Our Favorite Houses: A Playful Spin On Tradition

Exterior of modern home with people on porch
A playful, modern spin on a traditional form.

Tony Valainis

The outline of a normal house is there, elevated above front and back decks and attached to an enclosed stairwell. That form helped Patrick and Jenni Mikusky earn approval to build the most dramatic home in their historic near-northside neighborhood two years ago. Both the front and rear glass walls of the main level open entirely, erasing any boundary between the street and the backyard—a visually powerful touch that makes a house whose design could be intimidating feel friendly and welcoming instead. 

Inside Story
A graffiti wall and a rope swing on the main level continue the sense of adventure within. The second and third levels have simple layouts: two equal-sized rooms per floor, one overlooking the front yard and the other the back through floor-to-ceiling black-frame windows. And if you think this house is an eye-popper, wait until you see the new one the couple is planning to renovate nearby.

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