Friday, February 24, 2006

Reader Request: Our House Program

I've had a few folks ask to see our written house program (the document one gives to architects and designers that describes what we want in our future home).

Okie Doke.

It certainly isn't a visually stimulating post, but here goes:


A modern home, reflecting the vernacular, with between 1600 and 2200 heated square feet. We want a sense of classicism and symmetry and a lot of natural light.

A courtyard configuration (or the feel of one) would be ideal.

We like a sense of privacy. Water features would be welcome.

The street façade of the home can be fairly simple, conveying a bit of a demure side. The design drama could be contained behind the front entrance, if it made sense on the site.

We like a sense of security and solidity. Stone, concrete and/or brick are appreciated. We respond to traditional, vernacular materials used in modern ways. We insist on sloped roofs with deep overhangs, and outdoor entertaining spaces.

We are open to creative multi-use spaces, such as:

Guest Bedroom/Home Office
Artists Studio/Guest Room
Artists Studio/Bare Entertaining Spaces


The courtyard homes of Pompeii, Santa Fe and the French Quarter
Warm, friendly farmhouse kitchens
Southern/Southwestern vernacular buildings
Classical symmetry


Phillip Johnson’s Glass House, for its careful balance of positive and negative.
Paul Rudolph’s Manhattan townhouse for Halston, for its creative use of space and levels.
Pretty much anything by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Northpark shopping mall in Dallas. So timeless, it could have been built yesterday.
The Kimball museum in Fort Worth, for its diffusion of light and serenity.


Stone or brick, painted or not.
Galvanized sheet metal.
Concrete floors and concrete block.
Limestone and other simple, monochromatic stones
Darker woods used in simple, spare and dramatic ways.


Elegant, Comfortable Living Space:
Vaulted or double-height space; a sense of drama
Fireplace (shared with kitchen or dining?)
Room for two living seating groups (one for fireplace/one for media) or one seating group that does double duty
Hidden plasma television

Elegant Dining:
Combined with another space?
Space allowed for two 6’ round tables.

Modern Farmhouse Cook’s Kitchen:
Connected to, but not in the same room as living/dining
Space for antique farmhouse table (seats 8)
Kitchen island with potrack (or space allowed for mobile island on wheels)
Plenty of natural light
Double wall ovens and professional-type range
Thoughtful storage for huge assortment of dishes and cookware
Cookbook shelves
Wine cooler

Convenient to both kitchen and master suite
Space for full sized washer/dryer and folding table
Utility sink for dog-washing

Restful Master Suite:
Standard-sized master bedroom oriented to an outdoor focal point (pool, courtyard, tree, view, etc)
Very large walk in master closet for two (or two closets), with room for dressers/built in drawers
Master bath with two sinks, ample drawers (with integral electrical plugs), two-person shower with two heads and toilet closet.
Hidden plasma television

Small, Comfortable Guest Room:
Room can be of minimum size for function and/or be a flex space

Glamorous Guest Bath:
Hallway access/double as powder room
Include a bathtub/shower

Other Stuff:
Covered front entry, however small
Designated/delineated interior entryway with coat closet
Painting studio (flex space?) with canvas and supply storage closet
Space allowed for antique baby grand piano in public spaces
Home office with two workstations and ample storage (flex space?)
One big wall of built-in book shelves (think Hugh Newell Jacobsen)
Built in media closet with multi-media wiring throughout home
Covered/protected outdoor seating/patio with screened porch section
Two-car covered off street carport/garage, whether attached or not
Storage for lawn equipment/tools with space for garden workbench and composting area
Allowed space for future swimming pool
Koi pond (or space allowed)
Out-of-way space allocated to cat box (pantry/laundry?)

Private outdoor shower, steps from master suite
A greenhouse/conservatory type space for raising orchids
A butler’s pantry for dish storage


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