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The Detail: Designing a Room with a Dormer

The Detail: Designing a Room with a Dormer
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Two of the four beds in the boys’ room (previous page) are tucked into a dormer. This loft is in such demand that the boys have to flip a coin to see who gets to sleep here. “This space grew out of design and structural challenges, and it resulted in a fun solution,” architect Benjamin Nutter says. The shed dormer has a naturally cozy profile. It is built into the long, sloping, south-facing roof and is consistent historically and aesthetically with this house. With a screened porch below, it would be difficult to include a dormer that didn’t interfere with the porch or become too large and awkward-looking.

Inside, a raised floor emphasizes the intimate scale. On a practical level, the floor was moved up to avoid a load-carrying beam. A bit of serendipity: The elevation made the windows just the right height to accommodate views for the kids. The hickory flooring, which is treated with tung oil, glows in the sunlight, creating an inviting spot to “go read a book,” as Liz Smith’s grandmother would say.

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