERVICE by Amy Meadows When it comes to great works of art, a name can say it all. Monikers such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso denote the highest levels of talent, distinctiveness, merit, and value. That same concept applies to the Chicago area’s customhome market, where the name Orren Pickell signifies the finest in luxury residences. In fact, over the past 35 years, Orren Pickell Designers & Builders (OPDB) has become one of the most recognized and esteemed brands in the designbuild industry. “Our name is one that carries weight in the realestate market,” says Jason DeBaker, managing principal of Orren Pickell Design Group, Inc., one of several divisions that compose the awardwinning design-build firm, which is based in Lake Bluff, Illinois, and serves locales through-


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out the Windy City’s North Shore and nearby Lake Geneva. “People understand what it means when someone says that their home is an Orren Pickell home.” OPDB has built a reputation based on providing clients with high-end homes that feature outstanding architectural detail while reflecting the homeowners’ individual tastes, wishes, and needs. Whether the project involves new construction or remodeling, the firm’s philosophy remains the same. “We want our clients to be partners in the design process,” DeBaker says. “We listen to them and learn about their lifestyle. We sit and sketch right in front of them and offer a truly interactive design process. Then we create a home that is unique to them—a home that’s their own custom style.”

This versatility has allowed the 40-employee company to work on projects in every possible design aesthetic—from ultra contemporary to Cape Cod—as well as in a wide array of price points, with remodels ranging from $10,000 to $5 million and newly constructed primary residences and vacation homes costing as much as $12 million. It also has paved the way for OPDB to begin developing upscale communities that exclusively feature homes designed and built by the firm. “In this economy, you have to be dynamic,” says CEO Orren Pickell, who founded OPDB in 1975 after transforming his successful painting and decorating business into a full-fledged remodeling company. “You have to be able to think creatively while finding a way to stay on budget and make clients feel like they are getting a great value.”


LKHDesign Interior Design Architectural Consultation Custom Furniture Design

Top Design Elements of the Schmidt Residence The firm is able to accomplish these goals by running a bona fide one-stop shop offering practically every service required to bring a project to fruition, including architecture, carpentry, cabinetry, technology, interior design, landscape design, and maintenance, among many others. The firm also works with highly capable and reliable subcontractors who have proven their ability to bring clients’ visions to life. And with so many layers and people involved in the process, the firm recognizes open communication among all parties as the key to success. “We want clients to enjoy the process of working with us, so it’s very important that we have good chemistry that crosses over between the design group and the build group,” DeBaker says. “When you have that, the client will always get a better product in the end.” A shining example of this philosophy is the Schmidt Residence, which recently took home a Crystal Key Award in the Custom Home category from the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago. The family-friendly residence, located in OPDB’s exclusive Tarns of the Moor subdivision in Bannockburn, Illinois, is the perfect blend of formal elegance, inspired by French provincial architecture, and the casual comfort found in a country estate. As with every other Orren Pickell home, the residence is unlike any other, and its details were designed specifically for the owners, who are thrilled with the finished product. It’s the attention to detail that makes the firm truly stand out. “For us, it’s about great design, great craftsmanship, and superior customer service,” DeBaker says. “When we build a home, we’re definitely proud it of it. But it’s not our house—it belongs to the client. And we want them to have a truly great experience.”

1. The main-stair spindles feature a wrought-iron custom design that matches a design the client saw in a photo of an old European castle. 2. Calcutta gold marble creates a clean yet traditional look in the large kitchen. The stone was used as an accent to complement the custom cabinets and handscraped, wide-plank walnut floors. Used on the island, the countertops around the kitchen’s perimeter, and in tile form on the backsplash, the marble marries beauty and function. 3. A rustic stone fireplace gives the expansive family room a softer feel, especially in comparison to the more formal Old World details found in the adjoining rooms. The design team installed a fireplace flanked with custom mill-made built-ins and distressed white-oak beams on the ceiling, which make the space a perfect cozy setting for daily family time. 4. A carved limestone fireplace is the jewel of the master suite. It is perfectly sized to include both a sleeping area and a sitting area and also features a tray ceiling with beautiful crown detailing and a walk-in closet lined with custom walnut mill-made built-ins. 5. A screened porch is equipped with a fireplace, a vaulted ceiling, a radiantheat floor, and glass storm units. This space provides the perfect escape to enjoy the property’s outside elements. It is also an excellent accompaniment to the adjacent pergola and bluestone terrace that lead to a sizable family pool.

LKH Design, Inc. is a full service interior design firm specializing in residential interiors. Lynn Hertl, Principal, works one-on-one with clients to satisfy their design needs.

“We work on projects as large as complete home construction to as small as space planning and paint color selection.” – Lynn Hertl With expertise in interior architecture as well as construction, LKH Design starts projects in the early planning stages and continues through furniture and accessory placement.

Highland Park, IL phone 847.630.5856 email

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Today, tomorrow & year after year, Synergy Products will work with you to create a successful completion to all of your building needs.




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EBC is a custom architectural builder that focuses on exceptional craftsmanship, technological expertise, and client interaction. With seven project coordinators and 35 in-house carpenters, Erotas says communication and careful project management is just as important as fine craftsmanship. “We are a true hands-on builder with more than 150 combined years of experience between the core office team,” he says. His staff is also people-orientated, paying close personal attention to the client’s vision. They realize that their connection with each homeowner and the success of each project requires more than simply building a home. “It takes building a home of quality and personality,” David says. “As important as the quality we build into a home is the relationship, experience, and level of trust we build with our clients.” He also says successful projects are a collaboration between his team, the client, the architect, the interior designer, and subcontractors.

Top Building Strategies of the Erotas Building Corporation 1. LED lights for recessed cans use less energy while still providing sufficient illumination. 2. High-efficiency boilers, furnaces, and air-conditioning minimize the energy used to heat and cool the house. 3. Over-engineered floor systems minimize noise and create a solid floor for stability. 4. Energy-recovery ventilation systems provide an energy-efficient way to bring in fresh, filtered air and keep humidity in the house, which is important in cold climates. 5. Non-toxic products are especially beneficial for chemically sensitive occupants.


PHOTO: Susan Gilmore


David Erotas grew up in Chicago, and he says the Windy City’s architecture nurtured his love for building. In 1992, he and his wife, Holly, established Erotas Building Corporation (EBC) with the belief that a home should be not only a place of refuge and comfort but also a solid, properly built structure that will stand strong for generations to come. Inspired by the honesty and powerful structural expression of the buildings of his youth, David—along with his wife—now uses slate, stone, and natural wood products to craft both modern and period homes in Minnesota.

“Every home is an inspiration, unique, and one-of-a-kind.” David Erotas, Owner

UNDER COVER The front porch of the East Villa includes a built-in pergola.

A STEP ABOVE The curving staircase is a centerpiece that unifies the East Villa’s rooms, and the two-story ovalshaped ceiling adds a bit of drama.

PHOTOS: Susan Gilmore

Other eco-friendly practices include the recycling of products and fixtures from a home that is scheduled for demolition. “When we take down a house to build a new home, we salvage and repurpose as many materials as possible or donate them to the Green Institute,” David says. He also notes that his firm purchases locally made and harvested products from wherever he and his team are building. A building veteran, Erotas is also no stranger to sustainable construction, having been involved in energy-efficient homes since the 1980s. And EBC continues to employ eco-friendly practices without sacrificing the bells and whistles of luxury living. These practices range from the “construction of the house envelope to using the highest-efficiency heating, air conditioning, and ventilating systems available—and also including photovoltaic and geothermal systems and green roofs when designs and budgets allow,” David says. “Green and sustainable building are the necessities of our future.”

As for the company’s future goals, David hopes to establish a solid reputation in different parts of the country. Having already made a mark in California and Arizona, “we’re looking to open up offices in those states,” he says. “We have been fortunate to be in the business of building beautiful quality homes for many years, giving us the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and become a part of their lives. Constructing a new home should be a joy for all involved and it certainly has been for us.”

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The Downtown Greenwich Residence

Pecora Brothers, Inc. FAMILY BUSINESS FUSES CORPORATE SAVVY WITH CUSTOM TECHNIQUE by Ruth E. Dávila Sylvester and Joseph Pecora are fast-moving brothers who made a leap from high finance to high-end home building in the mid-1990s as a calculated experiment. Since then, their company, Pecora Brothers, Inc., has evolved into a full-service residential and commercial construction firm with a knack for custom jobs. In their hometown of Greenwich, Connecticut, the first train stop outside New York City, Pecora Brothers banks its reputation on sound business acumen. “We have been in business for 15 years, working diligently to build a construction-management business that brings a white-collar mentality to a blue-collar industry,” says Joseph, the firm’s director. Through diligent project management, value engineering, and a proactive philosophy, the founders of Pecora Brothers show their corporate colors. But it is their professional communication skills, according to Joseph, that separates them from the competition. “We speak the same language as our corporate clients,” Joseph says. “We are analytical by nature. If you want to throw numbers around, we can do it just as well


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as the best of them. And that makes a difference, especially with large projects.” For Sylvester, the firm’s president, Pecora Brothers’ approach—from goals to execution—is its real differentiator. “There is a relentless pursuit of expecting the best and achieving the best in everything,” Sylvester says. “Our clients know us for delivering high quality with tremendous speed.” Pecora Brothers also performs all of its interior trim, framing, and cabinetry, ensuring a hand in the outcome of every detail. While the company has made its mark in local Fairfield and Westchester counties, it spans to Nantucket, Massachusetts; Rhode Island; and New Hampshire—particularly for loyal clientele looking to transplant the firm’s native style to their homes away from home. For one recent project, Pecora Brothers breathed new life into a Victorian house originally built in 1905. The 8,000-square-foot Shingle-style home was converted into a 12,000-square-foot, high-tech retreat just 200 yards from downtown

Originally built in 1905, this Connecticut Victorian house was transformed from an 8,000-square-foot Shinglestyle home into a 12,000-square-foot technological wonder with seven bedrooms and six and a half bathrooms. The company added a new wing, a full elevator system, and electronic systems controllable by iPhone and iPad. The firm also took the home’s dark foyer, adorned with several stainedglass windows, and reconstructed it into two floors with lighter woods and larger windows that provide ample natural lighting.

Greenwich. The company added an entire wing and included major renovations such as an elevator with automatic doors. For the homeowners, one of the home’s best new additions is the sophisticated gadgetry. Using Apple software, they can now control universal lighting, phones, televisions, the sound system, and a slew of other electronics directly from their iPhone or iPad. Pecora Brothers also designed a state-of-the-art, eight-person home theater with custom paneling. “We tried to be consistent with the original life of the house but modernized it with technology and high design,” Joseph says.


“We have been ... working diligently to build a construction-management business that brings a white-collar mentality to a blue-collar industry.” McMullan & Associates, Inc.

Joseph Pecora, Director

Consulting Structural Engineers

We provide a full range of professional structural engineering services; specializing in the design and analysis of new buildings and the renovation, restoration, and repair of existing buildings. Our clients include some of the nation’s most well-known and respected architects, developers, institutions, building owners, and government agencies. We pride ourselves on providing excellence in engineeering through innovative and cost effective solutions.

The Rhode Island Atlantic Residence Aesthetically, the primary transformation was the infusion of light. A dark foyer with stained-glass windows featuring religious iconography was reconstructed, split into two floors, and lightened up with lighter wood and larger windows.

This three-bedroom, two-and-a-halfbathroom, 2,000-square-foot designbuild project faces the Atlantic Ocean but also offers views of the Judith Lighthouse, the Jamestown Bridge, and the Newport Bridge. A balcony is situated off the master suite, and a steel roof covers half of a patio connected to the family room. The home’s screened porch has a buttonoperated retractable ceiling. Thanks to Pecora Brothers’ sophisticated project-management system, the homeowners were able to review the construction process without driving back and forth to the firm’s offices.

Another home, a Rhode Island design-build project facing the Atlantic Ocean—with views of Point Judith Lighthouse, the Jamestown Bridge, and Newport Bridge—demonstrates Pecora Brothers’ diverse range of skill. “We worked with the client to create this vacation home, replacing a little cottage with a beautiful, oversize Victorian house,” Sylvester says. Highlights include a balcony off the master suite and a steel, half-covered weather roof with a patio extending from the family room. The screen porch boasts a retractable ceiling, operated by the switch of a button.

time the couple saw the house together was the day they were expecting the furniture delivery.

Located two hours from Greenwich, the clients did not have to drive back and forth because Pecora Brothers’ project-management system remotely provided ongoing updates on their project. As a testament to the system—and the customers’ trust in Pecora Brothers—the first

All in all, working smart with a commitment to service is the company ethos. “We’re not a second- or third-generation builder,” Sylvester says. “This is a first-generation business, and we have grown pretty rapidly—and that is because we strive to think outside of the box.”

CONTACT US TODAY Phone: 703.556.0651 Email: 8381 Old Courthouse Road Suite 350 Vienna, VA 22182


The Sheetz Home

Witt Construction, Inc. ELEGANT LIVING, BOTH ON AND OFF THE GRID by Laura Judy When it comes to discovering how to make a client’s initial ideas and dreams a reality, John Witt, president of Witt Construction, Inc. in Saratoga Springs, New York, has developed a fresh approach for his award-winning company. Instead of designing homes in one particular style, he has learned to take details from a variety of styles to find the best fit for each particular person and location. “Our niche is design-build, and we do all the conceptual design for each home,” Witt says. Much of Witt’s inspiration comes from his travels around the world, which began before he ever entered the building industry. A member of the US freestyle ski team from 1979 to 1988,


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Witt toured all over, winning a silver medal in the 1987 World Championships and seven world cups. During this time, he also entered the construction business. “I started as a framer in 1981, and I got the bug,” he says. After his retirement from the ski team, he entered the building industry full time, founding Witt Construction in 1988. “I was mostly self-taught,” he says. “Being on the ski team helped me develop a lot of focus and perseverance, which have definitely helped with business over the years.”

Located in Holidaysberg, PA, the Sheetz Home was completed in April 2010. The estate was constructed as an English European Farmhouse on a grand scale, and it sits on the southern side of a hillside within more than 300 acres of land. The 13,000-square-foot home contains seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a 30-kW solar-and-wind energy system. Other eco-friendly amenities include sheep’s wool insulation, noVOC paint and carpeting, Energy Star appliances, and natural materials such as stone from the building site.

Today, his company works primarily on custom residential projects. “Every project we take on is custom,” Witt says. “Our style varies a lot, but


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we do a lot of Carriage-style homes.” Over the years, the company has built around 350 homes, averaging about 10-20 projects a year. Working mostly in New York and Pennsylvania, Witt builds houses ranging from 1,300 to 20,000 square feet. The company also does some land development. “We build about 70 percent of our houses on our own land,” Witt says. “We have a lot of unique lots that open up possibilities for great homes.” It’s very important to Witt to build sustainable, energy-efficient homes whenever possible. “We try to use local resources and the latest green technology, such as geothermal,” he says. “We like building homes that are healthy for the envi-

ronment and our clients.” This includes finding the most efficient windows, doors, insulation, appliances, and heating and cooling systems. Recently, Witt Construction spent around three years on the Sheetz home, which is now completely off the grid. “This is a very organic home,” Witt says. “It’s run mostly on solar and wind power, and we’re currently working to see if a hydro system will be feasible, as well.” The estate is built into the southern side of a hillside on more than 300 acres of land. “We used all-natural materials, including stone from the hillside for the veneer and as floor tile,” Witt says. “The style of the home is kind of an EnglishEuropean farmhouse but on a grander scale.”

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MAKING A STATEMENT Keeping the Sheetz home sustainable did not prevent stylish flourishes, like this central tower.

“I love working with a team to take each client through the entire process. My goal is always to turn over a great set of plans that leads to the client’s dream home.” John Witt, President


(518) 727-0548

OFF THE GRID The Sheetz home works off the grid thanks to a combined solar-and-wind energy system, minimizing impact on the surrounding woods.

While it is rare to build a home completely off the grid, Witt also uses these green concepts as much as possible in his other homes. Currently, Witt Construction has around 13 employees, and Witt is happy with this number. Business has stayed strong, and one of the main ways the company gets exposure is by doing at least one show home a year, drawing up to 6,000 visitors. Of course, experience and beautiful work obviously also attract new business and repeat customers. “Our main source of advertising is the homes themselves,” Witt says. Over the years, many articles and awards, such as the 2010 Design Excellence Award from Residential Design + Build magazine, have led to new clients and unique projects. To ensure clients’ satisfaction, Witt Construction takes their wishes into account and provides the quickest turnaround possible on the initial plans for a home. “We take our clients’ wishes, dreams, and budget and get to the finish line quick,” Witt says. “We can put plans together in two to three weeks. We’re also very sensitive to budget, trying to get as much into each home as possible without going over.” The process itself is Witt’s favorite part of the job. “I love working with a team to take each client through the entire process,” he says. “My goal is always to turn over a great set of plans that leads to the client’s dream home.”

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REAR VIEW The back of the property reveals the home’s center axis, which divides living and working spaces

Prutting & Company Custom Builders Creating Warm Homes with a Contemporary Aesthetic by Susan Flowers


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The Park Street Residence

all PHOTOs: Michael Biondo

ALL ANGLES Wrapped in zinc and red cedar wood, the home presents a unique shape to passersby on the street.

For many people in the building industry, the field is a calling, a pursuit they knew would be their life’s work in early childhood. Not so for David Prutting: “My father told me in later years that of his four sons, I was the least likely to end up in construction,” he says. Prutting wound up a builder as the result of some post-college carpentry work on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. “I ended up in an area that I loved, but to survive you needed to learn a skill,” he says. In addition to acquiring knowledge that would benefit him

The Park Street townhouse showcases Prutting & Company’s collective skills and know-how through a contemporary design that is warm and approachable. The home has 5,300-5,500 square feet of heated living space, and it also boasts a rooftop with a fireplace, an outdoor kitchen, and a shower. Other amenities include solar hot water and electric systems, an elevator, a two-car garage, engineered European wooden floors with radiant heat, and landscaped water features.

throughout his career, Prutting made another lucky discovery during his time on Cape Cod: he met his soon-to-be wife, Deborah, and the two went on to co-own Prutting & Company Builders, which has been in business for the past 35 years. The New Canaan, Connecticut-based company takes on projects large and small, working on new construction, renovation, and remodeling. The quality of their work is reflected in the numerous awards they’ve received, including

the 2010 Custom Home Design Award in Custom Home magazine and the 2010 Tucker Design Award. In all their endeavors, the emphasis is on service and respect for the customer’s property. “When we’re involved in a renovation project, we’re responsible for how the project looks at all times,” Prutting says. “Renovation can be pretty unsettling. Part of making the process enjoyable for clients is to eliminate uncertainty by being predictable and dependable and by being as attentive and punctual as possible.”

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GLEAMING SURFACES The kitchen sports stainless steel, English sycamore cabinetry, and CaesarStone countertops with Euro-style lifting upper cabinets.

“Part of making the process enjoyable for clients is to eliminate uncertainty by being predictable and dependable and by being as attentive and punctual as possible.” David Prutting, Co-Owner

The firm’s first spec house, a townhouse designed in cooperation with architect Joeb Moore on New Canaan’s Park Street, reflects the caliber of their work. Prutting sees the home as the culmination of the firm’s talents and vision, describing the space as highly refined, sophisticated, progressive, and contemporary. The home features a rooftop with a fireplace and an outdoor kitchen and shower. Other amenities include an elevator, a two-car garage, engineered European wooden floors with radiant heat, and landscaped water features. The four-bedroom, four-anda-half-bathroom showplace offers 5,300-5,500 square feet of heated living space, with an interior and exterior design that encompasses both a modern look and a warm, inviting feel. The design is an ideal fit for New Canaan, which Prutting points out has a long and distinguished heritage in modern architecture. Home to groundbreaking modern designs including Philip Johnson’s Glass House, New Canaan was the epicenter of contemporary architecture for much of the mid-20 th century.


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All PHOTOS: PHOTOs: Michael Biondo

DRAMATIC ENTRANCE A granite pathway follows along a water feature decorated with sculptures before arriving at a stainlesssteel entry door.

© David Sundberg/Esto

BUILDERS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PROJECTS. Prutting & Company is keeping up with the recent trend of sustainability, too, and the Park Street home’s solar hot water system is typical of the firm’s green approach. “We try to be on the cutting edge of today’s technology, including solar heating, all forms of green construction, and progressive technology,” Prutting says. “It’s a patriotic imperative to explore alternative energy sources and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” That dedication to eco-friendly building is shared by the firm’s staff of 16, whom Prutting says are assets that set his company apart from its competitors. “It’s the caliber of the people we employ,” he says. “I have surrounded myself with terrific people. One of my skills is that I am a good team builder. I surround myself with people who are better than I am at their individual skills, and I let them go. I am the coach of a very good team.”

