STONE HOUSES: Natural Forms in Historic and Modern Homes

Stone Houses by Linda Leigh Paul, reviewed on

STONE HOUSES: Natural Forms in Historic and Modern Homes

By Linda Leigh Paul

Linda Leigh Paul has published another beautiful design book- of contemporary stone properties that are anything BUT predictable. Stone Houses gives us the kind of eye candy that would encourage us to slow down, savor the experience, and perhaps revisit architectural details from previous chapters.  Paul’s compilation of almost thirty modern spaces span the world, highlighting architects who put stone to work in innovative ways, in homes that we would not otherwise have access to. Architecture fans and anyone who is considering a new-build or remodel might want to shop architects she included in this book. Mostly privately owned, the high-end homes on this insider tour are not to be missed:

Newport Beach architecture, as seen in Stone Houses by Linda Leigh Paul
The entrance of Casa de los Peregrinos in Newport Beach opens to an impressive ocean view. The materials were carefully planned between architect and owners to be stone and timbers from Montana, Wyoming, and Canada. Also incorporated- antique roof tiles from Provence, other tiles and artifacts from nearly every memorable site in the world, and reclaimed oak for flooring from New England. The large stone borders and plinths commanded that unique techniques and craft be used to fit corners, doors, windows, and fireplaces. The owners, both avid readers, planned for multiple reading nooks and ample bookcases, adding to the warmth throughout this magnificent home. My kind of people.
To be honest, I anticipated that any book about stone houses might represent a somewhat more traditional style. Not the case at all. The author has amassed a surprising number of contemporary homes, like the above home, that thoughtfully blend history to modern day in a most respectful way.  The House at Grishipol in Scotland comes with an amazing story to honor the history of the property.  It was originally built in the mid-1700’s, unfortunately on sand, which created shifts and fractures. It was abandoned for more than 150 years, and designated a protected property by government decree. The new owners and their architect came up with ingenious plans to preserve the property as a ruin, and build their dream house adjacent to the property in a way that would fortify and protect the original. The result is breathtaking and you will have to get the book to see the details of how the architect structurally preserved the cracks in the wall to remain exactly as found and connected the old structure to the new.
Who would guess that this property spans all the way back to the seventeenth century? Unique techniques, vaults, arches and materials offer a date stamp to this Tel Aviv home’s timeline with updates throughout the years that include modern luxury amenities. The resulting flow and balance artfully blend the updates throughout the centuries to make this property feel state of the art- which is no small feat. The visionaries and architects behind this project have my full respect.

This heavenly Jackson Hole retreat is named The Creamery.  The owners transported ruins from a dairy barn in rural northern Montana to Jackson Hole, where they were incorporated into an updated reconstruction of the original dairy barn with numbered stones. The reconstructed creamery houses all traditional gathering spaces – kitchen, casual dining areas, living rooms. Separate structures were built for bedroom wing, guest quarters, and an entertainment pavilion- all with carefully considered views and landscaping. The details are notable and the design is fresh and contemporary.

Villa San Spirito takes us to a four-building compound on the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. The owners, who are also the architect & design duo for this house, updated the fifteenth-century structures with great respect to pattern and details of local traditions. In contrast to the exterior, the interiors take the leap into modern-day living with custom-designed elements to create a beautiful past to present balance.

You may be familiar with Linda Leigh Paul’s other books, which include Haciendas: Spanish Colonial Houses in the U.S. and Mexico, Ranches of the American West, and Casa Bohemia  (see Casa Bohemia review here)- all published by Rizzoli. Her latest private tour of high-end Stone House residences offers the opportunity to experience the true potential of a timeless and durable material- this book is one that you won’t want to miss.  Order your copy of Stone Houses here.
©Stone Houses: Natural Forms in Historic and Modern Homes by Linda Leigh Paul, Rizzoli New York, 2018. Select press images will be made available, but no image may be used, in print or electronically, without written consent from the publisher and are to be credited on a case by case basis. Serial rights are available; please contact Antonia Paruolo @ 212 387 3502 or
This post is brought to you in collaboration with Rizzoli. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for

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