Eric Carle, a much-loved children’s author and illustrator, recently passed away. If you have ever read to children, then you know that his books were cherished by children and adults, with stories that still resonate. He used the perfect combination of vibrant colors, texture and words to convey his message, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar. House plans can have that perfect combination, too-form and function. Beauty. Practicality. The Turgon house plan, by Living Concepts, has that, plus a European je-ne-sais-quoi that makes you want to claim it. Immediately.
Friends (but not the TV show)
The front elevation belies the fact that inside there are three bedroom suites, two full baths with one half-bath, a screen porch, courtyard and open living spaces. The house has slightly less than 2500 square feet and a two-car garage. The steeply-pitched roof and stone accents (front porch or loggia, and chimney) add to the appeal. Friends, come on in!
The two-car garage faces the front. Inside, there is a door leading to the backyard (far right) and a door on the back wall for entrance into the home. Use this one to step up, and you are in the service entry (aka mudroom), where you can shake off your shoes and the day’s worries. To the right, you will find the laundry room, a well-organized one with cabinets overhead, places for your washer and dryer, as well as a dedicated space for the utility sink. Close the door and it may be quiet as a cricket. (Well, maybe quieter, because those things can be noisy).
Ahead of you is the powder room, and to your left, walking clockwise, you enter the foyer. Straight ahead, the kitchen, breakfast and living areas are all open. In the kitchen, the sink is under the window, facing the front of the Turgon plan. To the right, you have the dishwasher, and to the left- counter space. The U-shaped kitchen also has two walk-in pantries. Two, one in each corner of the kitchen. (Walter the Baker to the rescue! Me? I would dedicate one pantry just to my baking supplies. Sigh.).
There is plenty of counter space in the kitchen for food prep and cleanup, as well as for your larger appliances (ie refrigerator). One area where you might need to don that apron is preparing pancakes on your stovetop for a crowd at your large kitchen island, where there is seating available. Too many for the island? The breakfast room, which looks over your side yard, can handle that. A slight bump-out adds room right where you need it, yet does not impede the flow of these rooms.
Blue Horse or Purple Fox
The breakfast room opens into the living room, another perfect combination. No walls- these three rooms, kitchen, breakfast and living rooms flow into each other. A fireplace at the far end warms those cool evenings, and a door to the right of the fireplace takes you outside. Windows on the left side of the living room allow you to peek outside, while the wall on the right of the living room provides you space to hang those one-of-a-kind paintings, perhaps even A Blue Horse. Or a purple fox.
Once outside on your covered porch (screened-in or open), you can relax in your lounge chair with either a hot toddy (old school, I know) or a tall glass of your favorite iced tea. Step down and you are in the courtyard. A built-in fireplace and grill, plus a sink for washing up make this space, the outdoor kitchen, a cook’s delight. Cement for your floor or pavers? You decide. Either way, you will be drawn outside to cook on those evenings when the kitchen is too confining. And to watch those tiny seeds grow. An herb garden right outside of the courtyard? You bet!
Outside or In
The courtyard has two gates for your access to green grass- one is on the right side and the other on the rear, leading to the back yard. A door going inside takes you into the owner’s suite. Here, you can escape the noise of traffic or the seasonal pollen that coats your car and your clothes. Or cloudy days that threaten rain. Once inside, go through the door on the right and you are in the bathroom suite. The garden or free-standing tub (even a shelf tub, if you prefer) is placed diagonally in the corner. There are two sinks in the opposite corner and a built-in vanity in the upper left corner.
No Nonsense Here- the Bath and Closet
A walk-in shower and a toilet with a door for privacy complete the bath. The rectangular walk-in closet faces the rear of the house; this room will provide space for your clothing, whether you are en deshabille or prepping for a formal. Ask Martha Stewart– she can tell you how to organize here. Once you leave the owner’s suite, you will find a closet under the stairs. (You can never have too many closets).
Let’s head upstairs. At the top of the stairs, you will find a loft, which is open to below. This area could be a cozy nook by adding a low sofa or an I-could-stay-here-forever-kind of bean bag. May be hard to get out of, but what’s the rush? Or you could add a low bookcase and fill it with your favorite reads, for young and old alike. The Body (Bryson) or From Head to Toe (Eric Carle) are just two suggestions.
Room for Two and the Moon
A door on the right takes you into the second bedroom suite. The window that faces the front of the house also provides the opportunity for you to just sit and soak up that Vitamin D we all need. Two long walls give you more than enough room for a bed-or two- and dressers, plus a poster of the moon. This bedroom suite would be just right for a guest room, especially with the added bed. The walk-in closet is generously sized.
The bath suite upstairs is shared with the second and third bedroom suites. There are two sinks (on separate walls) and a toilet with a door (so important!). A walk-in shower completes this space. The third bedroom suite faces the back of the Turgon home plan, and it also has a generous walk-in closet. Windows facing the backyard are in a bump-out and will provide you with the sunlight you need. Plus another space to just sit and watch birds.
The Perfect Combination
Authors design with words and illustrations; architects design with well-placed spaces, then use renderings, a design, 2D or 3D, that shows what your house will look like. The Turgon plan is a design of well-placed spaces- open kitchen, breakfast and living rooms, a courtyard and porch for outside living. All you need to do is to claim it as your own.