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LUXURY HOME quarterly

NOV/DEC 2010

thE kitChEN & bath issuE SLeek new bAtHroom fIxtureS

—and the creative minds behind them

A peek inside the kitchens +& baths of design–savvy pros NOV / DEC 2010

luxury home quarterly


Individuality and character are amongst our most elemental building blocks. 2 luxury home quarterly NOV DEC 2010 /

Window Handles 3476 in Satin Stainless Steel (6204) and Aluminum Natural Color Anodized (0105) NOV / DEC 2010

It’s in your hands. 3

luxury home quarterly

contents FEATURES

Living Like a Rock Star With more than 75 homes built in its 20-year history, SR McGuire Builders recently worked on homes for members of the rock band Fall Out Boy, thanks to the firm’s stellar reputation. page 108

New York Style Renovating some of Manhattam’s top homes in the past 25 years, Interior Management, Inc. has become one of the area’s most sought-after design firms, thanks to numerous notable projects throughout the city.

page 114

Sun & Shade Blaze Makoid Architecture’s Fieldview residence, located in the Hamptons, is a modern, comprehensive vacation home that serves as a perfect getaway and private retreat. page 117

East-Coast Comfort Mark P. Finlay Architects, known for its high-end custom homes and large-scale estates, has given a rejuvenated design aesthetic to two impressive projects on the East Coast. page 125

Educator, Architect, Artist Joeb Moore + Partners Architects explores the artistic side of residential design with three comprehensive New England projects: PL44, Bridge House, and Spiral House. page 132

p 165 BLACK FOREST DESIGN The PuraVida Collection, by Hansgrohe, Phoenix Design, and Duravit, features an elegantly modern fixture design, as displayed in this washbasin.

Kitchen + Bath Trends From all across the world, a wide assortment of product designers showcase different rising trends in kitchens and baths, as they employ various innovative designs and technologies. page 138

Invited In LHQ takes an intimate look at the kitchens and baths of eight different design-savvy professionals who have invited us in to showcase their own personal tastes in designs and amenities. page 152

Regional Focus: The Black Forest Hansgrohe has teamed with longtime collaborators Phoenix Design, a Stuttgart, Germany-based product-design firm, and Duravit, a ceramic manufacturer, to create the latest innovation in bathroom fixtures—the award-winning PuraVida Collection. page 165

ON THE COVER Hacin + Associates’ Concept Home at FP3’s bathroom features a freestanding tub, a living wall in a niche, and a floating blown-glass bubble sculpture, for which it collaborated with a local artist. page 96


p 171 BUILDERS Construction firms specializing in peerless residences 33 37 41 42 44 45 47 50

Stonewood LLC Gage Homes Inc.

MIN | DAY ARCHITECTURE For the L Residence, Min | Day created a number of nested spaces with a grand room that appears as an exterior within the confines of the dense walls.

Men at Work Chicago VanGeison Construction Christyn Homes, Inc. Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc. Jenson Construction Eiesland Builders, Inc.

kitchens & Baths Enhancing the most-used rooms in a home 52 56 58 59

Arclinea San Diego Marsh & Clark Design Full Circle Architects LLP Geneva Cabinet Company

DESIGNERS Creative minds in interiors, landscape, and furnishings 61 65 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84

Interiors By Steven G. Inc. Steve Hermann Design Sroka Design, Inc. Habitar Design, Inc. Catherine Interiors, Inc.

the plans

Kelley Interior Design

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

Cannon Frank–A Design Corporation PC Essence of Design, LLC Montana Avenue Interiors, Inc. jamesthomas Oviatt & Associates Interiors and design

171 179 187

86 91 96 102


Alex Papachristidis Interiors Jennifer Garrigues, Inc. Hacin + Associates Inc. Diane Burgio Design

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Abramson Teiger Architects Bates Masi + Architects


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

Min | Day

Providing concepts and programs for deluxe homes 195 197 200 202 204

Max Strang Architecture Dinmore & Cisco Architects, Inc. Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Ltd. Soloway Designs Inc. Ponte Mellor Architects, Ltd.



Editor’s Note page 8 What’s New Industry news, awards, and product innovations page 14

Calendar Trade shows and special events in the coming months page 18

On The Rise Spotlighting the hottest kitchens and coolest baths page 20

Acclaim Custom-home projects of note page 29

Behind The Lines featuring Philippe Nigro, Angela Adams, and Thomas Coward page 162


page 236

Product + Services Spotlight page 240 At Home With Erinn Valencich page 242

206 209 212 214 216

Vacation Homes

Tech Savvy

Creators of second homes and getaways

Contractors providing automation, security, and entertainment systems

Mountain Star Residence Colorado Territorial-Style Homes Bayview Residence Kua Bay Residence

223 Audio Command Systems 224 Cinemagic 226 DSI Entertainment Systems, Inc.

The House on Fire Island


Real Estate Professionals in residential-property sales 218 219 221

Doug Leibinger Sheree Yellin Joyce Rey

Serving a unique niche in the custom-home industry 228 231 232 234

Carolina Timberworks, LLC Chartis Insurance, Private Client Group Okeanos Aquascaping Sand Creek Post & Beam

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editor’s note

CHELSEA LOFT For architect Ira Frazin’s own home, he chose a parallel dining table to create a natural flow, as well as kitchen cabinets inspired by the 1920s.


am proud to inform you, dear readers, that LHQ has grown yet again. Our biggest issue to date, which covers more designers and projects than ever before, provides an in-depth look at the ever-changing kitchen and bath industry. We were lucky enough to attend the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), hosted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association, in our hometown of Chicago this past April. There, we got a sneak peek at the latest in products and design trends for luxury-residential kitchen and baths.

In this special themed issue, we bring those trends straight from KBIS to you. The project that graces our cover is an amazing custom bath designed by Hacin + Associates, a design firm based in Boston that has proven to be ahead of the curve in design aesthetics (p. 98). Principal David Hacin describes the space as “clean and contemporary, yet timeless,” which aptly describes the design trends we saw at KBIS. The next generation of luxury kitchens and baths are more contemporary, more functional, and more timeless than ever before. In our feature titled “Invited In” (p.152), we enter the homes of eight design professionals, who all provide an intimate look at their own kitchens and baths. These experts discuss the philosophies and methods they took to design their personal dream homes, and the latest design trends they have adopted for themselves.

In our regional focus, we visit the Black Forest of southwestern Germany (p. 165), where great minds are developing advanced technologies for luxury homes across the globe. Hansgrohe, the world’s leading plumbing manufacturer, has teamed with longtime collaborators Phoenix Design, a product-design firm, and Duravit, a ceramic manufacturer also based in the Black Forest, to create the latest innovation in bathroom fixtures—the award-winning PuraVida Collection. Designer Tom Schönherr, of Phoenix Design, aptly describes the new collection of high-end bathroom fixtures. “The entire series embodies a highly contemporary, evolved, and elegant form of luxury, a perfect symbiosis of form and space.” Also in this issue, we’ve added a new department to further develop our ongoing coverage of architects in the custom-home industry. Titled “The Plans” (p. 171), this section takes an insider’s look at outstanding residential design, from concept to completion. One featured firm, Abramson Teiger Architects (p. 179), discusses three distinct projects that reflect its unique design style and methodology. Design principal Trevor Abramson says, “We strive to do something interesting and highly resolved in every project that we do. We are constantly striving for perfection.” I hope you enjoy this special issue of LHQ, and I hope that our coverage of the newest technologies and trends in kitchen and bath design will motivate, inform, and inspire your work. Enjoy.

Molly Soat, features editor


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NOV / DEC 2010

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NEWS FLASH Industry, a new lighting and fixture collection by British design company Tom Dixon, gets its inspiration from industrial processes. Products include: Void, a unique lighting fixture; Peg, a stackable café chair; Offcut Bench, which is made from wood waste; and Jack, a “sitting, stacking, lighting thing.”

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what’s new

Industry news, awards, and product innovations

home-design study

AIA finds home sizes continue to decrease A recent study by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has found that homebuyers are taking a greater interest in smaller homes and lot sizes, due to the continuing economic downturn in the housing market, as well as growing concerns about rising utility costs. Along these lines, the AIA Home Design Trends Survey also found an increased demand for flexible design and informal space within homes. “There has been a steady decline in both the square footage and volume in home design in recent years,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD. “The preference instead seems to be for more flexible, open, and informal layouts that allow for both ease movement and fostering a space more conducive to family living.” Overall home layout and size trends (% of respondents who reported increases): 2010


Open-space layout: 56% 50% New decorative product

Italian flooring guru creates unique reptile-like surface Custom-flooring specialist QuatroLegno, based in Italy, has recently developed a unique flooring product with a creative design. The company’s new “Crocodile Leather” floor, which is made of wenge wood, creates a singular incised pattern in the floor, enhancing the wood’s color, grain,

and texture. Its incision depth highlights the wood, showcasing a glistening finish. The specialized wood-panel design, shaped into scales, can be used as flooring, wall covering, or a special interior-design supplement for the home. Source: QuatroLegno

Single-floor plan: 40% 34% Lot size: 2% 2% Finished basement/attic: 36% 32% Source: The American Institute of Architects

Luxury-home development

Disney develops residential resort community Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has recently developed Golden Oak, a one-of-a-kind luxury residential resort community at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Designed for resort living, the development offers a limited collection of single-family custom homes priced between $1.5 and $8 million. The gated community features intimate neighborhoods, amenities, a private clubhouse, and conservation


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areas that comprise about half of the 980-acre site. It also offers residents access to select Four Seasons Resorts’ amenities, including the full-service spa, restaurants, golf course, and event space. The development is comprised of three types of single-family homes: Village Homes, a Mediterraneanstyle village on home sites up to one-quarter acre;

Estate Homes, which offers various architectural styles, including Tuscan, Spanish Revival, Venetian, Italianate, Dutch Colonial, and Island Colonial, on one-half acre; and Grand Estate Homes, whose architectural styles are consistent with Estate Homes, accommodates the needs of large families, and is up to three-quarters of an acre in size. Source: Disney Resort Real Estate Development

what’s new virtual design planning

New technology offers nearly 2,000 3-D cabinetry models At the AIA Expo2010 earlier this year, Masco Cabinetry’s brand KraftMaid Cabinetry—one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of semi-custom cabinetry—unveiled its innovative digital 3-D cabinet-model offerings through the Google 3-D Warehouse. This new technology allows clients to choose from nearly 2,000 models, and gives architects an even wider range of styles and finishes.

luxury resort

Top ski resort launches sales of private residences Located in Park City, Utah, Montage Residences Deer Valley—81 private residences atop the 174room Montage Deer Valley (named America’s number-one ski resort by Ski magazine)—opens this winter. The residences allow owners ski-in/ ski-out access to Deer Valley Resort, expansive mountain and valley views, and 24-hour amenities, including a residential concierge staff, spa services, private ski instruction, and ski and bike valets. Owners also have the opportunity for membership at the Talisker Club, which provides

private access to more than 10,000 acres of private wilderness, outdoor recreational pursuits, and admittance to members-only facilities.

Each 3-D cabinet is modeled to showcase a KraftMaid finish combined with a popular wood species. Designers can select any width that KraftMaid makes in a particular cabinet, and the model automatically changes to the requested dimension. When models are downloaded, the cabinet doors and drawers open, so users can virtually experience each model once placed in a kitchen design. KraftMaid’s designers also teamed with experts from Igloo Studios to add new inspirational kitchens to its collection of 3-D room models.

Priced from $2 million and up, the one- to four-bedroom residences are represented by DV Luxury Resort Realty LLC, in partnership with Park City-based Prudential Utah Real Estate. The residences offer multiple floor plans, ranging from 1,200 to 6,900 square feet.

“We’ve included several 3-D collections of spaces within the home and invite architects to showcase their creations as well,” says Mark Johnson, FAIA, director of architect relations and education at KraftMaid, a division of Masco Cabinetry. “It’s a great way for architects to be inspired, as well as inspire, and engage with their peers.”

Source: Montage Deer Valley

Source: Masco Cabinetry

product innovation

Bathroom-fixture designer unveils unique line From one of the most innovative companies in bathroom amenities comes a cutting-edge, sleek, and definitive faucet line. GRAFF’s Stealth Collection sets itself apart with its clean lines, precise angles, and unique silhouette, showing a strength of character rarely seen in a bathroom faucet. The singular faucet features a diamond-shaped handle, which mirrors the base, and precisely cut and angled faucet stem. Stealth is available in both polished-chrome and steelnox-satin-nickel finishes. Configurations include a lavatory faucet, a coordinating roman tub set with matching deck-mounted handshower and diverter set, and thermostatic shower systems. Source: GRAFF

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what’s new

award winners

10 kitchen & bath trends from the 2010 NKBA Design Competition The National Kitchen & Bath Association recently announced the top 10 design trends from the 2010 NKBA Design Competition. The winners of the competition were announced at the NKBA’s 2010 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, held earlier this year in Chicago.

TOP TRENDS & WINNERS: 1. Concealed kitchens Design by David Heide, David Heide Design Studio, Minneapolis, MN 2. Beverage stations Design by Peter Ross Salerno, Peter Salerno, Inc., Wyckoff, NJ

Eco by Cosentino by Paige Rien

3. Scaling of elements Design by Kirsti Wolfe, Kirsti Wolfe Designs, Bend, OR 4. Color with energy Design by Adel Visser, All About Kitchens & More, Sacramento, CA 5. Soft geometry Design by Earl Lawson, V6B Design Group, Vancouver, BC 6. Space subtleties Design by Lori Carroll, Lori Carroll & Associates, Tucson, AZ 7. Design framing Design by Tanya Rentzos, Andros Kitchen & Bath Design, Mississauga, ON 8. Varying heights Design by Robert Kinsley, Kinsley Design Group, Highland Park, IL 9. Japanese influences Design by Leslie J. Jensen, Signature Woodworks, LLC, Tacoma, WA 10. Art integration Design by Savena Doychinov, Design Studio International Kitchen & Bath, LLC, Falls Church, VA Source: National Kitchen & Bath Association


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product review

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In the past three years, I’ve received countertop samples made of sorghum, wheat, sea glass, wine bottles, paper, stone, and pressurized plastic. Because countertops must endure everything—from raw chicken to red-wine reductions—I’m hard to please and very skeptical about alternative worksurface choices. I want to know where the product comes from, what it will look like in the space, and what it will look like ten years from now. And increasingly, I want sustainable choices with minimal environmental impact—but it’s not easy. The desire for a green solution is not going away, nor should it. If anything should be recycled to form a solid surface, it should be old countertops, or equally solid building materials like stone or glass. Ideally, what would bind the reused material together would be natural enough for my kids to chew on it (which they probably will). Bingo— this is Eco by Cosentino. Cosentino produces several different types of hardsurface countertops, including Silestone, granite, marble, and stone. I’ve been a fan of Silestone and other quartz-composite products for years, and a skeptic of marble and granite for just as long. These products are truly owner friendly, and have come a long way as they strive to mimic natural-stone products in aesthetics, and surpass them in performance. Eco by Cosentino is 75-percent-recycled material bound with a corn-based resin. It looks like most

other traditional solid-surface choices (the colors are somewhat limited to neutrals and blacks), but it serves as an eco-friendly product from a tested brand that is visibly indistinguishable from standard quartz-composite products. For my home-based porosity test, I submerged the whitest samples in red wine for two days, and they cleaned up completely with only water. I’m impressed at the company’s endeavor to offer a complete eco-friendly story— a peek under the curtain at Affordability Cosentino’s manufacturing practices is equally comEase of use forting. Furthermore, using Eco can contribute to LEED certification, mean- Eco-friendly ing use of this product can earn you points in more owner-friendly ways than one. color choices

Paige Rien is a designer on HGTV’s Hidden Potential and is a requested speaker, author, and product reviewer. Her consultancy business, Rien With An Eye For Design©, is based in New Jersey, where she lives with her husband and two sons.

NeoCon® World’s Trade Fair Chicago June 13–15, 2011

IIDEX/NeoCon® Canada Toronto September 22–23, 2011

NeoCon® East Baltimore December 15–16, 2010

National Exposition of Contract Furnishings To exhibit or register to attend, visit or call 800.677.6278.

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Trade shows and special events in the coming months

INDUSTRY TRENDS This space, designed by Munge Leung, was showcased at last year’s IDS 11.

Interior Design Show (IDS 11) Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON

Serving as Canada’s largest contemporary-design event, the Interior Design Show (IDS 11) has attracted more than 500,000 design professionals, consumers, and members of the media since the show’s inception in 1998. IDS 11 will feature the latest, most innovative design products presented by 300 exhibitors, including both emerging and established designers who will showcase international interiordesign, architecture, and industrial-design trends. In addition, a number of influential designers and architects will serve as keynote speakers, sharing their various industry philosophies and experiences. In exhibiting multiple trends and designers, IDS 11 showcases a plethora of new and never-before-seen feature exhibits every year, much to the benefit of attending industry professionals.

Jan. 27–30


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SustainaBuild Conference

NeoCon East The Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD

Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, BC

As the real-estate and development industries move toward green initiatives in design, construction, and operation processes, indoor-air quality has become an important issue. Mold and moisture problems are an increasingly difficult issue in all homes, regardless of the home’s sustainability or eco-friendly features. The one-day SustainaBuild Conference will take a look at just how healthy certain green buildings are, providing answers and addressing the myths associated with sustainable buildings and health in regards to building envelopes and ventilation.

Nov. 23

As a premiere design exposition for commercial interiors with an emphasis on the federalgovernment audience, NeoCon East has been going strong for seven years. As the foremost exposition in the Mid-Atlantic region, NeoCon East will host an assortment of interior designers, architects, and facilities-management personnel alike, with more than 250 exhibitors, 30 CEU-accredited seminars and forums, and multitudes of new and exciting products. Other highlights will include captivating keynote speakers, the Prime Design GSA booth competition, tours, and some of the industry’s best education programming.

Dec. 15–16


One of a Kind Show and Sale 2010 Nov. 11–14: 7 W New York, New York, NY Nov. 25–Dec. 5: Directed Energy Centre, Toronto, ON Dec. 2–5: Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL Dec. 9–12: Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, BC

Taking place in four different cities in Canada and the United States, the One of a Kind Show and Sale is a remarkable holiday shopping event that features an assortment of fine art and crafts from more than 500 artists, artisans, and designers from across North America. Each custom item is handcrafted and made one piece at a time, with every artist represented in attendance. In addition, the One of a Kind Show and Sale provides a unique opportunity for artists and buyers alike, offering a fresh alternative to traditional retail and serving as the ideal place to find a wide range of products, including ceramics, glass, furniture, sculptures, paintings, photography, and works in metal and wood, plus much more.


Landscape Industry Show

Metro Convention Centre South Building, Toronto, ON In early December, the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto will host a series of simultaneous conventions dedicated to design and building experts alike. Among the various trade shows are DesignTrends, a full-service commercial and residential interior-design show and conference; Construct Canada, the country’s largest building and construction show; HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, which showcases strategies and solutions for residential green building, profitability, and project management; and the National Green Building Conference, which focuses on green design, construction, retrofit, and maintenance. DesignTrends 2010, December 1–3, Construct Canada, December 1–3, HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, December 1–3, National Green Building Conference, December 1–2,

The Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show

ProGreen Expo 2011

Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ

Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO

Hailed as the industry’s leading “East Coast marketplace,” this comprehensive trade show has brought together industry buyers and sellers since 1982. The three-day event will feature more than 10,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors from all over the country. Industry professionals from all across the country will showcase the latest pool and spa trends in a 457,200-square-foot showroom, displaying a wide range of cutting-edge design and product technology. The event will also host a number of seminars for which attendees can earn credit hours toward business or professional industry certifications.

Featuring a number of landscape architects, designers, and irrigation specialists, among others, ProGreen Expo 2011 serves as an industry hub for landscape construction and maintenance. The event, comprised of both tradeshow and seminar activities, will span four days, offering extensive industry prowess and expert know-how. It will also feature special events such as an awards ceremony and will feature more than 700 booths, 6,500 buyers, and 123 seminars.

Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA

Serving as the longest-running, leading green industry show in the western United States, the Landscape Industry Show brings customers face-to-face with wide range of professionals, including lighting experts, irrigation specialists, hardscape installers, and turf specialists, among others. With 8,000 attendees expected, and more than 300 companies from all over the country exhibiting, the 2011 show will feature some of the industry’s most recent and most notable products and equipment. In addition, the show will feature award-winning displays and educational seminars by some the most respected experts in the landscaping industry.

Jan. 12–13

Jan. 25–27

Feb. 8–11

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luxury home quarterly


on the rise

Popular trends and rising stars in the luxury-home market

Hot kitchens, cool baths Today, it seems that more and more designers of kitchen and bath products are pushing the envelope and thinking outside the box. With indoor gardens, vibrantly colored sinks and tubs, and futuristic range hoods, product designers have never been as innovative and provacative as they are now in the ever-changing kitchen- and bath-design industry.

industrial chic concrete kitchen Concrete is one of the sturdiest, most-resilient surface materials. For this reason, Austrian firm Steininger Designers has developed a kitchen made of ultra-thin eight-millimeter concrete, both sturdy and light. While it may seem unconventional, its heat resistance and food safety make it perfectly suitable for kitchens. The sitting area, made of solid wood and two herbal patches, contrast and accentuate the very particular feel of concrete. The kitchen is just another product of the Austrian design company, which is known for its luxurious interior-design solutions characterized by a perfect fusion of traditional craftsmanship, innovative manufacturing techniques, and cosmopolitan designs. The concrete kitchen’s clear-cut shapes and unique designs showcase the firm’s particular details and sophisticated solutions.


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on the rise

space saver SHINE A new concept of wall compact washing machines, Shine, by Electrolux, is a freestanding appliance that can be integrated underneath the bathroom sink (fitting in with Pura Vida design), while the wallmounted version integrates nicely with bathroom cupboards. With design values of simplicity and purity, Shineseemlesly integrates with the rest of the bathroom. To achieve this design concept, the Electrolux team studied the bathroom environment and developed new designs linked to various materials, colors, lighting, and ambiance. One unique feature of Shine is a light ring around the door that visually communicates both the cycle time and the phase of the washing process. Once the washing cycle is started, the ring around the door will start to light up in a clockwise manner, reaching completion at the same time as the washing cycle is finished. Shine is both sleekly designed and functional.

indoor garden herb pot Thanks to a unique product called the Herb Pot, the home garden can easily come indoors. With this new planter, which can be incorporated into kitchen storage cabinets, cooks can use fresh herbs more readily for your dishes. The Herb Pot, available through Toyo Kitchen & Living Co., Ltd., uses red and blue LED lights to stimulate photosynthesis, perpetuating plant growth and enabling indoor horticulture. Furthermore, LEDs are considered to be an ideal light source for plant cultivation with their long life, energy-saving properties, and minimal release of heat and ultraviolet rays. With a wide variety of installation plans offered, including combinations with wall surface storage spaces, the planters are detachable, providing convenience and aesthetics in one fell swoop. Cabinet spaces underneath the planter can be used for storage.

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on the rise

true colors Design products can easily get bogged down by softened hues, subtle tints, subdued shades, and muted accents—especially those meant for the bath. Not these products. Instead, they display their vibrancy in a variety of schemes, showcasing a more colorful side to noteworthy design.

monowash Serving as a breath of fresh air to dull, monochromatic bathroom décor, Monowash pedestal sinks feature a striking color scheme and appearance. Designed by Giulio Cappellini and manufactured by Italian bathroom brand Ceramica Flaminia, the highly modern Monowash sink is a vibrant focal point in any bathroom it is featured in. The simple, square-shaped, freestanding basin showcases gently rounded edges fashioned from a single ceramic block that tapers slightly at the base for added visual interest. Showcasing vibarant colors—red, yellow, pink, lilac, and aqua—the Monowash’s singular look truly makes it stand out. The flashy product also features a chrome faucet fixture for enhanced visual appeal.


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on the rise

grohe rainshower icon hand shower kouple bathtub Designed with a provocative and bold appearance, this sanitary-ware series colored in pink embodies a unique product by South Korea-based Saturn Bath. The bathtub’s shape is of two water drops, and was an essential source of inspiration for its design. Furthermore, the tub and washbasin feature an ergonomically curved shape expressing an inviting offer to use them in pairs.

Photo of kouple bathtub: Karim Rashid, Inc.

An innovator in modern showering products, Grohe’s new Rainshower Icon features a distinctive aesthetic in its unique spray face. The showerhead’s flat design is equipped with highly modern technology, such as the eco-button (aqua dimmer) and DreamSpray, which ensures water is efficiently and evenly distributed to every nozzle. The Rainshower, which comes in colors like White Moon and Eco Chic Green, is a new icon in handheld showering, taking former designs to the next level for an enhanced showering experience.

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luxury home quarterly


on the rise

hand-carved stone Siena Collection Earlier this year, Stone Forest introduced a full suite of bath sculptures designed for the home and spa. The Siena Collection, hand-carved from blocks of Siena silver-gray marble, combine minimalist design with an Italian sensibility. The collection’s striking new material features subtle smoky tones and natural contrasting grooves, resulting in an elegant setting for a luxurious bath experience.

bronze hardware ted boerner collections Artist and designer Ted Boerner, in collaboration with Rocky Mountain Hardware, has debuted five hardware collections of door hardware and cabinet pulls. Cast in recycled, art-grade bronze, the collections— Brute, Shift, Empire, Bird, and Tab—include a total of 27 new pieces that are available in nine standard finishes. The collections offer a range of sculptural looks, including chunky handles and asymmetrical knobs and pulls, each embracing Boerner’s signature balance of function and form. The line, produced with sand and investment casting techniques, employs a high level of handwork and give each piece a unique feel.


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home spa kaesch The award-winning, German-engineered bathtubs, whirlpools, and showers by Kaesch—an internationally renowned manufacturer of bathroom amenities—are now available in the United States, thanks to its US counterpart, Kaesch USA. The highly evolved products coincide with Kaesch’s years of experience in processing high-quality synthetics and delivering maximum relaxation in bathroom amenities.All bath products are designed to green standards and are certified according to anatomic and ergonomic specifications. In addition, the products use a water-regulation system called The Feel Control system, which regulates the ideal water temperature at the touch of a button, and water inflow automatically stops once the desired water level is reached.

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what’s old is new Whether classic or modern, kitchen and bath design has reached new heights with these high-end, elegant products. Today’s designs seek to innovate by looking back and exploring the new.

empress bouquet Blurring the line between fine art and high-end bathroom design, Kohler has introduced its new Empress Bouquet design for a collection of popular toilets and sinks. The stylish pattern offers a modern interpretation of 18th-century Chinese print work, and its floral motif and radiant metallic detailing can be matched to other bathroom fixtures. In addition, different variations of the pattern’s white base can integrate into a variety of bathroom décors, allowing users to select a customizable collection that fits with individual tastes.


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on the rise

Wolo FIXTURES Pronounced “Vo-lo,” this comprehensive bathroom-fixture collection takes off with modern momentum. Inspired by the flight of airplanes and the aerodynamics of their wings, Wolo’s design results in an stylishly sleek and light feel. Its tapering and slim shape adds to the simplicity of its design. The line is available in a variety of different models, including Single Lever Lavatory (shown here), Single Lever Vessel Lavatory, Widespread Lavatory, Shower Trim, PB Shower Valve, Tub and Shower Trim, PB Tub and Shower Valve, Eco-Therm Thermostatic, Concealed 3-Way Diverter, Square Shower Head, Round Shower Head, Square Body Jet, Handshower Kit, Wallmount Supply Elbow, and Tub Spout. The collection comes in satin gold and various chrome finishes.

Subway “white pearl” Sink Graceful and sophisticated in its design, the Subway “white pearl” sink displays a feel and look that evokes high-quality bone china. Manufactured by Germany-based Villeroy & Boch, the sink’s design showcases an elegant décor that is both unobtrusive and distinguished. The company has kept in step with its design approach, which focuses on marrying modern and classic design; and through comprehensive hybrid design, Villeroy & Boch has delivered a ceramic kitchen sink ornamented with the detailed pattern that fits perfectly in the kitchen. “Subway” kitchen sink models 60, 60XL, 50, and 45 each feature bowls on the left or right.

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red hot! LIPSTICK Earlier this year at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Chicago, Broan-NuTone unveiled five new Best range hoods from its European collection, as well as three never-seen-before designs. Best plans to bring these innovative products to market in the United States in the near future. With product names like Gloss, Double Vertigo, Lift, Secret, Surf, Dune, Chorus, and Lipstick (seen here), these innovative styles reflect the sleek and contemporary global-design reputation of the Best brand.

GE PROFILE The new GE Profile SmartDispenser frontload washer and dryer combine high performance with convenience with sleek design, as well as efficient use of water and energy. Available in numerous colors, the Energy Star-qualified dual unit uses as little as 10 gallons of water for a small load, saving more than 5,800 gallons of water per year, compared to a typical topload washer. Additionally, advanced water extraction and moisture sensors help reduce drying time, saving even more energy. The washer also automatically dispenses detergent and fabric softener based on


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custom-home projects of note

Credits CAD drafter: Mary Roles of Lori Carroll & Associates, Tucson, AZ Architect: Kevin Howard of Kevin B Howard Architects, Tucson, AZ Builder: Tara-Sun Development, Inc., Tucson, AZ Countertop: Cool Concrete Creations Stainless-steel panels: American Industrial Systems Inc. Paint: Precise Painting Plumbing: T&S Custom Plumbing, Tucson, AZ Electric: Crawford Electric, Tucson, AZ

metallic & modern

Plumbing fixtures: Clyde Hardware, Tucson, AZ; Ferguson Enterprises

Equipped with a number of unique architectural features and designs, the powder room of this ultra-modern home emanates a sleek and sophisticated aura without being indulgent. Lori Carroll of Lori Carroll & Associates in Tucson, Arizona, won the 2009 Best Overall Bathroom/Powder Room award from the NKBA for this unique design. The powder room’s concept became highly urban and industrial, with the room’s slate-gray steel achieving a metropolitan feel that the client was seeking for the home. The room’s scarlet-red paint helps contrast the coolness of the cement and metal design elements, and fired-steel panels and dangling bare-bulb fixtures help the room achieve a cosmopolitan vibe. This highly modern bathroom brings together pure elements and bold accents for a dynamic and unique design style.

Glass & mirror: Glass Smith, Tucson, AZ

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Credits Designer: Giampietro Monti of Arclinea, Caldogno, Italy Cabinetry & cabinetry lighting: Arclinea Stools: Lapalma, Cadoneghe, Italy Ceiling light fixtures: iGuzzini, Recanati, Italy Flooring: Edilcuoghi, Sassuolo, Italy Worktops & electrical appliances: Scholtès Paint: Sikkens

A Taste of italy Villa Firenze, the Italian embassy in Washington, DC, stays true to its roots with a custom-designed, Italian-influenced kitchen, thanks to design firm Arclinea. Incorporating technology and creativity, Arclinea revitalized Villa Firenze’s kitchen with a thorough focus on functionality and aesthetics. By fine-tuning the project through demolition work—replacing obsolete electrical and plumbing systems, and installing new ones—the firm created a space that serves as a showcase for modern Italian design. The kitchen’s design includes a 641-centimeter, single-piece, stainless-steel worktop and 90-centimeter ovens, as well as a steam oven with eight preset cooking functions. The project also features an “indoor miniature greenhouse,” located in an ideal position for using herbs both when cooking and when decorating the plate, and a “warming” top for keeping the dishes hot until


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they have been distributed by the waiters. In addition, the project features refrigerated drawers and a built-in coffee machine—an example of Italian tradition offering multiple settings for coffee and the option of grinding beans to suit personal taste.

The highly functional and expansive kitchen was designed with the work area allowing for chefs and waiters to prepare food for up to 250 diners, while also allowing for ease of use by the ambassador’s family—an industrial kitchen that can easily transform into a domestic one.


marine-life Mosaics The design for this 224-square-foot custom master bath occurred when Rahnee Gladwin was approached by a client to create fantasy mosaic murals of a tropical reef in the large master-bath wet area, as part of an addition to an existing home in San Antonio, Texas. The result is a highend glass, stone, and tile mosaic that continues the aquatic theme throughout the wet area. “Choosing a classical approach to the subject matter allowed me to represent the fish, turtle, and corals in realistic forms and colors,” Gladwin says. “I produced quarter scale renderings of the custom mural walls for approval and for production, along with samples of the glass and stone materials that I proposed to use in the murals and for the rest of the bath.” Gladwin also supplied the materials for the floor, ceiling, tub deck, and countertops in the space, and used more than 80 colors for the mosaics. “The purity and strength of the colors of the Interstyle and Oceanside glass tile added the punch needed to accurately depict the strong, bright colors of tropical fish, corals, and sea turtle,” she adds. “The stone provides the counter point to the glass, bringing natural texture and becoming the ‘bones’ of the structure. The translucent quality and clarity of the Interstyle glass tile adds depth, giving the sensation of looking into and beyond the color plane of stone.”

Credits TILEWORK Designer: Rahnee Gladwin, R. Gladwin i.Design Tile: Interstyle Ceramic & Glass Tile, Burnaby, BC; Oceanside Glasstile Stone: Onyx France, Inc., Woodbridge, CT; Appomattox Tile Art, Petersburg, VA Faucets & showerhead: Dornbracht, Duluth, GA

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Credits DESIGNER: Heidi Pribell of Heidi Pribell Interiors, Cambridge, MA Kitchen Cabinetry: Christopher Peacock Cabinetry English lantern: Charles Edwards Antiques Ltd., London Powder Room Hand-painted wallpaper: Gracie, Inc., New York City Sconces and lantern: Christopher Norman at Hinson Lighting

Classic Boston home The kitchen and powder room of this Boston townhouse, built in 1835, put a contemporary twist on classic design. Heidi Pribell saw the renovation project as a prime opportunity to “revisit the glamour and grandeur of a period in time when this classic Beacon Hill townhouse was first built.” The overall design incorporates a number of historical influences while using bold colors and patterns to gives the home a contemporary feel. The whole home is featured in the new book Restoring a House in the City by Ingrid Abramovitch. “I see my work as that of an editor,” Pribell reflects. “I interpret my client’s ideas and present them with various directions in which the project can go. Together we sought out exceptional objects and then fantasized on all of the possibilities for designing around them.” The powder room, decorated with crotch-mahogany paneling, features a Chinese floral, handpainted wallpaper, with a reproduction Chinese sink atop a converted Biedermeier plant stand, and the mirror is early 19th-century Boston Classical. Pribell’s work in the kitchen features stable doors that open into a private garden, as well as a tile custom designed after a collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


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Construction firms specializing in peerless residences

Stonewood LLC Fourth-generation leadership adds Web-based customer service to firm’s proven management techniques

SOPHISTICATED HOMES Brazilian cherry-stained plank flooring was used throughout this Stonewoodbuilt home. The kitchen and diningroom ceilings feature enameled beams and crown molding that change direction from one room to the next, creating a sense of subtle separation.

by Sandra Guy Stonewood LLC has developed its reputation as a detail-oriented and customer-service-driven luxury-home builder, built on four generations of building experience. Its systems-based approach to building homes incorporates transparent budgeting of projects, extensive job-site quality control, and Web-based information-management systems to give clients real-time updates on the progress of their dream home. This Web savvy comes thanks to Sven Gustafson, the fourth-generation owner whose great-grandfather

started the family construction heritage by hand building barns in Wisconsin. Sven’s grandfather, Harry, and father, Jeffrey—both entrepreneurs, land developers, and builders—built their businesses in Edina, Minnesota, and in the process developed the Gustafson family reputation as artisan homebuilders, resulting in Stonewood LLC and its reputation. Before following in the family tradition of building homes, Sven worked as a software developer, creating accounting software and providing

business and management consulting. But Sven found he needed to pursue his passion for building, and he realized that he could apply his talents to help his father run the family business. He brought to Stonewood his knack for developing software and creating efficient and meaningful business systems and processes. The result is a Web-based system that lets Stonewood clients log in; see the project budget, drawings, blueprints, and schedule; approve or reject change orders; see their selections of paint colors, flooring, and other materials in a virtual setting; and e-mail questions and

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Lake Harriet The renovation of this home in Minneapolis, MN, built in 1890, included a 3,500-square-foot addition that utilized elements from the home’s original design, like clay tile glazed in a green color for the roof, and stone quarried from the original source for the exterior. Inside, Stonewood removed out-of-character contemporary details—clean line cabinetry, bright colors, track lighting—and replaced them with the original details of rich millwork, custom cabinetry, ironwork, authentic divided-light windows, and hand-carved fireplace surrounds.

comments simultaneously to project managers and others working on the design. “Clients have full access to all of their project information, blueprints, specifications, change prodders, and communication,” Sven says. “When clients are empowered with information, they understand and trust the building process. It’s more fun, and clients understand the impact their decisions will have on the budget and the schedule. We start by having a completely open process with clients. We share all of our actual costs with them, and we’ve built our processes around that philosophy.” He adds that clients get to see bids and invoices from subcontractors, if they desire to do so.

touch-up. The Web system sends the client an email notification when the work is completed, and the item gets checked off of a list. “I realized that the big difference between high-end-home builders is the client experience,” Sven says. “We all build very nice homes. The difference comes when it’s over and the client answers these questions: Did the client enjoy the experience? Did he or she know what the homebuilder was doing? Did the homebuilder stay on schedule? How did it go?”

After Stonewood finishes a job, the client e-mails any items that need attention, such as a paint

He continues, stating, “It’s expected that we’ll build a quality home. Our point of difference is


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that, when the home is complete, our clients have enjoyed the process, felt that they were always informed regarding the budget, the schedule, and the state of their project.” The philosophy and ethical practices have fostered success. Even in a down economy, the firm will celebrate a profitable year and will continue to grow into 2011, as it completes new and remodeled homes. For example, at Stonewood’s 2010 Spring Preview Parade of Homes Model, a 7,800-square-foot, five-bedroom farmhouse-style home set on six acres of wooded acreage, features a

“When clients are empowered with information, they understand and trust the building process. It’s more fun, and clients understand the impact their decisions will have on the budget and the schedule.” Sven Gustafson, Owner

steeped, pitched feeder roof, board-and-batton siding, Alder wood throughout the interior, 1¾-inchthick interior doors, and floors made of reclaimed, wide-plank hickory with knots, imperfections, and a French-bleed edge to create a rustic, comfortable farmhouse style. The interior includes a paneled study with a coffered ceiling and built-in bookcases; a great room with floor-to-ceiling windows, Adlerwood floor-to-ceiling bookcases, and a hand-carved wood-burning fireplace; a formal dining room with 54-inch-tall enameled wainscoting; and a front porch with flagstone flooring that runs most of the length of the front of the house. A home-restoration project on Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, one-half block off of the lake, doubled the size of an 1890-era, 3,500-square-foot home and added features such as redoing the exterior in locally quarried stone to recreate the original look, and adding millwork detail in finishes and cabinetry, installing a study, butler’s pantry, kitchen, informal dining space, a child’s bedroom, and a master-bedroom suite, to make the transformed historic space into a comfortable home. “We build within our client’s desired architectural style—from French provincial to modern with fullon stainless-steel cabinetry and bright blue enamel and concrete countertops,” Sven says. “Yet we have a passion for authenticity in whatever we do, are fanatical about quality, and strive to work with only those craftsmen that share these philosophies.” Stonewood is a leader in the use of cutting-edge building technologies and practices—ensuring the energy efficiency of its homes by incorporating green technologies, ICF wall construction, and industry-leading insulation and heating technologies, including geothermal heating systems that result in lasting value for the homeowner. “We want to continue to build 8–10 homes a year and do half-a-dozen renovations,” Gustafson says. “We maintain that number so we can provide the level of service, quality, project management, and customer service that our clients deserve.”

COUNT ON US 1,350 locations. All 50 states. 300 showrooms.17,000 associates. 57 years in business. At Ferguson, it’s true that our inventory is huge. Our distribution expertise is unrivaled. And our one-stop shopping for building products is the height of convenience. But there is one thing we supply that building professionals have come to rely on again and again for over 57 years – our people. Our associates make certain you can count on Ferguson – where friendly service, expertise, and a willingness to go the extra mile are never in short supply.


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FERGUSON.COM Nobody expects more from us than we do SM © 2010 Ferguson Enterprises, rights reserved. / DECAll NOVInc. 2010 luxury home quarterly


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Photo courtesy of Classic Homes

Call us at 651.994.0666 to arrange your obligation free consultation today. Trusted, reliable, unconditional customer satisfaction from Orion Home Systems. It’s enough to make you hurry home. www.OrIOnHOmeSYSTemS.COm

Home technology is ever evolving and now more than ever, technology is being utilized to enhance the design of your home. With experts in all areas of home electronics, we invite you to experience a truly integrated solution that beautifully adds convenience, control and efficiency to your home. From home theater to whole house audio systems, automated lighting to security, we develop custom designs that suit your taste, lifestyle and budget.


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Gage Homes Inc. Second-generation family business builds dependable, quality custom homes by Daniel Casciato Gage Homes Inc. has been recognized across the country as Dallas’ trendsetter and pioneer in homebuilding. As a builder of more than 1,200 homes and a recipient of multiple awards, the esteemed homebuilder brings together creative architectural and interior-design techniques to each of its luxury homes. The family-owned business is headed by Gage Prichard Jr., a lifelong homebuilding veteran who serves as owner and president. He learned his skills watching his father, an industry leader who has been building homes for more than 45 years. As a small child, Prichard spent weekends and vacations building in the backyard with the scrap material his father would bring home. “From the age of 10 to about the age of 13, I would spend all my time sweeping and cleaning out construction jobs on weekends, summers, and vacations,” he recalls.

By the time he was about 14 years old, Prichard would still spend weekends and vacations sweeping and cleaning, but his father would negotiate with a different subcontractor each summer to put him to work. “This was important in teaching me the ins and outs of the homebuilding business,” Prichard says. “It has always amazed me how much I was able to learn and absorb by this hands-on approach, along with the education I received from the workmen. I was always wanting to know why they did things the way they did, and seeing how it all fit together.”

The Preston Hollow Home Recently completed by Gage Homes, the three-story Preston Hollow project is a 13,500-square-foot new home fully stocked with an assortment of amenities. Preston Hollow is a secluded enclave in an established neighborhood in Dallas, convenient to major shopping areas, business centers, and several private schools. The English Country Manor home features a media room, a game room, an outdoor kitchen, five bedrooms, six full baths, three powder baths (one in basement), a formal study, and a large home office. It also contains a full basement complete with a bowling alley, a second kitchen, wine room, safe room, and another media room.

After high-school graduation, Prichard went to work full-time at his father’s company. In about a year, he was given a house to superintend. “It was a sink-or-swim kind of deal,” he says. “My dad taught me the business end of things, such as estimates, take-offs, and purchasing. He helped me to look past what was being installed at that moment

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Provider of Choice Audio/Video Systems Design, Sales & Installation Residential/Commercial Official AMX provider for Cowboys Stadium 2 1 4. 726. 9 0 8 9 THE WINE ROOM Gage Homes was given a challenge to provide an elaborate wine room for an extensive wine collection that would be displayed, inventoried, and maintained in a climate-controlled environment of 58 degrees year-round. The company provided an Onam water-cooled wine-refrigeration system, equipped with a custom computer bar-code inventory system with a backup generator for power outages. Gage Homes also installed a spiral staircase to connect to the mini wine room off of the upstairs dining room.


and envision what it was going look like after all the parts were installed.” This helped him see what was not going to work. To this day, Prichard believes that a large part of his job is to catch and stop problems before they materialize. “I look back on the friendships I had made as a child with the subcontractors,” he says. “I learned a great deal from them. My dad taught me to listen to these guys and respect their jobs.” Today, Gage Homes has a simple business practice: treat people fairly and overdeliver on the customers’ expectations. When someone calls to request warranty service, a quality sub to fix a problem, or any request for information, the company will send someone out to personally view and assess exactly what and who will be needed to solve the problem.

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“It’s impossible to describe accurately, and in detail, most problems over the phone,” Prichard says. “Here’s an example: A customer calls and says they need a painter to touch up a baseboard in a hall, so the builder sends a painter. If the painter finds a giant gouge in the baseboard, he fills the gouge with putty and then paints. The customer comes home and goes ballistic at the poor-quality fix. A visual inspection would have revealed a baseboard replacement was needed first and then that the painter

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needed to do the touch-up. All of this could have been avoided by a five-minute inspection before the painter was called. It costs time and money to operate like this, but it really pays dividends.” Over the years, Prichard also learned the importance of providing superior customer service. “Everyone talks about customer service, but we excel at it—and not just after the sale but all the way through construction,” he says. “Customer satisfaction starts at the beginning. We start by constructing complicated build-to-suit jobs on-time and within budget, and continue assisting our customers and the families they sell to as long as our doors remain open.” As an example, Prichard says that it is unacceptable for a customer to show up on a job to find it dirty, behind schedule, or with any mistakes. “We all know things can happen and homebuilding is not perfect, but if you’re doing your job, you will know when a mistake is present,” he says. “All you have to do is communicate with the customer to let them know about it before they find it. Never let a customer find a problem you don’t know about and have a solution for. The customer will either gain confidence or lose all confidence in the very beginning. A little extra effort up front goes a long way.”


Design & Training Center

Trim-Tex is please to announce the opening of the Trim-Tex Design & Training Center. The 8,000

square foot facility showcases a variety of finished upgraded designs that feature Drywall Art. The adjoining training center will have several courses available (Coming in 2011) including the most important, becoming a Trim-Tex Certified Technician. The Design & Training Center is open to: Contractors, Builders, Architects, Designers, and Professional Drywallers. Hours: Monday - Thursday 9:30am - 3:00pm Group Tours Available, please call ahead. Karyn Newman Design & Training Center Coordinator 847-674-3615

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two brothers

Men at Work Chicago

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Residential builder combines passion, knowledge, and experience for a variety of custom homes

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by Jennifer Kirkland When poet Carl Sandburg described Chicago as “City of the Big Shoulders,” he was thinking of builders like Mike Nagel and Scott Sevon, cofounders of Men At Work Chicago (MAW), a general-contracting firm that specializes in custom residential design-build construction and remodeling. At a time when many general-contracting firms are closing down, MAW is positioned to grow in the new marketplace. The secret to MAW’s quick success is the partnership between Nagel and Sevon, two of the most experienced and respected contractors in Chicago, if not the nation. Between them, Nagel and Sevon have 94 years of experience in construction, but the two savvy businessmen are professors of remodeling, continuously searching for the cutting edge of knowledge and practice. “We’re very proactive about what we do,” Nagel says, “and we think that separates us from the competition.” Both builders learned the trade at the feet of their fathers. “My father was a first-generation builder,” Sevon shares. “As a kid, I was his tool fetcher. Growing up, I picked up a lot about the business, using, as he taught me, my ears and eyes as my most important tools.” Nagel learned the trade as a teenager, working for his father’s cement contracting firm before earning a degree in civil engineering. Over the years, both men worked for various construction companies, started their own independent firms, and eventually combined forces in 2009 as MAW. “The consolidation has brought us back to our family business roots,” Sevon says. “We all have the same work ethics.” Those ethics are evident in every aspect of the partnership. Nagel and Sevon are prominent movers in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), where Nagel has been Remodelers Council national chairman and Sevon has been Green Council national chairman, helping develop the NAHB ANSI Green Standards with American National Standards Institute—the only thirdparty-approved green-building standard currently used in the United States. Since 2005, Nagel and Sevon have been instrumental in working with the EPA to help shape the new Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule regarding lead-safe work practices. “Many contractors aren’t aware of the new rules,” Sevon

says. But Nagel advocated for them before a Senate hearing, and both partners have helped shape the regulations and are busy spreading the word to get compliance and understanding on both the trade and client levels. “We’re on the cutting edge of anything that happens in this industry,” Nagel says. Between them, they hold almost every designation NAHB has to offer, all of which require continuous education in the latest industry trends: Graduate Master Remodelers, Graduate Master Builders, and Certified Aging-in-place Specialists. “We’re also Certified Green Professionals,” Sevon adds. All of these designations require continuous education. In addition to lobbying for better environmental industry standards and staying up on the latest trends, Nagel and Sevon give frequent seminars for the industry and the public.

