Dream homes – everybody has one. From cliff-side modern marvels to majestic traditional mansions and waterside homes with enviable views, a dream house has the elements to elevate your lifestyle. Look through HomeDSGN’s collection of featured dream homes and be inspired for your next upgrade or remodel…or just fantasize about living in them!
Have you ever looked at your pet and realized you are so in love with them that you’d do essentially anything to make sure they’re safe and happy? Well, that’s precisely the thought process some homeowner’s in the Netherlands had when they asked the designers of their new house to work with them on building a home that would let them watch their dogs play in the yard from any angle. They meant it, too; the finished home is completely circular, providing the owners with a 360 view so that they can keep an eye on and enjoy the site of their dogs while the animals play happily outside and get plenty of exercise.
The home, called the 360 Villa, was designed and brought to life by Dutch architects 123DV. For their purposes, the home gave designers a chance to explore how architecture can be a medium that is fully and genuinely inclusive of humans and animals and their lives, needs, and habits, rather than just being built around them. The dogs in question are a pair of stunning and well behaved Alaskan Malamutes; quite large and affectionate animals who are clearly much loved by their owners, a Dutch couple.
The finished custom home is, on its exterior, wrapped in a glazing that acts like constant glass window panes. This, in partnership with the shape, is what allows those inside to see out to the yard, all the way around the house and from any interior vantage point. This way, when the dogs want out again but the owners must tend to responsibilities inside, everyone can have what they want and the owners can still keep a safe eye on their furry friends while they’re working or cleaning indoors.
In total, the villa encompasses 85 square meters; this size was determined to provide ample space for the couple and their two large dogs, considering everyone in the interior planning as well as the exterior and shape choices. Even the dogs are afforded ample space to play and move freely and comfortable when they are inside, which is beneficial since they are of a high energy breed.
The exterior of the house is surrounded by a gently sloping lawn that gives the dogs all kind of space but also affords the house a higher vantage point in the yard. This provides an effectively uninterrupted view of the dogs from the inside of the house while they play. The surrounding glazing is protected from sight-blurring rain splatter and sun glare by the way the roof extends over the edge at the wall, acting as a shading canopy without blocking out the stunning abundant natural light the windows let into the home’s interior space.
Of course, any house that’s made with an entirely glass exterior and wraparound windows needs to find other creative ways to preserve privacy. This is another way that the incline of the yard serves a tangible purpose. The top of the slope actually meets the window higher up on the side that faces the street rather than the private yard. This affords the home a great view without exposing its entire wall length out to the sidewalk and passersby.
Inside, the home is largely open concept in order to make it feel extremely spacious and full of good flow despite its slightly more modest (by some standards) square footage. The central social space in particular is open-plan, letting the kitchen, dining room, living room, and the sliding doors that lead to an open deck feel like a wonderfully melded hub space. This area actually takes up about two-thirds of the home.
The private areas of the home are unique because they can also be opened out into the main living area for extra effective flow, or closed off for more spatial delineation thanks to a set of sliding doors that portion out the bedroom space and bathroom. When it’s all opened up wide, a large circular skylight above the central living room floods the entire home in cheerful, natural light.
By Sophie • Apr 29, 2020
This project involves (for leisure use) the extension of an existing house, located in a quiet and surrounded by trees neighborhood in Brasilia-DF. The family (composed of a couple, three children and two dogs) loves to receive friends at home. They felt the need for a larger space, outside the main house, for social events.
Mamurbaba House by Orkun Nayki Architecture is a family house designed on a 817 m2 parcel. It was designed with the living standards of a family as our focus. Considering the dynamics of the region in the project design, the functionality, simplicity and sustainability of the structure were prioritized. A minimal, simple and transparent style is adopted in the design without compromising the modern line. In this direction, the content, naturalness and compatibility of the spaces, orientations and materials used are provided. It is completely compatible with nature, sustainable and timeless.
