Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Featured Space: The Family Room

As promised, this week's featured space is the Family room. Here's the MLS shot:

A little history on this generous sized room: this home was originally built in 1947, however, in 1960 a two story (plus basement) addition was added to the original home. On the upper level, it added a 4th bedroom; on the main level, it added a family room and in the basement, it added a lot of space that they left unfinished and used as storage (which we will also be doing for the time being).

There are SO many pluses to this addition: the sheer amount of space it added (I can't tell you the exact square footage, but I would put it at close to 800 extra square feet). Other bonuses, 4 bedrooms on one level in Minneapolis at this price point? Huge score. We also like that the addition is off the back of the house. Ultimately, it will really give us a nice flow between the dining room, kitchen and family room.

Now, while the space itself is amazing to have, there are a few things that drive us absolutely bonkers about this addition. NUMERO UNO is the fact that they put casement (crank out) windows on the main level of the addition vs double hung to blend with the rest of the house. Not only are they crank vs lift, but they are the skinniest, longest windows I've ever seen. They wrap virtually the entire room making it impossible to put furniture anywhere without obstructing a window. The casement windows scream, "I'm an addition that was added after the original home was built. Please do not confuse me with the rest of the house!" Our goal? To make this addition look as though it was a part of the original home from day one.

Whiny complaint number two about this addition is the awkward "ledge" that was built over the main floor addition and confusing side entry that enters directly into the room. Here's what I'm talking about:

The goal here is to attempt to tie this "ledge" in with the use of decorative brackets, trim and light fixtures. Our guess is that the upper level of the addition was built this way to accommodate the existing hallway upstairs...and on the main level, they didn't want to obstruct the existing kitchen window - so alas, built a really bazaar looking structure? Here's the architects rendering of how this will look after construction:

Amazing what a little creative energy can do!

As you can see, the windows on this side of the house are becoming fewer to alot proper space to put a media armoire. We first discussed this being a built-in piece, but have decided to difer to either a piece of furniture or mounting a TV directly on the wall. Here is a picture of how the space stands now and the rendering of what it will look like:

No more awkward windows or side entry. And no more living in a fish bowl with a little added privacy (not that we don't love our neighbor Cathy!)

I referenced in a previous post that this family room will become more open to the new kitchen. Here are a few "as is" pictures with interior elevations of the new family room.

Our lot is unique in Minneapolis in that we have no houses directly behind us (for two blocks...then you run directly into our friend Mitchs' backyard;-). So we actually have a bit of a "view" and want to take advantage of that (there's also a little park where we'll be able to keep an eye on Rosemary playing).

So the back of the family room will have a set of 3 paneled french doors that allow us to take in the view and watch the girls playing in the backyard even from the kitchen. The doors will lead out onto a set of stairs made of cedar that will gain you access to the backyard. It will give us the feel of that indoor/outdoor living that we love - but without compromising privacy.

SO...we're getting excited! We had our final meeting with the architect last night before we start interviewing contractors and gathering figures. Susan will send us the revised plans next week and we'll start setting up those meetings. On average it takes about 3-5 weeks to get those numbers back and at that point, we need to decide on a contractor and get on his/her schedule. Hopefully we aren't too terribly far out from starting this process.

Finally, we discussed the "Butler's Pantry" again last night and got a little sneak peek at the first round of drawings for it. I can't wait to see it come to life!

No new pictures of the girls today. However, it's 8:30pm and I can hear Rosemary up in her bed singing "Jingle Bells" :-) Music to my ears!

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