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Recently, MAW has put its big shoulders to noble use by working with the Architectural Review Board and constructing one custom home and one custom renovation for homeowners in the Chicago area who have teenaged children with cerebral palsy. Both of these showcase homes are eco-friendly and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). “We specialize in ADA compliance because of these two projects,” Nagel says. The first project, in Schaumburg, Illinois, is the one that brought Nagel and Sevon together, and it had a special circumstance: the clients’ twin teenaged children were born with cerebral palsy. As Nagel explains, “The house has all kinds of interesting products for the twins, who are getting too big to manhandle.” One innovation is the track system in the boy’s bathroom, which allows them to transfer the child effortlessly from the bed to the bathtub to the wheelchair. “The zero-gravity harness even allows them to walk around the room a little,” Nagel adds. MAW’s design-build saved the client thousands. Like the client in Schaumburg, a client in Gurnee, Illinois, also had a teenager with cerebral palsy, as well as a similar track system in one of the bathrooms and a three-story elevator. Nagel and Sevon put their heart and soul into these projects to create homes that will make their lives eaisier and more comfortable. And because of efforts like these, MAW looks forward to continued success through high-quality, personalized construction.

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OUT-OF-THE-BOX DESIGN Owner Chris VanGeison atop his custom glassover-steel stair landing with bamboo treads and a stainless-steel handrail.

VanGeison Construction Southern builder breaks with tradition to build a luxury, LEED Silver-certified Hilton Head home by James Askew 843.815.9931 • 866.739.0308 270 Red Cedar Street Suite 104 Bluffton SC 29910 42

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Chris VanGeison, the owner of VanGeison Construction in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is well versed in the art of luxury-home building. VanGeison has built homes on the island for more than 15 years, with the average square-foot price for a VanGeison-built home running $300 and up. With such an illustrious record of success behind him, you’d think VanGeison knows all there is to know about homebuilding, but that’s not true, he says. “I am a traditionalist,” VanGeison admits, “and it is the younger crowd in the company that has really helped me be open minded. They are gung

ho, and if you are smart enough to listen to some of the things they say, you can often learn a lot.” It was this open-mindedness and the encouragement of his younger crew that gave VanGeison the enthusiasm and interest to tackle a luxury-home project that, he says, “was out of the box.” The 5,500-square-foot terrace home stands on the western edge of Hilton Head Island and boasts an expansive view of the harbor. Local architect J. Terrell Rosser designed the house to a traditional Charleston style, characterized by a long, slender

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exterior, often three or more stories tall, with a simple, unornamented appearance.

to achieve net-zero water consumption, once the landscape is established.

For the Hilton Head project, the clients chose a light-gray, cement-based stucco siding (as opposed to an acrylic base) that would mottle as it aged, giving the home an Old World appearance. Black, louvered shutters frame some of the windows; square-box, wood-clad posts support the porch roofs; and white, wood-clad bump outs along the side of the house interrupt the gray façade, adding subtle contrast to the texture and color of the stucco.

On the energy side of things, the home’s heat is geothermal, which also assists in heating the home’s hot water. The roof features several solar arrays that provide roughly 20 percent of the home’s electricity needs. Additionally, all appliances are Energy Star rated, the flooring is bamboo, and highly efficient spray-foam insulation seals the walls and ceiling.

It wasn’t, however, the size of the home or its exterior design that presented VanGeison with his “out of the box” challenge—that’s standard fare for the company. What made this project unique for VanGeison is what went into the home, both seen and unseen. First of all, the home’s anticipated LEED Silver rating will make it the first LEED home on Hilton Head Island. VanGeison has built sustainable homes in the past, working with EarthCraft Homes, an Atlanta-based green-built certification program, but this project, he says, “pushed the company a little further.” Buried beneath the ground-floor slab is a customdesigned, 1,600-gallon cistern that collects rainwater runoff for reuse. For the first year, the water will feed the native, drought-tolerant landscaping until the plants are established and no longer need watering. After that, the collected water will be used inside the home, purified to the point of being potable. In addition, a gray-water filtration system in the mechanical room recaptures the home’s gray water and filters it enough for reuse in the toilets. Together, the two systems allow the home

What was also new for VanGeison was the interior design of the home, decidedly a contemporary, minimalist style resembling a New York City loft and belying the traditional southern exterior. The development’s architectural review board, VanGeison explains, regulated the exterior look of the home, but for the inside, “the owner wanted it to be like an art gallery.” The walls throughout the house are a brilliant white, brightly illuminated by the abundance of LED canister lights peppered throughout the 10-foot-high ceilings. There are no baseboards installed, nor any trim around the windows and doors. Instead, sharp, clean sheetrock returns case the windows, blurring the transition between wall and window—a design approach that helps draw the exterior indoors, as though it is another painting on the wall. Around the doors, workers chose to dado out the door casings, allowing the sheetrock to tuck seamlessly into casing. “The driving force was the owner wanting a studio look,” VanGeison says, “which was great for us, because it is something that was out of the ordinary for me, and I really enjoyed it. I hope in the future that we get to build more contemporary-style projects. It was a great challenge and exiting to see the results.”

Free In-Home Consultation & Estimate! For more information, please visit us online at We carry these great brands and more!

(843) 837-4060 878 Fording Island Road, Unit 13 Bluffton, South Carolina 29910

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Christyn Homes, Inc. Flooring Connection strives to provide current trends to fit your desires, and believes in giving you upgraded service at no additional cost.

It’s your kitchen.

Shouldn’t you enjoy it?

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Luxury-home builder expands business thanks to new marketing strategies by Erik Pisor For several years, the decline in residential permit activity has equated to a drop in annual workload for a number of luxury-home builders. However, one Naperville, Illinois-based builder is on track to nearly double its record for annual home starts. “Permit activity has dropped, but we’ve been very fortunate,” says Bob Hudgens, president of Christyn Homes, Inc., adding that the company will begin construction on at least 12 homes this year—the majority of which will be built within Naperville and Plainfield-area subdivisions, located outside of Chicago. For the 5-year-old Christyn Homes, 12 home starts represent a significant increase in activity when compared to the 3 or 4 starts in the last few years. The company’s best year occurred in 2007, when the homebuilder started construction on 7 luxury homes. “The biggest reason [for the increase in 2010 home starts] is there are not many quality builders left—only the strong have survived,” Hudgens says, explaining that in 2005 there were around 150 custom builders within a 20mile vicinity. Today that number has drop to just a handful of quality custom-home builders. “Really, the cream has risen to the top; we’ve started to experience the turn we expected,” he adds, attributing the company’s success to its financial planning and emphasis on marketing. While a number of homebuilders halted their marketing efforts during the downturn in residentialpermit activity, Christyn Homes pulled additional resources into marketing, with a focus on the Internet. The company’s marketing strategy includes a Facebook page, utilization of Google AdWords, and the creation of a website that features video testimonials and interactive floor plans of various home models. Ranging in price from $500,000 to $2 million, homes constructed by Christyn Homes are located throughout the various counties surrounding Chicago, including Kendall, Dupage, and Will counties. The homes are built on client-owned home sites, within popular subdivisions, or on home sites that Christyn Homes identifies for its clients. “We are a complete custom builder—we handle the entire process,” Hudgens says, adding that this includes buying lots, complete home design, pulling permits, hiring contractors, and overseeing construction. “Every step of the way we’re looking at [a project] as a custom builder.”

The Christyn Model Home Located within Stewart Ridge, a Plainfield, IL, subdivision, this 6,000-square-foot home features a variety of amenities, including an English-pubstyle basement and theater room.

One aspect that sets Christyn Homes apart from other Illinois custom-home builders is its newly developed 10-year transferable warranty, which is backed by a multibillion-dollar company. “This is not a typical one- or two-year builder warranty where a builder promises they’ll take care of issues,” Hudgens says. “If clients buy a $1 million house, we have a $1 million fund that completely covers any and all expense. It’s for peace of mind, and shows we have complete confidence in what we deliver.” The fact that the warranty is transferable spanning a 10-year period also adds value to the home should it be listed on the for-sale market. Within its custom homes, Christyn Homes incorporates dual-zone HVAC, with 92 percent highenergy-efficiency furnaces, 13 SEER high-efficiency air-conditioning units, Therma-Tru insulated doors, and thermal-insulated Low-E glass windows. Additionally, all stains, paints, carpets, and finishes produce very low emissions. While Hudgens expects big things for Christyn Homes in 2010, he also predicts the majority of custom-home builders will be playing “catch-up” this year and into 2011. “2012 is the year where people will be saying we’re finally back,” Hudgens says, “and we will already be way out in front of them.”

1585 Beverly Court, Suite 126 Aurora, IL 60502 44

luxury home quarterly

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Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc. Building clients’ dream homes by focusing on their desires by Daniel Casciato Mark Johnson sees his clients’ homes as more than just plain brick and mortar. It’s a place for them to relax, a place to entertain guests, and, most importantly, a place to raise a family. Johnson started his Wilmington, North Carolinabased custom-home-building and -remodeling firm, Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc. (MJCH), five years ago as a family-owned small business, licensed unlimited builder that focuses on new residential custom-home construction. “We have excelled in custom-home building, multifamily construction, concrete construction, the US Green Building Council’s Platinum rating in LEED for Homes program, energy-efficient/sustainable remodels, and renovations,” he says. “We have

been recognized nationally and locally for our customer service, safety, and green initiatives.” Several of the awards the firm has won recently came courtesy of the Primrose at Landfall, the second LEED Platinum home in North Carolina. MJCH earned the national ICF Builder Award for the First Runner Up in the Small Residential Division of the 2009 contest. The honor was presented as part of the ICF Builder Awards, an international competition designed to showcase the advantages of building with ICFs (insulated concrete forms). It also received an award for the same project from LOGIX ICF with the Most Outstanding Green LOGIX Project award. And because this is LOGIX ICF’s inaugural award program, the Primrose at

The Primrose at Landfall The Primrose by Mark Johnson Custom Homes is Wilmington, NC’s first LEED Platinum home—the highest green-building certification from the USGBC, validating the company’s commitment to building safe, sustainable, and efficient homes. According to company owner Mark Johnson, the homeowner will enjoy more than $2,200 of annual utility savings, as well as saving more than 100,000 gallons of water yearly. Water savings achieved through invisible irrigation system, a buried 1,800-gallon rainwater collection system, low-flow fixtures, and Kohler dual-flush toilets. The home also features ICF concrete-wall construction, Rinnai tankless water heater, Bosch appliances, and 17 SEER Trane HVAC with ERV.

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luxury home quarterly


AWARD-WINNING CONSTRUCTION Insulated-concrete-form walls ensure 250-mph wind resistance, and provide an outstanding insulation package that greatly reduces envelope leakage. LOGIX offers the thickest insulation, helping prevent blowouts when pouring. Owner Mark Johnson used this product on his firm’s Primrose at Landfall project, which was chosen as the Most Outstanding Green LOGIX Project of all time, among several other major awards and designations, including LEED-Platinum certification.

The Premier Appliance and Hardware Dealer Serving the Southern Coastal Regions of North Carolina.

“It seems some builders keep their clients at arm’s length through the building process. We want our clients to stay engaged and meet the trades. At the end of the day, it helps maintain a good relationship.” Mark Johnson, Owner Landfall has been chosen as the Most Outstanding Green LOGIX Project of all time. In addition to its dedication to green building, what also makes MJCH unique compared to other homebuilders is its customer-service experience and keeping clients in the know. Johnson says that the firm prides itself on excellent customer service, and that 100 percent of its past clients eagerly refer them to friends and family. The firm ensures that every client has a professional and courteous staff, web-based tools that keep them “in the know,” detailed planning that eliminates timely and costly mistakes, a knowledgeable team of trusted trade partners and associates, and the use of the latest technologies available.

914 S. Kerr Avenue • Wilmington, NC 28403 • (910) 791-2222


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woke up and couldn’t remember who was told what, with 10 homes I was managing,” Johnson says. “There are just too many pieces to the puzzle to not have a schedule, in my opinion.” Johnson, who earned his BS in construction management in 1997 from East Carolina University, worked for a large residential developer and managed more than 200 homes in the Raleigh area. After he was promoted, Johnson moved to Wilmington in 2000, and was responsible for building more than 50 homes in southeastern North Carolina’s premier golfing community, Landfall.

“The company had no presence in Wilmington, and my responsibilities included finding a trade base, marketing program, scheduling, negotiating with “Through our detailed transparent process—from trades, warranty, payables, permitting, bidding bid estimates, to weekly production schedule and plans, and just about everything other than cutting photo updates posted, to the client progress portal, the checks,” he says. “The company afforded me as well as trade walks with clients—we keep them a wonderful opportunity to purchase land from involved and part of the team,” he says. “It seems them and start my own business in 2005. Since some builders keep their clients at arm’s length then we’ve successfully built over 30 homes.” through the building process. We want our clients to stay engaged and meet the trades. At the end of Ultimately, Johnson sees a bright future for the the day, it helps maintain a great relationship.” company. “As far as the future of the firm goes, we expect to maintain this growth,” he says. “We’ll Another key ingredient to the firm’s success is also continue to offer the best customer-service maintaining a detailed production itinerary that experience to our clients. Our commitment to keeps its projects on schedule. “One morning I our clients does not end at the closing table.”

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Jenson Construction high-end mountain homes with a design all their own by David Hudnall Now the owner of his own building firm, Jenson Construction, David Jenson taught school for 31 years. “But as a teacher, you’re always doing other things to make a living,” he says. “My father was a builder, so I’d been around construction my whole life. In 1990, I built a home for myself. After that, I got a license, and I’ve been building ever since.” Jenson started out building homes in the Salt Lake City area before moving to St. George, Utah, in 2003. “I’m the company, pretty much,” he says. “I had a great crew of subcontractors in Salt Lake City, and so when I came to St. George, I knew how important it was to assemble good subs. I did about six months of research before I took any work. Eventually I found the right people, and I’ve only had to change subs a few times in my seven years here.” Jenson has since found a niche in St. George, in the luxury-home market, directing his

attention and resources to one or two high-end projects a year. He’s exploring a new aesthetic, as well—a style combining Tuscan and Southwestern elements that’s particularly suited to Stone Cliff, a gated community in St. George, where an increasing number of Jenson-built homes are located. “There are spectacular views here, panoramas of beautiful red cliffs, and we do a lot to capitalize on those views,” Jenson says. “A heavy emphasis on glass, or sliding retractable walls—you have to make sure you include nature in a prominent way.”

2063 Cobalt Drive Located in Stone Cliff, a gated community in St. George, UT, 2063 Cobalt Drive epitomizes Jenson Construction’s standards driven by quality and aesthetics. The $3.5 million, 11,923-square-foot home features five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a theater room with a 160inch screen, a 3,000-square-foot garage, and a 2,100-square-foot master suite with a 460-squarefoot closet.

A custom home at 2063 Cobalt Drive, in Stone Cliff, illustrates Jenson’s approach. Situated on a corner lot, the home offers views of nearby Zion National Park and Pine Valley, plus red rocks and a canyon; because it’s located so high on the mountain, all views are unobstructed. “You get the city lights at night and the panoramic mountains dur-

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luxury home quarterly


PANORAMIC VIEWS Because of its mountain location, 2063 Cobalt Drive offers unobstructed, expansive views of the nearby Zion National Park and Pine Valley.

“There are spectacular views here, panoramas of beautiful red cliffs, and we do a lot to capitalize on those views.” David Jenson, Owner

ing the day,” Jenson says. “It’s one of the best views in all of St. George.” Inside, the beauty continues, with 16-foot ceilings and arches wrapped in mahogany. Eight thousand square feet of travertine were used in the construction, and hand-scraped hickory hardwood floors are found throughout, imbuing the home with a traditional feel. The theater room, with its 160-inch screen, advances a considerably more modern touch. As do the self-cleaning saltwater pool, the spa, the outdoor kitchen, and the elevator. “The heating, the pool, the lighting, the sound system, the theater and televisions, the security—they’re all set up for automation,” says Jenson, noting that he typically pre-wires for automation to a certain point but won’t go all the way until a buyer emerges for the home. Other luxury points of interest include two large family rooms (one up, one down); 3,000 square feet of garage space (one up, one down); and a 2,100-squarefoot master suite, complete with a workout room, a fireplace, and 460 square feet of closet space.


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Jenson has two similar projects lined up, both in Stone Cliff, both similar in size and scope to 2063 Cobalt Drive. Most projects tend to run in the 8,000–10,000-square-foot range, though he’s gone up to 12,000 and down to 6,000. “It all depends on the style—one level versus two-levels,” he says. “Really, it’s not about size; it’s more about design and finish.” In 2010, he took on three projects—more than usual—and though he tends to stick to new homes, he’s done remodels in the past. Jenson is also a member of the Southern Utah Home Builders Association. “We’re detail oriented—we have a very good idea of what we’re going to do before we dig the hole,” Jenson says, by way of explaining his firm’s continued success. “And we do a lot of things that you may never see: we use natural stone and real hardwoods, we reinforce concrete. We don’t want to have to apologize after we’re done, so we tend to overbuild a little. The bottom line is we want to do nice stuff or else not do it at all.”

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luxury home quarterly



Eiesland Builders, Inc. Providing residential construction along Chicago’s North Shore by Daniel Casciato Eiesland Builders, Inc., based in Glenview, Illinois, has been around for longer than most of its competition, and if you ask company president and CEO Arvid Eiesland, he would say a big part of this is the way it does business. “I stand behind my work and I deal straight with my clients, many of whom come back to us for more work as the years go by,” he says. “Repeat clients are a big sign of real success. And that is what I strive for: homes that I am proud to say we built and clients who are proud to say Eiesland built their home.” What also gives his firm a distinct competitive advantage is the integration of its sister firms, Eiesland Woodwork and E&E Electric. Having an in-house woodworking company has allowed the company to offer a “if you can think it up, we can build it” approach. “We can make doors, windows, and trim to match any existing product,” Eiesland


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says. “We build true custom cabinets in a full range of finishes. We also have a CNC router machine that gives us the ability to make things efficiently without sacrificing quality.” Additionally, having an in-house designer allows Eiesland Builders to offer design services to clients who do not have an architect. “I would say another important feature that distinguishes us is our ability to listen to what the client wants and then make that exact thing,” Eiesland continues. “If it is physically possible, we will find a way to do it. We have made or had made custom hardware, custom bathroom fittings, custom woodwork to match 100-year-old profiles—true custom is our goal.”

Mettawa The goal of both architect Booth Hansen and Eiesland Builders, collaborators on this project, was to alter this often-remodeled farmhouse into a single architectural vision, add some square footage, and bring the interiors up to a modern state of open-design aesthetic and lighting/mechanics. They also wanted to make the house more energy efficient, beginning with spray-foam insulation and better HVAC design. The 10,000-square-foot-plus home now features four baths, four bedrooms (including an expansive master suite), and a prominent entry foyer that becomes a two-story gallery showcasing the owner’s love of Chinese art and antique maps.

Eiesland got the building bug from his father, Olav, who started out as a general contractor/carpenter in Glenview more than 55 years ago, after

OLD MEETS NEW The Mettawa project showcases modern design and antique artifacts in this grand foyer/gallery.

emigrating from Norway. He grew up in the business, doing little jobs and cleaning until he was old enough to start apprenticing as a carpenter. “By the time I graduated high school, I was already an experienced builder,” Eiesland says. “I went to college to study architecture, but after a while I decided that I would rather stay in the building end of the business—sitting in an office in front of a drafting table didn’t really sit with me; I like being in the field.” So, he traveled extensively for a few years. He went to work for a builder in Arizona, building tract housing, running a framing crew, and eventually working as a foreman. “This production building was a real change from the craftsmanship and service-oriented work that I had done with my Dad,” Eiesland says. After going to his father’s home country of Norway to work with a builder and running their cabinet and furniture shop, Eiesland came back to

the United States and started Eiesland Builders. “When Dad retired, I merged his clients, many of whom I knew from my early days, into mine and even hired some of his employees,” he says. “I guess I wanted to build bigger and better projects, but I never wanted to lose the core values that Dad set: trust, service, craftsmanship, and dedication to quality.” Looking ahead, Eiesland says that energy-efficient technologies and green building are becoming more a part of standard building and not just an option for a few projects. “I see a time in the future when homes will be more self-sustaining: generating their own electricity to power lights and equipment and using less and less outside energy or carbon fuels,” he says. “Advances in LED and other areas have lowered the power draw to where this is becoming more viable than ever. We have done our homework in these areas and plan to be on the cutting edge of these changes as we go into the future.”

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luxury home quarterly


kitchens & baths

Enhancing the most-used rooms in a home


Arclinea San Diego Reclaiming the kitchen with contemporary, European-influenced design solutions

From task and undercabinet lighting to internal-shelf lighting to greenhouses, LEDs continue to transform the kitchen. Arclinea’s LED greenhouse is based on NASA-developed technologies that mimic the rising and setting of the sun, enabling herbs to grow two to three times faster than by traditional sunlight alone. Arclinea integrates these greenhouse elements into stainless-steel shelving and island hoods.

Italians are to high design what the French are to fine cuisine, and as the president and owner of a high-end kitchen-and-bath showroom, Lisa Wilson-Wirth works in a field that takes cues from both cultures. Her California-based company, Cucinarte, Inc., operates under the DBA Arclinea San Diego, the city’s exclusive distributor of contemporary cabinetry from The Arclinea Collection. Arclinea is a third-generation family business from Vicenza, Italy. Using Arclinea’s inventive cabinetry designed by renowned architect Antonio Citterio, from pull-out systems to toe-kick drawers,


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Wilson-Wirth can dramatically increase available kitchen storage for her clients, even within a preexisting footprint. “We consider ourselves a design firm first, cabinetry dealer second,” Wilson-Wirth says. With her insight, Cucinarte’s projects are a smooth blend of new-wave technology and artistry. Wilson-Wirth decided to sell Arclinea after reaching a climax in her corporate marketing career. On business in Europe, she kept spotting “European design solutions for the kitchen and home that we didn’t have in the United

States,” she recalls. A bell went off, and when she redirected her life’s path, it included becoming a certified kitchen designer. “This was a great fit with my love for cooking and the home,” she says, and she selected Arclinea for its “timeless and highly livable modernism, where function and form were equally addressed.” As it turns out, her business mindset was the perfect prelude to selling fantasy kitchens. Cucinarte, Inc. has earned several national and regional design awards, including recognition as one of the top-designed showrooms (Kitchen + Bath Business magazine) in the country.

Photos: Brent Haywood Photography

by Ruth E. Dávila

kitchens & baths

“It’s an exciting time, because we can get our clients to look at the kitchen in a new way as part of a movement towards more sustainable lifestyles— from supporting organics, cooking together as a family, to reclaiming the table. I fundamentally believe we can get life back to the kitchen table.” Lisa Wilson-Wirth, President & Owner

“In my previous role as a marketer, we worked with our clients to tell their story, and now working as a designer, it’s the same thing,” WilsonWirth says. “We conduct a detailed intake process, interviewing clients…understanding how they want to live in the home and sometimes even creating aspirations that they haven’t thought of yet.” Since opening in 2005, Wilson-Wirth has expanded to whole-house interiors, including bathrooms, media rooms, and more. “Our firm’s designs are integrally linked to the overall architecture of the home, and have been successfully integrated into many different living environments,” she says. She continually references her European travels for inspiration. “I think this understanding of how

design can enhance our lives and our homes is an emerging concept in the United States,” she says. “As consumers, it’s dawning on us to expect more and expect better.” Given her diverse design concepts, she sources products from a long roster of manufacturers. For fixtures, Foster and Dornbracht are some of her favorites; for appliances, she often uses Gaggenau and Suz-Zero/Wolf; and for lighting, Flos, Artemide, and Tom Dixon are on her radar. In effect, Wilson-Wirth’s creativity serves a higher good: to make cooking and eating at home an everyday pleasure. “Many clients may not have the luxury to work with an architect to create their dream home,” she says, “but working with our of-

AWARD-WINNING EXPERTISE Lisa Wilson-Wirth, CKD, pictured in her award-winning studio Arclinea San Diego (Cucinarte, Inc), named one of the top-designed showrooms in the country by K+BB magazine.

Intelligent by Design The clients sought a kitchen with chef-quality features that could host warm family gatherings and entertaining—a sophisticated but accessible design. Balancing affection for European craftsmanship with a passion for cooking, this sleek chef’s kitchen offers a fully capable culinary environment—where technology is in service to the needs of the everyday. The design, featuring the Artusi line from The Arclinea Collection, created an open, contemporary plan, in which living, dining, cooking, and socializing coexist in a continual interlacing of relationships and activities. Conveniences of the professional kitchen (ample storage, professional cooking setup, high-performance appliances) were incorporated—as was an eye to integration and furniture-like details. •C  abinetry: The Arclinea Collection, cabinets in medium gray oak, with Artusi handles in stainless steel •C  ounters: Black Forest granite, honed surface • Barstools: Calligaris,

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kitchens & baths

“green by design” kitchen, Wilson-Wirth created fice, we help them realize a highly personal living space that really works for how they cook and live.” a sleek “eco” chef’s kitchen in rich, natural tones. She pored over every niche to maximize utility. “Instead of a six-burner cooktop, we’ve created For a bright-red Victorian home, Wilson-Wirth a custom cooking zone, tailored to [the clients’] designed an eye-popping kitchen in papaya yellow, preferences with modular units that support what with four distinct work zones. The wet work zone this couple likes to cook,” she says. contains a stainless-steel countertop and backsplash, paired with upper wall units in acid-etched glass. Another goal in the project was to move away Its welded sink boasts drop-in accessories, like a from the microwave. A combination steam-andchopping board and colander, and a fully integrated convection oven did the trick. “You can steam fish, dishwasher makes for efficient cleanup. The storvegetables, and rice all at once,” Wilson-Wirth age and pantry zone features a fully integrated points out. The homeowners, who are boutiqueSub-Zero refrigerator-freezer and tall pantries with hotel owners, even use the oven to make strawexpansive storage, including deep drawers and berry jam for their hotel guests. Arclinea’s “Magic Corner,” a base cabinet that features a double-tier, pull-out basket. In the cooking In addition, energy-efficient fluorescent task lightzone, a built-in European espresso machine, Teppan ing and LED greenhouses facilitate the growth of Yaki griddle, and combo steam and convection wall herbs at home, for the most local brand of food oven—all by Gaggenau—are a modern cook’s sourcing, and solar light-tubes around the center dream. In the dining zone, Arclinea’s “Convivium” island provide natural daylighting. stainless-steel legs and top in CaesarStone Quartz Surfaces [Misty Carrera] offers the “perfect perch All these endeavors make the kitchen industry to see what’s cooking,” Wilson-Wirth says. part of a meaningful movement, Wilson-Wirth explains. “It’s an exciting time, because we can With environmentally conscious clients, Cucinget our clients to look at the kitchen in a new way arte explores trends in sustainability. For one

Lisa’s recommendations for microwave alternatives Many clients are forgoing the microwave in favor of equipment that supports a healthier lifestyle. There are a number of alternatives to the built-in microwave that also enable quick and easy meal planning, with the added bonus of enhancing the health-giving properties of the foods being cooked. At the top of the short list, in-counter steamers and built-in steam ovens offer the best microwave alternatives. Preferred models: •Gaggenau Combi-Steam Oven (featured right), •Miele Steam Oven, •In-counter models by Gaggenau, Miele, and Wolf,

as part of movement towards more sustainable lifestyles—from supporting organics, cooking together as a family, to reclaiming the table,” she says. “I fundamentally believe we can get life back to the kitchen table.”

Smart Worktops The Artusi-Scholtès stainless-steel worktop by Scholtès for Arclinea features a recessed surface and welded sinks, providing a seamless work area that is hygenic and high-functioning. With sliding chopping boards and a built-in antidrip edge, washing and prepping vegetables is easy work. Built from a single piece of stainless steel, the worktop is fabricated from partially recyled steel and is fully recyclable.


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SPACE-SAVING DETAILS With the ability to eliminate the “faucet” and enhance available countertop space, the discreet In-Shelf Faucet by Arclinea features an extractable shower faucet and touch controls for opening and closing the drain, as well as dispensing kitchen and hand soaps. This product serves as the perfect solution for butlers’ pantries and wet bars.

LED TASK LIGHTING LED lights aid productivity, and are featured in the KWC Eve faucet, Arclinea’s Kizoku faucet’s water-temp lighting, and the basin lighting of Arclinea’s Lignum et Lapis marble sink.

Photos: Brent Haywood Photography

Top Design Trends

kitchens & baths

New Victorian


Modern materials Solid Ray, a 100% homogenous, solid acrylic panel that is UV- and scratch-resistant, in a 2-cm thickness exclusive to Arclinea, is a favored material for finishing cabinets in homes and more exotic locations like yachts or spas. Perfect for urban settings and coastal conditions, these sleek mirror-finish doors offer picture-perfect reflections of their surroundings, as well as an ever-changing point of view for the homeowner. The kitchen or bath comes to life with energy and light, constantly connected to the rhythms of family life, mirroring the activities and actions of those who engage within and around it.

Hidden Hydraulics Arclinea’s uniquely designed kitchens vary according to need and are highly customizable by the user. Such personalization offers an advantage in improving usability and accessibility, and enhancing the overall ergonomics of a project. Arclinea offers its Convivium dining table, embedded with hidden technology, which is easily enjoyed in home kitchens. Hydraulics-based technology changes the functional makeup of the island with its integrated “Up-Down” table that adapts on demand, depending on the user. The elegantly planked wooden table easily rises from dining-table height to counter height (or anywhere in between), allowing users of different heights and abilities to easily switch from a lowered dining table to ergonomic work surface, with a single press of a button.

The design for this 1898 historic Victorian home in San Diego’s Sherman Heights historic district won Wilson-Wirth a Grand Award in Remodeling magazine’s 2008 Design Awards. The clients embraced a bold use of color throughout the project, appropriate to the home’s Victorian sensibilities. The selection of Papaya Giallo cabinetry from The Arclinea Collection in laminate, with Arclinea’s Artusi handle in stainless steel, makes a culinary-inspired statement. The cabinetry is paired with wall units and a tall double pantry in acid-etched glass with an anodised aluminum frame, also by Arclinea. The kitchen also features a roll-up small-appliance garage in anodised aluminum by Arclinea to provide a pull-out breakfast bar, additional work surface, and storage drawers for pots, pans, tools, and equipment. Other features and amenities include an integrated Gaggenau espresso system (; professional-grade, easyto-clean stainless-steel countertops by Arclinea, with energy-efficient lighting profiles in anodised aluminum; an anti-drip edge, single-piece construction; and a welded sink by Foster, which is accessorized with chopping boards and other service accessories. Also, Gaggenau’s 27” convection wall oven and 27” combi-oven (combining steam and convection) satisfy the demands of the most passionate home chefs.

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luxury home quarterly


kitchens & baths

ARTFUL INTERIORS The classic composition of the room is anchored by an exquisite mosaic. The handcut marble and limestone form winds across the floor in a pattern echoing the custom art-glass window above. The subtle repetition of gentle curves in the mosaic floor, the art-glass window, and the vintage mirror combine to make this tiny 3’ x 9’ space feel expansive.

Showcased Design Marsh & Clark’s powder room for the 2009 San Francisco Decorator Showcase used design pieces from a variety of sources. Lighting included a single Globe Pendant from West Elm ( The tile was made from salvaged limestone and Thassos marble, cut into pieces and artfully reassembled by local mosaicist Pippa Murray ( The vanity, by Rob Taboada (, was custom-made from sustainable, FSC-certified machiche wood. In addition, the plumbing fixtures come from Cifial (, a family-owned Portuguese firm, and the Venetian plaster is based on the custom color Sweet Bluette by Benjamin Moore paint ( The delicate wall-mounted faucet from Cifial complements the slimness of the custom Thassos marble sink.

“I think it was traveling that first piqued my interest in design,” she said. “I became more interested in people and unique creative works.” Fillbrandt enrolled in UC Berkeley’s Certificate Program in Interior Design and Interior Architecture. Upon the urging of instructors and potential clients, Fillbrandt started the San Francisco-based Marsh & Clark Design. (The name is a combination of her maiden name, Marsh, and her mother’s maiden name, Clark.) Today, with a staff of four, including designers Chiya Ewald and Christiana Ferroggiaro, she gets to work on dream projects, including a powder room that was completed for the 2009 San Francisco Decorator Showcase, a prestigious invitation-only event that attracts more than 20,000 people a year and receives attention from major media outlets. Light and airy, the powder room embodies Fillbrandt’s design philosophy.

Marsh & Clark Design Interior designer uses subtle repetition, salvaged materials, and an artful approach to create comfortable, custom spaces by Susan Flowers Interior designer Stephanie Marsh Fillbrandt loves going to work every day, but it took 12 years working in another field for her to find her true calling. After obtaining a degree in international


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relations from UC Davis, Fillbrandt went into marketing. For more than a decade, she moved up steadily in branding and product marketing, her work taking her to various places around the globe.

“I like a space to feel clean and cool,” she says, “with Venetian plaster walls and hand-cut stone floors. I also avoid an overabundance of items in a room— every piece should have a function.” The compact rectangular room features a large vanity sink that is beautifully contrasted by the soft, gentle curves of a vintage Art Nouveau mirror. “The subtle repetition of patterns throughout a room creates a space in which people feel inexplicably comfortable,” Fillbrandt says. The soft lines of the mirror are reflected in the delicate arabesque pattern of the tile floor, which echoes the unique design in the custom art-glass window. “I use a lot of custom mosaic work,” she adds. “I’m a really big believer in bringing an artful approach to a living space.”

HIGHLY SKILLED & DETAILED The mosaic curves up onto the baseboard, then creeps up the wall to create visual interest in the room—leading the eye upward to the window, then ceiling, in order to fully emphasize the room’s height.

“You just want to feel that everything moves from one space to another. I’m not one to put big shocking elements into my designs.” Stephanie Marsh Fillbrandt, Founder

For another project, Marsh & Clark designed a nursery with these same concepts in mind: clean, cool, and functional, with subtle repetitive patterns. A pull-down changing table doubles as a mirror, and can be easily repurposed with shelves when needed, and the three cribs can be converted to toddler beds. The slope of Thomas Pedersen’s Stingray chair is visible in the ellipses in the credenza, the cribs, and even the dormers. “You just want to feel that everything moves from one space to another,” Fillbrandt says. “I’m not one to put big shocking elements into my designs.” She also has a strong preference for salvaged materials, including ironwork and stone from deconstructed palaces and churches. The firm refurbishes vintage materials when it can, and will recreate them when restoration isn’t possible. “We try to appreciate what’s there and adapt it to a modern use,” she says. The ability to seamlessly merge old and new is essential for some of Marsh & Clark’s recent projects—working with developers to renovate some of San Francisco’s beautiful 19th-century

mansions. While the homes must be outfitted with modern conveniences and technology, buyers are most attracted to their link to the past. “They want a piece of San Francisco history,” Fillbrandt says. “They want craftsmanship. At times, you are forced to take out things that gave the home character, so you have to put something back in. You reintroduce as much as you can, but you’re not building a museum piece.” Fillbrandt and her team approach these projects knowing they must create a timeless home for any buyer. Marsh & Clark’s success with these and other highly visible projects has attracted numerous high-end customers. With new referrals coming in all the time, the firm continues to grow. Also growing is Fillbrandt’s family: she and husband Matthew, a video-game producer, have two young sons, ages one and three. As busy as she is, Fillbrandt is convinced that all the activity is worth it. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that I’m privileged to be able to do what I do,” she says. “My team and I work well together to make these spaces beautiful.”

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luxury home quarterly


kitchens & baths

St. louis Powder Room In this bath, products include an Alchemy Glass bowl sink with fallen-leaves design (, a Vola faucet (, and custom, dark-stained mahogony cabinets with a limestone countertop.

experience, I grew to understand that my feminine sensibilities were actually an asset rather than a deficit,” she says. “Rather than hide the values many perceive to be female, I now overtly integrate those ideals into projects as an added benefit. This brings a positive balance to our work.”

Kitchen design with an international twist by Susan Flowers Early in life, Lenore Baigelman got several hints that architecture would be her forte. A childhood love of playing with Lincoln Logs—a natural for an Illinois native—was the first indicator. But much later, when her college advisor suggested that she make architecture her primary focus, Baigelman demurred. “I laughed at the idea,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine myself in such a male-dominated field at the time.”


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A couple of years later, after initially studying psychology and interior design at the University of Illinois, she came around, enrolling in the architecture school, taking a year to study in Versailles, and eventually graduating with honors. Today, as the founding partner and principal of Full Circle Architects LLP, along with her husband, Dan, she says that in a profession still seen as a primarily male preserve, her gender is actually an advantage. “As I gained

For example, the company always includes furniture layouts in its floor plans, allowing the client to envision what a space will be like—that is, “how does the circulation work in the room, how can people gather and communicate with each other, what will the views be like throughout the structure, and through fenestration beyond?” Baigelman says. “We believe these should not be afterthoughts, but part of the planning process.”

Photo: Alise O’Brien

Full Circle Architects LLP

Also informing her work in a positive way is time spent filling sketchbooks during her world travels. Fascinated by space, people, and the impact of indigenous cultures on lifestyle, Baigelman says that even decades later, she’s still affected by her year spent in France and traveling in Europe and the Middle East. Her resulting knowledge of the connection between person and place animates every aspect of Full Circle’s designs. Today, the Northbrook, Illinois, firm specializes in lifestyle architecture, which Baigelman says means truly listening to clients. “We don’t judge, dictate, or inadvertently impose our will,” she says. “Instead, we tailor unique living and working environments that help our clients be the best they can be. We layer our experience and talent over project criterion to create successful, supportive spaces. We approach the architecture and interior design as a seamless, singular consideration. This holistic approach gives the project more integrity.”

HIGH-END PRODUCTS This master bath features cherry wood, as well as decorative hardware by Alno (, Carrera Italian white marble countertops, Kohler sinks (, and satin nickel faucets by Hansgrohe (

A St. Louis home designed by Full Circle reflects this approach, as well as the firm’s architectural skills. Featuring a powder room with curved walls and a floating vanity, the home provides an ideal balance between luxury and comfort. Of course, designing a beautiful house is only part of the equation in 2010. With environmental awareness at an all-time high, Full Circle extends green practices to every aspect of its business—even providing an in-office shower so that employees can ride their bicycles to work. Baigelman, who along with all of her technical staff is a LEED AP, says that in today’s market, that approach is a must. “Knowing how to create healthier spaces for our clients that have a smaller impact on the environment can no longer be considered a secondary consideration,” she says. “People ask us, ‘Oh, do you design luxury projects, or are you green architects?’ as if they’re mutually exclusive approaches. We believe passionately that we are both.” When Full Circle relocated to new studio space in 2009, every facet of the facility reflected this green sensibility. Built using sustainable materials, including bamboo, the office features recycled tile and carpet, plus low-VOC paints, sealants, and adhesives, and cabinetry without urea-based formaldehyde. The conference table is Baigelman’s favorite feature; 100 percent recycled, it was made from the wood of a tree felled during construction of a Full Circle house. “We left the edges raw, showcasing the natural beauty of the tree in its new state as furniture,” she says. Green practices are also an increasing priority for the firm’s clients, according to Baigelman, and Full Circle accommodates the full spectrum of customers’ concerns. When clients are interested in healthy indoor-air quality, Full Circle uses building materials and products that don’t off-gas, such as cabinetry that does not contain formaldehyde, and paints, sealants, and adhesives that are low in or absent of VOCs. For increased savings on utility costs, the firm offers energy-efficient HVAC solutions and suggests insulation with a very high R-value. For customers who want a small ecological footprint using fewer resources, Full Circle provides watersaving plumbing fixtures and recycled materials. “In all cases, we are driven by common sense and natural planning where possible,” she says. For Baigelman, the best thing about being an architect is the knowledge that she enhances her clients’ lives. “It is so gratifying to see a client long after a project is completed, and hear that they still enjoy their home, office, or business, and that what we designed for them somehow made their lives better.”

Geneva Cabinet Company Decked-out lake homes in the Midwest feature a taste of Nantucket by Ruth E. Dávila When Geneva Cabinet Company opened its doors in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, it was a godsend for the distinguished community of high-end vacation homes. “We had nothing but lumber companies, big-box stores, and strip-mall shopping for cabinetry,” says Peggy Helgeson, the company’s general manager and designer. So, in 2005, she and the owner began plans for their current 2,200-squarefoot showroom at the entrance of the area’s most well-known gated golf community, Geneva National. For Helgeson, running the kitchen-and-bath showroom is the fulfillment of a lifelong calling. Although she was born in Lake Geneva, at 11 years old her family moved to Colorado for fresher air to relieve her asthma symptoms. Her parents built a small home in a rural mountain community. “As long as we lived there, we never had telephone service, electricity, or running water,” Helgeson says. “We did, however, have chickens to give us eggs, a wood-burning stove to give us heat, a view that went on forever, and lots of time to sit and draw houses with lots of details and amenities that we didn’t have.”

Years later, after starting a family of her own, Helgeson’s husband encouraged her to pursue studies in architecture, her greatest interest. “I returned to school, got my degree in computer drafting, and went to work for a local builder and cabinet manufacturer,” Helgeson says. “I started out drawing houses and designing remodeling projects, but found a passion for cabinetry.” After a promotion to sales manager in her previous firm, her career path led to Geneva Cabinet Company, where she proudly sits at the helm. Today, Geneva Cabinet is thriving, specializing in the design of custom cabinets, backsplashes, and countertops in the area’s finest kitchens and baths. “We had a phenomenal year last year,” Helgeson says, citing sales awards the company has racked in from manufacturers. Although the aesthetic varies among homes in Lake Geneva, Delevan, and northern Illinois, the mood of the region is “very Nantucket,” Helgeson says, with a fair amount of transitional style. “A lot of our clients are from Chicago and have a more modern, contemporary taste for things but feel

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luxury home quarterly


Reflect Your Own Personal Style Whatever your inspiration, the experienced design professionals in a Wood-Mode showroom can help you create the exact look you’ve always wanted for your home.

VERSATILE DESIGN ELEMENTS The Best by Broan range-hood inserts will fit almost any type of decorative hood, from wood to stucco. “I love to use the PIK model for its built-in capabilities,” Helgeson says. “It is not too deep or too big, so it works in all kinds of designs.”

Located off Highway 50 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin 262.245.9600


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Her favorite aspect of the business is something she calls “Dream Vision”—a computer program that generates a detailed rendering, right down to the color on the wall and room accessories, so that homeowners can envision the end result of their design.

unanalyzed. Custom, hand-painted knobs in the laundry room show a farmhouse in the country surrounded by red and white checks on soft yellow cabinetry. A craft room boasts specialty storage for activities ranging from quilting to scrapbooking. Helgeson used Wood-Mode and Medallion cabinetry throughout the home, and the tour de force is a stunning, leaded-glass transom into the master bath.

Whatever the challenge, Helgeson hits her high note when brainstorming solutions. For one home in Geneva National, she encountered limited kitchen-wall space and came up with a high-function layout. Her design accommodated built-in appliances—a 48-inch Wolf dual-fuel range, 36-inch Sub-Zero refrigerator with panels, and a 30-inch Sharp microwave drawer—as well as the owners’ prized collection of knickknacks. For the kitchen, Helgeson selected Wood-Mode brand cabinetry in maple with a vintage lace finish and antique glass doors. An additional island and a dining hutch were constructed of Wood-Mode cabinetry in cherry with a black forest finish. It was a perfect combination of elegant simplicity desired by the clients.

Perhaps Helgeson’s favorite project was a Geneva National home that she describes excitedly as “clean and crisp.” The palette is dominated by whites and pale blues, and the décor is pure East Coast beach. “The kitchen is open to the dining room, great room, and the outdoors, through the door [by Nano brand] that literally removes the wall to the inviting outdoor space,” Helgeson says. Bella Tile, a local store, provided spot-on tile. The master bathroom features his-and-her vanities in a unique back-to-back design, giving each a separate entrance to a large shower. “What I loved most about this house was coming up with a great getaway place that you want to go to every weekend,” Helgeson recalls. “My main goal was to make it feel…comfy.”

Another project Helgeson worked on that touched the community’s heart was Angel’s Flight, a beloved historical property—with an angel’s view of Lake Geneva—where discerning buyers built a new home. No surface went

The beauty of Helgeson’s cabinetry lines is that they range from distressed French country to American breezy. “Every client that comes in is like a whole new piece of art,” she says. “It’s like starting over with a brand new palette.”

that they need to make the home up here a little more relaxing and country-ish.”


Creative minds in interiors, landscape, and furnishings

Contemporary 1 Project

Interiors By Steven G. Inc. Incorporating cutting-edge creativity into residential design

“We brought the outside in, keeping the design light and airy,” Steven says. “The unit was a raw canvas, so we were able to design everything from scratch.” The project’s two-story living room features glass walls that reveal panoramic views, while columns and lighted squares framed in wenge wood emphasize the room’s height.

by Christopher Cussat More than 25 years ago, Steven G. was working as a minority owner in a design firm that was not moving in the direction he wanted to go. So, starting out in the den of his home, he founded Interiors By Steven G. Inc. (IBSG) with one founding concept: convenience. Today, IBSG’s current 55,000-square-foot facility helps the company to effectively achieve this goal for convenience. Steven, who serves as president of IBSG, explains, “We have everything we need for any design project at our fingertips—from flooring, to architectural items, to being able to have our clients touch and feel fabrics while sitting in their furniture.” He adds that this also takes the guess

work out of doing projects for clients—everything they need is right there in the showroom. IBSG also has another arm of the firm, called Antiquities. Its 11,000-square-foot gallery holds more than 500 authentic antiques and a huge collection of Art Deco pieces. Antiquities galleries are located in Fort Lauderdale and Manhattan. “Since we do a lot of work in the New York and New Jersey area, our Manhattan gallery is a great place to meet weekly with clients,” Steven says. One competitive advantage that IBSG has is a full staff of AutoCAD professionals and renderers who allow the firm to make any necessary modifications

right on-site. “Our ‘typical’ clients are CEOs and people who are traveling often, so time is precious and valuable to them,” he adds. Another successful trait of IBSG is what Steven describes as the company’s ability to move fast and hard. “With a staff of approximately 70 people and 150 subcontractors in the field, this makes the words ‘getting it done’ easy,” he says. “Also, due to our financial strength and credit history, we get shipments from factories worldwide in an expedited fashion.” Two projects of note are IBSG’s Contemporary 1 Furnished Model and the firm’s Crocker Mansion.

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A HOME WITH CHARACTER Contemporary 1’s dining room showcases an interfacing of wood, glass, and stainless-steel panels that separate the space from the foyer gallery. Four rustic, Chinese clay-horse sculptures sit atop a vintage sideboard, giving the room an antiqued feel in a modern home. Polished stainless-steel Brueton chairs ( covered in warm golden leather compliment a vintage sideboard.

