A Fresh Kitchen
The new larger kitchen incorporates the old space in a more efficient layout. Greg and Liz chose a look that retains the cottage spirit. Beaded board is used throughout the addition to mirror the old porch ceiling and link the spaces together," explains Greg. Glass-front cabinets give an airy look and echo the wall of windows at the end of the family room. Lower cabinets are deceptively deep (24 inches) because Greg incorporated wasted space underneath the main staircase.
The old entrance to the basement became a second pantry. Butcher-block countertops pick up the floor's color. Heart-pine floors were our biggest splurge," says Greg. The original house had heart pine, so using it in the addition ties together the front and back of the house." A raised countertop faces out to the family room, screening the workspace from view.
WORKING WITH A DESIGN PROFESSIONAL
Even if you have great taste and know exactly what type of renovation you want, you still need an objective, experienced person to work with you in developing the design.
- Interview design professionals, and ask to see photographs of finished projects similar to yours. It's a good idea to visit recent jobs, if possible. These preliminary meetings will let you see the quality of a professional's work and what it's like to work with him or her.
- The first meeting is a good time to discuss fees. Some professionals bill by the hour (costs vary widely), and some base the fee on a percentage (typically 8% to 15%) of total construction cost. Be sure to agree on fees and a payment schedule before beginning a project.
- Share any magazine clippings or photos from books to help communicate your likes and wants to the architect or designer, and prepare a wish list based on your family's needs.
- Once you've agreed on the overall concept, the design is developed further. Working drawings will be prepared, including the foundation plan; floor plans; elevations; section (shows level changes); and details of cabinets, moldings, and other components.
- Next, you'll work with the professional to write specifications (written descriptions of the materials, products, and finishes to be used in the renovation). Together, the working drawings and the specifications are called the bid documents; they are used to solicit bids from contractors.
Light-Filled Family Room
Many windows and French doors keep the family room sunny and bright. A bank of windows at the back of the addition looks out on the garden; another group of windows and doors leads to a new side porch. The porch connects to a terrace that's perfect for grilling and entertaining. Areas for dining, relaxing, and playing games make the family room multifunctional.