The architecture of the home was based on our desire to ‘bring the outside inside’, have an open floor plan and area-specific historical references.
Peter LaBau, Good House LLC, designed this home. He is a nationally known architect and author of the book “The New Bungalow Kitchen“. His nearly 40 years of work spans architectural design, interior design and construction, specializing in historic and traditional residential design. He is also known for his work with Daryl Hall (Hall and Oates) on his DIY channel show ‘Restoration Over-Hall”. You can read about those projects on Peter’s blog.
The primary architectural design influences were
- the work of American architect, William Turnbull Jr. whose unique building designs challenged the more traditional architecture of California’s West Coast. More specifically, his work on the iconic Sea Ranch community of Sonoma County.
- the idea of architect Charles Travis to combine three historic reclaimed cabins into a single home in Spicewood, Texas.
The home is structured in three sections, each a functional unit. Each of these sections is playfully highlighted in a different siding color. The master suite, Great Room and garage sections are on a single level. The multi-story section contains the secondary spaces – finished basement and secondary bedrooms (second floor).
The design of the multi-story section of the house echoes the design of a bank barn. Per Wikipedia, a bank barn (or banked barn) is a style of barn noted for its accessibility, at ground level, on two separate levels. Often built into the side of a hill, or bank, both the upper and the lower floors area could be accessed from ground level, one area at the top of the hill and the other at the bottom.
Ample covered parking includes two garage spaces and two carport spaces. The carport is connected to the house with a pergola. It’s design riffed off the open slat walls of corn cribs, turned vertical to echo the house. The see thru design kept the carport from feeling like a cave at the top of the driveway.
The barn was added in 2015. The design complements the house architecture and the finish is the same as the house. It has a single standard door and two sets of large, paired barn doors. The hardware on these doors is hand forged by Dale Morse, Clay Hill Forge in Waynesboro and is finished with a sturdy black powder coat. The huge hinges have a antique botanical design.
A two section chicken coop (one section solidly roofed with clear plastic panels the other with hardware wire) and custom hen house were added in 2016. These wrap from the back of the barn around to the east side. The barn provides weather protection for the coops (shade in the summer, respite from storms in the winter) while the eastern coop area allows sunlight. Anti-predator underground wire was included surrounding the entire coop area and attached to the underside of the chicken house. The hen house has a metal roof, cedar siding and a decorative panel made from overlaid dog food can lids (Pinterest rocks). The windows are antique leaded glass and open to admit fresh air. The interior has plastic egg bins and linoleum for easy cleaning and natural branch perches with a light and a flat panel wall heater.
EXTERIOR ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS
Details in the architecture were taken from Virginia historical elements.
The exterior materials were selected for interest, durability and energy efficiency.
The exterior siding of the house and barn is a newer product called ‘Windswept Lumber‘ by Harvest Timber that resembles barn wood. It is a manufactured siding that is made from trees downed by bark beetles in the Pacific Northwest. The siding requires no maintenance. More than this, we’ve found that the carpenter bees in this area that so love cedar and other wood sidings do not like this material.
The garage doors are the Rhapsody line by Artisan in Colonial Mahogany. They are made of a new composite material that is lighter than vinyl (less strain on the mechanical parts), extremely durable and the wood grain is captured quite realistically.
The windows and french doors are the energy efficient Eagle (E-series) by Andersen, dual pane and UV protected on the southern side of the house.
The base of the home is a creative mixture of Dutch Quality Stone topped by copper flashing. Two styles and three colors were carefully blended to resemble the stone base of old barns and bridges.
The soffet color, under the eaves and porches, is ‘haint blue’. This is not a particular shade of blue but rather a range of blues from the palest of powder blues to varying shades of blue-green. Originally a Southern tradition, it is suggested that the soft blue-green porch ceilings originated out of the fear of haints (restless spirits of the dead) and the color was intended to protect the homeowner from being “taken” or influenced by haints. It is said to protect the house and the occupants of the house from evil. We have also heard some people insist that blue paint repels insects, leaving a porch bug-free during those long summer afternoons. We figure both were good reasons to choose this color.