July 17, 2013

Drafting dreams

We've finally identified the general vicinity in which we want to build a home and live in from here until forever. What a declaration! I'll share more about the area in another post but it is about 5 miles outside the city and there are many multi-acre lots for sale--something that has been really hard to find! For about a week we have been eyeing a parcel of nine acres situated on a lovely country road across from a quintessential span of open field.

We get excited thinking about how a move outside the city limits (to the East End) could actually translate to an increased use of the City's offerings for us. The main road that connects the area to the city pours directly into what is called Shockoe Valley which leads to the hip and happening spots in nearby Church Hill, Shockoe Bottom, and Shockoe Slip. We are so familiar with the West End of the city and nearby suburbs that we tend not to venture into downtown and beyond unless we have a specific errand to run, and proximity certainly increases access.

We've been through land inquiries before so we don't have our hopes up yet, but we are moving slowly through the process of acquiring information and considering negotiations.

Regardless of the lot (as long as it has flat topography!) we are drafting a design concept that we call the nature inspired industrial horse barn. It may sound a little crazy, but after years of dreaming this feels like the perfect floor plan for the way we like to live with one large communal living space and separate private rooms for sleeping.

Here are images of the rough design concept, without exterior detail. Just a basic shape, and some interior walls. For reference the square footage would be around 3,000. The design element I love most is the modified dogtrot, or breezeway, that connects the main floor space to the open air in the front and back yards.

If you're not familiar with houzz, it's similar to Pinterest but focuses on living spaces. You can check out our idea books here. We each add to them when we can and review them together in the evenings for fun.

What do you think, can you picture it?


  1. Wow, very cool concept! At first I couldn't really visualize what you were describing, but then looking at the examples and ideas on houzz made me fall in love with this design! It's not something I ever would have considered, mainly because I don't know if you would be able to fully utilize such a layout in new england where winter is more than half of our year, but I think it makes SO MUCH sense for warmer climates, especially with a young or large family. I'm so excited to hear more about this new adventure for you guys!

  2. Jacqueline, you might be interested in this post I recently wrote about The Barn at Coworth Park (in England) - could be good inspiration for the interior of your new house!


    What do you think?


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