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A couple in Indian Hill designed their home with open, airy, light-filled spaces with 360-degree views of the woods and fields around them. Their house seeks to complement the nature surrounding it with thoughtful Asian/European-inspired style. / Image: Amy Elisabeth Spasoff // Published: 9.4.18

This Indian Hill Home Was Built Almost Entirely around Nature

On a long and winding driveway off a quiet Indian Hill road, a designer and a painter, along with their adorable blue heeler, Daisy, spent years creating their dream home.

The husband and wife duo (who wish to remain anonymous) were inspired by Palladianism’s clarity, order, symmetry, proportion, and siting when designing their house. They wanted open, airy, light-filled spaces with 360-degree views of the woods and fields around them. Getting it from paper to the real world took time, though.

During the home’s design phase, the husband spent months on business in Asia while outlining details for the home when he could, usually during evenings and on planes. On weekends, he traveled to the couple's favorite historic villas in Kyoto, Beijing, and Kaohsiung for inspiration.

One of their favorites, the Summer Palace in Beijing, is revered for having all five elements of Feng Shui: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. While they fell in love with the Summer Palace for its aesthetic appeal, they realized their own plot of land in Indian Hill also possessed all five elements. Taking that into consideration, they decided to build their dream home to exist in harmony with the nature around it.

The couple filled their fields with wildflowers and prairie grasses, planted milkweed to encourage Monarch butterflies to lay eggs, and constructed bee hives to facilitate the pollination of flowers. Wild turkeys, coyotes, raccoons, and toads moved in. Their creek became home to a resident heron. Their skies soared with owls, turkey vultures, hawks, and falcons.

A symphony composed by nature followed.

The couple enjoys a daily chorus of birds at dawn. Barred owls raucously call for each other across the valley. Bees hum throughout the afternoon. Every evening is a rock concert of cicadas, crickets, and frogs. Deer chirp and coyotes howl as the wind rustles the trees.

It's hard to imagine a better house and setting. Find a good nature sounds track on Spotify and check out the gallery above to imagine it for yourself.