Contemporary 1 Living Crocker MANSION A mélange of different character rooms—from a dark, woodpaneled library to a light, ornate tea room—the Crocker Mansion’s objective was to be true to the intent of the original architect: taking the finishes to another level of intricacy.


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The living room includes custom-designed sofas covered in white, antiqued velvet from Kravet (, as well as Brueton tables (, and a modern wing chair dressed in a tri-colored hide from Edelman Leather ( Lamps from Fine Art Lamps ( sit next to the sofa, while a Mies Van der Rohe “Barcelona” chaise is positioned to overlook the cityscape. The custom-designed chandelier (top left), formed of frosted acrylic panels, cascades down the spiral stairway, creating somewhat of a tornado effect.

“Furnished models have been a huge part of our design world—even today,” Steven says. “Through these, our exposure to the public is incredible, and our models in a contemporary tone continue to sell furnished for developers, even in difficult economic times.” He also describes the Crocker Mansion as a “dream job”—which is a 45,000-square-foot mansion that has 75 rooms. “Built in the early 1900s, this project allowed us to follow the designs of masters of that era,” he says. “It has been very challenging, and after 10 months of historical study and work, our design process has just begun.” Steven G. himself is one of the most integral parts of the IBSG formula. In the design industry for 37 years, he has experienced and become an expert in every aspect of the industry—from driving delivery trucks, to warehouse organization, to building up his own design talents and experience. “I am a selftaught professional, and having the background that I grew up with makes me proud to be living my dream and have it come true,” he adds. Steven believes that his and the company’s goals of talent and service have always been the secret of IBSG’s success. “How can you beat that combination?” he says. “We feel we do it better than anyone in the industry—hence, that’s the reason our business is based on a 90 percent referral rate.” In fact, IBSG measures its success by referrals of happy clients—and the firm’s 90 percent referral rate continues to rise. “Happy clients refer friends, family, and business associates,” Steven says. “Our broker friends refer their clients because they know they are in good hands. It’s the frosting on the cake—to sell the home and then have their clients in good hands with a team who can design and furnish their home to perfection.” He notes that communication with his clients and team are paramount. “If I have to think about the most important thing I have ever learned, it is to always listen to your clients’ wants, needs, and desires,” he says. Although Steven thrives on the competitive challenges of the business, he also thinks that out-ofthe-box thinking and creativity is really what it’s all about. “Seeing a project come to life, and the expressions and comments the clients have, makes the hard work worth the effort,” he says. For the future of IBSG, Steven and his team plan to continue being up front and advising their clients about the right way to design. “If [clients] choose to do it differently, that’s OK,” he says. “We have our professional opinions, and we will not ‘yes’ a client just to get the job—that’s not who we are.” This philosophy is what keeps IBSG’s clients coming back with their next homes and them bringing their friends, family, and associates. “It’s what makes us successful,” he adds. “We treat all projects the same, whatever the size may be—because every client needs to feel that they are the most important client we have.”

2818 Center Port Circle Pompano Beach, FL 33064 954.735.8223 Phone 954.735.7546 Fax 220 East 60th Street New York, NY 10022 212.644.3403 Phone 212.644.4236 Fax IBC#000407

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CALL FOR ENTRIES Registration Deadline: January 24, 2011

APPLY TODAY: ELigibiLiTY: The ABQ Building Excellence Awards recognize achieve1) Projects must have been completed between ments in architecture, design, and community planning. Win- December 31, 2007 and December 31, 2010. ning projects will receive featured coverage in the Novem2) Entries are limited to construction firms headquartered in ber/December 2011 issue of American Builders Quarterly速, the United States; however, projects constructed abroad will in addition to prize packages available exclusively to Building be considered. Excellence Award winners. CATEgOriEs: One residential and one commercial project will be designatFor more information, a complete list of categories, ed as the Project of the Year, and awards and honorable menand downloadable entry forms, visit: tions will be given in over 15 categories across all residential and commercial building sectors.


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Key Design Features at the Carla Ridge Residence

Steve Hermann Design Modern, minimalist designer pushes the envelope with innovative california residences by Jennifer Kirkland “I’m self-taught,” says Steve Hermann, one of Hollywood’s leading home designers. “I design houses for myself, as if I were the client, according to what moves and inspires me—that’s what I look at when I go about designing a home.” He started out renovating and reselling $50,000 tract homes, building his design experience and expertise with each new project.

Since then, Steve Hermann Design has become a big star to many celebrities, designing homes for Christina Aguilera and the Pointer Sisters, among many others, and the firm’s services are in high demand. “Each new project seems to grow exponentially in both structure and interior design,” Hermann says. Now, the firm’s projects are worth anywhere from $10 million to $40 million.

“I learned how to design houses by learning what not to do,” Hermann explains. “I had an opportunity to buy low-end houses that were typically the worst in the neighborhood. I spent the first 10 years of my career fixing other people’s mistakes.”

Hermann describes his style as minimalist modern. “I’m a student of architecture,” he says. “I’m constantly striving to make my designs cleaner and more sophisticated.” To Hermann, modernism in design means reducing all the unsightly items and minimizing anything that’s not streamlined.

But Hermann felt trapped by the low budgets of these projects that left no room for creativity. So, when an opportunity to rebuild a $1 million house in the Hollywood Hills came along in the late 1990s, Hermann found his niche.

Hermann’s sense of style is evident in his houses, such as the recently completed residence on Carla Ridge overlooking the Los Angeles Basin, a common characteristic of many Hermann houses. “I

Steve Hermann describes the key products of this stunning, 5000-square-foot modern home. •K  itchens by Poliform, •D  oors by Tre Piu, • Bathrooms by Antonio Lupi Design, • Wallpaper accents: “I thought this was fun because it harkened back to the 1960s, and some cuttingedge designers have been coming out with new wallpaper lines that are very attractive.” • Italian oak paneling: “The Italians generally have higher-quality finishes than we have here in the US.”

like great views,” Hermann says, “so I can design houses with lots of glass to appreciate those views.” The rebuilt house is unrecognizable from the ho-hum ranch house that was there before. The idea, according to Hermann, was to create a Palm Springs modern home—an homage to the plush vacation homes of the Rat Pack in the 1960s. “For me, great architecture affects how you feel about yourself when you’re in it,” Hermann

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“I design houses for myself, as if I were the client, according to what moves and inspires me—that’s what I look at when I go about designing a home.” Steve Hermann, Principal

Nightingale Residence Steve Hermann designed this modern Hollywood home to feature exposed steel postand-beam construction and expansive glass windows, to provide the owners with panoramic views of the area.

at the great architects of the past, remember what they did, and try to take those tenets and bring them forward into the present,” he says.

says. “I like warm interiors to balance some of the severe architecture that I do.” At the Carla Ridge home, the sharp lines and white finish of the exterior blend with the gray tones of the interior. To counteract that, Hermann paneled many walls with a straight wood-grain oak paneling that has a warmer tone

The Nightingale house features design elements like exposed steel post-and-beam construction around the windows, an allusion to Pierre Koenig, a popular California-based architect known in the 1950s for his sleek, modern homes. “But instead of the typical Koenig style, which was very low-lying with eight-foot ceilings, this is a museum modern with high ceilings and lots of volume,” Hermann says.

The Nightingale Residence, also overlooking the LA Basin from the Hollywood Hills, was another transformation of a ranch house, but this time Hermann was looking for another kind of modern design homage. “With everything I do, I look back

The house also pays tribute to the New York loft, with its high ceilings and communal rooms. “I think this concept is great for today’s lifestyle,” Hermann says, “which is all about flow, about socializing while you’re cooking for guests or family,


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not being sequestered in a room that’s not part of the conversation.” The expansive glass windows at Nightingale are also signature Hermann, taking advantage of the magnificent city views. “It makes you feel like the city itself is part of the architecture of the house, and that’s as much a part of the experience of being in the house as any other component,” Hermann says. He’s planning a well-earned vacation, having built four houses in the last two years, but after that the designer of celebrity homes will likely continue on his path to becoming a bit of a celebrity himself, thanks to his self-taught attention to detail. “I want to continue to grow and push the boundaries of architecture and interior design,” Hermann says, and his many cutting-edge designs regularly spotlighted in the media are testament to this goal.

Based in Los Angeles Tuggey Dave Tuggey Construction

Lic.# 454278

310-391-7307 Since 1984

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Sroka Design, Inc. Creating ENERGETIC residential interiors IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL by Amy Meadows When Skip Sroka moved to Washington, DC, he knew that he had found the city in which he wanted to spend the rest of his life. He loved everything about it—its energy, its culture, and its beauty. All the interior-design professional needed to do was find the perfect job to complete his new life in his newly adopted hometown. However, after looking at nearly every design firm in the area, he realized that there just wasn’t a good fit for him and his unique approach to interior design. So he decided to start his own company. “I don’t only look at the aesthetic aspects of a project,” says Sroka, CID, AID, president and principal designer of Sroka Design, Inc. “Of course, I always want to find fresh and exciting ways to show off an elegant fixture or a beautiful material or fabric, but I also use my knowledge and understanding of architecture to determine the practicality of a design plan.” Having graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1977, with a degree in indus-


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trial design, Sroka founded his firm in 1987, to serve the Mid-Atlantic region, centering on Washington, DC, and New York City. Having worked for an architecture firm and recognizing how important the construction process is in crafting or resculpting a space, his goal was to establish a firm that not only excelled in the creative facets of interior design but also knew how to collaborate with builders and other construction experts to produce beautiful, functional, and comfortable residential interiors. By taking this comprehensive approach to his work, he knew that he would be able to make his clients’ dreams a reality while maintaining his own high standards of design. Whether Sroka and his talented team of designers, draftspersons, AutoCAD technicians, and project managers are working on a new construction or renovation project, on a mountain, oceanside, or city home, or in 3,000 or 30,000 square feet of space, their philosophy always remains the same.

REFINED INTERIORS Polished and striking, this dining room possesses many stunning details, from the silver and crystal chandelier, to the silver nail heads in the valances, to the bronze studs in the carpet that form a circle around the table. This integrated mix of new and old form an elegant sitting area in this custom home, located in Bethesda, MD.

“We never take a cookie-cutter approach,” Sroka says. “We are looking for the perfect solution for each client. We are there to tailor the design to the client’s wishes and desires, so we look at how they’re going to live in the space and make sure that the end result reflects what they want that space to do.” In most cases, when Sroka walks into a room, he is able to quickly picture what the finished product should look like based on the space’s physical attributes.Yet, instead of immediately telling his clients what he thinks they should do, he carefully listens to their ideas and requirements, ultimately blending his own inspiration and expertise with their vision to create a well-appointed space that they both can be proud of. And once the creative portion of the process is complete and a design plan is in place, Sroka’s organized and analytical persona emerges, allowing him to develop a timeline and strategy that will make the project run smoothly.

Skip Sroka’s Custom Pieces For Skip Sroka, form and function are as important as beauty and elegance. An outdoor room in Potomac, MD, needed a central element to offset the home’s outstanding exterior of Western Maryland fieldstone. Sroka focused on the fireplace, but instead of employing a stone mantel to match the exterior, he opted for a concrete mantel fabricated by Concrete Jungle in Frederick, MD ( The piece looks like stone but is both fireproof and exceptionally durable, resisting staining, mildew, and adverse weather conditions.

A MESSAGE FROM J. Allen Smith Design/build As a skilled craftsman and owner of J Allen Smith Design/Build, it is always a pleasure working with Skip Sroka and his team. We have collaborated on several projects, ranging from small cosmetic remodels to whole-house renovations. J Allen Smith Design/Build and Sroka Design both utilize a team approach to projects and share a goal of delivering perfection. As a result, our clients are well informed regarding our construction process and experience excellence in the way it is carried out.

J Allen Smith Design/Build offers a personal and friendly approach, combined with an unwavering commitment to quality, outstanding professionalism and a thorough knowledge of techniques and products appropriate for your remodeling or home improvement project. Whether it is a kitchen remodel, bath remodel, wholehouse remodel, or an addition to your home, you can count on the owner, Jesse Smith, to manage the details of the renovation. He’ll make sure the process runs smoothly for you, staying within your budget and achieving completion as promised.

Jesse Allen Smith, Owner We at J Allen Smith Design/Build are looking forward to a long relationship with Skip and his team. 240.405.6158

Designed with Passion. Built with Integrity.

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“We have really good systems in place that allow us to go in and get the job done,” he notes. “Everything has to happen in a certain sequence, and we make sure that we have a solid game plan. And because we wait until the end of the project—after all of the tradespeople are finished—to do the install, our clients get to see the impact of the transformation all at once, and they are always very pleased with the reveal.” So pleased, in fact, that 85 percent of Sroka Design’s business is referral based. It’s those kinds of results, as well as the company’s impressive portfolio, that helped earn Sroka the 2001 Designer of Distinction Award from the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, as well as a wide array of regional and national awards for excellence in residential design and a position on several prestigious interior-design boards, including the District of Columbia Board of Architecture and Interior Design. Sroka has also served as an advisor on many highly regarded industry projects, such as 2009’s CharityWorks GreenHouse, a sustainable showhouse located in McLean, Virginia, for which he also designed a completely green home office. The opportunity gave him the chance to research and employ a variety of new and innovative sustainable materials and techniques that he believes are going to be the wave of the future for the interiordesign industry.

DINING DETAILS This dining room features a table that can seat up to 12 people, but the dinner conversations always come back to the oversized pendant and the mesmerizing shadows it creates.

“We should never take from the earth more than we give to it,” Sroka asserts. “And over the next decade, as we become more design savvy than ever before, we’re going to see much more sustainable design.” It’s something that he looks forward to with great enthusiasm, as it will give him the opportunity to do what he truly loves—learn. “Creativity is innate—it’s really part of your genetic makeup,” he says. “But being able to create beautiful interiors also depends on how much you have studied. I never stop learning. I’m always looking and seeing and learning.” That’s why it’s not unusual to find Sroka in various locations around the country, studying antebellum mansions in Mississippi or checking out the architecture of new buildings in New York City. And every creative element that he takes in finds its way into his work at one time or another. “The goal is always to take the scope of our design to a much higher level,” Sroka says. Of course, that’s a long-term and ongoing ambition. In the short term, on a day-to-day basis, Sroka’s plan is to continue doing the kind of celebrated work that has become Sroka Design, Inc.’s hallmark. And every project has the potential to become eminent in his mind. He concludes, “When people ask me what my favorite project is, I always say, ‘The next one.’”


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Habitar Design, Inc. Integrating unique and diverse backgrounds into interior design by Susan Flowers You wouldn’t expect someone who runs a successful interior-design firm to have a background in both medicine and theater. And you wouldn’t expect that a busy designer would also have time to dabble in fashion and metal smithing. But then, you’ve probably never met Mitch Newman and Kapan Shipman, partners in Habitar Design, Inc. The two bring a unique set of talents and experiences to a firm that melds construction expertise with designer flair. For Newman, the past ten years in construction and interior design are just the latest phase of a multifaceted career. A physician, although he doesn’t

currently practice, Newman has also worked extensively in theater and has spent ten years writing creatively. His history of living abroad (he’s spent years in Germany and in the Middle East) has broadened his perspective, as well. How these varied interests and occupations led to ownership of Habitar is explained by his family background. Newman’s father, an immigrant to the United States who worked as a machinist, taught himself how to build and started his own company in 1963. Likewise, interior designer Shipman says that her love of design and related endeavors is also

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rooted in her childhood. “I moved around a lot as a child, and I felt a need to make the new place mine,” Shipman says. “In general, I always loved how a place represents more than just where you are in space and time. It so greatly effects how you are. And for me, that relationship was clear at an early age.” While designing for Habitar is the focus of most of her attention, Shipman also finds time to style photo shoots, design jewelry, paint, draw, make her own clothes, and assist friends in their artistic pursuits.

Habitar’s latest project is an example of this process in action. Shipman says that the single-family home, designed to provide a mid-century Scandinavian look, is both cozy and family-friendly. “Our client had a specific vision: modern, but warm and unpretentious,” she says. “They also needed the place to be child-friendly, with loads of storage for toys, so they can go from chillin’ with the kids to entertaining dinner guests quickly. So we used a lot of natural wood and clean lines for built-ins, plus fun, whimsical fixtures and touches.”

The Chicago-based Habitar began when Newman and Shipman collaborated on several projects and found that they worked well together. Just as their diverse backgrounds enrich their creative work, the company’s solid construction base helps them to streamline projects and keep clients’ expenses under control. “When you know construction, you know what walls you can move, what lights you can move,” Newman says. “It helps keep costs down because you can make a decision from a construction point of view that things are possible within a reasonable price. As [Shipman] comes up with ideas, she has the ability to push the limits, because she knows right away what’s possible.”

While the company completes many design projects without involvement in the initial construction, Habitar also plays a dual role with other assignments, both building and designing the interior of single or multifamily homes. Because Newman is also a real-estate developer, he says that Habitar’s next step is luxury-custom-home building—one-stop shopping for clients who can get development, construction, and interior design from a single source. With what Newman says are excellent tradesmen in addition to the firm’s two designers, office manager, and laborer, Habitar already has a deep bench of talent for a variety of projects.

Shipman agrees that having a knowledge base in both construction and design is helpful to her work. “It has made me think in a more comprehensive way, not only of just how things will look,” she says. “Will it last, will it cost more, and will it be better if we substitute the materials? I think that’s how all designers should work, but I’m more aware of the craftsmanship due to this aspect of our firm.”

Both Newman and Shipman say that the most satisfying aspect of their work is seeing a client’s joy at the end result of a project. “They’re so happy that it makes us feel happy,” Newman says. Making clients happy has allowed Habitar to rack up five-star ratings from several online sources—and Chicago residents can expect this firm to continue delivering results for a long time to come.

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Catherine Interiors, Inc.

ECLECTIC INTERIORS This New England residence’s open floor plan features elegant Charles Stewart chairs (, with fabric by Création Baumann (; a Drexel Heritage marble-and-pewter coffee table (; and a loveseat covered in Rogers & Goffigon cashmere velvet.

Massachusetts firm provides designs that remain unforgettable, unpredictable, and always original by Daniel Casciato

For Skaletsky, who founded Catherine Interiors, Inc. 15 years ago, design brings so much beauty to life. Her global travels—to places such as Paris and Africa—permeate her classic New England design sensibility with international influences, resulting in traditional spaces with an eclectic flavor. “I travel all over the world to find unique pieces for my clients,” she says. “I feel extremely fortunate to be able to do what I love, which is to be creative and, in the process, bring beauty into my clients’ homes.”


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Headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, Catherine Interiors is a full-service interior-design company. It provides all of the subs on a project, depending on what the clients need. For instance, on a total renovation project, Skaletsky will hire contractors who she has been working with for years. The end result is always the same. Skaletsky just wants to create the space of her client’s dreams. “There’s nothing we don’t provide—it depends what you require,” she says. “From choosing paint colors to a full kitchen renovation, we have the most highly skilled and resourceful contractors at our disposal. We really do it all, from beginning to end. It doesn’t matter the size or scope of the project.” Skaletsky attributes her company’s tremendous growth and success to word of mouth, a phenomenal website, and the rave reviews her customers publicize on her behalf. In addition, she believes the Boston and MetroWest area, where Catherine

Interiors is based, has seen a lot of growth, and people see the value in interior designers. But what clearly distinguishes Catherine Interiors from the competition are the many artisans that it works with. “We also have all of our furniture custom-made,” Skaletsky says. “As a result, many of the pieces our customers acquire are incredibly unique. I think what also sets us apart are the relationships we build with our customers. In fact, several of my customers are now very good friends of mine. We are let into these people’s homes and lives for several months, sometimes over a period of years. The process becomes very intimate, so it is natural for friendships to develop.” In addition, Skaletsky says that designing should be a fun process for both the customer and the designer. “People tend to be nervous about hiring a decorator for fear that the end result will not reflect their own taste and style, but rather that of the decorator,” she says. “You should feel a con-

Photo: Mitchel Sayare

Catherine Skaletsky, an interior designer and founder of the firm that bears her name, enjoys taking something that is ordinary and making it extraordinary. “I like that sense of satisfaction and feeling of when the project is done,” says Skaletsky, who draws upon her many years of interior-design experience and relationships. “I love to stand back and see the culmination of it all. Seeing the look on my client’s face when their home is complete is priceless and the number-one reason I love what I do.”

“I travel all over the world to find unique pieces for my clients. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to do what I love, which is to be creative and, in the process, bring beauty into my clients homes.” Catherine Skaletsky, Owner

CATHERINE INTERIORS your style... our passion... pure fun

nection to your decorator in the initial meeting. It should feel like an ‘aha’ moment, as though the decorator has somehow read your mind. If that moment doesn’t arise, then move on and keep interviewing. Communication is key in this business. That’s what I tell my customers from the get-go. That, and the fact that there is tremendous value in hiring me, and they will be happy they did so.” Looking ahead, Skaletsky already has a succession plan in place: she plans to pass the business on to her daughter. “My daughter works with me as an associate, and I would love to pass the business on to her someday,” she says. “Designing runs in the family. My two sisters are also in the business in Raleigh; one is a contractor, and the other is a designer. Our mother was also an amazing interior designer, so it’s in the blood.” Catherine’s 10-month-old granddaughter is already establishing herself in the business, as well. “She sits in my office and sorts through all the fabrics, or rather strews them all over my office floor,” she says with a laugh. “She’s a natural.”

INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCES The firm used this antique Asian server as the client’s bureau. The bed’s headboard was custom-made by Bloom & Company (bloomandcompany. com), with fabric by Bergamo ( The duvet cover is Slubby Basket in Oyster by P/Kaufmann Inc. (

3 of Catherine Skaletsky’s Favorite Products 1. Farrow & Ball Paint: “I love Farrow & Ball paint. It’s steeped in history, gorgeous in color, and is one of the best products in terms of paints. ”

2. Sundance Woodworking: “I also do a great deal of work with Sundance Woodworking, who makes amazing cabinetry, bookcases, and custom furniture. Their finished work is impeccable.” 3. K Powers: “We get many of our rugs with K Powers, which has spectacular Renaissance, made-to-order rugs from all over the world. ”

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Kelley Interior Design Custom show houses put Maryland-based firm on the map for sophisticated, traditional looks by Sandra Guy Kelley Proxmire’s fascination with design started early. She recalls reading House Beautiful as a teenager while her peers pored over Seventeen. “In the 1970s, I started a cutting file—which I still have—of recurring themes that I found in magazines,” she recalls. Among her favorites were Michael Taylor, known for his high-end residential designs and the California Look; the late Mark Hampton, whose signature style defined understated traditionalism; and Billy Baldwin, another decorator who preferred a clean, polished approach whose freshness endured.

top designers. Proxmire’s “Sweet Suite Serenity” bedroom in creamy white and robin-egg blue was designed as a luxurious retreat, from windows swathed in layers of creamy silk to dramatic floorto-ceiling draping around the bed. For the 2010 DC Design House, Proxmire created a his-and-hers sitting room and adjoining gar-

2010 DC Design House The palette of browns, whites, and grays continues on the adjoining garden terrace of the 2010 DC Design House. A gun-metal coffee table defines the principal seating area, flanked by a fountain and Sargent white flowering crab-apple trees in white planters. Accent pillows in a chocolate brown indoor/outdoor fabric feature a dogwood appliqué, complementing furnishings upholstered in white matelassé.

Proxmire got her start in the 1980s, doing “catchall” work for the late Bob Waldron, an acclaimed designer who did work for Lady Bird Johnson, Kitty Carlyle Hart, and Clare Booth Luce, and who provided mentorship to a number of young designers. While Proxmire sourced key items of Waldron’s work, such as fabric, lighting, and furniture, she noticed how expertly Waldron dealt with his clients. “Establishing trust and interacting with the client are so important,” Proxmire says. “I have learned to listen and realize when clients are saying what they mean and when they aren’t. It’s like being a psychologist, figuring it all out.” She also discovered confidence and independence in Waldron’s advice. “He said, ‘Kelley, some have it, some don’t.You have it, so just go,’” she recalls. Proxmire set up her own company, Kelley Interior Design, in 1984, and started redesigning homes for her friends. People who saw her creations took notice and began asking her to design or redesign their homes. “I started by word of mouth, and that’s still the main way I get new clients,” says Proxmire, who serves as founder and designer. “And I have many repeat clients. Not a month goes by when someone isn’t asking me to help them after they’ve moved, or when they’re doing a second or third home. They know us, and we know them.” She credits her first career “win” to the design of a bedroom in a show house benefiting the National Symphony Orchestra. Though she fashioned “champagne taste on a beer budget” and got most of the furnishings at resale or junk stores, the local and national media raved about the look. One recent success includes the upstairs master bedroom for the 2008 DC Design House in Georgetown, benefiting Children’s National Medical Center and showcasing Washington, DC’s


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SINCE 1996

FINE ART FINISHES a decorative arts painting studio

5 Key Design Pieces at the 2010 DC Design House

den terrace. She designed the sitting room around a brown-and-white damask print by Schumacher. Dark brown walls, punctuated by white drapery and upholstery, and unexpected accents of gray, provide a contemplative setting and result in a room that is both restful and refreshing. Furthermore, artwork and accessories add luxurious touches that make the room a place to settle in. A sculptural ruffled mirror above a sofa reflects the garden terrace, and a collection of oil landscapes continues a connection to the outdoors. Another recent project—a waterfront renovation at a home just outside of Annapolis, Maryland— required tripling the existing house to accommodate a family of six. The mother, a former TV news reporter, wanted a fun, casual, and relaxing atmosphere where the family could enjoy their waterfront view of the Severn River. Proxmire oversaw a redo of the living space in which the kitchen, living room, and dining room became one large, open space where the family could gather. A bigger challenge was arranging seating for the big family on the long, narrow porch overlooking the tributary, Proxmire says. The children’s bedrooms offered a creative palette, and Proxmire ran with the opportunity. In one daughter’s room, white walls offset the bed’s hot-pink headboard, while the other girl’s room features white furniture with hot-pink walls. The shared bathroom joined the hot-pink treatment, replete with a movie-star-dressing-room mirror

1. S  amuel & Sons Braid Trim, 2. L  amplight Designs, Blanco 4 Light Tole Chandelier, 3. J ulia Gray Regency What-Not Tables, 4. L  ee Jofa Cooper Bench with Kravet Ultrasuede and trim. 5. Vaughan Cortina Crystal Vase lamp,

equipped with make-up lights. Furthermore, the two sons’ rooms represent their different personalities. Dark-blue walls accented with a horizontal stripe denotes a masculine look in one, while the other boy’s room boasts a nautical theme with red and yellow colors, bunk beds, and a red carpet with stars. Elsewhere, the house emphasizes tones of white, blue, and yellow, including a soft-yellow kitchen and a blue main room set off by one-of-a-kind antique and vintage furnishings that can take the wear and tear of kids and a busy family. “The owner was very hands-on and involved in the design process,” Proxmire says. “I want to edit. She wants to add more things. That dialogue is the fun of design.” Projects like these have helped define Proxmire’s unique design process, making Kelley Interior Design an impressive business with renowned experience and a very bright future.


luxury home quarterly



Chicago Pied-À-Terre

A Legacy Built on Respect, Professionalism, AND Quality Designs by Daniel Casciato John Cannon and his business partner, Cary Frank, have devoted the past 30 years to making their firm one that specializes in high-end residential design. They take immeasurable pride in their versatility and range of experience. They also love to have fun with their clients and their projects. “We don’t take ourselves so seriously, but we do appreciate how difficult this process is, so we listen—we listen to their dreams, their worries, and their ideas,” Cannon explains. “We show them things they had never dreamed of before and let them experience what we have seen, and we enjoy what they learn from us.” Usually this brings the entire project to a new and exciting level of collaboration, so the clients get what they want utilizing his firm’s expertise. “We love all forms of design,” he adds. “While I person-


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ally love certain periods, and our background is in period furnishings, our second love is modern, clean, and serene.” Cannon worked for several designers before he chose to become self-employed, when discovered that he had a lot to say about the quality of his work and the vision he has for residential design. Upon graduating from the Ray Vogue Academy for Design in 1973, Cannon worked for three designers prior to founding Cannon Frank–A Design Corporation PC in 1981. “Working for others did not satisfy my hunger to put my own ideas into reality, so I decided to open my own company with the knowledge I had garnered while working for others,” he says. Today, the Chicago-headquartered firm includes two design assistants, an office manager, an intern,

and a marketing/public-relations professional on its staff. Although many of its projects are based in Chicago, the surrounding suburbs, and Harbor Country, Michigan, the firm does projects all over the world. For Cannon, each project is a benchmark, no matter how small or large. Two of his earliest achievements are his first restaurant making the cover of Hotel and Restaurant Design magazine, and his first collaboration with an architect. “I realized then I had a great deal to say and a lot of knowledge about architecture, and that led me to work with

Photo: Nathan Kirkman

Cannon Frank– A Design Corporation PC

One of Cannon Frank’s most notable projects is its Chicago Pied-á-terre project. For the home’s living room, the firm enclosed the fireplace in white thassos and blue-heaven stones to give a pale, icy-blue cast to the surround. It then built a paneled-wall area around the fireplace with off-white, stain-lacquered panels. Small gaps between panels showcase a multicolored-light feature so that the client can alter the appearance of the wall by dialing any desired color. The project’s stone fabricator was Stonecutters (, with all stone sourced and supplied by Damar Natural Stone Imports, Inc. (, and all millwork was custom designed by Cannon Frank. Furthermore, the drapery is a soft, pale-blue sheer fabric, used to give the appearance of a blue sky, even when the Chicago weather does not cooperate. The fabric, from Glant (, is available through Holly Hunt.


some of the best architects in Chicago,” he says. “My first really large-budget project showed me there are others who feel the same way I do about fine antiques and quality furnishings.” In the last decade, Cannon completed his first log cabin, his first Italian villa, his first movie theater (which won first place in a competition), and his first pool (which also won first place in a competition). “My first multimillion-dollar budget catapulted Cannon Frank into a smaller but more exclusive niche, which encourages me to keep attempting new and more exciting experiences,” he adds.

CUSTOM COOKING STATIONS The Chicago Pied-àterre kitchen features a pale-blue lacquer with stainless-steel trim, and the countertops are in taupe, ivory, and silver-gray granite from Italy, supplied by Valcucine (

What distinguishes Cannon Frank from a crowded marketplace is that it prefers following the architecture of a home and working with the architect to make it a better fit with what the client needs or wants. “I prefer to follow the architecture in style as well,” Cannon says. “I will always attempt to take the client far beyond what they had in mind and create what they didn’t know they wanted. I always prefer the theatrical experience…making my work dramatic as well as functional and comfortable, all while exposing my clients to a unique visual experience. We also pride ourselves in keeping our clients close to us personally, so we make the experience comfortable and fulfilling for all those involved.” Cannon is well known in the industry as the designer who not only listens to his clients but actually hears what they have to say. “Because I hear my clients, I am able to create these dramatic and unique residences for them,” he says. WOOD ACCESSORIES The Chicago Pied-àterre’s study showcases custom-storage space, including filing, computer, and entertainment systems, as well as various displays and drawers. The wood, a combination of Macassar ebony and figured anigre, was supplied by Bacon Veneer (

One of the company’s best business practices that it shares openly with others is to keep its clients informed of all options. This allows clients to make an informed decision and to be shown only items that will work, therefore lessening such difficult choices. “Most importantly, our clients don’t come to us for average concepts, so we really develop a full and dramatic concept that will intrigue them,” Cannon says. “It may be costly—and we will offer less costly options, if necessary—but I prefer the best option, whether it is the most costly or not.” The firm has achieved much success since its founding, and its future looks promising. Cannon feels that the firm has already achieved much of what he thought the future would be, so for now, he is enjoying that. “As far as I can see into the future, I feel we can branch out and do more creative projects,” he says. “We are working with an author on the possibility of a circus or performance environment; we are doing a project in Africa that allows us to embrace different cultures and absorb what those cultures can teach us; I am continuing work on my own furniture line and am about to start a blog,” he says, then pauses, “but who knows…the future is not yet written.”

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luxury home quarterly




CLASSIC DESIGN The Caldwell residence, in McLean, VA, features a formal powder room with a faux-finish wallpaper, offsetting the La Barge mirror ( and sparkling Schonbek sconces and chandelier (

Established in 1998, Anees Upholstery, Inc. is a family owned business specializing in custom furniture. We operate in a friendly, but highly professional environment in the heart of Chicago’s furniture district. Our staff of framers, seamstresses and upholsterers offer a master furniture craftsmanship to bring an endless line of elegant and tasteful furniture art.

312.243.2919 1500 South Western Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60608 312.243.2920 fax 78

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Essence of Design, LLC Bringing colorful and sophisticated interior designs from around the world to American homes by Sandra Guy Shiva Rostami recalls being impressed by the positive and enthusiastic attitude of a McLean, Virginia, couple Joe and Sybil Caldwell, who asked her to help them rebuild their dream home after it had been destroyed by fire a couple of years earlier. “The fire had destroyed almost everything they had,” says Rostami, pricipal designer and owner

of Essence of Design, LLC. “They were in the process of rebuilding the house when I started the project. The drywall was ready to go up when I started the project, and none of the materials had yet been selected.” Such a challenging project on a tight deadline might intimidate some designers, but it’s just the


“I start each project with an extensive conversation with the client, discussing their likes and dislikes. The design will revolve around a unique piece, whether it’s something I find or something the client likes.” Shiva Rostami, principal designer & owner

type of effort that Rostami loves to sink her teeth into. “The clients and I ‘clicked,’” Rostami says. “They told me what they liked, and we ran with it. I knew they liked a European style and the colors blue and gold, so we started with that.” Rostami leapt head first into the restoration project, choosing flooring, finishes, railings, millwork designs, the kitchen look, and even the bathroom fixtures. “I enjoy being involved in every step of the design process, from production to the installation,” she says. “Being present during installations is important to me so that I can offer my resolutions right away to any issues that might arise.” The result is a stunning, luxurious home—still a work in progress—that evokes stylish luxury without fussiness. Rostami incorporated a baroque mirror as a centerpiece of the living room, set off by a higher and firmer-than-standard French blue-leather sofa that Rostami designed to withstand the many guests that the clients entertain on a regular basis. The elaborate window treatments match the blue-and-gold color motif of the sofa, pillows, chairs, and fresco artwork. The living room design started with a gold-highlighted Savonnerie rug. “The use of color and the fluidity of the colors are very well put together, and that’s such an important element of the design,” Rostami says. The family room features lush, oversized sofas and chairs, with window treatments of handpainted fabric that Rostami custom-designed to make sure that the colors match perfectly. The master suite centers on a fireplace that has been in the family for years, and is set off by a tone-on-tone aubergine color scheme to evoke

warmth and comfort. The master bathroom evokes rich details with ricon marble, sconces on the mirrors, glass inserts in the floor, and detailing of various pieces with pearl endings.

Shiva Rostami is the principal designer and owner of Essence of Design, LLC. She has a B.S. degree in Interior Design from University of Maryland and is an Allied Member of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Rostami’s work in the home’s family room, master suite, master bathroom, his-and-her libraries, and other areas reflect her philosophy of listening to her client while giving free rein to her own creativity. “I start each project with an extensive conversation with the client, discussing their likes and dislikes,” she says. “The design will revolve around a unique piece, whether it’s something I find or something the client likes.”

Shiva believes “Paying attention to details is the key to a successful design”. Which is seen in every room she designs. Her style is sophisticated and elegant, sometimes with an element of surprise but never ordinary.

Rostami, who grew up in Iran before moving to the United States as a teenager, credits her family’s adventurous spirit, which she inherited, with allowing her to travel the world from an early age. “From early on, I was exposed to many different places, styles, colors, and architecture,” she says. “I fell in love with traveling and noticing the distinct architecture and ethnic artifacts.” Rostami pursued her interior-design studies by earning a BS degree from the University of Maryland at College Park, and working for several prominent firms in the Washington, DC, area. After Rostami burned out on working for 16 clients at one time, she took time off to travel to China and Hong Kong and refocus. She then returned to start her own design firm in 2005, and today, despite the often long hours, she remains passionate about her work. “I wouldn’t necessarily like my firm to get too big,” she says. “My plans are to increase the number of support staff so that I could continue to travel and be exposed to new trends in the interior-design industry.”

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Shiva Rostami Allied Member, ASID

703-328-4058 w w w. e s s e n c e o f d e s i g n . n e t Po t o m a c , M D


Montana Avenue Interiors, Inc. Delivering custom-Tailored Quality designs through a Creative and Unique Point of View by Daniel Casciato Montana Avenue Interiors, Inc. has a simple mission. As an interior-design firm, it creates livable, comfortable, and beautiful homes that showcase the client’s personality and lifestyle. The firm was founded in 1994 by Joani Stewart-Georgi, who has been designing homes on the west side of Los Angeles since 1994.

and overseeing every last item to completion,” Stewart-Georgi says. “I am very interested and educated in contemporary art, and use art in every project. I work with several successful art consultants who help me discover the best art for the project. Sometimes my clients are art collectors, and it is my job to help hang and showcase the art.”

some retail spaces. The Marina del Rey, Californiabased company works with architects and contractors, from the ground up if necessary. It also does additions, remodels, art selection and installation, furnishing, and any aspect of the project that requires design and an experienced eye. It oversees every detail of the project, from start to finish.

“We have an eye for detail and follow through, as well as knowing the best craftsman for the job

Montana Avenue Interiors is a growing company doing mainly residential interiors, offices, and

Stewart-Georgi’s designs are unique and are created after many personal interviews between client and designer. It is through these conversations that she is able to establish and understand the personality of the home and the likes and dislikes of the people who live there. It is this camaraderie with her clients that Stewart-Georgi enjoys the most. Many of her clients become her best friends, and working hand-in-hand with them is what brings her the most joy.

MODERN LIGHTING This dining room features a Velo Suspension light by Fontana Arte. “I love the way it is hung on the two wires from the ceiling,” Stewart-Georgi says. “It is unusual and always works in a contemporary setting.” (


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Photo: Douglas Hill

“Seeing their faces when the job is complete and has just been installed—their joy brings me to tears,” she says. “I love working with beautiful things, and it is always a pleasure to find just the right piece, or perfect tile, or incredible muralist, to bring their home to life and to create the fantasy come true for that person or couple. I love working with art and educating clients about art, shopping for art, selecting art, buying art, and hanging art. I enjoy





every aspect of my business. I love solving problems. There is always the perfect solution.” As a graduate of UCLA’s interior-design program, Stewart-Georgi was selected as one of 12 students to intern for the late, great Tony Duquette on his estate in Malibu. She has also completed projects for Shelley Long, Lily Tomlin, the presidents of Lionsgate Films, MGM, and Houston’s Restaurants, and the vice president of Herbalife. “Our company gets totally involved with every aspect of the design process and the lives of our clients,” Stewart-Georgi says. “We get very close to our clients and stay that way throughout the project. We have been working for one of our clients for more than six years. They were newlyweds and new homeowners when they hired me. Now they have three children and a dog. We have been fortunate to design each of the children’s bedrooms more than once, and the nursery twice.” The biggest challenge for her firm is keeping up with what’s new today, as well as always keeping up with the latest trends from around the world. “There are always challenges of working with a husband-and-wife team that doesn’t agree on anything,” Stewart-Georgi says. “The changing economy has also been quite the challenge, learning to be flexible with finances and finding solutions to clients’ needs, even in difficult times.” The most important issue Montana Avenue Interiors is facing today is the environment. “Going green, being globally aware are the issues at hand right now,” Stewart-Georgi says. “It is very important to acknowledge the earth and our preservation of it while continuing to give our clients the best of everything they desire for their home.” Despite these challenges, her goal is to make sure she gets the next referral from the clients. That has always been the key of her firm’s success. “We also stay in touch with new and innovative designs, and work with more of the top architects in the country to develop creative and expansive original projects,” she says. Looking ahead, Stewart-Georgi’s goal is to do a few new projects a year, to stay involved personally, and not to let assistants and employees run the jobs. “This business is one of word of mouth, so the word has to be excellent—always,” she says. “That is the most important aspect of everything we do. Clients must be happy at the end of the project. In fact, they must be ecstatic. That is our goal.” W W W. S E D I S T U D I O S . C O M T E L : 3 1 0 . 4 3 0 . 1 7 0 7 I N F O @ S E D I S T U D I O S . C O M NOV / DEC 2010 LHQ Nov/Dec 2010 Montana Ave Interiors - Sedi Studios Inc 2/3 .indd 1

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MODISHLY MODERN This Chicago home features a commissioned original Francine Turk oil painting, setting the tone in the dining room and living room. The firm redesigned the traditional wood mantel using sapelli wood and rockface stone tile from Materials Marketing, creating a dramatic new look ( Furthermore, a clean, modern, glass Ralph Lauren cocktail table contrasts nicely with the soft edges of the custom upholstered furniture (

jamesthomas Bringing a balanced and dynamic design partnership to luxury RESIDENCES by Jennifer Kirkland

The clients were a successful business couple, and the man was moving into the woman’s loft. At first, the project called for blending her industrial contemporary furnishings with his more East Coast traditional style, but when the adjoining unit became available, the project suddenly got much bigger. “We had to blast through a brick wall,” Riker says, “and we designed a whole new loft. They were a fantastic couple to work with, and their home


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definitely reflects their personalities.” The final product is a tour de force, featuring 18-foot ceilings, glass walls to take advantage of the stunning downtown views, rooftop decks, and a state-ofthe-art wine bar. Based in Chicago, jamesthomas specializes in luxury residential projects and boasts a loyal clientele. “Residential design is so personal that it’s almost like psychology,” Riker says. “We’re working with our clients for a year or more, so we’re very focused on relationships.” That focus on the client is one of the reasons Thomas and James started their company in 2003. Both had worked for corporate design firms, and both found the experience wanting. “I thought I wanted to do corporate interiors,” says Dolenc,

A PREMIERE PARTNERSHIP Thomas Riker and James Dolenc.

who studied interior design at the Harrington Institute for Interior Design, “but the budgets and the creativity were very limited.” Dolenc always had an interest in design and aesthetics. “Since I was a young child, I always liked things a certain way,” he says. “I would prod my mom to finish the dining room, get that new sofa.” As an undergrad at Loyola University Chicago, Dolenc majored in communications, then began his career in marketing before studying design.

Photos: scott shigley

A private loft project in downtown Chicago was turning into a major gut rehab, but Thomas Riker and James Dolenc, partners at interior-design firm jamesthomas, were excited about the creative challenge. “We loved this project because it went well beyond just decorating,” Riker says.


“Residential design is so personal that it’s almost like psychology. We’re working with our clients for a year or more, so we’re very focused on relationships.” Thomas Riker, Partner

Riker, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan and a master’s in architecture, also worked in public relations and marketing before graduate school. “Architecture was something I was always interested in,” he says, “but in college, I was a little intimidated by the technical side.”

ELEGANT DESIGN The firm mixed bold fabrics with eclectic furnishings to create a stylish living space, and used various seating groups to break up the room without making the Lake Shore Drive residence look overly cluttered.

After graduate school, Riker worked for a firm that designed multiunit residential buildings, but like Dolenc, he wanted more independence and creativity. The pair began collaborating on small interior projects on the side, but when the demands of their real passion began to overwhelm the demands of their corporate jobs, they started their own dream company. Today, in addition to the partners, the company has 4 full-time and 2 part-time employees, but Dolenc hopes to expand to 10 full-time employees in the future. “We found a need in the industry for a more straightforward way of working as designers,” Dolenc says. “We wanted to hone in on customer service and get rid of the air of mystique hanging around designers.” One way to do that is to establish trust by building stronger relationships with clients. “We structure our firm differently in that our fees are project based,” Riker explains. Most design firms charge a markup, but jamesthomas passes its discount on to the clients. “We never want our clients to question the things we present to them,” Dolenc says. “We want them to know it’s the best option, not just the most expensive one. People are paying us for our design talent, not our ability to sell furniture.” Riker thinks this approach to pricing is the wave of the future, because clients can go online and discover for themselves the designer’s markups. “A great day is when we create a great design, not when we sell an expensive piece of furniture,” he says. The team works closely with the clients, and like all good teams, Dolenc and Riker complement each other’s strengths. “I do more conceptual work,” Dolenc explains, “but also lighting—I

love lighting—and furniture. Tom is great at space planning, color palettes, and fabrics.” The goal is to make each design reflect the clients’ personalities, not the designer’s favorite style. “We don’t want your house to look like we live there,” Dolenc says, laughing. For the future, the team hopes for more projects in exotic or unusual locations. In the meantime, many of jamesthomas’ happy clients keep returning for more. “The penthouse clients asked us to redesign their vacation home in Indiana,” Dolenc says. “For us, it is a great compliment when a client comes back for another project.”

COHESIVE CONTRAST The foyer of this jamesthomasdesigned Lake Shore Drive home is a great example of a study in contrasts. The teal and gold wallcovering, an antique design by Florence Broadhurst, boldly mixes with the subdued formality of the tile pattern on the floor. Additionally, a Williams-Sonoma Home chandelier provides a nice bit of sparkle (, and the Neiman Marcus mirror was lacquered a charcoal color to add more depth and drama (

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GOTHIC REVIVAL This lakeside vacation home was designed as if it had been built a hundred years ago in order to blend with the surrounding community. The Gothic Revival project features custom-designed woodwork to reflect the time period.









imagine the possibilities

Oviatt & Associates Interiors and Design Utah-based firm incorporates historic design elements into new custom homes by Megy Karydes


(773) 525-9034 84

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Flipping through the pages of Oviatt & Associates Interiors and Design’s website is akin to flipping through a high-end, sophisticated home magazine. Each completed project seems more grand and impressive than the previous. Whether the project involves high-end styling, exterior or landscape detail, or historical projects, the Utah-based, fullservice interior-design firm stands ready to ensure it exceeds each client’s expectations.

wanted to build a new, 7,000-square-foot Gothic Revival home in an old community, on a large recreational lake. “[The client] wanted the home to look like it had been one if the early homes in the community,” Oviatt says. “It is convincing, and will be even more so as the exterior weathers and the landscaping matures. Even though the buildings are new, we do feel a responsibility to be accurate not only to our clients but also to the community.”

Led by Kathy Oviatt, principal of the namesake firm she helped build in 1984, Oviatt & Associates’ team of three interior designers specialize in mid- to high-end residential interiors, as well as architectural and historical details. For example, in one recently completed project, the homeowner

Derek Mecham, the lead interior designer for the Gothic Revival home and barn project, echoes the sentiment that the exterior details added to the overall authenticity and character of the home. “When approaching a historic house project such as this Gothic Revival, we felt the project needed a

3 Techniques for Creating a Gothic-Revival Design

great benefit to a successful and well-designed room or entire project.”

1. Furnishings The firm tried to source furniture that seemed like it was collected over time or handed down, but comfort was an important concern for both Oviatt’s design team and the homeowners. Fabrics and furniture shapes were the focus; however, the Victorian formality was limited for a livable appeal.

Over the years, Oviatt & Associates Interiors and Design has successfully completed hundreds of residential interiors, condominiums, and recreation and second homes, mostly in Utah and surrounding mountain states. Its accomplishments include a broad range of styles in upscale custom residences and commercial projects, including a specialty in classic and historical design. It completes 15–20 projects annually, from single rooms to entire homes, ranging from thousands of dollars up to multimillions. It enjoys word-of-mouth and referral business as its number-one marketing strategy.

