The clients insisted that none of the trees on the property be disturbed, so Kevin Alter and his team at Alterstudio Architecture built a deck and an overhang around two of them.
The clients insisted that none of the trees on the property be disturbed, so Kevin Alter and his team at Alterstudio Architecture built a deck and an overhang around two of them.
The large windows let in fresh breezes and provide an opportunity for the owners to jump out of the house and into the water.
The large windows let in fresh breezes and provide an opportunity for the owners to jump out of the house and into the water.
Another view of the deck.
Another view of the deck.
Alterstudio Architecture of Austin designed this house in the Texas capital for a young family of four.
Alterstudio Architecture of Austin designed this house in the Texas capital for a young family of four.
In consultation with the clients, Alterstudio opted to clad the house in local cypress rather than imported, FSC-certified ipe.
In consultation with the clients, Alterstudio opted to clad the house in local cypress rather than imported, FSC-certified ipe.
With the residents awake inside, this trailer's burnished glow reflects the sunset.
With the residents awake inside, this trailer's burnished glow reflects the sunset.
The interior combines modern and more traditional elements, such as this oriental rug.
The interior combines modern and more traditional elements, such as this oriental rug.
Mark Word Design did the landscaping, with an emphasis on water conservation. "It's about usage levels, but it's also about the way we treat storm water and runoff since it all goes back into our supply at the end of the cycle," designer Sarah Carr says. Word and his team chose plants that help reduce erosion, require little watering, and allow storm water to percolate. Mulch and living ground covers—including Big Blue liriope, marsilea, and Palisades zoysia turf—keep moisture within the soil and lower the temperature of the soil, protecting the roots of the live oak trees.
Mark Word Design did the landscaping, with an emphasis on water conservation. "It's about usage levels, but it's also about the way we treat storm water and runoff since it all goes back into our supply at the end of the cycle," designer Sarah Carr says. Word and his team chose plants that help reduce erosion, require little watering, and allow storm water to percolate. Mulch and living ground covers—including Big Blue liriope, marsilea, and Palisades zoysia turf—keep moisture within the soil and lower the temperature of the soil, protecting the roots of the live oak trees.
The cypress cladding carries over from the exterior to the interior of the house.
The cypress cladding carries over from the exterior to the interior of the house.
The sitting room.
The sitting room.
A sky-blue vintage trailer blends in with the sky.
A sky-blue vintage trailer blends in with the sky.
On one side of the house, a white central staircase leads to a split-level landing the Robertsons call "the reading room." "We needed a place to hang out and for the kids to read," explains owner Vivi Nguyen-Robertson. Awaiting the birth of the couple's son, she relaxes in a built-in reading nook in the library.
On one side of the house, a white central staircase leads to a split-level landing the Robertsons call "the reading room." "We needed a place to hang out and for the kids to read," explains owner Vivi Nguyen-Robertson. Awaiting the birth of the couple's son, she relaxes in a built-in reading nook in the library.
Davor (with his wife, Abbe, and son, August) designed the main living and dining pavilion as a double-height space to increase its perceived volume, and added high cubbies for extra storage.
Davor (with his wife, Abbe, and son, August) designed the main living and dining pavilion as a double-height space to increase its perceived volume, and added high cubbies for extra storage.
Builders, developers, designers, and architects have developed a range of homes that are composed of prefabricated, modular, or kit-of-parts pieces that can allow for lower costs, faster and easier on-site construction, and even higher quality spaces. Here, we delve into the differences—and similarities—among these manufactured residences.
Builders, developers, designers, and architects have developed a range of homes that are composed of prefabricated, modular, or kit-of-parts pieces that can allow for lower costs, faster and easier on-site construction, and even higher quality spaces. Here, we delve into the differences—and similarities—among these manufactured residences.
We love this sleek home office design layout, where steel details contrast mesquite flooring throughout the home, including at the pathway to the "crow’s nest" office. It's also a great option if you're looking for home office ideas for small spaces.
We love this sleek home office design layout, where steel details contrast mesquite flooring throughout the home, including at the pathway to the "crow’s nest" office. It's also a great option if you're looking for home office ideas for small spaces.
The series of pitched white buildings was inspired by the work of architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen. “The shell of the house is a very simple form,” says Matthew Ford, “no turns or intersecting roof sections. This allowed me to use solid but inexpensive framing and roofing crews. We are always looking for the point where simplicity and luxury meet.”
