We are looking to do a major remodel of our 3 BR, 1.5 BA, 1500 sf 1939 cape cod style house with the priority goals being adding connectivity between an updated kitchen and the family room (“open concept”), adding a master bedroom and master bathroom, renovating the existing full bathroom, and updating the exterior. We expect that a family room and master suite addition will be added to the back of the existing home footprint (there is no room to extend on the sides) although we are open to other thoughtful possibilities.
At the minimum, we want to have at least 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. We hope the interior updates will complement the existing “best elements” of this Cape Cod. There is no doubt that some finishes are tired and dated and could use updating.
• 3 BR, 1.5 BA
• 1500 square feet
• Built in 1939
• Lot size: 10,000 sq. ft. (plot line is within 10 feet on either side of house)
• Faces west
• 8 ft ceilings (at highest point)
(1) Remodel kitchen to create better sightlines between the new family room and kitchen, and make a more functional space.
a. The sightlines problem: At this point, we only have a small doorway between the kitchen and the existing family room. We would like the cook to be able to see and speak with the family while cooking. However, we do not want a kitchen IN the family room that juts out like a bar (figure A). They should be separate rooms. Some sort of half height divider bookcase might be nice (figure C).
b. The functionality problem: Our existing kitchen lacks counter space, light, and intelligent storage (for example, the cabinets are very deep and don't pull out, so it's extremely hard to find anything if stored in the back), and we would love an appliance “station” that doesn’t look like an outdated appliance garage (figure B). An island would likely be a plus, but would prefer it look like a piece of furniture rather than a bar. We would like a pantry. We don’t currently have gas and if there’s not an easy way to do a small hookup for range/any additional fireplaces I would prefer an induction cooktop. Double ovens would be preferred.
(2) Make family room more conducive to large extended family gatherings/watching tv, etc. Our existing family room is long and thin, with a walking track flowing right through the middle, making furniture and television placement difficult. To accomplish this, we believe it will require an addition to the backside of the existing family room / kitchen, although we are open to other thoughtful possibilities.
(3) Create master bedroom with full master bath with double sinks, and ample closet space. We expect that this would be the second floor of any backside addition. For the other bedrooms, we're open to keeping the first floor bedroom as a bedroom or relocating it upstairs.
(4) Remodel existing full bathroom. Double sinks would be a plus but not necessary if they do not fit. At least one of the bathrooms should have a tub, and at least one should have a walk-in shower (to accommodate both bathing kids, and older adult guests).
(5) Change first floor bath so that entrance is not through guest room/office. We don’t want to enter through the kitchen either.
(6) Replace exterior siding and trim. We’d like to replace exterior vinyl siding with wood shingle (other accents are fine - stone, brick, clapboard, etc. – but we generally do not like composite/non-natural materials)
(7) Create wider front entranceway. The current one looks too thin in proportion to the house. Two people should be able to walk side-by-side up the stairs.
(8) Create mudroom or area that allows entrance from the back and has closed shoe (maybe jacket) storage and a bench for removing shoes. Does not have to be a large area, just enough to allow people to not drag dirt into the house, dogs to be wiped off, etc.
(9) Create better connectivity between first floor and back yard. Any opportunity to incorporate outdoor-indoor living is encouraged.
(1) We would like more natural light and windows throughout the house. The current windows are way too small for our taste. We don’t always love the look of skylights, especially on the street facing side of the house. We’d rather have windows and doors open than run an air conditioner, so cross-breezes are a plus.
(2) Storage is key throughout (built-ins, shelves, etc.). Both open and closed storage should be added to your design when and wherever it can be incorporated.
(3) The exterior changes should be in keeping with the cape style, and not boxy or overwhelming to the original structure. Rooflines and window placement should be considered.
(4) We are not opposed to modifying or removing the existing deck and sunroom if needed to fit your design proposal IF your design replaces it with an alternative deck, patio, or outside space.
(5) We would like to keep the existing wood burning fireplace in the existing family room, but we are open to new fireplaces being gas. (Family room should have fireplace, and additional fireplaces are a plus).
(6) There is a tree in the backyard about 13 feet back from the screened in porch that we don’t want to lose (visible in pictures).
(7) We don’t use the 3 season room often, and the door that opens to it is in an awkward place on the living room wall. We WOULD use a screen porch if it were better placed or connected. We are also open to weatherizing it if it can be incorporated in the everyday flow of the house (basically meaning that it is usable and incorporated in the overall design rather than being an after thought).
(8) We don’t love the closed main staircase, but it’s not first priority to change.
(9) Heating and cooling: We currently have steam radiators so those will have to be accommodated. We would like to add air conditioning, so we’d prefer to allow areas in the design for ductwork so as not to need ugly bulkheads.
(10) If you are specifying fixtures or hardware, please specify as many as possible from www.Wayfair.com.
(11) Overall style of anything that is built-in should be simple and flexible to accommodate modern, traditional, rustic, etc. décor (i.e. shaker cabinets, neutral colors, natural materials, etc.).
- PLAN DRAWING: Scale 1/4"-1' (or 1/50)
- SECTION-ELEVATION VIEW(S) : Scale 1/4"-1' (or 1/50)
- PERSPECTIVE/AXONOMETRIC VIEWS (where relevant)
Link to Pinterest inspiration board (our preferred styles)