Deep overhangs, a horizontal profile, and expanses of glass reflect Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence on fellow Wisconsin architect Ken Dahlin. Many of Wright’s Prairie School principles are evident in Ken’s new home in Racine, Wisconsin.
“I’ve always had a love of organic architecture, even when I was in high school,” Ken says. “Frank Lloyd Wright was one of my original architectural heroes. The idea of architecture integrating with nature has always been important to me, long before we were talking about green and sustainability. It just seemed natural (no pun intended) for our firm to get more specifically involved in the green aspects of design,” he adds.
Ken founded his firm, Genesis, in 1992, with a focus on creating residences that “respect light and nature.” While designing primarily high-end custom homes, Ken saw a need to make healthy and energy-efficient houses accessible and affordable to middle-income families. That led to the design of the home where he now lives with his wife, Kim, and 14-year-old son, Nathan.
Some smart ideas from the Dahlins’ living room:
• Energy-wise windows are low-E and argon-filled to protect against temperatures that can range from below zero to above 100 (hurd.com; 800/433-4873).
• A wood-burning fireplace with a fan blows heated air into the room (majesticproducts.com).
Text by Amy Elbert
Photographs by John Reed Forsman
Produced by Hilary Rose
Ken Dahlin, Genesis Architecture, 4061 N. Main St., Suite 200, Racine, WI 53402-3116; 262/752-1894, genesisarchitecture.com.
Sofa and love seat (“York’’); sofa and love-seat fabric (“Desmond’’/Fawn microsuede); chairs by fireplace (“Candace’’); fabric on chairs (discontinued): Room & Board, 800/486-6554, roomandboard.com.
Striped pillows; leather bench; stacking tables: owner’s collection.
Table between chairs: Pier 1 Imports, 800/245-4595, pier1.com.
Area rug (“Ferrara’’): Crate & Barrel, 800/996-9960, crateandbarrel.com.
Flooring: stained concrete by Dura-Guard Inc., 262/635-9889.
Sealer for floor: water-based epoxy sealer. Windows (low-E argon-filled wood windows with aluminum cladding): Hurd Windows, 800/223-4873, hurd.com.
Fireplace mantel; wood trim (cherry); fireplace surround (“Verde Tropic’’): custom.
Art above fireplace (by Ed Lazzeroni): Ed Lazzeroni, 262/681-6303.
Paint on lower wall (“Sawdust’’ #6158); ceiling and upper-wall paint (“Bagel’’ #6114): The Sherwin-Williams Co., 800/474-3794, sherwin-williams.com.
Recessed lighting: Halo Lighting, haloltg.com.