Moving forward, Prutting believes the firm will thrive by building on its strengths. “The goals,” he says, “are to do what we do well already—the protection and enhancement of the owner’s property and the fulfillment of their vision.” 34

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Prutting & Company 70 Pine Street New Canaan, CT 06840 Tel: 203.972.1028 West Coast Office: Prutting & Company 2353 S.E. 58th Avenue Portland, Oregon 97215 Tel: 503.233.1253 Visit our blog at


Driven by an appreciation of good design, Prutting says that the firm will go wherever the best architectural plans can be realized, even if that means working outside the Northeast. Toward that end, Prutting and Company has recently opened an office in Portland, Oregon, run by project manager Andrew Friedman. “I see us on the cusp of a potentially major expansion,” Prutting says.


Creative minds in interiors, landscapes, and furnishings

Gigi Olive Interiors, LLC Firm gives empty-nesters a new take on the family home

PATCHES OF COLOR The brightly colored quilt was the inspiration for this bedroom accessorized with many of the family’s cherished items. On the walls, Gigi Olive selected the right shade of red to complement the contrasting black-and-white design theme.

PHOTO: Greg Page Photography

by Kaleena Thompson When Gigi Olive’s father advised her to choose a different career path than interior design, she set out to prove him wrong. “I knew in high school that I was interested in interior design,” she says. “My father, a high school principal, thought a career as a dental hygienist would be much more stable and lucrative. This gave me the fuel to prove that I could do it.” Decades and design awards later, she had charted a luminous design path working at various prestigious design firms in Minneapolis. And once her

then design assistant left to spread her wings, Olive became inspired to venture out on her own. In 1999, she decided to form Gigi Olive Interiors, LLC. Also based in Minneapolis, her firm offers full-service design solutions and specializes in residential remodeling while always engaging homeowners to find creative solutions. Olive’s work can also be found in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida, but she carries the same philosophy into each project she does. “Good design is accomplished when there is a great partnership between all the players,” she says. “Each of the

design experts contributes their own talents— along with the personal touch of the client’s heirlooms and cherished possessions.” For one project, architect Rosemary McMonigal tapped Olive to join her design team for an extensive remodel of a St. Paul, Minnesota, residence. The clients, empty-nesters, wanted to capitalize on the amazing piece of property they had raised their family on. The Country English house needed a facelift, and the entire house was touched in some way during the project.

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Top Design Elements of the St. Paul Home

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1. A good client-designer relationship brought out the best in the design process. Olive says, “Their personal touches, such as the family pieces, contributed to the success of the project.” 2. Stellar views emphasize the sprawling landscape. 3. Blending existing art and furniture pieces with new and preexisting architectural features tied the new design together beautifully. 4. Recognizing exemplary design and good quality was important to the entire team. 5. Hand-planed walnut floors were handpicked by the architect, and Olive selected rugs to complement the wood and to set off individual seating areas.

“I love fulfilling the client’s visions and creating spaces that exude freshness and ease.” Gigi Olive, Owner Expanding the space for entertaining with friends and family was a priority. They decided to add a fabulous bluff room overlooking the lake that would open up the existing structure. “It was important to capitalize views of the lake,” Olive says, “[and] we kept the interior furnishings flowing with the interior elements that were already present.” The living room and bluff room blend traditional architectural elements with transitional furnishings. The existing wood paneling has been painted and glazed a soft khaki tone to freshen up the existing living room. And hand-planed walnut floors serve as connecting elements that add richness to the space. “The goal was to create comfort and … durability,” Olive says, reflecting her design sensibility. She infused the space with an earth-tone palette, using soft-sage ribbed fabric and persimmon accents to pull out the tones in the original stone fireplace. She adorned the neutrally hued walls with family heirlooms such as porcelain serving plates that now accessorize a window, and she also reused several of the client’s existing furnishings to enhance the space’s atmosphere of quiet sophistication, also an element of her design philosophy.


We are a custom fabric workroom established in 1974, serving the needs of the architectural and interior design communities. Visit our Gallery to see samples of our work. • Open Workroom, Open Communication You and your client are welcome in the Drapes Etc. workroom at any time during the fabrication process. By keeping communication open, we assure that every product transcends your expectations. • Ease and Experience Drapes Etc. makes the fabrication process smooth and enjoyable, no matter the circumstances. We go the extra mile, bringing our years of experience to every job. • Vision If you’ve ever been told, “it can’t be done,” you’ll appreciate our willingness to see beyond the challenges and find the solutions. The team also created separate, more intimate spaces in the remodeled home. “We moved some bedrooms around and reorganized some spaces,” Olive says. “A sauna was created as well as a well-decorated elevator. The client’s wanted to live here forever.” The home now includes three bedrooms on the second floor, a master suite on the main level, and a guest bedroom and bathroom on the lower level. The home, completed in 2010, also features a playroom, two kitchens, and a well-used workshop.

• Quality and Service First Great finished products grow out of exceptional service. We are as attentive to the small particulars as you are. The details make the difference.

All PHOTOS: Greg Page photography

More family heirlooms can be found in the firstfloor master bedroom. A black and white Wilton carpet draws the eye in, and the red walls with white trim create visual contrast in the space. “The quilt that drapes the bottom of the bed was the inspiration for the master bedroom,” Olive says. “Family artwork adorns the walls while an inherited Chinoiserie chest became the perfect night stand.” Olive points out that even the most unusual items can have sentimental value. The powder bathroom is particularly charming with bronzestriped wallpaper, an antique-inspired vanity mirror and sink, and a medium wood-tone handpainted toilet seat that has a place in the clients’ family history. From matching finishes to staying in keeping with family heirlooms, Olive’s interior design of the home achieved a timeless balance of peace and comfort, something she strives for with every project. “I love fulfilling the client’s visions,” she says, “and creating spaces that exude freshness and ease.”

2415 Nicollet Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55404

T 612.871.1400 F 612.871.1446


FZAD Architecture + Design A DEFINING VISION HELPS the URBAN FIRM COMPETE WITH LARGER COMPANIES by Zach Baliva Soon after FM Zonsius founded New York Citybased FZAD Architecture + Design 25 years ago, he realized the need to develop a strategy that would allow him to compete with larger firms in order to win bids on “the interesting projects.” He explains, “Everyone says they create great design on budget and without delays. We needed something else to define us.” Zonsius quickly identified two strategies that came to guide his high-end residential and retail business: designing with warranted budgets and keeping the principal on site during construction. “In essence, we do a full budget within the first two weeks of a project that is signed off,” he says.


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“If the bid numbers are different, we redo drawings for free.” As founding principal, Zonsius is always on site, providing unmatched consistency from the beginning of the design process to the end. “It makes sense that the most experienced individual of a firm, the principal, is on site as the master builder,” he says. Raised in Akron, Ohio, FM Zonsius attended Cornell University’s School of Architecture in New York, and in 1980 he started his apprenticeship at John Carl Warnecke, a high profile firm. He learned custom detailing, the nature of materials, building systems, color theory, furniture design and arrangement, and construction

management from multiple mentors. He started his firm in 1986 at age 30 with work on a prominent Madison Avenue store, and this grew into a series of commercial and residential projects up and down the famed stretch of New York City. When working on homes, Zonsius prefers to incorporate a client’s life’s history into the design. “Each of our clients is different and hence so should their style be unique to them,” he says. “By understanding this, we can do more for our clients.” Despite variances based on each client’s background, all FZAD projects remain consistent in their development of sequences of spaces. For



focused on details and incorporated a process of discovery that became fun and exciting for the client and the architect. “It becomes very personal and very emotional very quickly,” Zonsius says. “It is chunk out of your life and the love and caring that goes into it … it is not just business.”

“It makes sense that the most experienced individual of a firm, the principal, is on site as the master builder.” FM Zonsius, Owner the Rye Brook House, a three-story gut renovation and addition, a sequence of spaces was created with a staircase that provides unending views at different points as it weaves through the house. “Our clients might live in these sophisticated homes for the rest of their lives, so we have to maintain excitement and interest in our designs,” Zonsius says. Zonsius’s training in all facets of the industry allowed him to oversee all phases of the Rye

Brook House rehab. “We had done architecture, design, decorating, furniture, and management, and now we were able to pull it all together with fantastic details and client participation,” he says. The Rye Brook client hired FZAD—FM Zonsius and PM Zonsius—to spend two years taking the project from initial concept to a fully realized home with feeling, personality, and architectural clarity. The project involved everything from design to interior work to construction; FZAD

Everything is on display at Rye Brook to make the home both inviting and serene. An entry to the living room takes visitors along curved millwork that leads to a media room, a dining room, and a kitchen in circular fashion before pocket doors reveal a wonderful hidden library. This sits above a walkout basement complete with a poolroom, a wine cellar, and a bar. Upstairs are two bedrooms and a master suite whose closets are detailed with leather handles. White finishes create an “elegant, angelic, and pure” feeling and are complemented by more natural finishes. Throughout the house, rich mahogany contrasts with drapery to provide a beautiful backdrop for gold, Asian, and modern furniture. The kitchen is done in cream cabinetry and antique finishes while a square-tiled floor re-centers occupants and directs views to a nearby fireplace. Each space is different and draws from the clients’ world travels. The project, which ended up taking almost three years, set the tone and course for FZAD. Today, the firm is working on a 3,000-square-foot Central Park apartment and a 13,000-square-foot brownstone. After 25 years, FZAD is thankful to have come full circle and is living at the top of New York City’s design world by creating interesting projects with interesting clients who love the process and enjoy the ride.

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luxury home quarterly



FULL-SERVICE FIRM A guest room by Anthony Catalfano has upholstered walls with black-and-white tableaux. His firm does its own upholstering.

Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Inc. A BOSTON-BASED INTERIOR DESIGNER PUSHES CLIENTS TO THEIR Creative LIMITS by Tricia Despres Walk into an empty room, and most of us see an empty room. An interior designer walks into an empty room, and he or she sees a masterpiece. “It doesn’t take too long for me to visualize the entire room designed and furnished,” says Anthony Catalfano, founder and principal designer of Boston-based Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Inc. “I can imagine the look before I even begin the designing process.” Established in 1989, Catalfano’s firm has become well known throughout the state of Massachusetts thanks to a number of high-


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profile clients and a variety of traditional and contemporary homes in places such as Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Boston.

employees and think it’s to our advantage that we keep the business small and not take on more than we can handle.”

“We design for individuals, but we have structured the company as a business,” Catalfano says. “There are many designers out there who just aren’t business people, and I think it really hurts them in the long run. I’m a very decisive person that likes to stay organized in both my personal and professional life. We now have five

The firm provides not only full-scale interiordesign work but also side services such as upholstery, window treating, decorative painting, and furniture. A self-proclaimed advocate for good design, Catalfano claims he can learn much by meeting first-time clients “on their own turf.” “It’s crucial to see the way they have been living,”



TONES AND TRINKETS The master bedroom was designed by Catalfano in a blue and chocolate-brown scheme. The space mixes traditional antiques with Asianinspired accents.

Top Design Elements from Anthony Catalfano Interiors 1. Unique furniture is a trademark. “I travel throughout New York and Europe for custom furniture,” Catalfano says. 2. Drapery is often used throughout— the effect is simple but luxurious. 3. Distinctively patterned and textured textiles are considered during the initial design process. 4. Fine artisanship and quality is the starting point to any design project.

ALL PHOTOS: Michael Lee

5. Period furnishings and decorations punctuate many Catalfanodesigned spaces.

ROCKING ROOM This music room was inspired by a client’s collection of guitars and music memorabilia, and it was designed to showcase the pieces as functional art. Catalfano’s vision was to harmonize the clients needs for the room. The furniture is from Ligne Roset (, and it creates a relaxing atmosphere to play and listen to music in. The artisanship of the wooden walls was done by The Classic Group (781-761-1200).

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luxury home quarterly


Conveniently simple. Perfectly elegant.

Central Music

he says. “You can quickly find out the color palette they like and such, but it also gives us both an indication if there is a good fit between us. And when you develop a working relationship with a client, chances are it will expand into a long-standing relationship where you are there to meet all of their design needs.” While Catalfano says he enjoys educating his clients about the overall design process, he also likes to push them to their designing limits. “I just recently finished a music studio for a client whose taste was more traditional,” Catalfano says. “I persuaded him to step out of the box and try something new. I created a slick modern environment to display his extensive guitar collection [in] and a private place [for him] to relax doing what he loves to do.” Coming up with inspirations is a 24-hour process for Catalfano, whether by paper, pen, or laptop.“I don’t get much sleep,” Catalfano says with a laugh. “It’s very difficult when your mind is always working on that next great project. Yet simple sketching can help get those ideas out of your mind and onto paper.”

Central Video Central Casting

Though business has certainly changed in the wake of the recent economic downturn, Catalfano sees things beginning to go back to normal. “The role of the family home has changed since more kids just [are] not able to leave the home because they can’t find a job,” he says. “People in general were becoming quite reclusive, but they now seem to be ready to come out a bit from their home environment.” When they do, Catalfano’s firm is prepared to meet their design needs.


Design • Music • Theatre • Lighting • Control • Telecom • Electrical

we’re here... Call to arrange a visit to one of our Digital Playgrounds


Having now worked on so many different projects with Catalfano Interiors, we've come to have a great trust in the organization. Over the years we've been blessed with the opportunity to work with dozens of top-notch interiordesign firms, all of whom grace our clients with the benefits of their aesthetic expertise. What sets Anthony's team apart from the all the rest is that the organization sees a bigger picture. Working with Catalfano Interiors is like having an extra general contractor on the job. The firm is a sensational business partner. It's always a pleasure to be part of its team. Dennis Jaques Principal Maverick Integration



HOUSE OF STEEL An eco-friendly touch, galvanized steel is incorporated in the interior and exterior of the Billy Smith home. Here, the rust-resistant metal is used for the deck railing and the roof’s support beams.

Murphy & Co. Design A firm checks its ego at the door to help clients realize their dream homes By David Hudnall W hen Jeff Murphy founded Murphy & Co. Design in Buffalo, Minnesota, in 2003, he resolved to create a working atmosphere that was distinctly lacking in ego. “Some architects—many architects, even—tend to have strong opinions about exactly what their designs should look like,” Murphy says. “But clients don’t like dealing with strong, opposing egos when they’re trying to create a home for themselves.” “A huge part of what I wanted our firm to stand for was to be advocates to our clients, not adversaries,” he adds. “And everyone who works here today embodies and understands that idea. We’re easygoing, friendly, personable, and committed to high-quality, timeless designs that are reflective of the owners’ desires.” Currently, those designs are custom, high-end residential homes, many of them single-family homes, plus a growing number of second homes, remodels, and additions. “We’re highly versatile in terms of the size and style of homes we work on,” Murphy says. “Major renovations and large houses are typically great for business, but we also enjoy the intimacy of doing small projects, and our office is set up in a way that makes it easy to do any size

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luxury home quarterly


LIKE A LOG The bed in the master bedroom, designed by Jeff Murphy, is constructed from a black walnut that once stood in the vineyard. Also, at the request of the owner, Murphy gave the room the best views of the property.

Billy Smith’s House In Wayzata, a Minneapolis suburb, Murphy & Co. recently completed this very personal Midwestern farmhouse for a winemaker and businessman named Billy Smith. Though the property is within walking distance of a thriving downtown area, it includes a vineyard and a wetland, creating a pleasant duality for Smith. The home features extensive interior design courtesy of Murphy & Co., and its geothermal system and highgrade foam insulation also make it highly efficient, a continuous goal for the firm in its designs. “Billy really allowed us to spread our wings on this one,” Costello says.

Still, the firm often does not have to look far for an inspiring design opportunity. Its Tonka Bay home, a second home for a client who also owns a historic home in downtown Minneapolis, gave the firm the opportunity to build a weekend retreat on a Lake Minnetonka peninsula, but the project was not without challenges. Due to the lot’s shape and size and thanks to setback and hard-surface restrictions, the firm was required to apply for variances. Also, neighborhood standards called for low roof lines—a challenge, considering the client asked for a recreation room and four bedrooms with private bathrooms, all on the second floor.

“Major renovations and large houses are great for business, but we also enjoy the intimacy of doing small projects, and our office is set up in a way that makes it easy to do any size project efficiently.” Jeff Murphy, Principal project efficiently.” This diversity has led the firm to another kind of flexibility, too: the company now accommodates different fee structures and budgets depending on the project. “We enjoy flat fees,” Murphy says. “You agree to a budget that meets the client’s needs, and then you just have fun from there.” The bulk of Murphy & Co.’s clients reside in the Minneapolis area and its surrounding suburbs, but the firm has recently been doing work in western Wisconsin, the Brainerd Lakes area of Minnesota, and even outside the upper Midwest in places such as Aspen, California, and even India. “We’ll go wherever the clients will take us,” Murphy says.


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Remarkably, Murphy & Co. drew up a design that both outfitted the home with five second-floor rooms inside a 1.5-story structure and reduced the hard surfaces on the lot to improve the drainage system previously in place. From there, it was all about the views. By shaping the house to the point of the peninsula, the firm was able to capitalize on 270-degree views of water. “You can see the lake from almost every room in the home,” Murphy says. “It almost feels like you’re in a ship when you look out the windows because of the proximity of the shoreline.” An outdoor living experience was achieved through features such as an outdoor dining room, an outdoor fireplace, a pergola, and a built-in barbeque area. Three different balconies overlook the lake, and a variety of terraces weave through the property, bringing the home even closer to the water. The old lakehouse aesthetic of the English Tudor exterior—“We set the design parameters as an English half-timber style,” Murphy says—is offset on the interior by a mix of contemporary furnishings. The majority of the stained wood indoors is white oak, the fireplace in the living room was constructed from quarried stone and reclaimed timber, and the fireplace in the library was made of hand-carved limestone done by a local artisan. Murphy also designed all the architectural elements of the interior spaces, including the millwork, cabinetry, and iron detailing. Another distinctively personalized property by Murphy & Co. is in Wayzata, Minnesota, a Minneapolis suburb. The client, Billy Smith, is a winemaker who sought a home for himself and his sons that reflected his artistic and philosophical identity. “Billy is a big believer in the concept of yin and yang,” project architect Bill Costello says. “He’s a winemaker and an artist—but also a businessman. The right side of his brain is engaged in business development, and the left side is where his creative pursuits come from. He wanted a reinterpreted contemporary Midwest farmhouse that would reproduce those different aspects of his personality.”


COMING TOGETHER The living room and the owner’s office share the same vaulted space. This room was oriented to have views of both the wetland and the vineyard, and the desk and the side and coffee tables were all designed by the Jeff Murphy.

BUILT TO LAST The master bathroom has a double-sink vanity whose top and side panels are constructed of durable hand-pressed concrete. The mirror frames are galvanized steel. The marble subway tile is laid in an incomplete pattern that contrasts the vanity’s rigid geometry.

COMMUNITY KITCHEN The kitchen is at the center of the home, and its large concrete island serves as a gathering place that can fit eight people. All of the cabinetry in the house is finished with a high-gloss automotive paint to guarantee a gleam.

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luxury home quarterly


Control Your Home

Tonka Bay Project

A half-acre vineyard sits at the front of the property, the home in the distance beyond it. Views to an adjacent wetland were incorporated into the home’s design. “When you look at pictures of the home, it looks very much like an agrarian setting,” Costello says. “But in reality it’s just a few blocks from a pretty energetic downtown area. Billy can pick grapes and then walk over to the coffee shop.” Murphy & Co.’s involvement on the home’s interior was extensive. “We went beyond the exterior shell and really got into the nitty-gritty details on the inside,” Costello says. His team designed the window trim, the cabinet detailing, the hardwood detailing, the dining-room table, and a desk in the office, and they crafted the master and guest beds from a black walnut tree that had fallen in the vineyard.

Western Systems 871 Meander Court Medina, MN 55340 Phone: 763-682-2899 Fax: 763-682-9242

Smith also was intent on the home being energyefficient, and to that end the firm incorporated prefinished steel products, high-grade foam insulation, and “lots of ceiling fans—he likes to be able to open his windows during the part of the year where you can do that up here,” Costello says. A geothermal system for heating and cooling also made its way in, which is an approach Murphy & Co. particularly favors. “We’re big advocates of geothermal systems because of how cold it gets in the areas our projects tend to be,” Costello says.

Achieving a sense of timelessness is one of Murphy & Co.’s primary objectives, and this retreat home, located on a peninsula between Echo Bay and Lafayette Bay on Lake Minnetonka, is an example of that ambition in action. The English Tudor’s half-timber exterior gives the home a classic aesthetic, and the 270-degree’s worth of lake views—available in nearly every space of the home via windows, doors, and balconies—give a sense of being on a ship at sea. Inside, details and finishes by Murphy & Co. lend a contemporary balance. “We were able to overcome a number of obstacles to give the clients everything they wanted,” Murphy says. “I think it reflects the fact that we’re very good listeners and collaborators.”

