What do a butterfly roof, an island, and a banquette have in common?

Growing families need more and better space. Such was the case for a couple in Bethesda, Maryland with a young child and a baby on the way. Their 1960s Carderock contemporary was attractive, but lacked the modern conveniences that homeowners expect today. In general, it was felt that the kitchen, dining area, and family room were smaller than they needed to be and lacked quality materials.

The original kitchen was a boring box with a door opening to the dining room and one window overlooking the back yard. There was no visual link to the family room. Worn oak veneer cabinets, plastic laminate counter tops, and torn vinyl flooring completed the 1960s era package. The home’s only table space was a small formal dining room barely able to seat six, which prompted their request for a new informal breakfast room. The tired home needed to be updated.

Kitchen Design
A design challenge was to maximize and integrate space in the kitchen with the family room, which required that an existing masonry wall between the kitchen and family room be removed and new structural steel beams/columns installed to open the space. The new enlarged kitchen layout accommodates an island with bar stools and maximizes the remaining space. A new 42” high built-in cabinet with frosted glass doors was installed that provides storage at the dining room side. Throughout the kitchen flush-front teak cabinets provide a modern lean look with a color contrast provided by the black-honed granite countertops. At the client’s request, a palette of earth-tones colors were selected for the glass tile backsplash. Three pendant light fixtures with orange tinted glass were installed above the island.

New Breakfast Room
A new breakfast room addition was designed with floor to ceiling glass on three sides that maximizes sight lines from lawn to tree top views. The new roof slopes upward toward the trees forming what is called a “butterfly” roof. The butterfly roof fits beautifully with the 1960s contemporary style architecture. The lady-of-the-house had a desire for a banquette, which was satisfied by a custom upholstered “L” shaped bench and table. We specified a special Crypton fabric which is impervious to staining. A simple table clad in Formica is lit by a large hanging fixture with a fabric shade, which forms a cozy space with a sense of closure and ample garden views.

Expanded Family Room
The clients felt that the existing family room was too small and that it was important to enlarge the space. Fortunately, the house had a 4’ wide roof overhang running along the rear wall of the family room. Capturing this additional 4’ of space for the interior made it possible to enlarge the existing family room without altering the roof. A new structural beam provides the roof support the former wall provided, and it allows for the new opening into the breakfast room addition.

Oak Flooring
It was agreed that using oak flooring throughout the remodeled space was important to unify the design. The existing family room had wide plank & peg oak flooring, but the other parts of the house had standard strip oak flooring, and the integration of the two proved tricky. To solve this problem, the design team chose to run a wide walnut border around the existing plank & peg floor that defined it and offered an honest transition to the standard oak floor used in the addition and kitchen. An added benefit of the walnut border was the ghost-like outline of the original wall locations (a respectful nod to the past structure).

Media Center, Dry Bar, and Mud Room.
A focal point of the new family room is the custom bookcase with media center, flat screen TV, and bookshelves. Equipment is housed within the lower portion of the bookcase and, when the TV is not in use, it blends unobtrusively into the surroundings. The new bookcase is centered on the family room wall opposite the kitchen. Flanking the bookcase, and somewhat tucked behind it, are the new dry bar and mud room. Unobtrusively nestled into a leftover corner of the family room is the new dry bar. Dark espresso cabinets provide storage for the owner’s barware collection and a stone countertop harmonizes with the kitchen. Located at the opposite end of the built-in bookcase is a new mudroom that efficiently acts as a hub leading to the rear garden, basement stair, and garage. The new mudroom was fitted-out with bench, cubbies for storage, and hooks for coats. A tile floor accommodates wet feet and the space was maximized for a family with children.

The new design brings together a butterfly roof at the new breakfast room with a custom banquette, and a new kitchen island to create a whole new home environment. The new remodel and addition fit seamlessly into the older home and is successful functionally and aesthetically. Every detail was considered, while every problem was solved and beautifully executed, resulting in happy homeowners and clients.
photos by Ron Blunt

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