Design J-62, a classic country home, is a blend of formal and informal.
A side-lighted front door and windows topped by keystones (or "pediments") add a slightly formal touch to the rustic exterior. Inside, switchback stairs to the second floor and an open floor plan create a casual look.
Design J-62 is a design that can be dressed up or down. Too many houses -- particularly houses found in modern subdivisions -- force consumers into a mostly formal mode. They do this with rigidly defined rooms and theatrical ceilings. Many builders select designs that are impressive, but not particularly livable for people who like to put their feet up on the coffee table.
We tend to gather in cozy spaces, especially where our televisions are.
Design J-62 has an attractive living room with a lot of windows. The only problem is, there's little solid wall space for an entertainment center.
Consider asking a building designer to create a media room upstairs over the spacious garage, next to the second bedroom. This room will attract TV watchers (and popcorn kernels), and leave the downstairs living room for quiet reading and chat. The living room will become slightly more formal, but there's little chance it will gather dust since it's located in the heart of the house, open to the kitchen and dining areas.
Design J-62 would be easier to live in on washday if there were an upstairs laundry room or (fire codes permitting) at least a laundry chute connecting the upstairs hall to the utility room below. Recently, I toured a new house with a laundry chute. Next to the chute, the wife had hung her college diploma.
I asked her if hanging her diploma in the laundry room meant she was wondering, "I went to college for this??" She laughed and said, "No. Look closer. My degree is in Home Economics!"
Design J-62 is definitely appealing. Dressed up or down, it's a very versatile design.
(Reviewed by Emily Smith, senior consultant with House Plan Review Services, an independent review service for consumers and design-build professionals. Contact Emily at email@example.com or at HPR Services, P.O. Box 1143, Reidsville NC 27323.)
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