Return to the Home Decorating & Design Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Good design always ages well

Posted by AnnieDeighnaugh (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 10:15

This home was designed by Allan Dehar, who besides being a successful architect in his own right, collaborated with Frank Gehry on a number of projects and worked with Eero Saarinen as well.

Though it is nearly 25 years old, I think this home has aged beautifully. I'd be happy to move in tomorrow. I love the use of light, the windows that bring nature into the home, the exterior design that blends the building into the surrounding landscape instead of the ever-popular boastful Mc Mansion "Look at Me" facade.

I find something so timeless about the design. And the setting ain't bad either. It just speaks of nature, peace and calm.

Here is a link that might be useful: Listing $1.3 mil


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Hmm, I find that room generic looking. Like a hotel suite or something (and I don't even like color).


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

The house is not my usual style, but overall I find it very appealing.

I wish there were more pics of the back.

Not crazy about the marble floors. They are marble?


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Not a fan of this one. The exterior is a mess (pictures 5,6 and 7 especially) and the interior sunroom (pic 20) looks like a trailer addition. In addition, I think the columns' diameter is much too big, and introduces a Tuscan vibe that doesn't make sense with the architecture.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

This type of house is usually "my style," but I'm not crazy about this one. I do agree that the picture you showed looks quite hotel-ish. Though it is preferable to a McMansion.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I think the columns and the recessed, lit ceiling are actually part of the McMansion repertoire.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Though it's very nice, it lacks the warm feeling of a home to me. Though I like th exterior architecture, for the most part, I agree with mtnrdredux, the interior has the feel of a hotel.
Plus there's too much asphalt around the home.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Well, I guess I'll have to go against the crowd -- I like it! And the setting is absolutely beautiful.

I do agree that the owners' furnishings are on the generic side, and I think that's what contributes to the hotel look. And I'd definitely want to renovate the bathrooms.

But I could see myself being happy there --


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

It is aging well, the overall volumes of the house are nice and there were some serious missteps with some of the detailing right at the very beginning. (The **chimney**, the Tuscan columns, the staircase and a couple other finish-related things)--these may have had more to do with homeowner decisions than the architect.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 12:05


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

That's so interesting that so many of you dislike it so much. And so many liked that So Living house I posted, which I really disliked. Go figure. Considering that that quiz I took said my design was italianate, maybe the tuscan touches are what appeal to me...

I agree with pal though, no idea how much of this was the homeowners' choices or how much was staged. I was looking at the overall architecture. I thought it was interesting too that he nestled 3 bedrooms, 2 baths in the lower level which is not something normally seen, esp in the 90s.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I find it hard to take columns anywhere at all unless we are talking public buildings or antebellum plantations.

And while I do agree that people have gone overboard with ceiling heights, I felt that the low ceiling did not work with the open floor plan. It feels like a great big shirtbox.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Wonderful setting, but the interior is a strange amalgam of modern, Asian, Tuscan, and traditional touches. The kitchen just looks very bland to me and that second kitchen??? The columns and marble seem Tuscan, the French doors and dining room windows seem at odds with some of the large modern windows in other places. I need to go back and look, but it seems that the dining room is the only one with crown molding. The staircase is like those in so many homes built in the 70s-90s. I like some of the rooms a lot, but mostly for the way they bring the outside in.

Overall, I would have preferred to see greater continuity throughout the house-pick a style and be true to it. Of course, perhaps many of the things that look out of step to me could be changes made by various owners.

Fun to look at nonetheless. Thanks, Annie!


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Upside down floorplans are always nice when the house is built on a downhill lot and you can still end up with walkout or at least decent sized windows. (which now have egress requirements that are more stringent than when some of these houses were built.)

It elevates the living spaces for better views and sometimes gets you walking into the house on the main level more easily than in a conventional bedrooms upstairs plan.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I love the floorplan and the setting. There are some finishes that need changing and some reworking needed of the columns and fluorescent lights, but overall, the room are graciously proportioned and I love having his and her baths for the master. This would be an easy house for me to live in. Did you notice the dog room off the garage?


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I like traditional houses--colonials, capes....but I would be able to live in this house happily. I would end up using a lot of traditional furniture, which I think can co-exist nicely in a modern house. I think the opposite is not true--a Georgian house filled with modern furniture probably can't work. At least, I can't think of an example...


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Even taking away the furnishings which are rather bland, the architectural features that appear to have been added after the fact ( or not ?) don't mesh cohesively.

