For my new piece of heaven, I envision a traditional southern vernacular. What I don’t envision is an open floor plan where the ground floor is one room with the kitchen lining one to two walls and all the furniture grouped in the middle. This trend seems to be prevalent for just about all new builds of small houses. In my opinion, an open concept is a cop-out for traditional vernaculars. It’s a lazy approach to space planning and has no appeal or charm, and it certainly isn’t what one would expect to find when viewing the house from the outside. On the other hand, having a lot of walls and interior doors can be claustrophobic in a small house. I believe a compromise is in order.
Since the chosen building site within the 8.5 acreage is a small open meadow, a compact footprint (600 to 800 square feet total) is required with the living and kitchen spaces on the ground level and the bedroom(s) on the second floor. In the last five years, the tiny house movement has really caught on, and there are now numerous online sources where you can download free tiny house plans. I found one particular plan at The small House Catalog that is a great example of how a small home’s interiors can be divided without a lot interior walls and still be open. Click on the link below to see this floor plan.
My architect Charley McKenney will be designing the house, and the plans you see below are only meant to convey an idea. In the final design, there will be no basement. Instead I hope to have a bathroom on the ground floor that can double as a storm shelter since this property is smack dab in the middle of Tornado Alley. If a second bedroom won’t fit, then the living room couch can double as a bed for guests. The master bathroom on the second floor will need better space planning with a better shower, a better vanity, and more storage. And where to fit the washer and dryer?