“The same goes for insulating above building code standards—we almost exclusively specify closedcell polyurethane foam insulation.” “We’re students of architectural style, so we’re doing constant research and exploration in that area to broaden our knowledge,” Murphy says. Looking ahead, the firm is eager to identify additional accomplished builders to collaborate with in its market and to continue spreading the word about its “advocate-not-adversary” architectural approach. “Smart business and great design go hand-in-hand,” Murphy says. “The better your business plan, the easier the projects are for your team—and the more pleasing they are to your clients.” luxur

Stone Veneer

Brick Veneer


Landscapes 2434 Commerce Boulevard Mound, Minnesota 55364 Phone 952.472.0714 | Fax: 952.472.9084

SITTING PRETTY The make-up table in the master bedrom features a custom vanity upholstered in shagreen. The mirror and bench employ a twig design in gold leaf.


designer showcase

LUXE MATERIALS The sinewy carved bed, undulating reflective side tables, and soft green color scheme continue the organic feel of the home. The silk bed and window drapes, along with the mohair sofa in the same soft hue, create the femininity and elegance the client desired.

Diedre Shaw Interiors Talk about creative inspiration. Diedre Shaw, owner of Diedre Shaw Interiors (DSI) in Burlingame, California, received her formal training at the University of California–Berkeley’s design school. But her passion for design was fueled by earlier creative endeavors—she worked as an international model, earned a teaching degree in ballet, and picked up another degree in literature from UCLA.

Text by Frederick jerant Photos by David Duncan Livingston

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luxury home quarterly


A SPLASH OF COLOR The master bathroom’s thick glass sink vessels are blue and brown, contrasting the space’s natural stone color palette.

Top Design Elements of the California Modern Residence 1. The Clarence House vanity bench “uses a twig motif, gold leaf, and velour for a look that’s very organic, elegant, and feminine,” Diedre Shaw says. The bench was made by Ironies (


haw’s disparate educations contributed to her own philosophies about what makes a good interior. “Home is where your most memorable experiences take place,” she says. “The settings add so much to those life events, and that’s why I create beautiful spaces for my clients.” Shaw obtained her first client while she was still at University of California–Berkeley (UCB). That job was the initial link in a chain of referrals, and she took her business full-time in 2004. “I’ve been working on my own ever since,” she says. DSIs’ market niche is high-end residential work, primarily in the San Francisco area, from the Peninsula to the East Bay. The city is home to a mélange of architectural styles—everything from Mediterranean to Victorian to modern.

“I’m responsible for the whole scope of the design,” Shaw says, “planning the space, selecting materials, choosing colors and patterns—just about everything except drawing up the architectural


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plans.” Planning and certain other services— such as upholstering and cabinetry construction—fall to a long-standing pool of vendors. And according to Shaw, “I know I can count on them to do excellent work and be good representatives of my firm.” Client input is essential to Shaw’s projects. “Your home should reflect your best self,” she says, but she acknowledges that every client’s needs and desires are different and that determining them can be challenging. “Often, people can’t get there themselves, and they need to be prodded about their passions.” To help with this, during successive client meetings, Shaw asks plenty of probing questions, and at the same time, she helps her clients expand their comfort zones. “One of my clients strongly preferred landscape paintings; modern art was off the table,” Shaw says. “But three weeks after we visited some galleries in San Francisco, she spent $100,000 on contemporary paintings.”

2. The master bedroom’s clover side table, also by Ironies continues the outdoor motif; the legs suggest tree branches while the tabletop is covered in authentic sharkskin. 3. The Santa Barbara four-poster bed is a dramatic dark-walnut piece, from Artifacts International ( It features clean, simple lines and a “straightfrom nature” appearance. The organza king pillows and sage-silk bed draperies are both from Kravet (, and the Euro pillows are from Lee Jofa ( 4. A Monaco chandelier from Laura Lee Designs, Inc. ( draws attention while complementing the living room. The antique bronze-over-wrought-iron finish creates a rustic vibe, and it is accented with onyx “sleeves” over the light bulbs. Similar Laura Lee light fixtures appear throughout the house.


GIANT JACUZZI The California Modern home’s hot tub area was converted into a spa-like tub room that now adjoins the master bathroom through French doors. The retreat includes a 10-foot-wide circular whirlpool tub and travertine flooring.

STAND-OUT DESIGN In the spacious, classically designed Mediterranean Traditional home, symmetry and a monochromatic color palette allow the clients’ modern art collection to pop.

Top Design Elements of the Mediterranean Traditional Residence 1. The dining room table—a 60-inch circular Italian number with an inlaid Firenze, design by Artitalia Group (artitaliagroup. com)—expands to 83 inches to accommodate as many as 12 guests. 2. The “Walking Nude with Pear” sculpture, made by Corbin Bronze (corbinbronze. com), offers an interesting contemporary counterpoint to the classical lines of the owner’s antique Italian chest of drawers. 3. The Tavolo “Urbino” coffee table is made of Italian walnut, with an inlaid panel by Artitalia Group (, and it reflects the owner’s taste and heritage and echoes the clean lines of the fireplace and ceiling. 4. A chest of drawers, made by Charles and Charles Bombay, is made of burled Italian walnut wood, which replicates and balances the antique piece on the other side of the hallway. 5. Sanibel living-room sofas from Kravet (, covered in Hermitage mohair from Joseph Noble (josephnoble. com), provide plenty of seating when the owners entertain. Also, their symmetrical positioning helps draw attention to the modern art above the fireplace.


CLASSIC VS. CONTEMPORARY In the expansive front hall, an antique Italian chest of drawers—a family heirloom—is complemented by newly acquired demi-lune chests, also from Italy. Old World pieces are juxtaposed with modern art pieces throughout the home.

“I want to design rooms that are actually useful and not just attractive.” Diedre Shaw, Owner

That client had contracted with DSI for a major remodeling of her 4,000-square-foot home. “It was a real mix of traditional and modern elements,” Shaw says, “with a motif of bringing the outdoors inside.” In the living room, a side table rests on a fur rug. The table’s cast-bronze legs resemble gnarled twigs, and its top is covered in sharkskin. A large painting on one wall incorporates falling leaves set within seven layers of wax. It is all quite elegant yet maintains a definite earthiness. The bedroom is an exercise in a sagegreen monochrome, but contrasting materials—

mohair, linen, and silk—bring visual and tactile variety to the limited palette. An tree theme is carried through lamps, and the bedroom’s dressing table, bench, and mirror all contain arboreal elements. Even the mirror’s sidelights look like branches. The dining room mixes hand-carved java wood, neutral silk chairs, and light woods, all resting on a modern shag carpet. Shaw’s penchant for mixing it up is further exemplified in an 8,000-square-foot traditional Mediterranean home in Hillsborough, California. The interior had been beautifully decorated by a well-known designer some years previously and featured a then-popular color palette and furniture set. “My clients wanted a complete home makeover,” Shaw says. The husband is proud of his Italian heritage, so Shaw used traditional shades of rust, olive, and taupe throughout the house. A large modern painting above the living room fireplace is enhanced by the room’s subdued color scheme.

Clean-lined mohair sofas and antique walnut fireside armchairs with silk upholstery and galloon trim comfortably share space with an inlaid walnut coffee table and an animal-print tufted ottoman. A centuries-old burled Italian walnut chest (a family heirloom) in the main hallway contrasts with a Corbin bronze sculpture and other modern art; it is balanced by a replica chest crafted by Charles and Charles. And the dining room includes Louis side chairs in rust and red brocades as well as an expandable round Italian inlaid table that can accommodate up to 12 guests Currently, DSI takes on a steady flow of three or four projects at a time, which Shaw sees as a comfortable number in the tough economy. She is able to continue offering complete interior remodeling services from the ground up while ensuring that each space meets her own rigorous standards, which go beyond mere aesthetics. As Shaw herself says, “I want to design rooms that are actually useful and not just attractive.”

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luxury home quarterly


The ultimate finish How The Architectural Studio gave its clients a personal building experience Text by Laura Judy Photos by Roger Wade

the ultimate finish


hawn Leatherwood, AIA, owner of The Architectural Studio in Waynesville, North Carolina, has been a designer and architect at heart since childhood. “When I was 9 or 10, I took private painting lessons, and the teacher told me that my paintings were exceptionally precise and I’d make a great architect,” he says. “I’m very lucky to have known for so long exactly what I wanted to do.” Leatherwood went on to earn degrees in interior design and architecture. After working for several other firms over the years, in 2001 he took over the business of a friend and mentor who passed away. “He did mostly government and commercial work, so I took the firm in a new direction,” Leatherwood says.

That direction was toward building high-end custom homes—mostly around the mountains of Southern Appalachia—such as the Parker Residence in the Balsam Mountain Preserve. “About 75 percent of our projects are second homes, and the bulk of our work involves projects one million dollars and up,” Leatherwood says. While their projects used to average around $1.5 million, in recent years The Architectural Studio


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saw the prices of projects creep downward as the economy slowed and people began looking for something different. “In the late ’80s and early ’90s, big was the trend, but now people know they don’t need all that space,” Leatherwood says. “Now we’re doing smaller homes, but our clients put the money they save on size toward increasing the quality of materials, finishes, and details. They’re really valuing their investments.” To help take those investments to the next level, The Architectural Studio helps its clients with every detail of each project. “We have an interior designer on staff, and we retail more than 180 different products, from lighting fixtures to cabinets to millwork,” Leatherwood says. “Early next year, we’ll start carrying fabric and furniture. We spend a lot of time coordinating all the selections, and our clients really appreciate that we can handle everything in house.” Of course, clients can also choose items from elsewhere, and The Architectural Studio will still help them through the whole process. The firm of four (Leatherwood, an interior designer, an office manager, and an architectural intern) takes on three to six projects each year. “There’s never more than one project on the

drawing board at a time,” he says. Leatherwood chose his company’s name on purpose because the firm really does have a studio atmosphere, with two or three people brainstorming around a table. He works with clients from start to finish and loves being able to give them personal attention. “The nuances you pick up from clients at a face-to-face meeting are what make a house a home in the end,” he says. “That can get lost in larger firms, where projects are handed around from person to person.” Because its members believe that buildings are simply elements within a larger process of creation and preservation, most of The Architectural Studio’s projects are built to have minimal impact on the land around them. The actual design of each home varies. One recent project, the Lyon-Howard home, combines an open floor plan, a wraparound porch that opens into a large living area, and wood walls washed with diluted paint to create a unique, refined, rustic look. On the opposite end of the spectrum, another project, the McGowen home, is much more traditional and formal, featuring tapered Tuscan columns; limestone floors; and grand, oversize moldings. “This project was really fun for me


SCREENING ROOM The Parker residence’s outdoor sleeping porch is located on the east end of the home to capture sunrises and cold breezes. The louvered panels running low on the walls offer privacy while sleeping.

WALKING ON AIR The black metal staircase has wire-mesh risers, which lend transparency and take advantage of the light offered by the two-and-a-half story stair window.

Top Design Elements of The Parker Residence 1. Rustic building materials, such as poplar and cedar, decorate the home’s exterior. 2. The free-floating metal staircase is the centerpiece of the home, and it helps to create a contemporary feel. 3. Black walnut cabinetry combines styles by having a flat front with detailed millwork.

since I’m a classicist at heart and my background is in more traditional style; most of what we do around here is more rustic,” Leatherwood says. Ultimately, no matter the project, Leatherwood’s focus remains on those he works for. “I enjoy it all, but in the end, it’s not about what I want; it’s about what the client wants,” he says. “We’re just here to facilitate making their dreams into reality.”

4. A screened-in sleeping porch with a fireplace is the homeowner’s favorite part of the residence, and she often sleeps there, enjoying the sound of a waterfall right outside. 5. Large windows and prime positioning take advantage of the surrounding mountain view (the home is at an elevation of 4,000 feet).

3 Design Avenue, Suite 105 Fletcher, NC 28732 p: 828.650.0223

ROCKY SURFACE The rear entrance opens onto a lower-level stone patio, which is perfect for entertaining guests. At the other end is the entrance to the home’s recreation room.

LINED UP Cedar timbers frame the view to the stairs beyond the foyer and provide support for the bird’s nest loft above. The native-stone floors, cedar timbers, and exposed framing contrast with the crisp walls and clean lines of the iron railing to create a warm and inviting entryway.


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WOOD BLOCK Black walnut cabinets made from horizontal panels create continuous horizontal ribbons of rich wood around the kitchen and drink station. The stainless BlueStar ( range, the backsplash, and the cast-concrete countertop of the island create a contemporary atmosphere.

GLASS BOX The cast-concrete tub surround passes seamlessly into the frameless glass steam shower to provide a reclining bench for relaxing, and a suspended roof above completes the enclosure. The white subway tile is inset as a border into the reclaimed barn-board floors, setting the tub and shower apart as a modern element in an otherwise rustic space.


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Homes in the hills

Text By Frederick Jerant Photos by Todd Bush

New upscale community in north carolina is an ideal retreat from hectic city living


he phrase “planned community” sometimes conjures images of bland assembly-line homes on postage-stamp lots. But Reynolds Blue Ridge, located in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, is exactly the opposite. It sprawls across 6,200 acres of national park-grade land in the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering a wealth of breathtaking views.


“As with many NC Mountain properties, Reynolds Blue Ridge is a ‘destination residential,’ [community],” says Jim Pitts, general manager of Reynolds Development & Management Group, the site’s master developer. “For the immediate future, the community provides a seasonal or weekend getaway for our members, but we expect it to evolve into a mix of permanent and retirement [residences] as the community grows.” The location is convenient for Southerners—being just a two-to-five-hour drive from Charlotte and Winston-Salem in North Carolina; Greenville, South Carolina; and Atlanta—and a key attraction is the region’s panoramic views. In many mountain-based communities, perhaps 10-15 percent of the homes will have long mountain views. But at Reynolds

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luxury home quarterly


Land Planning & Landscape Architecture

Market Deco Since 1977, Oldham Planning &

Design Associates has been providing

innovative, timeless and workable designs for functional places . Our services include site analysis, community planning, sustainable design, graphic design, landscape design and more.

Reynolds Blue Ridge Reynolds Blue Ridge in Blowing Rock, NC, is a residential community that mixes vacation homes with permanent residences. They range in size from 1,650 to more than 7,000 square feet on sites sized from 3/4 to 11 acres. The 10 homes in the community’s newest neighborhood, Watson Gap Cottages, feature roughhewn natural timbers, bark siding, free-stacked stone, and intricate wrought-iron hardware. Nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, the community will offer a Rees Jones-designed golf course as well as opportunities for fishing, kayaking, hiking, and other activities that take advantage of the area’s natural resources.

1415 South Church St. Suite F Charlotte, NC 28203 P: 704.342.1919 | F: 704.342.2025

Blue Ridge, Pitts says, about 80 percent enjoy dramatic vistas, giving the community further distinction in the marketplace. Reynolds took over the project in 2009 and immediately invested $13-15 million into grading and paving the roads and installing wastewatertreatment facilities, community water, telecommunications, and other basic infrastructure needs. Currently, the infrastructure provides for approximately 435 residential lots. Ten homes have been completed since inception, and Reynolds Blue Ridge has launched a new cottage product to respond to the expectations of the new emerging market. Construction in 2011 will kick off with 12-15 new homes, and when complete, the community will have about 1,500 homes. Reynolds Blue Ridge offers a good range of home prices and sizes for interested parties. Lots can be as small as 3/4 of an acre and as large as 11 acres, and custom-home sizes range between 1,650 and 7,000 square feet. “At Reynolds Blue

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A Classical Studio evolved from the merger of Wakefield Beasley & Associates Architects, Inc. and David Grace. John Beasley and Lamar Wakefield began their firm 30 years ago with an emphasis in residential architecture. Since then, their firm has grown to over 100 + employees with offices in Jacksonville and Atlanta. The firm specializes in retail, commercial and institutional architecture while continuing to provide residential architecture to their discriminating clients.

Top Design Elements of the Watson Gap Cottages 1. Timber-frame construction creates rustic, vaulted interior spaces. 2. Natural finishes such as cedar siding, cedar-shake roofs, and stone wainscoting echo the appearance of hand-hewn materials.

With extensive experience in custom and high end home design both for primary and secondary residences; David Grace brings a specialization in traditional residential design. He has worked on show homes for Southern Living and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle magazines, The Atlanta Symphony and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. Together, forming A Classical Studio, David, Lamar and John strive to produce excellence in residential architecture.

3. Natural interior finishes can be found in the all-wood floors, wooden vaulted ceilings, and granite countertops.

Ridge we are seeing a national trend toward downsizing homes to include more efficient living and affordable entry-price points,” Pitts says. “For the developer-built products, we are offering smaller three-bedroom, three-bath homes. Into the future we may also explore even smaller products such as 650-sqare-foot studios and 900-to-1,650-sqare-foot duplexes, townhomes, and condominiums. Our buyers want architecture that’s different from the typical suburban home, and we offer a progressive, rustic mountain style inspired by an Appalachian architectural vernacular.”

4. Exterior living spaces, including front porches and two-level rear living areas, capitalize on the region’s climate. 5. Three-bed, three-and-a-half-bathroom (minimum) configurations and gracious family living spaces reflect the expectations of emerging markets.


FOR RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE 5155 Peachtree Parkway | Building 300 Suite 3220 Norcross, GA 30092 P. 770.248.2800 | F. 770.248.2801 | july 2011

luxury home quarterly


Waters Brothers Construction Co. of Boone, Inc. was founded in 1971 by Albert and Clifford Waters and incorporated in 1977. We are a grading and utility contractor serving Boone, NC and surrounding counties.

SPECIALIZING IN: • CLEARING • EROSION CONTROL • DRAINAGE • GRADING • ROCK REMOVAL • TREE REMOVAL • UTILITIES Through the years we have prepared ground for driveways, residential lots, commercial lots, and roads. Waters Brothers Construction was the first grading contractor in the Laurelmor Development, now owned and operated as Reynolds Blue Ridge. With our knowledgeable staff and forty years experience we look forward to serving you for all of your grading and utility needs.

“We envisioned Reynolds Blue Ridge as the 21st century’s first great residential resort in the mountains, and I think we are well on our way to accomplishing this goal.” Terry Russell, President The firm’s aesthetic is exemplified in their first neighborhood, the Watson Gap Cottages, which were unveiled recently. The 10 units in this group range in size from 1,850 to 3,000 square feet. “These homes feature timber-frame construction and use many natural materials including cedar-shake roofs, cedar siding, stone foundations, wood floors, granite countertops, and wrought-iron hardware,” Pitts says. The homes’ interiors will have a casual elegance that is reflective of the mountain lifestyle, president Terry Russell says, adding that the main living areas are designed to accommodate both large groups of relatives and friends or smaller, more intimate gatherings of immediate family.

Waters Brothers Construction Co. of Boone, Inc. 577-1 George Wilson Road Boone, NC 28607 Office: (828) 264-7420 Fax: (828) 264-2739 Email: 64

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“Kitchens will be a focal point for entertaining, as dining is a key experience of second-home and vacation living,” Russell says, “so kitchens and cabinetry are custom-designed for each home. And, because each home has a different orientation, we strategically placed windows to permit the best possible view and oriented outdoor living spaces to take advantage of indoor-outdoor living and dining opportunities. Typically, this home experience will include a wide variety of interior-design elements, and the level of finish and comfort are of the customers choosing.”

Even though Reynolds Blue Ridge is tucked away in the mountains, plenty of amenities will be available. “Much of the community amenities are either in the design process or still under construction,” Pitts says, “and will include a Rees Jones-designed golf course, [a] club house, and [a] village center, complete with multiple civic structures like a wellness facility, general store, outdoor outfitters, and community activities center.” The village center will be the hub for many local activities and events. The outdoor outfitter will rent fishing gear, kayaks, bikes, and other sports equipment to residents. And both indoor and outdoor exercise will be available at the wellness facility. Solitary and outdoor adventure pursuits will also be featured at Reynolds Blue Ridge. The community features multiple hiking trails, stocked trout fishing, pavilions, camping, and a natural swimming hole with a rope swing on Laurel Creek. “It ties in with our ‘unbelievably great outdoors’ concept,” Pitts says, “which encourages people to enjoy these activities.” “We envisioned Reynolds Blue Ridge as the 21st century’s first great residential resort in the mountains,” Russell says, “and I think we are well on our way to accomplishing this goal.”


A Decade of Environmental Professional Solutions

ENV-Environmental Consulting Services, Inc. was founded in 1998 to serve a growing demand for sound environmental practices in an era of dynamic policies and regulations. We work to efficiently and effectively meet the clientele needs regarding natural resource and surface water issues. ENV uses practical experience in planning, design, permitting, construction, mitigation, and monitoring to complete projects that function ecologically, blend aesthetically, and fully comply with complex environmental laws.

