Project Description

Lucia’s Little Houses > House #16

A Tuscan Farmhouse

This house needs a flat spot to sit in comfortably. It does especially well when approached from a higher elevation, because you can see it spreading out into its site. The living spaces open out to the east and south, and a great southwestern screened porch makes the downstairs master bedroom seem like it’s outside.

A house built by our customer:


Here’s a house for a couple of college professors that sits at the bottom of a hayfield that slopes down to the water. The house is set at the edge of the field where it starts to become wooded and looks out over the water. It’s a very gentle and refined site and I wanted to make sure the house would complement this landscape rather than competing with it.

The entry side faces north and is the most formally composed. You can see a number of volumes fitted together, and the stair tower to the second floor is the most prominent. Low-pitched hipped roofs allow the house to appear to be spreading out into the field and the second floor emerges from the center of the house, crouched under its own roof—and all of this faintly reminds me of farmhouses in Tuscany where I think a stuccoed version of this house might feel quite at home.

As you move around the house to the south side and the view to the water, everything opens up into glass and corners that let the light inside. From the small entry porch you can either go right into the main space, or turn left and enter into a mud room/laundry that then leads through a pantry into the kitchen. The kitchen is perched on the shoulder of the main space and is command central.

A striking feature of this house is the long living room that stretches the full length of the house. We created this room to give a home to a concert grand piano that the clients own and use all the time. They didn’t want a separate music room because they want the music in the center of their lives. As it works out, the piano creates a buffer between the front door and stairs to the upstairs and the more sedentary seating area around the wood stove at the south end. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a grand piano, this area of the living room could, with some furniture arranging, become another section of the living room devoted to more internal things like television watching.

The entire west side of the downstairs is a master bedroom suite. The bedroom itself is big enough for a long office counter to be under the low western roof. This bedroom also opens out into the small screened porch, so in the summer time it feels almost like you’re outside.

Upstairs the two girls each have their own almost identical rooms tucked under the eaves. They share their own bath and a sitting area out in the hall that can hold a TV or whatever.

This house is built on a slab to soak up the heat from the winter sun, so there is no basement. You would probably want to have an outbuilding of some type for the extra detritus of your life that would normally find its way into a basement.

With a house that spreads out like this, you are bound to have at least one internal room—in this case the powder room. We include a skylight here, indeed a ventilating skylight, so when you come into the powder room instead of feeling like you are in a closet, there’s daylight, sometimes even a sunbeam, and nice contact with fresh air.

Although modest and compact, I have been in this house with gatherings of 30+ people, and because it’s so easy to move around, in and out of the porches and to the outside, it feels as if it could handle twice that many. And get yourself a grand piano with the money you will save with this very efficient house.

Working drawings provide you with the architectural documentation you (or your builder) need to build this house. Working drawing sets vary for each of the houses. Click here to order.

House Details
Heated square feet. . . . . . . . 2,039
Adjusted sq. ft. . . . . . . . . 2,207
3 – Bedrooms
2 1⁄2 – Bathrooms
Slab foundation

Foot Print 1,696 sq. ft.
View Dimension 48’
Side Dimension 40’
Height 21’-3”

1st Floor 1,447 sq. ft.
2nd Floor 592 sq. ft.

1st Floor
Living 16’ x 36’
Dining 8’ x 10’
Kitchen 12’ x 10’
Bedroom–1 16′-6″ x 14′
Bath-1 9’-6” x 10’
Bath–2 5’ x 4’
Entry Porch 7’-6” x 4’
Scr. Porch 12’ x 10’
Deck 20’ x 22’

2nd Floor
Bedroom–2 12’ x 14’
Bedroom–3 12’ x 14’
Bath–3 7’ x 10’

Working Drawings
• Schedules
• 1st flr. Plan
• 2nd flr. Plan
• Elevations
• Sections
• Details
• Interior Elevations
• Foundation Plan
• Framing
• Mechanical
• Electrical Plan