After 10 years living in the circa-1930s house, the clients were finally ready to tailor their home to their needs. But they had “champagne taste and a beer budget,” the owner admits.
With designer Ridley Wills’ help, the clients were able to focus on what really mattered to them: a home that fit their lifestyle. “There wasn’t room for entertaining, and we didn’t have a good place to spread out with the kids,” the homeowner says. So the clients gave up the idea of a master bedroom remodel and addition and focused on the public spaces.
They opted to spend their budget to upgrade the exterior for increased curb appeal and to better engage with the neighborhood, to renovate several interior spaces, and to prep others for future renovation. For example, when they tore off the breezeway, they dug out a basement, which has been framed out, fitted with HVAC ducts, and roughed in for a full lighting package, and the second floor of the new front entrance holds a partially finished bed and bath. “As a client, it was helpful for me to see that we could achieve everything we wanted even though we haven’t done everything just yet,” the homeowner says.
The Place to Be
The front entrance was high on the wish list. First, moving the entry to the right side of the home “enabled the traffic pattern inside to flow more freely,” Wills says. “The old front door doesn’t get used at all,” the homeowner points out, adding, “It will likely get turned into a closet when we do our first-floor master bedroom during a future phase.”
But it’s the 10-foot-deep porch, which runs the length of the original home, that “changed the whole aesthetic,” Wills says. It has become a gathering spot for neighbors to sit and watch their children play.
The porch also acts to enlarge the dining room, which sits just behind the glass paneled doors.
The shape of the arches is a motif that’s copied on the new entryway and is carried inside to the front entry, the kitchen, and in the wooden fireplace mantle.
The arch shape was drawn in AutoCAD, printed on paper, then enlarged and redrawn on plywood. Using the plywood template as a guide, the carpenter cut the cedar used on the porch. The arches meet at the solid wood columns, which are not structural. The walls at either end of the porch and the level beam above the columns carry the load. Columns are boxed in to conceal the joints and to also provide interest. The ceiling is beadboard.
Double Duty Arch
The porch’s arches are mirrored inside. Just beyond the front entry, leading to the living room, is a deep, wide four-centered Tudor arch with built-ins on one interior side of the archway and a powder room tucked in the other side.
To frame the arch, the walls on either side of the arch were clad in plywood, which was then cut out in the arch shape. Wills’ crew then nailed 2x4s between the two plywood arches and finished all of the surfaces with drywall.
A similarly constructed arch, which holds a pantry, is just outside the kitchen.
The homeowners sought “casual living” spaces that would get daily use. To that end, rooms were repurposed to fit the homeowners’ lifestyle and approximately 1,500 square feet was added to the original floor plan.
The small living room in the front of the original home became a large, comfortable dining room that the owner says is one of his favorite spots.
The original dining room was bumped out and turned into the new kitchen, while the original kitchen at the back of the house became a rear entrance that now includes a mudroom and an office space. The former sunroom and garage are now a great room/living room just beyond the front entry addition. (A separate garage was not built to replace the original garage.)
—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.
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