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Creating drama in your luxury home design

luxury home design highlight st louis mo builder luxuryUsing light & height to create memorable custom home spaces

“Architecture carves out individual spaces from the enormity of the universe.”
William Hirsch, Jr., Architect

During the design process of our luxury and custom homes, we work with our clients to consider the function and form of their space. Functional considerations are often related to a client’s family size or lifestyle needs, while their preferences toward the form or architectural style of their home may be much more personal. The visual design of any home should be reflective of its owners personality and it should create a sense of place that stands apart from the other places and spaces in one’s life.

A common request from our clients is a desire to create a space that is memorable – one that creates a relationship between the family and the home, and also one that creates an impression on those that visit. One way to bring dramatic flare into the entryway or feature room of a luxury home design is to incorporate elements that give your visitors pause as they take in the space. Two elements that we often find useful in creating a memorable space are height and light.

Height in Home Design

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In this Usonian style home in Kirkwood, architect Frank Lloyd Wright lowers the ceiling at the entrance, creating a compression in space just prior to a dramatic change in height.

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright loved to play with height in his home designs. In fact, even as you enter one of his more modest designs, the Ebsworth Park Usonian-style home in Kirkwood, Missouri, you can see this experimentation at play. At the front entrance, the ceiling seems to rest just above the door, with a clearing that makes some men duck as they enter. In the picture below, a photo of a similar Usonian style home by Wright, you can see that the low ceiling entrance continues in through the entry, only to open up in a most dramatic fashion. The sudden added height gives the guests an almost-abrupt sense of open space, room to move, a gasp of relief after the compressed entrance.

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Visitors entering this smaller luxury home by Frank Lloyd Wright are greeted by an explosion of space as the architect’s design provides sudden space.

Varying height to create experiences such as these creates a memorable experience for visitors to your home. Many of our clients that opt to build a luxury home desire for their home to exude a style that is powerful and memorable. By varying ceiling heights and scale in the spaces visitors frequent, we are able to create a visual drama and a sense of grandeur. Click here to view our luxury home design portfolios to see how we have put this design element into play.

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See this custom home design element at play in our recent luxury home construction project completed in Chesterfield, Missouri. In this home, you can see the lowered ceiling height creating a more intimate space in the kitchen and dining area spaces. This cozy feeling is juxtaposed against the vaulted, light and airy space in the adjoining living room.


Light as a home design element.

Light change everything about a space. When natural light streams into a hallway or living space, it attracts your eye, it lifts your attitude. When light is soft, gentle, unassuming, it can create a luxurious, relaxing, almost spa-like feeling in your home. As you look through your current home and prepare to design and build your new home, consider the feelings light creates in each area of your home. Are the rooms lit naturally long enough throughout the day? If not, a secondary lighting source may be helpful.

In this luxury home addition we designed and built in Town & Country, Missouri, we washed the space in light – both natural and artificial. The 10′ boxed beam ceilings feature recessed lighting, while the transom windows and French doors invite natural light into the space throughout the day. Day and night, this space has ample lighting, and the family room is a bright, and joyful space.

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Instead of a plain drywall ceiling, spice things up with a boxed beam ceiling in one special room.

Are you considering designing and building a luxury home? Work with our team to create a memorable, elegant, and timeless design. Click here to contact us for more information, or to schedule a consultation.

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