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LUXURY HOME quarterly

maY 2011

The Beauty of


HALPER OWENS ARCHITECTS embraces New England’s vernacular roots

A peek inside the creative mind +of lighting designer Michael McHale

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may 2011



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luxury home quarterly


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p 66

COUNTRY CHARM Halper Owens Architects LLC got off the ground in New York City, and when the firm moved its offices to Connecticut, things did not slow down. The Mountain Road residence is an AIA award-winning home designed by the firm, which specializes in rustic living spaces.

FEATURES A Couture Approach Brown Davis Interiors gives a comfortable quality to strong, stark modern design in the duo's own home, affectionately known as Villa Nirvana.

page 58

Rustic Heritage Halper Owens Architects LLC looks to New England's vernacular roots for architectural inspiration on two homes, each with its own distinct style.

page 66

What's Old is New Dwyer Design updates a vintage custom-designed wood home with modern ammenities, functional spacing, and a contemporary flair.

page 80

The Sound of Music Robert Harvey Oshatz’s design for a musically savvy client utilizes the acoustic qualities of timber.

page 92

Up in the Air Standard Architecture | Design's sustainable Tree House enjoys quiet seclusion and maximum views of the surrounding Los Angeles wilderness.

page 98

Life's a Party Photo: PHOTOS: Michael Moran | cover photo: JOE FLETCHER

Schuchart/Dow Inc. designs a contemporary timberroof home for a very modern family.

page 106

ON THE COVER Dwyer Design has updated a vintage classic—the Radius House. Originally designed by architect Daniel Liebermann in 1960, Dwyer worked with the existing structure to provide contemporary functionality to the retro home.

page 80 may 2011

luxury home quarterly





Custom-home projects of note



Providing concepts and programs for deluxe homes


James D. LaRue Architects

25 Nick Hardwick's Outdoor lounge

127 Eric Miller Architects 130

Bol Architecture

Vacation Homes

28 Lencioni Construction Company, Inc.

Second homes and getaways across the globe

31 Kulick Development


Park City architecture



Construction firms specializing in peerless residences

ZMK Group, inc.

37 Eigel Builders, LLC


DESIGNERS Creative minds in interiors, landscapes, and furnishings

Serving a unique niche in the custom-home industry

136 Charles Cunniffe Architects 138

Jeff Shelton Architect

40 Charles Pavarini III Design Associates, Inc. 44 Richens designs, inc. 48 RS Design Studio

Designer Showcase

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


The Warner Group architects, inc.

the plans

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


Studio A Architecture

p 112 POOLSIDE The patio of Studio A Architecture's River Road residence in South Carolina. The firm specializes in legacy homes.

116 Rick Joy Architects

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects




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may 2011


PLUS Editor’s Note

p 22

page 8

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

Calendar Trade shows and special events

The NESTREST, a new piece from the DEDON furniture collection takes backyard napping to new levels of comfort and style. (

in the coming months page 16

Behind the Lines featuring Michael McHale Designs page 18

On the Rise Spotlighting designs for home and garden page 20


page 142

Products+Services Spotlight page 144 page 146


At Home With Jennifer Adams


editor’s note LOOKING AT LA The Tree House residence by Standard Architecture | Design.


uxury Home Quarterly always strives to bring you the freshest, most innovative spaces and products in the custom-home industry. This issue of LHQ is all about featuring one of the most classic, traditional materials in home design—wood—in new and interesting ways. Gracing our cover is a stunning home that has been reimagined by Dwyer Design (p.80). Architect Daniel Liebermann originally built the residence, known as the Radius House, in 1960. “I developed a formula for building with wood, which I used on that home,” says Liebermann, a former apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright who is now 80 years old. “It was a synthesis of Japanese and American-Indian influences combined with an eye toward harmony with nature and recycling.”

Standing as a true example of midcentury creativity and ingenuity, the owners of the home decided it deserved a 21st-century upgrade. Enter Vivian Dwyer. “It was important to everyone—the clients, myself, Daniel—that we respect the integrity of the original design even as we improved the functionality of things like the bathroom, the kitchen, and lighting,” Dwyer says. Appropriately known as the Tree House, the home pictured above was designed by owners of Standard Architecture | Design Jeffrey Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle (p.98). The pair built the home in the hills of Los Angeles as their own residence, using its creation as an experiment to inform future projects. What they found was that the surrounding landscape of the home


luxury home quarterly

may 2011

was just as important to them as the interiors. “We don’t want people to feel like they’re living in a closed-off space. It’s nice to be able to open a door and sit down and feel like you’re inside and outside at the same time,” Kuhle says. The rustic nature of contemporary architecture is also explored in our feature on Halper Owens Architects LLC (p.66). The beauty of the homes built by this New England-based firm stems from their simplicity in material and form. The Mountain Home residence exemplifies this vernacular, classical quality. Design partner Reese Owens says, “[Rustic houses] allow for a lot of flamboyance, but they’re also deceptively labor-intensive to design and build despite their vernacular roots.” Next month, LHQ will explore some unique luxury homes that feature another classic building material—glass. As always, I hope that our coverage of the newest trends and design philosophies will motivate, inform, and inspire your work. Enjoy.

Moll y Soat , features editor


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the jewel of the bath | may 2011 luxury trademarks home quarterly 9 AG Swarovski速 and STRASS速 are registered of Swarovski,

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experience, whenever the opportunity presented itself from individuals who desired a minor transformation in the preliminary stages or those wishing to build their dream home. Passione has had the privilege of conceiving design concepts for custom homes from 5,000 to 22,000 square feet.

9550 Research Drive, Irvine, Ca 92618 (949) 336-7800 W W W.PASSIONEINC.COM Sue Capelli

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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

Energy-Efficient Product

The LED light bulb of the future At the end of 2010, OSRAM SYLVANIA and Lowe’s introduced the brightest LED replacement for one of the most popular lightbulbs in the US: the 60-watt incandescent. SYLVANIA’s Ultra A-Line 12-watt LED bulb provides 810 lumens of light while using 80 percent less energy and lasting 25 times longer than any incandescent bulb in the market. The Ultra A-Line 12-watt bulb also features a high-performance OSRAM LED module and high color quality, and it has a color-rendering index of 90. The new bulbs are already available on, and by the second quarter of 2011, they will be in Lowe’s stores throughout the US. SYLVANIA’s Ultra LED bulbs exceed federal efficiency standards that will phase out production of most inefficient incandescent bulbs beginning in 2012, and every model in the company’s line of Ultra LED bulbs—including the MR16, PAR20, and G25— is dimmable and mercury-free, a distinction held over many compact fluorescent bulbs. Source: OSRAM SYLVANIA

Product Innovation

Pantone releases new color-matching tool One of the world’s foremost authorities on color has come out with CAPSURE, a handheld device for design professionals, contractors, and paint retailers to measure and match colors on walls, textiles, and carpeting. Taking readings instantaneously, the CAPSURE device drastically reduces the time spent searching through swatches and samples to find the proper tone or hue. One of its greatest functions is its ability to measure the color of patterned and multicolored surfaces of varying texture. The device illuminates any surface it reads from three different directions while at the same time recording 27 color-accurate images in 1.6 seconds. In this way it can extract as many as four dominant colors from even the most intricate patterns so that its user can compare and contrast varying colors appropriately.

KEY ELEMENTS OF CAPSURE Pantone’s device comes with features beyond just color measurement. Here is a look: 1. 1.75-inch screen: Any professional using the device can clearly preview the color they are measuring in real time to ensure image accuracy. 2. Large memory: The device can record up to 100 colors, and users can annotate colors with voice recordings. 3. Flexibility: CAPSURE can suggest harmonious shades and identify related colors that are lighter or darker.

Source: Pantone


luxury home quarterly

may 2011

what’s new


The Concord Group’s recovery outlook

antique swivel-seat stool discovered on an old military base—which now comes in a variety of colors including black, dark green, and light blue—and a vintage Spanish olive tray, crafted entirely from 19th-century European timber, that Borocz found at a seaside restaurant in Mallorca. Pictured above is a grain sledge—originally used to scoop large quantities of seed—discovered on an old Moldovan farm. The sledge can be used as a fashionable serving tray or a display tray on coffee tables.

The Concord Group, a major real-estate strategy firm of professionals and educators with offices on both coasts of the United States, released at the end of 2010 an analysis of the US housing market with some promising fiscal predictions for those in the architecture and interior-design industries. While the group noted that at the current rate of 400,000 unit sales per year, it would take until at least the end of the 2013 fiscal year for housingmarket absorption rates to normalize. They went on to explain that sales rates will recover to as much as 640,000 units annually by next year, which would instead lead to normalized absorption of the market’s current property overhang by as soon as the fourth quarter of 2012. The group reached this conclusion after calculating in a number of factors, including published employment forecasts and structural household growth. The group gets its data by tracking different metro areas in different parts of the country, including Orange County, California; Denver; Dallas; Seattle; and Washington, DC. Certain metro areas, such as those along the coast of California, are expected to recover much earlier than others, including Phoenix; Tampa, Florida; and Coachella Valley, California. In addition, the group calculated that demand for the creation of completely new lots for new construction projects is likely to return by sometime as early as the fourth quarter of 2011.

Source: Europe 2 You

Source: The Concord Group

REpurposed Accessories

Reclaimed antiques add Old World flair Designer Stacy Borocz—who has created collections for Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Dean and Deluca, and Napa Style—and her team at Europe 2 You have gathered an entirely new collection of recreated and reclaimed antiques to add a bit of Old-World flair to any room in the house. Each piece was inspired by or refashioned from objects Borocz discovered in travels throughout the European continent, and each restored or remade item is now available on her website and at her store in Atlanta. Included in the collection is an


Toronto skyline anticipates completion of the newest Trump Tower Donald Trump's personal brand of decadence will soon make its mark on the Toronto skyline. The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto, set for completion this year, will be the first Trump property built in Canada, and, at 60 stories, it will be one of the tallest buildings in the country to date. In addition to a full-service hotel, the property houses 118 residences with interiors designed by Toronto's own award-winning II By IV Design Associates. There are no more than six suites per floor, and most of them are directly and securely accessed via state-of-the-art elevators. Residents will also have access to the same five-star services and amenities as guests of the hotel below, including 24-hour use of two chauffeured S-class Mercedes vehicles. The penthouse residences at the top of the building are between 4,291 and 7,366 square feet and feature great rooms, libraries, galleries, and outdoor terraces. Source: Trump International

may 2011

luxury home quarterly



Trade shows and special events in the coming months

NeoCon 2011 Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL

One of the largest interior-design expos of the year, this Second City staple will play host to more than 40,000 attendees and at least 700 exhibitors showcasing countless products for commercial and residential interiors alike. Take the opportunity to network with high-profile speakers and designers during educational seminars, special exhibits, galas, cocktail receptions, and black-tie affairs. Also, be sure to be in attendance when the event culminates on Sunday with the Best of NeoCon awards.

June 13-15

NEW AT NEOCON The Ditto™ hanging wall partition, showcased at NeoCon 2010. The 2011 show will host thousands of attendees and hundreds of vendors.


National Lawn & Garden Show

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City, NY

Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, Chicago, IL

Roughly 6,000 potential buyers are expected at this three-day marketplace for original art and design. The event will feature nearly 300 exhibitors selling and licensing original works created by artists and designers from across the globe. Patrons can attend informational seminars on the latest design products and will get the opportunity to network with professionals in various interior-design niches such as home furnishings, custom accessories, and flooring.

Those in the landscape-design business will step inside for a weekend to discuss new products and services at this Midwest expo. Those in attendance should be ready for an unusual format: instead of moving from booth to booth, buyers sit at private conference tables while vendors bring lawn and garden product specs directly to them to discuss purchase opportunities in one-on-one meetings.

Home Design & Remodeling Show

Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2011

Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA

The second in a run of four AIA conventions in the greater Miami area in 2011, this all-purpose interior-design show takes suppliers out of the equation and offers exhibitors the chance to sell their products straight from the display booths. Attendees should make sure to check out the Designer Vignettes, a series of rooms created for specific celebrities and media personalities by renowned, award-winning designers.

For more than 50 years this conference and exhibition has showed off the best building-industry innovations coming out of the West Coast. Attendees will hear and buy from a whole host of community-friendly, technology-savvy, environmentally conscious speakers and vendors. This year’s event will also feature a brand new floor plan with a “Town Square,” a “Learning Theater,” and a “Green Standards Pavilion.”

MAY 27-30


luxury home quarterly

may 2011

June 14-16

June 22-24


MAY 15-17

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grey & white new Spanish marble, babylon border


behind the lines


The Banqueting Chandelier One of McHale’s hallmark pieces, the Banqueting Chandelier, centers itself around a capital “H” of either brass or black steel draped in crystals, creating no less than seven corridors of crystals and light. Each piece is hand-crafted and customized—including finishes, crystals, and hanging height—to client specifications, making every one an instant contemporary heirloom.

The McHale Desk Lamp As much a sculpture as it is a light, the McHale Desk Lamp consists of three simple constructions of black steel pipes and fittings, set in parallel. At the top of the piece are four inset halogen bulbs, which light up the random array of clear crystal, creating a burst of refracted light. The result is a singular architectural form evocative of industry, water, and forgotten elements of the built environment. McHale Desk Lamps are not just for desks—put them on end tables, or anywhere that could use a dose of industrial glamor.

Michael McHale Designs Less than four years ago, lighting designer Michael McHale was working as an entertainment attorney, putting in long days while struggling with an untapped need to express his inner creativity. Fate intervened when, during an unsuccessful trip to purchase a lighting fixture for his home, McHale decided he could create something better than what was available. Michael McHale Designs was unofficially born. Inspired by the materials in the hardware store, McHale began working on his vision for a simple lighting fixture with a new form. “My first pieces made themselves,” he says. “Using distressed elements such as pipes and fittings for a purpose they were not intended [for] created exactly the industrial-chic look I’d envisioned.” McHale officially founded his business in New York City in late 2007 and began his handmade-to-order lighting line with a series of unconventional chandeliers, which remain the centerpieces of his work. Recently, he has added sconces and lamps to the line as well, including his personal favorite, the McHale desk lamp, which has been called “a triumph of scale and form.” “I try to pay special attention to detail and craft my pieces to be beautiful, whether they are illuminated or not,” McHale says. “They are elegant and modern works of art that have created a new lighting aesthetic by melding diverse elements in an unexpected way.” –julie edwards


luxury home quarterly

may 2011

general contracting construction & cabinetry painting & wallpapering decorative painting & murals leafing & staining tinted plaster & stucco veneziano

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on the rise

Popular trends and rising stars in the luxury-home market

Good Wood Some of the most luxurious wood accent pieces showcase the classic building material in its rawest forms. They add visual interest while embracing the natural finishes and details that make each piece of timber so unique.


Octo 4240 Lamps A part of the collection begun by Secto Design in 1999, the company’s Octo 4240 is a handmade lamp that brings both design character and a warm, birch wood-lit glow to any room it occupies. The lamps are manufactured in Finland from materials that are also grown or produced in the country. Each Octo 4240 is available in natural birch or in white or black laminated birch.




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This bench by Riccardo Arbizzoni was a product of Riva 1920’s briccole project, where the firm asked 18 designers to create pieces from briccole, the chestnut oak posts on which gondolas are docked throughout the city of Venice. Arbizzoni preserved the wood’s original texture by leaving most of its surface area untouched and cutting out only a small curved section for seating. The wood is unfinished and will therefore stain and patina over time, adding to each bench's natural feel.

on the rise


PLATO ACRO Table Embracing a philosophy of refined simplicity, this dining table from B&B Italia’s Maxalto collection features the simple flair of two sets of geometrically shaped crossed legs. The Antonio Citteriodesigned piece comes in a variety of solid-wood choices including Canaletto walnut, grey oak, brown oak, brushed light oak, and brushed black oak. No matter what space it is used in, the table is sure to make a bold modernist statement.




These one-of-a-kind benches from Karim Rashid were also conceived as part of the briccole project run by Italian company Riva 1920. Rashid’s design is more involved and connects multiple carved briccole posts together to create a single piece. It is based on the shape and aesthetic of the Venetian gondolas, and it will redefine any room it occupies.

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luxury home quarterly


on the rise


NESTREST Those looking for a twist on traditional lawn furniture should consider the NESTREST, a cushioned hiding place for outdoor reading and relaxing. The cozy space is constructed of 4-cmthick DEDON fibers woven together to provide privacy without constricting air movement, and it is available in both natural and chalk tones. Built around an aluminum frame, the NESTREST is a lightweight 100-kg, and suspended versions are available to be hung from tree branches or a supporting beam.


Vitality Developed by sustainable architect and designer Matteo Thun and distributed by nature-inspired Italian bathroom furnisher Neutra, the Vitality collection combines smooth stonework with raw-cut wood to bring a natural, almost pastoral feel to a section of the home that can often seem sterile and uninviting. The entire line of shelves, tubs, and faucets is made with various kinds of stone as well as Kauri, a rare, ungrained fossil wood found in the millenary swamps of New Zealand.


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Drawing upon old-growth Douglas firs transplanted long ago from North America onto the European mainland, Danish company Dinesen has built its reputation on creating long, wide wood planks—up to 15 meters long and 45 centimeters wide—that give a room an uninterrupted, luxurious feel. The wood is kilndried before being planed and sanded, and it is treated with everything from lye and white soap to lacquer and oil to create planks of varying tone and texture.

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luxury home quarterly



custom-home projects of note

The Ferrous House Nestled on the forested edge of a nature preserve near Spring Prairie, Wisconsin, about forty-five minutes southwest of Milwaukee, sits the Ferrous House, a renovation and reclamation project designed by Johnsen Schmaling Architects. Built from an existing structure that had fallen into disrepair, the home now displays an impressive set of sustainable credentials despite the budgetary constraints that existed during reconstruction.

