Top 5 Homes of the Week With Bewitching Black Exteriors
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Top 5 Homes of the Week With Bewitching Black Exteriors

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By Samantha Daly
Black is the new black. Take a peek at the charmingly stylish homes from the Dwell community that caught our editor's eye this week.

Featured homes were submitted by members of the Dwell community through our Add a Home feature. Add your home to Dwell.com/homes today.

1. Riverwood

The front entrance of Riverwood by Risa Boyer Architecture, featuring black stained cedar siding and blackened steel. The Willamette River runs behind the home.

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Architect: Risa Boyer Architecture, Location: Portland, Oregon

From the architect: "The house was designed for family gatherings, three generations coming together to spend quality time together. It has fun, child-centric rooms to sophisticated design details like the steel stair. A small 'tree house' guest suite sits adjacent to the house to provide a quiet spot when the house is overrun with family. The property is located on the end of a private drive, on a very scenic part of the river next to tall cliffs with a seasonal waterfall." 

2. Little House. Big City.

Says architect Office of Architecture, the "materials throughout the home are modest, natural, and unassuming: the rawness of black painted brick, unfinished steel, and character-grade walnut are juxtaposed with the simple refinement of honed Carrara marble and matte ceramic hex tiles." The result is a home that is not just larger, but livelier.

Architect: Office of Architecture, Location: New York, New York

From the architect: "The owners of this 11-foot-wide row house in Brooklyn were faced with a conundrum that many young families in New York eventually confront: the possibility of sacrificing location for space. After living in the house for eight years, the pair—architect/Yale critic Aniket Shahane and jewelry designer Blanca Monros Gomez—chose to expand in order to make room for their two growing children and remain in the Brooklyn neighborhood they had come to admire. The original two-story, 1,000-square-foot home was completely gutted and extended to four levels by adding a bedroom suite above and digging a new urban mudroom below. The narrowness of the house required the design to make effective yet frugal use of space; every inch was important."

3. Collector's Retreat

Collector's Retreat by Heliotrope Architects is situated at the top of a steep hill, with southwest views and a forest on the opposite side. Outside, a carport doubles as a dining terrace in inclement weather, while the lower terrace with the fire pit serves as the primary focus for summer leisure.

Architect: Heliotrope Architects, Location: Orcas Island, Washington

From the architect: "Conceived as a minimalist retreat, the marching orders for this project were as follows: 'when I arrive and sit my bags down, I want to feel as though I’ve stepped into a modern art gallery.' The design response strips the material palette down to black metal cladding, white stucco, Carrara marble and gray concrete. The owners, both dedicated art collectors and creators, desired a flexible space easily reconfigured over time."

4. Glendale Duplex

Natural light fills the interior spaces of both units of Glendale Duplex by Davey McEathron Architecture. The spacious floor plan and sizable backyard allows the homeowners to easily invite over guests for entertaining.

Architect: Davey McEathron Architecture, Location: Austin, Texas

From the architect: "One of the primary goals of this 4,100-square-foot front-to-back duplex was to create a form that graphically allows its occupants to feel a sense of individual ownership within a shared building, while embracing the idea of density in a rapidly expanding city. On a narrow 50-foot-wide sloped lot, each unit is focused towards its own, private yard."

5. Music Box Residence

The U-shaped plan of Music Box Residence by Scott Edwards Architecture has large volumes on both sides with a glassy two-story entry space in the middle. A long bridge, with a bamboo forest below, leads from the sidewalk to the main entry. The exterior is clad in black stained siding reminiscent of sho-sugi ban in order to pay homage to the family's Japanese ancestry.

Architect: Scott Edwards Architecture, Location: Portland, Oregon

From the architect: "The Music Box Residence was designed around the intimate and communal qualities of music and family. The steep lot, with views towards Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier, dictated a multi-level structure. On the lowest level, surrounded by concrete walls, resides the timpani rehearsal room. The husband, a member of the Oregon Symphony, required space and acoustic separation for practice. On the main level sits the piano studio where the wife’s students come to learn and play. Her studio opens onto the main living room and covered outdoor living area for recitals and parties. The upper level houses the couple’s children, parents, and guests."

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