This charming cottage home was designed by Atlanta architect Brandon Ingram and is located on a pristine North Florida acreage just outside of Tallahassee, Florida. Named the Oak Leaf Cottage, this guest cottage is part of a small grouping of Classic Southern buildings that also include a large main house. The cottage is a good example of the Classical Vernacular, which mirrors some of the best qualities of the South. All of the interior walls are shiplap, painted white to help open up the space and complement the textures in the room.
Southern Classical Vernacular. Southern vernacular architectural designs are innately sustainable and resilient because they reflect their locale in terms of building materials used and the response to the hot and humid climate conditions of the region before air conditioning. Southern vernacular homes have semblance in the form, of building materials, and building. The best orientation for a southern home is for the long axis to run east to west to reduce the amount of solar gain. The windows of the house are located to catch the summer breezes.
Large Porches or Verandas. Often located on the southern side of the house and on the east and west, too, the porches and verandas protected the house from both the sun and the rain, providing circulation, and creating a cool place to sit and sleep in the warm summer months. The homes were raised off the ground to allow the first floor to be out of the flood plain in coastal areas, breezes are better on the raised first floor, and air circulating under the house helped to reduce the heat gain.
Square, Symmetrical Exterior. Many southern-style homes are square buildings with a squarely centered front door. Exterior doors are often flanked by taller, thin windows, or feature French doors for easier access to the outside living spaces.
Tall Ceilings. Tall, vaulted ceilings not only made southern homes appear grander, but they also helped to alleviate the heat and humidity that accumulated inside the home. Heat rises, so the ceilings were raised and vaulted to help capture hot air above living spaces.
Shiplap. A little light internet research reveals that shiplap is a kind of wooden board that’s often used for constructing sheds, barns, and other rustic buildings. Traditional shiplap has a rabbet (or groove) cut into the top and bottom, which allows the pieces to fit together snugly, forming a tight seal. This also gives shiplap its distinctive appearance, with subtle horizontal reveals between each piece. Shiplap walls and ceilings. Lately, shiplap has become a popular choice for interior finishes too, thanks to its rustic charm and subtle texture. (Fixer Upper would lead you to believe that nearly every home in the Waco area is covered in it.) Whether you choose to use real, honest-to-goodness shiplap in your interior project or fake the look by applying MDF boards to your drywall (Studio McGee has an excellent guide to this) it’s a great way to add a little character to any room. Even a bathroom shower.