In House Plan

Whitney House. A Saltbox with Style.

I love so many architectural styles, so it’s impossible for me to have just one dream home. It’s all about location: a brownstone in the city, a bungalow on a tree-lined street, a cottage on the sea, a farmhouse on the open plain, a cabin in the woods, a villa on the coast. I could happily live in any of these.

I chose a saltbox style for Whitney because I like how it’s familiar and classic, and could be taken in different directions, from rustic to sophisticated.

For reference, here are some examples of different saltboxes and some of their common features.



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I love old homes and the Saltbox is basically the oldest style of architecture in America. There’s just something very homey about a simple house with neat rows of multi-paned wood windows and a brick chimney. Can’t you picture the warm glow of light twinkling through the windows in the evening and the soft rolls of smoke pouring out of the chimney, almost as if the house was alive and breathing?

Go ahead, peek inside, no one’s looking. See the kettle on the stove, the fire crackling away, the cat curled up, the children laughing, the parents dancing in the kitchen.

Alright now, let’s not get carried away.

But that’s why I love this style. Like a geode that is plain and ordinary on the outside, you have to peek inside to see the magic.

That’s not the only reason I chose this style for this house. I also like the clean, sharp lines of the saltbox. The plunging roofline is dramatic and interesting. Yet, I will say, most of the saltboxes I’ve seen online look a bit dreary and cold, a little too “Salem” for my taste. I imagine Whitney giving this old style a young and modern twist. I’d want to brighten up this saltbox with some bold color and fresh finishes.

I designed Whitney with all the traditional exterior features of a true Saltbox house. I’m not an expert in architectural styles, but I think the main feature that sets this apart from the more common Colonial is that it presents itself as two stories in the front with the roof extending in the back to a single story, resembling an actual wood saltbox from the 17th century. To illustrate, Whitney dear, will you please do the honor of showing us the features that make you a Saltbox?Whitney House-02

I can also imagine her fitting in well in different environments, though mostly on the East Coast. She could be placed on a deep wooded lot in an established neighborhood or at the end of a long winding country road. She could also be right in town on a walkable street.

A basic box with a triangle on top and a rectangle for a chimney makes her the quintessential American house.

Other posts in this series (sorry, not sure why the links don’t show as a different color):

Stay tuned for the exterior color ideas I have for her!


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  • Greta Anderson
    July 30, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Aw. I love that steep rooftop.

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