Traditional Indian Concepts Fuse Beautifully with Modern Design
Family Of Five Discovers A Perfect Fit In Their Dream Home
When this young couple started their family, they imagined themselves living in a traditional home on a big lot removed a bit from city life and spending lots of quality time bonding as a family, which now includes three daughters ages 12, 9 and 8. However, the couple soon found that with the circumstances of their busy lives, several issues made this type of housing situation feel wrong to them.
The first issue they encountered was geographical. Both parents were commuting for work and the girls were commuting for school. Everyone felt like they were spending too much time in the car and not enough time at home.
The next issue was that they missed the buzz of city life. The couple had enjoyed date nights in the city, and they missed their friends. The girls’ extra-curricular activities were in town as well.
And finally, the couple longed to completely customize a family home in ways their current house didn’t afford them. They both love modern architecture as well as the architecture of India, where both of their families are from, and they had always dreamed of incorporating the two styles into a forever home.
Their plan to move began by narrowing the list of architects they had compiled from driving around, and searching online for homes they admired. Then they met with several firms and found Studio Met offered the best fit, from a design as well as a personality perspective.
“We felt like we had a perfect partnership with Studio Met,” said the husband. “We did not really rely on anyone else. Stephen Andrews was our lead architect, and he really listened to our ideas and worked incredibly hard to make everything a reality.”
One Studio Met protocol the couple appreciated was that Stephen came over to their home and spent an entire afternoon and evening with them and their girls to experience how they lived in their space. He observed how they functioned best and in which areas of the home they felt challenged or constrained.
“The knowledge he gained about how we use our common and private spaces is completely evident in our new home,” said the wife. “He had so many amazing ideas and suggestions but also definitely took all of our ‘must haves’ into consideration as he created.”
What were the “must haves”? The couple wanted a modern design with lots of windows, a combination of raw and natural components, a seamless marriage of indoors and out with a terrace and courtyard spaces, a pool, smaller bedroom areas to make room for larger living areas and an open floor plan.
The design influence resulted from a combination of elements. In addition to the homeowners’ preference for modern architecture, they harbor a deep nostalgia for their grandparents’ homes in India. They have fond memories of playing on flat, concrete roofs and in private, gated courtyards where their parents knew they were safe and insulated, and they wanted to re-create that same happy, secure environment for their children. Too, the husband had been heavily influenced by the designs of Louis Kahn, the architect who had designed the buildings at the boarding school he attended as a boy.
The couple also knew that since they were going with clean, natural and raw elements mixed with a bit of an edge, they wanted to keep the color scheme neutral and mild so that the focus could be on the architecture and outdoors. They opted for grays and whites, which allowed the accent walls and cabinetry to really stand out. “There were parts of the home where we wanted to go darker,” the wife explained, “but we kept all the walls white to keep the house feeling light and fresh. Even the natural wood has a gray undertone.”
The owners feel that unlike any of their previous homes, this new home is completely reflective of their identity as a couple and a family, thanks to the combination of old and new, cultural influences, and natural versus industrial.
The juxtapositions really work. For example, modern design elements keep things relatively clean and simple, but this home includes a few dramatic elements, such as the glass wine case, the wood floors upstairs, black kitchen cabinets and the chandelier in the stairwell. Additionally, the angles inherent in modern design have been softened with their furniture choices, accessories and natural elements like stone, wood and natural light.
As for favorite spaces, this young wife and mother loves to cook and spend time with her family, so the kitchen and common areas are her favorite. “In my previous home,” she said, “my back was always to the gathering space, but now I feel like I’m a rock-star chef. I have more cabinet space than ever and yet everything I need when cooking is just a few steps away. It’s super-efficient.”
The common area is truly stunning. “The home’s actual footprint takes up the whole lot,” said the husband, “yet when we’re hanging out, it’s just so much more open with all the windows and the glass doors. It almost feels like we are always outside in the fresh air.” Even though their other house had a huge backyard, it never gave them such an open feeling as the new home does.
The owners also love their master suite, which is the perfect size that lets them have the larger common spaces they wanted, and it has a balcony that overlooks the courtyard and pool. Edgy tile in the master bath and the other little extras there — like the large window for natural light, a salon drawer for her, a TV mirror for him, a pull-out medicine cabinet and a freestanding bath tub — make this a special retreat.
The outdoor spaces evoke the couple’s nostalgia as the family sits on the terrace, swims in the pool and grills out. And they enjoy sitting among mature shade trees, the view of the Williams Tower and walking to many of their favorite “date night” spots from their neighborhood.
“We are so fortunate to have everything we want in a home,” said the proud husband and father. “All five of us live very busy lives, and our home has truly become our sanctuary.”
Text by Cheryl Alexander | Photography by Luis Ayala Architecture, and Design by Studio Met
TOP IMAGE:The open floor plan allows interaction throughout the common areas, including a seamless connection with the outdoors. A unique and stunning feature is the refrigerated glass wine cabinet which divides the kitchen and formal living area.
Traditional Indian Concepts Fuse Beautifully with Modern Design