Why Should Second Homes Have All the Fun?

drawingboardTHE DRAWING BOARD-September 2011

When you live in Vacationland, shouldn’t your house reflect that? When a young couple asked her to design a modest home for ten acres in rural Alfred, architect Carol De Tine of Carriage House Studio Architects found herself posing questions like this.

The owners’ requests were simple: a combined kitchen/dining area, a good-sized living room, a master suite, a study/guest room. Thinking about the future, they wanted only one floor; still, wouldn’t a tower room be nice? But the landscape and the barn needed work, so the solution had to be affordable.

De Tine developed a central plan wrapped around a living hall and collected under a big hip roof. Spaces pinwheel off the living area, giving each room its own aspect and view, its own unique experience. Capping the roof, a lantern provides extra living space and natural ventilation, as well as a unique vantage point on the property.

Like a big tent, the hip roof harbors both indoor and outdoor spaces. Two unexpected features particularly delighted the young couple: a sleeping porch and a screened living room with its own outdoor fireplace. Thus the house will respond to the seasons, expanding when the weather warms.

While the roof design gives the house presence, it’s budget-conscious, too, making use of simple framing plus roof material that’s inexpensive and easy to install and maintain: asphalt shingles. The house has relatively little exterior wall area, so cedar shingles can be used without breaking the bank. For both screened and open porches, painted cove siding creates outdoor rooms at less cost than the cedar.


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