Summer ended in an absolute blaze. And so did the finishing touches on Patriece’s Home! Before we get sad and sappy, here’s how the old sweaty 5th-year “leftovers” team completed construction of the project!
The team designed a configuration of off-the-shelf cabinets to fit into the kitchen space of the home as an L-shaped kitchen. With the help and approval of the new homeowner, Patriece, they selected a shade of green to paint the cabinets as well. After the paint and a protective coating was applied, the team used their immaculate intuition (but mostly a laser level) to perfectly align the cabinets and fasten them into a wall.
Next, the butcher block countertop sat perfectly atop those even cabinets. Voila! A kitchen!
Well actually, there’s a little more to it than that. The students installed LED strips along the top and bottom of the upper cabinets to light the kitchen workspace and help illuminate the room. The team also designed the lighting in the kitchen spaces—with the help of consultant Thomas Paterson of course—by building “valance,” or cover, for the lighting above the sink. This was the light from the unshaded bulbs that can be cast down onto the workspace and reflected off the ceiling.
On to the bathrooms! The team want to give a giant “Thank you!” to Mark Smith and Lewis-Smith Supply for donating all the home’s faucets, toilets, and showers. The toilets went in quicker and easier than the team anticipated. Much like the kitchen cabinets, the students installed the bathroom vanities. Then, it was finally time to install the home’s three sinks. The moment of truth came when the team turned on the water supply to the house. It was nerve-racking but successful. No leaks! The veins of the house are full, and the fixtures look nice and elegant in place.
Now, the moment we know you all have been waiting so eagerly for: the hatches. You know, the hatches are ducted to the whirl birds on the roof to drain hot air out of the upstairs in the summer and to shut the house tight to keep warm in the winter. Okay, well, even if you don’t remember, here they are! There are all part of the strategy to subtly, passively cool Patriece’s Home.
Now for a little bit of interior glamour! The team decided to line the interior of the stair walls with tongue and groove cypress, just like the wood on the porches. Then, they used 1x boards of the same cypress for the treads and risers of the stairs. Now, the entire stair well space is a warm, woody wonderland. And it glows! The team routed out the underside of the stair handrail for LED strips, so that light is cast onto the steps without being obstructed by the person walking. It turns the stairwell into an orangey, glowy nightlight for the rest of the house as well.
The nook is another special detail at the stair landing. Cypress is used to frame the seat and can be removed for a small, chest-like storage space. Then, on the back wall of the nook, the team color matched the paint of the cabinets to some fabric and used that fabric to make a cushioned wall! Now, when someone sits in the nook seat and chats with someone else in the kitchen, they can rest their back on a soft surface.
You think those stairs are fancy for a Rural Studio house? Well, the team has another trick up their sleeve! The pantry storage space under the stairs is now enclosed in doors! The team bought three hollow core doors, cut them to the right size and installed them as a single swinging door and one bifold door.
To match the under-stair doors, the team did the same thing and created attic doors that close off the storage space between the trusses of the attics and the upstairs bedrooms.
Finally, on to the finished floor!! The team originally planned to leave the concrete slab as the finished floor but changed their mind, placing a laminate flooring (LVT) through the whole house for a more comfortable, even finish. Many thanks to Interface for the generous donation! The team looked at samples and chose a color that is similar to the original concrete so it agreed with their interior finish colors and the cypress on the walls. Once the team placed an underlayment felt, they were off! They floored the whole house in about three days! Lastly, the baseboards were nailed around the base of the drywall, and the largest tasks of the home were over.
With their days in Hale County dwindling down to a few, the team ran through their punch list. The paint was touched up, towel and toilet rods installed, showers and windows cleaned. On the outside, grass seed was spread and watered, trash and the burn barrel were carted away, the porch was pressure washed, and a concrete paver walkway between the parking and porch was set into the ground.
With the house gleaming, the team took their final photos, and then let the professional in to do his thing. Thank you, Timothy Hursley, for ensuring the completed Patriece’s Home will be remembered forever.
The Patriece’s Home team loves their other Rural Studio cohort’s teams very much, so they waited until August 26th to celebrate and open their project at the same time as the C.H.O.I.C.E. House!
The big day started on the Patriece’s Home front porch. Everyone was sweating buckets in their nice attire and the 104-degree heat, but there was so much for the team to be grateful for, the team didn’t care.
Lauren has just moved herself and her bestie cat, June, to Huntsville, AL, to start working at Fuqua and Partners Architects. What a Queen!
Daniel has a fancy new ring to wear to go with his lovely new WIFE! They have both moved to Birmingham, AL, where he will be working for Seay Seay & Litchfield Architects (and knowing him, probably some woodworking on the side).
Laurel was accepted for the Ghost Residency with McKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. She’ll get to intern for the firm, working part-time on a farm, and hopefully won’t freeze to death!
Adam is going to keep on designing and building! Rural Studio consultant, Kiel Moe, has convinced him to move to Chicago, IL, where he will help complete a house project. Finally, he’s gotten a house to work on that’s rid of the rest of the team (kidding)!
This project was not just built by these four but so many others who gave them much needed help and guidance. The team is so thankful for the support of their donors, consultants, and Rural Studio faculty and staff. They are also so grateful for their families who kept them sane and student colleagues who made Hale County home for a time.
Finally, Patriece and her children were the best possible clients the team could have received, and it was such an honor to build a house for them to own and live in.
Well, goodbye for now. See ya at Christmastime at the Cheesecake Factory!
The Patriece’s Home Team