During a question and answer session at a recent industry conference, a home builder asked Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi for his thoughts about the labor
Simplicity Makes Bold Statement
Designed for a couple with a passion for the simplicity and elegance of Scandinavian design, this 3200-square-foot home stands apart from its neighbors, according to architect Paul Sterner.
|Sterner’s client was practical when choosing to locate the kitchen’s microwave oven at knee height.
Designed for a couple with a passion for the simplicity and elegance of Scandinavian design, this 3200-square-foot home stands apart from its neighbors, according to architect Paul Sterner. And that's the way his clients wanted it, he says.
Built on the last available lot in an in-town location in charming St. Charles, Ill., the home is different, yet harmonious with its neighbors. It features a brick and cedar exterior in a soothing natural color palette. "It is really an `architect's home'," says Sterner of the distinctive exterior style.
Inside, the home features the same clean lines and simplicity that characterize the exterior. Rather than wide open interior spaces, this custom home features clearly defined rooms, which flow together sensibly.
Located at the rear of the home, the kitchen connects the dining and family rooms and provides access to two outdoor decks. "It is really the crossroads of the house," says Sterner. "Everyone typically tends to congregate in the kitchen anyway. This design really welcomes this," he says.
|Stainless steel provides an appealing, contemporary accent for the simple cherry cabinetry throughout the kitchen.
This kitchen features two separate islands, one that serves as a snack bar, while the other functions as a workstation. "The two islands set up distinct work zones," says Sterner. "The cook can be comfortably preparing a meal, while conversing with guests at the same time."
Lighting also plays a key role in the design of this kitchen, according to Sterner. The windows are purposely large and plentiful. Unadorned by heavy drapes or curtains, their simplicity and beauty shines through, as does the natural sunshine.
When nature doesn't cooperate, the kitchen features a variety of artificial lighting sources including suspended tech lighting, and can lights illuminating both islands from an overhead S-shaped track. Fluorescent lighting is incorporated into the cove created by the cherry rail surrounding the soffit. Under-cabinet lighting provides illumination for work areas."The homeowner really has a lot of control over the type of lighting in the kitchen."