Home Renovation in Alexandria, VA
Our client, a professor of International Political Economy, came to us with a problem: she is an avid gardener and loves to observe the local wildlife, but the rear of her house was largely closed off from the backyard, making it difficult to engage with the outdoor space. She requested that we design an addition to open up the rear of her house so she could more easily access her garden and have a better view. We came up with a plan that included an expansive open kitchen, tall glass windows and doors, and a screened-in section on a porch which wrapped around a beautiful oak in her backyard.
Design + Layout
It was key that our addition joined seamlessly with the charming bungalow architecture of the existing house. However, in order to expand the kitchen, we needed to remove a bearing wall which supported the entire second story. We were not able to support the whole house with beams in the open kitchen, so we incorporated a beam in the island, clad in the same white oak as the island’s framing. Since our client was after a closer integration between inside and out, we chose large folding doors which encourage natural light in, and make for easy passage out. We also kept a consistent color palette throughout the inside and outside porch, to further blur the boundary between out and in. Through the tall glass doors, both the deck and screened-in porch are connected to the kitchen and living areas, facilitating effortless flow between in and outdoor activities.
Style + Finishes
We were careful to match the existing exterior style, using the same cedar shake siding, and extending the trim color to encompass the entire screened-in porch. For durability and a sleek look, we chose standing seam metal roofing for the porch addition. Inside, a heated gray slate floor in the kitchen keeps it comfortable throughout the year, and warm white oak accents complement the soft neutral cabinets. Plenty of windows and a skylight ensure natural light, and the black and white window/trim combination draws attention to the views out to the back. With the porch, we created an accessible and comfortable 3-season outdoor space, which easily links the kitchen and garden.