Our Range of Services Include: • Jurisdictional Determinations • Wetland Delineations • Clean Water Act, 404/401 Permitting • Mitigation Planning and Monitoring • Stream Restoration Design • Environmental Consultations • Erosion Control Planning • NPDES Monitoring & Reporting • Storm Water Management Planning • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment • Pre-Purchase Site Evaluation • Stream Flow Assessment & Monitoring • Threatened & Endangered Species Assessment • Water Quality Analysis & Monitoring • Baseline Inventory

3764 Rominger Rd, Banner Elk, NC 28604 P: 828-297-6946 | F: 828-297-1982

BANNER ELK, NC 828.898.9887 STUART, FL 772.287.2872 WWW.DAVANT-INTERIORS.COM FL License IB 0000766

july 2011

luxury home quarterly


Second Nature On Lake Washington, Peter Cohan, Architect’s Cedar Park House functions as an extension of the natural landscape Text by David Hudnall — Photos by Lara Swimmer

Cedar Park House A 5,500-square-foot luxury lake home completed in 2009 on Lake Washington in Seattle, the Cedar Park House is sited to highlight the large lawn that unfolds before an 80-foot bluff overlooking the water. Views from the main living space are framed by large wooden sliding doors that overlap each other, providing as much as 50 feet of uninterrupted grass, water, and sky.


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second nature

“The essence of the house was framing this huge lawn gracefully,” Peter Cohan, Owner


erched atop a bluff roughly 80 feet above Lake Washington in Seattle, Peter Cohan, Architect’s Cedar Park House is a lesson in thematic siting. “Rather than pushing the home to the edge of the bluff, we pulled back, creating a yard that is formed by the edge of the bluff,” Peter Cohan says. “From the street entrance, the site tapers very slowly for a couple hundred feet until you reach the edge, where it drops off precipitously.”

“The essence of the house was framing this huge lawn gracefully,” the Seattle-based architect adds. “There was a notion of rhythm and consistency that we were going after: you descend a sequence of steps to reach the entry, then three steps down to the living spaces, out the patio, then another three steps down to the lawn.” The views from inside certainly do not suffer. From the living, dining, and kitchen space, overlapping custom sliding glass doors—each one seven and a half feet wide—offer an uninterrupted, fifty-foot view of the yard, the lake, and the sky—“a 180-degree sweep of Lake Washington,” according to Cohan. Upstairs in the master bedroom, a set of double doors open onto a deck, with views of St. Andrews Park across the lake. “It’s really quite beautiful,” the architect adds. Two concrete walls mark the site and define its major exterior and interior spaces. The first follows the long northern boundary, cupping at the end to form an outdoor hearth. The second parallels the first, until it bends in the middle and angles to the southeast. Together, they form a Y that opens to the east. “The space between the spreading walls and the edge of the bluff is the heart of the site,” Cohan says.

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luxury home quarterly


second nature

Top Design Elements of the Cedar Park House 1. Anigre hardwood is used for the cabinets, paneling, and shelving. 2. A floating oak floor sits atop a concrete slab that is heated hydronically. 3. Fir glulam is used for the home’s beams and windows. 4. Sliding doors were provided by Quantum (; each one is seven and a half feet wide. 5. Above-ground cisterns store water for flushing toilets, laundry, and irrigation.

Because of its steep site, the property is subject to erosion and landslides, so water from the roofs must be collected and transported up the hill to the street. This was accomplished in two ways. The long shed of the western roof simply moves the rainwater far enough to drain to the street, and the eastern butterfly-shaped roof deposits rainwater into three aboveground cisterns, which store it for toilet, laundry, and irrigation use. The overflow from these cisterns is high enough to drain back to the street by gravity. “We tried to do everything as passively as possible,” Cohan says. According to the architect, the dialogue between the roofs and the walls establishes the spatial character of the house. The west walls and roof are parallel whereas the east walls and roof have different shapes and orientation. And, Cohan explains, “The misalignment creates opportunities

for covered patios on the lower level and exterior decks on the upper level, strengthening the strong indoor-outdoor relationships that characterize the main living spaces of the house.” “The owners realized that the site called for a modern house but wanted to make sure that it felt warm, comfortable, and inviting,” Cohan says. The exterior is entirely concrete and cedar. Inside the floors are oak, and all cabinets and much of the paneling is anigre, an African hardwood. The bathroom surfaces are cedar and slate tile. Finally, the dining-room table was made from a large slab of an American chestnut tree that unfortunately had to be removed in order to build the house. Ironically enough, Cohan says, the table is now situated exactly where the tree once stood. Like the rest of the home, it exemplifies the brilliant repurposing of a once-natural space.

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luxury home quarterly


DeForest Architects used clients’ background as inspiration for the design of their lake home text by David Hudnall

photos by Ben BensChneider

The Nest

The nest


eForest Architects proudly and actively advocates a playful approach to architecture. “Remember playing with blocks, forgetting to ‘stay between the lines,’ and getting caught up in the moment of ‘What if?,’” reads the Seattle-based firm’s website. “We embrace that inventive spirit.” But the firm’s approach is far from simplistic; in fact, DeForest Architects’ design process is highly detailed and comprehensive, particularly when it comes to client involvement. Just ask Paul and Penny Fredlund, an empty-nest couple (“We call them an anything-but-empty-nest couple,” principal John DeForest says) for whom the firm designed a contemporary home on Lake


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Washington affectionately known as The Nest. “We led them through a series of homework assignments,” DeForest says. “They completed a ‘spatial history’ of places they’ve lived, writing out all the things that were memorable about those places. We also started out showing them some simple block models—three-dimensional designs that they were able to grasp very quickly and which allowed for a holistic look early on during the decision-making process.” The Fredlunds are an active, outgoing couple who had always dreamed of living on a lake. In purchasing a property on Lake Washington, they were transitioning from a traditional historical house into something more modern. “They

wanted a fresh lease on life,” DeForest says. “They wanted a home that was cozy for two but comfortable for a crowd, and they didn’t want to feel like they were rattling around an empty house. They wanted to come home and feel like they were going on vacation.” Tall orders. But by comprehending precisely what living spaces were amenable to their lifestyle and then playing around within those ideas, DeForest was able to create a design that very accurately matched the Fredlunds’ desires. So what does it look like? Very simply, it is an urban home with a strong sense of both nature and seclusion. A green rooftop garden nestled into the hillside offers a relaxing escape from the


Top Design Elements of The Nest 1. The hidden bedroom door, a sliding art panel designed by DeForest and custom fabricated by Joseph McKinstry Construction (, hides the master suite from guests. 2. Slide-fold doors to the outside—custommade by HH Windows & Doors (—open the living spaces to sweeping views. 3. Custom cabinetry, designed by DeForest from white oak, was fabricated by Mark Mayer Modern ( and has inset treasure boxes for special collections. 4. The ceiling is made from maple plywood and was custom fabricated by Joseph McKinstry Construction ( 5. The window layout was designed to balance views and privacy, and glass was provided by Sierra Pacific Windows (

The nest

The Nest A lake home with an emphasis on living in tune with the elements and accommodating an easy, active lifestyle, The Nest is the product of an intensive design process DeForest Architects conducted closely with the clients. The home reflects the wishes, aesthetics, and lifestyles of an empty-nest couple. The 2,500-square-foot house features an additional 1,000 square feet of deck space off the dining room and master bedroom. And with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, it is both a cozy space for two and an accommodating venue for entertaining guests.


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The nest

indoors. The patio table, designed by DeForest, located on the deck outside the master bedroom, is literally living, filled with sedums. The upstairs deck itself is largely shielded from the road and is “spectacular in the late-afternoon, pre-sunset light, its rich color illuminating the lake, mountains, Bellevue, and Mercer Island,” DeForest says. Inside, the home’s modern look shines with clean lines, flexible spaces, golden walls, and a minimalist touch. This aesthetic artfully works off of the Fredlunds’ eclectic collections as well as the Caesarstone counters and white-oak cabinets.

In the living room, large windows overlook the lake, and even one side of the kitchen is opened up to the view. In Paul’s spatial history, he wrote about his experience living on a houseboat and how he loved the feeling of being able to step out and enjoy the pleasures of the sky, winds, and sunsets on the deck of a ship. This led DeForest to create a main living space that floats above the ground and is accessible via an entry bridgeway that recalls a gangplank. Paul’s office area upstairs is a crow’s nest with views of the lake and Mount Rainier.

During the information-gathering process, DeForest noticed that the Fredlunds tended to organize their belongings in baskets that would serve various activities: birdwatching, hikes, etc. As a result, the firm organized storage on the main floor into a series of cabinets supporting these adventures—special niches they have termed treasure boxes. Flourishes like these—along with the bridge-like entry walk and low-maintenance materials—help achieve the “vacation every day” objective. “Ultimately, the home is at once a retreat, a gathering place, and a lookout,” DeForest says.

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luxury home quarterly



For Your Viewing Pleasure On Mercer Island, A Hutchison & Maul Architecturedesigned guesthouse and its primary residence offer many striking lake views TEXT By David Hudnall — PHOTOS BY Alan AbramowitZ


he structure Hutchison & Maul Architecture designed in 2009 on a property on the western side of Mercer Island—sited as close to Lake Washington as permitted by code—is something of a guesthouse, located downhill from the property’s main residence. But designer Robert Hutchison says it is also its own entity. “We started design on the [primary] house first, but when we started in designing the beach house, we began to see the two as being on completely different sites—the same property, but different sites,” he says. “We resisted the notion that they needed to be at all similar.” The concept that resulted—which replaced a dilapidated beach house on the property—was that of a sort of jewel box on the lake, Hutchison says. After sorting through underground foundation issues involving poor soil, the firm determined that there was only one portion of the property available to site the new beach house. “The difficulty was that we had to place it on the only flat part of the site,” he says. “And I didn’t like the idea of the house taking up all that valuable flat surface.”


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As a result, Hutchison opted to hoist the structure above a patio. “That preserved some of the flat land for outdoor use, and it created a nice covered space,” he says. “It also allows for a couple of new vantage points.” Providing a variety of viewpoints was important to Hutchison—the way the primary residence looks straight down onto the smaller beach house; the view from the water up the hill, the two houses stacked atop each other; and the positioning of the beach house’s roof deck. “The roof deck overlooks the water, but it’s shielded from the primary residence, providing total privacy up there,” he says. “Whereas below, on the ground floor level, it’s a more public area.” The south side of the house features a horizontal ribbon window, providing a framed view of the lake from indoors that blocks out some of the nearby adjoining houses. Upon entering the courtyard, a wall of copper entirely obstructs the view of the lake. “As you descend the hill, you see the lake, then you don’t, then you walk around, and there it is again,” Hutchison says. “It’s all about how you view and experience the lake.”


The Mercer Island Lakeside Residence


Nestled at the bottom of a slope beneath the property’s primary home, this Mercer Island beach house is sited against the waters of Lake Washington. At once connected to and independent from the primary residence, the secondary space features an exterior copper cladding system and is partially hoisted to allow for an outdoor covered patio, a design that takes full advantage of the shortage of available flatland. The home was completed in 2009, with landscape architecture by Bruce Hinckley.

“As you descend the hill, you see the lake, then you don’t, then you walk around, and there it is again. It’s all about how you view and experience the lake.” Robert Hutchison , Principal

for your viewing pleasure

LOOKOUT POINT A roof deck above the main living areas provides occupants with their own private view of the lake.

Top Design Elements of the Mercer Island Lakeside Residence 1. Copper siding was designed by Hutchison & Maul, who coordinated with McKinstry (, a metal siding subcontractor, to have it installed. 2. The private roof deck features Ipe-wood decking over a sloped membrane roofing system. “The Ipe will weather to a nice grey over time and is maintenance-free,” Hutchison says. 3. A winding staircase provides access to the bedroom. It was custom designed and fabricated by Hutchison & Maul. 4. An enclosed courtyard space was designed in collaboration with landscape architect Bruce Hinckley (alchemiesites. com). The trees were selected and installed by Hinckley. 5. Steel stairs descending to the lake were custom designed by Hutchison & Maul and installed by general contractor EH Construction ( “The steel stair provides a floating connection between the residence and the lake house,” Hutchison says.


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for your viewing pleasure

CLEAN AND SIMPLE The spare, ultra-modern kitchen and dining area includes a table and 611 stacking chairs from Artek ( and a George Nelson platform bench from Herman Miller (

EXTENSIVE GLASS The home’s many viewing windows were provided by Quantum Windows & Doors, Inc. (

The exterior of the beach house was outfitted with a flat-seam copper cladding system, which serves as siding, soffit, and roofing. “The really strong move was cladding it with copper,” he says. “It gives it a reflectivity and luster in the way it’s situated on the water.” The material has the additional blessing of changing over time. “At first it was very much a shiny copper penny look, but it’s changed and aged and dulled a little over time,” says Hutchison. Hutchison’s work tends to focus on one or two materials or palettes per design, so to counter the copper/ concrete exterior, he elected to adorn the interiors with a simple white material paint and simple wood flooring. Consistent with this idea is the open floor plan –living room, dining room, and guest area are all interconnected.

STONE AGE Concrete retaining walls, set into the steep hillside, provide an entry courtyard. A cantilevered steel staircase provides access to the courtyard from the steep hill above.

In the end, Hutchison accomplished his goal of creating a jewel box on the lake. His clients approved. “It’s amazing how clients are all so different,” he says. “These clients had no preconceived notions other than that they wanted a contemporary design. That’s exciting on one level, but also challenging. We had to decide for ourselves how the exterior defined the interior space, and vice versa. It was difficult but ultimately very rewarding.”

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luxury home quarterly


Cooler by the Lake

FINNE Architects’ Eagle HarboR Cabin sits just off the shore of Lake Superior By David Hudnall

cooler by the lake


he town of Eagle Harbor is located on the northern tip of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan— which means it is about as close as you can get to Canada without leaving the State of Michigan. Separating Eagle Harbor from the Great White North is the vast expanse of Lake Superior. In this tuckedaway environment, Nils Finne designed a cabin for clients Bob and Leslie Haeger. The lakefront retreat is positioned “as close as I’ve ever come to the water with a home,” he says.

Finne had previously worked with the Haegers on a project in Seattle, where his firm, FINNE Architects, is based. Though he had designed homes on Puget Sound, working in Eagle Harbor was still a new challenge. “In the winter, Lake Superior can get 10- and 15-foot waves,” he says. Undaunted, Finne steamed ahead with plans for a home that practically grazes the waterfront. “By cantilevering the elevated living space out from the foundation walls, we were able to place the structure very close to the water,” he says. “We had to approach the glass installation very carefully and make sure it could handle the weather and the elements. The water from the lake will sometimes literally splash against the glass.” In 2005, Finne flew out to see the property with Bob and Leslie, had some meetings with a local contractor, and then returned to Seattle to develop design drawings. The first scheme was too ambitious and had to be scaled back and simplified. There were also some local zoning issues to resolve. Construction began in the summer of 2006, and the cabin was completed a year later, in August of 2007.

The Haeger Cabin A 1,900-square-foot home located on the northern tip of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, the Haeger Cabin was completed in 2007. By cantilevering the elevated living space out from the foundation walls, FINNE Architects was able to place the structure extremely close to the water—so much so that during the winter, waves from the lake splash up against the extremely durable and reinforced windows in the main living space. Finne’s custom-designed furniture also figures prominently in the aesthetics of the home’s interior.


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cooler by the lake

Top Design Elements of the Haeger Cabin 1. Custom cabinets constructed from Plyboo were designed by FINNE Architects. The FSC-certified-wood cabinetry has a vibrant pattern that Finne refers to as “zebra wood.” 2. Corrugated metal siding on the exterior is “durable, requires no maintenance, and guards against the woodpeckers up there,” Finne says. 3. Locally grown maple and birch flooring is harvested from Michigan. 4. Floor-to-ceiling stone framing the fireplace was pieced together from from Montana ledgestone. 5. A 40’ x 18’ glass wall overlooking Lake Superior was custom designed by FINNE Architects.

“It brings a sensuous feel to the space,” Finne says. (A custom coffee table, also mahogany, matches.) Curvilinear steel lighting brackets, also designed by Finne, rest in the air above the dining table and island, and the cabinets feature a vibrant pattern courtesy of their Plyboo origin. “It reminds me of zebra wood,” Finne says. Elsewhere, the wood paneling—much of which comes from native Michigan hardwoods such as maple and birch—lines the flooring and interior.

The Haegers had the structure built on a threeacre property where an older cabin already sat. “Leslie had grown up vacationing there but wanted to build a more reasonably sized cabin for the family,” Finne says. They opted to leave the original cabin untouched, and it now sits 40 feet from the new home. At 1,900 square feet, Finne’s design is modestly sized. The bedrooms are stacked on top of each other in the western corner of the house, and the master bedroom sits atop a children’s room outfitted with bunk beds big enough to accommodate four. The kitchen, living, and diningroom space sits below an open timber ceiling and was heavily influenced by the home’s large glass


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wall, which offers a breathtaking 40’ x 18’ view of Lake Superior. “We wanted as much transparency to the lake as possible, so it looks like the lake is coming right into the living space,” Finne says. The glass wall also has the added benefit of northern exposure, which is preferable to the intense sun rays that would flood a glass wall oriented west or the east. Finne also designs custom furniture, and his creations are found throughout the home. The smartly curved mahogany dining table and kitchen island reflect the curvilinear wood-screen wall at the cabin’s entry and provide a welcome contrast to the rectangular nature of the cabin.

Corrugated metal siding was selected for the exterior. The material offers two advantages, according to Finne. “The clients wanted a durable, maintenance-free exterior,” he explains. “But there are also some very ferocious woodpeckers in that region, and they attack [homes with wooden exteriors].” Because the property is a long-held piece of family history, Finne’s design had to please Leslie’s mother, who had formerly owned the land. “Leslie was afraid her mother would fear the change or not react well to a new, different place,” Finne says. “But her mother walked inside once we’d finished and looked to Leslie and said, ‘This is wonderful.’ So it all worked out.” And thus, a Seattle-based designer successfully expanded his reach through construction with a mindful consideration of site.


Afloat, Not Adrift

MOS LLC’s Floating House sits directly on the waters of Lake Huron By David Hudnall

Afloat, not adrift


he Lake Huron site upon which the architecture firm MOS LLC’s Floating House sits is at the near-nexus of a U-shaped island on the lake. “It’s a strange condition for an island because usually islands don’t have an interior open to water the way this site is shaped,” MOS LLC principal Hilary Sample says. Asked to design a boathouse on the property, the firm created a floating home—referred to simply as the Floating House—that links the two ends of the island: one side is connected to the other through a dock along the bottom of the boathouse and a gangway extending from the second floor. “In essence, it is possible to slip past the boathouse and walk to the other side of the island without entering the boathouse or disturbing anyone inside,” Sample says.

It is undoubtedly a clever design idea on paper, but it presented a variety of challenges during construction. For one, the water levels of Lake Huron fluctuate wildly throughout the year. To counter these dynamic changes, the house sits on a structure of steel pontoons, which give it the capacity to rise and fall along with the lake. That the island is remotely located in Georgian Bay also posed problems, particularly in terms of transportation costs, so construction materials were delivered by barge to the contractor’s lakeshore fabrication shop. The steel pontoon structure was built first and then towed to the lake, and fabricators constructed the house while the lake was frozen and then towed it to the site and anchored it in position. “The house traveled a distance of approximately 80 kilometers on the lake,” Sample says.


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“Usually islands don’t have an interior open to water.” Hilary Sample, Principal


Afloat, not adrift

Top Design Elements of the Floating House The views—always a key design element for lake homes—are considerable but not ostentatious. “We played games with the views from the boathouse to the surroundings,” Sample says. “We don’t always give away a panoramic view because it seems too obvious.”

into the new structure—tiles in the bathroom were custom-designed by a porcelain artist, for example, and a “rainscreen” envelope of cedar siding encloses both the interior living space and the exterior spaces, doubling as a reducer of heat gain and wind load.

The landscape and vernacular of the surroundings were also strong influences on the design. “The region is extraordinary in terms of the granite terrain, mosses, wooded forests,” Sample says. “And the architecture is typically simple wood cabins. We were very interested in that sense of vernacular, and we took lessons from projects in the area that we admired.”

Finally, western red cedar, a material common in the region, was selected for the exterior, and Sample says it will help the home evolve as it ages. “Western red cedar naturally turns gray over time, and we liked the idea that the house would change over time,” Sample says. “It also helped to play up the idea of the temporary conditions of the site, its constant flux—the rising water, the freeze and thaw of winter and spring, the shifting of weather and the seasons. It’s our hope that the house will continue to change in appearance over time and become more and more a part of the site.”

Prior to designing the Floating House, MOS LLC had designed a separate sleeping pavilion on the property for the client, and many of the ideas from that project were adapted and incorporated

1. Western red cedar is common to the region and was used on the exterior with the idea that it would age well with the surrounding landscape. 2. Custom-designed porcelain tiles were placed in the bathroom, a nod to the client’s original home built nearby. 3. Rainscreen cedar siding works to reduce wind load and heat gain. 4. A dock along the bottom of the house links the home to both sides of the island. 5. A steel-pontoon foundation allows the home to properly fluctuate with the water levels of the lake.

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luxury home quarterly


“It’s our hope that the house will continue to change in appearance over time and become more and more a part of the site.” Hilary Sample, Principal

STARTING SMALL Before actually building the light, airy Floating House, MOS LLC constructed models of the home to ensure that its pontooon foundation and cedar siding would be structurally sound.


