Home Plan Detail

Sun-Filled Cottage 2

By: Debra Coleman
Passive Solar Designs


Square Footage

Total living area: 2343'
Basement: 4254'
Main Level:2343'
Footprint: 44' 0" W x 66' 6" D


Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2.5
Master suite location: Main Floor


Levels: 1
Parking: Garage
Number of car stalls: 3
Modifiable to:
Crawlspace, Pier, Slab
Lot type(s): Sloping
Modifiable to:
All others


  • Passive Solar
  • Spacious Pantry
  • Screened Porch
  • Central Atrium
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Sunroom
  • Mail Nook


Sun–Filled Cottage 2 has a floor plan that is nearly identical to the original on the main level, but version 2 has no upper level (it's a one story home), and a fully developed lower level (the original was unfinished). Other changes include widening the garage to accommodate 3 vehicles, and having the garage doors face the front; the addition of a large entry courtyard; the repositioning of the laundry, allowing the conversion of the study to a bedroom with its own full bath; and a small enlargement of the master bedroom and bath, and the addition of a second walk–in closet.

But possibly the most significant change is to the ceilings throughout the house. Because there's no longer an upper floor, all the ceilings on the main level follow the roofline, vaulting from 9' at the outer walls – in four equal pie sections – to 15'6" at the edges of the atrium, and the atrium space itself rises an additional 5'. It can be a passive solar house if it faces northeast (or northwest, if reversed).

As you pass to the left of the garage you enter a large entry courtyard with a covered porch area running along one side. From the covered front porch, a glass door with glass side panels opens to a foyer that widens as you move into the house. Immediately on the left a pair of doors open to a bedroom that could of course also be used as a study, office, or guestroom. Five–foot tall windows line one wall, providing light and views from the front, while an adjoining wall has an identical window with a seat beneath it. A short hall leads past a long closet before reaching a full bath.

As you step into the house, stairs to an optional basement and a coat closet are just to your left; straight ahead there's a built–in desk with cabinets that match those in the kitchen (you could of course have built–in shelving or a bookcase if you prefer); and to the right is an opening to the living spaces of the house. If you look carefully at the floor plans, you'll see faint dotted lines that form two sides of a perfect square in the exact center of the house that includes the hearth and the desk area. This space rises up to and through the roof to clerestory windows that not only allow sunlight to fill the center of the house, but also – since the windows are operable – allow hot air to escape on hot days. To increase the effectiveness, you can install either a ceiling fan in the middle, or an exhaust fan in one of the windows. The clerestory is optional, but we think it's one of the great features of the house.

The kitchen, dining area, and great room are all open to each other, separated only by an angled peninsula counter with a raised bar on the outer edge for casual eating or serving. The kitchen features a pair of skylights in the vaulted ceiling, sinks positioned beneath a pair of corner windows, and a huge working pantry. The far wall of the dining space and the living room are filled with glass, particularly in the dining area, where glass panels and a glass door rise from near the floor to the roofline. That door opens to a large deck that wraps around a screened porch with an optional fireplace.

In the far left corner there's a sunroom with tall windows that not only wrap around the outside, but continue inside, separating this room from the great room. In the far right corner, to the side of the dining space, there's a door to the screened porch, a powder room, a mail and pet nook with a coat closet, a laundry room, and a door that opens to the 3–car garage.

The remainder of the main level is devoted to the master suite. The bedroom features lots of light along with views to the side, and an angled wall that gives a different look and feel to the room. You pass "his" and "hers" closets (guess whose is bigger and has a bit of natural light?) as you enter the master bath. There's a 42"x72" whirlpool (or soaking) tub beneath a pair of windows; a large shower surrounded by glass block walls; two separated vanities; and a private toilet.

The lower level, should you choose to build it, has room for two additional bedrooms that share a full bath, a craft/sewing room, a large open space that can be used for recreation or exercise, and another space large enough for a den with a fireplace and an entertainment center along with a kitchenette. There's also a large room for mechanicals and storage.

Floor Plans