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Designing the Sunset Hills Home

The struggle to design a custom home is always its most strenuous at the beginning.  When staring at a blank piece of paper with your pen in your hand, there is always the daunting task of drawing the first line.  There are a number of ways to get a project underway: you can draw inspiration from the site. You can be inspired by the client.  And sometimes you have to look to the past for inspiration.  Such was the case with the Sunset Hills House.

When I was originally looking at that blank piece of paper, drumming the pen on my desk waiting for the first line to come, I decided to look back to one of my favorite mid-century modern designs: The Kaufmann House by Richard Neutra.  I spent several hours analyzing the floor plans by this master architect.  I studied the layout, the way the spaces functioned with one another and interacted, the organizational philosophy.  After looking closely at Neutra’s work, I found inspiration.

Through a design process that involved close work with the client and three revisions, we arrived at the house as it is constructed.  This contemporary home situated in Sunset Hills of St. Louis boasts a 4 car garage, 4 bedrooms, an open concept living space, and enviable views from key vantage points.  Not to mention an outdoor living and pool that is to die for.

When you walk in the front door, even though the house is very long, one can see straight through to the outdoors beyond.  Bringing the outside in is paramount in our design philosophy and we went to great lengths to do so here.  The double height entry and dining room have an enormous clerestory window that faces south with an overhang designed to allow light in during the winter months while blocking the harsh summer sun.

Views, light, nature, and comfort combined to give this contemporary home a warmth that is oftentimes lost in modern design.

See the finished project here: http://www.mitchellwall.com/projects/the-sunset-hills-house/