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A showcase of sleek, modern architecture —and the blueprints that started it all







The PLans

Dynerman Architects PC Marrying site and home with a blend of modern and traditional design strategies By David Hudnall “I don’t believe there is a debate of any consequence regarding the supposed opposition of modern and traditional design in architecture,” says Alan Dynerman, principal at the Washington, DC-based firm Dynerman Architects PC. “There are things that are essential to architecture that are always there, regardless of the era or style, and the best of our work combines aspects of both the past and the present without seeing a distinction.” Dynerman has carried this philosophy from the beginning of his career, which has gone through a number of iterations over the years. After completing graduate school, he returned to his hometown of New York City and worked at a firm for a few years. Then he moved down to DC, where he worked for Hartman-Cox Architects for another three years before opening his own firm with a partner in 1986. Today, Dynerman Architects is just Dynerman himself and three other employees. “With a small firm, it’s more about your personal reputation with


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people, which is good for us,” he says. “I’m not very corporate and would not have survived in a corporate arena.” The firm’s work is primarily in Washington, DC, and the surrounding area, but Dynerman has also designed projects in places such as Kuala Lumpur and Huntsville, Alabama. Completed two years ago, the 15,000-square-foot Huntsville residence sits atop a mountain overlooking the northeastern part of the city. “The client came to us seeking a traditional Tudor pile design,” Dynerman says. “He wanted to meet in DC to discuss it, but I told him I’d rather come down to Alabama to take a look at the site.” Surveying the property, Dynerman sensed that a modern design would be a better fit. The client, whose cousin had grown up in a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Florence, Alabama, soon agreed. The design was not without its challenges. “The site was so big and had such a commanding presence that we had to work to strike a balance

between the monumentality of the site and a sense of grace and intimacy,” Dynerman says. In the living room, light pours in on all four sides, giving inhabitants of the home an awareness of daily and seasonal changes of light. “One of the things I’m most proud of is the way this home captures natural light in a nonintrusive way,” Dynerman says. At certain times of the day, light comes through the slabs of glass and wood and breaks into prisms, which Dynerman calls “a happy accident.” Dynerman’s friend and colleague, Lisa Adams, of DC-based Adams Design, assisted on the interiors of the home. She chose furniture and fabrics that both support and tastefully contrast Dynerman’s design. “Lisa has a great eye and great sensibilities,” he says. “So many interior designers can be pretentious and difficult. Or they’ll use intimidation as a way of selling you on specific themes or designs that they’re partial to. Lisa doesn’t do any of that. Her work is always in service of the larger concept.”


The Huntsville Residence With five bedrooms and five baths—plus special features sucha as a theatre room, a bar, and a pool house—the Huntsville home is doubtlessly lavish, but its modern amenities are tempered by artfully selected natural materials. Twostory pearwood panels line the living room and interact with slabs of glass and pieces of stained fir, and the slate steps that lead through the lawn to the entrance have an ancient look. “I like my work to be, in a sense, primitive,” Dynerman says. “Wall, roof, beam, chimney—the making of the basic elements, materials, and finishes is inspiring to me.” He brings the same balanced approach to renovations such as the Bishop House, a farm home in Markham, Virginia. There, an open-air aesthetic was achieved via a pavilion-like wrap opening

The Alabama home’s pool—sitting atop a bluff overlooking Huntsville—is designed to make it seem as if the water is literally flowing out and down the mountainside, like a waterfall. The accompanying pool house was imagined as an outdoor, openair pavilion, and the roof features a series of rectangular slabs—separated by skylights—leaning on a beam in the rear of the structure. The deck, made from travertine, connects to the pool house, and a stone wall rises to separate the water from the main house. Guests must cross a bridge over the water to access the pool. “The goal was to achieve a continuity between the exteriors and the interiors throughout [the home],” Dynerman says.

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luxury home quarterly


up to a courtyard. Prior to the renovation, “you would never have even known there was this gorgeous landscape sitting outside,” he says. It is a fine example of what Dynerman cites as the primary challenge of all renovations: retaining what is good about a structure and discarding what is not. “Everyone’s seen these homes where it’s a Tudor and somebody attached a modern addition onto it that looks ridiculous,” he says. “That’s the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve when we work within existing pieces.” Whether it is a large new house—the firm is currently working on a 20,000-square-foot home in DC—or a renovation, Dynerman Architects’


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goal is to integrate the site and the house. “[It should be] all one experience, not just a house plopped down,” Dynerman says. “How does the site inform how the house is designed? How does it connect? Those are our overarching concerns.” In the months ahead, Dynerman Architects will return to Alabama for another residence and begin work on a chapel for Georgetown University. In addition to finding a harmony between site and structure, both projects will also fuse Dynerman’s love of modern and primitive designs. “I believe good designers bring their own challenges to the table,” he says. “That’s what I intend to continue doing.”






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10 Alan Dynerman



Adams Design, Inc. provides a full range of space planning and design services. The firm prides itself on working closely with its clients to develop innovative, effective, and aesthetic designs. From the first meeting to the final site visit, creativity, efficiency, attention to detail, and high standards drive every project.

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The huntsville Residence 1 Entry Hall 2 Guest Room

This featured project was designed in collaboration with Alan Dynerman, of Dynerman Architects. Adams Design would like to thank Dynerman Architects for their support. We wish them continued success!

3 Office 4 Living Room 5 Dining Room 6 Family Room 7 Kitchen 8 Game Room 9 Library 10 Sun Room 11 Garage 12 Future Pool House 13 Upper Pool 14 Lower Pool 15 Future Pavilion 16 Bocce Court 17 Forecourt

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Robert Lautman

luxury home quarterly


The PLans

The Bluejay Residence

Dean Larkin Design LEADING ARCHITECT MERGES CLIENT, SITE, AND DESIGN by Zach Baliva “I don’t care how good design gets created … I just want the best,” Dean Larkin says when describing his eponymous architecture firm, Dean Larkin Design. The philosophy leads to both democracy and scrutiny—all the firm’s employees are encouraged to share their ideas, but each designer must know what each drawn line represents. Larkin, based in West Hollywood, started his company in 1998, and since then his team has created striking commercial, hospitality, and residential projects around the world, including some of Southern California’s most glamorous homes. Larkin can tell if a project will be a success right from the start. “We can and will design just about anything, but when I know we have a likeminded client, I know we can really do something special,” he says. Many Dean Larkin Design


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clients are young and modern technophiles looking to create something new. “If they can see a picture of it, then someone else has already done it … so they’re not interested,” he says. For Dean Larkin Design, a custom home creates a synthesis of client, architecture, and site. “We’re not looking to force a style on the land, but are really looking for the nexus where all elements can come together,” Larkin says. His design skills buttress the approach—one recent project features specially curved sliding doors that take added advantage of the surrounding landscape by offering a 270-degree view. Natural light and integrated architecture are two other Larkin signatures. “We are always adding skylights and changing window shapes to get a constant flow of natural light through an entire

The 8,000-square-foot Bluejay residence hovers over the famed Sunset Strip. A dramatic LED-lit L-shaped swimming pool wraps around the home’s exterior and rises 28 feet above the ground. The sprawling structure also highlights the connection between indoors and out. For instance, a large and open master bedroom continues through pocket doors to an outdoor seating area adjacent to the pool. An interplay between structure and water helps create a grand atmosphere throughout the sleek, modern home.

house,” he says. And a blend between interior and exterior spaces is also essential, most of Larkin’s work existing in a region that allows for outdoor living at least 300 days of the year. One recent project, The Nydes Residence, called for doubling the size of an existing 4,000-squarefoot midcentury home in Bel Air, California. Larkin moved the pool from the courtyard to the edge of the site and gave it an infinity edge to enhance its sweeping view extending from downtown Los Angeles to Catalina Island to Santa Monica. He also emphasized the home’s indooroutdoor connection in several ways. First, a series of stepping decks connect the house and the view in a new way. Second, a moat runs straight into the house, and clever openings in the wood floor and in frameless glass windows allow occupants to view koi fish swimming throughout the











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The BlueJay Residence 1 Entry 2 Foyer 3 Dining Room 4 Kitchen 5 Breakfast Nook 6 Laundry 7 Garage 8 Powder Room 9 Living Room 10 Knife-edge Pool 11 Spa 12 Bar 13 Family 14 Master Patio 15 Master Bedroom 16 Master Sitting Room 17 Her Closet 18 His Closet 19 Master Bathroom 20 Study



The Nydes Residence Larkin transformed the Nydes Residence from a 4,000-squarefoot French structure into an 8,000-square-foot estate by moving the pool and adding a guesthouse and garage. The home showcases spectacular hilltop views, an outdoor pool, soaring ceilings, a meandering moat, moveable walls, and a rooftop terrace that connects its indoor and outdoor environments. Primary materials of the house include river rock, onyx, mahogany, oak, travertine, glass, and limestone.

property. The moat enters through an oversized pivot door, and exterior stonework is repeated on the inside. The adjacent living room features glass windows that rise 16 feet from floor to ceiling while big pocket doors slide back to open the area to the outside. Nearby sits another of Larkin’s favorite elements—a loggia. The large outdoor room includes comfortable furniture next to a warm and rough-hewn stone fireplace. As always, the view is ever present. A guest in the loggia can still look across to the living room and out to the skyline. Larkin recently received the chance to flex his creative muscle at a tantalizing Sunset Strip location. The Bluejay Residence sits atop Hollywood’s exclusive “bird street” district and was designed to match the client’s modern lifestyle. Larkin placed the master bedroom on the main level to connect it more intimately with the exterior and the pool area. In fact, the sitting room of the master bedroom is completely outdoors. “The ceiling and floor come right on outside through pocket doors to give the house a pavilion feel,” Larkin says. The client can simply slide his


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door out of the way and step into an L-shaped pool complete with LED lighting. Again, the view takes center stage and spans from Catalina to the Getty to Santa Monica. On clear days, Malibu even stretches out in the distance. In some places, the Bluejay home’s pool is just four inches deep. “I love the idea of someone going on vacation in their own home,” Larkin says. He envisions his client returning from work, grabbing a glass of wine, rolling up pant legs, and relaxing in a chaise. An outdoor sitting room provides another poolside respite, though the water never seems far throughout the residence— in fact, it bisects the deck and runs right up to the living room. Larkin is thriving in his native Los Angeles and continues to find new ways to blend site and structure. He and his colleagues have mastered the craft of building on uneven land, and they are still learning new tricks—some current projects include guest houses and rec rooms tucked beneath hillside pools—and, ultimately, Larkin’s flawless designs and continued innovations are helping to bolster his reputation as one of Southern California’s preeminent architects.







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“We’re not looking to force a style on the land, but are really looking for the nexus where all elements can come together.” – Dean Larkin, Founder


The NyDes Residence 1 Entry 2 Living Room 3 Library 4 Kitchen 5 Dining Room 6 Vestibule 7 Master Bedroom 8 Master Bath 9 Master Closet 10 Powder Room 11 Hall 12 Laundry 13 Linen 14 Bedroom 2 15 Bedrom 3 16 Bedroom 4 17 Family Room 18 Patio


Providing concepts and programs for deluxe homes

Wyatt & Associates, Inc. A SMALL-BUT-MIGHTY BOUTIQUE FIRM DELIVERS TRADITIONAL DESIGN WITH A FOCUS ON DETAILS by Julie Edwards According to founder Gregg Wyatt, it is Wyatt & Associates, Inc.’s unwavering attention to detail and classical approach that have kept the firm going strong beneath an expansive Texas sky. And his claim is hard to argue with, especially considering the boutique architectural firm, based in Dallas, has now been offering traditional residential-design services and extensive interior-detailing work for a solid 20 years. “I’ve always been highly devoted to the art and craft of building good buildings that inspire the owners and other users to look beyond the normal,” Wyatt says. “I also am very much devoted to the uniqueness that each project and client present, and [I] try to always express that within the details and selection of materials and methods.”


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Wyatt started his firm in 1991 and, over the past two decades, it has grown to a modest five employees. “My desire has always been to keep the company small,” Wyatt says. “Sometimes small can mean a hectic pace, but the results and satisfaction from this hands-on approach—as well as my ability to provide personal attention to each client—are paramount.” Though small in size, the firm’s scope is impressively expansive. At any time, Wyatt & Associates typically coordinates up to 10 residential projects averaging 10,000 square feet. The firm offers a full range of custom architecture and interior-design services—as well as site and garden design—for high-end clientele, and it remains extensively involved from conception through construction.

Top Architectural Elements of the Meadowood Estates 1. Cut limestone used throughout the home is reflective of Renaissance detailing in northern Italy. 2. The contrasting interior details of the home include simple plaster wall surfaces juxtaposed against embellished wood ceilings and marble flooring. 3. Carved stone and marble detailing, including fireplace carvings of limestone and marble, was executed from full-scale drawings. 4. A custom lighting scheme of bronze lanterns was designed to fit niches and portals on the interior and exterior. 5. The architectural garden design was carefully planned to coordinate with the building’s circulation and egress.


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Top Architectural Elements of the Ten X Ranch 1. Architectural-stone detailing, such as stone massing and carved elements, reflect Romanesque forms and contrast with lighter elements, per southern Spanish architectural traditions. 2. Interior woodwork and plaster work emphasize mass and weight along with highly ornate wood ceilings. 3. Ornamental bronze work (think forgings and castings) are based on models and studies of ironwork from traditional southern Spain. 4. Leaded and colored glass are incorporated within doors, windows, transoms, and miscellaneous portals. 5. Continual movement between indoors and outdoors is emphasized through the garden’s layout.

“For most clients, we become involved in the initial schematic phases because, along with the exterior building ideas and concepts being planned and proposed, we also are developing interior ideas and finishes,” Wyatt says. One of the firm’s early signature projects is a Dallas residence designed and built in the mid1990s in Meadowood Estates. Commissioned by a growing young family, the home is located in one of the more established neighborhoods of Dallas. Wyatt & Associates coordinated the exterior and interior architectural design as well as the garden design and implementation, and the firm worked closely with an interior designer regarding finishes and furniture.

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“The plan was developed as a reflection of established prototypes of the American country home [and] adapted for an urban setting,” Wyatt says. “The design utilizes architectural massing and detailing in a style influenced by the architectural

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Cheri Etchelecu Interior Design

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history of northern Italy and creates a link between classical ideals and American residential traditions. “I’ve always felt this project closely followed the study of classical forms and traditions but also was the beginning of my explorations with other ideas and details within a classical framework,” he adds. “It has, over time, become an important and notable structure that has generated new business for the firm.” Another hallmark project was the Ten X Ranch, which was completed in 2009. The clients for this project had recently retired from their corporate positions with a Dallas company and desired to build a final home that reflected their varied interests and the places they had traveled as part of their corporate life.

“There are few craftsmen who still allow the architect to design freely. These folks do, with unparalleled service and quality.” Gregory L. Wyatt A.I.A.

“The structure and related details utilize a plan of progressively descending architectonic blocks, and the structure responds to the varied topography of its site and the surrounding countryside views,” Wyatt says. “A regional design, the project uses a style reflective of both Texas and the Andalusian region of southern Spain along with materials indigenous to its area, including heavy stone detailing and classical form.” While the basis of the firm’s work remains classical, Wyatt notes that he always feels free to “explore the variations and manners of contemporary life upon the established styles of architecture; however, our devotion to correct and challenging architectural detail remains a hallmark and signature of the firm. ” “While I certainly have my aesthetic preferences, I also endeavor to take the client along with me on the journey,” he adds. “Sometimes it’s challenging, but I always end up being friends with my clients beyond the project itself. In short, good clients generally equal good buildings and, hopefully, good buildings attract good clients.”


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Top Architectural Elements of the Pennsylvania Farmhouse 1. The rough stone exterior provides a critical framework to the overall design, which is crisp yet rustic. 2. The recycled Douglas fir-beamed ceiling, located in the family room, works with the clerestory windows and the large rustic flagstone fireplace to create a warm country ambiance. 3. “ Valley Forge” flagstone floors, the rich green slate flooring, and gray-soapstone and bluestone counters—featured throughout the house—add to the home’s farmhouse feel.

L. Barry davidson architects An ENDURING firm CONTINUES TO CREATE CUSTOM HOMES IN A once-untapped market

4. Vintage-pine stained woodwork and wide-board floors in the interior carry the same warm, earthy values as the other finishes. 5. Interior clerestory windows were built into the inside wall of the family room, and they allow natural light and a connection to the guest bedrooms above via operable antique pine shutters.

PHOTOS: Miro Dvorscak

by Julie Edwards Designing custom homes with a cohesive thread, L. Barry Davidson Architects has built a well-respected niche in the Houston, Texas, architectural landscape. “When I started my firm in 1978, most homes were track housing—there was very little residential design work,” principal Leslie Davidson says. “I felt I needed to distinguish myself and, at the time, very few architects were focusing on residential projects only.” As a result, Davidson decided to specialize in custom residential architecture, both new-construction and remodeling projects. “Narrowing my focus allowed me to become exceptional in that one area,” Davidson says.

“While it’s a little unusual, this specialization also means my work is very cohesive and architecturally correct.” Davidson prides herself, as well, on her complete candidness with clients. “It is paramount to face the facts of the project upfront, including any issues over costs or project limitations,” she says. “I have lost projects for being so candid, but my clients also are not surprised later in the process.” The firm has remained small since its inception over three decades ago, allowing Davidson to maintain a hands-on approach and also allowing the business to weather economic and industry ups-and-downs. Currently, the firm completes

five to six projects per year, ranging in size from 3,000 to 10,000 square feet. Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of the firm is that the architects are also licensed interior designers. “I started working in interiors because my clients kept asking for my assistance with choosing finishes,” Davidson says. “Now, having a dual specialty in interior design [and architecture] gives our firm an edge and is an asset, as well, because it helps the continuity and flow of the design, giving our projects a completed, cohesive feel.” One of the firm’s notable projects is the Southern Colonial, an amply proportioned house set on a wooded, five-acre site in Houston. Three years

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Top Architectural Elements of the Southern Colonial

“I hope that our projects create a calm, comfortable, less chaotic environment for our clients which, in turn, allows them to live their lives better.” Leslie Davidson, Principal

1. Hand-crafted bricks on the homes’ façade enhance the pristine, authentic plantation feel. 2. Architecturally correct exterior details, including cast stone, twostory Doric columns, a slate roof, and wrought-iron grapevine brick tooling, also add to the home’s authenticity. 3. Interior walnut and cherry woodwork adds to the warm, welcoming feel the owners desired.

PHOTOS: Robert Muir

4. The foyer staircase serves as an anchoring element for the wide central hall while adding an element of grandeur. 5. Deep, full-width porches, located on the front and back of the home on both levels, add to the design’s graceful charm while providing space for seasonal family gatherings.


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in the making, the 12,000-square foot home offers graceful symmetry and a welcoming ambience, hallmarks of the great plantation houses it took inspiration from. “The owners are from the South and desired a gracious home that they could use for family gatherings and entertaining,” Davidson says. “As a result, we designed a highly detailed and welcoming exterior façade to coordinate seamlessly with the warm, comfortable interior spaces.” The home’s hand-molded brick exterior incorporates a wide veranda and a wrought-iron-wrapped upper balcony on the front while, at the back, brick columns shelter a wide loggia and support a graceful rear balcony. The majestic twostory entry features a stylish staircase with wide treads and an iron balustrade. As in most classic Southern Colonial houses, the wide central hall is flanked by formal rooms but connects conveniently to the informal spaces, too. Generously proportioned living and dining rooms contain 12-foot raised ceilings, and the elegant two-story library has marquetry black walnut flooring, burnished walnut paneling, and built-in bookcases.

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Here in 2011, the firm is working on a challenging historical remodel in Houston, and Davidson also is designing and building her own home, a process which keeps her in touch with her clients on a personal level. “We understand that your home is your refuge,” Davidson says. “And I hope that our projects create a calm, comfortable, less chaotic environment for our clients which, in turn, allows them to live their lives better.”

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Another hallmark project is the Pennsylvania Farmhouse, built in northern Houston. “This farmhouse sits on a large wooded piece of property, and the owners wanted the look that they were accustomed to when growing up in rural Pennsylvania,” Davidson says. “In the end, the openness of the plan and the warmth of the exterior materials and interior finishes create an inspiring sense of home.” The exterior is composed of natural stone from Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania, culled to provide an intense tan, green, and rust coloration. The stones are interspersed with fiber cement siding to create a rustic farmhouse look. The home’s interior continues the warm, earthy feel, from the stained wide-board wood floors to the rich green slate counters to the natural hues of the interior paint colors.

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WARM AND COOL An evening view from the grotto pool exhibits the home’s warmth and expansive windowing.


