Global Souvenirs and All-Around Amenities in Montreal

Like most parents, Bela Xavier and Andres Escobar wanted to get their family out of an urban setting and into a roomier house with distance where their kids could roam. After locating a house near the water off West Island in Montreal, the couple started to overhaul the entire mess. “We removed layers of wallpaper, an old smelly olive green carpeting, as well as old ceilings which were rotten with water damage,” remembers Xavier. Except for one small stairway wall that contributes to the basement, the international couple — Xavier has Mozambique roots, and Escobar includes a Colombian background — revamped everything, including their own diverse, global style on the way.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Designer Andres Escobar, Bela Xavier and sons Joshua and Corey
Location:
West Island, Montreal
Size: 5,000 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a basement having a wine cellar

Esther Hershcovich

They maintained the general layout of the home’s original structure from the living area but enlarged the openings between spaces. Metal stair frosted glass keep the room open and railings.

The wall of masks in the entryway was motivated by a prototype for a restaurant Escobar designed. Since the pair travels, the set grows. The shelving to the right used to maintain Escobar’s office; today it displays travel mementos.

Esther Hershcovich

Escobar designed the Macassar Ebony media wall unit so that the TV would be flush with it.

Seating: designed by Andres Escobar, made by Mirage Upholstery; ottoman: cowhide, Natuzzi

Esther Hershcovich

A wood chest with ivory details hails from Xavier’s birthplace in Mozambique. Atop it on the far right is a precious pot given to Escobar by Princess Amira al-Taweel of Saudi Arabia.

Lamp: Fringe 5, designed by Edward van Vliet for Moooi; wall treatment: silver-gray Venetian stucco

Esther Hershcovich

Wanting an alternative-style fireplace, Xavier and Escobar purchased one from a regional antiques store. A flat mirror provides a sense of thickness and bounces light around the room.

Esther Hershcovich

The living area leads to a stunning kitchen and dining room, the site of several dinner parties.

Chandelier: Swarovski; flooring: Earl Blue granite; cabinets: cherry

Esther Hershcovich

The kitchen is a mixture of wood and shiny surfaces, two of the couple’s favorite finishes. The backsplash is constructed of beveled mirror mosaics. What was a window is now an open passing into a sunroom.

Esther Hershcovich

In the winter the cedar-framed sunroom, or conservatory, is an excellent location for enjoying the opinion of this snow-filled pool and yard.

Armchairs: Poltrona Frau; round sofa: suede, designed by Andres Escobar, made by Mirage Upholstery

Esther Hershcovich

Escobar left the exterior structure as is, opening the doors and window into the sunroom and adding the same stone walls used within the home.

Esther Hershcovich

In the remodeled master bath, a top horizontal mirror hangs above an ebony vanity to add definition. This area was a small bedroom, and the entry was closed off from the main stairway.

Tub: Cube Series, Wetstyle; faucet: VC848A, Cube Collection, Wetstyle

Esther Hershcovich

The couple transformed what was the garage into a guest suite. A recessed ceiling with semiflush lighting solved a low-duct problem.

Esther Hershcovich

The guest area is often employed by Xavier’s mother. White and white family images in matching frames create a gallery wall opposite the bed.

Esther Hershcovich

A pocket opens into a 5- by 8-foot guest toilet.

Esther Hershcovich

A stairway leads from the guest package into a split-level basement full with a family room and wine cellar. The remaining side of the stairs is the sole remnant of the home’s original structure.

Esther Hershcovich

Both use this refrigerated cellar when entertaining and then have pride in their own wine collection. Whale-tail wooden stools made of laminated timber sit with a console pub they bought in Indonesia. An alabaster lighting fixture casts a soft glow.

Large decanters have an impressive collection of corks from bottles enjoyed over the previous three decades.

Esther Hershcovich

The couple built a double-car garage, where they often host parties in summer. The back wall holds a collection of mirrors and license plates.

Esther Hershcovich

A Trevi barrel sauna from the terrace is used both in summer and winter. The terrace also has a spa and barbecue grill, and to the right is a treehouse Escobar constructed for both boys.

