The Design: Exterior
Now that our giant hole in the ground is officially looking like a house, I figured it was due time to share our vision for the exterior.We started this whole process with a fairly clear vision of our wants and needs, but creating an entire house from scratch is something we knew we couldn't handle on our own. We worked side-by-side with our architect and builder for well over four months to create a house that was perfect. We wanted something modern with Scandinavian details and a little farmhouse mixed in, too. We like clean lines and neutral colors. The most important aspect, however? WINDOWS. Lots and lots of windows.
I have received a lot of questions about the colors and materials we will be using for the exterior of the home, but the instant I start rattling off terms like "hardie board", "board and batten" or "ipe" (pronounced ee-pay), I get a bunch of blank stares. Tyler and I have been in the weeds of this design for well over six months now, so it's easy to forget just how difficult it can be to describe the details to others.
After four months of planning with a few shifts in direction along the way, we couldn't be happier with the final design. It's extremely simple yet like nothing we've seen before - good thing since we spent all that money on an architect to help us create a custom design rather than buying plans online. :)
As you can see, we are building a two-story home with a detached garage. We decided to go with a detached garage for a few reasons but mainly due to the fact that we didn't want to include this in our energy efficiency plans. Connecting the garage to the house would have required much higher efficiency standards which ultimately equals more money. Detached it is.
Also something to note, our home faces north and south. When designing an energy efficient home, direction is one of the most critical details. In simple terms, a passive solar home collects heat as the sun shines through south-facing windows and retains it in materials that store heat, known as thermal mass. Well-designed passive solar homes provide daylight all year and comfort during the cooling season through the use of nighttime ventilation.
We will have horizontal lap siding on the garage and vertical board and batten siding on the house. Everything will be the same shade of white. The white color lends itself to be a bit more modern while the board and batten is a nod to old barns and farmhouses.
To bring in a bit of warmth, we will have wood accents in several locations. The biggest one being on a modern barn "slider" to the left of the large window wall. The slider will help balance out the windows while adding a nice architectural detail and point of interest. The wood will continue on the ceiling of the front porch as well as in the back of the house under the kitchen window.
Possibly one of my favorite features? The black trim windows and doors. We have several different types of windows - some more modern while others more traditional, but keeping everything black makes the overall appearance clean and sleek. The windows inside, however, will remain white.
Finally, lighting and landscaping. We're still discussing the details here, but I envision some nice accents but nothing that will take away from the views or the house itself. I hope to keep things very simple and modern yet homey. The goal is to accent the surrounding landscape while keeping things low maintenance. Keeping up with 8.5 acres will take up enough time, I'm sure. :)
So there you have it! We are really looking forward to getting all of these details in place over the next few months. Let me know if you have any specific questions. The house is pretty much consuming our minds, so we'd be glad to talk through any questions you may have.