This project was unique in many ways. The home was for sale, and the contractor saw great opportunity, but found it difficult to communicate the vision. After supplying us with a couple of exterior pictures and rough measurements of the home's footprint, our team had a mock-up option of what a 2nd floor addition could look like from the exterior within 2 hours. Based upon that vision, the home was purchased.
Then started the real design work of how to actually lay out the interior and the methods to be used to complete the project.
One of the ways that this project was unique is in how we were able to keep as much material as possible, and get the look that was desired.
The existing home had 8' ceilings on first floor. The goal was to have a 2-story home with 9' ceilings on first floor. So, with the contractor's input and advice, we recommended lifting the first floor to become 2nd floor, and building a new, 9' tall 1st floor beneath it.
From there, everything internal was gutted and re-configured.
The home has a spacious master suite, 4 bedrooms, luxurious kitchen, home office, formal dining room, family and living rooms, a gorgeous front entry, 6 1/2 baths, and 3-car garage.
Category: Whole House Addition/Remodel
Rooms Affected: Kitchen, baths, garage, home office, family, dining, living, pantry, bedrooms, master suite, laundry room
Collaborators: Design Solutions, Inc.
Builder: Gerry Dunleavy Construction Corp
Photo Credit: Mark Flannery
This home had its original 1970s layout, which was very broken, dark, and inefficient. The original design had a small kitchen, small dining room, and VERY large family room that was difficult to know how to furnish. Because of the layout, there were two traffic patterns parallel to each other, and they were connected at both ends which led to the front door and the garage door.
Ultimately, the separate and individual rooms made the home dark and somewhat claustrophobic.
Our design combined the two traffic paths into one, creating larger spaces and reducing inefficiency. We opened the space between kitchen and dining room to allow for a larger and open kitchen. The previous dining room became a breakfast area with space for a cafe table and chairs.
Finally, we opened the space between the dining room and family room to allow the gorgeous southern exposure to let light into the new kitchen and breakfast area on the North side of the home. We moved the dining room into the family room - there was plenty of room - and that made for a reasonable family room, generous dining space, and kitchen that was connected to the rest of the home.
This project presented its challenges in many forms. One such challenge was the existing kitchen. Another challenge was the existing library. A third challenge was the stairway where to travel from front of the home to the rear, one would have to go up 2 steps, across the landing, and down 2 steps. It was awkward. The final challenge was that the 2nd floor bedrooms were tight, and didn't really have a good master suite.
As you can see from the Before & After pictures, the transformation was spectacular.
The kitchen was dark, and the traffic patterns cut down the useful space significantly. It was poor planning. The Butler's Pantry was small and dark as well.
The library had an awkward travel path just to enter it, and it was cut off from the rest of the home. And, it looked like a bowling alley: narrow and long. Then the 1/2 bath attached to the library was at the other end from the library entrance.
Overall, the addition was 9 feet by 20 feet. The owners gained a beautiful, useable space.
This project presented quite an interesting challenge for us. The homeowners recognized that their existing kitchen was dark, outdated, dysfunctional, and very dated.
So, they wanted an eat-in kitchen, an island, apron front sink, and as much storage as they could find. Besides the kitchen, they wanted to renovate the rear entry and add a powder room for first floor.
The intriguing part of this project was the unique storage options and the banquette creating the eat-in kitchen. Had we designed a typical banquette, it would have either not had enough seating, or the seating would have been in the way of the path from the formal dining room to the kitchen.
So, we designed banquette seating on the ends of the table that slide in and out as needed, thus adding more seating when the kids have friends over, or mom and dad can invite two couples over for dinner.
This was a fun project because of the client's desires and the direction, and structure we had to work within. The original house was over 100 years old, but it has had a couple of additions since then. Our task was given to update the kitchen and add some space on the exterior to include larger office, mudroom, craft room and 2-car garage.
After discussing the options with the owners, we came away with the idea of an open concept kitchen/living space, 2-car garage with space for tinkering, and a connection between garage and house that could have a 2-person office, light, and somehow room for storing/working on crafts.
In the final presentation, we showed how the kitchen and living space could be more efficient in the work and storage spaces without giving up any footprint, and really making it better for entertaining. We added more windows to the kitchen to increase the light, and by removing a toy closet, found a breakfast bar space.
The office is now large enough for one person to move about, and a second to come and go as they please. For the craft room, we plan to re-use some of the old kitchen cabinet frames and finish with a laminate top.
The architecture on the exterior ties closely with the farmhouse look of gables, corbels and shutters. By moving the garage doors forward, we accomplish two things, visually, it breaks up the width of the garage, and functionally allows for a extended cab, long-bed truck with hitch to park and have room to walk around it.