From the exterior, the house appears to have three storeys; however, the top floor is really for architectural balance and aesthetics. While in some houses there is a study on this uppermost level, in this one it is open to the rooms below and acts as a windowed cupola, drawing natural light into the interior. This has the added benefit of creating an airy double-height space directly over the kitchen, which is the anchor point of the open-plan spaces, says Soucie.
"In an idyllic setting, a house is much more about the exterior and surroundings you don't go to the country to sit indoors. That said, easy interior connections are essential for a relaxing experience, so the classic Amish exteriors give way to contemporary open-plan living."
An understated entry into the home creates drama, especially in light of the volume and height of the living areas that follow. The great room, kitchen and dining room are all open to each other, and to an atrium gallery on the second level, which in turn opens to the three bedrooms and a study. In a house that is frequently used for entertaining large numbers of family and friends, this interconnectivity is a major design plus.
"What makes this home even more suitable for entertaining is its ability to offer privacy, as well as bring people together," says the designer. "For example, the entry to the conservatory is from the back garden, giving this space a sense of separation. In the same way, the bunkroom over the garage is the children's domain.
"However, while the layout meets the needs of modern family life, the interior design continues the simple Amish aesthetic, with a limited palette of colours and materials."
Hand-scraped hickory wide-plank boards used for the flooring add to the cottage-style atmosphere. A brick fire surround in the great room includes a sunburst pattern, a motif repeated elsewhere in the residence. Beadboard ceilings feature in the outlying spaces, such as the conservatory and the bunkroom.