Here’s a bit of Ed’s recent Interview on Designing Modern Homes.
What is your design philosophy, or style, with including raw elements in order to create a modern feel?
We are fortunate in the Bay Area because we have a long tradition of residential architects who have valued craft and believed in expressing materials “honestly”. Exposed concrete walls, cedar siding, and natural plaster, for example, give buildings a tactile quality and I think that makes them warm and inviting. In my own home, I just installed a walnut eating bar with a “live-edge” (the edge of the wood has not been milled – just the bark has been stripped). My young son loves running his hand along the edge whenever we sit down for a meal.
What are some important design elements that define a modern styled building or home?
Modern homes blur the distinction between indoors and outdoors. So there are large areas of transparency or openings that connect the interiors and exteriors together. I frequently tell clients that when we shape the envelope or exterior of the building we are designing both sides of the wall – the interior space and the reciprocal exterior spaces.
Another important characteristic is the open plan. In modern homes things like material changes, exposed structural elements, varying ceiling heights, and furniture often define spaces rather than walls.
What are some of the biggest decisions that a homeowner will need to make about the design of a modern home?
I think deciding how to prioritize the budget is at the top of the list. This applies to either a modern or traditional home. We help our clients set their priorities. Our bias is to push for quality over quantity. We want to build a good quality exterior envelop, use good quality windows, etc. We also try design spaces that really get used and are laid out efficiently and fit a client’s lifestyle.
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