The open-plan living room and kitchen are a giant playground for five-year-old Suresh and his parents, as is the durable sofa and table base from Room & Board. Steel alcoves inset into the white-stained cedar wall shelter firewood, books, and treasured objects.
The loft above the living room is Suresh's terrain, given over to toys, books, and a colorful Lego table. The Clerestory windows maximize the natural light in the house—essential since there are only three hours of sun on a typical winter day.
Hands OffArchitect Steve Bull aimed to create a home for Leinicke and Navitsky that was virtually maintenance-free. To that end, the exterior is standing-seam metal siding that will never need to be painted; the cedar walls are finished with an eco-friendly Osmo semisolid stain rather than paint; and the floors are end-grain fir, a recycled by-product of door manufacturing that “is so tough it will outlast most buildings,” says Bull.
MicromanagementA Weil-McLain gas-fired boiler and underfloor radiant heating keep the house comfortable year-round—as do the individual programmable thermostats installed in almost every room, seven in all. That means the couple can lower the heat in rooms they use less frequently while keeping things toasty in the places they spend the most time. It’s a smart way to maximize energy efficiency through Alaska’s disparate seasons.
Back on TrackIn cold places, recessed lighting in a vaulted ceiling can lead to water vapor problems in the roof. So Bull inset standard surface-mounted Juno track lights into a notch. “With a flush track the common track light looks much more sophisticated,” he observes.
Pocket Change“We wanted the main spaces of the house to flow into each other while still being able to isolate areas for privacy,” says Bull, who designed floor-to-ceiling pocket doors that slide into the wall, closing off the bedroom wing, the meditation room, and the entryway. “We spec’d Häfele Hawa Junior sliding door hardware. At about $225 per door it’s a bit more expensive than some other brands, but it is very smooth and quiet.”