Built in 1880, this house has undergone many changes.  It started its life as a stately Folk Victorian with a textbook wrap-around porch.  In the 1960s, it was “modernized” by having the porch and most of the trim removed.  Over the years, it had a small 1-car garage added, gained and lost a swimming pool, and was built onto in various ways…   Read more of the story below. 

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The story

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Most recently, our clients needed to modify this home to accommodate their expanding family.  In a real-life Brady Bunch moment, their soon-to-be blended family would fill the house with seven people.  Their love for the house prompted them to maintain and improve the original character of the home as we helped them to plan the addition.


The design goal was to reimagine the space to support a modern lifestyle without creating a completely open floorplan.  By connecting spaces visually with large openings, the house would both remain true to its roots and create multiple gathering spaces for the family.  Additionally, the need for more bedrooms led to some creative reconfiguring of the second floor to incorporate a new master suite over the remodeled kitchen and dining area.  To add to the design challenge, the footprint of the house couldn’t be expanded, due to local zoning codes.  This put a premium on the existing space, emphasizing the need for flexible space. 


The first task at hand was to create a better connection to the outdoors.  The rear deck was only accessible through a small door off a cramped hallway near the bathroom.   The only other entrance was the front door, which wasn’t wholly conducive to daily routines of bringing in school bags, groceries, and all the shoes that comes with a family of seven.  Creating a functional daily entryway and a more inviting route to the back yard became a crucial part of the design.

As with so many of our homes, the kitchen became the key to the design.  The footprint of the cramped, attached one-car garage was repurposed to expand the kitchen.  Though the den and living room remained separate, the additional area became an open concept, eat-in family kitchen.  With careful planning, a beautifully-crafted storage bench was designed to turn the rear entry into an open-plan mudroom.  Where most open concept designs focus primarily on the living spaces, this decision saved precious square footage without sacrificing aesthetics.


In modern kitchen designs, the island has become almost ubiquitous.  However, it became apparent early in the process that an island wasn’t the right fit for this house.  A spacious peninsula design better controlled foot traffic while people were cooking without cutting off the kitchen.  With the right amount of space between cabinets, multiple family members could be working in the kitchen comfortably.  


With the overall floorplan in place, the finer points were crucial to keeping the house cohesive.  Inside and out, materials, trim details, and finishes were selected to match or compliment the original home.  Where original millwork couldn’t be matched, available molding was painstakingly combined to create period-correct casing and baseboards.  Brazilian cherry floors were sourced to match the existing.  A new mantel and flanking built-in bookshelves were created for the den.  Even the narrow profile of the exterior wood lap siding was carried onto the new structure so that the addition wouldn’t be noticeable.


When we started the remodel, the finished sq. footage was 1898 SF, then we added 644 SF of new space giving us a new grand total of 2542 SF. And in the end, the results speak for themselves.  The blend of old-world charm and modern living can be found in all corners of this home.  More importantly, there is enough room for everyone to have their own space and still come together as a family.