I’m Ready for My Close-Up: Wonderful Building Materials

It is hard to deny that Houzz is a great resource for finding inspiration in the small details, but photographs that literally hone in on the stuff, connections and textures are fairly rare. So I’ve constructed a number of them here to see what is conveyed in these pictures, and what can be learned from them.

Birdseye Design

We begin with one of the very well documented projects on Houzz — that the Quaker Bluff Residence in Vermont — and a backlit stone wall. The result is certainly dramatic, but it is not something that can pulled off with any stone. For light to carry through a few stone — marble, for instance — the substance has to be trimmed so sparse it loses its capability to support . Onyx, on the other hand, is perfect for this kind of application, producing its distinctive yellow-orange glow.

Seattle Art Group

A detail of polished stone is revealed for a house in Hawaii. Think concrete, and something as brilliant as this probably doesn’t come in your mind. Pigment can be added to the concrete mixture and utilized as a means to communicate the local context by mining the pigment in the area.

Eggleston Farkas Architects

Moving on to one of my favourite stuff, Cor-Ten Steel, this close-up really does a great job of revealing the variation in colour found in the substance. A sandpaper-like texture can be gleaned from the photo, a sign of the oxidation that adds the coat of rust to the steel.

Klopf Architecture

This photo shows the meeting of the house on the land, particularly the three substances which compose this particular condition: the wall, the foundation, the ground. In this scenario we’ve got wood panels, poured gravel and concrete. That the architect recorded this detail means they believed this to be a significant place, something they treated with ease and care.

Here we visit three planes in a layered composition. Horizontal striations with arbitrary voids make a rhythmic and borderline chaotic effect. Nonetheless, the close-up shows the workmanship to be quite high.

This bathroom wall is found in the same residence as the previous photo. We can observe an emphasis on horizontal rhythm and a particular randomness. The latter is achieved by composing three kinds of glass tile.

JacksonBuilt Custom Homes

The textured”pillows” of the limestone backsplash leads to both intriguing shadows and a visual softening of a hard substance.


A threshold involving a living room and master suite is articulated here with”patinated aluminum shelves with a perforated spiderweb pattern” Each horizontal piece can be flipped to vary the pattern and also the light entering the distance. It is a customized installation that stands out from the minimum finishes it’s layered upon.

A fair amount of the details in this ideabook would be the product of NYC-based Workshop/apd, such as this grille. The closely-spaced black rods allow light to pass through while obscuring one’s view. In another project by the same architects…

… horizontal bars are used in a lobby renovation to spell out the building’s address. The rectangular pieces are notched to make the most”58.” When the sunlight reaches this altitude, light more easily moves through the notches to spell out the speech on the lobby walls.


One final job by Workshop/apd shows the coming with three quite different substances: round glass tiles, what seems to be terrazzo, and wood slats. These materials comprise the walls and floor of a shower.

Studio H Landscape Architecture

Substance concerns certainly extend out. Squint at this pavement in a sideyard and just one half is white and one half is black. Nevertheless, the white aggregate lies in the two, uniting both.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

The coming together of different substances might not be as jarring out as it can be indoors, as can be seen with pavers, pebbles and plantings. The simple edging that retains the pebbles and separates them from the mulch is a very pleasant minimal detail. See more of the garden

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Layout Dilemma: Share Suggestions for a Navy Blue Room

Attention those of you who have chosen to go daring with your living space walls: Houzz user hgrada can use your information for her brand-new pad. “The largest challenge I currently have is the living room. . .and I’ve assured my hubs he could pick the colour,” she says. His selection? Navy blue. “I’m afraid if I paint every wall this blue it’s going to be too dim,” hgrada says.

If you understand how to produce the perfect balance between dark colored walls while maintaining a light and alluring space, click here to share your thoughts.

Houzz Design Dilemmas

The living room measures at 15′ x 30′. Do you understand how to pull dark walls in a very narrow room without making it look”just like a long, blue cave” Click here to answer.

Houzz Design Dilemmas

Here is another shot of the living room.

Houzz Design Dilemmas

Hgrada just has two conditions concerning the distance. “The TV setup and the cat need to remain!” Click here to visit the question and chime in!

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Plunging Into Deep Dark Walls

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