On the Boards House Design Concepts

Our annual ‘On the Boards’ feature provides the opportunity to take a look at some of the House Review design team’s projects while they are still in the early stages of development.

The title refers to a time before computer-aided design, when architects and designers used a pen and pencil to draw by hand on a drawing board.

Some of us still use pencil to create those initial concepts, while others rely solely on software…or a combination of both. Anyway, the following pages offer an overview of projects intended to be built or perhaps stay on a hard drive or in the cloud.


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Old mill n°27

DESIGNATE: Larry W. Garnett, FAIBD, [email protected], 254.205.2597,

DIMENSIONS: Width: 50 feet, 4 inches (house); Depth: 101 feet, 2 inches

Living area: House, 1st floor: 2,483 sf; 2nd floor: 392 sf; Studio: 157 sf

Situated on a corner lot in a planned neighborhood, a side yard becomes the center of this home. The open interior living areas overlook a screened outdoor area and the secluded courtyard beyond.

Old Mill House Design, Yard

Old Mill House design by Larry Garnett

The detached studio mimics the facade of the main house, with tapering native stone walls influenced by the Arts and Crafts style. Inside, hand-hewn wooden beams and lintels, as well as exposed stone walls in the kitchen, dining room and living room, give a timeless appearance.

Old Mill House design by Larry Garnett

A. Isolated courtyard on the east side of the house

B Independent studio in the side yard

Old Mill House Design, Floor Plan

VS Screened exterior living and dining porches

D. Open kitchen and living space with exposed stone walls

E. Bedroom 3 with a Murphy bed doubles as a secluded home office

f. Attic on the second floor

Single family prototype for rent

ARCHITECT: Kevin L. Crook Architect, [email protected], 949.660.1587

DIMENSIONS: Width: 120 feet, Depth: 120 feet, Living area: 1,236 sf – 1,568 sf

Originally designed for the moving market, this 1,236-1,568 square foot product type offers single-story living in a four-pack cluster configuration. While forward-facing planes provide entrances facing the collector road, rear planes take care of a shared motor yard driveway. The forward plans have a private outdoor courtyard, while the aft plans have two private outdoor spaces, with the second space dedicated to the owner’s suite.

The exterior elevations provide a mid-century modern feel suitable for a desert southwest community. With an estimated land density of eight units per acre, this type of product may work for a buyer over 55 or could also be considered for a single family rental opportunity.

Single family for rent Prototype design, elevation

Prototype design of single family house for rent, floor plan

A. Private backyard

B Owners’ private courtyard

VS driveway

D. Guest car park

The Carrboro

DESIGNERS: GMD Design Group

Scott Gardner, [email protected], 919.320.3022

Donnie McGrath, [email protected], 770.375.7351

DIMENSIONS: Width: 47 feet, Depth: 62 feet, Living area: 3,613 square feet

This home is designed for an uphill infill lot in a prime, walkable location. Placing the garage and the house on the slope allows for a master bedroom on the main level and a generous backyard. The L-shaped ground floor creates an open plan for living, eating and dining while providing a buffer between the existing structure on the right side of the house.

The Carboro House Design, ElevationThe Carboro house design, site plan

The Carboro House Design, Lower Floor Plan

A. Low two-car garage to reduce the uphill slope of the driveway

B Entrance hall / cloakroom on the ground floor

VS Main floor home office

The Carboro House Design, Main Level Floor Plan

D. The family room, dining room and kitchen are all open and interconnected spaces

E. Ground floor study

f. Master suite with spacious master bathroom and luxury shower

G. L-shaped plan creates a courtyard-like outdoor space

The Carboro House Design, Upper Floor Plan

H The top floor loft overlooks the open staircase down

I. Secondary bedrooms on the top floor with large closets and shared bathroom

Dorn Residence

DESIGNATE: Seth Hart, DTJ Design, [email protected], 303.443.7333

DIMENSIONS: Width: 105 feet, Depth: 70 feet, Living area: 2,990 square feet

Nestled on a peninsula in Lake Murray, South Carolina, this home was designed for a local artist who wanted a mix of traditional and contemporary styles. The floor plan stretches across the entire lot, stepping forward and twisting to maximize views. Floor-to-ceiling windows and corner panes capture a 180 degree view of the lake from every room in the house. Access to the guest suite is via a grand staircase flooded with natural light, which also serves as a focal point on the front of the house. Outdoor living areas include multiple covered and open patios, with an infinity pool as the centerpiece, providing a true resort lifestyle.

Dorn Residence house design, floor plan

A. Art studio with terraces

B Large covered patio with multiple entertaining areas

VS Angled glass to maximize views

D. Zen court to meditate, relax and find inspiration

E. Laundry connected to the main closet

f. entrance courtyard

Dorn Residence house design, front elevation

Dorn Residence house design, rear elevation