2inOne is an integration exercise within the urban fabric. The plot is located in Gneis, a suburban area of the city of Salzburg characterized by a dense fabric of single-family homes. Over time and as a result of successive segregations, “residual” plots have emerged which, due to their size, proportions or orientation, are less attractive for real estate development.
By Sophie • Feb 20, 2020
The invisible house was designed by Studio Okami Architects.
Three houses situated in a row, replaces an old villa. The houses share a driveway, while parking and entrances are solved separately on the ground floor in each volume. Designed by R21 Arkitekter
The Beachfront MIJORA is a collection of villa style tourist accommodations, designed by Yasuhiro “Hiro” Yamashita of Atelier TEKUTO. Situated along a beach in Amami Oshima, a subtropical island in southern Japan, each villa boasts a breathtaking view of the sea.
A single-storey bungalow with an unsympathetic later addition previously occupied this sloping site, facing south along the Cooks River.
By Sophie • Feb 11, 2020
By Sophie • Feb 10, 2020
The plot on a sloping hillside in Kanton Solothurn is defined by two roads deriving from the south adjacent crossroad and a significant elevation of the terrain on the north side. The architecture explores the concept of creating a house within a house. With displacements in the outer monolith, various space was established outside as well as inside the building.
By Sophie • Feb 7, 2020
A shelter for a hunter’s family leisure time is located on a small hill in the deep Lithuanian forest. Design by Devyni architektai
By Sophie • Feb 7, 2020
The house called Zilvar designed by ASGK Design, is located on the outskirts of a small village in Eastern Bohemia, surrounded by fields and forests.
In the sunny, sleep little town of Harbour Island, in the stunningly bright and tropical Bahamas, famed designer Trish Becker has recently completed yet another colourful, signature kitschy house renovation and overhaul, dubbing the wonderfully pink finished result Chatterbox House!
When New York based designer Trish Becker first fond the old Colonial style home that would become Chatterbox House, it was in need of not just repair from years of weathering in the tropical Bahamian climate, but also a restyling that would better show off the stunning traditional home’s positive attributes while still turning it into a modernized home that might provide more comfort to future owners and guests.
More specifically, the house is located in the heart of a beautiful little seaside community called Dunmore Town. The original cottage that this new, super fun dwelling was created from was first build in the late 1800s and, despite its rather dark interior and rather extensive wear and tear, was the perfect embodiment of what the designer described as old world Bahamian charm.
The first priority in the home’s redesign was to restore it to its original glory in structure and quality. After that came the modernizing steps, which happened in two parts. First, the home’s systems and amenities were updated to modern comfort standards. Next, design teams filled the home with colours, patterns, and textures that would excited any guest and provide all the typical visual draw of a beautifully unique Caribbean getaway.
Although colour is a central element throughout the entire home, the exterior combination might be our very favourite match up of shades. The powdery, petal pink main facade catches the eye of essentially anyone passing the house on the street outside, while a beautiful bright turquoise provides stunningly eclectic contrast. Both colours stand out excitingly against the natural, beachy setting in which the house is nestled.
On the front porch, visitors are greeted by a stunning tile inlay that contrasts once again with the two exterior colours we’ve already described. This piece is actually a reproduction of an original one that was created on the house in the 1800s but was too damaged to salvage in the update. Instead, design teams chose to recreate their own version from fresh but similar tiles in homage to the colonial piece.
The tile piece adorns the wall near a stunning porch swing that provides a sense of the home’s atmosphere immediately, before anyone has even walked through the door. This sense of rustic but impressive calm and casual permeates the entire space both inside and out; chairs and lounge spaces are positively everywhere, offering people countless places to bond and enjoy each other’s company in comfort.
The blend of bright, bold colours with visual texture and awesome patterning is a theme that carries throughout the entire house. This holds true for the fun throw cushions and circular teal chairs in the lower living room, the decor scheme in the kitchen, and all the way upstairs into the master and guest bedrooms as well. The colours and patterns shift from room to room, so that no two spaces are quite the same in their aesthetic.
