Today I’m sharing the exterior elevations of Whitney House.
If I were to build her, she’d have true divided light windows, real wood siding, a solid stone fireplace.
I’d want to build her like an old home. I love old homes—I mean, who doesn’t? I don’t love them because they are old, but more because they are built to grow old, to last through the generations. They’re not fake or generic. Their materials aren’t pretending to be something they’re not and they showcase quality craftsmanship. When I walk down a street of old homes, I feel like I’m in a beautiful gallery and the houses are the art. I really appreciate that about homes built generations ago—I get the sense that they were designed to bring joy not just to the owners but to others as well: the visitors, the community, and the inheritors (because homes weren’t just sold off to strangers, they were passed on to family). So many of them are true masterpieces, and it’s sad to see them get demolished every day to make way for fast and cheap new construction.
Anyways, I look to old houses and the design styles of the past for inspiration for my dream homes, and that is how Whitney House was born.
We’re going back 350 years with this style. Whitney was inspired by the saltbox of the late 1600’s, the oldest architectural style in America. I know she may seem plain, but she’s pure. Her proportions are perfect and her design is genuine. She’s got nothing to hide and I like how her forward, exposed features make her a little fearless. She’s not afraid of an adventurous color on her front door, and that alone would make her dazzle all the other houses on the block, like bold lipstick against flawless skin. Though her roots are colonial, she’s far from modest. Yes, her unpretentious puritan friends consider Whit a bit of a bad girl.
I’d want to give this saltbox a modern attitude. I’d select a stylish light fixture at the entry and perhaps choose an unexpected accent color on the muntins and sashes of her windows or a dramatic tile on the front steps.
Her overall dimensions are 40′ wide by 48′ deep. Her side profile mimics a house that’s been added onto over the years, typical of saltboxes which grew as the family did. The roof extends back to a single story in the back. One of my favorite things about Whitney is that she has the cutest little baby, an adorable guest apartment tucked away around back. It has it’s own little entrance and little casement windows on the back that overlook the gardens. You can see the floor plan in the last post. That little apartment should have a name; suggestions anyone?
The larger window on the bottom right is the living room, the guest bedroom is above that, and the attic loft is at the top.
On the other side is the back entrance into the mud room. I imagine a patio on this side of the house for outdoor meals on a sunny day. The two windows on the bottom right are in the kitchen and I have them drawn as double-hung windows, but I think I would actually prefer these two as casements that open out onto this patio. Large containers with ivy would be placed outside near these windows. The large window on the bottom left is the dining room, and the second level windows are the master suite.
The rear elevation is mostly the roof. I could have popped a dormer in the back, but I didn’t want to interfere with the lines of the house. I did add skylights. The three on the left are over the master tub, and the single one is over the shower. The square windows look into the powder bath on the left, then the two over the mudroom/laundry and then the two in the guest apartment kitchen.
If you missed it, here is the floor plan so you can get an idea of how she is laid out on the inside. Now to pick some out some “lipstick” colors for that front door!