"Windows on the World"
Timber Home Living, October 2009
Moving from a 19th-century Victorian house to a contemporary timber-frame home transported Brad and Lou Ann Miller to a whole new way of life. Accustomed to confined and formal, the western Pennsylvania couple found themselves embracing wide-open spaces, inside and outside the home.
The Millers chose a timber-frame home because Brad's folks had converted an old barn into a hunting lodge, and Brad and Lou Ann really liked the casual atmosphere. The also appreciated how accomodating Riverbend Timber Framing was in changing a custom plan they liked to remove walls to enhance the openness and switch the kitchen so it took advantage of the enchanting view.
The home is situated on the gently sloping lot to take in uninterrupted woodland views that stretch for miles. The windows aren't just for views, though. They also fill the house with light, even after the sun goes down. "We have no neighbors, so there are no curtains or drapes," Lou Ann points out. "Some nights, moonlight fills the entire house."
Leaving the Victorian era meant changing furniture style. Rather than buy new, Lou Ann reupholstered most of the pieces from their former home. The couple added other touches. Their most ambitious undertaking was recycling some Douglas fir bleachers that Brad's dad had bought from a high school 20 years before the house was built. They sat outdoors weathering until Brad bought a planer, scraped decades of accumulated bubble gum from beneath the bleacher seats and then planed the boards. Their contractor installed the vintage wood for all the baseboards, windowsills and window and door trim, matching them to the new Douglas fir timbers, windows and doors.
See more photos of this timber frame home, Hillside Timber Cottage.