it's no secret that sometime i wish i had been born a southerner, hence the reason i have magazine subscriptions to garden & gun and southern living. i've also always been in love with the vernacular of low country architecture, it's similarities to vermont farmhouses is what strikes a cord with me. but last night while i was reading through the july 2012 issue of southern living i discovered a different style of home, the dogtrot, and my heart skipped a beat. why did i not know about this style of home yet?
the dogtrot is indigenous to the south, of course, and typically consisted of two sides of a home connected by a 'breezeway', all under a common roof. usually one side was dedicated for the cooking while the other was dedicated for the living spaces. the theory is that the rooms were open by windows or doors to the central breezeway, and as wind/air currents ran through they'd be pulled into the living spaces... obviously this was a sort of eco-air conditioning before it existed. this floor plan shows the original general layout...
of course now all i can think about is someday building my very own dogtrot home in vermont. wouldn't it be fabulous to have a few big ceiling fans or a really great outdoor chandelier over a long farm table for some al fresco summer dining? i really like this image of a modern day dogtrot where they've added some large custom bi-fold glass doors to close off the dogtrot, creating more of a all-season space...might be more practical in a place like vermont where it's a bit colder.
i also stumbled across this blog, the house at sugar creek, where a husband and wife are restoring an 1800's lousiana dogtrot back to it's former glory...you can bet i'll be following their process from now on.