Monday, March 29, 2010

HB kitchen of the month: the rest of the house

Several years ago, I became a fan of Los Angeles based architect William Hefner. His work is incredibly beautiful; rooted in classic design, but with a fresh and contemporary interpretation. I looked back over my blog archives to see when I first posted about him, and July 2008 seems to be the first time, although his work has been a constant presence on my blog ever since!


I included the picture above in my post about ‘Steel Windows and Doors’, from June of 2009 - one of my all time favorite posts. I noticed right away that William Hefner has a love for steel windows; in fact, I had never really seen or noticed steel windows until I saw all of the beautiful examples on his website. Steel windows have such beauty and grace, perhaps because the elegant and narrow sightlines that enable more of the outside to be seen.


Imagine my surprise when I turned to the House Beautiful kitchen of the month in the April 2010 issue, and saw this very kitchen! With my newfound love of kitchen design, and my deeper understanding of some of the flow and process decisions that need to be made when designing a kitchen, I have become a huge fan of the House Beautiful kitchen of the month. I never really paid much attention to this feature before, but now I analyze every single detail of the kitchens featured.

I love this view of the kitchen - contemporary art in a kitchen is a fantastic touch, and it is interesting that the door leading out the back is more of a traditional French door (mixed with the steel windows leading out the side). The House Beautiful issue this month features many great pictures of this spectacular kitchen (you'll have to buy a copy of the magazine to see them), but it got me wondering – what does the rest of the house look like?


Fortunately, a trip to William Hefner’s website was fruitful, as the entire house is featured in his portfolio. Here is the outside of the house, which is located in Los Angeles. Hefner calls it a ‘1920’s French provincial house’.


A closer view of the front courtyard, which features a fountain and a pea gravel path. The landscaping is very natural and unstructured – I love the lavender that is planted in the front. I wish lavender would grow in Atlanta!


The back yard emphasizes the efficient use of space; the back of the house has a wing and a courtyard, as well as a long elegant lap pool which is oriented to the guest house. The kitchen is in the wing; the door in the back is the French door, and I assume that the doors leading to the patio (which can't be seen) are the steel doors. I like and appreciate the simplicity of the landscape design; there is an art to understanding how to do simplicity well.

Look at that niche under the stairs to the guest house - what a clever way to create a shaded outdoor seating area!


A view of the guest house.


Here is a glimpse into the interiors of the house . Hefner always seems to emphasize light and windows in his designs, and this room has both light on two sides as well as the indoor-outdoor connection with the French doors opening to the back patio.


The dining room connects to both the living room and the entry hall. Based on an analysis of the back of the house, both of these rooms open to the yard, reinforcing the indoor-outdoor connection that was designed into the architecture of the house.


And the final picture from the Hefner portfolio – a charming zinc tub that seems to blend in so well with the feel of the house. The stone on the floor has a great look, and the marble on the wall is a great idea a decorative way to wall mount the tub faucet.

One more gratuitous picture of the steel doors leading out to the patio…I showed this picture to my husband, and was shocked at how much he liked the look of the steel windows. What do you think of these windows? I don’t think the kitchen would be the same without them – they really define the look of the room. After seeing the rest of the house, I am particularly charmed by the fact that the steel windows are just in this one area of the house - it is a special and memorable touch.

All images via www.williamhefner.com

To see more pictures of this beautiful kitchen, and an interview with the architect, please see the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Month feature, April 2010 (page 130).

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  1. i agree--i don't think it would be the same without those amazing windows. great pics.

  2. What I would give for those windows...this was a terrific post, dear one. Loved the feature when I saw it in the magazine. I remember thinking how the artwork in the house really made the rooms sing. I think that is a compliment to the beautiful design and the clean, uncluttered spaces.

  3. You've combined some of my favorite things in one post Things That Inspire! Lavender, steel windows, lap pools, and your great detective have all payed off!
    Also if you want to check out a sea of lavender, head on over to Soka University in Aliso Viejo the next time your over on the West Coast. There's seriously a lavender hedge along each and every walkway.

  4. I simply love the windows! I only wish I could add some to my home.

  5. Love the property and love the windows. It all works perfectly.

    Giveaway is up on my site,come and join.

