MAKE BETTER USE OF THE SPACES YOU LOVE
By Marcia Lyon
Example image (above) from modernize.com
I’m not for enclosing porches across the board. Porches serve a purpose. Perhaps you’ve seen when a front porch is enclosed and the steps lead up to a door with no landing. People have to back up when entering the porch to open the screen/storm door. Enclosing a front porch changes the way the house looks. With special care it might be an improvement.
But sometimes a three season porch is the brightest and most desirable part of a home and that can become a fairly economical addition by winterizing it.
This was the case with this house. The three season porch (A) was used as much and as long as possible in this colder climate. The living room (B) was nice but didn’t feel as private on the front of the house. The dining room (C) was really just a pass thru room and the table received incoming goods when the family came in from the garage (D). The dining table became more of a barrier than an asset and there was no room to expand the table because of the unused desk (E) that once was useful. The kitchen (F) was certainly large enough, but felt removed from the rest of the house and family.
The family’s first thought was to remove the desk area (E) and the wall surrounding the refrigerator (G), which looked like a barrier to the kitchen. But I wanted to straighten out traffic, expand the dining area, and make the kitchen feel more like an open plan.
With the lack of a ‘family entry’, I created one by lining the low wall by the basement stairs with a “To Go” shelf, a bench, and a shoe cabinet (H). The closet in the living room (I) will still be used.
With the removal of the desk (E) and remaking of the pantry (J), the space is opened up to float and expand the dining table in this enlarged space (K). This offers more circulation space. French doors (L) replace the sliding glass door and are centered in the wall. Likely these will be used while entertaining or when they want everything opened up.
The new kitchen (M) has a new layout with the refrigerator minimized by the pantry (J). The L shape layout is more efficient. An eat-on island is added, inviting people into the kitchen. Additional space for this island is gained when we removed the wall between the kitchen and the newly winterized porch. The connection is made more attractive and functional by building up a curved platform that acts as the step down to the entertaining area (N). The space is more unified and enhanced by three skylights (O).
Now the entire back part of the house is bright and inviting and is used all year long.
Marcia Lyon is a professional architect, remodeling designer and freelance writer, producing metamodern designs locally and across the US and Canada. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 515-991-1300. Visit Marcia’s website at residentialremodelingdesign.com, for more information about consultations. To view more of Marcia’s consultations visit our Archive.