From this base, new steel panels were added to three sides of the exterior, providing protection from Wisconsin’s harsh winters and hot, humid summers. New wood flooring and wall paneling was added throughout much of the interior, which was also remodeled with fewer walls to create a more open, free-flowing living space. Finally, the designers added a shed roof with aerogel-filled polycarbonate glazing on the raised end; this gave the living area extra height and allowed additional light to pour in from above. The Ferrous House is an environmentally sound, resourceconscious design that still ended up being cost-effective to build. The result is a warmly lit space with a modern aesthetic that surpasses the home that once stood in its place.


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may 2011

Credits Architect: Johnsen Schmaling Architects


Because of finite funding, the firm opted to work with elements of the original structure rather than tearing it down and starting from scratch. To begin, Johnsen Schmaling stripped the home’s roof and gutted the interior, saving only its skeleton, which included the foundation, central plumbing, and the main perimeter walls.

Engineer: Patera, LLC Contractor: Jorndt Fahey Remodeling, LLC


Nick Hardwick's outdoor lounge San Diego Charger Nick Hardwick, a professional athlete who travels often for games, was looking to remodel the outdoor entertainment area of his home near the California coast. He wanted to incorporate the contemporary, Asian-influenced design style he often encountered while staying in luxury hotels across the country.


Designer Greg Vorce of Vorce Construction worked to accommodate this request into a low-maintenance, sustainable design suitable for Hardwick and tough enough to take punishment from the football player's English bulldogs. The result is a durable open-air space with the atmosphere and comfort of a modern living room. The deck features redwood planking, a poured-concrete fire pit surrounded by cushioned seating, a concrete fountain with glass tiling, decorative bamboo and stone, and low-water plantings. The unobstructed view of the sky maintains a feeling of openness. “I love our new outdoor lounge,” Hardwick says. “It’s a very calming environment that flows with the interior and connects the house to the outdoors. It has been a perfect addition for entertaining crowds or simple, peaceful relaxation.”

Credits Homeowner: Nick Hardwick, San Diego Chargers

Contractor: Vorce Construction

Location: San Diego, CA

Photographer: Jeffrey Durkin

DECK MATERIALS: The California Redwood Company

may 2011

luxury home quarterly




luxury home quarterly

may 2011

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may 2011

luxury home quarterly



Construction firms specializing in peerless residences

Lencioni Construction Company, Inc. BUILDING CONTEMPORARY CALIFORNIA LUXURY HOMES WITH vast Views by Ben Corbett For Lencioni Construction Company, Inc., the Discovering that he enjoyed the work immensely, recently finished was a Tuscan-style home in Porclient is everything, and personal attention is the he bought and flipped a couple more. Finally, after tola Valley—an 8,500-square-foot house sitting key to success. “The thing about our business is five years, he quit the corporate world to invest on three acres with views of the western hills. it’s a marriage,” says Gary Lencioni about the himself full-time in his true calling. relationship between a client and a builder. “And “Gorgeous views,” Lencioni says. “The stonework it’s got to be a tight marriage to make it work. For “I had a great time and realized I had a great passion on it is massive. It’s got eight wood-burning that reason you have to have great rapport with for construction and just took off on my own,” fireplaces. There are four fireplaces outside and the people. We’re a service organization and an he says. “As I was doing more and more homes, four inside. We used this stone that’s called employee to our clients, and we have to remember contract work started picking up. People would osage, which is a yellow, ochre-colored stone that that at all times.” see and enjoy the work I had done, so I just built comes out of the Midwest.” upon that.” Now boasting 30 employees, including LenOne of the biggest challenges in the building of cioni’s 31-year-old son, who was recently named Since then, Lencioni has attached his signature to the home was the client’s request to have the partner, the company has grown from a one-man many of the finest homes in California’s affluent stonework laid at different profiles to offset the operation into one of Atherton, California’s most Atherton and Valley area, including nearby Wood- appearance of each of the buildings. “He was very sought-after residential construction firms in the side and Menlo Park. With a primary clientele particular about how this was done,” Lencioni space of 37 years. Back in 1972, freshly graduof retired CEOs, Googlites, entrepreneurs, and says. “He wanted the stone set up three different ated from college and working for an aeronautics venture-capital investors, Lencioni Construcways in three different locations. We spent hours corporation, Lencioni learned the building trade tion’s luxury homes fall anywhere in the 8,000- to and hours on the mock-ups. The guest house is by remodeling his own house in his spare time. 20,000-square-foot range. One that the firm laid out different from the main house, and then


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“We’re a service organization and an employee to our clients, and we have to remember that at all times.” Gary Lencioni, Founder

POOL-HOUSE DISTINCTION For a Tuscan-style home in Portola Valley, Gary Lencioni and his team were asked to create different stone patterns for the main house, the guest house, and the pool house. The extra work subtly, elegantly distinguishes each structure.

there are some site walls around the house that are laid out different than the pool house. But we got exactly what the client wanted.” “It was a very long project,” he says about the Tuscany. “But at the end of the day, the wife and the husband are very, very happy with the house. They were happy with the architect. They were happy with us. That’s our goal, and we get referrals by having clients just like these people.” One referral led to a just-finished contemporary hillside home with elevated views of San Jose. Another show home with the Lencioni stamp, this three-level, five-bedroom, 10,500-square-foot residence features a mahogany, stucco, and stone exterior and a rooftop photovoltaic system. With its spacious, breezy layout, the first floor is host to a media room, office, living room, dining room, and kitchen/family room, and the upstairs serves

may 2011

luxury home quarterly



primarily as the sleeping area. The true highlight of the home is a stunning glass bridge. “It’s super impressive,” Lencioni says. “It’s got clear glass on the vertical and obscure glass on the horizontal plane of the bridge—and then clear glass with stainless steel railings on the catwalk. There’s also a tremendous amount of mahogany inside the house. All the living room and dining room vertical and horizontal surfaces are in mahogany. The casings and doors are all in mahogany, and then the kitchen cabinets are clad with stainless steel. It’s ultra-contemporary. A fabulous house.” For Lencioni, giving clients exactly what they want is more than just smart business—it’s a bedrock principle. As the company mission statement reads: “We have deliberately remained small in scale in order ... to offer the level of attention, expertise, and customer service that our clients have come to expect and deserve.” For almost four decades now, this winning formula has earned Lencioni scores of successful luxury homes and one referral after the next.

SUBTLE STONEWORK Lencioni constructed the vast interior of the Portola Valley home using a Midwest stone called osage. It gives off a warm, muted tone that complements the wall coloring.


luxury home quarterly

may 2011


CONSIDERATE CONSTRUCTION Kulick Development designs about 10 homes a year, planning on a grandly opulent scale for each individual home.

Kulick Development CREATING CUSTOM HOMES FOR TOP-FLIGHT CLIENTELE by Julie Edwards New Jersey-based Kulick Development began simply as a meeting of fraternal minds. Lance Kulick, a Lehigh University graduate, founded the company in the mid-1990s with his brother, David Kulick, a Harvard University graduate. Since that time, the company has built some of the most prestigious projects in the New York metropolitan area. “We ‘spot build’ unique homes for private clients on their personal property,” Lance says. “We understand the essentials of accurately executing a high-end home in a timely fashion, and while we have built homes from 2,500 to 20,000 square feet, our work remains focused on extraordinary quality expressed through the finishing touches and details.” Renowned for building timeless, classic homes, Kulick Development specializes in custom residential construction, catering to private, discerning clients that include A-list entertainers, national sport stars, and business moguls.

The company’s award-winning projects are often featured in industry periodicals including Architectural Digest, Design NJ, New York Spaces, and Kitchen Design. “We also own a wood-molding distribution company—Garden State Lumber Products— that was founded in 1955 [and] which supplies lumberyards from Maryland to Maine,” Lance says. “We launched Kulick Development because we felt real-estate development was a natural fit for our core business and a great way to display our product.” Lance explains that rather than building developments with many homes, his firm instead works for clients on select pieces of property, completing approximately 10 projects annually. “We will either build a custom home on a piece of property already owned by our client, or we can work with our clients through our contacts to find an ideal piece of property on which to build,” he says.

Kulick Development's Top Building Trends 1. Custom wine cellars: Each one features built-in storage, entertaining areas, and luxury finishes such as stonework, ironwork doors, and moldings. 2. In-home movie theaters: They are built with custom seating, projection, and sound. 3. Safe rooms: These are often included along with other modern security features such as video surveillance. 4. Custom finishes: These include wideplank flooring and substantial moldings. 5. Radiant heat: It runs throughout the home, including in shower floors, below bathtubs, and in garages.

may 2011

luxury home quarterly



SUSTAINABLE ELEGANCE While the Kulick brothers design many lavish homes for highprofile clients, they do not allow energy efficiency to fall by the wayside. Many of their homes are warmed entirely with radiant heat, and the company also uses spray-foam insulation and geothermal systems as often as possible.

The company works predominantly in Bergen County, New Jersey, which is located just outside of Manhattan. But Kulick Development has also completed homes in other Garden State towns including Saddle River, Upper Saddle River, Franklin Lakes, Mahwah, and Mountain Lakes. A few examples of their work and clientele include an 8,500-square-foot home with amenities such as a movie theater and interior and exterior Jacuzzis for a well-known NFL player and a 15,000-square-foot home for a singer of international fame with a movie theater, custom bar and wine cellar, and a hammam (or Turkish bath).

top-of-the-line appliances such as Sub-Zero and Wolf, and luxury plumbing fixtures and hardware including Perrin & Rowe and Baxter.” And though the company’s projects are lavish and expansive, Lance notes that they do not sacrifice efficiency for luxury. “Our homes have a strong focus on energy consumption, and we construct accordingly,” he says. “We’ve been installing homes that operate on 100 percent radiant heat for over a decade, and we were among the first to use spray-foam insulation and install geothermal and solar systems.”

Kulick Development also believes in sustain“I think what sets our company apart is that we not ability and uses as many recycled products as only understand classic architecture but also possess an understanding of available luxury materials, possible as well as products manufactured locally. “Sustainability and reducing energy consumption finishes, and products that allow us to complete and cost makes sense,” Lance says. “We’re preour homes in the finest quality,” Lance says. serving our environment’s resources, and federal government incentives help make it easy for our “We believe creating a classic custom home is all clients to implement efficiency upgrades.” in the materials selected and how they are put together,” he says. “Thus, we choose products The company is currently working on several inthat are elegant and timeless such as substantial teresting projects including three homes adjacent yet classic molding profiles, hand-selected stone to one another for a client and his two daughters. surfaces including Calcutta and Nero Marquina,


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Lance also plans to continue his focus on energy efficiency by expanding Amberjack Solar Energy, a renewable energy company he founded in 2009 that installs solar systems for commercial and municipal entities. As far as new business goes, Kulick Development’s work speaks for itself. The firm does no advertising but has stayed busy with word of mouth referrals. “We often work on renovations for existing clients or build second/vacation homes for clients,” Lance says. “For one client, we built homes for two of his children as well as his brothers and their children.” “Our philosophy is simple: The customer is always right, even when they are wrong,” he says. “Specifically, we‘ll give our customers exactly what they want, even if it is at our expense, in order to keep them happy—because happy customers are our best source of new business.”


ael M. Fea Inc. h c i M Architectural Woodworking & Design







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luxury home quarterly



ZMK Group, Inc.

PERIOD PIECE The entry and living room of the Sutton Place Penthouse features Brazilian walnut flooring laid in a herringbone pattern. ZMK Group, Inc. also installed a fireplace and surrounded it with custom millwork. The home's custom kitchen has cerused-oak cabinets, a recycledaluminum tile backsplash, and two-inch-thick statuary countertops.


While working as a project manager in the mayor's office in New York City, Zachary Kaplan fell in love with the building process. He was charged with the responsibility of overseeing the creation of affordable housing in the city, and he quickly learned the intricacies of building design and construction. Only two years into his work in the mayor’s office and armed with a college degree in urban planning and architectural history, Kaplan sought to build his own construction company, which is still growing 17 years later. Kaplan, president of New York-based ZMK Group, Inc., now oversees a team of 43 full-time employees. His full-service firm specializes in high-end residential work, most of it located in New York


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City, and the firm’s projects range from sleek and modern to ornate and traditional. One recent example is an Upper West Side residence that Kaplan made into a new singlefamily home by combining two 3,000-square-foot adjacent spaces in a prewar building across from the Rose Planetarium. He modified the interior to create a large 800-square-foot kitchen/family room, a music room, and a children’s playroom, and all doors, trim, and moldings were replaced to match the existing period style. The wood flooring was substantially replaced, sections of existing wood flooring and borders were reworked, and new flooring was woven with existing paneling for seamless transitions between old and new.

The Sutton Place Penthouse was a substantial renovation of a dark, dreary 2,400-square-foot space. Large steel-cased, full-height terrace doors—which swing open to the outside—and windows facing south, east, and west were installed, flooding the apartment with light. Inside, rich wood paneling offsets Venetian plaster walls throughout the rest of the apartment. Completing the home is the central wood-burning fireplace with a marble mantelpiece from England and a herringbone brick firebox. “We strive to make the experience for each of our clients positive and fun,” Kaplan says. “Many contractors lose sight of the fact that we are in a service business. It is this attention and commitment


by Megy Karydes

“We strive to make the experience for each of our clients positive and fun.” Zachary Kaplan, President • • Photo Credit-Linda Hall

to service, detail, and communication that makes ZMK Group, Inc. a very team-oriented company and what sets us apart from our colleagues.” At the same time, ZMK Group keeps costs low by taking the time in the beginning stages of a project to thoroughly review the proposals and make sure everything is covered. According to Kaplan, clients have repeatedly mentioned how helpful their very detailed cost breakdowns have been when they are reviewing and analyzing the various costs associated with a project. The firm also cuts costs through the use of new technologies. All of ZMK Group’s job sites are equipped with a laptop and digital camera, allowing Kaplan’s team to photograph details and send them to the project architect so that an issue can be discussed and resolved quickly, often without the need for a meeting, saving the client both time and money. After nearly two decades on his own, Kaplan is proud of his firm’s long-term relationships with its subcontractors, clients, and the many design professionals and architects his team works closely with every day. With a project roster of anywhere from 9 to 12 projects being built simultaneously, Kaplan relies on those relationships to keep him abreast of industry trends. Today, as much as he did two decades ago in the mayor’s office, Kaplan enjoys running a business that has a tangible product that you can see, feel, and walk through. While the housing market might still be struggling, ZMK Group’s economically responsible measures have kept the company comfortably afloat. “We have been very fortunate while projects have been taking longer to come to fruition,” Kaplan says. “Many of our clients are looking for innovative and creative ways to save money and cut costs, [and] we have stayed fairly busy and are now seeing very positive signs of growth.”

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Glenayre Park Residence


Jeffrey Eigel offers strong generational ties as a key reason for the success of his building company, Eigel Builders, LLC, which has tackled high-end residential projects across a range of styles in eastern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. “My family has been involved in residential real estate for three generations in and around Chicago, so it’s in my blood,” he says. After stints in upstate New York and California for school and work, Eigel and his wife, Karoline, made their permanent move to the Windy City in 1999. The two founded Eigel Builders the same year, Eigel assuming responsibility for most aspects of design and construction while Karoline focused on marketing the firm’s projects for sale. The duo has since built a winning team of in-house staff and trusted sub-contractors. Over the years, Eigel Builders has established a solid reputation by staying true to its core philosophy. “The houses we build reflect our passion for the craft of home-building and the art of residential architecture,” Eigel says. “Our projects include everything from historically accurate 18th-century reproductions to Asian-influenced modernism. The unifying element of our approach is

According to Eigel, design pieces for the project were chosen with great care. “Created in partnership with DeGiulio Kitchen Design [], the kitchen is both the literal and figurative center of this house,” he says. “Sub-Zero refrigeration [] from the 700 series was selected for its invisible integration into the bank of mahogany cabinets that house the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. A custom-fabricated, apron-front stone sink features a stainless-steel liner and sliding cutting board. The Wolf range [] and ventilation provides a restaurant-grade cooking environment. The Perrin & Rowe by Rohl faucets [] throughout the home balance elegant style and effortless function."

that each house we build or renovation we undertake stays true to the character of its design and the personalities of the owners.” A recent project in Glenayre Park illustrates that approach. Located in a neighborhood of traditional homes on spacious, wooded lots, the house evokes a classic feel while also sporting every modern amenity, according to Eigel. “The center-entry Georgian foyer is flanked by dining and living rooms and leads to a formal library on one side and a marble and polished-nickel butler’s pantry down a separate hallway,” he says. “The large kitchen, breakfast area, and family room are relaxed but sophisticated. A limestone rear foyer leads either to the back patios or the garden room. The lower level has expansive gaming and seating areas surrounding an elevated wet bar—along with an exercise room, wine cellar, and movie theater. There are laundry services on the main floor as well as upstairs, and there is a spacious hall extending from the heated garage, which leads to the mudroom and home office.” Rather than diluting their efforts across a large number of projects, Eigel Builders focuses intently on a few projects at a time, completing an average of two

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luxury home quarterly



COUNTER AND CABINET TEXTURES The breakfast room of the Glenayre Park home incorporates a variety of surface types, including hand-fired ceramic tile and scrubbed-pine and cherry cabinetry. A separate service area houses an under-cabinet SubZero refrigerator (, SubZero Ice Maker, and Perrin & Rowe ( faucet.

COVERING ALL ERAS Eigel Builders works in various historical styles. This covered porch— part of a Glendale Drive, IL, home—is modeled after an English loggia.


