A Rustic Design for a Rugged Climate
Tailored to emphasize the surrounding views, this open floor plan executed in durable materials is sheltered by insulating concrete walls.
Synopsis: Thanks to a combination of durable and energy-efficient materials, mountaintop living has never been so comfortable. Solid construction materials include Rastra ICF (insulating concrete form) walls and a roof of structural insulated panels. For a durable interior, the owners chose slate floors, soapstone counters, and oiled fir flooring. The open floor plan offers gorgeous mountain views from all the major areas of the house, while a partially-finished second story provides the family with room to grow.
In 1992, having had my fill of California, I moved to Sandpoint, a scenic town of 5,000 near the top of the Idaho panhandle. Using the proceeds from the sale of my California property, I immediately built a large contemporary home with dramatic views overlooking the Cabinet Mountains and Lake Pend Oreille. Unfortunately, while searching (like so many others) for a simpler, less hectic life, I unwittingly built a home that precisely reflected the sensibilities I had wanted to leave behind.
As luck would have it, I met and married a woman raised in the area, and over the first few years of our marriage, I gained a great appreciation for her tastes and scaled-down sense of proportion. In 1998, we accepted an offer on our house, which allowed us to design and build a home much more in keeping with the area and our simple lifestyle.
We worked with the same architect and builder responsible for our first house because the two were perfect for the job. The architect, who shared our vision of a compact and natural home, has a great feel for artistic, inviting spaces. The builder is a meticulous craftsman who works for the most part by himself and welcomes client participation. Together, we spent the better part of a year designing our new house.
Rugged and well insulated from top to…