Thursday, November 15, 2018

Willowbrook Ranch Family Room

New Hygge Family Room
Here is another New Family Room Next Door project. The existing home is standard ranch style with rooms that are fairly small with flat 8 foot tall ceilings. A newer master bedroom addition with soaring ceilings is the exception- but, that space is private. The folks living here wanted a bit more living space that took advantage of the western wooded view and included some cozy creature comforts: an outdoor spa tub, and a stone fireplace- while incorporating some of those high-ceilings they have in their bedroom and adding light and view.

Glass Pocket Doors connect the existing home to the new room

The room was designed to be open to the existing dining room, and just steps from the kitchen through a pair of glass pocket doors. It functions as a family room off the back (more private) side of the house- as opposed to the living room, which, like the layout in many homes, is facing the street and at the entry.

New Addition and New Deck w/ Hot Tub
Before View of Back of House
The new room has lots of windows and a sliding glass french door to a new, more private deck. The deck was placed so that it connected not only to the new family room, but also to the master bedroom, which already had a sliding glass door. The spa tub was located on this deck (some serious structural piers designed to hold that weight!) and so is just steps from both the master bedroom and the new family room. The hot tub is tucked among some trees for a feeling of really being in nature while soaking.

Sliding Glass French Doors to Hot Tub on Deck

Stone Surrounds Rumford 1000 Fireplace

Thoughtful lighting placement and interior plank wood ceiling accentuate the symmetry of the vaulted room and make the focus of the room be the stone around the (real wood burning!) fireplace and the antique timber mantel shelf. The family finds they use both the tub and the fireplace as part of their regular routine- making these new spaces true improvements to their lives that encourage spending time together.

I think of this design as the hygge project because of the health and wellness aspects of using a hot tub and the contentment of sitting by a fire and how these features- and both the interior and exterior new spaces- truly help contribute to an improved quality of  life for the family living here. Sunday evenings sitting by the fire sure sounds cozy!

From Wikipedia: 
Hygge (/ˈhjuːɡə/ HEW-gə or /ˈhɡə/ HOO-gə) is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. As a cultural category with its sets of associated practices hygge has more or less the same meanings in Danish and Norwegian, but the notion is more central in Denmark than Norway.[1] The emphasis on hygge as a part of Danish culture is a recent phenomenon, dating to the late 20th century.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Family Room Addition to a Village Home

View of Addition from the backyard
Here is a glimpse into a small project I designed. Let's call is the New Family Room Next Door. :)

The existing home is a small historic two story village home. Like most village layouts, adding off the back was really the only option for increasing living space. (side yards are small or non-existent in village-type zoning where houses are placed close to each other and close to the street/sidewalk)

The home already had a single story kitchen addition all along the back of the two story structure, and then a covered porch off the back of that.

To keep the project economical, we used the area that once was a covered porch and changed that space into the new family room. We reused (and added more) the pier foundation from the porch for our new room, and kept the low-pitch shed roof in the same configuration as what existed, so second floor windows were unaffected.

The new room will still connect the kitchen to the back yard and back porch (we kept a small section of the existing covered back porch as a driveway-side entry for bringing groceries in to the kitchen). The new room will be able to be a bit more contemporary than the rest of the historic home can be.  The new room can someday become a first floor bedroom if age or illness requires it. And in the meantime, the new room will offer much-needed additional space for entertaining and relaxing with family, right near the kitchen. Since the large back porch was going away, I suggested a new large deck off the back of the new room as an outdoor connection and link to the back yard.

Before Photo - View from Backyard of Existing Covered Porch
Small section of existing covered porch remains as back entry

The new family room and new deck expand 1st floor living area A LOT

Lots of light and glass doors into new room

Higher "cathedral" ceiling in new room & light from 3 sides makes it special