David and Danielle Crittenden Frum use their rural Ontario vacation home as an escape from the D.C. grind, which makes the name they gave it pretty ironic. Given their need, in Dwell's words, for the design to be "eloquent within tight constraints," they named their retreat the Twitter House, after the social media platform that has blurred the work/everything else divide more than any other.
After working with architect Richard Williams on the restoration of their D.C. house, the couple enlisted him for this project, giving him a budget of just $500K, which included furniture and landscaping. On a plot right on Lake Ontario, next to the home that Crittenden Frum's mother shared with her husband, the couple tasked Williams with creating a "concise building," both in price and in aesthetic.
Blessedly, unlike a few painfully "of the moment" hotels we could name, the Twitter theme didn't manifest itself too overtly. "It was about very simple ideas," Williams tells Dwell. "How do you reduce a house to the absolute bare essentials?" Here's how they did it.
"As you approach, you can already see the lake right through the house," Frum tells the magazine. "That's the most arresting thing about it." The windows on the lake-facing side of the home were kept slightly out of alignment with the those on the north side (↑), so as to encourage a cooling cross-breeze; important here given the lack of air-conditioning. But beyond low-impact building, Frum wanted the place to be light in "your claims on people's attention... Not to say, 'Look at me,' but to say, 'We are going to be as invisible as possible.'"
The living, dining, and kitchen areas take up the west end of the home (↑), while the east is reserved for the master suite, and the combined guest room and study. Working with Toronto-based interior designer Julie La Traverse, the couple implemented an Ikea galley kitchen with countertops of stainless steel. The floors are made of poured concrete. A wide strip of oak paneling runs along the wall and ceiling of the north wall (↑), helping define the corridor that runs from the front door through the kitchen.
Visit Dwell to check out the 1,500-square-foot home's living and dining areas, lake-facing wraparound porch, and the cheap and "low-key furniture" the couple filled it with.