In Memphis, integrating a house with the landscape usually means giving it a screened porch, a view from the main seating area, or maybe a deck around a pool. The temperature extremes are too great here for much more indoor-outdoor connection. It's only in tropical or subtropical climes that the house can truly be open to the landscape.
The best option around here may be to bring the landscape inside. This house, designed by architect Robert Brown in 1974, uses an atrium as the interior organizing element. Guests arrive in this green space and occupants pass through it frequently as they move around the house. The exterior stained siding is used on its walls, helping to dissolve the boundary between inside and out. Four large ficus trees with an under-story of tropical vines and a tumbling stream animate this area. You expect to hear bird sounds in this delightful interior court.
The dining room, living room, and den all open up to the atrium. The entry's brick flooring steps up around the central green space and flows into these rooms, as well. Both the living room and the den have vaulted ceilings.
The large galley kitchen, with its all-white cabinets and counters, has a long horizontal window set between the counter and the upper cabinets to bring the inside out. Just beyond is a well-equipped spa with a hot tub beneath a large skylight, along with a sauna and a full bath — all adjacent to the rear pool and deck.
The bedrooms are on the other side of the atrium. The master bedroom is on the main level. Its bath has floors and countertops of Calcutta Gold marble. A spiral stair in the master leads up to a dressing room and a private office, which has a narrow, horizontal slit opening with a view into the atrium. The four additional bedrooms are stacked two over two, and these are entered from the atrium as well.
All of the common rooms share views out to the rear yard. A pool is tucked into one corner. a two-level entertaining area tiers down from the house to the pool. The landscape views from every room are well framed, but it is the two-story atrium that gives this house the feel of living outdoors in tropical splendor.
10 Goodway Lane, 38117
Approximately 4,800 square feet
5 bedrooms, 4 baths; $525,000
Realtor: Hobson Realtors, 761-1622
Agent: Laurie Stark, 486-1464