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Rooms without walls. How? With level changes, half-walls, built-in furniture.

Rooms without walls. How? With level changes, half-walls, built-in furniture

The battle for space often divides houses into small rooms set apart for specific functions; they tend to be unrelated to one another and to the total house they create. But in the three examples shown here, the living areas meet distinct needs without being isolated by full walls.

Above left, architect Hayahiko Takase created a music room by screening an alcove off the living room with a built-in sofa. A lower ceiling further sets the space apart from the two-story living room.

Above, architect Judith Chafee placed the breakfast area in the center of this Tucson house. Half-walls define three sides of the "room'; careful window placement allows seated diners to enjoy views through the house (into the hallway, kitchen, adjacent living room) to the landscape beyond.

At left, level changes and half-walls set off three rooms--living room, dining room, and kitchen--that fan off the main hall in Tucson architect Bob Nevins' house. At the top level, the kitchen is defined by half-walls, its clutter hidden from seated guests in living and dining rooms. Each room feels separate, yet all share space visually. Consistent materials were used throughout--Mexican quarry tile on floors, white paint on walls, and fir trim on stair risers, wall caps, and table supports.

Photo: Sofa wall with plant niche helps distinguish step-down music room from living room in Woodland Hills, California, house of Hayahiko Takase

Photo: Five level change separate Tucson architect Bob Nevins' living room, dining room, and kitchen; built-in sofa with table rising from its backrest directs traffic. Half-walls surround upper-level kitchen

Photo: Three half-walls enclose breakfast nook; broad divider facing living room serves as a sideboard in Betty and Edward Kollar's Tucson house
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Date:Jul 1, 1986
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