From the Garlinghouse Small Home Plans With Big Home Design Features catalog of 1986, plan #19863 is “a cozy solar house that took top prize in a nationwide design contest. Inside is a floor plan that is flexible enough to satisfy a wide variety of families and lifestyles. The dominant feature of this passive solar system is the 32-foot long greenhouse where the sun’s heat is collected, stored and shared with the rest of the house, cutting energy bills in half. The house offers open spaces and partial ceilings to maximize airflow throughout.”
Naturally, sunlight is the main attraction for this 1970’s solar home, and not just for energy savings. Sliding glass doors provide access to the greenhouse from the living room, and skylights rest above the staircase. The living room benefits from the “hanging” staircase. Wrapping around the supporting wall, the staircase is not enclosed on both sides. This allows the sunlight to stream through the open railing into the living room. The 273 square foot greenhouse is designed with brick flooring and planters- the perfect place to employ that green thumb and create a pest-free oasis.
The wine connoisseur will be delighted by the built-in wine rack that is located conveniently in the dining room. A cut-out in the wall behind the kitchen stove makes it easy for the cook to converse with the guests in the dining room and prepare a meal simultaneously. The 10’3″ x 11’2″ kitchen is accented by formica countertops.
Bedrooms are designed in a way that makes furniture arrangement effortless. Recessed into the wall in the master bedroom are two built-in bookshelves that are designed to border the bed’s headboard. A painting over the headboard would be further complemented by the overhead lighting. Placement of the his and hers closets creates a recessed area for the dresser. The two smaller bedrooms can be accessed from the upstairs landing, and they share a full bathroom.
Though a 1970’s design, the interior of this plan could be easily updated with contemporary style. With energy savings and green living becoming more of a concern for consumers every day, the solar home is gaining renewed interest with potential homeowners. This house plan is still available for purchase from familyhomeplans.com, 27 years after being featured in the 1986 Garlinghouse catalog. Please click here to view the plan.