Other special features. “The classic Heath Ceramics backsplash and unique midcentury modern chandelier elevates this impeccable kitchen design,” Watts says. “The matte and gloss finish of the stone white ceramic backsplash perfectly complements the Fresh Concrete Caesarstone countertop, as well as adds contrast to the dark cabinetry.” Designer tip. “The contemporary minimalist aesthetic for this space was the perfect backdrop for statement elements, like the midcentury chandelier in the center of the kitchen,” Watts says. “Uh-oh” moment. “There were several challenges with interior details on the cooktop and hood wall that brought innovative solutions,” Watts says. “The client wanted to incorporate some open shelving, which was a challenge in creating clean lines with upper cabinetry that runs with the integrated hidden hood.”
Designer: Kristianne Watts of KW Designs Location: Solana Beach, California Homeowners’ request. “The client was looking for a completely different look and orientation from the existing home and wanted to incorporate timeless midcentury modern elements with minimalist living in the new design,” designer Kristianne Watts says. “Being a full-demolition, new-construction project, there were several challenges with interior details that brought innovative solutions, like an integrated hood in the cabinetry that created a seamless kitchen with appliances and hardware.” Multitone elements. Walnut cabinets in a custom finish. Charcoal cabinets (Iron Mountain by Benjamin Moore). Dark concrete-look island countertop. Raised walnut slab countertop on island. Light concrete-look perimeter countertops. White hex backsplash tile.
Designer: Justin Blejer of Blejer Architecture Location: South Nyack, New York Size: 391 square feet (36 square meters) Homeowners’ request. A contemporary kitchen in a new location in the house to create better relationships among the kitchen, dining and living areas. “They also gained an additional view to the Hudson River from the kitchen,” designer Justin Blejer says. Cabinets. Natural quarter-sawn white ash veneer. “We contrasted the wood with a minimal palette of white tile, black counters and black stained ash,” Blejer says. “Additionally, the hardware was mostly satin nickel.” Other special features. “One of the main special features was having the island designed to feel as a piece of furniture,” Blejer says. “This lets the space feel larger, as you can see under and past the island, but it remains functional with drawers on the kitchen side and bar cabinets on the other side. Additionally, the lighting is very much tailored to the kitchen design. There are spotlights to highlight the tile backsplash, a concealed uplight that reflects light off the vaulted ceiling, a handmade steel pendant and black adjustable mono-point spots to highlight the island and wall art.” De...
Wallace Street Project Garden Modern Landscape, Detroit Rows of globe boxwood and masses of creeping thyme and sedge grass run parallel to the street and highlight the front façade of the house. A retaining wall of Corten steel slices through the vegetation to create a striking juxtaposition of textures as well as a clear delineation between public and private space. Concrete steps lead up to and through the wall, their cantilevered construction making them appear to float atop the landscape. Photo by George Dzahristos.
The home’s stylish powder room includes a brass LED pendant light, and the inset vanity mirror has strips of hidden LED lights at the top and bottom. Pennington and her team covered the vanity wall in thin brown glass tiles that mimic the look of tree bark. The sink fixtures are unlacquered brass that will develop a patina over time.
House at Glance Who lives here: A family with two teenage boys Location: Los Altos, California Size: About 3,000 square feet (279 square meters) Designers: Pamela Pennington of Pamela Pennington Studios and Arcanum Architecture A flagstone walkway leads to the pivoting front door made of dark-stained wood. A paneled overhang provides protection from the elements and space for overhead lighting. Wide-plank oak floors with a clear stain run through most of the house.
The plants’ color variation, for the most part, is only among different shades of green. A couple of burgundy ‘Forest Pansy’ redbuds (Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’), shown here surrounded by a sea of eastern hayscented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula), provide bold accents. Because of the green and evergreen plants, the garden doesn’t experience dramatic seasonal changes. “The evergreens play a really important role in providing the privacy [the homeowners] wanted year-round,” Martin says. She adds that they also help to show the garden’s structure and layers, especially in winter when snow is on the ground.
Lawn still occupies most of the landscape, but the design team added trees, shrubs, ferns and other woodland plants. “We chose a neutral color palette, so we wanted to focus on texture,” Martin says. Tight evergreens grow next to loose grass, which sits beside coarse hydrangea leaves. Heritage river birch (Betula nigra ‘Cully’) trees frame the patio and other areas in the yard, showcasing beautiful bark and adding privacy. “The birch trees create a permeable wall along two ends of the patio, immersing the space in texture and foliage,” Martin says. “There are a lot of birch trees in Scandinavia,” the designer adds. Littleleaf boxwood (Buxus microphylla ‘Winter Gem’) and ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) grow beneath the birch trees, adding more texture and structure closer to the house.
Denmark Dominated by black, white and gray and featuring clean lines, this kitchen lives up to classic Danish style. The matte cabinet fronts create a calm feel, while the bright ceilings, walls and window frames, along with the magnificent natural illumination, provide bright contrast. The kitchen’s well-thought-out design also makes it practical and easy to clean. “A large cupboard wall in the kitchen provides plenty of storage space,” designers from JKE Design wrote in a statement about the project. “For example, there are pullout drawers with sockets behind the black doors, so there is room for a mixer, coffee maker and other electric kitchen appliances.” Typical of homes in Denmark, the interior is a mix of newer and older Danish design: The About a Stool bar stools — designed by Hee Welling for Hay — are from this century, while the Flowerpot lights over the counter were designed by Verner Panton in 1968.
Windsor Companies Traditional Landscape, Minneapolis The entire grounds of this Lake Minnetonka home was renovated as part of a major home remodel. The orientation of the entrance was improved to better align automobile traffic. The new permeable driveway is built of recycled clay bricks placed on gravel. The remainder of the front yard is organized by soft lawn spaces and large Birch trees. The entrance to the home is accentuated by masses of annual flowers that frame the bluestone steps. On the lake side of the home a secluded, private patio offers refuge from the more publicly viewed backyard. This project earned Windsor Companies a Grand Honor award and Judge's Choice by the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association. Photos by Paul Crosby.
The new Tuario kitchen faucet from Rohl features a unique spout shape. The new Tuario faucet from Rohl has contemporary lines and a spout that transitions to a pull-down hand sprayer — you’d never know it was a pull-down when retracted. It comes in polished chrome, polished nickel, satin nickel, satin gold and matte black and will be available this summer.
5. White ‘Iceberg’ Rose (Rosa ‘Iceberg’) Loved by: Jeffrey Halper of Exterior Worlds Landscaping & Design in Houston Why this rose: “They are prolific bloomers and have a low tendency to get fungus,” Halper says. Special features: This floribunda rose is known for its crisp white blooms and vigorous, bushy shape. Medium-size flowers produce a light fragrance.
Master Bath The designers used a gentle color palette, earthy materials and natural light to make the master bathroom and dressing area a retreat for the parents. The bathroom’s vanities with Krion solid-surface counters float below a window with a view of the city and surrounding hills. A unique L-shaped mirror elegantly frames the window. Gray-veined Carrara marble walls complement the 24-by-48-inch matte gray porcelain floor tiles. A new oversize skylight stretches across the master suite dressing area and bath to connect the areas and provide dramatic lighting and shadows.
Bathrooms at a Glance Who lives here: Ann Jones, Jonathan Witt and their three sons, ages 11, 14 and 16 Location: Miraloma Park neighborhood of San Francisco Sizes: Kids’ bath: 60 square feet (5.6 square meters); master bath: 70 square feet (6.5 square meters); powder room: 30 square feet (2.8 square meters) Designers: Hideaki Kawato (lead designer and project manager) and Stephen Shoup (principal) of building Lab