Esther Hershcovich

The garage into the left was inserted to replace the one they turned into a guest suite.

Esther Hershcovich

Andres Escobar and Bela Xavier will celebrate their 30th anniversary in 2013 and are excited to share many more years into their dream home.

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Show Us the House You Grew Up In

Is it true that the home you grew up in effect your design style today? Maybe you had a conversation pit, wall-to-wall carpeting in the bathroom or one of those intercom systems in the ’70s that never really worked, and you avoid it (though I’ve always secretly coveted a conversation pit). We would love to find snapshots of your home; shots with people in them will be even greater!

Please place a photo in the Remarks section below and share your memories of what your childhood home was like. We would love to find the outside, but when there’s a distinctive feature you recall from inside, please include it also. Please include the title of town or the city. Your photo could be used in a coming ideabook about childhood houses and what they mean to people.

Maybe your parents were to midcentury modern style or were one of the millions of baby boomers who made their dreams come true by buying a brick ranch. When I was a kid, split levels with carpets were all the rage. Were sinks randomly placed in family rooms and known as bars.

Soorikian Architecture

The only thing missing from that American-dream Cape Cod–style home is a white picket fence. The flag reminds me of my grandfather, Pop, who would put one out every fair-weather morning then fold it up the appropriate way each night, such as Clint Eastwood at Gran Torino.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Dutch colonial is just another timeless style that’s been popular in America for almost a century.

While these three are all houses and are typical American fashions, I hope you’ll share all kinds of houses and that you worldwide readers will tell us about your childhood houses, too!

Your turn: Please upload a scan of your childhood home and tell us about it!

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Tassels Tie a Refined Window Look

A good deal of effort goes into deciding on just the right window treatments. And tassels, 1 kind of tieback, are important finishing touches that need as much careful consideration. With a layout history rooted at a centuries-old craft, tassels are lots more than decorations — they help invite beautiful light into our rooms, frame a gorgeous view or highlight our favorite French doors. Use this accent to add decoration and charm to your interiors.

Reaume Construction & Design

The very first Tassels

Tassels are part of the trimming family. However, “trimming” always seems too simple of a phrase for such exuberant accessories, that explains why I prefer the French phrase “passementerie” to describe these fanciful embellishments. “Passementerie” originates in the term “passement,” which clarifies silver or gold lace and braiding.

Edwina Drummond Interiors

The very first tassel was recorded thousands of years ago as a weaving knot used to tie off garments and rugs. The embellishment subsequently developed through the work of artisans in ancient Rome, Persia and Greece.

In Roman times, tassels on the clergy’s garments distinguished their status within the church hierarchy. Basket carriers during religious processions, called cannofori, were the only ones permitted to use tassels.

Kevin Kelly Interiors

Tassels at the 17th Century

France dominated the art of the tassel in the 17th century. 1 tassel was often composed of up to six carved and coated wooden forms in a flat, faceted, dome or pear shape. These tassels incorporated ornaments and several different varieties of fringe, such as inch, gimp, trellis, butterfly, tufted and swagged.

Even a simple French tassel in this time had at least 300 threads. This lovely Nobilis-Fontan tassel could have found a home in any 17th-century sitting room.

Dillard Pierce Design Associates

Tassels at the 18th Century

From the late 1800s, members of this European retailer class were decorating houses with a particular refinement. They followed popular trends of the time that encouraged elegance and style.

Tassels of lace, wool and cotton have been in prosperity, trimming everything from furniture and draperies to women’ shoes.

Cohn + Associates

Tassels at the Early 20th Century

The early 20th century saw simpler, less-adorned tassels, shunning the previous surplus of Victorian designs.

Jessica Risko Smith Interior Design

Rayon materials and geometric shapes started to be used in the art deco era, and just two colours at one time. Vibrant colors like blue, orange, black and green became the go-to colours.

Much like with this smart Roman colour, key tassels were utilized as an adornment on soft furnishings at the early 20th century. They were an affordable way to add colour and interest.

BR Interior Designs

Contemporary Tassels

The art deco era was followed by a period of more minimalism in passementerie. As structure changed, wood, glass and metal became fashionable materials, and tassel production dropped dramatically.

