A few years after moving into their stocky, cavelike 1970s bi-level 20 miles southeast of Milwaukee, JJ and Eric Edstrom decided it was time to renovate. New to the world of architecture and construction, the Edstroms turned to Johnsen Schmaling Architects. The creative young couple—Eric is a songwriter and JJ is a life coach—provided the architects with a list of must-haves to accommodate their flexible-but-busy lifestyle. The result is a warm, modernist update that embodies their core Midwestern values: simplicity, connection to nature, and strong family ties.
Taking inspiration from barns, warehouses, Case Study Houses, and Japanese residential architecture, architect Marcus Lee and his wife, Rachel Hart—–an architectural model maker—–created a unique timber-framed home in Hackney, London. The three-story house packs within its double-height ceiling five bedrooms, a study, a music room, and a mezzanine gallery while still leaving enough space for an open-plan ground floor and garden. Lee tells us how he created such a hardworking, flexible, and desirable family home.
The first year out of college is a wildcard for most people. Whether spent bumming around Europe with a backpack or slogging through a suffocating desk job, it’s often a year with little bearing on life’s next chapter. But Blake Dollahite—and his father—saw an opportunity in this transitional time to build a foundation for his future. With a small bank loan and a lot of helping hands, Dollahite dove into his first year of freedom by shackling himself to a rundown Austin bungalow and preparing to make it home.