Debra Rucker Coleman, Architect
Floor 1
945 sf
Floor 2
852 sf
1,797 sf
Daylight Basement
945 sf
Entry Faces
South Glass
Midnight Sun

The Midnight Sun evolved from the earlier Harvest Moon Cottage whose very small footprint allows for economical construction and lower environmental impact. It is ideal for small lots. With three levels including the sunny daylight basement, there is a possible 2742 square feet of living area. The north front of the home with its bay stairwell, window boxes, and small porch add just enough charm to keep this otherwise simple-shaped house from looking plain. Two types of siding and curved knee braces add a touch of Craftsman detailing.

First Floor

Both family and guests use the same airlock foyer. The stained-glass door and windows along with built-in shelves add character to this practical entry to the home. The great room features a hearth. The high glass-front cabinets above the breakfast bar between the dining area and kitchen allow for a slight visual separation without blocking your view of the south window box. The west sunroom porch is designed to have the windows closed in winter, yet open in summer to become a screened porch. West trees keep out the hot afternoon summer sun yet do not block the winter solar gain.

Second Floor

The delightful staircase leads up to the second floor where three sunny bedrooms and two charming baths. The lower end gables above the master bedroom bed space and other closets save on house volume while adding character. Extra eave storage is always welcome.

Daylight Basement

From the central stairs you access the lower level which will not be a dark space if your land slopes to the south. With the door that isolates it from upstairs, noise from a TV or stereo is minimized. The laundry is beneath the laundry chute from the upper floors. The downstairs bedroom is very private and the south walk-out door would make a nice in-laws apartment.


The two-vehicle garage with optional greenhouse should be located to the northwest. A covered walkway could connect to the side of the front porch.

Construction Info

The first floor and basement have 8' ceilings, but since there is plenty of south glass, the rooms will not feel small. The second floor ceilings are sloped with no attic space. High shelves and exposed rafter ties add character. The foundation is ICF, upper floors are 6" studs, and rafter sizes vary with insulation requirements. Custom Energy Recommendations that come with Blueprints suggest changes to energy-related items such as how much rigid insulation to use in addition to the stud wall and the type of glass to use in your climate. The thermal mass is in the basement floor, stone-covered wood stove hearth, and tile floors over gypsum cement in the upper levels.

Modification Ideas

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

  • Use structural insulated panels for the walls and roof
  • For a larger great room, remove the porch and foyer walls
Construction Drawings

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

  • Schematic Site Plan
  • Daylight Basement Foundation Plan
  • Floor Plans
  • Exterior Elevations
  • Building Section 
  • Kitchen Elevations
  • Typical Wall Detail
  • Schematic Electrical Plans
  • Schematic Framing Plans 
  • Garage Plans
Comments and Photos

The first photos are ones Sun Plans took of the first built Midnight Sun built by builder Brian Knight. He sent the nighttime photos and provided the following comments:

"I have built the house and it is performing better than expected. The home has been featured on two solar home tours of WNC (Western North Carolina) and will continue to be as long as I own it. Myself and others feel it is the best design on the tour".

Here Brian has posted more photos on Houzz of this Midnight Sun that he built.

Thank you to Jane for the photos of her Midnight Sun home (also reversed) with the wall between the porch and living area removed in order to take advantage of the gorgeous views to the mountains! Here are a few comments:

"We haven't moved in yet, but I have camped out a few nights and the house has such a nice happy feel to it. My builder was so impressed with how well planned everything in the house was. He also initially thought that we had had this house designed exclusively for ourselves rather than customizing a plan because this house plan really fits the site... the garden level (daylight basement level) look(s) from bedroom into family room with view of Jotul woodstove. The backup heat for house consists of two Jotul woodstoves as well as radiant electric cove heaters (Comfort Cove system)."