We’re a unique organization and not just because of the various interesting personalities around here. We have an internal architecture design group that works side by side (literally!) with our engineering group. Don’t worry, if you’re already working with a design professional, you can go directly to our engineers. But if you’d like to have your own set of plans drawn from your musings, then a chat with our design group would be in order.
With us, the design process starts with a conversation. Here, our designers begin to roughly sketch the site plan, sections, and elevations as they develop the conceptual approach to a project. This allows them to get the “big ideas” down to steer the project as it moves from miscellaneous thoughts to a cohesive design. The first sketches for a recent project in Lone Jack, Missouri noted a necessary connection between the home and the adjacent barn. For this project each decision was influenced by the other future inhabitants of the home: 15 rescued dogs of varying pedigrees, sizes, and pasts.
How do projects continue developing? Our design department asks tons of questions on a variety of topics. Any client can expect to be asked about their general lifestyle and specific details/ideas of their dream home, to who likes to cook, what do they want in a kitchen, and if a shower or bath is preferred. Further meetings with our Lone Jack couple resulted in a rough exterior sketch with the initial volumes and thoughts becoming more refined and detailed until a final, full color rendering was achieved. The detailed rendering includes actual exterior colors, the exposed timber trellis paired with efficient modern and natural materials, and mechanicals.
Shifting to the interior, the contemporary design for a built-in bed includes a “thick” wall for storage space and reading lights, a special request from our Lone Jack couple. The extra wide bed platform was specifically designed to provide room for one of the family dogs, Hero, who needs to sleep near his human companions.
Our design team discovered our Lone Jack couple had an interest in expressing a “modern farmhouse” look. For the great room we paired clean lines with reclaimed wood. Stone, metal, and glass were softened by timbers and millwork. Overall, warm tones were blended with cool hues.
This interior view from the great room looks up into the loft and kitchen beyond. To be a bit technical: the ridge of the home is slightly offset to provide adequate ceiling height to the catwalk and stair, while keeping the great room frame symmetrical. A built-in partition visually separates the foyer from the great room. Most folks enjoy natural light. We’ve found a clerestory, such as the one above the great room in this project, is an efficient way to allow ample southern light to illuminate deep into the home.
The design process will produce a set of timber frame shop drawings, and it’s these that our craftsmen will work from as they select timbers, cut joinery and finish each piece. Drawings include exterior volumes and in the case of our Lone Jack project, integration with the barn. The barn (right side of upper image above) was built to house a large scale animal rescue operation. An exterior porch and trellis system connects the barn and home physically and visually, yet still provides a degree of separation between private spaces and the rescue shelter.
After cutting the joinery and pre-assembling in our shop, the frame goes up, raised by the same hands who crafted it! We hear all 15 of the family dogs are excited to see their new family home come together thanks to our Lone Jack couple who both have a love of timber and a heart for canine rescue. To see more projects like this, check out our timber frame home case studies.