From the early 1900s, Paris had more than 70 manufacturers of tassels, with just a third living the industrial revolution. Now just a couple of producers still function — such as Passementerie Nouvelle, run by five generations of the Declercq family.

The chrome tassel in this picture is truly a chain removed from a light fixture combined with a tieback.

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Peek in on a Traditional Christmas — in a Summery Garden

Rebecca Wilson’s first job for a landscape architect was this Waikuku, New Zealand, backyard — her parents’ — which she’s watched grow over 30 years with pleasure and a bit of awe. “Plants have expired. Trees have dropped. But we have reacted to these happenings in the backyard and let its own personality grow over time, rather than making it over to some magazine attribute–worthy backyard,” she states. “I constantly tell people that there’s nothing flashy here, however I never tire of photographing it.”

The garden’s courtyard hosts Wilson’s family’s Christmas parties — outside events, since December is warm in New Zealand. “This garden reflects to me what landscape style is all about: creating beautiful spaces that individuals can really enjoy,” she states.

Garden at a Glance
Who cares for it : The Wilson family
Location: Waikuku, New Zealand

Earthwork Landscape Architects

Wisteria climbs across grape curtains across the fence behind the garden table, and the pergola. “We have to keep this fellow in check, as it entirely covers the pergola and wisteria,” Wilson says. “The autumn colors on it are magnificent, making up for its voracity.”

Earthwork Landscape Architects

Wilson’s daddy restored this entry gate, which had been created in the back of an old dray he found on the property 40 years ago. The gate contributes to the back of the courtyard, with a “crazy paving path,” Wilson says.

Earthwork Landscape Architects

The garden varies each time Wilson visits. “I no longer live here full time, so I love it more. I know just how much work goes into managing this type of backyard, but it’s a wonderful area to help keep your eyes open and know when to stop and allow it to do its thing,” she states.

This tiny route meanders through a casual mix of plantings toward a sculpture of a perched rooster, given to them by the neighbors, overlooking a farmyard and a chicken coop beyond.

Earthwork Landscape Architects

Here, Klaas that the rooster keeps watch over the holiday festivities.

A few years ago, the family lengthened the driveway to the house, bringing the elm trees at the farthest corner of the garden closer. This had a dramatic effect on the texture of this garden. “You now come off the open road and the Canterbury Plains, and suddenly you are hauled to this sheltered, leafy and peaceful location,” states Wilson.

Earthwork Landscape Architects

Moss growing in the cracks between the pavers provides the area visual interest and also an interesting geometric pattern. The moss is a seasonal phenomenon that retreats when the cracks dry out in the spring.

Earthwork Landscape Architects

An barn along one border of the backyard was once covered in ivy. When it expired, the wall evolved to this “sculptural masterpiece,” as WIlson calls it, which she hopes remains with her family for a few more years.

Earthwork Landscape Architects

Wilson underplanted that the grove of kowhai trees with native gossamer grass, which she states “contrasts with the solid, vertical forms and creates a soft branch between the driveway and the home.”

She describes her parents’ home as “pretty normal” — it is an L-shape concrete block with a low-pitched roof and aluminum windows. Her mom immediately painted it black and implanted ivy around the base. “Today it’s completely covered and is a rainwater requiring diligent shaving twice per year. It really looks very okay now, as it sort of disappears into the backyard,” she states.

Earthwork Landscape Architects

On Christmas Day that the entire family heads into the courtyard. The casual table is surrounded by mismatched chairs, in tune with the casual, easygoing vibe of summer — and also Christmas in New Zealand.

Wilson’s mum makes fruit mince pies with sweet short pastry. “They are certainly the very best I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried several. My mom also produces a lovely Christmas cake using a recipe from a great-great-grandmother,” she states.

Earthwork Landscape Architects

In the space sits a simple garden bench under a bamboo. Its lime colour matches the new growth. Tussock grasses provide a link to open paddocks past the fence. Wilson kept the stumps of removed trees for sculptural interest; she topped them with rocks from a local riverbed.

