With houses, there is a fine line between good design and livability. Focus too much on the design, and you create a museum piece where no one feels comfortable sitting down. Give too much over to liv- ability, and you end up with just a place to eat and sleep.
At its best, home design should be a combination of the personal and transcendent, of form and function. It sounds easier to achieve than it often is: You’ve probably walked into a lovely house that feels like no one really lives there. Or visited a house that is so ordinary, it fails to inspire. When home design works, the effect is seamless, and the feeling it creates — an ethereal combination of order, elevation and art — helps explain the transformative power of our homes.