In many of our previous houses, there has been one room done in an Egyptian style. One of my first projects had an Egyptian parlor, the next project had an Egyptian bedroom, and another had an Egyptian styled home theater. Since we’re going around the world designing homes, we thought it was time we design a whole house for Egypt.
So come along as we share our latest Live Home 3D project. I decided to present this house in the order of the video tour rather than room by room.
What is more iconic for Egypt than a pyramid? So that’s the form we used. The property is surrounded by a wall modeled after ancient temple walls, complete with hieroglyphics. As you pass through the gates you’ll notice there is symmetry throughout, both in the house and in the gardens.
In the front yard a pair of fountains flank the driveway, while two opposing rows of palm trees run the length of the lot. This is one place I think planting palm trees is appropriate. Downtown San Jose, not so much. The garage has been moved under the house so as to not ruin the symmetry.
As we make our way down the garage ramp you’ll see the black and gold marble that is used throughout the house. After parking our car, we’ll visit the woodshop. It has it’s own set of garage doors so that in the up position they provide a bit more room to park the cars or turn around, and when doing woodworking they can be lowered to better contain the noise and dust.
You’ll notice that both the garage and the shop have been used to display lots of my photography. Back in the garage you’ll notice I own a very nice collection of vintage motorcycles.
After visiting my wood shop, we next visit Lori’s creative room. Here she has large tables to work on her patterns and sewing, with lots of storage space for her vintage clothes and fabric scraps she tends to collect. There’s a huge dollhouse since the dolls she collects are 1/4 scale, not the more common 1/12 scale.
Next we head upstairs. We’ll take you through the main entrance later, but from the garage we take a staircase up and we end up in the dining room. We’ll revisit that room later, but for now we quickly duck into the courtyard and we turn our gaze upwards. The courtyard rises all the way through the four above ground floors, ending with a glass top that provides fantastic viewing opportunity from the fourth floor.
The courtyard is a room of it’s own with not one but two fountains, one in the middle of the room, and another against one wall. Comfortable seating makes it a nice place to relax. It also serves as a way to easily navigate the house, and our first pass through it will help us get to the library.
In the library we have once again used our favorite bookcase model, as we’ve both wanted to have a room with a rolling ladder like this room has.
As we exit the library at the other side, we see a number of old card catalogs. They are currently used for storing CDs and DVDs as the home theater is just around the corner if we turn right.
Instead we’re going to turn left and proceed through the pantry to kitchen. We get our first look at the amazing backyard which you’ll see in just a minute.
More marble in the kitchen and then we pass through the French doors back into the dining room. Here we have a Frank Lloyd Wright dining table and chairs, and an inverted pyramid light fixture above.
The wallpaper was exported out of an earlier 3D model I used to form the background for my Dance Like an Egyptian series of photographs with Ayrica. If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice a few of those photos around the house.
The side door from the dining room takes us down deep into the heart of the pyramid. We wind down and down until we finally reach a room guarded by Anubis, the Egyptian god of the underworld. Safely making our way past him and his twin, we enter to find a huge pillared room with a 20 foot high ceiling.
This is the ballroom, and it was modeled after the previously mentioned 3D temple model I used. Some of the decoration comes from that model, and some comes from a wallpaper we hope to someday use in our real house, and then other elements came from the SketchUp 3D library we use so often.
We make the long climb back upstairs back to the dining room and then pass through another set of French doors to the living room. Unlike most of the previous houses we’ve done, here the billiard table sits at one end of the very long living room rather than getting it’s own room. There’s also a pair of King Tut throne replicas set up for playing chess.
There’s more to see in the living room, but for now we take a turn towards the back yard. Our first view is the pavilion structure that surrounds the pool. Richly decorated columns support the gold trimmed ceiling that provides a welcome bit of shade from the hot Egyptian sun.
