Designing a space that is, first of all, fun and full of life, that’s completely different from designing a home that is, second of all, functional. It’s also, however, much more complex than simply different materials, textures, finishes, colors, and shapes that we normally see in many homes. Designing a home that is completely off limits, risky, and at times, downright dangerous – when any of these things happen to you – would mean designing a home that was dangerous, toxic, dangerous, and dangerous.
That’s why, when Thielsen House was designed, designers made the decision of creating a home that would be extremely safe and friendly for a family of four. To achieve this, the designers (i29 Architecture + Design) had to design a box that would provide a little extra privacy to the main living spaces outside but make sure those spaces are very clean and airy (like the easy to use wine cellar spaces, climate-controlled wine cellar rooms, built-in barbecue areas, etc.) and quite easily accessible to friends and family. The smaller spaces surrounding the family area (kitchen, dining, living, etc.) are just as daunting when you might want to go outside to enjoy a quiet afternoon indoors. That’s why designers kept the backyard to a maximum. Rather than building a full outer wall around the family space, they used the space as an outside terrace, with trees and a pergola, for shade. In the warmer weather, the pergola allows the family to enjoy and share outdoor space with friends and loved ones, while also taking up relatively little space in the main living space of the house.
The exterior of the house is clad in dark, stained wood, but the wooden slats, window frames, and balcony placements didn’t take up as much as the Douglas fir, which still looks as though it’s stronger than it actually is. This creates an interesting dialogue between the street-facing and the rear-growth of the home’s actual property. Designers also aimed to built extra thick green space around the plot in order to feel open but still warm and welcoming to people walking by. On the outside of the house, the raw wood and stained-wood aspects make it feel as though it almost resembles a cozy haven despite the fact that it isn’t actually quite inside. Larger windows across the south and west sides of the main building enable a view of the yard and hospitality area on the other side.
On the main interior walls, the different rooms in the home’s various rooms are quite open concept, making it visually larger than its much more traditional house style. The living room and kitchen are comfortably closed in on their own, with furniture saves from being cut and sewn into pieces of furniture and fixtures.
Since the main building in which the house sits was actually newly built, designers wanted to build an entirely new guesthouse in that first came along, but one that feels much more like a home than just a home. Rather than just building an entirely new home, the team opted to give the guesthouse in place of a regular house, like a renovation of an older home. The main difference is the fact that the guesthouse is independent from the main home, moving forward to a smaller, more efficient building that might otherwise be nothing more than an afterthought.
Because the guesthouse building in itself is quite modest in size, designers only worked with certain parts of the house to make it comfortable for guests and enable the house to be used while still showcasing essential family interaction. On the ground floor, visitors encounter the living room, an open concept kitchen, and a staircase that provides access to the second level all the way down the main living room before retiring to the first floor. Besides these main rooms, the house also boasts two guest bedrooms, a master bedroom, a home office, and a gym at the top of the stairs, all with desks.
The exterior of the guesthouse, pool, and wooden terrace spaces that sit right outside the main building, looks almost like an afterthought from the outside, but in reality, it actually serves an important function. On the second floor, the private upstairs bedrooms lie on the other side of the large open concept upper floor, giving guests a complete view of the house and the immediate area around it. On the main floor, the private upstairs bedrooms lie, comfortably facing away from the main living room and working areas that make up the house itself.
In terms of their function, designers understood the owners’ lifestyle quite candidly, seeing as it epitomized what they liked to do with their art collection. The owners requested a space.