Earthwork Landscape Architects

Despite the warm weather, Wilson’s family celebrates a conventional English-style dinner, complete with turkey, Christmas ham and sexy plum pudding with brandy hard sauce. “It’s somewhat rich and admittedly, it is crazy food for the beginning of summer,” she states. “We also make special salads, frequently using kumara, our Maori sweet potato”

After toasting the holidays with sparkling wine or champagne, the Wilsons move on to local New Zealand wines: sauvignon blancs and varietals from just up the road in Waipara.

The landscape architect waxes philosophical when talking about allowing the pure beauty of her family’s backyard become a part of the larger vision for its own management. “The entire garden does not have to be wild. It is often reassuring to have controlled, manicured areas. But it [will be] a shame, I think, for the entire backyard to be kept tightly in check in any way times,” she states.

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How To 50 Design-Loving Pets

Every week homeowners around the world open their doors to our leading photographers, who profile their creative homes. While we love glancing in their insides and hearing about their design choices, their pets are as much of a visual treat. Meet some of our favourite pugs, ponies and other animal friends who have made a stylish look within our My series.

Esther Hershcovich

Clara the parrot is free to fly around this arty, furniture-hack-filled home in Israel.

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Ashley Camper Photography

Charles the cat made the big move from Manhattan to Maui and seems to be adjusting to the laid-back Hawaiian lifestyle just nice.

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Theresa Fine

Ty that the Chihuahua sits at his place on a chesterfield couch, wearing a gentlemanly sweater.

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Rikki Snyder

English bulldog Tater Tot is serious about having fun in this lively, candy-colored flat in Manhattan. He’s sitting on a red chaise that anchors his owner’s library. Behind him the walls are adorned using a DIY wine cork project, a deconstructed Scooby-Doo lunchbox and also a poster from a 1984 series of Jonathan Borofsky’s job at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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Angela Flournoy

Finley the cat is perched ever on a few of his favourite spots in a colorful home in Dallas.

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Corynne Pless

Bailey that the Yorkie protects her owner’s beloved leather armchair. This home in Buford, Georgia, is decorated in a French country style with antique finds and tiny treasures.

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FISHER ARCHitecture

Mr. Martin feels right at home between design and art books. Anyone, book club?

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Corynne Pless

Luna the dog appears comfy in a corner nook in a West Asheville, North Carolina, home adorned with classic frames showing meaningful family keepsakes.

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Rikki Snyder

How could you resist a gentle tablecloth tug from this sweet kitty named Delilah? The mint-green seat was painted by her really creative proprietor, Kristin Nicholas.

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Lindsay von Hagel

Australian shepherds Oscar and Penny are begging for somebody to join them on this particular leather chaise. This is their owner’s creative space, housing a collection of inspirational items, books and a huge easel for painting. The Chevrolet truck tailgate is a snowball locate.

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Jason Snyder

Lakota, an Alaskan Malamute mix, is a happy camper before a wooden console showing travel mementos.

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Heather Banks

Mae the cat appears fairly happy in the master bedroom of this Austin, Texas, home. Behind her is a gallery wall of postcards by Yoshitomo Nara.

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Sarah Greenman

Rocky and Sara Garza’s goldendoodle, Samson, strikes a pose before a Native American portrait which Sara’s grandma painted.

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Mina Brinkey

Merlin that the fantastic Dane isn’t a stranger to classic style. He’s lounging in an old army cot on a patio in Tampa, Florida.

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Hilary Walker

Diego is thrilled to be lounging in a midcentury armchair and looks unimpressed from the grazing buffalo that appears on.

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Kimberley Bryan

This cat lolls from an Explanation walkway in Washington, absorbing its warmth. “I can’t even remember the cats’ names,” says homeowner Cari Horning. “It is just how it is. They are farm cats. Mousers. They do not come inside.”

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Rikki Snyder

Fourteen acres in upstate New York offer miniature horse Kokomo lots of space for drifting. He’s joined by a barn filled with different animals — six horses, four goats, five donkeys, nine cows, two barn cats, 1 house cat, two dogs, two parakeets, ducks and fish. Sometimes Kokomo’s owners will hitch on a little saddle so their granddaughter can ride him.

