Does your house feel cramped to you? Dark? Awkward? Maybe an addition is the answer.... Or maybe NOT.
The house pictured here was a typical house built in the late 1940's-early 1950's--lots of charm, but not a lot of space compared to today's McMansion standards.
My clients called me after they had already met with an architect and had plans drawn up for a complete renovation, including an addition.
But after we talked and I saw the spaces, I could see why they were frustrated with the house. Of course, an addition would add space, but it wasn't going to fix the existing problems--problems that if addressed properly may negate the need for an addition in the first place.
It seemed to me that the biggest obstacle for this house working to its potential was the poor relationship between the main living areas. Narrow doorways and an odd traffic flow added to the cramped, closed off feeling.
The front hall did everything it could to make guests feel unwelcome...you would never know there was all of that sunlight and elbow room just on the other side of the wall...
No wonder they felt they needed more space.
The kitchen was a planned part of the renovation, and the wall dividing it from the rest of the downstairs was slated for removal....
A plan was needed to make the best use of the square footage available and provide a beautiful and functional kitchen.
So, what to do?
To make spaces live larger, you want to create longer sight lines, so that rooms can share visual space and also natural light...a huge component of making a house feel spacious and welcoming.
Walls were removed, doorways were widened,....and an opening was created along the stairwell, so the front and the back of the house now are open to one another....
In the new kitchen, we created a layout that would keep the existing openings with all of their beautiful sunlight and views (changing a door to a window, and shortening the large picture window) but still give us acres of countertop, lots of cabinetry and a super functional work area despite losing a whole wall....
The addition has been subtracted from the plans for now, and I am proud to say that the house no longer feels dark or cramped, but rather light and spacious. And because they didn't have the added expense of new foundation, walls and roof spent for an addition, money was directed into beautiful craftsmanship and the best possible materials. Stunning!