Karen and I each have one tiny connection to Bozeman, Montana, the site of this picture-perfect cottage by Locati Architects. She visited the city once, and for me, it was the site of the design problem on my Architectural Registration Exam.
But neither of those experiences was as memorable as this modest home. From the street, it’s as cute as can be, with tons of subtle details that give the house great character. Notice the dark-painted windows, the custom chimney shroud, and the narrow band of wall shingles every fifth course.
The same great details and cozy warmth carry right around a simple concrete back porch, anchored by a big stone fireplace, and leading out to a patch of well-manicured yard.
It’s inside, however, where the Architects have really made something special. The front door opens into a low-ceiling entry hall. From there the ceilings step up as the stairs spill down from the second floor.
The tall ceiling in this hearth room is brought into scale with beams and a wood ceiling. I really like the informal feel of the rough stone lintel over the fireplace opening.
Turn around and you’ll see how the entry hall and hearth room flow into each other, with the kitchen and breakfast room just beyond.
Here’s proof that a kitchen doesn’t need a lot of walls to work well. This one’s completely open on one side and on another, double doors open to the patio and fireplace beyond. Not everyone likes pots and pans hanging over the island, but it’s a much more efficient solution than building cabinets to hold them!
For a cold-climate house, this one is surprisingly open – here’s another set of doors to the outside! This house is a great example of using variety of ceiling heights, details, and room shapes to make a modest house interesting.