By bridging the indoor-outdoor connection, residential architects are able to design homes that blend in with their surroundings and improve the lived experience of the homeowners by enhancing their relationship with nature. These three homes on the 2019 Homes by Architects Tour demonstrate multiple techniques for bringing the outdoors in.

Home 6, “Huntington Residence,” sits on a hilly lot with mature heritage trees. The house is nestled deep into the hill, creating a sunny front terrace while still allowing the sun to illuminate the neighboring house to the north. The connection between indoors/outdoors is furthered through floor-to-ceiling windows, sliding glass doors, garden light wells, and a green roof. Cedar shakes will gray naturally over time to blend in with the setting and blur the line between indoors and out.

With a splayed floorplan, Home 1, “Vernacular Modern,” provides ample natural light and views of its beautiful prairie site via large expanses of glass. Salvaged materials and weathered hardwood are juxtaposed with its clean, modern elements. The home sits easily on its picturesque site, amplified by a vegetable garden, patio, play areas, and path along the tall prairie grass.

Home 9, “Side Street Suite,” has a unique setting: the backyard of a Longfellow duplex! This Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) has an independent identity with a strong connection to the outdoors. Strategically placed glass on all four levels enables the occupant to experience the path of sunlight over the course of the day. Large sliding doors face the yard, and the roof doubles as a protective canopy for the deck to increase opportunities for outdoor connection during all types of weather.

Tickets to the 12th annual Homes by Architects Tour are on sale! Learn more at

The 2019 Tour is supported by Marvin Windows & Doors, Elevation Homes, Hagstrom Builder, Landscape Renovations, Stinson Builders, Inc., White Oaks Savanna, Pella Windows & Doors, Belrose Hardwood Floors, Dovetail Renovations, Frost Cabinets, Hage Homes, Hirshfield’s, Lelch Audio/Video, Martin Patrick 3, Otto Painting Design, Orijin Stone, Semihandmade, Showcase Renovations, The Sitting Room, Synergy Products, and Urban Ecosystems, Inc.

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