North Idaho Luxury Lifestyle: The New and The Tried and True

May 2019 | Press

By Andy Smith, Principal | Edwards Smith Construction
For North Idaho Luxury Lifestyle magazine | Black Rock edition

YOUR CUSTOM HOME

At Edwards Smith Construction, we feel fortunate and are humbled to be selected to build many of the region’s premier homes. It’s exciting to be asked to create one-of-a-kind residences that express our clients’ individuality. As it happens, it’s also a fun time to be building in North Idaho. 

The natural rustic charm that’s been favored in the area will always have its place against a backdrop of evergreen-laden mountains and the region’s shimmering lakes. But there’s an infusion of cool and unique elements of late that, until recently, were limited to design magazines and larger markets. The good news is these elements are no longer out of reach. Materials are more readily available and the technology is in place. Most importantly, we’ve raised the bar for ourselves and our subcontractors to ensure these elements are implemented efficiently, function properly and, of course, look great. 

Welcoming Walls

Many of our clients are turning to different materials on the walls or as the wall itself to add a new dimension or feel to their homes. As the name implies, rammed earth walls are constructed by ramming natural raw materials into place to create eye-catching walls that garner attention – both inside and out. Resembling sedimentary sandstone without the thousand-year wait, these high-performance walls are energy efficient while providing the homeowner with a sense of quiet and comfort.

Custom steel patina panels provide an industrial dimension to the home yet still maintain warmth due to their rich, dark tones. Wallpaper is making a comeback, with options for any budget, providing homeowners a way to express their unique style in graphic, colorful and textural ways. Thanks in part to Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame, shiplap continues to grow in popularity. Throughout the design and construction markets, these walls provide a farmhouse feel that many homeowners desire. 

Sophisticated Siding

One of the main functions of siding is to serve as the first barrier to outside elements such as rain, snow, hail and ice. Practicalities aside, siding adds color and definition to your home, allowing you to highlight special features, set the tone for interior and other exterior aesthetics and ensure that wow-factor when your home first comes into view. The love affair with locally available and harvested wood products continues in North Idaho, but other options are causing a stir. The use of new materials such as high-density, laminated wood panels and rammed earth walls provide a unique exterior aesthetic. Both “siding” options protect against adverse weather conditions without the need for maintenance or treatment down the road. 

Reclaimed wood – particularly charred wood siding – adds warmth and depth to a home’s exterior. It provides a naturally aged and weathered appearance along with a potentially tighter grain structure than virgin wood for greater durability. Factor in the positive impact on the environment and the story waiting to be shared and you can see why people continue to embrace reclaimed wood in home design.

Sensational Stairways

From a purely functional standpoint, stairways help us move from one level to another. From an aesthetic viewpoint, however, stairways are so much more. Today’s stairways grab your attention, expand the imagination and serve as a permanent artistic stamp on your home. Homeowners are elevating the status of the stairway to built-in furniture that’s highlighted and celebrated like never before. If you only have one opportunity to make a creative statement inside (or outside) your home, it should be the stairway.

Incorporating elegance, drama and/or the wow factor, our clients have requested everything from rustic outdoor circular staircases to North Idaho contemporary stairwells. Of course, Craftsman-style radius staircases are still a favorite for many and, in every case, double-takes are a given.

First and foremost, from classy to quirky, people are embracing options that make the space their own. They are not tied to generic norms.

As new ideas emerge, we remain committed to educating ourselves and those we work with to ensure we are at the forefront when it comes to incorporating them into your home. From new elements to the tried-and-true, each home we build is as different as the owners who occupy them – and that difference is the essence of custom building. 

PDF version of article with pics here. See how are clients have embraced custom building here.