The hot tub is over on the left hand side of the backyard, surrounded by another structure inspired by Egyptian temples. On our way over to it, we pass by a fire pit surrounded by comfortable outdoor seating. The jacaranda trees are in full bloom, adding a wonderful scent to the night air.
Truckloads upon truckloads of marble were used to build the pavilions, the pool deck and the black-bottomed pool. Crossing to the other side of the pavilion, there are two hammocks, chosen as they echo the look of ancient Egyptian boats.
On the right side of the backyard there is a small vegetable garden in raised beds. There are pyramids here to grow the beans and peas.
Walking back towards the house there is a small pond that provides a home to frogs and fish, as well as adding the sound of running water to the atmosphere.
A barbeque island and a replica of an Egyptian tomb complete the backyard. Outside the tomb there is a shower, and inside there is a restroom and changing room.
Next we take a winding path along the side yard. Other than a seating area by the wall, there isn’t much to see, other than a large swath of lavender. Living in the desert keeps the landscaping to a minimum. Not as pretty, but certainly less weeds to pull than in Ferndale.
Crossing the parking area, we are greeted by a pair of sphinxes. Don’t worry, they’re not ferocious at all. They’re more like Darcy, our friendly cat who loves greeting all our visitors and showing them to the front door.
This time we’ll enter the house through the main entryway, where we see the staircase up to the second floor. To the left is the living room, but we’re going to turn right to check out the home theater.
In most of the home theaters I’ve designed I’ve decorated the walls with coming attractions posters. The two in this room are Cleopatra and The Mummy. Passing through the theater we pass the popcorn machine and out of view are two vending machines, one for soda and one for snacks.
Then it’s back to the card catalogs we saw earlier and a view of the library and courtyard from the other direction.
Back in the living room we come across a pair of circular sofas that provide an excellent spot for friendly conversations. There are two more seating areas, a pouf, and two more King Tut chairs. Egyptian artifacts including a rather impressive ox sculpture are display at this end of the room. The odd shape of the exterior walls provided a place to tuck in a storage closet and a half bath.
Ok, that’s everything on the ground floor and in the front and back yards. Time to start our journey towards the sun.
In the hallway above the stairs a few more Egyptian artifacts are displayed.
We’ll take a look at the master bedroom first. If you’ve viewed some of the models we’ve done, you’ll recognize this wallpaper. This again is part of the set we hope to use in our house if we ever get to that room. Being a digitally printed wallpaper it made it easy to match the pattern when it goes from a straight interior wall to the sloped exterior wall. Easy to do on the computer, tough to do in real life.
The glass block wall allows the room to receive light from the courtyard while maintaining some privacy.
Zooming in on the framed photo, we see one of the shots from Ayrica’s “Dance Like an Egyptian” photo shoot.
The master bath has a shower and a slipper tub. It is decorated with Art Deco tile.
Next we pass the laundry room, and enter the sitting room. Antique furniture including an Egyptian styled day bed are upholstered in matching dark teal velvet. This room also has a glass block wall to let light in from the courtyard. An indoor fountain on the wall adds a colorful element and the sound of nature to the room. If hearing the burble of water results in you hearing the call of nature, well don’t worry, there’s a bathroom nearby that also serves the guest bedroom.
The guest bedroom which is decorated with replicas of Egyptian tomb paintings.
We head up another flight of stairs to the third floor. Due to the pyramid shape of the building and the courtyard in the middle the third floor isn’t much more than a wide walkway. But we’ve made this floor our music room with a wide range of instruments to practice on. Due to the courtyard, musicians can play here and entertain guests two floors down in the living room.
After taking our lap around the music room, we head up the final flight of stairs that takes us up to a small viewing platform. Here we can look out through the glass top of the pyramid or lean over the railing to get a bird’s eye view of the courtyard.
We hope you enjoyed your tour of our Egyptian house. We had a lot of fun working on this one and incorporating so many of the fantastic Egyptian models and surfaces we’ve collected.
Check back with us again. Our next visit will be a steam train, something quite different the other projects we’ve designed.