HGTV Dream Home 2013: The Beauty of Zen Design

Simplicity defines the HGTV Dream Home 2013 design concept.

HGTV Dream Home 2013 Front Exterior

“We wanted the space to feel familiar, but with all visual clutter edited out,” says HGTV Dream Home 2013 lead architect Chris Rose, AIA. “So we pared down the extraneous details to create a relaxing atmosphere and chose durable materials to simplify the maintenance effort, as well.” The result is a Zen-like vacation home that embodies the following principles.

Indoor-Outdoor Flow

At HGTV Dream Home 2013, “great room” takes on new meaning. The space contains the home’s main communal activity areas — kitchen, dining and family rooms — plus a 600-square-foot rear deck that flows from and lives like part of the great room thanks to a wall of glass with integral French doors.

Calm Minimalism

Baseboards are simply grooved and crown molding is eliminated. In the kitchen, flat slabs comprise kitchen cabinet doors and giant sheets of glass laid over walls stand in place of an intricately tiled backsplash. Glass dominates the master bathroom as well, with transparent walls surrounding the walk-in shower and frosted glass encapsulating the water closet. The gas fireplace provides the best example of uncomplicated design: The sleek horizontal, picture frame-like opening, devoid of mantel and surround, houses a linear yellow flame that rises from a pebble floor.

Durable Materials

Beautiful, durable and easy-maintenance materials contribute to the home’s sense of serenity. “We picked materials that are simple to live with and to care for,” says general contractor Craig Gentilin. Products include tougher-than-oak bamboo flooring, hardwearing granite counters, weather-tough cellular PVC siding and garapa decking.

Water Features

During the day, all eyes focus on the gorgeous tidal salt marsh from the home’s north-facing windows. At night, when the marsh is shrouded in darkness, a tranquil water feature commands attention. The infinity pool on the rear deck is visible from the great room as well as the master bedroom and broadcasts rippling light throughout the house.

Barefoot Design

A design element that contributes to HGTV Dream Home’s green-building credits also contributes to the home’s simple, stripped-down aesthetic. The custom boot bench by the main entrance encourages people to remove their shoes before advancing further into the home, which helps to keep the house clean and protect the floor’s finish, says Chris. “And we love the idea of people being barefoot in the house. It’s appropriate for a vacation home — and for the whole Zen feel we’re creating.”

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