“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity”
― John Muir, Our National Parks
Wildness is a necessity, isn’t it? Especially after weeks of 9 to 5 and continued sequestration. Escaping to this European home by Living Concepts Home Plans, when built on a hillside that embraces the slope of the land, will allow you to loosen that cravat and slip into something comfortable as soon as you have stepped inside. The home is slightly less than 1800 square feet, has a ground floor and basement with plenty of room to play and relax. Gaslights above the front door and one garage door soften the entrance at night; even the front of the home with its stone and shake exterior says to you come in and relax.
The two-car garage leaves ample room for your car and fishing boat, if desired, as well as space in a corner for a workbench (hammering and sawing must release stress, right?). Garage cabinets can line the walls, adding space to store those get-away items like extra reels and fishing lures; however, you will want to store the rods after cleaning with either vertical or horizontal mountings on your garage walls.
Walking inside from the garage, the laundry room is on the left. It has a utility sink that may be useful for rinsing off muddy boots or those fish scales still clinging to your hands. On the right is a closet with shelf, the ideal spot to leave your outer coats and footwear. An alcove nearby provides extra hanging space for additional jackets when company comes, or you may choose instead to hang your favorite artwork here with accent lighting.
Stepping forward, a powder room is on the left and stairs going down into the lower level are on the right. The foyer gives you access to the front door on the left, as well as to the kitchen and dining area straight ahead. Here is another closet for your parkas or sandals in another season. A low table against the wall with a trinket dish for your keys makes leaving interstate congestion behind more than just a symbolic move.
The kitchen, dining and family rooms extend the length of the house on the left side. The kitchen is U shaped, with the double bowl sink under the bay window looking out to the front yard. (This kind of sink has several advantages, including a designated side for soaking and one for rinsing dishes). The dishwasher is adjacent to the sink, with spaces for the refrigerator and stovetop/oven across from each other. Ample counterspace allows for assembling meals without bumping into each other.
You will only have to make a few steps to carry prepared food to your dining room. A rectangular table with a jute rug underneath will help define the area, or perhaps your preferred choice of table is round with engineered wood flooring beneath. After your repast, you can amble into the family room and put your feet up when you recline, facing the fireplace that, when burning embers, is sure to lull you into a blissful nap. Then, when you awake, you step outside from the family room onto your back deck. A smoker/grill and patio chairs are waiting for when you decide to grill next.
Back inside the house, the master suite is accessible from your front foyer. A spacious walk-in closet is immediately on your right. Adding extra shelves will make this closet multifunctional and your life easier when all of your clothes and accessories are at hand. A king size bed against the opposite wall and your favorite reading chair by the window make this room a cozy retreat. The master bath has his and her sinks with room for a garden tub and a walk-in shower (having a rainshower head is one more way of inviting the “wildness” in and disinviting the tension from work).
Stairs leading down to the lower level of this home are close to the master suite. You will walk into the recreation room, and at more than 160 square feet, this space has the potential to provide hours of entertainment. A large screen television placed above the fireplace could be the getaway you need- or perhaps, for your teenagers and young adults. A sectional sofa and bean bags complete the space. However, if your goal for recreation is to tone and trim, a ski simulator might be just what you need. (With the latter, you might want to add a spa/hot tub, too, which could be placed right on the deck you’ve built going out of the door downstairs).
Storage for seasonal sports equipment is downstairs, too, or this area could be used for home canned goodies. (Canning is only a chore when you have to do it- when you want to experiment with preserving the season’s bounty to use and to share, it can be a delightful process). The second and third bedroom suites are nearby; both have reach-in closets and they share a bath with a single sink and shower/tub combination.
Being “over-civilized” could mean we take ourselves too seriously in our workplace or even in our roles as community volunteers. Being in the wild and enjoying nature is good for the body and soul. Whether you to choose to do this in spurts or embrace it wholeheartedly is up to you. One way is to use this house plan, The Belle Vernon, find a lot on a hillside that makes your heart happy, and build.