A strategy for living well.
Living spaces are for living, a tautology if ever there was on. But often times they aren't designed that way. When we start a project we want to know how you live, as well as how you want to live. Because when we design your living room, when we finish, we want you to be doing just that in it--living. We do not design living rooms to glance at as you walk by on your way to the kitchen. We design living rooms that will draw you, your family and your friends in, spaces that encourage conversation, reflection, recreation, whatever it is that you seek when you are where you want to be.
When our clients bought this home, you walked in and were absolutely arrested by the beautiful view. But after a few minutes you realized that you actually were somewhat arrested, a prisoner to windows, with no way to get outside and into the stunning outdoors. To address this, where there were windows, we added doors--everywhere. We added a wrap-around deck with wrap-around steps cascading down to the lawn and pool. The decking and stairs serve to provide a connection with the house and the land, as well as between the two previously disconnected wings of the house.
A PLACE TO BREATHE
Where once you felt like a fly trapped in a bell jar, now you walk in and breath in--the air, the view, the space. The house itself breathes. To the north, the living room opens onto the deck, with a view that goes for hundreds of miles. To the west, the living room opens onto a covered porch (that used to be a closed-in sun porch with no means of egress). The covered porch not only provides lovely indoor-feeling outdoor space, but the generous even provides relief from the Western sun, and ensures that even at ninety degrees, the interior of the home, stays cool and breezy. The furnishings themselves are muted in color, so as not to wage a futile war for attention with the view; and slightly rustic in style to fit in with the mountain setting.
When you walk into the living room, you are arrested by the view, to north and to west (as is shown here). From there, you can choose to stay and simply bask in the view, or head outside. But the question is, how far? Will you stay on the covered porch, or venture further into the true outdoors, chatting by the pool, or will you make it all the way to the pool itself. But wherever you land, you will be happy.
GROUNDED AND PLAYFUL
Originally this wall had a delicate, white, colonial mantel. In order to make it fit with the scale of the rest of the home, we wrapped the whole wall in a stone veneer. We also took one of the supporting beams from a barn on the property and turned it into the mantel, echoing the supporting beams that are in the ceiling hiding structural I-beams. We added a turntable and Martin Logan in-ceiling speakers and sub-woofer so that when the spotty Wifi goes out, our clients can still have their music. You'll also notice here the interior connection to the other wing, a large expanse that used to be used as a green house. We replaced the tile flooring with rustic, wood-grain porcelain flooring, to create the feeling of a covered bridge connecting the two wings. We found that treating this area as a game room allowed us to give purpose to this massive, but previously under-utilised space. In this frame, you see the chess board (in the living room), the pool table, and the foos ball table at the end of the "bridge".
THE VIEW (AND THE DECK) THAT NEVER ENDS
What can we say, we can never get enough of this view (and we had a fourth square). This image shows the view from the living room to the north. You can also see how the stairs on the deck (which we also designed) go down, continuing the line of the hipped roof in both directions, and grounding the house in the land. Prior to this project, the house simply dropped straight off on this side, sporting a large sun porch with plenty of windows, but no doors, and no deck.