OLD-WORLD FEEL The firm carried the Glendale Drive home's aged atmosphere into the interior. The English kitchen blends worn maple, mahogany, and cherry woods with granite, English limestone, and Jerusalem stone tile. Occupants might not even notice the modern refrigerator, rangetop, oven, and faucets.

CONTEMPORARY AGING This living room in a Glenview Road home is detailed in the style of the 18th century, with hand-scraped wood-doweled paneling, coffered ceilings, and a period-accurate hearth wall. Doors and cabinets are hung on antique hinges dating back to the 1790s.

to three homes every year. Eigel says that this level of concentration allows for increased client interaction and participation, a plus for everyone involved. The firm has gradually expanded from its base in Chicago’s North Shore area to complete homes in the western suburbs and as far north as Wisconsin. Another key change as the years have passed is an increase in green practices and technology. Eigel Builders’ new homes carry an Energy Star rating confirmed by the audit of an independent testing firm. The environmental impact of materials used is addressed at the beginning of every project, and the firm always includes or encourages the installation of energy-efficient equipment. “Increasingly, best practices in the building industry are synonymous with green practices,” Eigel says.

“We’re seeing increased interest in regionally sourced and sustainably produced materials as well as higher-performance materials such as blown-in cellulose or foam insulation. Right now, we are installing a geothermal HVAC system in a new home, which will dramatically reduce the home’s future energy use and create a tax credit for the homeowners this year.” Eigel Builders’ success has reaped numerous rewards for the couple, but Eigel says that the best benefits are intangible. “There is nothing like going back to visit a project that has become a family’s home; it’s the kind of job satisfaction you can’t quantify,” he says. “Also, since not everyone has the ability to envision what the blueprint is going to look like in real life, I get to share that ‘wow’ moment when a house takes shape and becomes someone’s reality.”

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luxury home quarterly



Creative minds in interiors, landscapes, and furnishings


A COMPOSITION IN CREAMS In the living room, a grand iceberg photograph is given center stage, warmly nestled in a soothing living room designed to inspire conversation. Nuances such as the Meissen polar bear, Heinrich and Celine pottery, and the latest furniture piece by Vladimir Kagan ( are balanced well within Pavarini’s custom furniture composition by Avery Boardman (

by Amy E. Lemen Charles Pavarini III Design Associates, Inc. is a full-service interior-design firm that takes an architectural approach to every project. Given Pavarini’s family history, that’s not surprising. The New York-based firm, which was established in 1981, is a testament to the genealogical legacy carried by founder Charles Pavarini III. His father, Charles Pavarini Jr., operated a successful New York construction firm that his grandfather, Charles Pavarini Sr., founded in the early 1950s. The construction firm, responsible for building such New York landmarks as the United Nations complex, the Seagram Building, and the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, established


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the family of architects, designers, and builders that Pavarini would eventually follow the lead of. “Architecture is really in my DNA—I’m trained as an architect visually, and I bring that vision to every project,” he says. “We don’t just look at the space given but what the space can become, and then [we] give it new life and detail and layer it with design and decoration.” For Pavarini, it’s first and foremost about the architecture of interior spaces and then the style that follows—a “Euro-focused forward thinking” approach that emphasizes new technologies, especially lighting. “Most of the technology we use is in audio-visual, lighting design, and lighting-

control systems,” he says. “Lighting is not only used to illuminate space, but it’s also a tool to make a space come alive.” It’s a style that’s gotten the firm noticed, too. Recent accolades include the New York chapter of the International Furnishings & Design Association’s (IFDA) 2010 Circle of Excellence Award for Interior Designer of the Year. While the firm’s work is distinctive, Pavarini says they have become so well versed in design that they’re comfortable with any style or vernacular. This shows in the firm’s work, which ranges from English homes in Connecticut and French-style

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mansions outside the city to luxury lodges in Vail, Colorado, and ultra-modern New York City apartments. “All of our work begins with the architectural assembly in the early stages of conception” says vice president J. Randall Tarasuk, who has been with the firm since 1998. “We don’t fill empty rooms with stuff. It’s about giving them a personality, and that starts with the architecture.” Pavarini is also quick to point out that every interior is tailored for the client—not necessarily a designer’s vision of what the space should look like. “It’s amazing how interiors tell who

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2. Lighting: The technology-driven, color-fading LED lighting system adds and enhances the room’s elegance and atmosphere without overpowering it. 3. Artwork: A marriage of art and architecture is always at the forefront for Pavarini. This room features custom furniture and commissioned art by both Vladimir Kagan ( and Dakota Jackson ( 4. Texture: Silk and sisal rugs, Venetian plaster, and Zolatone-sprayed walls all add up to a textural explosion that underscores the room’s muted color palette.

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luxury home quarterly



“It’s amazing how interiors tell who we are—the aesthetics, quality, everything. It’s like having a piece of couture clothing made.” Charles Pavarini III, Founder

SPATIAL INTENT Pavarini believes that "form follows function." For this sitting room, designed to showcase artifacts and artwork, he mixed a soothing palette with strong architecture.

we are—the aesthetics, quality, everything,” Pavarini says. “It’s like having a piece of couture clothing made—we design for the client.” That includes making custom furniture if the right piece doesn’t already exist. Pavarini’s Lounge in the recent 39th Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House—a fundraiser for the children of the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club of New York in which designers must be selected to participate—is just one example. Faced with a 25-by-40-foot room and an HVAC system that interfered with the their vision, Pavarini and his team rerouted the system and installed a custom plaster ceiling and pierced


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crown with a color-fading LED lighting system that “enhanced the room’s aura.” “This created the sophisticated architectural background for the dramatic interplay of custom furniture, art, and sculpture in the room,” Pavarini says. “Like many of our interiors, the room was also layered with custom upholstered furniture, a rare collection of art and sculpture, couture lampshades, a stealth audio system, and commissioned pieces by Dakota Jackson and Vladimir Kagan.” The Kips Bay Show House has proven to be an effective launching pad for Pavarini’s vision in years past; for example, the boutique hotel

lobby-like lounge he designed for the 2009 house helped the firm find new direction in spatial concepts for commercial spaces. Since then, the firm has garnered other commercial projects including residential loft buildings in Kansas City, Kansas; Rochester, Minnesota; and Cincinnati. Moving ahead, Pavarini is also creating a line of lighting called The Edifice Collection in homage to the iconic buildings his grandfather built. His main work will still be in interior design, though, where his ultimate philosophy hints at the architectural environment he was raised in. “Form follows function,” Pavarini says. “We establish the function and build the space around that.”


Top Design Elements of the Hill House Residence

Richens Designs, Inc. TUSCAN CRAFTSMANSHIP WITH A TOUCH OF SOPHISTICATION by Kaleena Thompson If Wendy Richens life had followed her parents’ wishes, she would have been a doctor. Instead, at the last minute, she ditched her full college scholarship and applied to a Los Angeles fashion institute. “It all started when I was 16 years old, when my family moved into a new home, and I took charge of selecting furniture, drapes, art, and accessories,” Richens says. From there, she seamlessly integrated her passion into work for various residential design firms before eventually founding her own firm, Richens Designs, Inc. More than 20 years later, her sumptuous interiors have earned numerous Texas ASID awards, and Richens, who maintains an office in Austin, Texas, now re-creates 3,000- to 10,000-square-foot spaces that are elegant and accommodating. For one of her most recent projects, a newly married couple approached Richens to make their home––an undecorated new construction––a masterpiece. “His furniture and her furniture needed to


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be combined with what worked, and then additional pieces were purchased,” Richens says. “They both wanted the interior beautifully furnished before moving in, which is how I prefer to work.” Richens added a color scheme that provided a peaceful flow from room to room. The home’s style––warm and rustic––combines a traditional Tuscan Mediterranean interior façade with a lot of stone that is indigenous to Texas. The front handmade iron doors, each with a reflective glass design, lead onto hand-chiseled Versailles-patterned stone floors set below arches that reflect the home’s Tuscan bones. “The downstairs felt very expansive due to the few walls,” Richens says. The living room and dining room ceilings are 20 feet high, and the kitchen, nook, study area, and den are connected by arches. “When you walk in, the visual feeling continues to the outside overlooking the infinity pool, the bed of trees, and the mesmerizing lake,” Richens says. “This created a fresh, light look to the Texas style home.”

1. Hand-chiseled, Versailles-patterned stone floors: These, along with the neutral color palette of the structure itself, blanket the home in Tuscan warmth. 2. Fewer walls: In order to create seamless transitions throughout the lower floor, there are no solid walls between the entry, the living room, the dining room, the wetbar, the kitchen, the study nook, and the den. 3. Textured walls: These create movement and enhance the warm, relaxed feeling of the Mediterranean. 4. Large rooms with high ceilings: To balance out the space, Richens added large-scale furniture from Jimmy Young Upholstery and Shumacher Fabrics ( 5. 8' x 4' windows: Provided by Pella Windows (, the glass panels maximize views and bring the outdoors inside.

Skye’s the Limit Electric “Every project is different because every client is different. That’s what inspires me.” Wendy Richens, Designer/Owner

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A decorative face-lift was only one part of Richens’ plan. “The new home construction was not complete, so I had free reign to incorporate many new design elements.” The master suite offers privacy downstairs and boasts green and yellow linen and chenille fabrics. One level above, Richens took the wall out between the nursery and the playroom and created an office/music studio, which is canopied by a balcony. Another bedroom was transformed into a gym with a balcony just beyond. A bridge runs over the entry and living room and connects the office/studio to the guest bedroom suite and the gym. The living spaces are not ostentatious but command attention with their sophisticated furnishings. The design elements of the living and dining room echo the calm lake views. White-linen drapes, contrasting pillows, and chocolate-colored sisal rugs “give a very friendly feeling.” The soft, glowing tone of the rooms is heightened by sofas covered in quiet white slip covers, and pops of deep turquoise and chocolate-brown from the throw pillows match the chocolate-brown sisal rugs and enliven the space’s serene sensibility. In the kitchen, the handles, knobs, and bin pulls have a brushed-chrome finish. Distressed dark-stained wood cabinets; Versailles-patterned, hand-chiseled stone flooring; faux-painted, handtroweled walls; and tumbled-stone baseboards complement the Mediterranean movement throughout the house. The countertops are chocolate and yellow granite, which accent the Versailles-patterned floor.

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MEDITERRANEAN ELEMENTS In the kitchen, the use of different stone products and patterns, combined with the faux painting, maintains the Mediterranean style while adding movement and interest. The handcrafted stone, the Italian mosaic design at the vent hood, and the handcrafted sink are all beautiful details that make this kitchen one-of-a-kind. The space also includes a full suite of professional-grade appliances.

TUSCAN SPA The master bath incorporates natural daylighting, neutral materials, and a theme of arches and stonework to emulate the atmosphere of an ancient spa. The columns might seem like they were carved from real stone, but they are in fact painted facsimiles.


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Richens seamlessly integrated her creative passion into work for various design firms before founding her own firm, Richens Designs, Inc., which has been in business more than 20 years.

Richens, who is also a general contractor, spent three months on the entire project. One of the finishing touches, a cabana with a fireplace, full outdoor kitchen, and bath, was carved out for entertaining and relaxation among family and friends. Richens brought her design touch to the addition with Colton teak-wood furniture, brown and beige indoor and outdoor fabric, and a brown sisal rug to create expansiveness. “You sense the continuity and indoor-outdoor flow,” Richens says. Another showstopper that won a 2010 ASID Texas Gulf Coast Silver Award was a bathroom the designer updated dramatically. “The before bathroom had typical 1980s oak cabinets, prefab counter, sink, shower, and tub as well,” she says. “I gutted it completely so we had a new canvas, but I was limited to the layout of the room due to the plumbing in the walls and an exterior wall.” However, this didn’t limit her vision for a simple, sophisticated, soothing escape. Dark-stained mahogany cabinets that bow out, deep rectangular sinks, and marble counters keep the redesign timeless but modern. Richens believes that quality in both finishes and furnishings is key for long-term appreciation and satisfaction. And, with every project, the client’s character and imagination also contribute to her reimagining of a space. “Every project is different because every client is different,” she says. “That’s what inspires me.”



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Top Design Elements of the 56th-Floor Chicago High-Rise

RS Design Studio CREATING A WELCOMING HOME FOR CLIENTS IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD by Tricia Despres RS Design Studio owner Randy Shingledecker admits “it was truly an accident” when he found himself smack in the middle of Chicago’s interiordesign community. After graduating with a BA in architecture from the University of Illinois–Chicago, Shingledecker recalls many of his teachers commenting not only on his architectural talents but more specifically his abilities in interior design. “I would play for hours with building blocks and Lego’s when I was little, so I had thought architecture was where my passion was,” says Shingledecker, who now resides in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. “But now, as I look back, I also remember spending hours drawing and sketching homes and putting together room layouts along with rearranging my bedroom furniture, so maybe my love for interior design was indeed always there.” After graduating from Chicago’s Harrington School for Interior Design, Shingledecker went with his gut and opened RS Design Studio in 2007.


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These days, most of his work is done high above Lake Michigan in the luxury residential condos of downtown Chicago. “There is an excitement in being able to impact people’s lives and benefit the way in which they live,” he says. “Most of my work is for business professionals who travel a lot and really want to come home to a home in every sense of the word rather than come home to some sort of museum. It really is a common thread that lives among most of my clients.” One of Shingledecker’s most recent projects was a Chicago condo on the 56th floor of a high-rise on Ontario St. The professional couple chose the condo for its interesting location and 360-degree views of Chicago after transferring to the city from the San Francisco area.

1. Lighting: “The pin points of light on the chandelier ( are meant to mimic the sparkle of the lights from the city’s high-rises,” Shingledecker says. 2. Rugs: Shingledecker is quick to note that, “The 12' x 14' handmade silk and wool Tibetan rug anchors the main seating area in the living room." 3. Asian antiques: As soon as guests enter the space, they see the owner’s love of Asian antiquities. The red chest—a find from Pagoda Red (—is from 19 thcentury China. 4. Art: Japanese artist Yutaka Yoshinaga made the large piece above the sofa ( Each panel is hand-made and stained using an ancient Japanese paper technique. 5. Skyline views: Spectacular views of Chicago’s skyline and lakefront are showcased throughout the condo.

“The couple would spend their weekends out in the art district, collecting artwork for their place,”

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CRAFTY CARPETING The handmade silk and wool Tibetan rug is the centerpiece of the living room's main seating area. Colors of eggplant, green, beige, and brown add subtle color to the off-white ultrasuede occasional chairs. The sculpture on the room's far side—from an artist in London— is carved from a single piece of aged walnut.

Shingledecker says. “They were quite surprised and happy to find the art community in Chicago so alive.”


Shingledecker says he definitely has needed to adjust to the changing needs of his client base during the recent turbulent economic times. “People are much more cost-conscious these days,” he says. “They ask themselves if what they are buying will add value or if they can easily take the pieces to their next property. They also are purchasing pieces that they are really going to live with and, most importantly, use. Today, it’s all about the longevity of the product.” His talents in both architecture and interior design have also helped his clients weed through projects to find what will work for them in the long run. “Having an architectural background has really helped,” says Shingledecker, who often browses the shops in the Merchandise Mart and the Andersonville neighborhood and looks for products and inspiration. “I can walk into a project and see right off the bat what interior changes can be made without compromising the structure’s integrity. It’s all about having an understanding for structure and how it can relate to a space. I also

have learned to pick and choose my battles. Everything has a price tag, and when someone doesn’t like what I have recommended, it’s time for me to go back to the drawing board.”

Painting Chicago & the North Shore beautifully since 1983.

Recently, Shingledecker purchased a second home in Michigan’s Harbor Country and hopes to soon expand the business into the sturdy Midwest second-home marketplace. “People here in the Midwest are really down to earth,” he says. “However, they like nice and well-made things. Being in a city where there are space constraints, things need to be useful and have a real value. The same goes for their second-home interiors. They simply are looking for a space they will enjoy for years to come.”

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designer showcase

VIVA ITALIA Designed after canal-front Venetian palazzos, this residence stays true to its Italian theme with columns, arches, arcades, and balconies. It also emphasizes ocean views through large expanses of glass.


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Designer Showcase

FIREPLACE FURNISHINGS At the Strand residence, the bedroom fireplace was specifically designed to fit with a reclaimed French limestone mantel. The framed mirror above conceals a TV, and matching armoires flank the stonework to hold A/V equipment and provide storage space.


The Warner Group Architects, Inc. Jack Lionel Warner, founder of The Warner Group Architects, Inc. in Santa Barbara, California, is known for using clean and simple lines in his bold designs. With a strong sense of vision and mission already in place after nearly half a century of work, the firm now focuses on bringing the same artisan qualities to every project it undertakes. His vision is so timeless that the fullservice architectural and interior-design firm’s recent major renovations to Birnam Wood Golf Club in Montecito, California—also Mr. Warner’s first project in 1966, one that ended up springboarding his career—fit the structure's original design seamlessly and efficiently. text by Frederick Jerant

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Designer Showcase

OPEN-FACED LIVING A retracting glass wall runs the length of the living room, maximizing the view. It can also open up completely to bring the fresh sea air and the sound of waves indoors.

Top Design Elements of the Strand Residence 1. F  ull-length retracting glass wall: This opens the living room up to the beach exterior. 2. Master bedroom fireplace: The mirror above conceals a TV, and armoires—for A/V equipment and storage—flank the fireplace. 3. Vaulted bedroom ceiling: It maximizes interior volume while staying within height restrictions. 4. Marble-clad spiral staircase: Centrally located, it provides light, air, and circulation throughout all three levels of the residence. 5. Home office: The room opens onto a courtyard and the beach, and its files and equipment are concealed in custom wall-to-wall cabinetry. 6. Home theater: It is engineered for perfect sound reverberation thanks to Omniffusor paneling and acoustic fabric on the walls and ceiling (


he Warner Group is known for overcoming extreme challenges—such as creating a 7,000-square-foot beach house on a lot only 33 feet wide in Manhattan Beach, California. “Our clients wanted an excellent view of the ocean,” CEO Thiep H. Cung, AIA, says. “Ordinarily, that would mean a contemporary style with lots of glass, but they preferred an Italian/ Mediterranean approach.”