The series of pitched white buildings was inspired by the work of architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen. “The shell of the house is a very simple form,” says Matthew Ford, “no turns or intersecting roof sections. This allowed me to use solid but inexpensive framing and roofing crews. We are always looking for the point where simplicity and luxury meet.”
Porches and rolling glass doors draw in the river breeze to keep the home cool.
Porches and rolling glass doors draw in the river breeze to keep the home cool.
“The unique site-plan includes the main house, a two-story dog run, and a guest cabin,” Flato says. “All are seamlessly stitched together by a grand boardwalk, making an arrival by boat or by car an equally engaging experience.” Vertical grain Western red cedar acts as the exterior siding.
“The unique site-plan includes the main house, a two-story dog run, and a guest cabin,” Flato says. “All are seamlessly stitched together by a grand boardwalk, making an arrival by boat or by car an equally engaging experience.” Vertical grain Western red cedar acts as the exterior siding.
“Consistent with the lakefront cabin charm, the owners liked the idea of accessing much of the house from outdoor porches and walkways,” says architect Ted Flato. Supplies from Dynamic Architectural Windows and Doors bring light in to the home’s covered spaces.
“Consistent with the lakefront cabin charm, the owners liked the idea of accessing much of the house from outdoor porches and walkways,” says architect Ted Flato. Supplies from Dynamic Architectural Windows and Doors bring light in to the home’s covered spaces.
Tina and Matthew Ford, here with daughter Daisy, are the owners of Shade House Development, the company that designed and is building the suite of houses that comprise Row on 25th in Houston, Texas.
Tina and Matthew Ford, here with daughter Daisy, are the owners of Shade House Development, the company that designed and is building the suite of houses that comprise Row on 25th in Houston, Texas.
The owners’ main living area has two stories with a master bedroom, which can be accessed by a rolling door, and porches on either end of the structure. “This large, barn-like building, with its moveable bedroom wall and office, allows the house to be both intimate and social, effortlessly accommodating guests or individuals alike,” Flato says.
The owners’ main living area has two stories with a master bedroom, which can be accessed by a rolling door, and porches on either end of the structure. “This large, barn-like building, with its moveable bedroom wall and office, allows the house to be both intimate and social, effortlessly accommodating guests or individuals alike,” Flato says.
The floor tiles are close matches to the originals, which had to be replaced after a pipe burst.
The floor tiles are close matches to the originals, which had to be replaced after a pipe burst.
Using natural materials is one way of bringing nature indoors. Oiled white ash floors and ceilings, along with Italian poplar and Lawson cypress joinery, are found throughout architect Andrew Simpson’s 538-square-foot home outside Wellington, New Zealand.
Using natural materials is one way of bringing nature indoors. Oiled white ash floors and ceilings, along with Italian poplar and Lawson cypress joinery, are found throughout architect Andrew Simpson’s 538-square-foot home outside Wellington, New Zealand.
Of the seven steps in Michael Pozner’s not-quite-500-square-foot aerie in Greenwich Village, five contain drawers. His small set of table and chairs is from CB2.
Of the seven steps in Michael Pozner’s not-quite-500-square-foot aerie in Greenwich Village, five contain drawers. His small set of table and chairs is from CB2.
The family room is situated at the apex of the house, with picturesque views that extend 

up the meticulously landscaped north slope. The concrete floor sits just low enough that the main elements of the scene—the succulent garden and large limestone ledges—are at eye level. A bank of NanaWall folding windows breaks up the fourth wall.
The family room is situated at the apex of the house, with picturesque views that extend up the meticulously landscaped north slope. The concrete floor sits just low enough that the main elements of the scene—the succulent garden and large limestone ledges—are at eye level. A bank of NanaWall folding windows breaks up the fourth wall.
The former dining room is now home to Russell and Fontanez’s custom kitchen, designed by LOT-EK and fabricated by Chef Restaurant Supplies. “We love to entertain,” Russell says. “Before, the galley kitchen was in the hallway; now we can cook and still be a part of the party.” The space-saving setup, which adjoins the living room, features stainless steel–paneled cabinets, DuPont Corian countertops, Onda stools by Jesus Gasca for Stua, and fixtures and appliances by Grohe, Liebherr, and Miele.

To maximize space, the designers specified that the cabinets be built around a former fireplace in the kitchen. “Because there’s a bump out where the chimney is, we turned the sink lengthwise,” Lignano says. “The cabinet directly overhead is only four inches deep, so it’s just a huge spice rack.” The island provides ample additional storage.
