The Places We Call Home: The round house

Very little is square about Joe and Judy Baker’s 4,140-square-foot house on Glendale Road in Marietta.

Completed in the fall of 2012, the exterior of each floor of the place they call home consists of 20 eight-foot sections that form a circular structure, with an attached garage. It’s a round house built to the Bakers’ specifications to meet their goals of downsizing in retirement and having a one-of-a-kind place to call their own.

“We are very pleased with how it turned out,” said Judy Baker, 64.

The outside of the house is painted a gentle green that blends into the natural surroundings and doesn’t allow the unique shape to stand out sharply from neighboring homes. On the inside, no room is shaped like an average residential space, but those extra angles and turns feel right at home.

The rooms are painted in a variety of unusual but complementary color choices.

“It’s important to me not to have everything white or gray or brown,” Judy said as she provided a tour of the home’s blue-gray entryway, brown-and-purple master bedroom, periwinkle guest bedroom and bright melon laundry room. “When I go into my laundry room, it feels cheery.”

The entryway leads into a sea mist green great room that shares space with a kitchen consisting of an island and cabinets that conform to the gentle angles of the home. Couches, chairs and tables are placed at angles that might seem off in a square or rectangular setting, but seem to fit right in in the semicircular room surrounded by eight, five-by-five-foot double windows.

“We laid tape at our (previous) home on Third Street to see how big we wanted the windows,” Judy said.

Determining the layout of the furniture was a bit harder.

“We did not know until we got it in here what we were going to do with this room,” Judy laughed.

The shell of the house was constructed by North Carolina-based Deltec Homes and designed based on the Bakers’ input.

“There were three necessities – walk-in closet in the master bedroom, the pantry in the kitchen because I’d never had one, and the screened-in porch,” Judy said.

There were a lot of choices to be made, said Joe, 64.

“It was a rather arduous process, but seems to have been worth it,” he said.

The home has two, eight-foot sections of screened porch and two open ones with idyllic views of the grassy area and trees behind the home. The Bakers usually dine in one of the screened-in sections and all four house some of Judy’s plants, which are also placed throughout the house.

“We downsized plants,” she laughed. “Instead of over 100, I have over 50.”

A sun tube is located in the ceiling at the center of the home, where Judy has placed more plants atop a partial wall. The conical shape of the ceiling there also has some interesting side effects when it comes to sound.

“It’s like standing in the middle of a speaker,” said Joe, noting that when one speaks, the vibrations can be felt coming back down. Judy said that even when talking softly, one’s voice carries throughout the house from that point.

The basement is mostly unfinished, the ceiling uncovered and providing a view of the network of beams leading back to a center column.

“This is one of my favorite parts of the house, just because it looks so cool,” Judy said.

There is a full bathroom, and more could be added down there one day, but for now, it serves as a play area for the Bakers’ grandchildren and storage for some items – though not as much as at their previous residence.

“(Goodwill) got a lot of our stuff,” Judy said.

The Bakers have realized some savings on energy bills, thanks to the home’s smaller size, energy efficient appliances and the exterior skin over tightly fit pieces that cuts down on heat transfer.

The pieces of the home were made by Deltec and assembled by Marietta-based Gillard Construction. As the house was being built in 2012, it was a topic of conversation for passersby, said Jill Wright, administrative assistant with Gillard.

“Obviously there’s a lot of interest in the building and the shape of it,” she said.

That hasn’t translated to any orders for other round structures, Wright said. That seems fine with the company, which prides itself on delivering special homes for its customers.

“We like to do different things,” Wright said. “Most of the houses that we do are custom houses.”