For those of you from Maine, you might recognize Cushing as one of the islands off Portland in Casco Bay. Locals call it “Cushin’” which makes us think of “cushy,” which is an adjective that is defined as “undemanding, easy, or secure.” This is a perfect definition for the BrightBuilt Cushing. Narrower than our other designs at 24” wide, it manages to pack a big, precise punch. This house is great for narrow lots and if you are looking for first floor living, but with additional space to spread out when needed. The Cushing accurately replicates a farmhouse with a full second story. As designed, it is an incredibly efficient and comfortable space.
An open plan living space and the master bedroom are the two primary spaces of the first floor. In its original design, the Cushing is set up for all of the primary living spaces to be lined up along the south side of the house, while the service rooms are on the north side. This allows you to take full advantage of the swath of windows on the south facing side, bringing in more light, solar warmth, and whatever views you may be lucky enough to have. The master bedroom comes with a full bathroom. There is space for a powder room and laundry closet off of the open living space, as well as potential for a walk-in pantry.
The square footage decreases on the second floor, but is still spacious enough to hold two bedrooms with a large space between them that can be used in a variety of ways. Do you play musical instruments and want a spot to host jam sessions? Maybe you want to put your cushiest furniture up there and make it the lounge. It can also be turned into a third bedroom if you are a super host. There is a full bathroom and closet space as well. Similar to the first floor, the bedrooms look out of the south of the house, while the stairwell and bathroom are located along the north wall. (Also, did we mention that a smaller second floor means there’s less space to clean upstairs?)
A fully attached garage is particularly well-suited to the Cushing, along the north side of the house. If you are looking for extra square footage, the second floor of the garage can be turned into an open space to house a workshop, a science lab, or perhaps another bedroom. There is useable attic space (for storing all your holiday decorations or hosting ghosts). If you want to take advantage of outdoor space, there are opportunities for a deck off of the south side, and a small porch at the entrance to welcome you home.
As with all BrightBuilt homes, the Cushing is designed to be energy efficient. Solar can be installed on the south facing roof. The entire house is super-insulated, with triple-glazed windows and high-efficiency heat and air conditioning. Because of the wall of windows to the south, sun-shading is designed for the first floor to keep the living space cooler in the summer, which also provides a distinctive design touch to the exterior.
The Cushing is designed in farmhouse style, a classic New England form. The entrance is on the gable end of the house, generally situated to face the street. Inside, there are more aesthetic choices that can made to create a barn or rustic style. Because of the length of the open living area, there is space for structural elements such as timber framing and the incorporation of rustic beams. If you love the look of an old farmhouse but would rather avoid the draftiness, the sagging foundation, and the carbon footprint, the Cushing is a great choice. It adapts the feeling of a farmhouse but with efficient design. Work hard outside tending to your large vegetable garden and chasing your chickens around the yard, but once you’re inside, relax into the ultimate ease and cushiness this house will bring to your life.