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Tag Archives: Hilltop

10 Modern-Rustic Weekend Houses in the Country

Hot summers in the city get old pretty fast, so having a weekend house in the country is a luxury. But that doesn’t mean that luxury can’t be rustic. Here are 10 residences that are stunning in their get-away-from-it-all simplicity.

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1. Hilltop Aerie by Aidlin Darling Design Provides Respite in Northern California

Two San Francisco denizens working in finance and tech came to Aidlin Darling Design with a straightforward proposition. Create a simple, efficient house, restrained in cost and scale, for their empty hillside site in Glen Ellen, about an hour north of the city. The couple’s only imperative? A single-story plan. Since Barry Mehew and David Rice were familiar with tending to aging relatives, they knew to avoid the hazards staircases present (their main residence, a four-story Victorian in the city, has plenty). Although they envisioned this new house as a weekend getaway for now, they anticipate eventually spending most of their time there, and downsizing to a pied-à-terre back in the city. Read more about this project

2. Jan Henrik Jensen Designs Unconventional Round House in Denmark

In the Danish shelter magazine that Finn and Janni Holm subscribe to, architect Jan Henrik Jansenwas pictured sitting in front of a house that he had constructed with his own hands. “We just rang him and asked him to do one for us,” Janni Holm says. “That’s where our adventure started.” The Holms had decided to build a new home on a lot and a simple wooden farmhouse was what they had in mind. What they got was entirely different, thanks to Jansen’s standard procedure: always conceiving more than one solution for a project. He first showed the Holms a design that corresponded exactly to their farmhouse brief. Then he surprised them with plans for a radically different idea: a round house. Read more about this project

3. SPG Architects Transforms Lilian Swann Saarinen’s Former Cape Cod Residence

Modernist royalty, by marriage, Lilian Swann Saarinen had met her husband, Eero, when she was studying sculpture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, headed by his father, Eliel. After the younger Saarinens’ divorce in 1953, she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, with their two children and asked former Eero Saarinen and Associates architect Olav Hammarstrom to expand a fisherman’s cottage in the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet for use as a low-budget family getaway. “On the Cape, a lot of architects built on a dime and a prayer,” SPG Architects principal Eric Gartner explains. Considerably more painstaking was his own task: updating the Hammarstrom design for repeat clients, one in financial services and the other a sculptor. Read more about this project

4. The Success of Andreas Martin Löf’s House Near Stockholm Lies in Being Playful and Taking Risks

“Everybody was against it,” Andreas Martin-Löf says, looking at the offending infinity pool outside his weekend house in the Stockholm archipelago. “My friends thought it was nouveau riche. They wondered why I couldn’t just go down to the jetty for a swim, like everyone else.” Traditionally, Swedes favor rustic summer retreats, and Martin-Löf concedes that he usually dislikes “luxury” architecture both personally and in his work at Andreas Martin-Löf Architects. Yet he was intrigued by the possibility of the infinity pool as a mirror for the property’s pine trees and expansive water views. “The pool is a crucial part of the success of the house,” he continues. “You have to be a bit playful and take a few risks.” Read more about this project

Read more: 15 Incredible Pools from Around the World

5. Michigan Lake House by Desai Chia Architecture: 2016 Best of Year Winner for Country House

A real-estate entrepreneur clipped and saved a newspaper story about Arjun Desai and Katherine Chia’s glassy weekend pavilion that won a Best of Year Award in 2013. The entrepreneur was intrigued by the way the house practically floated above its spectacular surroundings, a bucolic estate in rural New York—because he had just bought 60 acres on a remote peninsula jutting into Lake Michigan. Arguably even more extraordinary than the New York site, this one sits between a cherry orchard and a bluff plunging 120 feet down to the water. Read more about this project

6. Minimalist Gem by Atelier Carvalho Arujo Masters a Tricky Site in Portugal 

Modernist-minded designers often mine bodies of water for inspiration. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater—perhaps the greatest house of the 20th century—wouldn’t exist without the stream that runs, dramatically, below it. Following in this storied tradition, Atelier Carvalho Araújo used water as both guide and counterpoint in designing a house in Vieira do Minho, Portugal. The site is a steep slope overlooking the Caniçada Valley, about 20 miles northeast of Braga. A stream meanders down the site, connecting ponds at the top and bottom of the hillside, both now corralled into freeform pools.“Architecture must have the gift of awakening sensations, emotions,” principal José Manuel Carvalho Araújo says. “The only thing I don’t want to evoke is indifference.” Read more about this project

7. Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks Conceive Stone-Clad House Near the Estate of Her Father, Charles

When it comes to delivering the unexpected, Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks, respectively 33 and 35 years old, have already developed a reputation. The pair transformed a tiny tile showroom in London with an installation of porcelain planks, playing cleverly with geometry in just four shades of gray to achieve a dazzling op art effect—a tour de force that landed right on the cover of Interior Design. Now, with a weekend house in Scotland, Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio have defied expectation in very different ways. Read more about this project

8. Nani Marquina’s Costa Brava Retreat Is a Collector’s Paradise

Nani Marquina has a thing for straw hand brooms. The textile designer and Nanimarquinafounder owns more than two-dozen such specimens, sourced from locales as far flung as Thailand, Pakistan, and Ibiza. Her collecting passion also extends to woven baskets, beaded necklaces, teapots, seeds, dried gourds, soap, succulents, and sand (stored in fish bowls), all of which garnish the Esclanyà, Spain, getaway she shares with her husband, photographer Albert Font. The 1970s dwelling has a whitewashed simplicity that renders it a perfect backdrop for the couple’s assorted ephemera. “The most important thing is not the container, but the contents,” Marquina says. Read more about his project

9. Architect Mathias Klotz Creates a Pair of Cottages on a Remote Island in Chile

For Chileans—especially those who live in the frenetic capital, Santiago—a second home is an essential refuge, an escape to the serene beauty of the natural landscape. Architect Mathias Klotz, principal of his eponymous firm, has designed many such houses, characteristically with a clean-lined modernism that nods to one of his heroes, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. For his own family’s retreat on a largely undeveloped coastal island, he used archetypal forms that evoke both past and present. Constrained by the remote location and tricky logistics, the result is a timeless design that blends into the pristine setting. Read more about this project

10. Mork Ulnes Architects and Office of Charles de Lisle Create a Minimalist Guesthouse in Sonoma

Casper Mork-Ulnes was born in Norway, moved to Italy at age 2, and came to San Francisco at 16. He also lived in Scotland and studied architecture at California College of the Arts and Columbia University before establishing Mork Ulnes Architects back in San Francisco. That’s an unusually lengthy introduction, granted, to an unusual small project in the Sonoma Valley town of Glen Ellen. Mork-Ulnes had remodeled the property’s original house for its previous owners. The new ones, a family of five, brought him back for a guesthouse. At 840 square feet, it comprises three volumes, each of which contains a bedroom and a bathroom. They’re arranged in a stepped configuration, sharing party walls and a canted roof but no internal corridor. Read more about this project

Read more: 10 Bright and Modern Beach Houses

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20 Perfectly Tranquil Bathtubs

Only one room in the house offers relaxation, aromatherapy, and soak-the-stress-away privacy—the bathroom. Here are 20 tranquil bathtubs to dream about sinking into (glass of wine optional, but recommended).

1. Frequent Collaborators dSpace Studio and Project Interiors Team Up to Design a Modernist Family Residence in Chicago

After raising their three children in a typical painted-clapboard house on a double lot in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, the owners decided to demolish it and build a modernist structure that better reflected their style. They engaged architects Kevin Toukoumidis and Robert McFadden of dSpace Studio, who recommended Project Interiors for the interior design—their fourth collaboration. Both firms share a progressive, contemporary spirit that appealed to the clients. Read more about the residence

2. Hotel Alessandra is Houston-Based Rottet Studio’s First Hometown Project

Rottet Studio has designed hotels all over, but none in Houston, where Lauren Rottet’s roots run deep—her firm has been headquartered there for more than a decade. None, that is, until now. Hotel Alessandra, a 21-story ground-up property done in collaboration with Gensler, is the Interior Design Hall of Fame member’s hospitality debut in the city. In a stan­dard guest room, an acrylic tub outfits the bathroom. Read more about the hotel