The firm designed a three-level home and used interior space as efficiently as possible. The three floors are unified by a full-height circular staircase flanked by large windows that maximize natural light. The home’s stone-clad exterior features metalwork, arches, and columns reminiscent of palazzos on Venice’s Grand Canal. “To counteract beach air’s corrosive nature,” Cung says, “all exterior doors, windows, railings, and fittings are solid bronze.”


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The beach house’s ground floor is a few feet below street level and features a dramatic home theater. “Unlike most of our clients,” vice president and interior designer Jessica Bridges says, “we were asked to actually spotlight the audio equipment instead of hiding it.” The same level also features a 500-bottle wine cellar, a home office, and a guest bedroom. Other highlights of the home include a traditional Finnish sauna, carefully selected reclaimed-limestone flooring and fireplaces from French chateaus, and a five-car garage spacious enough to accommodate the client’s 19-foot-long Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, Bridges says. Warner Group’s primary market is a combination of high-end residential spaces and country clubs. Their work can be seen throughout California, Hawaii, Panama, Kuwait, and their newest market, Vietnam. “[Branching out] is what keeps us going in today’s economy,” Cung says.

Designer Showcase

POSITIVE EXPOSURE Built for an avid audiophile and movie buff, this home theater was designed by The Warner Group to be aesthetically sound while still keeping the A/V units and speakers out in the open so that the owner could use them as conversation pieces.

“We’ve been strong in both [architecture and interior design] since 1966. We can make sure the architectural work and all aspects of the interior design bring a cohesive solution to the project.” Thiep H. Cung, CEO


The firm has been on Architectural Digest’s list of the “World’s Top Architects and Interior Designers” four times, and it was on Robb Report’s “Top 30 Architects” list in 2007. Its work—ranging from classical to modern, Italian villa to French chateau—has appeared in many other publications, including Vogue, California Homes, and House Beautiful. Warner Group focuses on both architecture and interior design, Cung says. “We’ve been strong in both areas since 1966,” he says. “[By controlling both], we can make sure the architectural work and all aspects of the interior design bring a cohesive solution to the project.” The intricacy of their design work can be seen in a pair of projects for another client, a Laguna Beach, California, husband and wife with two college-aged children. When their daughter enrolled at Arizona State Uni-

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Top Design Elements of Maxine's Loft 1. Low interior partition walls: These define each space while maintaining a flowing, open atmosphere. 2. Cabinets and backsplash: The kitchen's aluminum cabinets and glass backsplash reflect natural light. 3. Unfinished concrete ceiling: Piping and circuitry hangs exposed, extending over low interior walls that define the loft’s spaces. 4. Glass doors/partitions: Designed by Rimadesio (, these create privacy while maintaining an open, airy feel. 5. Fixtures on mirrored walls: These expand the perceived size of small spaces.


designer showcase

MASCULINE MATERIALS Wenge partition walls, parquet flooring, and Arizona flagstoneclad interior walls help create warmth and give the apartment a midcentury feel.

Top Design Elements of Adam's Loft 1. The kitchen island: It acts as a spacial anchor, and its dark palette juxtaposes the backdrop of aluminum Bulthaup cabinetry ( 2. Industrial air-duct vents: These are emphasized in the ceiling's utility soffit. 3. Clear glass transoms: Situated over wenge-veneered partition walls, these create privacy while tying the spaces together. 4. W  enge partition walls: These help create a warm atmosphere and give a midcentury feel to the apartment. CLEAN STONE With a material palette of granite, glass tile, slate, and mirrors, the bathroom is inviting without feeling sterile.


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5. The bathroom: Granite, glass tile, slate, and mirrors were all incorporated into its design to give the room a measure of color.

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CONTRASTING SPACE The dark countertop and wood siding of the kitchen island stand in contrast to the shiny aluminum cabinetry beyond.

versity (ASU), they purchased loft space in an industrial building a block from campus and asked The Warner Group to make it a home.


The firm created “Maxine’s Loft,” a sophisticated 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom apartment. “We made it very modern,” Cung says. In addition to keeping the exposed mechanical work overhead and adding oak-plank floors, the use of mirrors and glass was important. “By using so much glass,” Cung says, “we were able to keep it light and airy. Its openness creates a smooth visual flow through each area.” They looked to German and Italian companies such as Bulthaup and Rimadesio for the kitchen and interior doors. Just one year later, son Adam entered ASU. His loft was created just one floor above Maxine’s. The 1,400-square-foot space is furnished in “midcentury modern” style, drawing on designs from the 1950s and 1960s. “It has a more rugged, masculine look,” Cung says, “with green marble and slate in the master bath, and native flagstone and other marbles elsewhere.”

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The clean lines and sharp angles of its décor were softened using earth tones and warm leather. A bonus to the fourth-floor retreat is a 1,000-square-foot outdoor patio. With a lush garden, hot tub, and Arabian-style tents, it’s a sweet getaway that Cung’s firm made sure to own the design of from beginning to end. “The Warner Group has complete involvement in every aspect of a project,” Cung says, “from the initial concept to moving day. It’s the only way we can be sure that everything is carried out to the client’s satisfaction—and to ours.”



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A Couture Approach Brown Davis Interiors gives a comfortable quality to strong, stark modern design


TEXT by Susan Flowers photos BY Ken Hayden

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a couture approach


nwilling to cater to conventional expectations of modern décor, Todd Davis and Rob Brown, the co-owners of Brown Davis Interiors, Inc., work to blend the traditional with the contemporary in unexpected ways. “In the beginning, people didn’t know how to peg us,” Davis says of the firm the two founded in 1994. “We really do consider ourselves couture. If a woman goes to Paris to have a dress made, that dress is made for her—her complexion, the event, and so on.” Brown and Davis apply this couture principle to their work, creating a hybrid of divergent styles as they take a fresh approach to each project.

The Alan Schulman-designed Villa Nirvana reminded Davis and Brown at first glance of a Swiss airport. “[It was] rather cold, hard, and very white,” Brown says. “But we really rejoiced in the high ceilings and open rooms and a new concept of living.” The two immersed themselves in research, looking at historic approaches to such a structure—and once they learned the rules, they promptly set about breaking them. Juxtaposing elements from different eras to create energy, they created a look that is thoroughly modern without being cold. “There’s a huge movement toward modern in this country, and people are going along with it because they think they should, but they are not aware that modern can also be comfortable,” Brown says.

The two consider themselves designers as opposed to decorators. “We do a great deal of interior architectural design,” Davis says. “We feel that it’s important to create not just the furniture but the space the furniture is in.” Nowhere is Brown Davis’ signature touch more evident than in the two designers’ own home, Villa Nirvana, located along Miami Beach. Although Villa Nirvana was the couple’s third home in the Miami area, the project represented a 180-degree shift from the norms at their earlier home base in Washington, DC, a city where tastes run to the traditional.

Brown describes the home as a kind of design laboratory. “It’s a brand new, modern, stark style of architecture, very strong and not meant to be missed,” he says. “It’s not meek by any standard. It was uncomfortable and alien to us, but we really wanted to understand it and grow and learn from it.”


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Villa Nirvana wasn’t Brown and Davis' first attention-grabbing project. Years earlier, they bought a large, rundown house in DC’s Georgetown neighborhood with the intention of restoring it to its former glory—not

a couture approach

“There’s a huge movement toward modern in this country, and people are going along with it because they think they should, but they are not aware that modern can also be comfortable.” Rob Brown, Cofounder


MODERN WARMTH For Villa Nirvana, located in Miami Beach, FL, Brown Davis Interiors took an open white space and incorporated numerous juxtaposed elements, including bold colors, eccentrically shaped furniture, and pieces from a range of eras. The result is a space that grabs attention and exudes modernist flair without feeling cold and empty.

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ONE OF A KIND Villa Nirvana's unique flavor is carried into the kitchen, where a row of clear chairs offer front-row seating along the island countertop. Todd Davis and Rob Brown see themselves as interior architectural designers rather than mere decorators, which has led to artistic touches such as the dramatically isolated oven vent extending from the ceiling.


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STARK, STRONG STYLE Brown and Davis designed and furnished Villa Nirvana as a home for themselves. Brown describes it as a design laboratory. “It’s a brand new, modern, stark style of architecture, very strong and not meant to be missed,” he says. “It’s not meek by any standard. It was uncomfortable and alien to us, but we really wanted to understand it and grow and learn from it.”


contemporary or traditional. elaborate or spare. styles may change, but our quality does not. fabricating window treatments and custom bedding for Washington area elite since 1975.

LET THE SUN SHINE IN The bedroom in Villa Nirvana faces toward the city and is oriented to soak in long rays of light when the sun is on the horizon. Multiple sets of doors open onto a balcony, exposing the room to sea-salt air and the Miami heat.

expecting that the renovation would lead to a major career boost. But their work impressed their next-door neighbor, famed hostess and writer Susan Mary Alsop, who made introductions that ultimately allowed them to take on a number of high-profile projects, including residences for the Clintons and work with the British embassy.

"Detail is the framework upon which PearlS.S.Buck Buck beauty is hung." --Pearl

Today, they run their six-person operation with a team mentality that Brown says is the best aspect of their firm. “We’re very lucky in the people we’ve attracted,” he says. “They’re very hungry to learn.” In return for their dedication to the firm, Davis and Brown make supporting their employees’ ambitions a priority, helping them to move on to the next phase of their careers. Clients are an important part of the team as well, and their tastes and preferences play a critical role in the design process. The business runs so smoothly partly because both partners have MBAs— with undergraduate work in fields unrelated to design. Davis studied business and economics at the University of Maryland and obtained his graduate degree from Johns Hopkins, and Brown majored in business and engineering at George Washington University, where he also did his graduate work.



As for the future, both designers express optimism despite the economic challenges of the past two years. “I just have a feeling that we’re going to continue to attract great projects and continue to be challenged. It’s a great privilege to be trusted at the level we are,” Brown says. Davis agrees: “Our whole country went through something horrendous. I’m very grateful to be here. It’s really all good.”



Rustic Heritage Halper Owens Architects LLC looks to New England's vernacular roots for architectural inspiration





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on Halper and Reese Owens met in the early 1980s in New York City. Young architects, they shared an office in one of the recital studios in Carnegie Hall. “We were surrounded by musicians, artists, architects, models,” Owens says. “It was an extraordinary environment.” Though they operated separate practices, the often found themselves helping one another. In 1987, they decided to formalize the partnership into Halper Owens Architects LLC, and they began designing small apartments and offices together.

Bolstered by a booming economy, they moved their operation to a loft in SoHo and took on increasingly prominent projects: a corporate headquarters in New Jersey, a New York town hall, a California retail store. In 1990, the economy collapsed while Halper Owens was working on a luxury resort for an entire island in the Bahamas. “It was an opportune time to flee New York,” Owens says. Owens moved to Litchfield County, Connecticut, where he had grown up; Halper settled an hour away in Greenwich, Connecticut. But they resolved to keep Halper Owens intact—and it still is. “Naturally, we worked more independently after the move, but we continue to collaborate and rely on each other for guidance,” Halper says. “And there are clear advantages to the arrangement— we can share our resources and our staff of six architects, and we can better average the inevitable peaks and valleys of small-office workloads.” text continues on page 77


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A FARM AESTHETIC Two barn-like spaces were merged to create the Mountain Road residence's rustic feel.

“[Rustic houses] allow for a lot of flamboyance, but they’re also deceptively labor-intensive to design and build despite their vernacular roots.”


Reese Owens, partner

WIDE-OPEN SPACES The grand central court of the Mountain Road residence connects the spaces of the home's interior in a free-flowing fashion.

rustic heritage

AVOIDING CONSTRICTION Because it is a family home, designing a flowing interior was key. Here, the bedroom blends with an office space.


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PRAISE-WORTHY The four-bedroom Mountain Road residence near Kent, CT, earned a 2009 AIA New England Design Award.

ROUGH ROCK Details such as the raw stonework of the fireplace enhance the rustic atmosphere of the Mountain Road home.

OLD WOOD MADE NEW Aged timbers working as support posts and ceiling beams maintain the historical charm in the Mountain Road residence's otherwise modern kitchen. The thick segments of wood used throughout the home are not artificially aged; they once held up real haylofts.


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EDMUND HOLLANDER LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT DESIGN P.C. 200 Park Avenue South Suite 1200 New York, New York 10003 212.473.0620

A MESSAGE FROM HOLLANDER ASSOCIATES Edmund Hollander Landscape Architects specializes in translating their clients’ dreams into beautiful, dramatic landscapes. These landscapes are designed with the underlying principle of creating a design tailored to the client’s lifestyle while balancing with the surrounding natural environment. Working closely with designers such as Halper Owens Architects, Edmund Hollander translates the details and themes of the built structures into every element within the garden—creating a landscape which seamlessly blends the structures to the gardens and, finally, the gardens to nature.

The Jule Pond Residence Location: Southampton, NY Completed: 2009 Bedrooms: 6 LEED Certification: Silver The project is Halper Owens’ first foray into sustainable design. Environmentally friendly features include: • Photovoltaic roof panels • A ground-source heat pump for heating and cooling • Storm-water collection • Reclaimed flooring • FSC-certified tropical woods • Low-VOC paint • CFL and LED lighting


• Energy Star appliances • Non-invasive plant material


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SUN AND SAND Located in a neighborhood association with private access to the Atlantic Ocean, the Jule Pond residence, completed in 2009, is a full-time summer house for an active family. “It was organized to take advantage of sun and views and to provide access to multiple outdoor living spaces from all the primary living rooms,” Halper says. Nearly the entire south façade of the main floor features large glass sliding doors and operable transoms, allowing the outdoor living spaces to flow inside.

A MESSAGE FROM BELISLE ANCESTRAL DOORS AND WINDOWS Belisle Ancestral Doors and Windows offers a range of exclusive custom-made all-wood doors and windows. In-swing French casements, push-out casements, awnings, hoppers, invisible balance and weight and chain double hungs, custom entry doors, double French doors, and lift-and-slide doors are a brief selection of what we have to offer. We use only fine materials, top quality hardware, and we pay attention to even the smallest details. Our company strives on personalized service, extended customer relationships, and a team of dedicated professionals offering products of superior craftsmanship. All of this matched by our second-to-none extended warranty and after-sales service. We deal with you, we listen to you and we make what you want. Your dream becomes our dream.

Though the firm primarily focuses on projects in the New England region, it has worked in ten states, preparing contextual designs that incorporate the nuances of various sites’ climates and terrains. “We don’t autograph our projects or recycle a house design for multiple clients,” Halper says. “The common denominator is less about the project and more about the type of client who perceives that good design is necessary and adds value.” New England’s strong architectural heritage provides exciting fodder for Halper Owens’ designs. Lately, the firm has embraced a number of rustic projects— lodge-like homes made of logs, bark siding, boulders, and even twigs. “It allows for a lot of flamboyance, but those houses are deceptively labor-intensive to design and build despite their vernacular roots,” Owens says. At the Mountain Road residence—a remotely located, four-bedroom weekend home in Kent, Connecticut, for which Halper Owens received both a Connecticut AIA design award and a New England AIA design award—the design called for the use of a timber frame from an early 19 th-century Dutch cow barn. Two barn-like volumes were arranged around a loose court, establishing a comple-

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rustic heritage

“We don’t autograph our projects or recycle a house design for multiple clients.” Jon Halper, Partner

mentary environmental relationship with the rustic landscape and the barn frame. It’s a family home, so keeping the interior plans interconnected was a priority: a large room (known as the Great Room) is situated in the center, surrounded by beams that once supported haylofts. The living spaces that surround this center room fall within the antique frame—even the outdoor spaces and attic loft. “The barn’s simple stylistic aspirations result in a plain but textured interior of timbers, plaster, oak floors, blued steel, and glass,” Owens says. “It’s richer than a simple shelter.” Its commitment to concepts like the Mountain Road home extends beyond luxury homes; Halper Owens has designed for Ralph Lauren retail stores, the Westport Rowing Club, and the Mayflower Inn & Spa over the years as well. But Halper notes that the approach with commercial projects is harmonious and complementary in its relation to residential work. “Those projects all have domestic qualities that are critical to their commercial success,” he says. “We enjoy all scales of projects,” Owens says. “This is, after all, a service business. If a client values our participation, we participate. Architects joke about this, but we have actually had a commission for a dog house.”


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A MESSAGE FROM EAST COAST BARN BUILDERS East Coast Barn Builders/Ed Cady & Sons Builders is a nationally recognized building firm specializing in high-end custom homes of prominence. Our projects many times feature antique barn and house frames of Dutch and English origin. We are the largest preserver and mover of vintage post & beam frames in the country. ECBB/ECSB's role in the project was to supply and reconstruct an antique Dutch barn frame we located and preserved and to perform all the necessary steps to make the house weather-tight. It was a pleasure working with the Halper Owens team and Daniel, the project manager. Their attention to detail is unparalleled.

A MESSAGE FROM PERKINS & CADY Perkins & Cady: millwork and hardware of distinct quality featuring LePage windows and doors. We craft a modern tradition and offer a unique collection inspired by classic designs.

A MESSAGE FROM DAVIS RAINES DESIGN Davis Raines Design, a boutique interior design firm. We work closely with clients to create stylish and livable interiors and the details that make their house a home. Our design complements the outstanding architecture and craftsmanship of Halper Owens and East Coast Barn Builders.


