Houzz TV: See What It’s Like to Live in a Glass House

Houzz TV: See What It’s Like to Live in a Glass House

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Houzz TV: See What It’s Like to Live in a Glass House

Kim and Jeff Valles have called a glass house home for 10 years and wouldn’t have had it any other way. “A glass home was pretty frightening in the beginning,” Jeff says, but now it’s the homes with solid walls that feel foreign to him. “You sit in someone else’s living room and you hear something and you turn, expecting to see out the window, and you look into a wall,” he says.

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rudy4dawgs

I love this house! I could live there in a heartbeat... if it were in a warmer climate :) And privacy? What are people doing in their houses that requires so much privacy? If someone is bored enough to watch me chase my dog around the house, vacuum, and do my work then have at it!

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denisemathieu
I really have come to appreciate modern mid century homes. Absolutely love this! The flow and openness of the floor plan is very appealing. No issue with the glass as long as it's in a private setting. As my husband and I look to moving southeast in the future, this is a style I will definitely look for. Would love to complete a renovation on an older home of this style.
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ghorg

Lovely home. Forces you to be a very engaged housekeeper. Not so great if you have a stalker or really nosy neighbors.

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makeover99

First, I've never been a fan of mid (last century) - modern. Also, I don't think I could live in a fish bowl. I understand that in this situation there's probably no one out there - maybe - but I never wanted to live 'outside'. Love all the light that this affords but I'd much prefer it be a choice and, yes, would like to know there is a lot privacy when I trim my toe nails :) To each their own.

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ninigret

well, don't you ever have an evening when you are home alone and suddenly you get weirded out by noise?

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pbikoff

Thank you, Kim & Jeff for the spectacular tour!!! At least for the past 10 years you guys were truly entitled to invite friends over by asking them "Stop by - maybe you want to kiss my glass?" I'm hoping to sell "The Joy of Roy House ", a dream home here on Long Island in order to move to an amazing glass-like creation in the mountains of Vermont...Here's my e-mail...you're always welcome to visit - pbikoff@yahoo.com. All blessings on your journey!

paul - poet, author, yogi, cancer researcher-

www.ajunebugrecipe.com

14 Bartlett place, Huntington, long island

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wantsideas

Such good stewards of this home. Surprised it had a lower level. I hope they find another another gem in their future move.

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Lauren Elyse Art

Selling? When can we move in? This house and I are soulmates.

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Grimalkin

I notice with most of these glass houses they have plenty of land and trees around them, or are on a high slope so people don't see into them very well. Having an unobstructed great view in an obscure location would be wonderful, but I wonder about people who have houses like this that are easily seen into in an urban setting. Also, since even the best glass windows are still pretty poor insulators this isn't a very practical energy saving design.

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midmodfan

We live in extremely glassy houses since 20 years. It's just like Jeff says - the connection to the outdoors is wonderful. When you appreciate that, you can't live in 'normal' homes anymore.

This house is spectacular. It's one of the very few I'll bookmark.

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Amar
I love the open look and feeling of living indoors yet outdoors in a glass house. beautiful piece of art!
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arcane9111
I've been exploring the idea of a glass house similar to this one for a dozen years now on a piece of land I own in central Pennsylvania. Your story is so inspiring to me!! Thank you for sharing.
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sind57

I would be scared about it being easy to break into this house. I don't think I could feel safe in a glass house.

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Nicole Breuch

Love, love, love it. A glass house was always my dream. When you live in the woods, there is nothing to hide. It is just a special enriching life style.

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K S

Love it! Glass houses provide such a wondrous way to experience life in the woods. Thank you for sharing! My husband and I took our Chicago dream trip a couple of years ago. We joined the Chicago Architecture Foundation to take advantage of their many fabulous tours, one of which was a bus trip to the Farnsworth House. I never dreamed I would go. What a thrill! At least with this house, there's no chance of flooding, which is obviously not the case for the Farnsworth.

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Fusion Cabinets, Inc.

Amazing. Love it. Would buy it in a second.

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andreamroeder

Was there an issue with bird strikes and are there recommendations to help the birds avoid flying into the glass?

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Mike Goldsmith

Awesome in the right setting. You just have to remember to not throw stones...

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genevaliving

These homeowners are wonderful and their approach to beauty so rare. I am as inspired by the home as by its residents. Good job Houzz!

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mandyatkismet

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful. You lucky people.

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Kathryn Burich

Lovely to see outside, agreed. BUT they did not address and it does not appear that ANY of those glass wall open to allow fresh air. I could never live in a home that doesn't do that.