The former dining room is now home to Russell and Fontanez’s custom kitchen, designed by LOT-EK and fabricated by Chef Restaurant Supplies. “We love to entertain,” Russell says. “Before, the galley kitchen was in the hallway; now we can cook and still be a part of the party.” The space-saving setup, which adjoins the living room, features stainless steel–paneled cabinets, DuPont Corian countertops, Onda stools by Jesus Gasca for Stua, and fixtures and appliances by Grohe, Liebherr, and Miele. To maximize space, the designers specified that the cabinets be built around a former fireplace in the kitchen. “Because there’s a bump out where the chimney is, we turned the sink lengthwise,” Lignano says. “The cabinet directly overhead is only four inches deep, so it’s just a huge spice rack.” The island provides ample additional storage.
Designers Christopher Robertson and Vivi Nguyen-Robertson conceived their house as an unfolding sequence of simple geometric forms: a low concrete wall, a concrete cube, and a boxclad in Siberian larch.
Designers Christopher Robertson and Vivi Nguyen-Robertson conceived their house as an unfolding sequence of simple geometric forms: a low concrete wall, a concrete cube, and a boxclad in Siberian larch.
An outdoor shower tucked behind a screen off the master bedroom neutralizes this threat. “We thought it sounded great for muddy kids to run up and shower off there,” Coco says.
An outdoor shower tucked behind a screen off the master bedroom neutralizes this threat. “We thought it sounded great for muddy kids to run up and shower off there,” Coco says.
On a trip to Naoshima, Japan, the Houston newlyweds behind Robertson Design fell in love with Tadao Ando’s concrete-composed museums. This led the couple to create a residence of their own comprised of a low concrete wall, concrete cube, and box clad in Siberian larch. The indoors are rounded out with white oak, marble, and leather-finished granite.
On a trip to Naoshima, Japan, the Houston newlyweds behind Robertson Design fell in love with Tadao Ando’s concrete-composed museums. This led the couple to create a residence of their own comprised of a low concrete wall, concrete cube, and box clad in Siberian larch. The indoors are rounded out with white oak, marble, and leather-finished granite.
The low windows in the master bedroom focus the view on the backyard, not the neighbors. Christopher designed the solid poplar platform bed.
The low windows in the master bedroom focus the view on the backyard, not the neighbors. Christopher designed the solid poplar platform bed.
Estate Bungalow in Matugama, Sri Lanka, by Narein Perera as published in Cabins (Taschen, 2014).
Estate Bungalow in Matugama, Sri Lanka, by Narein Perera as published in Cabins (Taschen, 2014).
White-oak stairs connect the first-floor living spaces with the upstairs sleeping areas.
White-oak stairs connect the first-floor living spaces with the upstairs sleeping areas.
The kitchen cabinetry echoes the new blue ceiling. The brick tile is from Heath Ceramics, as is the dinnerware. Behind the Viking stove is powder-coated corrugated metal (“Very trailer,” says the designer). The refrigerator is from Big Chill. On the table is a bowl by Victoria Morris.
The kitchen cabinetry echoes the new blue ceiling. The brick tile is from Heath Ceramics, as is the dinnerware. Behind the Viking stove is powder-coated corrugated metal (“Very trailer,” says the designer). The refrigerator is from Big Chill. On the table is a bowl by Victoria Morris.
Edgeland House, built on a cliff-top lot in Austin by architect Thomas Bercy for lawyer and writer Chris Brown, is topped by a living roof to help it blend into the landscape. The concrete, steel, and glass house is divided into two distinct public and private halves.
Edgeland House, built on a cliff-top lot in Austin by architect Thomas Bercy for lawyer and writer Chris Brown, is topped by a living roof to help it blend into the landscape. The concrete, steel, and glass house is divided into two distinct public and private halves.
The fireplace that Lake|Flato designed for the deck is the compound’s focal point. “People can go tuck their small kids into bed and then creep back to the fire pit area and be gregarious late into the night,” Wallace says.
The fireplace that Lake|Flato designed for the deck is the compound’s focal point. “People can go tuck their small kids into bed and then creep back to the fire pit area and be gregarious late into the night,” Wallace says.
When renovating a house in McAllen, Texas, for his brother-in-law’s family, architect Luis López designed an overhang with concrete beams that protects the front entrance from the area’s frequent rain. A large front window was inserted to provide views through the house to the backyard.
When renovating a house in McAllen, Texas, for his brother-in-law’s family, architect Luis López designed an overhang with concrete beams that protects the front entrance from the area’s frequent rain. A large front window was inserted to provide views through the house to the backyard.

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