How do you get from the kitchen to the dining room? out of the kitchen down the hallway, past the front entrance and then back around the corner into the dining room. Or do my reading glasses fail me and I missed something?


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I loved it ..... Thanks for posting Annie! :)


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Yeah, I would open it up between the k and dr if I lived there.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I've been lurking here for quite some time and finally have something to contribute. I hung the wallpaper in this home while it was under construction back in l990-the master bedroom and all five bathrooms as well as filling the veins of vertical blinds with wall paper in one the bedrooms for a total of 110 rolls of wall-covering. The working conditions were terrible, no air conditioning, I had to bring copious amounts of water from home and sharing a port-a potty with construction workers! I would never do it again.

In response to a few comments, the three bedrooms and two baths are on the second floor, I know it doesn't look like it, but you can see that in the center of the house the roof is raised. The house is sited on a gentle rise well back from the road. I believe the "second kitchen" is the butler's pantry and I agree the trek from the kitchen to the dining room is unfortunate.

It was an interesting situation, the nephew was the GC and like most custom houses was taking longer to complete than projected and owner was unhappy hence I was in there much sooner than ideal so that it looked like progress was being made.

The lady of the house was much more interested in the landscaping and the outside areas of the home than the inside, at least in my limited interaction with her.

While not my style, I love color and black, I find the home very calming and pleasant and think they succeeded in integrating it into the property beautifully (except for the very large paved area near the garages) and conversely, bringing the outside in with the great amount of fenestration. OK, had to word it like that, hardly ever get to say fenestration!

If you would like to see more, Zillow has a a few additional pictures and they are larger. Interesting that some are taken with snow on the ground.

This post was edited by lindainct on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 10:34


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

The Trulia link - it has additional large photos which help with the floor plan.

I think the gardens are really lovely -- I especially like curvy grass path to the wooden steps. The use of stone is wonderful too, and the whole garden seems to have an Asian feel to it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trulia large and additional photos link


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I think it's okay. I dont like the columns and everything else just seems average. The design is very monotone. The setting is beautiful though.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Linda, thank you for that insight into the property! 110 rolls of wallpaper!.....how long did that take?


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Not a fan of the columns, but I think it's mostly very pleasing and comfortable looking. It doesn't look like a hotel to me, but more like quiet and somewhat uninspired decorating by someone who wanted her home to be pretty, but wasn't extremely interested in decorating. Probably many people decorate this way.

lindainct, your post was so interesting! and ugh- I can't imagine wallpapering vertical blinds!


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

LindainCT, Thank you so much for posting. It's always interesting to hear background stories of a house. 110 rolls of paper and no A/C...yikes!


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

lindainct, how interesting! Thank you for your personal insight. I didn't realize the rooms were actually upstairs. That's a freakin' lot of wallpaper!!!


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Oh, my, the house is from 1990, and we're talking about "aging well."

I missed that in the first post. I thought we were talking 50's or 60s at the earliest.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Nosoccermom, isn't that what makes it timeless? That you aren't sure what decade it was built?


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Lovely setting but the house doesn't appeal to me at all.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

One of the things that contributes to the "aging well" effect with this house is that you can't really tell how old it is.

I would say the primary architectural element that places this house about 1990 is the oversized Tuscan columns which are kind of an outgrowth of the post-Modernist period and are sort of a Venturi, Scott-Brown Associates -type affectation.

(Some of the finishes say 1980s-90s too: some of the marble, and no self-respecting modernist would have shoe-horned a colonial revival style staircase into a house like this in the 1950s-1970s.) Actually I think the brown marble and the staircase are the two things that turn me off.

So it's aging well because it isn't too typical of a particular period like a lot of houses are. I mean, we see all the time in the kitchen forum where people take out something that is "terribly dated" only to replace it with a combination of things that are so very specific that they are repeating the cycle, and in the Building a Home forum, sometimes the combination of design, finishes and fixtures border on the "clichés of 20--" list.

So this house is successful to the extent that it was maybe a bit out-of-date in some respects as built and there are also choices that were made with finishes that further muddy the waters. Overall I feel like there is a lot about this house that would make it comfortable to live in. Blandness is often very soothing and comfortable.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I understand, but the very fact that we're talking whether a 1990 house is "aged" or "not aged" in that case, is kind of weird to me. To me, 1990 isn't that long ago, so where I come from, it would still be a "new" house. And, yes, I know that a 1990s kitchen is "dated and needs to be ripped out," but somehow I don't follow that advice :)
However, this was just a side remark, not trying to move the discussion into a different direction.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Well it's all about context I guess. The older you get the more recent 1990 gets. In my old block until a major fire, the "new" houses were 1880s.

