Haven in a Hay­field

A lit­tle house on a hill re­veals the true beauty of “less is more.”


A lit­tle house on a hill re­veals the true beauty of “less is more.”

The scene from Beau and Martha Lang­fitt’s front porch is like some­thing from a novel. Fields of green sway in the breeze, stretch­ing as far as the eye can see. Live­stock wan­der in and out of view un­der end­less blue skies. In the cen­ter of this idyl­lic set­ting is a mod­est house that ap­pears ev­ery bit at ease in its sur­round­ings as the deer that leisurely wan­der its grounds.

Above the front door of this lit­tle home is a carved sign. It bears the instructions that guided the Lang­fitts in the cre­ation of their idyl­lic refuge: “Be still and know that I am God.”

“This whole place echoes that,” ex­plains Martha. “It’s a place to go off the beaten path and take in the beauty of all cre­ation.” The cou­ple’s guid­ing phi­los­o­phy, sim­ple but pro­found, in­flu­enced the home’s de­sign and its tim­ber frame, in par­tic­u­lar.

“Their de­ci­sion to build a smaller house was par­tially main­te­nance and bud­get driven, but it was also a re­sult of their per­sonal style,” ex­plains Johnny Miller of OakBridge Tim­ber Fram­ing. “They chose a sim­ple, straight-lines type of struc­ture.” The open, purlin­style white oak frame is ac­cented by hand-hewn timbers and tongue-and­groove white oak roof boards. The cou­ple opted for straight braces over OakBridge’s usual curved ones to keep things “sim­ple but strong,” says Johnny.

The Lang­fitts bent to­wards the sim­plis­tic stems from their years per­form­ing post-con­struc­tion cleanup for mega-sized log and tim­ber frame homes in Colorado. “We gleaned a lot of our ideas from be­ing in those homes,” says Martha. An abun­dance of win­dows, ra­di­ant heat­ing, geother­mal sys­tems and acid-stained con­crete floors were a few

of the fea­tures that won them over.

But the sprawl­ing lodges didn’t con­vince them that big­ger is nec­es­sar­ily bet­ter. So when it came time for them to build their own for­ever get­away, they opted for a 2,100-square-foot floor plan with open liv­ing ar­eas, an of­fice, a master suite and an ad­di­tional bath. A par­tial-loft space, open to the liv­ing area be­low, serves as a me­dia room. Aside from the loft, the home is fully hand­i­cap ac­ces­si­ble. “We have a side­walk on a slab around the home, and all of the spa­ces are wheelchair-friendly, with wide door­ways and pocket doors.”

In keep­ing with the rest of the de­sign, the home’s fur­nish­ings are min­i­mal. There are no pic­tures or art­work on the walls, and of the dozens of win­dows, there is only a sin­gle cur­tain. The sim­plic­ity is pur­pose­ful.

“We like ev­ery­thing open, plain and sim­ple so you get to see the beauty of the few things you do have,” Beau says. “We tried to keep things at a min­i­mum, so the frame it­self would be able to speak. When peo­ple walk in, the first thing they do is look up; the tim­ber frame grabs them right away.”

When guests aren’t tak­ing in the beauty of the tim­ber frame, they’re un­doubt­edly gaz­ing at the sway­ing hay­fields — and views — sur­round­ing the home. “We’re high on a hill with no trees and 360-de­gree views,” says Beau, who specif­i­cally re­quested win­dows in ev­ery area of the house, in­clud­ing clerestory win­dows in the gable end, to cap­ture the views.

The pic­turesque set­ting also heav­ily in­flu­enced the home’s ex­te­rior de­sign. Hardiplank board-and-bat­ten sid­ing

with shake-style ac­cents, PVC win­dow trim and a stand­ing seam metal roof are all in keep­ing with the home’s low­main­te­nance, keep-it-sim­ple scheme. “We didn’t want to take away from the nat­u­ral sur­round­ings,” ex­plains Martha. “There is this amaz­ing out­side life go­ing on around us, and when you look at the home, it fits right in with the farms.” Beau agrees, adding, “We call it our lit­tle haven in the hay­field; it’s a place to be still, soak in the tran­quil­ity and view cre­ation.”

“In the good weather months, we have our cof­fee on the front porch, and friends stop by to take in the views,” Martha says. Beau adds: “Hav­ing a home in a hay­field has its ben­e­fits. We never have to worry about mow­ing our lawn. Since we’re in the mid­dle of a field, our neigh­bor farmer cuts it for us.”

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