While I certainly appreciate stately Colonials, restored Victorians, and charming Cape cottages (especially driving through New England), as well as quirky bungalows and limestone maisonettes, most of the architecture I’m drawn to is modern and contemporary architecture.
So when I got an email from a window hardware company asking to talk about sash windows and sash window hardware (they have some useful calculators), I realized that almost all the images on my Architecture I and Architecture II Pinterest boards are strongly contemporary and thus there is a real absence of homes with sash windows. Instead, there are vast, uninterrupted expanses of glass, or glazing as they say in the business.
Upon further probing, thinking there surely must be modern homes with sash windows in there somewhere, I discovered that the ones with sash windows were primarily examples of modern barn architecture. I already posted 20 Modern Barn Homes last month. So after plucking the few modern homes with sash windows I could find, I set out deeper into Pinterest and came up with these finds.
I definitely found a variety of architectural examples of houses with sash windows that I liked. Many of them however, in addition to being modern barn homes, are traditional houses that have been graced with a contemporary addition, or renovated with a contemporary bent. (That may well be a whole separate future post.) In the meantime. here are 18 mostly modern homes with sash windows.
Hutker Architects coined a term for the style of home they’ve been busily building on Martha’s Vineyard for the past 25 years: “new regional vernacular.” Peter Cappuccino, lead architect on this project explains it as using traditional forms and familiar materials but applying them in new ways, while designing to suit a modern lifestyle.
Anne and Peter’s Vineyard home is a perfect example. I wrote about it in an article called “Vineyard Dreams” for the Cape & Islands issue of The Boston Globe Magazine on Sunday, July 20. I hope you will click through to read the story, as well as scroll down here for additional photos and notes.
There are both water and wooded views from the steeply sloping site. Here, the deck, which connects the public spaces of the living room, kitchen, and screened porch, looks north. Here, the master bedroom deck has an amazing view towards Nantucket Sound. From the corner, one can see the steamship ferry come and go from Wood’s Hole.
All the rooms enjoy what Cappuccino called “single width volumes,” meaning every room has at least three exposures. One ascends the stairs, enters through a single story space with a standing seam metal roof. To the right a two story space houses the kids rooms downstairs and guest suite, with a private stair. The two-story volume in the middle towards the back holds the master suite upstairs, also with private stair, and kitchen below. There’s also a family room behind that. The long room jutting into the foreground on the left is a double living room and dining room with cathedral ceiling. Decks and a screened porch run along the other side.
Courtney Fadness, who recently moved on from Hutker, designed the home’s interiors using a high/low approach, using fun graphic pieces. The Standishes, who have three college aged kids, wanted the home to feel cozy, but with plenty of pattern and splashes of color. Fadness says, “Since it’s nestled in the trees, rather than on the beach, we could play with a more saturated palette than if we had been tied to ocean hues.”
A custom diamond pattern sisal by Merida is the base layer that runs the length of the huge room. A Moroccan-inspired dhurrie by Madeline Weinrib defines the seating area above. The sofa is a custom piece by Vioski, upholstered in a linen blend by Romo. It has a notch cut out on the back for a console table, so when you approach from dining room, you see shelves on that side. Fadnes says, “It feels more inviting, and its sculptural silhouette looks beautiful from all angles.”
The dining room, which precedes the double living room space, is dominated by a live edge wood table with a steel insert and base that the couple found on 1st Dibs, along with a statement chandelier. The wood slat and metal chairs are outdoor pieces from Terrain, and the upholstered chairs add heft and height.
The Currey & Company “Bayside” chandelier is wrought iron hand-wrapped in abaca rope; a nod to the beach. She says, “The not too serious interpretation of a traditional form adds feminine curves; it’s a nice juxtaposition to the more modern and masculine table. It also helps fill the volume of the space, without feeling heavy or obstructing views.”
The wall on either side of the fireplace is painted teal, a color pulled from the Madison & Grow wallpaper across the room. The chairs have a nice back, so can be oriented towards the first or the second seating areas. Metallic gold dot pillow from Anthropologie.
Deeper into the space, pushing out towards the view, is the living room’s second seating area. The sofa and armchairs are Baker Furniture, upholstered in linen by Romo and a nubby brown fabric. and The assortment of reclaimed wood coffee tables are from Anthropologie, and the arc lamp from CB2.
The screened porch has sturdy teak sofas with indoor/outdoor cushions.