    Art by Karena

  6. I'm just mad crazy loving it all. Beautiful. I am super curious as to how thick those steel windows are in the kitchen.

  7. I have been looking into steel windows. My architect says that the ones he uses are only a fraction thinner than standard window panes in a wood trimmed door.

    I also know of people in Atlanta who ordered their steel windows from England because they could not find what they were looking for in the US, but I get the impression that more is available on the market now with more people using steel windows in their own homes.

    I have also heard that there are now some double pane (or perhaps insulated) steel windows available on the market.

  8. I vote for the the skylight over the tub and for the oh so simple ceiling beams in the kitchen. Seems like beams have been competing for showiness. It's great to see modest beams that get the job done. The beams over the fireplace are a bit more dressy and in keeping with the fireplace surround.

    Thanks so much.

    P.S. I was in one of the original model homes in Morningside (c. 1920's). It has it's original big metal windows all around.

  9. Exquisite - I love everything. Love that dark blue painting in the dining room. The steel windows are just gorgeous - noticed them in "It's Complicated" or at least windows that look like them - watching it on the plane yesterday - thought of you!

    xo Terri

  10. How amazing is that Zinc tub not to mention the casual yet gorgeous piece of marble (?) that acts as its backdrop.

    Is that square recessed lighting that I see in the Dining Room (ceiling)? If, so I have never seen it before. Thank you so much for tour. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a lovely home! :) -Brenda-

  11. zinc tub and steel window, yes, yes, yes!

  12. I love the steel windows. (two of our previous homes had steel windows all the way through and they were wonderful) The guest house will do me though!

  13. Good to know, TY. I would love to be able to swing (open) one of the doors personally, to get a feel for the weight/width, and see how they latch, I couldn't tell by the photo. I love this post, and thanks for helping with my TTI withdrawal.

  14. I love that vintage-looking bridge faucet in that modern kitchen. I wish I could see more of that kitchen. There appears to be a marble surround that boxes in the range and the hood. Amazing! And yes, I agree with everybody else about the steel doors. I wonder how they are with rust...

  15. It is gorgeous and I also love the steel windows.

    Leeann x

  16. Many houses lack the light. The windows are too small or missing. Architects and builders forget to do this too often. But a house is living with many large windows.

    Have a nice day


  17. Check out the House Beautiful article and you will see a lot more of the kitchen! It is beautiful - there is a fireplace in the kitchen, as the owners (I believe that this is the architect's personal home) wanted to have it in the kitchen where they spend the most time. The cabinets are oak washed with a transparent gray stain.

    I thought it was interesting that the wall with the range deemphasized windows, despite the fact that the kitchen is in a wing of the house, but with a wall of steel windows on one side and a French door on the end, there certainly is no shortage of natural light!

  18. I love the steel windows and how they almost disappear from view. I am even fond of painting the mullions of the wood windows black to have a similar effect. My favorite in this house thought is the marble backspalsh behind the zinc tub. Someday I hope to do that in a house.

  19. I want those windows in my kitchen! Divine!!!! Have a happy day!

  20. I am so in love with this house. Hefner is a genius, and I love that you tracked the whole house down for us. I agree about how special those windows are, they are simply gorgeous. Thanks for another amazing house tour. (ps: you could try some outside planter pots with lavender this summer, we do it here in NY, and it looks and smells amazing.)

  21. Really love the steel windows. What a fantastic way to meld the indoor & outdoor spaces!

  22. Beautiful. Off to check out the House Beautiful article.

  23. I cannot tell you how much I envy the owners of this home! That was always the dream of my wife and me--to have something like that. Like most of us, I suspect, we ended up in a tract home, but we love it all the same. The one thing that helps is that I'm a cabinetmaker, and over the years I have been customizing every room in the house.

    Right now I'm working on a home theater, then it's a kitchen. The one thing I most want to do, though, is to make a kitchen that is more than just a bunch of boxes with a "choice of doors and drawer fronts." Boring!!!!!

    So, what am I going to do? Truthfully, I haven't a clue at the moment. I just want something that is different and yet timeless and practical and stimulating to make for a cabinetmaker. And if I ever figure this out, I mean to make it for us and splash that baby all over the Internet!

