Many big homes accommodate small lives. An imposing street presence strains to make a grand but empty impression; sprawling spaces inside are stuffed with pointless clutter.
Radical idea: What if a small home could be designed to accommodate a big life?
The Highlands at Langley is opening up such a home for the Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association (SICBA) home tour Sept. 11-13. It’s not quite completed, but walk inside, and you’ll understand immediately how a 1,558 square-foot home can be designed to feel expansive and gracious. And a lot more sensible than the median 2,506 square-foot single-family home now being built in America.
First, the front porch forms a truly useful outdoor living area. The house wraps partly around it, giving it a sense of shelter even as it forms a bridge to nature.
The great room, including living, dining and kitchen areas, is truly great: its 16-foot-high ceiling isn’t wasted space; it provides a tangibly expansive feeling. You don’t think “cottage.” You think “lodge.”
There’s a view of Saratoga Passage through the great room windows and porch, and the whole neighborhood is punctuated with clusters of towering firs. In this setting, a lodge is altogether believable.
The home has three bedrooms, two baths, a full laundry room, a detached two-car garage, and even a porchlet designed to discreetly enclose the household recycling bins.
Sensible? There’s also three-star Built Green certification. Last year, one of the Highlands at Langley homes won SICBA’s award for the Best Energy Efficient Home on the annual tour. All the homes in our neighborhood are built to the same high standards of energy efficiency, better than the building code requires.
How is it that a relatively small home like this can encourage big living? Simple: It doesn’t siphon off valuable resources—your time and money—to maintain pointless space. It doesn’t invite you to fill it up with meaningless things, so it lets you focus your attention on the things that are important to you. It welcomes a life devoted to the pursuit of quality rather than quantity.
For information on the SICBA Home Tour, visit http://www.sicba.org/sicba-events/sicba-home-tourexpo/. For a private appointment to tour this home and the Highlands at Langley, call 360 221-1026.