Best Renovation & Addition- Comfort With Character

Family living for the Sweeneys is perfected in this smart design.
Julia Hamilton/ Photography Charles Walton IV

To create greater ceiling height in Joanne and Kevin’s kitchen and family room, Gregory and Felix made the floor level in these areas several steps lower than the original house. A wooden framework―containing cabinetry, the refrigerator, and an interior doorway―marks the transition between old and new.

Details such as beaded-board panels and glass fronts on the cabinets bring a vintage appeal to the kitchen, especially when paired with the wooden countertops. Because the house stands close to its neighbors, the architects placed transom windows above cabinets on a sidewall for light and privacy. Door and window casings from the existing rooms were copied in the new areas.

The homeowners wanted the family room to look and live like an inviting cabin. It features a fireplace constructed of Pennsylvania fieldstone. The floors are a high grade of antique pine without many knots. Built-ins mirror the kitchen cabinets. The Sweeneys use the adjacent breakfast table for casual meals, homework, and Monopoly marathons.