20 American Homes That Rock the Red, White, and Blue
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20 American Homes That Rock the Red, White, and Blue

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By Duncan Nielsen
This Fourth of July, we pay tribute to the stars and stripes with these all-American abodes.

While you wait for the grill to heat up, celebrate our nation’s independence with these flag-colored homes from all over the USA.


1. An A-Frame Cabin in California’s Sierras

Tucked away in California’s Sierra National Forest, this remote and rentable vacation home has a cozy interior that embraces outdoor views.

Tucked away in California’s Sierra National Forest, this remote and rentable vacation home has a cozy interior that embraces outdoor views.

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In 2011, clients Brent Habig and Ana Ecclesthe surveyed the property with architect Jim Cutler, planting stakes at a number of sites. Cutler drew up a different house for each, recalling from his youth the region’s vernacular—especially the crisp white barns nestled into lush green landscapes. They would inspire the form of the couple’s new 2,800-square-foot home. It is designed to capture natural light, but also to cool interiors on hot summer days, using tall, sliding shutters that can cover the two-story home’s windows from floor to ceiling.

In 2011, clients Brent Habig and Ana Ecclesthe surveyed the property with architect Jim Cutler, planting stakes at a number of sites. Cutler drew up a different house for each, recalling from his youth the region’s vernacular—especially the crisp white barns nestled into lush green landscapes. They would inspire the form of the couple’s new 2,800-square-foot home. It is designed to capture natural light, but also to cool interiors on hot summer days, using tall, sliding shutters that can cover the two-story home’s windows from floor to ceiling.

As a California native practicing in the Bay Area during the heyday of Eichler developments and Case Study Houses, modernist architect Wayne Littlejohn developed a style strongly influenced by the midcentury modern movement. This hillside house completed in 1963 in Danville, California, bears the hallmarks of an Eichler—sweeping expanses of glass, deep cantilevered overhangs, and an embrace of indoor/outdoor living—yet it had fallen into disrepair by the time NMT financial discovered it last year.

As a California native practicing in the Bay Area during the heyday of Eichler developments and Case Study Houses, modernist architect Wayne Littlejohn developed a style strongly influenced by the midcentury modern movement. This hillside house completed in 1963 in Danville, California, bears the hallmarks of an Eichler—sweeping expanses of glass, deep cantilevered overhangs, and an embrace of indoor/outdoor living—yet it had fallen into disrepair by the time NMT financial discovered it last year.

With its dramatic facade, the Cornwall House, located in Cornwall, Vermont, is adjacent to the town of Middlebury, Vermont, home to Middlebury College, where John McLeod is a visiting professor of architecture.

With its dramatic facade, the Cornwall House, located in Cornwall, Vermont, is adjacent to the town of Middlebury, Vermont, home to Middlebury College, where John McLeod is a visiting professor of architecture.

Sited on a cramped corner lot in Manhattan Beach, California, this midcentury bungalow was renovated and enlarged with a 1,000-square-foot addition to create a total of 1,986 square feet of functional space for owners Alison and Jeff Goad and their three children. Culver City–based practice Edward Ogosta Architecture demolished and remodeled parts of the existing house to include a larger master bedroom and a new bedroom, bathroom, and powder room. The project also included updates to the two existing bedrooms, the laundry room, and garage.

Sited on a cramped corner lot in Manhattan Beach, California, this midcentury bungalow was renovated and enlarged with a 1,000-square-foot addition to create a total of 1,986 square feet of functional space for owners Alison and Jeff Goad and their three children. Culver City–based practice Edward Ogosta Architecture demolished and remodeled parts of the existing house to include a larger master bedroom and a new bedroom, bathroom, and powder room. The project also included updates to the two existing bedrooms, the laundry room, and garage.

This unfolding office (pictured here fully closed) by Michael Chen and Kari Anderson of Normal Projects solved a serious space problem. By knocking down most of the apartment’s walls and concentrating kitchen storage, a closet, a bar, a bed, and a home office into a blue-lacquered cabinetry unit in the center of the room, Chen and Anderson were able to open the space and maximize functionality.

This unfolding office (pictured here fully closed) by Michael Chen and Kari Anderson of Normal Projects solved a serious space problem. By knocking down most of the apartment’s walls and concentrating kitchen storage, a closet, a bar, a bed, and a home office into a blue-lacquered cabinetry unit in the center of the room, Chen and Anderson were able to open the space and maximize functionality.

