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06-Feb-2020 09:52

We had some of those concerns, too, but in the end we decided that the things that work way outnumber those that don’t.We actually like the separation of main living area from family room.Cast in place concrete walls & piers at rear addition (middle).Rear addition taking shape and framing nearing completion (right).Our front yard isn’t particularly large, but it feels spacious because there’s a nice distance between our house and the neighbors on either side: We like our neighborhood so much better than many of the new neighborhoods we see, with houses all crammed together on postage-stamp lots, nothing much more than paint color to distinguish one from the other. But we see so much potential here, especially for people like us.Our neighborhood has an organic, grown-over-time quality that we just don’t see in new developments. (Meaning, people with more energy than money, who like a good project and want to make a place their own.) Take a look at this home, which was on the market for less than a week before a “sale pending” sticker appeared on the realtor’s sign: This is a project house, for sure–but when we look at it we don’t so much see the dated color scheme and too-cute window boxes and boxy shape as we see that sweet bay window and space for kids and the trees framing three sides of the house.Jones Pierce brought to the table a design that would firmly establish a style they admired, the exemplified by turn-of-the-century architects Greene and Greene, while capitalizing on rather than obliterating the predominant existing massing.The result is a design which blends the Usonian origins of the 70’s Splitlevel with the eyecathcing detail of an earlier period.

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So, yeah: We bought a big, boxy split-entry house in the suburbs.Simplicity and sustainability are ideas we like a lot. It’s just a different kind of old-school cool (now that the ’70s were 40 years ago).