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Sari Salibi

I am sure no one is allowed to play baseball in the garden. Golf anyone? :)

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dshattls

would you mind sharing the glass backsplash company you used for the kitchen backsplash!

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Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New England

Migrating, Breeding and local birds may have collisions at any home with glass. How many window strikes are there each year? 1 Billion birds collide into buildings and glass each year. There are new windows being tested where birds see lines throughout the panes, though humans are not able to see this visual modification.

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Lynn G

I had a mid-century apartment/condo that had about 70% glass between the windows in the L/R and the slider in the kitchen with 2 extra glass panels. Even being on the north side of the building I had a lot of light, and loved that. It was a rather urban setting - other apartments across the street. My mother always bugged me to get curtains. I told her "when I'm having wild sex on my kitchen counters I'll add privacy, but since that isn't happening, I have nothing to hide". I've since moved to a ranch that has a wall that divides the front from the back and it feels so dark. Whether its'a mid-century with lots of glass, or an older house/apartment (1940's and earlier) with lots of windows, I prefer it over the contemporary styles of few windows and having a light and air blocking garage where the L/R used to be. There's just something about having natural light that I think is key to mental health. I have a hard time living in places that lack the natural light and air flow.

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Lynn G

I LOVE that you kept the original kitchen! It's fabulous!

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William Williams

just absolutely gorgeous.

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kristinanadreau

there are not enough superlatives to describe this house. I could move in next week. I would put up with Chicago just to live my days in this house. alas, stuck in Central America.

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lcirwin

I grew up in Olympia Fields and I have no idea where this house is. Would love some coordinates. It's a fantastic mid-century modern...and Olympia Fields is full of them.

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photoeve
I grew up in a house with a lot of glass built 1963. My mother at 100 still lives there. She has some senile dementia and suffers from "sun downing". For her this paranoia manifests itself in the need to cover the glass by drawing the curtains in the late afternoon. I think we all suffer from a degree of sundowning and vast expanses of black glass is distressing after dark. I am not sure what the answer is other than blinds and curtains. I see this house has curtains in the bedroom but not elsewhere.
Often people building new houses like the idea of windows and views and forget they need comings at night. Then they are faced with the expense and design question of window coverings.
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ddale6
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Peace Doula
Wow! Thank you for sharing this amazing home! Its gorgeous and one of my favorite homes on Houzz. The owners did a fantastic job. Their hard work and attention to original detail/simplicity is stunning and congrats to their efforts.

We live in a semi glass house in the high desert of so cal and it can get triple digit temps as well as snow. For other readers who plan on building glass homes, I would highly recommend floor heating/air system if your able too, they are incredibly fast to warm or cool you right off and better than ceiling vents. Plus an added huge fireplace can stand alone to heat entire room without system on.

Would love to contact owner by email and talk shop/renovation adventures. We found out some fun and exciting info that Julius Shulman photographed it as it was the model home for this private community. We found a pic in Getty museum archives (see attached) the other side of the living room (and some of kitchen area) has all glass and over looks the valley, golf course, lake below. A past owner converted the conversation pit though to a bar area.

Thank you again for sharing your stunning home on Houzz and to the journalist/crew for the great article.
Kindly,
N
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mwm311

I would love to find out who did your Glass Back Splash?

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L M C

I've lived in a partially open glass house for 30 years without curtains or blinds. I'm in a semi rural area. It's no different than if you're walking around your yard or patio. It's no big deal. Of course, you can't see us sleeping or dressing, but other than that, what's to hide?

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mack50

Very, very nice!

I would love to have a house like this.
My wife on the other hand would freak.

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daphnesmhlongo

I love it, I would built in the middle of my house with other structures in between, for safety

   
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jperdue04

Very cool! Curious, what were the heating bills before and after the furnace replacement?

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Kathryn Stellmacher D'Introno

I bet you anything when it gets super cold they head downstairs. Single pane glass, yikes! Amazing house though!

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jeanwinn

Fantastic! Wonder what the bathroom is like. Did I miss it?

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oldguy

Would be ideal with smartglass walls that could be darkened or opaqued by the touch of a switch. No one would build like this in a crowded urban environment, the point of this house is to enjoy the view.

