Dark to Light

This project involved the dramatic transformation of a dark, compartmentalized house into a light-filled, open plan more suited to the lifestyle of a modern family . The entire first floor was gutted and reconfigured to include a mud room, large kitchen, living room, laundry and 1/2 bath. Plus, a new space (currently pictured as a dining room) was added to the south for use as a dining area or as an extension of the living room. Designed to be flexible, this room, with its lofty ceiling and treehouse-like views easily accommodates a number of functions, enabling the owners to change its use quickly and easily whether for a dinner party or to adjust to evolving family needs. Large windows focusing on particular views and capturing east and southern daylight replaced small, oddly placed windows. Now, nearly every space centers on a framed view of the outside, making the house feel more spacious and integrated.

The kitchen is the hub here. Social life and every day family activities revolve around it, so it was necessary that the kitchen work just as well for large gatherings as for daily family rhythms. Multiple people can easily circulate, hang out, cook or grab a quick drink. Kids can do homework at the “floating” Douglas fir island or guests can socialize while talking with the cook. When the owners said they were interested in using some playful red tiles in the kitchen, I was thrilled. Using punches of color gave us an opportunity to add another layer of interest, link spaces, and create some fun highlights.

Construction credit:  Red House, Inc., Burlington, VT



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