The owners loved sharing meals in the screen porch off the back of their house, but the porch was casually built and beginning to show its age. They wanted to replace it with a room that offered the same light and visual connection with the outdoors but could be used year round. They also wanted to increase their enjoyment of the outdoors by adding a pool and a shaded outdoor living area close to both house and pool. Improving the natural light in the existing family room, as well as the flow between rooms and the outdoors, was also on their wish list.
A new sunroom-style dining room has replaced the old screen porch. The addition is a little bigger and a little taller than the porch it replaced, but still feels very porch-like. The addition and the existing family room open up onto a generous terrace that steps down to the pool and surrounding seating area. The upper terrace is shaded by a pergola.
The number and location of doors in the sunroom addition and renovated family room assure an easy, breezy connection between the inside and outside living areas. The natural cedar of the new pergola references a more rustic garden structure in the garden nearby.
Cottage style double-hung windows with clerestory windows above wrap all around the addition, allowing the light in and views out. A circular window in the gable end adds interest. The box bay window has a copper roof.
Another door from the sunroom connects the indoor dining to the grilling area, as well as to another outdoor seating area with firepit. The main roof of the addition has slate shingles to match the roof of the existing house.
Carefully detailed metal anchors secure the pergola beams to the posts, and the posts to granite bases and the terrace.
The new space is reminiscent of the screen porch it replaced, only better. Like the porch, the walls are more open than solid, but now that expansive connection with nature can be enjoyed throughout all four seasons. Continuous double-hung and clerestory windows allow light and views to pour into the new dining room. The windows stretch almost floor to ceiling. The cathedral ceiling and upper walls are clad in beadboard, and the windows are cased with continuous bands of white trim. Beadboard and painted wood are traditional porch finishes.
The new basement area below the sunroom has been turned into a dance studio, complete with tall, wall-to-wall mirrors and a ballet barre. The new basement is a few steps down from the existing floor level, providing the additional height required for leaps and bounds. The floor is sprung, with a hardwood surface. Natural light and safety egress for the dance studio is granted by a lightwell with a custom bulkhead door fitted out with tempered glass panels.
The existing basement was re-imagined as a creative work area. Existing columns are enclosed in wood and wall board, creating alcoves. One alcove houses a large cast iron utility sink. The next alcove sponsors an undercounter refrigerator. Above the refrigerator is a stainless steel, glass front storage cabinet. The last alcove is designed for display, with a magnetic metal surface that can be used with special markers. The floor is porcelain tile. Shiny, white, metallic and colorful surfaces make the basement feel bright and cheerful, even though there is no natural light.