At the top of the large house, two spaces in particular hold our attention the most. The first is a rooftop deck that offers yet another open-air seating space, this time with its own bar station. Even higher than this, up one last flight of wooden stairs, is a crow’s nest style nook that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the island, which are particularly stunning at sunrise and sunset.
Photos by Annie Schlecter
By Courtney • Nov 22, 2019
In the middle of the beautifully historic Merida in Mexico, an old house near the landmark rich city centre was recently recovered from its sadly run-down state by forward thinking design teams at Taller Mexicano de Arquitectura and transformed into a breathtaking home with an old-world influenced by modern atmosphere, now called Casa Deco or Deco House.
The project is part of a fairly new but ongoing initiative in the local area on the part of city developers and architects to preserve the fundamentally historic integrity of the downtown core before it’s lost to weathering and lack of care. Rather than abolishing crumbled older buildings like many city centres do in order to replace them with new ones, designers and building teams are encouraged to make over and repurpose the old buildings where they standing, doing their best to preserve their style and cultural visuals and thereby keeping the city accurate to its history.
Deco House is actually one of the few houses in the area that actually already had the very traditional architectural style of the name it now bears, although this wasn’t always the case. A brief research of the building reveals that it initially was not created in this local style but that its facade was remodelled in the style once upon a time in a much earlier attempt to make the building resemble the local historical cityscape a little better, long before its interior was neglected and its exterior began to whether almost severely.
Rather than go back to its unmatched roots or change the facade to something entirely different, designers for the current project opted to lean into the home’s slightly unconventional history and adapt the building as though it was always rooted in the world of deco architecture and design. Since the style is typical of the area anyways, the team felt they were simply refining a previous attempt to inject some historically accurate culture into a street-scape where it was originally sadly lacking.
Now, the project is a merging place for traditional architecture and more modernized downtown living. It’s a place where all of the amenities of contemporary living can be found amidst details and decor that hearken back to more culturally and historically accurate visuals, colours, materiality, and patterns. Luxuries are integrated without sacrificing any of the originally transformed elements that made the building into a nouveau deco home in the first place.
To pull all of this off, design teams had to carefully balance and reinterpret each space in the house in order to make a newly renovated dwelling while still preserving the historical integrity of what already stood there. Of particular importance in their plan were the backyard, balconies, and terraces. These were spots that already bore a particularly stylish visual nature and good function all at once so, besides the addition of a beautiful pool, they did not need to be overhauled quite as extensively.
Other parts of the house, however, were slightly too antiquated in their function to be left as untouched as the previously mentioned outdoor spaces were. Designers kept the goal of preserving historical character at the forefront of all plans, which decor schemes and materiality were key aspects of achieving, but they still modernized and streamlined interior spaces like the bathrooms and kitchen to give the home all the convenience a modern family needs.
Some things in the house like the central winding staircase, were built entirely new for practicality, where things in the original untouched building were lacking initially, but were meticulously recreated from typical local designs that would have been historically accurate had they been included in the initial building process. This further contributes to the unique and winding nature of how the house blends aspects that are old and new, and which pieces of the house fit into which category.
Perhaps the best example of what kinds of historical and original pieces were preserved is the stone walls, where the original masonry of the house from before even its first and already outdated deco inspired remodelling can still be seen well. Designers manipulated the level and location of natural light in other parts of the house that they did overhaul in order to draw attention to things like the natural changes in colour and texture within these untouched original features.
In places where new interior structures were built, designers worked in locally sourced and repurposed timber with a natural stain, keeping things accurate and complementing the historical nature of the building while still updating the space for both function and style all at once. Even in spots where more modern joys like hammocks and artistic furniture were included, colour schemes were kept accurate to the era of the home’s origin. One notable variance is the beautifully hand painted tile floor in the dining room, where pops of colour show proudly through. This piece was created by a local artist who, though current, works in styles that have long been part of local tradition.
