Done correctly, a little can go a long way when it comes to home additions.
For proof, consider the impact of the addition of 469 square feet – about the same amount of space as a standard two-car garage – to Paul and Monique Winther’s Chevy Chase home.
“The whole thing started with a desire on my part to have a more convenient kitchen,” Monique said.
To get a firsthand look at the latest in kitchen design, the couple took in the 2015 Kitchens of the Bluegrass Tour. “That’s where we met Karen and Wayne Hoover of Sloan Scott (Custom Cabinetry),” Monique recalls. “We didn’t know for sure at the time if we wanted to remodel the kitchen, but after the tour, we knew we wanted to go ahead with it.”
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At the peak of their careers, Monique, a staff attorney for the Kentucky Court of Appeals and Paul, an anthropology professor at Eastern Kentucky University, spent most of their waking hours in Frankfort and Richmond, respectively. Having a small kitchen with zero counter space was an annoyance they had learned to tolerate long ago.
“It was a minuscule kitchen divided in two,” Monique said, “but all the houses built in the 30s had very small kitchens. We weren’t home much anyway.”
Everything changed when Monique and Paul retired and found new enjoyment in the home they had been living in for 30 years. As they began paying more attention to its shortcomings, they realized the strategic addition of space and a few amenities would enable them to stay there longer. “We want to age in this place,” Monique said. “We knew these changes would make life easier but also add value to the property.”
Paul and Monique turned to Karen and Wayne Hoover of Sloan Scott Custom Cabinetry, whom they met at the kitchen tour, to remodel their kitchen. The Hoovers and contractor Jimmy McKinney of J&R Construction Services, Inc. agreed that the first order of business was to opening things up by removing the wall between the kitchen and dining area.
Eliminating the pantry and relocating the rear entrance freed up more space. Extending the kitchen toward the back yard gave them another 100 square feet that they needed to include an island in the plans.
The result is a cook’s dream. “We have room to move around now. I have space to do chopping and cutting,” Monique said. “Before, everything was piled up all over the place. Now, everything is organized. It makes life easier, definitely.”
Karen Hoover helped Monique and Paul choose a matte gray finish for wall and floor cabinetry and a wood finish for the island. The white subway tile backsplash extends to the ceiling above the sink, where two double-hung windows flood the room with light. Stainless steel appliances, soft gray walls, granite countertops and hardwood floors complement each other and work together to create a calm, soothing ambiance.
Reconfiguring the space also allowed the Winthers to move their laundry room from the basement to the main floor. “Now I have my washer and dryer in a closet in the kitchen,” Monique said. “It’s safer and much more convenient than carrying loads of laundry up and down steps.”
OWNERS SUITE RE-DO
As often happens with renovation projects, one thing led to another and then another.
The main floor of the couple’s bungalow has a guest bedroom, a second bedroom that’s used as an office, a bathroom, and a family room. Their bedroom is in the attic.
Expanding the kitchen by 100 square feet created space there for a second bathroom with a tile walk-in shower and two walk-in closets. “Small kitchens and closets are typical for older homes,” Monique said. “We love having these big closets.”
The same principle applies to the new 200-square-foot family room on the main floor.
“We had a glass and metal patio on the side of the house that we couldn’t use several months of the year,” she explained. “It was Paul’s idea to make it a four-season room. Mr. McKinney tore off the old room and built this room on a slab where the patio used to be.”
It features a wall of windows that offer unobstructed views of the brick patio and backyard. The exposed brick wall on the opposite side is painted gray to blend with the rest of the house. A custom-built entertainment center and bookshelves sit between two windows on one end of the room, and the new rear entrance is at the other end.
“It’s a cheerful, sunny room now, not just a glass-and-metal patio,” Monique said. “We spend a lot of time here.”
The four-month project could not have gone more smoothly, according to the Winthers. “Mr. McKinney did everything he was supposed to do. We never experienced delays,” Monique said. “He was true to his word, and the Hoovers’ ideas were exceptionally helpful at all times.”
She and Paul enjoy every inch of the additional space. “Our house remains relatively small, but the renovation has shown that, with creativity, small spaces can be attractive and livable,” Monique said.
Does she wish they had done the renovations years ago? Not necessarily.
“I cannot say I was suffering before,” Monique said. “I like to live in a simple way.”