“I own a classic 1,200 sq foot Bungalow built around 1925, and I want to remodel my rear-of-the house kitchen—as well as build a two story rear addition that will include a new family room below, and master suite above. What are some architectural considerations that will help assure the new space will appear to be a part of the whole and not merely tacked-on?” FM, Great Falls, VA
DC Metro Area
insights on residential architec-
ture have been published in
House Beautiful, the New York Times, Southern Living, the Washingtonian, Washington
Post, Colonial Homes and Other periodicals. Ask the Architect appears frequently in the Times Mirror news group, and has been featured in titles published by Media General, Network Communications and others.
An Architect’s Perspective
“I own a brick home with overtly French influences that was built in the 1980s. There are 5 windows across the front, and our wide central front door is trimmed in stone. The structure is basically a two-story rectangular box, the most compelling feature being the slate-clad hip roof with flared eaves. Three dormers in the roof accommodate attic bedrooms. I have often seen homes in a similar style with front-facing stone towers, which appeals to me since I’m thinking about adding on.
Specifically, the household has recently grown since we have taken in elderly parents. My wife and I have two teenagers, and one adult child has moved back into the house. We also have two live-in staff. What was a large house when I bought it 15 years ago – now seems crowded. We need more living and bedroom space that is separated from the home’s public areas. What are some considerations to enlarging my house that won’t dilute its architectural style?” B.A. McLean, VA
“I have recently inherited the Georgian-style home I grew up in, and have been trying to assess its potentials as a residence for my family of five. I believe it was built in the late 1920’s, (so it’s not historic)–but it has all the style’s stately features: pediments over the front door and windows, detailed cornice work, quoins at each corner; a double-hipped roof with two front-facing dormers. Unfortunately, it’s just too small for my three teenagers, so before my family can move in we’ve got to enlarge it. I’ve got a fairly sizeable lot (about an acre), so I could add-on from either side or the rear. But what would you recommend? Also, I want to remove some interior walls and bring in more light. What are some architectural considerations that will allow for big changes while preserving the integrity of this classic style?” TJ and Family, Herndon, VA
“I own a Dutch Colonial built around 1925, and am planning a two-story addition that will include a first floor library and an expanded master bedroom suite above. The lot size and setback rules necessitate a side addition—so the view from the street will be affected. What are some architectural considerations that assure this house retains its curb appeal?” P.S.W. Clifton, VA