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Michael@ChandlerDesignBuild.com   |   919.812.7478
The Goldmine House
A home that uses "outdoor rooms" to maximize living space.

This 1,540 sf house was built on a $155,000 budget including all hardscaping except for the pentagonal playhouse and the master bedroom retreat deck. The program called for a music/painting studio that would be acoustically separated from the master bedroom and nursery by a kitchen suitable for running a one woman catering business. We identified four .outdoor room. activities; kid.s play area, adult gardening and socializing, master bedroom retreat deck, and an outdoor recycling/ bicycle storage/ vegetable garden area.

We were able to fit the cedar tree fence within the budget but the pentagonal playhouse and the deck off the master bedroom were built later. There was never a formal planting schedule, plants were acquired as gifts and when good deals at home centers and at Niche Gardens were available. Many plants were scavenged from Niche Garden’s reject pile and nursed back to health through the blessing of the drip irrigation system and 60 yards of top soil we spread around the house and tilled into the soil during the final grading of the home.

The 85’ long cedar fence does not follow the edge of the forest but loops away from the house, through the entry hut and out into the woods, enclosing a shade garden area and a place for a hammock. The centerpiece of the garden is a small fire circle made of natural stone strip rubble from a local garden center. This provides a warm gathering place for socializing and a focus for a few pieces of outdoor furniture. The adult garden area is the center of outdoor life in this household but the kid’s outdoor play area gets a lot of use as well. We wanted this space to be visible from the kitchen and living area to allow children to play independently but with parental supervision. But not so visible that the inevitable jumble of tricycles and toys would be unsightly from the interior of the home. The solution was to set the playhouse behind the sofa where the relatively high windowsill cuts off the view of the clutter on the ground but the children’s activities are easily monitored by parents visiting in the living room as well as from the nursery. Leaving the kitchen/living area through the sliding glass door and turning left leads to the play area. Going straight out this door leads to the woods in just 15 feet and we often see deer very close to the house in this direction as well as rabbits. Turning right leads to the vegetable garden and compost area just outside the kitchen window. Just past this is the little alcove between the kitchen and the studio wing that hides the water heater and the electrical meter and breaker panel as well as the trash and recycling, the hose reel for the garden and mountain bikes.

View from the drive through the entry hut
"Bog Walk" - Master Bath corner overlooking the adult garden space

We used the wing shape of the house and a tree height cedar and sapling fence to create an entry courtyard that was and has continued to be inhabitable to deer. A favorite place for wild rabbits however. The path from the entry hut to the front door and mud room door is a board walk, what we call a "Bog-Walk," a raised platform of treated 2x12’s on 6x6 sleepers that is not level but rises and falls with the contours of the land

We set the tallest cedars in the center of the (approx 85’) run of the fence. The top of the fence is festooned with Christmas tree lights that are connected to a photo-timer. They come on at dusk and turn off 4-8 hours later as programmed. The fence leaves the house near the parking area and passes the entry hut then circles out into the woods creating a shady place for a hammock. The wood to garden transition line bisects the bonfire pit. The fence re-connects to the house near the master bedroom with a small access gate. The drip irrigation for the floor cooling runs through a flow controller and under the entire length of the fence. The fence is planted with Carolina jasmine, grapes, and other vines.

The Japanese style entry genkan is dropped 7" below the floor level of the house and, while heated, has a slate floor rather than the acid-stained concrete finish of the rest of the radiant floor in the house. It provides a designated space to remove shoes and is further separated from the rest of the house by a heavy oak threshold marking the ceremonial entry to the home.

Hall from entry to master bath (laundry on right)

The master bath has a deep soaking tub in the Japanese style with the toilet in a separate space not also used for bathing and dressing. The parking area is concealed from the living space and from both outdoor gardens, which can be a little awkward as the master bath soaking tub and shower is located to command a wonderful view of the garden and conversely the garden offers a good view of the shower.

Living/dining area
View from living area out to kids play yard w/ pentagonal playhouse visible over sofa
Studio, used here as extra bedroom
Studio Bathroom
The back garden is devoted to children and their toys, it features a pentagonal playhouse with a sky light and a story telling bench.
View from the bonfire pit towards the Japanese genkan entry, Mudroom entry is at right.
Covered entry gate looking from the shady hammock area out towards the parking
Dedicated craftsmen having a great time building beautiful, high performance homes for enthusiastically satisfied clients.
Chandler Design-Build919-812-7478Michael@ChandlerDesignBuild.com
Mailing address - 3249 Henderson Field Rd. Mebane NC 27302
Office address – 1610 Jordan Drive, Saxapahaw NC 27340