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The Family Home

When a lighting designer teams up with her architect brother to design a house, surprising and wonderful things are bound to happen.

(page 6 of 6)

Contemporary California design made a splash in a traditional Greenville neighborhood that was developed in the 1950s.“We widened the dimensions by six inches in order to get a quarter keg up the stairs,” Sander says. “It’s a wonderful place for a party.”

A small evergreen at the end of the driveway was near the top of her whimsical wish list, as was the wiring required to light the tree during the holidays.

“I always wanted a little Christmas tree with those big, old-fashioned colorful lights,” she says.

In the stand of graceful trees behind the house, Sander used concert-style light fixtures on bases as uplights. She shifts the lights in keeping with the season, illuminating the silvery bark of tall trees in winter and the canopy of leaves in summer.

“The moment I light up the trees, the living room becomes enormous,” she says. “The outdoors becomes part of the space.”

Wiring already is in place for such future improvements as an automatic opener for the curtain. For now, Sander is enjoying the tranquility of listening to the bubbling water in the stream on calm summer nights.

“Building this house is the best thing I have ever done in my life,” she says. “I am perfectly content.”

  • Toss tradition. Combine such time-honored materials as cedar with unexpected choices. In the Sander home, an interior staircase was fabricated from aluminum.
  • Think infrastructure. Leslie Sander installed circuits and wiring in the walls in anticipation of future improvements. “When I’m ready to upgrade, they’re already there,” she says.
  • If you love it, buy it. When Sander spied an unusual purple refrigerator, she purchased it immediately, knowing she might not get another crack at such an unusual appliance.
  • Embrace nature. Stands of tall trees visually expand Sander’s home. Cedar siding is compatible with the woodsy surroundings
  • Take it personally. Family members helped to make the house a one-of-a-kind place full of such details as artisan ceramic vessel sinks.
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