Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,971 sf
Daylight Basement
1,971 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
The Firefly boasts two fireplaces along with an extra-large main living area and spacious southwest porch for sunset viewing. Watch the sun rise from the eastern master bedroom. The living area with its timber beams and large hearth overlook the southern sky and hills. Like most sun-inspired homes, this home is also nature-inspired with views in many directions. The open, west-facing entry and carport allow for views to the east. On a summer night, the home glows like a firefly.
First Floor

The creative foyer location minimizes exterior doors and allows both guests and family to use the same entry large enough to serve as a small sitting area. Glass doors then provide views and access to the screened porch or great room.  A nearby door to the kitchen allows for quick delivery of groceries.

With timber accents and a grand stone fireplace, the great room is the focal point of the home. The kitchen on the cool north side is out of the main traffic flow yet has views across the great room to the southern scenery and receives indirect southern light.  The dining room also has views in two directions and is connected to the kitchen through a butler's pantry. A nearby nook can house a piano or study area.

A small office has southern views and buffers the master bedroom from the great room. The central entry to the master suite provides for options to go straight to the southeast sleeping room or the northeast bathroom - both welcoming morning light. The vanity is extra-long to accommodate linens, benches, vanities and two sinks. The toilet and large shower are located in a private wet room. A stacked washer/dryer minimize trips to the lower level laundry.

Daylight Basement

The stairs open directly to the large central room below with endless uses.  Up to four bedrooms (or craft rooms, exercise rooms, etc.) can be included in the sunny lower level with expansive southern views. The north side of the basement is tucked deep into the earth with room for storage, mechanical and laundry while the west side houses a large covered patio for entertaining or partially covered parking.


With room for two vehicles and a storage area on the north end, the main floor carport is adaptable for an outdoor party space. The lower porch can be a covered parking or party area.

Construction Info

The first-floor walls are 6 inches thick walls plus more exterior insulation. The 9 foot high basement walls are concrete with the insulation on the interior. The roof is constructed with engineered trusses with a combination of flat high ceilings over the east and west ends with vaulted ceilings with decorative timber trusses over the central living, dining and kitchen. Openness between the first floor and daylight basement aid passive cooling. 

Modification Ideas

Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.

  • Add French doors that open onto a patio from the dining area
  • Detach the carport and add a front north porch and west garage
  • Move the entry doors to the west if a garage is constructed
  • Make the butler pantry a walk-in pantry and add a laundry between the kitchen and foyer
  • Add a soaking tub to the extra-large master bath
  • Add a kitchenette to the basement living and rent the lower level
  • Add a laundry chute from the master bath to laundry below
Construction Drawings

For this plan, the following are included with orders for Construction Prints and CAD Files:

  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Foundation Plan
  • First Floor Plan
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
Comments and Photos
Although this home was designed for a complicated hillside lot, it could be adapted to other types of terrain. In any case, it is a shining example of what windows and proper siting can do for a home.
The professional photographs supplied later by the Realtor, Steve Evans, asked that FOCUSED PHOTOGRAPHY be credited.
The builder was Custom Smart Homes out of Johnson City, TN. There are construction photos posted on their web site.
The HERS rater was Matthew Vandy. It is common for raters to travel to quite a distance to oversee a home's energy efficient shell construction. After blower door testing the home he wrote:
"The house ended up getting a HERS index of 53, which means it is 47% more efficient than a code-built version of your house. Great job!"