Architect Jamie Darnell had a simple plan for his family’s home in Kansas City, Missouri, but the result is anything but plain. The concept was pretty simple, driven by a relatively limited budget. (Construction costs were about $320,000, which works out to $134 per square foot.) The idea was to create a small rectangular box that was modest in comparison to some of their neighbors but didn’t look dwarfed by them.
Young architects often design homes for their parents. But for Toronto's Julia Knezic, it was an especially intimate job: her mom Susan Farkas's new house is next to her own. When the property became available, she lured her parents into moving from their suburban neighborhood. "My mom said, 'Fine, but I want a new house." In response, Julia designed a new 2,100-square-foot open-plan house, with generous public rooms and only one bedroom.
When the Ferguson Sauder family—parents Meg, a school counselor, and Tim, a design instructor, plus kids Cole, Olive, and Asher—wanted a multifunctional backyard addition, they decided to build it themselves. The resourceful couple and their equally enterprising children used reclaimed materials to create a versatile 168-square-foot outbuilding in coastal Massachusetts.
When a couple was looking to update their 1960s house in Brentwood, California, they didn't have to look far for help. Their daughters, who make up the Los Angeles- and New York-based design collective Mass Studio, took to the task. Taking inspiration from L.A.'s midcentury modern masters, including A. Quincy Jones, daughters Safura, Sanam, and Laylee helped create a more efficient space that shows off a varied art collection and lets light stream in from as many angles as possible.
For Mark Dixon, an architect, and Alexandra Lange, an architecture critic, reuniting the separate levels of a typical mid-19th-century duplexed house common to the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn would challenge their expertise and expectations. Their collaboration provided clues as to how their design ideas—his as a designer, hers as a passionate observer—would translate into practice.