Renovation breathes new life into a Craftsman style house while staying true to its original charm.
When my clients purchased an older Craftsman style house, they had no interest in razing the property and replacing it with an infill. They loved the bones of the home and planned to update and improve upon what was already there.
The Cons of the Craftsman Style House
The chopped-up floor plan had been partially addressed in a previous renovation. An addition in the back created a sunken family room with skylights and a patio door to the backyard. This was the main access directly into the house from the driveway and garage.
Original Craftsman style gum wood trim and built-in cabinetry preserved at the front of the house, and the open — but dated — back part of the home, conjured up images of a bad ’80s haircut, a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back.
The kitchen, perched over the family room, was dated and lacked storage.
To preserve the original charm and increase the useful square footage, they debated how to work around what they had. Even the dated skylights above the addition negated a second storey extension unless they were removed.
Did they want to preserve an older addition or start from scratch?
Scratch being the operative word. As soon as they looked behind the walls, the scope of work exploded. Although the plan was to maximize the floor space without harming the integrity of the home, they knew to make the home efficient, they needed to start over. Sadly, that meant most of the original features, like windows, would need to be replaced.
Renovation Breathes New Life into a Craftsman Style House
The staircase was moved to add two new bedrooms with full-sized closets at the front, second floor of the house. Unable to preserve the original, my clients vowed to find a beautiful custom solution so the staircase would still be an outstanding feature.
The reconfigured staircase and an overhead skylight brightened up the home’s main floor entryway.
The dining room, now at the front of the home, was made cozy with a new electric fireplace. The marble-like porcelain slab was an indulgence the homeowners couldn’t resist and makes a big statement in blue. The built-in window bench offers extra seating.
The new open-concept kitchen moved to the centre, south side of the house to take advantage of the light. The kitchen was kept purposefully light. The custom vent hood, backsplash and cabinetry are all in white to keep the visual space light and airy. Although there are few upper cabinets, the kitchen plan functions more efficiently with the added floor-to-ceiling pantry behind the reclaimed, custom-made barn door. A bold swath of navy on the island adds personality without overwhelming the space, it’s also an accent colour throughout the home.
The family room, now at the back of the house, still feels connected to the now-open main floor.
They added a bright, open mudroom at the back of the house to access the garage and driveway. This bright, well-organized space is a welcoming entry with heated floors and plenty of storage.
The layout is more practical now and an abundance of custom cabinetry discourages clutter. It’s a testament to the homeowner’s passion for the past that this updated home now offers more space but feels as cozy as it was originally meant to be.
By Jane Lockhart of Jane Lockhart Interior Design | Produced by RENO & DECOR
Launched in 1990, RENO & DECOR is Canada’s Home Idea Book, inspiring readers with the latest in tips and trends for their decorating and renovating.
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