written by:
photos by:
November 1, 2013
as
The Bright Side
Petite spaces are given a sense of functionality with smart lighting.
clearlake iT prefab home in northern california
By balancing the light from a variety of sources and ensuring that every corner was illuminated, Terry Ohm increased the feeling of expansiveness in the 12-and-a-half-by-14-foot kitchen.
Photo by 
1 / 7
clearlake it house exterior deck
A longtime fan of the Case Study houses of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, Terry Ohm was attracted to the iT House, by Taalman Koch Architecture, for the design’s “transparency and minimalism.” His customized, smaller-scale version stands on a rural plot of land in Lake County, California. Ohm sits on his broad front steps often and appreciates their strong visual impact: “The house is so little, you’ve gotta go for grand wherever you can get it!”
Photo by 
2 / 7
clearlake house interior bedroom
The aircraft cables that crisscross the windows provide structural support for the house—and an unexpected benefit. “They’re handy for drying laundry!” says Ohm. The custom silk drapes help control sun exposure, as does the deep roof overhang. “It’s only in the winter that the sun starts to angle in,” says Ohm.
Photo by 
3 / 7
clearlake it house interior office
Ohm enlisted Ohio Design to fabricate the fleet of minimalist, Donald Judd–inspired furniture, including a desk and bookshelf in his home office and the sofa and coffee table in his living room.
Photo by 
4 / 7
clearlake it house interior office
The floor lamp is Ohm’s design, made by Phoenix Day.
Photo by 
5 / 7
clearlake it house exterior kitchen
Ohm searched out two-foot-wide appliances for his tiny kitchen, including a fridge from Fagor and an oven from Verona.
Photo by 
6 / 7
clearlake prefab home exterior
“I’m interested in designing things that are exactly what they need to be and nothing more.” —Architect Linda Taalman
Photo by 
7 / 7
clearlake iT prefab home in northern california
By balancing the light from a variety of sources and ensuring that every corner was illuminated, Terry Ohm increased the feeling of expansiveness in the 12-and-a-half-by-14-foot kitchen.
Project 
Clearlake iT House
Architect 

San Francisco–based lighting designer Terry Ohm’s prefab in the Northern California town Clearlake is an exercise in proportions. An 800-square-foot version of Taalman Koch Architecture’s iT House, Ohm’s residence features glass walls and an extruded aluminum frame. “The critical things in all of its spaces, and mostly in the kitchen, are function and scale,” Ohm says. His guiding principle was to design everything to be visually simple, from the materials to the proportions. The smallest appliance width Ohm could find was 24 inches, so he used that measurement as a baseline for the cabinetry, island, and work-space around the sink. With the help of furniture maker David Pierce, Ohm then designed the casework using Monterey cypress for the cabinets and island. He opted for Squak Mountain Stone for the countertops because of its matte finish. By balancing the light from a variety of sources and ensuring that every corner was illuminated, Ohm increased the feeling of expansiveness in the 12-and-a-half-by-14-foot kitchen. Ohm installed 50-watt MR16 halogen bulbs in cylindrical fixtures over the kitchen island and used linear spread lenses to direct the beams across the room. He then positioned LED strips along the back edges of the open shelving above the sink creating a perimeter of brightness. “If you only illuminate the center and have dark corners, the room starts to feel like a cave,” he says. As a bonus, the light softens the glass-and-steel interior.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

A renovated brick house with metal standing-seam roof in Arlington, Virginia
With a new skeleton, a brick house on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., gets an eco-friendly upgrade—without losing its local charm.
May 05, 2016
simpler times australian vacation home vertical wood cladding
Robust materials and a flexible floor plan help the owners of an Australian vacation home reap maximum rewards.
May 05, 2016
sweet virginia vacation smart home facade granite stucco mahogany siding
This vacation home fosters connectivity in every sense of the word.
May 05, 2016
monkey see monkey do japan living dining room custom kitchen island stove vent eames chairs
And views of the wildlife aren't bad either.
May 05, 2016
Martis Camp 141 in Truckee California
Martis Camp 141 celebrates it mountainous surroundings with local materials.
