- Architectural|Interior Design
- Historic Preservation|Renovation
- Construction Management
- Sustainable Design|Consultation
- Defensible Space Design|Consultation
- Security & Safe Room Design|Consultation
Here is a recent project that was a lot of fun, and is really turning out great. The original part of the house was built in 1829, with a rear wing added around 1860. Set at the end of a long driveway on 6 acres, complete with a big bank barn, it is truly a paradise.
For a busy family of 5, however, complete with well over 50 animals at any given time, the charm of living in such a beautiful old house wasn’t enough to compensate for certain inherent weaknesses: smallish kitchen, not enough windows or light, their favorite outdoor room (the screened porch) ended up functioning like a mudroom and was always full of muddy boots or grain buckets, their patio ended up getting baked by the western sun every evening, a severe lack of storage and closet space, and simply not enough bedrooms or bathrooms. My orders were fairly straightforward: lots of natural light, lots of storage, a mudroom, a new master suite—and watch the budget!
The resulting plan came about after listening to both the client’s spatial and living needs, as well as stories about growing up in an old house in New England with its long hallways and nooks & crannies, loving the sound of a banging screened door, and telling me about all the outbuildings in the near vicinity that had this “long overhang on one end”.
We decided to make their addition appear as if it had been in the same family forever and had grown organically over the generations. There are gable dormers and shed dormers, plumb-cut eaves and boxed eaves, a hyphen and a “now connected outbuilding” that all adds up to a wonderful rambling nature to the entire structure.
To start with, a new big great-room|sunroom was added on the south side, complete with 13 windows to take in the warm, eastern, southern, and western sun. The existing kitchen was re-worked with new space planning, more windows, and is visually connected to the great-room with a large pass-through and breakfast bar. In addition, a large doorway between the great-room and dining room, where the family eats every inside meal, achieves better traffic circulation, increased visual connections, enlarged sight lines, and even some passive heating for the previously chilly dining room.
At the other end of the 1st floor, the all-essential mudroom was achieved by adding a small structure to the north side of the residence, closest to the barn, with doors opening onto the patio as well as the perennial garden out back. There is a work bench, a boot bench with storage above and below, a storage loft above complete with a rolling ladder, and a built-in wash basin for hosing off boots, dogs, and filling up water buckets. The windows were kept high and small to increase the amount of wall-hook-space inside, as well as to provide more insulation in a structure that would bear the brunt of the harsh winter winds out of the north-west.
As stated before, in keeping with our theme of organic generational evolution of the house, the mudroom was designed to look like an outbuilding that had later been attached to the house. We achieved this by connecting it to the mainhouse with a “hyphen”. This was not some exercise in faux architectural story-telling, as part of the final solution was dictated by having to work around an existing cistern and a bathroom that we didn’t want to move. This existing bathroom was left largely intact, both to preserve the budget as well as because it was in a good location, while a long hallway serves both to connect the mudroom to the house as well as to provide tons of lineal feet of pantry shelf storage.
Upstairs there is a new master suite, two new bathrooms, and a common “homework|craft|laundry|exercise room” to connect the old and new spaces together. The master has vaulted ceilings, amazing views, a soaking tub with tub-deck height windows sills, a shower, his and her closets as well as a seasonal closet, and tons of kneewall storage.Future plans include a rain-water reclamation system and restoring the grand old Bank Barn.
Sustainable features include:
- Re-using an absolutely wonderful old home and coming up with innovative solutions to our contemporary needs and lifestyle.
- Designing for ample light and natural cross-ventilation through the use of window and door placement, while using extremely energy-efficient windows and doors for no loss in efficiency.
- A whole house exhaust fan, located at the top of the stairs to use the stairwell as a solar chimney, to inexpensively rid the house of excess heat. 6” wall thickness for greater insulative ability.
- Fiber cement siding for extreme durability and long material life, as well as allowing for a longer lasting finish.
- Metal roofing for extreme durability and long material life, is 100% recyclable, and is darker in color to absorb more of the sun’s heat through our long and cold Midwestern winters.
- A functional outhouse for barn parties and frequent outdoor entertaining. It doesn’t get any more sustainable than that.
Future plans include a rain-water reclamation system and restoring the grand old Bank Barn.
This project was constructed by Yutzy Builders, Carrol, OH, and was on-time and under-budget.
Floors: Painted plywood with shallow rip every 6” -8” to appear as if it is vintage wide plank floors. Finished by homeowner.