A NEW Jewel – Part One

NEW jewel title rendering

Phil and Rocio with their new Aussie pup named Sherlock.

Phil and Rocio with their new Aussie pup Sherlock.

Thanks, Phil and Rocio. Little did you know how perfect your timing was when you came to us and asked for a “small but perfect home”. Fertile ground indeed, and my mind raced with the many recent thoughts about working on something like a precious gem, or what we’re calling a NEW Jewel.


So many of our clients now are building smaller homes because they simply don’t need a bigger one. Seems smart for many reasons: less vacuuming, less heating and cooling, less taxes. And for many, less strain on the finances as we get to the point where retirement shines bright and hopeful.

I’ve closely followed the whole Tiny House thing, and a few of my friends have been drawn to it. There’s plenty about it on the web, but simply put they’re tightly designed and crafted homes of 200-400 square feet, often built on a chassis and wheels. Cool idea, but hard to live in for most, I’d reckon. For the jewel of a home in my own mind, I wanted to start with 1,000 square feet. Enough room for a pleasant common area, a couple of away rooms for bed and work, a couple of bathrooms and yes to a mudroom and pantry. (For Phil and Rocio’s, we ended up with 1,140 square feet.) 

layout new jewel

It would not compromise on design intent, envelope or craft intensity. This is the big benefit of the smaller footprint, of course. By using a pure and simple form for the house volume, a true jewel would have enough money in the budget for the highest quality materials, net-zero levels of insulation, triple pane windows, and a high-efficiency heat pump. Additionally, the doors would be hand crafted, the cabinets solid wood, the finishes exquisite, and craftsmanship shudderingly excellent.

NEW jewel trellis

NEW jewel rendering side pergola

You guys are letting us do all of this. A NEW Jewel in all the senses. I’ll post more as we go, but the foundation is in, and the timber frame raising will take place in Dayton, Oregon around August 25th.

foundation new jewel