Photos by Tamara Uribe
By Courtney • Nov 20, 2019
In a beautifully green suburban neighbourhood in Brazil, creative designers at Steck Arquitetura have recently completed a stunning, sprawling corner house that provides stylish and luxurious feeling interior spaces with boundary-less transitions to the warm, sunny outdoors.
Perhaps the most notable feature of the house is that it is completely open concept at each of its four cardinal points. This was made possible by the fact that it was erected on a spacious corner plot that leaves its views and space uninhibited on nearly all of its sides. The corners of the home take great advantage of that reality with lack of boundaries and transparent materiality.
Regarding the inner core of the house, however, things are a little more protected. The internal transition and more intimate spaces that lie towards the middle of the structure are where the house closes in, creating a sense of comfort that’s akin to a quiet haven at the heart of the home.
In total, the house boasts three floors. On the ground floor, visitors find the spaces where the majority of indoor social interactions take place. Above that are the intimate chambers, where each member of the family enjoys private spaces. Below the ground floor rests an inferior storey with a garage, a storage warehouse, and space for yard maintenance equipment.
Over the ground floor’s social spaces, a sloping ceiling with a uniquely hooked shape creates an appealing and cozy energy throughout the shared rooms. This is mirrored in the way the towering overhand swings above the door in the main entrance and the inner hall, inviting and protecting visitors. The shapes here are particularly impressive given that, on the exterior, they’re moulded from a natural concrete that subtly complements the landscape around the house.
Around the back of the house, designers ensured that owners could take full advantage of the fantastic local climate by building a gorgeous pool and surrounding patio area and yard. The pool itself is situated such that it has both sunny and shady areas, letting those using it bask in or take the edge off the heat of the sun as they need.
The outdoor area was also purposely built with year-round use in mind. At one side, a beautiful pergola creates a calming shady spot across the poolside but also extending into the water for cool paddling in hotter months. Near there, a winding staircase leads from the terrace towards the pool as part of the designers’ goal to create pool access from all levels and areas in the house.
In fact, access to the pool is so good that the stairs actually lead right down directly into the water. From here, the pool itself is arrange in a series of relaxing, watery courtyards at each different point of entry, all eventually leading towards the main “swimming streak”. The sense of flow is tangible.
It is clear the moment one lays eyes on the house that its materiality is intentionally natural, but that’s not the only green element of the building or feature designed with the home’s surroundings in mind. Designers also aimed to make the building as sustainable as they could, installing a solar water heater, photovoltaic solar panels that are responsible for the electricity production, and a rainwater catchment system that naturally irrigates the gardens surrounding the beautiful pool space.
Those active systems don’t end the sustainable features. The large overhands featured all over the house simultaneously provide comfortable thermal regulation in and outside the house and also give home to a beautiful roof garden. Additionally, double paned UV resistant glass creates thermoaccoustic comfort, essentially regulating temperate in a low impact way.
The use of wood throughout the house and exterior elements are significant as well. Visually, the wood balances out the heavy presence and look of concrete and blends the aesthetic of the home into its natural surroundings, especially at the open corners. A combination of concrete slabs, laminated wood, and ruffled metal installed in levels and unique shapes passively regulates light and heat and even influences the home’s view, providing perfectly framed glimpses of the moon at night.
Another beautiful and functional theme throughout the home is the way that some of the interior versions of the shapes, structures, and overhangs mentioned above are movable and adaptable. Most balconies, terraces, and spaces with indoor-outdoor transition spaces can be closed off for privacy or totally opened for limitless flow by sliding doors, retracting panels, and wooden blinds. The whole concept is to make the home feel like a moving, breathing, organic part of its surroundings rather than a block that was dropped into an ecosystem not its own. The whole idea was pulled off with a sense of finesse.
The decor scheme found inside the house is deliberately minimalist but with an organic spin. Rather than establishing a totally different sense than the actual structures of the home, the colours and materiality of features and furniture are kept purposely in line with the moving structures and adaptable elements in each room, creating a sense of stunning and comfortable cohesiveness.