3. Los Angeles Residence by Standard Architecture Wins 2018 Best of Year Award for Kitchen/Bath Project

Designed in the 1920s by noted architect Roland Coate, this tony Bel-Air residence had seen better days. Standard Architecture‘s founding principal Jeffrey Allsbrook and partner Silvia Kuhle stripped away excess inside and out to create a minimalist, abstracted take on neoclassical design. Namibian marble clads the wet zone of the upstairs master bathroom, one of a pair. The stone’s quiet veining creates a pleasingly neutral backdrop—all the better to soak in the surrounding greenery through the frameless picture window. Read more about the residence

4. Hilltop Aerie by Aidlin Darling Design Provides Respite in Northern California

Two San Francisco denizens working in finance and tech came to Aidlin Darling Design with a straightforward proposition. Create a simple, efficient house, restrained in cost and scale, for their empty hillside site in Glen Ellen, about an hour north of the city. The couple’s only imperative? A single-story plan. Off a winding dirt road, the 20-acre property is at the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, overlooking the Sonoma Valley. Read more about the residence

5. Gulla Jónsdóttir’s Global Sensibilities Define the Kimpton La Peer Hotel in Los Angeles

Kimpton La Peer Hotel is the jewel in Gulla Jónsdóttir’s crown, a 65,000-square-foot property in L.A. “It’s the first ground-up hotel in West Hollywood’s design district,” Jónsdóttir says. She was creative director for and designer of the four-story project’s 105 guest rooms and suites, alfresco lounges, and vast living-roomlike lobby. Read more about the hotel

6. Rottet Studio Brings Texas Tradition to the Cavalry Court Hotel

Decidedly tied to place, not only the university but also the agricultural surroundings, the aesthetic of Cavalry Court Hotel skews rustic with honest, straightforward materials and forms. Yet, typical Rottet Studio, it’s still polished. And we couldn’t call it traditional. Her scheme is devised to appeal to a wide-reaching demographic, from visiting alumni to business travelers and locals. A guest bathroom’s custom vanity combines matte granite, blackened steel, and pine. Read more about the hotel

7. Idan Naor Thinks Horizontally for a Brooklyn Brownstone

The archetypical Brooklyn brownstone is a study in verticality, with a few stories of narrow corridors and dark rooms piled atop each other. However, when the local Idan Naor Workshop got the chance to reprogram a gem from the 1920s into a 5-unit apartment building, they decided on a different direction: horizontal. In the master bath, a custom teak and limestone vanity supports a Duravit sink and Watermark faucet; behind the MTI soaker bathtub is a wall of Stone Source’s chiseled limestone. Read more about the brownstone

8. MoreySmith Renovates a 19th-Century London Townhouse With a Mix of Luxe and Historical Details

The owners of an early 19th-century townhouse in the historic London neighborhood of Clerkenwell knew it needed a bit of an overhaul. So, they turned to MoreySmith to breathe new life into the home and make it fit for entertaining. Specialist craftsmen restored or replaced heritage cornices and ceiling roses that weren’t in the best condition. Read more about the townhouse

9. An Artsy Sag Harbor Retreat by Groves & Co. Is All About the Mix

It’s one thing to live with art. But to live submerged in it—as do the owners of this Sag Harbor, New York, getaway—requires a whole other level of connoisseurship and commitment, not to mention a rather prolific collection. “The project’s biggest challenge,” says Groves & Co. principal Russell Groves, who masterminded the interiors, “was marrying the very forward art with the traditional envelope.” Linac marble clads the master bathroom, with blackened-steel mirrors. Read more about the residence

10. Kuth-Ranieri and Elena Calabrese Collaborate on Northern California Mid-Century House

A client of Kuth-Ranieri Architects, the mother of three college-aged kids, needed a new home. But she didn’t need a new house: Her mid-century abode on a charming slope in Marin County, California, was a gem. It just needed a rethink. New skylights flood the master bathroom’s walls of blue Heath Ceramics tiles and varying widths of gray Mosa Porcelain which surround a Toto bathtub with Vola fixtures. Read more about the residence

11. Rinck Brings Timeless Elegance to a Parisian Apartment

Paris-based interior architecture firm Rinck describes themselves an “ambassador of French lifestyle.” Founded in 1841 by a cabinetmaker, the firm has divisions that specialize in cabinet-making and boiserie, which can speed up their projects. For example, the firm completed a Paris apartment with views of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine in just six months. Read more about the residence

