Saturday, September 17, 2011

The lay of the land

Our "patch of dirt" in early spring
First of all, thanks to all my friends and neighbors who have read this blog.  Many of you seem genuinely interested in our process and have asked several great questions about PH.  Mostly in the realm of "How will you stay warm in the winter?"  Without getting into the long answer right now, let me just say you will all be invited over next winter to find out.  All non acquaintances reading this blog, I'll address that question in a future post when the details of the mechanicals have been finalized.

Last week we met with a Site Planner/Landscape Architect from CR3 named Gary Hath.  We have many elements to arrange on the site in addition to the house that need careful planning.  Solar exposure and orientation is very important in PH design. We also have to consider water runoff management and install a septic system.  There's lots to plan such as the lawn/play field, veggie garden, stone patios, septic field, driveway/approach to the house, landscaping and flower gardens, and tennis court (after all, we are the Honigs).  These element are being mapped out so the site can be properly graded and the foundation dug once the house plans are approved.
First version of the site plan

Oh yes, the house plans.  Our architect Jamie Wolf is busily working on the detailed schematics and energy analysis of the house plans to submit for approval to get our building permits.  We have scale drawings of the layout of the house and Jamie has even created a 3D computer model of the interior and exterior.  It's starting to feel like a real place.  Jamie is doing a fantastic job of taking our needs, wants, and vision for our family and shaping them into a physical space that works on many levels: aesthetically, functionally, energy efficiently, etc.

Paul and my homework this week has been to start looking at appliances, cabinetry, flooring, tile, and fixtures. It is early in the process but we need to have all the "fixin's" ready to go in as soon as the structure is built.  For appliances, energy efficiency is paramount.  We are planning on choosing low VOC cabinetry.  I've ordered some samples of bamboo flooring and recycled glass counter tops made out of beer bottles.  The design style we are going for, I describe as Modern Farmhouse/SOHO Loft (you can take the girl out of New York,.....) which to me feels warm with an open layout and some wood elements.  There are also a few surprise architectural elements. I can't wait to throw our first party.

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