written by:
November 13, 2013
Dwell's "My House" section has been an integral part of the magazine since it was founded in 2000. Homeowners get the opportunity to describe how their modern home works for them, and supplies words of wisdom on how to pursue a similar project.
Lucky Diaz spent three and a half months on this project, working all hours to get it done. “It was worth it,” he says. “To have Ella grow up in an original space is a gift that is beyond measure.”

LUCKY'S BREAK (Los Angeles, California)

"Overall, the limitations of our budget forced us to be creative. We spent $55,000 on the renovation. That’s taking everything into account, including the cabinets, all the appliances, fixtures, material, and labor. I would love for someone to read this story and think, If these people could do it, I can do it. It seems so clichéd, like some weight-loss commercial, but it’s true: It’s doable, if you have the desire." —Resident Lucky Diaz

Photo by João Canziani.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Lucky's Break
1 / 10
Interior dinning room and living room

AN INNO-VATIVE APPROACH (Accra, Ghana)

"I wanted to explore ideas of light, cross ventilation, and lightness of structure. There are no internal corridors, so rooms extend from one wall to the opposite wall, allowing for free flow of light and air. We are always moving from room to room. It’s a very intimate house." —Resident and architect Joe Osae-Addo

Photo by Dook.

Originally appeared in Lighting the Way
2 / 10
The bedroom takes up the small second floor of the house.

SALVAGE LOVE (Austin, Texas)

"I jumped on a little loser of a house—basically a teardown—on a small lot with enough challenges to scare everyone else away. But it was in a great location and cost about as much as the bank would give me. Between family and friends, I had plenty of help, but my pockets were pretty shallow. Luckily, my design preferences and my budget were mostly compatible. In the end, I was able to keep the construction costs to around $45 per square foot." —Resident and designer Blake Dollahite

Photo by Misty Keasler.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Salvage Love
3 / 10
Natural light fills the home, which Watson and Tschopp decorated with a mix of modern classics, thrift-store finds, and more contemporary design pieces like the Cappellini couch.

THE PACE OF PORTLAND (Portland, Oregon)

"If you look at what kind of art people produce in the Northwest, it’s a cliché to say there’s a tendency toward nature, but now I can see where that comes from. All that greenery and open space: It really influences you, not just as an artist but in terms of your overall lifestyle. If you live in other places, having lots of rain is supposed to be sad. But here, the rain makes life really mellow. You find yourself more accepting of things." —Resident and painter Claudio Tschopp

Photo by John Clark.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in The Pace of Portland
4 / 10
David Underwood, Langston-Jones’s partner, opens the large glass doors that expand the interior of the small house out onto the sun-drenched courtyard garden. In keeping with Langston-Jones’s love of Le Corbusier, the dining room chairs are LC7s and the t

TWICE AS NICE (Sydney, Australia)

"I saw this house as an opportunity to set out my architectural principles. We wanted the house to feel like something of an oasis inside, and so we used a lot of rich materials like timber and steel, as well as color, to give the interior space a sense of warmth. Given the incredibly small footprint of the house, I was concerned from the beginning about how to make the living space seem bigger than it really is. It is one of the problems of small houses that the underside of the stairs are often visible, and that that space is rarely very usable. One of the first decisions we made was to move the stairs over the garage, giving it a cave-like feel." —Resident and architect David Langston-Hughes

Photo by Nick Bowers.

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Originally appeared in Twice as Nice
5 / 10
Now rented out as an office/retail space, the downstairs contains a kitchen, which is fitted with Ikea lamps and steel shelving by Azevedo. For the flooring she glued down fiber-cement HardiePanel siding more commonly used for building walls, both because

BAY WASH (San Francisco, California)

"When you build a house from the ground up, as I’m doing in Oakland for a client, you don’t mimic history; you let the technology guide you. But there’s a lot to be learned by living in these older houses and experiencing how the rooms are being used 100 years later. It’s like Stewart Brand’s book How Buildings Learn—we’re always learning from the past." —Resident and architect Christi Azevedo

Photos by Dave Lauridsen.

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Originally appeared in Bay Wash
6 / 10
The open office and bedroom reside on either side of the second story catwalk. Below, Walz rests on a George Nakashima–inspired bench designed by architect Harry Levine’s Uncle Murray, while industrial designer Scott Summitt sits in a vintage Eames rocker

PITTSBURGH STEELER (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

"From the outside, I know my house can be a little startling, but it makes me happy. During the day, you feel like you’re outdoors. And at night, it glows like a big glass lantern. It’s quite beautiful." —Resident Jeff Walz

Photo by Livia Corona.

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Originally appeared in Pittsburgh Steeler
7 / 10
Wooten steel screen

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW (Milan, New York)

"A friend introduced me to a young architect, Bill Massie, and we found that we were immediately on the same page. We both love simple materials, and we share a love for Case Study houses. I knew I wanted concrete slab floors, radiant heat, massive expanses of glass, a very open plan, and I love steel, concrete, and plywood. Bill took the design to a whole other level with these fantastic curved concrete walls and what we call the “shower tower of power.” On this house, Bill was doing experimental things that were technologically cutting edge, things that he hadn’t tried out before. That contributed to the house’s design being very unique. It’s almost like a big sculpture." —Resident Greg Wooten

Photo by Karina Tengberg.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Hybrid Prefab Home in Upstate New York
8 / 10
Modern bedroom with white bookshelves and chandelier by Bocci

THE GLASS MENAGERIE (Vancouver, Canada)

"Many of my pieces are first-runs from Bocci, so I am the first to figure out if something is wrong [with the design]. In the bedroom, we have an early 28 chandelier; we used glass fading from white to clear for the first time, which gives it an eerie luminescence. The sunsets over the cliffs behind our backyard are beautiful, operatic events, even when the weather is bad. It’s amazing that someone built such a nondescript house on this sublime site." —Resident and designer Omer Arbel

Photo by José Mandojana.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Designer Omer Arbel's Eclectic Home in Vancouver
9 / 10
Floor-to-ceiling windows capture natural light and warmth while offering expansive views of the woods to the south. “In the winter, I like to use the house as therapy because there’s so much light,” Cook says.

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION (Ithaca, New York)

"The house captured us. It was the contrast of the design in this setting. This is really modernist tending toward minimal. It’s all straight lines, right angles, steel and glass, and it’s in the middle of this Appalachian forest. At first it’s shocking, but then there’s a reconciliation that takes place." —Resident Lance Compa

Photo by Adam Friedberg.

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Industrial Revolution
10 / 10
Lucky Diaz spent three and a half months on this project, working all hours to get it done. “It was worth it,” he says. “To have Ella grow up in an original space is a gift that is beyond measure.”

LUCKY'S BREAK (Los Angeles, California)

"Overall, the limitations of our budget forced us to be creative. We spent $55,000 on the renovation. That’s taking everything into account, including the cabinets, all the appliances, fixtures, material, and labor. I would love for someone to read this story and think, If these people could do it, I can do it. It seems so clichéd, like some weight-loss commercial, but it’s true: It’s doable, if you have the desire." —Resident Lucky Diaz

Photo by João Canziani.

Photo by João Canziani.

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