By Julia M. Trupp | Photography by Timothy Hursley
For a decorated Army Corps of Engineers retiree who found solace in landscape photography, it seemed only natural to design a house complementing the peaceful Ozark Mountain landscape surrounding him.
After seeing deMx architecture’s residential portfolio, Harrison Sutcliffe said he wanted a modern, open house that took advantage of the view he had on his hilltop Eureka Springs property. The modern simplicity and vernacular forms that inspire the deMx design team were just what he was looking for.
“Our approach to design on all our projects starts off in a similar way – both collaborative and client-focused,” says Seth Spradlin, deMx project manager. “Here we took the ideas Harrison wanted and began to formalize those both visually and functionally into a cohesive structure. What makes this design unique is its simple layout and straight-forward approach to capturing the landscape.”
Spradlin took some formal qualities from local barn typologies and simplified the traditional gambrel barn roof to fit a modern composition. The cantilevered steel stoop allows visitors to enjoy the ascension into the elevated 1,750-square-foot home. The steel awning creates an entry portal that briefly blocks the east-facing view until Sutcliffe and his guests open the mahogany front door into the foyer to reveal the views from the warm, maple wood-filled interior.
The main level has a spacious master bedroom suite and an open living, kitchen and dining area with 21-foot vaulted ceilings and white walls that spill onto an 8-foot-by-23-foot exterior balcony. The modern living room set and bed, both from Lacuna Modern in Fayetteville, provide comfort in the chic spaces. The lighter materials and finishes, such as the maple cabinetry in the kitchen and matching flooring and window trim, help to maximize light and warmth throughout the home.
The kitchen features Negresco granite counters from New Century Countertops, a breakfast bar seating area, stainless steel appliances and a small, filled wine refrigerator built into the island. The trees and mountainous landscape act as natural decor and can be seen through each vinyl window set around the house. Built-in storage eliminates barriers and leaves enough room for simple furniture around the living space. Recessed and pendant light fixtures from Lighting Emporium supplement the natural light throughout the home. It’s the perfect hosting area for football watch parties and barbecues.
The exterior cedar siding was “charred through a process known as Shou Sugi Ban, which preserves the wood through a layer of char and gives the owner a long-term maintenance-free siding,” Spradlin says. The Shou Sugi Ban process is an ancient Japanese technique, which made it more significant for Sutcliffe, who has Japanese heritage.
The secluded residence is one that functions as an instrument for capturing the landscape in much of the same way a camera would, as each room allows visitors to experience diverse panoramas of the surrounding area through varying apertures. deMx used concealed full-height pocket doors whenever possible to preserve the organic flow between rooms. With the open windows and floor plan, visitors can indulge themselves in views of the mountains from nearly every room in the house, sometimes spotting the 1886 Crescent Hotel in the distance on a clear day or catching a glimpse of Sutcliffe’s new beagle mix Rocky frolicking outside.
Sutcliffe has lived in the bustling cities of Tulsa, Houston, Galveston, Dallas, Kandahar, Afghanistan and the San Francisco Bay area during his engineering career, but like many who return to the Ozarks after a whirlwind of travels, the peaceful mountains called him back home.