1. Choose exterior material colors inspired by elements found in the existing landscape.
The colors of this home were selected by observing the existing landscape, choosing colors found in the trees and grasses and sticking to this simple palette of two material tones. The dormant grass color was chosen because most of the year in Colorado the straw grass color prevails.
2. Bring the materials from the outside of the home to the interior finishes of the house.
It is important to be consistent with this idea. In the photo below, even the concrete patio is carried indoors to tie the courtyard & outdoor dining space to the interior dining room using a concrete threshold, which also serves as a durable area to kick off your shoes as you enter the main living areas.
3. Bring the glass from floor to ceiling.
This involves some simple engineering collaboration between architect and structural engineer, but the effect is dramatic and brings your eye to the sky without a header to interrupt the views. Also, using large expanses of glass not only helps with the passive solar design and daylighting, it also makes the outdoor scenery seem grand as the panes of glass are larger than the human scale.
Reflecting pools and water features can be easy ways to achieve this effect, as can polished concrete floors, or even glass.
6. Framed views & carefully chosen window locations
When deciding how to both size and locate windows, a bit of careful consideration will allow you to capture the view, screen out any unwanted views, and provide privacy. Careful placement of new trees and landscaping can also compliment the window placement.
7. Open up the space and provide access to outdoor rooms.
Operable windows, lift slide doors and bi-fold doors allow you to open up, and be a part of the outdoors. These spaces serve to make the house seem larger than it is as they provide outdoor rooms to live in. In the home pictured here there is a central courtyard space, two roof decks-one with an outdoor shower, and a small deck from the guest room that function as outdoor rooms yet still offer a sense of privacy.