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It's really just a simple 28-foot-square box.

It's really just a simple 28-foot-square box

Borrowing adds interest to the design of this simple box. On each level of the 28-foot-square space, rooms borrow views from adjoining areas to gain light and a feeling of spaciousness. And finishing details borrowed from the past--a split pediment at the top of the front facade, a portico over the entry, classical columns marking one side of the interior stairwell --keep the small-scale spaces from being dull and predictable.

Even wall colors come into play. Touches of strong custom-mixed color punctuate light surfaces, leading the eye through confined areas.

Set into a hillside, the house stacks up three living levels topped by a roof deck. The separate floors allow privacy, so the four family members can pursue their divergent interests, as well as be together when they want.

Accomplishing all this within an uncomplicated grid plan, owner-architect David McMillen of Portland kept building costs below $40 per square foot in 1984.

Ground floor, main floor. On the partially buried ground floor is a bedroom where a teen-age son can enjoy rock music. A bath, study, workshop, and utility room occupy the rest of the space.

The main floor, reached by inside stairs and a broad exterior stairway to the front entry, holds family areas. Dining and living areas, defined as separate spaces by the stairwell colonnade, share one end. Across from the kitchen is a music room for Mrs. McMillen. Double-glazed sliding doors provide sound insulation for this room without darkening the hallway with a solid wall or making the player feel cut off from the rest of the house.

Top floor, roof deck. On the third floor, the master bedroom and a third bedroom share an oversize bathroom.

From the hall, a stairway leads to the roof deck. Surrounded by maples, this secluded outdoor space puts users up where view and sunlight are best; it attracts the whole family. "I like to have my morning coffee up there,' says Tedde McMillen. "David makes his way up after work for a glass of wine. But in the afternoon, when the sun is brightest, the kids take over, and our roof looks like a beach.'

Photo: Steel-tube trellis arches like a barrel vault over roof deck. Designed to define sitting space, it could also support container vines. Top of front pediment is a safety barrier and windbreak

Photo: Acrylic roof shelters 5- by 9-foot front porch while letting in light. Steel wires alongside landing add to airiness

Photo: Echoing classic lines, front exterior uses simplified versions of broken pediment at top and portico with square pillars at entry. Three-story plan stacks 28-foot-square floors

Photo: Unfinished pine columns (available by special-order from some lumberyards) define stairwell opening in living room, while plastic-coated steel wire forms a strong but airy railing. Seating is built-in below small, energy-efficient windows, with shelving above

Photo: Long narrow hallway (3 1/2 by 15 feet) seems wider because of the music room's bank of sliding-glass doors

Photo: Double-glazed doors close to muffle practice, open for concerts. Columns are flat at end of hall, round near living room
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:home decorating
Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1986
Words:518
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