Waechter Architecture reimagined a traditional gabled home in southeast Portland without significantly altering the original building. A simple coat of red paint abstracts the century-old structure, creating a residential work of art.

Waechter Architecture reimagined a traditional gabled home in southeast Portland without significantly altering the original building. A simple coat of red paint abstracts the century-old structure, creating a residential work of art.

The Bercy House is a beautiful combination of functional architecture and modern aesthetics that is as much a sculptural showcase as a functional home. Two steel-framed rectangular volumes—one has a single story and the other has two—stand parallel to each other, though they have been staggered to take full advantage of the narrow lot and to provide ample outdoor living space. The buildings are connected by a glass-walled hallway that bridges a reflecting pool and water garden and there is an abundance of over-sized sliding windows, doors, and glass panels to blur the line between the built environment and the natural one.

The Bercy House is a beautiful combination of functional architecture and modern aesthetics that is as much a sculptural showcase as a functional home. Two steel-framed rectangular volumes—one has a single story and the other has two—stand parallel to each other, though they have been staggered to take full advantage of the narrow lot and to provide ample outdoor living space. The buildings are connected by a glass-walled hallway that bridges a reflecting pool and water garden and there is an abundance of over-sized sliding windows, doors, and glass panels to blur the line between the built environment and the natural one.

This Tennessee home by Sanders Pace Architecture is a modern cabin set amongst a copse of cedar trees. The kitchen countertops are by Corian in Glacier White.

This Tennessee home by Sanders Pace Architecture is a modern cabin set amongst a copse of cedar trees. The kitchen countertops are by Corian in Glacier White.

By inserting a tunnel made from 36 reclaimed commercial doors and tearing down a handful of walls, LOT-EK and contractor Andreas Scholtz brought light into the formerly unused dark hallway in Maurice Russell (right) and Jorge Fontanez’s apartment. The glossy Safety Red paint by Benjamin Moore catches the light by day but "becomes a richer, darker, very relaxing red at night," Fontanez says.

By inserting a tunnel made from 36 reclaimed commercial doors and tearing down a handful of walls, LOT-EK and contractor Andreas Scholtz brought light into the formerly unused dark hallway in Maurice Russell (right) and Jorge Fontanez’s apartment. The glossy Safety Red paint by Benjamin Moore catches the light by day but "becomes a richer, darker, very relaxing red at night," Fontanez says.

This airy addition on the back of a historic house in Boise is a model of sensitive renovation, seamlessly melding new and old.

This airy addition on the back of a historic house in Boise is a model of sensitive renovation, seamlessly melding new and old.

A prime example of a midcentury regional modernist style, the iconic Hilton Leech Studio was originally designed in 1960 by Jack West and Elizabeth Boylston Waters for artists Hilton and Dorothy Leech to serve as their residence and a teaching studio. The 2,714-square-foot property—also known as the Round House—has since undergone careful updates by local architect Tatiana White.

A prime example of a midcentury regional modernist style, the iconic Hilton Leech Studio was originally designed in 1960 by Jack West and Elizabeth Boylston Waters for artists Hilton and Dorothy Leech to serve as their residence and a teaching studio. The 2,714-square-foot property—also known as the Round House—has since undergone careful updates by local architect Tatiana White.

Texas architect Jim Poteet helped Stacey Hill, who lives in a San Antonio artists’ community, wrangle an empty steel shipping container into a playhouse, a garden retreat and a guesthouse for visiting artists. The container measures a narrow and long 8 by 40 feet; Hill asked that a portion of the square footage be retained as a garden shed and the rest serve as the living space. The architect added floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, heating and air-conditioning, a green roof, bamboo flooring and wall covering, a small sink and shower and a composting toilet, and placed the structure on a base made from recycled telephone poles. 

Texas architect Jim Poteet helped Stacey Hill, who lives in a San Antonio artists’ community, wrangle an empty steel shipping container into a playhouse, a garden retreat and a guesthouse for visiting artists. The container measures a narrow and long 8 by 40 feet; Hill asked that a portion of the square footage be retained as a garden shed and the rest serve as the living space. The architect added floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, heating and air-conditioning, a green roof, bamboo flooring and wall covering, a small sink and shower and a composting toilet, and placed the structure on a base made from recycled telephone poles. 