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Rikki Snyder

Pumpkin the pygmy goat has been the pet of New Yorkers Jen and Dick Lanne for Quite a While. Jen explains her as “a candy yet naughty monster that loves to get into everything!”

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Luci.D Interiors

Henry that the dachshund is prepared to take a ride down a slide to meet his owners on a family farm in Australia.

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Hoi Ning Wong

Inez, Friendly, Big Red, Struggles and Eden are just five hens which get to enjoy personalized nesting boxes and have loads of surfaces on which to ramble. The canvas sail over provides protection from the sun.

“My husband and I’ll head out and have a glass of wine in the coop from time to time,” says Michelle Pettigrew of Hillsborough, California. “We call it chicken therapy.”

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Luci.D Interiors

Australian border collie Sassy escapes the warmth on York stone paving in the shade of a veranda. This puppy is lucky to relish 70 acres of lush grazing property in the scenic town of Sutton Forest, halfway between Sydney and Canberra in Australia.

Luci.D Interiors

Sassy is joined by Andrew, the resident peacock, who strolls the 70-acre house in all his splendor.

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Sarah Natsumi Moore

Sherman that the beagle relaxes on his owner’s bed in Austin, Texas, under a 1920s framed picture that once hung in the home of this great-grandmother of among those owners.

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Esther Hershcovich

Sophia the kitty takes in each detail of her environment, such as an old magician’s tableturned–coffee table.

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Sarah Greenman

Munchie is a rescue dog and is pleased to share this screened-in porch, that doubles as a play area for a Dallas couple’s daughter, Goldie.

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Corynne Pless

Elvis, a dalmatian combination, appreciates the design and colour in this New Orleans Victorian.

Le Klein

Penny the cat listens in on household storytime taking place on a DIY banquette.

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Theresa Fine

This cat loves napping on a 19th-century bolt seat in a backyard loft-like space with vaulted ceilings and skylights.

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Shannon Malone

Lulu, a curly-haired dog, hangs out from the entrance area of her Santa Cruz, California, home. She is lying near a painting of Enid Brock’s great-grandmother.

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Margot Hartford Photography

Gypsy finds this built-in banquette a relaxing location where to view neighboring houseboats from the San Francisco Bay.

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Mary Prince Photography

Kasey that the Yorkshire terrier doesn’t appear to realize how lucky he is to run around in this Cape Cod, Massachusetts, beach house. Lean steel support beams encased in coffered ceiling moldings replaced the initial home’s much larger wooden beams.

Hilary Walker

Beagle–Boston terrier mix Lucy lounges on a sectional that divides open-plan living area. Behind Lucy hangs a “214” signal representing his owners’ wedding (Valentine’s Day) in addition to a Dallas area code.

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Mina Brinkey

Pugs Theo and Sydney mix right in with this couch and armchair on a lazy afternoon. Their guardian, Katie Gagnon, says, “All of my furniture is that the colour of my pugs, because they drop.”

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Hilary Walker

Aubrey and Kale Butcher’s curious beagle, Oliver, lounges on a neutral-colored sectional. Behind him are first built-in shelves with their backs painted to allow the couple’s collection of classic books and travel mementos stand out.

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Rikki Snyder

Judas the cat adds a minimalist silhouette to jewellery and fabric designer Caitlin Mociun’s eclectic flat in Brooklyn, New York. The flat was once a pub in the Brooklyn Navy Yard before it was gutted and converted to housing. High ceilings, painted brick, large windows and natural lighting mark the open and airy space.

Shannon Malone

Ginger that the Yorkie relaxes to a convertible sofa bed below a gallery of dog silhouettes.

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Shannon Malone

Eager to present for every picture, Burton blends in perfectly with all the white and beachy inside of this California home.

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Sarah Greenman

Thatcher leisurely strolls around his French country–style home in Dallas, which brims with flea market treasures, such as these dining room seats.

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Jason Snyder

Milo, a 13-year-old pug, poses unimpressed in front of a living room’s custom reclaimed-wood bookcases in a Pittsburgh home.

