Schematic Design – island house

Author: Travis Kinney

I have a client that is thinking of tearing down their existing house and building something new. They are interested in a gambrel style house with some large arched dormers.

They want a number of wood burning fireplaces and lots of deep covered porches facing the ocean.

This first sketch is a study of the gambrel volume. Doesn’t look like much, but there’s a lot of thought and study and that went into this. I tried house widths from 28′ to 36′ in two foot increments. I was trying to get the scale just right without the house looking too “chunky” or having it so narrow that the usefulness of the second floor would be too far diminished.

This drawing is not uploaded at the same scale as the above sketch. The elevation below is the left hand face of the sketch above and faces the ocean, which is why there is so much glass. This exposure also faces south and one request from the owners was to provide porches deep enough to block out some of the sunlight which at times can be a problem. Plus, they wanted more outdoor covered seating than they currently have. To the far right is where the wrap-around porch starts near the new entry. Guests can enter then house and if they want, walk straight ahead out onto the covered porch and out around the far side of the house. The window panels on the first floor are actually very large sliding door panels which allow the dining room, kitchen and living room to be open to the porches. Because of where this house is located there is not much concern for bugs which is great!

The center portion of the porch curves out onto the lawn and is faced with stone. This allows some portion of the porch to be in the sun for those who don’t want to sit in the shade. The stonewall also acts as a retaining wall and the curve helps to visually break-up the long run of the porch. To the far left is a round covered porch with outdoor wood burning fireplace. This space is intentionally a bit more sheltered and would be used late into the fall and early winter when the temperature dips and the fire can be blazing.

The second floor consists of two large arched dormers and a recessed outdoor balcony between that is accessed off the master bedroom.



This is the same sketch as above except that it shows dark trim and dark windows and doors. I’m just starting to think about color options for the house and whether it would be better to stay light and silvery or dark and maybe green. I could see the first scheme above with white trim, doors and windows and cedar shingles with a bleaching oil that will silver over time. I see the scheme below with very dark green or bronze colored trim, windows and doors and maybe stonework that is darker too. Siding could be stained shingles.



Both schemes could have a bright, light interior even if the exterior is dark.

I drew a number of covered porches that I was thinking about and settled on the one above that is more closed off and can block the wind more than the one shown below.


This partial sketch below shows how the dining room on the right extends out toward the ocean under the porch roof. The entire corner of the dining room can be opened to the outdoor seating area without a corner support post. The large outdoor seating area is directly off the kitchen and the two center glass panels are actually bi-parting sliding doors that open up. This house will be great for entertaining!


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