Nir Pearlson Rethinks the Simple Home
I’m excited to welcome Oregon architect Nir Pearlson to Houseplans.com — his designs are the latest additions to our Signature Collection. With experience as both craftsman/builder and architect, Nir has brought new energy to compact and sustainable home design. In fact, he just won Fine Homebuilding magazine’s 2013 Small Home of the Year Award for an 800 sq. ft., two bedroom one bath garden cottage. The magazine recognized the design “for its shared spaces and connections to the outdoors that make it seem larger than its physical boundaries…” And guess what?! It’s our new Plan 890-1! The layout is
mostly one open space containing kitchen and living-dining area connecting to a
large wrap-around deck, as shown here (all photos in this post by Mike Dean, courtesy Nir Pearlson). Nir explains that he designed the house as a series of roughly 12 foot-square modules — they overlap to comprise the main living area. Key elements define individual “rooms” without separating one from another,
effectively making the main space feel larger than it is, like this window seat with storage drawers. The built-in platform and overhead beam frame the seat as a separate unit without cutting it off from the larger space. The kitchen peninsula
(a warm-toned granite) performs a similar function — see the window alcove in the distance — as does the central wood stove on its slate pad. Naturally dyed
plaster wall finish, and red oak floor and Douglas fir and hemlock trim add visual warmth. Nir designed the house to be as energy-wise as possible, with rigid foam insulation in walls and roof, and separate photo-voltaic arrays — a larger one
for generating electricity and a smaller one for hot water — which are visible on the roof in the photo. It’s definitely the little award-winning cottage that could!
Nir designed this 800 sq. foot two story home — Plan 890-3 — to function as a
backyard cottage. Two bedrooms are on the lower level; kitchen and living space are on the floor above and open to the charming porch you see here. While this version of the cottage tucks into the toe of a slope, it could easily be adapted for other site conditions. Stay tuned as we add more Pearlson plans.