Elizabeth Herrmann’s Micro House in Vermont

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Elizabeth Herrmann’s Micro House in Vermont

How do you make 430 square feet feel expansive? Spectacular views definitely help, and when Vermont architect Elizabeth Herrmann designed a space saving and energy efficient micro-home for a client who was looking for a beautiful but affordable tiny house she chose Marvin windows to open it up to the world outside.

The predominant view the small structure enjoys is of a gorgeous peak in the nearby Green Mountains, Camel’s Hump. To take advantage of this vista and the other natural elements around the home, Herrmann carefully considered both window size and placement to give each inside area its own separate focus. “The house has spaces defined by windows, with each function and view unique,” Herrmann said. “Windows played an important role in shaping complex and layered readings of space within a tiny footprint.”

Throughout the home a variety of square awning windows, long narrow windows and a large picture window help define a living space, loft sleeping area, kitchen, bathroom and a dining/work nook. “Once I knew where I wanted voids—light, ventilation, and views—to occur and what size and shape I’d like, I turned to the Marvin window catalog. It’s very liberating to know I can find a window or door to fit my design.”

Herrmann’s client is an artist, but he didn’t want anything on the walls. Instead, views framed by the windows became the art pieces. The home also includes a full basement with laundry and additional storage to help declutter the main living area, and the color palette is predominately light, with maple floors from local forests, birch plywood for wall storage and built-in daybed, and custom-made white kitchen cabinets.

“I wanted to design a home with all the variety and interest of a much larger home,” says Herrmann, “to feel spacious despite its diminutive size and contain those important transitional spaces that give one a sense of privacy, arrival, or simply a change in scale appropriate to use.” 

The result is a fluid, light-filled abode, carefully planned and executed to give the homeowner a sense of space both within and without.

Photographs by Jim Westphalen