PORTFOLIO: the Riverine House

Sungarden Houses - Riverine House

Riverine is sited on a south-facing bluff overlooking the Haw River.  The house and studio/office are approached from the north; a high stucco & stone wall joins the two buildings, giving privacy and space for a vegetable garden and orchard on the south side. Landscaping has just begun around a circular entrance drive.

Sungarden Houses - Riverine House

A friendly, inviting front porch was an important design specification for the popular homeowner. Another important specification was low maintenance so the thick AAC walls are covered in a hand-troweled stucco that will never require painting.

Sungarden Houses - Riverine House

Note the roof garden that overlooks the river, pool and future gardens to the south.  It will be planted in large container trees and in other plants with low water needs.  A massive gate provides a private entrance to the utility area of the house (which includes an outdoor kitchen and shower) while giving easy access to the pantry and kitchen from the parking area.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine House The landscaping on the south side of the house is still in the planning stages - but the saltwater pool is already in enthusiastic use!
Sungarden Houses - Riverine House The house is visually joined by a high wall to the a small dance studio/office.  Its south facing french doors are protected by a glass-topped arbor that will be planted in roses.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseInside are cedar-lined seats surrounding the tiled fireplace insert.  The dance floor is maple and the walls are stuccoed in a Tuscan gold.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine House To the east of the house is a downstairs screen porch that opens from french doors in the living room/dining room and also a guest bedroom.  Upstairs are sleeping porches that are attached to both the master suite and children’s suite.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine House The screened porches look out over a wetland on the river.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine House The north main entrance is warmed by south light penetrating the transparent panes of bubbly, sunshine-colored glass; they give an intriguing glimpse of the dining room.  Contributing to that warm feeling is the downstairs radiant floor, made of no-maintenance terracotta tinted concrete that is scored and grouted to resemble shiny big stone slabs. The staircase treads are fashioned from reclaimed old-growth pine that matches the upstairs flooring.


Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseAll door-less openings are arched to add to the house’s Old World feeling.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseNote the candle niches running up the staircase between the little square casement windows.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseStained glass is being designed so the entry below will be radiant with cast colored light.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe farmhouse style kitchen has spalt maple cabinets.  The countertops are green granite and the kitchen is floored in the same antique pine as the staircase and upstairs.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe living room and adjoining dining area look out onto the saltwater pool and the river below, an indoor/outdoor confluence made possible by the big south windows used in solar design.

The owner moved into her house before it was quite finished – and that was fair enough because we photographed everything before she was quite moved in!  Her house will soon look somewhat different because she has new furniture coming and has yet to hang her large collection of paintings and photographs.  Houseplants and sheer drapes will further soften the rooms.

Sungarden Houses - Riverine House
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseA large seating area faces the outdoors and a stone Rumford fireplace – and yet-to-be-installed mantle.  The french doors to the left open onto a screen porch and give an airy, open feeling to the house.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe screen porch floor is a continuation of the same no-maintenance terracotta concrete as the house.  The porch is framed in massive 8”x8” North Carolina cypress posts.  The cypress ceiling doubles as the upstairs sleeping porch floor. 
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe saltwater pool is only about twenty five feet from the house’s big south windows and french doors.  It will be the jewel of the garden when everything is planted.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe upstairs guest bath has celadon glass shower tiling and a marble tiled floor. 
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe upstairs guestroom annexes the roof garden.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe roof garden overlooks the saltwater pool – which was sited distant enough that teenagers won’t be tempted to try to jump in it!
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe children’s room lets onto a summer sleeping porch.  In winter the room is made cozy by a high-efficiency fireplace insert.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseBoth sleeping porches were built entirely of cypress.  We use cypress or cedar wherever possible instead of building with treated wood.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine House

The stuffed toys were among the first family members to move to the new house.

Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe children’s en suite bath has a celadon glass tiled shower and a big walk-in closet.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe homeowner asked for an arch to give a magical feeling to her bedroom.  And a house can never have too many candle niches!
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe master bath has an en suite walk-in closet with windows for ventilation and natural light.  A mirror will be hung over the sink and, for long views, on the closet wall across from the doorway.
Sungarden Houses - Riverine HouseThe en suite master bath has an oversize tiled shower and a deep soaking tub with a view of the river.
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