    What you've written, though, has given me quite a bit to think about, and I thank you for sharing your concepts.

  24. oh I adore those steel doors!!! What a gorgeous creativity! That bathroom, too... ooh la la

  25. Beautiful post, beautiful home with everything through out completely. The floor-to-ceiling glass wall just give you incredible virtual space opening to the garden as it does. Come see me, I'm having a jewelry GIVEAWAY. XX'S


  26. I meant to sat "thought out completely"


  27. What an amazing home! So light and pretty. The niche seating area under the stairs is so nice. And as usual you make me see something I haven't noticed before; steel framed windows! I agree they look very clean and elegant.

  28. Gorgeous house. Not quite minimal, just right.

  29. Umm..Yes I'll take one just like this, please. Wow, rarely do I find a house that I wouldn't want to tweak just a bit...but I don't know, I'm thinking this Pad is pretty near perfection!

  30. The steel doors make me weak in the knees- they are divine!

  31. What a lovely house! The steel windows make the kitchen!! I love all steel windows. I also love the out door space and the artwork in the home. Very cool :)

  32. Such a beautiful post. If you could get away with this look - DO IT! You won't regret it. Personally, I prefer to change up the windows on a house. No reason to keep them all the same on a custom home.

    I daydreamed of a two story window bank of steel windows at the back of our kitchen. We couldn't achieve it for a variety of reasons and came up with a gorgeous substitute but I still see these thin, sleek steel windows and feel a pang of jealousy ;)


  33. I love his work too! (Love the steel windows as well - and I have that post saved for reference!) :) Thanks for sharing and look forward to seeing more of his work.

  34. so happy you shared this! I have fallen in love with that kitchen and have been wondering what it must look like. Not sure why I thought it would have been smaller.

  35. He is an amazing designer and I share his love for steel windows/doors! I absolutely LOVE these!

    The house you featured is also one of my favourite and the detail is amazing.

    Thanks for your post - very inspiring.


  36. I remember that post! It was great - I believe, one of the first I read on your site. Glad to learn more about his great design.

  37. Hello!
    I've never left a comment before, but I truly enjoy following your inspiring, informative and beautiful blog - thank you for the work you put into it!

    I live in Uppsala, Sweden, so I definitely have to admit that I don't know much about different climate zones in the States, but your remark made me so curios: why won't lavender grow in Atlanta? Is it too hot and/or humid? I have a hard time believing it would be too cold since lavender works fine in my garden - and it's been hidden under the snow for almost 15 weeks now... :)

    Looking forward to learn more! Again - thank you for your blog! / Cecilia in Uppsala

  38. I am going to check up on the lavender. I don't see it around Atlanta, but then again, I am not a gardener. I have seen it at the local plant nurseries in small containers, though....will let you know what I find.

  39. I love these posts!
    The house is stunning.. especially the gorgeous pool in the backyard. I'd like one of those for this summer! xoRH

  40. What bright, beautiful spaces! I'm with you on the steel windows. They really make that kitchen. It was really great to meet you this weekend. I hope we'll get to see more of each other in the future!

  41. I love those windows -- they absolutely, without question make the kitchen. Only wish he'd used them throughout the house!

  42. You can't beat steel windows for a lean and delicate look. I would love to use them more... unfortunately, all of us in colder climates don't usually get the chance. The steel conducts the cold and water will condensate inside. But hey if you're in LA... go for it, they are beautiful!
    I have to say I was a little disappointed they were only used in the kitchen area of the house...I wanted to see more!

  43. I live in Santa Monica and absolutely love William Hefner's work. There are lots of architects here but he stands out as the real deal. Unpretentious and super talented. Each home is a work of art and distinctive. Thanks so much for posting on him! I love your blog! Keep up the good work.

  44. I love everything about this house-the light, the landscaping, the beautiful dining room. Definitely a dream house!

  45. The house is gorgeous and the kitchen is just divine. So many gorgeous elements from the windows to the settee and spacious island.

  46. Happy Easter Sunday!! enjoyed your wonderful post.


  47. Thanks so much for stopping by La Lamp Shade today!


    If the Lamp Shade Fits


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