The kitchen is on smaller side, with a focus on the more practical aspects, The countertop is Caesarstone and the the backsplash of stove is a river rock –painted cabinetry, tom Dixon pendants, the backsplash over the stove is a river rock, bringing outside elements in. The cabinetry have painted frames with frosted resin insets and the light pendants are Tom Dixon. The palette reflects the monochromatic contrast of white on dark found in several other places in the house. The flooring in the entry and kitchen is budget- and user-friendly cork.
“Ribbed” by Ferm Living wallpaper in the powder room again shows the play of light and dark, and also brings in organic shapes. The sink looks like hammered metal but is actually porcelain. The homeowners found the mirror. A limestone counter sits atop a bamboo vanity that’s the same color as the bamboo floor. The Kohler single handle faucet is brushed nickel.
The kids hang in the casual family room, located behind the kitchen, to watch television.
Anne likens the experience of her airy master bedroom to sleeping in a treehouse. All the walls, as well as the cathedral ceiling, are painted pale blue, as it were a continuation of the horizon. Graphic rug by Dwell Studio.
Oftentimes windows are overlooked when it comes to adding flavor to a design. It’s almost always white windows on the exterior, and usually the window trim is painted white inside too. Sure, sometimes they’re stained, and black window trim can be incredibly striking, but one doesn’t usually see an eye-popping orange.
Cedar shingle homes in wooded areas, like the Vineyard, might sometimes have forest green windows, meant to add interest, but blend with the surroundings. When we designed the house on the Cape, we specified Benjamin Moore “Baby Boy Blue” as our exterior window color. I knew I wanted turquoise, although I picked that specific shade in kind of a rush. It’s probably a tad too light and Caribbean-esque, but I love it anyway. (There’s a photo at the end of this post.)
When the construction crew put them in, the guys on the job, including the plumber, had something to say. Skeptics! Ok, the windows don’t necessarily blend, but I love them. Even though windows seem like an unsatisfying expenditure, I’ve learned that deciding between various window types can really make an impact on not just the design, but the whole feel.
I’m a proponent of true divided light windows — that means there are individual panes of glass between the mullions. There’s nothing worse than cheap plastic mullions shoddily attached to the glass. Awful. There’s a compromise you can get away with, called full divided light, if need be.
Inside, our window trim is painted white. (Actually, everything’s painted white, except for the ceilings in the boys rooms and guest rooms.) It’s possible to get an amazing look with a contrasting trim, though I haven’t figured out how to do it myself. (I tried in my very first apartment in New York, and let’s just say it was an epic fail.)
Below are gorgeous examples of brightly colored exterior window trims, along with some very zingy interior window trims.
Ever since we worked on the design of our house on the Cape, I’ve been harboring desires for a concrete fountain. Not a round, multi-tiered monstrosity, or a mermaid spouting water from her breasts, but a concrete trough with a rusted steel spout. We didn’t do any fancy landscaping or hardscaping, save for a basic bluestone patio, but I still think about it. Here are 20 modern gardens that include water features, specifically reflecting pools, concrete troughs, and wall fountains constructed from Corten steel, and others in that aesthetic vein.
Nelson Byrd Woltz
Anthony Paul Landscape Design
Amir Schlezinger of My Landscapes
McCullough Landscape Architecture
Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture
Huettl Landscape Architecture
Eco Green World
Urban Exotic Landscape Architects
Pulltab Design • Photo by Bilyana Dimitrova
Sebastian Mariscal Studio • Dwell
Filip Van Damme
Studio 265 Architecture
Mesa Garden Studio
• • •
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We all know that a classic brown leather Chesterfield sofa can look quite dignified in a traditional library setting. Thinking of other types of modern leather sofas in natural colors or rich luggage tones, one might imagine a Danish modern setting, or something quite Italian and sleek. But there’s an in-between.
I actually wouldn’t have guessed that I’d find so many examples of cognac colored modern leather sofas so easily, and that they’d be in such tasteful decors, including Scandinavian interiors, Brooklyn brownstones, modern houses, and bohemian lofts.
These modern leather sofas mix as well with sheepskin as they do with kilims. Some are clean-lined sectionals, other a tad squishy. While most are in mainly white settings, many are mixed with deep reds, or yellow and green accessories. Here are 28 rooms with modern leather sofas in natural colors like cognac, caramel and tobacco that are worth studying (and emulating).