Photos by Adriano Pacelli
By Courtney • Nov 13, 2019
In the lush greenery of the rural areas right outside of Portland, in the United States, creative designers at Olson Kundig recently completed a new home called the Country Garden House, which actually boasts an impressive example of its namesake.
View in gallery
From the very outset, the primary goal of everyone involved in the home’s planning and design was to create something that could exist in harmony with its lusciously green and natural setting. This was motivated by the fact that the home was being custom built for a master gardener who wanted their greatest passion to inspire, be reflected in, and surround their living space.
Natural materiality, windows, and a nearly seamless-feeling blending of indoor and outdoor space became key components in how designers incorporated as many opportunities as they could within the house to take in and really appreciate views of not just the beautiful surrounding gardens, but also the rolling hills and expansive trees around the plot of land on which the house sits.
At the same time, the team wanted to make sure the space inside remained warm and comfortable, giving dwellers and visitors these views without feeling too much like privacy is sacrificed. The home was created with multi-generational use in mind, so the spaces are open concept, adaptable, and easy to move between, creating awesome flow of not only people but also energy, light, and air circulation.
Perhaps the number one tool used by the building team to allow the house real communication with its natural landscape was reclaimed barn wood. The facade of the house was clad durably in this material, giving it a look that’s reminiscent of old barns in the area. Its slightly more contemporary shape, however, also recalls that of a greenhouse, which is entirely appropriate given who the house was built for.
Inset into the wooden structure, beautifully high and energy efficient glazed windows serve several functions for the house. Besides being a key tool through which visitors access those breathtaking views we mentioned earlier, they also flood the house with natural light, giving it a cheerful and energized feeling and cutting down on power requirements. Of course, sunlight can heat things up quite quickly so, rather than just encouraging the owners to use air conditioning, designers used gridded glazing from floor to pitched ceiling, allowing UV resistant glass to handle residue heat.
The emphasis on beautifully stained and locally reclaimed natural wood doesn’t stop at the home’s frame and facade. This was also the primary material used on the floors, counters, shelving units, walls, ceiling, and most other furnishings. Rather than looking too dull in its monochromatic appearance, however, the wood perfectly blends with the view outside for a comforting sense of cohesiveness that other colours in the decor scheme and pop against very well indeed.
Where wood couldn’t be used, naturally sourced metals and stone were employed in order to keep all materiality consistent. The gardens outside the house, which bloom visibly all the way around and can be seen from every room, were a collaboration between the home’s owner and notable plantsman Dan Hinkley.
Designers chose to situate the largest windows near the most impressive gardens in order to visually invite them right into their home. They also made the metal finish on the roof, which is designed to withstand weathering, a very intentional shade of green, furthering the sense that the whole house has of blending beautifully into its surroundings so it doesn’t interrupt the gardens it was nestled amongst.
Rather than just letting the gardens sit around the house to be looked upon, designers actually chose to incorporate greenery into the home like an actual experience. This starts at the entryway where visitors pass under an expansive leafy trellis walking to the front door. From here, they move through a living room that boasts those big, view-rich windows we mentioned earlier, allowing them to drink in the sight of the rolling green hillsides just past the property.
Greenery in the public spaces is balanced out and contrasted against a lovely collection of artwork. The primary gallery is displayed in a long corridor that separates common spaces where the family might host guests from private spaces where the bedrooms and rest areas lie. The way the whole area presents art and greenery together as viewing choices simply heightens the beauty of each.
Art continues to be a theme throughout the house, making that beautiful contrast between its own colour and detail and the natural beauty of the ever-visible gardens consistent. Towards the living room, for example, custom shelving boasts an impressive collection of traditional Asian porcelain before guests encounter a stunning wall mural behind the table, hand-painted by Leo Adams.