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what's old is new WALL OF GLASS The flat side of the crescent is lined with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out toward the forest, and glass doors open onto the home's patio.


n Marin County, California, in 1960, the architect Daniel Liebermann built the Radius House amid a canyon of redwood trees. He designed it in a crescent shape that echoed the outline of the forest ridge and constructed it largely from salvaged materials: old brick, Douglas fir beams he acquired from a hotel in Sacramento, and skylights from old warplanes.

“I developed a formula for building with wood, which I used on that home,” says Liebermann, a former apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright who is now 80 years old. “It was a synthesis of Japanese and American-Indian influences combined with an eye toward harmony with nature and recycling.” Even the most finely designed homes age, though, and a few years back the Radius House’s owners decided it was time to update and modernize their home. They called Vivian Dwyer, of Dwyer Design, and asked her to oversee the renovations. “It was important to everyone—the clients, myself, Daniel—that we respect the integrity of the original design even as we improved the functionality of things like the bathroom, the kitchen, and lighting,” Dwyer says.

“It was important to everyone that we respect the integrity of the original design even as we improved the functionality of things like the bathroom, the kitchen, and lighting.” Vivian Dwyer, Founder


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To that end, a minimal, modern approach was employed, so as not to compete with what previously existed. Everything in the kitchen is below counter height—even the refrigerators, which are shelved and half-sized. “There’s a European aspect to the design,” Dwyer says. “It’s more the idea that you go to town every day to pick up groceries, so you don’t need a giant refrigerator.” There is an openness to the redesign as well. Three small bedrooms became a single master bedroom; two bathrooms became one. Also, there is no wall dividing the master bathroom from the bedroom, just the headboard of the bed. “We wanted it to feel as though you’re just floating in a big room,” Dwyer says. “When you’re in the bathtub, you feel like you’re in a larger space. Same with the bed.” The original woodwork includes curved walls, which were retained. A sliding wall panel, eight feet wide, connects the bedroom and living room when open and boasts intricately carved woodwork. “The door was actually built into an existing wall,” Dwyer says. “It’s breathtaking to see in person. Having so much wood in the design allowed us to do some amazing things.”

RETRO DESIGN Bought in 2006, the 1,100-square-foot home presented a number of renovation obstacles. Keeping close to Liebermann’s original design required careful planning. “It was a delicate surgery with lots of limitations,” Dwyer says.



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“I saw that my niche could be detailed work, assembling materials that evoke spirit and imagination.� Vivian Dwyer, Founder


SUNLIT ARC The original curved woodwork of the home was retained, and daylighting pours in through the windows on the opposite side.

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RESTORED EFFICIENCY Restoration was critical. A new kitchen was installed, but the wood beams, metal pipes, and concrete floors were retained and refinished. The warplane skylights were restored, and a separate lighting system harmonizes with the movement of sunlight in daytime. The roof was reconstructed to introduce ventilation and electrical systems that operate more efficiently.

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ADDITION OF FLOW The Radius House was remodeled to be more open, and the new living room is a large single space bounded only by a curved back wall and a front wall of windows.

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LESSONS LEARNED “Daniel was trying to explore the perception of space when he built this home 50 years ago,” Dwyer says. “He helped advise on our renovations, and I think that was very exciting to him. Even though this is a small home, it taught him so much about design."


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Joe Fletcher Photography

Dwyer founded her firm in 2004 after an unfulfilling experience in the world of corporate architecture. A small project with Fougeron Architecture at her new company changed her view of design. “It really inspired me,” she says. “They design using wood, metal, glass, concrete—real materials, not things that are made to look like other materials.” She began to understand how her art background could fuse with her formal architectural training. “I saw that my niche could be detailed work, assembling materials that evoke spirit and imagination,” Dwyer says.

OPEN AND CLEAN The master bedroom and bathroom of the Radius House are divided by nothing more than the headboard of the bed. In the kitchen, to avoid distracting too much from the original design, all the new appliances installed were placed below counter level.

In the Radius House and elsewhere, Dwyer Design’s style veers toward the modern: simple, calm, thoughtful. “I’m much more inspired by landscape, materials, context, and siting,” she says. “I’m constantly thinking about spaces and the way people will move through spaces. My goal is that my work creates a sanctuary for the mind to rest.”


Robert Harvey Oshatz’s design utilizes the acoustic qualities of timber


TEXT By David Hudnall


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Designed in 1997 and completed in 2004, this breathtaking home in Portland, OR, defies categorization. The main level is blended directly into a tree canopy, but equally striking is the use of curves in the design. Windows come in a variety of shapes and sizes: rounded arcs, full circles, and trapezoids. A natural wood ceiling—which seems to float on curved, laminated wood beams—intersects with glass and wraps around the living room.

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the sound of music ACOUSTIC QUALITIES Oshatz tries to design his homes to fit each client perfectly. In the case of the Wilkinson residence, the home was meant for a viola player, and wood was chosen as a main construction material because of its acoustic warmth.

I “Playing wood off other materials is part of what helps the beauty of the wood come through.” Robert Harvey Oshatz, Architect

mperative to Robert Oshatz’s design process is the elimination of his own preconceived ideas of what a home should be. “You have to remember that it’s your client’s home—you’re never going to live in it,” he says. “So the idea is that you approach it from a fully open place. I don’t even like going in with an idea of what a bedroom is. To one client, it’s four walls and a window. To another, it’s a pod floating in an interior garden.” Flip through Oshatz’s portfolio, and his openness to different concepts is immediately evident: the homes he’s designed run to both ends of the spectrum in terms of size and style. In practice since 1971, Oshatz started out exclusively doing commercial designs, but over time he took on more residential jobs, and he found that his personalized approach is well suited to designing people’s homes. So, when a client who plays viola in a string quartet and sings in a choral group came to Oshatz with the need for a home where music could flow freely throughout, the architect was up to the task.

The Wilkinson residence, which is essentially a modern tree house in Portland, Oregon, features a great deal of lumber. A seamlessness between interior and exterior spaces—a hallmark of Oshatz’s designs—was achieved through consistent use of wood indoors and out. “Wood was ideal because of its acoustic qualities—there’s a warmness to wood that enhances the experience of music,” Oshatz says. Oshatz puts a lot of stock in first understanding what his clients like about their property. “Usually it’s more than the fact that it’s the right price or location,” he says. “Before I start designing, I visit the property with the client and get a feel for the poetry of the land. And I’ll just ask questions: ‘What do you want to see when you wake up? Do you want a lot of sunlight? Trees?’ And from there I get a sense of the shape and form that will best reflect how the space will be used. The structure should be at peace with the environment, and the client should be at peace with the structure.” Another key to the design was to ensure that the home’s inhabitants would feel as though they were truly among the trees; views were less prized than a communal feeling with nature. “They wanted to be able to hear the birds singing all around them while they were on the balcony,” he says.


luxury home quarterly

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SHAPED TO THE SURROUNDINGS “The landscape was very soft and sensual, so I wanted the structure to reflect that,” Oshatz says. “Adding curves made it feel more sensual and flowing. Many of the spaces are rectilinear, though—you just don’t sense it as much due to the movements of the arcs and curves throughout.”

“I don’t like going in with an idea of what a bedroom is. To one client, it’s four walls and a window. To another, it’s a pod floating in an interior garden.”


Robert Harvey Oshatz, Architect


luxury home quarterly

may 2011

the sound of music


VARIED VIEWS Just a few of the many uniquely shaped windows affixed on all sides of the home. Oshatz prefers not to go into a project with any preconceived notions of how the final product should look or function.

Although Oshatz’s operation—it is usually just him alone, though he occasionally brings in designers to assist him on special projects—is based in Portland, Oregon, he’s worked throughout the West and in Japan. “It’s nice to design for different climates and landscapes and to incorporate those elements into the physical structures you’re creating,” he says. In the heavily forested Pacific Northwest, of course, wood is a natural design element to explore. “Wood is something a lot of clients want up here because it’s so abundant,” Oshatz says. “I’ve had clients who love wood so much that they want the entire home to be all wood. But I often point out that playing it off other materials is part of what helps the beauty of the wood come through.” In the end, Oshatz was able to achieve his overriding objective with the Wilkinson residence: a harmony between the structure, the environment, and the client’s wishes. “It’s a unique physical experience to be in that house,” he says. “The client told me recently that when guests visit they always comment on how peaceful they feel there. That’s the response I hope for when I design.”

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luxury home quarterly



luxury home quarterly

may 2011






effrey Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle, partners at Los Angeles’ Standard Architecture|Design firm, recently completed a 6,000-square-foot home in Beverly Hills for renowned fashion designer Jenni Kayne and real-estate broker Richard Ehrlich. The interior and exterior of the home feature wood shipped in from a dismantled barn in rural Pennsylvania. “When you dismantle a barn, there are a lot of beams and wood cladding, and in this case the beams were especially attractive and large and made of oak,” Kuhle says. “They fit the concept we had, which was that the beams would resemble trusses on the interior. But we also used the wood as siding for the ceiling and doors. The client is sustainably conscious, so incorporating pre-used wood into a larger aesthetic was important for them.” Standard has built its reputation designing for fashion-industry clients, and aesthetics and artistic concepts tend to come with the territory. Founded in 1996 shortly after Allsbrook graduated from SCI-Arc, the firm used its connections in the Los Angeles clothing industry to get its initial boost. Eventually, Maxfield, a trendy boutique, gave Standard the opportunity to design a small store, which opened the door to designing more stores, and Standard was on its way.

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luxury home quarterly




A 1,750-square-foot structure built around a tree, the home naturally incorporates a large amount of wood on its exterior. But wood is central to the interior concept as well. “It was important to us that it have distinct cabin elements,” Kuhle says. Wood cladding is consistent throughout, and a central wall of wood divides the kitchen from the living and dining spaces. The rusticity gives the impression of a piece of furniture, according to Allsbrook. “It’s more unifying, as opposed to hav[ing] large white walls that separate the space into three very separate rooms,” he says.


luxury home quarterly

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luxury home quarterly


up in the air

LOOKING OUT In the living room, a floorto-ceiling, wall-to-wall field of windows provides a sweeping view of Los Angeles below.

ASCETICALLY THIN The narrow kitchen lane saves space, and the monochromatic coloring stands juxtaposed to the subtle tones of the living room.

“Our primary concern is the space itself. Light fixtures, doors, and windows are subservient to the larger spatial concept.” Jeffrey Allsbrook, Partner

Kuhle and his partners “tend to open up houses to the outdoors,” he says. “We don’t want people to feel like they’re living in a closed-off space. It’s nice to be able to open a door and sit down and feel like you’re inside and outside at the same time.” This concept— an increasingly popular one, particularly in the mild climates along the West Coast—is perhaps best illustrated in the home Kuhle and Allsbrook built for themselves. Known as the Tree House, the home was built atop a hill and around a 100-year-old tree that’s four feet in diameter and 100 feet tall. It’s positioned near the very rear of the lot—not visible from the street— and visitors must ascend 60 steps to reach the yard. Inside, all that is visible are the tree and the views— roughly 270 degrees worth—out toward the city, from downtown to the ocean to the Getty. “For a house so close to downtown, you’re very removed from neighbors and city life,” Allsbrook says. A large opening with deep overhangs captures additional covered outdoor space and provides privacy, and a

ABOVE AND BELOW The wood portions of the house were designed to appear connected in their snaking movement from the ground to the roof over the second floor.

up in the air

concrete patio cantilevers over a slope on the bottom level. The tree serves as a kind of umbrella for the structure, allowing very little sun in. “It’s [its] own air-conditioning system, in a way,” Allsbrook says. “Up here on the hottest days, it’s 10 degrees below what it is down on the street.” Over time, the firm’s focus has shifted toward residential properties. “We have a lot of high-end residential clients,” Allsbrook says. “But many of them originate from that same base of fashion clients we started out with.” The Kayne/Ehrlich project is an example of that dynamic, as is the 2,400-squarefoot home that Standard designed for James Perse, son of Maxfield owner Tommy Perse. “A lot of these people are connected and friends with each other, and we’ve been able to tap into that,” Kuhle says. So what is it about Standard’s designs that clients are so drawn to? “There is a reduction of detail in our designs,” Allsbrook says. “Some would call it minimalist, but that’s not really what we’re shooting for. Our primary concern is [with] the space itself. Light fixtures, doors, and windows are subservient to the larger spatial concept.” At the same time, the firm emphasizes warm materials, such as rustic barnwood. “The Hidden House [a 3,500-square-foot Los Angeles residence] is very open and clean, but the materials are very tactile and warm—not slick and extra modern,” Allsbrook says. “They’ll wear well over time.”


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He says the sensibility that inspired the Tree House also inspired the Kayne home. “That was us taking the tree-house concept and applying it to a more upscale, refined environment,” he says. “A modern house with urban amenities, but it feels like a remote cabin. We like that combination.”

“We don’t want people to feel like they’re living in a closed-off space. It’s nice to be able to open a door and sit down and feel like you’re inside and outside at the same time.”


Silvia Kuhle, Partner

may 2011

luxury home quarterly




luxury home quarterly

may 2011


SCHUCHART/DOW INC. designs a contemporary timber-roof home for a very modern family

text By David Hudnall Photos by Steve Keating

Life's a part y

he term “shack” often calls to mind a place in dire disrepair, an overgrown dilapidated structure shedding shingles and siding at an alarming rate. However, for Jerry Fulks of Seattlebased Schuchart/Dow Inc., it applied to something almost diametrically opposite: a modern, family-oriented luxury home. “The clients were a husband and wife who had both had children prior to getting married,” Fulks says. “They wanted to keep their respective families in separate homes but adjacent to each other on the same property. So rather than one large home, they wanted two small homes and a space that was playful and particularly interactive for their family and friends to enjoy together.” Out of this notion came the Party Shack, a dwelling designed to stand by itself while also flowing with the rest of a two-structure property. Flow was created largely through the home’s central feature, a wide, wooden barrel-vault roof of glue-laminated beams that runs all the way from the bedrooms at the back of the house to a front patio—where it serves as a shady overhang covering a portion of the common space between the two homes. “A big part of the aesthetic was extending the outdoor design indoors.” Fulks says. SPACIAL BLENDING Because the entire structure shares a common ceiling, it was easy for the designers to keep the interior open and airy. Here, the living room, kitchen, and an upper-floor reading area are all part of the same space.

The window frames and doors are made from regionally manufactured wood products, and a skylight running the roof’s entire length provides natural daylighting to each section of the home. The use of steel in the home is also novel. “The interaction of wood and steel is significant,” Fulks says. “We did a great deal of research and ended up including some steel cladding, and we built a steel barbecue/chimney assembly. It’s really a beautiful custom design.” The property is surrounded by a densely developed commercial environment, but it’s also nestled in the middle of several acres of land that provide an oasis of privacy amid Seattle’s urban grid. A bathhouse, with outdoor showers and a hot tub, sits between the two houses, as does a small stream filled with salmon. Just off the entry

“The clients spend a lot of time doing activities as a family, and the property reinforces that lifestyle.” Jerry Fulks, Partner


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through final landscaping. And beyond that, we consider ourselves stewards of these projects in a way. Our relationships with clients tend to continue for many years after we’ve completed their projects.” The firm’s footprint is expanding beyond Seattle and into places such as Hawaii, California, Sun Under its current name, Schuchart/Dow has Valley, and the San Juan Islands. And with a been in business for six years, but the firm’s wider variety of locations come a wider variety four partners—Fulks, George Schuchart, Jim of styles, from contemporary to traditional. Dow, and John Hoedemaker—have been in the “Unique siting demands a unique approach to construction and design business for decades. design, and we’ve been privileged to work with The Seattle-based operation specializes in highsome of the region’s most renowned architects end construction—including renovations, new construction, and small and large-scale projects— and designers,” Fulks says. “Many of our designers are highly responsive to project siting and the exclusively for residential properties. “We’re usually hired in the preconstruction phase,” Fulks weather and environment, and that has resulted in us turning out exciting projects, many of says. “We do the research, provide schedules and which have been published.” budgets, and coordinate the work all the way

of the home is a single-story structure with a 1,500-pound, 7–by-4-foot rolling steel door that leads into a music room where family members can get together and play instruments. “They spend a lot of time doing activities as a family, and the property reinforces that lifestyle,” Fulks says.


LENGTHY LINK The roof and skylight of the Schuchart/Dowdesigned Party Shack run lengthwise from one end of the structure all the way to the other, even extending to the exterior to cover an outdoor patio area. In this way they connect the inside and outside of the home, and the wide sliding doors support the connection further. Also connected to the patio is a music room where the family plays instruments.

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luxury home quarterly


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Photo: JH Jackson Photography

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







STRAIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects' custom-built pivot door—made from screening, steel, and frosted glass—for the Harris Boulevard Project.

the plans



he idea of a family compound has been romanticized ever since the members of the Kennedy family were captured playing pickup football games on the lawn of their Hyannisport estate. Now, in the current economic turmoil, many other families are turning to this dream setup as well as they consolidate themselves and their possessions.