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Lucy Call

DIY design suits Earl, a Bichon-terrier combination, who’s maintained the sofa in a Salt Lake City home called a “sort of mutt.”

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Alex Amend Photography

Little dog, large space — Chihuahua Begonia is observed perched on her favorite couch in a San Francisco attic.

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Jeni Lee

Chocolate Lab Chico loves hanging out in this particular furniture retail shop attached to some family’s home in Australia.

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Candy the cat has lived in her Pittsburgh semicircular-shaped home since 1995 and has been embraced by Bob Moore and Scott Wise following the passing of Edith “Ditta” Lipkind, among the home’s original owners.

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Sarah Greenman

These Rhode Island Reds and Araucanas are hardy chickens that get to relish 7 sprawling acres in New Mansfield, Texas. They are also a huge help to their owners, Mary and Eddie Phillips. As the homeowners’ edible gardens evolved, hungry grasshoppers took a toll on plants. “We did not want to use chemicals,” Mary says, “so predatory birds seemed like the best idea. What could be greater than turning grasshoppers into eggs?”

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Theresa Fine

A household in Bennington, Vermont, shares their 100-acre house with numerous pets, such as their Great Pyrenees, Sophie, and their Newfoundland, Grace.

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Must-Know Modern Homes: The Robie House

The Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood is Frequently considered the greatest example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-style homes. From the first decade of the 20th century, Wright developed his own approach to architecture that responded to the Midwestern scene, freed in the prevailing Victorian architecture (a style he followed during the previous decade because his work evolved) and strove to get a democratic ideal. Formal traits of the Prairie style include, as he also wrote, “softly sloping roofs, low proportions, quiet sky lines, suppressed heavy-set chimneys and sheltering overhangs, low terraces and out-reaching walls sequestering private gardens”

Appreciation of the home was nearly instant, thanks in no small part to Wright himself, who picked up and left his clinic (and individual relationships) in Oak Park, just west of Chicago, and trekked to Europe to help assemble the famed Wasmuth Portfolio of his work. His passing helped cement the Robie House since the peak of the Prairie style, and if he returned a year later his architecture took a new course, less stylistically rooted in the previous century. Even though the Robie House appears traditional a century later (partly because of successors replicating Wright stylistically), its own striking cantilevers and horizontal lines, open plan and advanced mechanical systems looked forward to new paths of domesticity.

Robie House at a Glance
Year constructed: 1910
Architect:
Frank Lloyd Wright
Location: Chicago
Seeing info: Guided and group tours available
Size: 9,000 square feet

Longer: 10 Must-Know Modern Homes

Frank Lloyd Wright’s customer, the engineer and bike maker Frederick C. Robie, was not yet 30 years old when he commissioned Wright to design him a home. Before he found Wright, other architects really responded to his listing of have-nots — wooden home, cramped spaces — with, “You want one of those damn Wright homes”

Along with having preferences away from the prevailing traditional designs, Robie was quoted as stating, “I wanted sunlight in my living room before I went into work, and that I wished to have the ability to look out and down the street to my neighbors without needing them invade my privacy” I am imagining Robie did not expect such a stunning and iconic style to direct from his fantasies.

The Robie House is located on the northeast corner of South Woodlawn Avenue and East 58th Street, on the edge of the University of Chicago campus. Across the street is that the college’s Graduate School of Business, however if the home has been completed, the view has been open into the Midway Plaisance Park one block to the south west.

Wright exploited the view, and Robie’s desire for sunlight and to look in his neighbors, through expansive glass walls facing south west. Within this straight-on perspective of the south elevation, the home’s three degrees could be grasped: Just below street level is the billiard room, playroom and garage (from frame to the right); the elevated first degree is where the dining and living rooms, kitchen and servants’ quarters are located; the smaller third floor with bedrooms covers the construction.

On the left side of the third floor is the chimney, among the most important components in Wright’s residential architecture, Prairie and later. As we’ll see, the hearth on the first two floors serves to split up the expansive open programs.

One way of ascertaining if a Prairie-style home is designed by Wright or someone else is to ask, “Where’s the front door?” If the solution is, ” Right there,” it’s designed by someone else, because Wright tended to conceal the entrances from passersby. This is even more pronounced in the Robie House, in which the entrance is located on the north side of the home, under the large overhanging western eave viewed here.

