Helping a Home Shed its Shell and a Family Broaden its Horizons: The Chrysalis Award House
When we sat down with the Smith family to design their home, we all agreed on a few goals. First, the family was growing…and fast. In fact, the family of four anticipated expanding their clan in the near future, but as luck would have it, they found out they were expecting during the renovation and just a few months before move in, their third child was born. Talk about architectural fate! Before we came on board, they were living in an outdated three-bedroom home, but because of its desirable, central Atlanta location, moving was not an option. Second, they were dealing with an outdated kitchen, a separate living space, and a house that was quite literally the ugliest on the block. Despite the obvious dilemmas, they knew there was something lingering beneath the unfortunate 70’s renovation, and so did we. We were up for the challenge.
One of our first observations was the many walls cluttering the floor plan. Many of them had been added in the 70’s, and part of what we wanted to do was restore the home to its original glory. The original 20’s plan, however, showed a very different side of the home, and one that looked strikingly familiar. In fact, Anne realized it was the exact footprint of her own house! Anne decided to create for the family what she had always wanted to create for herself. With the kitchen in the middle of the house, it made sense to open up the plan across the home. Doing so created the kitchen, while keeping the room as the heart of the home, and the place where the family now spends a majority of their time.
We worked with the Smith family to make sure that we created spaces that were more livable. Ultimately, we wanted to design a home that would complement their lifestyle, especially considering their young children. We also strived to improve the entry sequence and the flow of the home. Their front door and entry required the Smiths to enter from the street. Since a mudroom wasn’t an option with this configuration, we created cubbies in the low walls to define a new entry for the family to drop their things while keeping the area clutter free. Essentially, the house needed to be useful, practical, and beautiful. Of course, we also paid careful consideration to the curb appeal by adding a new front porch with fun, custom brackets. Scott and Sally wanted their home to better fit their neighborhood and be something they could be proud of. We accomplished this and so much more.
Additions to the space included giving Sally a large, flexible room for laundry and sewing. Scott needed a private study with space for a custom built-in bed for laptop lounging, and we were happy to deliver. Of course, the kids needed a space of their own too, so we mapped a large play area at the top of the stairs. Finally, we made plans for future modifications to try to predict the Smith’s needs. A nursery needed on the main level now, can eventually be a part of an expanded master suite. Upstairs, there is space for a future bedroom and bathroom.
Throughout the process, we served the clients by working with them every step of the way. We helped them through the complex City of Atlanta variance process, getting their building permit, and being on call during construction to help work through details and choose final finish selections. We also dealt with tight floor-to-area ratio requirements of the City, but we were able to maximize the floor area by playing tricks with the roof including dropping it to create dormers. Much to their delight, we also helped them solve how to get a better connection to their back yard with the addition of a deck on the side of the house as an extension of the family room. Prior to our updates, they had no outdoor living space at all.
Ultimately, the Smith family home became what it was always destined to be: a home filled with laughter, memories, and new traditions. With our keen ears and our attention to detail, we were able to deliver on the family’s needs and desires. Welcome home!
Note: Our clients’ names have been changed to protect their privacy.
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