Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
1,320 sf
Floor 2
180 sf
1,500 sf
Daylight Basement
1,320 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
French Cowgirl 2
The small footprint French Cowgirl 2 has been adapted for thicker exterior walls and slightly larger rooms. The extra thermal mass in the ICF (insulated concrete form) walls keeps the home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Nine foot ceilings allow for more south glass. Custom built-ins including the seating/sleeping areas for the fun tower (with 360° views) are space saving strategies that make this small home feel large. Quantity of square footage is traded for quality. Both the front, west sunset porch and the east sunrise porch are wonderful outdoor spaces that do not block the sunny south windows. The sunny lower level can either be an extension of the main home or a separate living area for another family or business.
First Floor
A quaint airlock foyer with French doors has a large window that allows light into the stair well. Instead of descending to a dark basement, the path down is sunny and inviting. The great room with full southern views and slightly vaulted ceilings is anchored on the north by the large masonry wood stove that gives off a slow and even heat on days when the sun is not shining. The accents on the hearth floor and the ships ladder leading up to the loft tower add character and interest to this simple, but extremely energy efficient home. The large, central kitchen allows for easy interaction with those in both the dining and living area. The nearby built-in dining has a quaint, cozy and sunny European-style seating. The first floor bedroom in the cool northeast corner receives morning sun. Practical people will appreciate the foyer door to the first floor bath for easy access from the garage.
Daylight Basement
The stairs to the sunny basement make for an upside down two story home with the north areas nestled against the temperate earth. This level has three bedrooms and other sleeping, exercise or entertainment spaces. With the walkout south patio, a home office or large master suite for those who enjoy the direct connection to a sunny patio becomes very practical. With the lower level laundry, this becomes particularly appealing
Attached Garage
The attached oversized two-vehicle garage has a storage area for storing muddy boots and coats, and a sink. The garage doors face the front of the house for easy access and close proximity to the front steps.
Construction Info
Clear span trusses create the roof framing. High mass, strong, energy efficient ICF exterior walls are used for both floors that each have 9' high ceilings. The first floor south rooms vault to the center. Thermal mass also in the tile floors and masonry wood stove make for an extremely comfortable home. With a large vertical distance between the basement and tower, the passive cooling is high when the doors between the floor levels are open.
Modification Ideas
Since these ideas may affect energy performance and structural integrity, they should only be undertaken with professional assistance.
  • Square up the kitchen to make a larger rectangular master closet then move it all south to allow for a larger master bathroom
  • Place the washer dryer in the study nook with bi-fold doors and keep the laundry close to the master bedroom
  • Add a laundry/mudroom between the house and garage
  • Can't build a basement? Build on a slab, then steepen the roof and build it with rafters to allow for two upstairs bedrooms
  • Construct the walls with thick stud framing and cellulose insulation
Construction Drawings
For this plan, the following are included with Construction Prints and CAD Files:
  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Plan
  • First Floor with Tower and Attached Garage
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans
Comments and Photos
After they move in and get the home decorated and landscaped, clients often send photos as well as comments about their house. Check back later, but also be sure to check out photos of other French Cowgirl homes.  Many Sun Plans designs have a similar feel inside the home.