2. Custom woodwork Every molding profile, baluster, and newel post had to be designed using historic reference material. Mecham worked with a custom woodworking shop and designed each piece and detail uniquely. His project binders detail pages of sketches that were used as references, down to the most specific detail of the plinth blocks, corbels, kitchen details, and even custom “gingerbread” work along the eaves. 3. Antique details All of the small details added to the overall authenticity and character of the home. The firm used outside sources to order antique-reproduction door hardware, light fixtures, shutter hooks, doorbells, cold-air returns, and even icebox-refrigerator hardware.

story—a history to give a sense of how the house was used and originally built,” he says. “Just as important to the ‘story’ are the modifications that would have been made over the course of 100 years. “For example,” he continues, “the concept of a side porch, which would have been originally used as an exterior feature, is now enclosed with windows, becoming an interior dining space just off the kitchen. The dining room now features the ‘original’ beadboard ceiling, porch columns, and exposed brick. What would have been an old porch light now hangs as the featured light fixture over the dining table. These types of ideas and brainstorm sessions were frequent throughout the planning phase and made the outcome of the project even more meaningful and authentic to the homeowners.” The design has earned the firm much attention, “The biggest compliment I received on the project was a comment from an acquaintance on a neighboring historical committee, asking what year the house was built,” says lead designer Derek Mecham. “At that point, I knew my work was complete.” “Our vision extends beyond simple furniture and art placement,” Oviatt adds. “We feel the consideration of an entire space, inside and out, is a necessity and

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Oviatt also knows that having a talented team in place can positively affect the client experience. “In the past, there have been times that it has been a challenge to find the right people for our small company,” Oviatt admits. “But now I couldn’t ask for better people. That aspect of the business makes my life enjoyable.” Oviatt is quick to give credit where credit is due. “Our firm is very well rounded,” she adds. “I have a wonderful staff, and each of them understands the value of not only working alone on a project but also the value of a team. Each person’s talents and abilities overlap, but for the most part we have areas of specialty in both design ability and business skills that allow our firm to run incredibly efficiently. I have had a number of years where I worked independently, and it does not compare with the joy, satisfaction, and effectiveness of working with good people.” Additionally, the firm’s showroom has become a tremendous resource for existing clients and also those interested in its services, according to Oviatt. As more homeowners opt to remodel instead of build new construction these days, the showroom has quickly become a one-stop shop to explore furnishings, as well as the scope of the resources her team can provide. “We recognize that homeowners have had to adjust their budgets due to the economy, but the beauty of working with Oviatt & Associates Interiors and Design is that we are able to work in phases with our clients, allowing them to achieve the high-end and luxurious designs over a period of time,” Oviatt says. “This attests to our firm’s flexibility, instead of putting clients into a specific timeframe and then moving on to the next project.”

A MESSAGE FROM Inside Out Architecturals Inc. We love working with professionals such as our friends at Oviatt & Associates Interiors and Design to assist in bringing their desired tilelayout designs to fruition by providing access to exceptional decorative tile lines, as well as expertise in tile trends and tile layout, to provide the best options to create a desired look.

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designer showcase

Alex Papachristidis Interiors Although he’s known today for creating some of the industry’s most elegant and opulent interior designs, Alex Papachristidis started his career working in his family’s shipping business. As a recent college graduate, the young Papachristidis sought a creative outlet outside the shipping world, and he soon realized his affinity for interior design.

by Zach Baliva Photos by Phillip Ennis


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Salon De Bois

Photo: (HEAD SHOT) donna newman

For its Kips Bay project, Alex Papachristidis Interiors hung a large Julian Schnabel painting over a tufted silk-velvet sofa accessorized with satin throw pillows. Other features include coffee tables made in the 1950s from a pair of 18th-century Korean lacquer panels, and a Gainsborough chair from Hyde Park Antiques upholstered in two different satins, pieced together to create a modern effect on a great classic (

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La Chambre du Jardin Chinoi


nvigorated by his newfound passion, Papachristidis enrolled in the Parsons School of Design. He soon landed his first two design projects: a large Manhattan apartment, followed by a townhome for a couple he met in the south of France. Twenty-six years later, Papachristidis’ designs can be found almost anywhere—from Manhattan to London to Saudi Arabia—and his personal brand has become a household name, thanks to publicity including a guest appearance on The Today Show. Alex Papachristidis Interiors works as a full-service firm, providing clients with all material elements of a room, including furniture, upholstery, antiques, and rugs. He works with architects, as well, to coordinate and create cohesive structural elements. The company goes a step further than most by supplying custom-designed pieces, selecting coordinating housewares, and even training housekeepers in the proper maintenance of surfaces and spaces. While the designer has developed his own style, he strives to help clients tap into their own personal tastes. “The most important thing is for a project to reflect the collaboration between a designer and a client,” Papachristidis says. “I don’t want them to feel like they are living in my home, because it’s their home.” The collaboration starts after a client identifies a preferred style. Then Papachristidis conceptualizes that style in an applicable way, building a strong


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Alex Papachristidis believes that each room in a house should be multipurpose, with comfort and elegance present throughout. The firm’s project for the Hampton Designer Showcase features a a sitting area, desk, and chair in this guest bedroom, and the bench at the foot of the bed holds stacks of books for guests to browse through. The pet-friendly home also features a custom-made dog bed below.

working relationship that often leads to referrals and repeat business. “We learn a language that we speak together, and eventually the client doesn’t even have to say something and I understand right away,” he says. “It’s like any good long-term relationship.” Many clients request a modern style, but Papachristidis is careful to define their expectations because the word can mean so many different things. “I tend to think of modern as a mix of antique and modern, because that’s the best way to create a lasting and timeless design,” he says. Mixing modern art with antique furniture, for example, can enhance a space without dating it. “Re-

designer showcase

“It’s great to feel wowed in a guest bedroom. A guest should really feel like he is on vacation there.” alex papachristidis, decorator ally good decoration should last a long time,” Papachristidis says. “One should redecorate only when absolutely necessary.” Papachristidis encourages each client to build collections based on things they really love. “The current trend is to love art and not furniture, which is silly because beautiful art looks amazing next to great furniture,” he says. Materials should work together in sophisticated and harmonious ways to create a well-rounded project. Helping clients discover and incorporate their interests makes each Papachristidis design more fascinating, personal, and unique. This eclectic approach was displayed in 2005, at the Kips Bay Show House, for which Papachristidis designed the “Salon De Bois” living room. The mahogany room boasts high ceilings and large windows on both sides. Other designers may have looked at the intimidating room with hesitation, but to Papachristidis, the space was a welcome challenge. Since the grand space called for an impressive design, he focused on making dynamic choices. Tiger and leopard silk-velvet prints, which have become a bit of a Papachristidis signature, compliment solid fabrics and custom curtains stenciled in cognac and aqua. To complete the space, Papachristidis relied on the best dealers to provide modern art and antique furniture. Books on society, history, art, fashion, entertaining, and interiors were carefully selected to provide inspiration. “I made the room the best of everything and made it a grand room you could actually live in,” he says. While the space includes high-quality antique furniture, objects, and art, it remains friendly and comfortable. In fact, Papachristidis even included a small television. The decision, he says, was made to encourage full use of the space. For the Hampton Designer Showhouse, Papachristidis created La Chambre du Jardin Chinois—or what he calls “the ultimate guest bedroom.” As the areas are frequently used by different people, guest bedrooms offer designers the chance to take risks and create exciting spaces. “It’s great to feel wowed in a guest bedroom,” Papachristidis says. “A guest should really feel like he is on vacation there.”

DIVERSIFIED DECORUM La Chambre du Jardin Chinois brings together various time periods through different colors, textures, and shapes, including a Swedish clock, circa 1790–1810, from Dienst + Dotter (; a Chinese blue and white lamp available from Vaughan (; a French neoclassical Jansen desk; and a modern, framed oil painting by Mark Humphrey (

By changing a Lee Jofa fabric called Jardin Chinois from dated pinks, greens, and peaches to browns, blues, and grays on a white background, Papachristidis

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A GRAND SPACE The living room of the Kips Bay Show House features a George II Gilt wood eagle console, circa the 18th century, as well as a Judith Eisler painting titled “Sewing.”

“I tend to think of modern as a mix of antique and modern, because that’s the best way to create a lasting and timeless design.” alex papachristidis, decorator gave the room a fresh look. “Use of color and the way we use geometry, pattern, and furniture really makes a room modern,” he explains. Additionally, the floors were painted with large geometric patterns inspired by style icon Pauline de Rothschild’s famous London home. Upholstered chocolate-brown walls help the room’s functionality, as dirt is less of a concern. “A room must have a sense of practicality that is there but never shows,” Papachristidis says, adding that comfort and beauty are of equal importance. The room includes furniture pieces like sofas and desks selected to offer a complete atmosphere. His designs are refined and sophisticated, yet created to be enjoyed daily. “One should use good dishes and linen napkins and keep flowers around even if not having guests,” he says. “We should take pride in our homes as we love and use them.” By collaborating with clients and helping each one define a personal style, Papachristidis creates spaces that are easy to enjoy.

INSPIRING INTERIORS Antique Indian columns provide a dramatic setting, framing the view to the outdoors. The columns are one of many exotic elements in this Garrigues-designed living room.

Jennifer Garrigues, Inc. As president of her own namesake interior-design firm, Jennifer Garrigues draws upon her worldwide travels for inspiration as she reinvents rooms into clean, sophisticated, and impressive interiors. Garrigues, whose British accent is still strong 40 years

Photo: Troy Campbell

after moving to the United States, fell in love with architecture, history, and the decorative arts when she traveled internationally as a Yardley Girl model. “I traveled all over the world for 15 years, and the more I traveled, the more I was enchanted,� she says. by Sandra Guy

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THE RIGHT MATERIALS Garrigues used carved-stone frieze and wood grillwork to add architectural interest and glamor to this open living and dining room.


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designer showcase

“I’m a bit more exotic in my design than most. I’ve traveled worldwide, so I enjoy bringing in items from Europe, India, China, Morocco, and elsewhere. I love using color and different wood finishes together; it adds so much more excitement in a room.” jennifer garrigues, president

EXOTIC ELEMENTS A painted niche showcases and highlights the bright modern art and creates an intimate seating area. The owner’s collection of bright, modern art draws a sharp contrast with the soft and textural room.


ennifer Garrigues credits her mother, whom she describes as a phenomenal decorator, with passing along her eye for fabulous design. Garrigues fondly recalls her mother painting all of the fine furniture in a room of their home bright red while her father was away on business. “She made what she called a ‘Chinese’ room, and I credit my father for having a wonderful amount of patience,” Garrigues says. Indeed, she carries on her mother’s daring tradition, though her outcomes are notably clean, upscale, and sophisticated. “I’m a bit more exotic in my design than most,” she says. “I enjoy bringing in items from Europe, India, China, Morocco, and elsewhere. I love using color and different wood finishes together; it adds so much more excitement to a room.”

Photos: Troy Campbell

Garrigues came to America with the “London look” of the Beatles, Vidal Sassoon, and Jean Muir, and has become known for her European sensibilities in design. She studied at the New York School of Interior Design before setting up an interior-design business with a friend in 1980. She then was recruited to work as a designer for the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club, which led her to start her own business, Jennifer Garrigues, Inc., in Palm Beach, Florida, 25 years ago. Today, Garrigues has stayed busy throughout the recession, thanks to her reputation for quality design and repeat clients. “It’s by word of mouth,” she says. “What a compliment that is!” Garrigues has also gained a reputation for sponsoring design showcases to benefit causes such as the Red Cross, which her mother was very involved with in London, and for animal rights and protection. As for her design work, Garrigues’ recent projects include the remodeling of two homes in Lost Tree Village, just north of Palm Beach. In one home, the client wanted to get rid of old-fashioned furniture and transform a traditional

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“The more I traveled, the more I was enchanted with buildings and history and decorative arts.� jennifer garrigues, president


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AN ECLECTIC DESIGN STYLE With the feeling of exotic places, this mural adds intensity to the room with no elements other than the ceiling mouldings, which were also added.



SMART AND SOPHISTICATED Garrigues separated the foyer and living room by adding curtains to this elegant Palm Beach home.

The Elephant’s Foot

design into a modern one. “We added architectural details to the open living room and dining room, by bringing in beautiful, old mahogany pillars that we found in India,” Garrigues says. The 4,000-square-foot home took eight months to redesign with modern art, window shutters, scrims rather than curtains, and an enlarged fireplace that sets off an exotic Indian mirror. The white-on-white frieze placed underneath moldings encircling the living room was made from a plaster cast from Morocco. “We kept some older pieces of furniture, which, sitting in a cleaner environment of pale creamy walls, really added a lot,” Garrigues says. “The look added clarity to the home’s interior.”


Garrigues also updated another home in the community by replacing wornlooking chenilles with linens, and reinventing a bedroom by choosing a fourposter bed that added drama to the look. However, she cannot quite describe how she comes up with just the right look, since she experiences her insights as “a matter of knowledge, know-how, creativity, and sensitivity,” she says. “I take careful consideration of my clients’ needs and combine them with my many years of experience and daily inspirations to create just the right look.”

Photos: Tria Giovan

Garrigues’ work on a 6,500-square-foot oceanfront estate in North Palm Beach won acclaim in Florida International Magazine, which credits Garrigues for crafting the clients’ dream of a secluded oasis the moment they pulled up to the house. Garrigues drew from her world travels to integrate teak doors and columns that were remnants of temples in India and Indonesia into the home’s redesign. She took the design of a tile that her clients had brought from China and mimicked that into a stencil used on the ceiling of the loggia. She also incorporated art and antiques to give the feel of a rich variety of sensibilities. Garrigues also has gained attention for her work on a historic home on Chicago’s Gold Coast, once owned by famed real-estate developer Potter Palmer. Garrigues’ touches included curving cornices, a dining room painted red, and enormous pieces of contemporary art highlighted by the newly lit-up open spaces in the home.

A MESSAGE FROM Elephant’s Foot Since 1963, The Elephant’s Foot Antiques has been a major source of fine-quality British, European, and Asian antique furniture and decorative home furnishings. The 6,500-squarefoot showroom offers a vast, eclectic selection of lamps, mirrors, chandeliers, sterling silver, accessories, and much more. Well worth a visit!

A tradition of fine quality antique furniture, decorative home furnishings, lighting, and accessories since 1963.

3800 S. Dixie Highway West Palm Beach, FL 33405

561.832.0170 NOV / DEC 2010

luxury home quarterly



designer showcase

ARTISTIC ACCESSORIES The live, rough-cut edge of a huge marble backsplash is juxtaposed with a sleek vintage lucite and glass table, and chairs from Ligne Roset ( The artwork was designed and installed by Hacin + Associates, and uses vintage ceramic factory signage to create an abstract piece in shades of white.

Hacin + Associates Inc. One glance at Hacin + Associates Inc.’s portfolio reveals a broad range of experience, including residential, commercial, retail, public, and reuse projects. As the Boston firm’s founding principal, David Hacin has led his colleagues to hone their skills in each area to inform and diversify their residential designs. At Hacin + Associates, architectural and interior-design disciplines are integrated from the start, to achieve complete and harmonious projects. by Zach Baliva


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Concept Home at FP3 Boston, MA This Hacin + Associates-designed project is a 99-unit loft building that integrates two renovated 19th-century warehouses with a three-story modern penthouse addition. The Concept Home at FP3 combines vintage pieces with sleek, modern ones to create a mix of influences throughout. The freestanding tub and gray stone floor are standard fixtures for the penthouse units. Hacin + Associates also added a living wall in a niche and a floating blown-glass bubble sculpture, which was a collaboration with a local artist.

“I like to showcase materials in a direct way without creating complicated layers.� david hacin, founding principal

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designer showcase


taying busy in many areas allows David Hacin’s team to develop skills helpful in overlapping markets. Because the company works competently on international retail outlets, affordable housing units, and elegant private homes alike, its members have identified strategies and practices that work best in certain settings. “We like doing a wide scope of work because one kind of work positively influences another,” Hacin says. Since its incorporation in 1994, Hacin + Associates has developed a specialty in housing, having completed homes across the entire residential spectrum. Projects in other areas have changed how the company approaches a housing job. “We bring the best ideas from all other areas to the residential world,” Hacin says. His firm, for example, has worked with luxury retailers to develop prototype retail stores. Now he can infuse unique commercial practices into the design of a residential bathroom by improving bathroomvanity lighting and selecting stain-resistant materials.


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Hacin describes his style as “clean and contemporary, yet timeless.” He prefers to spend as much time as possible with each client, to study his or her needs, habits, rituals, and taste. “Knowing how someone cooks or entertains informs big and small things about a design,” he says. The firm provides full architectural and interior-design services. Working closely with a client, therefore, becomes an essential element to creating a successful dream home. Clarity and efficiency are also important stylistic elements. While each Hacin design is influenced by its client, the associates always work to present clear geometries and an honest use of materials. “I like to showcase materials in a direct way without creating complicated layers,” Hacin explains. A beautiful walnut panel or a piece of stone, for example, should be highlighted in a simple and graceful way that doesn’t confuse or distract the viewer. A Boston location demands the practice be well versed in renovation, restoration, and historic preservation. In fact, it was a combination of those

Beacon Street Penthouse Boston, MA The renovation of this Back Bay penthouse opened up a compartmentalized floor plan with axial connections throughout, and features a contemporary sensability with its custom pieces, such as the fireplace and chandelier in the dining room (left), which is directly connected to the media room, living room, foyer, and kitchen. A custom-designed limestone and marble fireplace anchors the formal living room (above) with a hand-forged firescreen made of bronze nails.

opportunities that helped draw Hacin away from his native Switzerland, where his father is an architect. Instead of returning home to run the family business, Hacin opted to stay in New England after falling in love with the region’s combination of old and new designs coupled with its inviting creative opportunities. He opened his practice in the perfect neighborhood: Boston’s artistic and diverse South End, which is filled with 19th-century row houses peppered with Victorian and Revival homes. Not only is the community listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is one of the city’s landmark districts. The Beacon Street penthouse represents one of Hacin + Associates’ most recent accomplishments. The Boston apartment boasts a flowing, modern floor plan created for suburban clients. The residence consists of 3,000 square feet situated in a vintage 1920s building in Boston’s Back Bay. The clients, Hacin recalls, were interested in creating a contemporary and refined space that respected the character of the original building while incorporating a modern twist. Like many Boston projects, the Beacon Street residence required technical proficiency and several system upgrades, including those to HVAC and lighting. Hacin dealt with spatial problems by maximizing continuity through ongoing motifs. A series of folding and sliding doors allow for alternating periods of privacy and community for the design built around the kitchen and living areas. As the owners are cooking enthusiasts, Hacin


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Double Access The owners bought a dilapidated historic firehouse in Newport, RI, hoping to renovate it into a new home. Partway through the process, it was discovered that the old sandy mortar had disintegrated, and the house had to be completely dismantled. The bricks were stored and numbered, and reassembled around a new structural system into a sunny modern home with sustainable elements, such as a geothermal system, high-quality insulation, and excellent daylighting. Hacin + Associates incorporated a soaking tub, wrapped in a gray stone surround, which opened to the master bath on one side and the bedroom on the other, connecting the two rooms directly. The master suite has the clean, subtle aesthetic of a luxury hotel.

created a highly functional culinary area where cabinetry and wood paneling blend together to flow seamlessly with the rest of the residence. The Beacon Street project was completed in 2008, and shows how simple, timeless designs can breathe life into historic spaces. The unit had not been heavily renovated in several decades and therefore felt boxy and subdivided. Hacin designed view corridors as a remedy to open the space and provide vistas of downtown Boston, the Back Bay, and the Charles River. A large and diverse team of design professionals keeps the firm moving forward as it looks for new ways to innovate. Hacin + Associates is a unique and innovative practice of which the rest of the industry is taking notice. Two recent projects, FP3 and the Project Place Gatehouse, received national and regional AIA Awards. With a growing international portfolio, Hacin + Associates is proving that the firm’s strength lies in its refusal to be limited by expectations and boundaries.


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“We like doing a wide scope of work because one kind of work positively influences another.� david hacin, founding principal


Introducing The All-New • View the latest issue of Luxury Home Quarterly in a full-sized readable format • Get inspired by featured projects, builders, architects, and designers • Discover what’s in store for upcoming issues, and how your company can get involved • Find out what events the Luxury Home Quarterly staff will be attending and more!

Boston's premier source for  all types of Natural Stone  - SINCE 1948 - 

tel 617 241 7900 | fax 617 241 5895 NOV / DEC 2010

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Photo: tom arban

547 Rutherford Avenue Boston, MA 

designer showcase

Park Avenue Duplex This unique-looking foyer creates entrances to the kitchen, office, living room, and staircase to the duplex’s lower level. Diane Burgio Design did the architecture/design and worked with Pol Theis, of P&T Interiors, on the decoration (

Diane Burgio Design Harmonious proportions and eye-pleasing colors and textures are hallmarks of Diane Burgio Design’s style. As one of the country’s most respected and talented interior designers, principal Diane Burgio’s style is to merge contrasting styles, from the modern to the formal, from the classical to the exotic. “Today, designers have an unparalleled freedom to do this and create your own signature style,” says Diane Burgio, who founded her firm in Long Island City, NY, in 1999. by Daniel Casciato


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CUSTOM CREATIONS Burgio designed this living room to incorporate a built-in motorized projection screen, custom built-in storage along the window wall, and Paola Lenti sectional furniture throughout (


ver the last 11 years, Burgio’s firm, which offers complete interior-design and decorating services, as well as full-scale interior architectural redesigns, has established itself as a niche New York–based design firm that creates sophisticated yet exceptionally comfortable interiors reflecting the personalities and lifestyles of its clients.

feels like I should be living there, or someone else should be living there; it should reflect them, their lifestyle, and their family. Sure there are pieces of ‘me’ in that overall feeling, since this is a very intimate process we go through together—from knowing how your client likes to sleep to how they fold their clothes—but when they walk in that front door, they should feel like they’re home.”

“With the wealth of what we have at our disposal and fingertips, fabrics, materials, colors, textures—whatever my clients and I dream up—I can now make it a reality for them, and the creativity that is generated is staggering,” Burgio says. “I don’t want my clients walking into a home that

Specializing in both residential and commercial design, Burgio’s design studio has completed apartments, high-end residences, retail spaces, and restaurants in Manhattan, the Hamptons, New York, Los Angeles, Connecticut, Monaco, and Mexico. Some of the firm’s current projects include a condo-

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“With the wealth of what we have at our disposal and fingertips, fabrics, materials, colors, textures—whatever my clients and I dream up—I can now make it a reality for them, and the creativity that is generated is staggering.” diane burgio, principal 104

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HIGHLY MODERN The firm used custom wallpaper by P&T Interiors’ Pol Theis for this custom kitchen (

designer showcase

A UNIQUE DESIGN SENSE This Burgio-designed master bedroom features her unique design elements, with shagreen side tables and Galerie des Lampes bedside lamps (

minium apartment in Philip Johnson’s Urban Glass House and designing an extreme-fitness retreat in Costa Rica, along with personal trainer You-Lee Rodriguez and the owner of Del Mar Surf Camp, Maria del Mar. Burgio founded her firm after honing her craft for six years with renowned designer Robert Couturier. “This was the beginning of my life,” she says. “My work with Robert changed my life, from my creativity, my experience, to my personal life. I traveled around the globe for him, and it was truly the most amazing job I ever had.” After almost six years with Robert, the opportunity came along to work on her own project. So, with one client in her pocket and a business partner, she started her own firm. “It was not an easy decision to leave Robert’s office and do this on my own,” she admits, “but I thought if I did not try it, I would kick myself later for not trying.” For the future, Burgio is looking to steer her firm in two directions. Along with maintaining residential projects, she hopes to work on a hotel and/or a residential-development project. Whether it is a small boutique hotel, or a luxury hotel within a development, or a developed residential community here or abroad, she would love to explore and get involved with this type of

FUNCTIONAL SETTINGS This children’s bedroom and play room features built-in sectional seating.

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designer showcase

design. “I love staying in hotels, and the thought of designing one is beyond a huge dream of mine,” she says. The other direction she is steering toward is the direction of home accessories. In 2009, Burgio, along with her associate Nicole Porter, incorporated a separate company—called DNA, Home—which offers a line of classically modern yet traditionally handcrafted home decorative accessories. The company started out with a line of decorative pillows. “We started this because, while shopping for our clients, we were stumped when it came to finding beautiful, affordable, decorative pillows,” Burgio says. “If we found something we loved and was readily available, it was $450–500 for a throw pillow, which is sometimes hard to justify to a client—especially when you need eight of them. Otherwise, what we did find was either not that attractive, poor quality, or just plain boring.” So out of this sheer frustration, they started their own line of custom pillows. This then evolved into throws, place mattes, and other home accessories. “The importance to us was to create accessories that work with a multitude of interiors that are extremely well made, yet affordable and readily available,” Burgio says. “For the future, I would love to have the capability to elaborate on the accessory line and ideally be able to bring them to people other than our clients.”


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Wine Cellar Hampton Cottages & Gardens Idea House, Sagaponack, New York The wine cellar features a photograph of a couple sharing a bottle of Cheteau Lafite-Rothscilde, shot by Bert Stern for Vogue magazine in the 1960s. Burgio chose the picture because of its uniqueness and because it brings together the feeling of the wine room. Designed by Diane Burgio Design, and fabricated by Hooked on Wood (, the wine cellar’s cabinetry features walnut with a clear wax finish. Since the main feature of the room is the wine storage itself, Burgio designed a rack system based on specificsized cubes with modern reveals that give the room a more contemporary feel while serving a traditional purpose. The lacquered goatskin table from Todd Merrill Antiques (, designed by Karl Springer, and lizard-embossed blue leather chairs from Lobel Modern ( help keep the room feeling warm, even in the temperature-controlled setting.

Thanks to Mark Martinez at Interior Management for the pleasure of working with you throughout the decade

New York’s top architects and biggest flooring retailers agree that Michael Savino is the go-to guy for wood flooring.

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LHQ Nov/Dec 2010 Interior Management Inc - Greg Yale Associates4/30/10 1/3.indd12:21 1 AM

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Fall into Luxury Fall Out Boy lead guitarist Joe Trohman’s Chicago townhouse required a complete gut rehab by SRMB, which installed three baths, a new kitchen, and a Zen garden and koy pond in the backyard. This dining room features Cherner chairs (, an Xpand dining table from Pauline Grace (, and a Benjamin Moore blackboard-painted wall (

Living Like a Rock Star SR McGuire Builders is Chicago’s premiere custom contractor for high-profile celebrity clientele by Christopher Cussat


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FASHIONABLE LIVING Trohman’s living room features ebonized oak floors and Luminaire Couches and chairs ( The kitchen (below) features Leicht cabinetry (, a Caesarstone Blizzard island countertop (, and a Waterworks glass mosaic backsplash (


teven McGuire was not always the ‘go to’ Chicago contractor for athletes, television, movie, and rock stars. But the president of SR McGuire Builders (SRMB) has taken his years of experience in building and plumbing, and combined them with a promise of quality and a formula for low overhead to become just that.

After his service in the Navy, working on a ship as a boiler technician, McGuire started his professional career as an apprentice plumber in 1977. This trade carried into his building career, and McGuire started SRMB in 1986. As a contractor in Chicago, McGuire believes his plumbing experience has greatly helped him to be successful as a builder. “Most general contractors are from various trades, usually carpentry,” he says. “Plumbers get a good view of jobs because they are there from start to finish.” McGuire’s quality work and professionalism has led to many celebrity clients—a result, he says, of SRMB’s great reputation and also of having an interesting client who was in the public eye early in his career. “One of the first well-known clients I worked for was a local investigative reporter who uncovers things like bad contractors and people getting ripped off by bad companies,” he says. “I did a lot of work for her and, of course, people call her when they’re really worried about hiring somebody—so I’m sure I got some good referrals from her!”

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CUSTOM CHICAGO LOFT The music room (top) features a guitar collection and custom-lacquered oversized shelves for a toy collection. The bedroom (above left) features a sandblasted wall partition and a custom platform bed, and the backyard has a Zen garden and koi pond.


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Today, SRMB does all types of construction jobs, mostly high-end, and the company retains many celebrity clients, including other local news people, players and coaches for the Chicago Bulls, New York Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi, movie critic Roger Ebert, and film star Joan Cusack. “We remodeled the homes of Joe Trohman, lead guitarist for Fall Out Boy, in Chicago, and we are wrapping up the home of Andy Hurley, the band’s drummer, whose home is in Milwaukee,” McGuire says. The company is also in the design phase of Trohman’s New York condo, as well as an HGTV project that was recently featured on the television show New Spaces. The complete loft was bought, designed, and built by SRMB.

“Most of our clients are longtime customers, and one call to us is all that is needed for anything in their homes.�

PERSONALIZED PADS The Trohman foyer features anchored moss wall art, and honeycombshaped black marble tile flooring by Ann Sacks ( The staircaise, with a custom light box underneath, has open-air stair treads with natural steel wall partitions, designed by SRMB and Ewing Design Group (

Steven McGuire, President

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HGTV Gut Rehab Recently featured on HGTV’s New Spaces, SRMB performed a complete gut rehab of an old Nabisco factory in the West Loop area of Chicago. The project’s elevated living room features exposed beams, custom steel-wire and metal railings, Lumetta lighting fixtures (, and a custom fireplace surround of anodized glass. The master bath (right) features Fendi/Armani-like coloring accents, and fixtures by Cittero for Hansgrohe (, a Kohler sink (, ebonized mahogany wood, blacktoned marble vanity tops, limestone and black-subway tile, and a sandblasted-glass shower stall.


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SR McGuire Builders Since 1984, S. R. McGuire Builders has been at the forefront of finely constructed homes & environments in the greater Chicago area. In over 20 years in business, owner Steven R. McGuire has assembled a team of trades people, subcontractors, engineers, & artisans who share his commitment to quality, timelines, value, and customer satisfaction. This dedication to customer satisfaction is the reason that top architectural firms & discerning home owners seek out the services of

S.R. McGuire Builders.

McGuire says that his company’s competitive edge is from a combination of his experience and the fact that SRMB is comprised of all longtime employees. He also notes that having two businesses (SRMB and Devon Plumbing) is also advantageous because operational costs are shared, which keeps overhead down. “Since I’m both a general contractor and a plumbing contractor, I can run my two companies more efficiently,” he explains. For example, McGuire’s employees somewhat overlap, and he runs both companies out of the same shop. “I also think we’re more competitive because I’m sharing the overhead between two companies, which can bring my prices down a little more competitively.”

CONTACT US TODAY AT: 773.617.4946

Clients seem to prefer SRMB’s one-stop-shop structure, because McGuire and his team can do most of the construction and plumbing work in-house. “Every time you hire a company, you’re paying their overhead,” he says, “so the more we can do in-house, the better we can work more efficiently—and certainly save people money while still doing a quality job.” SRMB’s future goals are to keep doing what it is doing and not to grow any more right now. “I’m a hands-on kind of person—and there was a time when we were bigger, and things got a little bit out of control, so I scaled back to make it more manageable for me,” McGuire says. “I don’t think you should be really small, but you can get too big—and then a bad economy comes along and you can get eaten up alive really quickly with your overhead.” At this time, McGuire knows the limits of what he can do, and feels like he can really manage and oversee everything while keeping the quality high. “I’m pretty satisfied with where I’m at now,” he adds. According to McGuire, the secret to SRMB’s success is through picking and choosing the right projects and being an on-site, visible manager. “I like to be very involved,” he says, “and I know that the clients want to see me at their houses often.” He notes that the ability to see a project through to completion and being sensitive to customers’ needs are key to his business, as well. “We always try to finish strong on project and finish on time,” he adds. “Most of our clients are longtime customers, and one call to us is all that is needed for anything in their homes. We do great work at a fair price, and we will be there long after completion.”

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New York Style Interior Management, Inc. renovates Manhattan’s high-end homes from the ground up by Zach Baliva

960 Park Avenue Combining an elegant marble floor with detailed plaster over-door details and paneled mahogany doors, IMI was able to create the warm glow of a sophisticated art gallery inside this stately Park Avenue apartment.


lthough he is the president of a company that works with some of Manhattan’s most distinguished homeowners, Mark Martinez remembers long days spent pushing brooms and peeling wallpaper. His company, Interior Management, Inc. (IMI) was started by his father in 1985, and Martinez spent his early years performing menial jobs. He began his career at the company’s bottom rung while working his way through college, but now he is at the top of the high-end interior-renovation company.

Martinez, who took over in 2002, says his varied experience helps him run a successful business. “I’ve participated in work at all levels and all stages of the company and can’t remember a time when I wasn’t around expert craftsmen, watching them and asking them questions every day,” he says. IMI serves only the highest of high-end residential clients. As president, Martinez is a bridge between customers and craftsmen. His unique background facilitates communication between both groups. Martinez studied at the New York School of Interior Design, but it was the craftsmen, architects, and designers who provided his real-world industry education.

West 13th Street For a young and growing family in New York’s Greenwich Village, IMI combined three adjacent apartments to create this expansive 6,000-square-foot space that the clients now proudly call home. Highlights of the dining room include two custom-made, stainlesssteel built-ins, which were first handcrafted by a millworker and then clad in stainless steel by a highly skilled metal fabricator.

Martinez’s father built a home for IMI in the ultrahigh-end niche after meeting an architect and designer who needed a sophisticated general contractor to manage top-level jobs. IMI stepped in to fill the void, and soon found increasing success as early clients referred the company to their friends and neighbors. Soon, IMI’s reputation as Manhattan’s leading luxury-home designer and renovator was created. “We set out to make every project perfect,”

Martinez says. “When you have a small business, nothing is more important than reputation.You must exceed expectations every time, so whenever your name comes up, it is only accompanied by great words.” Now IMI’s portfolio includes projects on Park Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and Central Park West. Providing general-construction and constructionmanagement services to such affluent customers presents unique challenges. “Our high-end clients are looking for their home to be a representation of themselves,” Martinez says. “They don’t want a home that looks like their neighbor’s.” IMI creates original and custom elements for each home without repeating previous designs—everything is done from scratch. Most projects include exclusive elements like home-automation systems and the use of exotic materials. All of this custom work is often done at summer-only residences—meaning all work must be completed during the summer months. Such restrictions are nothing new to IMI, though, as the company has always prided itself on

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Manhattan Apartment Perched over Central Park in one of New York’s premiere Upper West Side buildings, IMI converted a plain white box into an open and airy home for a young family. As transplants from the West Coast of the country to the west side of New York, the clients felt that the design aesthetics of their new home should reflect their native roots. Bleached zebrawood floors and Venetian plaster walls helped lay the groundwork for this highend, no-fuss apartment.

the ability to finish projects on-time, within budget, and beyond expectations. While Interior Management occasionally performs new construction, 90 percent of its work is renovation of Manhattan properties, while the remainder of the company’s projects are weekend homes in Greenwich, New Jersey, and the Hamptons. Whether old or new, New York or New Jersey, Martinez and his staff always aim to create unique spaces working with top architects, tradesmen, and vendors. “We collaborate with all disciplines and clients to figure out how to best use the space of a renovation project,” Martinez says, adding that signature design features include architectural millwork, elegant lighting designs, and use of scale; by shrinking or raising the scale of an item by the smallest percentage, Martinez can dramatically changes a room’s atmosphere. “Small details such as subtle lighting design or small adjustments in scale might not be noticed individually, but collectively they enhance a space tremendously,” he says. “There are thousands of tiny details that go into each project, but each contributes a great deal to a home’s overall beauty.” Furthermore, almost every aspect of each project is customizable. Martinez and his team hand-select all wood, which is laid out by hand and colored with custom-mixed stains. Every detail is painstakingly monitored so that each piece will be right for the individual client and the individual space. With 40 employees, including 10 project managers, IMI simultaneously handles 10 large projects that range in size from 3,000 to 10,000 square feet. Additionally, the company retains a client-service department to provide touch-ups in perpetuity. “Our service department allows us to surpass expectations and requests from busy and affluent customers,” Martinez explains, adding that the practice has existed since the company’s first year. When Martinez was a young man growing up in his father’s company, he learned that customer service and reputation are the biggest factors to a general contractor’s success. His father may have retired in 2002, but his ideas and principles live on at Interior Management, Inc.

Bridgehampton Home The family wanted the kitchen to be the heart of the home, which required it have a few essential characteristics: it had to serve as a gathering place where all the family members could sit comfortably, it had to feel warm and inviting despite its size, and it had to function as an entertaining kitchen for larger events. All of this was achieved by installing custommade rift-cut oak cabinets with two oversized islands, and enough counter space to satisfy even the most demanding caterers.


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Sun & Shade The Fieldview home, by Blaze Makoid Architecture, is a contemporary East Hampton retreat designed for New York entertaining by Ruth E. Dávila

A PRIVATE RETREAT The Fieldview home is comprised of three primary volumes arranged in a ‘C’ that frame the expansive southern view of an adjacet, agricultural reserve. The arrangement, assisted by a series of pushed-and-pulled planes, maximizes the ability to modulate the various sunlight requirements while creating more intimate indoor and outdoor functions, such as swimming, dining, sunning, lounging, or sleeping.

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ROOF ROOM This Chicago BESThistoric OF BOTH home’s WORLDS roof room incorporates The home’s a modern 55-foot-long mix of design gunite elements, pool including at thearear Swing of the Leather house Chair designedwelcomes by Greg adn the Roche visitor’s Dry eye, foras Egg seen Designs from ( the entrance vestibule and living room, separating the shared spaces of the home from the private areas.


n the Fieldview home, a modern East Hampton residence, Manhattanites seeking respite can achieve the best of both worlds—peaceful privacy and group entertainment. Standing two stories high on a flat, one-acre lot, the home’s angular lines pierce the sky. A sleek structure frames 4,000 square feet of airy interiors and outdoor living areas, all arranged in an ingenious “C” design. “The idea was that you would always be seeing through an outside space to another part of the building,” says Blaze Makoid, owner of Blaze Makoid Architecture, the home’s designer. “It was a layering strategy; you can always see across the outside to another inside space.” Makoid likens the construction to the concept of a sundial. Sun pierces through floor-to-ceiling glass facing south, visually connecting the inside of the home with an expansive outdoor deck. Throughout the day, rays of light migrate around the house, illuminating areas marked for different activities at key times—swimming, dining, sunning, lounging, and sleeping. To Makoid, whose firm operates out of Bridgehampton, New York, it was a rare delight to indulge in an expansive floorplan. “A lot of the properties we work on in our office are fairly tight,” he says. “Most of the time they are waterfront, so there are a lot of restrictions. Even if it’s a large house, it has to be compact. But this was a house where we had room to move.” A snapshot of modern architecture, this Hamptons retreat maintains a secluded feel, though nestled between neighbors. Fieldview’s entryway boasts an exag-


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gerated uplit canopy. The home is enveloped in center-match western red cedar, while windows and doors are commercial aluminum. Mostly solid walls extending around the front and three sides of the home help modulate temperature and protect the privacy of the owners and guests. The layout of the interior of the home, divvied into three cubes, offers a level of discretion. “In the morning, you could walk out of the master suite on the ground level and take a dip in the pool before having to cross paths with your guests,” Makoid says. Additionally, both manmade and natural scenery adorn the view. “We always like looking at the foreground, middle ground, and background,” Makoid says. Windows in all the bedrooms—the master and three additional bedrooms directly atop, all equipped with private bathrooms—face an adjacent agricultural reserve whose winding trees recall a Van Gogh painting. In addition to the farmland, the 16’ x 20’ master quarters overlook the pool. A signature design highlight in the master bedroom is a custom “dressing suite” separated by a wall of teak panels, a sophisticated closet alternative. And the master bathtub, a spa by Kohler, features a four-sided infinity edge. On the opposite side of the bedrooms, the common room of the house consists of an interconnected kitchen, living room, and dining area. The high-end kitchen relies only on a single wall of cabinetry and lower-level cabinets, to blend with the rest of the space. This open area enjoys a view of a chic deck, backed by a glistening 65-foot swimming pool. Makoid cites the limestone pool as one of

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“In the morning, you could walk out of the master suite on the ground level and take a dip in the pool before having to cross paths with your guests.” blaze makoid, owner

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ROOMS WITH A VIEW Fieldview is protected by rows of mature evergreens on three sides. The open end directly facing one of the village’s oldest mature working farms provides a southern exposure with glorious morning sun.


n the Fieldview home, a modern East Hampton residence, Manhattanites seeking respite can achieve the best of both worlds—peaceful privacy and group entertainment. Standing two stories high on a flat, one-acre lot, the home’s angular lines pierce the sky. A sleek structure frames 4,000 square feet of airy interiors and outdoor living areas, all arranged in an ingenious “C” design. “The idea was that you would always be seeing through an outside space to another part of the building,” says Blaze Makoid, owner of Blaze Makoid Architecture, the home’s designer. “It was a layering strategy; you can always see across the outside to another inside space.” Makoid likens the construction to the concept of a sundial. Sun pierces through floor-to-ceiling glass facing south, visually connecting the inside of the home with an expansive outdoor deck. Throughout the day, rays of light migrate around the house, illuminating areas marked for different activities at key times—swimming, dining, sunning, lounging, and sleeping. To Makoid, whose firm operates out of Bridgehampton, New York, it was a rare delight to indulge in an expansive floorplan. “A lot of the properties we work on in our office are fairly tight,” he says. “Most of the time they are waterfront, so there are a lot of restrictions. Even if it’s a large house, it has to be compact. But this was a house where we had room to move.”


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BRIGHT IDEAS The home’s floor-to-ceiling windows allow for expansive views and natural daylighting while visually connecting the inside with the outdoor deck.

“When you walk into this house and use it, you live a luxurious lifestyle. It’s all about recreation, not about day-to-day life. It’s about coming out to put work aside and enjoying yourself. That in itself is a luxury.” blaze makoid, owner

Condon Engineering, P.C. New York State Licensed Professional Engineers

COMBINED LIVING SPACE The Fieldview home features an open-plan layout, combining the living room, dining room, and kitchen through the entry foyer.

1755 Sigsbee Road Mattituck, NY 11952 Phone: (631) 298-1986 Fax: (631) 298-2651 Website: E-mail:

Condon Engineering, P.C. has been teaming with Blaze Makoid Architecture to provide structural and mechanical engineering on a variety of residential projects over the course of approximately four years. Blaze’s projects offer a wide range of unique challenges and opportunities. It is always a pleasure to work with him. Condon Engineering, P.C. is a family owned and operated business whose principals have over 35 years of professional experience. Condon Engineering, P.C. offers a wide range of engineering services including: • Structural Engineering Design Services • Electrical Engineering Design Services • HVAC Engineering Design Services • Plumbing Engineering Design Services • Civil-Site Engineering Design Services • Energy Star Home Rating Services • Building Problem/Defect Investigation and Resolution • Pre Purchase Building Inspections Residential and Commercial With our experience offering multiple disciplines of engineering services, this eliminates the need for additional engineering consultants and associated coordination.


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jobs. Now, heading a staff of four, he has returned to designing luxury homes and smaller, commercial projects, and thrives on the interaction with his clients. However rewarding, residential projects come with their own challenges, and this one is no exception. Essentially, Makoid had to convert the blueprints of one woman’s oasis into a home that would appeal to a much broader profile. “In the middle of framing, the project brief shifted from being a house for the owner to a development project,” Makoid says. “Without changing the footprint of the house, we had to accommodate a theater and additional bedroom and bath.” To Makoid’s credit, this property’s best design feature is the design itself. Although the Zen-like lines and décor may not be lavish, Makoid says the home is rich in its functionality. “When you walk into this house and use it, you live a luxurious lifestyle,” he says. “It’s all about recreation, not about day-to-day life. It’s about coming out to put work aside and enjoying yourself. That in itself is a luxury.” 631-727-2760 World’d Most Efficient Systems

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GROUP ENTERTAINMENT The home’s pool and 16’ x 24’ outdoor dining area is an ideal setting for family and friends.

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HISTORICAL HOMES The Finlay-restored Mount Fair home features an arcade, or breezeway, that connects the mudroom with the hunting room, and looks out to the gardens on both the east and west elevations.

Photo: Durston Saylor

East-coast comfort Mark P. Finlay Architects designs artistic and practical homes that work for modern families by Zach Baliva NOV / DEC 2010

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MounT FAIR Located in Charlottesville, VA, the Mount Fair project spans a 200-acre farm in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The historical restoration involved all buildings on the 1747 property, including a 2.5-story Greek Revival home. The addition designed on the home’s west elevation includes a new kitchen, mudroom, breezeway, garage, hunting room, office, exercise room, and indoor pool. This addition was designed to match the existing home’s clapboard siding and slate roof. And the new horse barn (opposite page) was constructed to match the aesthetic of the original main residence.


t’s not often that a fourteen-year-old gets to design his own home, but Mark Finlay did. Finlay, president and CEO of Mark P. Finlay Architects, AIA, says his interest in design started on family property in Illinois, where he designed and built elaborate cages for several pets. When the family made the decision to move to Connecticut, Finlay and his father designed their new house on graph paper and sent the plans to a builder. “I saw what the draftsman did with our design and I knew that I could do that,” Finlay recalls. Family dynamics had an additional influence on the amateur architect—a practical father and


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artistic mother instilled in him two opposite qualities important in the industry, and his first house reflected both. The standard Colonial was built with elegant and oversized windows. “Even then, I knew that the plan’s connection with the landscape and the transparency of the building were important in creating a livable space,” he says. Those memories are now more than 40 years past, and Mark. P. Finlay Architects, AIA has been in business for the last 26. Finlay still draws upon his knack for creating an artistic and practical home, and concentrates on custom residences, commercial properties, historical restorations, and clubhouse designs.

Finlay always concerns himself with his clients’ comfort. “I design from the inside out and consider a project’s relationship to the land, orientation, and lighting. Everything is so important in making a home comfortable,” he explains, adding that great living spaces are born when an architect pays close attention to interior proportion. “I don’t think there are many architects who fully grasp the concept of interior proportions, which encompass light, detailing, texture, materials, etc.” His clients often claim an intangible quality makes them “feel good,” which Finlay attributes to his use of proportion and scale. A mastery of horizontal lines, window placement, and proportions help Finlay find design success in both large

“I design from the inside out and consider a project’s relationship to the land, orientation, and lighting. Everything is so important in making a home comfortable.” Mark Finlay, President & CEO

Photos: Durston Saylor

and small spaces. Clients would agree—Finlay has 40 repeat clients and has completed seven projects for one family. One client, a sailor, hired Finlay to finish the master plan for 50 acres on an oceanfront property in Newport, Rhode Island. The final design will include the main house, a caretaker’s house, a guest cottage, a barn, and a carriage house. Two of the five buildings have been built, and the others are in the planning stages. Finlay oriented the guest cottage toward the southeast-facing cove to maximize morning sun on its façade. The 6,400-square-foot building was

built for entertaining the sailor’s crew and includes a finished basement with a wine cellar, guest rooms, and a bunk room with queen-size bunk beds. Like many of Finlay’s other projects, the cottage was designed with comfort in mind; everything is warm and oversized to match the scale of the interior spaces. The building is designed to open into the landscape. Guests open the doors from the living room or kitchen and step onto a roomy terrace with a fire pit, pool, and outdoor cooking facilities. “I like to create loops in the plan so anyone moving around has choices when navigating,” Finlay says. “It makes the plan friendly for everyone.” The es-

tate is fashioned after what the Vanderbilts and others were building in Newport in the 1800s. Another Finlay project, Mount Fair, spans a 200acre farm in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The historical restoration covers all buildings on the circa-1747 property, including a 2.5-story Greek Revival home. The original residence stood without any major renovations until a kitchen was added in the 1950s. In 2003, Finlay was hired to design the master plan and restore and update the site to fit a young family’s lifestyle. He and his team renovated the main house and designed an addition with clapboard

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the plans MOUNT FAIR REJUVINATION The living room was actually part of the existing house and remained relatively untouched during renovation. The firm created the fireplace and added custom mouldings.


