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The Year in Review: Dwell's Top 12 Homes of 2012

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2012 is coming to a close, and to celebrate a year in modern architecture, we've collected our 12 favorite stories, one for each month. Click through for a dose of design inspiration.
  • 
  Looking Inward
Originally published in our December/January 2012 issue, the Marina del Rey residence of Paul and Shoko Shozi is an exercise in creating an open home that was still private. The so-called Tatami House, designed by Swiss architect Roger Kurath of Design*21, makes a courtyard the physical center of the home.

    Looking Inward

    Originally published in our December/January 2012 issue, the Marina del Rey residence of Paul and Shoko Shozi is an exercise in creating an open home that was still private. The so-called Tatami House, designed by Swiss architect Roger Kurath of Design*21, makes a courtyard the physical center of the home.

  • 
  Back Storied
Without altering its turn-of-the-20th-century facade, architect Christopher Polly transformed the rear of this Newtown, Australia, home from bleak to bright. We originally ran this Houses We Love in our February 2012 issue.

    Back Storied

    Without altering its turn-of-the-20th-century facade, architect Christopher Polly transformed the rear of this Newtown, Australia, home from bleak to bright. We originally ran this Houses We Love in our February 2012 issue.

  • 
  Restoring Villa Tugendhat
It took 8.8 million dollars and two years' worth of preservation efforts to resuscitate Mies van der Rohe's Villa Tugendhat. Find out more about the restoration we wrote about in March 2012, which included a trip to MoMA's archives for research, and see the interior here.

    Restoring Villa Tugendhat

    It took 8.8 million dollars and two years' worth of preservation efforts to resuscitate Mies van der Rohe's Villa Tugendhat. Find out more about the restoration we wrote about in March 2012, which included a trip to MoMA's archives for research, and see the interior here.

  • 
  Grateful Shed
The Gamby Residence was the My House story from our April 2012 issue. The Gambys, a modern-day Swiss Family Robinson, did a lot of work themselves and with just $80,000 carved out a piece of paradise on a lush 20-acre lot on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

    Grateful Shed

    The Gamby Residence was the My House story from our April 2012 issue. The Gambys, a modern-day Swiss Family Robinson, did a lot of work themselves and with just $80,000 carved out a piece of paradise on a lush 20-acre lot on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

  • 
  Time Share
Sharing a vacation home is a common arrangement. But sharing an architectural and conceptual experiment—as well as a linked basement, sprawling deck, and utility bills—takes more imagination, and that’s the idea architects Melana Janzen and John McMinn developed for their “cottage” near Toronto. Their modern cabin on the shores of Colpoy's Bay is our favorite story of May.

    Time Share

    Sharing a vacation home is a common arrangement. But sharing an architectural and conceptual experiment—as well as a linked basement, sprawling deck, and utility bills—takes more imagination, and that’s the idea architects Melana Janzen and John McMinn developed for their “cottage” near Toronto. Their modern cabin on the shores of Colpoy's Bay is our favorite story of May.

  • 
  Spanish Idyll
For our June Interior Design issue, the internationally acclaimed designer Jaime Hayon takes us on a personal tour of his newly renovated home in Valencia, Spain, offering decorating tips along the way.

    Spanish Idyll

    For our June Interior Design issue, the internationally acclaimed designer Jaime Hayon takes us on a personal tour of his newly renovated home in Valencia, Spain, offering decorating tips along the way.

  • 
  The Homemakers
We featured the Luis Barragán–inspired Los Angeles house of Laura Purdy and Juan Devis in our July/August issue. Les Guthrie originally designed the house in 1952 and architect Linda Taalman extracted the latent design intent of this quiet, mid-century-modern house while imbuing it with the warm character and spirited life stories of Purdy, Devis, a Colombian-born filmmaker and public-television producer, and their two young children.

    The Homemakers

    We featured the Luis Barragán–inspired Los Angeles house of Laura Purdy and Juan Devis in our July/August issue. Les Guthrie originally designed the house in 1952 and architect Linda Taalman extracted the latent design intent of this quiet, mid-century-modern house while imbuing it with the warm character and spirited life stories of Purdy, Devis, a Colombian-born filmmaker and public-television producer, and their two young children.

  • 
  Mississippi Queen
The sustainability-minded Mississippi home of architect Brett Nave, a dwell.com exclusive, is our pick for the best home featured in August. In building his house, Nave took extra care to conserve mature trees on his lot. In addition to the shade from the nearby trees, the house stays cool with the help of Zero VOC closed cell foam in the floors, open cell foam in the roof deck and Knaupf ECO Batts in the walls. A 16 seer heat pump circulates the air when it's too humid for the open windows. Marvin Low E windows and Simpson Mastermark insulated French doors can be opened up to the screened-in porch on the backside of the house, which Nave says helps create a mood that is his favorite element of the house.

    Mississippi Queen

    The sustainability-minded Mississippi home of architect Brett Nave, a dwell.com exclusive, is our pick for the best home featured in August. In building his house, Nave took extra care to conserve mature trees on his lot. In addition to the shade from the nearby trees, the house stays cool with the help of Zero VOC closed cell foam in the floors, open cell foam in the roof deck and Knaupf ECO Batts in the walls. A 16 seer heat pump circulates the air when it's too humid for the open windows. Marvin Low E windows and Simpson Mastermark insulated French doors can be opened up to the screened-in porch on the backside of the house, which Nave says helps create a mood that is his favorite element of the house.

  • 
  Borrego Springs Eternal
A long low response to the rugged landscape, Doug Paton and Stacey Chapman Paton’s house is a linear white exercise in modern entertaining. We featured the house built for parties in our September issue.

    Borrego Springs Eternal

    A long low response to the rugged landscape, Doug Paton and Stacey Chapman Paton’s house is a linear white exercise in modern entertaining. We featured the house built for parties in our September issue.

  • 
  A Little Bit Country
The Springfield, Missouri, house of Hannah and Paul Catlett is our pick for October and also made it into A Photo Editor's Daily Edit column. Though the house is sleekly modern there are winks to old-time Americana throughout the property.

    A Little Bit Country

    The Springfield, Missouri, house of Hannah and Paul Catlett is our pick for October and also made it into A Photo Editor's Daily Edit column. Though the house is sleekly modern there are winks to old-time Americana throughout the property.

  • 
  Wood Works
Faced with the challenge of a diminutive New York apartment in desperate need of a refresh, architect Tim Seggerman went straight to his toolbox to craft a Nakashima-inspired interior, featured in our November Small Spaces issue.

    Wood Works

    Faced with the challenge of a diminutive New York apartment in desperate need of a refresh, architect Tim Seggerman went straight to his toolbox to craft a Nakashima-inspired interior, featured in our November Small Spaces issue.

  • 
  Touring the Breezehouse by Blu Homes
The prefab Breezehouse in Healdsburg, California, is our pick for the month of December. For more modern, prefab homes, head to your local newsstand to purchase our Prefab Comes Home issue, which covers homes including a historic A-frame home by Jens Risom and Moshe Safdie's iconic Habitat '67 in Montreal.

    Touring the Breezehouse by Blu Homes

    The prefab Breezehouse in Healdsburg, California, is our pick for the month of December. For more modern, prefab homes, head to your local newsstand to purchase our Prefab Comes Home issue, which covers homes including a historic A-frame home by Jens Risom and Moshe Safdie's iconic Habitat '67 in Montreal.

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