Enlarging a House: Increase the Room Sizes Proportionally


Metamodern Designs for Living: Enlarging a House

“Just enlarging a big hunk of space against the back wall without considering proportion will eventually cause the smaller spaces in your home to loose form and function.”

By Marcia Lyon
Image (above) from homesthetics.net

Taking a holistic approach to enlarging your home is more complicated and likely more expensive than simply slamming a big hunk of space up against the back wall. However, if the second approach is the way you go, the existing smaller spaces of your home will atrophy and loose function. The home will always feel out of balance and the character of spaces; new and old, will always feel wrong.

Metamodern Designs for Living. Enlarging a House


This modest two bedroom one bath bungalow worked for a while, but was never ideal. A detached garage (not shown) (A), or the driveway, is where most family traffic comes from. The path continues up some exterior stairs (B), through a porch (C), finally entering the house on the basement stair landing (D), and through another door (E) to enter the kitchen (F).

The front door (G), which passes through the small living room (H), is only occasionally used. Two minimally sized bedrooms (I&J) and the only bathroom (K) are on the back side of the house. There is a fairly steep staircase (L) that is used to access the finished open attic.

Although technically there is enough room in this house for the single female homeowner, due to recent life changes, she is ready to start enlarging and make this house work for how her life is now, plus provide space for her hobbies – crafting and quilting. She wants to “love” her house again and feels confident that upgrading and enlarging her home will result in much higher resale prices when she is ready to downsize.

She wanted a nice, bright place to live, a pleasant place to entertain. Enlarging her home would accommodate her crafts without having to climb the stairs to the attic. The homeowner’s property was large enough to accommodate addition(s).

Metamodern Designs for Living. Enlarging a House


We added on to the side and back of the house (M). Addressing the existing side (porch) (C) entrance, we raised the floor joists for the porch floor to be level with the house floor.  The porch was extended (N), re-roofed, insulated and enclosed. This space is now the main family entry (O). The extension makes an open and inviting entrance to the kitchen (F) plus a great place to have coffee and read the paper.

The existing stairs to the attic (L) and basement (D) were rebuilt. The landing of the basement stair was removed and a new door added to the new entry (O). Enlarging the stairs up (L) to the attic was preferable, making a gentler rise, plus extending the wall (P) improved the kitchen. The refrigerator and the range are now on the same side.

We built a closet-style corner pantry (Q) to somewhat enclose the kitchen and frame the front door area (R). This new dining space and the kitchen are enhanced by adding skylights. The other side of the dining area is defined by two short walls with columns (S). The dining table ‘floats and is in flex-space that allows for expansion for large family dinners.

The new living room (T) is much larger, and now brighter with the addition of more windows. Notice that no traffic passes through this room. Bedroom (J) is modified only slightly to function as a guest room. The single window was expanded to meet egress requirements.  The hall bath (K) is cosmetically updated.

To understand the amount of added space, notice where the back left corner of the house is (U). This new craft/quilt room (V) is almost entirely new space.  Frosted glass pocket doors in the hall are directly across from French doors out to a deck (W). A laundry closet (X) can be concealed by a sliding ‘barn door’.

The new hallway now has a long linen closet. The new master bedroom (Y) is the right proportion, plus has two good closets and its own bathroom (Z) with over-sized shower. Now, if you evaluate each room, its purpose and flow, the entire house feels right.

Metamodern Designs. Creating Spaces by Marcia Lyon. Contributors Credit.Marcia Lyon is a professional architect, remodeling designer and freelance writer. She designs projects internationally and locally across the US and Canada. Visit Creating Spaces on Facebook! Contact Marcia via email: archimeatus@gmail.com; or phone 515-991-1300.  Her website is www.creatingspacesdesign.com.

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