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27 GROVE STREET NEW CANAAN, CT 06840 203.966.0726


330 MADISON AVE, 9TH FLOOR NEW YORK, NY 10017 212.388.0042

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EAST-COAST COMFORT OUTSIDE-IN THEMES The dynamic use of Indiana Buff Limestone merged interior and exterior themes in the Newport home. Finlay used it for the fireplace in both the great room and master bedroom.

3 Key Design Elements, Newport Home 1. A graduated, unfading, gray slate roof helps the home blend into the hillside, which was important since the master house sits at the hill’s crest. 2. The local Newport stone used throughout the home helps recall the area’s heritage and tie the space to its surroundings. 3. Zeluck Windows, an American brand, is very high quality, making them perfect for the home’s exposed spot on the ocean.


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siding and a copper roof to match existing historical architectural elements. The architect added geothermal heating and cooling and allocated a one-acre sector for a solar field. All buildings were modernized, with the icehouse and spring house becoming guest cottages with full baths. Finlay also designed a new horse barn, various farm buildings, and a caretaker’s cottage. The completed Mount Fair project, restored to its 19th-century aesthetic, functions well for a modern family and has become one of the area’s finest antebellum farms. Mark Finlay has come a long way since sketching his own home as a young man 40 years ago. Now, the architect designs small- to large-scale high-end homes, vast historic estates, leading golf resorts, and trademark commercial buildings. Still, he’s found success by relying on and honing the creative instincts he’s always had. Like his family’s Colonial home, each Finlay project serves its client’s needs without sacrificing beauty or comfort.

Photos: Larry Lambrecht

NEWPORT COTTAGE The terrace, which overlooks a cove and the ocean beyond, has an infinity-edge pool, hot tub, and an outdoor cooking area. This space is easily accessed from the kitchen and the living room’s French doors, which open out to the space.



HIGHLAND DESIGN GARDENS D e s i g n • I n s t a l l at i o n • M a i n tenance

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Educator, Architect, Artist

Joeb Moore sheds light on the social context of residential design by Susan Flowers


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or many outside the world of architecture, the field seems like the ultimate left-brain pursuit, dominated solely by the need for precision and technique. For Joeb Moore, however, architecture is an art form, with meaning and application in a much broader social context than is traditionally believed. Moore, who teaches at Columbia and Yale in addition to operating his own successful firm, is convinced that architecture “is the most profound and the most political of all the arts because we live in it.”

That approach, of seeing homes as part of a larger community and as expressions of the needs of its inhabitants, is at the heart of his work at Joeb Moore + Partners Architects, LLC. Moore says that at his company the design process is less a delivery of services than a collaboration between designer and client. The process, he says, is often transformative, with clients and architects alike seeing new possibilities for their houses. “We closely and carefully consider our clients’ needs, and we’re also closely and carefully looking at the site,” he says. “What emerges is an unexpected set of relations, a social-spatial event that emerges from the process itself, unique in its situational aesthetic.” This start-from-scratch approach means that Joeb Moore + Partners doesn’t have a signature style, but instead works with clients to create projects unique to owners and their circumstances.

MODERN HOMES The contemporary Bridge House is a stark contrast to its surrounding Connecticut landscape.

Moore’s broad, social-based approach to architecture is also foundational to his academic work. In his first-year graduate-housing studio at Yale, students spend the first two-thirds of the semester understanding the idea of cohabiting in tight physical and social spaces, “so that [they] have to negotiate the idea of dwelling as being about the other, a dialogue between two inhabitants,” he says. “The research and the work is meant to bring you into close, even awkwardly close proximity, to someone or ‘other.’” Close proximity to another person forces the invention of an architectural coupling device or spatial interface that produces awareness of and reciprocity with another person, Moore says. At the same time, inhabitants negotiate and define their own space and activities as codependent and interactive. The studio concludes with a student-built, community-based housing project sponsored by Common Ground, the nationally recognized organization that assists low-income, disabled, homeless, and elderly people with housing.

Bridge House The Bridge House, located in Kent, CT, is integrated with the nearby Kent Falls to give the effect of literally popping up out of the landscape. Anchored on a hilltop by two opposing chimneys and a dual hearth, the interior of the Bridge House “makes continuous adjustments of internal relations, including functions, activities, and rituals, with external conditions, such as natural site, views, changing weather, light, and air,” Moore says. “In these chambers, the house creates a lifeworld suspended between land and air…The house oscillates between a tree house, a campground, and a cave all in one— in other words, a perfect vacation escape.”


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Moore’s enthusiasm for architecture on both an academic and practical level has its roots in his childhood. Fascinated as a young child by patterns in a classroom game that used colors and symbols as a substitute for words and sentences, he learned an important lesson, though not the one intended by his teachers. Moore discovered that “architecture, like dramatic writing, is a relational and deeply situational art,” he says. “It is the dialogue and the assemblage, the precise arrangement of words and objects, sentences and forms that, when precisely crafted and well positioned, can produce extraordinarily beautiful, sublime, and tragic recognition in the participant. It is the architectonic space between the words, in the joints and in the hinge spaces, that meaning is both discovered and destroyed. The meaning of the work is in its experience. It is in these moments of doubt, of paradox, and double meaning that architecture finds its expression as a social and psychological art form.” Although he went on to take architecture classes in high school, Moore took a detour from his path to the profession in college, where he majored in environmental economics and philosophy. After a short stint as a ski bum in Colorado, he returned to academia, eventually earning a master’s degree in architecture from Clemson University.

“The meaning of the work is in its experience. It is in these moments of doubt, of paradox, and double meaning that architecture finds its expression as a social and psychological art form.” Joeb Moore, Founder

PL44 PL44, in Greenwich, CT, is designed as a series of concrete boxes, masked by a continuous cedar lattice. Moore says that like the Bridge House, PL44 is a unique fit for its owners. “This second skin [the cedar lattice], like a membrane, passes over windows and joints, allowing only the slightest registration of planar shifts behind,” he says. “The resultant perceptual effect is one of both precision and ambiguity from interior and exterior…The hope is for an experience of ‘house’ that is profoundly open and flexible for the occupant; the house is not simply a place but rather a journey of discovery and homecoming.”

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Spiral House In keeping with its setting on the Long Island Sound, the Spiral House was created to exist in harmony with the ocean and to comply with strict federal, state, and local regulations. “The Spiral House seeks to engage, enhance and reflect the surrounding coastal climate and its atmospherics of light, air, and water,” Moore says. “Formally and spatially, the house is a direct and pragmatic response to the strict environmental and local zoning restrictions and regulations imposed on the building and site. Conceptually, the house is the resultant form and operation of an interface and tension between two systems of geometry—one fixed and the other dynamic. Through an overlapping system of spatial and geometric progression, growth, and interference, the social-spatial roles of public and private, interior and exterior, house and landscape are intimately connected and entwined, and yet are also left curiously open ended and indeterminate, much like the water itself.”

“Architecture is the most profound and the most political of all the arts because we live in it.”

Joeb Moore, Founder

Today, with his services sought by clients throughout the Northeast and with his academic career solidly established, he’s branching out to the retail arena, marketing a line of hardware and furniture. Based on his designs and those of his associates in the firm, Jake Watkins and Thalassa Curtis, the line encompasses items ranging from sofas to doorknobs. Moore’s ambitions aren’t stopping there, as he also plans to add construction management to his company’s services. Both in his practice and academic work, Moore says that he has remained committed to the idea that architecture is a material and social art that critically engages with the visual, social, and political history and culture of which it is an active part. Even with his demanding schedule, Moore still manages to spend time with his wife, a former architect who went on to become a pediatrician, and the couple’s two teenage sons. For Moore, finding balance is easy. “My work is what I love to do,” he says. “It doesn’t seem much of the time like work to me. Architecture is the lens by which I see the world in all of its complexity, diversity, beauty, and richness.” Kierkegaard once observed, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” For Moore, the same is true of architecture.


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20 BR UCE PARK AVENUE GREENWICH CT 06830 [T] 203.769.5828 [F] 203.769.5827

J O E B M O O R E + P A R T N E R S ARC H I T E C T S > L L C

What We Offer: interior doors | exterior doors screen/storm | screen porches louver doors | french doors ямБre doors | windows impacts & non impact doors


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MODERN CLASSIC Available in a variety of models in both wall-mounted and basin-mounted styles, the award-winning Story Faucet, manufactured by China-based Sheng Tai Brassware Co. and designed by Justime Design Team, showcases a playful curved and modern shape. Equipped with an detachable hose device, the fixture is a fully functional faucet—just one of many emerging trends in kitchen and bath design.


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THE LATEST LOOKs FOR K ITCHENS + BATHS Ten design movements that are sweeping the luxury-retail marketplace

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1. modular kitchens 36E8 CUCINA SYSTEM Created by Italian product designer Daniele Lago, the 36e8 Cucina System breaks away from rigid outlines and modularity, resulting in a uniquely designed kitchen. This revolutionary space takes a different approach to perception, overall dimensions, and solidity for kitchen suites. Storage units can be positioned horizontally or vertically and combined in numerous ways around a 36.8-cm x 36.8-cm grid, ensuring both design freedom and excellent responses in practical and functional terms.

BOXETTI LUNCH Moving even further away from any traditional kitchen design, the Boxetti Lunch serves as a multifunctional island unit containing all the necessary equipment for a standard kitchen space. Designed by Latvian designer Rolands Landsbergs, the unit is equipped with an automatic sliding surface, as well as a built-in sink with a tap. The sliding surface is equipped with a safety sensor to stop closing automatically if any hand movement is detected, and the work surface contains a closed space for tableware and a default set of kitchen knives. The top surface is foldable to uncover the oak cutting board, with the foldable cover showcasing a built-in LED spotlight. The unit also features two extensible bar seats, a space for built-in fridge, a standard set of shelves, and drawers. The main unit is made from corian, a material that is fully stable against abrasion, and is finished off with piano polish.


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kitchen+Bath trends

LIQUIDA Designed by Elisa and Stefano Giovannoni of Veneta Cucine, the Luquida kitchen uses an out-of-the-box design approach that optimizes the use of space into a truly innovative kitchen product. Made of high-performance, recyclable materials that serve a fully functional purpose the kitchen was designed to meet all requirements of a traditional kitchen. The suspended cooking zone takes on the appearance of a workbench that is protected and illuminated by the wall-mount cooker hood. The unit features a sink, oven, stovetop, refrigerator, and range hood, as well as cabinet storage space. The compact model houses all the functions required of a contemporary kitchen in a fluid, convenient manner. In addition, Liquida’s innovative accessory rail is wired for a stereo system and USB ports.

TIVALI The Tivali larder component, designed by Dante Bonuccelli and manufactured by Dada SPA, is equipped with many technical details to facilitate food preparation. The unit complements a design-oriented living-room interior, as it creates an open kitchen atmosphere. The individual elements blend together to create a unified whole. When the component is opened, it reveals a high-grade workspace with functional, technically sophisticated features. The extendable worktop, made of stainless steel, features generously dimensioned drawers for storage. Additionally, Tivali includes a shelf with built-in lighting, a utensil bar, outlets for appliances, glass shelves with compartments, and racks for spices.

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kitchen+Bath trends

MODERN KITCHEN Dutch firm Paul van de Kooi’s modern kitchen features minimalist style.

2. think pink OPTIK BATH The Optik Post-Minimalist Bathtub, designed by Maax, features curvaceous armrests fused with smooth edges.

SILESTONE LOVE2YOU Silestone’s LOVE2YOU series is the latest in the quartz-countertop company’s expansive color offering. The LOVE2YOU series features two signature colors: Love, a striking pink hue; and You, a stylish lilac color. This series, whose colors were specifically designed to raise awareness for cancer, adds to the long line of Silestone’s innovative countertop material, which is the only one with built-in antimicrobial protection, and is scratch-, stain-, and scorch-resistant.


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kitchen+Bath trends

3. Functional faucets

ARWA-TWINFLEX Designed by dai AG and manufcatured by arwa—both Swiss companies—the awra-twinflex sink mixer utilizes a creative and design concept that showcases a highly versatile functionality. The water-conserving sink mixer consists of three layers: a plastic hose that guides the water on the inside, a flexible metal hose to define its form, and a durable PVC sheath on the outside. Additionally, the hose’s jet of water can be directed precisely where needed, making it highly versatile within the basin.

KARBON Contemporary design and full functionality are at the heart of the Karbon lavatory faucets’ design, by Kohler. The faucets, which also have a version for kitchen applications, allows users to position the spout in a multitude of directions in a hands-free manner, with the faucet’s multifunctional sprayhead features a more powerful spray option. The collection is available in deck-mount, wall-mount, and widespread models, with colors in silver and black with polished-chrome or brushed-nickel metal accents.

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kitchen+Bath trends

4. smart sinks COPA 60 W-GL KITCHEN SINK This sink by Teka is an attractive combination of a satinated-glass frame and a undermounted stainless-steel sink combination. Underneath the drainer, a keep-warm zone is hidden and can be heated up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit by touch keys.

BLANCO STATURA CRYSTAL SINK Made up of safety-glass that can be slid over the whole length of the basin to serve as a chopping board, this high-end sink by Blanco includes a tap ledge—also made of glass—on one side to create an elegant way of completely covering the sink.


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kitchen+Bath trends

BA13 DIGITAL BIDET This unobtrusive BA13 Digital Bidet, by Coway, hides innovative technology, as it aims to optimise the size of the seat. The result is a remarkably flat construction that incorporates mature technology and warm water flow. The design—which features a neutral, curved corpus—includes an environmentally friendly aluminium water tap that ensures reliable cleansing. In addition, the design provides safe and agreeable use by means of an ergonomic, fast-acting remote control.

5. digi tal baths IODIGITAL Moen’s ioDIGITAL shower is a technologydriven system that allows homeowners to personalize their favorite shower settings. Its intelligent interface provides quick, visual feedback, with LED indicators flashing until the requested settings are achieved— a prime example of the ioDIGITAL memory technology. Each LED on the temperature indicator represents a precise temperature range, allowing users to adjust the exact temperature. Additionally, when the water is turned on in a different part of the home, the ioDIGITAL shower will virtually eliminate any noticeable fluctuation in water temperature. The innovative shower’s LEDs will even alert the consumer if the hot water supply happens to run low.

ONDUS DIGITECTURE Digitalization contributes to new and highly fascinating products of wellness and comfort, and this concept is fully present in the Grohe Ondus Digitecture digital bath. Aimed at a very high level of comfort facilitated through digitalization, the product is built strictly on the simple 5 x 5-cm grid system and makes comfort an integrated part of design. Grohe Ondus Digitecture allows the preferred combination of water temperature and pressure to be programmed and, with an intuitive interface, be memorized at the press of a button. When paused, the system temporarily stops the water flow for shampooing and then reactivates the water at the exact same temperature. Following a consistent design approach, Grohe Ondus Digitecture delivers both new solutions in design and novel user possibilities, as the premium lifestyle collection comes complete with a champagne bucket, integrated storage, and vases, which transform the bathroom from a functional space for cleaning and grooming into a personal sanctuary.

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6. Outdoor eating



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This poolside outdoor kitchen in Boca Raton, FL, is sheltered from sun and rain in its own alcove in the home’s courtyard. Featuring a Kalamazoo Hybrid Grill with ample cabinets, a sink, clear ice maker and refrigerator, the grand backsplash and outdoor curtains put the kitchen on a stage ready for lavish parties.

kitchen+Bath trends

LUMINIST VESSEL SINKS This line of sinks by TOTO showcases a soft, light appearance. The integrated washbasin—made of transparent epoxy resin crystal that has exceptional resistence to impact, heat, and staining—seamlessly blends into the countertop. In addition, the Luminist’s energy-saving LEDs were integrated into the basin to give the impression of a mysterious light rim.

FIR ITALIA SHOWER Italian bathroom company Fir Italia has introduced a new way to shower with a line of ultra-modern bathroom ideas. The shower, which incorporates light, color, and water, features a mix-and-match collection of bathrooms suites, such as contemporary white vanities and countertops complemented by illuminated mirrors, ceiling lights, and rainshower panels. The showers are available in three sizes and a range of colors.

7. LED lighting

NIRVANA Thanks to its innovative ergonomically shaped bath design, the Nirvana bathtub uses 60 percent less water than bathtubs of a similar size. Bathroom Design Co. incorporated a high-grade acrylic sheet (i-Crylic), whose translucent attribute highlights a pleasant light concept. 360 LED light spots furnish a new kind of chromotherapy, with the control system sleekly integrated underneath the bathtub so that no technical features interrupt its organic appearance. When the user slides his or her hand over the respective symbol, the hand shower moves upwards. Hand sensors can also stop/start waterflow, change the color of the tub’s lighting, and change the tub’s water temperature, which is shown on the rim of the bathtub.

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VIAGGI This tub by Maax radically transforms the atmosphere of a bathroom with its modern, artistic design. The Viaggi freestanding bath is a seamless, egg-shaped fixture that sits effortlessly atop a wood base, turning an everyday fixture into an extraordinary work of art. Designed to be the focal point of the bathroom, like a sculpture in a museum, Viaggi features an ergonomic design for increased comfort in an elegant setting.

8. MAAX TUBS The Versailles clawfoot bathtub for two mixes modern and classic design.


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The Roman classic bathtub features luxurious, sophisticated design.

kitchen+Bath trends

9. open spaces +ARTESIO German design firm Poggenpohl recently unveiled the new +ARTESIO, a brand-new concept designed in collaboration with Hamburg-based architect and designer Hadi Teherani (pictured here with Elmar Duffner, managing director of Poggenphol). +ARTESIO provides a comprehensive solution, as it fuses designs of furniture, walls, floor, and ceiling. Poggenpohl, which established the trend towards the open kitchen many years ago, continues that trend with +ARTESIO. The kitchen model was developed by looking at aspects of building, architecture, home living, and kitchen needs. The result is a visual bridge between cooking and living. In doing so, the concept embraces comprehensive designs in the floor, walls, and ceiling—the last of which is visually defined by a functional arch that integrates all of the elements necessary for lighting, ventilation, and sound. This new, inviting space transforms the kitchen into the center of living at home. The new kitchen also consists of a louvred wall and base unit in horizontally linear fashion. In addition, the stainless-steel band extends to reveal the accentuated structure of the walls with exquisite wooden surfaces. +ARTESIO will be available starting in early 2011.

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10. m ade in italy

VISIONNAIRE WELLNESS ROOM 2010 This bathroom’s series of high-profile products allow for a relaxed experience. It was introduced by Ipe Cavalli for Visionnaire, a brand that represents premiere, Italian-made luxury products. Going beyond a simple bathroom, the wellness area is designed for entertainment and completes the total look of a Visionnairefurnished home. Designed by Samuele Mazza and Alessandro La Spada, the unique fixtures are made of precious materials, such as marble, laser-cut and chromed steel, glazed ceramics, resins, hides, and bevelled mirrors.,

“The Visionnaire Wellness Room is...a place for the purification of the body and mind.” Samuele mazza, designer

HIGH-END DESIGN Visionnaire’s Coliseum Console with a basin features doors and sides with arches, mirror inserts, and a high oval monocontrol joystick mixer. The Siegfrid single high bench is by Alessandro La Spada and Samuele Mazza.


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kitchen+Bath trends

Poseidon Shower This Visionnaire shower is made for two, featuring walls in lacquered-pleated aluminium with knockerstyle handles.

Dioniso Bathtub The bath’s base structure is made of painted steel with a surface in marine plywood, while the top features a smoked mirror with oval pattern and antislip finishing. The tub ridge cover is made of waterproof leather.

Portorose DIAMOND double washbasin The stylish product features frontal supports in polished chromed-fused aluminium. The washbasin has a ceramic oval shape with irregular diamonds and a monocomand mixertap on top.

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Invited In the kitchens and baths of 8 designsavvy pros by Zach Baliva


hen architects, chefs, and designers build their own rooms, each detail becomes an opportunity to showcase professional tal-

ents and personal tastes. In the process, these professionals rely on their business connections, technical experience, and personal flare to get the job done. We met up with some of the industry’s rising stars, who welcomed us into their homes and took us on an intimate and unprecedented behind-the-scenes tour of their favorite kitchens and baths. Each space has a story to tell and reflects the career of the pro who designed it. Learn how a New York architect outfitted his modern Chelsea apartment, which appliances Los Angeles food-and-beverage distributors use in their kitchen, how a top interior designer created a gatherPhoto: Miha Matei

ing place in his Mexico City high-rise, what helped a Chicago remodeler make a long and narrow kitchen elegant, and how an interior designer’s European and Asian vacations influenced his Florida home.


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CONTEMPORARY KITCHENS Architect Ira Frazin relaxes in his New York City loft, featuring a modern island and cabinetry set within a stainless-steel frame.153 luxury home quarterly



Floridian family sanctuary

troy beasley interior designer

While criss-crossing Europe and Asia, interior designer Troy Beasley found himself influenced by several styles that he incorporates into his work as design principal of Beasley & Henley Interior Design. After studying art and architecture in Greece and Italy, Beasley opened his firm with Stephanie Henley in 1993. The team is working on major projects, including jobs in Kuwait City, Shanghai, and the Caribbean, along with three Florida homes totalling more than 20,000 square feet. Beasley lives in Druid Hills, a quaint neighborhood within the town of Maitland, Florida. His 6,900-square-foot Andalusian/ Moroccan villa provides a sanctuary for his family of five. The home was meticulously designed and lovingly crafted in all areas, but the kitchen stands out as one of the most magnificent rooms. Workers individually installed each brick in the kitchen’s ceiling, and the space boasts stained cypress beams, along with a hand-carved limestone hood designed by Beasley. Beasley wanted the kitchen connected to the family room, and played with the relationship between the two areas in his design by placing the kitchen at the rear of the house, which also provides lake views. He describes the room as “bright but warm, clean but rustic, with an edge of modernism,” and defines the style as “a mix of Moorish, Andalucía, and other Italian variations also inspired by Santa Barbara houses.” Two-toned cabinetry, concrete countertops, stone mantles, oil-rubbed bronze plumbing fixtures, and Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances are layered on a walnut floor with a herring-bone pattern to add to the area’s warmth and charm. Once completed, Beasley says, the kitchen instantly became what all good kitchens should be—a great room for gathering and hosting large parties.

Key Design Elements: SINK: Shaws Original by Rohl,


Cabinets: Designed by Beasley, fabricated by BluWood Studio,

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Appliances: Sub-Zero and Wolf

Stone hood: Barbara Tattersfield Design

Concrete countertops: Chuck Price Concrete Studio, pricecon

Wood Flooring: Kahrs


Key Design Elements: Countertops: Carrara marble imported from Italy


Cabinetry and hardware: Arclinea

Contemporary dining in Mexico City

Refrigerator/ freezer: 600 series by Sub-Zero

ezequiel farca interior and furniture designer

Multiple awards and high-profile projects have bestowed upon Ezequiel Farca a reputation as one of Mexico’s best interior and furniture designers. Farca routinely collaborates with top architects and was commissioned to develop the furniture and interior architecture for the well-known Habita Hotel and for Reforma 222. He names Corian Dupont, Comex, Nouvel Studio, and Aeromexico among his corporate clients. Farca’s own home is located in a Mexico City high-rise called Bosques de las Lomas, where he moved in 2005. The experienced professional designed the entire home with special attention to the kitchen. “We saw it as an informal atmosphere,” Farca says. “Like in many homes, our kitchen has always been the main gathering place.”

Dishwasher: STO 903 by Smeg

The decision to create a family area was a wise one—Farca and his wife, Monica, have triplets and an infant. “It’s important for us to have a place to come together,” he explains. While eating meals together, the Farcas use several appliances that are perfect for urban living, including their Delonghi grill and Jura coffee and espresso machine. Professionally, Farca is known for his clean and modern sensibilities, which translate well in his bright kitchen, where white tile walls and imported cabinetry compliment countertops made with Carrara marble. Dinner guests are seated at an eight-person table in the adjacent dining room overlooking the city below. Farca’s firm carries a line of modern and custom furnishings, from which he selected his island’s sleek and practical stools.

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Stools: Chrome-framed synthetic leather by Ezequiel Farca Coffee/espresso maker: Impressa C9 by Jura Grill: Delonghi

luxury home quarterly



Ira Frazin architect

Key Design Elements:

Ira Frazin, LEED AP, architect, and owner of Ira Frazin Architect in New York City, opened his firm in 2002. Soon after, in 2006, he purchased a loft in Chelsea that was renovated three years later. While designing his own kitchen in the loft, Frazin, along with his partner, analyzed how a group of people moved in the space. Frazin subsequently created an interactive design located in the front of the building to maximize a panoramic view that includes the Empire State Building. The long and narrow layout fills the shape of the space, while parallel dining tables create the desired flow. The reconfigurable indoor/outdoor dining tables also work well for dining on the terrace.

few personal touches to the space, including a wooden chair that is a remnant from a log house he once owned upstate. A “Big” sign on top of the oven cabinet is a found object from the streets of New York. “I love the urban scale of the sign in the apartment,” Frazin says. The cabinets along the wall were inspired by the kitchen designs of the 1920s, when his loft was built with a framed, flush construction in quartered walnut. The island is a modern interpretation of the back cabinets, with box cabinets set within a stainless-steel frame. The frame design, Frazin says, allowed him to express the island as a piece of furniture while keeping the feeling of openness.

Frazin had renovated another unit in his building and was familiar with its infrastructure, but he knew he would have to ask himself the same questions he asks his clients: how they want to live and what is important in their lives. He decided to add a

The building and its tenants also reflect Chelsea’s eclectic style. A photographer shooting next door during construction loved the space and arranged to shoot a cookbook cover in Frazin’s finished kitchen.


Eclectic Chelsea loft

Countertops: Giallo Blanco marble Island, Cabinetry: Custom-built by Joseph Zyskowski of K Construction & Remodeling Table: MS-305 by Advance Tabco Benches: Sundance Catalog Light fixtures: Tolomeo Mega Wall by Artemide Sink: Avado EFRU3219 by Elkay Faucet: Tara by Dornbracht Espresso maker: Gaggia Espresso Oven: TSO30 by Turbo Chef Cooktop: Quadra by Foster fosterappliances.

Washer/dryer: W6903/T793C by Asko


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Photos: Miha Matei

Dishwasher: Bosch



Expert L.A. entertaining

Larry and Lynn Neuberg culinary specialists

Larry and Lynn Neuberg are accustomed to entertaining in the kitchen. After all, the dynamic husband-and-wife team operates Easy Leaf Products, a Los Angeles company whose edible division imports and distributes gold and silver for gilding food and drinks. Larry, company president, has a history in hospitality management. Lynn, director of food and beverage, has a passion for food. When building their Bel Air home in 2005, the couple knew they needed a great space to host both parties and family meals. Lynn says past successful collaborations informed her approach at home. “We knew enough to know that we should surround ourselves with other professionals,” she remarks. They hired a designer to help execute their vision of combining Old World and contemporary design. A Mugniani pizza oven sits adjacent to the space, which was built next to Lynn’s home office to help the busy professional multitask. “We wanted a kitchen we would really use,” she explains. Garage-style doors on the Neubergs’ two dark-yellow cabinets swing up to reveal a toaster and an espresso machine’s accessories. The design hides the pieces when not in use, in order to minimize clutter. A warming drawer beneath the machine ensures espresso is always enjoyed at the perfect temperature. A quick glance will reveal one item missing from the Neuberg kitchen—a microwave. In its place is a Miele steam oven, which Lynn says makes cooking easier, faster, and healthier. Malgosia Migdal designed the kitchen master plan with textures of metal and stone to fit the home’s overall aesthetic. The modern and interesting kitchen is perfect for the Neubergs, who now eat in it more than ever before. Their first celebration in the home happened to be on Larry’s birthday, just before construction was complete. The family ran electricity from the construction trailer, strung up some Christmas lights, and enjoyed food and champagne in the kitchen-to-be, where they’ve been entertaining ever since.

Photo: Dan Chapman

Key Design Elements: Pizza Oven: Mugnaini Oven: Wolf

Warming Drawer, Steam Oven, Dishwasher, Rotisserie Oven: Miele,

Dishwasher Drawers: DD-603 by Fisher & Paykel

Lighting Fixtures: Luce by Terzani

Countertops, Range Hood, Cabinetry: Custom-made by CAC Fabrication and D Cabinetry

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Sink and Faucet: Tara Classic by Dornbracht

luxury home quarterly




New-England oasis

Key Design Key Design Elements: Elements: Light fixtures: Romeo Moon S by Flos


sink basin and whirlpool tub: Stark by Duravit


The tagline for Stephen Chung’s architectural practice is “Combining Art and Purpose,” and the idea definitely extends to his Wayland, Massachusetts, home. His bathroom was part of a second-floor addition built in 2008. The first floor serves as a lateral connection to the grass and trees, and the addition, Chung says, “is more about the sky and the clouds…more dreamlike.” Everything on the second floor, including the bathroom, starts with white. White wood floors and walls are accented by bright colors; the bathroom most fully expresses the minimalist style of this level of the house. White marble floors and painted white walls give way to large windows next to the tub and a skylight over the shower. A niche in the ceiling, also above the tub, provides a soothing upward view of sparkling blue glass tile. “All of these details are about finding a serene calm, like the wonderful feeling one gets in an airplane up


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above the clouds,” Chung explains. Other accents of light blue include granite tile at the sink wall. An overhead chandelier highlights the bathroom and emits a soft glow akin to that of an evening dinner party. “It’s unique to have the light above the tub,” Chung says. “It makes the act of bathing feel very special and almost theatrical.” Prior to creating his own space, Chung worked with French product designer Philippe Starck on the design of a luxury residential project in Boston, and designed dozens of bathrooms under his direction. Starck is known for products of great quality and style, and Chung was instantly hooked on the aesthetic. So much so, in fact, the he selected several Starck items for his own home. “I wanted a consistent look and feel in the bathroom,” he says. “It feels like one unified space instead of a collection of different fixtures.”

Faucet and shower fixtures: Stark by Hansgrohe Cabinet: Custom White with lacquer finish by Metropolitan Kitchens Stone: White Cervaoile marble and Blue Celeste granite from Olympia Marble



Striking Southern Style

Key Design Elements: Range Hood: Jupiter Glass Vent Hood by Futuro Futuro Sink: ProTask by Kohler

Tamara Bickley

Tables: Wenge wood on casters, custom-made by Design Galleria

interior designer

Tamara Bickley works in Atlanta and South Florida, where she is known for turning her clients’ dreams into reality. A background in fashion compliments her design skills, which are showcased in her own Georgia home. Bickley works mostly in renovation and was excited to have an opportunity to start fresh with raw construction. In designing her kitchen, she focused on function and style. “It has to look good and function well,” she says. “I don’t and won’t forsake functionality for aesthetics.” She wanted the kitchen to be center stage and she needed an innovative design to make that happen. Tamara organized the kitchen to function like a professional line, with plenty of countertops for prep and serving. Miami Beach’s Delano Hotel served as her inspiration, as Bickley was specifically drawn to its striking, long dining table, where patrons can eat, drink, and people watch. Similarly, her innova-

tive kitchen holds two 10-foot rolling tables that can relocate to any part of the home for events. The Kohler Pro Task kitchen sink is seven feet long, with three separate bowls. Appliances by Fisher Paykel were selected for form and function. “I liked the simplicity of the line,” she says. “I felt their functionality was more important than what the industry was dictating the whole world should use.” There are wonderful elements of surprise in her “rock star” kitchen, including a countertop and wall cabinet that are suspended to float across the floor-to-ceiling window. A wet bar with a dramatic Kohler trough sink and floating wine-glass racks divide the kitchen from the great room. Warm, creamy white lacquers, wenge wood, and stainless steel, with Silestone countertops and pops of color, integrate this kitchen seamlessly into Bickley’s fresh and exciting home.

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Countertops: Silestone Double Oven, Gas Cooktop, Refrigerator: Fisher & Paykel Warming Drawers: Dacor Ice Maker: U-line

luxury home quarterly



Key Design Elements: Countertops: Absolute Black granite


Range: SGS365ZS/01 by Thermador

Warm, Classic Chicago

Matt Lederer

Double wall oven: Electrolux Pro Series PLEB30T8CCB Frigidaire

custom-home builder

After a career in corporate America, Matt Lederer became a weekend remodeler before starting his own home-renovation company. Mahogany Builders operates as a full-service company, and Lederer, a Chicagoan, used his Wrigleyville kitchen as a test subject. “My kitchen was my first major undertaking, and we really put a lot of time and energy into the space,” he recalls. The Lederers’ home, located just around the corner from Wrigley Field, was built in 1890, during the heyday of Sullivan, Jenney, Burnham, and other notable Windy City architects. When he purchased it in 2002, the home had been abandoned, so Lederer had to start from square one. He hired a construction team but was stuck directing carpenters alone when his designer failed to appear. Lederer discovered his knack for combining design and business, and Mahogany Builders was born.


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His kitchen was designed to be the home’s focal point and flow with the living and dining rooms. “I wanted a place where we could cook, live, entertain, and congregate as a family,” he says. As the kitchen is the first room a visitor to the Lederer home sees, he was careful to keep it upscale with classic appliances (including a double oven selected solely for the shape of its handles). Chicago homes are long and narrow, and the kitchen spans the structure’s complete width of 25 feet. A crescent-shaped island divides the seating area from the cooking surface. A Whirlpool matching twin refrigerator and freezer were trimmed out with a full-length grill, and a Thermador cook top adds a touch of elegance, bestowing an antique and classic look onto the room. Lederer selected rich cherry-wood tones for his cabinets, to compliment the stainless-steel appliances. “The kitchen is elegant but warm,” he says.

Refrigerator/ freezer: E7ATRRKS01K1/ EV17ONYSO1K1 by Whirlpool Sink: Blanco Faucet: Lady Lux by Grohe Flooring: Natural Maple



West-coast Asian spa

Key Design Elements: Bathtub: Acrylic by Zuma Plumbing Fixtures: Dornbracht Cabinetry: Custom-manufactured by CJ’s Cabinets & Design (, with hardware by Du Verre (

Mark Sapiro custom-home builder

California-based homebuilder Mark Sapiro is the cofounder of Structure Home, a distinguished Los Angeles custom-home building group. With roots dating back to a business partnership that started in 1985, Sapiro has a long history of building high-end homes. In fact, he has managed to complete more than 1,500 projects. When it came time to create his own bathroom in Los Angeles County, Sapiro turned to those with whom he’s developed relationships during his many years in construction. His goal was to create a warm, spa-like atmosphere with an Asian influence that remained consistent with the rest of the home. Most of the art pieces throughout Sapiro’s home were collected while traveling, including the bathroom’s rug, which was purchased in Istanbul, Turkey, to compliment the Blue Mist limestone floors. The 5’0” x 3’6” x 20” bathtub was designed to

be large enough for two and replicates a Japanese Soaking Tub, though rectangular in shape. The walk-in shower area features sandblasted-glass pocket doors. The awning windows in the shower were carefully placed and are positioned to give both privacy and access to stunning exterior views. Sapiro designed the vanity with a backlit mirror to create a flowing and continuous feel from countertop to ceiling. Sapiro purchased the property in 2007, and worked on it while living in the detached guesthouse. He and his wife moved in to the main house in May 2008. The contemporary home features an in-ground pool, with an adjacent large stone loggia, two spectacular window walls that open the home for an indoor/ outdoor entertaining space, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a 250-square-foot yoga loft, and consistent use of beautiful, natural materials throughout.

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Tile: Boulevard Tile and Stone Countertops: Limestone by Pierre Brun Water Heater: Tankless by Rinnai Radiant Heating: Electric Radiant Heating under Stone Floor by Thermosoft

luxury home quarterly


Behind the Lines



NATURE’S VARIETY The stone is shaped, or “dug,” in order to create simple, rectangular forms. This technology, Nigro says, makes it possible to produce forms which are not obligatorily symmetrical and thus reflect the random work of nature.


Philippe Nigro Working between his native homeland of France and his business base in Milan, Italy, Philippe Nigro has recently emerged in the global design market as an innovative and sophisticated product designer. Working as a freelancer since 1999, Nigro has collaborated with such European design companies as Nube Italia, Felicerossi, NavaDesign, and Studio De Lucchi in Milan—for which he has worked on furniture, lighting, and interior design. Since 2005, Nigro has been designing a number of forwardthinking and experimental furniture products, including his Spiral shelf, Storage-Unit modular boxes, and Intersections sofas, and in 2009, he created the prototypes of Twin Chairs, a custom-designed double-chair piece.

The Saturnia line came from Nigro’s observation of water erosion on stone. This highly unique design aims to inspire a certain element of serenity and peace. The irregular and random surface of the stone occurs naturally, making the product line appropriate for the bath or the garden. Nigro has created a fascinating intersection of forms and materials.


One of his most recent collaborations is with Italian design firm Piba Marmi, for which he has created a product line of stone bathroom elements. The collection, called Saturnia, features a uniquely designed bathtub, shower base, and pedestal sink, as well as a series of sinks and seating (which even incorporates an elongated island of grass into the design). The entire collection is based on Nigro’s interest in intersecting forms, which is explored in many of Nigro’s one-of-a-kind designs.


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behind the lines

Angela Adams Growing up on an island twelve miles off the coast of Maine, Angela Adams has always had a sense of simplicity and timelessness. Those values are reflected in her designs, which were inspired by her surroundings of the remote natural beauty of island life, and of her family. “My grandfather is an important inspiration to me,” Adams says. “He was a true modernist. He lived very simply; he wore the same ‘personal uniform’ every day.” Harnessing this inspiration, Adams began her firm, angela adams design house—started with her husband, Sherwood Hamill—in 1998. “We apply the same level of craftsmanship and integrity to designing a rug, a chair or a handbag to what my family has applied to wooden-boat building, hand-knit sweaters, or baking a loaf of bread,” she explains. “They all have soul.” Starting out as a decorative painter, Adams eventually broadened her services into handmade textiles and floor coverings. Today, her firm serves as a casual, modern luxury brand devoted to comfort and quality craftsmanship in numerous areas of design, including furniture, rugs, tapestries, wall coverings, carpet, bedding and bath products, fine-art prints, handbags, and ceramic tile. One of her latest projects is a custom ceramic-tile product line, in partnership with Ann Sacks, which features various cuts, patterns, and styles.

Tiles for Ann Sacks manfred deco and connector




Aptly titled, Forms distills living inspiration down to its essence. Various “forms” are pressed in earthenware tile to create a subtle relief with soft, imperfect lines. Clients can then choose from a selection of modern, organic patterns, and an extensive palette of exclusive glazes.


Graphics Balancing beauty and functionality, Adams brings her organic geometric patterns to life with her Graphics tile line. Through rich colors and timeless interlocking forms, Adams’ tiles create fresh and exuberant environments. half islands and full islands

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behind the lines


Thomas Coward Thomas Coward has done a lot of traveling. Hailing from the United Kingdom, and currently working in Melbourne, Australia, Coward has developed a range of unique products for his company, Omvivo. Throughout his career, he has worked on products for exclusive private residences in the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East, as well as Gold Class Village Cinemas in Asia, among others. Earlier this year, he worked in both London and Barcelona. “I am very conscious about the remoteness of Australia and go to Europe annually,” he says. “It varies my influences and experiences.”

Named after the Celtic goddess of water, Latis is a collection of contemporary bathroom furniture and fixtures. Coward used a variety of materials for the shelving unit, trestle table, sink, and bathtub, including American oak, stone, and solid surface—a 100-percent recyclable composite material made from natural minerals and a small percentage of polymers. In additon, the bathtub can be removed from the wooden shelving unit, and the basin comes in both solid surface and a variety of stone options. Coward says that, in working with the materials, the process became like an “industrialized art.” “We were dealing with modern materials such as solid surface, which undergo some intense automated processes, but hand finishing them,” he says. “I loved it. It suddenly became craft.”

“For the Latis collection, I looked at the spinning clay on the wheel for the form of the basin, and the traditional nature of the timber trestle table. We then get this relationship between materials, processes, and forms, creating a sentiment of history whilst maintaining a contemporary sensitivity.”

Indeed, those influences change for every product or project, from country to country, resulting in an intuitive design process. Furthermore, Coward says his designs beg the question, “Will we gravitate towards the familiar or be tempted by the foreign?” While his travels have allotted him opportunities in numerous areas of design, one of Coward’s specialties is creating custom products for residential baths. He has designed several bathroom lines for Omvivo, including Dune, Mono, Motif, and Latis—his most recent collection, which pulls together many of Coward’s worldwide influences and experiences, resulting in a contemporary, sleek collection of a basin, trestle vanity, shelf, and a unique bath, all designed to stunning effect. “As an area [of design], it’s so unexplored,” he says, “and I am fortunate enough to be principal designer at a progressive company such as Omvivo, which really embraces the importance of doing so.”


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Schiltach, Germany Hornberg, Germany

Hansgrohe, Phoenix Design, and Duravit develop the

New Manufacturing Technology “The dual-finish products are initially finished entirely in chrome,” says Nicolas Grohe, director of product and marketing development at Hansgrohe North America. “We then apply a white coating to selected areas of the chrome finish. This innovative, two-step process is what gives PuraVida its unique and distinctive appearance — a seamless fit of chrome against white.”

PuraVida Collection, highlighting Black Forest quality and innovation by Jennifer Kirkland

PuraVida Single-Hole Faucet This sleekly designed fixure by PuraVida features EcoRight technology, which offers a cost-effective 1.5-gallon-per-minute flow rate.

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luxury home quarterly


regional focus: the black forest

FEMININE FLUIDITY PuraVida is graceful and organic, a departure from bulky, masculine fixtures.


PuraVida 400 AIR Showerhead This rounded, rectangular, 15” x 10” fixture offers complete coverage for users, utilizing patented AIR technology that softens the water flow by injecting air bubbles. The showerhead, which can be either wall- or ceilingmounted, offers the utmost luxury, available in chrome or dual white and chrome finishes.


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he Schwarzwald, or Black Forest, is one of the most romantic regions of Germany, home to cuckoo clocks, fantastic castles, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and vistas of stunning natural beauty. The Schwarzwald was also one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution, where skilled craftsmen created many of the innovative mechanical wonders that have made the modern world what it is today. The mystique of the Schwarzwald, along with its famed luxury spas, draws millions of tourists every year to the quaint towns of southwestern Germany. Few of those visitors realize that the Black Forest is also the birthplace of not only the modern concept of the spa, but also the modern shower. One of those towns in the Black Forest area, Schiltach, is the home of Hansgrohe, the world’s leading plumbing manufacturer, a company whose innovations and products have redefined the way we shower. Hansgrohe introduced the first handheld showers, the first adjustable showerheads, the first commercially available graywater-recycling systems, and the first concealed installation units. The company has also been a pioneer in developing sustainable and ecofriendly manufacturing processes.

regional focus: the black forest

Hans Grohe (1871-1955), entrepreneur and visionary.

Hansgrohe’s History of Product Innovation 1934 – First automatic drainage and overflow fittings invented by Hansgrohe. 1953 – Unica introduced, first fully adjustable wallbar.

“The entire series embodies a highly contemporary, evolved, and elegant form of luxury, a perfect symbiosis of form and space.” Tom Schönherr, Designer, Phoenix Design

1956 – Selecta introduced, first adjustable hand shower. 1958 – Excentra 53 introduced, first cable drain for bathtub. 1974 – TRI-BEL introduced, first hand-held showerheads with rotational head and three stray modes. 1981 – QuickClean technology, a self-cleaning de-scaling system for showerheads. 1985 – Uno introduced, first mixer series designed for color. 1988 – Pontos Aquacycle Systems first introduced, a commercially available grey-water recycling system. 1995 – Pharo introduced, first pre-installed shower system. 1997 – Axor Steel introduced, first complete stainless steel bathroom series, eco-friendly manufacturing process.

Long known for the innovative technology and designs of its plumbing fixtures and shower systems, Hansgrohe products are found on the Queen Mary II, at the German Reichstag and chancellor’s office in Berlin, in the luxury Yoo Apartments in New York City, at the Masdar City Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, and in Burj Khalifa—the tallest building in the world—in Dubai. The firm operates plants in Germany, France, the Netherlands, the United States, and China, and employs 3,200 skilled professionals.

The PuraVida Collection Now, Hansgrohe has teamed with longtime collaborators Phoenix Design, a Stuttgart, Germany-based product-design firm, and Duravit, a ceramic manufacturer also based in the Black Forest, to create the latest innovation in bathroom fixtures—the award-winning PuraVida Collection. The product line consists of completely new bathroom fixtures designed with clean, contemporary living in mind. Hansgrohe and Duravit have collaborated before, and this is Hansgrohe’s second collaboration with Phoenix Design. Inspired by a Costa Rican mantra, PuraVida means “full of life,” and these beautiful chrome and white fixtures are unlike anything else on the market. Nicolas

2001 – Rubit Aerator introduced, injects air into water flow for a softer stream. 2002 – iBox Universal introduced, a concealed installation unit that has revolutionized bathroom plumbing. 2003 – Raindance introduced, innovative AIR technology for showers that have redefined showering. 2006 – Axor and Hansgrohe hold one of their AquaTektur Workshops in Beijng—the fourth in a series that have taken place in cities around the globe—to encourage dialogue with architects on different bathing cultures. 2007 – Hansgrohe introduces the Croma EcoAir showerhead, coupling low flow rates with high performance. 2008 - The Hansgrohe Raindance Connect debuts, allowing users to switch from showerhead to hand shower in just a click. Infrared sensor-equipped electronic faucets, protected by sapphire crystal glass, are integrated into Axor Starck and Starck X lines.

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THE TEAM Andreas Haug and Tom Schönherr, the founders of Pheonix Design (left) and Nicholas Grohe, director of product and marketing development for Hansgrohe North America, and Tim Schroeder, founder and president of Duravitt USA.

“The innovation is in the finish, the way the chrome and the ceramic interact with each other.” Nicolas Grohe, Director of Product and Marketing Development, Hansgrohe North America

Grohe, director of product and marketing development at Hansgrohe North America, describes how his father, Klaus, challenged the design team in 2006. “He told them to buy an iPod, iMac, and iBook, look at the packaging, and be inspired by the design,” Grohe says. Designer Tom Schönherr, of Phoenix Design, came back with a beautiful singlehole faucet in white chrome, and Klaus loved it, immediately calling in Duravit’s Tim Schroeder to plan the intricate production necessary to bring PuraVida to life. “The collection is very graceful, organic, feminine, and fluid,” Grohe says. “We’re trying to move away from bulky, masculine, square shapes.” Schroeder explains that the design team was looking for shapes that encourage touch. “That’s why there are no sharp edges or hard corners,” he says. “The entire series embodies a highly contemporary, evolved, and elegant form of luxury, a perfect symbiosis of form and space.” For example, the single-hole faucet is a single metal piece that rises like a tree from the white ceramic basin. This poetic allusion to nature is a conscious element of the products’ designs, and a tribute to sustainable life.

Mystique of the Black Forest The real innovation of the PuraVida Collection has nothing to do with the sensual shape of its designs. “The innovation is in the finish,” Grohe says, “the way the chrome and the ceramic interact with each other.” Such a homogeneous blending of chrome and lacquered ceramic has never been so precise or seamless, and it is the dedication to quality and innovation that is characteristic of Schwarzwald that made it possible. Grohe believes the tremendous amount of R&D that went into the project is what sets it apart. “If you asked other manufacturers to do something like this, it wouldn’t happen,” he says. “It took us a year and a half to develop the technology of getting the white lacquer to stay on the faucet.”

