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Efficient, small, and flexible.

Efficient, small, and flexible You might say it's in the spirit of "company comes first." In a sence, John Ratzenberger and his family are guests on their own property. For their land in the Pacific Northwest, they asked Seattle architect Rex Hohlbein to design a large family house and a detached two-storey guest house and a detached two-storey guest house with garage and workshop. The smaller dwelling went up quickly, giving them a place to live as the long project of building the big house got under way.

If your budget calls to permanent residence in a limited space, this could be a prototype for a compact house that's still comfortable for a family of four. And if you want to spread out after a few years, you could construct a carport and convert the garage and workshop to living space.

The house has 950 square feet on each level. Garage, workshop, laundry, and entry are on the ground floor. Uptairs is a great room with a kitchen bay on one side, a master bedroom on the other. Tucked into each sloped-roof corner is a small alcove: one is a pantry, two are sleeping areas, and the fourth is a bathroom.

Big round-top windows on two sides of the second floor open the house to sunlight, views of surrounding woods, and summer breezes. The generous windows add to the great room's sense of spaciousness, as does the open-to-the-roof ceiling. A wraparound counter masks the cooktop and kitchen prep areas from the rest of the great room without shutting off the cook. A small 5- by 9-foot balcony off the kitched and a tiny 1- by 3-foot balcony off the bedroom also contribute to the house's open feeling.

A woodstove heats the second floor. With stairwell door closed, upstairs gets toasty while garage and workshop stay cool.

Natural woods combined with painted surfaces, open beams, and nicely detailed woodwork give the house a sense of rural elegance without undue formality.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:family house
Date:Mar 1, 1991
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