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Slat Happy

Budget supplies become modern design gold in this Omaha home.

Custom-designed communal living room area with wood slats

When is a wall more than a simple way to split up spaces? In Randy Brown’s Omaha, Nebraska, home, sculptural transparency reigns over opaque divisions. The architect turned to a local hardware store to purchase a collection of standard two-by-four and one-by-two wood slats; the inexpensive supplies offered an opportunity to truly “play up the contrast between unfinished materials and finished projects,” Brown says. He transformed the boards into an installation that separates his youngest son’s room from the communal living area. The entire endeavor, which took only “a day or two” to design, was completed in a week with the handy help of two students from his summerlong design-build workshop.

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