Construction costs on a steep lot can soar without proper planning, most notably in the foundation. A narrow footprint can help less material will be needed while still providing great views.
You don’t always need to go quite as big on upper levels if there’s room for living space on the lower level. Basement projects are great to consider for expansion, especially for more sleeping space.
If the slope allows the lower level to be exposed, add windows and a door to create a walkout basement. Not only does a walkout provide full access to the property, it also increases your cabin’s value.
An abundance of windows makes for bright and cheery spaces.
The cabin is tucked into the slope, with three levels that hug the hill’s contours. A daylight (walk-out) basement sits on a slab on grade. An office here allows Bill to work w’hile he transitions into retirement. Both office and adjoining exercise room open onto a terrace.
LONG AND LINEAR
The main level accounts for over half of the cabin’s square footage. A long, linear floor plan with the dining room at one end and a master suite at the other maximizes the narrow site. A cantilevered living room “telescopes off the kitchen to capture the view. Approximately 1,000 square feet of dining porch and deck extend the living space as much as possible.
Large casement windows drench the cabin in light and afford glimpses of wildlife. Flocks of turkeys cut across the slope below, anti droves of hummingbirds are a common sight. At least, they were before the Malcolms noticed that bird feeders also attract bears in these parts. (They lost two feeders before strapping a third to the edge of the deck. Undeterred, a bear jumped onto the railing and snatched it. There are no plans for more feeders.)
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Wood floors and ceilings set the outdoorsy tone the couple wanted. Red oak flooring unifies the interior, while different ceiling heights and treatments delineate areas by function. “The owners didn’t want a great room effect, with living and eating in one, explains Hughes. Instead, the kitchen, dining, and living rooms are close by, side by side. Because there is an upper level, ceilings are predominately flat, says Lawton. To break up the line, he incorporated tray ceilings (also called recessed or inverted ceilings) in the living and dining rooms. The increased volume enhances the view, while striking color variations in the poplar wood ceiling encourage visitors to look up as well as out. “Poplar doesn’t get used a whole lor,” comments Lawton, “bur it has a lor of character. The natural light and dark are very expressive.” A white coffered ceiling sets off the kitchen. With an island angled to face both the living room and the dining area, this is the heart of the cabin. The brick corner hearth is a nod to Colonial Williamsburg “my favorire place to be since college, says Phyllis.
Center-opening sliding glass doors between the dining room and covered dining porch blur the lines between outside and in. To continue rhe flow, the porch has the same poplar ceiling as the dining room, with two skylights to pull light into the dining room. Namral Tennessee fieldstone anchors rhe porch in its rustic setting.
Two upper-level bedrooms accommodate visiting family and friends. The couple’s daughters Holly lives in Orlando and Lauren in Cleveland visit whenever possible. Phyllis’s relatives also make the eleven-hour drive from Cleveland to visit the “halfbacks” (native northerners who intended to retire to Florida but opt for mid-South locations like the Carolinas).