The clients originally approached us looking to create a more open and comfortable kitchen and dining room. The existing house was more than a half century old and had an eclectic layout. The existing kitchen was a central space and most of the first floor rooms opened onto it. While in many ways it is a good thing to have the kitchen at the center of a home, the proportions of this space were narrow and cramped and the kitchen felt more like a hallway than a central gathering area. There was also a small half-round dinning nook adjacent to the kitchen. While the nook was an interesting space, it had limited seating and trouble with a leaky roof.
The main goal of the design was to create an open and dynamic kitchen & dining room area that would serve as the center of the home. In addition, it was very important that the new space blend with the existing house and feel like it was intended from the beginning. The design also sought to achieve some of the same interest and character as the original half-round nook.
In order to make the new kitchen space feel as open an inviting as possible, the design sought to make use of a high cathedral ceiling and to incorporate as much glass as was reasonable. In the final design, the main kitchen area was given a 13’ high ceiling with several clearstory windows centered on a stainless steel range hood. The new kitchen also makes use of a three panel sliding glass door that opens onto a raised flagstone patio. The large glass door helps to blend the interior and exterior and greatly expand the feeling of space.
One of the more challenging aspects of the design rested in integrating the addition with the existing roof. The original home has several intersecting pitches and dormers and something of a “busy” profile. We came to the conclusion that the best way to fit the new roof with the existing home was to give it a similar level of complexity. The design of the addition accomplished this through three cascading ridges and a cantilevered overhang that mirrored the overhang above the existing basement level garage.
Finally, the design sought to maintain the round character of the original dining nook in the flagstone patio and retaining wall. Both the patio and the raised planter have a rounded edge that fits the existing driveway and helps to soften the exterior of the house.
The construction was fairly straightforward. Two of the biggest challenges rested in working on the small site and in matching the addition to the existing building.
The small backyard site had limited access that consequently limited the scope of some of the machinery that could be used. For the excavation, the dirt had to be hauled away as it was dug and only a small dump-truck could be used on the driveway. It was also such a dense project that integrating the different construction stages and trades required some tricky balancing and a non linear work schedule.
Probably the most challenging aspect of the construction, (and this is true for most additions and remodels) rested in the fact that the old house had its own unqiue elements and quirks and several walls, roof planes and the main floor were slightly out of level and square. In order to have the new addition fit seamlessly, these discrepancies and to be taken into account and the new building had to be slightly skewed in order to match.
Cherry Cabinets, Marvin Integrity Windows, Birch Trim & Flooring, Uba-Tuba Granite Countertops, Cement-board Siding, Flagstone Patio, Field Stone Veneer with Sandstone Caps.