Paul Ludick and Bill Anton designed their house in Pleasant Mount, Pennsylvania, themselves, but neither is an architect. They also built their kitchen themselves, but neither considers himself a builder. They are designers (Ludick a furniture designer, Anton a graphic designer), and what they lacked in formal training, they made up for in creativity, cleverness, and audacity. Their “modern lodge,” as Ludick describes it, was constructed to be passive-solar—its structure and materials were chosen to attract the sun’s rays in winter and repel them in summer. Their kitchen, a harmonious space that balances warm wood with cool blue and white cabinets, was also designed with heat-trapping in mind: The couple picked black countertops because they absorb solar heat well. The look of the kitchen, however, has nothing to do with any one philosophy. Its tidy-galley feel was inspired by boat interiors, “which have a built-in for everything,” says Ludick. Its open floor plan was prompted by a fondness for loft apartments. And the cabinets’ sliding doors reflect Ludick’s passion for both Japanese design and old sci-fi television shows like Star Trek. (“Remember all the cool sliding doors?”) Perhaps what they love most about their kitchen, though, is that it can disappear. Raising the counter that sits between the kitchen and the dining area allowed the couple to keep dirty dishes out of sight when they’re entertaining. As with everything else in the room, from the dog door to the double sinks, Ludick and Anton designed it that way—just the way they like it.