An odd-shaped property was no match for architect Ryan Young, who designed his family's home on a beautiful lakeside property in Central Florida.
"I have a profound fascination with the authenticity of materials and the beautiful imperfections of wood, concrete and steel," said Young. "My interest lies in the basic concepts of the Japanese wabi-sabi philosophy as it relates to architecture and the transient nature of materials. Rather than covering the core beauty of a structure, I believe that the the honest beauty of time can be a remarkable element of design."
This 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 4,000 sq. ft home is located in downtown Orlando on land that once housed a mission-revival style Catholic monastery. While designing the house, Young's introspection developed into a modern experiment with materials: exposed steel beams and raw steel accents, polished concrete floors complete with natural cracks, beautiful walnut and cherry woods not covered with stain but left natural with exposed knots and imperfections, coquina (shell) features indigenous to Florida and to the original monastery structure, and a few signature accents of corten steel which is a curiosity to watch as it changes and patinas to a beautiful earthen amber.
The result of this experiment is a space that is modern, open, and light-filled with a pleasant mix of natural, exposed materials that exude a comfortable warmth that feels connected to the land and to the Young family.
Kitchen breakfast area
Exterior patio and vertical garden
A swing installed in the living room makes use of the space under the stairs … and it’s a fun feature for the kids.
The piano was Young’s wife's when she was growing up and it was originally a very boring, oak brown. “We wanted it to be the signature feature of the room and painting it yellow is always a fun surprise when you walk in the room. This is the room you can find us in most nights playing board games, playing piano, and drinking wine.”
Exterior back patio
One of the family’s favorite rooms in the house is the library. Young’s wife is an avid reader and founded a children's literacy nonprofit here in Orlando. The couple needed a space for everyone’s books, and finding a place where they could display them side-by-side was important. The bookshelf, part of a larger shelving grid, is built around a bright yellow piano.
The long hallway from the kitchen to the master bedroom is often used as a racetrack for scooters or cardboard box bobsledding.
Durability and livability were two important considerations while designing the home. Creating a modern home that allowed space for the children’s mess (Legos) was important. “We never want the house to feel like a cold or hands off museum.”