My new house is 50 years old (which, until last year were the newest houses in the neighborhood by about 100 years). People called these the newer houses in the neighborhood.

But when I rented it out to some people who grew up in the suburbs, they thought this was a "really old house". Old where they grew up predates the 1990s.

The house in question though, with a few distinct exceptions, like the columns, could've been built anytime from about 1960ish to later than 1990--it doesn't have many time-stamped elements.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I totally dig this house. The setting, facade and layout are fantastic. I would do some major things like knock down that wall between the kitchen and diningroom, replace those columns with something (anything!) else, replace some flooring and redo the staircase. If I had that much money to spend, I bet I could come with with a little more for a bit of a reno.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Um... it has an attached "Dog Room". Here is the layout:


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I thought I would like the house when I saw the facade (and the setting- oh my!), but honestly once I opened the photos, all I could see were those completely incongruous columns! Whoever buys that house needs to make the columns square (if they have to stay) and create an entry into the dining room from the kitchen. I just see myself doing a nose-dive in the hallway with the Thanksgiving bird.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

oops! duplicate post.

This post was edited by Kiwigem on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 14:33


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

A dog room is actually a good idea, though i do recall rolling my eyes the first time I saw one on a floorplan, for sure.

We generally do not let our dog sleep in any of the bedrooms. With the local prevalence and seriousness of Lyme Disease, which left an acquaintance's face partially paralyzed, our vet strongly urges to keep dogs from all bedding and from carpeted areas when possible,esp a long haired dog like our golden.

It's nice to have a place to put the dog at night, as well as to leave her when we have guests (a lot of little kids are afraid of dogs, for example).

At the beachhouse, the dog has taken over what the POs called the maid's room, right off the kitchen. We even ordered WT to match her dog bed. Uh oh, now I am starting to channel my inner Leona Helmsley ...

But on this floorplan, the dog is in Siberia, which would be a PITA. Also, I would hope the poor dog has windows!?


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

A friend of mine once had a house with a dog room in the corner of the walkout basement family room. The door between the two rooms was a standard exterior door for security purposes so no one could get in through the doggie door and into the home. The room was heated/cooled for the dogs comfort. The back yard was fenced.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I was completely embarrassed when our teen daughter revealed in her school admission interview that our dog sleeps in her bed --- until I read that the majority of dogs in the DC area do, followed by owner's bedroom, followed by separate room.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Hanging the wallpaper took about three weeks including all the prep work and the blinds. I'm meticulous but not fast.

It was the middle of summer, hot and humid. Thinking back, towards the end there was water and I think air conditioning.

Filling the vertical blinds is not difficult if the material does not have a pattern. This did and allowing for the overlap when the blinds are closed takes a bit of time to figure, it also uses twice as much paper. If the wall is also papered it all has to line up when the blinds are closed. It's a bit nit picky but looks great when it comes out correctly and I found it very satisfying. Being a perfectionist, or trying to be, is frequently annoying but in a wallpaper hanger it is a good thing.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Interesting house, but not my cup of tea. Although I don't live in a McMansion, I think this is also a "look at me" house.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I have to disagree that this house has aged well. I think it looks very dated and to me it actually looks more like it's from the 70s on the outside and the 80s on the inside. I would have guessed it to be a lot older than built in 1990. I think it's lovely though, don't get me wrong, but still does not look modern at all.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I don't think that Annie is trying to put forward that the house isn't dated, or that it's perfectly timeless;--although "timeless" was mentioned-- or that it's meant to look "modest" or unassuming. I think what she is saying is that it is not this:

 photo ninety1_zps1e7637d2.jpg

or this:
 photo ninety2_zps17f2399b.jpg

or this:
 photo ninety3_zpsea0051c0.jpg

All of which are high-design expressions of the period aligned with the sort of person who can built a 6000 square foot custom house and have an interior designer.

And it's not "look at me" like these two, brand new houses that are actually smaller, but Desperately trying to Look like 10,000 square feet instead of 5,000

 photo ninety5_zpsa50548b8.jpg

 photo ninety4_zps48ba50bf.jpg

This post was edited by palimpsest on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 11:01


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Thank you, pal...that is precisely it.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I think I just don't agree it's good design, with the biggest faux pas being the living room. The columns and coffered ceiling don't fit in with the house or setting IMHO, and are actually 89s/90s popular features that I specifically think do NOT age well, at least not in the context of ordinary residential New England homes.

