Reflecting on the trip, the homeowner observed, “the value of this trip for me as an architect was in finding inspiration in the architecture, culture, and lifestyle of Italy, but also recognizing the importance of high-quality and long-lasting construction.  As we toured the region, we saw how the Italian structures were made from solid and long-lasting materials.  It made me question how we as Americans can build beautiful homes but often put in windows that will not withstand the life of the structure.  A bigger percentage of our construction budgets should be allocated to quality windows and doors.” 

He continued, “It was fascinating to learn about all of the players involved in creating the Brombal windows. From the plate glass manufacturer to the company that cuts, insulates and tempers the units to the creator of the metal profiles – each step is so specialized.  We saw first-hand how Brombal cuts the metal profiles to size, welds the corners, sandblasts with zinc pieces and finishes the brass units. There is such attention to detail and craftsmanship in every step of the process.”

Upon returning home from Italy, we got to work on the project. First, we designed the front door which became the focal point and “wow factor” of the house. The homeowners wanted white steel, which caught us by surprise as we had never done a white unit before.

Traditionally our steel units have been either black or another dark color. Not one to shy away from trying something new, we did it and it turned out great!  The lighter color adds a sense of softness to the steel and makes it more inviting, more refined.  We then designed two more doors in the back that flank the fireplace leading to the porch. They provide natural light throughout the house and create a nice flow from front to back.

Finally, we collaborated on the floors and ceiling beams. For flooring, we used a fumed white oak in mixed widths on both the main floor and upper floor.  One of my favorite parts of the project is the custom stair tread, which we stained to match the risers. It’s such an easy and cost-effective option for a great eye-catching detail. 

In my humble opinion, the finished product is bellissima!