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Grandberg & Associates Architects NEW YORK ARCHITECT CREATES FAMILY OASES IN ANY STYLE by Kaleena Thompson

i n t e r i o r s

Te l 8 0 1 . 2 7 2 . 8 6 8 0 a n n e m a r i e b a rt o n. c o m

The turning point in Ira Grandberg’s life came through a chance encounter with a legendary architect in 1965. At the time, the young designer had just left the University of Arizona School of Architecture, but an impromptu meeting was arranged with well-known Philip Johnson, famous for his Glass House in Caanan, Connecticut. “He took the time to study my portfolio,” Grandberg says. After much encouragement and advice, Johnson helped arrange an interview with the Columbia University School of Architecture, from which Grandberg graduated with honors in 1970. Now in its 35th year, Grandberg’s firm, Grandberg & Associates Architects, is known for its timeless and beautiful high-end residential homes. The firm, previously located in New York City, is now based in Mt. Kisco, New York. Constructing homes from 4,000 to 20,000 square feet in size, it is recognized for its versatility and skill in building design and site planning. “We are intuitive designers who welcome any design challenge,” Grandberg says. “Every project is unique because we pride ourselves in not being formulaic. ... We understand the envi-

ronment and come up with fresh solutions.” A Greenwich, Connecticut, home in the country manor style exemplifies the firm’s detailed craft. The structure was envisioned as an informal setting for a young family and had to capture the spirit of the Adirondack environment where the client spends summers. Grandberg and the homeowner chose a stone, timber, and shingle palette. “The stone was used to allow the house to grow out of the land,” Grandberg says. “The shingle allowed us to sculpt the house. The timber gave us a strong anchor to connect and scale the spaces. And the detailing gives this residence a natural presence and harmony with the site.” At 12,000 square feet, the plan Grandberg designed was informal yet elegant. “The front of the house appears as a formal two-story façade,” he says. “At the back it becomes an informal three-story composition.” The lower-level houses the recreational spaces such as the gym, changing rooms, a sauna, a billiards room, a bar, a wine cellar, and a media room, and “the hallways serve as art galleries, for the homeowner’s collection of gems and rocks,” Grandberg adds.

Top Architectural Elements of the Greenwich Home 1. Stone was properly sized to the overall wall composition. The cut of the stone is an important consideration, and so is the mortar joint selection. 2. The stone was cut and laid in a manner that exhibits proper presentation and is harmonious with the building’s vernacular. 3. Shingles installed in relation to the building’s scale provide a sculptural quality to the building envelope and an appealing texture to the building’s skin. 4. Tonal harmony was achieved in Grandberg’s design. He managed to create a shingleand-stone house without any jarringly disconnected elements.

“We are intuitive designers who welcome any design challenge. Every project is unique because we pride ourselves in not being formulaic.” Ira Grandberg, Principal

5. The pool has surrounding rocks that Grandberg says “grow out of the foundation. Water flows out of the rocks at various locations, thus completing the natural environment of the house and the landscaped areas.”

Primary formal and informal spaces including the arrival hall, a library, a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen are located on the midlevel, and the family room, detailed with heavy timber, acts as a promontory overlooking the site. The lower and mid- levels, connected by patios, overlook a cascading waterfall that terminates at a pool. The third level houses the bedroom suites, and a children’s playroom and a balcony and cupola are located in the attic loft. It is no wonder the home received a Design and Masonry Honor Award for Excellence from the American Institute of Architects. Another award-winning project in Connecticut

TIMBER ILLUMINATED Heavy timber detailing defines the family room, located as a promontory overlooking the site.

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luxury home quarterly


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was the complete restoration of a 1920s stone cottage. “My goal was to maintain the character and materials of the original form,” Grandberg says. He matched everything from the stone and mortar to the windows, the hand-cast chimney pots, and the antique Ludowici roof tiles. In addition to adding 70 percent more space to the original home, the meticulous architect introduced trusses and beams in various sizes to provide scale and detail. Distinctive exterior and interior details are also hallmarks of the firm, as evidenced by a Lloyd Harbor, New York, waterfront estate. Designed like a piece of art, “the front of the home, facing the road, is a wall penetrated by three portals,” Grandberg says. “The first opening frames a lighthouse and gives a hint of what lies beyond. The opposite west-facing façade has various architectural portals that frame coastline views of a harbor beyond as well as sunset panoramas.” These portals also act as solar screens and sheltering elements for the internal open-glassed spaces. The clients also wanted an open interior in which to exhibit their children’s sculptures and photography—as well as their art collection. Grandberg therefore crafted “display walls” at key sight-line locations. The architectural portals also provide “picture frames” of the exterior view beyond. For the Lloyd Harbor residents, their house is more than a haven; it is a celebration of generational achievements. And all three projects might not have been if not for a fateful meeting. Grandberg’s early run-in with Philip Johnson paved the way for a career marked by client-driven innovation, and the homes he creates now exist in harmony with both their owners and the surrounding landscape. As Grandberg sees it, “Beautiful architecture can bring enrichment to people’s lives and constantly affect the way they live.”



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John David Rose Architect An Architect carries ON THE FAMILY LEGACY with design-build work by Kaleena Thompson Architecture is in John David Rose’s blood. His father was a builder, and his uncle and greatgreat grandfather were master architects, which helps explain Rose’s melding of construction and design. “I couldn’t escape the construction environment,” Rose says. “I’d spent after-school hours absorbing everything from sheet rock to the building blocks of design and construction.”

and doubled the size of the now-five-bedroom, -five-bathroom weekend home. “It was critical to build a durable home that could be left vacant for weeks at a time yet still feel lived in,” he says.

He embraced his lifelong love for art, architecture, and building and established John David Rose Architect in the elite area of Southampton, New York, a place he has called home for all of his life. For the past 15 years, Rose’s work has been driven by his clients’ personalities and an appreciation for the classic Shingle-style homes that define vacation architecture in the Hamptons. “Our homes are like a tailor-made suit,” he says. “We tailor a house to fit the client’s style, site, and energy requirement. All those components are integral to making a custom home. We want homeowners to know that they are not getting a John David Rose house but getting their house.”

An elevated foyer connects to the lower-elevated living room, where a tall ceiling with a shed dormer creates height and sophistication. From this wood-floored open space, transom windows and glass French doors expose indoor guests to the outdoor atmosphere. The family room, casual dining area, and kitchen are integrated into one living space, and a bar and office desk with built-in maple cabinetry and stone countertops look out over the combined space. The family room is also flanked by French doors, which provide immediate access to the outdoors. From the kitchen nook area, more French doors lead to a screened outdoor patio. Rose opted for slate tile in the kitchen that can withstand heavy foot traffic from the outdoors. “The pool is right off the French doors,” he says, “and we wanted to have a floor surface that worked well with wet feet trafficking in and out.”

A perfect example of this philosophy is a 5,200-square-foot East Hampton retreat Rose worked on for a couple and their son. Built on a slope in the woods, Rose came back years later

Working from Montauk to Manhattan, Rose says that most of his homes are in historic districts. One project in such an area was for a couple who loved to entertain. Nestled in the historic corners


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Top Architectural Elements of the East Hampton Residence 1. The slope of the home became integral to the design when Rose took advantage of the terrain to create steps leading down to the living room from the foyer. 2. Outdoor trails carve out an elegant path that leads from the surrounding woods to the house. 3. Ample entertainment space, windows, French doors, and five bedrooms, turn the house into a haven for hosting visitors and overnight guests. 4. A harmony with the forest was attained through properly selected materials and finishes. 5. New additions and renovations mesh perfectly with the existing architecture.


High Above The East Hampton Residence is defined by its stark white accents and definitive angles and details to the ceiling.

of Southampton, it was a major renovation on a flag lot. “It was in deplorable condition,” Rose says. “Although the clients wanted to preserve the integrity of the historical character. ” The addition of windows, chimneys, and a basement bolstered this drab space into a refined 5,406-square-foot Shingle-style home. “The windows we added pour more light into the interiors and improve flow and create a connection to the outdoors,” Rose says. The two-story, five-bedroom home boasts dark mahogany and exquisite walnut woodwork, including wide-plank floors with custom-made cabinetry, and designer Adrienne Tower White’s Victorian-style furnishings enhance the interior architecture. There are also multiple fireplaces in the home—including stone hearths

and black hone granite surrounds—that serve as natural anchors by tying the house and its architectural elements together. Beautifully detailed, the house also reflects the beauty of the landscape. The project, completed in 2005, was a harmonious collaboration between Rose and landscape architect Hermann Schulz. The combination of old trees, colorful new plantings, a koi pond, a conservatory, a spacious lawn large enough for weddings, a pool, and herringbone brick gives the property a rustic yet refined feel. Interest in Shingle style architecture has been renewed thanks to designers such as Rose, and it sounds like it is an aesthetic he intends to continue perfecting as his career moves forward. However, he is always ready to expand his repetoire as well. “It’s one of the beauties of architecture,” he says of the Shingle style. “And looking ahead, I hope to continue with new and inspired forms.”

H.F. Swanson Construction “Custom Residential Construction” Richard Swanson

PH 631.324.6905 PO Box 1897 East Hamton, NY 11937

july 2011

luxury home quarterly



Country Club Place

C.M. Oliver Architects A firm brings hands-on custom-design approach to a luxurious townhome development in Louisiana By David Hudnall When it comes to home design, Chuck Oliver, founding principal of Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s C.M. Oliver Architects, speaks plainly about his preferences. “Big jobs bore me,” Oliver says. “You look at the same plans for two straight years. I like solving problems quickly and moving on. It keeps things interesting.” That is not to say C.M. Oliver has not done its share of substantial, customized high-end residential projects. The words of the firm’s owner are just a reflection of his architectural curiosity and enthusiasm for a variety of styles. It is also a reaction to his experience working in a large architecture firm focused on large commercial jobs. “I always knew I wanted to do my own thing,” Oliver says. “I like being able to call the shots on the design end.” Oliver founded C.M. Oliver in 2001, and he has expanded the firm’s scope every year it has been in business. Today, C.M. Oliver works on roughly 30 projects a year, only 25 percent of which


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are commercial projects while the rest fall into residential renovation and ground-up construction categories. Oliver finds the renovations the most rewarding. “You have to make everything look seamless, which is a challenge I always look forward to,” he says. Challenges come in a variety of forms. A 7,500-square-foot home C.M. Oliver is working on currently is for a recently married couple, both of whom have children from previous marriages. “They each have three kids of their own, plus one together,” he says. “So it’s a situation where one week there are seven kids at the house and the next there’s only one. That requires a flexibility in terms of planning and space that we’ve been able to achieve, but it’s one of those things you can only achieve by being highly communicative with the clients.” Second homes have emerged as a significant revenue stream for the firm. In addition to planning a couple beach houses in Florida and Mississippi

Started in 2008, the Country Club Place Luxury Townhomes are located in the center of Baton Rouge, LA, near Baton Rouge Country Club, one of the city’s most prestigious clubs. The development will accommodate a series of townhomes between 4,500 and 5,500 square feet in size and priced at $1.4-1.8 million. The homes will include courtyards and private elevator entrances, and most will include pools. The development, managed by Powell Group (, already has five completed units, two of which have already been sold.

(both post-Katrina rehabs), Oliver and his team have ventured further north, to Blacksburg, Virginia, where they are designing a home that sits on 40 acres at the highest point of the city. “I’m used to considering sunset views with my designs, but it’s rare that I get the opportunity to think about sunrise views,” he says. “It’s a very modern design, too, which is a fun departure from what I tend to do in Baton Rouge.” But it is a project in C.M. Oliver’s hometown that is perhaps the firm’s highest-profile design to date: the Country Club Place Luxury Townhomes, a new development in the center of Baton Rouge that is adjacent to one of the city’s most prestigious country clubs, the Baton Rouge Country Club. “The concept from the beginning was to make it the nicest, highest-quality residential townhome development in Baton Rouge,” Oliver says. “It raises the bar.” Twentyeight units are planned in all, and all will feature courtyards and private elevator entrances. Most of them will have pools, too. Eight homes are


Top Architectural Elements of the Country Club Place Luxury Townhomes

being built in the first phase, which is currently underway. Five units are completed—they are being built at a rate of roughly one every two months—and two have already been sold.

all PHOTOS: David Humphreys

Oliver enlisted the help of a fellow designer, Rachel Dansky, to assist him on the project. “It’s good to have another designer to bounce ideas off [of] and come up with new concepts, to critique what you do and edit you, and Rachel has been extremely helpful,” Oliver says. Oliver says he’s looking forward to being involved in the Country Club Place’s subsequent phases of development. But doesn’t that run counter to his preference for shorter jobs? “Not at all,” he says. “All these townhomes are distinctly different. It gives you a chance to express several different prototypes. We’re designing for all potential types of buyers, not just one client. It’s my favorite project I’ve been involved with professionally.”

1. Distinctive designs mean that no two townhomes in the development are alike. “Some are contemporary, some have a French Quarter aesthetic, some have the living area on the first floor and the master bedroom on the second, some have the living area upstairs,” Oliver says. 2. Fully loaded kitchens include Wolf ( and Sub-Zero ( appliances, wood-burning stoves, and exotic stone countertops.

We are dedicated to providing our clients with comprehensive, professional and personal design services. Our client's vision is the focal point of each project.

3. Elegant staircases include ornate steps with stone treads and iron railings. 4. Dynamic courtyards achieve a balance of private and public living. “One criticism of townhomes is that they tend to get dark because you have a common wall on both sides,” Oliver says. “A courtyard can really bring light into a home, make it feel lighter. In some units, you can stand in the back, look out the window through the courtyard, then through another window, and you can see all the way to the golf course.”


225.931.4654 442 Government Street Baton Rouge, LA 70802

the teams

Partnerships and collaborations between architecture pros

SmithArc Architects Dallas architects create a contemporary penthouse worthy of high praise by Kaleena Thompson The most memorable souvenir that Jason and Signe Smith brought back from their travels abroad through Western Europe and Latin America was a vision for architectural design. “Travel allows an architect to cultivate an approach to problem solving through observation of how others respond to design questions that are both local and universal,” Jason Smith says. The husband-andwife team learned that experiencing architecture in person allows one to understand what really works and what does not, and they since have applied the precision of Swiss craftsmanship and the Spanish celebration of light and nature to their projects. During burgeoning careers with prestigious firms, Jason and Signe both worked with phenomenal design, management, and construction teams. But the decision to form SmithArc Architects in 2006 was motivated by the need


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to recommit to innovation in building design, quality, and performance while simultaneously creating an exceptional client experience. “As we began to rise to higher positions,” Jason says, “we both found that we had increasingly less time to do what we’re best at: architectural design and project management.” SmithArc, located in Dallas, specializes in highend, contemporary residential and commercial architecture—with eco-friendly design at the forefront of almost all projects. Contemporary design may often look one-dimensional, but such is not the case with SmithArc. They are very meticulous and thoughtful in their unique approach to each project. “We encourage clients to describe their lifestyles, daily routines, and special events that they host and allow these more ephemeral descriptions to guide the starting point of design,” Signe says. “Once we

understand a client’s personality, lifestyle, and aspirations, we have a solid foundation upon which to develop the kind of character that sets one design apart from another.” An example of this is the Omni Residence, a 10,500-square-foot penthouse in the Omni Hotel & Residences in Fort Worth, Texas. “The clients are entrepreneurs and philanthropists who wanted to use the penthouse as a home for entertaining due to its proximity to the Fort Worth Arts District and to the professional sports stadiums in Arlington,” Signe says. The Smiths crafted a welcoming floor plan that begins in the dramatic private elevator lobby; continues into the grande salon; and then flows into the living, dining, and kitchen spaces—all organized around a central gallery. The floor plan is structured in a continuous loop that en-


the teams

IN HIDING Floor-to-ceiling American walnut millwork creates a warm stage upon which to showcase the owner’s African trophies in the relaxed comforts of the den. The quietly elegant cabinets are fitted with concealed storage areas that hold elaborate audio-visual systems and gaming consoles.

Photos: Paul Finkel, Piston Design

The Omni Penthouse Residence SmithArc arranged the penthouse into public, semi-public, semi-private, and private zones placed along a serpentine gallery corridor and divided by large doors. For example, a painted-wood and clear-glass three-part sliding door slips into the walls between the kitchen and main corridor. “The configurations allow guests in the north-facing living/dining areas to enjoy views of downtown while the southernmost master suite occupies the acutely angled prow of the building with 180-degree views,” Jason says. This arrangement also allows the homeowners to host large gatherings or overnight guests while maintaining varying degrees of access and privacy by closing off sections of the penthouse as required.

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luxury home quarterly


Greenway Residence Completed in Wenonah, TX, in 2005, the Greenway residence is a renovation project SmithArc did for a growing family. The firm added a children’s playroom and a pavilion for casual lounging to the original midcentury modern home, and both spaces open onto a new pool-and-patio area, High-gloss lacquer and statuary marble were installed in the kitchen to keep the room in tune with the rest of the renovation, and sliding glass doors and new wooden-slat blinds help separate the various spaces from each other. In the den, new cerused white-oak cabinetry provides both display space and concealed storage for the TV behind sliding panels.

courages the circulation of guests. “Continuous floor-to-ceiling glass offers unobstructed views [from] these spaces to capitalize on the top-floor vistas,” Jason says, noting also that several rooms can be subdivided with large sliding walls that completely disappear when required. For example, a 12-foot-wide, 10-foot-tall sliding wall with glass panels separates the kitchen and the gallery, and a 10-foot-wide sliding wall separates the den from the more formal living spaces. The penthouse also features a wine room, a study, four bedrooms, five bathsrooms, three powder rooms, five living areas, two dining rooms, and a kitchen and bar—all flanked by four balconies. The home’s clean, sophisticated detailing includes stunning dark-stained hickory floors, an


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WALKING ON AIR A bit of nerve is required upon arriving at the elevator’s upper landing. Structural glass floors mimic the frameless window panels.

“Transitions and connections were meticulously crafted so that often-humble materials take on an elevated status.” Signe Smith, Partner

PHOTOS: Steve Wrubel Photography

antique wooden door in the elevator lobby ceiling, a custom mural on the curved grande salon walls, and clear curved glass panels on his and hers master bath showers. The home’s materials were selected to be costeffective and luxurious at the same time. “This is achieved by maintaining a limited palette and emphasizing form, proportion, and detail,” Signe says. “Transitions and connections were meticulously crafted so that often-humble materials take on an elevated status. All electrical and mechanical systems received equal care so that the architecture assumes the role of a quietly sophisticated backdrop from which to admire the dramatic high-rise views.” The home also uses a centralized control system, which is remotely controllable and automates the HVAC, lighting, and motorized window shades so that the energy use is minimized when the penthouse is not in use. Looking ahead, SmithArc hopes to continue approaching each new project with the same vigor while continuing to refine its methods. Even though the bulk of the firm’s work is in single-family residences, Jason says they plan to add more multifamily residential projects to their portfolio. “Given the great deal of experience we have with hospitality and cultural projects from previous firms,” he says, “we intend to pursue these types of projects as well.”

NEW LIGHT The new north-facing glazed entry façade floods natural light into the heart of the original 1970s brick home.

the teams

Chas Architects SPRAWLING LAKE AUSTIN ESTATE EVOKES OLD WORLD CHARM AND ROMANCE DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS  by Frederick Jerant “We try to collaborate equally on the initial concepts for all of our projects,” says Charles Travis, AIA, president of Chas Architects in Austin, Texas. “After we’ve finalized the concepts, we divide the projects between us and manage them independently.” That’s the team approach taken by Travis and Evan Fisher, AIA, managing partner of the firm. Founded in 1999, Chas Architects is well known as a designer of high-end custom homes in the Austin region. But “we also design all kinds of homes and buildings under the ‘residential’ heading,” Fisher says. That includes single- and multifamily dwellings, amenity centers for golf courses, and other structures. “Philosophically, we want to embrace the owner’s intentions and create something that’s well done and appropriate, and not necessarily with our personal stamp upon it,” Fisher adds. “We set out to make it a special place, regardless of style.” One of the ways they achieve that goal, according to Fisher, is by relying on authentic materials and designs. “We let our materials speak for themselves,” Travis says. “If a design calls for timber, we’ll use actual timber, not processed ‘look-alike’ lumber.” And when the designs are finished, Chas Architects helps the client select a general contractor. It is a good learning experi-


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ence because “the contractor can educate the client about what they’re getting into,” Fisher says, “in terms of costs and other factors.” The firm embraces sustainable approaches—but in fundamental ways. Instead of loading a home with energy-saving gadgets, Chas Architects usually orients a building to capitalize on prevailing breezes, uses floor plans that allow for maximum natural light and cross-ventilation, and installs real stone and masonry to absorb and transmit heat while deep overhangs provide shade. “It doesn’t mean we never use high-tech windows, lighting and electronics,” Travis says, “but we prefer to address things in the conceptual stage.” The firm’s abilities and approach are exemplified by a 10,000-square-foot primary residence on the shore of Lake Austin. Designed with an informal European style, the property has 300 feet of frontage—unusual in an area where 100 feet is the norm. “The land is pretty flat to the water’s edge,” Travis says, “but it’s backed by a 60-foot bluff. That really adds to the drama of the property.” The Lake Austin home feels like an estate, because it is divided into several buildings. “One challenge was to place the buildings properly but still connect them,” Travis says. “We used glassed-in

Top Design Elements of the Lake Austin Residence 1. Timber-frame windows and exterior doors were made by Bieber ( and lend Old World authenticity. 2. The interior doors, kitchen island, and front entry door were made by La Puerta Originals ( from its vast inventory of antique, handcrafted materials. 3. Broken stones, known as “spoils,” were salvaged from a quarry to create exterior veneers in a manner that echoed centuries-old artisanal building techniques. 4. Beam-and-plank detailing running throughout the house is made from reclaimed longleaf pine wood. It combines long-ago craftsmanship with a sustainable design approach. 5. Stone veneer and textured plaster walls were installed instead of typical gypsum-board walls, a design strategy that gives the home a less refined look and a sense of Old World romance.

galleries for passageways and placed them to create positive outdoor spaces for the courtyards and pool.” The galleries lend a sense of openness, and many other features serve to blend the indoor and outdoor environments. In the kitchen, family room, and living room areas, doors open into outdoor rooms or onto the pool terrace; the guest building’s sitting room has six pairs of French doors that also open onto a terrace, and the wing itself opens into a private courtyard.



