“A vacation home, by definition, is an occasionally used home, not set up for full time living. These homes usually have some type of exterior draw such as a lake or mountain view. The structure is not always oriented well towards the view.”
By Marcia Lyon
Renderings by Marcia Lyon
This basic ranch was built for the purpose of vacation living. The view that it had was of a river behind the house – somewhat distant with some railroad tracks separating home and river. Although there are windows toward the back, I wouldn’t say that the view was paramount.
A house-long porch (A) was the maximum amount of architectural interest to this very simple house. The detached garage (B) was inconvenient to use since it was down quite a bit from the house level, requiring many steps. Because of its location, the main family entry (C) is through the side of the house, with a zig zag hallway path to the kitchen (D).
The front door (E) enters the living room (F) with a view of the cozy conversation area (G). The kitchen (D) is spacious with adjacent dining space (H). The sliding glass door (I) just has steps and no established backyard entertaining space.
There are two bedrooms (J&K) in this vacation home plus a three-quarter bathroom (L) and a half bath (M). The basement stair (N) accesses more living and sleeping space.
The homeowners do have family and guests staying over and every inch is utilized. They wanted an attached garage without lots of stairs to the house. They also asked for a main floor laundry room. If they could improve their main living space for entertaining, they would be happy.
The answer to the garage was to attach new one (O) on the same level and on the other side of the house. By laying it out on a 30-degree angle, added space is gained in the back corner where it joins the house. We gained a spacious family entry (P) and a pleasant laundry room (Q).
Since the former side entry (C) was no longer needed, the space transformed into a compartmentalized bathroom (R) for both bedrooms.
The only change in the kitchen of this vacation home, was to enlarge the island for an eat-on function. Since the view was toward the back, I offered the option to add a sun room type addition (S) which would double the living space. Alternatively, this could be simply a screened in porch. A deck (T) added beyond this new area provides a great place for grilling and entertaining outdoors.
The conversation area (G) is moved to the front of the house which makes it slightly more private and larger.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org; or phone 515-991-1300. Her website is www.creatingspacesdesign.com.