A Walk Around Bunny Vista

When we moved to the mobile home on the property at Bunny Vista, we didn’t know that we would live here for almost four years before we began to build the house; I am really happy to have gotten to know our lot for a while before we began. We’ve experienced summer breezes and winter gales and enjoyed the view of pastures, vineyard, mountains and sky from different elevations on the sloped property. We’ve watched the way the setting sun shifts position over the mountains as the seasons change. We waited and waited in darkness as the sun began to rise over the ridge and woods at the back of our lot and shone across the hollow onto Emerson and E. Anne’s house. We’ve had the opportunity to grow to love this peaceful little place enough to know that we want to live here for the rest of our lives.

All of the discoveries we made helped us begin to design the house to catch the summer breeze and shelter us from the winter storms, to enjoy the views, to make the house comfortable and easy to live in, and to help us enjoy the sunset and catch the sun’s rays a bit earlier in the day.

Our 4 1/2 acre property was carved out of the Croft farm. It faces west, looking across a pasture to a ridge with a road running along the top of the ridge. In the winter, when I stand outside facing west, I can see a neighbor’s house on my right, to the north, through the trees in the wooded area on both our properties. In the summer, that house is almost invisible because of the leaves. Directly in front of me I see the fenced pasture, which turns at a right angle and runs along the fence on my left all the way up the slope to the back of our lot. Behind me the lot slopes upward and again there is a wooded area. The fencing of Sugar Loaf Farm forms the back boundary of our property.

Our gravel driveway is on a little dogleg just ten to twenty yards wide. It is about 1/10 mile long. When I turn into the driveway from Miller Farm Road, I drive for a little distance between the pasture to the west and my neighbor’s driveway to the east. Our house is not visible, but finally the driveway curves and I am home.

Comiing home

The log rooms, facing west, are on the north side of the house. Because the lot slopes, we can have a full basement with doors and big windows on the front.

When the house is finished, the new driveway will run behind it rather than in front as it does now. We will park in back and enter from one of two doors on the back of the house. My Pop often reminded me that “our weather comes out of the west.” Certainly, the wind usually comes out of the west–and it is almost always windy here. In the summer, the wind is a treat and a treasure. In the winter, it can be a misery when it’s cold and dark. I wanted the entrances to the house to be sheltered from the wind. I also wanted easy access to the house, only a couple of steps up. Having the entrances at the back  shelters us and our visitors from the wind and allows us to come and go without climbing a lot of steps.

The new driveway will run along this side of the house. One side of the shed addition is visible at the left. The pink insulation will be covered with fill dirt, and Kelley is hoping that Nick will help him build a stone retaining wall here.

The new driveway will run along this side of the house. One side of the shed addition is visible at the left. The pink insulation will be covered with fill dirt, and Kelley is hoping that Nick will help him build a stone retaining wall here.

The shed addition will run along the entire length of the back of the house. It will house the mudroom, the kitchen, the hall, and the master bathroom. The kitchen bumps out about six feet beyond the rest of the shed addition.

The main entrance to the house will be through the shed addition. Walking straight ahead after entering, you will be in the dog trot between the two log rooms. If you turn left you will follow the hallway into the kitchen and timber frame.

The main entrance to the house will be through the shed addition. The entry hall connects to the dog trot between the log rooms and the hallway leading to the kitchen ad timber frame. The decking for the timber frame and kitchen are visible at the left.

The timber frame will sit on this decking. It will face west and have a screened porch on the south.

The timber frame and kitchen will sit on this decking. The timber frame will share a wall with the log house. At the right of the log wall is the entrance to the shed addition hallway, which leads to the log house and main entrance. At the left of the photo is the foundation for the screened porch. Again, the insulation on the foundation will be covered by fill dirt. The side entrance to the house is through a mudroom, at about the middle of the photo. The kitchen, which will run along the back of the house to the hallway, will face east.

Picture the timber frame and screen porch here.

Picture the timber frame here, in the center of the photo, above the basement section where Kelley will have his workshop. The screened porch will be on the right. There will be a covered front porch running the length of the timber frame, so we can have company while we watch the sun set. Kelley will store his lawn and garden equipment under the screened porch at the right.

Kelley, Lewis, Peter, and Jordan have worked hard to make sure that this house, with all its different materials and building techniques, will be a comfortable and beautiful home. Jordan calls from Mount Jackson at least once every day to consult with the other three. Peter created a floor plan that emphasizes the traditional materials and fine workmanship, creates interesting spaces, and makes the house visually coherent. He continues to work with Kelley, Lewis, and Jordan as the house evolves, helping us see our way through the inevitable changes–Peter has at least one good idea a minute. Lewis, who describes himself as a problemsolver, is building this house as if he were going to live in it himself. With his practical approach and ability to see his way through difficulties, he is making Kelley’s and Peter’s ideas work. Kelley continues to oversee it all, complicated as it is, scheduling all the different builders, shoveling mud out of the basement, and making his dream come to life.

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One Response to “A Walk Around Bunny Vista”

  1. dave morris Says:

    That’s what I call a project! We’d love to have before and after pictures of your porch/screen porch etc., to use on our site if feasible.

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