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Brian Edward Millett

Where all things beautiful collide

As a designer, I think of projects all the time that are pure fantasy or that could be reality some day.  Up until now I have shared with you fashion, interiors, and objects that others have designed that I love.  I would like to continue doing that, while also going in a direction where I share actual projects I have done and hope to do.  I will begin with my latest dream project.  I recently stumbled upon a home here where I live that brought me to a halt.  It is a brand new home that is heavily inspired by, but not trying to be an old home.  I was unable to take a photograph, but I will paint the picture the best I can.  Its style could best be described as Neo Georgian.  It has the symmetry of a traditional Georgian, Federal or Colonial house with a center entry with one large wood window on either side with three on the second floor and three rooftop dormers.  The doorway had all the classic white painted woodwork around it you would expect with a simple black painted door with transom window above.  All the other windows were trimmed in black as well as the trim around the black roof.  The surprise element to this house is that it is not covered in traditional clapboard, stone, or red brick, but instead it is covered in a smooth white stucco.  It was a stunning surprise!  This got me thinking.  Could this be a green house?  Not like the color, but environmentally conscience.  Stucco is very low maintenance, and that combined with all the eco friendly building products found today could make a great green home.  I’ve never been a fan of stucco since my architectural taste does lean more towards the New England architecture found in Massachusetts, Connecticut, etc.  This stucco was smooth like the plaster walls you would find inside a lot of those homes.  My eyes were opened.  The home’s exterior (my version) would be made up of energy efficient windows and roof (with potential hidden solar panels) to join the easy-care stucco.  I also imagine perhaps that this home could be insulated with reused materials such as hay or jeans.  This would make, at least the exterior walls, thicker than typical walls, but unusual features like that can create interesting opportunities.  I would take advantage of the deeper window sills this would create by using them in certain rooms as green houses in a way for plants like orchids, herbs, or topiaries.  I will discuss this more in detail as it applies to specific rooms. There is an important need to connect the exterior and interior of any home.  Since the exterior walls were a beautiful smooth plaster texture, why not bring that inside too?  I began designing the interior of this home I have never had the chance to set foot in, and will share each room one by one.  I have used my experience with this classical style to create the footprint and placement of rooms.  You will see as we go room by room that I am keeping the environment in mind as much as I can without sacrificing quality, comfort, and beauty.  I will also repeat any images that apply to more than one room to help refresh you and continue the home’s story.  I hope you enjoy and are inspired to add elements that are earth friendly to your home.

a historic version of my project

The differences between this beautiful old Federal-style home and my new Neo Georgian design are the main building material (stucco not clapboard siding), the addition of black trimmed windows and painted door (very modern classic), and rooftop dormers.  This home also has the traditional window layout of five over five (that includes the door), whereas mine is three over three (the windows are wider though).

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