When interior designer Rebecca Cartwright set out to design Naturally House, the brainchild of lifestyle guru Danny Seo located in a sustainable community just outside of Atlanta, she didn’t necessarily intend to live there. But when all was said and done, it was just too good not to. “It had a great vibe,” she says.
Impressed by the house’s “treehouse” style, Rebecca was especially compelled by architectural details like the window cutouts in the back, the wraparound porch, and the flow and connectedness of the home overall. “As the build progressed, I came to enjoy the setting and sensibility of the house more and more,” she says. “I pitched it to my husband, and he agreed to go for it. This will be our retirement house when that day comes.”
True to its name, the house reflects nature at every turn. When it was time to bring Danny’s—who you may know from NBC’s Naturally, Danny Seo—vision to life, Rebecca visited the Wilsonart Americas headquarters in Temple, Texas for inspiration. From the Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces portfolio she pulled their Quartz and Solid Surface materials as well as their Laminate inspired by forged steel and wood. “Going to their headquarters opened my eyes to the range of products Wilsonart offers,” she says. “I got to see laminates that are so beautiful and authentic to elements like wood and ice.”
This was especially helpful considering she wanted to add layers to the interior like wood planks on the ceilings and walls, but they weren’t quite feasible on a spec home budget. She also looked to Wilsonart’s affordable options for materials, like popular surfaces with a matte finish that look stunning in the kitchen and bath. “We used solid surface throughout the showers to eliminate grout lines for a seamless appearance, and it was easy to fabricate and install. It’s a modern house with an organic aesthetic, and Wilsonart’s products matched up beautifully.”
“ For residential applications, we want to create products people love, and we don’t want to limit the options.”
She says the house’s colors and finishes feel rooted in nature and give the home a calming, cozy feel that fits perfectly considering its wooded location. “The unique architecture, wooded lot, natural light, and the ability to add some interesting layers compelled us to make the house our home,” Rebecca says.
But Naturally House is just one example of how Wilsonart’s solutions set the mood for a space. “For residential applications, we want to create products people love, and we don’t want to limit the options. We take desired features from stones or marbles and transfer them into materials that work better from a product standpoint, and are affordable from a cost standpoint,” says Gwen Petter, Wilsonart’s director of design. “For commercial applications, nature isn’t taken as literally, so it can be more implied, taking familiar elements from wood and adding abstracted qualities or an artistic twist, creates solutions that commercial designers appreciate, and allows them to bring nature into the space in unique ways.”
Of course, good design means different things to different people. “Some people think it’s pie in the sky, but we have a very focused creative process,” Gwen says. “It starts with trends, and then we translate those trends into usable products that customers can love and use. Our designs are always inspired by a story, and when a customer or designer picks our materials, we want to make sure the story resonates in the end application. If we don’t love it, the customer won’t.”
This article originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2019 issue of Sixtysix with the headline “Naturally House.” Subscribe today.
Produced by Studio Sixtysix
Words by Christine Birkner
Photos by David Engelhardt for Naturally, Danny Seo
Studio Sixtysix is the in-house creative agency to Sixtysix magazine. Studio Sixtysix stories are conceived, produced, and edited by Studio Sixtysix.