European Windows and Doors

“The old builders had no quarries nearby,” Travis says, “so they used whatever stones they could find. For this project, our builder found a quarry that stocked ‘spoils’—essentially rubble. We used them to patch together a veneer for the walls, and they look as if they were just dug from the earth.”

Architectural Timber Frames in Wood, Bronze & Aluminum

Interior doors, the kitchen island, and the front entry door were produced by La Puerta Originals in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a company that collects old materials from around the world and fashions them into new architectural elements. The exterior doors and windows came from Bieber, a French manufacturer of authentic timber products. “We used them because they added a strong sense of authenticity,” Travis says. “There’s a very different feel to them. They’re beautiful products and have great impact.” When completed, the owners loved the home’s Old European material palette and building techniques. “Those homes were not designed by trained architects,” Travis says. “Instead, they were based on patterns that were handed down over generations, and [they] used local materials. There’s an honesty to those old homes.” By borrowing the same techniques, Chas Architects created a home its owners will cherish. “Everything about the home has a timeless quality,” Fisher says. “It really embraces an informal Mediterranean character.”

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vacation homes

second homes and getaways across the globe

The Faulconer Lodge K.H. Webb Architects infuses modern art with a rustic aesthetic in a grand lodge home by David Hudnall A ski lodge, hotel, and retreat, the Timberline Lodge sits 60 miles east of Portland, Oregon. Built from large timbers and local stones during the years of the Great Depression, it is a registered national historical landmark, and one might refer to its exterior design—a mix of alpine and European chateau architecture—as Oregon rustic. In 2008, on a property in Beaver Creek, Colorado, Vail-based K.H. Webb Architects, PC created a design inspired by this Northwest aesthetic for Vernon and Amy Faulconer. “They


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liked the idea of building a giant timber-frame home that would echo the impression of the Timberline,” principal Kyle Webb says.

city’s fairly restrictive and conservative design codes) with the modern art collection that would be housed inside.

The Faulconers are also avid collectors of art. (Webb describes them as “world-class contemporary art collectors—international pieces, museum pieces, very impressive.”) So, the objective of the project became to create a design that could gracefully marry the rustic, mountain-like exterior of a Beaver Creek lodge (as well as the

Timber frames were brought in from three different locales: British Columbia; New Hampshire; and Boulder, Colorado. Medieval-style stone-wall buttresses, extensive trusswork (one truss is a full 85 feet long), and copper roofing and paneling frame the home. And on the inside, there is a star-shaped beam ceiling with a glass-


Vacation Homes

Eagle County, CO All PHOTOS: Todd Winslow Pierce

Population: 41,659 Activities: A year-round destination—skiing and snowboarding in the winter, biking and hiking in the summer—Beaver Creek is a small resort town in Eagle County. Its seven square miles include 1,680 developed acres and 2,320 undeveloped acres, offering the primarily affluent residents largely unblemished views of the Central Rocky Mountains and plenty of land to roam. The town’s 24 restaurants, 10 bars, and 38 shops and boutiques also offer something for less adventurous, more consumer-minded citizens and visitors.

“The clients had a great piece of property in Beaver Creek, and they wanted to build a giant timber-frame home that would really echo the impression of the Timberline Lodge in Oregon.” Kyle Webb, Principal

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luxury home quarterly


Vacation Homes

CLOSE KITCHEN The owners’ chef, Amy, wanted a small kitchen with special cabinets and built-ins. So, K.H. Webb constructed it just off the dining room.

and-steel cupola. An additional challenge of the design—carving out a main-level entry on the rather steep landscape—was resolved by sculpting a courtyard into the mountainside at the rear of the home and adding a pergola. “It gives it a graceful, more human scale that signals a warm welcome,” Webb says. To complement the contemporary art, a variety of accents were threaded through the interior design, including translucent caramel onyx countertops, green soapstone panels in the fireplace, and tiles crafted from cracked Chinese duck eggshells in the master bathroom. The library and office area features a brown leather floor and shelves and paneling fashioned from mappa burl, from the European black poplar tree. “We also buried steel beams in the walls and floors as a means of supporting various pieces of art,” Webb says.


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The result is a seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom, 13,000-square-foot structure that in many ways epitomizes the style K.H. Webb is increasingly associated with. Since founding the firm in 1999, Webb has carved out a niche in Colorado’s Vail and Aspen areas, more or less exclusively designing high-end custom homes and condominiums. Today, Webb and his five employees take on anywhere between 20 and 30 projects a year, three to four of which are new homes. “Our focus is to stay small and focus on homes and renovations,” Webb says. The firm’s eye is not restricted to mountain homes. It is also currently at work on a residence in Nicaragua and has lent designs to projects in the sunny locales of Naples, Palm Beach, and Manhattan Beach, all in Florida. But K.H. Webb’s portfolio is largely a collection of rustic, luxury custom homes in Colorado—and even its


Marble * Granite * Ceramic Tile * Slab Fabrication

Custom Quality Craftsmanship in all Residential & Commercial Projects Family Owned & Operated Since 1985 Ceramic/Porcelain – Natural Stone Tile Floors, Walls & Vanities Natural Stone – Granite - Marble – Soapstone - Zodiaq – Caesarstone - Silestone Countertop Fabrication & Installation Natural Stone Fireplace Wall & Hearth Natural Stone & Brick Paving

All PHOTOS: Todd Winslow Pierce

Proud to be part of Past Projects…

renovations bear the distinct mark of the firm’s aesthetic. The Vincent Renovation, a Vail project, found Webb fusing two condominiums to create a home adaptable for family interactions, business meetings, and catered events. A preexisting structural concrete wall and a fireplace—which would later be adorned with clay plaster on one side and timber and stone on the other and skillfully repurposed as a backdrop to a hidden projection screen—served as the initial core elements of the design, in many ways dictating the path the rest of the design would follow. In the end, the home exuded a balance between the rustic—extensive woodworking, maple paneling, custom cabinetry—and the modern, including sound systems, hidden electronics, sprinklers, and elaborate, interconnected lighting controls. “We love to design with a contemporary mountain style in mind,” Webb says. “We don’t like chaos—we like clean lines. But we’re based up here in the Rockies, so our palette tends to include lots of wood and stone. Playing those natural materials off a contemporary theme is a challenge, but it’s a lot of fun for us.”

And looking forward to exciting new KH Webb Projects in the future.

Ryan & Company Inc. 10962 S. Pikes Peak Drive Parker, Colorado 80138 Kevin Ryan – President 303-841-0667 / Fax: 303-841-0671 Email:

Vacation Homes

Hyatt Siesta Key Beach Luxurious time-shares on a pristine Florida beach define “sophistication undressed” By Frederick Jerant Within the past decade, the time-share market has evolved from living spaces built for one-week getaways to structures more reminiscent of a second homes, but still featuring amenities, services, activities, and conveniences that are not typical in a freestanding second home. This evolution has largely been made possible by the involvement of major hotel brands. “When major players like Hyatt, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton became involved, time-share offerings acquired a sense of solidity and a dimension of quality,” says Carl Ross, president of Design Group Carl Ross, Inc. in El Segundo, California. “Branded residences offer assurance that the properties meet the standards of the operating companies, and they greatly expand ownership opportunities globally for the owners.”


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In response to owners’ needs, fractional–ownership residences have taken the vacation market to a new level. “Fractional-ownership residences are geared to extended stays of three to six weeks,” Ross says. And sometimes the residences are purchased for more extended periods or outright as second homes. Hyatt Siesta Key Beach is a luxury beachfront fractional-ownership property in Sarasota, Florida. Completed in 2009, its 44 units overlook the Gulf of Mexico and an expanse of white-sand beach that has earned accolades from the Travel Channel. It was also recognized by the American Resort Development Association as a finalist in 2010 for Best Resort Unit. Ross and his interior architectural design firm handled all aspects of the interior design.

Siesta Key, FL Population: 8,000 Activities: Siesta Key is an eight-mile-long barrier island off the western coast of Florida, between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. On the eastern side of the island, the Intracoastal Waterway provides vacationers with opportunities for boating, fishing, or cruising to dockside restaurants. The west side features spectacular white-sand beaches. For those uninterested in going in the water, Siesta Key Village on the north side of the island has dozens of little shops, open-air restaurants, and other activities.


Vacation Homes

“Our goal was to create a deep and meaningful experience for the guests. We did that in an almost subliminal way, using subtle themes and motifs that would have calming effects as they move from room to room.” —Carl Ross, President His’s design direction was to create an ambiance of “sophistication undressed,” a unique blend of easy-going “cabana culture” combined with opulent features and top-tier technologies. Owners enjoy a fitness center and spa, men’s and women’s locker rooms, sauna and steam rooms, a business center, a private owners’ lounge, poolside cabanas, and a private beach. There is also a concierge to arrange activities and grocery delivery. Joelle Freiberg Ahrens, design manager and architectural designer says, “The property is branded as ‘your second home,’ so we wanted people to feel as though they’re coming into their primary homes.” The reception area is therefore intimate, warm, and welcoming. The floor of the lobby and breakfast areas features a laser-cut exotic-stone

inset, its spiral pattern resembling the interior of a nautilus shell. Decorative acrylic boxes filled with quartz sand and an array of distinctly different shells bring the beach inside, as does the registration desk’s custom-made general, you can use it much as you’d use your two-piece beach diorama. The desk itself is conown living room.” The lounge’s warm and earthy structed from “boardwalk wood,” an element that color palette repeats throughout the property. recurs throughout the building. “We used the wood “We chose shades of gold, greens, yellows, and in several different ways,” Ahrens says, “including neutral tones to convey the ambience of the beach lining the walls with it. It brings a warm and luxuexperience,” senior FF&E designer Tamara Smith rious feeling but still has a sense of informality.” says. “And the occasional burst of hot orange recalls the spectacular sunsets in Sarasota.” Within the lobby is the member’s lounge, ideal for playing games, watching TV, or entertaining Even the spa and fitness area brings the beach party-size gatherings. “It’s very comfortable and inside. Part of the main floor is a glass-covered has a variety of seating types,” Ahrens says. “In sandbox with pristine sand beneath it. There are

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Vacation Homes

Hyatt Siesta Key Beach’s Residences Hyatt Siesta Key Beach’s residences are luxurious, but they are also designed to minimize environmental impact. Nighttime lighting levels are kept purposely low to avoid attracting indigenous sea turtles, and terrace lighting uses bulbs with a color spectrum that is invisible to the reptiles. A footbridge connecting the beach and pool-deck areas enables guests to traverse the distance without disturbing delicate sand dunes. And interiors feature Energy Star appliances, lowflow plumbing fixtures, porcelain floor tiles, and synthetic-stone countertops, which obviate the use of natural stone.

A TOUCH OF THE EAST The living rooms in the residences contain custom hand-woven rugs from Thailand, which mix well with a varied set of furniture.


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Design Group Carl Ross inc specializes in full-service interior architectural design for residences and branded residences. Our focus is to craft authentic design which responds to the locale and the lifestyle of the owner to create a unique personal experience and an undeniable sense of “place.”

“Much of what we do involves completely custom materials. We want to be known as innovators, so our design elements are absolutely on the cutting edge.” Carl Ross, President generous locker rooms, sauna and steam rooms, and “car wash” showers with multiple shower heads. In the pool area are a whirlpool, fully equipped cabanas, and numerous fire pits. The private Hyatt residences range in size from 1,800 to 2,900 square feet and one to four bedrooms. “There are over a dozen different floorplan layouts,” Ahrens says. And depending on its location within the building, a residence will have a spectacular view of either the beachfront and ocean or the lush landscape and surrounding residential area. In the living and dining areas are custom handwoven rugs from Thailand, custom media cabinets with high-end Bose surround-sound systems, and 50-inch high-definition flat-screen televisions. The kitchens feature custom Italian cabinetry and appliances from Sub-Zero, Wolf, Viking, and Fisher-Paykel, and they are also appointed with Cuisinart coffeemakers and espresso makers, both with accompanying libraries of flavored coffees. Nearby, the dining rooms have shagreen

LOOKING OUT The master bathrooms include Toto toilets ( and glass showers with slab-stone bench seats. Wooden shutters next to the tubs can be opened for an airier atmosphere.

leather-wrapped consoles and hand-blown glass lamps. “Much of what we do involves completely custom materials,” Ross says. “We want to be known as innovators, so our design elements are absolutely on the cutting edge.” The home’s master bedrooms include stainedmillwork headboards and laser-cut onyx floor borders, and the master bathroms are replete with Toto toilets (with washlet seats),10-inchwide glass showers with slab-stone bench seats and multiple shower heads, and soaking tubs that overlook the outdoor view. Guest bedrooms have crackled beach-glass bedside lamps and stainedwood louvered headboards, and the guest bathrooms contain antique millwork vanities, slab-granite tops, and porcelain-tile floors with laser-cut marble accents. “Our goal was to create a deep and meaningful experience for the guests,” Ross says. “We did that in an almost subliminal way, using subtle themes and motifs that would have calming effects as they move from room to room.”

Vacation Homes

THE WATER’S EDGE The back of the Spanish River residence sits right on the bank of the Intercoastal Waterway, offering boat access and an unobstructed view.

The Spanish River Residence Creating a tropical Georgian-style estate that Allows waterfront breezes through romantic, indoor-outdoor spaces by Ruth Dávila From material selection to proper spatial arrangement, luxury-home building is all about the details, and Carlos Martin Architects, Inc. is a boutique residential firm in South Florida that truly gets it. “Details are our forte,” says Martin, who founded the firm in 1998. “We merchandise the design to make sure if you sell the home tomorrow, out of 100 people, 95 will want to buy it.” Though attuned to cutting-edge trends in design and technology, Martin adheres to classical lines and period authenticity in his structures. His core aesthetic is Mediterranean, but he is equally adept in French Country, Spanish Revival, Georgian, Italian, Bermudian, and West Indian—and, as a native of Caracas, Venezuela, he is fluent in inland tropical styles, too. Based in South Florida, just 10 minutes away from Boca Raton and even closer to Fort Lau-


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derdale, Carlos Martin Architects caters to the waves of transnational affluent clients who build their businesses—and more often their vacation homes—in the area. From Miami to Palm Beach, California to the Bahamas, Carlos Martin Architects follows clients wherever their pursuit for fine living happens to land. On a prestigious beach enclave of Boca Raton, Carlos Martin Architects designed one of its portfolio’s feature projects: the Spanish River residence, a tropical Georgian estate for upscale entertaining and eclectic, modern indooroutdoor living. “It’s very charming on the outside and has a traditional feel, different than Mediterranean, but it is designed with that coastal-luxury waterfront appeal,” Martin says. He adds that the style is gulfstream Southern classical— “gulfstream” for its waterfront location, with rear-facing views of the Intercoastal Waterway,

Boca Raton, FL Population: 86,396 Activities: Just 25 minutes from Palm Beach and 45 minutes from Miami, the resort community snakes along a seemingly infinite beach on the coast of Florida and offers stunning shoreline parks, innovative restaurants, elaborate shopping venues, and waterfront nightlife. Residents can enjoy biking or rollerblading along the beachfront, or they can visit the opulent Boca Raton Resort & Club for spa services and fine dining.


Redefining quality & SeRvice

“The main section of the center court is the outdoor space, open to a waterfront breeze and full interaction of the other spaces. You can sit there, have breakfast, invite your friends over, and do casual dining.” Carlos Martin, Principal

A MESSAGE FROM FAE CONSULTING ENGINEERS FAE Consulting is dedicated to providing exceptional mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering services. In a service-orientated industry, FAE Consulting places emphasis on efficient and sustainable designs and a strong commitment to client service through the firm’s philosophy, “redefining quality and service.” The dedicated principals and core of talented individuals at FAE Consulting bring experience and knowledge to both high-end residential and commercial projects such as banks; condominiums; country clubs; industrial, medical, and multifamily developments; office buildings; religious establishments; restaurants; and specialty retail. From concept through construction, FAE Consulting is committed to partnership and quality of service, ensuring your project is engineered for success.

1640 NW 2nd Avenue Boca Raton, Florida 33432 561.391.9292 MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL PLUMBING FIRE PROTECTION ENGINEERS


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509 N.E. 189th Street • N. Miami Beach, Florida 33179 • 305-652-3153

and “Southern classical” for its traditional elements; light-white body; and breezy layout with romantic touches such as regal columns, wide porches, and tropical landscaping.

over, and do casual dining.” The pergola-style pavilion features a summer kitchen just feet from the Hamptons-style swimming pool, which is lined with coconut palms and features a fountain.

“For me, the best part is the outdoor living and the alfresco space,” Martin says. Six public spaces on the ground floor—the library, the club room, and the dining, living, kitchen, breakfast, and family room—offer broad views of the water. On the north side, the home looks toward the Boca Raton Beach Resort, an exclusive club with inlet access directly to the ocean.

Martin anchored the design in opportunities to slip—even just briefly—into the tropical outdoors. Upstairs, east- and west-facing balconies offer views of the spectacular grounds and lush landscaping with zoysia grass. A lounge area serves as a midpoint between the easy balcony and a gallery lined with French doors, leading onto a waterfront lounge deck adorned with Gaudi stone marble slabs, a whirlpool spa, and a limestone fireplace.

“The main section of the center court is the outdoor space, open to a waterfront breeze and full interaction of the other spaces,” Martin says. “You can sit there, have breakfast, invite your friends

The master wing also boasts a private balcony and a luxurious, amply sized bathroom with different

layouts for each half of the couple who reside there. Hers is finished with elegant, traditional elliptical forms, White Thassos and Storm marble finishes, a vanity enclave, a freestanding soaking tub, and a water closet; his is contemporary, adorned in Calcutta Gold marble and including a steam shower, a vanity, and a shaving station. “Because people tend to leave the doors open, we used hand-carved, engineered wood throughout the home, so it’s more durable for scratches and weather elements,” Martin says. “We are in a very humid climate. Even during the winter, people open everything up, and in the summer and spring, it gets very humid. We have to be mindful of materials—especially woods—so they don’t cup or pop out of place.” The home was built by Larry Frankel, Steve Malone, and Ed Suh, partners of Infinity Custom Homes, and it was decorated in contemporary furnishings and accessories by Marc-Michaels Interior Design. The Spanish River residence now stands complete, a testament to Martin and his team’s ability to design in any style they apply themselves to.

