Houzz Tour: The Concord Green Healthy House
It is appropriate that a new house in Concord, Mass., could be forward-thinking and green, but still respectful of the city’s history. Concord is the birthplace of Transcendentalism. Ralph Waldo Emerson hailed from Concord, Henry David Thoreau’s beloved Walden Pond is in Concord, and they used to meet in town with fellow Concordians such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Amos Bronson Alcott, father of Louisa May Alcott. In fact, the view in the residence is quintessentially New England, as it fronts a public green.
This residence is a walkable distance from the middle of town. Among its layout priorities:
1. To be a wholesome home with excellent air quality.
2. To use Not So Big House principals to maximize space.
3. To be energy efficient.
4. To anticipate future uses and demands as owners alter.
Let’s take a peek at the way in which the homeowner, interior designer Lisa Kauffman Tharp, and builder Stephanie Horowitz of Zero Energy Design fulfilled these goals while creating a gorgeous house which fits in with the area.
Owner and interior designer Lisa Kauffman Tharp hunted for the perfect piece of property for more than a year. She eventually found this one nestled to a neighborhood of existing older homes.
The design evolved from 2 iconic Massachusetts vernacular precedents: the farmhouse and the iconic Cape Cod and Islands style. The overall form is taken from the former, although the latter provided inspiration to get specifics such as the white trimming. Both precedents also inspired “rough luxe” matches coastal interiors too.
“A metal roof is the right place to invest, not just for its durability, but also for its own aesthetic,” Horowitz says. Those little details you see at the edge of the roofing are snow guards, which keep the snow from sliding off the roof to huge piles on the floor.
A number of those eco-friendly components include more insulation, high ranking windows, radiant heating, daylighting and passive cooling.
A front porch is a wonderful place to enjoy fresh air and the view of the green. Additionally, it is a excellent symbol of meeting everything the owners were looking for, which included “an in-town place that would enable a walking life and ‘front porch’ sense of neighborhood.” In addition, they sought “excellent solar accessibility, color trees and breezes, in order to heat, light and cool the house as passively as possible.” Locating such a lot throughout the road from the park has been more than Kauffman Tharp had dared to hope, plus they think of it as their “water view.”
Horowitz was able to incorporate systems which keep the air healthy, such as a fresh air ventilation system with energy recovery and HEPA filter, mold prevention methods, glowing and heat heating (forced air circulates allergens while those methods do not), contamination controls during construction and using low/no VOC materials.
Here is the view the family enjoys from the front porch. “The park throughout the road was a complete bonus, as it allowed us to purchase a very small lot when enjoying a big ‘front lawn’ which we don’t need to mow,” Kauffman Tharp states. Additionally, the breezes that race across the open land (we call it ‘the whoosh factor’) clear road traffic pollutants in the air, while eliminating the need for mechanical air conditioning.”
A tricky-shaped lot, setback requirements and making the most of the southern mild all played a part in placing the terrace. The microclimate on the terrace makes the most of the warmth from the sun, stretching the number of times it may be utilized.
The front door opens into a hallway that extends from the front of the house to the rear, offering a view to the backyard in addition to a straight line into a door that leads to the terrace. “It is a ‘rock runner’ that joins the front lawn to the yard,” Horowitz explains. In actuality, precisely the exact same bluestone is utilized in the form of pavers in front, covers the hallway, and then continues out on to the terrace. This produces a strong link from the front lawn through the house and out to the backyard.
The entryway gives people a hint of what’s in store inside. While it integrates farmhouse touches such as this bench, it also has an open, light and elegant style throughout, hinted at through the Murano glass chandelier. Healthiness begins at the front door; eliminate your dusty shoes and pop them into the storage bench so as not to monitor dirt inside.
Continuing the warfare from dust, dirt, pollen and other allergens, the first floor utilizes radiant heat floors throughout. This type of heating is a wholesome alternative to forced air system because it helps prevents allergens from circulating.
“The kitchen is the living center of home life these days, a place where everyone loves to invest some time,” Horowitz explains. “We wanted to embrace this and observe the kitchen space. Thus, it has the cathedral ceiling, the views outdoors, and may be utilised in many of means.” Flexibility was built in, providing areas for drinking, cooking morning coffee, collecting, obtaining a meal or doing homework.
The cathedral ceiling gives this kitchen an open feeling, making it seem bigger than it really is. The skylights and glass doors let the light from the southern exposure flood the space. These doors also stretch out the kitchen on the terrace, providing access both visually and physically. The large custom Belgian linen pendants create a fashion statement which stands up to the scale of the ceiling, yet mix with each one the natural textures and colours in the room.
Flooring throughout the first floor are walnut.
Another kitchen blessing and a challenge: Kauffman Tharp had come into possession of some reclaimed high-end countertops and appliances from a nearby remodel. To be able to provide the kitchen a appearance, they painted everything a creamy white, additional marine-style polished nickel hardware, and also additional heart-pine countertops.
Though the heart walnut counters lend a farmhouse feel, the island’s counter is a more contemporary concrete surface. The island is 10 ft long and incorporates a Shaw’s Original Farmhouse sink, repurposed cabinets, plus a pair of Miele dishwashers on both sides, in addition to seating on the other side.
This nook is “a really great casual and comfortable approach to incorporate more seating into the kitchen; seating that has a view outdoors,” Horowitz says. As a bonus, it includes additional storage under the cushioned bench.
As for the nook’s furnishings, Kauffman Tharp says, “that I really like to use things meant for an entirely different function in an entirely new way. I was attracted by the feel of the basket I discovered on sale at West Elm. I turned it upside down, then hung it using jute twine, and paired it using $9.99 spot lights from IKEA “High style for non money. Fun.” The classic dining table is from Spain. Kauffman Tharp fitted it with the iron bowl on the bottom plate, which once held hot coals for warming one’s feet.