THE HUB OF CUTTING-EDGE DESIGN The Duravit Design Center in Hornberg, Germany, serves as the headquarters for the innovative product-design company.


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Tim Schroeder agrees that pushing the boundaries of technical innovation is a hallmark of Black Forest companies. “I think it boils down to the tremendous amount of pride we take in what we do,” he says. “It’s a culture driven by excellence, and anything shy of that is unacceptable.”

regional focus: the black forest

Ingenuity and Innovation from the Black Forest

Axor Urquiola Manufacturer: Hansgrohe Design: Patricia Urquiola, Milan, Italy Fusing ecclectic styles and objects, this unique collection creates a diverse living space of both modern and classic influences, taking on a character all its own. Designed by Patricia Urquiola, Axor Urquiola’s foundation is based on the interaction of personal styles. Departing from traditional design norms, conventions, and rigid structures, the collection celebrates detail, variety, sensuality, and vibrant energy. With flowing transitions, soft shapes, and gentle curves, each product in the collection comes together to offer users their own personalized retreat space.

Axor Urquiola Washbasin with Basin Mixer This mixer tap and washbowl reflect the archaic style of a traditional washing trough. Two slitshaped openings on the basin’s sides recall loopshaped handles and can also be used as towel holders. In addition, the single-lever mixer fulfils more than one function, providing additional service.

Inipi Sauna Manufacturer: Duravit Design: EOOS Design, Vienna, Austria Taking its name from the word for ceremonial Native American sweat lodges, the Inipi Sauna aims to capture the idea of a spiritual place for cleansing and healing. The design traces the tradition back to its roots and lends it a new and contemporary form, transitioning the traditional ceremony into a bright place for relaxation and well-being. Following demands for clarity and harmony, this sauna turns into an inviting space designed to impart a strong sense of “warmth.” Also, similar to the American Indian tradition, this sauna becomes an integrative part of everyday life, with the design allowing for ultimate rest and rejuvenation. Additionally, all units are hidden and mounted on a pull-out carrier, with the control system, heater with ventilation unit, and the evaporator always accessible but never in view.

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luxury home quarterly


regional focus: the black forest

iBox Universal Plus MANUFACTURER: Hansgrohe In 2001, Hansgrohe revolutionized the plumbing industry with the iBox Universal, which offers versatility and reliability through easy and efficient installation, ordering, and bathroom planning. Now, Hansgrohe has introduced the iBox Universal Plus to the North American market. Accomodating any trim, the iBox Universal Plus provides the foundation for any shower installation, and helps to streamline ordering, warehousing, and distribution while reducing inventory costs. Moreover, iBox allows construction to begin, even if final trim decisions have not yet been made, resulting in scheduling flexibility. The product features ultimate compatibility and flexibility with respect to wall construction, allowing for streamlined room planning with a plethora of design options.

Sundeck Bathtub MANUFACTURER: Duravit Design: EOOS Design, Vienna, Austria One of Duravit’s recent and most unique products is its Sundeck bathtub, which readily offers users an atmosphere of the utmost serenity. The unique product—designed by EOOS Design in Austria and manufactured by Duravit—features a “two-part deck” that when closed looks like a settee with comfortable neck rests; the top then can be opened, revealing an impressive and luxurious bathtub—its two cover parts sliding to the sides like the roof of a convertible car. This visual illusion, transforming the tub into a multifunctional product, gives the bathtub a highly understated appearance, ultimately resulting in unprecedented comfort and luxury evoked by maritime-quality borrowings and the comfortable details of the deck cover. Additionally, the tub’s neck rolls, hand-sewn deck cushions, and white acrylic finish fuse with the wooden surfaces that frame the tub, melding the Sundeck bathtub into a coherent design form. The 46-centimeter-deep tub also features various air and water jets, foot and back massagers, and temperature control. By freeing itself from preconceived notions of bathtub design, the Sundeck reinforces Duravit’s knack for groundbreaking products, as it breaks through established norms for bath products and gives the bathtub a brand-new aesthetic and sensibility.


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REDUCED NOISE TRANSFER iBox Universal’s brass function block rests on rubber seals so pipe vibrations transferred to the wall will be reduced. The trim carrier plate attaches to the iBox housing, not the function block, minimizing noise transfer to the finished wall.

regional focus: the black forest

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

















House on Lake Okoboji For a lake residence on a diminuitive lot in rural Iowa, Min | Day conceived of a house as a series of spatial frames that offer a focused and private experience on an otherwise densely populated shore.

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luxury home quarterly


the plans

Min | Day Stewardship and sustainability, mixed with a modern approach, help define architecture firm’s practice by Julie Edwards


collaboration in diversity, design firm Min | Day draws on partners E.B. Min and Jeffrey Day’s expansive backgrounds in art, landscape, and architecture. “Our goal is to provide informed, flexible design for a wide range of clients—from individuals to art institutions, urban to rural settings, and furniture to large buildings,” Min says. “We strive to explore opportunities for innovation in materials, fabrication, and methods of practice, coaxing nuance and specificity from the unique opportunities of the site and project at hand.”

Min | Day began when the partners started collaborating on projects in 2000. Then, in 2003, those partners officially founded the firm, opening offices in San Francisco and Omaha, Nebraska. The company has always maintained two office locations, with Min serving as the San Francisco-based principal and Day as the Omaha-based principal. Each partner brings a richly diverse background to the firm.

Jeffrey Day and E.B. Min


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An honors graduate of Brown University, Min began her architectural studies as a cross-registered student at the Rhode Island School of Design and later received her master of architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. Min’s experience in the landscape-architecture office of Delaney and Cochran nurtured her interest in the integration of landscapes and buildings, a focus which has drastically influened the company’s current work.

“We strive to explore opportunities for innovation in materials, fabrication, and methods of practice, coaxing nuance and specificity from the unique opportunities of the site and project at hand.” E.B. Min, Partner

Day, AIA, graduated with honors from Harvard College with a degree in visual and environmental studies, and went on to receive a master of architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. Before founding Min | Day, his work experience included an extended period with Fernau & Hartman Architects. A NCARB-certified and -licensed architect in California and Nebraska, Day is also an associate professor of architecture at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he has taught full-time since 2000. “The contrasting settings of our offices—the urbane, topographically complex Bay Area and the agricultural checkerboard of the Great Plains—have deeply informed the work of our firm, which is founded in a recognition of the ever-increasing complexity of the American landscape,” Day says. “What interests us now are the opportunities for rich experience found in the shifting, layered relationships between buildings and their surroundings.” “We tend to look inward, to the circumstances of the project itself, for ideas and inspiration,” Min continues. “While we draw on our personal backgrounds in art, and our interest in the history of architecture, our work is known for its sensitivity, discipline, and subtle nuance with regard to each

project’s unique conditions. For this reason, our projects appear quite varied.” In fact, in recognition of the firm’s widely published, award-winning portfolio, the American Institute of Architecture’s California Council honored Min | Day with its Emerging Talent award, naming the firm a featured presenter at the 2007 Monterey Design Conference. Min |

the plans

UNIQUE MATERIALS The Lake Okoboji home features a children’s common area, with walls and ceilings clad in OSB panels, and flush sliding doors that lead to the bedrooms.


Day was also selected as a winner of the first New Practices San Francisco award in 2009, and for Architectural Record’s prestigious 2009 Design Vanguard feature. The firm focuses on sustainability in a big way, looking for the least amount of environmental impact when considering an emerging design. Min notes that while each project brings its own spe-

cific challenges and opportunities, in all cases the firm strives to minimize the impact of the project by reducing size, enhancing energy performance, or using local and sustainable materials. “We believe the most important sustainable strategy is not quantifiable in a conventional sense, but involves a form of stewardship of the land and of the building itself,” she says. “We strive to design buildings that will be around for a very long time.”

One of firm’s most notable projects is a vacation home in rural Iowa, located on Lake Okoboji. “The house sits on a small pie-shaped lot on a dense shoreline where old cottages and new McMansions sit tightly together with numerous oak trees forming a beautiful canopy ringing the lake,” Day says. “Our strategy for the project resulted in a deceptively simple footprint that minimized the size of the house on the site and contained a series

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3 Key Design Elements from the House onLake Okoboji


Lake Cabinet: “The cabinet is the primary built feature in the master bedroom of the House on Lake Okoboji. All sides of the cabinet are finished with horizontally laminated Baltic birch plywood (stacked slabs of plywood with veneer edges exposed). The front side becomes a large headboard for the bed, facing the lake view. Studying the morphology of rippling water, we developed a range of parameters for a computer animation of the water’s surface. We then optimized this surface for fabrication, and output code for a three-axis CNC-router to cut the waveform into blank slabs of plywood prepared for the job. Here, the uniqueness of the supple surface is contrasted by the repetitive horizontality of the veneer layers.”


Intensive color, 3Form Chroma: “We treated the smaller private spaces of the house (bedrooms and bathrooms) with a pronounced sense of interiority. As spaces become increasingly intimate, the intensity of color increases, as well. All interior surfaces in these rooms are subsumed by intense color to the extent that each feels like a zone of pure color. Here, color becomes equivalent to the lake that dominates the public areas of the house, providing an autonomous interiority in contrast to the site-oriented living areas. 3Form Chroma is a monolithic eco-resin that can be custom colored (via an applied finish on the back side). Color infuses the thick resin and gives countertops a luminescent quality. We used large but thinner panels of the same product in the shower walls.”


US Aluminum curtain walls & windows: “This curtain-wall system was selected for maximum window sizes afforded and custom, baked-on paint finish. Glass walls extend floor to ceiling, and we used high-performance acoustic glass.”


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NEW-WAVE KITCHEN The Lake Okoboji home’s sleek kitchen features walls clad in polycarbonate that is backlit for ideal night illumination.

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L Residence Omaha, NE, 2008 Located in an Art-Deco hotel recently converted for private condominium use, the L Residence was designed as a penthouse apartment with a roof deck overlooking the center of Omaha. For the L-shaped unit, Min | Day created a number of nested spaces with a grand room that appears as an exterior within the confines of the dense walls. Fifteenfoot ceilings allowed the construction of a cozy mezzanine along the vertical path to the private roof deck above. Primary wood-veneered walls hide bedrooms, utility areas, and bathrooms. The wood has been laser cut to form railings and light shields embedded within the walls. Additionally, recycled wood flooring and Douglas fir wood tiles work in contrast with the smooth wood veneer walls.

“While we draw on our personal backgrounds in art, and our interest in the history of architecture, our work is known for its sensitivity, discipline, and subtle nuance with regard to each project’s unique conditions. For this reason, our projects appear quite varied.” E.B. Min, Partner

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GOING MODERN The L Residence’s mezzanine area has low lighting and built-in lounge areas for viewing a drop-down filmquarterly screen. luxury home 177

the plans

“Custom detailing—such as CNC-milled perforated paneling, flush rolling doors

DETAILED DESIGN For the Lake Okoboji home, Min | Day designed the space with CNC-milled panels over recessed lighting in the wood wall.

with hidden hardware, and other features— give the apartment an element of crispness and surprise. The perforated panels are a nod to Art Deco ornamentation, but instead of repeated geometric patterns, we used a pattern that echoes the grasslands of the Great Plains.” Jeffrey Day, partner

of spatial frames within the house that focused on the view while excluding the neighbors, allowing for a sense of total privacy.” Modern and clean, the exterior of the home features opaque and slatted vertical Ipe clads, a stacked set of spatial tubes that are open to the views of the lake and the surrounding woods. “We formed the house’s spatial tubes around view axes running through the site, perceptually linking the lake through the forest to the fields beyond,” Min says. “The first level is dominated by continuous, subtly amorphous space that opens to the exterior, and is bound by the primary living spaces while suggesting connections to the surrounding landscape, lake, and sky.” In addition to the house and site, Min | Day also was responsible for all furniture, fabrics, and finishes in the home. “We designed several special pieces of furniture utilizing digital fabrication techniques: a custom, CNC-milled headboard/ cabinet for the master bedroom based on waterdrop wave patterns, a custom dining table with an undulating underside, and an asymmetrical coffee table,” Day says. Another award-winning project by the firm, L Residence, is an apartment occupying the top floor of a converted 11-story Art Deco-era hotel. While the lobby and many of the apartments were rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Art Deco building, the owners of the top-floor units were given the opportunity to design their own spaces. The firm’s


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client was a filmmaker whose unit occupies the prominent southeast corner of the penthouse floor. “A challenge was that although we had the opportunity to work with generous 15-foot ceilings, the windows shared the same small proportions and 7-foot, 6-inch head height with all lower floors,” Day says. “Our approach began with treating the major living space as an exterior-like area, pushing all of the private and utilitarian spaces behind a large, flat wall of oak veneer. Above is a private roof deck accessed from stairs and passages in the compressed spaces on the inner sides of the apartment. “We located utilitarian spaces such as bathrooms and closets at the inside of the backwards L-shaped condominium space,” he continues. “Custom detailing—such as CNC-milled perforated paneling, flush rolling doors with hidden hardware, and other features—give the apartment an element of crispness and surprise. The perforated panels are a nod to Art Deco ornamentation, but instead of repeated geometric patterns, we used a pattern that echoes the grasslands of the Great Plains.”

Currently, the firm is working on residential projects, some art-related projects, and the expansion of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha. Other projects in the works include an urban farm and community food center in Lincoln, a large public art piece (also in Lincoln), and preliminary work for the Omaha Creative Institute. While the majority of Min | Day’s projects are located within a few hours of one of its offices, they will work in any location. “What is important for us is not where the project is located but if the client is willing to be a collaborator and engage in an exciting, exploratory process,” Min says. Looking to the future, Min | Day’s owners are interested in broadening the range and size of their projects, pursuing larger commissions for public, cultural, and institutional buildings while, at the same time, continuing to work on residential design, as well. “We’ve maintained a position that we are open to any type of project,” Day says, “as long as there are interesting opportunities for design and exploration.”

IN HARMONY WITH NATURE The Krmpotich Residence’s design respects the innate flow of nature, featuring the vast and beautiful locale as a backdrop. The residence, nestled in a slowly rising hill on the outskirts of Casper, WY, is built to sustain strong prevailing winds.

Abramson Teiger Architects navigating the delicate balance between practicality and dramatic artistic expression by Daniel Casciato


Photo: Jim Bartsch

fter a dozen years of working with their own firms, renowned architects and acquaintances Trevor Abramson, FAIA, and Douglas Teiger, AIA, joined forces in 2000, merging their talents to create Abramson Teiger Architects. “We wanted to capitalize on our individual strengths and combine our different skills to complement each other,” Abramson says. While both architects focused primarily on residential projects with their own firms, they have gradually added institutional and commercial projects—such as educational facilities and varied commercial buildings—to the firm’s portfolio. “This has evolved by designing our client’s home and then their office, or their home and then their place of worship, and so forth,” Abramson says.

“Over the 23 years we have both been in business, we have always done some nonresidential projects, but we have made it a focus over the last five years. It’s the same relationship and the same repeat clients, but doing different projects.” The South Africa-born Abramson has worked in such places as Southern California, Colorado, Wyoming, and Canada. He studied at Columbia University in New York, where he received a master’s degree. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California (USC) where he graduated summa cum laude. At USC, he also received the Quincy Jones Memorial Award for Design Excellence, one of 20 architectural awards he would go on to win throughout his career. He was also recently elevated to a Fellow in the AIA for his nationally renowned designs.

Prior to starting his own practice, he was a project designer in the office of Welton Becket & Associates in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for the design of the winning entry to the competition for the proposed “Hall of Evolving Life” at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. He also worked for John Burgee Architects, with Phillip Johnson in New York, as a project designer. Abramson’s business partner, Teiger, graduated with honors from Cornell University in 1982, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture, and earned a master’s in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica in 2009. He has served as an executive committee member of the United Jewish Federation Real Estate and Construction Cabinet, as well as the Santa Monica College Architectural CAD Technology Advisory

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The Krmpotich Residence The home’s low profile slopes up and away from the hill behind it, to allow winds to blow over in an aerodynamic manner. The primary rooms are positioned to have sweeping views to the hills and the town in the distance. To shield the house further from the wind, the firm used concrete walls. The solidity of the walls protects the southerly facades from buffeting 100-mph winter winds and, in addition, provides great thermal mass to help reduce the home’s heat load. The concrete walls are left exposed to a 10-foot-high datum, above which redwood siding in 4-inch horizontal bands rises to meet the roofs. The concrete and wood articulation is expressed on both the exterior and the interior, assisting in the visual link of indoor/outdoor. The house is designed for a family of four, with two distinct wings. The eastern wing of the house contains the bedrooms, while the western wing contains the public living spaces. The breakfast room and the playroom create a well-balanced junction for the two wings.


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“We strive to do something interesting and highly resolved in every project that we do. We are constantly striving for perfection.” Trevor Abramson, Founding Principal

The Toronto Residence According to Trevor Abramson, this Toronto home is an exploration of the traditional division of a building into base, middle, and roof. To accommodate the causal lifestyle of the family who resides here, the architects developed an open floor plan on the first floor, where the kitchen and family room opens up to the garden. The kitchen and family room use themes vital to the firm’s design concepts, such as a skylight that filters soft light into the space, and expansive sliding doors that disappear to highlight the seamless integration of the interior with the outside garden. The first-floor base is mostly solid, in response to the harsh Toronto winter, and is clad in layers of stone and wood. The secondfloor walls are free of the base in plan. The walls follow the profile of the soaring roof above and are finished in white plaster, reinforcing the concept of lightness as the house lifts to the sky. The second floor has an open den from which the three children’s bedrooms and the master suite flow. The home’s indoor swimming pool is designed with doors that disappear into the walls, connecting the exterior patios to the pool deck. In direct contact with the water of the pool and rising 5 feet above the pool is a 16-foot-wide fish tank that separates the swimming pool from the living room and beyond. In the living room, the view extends through the fish tank, through the water of the pool, and out to the garden beyond.


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THE GREAT OUTDOORS The Lima project features a swimming pool that runs parallel to the house, with its blue color complementing the view of the natural preserve. Between the pool and the house is a strip of low-maintenance artificial turf. The pool forms one edge to the courtyard between the two buildings, and opens into an outdoor living space, which features a fire pit.

Lima Residence Situated on the edge of a natural preserve, this home takes full advantage of the uninterrupted natural landscape that it faces. The form of the house is conceived as a series of folding roof planes clad in factory-painted, charcoalgray metal. At specific points, the metal roof is either folded up or down to form wall planes. These walls frame openings that are focused on the view to the hills beyond. At points, the folded walls lift up revealing poured-in-place concrete walls that are part of the first-floor enclosure. The compound consists of the main house building, garage, and guest-room building, which are separated by a courtyard. The house form is a rectangle, in plan, with the long side composed of large glass doors and windows that face the view. The plan is essentially open with a livingdining room and family room separated by a freestanding cabinet. The living窶電ining space is voluminous with its 14-foot-high ceilings and clearstory windows. It opens to the kitchen, which runs perpendicular to the main space. The dining sequence transverses the living space in a series of spaces that each open up to the other and to the exterior in a dramatic manner. The kitchen has a series of sliding doors that disappear into a wall, allowing the exterior eating patio and the kitchen to be unified as one eating/cooking environment. Likewise, the kitchen and formal dining area are open to each other and are on the same axis. They face the view and connect to the exterior with another set of sliding doors that open up completely.


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is e om h ur o Y

r u o y ould k like h s y Wh ows loo wind

e n o y r e v e e’s? els

A HIGHLY SKILLED STAFF Trevor Abramson, FAIA (far left), and Douglas Teiger, AIA (far right) have assembled an award-winning team of architects and designers, seen here in the firm’s Culver City, CA, design office.

Board. He was also a lecture chair for the AIA Young Architects Forum and is currently vice chairman on the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Awards Committee. Teiger began his career in New York City with the firm Swanke Hayden Connel, where he worked on the Statue of Liberty renovation. As a project designer with Arthur Erickson Architects, he was instrumental in designing the San Diego Convention Center, Brentwood Library, and the renovation of the historic Stockon Street Hotel in San Francisco.

Residential W indow System Sleek, grac

eful sightlin es Wide palett e of colors Perfect for “g reen” build ing Unmatched energy efficiency & durability

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The Culver City, California-based firm strives for a constant balance of practical needs and dramatic artistic expression. The two founding principals will treat every project of theirs as an exercise in collaboration, with the client’s design, scheduling, and financial goals at the center of all consideration. “We work very hard for our clients and place building a relationship as the highest priority,” Abramson says. “We do what we say, and as a result more than 65 percent of our clients are repeat clients. We create award-winning projects, and our strong design adds real value for our clients. Great design and great projects have been the keys to the success of our growth.” The firm’s design philosophy can best be described within the exploration of modernism and how it can inspire the people who dwell and work in architectural homes. The firm’s architecture does not “rest on clean exact lines resonating order and starkness, but integrates light and air within structured spaces of material and form,”

Abramson says. “The result is space that flows, merging function and form without prejudice to indoors versus outdoors. “We create homes that are architecturally distinct but that are warm and tranquil,” Abramson continues. “In the homes, we do very dramatic, architectural homes that are warm, peaceful, and tranquil. It’s a nice mix. We strive to do something interesting and highly resolved in every project that we do. We are constantly striving for perfection.” The firm’s work has not gone unrecognized. In 2004, Abramson Teiger Architects received the National Honor Award—the highest design award given by the American Institute of Architects (AIA)—and eight other AIA awards for its design excellence and more than 20 other national and local awards. In addition, the firm has been featured on 19 home tours and has been published in more than 145 magazines and books. One of its great successes in 2009 was its work on the Lima Residence in Calabasas, California. The house was used as a backdrop for television commercials for Lexus, McDonald’s, and the US Census, as well as numerous print ad campaigns. It was also a winner of the 2009 San Fernando Valley Chapter Honor Award. As for the future, Abramson says that things are looking up in terms of the economical cycle. “We’re very busy and expect it to be busier for us in the months ahead,” he says. “From a design perspective, we expect to continue to do great work and hope to win more awards.”

the plans

CUSTOM-MADE DWELLING At the upper level of the Noyack Creek home, a bridge that overlooks the twostoried main area below connects the master bedroom and bathroom. The spaces can be closed off with large, rolling flats.

Bates Masi + Architects luxury and sustainability for oceanfront homes


ll of our projects have some kind of sustainable aspect,” says Paul Masi, principal at Sag Harbor, New York-based Bates Masi + Architects. “We always try to design green, and particularly in a way where the sustainability is built into the architecture—where it’s less about installing new, energy-saving technology and more about using materials that will age well over time. We don’t want to just apply sustainable technology to

by David Hudnall

architecture, we want the sustainability to be a part of the architecture in the first place.” Particularly on oceanfront homes—an area of specialty for the firm—sustainable materials are key. “The maintenance of oceanfront homes can often far exceed the cost of the home, because you’re essentially getting sandblasted all day long,” Masi says. “So you want materials that weather harsh summers and winters nicely.”

He points to work his firm did on the Re-cover residence in East Hampton, New York, a home originally designed in 1968 by founding principal Harry Bates. The original owners of the home recently sold it, and the new owners contacted Bates Masi, seeking to modernize it but retain its aesthetic integrity. “It’s a very simple beach house,” Masi explains. “So the question is, how do you improve the mechanical aspects, the HVAC, the wiring, and all the other old stuff without losing the essence of

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SPACIOUS SURROUNDINGS The deceptively simple plan was designed to translate the owner’s professional theatrical life and mindset into related, but not obvious, spaces in the house. The living room, dining room, and kitchen make up the large, open main area with dynamic and sweeping views of the landscape and water.

Noyack Creek Home Noyack, NY Building size: 1,750 square feet Lot size: 0.31 acres Accolades: New York Times write-up Built on a restricted budget for a young New York actor, the Noyack Creek home is a case study in space maximization. “It was a smaller project, but it presented the same challenge as all our residences: How can we design this space in a way that improves his lifestyle?” Masi says. Exterior decking runs throughout the home, constructed out of Skatelite, the same building material that the skateboard industry uses to build ramps. The material was also used for doors, cabinets, and flooring, which creates a seamless, Zen-like flow that merges the indoor and outdoor elements. In order to keep costs low, a number of crafty decisions were made. “In terms of materials, we looked at doors and windows that are typically used for more of a commercial application, and that have standardized sizes,” Masi says. “That made for easier installation, which drove prices down.” One specific, inexpensive but elegant, light fixture was chosen at the outset and used in every lighting space in the house. “We were very happy with the way it turned out,” Masi adds. “It was a lesson in simplicity.”

OPEN CONCEPT To simplify the exterior façade, standard-size aluminum-and-glass sliding doors act as both windows and doors throughout the home.


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MULTIFUNCTIONAL WOODWORK The Skatelite siding is combined with areas of rough-cut cedar boards on the exterior and continues into the interior as flooring, wall, ceilings, and countertops, reinforcing the seamless flow between the interior and exterior. The Skatelite siding’s variation in patterns allow for different openings, views, and interlocking siding arrangements. At the rear deck, the siding is used as a privacy screen to obstruct views from neighbors while allowing natural light into the space.



MIRROR IMAGE The parallel interior and exterior stairs, separated by a wall of glass, can serve as vertical circulation, tiered seating for entertaining, or a place to enjoy the water views.

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A SECLUDED FAMILY GETAWAY Situated on a large plot with extensive sprawl, this residence is organized around a set of destinations—secluded retreats not unlike the clearings carved from the woods when the land was cultivated as a peach orchard years ago.

Northwest Peach Farm East Hampton, NY. Building size: 7,000 square feet Lot size: 10 acres Awards: 2008 AIA Long Island ArchiAward




A family property, the Northwest Peach Farm was completed by the firm two years ago. The clients’ extended family hails from England, and it’s primarily used as a destination home when relatives come across the pond to visit (a guest wing was incorporated into the design). The property—previously a peach orchard, and very secluded—includes an axis stone walkway that runs throughout the house, landscape, pool, patios, guest house, and reading areas. “It’s this common element that snakes through the property,” Masi says. “You can wander around and find yourself in these different spaces and use them at different times during the day, but they’re all interconnected via this walkway axis.” The firm also designed much of the furniture in the home, including a dining-room table with stainless-steel tubes running the length of the table that can either hold candles or flowers. The tubes can be removed, and the trough inside can be filled with ice for chilling drinks. “We changed the function of the dining room to reflect their lifestyle,” Masi says. There is also a dining space on the roof. One of the clients’ primary goals for the home was that it be designed and constructed in a way that would allow it to remain in the family for generations to come. “They were not just interested in how things would look now, but 20,


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UNIQUE STORAGE SPACE Northwest Peach Farm’s wine room houses an abundant collection of bottles that cast a pattern of shadows through a glazed wall along the main entrance. The bottles are supported by a single, continuous piece of bent steel that creates a hivelike storage structure.

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Re-Cover Home Amagansett, NY Building size: 1,500 square feet Lot size: 0.5 acres Awards: 2008 Peconic Honor award; 2009 Wood Design and Building Merit Award Thirty-five years after the firm originally designed this vacation residence, its new owners

RECYCLED RESOURCES By constraining the palette of materials and reusing salvaged parts of the existing house, the line between new and old becomes nearly imperceptible, limited only to minimal inflections in finish. Only on close inspection is new texture and color revealed at 192 luxury home quarterly the board’s freshly cut edges.

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sought to rejuvenate the house while preserving its spaces, seasoned tones, and texture. Clad almost entirely in 12-inch-wide cypress boards, the original house exuded a straightforward simplicity the owners wished to maintain. The wooden, boxy Re-cover residence is a simple beach house that the clients wished to modernize. In terms of style, things were kept relatively simple. Wood cladding is consistent

throughout, and the home features a blue sandstone from northern New York, which runs along the patio, kitchen, and bathrooms—all of which were enlarged and updated. The home’s previous sliding-glass doors were replaced with custom-brushed aluminum sliders, and countertops were revamped. “Being in the home is a simple, minimalist, fun experience,” Masi says.

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HIGH-QUALITY RESULTS To create a cohesive language from room to room, Bates Masi reapplied dense sandstone from one surface to another with subtle variations in texture, resulting in smooth walking surfaces, wall surfaces with a rough-framed finish, and countertops in a glossy polished finish.

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a simple beach house? It’s a lot of work to hide a lot of work, essentially.” But Bates Masi + Architects put in the time, and the results are marvelous. The cypress boards and cedar decking removed from the respective south wall and deck were salvaged and refashioned as stair treads and risers, and fine scrim material. The effect is that a classic, textured, worn-in consistency emerges throughout the home, inside and out, that is a delicate but true balance of new and old. It is hardly the only such home to which Bates Masi + Architects has applied a green, sustainable approach. Most of the LEED-accredited firm’s residential homes feature geothermal heating and cooling; the Northwest Peach Farm project, also in East Hampton, includes triple-glazed windows and doors and a planted roof on top of the house. On a project in Amangansett, known as the Elizabeth H residence, the firm used an environmentally friendly natural sealer called OS Hardwax that is water and stain resistant, produces no off-gassing, and is safe for children.

BEDROOM TO BOARDROOM Home and corporate environments embrace a seamless integration of entertainment, information, communication and control.

Automation • Multi-Room Sound • Lighting Control Home Theater • Videoconferencing AAV Corp. (Architectural Audio Video) is a custom design audio video company catering to private and business clients. Our main office is located in Long Island, NY, however we have also carried out overseas and out of state specialty projects. We have 20 years of experience and an excellent reputation within the AV industry. We strive to develop a superior custom integration company for our clients, through state of the art technology, innovation, leadership and partnerships.

This kind of forward thinking has been ingrained in the firm’s culture since it was founded in 1965 by Harry Bates, after he left Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to go off on his own. Bates started out in New York City, designing second homes for Manhattanites, first on Fire Island and eventually further east into the Hamptons, where he moved the firm in 1985. Masi, who met Bates while working on his architecture MA at Harvard, joined the firm fulltime in 1998, and soon was made partner. Today, Bates and Masi’s reach includes not only the Hamptons but areas along the East Coast and the Caribbean, including rural, suburban, and urban residences. The firm consists of ten architects working on a variety of projects at any time. That includes offices, schools, and furniture, but the majority of efforts are paid to homes, especially the vacation and second homes that populate eastern Long Island. “We definitely have a residential niche,” Masi says. “But stylistically, we try to avoid specific niches, because people tend to want to put you in a cubbyhole. But I would say that we’re very modern in terms of thought process, if not always stylistically. We’re always trying to push the boundaries people live in. It’s not necessarily a pursuit of geometry; it’s more about enhancing lifestyles. Finding out our clients’ everyday rituals and redefining their space to make those rituals more inspirational, in a way that enhances their experience in their home.”

Southampton, NY | Huntington, NY | West Palm Beach, FL For a consultation, please call us at 631.421.2842


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Masi continues, saying, “We’re very interested in the relationship of spaces, contrasting spaces—intimate rooms and grand rooms side by side can give a range of emotional experience. When we work on homes, we’re interested in providing a depth to the home beyond its face value.”


Providing concepts and programs for deluxe homes

Max Strang Architecture Unique homes, beautifully executed through sustainable technology by Jennifer Kirkland Architect Max Strang tells the story of how his own house defined his early career. Movie director Michael Mann was scouting locations in Coconut Grove, Florida, for his 2006 cop drama MiamiVice when he suddenly found himself facing a house that looked like something out of the jungles of Bali. Primordial palm trees surrounded an Oolitic limestone façade shaded by an enormous upper terrace that was accented by exposed, rust-finished steel beams. “That’s the drug lord’s house,” Mann said, and cast it in his movie.

modernism, winning AIA Florida and AIA Miami Awards in the process.

The house that Strang designed and completed in 2005 has become something of a landmark. It’s been on HGTV three separate times, and it was in the Burn Notice TV series, also as a villain’s house.

“We design unique homes that are beautifully executed, and that’s what keeps delivering us acclaim and repeat business,” Strang says. “We focus on collaborating with the client to come up with something that is unique for them.” Strang understands the importance of building relationships with his clients. He grew up in a modern, midcentury house in Winter Haven, Florida, and the architect, Gene Leedy, was a close family friend who influenced Strang’s style. “That was my early indoctrination into classic modernism,” he says, and it led him to study architecture at the University of Florida and Columbia University.

Strang’s small, highly creative firm, Max Strang Architecture, has been based in Miami since 1998, but in the last few years, Strang has been focusing more on custom single-family homes notable for their innovative combination of sustainability and

Strang relocated to Miami to launch his firm in 1998. “I thought Miami offered a big-city feel, but it was also near to the place where I grew up, and I wanted to have a lot of family close by,” he says. At first, the firm would take any project with

LEED-Certified Winterhaven House This Central-Florida lakefront residence is anticipated to achieve a LEEDSilver rating upon completion. The home features many state-of-the-art sustainable feature,s and the design aesthetic reflects the owners’ modernist sensibilities. •P  assive design features include large overhangs, cross ventilation, a windowless south side, and concrete flooring. • Active design features include photovoltaic solar cells (expected to provide up to 50% of energy needs), geothermal AC, Icynene spray-foam insulation, Low-e glass, and recycled materials and finishes. • Resysta, a new kind of siding made from 100% wood-free hybrid material manufactured in Germany, was used in the home. According to Max Strang, this is the largest residential application to date of this eco-friendly product.

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Stein Residence The Stein Residence in Coconut Grove, FL, was designed to accommodate the owner’s art collection. Limestone flooring and white walls bring a crisp, minimal look to the home. The custom kitchen, fabricated by Eggersmann (, evokes the feeling of a modern treehouse. The red coconut chair is by George Nelson (,

the slightest creative merit. “We even did some explorative modern designs for Home Depot and BP,” Strang says. But he always knew he wanted to concentrate on high-end custom homes, and ever since his own house appeared on the silver screen, that plan has been unfolding nicely. Strang’s collaborative approach can be seen in the Stein Residence, also in Coconut Grove. Many of the interior-design details of this minimalist, modern glass house are inspired by the owner’s art and photography collection. “We put a lot of thought into designing rooms and light and space around his collection,” Strang says.

“We design unique homes that are beautifully executed, and that’s what keeps delivering us acclaim and repeat business.” Max Strang, owner


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The Stein Residence is a striking contrast to Strang’s house. Where the large upper terrace of the Strang house brings the inside out, every room of the Stein Residence has floor-to-ceiling glass to bring the outside in. “It’s a very modern glass treehouse,” Strang says. Stein’s gray and white palette also contrasts the warmer earth-toned palette of the Strang house, where sustainable, local limestone blends with the rust-painted steel and wood. Florida is a land of many environments, and Strang is excited to bring sustainable technology to his original hometown, currently completing the first LEED-certified home in Winter Haven. He describes the design as strikingly modern and

sustainable. “We push sustainable,” Strang says. “I don’t think any reputable architect today is designing without sustainability in mind. It’s great when the client is on the same page as us; but if not, we try to bring them to the same page.” Strang hopes all his future projects will be LEED certified, and currently all of the firm’s designers are either LEED APs or LEED GAs. While the recession meant cutting back, Strang has been seeing some great new projects, including a waterfront house in Surfside, Florida, and three other new homes about to break ground. Strang would like to move into residential development, and design entire communities. “I want to provide a product, not just a professional service,” he says. In the meantime, he just has to figure out a way to tell his kids that they live in a drug lord’s house. A MESSAGE FROM Greenbrook Pools Greenbrook Pools has been proud to partner with Max Strang Architecture on many successful projects, and we look forward to our continued relationship. Our commitment to excellence will ensure you receive the best spa, water feature, or pool in all of South Florida. Please check us out on the Web for more information and to view many of our masterpieces at www.


Dinmore & Cisco Architects, Inc.

CUSTOM CABANAS The Kealakekua Bay home’s main living area and separated guest rooms are framed by an expansive pool and cabana, perfect for rest, relaxation, and entertaining guests.

Hawaii-based full-service design firm customizes homes, facing challenges of the singular climate and terrain by Frederick Jerant Most of us speak of “living the high life” as a metaphor, but the owners of the Solien Residence in Kaloko, Hawaii, have taken that expression quite literally. Perched at 3,500 feet on the slopes of the 8,200-foot Hualalai volcano, the home serves as the primary residence for a globe-trotting couple. “Designing the home was quite a challenge,” says Terrance Cisco, principal and owner of Dinmore & Cisco Architects, Inc., based in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. “The owners wanted a place in the forest, so we first had to accommodate the area’s varying weather conditions.” Cisco explains that mornings in that part of Hawaii can be bright and clear, with heavy clouds and rain rolling in at midday, and clear, cool nights. In the same day, temperatures can swing from 48 to 92 degrees

Fahrenheit, accompanied by humidity levels of 58 to 92 percent. Many of the home’s exterior materials were chosen for durability. “For these conditions,” Cisco says, “wood and even concrete tile would be too porous. I’ve actually seen plants take root in roofs because of them.” Instead, the firm specified a rubber roof that mimics the appearance of slate, and plastic woodlike material for the deck and other areas where the appearance of wood was desired. “The husband was keen on tying the house into the surrounding Hapu’u fern and Ohia hardwood forest,” Cisco adds. That’s why all bedrooms offer a spectacular view of the forest. The home also

features a dramatic cantilevered deck. “The site is steeply graded,” Cisco says, “and the deck is roughly 40 feet above ground level, so the view is into the trees themselves, but you can also gaze down through the trees to the coastline.” Custom stainless-steel wire railings surround the perimeter of the deck, offering substantial safety while being practically transparent. The interior of the home compensates for the limited daylight, with numerous skylights, light shelves, light bridges, and other techniques that allow natural and artificial light to bounce off the ceiling and provide gentle illumination throughout the rooms. “When the clouds roll in, we countered the overall ‘grayness’ by using a palette of brighter, richer colors wherever we could, and

NOV / DEC 2010

luxury home quarterly



A message from Phantom SCREENS Founded in 1992, Phantom Screens leads the retractable-screen industry in North America by helping homeowners to have it all—shade from sun, protection from insects and UV rays, natural ventilation, and uninterrupted views.

OCEANSIDE LIVING Dinmore & Cisco’s project on Kealakekua Bay features a breathtaking ocean panorama as viewed from the poolside cabana, which has a fullservice bar, dining table, and a hikie’e—a Hawaiian day bed. An adjacent outdoor shower and changing room rounds out everything owners and guests need at the poolside.

by using lighter-toned finishes to help reflect light,” Cisco says.

An increasing number of residential and commercial environments require custom solutions when dealing with solar-heat gain, airflow circulation, and privacy. Phantom’s screens and mesh options provide answers to these design challenges. As energy-efficient design continues to gain popularity, the importance of reducing glare and solar-heat gain is becoming more critical. Phantom’s wind and solar sensors are often integrated into building automation systems, providing UV protection and comfortable living environments at the touch of a button.

As an example, he points to an abstract metal sculpture on a wall of the dining area. Created by an artist friend in North Carolina, it is surrounded by intensely colored Italian plasters and bathed by three accent lights.Yellow maple cabinets also add a feeling of airiness. In addition, the home’s two main interior zones can easily be isolated from the dining area. It’s a real benefit because, when the owners choose to open the dining area directly onto the deck, the temperature and humidity in the other areas are not affected.

Today, Phantom Screens continues both its customer and solutions-based focus, working with custom builders and architects across North America and internationally to ensure seamless integration of Phantom retractable screens with residential and commercial build and design projects.

Another notable Dinmore & Cisco project is a bit more down-to-earth: just 268 feet above sea level, in fact, overlooking Kealakekua Bay. “Our clients purchased about 18 acres of land in an agricultural/historical preserve and built two homes—one for themselves and the other for the wife’s parents,” Cisco says. “They were per-


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mitted to landscape only about three acres, so the homes are otherwise surrounded by completely natural vegetation.” The owners’ vision was of a home that incorporated both Hawaiian and Japanese architectural motifs. Cisco’s business partner John Dinmore noted that Japanese homes often feature stucco surfaces framed by heavy wood supports. Dinmore applied this design concept to the buildings’ exterior walls. The rooflines have slightly peaked edges, evocative of a pagoda. The Hawaiian motif is carried inside, as well; false rafters in the ceilings separate expanses of textured, woven-grass wallpaper that resemble native Lauhala leaf mats. Another unique feature is the home’s color scheme. When building a home, it’s common for economy’s sake to limit interior colors to two—one for the walls, another (in a darker or lighter shade) for the trim. “The wife, an artist born in Cuba, came in and told us exactly what

“We sought to counter the overall ‘grayness’ by using a palette of brighter, richer colors wherever we could, and by using lighter-toned finishes to help reflect light.” Terrance Cisco, Principal & Owner she wanted,” Cisco says. “We ended up using the 26 colors she specified throughout the house.” Lest you think the result looked like an explosion in a paint store, Cisco points out that “she had a very good eye for color. There was a big bill from the painting contractor, but everything came out very well.” The success, he adds, of both homes was largely due to the high-quality care taken by the outstanding crew of Starbird Construction, Inc., a longtime partner of Dinmore & Cisco.

a message from Railing Systems Hawaii At Railing Systems Hawaii, we offer quality custom component systems for a cost-effective choice of materials to meet your design criteria. We cover all price ranges. We are capable of designing basic systems, as well as designing and fabricating one-of-a-kind systems for any unique project. We work primarily with nonferrous materials, i.e., bronze, aluminum, stainless steel, and glass. We are capable of using several different welding processes either in our shop or out in the field. Our services go beyond the fabrication of our Systems. We service and support our clients with any metal options encountered during the development of their projects.

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MODERN LOFT For this contemporary Minneapolis loft, the firm raised the floor 12 inches so that natural light would reflect on the floor and brighten the space. The residence also features a Heatilator fireplace ( and stunning custom wood paneling by Choice Wood Company ( The television controls are located in a hall closet, to keep electrical cords and equipment out of sight.

Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Ltd. Husband-and-wife team brings New England practicality to high-end home design by Ruth E. Dávila If great residential design is meant to anticipate— and facilitate—homeowners’ every move, Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Ltd. is a mastermind of the craft. The two head architects, Christine Albertsson and her husband, Todd Hansen, are a yinyang of balance, and it shows in their work. “Todd is extremely detail oriented, honing into the exact color balance,” Albersson says. “I tend to be more of a big-picture thinker.” Case in point: one of his specialties is intricate millwork, while one of hers is creating functional layouts. Albertsson, now based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was raised in Vermont and met Hansen while the two were pursuing their master’s of architecture degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. “I think that underlying New England practicality that I was raised in helps us tread a fine line between innovation and accessibility in terms of style,” Albertsson says. Conscious of the emotional impact of spaces,


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she and Hansen strive to incorporate comfortable components in many of their designs—for instance, double-hung windows. “They have a Colonial link to our common history,” she adds. “They’re affordable, beautiful, and functional. They’re something people recognize and feel good about.” After being captivated by pictures of Albertsson Hansen Architecture’s projects in magazines, one homeowner sought them out to remodel her historic Minneapolis loft. The design team converted it into a modern, sustainable home. One of the main objectives of this project was raising the entire floor structure by 12 inches to provide both mechanical chase and to effectively “lower” the sills for better views of the Mississippi River. To preserve the building’s character, the firm chose to maintain original elements such as exposed-brick walls, massive ceiling purlins, and select flooring material. “It’s that kind of detail that gives an interior lasting

quality, and it’s a distinctive quality that ties back to sustainability,” Albertsson says. In addition to a fabulous sunroom and deck for entertainment, the loft was topped off with a green roof boasting plants for cooling and a rain barrel to collect rainwater. Another project, Albertsson and Hansen’s own Minnehaha Creek residence, is a reflection of what their style looks like when given free reign: neither conventional nor too far out, but definitely bearing the stamp that designers dwell there. The couple made innovative additions to what was originally a 1,100-square-foot 1920s cottage in a bluff-top setting, which they painted white in front and red in back (to resemble an attached barn) and sided with vertical board and batten. “We had a limited, challenging lot and had to make choices about what we can have in a house to use it to full potential and meet basic needs,” Albertsson says. Some of the choices were unconventional, but ideal for them: In lieu of a dining room, they opted for a larger kitchen and a music bay with a grand piano. They built an outdoor deck a half-story down from the main floor to enjoy the best views of the creek. And to get to the master bedroom, which was a second-floor addition, one must walk through a former bedroom that now serves a home-office and dressing function. Additionally, their son’s infancy allowed Albertsson, who worked in that space at

CANNON FALLS PANTRY This full butler’s pantry is lined with storage to house the homeowner’s collection of tablecloths and linens. A library ladder that moves between the kitchen and pantry provides access to upper shelves, and a sliding door reveals the contrast between the soft hues of the kitchen and the bold green of the pantry.

Flooring: Antique Oak night, to tend to him better. It was also a practical move. “You save a lot of space by not having to replicate that floor area in circulation,” Albertsson says. Given its devotion to lifestyle design, the firm excels when designing deluxe, personalized kitchens. For a contemporary country house in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, Albertsson Hansen Architecture created special storage to fit a lifelong collection of antique housewares, with “a display for everything from coffee to dog food—and every pot, pan, and bowl has its own place,” Albertsson says. Niches for pottery collections line the room, and an adjacent passageway concealed by a swinging door serves as a cubby for wine. An abundance of

white linen tablecloths, collected by the lady of the house, hang on dowels in a glass-front cabinet separating the kitchen and full butler’s pantry. A rolling ladder circumnavigates the kitchen and pantry, sliding between two walls. Crown moldings were selected with great care and trimmed to the scale of each room.

Timbers: Hand Hewn Antique Timbers

“Quality design thoughtfully put together has a much better chance of surviving the test of time than a project, which is merely a collection of different items pulled from a catalogue,” Albertsson says. The beauty of Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Ltd. is that, whatever the idiosyncrasies of the homeowner, it delivers a dwelling that truly works.

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luxury home quarterly



CUSTOM DOORS As is typical of Soloway’s houses, Marc Soloway designed the frontentry doors of the Levin home. This design allows the materials to pass through seamlessly from inside to out so there is no disconnect from the exterior.

Neither has an architectural degree, but that’s not Soloway’s top priority. “I would do anything for my two project managers,” Purcell says. “It comes down to their personalities, work ethic, and knowledge of what they are doing. They are the heart and soul of why we do well.” Soloway insists on a fun, family-oriented workplace in which there are no hidden agendas or overly inflated egos. “Sometimes we play ridiculous games during the week for stress relief, and I’m usually the one who initiates them,” he says. “We are popular for having a phone extension that callers can dial to hear a recording of us making animal sounds. But when a deadline is approaching, we kick it into high gear. It’s the nature of the company. We never miss deadlines.” But don’t let the fun and cool mystique fool you. Soloway still handles all aspects of design, as well as the firm’s accounting, and thoroughly loves parsing every detail of the expenses, versus the income, the progression of a project, and ultimately whether it is profitable. Soloway credits this trait to the all-around business acumen of his father, Barry, an engineer and turnaround specialist.

Designers Prosper with Fun, Approachable Style and Wide RANGE of Projects

prides himself on never taking referral fees to refer contractors. He believes referrals should be offered because of good work, not from money to be made.

One project that illuminates that philosophy is the Anemone Residence, a 6,026-square-foot Tuscanthemed home in one of the area’s most luxurious developments, Canyon Pass. “A beautiful Tuscan is not too heavy in stone, stucco, or exposed lumber,” Soloway notes. “The correct ratio of these materials combined with tiled roofs, flat roofs, and other Tuscan detailing creates the perfect flow of elements that make it all cohesive.”

