Kind of Fancy Lake Home Update

In our previous blog we gave a sneak peak at a Northern Minnesota Lake Home that Ron Brenner Architects is designing.  Here is a quick little animation and an updated view of the lake side of the home.

Lots of glass, porch and patio spaces and even a second floor balcony - take advantage of this home's lake side setting.

New Lake Home Kind of Fancy!

Over at Ron Brenner Architects we are working on a new home design to be constructed on a Northern Minnesota Lake Lot.  The design is kind of fancy but adheres to our design principles; start with solid forms and good proportions then apply an appropriate amount of detail and ornament.  Here are a few preview images.

Front Entry Image.  A graceful entry porch is flanked by the dominant front facing gable.  Influence of the three garage doors is minimized by a deep sweeping overhang with timber brackets.

Lake Side Image.  An abundance of glass and a variety of porches take advantage of it's lake side setting.

Lake Side Image.  The front gable runs through to the rear elevation to provide balance and hierarchy to the composition.

New House Plan with Main Floor Master is Simply Elegant

We have just added a new home design to our product line.  Our Forest Lake Cottage  features a main floor master suite and a lofted living space. 

Birds Eye View illustrating the "modern cottage" theme.  The cedar shingle clad front facing gable contrasts against the white clapboard main house body.  A generous roof covered front porch provides entry to the home.
Front Elevation.  Crisp and clean.  Modern yet homey.  Simple yet Elegant!
The First Floor Plan features a vaulted Living Room and a Main Floor Master Suite.
The Upper Level Plan features a hall open to the living room below, 2 additional bedrooms and an above garage bonus space.

Home Plans from Big to Modest

My blog updates have been infrequent over the past few months.  The good news is we have been busy working on quite a few very nice new home design projects.  Here is a quick glance at some of our recent works - from large to more modest.  

Northern Minnesota Lake Home.  The 6,000 square foot home plan features an exterior of slate roofing with copper accents, cedar shingle and stone wall cladding.

Modern Country Estate.  This 5,000 square foot home features a graceful curved roof line and abundant windows.

Rustic Sensibility.  The 4,000 square foot rambler offers a main floor master bedroom suite and light filled, vaulted spaces.

Arts and Crafts Charm.  Twin Gables and Crafstman details characterize this 3,500 square foot 3 bedroom house plan.

Classic Cape Cod.  Simple yet elegant  - that pretty much sums it up for this 3,200 square foot Saint Croix River home.

Modern Farmhouse.  Traditional farmhouse forms are mixed with modern window patterns and details in this 3,000 square foot Midwestern home design.

New Home Design is no Blando

Here are a few images of an exciting new design that Ron Brenner Architects is working on for a client in Orono, Minnesota.  The five design options are all based on the same modern open floor plan - each one tweaked as necessary to create its own identity.

Take a look and let us know which option you would choose.

Option A - An old world cottage featuring cedar shingle siding, timber columns and beams with stone accents.
Option B - A stone entry flanked by stair tower and arched details distinguish the design.
Option C - This design option is dominated by a dramatic sweeping roof line carved out with modern glazing patterns.
Option D - A somewhat more traditional take on Option C - featuring a centered eyebrow entry with dormers above.
Option E - A stone entry tower with buttresses stands proud within a more subdued composition.
The client has chosen Option C as their preference.  They like the abundance of glass and the contemporary window patterns within the old world roof lines.
This design is to be constructed by Hendel Homes of Wayzata, Minnesota.

New Simple Elegant Cottage

Ron Brenner Architects has recently completed design work on this new home to be constructed in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.  Check out the you tube video below (click on the YouTube icon for a larger image).

 The design features a main floor master suite and a vaulted living space within it's open and inviting floor plan.  Two additional bedrooms and a bonus space are accommodated on the second floor.  Pretty Nifty!

Modern Farmhouse by Ron Brenner Architects

Ron Brenner Architects has completed design work on this new modern farmhouse to be constructed in Minnesota.  The design features an open floor plan with a main floor master suite and four additional bedrooms on the upper floor.  An above garage bonus room provides for informal family gathering and activity space.  Hendel Homes of Wayzata, Minnesota has been selected to construct the home.

Birds Eye View.  A double gable roof form dominates the design with a wrap around front porch highlighting the front entry.  The main floor master bedroom suite quietly sits off to the left side.