Similarly, seating areas and built-ins were designed for the living room. “The furniture and also what could be happening between the windows and walls was always part of the programs.”
A big mirror in the living room makes the room feel bigger and reflects light and also a view of the playground.
The furnishings in the living room have a little bit of Belgian flair, industrial touches, and the general sense of an elegant yet relaxed coastal escape. “Industrial and vintage elements keep it interesting,” Kauffman Tharp states. “I repurposed an old glass pie screen for a side table with seashells indoors, and the rusted tin chimney bit from France functions as a quirky foil on the table.”
This nautical-themed space is in what’s known as an “away room,” that is a quiet spot which may be isolated from the remainder of the house.
Component of smart, sustainable design is to plan for the future and supply numerous uses within the ground plan. Even though a current owner requires an office, this room also connects to some complete, ADA-accessible bath and can serve as a first floor bedroom if their wants should alter or if prospective owners have various requirements. The doors are outfitted for window treatments for privacy should this shift ever take place.
Here is how you can Earn a fabulous nautical chart wall
These doors provide a farmhouse vernacular detail on the bottom, and the glass on top allows the away room to share natural lighting with the dining room. If necessary, they could shut off the away room, but they can be opened to create both spaces feel larger.
Kauffman Tharp scored the candle lanterns from Vagabond Vintage and gave them a makeover that started with “a paint scrub which looks like zinc,” she states. “We tied them with thick, rough manila rope into plumbing pipe which spans between the ceiling beams.” Battery-operated pillar candles from Restoration Hardware have built-in timers.
Hint: “Hang natural linen draperies large and wide at the windows to include verticality into the space, while blocking none of the natural lighting,” Tharp advises.
What would usually be a first floor powder room has rather become a complete, ADA wheelchair-accessible bathroom complete with a shower. “The toilet is detailed like a big shower; a European-style wet room,” Horowitz explains. “The walls are completely covered in vinyl, plus they slope toward a floor drain. Since the room is so beautifully completed, you don’t feel as though you are walking into a big shower stall,” says Horowitz. The wall-hung toilet saves space and makes cleaning a breeze. A couple eco-friendly moves include a dual-flush toilet and with a piece of scrap marble to the counter tops.
Another incentive: it is a excellent place to wash off the dog!
This bathroom borrows light and space from the stairs. It’s tucked beneath the stairs (hence the slanted ceiling), and it borrows the natural lighting from a seating area on the landing.
Since this is mostly used as a powder room, a cupboard vanity is not necessary. The open space beneath the counter helps keep things looking spacious, and also a smart recessed nook is a great space for stashing supplies. The open space beneath the counter, high ceilings and windows create this toilet feel much bigger.
Even though you can not see it from the pictures, this master bathroom also integrates a laundry room. “Laundry rooms used to be placed in basements, then they moved into the first floor, and now, we realize it’s most suitable to have it on the exact same floor as the bedrooms, where we put away our clothes,” Horowitz explains. This makes obtaining clothing from one’s body into the washer a breeze.
Between stripping down and popping to the shower, clothing can be placed in the colour sorting bins or directly to the washing machine.
This dressing table has been fashioned from an antique kitchen worktable. This wasn’t a simple task: The shirt was jagged and it had to be plumbed. Nevertheless, it was well worth the effort, as it adds this European farmhouse touch into the room.
The sinks are from Signature Hardware and the faucets are made by Rohl’s. The goosenecks on the sconces take a cue from the gooseneck faucets, and also add a bit of farmhouse style to the mild and spacious toilet.
The toilet also takes advantage of the natural lighting. Clear shower doors allow the remainder of the room to obtain light from the window in the shower stall, and a carefully written floor plan maximizes the room. Lots of white makes the room feel roomy and open.
Similarly, white floors, walls and ceiling create the master bedroom feel much bigger. In addition, Kauffman Tharp took a cue from A Pattern Language and picked to get a bed alcove. The doctrine is that if a room must accommodate everything around a bed, it’s all wasted and awkward space during all the other hours of the day when you are awake.
Developing a special, cozy alcove to get a bed produces a cozy space just for sleeping, and leaves a lot of other room to work with for “sitting space, play areas, dressing and storage” the remainder of the day.
By preventing the bed from hogging up the whole room, a comfortable seating area from the master bedroom provides a relaxing place to read. The painting is by Tharp, and the fabric on the chairs is by Lee Industries, known for sustainable practices.
“I have always dreamed of living on the ocean, and we love this town. So, I made the house to live like a vacation home. Why don’t you get this feeling every day of the year?” Kauffman Tharp States. “The interiors are relaxed, use natural materials and also connect with the outdoors — barefoot simplicity matches casual elegance. All these are the things which we all love about a vacation house, and I assist my design clients build those features into their own homes.”
“We’re constantly looking for minutes and opportunities to create space and create the finest of everything,” Horowitz says. The storage bench and brightly reading shelf create “a wonderful place to sit down with a novel; the dividers were put low to operate well on the facade; from the bench they supply a view out into the park that’s at eye level.”
Also, remember those windows in the downstairs wet room? This is what’s on the opposite side; the toilet is tucked beneath this stairs and behind the windows.
Finally, using every inch of space up into the rafters keeps the square footage wrapped and the footprint lessened. The metal roof will help to keep this place cooler in summer time, reflecting the warmth from the sun.
This room is just another flexible space which could be utilized as a studio, home office, exercise room, playroom or additional bedroom. Each the mechanical requirements are tucked beneath the other gable, leaving this space open and usable.
“Should you ask me if it’s better to complete a basement or an attic, I’ll vote loft each moment,” Kauffman Tharp states. “Dark and dank vs. sunny and breezy. Which would you select?”
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