Chris Grimley and Kelly Smith transformed a cramped Boston apartment into a family-friendly home. In the living room, the couple and their children, Roen and Mae, gather around a Polder Sofa XL by Hella Jongerius for Vitra.
When a couple bought a row house in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C., they aspired to live in their dream home of minimalist ease. But at first, eight-foot ceilings and dark corridors created quite the opposite effect. Janet Bloomberg, principal of Kube Architecture, felt that the best way to achieve their vision—and highlight their love of art and entertaining—was to open up the home as much as possible.
Among the directives for architect Erica Severns from her client, John Parker Willis, was “some chaos in the kitchen design” of his home in a converted San Francisco garage. In the resulting 2,770-square-foot apartment, original I-beams brace the structure at dramatic angles and collide overhead, and the raw concrete is tempered by blackened steel, white-oak flooring, and bush-hammered Carrara marble—all selected by Willis.
At more than 150-years-old, this structure was a ruin when the architect and her clients found it. Now it's a stunning home designed with a growing family and hosting in mind. The renovation was completed in 2014 and the results are remarkable: the town house features light-filled spaces where the young family of three (soon to be four) could feel comfortable and their guests would feel welcome.
A glass-walled addition designed by architect Níall Hedderman unified kitchen, dining, and living at a compact 1930s home in Edinburgh.
In Chihuahua City, Mexico, a modern addition to a 1909 building features an open-air dining area with a custom table made from Andiroba wood and Magis White Air armchairs.
When renovating a middling 1970s town house in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, designer Chris Nguyen added a modern edge by subtracting existing elements to optimize flow and functionality. “I just removed things until I knew an Eames Compact sofa would look right at home," says Nguyen.
In a Melbourne suburb, a rundown 1850s cottage sat vacant on the market without buyer interest. Its worn and weathered appearance didn’t deter the property’s eventual owners, Agata and Chris Millington, from seeing the potential behind the dilapidated facade, though. Together with Melbourne-based Jost Architects, they dramatically transformed the space into a lively and vibrant home for themselves and their young son, all in just five months.
In Stuttgart, Germany, Behnisch Architekten gave a fogeyish pitched-roof house a facelift, removing interior walls, flattening the roof, and adding floor-to-ceiling windows, while reducing its overall carbon footprint in the process.
Located in the eclectic Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego, the Georgia St. Residence was originally an uninspired Spanish-style two-story home that “felt like something you’d see in a Western ghost town," architect Christian Rice says. Taking inspiration from the repurposed shipping container trend and loft-style aesthetics, Rice and his team transformed the stucco box into an airy, modern home that fits perfectly into the neighborhood.
A far cry from minimalism, the renovated 900-square-foot Paris flat belonging to Nicolas Roche, a scion of the French furniture company Roche Bobois, is decked out with vivid hues and vintage furniture. A 1960s orange lamp by Luxus is suspended over the Warren Platner dining table and chairs. The 1950s rosewood glass cabinet is from Soriano. Pod Lens pendants by Ross Lovegrove for Luceplan hang from the ceiling.
Furniture designer Eglantine Charrier carved out this modern family home in a renovated 1925 structure on the outskirts of Copenhagen. With three sons in the family, the kitchen gets a lot of use. Hee barstools by Hee Welling for Hay slide up to a multi-functioning island where the family gathers to eat, study and play.
For chef Lisa Santos and her husband, Joel, converting a 100-year-old switching station in Chicago to their home was made easier with the help of a team from local firm Beaux Bo Properties, who had already divided the building into condominiums. The open two-story space was still very much a tabula rasa, and appeared larger than its 2,400 square feet.
When Danish architects John Lassen and Joanna Tench were looking for a summer home to renovate, they cast their eye on a thatched-roof cottage overlooking the North Sea in West Jutland. “It was very simple, and it was exactly what I wanted,” Lassen says. It just needed some serious work. The architects installed plaster walls and a curved ceiling that lets in more light. Its circular design repeats in the entrance to the master bedroom, accessible by a ladder.
Margaret Riley purchased a 1957 ranch with little panache or pedigree, but a plum location just two doors down from Crestwood Hills, the Los Angeles cooperative development revered for its wealth of A. Quincy Jones masterpieces. The home had comparably little going for it, so, in 2008, she hired architect Cory Buckner to devise an addition and remodel inspired by the icons nearby. The renovation added a second floor, butterfly roof, redwood siding, vertical louvers, Douglas fir ceilings, elm built-ins, and sliding glass doors–all of which appear original.
From the street, this 18th-century stone residence blends in inconspicuously with its neighbors in the old city of Safed in the north of Israel. Architects Henkin Irit and Shavit Zohar preserved the historic shell, while introducing contemporary elements to the interior including concrete, wood, steel, and glass.
Like many families looking to renovate, Tribe Studio’s latest clients wanted more space and better light for their traditional Sydney bungalow. Architect Hannah Tribe delivered with an unapologetically bold addition that connects directly to the garden.
Mark Fekete and Viviana de Loera, co-founders of interdisciplinary design firm MARK + VIVI, happily took on the challenge of building their dream home in a transitioning Montreal neighborhood. Working with a relatively small footprint that gave them just 1,100 total square feet of finished living space, the couple used simple and minimal materials to embrace and celebrate the original character of the 1880 home.
A family with three young sons asked Mitsuori Architects to renovate and expand their venerable Melbourne Victorian house to accommodate their growing and energetic children. Since the house is located within a “heritage street” of Melbourne that prohibits radical architectural modifications visible from the street, the addition would be in the house’s rear: two stories of new construction that principally features a large living, dining, and kitchen space that opens to the backyard.
Linda Hutchins and John Montague hired Works Partnership Architecture to turn a former warehouse and auto repair shop in Portland, Oregon, into a versatile live-work space. Hutchins and Montague furnished their living area with Theatre sofas by Ted Boerner for Design Within Reach and Womb chairs by Eero Saarinen for Knoll. The Kubo coffee table is by Mobital, and the Strind side table is from Ikea. Torrent, an ink-on-watercolor-paper installation by Hutchins, hangs on the far wall.