A Taste for the Contemporary

Vampires aren’t my usual subject, but when they become interested in modern design, it’s time to look over their shoulders. The hugely successful film Twilight, is a case in point. When my daughter took me to see it I forgot about the plot as soon as the vampires’ home appeared on screen: it’s a dazzling modern sculpture in concrete, wood, and glass by the architecture firm Skylab. Here it is in an alluring photograph by Stephen Cridland from Skylab.


Clearly these vampires — their name is Cullen — have evolved. They must subscribe to Wallpaper, Metropolis, or Dwell. And they turn out to be a very nice family, too. Ironically this vividly foreshortened view gives the house  a more “supernatural” look than it has in the film; nevertheless, all the glass and jutting cantilevers make it an unusually open and bright — not to say scene-stealing — design for folks who enjoy the dark and are somewhat reclusive.

The house is now owned by an executive with Nike. I just wanted the movie to show a little more of it. So here are two other views by from Skylab.

Hoke house kitchen

The kitchen shows how the island and sink counter draw your eye toward the view and the porch beyond, giving the space compelling indoor-outdoor character. Dense foliage outside the window becomes a natural curtain.

Hoke house porch

A screen made of finely scaled horizontal wood slats turns part of the porch into an elegant and private outdoor dining area. Walls and floor of wood continue the horizontal theme  and add a warm counterpoint to the cool abstraction of the design.

Clearly you don’t need to be a celebrity vampire to yearn for a sleek contemporary house. Our Contemporary House Plans Collection contains many plans to satisfy your thirst for modernity. in the News

It has been a busy press week for, with Design Editor Pilar Viladas vividly explaining the Flexahouse in the New York Times Magazine The Moment Blog on March 24. In addition, several hot and extremely popular design blogs have reported on recently.  Remodelista’s Julie Carlson covered Nick Noyes and the Flexahouse in detail;  Materialicious explored both the Flexahouse and the Turnbull plans. Onward and upward.


  1. but no house built for the movies ever beat that FLW knockoff in North By Northwest.

  2. I wish you would use some of your good taste to edit what plans are available on I see the same plans I saw when my parents were look ing to build a house in the 1970’s. You ‘contemporary’ category has the cheap 70’s saltbox and such. Some of the newer stuff done in Sketchup looks so vague and undesigned. At least you could add a modern category and try to have some quality control.

  3. Good advice — perhaps time to take another look — we have added many new modern plans since then!

  4. I always spent my half an hour to read this website’s articles or reviewss every day alongg wiyh a cup of coffee.

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