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Cottage Style Today

Cottage Style Today
Meet a house that celebrates summer, thanks to a generous porch
I'm excited to present updated renderings for plans by architects Ron Sakal and Sallie Hood, of The Homestead Partners. Their houses combine fresh, flexible, contemporary layouts with a sense of neighborly belonging. You could call them examples of a New Cottage Style. Take Plan 917-12,

at the top of this post and here. The veranda/porch/pergola (it's all three!) wraps the house on three sides 

making indoor-outdoor connections possible from every major room. The corner office/guest room  

adds flexibility. The kitchen can be part of the larger dining area, or treated as a separate space.

Upstairs there is the 3 bedroom 2 bath configuration shown here, along with a 2 bedroom option, and even a double master suite arrangement. Plan 917-13 offers

a somewhat smaller 2 bedroom 3 bath variation, as shown here. The floor plan includes a spacious

living room with a cozy inglenook, which was a feature of many Arts & Crafts houses and bungalows from the early 20th century. An island kitchen connects to the living room via sliding doors. Screen porches bracket the dining room, making alfresco meals especially easy! The Homestead Partners' descriptions are fun to read. Here's what they say about this plan: "Going on 40 and still scared of the dark? Of course not. But just in case, this is the house you want: the x-shaped floor plan provides natural light and views from 3 sides of every room." 


Another summer-evocative design is their garage apartment plan, Plan 917-10, offering a 

kitchen/family room opening to a spacious entry deck as well as a shaded patio on the bottom level. 

I asked Sallie to talk a little about The Homestead Partners' design approach and she mentioned that they were inspired by vintage cottages from the 1920s on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The building materials, roof slopes, and massing of these plans reference that regional palette. She says:

"We embrace natural light, with many(!) windows, views from 2-3 sides of every room, and higher or sloped/vaulted ceilings. We do love the Shingle Style, but we two were even more profoundly influenced by the Midwest's Arts and Crafts/Prairie School. In general we tend not to look at one specific architect or one specific style for inspiration. Both our architecture and urban design work is plan driven; we never think of elevations until our plans are well resolved. For stylistic inspiration we embrace a broad, eclectic mix of vernacular and high culture architecture. We both love anything we find loveable — here and abroad; no politically correct stylistic agenda for us, except that we both embrace asymmetry."

This sounds like design without dogma, where the focus is on functionality, flexibility and fun. I like that approach. It reminds me of a saying by the late San Francisco Bay Region architect William Wurster, one of my heroes: "Architecture is not a goal. Architecture is about life and work and pleasure and for people: the picture frame and not the picture." Thanks, Sallie and Ron!

To see all plans by The Homestead Partners  -- including their latest Tiny Houses, click here.

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