Charles Moore appreciates the honest American style represented by this 1920s two-story Craftsman bungalow. “It's not pretentious. It has an asymmetric entry and a low pitched roof — things that were more America. That simple honesty appealed to me,” Moore says. He also liked that the large bank of windows and the open floor plan made the 80-year-old house feel modern, in the sense that it expresses an ease of living and relates well to the outdoors.
The house, which is in Moore's childhood neighborhood, was the smallest one on the block. He and his wife purchased it knowing they would remodel to make the house a better fit for the neighborhood. They wanted to triple the size of the house but maintain the scale of the original. Moore briefly considered a one-story addition on the rear that would have preserved the original front elevation. “But as we began, I quickly realized that I could not gain enough square footage for the house, and we would have lost 1,200 square feet of yard,” he says. Instead, he added a second floor and a more modest expansion on the rear and the side of the house. “We wanted to make it proportionally right so the house feels not bigger, but better,” Moore says.
Expanding the rear of the first floor allowed room for a new kitchen, family room, breakfast nook, pantry, mudroom, and screened porch. As part of his plan to maintain the modest look, Moore chose a three-quarter-height bearing wall for the second-story addition. “It brings the eaves line closer to the ground while still adding a second floor,” Moore says. The judges said the completed remodel is a great example of the industry's craft, noting, in particular, the excellent proportions and restrained details. “The details are elegant, not overworked,” one judge said.
A three-sided monitor straddles the rear roof ridge creating a special open yet private third-floor work studio and flooding the stair hall below with natural light. The architect wanted to add a vertical element to the house, but was careful to not let it show on the front elevation. “The ridge line is not violated. The monitor goes higher than the ridge, but it is hidden,” Moore says. For the stairs leading to the work studio he chose steel brackets and white oak treads with partially open risers. “It's a nontraditional piece leading to a non-traditional space,” he explains. The judges affirm his decision. “We enjoyed the touch of whimsy,” one said.
Category: Whole-house remodeling, $250,000 to $500,000
Location: Falls Church, Va.
Contractor: Gabe Nassar, GN Contracting, Arlington, Va.
Designer: Charles Moore, AIA, and Sarah Farrell, Moore Architects, P.C., Alexandria, Va.