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August 27, 2015
It's often said an architect's first project is their parents' new home, but inevitably, we'd all like to design our dream home (or whatever can fit within our budget). Tour these five unique homes where the architect and the client were one and the same!
modular beachside getaway Australia exterior patio

Putting her architectural training to work, Anna Horne helped design a modular beachside getaway for her family outside Melbourne, Austrialia. “The patio was always part of the original design, as we knew we would be living inside and outside during the warmer months,” says Horne. “Keeping it covered also helps keep it dry and provides a feeling of containment.” The wicker swing chairs are from eBay, and the fabrics are from Ikea.

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Originally appeared in This House is Why Friends Make the Best Collaborators
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Open plan living, kitchen and dining areas in a renovated Pennsylvania Colonial

A couple, including an architect husband, renovated one of their childhood homes to suit their modern taste, while preserving some sentimental value. The first level is designed for the family to socialize. The biggest priority was an open kitchen that would seamlessly connect with the living areas. “When we entertain, everyone is in the kitchen, so we thought let’s just make the kitchen the whole first floor, because everyone’s going to be in there anyway,” the husband says. “We had the luxury of living in the house for a few years to see how we used it and how we lived. Decisions like this were based on experience.”

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Loving Renovation Updates a Rustic Family Home with Reclaimed Materials
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Exterior facade of Casa Familia by Bergendy Cooke, New Zealand

Clad in black-stained cedar, a monolithic family home rises from its alpine setting outside Queenstown, New Zealand. Wife and architect Bergendy Cooke clad the building in a black-stained, sustainably-grown Canadian cedar, a durable choice that ages well and requires little maintenance. The dark glazing was chosen so windows appear seamless, accentuating the form of the building.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in This Kid-Friendly Home is Full of Surprises
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la tour des bebelles exterior

When most people think of locations for a holiday home, they have visions of beaches, golf courses, spas, and chalets. But few have the mettle to choose the sort of place that architects André Lessard and Barbara Dewhirst deemed perfect. Stringent environmental concerns delayed construction for years, but the wait was worth it: scrap steel and reclaimed wood clad the three-story triangular tower, which hovers over a small deck and outdoor space.

Originally appeared in 10 Noteworthy Sustainable Homes
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Valentine house exterior and garage

In tightly packed Boston where developers pounce first on any available lot, two young architects found a rare ground-up opportunity and designed this structure: ample windows cut into the north elevation of the Valentine House, behind which live the architects. The openings reveal lofty double-height spaces inside. The ground-floor garage often serves as a shop for architectural model-making.

Originally appeared in About a View
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modular beachside getaway Australia exterior patio

Putting her architectural training to work, Anna Horne helped design a modular beachside getaway for her family outside Melbourne, Austrialia. “The patio was always part of the original design, as we knew we would be living inside and outside during the warmer months,” says Horne. “Keeping it covered also helps keep it dry and provides a feeling of containment.” The wicker swing chairs are from eBay, and the fabrics are from Ikea.

Photo by Lisa Cohen .

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