Ultra-Modern Ranch Getaway
Want a more open-feeling room in your own home? Pull it off with the Zabjeks' tips.
Use less furniture. Built-ins add architectural interest while eliminating extra furniture pieces that might clutter a room. In the great-room, the two-sided fireplace wall divides dining from sitting areas. It has enclosed storage on one side (for a 52-inch plasma TV and stereo) and cubbies on the other to show off collected art pieces.
Go bare. On the windows, that is. Privacy is not an issue lakeside, so the Zabjeks left most windows uncovered to enhance the connection between inside and out. Soft horizontal blinds are a good option where privacy is needed; they control light without disrupting architecture.
Skip the trim. To keep sight lines sleek--and the eye moving easily through the space--the Zabjeks removed almost all trim around windows, ceilings and doors. They also have very few art pieces on the walls. "I wanted the eye to be on the artwork outside," Alita says.
Give it some glass. Skip the dark hallway. A curved glass-block wall in the great-room hides the path to the garage while adding light and sparkle to the space.
Pictured at left: A sun-filled corner in the great-room beckons readers.
(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® May/June 2009.)