That was one of two photos posted at the outset, so I think Annie felt the photo supported her case, but I find it ironic, because to me they make the opposite case! Shows how biased we all are,


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I think it's a totally schizophrenic house. It seems overdone or underdone, too much or too little in decor or color and even the landscape is weird, going from soft and natural to a parking lot. About the only part of the property that flows well is the rear facade of windows overlooking the lush and natural back yard. If I had that kind of money, it would sure not buy this house!

P.S. I don't have words to describe how much I detest the frivolously gabled McMansions.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Foo dogs and a Tuscan column at the entrance??

Sorry, Annie, but this one does nothing for me.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Not a design comment but I agree that the rooms would photograph much better during the summer; the snow background really is not doing the rooms any favors. Looking at the interior photos, I kept thinking, where are the windows?? With all the white, they just are washed out, blending in with the walls.

I found the first couple of outdoor photos appealing with all the greenery.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I wonder if it should have been titled "Some design ages well". What do you think with the ceiling flattened and the Tuscan removed from the columns?


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Ooh, palimpset! Much better!


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Nope. Columns divide the view of art on the opposite wall. Not what I'd want if I'd spent a fortune on the art. And it's still as bland as an English biscuit.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Pal,

I think that's better.

But I think what strikes me odd about about this room (and could well be the awful lenses used to make rooms look larger)... is the proportions seem wrong. The ceiling, coffered or not, seems too for such an expansive space. It almost feels as though they removed a wall, which given the vintage I'm sure they did not.

I've heard you educate us about small rooms with too-high ceilings as an ill-advised builder's trick; but what about large room with low ceilings?

BTW, I do find the house to be pleasant and livable as is. I can see what Annie likes about it.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Pal, I think the photo makes it look like a furniture showroom and not a house. Not sure if photoshopping the ceiling did that or if it just looks like a furniture store showroom...HA!


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I raised the flat ceiling about a foot. I think it helps, but there is still a certain amount of "hotel lobby" going on.

I think an awful lot of open plans look like furniture showrooms and people don't "see" it. At least this looks like a decent-quality furniture showroom. I've seen a lot more along the lines of "Impact Thrift Store" in the real estate listings.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 16:24


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

Sorry, pal, I prefer the original....I like the light and the definition.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I tried it again with a soffitted, lit ceiling without all the stepped trays. It's a compromise between the two, but I think the plain perimeter and the plain center are more consistent than all the doo-dads.


 o
Split

A split view comparison:


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I think this is timeless in the sense that nothing is screaming "1990 called and wants its ____ back!"

There's a lot in this house I don't like, but I wouldn't have liked it in 1990, either.

My house was built in 1990. We bought it in 2002. It was dated even then. It was such an example of what EVERYONE was doing in 1990 that by 2002, it was awful.


 o
another split view

Raised vs. original tray


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

More I think about it, I think it's its eclecticism that lends me comfort...be it the low exterior, the tuscan beams, the 90s gallery, the hints of FLW, the bringing nature in....I am not comfortable in homes that feel as if they were designed to be museum ready and correct to a specific era. While I have stayed in historic places and appreciate them for the beauty and style of each, I couldn't live there. I couldn't abandon all the other styles that I appreciate, and I couldn't feel comfortable to live with the formality that comes with "correctness" regardless of era.


 o
RE: Good design always ages well

I can't stop playing with the ceiling in this one. I sort of like a cathedral tray in this room.

After removing the Tuscan detail on the columns, I am not sold that it is an improvement. I think they were used because the house was built in the post-modernist period and any house that is designed to be contemporary to its time (versus a historical recreation) is going to be influenced by the period. No matter what the primary style is. This is why there are light fixtures that are Deco and Colonial Revival at the same time.

These two houses were designed by Venturi, Scott-Brown Associates. The house in Stony Creek was designed by Steven Izenour specifically. These are strongly post modernist and the columns here are caricatures, really. The fireplace in the Stony Creek house is a single fat column. Anyway, the house above took period influences.

In Architectural Record there is a discussion of the removal of the "columns" on one side of the Stony Creek house. It improves the view but it also strongly dilutes the façade.
 photo venturistonycreek_zpsfd7587fa.jpg
 photo venturihouse_zps19420ca8.jpg

And the cathedral-tray:


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Home Decorating & Design Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here