Room By Room, floor by floor
Click on a room (room title) to see dimensions and specifications.
Click on a room (room title) to see dimensions and specifications.
This bedroom faces south and looks out at the greenhouse and the quiet garden.
This is the second “normal” room in the house – the other being the other guest bedroom.The extra wide window sills are a great place to sit. The floor is carpeted, the corner windows were formed into a single window by the finish crew. The room has Cat-6 Ethernet, cable and phone jacks and you can turn the light on and off using the wall switches or the computer can do it for you, or you can use your iPhone or iPod Touch.The crown molding and pocket door to the Jack-n-Jill bathroom complete the room.
The drawing shows an individual bathroom – this was changed to a shared bathroom after thinking about the size. Mark (the architect) is from New York, so he thought that two tiny bathroomas was fine.
This room is carpeted and is partially tiled using 12 inch tiles that match the 18 inch tiles in the rest of the downstairs. There is in a small breakfast bar area. There is a small undermount sink, a small fridge, eucalyptus cabinets and black galaxy countertop.There are extra wide window sills to sit on while looking out at the garden or greenhouse.
The stone fireplace has an inset Vermont Castings vent free propane stove with a remote control.There is a computer keypad set into the stone to turn lights on and off by hand if you want to.The stone work has an arched entrance that leads to the hallway outside the laundry room. The room also has stained crown moulding.
You enter the master bedroom suite through a stone corridor that leads to a partially concealde entrance. Inside the pocket door is the master bedroom.The master bedroom walls are American Clay and the lighting showcases the room, the crown moldings and the stone fireplace.
The master closet has built in drawers and cabinets and behind the drawers on the right hand side is the ash clean out for the big fireplace.A set of curved top doors opens to a corrider to the master bath. On the left of the corridor is a private toilet with a corner sink, and beyond that is a makeup area and a door to the exterior of the building.
The master bath contains back to back sink vanities with bowl sinks and faucets that are mounted through the glass mirrors. Lit adjustable mirrors are located on the sides of the vanities.
The laundry is located on the ground floor where all the bedrooms are. The large 18 inch tiles are carried through from the rest of the tilework on the ground floor.There is a stainless steel sink and painted cabinets which include a “lazy Susan” and ther is a built in Ironing Board. The door is a pocket door.
The library stretches from the foyer to the pool door. The floor is 18″ inch heated (Radiant) tile that is a pleasure to walk on. The book cases are built in and the library shelveds are lit from above.The lighting is designed to show puddles of light on the floor and the artwork lighting focuses on a few key pieces of art. One of the library bookcases opens to the second master suite.The curved archways out of the library lead to the pool bathroom.
This is there so that kids wont get the whole house wet when they need the bathroom. The walls are traditional New England beadboard and there is an eletrical outlet by the toilet for the future. The toto toilet is a “comfort height” toilet like all of the others in the barn.
The corner sink finishes the pool bathroom.
The eight foot tall by 11 foot wide grand entrance is made of Mahogany with bevelled glass. The four foot by seven foot side door is also mahogany with bevelled glass.The side door is electronically controlled.
The computer sees it opening, it always locks it when it closes and it says “Thank you” for closing the door.There is a large closet for guests coats, the flooring is 18 inch tile and the entire centerpiece of the house above the doors is glass with built out trim.It’s open above the door all the way to the ceiling rafters, so that you can see how the stone work on both floors interconnects.
A door off the foyer leads to the hallway to the garage, mechanical and exercise rooms.The keypad at the side of the smaller door turns lots of things on or off. Currently, it turns most of the lights on to a pre-set dimming level, it turns on the music (unless it’s late) and it sometimes has Natasha talk to you.
The grand staircase is made of Mahogany and maple and has square ballusters for a “barn’y” look. The staircase is double width and there are lights built into the nosings of each stair tread.The walls are American Clay ( www.americanclay.com ) and the entrance is lit from the sloped ceiling with lighted “nooks” above the door and from little lights above the door.
You access this set of rooms through the secret door in the library. When you open the door from the library, you see the back of a second bookcase that you push open.
To the left of the hallway is a closet under the main staircase. Directly in front is the bathroom. In the picture it shows a closet to the right of the bathroom – this was removed to make the shower bigger. A lot bigger. The bathroom has a tile floor, a huge tiled shower with jets, a handheld, two showerheads on an adjustable thing and a steam outlet that’s controlled from inside the shower.
The sink is porcelain on a granite countertop. The cabinetry – as it is in all of the house (except for the laundry) is all furniture quality, made by the Amish.The round bedroom has wooden blinds, there is a mini-split ac over the desk area and a sitting room. There are built in cabinets next the the closet.Like all of the closets, the light comes on when you open the door and goes off when you close it.
