From boring to unbelievable

James Rippon James Rippon
West Lake Hills Residence, Specht Novak Specht Novak Modern living room
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While some homes receive a little upgrade whenever it is required, with maybe a rear extension or a new kitchen, some homes are totally transformed to become unrecognisable from their former selves. This home in Texas is the perfect example. The existing house was a dated and tired-looking example of a typical French style home common throughout the United States. Whilst the house was already large and set on an equally as large block, the upgrades it has received are truly astounding. Using the help of Specht Harpman, this home has become a modern and ultra-stylish family home set amongst a lush backdrop of natural serenity, dominated by a number of large oak trees.

Before: a dated French style house

First we see an image of the near 40 year-old home before the drastic transformation began. Whilst the modern and forward-thinking design of the new home may seem a world away from its former self, a number of original design features have been inconspicuously retained. Preserving the existing backdrop of oak trees and surrounding greenery was a key element of the brief, which led to a design that incorporated a strong connection between the interior spaces and the lush scenery of its surrounds.

After: modern and sleek

Now the home is something truly spectacular. It has been extended upwards and outwards, creating a home of bold forms and impactful aesthetics. The clean lines of the new design draw inspiration from the revered bauhaus-style, where functionality and artistic taste go hand-in-hand. The lack of access to natural light of the previous shell has been addressed with the introduction of numerous large glass panes on the lower floor, which allow light to drown the interior spaces. Privacy is upheld thanks to the dense landscape of the surrounds, which now easily flows through the living spaces.

Connection to nature

Complementing the natural surrounds is the addition of several green roofs. These help draw a stronger connection between nature and the man-made structure, whilst also providing a number of benefits for the occupants. Green roofs, or living roofs, help reduce rainwater run-off, whilst their insulative properties help keep the interior of the home comfortable, thereby reducing heating and cooling costs.

Colourful accents

By designing the home around the oak trees of the site, each space never feels far from nature. If the greenery of the outside wasn't enough, each individual space has been given its own identity through the introduction of colour. Here, the large living area uses a backdrop of neutral tones and splashes of blue to give the room a cosy and homely feel, all the while drowned in natural light.

Monochrome kitchen

The monochrome kitchen is polished and chic, using a timeless colour palette of black and white to create a space with real visual impact. This space is something of a scaled-down version of the exterior envelope, using simple forms and clean lines to adhere to the vernacular of the extensions.

Contemporary art

The colour choices of the interior spaces speak volumes of the character and personality of the occupants, as does the introduction of artworks from their favourite artists. Here we see prints of Shepard Fairey, one of America's most influential artists, donning the wall of the staircase.

Modern bathroom

Here we see the modern ensuite to the master bedroom, which we can see is also a space using bold colours to great visual effect. The aqua blue of the bedroom is complemented by blue accents in the ensuite, which is spacious and luxurious. Natural light also floods this space; a luxury not often afforded to many suburban homes. 

To see another home using bold interior colours to great effect, check out the house of 100 colours.

Which new room is your favourite? Let us know your thoughts on this project in the comments below.

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