Michelle Pabst February 22, 2021 Home Ideas
Nestled into a woodland area, this small, fresh feeling cottage is small but anything but cramped. Instead, it’s space efficient in a way that eliminates clutter and calms the mind. Affectionately called Indigo for short, this ecologically sound structure follows a modular building concept. The intent of this project was originally to explore how small but effective “mass-customized” buildings might provide us all with healthier living solutions while still catering to individual needs and styles. Rather than adopting a “one size fits all” approach to housing, Woonpioniers prioritized green productivity, ease, and customization all at once.
In the front, the house maintains its original structure while, around back, the lovely old fig tree it was named after stretches its branches across the yard. Previously to the extension, however, that namesake wasn’t actually visible from inside the house, something the owners lamented. This is why owners and designers agreed that a full glass extension, with floor to ceiling window walls, was the best solution! Because the new section extends beyond the perimeter of the original house into the yard, and also because its glass walls can be slid back to open the room entirely into the open air, it appears to create a more cohesive relationship with the house, the fig tree, and the environment around the two.
Because Indigo homes adopt an open concept layout on the inside, having no additional walls to the four on the outside, dwellers are afforded complete freedom of interior layout. This makes the home even more customizable. The way most inner structures are concentrated in the centre of the home, including the storage in the stairs, means that the view outside the home (whether it be Lia’s natural woodland landscape or someone else’s favourite secluded meadow or beach) is uninhibited from at least one side of the house, and both on the top floor. This integrates one’s surroundings into the interior experience despite the fact that the building is not actually one that physically blends interior and exterior environments.
Rather than looking like a bit of a country western cliche (the way the original home might have been described), the new cabin features reorganized elements of the original building to create a country chic aesthetic that makes more visual and material sense. To create a new, upscale but still homey escape, designers replaced the previous shellacked logs, shiny river rock decor, and scattering or separate buildings across the plot. They reorganized the plot of the cabin to create a more streamlined grouping of buildings, connecting the smaller cabins together with a long, classically Western styled porch that sits low but still lets guests enjoy their surroundings, as well as that incredible mountain view.
They strove to create a home where the family might return from a long day of work and study and gather together to catch up, eat, or relaxed and recollect. This intent is clear in the presence of a beautiful central room that features a comfortable seating area, distraction free space, and calming koi pond right in the middle of the house. Besides providing the family with great shared space, these designers also emphasized the value of comfortable and cheerful personal space as well.
This is where a local French design and architectural company recently renovated a beautiful old farmhouse into a luxurious home that preserves all its beautiful history despite impressive and necessary updates. The original wooden farmhouse, most of which has been incorporated into and preserved within the new design, was built in 1842. In 2010, however, it underwent a lovely transformation that turned it into the stately and distinguished (yet somehow still homey) Savoyard Farmhouse you’d see if you visited Montriond today.
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