Every year, we submit several of our best projects to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (Or NARI) to be evaluated for REMY awards, and we wanted to share with you one of our big winners. This project won silver in the Entire House Remodel $250,000-$500,000 category.
It was with the future in mind that our clients chose to give up their larger, two-story colonial for a more modest ranch. The home was built in the 60s and had been occupied by an older couple for many years, and everything needed to be updated. Typical for a ranch, the front of the home was the living room and dining room that featured ample windows. To the rear was the kitchen and separate family room, paneled from end to end. A fireplace on the exterior wall limited both natural light and access to the backyard. The south wing of the house had three bedrooms and only one hall bath. To the north was a two car garage with entry from the rear. The spacious property allowed a logical option for expansion.
Dede, a realtor, felt strongly that bedrooms should be added, rather than being combined. Therefore, a large primarysuite would need to be added, as well as space for the laundry room on the main floor. Her desire was to create a more open floorplan in general and modernize everything. She wanted a larger kitchen area that was open to the family room, with lots of light.
Several plans were considered, and the pros and cons were weighed, including cost. A plan was drawn, leaving the garage slab in place but relocating the entry to the front of the house with an addition behind the garage. This new addition included a foyer entry from the garage with coat storage, a hallway to a laundry room and a large primarysuite. The exterior wall of the kitchen needed to be expanded to the rear to gain access to the addition, as well as provide a larger, more functional space. We determined that if we removed the masonry fireplace, we would be able to extend the entire back wall of the house, as well as provide better access to the exterior.
Both the existing HVAC system and the soil stack were located a great distance from the addition, posing several obstacles. A new HVAC unit was specified, and a mechanical closet was created in the garage, with ducting running through the attic to the addition, as well as supplementing the kitchen expansion. The drain line was run in the crawl space of the addition across the rear to create the slope necessary to tie into the existing stack.
The primarybath includes a large soaking tub, a must for Dede, with a considerable window above, a seated shower and a double vanity area. Closet access from the bathroom, as well as an additional wall of closets as you enter the bedroom, allowed for his and hers areas. The laundry room accommodated utility storage, folding and hanging space and a concealed space for the litter box.
The combined kitchen/family room area was spacious and allowed for a both a large kitchen window, as well as a large slider with great access to the new courtyard patio. An arched peninsula and a focal wall dedicated to cooking space made space available for a buffet and bar area. The family room entry to the South wing of bedrooms was relocated, and the previous hallway was enclosed to create room for an entry coat closet.
There was still a design element missing, as the focus had been on the addition and the kitchen. The concept of introducing a two-sided fireplace in the center bearing wall would give the living room and the family room some pizazz. The chosen fireplace not only opened the space, but also added literal and figurative warmth to the home. The remaining space in the family room accommodated a large entertainment console, with a wall-mounted TV on the right and a modern entertainment center housing a vast CD and DVD collection.
All areas were spacious, yet contiguously designed, and now needed the materials to blend and match the new style of our clients. With plans and budgets established, finishes were carefully selected to achieve the look and feel our owners desired for the house while maintaining the budget. Dede wanted soft colors, balanced with bold accents and was drawn to many textural elements. In the bath, cabinetry in a gray stain was accented with white granite with a gray vein at the vanity and tub deck. The tile is soft gray, laced with ribbons of dark gray trim. The linear large format porcelain heated floor keeps a simple, yet modern feeling in the space.
The kitchen cabinetry is a soft white shaker door style with bold cherry espresso stained cabinetry accents applied at the hood, bar, and entertainment area. The kitchen granite with taupe and black blends beautifully with a fractured glass arabesque tile backsplash. A cut quartz tile embellished the fireplace façade in the family room. The hardwoods are a dark walnut finish.
In the entry, an existing white marble floor was re-polished to its original luster and glows with the light from the new French door. The tile and painted mantel in the living room give a more modern traditional feel to the room along with the finish elements. Both lighting and light fixtures were carefully selected and blended throughout the interior and exterior and have many settings to create moods for an evening of entertainment. All wall tones in the whole house are a warm gray, blending the many elements seen throughout.
The project had a goal to have our owners in their new home by Christmas whether or not they had sold their house. We started the project in early July and were bombarded with rain, rain, and more rain hampering excavation, concrete and getting the foundation dried out enough to prepare for framing. With a project as extensive as this, we do our best to anticipate costs. Our experienced team walks through the project ahead of time, lending expertise as to unknowns, with an estimate of both money and time. The original budget was discussed, and the introduction of the new fireplace was presented as an option. The overall impact this dual focal point would make was seen as a justifiable cost. Daily communication with our lead carpenter and weekly meetings between the project manager, the designer, and the clients answered all questions, determined the best course of action for proceeding and addressed the upcoming schedule. A long established relationship with vendors and sub-contractors establishes the respect and team approach to starting and completing the project as promised, resulting in happy clients and a beautiful home. Our new homeowners unpacked the moving van on December 16th and enjoyed their first Christmas in their new home!