Mountain Cabin in Waitsfield, Vermont

 

20141217143213_00001The Mountain Cabin, located in Waitsfield, Vermont, is under construction. Nestled among the trees on a west facing knoll, the cabin overlooks the Mad River Valley.  This two bedroom, two bath home provides compact living on one level.  Bi-fold doors at the south west corner of the cabin open wide to provide access to a deck and connect with the outdoors.

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Happy Camper

I recently received the note below from a satisfied client:

Hi Wags, Joan, and Katie,

What a joy it was for us to be at the cottage this past summer with the new bunkhouse and renovated cottage!  Each day, we appreciated the expanded space and observed the special touches and thoughtful details you all incorporated in your work.  We again realized how fortunate we were to have the expertise, creativity, and vision of architect, builder, and landscaper who worked together to create such a delightful spot.

The two separate buildings worked so well and the beautiful stonework and landscaping brought them all together.  (What good exercise it was to climb those steps several times a day!)  We understand the fall has brought changing colors to many of the landscape plants.

The location has always been special to our family but now the renovated cottage and new bunkhouse will make it a comfortable and pleasant place to enjoy with family and friends for years to come.

Many thanks to you all – it was wonderful working with you.

Fondly,
Lynn & Bob

 

Frisbee Lane, Westport, NY

Frisbee Lane, Westport, NY

Frisbee Lane, Westport, NY

Remote Cabin featured on Houzz

I am delighted to have another one of my projects featured on the design website Houzz.

Blogger, Editor and Stylist Joanne Palmisano showcased my Remote Cabin in her ideabook entitled, Houzz Tour: Cozy Vermont Cabin Blanketed in Charm  This carefully crafted, ecofriendly cabin in the woods makes coming in from the cold a truly memorable occasion.

Read the Full Story >>

Modern Cabin featured on Houzz

I am delighted to have one of my projects featured this week on the design website Houzz.  Houzz is a leading destination for home design enthusiasts, professionals and home owners from around the world. With over 50,000 photos and 100,000 ideabooks, Houzz has the largest database of home design ideas on the net; it is the online version of cutting pages out of magazines and stuffing them in a folder.

Writer, Editor and Dreamer Lawrence Karol showcased my Modern Cabin in his ideabook entitled, Houzz Tour: Bright, Polished Vermont Cabin  Using local woods, plentiful windows and a keen eye for design, an architect builds a sleek cabin in the mountains of Vermont.

“I don’t know much about playing poker, but I’ve been told that a pair of aces is the best starting hand in Texas Hold ‘Em. Architect Joan Heaton was holding the equivalent of this lucky pair — a keen eye for clean, modern design and a husband who’s a builder — when she began construction on this 800-square-foot cabin in the Green Mountains of Vermont.”

Read the full story here >>

small house designs donated

I am pleased to donate three small house designs to the Mad River Valley Housing Coalition for use in their Affordable Land initiative.   The Housing Coalition has identified the cost of land as the biggest obstacle for a working family to be able to build a modest home in the Mad River Valley.  MRVHCs Affordable Land initiative offers property at little or no cost to people who live or work in the Valley and want to build their first home. In addition to land, the Housing Coalition offers designs for small, energy-efficient homes for use at no cost.  One of the my small house designs is pictured below.

Are small homes a fad or are they here to stay?

Last week I was contacted by an editor at Timber Home Living and asked to share my expertise on small home design.

“Dear Ms. Heaton,

I’m writing an article on small home design for the April issue of Timber Home Living and would like to include your input. I’ve included a few questions below.

Why do some of your clients build small homes?

How do you approach the program for clients’ small home projects? Start with the “must haves”? Start with the “would be nice” list and whittle down?

What are the challenges of designing a small home?

What do you enjoy about designing smaller homes?”

I was intrigued by the questions and inspired to make a blog post about designing small homes.

Small homes are my favorite type of project because they include only essential spaces and have huge possibilities for relating to the site and surroundings.

One of the things I like best about small houses is that there is an opportunity to capture daylight and views from all sides. You’ll see this in my Modern Cabin; the open kitchen, living and dining room have windows on the south, east and west.  Open spaces and limited interior partitions help small houses feel big.

Often a cathedral ceiling and a loft can make a small house feel spacious; this you’ll see in the Rustic Cabin where the living room has a timber framed cathedral ceiling and is overlooked by a loft with twig railing.

 

On a recent project I was asked to accommodate a collection of books in a small home. We turned the stair landing into a tiny library with five foot tall shelving and a small window above.  So even though small home design focuses on the essentials it is not without a few well-placed “frills”.

In order for small homes to function efficiently they need adequate storage space; a pantry broom closet and laundry room go a long way toward keeping clutter at bay.

Outdoor living spaces such as covered porches, patios and decks are an important element of small home design because they increase the living space while providing a connection to the outdoors. Pictured below is a covered porch; the timber framed brackets and roof system create a covered outdoor space for relaxing and enjoying the spectacular view.

 

My forward thinking clients chose small homes because they value quality over quantity and also because small homes use fewer resources and consume less energy.

I believe that small homes are here to stay.