The Spanish River Residence Traditional architectural elements frame contemporary furnishings and accessories in this 12,100-square-foot tropical Georgian estate in Boca Raton, FL. With rear access to the Intercoastal Waterway, the design features myriad opportunities to interact with the outdoors, from fully appointed terraces to livable lounges. An expansive outdoor pavilion with a summer kitchen is the centerpiece of the home, with six interior spaces leading into it. The estate features an epicurean kitchen, cigar bar, a living room, a family room, a dining room, a breakfast area, six bedrooms, six baths, and three powder rooms. An elevator and circular staircase make navigation simple, and floors are finished in an immaculate marble. Swaying coconut palms line the property, flanking a Hamptons-style wading pool, complete with a fountain that offers white noise reminiscent of the rushing ocean nearby.

july 2011

luxury home quarterly



Serving a unique niche in the custom-home industry

Minnetonka Beach Residence

Cobblestone Homes Inc. A Firm Prioritizing the client with a personal touch by Julie Edwards Erik Olsen is a hands-on, approachable builder. As owner and founder of Wayzata, Minnesota-based Cobblestone Homes Inc., he makes it his top priority to ensure clients are happy, the process is smooth and stress free, and that the end result is a home the owners love. “I believe in direct communication with each client, and, as a result, I personally manage each job from start to finish while maintaining constant contact and clear expectations,” Olsen says. “I understand that building is both a challenging and exciting time, and it’s important for me to make the process as pleasant for the homeowner as possible and to make sure that each client is completely satisfied.” Olsen started in the building business as a young boy, working for his father’s concrete company. Inspired by his father after years of watching him build everything from furniture to entire homes, Olsen chose construction as his career. “Throughout my high school and college years, I loved woodworking and the creative process, so


luxury home quarterly

july 2011

I decided to follow that passion,” he says. “I feel a great deal of satisfaction out of creating something for someone [who] appreciates it as much I as do.” Following college, Olson worked for three different builders, gaining valuable experience. In 2004, he founded Cobblestone Homes when he got the opportunity to build his first custom home on his own. Today, the company offers both custom-build and remodel services. What sets Olsen apart from other company owners is his dedication to personal attention with each project—he is physically on-site every single day of a project, interacting with subcontractors and communicating with the clients. He believes this approach works best for his business because it allows him to not only address client concerns quickly but also maintain ongoing communication with subcontractors. Olsen finds inspiration in building many different kinds of homes and blending modern technology

On approach, visitors observe the 8,874-square-foot home’s massive cedar shake roof, which, along with smaller exterior touches such as window boxes and brackets, gives the home a relaxed feel. The fivebedroom, five-bathroom floor plan is modern, but the design still capitalizes on the charm of traditional cottage-style elements; the coffered ceilings, trim details such as seven-inch crowns, wainscoting wall panels, and the fiveinch walnut floors throughout give the home a great sense of warmth. Olsen’s favorite space is the basement, which features a bar, a home theater with walnut detailing, and an adjacent 500-bottle wine room.

with more traditional styles. “We currently have the capability to do some truly amazing designs melding old and new while providing modern technology and allowing clients to design based on their needs,” he says. “It’s exciting being able to pull the best aspects out of every period and blend them into the perfect merger of classic elegance and timeless luxury.” One of Cobblestone Homes’ hallmark projects is the Minnetonka Beach residence, a custom cottage-style home with traditional charm that sits on a two-acre parcel of land. Olsen was inspired by the views of Lake Minnetonka, so he chose to maximize those views from all points within the home by using expansive windows and an open floor plan. Even though Minnesota has a short summer season, the client requested numerous outdoor spaces for entertainment purposes, so



Providing a Superior Product at a Competitive Price

“I believe in direct communication with each client, and, as a result, I personally manage each job from start to finish while maintaining constant contact and clear expectations.” Erik Olsen, Founder

ALL PHOTOS: Andrea Rugg

Olsen included multiple outdoor fireplaces; large, covered patios; and a swimming pool with a waterfall feature. To combat the colder months, the home was fitted with efficient geothermal heating. Currently, Cobblestone Homes is working on several remodels and a new custom home that was started in the spring. Due to market trends, Olsen says his projects have shifted slightly from large-scale custom homes to smaller custom homes, custom remodels, and additions. But, he says, “I truly enjoy all aspects of construction no matter the type or scope of the job. Operationally, Cobblestone is working toward achieving an almost paperless construction

process. “This goal is challenging, but the efficiencies of a digital format will be worth the investment,” Olsen says. “The implementation of time- and error-saving measures for all selection items, schedules, scopes of work, and every facet of the construction process will make the process even easier going forward.” One thing that will not change, however, is Olsen’s unwavering client-focused approach. “I build around a client’s lifestyle, so their vision, their needs, and how their home can make their daily lives easier and more enjoyable become my inspiration,” he says. “Thus, every detail in every home is a true reflection of each client’s lifestyle and individuality.”

Robeck Electrical Contractors, Inc. 138 Gillard Ave SE Buffalo, MN 55313 Phone: 763-497-3711


Harnessing The Sun

Enhanced Home Systems Inc.

This small solar array, installed by Enhanced Home Systems, produces 45 percent of all the electricity needed in a modern, 5,000-square-foot home in Edina, MN. With a return on investment of less than 10 years (at today’s rates), the homeowner is thrilled with the look and performance of the photovoltaic system.

CREATING HIGH-TECH HOMES WITH LOW ENERGY USAGE IN MIND by Laura Judy Today’s home-entertainment technology goes far beyond just personal theaters and impressive audio systems, and no one knows this better than Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Enhanced Home Systems Inc., one of the largest custom residential technology companies in the upper Midwest. The industry, of course, has become entirely different since the company was founded in 1989, and with today’s consumers so aware of tech products, Enhanced Home Systems is constantly changing and growing. “More and more people are interested in technology,” general manager Phil Hirschey says. “Because we’ve been immersed in this industry for so long, we have the expertise to tackle new technologies and help our customers realize their visions.” But consumers are growing more tech-savvy, too, especially as products have evolved to make home automation easier and more accessible. “Today’s systems are scalable, so you can start small and expand on your system as you see fit,” Hirschey says. “As technology gets less


luxury home quarterly

july 2011

expensive, people can, and want, to do more.” With wireless systems becoming more reliable, people are not as afraid to bring technology into their homes, and one of the trickiest parts of the business, while also one of the most rewarding, is making customers aware of what is available and how it all fits together. “Every customer is different, and we need to balance what they want with their lifestyle and budget,” Hirschey says. “We strive to deliver what they’re going to be comfortable using on a day-to-day basis.” Marc Huebner, project manager, points out that there are basically two groups of customers to work with. “Some are ambivalent about technology, so we help guide them through it; the others have a pretty good handle on the capabilities of technology, and we help them figure out what they truly need,” he says. With the introduction of products such as the iPod and iPad, many clients now want to use their new tech toys to control things in their homes. “All these iProducts have really revolutionized the industry,” Huebner

says. “They can be misleading, though, because the systems behind this technology are still very sophisticated, and we like to consult with our clients on how to best use it.” Since 2000, Enhanced Home Systems has dedicated itself to using eco-friendly systems and technologies whenever possible. “We’ve embraced the principles of green building and design and work hard with customers to ensure they know their options,” Hirschey says. The company has provided both high- and low-voltage products and services for some time and has recently added solar technologies. “Providing all of these products and services has really aligned our ability to help customers reduce their overall power usage,” Hirschey says. “We can show people how to monitor their electrical usage by using a computer or iPad. They can then track their utilization and see where they can cut back.” Maintaining a competitive edge can be a challenge in the Twin Cities area, which, although




not the largest metro area in the country, has more than its fair share of custom integrators. “We stay on top because we’re dedicated to service, we have an excellent support staff and the best techs in the business, and we document projects better than anyone else,” Huebner says. “Product selection is also very important. We choose strong products designed to complement each other and fit perfectly into the overall system. However, the most important distinction is our ability to help our customers navigate the available technologies, design a system that best meets their needs, and provide ongoing orientation to ensure our customers know how to use their systems to [the] fullest.” In a constantly changing industry, Enhanced Home Systems works hard to keep up with the latest products, technologies, and service offerings. “We work together as a team—each taking responsibility for expertise on different and emerging technologies—and share what we have learned with each other,” Huebner says. They also attend trade shows and industry association meetings; conduct product trainings; and cultivate close relationships with vendors, builders, remodelers, architects and designers. “Partnerships are very important to us, and we take them very seriously,” Hirschey says. “We always have an ear to the ground and are looking to ways to improve what we do.” The company currently has 28 employees and continuing plans to grow. “The industry is mature enough now that we have a lot of repeat customers,” Huebner says. “Technology is constantly changing, so those we served 10 to 20 years ago are now coming back for flat screens, Blu-ray players, and control systems. These customers, and


Top Tech Favorites of Enhanced Home Systems Inc.:


1. AMX: “We’ve been using this homeautomation system for 20 years, and it still gives us the ultimate control,” Phil Hirschey says.

Enhanced Home Systems celebrates its 21st year as the most knowledgeable provider of multi-room audio & video systems, lighting and shade control, home automation, security and home theater in the Upper Midwest. With experts in all areas of home electronics and electrical services, we create custom designs that will suit your taste, lifestyle and budget.

2. Control4: “This is another great homeautomation system; it can be less expensive and thus more accessible.” 3. Lutron RadioRA 2: “This is a very scalable, retrofitable wireless light-control system. You can start with a couple switches and work your way up to more later if you want.” 4. iPad: “The hottest thing right now is that people want to use iPads for control. This can be misleading, though, because the systems behind this technology are still very sophisticated.”


5. LED Lighting: “You can do more and more with LED lighting these days. It’s still evolving in aesthetics and reliability, but it’s gotten much more dependable over the years.”

the referrals they represent, are key to our success.” In addition to using the latest sustainable technologies, the company’s goal is to keep moving forward by combining expertise in solar, electrical, and lowvoltage products and services. “We’ve expanded our brand beyond audio, video, lighting control, home automation, and security,” Hirschey says, “to true system integration with a focus on the benefits of energy monitoring and management.”

952-941-5289 9940 Hamilton Road Eden Prairie, MN 55344



LHQ Enhanced Home Systems 1/3‫‏‬.indd 2

7/6/10 9:56:02 AM


*advertisers in blue

Professional Services & Organizations ARCHITECTURE

Sheft Construction, LLC, 518-727-0548, 28


The Architectural Studio,, 54-59

Upham Construction,, 18

Alchemie, Landscape Architecture,, 82

Carlos Martin Architects, Inc.,, 6-7 & 134-137 Chas Architects,, 124-125 A Classical Studio for Residential Architecture,, 63 C.M. Oliver Architects,, 118-119 Dean Larkin Design,, 102105 DeForest Architects,, 72-77 Design Group Carl Ross, Inc.,, 130-133

Waters Bros. Construction Company, Inc.,, 64 Witt Construction, Inc.,, 26-29

Oldham Planning & Design Associates, Inc.,, 62 PHOTOGRAPHY


Andrea Rugg,, 138-139

Robeck Electrical Contractors, Inc., 763-497-3711, 139

Atlantic Archives,, 145


Ben Benschneider,, 72-77

FAE Consulting,, 135

David Duncan Livingston,, 48-53

MCE Structural Consultants, Inc.,, 18 & 19

Alan Abramowitz,, 78-83

David Humphreys,, 118-119

McMullan & Associates, Inc.,, 25

Greg Page Photography, 612-874-0566, 35-37

Monte Clark Engineering, 19

Lara Swimmer,, 10 & 66-71

Moser, Inc., 19

FINNE Architects,, 84-89

Michael Biondo Photography,, 30-34 & 144


FZAD Architecture + Design,, 38-39 & 148

Baltimore Summer Antiques Show,, 14

Michael Moran Photography, Inc.,, 145

Grandber & Associates Architects,, 112-114

California Construction Expo,, 14

Miro Dvorscak,, 109

California Home Garden & Design Show,, 14

Piston Design,, 120-121

Home DĂŠcor & Remodeling Show,, 14

Roger Wade,, 54-59

Dynerman Architects PC,, 98-101

Hutchinson & Maul Architecture,, 78-83 John David Rose Architect,, 115-117 K.H. Webb Architects,, 126-129 L. Barry Davidson Architects,, 109-111

SOFA Santa Fe,, 14 Southern Ideal Home Show,, 14

MOS LLC,, 5 & 90-96


Olson Kundig Architects,, 18 & 19


Peter Cohan Architect,, 10 & 66-71 SmithArc Architects,, 120-123 Wyatt & Associates, Inc.,, 106-108

Cobblestone Homes Inc.,, 138-139 EH Construction,, 82 Erotas Building Corporation,, 22-23 H.F. Swanson Construction,, Joseph McKinstry Construction,, 75 MC Construction Consultants, Inc.,, 19

Robert Muir, 110 Steve Wrubel Photography,, 122-123 Susan Gilmore,, 22-23 Tim Bies,, 19 Todd Bush,, 60-64

Universal Systems,, 147

Todd Winslow Pierce,, 126-129



Gulf Coast Air Conditioning Co., Inc., 713-644-1816, 111

Powell Group,, 118

INTERIOR DESIGN Adams Design Inc.,, 101


Michael Lee, michaeljleephotography, 40-41

Reynolds Development & Management Group,, 60-64 Trump International,, 12

AMB Design,, 112


Anthony Catalfano Interiors, Inc.,, 40-42

Classic Lightning Protection,, 145

Cheri Etchelecu Interior Design, 972-980-1700, 108

Enhanced Home Systems Inc.,, 140-141

Dianne Davant & Associates,, 65

ENV-Environmental Consulting Services, Inc.,, 65

Diedre Shaw Interiors,, 48-53 Gigi Olive Interiors, LLC,, 35-37

Monogram Builders, Inc.,, 2-3

LKH Design, Inc.,, 21

Orren Pickell Designers & Builders,, 20-21

Murphy & Co. Design,, 43-47

Pecora Brothers, Inc.,, 24-25 Prutting & Company Custom Builders,, 30-34


luxury home quarterly

july 2011




Fabrica,, 7 & 16

Christie’s Lighting Gallery, LLC,, 57

Lee Jofa,, 50

Laura Lee Designs, Inc.,, 50 ANTIQUES La Puerta Originals,, 124 APPLIANCES BlueStar,, 59 Sub-Zero,, 119 Wolf,, 119

Lux Lighting Design, Inc.,,, 144 Vibia,, 13 METALS Avion Metal Works,, 136 Fenestration Metal Smiths, Inc., 254-947-5740, 108 McKinstry,, 82


McNay Metals and Design, 18

Corbin Bronze,, 52



IN-CO Masonry, Inc.,, 107

EcoSmart Fire,, 144

Kohlhepp Custom Countertops,, 29

FURNITURE Artek,, 83 Artifacts International,, 50 Artitalia Group,, 52

Paris Ceramics,, 11 Ryan & Company, Inc., 303-841-0667, 129 Stonwerk,, 47 Texas Tile Roofing,, 9 Tile Roofs of Texas,, 111

Christopher Guy,, 15


Herman Miller,, 83

Beacon Hill,, 146

Ironies,, 50

Drapes, Etc.,, 37

Kayiwa,, 17

Joseph Noble,, 52

La Barge Inc.,, 146

Kravet,, 50 & 52

Ligne Roset,, 41

Osborne & Little,, 146

Robert Allen,, 146

Scandia Home,, 36

Tansu.Net,, 144 Team 7,, 13 HOME ENTERTAINMENT & AUTOMATION Maverick Integration,, 42

WINDOWS & DOORS Bieber,, 124 Exclusive Windows & Doors of Austin,, 125 HH Windows & Doors,, 75

Western Systems,, 46

Hirschmann Windows and Doors, hhirschmannltd, 114


Tradewood Windows & Doors,, 99

INAX,, 12 Toto,, 133

WINDOW TREATMENTS All New Glass, 19 Quantum Windows,, 71 & 83 Sierra Pacific Windows,, 75 WOODWORK The Classic Group, 781-761-1200, 41 Mark Mayer Modern,, 75 Olde Wood Limited,, 145 Peachey’s Wood Products, LLC, 717-667-9373, 27 Synergy Products,, 22

july 2011

luxury home quarterly


products + services spotlight

Lux Lighting Design “In this tall, narrow foyer, my placement of lights in the floor provided a grounding feeling as well as a focal point to the space. These LED lights also create pathway lighting when all other lights are off in the house.”

EcoSmart Fire An environmentally friendly open fireplace, the EcoSmart Fire is an Australian innovation featuring remarkable design flexibility. The EcoSmart burner is fueled by denatured ethanol, which burns clean and is virtually maintenance free—no flue or hard connection are required for installation. Available in a variety of readymade designs, the EcoSmart Fire is also customizable in that it can be installed into any accommodating design. (310) 914-3335

Doreen Le May Madden, LC, CLC, IESNA Owner/Principal Designer Lux Lighting Design is a full service lighting design firm led by renowned lighting designer Doreen Le May Madden. Every project is custom designed for fulfilling the client’s personal needs and tastes. (617) 484 6400

products+ services spotlight The Spotlight is Designed To:

showcase the top trends, innovations, and amenities

connect LHQ readers—elite

custom-home builders, contractors, architects, interior designers, landscapers, and more—with high-quality products and services for their luxury-home projects

Michael Biondo Photography After a 20 year career photographing fashion for clients such as Valentino & W magazine, Michael Biondo has turned his attention towards architecture. Finding inspiration in the work of Julius Shulman, Ezra Stoller, and Lucien Hervé, Michael Biondo produces award-winning photography for architects, designers, and builders.

luxury home quarterly

readers to use when presenting project ideas to clients

Formatted 1/3- or 1/6-page four-color ads are available. To learn more, contact: Titus Dawson Director of Sales (312) 256-8462

Michael Biondo (203) 293-5322


provide a resource for LHQ

july 2011


Special Advertising Section

Olde Wood Limited

Lightning/Surge Protection System Thirteen years of excellent design and installation of lightning, grounding and surge protection systems for residential/commercial structures. We adhere to the strictest industry standards, using quality materials, giving our clients attention to detail while protecting their most valuable investment.

The antique-hardwood flooring products of Olde Wood Limited can be more than 400 years old, constructed of 100-percent reclaimed materials. As one of the largest manufacturers of reclaimed wide-plank flooring products in the United States, Olde Wood Limited offers a variety of custom-milled and kiln-dried lumber, timber-framing, and hand-hewn beams. Kris Young or Jill Falkowski (866) 208-WOOD

Kevin W. Morris, President, CMID (877) 474-1727

Atlantic Archives Richard Leo Johnson has been a professional photographer for more than 25 years. His approach to photography is based on a respect of "place,� incorporating a subtle, less-invasive style in his work. His intention is to help interpret the client's objectives, whatever the case may be. Richard Leo Johnson (912) 201-9484

Michael Moran Photography, Inc. Michael Moran has owned a successful architectural-photography studio based inNew York City since 1985. He recently collaborated on books on the architecture of New York and Philip Johnson’s iconic Glass House. Michael Moran (718) 237-8830

july 2011

luxury home quarterly


At home with

home in downtown chicago, IL Lived there 6 years

M. Grace Sielaff Sielaff, The Owner of M. Grace Designs, Inc., a Chicago-based interior-design firm serving commercial, residential, and hospitality clients, shOWS off HER LIVING ROOM.

LHQ: Thanks for showing us your home! What makes this room a place you want to spend time? GS: As an artist of interior design, part of my inspiration comes from spontaneity and artistic endeavors. This room is part of my inspiration, it’s an expression of my personality, and it’s my living room. I love spending time in this room because it’s comfortable, appealing, and has all my favorite colors. I am captivated by the sensual, romantic colors of fuchsia and magenta but also enjoy the muted, neutral tones of celadon green, lemon glow, and grey. I enjoy coming home and seeing all these colors put together in a warm, beautiful, artistic setting.

LHQ: How would you describe the design of your living room? What inspired it? GS: My own style is modern and eclectic, and my living room is a combination of eclectic elements with a splash of exciting colors.

LHQ: What kind of atmosphere were you trying to create with the design of your living room? What elements did you use to achieve your goal?

GS: I’m attracted to many different things, but color was my main focus. I love to incorporate exciting colors with interesting design elements to achieve my goal, and [some] of those [elements were] the various colorful pillows in fuchsia, magenta, and celadon green.

LHQ: How does your home reflect your personal design style?

GS: My home is an expression of my personality; it’s warm and inviting and livable. Your signature style has to be yours, and my style is modern, clean lines with beautiful colors.

The Pieces DRAPERY FABRIC: Osborne & Little

CUSTOM THROW PILLOWS: Osborne and Little Fabrics



MIRROR: La Barge Inc.

SOFA FABRIC: Beacon Hill

BLUE BLOOM The lotus porcelain bowl from Arteriors ( sits on Sielaff’s coffee table, an aesthetic conversation piece.

LHQ: What are your favorite pieces and/or places in the space?

GS: My favorite piece is the fuchsia and yellow flower-art print by Andy Warhol—and the various toss pillows done in Osborne and Little fabrics.

Experience the Future of Custom Electronics from Universal Systems Hi-Rise custom electronics is our specialty. We offer a full line of space saving products that conceal your electronics from view and control everything from a single remote or your iPhone®. Universal Systems provides custom designed electronics for the luxury home and executive office.

The staff at Universal Systems is dedicated to providing expert technical service. Certified technician training (C-EST), continuous product training, Texas Alarm License and 30 years of direct experience makes Universal Systems your total technology source.

Founded in 1981, Universal encompasses all aspects of home entertainment, environmental control, voice and data networks, automated windows and security systems.

Congratulations and thanks to SmithArc Architects on the Omni Penthouse project. It was a pleasure to be part of the team.

Showroom: 2960 Wesley Way • Fort Worth, TX • 817.589.9966 •

FZAD Architecture + Design

We Conceptualize, We Create, We Fullfill. FZAD creates exceptional environments that meet the world’s most complex planning and deign challenges. Powerful collaborative ideas guide our solutions. Our work intrigues people while shaping the future. FZAD collaborates with clients and colleagues to create wonderful spaces linking people and place. Our ideas emerge from the intersection of many active minds and imaginations.

FZAD Architecture + Design Residential | Commercial | Millwork 41 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022 | 212-243-2933 | |

Profile for Molly Soat

Luxury Home Quarterly: Issue 11  

American Lake Homes

Luxury Home Quarterly: Issue 11  

American Lake Homes