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wedreambuilders

I am getting ready to build my next house, last house. It is going to be a very similar design except that it will be environmentally responsible. I will have a small, cozy, interior hub of 2x6 insulated walls/ceilings with a bathroom, bedroom, sitting room with a small kitchenette area open to it. Then i will have a perimeter of continuously open space with huge wood framed double pane windows for use in the 9 months that are not below 0. These windows, which i have 20 of, have opening lower sections. This area will house a full, farmhouse type, working pantry, another bathroom, laundry/utility room, spare bedroom spaces (murphy beds) and more living spaces. Around that i will have yet another perimeter of space glassed in with single pane plexi for yet more passive solar gain. In our 3 warm months i can replace some of these with screening against the blackflies, mosquitos & the earwigs that get into everything outdoors & sometimes indoors. Being a woman living alone & heading for my retirement I must incorporate opens spaces for use of walkers or wheelchairs that are most likely in my future. The huge plants i have & the use of gorgeous yardages of fabrics can create all the privacy i will need. Both between spaces and the outer perimeter. I intend to be in a town, where walking to everything will be my new lifestyle.

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kathlouttit

Gorgeous on the right site where absolutely no-one can see in. Would be a lot of heat loss. But most of all I wonder; what about at night - does the outside become a black void? Isn't that when you instinctively want to draw curtains?

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tobymoses

My architect husband built our midcentury modern home in 1958; it is made of glass, brick and wood. We still enjoy the open plan and floor to ceiling windows. We remodeled the kitchen, improved the bathrooms and added a two car garage in the 90's. It still looks beautiful and up to date for 2016.


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Diana

we lived in a glass house for 7 years and I swear it changed my brain. We had no neighbors or it would have been a completely different experience. The outdoors and natural light were our neighbors. We didn't need indoor plants. Our furnishings are plain because the decoration was outside. No art on the walls - oh yah no walls. we didn't miss it. Wake up every morning looking at birds in the very near treetops from our bed. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

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Diana

And the man way up the hill complained that he could see in our floor to ceiling glass wall for our shower. I said "well, go for it" and his wife giggled.

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Kimberly Valles

Thanks for all the nice comments- we have since sold our glass house - it is fun and tugs at my heart a bit to see us in our home again. Now a new family will get to enjoy it.

I wanted to answer a couple of questions posed here. The house has screens on all the doors and on the lower level windows and we installed solar-powered skylights over the kitchen so there was always plenty of fresh air and great cross-ventilation. We rarely had to use the air conditioners.

As for the glass backsplash, I contacted a company that specialized in custom glass shower enclosures and mirrors- they did the backsplash including tempering the panel behind the cooktop. We loved it and would use it again in a heartbeat.

Bird strikes were reduced greatly after we removed all the feeders left by the original owners but they still occurred. I know that at Philip Johnson's Glass House in Connecticut, they've actually had strikes from wild turkeys that have broken the glass- something we never experienced, fortunately. There are companies that make window decals that are supposedly invisible to the human eyes but can be seen by birds- we never had a chance to try them.




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sammooi

Gorgeous, an art piece.

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Gerald Lorentz

What's not to like? Go MCM!

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Jason J

I could do it, as long as there wasn't any local neighbors, kids or anyone walking by...who might catch me naked....The way America views nudity, we can't even be naked in our own homes....because of that one neighbor hiding behind their mini blinds with binoculars spying into your home....Once they see no clothes, the swat team is at the door...arresting you for indecent exposure and if there is a child anywhere around...your a molester, looking at life in prison....When all you did was run naked from the bathroom, to the kitchen to turn a burner off under the kettle....Right now I have a neighbor, who calls the cops on everything I do....including walking up the steps to loudly, farting to loudly on the toilet or having my phone ringer on maximum....I could only do a glass house, if it was up in the hills somewhere with a 7ft tall fence and gated driveway.....Americans view nudity as one of the seven deadliest sins and for that glass house won't work for me.....

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Laura Labate

Wow!! Dream house! Total connection with the universe!

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silviakunst
I am confused ..where is the "second story " part of the house ?
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ofgirl

It's gorgeous but too open for these days. Did she say it's in Chicago? That alone would put the kabosh on owning it. Better be Real thick glass.

   
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nancykinla

Kim and Jeff - hopefully the new owners have the same appreciation and love for this beautiful period piece. The surroundings are stunning! LOVE the house. Thank you for the lovely tour!! Nancy & Todd

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S F

It's a beautiful house but I bet that birds fly into the glass.