Birds eye view 2.  A diagonal pathway connects the guest parking circle to the front entry porch.

View from drive approach.

View from front.

Radical Plan Concept Unveiled - Open Yet Connected

We are currently designing a home for a client in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.  The "radical" new floor plan is based upon our Willowbrook Country House Plan; which we modified by relocating the front entry directly between the public and private zones of the house.  We also placed a smartly sized two sided fireplace between the Living and Dining areas.  This provides for more intimate space while maintaining visual connections and a predominantly open floor plan.  Check out the interior house plan video below. 

click the YouTube icon and change to 1080p for best quality

Ok - perhaps the concept is not radical; however there is a technique to achieving successful "open yet connected" spaces.  Design elements considered included size and location of fireplace, bulkhead and beam locations, built ins and display elements, material connections, window positions, furniture arrangements, etc.

Snappy Home Design by Ron Brenner Architects

At Ron Brenner Architects we have been working on a new model home design which will be constructed in Woodbury, Minnesota.  Below is a sneak preview (in animation form) of our first concept. 

If you expand the video make sure you increase the YouTube quality to 1080p.  It will look much more snappy.
This is a good example of how I like to work.  Firstly, get the overall form and plan working together in a harmonious way before moving on to window patterns, materials, textures, colors, etc...  I think this is a good first start, but we will also be fine tuning and exploring other options.

Architects have Great Tools - Sunroom Addition

This is another great example of the infinite number of uses for Sketchup - the 3d modeling tool that I love to work with.  The animation below is of a residential addition that I am creating for a client in Wayzata, Minnesota.  This consists of a 3car garage attached to the house via a generous mudroom on the main floor.  Upstairs we created an in law suite complete with a sunroom and roof top garden patio. The Architecture complements the existing home style while adding just a bit of sophistication.

Design Inspiration from Pasadena and Palm Springs

I recently took a trip to Pasadena and Palm Springs to gain some design inspiration and learn more about two very different types of residential architecture.  Pasadena is famous for its wealth of Arts and Crafts Architecture and Palm Springs has the largest concentration of Mid-Century Modern Architecture.  For design enthusiasts it is a great trip because there is so much to see and the two locations are only a couple hour drive from one another.

The pictures below illustrate the contrast between the two styles of Architecture.  Built only 38 years from one another the houses are worlds apart in style.

Pasadena - The Gamble House, 1908 - Designed by Charles and Henry Greene.

 Likely the most famous example of American Arts and Crafts style Architecture.  This home is on the National Historic Register and is open for public tours.  For more photos and information you can start at this link:  Gamble House Photos

Palm Springs - The Kaufmann House, 1946 - Designed by Richard Neutra
A classic example of Mid Century Modern Architecture.  This home is privately owned but you can see a nice little slide show at this link:  Kaufman Slideshow

I always learn more than a few things from this kind of trip.  Over the next weeks I'll be posting additional pictures and giving you some tidbits that you might be able to apply to your next home design or remodeling project.

Shingle Style Studies

Ron Brenner Architects is working on a new home design to be constructed in Minnesota. The home features two master suites - one for mom & dad and one for grandma.  The design draws inspiration from the Shingle Style and Arts & Crafts.  Below are a few of the initial image studies.

A)  Grandma is situated under the smaller gable to the left.  Notice how the roof line connects with the main gable above.

B)  Here we disconnect the roof lines further and have a more prominent front gable treatment.

C)  Twin gables convey a stronger arts and crafts influence.

D)  Gable dormers create a more subtle design statement.
Which one do you like the best?

New Twist on a Craftsman Home Plan!

Over the next several weeks Simply Elegant Home Designs will be unveiling several new home designs which will feature main floor master bedroom suites and open and modern floor plans!  We hope you will be as excited as we are about these new house plans.  Please feel free to drop us a note, or give us a call if you would like to discuss anything we have featured on this Blog.  Below is a preview of "The Jackson Craftsman".   This is the perfect home for anyone desiring main floor living!

front image with attached three car garage
front image with attached three car garage

front image featuring welcoming front porch
front image featuring welcoming front porch

left side elevation - designed for a walkout lot
left side elevation - designed for a walkout lot

rear elevation - rooms with a view!
rear elevation - rooms with a view & lower level living

open floor plan with vaulted ceiling and main floor master bedroom suite
 open floor plan with vaulted ceiling, generous main floor master bedroom suite, and separate guest suite