The idea of these ‘legacy homes’ has long served as a backbone for Studio A Architecture, a firm based in Charleston, South Carolina. Headed by founder Whitney Powers, the firm’s passion for building homes that would endure through many generations has made them well known throughout the south and east coasts, and they now work


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by Tricia Despres

on a wide variety of high-end residential, commercial, and institutional projects. A true example of Studio A Architecture’s expertise in legacy homes was its River Road Residence. Completed in 2008 and located in the heart of Charleston, the River Road project was a 5,000-square-foot project that included a main house, guest house, and separate work space. Modern and contemporary in nature, the compound joins together all the separate elements in a “U” shape surrounding a breathtaking outdoor pool area. “The client definitely wanted a modern design but brought many memorable antiques and artifacts from their old family farm that they are

also wanted prominently displayed and used,” says Powers, a LEED AP and a member of the USGBC. “They also had a goal of living not only in the inside but also the outside. Having the spaces connect at the outdoor pool area was very important.” Located half a mile off a rural road, the home stayed green by incorporating geothermal heating and vegetative green roof with rainwater collection cisterns. The firm also utilized reclaimed wood for the paneling of the new home that came directly from the family’s old family homestead. “Only two people live there, but it is built as a very private compound for extended family,” says Powers, who grew up in Tennessee. “Privacy played a big role. The home is situated

the plans

“People don’t just want a 5,000-square-foot house. They want spaces that have meaning... There is a desire for some separation, which is why a communal common space to be shared is so important.” Whitney Powers, Founder

Top Design Elements of the River Road Residence 1. Wall systems: “The wall system is designed as a ‘rain screen,’" Powers says, "which allows air to move behind the wall cladding—in this case SlateScape Xtreme cement panels from Denmark." 2. Duratherm windows and exterior doors: “These were custom fabricated to the building configuration and set up an interesting interplay between the pattern of the siding seams and the unit frames." (


3. Interior paneling: “The interior paneling was sawn from reclaimed beams from abandoned dairy barns in Louisville, KY.” 4. Custom cabinetry: “This work included sloped wood shelving at the interior ramp connecting the kitchen and dining room, kitchen cabinetry, master bedroom closets, office casework, and bathroom vanities and cabinets.” 5. Vegetative roofing: “This was situated at the master bedroom terrace, which spans the roof of the guest wing, including a wide range of drought-tolerant plants.”

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luxury home quarterly


the plans

LIMITLESS VIEW The pool in the back of the River Road project was designed with a single infinity edge that looks out toward the running water nearby.







River Road Residence



1 Entry 2 Living Room

4 C


7 3

3 Dining Room 4 Library 5 Screened Porch 6 Bedroom


7 Pool Deck 8 Terrace 9 Office



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Kitchen • Baths Dens and Offices • Mantles p: 843.766.0593 Fine Architectural Mill Work f: 843.766.0595 3480 McLeod Mill Rd. Johns Island, SC 29455

on a small creek, and even the waterside of the property is very private. The face of the home gave the correct impression, without using gates, that this was a place you didn’t belong at unless you were invited.” Powers does say she has seen increased popularity in the idea of private family compounds, especially with more people “cocooning” through the current economic times. “People don’t just want a 5,000-square-foot house,” she says. “They want spaces that have meaning. They want to feel comfortable knowing that their family is there but still don’t want their own space being invaded. There is a desire for some separation, which is why a communal common space to be shared is so important.” Focusing on South Carolina and other East Coast markets, the firm works to incorporate sustainable elements into its projects as well, in everything from the mechanical systems to site planning and land use.


“I was greatly affected by Hurricane Hugo back in 1988 when I was teaching in Charleston,” says Powers, who completed much of her early luxury design work on the prestigious Dewees Island area. “I saw the power of nature and what it can do. Ever since then, I have embraced sustainability and the importance of restorations.” Powers says that building constituent parts relates well to the ideals of sustainability. When it comes down to it, Powers says she feels blessed to be able to give families the opportunity to come together in beautiful homes and a shared, beautiful setting. “I recently had a talk with a family who the parents live in one house, and the sister bought the house next door, and eventually the family would take the entire lane,” she says. “The plan had been plotted and discussed for many years. Understanding this mentality has been a key to our success.”

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the plans

RICK JOY Architects INDIVIDUALISTIC approach helps Rick Joy create the perfect desert hacienda


he Sonoran Desert is the perfect backdrop for architect Rick Joy. A native of Maine, Joy pursued music at the University of Maine before moving west to study architecture at the University of Arizona. In 1998, he opened Rick Joy Architects in Tucson, Arizona, and since then Joy and his partners have emerged as the region’s top designers of steel and rammed-earth structures. The historic and sustainable practice of rammed earth, which Joy often employs in desert climates, focuses on natural materials such as local soil and earth mixed with a low percentage of cement and water (which sometimes has an added pigment to ensure a consistent hue). With rammed earth, Joy can construct solid walls with impressive thermal properties. Claudia Kappl is a trained architect and lighting designer who joined Rick Joy Architects in the summer of 2008, and in the past few years she has embraced the Rick Joy philosophy, just like the others who make up his multicultural team of designers from all parts of the world. Because Joy works mostly in the arid region of Tucson, he is always carefully responding to the raw and harsh climate. He knows how nature develops amazing and inspiring strategies to survive. “Rick understands and respects the place in which he is working and learns from the environment,” Kappl says. “He does what any responsible and considerate architect would do—he learns from the place and responds with an adequacy of means.”


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by Zach Baliva

Joy sees himself as a traditional architect and provides all standard architectural and design services; however, he does not see himself as a traditionalist who only operates in certain styles. He learns from the design vernacular that has developed in a region over many years and applies its insights with a personal logic that allows him to match its essence while improving overall performance and providing a contemporary product. Because of this effort to go beyond the standard, Joy is known for high-functioning designs that cater to an individual clients’ needs. One company goal is to create unique spaces, anchored by great architecture, that enrich a users’ life. The firm only considers a house successful if its occupants enjoy the space, appreciate its efficient properties, occupy it well, and grow with it over time. The Sonoran Desert is not the only region occupied by Rick Joy structures. The company has also worked in other parts of the Southwest, the Midwest, and overseas. Each design reflects its region's building tradition. Kappl says each choice for material or detail “responds to the context in which the building is grounded and stays reduced to the essence of what is needed to perform well.” Avra Verde, a project near Tucson, displays Rick Joy Architects’ strategies and approaches at their best. There, the desert landscape rolls into flatlands filled with shrubs and cacti. The compound lies next to the Saguaro National Park, where seven rammed-earth pavilions are grouped around a historic hacienda

the plans

The Avra Verde Pavilions The project at Avra Verde holds seven luxury pavilions whose raw and rugged properties provide a residential experience unlike any other. Each dwelling offers unmatched views of Saguaro National Park while perfectly accommodating the indoor/outdoor lifestyle so desired in the Southwest.


Avra Verde pavilion 1 Terrace


2 Courtyard 3 Pool 4 Entry 5 Dining






6 Living 7 Kitchen 8 Preparation Area 9 Master Closet 10 Master Bedroom 11 Master Bathroom 12 Porch



13 Guest Bedrooms 14 Office/Studio


15 Storage


16 Desert Lounge



6 7






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luxury home quarterly


The pavilions at Avra Verde consist of two building masses separated by well-defined outdoor spaces because Joy and his fellow architects wanted to take advantage of the favorable year-round climate. The courtyard is an integral part of the daily desert lifestyle, and a clerestory window between earthen walls helps a floating roof frame views of the surrounding mountains while directing dramatic changes in daylight onto a reflective ceiling. The interior spaces at Avra Verde are perfectly in tune with the moods of the desert—a swimming pool, a viewing terrace, and a desert lounge each enhance an occupant’s connection with the surrounding environment. Each villa will be equipped with photovoltaic panels strategically placed around the sunpath to generate five kilowatts of electricity, and an elaborate rainwater-harvesting system collects over 40,000 gallons of water each year. The rammed-earth methodology helps each unit absorb oppressive Sonoran heat during the day while allowing it to escape each night. The spacial footprint of every Avra Verde pavilion occupies just three percent of its respective property. Avra Verde is one of many projects that showcase the unique talents of Rick Joy and his design partners. At Rick Joy Architects, designing a custom home is an important and personal process. Architecture, after all, has the unique ability to enhance the environment and create unique memories, experiences, and sensations. With Avra Verde, Rick Joy has accomplished his mission in an exciting and unexpected way.


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A MESSAGE FROM BULTHAUP SCOTTSDALE Bulthaup Scottsdale is proud of its professional relationship with Rick Joy Architects and congratulates the firm on its great design contributions to our built environment. Rick Joy’s work over the years has consistently raised the bar and has been a wonderful inspiration to the whole design community. We wish Rick Joy and his team further success in their efforts to help create an intelligent, meaningful, and harmonious built environment. We are pleased to have assisted Rick Joy Architects in creating kitchens that fit the overall spatial and architectural vision. We thank Rick Joy Architects for their continued support! Bulthaup products bring classic minimalism, material integrity, and perfect craftsmanship to your living space. For information, call (888) 541-9095 or visit


that accommodates shared services and provides a sense of communal identity in a remote landscape. Because Pima County considers Avra Verde a pilot project, all infrastructures are designed to have minimal impact on the 40-acre site.

Introducing The All-New • View the latest issue of Luxury Home Quarterly in a full-size, 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!

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Beautiful homes start here.

the plans



ustin, Texas-based architect Hugh Randolph admits that his calling to become an architect was never more evident than during his commutes back and forth to a job years ago in Washington, DC. “I remember being stuck in traffic and noticing all of the details on the buildings of Embassy Row,” Randolph says. “I was inspired by all of the subtle details of these old buildings and mansions that I would see. During these moments, it was really confirmed what made a building aesthetically pleasing and how much small details matter.”

luxury home quarterly

1. Windows: “It was all about contrasting the traditional and the modern," Hugh Randolph says. "For example, the windows in the traditional portion of the home were multipaned hung windows whereas the windows in the addition were large, expansive pieces of glass.” 2. Ipe wood: “[It] was used on the exterior overhangs and accents of the home and really added to the overall warmth of the project.”

by Tricia Despres


Top Design Elements of the Harris Boulevard Project

may 2011

Randolph founded Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects (HJRA) in 1994. Focusing primarily on single-family custom residences, the firm pays particularly close attention to the environment surrounding a home. “The combination of client and location make each project different,” says Randolph, whose firm works on approximately three to five custom homes per year. “I have spent a lot of time traveling, and especially in places like Europe and New Orleans, I have always been amazed by the combinations of landscape and culture. I

3. Stucco: “Using [it] was a good, effective way to express the modern elements of this particular project.” 4. U  se of color: “A cool shade of [lightcolored neutrals] was a great way to unify and tie all of the elements together.” 5. The floating bar: “[It] was made using a piece of salvaged pecan wood from a tree that had to be taken down for new high-rise construction.”

1 2




6 7




HARRIS BOULEVARD PROJECT 1 Library 2 Play Room 3 Kitchen 4 Utility


5 Screened Porch 6 Dining 7 Living 8 Driveway 9 Parking Pavilion

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luxury home quarterly


"Beyond the collaboration with the client, one of the most rewarding things I do is collaborating with teams of contractors and craftsmen who tirelessly work to make each project a reality." Hugh Randolph, Founder

EYE-CATCHING KITCHEN "The kitchen is elevated above and opens up to the living and dining spaces," Randolph says. "The cabinetry is a combination of glossy white and gray—with white Silestone countertops []. This contrasts with the natural wood floors and ... the floating bartop made of a slab of salvaged pecan wood."

These days, Randolph continues to gather inspiration while traveling. As a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson, Randolph enjoys attending Jefferson family reunions and is currently involved with the expansion of the family graveyard at Monticello. “Monticello is an amazing example of unique architecture, landscape, and history,” he says. Armed with the ability to provide clients with exceptional, personalized service, Randolph also avoids creating any cookie-cutter projects. “We pride ourselves by not having a signature style, which we consider a good thing,” he says. “We spend a lot of time making sure we have a real sense of the goals of our clients and keep an open mind in regards to all of their ideas.” Meeting the clients of the firm’s recent Harris Boulevard project was no different. “She was already familiar with my work and came to us interested in a classic, traditional home with character,” he says. “Her husband was a high-tech


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executive from Malaysia, interested in modern design such as the styles he had seen in luxurious Asian resorts. The project became symbolic of two very different cultures and how we could combine them in a way that would highlight the qualities of each of the elements together while appreciating all of the aesthetics and possibilities it would offer.” The project involved the complete renovation of an existing 1,650-square-foot Colonial home in Austin as well as the creation of a more modern 1,600-square-foot addition. The result was a five-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home that included new kitchen, living, dining, and master suite areas. Completed in 2009, the home combines a traditional style of architecture with a sleek sense of modern design, both on the inside and outside. “In addition to reflecting the style of the client, another goal was sustainability,” says Randolph, who received the highest Austin Energy rating (five stars) for this project. “In addition to energy efficient materials and insulation, we had made a fundamental decision early on to keep the exist-

ing house, which greatly added to the project’s sustainability.” The firm also partnered with local metal artisan and designer Nieri Design, who brought close attention to detail and superior craftsmanship to the project. “In the end it’s about getting the project built,” Randolph says. “Beyond the collaboration with the client, one of the most rewarding things I do is collaborating with teams of contractors and craftsman who tirelessly work to make each project a reality.”

A MESSAGE FROM CARLO NIERI DESIGN Carlo Nieri Design creates practical, functional museum grade pieces that change environments and transform lives. Working with discerning homeowners and design-savvy firms, Nieri fabricates and installs elegant architectural solutions that reveal his passion for the craft, as evidenced in the featured steel and glass pivot door for Hugh Randolph. Nieri believes that good design makes life easier, and great design takes your breath away.


knew this joining of building and place would be something that I would specialize in.”

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Providing concepts and programs for deluxe homes



by Ruth E. Dávila James LaRue has been drawn to houses since he was 8 years old. “My grandmother didn’t drive, so we walked everywhere,” says LaRue, principal of James D. LaRue Architects, based in Austin, Texas. “She would take me to different neighborhoods, from house to house, to look at their construction.”

people weren’t buying new properties, LaRue exercised caution and reduced the staff. His foresight paid off. As soon as the market began to stabilize, he was able to rely on the tech-savvy staff that remained, a handful of young professionals that maintain the firm’s young outlook and digital know-how.

LaRue was captivated by it all—the hammering, the trucks, the crews. At one point, he even thought he would be a general contractor. Though eventually opting for an architectural degree, he still explored a design-build model within his firm, but in the end the design trumped the build. In fact, what has kept LaRue in business since 1989 is a laser-sharp focus on what he does best: residential architecture. “There have been a lot of times when we have been asked to do condo projects or apartments or office buildings. And we say no; it’s not us.”

In terms of style, LaRue’s firm gravitates toward the contemporary. Even when designing traditional homes, he seeks a modern approach using local, sustainable materials and developing more functional, livable spaces. “With contemporary architecture, you can mix different materials, use different geometry, and solve problems in a more creative way,” LaRue says.

LaRue’s knowledge of his core capabilities has kept the company from overextending throughout the years. During the credit crunch, when

One recent contemporary project on Westlake Drive demanded creative solutions. The clients, passionate about golf, purchased the last available lot along the 12th fairway of the Austin Country Club golf course. The only drawback was the topography. “It was a terrible site—a hole in the ground, deeply sloping, and west-

facing—which is a big problem because of the heat and the sun.” For a big-picture designer such as LaRue, a difficult site is an opportunity. He immediately began sketching out a plan: a 5,000-square-foot “upside-down” home divided into three interconnected but distinct buildings. From behind, the home resembles an outstretched accordion in a neutral palette—pulled horizontally, with blocks zigzagging in and out. The garage, one of the three buildings, houses the cars and storage and is linked to the rest of the home through a breezeway. “A detached garage is always a greener solution,” LaRue says. “When the garage is pulled away from the main house, the noxious fumes do not enter the more protected living areas.” A cantilevered bridge leads to the entry door at the center building, where all the entertaining and gathering takes place. Upon entering, the whole main floor—the living and dining rooms

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Top Design Elements of the Ramsey Residence 1. Slim-profile steel and glass entrydoor system: Built by the firm Rehme Custom Iron Work (, it blurs the distinction between inside and out, a common design theme in many LaRue homes. 2. Matt Shoberg of Shoberg Homes ( He displays his meticulous artisanship throughout the entire house. His wife, Paige Shoberg, in coordination with the homeowner, worked on the interior design. 3. Weather-shield windows: Supplied by Exclusive Windows & Doors (, these open up the house to the golf course in the back and the beautiful rock retaining wall in the front. 4. Flooring material: It is a beautiful blend of hickory and pecan wood, lightly stained with a clear coat by Adney Custom Hardwood Floors ( 5. The walnut-grain flat-panel cabinets: Supplied by Cabinet Design & Manufacturing (512-295-6316), these offer great contrast against the lighter neutral walls.

The master suite wing is located in the third building, accessed from the main floor via a cantilevered gallery, an enclosed space cased in metal wall panels. It overlooks a rock garden and


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the outdoor living area below. Beneath the master suite, adjacent to the pool, is the guest casita, which also serves as the pool bath and bar area. LaRue prefers using local materials, so the stone, which is a mix of sandstone, limestone, and Lueders, is mostly from Texas quarries. To accent the stone, “we put metal roofing panels on the exterior walls,” he says. “That way, there is no exterior maintenance other than the occasional power washing.” Glass is the third material,

abundant on the golf course side to capitalize on the panoramic vistas. If the clients had not been willing to experiment, LaRue says this interesting project would have hit a stalemate and never would have made it to construction documents. “We try to educate clients about new ways to solve the problem,” he says. “We love for them to say, ‘I never would have thought of that.’”


and the kitchen—enjoys expansive views of the golf course and treetops. Below are a spacious game room, a bar, and two children’s rooms. Outdoor living spaces and a pool serve as extensions of the game room, shaded by the overhangiaang buildings above.


