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A Clever Turn

Circa 1970 shed-roof Modern in East Memphis.



The architect of this house created a grand two-story entry and turned it to the side to face the house next door instead of the street. An open corridor through this atrium connects the bedrooms with the public rooms, but the siting keeps it private.

This is not the only unconventional twist in this 1970s shed-roof design that adds to its seclusion. The house's layout is upside down, with the main living and sleeping areas on the second floor, maximizing the views, an arrangement you'd expect to find in a beach house. It is an ingenious plan, and the minimal amount of glass on its street facade lends it an aura of mystery.

The bedrooms are placed mostly on the street side. High, horizontal ribbons of windows in these rooms capture lots of light while providing plenty of options for furniture placement.

The living spaces are arrayed across the rear, where walls of floor-to-ceiling glass look out to the backyard. The rooms also benefit from vaulted ceilings, and they flow out to a full-length, second-floor deck that connects to a lower deck via an exterior stair. The fireplace has a wood-burning insert. There's even a breakfast room with two glass walls adjoining the kitchen — a perfect spot for small dinner parties. The kitchen is particularly well laid out with double work areas, two sinks, and lots of room for guests or guest chefs. The wood-stained cabinets and plastic laminate counters could easily be improved with a coat of paint and a slab or two of stone or butcher block.

Downstairs has a large, two-car garage with an attached, heated and cooled workshop, all below the bedrooms. A full second set of family rooms, or the perfect mother-in-law wing, is stacked beneath the public rooms above. The downstairs living suite's fireplace also has a wood-burning insert. These rooms have a view across the deck to the shady rear yard, where broad walks of Arkansas fieldstone lead you deep into the wooded, half-acre property. There is, of course, a bedroom on this floor with an en-suite full bath.

There's a lot of house here for the money. It's unusual to have such expansive views in town without looking into your neighbor's house and yard. This clever turn of plan could be your secluded enclave in the suburbs.

5569 Glen Wild

Approximately 5,000 sq. ft.

5 bedrooms, 3 baths; $299,000

Realtor: Hobson & Company, 761-1622

Agent: Laurie McBride, 312-2962

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