This 2,300 s.f. house for a family of four rests atop a ledge knoll ringed by trees and overlooking a meadow. During intermittent camping stays on the land, the owners spent several years under the guidance of Wagner Hodgson Landscape Architecture selectively thinning, shaping and subtly uncovering the natural features of their varied and beautiful property. So, when we began to discuss the architecture, they already had a deep understanding of the site. We used this knowledge to guide the house’s design process.

The house was designed to have a strong presence, but not overwhelm the site. We let the land, views, and trees shape it and create a framework for intertwined interior and exterior rooms. Construction was completed in 2013 with a freestanding garage, decks and landscape architecture to follow this year. Inspiration came from the owners’ Scandinavian roots and graphic sensibilities (one of the owners is a professional photographer). Simple, honest materials, a mix of vernacular and contemporary forms, and contrasting neutrals all provide a backdrop for colorful living, furnishings, fabrics and people.

The house has a bit of mystery: Its exterior is dark and textured, and with outside corners removed, seems to undulate. Inside, rooms are bright and smooth-surfaced and appear to unfold and slip, giving the illusion of much bigger spaces. Details include a custom-built kitchen with a walk-in pantry to hide clutter and the refrigerator. Upstairs, local ash with a pickled finish covers floors. Downstairs, floors are polished concrete with imbedded radiant tubing. Exterior siding is dark-stained, eastern white cedar milled for a pencil-sized, corner-wrapped shadow line.

Elizabeth Herrmann Architecture + Design uploaded Knoll House through Add A Home.
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Modern home with Exterior, Metal Roof Material, House Building Type, Gable RoofLine, and Wood Siding Material. Photo  of Knoll House
Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Wood Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, and Gable RoofLine. Photo 2 of Knoll House
Modern home with Exterior, Metal Roof Material, Gable RoofLine, House Building Type, and Wood Siding Material. Photo 3 of Knoll House
Modern home with Living Room, Chair, Corner Fireplace, Wood Burning Fireplace, Sofa, Concrete Floor, and Coffee Tables. Photo 4 of Knoll House
Modern home with Kitchen, Engineered Quartz Counter, Ceiling Lighting, Dishwasher, Wall Oven, White Cabinet, Subway Tile Backsplashe, Concrete Floor, Ceramic Tile Backsplashe, Recessed Lighting, and Cooktops. Photo 5 of Knoll House
Modern home with Kitchen, Engineered Quartz Counter, Subway Tile Backsplashe, Cooktops, Range, Concrete Floor, Dishwasher, Wall Oven, Ceramic Tile Backsplashe, and White Cabinet. Photo 6 of Knoll House
Modern home with Kids Room, Playroom Room Type, Bookcase, Chair, Concrete Floor, and Light Hardwood Floor. Photo 7 of Knoll House
Modern home with Bedroom, Wall Lighting, Light Hardwood Floor, Dresser, and Bed. Photo 8 of Knoll House
  • Jim Westphalen Photography


  • 2
  • Full Baths
  • 2
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2017
  • Square Feet
  • 2300