In March of 2018, Simplicity and I bought three small former haying fields overrun with pine trees in southern New Hampshire, just outside a historic village. Our goal was to build a traditional-looking house that we designed. We wanted to give attention to aesthetic and functional features that are absent in many newer homes, such as thoughtful use of light, space, ventilation, and some passive cooling. It seemed like it would be possible to design something more attractive and with fewer complications than most new homes. We did not have a large budget, certainly not a typical “custom house” budget, but we figured that with some careful tradeoffs, and by doing some of the finishing ourselves, we could build something modestly beautiful.
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