Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Design Consultation - Expanding Up and Out

When our friends, who own a famous, local bakery asked me for some advice on their house, I was happy to help (they had just finished filming a show with the Food Network when I met with them).  They had a dilemma that many people face:  they loved their 1920's cottage and neighborhood, but were bursting at the seams.  Could they expand and make it work?  Or did they need to move?  And if they stayed, they didn't want to over improve for the neighborhood.  They wanted to maintain the cozy, cottage feel that they already had.

They had updated the kitchen a few years earlier and loved the flow of the first floor.  The living and dining room worked well for them and the separate family room was a great place to relax.  However, it lacked a first floor half bath, which was something they really wanted.

But the biggest issue was upstairs.  This was the master bedroom.  And you guessed it, the likelihood of bumping your head on the angled ceiling is pretty high.  Not to mention there isn't much space for manoeuvring!

And the master closet?  Well that's it - the curtained space on the left.  They had to keep a lot of their clothes in a cubby near the top of the stairs.

So we started looking at options.  We played with multiple floor plan ideas that stayed within the existing footprint of the house.  But they really didn't give them the space they needed.  After working through some ideas, we realized that expanding out the back 4 feet on the left side of the house could gain a lot of functionality - without ruining sight lines from the kitchen or losing too much yard and deck space.  The first floor suddenly had a great powder room and their family room was enlarged as well.

Upstairs, the changes were more dramatic.  The 'before' design didn't have a lot of space upstairs.  There was the small master bedroom, a bath and the dressing room/office, with sloping ceilings that didn't leave much room to move around.  By extending the current dormer across the front, they could create a bigger home office space - an idea they both loved.  And the new addition over the family room created a fantastic master suite.
As usual, Waterhouse Builders did a fantastic job.  This was a big project and the owners had to move out for several months, while the project was completed.  But it was worth it!  The finished rooms are beautiful (I don't get any credit for the colors or furnishings - the owners just happen to have fabulous taste!).

The First Floor Changes:

The 'must have', powder room on the first floor came out beautifully.  Don't you just love the traditional hex floor tiles, done in marble rather than the usual ceramic?  And the two tone paint job gives lots of color, but isn't overwhelming with the white at the top.

The expanded family room is still the cozy room they wanted, but gives them a bit more space for furniture.  And the walls of windows look out on their private backyard.

The second floor changes:

The new upstairs hallway is a dramatic change from the old house.  We created a pony wall at the top of the steps, to make it feel much more open as you get to the landing.  Now the space is light and bright - and provides lots and lots of storage space in the giant closet.

The new master suite is a warm room with lots of light, thanks to windows on three sides.  And see how it looks out into the trees through the windows?  It's like sleeping in a tree house!

The new master bath is such a great update!  They added custom shelves next to the toilet for additional storage.  And the shower is divine, a big space with plenty of storage space and a bench for shaving your legs!  (Design note:  the shower head is out of view on the left, but you can turn on the water and adjust the temperature without having to climb into the shower and get wet, waiting for warm water.  Nice touch!)

Finally, the new extended dormer on the front of the house provides a great office space for the homeowners.  And the glass door lets them get away from noise in the rest of the house - but the glass pocket door lets the afternoon sun come streaming through.

And from the exterior?  Well we think the addition blends in seamlessly!
Front exterior - before

Front exterior - after, with new addition and extended dormer
Rear exterior - before
Rear exterior - after

Don't you love this place?

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  1. It looks great! I love that family room. We just refinished our Willard neighbourhood cottage. It's still small but so cozy and adorable.


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