The challenge was how to update and put an addition on a 1920s storybook house while acknowledging and respecting the architecture. “We didn't want the addition to look like an incredible hulk,” says designer Martha Kerr, of Neil Kelly Designers/Remodelers in Portland, Ore.

Neil Kelly Designers/Remodelers used gables to maintain continuity between the old house and the new addition.
Neil Kelly Designers/Remodelers used gables to maintain continuity between the old house and the new addition.

The clients wanted a bonus room for exercise and a media room with surround sound above the existing three-car garage. They also wanted a breezeway to access the house from the garage.

Kerr decided to repeat the gables on the front of the house to create the additional square footage to meet the clients' needs. By adding three gables she was able to respect the existing proportions, create adequate interior space, and make the addition flow. Adding 1,200 square feet on the second floor and meeting roof height codes, as well as keeping the architectural integrity of the house was a challenge. The three gables provided the solution.

The roofline respects the original architecture, and the roofline used for the bonus room was repeated for the breezeway. This choice, as well as using bluestone for the flooring to match the stone on the existing patio, makes a comfortable transition between the spaces.