People Came Prepared for the Arcadia Dome Home Tour in 2022

View from the entryway to the great room.

Visitors come through the entryway to a beautiful open view of the great room and the dome arching over the curved balcony to the loft upstairs.

Dave South

Thirty people toured our house—Arcadia Dome Home—during the annual dome tour on October 15, 2022. Most visitors came from Utah or southern Idaho, but some came from as far away as Colorado. They didn’t come empty-handed. They had ideas, sketches and questions about building their own dome home. So. Many. Questions.

We’ve held an annual dome tour ever since we completed the house in October 2016. That first tour was a madhouse, as hundreds of people from Cache Valley wanted to see inside “that strange home” on the hill in Providence. Fortunately, later tours were less overwhelming.

The pandemic stopped everything for three years, but we didn’t sit around. We fixed the rain gutter, finished the landscaping, built a shed, and grew a lovely lawn—oh, and we got a little dog, too.

It was exciting to open the house again this year. We finished our last-minute preparations, turned on all the lights, set out the tour signs, and opened our doors at 10 a.m. It started slowly, but soon a steady stream of people were walking around and through the house.

Some people just wanted to see this unusual house. One family found us online while searching for things to do over the weekend. Over half came because they are seriously considering building their own Monolithic Dome home. Some even have land and the start of a dome home design.

For the next five hours, I sat at the dining table, answering questions. It was like a conveyor belt; when one group finished, another would start. I can’t think of a better way to spend time on a dome tour. While I sat at the table, my wife, Jennifer, sat at the kitchen bar, answering questions, too.

Questions for me were things like financing, site preparations, and specific concerns about dome construction. Questions for Jen leaned toward living in the house—decorations, maintenance, and life inside a Monolithic Dome.

By 3 p.m., the stream turned into a trickle. At 4 p.m., we closed the doors and slumped into our chairs. Another tour was done.

It’s satisfying watching people react to the inside of a dome home. It’s hard to imagine what it looks like from the outside. We hear concerns that the home would be “cavelike” or “damp” or just hard to put furniture inside. Instead, they find an open, warm, inviting home.

Floorplan for Arcadia Dome Home.

The floorplan for Arcadia Dome Home began as a Word Picture describing — in words — what spaces we wanted and how they related together. Only after purchasing our property were we able to put those ideas into a physical layout. Always begin a design with a Word Picture.

Illustration by Dave South

The well used conversation area in the great room.

The great room is the perfect place for conversations and parties. We’ve already had dozens of family get-togethers that start here and end with some of the younger kids watching a movie in the loft while we “old folks” talk late into the night.

Dave South

Home office in Arcadia Dome Home.

The home office is a dream come true. The whole family often winds up on the couch in here, but if I need to concentrate, there’s a door I can shut.

Dave South

A big, comfy couch anchors this versatile family room/office.

With its big, comfy couch and flat-screen TV, This room can function as a family room or my office, depending on the day.

Dave South

Sun Room office window facing the valley and mountain sunsets.

The office is officially called the Sun Room because the large picture window faces the valley below, the mountains beyond, and the beautiful sunsets in the evening.

Dave South

Dramatic barn door entrance to the den.

The second office or den features a modern, sliding barn door. This is a quiet space utilized daily by Jen. We used a barn door instead of a swinging door because it doesn’t intrude on the office space, plus it’s much wider, making the den feel like part of the main living space beyond.

Dave South

Outer straight walls meld into the dome wall in the den.

The outer walls of this Orion-style home are flat, with a gorgeous curve at the top that morphs into the overhead arch of the dome.

Dave South

Inverse curved ceiling above the den.

The den is under the “saddle” between domes. This inverse curved ceiling adds depth to an otherwise small room.

Dave South

Small den features.

The small den contains everything Jen needs, with a handsome curved desk, recliner, window table, and an antique secretary.

Dave South

High ceiling adds depth to small bedroom.

The high ceilings of a dome give the smallest bedroom a feeling of great space and openness. The window looks out over the neighbor’s trees and the mountains beyond.

Dave South

Hallway vanity and sink.

