Monday, June 11th, 2007

John Christakos in Metropolitan Home


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
7 Comments » | Published in Architecture, Design Magazines, Design Press, In the Press  |  7 Comments

After an issue last month that made me say “yuck,” Metropolitan Home has redeemed itself with the July/August issue. I had the pleasure of meeting Debby and John Christakos at ICFF a few weeks back, and it was so much fun to open up the magazine and see their beautiful lake house in Wisconsin. I wish everyone had his attitude – “We didn’t want some glitzy modern monstrosity on the lake, which has a lot of traditional cabins on it. We wanted to plunk a little Donald Judd sculpture delicately into the landscape.”

AMEN JOHN! If only more people had that attitude. The result from the collaboration between the couple and architect Douglas Danks is a thoughtful long box of glass and topsoil-colored Cor-Ten steel that nestles into the landscape unobtrusively. The open hearth area in the middle, as well as the large windows allow for wonderful play between inside and out, and the interior spaces are the perfect backdrop for experimenting with blu dot furnishings. The materials of stone, wood, and the colored steel have a simpatico conversation with the surroundings. The Chistakos also know when to splurge (on a hearth and a mural by Santiago Cucullu) and when to save a few bucks (IKEA cabinets fit in perfectly).


The issue also features buildings inspired by the vernacular architecture, including a Texas hill country home clad in metal siding and a Shaker-like barn shaped house in Duchess County, NY. Also, the homes featured showcased less expensive materials in a beautiful way. Extravagent cabinets, light fixtures and miles of granite have been replaced by simple birch and IKEA, off-the-rack, and concrete. Way to go Met Home! Thanks for the break from fuschia – you have won me back over!


photos by Susan Gilmore for Metropolitan Home

About Becky:
Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!

About Becky

has written 1620 post in this blog.

Hi, I'm Becky. I live in Atlanta. Besides acting as the Editorial Director here on Hatch, you can find me talking design over at Houzz. Make me happy — leave a comment!



  1. Maryam in Marrakech says:

    June 11th, 2007 at 11:59 pm (#)

    Absolutely love this place. And that skylight (gasp, clutches heart).

  2. Ric Miller says:

    June 12th, 2007 at 12:49 pm (#)

    The fuchsia issue left me questioning if Met home and I were on the same page. After years of looking at your publication on the newsstand I decided to get a subscription, as it has evolved into a modern publication. Then fuchsia arrived and…….enough said.
    The Wisconsin lake house, while I congratulate you on the pick an amazing modern clean looking lake place I also have a summer place in wisconsin and from 20 years of north woods experience their porch and pit while being the perfect modern touch to a modern cabin isn’t practical. If you’re outside on a Wisconsin lake and not behind a screened porch the bugs will carry you away, I’ll bet Debby and John have already
    figured this out! That’s it, I feel better. Ric

  3. franki durbin says:

    June 13th, 2007 at 8:50 am (#)

    I completely agree with Maryam – that skylight! Wow. There’s someting about modern design when done well that allows the perfect blend of nature and modern living. Seen from t he inside, it’s clear this house rides that line perfectly!

  4. Doug Falso says:

    July 27th, 2007 at 9:17 am (#)

    I think John and Debi’s house is wicked cool! I have been there, very few bugs, lots of great fishing and beef jerky. Don’t touch the side of the house or you may need a tentnis shot.

  5. Ian Brooks says:

    August 23rd, 2007 at 9:41 pm (#)

    i love this house, the layout& design! The setting is ideal !The light fabulous!

  6. rubi says:

    July 22nd, 2008 at 7:54 pm (#)

    contemporary vernacular at its simplest.

  7. Hatch: The Design Public ® Blog » Blog Archive » In Case You Missed It: Around the Web This Week says:

    January 23rd, 2009 at 10:04 am (#)

    […] Yea or nay on the logless log home? I suppose we could get into a big semantic argument over the definition of “log.” Does it imply a shape and color to you or material? What do you associate log cabins with (it’s Laura Ingalls Wilder for me all the way)? Would you forgo the integrity of the material in exchange for low maintanence? Wouldn’t you rather have a house that celebrates its material like this one? […]

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