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kenkilgore
The featured house is incredibly beautiful! I applaud the owners for their dedication to such artful living. Though ours is not a glass house per se, we have large expanses of window walls to let in the light and lake-mountain views surrounding our Utah home. Thanks to energy efficient systems and windows, we pay no more for heating and cooling than we did for our previous conventional home with half the square footage. Birds occasionally fly into a window--maybe 3 per year that we notice--but this is about the same rate as at our previous home with stucco walls and farther from the lake. There was a burglary last year in our neighborhood--the owners of the castle-esque stone house were away on vacation and hadn't made arrangements to remove new-fallen snow from driveways or to pick up holiday deliveries from their porch. Our mostly-glass house was spared (so far), probably because we have a security system and fenced in backyard. I don't think security is a special issue for a glass house. As with any home, be smart and don't provide opportunities to would-be trespassers.
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koshki
Definitely not a bedroom where you could nurse a hangover!
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elbit

For me, a home must FEEL secure. Love the view and connection to the outside but I would absolutely need to have electronic shutters to close at night. Sleeping in such a house would make me horribly uncomfortable. A diaphanous curtain would not cut it. No way.

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belletje

Beautifully connected to nature, however, after dark all the blackness surrounding you could be disturbing, I imagine.

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Coldwell Banker/Lake Payne

I like glass houses and if you noticed they have a whole second level that offers privacy. The first level is more like a showcase. Open space concepts are becoming very popular and home owners are finding creative ways to carve the space. Play around with the lighting in glass houses. This can be really fun.

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B.C.B. inc
Would love to see the plan view of the house.
   
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New Decor

I love, love, love the house. It would be an everyday adventure for me.

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Margo Guy
We lived in a cottage version of this glass house in Wisconsin which was built in the 40's or 50's. It was a much smaller, and cheaper. There was no basement but was perched on stilts, therefore small boats and beach gear were stored under the house when they were not in use. It was the simple life.
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zeeplace

All I can think of is having to clean all that glass.

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Robert Lando

Beautiful home, but miss you guys even more!

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kolohi

I was surprised to read the comments about discomfort with darkness. The experience is valid and is apparently shared by some others; however, it is not universal, any more than fear of dogs or airplanes or clowns is universal. I have no curtains; for me, the dark is simply the dark, and is peaceful and comforting in its own way. I appreciate the changing light in much the same way that I appreciate the changing seasons... part of the rhythm of the natural world. I also enjoy stories that show me how others live differently than I do. At times, they inspire me with a new way to appreciate that which I love, just as at times they challenge my assumptions. If I can look at other lifestyles with curiosity and respect, then I can ask myself "how does that enhance their lives?" rather than automatically assuming that a difference means a liability. A beautiful home; I absolutely love it.

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andersonaustin

We've been fortunate to live in two different houses with a lot of glass and only have curtains in the master. We love it and won't have it any other way. In fact, we will be building our next house and plan for it to be mainly glass, too.

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bevieb2
Beautiful. Love it.
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ridiculous design inc.

My family and I will take care of these special house.


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Kimberly Valles

We knew you would! Looks amazing and the dogs seem to be loving it, too.

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Ericko
I like it
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lstasiuk
Love this house
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Beth Brown

I grew up in Olympia Fields looking at this house across the creek up on the bluff. Always wanted to see more! Very special house.

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reFresh Your Space, Inc.

So glad I came across this video! I feel as though I know this home as well as the owner's, as the Farnsworth House was my semester long project during my first year in design school! We were tasked with reworking the entire home, from top to bottom, all the way down to receptacle and lighting placement! I lived in Chicago at the time, but never got the chance to visit the Farnsworth House in person. Thanks for sharing your home with us!

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Benjamin

This house would not work in an urban setting unless it's surrounded by walls or trees or privacy fences. This house's location is remote and surrounded by trees.

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purplecow4

I grew up in this town in Illinois and would always stare at the house as we drove across the bridge over the Fox River. I also remember the river flooding this house occasionally!

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Jamil Scurry
Great house
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Monsieur Johnson
What a beautiful home! I enjoyed the tour. Thank you
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Joe Wolf

So nice! Many thanks for sharing the home and its great owners/caretakers with us.


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米倉滿建築計画設計事務所

The surrounding natural environment is beautiful. But you may need to do maintenance! It might be good to prepare the shelter in the basement when it is likely to lose to the natural climate, right?

   
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Roseana Melgoza
Wow! I'm envious of the whole house.
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Jan Knock
I stayed overnight in this house, hosted by the Rockwell’s, in the late 1970s. What a treat! It’s a joy to see the photos. I clearly remember the large bell cast in Arcosanti (Paolo Soleri) at the front entrance and the Knoll furniture.
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Deanna
Would’ve loved to see a diagram of the floor plan to understand the layout even more.
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Kimberly Valles

Deanna- although we sold the house 3 years ago, I still get notifications on comments here, and wanted to let you know that the house is back on the market. There are floorplans shown on the realtors listing page. Here's the link:Olympia Fields Glass House

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jillferrier
Sigh. House envy.
   
