A lot of you are following along with our struggle to design our house. We're working on it with fervor right now and it feels great to make some measurable progress! I thought I'd share some of our inspiration with you:
:: Mary's house in Marquette - the one we are trying to evoke aesthetically. Kind of a Prairie style but with a bit of a Japanese feel. She's got amazing views of the lake.
:: The Tills Home is absolutely beautiful and moreover, built sustainably in the Midwest (Madison, WI) so they too have to deal with snow and tough seasons.
:: Sjodin Home is a little more exotic. We won't be going this way in terms of green building and size (plus, they're in Austin TX - with some milder weather), but they have some clever ideas and good links.
:: Japanese-Prairie Home is kind of the style we're thinking of. For the exterior anyway. The interior is a little too mountain log home for our taste.
:: This eco-groovy home employs a lot of the principals that we're after (good Frank Lloyd Wright influences) but it cost a fortune. We're hoping we don't go down that road exactly.
:: The land - this is, I suppose, what inspires our design the most. Unfortunately, our views are to the North and we're rather reticent to move our main living areas (living room and kitchen) to the South side of the house for all of the solar gain and efficiency benefits. It's a tough compromise, but right now the view is winning.
Overall, the concept is a ranch, with a small second-story room we're calling the cupola. Sort of a reading nook, sleeping porch, "away room" (ala Sarah Susanka), if you will. Frank Lloyd Wright is a big influence on the design, as is the view, our lifestyle (hard-working mudroom and scullery/kitchen are essential), and green building principles. Getting it all to fit is both fun and vexing. Compromise is a necessity. That's where we're at.