Allison Burke and Murray Legge Build Functionality into Crestview Abode
The family-oriented space features maximized living areas, natural light, splashes of color and a vibrant greenwall
This ground-up home in Crestview represents a clean, simple, modern and serene material palette with surges of color through carefully chosen furnishings. Unique elements in lighting and interior architecture are also seen throughout with a distinctive and original Z-shape, which allowed architects to keep the width of the house narrow and each interior space in the house with views in multiple directions.
“I think the natural light and the way they have the light balance is really special,” says Allison Burke of Allison Burke Interior Design. “I really love the windows and the way we kind of brought in the warmth and organic movement with the finished palette.”
“In the main living space, you’ve got big windows to the backyard, but you’ve also got a big window space to the front little entry courtyard that allows for light to come in both sides,” says Murray Legge of Murray Legge Architecture.
Tall windows add to the effect, running up to the ceilings. Legge’s team took into account the best orientation of the sun for these windows, with some facing north — and others facing south, east and west, strategically to catch just the right amount of morning light and afternoon sunset.
An efficient use of space, the 2,700-square-foot home’s rooms are considered relatively small, with the exception of their daughter’s room, because the homeowners wanted to focus on the living areas where people could come together.
Natural, nice, yet economical fixtures are key elements throughout the home. More timeless, the homeowners chose to add unique elements through removable design that complements simplistic, modern and clean ceilings, cabinetry, walls and countertops — something that Burke really loves to do within her design.
“Wallpaper and fabric are harder to change out,” explains Burke. “Instead, follow the trends with a piece of furniture here and there. That’s my mantra.”
Wooden cabinets not painted add an organic element to the home while bringing in further warmth via a natural color. Designed for a husband who is a film producer and a wife who created a magazine centered around empowering women, Burke believes the pops of color best match the couple’s personality.
“I’d say certain areas were inspired,” says Burke. “In the kitchen, she just wanted to have that little pop of teal and the chairs and then the rug in the living room. Just bringing in surges of color that had a little pink in them and weren’t too serious.”
Another practical element in the kitchen is soapstone for the countertops. Soapstone interiors require some maintenance because they have to be oiled, but the couple had this style of countertops in their previous home, and really loved it.
“It’s really durable; you just have to take care of it,” says Burke. “In all the bathrooms, there are a grey goose quartzite, which is also a really durable natural material. Both of those — they are just going to last forever.”
A sense of privacy can also be felt in the interiors, despite larger windows, due to the main living spaces of the home being constructed and pushed back further away from the street. For example, the main living space is actually set in the middle of the entire lot.
“My favorite feature is the way it reads like a one-story little modern bungalow. It is a taller house behind it, but the scale of it from the street really feels like the scale of those modest little mid-century bungalows,” says Legge. “I also really love the staircase railing resolution and the little reading area that Allison made at the top of the stairs.”
Space for a potential Airbnb is another modern feature. A guest suite sites on one side of the home with a separate entrance to enter from the outside. Perfect use for visiting family members or to rent out, this is just one of the elements that show the detail given to making sure the home is livable and matches the owners’ lifestyles.
“They were really cognizant about how this house would function,” says Legge. “Having the guest suite in the second living space is really rare for a house this size on a single lot. To fit all those elements and maintain a simple resolution is something I think we did a very good job at in keeping this quiet and simple.”
One last finishing touch is a greenwall to help soften the two-story area of the house in the back, allowing for a cooler area that makes the space feel larger, where instead of looking at one side of the building, you are looking at leaves, providing a more nature and greener feel, one that also attracts birds and insects to hang out in this unique habitat.