Merry Christmas all! We have been receiving a lot of questions as to the overall design "theme" of the new home we are building. You have seen us do several design schemes from Mid Century Modern (Ada flip), to coastal cottage (Holland flip), to Floridian beach house (30a project), and more. I had a hard time selecting a theme for the new build...we could do anything and are not limited to any existing design elements! That freedom to design is beyond exciting; yet, it does make it difficult to hone in one particular aesthetic.
We are building on a wooded lot near Lake Michigan. Winding roads, pine trees, bike paths, and nearby beaches are a few reasons why we settled on the particular area. I have always loved where the forest collides with the sand dunes that lead to the lake. The topography is truly beautiful all year long...the lush green summer; vibrant fall with colorful, towering trees; and dramatic winters where white snowfall covers the forest that neighbors frozen Lake Michigan and its glaciers. Our land has helped inspire the design. When contemplating house color, I found myself drawn to dark hues, and ultimately narrowed it down to black or dark green. It's important to me that the beautiful trees remain the focal point of the property, the house sitting back amongst them, blending in. I always love how dark houses look against a thick forest.
Here were a few of the inspiration photos making a strong case for a dark green exterior. Click image for source.
While I loved that a dark, dramatic green would be unique, ultimately; we decided against it in favor of a black exterior! Dark green would have presented some challenges, requiring us to select a paint color and go with painted wood siding. By selecting black, we have the option to select from a variety of (existing) black siding options (vinyl, board and batten, steel...etc). These options will save $ and wear better against the elements.
If you have been following along on Instagram, you have heard me struggle to select white or black windows. After much debate, we are ordering black windows with hopes that they "disappear" into the house and don't take away from the dark siding and wooded backdrop. I think a wood door will "pop" more against a black on black house, rather than a black house with white windows. Below is an image of a gorgeous black house with white windows that almost tipped the scale in that direction! I love this home.
The exterior will be minimal and Nordic in shape (somewhat similar to above), but with warmer touches like a wood door and traditional planters. We would like to curate a cozy interior that feels like a natural pairing with the dark exterior. In contrast to most of our projects (which have featured lots of white, ship lap, and pastel colors), this home will be more traditional, featuring richer colors, more character, and some old pieces to balance with the new.
Click images for sources
Hydrangeas will most likely be making an appearance as well. They are my FAVORITE and I love how they soften a modern black exterior. We have yet to decided if the exterior lighting will be black, brass, or copper! I think any of the three would be beautiful.
We designed the garage to face away from the road, with the garage doors on the side of the house at the end of a winding driveway. I have always preferred houses that are not "garage heavy" from the front! We are excited to be leaving some forest in front of the house, providing privacy from all directions. A 10 foot kitchen window will face the unobstructed woodlands (it's not a Hannah & Ty kitchen without at huge window above the sink!). We'll miss the energy of our current quaint, lakeside neighborhood; but are looking forward to this peaceful setting for our family of three!
Above is a photo of the land (about one week before Brooks' arrival!). Stay tuned to see our plans for the interior of the home as well! Oh, and Merry Christmas!