2016 DHDA: Readers' Choice
Readers were transported to the English countryside when they chose this beauty as their favorite
Best Overall Home: A Birmingham Manor
VanBrouck & Associates Inc., with Luxe Homes Design + Build and Oliver Max Interiors, Impresses Voters
In the tradition of historic English manor country houses, this timeless residence evokes stately beauty and refined elegance. Readers found this to be true starting with the home’s exterior architecture and continuing throughout all of the interior spaces.
While this home is situated on substantial acreage with a manicured lawn, mature trees, and English-style gardens, it’s actually on a long and relatively narrow in-town lot in Birmingham. The size of the lot challenged designers to create a pleasing architectural footprint that could house three cars, an English-style conservatory, a two-story barrel-vaulted library, and large dining and gathering spaces, while maintaining its charming European streetside elevation.
Of special note is the stone-arched porte-cochere, which features an inner open-air motor courtyard, inspired by an upscale horse stable. This design allows the carriage-style garage doors to be sheltered from the street.
A second-story enclosed bridge, with windows facing into the motor courtyard and toward the street, creates the drive-under and connects the main house to a guest suite that is housed above an independent, single-stall garage.
A veranda off the library repeats the arches of the porte-cochere and formal front entry, providing balance and scale to the ordered façade. The home’s stone courtyard walls create a welcoming approach, exuding English country charm times two!
When it comes to the interior spaces, the goal was to integrate classic, traditional architecture with a fresh, modern aesthetic. Antique rugs, exquisite millwork, interior stone walls, limestone fireplaces and floors, and beamed and coffered ceilings are juxtaposed with modern art and contemporary furnishings.
The kitchen features exquisite millwork, stone walls, and beamed and coffered ceilings.
Looking out to English-style gardens is a light-filled conservatory with inviting furnishings