Looking for a smaller home without sacrificing style or space? This Old Jefferson Renovation Shows You How You Can Live Large In A Smaller Space Without Sacrificing Style
At 1550 square feet, this modern renovation has turned a quaint cottage into a remarkable home chock full of extras that are often overlooked in other homes of a similar size.
First, the owner/renovator wanted to do justice to the street it is on. "Newman Avenue is one of the premier streets in the area and we didn't want to do something that was simply ordinary", she said. "The fact is, we are on a street that is in proximity to much larger homes. Even though it is always a value to be the smallest home in an area of larger homes, we still didn't want to skimp and sacrifice on style and finishes."
A blank slate is what she started with. An earlier addition had doubled the living space of the original cottage, so this space was used to bring in a new, stylish and modern kitchen that is open to the large den. "The original home's kitchen was small and virtually unusable in by today's standards", she said. "Moving the kitchen to the addition made perfect sense, as it allowed us to have the open concept living that today's home buyer's desire. At the same time, with the old kitchen space freed up, it allowed us to renovate that space into full size laundry room." And it worked. The new laundry area can not only accommodate a full size washer and dryer, but also cabinetry with counter tops and a laundry sink.
"The kitchen always ends up as the heart of the home, so we wanted to have something something sleek, modern and stylish", she said. "We used beautiful new Shaker-style dark wood cabinetry and complimented them with soft gray quartz counters and coordinating tiles on the back splash." She also went with a separate cook top and oven. "More people are interested in cooking and entertaining these days. Having the appliances separate from one another is a real time saver when you are cooking for a crowd." The addition of a large hood vent over the cook top completes the look and gives the impression of a professional kitchen.
The home's den, just off of and open to the kitchen, shares the same beautiful tile and helps to combine the two rooms together, giving a feeling of unity. A peninsula-style counter between the den in the kitchen also brings the two rooms together and creates a perfect little breakfast area or gathering spot for family or friends. "I love the layout of the den to the kitchen. You can still be preparing for the party while being able to entertain family or friends at the same time."
The original cottage was a simple two bedroom and one bath affair. "I just knew that we needed to get a third room that could serve multiple functions" said the owner. To do this, she enclosed the existing garage and added a much-needed adjoining bathroom. The result is a stylish and chic space, that while small, makes a great office, guest bedroom or perfect mini-master. "Again, I wanted to create an area that packed a lot of bang-for-the-buck for the size and space." She concentrated her efforts in this area into the bathroom and came up with two design ideas that turned what could have been an ordinary bathroom into clever space with a spa-like feeling. "I didn't want a combo shower and tub. Nobody really likes those. So I opted for a glass enclosed shower stall and incorporated river rock for the shower drain and floor and then installed a wooden bench that folds up and down. I then installed a waterfall-style shower fixture above the wooden seat. Now you can either stand in the shower and bathe the traditional way, or put the shower seat down and relax under an invigorating waterfall."
The older areas of the original house received the same loving treatment as the newer areas. Outside, the inviting front porch has been spruced up with new slate-style tile and just inside the front door in the living room, the original fireplace surround has been replaced with the same tile, creating a coordinating look to the home from the moment you step into it. The addition of modern looking scone sconces on either side of the fireplace as well as track lighting helps the living room achieve a thoroughly modern look. "I also wanted the fireplace to be usable, but at the same time, be something that people could feel like they could use everyday, so I opted to install an electric fireplace. It turned into a stunning feature that is both practical as well as useful and stylish. The fireplace has separate modes, so you can use it as a heater if you want, or turn the heater off and just use it for it's ambient effect."
Throughout the older parts of the home, the original hardwood floors have been lovingly restored to their original luster. "I really love the way the hardwood floors turned out. They give the perfect balance of the old and the new that this house needed", says the owner.
As for the outside areas, the house sits on a huge lot and is framed in the front by ancient Live Oak trees. The large backyard is big enough for anyone to design gardens, a pool or add a garage. "The side yard is conducive for putting in a driveway, so rear yard vehicle access is a real possibility." The backyard also includes a large separate storage building off of the side and rear of the house with a patio area in between. "We re-framed and put on a new roof on the shed and when I re-worked the kitchen inside, I took the old cabinetry and put it in the storage room. I hate to throw useful things away. For now, I just refer to it as the storage room. But for a new owner, it could transition to anything, depending on their need: storage, workshop, cabana or guest cottage."
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