Matthew Metzger and his wife Lisa are ideal clients. Lisa works in the fraud and money laundering division of a major bank and Matt is an attorney, self-taught artist and furniture maker. Together they have two young sons and a rural site on family property near Maineville, Ohio. The brief was quite typical suggesting three bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, kitchen/dining/living, support spaces, a two plus-car garage and a studio…so far, so good. Then came the challenge. The budget would be $300,000 and the hillside site would need a well, septic system, propane and electric service. To help with the cost, Matt personally built and installed the cabinetry and hardwood floor. Given the context, budget and program, we settled on the form of a simple bar approached via a dog trot created by a detached garage. A partially covered terrace was inserted along the south façade, overlooking the woods and pond beyond. The north face provides a more formal entry sequence. The iconic farmhouse shape with its lean-to addition provides a regimented container for the open plan of the first floor, and the explicit plan of the second floor. Fiber cement panel siding with battens and prefinished metal roofing complete the exterior. Using only the combined areas of the two main floors in the calculation, the total project was built for $134.00 a square foot plus Matt’s sweat equity. Despite the modest cost, the project contains a material richness and gallery-like quality that embodies design economy.