Home Plan Detail

Sunny Master in the Rear

By: Debra Coleman
Passive Solar Designs


Square Footage

Total living area: 1223'
Basement: 2519'
Main Level:1223'
Footprint: 42' 0" W x 36' 0" D


Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1.5
Master suite location: Main Floor


Levels: 1
Parking: Garage
Number of car stalls: 2
Modifiable to:
Crawlspace, Pier, Slab
Lot type(s): Sloping
Climate(s): Mixed-Humid


  • Passive Solar
  • Abundant Windows
  • Vaulted Ceilings
  • Detached Garage
  • Open Floorplan
  • Sunny Center


The covered front porch is 24'–wide and 7'–deep, so there's plenty of room for outdoor furniture. As you enter the foyer there are stairs to the (optional) basement immediately to your left, and just beyond it there's a powder room with a linen closet across from it. Just beyond the closet there is a laundry room/mudroom with a door on the far end to the side yard and the detached garage (which could of course be attached via a breezeway). From this same spot in the foyer there is a door leading to the master suite, and an opening to the main living areas.

As you leave the foyer, which has an 8' ceiling, you enter a square atrium area where the ceiling jumps to the full height of the clerestory windows above the atrium. There are 8 windows at the top – one each on the front and one side, and three each on the rear and the other side. If one of the windows is electronically operable, or replaced by a small fan, a natural chimney effect will draw hot air out of the house. There's a built–in study nook in one corner of the sunny atrium space, with a 6'–high wall around it, and a ladder next to it to access storage and shelves for plants.

The ceilings in this house are unique and quite dramatic, but a bit difficult to explain. The highest point is the very center of the clerestory. If you were to draw two lines that begin and end at two opposing corners of the house (essentially an "X"), each of the four "pie slices" (with the exception of the foyer, half bath, and laundry), each of the four ceiling "sections" descend from nearly 18' in the center to 8' at the edges. Which produces spaces that are indeed unique and dramatic!

In one corner of the kitchen there's a pantry with a built–in entertainment behind it that faces the living room. A peninsula counter next to it has a raised outer bar for casual eating or serving. The sinks are positioned beneath a pair of windows that bump out to create space for a window box.

The dining area is conveniently located next to the kitchen. One window provides a view to the front, while two other windows and a glass door look and open out to the screened porch. A door in the porch opens to a side deck that wraps around to a wider section at the rear. The corner of the living room is wrapped with windows that look out to and through the side and rear deck. All of the windows in the dining and living rooms are 6'–tall. There is a nook in the living room that was designed for either a fireplace or a wood stove.

The master bedroom has a wall of windows facing the rear, and another in one corner for additional light and cross ventilation. There's a walk–in closet off the short hall to the bedroom, and the bath has a garden tub in one corner beneath glass block openings, a shower big enough for two, and two vanities.

The basement area is designed to have three additional bedrooms that share a single bathroom, a large study space, and an even larger recreation space. A storage space and the mechanicals are also located here, but the mechanical systems can be moved to a small crawlspace if you don't plan to build the lower level.

The detached garage can be either a two–car garage with a workshop space, or made to accommodate a third car or a tractor by adding a third garage door. It could even be semi–attached via the laundry room, if the layout of the land allowed.

Floor Plans