One of my favorite books for architecture and landscape design is called "From the Land, The Architecture of Backen, Gillam & Kroeger". Howard Backen is the principal of his architecture firm Backen, Gillam & Kroeger and "is at the center of a popular movement in home design that emphasizes comfort over pretension and elegant simplicity over complication...". Throughout this over-sized book you'll find architecture that seems simple from first glance. However, by reading the reason behind each calibrated design decision that Backen makes throughout his design process for each of his clients, you know that every home he is a part of is very detailed and specific to it's owners lifestyle and taste.
What I love most about Backens work is how there is a seamless divide between interiors and exteriors. In the Pritchard Hill Residence the two work together in a way that makes every outdoor space an extension of the home that is just as warm, beautiful and inviting as it's interiors. Backen has vast experience designing stunning wineries and estates in the Napa Valley area whose climate lends well to large majestic breezeways throughout each of his projects that make you wonder if you're actually sitting within the home or in a covered outdoor space. This type of seamless transition between the interior and exterior is the type of thing I dream about! I hope to have a home with similar features in the future, however living Utah with it's frigid winters could definitely present a challenge!
The Napa Valley Residence pictured above is comprised of three barn-like structures that make up the home. The paired down details and use of natural materials in this home make it a winner in my book. Rustic beams, ship-lap, stone, and iron framed windows and doors are the perfect combination for this beautifully edited residence.
If you're looking for a beautiful coffee table book full of over-sized images of stunning architecture, I would suggest picking up a copy of "From the Land". Every detail is inspiring, and it really goes to show that a home doesn't have to be over-the-top with the latest design trends to be amazing. Natural materials, flow in indoor and and outdoor spaces, and a sharp eye for detail that is catered to the clients liking can be the prefect recipe for a stunning home for you and your family.
Of course, feel free to pick up a copy for yourself at your local design store or on amazon.com.