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 Extravagent cabinets, light fixtures and miles of granite have been replaced by simple birch and IKEA, off-the-rack, and concrete.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