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The couple wanted to respect the pastoral site and give a nod to the area's earliest settlers. They accomplished this by incorporating barn-like shapes and barn-red color. "It was an attempt to bottle a little bit of the nostalgia you get from driving through the area, seeing beautiful old barns that have weathered some tough years," Autumn Simmons says. The facade incorporates reclaimed barn wood and shingles made from poplar bark.
The bark shingles have a long local history. "Bark in the shingle form first appeared in the resort town of Linville, just a few miles from Banner Elk, in the late 1890s," says Simmons. "Architect Henry Bacon, who designed the Lincoln Memorial, is credited with its formal introduction. Chestnut bark
was used on these original structures, some of which can still be found intact in the area today."
The use of bark shingles halted with the chestnut blight that hit in the early 1900s until 1990, when another husband-and-wife team founded BarkHouse, which brought them back (they use poplar bark). "Tree bark was traditionally a waste product but is now a sustainably manufactured, maintenance-free product with natural beauty that will remain intact for decades," says Simmons.
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"The casement windows create clean, simple lines that complement the shape of the house, and the simple grill pattern reinforces traditional farmhouse style," says Simmons.
Part of the versatility and sustainability of the house is in the attic's potential. Finishing it can add 456 square feet of living space. It was wired for future expansion, and a spot for a future staircase was planned and left open. Additionally, the roof blocks 97 percent of the sun's radiant heat from entering the atti, thanks to the LP TechShield Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing. This keeps the entire home cooler and lowers energy bills.
"I think farmhouse style goes hand in hand with modern in many ways — simple lines, simple shapes, a sort of common‐sense approach to construction that is the basis of design, not so much for appearance but necessity," says Simmons. "Farm homes have never been extravagant, and the purest, simplest forms are their core."
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