A sleeping porch, indoor sleeping niches and a wraparound porch make this home welcoming. Passive design keeps it cool
House at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple from Georgia
Location: Outside Harriman, Tennessee
Size: 2,000 square feet (186 square meters)
The couple who own this Tennessee farmhouse, where they plan to retire soon, wanted room for themselves and visiting guests, but they didn’t want the home to feel too big. “The concept was to design it small, so that everything the couple needed was on the first floor,” says architect Elizabeth Eason of Elizabeth Eason Architecture. The farmhouse has a footprint of 1,200 square feet, with 800 square feet of living space on the second story.
Property. The homeowners and Eason worked together to site the house so it would have views of both the pond and the woods. The land is adjacent to some family properties in eastern Tennessee, making it a convenient location for gatherings.
Exterior. The homeowners love the homes in Norway, with their steep roof lines and brightly colored exteriors. Eason nodded to Norwegian architectural style with the steep pitch of the roof gable, seen here. The gable has a 16:12 pitch, which means the roof rises 16 inches for every 12 inches across. But “the colors are more east Tennessee farmhouse,” says Monika Miller, designer at Elizabeth Eason Architecture.
The exterior has board-and-batten siding made of fiber cement, painted in Sherwin-Williams’ Alabaster; the window trim is painted to match. Black windows add a modern touch to the traditional farmhouse look and contrast with the primarily white exterior. The deck is pressure-treated pine, and the posts and beams are white pine stained with a custom blend.
Tucked on the second floor beneath the roof gable is the sleeping porch; you can catch a glimpse of a green lounge chair in this photo. The tongue-and-groove white pine ceiling has a clear finish.
Living room. From the front porch, the entrance leads directly into the living room and the kitchen beyond. This room faces south and looks over a meadow toward the pond.
The homeowners have collected many furnishings during their travels and wanted to display them in the house. The large round piece on the wall of this room is an upcycled chicken brooder. Originally used for raising baby chicks, it now serves as a mirror.
The homeowners wanted the home’s finishes to be subtle so their collected treasures would be the focus. To that end, the walls and baseboards are painted the same understated white used on the exterior. “It becomes a background for her collection,” Eason says.
The flooring here and throughout the home is engineered wood, in a wide-plank style typical of a traditional farmhouse, Eason says.
Flooring: Thames White Oak, The Eighteen Seventy-Five Collection, Real Wood Floors
Kitchen. One of the homeowners had collected salvaged cabinets that she wanted to reuse in the kitchen, which is open to the living room. In this photo, the cabinets can be seen on the wall on the far right. (The next photo shows them in greater detail.)
The homeowner also had accumulated a collection of metal containers that she had wired and turned into the pendants that hang throughout the room.
The range is a new GE appliance from the company’s Artistry Series, made to look vintage. The homeowners chose a simple range hood constructed of pine; it hides a hood liner insert.
img class=”hide-context ” src=”https://st.hzcdn.com/fimgs/8b0199100a98590b_8713-w400-h400-b0-p0–farmhouse-kitchen.jpg” alt=”Farmhouse Kitchen by Elizabeth Eason Architecture LLC” width=”400″ height=”400″ data-pin-no-hover=”true” />
Elizabeth Eason Architecture LLC
The cabinets on the left side of this photo are from the homeowner’s salvaged collection. Matt Noss Construction, the general contractor, oversaw construction of the base cabinetry, which features a beaded texture. The countertop is butcher block.
The homeowner found the porcelain sink, which is from England, at an antiques store in Atlanta. The curtain beneath it adds to the farmhouse vibe. The backsplash behind the sink features simple 3-by-6-inch subway tile from a big-box store, combined with a dark grout.
Staircase. The staircase lies just off the kitchen, and the peekaboo window shown here on the stair landing looks out directly over the kitchen below. The window was a piece from the homeowner’s collection. The first time Eason visited the home for one of the family gatherings, “one of the littlest children was looking through the window and saying hello to everybody in the kitchen,” she says. “It was really cute.”
Master bedroom and study. The homeowners’ bedroom is on the first floor; you can just see the bed through the door at left. But the most prominent door in this photo is the one on a sliding track; this doorway leads to a small study that can also serve as a guest bedroom. The homeowners found the door from New Orleans at Scotts Antique Market in Atlanta and refinished it.
Master bathroom. The theme for this space was wood, water and stone, Eason says. A live-edge slab for the countertop brings in the wood, while the concrete vessel sink represents the idea of stone. The sink and shower provide the water, of course. The homeowner found the small antique shaving mirror with an accordion-like arm
The shower in the master bathroom features pebble tiles, with subway tile and dark grout for the bench and walls.
Reading space and sleeping porch. The top of the stairs opens to a wide hallway that functions as the couple’s library, with shelving for books built into the walls. Beyond, French doors open onto the sleeping porch, which has lounge chairs at the ready. This section of the home stands beneath the steep roof gable.
The design of the home, with the wide passageway leading to the sleeping porch, offers an opportunity for “vertical or stacked ventilation,” Eason says, an important element of the home’s passive design. Since warm air rises, opening the porch doors pulls the hot air through the house and out, and also creates a natural breeze.
In this part of Tennessee, the weather is pleasant for being outside about eight months of the year, Eason says. “There are only a couple months in summer where the temperature is too high and the humidity is too high to naturally ventilate.” During those months, the homeowners can use the high-efficiency heating and air system to keep the home cool.
Around the corners from the bookshelves in the reading area, the passageway opens up, on both sides, to two hallways, each leading to a guest room. Together with the master bedroom, these two rooms make for three full bedrooms in the house. But the home has still more space for guests: Twin beds are tucked into niches in the hallways.
This photo shows one of the dedicated guest bedrooms, furnished with items selected by the homeowner. The room looks out over the pond and into the woods. The same engineered wood flooring is used throughout the home, except in the bathrooms.
This image shows the breadth of the home’s wraparound porch, another element of passive design: Its deep overhang helps keep the summer sun and heat from getting into the downstairs living space. The far left end of the porch houses a dining table, where the homeowners and their guests can enjoy meals alfresco.
“The homeowners like being outside and are the kind of people that will have the windows open,” says Miller, the designer. “They really wanted something that connected to the land.”
The home is designed so that from the interior gathering spaces — specifically, the kitchen and living room — the owners and their guests can walk right out onto the porch and into the meadow. And the connection to the land exists within an efficient, moderately sized space. “I like that there’s a small footprint,” Eason says, “but it does have all of these additional spaces tucked into it that allow for friends and family to come over.”
Contractor: Matt Noss Construction