Pond House Shows Us Just How Beautiful Imperfection Can Be

pond house kyle page architecture 1
Bjorg Magnea

When an architect builds a weekend dream home for his small family, it’s expected that it will be an enviable showpiece, full of high-end style and opulent luxury finishes. But that’s not what Kyle Page had in mind when he designed Pond House.

From scouting the perfect piece of wooded land complete with private pond, to carefully selected materials, his idea of a dream weekend home is exactly the kind of space we would personally love to escape to.

After finding just the right plot of land back in 2015, Page, principal architect of Sundial Studios, set to work building a weekend retreat where his family could relax, entertain friends, and take in all that nature has to offer. By being both architect and client, Page had creative freedom to do whatever he wanted – something every designer dreams of.

Bjorg Magnea

Located on 19 acres, 80-miles north of Manhattan, the design for Pond House was determined by its surroundings. The simple shape of the home was intentional, so as to not distract from the beauty of the water, wetlands, and forest that surround it. Materials were chosen based on how well they blended in with the natural color palette of the land. It resulted in a wabi-sabi philosophy being incorporated into the design.

Wabi-sabi, a Japanese philosophy, is about embracing imperfections and transience into the aesthetics of the world around you. In architecture, wabi-sabi is seen in things like materials intended to age and raw wood shelving – both of which Page used in Pond House.

Outside, there is a distinct lack of landscaping, which should be surprising since Page is married to a senior associate at a landscape architecture firm. But letting the grass grow wild around the house is all part of that wabi-sabi lifestyle. To complement the ruggedness of the land, Pond House is clad in weathering steel, which has already turned a deep rusty orange, and shou sugi ban cedar, the blackened wood showing off all of its wonderful imperfections. At the back of the home, the gabled roof extends out over a rough concrete patio and steps.

Bjorg Magnea

Inside, Pond House is expertly styled to create an inviting, cozy, masculine space ideal for unwinding after escaping the hectic city life. Nature is reflected in every corner of the home, from the grass green area rug in the living room to the raw wood shelving to headboards made from sugar maples found on the property. Quirky touches were added to show that a growing family calls Pond House home, including a set of stools scattered throughout that Page made himself. The stools are made from ash trees which had been damaged by emerald ash borer beetles. The paths they carved through the trunks can be seen as patterns on the unique stools.

Despite the small size, Pond House feels spacious thanks to bright white walls, an open-plan family room, and a vaulted ceiling that looks up to a loft space. The home was carefully positioned so that the family room faces south and windows frame views of the pond and the woods. The south-facing wall is all glass, allowing the sun to fill the space throughout the day and letting the family watch wildlife from the comfort of their sofa. A simple wood-burning fireplace adds a gritty touch, which is balanced by contemporary style seating and sleek cabinetry throughout the kitchen and living room.  

Raw natural materials, framed views of nature, and a rugged masculine style make Pond House the perfect weekend retreat for a family that is happy to embrace the perfectly imperfect world all around them.

Living

Tumble Creek Cabin is a Net-Zero Vacation Home Nestled in the Cascade Mountains

Sustainable and stylish, Tumble Creek Cabin is the perfect weekend escape
Living

Rivendell Comes to Life at Tree House Constantia

Elrond and his elves may not live here, but this one-of-a-kind retreat still offers the opportunity to get fully immersed in nature.
Travel

This Is What a $100,000-Per-Night Private Island Getaway Looks Like

If you’re ready to think bigger, if you daydream of a private island escape, if it’s time to cash out your 401K, the Philippines is calling, and you must go.
Outdoors

Put All 419 U.S. National Parks in Your Pocket with the Chimani App

Chimani gives you the power to know what to see, when to go, and where to poop in every U.S. National Park.
Living

Calling All Game of Thrones Fans: This Print is the Ultimate GoT Artwork for Your Walls

No matter where you hang this piece of art, it's sure to be a conversation starter. 
Living

This Vintage Travel Trailer Just Sold at Auction for a Ton of Money

A perfectly preserved Travelodge Vintage Travel Trailer from 1937 gives us a look at what qualified as luxury travel back in the good ol' days.
Living

LumiPod is the Pre-Fab Circular Bedroom Suite You Can Put Almost Anywhere

Put a bed and bath anywhere from your backyard to your mountain lot.
Living

This Legendary Golf Pro’s Colorado Ranch Could Be Yours for $50,000,000

From a fully operational cattle ranch to multiple lakes, trail, and outbuildings, Seven Lakes Ranch is, sadly, a dream that only a few can afford.
Living

Wake Up Easier With the Best Down Pillows of 2019

Poor sleep got you down? These luxury down pillows might just be the solution.
Living

Designers Share Their Unique Ideas for Rebuilding Notre Dame’s Iconic Spire

From a glass roof garden to a stained glass ceiling, these concepts are as wild as they are cool.
Living

Grovemade Introduces Extra-Large Felt Desk Pad and We Are Here For It

“But, what are the benefits of using a desk pad? Because doesn’t it seem like a sort of superfluous thing to have on hand?” To those questions, we answer: Many and no.
Living

The LooLoo is a Bathroom Stink Preventer and Night Light in One

Stuff happens. Specifically stinky, wake-the-dead-only-to-re-kill-them-with-the-horrendous-stench stuff.
Living

The Best Latex Pillows for Neck and Back Pain

Do you toss and turn at night? A latex pillow might be just what you need.
Living

JaxJox KettlebellConnect is the One Kettlebell to Rule Them All

This one kettlebell can do the work of six kettlebells, allowing you to streamline your at-home gym equipment.