Beyond the art, the interior space is intentionally designed to feel earthy, just like the gardens outside. Neutral tones and natural textures are paramount to this atmosphere, peppered throughout the rooms by a mixture of furnishings that all suit the aesthetic but that might be either antique or contemporary. The overall sense is one of rustic refinement.
Photos by Jeremy Bitterman
Sliding Doors house completed by CplusC Architectural Workshop with seamless indoor-outdoor experiences in mind
By Courtney • Nov 5, 2019
On a grassy plot in the sunny streets of Canada Bay, Australia, architectural and design teams from CplusC Architectural Workshop have recently completed a beautifully and naturally lit home project called Sliding Doors.
The actual Sliding Doors portion of the home itself is really an addition to a gorgeous pre-existing bungalow. The intention of the addition was to create some extra functional and diverse space where the young family dwelling in the home might seek out and bond in more beneficial natural sunlight than the home had to offer originally.
The family initially approached the design team with a request to help them expand their home in a way that was productive and might help them accommodate their every growing and changing needs. Abundant outdoor space at the rear of the property provided the perfect opportunity to build a new and innovative space that’s completely custom to the family.
Designers opted to use the new living space as a unique sort of transition spot between the original home’s interior and the lovely rear yard. This way, the parents could be afforded another place with plenty of sunshine and fresh air, but one that’s easier to keep an eye on small children within, unlike the much wider full garden.
The addition was built with duality in mind; once the children have gone inside for the day, or while they’re enjoying the bigger yard we mentioned, the addition can easily be turned into a place where adults might socialize and entertain company but keep track of their kids either inside watching TV or outside running through the flowers with friends. Flexibility was key.
That theme of flexibility encompasses the doors between the home’s interior and the new transition space as well; the expansion actually got its name from the pair of large sliding doors that rest between the living room and the new fresh air filled haven. These can be closed for privacy, quiet, and protection against weather or opened full and collapsed into the walls in order to merge the living room almost entirely with the green beauty of the addition. This capability makes both spots feel more dynamic.
The adaptable nature of the doors doesn’t stop at just their ability to be full opened or closed, depending on the time of year and the family’s needs. They can also be left partially closed or open to control the kind and amount of natural light and air that filters between the two spaces, and when. This is thanks to the materiality of the doors, which are made from a mixture of opaque, clear, and frosted glass.
While this unique materiality might sound very decorative (which it undoubtedly is), we’re interested in the fact that it actually has a very practical use as well. By being able to increase or decrease how much light and air travels between indoor and outdoor spaces in the home, the family is given an eco-friendly way to more passively heat, cool, and light certain rooms in the house, easing the structure’s green impact.
Speaking of green initiatives, it was also an explicit priority of the family to teach their children, from a very young age, about food production and gardening, which is something both parents are passionate about. That’s why designers helped them conceptualize and build a beautiful, well stocked, and space efficient vertical herb garden along one wall of the new external courtyard. It’s decorative, agriculturally smart, good for learning, conveniently placed for use in food preparation, and a chance to boost the children’s sense of contribution to the home through how easy the herbs and their garden system are to cultivate.
Like the adaptability of the sliding doors, the vertical shape and placement of the herb garden is an example of how designers aimed to very simply improve the naturally based visuals of the home in simple, subtle ways. From the kitchen, you see, glimpses of the green herbs flourishing in the sun all up and down the wall can be seen in the mirrored backsplash of the kitchen.
Of course, this whole emphasis on green space and natural home elements can be found in the basic materiality throughout the whole kitchen, rather than just in the namesake doors. This creates a sense of grounded cohesiveness. The materials that compose the addition were locally sourced things like reclaimed timber, recycled brick, repurposed glass, and natural concrete.
The way the materiality of the addition suits not only the house itself but also the natural environment around the plot creates a sense of communication in the outdoor space that makes the new space see, very generous in size, even though it’s not actually an atypical square footage for an average bungalow. At the same time, the use of timber and neutral tones keeps the expansion feeling warm and welcoming.
Photos by Michael Lassman Photography