Portfolio Pieces

Vermont Barn Home and Guest House

Drawing on the region’s agrarian past, the house takes the form of gabled barns with textured wood siding. Large expanses of glazing are reminiscent of barn doors sized for animals and tractors. Flat roofed structures clad in steel panels add interest and connect the barn volumes.

The juxtaposition of gabled and flat roof forms breaks up the massing. One barn serves as the main living space with the primary bedroom while a second barn contains the kids’ wing.

A separate streamlined flat roofed form serves as the guest house. The simple, modest structure makes efficient use of space and practical use of materials. The light-filled interiors unexpectedly contrast the patinated steel exterior.

This project is in the construction document phase.

Weybridge Renovation and Addition

A strategically placed addition contains a first-floor primary suite as well as a home office, fitness room, guest room, and two-car garage. Other spaces including entry and screened porches are reimagined as flat-roofed volumes.

This project is in the construction document phase.

Bear Creek Home

Sited to take advantage of stunning mountain views of one of Vermont’s highest peaks, the three-bedroom Bear Creek Home fits this family and their lifestyle like a glove.

The kitchen and dining area opens onto a patio and covered porch providing many connected spaces for family and friends to congregate. A double-sided stone fireplace can be enjoyed from the kitchen and dining area as well as the living room.

The client was also the builder and they have a specialty metal shop where they executed custom details such as steel and glass doors, range hood, railings, and chimney cap in-house.

Stowe Home

The Stowe Home has three bedrooms, three and one-half baths, and an oversized two-car garage. The juxtaposition of gabled and flat roofs and overlapping forms add interest.

Interior spaces are designed to connect with nature with large sliding doors and triple-pane windows.

This project is in the construction document phase.

Cabin Home

Nestled in a sloping, wooded Vermont site and overlooking a large pond, this house makes efficient use of space by sitting on a small footprint. Open kitchen, living and dining areas and a master suite occupy the first floor and two bedrooms and a bath are located in the finished basement.  The entry porch does double duty by providing covered storage for firewood while a mudroom, laundry, and closets help this small house function smoothly.  A future apartment above the attached two-car garage provides even more space.  This well insulated home is sited for passive solar and views of a nearby pond.

This project is in the design development phase.

Family Farmhouse

The three-bedroom Family Farmhouse faces east to take advantage of sweeping views of Mount Abraham and the Green Mountains. The house takes the shape of three connected volumes, with a screened porch and a covered entry porch, and provides a gathering place and a haven for a family of four.

The exterior and interior finishes give the new home a timeless appearance. Stone veneer on the foundation and chimney adds texture to the white-painted clapboard siding and standing seam metal roof.  On the interior, antique beams and floorboards compliment painted woodwork and custom cabinetry.

This project is recently completed.

Lakeside Pavilion

This one-bedroom structure sits on the shore of Lake Champlain in Westport, New York. The kitchen, dining, and living areas are designed to accommodate large gatherings of multiple families.

Heavy timber trusses and porch framing that reflect the architecture in the Adirondack region are mixed with contemporary details such as board-formed concrete, glass railings, and a steel fireplace surround.

Large multi-slide doors open the interior to the outdoors to achieve the feel of a pavilion. A covered porch and screened porch enhance the indoor-outdoor connection.

This project is recently completed.

Black Barn

The addition of a home office and black barn (garage) round out this vacation home. With the ability to work remotely, this couple will now be able to spend more time in Vermont.

This project is under construction.

Vermont Modern Farmhouse

The Vermont Modern Farmhouse takes the shape of two gabled volumes, with ridges perpendicular to one another, connected by a single story glass enclosure. The two volumes have steep “farmhouse” pitched roofs while the other portions of the house have low-slope roofs. The juxtaposition of the volumes and rooflines gives the farmhouse a modern look.

In contrast to the sleek exterior, the interior of the house incorporates materials that are rich with texture and patina such as paneled and plastered walls, timbered ceilings, glass and steel doors, white oak flooring and a rusted steel fireplace surround.

“Joan Heaton has a gift. I am a designer who has worked with dozens of architects all over the United States. Joan is one of the very best I’ve ever known. I chose her to design my dream house and I never looked back. She brought ingenuity, style, and restraint when necessary for budget reasons. I’ve never seen anything like the end product. We never had a “down” moment. Each meeting left me feeling invigorated and in control. She is good at listening to client wishes as well as advocating for her own vision. The output was a blend of ideas that hit all the right notes.”

– Mika


Styles Brook Farm

Sited to take in views of the Sentinel Range Wilderness, this five bedroom farmhouse consists of connected volumes with a combination of steep pitched gable roofs and shallow pitch shed roofs. The finishes, both exterior and interior, give the farmhouse a timeless appearance.  Exterior finishes consist of white painted clapboard siding, vertical board siding and standing seam metal roof.  Exposed rafter tails on the porches add texture and detail. On the interior, timber trusses and rustic floor boards compliment painted woodwork and cabinetry.

This project is under construction.

Vermont Modern Barn

The Vermont modern barn, a small, simple, get-away home is sited to take advantage of southern exposure and views to the west.  The barn, modeled on the local form, is updated with a structural system of steel beams and big expanses of glass in the windows and doors. A twelve-foot wide sliding door disappears into the gable end wall and a pivot entry door welcomes the owner and visitors. A “bump out” containing four bunk beds accommodates overnight guests.

Read about the barn in Design New England magazine.

“When looking for a design partner for a new home I was building in Weybridge, VT, I was introduced to Joan and her talent.  Joan’s ability to bring creativity, quality, and personality to my project was outstanding. She recognized and encouraged my participation in the process, she listened every step of the way, while still helping me see what I couldn’t see. Building this home has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, and I couldn’t have done it without her!”

– Mary


RECOGNITION: 2017 AIA Vermont Excellence in Architecture Merit Award

Stowe Vermont Home

The Stowe Vermont Home is sited on a sloping site with stunning mountain views to the west. This four bedroom home accommodates a family of three generations with a guest suite on the lower level and bedrooms for the two younger generations upstairs tucked under the roof. Open kitchen, living and dining areas are places for family and friends to congregate. Outdoor spaces consist of a covered porch and a large deck. Local woods are featured throughout the house; floors are red birch and maple, kitchen cabinets and bath vanities are Cherry. Hemlock timber framing inside and out ties the house to its surroundings. Ledge from the site is used for retaining walls and stone is repeated inside in the central chimney containing a fireplace and wood stove.


“Working with Joan on the construction of our Stowe Vermont property was a terrific experience. Aside from her exemplary design and creative skills, she proved as well to be a careful and concise communicator and listener. She gave us the Vermont house we needed, as much as the house that we asked for. She designed a house that worked for us perfectly within our timing and budgetary constraints as well. Every detail was carefully thought our and considered. Despite not being local to our town, she was always available when needed, and worked closely and effectively with our builder and subcontractors. We cannot imagine having a better experience with an architect.”

Amy and Steve


Hillside Home

The four-bedroom hillside home emerges from the sloping site to take advantage of light and views. The south side captures sunlight and solar energy and the west end focuses on mountain views across the valley. Shifting and overlapping forms create an interesting composition on the land and the juxtaposition of gabled and flat-roofed forms breaks up the massing. Exposed concrete walls and local rough-sawn Pine add texture to the home.

This project is in the construction document phase.