1. Raise the Ceilings
In the living space, the sloping shed roof rises to 14 ft., where clerestory windows admit north light and provide ventilation when needed. Notice how the light from the clerestories bounces off the white, gypsumboard ceiling, evenly illuminating the room. Each of the other rooms has either a cathedral or a sloping ceiling instead of the standard 8-ft. flat ceiling. If you can’t slope a ceiling, raising it to 9 ft. also will give a small room a surprising lift.
2. Use scale to your advantage
Exaggerated architectural elements such as the 8-ft.-tall sliding doors and the three tall double-hung windows in the west wall speak to generosity. It’s hard to imagine this room with smaller windows and doors. The vertical shapes of the frames and glazing echo the vertical lines of the trees in the background. The black window frames recede, emphasizing the view. Try to imagine them in typical white. It doesn’t work.
3. Borrow views
The shed roof rises to the north rather than
to the south for two good reasons. First, a tall south-facing wall would have added too much solar gain to the room, and more important, there is a forested watershed to the north that will remain forest. The tall windows to the north and west take advantage of these views, and in fact, they reinforce the vertical lines of the trees. You can see the treetops through the clerestories.