Pam and Bob hired Approach Architects to remodel and expand the first floor of their home in Marblehead. The existing two-story brick house had matching single story porches off both the east and west sides of the house. The goal of the project was to convert the existing three-season porch on the east side of the house into a family room with informal dining, expand the kitchen, and provide a small bathroom with access out to the backyard pool.
The major design challenge was to make the new addition fit with the existing character of the house. The porch on the west side of the house had been enclosed at some point in the past. On the exterior, we took this opportunity to make the two porches again appear similar by adopting the detailing from that side to our work on the east side of the house. The addition included not only the existing porch area, but ran the full length of the house. The new addition was stepped in as it went back from the existing porch to stay beyond the side property line setback.
The original kitchen layout was inefficient and did not provide an eat-in area. To maximize efficiency and flow, we designed an enlarged kitchen area that extended from the existing kitchen area into the new addition. In order to connect the two spaces, we installed composite wood beams with steel reinforcement to support the weight of the second floor and the roof, allowing a twelve-foot opening to be created in the exterior masonry wall. With the spaces now connected, we were able to locate a large “L” shape counter area for food prep and cooking that looked directly towards the back yard and pool area. We then designed a large “P” shaped island which is used for additional storage, seating and as a conversation area while entertaining. The kitchen is now the focal point of the new addition as it is centrally located between the new family room, eat in area, and mud-room.
The addition stepped down as you moved beyond the kitchen towards the pool. In this lowered area we designed a mud-room which included a new half-bath, closets, and storage areas. The mud-room was accessed directly from the exterior terrace and pool area via (2) new french doors.
The design of the “P” shape island allowed for the creation of different zones. The narrow portion of the island contained the drop-in cooktop and was used for food prep and cooking while restricting access to the more private area of the kitchen. The rounded end of the counter overhung the cabinets below creating a seating area for four or more. This end of the island extended beyond the kitchen area and into the family room. The curved extension allowed for easy movement around and connected the different spaces.
In addition to the main kitchen counters, several smaller counters were also designed. Between the kitchen and the dining room, a pair of pantry counters were installed to provide serving space and storage. A full height pantry was created in an existing awkward space between the basement stair and the back hallway. Around the corner from the kitchen, a small computer corner was created to facilitate the management of the home. Across from the kitchen, a window seat with flanking bookcases was built to create a quiet retreat.