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a_lee75
What an experience it must be to live in such a house! Oh to be able to build one today with triple glazing & in-floor heating/cooling! Maybe even be able to have those windows frost with the flick of a switch. One can dream!
   
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Matthias Hausner

I love this house! I live in a house with expansive glass (and no curtains) myself, but not quite to the extreme levels of this place.


Modern Atrium House · More Info


One thing that needs to be considered in glass houses is what they look and feel like at night. They look spectacular when seen from outside, but from inside, the windows look pitch black or show a reflection of the illuminated inside. It's a bit unsettling if you can't see what's going on outside. In my place, I solved the problem with landscape lighting outside. I actually often turn off almost all the lights inside and let the inside be illuminated by the outside lights, so that the inside/outside feel continues even at night.

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normpo

It's beautiful! Yes, if it were on the corner of Main St, I might not like it so much but it's not, it's situated in a beautiful setting where no one is going to see in anyway. It's almost like living in a storybook with those beautiful views of the outside. There are curtains in the bedroom to draw for privacy and there were some on the windows of the office. I love to see outside and this place would certainly suit me. My last house was on a corner and it had perfect light for plants. They thrived in the light. I had nothing on the windows but shutters on the bottom half of the windows with the little louvers always open. No one saw in. At night I'd tilt the louvers down. I drive by now and the new owners have blinds on every window, top to bottom and they are closed shut tight as a drum, all the time. I think to myself, what are they doing in there that they have to block all those windows? What fear, secrets or guilt do they have that people might see them? I guess I'm lucky I'm an open book, I'm not worried if people can see me. The people in the glass house seemed very friendly and open themselves. How lucky they are to live in such an open space that reflects their openness with no fears.

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Stephanie Rountree

Quite lovely! I lived in Eau Claire for many years. Happy to hear you used EC river rock!

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wedreambuilders

And you moved because..........?

   
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Lili Chirillo

I love this house! I kind of can relate to the large windows. Our house is a 1969 loft style house with original 2 story windows facing south. We are in Wisconsin, so 1969 windows...not so good. However, in spring, summer and fall, the shades come up and stay that way. It's up for sale, and it's a hard sell to traditional people. We love it though. We enjoy our yard as well. I love your attitudes!

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midmodfan

"Black windows" at night can easily be avoided by illuminating the garden. Just highlight some beautiful trees or shrubs so that the outdoor space becomes visible from inside.

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mandcsmamadee

Reminds me of the house in "Lake House" that Keanu Reeves' architect father designed. Jason J, are you kidding about your neighbor calling police for just living? Surely you are! If it's true, don't you feel like a prisoner in your own home? I would have to move out of that situation. I have mirrors, so I don't embrace nudity as you do, but I would hate to feel I am being watched. It happened to me years ago when we lived in a home with an acre of woods behind us. Two young creeps were looking at our bathroom window with binoculars in the cold months when the leaves were off the trees. The sister of one of the little pervs told me. No, I didn't do anything about it. I was young and way too embarrassed. Oh! Just saw what word I wrote. Very appropriate! If it happened now, I would nail their little keisters to the wall. Happily, I'm too old to spark any interest now. :-)

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leahp_rr

Bueller? Bueller?

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Alexander
I wish I could experience what it would be like to live there, the simplicity and open feel of this home is truly beautiful. Definitely inspiring.
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dianecshirley

The interior materials were chosen so well, they warm up the house, this is not a cold, sterile place at all. Good job!

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bizeebees

LOVED, all of this

   
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rhazard48

Glass is beautiful when sparkling (streak-free) clean. Beautiful home, but too much maintenance.

   
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mitsybaby2

Really loved the house and so appreciated the way the second owners respected and preserved it only touching the mechanical components so that the integrity of the house was maintained for many to enjoy via Houzz. When reading that it was sold, my first reaction was oh no will the next owners maintain it the same way, saw that it was a so-called "pro" who purchased it and got worried, and now have viewed the modifications made (via the for sale listing) which have to say are terrible! Re-staining all the original wood in the dark blue looks terrible, modifying the original teak countertops, and that updated bathroom. There should be a proviso of what can be changed in these heritage homes so that people can't mess with them and they are lost as was just done. It's sad - very disappointed.

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Sally Errecart

Absolutely gorgeous!

   
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denisemathieu

wow...what a stunning house! I would love to have that connection with nature in a house such as this glass house. Just beautiful!

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lena917
beautiful