Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Making things Merry and Bright!

Back Elevation with added windows and glass door
Back Elev - BEFORE

This project is located in a historic village and didn't need to gain any square footage, but needed some big changes to update the kitchen and bath and make the whole house work better. A single floor addition had been added off the back of the two story traditional structure, but the rooms were narrow and had no windows to the back yard. They felt cramped and dark and the kitchen, while it had nice appliances and cute cabinets, was very separate from the main living spaces and accessed by a small passage. And the only bathroom was on the first floor - a flight of stairs down from the bedrooms on the second floor.

We changed all that by removing the wall between the two narrow back rooms, adding a beam, raising the ceiling height, and adding double windows with transoms above and a sliding glass door on that previously blank back wall. This new expansive room now has windows on three sides and offers a ton of space for lots of kitchen cabinetry, counter tops, and storage, as well as a pantry, seating area, and peninsula. It's a bright and airy eat-in kitchen and is more open to the rest of the first floor now, because we widened the trimmed opening to the dining room.

Inside the new bright, tall kitchen space. Double window will be over kitchen sink
Wider Trimmed Opening connects to Dining Room. New efficient heat and A/C mini split on wall
The first floor bathroom was gutted and is transformed into a Den-type room to house the TV like the narrow back room used to, and the small hallway and former laundry closet has been transformed into a first floor powder room. The main bath and laundry move upstairs into an unused bedroom. It will be lovely and traditional-feeling with wainscoting, wood flooring, and a window seat, but also modern and clean with all new fixtures, lighting,  tile, and a heated towel rack.

When working in an older home, I often have the contractor match or reuse the historic interior trim. By using wainscot, traditional lighting and door hardware, and window and door casings with top blocks and bottom plinths, the new rooms don't feel out of place next to the original early 1900s rooms. But the new rooms are decidedly updated with lots of glass for letting in sunshine and views to the private back yard, a more open flow and feeling, high efficiency mechanicals, and custom tiled back-splash and tub surround. (pics next time!)

Former Narrow Den Room
Former Narrow Kitchen
When it's all done in January I'll post final pictures of this merry and bright redo!