The south side and low brick wall maintain solitude along the long pavement, but Wright put the entrance on the north to take advantage of the cooling aspects of the roofing. Writer and critic Reyner Banham applauded that, stating, “It supplies a cool-air tank that operates so efficiently, even on still thundery times of high humidity”

Even with a straightforward view of the west facade, the entrance is difficult to determine (it’s to the left of the bowed windows beneath the roof). The brick wall is greater here than on the south side, providing a stronger sense of privacy and safety, even as the road to the entrance is a few feet off.

In these photos from Wright’s Wasmuth Portfolio, systems old and new are highlighted: the hearth (a view of the next floor, I think), and the perimeter lighting and wood grilles in the living room ceiling on the right. The latter is of particular interest, due to the way they work collectively and with the rest of the home (they accompany the rhythm of the chimney), and also the way their ornamentation deflects the mechanical creativity set up.

The integral lighting happened not only with all the globes but also above the timber grilles. They provided a dappled light in the edge of the space. However, the cavity above the grilles also functioned to help ventilate the space in the warm months and draw the humidity out in the both well-integrated radiators in the cold months.

So, is the measure in the ceiling just to accommodate the 2 forms of lighting and the venting? No. The main reason behind it is the steel beams that allow the big, open spaces and striking cantilevers. And herein lies one particular region where the Robie House is a trailblazing modern house. While the steel construction might be masked from the stepped ceiling and wood trim, it had been known to architects that watched Wright’s drawings. The home of steel, concrete and brick pointed forward to fresh means of residential construction.

Much has been written about the routines on the glass in Wright’s Prairie houses, largely the way they’re abstraction of grasses and plants located on prairie landscapes. That certainly comes from the bowed window on the west side of the living space, but so does the way the vertical thrust of these abstractions is balanced from the diagonals, as if the latter were stretched vertically, strengthening the prevailing geometries of the home (horizontal lines and low slopes).

This close-up of the globe light with square framework exemplifies how Wright straddled 19th-century notions of design (especially evident in all that wood trim around the light) and 20th-century moderniziation (hardwired lighting). Additionally, it is interesting to check in this fixture relative to some lamp from Greene & Greene’s Gamble House; Wright’s fixture looks rather primitive in comparison.

Even near 50 years after the home’s completion, House and Home magazine stated (in 1957), “The home introduced so many theories in planning and construction that its full influence cannot be measured accurately for many years to come. With this home, much of contemporary architecture as we know it now, might not exist”

Contrast this statement with Philip Johnson’s insult that Wright had been “the best architect of the 19th century” and his departing Wright from the 1932 International Style exhibition at MoMA. Wright’s modern architecture was not the same as what came to be called modernism in the decades after the Robie House.

House and Home‘s exalted praise of the Robie House arrived the year its owner, the Chicago Theological Seminary, threatened to demolish the home to make way for a dormitory. (Robie and his wife lived in the home for a limited while and then sold it to another family, who dwelt in the home and subsequently sold it to the seminary in 1926.) Wright, nearing 90, traveled to Chicago alongside multiple protesters to stop the demolition. Due to a range of factors, the building was saved and has since become an architectural masterpiece open to the public, courtesy of the University of Chicago and the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, which restored the home in the 21st century.

References:
Banham, Reyner. Age of the Experts: A Personal View of Modern Architecture. Harper & Row. Banham, Reyner. The Architecture of the Well-tempered Environment. University of Chicago Press, 1969. Curtis, William J.R. Modern Architecture Since 1900. Prentice-Hall, third edition, 1996 (first published in 1982).The Frederick C. Robie HouseGill, Brendan. Many Masks: A Life of Frank Lloyd Wright. Da Capo, 1998. Larkin, David and Pfeiffer, Bruce Brooks, eds. Frank Lloyd Wright Masterworks. Rizzoli. Twombly, Robert, ed. Frank Lloyd Wright: Essential Texts. W.W. Norton, 2009.

More: 10 Must-Know Modern Homes

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