A designer carved out this domestic oasis in Mexico City; chairs in the second-floor playroom are by Lievore Altherr Molina for Andreu World. Oak sliding doors can close off the playroom to minimize din.
An architect recast this 1960s artist’s retreat in southeastern Norway. The interiors are clad in white-glazed pine, a contrast to the black-stained facade. The brick fireplace is original. Near a Polder sofa by Hella Jongerius for Vitra is a coffee table of Sævik’s design. The rocking chair is vintage and came with the house.
Like so many L.A. stories, the tale of the Courtyard House begins with a lucky break. One day in 2001, Thomas Robertson got a call from a friend he hadn’t seen in ages. The friend told him that his elderly aunt needed companionship in her twilight years, and that she owned an empty lot in a posh West Los Angeles neighborhood. Would Tom like to design a home they could live in together? “I thought he was joking,” Robertson recalls. And just like that, he had his first house commission. The knotty-pine breakfast nook, which is similar to what was a signature feature of 1920s and ’30s Spanish-style houses—though the originals were decorated in a Moorish theme.
In snowy Sweden, where pine planks and the democratic design incubator Ikea reign supreme, a local architect pays homage to his patrimony, making a small, slatty home feel like a rather big deal. Exposed pine dominates the downstairs reception area.
Mies van der Rohe once said, "We must remember that everything depends on how we use a material." In this Palo Alto, CA, residence constructed from rammed earth, steel, and glass, and finished in white oak, ipe, and American walnut, architect Cass Calder Smith of CCS Architecture holds true to Mies' dictum. Thanks to the liberal use of natural materials, the house attains a comfortable sensibility noticed by nearly everyone who passes through its earthen walls. "Guests are, without exception, completely taken by how the house is very modern, but also very warm," say the owners, who wish to remain anonymous. The wooden flooring shown here is American walnut.
Custom woodwork and an open interior define this 520-square-foot backyard retreat for a busy family. Strips of white-oak flooring line the interior of the studio, created by designer Jeff Vincent and PATH Architecture. The George Nelson Bubble Lamp Saucer pendant is available at the Dwell Store; the kitchen cabinets and appliances are by Jenn-Air. All accessories are from Canoe and Relish.
Two years ago architect Chad Everhart came across an old farmhouse near Boone, North Carolina. He could tell it dated back to the Great Depression by the 1930s-era cardboard—once used as insulation—that he found stuffed down between its tongue-and-groove walls. The farmhouse was falling down, literally. They demolished the building—salvaging some hemlock and chestnut flooring here, some one-inch-by-ten-inch planks of white pine there—and set about rebuilding on the original concrete block foundation. Inside the main living area, tongue-and-grooved white pine covers the walls and vaulted ceilings, and a red closet door, built of salvaged pine from the original house, slides along barn-track hardware. Image courtesyChad Everhart Architect.
For their family home in Brisbane, Australia, John and Cathy Dillon spent countless hours poring over design magazines and books to strike the right updated-mid-century-modern balance. "We drew heavily from the mid-century modern ethic in terms of house design and layout, but did not wish to replicate this era through furnishings and fixtures," says John Dillon. While the structural influences of this home by local architect Bud Brannigan range from the Case Study work of Pierre Koning and Craig Ellwood, and Australian architects Glenn Murcutt and Harry Seidler, the interiors are a mix of the residents' own personalities and histories, including a love of Japanese design and art collecting.
The dining table and chairs are vintage Moller, sourced from Denmark and restored in Australia. The cabinetry is American walnut.
This budget home embraces custom details fit for a family of five. Near-custom pine shelving on the third floor, folding chairs and a table from IKEA provide a tranquil space for studying.