At this 6,000-square-foot live/work loft in Antwerp, Belgium, a combination of sliding doors, strategically placed voids, and large indoor plantings create fluid boundaries between indoors and out. The interior courtyard garden—landscaped with tropical plants and volcanic sand—is visually accessible from nearly every room, including the dining and kitchen area.
An enclosed courtyard sits at “the heart of the structure,” says architect Philippe Baumann, who designed the home he lives in with his wife, Lisa Sardinas, and eight-year-old son, Oskar. “This is clearly the dominant space; everything flexes towards it.” Baumann cast the square concrete floor tiles himself, enlisting the help of his son. A small, neat patch of grass—a playful nod to the archetypal domestic lawn—is edited down to a charming folly.
An installation of Wabi River, a silver-and-gold marbled mural by Calico Wallpaper, cofounded by residents Rachel and Nick Cope, forms a palette of coordinated tones in the living area. Nearly all of the furnishings in the apartment are by friends and peers of the local New York design scene: The daybed sofa is by Farrah Sit, the hand-dyed shibori pillows are by Rebecca Atwood, the coffee table is by Fort Standard, and the incense burner is by Apparatus. Two large plantings—a banana leaf and a rubber tree—inject an extra dose of color.
In Chicago’s Buena Park, dSPACE Studio transformed a disorganized 1978 home into a bright retreat that revolves around a 20-foot-tall skylight, which provides ample sun for the wall of bamboo in the atrium. SoCo pendant lights by Tech Lighting draw the eye up to the double-height light well.
Aaron and Yuka Ruell transformed a Portland ranch house into a retro-inspired family home with plenty of spaces—like the lush, trellised porch—for their four children to roam.
In an Oregon home designed for aging-in-place, a central courtyard filled with native plants creates the sensation of a large, live-in terrarium.
Four box-shaped structures, arranged around a central courtyard, make up this Seoul home. The courtyard is adorned with a single crepe myrtle, which sports red blossoms in summer.
Cut-outs in the concrete slab floor allow for an indoor forest of taro, fig, and bamboo in this verdant dining parlor in Sonoma County, California; a sub-surface drain connected to a perforated underground pipe slowly filters out excess moisture to the groundwater.