A family of cost-conscious Hamburgers converted a kitschy turn-of-the-century villa into a high-design home with a strict budget in place. To unite the quaint masonry of the original villa with the squat, ugly add-on built flush against it, the architects decided to paint the old-fashioned facade graphite gray and then covered the box next door in plain, light-colored larch. Photo by Mark Seelen.
The question of the facade was a big one: How to unite the house, with its quaint old villa, and the squat, square, ugly minimart add-on built flush against it? Instead of trying to minimize the discrepancy, the architects emphasized it. They kept the old-fashioned facade intact and painted it graphite gray using RAL color 7024, made by Brillux, and then covered the “box” next door in plain, light-colored larch. brillux.com
To get a concrete look for the floors throughout the house, the team first considered Pandomo flooring, a slick treat-ment that would be even more expensive than a standard finish. Instead, says Winterhalder, they experimented with raw materials. “I’d call the suppliers and say, ‘Do you have something grayer?’ They thought I was crazy.” In the end, instead of a concrete look, the couple went with actual concrete—at a fifth of the price. pandomo.de
Inspired by the minimal color scheme of a hotel they stayed at in Bali, Winterhalder and Ehlers decided to limit their palette to three colors: anthracite black, concrete gray, and a light larch wood. The first move was to paint the backyard wall gray. Next up for a coat of dark paint was the villa’s old-fashioned wooden staircase, which the couple didn’t like but didn’t have the budget to replace. The consistency works to unite the different styles found in the house. “Somehow,” says Winterhalder, “it all fits.”
Though the original plans called for a frameless wall of glass in the back, it turned out that it would eat up most of the budget. Instead, they installed three wood-framed windows made by Fecon. fecon.de
Cut and Plant
For the landscaping, the couple literally took a page out of somebody else’s book. Winterhalder says their garden was lifted from page 38 of Peter Janke’s Kleine Gärten (Small Gardens), published by Becker Joest Volk Verlag. bjvv.de
With an eye for the industrial, Winterhalder built the garbage area in the kitchen around two standard-issue plastic trash cans common in German cities. One is orange; the other, green. These in turn inspired her to start adding color accents around the house.
Now that the interior’s palette is firmly in place, Winterhalder has slowly been adding splashes of color. E27 pendant lamps from Muuto in the kitchen and guest room have red cords; one wall in the guest room is also red, with matching red locker storage. The inside of the front door is painted bright green. “For me, they’re kids’ colors,” she says. “I just love them.” muuto.com
Though colorful dashes here and there certainly enliven the sober interior, little adds a dose of whimsy like the wall decals found in the kids‘ rooms. The owl over Jonne‘s shoulder is available from Raumgerecht and the branch leaves are from the Dutch company Inke. raumgerecht.de, inke.nl
“I like simple shapes, and for a house,” says Winterhalder, “a box is very good.” The two downstairs bathrooms are located in freestanding larch-covered cubes; the kitchen island is resoundingly rectilinear; and a square-shaped area in the guest bedroom serves as a home office, where Winterhalder designs UV-blocking children’s beach wear for her label, Beach Heroes.
When determining the height of the concrete blocks that form the outer wall of the kitchen island, the couple took a hands-on approach. “We measured our coffeemaker and a bottle of oil, and that’s how much higher we made the concrete blocks than the counter,”Winterhalder says. The blocks themselves were made to measure by a concrete supplier.