Categories: Custom and Intelligent Design, News | Posted: August 24, 2014
Among the world of different architectural styles in which Americans choose to build their homes, few have been more popular over many years than the English half-timber. This style had its origins in the Middle Ages. Building stone was expensive, but English forests were full of massive, ancient oak trees. They were felled, and logs were “halved,” or squared off, and used to construct a wooden crib whose sides were filled in with wattle-and-daub–branches or reeds covered with clay or plaster. As the technique was mastered, smaller oak braces and other purely decorative members were added. By the 1600′s, they achieved fantastical designs.
In the cities, these half-timber homes often had narrow fronts on the street because people were taxed based on the width of their houses. Eventually, brick became plentiful and popular, giant oak trees became scarce, and what was left was needed to build ships. Today, few ancient oak trees remain; even Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest is now mostly a golf course.
Half-timber construction was rediscovered by 19th century Victorians who imitated the style, which was appropriated by Americans–only now, the half-timbering itself was no longer structural, and became a decorative homage to the inventiveness of past centuries. Bella Vita Custom Homes embraces that tradition with this charming offering at 5235 Richard Avenue. The house is only 34 feet wide facing the street, with a winder staircase just inside the entry–both features authentic to the style–but from there modern functionality takes over. Just off the stairs one encounters a vast, 40-foot long open living area that terminates in a roomy kitchen with island/bar, and the stairs lead up to a game room next to an enclosed home theatre and media center–an ingenious upstairs-downstairs entertainment suite.
A private wing beyond the kitchen contains the restful master’s retreat, whose bath features dual basins, a sunken garden tub and separate shower, and a walk-in closet nearly as large as the bedchamber. A service corridor off the kitchen leads past an efficient enfilade of walk-in pantry, powder room, laundry room, and storage lockers to the 2-car garage, which is accessed from the alley. Upstairs, three family bedrooms each with private bath and walk-in closet are grouped about the game and media suite.
With incomparable curb appeal, this home features 4,010 square feet of luxurious, hearty living for only $862,150.