Our home in Dallas, Texas
While Bart obviously brings a lot to Thrasher Works by way of wood working and building, he also has a degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in Architecture. Myself, I have a degree in Architecture from the University of Kansas. This is likely the main reason we get along so well. So, in an effort to make Thrasher Works a real partnership as is our marriage, I’m going to concentrate on developing case study designs for residential projects.
The first I’ve begun to develop is not a big stretch from the house in which I grew up nor from the house Bart and I currently live. The American Foursquare. This type of house can be found anywhere in the United States and may be simply described as the Prairie Box; it was popular from the late 1800s through the 1930s. As suggested in the name, the first floor plan has a four room plan arranged in a box with the bedrooms upstairs. Features typically include a front porch, low-sloped roofs with deep overhangs. My favorites will have rafter tails and the central dormer at the front as well as those which borrow from the Craftsman style.
By no means it this Case Study going to entail the discovery of something new that’s never been done. Rather, I hope to explore one of the simplest and, in my opinion, the most practical styles in residential design. It’s a style which symbolizes what a home is. While this is likely due to the fact I grew up in such a house and have recently signed onto thirty-year note for one of my own, I think it really comes from the proportions, details, and even the simplicity.
First step: the floor plan. My goal here was to take from the traditional floor plan used in the American Foursquare and update it without loosing its character. To accomplish this I've done a few key things:
1. Opened the kitchen to the living room by way of a breakfast bar
2. Made the kitchen especially spacious with a plan in mind to provide for modern amenities anyone can appreciate
3. Added a master suite to the ground floor - this could really be used as a M.I.L suite or a second living area
4. The back porch (which I covet for my own house) is large and grand for entertaining
The next step will be the facade. To do this, I will finally be digging into the book my husband, Bart, has pushed at me for years: The Old Way of Seeing by Jonathan Hale. More to come...including a sketch up model.