Cedar House Transformation

There was this house that knew better days…

In it lives a very large family that was lacking basic amenities, like having a place to sit down and have a meal together (of course they had a dining room but this isn’t Downton Abbey!). They got in touch with me to suggest some layouts for a larger kitchen, which would involve building an addition.

What started out as a “kitchen project” grew into almost an entire house renovation — from building two new additions to reinforcing the structure, to recladding the exterior with new cedar shingles, not to mention numerous interior changes.

We replanned the entire first floor, expanding the kitchen, adding a large breakfast area and a small office off of the dining room.

This is what the floor plan looked like originally:

This is what we did in the end:

We started out with taking out about half of the first floor, the old second floor deck, and all of the exterior finishes. Once the demolition was done, the new work began.

It was exciting to watch the house take a new shape, as the breakfast addition was framed out.

After a while the new kitchen space was created. The family couldn’t believe this whole space would be their kitchen! They even started worrying it was too big, but I reassured them that once the cabinets are installed they’ll see it’s just the right size.

The work went on, we were busy working on the kitchen design, searching for just the right furniture pieces and light fixtures. The living room furniture layout started taking shape. The family needed three separate functions in the living room: watching TV, sitting by the fireplace and having a place to assemble puzzles. We combined the last two, giving a fireplace area a large enough coffee table, which would serve as a puzzle board if need be.

We also added a large built-in wall unit for the TV, books and a huge collection of board games.

In the kitchen, the clients chose a Shaker style door design, two colors (paint and Pommele Sapele wood) and dark granite counter tops.

This kitchen has to serve a family of eight, so we installed two dishwashers, a large cooktop, double wall ovens and a large refrigerator. The cabinets feature a variety of storage types: drawers, pull-out shelves, lazy susan, pull-out pantries and open bookshelves for cookbooks.

The breakfast area was finally large enough to fit a lava rock table with enamel top the family brought back from Italy. Their names are written along the perimeter of the table, making it a very special piece for them.

After the exterior facelift was finished the house looked and smelled wonderful! These are pre-stained cedar shingles, and there are very few things that smell better than fresh cedar! With a new front stoop, a copper awning and new wall sconces the house looks so much fresher and more welcoming.

The second floor deck was torn down and rebuilt. We also created a more private outdoor seating area behind a curved wall. All that, plus a new design for the back yard, and this is what we got in the end: