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Design

Tour This Breathtaking Minimal Home – Proving That Windows And Doors Can Truly Make The Space

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Marvin provided the windows for the mountain house and for the below project. We love them a lot and thank you for supporting the brands that help us bring content to you. Enjoy!

It is no secret that we love a well thought out minimalist design. As we’ve discussed on this blog many times before, minimal does not at all mean boring, nor is it necessarily easy to achieve. Just like attempting to figure out how to emulate the “effortless cool girl” it can be maddening trying to pinpoint what is really working in a minimal and neutrally designed home. While decor and furniture obviously play a huge role, you might be surprised by the impact windows can have on a space—by bringing in all the natural light and framing outdoor views. Thoughtful placement and selection of windows during a renovation is essential (something Emily quickly learned when she was renovating the mountain house with Marvin).

Now, I can think of no better example of thoughtful design with stellar windows and natural light than today’s tour (home of Amber Lestrange), that features all the elements of a bright and airy minimal space–with an emphasis on bringing the outdoors in.

There is so much I want to dive into but let’s begin with the light and warm color palette that sets the tone for the entire space. The light wood floors, fresh white walls, and white ceiling immediately drew me in because they are a perfect canvas for the natural light to do its magic. I asked Amber what she thinks the benefits are in having the walls and ceilings the same light color and she explained, “I like having the walls and ceilings (basically) the same color as it creates a clean uniformed tone for the room and allows the furniture and other accents to do the talking. It helps the space feel larger and brighter, as well as helps the light bounce around the room keeping it bright and airy.”

Dining Table | Dining Chairs | Art | Pendant | Ceiling Paint Color

Rightfully so, in the kitchen and dining area there’s neutral yet sculptural furniture and decor (that table! that pendant!!!) which are the few conversational pieces the space really needs. The rest is kept soft and minimal which speaks to Amber’s relaxed yet elevated aesthetic.

The picture window functions to literally “frame” the outdoors which allows so much light to pour into the space, and by forgoing window treatments the natural light is always at play. In a bedroom, it would be tough to keep windows completely bare (unless you are someone who loves waking up with the sun, in which case TEACH ME YOUR WAYS) but since the window is in the dining area and kitchen, the natural light is useful and quite magical.

Now, it’s clear that natural light was Amber’s top priority while she was renovating, but that’s not always the simplest thing to achieve. In order to bring as much light in as possible, they tore down walls to make the space more open and installed a sliding patio door from Marvin.

This door literally brings the outdoors in, opens up the space, and allows for nature to come through in the design and speak for itself. This was very important to Amber and her family who are big nature people but it also speaks to her attention to functionality. She explained she “wanted a home that facilitated a relationship with the pool and patio/garden area to make it easy and comfortable to be outside and active as much as possible.”

Side Table | Sofa | Table Lamp

The indoor/outdoor concept is truly the icing on the cake design-wise–but for Amber and her family, it means much more. It promotes their lifestyle and values, allows them to spend more time outdoors as a family, and brings in the environmental elements that are so important to them.

Now that you’ve experienced the space virtually, we wanted to chat some more with Amber to get to know some specific details from her design process:

Was it always the plan to have an indoor/outdoor concept?

Yes! Lots of light and openness was a must-have for our living space. We are nature people so wanted to have as many of the natural elements in eyesight as possible. Our Marvin doors and windows were a saving grace in this process. 

How long did your renovation take? Just over 1 year!! We went slow as we were operating as our own general contractor. 

How did you create your window plan? I think for a lot of renovators that’s a nerve-wracking topic to take on. 

We worked with the existing window/door placement so did not have much to think about except for where we wanted to place the large sliding glass doors. In that case, we considered where the best view is and the most central position to the rest of the living room. We are lucky that the large fixed window has a pretty view of the side yard and is nicely positioned to light up the kitchen table corner. This is my favorite window in the house- it is so big that it creates this dramatic frame, beckoning the viewer to go outside to experience the yard. It creates a tranquil little nook to enjoy a meal.

 Did you have to make any adjustments to the window plan based on the framing of the home? Or did you adjust the framing for the windows? 

We tried to use the existing framing as much as possible and swap out the old windows and doors for new Marvin brand ones. This was to save on the costs of reframing. The exception is the large sliding door we installed, which was a must in our opinion to get the open feel we wanted.

How has the seamless indoor/outdoor connection impacted your lives?

We start each day sliding through the glass door to enjoy coffee on our patio. Feeling the fresh air and sunshine first thing creates a quality of life I just couldn’t live without! I also spend a lot of time in the kitchen so to feel connected with the outdoors and surrounded by light whilst being productive in the kitchen is a dream! The indoor/outdoor living plan really encourages us daily to live our best life 😉

What do you think the benefits of having a picture window vs one that can open/ventilate are?

I like the clean look of a picture window and it doubles up as a strong frame for the outside view. 

What is your favorite feature of the windows?

I love how clean, simple, and timeless the frames are. The naked wood frames we used also add warmth to our space that I love. The latches are also stylish and VERY user friendly. 

You clearly have a beautiful minimalist style. What are your top tips for creating a minimalist design that doesn’t feel empty and boring?

Subtle textures! We love achieving this by using roman clay on the walls and a slightly warmer white on the walls in the larger spaces. Also, interesting fabrics/materials that bring warmth and interest to the space while staying in the theme of the room. Use good authentic materials and allow them to be the focus.

You mixed a few different tones and types of wood. Do you have a wood mixing philosophy? 

Our designers, Klein Agency, pushed for the darker stained oak kitchen. I had my reservations about it against the ash oak wooden floors but it turned out to be amazing. The contrast in tones of the wood pop the kitchen making it a feature piece of the room. I like that the different color woods create a balance between masculine and feminine feelings rather than all light and fem (same tone of wood throughout (which I have a tendency to lean towards). 

Now for fun (and because it’s our favorite part) here are the stunning before and afters:

Huge thanks to Amber for letting us feature her home and pick her brain :). Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts so please hop in the comments so we can chat about this beautiful and practically designed space. xx

*Design by Amber Lestrange
**Photos by Carlos Naude

Fin Mark

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LJ

A beautiful airy space, thank you for sharing. I’m wondering if this post is sponsored by Marvin? If so, where is the disclaimer? If not, why not just talk about window selection process generically? Sure, link to Marvin once but the continuous naming of them feels ickky, IMO. Even just a note saying this post isn’t sponsored, we just love Marvin makes this seem less “off”, or am I the only one that feels this way?

i initially thought the same thing. but then I decided I don’t care after all because i’m happy to just look at pictures of pretty homes. 🙂

Jessica

Yeah we’re not getting a tour of the home here, it’s literally a bunch of pictures of windows that may or may not include 1/4 of the kitchen or 1/8 of a couch. If the title was How One Homeowner Used Windows To Create A Light and Bright Space, I would feel a little better about it, but I still want pictures of the kitchen they mention! And the outdoor seating area where they have their wonderful coffee moments! Help me see this desirable lifestyle their Marvin windows created.

Emma

I’m guessing the owners got windows sponsored/gifted from Marvin but EHD may not have been paid by them? Who knows…

liz

I had the same thought: “Why does this feel like advertorial for buying windows, specifically for this one company?” I’d prefer a sponsored post to be identified as one. This seems more like a window advertisement than something about a minimal home remodel.

Amanda

Yes, this definitely reads and feels like an advertisement rather than an actual post. I wish I could see more of the home itself! The glimpses of the living room sofa and kitchen are intriguing.

Anon

Ha!
I know those “Mellish” eyebrows on Amber!
Dominant gene right there.

Jessica

Is this an advertisement for Marvin? If so, why isn’t it labeled as such? I feel like I was tricked into click on a “home tour,” when, in fact, this is sponsored content directing us to a window manufacturer.

Evelin

After reading this, I stayed with a dissapointed feeling. Yes, nice to look at. But not satisfying at all. This is Ad content, not a home tour. We see beautiful shots of windows and their surrounding, that´s it. Ok, plus a handsome family. I hope this is not the way how the new Portland house get sponsored…

Perrin

What a negative and horrible thing to say. ☹️

Gorgeous house and post!!!!!!!!!!! I struggle with making the minimalist look work in my house (feel like it ends up looking too bland/textureless) – this house is amazing inspiration.

Emily worked with Marvin on the mountain house and was and is SO happy with their windows. So as a part of that partnership, we agreed and were excited to show another beautiful home showing off the same windows in a different style. It was totally my oversight that the disclaimer wasn’t added initially. Very sorry about that!

Rose

No worries…..but of course, that’s not true – you can tell the level of discomfort, anxiety and reactiveness that people are generally living in these days from the uptight in the comments. Everybody needs some long exhale breaths, and to remember that you guys run a business!

Vera

Hi EHD! Beautiful photos and great points about natural light and indoor/outdoor lifestyle.
However it doesn’t seem like a home tour to me. To say “tour this home” I’m hoping to see multiple spaces, not just multiple shots of the open-concept main space that are not even really showing me the living room, just the edge of the couch.
I’m fine with a post about how windows are a good investment or something like that. I just want the title to reflect that. And as others have commented, since it feels sponsored by Marvin, either acknowledge that or let us know that it isn’t.
Just my feedback! Love you guys and SUPER excited for the mini farm!

Rusty

Uh-oh!
Sponsored post not stated?
🧐

My oversight and all fixed!

Roberta Davis

That is such a striking difference! And the huge skylight is wonderful. It makes me wonder what is behind that new, shallower kitchen? Butler’s pantry? Office? Playroom? This is certainly minimalism done very, very well! Ok, it doesn’t say if it’s sponsored or not. It should. But the space is much more than just the windows, even though the windows really make it fabulous.

So glad you love the space as much as we do! And totally on my for the oversight with the sponsorship disclaimer. All fixed!

Linda

Where did they source the deck furniture pieces from? Couch. Egg chair, stools, etc- great inspiration!

Wish we knew but here is Amber’s Instagram if you want to check in with her!

https://www.instagram.com/lestrange_land/

Kj
KP

Thanks for sharing! I can’t believe this post didn’t include one picture of the fireplace, which is AMAZING.

Thanks for sharing KJ! Those photos must have been under some kind of exclusivity. But so happy to see them!

Rusty

They were pretty easy to find via the links in Ryann’s post.

Kylie

This just feels like, ubiquitous wealthy person house number 948573.

Robyn

I’m confused about these photos. They seem to focus more on the family than on the actual home? I would love to have seen more wide shots of the actual rooms.

What a beautiful home!!

Rachel S

Cute family! Beautiful sliding window doors! But am I the only one finding this home to be otherwise kinda cold and just generally not exciting? Not my style I suppose.

briana hurst

Beautiful home! Just curious if there are posts are if y’all have experience with minimalism that isn’t white. Because white doesn’t feel warm to me. And I would love to add more color to my home while keeping a minimalistic feel.

Abby

Aren’t we over perfect looking families in perfect white clothes sitting in the kitchen? Perhaps, yes, in 2019 but after the last year and now in 2021, in my opinion this “world” is no longer dream worthy, let alone interesting.

Rusty

Well, yes.
I think we are.
That’s the embrace of some ‘rustic’ content from the pandemic (pics on phones, etc.) that helped us really connect.
Perfection is boring.

Jay

This house was so incredibly boring to look at. I agree with others, this just felt like an ad. 🙁

Jessica

Ya, definitely dropped the ball on this one if it’s an ad please state it as you guys are supposed to.

Shelly

I love neutrals and minimalism but having no blinds only works if you don’t have neighbors who can see in.

Lisa

This home has no personality, no warmth, no color, no dimension, no interest. It’s about as interesting as mayonnaise on white bread. Yuck!

John Horner

Love the windows and light. But I find this space too impersonal. Leaves me cold. Looks like an Airbnb rental. I love your designs Emily where you use a variety of styles, colors, textures, etc….

Tina

I agree with so many other comments about being so over photos of wealthy people in their perfectly designed houses with windows that they got for free. At the same time, if this is a sponsored post intended to get us all to support the product, then please include some links to specific products like the sliding door so the rest of us can at least dream about how much we need to save up to have a door like that someday.

Celeste

Thanks for sharing! I also am an out door person, and feel claustrophobic if there isn’t an easy flow between inside and out. I never see beautiful houses that have screens on windows and doors, to welcome the breezes in, something that I crave on so many days. Is it possible to have both beautiful windows and doors with screens and screen doors ? I prefer to limit access of birds and mosquitos to the inside. Do you have any examples of houses with screened windows or front doors? Any vendors you would recommend. Can someone bring this trend back as we think more about our energy consumption in our homes ?

Leann

I just looked at the picture with the baby, and the white rug under the dining table, and…? 🤣

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