We put a vanity and sink in the hallway for the kids to prepare for the day, brush their teeth, or last minute checks in the mirror.

Dave South

Standard bathroom.

The hall bathroom is only one of two square rooms in the house — the other is the powder room in the east hall. This is a standard 8-foot by 5-foot bathroom with a shower/tub, toilet, and vanity. It can be small because the vanity in the hall is used for most daily personal preparation.

Dave South

Larger bedroom.

The larger west bedroom with a full bed, bookshelves, and a desk.

Dave South

High arched ceilings make a bedroom feel majestic.

The high, arched ceilings make a standard room feel special. Some visitors worried the dome would feel cavelike. It doesn’t. It feels majestic.

Dave South

View from the west bedroom window.

The west bedroom window has a prime view of Cache Valley and the Wellsville Mountains.

Dave South

Laundry room design details.

Laundry rooms are an afterthought in many house designs. Jen and I spent hours working on the laundry room plans to maximize functionality. For example, we didn’t put a door in front of the shelves and hangars on the left because this space would be used so much that the doors would be redundant. But we did add a storage closet for less used items.

Dave South

Second west bedroom.

The second west bedroom mirrors the first west bedroom with a large window, high ceiling, and lots of useful space.

Dave South

Bed, large bean bag, and drawing table in second west bedroom.

A drawing table, twin bed, and a large “beanbag” in the second west bedroom make it a comfy place to sleep, read, and work on hobbies.

Dave South

Dining table and piano in the great room under the loft.

The dining table at the west end of the great room. This space sits “under” the loft with the e-piano up against a smaller window that opens to let in the fresh air. This design helps set it apart from the main conversation area of the great room beyond.

Dave South

Main bedroom with king-sized bed.

The main bedroom on the east end has a large king-sized bed and dresser. The walls and ceiling surrounding the bedroom, sun room, and bathrooms are all filled with fiberglass batt insulation to add soundproofing and provide more privacy and separation from the great room and loft.

Dave South

Main bathroom features and high ceiling.

The main bathroom features a barrier-free shower, a large soaking tub, a toilet next to a small privacy wall, a linen tower, a sink, and a vanity with a stool and space to sit. Behind the camera is a walk-in closet. The bathroom is under the inverse curved saddle between domes. The whole bathroom is actually rather small compared to some homes but appears large because of the functional layout and high ceiling.

Dave South

Custom curved staircase in the entryway.

The main entrance has a custom, curved staircase leading to the loft upstairs, plus a circular alcove. We spent hours searching for just the right chandelier.

Dave South

Looking down the curved staircase.

Looking down the curved stairs from the loft to the entry shows how it transitions from a curved alcove to a square wall. The stairs are larger than they look and easy to navigate even if you need to carry a couch upstairs.

Dave South

The ship's prow over the entryway.

We call this pointed area “the ship’s prow.” You almost can’t help but stand there, looking down to the entryway and great room.

Dave South

View from the loft to the great room below.

The view over the curved balcony and banister to the great room below. The guys who did the work on the curved banister did an amazing job.

Dave South

The family room loft.

The loft is the family area with multiple uses including a craft table, often covered with puzzles or games, an exercise machine, and the comfy couch and theater TV — of course.

Dave South

Connected storage and mechanical space around the loft.

A short wall around the loft creates connected storage and mechanical space. It also helps prevent people from accidentally running into the concrete dome “ceiling.” Believe me, you only do that once.

Dave South

Double-curved ceiling over the loft.

The double-curved dome over the loft creates a magical feeling. It’s difficult to describe how comforting it is. It’s high in the middle — around 12 feet — and low around the edges.

Dave South

The comfy couches in the loft.

The downstairs couches are for conversation. The upstairs couches are for comfort — reading, video games, movies, and hanging out with friends. We find it’s best not to let visitors sit upstairs because they may never leave.

Dave South

Sunset at Arcadia Dome Home.

A parting sunset picture of Arcadia Dome Home in Providence, Utah. Thank you to everyone who came to visit and we hope to do this again, soon.

Dave South