You get to the greenhouse from outside the music room. You open the dutch door that leads to a short hallway which has a beadboard ceiling and leads into the greenhouse.The greenhouse floor is heat absorbing slate from India. There is a drain in the middle of the floor so that you can water plants freely using the flexible hose attached to the 100 year old cast iron sink.
The windows are computer controlled so that they open when it’s hot and close when its cold or raining. The plant racks are recycled from a lot of material that was left in the Barn.Apparently, Charlie Dana (a previous owner) started to grow vines on the property and there were big containers for grapes in the barn – along with these things that looked like wine racks – which, when we measured them, were about a 16th of an inch too small for a wine bottle – so we cut them up and re-used them.
It’s a bit daunting at first, but when you look at things one at a time you just see that these are “normal” systems – just a little bit on the futuristic side.Most electricians who build new homes find the nastiest piece of plywood that they can and affix the eletric panel to it. We know this would happen so we lines the entire room in wood before we started so that the various contractors can easily attach things to the walls.
To the left of the door is an Ethernet switch that is the heart of the house network. The cables from this switch go to a “patch panel” which is connected to the Ethernet jacks located throughout the house.Above this patch panel on the wall is a HAI OmniPro II home controller.
At the moment, it is only used for Security and Thermostat controls. It can do a lot more – such as controlling lights, schedules etc, but to be honest it’s a pain to program so we use the simpler Macintosh interfaces.
To the right of the Omnipro II is a custom panel made up of three relay boxes and an Ocelot computer. These four boxes control switching of Microphones and speakets, so that for example the main computer can switch it so that only the microphone by the – say – kitchen – is listening.
This stops the computer from rocking out to music that it piacks up in the music room and ignores you talking to it.This custom wiring harness is based on the original idea that came from James Lipsit’s excellent home automation web site – www.james.lipsit.comUnderneath the Ethernet switch is a rack that holds the UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) – which is a fancy name for a battery that runs things if the power goes off – and eight seperate power amplifiers.
The Power ampiifiers are currently all daisy chained together so that one music source is piped throughout the downstairs of the house. Curently, the music source is an Apple Airport Extress so that you can select your music from upstairs in the house and pipe it through the whold house.
Each amplifier can have a seperate input if you like so that the kids don’t have to listen to “old people’s” music. You can also use this system to broadcast announcements so that – for example – the computer can switch the music off and make announcements – which she does.
Moving to the right is the computer for controlling the sprinklers. This can be over-ridden by the main house computer but there’s no need. The computer controls 22 sprinkler zones.
Next on the right is the propane furnace. This is a state of the art furnace that is 98% efficient – it has it’s own computer built in and tells you all sorts of things if you are interested. The plumbing high on the wall has individual shut off valves for every water line, these connect to the Pex tubing that runs throughout the house.
Massachusetts was the last state in the nation to allow builders to use this tubing instead of copper – it had only just been approved when construction started. It is much better than copper because it can expand, it can go around corners without being cut and soldered etc.
On the last wall is the 400 amp panel and two of the five sub-panels for circuit breakers. It does look a bit like the electricity stuff you saw in Jurassic Park On the back wall is the distribution “stuff” for the Radiant Flooring and various electrical stuff to control the valves.Last, but by no means least, are the dimmer switches for the ground floor.
These look like “normal” dimmers, except of course that they are computer controlled. If the computer ever failed, you can rely on the programming in the dimmers themselves to just carry on or you could turn things on and off by hand.
The exercise room has windows directly into the greenhouse so that you have something nice to look at while being bored. Light also enters the room from the other side – from the windows into the hallway.
The cork flooring is gentle on your feet and the mini-split air conditioner (which are extremely popular in the rest of the world) keeps you from sweating.The power and cable outlets are locate high on the wall so that a TV can be mounted there.
The garage is about 35 feet wide by 53 feet long – that’s about 1855 square feet and there are no posts to whack into with you car. The original windows were replaced with 19 new ones.
There are doors from the garage into the main house (one to the hallway and one to the greenhouse). There is a door to a storage room and the main door to the milking parlor, there are double doors to the private garden and then ther are the sliding doors to the outside.The built in work bench is original.
The side door from the porch is the one that most peole use. The mahogany flooring is “biscuit” joined so there are no visible deck screws. The ceiling is beadboard and the back of the porch has windows to let extra light into the hallyway to the garage.
The camera in the mailbox is focused on one of the columns – this is to stop Natasha saying “there is someone at the door” every time the wind moves the leaves on the tree.
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