Heartfelt Homes: A Gift That Keeps Giving


By Amy Conner-Murphy, AIA, Principal of ACM Design

Creating a home for someone is something like preparing the perfect gift. What is meaningful to one person is different than what matters to another, so personalizing each design is essential. At ACM Design, we think that the best homes are born from a collaborative creative process with our clients. This process allows for an interactive experience in which we come to learn about what you expect your life to be like in your new home. We think about your daily rituals and what they mean for the layout and circulation; we ponder your hopes for how you will feel in these spaces. While seemingly non-architectural, these details inform the built environment. You may want this environment to be very different from your previous home … or not.

Often, we are creating a place that works functionally now and has aspects that express something from earlier in the clients’ lives. Holly and Jim* moved here from Pennsylvania, where Holly had grown up on a farm. When she began her family, her parents gave her some land from their property on which to build a house, and in time the grandkids came home from school to Grandma’s house for hot cookies each afternoon. We created a kitchen for Holly that had a hutch detail and rustic beams, all reminiscent of her mother’s kitchen. Today, preparing meals is Holly’s gift to family and friends in her new kitchen. It feels like her mother’s kitchen but functions like a modern chef’s kitchen. Considering her rituals for how she uses her kitchen was the key to unlock the ideal layout while weaving in memories from her past made the space feel right.

Likewise, Jim lived for a time in Japan before they married. He appreciated Japanese culture and design and wanted to infuse that influence into the new home design. Together, we decided to feature a tansu chest in the foyer as a design focal point that could be enjoyed on a daily basis.


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