Soloway’s senior project manager, Ray Purcell, has worked with the company for 10 years, knows everything about a project and will fix something if it’s amiss. The other project manager, Janelle Lavoie, showed her passion for the work when she was willing to learn the company’s methods of construction drawing on her own time. She did so in 30 days after her initial interview, in order to win the job.

In the Anemone Residence, private patios and porches off of each main living area reflect the homeowner’s desire for outdoor living. “Everywhere you walk, coziness is the major priority,” Soloway says, describing covered porch areas with beautiful plantings, travertine pavers, and decorative elements in rich, earth-toned textures and patterns. Inside, the home features a circular

by Sandra Guy Marc Soloway considers himself dressed up if he wears jeans and a Polo shirt. It’s that laid-back approach that enables clients to feel comfortable telling Soloway their hopes and dreams for their new home. “The biggest compliment I get is, ‘You are a terrific listener.You actually designed with all the criteria that we gave you, and it all works,’” Soloway says. “I will tell clients the reasons I believe they have a good or bad idea, but ultimately it’s their project.” Soloway, who started the firm on his own in 1998 after buying out three college friends, also


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Photo: Robin Stancliff Photography

Soloway Designs Inc.

Soloway, who insists on the same cooperative, familylike relationship between his team and the contractor on every project, is working on the firm’s 742nd job. The firm does 50–60 projects each year. “We might work on a garage-port enclosure, and later that day work on a $5 million home,” Soloway says. “It keeps your ego in check, and it’s amazing how many big jobs come from the small ones.” Soloway considers the most successful projects the ones in which clients are most active, vocal, and— ultimately—thoroughly delighted.

ANEMONE RESIDENCE The Tuscan-themed Anemone Residence’s dining room features an elevated, formal but open dining room. The stone wall provides a backdrop to the room and encases a wine room beyond.

breakfast nook in a kitchen corner with arched, grid windows, and stone domes over the nook and larger kitchen area, each accented by a chandelier fashioned to look as though it is lit by candles, giving the area a rustic feel. Light and dark wood tones in the cabinetry complement the thick granite countertops.

Photo: Ray Albright

Another major feature is the rec room, which is accessed from the great room by an enormous pair of arched doors. The multifunctional room is framed by huge windows that overlook the backyard and the swimming pool. Ceiling soffits in this room, as well as the rest of the house, highlight the different functions of the room. The teak flooring gives the room a warm feeling. “We take a lot of pride in making sure that a house really works, not only for the person living there, but for their guests and everyday functionality,” Soloway says. “The rooms have to flow with each other, as well as with the views that you are capturing.”

5 Key Design Features of the Anemone Residence 1. Wide, Brazillian 3/8”-thick x 3” Koa wood floors in the media room and office, from Bellawood (, supplied by Lumber Liquidators. 2. A 6’3” x 11’ arch-style front door from Cantera. 3. An Apex wine cellar. 4. A mix of cottage and ledge stone throughout the home, installed by StoneCrafters (, manufactured by Dorado.

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5. Fractured Earth travertine floors in Chiseled, Dark Walnut, Turkey, and Versailles patterns.

This project and others, such as the Levin Residence, a 3,247-square-foot Canyon Pass home that offers open layout and expansive views, have helped define Soloway Designs’ custom work and attention to quality, as the company strives to achieve client satisfaction with uniquely designed luxury homes.

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luxury home quarterly



WILLSON RESIDENCE This Washington, DC, home features a study with cabinetry by Atrium Interiors ( and a view of the Kennedy Center.

Ponte Mellor Architects, Ltd. Focusing on highly contextual DESIGNS for both urban and suburban projects by Julie Edwards When it comes to residential architecture, the staff members of Ponte Mellor Architects, Ltd. (PMA) prefer to think of themselves as “lifestyle consultants,” says operations manager Brad Mellor, AIA, LEED AP. “We come to know our clients very well, and endeavor to synthesize our understanding and manifest it as an architectural plan. Our goal is to do this so well that the completed house feels like an extension of our clients’ lifestyle.” And PMA is well known for achieving—and surpassing—its goals. Founded in 2002 by Mellor and design director Rui Ponte, AIA, LEED AP, the award-winning firm is based in Bethesda, Maryland, and offers architecture, design, and construction-management services for retail, basebuilding and corporate interiors, and multifamily and single-family residential projects. Before establishing PMA, Mellor was at Gensler in Washington, DC, where he ran the entertainment, retail, and graphics studio, designing stores, hotels,


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restaurants, and casinos—both nationally and internationally. “However, I was motivated to found PMA with Ponte by the desire to become more closely connected to our local community through involvement in local commercial work and residential practice,” he adds. Mellor believes PMA’s success is due, in part, to the way the cofounders’ individual experiences complement each other in the project design and delivery process. “[Ponte’s] dedication to design detailing, perfect proportions, and knowledge of architectural styles, combined with my large-firm experience in the process and organization of project delivery, allows us to deliver significant value throughout our spectrum of project types,” he says. Though the firm practices both commercial and residential architecture, the residential practice is centered in the Washington, DC, metro area, with significant work in Maryland and Virginia, as well. And though the firm also has designed houses in

New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado, Texas, and Portugal, Mellor says, “PMA’s primary residential work focuses on upscale urban and older established suburban locations where we designs in-fill home projects, usually working in highly contextual settings where the project must be compatible with an existing fabric of the neighborhood.” One of PMA’s notable projects is the Willson Residence, a home located in the famous Watergate building—a landmark structure that has defined urban luxury living in Washington, DC, for more than 40 years. “When the owners decided to combine two apartments in this unique curved building, they requested that we honor their desire for an open, contemporary design while also providing a unique setting for their museum-quality collection of modern and traditional art,” Mellor says. The project scope consisted of a complete gut and rebuild of the interior of the apartment,

HIGH-END DESIGN The Willson Residence’s master bathroom features Macassar ebony and a Wetstyle tub on a pedestal.

Old World Craftmanship & Innovation Family owned & operated in the Metro DC area since 1979 including the living/dining space, modernized kitchen, study, guest bedroom, and master suite with his-and-hers bathrooms and dressing spaces. The visitor reception spaces are linked to the private master suite via a rotunda signifying the passage between the two areas and serving as an intimate display zone for family black-and-white photography. The majority of the finishes in the apartment have been rendered in a monochrome white, serving as a backdrop for the owner’s art collection and the magnificent views of the Potomac River and Kennedy Center. The cabinetry in Macassar ebony—a wood with horizontal striping and red tones providing punches of drama—provides a themed accent throughout the home since it is used in the kitchen, study, and bedrooms. “Many would consider interior architectural work at the Watergate a designer’s dream; however, manipulating spaces within the constraints of an older building’s mechanical and electrical infrastructure presents numerous challenges,” Mellor says. “In the end, however, the Willson Residence has a sophistication that supports a truly modern lifestyle while maintaining the classic sensibility of the Watergate’s original European Modernist design.” Even more impressive, PMA has received half a dozen additional design commissions at the Watergate as a direct result of other owners’ experiences in seeing the Willson Residence. Another distinctive project for the firm was the renovation of Mellor’s own residence, which

has served as a touchstone for PMA to illustrate its modern home design sensibilities. Evoking a warm, welcoming, modern style using many natural materials, “the objective of the renovation and master suite addition was to substantially increase and modernize the space available,” Mellor says. “Site positioning was a key consideration—the addition succeeds in maximizing natural light and woodland views through a carefully planned 45-degree orientation to the existing main house. This positioning opens views from the existing house to the rear and forms an outdoor living space next to the addition.” A unique aspect to PMA is its work with its sister company, Estoril Construction, Inc., which provides construction services within the Washington, DC, metro area. “Estoril Construction, Inc. allows us to deliver a complete design-build service for those clients who prefer a one-stop solution to their building requirements,” Mellor says. “In addition, in partnering with Estoril, we’re able to deliver a level of detailed budgeting accuracy to clients. We’ve been able to achieve a track record of plus or minus 10 percent accuracy from preliminary budget through built project, and cost control is a key to client satisfaction.” Mellor notes that while the firm has made some adjustments in the past few years, PMA has had “staying power” due to the diversity of its project types. “Our tried-and-true strategy of cultivating referrals from satisfied clients also has proven to be the best way to provide a stream of new business,” he concludes.

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luxury home quarterly


vacation homes

Creators of second homes and getaways

OUTDOOR LUXURY The home’s outdoor living area features a covered seating and grilling area, with infrared heaters in the ceiling to temper cool mountain evenings.

Mountain Star Residence Berglund Architects combines Old-World charm with edgy modern influences to create stunning “New West” architecture by Frederick Jerant

Avon, CO

Nestled in Colorado’s Vail Valley—one of America’s premier spots for skiing and other wintertime activities—you’ll find the spectacular 10,000-square-foot Mountain Star Residence. Originally built as the owners’ primary home, it became a spacious pied-à-terre when the family relocated to Manhattan. Designed by Berglund Architects, LLC, based in Edwards, Colorado, the home exemplifies the “New West” approach to architectural design. “The


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owners wanted a home that looked as if it belonged in the mountains but without the log-cabin effect,” says Hans Berglund, founding principal. “And they wanted it to be modern but without a lot of glassy boxes.” The firm achieved that seemingly elusive goal by melding natural materials, like stone and wood, with appropriate touches of metal and glass, and incorporating Old World designs with the local architecture. The exterior combines rough-hewn,

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European-style stone and lots of mortar, for a heavy, grounded feeling. Expanses of copper siding with a dark, rich patina reflect the sun’s glow and play a warm counterpoint to the cool stone.

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“NEW WEST” ARCHITECTURE In addition to the Mountain Star Residence’s expansive views, the home features an array of materials, including copper-siding panels, Old World stone, and curved steel for the home’s entry canopy. These juxtapositions of organic and industrial materials, infused with Old World and local vernacular architecture, harmonize to create a casually elegant residence that showcases “New West” design tactics.

“The owners wanted a home that looked as if it belonged in the mountains but without the log-cabin effect. And they wanted it to be modern but without a lot of glassy boxes.” Hans Berglund, Founding Principal

“The color also works well with the home’s palette and the local scenery,” Berglund says, adding that the patina picks up the surrounding earth and rock tones. From a distance, the Mountain Star home seems quiet and understated. But upon arrival, guests encounter a panoply of exciting details. Up close, the exterior features window walls that allow guests to drink in breathtaking 270-degree views of the Rocky Mountains backdrop, as well as of the fiveacre property itself. “In homes like this one,” Berglund says, “we use large areas of glass, huge sliding doors, and large covered outdoor areas to bring the outdoor experience to the home’s interior.” The owners are serious art collectors, and evidence of their passion emerges as soon as you enter the home under a curved steel trellis and through the walnut and steel doors. A freestanding art wall displays paintings, drawings, lithographs,

and photos by Isca Greenfield-Sanders, Caio Fonseca, and other contemporary artists. One exits the gallery to the living room through a 28’ x 10’ sliding-door system framed by exposed steel columns and beams. “We needed steel to support the roof,” Berglund says, “and instead of hiding the steel in faux wood beams, we designed them to complement the rest of the house. They evoke the ‘urban industrial loft’ look, but their dark finish and detailed connections provide an interesting contrast to the more refined materials.” That sense of contrast is found elsewhere in the living room. The asymmetrical fireplace is framed with slabs of buff-colored Colorado sandstone on the right and chunks of natural cleft-finish stones on the left. “We turned the fireplace into a sculptural form,” Berglund says, “with a dynamic shape that reduces the mass to make a more intimate human scale.”

OUTSIDE-IN DESIGN The home offers extensive views, reaching all the way to the Beaver Creek ski area, as seen from the living room. The large Weiland slidingdoor system, framed with an exposed steel structure supporting the roof, creates wonderful indoor-outdoor living opportunities.

A nearby stair tower wall is adorned at various levels by a collection of authentic Native American woven baskets; they can be admired close-up as one climbs the stairs. The stairs themselves are walnut slabs (sans risers) suspended on steel stringers. The arrangement gives the staircase a sense of transparency, making it practically a piece of sculpture itself.

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luxury home quarterly


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SLEEK & MODERN This powder room in Mountain Star features an LED-backlit mirror that seems to float off the walls of Maya Romanoff mother-of-pearl wall tiles (

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Mountain Star’s spacious kitchen is a study in contrasts, too. Stainless-steel appliances, as well as anodized aluminum cabinets and an island by Bulthaup, are offset by richly finished walnut on one wall and on the island’s eating bar. The kitchen’s additional walnut cabinets are edge-banded with one-sixteenth-inch aluminum strips, subtly tying together the materials used elsewhere.

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The room’s exposed ceiling beams of steel and wood work in counterpoint to the integral Venetian plaster walls. “They have a somewhat smooth texture,” Berglund says, “but with minor variations that lend it a handcrafted, Old World look.” A running-bond travertine floor further softens the room’s look. In addition, Mountain Star’s outdoor living space includes a terrace that flows from the living room doors, as well as a covered area equipped with comfortable seating and the hardware needed to cook and dine alfresco.

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REFINEMENT IN CONTRAST Mountain Star’s organic, industrial hybrid design is exemplified in this staircase, where the refined taperedsteel handrail creates contrast to the industrial exposed-steel stringers supporting the four-inch-thick walnut tread slabs.

The Mountain Star home also includes a feature that’s rarely found in the mountains of Colorado— an in-ground swimming pool. “Pools are unusual around here,” Berglund says, “because of our short summers and long winters. But the owners have kids who love to swim, so we designed the house to wrap around the pool to shelter the western winds.” Such details as this have made Berglund Architects a standout designer in the custom-home industry, as the company caters to both client satisfaction and high-end residential aesthetics.

Next to Route 6 Cafe and Napa in Eagle-Vail 208

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vacation homes

SCENIC SURROUNDINGS This Colorado Territorial-style home is designed to take advantage of the southern views of the Flat Top Mountains, Yampa Valley, and adjacent peaks.

Colorado Territorial-Style Homes Steamboat Architectural Associates brings a creative twist to its custom Colorado homes by Laura Judy For 30 years, the team at Steamboat Architectural Associates, based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, has been using its creativity to design some of the most beautiful homes in the area. The company does some commercial projects (infill only), but most of its business is in low-end and high-end residential projects. “We do a lot of second homes,” says Bill Rangitsch, architect and the owner of the company for 25 years. “Often, we’ll build a second home for clients, and once they realize how much they like the style, they’ll come back and have us do their primary home as well.” Many of the homes designed by Steamboat Architectural Associates are based on the popular Colorado Territorial style, which rests mainly in the materials and the basic shapes of a home. “Some of the materials that are typically used are dry stacked stone, reclaimed timbers and siding, smaller windows, and patinaed metals for roofing and siding, such as acid-etched steel panels,” Rangitsch says. “The look of the home involves basic shapes and simple pitched roofs.”

While Steamboat Architectural Associates does stick to many of the traditional elements of the Colorado Territorial style when it designs a home, the firm adds its own creative spin to the process. “I like to say that Colorado Territorial involves a rusticated design with contemporary additions,” Rangitsch says. “We like to play with the style. When we’re building in a high-end subdivision, we’ll design something that’s going to meet the guidelines of the homeowners’ association, but we’ll get creative and show them some ideas that may surprise them.” One of the ways in which the architects and designers get creative is by combining older styles with new ones, such as giving the exterior of a Colorado Territorial-style home a more contemporary look. “With larger homes in this style, one of the themes is that all the components do not match up,” Rangitsch says. “We’ll change up the mix of stone and wood to form a new look.” One of the company’s favorite ways to mix up the style is by adding more larger windows. “We’ll include

Steamboat Springs, CO Population: 9,600 Attractions: Rocky Mountain National Park, Steamboat Ski Resort, Howelsen Hill Ski Area, Steamboat Lake State Park, Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs, Vail ski areas

floor-to-ceiling windows in the design, or we’ll add new windows to a hand-hewn log home for a new look,” Rangitsch adds. Creating homes with beautiful windows is important to Steamboat Architectural Associates. “Our designs always revolve around the views in the area,” Rangitsch says. “We also design our homes to fit the contours of the sites, and we try to avoid

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PRICELESS VIEWS The openness of the kitchen, designed in the Colorado Territorial style, is outlined with full views of the southern valley and is open to the dining and great rooms. The infinity-edge spa is visible from the family room with a down valley view.

“Our designs always revolve around the views in the area.” Bill Rangitsch, Owner & Architect

the ‘welcome to our garage look,’ so the garage isn’t the first thing you see when you visit.” The company works hard to meet the wishes of each individual client. “There are a few subdivisions where we’ve done the majority of the homes, and clients will bring in photos of homes that show elements they do and don’t want,” Rangitsch continues. “Then we work that into our design criteria.” Another element that is often used in Steamboat Architectural Associates’ Colorado Territorial homes, as well as its other homes, is the use of green products and methods. “We’ve always included sustainable methods and products, even without our clients specifically asking for them,” Rangitsch says. “Our energy consumption is significantly below the standards, even without us trying.” The company also tries to use local products as much as possible. “If a client sees a tile they like that is imported from India, we’ll try to find something very similar that’s locally or regionally


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produced,” Rangitsch says. “It is cheaper for the client and has less of an environmental impact.” As it moves into the future, Steamboat Architectural Associates will continue to infuse its own creative methods into the classic Colorado Territorial style. Currently, the company has six full-time employees, and Rangitsch hopes to maintain that personal feel. The company usually takes on between 10 and 20 projects per year, handpicking the clients with whom it works. “We choose clients who want to have fun,” Rangitsch says. “We like people who are interested in the design and how things work, and we enjoy hearing their opinions.” Personally, Rangitsch enjoys the design process and trying to work as many of a client’s needs and wants into the project as is possible. “It’s never easy, but we like it that way,” he says. “If it was easy, anyone could do it.”

a message from Fair & Square Construction Fair & Square Construction, Inc. has had the pleasure of working with Bill Rangitsch on several beautiful homes. Bill’s ability to enhance the building site with his design impresses us and makes our job easier. His attention to detail assures the homeowner of optimal access and views and takes advantage of the natural light. After more than 25 years of building custom homes, we have learned to appreciate the value of a talented architect. We firmly believe that we are in the business of building dreams, and with a Bill Rangitsch home, our seasoned carpenters know they will be able to produce a custom home that they and the homeowner can be proud of. Wayne J. Adamo, President, Fair & Square Construction.

FAIR & SQUARE c o n s t r u c t i o n

Contact us for all your building needs!


Building homes in Routt County P O Box 817 | Clark, CO  80428

since 1980 

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Long Beach Township, NJ Population: 3,528 Attractions: Large-scale waterfront homes, beaches, vacationing celebrities, fishing, restaurants, the Lighthouse International Film Festival

says, “but it has a lighter color, almost like pine.” In addition, the bridge helps to visually separate the entranceway from the common area below it, making the gathering space one of the home’s most striking features. According to Ryan, the goal was to evoke a sense of openness and neutrality. The large, rectangular windows (offering floor-to-ceiling views of the bay) are divided, not by standard muntins, but by hefty beams, creating a design element that echoes the paintings of Piet Mondrian. The windows also provide a direct visual connection from the living space to the bay and swimming pool.

Bayview Residence Michael Ryan Architects provides a distinctively designed summer home on New Jersey’s Long Beach Island by Frederick Jerant At first glance, the structure is stunning in its remarkably boxy shape: one broad rectangle flanked by two squares. The Bayview Residence’s wide expanses of glass are eye-catching, as well. The 6,000-square-foot home, located in Loveladies, New Jersey, was designed by Philadelphia-based Michael Ryan Architects to serve the client’s specific desires. “The owners are a younger couple who had their first child last year,” says founding principal Michael Ryan. “They love to entertain, and many of their friends are also young parents. The owners wanted it to be their summer home but also to provide accommodations for stay-over guests.”


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The award-winning architecture and interiordesign firm—which has designed custom luxury homes in areas of Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York for more than 20 years—responded to that challenge by creating separate wings for the family and their guests, as well as providing a space that’s suited to large gatherings. The wings of the Bayview Residence are connected by a gently sloping bridge across the great room, to accommodate the slightly different levels of the two wings. The floor of the walkway is made from Chinese elm, reclaimed from the Three Gorges Dam project in Sandouping, China. “The wood is actually harder than oak,” Ryan

Likewise, the common room’s expansive white walls are devoid of paintings, posters, sconces, and any other decorative elements. “When you’re staying with someone for a long weekend, the presence of personal touches like knickknacks and family pictures can make you feel as if you’re intruding on the host’s personal space,” he says. “But clean, bare walls won’t have that effect.” That minimalist aesthetic is not carried through every area of the home, however. Instead, the bedrooms, bathrooms, nursery, and even the surrounding property contain many distinctive touches. For example, the owners insisted on using natural stone as an exterior design element. “For me, it’s hard to associate the beach with large stones,” Ryan says. “Constructions there are usually lighter, with more wood than anything else.” Rather than incorporating large, rough-hewn stones directly into the home’s exterior, the firm took a softer approach. Curved freestanding walls are faced with pastel rainbows of smooth rocks, offering a visual sense of serenity. “The stones came from a quarry in central Pennsylvania,” Ryan says. “Because the stones were shaped by water, I thought they’d fit in well at the Jersey shore.” In addition to serving as sculptural elements, they’re also utilitarian, hiding the outdoor shower

From high-end retail... to custom ideas for your home.

and heating/cooling equipment from public view. The stone wall actually breaks through the home’s exterior wall at one point, acting as a dramatic connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Other distinctive elements include a bathroom in the family wing with a playful wall treatment of green glass discs, providing a “bubbly” effect; a children’s bathroom in the guest wing that uses four colors of tile—one on each wall; the master bath, which uses river stones on the window sill, and features a sliding teakwood shower door; and a complex color palette (three pages long, Ryan says) that ties each area together, yet keeps them separate from each other. Throughout the design and construction phases, the owners were interested in both the project and the process, Ryan says. “It was a collaboration. We weren’t hired simply to implement the client’s vision but to bring our own approach to design, as well. That’s much of what our company does.”

Loveladies Loveladies is one of the numerous tiny communities that dot Long Beach Island, an 18-mile-long barrier island that parallels the coast of New Jersey. Situated at the northern end of LBI, Loveladies features many large-scale waterfront homes that are primarily used only during the summer months. “Are they or aren’t they?” rumors about vacationing celebrities often fly through the area. The family-oriented island serves as a base for long-range fishing and charter boats, and is the home of the Lighthouse International Film Festival. The four-day festival showcases new and innovative films and fosters the next generation of filmmakers. The area also features the Surflight Theatre (which bills itself as “Broadway on the Beach since 1950”) and numerous art galleries.

Fabrication Design 3-D Modeling Custom Finishes Installation

design - build 215.266.1714 philadelphia, pa NOV / DEC 2010

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civil engineering land surveying mapping & Lidar Scanning

Kua Bay Residence A classic Hawaiian beach cottage reinterpreted by de Reus Architects Since 1963, our firm has worked on a wide range of projects throughout Hawaii, the Trust Territories and the South Pacific, serving Ferderal, State and local governments, and the private sector. We have prepared studies, designs and construction cost estimates for over 1,000 civil engineering projects ranging in size from $20,000 to $300,000,000.

(808) 537-9971

by Ruth E. Dávila On a stark, arid stretch of the Big Island of Hawaii, this Kua Bay vacation home by de Reus Architects, Inc. melds brilliantly with its surrounding tropical landscaping. The home artfully achieves a “sense of place,” featuring a few of the key elements of architecture and materials indigenous to the region, while tapping into inspiration from other cultures as well. “Our philosophy is one of evolutionary architecture,” says Mark de Reus, president of de Reus Architects, based in Kamuela, Hawaii. “It reinterprets or builds upon a traditional architecture.” In this case, the

foundation is Hawaiian, “with undercurrents of Japanese craftsmanship and detailing” while fitting into the larger cultural context of Polynesia. In years past, de Reus ran an architectural firm in Indonesia, and the unique layout of traditional Balinese homes left a mark in his memory. There, homes are divided into separate pavilions, and property is demarked by a stone wall. This Balinese concept was the genesis of the pavilions featured in the Kua Bay design. At 4,371 square feet, the four-bedroom home is a case study in optimizing space. 214

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vacation homes

PERKS OF THE PACIFIC The Kua Bay Residence features a spa and pool area, just outside of the master bedroom, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

“You lose the distinction between the inside and outside, so your gardens become the hallway, connecting the rooms, and you feel the presence of the island.” North Kona Coast, Big Island, Hawaii Population: 40,000 (including surrounding area) Attractions: Mount Kea, white- and black-sand beaches, waterfalls, surfing, boating, fishing, diving, hiking, biking, site seeing, fresh local produce

The pavilions—called hales (pronounced hah’lays), which is Hawaiian for “building”—are connected by outdoor corridors with bursts of greenery. “In the tropics, you want to live in the garden and the environment as much as possible; that’s the beauty of it,” de Reus says. Three guest hales, all individual suites with bath gardens, are oriented toward views of the Kohala Mountains as they taper into the ocean toward Maui. The main hale—encompassing the primary living area, kitchen, powder room, and master suite (with dressing and bath garden)—faces Kua Bay below. “You lose the distinction between the inside and outside, so your gardens become the hallway, connecting the rooms, and you feel the presence of the island,” de Reus says.

Mark de Reus, President

The living area spills outside to a spacious, stone lanai, covered by a rooftop extending over the infinity pool that de Reus’ firm designed. “Having the swimming pool slide underneath the lanai roof is a key feature,” de Reus says. “Not only does this have an integrated feel; the shade on the pool provides an option to lounge in the pool without being exposed to the sun.” Sliding doors feature “minimal track systems” to achieve a clean appearance and further link the outdoor landscape to the living area. “Views from the living area and master bedroom—across the pool, over Kua Bay, to the ocean, and off to Maui—certainly never get old,” de Reus says. “This side of the Big Island is so rare and special.” Custom-made for its owners, the incorporation of personal space was a core value in the home’s design—indoors and out. “Through the use of lava-stone walls and landscaping, it achieves privacy from neighbors,” de Reus says. For additional privacy, Japanese-inspired wooden screens are

used at the entry vestibule, hallway, and master bath, giving “an element of elegance and mystery,” he adds. (The architectural screens, as well as the doors and windows, are made of Spanish cedar.) So deeply rooted in its site, the Kua Bay Residence would almost seem out of place anywhere else. Sweeping cedar, shingle roofs—a familiar form in Hawaii since the early 1900s—add shade to outdoor living areas that line the building. Inside, exposed western-red-cedar timbers frame the ceiling, bringing the bay’s sense of nature into the cottage. Cabinetry and millwork of local Ohia hardwood adorn the home. For de Reus, one of the greatest draws of this island cottage is its graceful, leisurely presence. “It’s not trying too hard—it’s restrained, unpretentious,” he says. Specializing in tropical architecture, with projects from Mexico to Malaysia, he has a good idea of what buyers seek in a luxury vacation home, and that was the priority in creating this gem. “The owners love it,” he says. “It fits them like a glove.”

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European Home Contemporary Gas and Electric Fireplaces

Offering European designed gas fireplaces approved for use in the US and Canada. Our Vision fireplace offers an open front, stainless interior, bed of stones and optional surrounds in stainless steel and concrete. European Home is pleased to be a part of Studio 27 Architecture’s Fire Island installation. It is a beautiful, well thought out design.

The House on Fire Island Please visit our web site for information on our linear, ribbon burner fireplaces, flush mount or hang on the wall fireplaces and our contemporary alternative to Gas Logs; we call them Gas Stones. Tel: 781-324-8383 216

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by Julie Edwards From a 1650s whaling center, to a 1950s Bohemian retreat, to one of the chicest places to have a beach house today, Fire Island, New York, offers a pastoral beach getaway that’s truly a unique destination. This stunning beach home, created by Studio27 Architecture, combines the traditional charm of the island with a modern design approach. “The House on Fire Island is designed specifically for this site, this beach community, and this island,” says Todd Ray, partner at Studio27 Architecture. “Our concept was to infuse the inherent liveliness and

natural spirit of the Island and insert some of the ‘spirit of the shore’ into the residential typology.” Based in Washington, DC, Studio27 Architecture became involved in the House on Fire Island project after working with the clients on their Washington, DC, home. The firm is known for providing unique, site-specific, and sustainable architecture for its clients. It achieves this “through a rigorous research, investigation, and design process where we explore the theoretical parameters, building, and site context for the specific program

Photos: Judy Davis/Hoachlander Davis Photography

Studio27 Architecture combines the charm of a trendy beach resort with the functionality of a contemporary entertaining space

vacation homes

Fire Island, NY Population: 491 Attractions: Boating, biking, surfing, tennis, kayaking/canoeing, beaches

needs of the client,” Ray says. Founded in 1999, the 15-person firm has received more than 30 local and regional design awards from the American Institute of Architects, and has won national awards for sustainable design innovation, architectural education, and community service. The House on Fire Island proves to be yet another jewel in Studio27’s award-winning crown. A summer dwelling in the resort community of The Pines on Fire Island, “this comfortable beach house takes its inspiration from summertime on the Atlantic shore,” Ray says. Studio27 approached the beach house with a fresh, contemporary attitude.

A STUNNING SETTING The House on Fire Island’s living room, adjacent to the pool terrace and dining room, features custom-laminated glass, aluminum, and an afromosia-veneerpanel fireplace surround, providing both function and beauty.

“The typology of the homes in The Pines is recognizable to anyone who has visited an East Coastshoreline resort town—its builder-driven senses reflect the pragmatism of the inhabitants of these coastal communities,” Ray notes. “In our interpretation of the ubiquitous clapboard beach house, the volume is expressed as a skin rather than a boxy container, but over time the cladding of woven cedar boards will assume the same patina as neighboring houses.” Ray adds that one of the main considerations impacting the house’s design was a desire to create a direct link between the functional program and the sun’s trajectory. Studio27 carefully studied space adjacencies before identifying the swimming pool as the center of the home’s social interaction. “This site was the last undeveloped site within The Pines, and it is located on an interior boardwalk, just moments away from the shoreline,” Ray says. “The client’s desire was to design a retreat home with generous living and dining areas on the main floor that all open out to the pool terrace.” In addition, Ray notes that interior rooms and exterior spaces were arranged to take advantage of the summer sun’s path, connecting the space to the rhythm of daily life: breakfast by the pool in the eastern light; cocktails and socializing on the pool terrace in the afternoon; and evening dinners in the western light of the front terrace. Ray says three main design elements exist for the house: the entry sequence, the pool, and the exterior articulation of the façade. “The entry

sequence involves a walk, a series of steps, and entry into a two-story, light-filled hall, which creates the final notion of a full retreat from the world,” he says. “Once at the home, the pool and terrace become the central hub of daily life—they are situated on center within the living room and the house literally embraces the terrace, with all of the public spaces directly connected to the terrace.”

Studio27 did face a few challenges with the project, primarily that the site is located on an island. As a result, all construction materials and furnishings had to be shipped by boat between the mainland and the island. Also, since The Pines is a walking resort only, there are no roads, so all construction materials either had to be carried by hand or brought in by golf carts modified to accommodate the construction industry.

“The final element is the exterior façade articulation,” he continues. “The lap cedar siding is complemented by larger cedar panels, while generous glass panels are designed to depict spatial openness. The visually dense lap siding is used to clad areas exposed to public right-of-ways but becomes fully open at the interior with windowed vistas of the pool.”

Regardless of the challenges, Ray notes that the project’s outcome fulfilled the desires of the clients—to have a retreat where they can enjoy the fellowship of their friends and family. “The project came in on budget and on schedule,” Ray says. “And Studio27 Architecture was able to assist the client in creating a place for solace and rejuvenation.”

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real estate

Professionals in residential-property sales

ASPEN RIVERFRONT HOME This contemporary mountain home on the Castle Creek River is located less than one mile from Aspen’s nightlife and world-class skiing, but worlds away in a serene, riverfront setting for $11.8 million.

Doug Leibinger Chaffin Light Real Estate broker brings his love of the outdoors into high-end Aspen residential properties by Erik Pisor As a newcomer to Aspen, Colorado, roughly 20 years ago, Doug Leibinger worked as a fly-fishing guide. Since then, he has since melded his love of fly-fishing—and any Aspen-related outdoor recreational activity—with his knowledge of residential real estate, to become a broker focused on high-end resort property. “I have kind of naturally evolved into a riverfront specialist; a lot of the listings I have are fly-fishingcentric ranches and cabins,” Leibinger says, adding he is currently listing a 35-acre riverfront ranch for $16.5 million, and several other $11–12 million homes. A fan of skiing and mountain biking, Leibinger finds the majority of his clients share his passion for outdoor recreation and “the Aspen experience.” “I feel fortunate to live in a place I love, where I can


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convey my own interests with the clients I work with. I’m one of the lucky ones,” says the independent broker, who’s been affiliated with locally based Chaffin Light Real Estate for ten years. Referring to Aspen as a “small town for big-city people,” Leibinger works with a significant amount of international clients from locales such as London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. “There’s the common theme that people come here for the outdoor recreation, the arts, fresh air,” he says. “The vast majority of buyers are looking at these properties as second or fifth homes in a resort environment.” Both a buyer’s and seller’s agent—but most often a transactional broker—Leibinger feels he’s taken a “unique approach” to the listing and brokerage process. “I’m every bit as happy to help a buddy buy a $400,000 home in the valley or work with

these corporate CEOs on $15 million home,” he says, explaining he works with friends to list their $400,000 or $500,000 homes or vacant lots. He also lists properties similar to the $16.5 million riverfront ranch, with the average price of his listings falling within the $2.5–3 million range. Currently, Leibinger lists 20 properties valued at more than $60 million combined, and works with a handful of buyers who feel this is a time to enter the Aspen marketplace. Since the financial meltdown of 2008, the Aspen home sales market has experienced nearly a 30 percent reduction in values, which is very substantial when talking about $2–16 million homes and properties. A percentage of Leibinger’s potential buyers are clients he’s worked with for four to five years. Additionally, several recent closings have been for long-time clients whom he’s established a working and personal relationship with. “I look at my job as being somewhat unique,” Leibinger says. “A lot of people I cultivate a business relationship with turn out to become good friends.” With more than 10 years of residential, high-end, Aspen-property sales experience, Leibinger’s words regarding current market conditions are reliable. In Aspen and the surrounding valley-area,

real estate

New York Luxury Most homes at The Douglass include floor-to-ceiling windows and all have stained oak hardwood flooring.

Q&A with Doug Leibinger LHQ: How did you join Chaffin Light Real Estate? DL: Jim Light said to me 12 years ago, “You have everything I’m looking for, but you don’t have experience.” I moved to Puerto Rico and sold high-end time-shares for Hyatt. I did well and proved myself. LHQ: Being that Aspen is a smaller community, is there significant competition among agents and brokers? DL: There are only 6,000 residents, but something like 1,000 of those residents have their real-estate license. There is a tremendous amount of competition. I understand there’s a lot of ski instructors who have their license, hoping to make that one big sale. LHQ: Describe your typical client. DL: I’m dealing with very intelligent, well-traveled people that have incredible experiences and tales. They’re educated buyers who are compelling, interesting, and fun to spend time with.

he views this year as the period when sales activity will pick up substantially. “It looks like we hit the bottom rung in March,” he says, attributing the increase in activity and absorption to sellers coming to terms with the actual value of their home or property, and buyer’s realizing now is a good time to buy. “If it’s any testament, last year was my lowest year [in terms of sales activity and transactions] since I’ve been involved with selling property,” he says. “In the first quarter of this year I’ve matched last year’s total.” And thanks to Leibinger’s strong work ethic and devotion to his beloved Aspen, his numbers look to only increase, as he continues to provide high-end, multimillion-dollar residential developments to a slew of clients.

Sheree Yellin Halstead Property Development Marketing agent delivers solid results in one of the most competitive environments in the country by Susan Flowers Some people will succeed no matter what the circumstances—such as the select group of people who sell real estate at a brisk pace in a troubled economy. Sheree Yellin falls into that category. As sales manager of The Douglass, a New York condominium development, she managed to sell 50 percent of the building’s units in just three months. What’s her secret? Yellin credits federal tax incentives, low interest rates, and The Douglass’ appeal to potential buyers. With 38 homes in the entire building and just four to five on each floor, The Douglass offers both space and intimacy. Solid oak floors, abundant lighting, vented kitchens, and a washer and dryer in each unit add to the appeal. Amenities include an attended lobby, landscaped courtyard, fitness center, and free additional storage. Residents of The Douglass are also able to shrug off New York’s normal parking headaches, with garage spaces available for purchase. Of course, the finest condos in the world wouldn’t sell without an effective sales team, and that’s where Yellin and her staff come in. Employed by Halstead Property Development Marketing LLC,

Yellin has assembled an outstanding group of sales people. Key attributes that she looks for when hiring are the abilities to listen and to read between the lines. “Understanding the needs of people is a talent, and guiding them through the difficult and emotional quest of buying or selling a home is essential,”Yellin says. “Translating their needs from an abstract visualization into a concrete presentation of viable options will gain you their trust.” The training she’s conducted for her team has covered a broad spectrum of topics, including dressing for success and organizational techniques. Such skills are essential,Yellin says, when one’s job description includes presentations to upscale groups, including condo and co-op boards. Yellin gained the knowledge necessary to conduct such training in a career that began in the mid1980s, when she sold co-ops on the Upper West Side. A later move to Douglas Elliman brought a promotion to executive vice president in charge of sales and training. After leaving Douglas Elliman, she started her own firm, Real Estate Training Solutions, specializing in working with small firms that lack their own on-site training pro-

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real estate

HIGH-CLASS PROPERTY All homes at The Douglass have either solid wood or German-crafted kitchen cabinets.

Q&A with Sheree Yellin LHQ: How have you managed to sell these condos at such a brisk pace in this still-troubled economy? SY: There are a number of factors that contribute to the desire or need to purchase a new home. The Douglass Condominium’s combination of location, services, quality, and value was what people wanted when they were ready to make a decision. LHQ: What do you enjoy most about your job? SY: It is exciting to meet a variety of people on a daily basis, and knowing that I am helping people visualize their life in a new home is such a pleasure for me. I find it enjoyable walking into work and working in such a beautiful building, surrounded by parks on a daily basis. LHQ: What do you emphasize when training on-site sales personnel? SY: Real-estate training is a lengthy process and in the top firms, such as Halstead, there are many professionals at the top of their field to share their experiences and insight. And, as in any field, knowing your product and your business is the key to instilling confidence.

grams. She also acquired a degree in educational psychology and was a candidate for a master’s in behavior modification. More recently, Yellin spent a couple of years in St. Barts, working with party promotions and event planning. During this time, she was affiliated with Ici et La Villas


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“No one has a crystal ball, but based on all of the factors that are in place now, I feel that we are experiencing a steady but gradual rise in the market place.” Real Estate firm, which specialized in vacation villa rentals and sales. Yellin’s experience in event planning is a definite plus in coordinating promotional events for The Douglass. “The sales team works together with Halstead’s marketing team and Mediashop PR, our public-relations agency, to develop clever and exciting events that we open to the public and the brokerage community,”Yellin says. “They range from informative Q&As to 550-plus people attending a DJ-spinning, champagne-flowing celebration. Currently, our team is working on an event that features some of the finest restaurants and wine stores in our immediate neighborhood of Morningside Heights for the opening party at The Douglass.” These events, along with The Douglass’ innate appeal, have resulted in excellent press coverage. The added publicity has given a boost to the efforts of Yellin and her team. “People read the articles and come to visit the site,” she says. “Through this type of coverage, we

open ourselves to a much wider range of customers than we typically would get with traditional advertising.” While Yellin has experienced unusual success in selling units at The Douglass, she foresees a gradual upturn that will see results like hers replicated throughout the economy. “No one has a crystal ball, but based on all of the factors that are in place now, I feel that we are experiencing a steady but gradual rise in the market place,” she says. “The number of new sales is rising from month to month, but not at the hysterical pace that we have seen in years gone by. The consumer is educated and not being pressured to make a hasty decision. This, in combination with the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropping to 4.78 percent, according to a survey just released by Freddie Mac [May 2010], gives the consumer confidence that they are buying an affordable and sound investment.” With Yellin’s skills at selling, even in a difficult economy, the sky is surely the limit for her and Halstead when economic conditions improve.

real estate

Joyce Rey Legendary Coldwell Banker And Previews International agent finds joy in selling the nation’s most exclusive properties by Zach Baliva Joyce Rey shocked the real-estate world in 1978, when she sold a property for $4.2 million, doubling pervious record sales. More than 30 years later, Rey has become a legendary agent who represents the most-exclusive properties in Southern California. She has closed some of the highest sales in history, and currently holds one of the highestpriced residential listings in the United States.

set and break sales records, and was the nation’s highest-generating agent in 1990. She once sold the estate of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, and she has represented clients like musician Lionel Richie, former Paramount CEO Sherry Lansing, and Playboy founder Hugh Heffner.

After her landmark 1978 deal, Rey formed the first company in America to work strictly with houses valued over $1 million. It was bought by Merrill Lynch, Prudential, and finally Coldwell Banker. Today, it is known as Previews International, and lists property of $2 million and above.

Currently, Rey represents a $125 million property in Holmby Hills. The estate sits on nearly five acres of land and totals more than 40,000 square feet. Known as the Fleur De Lys estate and patterned after a French ducal palace, the residence won an award from the President of France, who regards it as the one of the finest examples of French architecture in America.

Rey got her start at a boutique Beverly Hills firm, working closely with buyers and sellers of high-priced properties. Then, Rey married a wellknown actor, Alejandro Rey; the couple’s friends in the entertainment industry served as a strong part of her early clientele. Still, hard work was necessary to achieve and maintain success. “Real estate is not just about who you know,” she says, “it’s what you do and how you perform.”

Rey has listings throughout the Los Angeles area’s exclusive West Side, and works in luxury neighborhoods like Montecito, Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Malibu, Ojai, Pacific Palisades, and the Hollywood Hills. As the market continues to improve, she finds buyers of estate properties are actively looking to make purchases. Prime location, privacy, dramatic architecture, and views always help attract high-end clients.

Client relationships are key, but Rey also remains dedicated to her colleagues. “You have to develop confidence and mutual trust with fellow realtors, in order to foster cooperation and communication,” she says, adding that budding realtors adhere to the basics of hard work: returning phone calls, following up with prospects, refusing to procrastinate, and always following the golden rule. The approach has indeed paid off. Rey continues to

With multiple multimillion-dollar properties under her belt, Rey’s career has been both dynamic and legendary. Amid all her success, though, she counts herself as lucky. “I’ve found a business that I love,” she says. “When you love your job, and work hard, you’re invariably successful.” Rey says her goals for 2010 are simple—she’ll keep moving forward to find new challenges while doing what she loves.

Q&A with Joyce Rey LHQ: What are the keys to success in high-value real estate? JR: Dedication to your business. I’m very involved on a personal level with all of my listings. I make sure to always put my clients’ best interests first, and I feel that I go the extra mile, which is something clients don’t always see with other agents.

LHQ: What are some of the most memorable properties you’ve sold? JR: I worked on a wonderful property in Beverly Hills that I ended up selling many times. I sold it three times as a vacant lot, then an owner built a beautiful house on it, and I sold it again in 2007 at a record price. The other was in 1978, when I doubled the highest existing sale price. It was exciting to be in uncharted territory, and it was a famous house that once belonged to Sonny and Cher.

LHQ: What makes a property attractive? How do you know you can work with a listing? JR: When it comes to getting the highest price, land is a significant factor. People pay higher prices for properties with land. Architecture is another factor. Interesting details and beauty of the architecture itself are always important.

Hummingbird Nest Ranch, $75M This world-class equestrian estate located in the Santa Susanna Mountains adjoins 1,000s of acres of parklands and offers total privacy and security. The property also features a Mediterranean-style main residence designed by Richard Robertson.

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Contractors providing automation, security, and entertainment systems

Audio Command Systems Providing custom, automated systems for high-end homeowners by David Hudnall A pioneer in the area of custom installation back in the mid-1970s, Audio Command Systems (ACS) has remained an industry leader by recognizing the potential of new technologies to its business model. “In the beginning, we succeeded because we had a new concept,” says founder and CEO Robert Kaufman. “We could go into a home and say to a client, ‘Why have music in just one room in your house when you could centralize it and listen to it wherever you wanted?’” When video and hometheater setups became de rigueur among the luxury-home market, ACS expanded its services early on to accommodate. And in the 1990s, when the exciting possibilities of software-based home automation were becoming apparent, one of ACS’s tech employees, John Clancy, helped facilitate the company’s transition into a digital business. “Previously,

we had to wire every single movement in the system, but John saw the possibilities of new software,” Kaufman says. “It completely changed the way we conduct business.” Once a Los Angeles company, ACS now has more than 100 employees in offices in LA, New York, and Florida, offering high-tech automation and control services for high-end homes nationally. That includes integrating A/V components, design and engineering, projections, digital entertainment, theater/media rooms, window treatments, lighting, and HVAC control for 2,000-square-foot luxury apartments in Manhattan or 15,000-square-foot homes on Florida beaches. “We can tune our systems for each new space,” says Clancy, who now serves as vice president and chief technical officer

AUTOMATED ACCESSORIES ACS retrofitted the study of this New York townhouse with a Pioneer Elite 1080P 60-inch plasma TV, with Triad surround-sound speakers and Integra 9.9 receiver. The company also gave the owners total control of the A/V, HVAC, and camera systems to this room via fiber-optic cable linked to the Crestron DM system.

of ACS. Kaufman adds, “We engineer every project, we have our own salesmen and project managers, we have a skillful CAD department that can future-proof the home so new features can be added down the line if wanted, and, finally, we can install the system. So we can take a project from beginning to end, all in-house.” A drawback to the myriad opportunities digital home automation offers is that it can occasionally be overwhelming to the users of those systems. Kaufman says ACS makes a point to custom tailor

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Top 3 Tech Favorites Home automation is rapidly evolving, with new applications, software, and programs coming to market every day. Founder and CEO Robert Kaufman discusses some of Audio Command Systems’ favorite products.

DESERT HOME Cinemagic used timed lighting controls to illuminate the Desert Home’s front entry, from dusk until 10 p.m. Afterward, the Control4 system dims the exterior lights and shuts the gate if it is open.

1. Crestron: “It’s our go-to control system, though we’ll also use Savant and Control 4,” Kaufman says. 2. TruFig: This flush-mounting control panel eliminates clunky sockets and switches, creating seamless wall surfaces. “Designers and architects love this because of the cleanness of appearance,” Kaufman says. 3. Lutron Radio RA 2: This dimming system offers convenient, one-touch control of all home lighting. Lights can be turned on and off remotely via iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices. “We have an entire department of seven or eight individuals within our company devoted to lighting control,” Kaufman says. “Lighting control in any decent high-end home should be an art form, especially if you’re looking to show off the architectural details.”

Cinemagic Finding the right home electronics for every client by bidding solutions, not products

the systems for individuals. “The sheer amount of media available—songs and movies and shows that are streamed or stored on a system—can reach a point where the technology can almost become frightening for the homeowner,” he says. “Our customers don’t always know what they want. So we’ve become skilled at laying out options for them: good, better, best—for each category. Then we work with them to make the process less mysterious.” (ACS’s monitoring systems, which notify the company of problems in homes instantly, provide added comfort and support to customers.) The company is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, and has reason to celebrate, with revenues around $30 million. Looking ahead, ACS sees high-end audio as a growth area for the firm. “We feel there’s a desire out there for rooms that can offer an incredible audio experience, in addition to the convenience of our centralized audio systems,” Kaufman says. “Moving forward, that’s definitely a niche we’ll be looking into.” Building sales, cultivating relationships with architects and designers, and staying on top of any technological advances are among the firm’s other goals in 2010. “Ultimately, we just want to be able to satisfy our clients,” Kaufman says. “And we want clients to challenge us, to ask us to do things nobody’s ever done before. We love that challenge.”


