Living Design

Shadow Box House:
All of the Light

Shadow Box House merges seemingly-conflicting elements in a rich and complementary design. Located in a desirable suburban neighborhood, the original ranch-style home lacked the entertaining and outdoor living space its owners desired. A complete renovation and key additions modernized and expanded the home to better fit the needs of a growing, active family.

For the homeowners, life is lived simultaneously inside and out year-round. The home blurs the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living. Interior spaces open and spill onto a three-sided courtyard that fills the void between the home’s additions. The courtyard and pool offer privacy and a sense of escape, and functions as easily for small gatherings around the fire as it does large groups of friends on the weekend. Situating key social spaces towards the back of the home facilitates plentiful views out of the home, but minimal views in.

The interior plays between light and shadow. The home is defined by spaces for socializing and spaces for seclusion, categorizing the social as ‘shadow in light’ and secluded as ‘light in shadow’. While light is dynamic throughout the house all day long, the home springs to life early in the day as the courtyard is bathed in soft morning light. The concept of light and shadow is arguably the most apparent in the master suite addition. Prominent light scoops crown the master suite, opening the walls and roof to gather as much light as possible throughout day and softening the dark spaces at night.

The color palette is intentionally minimal, dominated by hues of black and white that complement the home’s beautiful, vibrant landscape. Simple architectural forms inside and out enhance the view and relationship to the outdoor space. A custom cantilevered canopy defines the home’s entrance and introduces a warm wood tone to balance the otherwise white and black exterior. Dark casework and a custom steel fireplace, all fabricated by our shop, bring contrast to the bright interior spaces. The home’s elements simultaneously contrast and complement – old and new, social and secluded, light and shadow.

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