A bright idea blossomed close to home for Modal Design principal Daniel Monti. Tasked to create a low-maintenance, multi-generational home for his parents, his family, his brother’s children and their many pets, Monti looked to a massive century-old stone pine tree with a vast canopy growing right on the property as an endless source of inspiration. “The pine tree is such a special piece of the lot that you can’t help but fall in love with it,” says Monti. Instead, he worked around it to create a three-bedroom 2,700 square feet home that echoes the same comfort and beauty as the sight of that majestic age-old tree.
Monti catered to his mother’s love of cooking by giving her ample storage areas along the 70-foot long walnut wall-slash-cabinet. The refrigerator, kitchen items and other goods easily disappear into the wall when not in use. The nonporous, stain-, scratch- and heat-resistant Caesarstone countertops also make for easy clean-ups after cooking a feast.
Situated in the heart of Austin,Texas, just blocks from the University of Texas campus, the Avenue G House offers a unique and abstract perspective on a thriving historic neighborhood. Kevin Alter, founder of Alter Studio and associate dean of UT graduate programs as well as director of the architecture program, designed the home for a couple with three young children. With the residents’ needs and wants in mind, Alter transformed an underwhelming 1,500-square-foot duplex into a dynamic and welcoming living space.
Because the residents have three children and thus no shortage of stuff, Alter wanted to create an abundant amount of accessible storage space. A large floor-to-ceiling island between the kitchen and living areas hides closets, a guest bathroom, a wine cellar, and a walk-in pantry behind handleless, walnut-paneled, pop-open doors.
Designed and built in 1878 for Judge John Murphy, this 4,400-square-foot white structure has, from the outside, the undeniable characteristics of a classic San Francisco Victorian. Stepped back from the street and resting genteelly at the top of a large hill, the house keeps a watchful eye on its neighbors and the city that surrounds it.
The walnut cabinets in the kitchen, which update and warm the space, were designed by Nilus de Matran and fabricated by George Slack.
Architect Drew Mandel updated this traditional Edwardian near Lake Ontario in Toronto to look modern and cozy. The clients desired a warm material base for the interior so Mandel used American walnut for the flooring, millwork, and staircase. Loire limestone covers the landing below the steps and Calacatta marble clads the kitchen counters and island.
For a renovation in New York's Greenwich Village, Sarah Zames and her team at General Assembly created a custom ship-ladder staircase and gourmet eat-in kitchen.
Zames reconfigured the apartment to improve circulation and open some of the confined rooms. What was formerly a hallway is now integrated with the kitchen. A bank of floor-to-ceiling walnut-veneered cabinets offers storage and an island covered in carrara marble offers space for working or dining. "We embraced dark colors in the kitchen to keep a contrast with the bright white of the surrounding living areas," Zames says of the constrasting finishes. The barstools are from CB2.
Resuscitating a classic can be time-consuming and pricey, but when it comes to the rehabilitation of neglected masterpieces, one Connecticut couple found it’s worth every minute and cent. Designed in 1955 by noted modernist architect Willis N. Mills, their four-bedroom, 4,200-square-foot house featured view-filled expanses of glass and generously scaled spaces, including a double-height living room that cantilevered dramatically outward some 30 feet above the landscape.
A 13-foot-long island in the kitchen, finished in the same white terrazzo as the floor, serves as an informal dining area. Bassam replicated the kitchen’s walnut-veneered cabinetry in the study and master bedroom for continuity.