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by Christopher Cussat It is not often that a smaller company can both help clients achieve their home-electronics visions and dreams while simultaneously redefining the nature of its industry. Over the last eight years, Cinemagic has consistently been pulling new tricks out of its technological hat and wowing every client with the wave of its innovative wand. Founded in 2002, Cinemagic began by focusing on home theaters, but over time, it adapted to customer requests and the ever-changing market. The company later expanded its portfolio to include home automation, whole-house audio, networking, and any other low-volt needs that its client may have. Cinemagic owner Cary Christie II notes, “As time went forward, and as our company grew its reputation, project scales increased. Now we have completed projects across the United States and are looking to expand into other countries.” As a relatively smaller organization, Cinemagic is precisely focused on its clients’ needs and desires. “Unlike most companies, which just want to sell products, we take a totally different approach,” Christie says. “We will not sell unnecessary

products so that your overall result is beyond your expectations, and most of the time below budget.” In fact, from the first appointment to the last, clients often will find that Cinemagic representatives become their friends throughout the process. Christie believes that his background as an acoustical engineer provides Cinemagic with a competitive advantage. “It gives us the ability to look at a room with a different perspective than most other companies, which are there to simply move product,” he says. In addition, a diverse employee base has also been an important factor. “Over time, as the company has grown, we have brought more people into the company who compliment each other’s skill sets so that the overall outcomes of the projects are a step ahead of the competition,” he says. One recent project of note is the Desert Home, which was very unique right from the start. “We started by angling in the side wall more than five percent to reduce standing waves and improve acoustical quality,” Christie says, adding that because the rear wall is curved, creating a natural

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LET THERE BE LIGHT Cinemagic also used Control4 devices in the Desert Home’s interior to simplify the control of the home’s numerous lights. The technology features in-room touchpanels that operate lighting and motorized shades, enhancing a room’s setting with natural light by opening and closing on command from the touchpanel.

surround effect in the room, Cinemagic was able to compliment and control, using acoustical materials in the room.

dimmed so that the constellations stand out and can be recognized; there are even shooting stars that automatically switch off during a movie so that they are not distracting. Aterra Lighting Design created these light effects.

Another strength of Cinemagic is its ability to bring a client’s vision and dream to reality—even if no one has ever done it before. For the Desert Home project, the owner wanted to “bring the outside in”—something Cinemagic had never seen before. “We decided to use the acoustical panels to recreate the mountain ranges surrounding the home,” Christie explains. “We spent an extensive amount of time making sure that the layouts were exactly what the client wanted prior to a single piece being made.”

With continued growth since the beginning of 2010, Cinemagic wants to make sure to only grow as necessary so that the company stays financially strong. The company plans to achieve this by maintaining its strong customer relationships. “We simply treat our customers as best we possibly can,” Christie says, “and we make sure that they get great value and that the system we engineer exceeds their expectations.”

The home’s theater was also painted so that the front right corner is a dark night sky with stars— as one looks to the rear left of the room, it transitions into a sun setting. “The acoustic panel mountain ranges are staggered so that lighting could be placed between them, giving the illusion of the sun setting with natural ambiance,” Christie adds. To further the experience, the entire ceiling was treated with acoustical panels with a fiber-optic star field. The stars can be

As soon as clients begin working with Cinemagic, they immediately find that it is a completely different experience from any other contractor they have ever dealt with. “From the time that you walk in the door, to the time your project is finished, we will help with every detail,” Christie says. “After the project is complete, you will have a company that you want to work with in the future, trust enough to refer your friends, and be our friends.”

Top 5 Tech Favorites 1. Control4: For home automation electronics, Cinemagic’s goal was ease of use of use for the system. Control4 was chosen because it represents not only a great user experience but also a great value. 2. Marantz 1080p DLP Projector: This projector displays on an SMX 2.35:1 masking screen, which, using a Panamorph lens, automatically adapts to the incoming source material. 3. Integra Preamp and Amplifier: For audio/video, Cinemagic chose the Integra preamp and amplifier due to its installation flexibility and excellent quality. 4. Sonance Ultra2 Speakers: These were used for the fronts and surrounds, while Artison in-wall subwoofers round out the system and provide incredible bass response. 5. Panamax: To protect the entire system, Cinemagic utilized Panamax power protection and battery backup.

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DOUBLE VISION This Santa Barbara home features two LCD TVs in the bathroom so the owners have views from either the bathtub or shower.

DSI Entertainment Systems, Inc. exceptional installations in home entertainment and automation by Christopher Cussat Sometimes success is simply a natural evolution of circumstances. In fact, Eric Thies, CEO of DSI Entertainment Systems, Inc., believes his company has organically grown from being the installation arm for big electronic retail chains to a very well-regarded, in-demand, and inclusive home-entertainment and control-systems specialist. Today, DSI completes many high-end and substantial residential projects for elite clientele, including the well known and famous. “Our typical home is from 10,000 to 50,000 square feet,” Thies says, “and our typical clients are CEOs, business owners, celebrities—someone who has done very well for themselves in life.” The firm can do fully integrated systems that include very complex and expensive control


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functionalities. “Usually our home projects have a screening room in a house with anywhere from 15 to 70 zones of audio,” Thies says. “I always was interested in music and movies and how to deliver them in the right way.” In fact, DSI offers the whole gamut of home-automation technology—from telephone systems and security cameras to motorized window treatments. Thies believes DSI’s competitive edge lies in the company’s size (which is unique to the industry) and its resulting high level of specialization because each employee has a specific job and function. “We have a very structured organization and a very sort of intense series of procedures and processes,” Thies says, “which I think are crucial to really implementing a successful electronic system for a large residence or commercial business.”

One niche that DSI specializes in is integrating technology into bathrooms. “We understand that the master bath is a highly used area for our clients, so we treat it as a pretty important living space— equal to the kitchen or family room,” Thies says. Of course, it also depends on exactly what clients want in their bathrooms. “Let’s say they want TV in the master bath,” he continues. “The question is, ‘How do we deal with TV in this kind of space and environment?’ Because typically in bathrooms, the wall space is all committed.” Not to mention all of the heat and moisture that can damage normal appliances. So, for example, the company works a lot with mirrored and waterproof TVs. DSI also can fully incorporate home automation within bathrooms, as well. “You can have an automated bathtub, in that the homeowner can be down

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VANISHING TV SÉURA’s Enhanced series provides a high-performance television that elegantly vanishes when powered off. The mirror is specially formulated to provide a bright, colorcorrected reflection ideal for bathrooms.

“We understand that the master bath is a highly used area for our clients, so we treat it as a pretty important living space—equal to the kitchen or family room.” Eric Thies, CEO

Top 5 Bathroom Tech Favorites 1. Crestron WPR-48: This floating, waterproof remote allows you to control any device that is connected to the Crestron control system. It can operate music, TV, lights, climate, and more.

in the kitchen and start the bathwater running, so by the time they get upstairs, the tub is half-full,” Thies says. He notes that customer service is also a DSI priority. “We realize that you’re only as good as your last job, so customer care after the sale is super important to us,” he says. In fact, DSI is one of the few install companies that offers 24-hour service. “We’re ready to roll a truck on Saturday night at 2:00 a.m., if need be,” Thies says. “You can always get a human on the phone to help you solve a problem, or to come out and solve a problem regardless of what day of the week it is and what time of the day it is.” DSI’s short-term goal is to capture more market share from the industry vacuum that resulted after many of its install competitors went away during the recent recession. “There’s a lot of opportunity, so what we want to do is increase our market share,

by either the attrition or just by the new influx of customers that we didn’t have available to us before,” Thies says, “because now there’s not as many guys doing what we do.” Long-term future goals include growing the company aggressively. “Probably the biggest area of growth would be in our commercial side and bringing our talents more to the commercial world,” he adds. Thies plans to accomplish company growth and address any upcoming challenges by focusing on what originally helped DSI reach its current success—excellent customer care, as well as luxury quality service and value for each client’s investment. “It’s about taking the very best care of your clients and giving them that Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons experience when they do business with you,” he says. “DSI really shows clients that we want to save them money everywhere we possibly can, and that we’re consistently going to provide a system that’s packed with value.”

2. SÉura Mirror TV: This comes in a wide variety of screen sizes, and SÉura will customize a mirror size and style to match the rest of your mirrors. ‘The One’ is a great solution since the mirror is only one inch thick. 3. SunBrite Waterproof TV: Designed for outdoor spaces, these work great in a bath environment. The TVs come in sizes ranging from 23 inches to 55 inches, and you can literally take a hose to these TVs and they will not get damaged. 4. Sonance XTR Series Speakers: Originally developed for boats but adapted for homes, you can stick one of these in a bath, shower, or sauna, and it will sound great and last a long time. 5. Lutron Sivoia Shading: Privacy is important in a master bath, so DSI likes to install motorized Lutron Sivoia Shading. DSI also loves their quiet motors.

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Serving a unique niche in the custom-home industry

Carolina Timberworks, LLC Timber-framing specialists create homes that stand the test of time by Ruth E. Dávila While most homes hide their frame behind sheet rock and siding, houses sustained by timber make a grandiose display of their integrity. According to Eric Morley, co-owner of Carolina Timberworks, LLC, the visible structure of timber framing puts the mind at ease. “On some unconscious level, I think that having heavy timber overhead—being able to see what is holding up the roof and protecting you from the elements outside—is part of what makes a timber-framed space feel so special,” says Morley, who runs the Boone, North Carolinabased boutique firm with co-owner Chris Miller. Traditional timber frames are interconnected by exquisite hand-cut mortise and tenon joinery pinned with one-inch oak pegs, mirroring the


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craftsmanship of fine furniture—on a much larger scale. Given the cost of materials and artistry, timber framing is only tenable for a small market. And though timber might suggest a rustic aesthetic, it can also translate as modern, depending on the design. “Timber framing can add to any architectural style,” Morley says. “We’ve built everything, from rustic barns to stunning mountain retreats to very sleek and contemporary timber frames,” Morley says. Since projects can run for up to12 weeks, timber framing requires commitment—and passion— from the client. “This is not a slate countertop; you’re not going to tear it out in 10 years,” says Miller, who oversees a staff of four timber

Prager Residence Linville Ridge, Linville, NC Architect: A.T.T.I.C. Design PLLC General Contractor: Baxter Norris Construction Detail: One of the company’s favorite installations, which was pre-assembled on the ground and flewn into place using a crane.


“I think that having heavy timber overhead—being able to see what is holding up the roof and protecting you from the elements outside— is part of what makes a timber-framed space feel so special.” Eric Morley, Co-Owner

Revival of a Lost Craft Timber framing was a lost art in the United States until the 1970s, when a handful of woodworkers and builders uncovered timbers in historical homes. For hundreds of years, before the mass production of nails, timber framing was the norm—it was the only way to securely attach two pieces of timber—whether in a medieval cathedral in Europe or an early farmhouse in New England. In the past few decades, several hundred timber firms have emerged, but timber framing remains a microcosm of the marketplace. “Today, on a US housing basis, it’s a fraction of one percent,” Morley says. The people involved in the industry are so passionate about it that competitors are genuinely friendly. Once, on a job in Central Park, Morley and Miller ran out of timber—and a competitor based in New York gladly delivered it to them.

framers. After first sourcing the timbers, the firm spends weeks engineering, handcutting, fitting, labeling, and disassembling before the timber frame is transported to the site. After all that prep, the installation is relatively quick. “Everything goes flying up, usually in three to four days,” Miller says. Miller started construction work shortly after high school. “I had always been interested in art, and to me, timber framing was a way to express art,” he says. Morley and Miller became friends while working at another company, and branched out to form their present firm in 2003. Since then, Miller’s craftsmanship has reached new levels. On one of Carolina Timberworks’ first projects, in Linville, North Carolina, the architect asked for ideas. Miller thoroughly enjoyed collaborating on the design—and the final outcome turned out even better than expected. Yet, no matter how fabulous a design, buyers should consider that timbers come in various species that affect their use. Due to its strength and versatility, Douglas fir is a popular choice

Freese/Wood Residence Dry Creek. Lake James, NC Design: Woodborne Design General Contractor: Matt Freese Detail: Structural timber roof and floor system. This was the company’s first project using radio frequency kiln-dried Douglas fir. Visiting the home two years later, the company saw almost no shrinkage, very minimal splitting, and joinery as tight as the day Carolina Timberworks cut it.

for interiors. Likewise, weather-resistant western red cedar is often used for outdoor applications. Antique timbers, naturally dried for at least 100 years, are one of the most luxurious options. The owners of a residence in Waxhaw, North Carolina, handpicked all of their antique timbers, silvered with the inimitable patina of age. The timber was then shipped to Carolina Timberworks to have Miller’s team give them a second life as the focal point of their new home. In terms of exclusivity, second to antique timbers are radio frequency kiln-dried (RFKD) timbers. Since “wet” (known as “green” within the trade)

timbers shrink as they dry over three to five years, RFKD accelerates the process to ensure tighter joinery. Carolina Timberworks completed its first project with RFKD timbers several years ago, for a picturesque home in Lake James, North Carolina. Two years later, the home still has “joinery so tight you couldn’t slip a business card between two joints,” Morley says. Nevertheless, green timbers are perfectly useable, since shrinkage is only an aesthetic concern and actually adds to the authenticity of more rustic designs. Timber framing can be either structural (supporting the home) or nonstructural (decorative).

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photo courtesy Carolina Timberworks

Log & Timber Frame Fasteners The RSS™ LTF screw is perfect for all Timber Frame and Log Home construction, and is exceptionally strong and does not require predrilling. The exclusive CEE Thread widens the screw hole to allow logs to settle and eliminates the need for washers. GRK also carries RSS™ LPS, a fastener for SIP (Structural Insulated Panel.) Visit our website at to view the RSS™ family of fasteners.


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Furthermore, the whole house doesn’t have to rest on a timber frame. “Almost everything we do is a hybrid,” Morley says. “Often, the core of the house is timber framed with some timber work outside to suggest to people what they’re about to experience inside.” Clients commonly request timber in their entryway, foyer, great room, and covered terraces. For a business dealing in such heavy currency— some timbers can tip the scales at more than 2,000 pounds—Morley and Miller are refreshingly lighthearted. “We sometimes laugh and say that if Chris ran the business, it would go out of business in a week because nobody would get paid on time; and if I ran the business it would go out of business in a week because it wouldn’t be any fun,” Morley says. Judging by their remarkable craftsmanship, their ability to work anywhere in the world, and their bold-but-believable claim of “zero unhappy clients,” Carolina Timberworks won’t be shutting its doors anytime soon.

Baker Residence Eastern Tennessee Architect: Bradley G. Dowdy, AIA Architect Inc. General Contractor: Allen Properties, Inc. Detail: Outdoor covered porch and fireplace in Douglas fir, hand-hewn using an adze.


Chartis Insurance, Private Client Group Dorothy Sarna is protecting homeowners’ assets in the luxury-living marketplace by Laura Judy When it comes to providing personal insurance to America’s high-net-worth homeowners, the Denver, Colorado-based Private Client Group at Chartis Insurance is at the top of the industry. The Private Client Group was established in 2000, and is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary. “We insure around one-third of Forbes’ richest Americans,” says Dorothy Sarna, senior vice president of the Private Client Group. “We focus on high-net-worth clients, offering everything on the personal-line side of insurance.” The average market value of the homes they insure is about $2.5 million. Sarna, who has been with the Private Client Group since 2001, has about 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. After graduating from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, with a degree in finance, she started as an underwriter for Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. After several years, she moved to Dallas, Texas, as a senior risk-management advisor for

the same company. “That is when I really started working in the field,” Sarna says. She moved to Denver in 1996, to work for Chubb Insurance, where she stayed until she joined Chartis’ Private Client Group. She was promoted to director of loss prevention at Chartis in 2007, and became the national director of risk management and loss prevention later that year. “I live and work in Denver, and we cover all of the United States and Canada,” Sarna says. The Private Client Group has grown immensely since its beginning, now bringing in around one billion dollars in revenue. “When I first started, the group only had four risk managers; today, we have a field staff of around 90 risk managers,” Sarna says. The luxury-home-building industry provides an interesting market in which to work. “It’s always evolving; the market changes constantly,” Sarna says. “There are new green methods, new

If you can dream it, we can build it. Custom Log Homes for Life. Nestled in the natural forest surroundings of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast is West Coast Log Homes; the premier builder of the finest custom log homes in Canada. Blending old-world craftsmanship with the natural beauty of Western Red Cedar, our builders create custom log homes that transcend the character of the wood resulting in structural works of art that pay homage to the Canadian forests.

2230 Twin Creeks Rd., Gibsons, BC V0N 1V0 Tel 604.886.4279 | Fax 604.886.0409 NOV / DEC 2010

luxury home quarterly



“We’re not a traditional insurance company in that we protect not only assets but lifestyles, as well.” Dorothy Sarna, Senior Vice President

construction techniques, new technologies—we are constantly learning, and we have the opportunity to meet so many great people.” A major part of building an insurance policy is the home-inspection process. “The field team goes out to document the home, and they are also focused on how to prevent loss,” Sarna says. “While much of the market is focused primarily on evaluation, we take it a step further to really delve into the different specific risks. Our staff is trained to know what to look for in all areas of the country, and homeowners are always very receptive.” Because the luxury-home market is such a closeknit community, much of the Private Client Group’s business comes from referrals. And even if homeowners start out with another company, they usually end up with Chartis. “It’s a unique dynamic in this segment of the market,” Sarna says. “Our clients are constantly buying and selling multiple home in different places, and they can’t just go with a local insurance company to handle such complex properties. We offer a variety of services and advantages that homeowners need in the luxury market.” The Private Client Group is constantly looking for opportunities to differentiate their services in order to meet each and every client’s specific needs. Sarna launched the company’s Wildfire Protection Unit in 2005, and it has tripled in size and is thriving five years later. “We’ve saved thousands of homes in California,” Sarna says. Right now, the company is focusing on expanding its Hurricane Protection Unit in the Northeast and around Martha’s Vineyard. Another new service in the past year focuses on emergency preparedness. “We want to prepare our clients for any type of event, to make sure that their families and their assets are safe,” Sarna says. “We’re not a traditional insurance company, in that we protect not only assets but lifestyles, as well.”


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Okeanos Aquascaping custom aquariums, ponds, and waterfalls for high-end New york city homes by David Hudnall In the world of luxury design, a high-end aquarium replete with exotic wildlife is a feature that can substantially differentiate a space. New York City-based Okeanos Aquascaping understands this, but it also offers something most of its competitors do not: the interior-design capabilities required to incorporate aquariums—or waterfalls, or indoor ponds, in which it also specializes—cohesively, expertly, and tastefully in residential spaces. “We work with aquariums because when a guest walks into a home and there’s a beautiful, wellcrafted aquarium, that’s what they’ll remember and tell other people about,” says Martin Schapira, who serves as partner with the firm, along with Noam Kamelhar. “We’ve succeeded because we bring an elegant interior-design sensibility to the process. Designers can talk to us without feeling like they’re talking to a wall.”

Schapira has been enamored by fish since childhood, and his hobbyist nature adds a vital component to Okeanos’ approach. “I’ve always experimented with different fish, turtles, and coral, and with saltwater and freshwater aquariums,” he says. “Eventually I thought seriously about applying my interests from a commercial point of view.” Along with partner Noam Kamelhar, he established Okeanos, a full-service, custom aquariumand pond-design firm, in 2002. Working for both residential and commercial clients—65 percent in Manhattan, the rest spread across the globe—the company has gradually made a name for itself as aquascaping specialists. An impressive slate of projects has helped bolster that reputation. Take the 800-gallon coralreef aquarium the firm completed in Brooklyn— considered the largest glass coral-reef aquarium

Exotic Interior Okeanos outfitted this Brooklyn residence with a 450-gallon tank that is aqcuascaped with Kupang Island live rock. The rock, which grows in bright purple, pink, green, and yellow coralline algae once the rock becomes established in the aquarium, is considered to be the most beautiful live rock accessible today. The company also incorporated coral reef into the design. The client, who wanted more corals that would sway in the water, was pleased with Okeanos’ selection in large polyped stony corals such as frogspawn, torch, hammer, bubble, elegance, and goniopora. Additionally, Okeanos used finger leathers, mushroom leathers, tree corals, star polyps, pulsing xenia, and some carnations. Compatible animal life includes two species of brain coral, a crocea clam, a bubble-tipped anemone, various coral-reef fish, and a cleaning crew made up of blueand red-leg hermit crabs, green crabs, turbo snails, sea stars, and cleaner and peppermint shrimp, among others, which keep the aquarium’s rocks, sand, and glass meticulously clean.

The inherent

beauty of wood has never been

realized with this in a private New York City residence. Priced at $150,000, the aquarium weighs 8,500 pounds and features three-quarter-inch glass. “It also contains live rock from the island of Kupang,” Schapira says. Nearby, in South Jersey, it undertook a 550-gallon, 7’ x 4’ reef aquarium that separates the kitchen from the study and is visible from both sides. It is built out of Starphire glass that houses some extremely exotic wildlife—“somewhere between $75,000 and $150,000 worth of fish and coral,” says Schapira. “The client was an enthusiast who knew a tremendous amount about sea life.” Other high-profile work includes the largest koi pond in New Jersey, located at the Princeton Park Corporate Center. Okeanos also offers a customer-service department capable of providing weekly and monthly aquarium and pond services. “Some customers don’t have much interest in aquariums, and are just doing it because it’s cool-looking,” Schapira says. “It’s not very different than having a Bentley or watch—it’s about having a symbol of status. But the aquarium must be beautiful to be worthy of that kind of attention and status. We can give you that, and we can sustain it through our customer service.”

He notes that on residential jobs, Okeanos will typically sit down with the clients and their children and come up with a realistic plan for the design and the wildlife, with an emphasis on fish that are good at adapting to tank life. The company favors squared aquariums built out of Starphire glass, as opposed to acyrlic aquariums (though it builds both). “Many designers just don’t know about the technical aspects of aquariums,” Schapira says. “We won’t compromise on the technical end of things. We don’t want our work to look worn down in three years.” Okeanos also generally favors grand projects, where its luxury capabilities are on full display. “Five years ago, you were seeing a lot of fish tanks that were like the ones you’d see as a kid,” he says. “We started doing $10,000 jobs instead. Now we’re more in $50,000 territory. People want to go over the top, and we can accommodate that.” The firm recently completed a project for a client who wanted his television to disappear at the press of a button to reveal an aquarium behind it. “There are few operations in the US that do what we do,” Schapira says. “The bigger guys can’t specialize like we do. We can focus on the real luxury aspects of a project that give it its beauty.”

level of quality.

Ezcadi Designs has been creating the finest and most exclusive furniture in the industry since 1996.

Commercial & Residential

732-364-4344 NOV / DEC 2010

luxury home quarterly



RURAL AESTHETICS Sand Creek built this Ponderosapine country barn, which combines rural and contemporary design, to house animals for a hobby farmer in rural Pennsylvania.

Sand Creek Post & Beam Niche firm EXPANDS INTO growing second-home MARKET by Sandra Guy Baby boomers are making their presence known in rural America, and historic barn-design, manufacturing, and construction-services firm Sand Creek Post & Beam is growing rapidly as a result. The Wayne, Nebraska-based firm, founded and run by husband-and-wife team Len Dickinson and Jule Goeller, earned $5 million in revenues in 2009 by serving a diverse clientele comprised of greenbuilding advocates, back-to-the-land baby boomers, second-home country newcomers, and business clients who need specialty woods or who want a rustic look for a lodge, winery, restaurant, or activity center. After having moved to Goeller’s ancestral home near Wisner, Nebraska, Goeller and Dickinson first saw a unique business opportunity when their research showed that local farmers, who were being forced to become large agri-businesses, were


luxury home quarterly

NOV / DEC 2010

abandoning their traditional wood barns for large metal monstrosities. “We started to see signs of the ‘Save Our Old Barns’ movement in the area,” Goeller recalls. “We decided to emulate the old barns that were disappearing. We use historic designs, timber-frame construction, and the materials and building methods that would have been used 100–150 years ago to build the barns.” On April 1, 2005, Sand Creek Post & Beam opened a small office and production plant. The couple named their new company after a creek where Dickinson played as a boy and, in what the couple considers a great irony, the name of the creek that runs through their Wisner acreage. In its first year in business, the firm made $300,000 in sales. By 2006, the company had moved into its own 5,000-square-foot plant, hit $1 million in

sales, and employed 16 staff members. Sales grew to about $3 million in 2007, and to $3.5 million in 2008. “Our base market started with acreage owners and hobby farmers who wanted out-buildings for a ‘man cave’ or to keep their toys or their horses or alpacas, along with people who were buying property where they could go hunting or four-wheeling,” Goeller says. Suddenly a new market niche popped up for the firm: barn-style residences. To serve this market, Sand Creek developed insulated windows and insulation packages, and began offering upgrades such as tongue-and-groove floors. Sand Creek’s success enabled the company to expand its Nebraska production facility with a second plant in 2009, and to renovate an old bank building in downtown Wayne into its new offices. The office features a mock barn in the center. The additional plant facility doubles production capabilities and allows for separate millwork areas. Staying true to tradition, Sand Creek uses roughcut, full-dimension Ponderosa pine in its Nebraska plants and Southern yellow pine in its plant in Cleveland, Georgia. It uses no harsh chemicals,

Ugly Heaters? employs cedar on sills to deter rot and insects, and uses quarter-inch steel plates for the joints. “We can do many things that a high-end architect or custom builder would do,” Goeller says. “We can custom design the building, produce the timber frame and millwork, package it, and deliver it to the job site.” In addition, the company’s customconstruction-services division can provide any desired level of on-site expertise. “We really focus on the customer and make sure they’re getting exactly what they want,” Goeller adds. Purchasing a post-and-beam building as a kit can shave 15–20 percent of the on-site labor costs off of a conventional homebuilding project, Goeller says. Sand Creek has produced more than 300 barns throughout the United States, with about 15 percent used as barn homes. Sand Creek dipped its toe in the commercial market when it built an entrance building for the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, a petting zoo in Overland Park, Kansas, in conjunction with a commercial builder. Other commercial projects have included lodges, wineries, activity centers, 4-H buildings, park pavilions, and agri-tourism buildings. In addition to building packages, Sand Creek can provide rough-cut, full-dimension wood and trusses. It produces old-fashioned wood windmill towers. Bud Reynolds, who spent his career as a computer-company executive and entrepreneur, was hired by the company as general manager to automate its systems and develop high-end processes that could handle the rapid growth. “We’ve earned the right to automate,” Reynolds says. “We have revamped the way we do business to make our systems more efficient and easier to use by our people, our customers, our dealers, and our advertisers. We look constantly at performance to make sure we are profitable, effective, and efficient, and that we are serving our customers well.”

a message from Acorn Manufacturing Ever wished that there was an alternative to your old, rusty, ugly baseboard heaters? There is an alternative; made from durable cast and extruded aluminum. They will not rust like the sheet metal or the expensive cast-iron baseboards, great for use in humid areas, kitchens, and bathrooms. (800) 835-0121

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OverBoardsTM OverBoards are high-quality classic upgrades for radiant baseboards. Foundry-crafted of solid cast aluminum, OverBoards install easily over your existing baseboards, and complement your home’s classic architectural details.

1-800-835-0121 NOV / DEC 2010 LHQ Nov-Dec 2010 Sand Creek Post and Beam - Acorn Manufacturing 1-3.indd 1

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235 5/10/10 11:22 PM


*advertisers in blue

Professional Services & Organizations

Joe O’Brien Construction, LLC,, 90 Kirby Perkins,, 124


Mahogany Builders,, 160

Abramson Teiger Architects,, 179-186

Mark Johnson Custom Homes, Inc.,, 45-46

Albertsson Hansen Architecture, Ltd.,, 200-201

Men At Work (MAW) Chicago,, 41

A.T.T.I.C. Design PLLC, (828) 898-3301, 228

Robinson Custom Homes Inc., (520) 219-2300, 203

INTERIOR DESIGN Alex Papachristidis Interiors,, 86-90 Beasley & Henley Interior Design,, 154 Cannon Frank: A Design Corporation PC,, 76 Catherine Interiors, Inc.,, 72-73

Bates Masi + Architects,, 187-194

Sand Creek Post & Beam,, 234-235

Berglund Architects,, 206-208

SR McGuire Builders,, 108-113

Diane Burgio Design,, 102-106

Blaze Makoid Architecture,, 117-123

Stonewood LLC,, 33-35

Ezequiel Farca,, 155

Structure Home,, 161

Habitar Design, Inc.,, 70-71

Tara-Sun Development, Inc., (520) 529-8226, 29

Hacin + Associates Inc.,, 1 (cover), 96-100

VanGeison Construction,, 42-43

Heidi Pribell Interiors,, 32

West Coast Log Homes,, 231

jamesthomas,, 82-83

Booth Hansen,, 50 Bradley G. Dowdy, AIA ARCHITECT Inc.,, 230 De Reus Architects,, 214-215 Dinmore & Cisco Architects, Inc.,, 197-199 Ira Frazin Architect,, 152-153, 156 Joeb Moore + Partners Architects, LLC,, 132-137 Kevin B. Howard Architects,, 29 Mark P. Finlay Architects,, 125-130 Max Strang Architecture,, 195-196 Michael Ryan Architects,, 212-213


Cullman & Kravis,, 131 Essence of Design, LLC,, 78-79

Interiors By Steven G.,, 61-63 Jennifer Garrigues, Inc.,, 91-95

Crawford Electric, (520) 572-0840, 29

Kelley Interior Design,, 74-75

Greg Yale Illumination,, 107

Lori Carroll & Associates,, 29


Montana Avenue Interiors, Inc.,, 80-81

Condon Engineering, P.C.,, 122 Sam O. Hirota, Inc.,, 214

Omniarte, Inc.,, 242 Oviatt & Associates Interiors and Design,, 84-85 P&T Interiors,, 102, 104

Min | Day,, 171-178 Ponte Mellor Architects, Ltd.,, 204-205


Paige Rien,, 16 Piba Marmi,, 162

Soloway Designs Inc.,, 202-203

IIDEX/NeoCon Canada,, 17 Interior Design Show (IDS 11),, 18, 243

Sroka Design, Inc.,, 68-70

Steamboat Architectural Associates,, 11, 209-210 Stephen Chung, Architect,, 158 Studio27 Architecture,, 216-217

NeoCon East,, 17, 18 NeoCon World’s Trade Fair,, 17

Woodborne Design, (828) 262-1400, 229



Guaranteed Rate,, 13

American Institute of Architects (AIA),, 14 National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA),, 16

Chartis Insurance, Private Client Group,, 231-232

Steve Hermann Design,, 65-66 Tamara Bickley Design,, 159 KITCHENS & BATHS Arclinea,, 30, 155 Arclinea San Diego,, 52-55 EOOS Design,, 169, 170 Full Circle Architects,, 58-59

US Green Building Council (USGBC),, 45-46, 59


Geneva Cabinet Company,, 59-60

Flooring Connection Inc.,, 44

Marsh & Clark Design,, 56-57


MD Floors, LLC, (212) 308-2822, 107

Baxter Norris Construction, (828) 297-3657, 228

Paul van de Kooi,, 142 Steininger Designers,, 20

Castleview Contracting Inc.,, 239



Cavo Design-Build,, 213

Architectural Audio Video (AAV),, 194

Heynssens + Grassman,, 57

Christyn Homes Inc.,, 44

Audience,, 38

Dave Tuggey Construction,, 66

Audio Command Systems,, 223-224

Highland Design Gardens,, 131

Eiesland Builders, Inc.,, 50-51 Fair & Square Construction, Inc.,, 210-211 Gage Homes Inc.,, 37-38 Hobbs, Incorporated, (203) 966-0726, (212) 388-0042, (631) 537-8620, 129 Interior Management, Inc.,, 114-116 J Allen Smith Design/Build,, 69 Jenson Construction,, 47-48


luxury home quarterly

NOV / DEC 2010

Cinemagic,, 224-225


DSI Entertainment Systems, Inc.,, 226-227

Alise O’Brien,, 58

Enhanced Home Systems,, 36

Brent Haywood Photography,, 6-7, 52-55

Orion Home Systems,, 36

Dan Chapman,, 157 Douglas Hill,, 81


Durston Saylor,, 125-128

Flanders Heating & Air Conditioning,, 123

Hoachlander Davis Photography,, 216-217

Larry Lambrecht,, 130 Miha Matei,, 152-153, 156 Mitchel Sayare,, 72 Nathan Kirkman,, 76-77 Phillip Ennis,, 86-90 Ray Albright, 203


Christopher Peacock Cabinetry,, 32


CJ’s Cabinets & Design, LLC,, 161

La Barge,, 78

Ezcadi Designs,, 233

West Elm,, 56

Green Valley Cabinets,, 48 Hooked on Wood,, 106


Lake Cabinet,, 174

Asko,, 156

Metropolitan Kitchens,, 158

Scott Shigley,, 82-83

Best by Broan,, 28, 61

Masco,, 15

Tria Giovan,, 94-95

Bosch,, 45, 156

Troy Campbell,, 91-93

Dacor,, 159


DeLonghi,, 155

K Power,, 73


Electrolux,, 21, 160, 242

Devon Plumbing,, 113

Fisher & Paykel,, 157, 159

Peerless Imported Rugs,, 84

T&S Custom Plumbing, (520) 323-1432, 29

Foster,, 157

Robin Stancliff Photoraphy,, 202

Frigidaire,, 160

COUNTERTOPS CAC Fabrication,, 157


Futuro Futuro,, 159

Angela Adams,, 163

Gaggenau,, 54-55

George Nelson,, 196

Gaggia,, 156

Karim Rashid Inc.,, 23

GE,, 28

Omvivo,, 164

Jura,, 155

Cool Concrete Creations,, 29

Philippe Nigro,, 162

Miele,, 54, 157

ECO by Cosentino,, 16

Phoenix Design,, 165-170

Mugnaini,, 157

Silestone,, 43, 142, 159

Ted Boerner,, 24

Onam by M A N Systems, (604) 880-5720, 38

Valcucine,, 77

Scholtès,, 30, 54

Zodiaq for DuPont,, 242

Caesarstone,, 109 Chuck Price Concrete Studio,, 154


Smeg,, 155

Greenbrook Pools,, 241

Sub-Zero,, 154, 155


Okeanos Aquascaping,, 232-233

Thermador,, 160

EcoSmart Fire,, 240

Turbochef,, 156

European Home,, 216


U-line,, 159

Disney Resort Real Estate Development,, 14

Whirlpool,, 160


Wolf,, 54, 154, 157

Bellawood,, 203

Montage Deer Valley,, 15 REALTY Doug Leibinger, Chaffin Light Real Estate,, 218-219 Joyce Rey,, 221

Kahrs,, 154 ANTIQUES

Manomin Resawn Timbers,, 201

Bernd Goeckler Antiques, Inc.,, 240

QuatroLegno,, 14

The Elephant’s Foot Antiques,, 95


Sheree Yellin, Halstead Property Development Marketing, LLC,, 219-220

Dienst + Dotter,, 89


Todd Merrill Antiques,, 106

Hyde Park Antiques, Ltd.,, 86-87

Advance Tabco,, 156 Bloom & Company,, 73 Brueton,, 62 Calligaris,, 53 Charles Stewart,, 72

Anees Upholstery, (312) 243-2919, 78 Carolina Timberworks, LLC,, 228-230


Cherner,, 108

Fine Art Finishes,, 75

Design Galleria,, 159

Central-Southern Utah Siding Contractor, (435) 673-7461, (435) 867-0550, 49

Francine Turk, (312) 674-1818, 82

Drexel Heritage,, 72

Mark Humphrey,, 89

Ezequiel Farca,, 155

Judith Eisler,, 90

Lapalma,, 30

Julian Schnabel, 87

Lee Jofa,, 75

Easy Leaf Products,, 157 Glass Smith, (520) 882-8034, 29 R. Gladwin i.Design,, 31

Ligne Roset,, 96

Railing Systems Hawaii,, 199


Lobel Modern,, 106

StoneCrafters,, 203

GRK Fasteners,, 230

Luminaire,, 109

Sundance Woodworking, (508) 679-6790, 73

LOGIX,, 46

Paola Lenti,, 103



Ralph Lauren Home,, 82

Mario & Sons Drywall & Painting, Inc.,, 40

Atrium Interiors,, 204

Rob Taboada,, 56

BluWood Studio,, 154

Sundance Catalog,, 156

Trim-Tex,, 39

Bulthaup,, 43,, 240

Two Brothers Plastering, (843) 227-3261, 41

CAC Fabrication,, 157

Worlds Away,, 242

Pauline Grace,, 108

NOV / DEC 2010

luxury home quarterly





Du Verre,, 161

American Industrial Systems Inc.,, 29

Ann Sacks,, 163

FSB,, 2-3 Rocky Mountain Hardware,, 24

Vail Manufacturing Inc.,, 208



Control4,, 224, 225

arwa,, 143

Crestron,, 224, 227

Cifial,, 56

Integra,, 225

Dornbracht,, 31, 156, 157, 161

Appomattox Tile Art,, 31 Becker Works Limited, (773) 395-0532, 71 Boulevard Tile & Stone, (818) 781-5900, 161

Lutron,, 224, 227 Marantz,, 225 Middle Atlantic Products,, 222

Fractured Earth,, 203 Inside Out Architecturals,, 85

Kohler,, 45, 112, 143, 242

Séura,, 227

KWC,, 54

Sonance,, 225, 227

Moen,, 145

Sunbrite,, 227

Vola,, 59

Trufig,, 224

Webert,, 27



Rinnai,, 45, 161

Edilcuoghi,, 30

GRAFF,, 15 Hansgrohe,, 112, 158, 165-170

Savant,, 4

Damar Natural Stone Imports Inc.,, 76

Fir Italia,, 147 Grohe,, 23, 145, 160

Panamax,, 225

Concrete Jungle,, 69

Interstyle Ceramic & Glass Tile,, 31 Louis W. Mian, Inc.,, 101 Materials Marketing,, 82 Maya Romanoff,, 208 Oceanside Glasstile,, 31 Olympia Marble,, 158 Onyx France, Inc.,, 31 Pippa Murray,, 56 Sensitile Systems,, 241

Thermosoft,, 161

Atlantic Appliance & Hardware,, 46

Trane,, 45

Bacon Veneer,, 77

Waterworks,, 109


Barbara Tattersfield Design, (561) 833-3443, 154


Antonio Lupi Design,, 65

Budget Blinds,, 43

Bergamo,, 73

Boxetti,, 140

Clyde Hardware,, 29

Ceramica Flaminia,, 22

Exquisite Draperies Inc., (312) 421-5171, 76

Création Baumann,, 72

Dada SPA,, 141

Ferguson,, 29, 35

Daniel Lago,, 140

Fernando’s Marble Shop Inc.,, 205

Duravit,, 165-170 Eggersman,, 196 Ipe Cavalli,, 150 Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet,, 146 Poliform,, 65

Glant,, 76

Midwest Window & Door,, 51

Holly Hunt,, 76

Neiman Marcus,, 83

P/Kaufmann Contract,, 73

Kravet,, 62, 75


Rogers & Goffigon, (203) 532-8068, 72

Alchemy Glass,, 59

Samuel & Sons Passementerie,, 75

Sheng Tai Brassware Co.,

Bathroom Design Co.,, 147, 138-139

Blanco,, 144, 160

Toyo Kitchen,, 21 Veneta Cucine,, 141 Visionnaire,, 150

Artemide,, 156 Charles Edwards Antiques Ltd.,, 32


Elkay,, 156

3Form,, 174

Kaesch,, 25

Benjamin Moore,, 56, 108

Maax,, 142, 148 Rohl,, 154, 242 Saturn Bath,, 23

Fine Art Lamps,, 62 Flos,, 158 Fontana Arte,, 80 Galerie du Lamp,, 105 Hinson Lighting,, 32 iGuzzini,, 30 Lamplight Designs,, 75 Schonbek,, 78 Studio Italia Design,, 241 Terzani,, 157 Vaughan,, 75, 89 Williams-Sonoma Home,, 83 Worlds Away,, 242

NOV / DEC 2010

Schumacher,, 75

Duravit,, 158

Kohler,, 26, 159


luxury home quarterly

Edelman Leather,, 62

Place Textiles,, 99

Poggenpohl,, 149


Stonecutters,, 76

Stone Forest,, 24 Teka,, 144 TOTO,, 147 Villeroy & Boch,, 27 Wetstyle,, 205 Zuma,, 161 SPECIALTY Acorn Manufacturing,, 235 Energy One Foam Insulation,, 42 Glenbrook Glass,, 49 Phantom Screens,, 198, 244

Farrow & Ball,, 73 Gracie, Inc.,, 32 McCaren Designs Inc.,, 240 Sedi Studios,, 81 Sider-Oxydro, Inc.,, 41 Sikkens,, 30 WINDOWS & DOORS Cantera,, 203 Custom Window,, 186 Fontrick Door Inc.,, 137 Marvin Windows and Doors,, 40, 51 Tischler und Sohn (USA) Ltd.,, 9 Tre-Più,, 65 US Aluminum,, 174 Zeluck Windows,, 130

1 egaP

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tnediser P

195 Chrystie Street Suite 203 CD N e w Yo r k , N e w Yo r k 1 0 0 0 2

Te l ( 2 1 2 ) 3 8 7 - 7 9 7 0 Fax (212) 387-7933



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20001 YN 3617.277 ,kroY weN • DC 3 .646 :lleC 02 etiuS • .tS e • 339 moc.gnit 7.783.212 :xaF • 0 itsyrhC 591 cartnocw 797.783.2 eiveltsac 12 :hP @nhoj

Castleview Contracting Inc. is a New

York City licensed and bonded General Contractor. The firm has successfully

completed projects in the New York tri-

state metropolitan region. This past spring the firm established it’s headquarters on Manhattan’s growing Lower East Side. The principals of Castleview demand from their staff and field crews the

superior effort needed to deliver the

highest quality work. Their expertise in PA R K AV E R E S I D E N C E

the carpentry trades, the core craft in

construction, allows them to manage the

larger issues of a project while focusing on the detail, which truly defines a building structure as an owner’s treasure.

Castles were the homes of Lords: solid in structure, built as forts with interiors that B R O O K LY N H T S TOWNHOUSE

reflected the wealth and grandeur of their owners. Castleview Contracting holds

itself to the highest standards: to erect solid structures and to serve all of our

valued clients with first-rate workmanship and service.

Construction Manager General Contractor - Retail & Commercial - High End Residential Specialty Contractor - Carpentry & Drywall IRISH TIMES

NOV / DEC 2010 LHQ Castleview Contracting 1 Page‫‏‬.indd 1


luxury home quarterly


6/22/10 9:33:29 AM

products + services spotlight

Bernd Goeckler Antiques, Inc. Gilded bronze two-light sconces by Jules Leleu (1883-1961) from 1947, composed of a round back-plate issuing two candle arms in the shape of stylized intertwined ropes, ending in shades, model “Double Torsade,” signed and numbered on the reverse. T (212) 777-8209 F (212) 777-8302

Tansu.Net The Kobe is a contemporary Balinese platform bed that is handmade in Indonesia from sustainable plantation teak. It features a Java brown hand finish and has been constructed with mortise-and-tenon joinery for long-lasting durability. Exotic yet simple, the Kobe’s modern, low-profile design features strong lines and angles. Available in Full, Queen, California King, and Standard King sizes. Matching dressers and nightstands are available. Ben Harvey (866) 878-3325,

EcoSmart Fire

McCaren Designs Inc. With the new Greenwalls Modular Planting Systems, it has never been easier to create a living wall. Designed and engineered for maximum biofiltration of indoor air, thermal regulation, and striking aesthetics, Greenwalls offer a return on investment that can include lowering the heat gain, noise absorption, improved indoor-air quality, reduced occupant stress, and ambiance. Cynthia Peterson or Jennifer Johnson (800) 524-7081


luxury home quarterly

NOV / DEC 2010

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

Special Advertising Section

Sensitile Systems

Greenbrook Pools

The extremely versatile Sensitile Terrazzo tile features fiber-optic “light channels” embedded in a proprietary micro-concrete mix, offering the durability of concrete with the latest in optical technology. As shadows move across the tile’s surface, the light channels flicker with a randomized, twinkling effect.

Greenbrook Pools has built thousands of residential and commercial pools from Key West to Palm Beach since 1976. Our commitment to excellence and our willingness to do whatever it takes is why we build the best spas, best water features, and best pools in South Florida.

Terrazzo can be customized in an array of colors and slab sizes, and can be fabricated with unique edge details, sink and faucet cutouts, and even custom-graphics integration. The tile can be installed indoors or out, wherever traditional tiles are used.

Ira Grabow O (305) 661-0707

(313) 872-6314

products+ services spotlight The Spotlight is Designed To:

showcase the top trends, innovations, and amenities

connect LHQ readers—elite cus-

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


a resource for LHQ 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

Studio Italia Design The UFO chandelier by Brian Rasmussen for Studio Italia Design features a curvaceous and sculptural shape and customizable finishes. Providing the ideal amount of diffused lighting, the UFO is available in gold, silver, or white acrylic, with the option of semicovering colors in red, white, green, and dark blue. One can create his or her own distinct pendant by combining any or all of the available colors. David Weisinger (305) 621-9602

NOV / DEC 2010

luxury home quarterly


At home with

ranch-style home in Sherman Oaks, CA Lived there 2 years

Erinn Valencich Revered interior designer Erinn Valencich, founder of the design firm Omniarte, Inc., tells LHQ how her design philosophy has shaped her own KITCHEN’s style

LHQ: Thanks for showing us your home, Erinn! What makes your kitchen special for you? EV: The kitchen is always a place I spend a lot of time in, as I love to cook. It seems no matter what the party or event, even if it’s just me and a friend sharing a glass of wine, we always end up in the kitchen. I love having a small breakfast area in there so that friends can visit while I cook. I added a skylight when I remodeled a few years back, and it floods with light. I love how that transformed a room that was at one time dark and cold into a bright, open, airy space.

LHQ: How would you describe the design of your kitchen? What inspired it?

EV: I wanted to keep the ’50s cabinetry, but they certainly needed an update. I had used the Kanchou wallpaper in another client’s home and loved its bright whimsical palette, so that was my inspiration for the colors. I used a soft sea-foam glass tile as the backsplash and painted the lower cabinets a lighter, more grayed version of that color.

LHQ: How does your kitchen help to reinforce your bold signature style? EV: Well, having lime green wallpaper with large birds on your walls is a bold move! So I’d say that right there reinforces my signature style. I believe rooms should be fun and playful. Why be boring and safe? Have fun with it—you can always change it later.

The Pieces

Sink: ROHL,


luxury home quarterly

NOV / DEC 2010

Kitchen appliances: Electrolux Icon, Countertops: Zodiaq for DuPont,

kitchen table: Iron Table Base with Gold Leaf by Worlds Away,

Photo: Jamie fisher

Pendant lighting: Faceted Chandelier by Worlds Away,

Faucet: Kohler,

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Luxury Home Quarterly Issue 5  

The Kitchen & Bath Issue

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