Simple and smart remodel

See how to do more with less by emphasizing open spaces, organic materials, and the beauty of restraint

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  • A large stainless steel kitchen table inset with a granite top slides from side to side for flexibility and to access storage space underneath.

    Kitchen with stainless steel table

    Thomas J. Story

    Click to Enlarge

  • Master bedroom with art room

    Mari arranges flowers in the small art room off the master bedroom separated by shoji.

The kitchen was redesigned with an eye toward hosting lots of friends. What used to be a crowded, narrow area is now a bright space with skylights.

"It's truly the center of the home. We've had the best parties here ― everyone just crams in," Mari says.

Dutto also added large windows throughout to bring the leafy setting in and give the home the feel of an expansive treehouse.

On the lower level, a guest bedroom, an office, and a former family room where their son and his friends used to play air hockey gave way to a new master suite, which Mari describes as "a private oasis just for us."

Shoji (which echo the horizontal bronzed lines of the aluminum channels around the home's exterior) slide back to reveal a small room that doubles as a nook for reading or enjoying nature.

Though Mari is a professional color consultant, she admits that the interior is painted a hue called Timid White.

"In this house, it's not about the color ― it's about the materials and the link to the outdoors. The walls are only a shell."

Dutto concurs, pointing out the intrinsic beauty of the glass, metal, and wood that dominate the palette. "We decided that the touch and feel and color of those materials were enough," she says.

After years of living in a house that didn't feel quite right, the Tischenkos say the transformed space now fits their personalities. "Home is where you express yourself," Mari says.

"And I'm finally living the way I really want to. Lara helped me fall in love with my house for the first time."




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