“Design is so simple. That’s why it’s so complicated.” –Paul Rand

Tanya, Chris, Jackson, and Zeke spend much of their day outside.
Because the house is narrow and long (16 by 68 feet), the design team decided to create a huge open-air space to light the interior naturally. Two retractable motor-driven 

canvas canopies shelter the space during Singapore’s frequent rains.
Fine Finnish

In the kitchen of this tightly-packed apartment in Helsinki, Finland, Susanna and Jussi tore down the ceiling and wall cabinets with the help of Jussi’s father, a skilled craftsman. “Behind the cabinets we found lovely little nooks that work perfectly as shelves for things like salt and pepper mills. When you strip everything to its original state, you are able to see what the house is truly about.”

Photo by: Petra Bindel
Japanese showers are usually set low down so the bather can sit on a stool and scrub, then pour cedar buckets of hot water over their heads for a refreshing rinse. This homeowner in Venice, California mounted a handheld shower head on the wall for added flexibility. The drain is under the removable cedar floor slats, keeping the room design uncluttered. Wood tubs are cleaned with a simple rinse and last for decades, as the antiseptic properties of cedar guard against mold and rot.

This ofuro was designed by Santiago Ortiz and fabricated by Bartok Design.
Brown and his dog Katsu head to the river; the path was once a dumping ground on top of a long-defunct underground oil pipeline. The land required a complicated excavation process, offering an opportunity for Bercy to partially bury the house. The green roof was conceptualized by John Hart Asher of the Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.
“Before, the house turned its back on the landscape,” said Parish. “This renovation and addition really animates the garden.” Sliding glass doors match those of the living room beyond the deck, and both can be completely open to the yard.
Mami and Goo the Kishu dog return from a frolic in the forest, which the couple, along with Hideaki, has thinned and trimmed back over many weekends. It’s an idyllic escape and a world away from the concrete expanse of Tokyo.
Twin daughters Merle and Anine join their parents in the family’s kitchen, designed by Jensen for Vipp. He explains that his role as chief designer at Vipp is to “work with their DNA” by refining the company’s trademark materials: stainless steel, painted metal, and rubber. For the utilitarian kitchen, “we wanted to get the feeling of a tool,” he says. “It’s nice to have a space where you can actually work.” The gas stovetop is by ABK and the refrigerator is by Smeg; Le Perroquet spotlights are from iGuzzini.
The designs might be minimal but the color palette is friendly.
The winners of the 2011 Swiss Design Prize were shown in the U.S. for the first time at Dwell on Design. A pair of knitted vessels by Senior Design Factory caught the eye of these passersby.
Japanese firm Mamm Design renovated this maisonette apartment in Amsterdam. Home to a family of four, the dwelling combines a series of bright, open spaces. The kitchen and bathroom, for example, are placed in this freestanding tower topped by a ladder-accessible mezzanine.
A couple takes a minimalist approach to their Brooklyn apartment, focusing on supple materials, subtle gradations of color, and custom finishes by local craftsmen. The Mandayam–Vohra family gathers under one of Workstead’s signature three-arm chandeliers, shown here in its horizontal configuration. Bartenschlager designed the white cabinets and is responsible for the walnut counters both on the kitchen island and near the stove.
In the photos that follow, we take a look at the product offerings inspired by the house, which Yeon designed when he was only 27 years old.
The concrete wall mimics the slope of the hill outside as a reference to early Maori structures that were dug into the land. The simple kitchen has strandboard cabinetry and an MDF island that conceals a fireplace at one end. The ceramic works on the built-in seat at right are by Raewyn Atkinson and Robyn Lewis.
Tom Givone’s clients, Rose and Steve Smith, teach overseas and have owned their house for 26 years. They intended to fix it up slowly and retire there. As one problem led to another, they reached a point when they felt their only option, as Rose put it, was to “burn it down.”
In Seattle's rapidly developing South Lake Union neighborhood, the Art Stable is a classic example of urban infill. Built on the site of a former horse stable, the seven-story mixed-use building carries its history into the future with highly adaptable live/work units.
A trio of resin skulls works as manly wall art above a burly end table from Urban Hardwoods and on a wall painted with ICI Paint’s Noble Grey.
LOS ANGELES HOME WITH WOOD-CLAD INTERIOR

Home owner Bill Thompson warmed up his otherwise dark living room with a series of Douglas fir slats was applied above the fireplace as well as other wood accents throughout the room.

A series of Douglas fir slats was applied above the fireplace.
This "local prefab" home on the Isle of Skye is made mostly from materials sourced in northern Scotland. The timber-framed model, meant to evoke the simple agrarian barns of the area, can be constructed on-site in as little as a day and is designed for affordability.