12. Whitehall Interiors Gives a New York Penthouse Bursts of Personality

Asked to combine a pair of New York condominium apartments into one investment property, Whitehall Interiors eschewed the inoffensive but lifeless aesthetic common to most developer units. The firm gave the client a luxurious penthouse with a lot of personality. A tub set under the window permits panoramic city views while soaking. Read more about the penthouse

13. Stephen B. Jacobs and Andi Pepper Design a Nearly Net-Zero Home in Connecticut

After 30 years in Vermont, Stephen B. Jacobs and Andi Pepper, the architect and interior designer behind some of New York’s hippest lifestyle hotels wanted to move a little closer to the city. They found their ideal location in Lyme, Connecticut, on one of the area’s last pieces of undeveloped land. For Jacobs, the stately cedar and stone house they built was not only a home but also a working model of the sustainability practices he had long advocated, a concrete demonstration for potential clients of the economic and environmental advantages of green design. Read more about the home

14. Yuriy Zimenko Covers a Ukraine Apartment in Bold Colors

An accent wall is one thing, but for a 2,200-square-foot apartment in Kiev, Ukraine, designer Yuriy Zimenko devised full accent rooms, devoting each area to a study in shades—from a master bedroom in a bold purple to bathrooms of red, green, or blue. Read more about the apartment

15. Workstead’s Stefanie Brechbuehler and Robert Highsmith Embrace Southern Modernism in Charleston

This renovation of an 1853 row-house was for a dream client: a New York–based family who gave the studio carte blanche to design the project as if it were their own. Now it’s a crash pad for the family when they’re in town and an event space for the studio when they’re not. In the master bath, formerly a porch, vanity mirrors are mounted on windows painted Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green. Read more about the house

16. Steve Leung Designers Thinks Big for a Model Apartment at One Shenzhen Bay

With its superior location and stunning harbor vista, the residential development One Shenzhen Bay attracts sophisticated buyers and investors. Steve Leung Designers, a Hong Kong firm known for high-end luxury, was the clear choice to execute an appropriately upscale model apartment. Like yin and yang, dark colors contrast with light, and warm tones with cool. Read more about the apartment

17. Bates Masi + Architects Crafts East Hampton Compound For Couple and Company

For many years, the New York–based couple had enjoyed weekending in a traditional Shingle-style residence in the Hamptons. But their kids had grown and flown the coop, leaving the empty nesters feeling encumbered by the big, echoey place. So the pair hired Bates Masi + Architects to design a new house on a cove in East Hampton. Instead, the firm designed four. Well, not four houses exactly, but rather a quartet of cedar-clad buildings around an open courtyard, creating a compound that perfectly suits the couple’s life. Read more about the home

18. Studio GUM’s Asmundo di Gisira Hotel Is Awash in Catania Lore

Studio GUM co-founders Valentina Giampiccolo and Giuseppe Minaldi simultaneously respected history and looked to the future for this hotel in Catania, Sicily. Demolition and construction were minimal, focused on enclosing the courtyard with a skylight, adding en suite bathrooms, and installing herringbone parquet in ebonized oak. Read more about the hotel

19. Sanchez + Coleman Refreshes a Tired Manhattan Apartment With Tropical Vibes

Tasked with refreshing this four-bedroom pied-à-terre on Manhattan’s Upper West Side,Sanchez + Coleman combined chromatic restraint with a touch of Coleman’s old flamboyance. The clients were looking for a luxury kitchen, great kids’ bedrooms, and the latest smart-home features (something the tech-savvy designer was pleased to provide) as essential elements in rejuvenating the tired 1980s apartment. Read more about the residence

20. Lagranja Design Brings Beachy Grandeur to Spain’s ME Sitges Terramar Hotel

Regional craftsmanship was the thrust of the ME Sitges Terramar Hotel outside of Barcelona, Spain, a project by Lagranja Design. Lagranja’s challenge was to bring grandeur back to the rundown seaside relic, its 10 floors housing 213 guest rooms and suites. At the firm’s nearby studio, a 19th-century former biscuit factory, model-makers, artists, and local artisans developed the decorative elements that would accompany the project’s myriad furniture pieces, both custom and production. Read more about the hotel

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