INTERVIEW – Building Your Own House: Window House

Designer Lilah Horwitz and photographer Nick Olson had left their job to build their dream home in West Virginia, named Window House. The facade of this experimental house consists of recycled windows and doors.

We have interviewed with Lilah Horwitz about this extraordinary house:

photo © Half Cut Tea
photo © Half Cut Tea

When did you realize that you want to build your own house?

Lilah Horwitz: It was early on in our relationship and Nick and I were living in separate states, going back and forth between cities to visit each other when we knew that we wanted to build a home together. We were so enthralled with the spaces we had carved out and we couldn’t stop dreaming of what we wanted to make together!

photo © Half Cut Tea
photo © Half Cut Tea

It is not a common thing to build your own living space, so in this context how does it feel to construct your own house?

Lilah Horwitz: It is the most empowering thing to build your own home! I never thought that I was capable of such a feat, but you take the building one small step at a time and learn the basics of how a structure is created and it comes together in a way I could never have imagined. We are starting a new project remodeling a small home and we are having so much fun designing the space to perfectly suit our current lives.

photo © Half Cut Tea
photo © Half Cut Tea

How did you collect all those windows and doors?

Lilah Horwitz: We took a road trip from West Virginia to New York City and collected windows and doors from salvage yards, thrift stores, junk shops, yard sales, and architectural salvage resale shops. A couple of the windows even came from Nick’s great grandfathers old farmhouse.

photo © Half Cut Tea
photo © Half Cut Tea

How long did it take to finish it?

Lilah Horwitz: The house was finished to the point it is now in about 6 months. It was only Nick and myself working on the projects so we took it slow, learning how to build the structure and working a bit day by day.

photo © Lilah Horwitz
photo © Lilah Horwitz

I think that Window House gives a message about openness and togetherness to its environment. What do you think about your house’s personality (or its facade)?

Lilah Horwitz: The facade is an intentional design choice to help one feel more connected to the outdoor world. We wanted a home that was in tune with the land it sits on. The sunset doesn’t have to be seen through a tiny window in the house and you can watch the stars from the bed at night! It’s not a place for shutting out the natural world around you, it is a place to embrace and appreciate the environment in which the house exists.


Here is a short documentary about the house, directed by Matt Glass and Wayne Long:

For more information click here.

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