Editor’s Note: In the January/February 2017 issue, late editor Shelley Gabert shared Dr. Linda and David Patton’s journey to build the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certified residential property in Jefferson City. In mid-December the Pattons moved in. Find out more about their finished home on Hayselton Drive and its unique, “green” touches. Read Gabert’s original story at HERMagazineMidMo.com/the-gardens.
Walking into Dr. Linda and David Patton’s new home might give an illusion of extra space.
“Even though the square footage is the same as our old house, the design makes this one feel so much bigger,” David said.
A cathedral-style layout in the living room and tall ceilings – up to 14 feet in certain spots – give it a roomy feel.
“All of this is just much more spacious,” Linda agreed.
Then there’s the open design.
When you open the front door, you’ll notice a sofa and other living amenities to your right. To your left, you’ll see the kitchen table. Together, the living and dining areas take up the same amount of space typically found in two rooms. But without walls separating them, they feel almost like one large room.
Behind them is the kitchen – appliances and countertops with a bar that faces the dining table. That layout allows a closer connection between folks in the cooking and living areas than you would find in many homes. For instance, one Patton could chop onions at the bar while easily carrying a conversation with the other who is seated at the table.
“We wanted the open flow of the front room into the kitchen,” Linda said.
“It makes it feel like a bigger space,” David added.
The home in a quiet Central Jefferson City neighborhood is newly-built. David, a vice principal at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and Linda, a veterinarian at Westside Veterinary Clinic, spent about three years planning the design. On a chilly Saturday in mid-December, they were finally able to move in.
“We’re pretty thrilled to finally be in,” Linda said.
The couple worked with builder Mike Luebbering and architect Michael Klement. They followed each step of the design process, and spent countless hours painting, staining and refinishing.
Their concept is part of the Not So Big House movement. It doesn’t mean it is small like a tiny house, but it’s not a mansion either. It means the home is designed and built to perfectly suit the way each homeowner or family lives.
“For the plans, it’s like they pulled them right off the paper,” David said.
His wife agreed, “For the most part, it is everything we imagined.”
Originally, the Pattons planned to purchase and remodel the house that previously occupied this one’s space. But when Luebbering discovered the required effort and expenses that would take, they opted instead to demolish it and build a new one.
“So we started fresh,” Linda said.
That open-layout design continues throughout the rest of the home. Walk past the kitchen to arrive at a craft room, which leads you to the garage. A master bedroom connects through a wide doorway to the library, the perfect space for the Pattons to practice yoga or read Scripture.
Even the yard contains an open, welcoming vibe. Outside living areas are emphasized in the front yard, not the back.
“We also said we wanted to have an open feel to the street,” David said. “We wanted a porch where we could connect with the neighborhood.”
The Pattons share their home with two easygoing dogs, one attention-loving cat and another feline who’s less sociable.
What you won’t find in the house, though, are empty rooms with no purpose.
“We really use every room most every day,” Linda said.
OTHER CONCEPTS AND FIXTURES OF THE HOME
—- ENERGY EFFICIENCY
The couple plans to apply for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. All appliances are locally-purchased and energy-efficient, and a boiler provides radiant floor heating to the main body of the home. The craft room and garage use a mini-split system. “Because these rooms are used less often, we can use less energy by not heating and cooling them,” Linda said.
—- WATER CONSERVATION
The Pattons use an aquifer to harvest rainwater. When rain drops land on their roof, their system will collect them and pump them into a waterfall in their front yard, which recirculates the water to prevent it from growing stagnant. This summer, Linda will start using that harvested rainwater to irrigate her garden. David emphasized the native grasses he plans to use in his landscaping. A favorite is Buffalo grass, a species that requires minimal watering and mowing.
—- MARBLE AND CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS
The couple purchased concrete mix, then learned from a friend’s advice and some YouTube videos how to mold it to kitchen countertops. They experimented with a small piece before they made the rest of the bar. They incorporated pieces of marble they received from another friend into the design.
—- RECYCLED MATERIALS
Many fixtures of the new home came from salvaged materials from the old one. Pillars just outside the front door, for instance, came from the former house’s fireplace, and wood paneling in closet doors came from its doorways.