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Tuesday, 31 August 2010 16:14:18 GMT

Compact local home old-fashioned, yet modern

“It’s amazing,” says homeowner Claire Arbogast, regarding the green and white house that she has lived in only because January. “Sometimes it feels as if I was meant to become here.”

The compact home, constructed in 2005, was the first infill house built under the West Kirkwood Plan. The strategy was drawn up by architects Marc Cornett and James Rosenbarger, and also the house was designed by Cornett with input in the city of Bloomington, the Prospect Hill Community Association and the Near West Neighborhood Association. But the home suits Claire’s wishes so perfectly that it could have been custom-designed specifically for her.

With two bedrooms, 1-1/2 bathrooms and only 1036 feet, the home was created to appear like a classic Arts and Crafts cottage. It is similar in style and construction to the bungalows of the new South Dunn Street development (architect Marc Cornett drew up preliminary designs for those houses as well).<br> With exposed rafter ends, a front porch complete with swing, and a handsome staircase, it has the really feel of an old house.

“Originally it had been supposed to become a a lot larger home,” Claire explained. “The community association filed petitions objecting towards the scale of the home, how it wasn’t appropriate for the neighborhood. They had been afraid it was going to become a rental, and concerned about parking.”

As a result, the home as it had been eventually built blends in completely using the existing old homes of Prospect Hill.

“I’ve lived in three vintage houses, one of them over one hundred many years old,” Claire observed. “I’m just not interested any much more with struggling with the fragile, vulnerable, crumbling infrastructures in these old houses. This house has the character of an outdated house however the efficiency of a brand new home. It is a combination of traditional bungalow architecture and modern day simplicity.”

The primary floor has an open floor plan with a combined residing room/dining room and a large kitchen area having a wide breakfast bar between it and also the dining region; a hallway leads back to the half bath, utility room and rear door. Upstairs are two bedrooms with closets inserted beneath the sloping roof, and the bathroom. The previous owners added French doors within the wall from the dining area and constructed a deck outside, thus creating an outdoor space that Claire enjoys very much.

Like the houses on South Dunn Street, the home is highly energy-efficient, built with 2 x 6 studs to accommodate extra insulation.

“My utility costs in February, for everything combined, had been about $100,” Claire noted. “And it gets lots of light within the winter; it floods with sunlight.”

She moved to this home from a much bigger country home that had a two-acre garden. When she first toured this home with her realtor, she liked it really a lot but had reservations about its little size.

“I believed ‘no way, I couldn’t possibly fit in there,’” she remembered.

But by experimenting having a computer program that allowed her to make templates for her furniture and move them close to inside the floor plan from the new home (see, she saw that it will be feasible to downsize and still maintain the things that were most essential to her. Her excess belongings were sold off at auction.

“Space is really at a premium in a house like this,” she pointed out. “But I do not miss my points whatsoever. My existence is so much simpler without them. It is like sailing: on a sailboat, everything is in its place, and you always know where something is.”

As evidence of great design, although the house is compact it doesn’t really feel cramped whatsoever. Ceilings are high and also the kitchen area is roomy and ergonomic. The open space above the breakfast bar admits light and unites the kitchen area area using the adjacent dining and residing areas.

“I adore to cook and I was delighted to discover a big modern kitchen like this,” Claire mentioned appreciatively.

The great deal close to the house is tiny. The back wall of the house is possibly three feet from the rear fence; the side yards are 15 or 20 feet in the home. Claire wondered if she would miss the big garden she was leaving behind, which had kept her continuously weeding, harvesting and canning, but so far she’s been very happy with her small lot.

“When I go out for a stroll, and pass people’s lilacs and flowers, I imagine I’m in my old two-acre back garden, but I don’t have to take care of any of it!” She laughed. “Nowadays I get my gardening all done in half an hour.” Claire has leveled the sloping lot at the side, re-set the sagging back garden shed, and installed starts of perennials that will spread within the next couple years to produce an old-fashioned cottage garden.

One of the biggest plusses about the house is its selection location in Prospect Hill, only a few blocks southwest of the courthouse square.

“I can walk to Bloomingfoods Near West for lunch,” Claire mentioned. “And I can stroll downtown. My carbon footprint has dropped enormously. I do not even know the price of gas per gallon, I drive so small. And the individuals in this neighborhood are so friendly! It’s just delightful. I know all my neighbors.”

Claire feels completely at house in her new home. She didn’t even have to repaint when she moved in.

“Look at how the paint colors match my stuff!” she chuckled. “Who would have thought?”

Searching up at her home from the side yard, Claire mentioned “The home FEELS great. It feels wonderful. There isn’t a space I do not enjoy sitting in. There’s not a sight line I don’t like.”

She completed, “It’s like a sanctuary. It illuminates my life.”

Source: Herald Times Online

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