A Home of Our Own
The master bedroom features siding-clad walls and walnut floors from Arrigoni Woods. The light above the lounger is “Cloud” by Frank Gehry—an artistic touch among the room’s linear elements.
The master bedroom features siding-clad walls and walnut floors from Arrigoni Woods. The light above the lounger is “Cloud” by Frank Gehry—an artistic touch among the room's linear elements.
The custom-built dining table was a team effort. Gallegos Corporation supplied the Esmeralda Green Quartzite tabletop and Metal Designs fabricated its steel bases. The accompanying Bertoia dining chairs are from Design Within Reach. Another of Kyle and Allison's art selections, the green rectangles on the far wall, are a replica of “Storefronts” by Christo, and the tabletop art and Asian decorative discs are from HW Home.
Timber accents and contrasting floors pair beautifully with the living room's simple furnishings. Stairs between the oak floor from Arrigoni Woods and the marble floor from Decorative Materials accentuate the contrast. With just the right amount of color, rugs and pillows from Shaver-Ramsey complete the look.
CH&L: Let's start by talking about how the design evolved.
Kyle Webb (architect and homeowner): My wife Allison and I reused and repurposed every component of the house that we could, except the drywall, and remodeled within the home's structure. We started by gravitating towards finishes in the original home that we liked—the oak and cork floors, as well as glass marble tiles. We covered select feature walls with antique wood siding and created accents from recycled wooden beams. The living area comprised four different rooms, which we opened up, so that our spaces work freely together. The materials, colors and palettes blend together but are different. Our storage solutions were carefully thought out—everything is built-in. The whole house has an Asian feel, and we created a Zen garden in the backyard using the home's original river rock stone veneer.
The garden is gorgeous. What was the inspiration?
We got engaged in front of a Zen garden in Kyoto, Japan, and were recently married in our own backyard.
I assume you knew you wanted an eco-friendly project.
Yes. For the last 15 years, I have been really obsessed with green principles. They have only recently become more popular and socially acceptable. And they're so seamless, people are often not even aware that they have been implemented.
Walk us through a few of the emerging green technologies and products you decided to bring home.
We used cellulose insulation, which is denser and a better insulator than most. Alno manufactured the kitchen cabinets with a new technology using less toxic chemicals. Our floors are manufactured from renewable sources of cork, and the engineered wood floors are thinner and use less wood. Everything in the green industry is rapidly evolving, which makes green design exciting.
How do you find the cost of green technologies compares to their savings?
They cost 5 to 10 percent more than most standard materials, but the payoff is immediate. We already consume 40 percent less energy.
What's your favorite area in the home?
It has to be the master bathroom, which opens to the garden. We chose multicolored, recycled glass tiles for the shower. They were cast using a rustic method that incorporated the kiln's ash and waste, making each tile unique.
Tell me about the living and dining rooms. They're obviously the home's hub.
Definitely. The wall near the kitchen contains plumbing and heating lines and could not be moved, so we transformed it into a focal point to showcase our art collection, parts of which we inherited from Allison's family. We believe in collecting what we like, especially from artists of our generation. Three pieces of art hang on the wall. Allison found the round jade bi when she was studying in China. There is also a print by Sarah Sze, an installation artist, and three red pieces by Bettina Werner, which are made of salt, her favorite medium.
For the dining room, we wanted a big table to be a visual focal point, something that worked well in various scenarios. We love to entertain. Our table design was inspired by a Sol LeWitt piece from the series “Incomplete Open Cubes.” My wife is really fond of that series. It includes sculptures of variations of cubes, which explains why the table bases are incomplete cubes of steel. The tabletop is two different slabs of granite laminated together. It's phenomenal—one of the best features of the house.
The metal fireplace is also an interesting feature.
It's a wood-burning fireplace. The technology came from Denmark. It's clean-burning—ideal for green building and much more eco-friendly than traditional fireplaces.
What did you learn through this process that you will pass on to your clients?
Being hands-on through all phases of this entire process—from design, demolition, purchasing, installing, to finishing the punch list—I have a new appreciation for the whole effort and how important it is to put together a great team for the whole project. It was a lot of work, but the payoff—it's totally worth it.
Kyle H. Webb,
KH Webb Architects
Kyle H. Webb & Allison Krausen
For information about the products in this home, click here.