May 05, 2016
havart 170
Updating standard pieces, designer Gaëtan Havart turns a misused space into a vibrant kitchen.
May 04, 2016
tech support stillwater dwellings prefab exterior napa
In Napa, a custom menu of apps helps a frequent traveler keep track of security—and his garden—from afar.
May 04, 2016
home for good renovation montreal family rear facade steel cladding footbridge garden
This family opens up an old structure and imagines a long-term house.
May 04, 2016
BKLYN DESIGNS 2016 location
From panel discussions to virtual reality demonstrations and more, this weekend will bring out the designer in everyone during BKLYN DESIGNS at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint from May 6-8, 2016. Here are just a few activities and installations to check out.
May 04, 2016
cbill timmerman photography jarson residence l7c4109 0
After a successful kick-off program in San Diego, we’re now making our way to Scottsdale, Arizona for the second stop on our Dwell Home Tours series. As the only desert locale on our agenda, we’re giving visitors the chance to explore exquisite modern residences that are fully immersed in the city’s arid landscape.
May 04, 2016
Modern winery in Central California
An updated California winery captures a prestigious architecture award.
May 03, 2016
back to the garden rhode island cottage small space facade landscaping
Outside Providence, Rhode Island, a little retreat takes up no more space than a standard two-car garage.
May 03, 2016
White staircase with skylight and under-stair storage
With clever storage and a retractable skylight, a London apartment feels larger than its 576 square feet.
May 03, 2016
Off-the-grid prefab in pristine Tasmanian landscape by Misho+Associates.
In Tasmania, an eco-conscious architect builds a vacation home that can stand up to an untamed island.
May 03, 2016
30degree pendants by wrong.london
The Danish design brand never disappoints.
May 02, 2016
practical magic brooklyn renocation kitchen caesarstone countertop stainless steel ikea cabinetes green vola faucet
A creative couple flips the script on their family home, a former workman’s cottage on the northern edge of Brooklyn.
May 02, 2016
history lesson kansas city outdoor backyard facade porch saarinen round table emeco navy chairs
An architect pushes the vernacular architecture of Missouri into the modern realm.
May 02, 2016
mission possible san francisco renovation facade exterior french doors cedar
A dilapidated lot in San Francisco gets a second chance.
May 02, 2016
Eames Demetrios of Kcymaerxthaere
The Eames scion and "geographer-at-large" traverses the globe on behalf of Kcymaerxthaere, a network of markers and monuments that tells fictional tales about real-life communities.
May 02, 2016
marcel breuer architect letter office kansas city snower house
See a glimpse into the office of a master architect.
May 01, 2016
Santa Monica living room with an Yves Klein coffee table
Dwell editor-in-chief Amanda Dameron talks us through Dwell's May 2016 issue.
May 01, 2016
house that sottsass built maui hawaii memphis group home renovation ettore facade colored volumes
In Maui, of all places.
May 01, 2016
two of a kind padua italy matching family homes facade green roof doors color
For Dwell's annual issue dedicated to dream homes , we visited homes from Haiti to Italy. Here, we introduce you to the photographers and writers who made it happen.
April 30, 2016
houseofweek
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
April 30, 2016
W House living room
Our best reader reactions this week.
April 29, 2016
Vineyard house illuminated at night
Rammed-earth construction fuses this Portuguese house to the environment.
April 29, 2016
vintage Scandinavian furniture Kathryn Tyler
In southwest England, interior designer Kathryn Tyler built her home around her ever-expanding furniture collection.
April 29, 2016
steel facade home Seattle
On the sandy shores of Fauntleroy Cove in Seattle, renowned firm Olson Kundig Architects crafts a subtle home with striking steel accents.
April 29, 2016
seperate piece renovated guesthouse eames storage unit cork floor tiles living room
An architect and an interior designer put the tools to the test for this impressive renovation.
April 29, 2016
Ceramics by WrenLab
Manhattan doesn’t get to have all the fun during NYCxDesign. Brooklyn is set for the return of BKLYN DESIGNS at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint from May 6-8, 2016. Here are just a few exhibitors we are excited to see this year.
April 29, 2016