Designing Outside the Box Increases Light, Livability

The owners of this Cape Cod-style house in Falls Church, Va., desired a new, user-friendly kitchen and a look that was definitely theirs.

February 28, 2003

 

To make all the structural angles work in the unusually shaped kitchen with its 14-foot-high, multisurface cathedral ceiling, "a little extra planning was needed in the design and structure stages," remodeler Bruce Bowers notes. "It required a more engineered product than 2x10s." Bowers used structural Microlam beams "to make it cosmetically uniform and structurally sound." Using field framing rather than prefabricated trusses allowed carpenters on site to make necessary adjustments and "tweak it to get it right." The kitchen addition was built on piers, requiring extra attention to insulating the space. Icynene liquid foam insulation was used to keep the ceramic tile floor warm and to provide greater sound control. "The insulation expands to fill every space and crack," Bowers says.

The owners of this Cape Cod-style house in Falls Church, Va., desired a new, user-friendly kitchen and a look that was definitely theirs. The existing 10x10-foot kitchen had original appliances, cabinets and countertops from the early 1950s. A wall between the kitchen and dining room had been demolished in a frustrated effort to expand space.

The owners wanted something out of the ordinary that would transform the livability and look of their 1,300-square-foot home. The result is a nine-sided, 364-square-foot kitchen and breakfast nook addition that provides natural light, plenty of views and gourmet cooking dream space.

"The shape, size and quality of materials make it unique," says Bruce Bowers, president of Bowers Construction Group, McLean, Va. "We tried to take advantage of as many views as possible."

To increase light and maximize the view of the yard, wall cabinets were eliminated. Even a downdraft cooktop was used to avoid blocking views. Windows and grillwork were customized by working with Weather Shield.

The old kitchen and dining room space serves as an aesthetic transition between the new and the old. A walk-in food pantry and a china closet flank a walk-through library with built-in bookshelves and art niches.

One-of-a-kind details cater to the homeowners' tastes and needs. Douglas fir cabinets were hand-built on site per the owners' specifications. A cathedral ceiling with beams to match the cabinetry provided a welcome change from the cramped, low ceiling in the old kitchen.

The $150,000 kitchen addition was part of a $250,000 renovation. Purchased four years ago for $168,000, the remodeled house is currently appraised at $605,000.

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