A supposedly impossible site was the perfect plot for Hale and Edmonds, who were searching for some sort of break that would afford them the chance to build their own home. Stilting the house over the steep hill gives them direct access to nature while still being located just a ten-minute drive from downtown Seattle

A supposedly impossible site was the perfect plot for Hale and Edmonds, who were searching for some sort of break that would afford them the chance to build their own home. Stilting the house over the steep hill gives them direct access to nature while still being located just a ten-minute drive from downtown Seattle

A first priority for the kitchen was sunlight: to maximize exposure, Mitchell Holladay Architects demolished as many walls as possible without compromising the home's structural integrity. LEM Piston stools by Shin and Tomoko Azumi from Design Within Reach flank a custom walnut kitchen island; sculptural hand-blown glass pendants from John Pomp Studios hang overhead.

A first priority for the kitchen was sunlight: to maximize exposure, Mitchell Holladay Architects demolished as many walls as possible without compromising the home's structural integrity. LEM Piston stools by Shin and Tomoko Azumi from Design Within Reach flank a custom walnut kitchen island; sculptural hand-blown glass pendants from John Pomp Studios hang overhead.

Thanks to Matthew Hufft, their envelope-pushing architect and longtime friend, Hannah and Paul Catlett have a new home in southwestern Missouri that’s a fresh, unconventional take on the traditional farmhouse. The homeowners call the house Porch House after it's majestic wraparound porch. Though the house is sleekly modern—some visitors unaccustomed to contemporary architecture have said it looks like a spaceship—there are winks to old-time Americana throughout the property.

Thanks to Matthew Hufft, their envelope-pushing architect and longtime friend, Hannah and Paul Catlett have a new home in southwestern Missouri that’s a fresh, unconventional take on the traditional farmhouse. The homeowners call the house Porch House after it's majestic wraparound porch. Though the house is sleekly modern—some visitors unaccustomed to contemporary architecture have said it looks like a spaceship—there are winks to old-time Americana throughout the property.

Jeff Franklin—the creative and executive director of Full House and Fuller House—purchased the 3,728-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath Victorian in 2016. It was originally built in 1883 by architect Charles Hinkel Lewis, although it recently received a thorough contemporary renovation by Richard Landry.  The renovation preserved the home's architecturally significant details and classic period charm while introducing an open floor plan, new skylights, wide-plank hardwood floors, and tiled bathrooms. The updated kitchen features Calcutta Oro marble, Viking appliances, and some very on-trend deep blue paint.

Jeff Franklin—the creative and executive director of Full House and Fuller House—purchased the 3,728-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath Victorian in 2016. It was originally built in 1883 by architect Charles Hinkel Lewis, although it recently received a thorough contemporary renovation by Richard Landry.  The renovation preserved the home's architecturally significant details and classic period charm while introducing an open floor plan, new skylights, wide-plank hardwood floors, and tiled bathrooms. The updated kitchen features Calcutta Oro marble, Viking appliances, and some very on-trend deep blue paint.

Seattle's humble past is still apparent in the Central District, a sleepy neighborhood where couches slouch on empty porches and house colors range in shades of purple and black. It's here, in the weedy backyard of a furrowed early-1900s Craftsman, that David and Jodi Sarti's bright-red house sticks out like a sore thumb trying to hitch a ride to the 21st century. Though the challenges of hand-building his first house on a small lot with a very modest budget are patent, the 35-year-old Sarti took it all in stride.

Seattle's humble past is still apparent in the Central District, a sleepy neighborhood where couches slouch on empty porches and house colors range in shades of purple and black. It's here, in the weedy backyard of a furrowed early-1900s Craftsman, that David and Jodi Sarti's bright-red house sticks out like a sore thumb trying to hitch a ride to the 21st century. Though the challenges of hand-building his first house on a small lot with a very modest budget are patent, the 35-year-old Sarti took it all in stride.

The simple form of each volume is a nod to regional architecture, while durable materials such as white cedar and zinc contribute to a low-maintenance vacation home. The windows and doors feature a bronze anodized aluminum finish on the exterior.

The simple form of each volume is a nod to regional architecture, while durable materials such as white cedar and zinc contribute to a low-maintenance vacation home. The windows and doors feature a bronze anodized aluminum finish on the exterior.

Located in Park Ridge, Illinois, this kitchen renovation gives new life to a midcentury that has been passed down through generations.

Located in Park Ridge, Illinois, this kitchen renovation gives new life to a midcentury that has been passed down through generations.