What happens when you buy a home you absolutely love? Except for one thing…
I received a call from some newcomers to Louisville. They had purchased a charming, older house in the Highlands. The floor plan was very traditional; that suited the new owners completely. The home was absolutely charming.
Their only problems with the home came with the small bedrooms, all on second floor. Plus there was no master bath or any large closets.
They consulted with local architect Mary Herd Jackson and came up with a novel solution. The foot print of the house could be extended “gracefully” into the existing backyard. The addition would include a master suite, complete with a separate foyer area, his and her closets, walk-in shower, large vanity, and an entry hall with spacious master bedroom. The addition also included a cozy, screened-in porch.
The new addition was build out by local construction firm, Great House Inc.
I was called in by the owners once construction was underway to help them decide on a color scheme for the space. Then they asked for assistance deciding on all the materials that would be used to finish the interior. The list was extensive. It included tile work, countertops in the bath, stain for build-ins, granite for the bar area, lighting, and hardware. They also wanted me to work with them on the color and surface material for the porch floor, the wood and carpet for the master suite and the entrance into the existing house. They needed advice on new colors for the den area and on furniture placement. Then there was the selection of fabrics and style for window covers, fabrics for a window seat and a very special easy chair from the wife’s family that she wanted re-upholstered.
My experience has taught me that it is very important when designing an addition to honor the feel of the existing space both inside and out. It’s also very important for designers to honor the owners’ taste in the interior design. It can sometimes be difficult to do that correctly. As a designer and coach I offer my knowledge and insight about how things should look in a home. But I also try not to impose my strong sense of how things should look on to my clients.
So the first and most important issue was making sure my clients’ and my vision for the space were in touch with each other. I wanted my clients to envision the end result of our choices as I did. I guided them through the process of selecting the materials to be used. I helped insure that the colors chosen were compatible. These decisions created balance and harmony for this most important space in their home.
Colors were key to putting the plan together. One of the couple liked blue, the other liked green (luckily those two colors love each other). To settle on a color palette that would suit them both, I asked to see a piece of fabric or perhaps a piece of art that they both loved. We found they had a painting (now hanging proudly in the new master bedroom) that contained the colors they both loved.
From there we choose a dominant color and several supporting colors to use throughout the addition. And from those decisions we choose the materials for the master bath (tile, stains for vanity) as well as rugs and fabrics for the bedroom. Repairing and recovering an old chair that had special meaning for the couple was a priority. I worked with the wife on fabric choices that would be a comfortable match of movement and style to bring the chair, a window seat and the curtains together in an inviting and stylish look.
The porch was fun. My clients had strong opinions about this addition. They wanted a very practical application ….not too many “bells and whistles”. The design was open and airy. They wanted the main seating area as close to the outdoors as possible and a simple wet bar for entertaining friends as well as repotting plants. It was to be a comfortable and practical space for themselves as well as for their very energetic young dog. He would spend his porch time bursting thru his dog door to chase the squirrels.
We achieved this with painted concrete floors to begin with. The original entrance to the kitchen was preserved. A separate entrance into the master suite addition allowed for convenience. Stained wood throughout matched the trees beyond. An open easy seating area with warm, comfortable outdoor furniture made it the place where they wanted to spend a lot of time.
When it was all complete, they had exactly what they had dreamed of both inside and out! And I had a lot of fun with a really interesting project.
Click on the thumbnail in the top right-hand column to see the before and after pictures for this project!