From expansive, open spaces that blur to line between kitchen, living room, and dining room, to cozy seating around a fire pit, these six residences were made for gatherings of friends and family.
A couple renovated one of their childhood homes to suit their modern taste, while preserving some sentimental value. A small wooden deck originally anchored the backyard, which has since been transformed into a larger social area. “We wanted something that was sunken into the earth that would feel like you’re enveloped by the surroundings,” Michael says. In order to achieve this, he installed a concrete retaining wall that’s level with the soil above it, so foliage will gradually grow into the living space. This feature creates an almost ruin-like feeling and a direct connection to the surrounding landscaping.
Ruhl Walker Architects designed custom furniture and a new, luminous atrium for a 3,100 square foot Boston dwelling that can now host its resident’s large social gatherings. “[The owner] needed a good working kitchen, the ability to seat up to 20 at dining tables, and accommodate over 100 for cocktails and fundraisers,” Walker said. The Tonon Wave chairs are covered in Dalmatian upholstery by Calvin Fabrics; they sit on a Bursa Wool Rug from West Elm.
Los Angeles is not all mini-malls and highways. As Eric Garcetti, now Los Angeles’ mayor, shows, it is eminently possible to live green in the City of Angels. By putting solar power and recycled materials to use, he and his partner transformed a mid-century house on a cozy hillside plot into a sustainable home with garden terraces and panoramic views. The broad deck and seating area are perfect for the Mediterranean climate and invite guests outdoors.
Dow Chemical put Midland on the map, but architect and local scion Alden B. Dow made it the most modern town in Michigan. The Dows loved to host and their massive living and dining room had ample space for parties. Decor came largely from Dow’s designs and the treasures they collected on their travels.
The Sonoma County home of Lars Richardson and Laila Carlsen is the result of a long-running collaboration with architect Casper Mork-Ulnes. A 713-square-foot indoor-outdoor Shotcrete dining pavilion dubbed the Amoeba provides a loose counterpoint to the more rigid barn structure behind it.
When Carlsen and Richardson moved from San Francisco to Sonoma, creating a space to entertain visitors was a priority; sliding glass doors by International Window Corporation provide a warm welcome.
Designed with Floridian sensibilities, this bright loft gives an otherwise industrial space some warmth. The downstairs offers an assortment of places and ways to entertain – the kitchen, two living room schema and a dining room table designed by Camilo Prada for Weston Wood Works.