“Rhythm, balance, scale, and proportion [are] the ways to create beautiful buildings. A good designer can create a great project by following that advice.” Eric Miller, PrincipaL

Eric Miller Architects Personalizing Regional Influences to fit Each Client by David Hudnall For Eric Miller, context is key. In Pacific Grove, California, where his firm, Eric Miller Architects, is based, Craftsman homes are common, and when the firm designs homes in the area, they are informed by that regional vernacular. “We paraphrase the Craftsman look but bring our own style to it,” he says. In Carmel, California, another area where many of Miller’s designs can be found, the predominant style is more European—a blending of French, German, and Italian influences. “After World War I, the soldiers returned, and their memory of European design stuck with them,” he says. “They asked architects to design them homes that paraphrased

those styles. So when we design in Carmel, we’re aware of the roots of the homes, and we’re paraphrasing that.” Eric Miller and his team used this context-based approach on two recent projects in Carmel, a place where the needs of no two clients are alike.

The Tehama Home A balance between privacy and connectivity was the goal with this residence. All bedrooms were designed like master suites, with their own bedrooms, sitting areas, and exterior entries that do not require guests to walk through the main house. A courtyard, shielded from the northwest winds, features a pool and expansive outdoor living spaces. “The client actually just called me the other day to tell me how much he appreciates the balance of light and space in the house,” Miller says.

The Tehama residence is a sprawling, 20,000-square-foot Spanish-style Mediterranean home with a tile roof, stone and stucco walls, and a pool with an infinity edge and an adjacent outdoor living area. “It’s just as much about the siting as it is the home—the home sits beautifully on the site,” Miller says. The pool and back of the home, surrounded by wildflowers, overlook a canyon and

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VAULTED VOLUME The gallery space has vaulted ceilings with clerestory windows above a stone colonnade. The floor patterns reflect the ceiling design of vaults and arched openings. The symmetrical rooms on either side of the gallery have wood beams, vaulted ceilings, and hardwood floors softened by the warmth of area rugs.

MAKING AN ENTRANCE The Mediterranean-style home has a blend of stone and stucco finishes and a clay-tile roof designed to replicate the thick walls of traditional stone buildings. The tower and covered patio space provide protection from the elements while directing attention to the metal and glass entry doors.

provide breathtaking views. The client likes the way pavilions are connected by covered areas in Asian and Hawaiian homes, so the design concept emphasized an indoor-outdoor synthesis. Another Carmel project, the Ridgewood home, was designed around the owner’s art collection. “He wanted a transitional house that represented his modern art but that also included rich and refined finishes—natural woods and stones,” Miller says. The front of the home is stone, windows are mahogany, and most oak trees were retained on the site; a few trees were moved to give the impression that the home was built when the trees started growing.


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Working in a wealthy, coastal region such as the Monterey Peninsula, Eric Miller’s residential designs are more often vacation homes, retirement homes, or second homes. “Many of our clients don’t just have one home,” Miller says. “They stay in different locations during different parts of the year. That’s a different approach. When you start doing pools, pool houses, spas, it’s more of a resort feel. It’s designed more for recreation and family reunions—large gatherings.” Founded in 1988, Miller’s firm notably boasts an interiors department, allowing it to more seamlessly execute varying themes and motifs. Miller says his favorite projects are the ones where he

D L Jones Construction has been in business on the Monterey Peninsula for over 30 years specializing in high-end residential construction. Owner Dennis Jones works closely with the client and architect to manage a responsible is able to coordinate his architectural plans with interior design and landscape architecture. “When you can get all those things together, you can really bring a project to life,” he says. Through this, Eric Miller Architects has emerged as a leading designer between Santa Cruz and Big Sur, and the firm won both residential and commercial design awards from the Monterey Bay Chapter of the Pacific Grove Heritage Society. Though the staff is currently down to 12 employees from 22, Miller says the firm is growing again thanks to its focus on fine design. “It’s a simple formula—I learned it early on in studying architecture,” he says, explaining the demand for his designs. “Rhythm, balance, scale, and proportion [are] the way to create beautiful buildings. A good designer can create a great project by following that advice.”

The Ridgewood Home “It’s a modern twist on a Craftsmanstyle home, with classic features done in a contemporary way,” Miller says. From the street, the home is modestlooking and pushed down low; the roof is the most visible part of the exterior. “When you approach the home, you’re almost as high up as the roof, then you come down a set of stairs into the courtyard,” Miller says. “Then you open the front door and see a beautiful view of the canyon.”

budget and schedule to meet the needs of each individual client. Our goal is total client satisfaction.

Carmel Valley, CA phone • (831) 659-1354 fax • (831) 659-0828


Bol Architecture's Top Architectural Elements Bol Architecture draws upon these trusted techniques to help their modern projects blend with New Jersey’s historic landscape: • Complete composition of exterior design elements; • Use of all-natural materials; • Gracious sweeping roof lines; • Elegant coordination of interior trim; • Attention to ceiling-design details in every major space.

“We pride ourselves on the fact that we can do work on homes that were built in the 1800s and allow our product to blend seamlessly with the existing structure.” Alexander A. Bol, Founder

Bol Architecture HISTORY AND TRADITION INSPIRE ELEGANT DESIGNS IN a COLONIAL ATMOSPHERE by Zach Baliva Murray Hill Square, Alexander A. Bol’s first significant project, helped set the tone that still guides Bol Architecture today. The cluster of 30 buildings was started in 1970 and was designed to reflect New Providence, New Jersey’s colonial motifs. More than 40 years later, Bol is regarded as one of Central Jersey’s most celebrated designers of prominent contextual, traditional homes. Bol’s firm completes between 50 and 75 projects a year, and the architect attributes his prolific output to his staff—the Berkeley Heights company employs eight people, including four registered architects. The team works together to provide a full suite of architectural services


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including design, drawing, and consulting. “We advise potential purchasers and evaluate their properties to see how we can suit their needs,” Bol says. Consultation is especially important in Central Jersey, where rising property values dictate careful planning. The Garden State and its colonial homes match Bol’s style well. Although he works throughout New Jersey (and out of state), most of Bol’s work is concentrated in the upscale counties of Essex, Morris, and Somerset. Lately, he’s noticing an emerging trend—many existing and repeat clients are requesting specific updates. “Properties here can be small, so people are wanting elabo-

rate exercise rooms or high-tech media rooms in the basement. These conversion jobs prevent major additions to existing homes,” he says. Bol Architecture also completes frequent upgrades to kitchens, bathrooms, and master suites. Increasing travel costs and the hassle associated with commercial flights have spurred the growth of outdoor living spaces over the last decade. “People are starting to travel less,” Bol says. “We can step in to design luxurious spaces that allow our clients to vacation on their own properties instead.” Popular features include pools houses, outdoor kitchens, tennis courts, fountains, ponds, pergolas, and putting greens. “Our outdoor living areas are set away from the main house to act as a refuge,” Bol says. The expansive areas serve as the perfect at-home getaway for each family—Bol even completed one pool house whose first floor was designed as a teenage dance club. Bol draws upon his passion for traditional architecture when working on complete custom jobs and partial renovations alike. “We pride ourselves


L.L.C. L.L.C.

BATHED IN LIGHT The master bathroom is an oasis featuring a large window installation that provides daylighting.


on the fact that we can do work on homes that were built in the 1800s and allow our product to blend seamlessly with the existing structure,” he says. Bol updates the historic homes with modern technology and standards. Renovations might include multi-zone HVAC systems, modern wiring, and efficient windows that neither disturb the home's design integrity nor drastically change its overall character.

textual and traditional homes. First, he uses wood and simulated wood in place of vinyl and aluminum. Second, windows are done with custom casings instead of stock materials. Third, slate roofs are often graduated to match older styles. Lastly, true brick and real stone chimneys convey a classic theme. Bay windows, copper roofs, and other traditional features retained in Bol’s houses are often omitted from other modern developments.

In fact, Bol carefully respects the previous architects’ work and bases many decisions on long client conversations. Then, he and his team of architects consider both client and property before making any custom-design decisions. Each part of the process is indeed custom—Bol even eschews signature moves. “All of our projects are new. We don’t get taken in by a computer age that tempts one to file things into a program for later reuse,” he says. Elements such as shutters, doors, and overhangs must be carefully matched to original characteristics rather than selected off the shelf.

Many clients of Bol Architecture hire the firm for a new home and then return years later for upgrades or additions. “Today’s clients often expect to be in these large homes for many years, so they view our relationship as a long-term commitment,” he says. Elevators, ground-floor master suites, and efficient systems are especially popular with Bol’s demographic, and he finds working with such clients especially meaningful. “I treasure our repeat clients because doing someone’s home and renovation and vacation home is so rewarding,” he says. And, lately, Bol has enjoyed a new experience—the veteran architect is now starting to design for the grown children of current customers.

Although all designs are totally original, Bol does follow some self-imposed rules to create his con-

It has been a pleasure working with Bol Architecture for over 20 years. We wish Al Bol many more years of continued success.

Building Contractors

- Bill Cram 60 Big Spring Road Califron, New Jersey 07830 Phone (908) 832-8900 Fax (908) 832-8901

vacation homes

second homes and getaways across the globe

FACING THE SUN Park City Architecture's Arrowhead Lookout property has a wonderful south-sloping exposure that provides ample passive solar gain.

Park City Architecture LUXURY VACATION HOMES THAT FUSE INDOOR AND OUTDOOR LIVING by Laura Judy Bradley Mimlitz, president and principal architect at Park City Architecture in Park City, Utah, loves getting involved in every project his firm takes on. The firm may be small, but its success and popularity have grown steadily since Mimlitz started the company in 2003. “We like being a small company, even if it means we have a waiting list,” Mimlitz says. “We’re able to offer a more personalized experience to our clients, and I can be involved at a personal level with every stage of every project. Being small may have a few disadvantages, but it’s definitely well worth it.” Before Mimlitz opened Park City Architecture, he gained experience working with several other architectural firms in Missouri, California, and Utah. Today, while his company has completed some light commercial work, they focus primarily on high-end custom residential homes. “We usually have five to seven ongoing projects of various sizes each year,” Mimlitz says. The firm has a passion for incorporating green design and sustainable products into every project, and Mimlitz believes that part of the firm’s job is to educate clients on what’s out there. “With each project, we look at the site, use, orientation, budget, and the time of year the home will be used to create the most functional and sustainable design possible,” he says.


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Park City, Utah POPULATION: 7,371 ACTIVITIES: Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort, and The Canyons Resort for skiing, sledding, and other snowy activities; more than 400 miles of hiking and biking trails, fly-fishing, and golf; and popular events including the Park City Kimball Arts Festival, the Deer Valley Music Festival, outdoor concerts, rodeos, and international biking competitions.

The Arrowhead Lookout Residence Combining natural, earthy materials and contemporary details makes this private spa a beautiful and relaxing retreat. This sheltered, cozy hall corridor on the north side of the home leads to the master suite in a subtly inviting way. The open and airy layout with magnificent views and floor-edge windows on three sides of the room invites a flood of natural sunlight to fill the entire space, enhancing the feeling of indoor/outdoor living.

One thing that makes Park City Architecture so successful is the ability to deliver exactly what each customer is looking for. “We don’t have one particular distinct style, and I think that is one of the major things that has led to our success,” Mimlitz says. “We have an innate ability to deliver whatever style the client is seeking, whether it’s Tuscan, Craftsman, mountain-rustic, or modern; we have the agility to design the home specifically for each individual client.” About half the projects the company takes on are second homes or vacation homes, and many of its clients have had the company design their

permanent residences as well. “Most of our customers are repeat clients or have been referred by previous clients,” Mimlitz says. “These referrals definitely communicate to me that the personal attention and care we provide to our clients is appreciated.” When it comes to designing vacation homes, Park City Architecture enjoys working with its customers to create unique dwellings that highlight the natural features of the area. One of the firm’s recent projects, the Arrowhead Lookout, features amazing views of the Deer Valley ski resort and the surrounding mountains. “This project actually started as a second home, but

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The White Pine Canyon Residence Designed as a ski-in/ski-out property, this beautiful mountain contemporary home is tucked between two ski runs on a steep forested glade in the Wasatch Range in northern Utah, making this a perfect yearround setting for an active family. “It was important to the owners that the home have a distinctive look and feel yet also have as little visual impact on the surrounding properties as possible.�

The West Hills Residence


Working around the concept of living in the Old West, the architect found old wine barrels and incorporated them into the bar design and the wine room bottle displays to complement the eclectic design taste of the owner.

it ended up becoming the family’s primary home,” Mimlitz says. Located in the resort community of Tuhaye, the 5,500-squarefoot home exemplifies modern mountain style. “The development has pretty constringent guidelines for Craftsman design, but we worked closely with them to create a unique look that the client really loves” Mimlitz says. The owners of Arrowhead Lookout wanted a home that focused on indoor/outdoor living. This was accomplished with lots of glass, including floor-to-ceiling windows that offer mountain views in the master bedroom. The home also features an open living/dining area and kitchen and an elegant floating spiral staircase surrounded by more floorto-ceiling windows. One of the owners is an artist, and the natural light creates a perfect environment for painting. The home was constructed largely from sustainable and reclaimed materials, and its south-sloping orientation allows for passive solar heating. Another recent project, the White Pine Canyon home, is a mountain-contemporary home designed for a family of skiers. “They’re a young, outdoor-loving family, so we designed this house to be a great family entertaining space,” Mimlitz says. This skiin/ski-out home incorporates a number of sustainable elements, such as high-efficiency insulation and careful site placement. “Because it’s on a steep site, we designed it to terrace nicely into the hillside,” Mimlitz says. “It uses a lot of passive solar techniques.” Because northeasterly views can be a challenge, Park City Architecture designed the home with many overhangs to take advantage of or control the sun at different times of the day. The kitchen and family room get most of the morning and daytime light while the bedrooms soak up the evening glow. Mimlitz added a second business in 2008, EarthWall Builders, Inc., as a sustainable, design-build company providing consulting, design, and construction of rammed-earth projects, but Park City Architects remains his most creative outlet. Because it often designs vacation homes as opposed to full-time residences, the firm sees many additional opportunities to incorporate innovative and unique elements. “With second homes, clients are often looking for more themed designs, like log-cabin or barn styles,” Mimlitz says. With new opportunities always on the horizon, Park City Architects looks forward to an exciting future.

residential commercial


Serving a unique niche in the custom-home industry

GRAND SIGHTS IN WARM ROOMS Floor-to-ceiling windows offer unobstructed views from the Red Mountain Road Home. Inside, a two-sided sandstone fireplace, walnut flooring, and wood ceilings create a sense of warmth in the great room.

Cunniffe's Top MountainHome Design Trends

Charles Cunniffe Architects CREATING HOMES IS AN ADVENTURE FOR Mountain-home designer by Susan Flowers The son of a builder and the designer of some of Colorado’s most breathtaking mountain homes, Cunniffe grew up with a lively sense of curiosity about how things are put together. “I was always building things as a child,” he says. “I had to have objects of the same scale, or I couldn’t play with them.” His first love, however, was always art, and from second grade on, he was identified as someone with a creative gift. Later, as a student at the Rhode Island School of Design—where he earned a BFA in architecture with a minor in sculpture—Cunniffe took every art-related course available to him. Glass blowing, color theory, graphic design, and furniture-making all added to the artistic foundation of his future career, and construction jobs during college gave him familiarity with many aspects of the building process. Working as a designer in a major architectural firm during the same period also gave him real-world experience.


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This broad-based background has been instrumental in the success of Charles Cunniffe Architects, the Aspen, Colorado-based firm he’s run for 30 years. With a current roster of 15 architects and 3 support staff, the company works with clients to create homes from the inside out, taking into account a family’s lifestyle, tastes, and hobbies. “It’s similar to a sculpture,” Cunniffe says. “We don’t usually approach a project with the idea of knowing what it’s going to look like ahead of time. We first explore what opportunities the site offers, what the town and neighborhood constraints are, and then we start the journey of discovery with the clients as partners.” The firm’s creative process is rooted in Cunniffe’s ideas about the function of a home: “A home is a place to regain your balance so you can come back out into the world and do good things for others. It’s recuperative and therapeutic.” Critical to that restorative function, according to Cunniffe, is light-

1. A n increased awareness of indoor/ outdoor relationships: “A home doesn’t stop at the walls,” Charles Cunniffe says. 2. Increased attention to the relationship between light and space: Cunniffe emphasizes that it is important to consider how light affects the perception of space and color. 3. Smart home technology: Installing current technologies allows for maximum energy efficiency. 4. A daptable living spaces: Because these homes are often designed for baby boomers with large extended families, living spaces are typically designed to be expanded or contracted depending on the number of occupants in the home and the amount of room needed. 5. Open, casual living: Cunniffe feels it is good to have “one big, joyful space.”

CLASSICALLY RUSTIC This Red Mountain Road home typifies contemporary mountain architecture. The structure's extensive stonework complements the landscape.

Enhance your home... Enhance your life.

Architectural / Plan Consultation and Design Cabinetry and Custom Built-In Design Tile and Stone Selections ing. Most people are away during the day, and they spend the majority of their time at home after the sun has gone down. A well-lit home can be calming and can allow for greater personal expression by illuminating collections or memorabilia on display. Dramatic window placement was a key element in the design of two notable projects completed by the firm. Both have clean lines and a simple but elegant feel—walnut was used throughout both homes—combined with the open sensibility of a glass house. The first, a residence at 1375 Red Mountain Road in Aspen, has wall-to-wall, floorto-ceiling glass windows that overlook Aspen from a steep hillside, providing a breathtaking view of the town below for entering visitors looking down to the living-room level. With a living area, kitchen, dining area, and master suite all on the main level, the house offers flexibility for its owners, who can live entirely on a single floor if they wish. The three additional levels have extra bedrooms and amenities for hosting family or friends. Another residential project, at 389 Ridge Road, is located on a cul-de-sac at the end of a ridge. “One

side faces directly toward Aspen,” Cunniffe says. “We turned it forty-five degrees to take advantage of the views. From the landing in the living room, you look up at Independence Pass. Forty-five degrees to your right and you see fabulous views of Aspen Mountain. To the left is a view of Hunter Creek.” The firm used contemporary, low-profile linear fireplaces—so as not to compete with the views—and placed windows in unexpected places, adding to the structure’s unique feel. The home also features a pool with a swim current, a fire pit shaped like a nautilus shell, and a fully outfitted theater and wine cellar. Projects such as these have built the firm’s reputation for high-quality work, and as a result, Charles Cunniffe Architects has taken on work in 31 states and 17 countries. As Cunniffe continues to make plans for the firm, including expanding its use of technology and continuing its nurturing of all staff members so that they reach their full potential, it’s clear that the architect’s original passion for creative pursuits still hasn’t worn thin. Cunniffe even says that his work is so fulfilling that he would pursue it pro bono.

