Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Updating a Craftsman Home

Craftsman style architecture has such a rich architectural vocabulary with great moldings and woodwork but what do you do if the floor plan no longer supports the way we live and entertain on a daily basis?  This home is a perfect example of the issues that architects face when asked to update a vintage craftsman. 

The real issue is today’s homeowners entertain from and around the kitchen.  When these homes were built, guests were not even allowed into the kitchen.

Today, we live, work and entertain from the kitchen.  The real issue is the stairs are right in the middle of the house.  This is the most efficient way to lay out the upper floor bedrooms as it reduces the amount of wasteful hallways but on the main floor, it is right in the way of things. 

This is not an impossible issue, it just requires some creative design to provide for a more modern floor an.  The solution is to move the dining room out to the existing living room area and push the living room into the sun room area.  This helps in two ways.  It allows for the dining room to work as a “buffer” area between the living room and the kitchen.  It also allows for a large spacious dining room that is directly visible from and to the kitchen. 

An added bonus is the living room is now a “dead end” room that no longer has traffic flowing through it so it effectively is now larger and provides for easier furniture layout. 

The rear entry door now has a larger entry vestibule with a convenient coat closet to provide for a place to hang coats and store boots and shoes.  The Kitchen is larger and more open with a gracious island to provide a great place for guests to gather.  The seating is great for a quick meal with family or for a great place to work on schoolwork before dinner.

The Stairs are still in the center of the home but instead of being “in the way” they provide a little buffer area that makes the open plan seem more organized with different spaces for the kitchen, dining area and Living room.  While these spaces are all connected, they have a series of openings give each room the comfortable cozy feeling that is such a wonderful part of  the craftsman style.