Matthew and Jari Whiteacre dreamed about building a Monolithic Dome Home for a long time before their dreams became plans. In May 2011, they started their blog, Whiteacre Dome Home: The trials and tribulations of building a new house from beginning to end in which they chronicled their dream home building journey in careful detail, complete with beautiful photographs. In September 2013, the Whiteacres realized their dream and moved into their gorgeous new Monolithic Dome home in College Station, Texas.
The Whiteacres transformed 1.93 acres of scrub brush, grass and trees into an elegant paradise. Graceful curves echoing the curves of the Monolithic Dome are the hallmark of this estate. The curved driveway leads to a beautiful stone-covered 3-dome home with a pillar-lined entry covered by a curved concrete awning seamlessly attached to the center dome. Sweeping curves, enhancing the natural environment, can be seen in the landscaping, the sidewalks, the stone walls and even the swimming pool in the back yard.
Custom Touches Enhance the Exterior
A two-door Monolithic Dome garage sits to the right of the 3-dome home and a guest house is on the left. Touches of brown around the doors and windows enrich the colored concrete “stones” that have been hand placed into mortar on the exteriors of the domes.
This custom stone finish was made by first adhering a lightweight ½" fiberglass mesh which easily conforms to the shape of the dome. After the mesh was set, a “scratch coat” or mortar bed was installed. The colored concrete “stones” were then placed and bonded well to the mortar bed.
Around back, a pool with s-shaped curves complete with a waterfall and a hot tub can be found. This outdoor Shangri-la features a long grill bar under a pavilion, an outdoor kitchen and a pizza oven with a stone finish matching the house. Alongside the pool is a spacious patio area with a comfortable seating area and a fire pit table surrounded by chairs. There is plenty of room in the yard for the family’s dogs to romp in the grass and plenty of sidewalks perfect for children to ride their bicycles.
This Whiteacre’s home includes living spaces both upstairs and down with 2,930 square feet on the main floor and 2,870 square feet on the second floor. The entryway is dramatic and open all the way to the top of the dome. A grand staircase curves elegantly up to the second floor. Beneath the staircase, water gurgles in a rectangular, rock-covered fountain.
Beautiful cabinetry and countertops enhance the spacious kitchen on the main floor. The gently curving exterior wall, combined with the traditional interior walls give this room a more conventional feeling.
Custom work and intricate detail can be found throughout the home. One of these enhancements is the stained glass window above the front door. Seen clearly from the second floor railing, this window was a gift from the Whiteacre’s children who designed it themselves. The details in the design have special meaning to the Whiteacre family.
Some creativity is needed when building a Monolithic Dome and the Whiteacre family found ways to use the curved walls to their advantage. Custom-built bookshelves fitted snugly to the curve of the dome wall are featured in the comfortable library. In another room, available space above a closet became a storage area for an adjacent room.
Advice for a Happy Ending
When asked what advice he would give future Monolithic Dome Home builders, after a moment of thought Matthew said, “Take time during the planning stages. Do not rush or push too hard through the designing.” He also advised, “Really think about the layout of your home. Things do layout differently in a dome where space can be used wisely or lost, due to poor planning.”
Green living is important to the Whiteacres. A tumbling compost machine, located by the guest house, is in use and solar panels in the yard cover about twenty to twenty-five percent of their energy costs. Another solar panel positioned on top of one dome takes care of the gas bill. Mr. Whiteacre said their power bill has remained about the same as their former home in the city, even though their current living space is double.
“Moving from the city to a dome in the country was quite a change,” said Matthew Whiteacre. Then, he added, “Life in the dome is more peaceful and quiet, even the rainstorms are more quiet and peaceful.” After years of dreaming, planning and hard work, the Whiteacres are happily at home in their elegant paradise.
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