Countdown to the 2016 Idea House: Meet the Architect
With the Idea House opening only four months away, we’re bringing you monthly behind-the-scenes interviews with the talented people designing, building, and decorating this beautiful home. In this post, we introduce you to Architect Bill Ingram, a nationally renowned Birmingham-based architect whose work has been published in magazines including Southern Living, House Beautiful, Veranda, Southern Accents, and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles.
ML: Tell us little bit about your firm, Bill Ingram Architect. What’s the philosophy behind your designs?
Bill Ingram: Our firm specializes in residential properties, this being our 20th year in business. For us, a house needs to start off responding to where it is and the landscape that surrounds it. We like for a house to look like it belongs there, like it hasn’t been plopped down without attention to its locale. We create new homes that look old that are rooted in the history of the place. This is especially important in Mt Laurel. The home is located on a woodsy property, so we used bark-colored siding and a gray roof to fit with the natural aesthetic of Mt Laurel.
ML: What’s it been like working with Mt Laurel and Town Builders, Inc.?
Bill Ingram: It’s been really great. Bryan Phillips of Town Builders, Inc. is wonderful to work with. He’s excited and proud for Mt Laurel to host the Southern Living Idea House and really wants to get it right. We couldn’t be happier to work with him.
ML: With the Southern Living Idea House opening in June, what’s going on on-site right now?
Bill Ingram: The house is trimmed on the outside, with most of the siding and windows in place. We’re about to get started on the Sheetrock and cabinetry, and the brick for the chimney and porch skirting should be coming soon.
ML: Describe the layout of the 2016 Idea House.
Bill Ingram: The interior is marked by its distinct spaces. A wide central hallway runs through the first floor, with a staircase at the back. A big, comfortable front-to-back living room leads to the master bedroom and bath. There’s a distinct dining room as well as a kitchen/family room, powder room, laundry room, and garage on the main level. Upstairs features three bedrooms with baths and a bonus room that could work as a TV room or study.
ML: Give us an architectural detail or two that you’re most excited about.
Bill Ingram: Southern Living readers will love the home’s wraparound porch. The lot sits up high and is on a corner overlooking a wooded preserve. So to make the most of this view, we designed the home to have two fronts. You can reach the porch from the front door and the living room, so the home really suits the spot it’s on. It also has the proportions of an older home, with attached wings on the side, which suggest that the residents have added on through the years. The double break in the roof also nicely articulates the three dormer windows.
ML: What’s something that will get people excited about the opening of the Idea House?
Bill Ingram: I think this will be a fun home for people to tour. Readers will be excited by the line-up of decorators, who each have multiple spaces to decorate.