10 Dwell Projects That Were Proudly Designed by Women

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By Paige Alexus
Throughout Dwell’s history, we've honored a multitude of truly talented women in the design field.

Through architecture, interior design, or landscape design, these women have made a profound impact on the modern world we live in, and we're grateful to have worked with each and every one of them. Whether their work resulted in the creation of comfortable home base, a live/work creative space, or an urban backyard for an active family, these women are responsible for some of the most incredible homes that we've featured in the past. Without their intelligence, unique creativity, and dedication to design, these homes simply would not exist. That's why today—and everyday—we celebrate women across the globe. 


Barbara Hill and Her Renovated Casita in Marfa, Texas 

After reviving a casita next door to her former home in Marfa, Texas, designer Barbara Hill's plans of renting it out quickly changed as she realized she should make it her own. As a Texan to the core, the Houston-based designer spends about four months of the year in Marfa, where she’s transformed former beauty parlors and dance halls into unique second homes since the 1980s.

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Hill sits  on a Casalino chair from Design Within Reach in the living room; on the wall is Quivers, a sculpture by her daughter, Claire Cusak. Collaborator George Sacaris made the stump table.

Hill sits on a Casalino chair from Design Within Reach in the living room; on the wall is Quivers, a sculpture by her daughter, Claire Cusak. Collaborator George Sacaris made the stump table.

Jennifer Siegal and Her Modular Home in Venice

Designer and prefab proponent Jennifer Siegal designed her modular home in Venice where she lives with her daughter Sydney. Since she began the Office of Mobile Design (OMD) in 1998, she’s continuously experimented with the possibilities of portability, repurposing materials, and offsite construction. Her home has served as a laboratory for these ideas since 2002. 

Siegal sits at a table made by Granada Millwork. The chairs are from West Elm and the pendants are from Patrick Braden.

Siegal sits at a table made by Granada Millwork. The chairs are from West Elm and the pendants are from Patrick Braden.

Tiffany Bowie and an Efficient Home She Designed For Her Father 

Tiffany Bowie of Malboeuf Bowie Architecture built an energy-efficient house for her father Dave—a retired engineer—in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. Managed by a Kirio operating system, the house consumes 90-percent less energy than its neighbors. 

Passive House guidelines, like thick insulation, can often result in very simple forms, she says. Here, a recessed entrance in the shou sugi ban front facade provides privacy without complicating the design.

Passive House guidelines, like thick insulation, can often result in very simple forms, she says. Here, a recessed entrance in the shou sugi ban front facade provides privacy without complicating the design.

Monica Viarengo and an Urban Garden She Created For a Family

San Francisco-based landscape designer Monica Viarengo was tasked with rethinking a backyard for a family of five. She created a colorful, light-hearted, urban garden where the three young daughters can play amidst space-saving vertical gardens, a water wall, and a playful mural.  

A pebble mosaic and artificial turf divide the yard into zones that never need to be mowed.

A pebble mosaic and artificial turf divide the yard into zones that never need to be mowed.

Susan Fitzgerald and Her Multi-Use Residence in Canada 

When architect Susan Fitzgerald decided to create her home with her builder partner Brainard, she embraced the diverse and evolving community of their transitional neighborhood, Halifax, Canada. The design also doubles as a commercial space for their firms and a live/work rental unit. 

Concrete was chosen for both structural and finish material throughout much of the home, for its aesthetic, functional, and budgetary appeal. The polished concrete floors in the bedroom complement the birch bed and cabinetry. The home provides living space for the couple, two kids, one dog, and two cats.

Concrete was chosen for both structural and finish material throughout much of the home, for its aesthetic, functional, and budgetary appeal. The polished concrete floors in the bedroom complement the birch bed and cabinetry. The home provides living space for the couple, two kids, one dog, and two cats.

Mia Dalgas and Her Family’s Copenhagen Home She Helped Plan 

Mia Dalgas, a marketing director for Carl Hansen & Søn, did the majority of the planning and project management for her family’s 1880s home in Copenhagen’s Potato Rows District. "But since I’m not an architect, we hired Søren Nilsson of Ingvartsen Arkitekter to tweak my hand drawings," says Dalgas. She personally held biweekly meetings with the building crew during the six-month project.

"The house really works well because we don’t have to sit in each other’s laps," Mia says. A CH327 dining table and CH47 chairs by Hans Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn provide a gathering place on the first floor, lit by a vintage pendant and Gubi’s  Pedrera PD2 floor lamp.

"The house really works well because we don’t have to sit in each other’s laps," Mia says. A CH327 dining table and CH47 chairs by Hans Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn provide a gathering place on the first floor, lit by a vintage pendant and Gubi’s Pedrera PD2 floor lamp.

Stephanie Horowitz and a Barn She Transformed For a Community 

At Powisset Farm in Dover, Massachusetts, Architect Stephanie Horowitz of Boston’s ZeroEnergy Design transformed a former barn into a community hub that’s wired to provide power and produce for more than 300 local members. 

The Powisset barn’s state-of-the-art learning kitchen hosts public classes on everything from jam-making to food security. Its aged floors and ceilings are packed with cellulose insulation.

The Powisset barn’s state-of-the-art learning kitchen hosts public classes on everything from jam-making to food security. Its aged floors and ceilings are packed with cellulose insulation.

Christi Azevedo and a Home She Customized For a Couple 

Architect Christi Azevedo, who is known for her experience with modernizing worn-out houses, was tasked with rebranding an uninteresting box home in San Francisco’s Noe Valley for a pair of tech industry veterans from Silicon Valley. Along with covering the facade with cedar boards finished with the Japanese technique shou sugi ban, she brought it to the modern age with a smart home system that works perfectly for their lives. 

The couple source ideas for their garden from their trips to Japan.

The couple source ideas for their garden from their trips to Japan.

Anne Fougeron and a Colorful San Francisco Home She Designed for a Young Family

San Francisco couple Jim and Noriko would be the first to admit they never thought much about architecture—that is, until late 2013, when they took possession of one of the city’s many worn-out Victorians. By hiring acclaimed architect Anne Fougeron, they hoped to compensate for their lack of knowledge and create something extraordinary for themselves and their young daughter. 

Three shades of paint—Kensington Blue, Old Blue Jeans, and Denim Wash, all by Benjamin Moore—cover built-ins and delineate space.

Three shades of paint—Kensington Blue, Old Blue Jeans, and Denim Wash, all by Benjamin Moore—cover built-ins and delineate space.

Alda Ly and the Co-Working Space For Women

When Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan joined forces to develop The Wing in New York in 2016, they had one mission in mind: "to create space for women to advance their pursuits and build community together." Now, just two years later, the dynamic duo have launched their third "home base for women on their way. " This time, the space takes place in a renovated factory overlooking the East River in Brooklyn, New York.

A dramatic pink granite table provides a central meeting spot.

A dramatic pink granite table provides a central meeting spot.