A MESSAGE FROM ELEMENTS INTERIOR DESIGN STUDIO Elements Interior Design Studio is proud to have partnered with Charles Cunniffe Architects on various projects. Our exceptional attention to detail and boundless creativity are complementary to Cunniffe's distinctive architectural talents. Elements prides itself on our ability to embrace the client's desires, shaping them into a unique, extraordinary yet comfortable home. Elements brings excitement and pleasure to designing your new home. Visit or call us at 720-528-7428.

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720.528.7428 Castle Rock, Colorado


Jeff Shelton Architect Designer taps local artists to bring UNUSUAL BUILDING TO LIFE

MOROCCAN MISH-MASH El Andaluz’s seven custom condos are built around a wonderful open-air courtyard whose Moroccan influence is obvious at first glance. Keyhole doorways, a reflection pool, palm trees, decorative paving, and tiled benches create a perfect urban sanctuary.

by Zach Baliva El Andaluz seduces and hypnotizes Chapala Street pedestrians, who often saunter over for a closer look. The mixed-used Santa Barbara development of seven condos and two commercial units might best be described as two parts Dr. Seuss and one part Escher. Wavy plaster walls bow and curve as keyhole openings lead to a shared courtyard filled with dazzling custom tiles. Painted ceilings hold oversize glass and iron fixtures while handmade lamps and flowerpots extend from the walls. The distinctive project was designed by architect Jeff Shelton and features the work of many local artists and artisans. Prior to starting his own practice in 1992, the Santa Barbara, California, native lived and worked in Los Angeles. Now, many of his projects are in his hometown, which has a strict


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review board with tight regulations. “The work we do here is supposedly classified as Spanish Revival, but I don’t know if that’s true,” Shelton says. Although he uses the board’s preferred materials of plaster and red tiles, the architect applies each in an unorthodox way. “Some people feel that this is inhibiting, but it’s really a bonus to come back to the same materials because you get better each time,” he says. “As you continue to use them, you can get more refined and experimental with the same materials.” Shelton looks to create comfortable but surprising spaces. By experimenting with plaster, he’s created a method that makes his buildings look like they are melting in the California sun. The workmen push the limits of the medium, creating the effect of intense movement by rubbing

the surface before it dries. “How often are the plaster guys so involved in a directly creative way? ” Shelton asks, adding that he usually works with the same contractor, Dan Upton, who motivates each crew member around a project’s special vision. Upton is also one of El Andaluz’s two owners. The other, developer Leon Olson, first proposed the project and now lives in one of its upper units. The creative community in Santa Barbara affords Shelton a wealth of artistic options that he uses to maximum effect. He estimates that 10 or more artists shaped El Andaluz in a significant way. Andy Johnson’s stone gargoyles and sculptures hide crouched below the structure’s other features. David Shelton, the architect’s brother, manufactured the metalwork (designed by both


Top Design Elements of the El Andaluz Complex 1. Architectural details: Surprising and unconventional elements such as keyhole doorways, curved plaster walls, and expansive loggias create an atmosphere that is both modern and elegant.

CUSTOM SQUARES Most of the tiling in the condo complex was designed by Jeff Shelton himself. The ceramic squares are made by Mexico-based Original Mission Tile (


2. M  etal elements (light fixtures, handrails, loges, etc.): These were crafted by David Shelton (805-882-9100) and feature laser cutouts that offer an extra unexpected detail.

Sheltons) that flanks several exterior spaces. Karl Swanson created custom pots that sit perched on railings. D. Michael McKinney hand-stenciled interior walls in each residential unit. And, Saul Alcaraz blew custom glass elements located throughout the building. The inclusion of art is an important touch for Shelton, who eschews the last-minute addition of art. “I incorporate the talent of many other artists along the way as their work relates to a building,” he says. “A building is an endless palette that will tell an artist exactly what it needs,” he says. Shelton custom designed many of the community’s tiles himself. In fact, his firm now offers a full line of custom tiles. “It doesn’t make much sense to use stock tiles on a custom building,” he says. “I can design tiles myself, and I never have

to go to the tile store.” Original Mission Tile in Mexico manufactures the tiles Shelton sells and uses on projects. The seven residences at El Andaluz include private elevators that open into roomy condos with tall ceilings and stunning mountain views. The units range between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet, and each was custom designed; all finishes from tiles to fixtures are totally different in each space. Shelton provides elegant touches including white oak cabinets, Carrera counter tops, and high-quality appliances. Centrally located, the condos provide convenient access to the ocean, restaurants, bars, and theaters while the Moroccan-inspired shared courtyard enhances the urban living experience

3. Arts and crafts: Decorative and handmade flower pots, lamps, benches, gargoyles, and sculptures infuse the grounds with a unique spirit of creativity. 4. Extensive and unending custom tiles: They line the stairs, columns, benches, roofs, walls, and planters both inside and out to create rhythmic and interesting visuals. 5. Wood details: Exposed timbers and interior benches complement beautiful hardwood floors in each unit.

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luxury home quarterly



UNIQUE UNITS The El Andaluz condominiums range between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet, and each one is custom designed. No two apartments have the same tiles and finishes.

“A building is an endless palette that will tell an artist exactly what it needs.”

with a reflection pool, palm trees, orange trees, benches, planters, and balconies. Two commercial units tie El Andaluz to the urban street and a stunning atrium below. The square space showcases some of the building’s trademark features. An eight-foot chandelier, created by Shelton’s brother and adorned with neon elements, hangs from an ornate and painted ceiling overlooking a zigzag tile floor. Above, a hand-painted bridge (done by Shelton and fellow artist Cara Peace) connects the two halves of El Andaluz.

Shelton started his design of El Andaluz in 2004 and spent three years in the approvals and permitting stage before completing the project in 2009. In the end, though, his hard work has paid off—all but one of the residential units is sold, and one of the commercial units has a

tenant. The building is unlike any other in the immediate area and has an authentic quality because so many in the community contributed to its success. Plasterers and other artisans often walk with their families down Chapala Street to admire the inventive structure.

a message from Ferguson Ferguson delivers products your clients want. And the service you need. Ferguson is the proud partner and supplier of plumbing fixtures and hood liners for Jeff Shelton’s El Andaluz Project. At Ferguson, we realize that your success relies on your customers’ satisfaction. We do whatever it takes to keep the building process as smooth and exciting an experience for your customer as possible. Find a location near you at


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Jeff Shelton, Architect


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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 with thousands of your top items in stock every day. And we fill your orders accurately and right away. 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.



FERGUSON.COM Nobody expects more from us than we do ®

Creating beautifil, luxury residences while nurturing a close relationship with each client is the abiding philosophy and hallmark of the award-winning practice South Coast Architects, Inc. With an extensive portfolio of lavish lifestyle homes reaching across the coasts, into the mountains and deserts, the firm is known for a stylistic collection of diverse designs. Respectful of the client relationship, attentive listening and careful observation of each homeowner’s lifestyle is the branding identity of founder and principal Frank Stolz in creating unique, one-of-a-kind homes for each client. This confident quality of the partnership allows for a working atmosphere of greater creative freedom and superior end results that speak to the firm’s excellence and cutting-edge philosophies. South Coast Architects, Inc. was established in 1992 with the mission of introducing leading-edge concepts. Mr. Stolz is a member NCAR, AIA, licensed in multiple states and has 24 years of extensive experience in residential architecture. S.C.A. has been recognized for its award-winning residential designs and was selected as the Architect of the Year for the 1999 Western Idea House by Sunset Magazine as well as recently profiled in the books Dream Homes of the Desert, Extraordinary Homes of California, and the upcoming Residential Architects of the 21st Century.

13 Corporate Plaza, Suite 210, Newport Beach, CA 92660 T: (949) 720-7022 | F: (949) 720-2045

© 2010 Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

may 2011

luxury home quarterly



*advertisers in blue

Professional Services & Organizations ARCHITECTURE

Davis Raines Design,, 78 & 79

Bol Architecture,, 130-131

Design Logistics,, 65

Charles Cunniffe Architects,, 136-137

Elements Interior Design Studio,, 137

Dungan Nequette Architects,, 123

Jennifer Adams Design Group,, 148

Eric Miller Architects,, 127-129

Orange Chair Interiors,, 135

FZAD Architecture + Design,, 150

Passione Interior Design,, 11

Halper Owens Architects LLC,, 5 & 66-78

Richens Designs, Inc.,, 44-47

Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects,, 111 & 120-122

RS Design Studio,, 48-49

James D. LaRue Architects,, 125-126

Silver Lining Interiors,, 19

Jeff Shelton Architect,, 138-140 Johnsen Schmaling Architects,, 24


Park City Architecture,, 132-135

Bulthaup,, 2-3, 56, & 118

Rick Joy Architects, 520-624-1442, 116-118

Canterbury Design,, 4

Robert Harvey Oshatz Architect,, 92-97

DeGiulio Kitchen Design,, 37

South Coast Architects, Inc.,, 143 Standard Architecture and Design,, 98-105


Studio A Architecture,, 6-7 & 112-115

Earthform Design,, 57

Warner Group Architects, Inc.,, 50-57

Edmund Hollander Landscape Architect Design P.C.,, 73



The Concord Group,, 15

West Essex Lighting Studio,, 33



Adorno Contruction Inc.,, 26-27

3Form,, 16

Creative Construction LLC, 908-832-8900, 131

A.F. Payne Photographic Inc.,, 54-57

DL Jones Construction,, 129

Atlantic Archives,, 147

Dwyer Design,, 80-91

Benny Chan,, 98-105

Eigel Builders, LLC,, 37-39

Coles Hairston,, 125-126

Jorndt Fahey Remodeling, LLC,, 24

Edmunds Studios Photography,, 24

Kulick Development,, 31-32,

Eric Figge Photography,, 50-53

Lencioni Construction Company, Inc.,, 28-30

High Res Media, LLC,, 146

Schuchart/Dow Inc,, 106-109

Jeffrey Durkin,, 25

Shoberg Homes,, 126

JH Jackson Photography,, 111 & 120-122

Vorce Construction,, 25

Joe Fletcher Photography,, 4 & 80-91

ZMK Group, Inc.,, 34-35

Ken Hayden Photography,, 58-65 Kevin Cimini & Brandon Hicks, 116-118


Linda Bell Hall, 34

Patera, LLC,, 24

Michael Biondo Photography,, 147

McMullan & Associates, Inc.,, 123

Michael Moran,, 4 & 66-78 Mike Crews Photography,, 48-49


Richard Leo Johnson,, 6-7 & 112-115

Home Design & Remodeling Show,, 16

Steve Keating,, 106-109

National Lawn & Garden Show,, 16

Wayne McCall, 138-140

NeoCon 2011,, 16 Pacific Coast Builders Conference 2011,, 16


SURTEX 2011,, 16

Drakeley Pool Company,, 76



Skye’s the Limit Electric,, 45

Trump International,,15



AW Design,, 110

East Coast Barn Builders,, 78 & 79

Brown Davis Interiors,, 58-65

K&M Steam Cleaning,, 47

Charles Pavarini III Design Associates, Inc.,, 40-42

Perkins & Cady,, 78 & 79


luxury home quarterly

may 2011



Sub-Zero,, 37 & 38

Rohl,, 37 & 38

Wolf,, 37

Rubinet,, 9



Europe 2 You,, 15

Ferguson,, 143

Pagoda Red,, 48 SINKS & TUBS ART

Neutra,, 22

Dakota Jackson,, 41 Deljou Art Group,, 148


Perimeter Gallery,, 48

Balmer Architectural Mouldings Inc.,, 43

Wynn LVNV,, 148

The Mill JSP, Inc., 843-766-0593, 115

Yutaka Yoshinaga,, 48

Silent Source,, 52



Cabinet Design & Manufacturing, 512-295-6316, 124 & 126

Original Mission Tile,, 139 Paris Ceramics,, 17


Pro Design, Inc.,, 110

Adney Custom Hardwood Floors,, 126

Silestone by Cosentino,, 122

Mr. Floor Kitchen & Bath,, 36

Thin Veneer Stone,, 147



Andrew Morgan,, 146

Shumacher Fabrics,, 44

Avery Boardman,, 40 B&B Italia,, 21


Minzner & Company,, 35

Pantone,, 14

Nieri Design,, 122 & 123

Urban Paint Works,, 49

Riva 1920,, 20 & 21 Tansu.Net,, 146


Vladimir Kagan Design Group,, 40 & 41

Belisle Ancestral Doors & Windows,, 76 & 77

GARDENS & LANDSCAPES DEDON,, 7 & 22 McCaren Designs Inc.,, 146

Exclusive Windows & Doors of Austin,, 124 & 126 Garden State Millwork,, 33 Pella Windows,, 44 Rimadesio,, 54

LIGHTING Fine Art Lamps,, 148 Lightology,, 48 Michael McHale Designs,, 18 OSRAM SYLVANIA,, 14 Secto Design,, 20 METALS David Shelton, 805-882-9100, 139 Morgik Metal Designs,, 41

WINDOW TREATMENTS Duratherm Window Corporation,, 113 WOODWORK Beronio Lumber,, 119 California Redwood Company,, 25 Dinesen,, 23 Michael M. Fea Inc., 973-209-6702, 33 Roth Wood Products,, 36

Rehme Custom Iron Work,, 126

may 2011

luxury home quarterly


products + services spotlight

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

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,

(310) 914-3335

products+ services spotlight The Spotlight is Designed To:

showcase the top trends, innovations, and amenities

connect LHQ readers—elite

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

Michael Biondo Photography After a 20 year career photographing fashion for clients such as Valentino & W magazine, Michael Biondo has turned his attention towards architecture. Finding inspiration in the work of Julius Shulman, Ezra Stoller, and Lucien Hervé, Michael Biondo produces award-winning photography for architects, designers, and builders. Michael Biondo (203) 293-5322


luxury home quarterly


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

may 2011

Special Advertising Section

Olde Wood Limited

Rich, Luxurious, Breathtaking are just a few words to describe this Thin Veneer Stone that brings your home to the next level. Made from Natural Stone to ensure the quality and look you desire. Visit to view all product lines available.

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

John Iannotta (250) 769-0505

Kris Young or Jill Falkowski (866) 208-WOOD

Thin Veneer Stone

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

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

may 2011

luxury home quarterly


At home with

Single-family home in Scottsdale, AZ lived there 1 year

Jennifer Adams LHQ: Thanks for showing us your home! What

Jennifer adams founded Jennifer Adams Design Group 12 years ago, and now she has offices in Multiple cities. Here, She gIves LHQ a look inside Her favorite room at home.

makes this room a place you want to spend time?

Jennifer Adams: To me, if feels approachable and cozy yet bold and finely detailed … and now with the changes we’ve made, it is so full of light. These are all elements that excite me yet relax me all at the same time.

LHQ: How would you describe the design of your living room? What inspired it? JA: I consider it to be subtly Santa Barbara in style. I have always admired that style for the light walls and fabrics that are bravely contrasted with bold, dark woods, oversized furniture, and incredible artwork. It feels warm, timeless, and welcoming.

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

JA: My husband and I really wanted an open room where friends and family can gather to drink wine and converse, or for us to enjoy alone time snuggling and watching tv. So it had to be sophisticated yet casual at the same time. To accomplish this we added windows to draw you to the outdoor entertaining spaces, removed low arches that separated the living room from the kitchen and dining area, and we added a chandelier to make the room warmer and not feel so bottom heavy. I designed large scaled, overstuffed, comfortable pieces of furniture that were uniquely detailed so that they still felt designed. LHQ: How does your home reflect your personal design style?

JA: My personal style is classic, with an edge of drama. I feel my home reflects this in the classic pieces that are uniquely detailed … and then contrasted by bold, dramatic artwork and accent pieces. Steve Wynn was once quoted saying he thought design should be classic but finely detailed, like a Chanel suit. That has stuck with me through the years.


luxury home quarterly

may 2011


CHANDELIER: Fine Art Lamps,


ART COLLECTION: Deljou Art Group,

WOODEN ELEPHANTS: Custom-designed and hand carved by a Thai artisan


The Pieces



NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 Honoring development, innovation, and a committment to excellence American Builders Quarterly速 is celebrating the best in American building and design with the 2011 Building Excellence Awards RECOGNITION: The first annual ABQ Building Excellence Awards have been launched to recognize achievements in architecture, design, and community planning. Winning projects will receive featured coverage in the November/December 2011 issue of ABQ. CATEGORIES: One residential and one commercial project will be designated as the Project of the Year, and awards and

honorable mentions will be given in over 15 categories across all residential and commercial building sectors. APPLY TODAY FOR THE 2012 AWARDS PROGRAM: Registration is now open for all categories in the second annual ABQ Building Excellence Awards. For more information on registration deadlines, a complete list of categories, and downloadable entry forms, visit

FZAD Architecture + Design

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

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

Profile for Molly Soat

Luxury Home Quarterly: Issue 9  

The Beauty of Wood

Luxury Home Quarterly: Issue 9  

The Beauty of Wood