Monday, May 18, 2009

Small Home Design

One of our clients is building a lakefront cottage on their property in southern New Hampshire for their visiting children and grandchildren to use during the summer months. Some of their requirements included:
  • Large porch for entertaining and to capture lake views
  • Plenty of bedrooms for extended family
  • A first-floor bedroom to address any future accessibility issues
  • Plenty of storage for seasonal items
  • Large enough common areas (including kitchen, dining, and living areas) for guests to feel comfortable in the cottage when not gathering at the main house

The preliminary design addresses these goals nicely. The small home design is based on a traditional cape form with 4 foot knee walls on the second floor with some classic cottage detailing, such as the shingles in the gable dormers, larger rake and eave overhangs. A large 8’ porch provides access to the entry, and wraps around both the side and front of the home to maximize views of the lake and bring the outdoors into the home. The dining room features French doors which open to the porch, and the living room has large windows which also help take full advantage of the lake scenery. A fireplace will help take the chill off of autumn nights.
The open dining / living areas include built-ins for plateware, and the kitchen includes a small breakfast counter and stools. A large walk-in pantry provides additional storage space for the kitchen, and the mechanical room is housed conveniently behind the pantry pass-through door. The L in the stairs provides the perfect spot for an entry closet, while a small bench allows swimmers to towel off and remove sandals before entering the cottage.

A first-floor bedroom includes dual closets and a full bath with whirlpool tub / shower. A large window in the Master Bedroom also looks out over the porch and the lake.
The second floor has three bedrooms for extended family, each having large closets. Dormers allow for additional windows to meet egress and ventilation requirements in the bedrooms. The chimney on the second floor is hidden in a large storage area that can be used for seasonal items.

The efficient design will lend itself to using SIP panels and should provide a fantastic opportunity to heat the home with radiant floor heat if the client chooses to head in that direction.