A Modern Farm House and Forever Home

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Cathy purchased ten acres just outside of Elgin, and then she set about planning her forever home. Careful and deliberative in her thinking and planning, Cathy was a perfect fit with Solluna’s collaborative, team-based approach to planning, designing, and building a custom home.

From the start, Cathy had a pretty good idea about the size, budget, and features she wanted in her modern farmhouse, but she sought input from everyone about her ideas. She huddled with Debra Blessman of Select Home Design, who did the architectural design. She made good use of the Solluna online team room, where she posted photographs, asked questions, and engaged in back-and-forth conversations about design ideas, materials, and product selections. She set up an Ideabook on Houzz.com to share even more photos with us about ideas and products.

Cathy and Wayne walked the land. They identified the sweet spot for the house. They planned the locations for utility hookups, septic system, chicken coop, and dog kennels. They talked about how they wanted drainage to work. The property is a designated wildlife sanctuary, and Cathy wanted to make sure rainwater runoff was directed to her future garden and to the pond at the back of the property.

Once construction began, Cathy was engaged on a daily basis. She was living in a small cottage on the property, so she got to watch the whole process up close. She took advantage of it. For example, when it was time for electrical wiring, she and the electrician put their heads together and fine-tuned the electrical layout. When it was time to frame the screened porch, Wayne asked her to bring a coffee mug and wine glass so they could determine the right height for the “beverage rail.” She had a stack of old, reclaimed lumber. Our carpenter used it to build custom bathroom vanities, trim a wall in the powder room, and build a harvest table. It was fun working with Cathy to bring all her ideas to fruition.

The house has 1,747 square feet of air conditioned space, plus porches, carport, and storage room. It has three bedrooms and two baths, plus a shower and utility sink in the laundry room. A light-filled great room opens onto a screened porch. During the spring, fall, and winter months, she’ll be able to open the windows and enjoy the breezes. And then there’s all those mornings and evenings on that long, lovely screened porch.

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  • 5-star rated green home

  • Galvalume metal roof

  • Passive solar design

  • Wide eaves

  • Daylighting

  • Spray foam insulation

  • Energy efficient appliances

  • No-VOC paints and finishes

  • Water-efficient plumbing fixtures

  • LED lighting

  • Stained concrete floor